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Sensuki

How to Fix the Attribute Design in Pillars of Eternity

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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.

 

 

With a new attribute system in place, where each attribute truly matters, they can now be tweaked and changed by the devs. Personally, I'd love to see attributes that have stronger effects on our builds.

 

Ninja'd by Sensuki.

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

 

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That 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: 

 

 

The lack of developer interaction is something I'd like them to discuss after the game is released. Half of the problems on this forum would be solved if the occasional green-named user popped in and wrote something. As it is, I give them 3/10 for the type of feedback they promised during the KS pitch. Don't get me wrong, there was lots of interaction while they were asking for funding, then...


sonsofgygax.JPG

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Actually, Sawyer was here earlier but likely to have left the office while ago and is probably sleeping atm.  Also, I have seen some cases that there are demerits when the devs talk about things prematurely.  There is huge info on the paper (and quite surprisingly, all the possible counterarguments I could come up with has been already covered.) and I don't blame them if they take time, carefully examining what they could do.

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The lack of developer interaction is something I'd like them to discuss after the game is released. Half of the problems on this forum would be solved if the occasional green-named user popped in and wrote something. As it is, I give them 3/10 for the type of feedback they promised during the KS pitch. Don't get me wrong, there was lots of interaction while they were asking for funding, then...

 

While I can appreciate your point, I think if OE had taken the time to make a lot of their decisions more of a democratic process with the backers, we'd be looking at a winter 2015 release. The thing about democracy, it isn't speedy.

 

So I kind of get why they hunkered down and quietly did their work.

Edited by Marceror
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"Now to find a home for my other staff."
My Project Eternity Interview with Adam Brennecke

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I think the only real reason for the resistance (assuming this would be balanced properly) is the RP perspective. I'm personally more of a mechanics focused person myself, so I can look past it - but many people won't like a system like this unless there's some plausible game-world explanation for it.

 

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.

 

 

I really don't like this idea (having the outward portion of AoE spells be foes only). It feels very game-y. Sure it helps balance but at the cost of consistency and elegance.

 

Moreover, you remove the AoE trade off (I hit a bunch of ennemies but my frontline too) as people will position their spells to only hit with the outward ring. This will lead to odd situations where you throw your fireball in the middle of nowhere to maximize the outward ring...

 

As for the "RP explanation": anything can be explained with RP but it still hurts the suspension of disbelief.

 

This being said, props to Sensuki and Matt for their work, and to Josh for his participation :)

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Actually, Sawyer was here earlier but likely to have left the office while ago and is probably sleeping atm.  Also, I have seen some cases that there are demerits when the devs talk about things prematurely.  There is huge info on the paper (and quite surprisingly, all the possible counterarguments I could come up with has been already covered.) and I don't blame them if they take time, carefully examining what they could do.

 

I mean overall.


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The lack of developer interaction is something I'd like them to discuss after the game is released. Half of the problems on this forum would be solved if the occasional green-named user popped in and wrote something. As it is, I give them 3/10 for the type of feedback they promised during the KS pitch. Don't get me wrong, there was lots of interaction while they were asking for funding, then...

 

While I can appreciate your point, I think if OE had taken the time to make a lot of their decisions more of a democratic process with the backers, we'd be looking at a winter 2015 release. The thing about democracy, it isn't speedy.

 

So I kind of get why they hunkered down and quietly did their work.

 

 

Also design by committee rarely generates good results, and a committee made up of fanatical fans in a forum would be crazy...

 

A few more replies in the forums would be nice, but they have been replying across at least 3 different forums so it really is hard to tell overall how much they communicating and they're probably spending more time on it than we think.

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I think the only real reason for the resistance (assuming this would be balanced properly) is the RP perspective. I'm personally more of a mechanics focused person myself, so I can look past it - but many people won't like a system like this unless there's some plausible game-world explanation for it.

 

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.

 

 

That's a nice justification wrap it up in an in world description and add it to the game somewhere and I think it'd work fine!

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I think the only real reason for the resistance (assuming this would be balanced properly) is the RP perspective. I'm personally more of a mechanics focused person myself, so I can look past it - but many people won't like a system like this unless there's some plausible game-world explanation for it.

 

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.

 

 

That's a nice justification wrap it up in an in world description and add it to the game somewhere and I think it'd work fine!

 

Just add it to the spell descriptions that it applies to, so no one ever need be confused by why their spell is working this way.

Edited by Marceror

"Now to find a home for my other staff."
My Project Eternity Interview with Adam Brennecke

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/aside Oh how I wish all the discussion about the beta was more like this. We would get somewhere and it'd be more fun.

 

Indeed. If this is what all discussion threads could turn into, I would have fewer worries about the end product.

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@MC

Hmmm…maybe, not as much as old days but, personally, I don't feel like that.  Young Sawyer posted pretty quickly but some of the posts were more impulsive at times.  Nowadays, when he posts something, they are almost always well-thought.  Post counts do not necessarily mean efficient communication, IMO.  Just my subjective opinion, of course.

 

 

Also design by committee rarely generates good results, and a committee made up of fanatical fans in a forum would be crazy...

 

A few more replies in the forums would be nice, but they have been replying across at least 3 different forums so it really is hard to tell overall how much they communicating and they're probably spending more time on it than we think.

Yeah, I made my share of mistake by suggesting limited inventory, which, however, turned out not fitting to PoE where the best equipment depend on the situations.

 

I've gotten an impression that they probably want more all-round feedback than same bunch of people since they are not necessarily representative the majority of the backers.

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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.

That sounds to me like brushing things under the carpet. You build a house from ground up.

 

Attributes being not influential enough must be solved first because any changes will affect all parts of the game, but mostly combat balance. And it might not be enough to do cosmetic changes like in your paper. You just changed color of the curtains while the whole floor might need to be replaced.

 

I am sorry to be so blunt, but it needs to be said. All the 2% here or there I read in this topic just confirms the article I linked before.

Edited by archangel979

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Also by reading Sawyer posts here I got a feeling he does not check out any of the changes in the game before making decisions about them.

Any change should be first implemented and tried out in same 10 - 100 combat scenarios and then decided or talked upon. And he admits he does stuff from his head instead of trying it in the game.

 

This paper is probably more complex than any research OE has done.

 

Another option would be to have parallel backer beta download (Steam games have this option where people can try out beta patches) where they change different little numbers and ask for people to test out these little changes and give feedback. Have this parallel beta change every few days with another thing to try out.

Then based on feedback implement one of the into real beta build.

Edited by archangel979

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We'll look into that.  We did already (today) shift the log over to use the primary color for characters in the log, which really helps locate different characters in it.

Finally! I've been saying that all along :p

 

Could this also be done for dialogue please?

 

This was one of the questions I sent in my Codex interview that didn't get answered (understandably too I guess)

 

Did an RGB value end up being the final decision and will the character's major cloth tint color be used for their name in the dialogue and combat log like in Baldur's Gate or will it be a predetermined color like Icewind Dale? (I personally preferred the BG way as it was easier to read).

Edited by Sensuki

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I think we're getting close on this, but here's a small modification: instead of INT being +5 AoE Size/Duration per point and RES being +3 Concentration/+? Deflection per point, for general *~ feels ~* and broader applicability, set INT to +5 AoE Size/+? Deflection per point, and RES to +3 Concentration, +5% Duration per point.

 

Concentration and longer durations seem to feel appropriate on RES.  If you're a character who is not always in the line of fire, you're probably creating more status effects and could use longer durations.  If you're a caster character, AoE size is great even if you're not always in the line of fire (Deflection-wise).  Any front-line character would benefit from increased Deflection even if they weren't creating effects with AoEs.  And Deflection on INT seems slightly more fitting than Deflection on RES.

 

 

OK...but if we're now trying to make sure that every attribute is clearly beneficial both to characters who are on the "line of fire" and to those who aren't, what about CON (that is, Health and Stamina)? Is that useful enough to those who aren't getting hit very often?

Edited by Infinitron

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I think we're getting close on this, but here's a small modification: instead of INT being +5 AoE Size/Duration per point and RES being +3 Concentration/+? Deflection per point, for general *~ feels ~* and broader applicability, set INT to +5 AoE Size/+? Deflection per point, and RES to +3 Concentration, +5% Duration per point.

 

Concentration and longer durations seem to feel appropriate on RES. If you're a character who is not always in the line of fire, you're probably creating more status effects and could use longer durations. If you're a caster character, AoE size is great even if you're not always in the line of fire (Deflection-wise). Any front-line character would benefit from increased Deflection even if they weren't creating effects with AoEs. And Deflection on INT seems slightly more fitting than Deflection on RES.

 

OK...but if we're now trying to make sure that every stat is clearly beneficial both to characters who are on the "line of fire" and to those who aren't, what about CON? Is that useful enough to those who aren't getting hit very often?

I think that if the targeting AI was improved, this would be less of an issue; since enemies, especially ranged and caster enemies, would know to target your casters and ranged enemies and make a low-con caster more vulnerable than they are in the current beta.

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I think that if the targeting AI was improved, this would be less of an issue; since enemies, especially ranged and caster enemies, would know to target your casters and ranged enemies and make a low-con caster more vulnerable than they are in the current beta.

 

 

Obviously, but then you can say the same thing about Deflection, which makes Josh's suggestion to swap that effect from RES to INT unnecessary as well.

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I think because we used math/statistics to investigate how the attributes are related, it makes it pretty clear to see that changing the 'good' attributes such as Might, Constitution and Intellect would not be a good thing.

 

Might is very strong on it's own. The flat percentile damage is great, scales well with everything. Constitution is really good, but it's also better for high HP characters, technically. However you can see that if you split Health and Stamina, Constitution becomes not as good as pure Deflection on it's own (theoretically). If you take away Durations from Intellect, this gimps casters a little bit because they now *have* to invest in two different attributes just to get the benefits that are most relevant to them. I think AoE and Durations together was a great idea to begin with and should not be changed.

 

Not all casters need Deflection/Concentration, Concentration is good for them sure, because it hurts them more if one of their 3 sec spells is interrupted more than it hurts melee characters or something, but the DPS loss from that is probably made up by just being more Mighty, or more Intelligent - or FASTER (as one thing we didn't check is how IAS affects chance to be interrupted) and they can technically get more benefit out of bonus Might on an AoE or Duration.

 

Then there's also the problem of the attribute balance. We proposed putting Interrupt with Accuracy because Accuracy on it's own at +1 per point is weaker than Might is, and likely not as strong as Intellect either for caster classes. Accuracy at +2 per point would outclass Might (we checked) so you can't do that. Accuracy and Interrupt really fits. However if you don't also put Deflection and Concentration together - then Concentration as a combat stat is just plain weaker than the Acc/Int combo, because now you are forced to pump two attributes to protect yourself from interuption from physical attacks as Deflection grants an indirect bonus to Concentration by reducing effective interrupt against these attacks, whereas Accuracy increases them because Interrupt is reliant on the roll, and that makes pure Concentration on it's own weak, even when combined with durations because then the attribute wouldn't be great for every class.

 

I think Josh said they were going to change the interrupt mechanics, but they have to be careful because folding Interrupt directly into Accuracy may not solve the problem of Accuracy not being as strong as Might or Intellect on it's own.

 

I also think the elegant solution of two offensive, two defensive and two universal attributes is a good mix.

Edited by Sensuki
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I think that if the targeting AI was improved, this would be less of an issue; since enemies, especially ranged and caster enemies, would know to target your casters and ranged enemies and make a low-con caster more vulnerable than they are in the current beta.

 

 

Obviously, but then you can say the same thing about Deflection, which makes Josh's suggestion to swap that effect from RES to INT unnecessary as well.

 

There is clearly a limit to how much you can balance for a character who is never at risk. Right now I have bb Wizard running around in his underwear, and it's not just to teach snooty wizard dudes not to act so high and mighty. In theory you can have a naked wizard with con 3 tearing **** up but in practice AI and encounter design have to play a role in balance.

 

That doesn't mean that the system shouldn't balance the back row as much as it can, but when it comes to damage I think back line squishies are gonna miss con if they skimp on it too much.

Edited by happyelf

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Also Josh is the reason you want to split Stamina and Health and Deflection and Concentration because you don't think they'll be useful enough on Ranged characters? Or just because you don't like their 'passive' nature?

 

I don't think the math supports doing either, but I can see the point of view in either case.

Edited by Sensuki

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I don't see how splitting Health and Stamina would help make CON a more attractive choice for non-"line of fire" classes. It would only make it worse.

 

Both Josh and you seem to be operating under an assumption that more Health/Stamina is an obvious universal benefit to all classes. That's why of all the attributes in Pillars of Eternity, Constitution is the one that's most unaltered from its D&D incarnation.

 

I think that assumption needs to be examined. Especially since Josh now seems to believe that Deflection is also not an obvious universal benefit to all classes, which is why it needs to be beefed up by being placed in the same attribute together with AoEs.

Edited by Infinitron

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I'll wait for his reply on the topic before talking to Matt - we're happy to check more design theories on the subject if they arise.

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Problem I generally see with adding deflection into the mix: Deflection is generally more valueable for fighters than health/endurance because of their already high base deflection. For Barbarians on the other hand, pumping health/endurance seems to be always the better choice because of their low base deflection and high health multiplier, plus using a shield is not their style. Of course they'd have less concentration in the proposed system, but that was already declared as a not so important stat.

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