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[MECHANICS] Power level compilation thread

power level mechanics

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#21
thelee

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I updated my OP with new findings re: explosives and martial abilities.

 

i assume power levels do not work with martial abilities/lashes? For example if i have +X to fire power leves it doesn't make my flames of devotion stronger or +X to electricity doesn't make swift strikes stronger?

 

So I did some test and power levels do work with martial abilities, both weapon-based and non-weapon based (thanks Alhoon for the tip-off!).

 

So +x to fire power levels will make flames of devotion stronger (assuming it is appropriately tagged).

 

Lash damage will be boosted insofar as the base damage of the weapon gets adjusted upwards from power-level scaling (or via Empower). However, most lashes I see are pretty low (15-20%) so don't expect too much extra lash damage from even an Empowered ability.



#22
JiggleFloyd

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@thelee

 

Is this true what Witness said? If so, you should add this to your OP.

 

Witness said:

Power Level has no effect on the power of buffs or debuffs other than duration. 

Power Level has no effect on the accuracy of a spell or ability. 

Power Level affects both damage and healing.

 

 

 

Your OP said that PL provides accuracy bonuses. So does power level affect the accuracy for debuff spells / abilities or not?


Edited by JiggleFloyd, 27 May 2018 - 05:44 PM.


#23
ex cathedra

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Power level provides an accuracy bonus.



#24
thelee

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@thelee
 
Is this true what Witness said? If so, you should add this to your OP.
 
Witness said:

Power Level has no effect on the power of buffs or debuffs other than duration. 
Power Level has no effect on the accuracy of a spell or ability. 
Power Level affects both damage and healing.

 
Your OP said that PL provides accuracy bonuses. So does power level affect the accuracy for debuff spells / abilities or not?

Yeah, this is wrong. The tooltip won't show you accuracy bonuses from power level, but when you actually use an ability and check the combat log you will see power level bonuses for accuracy,

And for alchemy, power level will also increase the magnitude of buffs, not just duration, though the full details are still pending.

#25
Vaneglorious

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Is it only me, or is Empower mostly useless on anything other than spellcasters? Especially if using spells for damage.



#26
Kaylon

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Is it only me, or is Empower mostly useless on anything other than spellcasters? Especially if using spells for damage.

Yes, you can consider Empower being basically a caster ability.



#27
Haplok

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Is it only me, or is Empower mostly useless on anything other than spellcasters? Especially if using spells for damage.

Yes, you can consider Empower being basically a caster ability.

 

 

Well,  you do get half of your encounter resources back. Quite useful for some resource hungry classes, like Fighters.



#28
thelee

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Is it only me, or is Empower mostly useless on anything other than spellcasters? Especially if using spells for damage.

Yes, you can consider Empower being basically a caster ability.

 

 

This is not totally right. Empower does boost even weapon-based martial abilities, ~ 50% to the base damage (so it is multiplicative with other bonuses).

 

People just notice spells a lot more because there are degenerate cases where empowering a damage spell is basically super overpowered (Minoletta's Crushing Missiles is my go-to autowin button on POTD, but e.g. Josh Sawyer pointed out how broken high-PL spells can be when empowered [imho in part because in "normal" gameplay, they never really get much PL-based scaling because they are already high-level, such as meteor shower or cleansing flame, so empowering them puts them way over the top]).

 

But there are also martial abilities that can be really good when empowered. The special two-handed whispers of the endless paths great sword, when used on an empowered flames of devotion can be really good (boosted base damage, boosted flames damage, boosted penetration, boosted accuracy [increased chance for crit for even more damage], and then again for the whispers of the endless paths' aoe effect).

 

Similarly, while there are plenty of martial abilities that are underwhelming when empowered, there are plenty of spells where empowering them is really underwhelming. Try empowering Confusion or Repulsing Seal or Concelhaut's Parasitic Staff. 


Edited by thelee, 29 May 2018 - 02:02 PM.


#29
thelee

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made some quick edits from 1.1 (empower is only 5, explosives may no longer get its weird, character-level based scaling), and also added a section on reverse pickpocketing.



#30
Kaylon

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Is it only me, or is Empower mostly useless on anything other than spellcasters? Especially if using spells for damage.

Yes, you can consider Empower being basically a caster ability.

 

 

This is not totally right. Empower does boost even weapon-based martial abilities, ~ 50% to the base damage (so it is multiplicative with other bonuses).

 

People just notice spells a lot more because there are degenerate cases where empowering a damage spell is basically super overpowered (Minoletta's Crushing Missiles is my go-to autowin button on POTD, but e.g. Josh Sawyer pointed out how broken high-PL spells can be when empowered [imho in part because in "normal" gameplay, they never really get much PL-based scaling because they are already high-level, such as meteor shower or cleansing flame, so empowering them puts them way over the top]).

 

But there are also martial abilities that can be really good when empowered. The special two-handed whispers of the endless paths great sword, when used on an empowered flames of devotion can be really good (boosted base damage, boosted flames damage, boosted penetration, boosted accuracy [increased chance for crit for even more damage], and then again for the whispers of the endless paths' aoe effect).

 

Similarly, while there are plenty of martial abilities that are underwhelming when empowered, there are plenty of spells where empowering them is really underwhelming. Try empowering Confusion or Repulsing Seal or Concelhaut's Parasitic Staff. 

 

Yes, in theory it can be used for melee too, however it's useless most of the time. Doing 50% more damage to a single target is maybe good for an assassin once in a while, otherwise it makes no difference in a fight. The only utility for melee is to replenish their resources from time to time and not for damage, but for buffs/heals.

 

Whispers of the endless paths is a joke now - even empowered with the laughable 20% lash is not even close to a simple fan of flames. 

 

No, ALL empowered martial abilities are underwhelming compared to what is available to casters. The fact that are also a few spells which don't benefit too much from empower is irrelevant - even if there's only a single spell which can make a big difference in a fight it's more than enough.


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#31
fxluk

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Very nice overview of this mechanism. It really should be described better in game.



#32
thelee

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Is it only me, or is Empower mostly useless on anything other than spellcasters? Especially if using spells for damage.

Yes, you can consider Empower being basically a caster ability.

 

 

This is not totally right. Empower does boost even weapon-based martial abilities, ~ 50% to the base damage (so it is multiplicative with other bonuses).

 

People just notice spells a lot more because there are degenerate cases where empowering a damage spell is basically super overpowered (Minoletta's Crushing Missiles is my go-to autowin button on POTD, but e.g. Josh Sawyer pointed out how broken high-PL spells can be when empowered [imho in part because in "normal" gameplay, they never really get much PL-based scaling because they are already high-level, such as meteor shower or cleansing flame, so empowering them puts them way over the top]).

 

But there are also martial abilities that can be really good when empowered. The special two-handed whispers of the endless paths great sword, when used on an empowered flames of devotion can be really good (boosted base damage, boosted flames damage, boosted penetration, boosted accuracy [increased chance for crit for even more damage], and then again for the whispers of the endless paths' aoe effect).

 

Similarly, while there are plenty of martial abilities that are underwhelming when empowered, there are plenty of spells where empowering them is really underwhelming. Try empowering Confusion or Repulsing Seal or Concelhaut's Parasitic Staff. 

 

Yes, in theory it can be used for melee too, however it's useless most of the time. Doing 50% more damage to a single target is maybe good for an assassin once in a while, otherwise it makes no difference in a fight. The only utility for melee is to replenish their resources from time to time and not for damage, but for buffs/heals.

 

Whispers of the endless paths is a joke now - even empowered with the laughable 20% lash is not even close to a simple fan of flames. 

 

No, ALL empowered martial abilities are underwhelming compared to what is available to casters. The fact that are also a few spells which don't benefit too much from empower is irrelevant - even if there's only a single spell which can make a big difference in a fight it's more than enough.

 

 

It's possible that for single-class melee, empower is better used for replenishing. But at least for my experience, with multi-class melee (which has ~ 2x resources), thanks to the action economy (you can only do so much), I find myself regularly empowering specific martial abilities, and rarely ever buffs. Even with the nerf, I still empower whispers of the endless paths flames of devotion to good effect in end-game PotD.

 

Plus, 50% bonus base damage, with bonus accuracy, and bonus penetration on certain martial abilities can be the difference between a dead enemy character and one that is bloodied/near death. In some fights, a dead enemy NOW (or an interrupted enemy NOW if you're trying to land an interrupt) is much more important than being able to replenish your resources later.

 

And directly comparing whispers of the endless paths on a martial ability to a fan of flames--trying to be charitable here--kind of demonstrates how little you might understand about class balance, because it is much more holistic then that. E.G. a paladin could nuke as well as a wizard, it would be OP, because unlike a wizard, the paladin has a lot more built-in durability. Plus, unlike martial abilities and attacks, spells are counterbalanced by cast times.


Edited by thelee, 08 June 2018 - 08:11 AM.


#33
Kaylon

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It's possible that for single-class melee, empower is better used for replenishing. But at least for my experience, with multi-class melee (which has ~ 2x resources), thanks to the action economy (you can only do so much), I find myself regularly empowering specific martial abilities, and rarely ever buffs. Even with the nerf, I still empower whispers of the endless paths flames of devotion to good effect in end-game PotD.

 

Plus, 50% bonus base damage, with bonus accuracy, and bonus penetration on certain martial abilities can be the difference between a dead enemy character and one that is bloodied/near death. In some fights, a dead enemy NOW (or an interrupted enemy NOW if you're trying to land an interrupt) is much more important than being able to replenish your resources later.

 

And directly comparing whispers of the endless paths on a martial ability to a fan of flames kind of demonstrates how little you might understand about class balance, because it is much more holistic then that. E.G. a paladin could nuke as well as a wizard, it would be OP, because unlike a wizard, the paladin has a lot more built-in durability. Plus, unlike martial abilities and attacks, spells are counterbalanced by cast times.

 

You try to find obscure advantages for empowering melee attacks while carefully avoiding to compare them to what an empowered spell can do. Your argument that it can help sometimes is truly laughable when you look at what difference it makes for spells...

 

The fan of flames example was very obvious because a simple spell, available to any class, from the lowest lvl scroll, is more effective than your "strong" empowered attack - it has nothing to do with class balance. And by the way a wizard can become as tanky as a paladin if not more, melee and also nuke everything - I don't see the balance here.

 

I can understand you don't want casters nerfed, but at least stop talking about balance because it's obvious you don't want it.


Edited by Kaylon, 08 June 2018 - 09:29 AM.


#34
thelee

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It's possible that for single-class melee, empower is better used for replenishing. But at least for my experience, with multi-class melee (which has ~ 2x resources), thanks to the action economy (you can only do so much), I find myself regularly empowering specific martial abilities, and rarely ever buffs. Even with the nerf, I still empower whispers of the endless paths flames of devotion to good effect in end-game PotD.

 

Plus, 50% bonus base damage, with bonus accuracy, and bonus penetration on certain martial abilities can be the difference between a dead enemy character and one that is bloodied/near death. In some fights, a dead enemy NOW (or an interrupted enemy NOW if you're trying to land an interrupt) is much more important than being able to replenish your resources later.

 

And directly comparing whispers of the endless paths on a martial ability to a fan of flames kind of demonstrates how little you might understand about class balance, because it is much more holistic then that. E.G. a paladin could nuke as well as a wizard, it would be OP, because unlike a wizard, the paladin has a lot more built-in durability. Plus, unlike martial abilities and attacks, spells are counterbalanced by cast times.

 

You try to find obscure advantages for empowering melee attacks while carefully avoiding to compare them to what an empowered spell can do. Your argument that it can help sometimes is truly laughable when you look at what difference it makes for spells...

 

The fan of flames example was very obvious because a simple spell, available to any class, from the lowest lvl scroll, is more effective than your "strong" empowered attack - it has nothing to do with class balance. And by the way a wizard can become as tanky as a paladin if not more, melee and also nuke everything - I don't see the balance here.

 

I can understand you don't want casters nerfed, but at least stop talking about balance because it's obvious you don't want it.

 

 

I literally don't understand where you get the idea that I don't want casters nerfed. If you've followed the 1.1 patch thread at all, I'm all in there hyping up the nerfs, and I've been one of the people ringing the bell about Devotions for the Faithful being OP since like poe1 and deadfire backer beta 1, even though I main-class a priest 80% of the time and include a priest in my party another 10% of the time.

 

You're saying that empowering is only useful for casters. I find that categorically false, and frankly a falsehood to advise other newer players of this. You say that martial abilities ain't worth the empowerment. I also find that false (as I said earlier single-class melee can be more resource-constrained and may find more utility from replenishment rather than single-ability empowerment). In no part of this did I say that empowered spells could not be way better than empowered martial abilities, in fact I've repeatedly mentioned spells can frequently benefit from multiple aspects of power-level scaling and get disproportionate benefit, and indeed I've repeatedly mentioned how a mere PL4 spell (Minoletta's) is basically an auto-win when empowered (though possible less so now that empowerment is only +5 and potd encounters got buffed).


Edited by thelee, 08 June 2018 - 09:45 AM.


#35
thelee

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I did some research and updated the OP to reflect new findings about explosives scaling, and I also added specific effects on alchemy on drugs as well as minimum power levels for each bomb.


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#36
thelee

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Small update: added info on how scrolls do PL scaling.

 

Not to toot my own horn, but if anyone thinks this is worth being a pinned post, I wouldn't mind.


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#37
Maxzero

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So Sorceror (Druid/Wizard) would be far better off throwing Bombs in difficult fights then using their spells because there explosive skill would be sky high?

 

Druid +2

Wizard +2

Blessing +2

Scientist background +1

Multiclass -1

Nature Godlike bonus? +1

 

 

Starting explosive skill = 6+1 by level 3 you can have 8+1 explosives and +50% damage to Cinder Bombs/Grenades.

 

Cast Chillfog then throw a Grenade at them.


Edited by Maxzero, 17 June 2018 - 01:01 AM.


#38
thelee

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So Sorceror (Druid/Wizard) would be far better off throwing Bombs in difficult fights then using their spells because there explosive skill would be sky high?

 

Druid +2

Wizard +2

Blessing +2

Scientist background +1

Multiclass -1

Nature Godlike bonus? +1

 

 

Starting explosive skill = 6+1 by level 3 you can have 8+1 explosives and +50% damage to Cinder Bombs/Grenades.

 

Cast Chillfog then throw a Grenade at them.

 

 

Yes and no. Yes, in the sense that the way deadfire is balanced, consumables are potentially much more powerful than non-consumables (which tbh makes sense because consumables go away after one use and deadfire's economy is decently balanced enough that it's hard to keep up with aggressive usage). No, in the sense that power level scaling isn't too relevant compared to the base effectbecause it's that base effect that gets amplified. A crappy base effect that gets +100% is still crappy compared to a decent effect that gets no power level scaling. Put another way, +50% damage/+25% duration on PL4 grenade or cinder bomb is good compared to no power scaling with Chill Fog, but grenade and cinder bomb had good base effects to begin with. You could get +80% damage/+40% duration with PL1 sparkcrackers or stun bomb, but you're starting from miniscule damage/duration numbers (for stun bomb) or weak effects (distraction from sparkcrackers), so even though the scaling would be huge Chill Fog would probably still be a better general purpose use of your time in such a situation.


Edited by thelee, 17 June 2018 - 09:13 AM.

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#39
thelee

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I updated the original post for 1.2, which simplified and nerfed a lot of how consumables do power level scaling.


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#40
thelee

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Updated the OP because while testing something else I discovered that PL scaling is actually a multiplicative bonus with everything else, which makes PL scaling (especially damage scaling) much stronger.

 

This just furthers my pet belief that spells/abilities that don't do damage/healing need stronger PL scaling, because the fact that damage/healing can get both a multiplicative damage/healing boost makes them that much better. I mean, does Obsidian truly think that a multiplicative +10% damage (or worse, a +10% damage and a +5% multiplicative duration for a damage-over-time effect) is equivalent in strength to a multiplicative +5% duration effect? It might be closer to balanced to switch those numbers.


Edited by thelee, 10 July 2018 - 04:18 PM.

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