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Update #81: The Front Line: Fighters and Barbarians

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Very nice update. One thing that caught my attention - you have only mentioned weapon specialisations... Is there an option (like in the AD&D/IE games) to choose a weapon *and shield* specialisation? Or do the fighters automatically gain the ability to use one-handed weapon(s) together with shield without specialisation? Are there any special uses for the shields in PoE? Can you perform attacks with them?

 

We do not currently have "style" specializations, but it's something we'd like to do if there's time.  If so, it would be implemented as a Talent that a variety of characters could take.  Shields don't inherently have special abilities beyond boosting the wielder's Deflection and slowing their overall weapon attack rate.

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Update by Josh Sawyer, Project Director

 

There have been some questions about why we chose to do a closed door demo for the press and have not released footage from the demo. While the demo looked great, there are still parts of the game that need more polish before we release videos to the public. In addition, a lot of the demo footage was filled with spoilers and we would like to show off portions that are less critical to the story. Look for a video that shows some non-spoiler, polished gameplay sometime in the next couple of months.

 

 

Ugh.

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I'm torn. Barbarians sound fun, but I like my melee people to carry shields because I like shields (because they can have colours and heraldry and can just really complete an ensemble) and barbarians don't really seem like a class that would rely heavily on shields.

 

Then again, berserkers used shields, so why shouldn't barbarians?

 

Probably because when I think 'barbarian' I think 'Arnold Schwarzenegger in a loincloth'.

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We do not currently have "style" specializations, but it's something we'd like to do if there's time.  If so, it would be implemented as a Talent that a variety of characters could take.  Shields don't inherently have special abilities beyond boosting the wielder's Deflection and slowing their overall weapon attack rate.

Is that a change from minus Accuracy? or do shields also slow down your recovery time as well as heavier ones reducing accuracy?

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Hmm, I was keeping back on that footage disscusion running around forums, but in couple of months we should see complete game, not footage. This is disturbing.

 

No... in a couple of months we may have a beta. Did you miss the late December release date announcement?

 

2-3 month before release can not be called beta anymore. It is like what EA does with stuff like Battlefield. It is a public Demo nothing else.

 

 

Define "beta" for us, Darji.

 

 

Beta is something they work constantly on. They polish things change things in terms of  interface, dialogues and so on.  Beta is something you should constantly feedback about balance and through their changes. That will normally take many month if they do it for real.  Wasteland 2 for example had a Beta,  Divinity had a Alpha and Beta and there was a constantly change in these ones. If you give people the beta  2-3 month before release that means 1-2 month before everything should be finished  than you will not get the needed feedback.

 

 

As they said before. They are already in a Beta status in their studios. And this is the moment Beta testers or backers in this case should be involved. 

 

 

A EA beta or Demo is something you only do balancing stuff through data they collect  from players.  

 

 

Beta is state where software is before it is after alpha state and before release candidate state. But there is no definite definitions for those states, but they are defined by developers themselves so that they themselves know that how ready software is and what kind work it still needs. Software is usually considered to be in beta state when it has all features and content that release version needs are done at least such level that testing and polishing of whole product can start, but this isn't always the case, as such definition don't always work with development process that developing team uses.

 

So beta is meaningless term if you don't know definition for it that developers of software in question use for it.

 

And from previous update you can see that Obsidian uses alpha and beta states to determine how ready each of their teams are addition to overall state of game. And they use beta to define state where all content and features are done, but not necessary on such level that game is actually playable from start to finish, let alone that it is enjoyable to play or that it ready enough to give for beta testers to play in their opinion. 

 

Softwares especially games can be months in beta state without actually being in state where they are actually usable on level that even resembles final product, which is state that most non-developer beta access backers probably excepts to get their hands on.

 

3 things:

 

1.  Alpha is a status  when the whole game is playable but not all features are integrated.  That is the actual definition you also hear from other kickstarter Campaigns.  AAA-developers like Guerilla Games for example also  define it like that when they are talking about an alpha build. 

 

2. Beta is a status in which most features  are already integrated into the game and most of the polishing is beginning. As Obsidian said They are already in Beta so at this point people who backed the amount should get involved. They were promised a Beta not some publicity beta or demo shortly before the release. 

 

3. Being Beta does not mean you will get the whole game at all in the first place. You get a small part of it. Most likely the starting Area like in divinity's case the first City and near locations. Which is like 1/4 or even less of the full game. Through this potion however people can give a ton of feedback on the starting stuff like how skills work if they are useful overpowered etc.  And through these information the actual dev team can continue to polish and finish the rest of the game. It is about usability, inventory skill system, level up system, interaction in the world. Atmosphere consistency of the world and so on. 

 

If you do all this with let us say 2-3 month before release there is not much possibilities to change things even if people not liking some parts etc.  All these RPG kickstarter campaigns have gotten a ton of feedback through these betas  and it only changed so much because i was a long process and not shortly before the actual game is being released. 

 

Note this is all under the assumption that the Winter release still stands. If not they are "lying" or better do not tell us this about this as well. 

Edited by Darji

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Very nice update. One thing that caught my attention - you have only mentioned weapon specialisations... Is there an option (like in the AD&D/IE games) to choose a weapon *and shield* specialisation? Or do the fighters automatically gain the ability to use one-handed weapon(s) together with shield without specialisation? Are there any special uses for the shields in PoE? Can you perform attacks with them?

 

We do not currently have "style" specializations, but it's something we'd like to do if there's time.  If so, it would be implemented as a Talent that a variety of characters could take.  Shields don't inherently have special abilities beyond boosting the wielder's Deflection and slowing their overall weapon attack rate.

 

 

Oh, too bad. I hope there's time to implement it.

Fighting style talents are great and I thought that was in.

 

http://jesawyer.tumblr.com/post/60414213542/with-different-damage-types-and-weapon-specialisation

 

If it's 1 talent per 3 levels (not counting quest talents etc.), I want them to be awesome™.  :yes:

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Hm, tbh I'm neither interested in fighters nor in barbarians. IIRC I didn't have any of them in my favorite BG2 party. But maybe I have to in PoE since classes seem to be even more specialised than in D&D.

 

Thanks for the update but I'm still waiting for that gameplay footage.

Did you play any other infinity engine game without these classes? If so it doesn't sound like you'd have that much more of a problem than playing Baldur's Gate I or Icewind Dale with no fighters. I don't see why a mixture of other melee types like cyphers, paladins, rogues, and chanters couldn't be built into a front line. It would be more challenging than using a front line with a fighter, barbarian, or monk, but I imagine not as challenging as playing Baldur's Gate I with no fighters up front.

Edited by forgottenlor

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I almost feel disinclined to play as a Barbarian now. The hidden stamina and heath bars will make me a little too nervous to put my character avatar in the front lines, very much vulnerable to death and a subsequent game over (assuming that Ironman is enabled). Maybe hide the Stamina bar but not the Health bar? It would make thematic sense - the Barbarian can't distinguish minor wounds while Frenzying, but deeper wounds still register. In any case, I'm looking forward to the Fighter, but Chanter, Cipher, and Monk seem so damned cool to play. I can't wait to see how it plays out.

 

Also, to those bitching about beta access and footage - why? The release is getting closer, but it's still six months away. This is a game that's going to be heavily plotted; unless all you want is a combat sandbox, I don't know what you expect Obsidian to deliver at this point, and I'm not really interested in playing Eternity for the combat anyway.

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I'm torn. Barbarians sound fun, but I like my melee people to carry shields because I like shields (because they can have colours and heraldry and can just really complete an ensemble) and barbarians don't really seem like a class that would rely heavily on shields.

 

Then again, berserkers used shields, so why shouldn't barbarians?

 

There's nothing mechanically wrong with equipping a barbarian with a shield.  You're just trading overall damage output for Deflection bonus.

 

 

We do not currently have "style" specializations, but it's something we'd like to do if there's time.  If so, it would be implemented as a Talent that a variety of characters could take.  Shields don't inherently have special abilities beyond boosting the wielder's Deflection and slowing their overall weapon attack rate.


Is that a change from minus Accuracy? or do shields also slow down your recovery time as well as heavier ones reducing accuracy?

 

All shields increase Deflection and slow down Recovery Time.  Small shields have no Accuracy penalty.  Medium and heavy shields have proportionally higher Deflection bonuses and Accuracy penalties.

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Does Carnage, and other special attacks that use default attack animations, have any sort of visual/audio feedback when it is performed?

 

(Btw, the recent "choose your own adventure" action dialogue window that was released along E3 previews looks absolutely fantastic, love the typography)

Edited by mstark
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"What if a mid-life crisis is just getting halfway through the game and realising you put all your points into the wrong skill tree?"

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I'm disappointed that we have to wait couple of months (might as well wait for release at that rate) to see any footage.  I don't care about spoilers or "raw" footage, as I'm a designer AND an adult. 

Edited by ryukenden

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You mentioned two specializations, knights and peasant, will there be any more?

 

Am I the only one missing the specializations with more options e.g. swords, axes, staves, bows etc?

 

Isn't it also kind of weird to specialize in knight or peasant weapons? Isn't the skill for using a spear very different from the skill of a hunting bow or blunderbluss.

 

And how come a character can be master of using a battle axe but not a hatchet?

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Very nice update. One thing that caught my attention - you have only mentioned weapon specialisations... Is there an option (like in the AD&D/IE games) to choose a weapon *and shield* specialisation? Or do the fighters automatically gain the ability to use one-handed weapon(s) together with shield without specialisation? Are there any special uses for the shields in PoE? Can you perform attacks with them?

 

We do not currently have "style" specializations, but it's something we'd like to do if there's time.  If so, it would be implemented as a Talent that a variety of characters could take.  Shields don't inherently have special abilities beyond boosting the wielder's Deflection and slowing their overall weapon attack rate.

 

First, thank you for the update.It would be very nice to see a specialization system for the weapons.I have a question regarding this: Can a character dual wield weapons effectively? If yes,is it Skill related or "anyone" can dual wield? Maybe a silly question, but better to ask silly questions than dying silly. Thanks dudes. I hope but i'm confident you'll bring us a new masterpiece in this RPG genre. All the best !

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You mentioned two specializations, knights and peasant, will there be any more?

 

Am I the only one missing the specializations with more options e.g. swords, axes, staves, bows etc?

 

Isn't it also kind of weird to specialize in knight or peasant weapons? Isn't the skill for using a spear very different from the skill of a hunting bow or blunderbluss.

 

And how come a character can be master of using a battle axe but not a hatchet?

A battle axe and a hatchet are two extremely different weapons (weight, balance, or how you swing it), and would require different types of training. Imagine the difference between a knife and a sword.

 

Personally, I really like the type of specialization in Eternity. It's more realistic for a knight to be trained in a variety of weapons of war, whereas a peasant who has turned to the sword, so to speak, would be better at handling weapons of the type that require less formal training, and of familiar shape.

 

Post based on my own thoughts and personal experience in weapons training.

Edited by mstark
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"What if a mid-life crisis is just getting halfway through the game and realising you put all your points into the wrong skill tree?"

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Does Carnage, and other special attacks that use default attack animations, have any sort of visual/audio feedback when it is performed?

 

Carnage is a passive ability, so it "goes off" every time a melee attack hits.  Targets who are hit by Carnage will play hit VFX and Interrupts (when appropriate).  Active-use weapon-based attacks (e.g. the fighter's Knockdown, rogue's Finishing Blow, etc.) will have a "gleam" that plays on the weapon(s) after it is targeted.

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You mentioned two specializations, knights and peasant, will there be any more?

 

Am I the only one missing the specializations with more options e.g. swords, axes, staves, bows etc?

 

Isn't it also kind of weird to specialize in knight or peasant weapons? Isn't the skill for using a spear very different from the skill of a hunting bow or blunderbluss.

 

And how come a character can be master of using a battle axe but not a hatchet?

 

Yes, there are currently six categories.  The D&D standard is that characters are equally skilled with all weapons in which they have proficiency, so I don't think it's that odd to have thematically-grouped weapon specializations.  Mechanically, the thematic groupings allow characters to gain bonuses with a set of one-handed and two-handed melee weapons as well as with ranged weapons  It gives the player more circumstantial flexibility.

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Thanks for the update, I love Fighters so this was the class update I wanted to see most. 

 

I am however slightly disappointed in the fighter info itself.  They just seem rather lack luster and to be good at nothing other than fighting other fighters and not falling down.  Rogues have multiple ways to beat engagement and I see no method in there for Fighters to stop them more than once.  Barbarians can ignore engagement but take a hit, who cares though since they effectively have double the HP of everyone else due to only taking health damage once every 8 stam instead of 4.  Fighters just seem to have no tool for dealing with fast moving engagement breaks or ranged enemies other than "run at normal speed, hope to catch them, and eat their attacks until you get there".  Taking a hit is nice and all but that's all they really have and 20% glances turn to hits doesn't seem very ... interesting... or strong.  I guess the minimum damage increase could be nice but we will have to see damage ranges to know.

 

Barbarians if anything seem a little too strong.  They have the most stamina, effectively double the hp, ability to not notice they died when frenzied, almost all attacks are aoe, can ignore engagement, moves incredibly fast, and even gets free hits when they do finally go down.  Lower deflection and lower accuracy seems a small price by comparison.  They will easily out perform fighters and monks against groups and it seems like Monks may out perform fighters one on one.

 

I guess we will have to wait for more details since we know these class updates aren't the whole picture. 

 

Some confirmation on the portrait would be cool though?  Is that Calisca that we heard about from the E3 Demo?  Or is it just some other person?  Or is it just a generic human female portrait?

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I'm torn. Barbarians sound fun, but I like my melee people to carry shields because I like shields (because they can have colours and heraldry and can just really complete an ensemble) and barbarians don't really seem like a class that would rely heavily on shields.

 

Then again, berserkers used shields, so why shouldn't barbarians?

 

There's nothing mechanically wrong with equipping a barbarian with a shield.  You're just trading overall damage output for Deflection bonus.

 

 

We do not currently have "style" specializations, but it's something we'd like to do if there's time.  If so, it would be implemented as a Talent that a variety of characters could take.  Shields don't inherently have special abilities beyond boosting the wielder's Deflection and slowing their overall weapon attack rate.

Is that a change from minus Accuracy? or do shields also slow down your recovery time as well as heavier ones reducing accuracy?

 

All shields increase Deflection and slow down Recovery Time.  Small shields have no Accuracy penalty.  Medium and heavy shields have proportionally higher Deflection bonuses and Accuracy penalties.

 

 

If you could dual-wield shields, would you get both Deflection bonuses? If so, would the penalty to Recovery Time and Accuracy be nullified due to having no way to attack?

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First, thank you for the update.It would be very nice to see a specialization system for the weapons.I have a question regarding this: Can a character dual wield weapons effectively? If yes,is it Skill related or "anyone" can dual wield? Maybe a silly question, but better to ask silly questions than dying silly. Thanks dudes. I hope but i'm confident you'll bring us a new masterpiece in this RPG genre. All the best !

 

Anyone can dual-wield.  Here are the relative trade-offs of fighting in any given "style":

 

* Dual Weapon - Fastest attack rate and highest overall damage output vs. relatively light armor.

* Two-Handed - Standard attack rate.  Highest per-hit damage output vs. relatively heavy armor.

* Weapon & Shield - Standard attack rate.  Highest Deflection of any style.  Heavier shields grant more Deflection, reduce Accuracy proportionally.

* Single Weapon - Standard attack rate, all attacks made with +15 Accuracy.

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I am however slightly disappointed in the fighter info itself.  They just seem rather lack luster and to be good at nothing other than fighting other fighters and not falling down.  Rogues have multiple ways to beat engagement and I see no method in there for Fighters to stop them more than once.  Barbarians can ignore engagement but take a hit, who cares though since they effectively have double the HP of everyone else due to only taking health damage once every 8 stam instead of 4.  Fighters just seem to have no tool for dealing with fast moving engagement breaks or ranged enemies other than "run at normal speed, hope to catch them, and eat their attacks until you get there".  Taking a hit is nice and all but that's all they really have and 20% glances turn to hits doesn't seem very ... interesting... or strong.  I guess the minimum damage increase could be nice but we will have to see damage ranges to know.

 

What they appear like to me are military-style fighters that are trained to battle in large groups. They may not be flashy, but over the course of a long battle they will grind down the enemy through attrition. I.e. they are more about playing a numbers game, rather than being flashy roguish swashbucklers.

 

Perhaps an example would be Russell Crowe in Gladiator; he wins battles by working with a team.

Edited by rjshae
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I'm really digging the number of abilities that trigger when characters are low on health - adds another layer of strategy that involves more than merely chugging a health potion or retreating from battle. In a way, it almost incentivizes more aggressive strategies. Will enemies have access to the same abilities as PCs? Do I have to worry about an [edit] enemy  barbarian going into Carnage mode when down to his last few hitpoints? Because that would be awesome.

Edited by zain3000

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Thanks for the update, I love Fighters so this was the class update I wanted to see most. 

 

I am however slightly disappointed in the fighter info itself.  They just seem rather lack luster and to be good at nothing other than fighting other fighters and not falling down.  Rogues have multiple ways to beat engagement and I see no method in there for Fighters to stop them more than once.  Barbarians can ignore engagement but take a hit, who cares though since they effectively have double the HP of everyone else due to only taking health damage once every 8 stam instead of 4.  Fighters just seem to have no tool for dealing with fast moving engagement breaks or ranged enemies other than "run at normal speed, hope to catch them, and eat their attacks until you get there".  Taking a hit is nice and all but that's all they really have and 20% glances turn to hits doesn't seem very ... interesting... or strong.  I guess the minimum damage increase could be nice but we will have to see damage ranges to know.

 

Barbarians if anything seem a little too strong.  They have the most stamina, effectively double the hp, ability to not notice they died when frenzied, almost all attacks are aoe, can ignore engagement, moves incredibly fast, and even gets free hits when they do finally go down.  Lower deflection and lower accuracy seems a small price by comparison.  They will easily out perform fighters and monks against groups and it seems like Monks may out perform fighters one on one.

 

I guess we will have to wait for more details since we know these class updates aren't the whole picture. 

 

Some confirmation on the portrait would be cool though?  Is that Calisca that we heard about from the E3 Demo?  Or is it just some other person?  Or is it just a generic human female portrait?

 

Fighters will almost always outlive barbarians in any one-on-one situation.  Barbarians are supposed to be better at dealing damage to groups.  The reason they have the better conversion rate for Stamina:Health is because they generally wind up taking a lot more damage than fighters.  Fighters also have other abilities I've mentioned before, like Armored Grace, which gives them increased DT from armor.  I don't think I've mentioned Into the Fray, but that ability allows them to attack Reflexes to yank someone into melee from a (short but worthwhile) distance away.  Keep in mind that Carnage only applies when the barbarian's melee attack actually hits.  Because they have lower Accuracy, they're less likely to land that initial hit.  Staying in the fight and reliably dealing damage are the two things that fighters are best at.  They're much better at both than the barbarian is.

 

We used the portrait for Calisca in our demo, but it's a standard PC human female portrait.

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First, thank you for the update.It would be very nice to see a specialization system for the weapons.I have a question regarding this: Can a character dual wield weapons effectively? If yes,is it Skill related or "anyone" can dual wield? Maybe a silly question, but better to ask silly questions than dying silly. Thanks dudes. I hope but i'm confident you'll bring us a new masterpiece in this RPG genre. All the best !

 

Anyone can dual-wield.  Here are the relative trade-offs of fighting in any given "style":

 

* Dual Weapon - Fastest attack rate and highest overall damage output vs. relatively light armor.

* Two-Handed - Standard attack rate.  Highest per-hit damage output vs. relatively heavy armor.

* Weapon & Shield - Standard attack rate.  Highest Deflection of any style.  Heavier shields grant more Deflection, reduce Accuracy proportionally.

* Single Weapon - Standard attack rate, all attacks made with +15 Accuracy.

 

 

Why are single weapon attacks made with a static bonus rather than a proportional one?  Just curious.

Edited by anameforobsidian

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I'm torn. Barbarians sound fun, but I like my melee people to carry shields because I like shields (because they can have colours and heraldry and can just really complete an ensemble) and barbarians don't really seem like a class that would rely heavily on shields.

 

Then again, berserkers used shields, so why shouldn't barbarians?

 

Probably because when I think 'barbarian' I think 'Arnold Schwarzenegger in a loincloth'.

 

Remember, even Arnold's Conan used a shield and heavier armor when he and Subotai had their final stand against Thulsa Doom's elite henchmen.  Also, Frazetta did a few paintings of Conan with a shield, so it's not out of place, IMO.

 

http://www.rehupa.com/OLDWEB/images/lancers_conan_conqueror_painting.jpg

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Fighters will almost always outlive barbarians in any one-on-one situation.  Barbarians are supposed to be better at dealing damage to groups.  The reason they have the better conversion rate for Stamina:Health is because they generally wind up taking a lot more damage than fighters.  Fighters also have other abilities I've mentioned before, like Armored Grace, which gives them increased DT from armor.  I don't think I've mentioned Into the Fray, but that ability allows them to attack Reflexes to yank someone into melee from a (short but worthwhile) distance away.  Keep in mind that Carnage only applies when the barbarian's melee attack actually hits.  Because they have lower Accuracy, they're less likely to land that initial hit.  Staying in the fight and reliably dealing damage are the two things that fighters are best at.  They're much better at both than the barbarian is.

 

We used the portrait for Calisca in our demo, but it's a standard PC human female portrait.

Thanks for the additional info, good to see they have a way to force melee on medium range opponents.  That could definitely help counter say the multiple engagement breaks of a rogue.  Appreciate the clarification on the portrait as well.  Not sure why some posters seem to not like it, I think it looks great and stands out a bit from all the others we have seen so far.  Then again I think Adair (Adere? how are we spelling his name now...?) may be the only other human portrait we have seen.

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