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Old 12-01-2011, 07:21 AM
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Strength, Dexterity and Intelligence are much too casual-friendly! Physique, Cunning and Spirit are a step in the right direction... but i propose Sinew, Adroitness and Perspicacity! Words i didn't know before looking them up two minutes ago that are much more player-hostile.
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Old 12-01-2011, 08:43 AM
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I feel that a caster will put points into spi, until he fulfill the requirements for his stuff, then pump out dex.
If you want to make all stats equals (but not plain)

It is definitely not my goal to attempt to make all attributes equal to all classes. Throughout my career I've encountered many people in game development who believe balancing just means making every choice equal. I feel like this removes any significance from choices and is about as bad as the other extreme where there is one obvious best choice.

Real life is full of confusing choices where there is no clear "right" decision and even after you've set yourself on a particular path, you may never know if you made the best choice for yourself. Who the hell wants to deal with that in a game?

I think good balance is somewhere in between the two extremes of "all choices are equal" and "one obvious best choice". I think a good situation is one in which you have a several options, can identify a few of them as unsuitable given your particular situation (class / build choice, in this case) and then are left with 2-3 options where maybe you need one but want to put as much as you can into another one.

In the case of the GD caster, you need spirit but want to pump cunning for the damage bonus. For casters, I think they will easily meet the spirit item requirements - those requirements are more for non-casters. Instead, they'll need to put a certain amount of points into spirit for regen and energy. I've made the skill costs a bit more aggressive this time around. Additionally, they may also want to put some amount of points into physique for armor / weapon requirements.

I think this creates a reasonable dynamic where there is an obvious goal of wanting to pump cunning for damage but also wanting to maintain other attributes at certain levels. Casters will want to have decent regen and, while weapons and armor are sort of secondary, they may still want to be able to use items a little higher level than they normally would if they put no points into physique.

I mean, don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to do anything amazing here. Traditional attribute systems are simplistic mechanics but the brain enjoys thinking about them and it is rewarding to feel like you've figured out the best balance of point allocation.

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it's boring when you find an uber good item, but know you need to wait 20 minutes to gain a level, pump stats and then use it.
But I know that as a game developer, it's a good balance lever to have.

So why not instead when an object has a requirement of 20 something (som), instead of being able to wear it only if you have 20 som, make it usable anytime, but at effectiveness proportional to the requirement?
Like if you have only 10 som, then the object only work at 50% ?(halved damage/protection/bonus).
I don't if I agree that it is boring to have to wait to use an item. For me, it is rather the opposite. There is a certain excitement about delayed use and it also provides a very tangible motivation for gaining levels or checking out the merchant for some other gear that might give you the stats you need. I've considered the idea of being able to use stuff at a decreased effectiveness but I think it makes things sort of gray and vague. When is the optimal time to start using a weapon that will eventually be more powerful? It removes that exciting moment when you can use a new, powerful item, pop it into your slot and suddenly get a big boost in power. Instead you just pop it in and gradually it gets more powerful. I think a distinctive moment where you get a jump in power is much more exciting than a slow, unnoticeable progression.

If the requirements is a stat that isn't really as useful to your class, then it creates a question of whether it is worth investing in that stat to be able to use that gear, knowing that eventually the gear will become obsolete.

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You could also replase the skill requirement by a class requirement, the way Din's Curse do. Like the *knight* class can wear heavy armor, but not robes... Because anyway, in TQ if you choose War and Defence, you're not going to wear robes.
This just removes any decision, even a "non-decision". If you're a melee character and you find a very powerful item but it has a high spirit requirement, it may be obvious that you'd never want to invest enough points into spirit to use it and you may set it aside for another character. The end result of setting the item aside for another class character or selling it is the same as if it said "caster only" and you simply weren't allowed to use it. However, I think there is a psychological difference. In one case, you know it would be possible to use the item but have chosen not to do it, even if the choice is obvious. If the item is good enough, there might be a big temptation and it creates a little emotional moment (even if very subtle) where you're letting go of the item and sticking to the path you've chosen.

On the other hand, when an item just says "hey, you can't use this because the designers say so" it feels totally arbitrary and annoying. Here is a perfect example of why I don't like this approach...

A couple weeks ago I was playing the D3 beta and, just out of random bad luck in the first hour or so of starting a new character, I ended up with like 5 "stone knives" that my barbarian couldn't use due to a class requirement and no other useable weapon drops. I had progressed to the point where I was in a dungeon, realized my DPS was getting woefully low but I couldn't just go back to town and buy a new weapon because you need to get a hearth stone now before you can teleport. I look in my inventory and all I have are these stone knives that say I can't use them... WTF!?! Why can't a barbarian use a stone knife? It was frustrating because I had these melee weapons that looked appropriate for my class but they just said I wasn't allowed to use them because designers decided they were for a different class...

I feel that would have been far less frustrating if instead they had a requirement for an attribute that I didn't want to invest in as a barbarian. In that case, I can say to myself "well, that sucks, I want to use these but I don't want to put points into X attribute". It is then my decision not to use them, even if it is an obvious decision. The result is the same but it feels less arbitrary and artificially enforced.

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Energy, on the other hand, is used to describe a ton of stuff in games and is rather ambiguous. It often means stamina, physical energy (not magical), a type of element, etc...
In real-life, if you run out of energy, you get tired.
Heh, sounds perfect! In TQ and GD, energy is ambiguous and is only meant to refer to the power required to "do stuff". It isn't necessarily specific to spell-casting. This is also why I've changed intelligence to spirit. It is an effort to make the attribute responsible for increasing your energy, less tied to thinking and more related to your "will to go on". Spirit is sort of a rating of your capacity to keep pushing yourself and pulling energy from your reserves, be it physical or spiritual energy. When you run out of energy, you can still run or perform basic attacks but you are too tired to use any greater skill, be it a special sword attack or casting a curse.

Ultimately, it is all sort of imperfect and nonsensical. I don't think there is really a good reason to go with energy vs. mana. I actually considered changing it around for GD but decided against it. Partially, I didn't want to have to search for and change every instance of the word and partially I didn't feel like "mana" really fit the fiction.
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Old 12-01-2011, 09:53 AM
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Heh speaking of 'energy', I remember back in the Anarchy Online days, I was quite excited about the game before it was released, and was under the impression that it would be super innovative (which it sorta was, I guess, being one of the early mmo's, but I'm thinking more in the rpg department), and one of the things I had read was that they had "ditched mana" since it was scifi. I was so curious as to what that meant, if they had come up with some new resource more fitting a scifi/modern world, one that would make more sense, and would be fun and exciting to play with.

And they did! It was called Nano Energy, and it was a blue bar underneath your hp bar that you used to cast spells- I mean.. 'techniques' and would slowly regenerate over time.

I think that was my first ever facepalm.
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Old 12-01-2011, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by medierra View Post
Heh, sounds perfect! In TQ and GD, energy is ambiguous and is only meant to refer to the power required to "do stuff". It isn't necessarily specific to spell-casting. This is also why I've changed intelligence to spirit. It is an effort to make the attribute responsible for increasing your energy, less tied to thinking and more related to your "will to go on". Spirit is sort of a rating of your capacity to keep pushing yourself and pulling energy from your reserves, be it physical or spiritual energy. When you run out of energy, you can still run or perform basic attacks but you are too tired to use any greater skill, be it a special sword attack or casting a curse.
Well, when you say it like that... now I have to play the game to make a good judgment call

Anyway, it's not a big issue on any account.


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Originally Posted by Roros View Post
And they did! It was called Nano Energy, and it was a blue bar underneath your hp bar that you used to cast spells- I mean.. 'techniques' and would slowly regenerate over time.

I think that was my first ever facepalm.
Hehe, I hear ya. I've been seeing that stuff with other games as well. It went something like "We were tired of the overusage of zombies and promise we don't use them in our next game. Instead, we have a brainless flesh-eating horde, called zomb.. err, Ganados."
Yay for innovative game developers

Last edited by yerkyerk; 12-01-2011 at 05:52 PM.
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Old 12-01-2011, 06:45 PM
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Names are cool and all, but I feel that I would feel fine about it if when I hovered over the name a tooltip would show explaining what it was.
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It may also be surprising to know that some players prefer different play-styles.
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Old 12-02-2011, 07:14 AM
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Well Medierra – I agree with your assessment of choices when it comes to how players build their character. I think it should be a somewhat grey area in terms of what the player decides to do and whether or not those were good choices.

I don’t like your Barbarian example though, because it seems biased towards a different design philosophy. Blizzard’s take on Diablo 3 is that certain classes would inherently (due to lore considerations) prefer to train with certain types of weapons. Grim Dawn does not have a class system where the lore of the class is specifically tied to a character. The Barbarian is an individual, separate from the player and has his own lore – the player is only acting out his story, and thus his lore. So if a player finds that he can’t use ‘stone knives’ it’s because they choose a class that doesn’t practice the art of wielding a knife.

That sounds like a decision based on the lore of a class.

When it comes down to the stats a player has to choose, I’m not sure I like requirements all that much. The player has to meet requirements in order to be effective in combat; this seems backwards to me because players should be effective in combat if they made the right skill choices and invested in a good stat combination. Gear itself shouldn’t be the limiting factor – skill and stat choices should.

You might say “well they are the same thing!!” and I’d just have to point out that stat requirements limit what a player has access to – which means they aren’t really customizing their stats, they’re being forced to take a specific line of stats just to have effective gear.

True stat customization is the ability to find a piece of gear with the stats you as a player want and put that piece of gear on (assuming you have the required level to use it). Then the player is able to say “I want this stat because I have the ability to stack it.” The gear will also be effective because likely the gear will be around their current level, rather than 5 -10 levels behind due to stat requirements.

Sure we can place our stats how we like, but we're still forced down a line in order to be effective. Players will have a true form of customization, one in which their effectiveness is based on their stat point combination as well as skill point selection.
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Last edited by Scryer; 12-02-2011 at 07:28 AM.
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Old 12-02-2011, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Scryer View Post
I don’t like your Barbarian example though, because it seems biased towards a different design philosophy. Blizzard’s take on Diablo 3 is that certain classes would inherently (due to lore considerations) prefer to train with certain types of weapons. Grim Dawn does not have a class system where the lore of the class is specifically tied to a character. The Barbarian is an individual, separate from the player and has his own lore – the player is only acting out his story, and thus his lore. So if a player finds that he can’t use ‘stone knives’ it’s because they choose a class that doesn’t practice the art of wielding a knife.
Perhaps it was a bad example but I don't think it is out of bias towards another system. In D&D clerics were forbidden from drawing blood and so they use blunt weapons. It provides a fictional rationale you can buy into as a player. In many games spell casters can't wear heavy armor and there is generally a fictional rationale explaining that it blocks their ability to absorb mana or perform the gestures necessary in spell casting. If there is any lore here, it hasn't been effectively conveyed to me as a player.

I actually didn't even really mind the restrictions in D2, which didn't have lore but seemed more self-explanatory. I can understand why martial arts fist weapons, wands, or preserved heads might require some class specialization to utilize. On the other hand, a knife is one of the most basic and primitive weapons created by man. As is often the case in game design, I think it is more an issue of context rather than substance.

Quote:
When it comes down to the stats a player has to choose, I’m not sure I like requirements all that much. The player has to meet requirements in order to be effective in combat; this seems backwards to me because players should be effective in combat if they made the right skill choices and invested in a good stat combination. Gear itself shouldn’t be the limiting factor – skill and stat choices should.

You might say “well they are the same thing!!” and I’d just have to point out that stat requirements limit what a player has access to – which means they aren’t really customizing their stats, they’re being forced to take a specific line of stats just to have effective gear.
I'm not sure I understand your reasoning here. A player doesn't have to meet requirements to be effective in combat. If you're primarily a spell caster, you don't need to use melee weapons or even really any armor at all to be effective. However, putting some points into physique so that you can use higher level weapons or armor might provide for a different type of play style if you wanted to create a more melee oriented caster hybrid. If you want to be more of a glass cannon, you can just pump spirit and cunning and totally ignore physique.

If you're a melee character, your mastery will provide you with a base level of physique necessary to use reasonable equipment and you'll probably want to to some points there anyway so you have some durability and aren't getting critical hit all the time. However, to wear the heaviest armor as soon as it is available, you'll need a greater balance of points in physique. Meeting this requirement isn't necessary to be effective in combat and it will lower your DPS. It is a decision about whether you want to be more of a tank or a damage dealer.

Quote:
True stat customization is the ability to find a piece of gear with the stats you as a player want and put that piece of gear on (assuming you have the required level to use it). Then the player is able to say “I want this stat because I have the ability to stack it.” The gear will also be effective because likely the gear will be around their current level, rather than 5 -10 levels behind due to stat requirements.

Sure we can place our stats how we like, but we're still forced down a line in order to be effective. Players will have a true form of customization, one in which their effectiveness is based on their stat point combination as well as skill point selection.
Not sure I agree with your definition of true customization. You're just talking about wearing equipment, which doesn't require any sort of decision-making commitment on the part of the player. In this case, the character itself isn't customized and remains the same as any other character in the game. I think customization has more value when you're making a series of decisions that require some level of commitment and open certain options to you at the exclusion of others.

I disagree that you're forced down a specific path by item requirements. I really don't think this is the case in GD.
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Old 12-02-2011, 11:55 AM
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Having a clean mage class, that can wear the heaviest armor, with no stats investing in it is really a bad mechanic. Having stats requirements is logical, and makes you think ( a lot more if there where no stats requirements) where to invest, and where to make sacrifice. Your not forced to invest in stats because of items, you invest in stats because of way you wanna play, so if you wanna play like mage, you dont need heavy armor, so you will not invest in that stats.
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Old 12-02-2011, 08:39 PM
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Maybe I do not understand this right, but by requiring stats to use gear aren’t you effectively limiting the gear level a player has access to?

Say if my character is at level 100 and gear drops that requires 250 physique to wear, but I only have 50 physique. Does that not mean that my level of gear is lower?

If my gear isn’t providing me the best possible benefit from added gear stats will I not be less effective against higher level enemies?

Or do you plan to have 2-3 different kinds of gear with different end-game physique requirements? (Something like cloth leather and plate?)

Edit: Also I consider customization the ability (without set limits) to decide how, in what way, and in what order something is built within its own construction set.

So for example, a character in Grim Dawn could have their stats customized both manually and through the application of stats on gear, as well the ability to decide what spells to use without a full restriction based on anything other than player level.

Also, thanks for the reply Medierra!
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Last edited by Scryer; 12-02-2011 at 08:49 PM.
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Old 12-03-2011, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Scryer View Post
Maybe I do not understand this right, but by requiring stats to use gear aren’t you effectively limiting the gear level a player has access to?

Say if my character is at level 100 and gear drops that requires 250 physique to wear, but I only have 50 physique. Does that not mean that my level of gear is lower?

If my gear isn’t providing me the best possible benefit from added gear stats will I not be less effective against higher level enemies?
It sounds like you correctly understand how it will function but I think you may be looking at it the wrong way. I mean, in any system there are going to be limitations preventing any given build of character from being the best at every aspect of combat. This is really more of a question about whether the limitations are hard or soft.

A hard limitation is something like "casters can only wear cloth armor." In this case, your caster is never going to have access to better armor and there is nothing you can do about it. With soft limitations, such as those controlled by attribute requirements, a caster has the option to put points into physique so that they can wear better armor. Because some attributes are provided by the mastery, they may never be able to get as much physique as a melee class and it might be better for most caster builds to put their points into cunning and spirit, but the option is there.

This is particularly useful though when creating hybrid builds with the dual mastery system. Soft limitations allow you to pair a melee class and a caster class and then decide whether you want to emphasize melee or caster combat through your allocation of attributes. If you put all your points into spirit and cunning, your spell-casting is going to be more effective but you'll have to settle for weaker armor. The result is similar to a hard restriction dictating that your caster hybrid is restricted to leather armor, except in this case you have control over it and the decision isn't black or white.

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Or do you plan to have 2-3 different kinds of gear with different end-game physique requirements? (Something like cloth leather and plate?)
We have light and heavy armor but to some extent the difference between cloth / leather / plate, is achieved through the level of the gear. It is sort of the same effect just achieved through different means.
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