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Headbomb

On Abilities/Talents/Items description

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This could perhaps be considered a bug, but there's a critical design issue with the description boxes of... well pretty much everything. Mostly, things are confusing, inconsistent, and rarely give any sort of useful information.

 

Let's take a few talents. It will be illustrative of a general trend, and devs should IMO pay attention to this. The main thing is whenever we're presented with a levelling choice, we're rarely told what exactly what it is we are choosing. Below, I'll use green to denote useful and precise information; blue for useful but incomplete information; red for useless/redundant information; yellow for low-value information that could be implicitely assumed without being stated.

 

Consider the Weapon Focus family of talents.

 

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

Weapon Focus Adventurer

Trains the character in the use of the Pollaxe, Estoc, Flail, Wand and War Bow, gaining Accuracy with all weapons of those types.

 

Grants Weapon Focus: Adventurer.

Passive.

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

 

What does this tell the player? Well if you use a weapon from the group, you'll be a more accurate with them. By how much? Who knows. Likewise, consider Marksman.

 

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

Marskman

Increases the character's Accuracy with ranged weapons used on distant targets

 

Grants Marksman

Passive

Effects:

Self: +5 Accuracy against distant enemies

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

 

This is a bit better, you know the exact bonus (+5 Accuracy), but you're fuzzy on what exactly "distant" means. Now let's take a class ability

 

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

Strange Mercy

When the paladin defeats an opponent, nearby allies gain Endurance

 

Grants: Strange Mercy.

Passive

Area of Effect: 4.0m radius (base 4.0m)

Effects:

Allied AoE: +23 Endurance

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

 

This one is fairly OK. Few problems, save maybe the layout isn't very effective. Now consider Deep Faith

 

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

Deep Faith

The intensity of the paladin's faith deepens, granting them increased defensive bonuses to Faith and Conviction

 

Modifies Faith and Conviction.

 +2 Deflection, +5 Fortitude, +5 Reflex, +5 Will

 

Faith and Conviction

Passive

Effects:

Self: +5 Deflection, +10 Fortitude, +10 Reflex, +10 Will

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

 

This one is confusing... Does it add +2/+5/+5/+5 to the previous +5/+10/+10/+10 bonus, for a total of +7/+12/+12/+12? Does it take the current +2/+5/+5/+5 and brings it to +5/+10/+10/+10? Does it modify F&C to +2/+5/+5/+5 from +5/+10/+10/+10 (i.e. an automatically generated message with the wrong values in because the balancing pass is incomplete)?

 

And there are other problems, in all cases, you need to read everything, both flavour and non-flavour text to obtain all the available information (and still misses vital stuff that just isn't there). You're presented with completely redundant information (selecting Marskman grants you Markman... duh). Text is also wasted clarifying things that don't need clarification, and could just be assume by anyone with half a brain. If a character gets an ability, by default one assumes the bonuses apply to that character.

 

Consider instead this style of talent description (with my guess for what the missing values are). All effects are fully stated in the effects section. Flavour text is unchanged, but now fulfill it's role as flavour text -- A general description meant to assist role-playing, which could be completely overlooked without any mechanical detriment.

 

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

Weapon Focus: Adventurer

Trains the character in the use of the Pollaxe, Estoc, Flail, Wand, and War Bow, gaining Accuracy with all weapons of those types.

 

[Passive]

+5 Accuracy with Pollaxe

+5 Accuracy with Estoc

+5 Accuracy with Flail

+5 Accuracy with Wand

+5 Accuracy with War Bow

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

[Could also be +5 Accuracy with Weapon 1, Weapon 2, .... in inline format]

 

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

Marskman

Increases the character's Accuracy with ranged weapons used on distant targets

 

[Passive]

+5 Accuracy against enemies 10 or more meters away

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

 

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

Strange Mercy

When the paladin defeats an opponent, nearby allies gain Endurance

 

[Passive]

Area of Effect: 4.0 m radius (base 4.0 m)

Allies gain 23 Endurance whenever the paladin defeats an enemy

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

 

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

Deep Faith

The intensity of the paladin's faith deepens, granting them increased defensive bonuses to Faith and Conviction

 

[Passive]

Faith and Conviction grants an additional +2 Deflection, +5 Fortitude, +5 Reflex, +5 Will to defenses.

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

 

This redesigning of the descriptions of talents and abilities would go a long way into clarifying what it is they actually do without cluttering the description windows. Likewise, weapons could mention to which weapon group they belong. It's much easier to remember "I'm an Adventurer" then remember "Right, I have a Pollaxe... now I found this Mace... was I proficient with Flails or Maces or something else entirely?"

Edited by Headbomb
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Deep Faith

The intensity of the paladin's faith deepens, granting them increased defensive bonuses to Faith and Conviction

 

[Passive]

Faith and Conviction grants an additional +2 Deflection, +5 Fortitude, +5 Reflex, +5 Will to defenses.

 

I'm not a backer, but wouldn't

 

Faith and Conviction now grants an additional +2 Deflection, +5 Fortitude, +5 Reflex and +5 Will to defenses.

 

or

 

Faith and Conviction now grants +5 Deflection, +10 Fortitude, +10 Reflex and +10 to defenses.

 

be better?

 

[Passive]

Faith and Conviction grants an additional +2 Deflection, +5 Fortitude, +5 Reflex, +5 Will to defenses.

This makes it sound like the talent gives Faith and Conviction, especially if you skipped the flavor text.

Edited by Deam

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+1, this is pretty important stuff, both for new players and min/maxers

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Pretty much. A while ago I had to open most of the talent prefabs in Unity just to find out what values they gave. Although the "Active Effects" section in the character record usually tells you the raw values of them as well.

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Logged in just to up this. So vital that talents spells be VERY explicitly clear about EXACTLY what they do.

 

it empowers the player to make valuable decisions and never feel fuzzy about if they did the right thing.

  • Like 7

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Guild Wars 1 added a "Concise Skill Descriptions" option after a few years for all the reasons mentioned in the OP. Those use a stripped-down language listing every detail, nothing more, nothing less. Guild Wars 2 started with that option already in.

 

 

jU05cIy.jpg


The Seven Blunders/Roots of Violence: Wealth without work. Pleasure without conscience. Knowledge without character. Commerce without morality. Science without humanity. Worship without sacrifice. Politics without principle. (Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi)

 

Let's Play the Pools Saga (SSI Gold Box Classics)

Pillows of Enamored Warfare -- The Zen of Nodding

 

 

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I don't really see the point of having a "stripped down option" à la Guild Wars. That might be good for the ability selection boxes in the combat UI, but in the character builder? Naaah.

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This is a problem I have frequently. The wording on a lot of abilities and spells is unclear.

 

For example, I haven't seen anywhere when it says "Deals 50.7 damage in 10 seconds.", does that mean that it deals 50.7 damage every second, or 5.07 damage every second, for ten seconds? Or what?

 

All DoT or HoT skills are ambigiously worded.

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This is a problem I have frequently. The wording on a lot of abilities and spells is unclear.

 

For example, I haven't seen anywhere when it says "Deals 50.7 damage in 10 seconds.", does that mean that it deals 50.7 damage every second, or 5.07 damage every second, for ten seconds? Or what?

 

All DoT or HoT skills are ambigiously worded.

 

Honestly, "in 10 seconds" is a terrible wording. It should always be "over 10 seconds" or "for 10 seconds".

 

"In 10 seconds" almost sounds like it'll deal 50.7 damage after 10 seconds.

 

"Over" would imply that it'd do 5.07 per second.

"For" would imply that it does 50.7 per second.

 

My guess is that "in" is basically "inside of" 10 seconds, so it's probably 5.07/second, but it could be much clearer.

 

Or it should just be scrapped and reworded completely. "Deals 5.07 damage every second for 10 seconds".

Edited by Luckmann

t50aJUd.jpg

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since it is damage OVER time, it should be OVER 10 seconds

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Another item category that needs clarification is potions vs foods vs drugs. I'm never really quite clear on which items I can use within battle and which one I cannot. A short descriptor right above value would be helpful.

 

Grain

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

Food

Value: 0 cp

Speed: Instant

Effects: blah blah balh


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So much agreed on everything the OP says.


"Time is not your enemy. Forever is."

— Fall-From-Grace, Planescape: Torment

"It's the questions we can't answer that teach us the most. They teach us how to think. If you give a man an answer, all he gains is a little fact. But give him a question, and he'll look for his own answers."

— Kvothe, The Wise Man's Fears

My Deadfire mods: Brilliant Mod | Faster Deadfire | Deadfire Unnerfed | Helwalker Rekke

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I don't really see the point of having a "stripped down option" à la Guild Wars. That might be good for the ability selection boxes in the combat UI, but in the character builder? Naaah.

 

I'm not sure I follow your logic. The concise skill description has everything you need to know about a skill. It just drops the fluff. They look exactly what you originally posted as examples of what you want.

 

When I said "stripped down language", I meant that the language used is consistent: for example, speed boosts are always described as "move X% faster", and no other wording is used. Same effect, same wording. It's good for you sanity. :p


The Seven Blunders/Roots of Violence: Wealth without work. Pleasure without conscience. Knowledge without character. Commerce without morality. Science without humanity. Worship without sacrifice. Politics without principle. (Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi)

 

Let's Play the Pools Saga (SSI Gold Box Classics)

Pillows of Enamored Warfare -- The Zen of Nodding

 

 

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I actually find it pretty inconvenient that no ability or spell stats are shown in the tooltips anymore. That was the most useful information to read at a glance.

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I agree the descriptions need to be concise and not vague about exactly what these do - no need to keep the player in the dark - I've just figured that these numbers are changing now as they polish up the game and perhaps they plan to eventually provide just this sort of description when all is said and done (and don't want to waste valuable time changing the numbers/descriptions for each build). 

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Nomadic Wayfarer of the Obsidian Order


 

Not all those that wander are lost...

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Since this needs attention in the current build just as it did in the previous one, I'm going to bump it up in the hopes that @BAlder and others can see it.

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Also, if there's limitations on effect stacking I'd prefer they be at least documented in help files even if such broad subjects are not well-suited to concise tooltips.

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Seriously none of the talents should be even a little vague in exactly what they do. I don't like fumbling in ignorance.

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"Good thing I don't heal my characters or they'd be really hurt." Is not something I should ever be thinking.

 

I use blue text when I'm being sarcastic.

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Bumpedy bump.

 

This is something that could actually be fixed in a day. Sit a group of people down to do it, have them ctrl-F through the relevant files, and they could finish in 8 hours. It's probably too late for it to be in the release version, but (especially when you consider how much inspiration the developers have clearly taken from tabletop games, for which this is a chronic problem) this should be Patch #1.


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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This is actually something that could be in the Day 1 patch. It's just updating string. The problem is that there are a lot of them to go through, and it's not worth going through right now if they abilities and mechanics are still being balanced and changed.

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