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Resolve/Might/Strength: Maybe no matter what you do each ability/skills/weapon/etc should care about different stats?


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Let's be honest:

Why would strength/might or resolve matter much for using a firearm?
Why would strength/might or resolve matter much for using a rapier?

 

I think there should be a more complex system in place.

 

Weapons, abilitiues/skills, spells, etc., should derive bonuses from the stats used to operate them.

 

If a guy is a beefcake with an ogre sized club, said club is probably operating primarily off of strength and constitution.

If a someone is wielding a rapier in full physical chess mode it's probably operating off of dexterity, perception, and intelligence.

If a gal has a huge giant slab of metal shield that could stop a battering ram it's probably strength, constitution, and resolve.

If a guy has a tiny buckler dancing from impact to impact it's probably operating off of dexterity and perception, and weak to attacks with overwhelming momentum and size.

If a person is channeling a huge battlefield engulfing inferno that practically burns out of them perhaps they're operating off of fortitude and resolve.

If a person is quickly casting a subtle spell with critical timing and a precise targeting required perhaps it's once again perception and dexterity to the rescue.

If using a larger rifle perhaps fortitude (sound and recoil) and perception (accuracy) are everything for firing, but dexterity is everything for reloading.

I don't think the solution to the problem with current strength/resolve situation is to have a universal damage stat. It's to make every single weapon, ability, spell, and similar effect get bonuses from the most relevant stats and derived stats.

(That said, I do think small chances of random empowers from appropriate stats could work well as a general thing not tied to resolve, and I do like the idea of resolve shortening the duration of negative status effects. Tangentially, I also don't hate non-int stats potentially impacting AOE sizes, but generally that's because I think AOE size determination should check stats on a per ability basis as above: humongous club smacking with earth shaking force? Probably not Int based.)

Edited by khango
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One of the largest philosophies of PoE's system is to make it hard (or even impossible) to make non-viable characters and giving the player as much developmental flexibility, as well as to avoid trap builds where you create a character that seems decent, but without suitable metagame knowledge ends up becoming a developmental "trap."

Adding more complexity of the type you suggest basically creates a million opportunities to create non-viable or trap builds and requires a ton of metagame knowledge. Pity the beefcake guy who maxed out strength and constitution and the only magical club in the game is a simple Fine one, whereas the rapier guy gets one with a bunch of unique enchantments. BG/2 and IWD had this problem in spades.

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Also, most of the community complaints I've personally seen about Might->Strength is that it hurts flexibility and adds complexity for little gain, and forces some character types to spread their attribute points thinly across Strength and Resolve. (Also, I personally dislike the Tyranny-ification of the stats, and do not like how this change turned resolve from a caster-dump stat into an almost must-have instead of some in-between.)

 

I'm not sure how your suggestion actually addresses community complaints, other than being your own idea.

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One of the largest philosophies of PoE's system is to make it hard (or even impossible) to make non-viable characters and giving the player as much developmental flexibility, as well as to avoid trap builds where you create a character that seems decent, but without suitable metagame knowledge ends up becoming a developmental "trap."

 

Adding more complexity of the type you suggest basically creates a million opportunities to create non-viable or trap builds and requires a ton of metagame knowledge. Pity the beefcake guy who maxed out strength and constitution and the only magical club in the game is a simple Fine one, whereas the rapier guy gets one with a bunch of unique enchantments. BG/2 and IWD had this problem in spades.

 

 

Also, most of the community complaints I've personally seen about Might->Strength is that it hurts flexibility and adds complexity for little gain, and forces some character types to spread their attribute points thinly across Strength and Resolve. (Also, I personally dislike the Tyranny-ification of the stats, and do not like how this change turned resolve from a caster-dump stat into an almost must-have instead of some in-between.)

 

I'm not sure how your suggestion actually addresses community complaints, other than being your own idea.

 

 

Honestly, from a simplicity perspective it doesn't really make things "simple" I suppose, but I do think it would be somewhat intuitive, and UI hinting could make it even more intuitive: like when you pick weapon proficiencies and spells they order themselves or get star ratings from most efficient to least efficient for your stats so there's immediate feedback about what works. That said, it does kill flexibility in the sense of yes, your low strength, low con, all perception all dex guy *will* have trouble using a 12 foot long 300 pound club. But I don't think this is a real problem, as the system is still flexible enough to generally create whatever kind of character you envision. And for what it's worth, I think intuitive things are pretty much as good as simple things for average players.

 

I don't think the metagame  trap problems you point to are real in Pillars. There are piles of unique and soulbond items of pretty much every type and there aren't choices that are so bad you're just screwed. In my first playthrough of POE1 on normal I finished the game using the Xuarup spear from the intro dungeon, I don't really think my suggestions would change that level of functionality on normal difficulty, and people playing POTD love delving into details and figuring stuff out.

 

I do kind of have a hobby horse, though, as you've sort of suggested, which has its roots in POE1 with how guns and bows want the same stats and how rapiers often don't play well with the kind of character you'd pretend would use them (IMO). So yeah.

 

And I do think my solution does address some of the issues with multiclassing: namely your stats would naturally create an overlap in good weapon choices and spell choices, because there would be subsets of each that care about the same attributes, rather than just making all spells bad or all weapons good, or both weapons and spells mediocre.

Edited by khango
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Honestly, from a simplicity perspective it doesn't really make things "simple" I suppose, but I do think it would be somewhat intuitive, and UI hinting could make it even more intuitive: like when you pick weapon proficiencies and spells they order themselves or get star ratings from most efficient to least efficient for your stats so there's immediate feedback about what works. That said, it does kill flexibility in the sense of yes, your low strength, low con, all perception all dex guy *will* have trouble using a 12 foot long 300 pound club. But I don't think this is a real problem, as the system is still flexible enough to generally create whatever kind of character you envision. And for what it's worth, I think intuitive things are pretty much as good as simple things for average players.

 

The thing is, your latter definition of "flexibility" is not the definition of flexibility that PoE shoots for and what I would imagine most players support, which you kind of sort of acknowledge but dance around. Your definition of flexibility appears to be "for any given of stats, there is a supported playstyle and weapon." But, what that is really saying is that "if you want to be a club-wielding fighter, you HAVE to invest in strength/con." That's not flexible.

 

Put another way, my understanding of AD&D is that you rolled stats first and THAT determined your class (which is why fighters were important in having no required stats and why it's kind of insane Paladins had so many and so high). That seems to fall under your definition of "flexible" because for any combination of stats there is a class you could play, but the vast, vast, vast majority of players would not consider that a flexible system.

 

 

 

I don't think the metagame  trap problems you point to are real in Pillars. There are piles of unique and soulbond items of pretty much every type and there aren't choices that are so bad you're just screwed. In my first playthrough of POE1 on normal I finished the game using the Xuarup spear from the intro dungeon, I don't really think my suggestions would change that level of functionality on normal difficulty, and people playing POTD love delving into details and figuring stuff out.

 

My point was that in PoE1 there was no metagame trap problems (or at least very few) because it was built from the ground up to not have this problem. (JE Sawyer has a game dev conference talk where he goes on this for some length). Your proposed changes for PoE2's system would basically undermine that entirely

 

Plus, if we're talking average players who play on normal, we're talking about a population that is just inherently scared of number vomit and being bombarded with rules; when Fallout: New Vegas was being developed, JE Sawyer had to fight really hard to try to get actual stats into VATS mode (hit points and armor and such) and the eventual compromise was that it would all be hidden behind the Living Anatomy perk so that it would be opt-in.

 

Tossing up all sorts of reasons why a given player is sucking at combat and it turns out that their club uses strength and constitution, which is different from the stats needed to support the sword they had just been using is a lot of unfriendliness and unintuitiveness to toss at players playing on normal difficulty. Remember that intuitiveness is relative. It may be intuitive to you, but it's because you're in your own brain reasoning about weapons in a particular context. I would venture to say that most normal players are playing in a context that is either relatively stat-free (Skyrim or Breath of the Wild essentially) or a context where if there are stats the ones that are related to your build's damage output are limited to maybe one (Diablo 3, Dragon Age, WoW), and having your series of weapon-specific and attack-specific stats would essentially come off as being extremely arbitrary (which I am using distinctly from the word "random").

 

 

I do kind of have a hobby horse, though, as you've sort of suggested, which has its roots in POE1 with how guns and bows want the same stats and how rapiers often don't play well with the kind of character you'd pretend would use them (IMO). So yeah.

 

The thing is, I feel like your thing about rapiers has its roots in other systems (notably Pathfinder/3E D&D) and there it works reasonably because it's a limited narrow exception that is essentially opt-in. And D&D is not exactly well-known for its ability to avoid trap characters and its simplicity anyway.

 

PoE justified having one stat determine all damage by saying that "Might" was in reference essentially to the strength of your soul (important for the lore of PoE). The dialogue didn't always support this (might checks might correspond to traditionally strong-person stuff), but it was the gameplay reasoning why a wizard who is good at fireballs would also be good at whacking with a two-handed sword. You might say this is "unintuitive" but ultimately all game design decisions are a balance between abstraction and "accuracy," and personally speaking having one damage stat was a gameplay abstraction that I <3'ed and that had the side effect of opening up a lot of design space (for example, martial casters are a lot easier to create in PoE1 than in similar systems I would say). Your system basically closes up design space by predetermining what builds could be good at what.

 

 

 

And I do think my solution does address some of the issues with multiclassing: namely your stats would naturally create an overlap in good weapon choices and spell choices, because there would be subsets of each that care about the same attributes, rather than just making all spells bad or all weapons good, or both weapons and spells mediocre.

 

See my first comment about your definition of "flexibility" versus general uses of the term.

 

Edited to add: boy that went on for a while, sorry for long reply, just bored at work.

Edited by thelee
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I wouldn't mind if different weapons reacted differently do different stats - might&dexterity increasing damage and chance to hit for swords, perception&might would incease accuracy and decrese reload time with firearms etc. (I am using might as it seems that is what in the end we will be getting)

However, that wouldn't really add much to the game, while making it more difficult to understand for players and to balance for devs. PoE system is elegant and fairly easy to understand, at least where attributes are concerned. The best system is one, which gives players as much flexibility with as little research as possible. 

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I can't figure out how to properly selectively quote parts of your reply, so pardon if my response ends up awkwardly structured!

 

 

 

The thing is, your latter definition of "flexibility" is not the definition of flexibility that PoE shoots for and what I would imagine most players support, which you kind of sort of acknowledge but dance around. Your definition of flexibility appears to be "for any given of stats, there is a supported playstyle and weapon." But, what that is really saying is that "if you want to be a club-wielding fighter, you HAVE to invest in strength/con." That's not flexible.

 

 

I don't think my proposal say you *have* to invest in strength and con. It says that the average club performs better with a stronger and more sturdy wielder, not that clubs don't work at all with weak and unsturdy wielders.

 

I guess where I'm taking issue is that I don't think flexibility is the same as all options being equal, or the same as only certain options being viable.

I think a system is still flexible if multiple options are viable, but some options are still stronger than others.

 

I don't seen a granularized system making a class/stat combo unviable, but I do think I see it making some class/stat combos stronger in particular playstyles (and this already seems to be the case, generally). And I think having multiple different stats effect things makes it harder for any stats to be wasted, not easier.

 

 

Tossing up all sorts of reasons why a given player is sucking at combat and it turns out that their club uses strength and constitution, which is different from the stats needed to support the sword they had just been using is a lot of unfriendliness and unintuitiveness to toss at players playing on normal difficulty.

 

I just don't see that happening at normal difficulty. Especially if the game gives weapons and abilities star ratings for characters the same way the game gives attributes for classes gold and silver stars.

 

Your system basically closes up design space by predetermining what builds could be good at what.

 

 

I really don't see it that way. Every system necessarily says some builds are better than others. Mine just says there are a lot more peaks in the mountain range of better builds.

 

 

having your series of weapon-specific and attack-specific stats would essentially come off as being extremely arbitrary (which I am using distinctly from the word "random").

I don't think it's really random or arbitrary think "oh, this shield is humongous and heavy, you need a lot of might to move it" or "Oh, this blade is so small and fast that you can really move it quickly." People intuitively understand that there's a difference between a spear and a giant meat cleaver.

 

Not to say that the "keep it simple stupid" thing doesn't have a point. But even if you like the "soul power" explanation of might, why should it apply to guns? I guess I feel like things behaving in an intuitive enough way that you don't need to look up the rules and know complicated behind the scenes stuff is generally better for the lowest-common-denominator experience than things behaving in a hypothetically simple but still need to look up the rules way.

Edited by khango
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I think it would be kind of cool if there was a slider that allowed you to adjust your "meathead" score. If you adjust the slider up, you increase damage with melee weapons and bows, but decrease damage with spells. Fencing weapons, crossbows, and firearms could be left unaffected by the slider. I'm not suggesting the change because it is too late, would require some balancing, and (most importantly IMO) would potentially require modifying encounter text, but it could be used to modify text based upon whether you were a meathead (Might + meathead passes the test, but Might alone does not). You would probably not want to allow the slider to go above maximum Might (so an Elf's Might + Meathead would still be capped at 18). You don't really need a Might - meathead test because if the encounter doesn't rely on being muscle-bound, how much of a non-meathead you are doesn't matter as much, so I would only make the meathead slider go one way.

 

If you really wanted to punish the meatheads, you could call it "musclebound" and throw in a reflex penalty or action speed penalty for being too muscly.

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