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The Intelligence attribute vs fun


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The fact that Intelligence was so powerful and also a consolidated caster attribute (both +AoE and +Duration) was pointed out the moment the current Attribute bonuses were introduced during the backer beta.

There are many issues with how the Attributes work currently, but they chose to have it this way despite knowing the problems it would cause, so it is definitely intentional. I think it's because it makes the Attributes system more shallow and easier to work with for people that don't want to get into it; the min/max is very clear and doesn't cause any confusion for casuals. Tanks are Res/Per, DPS is Mig/Dex, Intellect is godly for almost anyone and Con is unnecessary.

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The fact that Intelligence was so powerful and also a consolidated caster attribute (both +AoE and +Duration) was pointed out the moment the current Attribute bonuses were introduced during the backer beta.

 

There are many issues with how the Attributes work currently, but they chose to have it this way despite knowing the problems it would cause, so it is definitely intentional. I think it's because it makes the Attributes system more shallow and easier to work with for people that don't want to get into it; the min/max is very clear and doesn't cause any confusion for casuals. Tanks are Res/Per, DPS is Mig/Dex, Intellect is godly for almost anyone and Con is unnecessary.

But then they made early game very casual-unfriendly, with every encounter in Valewood destroying a solo newbie and then the temple of Eothas... Even folks with good attribute distribution will start questioning it. That's a rather illogical move.
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there were some early threads here where people were asking for easy to be more like the "story mode" that was added to the old IE games like Icewind Dale.

I thought they had a good point.  people playing on easy mode typically do so because they want to focus more on getting through the role playing and dialogue; enjoying the story instead of the combat.

there's some good stories in this game. 

I tend to agree with them, that the easy mode should have been for people who basically just picked whatever they liked and rolled with it, and did not want to nail bite every time they had an encounter.

nail biting is for geeks like me, who actually want BOTH story AND combat that requires serious decisionmaking in order to survive, it should not at all be a feature of an "easy" mode.



 

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There is a point here that you are forgetting. If you invest so much in INT, other stats are lacking behind. Yes, you can increase the area, but you could be increasing the damage, increasing the defenses, the stamina and such. According to the strategy you want to follow, you can choose. For a fighter that extra damage might be more useful than the extra second he gets. Or maybe you prefer to incapacitate enemies rather than dealing an extra dps. For glass cannon characters probably focusing on dps than in status is more interesting.

 

In fact, if there is a balance issue, I'd rather increase the bonuses on other stats, because actually the damage bonus seems quite lame to my tastes. I love the strategy of kill before they can kill you and it's rather hard to do it when a character with an awesome might vs a mediocre character deals just a 30% more damage. If I sacrifice all my defenses to increase the damage output and attack speed, I expect some real differences. What I noticed when playing is that a more rounded character works better than extremely specialiced character.

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Ichthyic - I'd rather they added story mode as something separate than make easy easier; I've got a buddy who had to put the game on easy to survive the encounters until she got to grips with the combat system, and turned it up to normal somewhere around Dyrwood Village.  Using it as a training wheels type mode is rather different than only playing for the story.

Edited by sparklecat
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The fact that Intelligence was so powerful and also a consolidated caster attribute (both +AoE and +Duration) was pointed out the moment the current Attribute bonuses were introduced during the backer beta.

 

There are many issues with how the Attributes work currently, but they chose to have it this way despite knowing the problems it would cause, so it is definitely intentional. I think it's because it makes the Attributes system more shallow and easier to work with for people that don't want to get into it; the min/max is very clear and doesn't cause any confusion for casuals. Tanks are Res/Per, DPS is Mig/Dex, Intellect is godly for almost anyone and Con is unnecessary.

But then they made early game very casual-unfriendly, with every encounter in Valewood destroying a solo newbie and then the temple of Eothas... Even folks with good attribute distribution will start questioning it. That's a rather illogical move.

 

 

I'm not saying that it's logical. There are many of these little inconsistencies in PoE. Also, I'm really just extrapolating and interpreting here, they haven't said why they did it like that, just that I think that was the idea. The only "official" word we have on it was a minor comment that they thought this was the best Attribute Bonuses yet. This claim was made while Dexterity was still working in reverse and Interrupt was completely broken, so you should take that with a jug full of salt.

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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"?

 

 

The problem is that the increased AoE radius was kind of an afterthought of the stat system. Initially, we didn't have that mechanic. They (as in the devs) implemented it because they felt stats were too one-sided beneficial to attacks and neglected spells way too much.

 

In the original concept, INT affected the size of AoEs, but there was no difference between the inner and outer circle. The enlarged radius always hit both friends and foes. Then people (rightfully) complained that increasing INT actually caused a decrease in usability of spells instead of the opposite, due to the fact that the larger circles made it harder to position those spells and you rarely needed the extra-range.

 

To fix this, the devs came up with the double-circle mechanic. When the community proposed a scalable AoE instead to fix the foe-only cheesing, the devs responded that it would be difficult to implement (they never gave us a reason why, though...). So I'd say the current solution was more or less just plain lazy design.

 

 

And yes, cheesing is very much the result of this mechanic. Given enough INT, you will mostly ignore the inner circle completely and aim only with the outer circle. That is cheesy, as it basicly bypasses the friendly-fire mechanic of the game entirely. It doesn't help that the radius increases to almost comical levels if you stack enough INT.

 

A scalable AoE would eliminate the problem of more int = less usability of spells, but in the same time fix the foe-only cheesing of spells. It's the best solution hands down. The two-circle mechanic is just lazy implementation that breaks game balance by allowing players to mindlessly spam AoEs without any risk.

 

 

Btw, you will find the discussion that caused this change of mechanics here:

http://forums.obsidian.net/topic/67742-how-to-solve-the-aoe-problem-while-making-the-int-stat-more-compelling-and-int-characters-smarter/?hl=+friendly +fire

 

 

The 2-circle mechanic is btw the basic reason for most spell imbalances we see currently. Especially Fan of Flames. Cone-spells are meant to be highly situational and are meant to put the wizard as risk by placing him on the frontline to cast. This is how it was in the IE games and it was awesome.

In PoE, you basicly use cone-shaped spells by moving farther behind, then aim it so that all the action happens in the yellow area, ignoring the red area. This is clearly cheesing as it basicly allows you to bypass the risk of what is clearly meant as a risk-vs-reward spell.

Edited by Zwiebelchen
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Although I see Intelligence's role in some Wizard AoE issues, I feel the duration part of the attribute bonus is a bigger problem than AoE. After all, in order to pull off that Fan of Flames you probably had to use a Slicken or Mental Binding to hold enemies in place.

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Every stat system gets gamed. There is always an optimal build for a given class. At least PoE doesn't have obvious dump stats like some other games (hello charisma!). Your character will pay a real price, probably in fragility, if you dump any stats too low. I actually prefer a system where extreme stat adjustments are quite costly, favoring more balanced stats.

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Every stat system gets gamed. There is always an optimal build for a given class. At least PoE doesn't have obvious dump stats like some other games (hello charisma!). Your character will pay a real price, probably in fragility, if you dump any stats too low. I actually prefer a system where extreme stat adjustments are quite costly, favoring more balanced stats.

... except that good scenario you described is not really PoE, hence this topic. Okay, so we don't have Charisma but this time around the gamifier is Intelligence. Int is the new legit Charisma... and it could be avoided pr easily by nerfing or changing INT, or following other suggestions in this thread.

I mean take a minute and read INT's description and it should be immediately obvious that it should looks suspicious on first glance (at least it did for me but I guess I'm not alone with this).

 

Hell, there are only one or two right builds in PoE for every class and you suffer HEAVY problems in fights if you RP your own non-optimal builds. Sometimes the universal "people are always gonna complain about everything" card isn't the true harmonious solution and just serves to kill the legit C&C dialogue.

Edited by IEfan
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Double the radius is more than double the area.

 

Radius of 1= Area of 3.14 (pi)

Radius of 2 = Area of 12.56

 

Theoretically this could be very efficient. But then again, how often do you really fill those circles in as it is? In most cases you're probably looking at hitting an extra 1-2 targets by doubling the radius. Usually you can accomplish the same by just piling enemies at choke points.

 

Overall the AoE portion is a more tactical advantage in nature than a damage maximizing one - and thus fairly optional. The extended duration is quite useful, though that depends on the nature of your build. Hard to say it's the penultimate stat.

Edited by Malovane
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I mean take a minute and read INT's description and it should be immediately obvious that it should looks suspicious on first glance (at least it did for me but I guess I'm not alone with this)..

Same here. There are no other +5% per point offers, and AoE is very strong in misty RPGs.
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Hell, there are only one or two right builds in PoE for every class and you suffer HEAVY problems in fights if you RP your own non-optimal builds.

 

This is not my experience; one bad character is easy enough to make up for with five at least decent others.

Edited by sparklecat
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Something else to keep in mind: The extra AOE is completely useless in a lot of situations. Extra damage/healing and faster action speed are NEVER useless.

 

Wrong. You forget that the extra AoE range bypasses the friendly-fire mechanic. Given enough INT and you can always aim spells so that they never even hit allies, making spells that are meant as risk-vs-reward spells completely overpowered.

 

Just imagine a situation where your tank is surrounded by enemies and you want to throw a fireball on the enemies:

Without INT, you could only hit the enemies on one side of your hero, if you tried to avoid any friendly fire.

With INT, you can aim your fireball so that all the action happens inside the yellow area, damaging all enemies but not harming your hero.

 

Same, btw, goes for cone spells. Without INT, you most likely won't find an angle in which you don't hurt any of your allies unless you move forward into the front line to avoid friendly fire. This puts your mage at risk, balancing the spell against it's potential higher damage (compared to foe-only spells).

With INT, you'd actually move your mage backwards until all foes and allies are inside the yellow area. No more risk for your mage; the whole risk-vs-reward balancing goes out of the window.

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The risk reward doesn't change dramatically.  Generally you have to decide whether to hit some party members and all enemies, or miss some and the party members.  It just allows you to hit more monsters than your standard off-center burst attack.

 

This is only true for small-area circular AoEs.

 

For spells that have huge AoEs right from the get-go, the percentual radius expansion means that you get a huge non-friendly-fire area aswell - which is literally all you ever need as enemies like to gang-up on your tank anyway. If an increase in INT would mean I can target 3 enemies instead of 2, then this is fine to me. However, the reality looks more like this:

high Int: 10 enemies (basicly everyone around the tank)

low Int: 2 enemies (only those on one side of the tank)

 

It's even worse for cone-type spells, which are almost unusable with low int and become complete no-brainers with high int scores.

 

 

Allow me to illustrate just how completely out-of-whack this mechanic is:

The picture displays a common situation in PoE group combat. Especially in PotD, you will most likely encounter large groups of enemies. Grey dots are enemies; you'll have some ranged ones scattered in the room and melees all surrounding your tank (black dot). This is literally how 90% of the fights in this game look like after some seconds in combat.

The blue dot is our mage. Notice how a hypothetical no-FF fireball only hits several enemies? As soon as the yellow safezone effect comes into play, the fireball literally destroys the entire room, without putting anyone in the group in danger. Instead of 3 enemies, you hit 7; a damage increase of over 130% just for a couple of points and then we didn't even count the increased duration effect in (notice how a comparable amount of Might only gives you a 20% damage bonus)! Also notice how this example actually has realistic dimensions in terms of collision circles, AoE radius and INT-safezone size (It's pretty much how fireball aiming looks like).

It's getting even worse for the cone-example: Instead of 3 enemies, you, again, hit 7. But this time, the mage is allowed to move even farther away from the battle, putting him at an even lower risk at the same time!

 

There is clearly a problem with that, especially on higher difficulty levels. Again, the example I posted is not a rare case scenario. It happens literally all the time.

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Edited by Zwiebelchen
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