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AnalogKid
09-06-2007, 06:26 PM
I love the change from demo to release that allows people to re-assign skill points. However, I think it's too fluid now, allowing people to specialize in whatever magic is useful for the current enemy, or get weapon mastery in whatever weapon a warrior is presently wielding (for example).

I think there needs to be some way to undo things, and the present situation is great for testing and exploring the various skills, but it doesn't feel satisfying. Some middle-ground options:

- Only allow subtraction while you have the skills window open, once it's closed, the state of skills become a new permanent baseline that can't be undone. This allows fixing of mis-clicks and investigation of "what happens at lvl 2 of this skill?" questions, but otherwise makes character development permanent.

- Only allow skills to be re-assigned once per level. This would still be completely fluid, but would prevent immediate situation-based min/maxing.

- Charge XP to re-assign skills. This makes the most sense to me, since you're changing what you're good at, you should be more "newbie-ish". This should be coupled with the first one, so that mis-clicks can be undone without costing XP.

Thrugg
09-06-2007, 06:37 PM
I havnt tested this as yet, but it looked like the cost (in silver) is 3x as much as it was to assign the points. That should (in theory) keep things sufficiently expensive to keep you from willy-nilly completely redesigning your skill choices.

I've probably got got enough money on my priest to undo all the skills I've currently applied, and re-apply them somewhere else. Once. I'd be really poor after that, but then I havnt been spending my money on anything else recently either. I guess it'll depend on the availability of cash later on (too much?), but for now it seems ok.

I'll give it a whirl tonight since I was contemplating re-rolling, but a re-skilling would probably be just what I need.

-Thrugg
________
FIX PS3 (http://fixps3.info/)

Vas
09-06-2007, 07:06 PM
yeah it's 3X the cost of what you initialy paid to get the skills.

Shadow
09-06-2007, 07:37 PM
We tried to make this relatively cheap to fix mistakes, relatively cheap to tryout a couple points in skills, but pretty expensive to respec your character.

AnalogKid
09-06-2007, 07:42 PM
Ahhh, I didn't even notice that it was costing me money to jiggle the skills. Guess I'm just too rich! But I can see how that would limit some of the games I was worried about. Thanks for pointing out the costs!

Corvus Corax
09-20-2007, 07:25 PM
Frankly, I like being able to switch skill points around (with a money penalty). This provides an opportunity for experimentation...without using endless backup saves. I really dislike games where you must, in essence, design your char in advance and meticulously assign each skill point according to some master plan to get the optimum character of each given type (as in Diablo 2, for example). In such games, unless you do lots of initial research on-line, your first character is likely to be mediocre because you simply don't know enough about the game to assign skill points efficiently.

AnalogKid
09-21-2007, 07:34 PM
Frankly, I like being able to switch skill points around (with a money penalty). This provides an opportunity for experimentation...without using endless backup saves. I really dislike games where you must, in essence, design your char in advance and meticulously assign each skill point according to some master plan to get the optimum character of each given type (as in Diablo 2, for example). In such games, unless you do lots of initial research on-line, your first character is likely to be mediocre because you simply don't know enough about the game to assign skill points efficiently.
I hear you. I think it's probably obvious by now from the bulk of my posts that I do like the meta-game strategy of character planning and such, and I prefer if doing so gives an advantage. But I don't think it should be necessary (that's why I posted my thinking on "useless" skills from the demo). I also like the ability to change things, it's wayyyyy better than in the demo where you're just locked in forever. My biggest concern is just that it's too easy and you can change things too often without any real penalty. The money penalty definitely prevents situational changes (cold mage vs. fire elementals, then fire mage vs. ice), and I think that's the most important thing. Personally, though, I haven't found the money penalty to mean anything in terms of character lifetime. Here's an example:

- I started my mage as an earthquake mage concentrating on AoE spells and shotgunning everyone. This worked awesomely well at first. later (about lvl 20) I found that the elites/champs were the only real problem anymore, all the fodder killed by AoE spells were a joke anyway. So I switched to being a bolt mage. Which bolt? I use Arctic Blast right now because of the slowdown effects. But as soon as my Int is high enough, I calculate that the bonus crits of lightning bolts will be better. At lower levels (below about 400 effective Int), it's not. So I'll ride the Arctic Blast till then, and then convert to being a lightning mage.

In the end, I will have had the same character with 3 completely different identities, and no real penalty for switching between them. Again, that's better than being totally locked in, and I understand it's been my choice to switch around, but I just feel the penalty for switching skill points is not big enough (XP penalty!!!!!).

Aeon221
09-26-2007, 02:41 AM
Why in the name of all that is holy do you want to be penalized? That makes no sense.

Heck, I wish this game's skill system was a tad more like Guild Wars, so that I could rejigger my skills on the fly without having to waste all my cash every time I do it.

AnalogKid
09-26-2007, 04:55 AM
Why in the name of all that is holy do you want to be penalized? That makes no sense.
Three kind of inter-related reasons:

- It makes more realistic sense, adding to the ever-elusive "immersion" factor. Super specialist heroes don't go around re-inventing themselves whenever they like. The big bad evil necromancer doesn't ever morph into a firemage for weekend frolics, and neither should your character. It takes time to get good at something, and if you can just mix-n-match skills whenever, I lose some of my enjoyment because it strips away the in-game fiction and throws "THIS IS A GAME TO BE MIN/MAXED" in my face.

- It adds meaning to the skill choices I've made, thus adding an extra layer of meta-game fun in thinking about what combinations might be effective, instead of just trying everything until randomly finding out what works without thinking or caring what the result is. I'm willing to take time to learn the rules of the gameworld, and I assume my character would try to be effective within the universe in which he exists. That's why I like the meta-game, but not random trial-and-error min/maxing. It's fun for me to strategize about my skill selections, but not much fun to just juggle skill points around mindlessly until I get the highest DPS.

- It adds character identity by giving me a reason to choose a style and stick with it. Character "inertia", if you will. This is more touchy-feely-artsy-roleplayish than the meta-game point above. If I can flip-flop and reinvent whenever, it's harder for me to connect with my avatar. If I'm not playing with a firmly grounded identity, then none of the setting, environment, or writing matter and I see the game as just a number-crunching treadmill.

I realize not everyone likes having consequences for the choices they make, and I would never advocate strict "pick a skill and you're stuck with it forever", because it's too easy to have something not work like you thought it would based on the description. But a free-for-all of skill swapping at any time is just ... unpleasant for me. They tried to find a balance to please folks like you and me at the same time, and maybe they've found a good balance, I don't know. All I can say is that I have never spent any money on anything in this game and the tiny fee for juggling skills is absolutely irrelevant to me (although at least the extra cost prevents swapping skills based on the specific monster you're fighting).

LDiCesare
09-26-2007, 08:12 AM
I don't swap skills because it would remove what little roleplaying there is in the game. It's actually a reason why I wouldn't play Guild wars: it's not a rpg but a "let's create a new char for this quest" game.
I don't mind the feature here, I just don't use it. In a MP environment, however, I'd be strongly against it as I would have to rig my char to be the perfect 5th level mage, then change him wholly at lvl 12 and change again at lvl 23 just to stay competitive.

Aeon221
09-26-2007, 10:34 AM
And here's where you lost me. You having trouble connecting with your avatar != make it harder to switch point pools around.

You can just as easily choose not to change your stuff with the current system as with a free refund system. You're already penalized with the up front costs, so it isn't like these skills are free or something. Character inertia is BORING. Switching from lightning to fire to ice based on the exigencies of the situation is where the fun is.

You've already said you don't agree with me, and that is fine. But asking that my fun be removed so that your fun is increased is neither pareto efficient nor fair. Look for roleplaying solutions to roleplaying problems -- don't make the game less fun for the rest of us.

AnalogKid
09-26-2007, 06:23 PM
I don't swap skills because it would remove what little roleplaying there is in the game. It's actually a reason why I wouldn't play Guild wars: it's not a rpg but a "let's create a new char for this quest" game.
I agree completely.
I don't mind the feature here, I just don't use it.
This kind of thinking is expressed all the time, and I don't agree with it as completely. Of course everyone should play the game in whatever way they enjoy, and that can include choosing not to use features (putting a piece of tape over the monitor to hide a certain quest compass in a certain horrible game, for example). But I'm too much of a gamist player to enjoy that. I'll happily accept whatever a game presents in terms of fiction and rules, as long as they're consistent within themselves. But once the game universe is defined, I take the view (even in RPGs, where creating a role can lead to more enjoyment than number-crunching) that my character, who has always existed inside that universe, would strive to be an effective person. So I game the rules and try to apply any and all strategy I can to be effective. Arbitrarily choosing to restrict myself can increase the challenge, but it's not fun for me because it's not consistent with game-world "reality". One way to say it is that I like to min/max "in character".

For example: If a game's rules present the reality that axes do 10x more damage than swords, I believe that any person existing in that universe who grew up dreaming of being a glorious fighter would have noticed what works and what doesn't, and so would be using axes. I wouldn't make a sword wielding fighter (thus handicapping myself arbitrarily) just to be cool, because I don't want to play an idiot character that doesn't notice the world in which he lives. I would create an avatar that has an identity consistent with wanting to be a famous fighter. That's why, imo, options that are "different but equal" are always better than options that are obviously more/less effective. Thus the art of game balance (think the 3 races in Starcraft).

Lots of games have cheats that give players gold/health/whatever. It's right there in the console easy as can be, just go ahead and use it. But most players don't because even though they want to "win", they want to do so on the game's terms just like I do. Otherwise, why play that particular game? That's why it's important that the game's rules be challenging and "fun" on their own merits. Chess where any piece can turn into any other piece just before moving is a lot less restricitive, but I expect it would be a lot less fun, as would Tetris where you can choose which shape you're going to get next, or an RPG in which characters can have 100% in all skills (all at the same time, or by swapping skills at whim).

Anyway, @Aeon, you needn't worry about me trying to take away others' fun. I'm just one guy who's contributed a whopping $60 to Soldak. You could ask Steven, but somehow I doubt that qualifies me for design credits. :(

Corvus Corax
09-26-2007, 06:45 PM
I really see no reason to swap skills to defeat some tough boss, as there's no storyline where a boss can block progress. Last night, I ran up against a boss with an attack/defense combination that made him literally impossible to kill by my char and any covenant-member combination I could put together (I understand these boss combinations are random, so you can get toughies like this). After trying a few times (and getting killed), I simply retrieved my soulstone, declined the quest, and moved on to the next one.

When I started my warrior char, I had in mind a guy that could use a one-handed sword and equip a shield. Unfortunately, all I seemed to find for the first 15 levels or so were high-end two-handed axes.....so I raised axe-mastery 3 points. Day before yesterday, however, I found a terrific unique one-handed sword that delivered almost as much damage as weaker two-handed swords. I immediately switched my points to sword-mastery and am now as happy as a clam. If I couldn't switch points, I'd have to start a new warrior, switch the sword over to him, and play him till he leveled up enough to use the sword.....a pain to be sure.

LDiCesare
09-28-2007, 01:19 PM
Character inertia is BORING. Switching from lightning to fire to ice based on the exigencies of the situation is where the fun is.
a pain to be sure.
We disagree. I think it is not boring, but interesting, to have character inertia. I think switching skills based on the situation makes no sesnse because you could replace all skills by a single level figure and give the character all the skills based on the current level. By allowing to change skills at any time in a rpg, you are basically removing all skill point allocation from the game and turning it into a 1st edition D&D clone, where only level matters.
This means removing choices from the players, and makes the game totally uninteresting for me.

As for not sticking to sword-wielder because I don't find swords: I want the decisions I made to count in the world. If I don't take a quest and the town is attacked because of that, it is great. It is equally great that I should be unable to wield a sword if I didn't learn to.

And you will find a sword or axe or club way better than the sword you've found already in maybe 3 or 4 levels. You will then switch to club or whatever. If you do so, what is the point of having axes, swords and clubs in the first place? There is no reason to have different skills if you can switch from one to the other whenever you like. This actually makes the game way poorer, and would show immediately in MP.

Corvus Corax
09-28-2007, 07:46 PM
I'm not much into immersive rpg'ing. I'm more interested in producing ueber killing machines. :) I won't be switching to that super club because my char is now competitive....I can fight and beat the other covenants with the warrior (probably more because I've learned the game rather than because I found the super sword)....so I'll stick with swords. Now that I've got two L20+ chars, I'm able to shift good stuff between them and their various covenant members (that super club you mention will go to my priest). I've got some synergy going.

When I started with my first character, a warrior, I couldn't get any place because (a) I didn't know the game and (b) I couldn't find a decent sword. A warrior can use any weapon; he's just better if he puts mastery points into it. As for mp, not an issue for me, as I don't multi-play.

In retrospect, I'll admit that, knowing what I know now about the game, I could have just as well made do with swords till the right one came along. The warrior, however, was my test-bed character for the game. I was more interested in seeing what the game could do, rather than role-playing. In fact, I stopped playing the warrior at level 10 or so and started a priest character which I ran up to L18 before switching back to the warrior (and finding the super sword shortly thereafter). Now I alternate between the two characters.

DaviddesJ
09-29-2007, 05:58 PM
But a free-for-all of skill swapping at any time is just ... unpleasant for me.

Fine, you can just not do that. Problem solved.

Corvus Corax
10-03-2007, 05:00 AM
[QUOTE=Corvus Corax;784]I really see no reason to swap skills to defeat some tough boss, as there's no storyline where a boss can block progress./QUOTE]

Just a little correction: In the last few days, I've become aware that there IS a main storyline. I'd noticed that some of the quests have lots more text than most.....but being in a big hurry to do quests, I didn't really read these thoroughly. :o I'm now actually following the storyline quests. Very nice. Someone put a bit of work into this aspect of the game.

Delilah Rehm
10-04-2007, 10:22 AM
Thanks Corax! The storyline is in there for those who love them, but as you've noticed, you don't have to pay attention to them. :) Same with all of the town npc chatter. They actually play out a little drama as you level between 0-25. :) Also... there might be a little secret involving the storyline... perhaps the town npcs might mention it... perhaps there might be clues in one of the stories. I'll never tell. :D

One of the hard things in making a game is to make it appealing to as many players (rpgers in this case) as possible. Well.... that's even harder than it seems. :( At first, you couldn't refit skills at all. The ability to remove skills with a cash cost was added to broaden the appeal. Some don't want it. Some want it with no cost. Most seem to like this ability as it is. It's one of those cases where you can't make everyone happy no matter what you do. I hope everyone can enjoy the game even if it isn't exactly what they would choose in design.

Asmodean
10-04-2007, 11:19 AM
I, for one, support the ability to swap skills on-the-fly (albeit at a price), for the same reason that has been said above.

Warriors in particular find different weapons, and quite often get streaks where they get nothing but worthless green items followed by a yellow or a purple two-handed axe. I actually had it happen to me (ok, it was a very nice orange two-hander). Had I not been able to take points out of sword specialization and move them into axe specialization, I would've been one very pissed off warrior, indeed!

Corvus Corax
10-04-2007, 04:26 PM
Thanks Corax! The storyline is in there for those who love them, but as you've noticed, you don't have to pay attention to them. :) Same with all of the town npc chatter. They actually play out a little drama as you level between 0-25. :) Also... there might be a little secret involving the storyline... perhaps the town npcs might mention it... perhaps there might be clues in one of the stories. I'll never tell. :D

One of the hard things in making a game is to make it appealing to as many players (rpgers in this case) as possible. Well.... that's even harder than it seems. :( At first, you couldn't refit skills at all. The ability to remove skills with a cash cost was added to broaden the appeal. Some don't want it. Some want it with no cost. Most seem to like this ability as it is. It's one of those cases where you can't make everyone happy no matter what you do. I hope everyone can enjoy the game even if it isn't exactly what they would choose in design.

Yes, I've noticed that the townspeople make cryptic remarks about one another. I'm careful to always check out their comments now because I'm curious to see where this is going. Are these just expressions of petty jealosies, groundless suspicions, and momentary infatuations.....or is something deeper going on?

The ability to recover skill points is a good idea, IMO. Those that want to avail themselves of this feature can, those that don't can simply ignore it.

Delilah Rehm
10-04-2007, 07:42 PM
If you are role playing, the townspeople have a past, fears, hatred, love... and some surprises. They also give you tips. The drama that plays out leads to certain revelations about the townspeople themselves.

Again, you don't have to get to know the townspeople to enjoy the game, but it's there for any who want it. :)

tuberski
02-27-2008, 11:14 AM
Well, I have used the skill point swapping with my current Priest character. When I got close to having enough points to get Mail mastery(?), I did so by removing points from another skill.

Which explains why I am broke..........

Plus you can use the skill point change as RP opportunities as well.

For example, I lower precision to get Mail mastery, which means now I can use Mail, but I'm just not quite used to doing so, hence, I'm not quite as good at fighting in it yet. Next level I increase precision, reflecting my comfort level in mail armor.

Bagheera
02-28-2008, 01:54 AM
One of the hard things in making a game is to make it appealing to as many players (rpgers in this case) as possible. Well.... that's even harder than it seems. :( At first, you couldn't refit skills at all. The ability to remove skills with a cash cost was added to broaden the appeal. Some don't want it. Some want it with no cost. Most seem to like this ability as it is. It's one of those cases where you can't make everyone happy no matter what you do. I hope everyone can enjoy the game even if it isn't exactly what they would choose in design.

Mind you, I've only played this game a little bit, so I'm running off my initial impression that it feels like a combination of World of Warcraft offline and Master of Orion, and to a lesser extent the whole RPG genre (of which I would reference Diablo 2 and Fallout)

So I would refer to those to see how they approached a similar problem of character identity vs allowing the player to choose their own game. Diablo allows a player to select hardcore or not (which would be an interesting and easy enough inclusion to the game), but it must be selected when the character is created, and no intermingling between hardcore and normal games are allowed (not relevant at present, but it would be relevant if multiplayer is added)

MOO and Fallout have a similar, but more detailed, approach... a selection of perks and flaws. (of which Tropico also made use, a system which I adored.) WoW also allowed a certain character inertia to be built by selection of race independent of class (ok, so this is nothing new to RPG's, but its bears mentioning)

So how would I approach this ?

adding a system of perks and flaws which are selected upon character creation and CANNOT be reset.

So you have players that want to plan their character in advance, they can select a "stubborn as a mule" flaw and not be able to reset their skills.... ever... and be allowed to choose a perk/benefit as reward for handicapping themself.

Got players that want to reset their skills for free or on the fly ? Toss them the ability to select "Indecisive Waffle" as a benefit, but then they'll have to choose a penalty to offset it.

I certainly feel that the implementation of races or some sort of ethnic backgrounds appropriate to the story would be an asset to the game, but if that is decided against (for art reasons, design, whatever) they could be snuck in as perks/flaws in a similar manner... faeblood, trollblood, royal ancestry.... whatever...

I'd also like to see a more structured skilltree with greater emphasis on prerequisite skills, level requirements, attributes and such... instead of simply throwing everything at the player right at the start and such.

If this is done thoroughly, it would certainly be expansion/sequel material.

(i'd also like to see greater emphasis placed on covenant creation and development, but thats a whole different discussion)

Kruztee
02-28-2008, 05:22 AM
Diablo allows a player to select hardcore or not (which would be an interesting and easy enough inclusion to the game)

Depths of Peril also features a hardcore mode. You need to have one softcore character of at least level 25 in your playing roster to activate it.;)

Delve
02-28-2008, 05:39 AM
Mind you, I've only played this game a little bit, so I'm running off my initial impression that it feels like a combination of World of Warcraft offline and Master of Orion, and to a lesser extent the whole RPG genre (of which I would reference Diablo 2 and Fallout)

Master of Orion? That's a completely different genre at almost polar opposite ends of the spectrum. I see almost no correlaries between the two, what do you mean?

So I would refer to those to see how they approached a similar problem of character identity vs allowing the player to choose their own game. Diablo allows a player to select hardcore or not (which would be an interesting and easy enough inclusion to the game), but it must be selected when the character is created, and no intermingling between hardcore and normal games are allowed (not relevant at present, but it would be relevant if multiplayer is added)

Hardcore was added in a recent patch (1.008 I believe) and a loner option was added as well, which prevents the use of recruits. Both are selected at character creation and cannot be changed once confirmed.

MOO and Fallout have a similar, but more detailed, approach... a selection of perks and flaws. (of which Tropico also made use, a system which I adored.) WoW also allowed a certain character inertia to be built by selection of race independent of class (ok, so this is nothing new to RPG's, but its bears mentioning)

Fallout is the epitome of role based CRPGs in my opinion. I haven't seen a randomized CRPG that I'm willing to say that for, but I prefer games with more emphasis on the RP part of CRPG.

adding a system of perks and flaws which are selected upon character creation and CANNOT be reset.

That's certainly a promising avenue to consider, though it would could change the entire gameplay experience. This would be a handy way to squeak in the covenant traits that everyone seems to want.

I certainly feel that the implementation of races or some sort of ethnic backgrounds appropriate to the story would be an asset to the game, but if that is decided against (for art reasons, design, whatever) they could be snuck in as perks/flaws in a similar manner... faeblood, trollblood, royal ancestry.... whatever...

Eh, we're barbarians. Everyone else was too sane to stay, yeah? There could always be some tribal differences, but I think the homogenous feel of the NPCs lends more impact to the 'last bastion of light' background.

I'd also like to see a more structured skilltree with greater emphasis on prerequisite skills, level requirements, attributes and such... instead of simply throwing everything at the player right at the start and such.

To the contrary, the option of grabbing whatever you want at any level you want is part of the fun. Though adding a weak system of requirements isn't a terribly bad idea. I'm thinking along the lines of requiring Cold Mastery at level 1 prior to learning Frost Nova, perhaps maintaining a 1/3 ratio between certain related skills, nothing terribly onerous. The problem with that is then it becomes exponentially more complicated and difficult to try and retool your skills if you decide you'd rather play with fire than ice. It would also tend to force players to spread skill points out further to some extent, though that's not necessarily a bad thing.

If it's done with a delicate touch though it could enhance the player's feeling of ownership of their character, whereas right now the only thing you can't completely change about your character are the stats and name. And the more I think about it, raising a barrier to massive and complete skill redistribution is worth considering as long as it doesn't significantly impact the ability to play around with a couple levels worth of skill points.

Bagheera
02-28-2008, 02:52 PM
Master of Orion? That's a completely different genre at almost polar opposite ends of the spectrum. I see almost no correlaries between the two, what do you mean?

mainly the player's interaction with the other computer players and multiple victory conditions. unlike most games where the computer is simply a rival that MAY accept your trade offers, they actively seek out trade offers and have a degree of individuality (granted, this may be more akin to civilization), but the whole diplomacy screen is very akin to MOO, not the least of which is the manner in which traderoutes operate.


Hardcore was added in a recent patch (1.008 I believe) and a loner option was added as well, which prevents the use of recruits. Both are selected at character creation and cannot be changed once confirmed.


ah, thats cool, i THOUGHT i had read about them, but I havent reached level 25 yet... so *shrug*, guess thats why.


Fallout is the epitome of role based CRPGs in my opinion. I haven't seen a randomized CRPG that I'm willing to say that for, but I prefer games with more emphasis on the RP part of CRPG.


Black Isle really made the RPG scene come back alive. Too bad the perk/flaw system of Fallout2 didnt survive for long.


That's certainly a promising avenue to consider, though it would could change the entire gameplay experience. This would be a handy way to squeak in the covenant traits that everyone seems to want.


yeah, I appreciate that their current role is to differentiate the computer opponents from each other, and they do a great job at that.... but it feels kinda fake to me when the computer players have access to something not replicated for human players.


Eh, we're barbarians. Everyone else was too sane to stay, yeah? There could always be some tribal differences, but I think the homogenous feel of the NPCs lends more impact to the 'last bastion of light' background.


feels akin to diablo2's setting, imo. granted, these are more desperate straights... but even still, there could be other bastions of resistance and survival out there... and i'm not all that comfortable calling the barbarians 'bastions of light'... they are slaughtering each other while trying to survive, ya know ? =)


If it's done with a delicate touch though it could enhance the player's feeling of ownership of their character, whereas right now the only thing you can't completely change about your character are the stats and name. And the more I think about it, raising a barrier to massive and complete skill redistribution is worth considering as long as it doesn't significantly impact the ability to play around with a couple levels worth of skill points.

without some requirements, gaining a level loses a lot of its luster and turns into just a couple new points instead of "only one more level and get a shiny new attack !"

as you mentioned, the only real permanence to the character at present is their class and their name... everything else can be changed as needed or desired... which doesnt really contribute to connecting the player with their character on a memorable basis.

ShaggyMoose
02-28-2008, 03:50 PM
Black Isle really made the RPG scene come back alive. Too bad the perk/flaw system of Fallout2 didnt survive for long.
Well, I heard it will make an appearence in Fallout 3, so its not dead yet. I am cautiously optimistic I won't be totally disappointed in this one.

Delve
02-28-2008, 06:41 PM
yeah, I appreciate that their current role is to differentiate the computer opponents from each other, and they do a great job at that.... but it feels kinda fake to me when the computer players have access to something not replicated for human players.

I agree that it's awkward, but the effects aren't very large. I don't think have player covenant traits would enhance my enjoyment of the game much, if at all. Some form of covenant advancement might give me some interesting milestones to aim for, if done well, but overall I'm not sure the benefit would outweigh the cost. I'd rather they concentrate on the next game so I can see what other ideas are bubbling around Soldak HQ.

without some requirements, gaining a level loses a lot of its luster and turns into just a couple new points instead of "only one more level and get a shiny new attack !"

I respectfully disagree. I never thought the traditional system of leveling very friendly. It's not remotely realistic and often doesn't allow much grey space for difficulty ramping.

as you mentioned, the only real permanence to the character at present is their class and their name... everything else can be changed as needed or desired... which doesnt really contribute to connecting the player with their character on a memorable basis.

The stats are permanent. And vitally important. However, it's not enough to make me feel like I'm 'building' my character rather than 'allocating' skills on some generic scorechart. The current system also fails on some level to encourage people to start new characters to try out different configurations of abilities. I've got 4 characters (and one hardcore, and I'll probably start a loner, more for testing than any other reason) and don't see any reason to start another. Perhaps when they're all nearing level 100 I'll change my tune.

Bagheera
02-28-2008, 11:44 PM
Well, I heard it will make an appearence in Fallout 3, so its not dead yet. I am cautiously optimistic I won't be totally disappointed in this one.

without black isle, i hold little hope for it.

I agree that it's awkward, but the effects aren't very large. I don't think have player covenant traits would enhance my enjoyment of the game much, if at all. Some form of covenant advancement might give me some interesting milestones to aim for, if done well, but overall I'm not sure the benefit would outweigh the cost. I'd rather they concentrate on the next game so I can see what other ideas are bubbling around Soldak HQ.

honestly, i dont expect these kind of major changes from anything less then an expansion or a sequel.



I respectfully disagree. I never thought the traditional system of leveling very friendly. It's not remotely realistic and often doesn't allow much grey space for difficulty ramping.

i'm not sure what you're saying here. are you saying you prefer the current form of levelling or dislike it ? because imo, the current form is as traditional as it gets... ie.. gain a level... gain some statpoints and a skillpoint... thats ripped straight out of diablo and pretty much every online grindfest since even before the internet.


The stats are permanent. And vitally important. However, it's not enough to make me feel like I'm 'building' my character rather than 'allocating' skills on some generic scorechart.

likewise... and the stats are something you develop over time... whereas as far as 'initial character choices' go... a mage is a mage is a mage.

The current system also fails on some level to encourage people to start new characters to try out different configurations of abilities.

thats a twoedged coin... 'character development' in the game, is pretty mediocre... even if i were encouraged to make new characters to try different builds, it wouldnt make it any more fun. fallout 2, now there was a game where character development was... FUN... and even if the game had strictly forbidden me from creating different characters, i would have simply deleted my old ones and found a way to create a new one simply to have more fun.

so basically... starting new characters isnt fun in and of itself.... creating and developing the character needs to be fun first, the rest will come... and as you said... all there is to making a character right now is selecting a class and adding a digit or two to your strength or whatnot as you level.... seems more like accounting then playing.

I've got 4 characters (and one hardcore, and I'll probably start a loner, more for testing than any other reason) and don't see any reason to start another. Perhaps when they're all nearing level 100 I'll change my tune.

i have 2... mostly because i changed my mind about my first choice of class, and not so much because i wanted to 'try anything new'.

i might try hardcore if/when i reach that level... but i dunno about loner... it doesnt really appeal to me any more then grinding in a real mmorpg solo does.

Delve
02-29-2008, 06:47 AM
i'm not sure what you're saying here. are you saying you prefer the current form of levelling or dislike it ? because imo, the current form is as traditional as it gets... ie.. gain a level... gain some statpoints and a skillpoint... thats ripped straight out of diablo and pretty much every online grindfest since even before the internet.

The 'traditional' form of level gain, for my definition at least, is the classic D&D 'gain a level and suddenly you are god and need to find a bigger challenge'. In short, you grind along at approximately the same level of strength until suddenly, POOF, everything becomes impossible to miss, nothing can hit you, and your spells all cause instant death (or might as well).

Yes, there's room for difficulty ramping in the encounter composition, but once your player gains a level you either have to overwhelm them with numbers or go to a higher level monster to get any challenge out of it. In short, a wolf shouldn't suddenly turn into the challenge equivelant of a mouse, which is what large gain levelling systems cause. DoP (among many others) manages to avoid this in that each level is pretty short and is a minor bonus that adds up over time. There are also systems that involve leveling a particular skill based on use, where 'character level' is more a function of overall stats rather than a driver of the stats. Those can also work well. My view of 'traditional level gains' may be rather skewed by my game history, of course.



likewise... and the stats are something you develop over time... whereas as far as 'initial character choices' go... a mage is a mage is a mage.


Yes? The stats are also the driver for how your character functions. Some classes really have no choice (a mage really is just a mage), but others, like the warrior and priest and maybe the rogue, have some build options that evidence themselves when you apply your stats appropriately. A warrior can be built for pure damage output or defensive skill. Or a mix. A priest can be built for casting or melee (to some extent with the same options as the warrior in the melee department). Some builds work better than others, but if you've doled out your stats to be a melee priest and suddenly decide you want to try a pure casting role then you're in for a rough time because your spirit isn't going to be up to snuff.

No, this isn't defined at character creation. That's actually beneficial, you can to some extent change course early on if you find that what you're doing isn't working. Even so, I adored the Fallout system as well, so take that how you like. :)

thats a twoedged coin... 'character development' in the game, is pretty mediocre... even if i were encouraged to make new characters to try different builds, it wouldnt make it any more fun. fallout 2, now there was a game where character development was... FUN... and even if the game had strictly forbidden me from creating different characters, i would have simply deleted my old ones and found a way to create a new one simply to have more fun.

Starting new characters doesn't have to be fun if actually playing them and building them up is fun. You should (I hope) be spending much more time playing the character than building it. So which aspect should be more fun?

so basically... starting new characters isnt fun in and of itself.... creating and developing the character needs to be fun first, the rest will come... and as you said... all there is to making a character right now is selecting a class and adding a digit or two to your strength or whatnot as you level.... seems more like accounting then playing.

If you want to talk about accounting I'll let my wife post. Assigning stats and skills at level up is no different from doing it at character creation, it's just spread out. You make the exact same calculations in both schemes, but if it's all done up front and becomes static then the player can be punished if it's not done coherently. Also, I suspect a large proportion of people would be put off by the 10 minute character creation process with all the widgets and numbers that Fallout uses. Large up front investments of time and energy before you even get to play the game isn't the way a lot of people think.


i might try hardcore if/when i reach that level... but i dunno about loner... it doesnt really appeal to me any more then grinding in a real mmorpg solo does.

DoP is not a MMORPG. I don't believe it even wants to be. It's a synthesis of Diablo and Civilization, not Everquest and WoW.


And by the way. Stop mentioning Fallout! I don't have time to go find the disk, which is what I'm going to have to do if you keep making me want to play it. :eek:

Bagheera
03-03-2008, 02:25 AM
The 'traditional' form of level gain, for my definition at least, is the classic D&D 'gain a level and suddenly you are god and need to find a bigger challenge'. In short, you grind along at approximately the same level of strength until suddenly, POOF, everything becomes impossible to miss, nothing can hit you, and your spells all cause instant death (or might as well).


this defines pretty much every rpg in existence, action, online, PnP, or otherwise. DoP included, only slowed down to such a snails pace that you dont notice it. (as with most mmorpg formats to make grinding 'fun')

DoP (among many others) manages to avoid this in that each level is pretty short and is a minor bonus that adds up over time.

no, it doesnt avoid this. just because you are looking in the wrong direction doesnt mean that the rabid dog isnt still there. and just because it takes ten times as long to "be an almighty god of sewer rats" doesnt mean that the same levelling scheme isnt present. there's just ten times as much accounting to do.

There are also systems that involve leveling a particular skill based on use, where 'character level' is more a function of overall stats rather than a driver of the stats. Those can also work well. My view of 'traditional level gains' may be rather skewed by my game history, of course.

and what game history is that where you cant differentiate between skills and statistics ? the terminology is pretty has been pretty standard in those words since before personal computers.

Yes? The stats are also the driver for how your character functions.

which has absolutely no bearing on the character class's skills or this thread.


No, this isn't defined at character creation. That's actually beneficial, you can to some extent change course early on if you find that what you're doing isn't working.

i'm starting to doubt you've ever played an RPG if you think choosing something as simple as a race, background, or profession is the endall/beall of character design and development. its not about "being locked in". its about differentiating YOUR character from the 50 OTHER characters created of the same class, allowing you to play YOUR character the way YOU like to play... not the way the designers THINK everyone wants, or should, play.


Starting new characters doesn't have to be fun


priceless.

sure, it doesnt HAVE to be fun... i mean, it IS a game... it doesnt HAVE to be fun... i could go into a restaurant and order food... and it doesnt HAVE to be edible... but that doesnt make it good... it'd make it a pretty lousy restaurant. and a game that isnt fun to play... is a pretty lousy game.

Assigning stats is...

entirely irrelevant to a thread discussing skills.

Also, I suspect a large proportion of people would be put off by the 10 minute character creation process with all the widgets and numbers that Fallout uses.

10 minutes ? what did you DO while creating a character ? watch the first 2 seasons of 24 ?

how long did it take you to select a class in DoP ? must've been at least 5 or 6 if its going to take you 10 to select a class AND a race.

Large up front investments of time and energy before you even get to play the game isn't the way a lot of people think.

so far it doesnt seem like you speak from experience. the character creation in fallout isnt at all as you describe. in fact, they provide "click and play" characters premade just for those lazy guys like you that fall asleep trying to find the enter key.


DoP is not a MMORPG. I don't believe it even wants to be. It's a synthesis of Diablo and Civilization, not Everquest and WoW.

i never said it was like EQ. but if you dont see the comparison between WoW and DoP, you havent played either one of them.

and as far as diablo, with one trivial exception, every similarity between D2 and DoP is simply because DoP is in the same genre as WoW, and WoW also shares those same similarities with D2.

DoP is no more a MMORPG then .hack is, but that doesnt mean its not trying to imitate one.

Delve
03-04-2008, 05:01 AM
I probably shouldn't bother responding, but I've never claimed to be the best judge of when to leave a discussion. You seem to have missed the point of every statement I made, and added ad hominem arguments to the discussion as well, which I find counterproductive.

kaeruu
03-04-2008, 05:29 AM
priceless.

sure, it doesnt HAVE to be fun... i mean, it IS a game... it doesnt HAVE to be fun... i could go into a restaurant and order food... and it doesnt HAVE to be edible... but that doesnt make it good... it'd make it a pretty lousy restaurant. and a game that isnt fun to play... is a pretty lousy game.


This won the award for me. Award for the most stupidly answered. Delve simply meant the character selection isn't supposedly enjoyable, that doesn't mean the whole game in itself has to be un-enjoyable as well. You like analogies? Well here's one: Getting wounded while playing basketball isn't fun, but the whole game in itself is. Now if you like playing basketball, and like getting wounded while playing it as well, then something is wrong with you. Get it?

Same goes for all of your analogies and ad hominems. I am trying to make this as un-rude as possible as well, but really, if all you can do is be rude to somebody else (or appear rude as a result of ignorance), please do us a favor and leave the forums. We're here for constructive discussions. Thank you and have a good day.