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When I saw the recent class information, I was not amused. It appears that as every class is presented, all we get to see is various kinds of doing damage to enemies. The rogues is the dps master, the wizard the aoe master,te warrior the tank etc.. While that's a necessity, and some of the spell concepts are rather cool, this exclusive focus on combat is also quite boring. Where is the subtlely, the stealth, abilities that facilitate less violent interaction with npcs? What about players who want to avoid combat if possible, who want to talk their opponents down, or avoid them altogether?

 

If I am in a dungeon I know I can expect hordes of monsters, and I'll be glad for all those nifty spells listed in the recent update. But in a city I want more options. I want to become invisible and bypass enemies, I want abilities to convince people, various ways of avoiding combat altogether.

 

I'd like to know if PoE will facilitate a less combat-oriented playstyle. The class updates have been extremely disappointing in that regard.

Edited by Ieldra
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Well supposedly the game will be possible to complete through dialogue and stealth.

That said when it comes to class videos combat will be focus as the things that serpeate the classes are (generally speaking) combat abilities more than anything else. If I remember correctly PE will have both a combat and non-combat tree/stats and I'd imagine the latter is shared between all classes to give all classes an equal opportunity to play through the game in somebody's chosen play style. That way you wouldn't be forced to say, make a rogue, in order to beat the game through stealth and dialogue.

I admit that there's a lot of PE info floating around from the kickstarter and since so it's possible my memory is completely off by now but this is the impression I have about how the non-combat play styles are being handled.

K is for Kid, a guy or gal just like you. Don't be in such a hurry to grow up, since there's nothin' a kid can't do.

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Well.. we have not been provided very much detail, so I suspect this impression may be false? 

 

I suspect wizards/ciphers/monks may well have access to non-combat spells/abilities capable of resolving conflict without stabbing pixels? 

 

....or we could just kill them all and chat them up later?  :devil:

Are you gonna throw rocks at me? What about now?

..

What about now?

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Where is the subtlely, the stealth, abilities that facilitate less violent interaction with npcs? What about players who want to avoid combat if possible, who want to talk their opponents down, or avoid them altogether?

that would be more the domain of the encounter design and scripting, wouldn't it?

i mean if You have option to bypas certain obstacles, because You chose to play a certain class, i imagine it's easier (and less restrictive) to implement it individually for each such encounter, rather than come up with a systemic solution that covers all the encounters.

 

what i want to say is, that non-violent solutions will probably be class-independent, and that's why they're not talked about in class-speciffic updates.

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Well supposedly the game will be possible to complete through dialogue and stealth.

 

That said when it comes to class videos combat will be focus as the things that serpeate the classes are (generally speaking) combat abilities more than anything else. If I remember correctly PE will have both a combat and non-combat tree/stats and I'd imagine the latter is shared between all classes to give all classes an equal opportunity to play through the game in somebody's chosen play style. That way you wouldn't be forced to say, make a rogue, in order to beat the game through stealth and dialogue.

 

I admit that there's a lot of PE info floating around from the kickstarter and since so it's possible my memory is completely off by now but this is the impression I have about how the non-combat play styles are being handled.

I hope this is correct. I haven't memorized all the information but the impression I had before the class updates was that plot-related events could often be  handled without combat. Then came the class updates, which said that the rogue is the undisputed dps master and failed to mention any stealth aspects, then the wizard who is listed with only combat spells. It is off-putting...

 

I think it is high time to reveal some non-combat skills. If they're all class-independent, it makes sense not to mention them in class updates, but it skews the picture unfavorably for people with my preference.

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From the Pathfinder Core Rulebook:

 

Brain-teasing puzzles, roleplaying challenges, and skill checks are all classic methods for resolving encounters, but the most complex encounters to build are the most common ones—combat encounters.

If I may be forgiven for quoting that out of its original context, I suspect this is why we've mainly heard about combat. It's the most challenging part of the game to build, so doing it upfront is best. Also, combat has rarely been an area in which Obsidian has excelled, whereas they always excel at writing, C&C, and world-building. I expect they're trying to shore up this weakness first and foremost. And, of course, there's the fact that non-combat stuff tends to involve scripted interactions, and thus spoilers.

 

Which is not to say that they aren't working on any of that stuff, necessarily. It's just that they're not talking as much about that.

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I think Ffordesoon is likely on the right track. Obs is showing us the flashy stabby-stab stuff and not the other more subtle skills/abilities. I'm pretty sure from the way they described their vision of the game that there will be plenty of ways to resolve conflicts and situations that rely on skills, dialog, non-combat spells, trickery, stealth, etc.

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Classes are largely combat-based, but there will be separate non-combat abilities that everyone can take. Classes will gain a bonus to certain non-combat skill groups (rogues get bonuses to stealth and mechanics, for example), but these bonuses are apparently not dominating to the point where you'll never bother taking a non-combat skill you don't have a bonus to. I don't know if there will also be non-combat class abilities, like invisibility, but if there are I suspect they will be a minority.

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When I saw the recent class information, I was not amused. It appears that as every class is presented, all we get to see is various kinds of doing damage to enemies. The rogues is the dps master, the wizard the aoe master,te warrior the tank etc.. While that's a necessity, and some of the spell concepts are rather cool, this exclusive focus on combat is also quite boring. Where is the subtlely, the stealth, abilities that facilitate less violent interaction with npcs? What about players who want to avoid combat if possible, who want to talk their opponents down, or avoid them altogether?

 

If I am in a dungeon I know I can expect hordes of monsters, and I'll be glad for all those nifty spells listed in the recent update. But in a city I want more options. I want to become invisible and bypass enemies, I want abilities to convince people, various ways of avoiding combat altogether.

 

I'd like to know if PoE will facilitate a less combat-oriented playstyle. The class updates have been extremely disappointing in that regard.

 

The more combat the better for my gameplay style.

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My assumption is that they simply haven't released as much detail about other skills/abilities yet - at least I hope this is the case because, like the OP, I don't like the modern "it's all about combat!" method.

 

I also don't like high body counts, because it makes the game far too unbelievable for my liking (so, the six of you just killed a thousand goblins with barely a scratch to show for it...yeah, why are people scared of goblins again?).

Ludacris fools!

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We have discussed before what it is about classes in particular that makes for interesting non-combat elements, and I think the general consensus was: not much. There are a few things like conversation, stealth and survival where some classes may excel in a D&D-based game, but those are factors are now generally skill based.

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

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Oh, yeah, and it is true that non-combat skills are largely class-agnostic. Class mostly determines how you fight rather than who you are.

 

EDIT: Which I am absolutely a fan of, to be clear.

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They've talked about how there will be oodles of non-combat stuff to be had. But, that specific information lives very close to spolier-ville, as it pertains to things such as how particular quests/situations play out, and what kind of specific options in dialogue will make themselves available depending on factors like class and skill/stat levels, reputation, etc.

 

I'm with you on desiring more info about all this, but I think they'll probably update us on that whole aspect by itself, separately, as there's not really an easy way to say "And here's how playing a Wizard/Druid will alter all your non-combat experiences!"

 

They've definitely mentioned that there will be a LOT of what they call "scripted interactions." I even asked about specifically what circumstances would support these in the game (in what situations/aspects of play would you usually find them), to which I was told that they'd pretty much just be littering the entire game. Hell, I wouldn't be surprised if meeting certain conditions in the midst of a particular combat prompted a combat-pausing scripted interaction, that could then affect, say, whether or not the enemy surrendered, or some device was activated, etc. It certainly wouldn't be impossible, I don't think.

 

But, the best I can really give you right now is the encouragement not to fret. I don't think the focus on combat-related info regarding classes and character facets is because there just isn't any non-combatness to be had. I think they just haven't really talked about it in a lot of specific detail, yet, and part of that is because they want most of the story-related stuff to be a surprise. They're just being very careful about that.

 

That, and the game's still in development, so they might still be tweaking things like the dialogue system, reputation system, scripted interactions and stat/skill checks, etc.

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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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Well supposedly the game will be possible to complete through dialogue and stealth.

 

This is incorrect. While they do allow for many quests and scenarios to be solved with quests, dialogue, or other alternatives...the game will not be competable without engaging in combat somewhat regularly. There will be certain instances, like end-of-dungeon critical path quests which will only end in combat. That has been stated by Mr. Sawyer, though I don't care to dig up the quote.

 

There will, however, be options available for certain defeated foes to determine their fate. You might kill them, set them free with after a lecture, or even take them prisoner. How prevalent this will be is unknown, but will likely be reserved for major plot characters. Look to the first update on the Stronghold for information on this.

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Well supposedly the game will be possible to complete through dialogue and stealth.

 

That said when it comes to class videos combat will be focus as the things that serpeate the classes are (generally speaking) combat abilities more than anything else. If I remember correctly PE will have both a combat and non-combat tree/stats and I'd imagine the latter is shared between all classes to give all classes an equal opportunity to play through the game in somebody's chosen play style. That way you wouldn't be forced to say, make a rogue, in order to beat the game through stealth and dialogue.

 

I admit that there's a lot of PE info floating around from the kickstarter and since so it's possible my memory is completely off by now but this is the impression I have about how the non-combat play styles are being handled.

I hope this is correct. I haven't memorized all the information but the impression I had before the class updates was that plot-related events could often be  handled without combat. Then came the class updates, which said that the rogue is the undisputed dps master and failed to mention any stealth aspects, then the wizard who is listed with only combat spells. It is off-putting...

 

I think it is high time to reveal some non-combat skills. If they're all class-independent, it makes sense not to mention them in class updates, but it skews the picture unfavorably for people with my preference.

 

Non-combat skills are class-independent, classes only have two class focus skills which means that they small bonuses on them, rogues for example have foci in mechanics and stealth, wizards in mechanics and lore, druids in athletics and survival, rangers in survival and stealth.

 

But main idea is that any class can learn any skill to such level that it is useful and most difference between classes is in how they work in combat.

 

Outside of combat most dominant things are character's attributes, that are in my understanding what they will use in most conversation checks and there is no skills that are specified to conversations (because they are difficult to make such that they are valid option to all party members and not only for party leader), and skills, which both are designed so there is no straight forward options for any class. 

 

But I agree that they should probably soon tell more specifics how skill system works and how gameplay works outside of combat. Because even though Tim's updates about how things work outside combat have been great, they leave lot of details out and there has been changes in mechanics (and even some mechanics are dropped out [item durability and repair skill]) that new update with more specifics would be nice in sometime near future.

 

Links to Tim's updates:

http://forums.obsidian.net/topic/60578-update-7-non-combat-skills-with-tim-cain/

http://forums.obsidian.net/topic/64350-update-63-stronghold/

http://forums.obsidian.net/topic/64048-update-58-crafting-with-tim-cain/

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The updates are focussed on one aspect of the class. What can my class do in a fight? And that's what we're getting. I want to know what a Rogue can do, same with a Wizard, Druid, Paladin and other classes. Focusing on non-combat skills can be an update in itself with encounter design, regardless of class.

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Oh, yeah, and it is true that non-combat skills are largely class-agnostic. Class mostly determines how you fight rather than who you are.

 

EDIT: Which I am absolutely a fan of, to be clear.

Well....if class only determines how you fight, not who you are, then every non-combat aspect of character customization should be completely independent from class. Is it?

 

I see how this approach gives you more freedom to roleplay different kinds of cahracters, so I agree it might be a good way to do things, but it will make some instances of class-specific restrictions even less tolerable than before. For instance, mage robes... the damned things have been in almost every game, and nowhere do they make the least bit of sense for an adventuring mage. If PoE will let my mage wear a sensible outfit, then I'll know they thought this "class is only about how you fight" through to the end... 

 

@Elerond:

Thanks for the links. That was a long time ago. Those design goals do look good :) I wonder how much crafting will affect the game though. Recently all the games I played that had a crafting system made it more or less irrelevant, in order to not disadvantage those players who don't want to bother with it.

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Oh, yeah, and it is true that non-combat skills are largely class-agnostic. Class mostly determines how you fight rather than who you are.

 

EDIT: Which I am absolutely a fan of, to be clear.

Well....if class only determines how you fight, not who you are, then every non-combat aspect of character customization should be completely independent from class. Is it?

 

I see how this approach gives you more freedom to roleplay different kinds of cahracters, so I agree it might be a good way to do things, but it will make some instances of class-specific restrictions even less tolerable than before. For instance, mage robes... the damned things have been in almost every game, and nowhere do they make the least bit of sense for an adventuring mage. If PoE will let my mage wear a sensible outfit, then I'll know they thought this "class is only about how you fight" through to the end...

 

Every class will be able to put points in any class, but each class has a set of skills that receive a starting bonus. Thus your rogue would get a head start in, say, a Stealth skill. As long as he keeps putting points in that skill at every opportunity, he will always be better at it than a class that doesn't get a starting bonus in that skill.

 

My understanding is that any class can use any type of weapon or armor in this game--they just might not be particularly good at using it.

 

If there is a mechanic for item enchanting in this game, I suspect that this may have some class limitations. Or at least prerequisites that can only be satisfied by specific classes.

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

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Every class will be able to put points in any class...

Methinks that last "class" was meant to be "skill." Mostly obvious, but that sentence actually works as-is to describe possible multi-classing, so I just wanted to point out the error so that no one got the wrong idea (since there is no multi-classing.)

 

Well....if class only determines how you fight, not who you are, then every non-combat aspect of character customization should be completely independent from class. Is it?

Ehh, I think MOST of it is? But, I'm sure (okay... 99.9% sure -- I couldn't give you a direct quote from a dev guaranteeing it) there will be class-affiliated checks, in relation to the lore of the classes. Either that, or there may even be knowledge skills or something that only certain classes gain access to, etc.

 

Well, for example, if you're handling a quest situation, and there's some glowing "activated" grimoire on a pedestal or something, going haywire or whatnot, then I don't think your Ranger is just going to saunter up to it and figure out what to do with it. I mean, maybe you can just destroy it, in an act of desperation? But, maybe that stops the badness (this is a vague example, I'm sorry), but you don't really understand the nature of it. If it was plaguing some nearby village or altering people or something, you don't know how to fix it. You stopped it from continuing to happen, but you can't really undo any persistent effects. BUT, maybe if you had a Wizard in your party, he could've actually interacted with the grimoire, as Wizards do, and at least gleaned some information from what it was doing before having to destroy it. Maybe even deactivated it safely, leaving it intact, allowing even more options in dealing with the remainder of the situation from that point on. *shrug*

 

I'm pretty sure they talked about there definitely being racial/class effects on dialogue and options (checks) and such, but, again, I can't really find a quote that guarantees that, at the moment. Or exactly how it'll work (reputation alterations, dice-roll-style checks, etc.).

 

I'd kinda like it, personally, if they went the slightly more complex route: having something like a small list of class-specific knowledge/lore skills or something, instead of just "check -- class. Wizard? Awesome, you automatically succeed at anything in this game that's looking for a Wizard." Or, heck, even checks to Talents or abilities/spells. "Oh, you know the spell Poison Cloud? Then the game lets you succeed in knowing something about this Wizard-magic-based toxin that's in this area." Etc. That'd be pretty cool.

 

I'll easily live with a simple class check, though.

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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Oh, yeah, and it is true that non-combat skills are largely class-agnostic. Class mostly determines how you fight rather than who you are.

 

Yes.  We have previously given details about our skill system, including how Stealth works.  As a recap, all characters can invest in the Stealth skill, though certain classes (like rogues) have a head start in that department.  You can have characters sneak individually or as a group and the gameplay consists of navigating the Stealth-based radii of your party members around the detection radii of potential enemies.  Enemies have two stages to discovering a sneaking character.  The first causes them to investigate.  Once they get close enough (IF they get close enough), they will fully realize the threat and typically start combat (sometimes dialogue).  In both of our class pair updates (rogues + rangers, wizards + druids), we've called out what non-combat skills each class emphasizes, but yes, the skills are largely class-neutral.

 

Dialogue options are also largely class-neutral.  Most threshold-based options are opened up based on the character's attributes -- using Perception to notice something, Resolve to threaten someone with scary intensity, Strength to intimidate someone with brute force (or just to smack them around a little), Dexterity to swipe something, etc.  Picking these options is not always a path to success, but the attributes are what open them up.  The same applies to class-, race-, sex-, or background-based options that pop up.  We decided to avoid dialogue skills since it pushes characters to invest in "the dialogue game" or miss out on a ton of enjoyable content.  By using as many basic elements of the character as we can to shape dialogue, we keep dialogue open to all sorts of characters, from meat-head fighters to sassy wizards and everything in-between.  Attribute-based checks worked well in Planescape: Torment and we think it will work well in PoE as well.

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As a moderator on the Wasteland 2 boards, I've borne witness to a lot of grousing about the attributes not feeling attached enough to the skills, particularly in the case of Charisma and the dialogue skills it opens up. As such, I wholly support dialogue checks tied directly to attributes.

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From the wiki:

 

 

Rogues gain a starting skill bonus to Mechanics and Stealth and are the only class to get a bonus to both of those skills.

 

So we know that at least stealth and mechanics are in the game, and that rogues are likely to be particularly good at those skills.

 

The other skills that have so far been announced: survival (which rangers get as well as stealth), lore, and athletics.

 

It has also been announced that there are four types of skills: learning skills, travelling skills, item skills, and companion skills. Again, little information on specifics so far, but we at least know that there are likely to be a few skills in the game.

Ludacris fools!

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