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PE's current attribute design appears to be a bit bogged down by player expectations and nostalgia and the current design has combat stats spread across attributes very thinly due to the removal of defenses from the equation.

This questionnaire will ask some very important questions about what you as a player want to see in Eternity's attribute system and will allow you to give your perspective on some of the nostalgic points of the IE games attributes.

This is not a poll as the player's opinion is more important than their vote and it will give the designers a chance to read through what you have to say and perhaps get some ideas or better understand what things are or are not important to the majority.

 

For the record here are some of the main design goals

 

  • No dump stats
  • Dumping a stat is harmful to every build
  • Every attribute must be useful for every character (class)
  • Attributes must be reasonably balanced
  • It should be hard to make a bad character
  • No Attribute shall govern multiple defenses

 

QUESTIONNAIRE

Q1: The current hypothesis is that PE must have SIX (6) attributes because the IE games (and D&D) had six attributes. Does nostalgia require that this be so ? Would you be upset if it was 5 or 7 ?

 

Q2: Do you think that defenses should be weighed against other prominent combat stats such as Accuracy and Damage ? (as in, should you have to choose between putting points into damage or accuracy instead of into deflection or willpower)

 

Q3: Should Health and Stamina be spread across two attributes or would you prefer that they be married in advancement under one attribute ?

 

Q4: What do you think about Deflection be attribute independent ?

 

Q5: Should Action Speed be influenced by attributes?

 

Q6: Should inventory size be handled by attributes like it was in the IE games. If so, how do you see this being handled ?

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Sensuki
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Q1: I would not be upset by 5 or 7 attributes. 3 or 9 would get a raised eybrow.

Q2: Possibly.  It's hard to say for certain without knowing the specifics of how defenses are handled, e.g. the role of Talents and equipment.

Q3: Possibly.  I'd do it if it helped balance out the attributes based on the design goals listed at top.

Q4: It feels a little wrong to me, but depends on how it meshes with the other mechanics (see Q2)

Q5: "Affected," yes. "Governed," no.

Q6: Yes. If stats affect, say, the Top of the Pack and swappable weapon slots, it would make for interesting character variety -- you could play an Inspector Gadget type who always has the right tool for the job handy (but is weaker in other ways), or a Sword Saint type who only every carries one piece of equipment but learns to use it to perfection. They would play very differently.

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Q1: The current hypothesis is that PE must have SIX (6) attributes because the IE games (and D&D) had six attributes. Does nostalgia require that this be so ? Would you be upset if it was 5 or 7 ?

 

In my current attribute theory, I am having trouble making an attribute system following all of Josh's design points - particularly with the removal of defenses from the equation when weighing combat stats against one another. I think this really puts strains on a six attribute system in regards to PE's system design. I think in order for the attribute system to be considered "very good" rather than just "okay" one or more of these constraints needs to be removed. 

 

The flexibility of the number of attributes is one possible solution to that problem. I think 5, 6, or 7 attributes would be a good number because those numbers are in correlation to the primary combat stats of the game. I do not think it is the main problem though.

 

Damage, Accuracy, The Health System (Stamina and Health) and the four defenses gives us 7 or 8 combat stats in total. The removal of Deflection or the compounding of two of these attributes together (such as the Health system being an attribute in itself) or "fortitude combined with Health" can compress it to six. 

 

I was one of the people who complained about the prospect of a three or four attribute system when the first details about the attributes were revealed. I do not however require six attributes, it's just that three or four remind me too much of games I don't like such as Dragon Age, MMOs and ARPGs and I think that a good system can be done with more attributes than that. The other restraints on the system are making it difficult however.

 

Q2: Do you think that defenses should be weighed against other prominent combat stats such as Accuracy and Damage ? (as in, should you have to choose between putting points into damage or accuracy instead of into deflection or willpower)

 

I think this is the primary issue with the current system. Deflection is not being governed by attributes - something I am okay with, but I think spreading Fortitude, Reflex and Willpower across two attributes each makes it very difficult to make a balanced attribute system with the remaining combat stats without doing some really weird things. The Perception attribute governing critical damage seems like it's scraping the barrel.

 

In Eternity, criticals are only gained when a character has an accuracy that is equal to a target's defense. This makes scoring criticals reliant on accuracy. Accuracy is governed by another attribute. I believe this makes perception an inferior attribute for many classes. Accuracy is clearly the more valuable attribute as an increase in accuracy likely adds more of a reliable damage (DPS) increase - converting more misses to grazes, grazes to hits and hits to criticals. Critical Damage also likely implies that it also effects durations of critical hits on non-damage spells ... well Resolve already gives a steady increase to durations of those spells, and Intellect gives more flat damage. All three of these make an increase in critical damage an inferior choice to almost all builds because the chance of getting a critical is random, whereas all other attributes give a reliable increase in efficacy - as they add something on grazes, hits and criticals, whereas critical damage only adds something of value when a critical is scored. Perception increases Reflex defense, although so does Dexterity (which governs accuracy).

 

The other issue created by the separation of defenses from other combat stats is the Strength attribute.

 

In the current design the Strength attribute governs Fortitude defense (one of two ways to bump it), inventory size and Player Health. Compared to the other attributes (all of them), this attribute is focused on long-term resource management. Since in the current design, stamina and health gain are separated over two attributes, and Health is the long-term resource - Strength effectively governs the length of a character's (and thus to some degree - party's) adventuring day. The more health a character has, theoretically, the more encounters they will be able to face over the course of an adventuring day.

 

This does effect a character's efficacy in an encounter, but likely not in an immediate encounter (as in an encounter where all characters are at full strength), but consecutive encounters after that.

 

Attributes governing inventory slots is an interesting take on the fact that in the IE games, Strength governed the types of items characters could carry. I think it is fair that this is going to be something that is kept, and this is not a problematic 'combat stat' on it's own, though when coupled with Health and a secondary defense such as Fortitude, it is a problem.

 

I believe this will create "annoyance" as players will be forced to put points into this attribute, even if they don't really want to and that takes away some of the 'player choice' from attribute design and will possibly be frustrating for the player. On harder difficulties, players who do not put at least X points into this attribute will be abusing rest locations and returning to the Stronghold after very few encounters to heal up / swap items around. This reminds me of the Crafting skill design and that is something that I think the majority of players do not want.

 

It is going to be hard to avoid situations like this without weighing defenses against the likes of accuracy and damage, so I think this is the main idea that should be dropped from the attribute system.

 

Q3: Should Health and Stamina be spread across two attributes or would you prefer that they be married in advancement under one attribute ?

 

I am not sure about this one. I really like the idea of just having one attribute for Health and I like the Stamina and Health system when the progression of them is unified, it is an intuitive system and it is easy to make a Health character. One issue I do have with this though is as I recall that pretty much all of the characters I made in Baldur's Gate and Icewind Dale always had 18 CON. There was simply no reason not to have 18 CON. In a point buy system with limited points however I think this issue largely dissipates, particularly if putting heaps of points into the Health/Stamina attribute(s) doesn't give a HUGE advantage, but rather a moderate one - such as 3HP per point in a 10 pt system or something.

 

Separating the two adds some more interesting dynamics to the health system but makes it a bit more unintuitive. It also makes it harder to make a 'hardy' character, doing so would cost a lot of attribute points and leave your character wanting in other areas. I don't really like the concept of "Tank" characters that do nothing but tank, but this would likely create some of those scenarios I guess. This also kind of leads into "how many attribute points should you get" I guess. It also makes it easier to make a bad character. I also think one of the primary reasons Health and Stamina were split is because there was a lack of combat stats to use due to defenses not being weighed against other things for the purposes of attribute balance. 

 

So I'm undecided on this one. I think I'd prefer a one Health attribute system, but two would be fine if the overall scaling of the attribute system wasn't enourmous. For instance in the IE games it was possible to get +4 to hit from 18 points in the attribute that governed your To Hit (STR or DEX usually), in PE that would be +20 Accuracy essentially. If the bonuses gained for the purposes of Health and Stamina were also reasonable - the ability to survive a few more hits in an encounter etc, but nothing HUGE.

 

Q4: What do you think about Deflection be attribute independent ?

 

I don't mind this. I do think that in combination of a lot of the other things constraining attributes, removing this also makes it a bit harder to balance. I think it is fair to weight deflection against other combat stats as Accuracy, Damage, Health and Deflection are probably the four main ones in the game.

 

Q5: Should Action Speed be influenced by attributes?

 

Although this has never been a feature of D&D, I think adding it in would solve some of the design problems. 

 

I think Action Speed would be a good combat stat to have in Eternity.  My definition of Action Speed here governs the speed of ALL actions in combat - Attacks, "Cast Time" of spells and abilities, Item use and the 'downtime' between such actions. It could simply govern the downtime between actions alone, or just the speed of the actions themselves - or all of them. All are possible, within reasonable limits.

 

It would be cool if you could create a character who was "Fast" and who act faster in armor than a character who did not invest in the attribute that governed it.

 

Q6: Should inventory size be handled by attributes like it was in the IE games. If so, how do you see this being handled ?

 

This is another one that I do like the idea of, but I think it is creating some issues. The current strength attribute is problematic and I think matching it with Stamina would be a little bit better - or just having it talent based or something. I am indifferent to it's inclusion.

Edited by Sensuki
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Q1. Actually, my design mindset is one Sawyer only mentioned in passing, which is the removal of attributes altogether, or rather, merging them into the skill system. They didn't go down that route because, NOOOOOOOOOEEEEEEEESSS, the resulting public outrage over a change most people wouldn't stomach. But if we have attributes, I would like to have 4/5 attributes with the current amount of "duties", as I've said previously. 7, wrong direction, we already have trouble covering 6.

Q2. Yes, but it depends on the encounter/monster design. You need to give weight/meaning to those other defenses.

Q3. No. I'd like to have characters with high Health and low Stamina and the opposite. Better variety. I don't think it's unintuitive, I can give examples for both cases if needed.

Q4. Pass. Can't say anything without seeing the system in detail/in action. Could be good, could be bad.

Q5. I like the idea. Here's a really good time-based system, where Speed is an attribute in itself, and is pretty important: Monsters' Den: Chronicles (free Flash game, no strings attached)

Q6. I'm okay with inventory size being affected by attributes. System Shock 2 had a grid inventory system where Strength governed inventory size, and heavy items were large. I liked that system, intuitive and simple and made Strength desirable to non-melee characters. You always need More stuff. (R.I.P. George Carlin)

Edited by Endrosz

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Q1: The current hypothesis is that PE must have SIX (6) attributes because the IE games (and D&D) had six attributes. Does nostalgia require that this be so ? Would you be upset if it was 5 or 7 ?

 

I don't think this is just nostalgia - 6 is a good number for allowing variety without being unwieldy to manage.  Certainly 9 would be too many (and 10 is right out!).  Similarly, 4 shall not be the number, save for going on to 5. (ok, I'll stop).

I wouldn't mind 5 or 7 if there were a good reason - but certainly no fewer than 5.  One of the design goals is that it allows for a wide variety of characters within the available classes.  If reduced to 4 (and then the things governed by those 4), it would severly limit the variety of characters.

Having said that - I think the current 6 attributes, as stated, will work fine for a balanced game. (As per the other thread,  I think a couple could be renamed to make it more intuitive - 'Strength' to 'Vitality'/'Endurance'/'Body' and 'Intellect' to 'Spirit'/'Mind')

 

Q2: Do you think that defenses should be weighed against other prominent combat stats such as Accuracy and Damage ? (as in, should you have to choose between putting points into damage or accuracy instead of into deflection or willpower)

Maybe - it really depends on currently unknown factors such as how the system works as a whole, how much sacrifice we'd have to make in one to make the other significantly better (available points v. cost), etc.  It could make for interesting char-gen choices, one could be a decoy-tank type or a damage-dealer or a sniper who can't afford to mix it up close.

 

Q3: Should Health and Stamina be spread across two attributes or would you prefer that they be married in advancement under one attribute ?

More info needed on how the system plays.  It sounds ok to have them under 2 different attributes because they have different effects.  You might be able to stay in an individual fight longer but need to rest more often v. individual fights being tougher but being able to go through more consecutive fights.  In a team game like PE, you'll have to manage those relative strengths/weaknesses of the characters, so some party members will take the 'lead' (attract the damage) in earlier fights while others take the 'lead' in later fights due to current health-states.  It all depends on how it works in practice.

 

Q4: What do you think about Deflection be attribute independent ?

Deflection based on equipment seems fine to me (though my instinct suggests some kind of dexterity should allow you to increase deflection chance - it won't spoil my game if it's not though).

 

 

Q5: Should Action Speed be influenced by attributes?

I basically agree with what Sensuki said here - if it could be balanced such that a fast character wasn't necessarily hard-hitting but could pull off more moves or variety of moves in the same time.

 

Q6: Should inventory size be handled by attributes like it was in the IE games. If so, how do you see this being handled ?

 

In IE games, it was down to total weight rather than inventory size.  Any character could carry any given item if it didn't weigh too much but the total number of items was fixed.  AFAIK, in PE, each item takes up the same size slot but the number of slots for a character depends on 'Strength' (again, I'd rename this - but for this purpose, it's fine).  I may have misunderstood that part though.  I can't imagine there isn't also an item-weight factor.

So yes, inventory capacity based on weight v. 'Strength' is fine.  (The 'stash' or whatever the long-term storage is called, is limitless so not part of this equation - I'd have preferred not to have this but it's not a big deal for me).

I liked the IE system, from what I've seen of PE's system, I like that too.

Edited by Silent Winter

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Q1: The current hypothesis is that PE must have SIX (6) attributes because the IE games (and D&D) had six attributes. Does nostalgia require that this be so ? Would you be upset if it was 5 or 7 ?
5/7 would be OK - although I'm having a hard enough time fitting "all the things" they want to do into 6 stats...
 

 

Q2: Do you think that defenses should be weighed against other prominent combat stats such as Accuracy and Damage ? (as in, should you have to choose between putting points into damage or accuracy instead of into deflection or willpower)
Yes and no -- I think the names you've given here are "too close" for me.  I mean, "Accuracy" for a bow is somewhat dependent on your strength and discipline (i.e. "being able to keep your muscles tensed the right way so the bow doesn't shake) ... but for a sword, it should be more dependent on dexterity (i.e. can you feint and parry/riposte well enough that you can land a hit).  In either case (Strength/Dexterity), you'll be adding to your accuracy, AND deflection (DEX) OR damage (STR) -- but it's backwards.
 

 

Q3: Should Health and Stamina be spread across two attributes or would you prefer that they be married in advancement under one attribute ?
Split.  I mean, if they're married, they'd probably end up under constitution (or equivalent).  While this isn't "bad" per se; you can see it in reality here where people have high constitution (i.e. don't get sick that often, etc.) but are poorly conditioned (can't run a mile, lose their breath easily, etc.)
 

 

Q4: What do you think about Deflection be attribute independent ?
Making things attribute-independant can get messy, though if it was done like the "save stats" in D&D (Reflex/Will/Fort), then it could still work out easily.  "Random" (chance-based) can be very very bad in cRPGs. 
 

 

Q5: Should Action Speed be influenced by attributes?
Within reason. During a fight or something, yeah, I could see it having a tactical effect, but if you're out of combat, things should resolve faster (e.g. "take 10/20").  

 

Q6: Should inventory size be handled by attributes like it was in the IE games. If so, how do you see this being handled ?
 
I hate inventory tetris, so I'd rather see something a little more elegant ... but it's too early to figure something out
Edited by neo6874
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Hey Sensuki, good questionnaire. One design aspect that I believe you are not taking into account (and i'm unsure if Josh is) is that many players see these attributes as pretty much one of the only outlets where they can "characterize" their PCs and indeed PnP D&D sort of endorsed this way of thinking with some attributes being most "gamist" and others being more "LARPy/simulationist" and an intermarriage between the two. Thus, one of the other design goals that I believe many players believe should be incorporated into the attribute system is to allow players to feel that they are "creating a character" and not just a combat unit. Hence we hear things like "intuitive" or "simulationist". This is an RPG afterall.

 

So either we use the attribute system as a way of recording what our character make-up is, or we utilize another system (like dialogue choices, for example) to define who our characters are. And then they need to be balanced as well.

 

Now to your questions:

 

Q1: The current hypothesis is that PE must have SIX (6) attributes because the IE games (and D&D) had six attributes. Does nostalgia require that this be so ? Would you be upset if it was 5 or 7 ?

 

5-7 is fine. I liked 6 because of its elegance. I stated before that there are too many "physical" attributes, only 1 "mental/psychological" attribute and this isn't elegant. Other systems, like Arcanum's had elegant attribute systems (even if they were unbalanced). Again, I refer to my previous point that many players use attributes to "define" their character as well, and it would be nice to have a attribute system that is elegant, combat-balanced, and story-relevant. One example was 6 attributes, 2 describing physical characteristics, 2 for mental characteristics, and 2 for soul.

 

Q2: Do you think that defenses should be weighed against other prominent combat stats such as Accuracy and Damage ? (as in, should you have to choose between putting points into damage or accuracy instead of into deflection or willpower)

 

As Josh has mentioned, the deflection attribute is the one that is the most used, and so outside of that, if the other defenses are equally tested in the game, then they can be weighed against other combat stats. Deflection should not be, because of its importance and relevance in every combat scenario.

 

Q3: Should Health and Stamina be spread across two attributes or would you prefer that they be married in advancement under one attribute ?

 

I can see good reasons for both. I do not care either way. I believe Stamina has more value than health.

 

Q4: What do you think about Deflection be attribute independent ?

 

See Q2. TL;DR Deflection is too often tested to be based off attributes. It would be one of the "ultimate" attributes, along with the "all damage" attribute.

 

Q5: Should Action Speed be influenced by attributes?

 

Yes. Again, as someone else eloquently put it, influenced, not governed.

 

Q6: Should inventory size be handled by attributes like it was in the IE games. If so, how do you see this being handled ?

 

inventory size can be handled by attributes, although the most recent inventory system didn't really make me feel that inventory size would really matter because of the stash. I have a poor understanding of the current inventory system to make a comment, but again, I believe that if the stash and a minimum inventory size is available, it is again (like health) a lower-value combat aspect.

 

----------------

 

Once again, I believe that any combat-spec that is defined by attributes should be fully evaluated to make sure that they are of the same "value". Sensuki brought up many good points as to why certain combat-specs would be lower-value priorities and thus the attributes should reflect this (multiple low-value combat-specs for one attribute, with high-value combat-specs having a separate attribute for each). 

 

The usage of attributes should then also consider the "story" or "character creation" aspect that many players expect it to be so. If attributes are combat-specs alone, then how intuitive it is doesn't matter. But there should be another outlet for defining your character's "physicality, mentality, psychology, etc" that prior attribute systems allowed you to.

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Q1:
I don't really care about the specific number. My own personal desire for a certain kind of neatness enjoys that there are en equal number of physical and mental attributes in DnD, but it does a terrible job making them useful. This is less of a problem in PnP where the DM can adjust.
 

Q2:
Conceptually, yes. In the IE games and DnD in general, it's not too hard to max out 2 attributes if one wants to. So I'm pretty non-commited to either view point.
 

Q3:
I like them separate. It adds more variety to characters.

Q4:
It seems a little bit unusual to me, but I can live with it.
 

Q5:
My gut tells me yes, but my mind tells me no. I'm willing to go along with the designer until it doesn't work.
 

Q6:
I like the system Sawyer has described. Strength determines the number of items available to a character. The devil is in the details of course. If it is too strict, it will be annoying, and if it is too leinient it will feel like the increased inventory is pointless.

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To the first question: Couldn't give less of a ****. 5, 6, 7, 3, 10, whatever. If they work, they work.

 

To the second question: I'm a firm believer that attributes should not be designed as "purely reactive" (con, traditionally) and put in the same room as "purely active" (strength, again, in tradition) or mixed-use attributes ("dex does everything"). "I guess I'll put a couple points into this so I don't just lose to whatever before I get to use the thing I actually want to put points in to" doesn't do a whole lot for me.

 

To the third question: Merged, absolutely. Devoting two stats to "better at getting hit" seems weird, and more importantly, boring. In making an offence-oriented character, I could make all sorts of choices - hits hard but misses a lot, accurate and with lots of long-lasting status effects, etc. In making a defence-oriented character, I could... get a higher stamina so I can take more hits. And then I would get higher health so I can take more hits later. That seems kinda underwhelming.

 

To the fourth: I guess I'm neutral on that, leaning towards "it's good that it's independent".

 

To the fifth: Could be, sure. Not essential by any means, but it'd be an interesting point of differentiation, certainly.

 

To the sixth: Having a stat affect top-of-the-pack/weapon slots seems like a really neat idea. It'll help make those multi-damage-type weapons valuable to characters with low strength (or whatever), too.

Edited by Tamerlane
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Q1: The current hypothesis is that PE must have SIX (6) attributes because the IE games (and D&D) had six attributes. Does nostalgia require that this be so ? Would you be upset if it was 5 or 7 ?

 

 

 I'm not too concerned about the number. Having multiple attributes, for me, is mainly about being able to build a variety of characters that will need to be played differently to be effective.

 

 

 

 

Q2: Do you think that defenses should be weighed against other prominent combat stats such as Accuracy and Damage ? (as in, should you have to choose between putting points into damage or accuracy instead of into deflection or willpower)

 

 

 I think this was handled reasonably well by having two attributes for each defense. The desired trade offs can be made without gimping a character's defenses (or both defense stats for a single defense could be dumped if someone wanted a weak character for RP reasons). This is assuming that all of  the (non-deflection) defenses are about equally important. If nobody attack defense X then both of its stats can be dumped without as much of a penalty.

 

 

 

Q3: Should Health and Stamina be spread across two attributes or would you prefer that they be married in advancement under one attribute ?

 

 

 I'm ok with two. Putting both under one stat might make that stat too important but, of course, that depends on the system as a whole. I am guessing that it needs to be two with the current system.

 

 

Q4: What do you think about Deflection be attribute independent ?

 

 It sounds like it needs to be independent because it is more frequently attacked than the others. An attribute governing Deflection would be too important otherwise. 

 

 

Q5: Should Action Speed be influenced by attributes?

 

 I wouldn't object to some kind of attribute based speed bonus/penalty if it was implemented well. 

 

 

Q6: Should inventory size be handled by attributes like it was in the IE games. If so, how do you see this being handled ?

 

I'm ok with inventory size being handled by attributes. I think that getting a good inventory system is more complicated than one would first think and whether it is affected by attributes is the least of our worries.

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Q1: Nope.

Q2: Preferable, but not necessary.

Q3: Spreading them across attributes does give the system a bit more granularity.

Q4: A fine idea.

Q5: "Should" is a strong word, but I'd have no qualms about it being influenced.

Q6: DXHR style was fine enough, methinks.

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Q1:Don't care about the number of attributes.Whatever works.

Q2,3,4:Whatever works better to reach the design goals.

Q5:This risks to be tricky to balance since faster action speed might end up making for a far too good attribute compared to the others.I'm not against it however.

Q6:Sure,why not.

Edited by Living One
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1. No. Any number is fine a long as all are useful.

2-3. Not sure this really matters. It depends on how useful each attribute is.

5. I don't know how important this is. It is also fine as a purely class or equipment defined attribute.

6. It seems like an alternative to ecumberance, so I have nothing against it.

Edited by forgottenlor
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QUESTIONNAIRE

Q1: The current hypothesis is that PE must have SIX (6) attributes because the IE games (and D&D) had six attributes. Does nostalgia require that this be so ? Would you be upset if it was 5 or 7 ?

I don't mind if we have more than 6 attributes. I do not want to see a lower number than 6.

 

Q2: Do you think that defenses should be weighed against other prominent combat stats such as Accuracy and Damage ? (as in, should you have to choose between putting points into damage or accuracy instead of into deflection or willpower)

The way deflection and willpower seems to be good enough. I'd like damage and accuracy to be attribute based.

 

Q3: Should Health and Stamina be spread across two attributes or would you prefer that they be married in advancement under one attribute ?

It would probably be easiest to put them under the same attribute, but then that attribute would be an attribute that I'd prefer to take over many others. Especially if I wanted a character that lasts long in combat.

 

Q4: What do you think about Deflection be attribute independent ?

I think that is a good move. Let it be based on the armor you wear. Some classes should have better deflection by default.

 

Q5: Should Action Speed be influenced by attributes?

I think so. If a have a heavy armored fighter, there should be a stat that reduces the penalties for slowed down action speed.

 

Q6: Should inventory size be handled by attributes like it was in the IE games. If so, how do you see this being handled ?

Yes. Either it should be governed by the stat that increases the strength of a character or the stat that increases stamina.

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I find it interesting that a lot of people have mentioned that they want Deflection to be based on armor, when Deflection is actually not based on armor. Armor provides damage reduction only (magical bonuses aside).

 

Shields provide deflection, however.

Edited by Sensuki
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Q1: The current hypothesis is that PE must have SIX (6) attributes because the IE games (and D&D) had six attributes. Does nostalgia require that this be so ? Would you be upset if it was 5 or 7 ?

 

The only thing that is influenced by the number of attributes is that more of them adds to complexity while less attributes makes the system more accessible. In that matter, 6 is good number. What is important thing is to get rid of meaningless attributes and to give the right amount of points you can add. 

 

Q2: Do you think that defenses should be weighed against other prominent combat stats such as Accuracy and Damage ? (as in, should you have to choose between putting points into damage or accuracy instead of into deflection or willpower)

 

Yes, definitely.

 

Q3: Should Health and Stamina be spread across two attributes or would you prefer that they be married in advancement under one attribute ?

 

Merged, because they are linearly dependent. If 1/4 of the damage to stamina goes also to health, then having those two separate automatically drives you into investing to health whenever you support stamina.

 

Q4: What do you think about Deflection be attribute independent ?

 

In the sense of logic deflection should be affected by dexterity. So I guess this has something to do with the game system itself.

 

Q5: Should Action Speed be influenced by attributes?

 

Yes, definitely. By dexterity (e.g. agility). 

 

Q6: Should inventory size be handled by attributes like it was in the IE games. If so, how do you see this being handled ?

 

100% like in IE games, including strength influencing how much wight you can carry. Inventory tetris is annoying as ****, no matter how "realistic" it can be, because I doubt the most fun thing about adventures is reassembling your backpack. 

 

Good idea for the questionnaire btw, enjoyed it :)

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I find it interesting that a lot of people have mentioned that they want Deflection to be based on armor, when Deflection is actually not based on armor. Armor provides damage reduction only (magical bonuses aside).

 

Shields provide deflection, however.

My bad. Confused DT and Deflection.

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Q1: I'm fine with three attributes like in say Ultima (though obviously not the automated combat of the Black Gate) or the eight stats of Arcanum.

Q2: Fine with Mr Sawyer's system.

Q3: I'd prefer that they arise from different attributes, but both from the fortitude statistics as that seems more sensible and intuitive.

Q4: Deflection as in blocking and parrying seems to be born of training more than anything, perhaps modified by intelligence?

Q5: As I understand action speed is influenced by encumberance isn't it, so less armour makes for a quicker fighter? That sounds fine to me, though a dexterity bonus might be nice.

Q6: Inventory size decided by constitution for what one may comfortably carry for prolonged periods seems sensible to me, but strength could be used just as appropriately.

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

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

 

Tea for the teapot!

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Q1: The current hypothesis is that PE must have SIX (6) attributes because the IE games (and D&D) had six attributes. Does nostalgia require that this be so ? Would you be upset if it was 5 or 7 ?

I don't care about the number of attributes.

 

Q2: Do you think that defenses should be weighed against other prominent combat stats such as Accuracy and Damage ? (as in, should you have to choose between putting points into damage or accuracy instead of into deflection or willpower)

Yes.

 

Q3: Should Health and Stamina be spread across two attributes or would you prefer that they be married in advancement under one attribute ?

One attribute.

 

Q4: What do you think about Deflection be attribute independent ?

It should depend on an attribute.

 

Q5: Should Action Speed be influenced by attributes?

Yes.

 

Q6: Should inventory size be handled by attributes like it was in the IE games. If so, how do you see this being handled ?

It should depend on strength.
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My answers in white.

 

Q1: The current hypothesis is that PE must have SIX (6) attributes because the IE games (and D&D) had six attributes. Does nostalgia require that this be so ? Would you be upset if it was 5 or 7 ?

 

I don't really care about the number, I'd be fine with 5 or 7. I'd also be fine with 3-4 or with no attributes at all and just the derived stats instead.

 

Q2: Do you think that defenses should be weighed against other prominent combat stats such as Accuracy and Damage ? (as in, should you have to choose between putting points into damage or accuracy instead of into deflection or willpower)

 

No, I think the current system as described (each defense based on two attributes, which is also how 4E does it I think) is far superior to splitting them up more and giving them equal weight. I think defenses are ultimately rather boring and passive choices (since each one is totally passive and affects at best 1/4 of attacks that I sustain), so I'd rather be choosing more interesting and "active" benefits for my characters and have their defenses end up in an interesting configuration that I didn't have to micromanage on their own.

 

Q3: Should Health and Stamina be spread across two attributes or would you prefer that they be married in advancement under one attribute ?

 

When I first read about the current system this was my intuition (that they should be merged) but now I'm not so sure and I think having them split might be more interesting. While they are also a "passive" stat, they have a separation of tactical vs. strategic consideration, and they are directly affected every time you are attacked.

 

By keeping them split, it's possible for me to make a character with massive stamina but low health (say a 2:1 stamina to health ratio). Such a character would be able to stay in combat forever, but would potentially have lowish health afterward and would have to be more careful in subsequent fights (since each point of stamina lost would still reduce health by 1/4 of a point).

 

Ultimately I don't know how interesting that is, so I wouldn't really be upset if they were unified, but I can see now why it might be worth keeping them split. I trust their judgment one way or the other.

 

Q4: What do you think about Deflection be attribute independent ?

 

I like it. Like others have said it's the most commonly targeted defense and as such the one in most need of balance, but like the other defenses it's still pretty passive and not a very interesting choice in my opinion, both good reasons to keep it out of the attribute system.

 

Q5: Should Action Speed be influenced by attributes?

 

In theory I think it could be, but I suspect it would be very hard to balance because increased Action Speed is a very powerful bonus.

 

Unlike something like damage, it increases EVERYTHING about your character in combat. More speed means more damage (per second), it means crits more often (in real time) it means spells that cast more quickly and essentially "more spells per second" and if spells give maximum flexibility like they have said, that means "more whatever you need per second".

 

So I think it would be a hard to find a sweet spot of "action speed per attribute point" where the increase is neither insignificant (say 0.1% faster per point) or overpowering (even 1% per point might be too much). In theory I think it might be interesting, in practice I worry it might not be worth opening such a can of worms.

 

Q6: Should inventory size be handled by attributes like it was in the IE games. If so, how do you see this being handled ?

 

When I first heard about it, it seemed like kind of a micromanagey waste of time, and a reason why Strength seemed underpowered.

 

I'm still not sold on the idea but having read some more thoughts about it I think it could be interesting since it specifically affects how much you have available "tactically" while everything else goes into your endless stash (which I am a big fan of) and you can only access it when in camp or at a store.

 

Ultimately I'm ambivalent about this one, I'm not sure it's an interesting choice, but I can see how it could be.

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Q1: The current hypothesis is that PE must have SIX (6) attributes because the IE games (and D&D) had six attributes. Does nostalgia require that this be so ? Would you be upset if it was 5 or 7 ?

 

 

I would be fine with anything between 5 and 7.  With more Attributes (over 7)  you increase the likelihood of a dump stat.  With less (under 5) you decrease build options.  I personally think 6 is a fine number.  DAO had 3 stats, and they were awful.  Arcanum had 8 and there were more than a few dump stats.  I am not saying using more or less than 5-7 is guaranteed to give negative results, but that it increases the chances. 

 

 

Q2: Do you think that defenses should be weighed against other prominent combat stats such as Accuracy and Damage ? (as in, should you have to choose between putting points into damage or accuracy instead of into deflection or willpower)

 

 

Weighing defensive stats vs offensive stats doesn't stop dump stats.  Wisdom governs Willpower in D&D and it is one of the worst for being dumped (Charisma probably being 'the' worst).  So I think the current system is better since it ties defensive stats to 2 Attributes instead of one.  While each stat has something to bring to the table offensively or by increasing health/stamina.  If you want a good Willpower save then you can't dump either Attribute that governs it.  If you want a moderate Willpower you can have one attribute fairly low, but it might cost you.  Etc 

 

 

Q3: Should Health and Stamina be spread across two attributes or would you prefer that they be married in advancement under one attribute ?

 

 

2 Attributes allow for more variety here.  A high Constitution/low Strength character with the current system would be like a skinny endurance runner.  In a fight he could potentially die fast, but he can stay on his feet from an endurance standpoint.  While a lower Con/higher Strength character would be a burly guy who can take damage, but tires out easier.  If you keep both con/str around the same area then you get a mix of both. 

 

If you tie stamina and health to the same attribute then class X with Y in said attribute have around the same health and stamina (not including items, spells, etc that could play a part here) across multiple playthroughs.  Thus limiting build options.  

 

 

Q4: What do you think about Deflection be attribute independent ?

 

 

Fine with it.  Some classes should be better at overall defense.  A Warrior is going to be better at avoiding damage than a support, caster, non-military class. 

 

 

Q5: Should Action Speed be influenced by attributes?

 

I wouldn't mind it, but it is definitely a tough thing to balance.  This is an easy thing to make worthless or overpowered IMHO. 

 

 

Q6: Should inventory size be handled by attributes like it was in the IE games. If so, how do you see this being handled ?

 

 

Yes and no.  An Attribute should increase what you carry for sure, but it doesn't have to be identical to IE games.  It could increase the number of inventory slots specifically instead of carrying allowance like the IE games did it.

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Hey Sensuki, good questionnaire. One design aspect that I believe you are not taking into account (and i'm unsure if Josh is) is that many players see these attributes as pretty much one of the only outlets where they can "characterize" their PCs and indeed PnP D&D sort of endorsed this way of thinking with some attributes being most "gamist" and others being more "LARPy/simulationist" and an intermarriage between the two. Thus, one of the other design goals that I believe many players believe should be incorporated into the attribute system is to allow players to feel that they are "creating a character" and not just a combat unit. Hence we hear things like "intuitive" or "simulationist". This is an RPG afterall.

 

So either we use the attribute system as a way of recording what our character make-up is, or we utilize another system (like dialogue choices, for example) to define who our characters are. And then they need to be balanced as well.

 

Now to your questions:

 

Q1: The current hypothesis is that PE must have SIX (6) attributes because the IE games (and D&D) had six attributes. Does nostalgia require that this be so ? Would you be upset if it was 5 or 7 ?

 

5-7 is fine. I liked 6 because of its elegance. I stated before that there are too many "physical" attributes, only 1 "mental/psychological" attribute and this isn't elegant. Other systems, like Arcanum's had elegant attribute systems (even if they were unbalanced). Again, I refer to my previous point that many players use attributes to "define" their character as well, and it would be nice to have a attribute system that is elegant, combat-balanced, and story-relevant. One example was 6 attributes, 2 describing physical characteristics, 2 for mental characteristics, and 2 for soul.

 

Q2: Do you think that defenses should be weighed against other prominent combat stats such as Accuracy and Damage ? (as in, should you have to choose between putting points into damage or accuracy instead of into deflection or willpower)

 

As Josh has mentioned, the deflection attribute is the one that is the most used, and so outside of that, if the other defenses are equally tested in the game, then they can be weighed against other combat stats. Deflection should not be, because of its importance and relevance in every combat scenario.

 

Q3: Should Health and Stamina be spread across two attributes or would you prefer that they be married in advancement under one attribute ?

 

I can see good reasons for both. I do not care either way. I believe Stamina has more value than health.

 

Q4: What do you think about Deflection be attribute independent ?

 

See Q2. TL;DR Deflection is too often tested to be based off attributes. It would be one of the "ultimate" attributes, along with the "all damage" attribute.

 

Q5: Should Action Speed be influenced by attributes?

 

Yes. Again, as someone else eloquently put it, influenced, not governed.

 

Q6: Should inventory size be handled by attributes like it was in the IE games. If so, how do you see this being handled ?

 

inventory size can be handled by attributes, although the most recent inventory system didn't really make me feel that inventory size would really matter because of the stash. I have a poor understanding of the current inventory system to make a comment, but again, I believe that if the stash and a minimum inventory size is available, it is again (like health) a lower-value combat aspect.

 

----------------

 

Once again, I believe that any combat-spec that is defined by attributes should be fully evaluated to make sure that they are of the same "value". Sensuki brought up many good points as to why certain combat-specs would be lower-value priorities and thus the attributes should reflect this (multiple low-value combat-specs for one attribute, with high-value combat-specs having a separate attribute for each). 

 

The usage of attributes should then also consider the "story" or "character creation" aspect that many players expect it to be so. If attributes are combat-specs alone, then how intuitive it is doesn't matter. But there should be another outlet for defining your character's "physicality, mentality, psychology, etc" that prior attribute systems allowed you to.

What ItinerantNomad said, and nice arguments too! :)

*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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QUESTIONNAIRE

Q1: The current hypothesis is that PE must have SIX (6) attributes because the IE games (and D&D) had six attributes. Does nostalgia require that this be so ? Would you be upset if it was 5 or 7 ?

 

No.

 

Q2: Do you think that defenses should be weighed against other prominent combat stats such as Accuracy and Damage ? (as in, should you have to choose between putting points into damage or accuracy instead of into deflection or willpower)

Yes.

 

Q3: Should Health and Stamina be spread across two attributes or would you prefer that they be married in advancement under one attribute ?

Determined by two different attributes.

 

Q4: What do you think about Deflection be attribute independent ?

I'm fine with it.

 

Q5: Should Action Speed be influenced by attributes?

 

Not directly, but I suppose having strength indirectly influencing Action Speed by means of encumbrance would be fine.

 

Q6: Should inventory size be handled by attributes like it was in the IE games. If so, how do you see this being handled ?

Yes, have Strength and Constitution give small bonuses to carry weight.

"I am the expert, asshat." - Hurlshot

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