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Update #70: New Year Project Update

Pillars of Eternity Brandon Adler Project Update Features Concepts Areas UI Creatures

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#341
J.E. Sawyer

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With regards to the attribute system, I've posted previously that players must play to the strengths of their builds.  Character's won't automagically be great at everything.  If you build a wizard with a low-Int, you're de-emphasizing AoE size and durations, which is fine.  A lot of wizard spells have AoEs and durations, but a good number are also single-target/instantaneous.  The power of the wizard is not in brute force, but overall flexibility.  You can choose to stick to a subset of the wizard's spells, but you aren't taking full advantage of their greatest class strength (lots and lots of spells).  Again, totally fine and should be viable.

 

I haven't seen the post but someone said that there was discussion about the arches in the screenshot.  I'm not sure if you can see the details of the arches, but the stones are actually held together with adra.  Adra is a grown, shell-like substance that the Engwithans used both as structural elements and for binding purposes in their architecture.  Often they would build things like traditional stone arches and grow adra in-between, using it like slow-growing mortar.  As their buildings fall apart, it results in impossible-looking/gravity-defying ruins.


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#342
PrimeJunta

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So they're that way on purpose. Well that is rather awesome.
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#343
AndreaColombo

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Josh, not sure you saw my post a couple pages ago—I look forward to your feedback on the matter, so here's some shameless self-quoting for the sake of convenience :)

 

 

Int increases the durations of all spells with a duration and the size of AoE spells (such as Fireball).For a Fighter it increases the duration of their abilities (such as the one that regenerates stamina), AoE-wise I am not sure, it might work with their defensive mode or something (and I'm pretty sure they have an AoE stun).

I thought I'd chime in on this to ask something to Josh: Is the increase in AoE deriving from INT permanent, or more like a range within which the character may choose a value each time they cast an AoE spell or use an AoE ability?

To clarify: If it is permanent, it is a lot less flexible and might become suboptimal past certain levels and/or in certain circumstances. E.g. I may cast a fireball that hurts my party because of its huge AoE derived from my high INT score. Maybe in certain circumstances I need a smaller fireball to take out fewer enemies that are concentrated in a limited area.

If, on the other hand, INT makes it possible to increase the AoE arbitrarily within a given range, it would gain a lot of flexibility and go a long way toward marking high-INT casters as true masters of their discipline. E.g. Vanilla fireball has an AoE of, say, 30. My high INT score enables me to choose whether to cast it like that, or at 35, or at 40. (again, just an example to clarify what I mean).

 


Edited by AndreaColombo, 17 January 2014 - 01:37 PM.


#344
J.E. Sawyer

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We are looking into either allowing you to scale the effect size or have the "bonus" area be a foe-only AoE.  E.g., if you cast fireball and it normally has a radius of 4m, but it's grown to 6.5m because of your Int, the area added between 4m and 6.5m only affects enemies.  We probably won't get to it for a while, but we've been thinking about it.


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#345
Lephys

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We are looking into either allowing you to scale the effect size or have the "bonus" area be a foe-only AoE.  E.g., if you cast fireball and it normally has a radius of 4m, but it's grown to 6.5m because of your Int, the area added between 4m and 6.5m only affects enemies.  We probably won't get to it for a while, but we've been thinking about it.


This is splendid! It's little stuff like that that many games just sort of deem inconsequential. Every time I see something like this get addressed, it makes me happy. :)

@Hiro:

There's no need to worry about it. Really. I made an odd point, and clearly it's one of those things my brain thinks of, but other normal, non-defective brains are not going to grasp because the only obvious points to be made seem to be the ones all around mine. I'm not trying to argue as to the viability of low-INT builds, etc., and I'm not about to start doing so.

Seriously, no worries, it's my fault for being incapable of clearly conveying my thoughts, and I'll just let it go.


Edited by Lephys, 17 January 2014 - 02:24 PM.


#346
Pipyui

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Adra is a grown, shell-like substance that the Engwithans used both as structural elements and for binding purposes in their architecture.  Often they would build things like traditional stone arches and grow adra in-between, using it like slow-growing mortar.  As their buildings fall apart, it results in impossible-looking/gravity-defying ruins.

 

Not that I care either way, and I like it, but honesty time: did you come up with that solely to address this issue? ;)

(I like the attention to detail though)



#347
Valorian

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But, yeah, I really don't think having the same stats with the same effects, but having physical and magical stuff separated would be super complex. 

From there, I think "make STR do SOMETHING useful for Wizards" is a more important goal than "make sure this stat does the same thing for everyone, ever."



I hardly think D&D is a perfect system (in any of its forms), but, say what you will about it... you could have a Wizard who was quite capable with spells, but didn't also automatically have master-assassin-level shuriken-aiming skills.



I guess what it boils down to is: You can balance all the combat-related effects of stats really nicely, but that still leaves all the other spectrums of ability that don't relate to combat. 

 

 

I also don't think it would be super complex to balance a more nuanced attribute system. They're introducing an interesting concentration/interruption element to combat, which is certainly harder to properly balance than assigning magical and physical damage (and accuracy) to a different attribute.

 

I understand what they're trying to do with attributes, but I believe it's not needed or worth it to sacrifice the RP aspect of an attribute, because the same goal can be accomplished without pushing RP out of the way. What do we really get out of an attribute that increases damage with melee weapons, spells and magic, pistols, helps you bash doors.. It could be as well called POW!, SLAM! or KABOOM!

 

For this reason I'd really like Might (or Strength) to affect magic resistance for spellcasters, but not spell damage. I think it would also make room for some neat mage/fighter builds.


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#348
J.E. Sawyer

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Not that I care either way, and I like it, but honesty time: did you come up with that solely to address this issue? ;)

(I like the attention to detail though)

 

 

The concept of adra was developed early on as a not-quite magical material that had some interesting properties.  I like being able to have "impossible" structures, but I don't like hand-waving their impossibility away.


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#349
Jasede

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Seriously, your avatar = my face at this reply.



#350
Cubiq

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We are looking into either allowing you to scale the effect size or have the "bonus" area be a foe-only AoE.  E.g., if you cast fireball and it normally has a radius of 4m, but it's grown to 6.5m because of your Int, the area added between 4m and 6.5m only affects enemies.  We probably won't get to it for a while, but we've been thinking about it.

If you can't create a scale system i would prefer if it just hit everything. I think it would get pretty confusing on finding where the boundary of the safe zone will be, especially if you have wider blast animations with every new point to Int.

Also not fan of the idea that the reason you don't get hurt outside of 4m zone is "just because".


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#351
rjshae

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We are looking into either allowing you to scale the effect size or have the "bonus" area be a foe-only AoE.  E.g., if you cast fireball and it normally has a radius of 4m, but it's grown to 6.5m because of your Int, the area added between 4m and 6.5m only affects enemies.  We probably won't get to it for a while, but we've been thinking about it.

If you can't create a scale system i would prefer if it just hit everything. I think it would get pretty confusing on finding where the boundary of the safe zone will be, especially if you have wider blast animations with every new point to Int.

Also not fan of the idea that the reason you don't get hurt outside of 4m zone is "just because".

 

It's a nice idea to have a foe-only fringe on an AoE, but the approach also seems counter-intuitive (which is why I didn't just support it). :)


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#352
Falkon Swiftblade

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you know a skill I don't recall seeing being used as much any more is one that allows you to take possession of a creature and attack his peers. I liked riding the troll guy in Batman while he bashed the goons that were coming after me. I'm not sure where that would fit in the attributes, but if there's room for that type of persuasion, that would be fun.



#353
ItinerantNomad

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I don't support foe-only AoE either. Make the risk/benefit of getting increasing INT interesting enough so that you do't have to do this work-around. If it's Aoe, it should be Aoe.



#354
ZornWO

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I haven't seen the post but someone said that there was discussion about the arches in the screenshot.  I'm not sure if you can see the details of the arches, but the stones are actually held together with adra.  Adra is a grown, shell-like substance that the Engwithans used both as structural elements and for binding purposes in their architecture.  Often they would build things like traditional stone arches and grow adra in-between, using it like slow-growing mortar.  As their buildings fall apart, it results in impossible-looking/gravity-defying ruins.

 

I was just thinking last night of a medieval Muslim trading city on an island off the SE coast of Africa, which built these big domed buildings made out of coral.  Google's reminding me the name was Kilwa Kisiwani.  I love this type of thing and that the explanation for the Engwithan ruins is an organic ingredient.  Thanks for opting for "impossible" structures.



#355
rjshae

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Maybe it's just me, but it seems like your Accuracy rating is what allows you to target your AoE to hit your foes and miss your friends. Shrug. But it would be cool to have more control over your AoE with higher Int. Not sure how that would be done though.



#356
rdmcnz

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I like the idea of a mage being skilled enough to fashion a fireball larger than normal by having it burst towards foes rather than friends.
AoE as normal, then enhanced beyond that to something much better - all through having a better INT stat. If the animation could show that - amazing, but I would not expect that. My imagination though can understand how this casting would work. Massive explosion of force, followed by gaining some control over it.

 

Josh, has any work been put towards a spell like fireball filling a certain area, and hence if cast in a corridor expanding further down the corridor than the normal range of the spell?

 

I imagine this could prove quite tricky coding wise, but your team's minds are working magic so far!
(bad pun, sorry, so sorry - serious about the praise though)



#357
Lephys

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I'm not fond of the idea of the ability to somehow generate a fiery explosion or frost nova that dodges all your friends. Why even make it an explosion/nova at that point, if you just want to hit things with fire/ice/what-have-you and only hit selective things?

Now, game difficulty abstractly removing something like friendly fire from AOEs, I'm fine with, because it's not "your character can somehow control his spell to a meticulous degree," but rather "this is easier this way, and this is Easy difficulty." But, it's a bit contradictory to say "You can cast this spell designed to hit everything in a big circle/area, but also selectively make it not-hit very specific locations within that." That kind of contradicts the very design of area-targeting, as opposed to individual target targeting (even if it's multiple targets, targeting entities specifically at their locations).

For the INT effect on AoE area size, the main thing is being able to control the size, if that's possible to do easily. INT giving a bonus to AoE size shouldn't really be an against-your-will bonus to the size. I mean, if you can make a 10-foot-radius fiery explosion, you can probably make a smaller one, right? If I can throw a rock 10 yards, then I can obviously just throw a little softer and toss it 5 yards, if I really want to.

So, yeah, I'm not at all worried about the extra range somehow not hitting friendlies. The spell should either hit friendlies or not. The whole spell. But, I do think it makes sense and would be very useful to be able to, say, click and drag -- from a minimum size to a maximum size (difference between the base size and the INT bonus size) -- the actual area of the AoE spell in question.

That would be really nice, and if there's some way to prevent an AoE spell from affecting your peers, then so be it. But, I don't think the two are related, except in that "I can control this to aim it more precisely" manner. It's one thing to hit 5 enemies in a cluster, but controllably contain the magical blast so that it stops before striking your 3 allies standing just outside the edge of the blast, and another to just somehow bend a big, radial blast around specific targets, then merge it back together behind them so that it strikes even foes further out. Again, if you only wanted to hit specific targets, why would you use a spell that uses magical energies to functionally replicate a grenade blast anyway? You wouldn't throw a grenade at your friends, expecting it to just miss them. You'd probably fire arrows just at the foes, etc.
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#358
ItinerantNomad

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That is actually a great idea Lephys.



#359
Metabot

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Not that I care either way, and I like it, but honesty time: did you come up with that solely to address this issue? ;)

(I like the attention to detail though)

 

 

The concept of adra was developed early on as a not-quite magical material that had some interesting properties.  I like being able to have "impossible" structures, but I don't like hand-waving their impossibility away.

 

 

I don't really think it's impossible either way, those blocks aren't very large in the first place. Either way, screw the haters, it is what it is so tell them to shove off.



#360
ShadySands

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We are looking into either allowing you to scale the effect size or have the "bonus" area be a foe-only AoE.  E.g., if you cast fireball and it normally has a radius of 4m, but it's grown to 6.5m because of your Int, the area added between 4m and 6.5m only affects enemies.  We probably won't get to it for a while, but we've been thinking about it.

 

I love this idea and hope it gets implemented







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Pillars of Eternity, Brandon Adler, Project Update, Features, Concepts, Areas, UI, Creatures

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