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Sensuki

How to Fix the Attribute Design in Pillars of Eternity

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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.

 

Feelz.

 

Your idea makes perfect mechanical/balance sense, but it makes the spells feel wrong. Spells like fireballs are "supposed" to be blind invocations of elemental energy. It doesn't make sense for them to be able to discriminate between friends and foes, at the edges or otherwise.

 

Priests calling down divine punishment on their foes are different of course -- they're "supposed" to discriminate.

 

I've no doubt I'd get used to it, but it would feel jarring.

 

 

I disagree.

 

What are you basing what fireballs are "supposed" to be like off of?  Wouldn't  be D&D would it? 8) (selective pro D&D ideas v. convenient "this isn't D&D" retorts!)

 

Once again this could be a situation where soul power/manipulation comes into play and it isn't unrealistic to think that you COULD control the AOE size of your spells.

As far as distinguishing between friend or foe the best case I'd have for that is the fireball blast arcing upwards/vertically at the edges instead of how BG has it splash outwards horizontally.(this would be imaginative and not literal in the graphics). You could also view it as dissipating at the edges where you can see a friend...or have the spell go partially incorporeal or whatever equivalent. Could be default or via talent.

 

In general I agree that it would be weird for AOEs to miss friendlies but  I think Josh's idea/stance comes from everyone complaining about the speed of enemies and getting off AOEs proper(whether this should be considered legit feedback is up to *whoever*)

However,  I really like the idea of variable sized AOEs up to a maximum of your Int bonus and I like the idea of mage types that have exceptional control over their magic.

Edited by GreyFox
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As long as the pass/fail effect is going to be in the game, which it is, I don't see why having an attribute affecting it would be wrong.

 

 

If I want to make a gun toting ranged class I wouldn't be near enough for concentration to even be procced, and interrupt would be useless for the slow attack speed. If an enemy veers toward that character then I will stop him before he gets there. Concentration isn't needed. Interrupt is useful for a utilitarian build that uses a fast firing weapon like a bow. I will give you that.

 

If you're so sure of never being hit, Con to would be useless. Int with Deflection & AoE is also kind of useless for the gun or bow-slinging ranger or Rogue who is sure of not getting hit.

 

Edit: Edited my original post to remove the 'IMO' because after thinking about it some more I know I'm right.

Con has always been that way. I don't expect it to be different. It does however guarantee a benefit, more health and stamina.

 

I would expect deflection to help the Ranger's companion since they share health pools. I could be wrong there though. AoE also could benefit the Stag (I think it is Stag) companion that has AoE attacks. You are right about rogues. Dunno if they get AoEs at any point. I would consider dumping it in that very specific circumstance.

 

This isn't about right or wrong, and I will gladly say this is all IMHO. I am just debating my issue with interrupt and concentration and why they need to accompany a 100% guaranteed effect in combat. Be that offensive or defensive in nature.

 

I still don't see a point in having 1/6 attributes in the game being completely pass/fail when the other guarantee effects. Even if specific builds of specific classes may dump one of the 5/6 stats. There are abilities that may work on similar pass/fails, but they aren't attributes. They aren't 1 of 6 stats that define your character.

Edited by Ganrich

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I do and don't understand that perspective.  I understand wanting a justification, but it's always seemed fitting to me.  Many AoE spells/effects originate at a point and spread outward.  Fireball is probably the most obvious example, but I tend to think of most effects that way.  You're a super smarty, so as you extend the AoE outward, you are able to selectively shape it at the margins, where it terminates.  You can't do it on the interior because that's the origin of the effect, where it's emanating from.  That's always been my view of it, anyway.

My justification for Deflection under Resolve is that it is a mirrored attribute against Perception, like it is now. If Accuracy and Interrupt go together (which I think they need to), Deflection and Concentration should go together.

 

You could put it on Intellect, absolutely, but casters are far better off having both Duration and AoE together. If casters are worried about their spells getting interrupted, our version of Resolve would be great for them either way as it would also protect them better against stuff like ranged attacks. I think trying to change Intellect now (one of the three 'perfect' attributes in the game') is unnecessary.

 

What Concentration needs is a combat stat that grants survivability to go with it. Durations would only technically offer that through longer ability use. It wouldn't be a bad attribute, but I think it's less good than your current version of Intellect and our proposed Resolve.

 

Also not forgetting that splitting Deflection and Concentration creates a rift where Accuracy and Interrupt together are stronger than Concentration on it's own, because Deflection (while not mathematically related to Concentration) reduces effective enemy Interrup against Deflection attacks.

Edited by Sensuki
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I'm still reading through the pdf and thread, but has anyone considered having interrupts separate from attacks? Do they need to be related to hits and defenses? Why not have resolve and perception in their own silo? Whenever you make an attack, hit or miss, you have an interrupt chance, opposed by your foe's resolve.

 

People would need to pay heed to resolve instead of just making do with better defenses, but how else is resolve going to be a clear option?

Edited by happyelf

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I think they do, they're actually currently bugged funnily enough but it makes more sense if you actually score some type of hit, rather than being able to Interrupt on a miss.

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I'm still reading through the pdf and thread, but has anyone considered having interrupts separate from attacks? Do they need to be related to hits and defenses? Why not have resolve and perception in their own silo? Whenever you make an attack, hit or miss, you have an interrupt chance, opposed by your foe's resolve.

 

People would need to pay heed to resolve instead of just making do with better defenses, but how else is resolve going to be a clear option?

 

That would work mechanically, but not intuitively: why would a whiff be as likely to interrupt what you're doing as a crit?

 

I think it'd also make the combat murkier. There's already a lack of feedback, which would be pretty easy to address with different sound effects for graze, hit, and crit, a blood spatter for hit and crit, and e.g. a shaking screen for a crit. If you'd have to add separate FX on top of that for interrupts, it'd turn into mush, and if you didn't have FX for interrupts, you wouldn't be able to get a feel for when they happen and how they affect things.

 

I.e. I don't think that's a great idea.


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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First of all, Sensuki and Matt, a big cyberhug from me for a job well done!!

 

Btw, how does it feel to have gotten your OP marked as "popular" with a big star on it? Now, that's a first on these forums! :)

 

I have read your .pdf-file and I am now ready to answer your questions:

 

 

  1. Would you enjoy creating and playing characters under our proposed attribute system?
  2. Do you think our solution succeeds in meeting the primary design goals of the attribute system?
  3. Do you think this solution is an improvement over the current attribute system?

 

 

 

1. :yes:  

2. :yes:  :yes:

3. :yes:  :yes:  :yes:

 

I can't really fault it in any way, and one of the posters (I have read the entire thread) captures my sentiments the best:

 

 

 

As for the proposed changes made by OP, i wholeheartedly agree with what was presented.

I fell in love with the beauty and symmetry of the proposed attribute system: 2 Offensive, 2 Defensive, 2 Augment.

I also feel that it makes the attributes and bonuses WAY clearer. Actually, reading the paper i realized only now i understand how all game variables interact with each other. It suddenly started to make sense in my head (i'm talking about attributes, DT, recovery time, etc).

 

Also i'm blown away with what this 2-2-2 proposal allows for. The variety of builds that can be achieved is really revolutionary and i think that is what Josh intended. I think that with OPs changes, this system is the best RPG attribute system i've seen in all my years of gaming. I'm impressed by the flexibility it has, and the design principles that it achieves (no bad builds, all attributes good for everyone). 

 

I want OE to implement this so bad. To me having this really nice attribute system created by Josh + community members feedback would be the icing on the cake :)

 

Personally, I'd love to keep it as is. But, Josh's suggestions make sense too. Still, your solution is simply more elegant and it would make sense RPG-wise in non-combat situations 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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* Slow applause *.. small tear rolling down cheek.

 

This is absolutely fantastic. The idea as a whole, with this beautiful synergy of 2 offensive, 2 defensive and 2 utility stats, speaks so well to me. The simplicity and overall presentation of the system makes it clear for newcomers, and the complexity of each stats benefits makes it engaging for "hardcore" gamers.

 

Adding this philosophy to the mix of; "All attributes should be useful (in some way) for every class." and "No dump stats – that is, no stat should be overwhelmingly better or worse than the others." would definitely help introduce players to this new combat and stat setup which is used in PoE.

 

@ Sensuki & Matt516

You guys rock! :bow: :bow:

 

Random side note:

Don't know if I will be making a separate thread for this, but while reading through the comments I though of a simple idea to make the stats seem more game focused rather than combat focused.

 

In addition to the general explanation of what a stat does, have its out of combat benefits listed as a bulletin as well as its combat benefits. I know it's all in the stat description but a clear quick point about its out of combat use, would help mitigate the combat centric stat focus. Just an idea.

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First of all, Sensuki and Matt, a big cyberhug from me for a job well done!!

 

Btw, how does it feel to have gotten your OP marked as "popular" with a big star on it? Now, that's a first on these forums! :)

Cheers! and it's actually the second. My Suggestion #008 became the third most liked post on the entire forum :p (the one where I demonstrated the IWD combat feedback).

 

* Slow applause *.. small tear rolling down cheek.

 

This is absolutely fantastic. The idea as a whole, with this beautiful synergy of 2 offensive, 2 defensive and 2 utility stats, speaks so well to me. The simplicity and overall presentation of the system makes it clear for newcomers, and the complexity of each stats benefits makes it engaging for "hardcore" gamers.

 

Adding this philosophy to the mix of; "All attributes should be useful (in some way) for every class." and "No dump stats – that is, no stat should be overwhelmingly better or worse than the others." would definitely help introduce players to this new combat and stat setup which is used in PoE.

 

@ Sensuki & Matt516

You guys rock! :bow: :bow:

Cheers Mate. I got the idea as soon as I read the Interrupt mechanics Josh posted on Something Awful. Had a Mexican Taco Girl moment.

Edited by Sensuki
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Just some food for thought, and for Josh & Co in particular:

Sensuki & Matt's attribute system is a dream for any game dev team aiming for balance that is not "banalce".

 

When I see the attributes now, in their version of them, I really like them all - they all feel meaty and worth picking - and I can't wait to try out dozens of builds using them in various interesting combos.

 

So, when finally deciding on the definitions of the attributes for PoE, this aspect should take precedence:

Each and every attribute should be so attractive that character creation becomes a nailbiter of a process, where each attribute kept low would feel like a sacrifice of some kind, almost regardless of build. As the SensMatt attribute system stands right now, it actually achieves this balancing act. Any changes to it, should match the overall attractiveness of those attributes.

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

 

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I think they do, they're actually currently bugged funnily enough but it makes more sense if you actually score some type of hit, rather than being able to Interrupt on a miss.

 

I disagree. Why is stabbing a dude needed to also trip them up?

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Each and every attribute should be so attractive that character creation becomes a nailbiter of a process, where each attribute kept low would feel like a sacrifice of some kind, almost regardless of build. As the SensMatt attribute system stands right now, it actually achieves this balancing act. Any changes to it, should match the overall attractiveness of those attributes.

 

I believe this has been the intent all along. The S&M system just implements it better than the original one.


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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An Interrupt isn't tripping them up though, it's a hit reaction. IE games had hit reactions when you were hit as well. You may have different ideas of what an interrupt should be, however.

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I'm still reading through the pdf and thread, but has anyone considered having interrupts separate from attacks? Do they need to be related to hits and defenses? Why not have resolve and perception in their own silo? Whenever you make an attack, hit or miss, you have an interrupt chance, opposed by your foe's resolve.

 

People would need to pay heed to resolve instead of just making do with better defenses, but how else is resolve going to be a clear option?

 

That would work mechanically, but not intuitively: why would a whiff be as likely to interrupt what you're doing as a crit?

 

I think it'd also make the combat murkier. There's already a lack of feedback, which would be pretty easy to address with different sound effects for graze, hit, and crit, a blood spatter for hit and crit, and e.g. a shaking screen for a crit. If you'd have to add separate FX on top of that for interrupts, it'd turn into mush, and if you didn't have FX for interrupts, you wouldn't be able to get a feel for when they happen and how they affect things.

 

I.e. I don't think that's a great idea.

 

 

Intuition is in the eye of the beholder. You're making an attack either way, it can fail or succeed in different ways. And you could add in the deflection values either way. As for murk, I don't think a combination of factors plotted on a graph is more clear than a simple comparison. Especially if attack speed is also going to vary more greatly.

 

I agree with you about the signal for interrupts, but you aren't proposing one. They most certainly do need to add extra feedback for interrupts, that's one of the key issues with feedback as it stands. Unless something else has changed radically in the last few pages, a graze or a crit is not an interrupt, even if they tend to result from the same attack outcome and/or build. Anyway, i'm only up to page 4 so i'll bbl.

Edited by happyelf

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Sensuki & Matt: I really liked the end of your pdf as well, wrapping up with seeds of improvement to PoE's combat feedback system and possible UI changes. Now, if you're up to the task, your next mission will be:

-Make the combat, including actions taken, recovery times, easy to follow and a joy to play and react upon

-Make hits and crits more exciting events, and make them clear-cut (E.g. Do we need constant glancing blows spamming the combat log?)

-Solve the combat pacing, ranged and melee, and both for pause-a-lots and non-stop-players 

-Find ways to deflate the numbers involved in the combat mechanics, hide what you need to hide under the hood, and leave us with numbers that we can handle.

 

This message will self-destruct in five seconds.

Edited by IndiraLightfoot

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

 

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Pacing is one issue I am interested in examining and some forum members have been sending me PMs with their thoughts. That will come later.

 

I've already said that the combat log isn't in the best position for on the fly reading, but what Titan Quest did is show critical hit floating damage numbers in a different color (yellow) to the standard color ones. So you could have the floating numbers the same color as their text in the log or something ?

And you could have a different sound effect for grazes, hits and crits as well.

Edited by Sensuki

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I've nothing against floating text or numbers in combat. I thought it worked well in the NWN games, for example.

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I also think that if we can get the attribute system locked down, it will FLING the door wide open for Talent discussion.

 

Our paper has likely given a lot of backers a deeper understanding of how the attributes interact, so I can see people coming away with stuff like - I want to make an Intellect Fighter, but currently the Fighter doesn't have enough duration based abilities - no brainer there is to add some optional duration based abilities into the talent system to make that build more viable.

 

And so on and so forth.

 

I'd also like to point out that the entire forum discussion seems to have taken a swing in the direction of positive and constructive posts rather than butthurt and bickering after we posted this. This attitude should be kept up, as it's much better for inspiring ideas that could improve the game.

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Perfect! Especially perception. I'm loving it!

 

For me personally it would be even better if all the bonuses from stats ware multiplied by 2.

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I'd also like to point out that the entire forum discussion seems to have taken a swing in the direction of positive and constructive posts rather than butthurt and bickering after we posted this. This attitude should be kept up, as it's much better for inspiring ideas that could improve the game.

 

You made such an irrefutable case, though! And like PrimeJunta has written elsewhere, as soon as Josh joins the board, asks us questions and invites to come up with suggestions, the forum spirits are lifted exponentially. :)

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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I also think that if we can get the attribute system locked down, it will FLING the door wide open for Talent discussion.

 

Our paper has likely given a lot of backers a deeper understanding of how the attributes interact, so I can see people coming away with stuff like - I want to make an Intellect Fighter, but currently the Fighter doesn't have enough duration based abilities - no brainer there is to add some optional duration based abilities into the talent system to make that build more viable.

Yeah, it's one of the reasons why I'd like to see more active ability options for these traditionally passive classes.  Of course, those who'd like to stick to the low-maintenance build should have such options by choosing more passive abilities.

 

[Relatively off topic]

Speaking of pacing during combat, is there going to be more detailed adjustment such as a slider to customize the pace of combat, further?  I mean, currently, we have only slo-mo and double speed besides the normal speed, of course.

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That might be an okay suggestion but I think that when trying to make suggestions for tuning combat you should never use the slow function, because the default speed needs to be perfected before anything.
 

You made such a irrefutable case, though! And like PrimeJunta has written elsewhere, as soon as Josh joins the board, asks us questions and invites to come up with suggestions, the forum spirits are lifted exponentially. :)


Someone on the Codex made this:

H1i2AVK.gif

 

:grin: 
 

Edited by Sensuki
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Having read everything I am still leery of so much complexity hiding under the hood, but it's not that big a deal. It looks like the issue is being solved either way.

 

For me, the real issue that remains isn't anything the player can read- it's what they can see, hear and feel in combat. Players can read the descriptions, even the combat log, but unless they can clearly mark it out on screen, it's not going to be real for a lot of players, and will leave people detached and frustrated.

 

Grazes, hits, and crits are only really defined by their results. It feels good to crit and have the screen shake (yeah!) but what does that communicate? The info the player actually needs is: 

Damage

Effect/Duration

Interrupt

 

Graze/Hit/Crit is an intermediate value that relates to the outcomes listed above. It could be argued that they form a rough summary. It essentially says:

"You just Crit! Woot! You've probably done more damage, more interrupts and higher duration! If you want more info, check the combat log."

 

But this strikes me as a missed opportunity, and particularly when it comes to the main subject here. Interrupts really need to be clear on screen, probably moreso than say, damage, which are already tracked by the stamina bars either way.

 

 

 

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.

 

Feelz.

 

Your idea makes perfect mechanical/balance sense, but it makes the spells feel wrong. Spells like fireballs are "supposed" to be blind invocations of elemental energy. It doesn't make sense for them to be able to discriminate between friends and foes, at the edges or otherwise.

 

Priests calling down divine punishment on their foes are different of course -- they're "supposed" to discriminate.

 

I've no doubt I'd get used to it, but it would feel jarring.

 

 

I know this doesn't really speak to feel, but If it helps, keep in mind that POE is set in an era of exploration and discovery, so it makes sense for smarty pants wizards to start altering classic spells and bringing them under greater control at this stage of history. As for clerics, well the Dozen proved that even the Gods can't control everything, and the war they fought in looks like one huge case of collateral damage to me.

Edited by happyelf

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Some thoughts from me:

1. Nobody mentioned perceived problem with attributes not being influential enough with their current bonuses. Ignoring that issue makes most of the paper worthless as it is like talking about topping of the cake while ignoring the cake itself.

2. I know the approach was from gamist perspective but I am sad nothing was done about Might.

3. Saywer AoE system in combination with 10 being average attribute brings a question of what is going to be the base AoE area where friendly fire works and what happens if AoE penalty reduces AOE.

4. I also want to mention I support a way to increase range of attacks/spells. At least through talents.

Edited by archangel979
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Graze/Hit/Crit is an intermediate value that relates to the outcomes listed above. It could be argued that they form a rough summary. It essentially says:

"You just Crit! Woot! You've probably done more damage, more interrupts and higher duration! If you want more info, check the combat log."

 

But this strikes me as a missed opportunity, and particularly when it comes to the main subject here. Interrupts really need to be clear on screen, probably moreso than say, damage, which are already tracked by the stamina bars either way.

An Optional Critical Hit Screen Shake is something they could do. Interrupts are obvious to me, but the spell FX often makes you miss things - as the Spell FX while most of them look nice, are a bit over the top for this type of game.

 

The interrupt animation could also be improved and *maybe* the length increased from 15 to 20 frames.

 

Some thoughts from me:

1. Nobody mentioned perceived problem with attributes not being influential enough with their current bonuses. Ignoring that issue makes most of the paper worthless as it is like talking about topping of the cake while ignoring the cake itself.

We decided to focus on balancing the attributes with the way the current system works, because the developers can easily raise the percentages and totals on their own. One issue that needs to be dealt with is the point buy system and making Racial and Cultural bonuses worth something, so making attributes worth more could tie into that.

 

You *could* have triangular progression bonuses or something, but that would only be supported by a positive and negative system where 10 is 0 and numbers forward and back progress triangularly (in a similar way to the Skill system).

 

But that makes bonuses from items and buffs SUPER OVERPOWERED.

Edited by Sensuki
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