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How to Fix the Attribute Design in Pillars of Eternity


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You changed my mind on saves, I kind of misunderstood how it worked before. Also Ganrich just pointed out what Josh had in mind, as you can see they're the same, so that's kind of silly. :lol:

 

edit: I really like your RES suggestion, but how about it being all defenses except Deflection? RES - concentration, will, ref, fort. Makes a lot of sense thematically. It would give half points of the saves right? I like it a lot actually, implement this now! >_<

edit2: Oh that was Fearabbit's idea.

Edited by Seari
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Anybody thought of a scenario where Concentration and Interrupt depend on multiple attributes kind of like Fort/Reflex/Will do, but with 3 attributes each?

For example:

 

Mig   +dmg/heal

Con   +sta/health

Dex   +speed

Per    +acc

Int      +AoE, duration

Res    +deflection

 

Concentration = (Con + Int + Res) * multiplier

Interrupt = (Might + Dex + Per) * multiplier

 

It's pretty much sensuki/mat's suggestion with this weird Con/int, but why not? Going through Matts principles two posts above this one i think everything checks except for Resolution maybe being too weak (since deflection is considered the weakest primary boni). Perhaps this could be balanced by tweaking numbers. 

Edited by Roarkkk
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Since the game mechanics are complicated/unfamiliar and Sensuki&Matt's PDF is pretty wall-of-text'y, I found it difficult to get a good "feeling" for what the proposed changes would mean, or how the attribute system was structured in the first place.

 

So, to help with that, I made some diagrams from the information I could find (from the PDF, and in-game in the backer beta, and the forums/wiki).

 

Enjoy:

 

Attribute system of the current backer beta:

 

WOnzJSL.png

 

 

 

Attribute system proposed by Sensuki/Matt516:

 

p4JrMvN.png

 

Solid-line arrows mean that a stat's base value is derived from the attributes in question according to some formula; dashed arrows means that a stat is increased by a certain amount (relative to its base value) for each point in the respective attribute.

Green annotations name the most closely corresponding BG2 stat/concept, but do note that they're not 100% identical (in particular, note that Speed/Accuracy/Deflection affect all offensive actions, not just weapon attacks like the corresponding BG2 mechanics).

 

 

I'm sure there are still some errors in those diagrams (do point them out if you spot one!), but it's a start.

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"Some ideas are so stupid that only an intellectual could believe them." -- attributed to George Orwell

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Fantastic diagram! :D

 

Only suggestions I'd have would be:  

A) Change Accuracy and Deflection lines to "+1" and solid lines because they aren't actually percentage increases but integer increases.

B) If you want, you could put "+1.5" on the "saving throw" defenses as that's the amount of increase (also integer).

C) The level up values (if you care to put them in) are +3 to all defenses and to Accuracy per lvl above lvl 1. Health/Stamina are dependent on class, obviously.

 

But really, this is awesome! Thanks a bunch for putting them together. You rock.  :)

Edited by Matt516
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Very nice work Ineth! Thanks to your diagrams I have some new suggestions for the attributes:

 

(No idea if these are good suggestions or not, they just randomly popped into my head.)

 

Might - damage & healing (fort)

Dexterity - action speed, deflection (ref)

Constitution - health & endurance (fort)

Perception - accuracy, deflection (ref)

----------------------------------------------------------------------

How dexterous and perceptive you are should both affect deflection.

deflection=(DEX value+PER value)*1.5

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Intellect - AoE size, ability duration(debuffs) (will)

Resolve - concentration, ability duration(buffs) (will)

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Fighter as an example:  Knock Down = INT,  Vigorous Defense = RES

----------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Deflection is the weakest of the primary stats, so I believe splitting it like the rest of the defenses(fort, ref, will) and pairing it with 2 other primary stats might be a good idea. Most of all it makes sense thematically and makes DEX and PER more interesting.

 

All stats are both offensive and defensive, except CON. Concentration is important for attacking, so RES is not a defensive only attribute.

 

Some builds using these attributes:

  • dualwielding AoE interruption focused Barbarian, DEX+PER+INT
  • tank focused Fighter, CON+RES+PER
  • disruption/debuff focused backline Wizard, DEX+PER+INT
  • damage dealing backline Wizard, MIG+PER+INT
  • fast attacking dual wielding interruption focused Muscle Wizard God, DEX+PER+RES
  • support Priest, MIG+DEX+RES
  • damage dealing Rogue, MIG+DEX+PER
  • disruptive Cipher with a fast bow for focus generation(my PC :lol:), DEX+PER+INT

Okay PER(accuracy) is important for every character except support/buffer Priest LOL. This system uses accuracy for everything from auto attacks to spells(damage and crowd control), so either ignore the obvious flaw or remake the system.  Bring back Spell DC's or split accuracy for auto attacks and spells, but that would make attributes go against the "every attribute is good for muh class" idea. :lol:

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Very nice work Ineth! Thanks to your diagrams I have some new suggestions for the attributes:

 

Might - damage & healing (fort)

Dexterity - action speed, deflection (ref)

Constitution - health & endurance (fort)

Perception - accuracy, deflection (ref)

Intellect - AoE size, ability duration(debuffs) (will)

Resolve - concentration, ability duration(buffs) (will)

 

Problem with this as I see it is that DEX and PER are now OP compared to the others because they have 2 very impactful (what I called "primary") stats attached to them in addition to the passive defenses all the attributes have. If you remove the passive defenses from all the attributes (as all 3 are pretty much equal in power so they cancel out for balance purposes), what you get is this:

 

Might - damage & healing
Dexterity - action speed, deflection
Constitution - health & endurance
Perception - accuracy, deflection
Intellect - AoE size, ability duration(debuffs)
Resolve - concentration, ability duration(buffs)
 
If we compare these to the SM system and to Josh's second system, we see that: Might and Constitution are unchanged, Intellect and Resolve have been nerfed, and Perception and Dexterity have been buffed. Now I won't claim that the SM system or Josh's second system were perfectly balanced - but based on what analysis we have done I think they were fairly close.
 
This system makes Perception and Dexterity absolute must-picks, Intellect useless for pretty much anyone other than a dedicated debuffer, and Resolve a pretty weak pick as well for anyone who doesn't rely heavily on buffs (since Concentration is nice but not probably as good as the other combat stats). Now, the numbers on Might and Constitution could be upped to compensate, but the issues with Intellect and Resolve would be systemic and unfixable with simple numbers tweaks.
 
In summary, I think they're interesting ideas, but this system would ultimately fail the "No dump stats" and "All attributes are useful in some way for every class" design goals set out by Josh Sawyer for his attribute system.
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I don't really think splitting things up into buffs and debuffs and melee and ranged accuracy etc is going to fly here (with Josh).

Edited by Sensuki
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Yeah I know, I just did it for fun mostly. I tried to make an attribute system around deflection actually making sense, then I ran out of stats. I just can't see deflection on INT or RES, call me a grognard.

 

Might - damage & healing

Dexterity -  deflection  :down:

Constitution - health & endurance

Perception - accuracy  :down:

Intellect - duration, AoE size

Resolve - action speed, concentration

 

DEX only affecting deflection is just wrong, but this is the best that I can come up with, without adding some new mechanic.

 

edit: If it was up to me I would split accuracy into melee/ranged/spell, or maybe just melee+ranged / spell, but that would go against that stupid good for every character idea.

Edited by Seari
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I don't really think splitting things up into buffs and debuffs and melee and ranged accuracy etc is going to fly here (with Josh).

Maybe it would if we split Melee accuracy and ranged accuracy for all types of damage. So some spells would be classified as melee spells and some as ranged spells (melee would be those that have low range like Burning Hands in BG or Ghoul Touch; I don't know how many of those exist in the game so I didn't want to say to just have spells like Ghoul Touch or Vampire Touch as melee) and each would have its own accuracy Stat. Lets say Dexterity is for melee accuracy and Perception for ranged accuracy.

 

Also I would split damage into melee damage and ranged damage and if wizards wanted to focus on melee and wearing armors he would raise Might which governs melee damage while he would raise some other stat (like Intellect) if he wanted to raise ranged damage.

 

With this system we got offensive stats on 4 stats. Now put some defensive stat useful for melee on Perception or Intellect (and defensive stat on Might or Dexterity that is also useful to ranged characters) and characters cannot ignore stats.

Edited by archangel979
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One can dream :)

But if the modding tools are powerful enough, I would like to see a mod that makes attribute bonuses more realistic and more complex. If someone makes such a mod, I will use it immediately.

 

Emphasis mine - in such an abstracted system, what would that even mean?

If I'm typing in red, it means I'm being sarcastic. But not this time.

Dark green, on the other hand, is for jokes and irony in general.

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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. 

 

 

Imho, non-friendly-fire zones for such AoE spells are a no-go as an intended feature, simply because of the way those AoE spells get balanced.

 

In the IE games, AoE spells were always balanced around Risk-vs-Reward principle.

"Spider's Web" (2nd level spell) has a large AoE, not to make it stronger, but to actually make it weaker. The large AoE radius prevents this spell to be used in a situation where battles are face-to-face. That's why "Hold Person", on the contrary, is a 4th level spell (3rd level for clerics): the smaller AoE radius actually makes it more useful than Spider's Web.

If we proceed further to the next iteration of AoE stuns, "Hold Monster" on 5th level, we notice that, while all other aspects remain unchanged, the friendly fire aspect is gone, which, again, makes this spell more powerful than the previous iteration.

On epic levels, we finally get to "Power Word: stun", which removes the randomness of stuns (either an enemy is immune or stunned without saving throw) completely, but also removes the AoE potential. On the contrary, we have "Symbol: stun", which, again, has friendly fire, but at a much lower radius than Spider's Web.

 

As you can see at the D&D 2nd edition example, all spells are always balanced around the risk vs. reward principle. If there is low risk, there is always low reward. Only as the level requirement of the ability rises, spells get more powerful without increased risk.

 

That's also why "Horrid Wilting" is an 8th level spell, despite not dealing a lot more damage than "Magic Skull":

The removed friendly fire aspect makes this spell incredibly powerful, up to the point of being totally overpowered, despite the epic level requirement. This also shows a major balancing error of 2nd edition D&D: that Horrid Wilting as an 8th level spell is more powerful than a lot of the 9th level spell AoEs that, again, have friendly fire enabled. Almost nobody uses those spells over Horrid Wilting.

 

This shows how easily a spell can be overpowered by just the removal of risk from the risk-vs-reward formula.

 

As another example, just take NWN2:

As friendly fire is a toggle option in NWN2, you can side-by-side compare the impact of friendly fire on the tactical fidelity of a game. Playing the game with disabled friendly fire (It's a shame that friendly fire is turned off by default) changes the whole game experience. Not only is it a huge step upwards in difficulty, but also affects your spell choice tremendously. Whereas almost all spells you'd pick as a mage in NWN2 would be AoE spells (simply because spaming fireballs is so goddamn effective without friendly fire), you suddenly start to use other spells aswell.

 

 

A basic character stat that is obtainable at low levels should not reduce the friendly fire aspect of spells, as that would require a total rebalancing of all friendly-fire spells. And no matter how small the fringe radius is, you can always manage to throw a spell in a fashion that you do not hit your frontline fighter but do hit all enemies surrounding him. Especially if they are all melee.

 

A scalable AoE size via mousehweel doesn't have this problem, hence why it is the better solution. A two-layer AoE is just a quick and lazy solution that will in the end hurt the game more than it benefits.

 

 

 

Sorry for all the off topic about AoEs here. But it's more or less related to the stats discussion so I hope you can live with that.

 

I really like the suggestions of the paper in this thread. I would 100% approve of the proposed change.

Edited by Zwiebelchen
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What? Hold Person was lvl 2 for clerics, and lvl 3 for Wizards. Hold Monster never affected your allies. You mistook it for Confusion (lvl 4) which worked on all in area while Chaos (lvl 5) only worked on enemies.

And AoE spells in IE games were balanced by not showing you their AoE before casting. So each casting you needed to guess if you are going to do FF or not.

Edited by archangel979
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Why do we really need to do fancy stuff with resolve, why not just give it more concentration? Concentration is the single most resolvy thing ingame anyhow, besides maybe stamina, but I'd prefer stamina sticking with constitution. Sure concentration is a situational stat, but in said situations it's do or die, when your frontliners get completely swarmed or your spellcasters keep getting shot before they finish firing off spells concentration is what will allow your chars to remain functional.

Besides resolve Sensuki and Matts system sounds great though.

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That's also why "Horrid Wilting" is an 8th level spell, despite not dealing a lot more damage than "Magic Skull":

The removed friendly fire aspect makes this spell incredibly powerful, up to the point of being totally overpowered, despite the epic level requirement. This also shows a major balancing error of 2nd edition D&D: that Horrid Wilting as an 8th level spell is more powerful than a lot of the 9th level spell AoEs that, again, have friendly fire enabled. Almost nobody uses those spells over Horrid Wilting.

 

I really like the suggestions of the paper in this thread. I would 100% approve of the proposed change.

I agree, the large AoEs do make them a bit weaker and friendly AoEs would make those persistent AoE damage spells overpowered.

 

Why do we really need to do fancy stuff with resolve, why not just give it more concentration?

Concentration only prevents DPS loss, it doesn't really give you any survivability. Stamina can also be healed. Health cannot. If you can just dump healing spells, and several party members have AoE passive heals, then increased Stamina isn't really that fantastic. There's already far too much resting in this game as well, which breaks up the adventuring pace way too much. We don't need even more of that.

 

Might, Intellect and Constitution are pretty much perfect attributes, there's no reason at all to change them.

Edited by Sensuki
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That's also why "Horrid Wilting" is an 8th level spell, despite not dealing a lot more damage than "Magic Skull":

The removed friendly fire aspect makes this spell incredibly powerful, up to the point of being totally overpowered, despite the epic level requirement. This also shows a major balancing error of 2nd edition D&D: that Horrid Wilting as an 8th level spell is more powerful than a lot of the 9th level spell AoEs that, again, have friendly fire enabled. Almost nobody uses those spells over Horrid Wilting.

 

I really like the suggestions of the paper in this thread. I would 100% approve of the proposed change.

I agree, the large AoEs do make them a bit weaker and friendly AoEs would make those persistent AoE damage spells overpowered.

 

Why do we really need to do fancy stuff with resolve, why not just give it more concentration?

Concentration only prevents DPS loss, it doesn't really give you any survivability. Stamina can also be healed. Health cannot. If you can just dump healing spells, and several party members have AoE passive heals, then increased Stamina isn't really that fantastic. There's already far too much resting in this game as well, which breaks up the adventuring pace way too much. We don't need even more of that.

 

Might, Intellect and Constitution are pretty much perfect attributes, there's no reason at all to change them.

 

Yeah, but that DPS loss can get up to 100% in certain circumstances, and preventing such DPS loss is a significant thing. I don't want to give resolve more stamina, and your suggestion does as much to deal with there being to much resting as mine, which is good, because if you want less resting, tweak the stamina-health ratio, no need to do anything with attributes. Concentration can do just fine on its own, provided the amount given is appropriate, so why give resolve a  bunch of fancy stuff like deflection?

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Concentration can do just fine on its own

Concentration on it's own is horrible. 100% DPS loss is only theoretically possible, but in actual fact you are more likely to get disabled by an ability or a spell. Encounters won't have THAT many units in them, and you have up to six party members, so even fighting four enemies with high interrupt and fast attacks, you will still get some hits in.

 

Those would be like raaaare cases, and Constitution would give you more flat survivability, as those enemies are pounding on you, your party pounds on them.

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Concentration on it's own is horrible. 100% DPS loss is only theoretically possible, but in actual fact you are more likely to get disabled by an ability or a spell. Encounters won't have THAT many units in them, and you have up to six party members, so even fighting four enemies with high interrupt and fast attacks, you will still get some hits in.

 

Those would be like raaaare cases, and Constitution would give you more flat survivability, as those enemies are pounding on you, your party pounds on them.

 

Then raise interruption chance overall.

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Does that sound fun to you?

 

You must be one of the few people that doesn't think Concentration is boring. We stated in the paper that Resolve with pure concentration is boring and it's not very helpful - what you are suggesting appears to in opposition to the design goals of the game IMO. I don't see your issue with Deflection and Concentration together (did you read the paper?). Deflection grants effective interrupt resistance the same as Concentration does, but it also gives you extra survivability by reducing the incoming DPS from Deflection based attacks.

 

Based on that, why wouldn't you like those two together, they give you more of the same - except better!

 

If you 'can't see' Deflection on Resolve - read this

 

Resolve is like your determination and stuff right? You have so much guts and determination that you are a boss at defending your body and your mind ... however this does not mean that your body can defend you from Fortitude and Reflex attacks that are beyond it's capability.

Edited by Sensuki
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What? Hold Person was lvl 2 for clerics, and lvl 3 for Wizards. Hold Monster never affected your allies. You mistook it for Confusion (lvl 4) which worked on all in area while Chaos (lvl 5) only worked on enemies.

And AoE spells in IE games were balanced by not showing you their AoE before casting. So each casting you needed to guess if you are going to do FF or not.

 

Thanks for the correction on Hold Person. However, Hold Monster not affecting friendlies was exactly what I wrote above? Maybe you misread something here.

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Does that sound fun to you?

 

You must be one of the few people that doesn't think Concentration is boring. We stated in the paper that Resolve with pure concentration is boring and it's not very helpful - what you are suggesting appears to in opposition to the design goals of the game IMO. I don't see your issue with Deflection and Concentration together (did you read the paper?). Deflection grants effective interrupt resistance the same as Concentration does, but it also gives you extra survivability by reducing the incoming DPS from Deflection based attacks.

 

Based on that, why wouldn't you like those two together, they give you more of the same - except better!

 

If you 'can't see' Deflection on Resolve - read this

 

Resolve is like your determination and stuff right? You have so much guts and determination that you are a boss at defending your body and your mind ... however this does not mean that your body can defend you from Fortitude and Reflex attacks that are beyond it's capability.

 

If you raised interruption chance overall but then increase the concentration resolve gives you they'd roughly even eachother out on a medium res char. Lower res chars would have more attribute points to throw around and would thus be superior at dealing with few, strong, enemies, or in the case of spellcasters, anything that don't attack them. Higher res chars would still be able to put up a fight whilst severely outnumbered, or in the case of spellcasters, reliably cast spells whilst targetted by enemy ranged. I enjoy the prospect of a meaningful choice like that, and I feel it would add greater character build variety, which I would consider fun.

 

I'll admit I didn't read the entire pdf, skipped some bits and pieces here and there, however I don't really agree with the argument you presented there, deflection doesn't really seem very resolvy to me, a person with resolve doesn't feel less pain when struck, nor does he move his body in certain ways when hit to reduce the blow (that's dexterity if anything), he just ignores it in order to complete his task. The reason I wouldn't like the two together is that I feel deflection doesn't fit into resolve, and giving resolve deflection would mean you couldn't make it as important in relation to interruption without overpowering it, I feel it'd make resolve less flavorful.

 

If anything I'd tie resolve with stamina, for someone with a lot of willpower would fight uninterrupted until they completely broke down, they wouldn't take any more hits before dying off though, but I'd still prefer resolve just being concentration.

Edited by Shallow
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