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Longknife

More Meaningful Attributes vs. More Viable Variation?

  

32 members have voted

  1. 1. Would you prefer PoE allow more variety with character design and viable builds, or that stat points carry more weight and significance?

    • More viability and variety
      8
    • More meaning and bigger influence for stats
      24


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Been seeing this come up in several threads. I must say that I'm personally in the minority with most complaints ("Might is too strong, Resolve is useless") and think they're inaccurate. What I DO consider a valid observation is that stat points may hold less significance than we'd like them to, to the point where maxing out -any- stat is a mere matter of convenience and not one of any significant importance.

 

 

 

  Realize though that this is a matter of balance. This is, in some ways, a two way street. The less impact stats have, the easier it is for developers to balance the game in such a way that any kind of build of any kind of class can be absolutely viable. Not better or worse, just different.

   On the other hand, why would we want more variety and all builds to be viable? Replay value. It's a cornerstone of RPGs. We want every new character and every new experience to feel unique. If stats are minimal in importance, then every class will feel more or less exactly the same regardless of attribute allocation. And personally? Personally I must admit that I do enjoy SOME degree of seeing which stats are viable and suited to survive the world and which ones aren't.

   The degree certainly matters though. For example, compare Fallout New Vegas to Fallout 1 & 2. In Fallout 1 & 2 you'll struggle to find a player who didn't consider INT and Agility to be God-tier; you could survive without them, but that in and of itself was basically a challenge playthrough. If you were looking to survive the hardest difficulty, play dead-is-dead or perform as well as possible on any given playthrough, you would never neglect those two. Comparatively, in New Vegas Luck and Endurance seemed to carry the most weight. However, unlike Fallout 1 & 2, not stacking those stats up did not mean "holy crap this character is so ****ed," but rather it meant you'd notice a difficulty spike, but nothing that wasn't insurmountable. You'd kill slower and die quicker, but the game offered enough approaches and options that if you were smart as a player, you could circumvent those weaknesses quite easily. Take that compared to how crippling low AP or low INT could be in Fallout 1 & 2, and obviously these games had different degrees of stat importance and viability.

 

   In my humble opinion, neither of those two can be called "superior" or "inferior," just different tastes. You're more likely to encounter a challenge in the originals while New Vegas offered a bit more variety and experimentation with character types.

 

 

  So that, to me, is important to keep in mind. If you ask for more stat weight, realize that means that a tanky wizard or a strong priest might completely lose it's viability. However, if stats don't hold enough meaning, then we're at risk of every class feeling the same regardless.

 

 

 

So I ask you, if given those two options, which do you feel is more important to have: character variety or meaningful stats?


"The Courier was the worst of all of them. The worst by far. When he died the first time, he must have met the devil, and then killed him."

 

 

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I don't think it's really a binary choice. How does more meaningful stats limit variety in builds exactly? The current system allows a lot more variety than a traditional system of the D&D lineage, but stats still have reasonable significant effects. If you doubled the numbers on everything, you'd still have meaningful stats and variety (though the sheer damage from Might would be kind of ridiculous).

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A 30% increase in damage, or doubling the AoE of a spell, or increasing it's duration by 50% is not an insignificant difference.

 

This is certainly not a binary choice it's far more complex than that.

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I don't think it's really a binary choice. How does more meaningful stats limit variety in builds exactly? The current system allows a lot more variety than a traditional system of the D&D lineage, but stats still have reasonable significant effects. If you doubled the numbers on everything, you'd still have meaningful stats and variety (though the sheer damage from Might would be kind of ridiculous).

 

 

In this sense:

 

Someone made the claim Might is a ~30% increase in damage with min vs. max. For some people that might be considered too little, for others it's fine. Another guy posted a screenshot of what effect INT had on AOE range with min vs. max, and the difference was admittedly pretty negligible.

 

If we crank up the differences and give Might - for example - x1 damage vs. x2 damage, then suddenly the stat begins to feel absolutely vital for damage-dealing classes that sit in the back. Likewise if we make INT's effect on AOE range incredibly noticeable, then AOE capable classes like Barbarians are going to want it. Suddenly we begin to scoff at the idea of a tanky wizard or a stupid barbarian (ironically).

 

  But if we were to tone them down instead, then we hit a point where nothing seems to matter. Where you can roll any stat combo and the character will feel more or less the same because the difference between max Might or minimum is nothing but ~10% extra damage. Here people can be whatever they want, but ultimately it's an illusion of variety as the only key difference would be the class choice.

 

 

 

I'm not saying it HAS to be a binary choice and the above poster is absolutely correct it's more complex than that; I've suggested INT (and someone else suggested resolve instead) influence casts per rest/encounter. Tacking on extra dimensions to stats is a good way to give them more meaning without actually ramping their numbers up. I'm merely saying there is a degree of binary choice to that question in particular: If I ask you now if you want the stats to carry more weight than they do now (AKA Might maxed = 50% more damage instead of 30%) then that can have an effect on the viability of different builds.

 

 

My question was more about, which would you rather see the game strive for as it's main concern? Polishing it up and making both possible? Entirely possible, but if time restraints got in the way or the balance proved more difficult, which of the two would you prefer to salvage?

Edited by Longknife

"The Courier was the worst of all of them. The worst by far. When he died the first time, he must have met the devil, and then killed him."

 

 

Is your mom hot? It may explain why guys were following her ?

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The attributes feel so weak right now, I wonder why I took the time to assign them. Certainly there's no point in thinking about a niggling point here or there.

 

I know D&D went from 3-18, but I see no reason for the attributes as they exist to do such a thing. Going from 1-5 would probably be sufficient.

 

I sort of wish there were effects that happened every X number of points assigned. Something like every 3 might a character's knockdown resistance goes up or something. The exact same minor effect on each point assigned is just boring.

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Attributes definitely don't feel very impactfull right now, and personally I'd like them to be a bit more so.

 

One problem that I'm not sure the devs have considered is that currently the more you raise an attribute the less every point you raise it by matters.

 

F.ex. Intellect where this is most pronounced because it has the largest percentile modifier for what it affects; +1 to intellect increases the AoE and duration with 5 percentile points, so going from 3 to 5 int your AoE and duration increases by (125/115=1,087) 8,7%, but increasing it from 18 to 20 only increases them by 5,3% (200/190=1,053).

 

If every +1 to Int actually increased AoE and duration by 5% rather than by 5 percentage points it would feel a lot more meaningfull to actually have a high Int.

Edited by limaxophobiacq
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I think they need a balance between the two. Attributes should be a bit more impactful than they are right now, but not so much as to make it unplayable if you place your attribute points wrong.

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Not sure what your point about INT is in Fallout, I usually slapped on a powerfist and started punching people in the nuts until they fell unconscious.  Not sure what that says about me in hindsight.

 

As far as POE goes, I'm reading the OP's description of the poll as 'Attribute system has such a small impact on the character, it's really just an arbitrary display of numbers with a trivial impact on play'  vs 'Attribute system is meaningful to how a class participates in a party'. I'm not sure what OP means by variety if variety means all characters of a given class are equivalent independent of stats.

 

With the current system, I feel like interrupt could only be useful if you build for it, and concentration will only be useful in the specific situation that you're attacked by enemies with high interrupt.  If someone could point me to a guide on interrupts so that I can amend this statement if need be, I'd appreciate it.  The other 4 stats on the other hand are ubiquitously useful.  'Ubiquitously useful' stats vs 'situationally useful against enemies and AI that aren't in the beta' stats is the main difficulty I think the current system is running into.

 

Time bar refresh rate, skill usage counts, and deflection are the replacement stats I've heard mentioned that sound like they would be competitive. 

Edited by bob54386

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Not sure what your point about INT is in Fallout, I usually slapped on a powerfist and started punching people in the nuts until they fell unconscious.  Not sure what that says about me in hindsight.

 

As far as POE goes, I'm reading the OP's description of the poll as 'Attribute system has such a small impact on the character, it's really just an arbitrary display of numbers with a trivial impact on play'  vs 'Attribute system is meaningful to how a class participates in a party'. I'm not sure what OP means by variety if variety means all characters of a given class are equivalent independent of stats.

 

With the current system, I feel like interrupt could only be useful if you build for it, and concentration will only be useful in the specific situation that you're attacked by enemies with high interrupt.  If someone could point me to a guide on interrupts so that I can amend this statement if need be, I'd appreciate it.  The other 4 stats on the other hand are ubiquitously useful.  'Ubiquitously useful' stats vs 'situationally useful against enemies and AI that aren't in the beta' stats is the main difficulty I think the current system is running into.

 

Time bar refresh rate, skill usage counts, and deflection are the replacement stats I've heard mentioned that sound like they would be competitive. 

 

 

Lemme put it this way...

 

Too much stat importance = Every class will be forced into the same build and feel the same

 

Too little stat importance = Every class will feel the same regardless of where points are put.

 

 

We all want a balance of course. I'm simply asking would you rather learn towards a more difficult system that does have some extent of punishment for poorly planned builds (higher stat weight) or a system allowing for experimentation but with less meaning and purpose behind character customization.

Edited by Longknife
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"The Courier was the worst of all of them. The worst by far. When he died the first time, he must have met the devil, and then killed him."

 

 

Is your mom hot? It may explain why guys were following her ?

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@Longknife no it's not.

 

Consider Resolve. Double its importance. Hell, triple it if you like. What it does is defend against Interrupts. This will be important to every character that gets attacked a lot. This means every character that can be built/equipped for the front line. Which includes, at last count, everybody. 

 

The challenge is to make every ability similarly useful to all classes, without making all classes feel the same. This can be done by permitting diversity within classes, e.g. the famous glass cannon/muscle wizard path.

 

I.e. I really do want both: that abilities have a meaningful mechanical effect, and that there aren't cookie-cutter builds for each class. That I can make a front-line wizard or a back-row wizard; an offensive cleric or a pure support cleric; a fast, nimble fighter or a slow, crushy, damage-resistant fighter.


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The less impact attributes have, the more important it is to distribute your points optimally, to get the most benefit out of it. The more impact attributes have, the less important it is to max them out.

 

Also, being able to approach a game with different class setups is not the job of attributes, it's the job of level and game design. If I want to play a dual-axe-wielding fighter who's good at fighting, I should be able to do that. On the other hand if I want to play a seasoned fighter who's gathered knowledge and acts less brash, a fighter who talks first, then the game should also provide quests with the possibility to do so. Multiple ways to solving a quest is what creates replayability. Not stats.


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@wickermoon As Infinitron likes to point out, you can work around the deficiencies of any mechanical system by tailoring content to fit the weak points. That doesn't mean the system itself isn't flawed.

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I have a project. It's a tabletop RPG. It's free. It's a work in progress. Find it here: www.brikoleur.com

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 Multiple ways to solving a quest is what creates replayability. Not stats.

Multiple ways to solving problems does make a replay more fun, but so do different stat builds. 


"Good thing I don't heal my characters or they'd be really hurt." Is not something I should ever be thinking.

 

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 Multiple ways to solving a quest is what creates replayability. Not stats.

Multiple ways to solving problems does make a replay more fun, but so do different stat builds. 

 

 

More variety = more fun.

 

 

Character race, character backround, character culture, character attributes....crank all that **** up to 11. The more drastically diverse, the better imo.


"The Courier was the worst of all of them. The worst by far. When he died the first time, he must have met the devil, and then killed him."

 

 

Is your mom hot? It may explain why guys were following her ?

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Lemme put it this way...

 

Too much stat importance = Every class will be forced into the same build and feel the same

 

Too little stat importance = Every class will feel the same regardless of where points are put.

 

 

We all want a balance of course. I'm simply asking would you rather learn towards a more difficult system that does have some extent of punishment for poorly planned builds (higher stat weight) or a system allowing for experimentation but with less meaning and purpose behind character customization.

 

 

I think you're focused on the idea that some stats will always be preferable to others, and that the only way to adjust the system is to adjust the magnitude of their effect. If every stat is useful, then every point is useful no matter how you spend it -- that's how you keep bad builds from popping up.  

 

From a good design standpoint, you need both. Enough stat importance /magnitude that different stats change your playstyle, and enough balance between stats that you get reasonable benefit from each.  Anything else is just a flawed system that we can still avoid at this point in the development process. My vote is both.

 

Edit -- on rereading, it sounds like you're asking what side you want them to err on if they can't implement the ideal system.  In that case, my vote is enough stat importance that some classes at least get a variety of playstyles.  Maybe it won't affect all of them.

Edited by bob54386

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