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Prevent Dump Stats

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Dump Stats are a killer for me in any RPG system. I deliberately don't do it - but the doubt sown into my mind by the posts of others giving themselves 3 constitution or 3 might or whatever definitely impact my opinion of a game and likelihood of playing it.

 

Why not just make bonuses and penalties less uniform. I mean, not a set +3% per point or whatever, but +1% at 11, +3% at 12, +6% 13, +10% 14, +15% 15 etc you get the picture and the same in reverse.

 

So a score of 3 gives a huge penalty and 20 a huge gain.

 

Straight away that makes any extreme ability choice more interesting.

 

Of course, you can play a slightly above average character rather than take any extremes, which some may say is dull. But closing minmaxing stat exploits must be worth it.

 

Or maybe they/you already thought of this and came up with some drawback?

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While I like the Sawyer dogma of "no dump stats," personally I prefer a system where while not ALL stats might be useful to a character build, there is freedom in the stat system to go in different directions. So, yes, stat allocation isn't mindless. 

 

For example, perhaps no fighter build will make much use of Intelligence, but the building of a "Dex" agility fighter and a "Str" basher fighter and tank "Con" fighter might go in different directions. 

 

As a player of Might & Magic back in the day, I admit I find it interesting that in the Sawyersystem, Might is now useful for both mages and warriors. 

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If you want to lay the hurt on dump statting, you could double the penalties for each point below 10.  That'd really kill the fortitude/reflex/will saves of any character going the dump stat route.

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Terrible idea. as it stands now, stats generally don't impact character performance in such  a way that you have to minimize or maximize them, but you can if you want to.

The only thing you acomplish by enforcing penalties to make it so people can't/won't min/max is that you're setting up arbitrary boundaries, limiting players in ways they can build out their characters.

 

With the system implemented as it is, you can min/max, but it is in no way required to make a build that can clear the entire game. No class is unplayable with average scores in all stats, and even when you minimize certain stats,  you need ways to make up for the penalties you incur. don't like min/max-ing ? then choose not to and don't.

But just because you don't like it doesn't mean other players should be limited in playing the way they enjoy the game.

 

Your suggestion would pretty much mean everyone that plays this game i gonna have to run the same bland stat setup, since you'd pretty much be forced to average all stats, lacking ways of making up for the penalties if you do lower and/or minimize a score. 

Hell, why not suggest that all characters get set to 13/13/13/13/13/13 and just not give the player any choice whatsoever in how they want to build out their character, it would make just as much sense.  :down:


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Seems to me that the best way to avoid dump stats is to have somewhat less in the way of up-front benefits for stats (possibly just defenses), but then for each class, add a class-specific bonus tied to each stat. Call the six bonuses for each class its "traits".

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Just give Constitution an offensive use, make interrupts more meaningful (Perception) and let the players go to town. With so many ways to clear the game, I don't think preventing players from doing things like pure-defense-min-might fighter or glass-cannon-max-might-dex caster is the way to go, just make every choice attractive and force the player to cover for the minimized stats.

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I think when Josh was talking about dump-stats, he meant stats that are useless for a certain class (like WIS for fighter in IE games) and are always dumped without thinking, rather than not being able to dump any stats ever.

 

I like that we have a choice.  I don't dump any stats to 3 since they all provide some benefit (I prefer roleplaying to powergaming too so it doesn't matter to me if they're all the same benefit mathematically - I don't go calculating DPS of High DEX vs. High MIG for example)

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There's a fairly large missing distinction here.  No dump stats is nowhere near the same thing as no min-maxing.  

 

No dump stats means that every stat is useful, and when you chose one you miss out on meaningful bonuses from the other.  This expands player choice.

No min-maxing basically means you can't build a character to fit a highly specialized role.  This limits player choice.

 

As it stands, the system isn't perfect, but every stat is fairly compelling, and you design your character based on what they're going to be doing, not what their class is. The largest ways I think the system could change are: increasing the con bonuses / penalties; moving the increased health from con for some classes to talents/abilities; and maybe bolster or remove perception.  Note that neither of those would limit min-maxing.

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No developer is ever going to build a system that will save players from themselves. People who want to dump stats are going to find a way to do it. Don't judge a game based on stupid things players do to themselves.

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"Art and song are creations but so are weapons and lies"

"Our worst enemies are inventions of the mind. Pleasure. Fear. When we see them for what they are, we become unstoppable."

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No developer is ever going to build a system that will save players from themselves. People who want to dump stats are going to find a way to do it. Don't judge a game based on stupid things players do to themselves.

I do not agree.

 

However, consider the case that a developer does create a system where players are automatically saved from themselves. In such a case, the outcome is undesireable, because player attribute assignment is essentially rendered irrelevant. In order for attribute assignment to have meaning, there must be right and wrong answers.

 

I believe the closest we can get to no dump stats is to have no attributes which are useless to a particular class (in a monoclass game such as this one). Once you further refine that to a specific build of that class, at that point you can have certain attributes be better or worse than others. Then, as players look towards build hybridization, you discover situations where choices between attributes become meaningful and difficult.

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I really don't think Pillars has a dump stat problem. In my mind a dump stat is one that for any class or build that stat is consistently poor or useless - which just does not happen in PoE (some stats are more useful then others, Con being perhaps the weakest, but not a single one of them could be more or less universally dumped on any build - and each one will also find use on at least one kind of build).

 

Min-maxing is a whole different thing to dump stats, and there's nothing really wrong with it; if people want to optimise a character towards a certain end then fine, that does not mean the stat system is broken (for example I'm soloing a rogue right now and I couldn't dump anything without feeling the pinch so every stat is a minimum 10). If you want to arrange a party where people are stupidly min-maxed (Ciphers with a Con of 3, Moon Godlike Fighters with Might and Int of 3 to cover the Cipher) then that is really your prerogative. Besides you can max two stats straight in character creation and not minimise anything - so it's fairly ludicrous to paint min-maxing as a necessary part of making a good character.

 

If you play games like Arcanum where Beauty and Constitution there are more or less completely rubbish, or Fallout 3/New Vegas where even a social character who wants followers you can easily set Charisma to 1 and not feel the burn, then you can see what a true universally useless dump stat is.

Edited by Jojobobo

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Imo, stats are inherently a bad idea and worst case are abused by players and best case are a generic spread nuisance. Blizzard did the right thing and in Diablo 3 just gave every class its own fixed set of stats and stat progression. Since this is more of an rpg, they could add multiple sets like "gifted/mediocre/inept".

Edited by roller12

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PoE actually does have a dump stat problem due to a build-hybridization problem. Unless you are building for solo (which has a wonderfully deep array of build options), the temptation to polarize between either "tank" or "spank" is practically overwhelming due to mechanics-based incentives. Furthermore, although some classes offer decent build hybridization (fighter, cipher), some do not and should get some additional tools.

 

In other words, dump stats are not a microcosm but part of a larger design picture.

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If you like to min/max your character, you can.

 

If you don't like to min/max your character, you don't have to. 

 

I'm thankful we have a system that will suffice for both types of players.

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No developer is ever going to build a system that will save players from themselves. People who want to dump stats are going to find a way to do it. Don't judge a game based on stupid things players do to themselves.

I do not agree.
No system is perfect. That's just reality. Feel free to disagree all you want.

 

While we're here, I'd love to hear your thoughts on time travel and perpetual motion machines.


"Art and song are creations but so are weapons and lies"

"Our worst enemies are inventions of the mind. Pleasure. Fear. When we see them for what they are, we become unstoppable."

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If you like to min/max your character, you can.

 

If you don't like to min/max your character, you don't have to. 

 

I'm thankful we have a system that will suffice for both types of players.

 

When a Fighter with the "might" of a toddler and the "dexterity" of a geriatric makes a great tank it breaks all immersion.

 

We need restrictions on item use - no heavy armor for weak chars, for example - and no stat should be lower than 7 without the char having to deal with major penalties.

 

Of course this is a single player game so i see your point, it just seems silly to me.

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If you like to min/max your character, you can.

 

If you don't like to min/max your character, you don't have to. 

 

I'm thankful we have a system that will suffice for both types of players.

 

When a Fighter with the "might" of a toddler and the "dexterity" of a geriatric makes a great tank it breaks all immersion.

 

We need restrictions on item use - no heavy armor for weak chars, for example - and no stat should be lower than 7 without the char having to deal with major penalties.

 

Of course this is a single player game so i see your point, it just seems silly to me.

 

 

This will always be an issue with the AI, which does not have the ability to realize that the Fighter you described above is an awful tank since it is not a threat. This isn't a problem with the attributes; all that's needed is for enemy units to take your Fighter's weak, most likely grazing disengagement attacks to get to the real threats and players will be forced to cover for their min/maxed characters or pay.

Edited by View619

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Dump Stats are a killer for me in any RPG system. I deliberately don't do it - but the doubt sown into my mind by the posts of others giving themselves 3 constitution or 3 might or whatever definitely impact my opinion of a game and likelihood of playing it.

 

Why not just make bonuses and penalties less uniform. I mean, not a set +3% per point or whatever, but +1% at 11, +3% at 12, +6% 13, +10% 14, +15% 15 etc you get the picture and the same in reverse.

 

So a score of 3 gives a huge penalty and 20 a huge gain.

 

Straight away that makes any extreme ability choice more interesting.

 

Of course, you can play a slightly above average character rather than take any extremes, which some may say is dull. But closing minmaxing stat exploits must be worth it.

 

Or maybe they/you already thought of this and came up with some drawback?

This was the AD&D approach. It led to a real supremacy of dump stats, because the difference between an 18 Str and 19 Str fighter was colossal but the difference between a 10 and 13 Str one was negligible.

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I'd rather look at variable costs than variable rewards. Dropping down to 3 in a statshould give like 2-4 points rather than 7

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In PoE all the stats are useful but some are more useful than others. In AD&D (BG, BG2, IWD) melee can dump int, wis, and cha to max str. dex and con. The scale was non linear where an 18 str was, I believe, +1/+3 while a 19 str was +4/+7. This was a massive difference. The dumped stats added no value unless there were class minimum requirements.

 

I build fighters to be able to dish out damage while still being able to tank good enough for long enough. To achieve that I need max might, and dex, also need good resolve. To get the stats you need to dump intellect to pay for the resolve. The cost is reduced will saves and durations on any buffs (accuracy or the defense boost) or status effects (knockdown). By dumping intellect I greatly impair my ability to inflict lasting buffs or knockdowns and have to restrict my talent choices to ones without durations.

 

PoE's system allows for great flexibility in stat distribution as everything gets you something that is good. You can max two stats and have everything else be average and do well. You can also dump a stat, incurring a penalty in one area and improving in another.

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I've never understood what the big deal is with dump stats.  Real life has dump stats depending on what your line of work is.

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If you like to min/max your character, you can.

 

If you don't like to min/max your character, you don't have to. 

 

I'm thankful we have a system that will suffice for both types of players.

 

When a Fighter with the "might" of a toddler and the "dexterity" of a geriatric makes a great tank it breaks all immersion.

 

We need restrictions on item use - no heavy armor for weak chars, for example - and no stat should be lower than 7 without the char having to deal with major penalties.

 

Of course this is a single player game so i see your point, it just seems silly to me.

 

 

This will always be an issue with the AI, which does not have the ability to realize that the Fighter you described above is an awful tank since it is not a threat. This isn't a problem with the attributes; all that's needed is for enemy units to take your Fighter's weak, most likely grazing disengagement attacks to get to the real threats and players will be forced to cover for their min/maxed characters or pay.

 

Such a clumsy and weak char shouldn't be able to move in heavy armor, nevermind swinging a heavy weapon or blocking a strong attack, it has nothing to do with the ai.

 

But again: it's singleplayer, use dumpstats if you want, i won't.

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If you like to min/max your character, you can.

 

If you don't like to min/max your character, you don't have to. 

 

I'm thankful we have a system that will suffice for both types of players.

 

When a Fighter with the "might" of a toddler and the "dexterity" of a geriatric makes a great tank it breaks all immersion.

 

We need restrictions on item use - no heavy armor for weak chars, for example - and no stat should be lower than 7 without the char having to deal with major penalties.

 

Of course this is a single player game so i see your point, it just seems silly to me.

 

 

This will always be an issue with the AI, which does not have the ability to realize that the Fighter you described above is an awful tank since it is not a threat. This isn't a problem with the attributes; all that's needed is for enemy units to take your Fighter's weak, most likely grazing disengagement attacks to get to the real threats and players will be forced to cover for their min/maxed characters or pay.

 

Such a clumsy and weak char shouldn't be able to move in heavy armor, nevermind swinging a heavy weapon or blocking a strong attack, it has nothing to do with the ai.

 

But again: it's singleplayer, use dumpstats if you want, i won't.

 

 

If I'm not mistaken, dumping might will drop you damage to poor levels. Also, dumping dexterity would mean that you barely get attacks off.

Put those together and you have a character who is clumsy with his weapons and is unable to effectively use his "power" to perform damaging attacks, but is still able to hold his ground and withstand heavy blows. There are attributes that govern how well a character is able to hold a defensive position, but they are not tied to MIGHT and DEXTERITY. If you keep linking defense to Might and Dexterity, it's just a lack of understanding regarding POE's attributes.

 

It depends on how you look at it. I point out the AI because if I'm fighting a Fighter like that while his Rogue buddy in cloth is hitting me with damaging, accurate shots then I'm running around him to get to the Rogue. He'll probably fumble with his weapon and graze me as I turn my back and ignore him, so he's not a threat.

Enemy units do not think like this.

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I've never understood what the big deal is with dump stats. Real life has dump stats depending on what your line of work is.

From longtime Magic the Gathering design czar Mark Rosewater:

Game (and puzzle) design is very different from most types of design. For example, let's say you're designing a lamp. You want every component of the lamp to be as obvious as possible. The switch to turn it on should be where you would expect it to be and the switch should be as simple as possible – most likely on/off. Every element of the lamp from how to move the light to what plugs in should be as clear and intuitive as possible. The goal of lamp design is to make the lamp easy to use.

 

Game design though isn't about removing obstacles but adding them. Let's suppose that a game designer set out to design a game lamp. Well, how to turn on the lamp wouldn't be obvious. The switch wouldn't be where you expect it or even necessarily look like a switch. How the lamp moved or plugged in would not be simple and the reason being that the point of a game lamp would be for users to figure it out.

Game design != life design, therefore your argument is invalid.

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I think when Josh was talking about dump-stats, he meant stats that are useless for a certain class (like WIS for fighter in IE games) and are always dumped without thinking, rather than not being able to dump any stats ever.

 

I like that we have a choice.  I don't dump any stats to 3 since they all provide some benefit (I prefer roleplaying to powergaming too so it doesn't matter to me if they're all the same benefit mathematically - I don't go calculating DPS of High DEX vs. High MIG for example)

 

I think it was the intent, too. Not to make all stats equal for all classes (that would be boring anyway) but putting Int on fighters, Might on mages and Per on druids can all be helpful, to some degree. The major flaw is that we have two stats (Res and Per) that do very similar things, and Con is just not very useful. With some tweaking, I could see PoE's stat system be very good indeed.

 

I also like the lack of a Charisma stats, because in a game where the player controls the whole party that's utterly useless to put on anyone but the main character. Res is a much better replacement.

 

The other thing I would change is more penalties for stats below 10, with a gigantic one at 3. I've heard of people having tanks with 3 Con, and that simply shouldn't happen.

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