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nilssab

Stats in Backer Beta

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I just started player the backer beta, and I guess feedback towards game mechanics go here.

And since most stat discussion threads I found were regarding older stat systems, and or slightly convoluted, maybe it's time for a new stat discussion, at the moment of writing regarding the stats might, constitution, dexterity, perception, intelligence and resolve ranging from 3-18.

 

I think the stats and the way they are spent (3-18) is fine and easily understandable, however, I am very much not sold on the mechanics of them.

At the moment, might does damage, regardless of weapon type, melee/ranged/magic etc. All stats work in the same way for classes, and for all abilities.

I understand that this is to keep it simple, and make it easy for players to choose stats when they start playing.

 

This is where I agree with this system:

- stats work the same for all classes  

    - some games make stats do different things for different classes, so no attribute is useless, but I believe this makes the world feel less rigid.

- all stats have positive effects for all abilities

    - This discourages players from making "3 charisma fighters"

- stats affect dialogue options

    - IMHO this is one of the best balances for "useless" stats, it even makes the game more exciting if a character that will get all options is inherently       weaker.

 

This is where I disagree:

- stats work the same for all abilities

    - "fighter/mages" (maybe ciphers) would deal extra damage in melee and spells with the same stat, making their broader spectrum of abilities scale             better than pure fighter classes. If abilities gain damage from different stats, "fighter/mages" need to invest in both, which naturally balances this               issue.

    - "mages" will hit hard with melee attacks if they are made as high dps powerhouses. This really feels strange.

    - It deters from immersion. Mainly from the points above, but also it feels too much like a template solution, and less like a rigid world. "If you want           damage get might" feels a bit too simplistic.

 

How I would like it changed.

- change how stats work dependent on type of abilities. E.g. Might -> melee damage, spell range  Int -> spell damage, melee critical rate etc. 

    - maybe even dependent on each skill/spell, spells that can do damage based on strenght and spell that are based on int makes for a larger range

      of builds and a more vibrant world. Also it forces classes with multiple types of abilities to strike a balance between stats, and not just go for

      might/constitution and something depending on class.

- lower the amount of stat points

    - now you can get 18 in several stats, only sacrificing stats you night not care about.

 

I really like the game so far, and I hope it is still possible to make changes to the stat system. If it's too late I guess all we can hope for is balance changes.

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The whole idea is to avoid having stats a class doesn't care about in the first place. If mages could get damage, duration, and AoE on the same stat, they'd max it out every time. Since damage is on a whole different stat, they have to do a bit more thinking about their build.

 

The problem is that back-liners are still probably going to dump Resolve and Constitution because they don't apply to most fights and probably won't help much in the fights where they do (having 50% more health doesn't mean much if you get shredded anyway). At least front-liners care about everything.

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Just tried the beta and agree with the OP on this. I have some problems in general with the attribute system.

 

The problem is that back-liners are still probably going to dump Resolve and Constitution because they don't apply to most fights and probably won't help much in the fights where they do (having 50% more health doesn't mean much if you get shredded anyway). At least front-liners care about everything.

I don't want to have to focus on all attributes all at once on every single character. There could still be more than enough room to experiment with many different builds without forcing a barbarian to focus on intelligence.

 

I also think might is probably the least well-defined attribute I've seen. It seems to be 100% about game mechanics and doesn't help me define my character. In AD&D, a character with 15 strength was a pretty strong character. You knew that. A character with a high might in PoE just has +X% damage/healing. It does say that it makes you both physically and mentally strong, but I don't think it makes sense to have that in one and the same attribute. So to be a strong wizard, I need to go to the gym (feel free to pick a medieval equivalent)?

 

I guess what I want is a relatively simple way to define my character and make it work rather than a mathematical exercise in balancing the different variables to optimize my performance according to some formulas I don't even know. Despite all of its problems, AD&D gave us exactly that.

 

I don't think it's inherently bad that some stats are worth much more to some classes than others, and I think we're overreacting to dump stats in Baldur's Gate. I'm sure that if the game had just reacted properly to low charisma, not many people would have wanted to play a character with a charisma of 3. When you look at what people are actually saying about dump stats in the old games, they specifically mention how little something like charisma is used, not simply that it isn't used in combat.

 

As for every attribute necessarily being important for everyone, I don't remember anyone from my old pen and paper roleplaying groups complaining because you didn't need high strength to wield a spellbook, or because you didn't need to be a genius to smack someone with a mace. We accepted it because it makes sense.

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I don't think it's inherently bad that some stats are worth much more to some classes than others, and I think we're overreacting to dump stats in Baldur's Gate. I'm sure that if the game had just reacted properly to low charisma, not many people would have wanted to play a character with a charisma of 3. When you look at what people are actually saying about dump stats in the old games, they specifically mention how little something like charisma is used, not simply that it isn't used in combat.

 

Totally agree with this

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No to experimentation!

No to fixing that is not broken!

No to changes for the sake of change!

Do not forget basis of Baldur's Gate, Icewind Dale and Planescape Torment. Just put all your effort to story, fine-tuning and quality control.

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As for every attribute necessarily being important for everyone, I don't remember anyone from my old pen and paper roleplaying groups complaining because you didn't need high strength to wield a spellbook, or because you didn't need to be a genius to smack someone with a mace. We accepted it because it makes sense.

Did you play a tabletop game where your character's soul was the measure of their power?

 

Yeah, I didn't think so. One of the key design goals of Pillars of Eternity was every attribute being useful to every character. You can rail against that all you like, but you're not going to change anything.

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As for every attribute necessarily being important for everyone, I don't remember anyone from my old pen and paper roleplaying groups complaining because you didn't need high strength to wield a spellbook, or because you didn't need to be a genius to smack someone with a mace. We accepted it because it makes sense.

Did you play a tabletop game where your character's soul was the measure of their power?

 

Yeah, I didn't think so. One of the key design goals of Pillars of Eternity was every attribute being useful to every character. You can rail against that all you like, but you're not going to change anything.

 

As for every attribute necessarily being important for everyone, I don't remember anyone from my old pen and paper roleplaying groups complaining because you didn't need high strength to wield a spellbook, or because you didn't need to be a genius to smack someone with a mace. We accepted it because it makes sense.

Did you play a tabletop game where your character's soul was the measure of their power?Yeah, I didn't think so. One of the key design goals of Pillars of Eternity was every attribute being useful to every character. You can rail against that all you like, but you're not going to change anything.
I'm not sure it's an invalid point that won't get any attention. Various design mandates and new ideas were set out by the developers, but how they feel to players who are now testing it is quite important. I was on board with the concept, but now that I'm playing with it, the reality is that I'm struggling to engage properly with the system and am not really enjoying it. It kind of feels like it doesn't matter if characters have similar attribute distributions; and I don't like that feeling. Edited by Kronos
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We've known what the attributes do for a while now. How is it that only now when you're playing the game do you dislike it? They've been talking about the genius barbarian and "dumb muscle wizard" for at least a year now.

 

Each attribute even has its effect listed right there when you're putting points into it. Might? "Damage and healing." About the only thing that you might need to do is clarify that yes, in this game it's not just magical damage, because some people might make that assumption. But that's a quick fix with the description, not a lengthy overhaul of the attribute system.

 

The biggest problem I have with attributes is that my build seems to always be the same. "Well, gonna max out damage and accuracy; eh, better bring the others up a bit too so they're at least not shameful." I don't see how the system would be any better if I maxed out just Might for fighters, just Dexterity for rangers, and just Intelligence for mages.

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The biggest problem I have with attributes is that my build seems to always be the same. "Well, gonna max out damage and accuracy; eh, better bring the others up a bit too so they're at least not shameful." I don't see how the system would be any better if I maxed out just Might for fighters, just Dexterity for rangers, and just Intelligence for mages.

 

This. All of my builds are the same from wizard to Barbarian with the current system.  Moving bonuses around based on class just means that all wizards will be built the same and all barbs will be built the same.  

 

Given how all the bonuses just scale linearly, I think my vote for an easy fix would be to remove the 18 point cap, or raise it up to 25.  At that point you really need to start thinking how healthy, accurate, strong, wide AoE + duration length you really want your character to be.

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Okay, now I'm really really confused. 

Compare my newly created Wizard (!) with Constitution 9 with BB Fighter with 18 (!) Constitution. Same amount of HP? Am I missing something, or just don't understand in this very new unique rpg system? I'm just smashed. I always thought that mages should be more fragile that front-line fighters and you know... if they have low toughness/constitution score, they should be even more fragile.

 

Ok, I surrender, I don't understand mechanics of this game completely.

 

 

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No to experimentation!

No to fixing that is not broken!

No to changes for the sake of change!

Do not forget basis of Baldur's Gate, Icewind Dale and Planescape Torment. Just put all your effort to story, fine-tuning and quality control.

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This. All of my builds are the same from wizard to Barbarian with the current system.

This is exactly my concern.

 

Basically, I was hoping that all skills would not always be equal for everyone. That doesn't mean you should be allowed to dump stats completely without a penalty of course.

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We've known what the attributes do for a while now. How is it that only now when you're playing the game do you dislike it? They've been talking about the genius barbarian and "dumb muscle wizard" for at least a year now.

 

Each attribute even has its effect listed right there when you're putting points into it. Might? "Damage and healing." About the only thing that you might need to do is clarify that yes, in this game it's not just magical damage, because some people might make that assumption. But that's a quick fix with the description, not a lengthy overhaul of the attribute system.

 

The biggest problem I have with attributes is that my build seems to always be the same. "Well, gonna max out damage and accuracy; eh, better bring the others up a bit too so they're at least not shameful." I don't see how the system would be any better if I maxed out just Might for fighters, just Dexterity for rangers, and just Intelligence for mages.

I've known what the attributes do, but It's not like I've used them before and experienced what it feels like to play with them.

 

Just because you read up on sex and watch some movies, it doesn't mean you know what the real experience is like. The same can be said with all things, work, wives, children...

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Okay, now I'm really really confused. 

Compare my newly created Wizard (!) with Constitution 9 with BB Fighter with 18 (!) Constitution. Same amount of HP? Am I missing something, or just don't understand in this very new unique rpg system? I'm just smashed. I always thought that mages should be more fragile that front-line fighters and you know... if they have low toughness/constitution score, they should be even more fragile.

 

Ok, I surrender, I don't understand mechanics of this game completely.

I think you just get bonus hp because you are the main character actually.  I have noticed the BB guys in general have lower HP than the main dude.  The math on them in general may be wrong or they may just be over tuning the hp on the main character.  It is hard to say at this time.

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I can't consider this as proper answer, cause I see no reason at all to give so many extra HP to main character.


No to experimentation!

No to fixing that is not broken!

No to changes for the sake of change!

Do not forget basis of Baldur's Gate, Icewind Dale and Planescape Torment. Just put all your effort to story, fine-tuning and quality control.

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I can't consider this as proper answer, cause I see no reason at all to give so many extra HP to main character.

I saw this as well and made a bug report about it, although I was getting 152 as my cap for an 18 constitution character.  If you can remember any more specifics that are different from mine, maybe you could follow up?

 

http://forums.obsidian.net/topic/66993-max-health-independent-of-character-class/

 

I'm thinking character creation is pointing towards the health progression formula of the first character I made.

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I'm not sure it's an invalid point that won't get any attention. Various design mandates and new ideas were set out by the developers, but how they feel to players who are now testing it is quite important. I was on board with the concept, but now that I'm playing with it, the reality is that I'm struggling to engage properly with the system and am not really enjoying it. It kind of feels like it doesn't matter if characters have similar attribute distributions; and I don't like that feeling.

 

This is the main point I tried to make, that it deters from immersion, it doesn't feel well. It feels like all that stats are is a modifier matrix that is applied in the same way on all things.

Also, even if might is the "might of the soul", which is a new and good concept doesn't have to mean that the mechanics for the different abilities are all the same. I mean, why can't the "might of the soul" contribute to cast range or area etc? And concentration(as in not losing spell cast) could also be based on all three of mig, con and res.. It would certainly be more immersive for me.

This might be different for casual games, maybe it deters more from immersion if the mechanics are complex, I don't know, which is why I wanted to see more discussion about it.

 

Also, to me it really doesn't feel that most stats are that useful, like others have stated con doesn't really give you that much extra health. and a 20 might super human beast will only do 100*1.4/1.2 - 100 = 16% more damage than a 10 might char.

 

All in all the balance may be right if there is a proper distribution of dialogue or adventure promts (what did they call them?) that require different stats. But then I guess it's also important to show in the character creation some way that if you have 14 int, you can say intelligent things, and maybe if you have 14 mig you might be able to move boulders in an adventure promt.

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What I am really hoping for is a conversation system how it was in NWN2 Storm of Zehir, where all party members statistics played a role in conversations. Though, that would essentially lead to more stat dumping ;)

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