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Josh says: PoE's Fighters and Rogues aren't boring

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http://jesawyer.tumblr.com/post/96817033871/while-the-innovative-classes-chanter-cipher
 

anek45 said: While the innovative classes (Chanter, Cipher, Barbarian etc) are already quite fun to play in the backer beta, the traditional ones feel boring and inflexible - especially Fighter and Rogue, which actually feel *less* versatile in combat than their Baldur's Gate versions. Their new modal & active abilities don't really seem to make combat less 'routine', they just make the routine more cumbersome to go through. Will that be different in the final game?
 
If you’re arguing that 5th level fighters and rogues in Baldur’s Gate felt more versatile in combat than PoE’s 5th level fighters and rogues, I completely disagree.
 
I’m not sure where you get the ability routine from since a lot of their use is situational.  If you can position your rogue to flank or to take advantage of any of a laundry list of Afflictions, you will automatically Sneak Attack (in BG, you could only backstab under very limited conditions).  If you can’t take advantage of those Afflictions as applied by someone else, you can inflict them yourself with Crippling Strike.  If you want to Sneak Attack with a ranged weapon, you can (again, you could not in BG).
 
In addition to Sneak Attacking, a 5th level PoE rogue also has the ability to increase attack speed with Dirty Fighting when circumstances allow (i.e., when they are not the focus of attacks) and to use Escape when they’re in trouble.  Finishing Blow is the opposite of a routine use ability since its power scales inversely with the Stamina of the target.
 
Prior to receiving High Level Abilities in BG2:ToB, fighters were extraordinarily simple.  BG’s fighters’ tactical options revolved around which weapons to use, whom to attack, and where they should be positioned.  PoE’s fighters are also supposed to be pretty low-maintenance, with Defender, Knock Down, and Vigorous Defense as their modal/active abilities.
 
Defender a very good ability to use when you’re dealing with multiple melee enemies but should almost always be shut off right away if you’re dealing with a single opponent.  Knock Down is a situational use ability that is much, much more effective when used against a target with weak Fortitude.  Vigorous Defense is best used when the fighter is in the most danger.  Sometimes that’s at the beginning of a fight, but not always.
 
I can see how some people might consider fighters versatile in BG because they could dump points into bows and hang back OR dump points into melee weapons and rush forward but that doesn’t really seem that versatile.  If you compare BG’s fighters to BG’s thieves, you can see that fighters were acting both as defensive characters and massive weapon-based damage dealers — but I don’t see any combat versatility in BG’s thieves at all, to be honest.
 
Please follow up if you have specific examples or scenarios in mind, because I may be missing something.


More: http://jesawyer.tumblr.com/post/96818129491/whats-the-rationale-behind-not-including-a-weapons
 

anek45 said: What's the rationale behind not including a weapons proficiency mechanic in PoE? I always found allocating proficiency points to be a fun and meaningful part of building and advancing characters in the Infinity engine games. It made each character more unique (compared to others of the same class) in a way that had a big effect on both combat game-play, and "role-playing" of the characters. Do you disagree?

 

Allocating proficiencies at character creation is asking the player to commit to decisions about what weapons they want to use/specialize in before they’ve even used any of them.

 

We do have Weapon Focus as a talent for all characters at level 3.  Weapon Focus grants +10 Accuracy, which is about the equivalent of +2 to hit in D&D terms.  In BG, going from Unskilled to Proficient meant going from -1 to Hit/-1 to Damage to 0/0 to both, so I think Weapon Focus has a similar weight.  Fighters also get Weapon Specialization at 4th level, which adds to their damage.

 

The main differences between this and BG/IWD are that we don’t have the player make these choices before 3rd level and we don’t use the Mastery/High Mastery/Grandmastery style PO:C&T rules that sent fighters flying away into the stratosphere, damage-wise.

 

 

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I agree, fighters and rogues aren't boring. Some classes (out of 11) need to have less active abilities than passive and modal ones to accommodate different preferences. Even if you pick a class that you find boring, for whatever reason, there are 5 more people that can join your party and it all becomes high-maintenance deluxe.

 

 

As for the 2nd question, here's the thing. There are only 4 talents to pick throughout 12 levels. Even if they include 1000 brilliant and inspiring talents; it's still just 4 talents total on level up, starting at level 3.

While I can understand their reasoning behind wanting players to use some weapons before investing a talent into their weapons of choice, there's no reason to extend this to all talents.

 

Weapon focus could thus have a level 3 requirement for all classes, but I believe players don't need to, e.g., test combat styles to figure out that they really want to fight with a two-handed weapon, with a shield, with two weapons or from a distance like they have in most other games. It's perfectly reasonable to offer style talents at level 1, for those of us who are sure about their affinities.

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The thing is, I didn't see anywhere where Josh said they aren't boring - because compared to the other classes, they seem to be very much so -

 

 

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I agree with Sensuki. It is fine to have less active classes for players that enjoy that. However, they are indeed inflexible. The fighter more so than the rogue IMHO.

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No, damnit. Rogues and fighters are boring. Both are one-trick ponies. Rogue is a sneak-attacker, with talents supporting that trick. Fighter is a sticky melee defender, with talents supporting that trick.

 

The fact that AD&D thieves and fighters at comparable level are equally or even more boring does not excuse it.

 

At the very least equalize the melee/ranged base accuracy for the rogue, so ranged rogue builds won't feel gimped.

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http://jesawyer.tumblr.com/post/96817033871/while-the-innovative-classes-chanter-cipher

 

Josh Sawyer:

 

If you’re arguing that 5th level fighters and rogues in Baldur’s Gate felt more versatile in combat than PoE’s 5th level fighters and rogues, I completely disagree.

 

 

 

 

At level 5, a Baldur's Gate thief has gotten three weapon proficiencies (2 at lvl 1, 1 at level 4)

 

Thief's progressed level-wise faster, so it was level 6 when a fighter's mid level 5. It has its backstab ability progressed three times by then, but its use require flanking, backstabbing or enemies prone, IIRC, or coup-de-grace situations.

 

To be fair, though, the thief comes in different versions right from the get go. There is the classic thief just mentioned, plus you had the bounty hunter, the swash buckler, the shadow dancer (BG:EE), and the assassin. They all feel quite a bit different in combat.

In addition, it's more common than not, to have your have thief multi-classed by level 5 (or rather 6, due to the fast xp gain), provided you meet the requirements for dual-classing.

So, playing a thief in combat in BG:EE (which I play now, as a swashbuckler, is definitely more varied, than the handful options we get right now in PoE BB for the lvl 5 rogue.

 

At level 5, a Baldur's Gate fighter, already had specialized a lot with a weapon and this could be a ranged fighter or a tank fighter , or a fighter not caring that much about AC, shields, defending, and just going all-in for damage in various ways. The fighter had already spent 5 proficiency points at level 5!

 

Yet again, the class kits can't simply be disregarded. For fighters, you had Berserker, Kensai, Wizard Slayer, and Dwarven Defender (BG:EE). They are rather unique in combat too.  

Fighters are equally common to multi-class with, once again, as long as the dual class requirements are met.

This means that the fighter, with its class kits, weapon proficiency choices plus weapon variety (ranged, melee...), is doubtlessly more varied than in the PoE BB.

 

EDIT: Attributes carry much more weight in BG vis-a-vis the PoE BB, so a dex+str specialized ranged fighter plays differently than a str+con 2h specialist fighter. For lower level thieves, such attribute differences have an even higher impact in combat, whereas in PoE, most of the attributes mean next to nothing, unfortunately.

Edited by IndiraLightfoot
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http://jesawyer.tumblr.com/post/96817033871/while-the-innovative-classes-chanter-cipher

 

Josh Sawyer:

 

If you’re arguing that 5th level fighters and rogues in Baldur’s Gate felt more versatile in combat than PoE’s 5th level fighters and rogues, I completely disagree.

 

 

 

 

At level 5, a Baldur's Gate thief has gotten three weapon proficiencies (2 at lvl 1, 1 at level 4)

 

Thief's progressed level-wise faster, so it was level 6 when a fighter's mid level 5. It has its backstab ability progressed three times by then, but its use require flanking, backstabbing or enemies prone, IIRC, or coup-de-grace situations.

 

To be fair, though, the thief comes in different versions right from the get go. There is the classic thief just mentioned, plus you had the bounty hunter, the swash buckler, the shadow dancer (BG:EE), and the assassin. They all feel quite a bit different in combat.

In addition, it's more common than not, to have your have thief multi-classed by level 5 (or rather 6, due to the fast xp gain), provided you meet the requirements for dual-classing.

So, playing a thief in combat in BG:EE (which I play now, as a swash buckler, is definitely more varied, than the handful options we get right now in PoE BB for the lvl 5 rogue.

 

At level 5, a Baldur's Gate fighter, already had specialized a lot with a weapon and this could be a ranged fighter or a tank fighter , or a fighter not caring that much about AC, shields, defending, and just going all-in for damage in various ways. The fighter had already spent 5 proficiency points at level 5!

 

Yet again, the class kits can't simply be disregarded. For fighters, you had Berserker, Kensai, Wizard Slayer, and Dwarven Defender (BG:EE). They are rather unique in combat too.  

Fighters are equally common to multi-class with, once again, as long as the dual class requirements are met.

This means that the fighter, with its class kits, weapon proficiency choices plus weapon variety (ranged, melee...), is doubtlessly more varied than in the PoE BB.

 

 

You didn't have class kits in BG, they come with BG2, which engine BG:EE uses. 

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Elerond: True. Apparently, it's BG:EE I'm talking about, and playing right now. It's also one of the most obvious games PoE will need to compare itself to. Adler said as much after the KS and when Beamdog released it. :)

Edited by IndiraLightfoot

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

 

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Elerond: True. Apparently, it's BG:EE I'm talking about, and playing right now. It's also one of the most obvious games PoE will need to compare itself to. Adler said as much after the KS and when Beamdog released it. :)

 

People may compare PoE to BG:EE, but I think it is bit unfair for Obsidian if we do so, as Obsidian had only limited budget and two years to produce PoE with 11 classes they promised us (BG had 8 plus specialized mage), where BG2 and especially BG:EE had most of the ground work done before games were even in preproduction which gave their developers ability to produce more variety in class system.

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That "unfairness" is something Josh, Feargus, Adler and the rest were aware of from the start. As soon as they launched the KS, and basing it fully on being "a spiritual successor of the IE games", they brought it on themselves. I reckon, that ambition was a perfect one, and I don't think they regret it for one minute. But like Josh said in that RPGCodex interview with Sensuki, regarding combat complexity in PoE vs the IE games, this will take time. It's precisely like you say: so much ground work, so much tradition and systems to build upon in BG2 or BG:EE, but here they are building a lot from scratch. Personally, I think they have over-complicated things here. OE could have had so much stuff for free, stuff that they are very familiar with, but ambition may have gotten the better of them. Only time will tell.

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

 

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That "unfairness" is something Josh, Feargus, Adler and the rest were aware of from the start. As soon as they launched the KS, and basing it fully on being "a spiritual successor of the IE games", they brought it on themselves. I reckon, that ambition was a perfect one, and I don't think they regret it for one minute. But like Josh said in that RPGCodex interview with Sensuki, regarding combat complexity in PoE vs the IE games, this will take time. It's precisely like you say: so much ground work, so much tradition and systems to build upon in BG2 or BG:EE, but here they are building a lot from scratch. Personally, I think they have over-complicated things here. OE could have had so much stuff for free, stuff that they are very familiar with, but ambition may have gotten the better of them. Only time will tell.

 

One of Obsidian's ambitions is build their own IP, which includes world (lore, races, etc), rule system, etc. things that have made D&D so successful. And I would say that Obsidian has borrowed lot of things but maybe less from AD&D and IE games than many though they would and more from D&D 4E, Darklands etc. games that Josh seems draw his inspiration (which is only free thing they can get as they need to write everything from scratch to new engine, new system and in new world and lore). Although I would also say regardless of what games they draw their inspiration I don't think it would have added class variety any more, as they started with goal that game will have 11 classes with no class kits or prestige classes at least not before expansion pack. Which means that all variety inside of class needs to come from class mechanics of themselves, especially when they decided that there is no multi-classing. 

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Wel-l.ll... I don't entirely agree with that, Indira. There are some decision they've made that do feel "different for the sake of different," but for the most part... I don't think making a straight clone of DnD would've really helped. For one thing, it would've been an enormous job to get the implementation to the level of richness and refinement you had in BG2 or, say, SoZ, and the closer it is to DnD the more it invites precisely these kinds of comparisons. It would've felt like a cut-rate knock-off, with all of the flaws but missing the main benefit (=the richness and variety in classes, kits, spells, etc.). 

 

Whereas building a materially different system still invites comparison, but at least it's not a one-to-one direct comparison. I have a feeling it was actually safer to go this way, and it's likely the rage would have been even fiercer had they steered closer to DnD, simply because the omissions and deviations would have stood out even more.


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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 I don't think it would have added class variety any more, as they started with goal that game will have 11 classes with no class kits or prestige classes at least not before expansion pack. Which means that all variety inside of class needs to come from class mechanics of themselves, especially when they decided that there is no multi-classing. 

I agree 100%.

 

And perhaps you're right about Josh & Co veering away from the IE games a bit abruptly, bold decisions which may get too much for all of those who banked on it being a "IE spiritual successor". I wouldn't mind seeing a well made game resembling the D&D 4th ed, but for some reason I'm not sure this is the right game for that.

 

EDIT: PJ and others, I'm not a proponent for PoE being an IE game clone. The "stuff for free" I discuss are systemic, but there are plenty of systems in those games that they should merrily just chuck in the bin, and they have done so too.

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

 

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It's okay I think the majority believes that Fighters and classes are either boring or inflexible. I think the Priest Spell List could use a bit of work too YMMV.

 

I am sorely missing a Magic Stone and Shillelagh/Spiritual Hammer equivalent.

Edited by Sensuki
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I wanted to see core classes start as a general concept with many melee, ranged and utility capabilities, with specialization as an option. Instead when I pick Fighter it feels like I picked Fighter with Defender kit.

 

I am mostly butthurt about rogues though. I don't want damage modifiers apply automatically whenever I click mouse; I want to play a stealthy trickster when I play rogue. I don't want moba assasin, I want dude like Garrett. I want stealth and positional backstabbing and kiting with boots of speed, skill to create and apply poison to weapons, gas bombs and caltrops, traps that stun and maze enemies. I want pick pocket people of valuables. I want to be unique when I pick class and know that noone can do stuff that I can do.

I don't want sneak attack with a gun. That's just dull. Where's challenge in landing strike that would chunk enemies into little bits with a gun.

 

And I want GM in weapon take my damage to stratosphere! And a new special attack for that weapon.

Edited by Shadenuat
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Is versatile key word for overpowered? Baldurs gate fighters were stupid stronk, Rogues I gave up on backstabbing when you can give them a bow and now they have a reliable weapon that always hits. Late game they became useless unless we talking about icewind dale where they can dual multi class a fighter for weapon proficiency or a mage. Seems like fans are missing those two handed fighters that make everything ASPLODE with their weapon proficiency.

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I think part of the problem is that fighter and rogue abilities seem to lack real impact in their effects. At least that's what it looks like from "let's play" videos.

 

Fighter knocks an enemy down and he just gets back up maybe with slightly more health missing. Rogue stabs someone and he is slightly worse but not by much. Add to that current implementation of combat feedback and abilities start to seem really dull especially considering how little the number of abilities that rogues and fighters get.

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It seems a bit ridiculous to me, to compare PoE role system with one used in the game released at the end of the 1998, more then 15 years ago.

Don't get me wrong, the old things is not necessary bad or worse, and I really love old and good IE engine games (right now playing BG:EE) but I believe new games should be better and use more advanced mechanic.

It's called "progress".

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[old skool defence speech]

 

:dragon:  Masterpieces don't need progress. You don't improve chess!

 

[/old skool defence speech]

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

 

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:Takes the pie straight in the face: How true! But it's a very delicious pie. :p


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

 

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I think people want versatility in classes. Right now fighters are very obvious front line tank ish fighters who will not be the dps giant of other classes so playing to it's strength is smart and thus dull. Though I agree sticking with the "spirit" of the old games is important, in this instance I think we could have seen some updates to some of the traditional archetypes. I think shrinking the # of classes by combining them (fighter + barbarian = the warrior) would be something I would like. Then I can deside how tanky or dps oriented I would want to make this class. Personally the barbarian just feels like the yin to the fighters yang.

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I don't really care that specific classes are considered "boring" as such. For me, the enjoyment is in the group tactics. That still means you'll need some grunts to hold the line. Fighters and Rogues were made "interesting" in the DA series, but the overall tactics were pretty atrocious.

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I think "boring" classes are a problem in single character games. In party based games, especially in ones with 6 characters, its not really that important.

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