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How to Fix the Attribute Design in Pillars of Eternity


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The idea that you can't access your employer's web forum from your home internet account is risible and I don't believe it.

 

Edit - if his argument is "I don't post on work accounts off-duty" then fine, I respect that with a cherry on-top. But the excuse, as-is, sucks.

Edited by Monte Carlo

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Intellect I would see affecting deflection and defenses. Smart people who use brains over brawn go long lengths not to injure themselves when it comes to physical work and fighting and not gas themselves. Perception definitely affecting accuracy. Lol ever try playing hockey with bad eye sight? As for interruption being complex and hard to balance. I simplify it as much as possible or ditch it altogether.

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*snip*

I can't say I like either of those most recent suggestions because IMO there is really no way for AoE to carry an attribute on its own. It's simply not going to be universally applicable enough or strong enough to meet either of those two primary design goals we're shooting for (no dump stats and every stat worthwhile for every class in some way).

Edited by Matt516
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The idea that you can't access your employer's web forum from your home internet account is risible and I don't believe it.

 

Edit - if his argument is "I don't post on work accounts off-duty" then fine, I respect that with a cherry on-top. But the excuse, as-is, sucks.

I'm sure he can access the forum itself. I think he means he can't access his dev account.

 

Which is certainly a possibility.

Edited by C2B
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The idea that you can't access your employer's web forum from your home internet account is risible and I don't believe it.

 

Edit - if his argument is "I don't post on work accounts off-duty" then fine, I respect that with a cherry on-top. But the excuse, as-is, sucks.

I'm sure he can access the forum itself. I think he means he can't access his dev account.

 

Which is certainly a possibility.

Either way - we know Josh doesn't post on the forums over the weekend, the reason why is pretty much immaterial. He'll get back to it when work/personal schedule allows him to.

 

In the meantime, what we can do is focus on making sure that when he does come back to it, there are a ton of really great ideas and feedback in the thread for him and the design team to absorb. :)

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I agree that by itself AoE (given what we know about each class's abilities) isn't widespread enough for it to carry its own value. It must be paired with something universally appealing and fairly potent. I am still for separating Duration and AoE, but you can't just toss AoE wherever and expect good results.

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It seems to me that a lot of people are taking "all attributes should be useful in some way for all classes" to mean "all attributes should be useful for all characters". Those aren't the same thing. Yes, Constitution is not as useful for back liners as it is for front liners. That doesn't mean it fails to meet the design goal though, because all classes can benefit from increased survivability if the player chooses to build and play them that way. The meaning of this design goal is that systems such as the Infinity engine stats, where certain classes literally mechanically do not benefit in any way from some attributes, should be avoided. But let us not fall into the trap of trying to make all attributes useful for all character archetypes. That is simply a nonsensical goal in my opinion.

 

Ah, but what if you want to make all attributes useful for all classes, and you also make all of them useful to both "line of fire" characters and non-"line of fire" characters (regardless of class)?

 

Because it sounds to me like Josh is toying with that idea.

 

 

Well, I was wrong: http://jesawyer.tumblr.com/post/97494143726/re-attributes-i-think-you-need-to-clarify-your-design

 

 

melnorme said: Re: attributes, I think you need to clarify your design goals. Is your objective to have attributes that are viable/useful choices for all classes? Or is the objective to have attributes that are viable/useful choices for the Cartesian product of classes and whether or not they're being played as a close-range "line of fire" character? That is, that all attributes should be viable/useful for both melee and ranged rogues, for both muscle wizards and traditional wizards, etc.

 

The former.  It’s more important to me that players be able to make a wide variety of characters of a given class with different Attribute spreads than for those Attribute spreads to be equally viable in all circumstances/all different class styles (e.g. close-up gish wizard vs. back row wizard throwing out big AoEs).

 

The game’s content should always (IMO) encourage the player to play toward the strengths of the character.  In many class-based RPGs, a large number of possible stat spreads give the player nothing for the points they put into them.  A 2nd Ed. fighter with a high Int or Cha winds up being just a bad fighter.  It’s cool for role-playing purposes, but mechanically, they aren’t good and there are very few routes to making that Int and Cha feel like good investments.

 

In 3.X, WotC tried solving some of this with feats and specialty classes.  E.g. you can make an Int-oriented fighter with certain feats or you can make a Swashbuckler with Int-based damage bonuses.  This is a way to address the problem, but it happens on the back end rather than in the stat/attributes themselves.  I made a 3.5 cleric based on William of Baskerville from The Name of the Rose.  High Int/Wis/Cha, low Str/Con/Dex.  It was difficult to make a character on that concept that didn’t feel like he was dragging the party down and virtually impossible with just the core rules.

 

In Bobby Null’s recent 3.5 game, one of the players made a high Cha fighter.  He was just a bad fighter.  Cool character, but really a liability in combat.  Outside of combat, his conversational stats were steamrolled by the “diplomancer” noble/marshal I made.  At 8th level, she had +29 to Diplomacy.  Setting aside that 3.5 makes it ludicrously easy to blow out the Diplomacy DC scale with a modicum of effort, there was nothing good or fun about the massive deficiencies of the other player’s high Cha fighter.  You can solve it on the back end with enough splat books, but what I would like to do in PoE is see how much of it we can solve in the Attribute system itself.

 

I’ve never said our current system is perfect, that it will be perfect, or that perfect balance is even a goal.  I think I’ve said many things to the contrary over the course of development.  It’s much easier to try to make all attributes valuable in a classless system, but I don’t think that means we shouldn’t attempt it in a class-based system.

 

On a minor side note, if I ever get to make an Ars Magica/Darklands-style game, I would definitely make it turn-based and classless.

 

But in that case, why the need for the INT/RES swap?

Edited by Infinitron
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But in that case, why the need for the INT/RES swap?

My thoughts exactly

 

if Interrupt gets taken out, Perception will need some rebalancing as well otherwise it will still be Underpowered.

Edited by Sensuki
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I thought having deflection and accuracy on the same attribute was too OP.

 

Well, as Fearabbit pointed out, Deflection is really not all that distinct from the other 3 Defenses (which are already governed by various other attributes at a rate of +1.5 per point at the moment). It is probably still the most targeted, but that's accounted for by the fact that it's easier to increase via shields and such. 

oO that seems more like a counter-argument to me, because it's possible to get much more out of your defense stat points by using a shield. 

I haven't payed much attention on that, how was the distribution of different attack-types in the beta anyway?

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*snip*

I can't say I like either of those most recent suggestions because IMO there is really no way for AoE to carry an attribute on its own. It's simply not going to be universally applicable enough or strong enough to meet either of those two primary design goals we're shooting for (no dump stats and every stat worthwhile for every class in some way).

 

The second one is basically Sawyer's idea for attribute changes, if I understood his posts right. Well apart from the removal of double defense stats, that's just me, but I think it needs to happen. Double defense stats just seem silly to me and hard to balance. By double defense stats I mean fortitude, reflexes and will saves on 2 different attributes.

 

I don't disagree with you, but I think it could be made to work.

Edited by Seari
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*snip*

I can't say I like either of those most recent suggestions because IMO there is really no way for AoE to carry an attribute on its own. It's simply not going to be universally applicable enough or strong enough to meet either of those two primary design goals we're shooting for (no dump stats and every stat worthwhile for every class in some way).

 

The second one is basically Sawyer's idea for attribute changes, if I understood his posts right. Well apart from the removal of double defense stats, that's just me, but I think it needs to happen. Double defense stats just seem silly to me and hard to balance. By double defense stats I mean fortitude, reflexes and will saves on 2 different attributes.

 

I don't disagree with you, but I think it could be made to work.

 

 

The difference is that you've removed the standard 1.5 of X non-Deflection defense that every attribute gets. Since all attributes get that bonus in the current and our proposed system, we don't really have to consider it when balancing them - assuming those 3 defenses are roughly equally targeted, those boni cancel out from a balance perspective.

 

But if you remove that standard, you have to look at everything each attribute provides. Intellect providing +1 Deflection, +5% AoE, but not +1.5 Will, makes it woefully underpowered compared to the others. +1 Deflection on its own is already slightly weaker than +1 Accuracy, +2% damage, 2% Health/Stamina, +5% Duration, and +2% Action Speed. Pairing it with AoE helps, but only if the other "primary" attribute boni (IMO the ones I just listed) aren't paired with anything stronger than AoE. Which, in both our proposed and Josh's proposed system, they wouldn't be. In the system you proposed, many of them are paired with other defenses.

Edited by Matt516
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Stealing this from SA forums (Inspector Gesicht is OP), maybe it helps @Monte Carlo and some others to get a better understanding of current game mechanics:

 

PoE Statistical Mechanics

Effect of Attributes per point

  • Might: +2% Damage and Healing
  • Constitution: +2% Stamina and Health
  • Dexterity: +1 Accuracy
  • Perception: +3% Interrupt
  • Intellect: +5% Ability Duration and Area of Effect
  • Resolve: +3% Concentration

Derived Attributes (Not properly calculated in current BETA version)

  • Stamina and Health: Based on Class, Multipled by Constitution
  • Accuracy: Based on Class, Increased by Dexterity
  • Deflection: Based on Class
  • Fortitude: (Might + Constitution)*1.5
  • Reflex: (Dexterity + Perception)*1.5
  • Will: (Intellect + Resolve)*1.5

On Level Up

  • Stamina and Health: Increase based on Class
  • Accuracy: +3
  • Deflection: +3
  • Fortitude: +3
  • Reflex: +3
  • Will: +3
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*snip*

I can't say I like either of those most recent suggestions because IMO there is really no way for AoE to carry an attribute on its own. It's simply not going to be universally applicable enough or strong enough to meet either of those two primary design goals we're shooting for (no dump stats and every stat worthwhile for every class in some way).

 

Is it possible to put 2 attributes together (INT+PER) ? Can target range and AOE be deleted (since there's not all spells are AOE spells) ? Or it it's 6 attributes, an increase in damage for spells/ablities for INT? Does it make sense for balance or do you think it's a bad idea?

  • Might: no defenses (+2% damage/healing)
  • Constitution: +1 Fortitude (+2% health/stamina)
  • Dexterity: +1 Reflexes (+2% action speed)
  • Intellect/Perception: +1 Deflection (+1 Accuracy)
  • Resolve:  +1 Will (+1% Concentration, +5% Duration)

 

  • Might: no defenses (+2% damage/healing)
  • Constitution: +1 Fortitude (+2% health/stamina)
  • Dexterity: +1 Reflexes (+2% action speed)
  • Intellect: + ? %-increase in spell/ability damage
  • Perception: +1 Deflection (+1 Accuracy)
  • Resolve:  +1 Will (+1% Concentration, +5% Duration)
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Is there some technical issue that makes changing radii difficult? Because you're going for some weird way around the issue instead the most obvious one.

Seeing AoE affect characters is great (in ToEE creature circles changed color and glowed for that), but what if player is a big fan of "fair4all" friendly fire and expects it affect everyone from high difficulty he have chosen for his playthrough?

 

We have a bunch of people saying "yeah, AoE increase doesn't really seem that valuable", mostly because the marginal increase can be a liability.  Allowing you to scale it down solves the liability problem, but also means that in those circumstances, you get literally no benefit from it at all.  I still really don't get why this is such a spot of resistance when making the margins safe doesn't remove friendly fire, it makes INT valuable all the time instead of sometimes being a liability, and it doesn't require adding a UI layer on top of the system just to regulate AoE sizes.

 

 

The problem with having a two-layer circle with friendly fire on the inside and non-friendly-fire on the outside is that it is easily exploitable to totally remove friendly-fire completely, which is a major balancing issue, as it removes the risk-vs-reward from AoE spells:

 

Imagine a situation where your frontline fighter is surrounded by a pack of enemies (which happens frequently). In the IE games, you had two options now:

1) you could throw a fireball directly on top of your frontline fighter, damaging all of the enemies, but hitting your fighter aswell (high risk vs. high reward)

2) you could throw a fireball at the far distance behind the frontline fighter, effectively only damaging enemies on this side of the character, but keeping your fighter safe. (low risk vs. low reward)

 

This is a strategic decision that is heavily dependant on your playstyle. It also feels very balanced, as (with fireball being a very powerful spell) neither of the two choices is clearly the "better" or even "optimal" solution. In both situations, you can make use of your fireball spell, but it isn't a no-brainer choice and requires thinking ahead.

 

Now, let's view the same situation with both scaling AoE and two-radius AoE:

 

Scalable AoE:

You still have the same two choices as in the IE games and need to decide strategically. However, the increased AoE size of the fireball still has the strategical advantage of being allowed to hit more enemies aswell.

 

Two radius AoE:

As the outer radius of your fireball has friendly fire disabled, you can always manage to throw in a fireball in a way that it damages all enemies surrounding your frontline fighter without damaging him. The two possible tactical options (sacrifice life of my fighter for massive AoE damage or do much less damage and keep my fighter up?) disappear completely, as now, there is a clear "best case" scenario that is low risk vs. high reward.

 

 

In conclusion, scaling AoE via mousewheel is not only better from an RP perspective (and imho more intuitive), but also keeps an important balancing aspect of AoE damage spells intact: that I need to decide if its worth the risk of hitting a player character.

A two-radius AoE removes that risk completely, sacrificing tactical fidelity in the game for a clear best-choice-scenario.

 

 

Remember that flexibility is always a pro, especially in a game that has an ironman mode. Just because an adjustable AoE size might not be useful in 100% of the cases, it does not mean that the opportunity to scale freely is worthless in those situations. Flexibility opens up tactical opportunities. Wether you take advantage of them or not doesn't matter. Just having those options is worth it. A swiss army knife comes with all kind of tools you may or may not use at all. You might end up only using the knife most of the time. But eventually, you will come into a situation where you need the corkscrew. And then you are extremely happy that you have it.

Edited by Zwiebelchen
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Is there some technical issue that makes changing radii difficult? Because you're going for some weird way around the issue instead the most obvious one.

Seeing AoE affect characters is great (in ToEE creature circles changed color and glowed for that), but what if player is a big fan of "fair4all" friendly fire and expects it affect everyone from high difficulty he have chosen for his playthrough?

We have a bunch of people saying "yeah, AoE increase doesn't really seem that valuable", mostly because the marginal increase can be a liability. Allowing you to scale it down solves the liability problem, but also means that in those circumstances, you get literally no benefit from it at all. I still really don't get why this is such a spot of resistance when making the margins safe doesn't remove friendly fire, it makes INT valuable all the time instead of sometimes being a liability, and it doesn't require adding a UI layer on top of the system just to regulate AoE sizes.

The problem with having a two-layer circle with friendly fire on the inside and non-friendly-fire on the outside is that it is easily exploitable to totally remove friendly-fire completely, which is a major balancing issue, as it removes the risk-vs-reward from AoE spells:

 

Imagine a situation where your frontline fighter is surrounded by a pack of enemies (which happens frequently). In the IE games, you had two options now:

1) you could throw a fireball directly on top of your frontline fighter, damaging all of the enemies, but hitting your fighter aswell (high risk vs. high reward)

2) you could throw a fireball at the far distance behind the frontline fighter, effectively only damaging enemies on this side of the character, but keeping your fighter safe. (low risk vs. low reward)

 

This is a strategic decision that is heavily dependant on your playstyle. It also feels very balanced, as (with fireball being a very powerful spell) neither of the two choices is clearly the "better" or even "optimal" solution. In both situations, you can make use of your fireball spell, but it isn't a no-brainer choice and requires thinking ahead.

 

Now, let's view the same situation with both scaling AoE and two-radius AoE:

 

Scalable AoE:

You still have the same two choices as in the IE games and need to decide strategically. However, the increased AoE size of the fireball still has the strategical advantage of being allowed to hit more enemies aswell.

 

Two radius AoE:

As the outer radius of your fireball has friendly fire disabled, you can always manage to throw in a fireball in a way that it damages all enemies surrounding your frontline fighter without damaging him. The two possible tactical options (sacrifice life of my fighter for massive AoE damage or do much less damage and keep my fighter up?) disappear completely, as now, there is a clear "best case" scenario that is low risk vs. high reward.

 

 

In conclusion, scaling AoE via mousewheel is not only better from an RP perspective (and imho more intuitive), but also keeps an important balancing aspect of AoE damage spells intact: that I need to decide if its worth the risk of hitting a player character.

A two-radius AoE removes that risk completely, sacrificing tactical fidelity in the game for a clear best-choice-scenario.

 

 

Remember that flexibility is always a pro, especially in a game that has an ironman mode. Just because an adjustable AoE size might not be useful in 100% of the cases, it does not mean that the opportunity to scale freely is worthless in those situations. Flexibility opens up tactical opportunities. Wether you take advantage of them or not doesn't matter. Just having those options is worth it. A swiss army knife comes with all kind of tools you may or may not use at all. You might end up only using the knife most of the time. But eventually, you will come into a situation where you need the corkscrew. And then you are extremely happy that you have it.

Either I don't understand what Josh Sawyer is talking about or you don't. Nothing about the risk/reward of the base AoE (in this example, a fireball) changes. The friendly-fire AoE of fireball will be the same size in an 18-int will be the same as a 3-int wizard. The tactical considerations are unchanged. My understanding of Sawyer's plan is to make it so that the 18-int wizard is not punished for investing in an attribute by making it more difficult for him to utilize fireball than a 3-Int wizard.

 

Also, no offense intended, but I a lot of the reticence to this idea comes more from guttural nostalgia than from anything else.

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Either I don't understand what Josh Sawyer is talking about or you don't. Nothing about the risk/reward of the base AoE (in this example, a fireball) changes. The friendly-fire AoE of fireball will be the same size in an 18-int will be the same as a 3-int wizard. The tactical considerations are unchanged. My understanding of Sawyer's plan is to make it so that the 18-int wizard is not punished for investing in an attribute by making it more difficult for him to utilize fireball than a 3-Int wizard.

 

Also, no offense intended, but I a lot of the reticence to this idea comes more from guttural nostalgia than from anything else.

 

 

If part of your AoE only hits ennemies, you negate the usual trade off of fireballs. "if I want to hit an ennemy, I will hit my frontline too". In fact, the base AoE (wich is friendly fire) becomes irrelevant because you won't use it anymore. You will always position your spells so as to hit with the outer ring only.

 

You don't have to take risks anymore by hitting your own troops (low risks) but you continue to deal massive damage (high reward).

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Either I don't understand what Josh Sawyer is talking about or you don't. Nothing about the risk/reward of the base AoE (in this example, a fireball) changes. The friendly-fire AoE of fireball will be the same size in an 18-int will be the same as a 3-int wizard. The tactical considerations are unchanged. My understanding of Sawyer's plan is to make it so that the 18-int wizard is not punished for investing in an attribute by making it more difficult for him to utilize fireball than a 3-Int wizard.

 

Also, no offense intended, but I a lot of the reticence to this idea comes more from guttural nostalgia than from anything else.

 

 

If part of your AoE only hits ennemies, you negate the usual trade off of fireballs. "if I want to hit an ennemy, I will hit my frontline too". In fact, the base AoE (wich is friendly fire) becomes irrelevant because you won't use it anymore. You will always position your spells so as to hit with the outer ring only.

 

You don't have to take risks anymore by hitting your own troops (low risks) but you continue to deal massive damage (high reward).

 

 

Beat me to it!

 

Yeah, the idea is that if the fringe AoE is large enough, you can basically start using only the fringe AoE.

 

This could be mitigated by making the AoE increase small.

 

Another interesting option could be to just embrace this and roll with it as a feature. Maybe instead of increasing AoEs, the AoE stays the same (or increases less), but increasing portions of it are non-friendly fire. Representing the caster becoming better and better at controlling his/her spells to selectively avoid allies.

 

Just an idea. 

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Either I don't understand what Josh Sawyer is talking about or you don't. Nothing about the risk/reward of the base AoE (in this example, a fireball) changes. The friendly-fire AoE of fireball will be the same size in an 18-int will be the same as a 3-int wizard. The tactical considerations are unchanged. My understanding of Sawyer's plan is to make it so that the 18-int wizard is not punished for investing in an attribute by making it more difficult for him to utilize fireball than a 3-Int wizard.

 

Also, no offense intended, but I a lot of the reticence to this idea comes more from guttural nostalgia than from anything else.

If part of your AoE only hits ennemies, you negate the usual trade off of fireballs. "if I want to hit an ennemy, I will hit my frontline too". In fact, the base AoE (wich is friendly fire) becomes irrelevant because you won't use it anymore. You will always position your spells so as to hit with the outer ring only.

 

You don't have to take risks anymore by hitting your own troops (low risks) but you continue to deal massive damage (high reward).

Beat me to it!

 

Yeah, the idea is that if the fringe AoE is large enough, you can basically start using only the fringe AoE.

 

This could be mitigated by making the AoE increase small.

 

Another interesting option could be to just embrace this and roll with it as a feature. Maybe instead of increasing AoEs, the AoE stays the same (or increases less), but increasing portions of it are non-friendly fire. Representing the caster becoming better and better at controlling his/her spells to selectively avoid allies.

 

Just an idea.

IIRC, that is what Josh wanted to do. Base area damages everything, no friendly fire for extended AoE.

"I am the expert, asshat." - Hurlshot

"I'm fine with humanity being wiped out" - majestic

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IIRC, that is what Josh wanted to do. Base area damages everything, no friendly fire for extended AoE.

 

My bad - I was talking about taking this a step further and extending the friendly region into the original AoE.

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I personally find the whole "fringe AoE does no friendly fire" idea asinine. It's just one more bad design idea for a class that's already been diluted and chopped up enough as it is. It's a kind of piece-meal concession to acknowledge that the AoE emphasis with FF class composition is a failure. If you have to aim on margin and fringe to get use out of most of your spells--or abuse Fog of War bugs to half-way utilize a class's mainstay abilities, it's a failure.

 

Making the fringe of the AoE safe for friendlies will only give people a larger fringe to aim with. It doesn't solve a damn thing. It's akin to telling someone to walk on their legs after breaking them, but expecting them to be enthusiastic about the experience because you've now given them a crutch to lean on. I'll have to leave it at that before this becomes an epic rant about some patently bad ideas that have to be danced around because, "Oh noes! Wizard is omniclass!", Cried the developers that give Wizards the ability to melee, use any weapon, wear armor, casting in armor, pick locks, disable traps, and stealth--all without the use of spells.

 

It doesn't end with the Wizard. The cipher has some major conceptual problems, same with the Priest, and just as the Druid. I could write a paper on how mismatched all of these classes have become. I very well might. I just haven't the time atm. Soon though...soon....Please forgive the momentary lapse of constructiveness.

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I've put together a summary of all the attribute design ideas put forth so far in this thread for easy comparison/review for people who are just getting here. Where a poster was not specific or gave incomplete information, I've put parentheses around what I think they would've put in the incomplete information sections. I made an exception for the "saving throw" defenses, which hardly anyone (including Sensuki and I) mentioned so I just put them without parentheses since I assumed if they weren't mentioned they were staying the same.

 

post-66969-0-91118600-1410823187_thumb.jpg

 

I've also put together a quick list of the tweaks and considerations that (IMHO) need to happen in order to fix the attribute system one way or the other (assuming no huge mechanics changes that render the whole thing moot). This is based primarily off of the analysis done in our paper, and informed by the awesome discussion that's taken place in this thread. Here they are:

  • Might and Constitution shouldn't have their boni split off to other attributes b/c they're already thematically and mechanically balanced
  • Accuracy, Deflection, Duration, and Action Speed are "primary" boni and shouldn't be paired with any other "primary" boni
  • Of those 4, Deflection is probably the weakest of the bunch
  • AoE, Interrupt, and Concentration are "secondary" boni and should therefore be paired with the "primary" boni
  • Of those 3, Concentration is the strongest - therefore pairing it with Deflection makes the most sense
  • Due to the dependency of Interrupt on Accuracy, it should be with Accuracy if it is kept in as a stat
  • Regarding the "no two primary attributes together" goal and my pg 20 suggestion: see post #387 on page 20
And lastly, here's the same table again, but with the solutions that (IMHO) would result in a well-balanced system (basically the solutions that agree with the list above) highlighted:

 

post-66969-0-86717300-1410823497_thumb.jpg

 

Keep the ideas flowing, guys and gals. Someone let me know if I accidentally misrepresented an idea and I'll fix it. :)

 

EDIT: Just wanted to point out in advance that just because I didn't highlight an idea in the second table doesn't mean I think it's bad - just that it wouldn't be completely balanced for one reason or another. This is one guy's opinion, and I'm not trying to tear anyone else's ideas down. If I had I wouldn't have included every single suggestion I could find.

EDIT 2: After some reflection, I think I should've highlighted your last suggestion as well, 4ward. Sorry about that. Will fix when I get home if I can still edit, but it probably won't let me.

 

 

Obsidian Folks, if you're coming in at this point of the thread, this should give you a good idea of the systems that have been proposed thus far. There's also been lots of great mechanics discussion that I can't capture in the table though, so I'd encourage you to read it if you can. :)

Edited by Matt516
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