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Attributes: The case for turning Might into Strength, and improving the whole system in the process.

Attributes Might Strength Balance

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#1
Fearabbit

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GOD DAMMIT. I had this really lengthy post and then I accidentally closed the window.  :banghead:

 

Okay, second try.

 

It's time to accept that Might is not accepted by many players.

I love the idea of an attribute system where every attribute is useful for every class, but many people just don't like the idea that mental and physical power are based on the same attribute. And I can understand why. We want our fragile old wizards who deal tons of damage. We don't want "muscle wizards", no matter how wacky and fun that sounds. There is a disconnect between the Might attribute and our understanding of what attributes are supposed to represent in a character.

 

Also, some of the attributes are somewhat unintuitive right now. And unbalanced.

Resolve and Perception are dump stats right now. Resolve is a lot like Willpower, a mental intensity and presence. But nothing meaningful is tied to it. Perception is your awareness of surroundings, but same problem, it's only used for a mechanic that, while sounding interesting, is not very intuitive. Dexterity on the other hand seems bloated with all the things it governs.

 

I want to change that, but I realize it won't be completely balanced.

This is also something we'll just have to accept. Either we have a balanced system, or we have a slightly unbalanced system that makes people happy. My goal here is to make it just a tiny bit unbalanced while still making different builds possible and fun to play.

What I'm NOT going to do is try and balance the system perfectly. Many people go ahead and say "okay so my system is Might gives 2% weapon damage, +1% to crits, blabla..." Going into detail like that won't solve anything. I want to propose a system where a fighter has reasons for different builds, and where a spellcaster has reasons for different builds. If there's a general reason for each class to put points into all attributes, then the system is balanceable. And that's all I'm aiming for right now.

(By the way - the current system IS balanceable. It's just a question of making Interrupts and Concentration more important and Damage less important. The problem with the current system is not that it's unbalanced, it's that it's at its core not well-liked.)

 

Even if the system turns out a bit unbalanced, the gameplay outside of combat takes care of that.

Because seriously. The non-combat gameplay sounds awesome. There's lots of attribute checks etc and it sounds like roleplaying will be a blast. So even if combat isn't exactly balanced, I believe every character build will be interesting enough simply because of its non-combat possibilities that it warrants at least one playthrough. This is my main argument for why it's not so bad to have a slightly unbalanced system. If someone ignores all that content and only goes for min-maxing... well that really is his problem.

 

With all that said... here's my proposal.

 

 

  • Turn Might into Strength. Take out the Magic/Ability Damage. This instantly makes the attribute less interesting for many classes.
  • Add Magic/Ability Damage to Resolve. As said, Resolve is basically Willpower. It's a perfect fit for Magic/Ability Damage and instantly makes this attribute important to a lot of classes - mostly to spellcasters however, for whom this will be the main attribute along with Intellect.
  • Keep Intellect as AoE and Duration modifier. Resolve is a character's intensity, but intellect is his cleverness and allows them to shape their powers to their will. Makes perfect sense and is intuitive.
  • Split Accuracy into Melee Accuracy and Ranged Accuracy. Leave Melee Accuracy in DEX, put Ranged Accuracy into PER. Perception is the attribute for keen sight and aiming. Ranged combat should benefit hugely from it, and this way it does. DEX was never a good fit for ranged accuracy.
  • Add Ranged Reload Speed to DEX and Melee Crits to PER. DEX is however a perfect fit for reload speed, and we can use that to keep it interesting for ranged combatants. PER on the other hand allows melee combatants to see openings and use them. This makes it interesting for them without overpowering it for ranged combat.

 

That's it. Now you might think "but now Strength is useless for spellcasters". But that's not true. First of all, there's the Healing which they can still benefit from. Then: Druids need it in their animal shape. Ciphers, Chanters and Monks need it anyway because part of their class is based upon attacking first and using powers later. And Wizards and Priests actually have spells at their disposal that are only useful when they have decent Strength. It's totally possible to play a Battlemage this way. 

 

But yeah, if you want to play a glass-cannon wizard, you can dump Strength now while still dealing tons of damage. (You won't be able to intimidate anyone anymore though.) And all in all, Strength might be a bit too unimportant for spellcasters now. But that's the price you have to pay to make the players happy, and I believe this solution is still pretty good.

 

 

Hope some of the devs read and consider this. :)

 

 

 

P.S. And no I don't want a discussion about whether the current system is intuitive or not. This is a proposal under the premise that the majority of players don't like the current system. If that's not true in your opinion, great, you can ignore this. If it is true, then this is the closest I can think of to keeping the current system while making the majority of players happy at the same time.


Edited by Fearabbit, 22 August 2014 - 04:16 AM.


#2
Captain Shrek

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I would first ask: Why does every attribute need to be equally useful for all the classes? That itself seems pretty silly and tacked on. 


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#3
MasterPrudent

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I would first ask: Why does every attribute need to be equally useful for all the classes? That itself seems pretty silly and tacked on. 

To allow for the possibility of creating diverse, yet still useful, character builds. It's not at all "tacked on"; it's the main goal of the attribute system


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#4
Fearabbit

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I would first ask: Why does every attribute need to be equally useful for all the classes? That itself seems pretty silly and tacked on. 

 

Well, every attribute needs to do something for the class so that you don't dump it. But if you read my description of this, the basic idea is not to make everything 100% balanced, quite the opposite. Resolve and Intellect are more important for Wizards than Dexterity, which is even rather useless to them except for its defenses. Fighters don't benefit from Resolve and Perception as much except for the small crit bonus and the defenses. And so on.

 

This system will lead to certain builds that are more optimized than others for certain types of character. The good thing is that it still allows characters with different builds and different strategies in combat to succeed, you just might have to play them very differently. (Since this is still largely Obsidian's attribute system, that point has stayed the same.)



#5
Captain Shrek

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I would first ask: Why does every attribute need to be equally useful for all the classes? That itself seems pretty silly and tacked on. 

To allow for the possibility of creating diverse, yet still useful, character builds. It's not at all "tacked on"; it's the main goal of the attribute system

 

Diverse classes do not require equally useful attributes. You want all attributes to make sense? Then fine that is doable. You want all of them to make equal sense on all classes? That makes them pointless. 


Edited by Captain Shrek, 22 August 2014 - 05:01 AM.

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#6
mwinding

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This actually sounds like the best attempt at a revision I've seen so far. I wasn't quite convinced there was a problem with Might in the new attribute system, but yours sounds better on paper at least. Hopefully we get something more like this

#7
aeonsim

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GOD DAMMIT. I had this really lengthy post and then I accidentally closed the window.  :banghead:

 

Okay, second try.

 

It's time to accept that Might is not accepted by many players.

I love the idea of an attribute system where every attribute is useful for every class, but many people just don't like the idea that mental and physical power are based on the same attribute. And I can understand why. We want our fragile old wizards who deal tons of damage. We don't want "muscle wizards", no matter how wacky and fun that sounds. There is a disconnect between the Might attribute and our understanding of what attributes are supposed to represent in a character.

 

...

 

P.S. And no I don't want a discussion about whether the current system is intuitive or not. This is a proposal under the premise that the majority of players don't like the current system. If that's not true in your opinion, great, you can ignore this. If it is true, then this is the closest I can think of to keeping the current system while making the majority of players happy at the same time.

 

It seems like a reasonable change if the premise was correct, I just don't think the premise is correct. At most it seems like there a maybe 100 players complaining about this in the forums while I've seen >300 logged in at one time so best base maybe 30% aren't happy assuming there are 100 people complaining (it's probably lower).

 

In a more realistic case there are at least 7000 (based on kickstarter tiers) people who have access to the beta (I'd expect with the add ons it could be twice that), lets say only a 1/3rd of them have actually tried the beta so ~2000 people may have tested it. Now if we assume if they really don't like might they've probably complained in the forums and we come back to my rough estimate of less than 100 people who are complaining, in this case only 5% of the people are unhappy. Maybe I've underestimated the number of people complaining in the forums so say there are 300 people who are actively complaining that's still only 15%.

 

While you may consider this to be many players, compared to the overall number of players it's pretty small.

 

And this isn't even discussing the fact that there are something like 79,000 backers in total...

 

 

It's a nice possible solution if this is a major problem, but when I look at the numbers of people who could be complaining it seems to me to be a very small very vocal minority or are upset. And changing the game so 15% will be happy doesn't seem like a smart move to me, especially seeing you will probably find a similar number of people who are opposed to the change.


Edited by aeonsim, 22 August 2014 - 06:13 AM.

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#8
bigsun123

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  • Turn Might into Strength. Take out the Magic/Ability Damage. This instantly makes the attribute less interesting for many classes.
  • Add Magic/Ability Damage to Resolve. As said, Resolve is basically Willpower. It's a perfect fit for Magic/Ability Damage and instantly makes this attribute important to a lot of classes - mostly to spellcasters however, for whom this will be the main attribute along with Intellect.
  • Keep Intellect as AoE and Duration modifier. Resolve is a character's intensity, but intellect is his cleverness and allows them to shape their powers to their will. Makes perfect sense and is intuitive.
  • Split Accuracy into Melee Accuracy and Ranged Accuracy. Leave Melee Accuracy in DEX, put Ranged Accuracy into PER. Perception is the attribute for keen sight and aiming. Ranged combat should benefit hugely from it, and this way it does. DEX was never a good fit for ranged accuracy.
  • Add Ranged Reload Speed to DEX and Melee Crits to PER. DEX is however a perfect fit for reload speed, and we can use that to keep it interesting for ranged combatants. PER on the other hand allows melee combatants to see openings and use them. This makes it interesting for them without overpowering it for ranged combat.

I don't have access to the beta yet but this sounds much more intuitive and makes sense to me.  I particularly like how you reclassified might and separated the melee and ranged accuracy.  I agree that Dexterity was usually overpowered in the IE games, you pretty much had to max it in order to hit anything and also to survive with the AC bonuses.  

The whole play any build for any class thing I think is being overemphasized by the developers.  Playing as a smart barbarian or a muscle wizard should be possible, I agree, but striving to make it as optimized as any other more traditional build makes all the stats meaningless.  It should be harder to step outside of the norm, but more rewarding as a result.  

 

Overall I think your system strikes a good balance between allowing for variation in the same class and allowing for different classes to trend toward different stat builds. Again, not having played the beta, but it sounds like you're giving more weight to perception and resolve and taking away from might and dexterity, which seems to be the consensus among the testers and even developers.  I think the balancing part will come down to the percentages like you mentioned, but that will take more time and testing.


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#9
Azrael Ultima

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Seems to me like it would be easier to just leave Might as is and drop Resolve(or give it a better defined role). This increases complexity without adding much in the way of depth from what i can see with the added downside of making resolve worthless for physical characters.

 

Also, unless you're royalty or have been appointed as speaker for a group, drop the "we".

 

If that's not true in your opinion, great, you can ignore this.

No. If i am of different opinion, i have to speak up so people don't get the mistaken impression that it really is the majority consensus.

 

Just keep in mind that people are generally far more willing to get active to complain about something than they are to praise it. If you see equally much praise and complaints, the majority is happy with things.



#10
Sedrefilos

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I would first ask: Why does every attribute need to be equally useful for all the classes? That itself seems pretty silly and tacked on. 

To allow for the possibility of creating diverse, yet still useful, character builds. It's not at all "tacked on"; it's the main goal of the attribute system

 

Diverse classes do not require equally useful attributes. You want all attributes to make sense? Then fine that is doable. You want all of them to make equal sense on all classes? That makes them pointless. 

 

If each class needs specific stats (say 2 or 3 from 6) then why have stats at all? Have each class with it's own abilities and that's it. You just upgrade them. But you need also to roleplay based on stats, else you have a combat-only game. So, you make stats equally useful so everyone can choose to build a character they want to roleplay but also be effective in combat.


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#11
Fearabbit

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It's a nice possible solution if this is a major problem, but when I look at the numbers of people who could be complaining it seems to me to be a very small very vocal minority or are upset. And changing the game so 15% will be happy doesn't seem like a smart move to me, especially seeing you will probably find a similar number of people who are opposed to the change.

 

Thanks for liking the idea.

As for the premise - I know it's dangerous to judge how players feel based on a few forum posts. But we do know that right now the attribute system is unbalanced and has at least two dump stats, so if nothing else than this system tries to get rid of those by switching things around a bit.

 

As for Might, which is the "big problem" I'm addressing... I guess we'll have to let Obsidian decide about this one based on their own playtesting and our feedback. I do feel that the criticism against Might is somewhat valid and that Obsidian *might* be on the edge in regards to that as well. But I don't know. It's not just about people voicing their criticism though - it's also about people who straight up don't realize how important Might is for their character, or people who end up using it for all their characters because it feels so important, even if the other attributes are secretly useful as well.

I've seen both of these reactions here and on Youtube - one guy fittingly dumped Might for his Wizard character while raising Intellect and Resolve, because those sounded to him like the "wizard attributes". This could of course be addressed by a clearer description for Might, but it might also indicate that people just aren't used to a system where an apparent physical attribute pushes their magical damage, and if we can get rid of that without screwing with the balance too much, then maybe it's just a good solution.

 

By the way, I think that if they changed it now, there wouldn't be too big of a backlash - most people haven't grown attached to the attribute system yet.



#12
Matt516

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I personally like the Might attribute. The bonuses might need to be tuned, but I don't have any problem with one attribute controlling damage for everything. It's certainly untraditional, but just because it isn't D&D doesn't mean it's not bad. 


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#13
PrimeJunta

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I don't like this. It'd just get us right back to where we started: cookie-cutter stat distributions for each class, or damn close anyway. This would also add more IMO unnecessary complexity.

 

I say keep the current system but make it more impactful by doubling the mechanical effects and setting the baseline at 10 (penalties below, bonuses above), and make a few minor tweaks. I've made a few proposals; here's another one.

 

MIG: Damage, Healing.

CON: Health/Endurance.

DEX: Accuracy.

PER: Crit chance, Interrupt.

INT:  AoE, Healing, Duration, Recovery time.

RES: Concentration, Duration.

 

I bound two things to attributes that currently aren't, crit chance and recovery time. Both are there to make the relevant attributes more valuable, as they're currently somewhat dumpable. Moved Healing from MIG to INT because it makes no sense on MIG but at least some sense on INT, and moved Duration to RES to make that more attractive. (RES is pretty important already, it's just hard to tell because of the lack of feedback.)


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#14
Sedrefilos

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I don't like this. It'd just get us right back to where we started: cookie-cutter stat distributions for each class, or damn close anyway. This would also add more IMO unnecessary complexity.

 

I say keep the current system but make it more impactful by doubling the mechanical effects and setting the baseline at 10 (penalties below, bonuses above), and make a few minor tweaks. I've made a few proposals; here's another one.

 

MIG: Damage, Healing.

CON: Health/Endurance.

DEX: Accuracy.

PER: Crit chance, Interrupt.

INT:  AoE, Healing, Duration, Recovery time.

RES: Concentration, Duration.

 

I bound two things to attributes that currently aren't, crit chance and recovery time. Both are there to make the relevant attributes more valuable, as they're currently somewhat dumpable. Moved Healing from MIG to INT because it makes no sense on MIG but at least some sense on INT, and moved Duration to RES to make that more attractive. (RES is pretty important already, it's just hard to tell because of the lack of feedback.)

Like it. I take it MIG increases BOTH physical AND magical damage as it is right now (but needs to be specified at char creation), right?


Edited by Sedrefilos, 23 August 2014 - 03:54 AM.


#15
PrimeJunta

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Yep, MIG still increases both physical and magical damage. I wouldn't make any mechanical changes to distinguish between the two, especially as the line is sometimes blurry what with all the special attacks even melee characters get.

 

Maybe rewrite the description so it makes more sense. IMO the abilities are fairly intuitive if you think of them in terms of souls -- an individual with a mighty soul can choose to become a wizard or a fighter; if a wizard, she channels that might into more damaging spells; if a fighter, he channels it into powerful blows.

 

Given how small the toons are, you're free to imagine if and how that's reflected in their physical appearance. Or pick an elf, human, or aumaua, depending. :)


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#16
MasterPrudent

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I don't like this. It'd just get us right back to where we started: cookie-cutter stat distributions for each class, or damn close anyway. This would also add more IMO unnecessary complexity.

 

I say keep the current system but make it more impactful by doubling the mechanical effects and setting the baseline at 10 (penalties below, bonuses above), and make a few minor tweaks. I've made a few proposals; here's another one.

 

MIG: Damage, Healing.

CON: Health/Endurance.

DEX: Accuracy.

PER: Crit chance, Interrupt.

INT:  AoE, Healing, Duration, Recovery time.

RES: Concentration, Duration.

 

I bound two things to attributes that currently aren't, crit chance and recovery time. Both are there to make the relevant attributes more valuable, as they're currently somewhat dumpable. Moved Healing from MIG to INT because it makes no sense on MIG but at least some sense on INT, and moved Duration to RES to make that more attractive. (RES is pretty important already, it's just hard to tell because of the lack of feedback.)

I could be misunderstanding the system but doesn't improved accuracy increase the likelihood of crits? If so I'm not sure having two stats that do the same thing is a good idea. Either you need to increase both to get a sizable increase or pumping both gives you a character who crits all the time.



#17
Fearabbit

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I don't like this. It'd just get us right back to where we started: cookie-cutter stat distributions for each class, or damn close anyway. This would also add more IMO unnecessary complexity.

 

It's not complex, I think. Damage is split up, Accuracy is split up, and both of that is intuitive for the player. Then I have Melee Crits and Reload Time, whereas you have Crits and Recovery Time.

I also disagree that it would give rise to cookie-cutter stat distributions. For everyone but pure spellcasters (priests/wizards), each attribute has benefits. Pure spellcasters don't need Strength quite as much except if they plan to use non-magic combat as well, and that is not at all unlikely, since both priests and wizards have some cool spells for improving non-magic combat. And then there's still Healing, which might be more important for them depending on the implementation - if it is a constant value instead of a percentage of the total health, then classes with lower health benefit more from it.

 

So it's actually quite balanced. And it is intuitive.

 

Concerning your suggestion:

1. Healing is not a mental thing. Either the body heals, or your "soul power" is responsible for that, in which case it would have to be Might. Technically I think it should be Constitution, but Strength kind of makes sense as well since it's your muscle tissue that is affected by healing.

2. Also Recovery Time - why Intellect for that? It makes no sense to me. The good thing about AoE and Duration was that they were features of a spell/ability that you could imagine could be improved by thinking about the spell/ability in question and tinkering with it. Intelligently. It fits much better into Intellect than your suggestions to keep them both here. And since some spells don't have AoE and other don't have durations, they should really be governed by the same attribute to keep it balanced. Players won't know whether duration or AoE is more important, whereas by keeping them together it's made clear that one attribute is responsible for Damage, and the other for Efficiency of a spell/ability.

3. Crit Chance for PER and Accuracy for DEX is just very arbitrary, and I think my system better sells the point that one attribute is for being agile, quick and coordinated, while the other is for aiming your shots and swings.

4. And also the thing about Might, of course. I don't think it works.

 

 

That said... if Obsidian can take suggestions from you, from me and from everyone else and improve their system, I bet they'll find a good solution. I would hope that it's an intuitive one. But like I said earlier, I can live with a "meta system" that is not meant to represent a character but is therefore very balanced.



#18
Seari

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If might isn't strength, and might is "soul power", then we're missing an attribute. What measures a character's physical power/muscles? Why does "soul power" increse physical damage? Does having a strong soul equal physically strong body? There's no way to measure what character is physically weak from the current attributes.

 

Does that make a wizard with high Might also physically strong? One attribute makes them better spellcasters and also makes them capable melee combatants. That's just dumb in my opinion.

 

Correct me if I'm wrong, but from what I understand items don't have attribute requirements. Does that mean any character can swing around a heavy twohanded weapon?

 

This ****ty attribute system is just a really bad copy of a well thought out design.



#19
PrimeJunta

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I could be misunderstanding the system but doesn't improved accuracy increase the likelihood of crits? If so I'm not sure having two stats that do the same thing is a good idea. Either you need to increase both to get a sizable increase or pumping both gives you a character who crits all the time.

 

There are already buffs that adjust crit chance separately from accuracy though. Dirty Fighting with rogues converts a certain percentage of hits to crits, and there's a priest buff that does the same. I don't think it'd be necessarily bad to have an ability do the same.

 

The magnitude would need to be tuned of course. There is a big area between "never crits" and "crits all the time." Dump DEX, pump PER => hit rarely but many of the hits are crits. Pump DEX, dump PER => hit often but rarely crit (most consistent damage output). Dump both => rarely hit, rarely crit -- you'd probably only want to do this on a "pure" support character (back-row cleric for example). Pump both => hit a lot, crit a lot: highly desirable but comes at the expense of something else, as usual, so you'd probably only want to do this on a specialized damage build.


Edited by PrimeJunta, 23 August 2014 - 05:11 AM.


#20
Shadenuat

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I'm not inclined to do developers job for them (aka write MEH IDEAL SYSTEM), but I agree with OP in spirit: first thing I'do is split ranged capability between stats. Doesn't matter how, either absolutely (no damage for gunpowder weapons from Might, except when using bayonet), or partly (Might improves all damage, but twice so for melee, while dexterity improves all accuracy, but twice less than Perception for ranged). The one size fits all actually works against creating multiple builds, because you are playing combat centered game, all classes do only combat, and all can dish out some good damage, yet system has stat that improves your damage for everything.

 

As for Resolve, I would make it second defensive stat after CON. Saving throws, defence, healing recieved, healing done - everything will do. That would allow to specialize and create, say, tough fighter with high saving throws, but low damage; or a non-muscled up healer.

 

Perception could also help with spell damage, since it's usually ranged damage.

 

All and all stats should affect multiple, sometimes cross-class abilities, that would make character building a lot more flexible.


Edited by Shadenuat, 23 August 2014 - 06:24 AM.






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