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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.

 

There are not many, honestly.  We'd rather have a small number of skills that get a good amount of use than include a bunch of skills that wind up neglected.

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Is there still choice and diversity then?

Not much point to choose if you got about 4 skills and 2 points to spend... (especially if 1 is stealth, down the drain for me, 3 left, take down crafting, well, it's a given :/)

 

Or isn't it that bad? It would be a shame if it's only half of KOTOR2, that does seem to have a reasonable level (IWD2 was just insane though, definitely not that).

Edited by Hassat Hunter
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^

 

 

I agree that that is such a stupid idiotic pathetic garbage hateful retarded scumbag evil satanic nazi like term ever created. At least top 5.

 

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I can't say I blame Valorian for his comment.

 

I mean... Strength Might've been back. 8)

 

 

@Josh:

 

I'm not going to ask for any kind of quantity of instances ("how much of this will we see?"-type question), but... could you possibly provide an example of the types of things that warrant class/race checks in your design?

 

I'm particularly interested in any and all more active choices pertaining to these (mainly class, in that case), such as the option to "*commune with the beast, because you're a Druid*" or something?

 

I can easily see a lot of reactionary effects (reputation effects and/or mood of the NPC) being more passively prompted by class/race/culture. So, I'm just curious about active options -- things you can do or say (because of unique knowledge/experience) because of your class or similar factors specific to a given character.

 

Basically... how will we see non-"universal" factors at work?


Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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I think it's a good move to have dialogue be class neutral. just take Planescape as an example. I almost always pump CHI/WIS/INT when I play it, to get the most out of the game and its dialogues. Those skills are also tied in to the non-fighter classes. It actually always bothered me that that was the case.

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To be fair I think any spiritual follow up invoking the names of BG, IWD and Torment has to have a fair bit of melee, and that was a large atrraction for two of those series for me personally, the strike and counter strike of BG2 and the more balanced and gnarly feel of IWD. Do I think that the genre could do with less combat and more non combat focus, on average yes, i'd like to see more innovative and off the wall ideas explored in most games. And I do not particularly mind if they are borrowed from other types of games, the hallucination system of Dead Space 3 recently struck me as a brilliant mechanic for a party based rpg, and there are dozens of other gameplay ideas to be explored other than combat.

 

However I would say that Poe has chosen very wisely in making use of the brute force, nuance and simplicity of text to tell its story, and i'm eager to come to grips with the end product, because there is literally almost no boundary to what may be presented by good prose, whereas graphics however striking come at a very high price.

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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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Outside of thieves (rangers and bards a little) skills weren't a focus of the IE games until IWD2.  Specifically, if you weren't playing those classes, you didn't even have skills.  And in IWD2, a lot of them wound up feeling redundant or useless.  If our options are to include a huge number of skills to make characters feel diverse (without making good use of them) or to have a small number of skills with heavier use and less per-character diversity, I think it's better to go with the latter.

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To be fair I think any spiritual follow up invoking the names of BG, IWD and Torment has to have a fair bit of melee, and that was a large atrraction for two of those series for me personally, the strike and counter strike of BG2 and the more balanced and gnarly feel of IWD. 

 

And it was something I've tried to consistently call out as one of our three foci for the project: exploration of beautiful environments, a reactive story with equally reactive companions, and party-based tactical combat.

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I disagree with Labadel; Class or race-specific conversations would be great to add replayability, diversity, and to reflect once in a while *that's your class*.

It doesn't have to be all options (like Malkavian in Vampire: Bloodlines) just an extra line/option once in a while, sometimes even with a different effect.

 

It'd be a shame if there would be *only* skill, ability or influence checks...


^

 

 

I agree that that is such a stupid idiotic pathetic garbage hateful retarded scumbag evil satanic nazi like term ever created. At least top 5.

 

TSLRCM Official Forum || TSLRCM Moddb || My other KOTOR2 mods || TSLRCM (English version) on Steam || [M4-78EP on Steam

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I disagree with Labadel; Class or race-specific conversations would be great to add replayability, diversity, and to reflect once in a while *that's your class*.

It doesn't have to be all options (like Malkavian in Vampire: Bloodlines) just an extra line/option once in a while, sometimes even with a different effect.

 

It'd be a shame if there would be *only* skill, ability or influence checks...

I don't want it to be the complete opposite to PST. I just named that game as I felt it was a bit extreme in that regard. There was so much that could be missed. Replayability is very important to me and I think skills should be used in different dialogue situations during the game. I think FNV handled this decently. Most skills were used at least a few times in dialogues. It wasn't an auto-win type of thing and the skills you picked couldn't be used all the time.

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KOTOR2 does the same.

However, the actual class the player took is, if I recall correctly, mentioned/checked ONCE(!) ingame... and that check was broken too. With the M4-78EP mod it's 2, still, that's very measable. And in PoE aside from class you also have race.

I don't recall exactly how Dragon Age did it (it's been a while), but I do know there's a lot of stupidity in this regard in, say, The Old Republic ("What's a Cathar" as Cathar... :/). With text only, there's no point (ie. a big loss of potential) not to refer to it more often and actually give specific unique responses to classes or races.

 

Regarding skills, same can be said of feats. They weren't even in until IWD2, only profencies. With a party of 6, a lot of skill exclusives are possible.

In most games the problem is skill checks are then handled by the PC or conversation instigator, then making those many skills a convo problem, but I assume that can be worked around by instead just taking the highest skill ranking for any teammember, and in that case allow that person to wedge in (possible due to no VO). Something that Expedition: Conquistator also did.

Although the problem there is that people with strange mannerisms or accents might be misrepresented in those standard 'highest rank' dialogues since not everyone got an unique version of course...

Edited by Hassat Hunter

^

 

 

I agree that that is such a stupid idiotic pathetic garbage hateful retarded scumbag evil satanic nazi like term ever created. At least top 5.

 

TSLRCM Official Forum || TSLRCM Moddb || My other KOTOR2 mods || TSLRCM (English version) on Steam || [M4-78EP on Steam

Formerly known as BattleWookiee/BattleCookiee

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Regarding skills, same can be said of feats. They weren't even in until IWD2, only profencies. With a party of 6, a lot of skill exclusives are possible.

 

Skills almost always require their own distinct subsystems.  Conversely, 3.X feats almost always feed into existing systems/subsystems (specifically, combat).  Because combat is such a big part of most A/D&D games, it's easy for those elements to get heavy use.  Compare that to "Ride" or "Perform" or "Knowledge: ________", which are all skills that either require their own (massive) set of rules and assets to work in a CRPG or necessitate creating custom content with each use (e.g. in dialogue).

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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.

 

 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.

 

love you guys!

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I think Drakensang did it rather well, it had a huge range of skills. Sure, some where useless, and pretty much all of them were of the type "you only need this on one character" but most of them say extensive use due to their inclusion in gameplay, be it from gathering ingredients for crafting (I personally hate crafting, but I know a lot of people don't. Otherwise, it would still allow you to sell additional components), or haggling, or skills that gave more information on the map about interesting locations or resources.

Aside from that, appeared in conversations, taking the highest skill of any teammember in mind.

 

Though with skills like survival or lore, I think somewhat of that functionality already is in PoE, just not sure on the specifics how another char picking it too (like lore) is going to help.

Another tricky one would be 'lockpicking'. It's a non-combat skill, but it's really hard to make sure more than 1 people having it is useful. Maybe some complex mechanics requiring 2 people to work on it at once (or 2 seperate mechanicms to be used at the same time to advance, using lockpicking), still probably not the rule but more the exception.

The other solutions would be to make it class-based (but not that class, all locked stuff is gone for you) or not including lockpicking at all (I think an IE-game where every door and chest is unlocked or keybound would feel... weird).

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^

 

 

I agree that that is such a stupid idiotic pathetic garbage hateful retarded scumbag evil satanic nazi like term ever created. At least top 5.

 

TSLRCM Official Forum || TSLRCM Moddb || My other KOTOR2 mods || TSLRCM (English version) on Steam || [M4-78EP on Steam

Formerly known as BattleWookiee/BattleCookiee

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Hey Josh. Can we get a list of the "non-combat" skills and a description please? There's really so much we don't know about this aspect and it's tough to be critical without this information. It would be nice to know the breakdown of classes bonuses to these skills as well.

 

Thus far we've got:

 

Lore - wizard

Mechanics - wizard, rogue,

Athletics - druid

survival - druid, ranger

stealth - ranger, rogue

 

couldn't find monks, ciphers skill-bonuses.

Edited by ItinerantNomad

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Outside of thieves (rangers and bards a little) skills weren't a focus of the IE games until IWD2.  Specifically, if you weren't playing those classes, you didn't even have skills.  And in IWD2, a lot of them wound up feeling redundant or useless.  If our options are to include a huge number of skills to make characters feel diverse (without making good use of them) or to have a small number of skills with heavier use and less per-character diversity, I think it's better to go with the latter.

 

I just hope it's not going to feel like the bland, neutered skill system in DA:O.


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

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i fear it might be.

 

Ultimately, skills should be another way to distinguish the classes. The older D&D systems did this by making certain classes (rogues/thieves) skills-experts while other classes didn't have skills. With PoE's new "everyone must be good in combat," classes offer less diversity. Right now, this diversity is in how they deal with tactics (heavy hitter, mob rulers, line-holders, etc) but only in combat. That's great, but most of the game shouldn't just be combat. There should be other ways for the classes to distinguish themselves outside of combat, because then classes really don't mean anything outside of that.

Yes, they've got the "bonus to skills" but that's not as distinctive as what they're doing for combat. We don't even have a whole list of skills, so this is tough to propose, but they should diversify further:

I propose that the same skills do different things outside of combat. Inside combat, yes they can all utilize their skills for effectiveness. But outside, a ranger's survival should not be the same as the druid's survival. Perhaps one helps with reducing monster spawning, while another allows players to lengthen the effect of consumables.

Lore the same way: mages deal with magical lore, where as chanters, for example, deal with the lore of history etc.

This distinguishes skills further and makes the game more interesting as well as choosing classes to join your party more interesting.

I doubt sawyer will do this however, because it's "too expensive" and will cause him too much of a headache to balance. Although I think that it might be a little tough at first to balance, it is possible. You don't change how it balances in combat, but when it comes to outside of combat, the bonuses offered should vary between classes. I would also argue that not all the different skills need to be distinguished. For example, 4 classes already have stealth. It is tough for me to come up with four ways for stealth to differ in the classes that makes mechanical sense and is interesting enough to matter. With certain skills, that's fine. But I would argue that diversifying as much as possible, would be better.

 

Talents can then serve to "dilute" a certain skill so that the skill would blend for each class at higher levels, while still being distinct. For example, a ranger's survival allows him to maximize consumables. But the talent "food and shelter" would allow him to also take 70% of his current survival skill for reducing monster spawning chance. Whereas, a druid's survival maximizes reducing monster spawning chance while the talent "fruits of the forest" allows him to maximize 80% of survival for consumable effects/duration.

Edited by Hormalakh
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i do realize that all the classes have the option to choose each skill, so dividing which "benefit" between them is fairly difficult. this is another difficulty that can be remedied by randomization and balance.

 

Basically, define what each skill will do mechanically, then figure out the value of each mechanic. split those skills which offer multiple mechanics for each class, and each class gets a portion of those mechanics. Since we aren't going for a "Realistic" perspective, any arbitrary division would work. Adjust as needed. Then apply talents to dilute the mechanics back into the general skill as described above.


My blog is where I'm keeping a record of all of my suggestions and bug mentions.

http://hormalakh.blogspot.com/  UPDATED 9/26/2014

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http://hormalakh.blogspot.com/2014/08/beta-begins-v257.html

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Hormalakh: Why do these "class-specific skills" even need to be skills at all? If you want your classes to feel unique than just give them more unique class abilities. The skills can remain universal, as they are in all RPGs.

 

The IE games weren't skill-based RPGs and it's okay for an RPG inspired by them to have a relatively minor/"neutered" skill system.

Edited by Infinitron
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To be fair I think any spiritual follow up invoking the names of BG, IWD and Torment has to have a fair bit of melee, and that was a large atrraction for two of those series for me personally, the strike and counter strike of BG2 and the more balanced and gnarly feel of IWD. 

 

And it was something I've tried to consistently call out as one of our three foci for the project: exploration of beautiful environments, a reactive story with equally reactive companions, and party-based tactical combat.

 

 

Josh, I think you've nailed The Holy Trinity of the IE games there.

 

Mind you, it does remind me of the old spoof army recruitment ad...

 

arn.jpg


sonsofgygax.JPG

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Hormalakh: Why do these "class-specific skills" even need to be skills at all? If you want your classes to feel unique than just give them more unique class abilities. The skills can remain universal, as they are in all RPGs.

 

The IE games weren't skill-based RPGs and it's okay for an RPG inspired by them to have a relatively minor/"neutered" skill system.

 

i believe that you're categorizing in a differnt way than i would. ultimately, if class abilities are only usable in combat, then that only fits in one of the three categories of the "holy trinity" as Monte Carlo put it. The current division is between combat-focused abilities and non-combat-focused abilities, whatever their names are.

 

Non-combat skills have uses outside of combat and can offer interesting gamplay outside of combat. Distinguishing classes in categories outside of those that are primarily combat, would be more fun to play, I believe.

 

Lore, mechanics, survival, etc do not all have direct combat applications. Class abilities may (or may not, I'm not sure).

 

also all IE games were not the same. IWD2 did have skills and was based on D&D3, as this game also heavily borrows from all editions (including 4th).

Edited by Hormalakh

My blog is where I'm keeping a record of all of my suggestions and bug mentions.

http://hormalakh.blogspot.com/  UPDATED 9/26/2014

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Hormalakh: Why do these "class-specific skills" even need to be skills at all? If you want your classes to feel unique than just give them more unique class abilities. The skills can remain universal, as they are in all RPGs.

 

The IE games weren't skill-based RPGs and it's okay for an RPG inspired by them to have a relatively minor/"neutered" skill system.

 

i believe that you're categorizing in a differnt way than i would. ultimately, if class abilities are only usable in combat, then that only fits in one of the three categories of the "holy trinity" as Monte Carlo put it. The current division is between combat-focused abilities and non-combat-focused abilities, whatever their names are.

 

Non-combat skills have uses outside of combat and can offer interesting gamplay outside of combat. Distinguishing classes in categories outside of those that are primarily combat, would be more fun to play, I believe.

 

Lore, mechanics, survival, etc do not all have direct combat applications. Class abilities may (or may not, I'm not sure).

 

 

Yeah, I'm talking about adding "class abilities" that are also useful outside of combat.

 

Of course, many of them would be things that affect dialogue, and so we're back to the original problem - Obsidian don't want to add lots of class-specific stuff in dialogue.

 

But the thing is, it would be easier for them to add more class-specific stuff in dialogue than it would be to add new skills. So it sounds like you're asking them to do more work to compensate for the absence of something that would require less work. That's...not likely to happen.

Edited by Infinitron

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I think what is forgotten here, and what Josh has mentioned before is that skills in PoE will be MORE useful if held by multiple team members. The example given is the stealth party which can more easily ambush foes. This does offer up multiple interesting party strategies. Instead of worrying about individual character builds, you might have to worry more about party builds. For example a stealth party could only have a smattering of other skills, and other strategies of gaining resources or overcoming obstacles may be denied them. I would still love to see an update on skills, though.

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I'm easy - if by pumping a stat you know you'll get a different response in dialogue then is it semantic to separate it from a skill?

 

Why not have a high intelligence intellectual philosopher / warrior who gets different dialogue because of it? You're playing different ways with different skills.

 

I always though having a low int / low cha character who could persuade the UN to invade somewhere because of dumpstat in 'diplomacy' sucked ass.


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