+ Improved reactivity: even in this relatively small area of the game, there are a wide range of dialogue options based on race, origin, class, and skills. This is tremendously encouraging.
+ AI scripting: I admit that this was not a priority for me during the crowdfunding campaign, but it's a very cool feature, and I've enjoyed my experiments with it. I can't wait for someone to send me improvements on my garbage scripts.
+ Subclasses: these are fun, and I appreciate Obsidian giving multiple options for every class.
- Rules communication: Taking a step back, the team deserves credit for how much information it does communicate in a clear and visually attractive fashion. But the biggest thing nagging me through my beta playthroughs (from the character creation menu on through ship encounters) is missing information about what certain choices will do. For example, and we've had a few threads on this, the proficiency screen doesn't allow you to see any of the weapons' parameters (speed, base damage, damage type, etc.). The level-up screen isn't clear about which abilities will stack. Naval combat has this whole "advantage" mechanic without explaining how it works.
- Penetration: changes since the beta's release have brought this to a more comfortable place, where I at least can do something other than stack penetration. But I don't think the system is either clearer or more fun than the one it replaced.
- Spell selection: I actually don't mind the longer casting times (particularly if you all are going to be refunding canceled spells), but right now wizards aren't much fun for me because their spell selection feels constrained. I'm also not wild about the new grimoire mechanic, which adds clutter and busywork to the wizard's life for a pretty limited return. I think I'd prefer a system where a wizard could still copy spells, but either her power level or the grimoire itself influenced the total "weight" of spells she could keep in her grimoire at once, with higher-tier spells costing more than lower-tier ones.
- Weapon proficiency: I don't really understand what this system is accomplishing. The modals are either boring or bad, so the only time I feel good about getting a new proficiency is when I've got a separate ability (like the fighter's) that gives bonuses with proficient weapons. It's just not a choice that feels interesting on the merits or as a statement of character identity.
EDIT: It looks like Josh just discussed some of the system's goals on tumblr: https://jesawyer.tumblr.com/
One goal, according to Josh, was to allow players to associate skill with a particular weapon type with their character(s). I don't think this is working all that well at the moment. Most characters get so many proficient weapons, with so little effect, that it doesn't feel to me like, "yeah, this cipher's trained with a flail and can do better than most with a flail." Increasing the rate of proficiency gain (from 1/4 levels to 1/3 levels) is only going to make this problem worse.
A second goal was to "move most/all of the weapon-based talent modals to proficiencies, with the focus on the modals being situational rather than "turn on and leave on." I'm afraid the first part is more a description of what the system does than an explanation of why the designers would want to do it.
A third goal was to avoid discouraging players from using non-proficient weapons. This is naturally in tension with goal number one. Obsidian has attempted to resolve the tension by making proficiency bonuses situational, but right now the system seems to be in a place where the bonuses aren't interesting enough for to feel like a meaningful character choice but the mere existence of the proficiency mechanic is still driving people to stick with proficient weapons. Question: if you're going to be handing out tons of weapon proficiencies, then why is it so important that players not feel discouraged from using non-proficient weapons?
- Dialogue icons: Sorry to be annoying on this point (last time I'll bring it up, promise!), but I don't like the tiny icons replacing bracketed text (e.g., [rational] or [benevolent]) to indicate a particular reputation, skill, or background is associated with a dialogue option. Several of the icons are not obvious. Is a dove diplomacy or benevolence? Is a human head insight or intelligence? The tooltips resolve any initial confusion, and I guess over time players will just learn the icons. But is the extra text space that valuable?
Multiclassing is pretty fun at the moment, even if I prefer a more class-less direction. I'm neutral so far on the Might change.
Edited by anfoglia, 17 February 2018 - 06:46 AM.