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Please, Obsidz, give us in-game access to exhaustive combat mechanics info

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These recent posts below and countless others by inquisitive or confused beta players has warranted me to make this thread:


[...] And even if PoE1 was slightly unintuitive and complex for newbies [...]

This is true. 75% of the game mechanics were obscure and the descriptions either inaccurate, not clear enough or non-existent. But basically it's not like the mechanics are supercomplex.. It's just that PoE does a very poor job of explaining its mechanics.


If they just could have done this better then there wouldn't have been so many complaints a la "I don't get how XY works". I mean look at the PoE forum (char builds subforum especially). Even today there will be a new thread that discovers how some hidden mechanic works and everbody (even the hardcore players, including me) will go "whooot? Didn't know that!". That's a pretty good example of bad documentation. But so easily solved... so easily...  ;(




Great point, Boeroer! In essence: Instead of remaking half a system, they could put all that effort into fine-tuning the latest PoE1 system, make a cool tutorial area (like NWN2 OC, for instance), and then have great info, tooltips and in-game wiki with mechanics etc, explained in a clear-cut way.





- When using a full attack, do you use the main hand or off hand weapon first and which recovery is used afterwards? I think I have read that things changed from PoE1.

I've mentioned this in the above post)
PoE1 (checked in v2.03 and 3.0+): offhand attack -> mainhand attack -> mainhand recovery
Deadfire (checked in Beta1): mainhand attack -> offhand attack -> offhand recovery

When using a primary attack, is always the main hand used or does it "upgrade" the next normal attack.

Afaik it's always the mainhand.

So you are dual wielding and while you attack with the main hand you select a special attack ( full attack or primary attack), will you use the off hand attack for your next attack because normally you would attack with your off hand next or does it not matter what you do now if you select to use a full or primary attack next?

Afaik in PoE1 it would be as following:
- if you issue a special attack before your current normal swing deal the damage: current animation is discarded/interrupted and your start your special attack
- if you issue a special attack after your current normal swing dealt damage: you go into recovery, and only after that your special attack will start

And no, it doesn't matter what you did before. The hand-sequence will be as described in the answer on question 1.


This kind of stuff really needs to be described in a clear-cut way within the game, like Boeroer has been campaigning for.


I reckon I speak for quite a number of people when I wish to see the following in Deadfire:

-A nice tutorial starter area

-A complete and clear-cut in-game combat mechanics wiki

-The latter should be supported with an in-combat tooltip system that can be toggled in numerous ways, for those so inclined


Personally, I'd be willing to wait for this. Take the extra time, Obsidz, no problem. The game will be a better one for it, I'm sure.

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I give you a +1. It would be more pleasant to analyse for me (Actually I must test almost all possibilities and check on the log.)


In fact, I think Obsidian  want to delay the moment where it will place the real informations in the UI.


This avoids having to change the UI all the time. Like that, right now, they only have to change the programming values.
I guess the reason is there : p
Edited by theBalthazar
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Big up for this thread. I still remember painfully my first POE1 run which was stopped by Raedric :biggrin:

I had to go to these forums to understand the game mechanisms (even if i was an RPG player).


One suggestion : Replace the damage mitigation by percentage (Ex : "x1.3" => "+30%")

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In a world in which most of the industry doesn't give a damn about providing coherent game mechanics systems and properly explaining them for the player base (a fact sadly supported by the most of the customer base who are satisfied with mere 'illusions' of meaningful choices - so until the customer base doesn't get 'educated' this trend is not going to change) 


 You have the chance to :


1) Do it right !

2) Easily prove that you did it right, unlike the overwhelming mass of the competition BY PROVIDING THE NECESSARY TRANSPARENCY and in doing so also help 'educate' the player base to show more discernment in the future on what kind of products it spends its gaming budget on. 


'Not crashing often' should not be enough to make an RPG eligible for release (sadly that is just about what it takes these days)  ...


If my experience has taught me anything over the years - non transparent game mechanics UNAVOIDABLY leads to gameplay bugs. 


Big problem is if you don't start from the beginning (and thus make it able to easily keep up with whatever game mechanics changes / experimenting developing iteration process requires ) with the appropriate philosophy/  mindset / set of priorities - it gets very complicated to 'graft in' the transparency stuff after the project is halfway done.  (@IndiraLightfoot  it might already be to late for POE2)

Edited by peddroelm
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I hope it's not too late - especially if Obsidian invest some extra time into this. The lack of this info in PoE1 was poignant. With Deadfire, they certainly have the chance to rectify this opaque and esoteric state of in-game combat mechanics info (where the combat log almost deepens the problem sometimes, instead of the other way round).

And by adding percentage and other sleek integer choices for combat numbers, this would also improve the clarity of the combat system.

Right now, given how experimental they are with nearly all the combat systems, attributes, skills, talents, you name it - they're certainly running the risk of not even wanting this kind of transparency, since such murkiness would conceal any consistencies, flaws and last-minute makeshift fixes.


Still, transparency and player access to this vital info should trump most of the other concerns, no? I mean, it would help noobs, RPG veterans and PoE1 experts alike.


EDIT: In my mind, I'd love to picture Obsidian's Deadfire team being dead-set on fixing the combat mechanics system and its in-game transparency at the same time:

They assign a group devoted to this task, with meetings, iterations, etc., until it gets done, but in order for them to do so, they must obviously decide on which system they want for Deadfire, and right now, like half of it is hanging in the air. That's why Boeroer, a 3,000 hour-player and build connoisseur, has called for an effort of perfecting the PoE1 combat mechanics system, and then merely add the very best Deadfire improvements to it, like multi-classing and a number of neat Deadfire features. 

Edited by IndiraLightfoot

*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***


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Good news: There is already a thread where we collected all kinds of improvements for such things:



Bad news: Looks like they did not listen to us


Edit: OK, a few things did improve:

-Now you can see the attack time and recovery time for your current equipment and how it is calculated

- I like the extended tooltip in the combat log (shift+mouse over)

- Maybe some other things improved too, but there is still lots of things to be done.

Edited by Madscientist
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They need to really decide on mechanics first though, right? Working on UI and presentation of mechanics/results for system which is in constant flux might not be the most effective use of time. At a same time it might be difficult to test and provide feedback on a system, which we might not use properly due to not understanding mechanics. PoE got better with patches, but it is still a system which give migraine if you try to wrap your head around it.

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And before they make this exhaustive dream of ours come true, please let them simplify their systems a bit more elegantly.

Just look at MaxQuest's hard work figuring out how something so pivotal and basic as our damage gets calculated:


I've been testing how exactly is damage calculated ingame.

First step was to check if tooltips lie and if yes how much:


+ Final Damage is correct. It matches the overhead red numbers and is indeed the value that is subtracted from target's hp.
+ Pre-PEN Damage is correct. It matches the actual damage dealt when neither over or under-penetrate.
+ Rolled Damage has no reason to be incorrect, since it's the value we start from.
- Over-penetration multiplication is incorrect. No way 26.8 * 1.3 will give you 32.7. That's because over-penetration bonus... is additive, as you'll see later.
- Tooltip steps are incorrect. That's because might bonus is actually applied multiplicatively, but with a big twist, as you'll see later.

The next step was registering various damage tooltips and trying to find the formula that would match them all. Few examples:






And now I think I've finally figured it out. Tada:

FinalDamage = (RolledDamage * DamageMultiplier + AdditiveDamageBonus) * PostAdditiveDamageMultiplier

DamageMultiplier is influenced by:
- weapon quality bonus (e.g. fine/exceptional/superb)
- weapon type bonus (e.g. sharp)
- bonus damage talents (e.g. two-handed style, sneak attack, soul whip)
- crit bonus
- over-penetration bonus

PostAdditiveDamageMultiplier is influenced by:
- might damage coefficient
- graze malus
- under-penetration malus

As for AdditiveDamageBonus, am not completely sure but it can include flat damage bonuses; think of Novice's Suffering from PoE1.

Question: Now, how are these multipliers actually calculated? Additive or multiplicative?
Answer: additive with a big twist:
- all damage coefficients are broken into steps
- now, if it's value is above 1, the step will be (value - 1)
- and if the value is below 1, the step will be (1 - 1 / value)
- after that all these steps are added up, into one big coefficient
- if the value of this coefficient is above 1, the group multiplier will be (coefficient + 1)
- and if the value of this coefficient is below 1, the group multiplier will be [1 / (1 - coefficient]

Question: Isn't that too complicated?
Answer: Yes it is.

Now a few examples:

For example if you graze or hit with fine sabre:
DamageMultiplier_Coefficient = (1.15 - 1) + (1.20 - 1) = 0.35
DamageMultiplier = 0.35 + 1 = 1.35

Or you have 20 MIG and graze:
PostAdditiveDamageMultiplier_Coefficient = (1.30 - 1) + (1 - 1 / 0.5) = 0.3 + 1 - 2 = -0.7
PostAdditiveDamageMultiplier = 1 / (1 - -0.7) = 1/1.7 = 0.588

Or you have 20 MIG and graze, and also under-penetrate:
PostAdditiveDamageMultiplier_Coefficient = (1.30 - 1) + (1 - 1 / 0.5) + (1 - 1 / 0.25) = -0.7 + 1 - 4 = -3.7
PostAdditiveDamageMultiplier = 1 / (1 - -3.7) = 1/4.7 = 0.212

And a concrete example: this tooltip

RolledDamage = 17.2
17.2 * 1.35 * 0.588 = 13.65 ~= 13.6 -> pre-penetration damage
17.2 * 1.35 * 0.212 = 4.92 ~= 4.8 -> final damage

Rounding errors are kinda big, most likely because of double inversion of damage maluses.


This is far too complex to my liking, and I've played CRPGs for like three decades, and D&D for four decades. Imagine how a newcomer to Deadfire will feel! :geek:

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Yeah, my friend likes to say that you need a degree in math to figure out how Pillars works. While i feel you get enough info to make some basic decisions the system is really difficult to figure out in-depth. % based modifications a probably the reason for those confusing ways of calculating results.

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Heh, yeah. THACO feels like a breeze in the park (funny mixed metaphor) compared to this. Rather, to me, this is more reminiscent of my first flip-through of the rulebook of Chivalry & Sorcery. Yikes!

Edited by IndiraLightfoot
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  • 2 months later...

Hey guys!


Thanks for the thread and culmination of input. Ive tuned the devs onto this thread, and be aware that a lot of game mechanics have been gone over extensively and changed for clarity or missing info as launch approaches. A lot of work and polish is being done every day to ensure these systems are working correctly and I will continue to monitor the forums on how it all feels and see if it all makes sense, or work at those that may need some more love.





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I like big bugs and I cannot lie...

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That sounds like music to our ears! Thank you for telling us. It's nice to know that this keeps improving for each iteration you guys are doing.


Lovely news! :)


Erm, and please read this thread about the shortcomings of the Character Creation info and UI as well:



Many of the problems are somewhat related, and these are the very first screens players will encounter, mind you, so they are definitely worth a lot of TLC to achieve sleekness and clarity.

Edited by IndiraLightfoot
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