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I like the notion that Josh mentioned looking into a melee ranger possibillity but I can still see why rangers might have an increased affinity for ranged as that would make sense in my understanding of a ranger as a sort of woodsman/hunter type who ofcourse hunts with ranged weapons. If they end up being viable for the frontline as a sort of fighter-ish type I would rather hope that they have some sort of disadvantage in something like lighter armor. 

 

On another note I'm really into the concept of the swashbuckler rogue type that's great in a one-on-one standoff but suffers greatly when being outnumbered. That makes me wanna use my rogue very tactically, say hide until that annoying wizard turns up and I gotta get to him as fast as possible. 

 

No word on my previous enquiry so I try again : Will there be any secondary roles for animal companions? I suggested exploration, ability to communicate with other wild life, keeping watch when the party rest (preventing ambushes while resting) or something like that? I wouldn't mind if animal companions were sort of weak combatwise but opened up for more RP experiences which would be a great incentive for me to try the ranger class.

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There is something I do no understand from what I read here: "Rangers are not good enough at fighting". Errrrr..... In IE games a good ranger was IMO not a good fighter, if you wanted a good fighter you just better had to take a barbarian - even an halfling one. Remember Valygar or Kivan, they were useful for other stuff than just tanking an enemy fighter, they could not do it. But give Kivan a good ol'composite bow, some magic arrows (who said explosive ?)  and you will see if he is not a heavy hitter.....

 

I think biggest flaws in IWD 1 & 2 were their linearity and combat-only gaming experience. I hope PE will not fall in that same category, and that is why I would  prefer some character classes to have maybe more interest outside combat. That is were I expect the rogue or the ranger to be, even if only for lockpicking TRAPPED TREASURE chests, with EXPENSIVE LOOT inside :w00t:

 

That brings me to the ranger companion(s), I do not know how far the concept has been developped but I am not sure how the "MMO" companion (guild wars anyone ?) would fit here. As it has been remarked before, having another party member here is not the point. Sorry to come back again with BG spell comparison but I do not see the utility for a companion that dies each time your wizard colleague makes a death spell friendly fire... Resurrection scrolls are expensive. I hope there won't be constitution point penalty neither !

 

What about on-demand animal companion using a kind of permanent charm animal ability ? You feel like you want  a turtle companion, take it. Want to change ? Just look for an eagle or a cat in next village you pass by. :cat:

 

It could be interesting to give them special capacities but not for direct participation in combat. They could mimic effects of wizard eye or plage of insects spells for example.

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To clarify I was not against Rogues, I simply feel that the name does not match their obviously superior weapons training. I have no real problem with this however, I simply won't make use of them.

 

I really like the idea of most of your skill checks being decided by your attributes, as they ideally should play a larger role in defining what you are and what you can do, all too often in CRPG's i'm simply a collection of artifacts and fairly weak sans items.

 

One thing I would like to ask however, with magical damage being decided by physical strength, what attribute will be used to determine magical potency? I've got an evolving idea of a Raistlin like character whose body is shattered but whose arcane might is potent, will it be his strength that is tested when magical tests are required or some other stat? Also is there any feat that will let me mitigate the poor damage his spells will be doing due to his low strength? 


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

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Oh that's right: next class update Wizzzzzards and magic missiles !!!!

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I really loved the update. One thing I wonder about though - the screenshot depicts the Engwithan ruins (or their entrance).

Will this be a typical moment in which I have to look at a loading screen, or can I enter seamlessly?

You also asked about the next update: I'd love reading more about the Mob Rulers.

Thanks :)

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I've been thinking about how the Ranger's pet fits into things for a little while, and I have a couple of questions:

 

1) If all Rangers get pets, and the Ranger's pet is more or less an extra party member, what's the drawback to being a Ranger? Even if Rangers and their pets share a pool of health, starting with two characters instead of one seems like a distinct advantage the Ranger has over every other class. What's the disadvantage that balances that out? In other words, why would I take another class over the Ranger?

 

2) Related to that, if Sagani (who I'm assuming is the Ranger companion, but swap out the Ranger companion for her if I'm wrong) has a pet, too, why would I want to take other party members before her, especially if I'm a Ranger with a pet too? It seems like you're getting three or four party members for the price of two in that scenario, and eventually having a party of seven or eight instead of a party of six would seem to make Sagani a "must take" character, no?

 

I suspect I could correctly guess the answer to both of these questions without too much trouble, but I'd be interested in an official response nonetheless.

 

Well as you obviously already know, the shared health and stamina does act to counteract the added party member. It kinda means that both ranger and animal companion are more vulnerable as if enemies are attacking both they will both go down much faster, and it means that the ranger is never safe from damage if the companion is always in the front line. Having too many rangers would probably create more chaos on the battlefield - possibly take away from the functionality of the other classes, while also making it more difficult to use a wizards AOE spells as there's probably a chance of doing double damage to the ranger. So while the ranger and his pet add to the damage output of a party, I don't think they really add that much to the survival aspect. Plus all of the other classes have different things to bring.

 

A party still benefits from a character that buffs, one has crowd control abilities, one that is better at dealing with enemies in melee. So the ranger's companion doesn't make it necessary, any more than a Cleric's presumed buffing capabilities or a Fighter's ability to survive make them necessary. Plus if having a ranger doesn't fit the party from a role playing perspective that's even more reason not to take it. I mean what about in NWN2 for instance - did anyone take Elanee just because she gave you an extra party member - one that could actually soak a bit of extra damage, unlike PoE's one.

Edited by lychee26

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It's weird how that paradigm of interest for a specific game has been lost for me - like going from watching the Sopranos into gradual decline to a crappy series, and now I'm interested again and coming back to a great thing.  Very cool. 

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Here's a question that borders on strictly academic and lore-wise: what happens when an animal companion dies of old age? Do their lifespan hard-locks on the ranger's lifespan or are they replaced by their offspring when they get too old? What implications would that have? Secondly: how old exactly are those pets, when they form a bond? Are they very young, thus forcing ranger to look after them (easy to explain if that happens at the beginning of said ranger's training) possibly making the bond more emotional or instinctive in the process?

 

Or maybe all that soul bonding precedes and invalidates any biological and psychological mumbo-jumbo because "soul-magic"? - no sarcasm intended, I just know to little about souls and all that, so I decided to over simplify a bit, hoping that someone more educated will provide clarification :p

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I'd like to know how the balancing is going to work with and without the Ranger and pet in your party. The difference in balancing between 6 or 7 in your party.

 

If you choose a 6 person party without a Ranger, you only have 6 in your party.

If you choose a 6 person party with a Ranger, you have 7 in your party including the pet.

If you go to the Adventurers Hall and create an all Ranger Party, you have 12 in your party. Looks like an all Ranger party is overpowered. :lol:

 

 

 

 

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Great replies Josh - Answered my question about an non-pet archer character. I assume there will be some particular advantages for a fighter archer as well. 

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Reading through Josh's posts and ideas from others, I'm now very happy about both these classes (I was just 'happy' before ;) )

There will be 'cross-class skills' (so to speak) so rogues can take 'survival' and fighters can take 'stealth' (even though one class gets a starting bonus, if you focus on a skill, then you'll be good at it).  So the aforementioned dual-wielding, petless ranger is a 'Rogue' with points in survival and stealth.

Do people really like the idea of a melee-oriented ranger?  Apparently a good number do, so it's worthwhile for us to consider how their abilities could apply to melee as well as ranged combat. 

I think it's worth looking at - the synergy of animal companion and ranger should work for melee as well as ranged.  For example, if the Ranger is flanking an enemy in melee combat (you've already got the ranged flanking covered) WITH their animal companion, then perhaps they get a bonus to hit (or something) due to the 'we work as one' bond.  (Same (added) bonus is not available by flanking with another team mate).  To balance this - they're both on the front line now so Ranger is taking double threat to their health/stamina-pool.

I'm not saying 'Rangers should be as good at melee (by which I mean damage/tanking) as Rogues/Fighters' - just that it should be a viable option.

 

Having said that - I'll probably have a ranged Ranger.  Sagani looks cool with that bow :dancing::wub:

Edited by Silent Winter
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I like the notion that Josh mentioned looking into a melee ranger possibillity but I can still see why rangers might have an increased affinity for ranged as that would make sense in my understanding of a ranger as a sort of woodsman/hunter type who ofcourse hunts with ranged weapons. If they end up being viable for the frontline as a sort of fighter-ish type I would rather hope that they have some sort of disadvantage in something like lighter armor.

 

In melee, I'd think that Rangers are good at hit-and-run tactics. So maybe they favor reach weapons like the long spear, are good at disengaging from an attack, and can exploit terrain features to surprise and hinder a foe. That would help compensate for their lighter armor. (I never quite saw the logic of their being dual-wield specialists.)

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There is something I do no understand from what I read here: "Rangers are not good enough at fighting". Errrrr..... In IE games a good ranger was IMO not a good fighter, if you wanted a good fighter you just better had to take a barbarian - even an halfling one. Remember Valygar or Kivan, they were useful for other stuff than just tanking an enemy fighter, they could not do it. But give Kivan a good ol'composite bow, some magic arrows (who said explosive ?)  and you will see if he is not a heavy hitter.....

Judging the Ranger class based on a couple of pre-built Bioware NPCs will not give you an accurate picture. Kivan was an archery beast because Archery itself was unusually powerful in BG1. Ironically though, Kivan was good at archery despite the fact that he wasn't optimally built for it. (didn't he only have 16 Dex?) As for Valygar, well, he was a beastmaster. One of the more difficult kits to play in BG2. They're not that great at anything.

 

But Minsc was a good tank. Especially in the second game. 18/93 STR; you get him nice and early so you can fully control his level advancement; He can wear Heavy armor; Favored Enemy is Vampire (very useful in BG2), and he just so happened to start the game with a double proficiency in maces (for the mace of disruption...ahem... vampires) and 2-h swords. But even he wasn't optimally built. The player can build a far better ranger.

 

I think biggest flaws in IWD 1 & 2 were their linearity and combat-only gaming experience.

True, but what they did, they did really, really well. Encounter design in IWD1 was absolutely superb, and IWD2's Chargen was bar none the best of pretty much any game I've ever played. You want virtually unlimited Build choice options? Look no further than Icewind Dale 2. Edited by Stun
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Thank you for the update and all the great work you do on behalf of us fan's .

One question though. Will the "abilities" be static to that class? or Will we be able to pick and choose what we want as we level up? I ask because you mentioned that it can be used by any class, but catered to the classes discussed above. So I understand that other classes can use them but will they be required (automatic) when leveling for the class intended?

 

I like that  many of the abilities are dependent of the characters way of playing to recharge or make the ability viable. In other-words, to make my sneak abilities work to the best possible, one needs to sneak on a regular bases. Reminds me a bit of how Skyrim works.

 

Can't wait to see what the druids end up like, (hope losts of shapeshifting...)

 

Thanks again!


Knowledge and harmony, an isometric universal path. May this be our next epic quest immortalized! Seek the crest where the fish and dragon meet…

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I"n Pillars of Eternity, the designation of a character as a "rogue" signifies their vicious, brutal style of fighting, not a propensity for theft or deception. "

 

This statement has me wondering, will PoE feature non-combat oriented thief skills like lock-picking and picking pockets?  (I suppose lock-picking might be covered by the mechanical specialization).   Picking pockets / Breaking into random houses is always a nice way to scrounge up some extra gold in BG and I'd be a bit disappointed if those sorts of  things weren't implemented in PoE (although if they are, they need to be done right... i.e., NPCs need to react appropriately if they catch someone attempting to rob them).  The details in this update all sound good to me (a nice mix of active / passive skills), although I do somewhat agree with those that would like more flexibility in the classes... For ex: perhaps rangers could choose whether to focus on a melee or ranged combat style similar to how they do in NWN2 (D&D 3.5?).  

 

But my main concern is how combat focused this whole update has been...  I'm wondering if the different classes will have skills useful outside of combat... Will the casters have spells that have non-combat applications? (ex: charm spells that increase your persuasiveness / likeability).   Don't get me wrong, combat is very important and I hope for it to be challenging and interesting, but I'm hoping PoE is taking more inspiration from BG and PS: T than IWD... In PS:T, if your character is intelligent / charismatic enough, you can choose to avoid many of the combat situations... I realize some people would find that approach boring, but to me that would give the game a lot more replay value.   Perhaps there isn't much difference between the classes in this regard but stats still come into play.  

 

All I'm trying to say is that if this game is going to be non-stop combat interrupted only by purchasing equipment and (one-sided) dialogue that basically just tells me where to go / who to kill next, I'm going to be very disappointed.  

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I really like the idea of the common HP pool for ranger and animal companion. I hate it when you got an animal around that has like 5 HP and all your tactics have to be centred around keeping that animal out of combat. I just hope the defence of the companion won't be so bad that you basically kill your ranger as soon as an enemy decides to attack the companion.

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I dusted off my old 1st edition Player's Handbook and looked up Rangers.

 

A picture of combat skills 1st edition Rangers: First of all, their bonus damage vs. Giants is not some throwaway skill. It's a Huge thing. A game changer. AD&D 1st edition defines the Giant class as: Bugbears, Ettins, Giants (Hill, Stone, Frost, Fire and Storm), Gnolls, Goblins, Hobgoblins, Kobolds, Ogres, Ogre Magi, Orcs and Trolls. That's a pretty large pool of opponents, wouldn't you say? And considering how much the Ranger bonus damage is against those creatures (+1 per level with no cap, and that's in addition to every other bonus they get, like strength modifiers and weapon enchantments)

 

They also surprise opponents 50% of the time. And they get mage spells in addition to their druid spells. In fact, at 17th level, a Ranger's spell casting is pretty formidable, considering they're part of the fighter class. Mirror Image, Call Lightning, Entangle, Heat metal, Invisibility, levitate. etc. When augmented with their already top-tier fighting prowess (they're better with weapons than every class except other fighters), this gives them a unique edge.

 

You can "Front line", "Heavy Hit" and "Mob Rule" at the same time with a Ranger in 1e AD&D. They were borderline overpowered.

 

Yes, I recall this too. They were almost always beast in that D&D ed, nad often in the fights that mattered the most. But like Tsuga said, reaching level 17 in PnP was extremely rare the way we played. Our campaigns usually ended after level 12-14, and the characters retired or died.

 

 

Encounter design in IWD1 was absolutely superb, and IWD2's Chargen was bar none the best of pretty much any game I've ever played. You want virtually unlimited Build choice options? Look no further than Icewind Dale 2.

 

I agree, IWD2, along with ToEE, are veritable pinnacles of party combat D&D in CRPGs.


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

 

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I"n Pillars of Eternity, the designation of a character as a "rogue" signifies their vicious, brutal style of fighting, not a propensity for theft or deception. "

 

This statement has me wondering, will PoE feature non-combat oriented thief skills like lock-picking and picking pockets?  (I suppose lock-picking might be covered by the mechanical specialization).   Picking pockets / Breaking into random houses is always a nice way to scrounge up some extra gold in BG and I'd be a bit disappointed if those sorts of  things weren't implemented in PoE (although if they are, they need to be done right... i.e., NPCs need to react appropriately if they catch someone attempting to rob them).  The details in this update all sound good to me (a nice mix of active / passive skills), although I do somewhat agree with those that would like more flexibility in the classes... For ex: perhaps rangers could choose whether to focus on a melee or ranged combat style similar to how they do in NWN2 (D&D 3.5?).  

 

But my main concern is how combat focused this whole update has been...  I'm wondering if the different classes will have skills useful outside of combat... Will the casters have spells that have non-combat applications? (ex: charm spells that increase your persuasiveness / likeability).   Don't get me wrong, combat is very important and I hope for it to be challenging and interesting, but I'm hoping PoE is taking more inspiration from BG and PS: T than IWD... In PS:T, if your character is intelligent / charismatic enough, you can choose to avoid many of the combat situations... I realize some people would find that approach boring, but to me that would give the game a lot more replay value.   Perhaps there isn't much difference between the classes in this regard but stats still come into play.  

 

All I'm trying to say is that if this game is going to be non-stop combat interrupted only by purchasing equipment and (one-sided) dialogue that basically just tells me where to go / who to kill next, I'm going to be very disappointed.  

everyone can learn the mechanics skill that is used for picking locks or disarming traps, but rogues start with a bonus to it. same goes for all skills: everyone can take them, but some classes start with a bonus. pickpocketing will be an option in conversation for specific npc. 

one thing i ve been wondering about, is the stamina to hp ratio. Josh said it will be 3:1 or 4:1, but will it be that 1 hp wil go down for every 3 stamina missing even if you take 1 stamina damage per hit or the hp will go down by 1 if the hit you take does 3 stamina damage? to put it in a more practical example. if my fighter takes 3 hits for 1 stamina each or a hit for 2 and a hit for 1 will he lose 1 hp, or the enemy needs to give a clean hit for  3-5 stamina in order to take away 1 hp and a 6-8 for 2hp?

Edited by teknoman2
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I cannot BELIEVE that there are so many people in this thread who actually think that a series of games where mages couldn't hold swords had "less rigid classes" than Pillars of Eternity. I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

Edited by Infinitron
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I cannot BELIEVE that there are so many people in this thread who actually think that a series of games where mages couldn't hold swords had "less rigid classes" than Pillars of Eternity. I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

 

 

Hear, hear.

 

I know Drizzt was popular but haven't guessed this much ;) Even he started to use Taulmaril a lot lately.

 

I have  no problems about rangers being only ranged if we can choose from different animals and skills are diverse enough. I'd like to some ranged animal companions too, if possible. Like a dire porcupine or a similar animal special to Eternity lore.


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They're not even "only ranged". They just have some abilities that grant bonuses with ranged combat. It is absolutely absurd that people are comparing that unfavorably with a system that would have prevented Rangers from using melee weapons entirely if it had that sort of class.

 

I think that what they really want is essentially a four class system - Warrior, Cleric, Rogue, and Mage - where each class is distinct, but contains numerous subclasses (Ranger, Paladin) that aren't really that different from each other, hence "less rigid".

 

"Josh, why are you making my Ranger not like a Fighter? I want to play my Ranger like a Fighter!"

"Uh, then just pick the Fighter class?"

"..."

Edited by Infinitron
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I would like to know more about Chanters in the next update- so Leaders of the Band is my choice.
It would be great if one could build a Chanter with treats of warrior (skald?), or with strong, charming personality like Varric Tethras from Dragon Age 2 !

 

Thanks for the update :)

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