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The Intelligence attribute vs fun


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By which I mean, if you don't invest heavily in Intelligence, chances are your character is going to be very dull.

 

Pretty close to every ability of every class is modified by intelligence. Knock Down is duration. Zealous Auras are AoE. Rogue and Ranger special shots are duration.

 

If you don't pump Intelligence (Int) right now, these abilities are horrible, because Intelligence has some huge scaling. For example, Barbaric Yell has a radius of 8m and a duration of 18 seconds on 20 Int, or a radius of 3.5m and a duration of 9 seconds on 5 Int. That is a staggering difference.

 

So what happens is, you either invest in Int and get to actually do cool things, or you feel like a boring auto-attacker.

 

The root of the problem is the numbers on the attribute. 6% area of effect and 5% duration is too much.

 

So how much would be enough?

 

There are characters in this game whose primary combat functions are afflicting enemies with status and/or applying buffs to allies. Consider the power - and popularity - of abilities like Slicken and Mental Binding. For such characters, duration is their "damage" - it is the primary measure of how well they're performing their combat role. As such, 3% increased duration per attribute point would be completely sufficient!

 

AoE is a little trickier. Characters are built around statuses and thus duration as a direct end goal, while AoE is always a means to an end (damage, status, healing, or some combination). Still, a whopping 6% per point seems excessive.

 

Here's what should happen:

  • All base AoEs and durations increased by roughly 20%, subject to rounding.
  • Intelligence bonus to AoE changed to 4% per point, duration bonus changed to 3% per point
For example, Barbaric Yell (mentioned earlier) would go from 5m to 6m base, and let's be generous and have base duration go from 12 seconds to 15 seconds. A 20 Int character's Yell would then reach 8.4m and last 19.5 seconds - a little better than pre-patch, 5% more area and 8% more duration, but nothing outrageous... However, a 5 Int character would then have a Yell reaching 4.8m and lasting 12.75 seconds, a rather drastic improvement - 37% more AoE and 41% more duration.

 

As you can see from the example, investing in Intelligence would still be worth it for many builds. But for those builds which do not invest, they'd still have usable options to not feel like autoattackers all the time, greatly improving fun for players building such characters.

 

I welcome your thoughts.

Edited by scrotiemcb
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Only two of my party members (my chanter and my wizard) have exceptionally high Intelligence. The rest are mediocre. I don't feel gimped.

 

My ranger wouldn't really benefit from more intelligence. Nor would my monk. Literally the only thing Eder is getting out of his 14 intelligence (4 over base) is an extra 1 second on his knockdown (from 6 seconds to 7 seconds). That's nice, I guess, but it doesn't make me want to pump his intelligence up to 25 at the expense of all his other stats. Priests don't really benefit that much from Intelligence. All of their AOEs are either huge (making int scaling unnecessary) or very very small (making int scaling worthless). The durations on their spells are already very long - longer than most fights will last anyway.

Edited by dirigible
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Ranger, rogue, fighter, paladin, and chanter don't really need intelligence. In varying degrees, of course, but still. Intelligence doesn't affect them that much. I will admit that for wizards, druids, priests, and occasionally ciphers, a lack of intelligence can be a bit crippling. I remember putting Hiravias into my party when my main character was a druid and being baffled at how awful his AoE's were.

 

I don't think it's too big a deal, though.

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Worth discussing, I suppose, but not a huge deal IMO. Duration and AoE used to be on two separate attributes (Duration was on Resolve for a while IIRC), which helped things. I'd agree that INT right now is VERY strong.

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The problem with Int is that the increased AoE radius is foe-only. This creates the weird situation in that you can always aim your spells in a fashion that damages all enemies, but doesn't harm your allies.

 

This creates a heavy imbalance, as certain spells are meant to hit your allies and are balanced around the fact that the AoE is so huge that it's very impractical to use most of the time.

 

 

A fix to this was already proposed during Backer-Beta times: make the AoE scalable via the mousewheel instead of just adding a foe-only extra radius. That way, intelligence increases your radius and adds flexibility to your spell without making it a braindead foe-only ability.

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Well, roleplaying-wise, I hated that everyone besides the wizard in IWD is a complete moron. Isn't it fair that everyone should have at least a tiny bit of intelligence;)

 

But it's hardly essential to the fighter classes. I think this is one thing they did right!

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Putting a 5 into Int isn't "not investing in Int", it is "dumping Int".  You can put a 10 Int on your Barbarian and still have a decent area and duration for your abilities.  Those 5 points you are trying to scrounge out of Int are going somewhere else, so it isn't like you're forced to have a smaller duration and area of effect with no return.  If you aren't finding that tradeoff to be worthwhile, then try putting the points back in Int.

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Ranger, rogue, fighter, paladin, and chanter don't really need intelligence. In varying degrees, of course, but still. Intelligence doesn't affect them that much. I will admit that for wizards, druids, priests, and occasionally ciphers, a lack of intelligence can be a bit crippling. I remember putting Hiravias into my party when my main character was a druid and being baffled at how awful his AoE's were.

This is the crux of the problem. Heijoushin points to the dilemma of the "Int dump Fighter" and while I see that point, I feel the "must max Int" Druid is just as bad. With Intelligence the way it is, anything less than max is going to be felt very hard, making an oddball build (such as Spiritshift-based) much worse than just focusing on casting. The game doesn't need to force max Intelligence down caster's throats so hard, and shouldn't.

 

Also kind of disagree on Paladin; lots of duration and AoE going on.

Putting a 5 into Int isn't "not investing in Int", it is "dumping Int". You can put a 10 Int on your Barbarian and still have a decent area and duration for your abilities. Those 5 points you are trying to scrounge out of Int are going somewhere else, so it isn't like you're forced to have a smaller duration and area of effect with no return. If you aren't finding that tradeoff to be worthwhile, then try putting the points back in Int.

My point is: no, not really. With max Int you could have 50% more Savage Defiance duration and 60% more Carnage AoE. You'd be a fool not to have at least 15 Int, bare minimum. Edited by scrotiemcb
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The problem with Int is that the increased AoE radius is foe-only. This creates the weird situation in that you can always aim your spells in a fashion that damages all enemies, but doesn't harm your allies.

 

This creates a heavy imbalance, as certain spells are meant to hit your allies and are balanced around the fact that the AoE is so huge that it's very impractical to use most of the time.

 

 

A fix to this was already proposed during Backer-Beta times: make the AoE scalable via the mousewheel instead of just adding a foe-only extra radius. That way, intelligence increases your radius and adds flexibility to your spell without making it a braindead foe-only ability.

I completely disagree. NO spell is "meant to hit your allies". At most, they're meant to be hazardous if you position them incorrectly. The way intelligence creates a foe-only zone on AOEs is, in my opinion, perfect.

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I repeat, INT affects AOE way too much. With 17 INT you have doubled the area. That's insane. 17 in MIG would give +21% damage. +100% area is just overkill in comparison.

 

I do agree with Zwiebelchen, though, and I remember that discussion back in the day. Whether by scrollwheel or by dragging, an actual adjustable area within INT limits (either larger or smaller than the default) would be great, and there'd be no cheesing with the friendly area anymore.

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I repeat, INT affects AOE way too much. With 17 INT you have doubled the area. That's insane. 17 in MIG would give +21% damage. +100% area is just overkill in comparison.

 

I do agree with Zwiebelchen, though, and I remember that discussion back in the day. Whether by scrollwheel or by dragging, an actual adjustable area within INT limits (either larger or smaller than the default) would be great, and there'd be no cheesing with the friendly area anymore.

1. Having a 100% larger AOE doesn't really equate to dealing 100% more damage.

2. How is using an intended mechanic, with abilities that were designed with that mechanic in mind, in the way intended by the designers, considered "cheesing"?

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Some classes scale very well with Intelligence. Other classes don't scale so well with Intelligence. What you're doing is the equivalent of looking at Rangers, Rogues, Monks, and Warriors and saying "Might is too important, we need to nerf Might".

If Might was currently set to "+5% Damage" tand Constitution to "+5% health and endurance" then Intelligence wouldn't be OP.

 

It's not about Int effecting both AoE and duration. That part is a little sketchy but probably fine. It is about 5% increases vs 3% increases. Assuming your character cares about both things (and there are characters that care MORE about duration than damage), you're going to grab all the 5s you can before going for the 3s.

Edited by scrotiemcb
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I repeat, INT affects AOE way too much. With 17 INT you have doubled the area. That's insane. 17 in MIG would give +21% damage. +100% area is just overkill in comparison.

 

I do agree with Zwiebelchen, though, and I remember that discussion back in the day. Whether by scrollwheel or by dragging, an actual adjustable area within INT limits (either larger or smaller than the default) would be great, and there'd be no cheesing with the friendly area anymore.

1. Having a 100% larger AOE doesn't really equate to dealing 100% more damage.

2. How is using an intended mechanic, with abilities that were designed with that mechanic in mind, in the way intended by the designers, considered "cheesing"?

 

1. No, not in the long run. But with twice the area you can often hit twice the number of enemies. And that extra 100% area is friendly zone, which makes using AOE much easier - in fact, that's often what makes using that particular spell feasible in the first place. In my opinion +100% area bonus from 17 INT is just disproportionally huge.

 

2. ...because it's cheesy? Frankly, I'm not convinced the devs really understood how exactly we'd be using that extra friendly area, so whether it's truly "the way intended by the designers" remains an open question.

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Just noticed this.

Priests don't really benefit that much from Intelligence. All of their AOEs are either huge (making int scaling unnecessary) or very very small (making int scaling worthless). The durations on their spells are already very long - longer than most fights will last anyway.

I laughed. Have you actually tried both? Because I can't believe you actually believe this. It feels like 100% pure armchair theorycrafting and no testing at all; essentially, just a rationalization. Edited by scrotiemcb
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Just noticed this.

Priests don't really benefit that much from Intelligence. All of their AOEs are either huge (making int scaling unnecessary) or very very small (making int scaling worthless). The durations on their spells are already very long - longer than most fights will last anyway.

I laughed. Have you actually tried both? Because I can't believe you actually believe this. It feels like 100% pure armchair theorycrafting and no testing at all; essentially, just a rationalization.

 

Durance starts with quite low (for a caster) Intelligence. With equipment and resting bonuses, I can give him quite high intelligence. The difference is pretty underwhelming.

 

Interdiction doesn't really need a larger area. His heals don't really benefit from the larger area, since it still isn't enough to cover my entire party unless we're all bunched up. Any significant buffing he's gonna be doing is going to be while the entire party is grouped up, which means the extra int is pointless since he can cover them all with or without it. The duration on buffs is pretty unnoticeable to me. A lot of them last 20+ seconds (base), meaning the fight's gonna be over before the buff ends anyway.

Edited by dirigible
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Note: I do not say about playing solo. This is exceptional case.

 

You have forgot to mention when INT will make more or less sense. At start of the game non-magic classes will gain bonuses like you said from INT, meantime at the end of the game such bonuses becomes useless for them. Everything is vice versa for magic classes. Did you saw how many damages deal 6 level "crazy" storm of a druid? In last case +100% range is overpowered over +21% damage. More over even 4 level storm will be overpowered with +100% range. 

 

And I did not mention how is important duration of any of storm's spells! It is very important. So, mid-high level druid with INT-maxed becomes truly overpowered with your wishes. No, in that case give me the same bonuses for casual weapons (swords, bows, etc, not spells/abilities) for DEX/MIG: +100% speed, +100% damage.

Edited by gh0stwizard
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2. ...because it's cheesy? Frankly, I'm not convinced the devs really understood how exactly we'd be using that extra friendly area, so whether it's truly "the way intended by the designers" remains an open question.

I really don't know what else they could have possibly expected, when they intentionally made the aoe gain foe-only.

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Just noticed this.

Priests don't really benefit that much from Intelligence. All of their AOEs are either huge (making int scaling unnecessary) or very very small (making int scaling worthless). The durations on their spells are already very long - longer than most fights will last anyway.

I laughed. Have you actually tried both? Because I can't believe you actually believe this. It feels like 100% pure armchair theorycrafting and no testing at all; essentially, just a rationalization.

 

Durance starts with quite low (for a caster) Intelligence. With equipment and resting bonuses, I can give him quite high intelligence. The difference is pretty underwhelming.

 

Interdiction doesn't really need a larger area. His heals don't really benefit from the larger area, since it still isn't enough to cover my entire party unless we're all bunched up. Any significant buffing he's gonna be doing is going to be while the entire party is grouped up, which means the extra int is pointless since he can cover them all with or without it. The duration on buffs is pretty unnoticeable to me. A lot of them last 20+ seconds (base), meaning the fight's gonna be over before the buff ends anyway.

 

My priestess has decent intellect; I find the extra area on the smaller AoEs very helpful because it means I don't have to be quite so tightly bunched up.  When I've got six enemies trying to surround Eder, whether or not they bump into Aloth on the way and decide to try and eat him instead is important to me.

 

I've also definitely had multiple fights where my buffs ran out.

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10 INT is enough for many abilities, 3 seconds or 4 seconds knockdown, 2 meters or 2.8 for aura, it doesn't really matter. Of course there are classes than need it a lot, but it's not like Might.

 

Might kills most of my funbuilding - when you made an IE-like where you can't even make an effective healer without maxing "Strength", or a thief with a bow, it's just wrong.

 

If some weapons or fighting styles, and spells were not dependant on Might, you cold get around it, but for the most of them, you can't.

I think in that way PoE is a step backwards even from 3d edition. Perhaps it has a better design in theory, just not in practice, since while you can make some new builds, at the same time many classes are shoehorned into just one type of stat distribution and you can't make some old characters you were used to (dex-based thieves, intelligent wizards who could still dish out damage, that sort of stuff).

Edited by Shadenuat
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1. Having a 100% larger AOE doesn't really equate to dealing 100% more damage.

it entirely depends on the spell.

 

something like brambles sure as HELL does do more damage if the AOE is larger, as you're going to hit enemies moving through it several times instead of just once.

 

it's a huge difference, huge.

 

 

Edited by Ichthyic
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