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Intuitive Combat Attributes?


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I'm excited for PoE, but I have some concerns regarding the attributes and what they do, specifically related to combat. Intuitively, without looking at what they do in the game, if you told me what each stat affected I would list something like this:

 

1. Might - Melee Damage, Destruction of Objects

2. Constitution - Health Points, Body Resistances

3. Dexterity - Ranged Accuracy, Armor Class

 

These physical stats are shared between PoE and DnD, so I suppose most people would form a similar list (with Might being a renamed Strength). 

 

1. The differences between what I would expect Might does are Might also contributes to healing, which is a minor bonus, but more importantly Might affects everyone's damage (not just Melee)! Wow, that is a cool attribute. In fact, I'd say it's probably OP. If all Might did was affect damage, I think it would still be a worthwhile stat, though I suppose Support characters (Priest, Chanter, etc) could dump it. I imagine that the healing mod was added so that support characters would also have to invest in Might. 

 

2. Constitution does affect health, but not healing which feels a bit weird. Constitution is unlikely to be a dump stat in any case since most characters need decent health thresholds. It does exactly what I would expected, by giving a bonus to Fortitude Defenses.

 

3. Dexterity has been dialed way back from DnD, where it was probably the strongest attribute in the abstract affecting many skills, Armor Class, and all Ranged Accuracy (which included many spells). In PoE, Dexterity only affects Accuracy, but does so for both melee and ranged characters! Wow, again that feels very powerful. It's not what I expected, but it's an easy thing to remember and fairly intuitive (after all, hand-eye coordination being important in melee battle is pretty intuitive). It also affects Reflex Defenses as I would expect.

 

4. Perception - Awareness, Initiative

5. Intellect - Spell Damage, Skills

6. Resolve - Spell Defense, Healing

 

These are the mental attributes, though only Intellect looks familiar if we continue the DnD comparisons. Perception sounds like a subset of Wisdom with Resolve being a mishmash of another subset of Wisdom and a bit of Charisma.

 

4. Perception does affect awareness, but that is a difficult thing to convey in combat. I'm not sure if it currently affects Initiative, but I hope it does. What it does actually do is provide an interrupt bonus. This is a new thing to PoE and therefore probably difficult to evaluate. Compared to the physical stats, this attribute feels weak to me. If you asked me how important it was for all characters to be able to interrupt other characters, I would say low. Maybe I'd want one of my party to be especially good at it, but since I'd imagine there are defenses to interruption, it seems silly to invest halfway into it on a number of characters. 

 

5. Intellect does not affect spell damage, that is actually Might since it affects all damage (again, Wow good stat). However it has been given a very cool ability that feels intellect-y, it affects the size and duration of abilities. That's pretty neat. I like this stat, it seems very "johnny" to me, a Magic term for people who like to create intricate combos instead of just winning the game. In other words, this will be a fun stat to experiment with. How would a high intellect Monk play? What abilities are in the game that I can abuse with this? It seems really fun and strong.

 

6. Resolve does affect Spell Defense, in that it is used for Will Defense. It does not affect Healing, which feels off to me. Anyway this is like the new Charisma, which was the notorious dump stat in Dnd. Few characters needed it and in combat-centric sessions it was mostly unused. That said, in non-combat sessions it could very important and it was difficult to imagine pulling off any interesting politics or intrigue without a decent Charisma. Anyway, in PoE it has been buffed to encompass more than just presence and social ecumen. In combat it affects Concentration, which is probably tied to the Interrupt from Perception. That sounds cool but it also is hard to evaluate how useful both concentration and interrupting would be for the majority of a party. Again, I'd expect this on a few niche characters that have long cast-times or abilities where they need to concentrate for long stretches at a time. 

 

So what are my favorite stats? Might and Intellect sound the most fun. Might makes bigger numbers for everything combat-wise, while Intellect gives me larger radii to move around. Dexterity and Constituion both sound important, and not-dumpable. Most characters want to hit in combat for the big numbers to appear, and you don't want anyone dying too quickly. Which leaves the difficult to evaluate pair, Perception and Resolve. Interrupting and Concentrating sound like high-level concerns. At low levels, combat is usually more basic and lower level threats don't tend to have things that need to be interrupted. I also probably don't have powerful spells or abilities that require concentration to use, they either cast quickly or I ignore choosing them since typical low-level combat is very brutal. One strong hit against any character can usually kill it in DnD.

 

So, what could buff these stats? Well right off the bat I'd say Resolve could take either Healing from Might or Ability Duration from Intellect, but that in turn makes them more dumpable for a different class of characters (Support could then dump Might AND Intellect). Ok, well maybe if Resolve had a passive bonus? It sounds like a character with 18 Resolve should definitely have more mechanical bonuses when they take a lot of damage compared to someone with say 8. The Will bonus probably covers fear and running away. What about something like a Second Wind chance (or even ability)? I suppose something like that could be linked to a Talent though. As it stands it is difficult for me to feel like I would need a party with high resolve, though I cannot say the same for Might, Constituion, Dexterity, or Intellect.

 

Perception is the other one that stands out as not being that important. Let's say I'm building a fighter. His job is to soak damage, deal damage, and hold the line. He doesn't need to be aware of what's happening and I don't necessarily need him to interrupt (or do I? That's the trouble with new mechanics). Anyway, what if Perception affected combat movement? Intuitively if that were a stat it would feel like it should fall under Dexterity. But Dexterity doesn't need help being a non-dump stat. I mentioned Initiative before and that's definitely something that could help make it important, after all a party that always acts after the enemy is not set up for success.

 

So, here's my ramblings about the attribute system, my own intuition from a long-time DnD player, and some ideas to improve PoE so it's the best it can be. Any thoughts?

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Interesting post.  I don't know how I feel about the system.  It would seem they don't want any dump stats so they have tried to make everything important in some way to any aspect of the game you might care about.  I hope this approach doesn't end up washing everything out meaning jack of all trades master of none.  If you put too much in Strength and intellect you may end up missing a lot with lower dexterity and so on. Perhaps this can be made up in gear? I don't know. I'm sure there are a lot of people who are excited about this, I'm not sure I will.  Some of it seems unnecessarily complicated.  Anyway I don't have any thoughts on How to improve anything because I'm not sure I like the Idea of spreading the wealth around all over.

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Intellect appears to increase the duration of DoTs significantly (even though it isn't marked on the tooltip) in addition to increasing AoE radius, so it's probably fine as is. Does it also increase the durations of HoTs and buffs and the AoE radius of auras and chants? If that's true, then this stat would become very interesting.

 

Perception and resolve, however, seem to be dump stats for every class, and might is probably too powerful, seeing as damage and healing both depend on it, meaning the party healer is also capable of inflicting large amounts of damage on enemies without having to make any tradeoffs in terms of attributes (This might also mean that the optimal way to min-max is to always roll Aumauas). One way to balance this would be to move healing bonus to resolve and ranged weapon damage bonus to perception (or add something like initiative or armor penetration to it).

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I don't like pseudo-simulationist abilities at all. I'd prefer that you'd be able to put points into Damage, Area, Duration, Penetration, Interrupt etc. directly. Simpler that way.

But then, how do you check stats in dialogues/situations?

 

"[Damage: 14] I will smash your skull in! *You smash his skull in*"?

 

That's the functional difference; pseudo-simulationist stats represent more than just those raw combat/mechanics-related values. *shrug*

 

Would you have two sets? Or would you do it a different way, perhaps, that I haven't yet thought of?

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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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I think you may be under estimating perception/interrupt a bit. If you think back to IE games when you saw an enemy wizard you generally needed to target them early to stop there high level spells from decimating the party (control magic, dominate, AOE etc) you did this in two ways. One you killed them quickly by getting a high damage char to attack them as they had very low health, or if you couldn't reach them you made sure you regularly hit them for a decent amount of damage to disrupt their spell casting (unless they had really high Con, which was rare).

 

Now how ever everyone has abilities and ability heavy classes are not as weak health wise, thus it seems like your going to want to put something into Perception so your character has a good chance at interrupting enemy abilities when they try to activate them. Otherwise you may find your Might, Con, Int maxed character get's in some good initial hits, then the enemy abilities stack up together and your now left trying to damage someone you can't hit, or has massively increased damage resistance or who has just dominated half your party and turned them against you.

 

As such I think it's probably going to be worth having a high perception character to act in an Anti mage, priest, monk, chanter, cipher and druid manner focused on stopping them using their abilities. Who will also be useful against the other classes by reducing their chance to use their abilities as well.

 

Resolve is kind of the opposite of this boosting concentration to counter interrupt I suspect this would be more useful for melee focused ability classes such as monks, ciphers, priests and battle-mages focused on touch spells. You really don't want your priest interrupted when they're trying to cast a group heal to keep your front line alive. Though for long range focused ability classes you may be able to dump the stat if you focus on microing them away from damage and keeping them in the back lines during combat.

 

Biggest problem with the two stats may be that they're less obviously useful if you don't stop and think about it and that resolve can be partly micro'd out through careful tactical placing. They're also hard to see the impact of in combat, if some obvious notification was provided when they worked in combat that might help a bit but they probably also need a little bit of a tweak to make them more obviously useful.

Edited by aeonsim
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  • 2 weeks later...

Since I'm looking to specifically play an interrupting character, I don't mind that people think perception is weak, since it might lead to a boost of a trait I intend to rely heavily upon.

Remember: Argue the point, not the person. Remain polite and constructive. Friendly forums have friendly debate. There's no shame in being wrong. If you don't have something to add, don't post for the sake of it. And don't be afraid to post thoughts you are uncertain about, that's what discussion is for.
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