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Pillars of Eternity Abilities

Discussion in 'Pillars of Eternity' started by Marceror, Sep 16, 2014.

  1. Marceror

    Marceror Chaos Shall Be Sown In Their Footsteps Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    I'm honestly not sure how much interest there is around here for these sorts of details, at least at this early stage. But in the event that there are folks in the shadows paying attention, I thought I'd share.

    There's currently a lot of discontent and even confusion about the ability scores in Pillars of Eternity, and what they affect. Rather than Strength, Constitution, Dexterity, Wisdom, Intelligence and Charisma from Dungeon and Dragons, and by extension, the Infinity Engine Games, we have Might, Dexterity, Constitution, Perception, Intellect and Resolve. And even the stats that sound familiar all work a bit differently than we're used to.

    Here's a chart created by Ineth that shows what each ability score does in BB v278:
    [​IMG]

    I think everyone, including Obsidian, agrees that these abilities need some work, but this is what we have at present.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 20, 2015
  2. Marceror

    Marceror Chaos Shall Be Sown In Their Footsteps Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    Two of the regulars over at the Obsidian boards, Sensuki and Matt516 literally spent two weeks working out an alternate system for the abilities. They generally tried to adhere to Josh Sawyer's (Project Director for PoE) stated goals and avoid doing anything that he had previously stated that he was directly against. Also, they tried to support the design goal of all abilities being useful for all classes. This is what they came up with (in condensed form - there's also a 20 page document they created on Obsidian's forum if you want the full details).

    I'm finding this system to be a major improvement. Josh Sawyer even chimed in to state that many of the changes are in line with what the design team is already considering for the next iteration of the abilities. There's no guarantee that the abilities will ever look like this in game, but this is likely much closer to where they are going. And regardless, this excellent effort deserves its day in the sun.

    The associated discussion on the Obsidian forums can be found here.

    [​IMG]

    Once again, this chart was put together by Ineth.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 20, 2015
  3. Marceror

    Marceror Chaos Shall Be Sown In Their Footsteps Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    A few observations here.

    • Might benefits all classes in this system. A barbarian with high Might will hit harder... and so will the spell of a wizard. It also improves the healing potential of any healer class (to heal stamina (soon to be called endurance), not health).

    • Constitution is the most straight forward ability. It increases your stamina/endurance and your health.

    • Dexterity currently gives an accuracy bonus to all classes, and again this applies to weapon attacks and magical attacks. In the next iteration it is much more likely to improve attack speed (in the above chart and Josh Sawyer's stated direction), and no longer affect attack bonuses.

    • Perception currently increases your ability to "interrupt" enemies. It counters concentration (controlled by Resolve), and there are other stats that also can counter it that aren't related to ability scores. In the future it is also likely to improve your attack bonuses.

    • Intellect currently improves the duration of essentially all abilities, and the size of AoEs. So, a barbarian who basically always attacks an area has motivation to bump up his Int (unlike with D&D barbarians). If your class doesn't have a lot of AoE attacks this ability will be of less value, but all classes can still benefit from the increased duration of their effects (i.e. a bleeding attack will cause more blood loss with higher INT). The proposed changes do not touch this ability, though Josh has mentioned that he's considering splitting the Duration bonus and AoE bonus to two different stats. We'll have to wait and see what he decides.

    • Resolve - This currently improves concentration, which counters interrupt and helps prevent your skill attempts from failing. The proposed changes suggest that this ability also improve a character's deflection score.

    Currently, it is common practice to max out Might, CON, and DEX and put the rest into INT. Perception and Resolve are basically dump stats, and that's a big part of what the proposed changes seek to address. Now, higher ability scores can also open up additional dialogue options for your main character only, so I am often giving my MC a 14 in perception, 14 in intellect and a 13 in resolve, and I tend to run back line characters. But for the other 5 characters in your party conversation skills don't exist. They aren't ever going to talk for the party.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2014
  4. Marceror

    Marceror Chaos Shall Be Sown In Their Footsteps Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    And here's what the abilities look like since patch 301 was released last night:
    I'm liking this overall, though I haven't actually had the chance to try it out in game. I'm seeing a lot of people calling INT the new "dump stat", but I don't know if I agree. If you're a front line fighter an increased deflection score means that you get hit less (works like armor class in D&D). I don't think I'd want to tank that score, personally.

    And if you're a class with lots of AoEs (like barbarians, wizards, ciphers, chanters, etc) this ability will have value.

    I guess if you're playing a backline rogue with a bow, this might not be the most attractive ability. But I don't have a problem that certain abilities are less useful for certain classes/archetypes.
     
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    I wonder if they'll be scaling back the AoE size increase per point, do the wizard/other caster classes spells have large base AoE?
     
  6. Marceror

    Marceror Chaos Shall Be Sown In Their Footsteps Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    It doesn't seem like the intent is to scale back the size increase per point. It appears to be a consistent 5% increase over the original size with each point added.

    I think pretty much every caster has large AoEs. Wizards and Priests probably has the largest, I guess followed by Chanters and Druids. Ciphers have less, their spells are always focused on an individual (i.e. they have to target a soul), but some of even theirs have AoEs.

    Several non-casting classes have AoEs as well. Barbarian being the main one, but so do Paladins and even fighters. Probably others as well.
     
  7. Ineth

    Ineth Instigator Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Updated chart:

    [​IMG]


    The weirdest aspect of this revision is definitely that INT improves Deflection.
    (Deflection makes you less likely to get hit in combat - thus it's sort of like D&D's armor class.)

    I think Josh Sawyer said somewhere that every class has at least one AoE ability, but I can't find that quote anymore.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 20, 2015
  8. Ineth

    Ineth Instigator Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I've finally updated the diagram to reflect the attribute system they went with in the released game:

    [​IMG]

    Accuracy (think "Thac0") and Maximum Range is not affected by attributes anymore.

    I don't really think it's an improvement compared to Sensuki and Matt516's proposed system, but it's not horrible either.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 20, 2015
  9. Marceror

    Marceror Chaos Shall Be Sown In Their Footsteps Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    Thanks for putting together this latest iteration Ineth. It's interesting to see how the system has changed over the course of the last several months.

    I'm getting comfortable with it, and I do think Obsidian did "reasonably" well with the goal of not creating any dump stats, overall. At least, they did a lot better with this than D&D did, but it's still not a total victory. The current system really tends to favor damage dealing builds or tanking builds, so depending on your build, you may have dump stats.

    For a tank, Con, Perception and Resolve are what you want. You can minimize Str, Dex and Int.

    For a damage dealer you really want Str, Dex and Int, and if your character doesn't do much in the way of AoE damage, maybe you can even dump INT for something else.

    At any rate, there really are a couple of templates that min maxers are likely going to be latching onto even in this "no dump stat" system. That said, in my current play through I'm using fairly balanced stats on my rogue PC, and the pNPCs are fairly middle of the road.

    If I ever play PotD though, you better believe I'll be taking a full party of min-maxed toons.
     
  10. Paracelsi

    Paracelsi Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I honestly don't understand why stats scale as they do. Doesn't it make more sense if negative stat values carried much higher penalties and scaled differently (ie, much more harshly) than positive ones? It would also make more sense if positive scaling gave better returns for the first few points. The rewards for focusing on one stat would then be access to feats/talents that require high stat values. Oh well.

    IMO once people figure out the ideal deflect (and tactic, in the case of shadows and some unique individuals) one needs to overcome certain fights then I doubt people will care too much about the defensive stats. It's a failing of the accuracy system IMO - unlike BG2, where massive THAC0 merely allowed enemies to hit you more often, in PoE significantly increasing enemy accuracy -> more critical hits for enemies -> dead party. Since they can't really start giving enemy mobs massive accuracy buffs, it's safe to assume that enemy accuracy is going to remain relatively static.
     
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  11. Keneth Gems: 29/31
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    Because non-linear scaling makes thing needlessly complicated. One should aim for simplicity, even in a computer game.
     
  12. Paracelsi

    Paracelsi Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    The max stat you can get atm is 20+, and because you do not gain stat points character attributes will remain mostly static. That means the devs only have to worry about scaling from 1-9 and then 11-20+. Because bonuses don't stack I doubt anyone is ever going to reach 26+ in anything.

    At this point scaling is more about the total gain/loss per stat point above/below 10.
    Since we're only concerned about maybe 30 points total (including possible gain from expansions) I don't think increasing/decreasing the value of each stat point above/below 10 means someone needs to come up with a complex non-linear system for stat progression. For all intents and purposes they might as well cap stats at 0 and 30, and give bonuses/penalties for each stat value above/below 10 if they want to simulate non-linear progression.
     
  13. Nakia

    Nakia The night is mine Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    Stats also affect non[combat such as dialogue choices.
     
  14. Ineth

    Ineth Instigator Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Bonuses from the same category don't stack, but you can have one bonus for the same attribute from each of (at least) the following three categories:

    • from a resting bonus (from resting at an inn)
    • from a wearable item
    • from a buff spell/ability
    One of the inns in Defiance Bay gives +4 INT for the whole day I think, and there's an item that gives +2 INT while equipped. And a Godlike from Old Vailia can start the game with 20 INT. There you go, a score of 26 :D
    Off the top of my head I don't remember any buff spell/ability for boosting INT, but it probably exists too, so that would push it even further...

    PS: I just remembered, there's a Cipher ability that steals 10 points of a random attribute from an enemy and temporarily adds it to the cipher's own. So at least for a few seconds, they can have a really really high attribute score... :)
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2015
  15. Keneth Gems: 29/31
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    Yes, because having a table for each separate stat worked out so well in AD&D. :rolleyes:

    Having different bonuses and effects at different values might be optimal, but it isn't elegant at all.
     
  16. Marceror

    Marceror Chaos Shall Be Sown In Their Footsteps Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    This is true, for the player character only. This doesn't come into play for the remaining 5 party members.
     
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    I thought they did a decent job with everything except that dialogue stats are generally might/perception/resolve and accuracy affecting spells; it would've been nice to see a spellcasting accuracy. I still prefer AD&D but someone will break this system sooner or later no matter how hard they try to stop it.
     
  18. Paracelsi

    Paracelsi Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Intellect also comes up a lot afaik. You need a 16 or higher for those checks though.
    TBH I think Resolve may be a bit underpowered since I get a lot of favorable dialogue results with just good Perception/Int, and these two are great to have on many builds. Resolve, on other hand, seems to be tank-character only. Might be good for spellcasters if you expect them to take damage often (not likely atm).
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2015
  19. Nakia

    Nakia The night is mine Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    I prefer PoE's system for spell casting to the D&D. It may not be perfect but it is an improvement in my opinion.

    I give two points in lore to party members so they can use level one scrolls.
     
  20. Keneth Gems: 29/31
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    To be fair, D&D has a vast variety of spellcasting systems across its five editions. It's not like Obsidian discovered anything new.

    But yeah, I'm not a huge fan of the basic Vancian spellcasting system either.
     
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