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A case for not adding general abilities to Proficiencies


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I’m not necessarily against moving weapon styles to a general talent tree, but what would the Fighter’s shtick be, if those were taken away? IIRC a recurring complaint about Fighters in the first game was that they were boring and non-denominational. Now they aren’t. If we give their perks to everyone, they’ll be boring and non-denominational again.

 

There are talents I would like to have in a general talent tree, but I’m not sure I’d want weapon styles to be among them.

Oh, please. Let's not pretend that having weapon styles be exclusive somehow makes fighters less boring. They are boring talents. I'm all for fighters having interesting and unique talents that reflect a role in the battlefield and make them fun to play. Weapon styles are not those talents.

 

Not to mention that marksman and gunner being exclusive to Ranger is just as much a problem. These talents being made exclusive feels like a cheap way to throw a bone to a player base without doing much work, and it takes away from build diversity *within single classes* to do it.

Edited by Katarack21
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If you think Fighters are boring, what active things would you like them to be able to do, that they can't? I never had a problem with Eder in the first game -- he always did his job and was a star party member.

Same - Eder was a staple in my party. But I'd never make my Watcher a Fighter, and I don't spend much time on my Fighters in combat. This isn't necessarily bad... it means I can focus more on making my Rogue and Wizard do cool stuff! Fighters don't do cool stuff currently. They are reliable and low maintenance.

 

These talents being made exclusive feels like a cheap way to throw a bone to a player base without doing much work, and it takes away from build diversity *within single classes* to do it.

Obsidian basically recycled a bunch of talents and redistributed them instead of making cool new active abilities for Fighters and Rangers. That's lazy and a slap in the face to fans of those classes.
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I'm in agreement with those who have said that making the weapon styles fighter-exclusive neither succeeded in making those talents less generic nor in making fighters themselve more interesting, but I can also appreciate the points that have been made about how opening up the styles as proficiency options may have unfortunate implications in terms of net gains/losses overall and how combat will need to be rebalanced as a result.

 

I’m not necessarily against moving weapon styles to a general talent tree, but what would the Fighter’s shtick be, if those were taken away? 

 

Fighters have a few themes that apply to them more heavily than barbarians, paladins, and the like. They're disciplined, resilient, and typically organized. If something needs to take the place of the weapon styles, then these themes seem like they can provide options for building talents around:

 

Emphasizing organization can be done through talents that benefit from coordination:

  • For example, enemies who are flanked by fighters might suffer increased penalties to deflection along with penalties to reflexes, as the fighter's training allows them to more effectively leverage their position to make targets more vulnerable. Sort of like an inverted version of the Weapon & Shield style.
  • Turning this around, fighters might actually gain benefits against enemies who flank them by using their experience to undermine others' efforts to coordinate. For example, if one flanking enemies missing the fighter, the next one might suffer a penalty to accuracy on their attack to reflect the fighter's ability to use their enemies' mistakes to make them get in each other's way (though this sort of thing might come off as kind of weird with static/recurring combat animations).

Emphasizing resilience is even simpler:

  • A possible fighter passive would involve enemies suffering increased recovery time following melee attacks that fail to penetrate the fighter's armor, as the fighter's familiarity with said armor and effective positioning techniques may throw off their balance.
  • Once per encounter each, the fighter could recover a few Discipline points when they're left Bloodied or Near Death. Granted, it's close to the monk's schtick, but not inconsistent with other fighter abilities like Unending, Unbroken, and Triggered Immunity.
  • Another (not particularly exciting) idea is to make something along the lines of the rogue's Adept Evasion but having it apply to attacks/effects that target Fortitude.

For discipline/training, a few come to mind:

  • I'd assume that a key aspect of martial discipline is being able to hold out for opportunities in combat, so one option might be to allow fighters to be able to gain the ability to dole out disengagement attacks more reliably under the right conditions (e.g., when a target is interrupted or knocked prone). (Edit: Actually, with the boost to disengage attacks, this would probably have to be just a free basic attack to avoid becoming excessive).
  • Similarly, they could introduce a passive that reflects fighters' training in making the most of such opportunities; maybe when they land attacks that are criticals or which greatly exceed the target's AR, that target's AR is reduced by a small amount (probably -1 or -2 at most if we're talking about a level one passive to replace one of the weapon styles) for a brief window of time that nearby allies could exploit, though it'd have to be cumulative with the mace modal to avoid being redundant.
Edited by blotter
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If you think Fighters are boring, what active things would you like them to be able to do, that they can't? I never had a problem with Eder in the first game -- he always did his job and was a star party member.

Same - Eder was a staple in my party. But I'd never make my Watcher a Fighter, and I don't spend much time on my Fighters in combat. This isn't necessarily bad... it means I can focus more on making my Rogue and Wizard do cool stuff! Fighters don't do cool stuff currently. They are reliable and low maintenance.

 

 

 

 

Yeah, part of the issue is that in a single-player, party-based, real time with pause game, you can't pay attention to every character simultaneously, and you need to be able to set some of them to autopilot. Fighters, Chanters, Rangers, and a few other classes kinda got left holding the bag in that regard in the first game, which wasn't the worse thing in the world but also wasn't the best. Chanters seem to have gotten a lot of "love" since then (they needed it the most!) but fighters and rangers could still stand to see a few active options added to their trees.

 

 

Obsidian basically recycled a bunch of talents and redistributed them instead of making cool new active abilities for Fighters and Rangers. That's lazy and a slap in the face to fans of those classes.

 

 

 

Harsh! I wouldn't go that far. I think the weapon proficiencies system probably took up a lot of creative room (several good ranger class abilities, rapid shot, powder burns, etc., went that route) and the current (initial beta pre-patch) system isn't bad if it's seen as a first draft  . . . it just makes some choices that, well, I'd characterize them as "seemed like a good idea at the time" choices. I'm glad Obsidian is rigorous enough to step back and take a second draft. 

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Harsh! I wouldn't go that far. I think the weapon proficiencies system probably took up a lot of creative room (several good ranger class abilities, rapid shot, powder burns, etc., went that route) and the current (initial beta pre-patch) system isn't bad if it's seen as a first draft . . . it just makes some choices that, well, I'd characterize them as "seemed like a good idea at the time" choices. I'm glad Obsidian is rigorous enough to step back and take a second draft.

I don't think it's too harsh. If I roleplay as a game designer and look at the Fighter and Ranger skill trees, they look pitifully empty next to the other class' trees in the stylish new format. They needed something quick and easy to throw in there to fill them out a little bit. I simply don't agree with how they did it.
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In the first game you can play a cipher who is particularly good with bows. In this game you *cannot* do that. You can only play a cipher who is also a ranger.

 

Multiclass is *great*, and all the various options it opens up are *awesome*, but it shouldn't *force* me to multiclass. That's not fun. Multiclassing should never be the default way to create nuanced specialized characters--it should always be an option to create different characters entirely. You should never *have* to multiclass to do something as generic as "learn to use a bow better". Multiclassing is much more basic and fundamental to a character.

 

So your Cipher bowmaster misses out on Marksman or +5 accuracy at range greater than 4m. That's it? And for this you are going on a crusade to change the game????

 

I don't think a conditional change of +5 accuracy fundamentally makes a Cipher gimped.

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As someone who considers the fighter class to be the most interesting class of all and the class I like playing the most, and yes that's with Eder always in my party as well, I was very unhappy with the relative inferiority of the class in PoE1 and really excited about what had been done to the class in PoE2. Now, with the proposed new changes, I'm getting concerned again that the fighter class (along with ranger and maybe even barbarian) will once more become the screwed-over class.

 

However, I'm all for taking the weapon style passives and making them general talents and then replacing those abilities with new fighter-exclusive abilities that make those weapon style abilities look laughably pathetic by comparison. It would be hilarious to hear the sure-to-follow complaining about how wrong it is that those new abilities are fighter-exclusive and how those need to also be made general abilities available to all classes because - you know - otherwise people couldn't make a real paladin ... or something.

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In the first game you can play a cipher who is particularly good with bows. In this game you *cannot* do that. You can only play a cipher who is also a ranger.

 

Multiclass is *great*, and all the various options it opens up are *awesome*, but it shouldn't *force* me to multiclass. That's not fun. Multiclassing should never be the default way to create nuanced specialized characters--it should always be an option to create different characters entirely. You should never *have* to multiclass to do something as generic as "learn to use a bow better". Multiclassing is much more basic and fundamental to a character.

 

So your Cipher bowmaster misses out on Marksman or +5 accuracy at range greater than 4m. That's it? And for this you are going on a crusade to change the game????

 

I don't think a conditional change of +5 accuracy fundamentally makes a Cipher gimped.

 

Nor does access to Marksman fundamentally make rangers awesome ranged DPS. The talent is far to generic to fulfill that goal for *anybody*. Not having it doesn't gimp you and having it doesn't make you awesome. On it's own merits the talent is meh; it's major use is to "flesh out" a ranged damage dealer for an RP player or provide an exceedingly minor bump to an optimizer.

 

And no, I'm not going on a crusade to change the game for +5 accuracy at ranges greater than 4m. I'm simply arguing my perspective that having a pool of general talents that allow one to nudge your character's role in one direction or another outside of multiclassing provides greater build diversity and that multiclassing does not in any way solve the problem of desiring greater nuance within single-class builds.

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Personally I'm leaning towards wanting to build a fighter that focuses on engagement. Keeping engagement, holding engagement, *forcing* engagement (experimenting with Into The Fray), and disengagement attacks. With engagement now being a sometimes thing, I think there's real potential in that a class-defining feature.

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If you think Fighters are boring, what active things would you like them to be able to do, that they can't? I never had a problem with Eder in the first game -- he always did his job and was a star party member.

Same - Eder was a staple in my party. But I'd never make my Watcher a Fighter, and I don't spend much time on my Fighters in combat. This isn't necessarily bad... it means I can focus more on making my Rogue and Wizard do cool stuff! Fighters don't do cool stuff currently. They are reliable and low maintenance.

But this is exactly the problem, at least for me. I want my watcher to be a fighter, and I want him to do cool stuff just like the wizard or the rogue or the monk or any other class. Why shouldn't I be able to have that? I hate playing spell caster or rogue classes, and I shouldn't have to do so in order to be able to do "cool stuff."

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But this is exactly the problem, at least for me. I want my watcher to be a fighter, and I want him to do cool stuff just like the wizard or the rogue or the monk or any other class. Why shouldn't I be able to have that? I hate playing spell caster or rogue classes, and I shouldn't have to do so in order to be able to do "cool stuff."

 

But you can?  Fighters got some cool high-level abilities during the later parts of PoE.  Charge had to be one of the most enjoyable abilities in that game.  I'm assuming those abilities will be in PoE2 as well.

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I don't think it's too harsh. If I roleplay as a game designer and look at the Fighter and Ranger skill trees, they look pitifully empty next to the other class' trees in the stylish new format. They needed something quick and easy to throw in there to fill them out a little bit. I simply don't agree with how they did it.

And that was a always the case. Sadly magic side of combat was always much more robust and cool than traditionalists. In PoE spellcasters get all the spells AND access to a wide generic pool of talents and both are chosen using separate sources. Now when passive weapon skills will be available to everyone that discrepancy might end up being even bigger.

 

I feel fine about fighters for now but I do feel like never picking a ranger - I would like to see wider range of weapons available to them and a more interesting cooperation between rangers and their pets, as it seems to be defining feature of that class.

 

As far as buffing those classes go, I am not sure if adding bunch of active skills or remaking passives into active is a good choice. I would put “there aren’t enough skills” with “they were lazy and didn’t come up with new ones”. Dragon Age1 had plenty of active skills for everyone and it... well sucked. When you add skill it should give said class visible utility and role, and so far they seem to work well.

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I don't think a conditional change of +5 accuracy fundamentally makes a Cipher gimped.

If it's such a non-issue then why oppose it on the grounds of balance/power creep?

 

 

Make it cost an ability point, just don't give it for basically nothing by adding it to the Weapon Proficiency page.

 

If you gave everyone access to Weapon Focus at the cost of an ability point just about everyone will take it and everything is now easier to hit unless they rebalance enemies.

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Weapon Focus should definitely stay where it is.

Weapon Styles I’d rather keep where they are, but if Fighters get cool, unique abilities to pick in their stead I could live with that (but enemies should then be rebalanced around the assumption that every character would have a weapon style talent from early on; the opposite would most likely be a rare exception.)

There are other talents that I think would make sense as general. I understand the point about proficiency points being basically “free” but then again, I have no interest in several proficiencies that don’t necessarily suit my character concept, give me dubious advantages if any, and most likely I’ll never use. (This could be alleviated by making proficiency modals less extreme/situational.)

Edited by AndreaColombo
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Make it cost an ability point, just don't give it for basically nothing by adding it to the Weapon Proficiency page.

Actually yeah, I can get behind that.

 

If you gave everyone access to Weapon Focus at the cost of an ability point just about everyone will take it and everything is now easier to hit unless they rebalance enemies.

Probably if remove weapon focus altogether, or perhaps give it to fighters, for precisely this reason.

Edited by JerekKruger
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I don't think a conditional change of +5 accuracy fundamentally makes a Cipher gimped.

If it's such a non-issue then why oppose it on the grounds of balance/power creep?

 

 

Make it cost an ability point, just don't give it for basically nothing by adding it to the Weapon Proficiency page.

 

If you gave everyone access to Weapon Focus at the cost of an ability point just about everyone will take it and everything is now easier to hit unless they rebalance enemies.

 

 

At least my chanter, my support priest or my wizard will not spend a talent point into Weapon Focus?

 

Making an assumption that everyone will spend a point in Weapon Focus is not convincing.

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@dunehunter - everyone whose job on the team is to maim and kill enemies would take it. Of course support classes and classes that don’t rely on weapons to kill wouldn’t; enemies would still need rebalancing.

Edited by AndreaColombo
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"Time is not your enemy. Forever is."

— Fall-From-Grace, Planescape: Torment

"It's the questions we can't answer that teach us the most. They teach us how to think. If you give a man an answer, all he gains is a little fact. But give him a question, and he'll look for his own answers."

— Kvothe, The Wise Man's Fears

My Deadfire mods: Brilliant Mod | Faster Deadfire | Deadfire Unnerfed | Helwalker Rekke | Permanent Per-Rest Bonuses

 

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Weapon Focus should definitely stay where it is.

 

Weapon Styles I’d rather keep where they are, but if Fighters get cool, unique abilities to pick in their stead I could live with that (but enemies should then be rebalanced around the assumption that every character would have a weapon style talent from early on; the opposite would most likely be a rare exception.)

 

There are other talents that I think would make sense as general. I understand the point about proficiency points being basically “free” but then again, I have no interest in several proficiencies that don’t necessarily suit my character concept, give me dubious advantages if any, and most likely I’ll never use. (This could be alleviated by making proficiency modals less extreme/situational.)

 

 

 
Why not that to reconcile everyone :
 
Weapon focus (General Pool)
Superior Weapon focus (Barbarian, Fighter etc.)
 
We have specificity (concept of classes mentionned above) and freedom of choice (general pool)
Edited by theBalthazar
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I'm seeing in this thread a lot of what I pointed out before: people arguing that spellcasters and the like should be able to pick up and learn how to use a certain weapon efficiently, but ignoring that Fighters/Rangers/Barbians don't get to pick up some tricks that other classes get, like learning a chant, or being able to lay on hands.

 

I don't have a problem with a single class Wizard who learned to fence, I have a problem that I can make a single class Wizard that learned to fence, but I can't make a single class Barbarian that learned a healing scripture, or a single class Rogue that learned how to confuse an enemy using just their mind.

 

A weapon is a tool that someone can pick up and use, to a certain extent. To specialize in using it takes practice. A scroll is a tool that someone can pick up and use, to a certain extent. To specialize in casting that spell takes practice. Am I making sense? 

 

Anyway, I'm not especially picky, as long as every class is fun to play. Just pointing out some unintentional hypocrisy.

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I'm seeing in this thread a lot of what I pointed out before: people arguing that spellcasters and the like should be able to pick up and learn how to use a certain weapon efficiently, but ignoring that Fighters/Rangers/Barbians don't get to pick up some tricks that other classes get, like learning a chant, or being able to lay on hands.

That's not a proper comparison. It would be if you took two active abilites like Disciplined Barrage and Lay on Hands.

 

In PoE fighters/rangers also could take talents that sounded like they were more suited for casters - like Scion of Flame, Heart of the Storm or Secrets of Rime for example when they wanted to use Firebrand/Stormcaller/Bittercut. At the same time casters could take Two Handed Style or Weapon Focus. That would be a proper comparison. I'll leave out the "cross class talents" of course because those were just htere to simulate a bit of multiclassing light and can now be emulated with real multiclassing.

 

In Deadfire casters don't even have any passives that could be used by someone else. I wonder why they didn't at least give them stuff like Scion of Flam, Brisk Recitation and stuff as passives. And if they did I would hav no problem with a fighter being able to become a Scion of Flame. Why not? It's nothing that cries out for class exclusivity and if you fing a flaming sword you might want to become one even as a fighter or whatever class you are.

Edited by Boeroer
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In Deadfire casters don't even have any passives that could be used by someone else. I wonder why they didn't at least give them stuff like Scion of Flam, Brisk Recitation and stuff as passives. And if they did I would hav no problem with a fighter being able to become a Scion of Flame. Why not? It's nothing that cries out for class exclusivity and if you fing a flaming sword you might want to become one even as a fighter or whatever class you are.

 

 

Actually, I concur here. I would've love to have those passives. In fact, I'll admit to a lapse in logic: I forgot how easy it was to enchant weapons to do exactly that. Adding passives to make my character better with enchanted weapons would be equal too adding passives to make characters better with certain weapon styles.

 

Would it be a stretch to suggest also having passives that increase the likeliness of specific status effects to kick in?

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Why not that to reconcile everyone :
 
Weapon focus (General Pool)
Superior Weapon focus (Barbarian, Fighter etc.)
 
We have specificity (concept of classes mentionned above) and freedom of choice (general pool)

 

Technically, I suppose we could.

 

I would question, however, how much sense it would make.

 

Let's assume Weapon Focus as it currently is becomes a general talent that everyone can take. +6 Accuracy at the cost 1 talent point would already be a pretty good deal; at the cost of 1 proficiency, it is a total no-brainer. Everyone who needs to hit their enemies (e.g. every non-support character who doesn't rely on spells to cause damage) would take it; not doing so would be willfully gimping oneself, which most players won't do (only veterans in search of a challenge via self-imposed rules would, in fact.)

 

At that point, we have two scenarios:

 

  • Everything stays the same (i.e. monsters are not rebalanced around the assumptions that most characters would have Weapon Focus.) This preserves the essence of the Weapon Focus talent, which is to give you an edge in combat versus the "normality" (which is not having a +6 Accuracy bonus on every attack.) However, everybody and their neighbor would take Weapon Focus because it's up for grabs at what amounts to no cost, and gives a very good advantage. Suddenly the game is too easy—and certainly easier than intended by the developer at any rate.
  • Everything is rebalanced around the assumption that most characters have Weapon Focus in order to retain the challenge. This makes Weapon Focus a de facto must pick or you would be factually gimping yourself, since monsters' stats are such that you are expected to have it. Weapon Focus goes from being a talent you choose to gain an advantage to a talent you must pick to not be at a disadvantage.

 

I'd say both scenarios are equally undesirable. Josh mentioned in one of the Q&A streams that for Deadfire they tried to limit the amount of things that could increase Accuracy specifically because it is such an important stat. Everyone would jump at the opportunity to increase their Accuracy, and it becomes harder for designers to balance the game and provide a challenge without being unfair to players.

 

Now, let's assume you'd still give Barbarians an exclusive talent called Superior Weapon Focus that gives, say, +8 Accuracy instead. I see at least two problems:

 

  • The game would still need to be balanced around the assumption that most characters would get a +6 Accuracy bonus, so my point about Weapon Focus becoming a must to avoid a disadvantage still stands.
  • Barbarians would have a ridiculously high +14 Accuracy bonus from taking both, which would make them far superior to most other melee classes, if not all. The solution would be not to make the two stack; Barbarians would still get a +8 Accuracy for 1 talent point deal, which is a bit too good. Perhaps we could make Weapon Focus +4 and Superior Weapon Focus +6, mutually exclusive, to ameliorate the issue—but it would be too much work for too little benefit, imo, as the previous point would still be a problem.

 

I definitely advocate for Weapon Focus to stay where it is now. It's OK as a Barbarian talent.

 

Weapon Styles can become general if Fighters get something unique in their talent tree in exchange. Similarly, Bull's Will, Snake's Reflexes, and Bear's Fortitude should probably be general and replaced by something different in the classes that get them; and by all means, let's bring back the elemental talents for the general talent pool—they were flavorful and interesting, and it's a pity not to have them in Deadfire.

Edited by AndreaColombo
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"Time is not your enemy. Forever is."

— Fall-From-Grace, Planescape: Torment

"It's the questions we can't answer that teach us the most. They teach us how to think. If you give a man an answer, all he gains is a little fact. But give him a question, and he'll look for his own answers."

— Kvothe, The Wise Man's Fears

My Deadfire mods: Brilliant Mod | Faster Deadfire | Deadfire Unnerfed | Helwalker Rekke | Permanent Per-Rest Bonuses

 

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