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Update #78: The Leaders of the Band: Chanters and Priests

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I'm definitely naming my first character "Dog's Butt".

Koiranperse. That has a ring to it. Or in two words, Koiran Perse. Sounds rather Star Wars-y IMO.

Edited by PrimeJunta
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Mr. Sawyer, as someone who really enjoyed playing melee or combat bards in older DnD editions, I would like to ask if we will be able to build Chanters as passable melee combatants ?

 

Yes, they are fair melee combatants.  They don't have many abilities directly related to melee, but they have good health and accuracy.

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Slightly off-topic, but has it been confirmed whether or not we will be able to use custom portraits for ourselves and NPCs?

 

Otherwise, sounds good. The chanter is very reminiscent of an everquest bard (with chant effects lasting a short time after a new chant has begun, allowing twisting). Hopefully, it won't be quite as intensive as that game's implementation (every four seconds, switch song), as that would be very difficult in a party-based game.

 

Definitely custom portraits for your own characters and I think (but am not positive) that we have UI support for switching companion portraits.  Not 100% sure on that.

 

Chanters have a chant interface that allows you to place in all of your phrases to see how they will overlap/twist.  When you pick a chant (which is a set of phrases you put together), you just click on it and it will automatically take effect when combat starts.  You only need to switch if you want a completely different chant.

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I like this. I've had an eye on making my main a priest, and the notion that "Reinforcing their deity's or order's preferred behavior will gradually increase their power" in any way sounds wonderful.

Gonna lead to some fun party mash ups.

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Nice update, these two classes sounds very interesting, especially the chanter class

 

Don't like the Aumauau chanter though, can't tell whether it's a male or a female (leaning more towards a female). I hope (s)he is not a companion though.

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So chanters chant nearly all the time during combat? In other words, are the phrases spoken out? Maybe a murmur in the background?



"Maybe your grandiose vocabulary is a pathetic compensation for an insufficiency in the nether regions of your anatomy."

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Love the mechanics of chanters and the orders of the believers - very characteristic. I am looking forward to belongin in one.

 

Too bad if there arent going to be prestige classes though - may be in an expansion? If I started with a one character party, would like more flexibility in my main than being bound to support allied party members some of whom I havent even met yet.

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I'm really liking the character classes, maybe I should write down which one I plan on playing first and see how often it changes as information is released.

 

I hope the classes get to shine during the game, that is the lore associated with them gets thoroughly aired so they feel real rather than just something you pick to kill/support the killing of stuff in a particular manner.

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Bleak Walkers definitely win for most interesting paladin order yet revealed. Yet I have to wonder how their mercilessness is defined, given their stated purpose is "to bring a swift end to conflicts". When the Bleak Walkers are unleashed, are their terms "surrender [under these harsh and non-negotiable terms] or die", or is it too late to even surrender if they are finally called to battle, with the mere threat of their presence used to coerce?

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Chanters have a chant interface that allows you to place in all of your phrases to see how they will overlap/twist.  When you pick a chant (which is a set of phrases you put together), you just click on it and it will automatically take effect when combat starts.  You only need to switch if you want a completely different chant.

 

 

This is brilliant.

 

Your take on bards/chanters is brilliant.

 

The priest's spells are brilliant.

 

And last but not least, spell animations with real-time lighting effects on pre-rendered backgrounds are brilliant.

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Why are you creating so many classes I love?? Every single class update so far has made me eager to try . Ranger, druid, wizard, chanter, and priest. At this rate, I'll have to replay several times just to play characters of every class and race. I hope you're happy! ;P

 

Also, it seems knowledge is power in this world. Between wizards being researchers and experimenters, chanters being storytellers and loremasters, and priests being well-versed in philosophy, myths and legends, it seems we don't have any "stupid" spellcasters. (I know there are other magic-users, like druids, but then even they need a deep understanding of their trade, like how druids need to understand nature to wield its power.) It seems we don't have any DA mages or NWN sorcerers that were born "just knowing" how to use magic and can just hurl magic like confetti like Qara from NWN2 or Elsa from Frozen. It seems that if you want to tap into the mysterious magic of this world, you have to deeply study, understand, and believe in it.

 

I really like this. Every update makes me love this game and all the race, class, and character choices all the more! ^^

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"Not I, though. Not I," said the hanging dwarf.

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Update by Josh Sawyer, Project Director

Reinforcing their deity's or order's preferred behavior will gradually increase their power, while playing against type will cause a small diminishment in their power. These changes are not dramatic, but reflect a measure of dissonance between the character's stated faith and how they choose to conduct themselves.

----- 

That's all for this week. Let us know what you think of the chanter and priest in the forum. As always, thanks for reading.

Leave the small increase in power as is for harmonious player behavior, but boost the penalty to small-to-medium level. Unless the priest in question is insane, the cognitive dissonance between their faith and voluntary actions should sap their effectiveness because it's largely the strength of their faith that powers their spells. If faith is the dynamo generating the power, then acting against the ways and mores that sustain said faith ought to have significant consequences.

 

Great update and I can easily see myself wanting to do a run through for each class thus far...accept maybe for monk. ;)

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Update by Josh Sawyer, Project Director

Reinforcing their deity's or order's preferred behavior will gradually increase their power, while playing against type will cause a small diminishment in their power. These changes are not dramatic, but reflect a measure of dissonance between the character's stated faith and how they choose to conduct themselves.

----- 

That's all for this week. Let us know what you think of the chanter and priest in the forum. As always, thanks for reading.

Leave the small increase in power as is for harmonious player behavior, but boost the penalty to small-to-medium level. Unless the priest in question is insane, the cognitive dissonance between their faith and voluntary actions should sap their effectiveness because it's largely the strength of their faith that powers their spells. If faith is the dynamo generating the power, then acting against the ways and mores that sustain said faith ought to have significant consequences.

 

Great update and I can easily see myself wanting to do a run through for each class thus far...accept maybe for monk. ;)

 

 

I don't think this is called for. Twisting dogma and rules, using more generous or convenient interpretations, is as human as human behavior gets. And I think that's the kind of stories Obsidian excels at.

 

Isaac Asimov's I, Robot series of short stories comes to mind. Even clear, seemingly iron clad rules (such as the Three Laws) can be creatively reinterpreted in the context of the "big picture".

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Mr. Sawyer, as someone who really enjoyed playing melee or combat bards in older DnD editions, I would like to ask if we will be able to build Chanters as passable melee combatants ?

 

Yes, they are fair melee combatants.  They don't have many abilities directly related to melee, but they have good health and accuracy.

 

 

Superb! Thank you so much!

 

I'm so hyped right now. :D


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Derpdragons everywhere. I like spears.

 

No sleep for the Watcher... because he was busy playing Pillars of Eternity instead.

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Too bad if there arent going to be prestige classes though - may be in an expansion? If I started with a one character party, would like more flexibility in my main than being bound to support allied party members some of whom I havent even met yet.

 

I hope they don't. Prestige classes always seemed like a half-baked solution to the problem of building the character you want to play in a class-based system.

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Bleak Walkers definitely win for most interesting paladin order yet revealed. Yet I have to wonder how their mercilessness is defined, given their stated purpose is "to bring a swift end to conflicts". When the Bleak Walkers are unleashed, are their terms "surrender [under these harsh and non-negotiable terms] or die", or is it too late to even surrender if they are finally called to battle, with the mere threat of their presence used to coerce?

 

I would imagine terms of surrender are set by the noble who (hired? deployed?) them, not the Walkers themselves. If he wants everyone salughtered to make a point, they will oblige. If all he wants is capitulation as quickly as possible, they can do that too.

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GOOOOOODcelllennnnttttt! *fingersteeple*

 

Two quick tidbits:

 

1) The Chanter ability names are AWESOME!

2) I once again must praise the tactical design of such abilities as Salvation of Time, which lead to very reactive/emergent decision-making and results in combat.

 

Oh, and lastly, some feedback on Priests:

 

I really think the better way to go with the whole "you're going against your faith" thing is to slightly alter the potency of various effects/factors in their abilities. The idea of going with the current making you "better" and going against it making you "diminished" is just really rigid and simply reads as good choices versus bad choices, rather than this choice versus that choice.

 

I would say just have how a priest behaves affect whatever aspect of his abilities is affiliated with that behavior -- the more benevolent you are (to go with a simplistic example), the more your helpful/healing abilities get a boost, while the more aggressive you are, the more your offensive abilities get a boost, etc. But, that seems weird when applied to paths that have been specifically chosen by the player. I'd figure that if we get to choose these "paths," the ones we choose should offer up some mutually exclusive bonus, kind of like school-of-magic specialization in DnD (or, I think, the deity selection for Priests in some of the versions?).

 

But, anywho... at the very least, I'd make it a trade-off, rather than just "You didn't do what you were supposed to, so have a minor penalty." Say I choose the path of benevolence, but I make some kind of non-benevolent choice. If it's going to decrease my powers affiliated with benevolence, it should probably somehow benefit my powers of something else-ness. Maybe it's cast time, etc. *shrug*.

 

If your choices are going to mechanically affect your Priest, I think both outcomes should be interesting in their own way. And "my stuff gets worse" isn't really very interesting. That's pure deterrent. Then it starts feeling like the whole good-vs-evil morality thing in lots of games (only now you get to choose your own custom-tailored morality bar -- choose the god of Smashing Stuff, and destruction is "good" while non-destruction is "bad," etc.); do good and people like you and you get free stuff, etc. Do bad and you sometimes get to take things you wouldn't have gotten had you been good, but you pretty much get gipped in the long run.

 

Just my thoughts.

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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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The faith of priests is more philosophical, open to criticism (both their own and from others), and malleable from individual to individual.

 

 

 

The power of both Holy Radiance and the paladin's Faith and Conviction abilities can be modified by their behavior and the reputations they develop from the choices they make...Reinforcing their deity's or order's preferred behavior will gradually increase their power, while playing against type will cause a small diminishment in their power. These changes are not dramatic, but reflect a measure of dissonance between the character's stated faith and how they choose to conduct themselves.

 

Not very malleable at all, if you ask me. I thought Planescape: Torment did this a lot better when it came to the factions, just because you were a deader didn't mean the same thing to everyone. Similarly, I would suggest that the developers move away from this idea of limiting player's choice in this way. I would rather that players choose the path they wish and that consistency be rewarded and inconsistency not rewarded. This means that instead of bonuses/maluses as described to priest power, i would rather there be an adjustment to area/duration/power instead. Instead of +/-, it should be a blue/red/white choice, all equally viable, but different. I don't know the specific mechanics used in the priest class, but this should be seriously reconsidered.

 

If anything, the paladins should have this sort of mechanic instead of the philosophical priests. Your lore just doesn't match your mechanics at this point, and I think that's poor form.

 

My other criticism has to do with the animations. While I know that your animations are only alpha, from my understanding, Unity has great tools to allow transitions between animations. I don't know why it was the case with the second animation, but the transition from standing, facing south, to casting, facing north, was abrupt and jarring. 3D technology should be utilized to its maximum potential when possible, and this should have a relatively easy fix, from my understanding of Unity and basic animation software.

 

Everything else looks fine. great job.

Edited by Hormalakh
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The Chanter sounds really interesting, and the idea of building chants/ invocations, hunting down lore for new combinations, etc. could make the class tremendous fun.

 

The Priest class is fairly uninspiring by comparison.  I had thought that the class was going to be a bit more Paladin-esque, but I guess Obsidian decided to go in a different direction; re-cycling a 2E feel.  Still, besides the reinforcing of faith based behavior, there is little about the class that seems fresh.

 

Actually, from what we've seen so far, the re-branded or new classes seem to be much more interesting than the 'core four', which feel quite flat by comparison.  I'm not sure if this is deliberate on Obsdian's part (trying to keep the IE feel), but I'm a bit concerned as the vast majority will play one of these classes and many will be disappointed if they can't make a build to their liking.

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I've been waiting for this update for over a year now. :p

 

I really love how the priest class has turned out thematically and mechanically, I don't think I could've hoped for anything better.

Edited by Fashion Mage

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The Priest class is fairly uninspiring by comparison.  I had thought that the class was going to be a bit more Paladin-esque, but I guess Obsidian decided to go in a different direction; re-cycling a 2E feel.  Still, besides the reinforcing of faith based behavior, there is little about the class that seems fresh.

 

I thought that was the whole point of the Kickstarter effort: to bring back some of the feel of the IE games. Remember, BG was based on AD&D.

Edited by rjshae
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Bleak Walkers definitely win for most interesting paladin order yet revealed. Yet I have to wonder how their mercilessness is defined, given their stated purpose is "to bring a swift end to conflicts". When the Bleak Walkers are unleashed, are their terms "surrender [under these harsh and non-negotiable terms] or die", or is it too late to even surrender if they are finally called to battle, with the mere threat of their presence used to coerce?

 

Any army/general may surrender after Bleak Walkers are unleashed, but the paladins explicitly do not ask for nor give mercy/surrender.  If a warlord said, "Hey, Bleak Walkers, take out this town," and then halfway through the attack, the ruler of the city tried to surrender, the warlord would have a problem on his hands if he wanted to accept.  Bleak Walkers won't call off an attack even if their "employer" asks them to or turns forces on them.  The Bleak Walkers believe this behavior is necessary to make it clear what is going to happen when they get involved.

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Let's say I have 18 agility. Will a +3 buff show as 21 or as 21 (+3)?

 

How will buffs stacking work? Will there be a limit on how much a stat can be buffed like in the IE games?

 

Check out the character UI concept from Update 70 -- it was partly created in Photoshop, so it's not final but hints at the final version.

 

pe-ui-character-sheet.jpg

 

There is a Suppressed notice on the first effect line. That is because effects that raise the same stat do not stack (asked, confirmed). Since there are two effects on the character which raise Resolve, only the higher one works, the other one is suppressed. If the buff that provides the higher one ends before the other, the suppression ends as well, and the character gets that lower bonus.

 

This goes a looooooooooong way to prevent superstacked easy mode builds, BTW.

 

Too bad if there arent going to be prestige classes though - may be in an expansion? If I started with a one character party, would like more flexibility in my main than being bound to support allied party members some of whom I havent even met yet.

 

The kits of ADnD and the prestige classes of DnD 3.5  are thematically fun, but otherwise futile attempts at fixing the rigidity of DnD's class system. If the designers of Eternity did their job well, and provided enough customization options for the classes, you won't feel the need for prestige classes. Just look at the design of the chanter -- there are so many combinations of the basic chants, the list in the update isn't even a complete list!

 

On a related note... FASA's Earthdawn RPG came out in 1993, and its unified and versatile class/talent/skill system is still better than Pathfinder's as of 2014, which is supposed to be the "we got it down this time, for realz" fixed version of DnD 3.5, which is supposed to be the fixed version of ADnD. Pathfinder adds injury to insult by adding several hundred pages more to an RPG already drowning in rules and tables. The rules for Fallout's character options (SPECIAL/skills/perks) fit into 30-40 pages, and allow great customization. Eternity's character system, thankfully, is more close to Fallout than to DnD.

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