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

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The Minoletta's spells are not improved versions of each other.  Bounding Missiles and Concussive Missiles do different things than Minor Missiles.  More importantly, you probably would not use them in the same circumstances.  Sunlance (single-target, Deflection-based, Pierce and Burn damage) is not an improved version of Sunbeam (AoE, Reflexes-based, Burn damage and Fortitude-based Blind affliction).

 

Yes, druids have three levels of blight summons.  BG's druids had three levels of animal summons.

They are all crushing damage spells affecting Deflection, are they not? And even if some of them vary slightly in saving throws or an additional bouncing effect, in principle they are comparable. Say I meet the murder beetles. Is there a reason not to cast all these missiles on them or prefer one type over another?

Same goes for Sunbeam and Sunscorch. They are not as different from one another like, say, IWD's Sunbeam and False Dawn or Sunray. Sunbeam has little radius and blind effect, does say, 20 fire damage. Sunscorch is a little bigger and does 30 or more. For me they are both just a source of fire damage.

And Blights. Are minor blight and medium blight as different as a wardog and a brown bear? Or a winter wolf, fire elemental and nymph? In function & form they probably would act more or less same compared to summons I mentioned (sorry, can't get BGT out of my head and just think in BG Vanilla terms, since there was such an improvement over it when BG2 and things like Spell Revisions came out).

 

I worry for some other spells in a way too. Would Garden of Life be really that different from basic AoE Stamina Regen, and will it be worth of a high level slot, if it is just a more exotic way of restoring stamina? Will Venombloom be really different than just a pumped version of Insect Plague? Etc.

Edited by Shadenuat

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Same goes for Sunbeam and Sunscorch. They are not as different from one another like, say, IWD's Sunbeam and False Dawn or Sunray. Sunbeam has little radius and blind effect, does say, 20 fire damage. Sunscorch is a little bigger and does 30 or more. For me they are both just a source of fire damage.

That's borderline "all spells that hurt things are just a source of damage." I mean, how many specific spell effect variances is it feasible to ignore, just because of the similarities?

 

I don't think it's fair to say "I don't really care about nuanced tactics, so these spells are essentially the same, but magnitudes of one another."


Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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They are all crushing damage spells affecting Deflection, are they not? And even if some of them vary slightly in saving throws or an additional bouncing effect, in principle they are comparable. Say I meet the murder beetles. Is there a reason not to cast all these missiles on them or prefer one type over another?

 

You'd prefer Bounding Missiles in a scenario where there are more than two beetles all spread out and Concussive Missiles in a scenario where the beetles are grouped together (the concussive shockwave also targets Reflexes instead of Deflection, so there's that to consider).

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You'd prefer Bounding Missiles in a scenario where there are more than two beetles all spread out and Concussive Missiles in a scenario where the beetles are grouped together (the concussive shockwave also targets Reflexes instead of Deflection, so there's that to consider).

In Temple of Elemental Evil, 1st level Magic Missile can be spread out between targets as soon as you get at least a second missile, so one spell serves these purposes while also growing in power. There's different saving throw and shockwave, okay, you could probably make another spell out of it. But it seems inefficient to spread out these minor tactical options on conceptually similar spells, and it clutters spellbook.

 

 

That's borderline "all spells that hurt things are just a source of damage." I mean, how many specific spell effect variances is it feasible to ignore, just because of the similarities?

Bellyfeels.

 

Probably as long as player feels that he gets actually fresh things to play with, function and form, and feels that every spell has a unique place in combat that can't be replaced completely by different spell. For example, Mirror Image & Stoneskin, while acting somewhat same (lower amount of attacks you suffer) are still very different - in duration, in what they block and how, what magic can counter or breach them, and so on. If you compare some of Deflection+ spells in PoE it feels they're more replaceable.

Edited by Shadenuat
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I haven't created any of the basic classes since they are covered by the BB NPCs.  Indeed, I found the game play for them is solid as a party chemistry.  However, when the players choose to play one of them as the main character, they tend to expect him/her to be a combat unit which they most frequently use.  Here, I think there was an area which was underused in the soul setting.  I mean, at the moment, whether a unit requires high maintenance or not is largely decided by the choice of its class.  Indeed, the players can build a fighter or a rogue as a more high maintenance unit when compared with those in BG1, but, even in that case, they end up with low maintenance units when compared with more "magical" classes in PoE.  Furthermore, speaking of Rogues, the fun of playing them as more utility class is dampened due to the universal skill/ability score implementation, too.  I think more desirable way in PoE formula is allowing the players to build both high and low maintenance units through all the classes, which should be possible in terms of the setting around soul.  However, at this stage of the development and judging from what Sawyer wrote about the logistics, I guess it can already be a missed opportunity.
 
Also, due to the distinctive class roles, the devs nailed each class to too specific role.  Basically, it would be desirable if the players are allowed to build both defensive (support) type and offensive one for each class.  For example, I'd like Rogues to be sneakier in combat and I wonder if Escape or any other ability allows them to "disappear" time to time even after combat starts, which would let Rogues play the role of tricky manipulators who distract enemies while other party members are doing damage or assassin-like attackers who pile damages through sneak attacks.
 
 

 

 

I don't think it's particularly useful to argue about whether or not fighters and rogues are subjectively "boring", but we can productively talk about whether or not they have a varied list of abilities and, just as important, if they are tactically interesting to use in the context of PoE's combat. 

 

 

 Currently, stealth applies to the whole party. Rogues would get a lot more interesting if stealth was individual and could be used during a fight for better tactical positioning.

 

You don't have any problem with selecting a single character with high stealth skill, who must have a small circle.  If he/she has Mechanic skill, he can set traps before the combat starts although somehow, traps seem to have been slipped from the BB.  This is common to any character although Rogues have skill bonuses for Stealth and Mechanic and that Rogues' Escape ability (although it triggers a bug at the moment) can be beneficial when the enemies found them.  However, at the moment, it just allows Rogues to score just a single sneak attack on an enemy and, considering it ends up with rushing all the enemies to them, I wonder if it deserves the risk.  Rather, I found luring a lone enemy from a group of enemies to beat it with other party members is more practical tactics but it can be done with any other classes as long as they have invested on stealth skill except that Rogues can reduce the risk with aforementioned Escape ability.  I tried BB Priest's Withdraw ability to save BB Rogue but it tends to cost too much time whilist it is considered as an ability for emergency.

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...

 

 However, at the moment, it just allows Rogues to score just a single sneak attack on an enemy and, considering it ends up with rushing all the enemies to them, I wonder if it deserves the risk...

 

 

  This was exactly the point of my suggestion. If the rogue (or any character really, but rogues are probably the most interesting) can stay in stealth when combat starts, then you would have a new set of tactics that are similar to the IE games backstabbing mechanic, but better.  

 

 The part that I want to change is that, currently, stealth mode always applies to the whole party at once (whether you have selected a single character or not). So, as soon as a fight starts, everyone pops out of stealth at the same time. I would like the option of keeping some characters in stealth mode to allow better tactical positioning.

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In Temple of Elemental Evil, 1st level Magic Missile can be spread out between targets as soon as you get at least a second missile, so one spell serves these purposes while also growing in power. There's different saving throw and shockwave, okay, you could probably make another spell out of it. But it seems inefficient to spread out these minor tactical options on conceptually similar spells, and it clutters spellbook.

 

What your wizard learns and puts in his or her grimoires is completely up to you.  It's pretty common in A/D&D to include minor variations on existing spells that have different targeting rules, different AoEs, different damage types, etc.  Nothing forces a player into learning Magic Missile and Mordenkainen's Force Missiles, for example.

 

And from a purely practical perspective, we can't have every spell in a wizard's arsenal contain unique mechanics.  There's always going to be some overlap between various effects.

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  This was exactly the point of my suggestion. If the rogue (or any character really, but rogues are probably the most interesting) can stay in stealth when combat starts, then you would have a new set of tactics that are similar to the IE games backstabbing mechanic, but better.  

 

 The part that I want to change is that, currently, stealth mode always applies to the whole party at once (whether you have selected a single character or not). So, as soon as a fight starts, everyone pops out of stealth at the same time. I would like the option of keeping some characters in stealth mode to allow better tactical positioning.

 

Selective invisibility in combat usually leads to a huge number of bugs, but I'll talk to Tim about it.  The more likely outcome would be an ability for rogues that allows them, specifically, to turn invisible once combat starts.

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  This was exactly the point of my suggestion. If the rogue (or any character really, but rogues are probably the most interesting) can stay in stealth when combat starts, then you would have a new set of tactics that are similar to the IE games backstabbing mechanic, but better.  

 

 The part that I want to change is that, currently, stealth mode always applies to the whole party at once (whether you have selected a single character or not). So, as soon as a fight starts, everyone pops out of stealth at the same time. I would like the option of keeping some characters in stealth mode to allow better tactical positioning.

 

I see.  Then, I guess the difference in our points are just either providing it as a Rogue class ability or a skill.  IMO, making a single skill too useful in combat won't play well with PoE formula.

 

I believe Sneak Attack is an updated version of Backstabbing, making it meaningful in tactical context rather than just save rolls.  Personally, I was wondering if there will be an ability/abilities per encounter like Escape or per rest, which support Rogues to spare their asses from dangers, defense-wise and/or give opportunities to score Sneak Attacks, offense-wise.  Maybe, there will be added game balance issues but I believe such ability can be implemented without requiring much resources such as special animations.

 

[Edit]Sawyer beat me on this but I guess they are thinking about an implementation near to what I imagined

 

 

Selective invisibility in combat usually leads to a huge number of bugs, but I'll talk to Tim about it.  The more likely outcome would be an ability for rogues that allows them, specifically, to turn invisible once combat starts.

 

I think I'm happier even if it's just for protecting rogue from enemies rushing to him/her but could you also think of making the ability to become invisible can be used during the course of combat?  It won't be overly powerful as long as it has a limit on its usage, I think.[/Edit]

 

 

 

Edited by Wombat

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Selective invisibility in combat usually leads to a huge number of bugs, but I'll talk to Tim about it.  The more likely outcome would be an ability for rogues that allows them, specifically, to turn invisible once combat starts.

 

 I think having it as an ability would work. In a way, it might be better because it fits the character class and gives it a different play style.

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... Then, I guess the difference in our points are just either providing it as a Rogue class ability or a skill.  ...

 

 I missed that in your post. I think it could work either way.

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Selective invisibility in combat usually leads to a huge number of bugs, but I'll talk to Tim about it. 

 

 

Ai, so the fact that stealth applies to the whole party at once is because you couldn't get per-character stealth to work properly? That's not good.

Edited by Infinitron
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This.

 

The IE games managed selective invisibility. I can't believe it's insurmountable for P:E.

 

A bad stealth system won't ruin the game, but it is an ugly wart.

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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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This.

 

The IE games managed selective invisibility. I can't believe it's insurmountable for P:E.

 

A bad stealth system won't ruin the game, but it is an ugly wart.

 

On the other hand IE games didn't have mechanic that would allow all enemies to detect invisible characters if they are too close.

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True, but I'm not sure the current system is an improvement. Invisibility and stealth were perfectly serviceable. The detection circles, especially visible, are a step backward. They take the thrill out of stealth. It becomes dull and predictable.

 

As to magic invisibility, the reliability was kind of the point. You knew you wouldn't get detected until the duration ran out or you stabbed someone in the face.

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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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Selective invisibility in combat usually leads to a huge number of bugs, but I'll talk to Tim about it. 

 

Ai, so the fact that stealth applies to the whole party at once is because you couldn't get per-character stealth to work properly?

 

No, it isn't.  Selective invisibility of characters as a general rule leads to more bugs with selection, perception, and GUI feedback.

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As a general rule, I think it would be more productive if people did not leap to conclusions about why an aspect of the game is or isn't a certain way.  If you want to ask, just ask.

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I find the melee classes to be just fine in PoE. The game appears to have been designed around melee combat first and foremost. I think it would be nice if fighters were less defensively oriented, but with the way classes were fractured into MMO roles.. that's not likely going to change much.

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As a party chemistry, the system makes sense and feels solid.  While I wouldn't like to put them into chaos, I understand some people are complaining of the classes they choose for the protagonist have fewer meaningful commands than some other party members.

 

I'm not sure what you mean about melee first while I see quite many people who claims that melee is weaker when it comes to damaging.  Personally, I found guns and arbalest are powerful but, when it comes to comparison between melee and ranged classes, I'm yet to be able to compare them properly since the ranger class implementation is somehow confusing.

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Selective invisibility in combat usually leads to a huge number of bugs, but I'll talk to Tim about it. 

 

Ai, so the fact that stealth applies to the whole party at once is because you couldn't get per-character stealth to work properly?

 

No, it isn't.  Selective invisibility of characters as a general rule leads to more bugs with selection, perception, and GUI feedback.

 

 

 

As a general rule, I think it would be more productive if people did not leap to conclusions about why an aspect of the game is or isn't a certain way.  If you want to ask, just ask.

 

 

Yeah, okay, but this is a pretty basic thing. It's how the IE games worked. In most cases where the behavior of Pillars is divergent from the Infinity Engine games, you've explained what, how and why well in advance.

 

But this whole stealth-on-the-whole-party thing has kind of gone under the radar, so I'm asking.

Edited by Infinitron

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Yeah, okay, but this is a pretty basic thing. It's how the IE games worked. In most cases where the behavior of Pillars is divergent from the Infinity Engine games, you've explained what, how and why well in advance.

 

But this whole stealth-on-the-whole-party thing has kind of gone under the radar, so I'm asking.

 

Asking is fine, and if you want you can start off a question by asking us to confirm/deny that we're incompetent dummies, but I don't think it's helpful.

 

We implemented stealth as party-based because it seemed most likely that if the player had one character in scouting mode, there was little to no downside to having all characters in scouting mode.  In my experience, if one member of the party, or in more complex circumstances, one AI enemy, is invisible and others are not, it can cause some measure of feedback confusion.  The worst situations are when one or more characters are selectively invisible to one or more characters.  E.g. two guys have seen the party's rogue, but other enemies have not, or three party members have seen through the wizard's invisibility, but the other three have not.

 

I didn't say that we couldn't make stealth/scouting selective for characters or that we couldn't make individual party members invisible in combat, but there are often bugs that arise from it.  I've already talked to Steve about it and will talk to Tim about it right after post this.

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Well, if we can ask questions in this thread, can you give a sketch on how the beta is supposed to be updated?

 

I guess you'll first continue on stability issues and stuff, but can you give a rough scheme on when, for example, additional talents could be in a patch?

 

Also, is it still up to debate whether non-magic classes will be able to select their class feats from a pool instead of having a linear progression?

I feel this would go a long way to make them feel more costumizable, as the magic classes already feel quite costumizable just because you can select the spells they learn after your personal priorities (at least except for the classes that have immidiate access to all spells of a given level). This would also remove some pressure on the general talents at every third level of being the only way to customizing after the attributes are set, without you needing to implement enough talents to be able to choose one every second level.

 

Also, thanks for your work and taking time to explain your point of view.

Edited by Doppelschwert
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Well, if we can ask questions in this thread, can you give a sketch on how the beta is supposed to be updated?

 

I guess you'll first continue on stability issues and stuff, but can you give a rough scheme on when, for example, additional talents could be in a patch?

 

Also, is it still up to debate whether non-magic classes will be able to select their class feats from a pool instead of having a linear progression?

I feel this would go a long way to make them feel more costumizable, as the magic classes already feel quite costumizable just because you can select the spells they learn after your personal priorities (at least except for the classes that have immidiate access to all spells of a given level). This would also remove some pressure on the general talents at every third level of being the only way to customizing after the attributes are set, without you needing to implement enough talents to be able to choose one every second level.

 

Also, thanks for your work and taking time to explain your point of view.

 

I can't give you a timeline on when more Talents we be implemented or when they will be rolled out to backers, but we are discussing them now.

 

When it comes to Abilities and Talents and whether or not some Abilites could be selected vs. linearly progressed, I think that will ultimately depend on what that final pool of Abilities and Talents looks like.  I'm pretty sure our data structure allows us to do it from a technical perspective, but it will likely come down to the total amount of available content for those classes.

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I was more thinking about whether there are some logical dependencies in the patch process, like 'GUI has to be final before we can do some other stuff' or people only being free to make talents after they programmed the AI or something like that, or if it all runs in parallel.

Anyway, thanks for your answers (especially to the second question)!

 

When I'm at it, is it right to assume that there will be no more updates in the official anouncements until the game ships as you are all being busy working on the game, or is still something planned?

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There will probably be more updates in the official announcements, but at a much slower rate.

 

BTW I talked to Tim et al. about invisibility as a state and selective scouting.  Invisibility as a state is much easier to do and both Tim and Dave will likely work on it in the near future.  Selective scouting has many more potential issues, so it's less likely to happen in short order.

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