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I was bored this evening and after glancing across the "Josh Sawyer on attributes" thread and seeing that it's still going I once again started to wonder what method would Josh Sawyer use to make attributes have balance and to remove dump stats.

The first thing I did was make a list of the known (unofficial) attribute names

Strength - from the RPGCodex Q&A with Josh Sawyer earlier this year, he revealed that at that current state in time, there was an attribute that governed Damage and bonus healing. The reason I think this is Eternity's Strength Attribute is because in other posts he has implicitly mentioned that Eternity also has a Constitution and Intellect attribute. One of the pillars of Eternity (get it) is familiarity. The familar attribute that governs damage, at least, melee damage in most games is Strength and since all damage is governed by one attribute and Josh Sawyer has explicitly stated that his attribute design is not simulationist and people may find it weird, I believe Strength to be the most likely name for that attribute and I even think that Josh said that there was an attribute called Strength somewhere recently, but did not say what it did.
 
Unnamed Attribute - from the RPGCodex Q&A with Josh Sawyer earlier this year Josh Sawyer mentioned that an Attribute governed Accuracy. He did not mention that the attribute governed anything else, it is possible that something has been added with Accuracy to make an Attribute or the Attribute only governs Accuracy.
 
Constitution - Josh Sawyer mentioned this Attribute in a post somewhere, it might have been on here, or on Something Awful. I will not bother linking it but if you do a search, you will likely find it. It is also possible, but unlikely that it was named in an interview - but if my memory serves it was a forum post. We do not have any information on what Constitution does, but I will take a guess later in the post.
 
Intellect - this attribute was mentioned in a forum post as well, possibly in the update thread that revealed the Vithrak. We also do not know what this attribute does. Constitution and Intellect were also implicitly named, not explicitly. You will not see Josh confirm these until attributes are semi-finalized.
 
After reading every single post Josh Sawyer has made since September 2012, and every interview he has done, I think I am starting to understand some of his design principles. I believe that his attribute design revolves solely around 'combat efficacy' - stats that increase the efficacy of a character or monster in combat.

 

I have come up with the following list of combat stats that are (confirmed) or might be related to character attributes, most of these are confirmed, some of these are not confirmed, but are likely.
 
Confirmed combat stats - Damage, Healing, Accuracy, Deflection, Fortitude, Reflex, Psyche
Likely combat stats related to Attributes - Hit Points, Action Speed
 
+Damage - increases the the damage of all attacks
+Healing - increases the stamina regeneration of a character (assumtion: includes passive stamina regen and maybe gives bonuses from spells/potions etc)
+Accuracy - increases a character's chance to hit with all attacks, abilities and spells that explicitly or implicitly target other units. Subdivided into Melee and Ranged Accuracy (not explicitly, but there is a distinction for the purpose of some classes, and probably other things)
+Deflection - increases the character's Deflection score which governs a unit's chance to be hit by physical attacks (not sure about touch attacks)
+Fortitude - increases the character's Fortitude Defense which governs a unit's chance to be hit by Fortitude attacks such as Poison or Disease.
+Reflex - increases the character's Reflex Defense which governs a unit's chance to be hit by Reflex attacks such as Fireball and Lightning Bolt spells (and possibly touch attacks).
+Psyche - increases the character's Psyche Defense (same as Will in D&D) which governs a unit's chance to be hit by Psyche attacks such as Charm or Confusion.
 
+Hit Points (guess) probably governs additional Stamina Points and thus Health Points - may not act like D&D and may not actually increase per character level but may in fact be a flat bonus like other games. Also may not be necessary for Project Eternity and actually may be a superfluous mechanic as HP could be governed by class alone, also could simply be handled by Stamina to Health Damage Ratio, but since that is currently a Barbarian exclusive stat, it is unlikely.
 
+Action Speed (guess) - My guess is that there will be a 'stat' that governs Attack Speed, Cast Time and the cooldown (downtime) between when character's and monsters play attack animations and cast animations. The last known information was from a post here on the forums by Josh Sawyer, where he said that attack speed currently (at that stage in time) only affected the speed of the attack animation and not the downtime between them, however he also said that was something that will probably be changed, so it is likely that by release that "Action speed" shortens the downtime between actions in combat.

There may also be other 'stats' that are governed by Attributes, but I cannot really think of anything major. Other than maybe Effect Duration I can only think of very specific use cases that could be handled by Skills (all skills in Project Eternity will give a combat bonus to the character) or Talents.
 
This gives me a list of 7 confirmed stats and 2 very likely stats.
 
The Theory

 

This theory assumes that there are at least SIX Attributes because D&D and the IE games had six attributes.

 

That is not to say that there will be six attributes in Project Eternity (Pillars of Eternity now I guess) and there may in fact be more, but six is the likely _minimum_ number of stats based on a specific quote from Josh Sawyer on Something Awful - "No Attribute affects multiple defenses". We get six from an attribute for damage/healing, one for accuracy (which may be tied into something else) and four for defenses.

Because of this distinction we can assume that all elements that make up an attack in Project Eternity - Accuracy, Damage and Action Speed are also separated.

 

Following these supposed rules I can come up with the following likely scenario:

 

Strength - Damage, Healing

Attribute #2 - Reflex, (Action Speed)

Constitution - Fortitude, (Hit Points)

Attribute #4 - Accuracy (+something?)

Attribute #5 - Deflection (+something?)

Attribute #6 - Psyche (+something?)

 

One of the unnamed attributes is called Intellect. I am not sure which one as the attribute system is gamist, so your guess is as good as mine. If the attributes all follow D&D naming conventions and Charisma has been dropped then I would go with Psyche, If Charisma was not dropped I would go Deflection.

 

If Action Speed and Hit Points are not governed by Attributes, then every attribute must control one combat stat except for Strength. The effect of bonus healing from Strength would probably be negligible outside of combat, but it's placement with damage might even be solely to give the Fighter class a reason to bump the Damage stat as it would benefit their longevity in an encounter because they are the only class that gain stamina regen in combat and they are not a high damage dealing class in Project Eternity, other than their efficiency with disengagement attacks. So without bonus healing, taking Damage on a Fighter might be inefficient.

 

If Action Speed and Hit Points are governed by Attributes then I think there is at least one other combat stat that is missing from my list because I cannot imagine Fortitude, Reflex or Psyche to be the only thing goverened by an Attribute unless they are all the only thing governed by an Attribute. In my above example Psyche is on it's own. One thing I can think of that is *possibly* attribute related is Effect Duration. This would be useful for *most* classes as most classes do have abilities and spells that have effects, but the duration bonus would have to be finely granular as to not be OP. As far as I know, the Fighter does not have many abilities that have effects, but Fighters have a low Psyche Defense, so bumping the Attribute that governs Psyche is not a trap choice because it is strengthening that weakness, like a High Wisdom Fighter in D&D.

 

It is also not impossible that every Attribute governs a High Efficacy combat stat and a lower efficacy combat stat, of which case Bonus Healing, Hit Points and Effect Duration (and undetermined others) would be lower efficacy combat stats and Damage, Accuracy, Deflection, Fortitude, Reflex and Psyche are high efficacy combat stats. This would also be in line with Josh Sawyer's fixation for unified mechanics, but it is possible that Accuracy and Deflection have a higher weight than other combat stats in the game, due to Accuracy being used for every single attack in the game and Deflection probably being the most attacked defense.

 

It is also possible that the Character Attributes have the exact same naming conventions as D&D, so we might end up seeing thing such as characters with high Wisdom being more accurate in combat.

I would finally like to remind everyone that this is just a theory and much of this information is assumed from the face value of quotes. It is also likely that some of the information in these quotes has now been changed, and that I am basing some of my assumptions of out of date information.

 

EDIT: Changed all references "Stamina Regen" to "Bonus Healing" as per the actual quote on the Damage stat - http://www.rpgcodex.net/content.php?id=9059

Edited by Sensuki
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That's a great post.

 

I remember reading somewhere (probably Gamebanshee's collection of Sawyer's comments) that attributes will also be often used outside of combat, e.g. having enough points in an attribute will open up dialogue options (possibly other choices, as well) and affect the outcome of scripted interactions. Adding to your list (just brainstorming):

  • Strength: Opens up intimidation options and has an effect on interactions requiring brute strength (e.g. moving/breaking objects)
  • Attribute #2: Affects interactions requiring quick reflexes or speed (e.g. guards in the Mortuary in PS:T)
  • Constitution: Affects interactions requiring endurance and resilience
  • Intellect(?): Opens up dialogue options (smart or stupid) and options in scripted interactions requiring ingenuity
  • Charisma(?): Allows opportunities to persuade and influence NPCs
Edited by Boox
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That's correct yes, Attributes will be used often in Dialogue and in Scripted interactions - as seen here.

 

http://www.gdcvault.com/play/1019755/Gathering-Your-Party-with-Project

 

Attribute checks will likely just require you to have X score in the Attribute.

 

It will be up to the area designer which attribute checks which dialogue or scripted interaction option, but they will likely receive QA passes to make sure that they are sensible. No doubt Obsidian have a design document covering which types of actions are governed by which attribute but it should boil down to common sense.

 

I can't remember if Attributes are used as pre-reqs for crafting items or taking talents.

Edited by Sensuki
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Now I remember where I saw Constitution - in a completed scripted interaction screen - the one from Josh Sawyers GDC talk.

Edited by Sensuki
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snip

Right now we don't know much about Attributes, so drawing parrlles to other system is all we can do. Its a nice theory you built. It makes sense that Defense stats will be effected by attributes, but at the moment all we know is that there are class specific initial values.

 

The scripted interaction screenshot at the link mentions Athletics and Constitution. Maybe Strength is substituted with Athletics? It's not a very combat-oriented term, though.

Athletics is one of the skills in eternity.
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Perhaps an automobile analogy would be appropriate?

  • Strength: engine horsepower and transmission
  • Unnamed Accuracy Attribute: responsiveness and handling
  • Constitution: mass, impact resiliency, bumpers, and air bags
  • Intellect: driver navigation and control

"It has just been discovered that research causes cancer in rats."

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It makes sense that Defense stats will be effected by attributes, but at the moment all we know is that there are class specific initial values.

No, actually they are confirmed to be affected by Attributes. I stated in the OP that that information was from a quote, not a guess.

 

That info is also on the Wiki which you quoted, the 8th footnote.

 

http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3506352&userid=17931&perpage=40&pagenumber=15

 

V0ej79E.png

 

For the record that is Josh Sawyer's something awful profile.

 

The Project Eternity wiki doesn't necessarily have all the currently known information about the game. There's a lot of missing tidbits that can be found on various interviews, Josh's Something Awful posts in the Eternity Megathread there, posts on the OE forums aren't always added until months later and he also posts on a couple of other forums that I don't have access to (ie YCS/badgame or whatever it's called). Over at the RPGCodex we have someone who quotes some of those for us.

Edited by Sensuki
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Great outline there. I'd actually assume that there are not 6 attributes. If all attributes are combat related, and the factors you listed all are tied to attributes, it seems that the bonuses are spread to thin. Let's not forget even in D&D 3.5, of all the mental skills, only wisdom is tied to combat for all characters. Thus I'd guess that there will be either 4 (or more likely 5 attributes). For example I could see either reflex or deflection sharing the same attribute as accuracy.

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There may be bonuses that I am missing and I guess if you include non-combat related bonuses such as attribute checks then it might be enough. They may also give you bonuses to skills, but one could argue against that as well, and I do recall Josh Sawyer talking about limiting the number of inputs into systems. One of the reasons attributes are there altogether is because the Infinity Engine games had them, so Project Eternity will have them too.

 

I guess we'll find out very soon what they are and see the design behind them. I don't think (this is just me guessing, so I may be wrong) that it would be balanced to put accuracy with deflection, as that makes that stat a bit overpowered compared to the others as you're essentially getting too much of a good thing by selecting it. Accuracy and Reflex would be "okay" I guess because reflex won't be targeted as often as Deflection, but even still, separating all 'big deal' offensive and defensive combat stats into different attributes spreads it out more evenly.

Edited by Sensuki
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There may be bonuses that I am missing and I guess if you include non-combat related bonuses such as attribute checks then it might be enough. They may also give you bonuses to skills, but one could argue against that as well, and I do recall Josh Sawyer talking about limiting the number of inputs into systems. One of the reasons attributes are there altogether is because the Infinity Engine games had them, so Project Eternity will have them too.

 

I guess we'll find out very soon what they are and see the design behind them. I don't think (this is just me guessing, so I may be wrong) that it would be balanced to put accuracy with deflection, as that makes that stat a bit overpowered compared to the others as you're essentially getting too much of a good thing by selecting it. Accuracy and Reflex would be "okay" I guess because reflex won't be targeted as often as Deflection, but even still, separating all 'big deal' offensive and defensive combat stats into different attributes spreads it out more evenly.

 

On the other hand the "Stength" or "Accuracy" attribute as you currently visualize them seem much more powerful than say the reflex  or psyche attribute. Since Mr. Sawyer seems to value balance greatly, I'm guessing he'd try to make all attributes rival "strenght" and "accuracy" in usefulness.

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Yeah, that's probably this Attribute

 

Attribute #2 - Reflex, (Action Speed)

 

There's also one called Resolve, which is probably Eternity's version of Wisdom. Wouldn't be surprised if that handles Psyche/Will defense.

 

The new website mentions six attributes, so far on the money.

Edited by Sensuki
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Final PE Attribute name is Perception.

 

Strength

Dexterity

Constitution

Intellect

Resolve

Perception

 

Charisma was indeed dropped.

 

Gonna go with

 

Strength - Damage, Healing

Dexterity - Reflex, Action Speed

Constitution - Fortitude, Hit Points

Intellect - Deflection? maybe (+ something)

Resolve - Psyche/Will (+ something)

Perception - Accuracy (+ something)

W

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Hmm, I usually play charismatic characters, but I suppose there will be other ways to role-play them.

 

I guess I'll focus on Intellect, dexterity, perception and then resolve, and dump con and str.*

 

*subject to change when I actually learn what the attributes do.

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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Wouldn't it make more sense for Intellect to control accuracy (using a blade smart rather than hard to score critical hits / not miss), Perception to cover reflex (see it coming earlier and not be there) and Dex to cover deflection (Flicking your blade up quickly to knock their attack away)?

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Not impossible, though Dexterity would more likely cover reflex (as it is an actual physical attribute) whereas Perception is mental.

 

Str, Dex, Con are physical attributes

Int, Per, Res are mental attributes

 

Accuracy, Deflection and Psyche are most likely controlled by mental attributes, Damage, Fortitude and Reflex are most likely controlled by physical attributes (even if the damage one is completely unrealistic as Strength gives damage to a fireball spell haha, but that's just how it is).

Edited by Sensuki
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Wouldn't it make more sense for Intellect to control accuracy (using a blade smart rather than hard to score critical hits / not miss)

A fight isn't a mental exercise as such, its mostly about your physical attributes and instincts/memory muscle/skill(whatever you want to call a whole lot of training), even things like appraising your opponents weakness and deciding your tactics/position is also largely based on previous experience/study. In either case as far as the game goes, IMO the only "intellect attribute" that will effect combat is the players ;)
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haha I made the same joke on RPGCodex, as well as CRISP'D.

 

Aww, man, CRISP'D is wayyyy better. Props to you, :)

 

(I honestly didn't even think about it, even though it's just switching the D around).

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 am sure I am beating on a dead horse here (Have been a long time away from the forums), but I just can't get over that the same stat that affects damage, also affects healing... Josh, can't you comment on this to make sure we haven't misqouted you or something?

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