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It's not particularly hard to make a wide range of class concepts viable if you don't include build options that will make a terrible character.   I've posted a lot about how the classes work (or don't work) and can be built (or can't be built).  Rather than hunt around and guess at what leads people to believe that "all classes can be all things", I'd like to hear what the basis for that claim is.

 

I think most people don't know enough about the mechanics to make any accurate predictions but each person sees one part of the elephant and they extrapolate from that.

 

I think a big part of the claim falls on the assumption that all the class mechanics allow the exact same options for talents and abilities (or effectively the same options, when you come down to brass-tacks and calculate each one out) across the board so that it really does play like a class-less system and that classes are just a hollow title to pacify those masses.

 

The other part of the claim lies on the fact that we've heard a lot about how classes aren't distinguished like they were in IE games (rogues are skill-buffed characters, mages are OP nuke throwers, fighters are good low-level fighters and meat shields, etc), but we don't really understand much about how they are currently distinguished in game-play and when you take away what distinguished them, but don't replace the descriptions with new ways that they are distinguished, it's hard for posters to understand what's what.

 

Edit: And then, of course, there are people who say things like this, but don't really mean it: "It should absolutely be possible to build a character who is bad at his class."

 

Of course, this isn't for lack of trying. You've tried to answer these concerns in the past. But so many words is hard for the new generation to sit through.

 

Ultimately I propose a video of the vertical slice to help players get a better idea of the way classes play, so that these silly claims can be put to rest once and for all. :D

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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@Gfted1

 

I wouldn't worry about PE being potentially stressful.

Im not worried about stress, Im worried about fun. I want to play the game and enjoy the story, not wrestle with mechanics designed to inconvenience me. But in the interests of being productive maybe I can offer a solution instead of a criticism. Im willing to toss an extra $20 into the kitty if one of the devs could code in a console command that provides party wide resting at any location, and I'll also need a way to map it to the "R" key. By this I mean the Health globe, not the Stamina globe, just so theres no further confusion. :lol:


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It's not particularly hard to make a wide range of class concepts viable if you don't include build options that will make a terrible character.   I've posted a lot about how the classes work (or don't work) and can be built (or can't be built).  Rather than hunt around and guess at what leads people to believe that "all classes can be all things", I'd like to hear what the basis for that claim is.

I think a big part of the claim falls on the assumption that all the class mechanics allow the exact same options for talents and abilities (or effectively the same options, when you come down to brass-tacks and calculate each one out) across the board so that it really does play like a class-less system and that classes are just a hollow title to pacify those masses.

 

The class information they have presented thus far shows that each class starts begins with a unique set of special abilities. As long as those abilities are not being made available to other classes, then they would seem to be unique.

 

We don't know what talents and abilities the classes would be able to claim from that point forward, but presumably those would have prerequisites that favor specific character builds. Wasn't that also true of feats in D&D 3e?

 

A big part of the claim of non-uniqueness seems to stem from the fact that all classes can use all skills. But this was also true in D&D 3e. Presumably then the only difference in P:E is that the non-class skills aren't capped at 1/2 the class level. But each class will still have certain skills in which they have an advantage.

 

Hence I'm not clear about the basis for this claim.


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@Gfted1

 

I wouldn't worry about PE being potentially stressful.

Im not worried about stress, Im worried about fun. I want to play the game and enjoy the story, not wrestle with mechanics designed to inconvenience me. But in the interests of being productive maybe I can offer a solution instead of a criticism. Im willing to toss an extra $20 into the kitty if one of the devs could code in a console command that provides party wide resting at any location, and I'll also need a way to map it to the "R" key. By this I mean the Health globe, not the Stamina globe, just so theres no further confusion. :lol:

 

Just play on a low difficulty then?

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Just play on a low difficulty then?

Difficulty level, console commands, check boxes... I don't care. Im down for whatever gives the ability to freely rest.


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You couldn't freely rest in the IE games without a mod, what did you do then? (unless you have never played it without the rest anywhere mod).

 

Logic says that if you play it on the easiest difficulty and rest every time you come to a rest location then you shouldn't be inconvenienced unless you really stuff something up. The Stamina/Health system means that characters can lose their full stamina 3 times before you're in trouble (iirc).

Edited by Sensuki

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As far as I remember you could rest anywhere except select areas? Anyway I'm sure there'll be something that can address such a preference. IE games had pretty straightforward consoles for example.

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Yeah although in a lot of areas you could rest but you were usually interrupted at least 4/5 or more times in a row, so you had to save scum it.

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You couldn't freely rest in the IE games without a mod, what did you do then? (unless you have never played it without the rest anywhere mod).

 

Logic says that if you play it on the easiest difficulty and rest every time you come to a rest location then you shouldn't be inconvenienced unless you really stuff something up. The Stamina/Health system means that characters can lose their full stamina 3 times before you're in trouble (iirc).

True, you couldn't rest anywhere (in the middle of a battle or when enemies were nearby) but then you just walk around the corner / few steps away and then you can rest. That's what Im looking for. A way to ensure I approach every encounter at full HP and abilities. It seems strange to me that people think its normal that every single enemy in the game is at full capabilities and the only six mofo's on the entire continent that don't have that advantage are the people in your party. :wacko:


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Yeah but you're forgetting that not every fight will be lethal unless you literally stand there and do nothing. Like I said before, your characters can all survive being dropped to 0 stamina in combat 3 times before you have to worry about any penalties. You just have to look at the system a different way.

 

If you still have above 25% Health then you are absolutely fine. We aren't sure how many fights characters will be able to take before they rest, but you just have to trust the designers to get the pacing right.

 

Being at 100% Stamina and >25% Health in Project Eternity is the same as being at max health in the IE games.

 

I am probably the opposite to you though, I would prefer there is resouce management tension and I honestly don't mind reloading if I performed badly in a fight. But I'll be playing on a high difficulty.

Edited by Sensuki

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It's not particularly hard to make a wide range of class concepts viable if you don't include build options that will make a terrible character.   I've posted a lot about how the classes work (or don't work) and can be built (or can't be built).  Rather than hunt around and guess at what leads people to believe that "all classes can be all things", I'd like to hear what the basis for that claim is.

 

I think most people don't know enough about the mechanics to make any accurate predictions but each person sees one part of the elephant and they extrapolate from that.

 

I think a big part of the claim falls on the assumption that all the class mechanics allow the exact same options for talents and abilities (or effectively the same options, when you come down to brass-tacks and calculate each one out) across the board so that it really does play like a class-less system and that classes are just a hollow title to pacify those masses.

 

The other part of the claim lies on the fact that we've heard a lot about how classes aren't distinguished like they were in IE games (rogues are skill-buffed characters, mages are OP nuke throwers, fighters are good low-level fighters and meat shields, etc), but we don't really understand much about how they are currently distinguished in game-play and when you take away what distinguished them, but don't replace the descriptions with new ways that they are distinguished, it's hard for posters to understand what's what.

 

Edit: And then, of course, there are people who say things like this, but don't really mean it: "It should absolutely be possible to build a character who is bad at his class."

 

Of course, this isn't for lack of trying. You've tried to answer these concerns in the past. But so many words is hard for the new generation to sit through.

 

Ultimately I propose a video of the vertical slice to help players get a better idea of the way classes play, so that these silly claims can be put to rest once and for all. :D

 

 

Classes don't currently share any Abilities at all.  If you're not a fighter, you're never going to be able to take Defender.  If you're not a monk, you're never going to be able to take Transcendent Suffering.  Some Talents can be taken by any class (e.g. the weapon style Talents), but many of them are class-specific (e.g. Grimoire Slam).

 

I disagree with your description of what we've said about the classes.  We've repeatedly stated that fighters are extremely durable, reliable, and excel at holding positions, that rogues are the best single-target, single-hit damage dealers of any class (yes, significantly better than fighters), that monks are high-mobility melee status-infliction machines that use Wounds as an expendable resource, that wizards have high flexibility and, in addition to their traditional area-nuking abilities, have a variety of personal and single-target buffs.

 

We've also said that if you try to play a class completely against role, you can run into trouble.  There's an important distinction between what you can build and how you play.  We don't allow characters to take Talents that are effectively dead-ends for their class.  You also gain Talents at about 1/3 the rate that you gain Abilities, so they comprise much less of your character's makeup.  In 3E/3.5, a fighter is practically made of feats and you can really botch a character even playing in the pool of combat feats.

 

For comparison, in PE you can buy light magic Talents for your fighter that give the character some neat flexibility, but you can't completely redefine what the fighter fundamentally is.  And if you buy a set of Talents, we aren't setting up long Talent chains like the feat chains that exist in 3/3.5 -- e.g. taking Whirwind Attack requires Combat Mobility, Dodge, Spring Attack, Dex 13, Int 13, and a +4 BAB.  Our Talents have a flat layout with simple prereqs and are designed to be valuable on their own for any class that is allowed to take them.  In 3E/3.5, it's really easy to build a low-efficiency fighter who isn't good at, well, fighting.  A PE fighter can diversify a bit, but at his or her heart, he or she will still be great at doing the job that all fighters' Abilities prepare them to do: absorbing damage, hitting reliably, and holding ground.

 

Similarly, if you want to gish it up with a wizard, there are spells and Talents that can lean you in that direction, but you can't outlast a fighter or hold ground like they can and you can't reliably spike damage in melee round after round like a rogue can.  Now, there are things that you, the melee wizard, can do in melee that the fighter and rogue can't.  You can surround yourself with a big fiery shield and make illusory duplicates of yourself.  Those differences are cool and why you would want to play a gish wizard over a fighter or rogue even though you ultimately can't do their "jobs".  But because grimoires are designed for flexibility (because wizards are designed for flexibility), if you get tired of being the glowing Daffy Duck gish hopping all over the place or if you're in a situation where you can't even stand next to the melee big kids, you can switch to an AoE damage grimoire and be a "traditional" wizard.  There's no dead end in playing as a gish (even though you will be challenged in other ways) and more importantly, your gish-emphasizing build options don't dramatically impact your ability to do regular wizardly things.  You shouldn't reach a point in the game where you go, "Wow, I regret taking these Talents because this character can't do anything well."

 

In 3E/3.5, class roles are less well-defined and it's easy to build a character that is bad at any job -- whether it's their class' job or otherwise.  In 4E, class roles are very well-defined almost to the point of being straight-jacketed.  In building PE's classes, I found that trying to draw strictly within the lines of a class' role was limiting in a way that wasn't enjoyable -- and I didn't believe that players would find it enjoyable either.  That's why I've tried to use the approach of making classes "role-ready" instead of "role-constrained".  PE's characters of any class are always ready to fill their class role regardless of the Talents you've taken because their per-level class Abilities have a much more dominant influence on their overall capabilities.  There are always efficiency gains to be made in how you build, but compared to 3E/3.5, the number of viable builds should be much higher.

 

Play-wise, if you want to put a monk in a tanking position or run a wizard around in melee, the rules aren't structured around building restrictions to discourage you from doing that.  In many fights, it will be totally viable even if it's inefficient.  In some circumstances or at higher difficulty levels, it will be more difficult to play in this way, but if you find that you need to "fall back" to standard roles, you should be able to do so because your character can't be fundamentally built contrary to his or her class.

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Wow. Thank you for that detailed response. For the most part, it answers most of my own reservations about the class/class-less mechanic.

 

I did have a question though. I'm not sure if anyone else is confused by this but I've never actually been able to find a good description that distinguishes Talents from Abilities from Skills. Anyone know? Josh?

 

 


We don't know what talents and abilities the classes would be able to claim from that point forward, but presumably those would have prerequisites that favor specific character builds. Wasn't that also true of feats in D&D 3e?

 

A big part of the claim of non-uniqueness seems to stem from the fact that all classes can use all skills. But this was also true in D&D 3e. Presumably then the only difference in P:E is that the non-class skills aren't capped at 1/2 the class level. But each class will still have certain skills in which they have an advantage.

 

Hence I'm not clear about the basis for this claim.

 

As I expected, your understanding of the class system isn't totally correct either. For example, Josh described (at least from what I understood) a more shallow prerequisite tree than I was expecting. Again, the all classes use all skills idea is also a little confusing because, again we don't even have a full list of skills to be able to distinguish them from talents and abilities. Once again, I fall back to what I've said time and again: it's really tough to make informed decisions about a system when we get bits and pieces. We don't know how all the parts work together and there are things that aren't even fully fleshed out to get a solid understanding.

Edited by Hormalakh

My blog is where I'm keeping a record of all of my suggestions and bug mentions.

http://hormalakh.blogspot.com/  UPDATED 9/26/2014

My DXdiag:

http://hormalakh.blogspot.com/2014/08/beta-begins-v257.html

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Abilities are always granted by gaining levels in a class.  I.e., they are ALWAYS class-specific and they are gained per-level.

 

Talents are a more general pool of optional goodies (some of which are still class-restricted) that you gain (currently) every three levels.

 

Edit: To use a D&D example, Wild Shape would be an Ability, Dodge would be a Talent.  Only druids* gain Wild Shape, but any character class can take Dodge.

 

* I'm sure there's some other class in a splat book that will prove this wrong.

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RE: Skills: PE's skill caps are more like Pathfinder's than 3E/3.5's.  Regardless of how many skill points an individual rogue puts into Stealth or Mechanics, he or she will always have a bonus in those skills that other classes don't have (Pathfinder requires a rank in each class skill for the bonus, but it's similar otherwise).  A rogue who neglects those skills may be running on par (or below, if neglected enough) with a fighter who specifically maxes them out, but a character who focuses on the skills their class gains bonuses to will always be ahead of a character of the same level from a class that does not gain bonuses in that skill.

 

Probably an easier way to explain it: all characters have the same number of skill points per level and the same access to skills.  However, every class has a few skills in which they receive a constant bonus -- always and forever.

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Ah. Thanks!

 

Reading through your explanation about how classes work and the goals behind it, I'm curious to know about your thoughts WRT respec-ing. Are you trying to move away from respecing characters by allowing fairly viable builds regardless or will you still be allowing respec to happen even after you've tried your best to make most build options viable in their own way?

 

edit: I do realize I'm leading the witness here :p

Edited by Hormalakh

My blog is where I'm keeping a record of all of my suggestions and bug mentions.

http://hormalakh.blogspot.com/  UPDATED 9/26/2014

My DXdiag:

http://hormalakh.blogspot.com/2014/08/beta-begins-v257.html

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We don't know what talents and abilities the classes would be able to claim from that point forward, but presumably those would have prerequisites that favor specific character builds. Wasn't that also true of feats in D&D 3e?

 

A big part of the claim of non-uniqueness seems to stem from the fact that all classes can use all skills. But this was also true in D&D 3e. Presumably then the only difference in P:E is that the non-class skills aren't capped at 1/2 the class level. But each class will still have certain skills in which they have an advantage.

 

Hence I'm not clear about the basis for this claim.

 

As I expected, your understanding of the class system isn't totally correct either. For example, Josh described (at least from what I understood) a more shallow prerequisite tree than I was expecting. Again, the all classes use all skills idea is also a little confusing because, again we don't even have a full list of skills to be able to distinguish them from talents and abilities.

 

Well that's a haughty response that rather misunderstands my point. But you're forgiven. :p

Edited by rjshae

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I do enjoy combat in video games, but I also have a need to play smart.  To me if these two things are conflicted than I find that to be a poor design decision.  I guess it all depends on how they do things but in other games where they award set ammounts of exp at the end of a mission I have found it to be an unenjoyable aspect in them.

 

Excellent point. I like (role)playing a character who's doing things the smart way and avoids combat if it's the optimal thing to do, even though as a player I really enjoy combat. 

The character needs the incentive (in the form of XP), not the player.

 

 

sparks a jumble of unnecessary assumptions and blatant word-spinnings until hysterical chaos ensues...

 

 

I think the least we could do is not make slap-in-the-face assumptions every time we only have SOME info on something.

 

Are you all right, Lephys? Your post sounded rather hysterical, again.

 

Sure, connecting the dots is unheard of, that's why you were extremely reluctant to assume that the number 5 in PE translates to... 5.

 

 

 

 

 

@ J.E. Sawyer

Lengthy. I read it all.

 

Active vs passive/modal abilities.

Why have you decided to not allow the player to select between two or more abilities on level up and customize the character to be less or more action oriented?

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As I expected, your understanding of the class system isn't totally correct either. For example, Josh described (at least from what I understood) a more shallow prerequisite tree than I was expecting. Again, the all classes use all skills idea is also a little confusing because, again we don't even have a full list of skills to be able to distinguish them from talents and abilities.

 

Well that's a haughty response that rather misunderstands my point. But you're forgiven. :p

 

 

LOL.... I didn't mean it to be. I meant to say that my understanding isn't correct, as I expected, but I don't think yours is either (which can't be expected). Anyway, apologies.

Edited by Hormalakh

My blog is where I'm keeping a record of all of my suggestions and bug mentions.

http://hormalakh.blogspot.com/  UPDATED 9/26/2014

My DXdiag:

http://hormalakh.blogspot.com/2014/08/beta-begins-v257.html

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Why have you decided to not allow the player to select between two or more abilities on level up and customize the character to be less or more action oriented?

Not that it isn't possible, but where did he say anything about there being absolutely no selection whatsoever involved in the gaining of abilities as one's character levels up?

Edited by Lephys

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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 Active vs passive/modal abilities.

Why have you decided to not allow the player to select between two or more abilities on level up and customize the character to be less or more action oriented?

 

There's nothing final about Ability progression/selection.  Right now we're implementing them as a fixed order progression.  That may change for one or more classes depending on how it feels.  There's nothing that necessitates gaining them in a strict order.

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Ah. Thanks!

 

Reading through your explanation about how classes work and the goals behind it, I'm curious to know about your thoughts WRT respec-ing. Are you trying to move away from respecing characters by allowing fairly viable builds regardless or will you still be allowing respec to happen even after you've tried your best to make most build options viable in their own way?

 

edit: I do realize I'm leading the witness here :p

I don't think respecizalition should be possible in a roleplaying game. It opens things to abuse.

 

If respecialization is possible it should come with incredibly, incredibly steep penalties - but then what's the point? Just start a new game at that point.

 

The problem with respecialization is:

 

1) It reduces the impact of player choice.

2) It introduces obnoxious gameyness to the system - you can spec in ice up until you reach the anti-ice dungeon and then you can spec out. You should be forced to endure the negatves that come with choice.

 

It's something that can be trivally done with a cheat command. If it has to be in the game, at least make players feel like they're cheating when they do it. They shouldn't canonize such a feature.

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 Active vs passive/modal abilities.

Why have you decided to not allow the player to select between two or more abilities on level up and customize the character to be less or more action oriented?

 

There's nothing final about Ability progression/selection.  Right now we're implementing them as a fixed order progression.  That may change for one or more classes depending on how it feels.  There's nothing that necessitates gaining them in a strict order.

 

 

Wait, what do you mean by fixed order progression? Like its set that all fighters get cleave(or whatever else) on 4th level?


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On-demand, unlimited re-specing is obviously silly and I'm quite sure Ob's not dumb enough to do that. OTOH having a plot point (or some similarly rare occasion) where you're allowed to do this might work just fine. 


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Sounds like there's more of a focus on strategically building your party and deploying it sensibly than building individual characters and utilizing them well tactically. Which is ok for a 6 person party game and certainly oldschool like IE games.

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