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any FAQ that explain the basic mechanic of the game?


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Well there's a Wiki which is partially out of date, but no real Guide/FAQ as far as I know.

Reason for that would be that as the game is still in Beta lots of stuff is being changed with each update and someone making such a FAQ would have to search around and change the numbers each month.

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Basic mechanics and such you can probably hit up on the Wiki, which shouldn't be hard to find.

The specific mechanics are still changing, and anything added to the wiki would be out of date upon the release of each Backer Beta, which of course means that people don't bother updating it, so at best, large parts of the wiki is actually several builds out of date.

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you just need to read the in game descriptions and use you brain a little. when i played BG 1 and 2 back in my teens i didnt even look at the manual. i just read what was written in the game and put 2 and 2 together. and it was a far more complicated system than that of PoE

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There is an in game guide that covers much of this. 

 

 

Beta not really the best time to create a guide though since stuff is changing all the time. Almost all of it undocumented. Even the wiki that was pretty good now has tons of outdated information. 

Edited by Bazy
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you just need to read the in game descriptions and use you brain a little. when i played BG 1 and 2 back in my teens i didnt even look at the manual. i just read what was written in the game and put 2 and 2 together. and it was a far more complicated system than that of PoE

 

I always read the manual before I play a game. In D:OS the manual can be summarized by "read the tooltip". And that really is all you need.

 

There is an in game guide that covers much of this. 

 

 

Beta not really the best time to create a guide though since stuff is changing all the time. Almost all of it undocumented. Even the wiki that was pretty good now has tons of outdated information. 

 

I think it is good when there is an in game guide.

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Maybe I'm just stupid (of course I don't really believe that), and maybe the mechanics have been changing a lot through the beta builds. I won't go through it all because I'll probably get it wrong, but first we had a DT and DR, not sure what each of them was doing, now we have only DT (I think), accuracy is no longer tied to an attribute, etc. After 60 hours with the BB I still have only the vaguest idea of how combat resolution happens. And no, the wiki is no help (for me). The messy combat log isn't helping either. If I have to explain PoE combat to someone coming from PnP for example, I'm not sure I'd manage. I want to write a good page about combat resolution on the wiki, with detailed examples, so that a newcomer can estimate the effectiveness of his character with various weapons.

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Well, it's a very simple 1-100 roll, and your ranges are:

 

Miss 01-15

Graze 16-50

Hit 51-100

Crit 101+

 

So, you roll 1-100, then you take the difference of Accuracy (attacker's) minus Defense (target's) and add that to the roll. If I'm not mistaken (please someone correct me if this is wrong). The average baseline Deflection, for example, is 50. So, if you've got 65 Accuracy, and you're making a physical attack against an average target, you get 65-50=15, granting your attack roll a +15 for the purposes of determining Attack Resolution. So, now, the lowest you can roll is a 16, so you can no longer miss. If your accuracy had been 100, then 100-50=50, so you'd get +50 to your roll, meaning you'd have a very small chance to graze (I'm pretty sure there's a minimum on Grazing and Hitting, so you can never have such good Accuracy that you're ONLY hitting and critting, and you can never have such poor accuracy that you're ONLY missing and grazing. I think it's a 5% chance? That could've changed...).

 

Now, the reverse is that, if your Accuracy is crap versus their defense (say, 20 Accuracy against a standard 50 Deflection), then -30 is your roll modifier. So, even if you roll 100, your roll actually comes out to 70. So you can't crit.

 

So, that's pretty much all you're looking for... that relationship between your Accuracy and the target's Defense. In general, the higher you go above 50 with Accuracy, the more often you're going to get hits and crits, and the less often you're going to get misses or grazes. And the lower you go below 50, the less often you'll hit well, and the more often you'll miss and graze. You've got 4 different defenses that can be targeted, but they all work the same way. Just, a target can have 20 Will and 90 Deflection, and it's going to be a lot easier to hit them with an attack against Will than one against Deflection (so, some kind of mind spell versus a sword strike, for example).

 

This works this way for all attacks (even effect applications, I'm pretty sure... if your attack inflicts poison, for example, then your physical sword attack targets Deflection, and if that hits, the poison effect rolls its own attack roll against their Fortitude to determine if they get poisoned, and for how long), including spells.

 

After attack resolution, all you really have to worry about is DR (Damage Reduction). There used to be two of these, but now there's only one, and it's just a flat number of damage that goes bye-bye. If you crit someone for 50 damage, but they have 30DR, you deal 20 damage. And there are something like 9 or 10 different damage types, and a target can have a different DR rating against individual ones (kind of like how the 4 defense values can be different). So, someone might have 30DR versus Piercing, but only 10 DR versus Crushing. Or 30 DR versus Burn damage, but only 5DR versus Shock damage.

 

There's a lot of possibilities and factors that can change the ultimate outcome (reduce damage or duration, etc.), but one simple thing happens every time an attack is made: a 1-100 roll happens, and the result of Accuracy - Defense is added to the roll. Then, look at the chart and see where the roll fell. Was it less than 16? It missed. Was it greater than 100? It was a crit. Then, it checks armor, etc, and adjusts the damage accordingly before actually applying it. That's it.

 

Any questions (or corrections)?

Edited by Lephys
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Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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Thank you very much Lephys. I'm beginning to understand where my confusion stems from. At least I know I'm not stupid, just the system's terms are very confusingly named (imo).

 

The first thing that confuses me is that the PoE system uses names that were used for saving throws in D&D to name defences. BTW, I will always use the non-American spelling, and I find it ironic that a game where specific languages have been constructed fails to use stylistically correct English for its own terminology. Anyway, I have "deflection" which is just one of a set of "defences", although the two words sound terribly similar and their places could easily have been switched without making it seem strange, their meaning is similar enough for them to still have been applicable, and then I have other "defences" which are named as things I am used to seeing as saving throws - Reflex, Fortitude, Will

 

Second - I have "defences", and then suddenly I have "Damage threshold"... wat? This terminology is really confusing - defence is something I normally take to signify the overall capability, how well-defended I am, taking into account and summing up all minute factors. But suddenly, there is "Damage threshold" - another factor which is in no way connected to my defence (taken as a game term, not in its "regular" meaning), and a term which I find confusing at first, but all it really means is the Armor Rating provided from equipment. OMG, Josh, please, when you are naming a term which is related to Armor, do not use the word "damage" in its name!

This is like naming "Attack Roll" "Anti-Defence Roll", totally anti-intuitive.

 

So we have 4 "Defences" - which are variable THAC0s for various types of Attacks, and "Damage Thresholds" are the variable AC for 8 damage types, and you can have a very high Damage Threshold against one of the 8 damage types but be very undefended when it comes to the other 7. It's starting to make sense... except, I don't know how damage is calculated. Weapons have damage values like "piercing: 13-27". Ok, which one is it, 13 or 27 or somewhere in between, and how is this decided?

 

Third - I really don't understand this principle - that I can make an attack that does damage which attacks more than one type of defence. How is the attack roll calculated then? If I attack a target with a sword that does poison damage, I'm attacking against which defence? Deflection or Fortitude? And which damage type does poison go with?

 

And while I'm at it, let's check what fortitude means:

In-game: "Represents a character's endurance to "body system attacks" such as poison or disease."

In Merriam-Webster's dictionary (i.e. in English): "mental strength and courage that allows someone to face danger, pain, etc."

 

Once again, a word is used in a meaning that's completely arbitrary/has little to do with the actual meaning of the word. This certainly doesn't help me understand this system.

 

Anyway, I've spent over an hour writing this and I'm as confused as I was in the beginning. :/

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Here is what I gathered from some staring at the Combat log:

1. Process of Attack Resolution:

  • Attack roll = (Attacker Accuracy - Defender's Relevant Defence) + d100
  • Miss/Graze/Hit/Critical Hit adjustments = +/-5 for each 5 points of Attacker Accuracy -("minus") Defender's Relevant Defence
  • Amount of Damage Caused is determined by whether it's a Miss/Graze/Hit/Critical Hit, and in cases where the weapon can cause more than one type of damage - which Damage Type the defender's Armor is weaker against, and then from Damage Caused, Damage Resistance of the armor is substracted for the relevant Damage Type. Finally, the value resulting from the last substraction is substracted from Health. Not sure if I didn't miss something.
2. There is no relation between the type of damage and the type of attack. You could be making an attack that does fire damage (and deals with target armor's Burn DR) but if you're making it with a weapon the attack is against the "Deflection Defence" and if you're making it with a spell the defence would be relevant to the spell's type - AoE-Reflex Defence or Single Target-Deflection Defence(?).

 

My confusion was coming from the fact that in the Wiki, and (probably, can't/won't watch SA forums) in the relevant forum posts, three damage types are presented as if they are tied to Attacks only against Deflection Defence:

 

Physical

Slashing – caused by weapons with an edged blade, such as battle axes and sabres.

Piercing – caused by weapons with a sharp point, such as stilettos and rapiers.

Crushing – caused by weapons with a blunt striking surface, such as clubs and flails.

 

Elemental

Shock – attacks from spells or additional damage to physical weapon attacks

Burn – attacks from spells or additional damage to physical weapon attacks

Freeze – attacks from spells or additional damage to physical weapon attacks.

Corrode – attacks from spells or additional damage to physical weapon attacks.

I think this is really misleading.

 

3. Finally, something I can't seem to understand: Chill Fog is a spell which is an AoE spell but the save is vs. Fortitude, not Reflex. This runs against what is written in the Wiki, and in the game's "Cyclopedia":

The Reflex defence allows characters to dodge out of the way of physically harmful AoE attacks (e.g. explosions, bolts of lightning).

Well, Chill Fog is an AoE attack but it does Frost damage, and the defence is now based on Fortitude. Defence Type and Damage Reduction seem to be mixed once again? Edited by Gairnulf

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I think you got it mostly right. Remember, the wiki contains a lot of information from earlier builds.

Here is what I gathered from some staring at the Combat log:
1. Process of Attack Resolution:

  • Attack roll = (Attacker Accuracy - Defender's Relevant Defence) + d100
  • Miss/Graze/Hit/Critical Hit adjustments = +/-5 for each 5 points of Attacker Accuracy -("minus") Defender's Relevant Defence
  • Amount of Damage Caused is determined by whether it's a Miss/Graze/Hit/Critical Hit, and in cases where the weapon can cause more than one type of damage - which Damage Type the defender's Armor is weaker against, and then from Damage Caused, Damage Resistance of the armor is substracted for the relevant Damage Type. Finally, the value resulting from the last substraction is substracted from Health. Not sure if I didn't miss something.

I think that's right. Not entirely sure of #3. If a weapon can do, say Crushing/Piercing damage, then yes, it uses best-of. If does Slashing+Burn, for example, I think they're calculated separately, but I'm not sure how.

 

Be careful with your DT/DR terminology - in earlier version you had both Damage Threshold (Lower damage by this amount of points) and Damage Resistance (Lower damage by this percentage.) Now it's Damage Reduction (Lower damage by this amount of points). Yes, it can get confusing.

 

2. There is no relation between the type of damage and the type of attack. You could be making an attack that does fire damage (and deals with target armor's Burn DR) but if you're making it with a weapon the attack is against the "Deflection Defence" and if you're making it with a spell the defence would be relevant to the spell's type - AoE-Reflex Defence or Single Target-Deflection Defence(?).


My confusion was coming from the fact that in the Wiki, and (probably, can't/won't watch SA forums) in the relevant forum posts, three damage types are presented as if they are tied to Attacks only against Deflection Defence:
 

Physical
Slashing – caused by weapons with an edged blade, such as battle axes and sabres.
Piercing – caused by weapons with a sharp point, such as stilettos and rapiers.
Crushing – caused by weapons with a blunt striking surface, such as clubs and flails.

Elemental
Shock – attacks from spells or additional damage to physical weapon attacks
Burn – attacks from spells or additional damage to physical weapon attacks
Freeze – attacks from spells or additional damage to physical weapon attacks.
Corrode – attacks from spells or additional damage to physical weapon attacks.


I think this is really misleading.

Yes, there's no set-in-stone relation between the type of attack (Defense) and the type of damage (Damage Reduction).

They're examples. Most attacks that target the Slashing/Piercing/Crushing armor values will come from normal weapons, and those tend to target the Deflection defense. You'll have to find something more exotic to hit with the other damage types, and these are usually spells. Doesn't mean you couldn't make a spell that does slashing damage. Also doesn't mean you couldn't have an ability that uses a weapon but targets an other defense. I don't see how this is misleading.

 

3. Finally, something I can't seem to understand: Chill Fog is a spell which is an AoE spell but the save is vs. Fortitude, not Reflex. This runs against what is written in the Wiki, and in the game's "Cyclopedia":

The Reflex defence allows characters to dodge out of the way of physically harmful AoE attacks (e.g. explosions, bolts of lightning).

Well, Chill Fog is an AoE attack but it does Frost damage, and the defence is now based on Fortitude. Defence Type and Damage Reduction seem to be mixed once again?

 

Ok, you try dodging fog. Good luck.

Again, they're examples. If you want to dodge an AoE attack, you use Reflex.

If you want to withstand the effects of an AoE attack, such as cold fog, you'll need another defense.

 

I have no idea why you think they're mixing up Defense Type and DR. As per #2, they're unrelated.

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I think you got it mostly right. Remember, the wiki contains a lot of information from earlier builds.

I know it does. I want to make it up to date and learn about the mechanics in the process.

 

I think that's right. Not entirely sure of #3. If a weapon can do, say Crushing/Piercing damage, then yes, it uses best-of. If does Slashing+Burn, for example, I think they're calculated separately, but I'm not sure how.

I'll try enchanting some weapon to see. I know different damage types are calculated separately, against different Damage Reduction ratings, and if the armor has no rating, then it should be against the character's base rating, but I will only put in the wiki stuff I've tested :)

 

Be careful with your DT/DR terminology - in earlier version you had both Damage Threshold (Lower damage by this amount of points) and Damage Resistance (Lower damage by this percentage.) Now it's Damage Reduction (Lower damage by this amount of points). Yes, it can get confusing.

I wrote about Damage Threshold because I was looking at the wiki at the time. I knew it was really called Damage Reduction (for what this term is worth), but when I realized I had been using the wrong name it was too late to edit my post.

 

Yes, there's no set-in-stone relation between the type of attack (Defense) and the type of damage (Damage Reduction).

They're examples. Most attacks that target the Slashing/Piercing/Crushing armor values will come from normal weapons, and those tend to target the Deflection defense. You'll have to find something more exotic to hit with the other damage types, and these are usually spells. Doesn't mean you couldn't make a spell that does slashing damage. Also doesn't mean you couldn't have an ability that uses a weapon but targets an other defense. I don't see how this is misleading.

I said I think it's misleading, meaning it's misleading for me. I only speak for myself.

 

Ok, you try dodging fog. Good luck.

Why not - you roll away from the cloud of gas. I see nothing impossible or implausible about such an action.

 

Again, they're examples. If you want to dodge an AoE attack, you use Reflex.

Well, they were unclear examples to me.

 

If you want to withstand the effects of an AoE attack, such as cold fog, you'll need another defense.

This typology makes sense, but it's not based on any developer-posted or game content, so it's just your explanation for now. :)

 

I have no idea why you think they're mixing up Defense Type and DR. As per #2, they're unrelated.

Because I see, and I quoted, types of damage associated with types of defence (slash/crush/pierce, with Deflection Defence) in material that's supposed to explain mechanics to players.

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Wow. Quote Snippets. Okay. (Also, I missed your earlier post ... lemme see if I can address that, and dial this fragmentation back a little.)

The first thing that confuses me is that the PoE system uses names that were used for saving throws in D&D to name defences. BTW, I will always use the non-American spelling, and I find it ironic that a game where specific languages have been constructed fails to use stylistically correct English for its own terminology. Anyway, I have "deflection" which is just one of a set of "defences", although the two words sound terribly similar and their places could easily have been switched without making it seem strange, their meaning is similar enough for them to still have been applicable, and then I have other "defences" which are named as things I am used to seeing as saving throws - Reflex, Fortitude, Will

Defense vs. Defence : Eh, Obsidian is an American company, why shouldn't they use American English? You seem fine with Armor (vs. Armour). Fortitude? Uh, yeah, you got a point. Hah. But blame Dungeons and Dragons for that. It's long been established in gaming/RPG circles as a term for 'physical' defense, not mental.

 

As for the Defenses / Saving Throws, this is how 4th Edition of D&D used 'em. Instead of saving throws, you got 4 flavors of Armor Class. One of 'em still called AC, the other three taking the names of the saving throws. (Defender doesn't roll, just the attacker. There was another mechanic in 4e that was still called a Saving Throw, but it was quite different. Also, I have no idea what 5th Edition did, may have undone all these changes again.)

Compared to D&D, Armor Class is called Deflection in PoE, which I'd say makes more sense because AC didn't have to involve armor at all. (Nimble rogue in leather can have a better AC than a clumsy Priest in Plate.)

So we have 4 "Defences" - which are variable THAC0s for various types of Attacks, and "Damage Thresholds" are the variable AC for 8 damage types, and you can have a very high Damage Threshold against one of the 8 damage types but be very undefended when it comes to the other 7. It's starting to make sense... except, I don't know how damage is calculated. Weapons have damage values like "piercing: 13-27". Ok, which one is it, 13 or 27 or somewhere in between, and how is this decided?

I guess it takes a little mental gymnastics to separate "Avoiding Damage" (Defense) and "Mitigating Damage" (Damage Reduction), especially when the "Avoiding Damage" stat (the Defenses) can also lower damage. (Graze/Hit/Crit). You'll get used to it.

 

THAC0 ? AC? I think you're using both wrong here. In early D&D, THAC0 was an indicator of a character's accuracy. AC, Armor Class, a way to dodge / not get hit. (Damage Reduction existed as well, at least since 3rd edition, but wasn't very common.) So in PoE, the 4 Defenses are types of AC. (With an added "graze" mechanic.) I think you already understand all that, though.

 

As for the range of damage the weapons do? It just rolls a number. In D&D a Short Sword is listed as doing 1d6 damage. This can be expressed as 1-6 damage. (And a Short Sword+5 as 6-11.)

For PoE, "piercing: 13-27" could be expressed as 1d15+12. Except that 15-sided dice don't exist to me knowledge, and I think in PoE it can also roll between the integers ... so uh. Anyway, I'm fairly sure it grabs a random number between the low and high values (inclusive).

I think it's just a flat curve, with each value equally likely.

(As opposed to, say, a D&D Greatsword, which does 2d6 damage, where you're more likely to roll for 7 damage than for 2 or 12)

This is how I remember it, but I can be wrong. Maybe someone can scrounge up a quote.

 

I'll try enchanting some weapon to see. I know different damage types are calculated separately, against different Damage Reduction ratings, and if the armor has no rating, then it should be against the character's base rating, but I will only put in the wiki stuff I've tested original.gif

Armor comes with a base DR, and will list some exceptions. Characters have no DR of their own. (Monsters do. Character may, with Abilities or Talents, perhaps, but no "base".) I know that was probably just a typo, but better to avoid further confusion.

 

I seem to remember some mention of shenanigans with added damage types and damage reduction. Like a sword with +25% burn damage only being compared to 25% of the Burn DR of the armor. Something like that, probably not accurate. Testing should reveal more, yes.

 

Ok, you try dodging fog. Good luck.

Why not - you roll away from the cloud of gas. I see nothing impossible or implausible about such an action.

 

Feh. That's moving out of the Area of Effect. Try dodging while remaining inside the area. I'll grant that dodging a fireball while remaining in the blast radius doesn't make much sense, either. (I suppose you could drop to the ground and then back up.) Anyway, it's the difference between a quick burst and a continuous effect.

 

 

I have no idea why you think they're mixing up Defense Type and DR. As per #2, they're unrelated.

Because I see, and I quoted, types of damage associated with types of defence (slash/crush/pierce, with Deflection Defence) in material that's supposed to explain mechanics to players.

 

Okay, so that quote implies the Physical Damages (Slash/Crush/Pierce) are associated with a specific Defense(Deflection). But only if you take the next step yourself and remember that 'normal' weapon attacks are made against Deflection. The quote itself says nothing about the defenses, only the damage reductions.) I see nothing that would make me think the Elemental Damages (Shock/Burn/Freeze/Corrode) should be associated with a specific Defense.

 

Or is that not what is bothering you? What exactly about an Area of Effect attack that targets Fortitude and does Freeze damage seems wrong to you? Is it that bad that the description for the Defenses says "Physical Area Effect Attacks like Fireball and Lightning Bolt are resisted by Reflex" rather than "Most Physical Area Effect Attacks [...] are resisted by Reflex"?

 

I just don't see a problem with the existence of exceptions to the 'normal use' rules, as long as it's properly labeled in-game.

And sure, these are just my explanations - I just don't understand why it's confusing to you. (Granted, I have hardly ever used the wiki, and am not sure how much disinformation is in there.)

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The quote snippets - I just had the time and felt pedantic enough. I don't want to sound like nitpicking.

 

That was just "on a sidenote" thing about the "defence" spelling, I spotted it on the way while I was writing. I find it ironic for the reasons I've mentioned, but it's not something that deserves much whining :) And the reason I'm writing "armor" everywhere is that it's a word I've basically given up on - everyone is using it this way, while apparently I'm still used to typing "defence", which then even the Google Chrome spell checker underlines :)

 

It's nice to see the parallels with 4E D&D, I didn't know about them. My last serious contact with D&D have been the IE games (which were AD&D of course), I didn't play NWN&NWN2 that much.

 

Being an indicator of character accuracy, a roll against THAC0 was used to determine whether there is a miss/hit/critical hit, that's why I made the analogy.

 

For PoE, "piercing: 13-27" could be expressed as 1d15+12. Except that 15-sided dice don't exist to me knowledge, and I think in PoE it can also roll between the integers ... so uh.

Ok, I'm fine with it being a random nuber, but why a 15-sided dice? I wish this was explained somewhere, or if it is, wish I knew where.

 

No, actually I did think characters have some base DR. I must have assumed that based on how D&D characters have an armor class value even if you remove all their armor.

 

Feh. That's moving out of the Area of Effect. Try dodging while remaining inside the area. I'll grant that dodging a fireball while remaining in the blast radius doesn't make much sense, either. (I suppose you could drop to the ground and then back up.) Anyway, it's the difference between a quick burst and a continuous effect.

Heh, I could argue that any type of "dodging" classifies as "moving out of the area of effect" of something, just a matter of how much you move. ;)

 

...But only if you take the next step yourself and remember that 'normal' weapon attacks are made against Deflection.

Yes, but I don't have it anywhere stated explicitly that there is no association between defences and damage types, and this quote made me assume what I assumed. If I wasn't confusing things I wouldn't be writing these posts at all. My curiosity about the whole system started when I thought to update the wiki a little, and suddenly I found out I'm a Beta player who doesn't know the combat system, and that very few people actually do... :)

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It's nice to see the parallels with 4E D&D, I didn't know about them. My last serious contact with D&D have been the IE games (which were AD&D of course), I didn't play NWN&NWN2 that much.

 

4e was in licensing hell, so it never got any proper games. Just a free-to-play MMO that used some of its names but not its mechanics.

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The first thing that confuses me is that the PoE system uses names that were used for saving throws in D&D to name defences. BTW, I will always use the non-American spelling, and I find it ironic that a game where specific languages have been constructed fails to use stylistically correct English for its own terminology. Anyway, I have "deflection" which is just one of a set of "defences", although the two words sound terribly similar and their places could easily have been switched without making it seem strange, their meaning is similar enough for them to still have been applicable, and then I have other "defences" which are named as things I am used to seeing as saving throws - Reflex, Fortitude, Will

Yeah. When it's all thrown at you (and not in tutorial form) -- not to mention things have been slightly changed up over the course of the beta -- it seems like a very complex system. But, really, D&D represented all the same things, just in a different way. Spells always "hit" you, but you got a saving throw, which could cause them to do half their effect, or nothing, etc. So, think of it this way: Now, you've got the same names, that represent the same things (You can' DEFLECT Terror or Confusion, so it targets Will, for example), but you always have the exact same mechanical attack roll. So, instead of having to go "whoa, hang on, this is a spell... lemme look up caster levels, and see what your Will is, and do a different roll," you just have an attack roll, and you say "what's the spell attacking? Will? Okay, Accuracy minus Will, then, instead of Accuracy minus Deflection. Now roll a d100 and add it in."

 

Second - I have "defences", and then suddenly I have "Damage threshold"... wat? This terminology is really confusing - defence is something I normally take to signify the overall capability, how well-defended I am, taking into account and summing up all minute factors. But suddenly, there is "Damage threshold" - another factor which is in no way connected to my defence (taken as a game term, not in its "regular" meaning), and a term which I find confusing at first, but all it really means is the Armor Rating provided from equipment. OMG, Josh, please, when you are naming a term which is related to Armor, do not use the word "damage" in its name!

This is like naming "Attack Roll" "Anti-Defence Roll", totally anti-intuitive.

Yeah... I mean, it describes what the number does pretty well, but, maybe it should just be called "Armor." I mean, either way, you're going to have a term, and then the specifics of the mechanic that you'll have to learn. Even with "damage threshold," until it's explained, you're like "In what way is it a threshold? What happens when the threshold is breached?" etc. But, it's basically your armor. And, again, it may seem redundant, but in D&D you had AC, which didn't reduce incoming damage at all but only governed whether or not you were hit (just like the 4 defences, only AC would basically be Deflection, and like I said in the previous paragraph, Reflex, Fortitude, and Will are just other defenses now instead of completely separate "saves" on a slightly different mechanic from AC and regular attacks.) Then, you had separate forms of damage resistance, I believe. So, in PoE, armor just serves two functions now. It helps you to not-be hit (or to be hit crappily -- i.e. Graze), AND it helps lessen damage when you DO get hit.

 

So, yeah, Attack Resolution handles the "did he actually HIT me, and how badly?", with just an additional range being sort of the opposite of a critical (Graze), so that you can hit crappily, normally, or exceptionally. Then, if you are hit, you look at how the damage is going to be affected. "Was it a critical? Okay, then it's extra damage. But then, my 'damage threshold' (I think the term they actually stuck with is 'Damage Reduction'? Not sure) is X, so just subtract that, and that's how much damage was dealt."

 

And, again, it's kind of nice that it works this way for spells, too. Except, your armor pretty much isn't ging to block against a lot of types of spell damage, most likely. But, all the terminology and ratings are in-place so that you can easily determine that. DR is kind of like damage-blocking armor ratings of other games, mixed with "resistances" (usually physical, magic, earth, fire, spirit, etc.). So, there are just the total damage types in the game, no matter what the source, and there are DR values for each of them. If a piece of armor, for example, doesn't protect against fire at all, then it'll have DR Fire-0 listed. They seem to be listing the across-the-board DR for items, followed by a list of any specific values that are different. So, if a piece of armor blocks 10 damage from everything except Fire, it'll have "DR 10 (Fire-0)". Or, if it's the same for all damage types but Shock, but is WAY BETTER against Shock, it'll have "DR 10 (Shock-30)"

 

And the flat integer values kind of simplify things, because you can very quickly gauge relative "goodnesses" of armor values. If something has a DR of 40, that means someone has to do 41 damage before they can start to do more than the minimum damage to you (I think the minimum is 20% of however much damage is being dealt in an attack before DR is subtracted... just so you don't go around doing 1 and 0 damage to stuff.). If it's got DR 5, then only 5 damage will be blocked. I mean, sure, a percentage is nice, as "50%" damage being blocked is very easily understood. But, you still don't know how much damage things out there in the world are going to hit you for. What if that dragon hits for 300? You're still taking 150. But, if you block 70 damage, instead of some percent, then you know you'll barely have to worry at all about anything hitting for less than that, but the farther above that something goes, the more you'll have to worry. If your tank has 70 DR, and he starts getting hit for 40, you probably want to keep everyone else away from that foe. Annnnnywho.

 

So we have 4 "Defences" - which are variable THAC0s for various types of Attacks, and "Damage Thresholds" are the variable AC for 8 damage types, and you can have a very high Damage Threshold against one of the 8 damage types but be very undefended when it comes to the other 7. It's starting to make sense... except, I don't know how damage is calculated. Weapons have damage values like "piercing: 13-27". Ok, which one is it, 13 or 27 or somewhere in between, and how is this decided?

Sort of. Except, as I said above, damage threshold doesn't work like AC. It's just your basic "this much damage is blocked whenever you're hit" rating. Often called just "armor" in a lot of games. Think of the Defenses as AC, split into 4 types. Saving throws and AC got married and had kids. :)

 

Third - I really don't understand this principle - that I can make an attack that does damage which attacks more than one type of defence. How is the attack roll calculated then? If I attack a target with a sword that does poison damage, I'm attacking against which defence? Deflection or Fortitude? And which damage type does poison go with?

Well, you kind of have to break it down. You're making one physical attack (you're not swinging your sword, then throwing poison at them... it's one action), but two "attacks" are actually taking place. The sword's trying to hit you, physically, so it's contested by Deflection. If it manages to hit you, then the poison can try to "hit" you. It makes it into your bloodstream or what-have-you, but do you resist it? How well does it get in there? Etc. So, your sword swing pits your Accuracy versus your target's Deflection, then rolls a d100, adds the difference, and determines whether or not you got hit by a sword. Then, the poison effect gets to attack your Fortitude. So, it pits Accuracy versus Fortitude, and performs another d100 roll to see if the poison "misses," grazes (basically only affects you a little -- maybe it was a tiny cut, or your immune system just laughed it off a bit?), hits (you're just-plain poisoned and that's all there is to it), or crits (man, you got REALLY, REALLY poisoned, and/or your immune system was NOT at all prepared for poison!). I know it's not a perfect simulation, but it's kind of an interesting mechanic. The attack resolution system was already there, so, why not have it follow that, instead of just "poison = this one outcome, every single time," right? :)

 

So, the answer is, the sword targets Deflection, and the Poison (which only gets to "attack" if the sword hits, since the sword is its chariot into your bloodstream) targets Fortitude. It's technically two separate things, they just happen at the same time. As for which damage type Poison is? I'm not really sure, to be honest. It could be Corrode damage, or it could be Raw (basically the "nothing can block this" damage type). Someone else can probably answer that question, as I am not as knowledgeable as many here.

 

And while I'm at it, let's check what fortitude means:

In-game: "Represents a character's endurance to "body system attacks" such as poison or disease."

In Merriam-Webster's dictionary (i.e. in English): "mental strength and courage that allows someone to face danger, pain, etc."

 

Once again, a word is used in a meaning that's completely arbitrary/has little to do with the actual meaning of the word. This certainly doesn't help me understand this system.

Like many things, "Fortitude" can be used to describe mental things OR physical things. People who eat at that restaurant where everyone gets food poisoning all the time, but don't ever suffer any effects themselves, are said to have high fortitude. So, yeah, that IS confusing, as it can easily describe mental resilience as well. But, then again, the old D&D rules used the same word, so... *shrug*. It's just kind of a carry-over. "Hey, a lot of people get what this is referring to, right? Okay, then let's roll with it." Your "Will" save stepped in for mental things.

 

Anyway, I've spent over an hour writing this and I'm as confused as I was in the beginning. :/

Well, no worries. I mean, I'm sorry that this is taking up so much of your time, and it's frustrating to be so... well, frustrated with the systems in a game you'd otherwise love to love, but that's what we're here for, :). Hopefully we can at least clear up some stuff, even if just one detail at a time.

 

I very much encourage you to start with the general ideas of the mechanics, sort of the skeleton, and work your way towards the little specific situations and details from there. What occurs every time there's an attack or offensive effect of any kind is actually rather simple. There's just a ton of "if/then" circumstances that can change the outcome.

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Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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For PoE, "piercing: 13-27" could be expressed as 1d15+12. Except that 15-sided dice don't exist to me knowledge, and I think in PoE it can also roll between the integers ... so uh.

Ok, I'm fine with it being a random nuber, but why a 15-sided dice? I wish this was explained somewhere, or if it is, wish I knew where.

 

A 15 sided die because that's the example you gave? 13-27. Minus 12, and it's 1-15, and that's equivalent to a 15 sided die. They're not actually using dice, or even simulated ones, because why would they? It's a computer game. No need to stick to the normal dice ranges. That said, I think the Random Number Generator generates a damage value based on the "Base" damage value, which is then modified by Might/Quality of Weapon/Other Stuff/Graze-Hit-Crit/Damage Reduction.

I'm not sure if it starts off with an integer (whole number) in the base damage range before the modifiers come into effect, or if it's decimals all the way. Might be testable.

 

No, actually I did think characters have some base DR. I must have assumed that based on how D&D characters have an armor class value even if you remove all their armor.

Well, they do have base Deflection (and Reflex/Fortitude/Will) values, which is closer to the AC concept. Armor doesn't touch those values (Magical armor might. I know other gear can. As can talents, abilities and spells.)
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2. There is no relation between the type of damage and the type of attack. You could be making an attack that does fire damage (and deals with target armor's Burn DR) but if you're making it with a weapon the attack is against the "Deflection Defence" and if you're making it with a spell the defence would be relevant to the spell's type - AoE-Reflex Defence or Single Target-Deflection Defence(?).

Just to clarify this bit, attack type (basically which defense you're targeting) and damage type are completely separate things. That is, a firebolt can be a physical attack, but deal only burn damage. That being said, usually a physical thing striking you (whether it's a sword blade or a boulder) is going to deal either slashing, crushing, or piercing damage. Now, it could STILL deal other damage, too, like fire (if it's a flaming boulder or sword blade), etc. I mean, technically, someone could hit you with a magic sword and deal every type of damage there is: It could hit you for 5 slashing damage, 5 piercing damage, 5 crushing damage, 5 burn damage, 5 shock damage, 5 frost damage, 5 corrode damage, etc.... But, if I didn't hit you with the sword, none of those damage effects can hit you.

 

So, I mean, as lore/simulation would have it, yeah, physical cutty things are gonna do piercing/slashing, and ethereal blasts of ice are going to do frost damage. And a sword swing is usually going to target Deflection, and a Circle of Eruptions AoE spell is usually going to target Reflexes. But, as in the case with the Chilly Fog (don't remember that spell name) that you referenced, you're not really going to dodge the fog, even though it's AoE, so they went with your physical resistance to the cold instead -- aka Fortitude -- as the defense for that attack.

 

Those exceptions are the kinds of things you'll just have to sort of learn, unfortunately. But, the spell descriptions (and the combat log) do tell you that information. So, if you see a spell you've never encountered before being cast, and it hits your guy, and you want to know what exactly happened there, just mouse-over the entry in the combat log, and it will tell you what defense was used, what the rolls and modifiers were, etc.

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Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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Thank you both! I think I know enough in order to expand the information in the wiki a little.

 

If something has a DR of 40, that means someone has to do 41 damage before they can start to do more than the minimum damage to you (I think the minimum is 20% of however much damage is being dealt in an attack before DR is subtracted... just so you don't go around doing 1 and 0 damage to stuff.)

I think you're wrong about that bit, and if you're <not-missed> by an attack, you'll always take at least 20% of the damage, regardless of your Damage Resistance.

 

A 15 sided die because that's the example you gave? 13-27. Minus 12, and it's 1-15, and that's equivalent to a 15 sided die.

Damn, for all this time I had never thought of these damage intervals in that way. Thanks. :)

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