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Let's talk: Vancian systems

magic vancian discussion

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#21
Climhazzard

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Replace Vancian system with Stamina system akin to how Health/Endurance work. 

 

So... casting a spell depletes a resource that refills at the end of battle and a separate resource that refills on rest?  Say... stamina and mana?

 

Exactamundo, but I wouldn't say Mana, let's go for something in more generic terms. Energy spent is energy spent, whether you're a mage or a fighter.

 

 

 

Could work, there would probably need to be talents or abilities that regenerated your per battle energy resource so characters don't become dead weight when they run low.  It could certainly be balanced to limit the per battle power of vancian style casters, while still forcing you to conserve resources long term so you have them when you need them.

 

However if I understand the arguments correctly, this wouldn't prevent the tedium caused by misjudging your resources and needing to turn back before you hit the next rest stop.  Never found this to be a problem personally, obviously you probably can't finish the endless paths in one go, but the rest of the game has plenty of camping supplies scattered around, even on PotD Trial of Iron I'm only finding myself turning back if I want the training grounds rest bonus for a boss fight, which is really a different issue.

 

Personally I'm for creating unique systems for every class, it's just that the more classes you have the harder this gets, and the harder it is to balance them.  The per encounter classes in this game ended up being my least favorite, they're the classes I'd most like to see evolve;  especially fighter, rogue, ranger, and barbarian.  Like...  having them receive some passive abilities automatically when they level, so you have more active abilities to choose from when you level, and end up with a class that doesn't just spend 90% of it's time auto attacking.  Or maybe picking from a specialization path that automatically gives you specific passive abilities as you level up.

 

Anyways, it'd be ok to limit the per battle power of Vancian's in some way, like a fatigue system.  But I fear that if Vancian's are found to be a problem, simpler solutions will come to pass.  Solutions like cooldowns.  I fear that PoE 2 will get dumbed down in a way that makes it a boring game.  Look at Tyranny, cooldown based abilities, instant consumables (also use cooldowns), no friendly fire AoE spells, no classes....  

 

Here's a thought, want to limit Vancian casters?  Look at all their Foe AoE spells and change any that don't make sense as a Foe AoE into regular AoE.  For example, the druid's "Twin stones".  This spell is exploding rocks, how the heck do you explode rocks without hitting your team members...   Or even make all or most AoE spells able to have friendly fire, to compensate for this slow down combat movement speed and resolutions a little bit, and implement a "stand your ground" button that automatically makes a character stand their ground without turning off their AI.  Combat depth would get deeper than it is now, unfortunately I imagine it would be impossible to properly program the enemy AI to not kill their team members when using their AoE spells, or at least to have them work together to get the most use out of the spells.


Edited by Climhazzard, 22 August 2016 - 10:45 AM.


#22
tinysalamander

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This might mean an upkeep system, where, for example, your character's Resolve controls how many different spells you can keep alive at once (see: Arcanum), so that maybe your priest can only keep 1 or 2 buffs going at a time;

 

So, you cast 2 spells and then do nothing, yay. Sounds boring. On the other hand if the priest still have attacking spells available and can cast them this achieves pretty little. Besides, chanter already exists.



#23
Arddv

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I really don't get the reason of the whole argument.

 

This is the ROLE-plaing game. I play this kind of games to saturate my imagination with the experience I cannot get in RL. And CRPGs must provide a framework for this experience. If I play a Fighter I want to choose some equipment and feats, point him towards enemies and enjoy the slaughter he causes with as little interferance from my part as possible. Maximising passive abilities and minimizing active/sircumstantial abilities is the way this class is meant to be played.

 

If I play a Wizard/Sorc, I want to be able to solo ANY encounter in the game with the careful selection of spells and their sequence, but at the same time - not to be able to do this EVERY encounter. So the game must provide some attrition/resourse system. There MIGHT be systems that do this better than Vancian casting, but none of them are mentioned in this thread - all of them either try to hide simple and user-friendly "casts per level per rest" integrs into some vague "mana per rest + mana per encounter" numbers or try to turn Wizard into something else.

 

On the other hand I welcome any NEW approach that game developers can present, like what Obsidian did with Chanter/Cipher/Monk.



#24
Loren Tyr

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Yeah, it's also a roleplaying GAME, and quite a few people enjoy the complex mechanics of that and like to see it improved; and others enjoy the complex mechanics and think it's fine the way it is, hence the discussion. Just because you play RPGs with a certain mind set, enjoy it in a certain way, doesn't mean that everyone else does as well nor that cRPGs *must* cater specifically to your preferences. There is no objective "how class X is meant to be played", meant by who exactly? And if I'm not mistaken big daddy D&D provides Fighters with quite a few active abilities these days as well, presumably because they recognise that standing around auto-attacking all day is kinda boring. 

 

The old casting per rest system may be simple (and may work in P&P), but in cRPGs the 'cost' of having to rest just doesn't work very well. Which is why people are arguing for changing it, into a mechanic (or preferably multiple mechanics, differentiating wizards, priests and druids) that improves upon this. Which does not inherently include either an attrition/across-combat resource system (it can certainly be fun and interesting, but only if done well) or the ability to solo everything (it's a party-based game, I don't see why that should be much of a concern for the developers anyway). 



#25
Arddv

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As you might have noticed I never said that current system should not be improved or changed to the system that supports the playstyle better. I merely stated that reworking it completely you have a big risk of "pouring out the baby with the water".

 

There is a rather definite concept of what the Wizard should and should not be capable of (in role-playing community I mean). The "soul" of the class. And if some highly advanced, ultra-intuitive and precisely balanced resource system ruins that "soul" I say make a new class for that system.

 

YMMV ofc.


Edited by Arddv, 23 August 2016 - 03:38 AM.

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#26
hrwd

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As you might have noticed I never said that current system should not be improved or changed to the system that supports the playstyle better. I merely stated that reworking it completely you have a big risk of "pouring out the baby with the water".

 

There is a rather definite concept of what the Wizard should and should not be capable of (in role-playing community I mean). The "soul" of the class. And if some highly advanced, ultra-intuitive and precisely balanced resource system ruins that "soul" I say make a new class for that system.

 

YMMV ofc.

 

This is a very conservative view.



#27
Nonek

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Good Lord, it sounds like some of you want a system as degenerate as Dragon Age: We closed Origin Studios. For shame, recant and repent.



#28
hrwd

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Good Lord, it sounds like some of you want a system as degenerate as Dragon Age: We closed Origin Studios. For shame, recant and repent.

 

Dragon Age: Origins is one of the best RPGs ever made. If you can't see it, there are articles about that online. I read an article that just focused on Redcliffe and how it...intertwined most of aspects from the game. Then there's the complete choice(or almost complete /meh) of "do these things the way you want to do them". With some little modding, an outstanding combat system. Good writing, but more on the BW pathetic side than on Obsidian morose / realistic side.

 

Really, I can't see anything short of BG II(even if that) or Torment surpassing it. And Torment in itself is more of a philosopher tale + some gameplay, so no wonder it is a pinnacle of RPG. But DA:O simply has to be in top 5, if not top 3 RPGs of all time. At least imo, but I've played enough and seen enough to make this statement.



#29
Nonek

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Ha good one, laugh I almost bought a round.



#30
hrwd

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Ha good one, laugh I almost bought a round.

 

Then feel free to name games from 95 onward which marry the narration with gameplay as seamlessly as DA:O does. Imo, only BG II and ME 2 surpass it. Torment no because it is more of a philosophical thesis than a game. Some of Witchers, maybe, but we are talking about individual games not franchises(I agree that DA franchise went to trash after DA:O).



#31
Nonek

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Stop it, i'm going to pee myself!



#32
anameforobsidian

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Ha good one, laugh I almost bought a round.

 

Then feel free to name games from 95 onward which marry the narration with gameplay as seamlessly as DA:O does. Imo, only BG II and ME 2 surpass it. Torment no because it is more of a philosophical thesis than a game. Some of Witchers, maybe, but we are talking about individual games not franchises(I agree that DA franchise went to trash after DA:O).

 

 

I think you mean narrative, rather than narration.  And really, a fault in Bioware games since forever that Pillars has inherited to some degree is that the narrative is widely split from gameplay.  Take romances in D:AO, they're largely a result of a gift system and dialogue system.  Give enough gifts, and the character sleeps with you.  The character may leave if you do one thing to tick them off.  That has nothing to do with stealth or fighting the Darkspawn, and really only barely touches the choices you make.  Baldur's Gate II did it better, by at least having characters use the reputation system so that the characterization of your character is represented, even if it is easily circumvented.

 

In Alpha Protocol, the NPCs are aware of the type of choices you make both narratively, and through gameplay.  They react to the way you play, and the story changes accordingly.  That is the gold standard.  In games like Fallout or Deus Ex, the way you do something is as important as what you do.  Going in guns ablazing will change what you can and can't do, and how people react to you.  The original DE also has that one moment that changes the story for the rest of the game in a small but very important way.

 

That's not to say the origin system wasn't impressive, because they were amazing game openers.  However, they don't really affect how you play the game; they just affect the narrative.


Edited by anameforobsidian, 23 August 2016 - 01:41 PM.


#33
Loren Tyr

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As you might have noticed I never said that current system should not be improved or changed to the system that supports the playstyle better. I merely stated that reworking it completely you have a big risk of "pouring out the baby with the water".

 

There is a rather definite concept of what the Wizard should and should not be capable of (in role-playing community I mean). The "soul" of the class. And if some highly advanced, ultra-intuitive and precisely balanced resource system ruins that "soul" I say make a new class for that system.

 

YMMV ofc.

 

Well, it's an ugly baby anyway, so that's hardly a loss. You seem to be missing the point that what may need changing is "the playstyle". That some undefined "role-playing community" has (according to you) a rather definite concept of what constitutes the 'soul' of the wizard class is good for them, but why would their opinion matter here, or to the PoE 2 devs? 



#34
Loren Tyr

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Good Lord, it sounds like some of you want a system as degenerate as Dragon Age: We closed Origin Studios. For shame, recant and repent.

 

Well argued, bravo! Hope your incontinence clears up. 



#35
Fenixp

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Then feel free to name games from 95 onward which marry the narration with gameplay as seamlessly as DA:O does. Imo, only BG II and ME 2 surpass it. Torment no because it is more of a philosophical thesis than a game. Some of Witchers, maybe, but we are talking about individual games not franchises(I agree that DA franchise went to trash after DA:O).

Marrying narrative and gameplay -> In-game, you swing your sword which breaks a pot and this systematic change leads to changes in a storyline. You save Paul from special agents in spite of the game telling you that you can't and storyline changes, that's what it looks like when a narrative is married with gameplay. When gameplay itself is used to tell a story rather than lengthy dialogues, like when breaking cameras on levels of Citadel Station reduces Shodan's grip on them, that's when a narrative is married with gameplay. Later Ultima games, System Shock, Dishonored, Deus Ex series just to name a few examples which most certainly married gameplay and narrative significantly better than any of the Dragon Age games, Pillars of Eternity and Infinity Engine games combined.



#36
Elric Galad

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I'm in favor of an option for PoE that would replace the current 4 per rest cast (+1 per encounter mastery) by :

- 1 per encounter

- +1  at high level when you currently access mastery

So caster would not totally be OP during boss fights.

 

And I would totally remove any per rest abilities from non-casters as well. People don't like it. Obsidian noticed it. There was almost zero per rest abilities introduced in WM I&II... (exactly 1 : pet revive, and sworn ennemy and Heart of fury were even turned to per encounter).

 

I developped this idea a lot on this thread :

https://forums.obsid...or-poe-2/page-2

(sorry to summon this from the realm of forgotten dead threads)

 

 

I also noticed from reading all the threads about this topic that there is close to no consensus on the matter.

That's why I think an option would certainly be the best solution to make everyone happy. 



#37
Tigranes

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I just think having Vancians and per-encs together without any moderating mechanism is asking for trouble. Either Vancians become a huge hassle, or per-encs become rote brainless spam abilities leaving the heavy lifting to Vancians. 

 

Either you get rid of Vancians for that game, or you make some changes to the non-Vancian abilities, uniting them with some sort of mechanic. It is weird that they all play by entirely separate rules. 

 

I would try to find a middle ground in POE2, some sort of resource mechanic that does introduce resource conservation across battles (which a full per-enc system wouldn't provide), while getting rid of Vancians. That might mean upkeep, it might mean some kind of magic toxicity that is purged with rest, hell, it could just be a mana system where mana potions / regeneration is actually difficult, or it could just mean stamina costs for per-enc castings, something. Right now you just have per-encs that you cast every single battle (or you don't because they suck), and then Vancians doing their own thing off to the side.


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#38
Loren Tyr

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I would try to find a middle ground in POE2, some sort of resource mechanic that does introduce resource conservation across battles (which a full per-enc system wouldn't provide), while getting rid of Vancians. That might mean upkeep, it might mean some kind of magic toxicity that is purged with rest, hell, it could just be a mana system where mana potions / regeneration is actually difficult, or it could just mean stamina costs for per-enc castings, something. Right now you just have per-encs that you cast every single battle (or you don't because they suck), and then Vancians doing their own thing off to the side.

 

Agreed. And it would be nice to extend that at least a bit to the current per-encounter abilities as well. Because they do tend to become a bit spammy, since there is generally no incentive not to use them. They are essentially all upside (exceptions like Frenzy notwithstanding), might be better to have at least some kind of cost attached; so you have to put some more thought in whether and when to use them. More like the modal abilities, essentially (though those could be further improved in this regard as well). 



#39
Arddv

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Well, it's an ugly baby anyway, so that's hardly a loss. You seem to be missing the point that what may need changing is "the playstyle". That some undefined "role-playing community" has (according to you) a rather definite concept of what constitutes the 'soul' of the wizard class is good for them, but why would their opinion matter here, or to the PoE 2 devs? 

 

Maybe because they are the core audience? )

 

On the topic. Where your personal dissatisfaction with vancian casting comes from? You can't play other calsses because casters can do same things better or what? This is the single player game so you are basically palying it with yourself. Why do you so desperately need balance among classes when the only balance that matters is the  player vs enviroment one?



#40
Arddv

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I would try to find a middle ground in POE2, some sort of resource mechanic that does introduce resource conservation across battles (which a full per-enc system wouldn't provide), while getting rid of Vancians. That might mean upkeep, it might mean some kind of magic toxicity that is purged with rest, hell, it could just be a mana system where mana potions / regeneration is actually difficult, or it could just mean stamina costs for per-enc castings, something. Right now you just have per-encs that you cast every single battle (or you don't because they suck), and then Vancians doing their own thing off to the side.

 These are good suggestions. If you want to limit a spellcaster's power in encounter introduce 'magic endurance' that they can spend per encounter with the ability to supercharge in critical encounters to cast using health when endurance is depleted. But... better introduce new class - Warlock and shape his spells around the theme of great power at the cost of self-damage. ;)







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