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Appeal to Obsidian: Don't Change PoE Abilities


Gromnir

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am realizing this will not be a popular suggestion. nevertheless, am thinking we need must say that as undervalued as some people see current PoE abilities, we do not see increasing their value as the appropriate fix. rpgs, both computer and pnp has traditionally made starting ability points far too meaningful. original white box d&d for example, had a glacial rate of leveling; it literal took Years o' weekly gameplay for us to reach level seven. many years passed and our cleric were, for all intents and purposes, fixed and immutable after we rolled his initial ability scores.

 

Gromnir would prefer if level one choices were less important in PoE than in previous crpgs. reach level two or four or eight should be near as compelling as character generation choices at level one. yes, the current ability scores do not impact player Powha the same as they has in previous ie games, but that is not a bad thing, is not a flawed starting point.

 

we has only had a small peek at traits, and am admitting that we cannot necessarily make heads-or-tails out o' some o' the traits we has seen. nevertheless, the way in which we envision PoE character development being best improved is not by inflating the value o' ability scores, but rather by making traits more significant.  a few experience points short o' level 6 should be creating significant anticipation. each leveling opportunity should be meaningful and offer important opportunities for change and improvement. why level one and not level six? 

 

level one will continue to be more important than any other level- is unavoidable. you choose ability scores, culture, race, and class at level one. that being said, am not in favor o' making level one choices more important than they is now. if we wanna see greater diversity 'tween two mages or two ciphers, we would prefer that obsidian focus on adding more significant changes at later levels rather than at first.

 

we haven't seen a full trait system. as such we got a couple suggestions. first, rather than demanding a wholesale revamping o' the ability scores, the PoE community should show some patience and wait til we see what obsidian's traits add to character development. second, we thinks obsidian should use this opportunity to alter the traditional crpg dynamic and to be making character development choices After level one more important.

 

okie dokie. we set out the kindling, and as much as we make a very poor stand-in for joan o' arc, feel free to set us ablaze and roast marshmallows as we immolate merrily.  

 

HA! Good Fun!

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"If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

"Im indifferent to almost any murder as long as it doesn't affect me or mine."--Gfted1 (September 30, 2019)

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I agree that ability scores do not need to impact character power more than they already do. However, I do think ability scores may need to be balanced a bit. Perception and Resolve do not seem as attractive as the other four scores.

 

I have high hopes for the trait system as well.

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It would be nice to know what Obsidian has in store for us with the as yet to be fully implemented talent system.

"Things are funny...are comedic, because they mix the real with the absurd." - Buzz Aldrin.

"P-O-T-A-T-O-E" - Dan Quayle

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I agree that ability scores do not need to impact character power more than they already do. However, I do think ability scores may need to be balanced a bit. Perception and Resolve do not seem as attractive as the other four scores.

 

I have high hopes for the trait system as well.

Not as attractive if your focus is on how the character performs in combat, perhaps.  Perfectly attractive if you're interested in opening up more conversation options.

 

 

Regarding the OP, I generally (and tentatively) agree, but if there is going to be a change to make attribute scores more significant, I'd rather they be left alone and we got more points as we levelled, instead.

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It would be nice to know what Obsidian has in store for us with the as yet to be fully implemented talent system.

an additional positive is that whatever obsidian had planned, they may still change those plans. is clear that more than a few folks is underwhelmed by level 1 character generation choices that largely focus on distributing abilities and ability bonuses from races and cultures. by not revealing their plans, obsidian can tailor talents and other post level 1 character development options to address concerns o' beta players.

 

HA! Good Fun!

"If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

"Im indifferent to almost any murder as long as it doesn't affect me or mine."--Gfted1 (September 30, 2019)

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It would be nice to know what Obsidian has in store for us with the as yet to be fully implemented talent system.

 

an additional positive is that whatever obsidian had planned, they may still change those plans. is clear that more than a few folks is underwhelmed by level 1 character generation choices that largely focus on distributing abilities and ability bonuses from races and cultures. by not revealing their plans, obsidian can tailor talents and other post level 1 character development options to address concerns o' beta players.

 

HA! Good Fun!

Straight out of Sun Tzu's playbook.

 

...well I'm assuming it is because I don't have it with me at the moment and haven't memorized its text verbatim.

"Things are funny...are comedic, because they mix the real with the absurd." - Buzz Aldrin.

"P-O-T-A-T-O-E" - Dan Quayle

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"be extremely subtle, even to the point of formlessness. be extremely mysterious, even to the point of soundlessness. thereby you can be the director of the opponent's fate." --sun tzu

 

Gromnir is one o' those hateful late 80s quasi-yuppie a-holes that memorized sun-zu as if it were some kinda playbook for office politics domination.

 

HA! Good Fun!

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"If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

"Im indifferent to almost any murder as long as it doesn't affect me or mine."--Gfted1 (September 30, 2019)

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I agree that ability scores do not need to impact character power more than they already do. However, I do think ability scores may need to be balanced a bit. Perception and Resolve do not seem as attractive as the other four scores.

 

I have high hopes for the trait system as well.

Not as attractive if your focus is on how the character performs in combat, perhaps.  Perfectly attractive if you're interested in opening up more conversation options.

 

 

Regarding the OP, I generally (and tentatively) agree, but if there is going to be a change to make attribute scores more significant, I'd rather they be left alone and we got more points as we levelled, instead.

 

Resolve increases Will defense. I don't see why you would want to dump that. Unless it's not first playthrough and you know your way through the game and such. It also increases Concentration, which I don' see how it can be a good diea to dump it. You are opening yourself to be interrupted more often.

 

Perception would be the less useful. Detect hidding stuff and increasing your chances of interrupting enemies don't see popular in some groups.

 

If you just focus on hit/damage/areas/survival, then yeah, those two seem useless.

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In general I prefer ability score-less systems. Ability scores are mechanically an unnecessary complication. They're only really helpful for defining your character, i.e. role-playing.

 

But. Adjusting ability scores for maximum impact was a BIG part of the IE game 'feel,' flawed as the D&D ability system, cookie-cutter builds and all, is. 

 

I feel strongly that if you have an ability score system in place, nerfing it to insignificance is a mistake. Make it matter, or take it out. Currently it feels like it's paying lip service to the IE games without the meat.

 

In other words, I respectfully disagree with the OP. Keep the "no dump stats" design goal, but double the effects. Make it sting if we dump something to 3, and pay off if we pump it to 18.

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In other words, I respectfully disagree with the OP. Keep the "no dump stats" design goal, but double the effects. Make it sting if we dump something to 3, and pay off if we pump it to 18.

which of course send us right back to the issue where the important character development choices is all gonna be taking place at level 1... and that is something Gromnir believes is a bad thing. not all people agree, but honestly, it would be refreshing to have abilities and still have post level 1 choices be near as meaningful. furthermore, there will inevitably be a difference 'tween how much sting one character build feels for tanking an ability compared to another. with very little imagination, folks will be able to minimize any sting by choosing the right weapon. power, and spell combinations. the more abilities, talents, spells, weapons and other customization options you create in a game, the greater you create a near certainty that there will be a way to avoid your envisioned sting. 

 

based on previous ie games, fallout, arcanum and other crpgs, people got an expectation 'bout the impact o' abilities on gameplay. there is some value in meeting expectations, but we would actual prefer if obsidian takes a rational rather than emotional approach, at least for now. we would rather see less difference 'tween two level one ciphers, regardless o' stat distribution, compared to two level five ciphers. starting ability distribution is NOT unimportant in its current state, but we would rather see character development further bolstered during leveling rather than by a marked inflation o' ability importance.

 

HA! Good Fun!

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"If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

"Im indifferent to almost any murder as long as it doesn't affect me or mine."--Gfted1 (September 30, 2019)

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Why can't we have meaningful differentiation at level 1 and at level 5? ;)

 

Again, I completely agree that post-level-1 character building should be important. It's just that we disagree on how much level 1 characters should differ. 

There are no doors in Jefferson that are "special game locked" doors. There are no characters in that game that you can kill that will result in the game ending prematurely.

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you do have meaningful differentiation at level one, just not near as much as in previous incarnations o' ie games. and again, 'cause this isn't getting through for some reason, the more extreme you make the differentiation at level one, the greater you gotta make the improvements at level 2, 3, 4, 5 etc. for those improvements to have similar impact as the level one choices.... which is a balancing nightmare. 

 

HA! Good Fun!

Edited by Gromnir
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"If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

"Im indifferent to almost any murder as long as it doesn't affect me or mine."--Gfted1 (September 30, 2019)

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and again, 'cause this isn't getting through for some reason, the more extreme you make the differentiation at level one, the greater you gotta make the improvements at level 2, 3, 4, 5 etc. for those improvements to have similar impact as the level one choices.... which is a balancing nightmare. 

 

Oh, it's getting through, I just disagree that it's a balancing nightmare. Improvements at levels 2+ should most definitively be very significant and have a deeper impact on your character than +x% to Will save and such. I think we're way past the stage from IE games where your level up screen would consist only of your newly gained HPs and the OK button.

 

A single-player RPG shouldn't concern itself so much with balance, it should primarily concern itself with challenge and fun. 

Edited by Sammael

There are no doors in Jefferson that are "special game locked" doors. There are no characters in that game that you can kill that will result in the game ending prematurely.

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Perception would be the less useful. Detect hidding stuff and increasing your chances of interrupting enemies don't see popular in some groups.

 

Maybe people haven't realized that it doesn't work like in the IE games where an archer/ranged hitting a spellcasters would interrupt him/her/it most of the time. There was no stats associated to it back then and it only affected spellcasters.

 

I always had a character on "interrupt duty" in the IE games, it was the best way of making sure the spellcasters wouldn't destroy me with their spells.

Azarhal, Chanter and Keeper of Truth of the Obsidian Order of Eternity.


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and again, 'cause this isn't getting through for some reason, the more extreme you make the differentiation at level one, the greater you gotta make the improvements at level 2, 3, 4, 5 etc. for those improvements to have similar impact as the level one choices.... which is a balancing nightmare. 

 

Oh, it's getting through, I just disagree that it's a balancing nightmare. Improvements at levels 2+ should most definitively be very significant and have a deeper impact on your character than +x% to Will save and such. I think we're way past the stage from IE games where your level up screen would consist only of your newly gained HPs and the OK button.

 

A single-player RPG shouldn't concern itself so much with balance, it should primarily concern itself with challenge and fun. 

 

you make sound as if balancing is somehow different from fun. do you honestly believe that the developers is balancing for some abstract notion 'o fairness? agree or disagree, but balancing is done 'cause developers believe a more balanced game is more fun. have only a handful o' right choices for ability spreads or talent choices is making game less fun if you choose wrong. accidentally choose too hard options or too easy and game ain't fun. even worse, choose options that is simple less useful and game is less fun. balance is not about power per se, but if player chooses wrong and gets less fun, that is bad. 

 

according to both bioware, obsidan, and other game developers, the two most common complaints regarding any and all games:

 

it was too easy

 

it was too hard

 

choose wrong ability spread at level one and find out you got un-fun character 'cause level one were disproportionate important? that is not only bad balance but it is not fun and it is... stoopid. lessen possibility o' choosing wrong promotes fun rather than diminishes. disagree if you wish, 'cause many will, but balance is done to make game more fun... fun for more folks. is a serious irrational perspective to be thinking that pursuit o' balance in a crpg is done for reasons other than promoting fun.  

 

'course that is besides the point. having successive levels be relative more important axiomatically should be making leveling beyond first level more interesting. 

 

HA! Good Fun!

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"If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

"Im indifferent to almost any murder as long as it doesn't affect me or mine."--Gfted1 (September 30, 2019)

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am realizing this will not be a popular suggestion. nevertheless, am thinking we need must say that as undervalued as some people see current PoE abilities, we do not see increasing their value as the appropriate fix.

 

 

 One way to make all builds equally viable is to make all of them functionally the same. Another way is to make them very different but equally good.

 

 I think the latter is more interesting. If you chose to, say, dump Might and Intellect on your wizard on character creation, I think that should be profoundly different than if you maximized those and dumped Perception and Resolve or if you balanced all of the stats equally. 

 

 Let's take those three builds:

 

Low Might,Intellect: Doesn't do a lot of damage, small AoE, short durations, but thanks to higher Per. and Res. interrupts everyone and is interrupted by no one. 

Low Perception, Resolve: Kind of the opposite - tons of damage, but doesn't always get that spell off or prevent the other guy from doing whatever he is trying to do.

Balanced: Jack of all trades master of none.

 

All three are viable. You need to understand the strengths of your character and choose the right spells (good for roleplay and replay value). It's not idiot proof, but that can be mitigated by having good spell descriptions. (and ability descriptions for other classes).

 

If you don't like being an unreliable nuker, then option 2 wasn't a good choice for you, but you aren't prevented from finishing the game (by a choice you made at character creation). 

 

So, I would rather take the stats to 11 (for those who don't get the cultural reference, make them more extreme) but approximately equally useful. (Maybe that's not possible given the current state of the game).

 

Edit:typo.

Edited by Yonjuro
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Having more meaningful ability scores would probably work better if we had the choice to increase scores as we leveled? Maybe there could be a talent that increases a given score by one?

Edited by illathid

"Wizards do not need to be The Dudes Who Can AoE Nuke You and Gish and Take as Many Hits as a Fighter and Make all Skills Irrelevant Because Magic."

-Josh Sawyer

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Tbh id like our ability scores to be static as in we cannot change the scores whatsoever once we made them. So far i have seen alot of magical items that increase ability scores quite a bit and i think just keep the magical items as a way to raise ur scores or through time sensitive spells. Otherwise when u have to many ways to raise they lose their feeling as an important limited resourse.

Edited by redneckdevil
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I recently advocated for a rise in magnitude of ability scores, but Gromnir is making some good points. Looks like I have to run through the beta some more to make up my mind.

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You have my attention, Gromnir.  You may have swayed me on increasing/decreasing attribute bonuses.  I will think on it more.

 

I am still pretty sure Perception and Resolve need a little love to make them more appealing.  I just fear everyone will go all into the other 4 stats, and ignore these 2.  I did for good many characters since beta released.  I learned from my mistakes, but I am someone that A) wanted to test it myself (for beta testing reasons) and B) is always giving the odd things a go after a little while. Which isn't really against your topic here but somewhat related. 

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nevertheless, the way in which we envision PoE character development being best improved is not by inflating the value o' ability scores, but rather by making traits more significant.

Why are you presenting this as an Either/Or, when we could have both and the entire character customization process would only *benefit* from it?
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OP makes some good points - and I definitely agree that talens/whatever should shape the build more at level-ups - each level-up should be more exciting than clicking 'ok' and finding you're x% more capable of saving-throw.

I would still change the attributes' effects some - making the lowest AOE area smaller than now and making the largest a little smaller too - though that's not really changing the balance but just because the largest area seems a little too large to me at the moment.  (Or make it adjustable but that probably won't happen).

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nevertheless, the way in which we envision PoE character development being best improved is not by inflating the value o' ability scores, but rather by making traits more significant.

Why are you presenting this as an Either/Or, when we could have both and the entire character customization process would only *benefit* from it?

 

 

 

let's start with an assumption that people don't necessarily want more powerful characters but rather want more opportunity for unique and diverse builds, yes?  increase power  is ez as all it requires is some juggling o' numbers, yes? people want their character development choices to have meaning, and currently it appears that their ability point allocations has less meaning than previous ie games. is fair summation?

 

it is very possible that obsidian will conclude that abilities Should be inflated. am not certain at this point what is the bestest route. as we has noted elsewhere, the mechanics o' the game is so obscured by buggy gameplay that it is difficult to see where things is wrong much less where gameplay may be improved. that being said, we would suggest starting by addressing post level one improvements. Gromnir would indeed like to see player's find build that makes 'em special (if not necessarily powerful) snowflakes. however, perhaps ironically, this becomes more difficult as you increase the relevance o' abilities. level one choices should not overshadow all decisions that follow. currently, the level one choices is highly focused on abilities: race, culture and ability point allocation.  the aforementioned is all related to ability point allocations. the moment obsidian boosts abilities, post level one improvements such as talents will necessarily need be inflated as well if they is to be relative as important as the level one character development choices-- this is obvious, no?  inflate the importance o' level one choices and we is back to a system where not only is the value o' subsequent leveling diminished, but level one will be the time when players decide what is the Best builds, and so we will get most ciphers looking same and most mages looking the same, and most rangers looking the same.

 

...

 

as is our way we will indulge in questionable metaphor and request that obsidian attempts to improve diversity o' builds by working from the arse end o' character development issue. the more RELATIVE impact you impart to ability scores, by necessity you is making level one choices more significant. this is not a strength but a flaw. if players currently believe that there is a sameness to all builds 'cause o lack o' meaning in their ability point distributions, we would wish for obsidian to take the less obvious route to a solution to sameness and devote efforts to talents and other potential customization options first, post level one options. yes, this will make it more difficult to immediate see the variations between character builds 'cause at level one there will be a sameness due to diluted ability point powha, but in the long run we believe obsidian will provide themselves and players with more opportunities to meaningful diversity, and for meaningful leveling experiences.

 

also, keep in mind that we don't have ie style multi-classing or dual-classing. these is post level 1 options for diversity that will not be available to us in PoE that was staples (if broken) in ie games. Gromnir is attempting to look at long range and see how best to achieve long view diversity and satisfactory leveling. for the reasons we has now beaten into a pulpy mess, boosting relative power o' ability scores would seem to work at cross purposes with our goals.

 

HA! Good Fun!

 

edit: freaking font size always goes wonky 

Edited by Gromnir
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"If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

"Im indifferent to almost any murder as long as it doesn't affect me or mine."--Gfted1 (September 30, 2019)

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let's start with an assumption that people don't necessarily want more powerful characters but rather want more opportunity for unique and diverse builds, yes?

Well no, I wouldn't want to start with that assumption. For 2 reasons.

 

1) Beefing up the effects of the attributes would not only lead to powerful characters. It would also lead to severe penalties for people who decide to dump some of those stats in order to max out the others.

 

2) If we don't necessarily want more powerful characters then why are we asking for the talents to be beefed up?

 

 

In any event, I mostly agree with the rest of your post, which is why I didn't bother addressing it. Something should indeed be done to make the talents stand out, be more interesting, more unique, more meaningful, and to give us a reason to look forward to that next level up. But I'm looking at the big picture. Right now the entire system... the stats, the spells, the talents and even item properties, feel very soulless and...BORING... If one needs a spreadsheet to determine the difference between someone who's 1st level and someone who's 8th level, we've got a friggin problem: Josh Sawyer has sacrificed fun to the altar of his lord Balance.

 

THAT is the assumption I want to begin with, and then work from there to propose solutions.

Edited by Stun
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