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Osvir

A Good Mechanic or...

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... an Old Mechanic?

I started a game with a Nature Godlike Druid, wanted to build him into a Spiritshifter Druid. But I got all spells as I leveled up, which is convenient and a bit overwhelming at once. The character became a Generalist Druid that knows how to Spiritshift. I am curious if possible to make both Priest and Druid learn spells like Wizards, Chanters, Ciphers etc. it's more fun to build any of the 3 latter too. Pick a few at a time, buy or train the rest.

What I wanted to build was a Spiritshifter Druid, not a Generalist Druid that knows Spiritshifting. The same thing goes for Priest, where they learn all deity spells in the same way. I think it'd be more fun to pick a couple spells adhering to the same "theme" over time rather than get it all at once. Or gain few spells at a time instead of everything all at once. 

Does the Druid Level Up/Spell Gain Mechanic fit with Pillars of Eternity? There are no "Kits" (afaik) in Pillars of Eternity.

Generalist Druid or Suggestion:
- Give Druids a couple of points per level, like Wizards. Do you build a melee Spiritshift Druid or do you build an Elementalist Druid? Animal Druid? Etc. etc.

Is the Generalist IE Druid Good or Old?

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I agree with this to some extent.  I think the limitations on Chanters, Ciphers, and Wizards (via Grimoires) make them more interesting to play and make different builds with.  When you have access to all spells (like the Druid and Priest) you tend to use the best options available to you given the situation.  This makes them more generalist by nature (< pun intended for druids).  If I make a Shapeshifter Druid, and the situation is better dealt with by raining fire and brimstone from afar, then that is what the class will do.  While if I need to get into the fray of melee, that is what I will do.  I haven't even looked to see the validity of a melee Priest.  I am going to check that out the moment I finish this post.

 

My 2 cents, and this is a conversation for another thread, but it is applicable here.  I think Spell range needs to be greatly effected by an Attribute.  Which one is up to debate, but it cannot be Might, Dex, or Per IMHO because they already cover things that may be incompatible.  EG  Might builds need shorter ranges (increased damage needs to have a more melee approach), Dexterity already covers accuracy (and thus doesn't need to cover range of Spells), and Perception governs Interrupt... it would be weird to have interrupt and spell range hand in hand as it might be too potent.  Resolve might be the right Attribute but I wouldn't couple Concentration and range as the builds that want range don't want Concentration as much, and the build that want Concentration are more likely to be in melee. 

 

Anyway the point of controlling spell range via a stat is that IF you spec into Might, Con, and Dex to make a Shifter style druid then your spells only work when you are close to a target thus facilitating the playstyle.  This would require AoE size and how Intellect affects it to be more drastic.  High physical Attributes would be more damaging and more melee suited.  While high Int would give bigger AoEs, longer Durations, perhaps higher interrupt/Concetration. 

 

Anyway, this idea isn't without reshuffling what the Attributes govern that is for sure.

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Well put.

 

But, could it be possible to pick either "Generalist Druid" or "Build Druid"?

Example (Priest or Paladin):
- "Kits", both Priest and Paladin have "Schools". Technically, in the code when you pick "Priest", a new window is opened with the Dieties.
- Parallelly: Pick Druid, open new window like above.
- Pick between "Natural Druid" (Generalist) or "Growing Druid" (Build it yourself, like a Wizard/Chanter/Cipher)

Edited by Osvir

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Hopefully what you are suggesting here will be fleshed out more in future updates, as more traits will be provided and, perhaps, allow for more of the options you re mentioning.

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I feel this is relevant to all classes even. I would rather pick a way to specialize at level up than get everything just served up, so I can either pick a new skill or improve the ones I have. So I can make truly different builds, instead of just adding flavor to a template.

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My dream system is to pick an archetype (Fighter, Wizard, Druid, Monk etc.) at character creation, but as I level up I'll get a classless option as well as guiding my character depending on which road I take in-game.

1 Class with all skills on the board and available to anyone...

So I could start a Fighter and then get "Grimoire Knowledge" across the game and become a Fighter with Magic abilites.

Or even start as a Monk who goes down the path of a Druid~ but that's just talking about a system we won't see... unless Obsidian includes a 12th Class, a "Commoner" Class that gets points on everything every level~ a flat-out mix-n-match Class that the Player can build into whatever they want~

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I definitely agree with this sentiment. It seemed strange to me that wizards had to pick the spells they could learn and have to deal with the grimoire, chanters and ciphers have a limited selection of 'spells', while druids and clerics get everything at once. It doesn't help that some of the spells I kinda wish that I didn't have to know for a certain type of character, e.g what if I don't want my druid to be able to cast fire spells or the contagion like spells. It just helps with role-playing just a bit.

 

Obviously I could just not cast them - which I don't - but still, at the very least, it makes leveling up as a druid and priest a bit more meaningful if we have to pick and choose which spells we want rather than just automatically getting every spell (it doesn't help that they seem to have more spells than everyone else anyway). It's almost like playing a sorcerer and getting every spell, which would obviously be a bit overkill (though obviously it isn't quite at that level).

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This type of customization will be done through the talent system.

 

Suggest some things you'd like to be able to do and they might make a talent for it.

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Yeh, needs moar talents.

 

I wouldn't object to being able to choose between, say, more spell slots and spiritshift-related talents, so you could end up with a druid who only has 2 slots/level but correspondingly more, more powerful, more versatile, and longer-lasting spiritshift form abilities.

 

I think learning the spells wizard-style goes against the concept. For one thing, where do you keep them? Another grimoire, but made of wood?

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For one thing, where do you keep them? Another grimoire, but made of wood?

 

You dont want to know

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I agree with this. I'm okay with having every priest get a free heal/restore/whatever spell (since I think new people would be too prone to screw themselves over without it), but I'd rather pick spells than have them all dumped on me.

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Yeh, needs moar talents.

 

I wouldn't object to being able to choose between, say, more spell slots and spiritshift-related talents, so you could end up with a druid who only has 2 slots/level but correspondingly more, more powerful, more versatile, and longer-lasting spiritshift form abilities.

 

I think learning the spells wizard-style goes against the concept. For one thing, where do you keep them? Another grimoire, but made of wood?

 

Well... the land itself could be a "grimoire". The Growing Druid idea would pick up all spells as he/she goes along the road without any "memorization".

 

When I say "like a Wizard" I mean the level up process, not Grimoire management.

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Great topic, Osvir! :)

 

And a lot of great posts that followed suite too.

 

Having clerics and druids get all of their spells is yet another inheritance from D&D that we can do without, methinks. It would be som much better and fun, if there were plenty of spells for all spell casters at every other level or so, and then you get to pick a fraction of those. In a similar vein, talents should be pretty abundant, but you only get to pick a precious few of them, and not every level.

 

These are pretty easy stuff to change, but it would improve PoE so much, IMHO.


*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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@Indira: Exactly what I was thinking, regarding "clerics and druids.... all spells... inheritance D&D...".

Is this a remnant "spell learning" idea that carried over from D&D universe (Forgotten Realms), and does it fit with Pillars of Eternity's Eora world/universe? Does it fit with 2014?

Does Druids have to learn spells in Pillars of Eternity like they learn spells in Baldur's Gate? Are they the same type of Druids? Did the Generalist Druids from Forgotten Realms open a portal into Eora and did they bring the Clerics with them (under the guise of "Priests")?

A "Growing" Druid is, after all, an easy fix "Kit" or "School" in Character Creation (Copy Cipher Character Creation+level up code formula, rename and use assets/materials on Druid). Druids and Priests have new vision, ideas, mechanics, feels, but they are still stuck in something that's not really "nostalgia", it's just an old/copy+pasted D&D mechanic/narrative.

I read on Clerics D&D learning curve~ and I get it, the Cleric is getting closer to their Deity/God with every level. That's a cool idea, on paper, and probably in Pen & Paper Roleplays it's probably amazing. But it doesn't translate well to a PC game imo, where the gamers are used to putting out points and often times enjoy having a list of 10 abilities, but can only pick perhaps 2 at a time (and can also see which they can take on a later level). Building a Priest of Berath, and only getting 1-2 Spell Points (to spend on spells) every level would be cool, and then I can buy the rest at a Temple~

On my Level 1-5 list I did, Druids got [NOTHING] on Level 2 and 4. They got Skills (stealth, lore etc), on Level 1 All Tier-1 Spells, Level 3, All Tier-2 Spells, Level 5, All Tier-3 Spells. Let the Spell list grow into the Druid, the knowledge grow into the Druid. I.E: Instead of a "Grimoire" like the Wizard, the Druid can have "Growth"... "We are Groot" (speaking of which... no Tree Ent Spiritshift?)

I suspect that Druids D&D have something similar "They grow closer to the land with every level"~ shouldn't that progressively represent itself instead of "Here ya go Druid, you grew a bit closer to the land so we're giving you this entire arsenal". It doesn't break immersion, but it does break Class/Party "theme"-ideas/builds.

When I could make everyone in the Dracogen Inn into a Skeleton, I was super happy and laughed so hard that it was possible for me to do that (It was a build I chose to pursue, and it worked). With the Generalist Druid there is none of that.

 

This type of customization will be done through the talent system.

Suggest some things you'd like to be able to do and they might make a talent for it.

 

The problem here isn't customization on a second-hand level. I'm talking about how the Druid gains their spells and abilities, and the Priest as well. They get it all at once! So even if I customize my Druid along the way to be a better Spiritshifter, he/she is still going to get all spells and be a "Generalist Druid with a focus on Spiritshifting".

Parallelly:
A Wizard can be built into an "Illusionist" and customize their talents, level ups, gear etc. towards that build. A Druid becomes a Generalist, regardless, with specializations added on top of it.

 

A bit of a repeat but:

Example #1 Priest:
- You pick Priest

- A new window is opened, and you can see the different Dieties.

Example #2 Druid: Concept Idea
- You pick Druid
- A new window is opened with 2 options
- Natural Druid (who gains all spells on level up+talents)
- Growth Druid (who grows into a build+talents)

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I agree with the posters in the thread who'd like to be able to push the druid down one of the two paths, either through talents or some other means, but I think it's worth noting that you can do that (to a very small extent) as things stand now through attributes. For example if you want a shapeshifter druid you need her to be able to survive melee combat so you'd probably want to pump con, whereas a caster druid could stand at the back ranks so you could safely dump con.

 

Of course this is pretty limited, especially given the small boosts attributes supply, but it's worth a thought.

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I like the generalist approach. I don't think the "specialized" approach is any better. BTW the name of this thread (topic) is terrible.

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I very much like the idea of specialization. You could later in the game be given a choice to pick a special "kit" as cleric or druid. The kit would increase the potency of a few core skills and weaken some skills of an opposite "school". This could also go as far as adding a new special spell or completely removing one.

 

For example with the druid shape-shifter kit your animal forms get increased duration and damage. Additional you get a completely new skill to transform into a powerful beast with large health pool and life generation. At the power of your healing spells is halfed.

 

As another example you good be an anit-undead cleric. Some of your undead turning related spells are more powerful, but your damage related spells are less potent.

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I agree with the posters in the thread who'd like to be able to push the druid down one of the two paths, either through talents or some other means, but I think it's worth noting that you can do that (to a very small extent) as things stand now through attributes. For example if you want a shapeshifter druid you need her to be able to survive melee combat so you'd probably want to pump con, whereas a caster druid could stand at the back ranks so you could safely dump con.

 

Of course this is pretty limited, especially given the small boosts attributes supply, but it's worth a thought.

 

Absolutely, but you have to put other classes in parallel in my opinion.

 

If you want a Muscle Wizard you build the Attributes in a certain way, and pick Spells on level up, and pick talents when leveling up. You'll succeed in building a Muscle Wizard. If you want to build a Fire Wizard, or an Illusioist Wizard, you can do this as well and you'll probably put points in different Attributes as you do so.

 

If you want a Spiritshifter Druid, you build the Attributes in a certain way, get all Spells on level up, and pick talents when leveling up. You'll succeed in building a Generalist Druid with a focus in Spiritshifting. I will always have the entire arsenal of spells up my sleeve, regardless how I build it. What if I don't want a Wizard, but instead want a magic-caster Druid with only debuffs, slows and damage spells? Then I'll be a Generalist Druid with a focus on casting.

 

Why are the options and choices available for Wizard, Chanter, Cipher, but not for the Druid? Is it because of D&D mechanics (that are counter-intuitive in terms of "building characters") or is it something else... percieved nostalgia? I don't think this "mechanic" for the Druid drives anything about "nostalgia" in me. It's just an old idea that needs improvement, and doesn't fit in 2014.

 

I like the generalist approach. I don't think the "specialized" approach is any better. BTW the name of this thread (topic) is terrible.

 

I like the Generalist approach as well.... if I want to build it a Generalist. I can build a Generalist Wizard if I want to. But the Druid is a "generalist" by default and will always be a Generalist.

 

I also think the topic title of this thread is rather intelligent, as it made the beginning of my post a "... or an old mechanic?" instead of starting with "So... I built a Nature Godlike..." etc. (Something I picked up at Something Awful Forum Rules i.e. "How to not start a post").

Edited by Osvir
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I remember Josh saying something about not allowing players to build themes is a "bad thing". Unfortunately I can't find the specific comment, because it is either in an interview, a comment or tumblr, somewhere on the net. Suffice to say, there's many interviews with Josh. If anyone else recalls reading a similar thing, please, chime in. Otherwise I'll just search it~

Here's one answer on the deep dive PCWorld:

JS: In the old games, yes. So we would like—a good way of saying this is if you want to make a character that totally fits the archetype of the character you conceive, like let’s say you say, “I want to make a character who’s a wizard and that character has a high intellect”—in our game it’s intellect, not intelligence. Or if you say “I want to make a rogue,” and the rogue has a high dexterity. Those are great characters! They work great. They might not work exactly how you think they’re going to work, but they’re good characters. You make a fighter with a high strength—also a good character. Doesn’t exactly work the way you think it might, but it’s a good character.

 

If you play against type. If you’re like, “I want to make a muscle-wizard. It has a high strength and a high con”—that’s also a very good character. If you want to make a fighter with a high intelligence and a high resolve, that’s also a good character.

 

Might not be the most optimal character, but it’s not a bad character.

 

And from Kotaku:

Different players balance these desires differently, but ideally an aesthetic choice will always map to a viable build, and a viable build will map to something players will find cool for their character. When this doesn't happen, it can result in a lot of annoyance from players. They are either forced to play something they conceptually like that is mechanically bad or they have to veer away from their character concept to be mechanically viable. In an RPG, this is undesirable — so say I, at least. That's why this initial stage should only end after you've soberly asked yourself important questions about why players would want to pick any given option you're presenting them.

 

These were not the comments or contexts I was looking for though, just saying. But they reflect the sentiment of the comment I was looking for.
 

The Druids "default Generalist" settings restricts the Player from "choosing" what do "build" on a very basic level. A "Growth Druid", as I suggest, wouldn't even be a difficult thing to implement. It's an Easily Implementable Idea because Obsidian already has the code for it in Character Creation for other variables.

Edited by Osvir

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I like the generalist approach. I don't think the "specialized" approach is any better. BTW the name of this thread (topic) is terrible.

 

I like the Generalist approach as well.... if I want to build it a Generalist. I can build a Generalist Wizard if I want to. But the Druid is a "generalist" by default and will always be a Generalist.

 

Sorry, 3rd post in a row but I wanted to address this yet again.

 

A Wizard can be built specified towards a specific "build", or it can be built towards a Generalist Wizard (if one wants to do that). The Wizard has all the options.

 

The Druid doesn't have any option.

 

These are thoughts regarding the Spell System and gaining Spells as you level up as a Druid, not Attributes/Skills/Talents.

 

Let's turn the entire thing around, rethorically:

- How would people feel if the Wizard got all of his/her Spells at Level Up and became a Generalist Wizard by default and you couldn't build the Spell arsenal in any special way?

Edited by Osvir

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I like the generalist approach. I don't think the "specialized" approach is any better. BTW the name of this thread (topic) is terrible.

 

I like the Generalist approach as well.... if I want to build it a Generalist. I can build a Generalist Wizard if I want to. But the Druid is a "generalist" by default and will always be a Generalist.

 

Sorry, 3rd post in a row but I wanted to address this yet again.

 

A Wizard can be built specified towards a specific "build", or it can be built towards a Generalist Wizard (if one wants to do that). The Wizard has all the options.

 

The Druid doesn't have any option.

 

These are thoughts regarding the Spell System and gaining Spells as you level up as a Druid, not Attributes/Skills/Talents.

 

Let's turn the entire thing around, rethorically:

- How would people feel if the Wizard got all of his/her Spells at Level Up and became a Generalist Wizard by default and you couldn't build the Spell arsenal in any special way?

 

I feel like, lore wise, the druid is more suitable for being a generalist. The wizard study **** and become more wise as the game moves on (i.e. learn more spells), while the druid should be one with the nature ~~ adding some levels shouldn't add too much wisdom (i.e. more spells).

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Where does the Druid gain this innate knowledge to just.. *poof* .. "I know all spells now"?

If a person in Eora decides "I want to be a Druid", nature is all like "Cool bro! Here ya go, here's a vast amount of Natural Energy Knowledge that I'm just going to hand out to you, have fun!". And if becoming a "Druid" is something that is "called upon" by greater forces and powers all "You are the Chosen One, Druid" from Mother Nature herself... wouldn't a "Druid" be more of a title akin to the "Watcher" and be a much stronger archetype narratively and have a bigger impact on Story and World?

Isn't Druid something you train to become as well? Isn't it something that requires much devotion to the land and nature itself, and you GROW (which is one of the most natural aspects in the world) over time?

I put Priests in this bin as well, because their Deity is like "Cool! You got to Level 3, that's how we know you are closer to me! Even if your dialogue options are completely wrong for my Faith but here is all the spells for this Level! Have fun!".

Building characters is fun, but this takes out a lot of the "Building" out of the Character. Thus it takes out lots of "Fun", in my opinion.

EDIT: The Druid should become closer to nature over time and perhaps even grow into nature...

 

This is a rethorical idea for Lore: The Druid could literally becomes One with Nature, after mastering the Zen of Nature. A Master Druid, the highest goal of a Druid should be to become part of Nature. So a Mega Master Level 100 Druid could have eventually transformed into a tree bush or even to become the flowing river along Dyrford Village. To reach ultimate Enlightenment for a Druid should be to become a part of Nature, to grow into Nature.

It shouldn't be, in my opinion, a hand out. Why is the Druid a Master Naturalist right away?

Edited by Osvir
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Where does the Druid gain this innate knowledge to just.. *poof* .. "I know all spells now"?

 

If a person in Eora decides "I want to be a Druid", nature is all like "Cool bro! Here ya go, here's a vast amount of Natural Energy Knowledge that I'm just going to hand out to you, have fun!". And if becoming a "Druid" is something that is "called upon" by greater forces and powers all "You are the Chosen One, Druid" from Mother Nature herself... wouldn't a "Druid" be more of a title akin to the "Watcher" and be a much stronger archetype narratively and have a bigger impact on Story and World?

 

Isn't Druid something you train to become as well? Isn't it something that requires much devotion to the land and nature itself, and you GROW (which is one of the most natural aspects in the world) over time?

 

I put Priests in this bin as well, because their Deity is like "Cool! You got to Level 3, that's how we know you are closer to me! Even if your dialogue options are completely wrong for my Faith but here is all the spells for this Level! Have fun!".

 

Building characters is fun, but this takes out a lot of the "Building" out of the Character. Thus it takes out lots of "Fun", in my opinion.

 

EDIT: The Druid should become closer to nature over time and perhaps even grow into nature...

 

This is a rethorical idea for Lore: The Druid could literally becomes One with Nature, after mastering the Zen of Nature. A Master Druid, the highest goal of a Druid should be to become part of Nature. So a Mega Master Level 100 Druid could have eventually transformed into a tree bush or even to become the flowing river along Dyrford Village. To reach ultimate Enlightenment for a Druid should be to become a part of Nature, to grow into Nature.

 

It shouldn't be, in my opinion, a hand out. Why is the Druid a Master Naturalist right away?

 

I see your point. I just feel like the best way to do it is to make the "generalist/specialist"-spectrum fit the lore. 

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