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You know what I think the problem is? That RPGs have too many attributes in general usually. Take a look at Wasteland 2: they went and created a 7 attribute system just so they could spell out CLASSIC with it and ended up with redundant attributes or ones they faffed out with stuff to try and make a reason for it. I honestly think they should just look at the attributes without preconceptions and go "Do we actually need an attribute for that?" For instance, do we really need Strength (or Might) and Constitution as separate attributes? A physically strong person will tend to also be healthier than someone weaker than them, maybe give the option to choose a 'speciality' for the attribute to represent them focusing on body building over cardio or vice versa. Likewise, in D&D you had intelligence and wisdom separate, sure you could get smart people with no common sense but that is more a roleplay thing or possibly a Flaw than an attribute surely?

 

While it is renowned for being overly complicated, GURPS 4th edition did at least do one thing right in my mind in that it had just 4 base attributes: Strength, Dexterity, Health, and Intelligence. It had sub-attributes based off these 4, such as Perception and Hit Points, that could vary to a certain degree from the base attribute. Strength was even the one that determined that Hit Points (Health was for Fatigue and cardio activities), and the editor for 4th said that he wanted to rename some of them to more accurately reflect what they were (such as renaming Intelligence to Mind since it wasn't just academic ability) but was limited by being required to keep the same names for them by the owners.

 

So instead of saying, "We need another attribute to cover this aspect!" I think we should be asking ourselves, "Do we actually need this or that attribute?" I would have no problem with them cutting down on the attributes in order to make the ones they have more relevant, but then I'm probably just weird.

Its sounds good in theory however it seems like when devs go this kind of route we end up with something thats too simplified. I have yet to play a game where they were able to simplify attributes and have more depth and relevance per attribute. My personal preferrence I would rather see an attribute system be more complicated than it needs to be than a system that ends up being over-simplified. Only cause that golden balance is hard to achieve in any capacity when creating an attribute system.

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You know what I think the problem is?  That RPGs have too many attributes in general usually.  Take a look at Wasteland 2: they went and created a 7 attribute system just so they could spell out CLASSIC with it and ended up with redundant attributes or ones they faffed out with stuff to try and make a reason for it.  I honestly think they should just look at the attributes without preconceptions and go "Do we actually need an attribute for that?"

 

The objective answer is: It depends on what you want to accomplish. What do you want to measure, and what don't you want to measure? What character facets do you want to allow for, and what character types do you not want to see your game deny the player?

 

There's not a right set of attribute or a wrong set. No set is too complex or too simple, in and of itself. It depends on the context set forth by the design goals. This is why I've mentioned tabletop DnD so much. People complain about DnD attributes, but they pretty much did what they were supposed to do in tabletop DnD. You didn't have to code in a whole bunch of interesting scenarios for differences in one attribute or another to significantly change how characters could interact with various scenarios. Or, if you want to look at it another way, the DM just speed-coded in, so to speak, all the scenarios, so he could adapt to things on a level that video games cannot yet.

 

The broadest problem with the PoE system is that the effects of the attributes on combat/active systems seem to be at odds with the measurements of your character that they represent within the roleplaying environment (scripted interactions, etc.). Basically, it tries to have its cake and eat it too. They want the interesting metrics that can be used to go "ooohhh, you had THIS value of INT instead of THIS one, so now look at all the stuff that's different and interesting! 8D!", but also just roll with "Ehh... We didn't want dump stats, so INT arbitrarily does the exact same thing for everyone, even though the classes all do completely different things." Not to mention that Resolve is basically spot on for Soul potency, yet for some reason they had to have Might essentially be "damage," as separate from Resolve, which still thematically represents the potency of your spirit/soul/will.

 

It is, by its own definitions and context, very jumbled and at odds with itself. The attribute system, that is. I understand that any game could have ANY attribute system, and that more attribute is not always better, etc. But, by that same token, fewer attributes is not always better, and insufficient character metrics can hinder a game's execution just as much as help it. It's contingent upon the goal. In this case, the attribute system doesn't really meet the goal, because it's actually trying to meet 2 different goals. So, where it meets one, it's going to miss the other, and vice versa.

 

As I've said before, I don't blame them, as they had severe resource constraints on the first game's development.

 

Also, for what it's worth, FlintlockJazz, I actually think the "redundant" stat effects can be super useful. I know that's been proposed in various threads on these forums. But, it's not all that complex. I can't speak directly for or against Wasteland 2's system, specifically, off the top of my head. But it basically just means "If I want to make a max-powerhouse character, I need to pump stats A and B. If I just want the main effect from stat A, or just from stat B, I don't HAVE to pump both." That's actually a good mechanism for the whole "make stats relevant to all classes/character types" notion. There are numerous ways of doing that, though. And now that they have more breathing room, they're changing oodles of other stuff. Look at all the things they changed just in patching/expanding the first game. Group stealth, etc. So, no, I don't think it's crazy or unreasonable to expect that they'd re-examine attributes with a less hectic approach that doesn't scramble to make the attribute system achieve 2 incongruous goals.


Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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I dont know I think there will always be a least one dump stat especially if your melee only.

But part of that is because its far easier to compensate for one dump stat via buffs and items then it is covering for multiple stats.

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Not necessarily. Not if the game uses stats in a deeper way than "how does this affect my melee hittery?". As people have illustrated in this thread and probably dozens of others by now, if you want to make Intelligence (just for example) relevant to a Fighter, design a subset of Fighter talents that have Intelligence requirements, OR just talents that check the Intelligence stat to produce beneficial effects. Like "For every 2 points of Intelligence, you can engage an additional foe at once." So, at 10 you can only engage 1 foe. 12 you can engage 2 foes, etc. Boom. Relevance.

 

It's not hard to come up with oodles of ways in which to make all the stats at least relevant to all classes. Doesn't mean 80% of people aren't going to dump a stat still. It just means that there's an actual reason, in-line with what stats/attributes already do (which is measure your character so that those measurements can be used in interesting ways to enhance and support other gameplay systems), for any given character archetype to choose any given attribute as important.


Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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No attribute system in a video game has ever managed to actually do any of that. Which is part of why I find it hard to give a good gorram about this controversy. Incremental number increases will never properly represent your character, and that's all attributes are ever going to be. It's just that people vastly overstate how important they are.

NWN / D&D 3.5e manage this because stats have more weight in combat and skill points. A Str 18 character hits twice as hard with a Longsword than a Str 10 character. The difference is even bigger with a two hander. High Str characters in NWN hit clearly harder, can carry more weight and feel strong like they should. In PoE Mig 18 vs. Mig 10 equals 24 dmg vs. 20 dmg, hardly enough to make the distinction between weak and strong. (And you don't even know if its physical strength or some spiritual magicsoulpower that apparently manifests as telekinetic augmentation of physical strength.)

 

D&D Dex 18 gives you a massive AC and Accuracy bonus while in PoE Resolve isn't really worth putting points into.

 

Copy paste for every other stat.

 

I'm not saying D&D is perfect but the attributes DO work much better than the PoE system in making your character feel a certain way.

Edited by 1varangian
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Well sure but optimizing D&D is always about dumping at least one stat. A Wizard could easily dump Charisma and Strength and suffer not all.

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False. A Wizard could dump Charisma and not suffer in combat. He would still suffer. And a Wizard with no Strength would suck uber badly at just holding his own against a single Goblin, unless he was using spells. And for the first few levels, he'd basically have no spells.

 

Just because the game mechanics don't ideally utilize the attributes' character metrics does not mean there's a problem with what's being measured. The way Strength and Constitution, for example, worked for Wizards was fine. Honestly the biggest problem for Wizards in D&D was the "You're inherently a glass cannon" notion. "Oh, it's okay that you suck at anything but spells, because your spells are SO good!". That's like having a section of road that's just full of huge potholes, then saying "That's okay! We fixed that by making this OTHER stretch of road SUPER SMOOTH! 8D!" Infinite smoothness in the rest of the road doesn't correct the potholes.

 

So, the solution to D&D's attribute system would've been to better tune how the gameplay mechanics take advantage of the attribute values. Again, though... in tabletop, it was still really fun to make a muscle Wizard, as you could have SO much fun with that if, say, your party got split up in some dungeon, and your DM kept forgetting you were strong because you were a Wizard, and he throws all these anti-magic things at you, and you just get through puzzles and obstacles by intelligently utilizing your strength and inventory, for example. The closer to this a CRPG can get in terms of reactivity to character metrics, the better. Part of the problem with this whole "spiritual successor to IE games" thing is that the IE games' engines severely lacked the power to match tabletop gaming's level of breadth in character checks, so it was like 85% combat, 15% attribute checks for funsies. A part of why modern CRPGs keep with that is just inertia. "This is the classic way these games were made." At least PoE's branching out a lot more into that tabletop territory with scripted interactions, and making them even heavier in Deadfire. But, the more robust the gameplay is in taking advantage of the various attribute values, the more meaningful the attribute values are without someone arbitrarily injecting them with significance.

 

Also, I just want to clarify that a dump stat is a particular stat you dump as a particular class/archetype. So, it's not like "There shouldn't be ANY stat that you get a low value in." If I want to make a strong, intelligent, hearty Wizard in D&D, I'm going to have to dump Charisma and Wisdom and Dexterity, to some extent. The problem with Wizards (for example) in D&D stats was that no matter what else you took, you always wanted INT. And with Fighters, you always wanted Strength. The solution to that is to make stats affect the various facets of each class, rather than having one stat be the go-to thing, like "INT affects your arcane spellcasting ability." Maybe it affects casting speed or something, and Wisdom effects potency. Boom. Now you have two different stats to choose from. And with the Pillars class system, everyone essentially uses the same power source: the soul. So everyone's "casting" the same type of abilities. So, even just straight-up applying the D&D stats to PoE, you could've rolled with the Wizard's "INT affects arcane spellcasting," except it would just affect EVERYONE'S "spellcasting." Then you still could've had physical strength be a thing, with Fighters choosing between just being beefy physical combatants that don't utilize much soul power, or scrawnier scrappers who utilize big bursts of damage and effectiveness in their active abilities, modals, etc.

 

That's what doesn't make much sense. You fixed the majority of problems by universalizing the class power source, yet they STILL were like "Also, we'll DOUBLE fix it by making all potency come from Strength!" It could've easily been Resolve that was soul potency, and Strength was still physical power, which could've affected a variety of things (bow range, carry capacity, base armor pen, physical weapon damage bonus, critical hit damage with melee weapons, etc.). Not necessarily all those at once. I'm just saying it could've affected a much broader group of things, instead of just "melee smashy damage, and that's it, so if you don't want that it's useless."

 

That's really the only two problems to look out for in an attribute system:

 

1) Does this attribute benefit a given class WAYYYY more than all the others?

2) Does this attribute ONLY benefit certain classes/archetypes?


Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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Just a reflection: isn’t an idea of classes in RPGs fundamentally broken? It seems like the most defining part of character creation which either influences other choices you make or renders them inconsequential. You are a wizard and therefore you are what you are. In D&D system you have to adjust your stats to your class, or it will be unplayable. In PoE adjustments made to your character via stats will be small. Ideally, the attribute system would be designed in such a way to meaningfully influence all classes while still allowing flexibility in viable builds. Is that really realistic though? All classes would have to be capable of working in attribute combinations and as a result potentially fulfill various functions.


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False. A Wizard could dump Charisma and not suffer in combat. He would still suffer. And a Wizard with no Strength would suck uber badly at just holding his own against a single Goblin, unless he was using spells. And for the first few levels, he'd basically have no spells.

 

Just because the game mechanics don't ideally utilize the attributes' character metrics does not mean there's a problem with what's being measured. The way Strength and Constitution, for example, worked for Wizards was fine. Honestly the biggest problem for Wizards in D&D was the "You're inherently a glass cannon" notion. "Oh, it's okay that you suck at anything but spells, because your spells are SO good!". That's like having a section of road that's just full of huge potholes, then saying "That's okay! We fixed that by making this OTHER stretch of road SUPER SMOOTH! 8D!" Infinite smoothness in the rest of the road doesn't correct the potholes.

 

So, the solution to D&D's attribute system would've been to better tune how the gameplay mechanics take advantage of the attribute values. Again, though... in tabletop, it was still really fun to make a muscle Wizard, as you could have SO much fun with that if, say, your party got split up in some dungeon, and your DM kept forgetting you were strong because you were a Wizard, and he throws all these anti-magic things at you, and you just get through puzzles and obstacles by intelligently utilizing your strength and inventory, for example. The closer to this a CRPG can get in terms of reactivity to character metrics, the better. Part of the problem with this whole "spiritual successor to IE games" thing is that the IE games' engines severely lacked the power to match tabletop gaming's level of breadth in character checks, so it was like 85% combat, 15% attribute checks for funsies. A part of why modern CRPGs keep with that is just inertia. "This is the classic way these games were made." At least PoE's branching out a lot more into that tabletop territory with scripted interactions, and making them even heavier in Deadfire. But, the more robust the gameplay is in taking advantage of the various attribute values, the more meaningful the attribute values are without someone arbitrarily injecting them with significance.

 

Also, I just want to clarify that a dump stat is a particular stat you dump as a particular class/archetype. So, it's not like "There shouldn't be ANY stat that you get a low value in." If I want to make a strong, intelligent, hearty Wizard in D&D, I'm going to have to dump Charisma and Wisdom and Dexterity, to some extent. The problem with Wizards (for example) in D&D stats was that no matter what else you took, you always wanted INT. And with Fighters, you always wanted Strength. The solution to that is to make stats affect the various facets of each class, rather than having one stat be the go-to thing, like "INT affects your arcane spellcasting ability." Maybe it affects casting speed or something, and Wisdom effects potency. Boom. Now you have two different stats to choose from. And with the Pillars class system, everyone essentially uses the same power source: the soul. So everyone's "casting" the same type of abilities. So, even just straight-up applying the D&D stats to PoE, you could've rolled with the Wizard's "INT affects arcane spellcasting," except it would just affect EVERYONE'S "spellcasting." Then you still could've had physical strength be a thing, with Fighters choosing between just being beefy physical combatants that don't utilize much soul power, or scrawnier scrappers who utilize big bursts of damage and effectiveness in their active abilities, modals, etc.

 

That's what doesn't make much sense. You fixed the majority of problems by universalizing the class power source, yet they STILL were like "Also, we'll DOUBLE fix it by making all potency come from Strength!" It could've easily been Resolve that was soul potency, and Strength was still physical power, which could've affected a variety of things (bow range, carry capacity, base armor pen, physical weapon damage bonus, critical hit damage with melee weapons, etc.). Not necessarily all those at once. I'm just saying it could've affected a much broader group of things, instead of just "melee smashy damage, and that's it, so if you don't want that it's useless."

 

That's really the only two problems to look out for in an attribute system:

 

1) Does this attribute benefit a given class WAYYYY more than all the others?

2) Does this attribute ONLY benefit certain classes/archetypes?

 

Well sure but you have a party of 4-6, CHA dumping is only a problem if you are the face or your spells scale off CHA. Which generally makes it the safest dump stat of all.

A Wizard still doesnt need Strength since Dex is essentially the god stat as it impacts ranged damage, initiative and armor class.

 

But you do summarize the key issues correctly. Make sure one stat doesnt become a god stat and make sure dumping cost even in combat.

 

Classes exist primarily for balance I would say which helps newer players not get confused and can be used to defined personality for NPCs. It also helps you know what to expect for any given class, thus attributes help link mechanics to classes.

Edited by Skaddix

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For real, what's the problem in Warriors always needing Str and Wizards always needing Int?

 

Of course a melee fighter needs to be strong and fast. Or high Dex and finesse.

 

Of course a Wizard needs to be highly intelligent if magic works like science.

 

There's nothing wrong with "obvious" stats. They make perfect sense.

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They also make attributes an illusion of choice, like they have been in D&D for a while now... for ever, really. Attributes in modern D&D are mostly vestigial, and I've seen very elegant solution for excising them altogether from 5E. Pillars' system is an attempt to make them a choice beyond "18 here, 16 here... the rest doesn't really matter". In the end, attributes are just one source of numbers among several. They're really not as big a deal as people make them out to be.

Edited by MortyTheGobbo
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Well sure but you have a party of 4-6, CHA dumping is only a problem if you are the face or your spells scale off CHA. Which generally makes it the safest dump stat of all.

 

 

A Wizard still doesnt need Strength since Dex is essentially the god stat as it impacts ranged damage, initiative and armor class.

 

You do have a party, but that party can get split up, and/or fall into all manner of statuses (statii? *shrug*). Part of the fun of DnD is seeing what kinds of challenges you run into in the midst of your limitations. If you're a Fighter, maybe you run into some magical hostile creature, or you're trapped by mages or something, and your party's mage is unconcious, etc. Well, maybe you get to MacGuyver your way out of the situation, because your Fighter has useful knowledge and/or is Intelligent. That's part of the fun.

 

This is why the whole "Only Rogues can lockpick" thing always crops up as an issue. What difference does it make WHO lockpicks if you definitely desire things behind locks, and you have a party of 6, and everything's designed for your entire party to easily take on? What's the point of "Ooooooh, this enemy can only be damaged by magic!" if that's just designed for your entire party to dish out X amount of magic damage?

 

By far the most interesting thing about RPGs is character dynamics. Class is part of it, but in a DnD campaign, you can make two different Wizards who have drastically different experiences. Not saying DnD's perfect. Just using it as a reference to illustrate how and why stats do what they do.

 

Also, I didn't think DEX affected ranged damage, so much as ranged to-hit chance. But you're right... it was a bit too potent. The DnD stats could've used tuning. I'm not saying we can necessarily achieve the ideal, but ideally, each stat does something of significant interest for each class.

 

 

Just a reflection: isn’t an idea of classes in RPGs fundamentally broken?

 

Not really, no. I mean, the implementation of classes can be broken, in a way. But the very idea of them is not. When you boil it down, it's essentially a grouping of general character factors for the purpose of balancing certain things (i.e. "I'm gonna take Whirlwind Slash AND Meteor Strike because this is a classless system, WOOOOH!") and to sort of guarantee a degree of distinction between people. Sometimes, when you allow anyone to just choose anything, you end up with all Jacks-of-All-Trades, etc. A classless has fewer potential problems in a single-player game. If it's just you, you can pretty much do whatever you want. The second you have a group, it becomes difficult not to just want to give everyone all the strengths. Then you don't really have to make them work together. They're just a multiplier for your capabilities/damage output, etc.

 

I think the problem with classes typically arises when you tie too many things to class choice.  Like in DnD. Honestly, the awesomeness of how all the attributes work with just characters in general is a bit at odds with the idea that all Wizards are going to have high INT. I mean, sure, you could go with like 15 or 14 instead of 18, but it's pretty infeasible to go with 10. At the very least, it'd be nice to split everything in 2, at least. Maybe Dex affects how quickly you can reload your ranged weapons/draw them, etc., and Perception affects accuracy? And maybe Strength affects shot strength for slings, certain bows, and thrown weapons. Boom. Now it's not just "Ranged = high DEX." There's really nothing wrong with that, other than that it's boring. It's more just "what are we not getting because it's designed that way, that we COULD be getting?"

 

To look at it another way, imagine Strength is the ONLY attribute in the system. Well, maybe some people are fine with that or even like it the best, but does that change the fact that having all the other attributes allow for a lot of interesting mechanics and situations that Strength-only does not? No, it doesn't. So, it's not just more = better, but there are measurable contributions that the existence of these things has upon the game systems. They serve a purpose, and most of the "how should we tune this?" just depends on what contributes the most to the system without taking away some alternative contribution (or, for the least loss, at least). 

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Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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They also make attributes an illusion of choice, like they have been in D&D for a while now... for ever, really. Attributes in modern D&D are mostly vestigial, and I've seen very elegant solution for excising them altogether from 5E. Pillars' system is an attempt to make them a choice beyond "18 here, 16 here... the rest doesn't really matter". In the end, attributes are just one source of numbers among several. They're really not as big a deal as people make them out to be.

 

The others still matter though. Just not as much as the main ones for that class. That's not the attributes' faults. That's the fault of the specific way in which the classes are set up. In DnD, they've typically affected a great deal of things. Just overbearingly is that

 

PoE was an attempt to get away from that, yes, but I feel that the pendulum swung a bit far to the opposite end of the spectrum, where it feels like the effects of attributes are struggling to justify the existence of the attributes. As it stands, you just have a couple of attributes that are globally uber useful then the rest "don't matter" (as much). Instead of per-class now, it's just across the board, but the problem remains.


Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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They also make attributes an illusion of choice, like they have been in D&D for a while now... for ever, really. Attributes in modern D&D are mostly vestigial, and I've seen very elegant solution for excising them altogether from 5E. Pillars' system is an attempt to make them a choice beyond "18 here, 16 here... the rest doesn't really matter". In the end, attributes are just one source of numbers among several. They're really not as big a deal as people make them out to be.

The others still matter though. Just not as much as the main ones for that class. That's not the attributes' faults. That's the fault of the specific way in which the classes are set up. In DnD, they've typically affected a great deal of things. Just overbearingly is that

 

PoE was an attempt to get away from that, yes, but I feel that the pendulum swung a bit far to the opposite end of the spectrum, where it feels like the effects of attributes are struggling to justify the existence of the attributes. As it stands, you just have a couple of attributes that are globally uber useful then the rest "don't matter" (as much). Instead of per-class now, it's just across the board, but the problem remains.

I do wish PoE stats had a bigger impact. Even if everything is the same in deadfire, just having stats make more of an impact in what they already do would really change the feel. As it stands in PoE1 the difference is hardly felt in gameplay until its drastic. Like 6 might compared to 18 might, for example, is when you actually feel a difference in how thay stat plays in game.

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They also make attributes an illusion of choice, like they have been in D&D for a while now... for ever, really. Attributes in modern D&D are mostly vestigial, and I've seen very elegant solution for excising them altogether from 5E. Pillars' system is an attempt to make them a choice beyond "18 here, 16 here... the rest doesn't really matter". In the end, attributes are just one source of numbers among several. They're really not as big a deal as people make them out to be.

 

The others still matter though. Just not as much as the main ones for that class. That's not the attributes' faults. That's the fault of the specific way in which the classes are set up. In DnD, they've typically affected a great deal of things. Just overbearingly is that

 

PoE was an attempt to get away from that, yes, but I feel that the pendulum swung a bit far to the opposite end of the spectrum, where it feels like the effects of attributes are struggling to justify the existence of the attributes. As it stands, you just have a couple of attributes that are globally uber useful then the rest "don't matter" (as much). Instead of per-class now, it's just across the board, but the problem remains.

 

 

It's not the classes, it's the way the whole math is set up. Which makes attributes the most "disposable" source of numbers, much more so than classes and skills. People talk about how dumping Charisma shouldn't be consequence-free for a fighter or wizard... but really, if the fighter or wizard in question doesn't have ranks/proficiency in social skills, then whether they've got 8, 10 or 12 charisma doesn't matter a whole lot. Their contribution to social checks will be based on luck.

 

That PoE attributes have minor effects and that some of them are just a lot more useful than others are both valid points, and I hope Deadfire rectifies the situation. But I don't think moving back towards more traditional attributes will solve it.

Edited by MortyTheGobbo

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False. A Wizard could dump Charisma and not suffer in combat. He would still suffer. And a Wizard with no Strength would suck uber badly at just holding his own against a single Goblin, unless he was using spells. And for the first few levels, he'd basically have no spells.

 

Just because the game mechanics don't ideally utilize the attributes' character metrics does not mean there's a problem with what's being measured. The way Strength and Constitution, for example, worked for Wizards was fine. Honestly the biggest problem for Wizards in D&D was the "You're inherently a glass cannon" notion. "Oh, it's okay that you suck at anything but spells, because your spells are SO good!". That's like having a section of road that's just full of huge potholes, then saying "That's okay! We fixed that by making this OTHER stretch of road SUPER SMOOTH! 8D!" Infinite smoothness in the rest of the road doesn't correct the potholes.

 

So, the solution to D&D's attribute system would've been to better tune how the gameplay mechanics take advantage of the attribute values. Again, though... in tabletop, it was still really fun to make a muscle Wizard, as you could have SO much fun with that if, say, your party got split up in some dungeon, and your DM kept forgetting you were strong because you were a Wizard, and he throws all these anti-magic things at you, and you just get through puzzles and obstacles by intelligently utilizing your strength and inventory, for example. The closer to this a CRPG can get in terms of reactivity to character metrics, the better. Part of the problem with this whole "spiritual successor to IE games" thing is that the IE games' engines severely lacked the power to match tabletop gaming's level of breadth in character checks, so it was like 85% combat, 15% attribute checks for funsies. A part of why modern CRPGs keep with that is just inertia. "This is the classic way these games were made." At least PoE's branching out a lot more into that tabletop territory with scripted interactions, and making them even heavier in Deadfire. But, the more robust the gameplay is in taking advantage of the various attribute values, the more meaningful the attribute values are without someone arbitrarily injecting them with significance.

 

Also, I just want to clarify that a dump stat is a particular stat you dump as a particular class/archetype. So, it's not like "There shouldn't be ANY stat that you get a low value in." If I want to make a strong, intelligent, hearty Wizard in D&D, I'm going to have to dump Charisma and Wisdom and Dexterity, to some extent. The problem with Wizards (for example) in D&D stats was that no matter what else you took, you always wanted INT. And with Fighters, you always wanted Strength. The solution to that is to make stats affect the various facets of each class, rather than having one stat be the go-to thing, like "INT affects your arcane spellcasting ability." Maybe it affects casting speed or something, and Wisdom effects potency. Boom. Now you have two different stats to choose from. And with the Pillars class system, everyone essentially uses the same power source: the soul. So everyone's "casting" the same type of abilities. So, even just straight-up applying the D&D stats to PoE, you could've rolled with the Wizard's "INT affects arcane spellcasting," except it would just affect EVERYONE'S "spellcasting." Then you still could've had physical strength be a thing, with Fighters choosing between just being beefy physical combatants that don't utilize much soul power, or scrawnier scrappers who utilize big bursts of damage and effectiveness in their active abilities, modals, etc.

 

That's what doesn't make much sense. You fixed the majority of problems by universalizing the class power source, yet they STILL were like "Also, we'll DOUBLE fix it by making all potency come from Strength!" It could've easily been Resolve that was soul potency, and Strength was still physical power, which could've affected a variety of things (bow range, carry capacity, base armor pen, physical weapon damage bonus, critical hit damage with melee weapons, etc.). Not necessarily all those at once. I'm just saying it could've affected a much broader group of things, instead of just "melee smashy damage, and that's it, so if you don't want that it's useless."

 

That's really the only two problems to look out for in an attribute system:

 

1) Does this attribute benefit a given class WAYYYY more than all the others?

2) Does this attribute ONLY benefit certain classes/archetypes?

 

You know technically in 2/25E Charisma was important because it was used to determine things like your likability and leadership skills.  If you were the party leader and you had poor charisma no one would want to join your party except the losers, or the evil potentially.  You would fail charisma checks and also have a horrible time telling others what to do, but often times it isn't put into practice because people are more focused on fighting encounters and their mechanics then they are roleplaying.

 

It was when skills and feats were introduced that it made those things more trivial.  The added extra layer of complexity really just took away from the previous system.  It also reduced the importance of class abilities gained from the system itself.

 

The class choice was important and having a balanced party was important because not just one character could do everything.  It improved cooperation. 

Edited by Goddard

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They also make attributes an illusion of choice, like they have been in D&D for a while now... for ever, really. Attributes in modern D&D are mostly vestigial, and I've seen very elegant solution for excising them altogether from 5E. Pillars' system is an attempt to make them a choice beyond "18 here, 16 here... the rest doesn't really matter". In the end, attributes are just one source of numbers among several. They're really not as big a deal as people make them out to be.

 

The others still matter though. Just not as much as the main ones for that class. That's not the attributes' faults. That's the fault of the specific way in which the classes are set up. In DnD, they've typically affected a great deal of things. Just overbearingly is that

 

PoE was an attempt to get away from that, yes, but I feel that the pendulum swung a bit far to the opposite end of the spectrum, where it feels like the effects of attributes are struggling to justify the existence of the attributes. As it stands, you just have a couple of attributes that are globally uber useful then the rest "don't matter" (as much). Instead of per-class now, it's just across the board, but the problem remains.

 

 

Exactly right.

 

PoE attribute system could be great with some fine tuning.

 

- separate Might into physical and mental strength

- make the abilities matter more across the board

- instead of a linear cost and progression, introduce a point buy system where raising attributes costs progressively more. It hinders min/maxing and makes an evenly spread "jack of all trades" build viable

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They also make attributes an illusion of choice, like they have been in D&D for a while now... for ever, really. Attributes in modern D&D are mostly vestigial, and I've seen very elegant solution for excising them altogether from 5E. Pillars' system is an attempt to make them a choice beyond "18 here, 16 here... the rest doesn't really matter". In the end, attributes are just one source of numbers among several. They're really not as big a deal as people make them out to be.

 

 

The others still matter though. Just not as much as the main ones for that class. That's not the attributes' faults. That's the fault of the specific way in which the classes are set up. In DnD, they've typically affected a great deal of things. Just overbearingly is that

 

PoE was an attempt to get away from that, yes, but I feel that the pendulum swung a bit far to the opposite end of the spectrum, where it feels like the effects of attributes are struggling to justify the existence of the attributes. As it stands, you just have a couple of attributes that are globally uber useful then the rest "don't matter" (as much). Instead of per-class now, it's just across the board, but the problem remains.

 

Exactly right.

 

PoE attribute system could be great with some fine tuning.

 

- separate Might into physical and mental strength

- make the abilities matter more across the board

- instead of a linear cost and progression, introduce a point buy system where raising attributes costs progressively more. It hinders min/maxing and makes an evenly spread "jack of all trades" build viable

Not trying to be argumentative, sorry if it sounds that way, just curious. What would you do to make physical and mental strength valuable to every class? Or do you not think they need to be?
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Not trying to be argumentative, sorry if it sounds that way, just curious. What would you do to make physical and mental strength valuable to every class? Or do you not think they need to be? 

 

 

It's a great question.

 

Spellcasters with increased Strength = able to wear better armor and wield better weapons, thus being able to fight in melee instead of having to flee or always start casting defensive spells when engaged

 

Fighters with increased mental attribute = qualifying for talents and special moves e.g. "Focused Precision" or "Keen Defender" that increase their accuracy or deflection for a duration, and/or getting more uses of special moves. A mentally more capable warrior would be more flexible and "peak" more at the time of your choosing. A super strong but mentally lacking warrior would be more of a workhorse damage dealer with less choice for special moves or self buffs.

Edited by 1varangian
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Isnt that the problem though its easier to create reasons for the Fighter to get mot INT then it is for the Spellcaster to spring for more Strength.

​Wizard is hardly the worst offender either...Driuids tend to be even worse cause they can shapeshift and pick up the physical stats of whatever they became.

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I still fail to understand why exactly having certain stats be more relevant for certain classes is such a bad thing. Personally I prefer each class be as different as possible from the next. And I very much prefer a class based system to a classless one... Besides it makes sense for wizards to be more brainy and less brawny. You know, all those years spent in the Academy of Almighty Laws-of-physics Defying Magic of Godlyhood didn't leave much time for martial training... It's a matter of class flavor and role-playing. I don't see what is so wrong with it. In a d20 type system having a str of 10 is smack average. Nobody is saying mages should have a str score of 3... And if you dump the stat that's entirely up to you. I always make well rounded characters and never drop ANY stat below the average 10 even if the stat isn't much worth to a particular class. Sure I focus on int on casters, str on warriors but that's part and parcel of the system and it makes sense... What's so wrong about it?

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Well the stated goal in PoE from the developers was to make it so there was no dump stat and they failed at it since every version had at least one dump stat for every class. 

Edited by Skaddix

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Not trying to be argumentative, sorry if it sounds that way, just curious. What would you do to make physical and mental strength valuable to every class? Or do you not think they need to be? 

 

 

It's a great question.

 

Spellcasters with increased Strength = able to wear better armor and wield better weapons, thus being able to fight in melee instead of having to flee or always start casting defensive spells when engaged

 

Fighters with increased mental attribute = qualifying for talents and special moves e.g. "Focused Precision" or "Keen Defender" that increase their accuracy or deflection for a duration, and/or getting more uses of special moves. A mentally more capable warrior would be more flexible and "peak" more at the time of your choosing. A super strong but mentally lacking warrior would be more of a workhorse damage dealer with less choice for special moves or self buffs.

 

 

I'm fairly sure the first one has never worked, since if a wizard doesn't want to wade into melee, they won't. So it's a dump stat. The second one seems functionally identical to intelligence. Unless you're proposing separate attributes for auto-attack damage and ability damage, in which case, which one does an archer/gunner use? Or magical implements? Or knives and rapiers?

 

Strength as RPGs traditionally define is just shouldn't be a thing. It's too narrow and only really useful for a narrow subset of characters. It has to be either folded together with constitution or something else, like Pillars does it.

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That PoE attributes have minor effects and that some of them are just a lot more useful than others are both valid points, and I hope Deadfire rectifies the situation. But I don't think moving back towards more traditional attributes will solve it.

 

Sure, but I think looking at more traditional attributes can help out a lot. I'm not saying you're doing it, but whenever this topic comes up, people act as though ALL possible ways in which to do attributes have been exhausted, and there's no point in changing anything. Looking at traditional attribute systems for their strengths is perfectly feasible, and downright reasonable. And when else should an attribute system be considered for rework, than during earlyish production? More notably, pre-production, I suppose, which I realize we're probably past now.

 

I just don't really understand the "It's no use! All attribute systems just suck, and there's no point in putting any effort into getting one to not do so!" mentality that gets thrown around. If that's the case, then why was any effort put forth in the first place? Let's just draw words out of a hat, then effects out of another hat, slap them all together and call it an attribute system. It'll just be a fun random thing we have to deal with.

 

"My Fighter has a Potatos stat of 3/4ths, and a Narbles stat of pi. This grants him 7.4 carrier pigeon bandoliers per encounter." There. We're done. WOOHOO!!!


Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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Not trying to be argumentative, sorry if it sounds that way, just curious. What would you do to make physical and mental strength valuable to every class? Or do you not think they need to be? 

 

 

It's a great question.

 

Spellcasters with increased Strength = able to wear better armor and wield better weapons, thus being able to fight in melee instead of having to flee or always start casting defensive spells when engaged

 

Fighters with increased mental attribute = qualifying for talents and special moves e.g. "Focused Precision" or "Keen Defender" that increase their accuracy or deflection for a duration, and/or getting more uses of special moves. A mentally more capable warrior would be more flexible and "peak" more at the time of your choosing. A super strong but mentally lacking warrior would be more of a workhorse damage dealer with less choice for special moves or self buffs.

 

 

I'm fairly sure the first one has never worked, since if a wizard doesn't want to wade into melee, they won't. So it's a dump stat. The second one seems functionally identical to intelligence. Unless you're proposing separate attributes for auto-attack damage and ability damage, in which case, which one does an archer/gunner use? Or magical implements? Or knives and rapiers?

 

Strength as RPGs traditionally define is just shouldn't be a thing. It's too narrow and only really useful for a narrow subset of characters. It has to be either folded together with constitution or something else, like Pillars does it.

 

You completely underestimate the usefulness of Strength in a system where armor and weapons have a Strength requirement to use.

 

Also in a good combat system, staying out of melee completely isn't up to the Wizard.

 

DnD is a great example where having 14 Strength suddenly gives your Wizard the ability to fight in melee. Compared to 10 Str you hit a lot more and can one hit goblins with a staff. So it has been done even without the pre-reqs I mentioned above.

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