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iscalio

Cheated of feature by dissembling nature

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Good afternoon.

 

In the vague hope that the designers will read this, here a list of my hopes for Deadfire. You will notice that they are all concerned more with roleplaying than with game balance or combat.
I hope this makes me come across as passionate about your game, and not as presumptuous. 
 
 
 
  • Please add something like the body shape options from Tyranny. It is unfortunate if every character has to have a perfect figure. Maybe even add an overweight option. More face options than the first game and more freedom in hair color (actual black hair for example) would also be great. Some very basic hair or beard styles could be added (like very short hair, or a chevron moustache). So yeah, in general more aesthetic choices, but body types and faces are most important.
  • Don't leave out conversation options that the situation really demands. Not being able to tell Edér or Durance that you are a priest of Eothas when they talk about their faith/their background for example is jarring. It's roleplaying poison.
  • Scripted interactions are good for storytelling and as non-combat challenges. I loved how the White March added more spell and talent use in them, and how some had multiple steps (like the burning house in Stalwart). Please do more of these; they can also make underused talents useful.
  • If Might will determine damage and healing for spells again, please write different desciptions in scripted interactions for magic-users. Playing a skinny elven wizard that is able to tear down walls with his muscles is weird. He could use a magic blast in the description instead. Separating the physical strength stat from magical power (like Tyranny did) would also solve this.
  • I love party member activity in storyline events. Especially Edér is great. The best one I encountered was his consideration of leaving Durance in the Abbey to be "forgotten" when encountering Maneha for the first time. Please do more of these. They don't have to affect the storyline; they simply do such a great job at making the characters seem more alive and present.
  • I would welcome more skills than the five from the first part. Crafting/alchemy/enchanting could work, maybe by reducing ingredient requirements or by granting small bonuses at higher levels. Persuasion, Etiquette or Intimidation could easily be incorporated instead of having the base stat Resolve dominate so many conversations. Skilled enchanters might also be able to put stat bonuses on hoods, capes or boots maybe.
  • I might be wrong about this, but I believe the Mechanics skill determines the discovery of hidden things. Maybe replacing it with Survival in wilderness areas would be possible?
  • This next one is probably unrealistic, but different (yet obviously overlapping) spell lists for the different priests would be great for flavor.
  • Do very high personality reputations ever matter? I don't remember any level 4 impacts to exist. Add those.
  • How does it make sense to be both known as deceptive and honest? Both stoic and passionate? Both cruel and benevolent?

 

Thank you for reading, and thank you for making great roleplaying games.

Edited by iscalio
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Skills are being overhauled. Josh has said there will be more skills. Classes will still get access to an equal number of skill points.

 

I agree on Might Wizards busting down doors. It's odd.

 

I think Josh has also said that the Perception attribute will now be used to spot traps, and mechanics will be to disarm them. It won't require being in Sneak mode either, iirc. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.

 

They have streamlined the system they make Scripted Interactions with, and from what has been said, they plan to do more.

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That's a pretty good list and I wouldn't mind seeing a lot of it in the game myself. I'll address some of them in line with what we know is currently being planned through Q&A sessions and so forth.

 

Like Ganrich said, they are planning to include more skills. To elaborate a bit more, skills are divided into two categories (action and lore, I think) and points for each category are gained separately so you don't need to choose between, say, Athletics and Streetwise.

 

The developers have also mentioned that Pillars 2 will have a stronger emphasis on NPC reactivity and fleshing out companions in particular. More specifically, they have mentioned putting more work into tracking companion attitudes toward the Watcher and each other throughout the game. They also mentioned that companions' attitudes toward you can change the way the respond to commands in the game.

 

Ganrich is right about detecting traps and hidden things not requiring the party to be in scouting mode anymore (I believe this was mentioned in this week's Q&A as well).

 

As far as conversation options are concerned, the developers also mentioned trying to tie backgrounds into dialogue choices more than in Pillars 1 in addition to mentioning working on reactivity towards race. I would imagine that they are similarly interested in expanding reactivity and options based on class, but it's inevitable that at least some (hopefully not most) options we'd like are going to absent from some dialogues.

 

 

 

This next one is probably unrealistic, but different (yet obviously overlapping) spell lists for the different priests would be great for flavor.

 

It certainly would be, but like you said, unfortunately, it's most likely an unrealistic expectation. They did mention that there were keywords (such as fire and water) tied to spells now, so maybe some sort of affinity and/or antipathy toward certain spell types could be considered a bit more easily, but I suspect that the merits of such an approach would be largely dependent on there being a relatively balanced number of spells of the various categories being available to priests.

 

 

 

How does it make sense to be both known as deceptive and honest? Both stoic and passioante? Both cruel and benevolent?

 

Some people are honest to groups they relate to but have no compunctions deceiving or manipulating others. Similarly, someone can normally be stoic but be known for outbursts under exceptional circumstances. The same applies to cruelty and benevolence; perhaps the Watcher has empathy for only some types of people and considers others subhuman. These sorts of contradictions can actually be opportunities for more nuanced characterization and, in my opinion, should be kept in place.

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How does it make sense to be both known as deceptive and honest? Both stoic and passionate? Both cruel and benevolent?

 

I think it makes perfect since you are not one thing in these games you have friends and enemies and everything between. So ye for some you may be benevolent and to another you maybe cruel or lie. I am not saying this was perfect system but it was more enjoyable than hey i am always good and virtuous and perfect and i am always bad and hateful and lying. 

Edited by jnb0364

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Both stoic and passionate is maybe the most accurate description of who I am as a person.

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Thanks for the feedback. Regarding the personality reputations, I agree that people obviously display competing character traits. The problem with the first game's implementation is the following:

 

I am very blunt and open with some people, which has earned me "Honest 2". However, I am consistently engaging in subterfuge and duplicity with others, earning myself a reputation of "Deceptive 3". Normally, the latter would override the former. Nobody would trust my word if I am known to be deceptive, regardless of how often I said the truth.

 

To put it differently: It is easy to earn a reputation for vice, but much harder to maintain one of virtue. Someone who displayed the behavior necessary to earn both Benevolent 4 and Cruel 4 would not be known as benevolent at all, but as unpredictable, dangerous, erratic and, well, still cruel.

 

But I might be overthinking this. And I do appreciate the way complex characters can be reflected by this system, instead of having a reductionistic and simplistic good-evil dichotomy.

Edited by iscalio

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To put it differently: It is easy to earn a reputation for vice, but much harder to maintain one of virtue. Someone who displayed the behavior necessary to earn both Benevolent 4 and Cruel 4 would not be known as benevolent at all, but as unpredictable, dangerous, erratic and, well, still cruel.

 

You have a point, but even this could be less cut and dry than you suggest. If you are consistently benevolent to certain groups and consistently cruel to others, the former group may well consider you to be a beloved and heroic figure regardless of how you treated the other group or even partially because of it depending on the relations between them. History is full of examples of people celebrating various groups and individuals for their accomplishments while turning a blind eye to the suffering and degradation that these groups/individuals inflicted upon others in the process. You can make a similar point in regards to Honesty and Deception, given the extent to which people selectively favor particular narratives.

 

Of course, this only applies to consistent but discriminatory practices. The fact that there is no differentiation within the Disposition system itself between practices of this sort and just a purely whimsical alternation of compassion and brutality (or candor and duplicity) is problematic, but perhaps can be mitigated somewhat through other existing reputation sources such as faction attitudes. If you favor a certain group while brutalizing or exploiting others, the resulting sorts of differences in trust and respect that various faction attitudes can potentially account for are not only reasonable but to be expected.

 

That being said, I think that the developers touched upon the possibility of greater reactivity in terms of Disposition checks among other things, and that could potentially encompass checking against multiple Dispositions. More specifically, I think they mentioned something about how contrasting Dispositions for Honesty and Shadiness (Shady's replacing Deceptive for Pillars 2) might make it more difficult to win the trust of others, but I couldn't find a mention of it in my cursory search of the second Q&A's transcript. It's something that may be worth following up on to see if the developers can provide further details during next week's Q&A.

Edited by blotter

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I could agree to all the points in the OP.


Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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Both stoic and passionate is maybe the most accurate description of who I am as a person.

 

How exactly does that work? Even if you mean stoic in the sense of, say, Marcus Aurelius's Meditations it's still largely about not letting your passions rule you, and in modern parlance it has often come to mean being emotionless. The two might not be mutually exclusive, but it would seem odd for anyone to describe themselves as both.

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Hm, I can be very polite and stoic in most situations - but there are some behaviours (or triggers) that make me really, really mad.

 

There are also things I get very passionate about and others where I couldn't care less (like Bundesliga ;)).

 

And more so: I'm usually quite benevolent (I think), but when I get mad, I can be cruel (I mean verbally). Not that I wouldn't regret if afterwards. ;)

But you really have to tease me...

Edited by Boeroer

Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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Hm, I can be very polite and stoic in most situations - but there are some behaviours (or triggers) that make me really, really mad.

 

Hmm... I guess, but then I'd tend to say you're neither stoic nor passionate*, you're somewhere in between like most people. I'd reserve those terms for people who are overwhelmingly one or the other such that it's a defining feature. Then again, that might not be the intention of the reputation system.

 

*Well, if your triggers are rare I might still describe you as stoic.

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Yeah, sure. But when some people only see me when I'm relaxed they would say I'm that stoic guy. Others may have witnessed me in another situation and would tell everybody that I'm very passionate. So I can be perceived as both (reputation). 

 

But this can also be merged into one person's disposition. I once had a teammate when I was still playing basketball and he was the prototype of a stoic character. He just wouldn't get mad about nothing. Even after a car chrash he left the car and just shrugged, helped the other guy and didn't care about his own injuries.
But once he entered the basketball court he transmutated into a superpassionate, very aggressive juggernaut. It was frightening. And after the game he would sit down and share a beer with the guys he smacked to the ground. ;)

Edited by Boeroer

Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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I guess my issue with the game then is the way your reputations spread so universally. When someone decides to treat me in a particular way because of my reputation for stoicism but ignores my reputation for passion, that seems wrong.

 

I used to row with someone similar to the guy you describe. A really nice, friendly and seemingly quiet guy who just had this huge passion for winning.

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Yeah, it'd be great if regional/faction reputations also included room for variations in disposition and allowed those to take precedence over more reputations.

 

Another thing that's problematic in regards to the dispositions is that at times they awkwardly straddle the space between representing your personality/beliefs and what you are simply known for. For example, if dispositions were simply what you were known for, then there's no reason for, say, Skaen to punish your priest for developing a reputation for benevolence; hell, he favors hidden agendas, so he should applaud that if anything. That priest's "benevolence" would be only be opposed to his god's dogma if he actually felt an obligation to help others rather than merely seeing an opportunity to benefit from providing such aid, but the game doesn't provide any room for distinction here.

 

Someone else proposed a split between the dispositions your character is known for and the values that they actually hold, and I think it's a good idea that may help in clearing some of these issues up. Of course, I could also see it requiring a lot of reproduced dialogue options with something like a "[Lie]" descriptor shoved in front of them.

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