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stat balancing and min/max prevention suggestions.


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Hey guys! While the whole "use math to maximize my character" thing, this gane really feels a bit lacking on the rpg side of things. Its got a great story, but character development has seemed completely static too me. Almost every class is might, and intelligence. With the recent update perception now has more purpose. To me this is extremely boreing, and is ver vulnerable to min/max. Im starting this post as a general discussion in the hopes that devs see it.

 

As a start. I would say that stats need to have a greater impact overall. I would do this by making stats have greater value. Also by makeing stats have unique bonuses to specific classes. Let me explain. Might is perfect. But i think it should only modify melee and ranged damage (heavier # bows lets say) constitution should do more then grant health and endurance. It should subtract a percentage of duration from detrimental effects, such as hobbling and other non mind affecting effects. Dexterity is fine, but should have a minor deflection bonus. Perception has been greatly improved with the accuracy bonus. However it should also add a bonus to chanters speed when it comes to charging their abilities (or affect their synargy in some way) and should add a bonus to cyphers focus limit at encounter start. That would really balance those classes hy forcing them to invest in another stat. Intelligence seems all wrong to me

It should boost spell damage and additionall decrease mind effecting detrimental effects. This would only make it worth investing in for caster type characters. Lastly resolve should ve the defining attribute for spell and ability range and area calculation. Not only would it fit roleplay better (Paladins resolve, druid and priest force of belief, or wizards strength of identity.) but it would greatly obliterate min max. A caster would need both intelligence and resolve. But dexterity would be important as well. A cypher and chanter would need intelligence, perceprion, and resolve without being able to sacrifice on dex or strength (youd not ve able to melee, and even ranged attack would suffer preventing focus gain) chanter wouldn't be effected as much, but their abilities are slow builders anyway. fighters would be largely the same, they've been right from the start. Paladins wouldnt be investing in a crap stat just to boost aura range. It would tie in with their deflectiom bonus from resolve. So to adequately build a tanking paladin. You'd need might, resolve, and constitution. Would also need some perception. These are huge changes, and I want to hear your guys thoughts in the matter.

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The changes you recommend would not eliminate or even reduce min-maxing, only change the specifics of it.

 

It should boost spell damage and additionall decrease mind effecting detrimental effects. This would only make it worth investing in for caster type characters.

 

Why is that desirable?

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These are just rough thoughts. But i did not mean to suggest that those skills increase spell damage further then it is. many spells do require accuracy for additional effects to hit. So a caster would need intelligence, and resolve. But dexterity and perception would also be important. A few tweaks to the spells themselves and perception would be a required investment. Also. The idea is to get each class to have to invest in 3 classes and still not be able to sacrifice "unused stats" if constitution effected your characters resistance to detrimental effects and you minmaxed that out in favor of the others, one stun could wipe you out from tge encounter. Could sacrifice some strengtg, but sone wizard spells are melee (staff comes to mind.) suddenly useless. These changes are suggested to enhance roleplay, and balance the game in a more rewarding way. Would make players get into charactee more. Instead if wonder why their mage is build like a brick ****house. Or why their paladin has to be a genius to be effective.

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Why make any changes?

 

The only classes that can still effectively dump stats are glass cannon caster builds, they can dump both con and resolve with limited consequences.

 

The thing to change is enemy attack behavior. Make the enemy go after the soft easy targets and people would stop dumping con and resolve.

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They already did that in the new patch in terms of ai, but im coming from more of an rpg side. Seems really weird to have genius paladins, brawny maged, and any character with so little resolve that they should all be suicidal.

 

Don't min-max then. Attributes have low impact on the game, as you have noticed.

 

 

 

However it should also add a bonus to chanters speed when it comes to charging their abilities (or affect their synargy in some way) and should add a bonus to cyphers focus limit at encounter start

 

Must max stats are something this game wants to avoid.

 

 

 

It should subtract a percentage of duration from detrimental effects, such as hobbling and other non mind affecting effects

 

Not a bad idea. 

 

 
Intelligence, in practice, gives just range. Extra duration is there merely to counter short durations of spells/abilities.

Vancian =/= per rest.

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Min/maxing isn't inherently wrong or evil and should not be actively prevented. It is a problem when min/maxing is the only way for your character to be effective. As of 2.0, I feel that is no longer the case in POE.

 

CON and RES are still "dumpable" to an extent, but only for certain classes/builds. Even then, in most cases it is advisable not to dump them to 3.

Edited by AndreaColombo
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They already did that in the new patch in terms of ai, but im coming from more of an rpg side. Seems really weird to have genius paladins, brawny maged, and any character with so little resolve that they should all be suicidal.

You could view it from a different perspective. Positive vs Negative traits of your character. Even in real life some people do shine in some aspects of their personality while they might suffer in some other aspect while others are more "well rounded" but not necessarily shining on anything special. Someone with 3 resolve in game doesn't necessarily mean he's suicidal it just means that resolve is his weak attribute while intellect for example his strong attribute. As for might they say in the description it's not only physical but spiritual strength so you could have a mage with 18-20 might nothing wrong with that, remember your characters represent some kind of "hero" in game they are not your everyday average "Joe" that's the difference between a "hero" and a "commoner".

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Any party RPG that's beatable with a whole party set at 13 13 13 12 12 12, is too easy. A good game frame make the decision to mini/max a question of risk versus reward. Do you want that glass cannon that can DPS like no one else, but definitely will die in the more difficult fights, or do you want to play it safe and go with a balanced character? Can you build a team that can run with only five party members (as back up for when the glass cannon enviably goes down) and is it worth it?

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On my potd play I have a wizard with min might. Max dex, per and int. And a bit of resolve to give him decent deflection and concentration. He fuctions as a controller. And is quite successful at it.

 

Pillars is fairly forgiving when it comes to min-maxing. That is, as long as you make a build that complements your stats. Only hard and potd really requires optimized builds and, even then, if you have a full, somewhat balanced party (tanks, cc, healing) hardcore min maxing isn't required. Although it will make things easier.

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You guys bring up some valid points. Perhaps the real issue is that stats "arnt" important. Perhaps constitution and res should have greater purpose. Thus making any minmaxed sacrifices far more costly. Perhaps a resolve could give a bonus to casting times. So if a caster sacrificed resolve completely all casting times would be reduced by a full slot. (aka fast cast to avg. Or avg to slow. And i hold to constitution effecting disabling effect times. Just those two alone would have massive impact for balance.

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You guys bring up some valid points. Perhaps the real issue is that stats "arnt" important. Perhaps constitution and res should have greater purpose. Thus making any minmaxed sacrifices far more costly. Perhaps a resolve could give a bonus to casting times. So if a caster sacrificed resolve completely all casting times would be reduced by a full slot. (aka fast cast to avg. Or avg to slow. And i hold to constitution effecting disabling effect times. Just those two alone would have massive impact for balance.

It depends on the class and purpose, yes for a caster they don't seem so important for a front-liner though things are a bit harder and it's not trivial to "optimize" stats for lets say a Paladin.

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Perhaps constitution and res should have greater purpose. Thus making any minmaxed sacrifices far more costly. Perhaps a resolve could give a bonus to casting times. So if a caster sacrificed resolve completely all casting times would be reduced by a full slot. (aka fast cast to avg. Or avg to slow. And i hold to constitution effecting disabling effect times. Just those two alone would have massive impact for balance.

The costs to sacraficing any stat can be pretty steep. It just depends on the kind of build, the class, the difficulty you are playing on, how big you want your party... Ect. Dumping resolve and con is just an intuitive way for people to minmax spellcasters. Would I always recommend it, though? Not really. I have a party with a wizard, druid, cipher, chanter, paladin and fighter. My wizard has the lowest might simply because my chanter, druid and cipher are all built to be damage dealers (with my druid also functioning as a healer). Therefore, all I really use my wizrd for is cc. I save on spells and resting this way. That doesn,t mean his attributes don't matter. If I tried to use him in melee he would get crushed.

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Dumping resolve and con is just an intuitive way for people to minmax spellcasters.

To develop on this point, it's intuitive specficially because neither stat has anything to do with a caster's "role," while all of the other stats do.

 

In some ways, this kind of stat-dumping is just the implicit cost of any system that allows for negative attributes. Unless the penalties are truly prohibitive, people looking to minmax will always dump stats they deem unimportant to their characters; conversely, if the penalties are truly prohibitive, they will never do so. Penalties don't actually promote build diversity, because in the end they are either too small to matter or too large to be overlooked.

 

The only way to make Constitution and Resolve interesting to casters is to do exactly that: make them interesting to casters. The essence of minmaxing is a player's desire to ignore stats that they deem useless to what they want to accomplish. Penalties only to establish "acceptable minimums," and don't accomplish their goal of being an impediment to minmaxing so much as they slightly adjust the numbers involved. When you tie stats to the kinds of benefits that players want, on the other hand, actual decision-making results.

 

Of course, because PoE imposes penalties for low stats equal to its bonuses for high stats, that only raises the specter of the minimum once again. The game simply relies too much on penalties as a disincentive for low attributes, which creates a wholly different psychology of play as opposed to a system where everything comes from the baseline up.

 

tl;dr PoE's attribute system will always result in minmaxing because of the way it's organized.

 

Seems really weird to have genius paladins, brawny maged, and any character with so little resolve that they should all be suicidal.

 

I don't really see why melee classes shouldn't benefit significantly from Intellect, aside from matching to stereotypical "class = personality" roles.

 

Might isn't muscle power. It's spirit power, which is the source of muscle power in PoE.

 

Min/maxing isn't inherently wrong or evil and should not be actively prevented. It is a problem when min/maxing is the only way for your character to be effective. As of 2.0, I feel that is no longer the case in POE.

 

Eh, it was never really the case, not even on PotD.

 

Any party RPG that's beatable with a whole party set at 13 13 13 12 12 12, is too easy.

 

Why? Shouldn't such a party simply present unique challenges in play, in the same way that a party with extreme stats would?

If I'm typing in red, it means I'm being sarcastic. But not this time.

Dark green, on the other hand, is for jokes and irony in general.

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I have played through the game fine without min-maxing. Having a bunch of characters with evenly distributed atteibutes is viable depending on your classes. You just won't have anyone that excels ls in any specific niche.

Edited by Remix
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I like the idea of having extra affects for stats.

I generally dislike the trend towards homogenizing stats in order to eliminate the need to specify during character creation.

However this can be rough when there is no stat increases intrinsic to leveling.

 

The ideas are solid.

However I am not sure you need to add min/maxing in this post because they are separate issues.

 

None of the above changes actually stop min/maxxing because min/max is simply understanding the formulas and rules of a game and optimizing the numbers for the most efficiency and the most power.  As well as the most completion.

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I agree with sapientNode that the ideas stated by the OP would not "help" with min-maxing. I put quotes around "help" because I don't see it as a problem currently. In fact, the general idea of making stats have unique bonuses to specific classes I think is bad and would make min-maxing "worse."

 

Take this example: Diablo III, at least when a friend showed it to me shortly after it came out, had only one stat increase damage for each class. If there hadn't been other non-stat modifiers, gearing would be boring. It feels like hand-holding, where the developer is insulting the players' intelligence by saying "Look, this is the one must-have stat that your class should stack: stack it!" If you do that, you might as well remove stats from the game, as they offer no choice except the one-dimensional "Do I want to be strong, or do I want to purposefully gimp myself?"

 

Within PoE, having each class get one class-specific buff from one stat might not be as bad, since there would still be other stats that are worthwhile to raise, and since stat boosts from the same source type (e.g. multiple items) don't stack. However, it would still create one "must-have" stat per class, which would effectively make it a no-brainer and take it out of the equation of choice. Therefore, out of the six stats, you'd have one less "degree of freedom." That is, there would be one less stat that would meaningfully factor into build diversity.

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Lol awesome points guys! Charisma in baldurs... Love it! But yeah i starting to agree with ya. Minmax is a seperate issue. But i definitely still hold to making stats more interesting from both an rpg perspective and a character creation perspective. Making constitution and resolve more appealing as well as class specific bonus's for stats would definitely immerse a player more deeply into their character. Some people play for the math. Others actually play a story. The games really feels like it lacks on that side of the spectrum. I wont even play any of the godlike races simply because i hate the way the male character models look. Especially the death godlike. Even though that character would fit my playstyle better then any other. I try think about what my character feels in a situation.. As much as i love this game... That sense of connection to your character is lacking. Comes off as more of a strategy game with story elements to me. Thats why im so against min maxing unless it fits a story. If this was a tragic tale of powerful, shut in, wizard with an immune deficiency forced out into the world.. Only to tragicly die from an unwashed beer mug at the local in...then maybe it fit.

Getting back to my original post however, fleshing out the rewards if the stats would open up new build viability, a rewarding sense if character creation simply because there really would be no useless stats, and more plausible roleplaying. I think the high intelligence for paladins irritates me the most. Even though they are different from dnd perspective, they are still leaders with strength of belief. Theres no rule that they cant be an intelligent military leader. That in itself fits in a way. Yet their powers still of a supernatural skein. The strength of their belief is driving them to extraordinary feats. Thats resolve. Perhaps things of this nature could be rectified through some new talents. A talent that changes palidins modifiers to be adjusted by resolve. Or a wizards damage modufiers by the same. Additional staring focus for cyphers by perveption. Make it a talent that shapes character development instead of creation. That would certainly diversify things, would it not?

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Lol awesome points guys! Charisma in baldurs... Love it! But yeah i starting to agree with ya. Minmax is a seperate issue. But i definitely still hold to making stats more interesting from both an rpg perspective and a character creation perspective. Making constitution and resolve more appealing as well as class specific bonus's for stats would definitely immerse a player more deeply into their character. Some people play for the math. Others actually play a story. The games really feels like it lacks on that side of the spectrum. I wont even play any of the godlike races simply because i hate the way the male character models look. Especially the death godlike. Even though that character would fit my playstyle better then any other. I try think about what my character feels in a situation.. As much as i love this game... That sense of connection to your character is lacking. Comes off as more of a strategy game with story elements to me. Thats why im so against min maxing unless it fits a story. If this was a tragic tale of powerful, shut in, wizard with an immune deficiency forced out into the world.. Only to tragicly die from an unwashed beer mug at the local in...then maybe it fit.

Getting back to my original post however, fleshing out the rewards if the stats would open up new build viability, a rewarding sense if character creation simply because there really would be no useless stats, and more plausible roleplaying. I think the high intelligence for paladins irritates me the most. Even though they are different from dnd perspective, they are still leaders with strength of belief. Theres no rule that they cant be an intelligent military leader. That in itself fits in a way. Yet their powers still of a supernatural skein. The strength of their belief is driving them to extraordinary feats. Thats resolve. Perhaps things of this nature could be rectified through some new talents. A talent that changes palidins modifiers to be adjusted by resolve. Or a wizards damage modufiers by the same. Additional staring focus for cyphers by perveption. Make it a talent that shapes character development instead of creation. That would certainly diversify things, would it not?

 

It'd make one stat that you would have to max and as others have stated you'd lose out on options. If Perception increased your focus as well as your accuracy why would ANY Cipher not max it, unless they wanted to intentionally gimp their build? I think Perception should be high on a Cipher but there is a world of difference between should and shall. Your suggestions would push stat choices into the shall category.

 

Why do you think that a Paladin must max intellect? I'd say you would not want to dump it but I have a PotD Paladin with base 10 intellect and he does fine. Maybe the aura does not cover everyone all the time but who cares? I instead have a higher Perception and I hit more often in combat. My Might is high so my LoH heal more but over a shorter period of time.

 

It matters a lot more to understand the game mechanics and pick talents and abilities that synergize well with your playstyle than to max a few stats.

 

The game is such that you can take any stat spread with any class and come up with a set of talents, abilities and in game strategies to be successful on PotD with a similar party. Solo PotD is a whole different animal.

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With respect to the cypher... Wouldnt you then have to balance between intelligence for range, perception for focus and accuracy, AND might to actually damage anything to build focus after you deplet initial reserve. Then to top it off that leaves resolve and con. If con had the elements i suggest,then could you really afford to lose it? One disable and your out of the encounter. As for resolve. That would be the only one you could minmax with at the expense of deflection, which is poor for cypher to begin with. plus it would makes you succeptable to will attacks. Again with the elements i suggest would also be a critical loss. You could do it, but youd be doing a ton if reloading... And praying that your party makes it without you.

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The current system promotes lots of build diversity, why change what we currently have?

 

It's not as if the Devs are going to consider making any sort of huge changes at this point anyway. The Perception change in 2.0 was how it was in the Beta, they changed it and then realized their mistake and went back to where it was originally, or at least more or less.

 

To me a Cipher wants good Perception, Might, Intellect, and Dexterity. I personally do not like to dump Con or Resolve so that means I'd have all 10s with three at 15 with 3 left over. Maybe that'd be 15 MIght, 15 Perception, 15 Dex and 13 Intellect for a quick acting balanced attacker with above average duration.

 

You don't need all 18s or 3s to make a good build.

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"But i definitely still hold to making stats more interesting from both an rpg perspective and a character creation perspective. Making constitution and resolve more appealing as well as class specific bonus's for stats would definitely immerse a player more deeply into their character. Some people play for the math. "

 

There aren't a lot of ways to make rpg mechanics into stats without making it about the math.

 

Planescape Torment made character creation very role playish due to how dialogue choice paths were dramatically affected by stat distribution, making a 18 plus charisma Torment PC very different from an 18 dex or 18 int or 18 wis Torment PC. But they could only do that mechanically by allowing the PC multi class or class switch, disconnecting the stats somewhat from combat effectiveness.

 

To remove math entirely from RP mechanics, one would have to do an adventure role play text game, which Pillars isn't. Maybe in a few years it might if it adopts Japanese Visual Novel innovations, but right now the text adventures are very minor game plays.

 

If you are playing for the math, then you're not doing role play. That's called a tactical to strategic hard core game, which do exist. Board games have to involve math because there's no computer or super human calculator to do all the math for them.

 

"With respect to the cypher... Wouldnt you then have to balance between intelligence for range, perception for focus and accuracy, AND might to actually damage anything to build focus after you deplet initial reserve. "

 

So you've never played a 3 int cipher, so you think every build has 18 int, is that it?

Edited by Ymarsakar
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