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Incline Simple Guide To Fixing Armour - Larian, take notes

Discussion in 'Larian Studios' started by DraQ, Sep 5, 2018.

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  1. DraQ Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    DraQ
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    lar_q
    The main issue with D:OS2 armor mechanics is two fold:

    First, it splits each battle in two parts:
    1. Attrition of armour walls (unfun as use of most abilities would be wasteful, most statuses are inaccessible and elemental mechanics plays little role)
    2. Status inflicting ability spam and resulting lockdown
    Second, it's awfully game-y and simply makes no sense more often than not.

    Both issues could be fixed easily while maintaining the same overall abstraction level and "feel" of the mechanics.
    The first and foremost fix would changing the length of armour attrition/regeneration cycle - instead of taking a whole battle (armour is eroded during the battle and resets afterwards) it would take a single turn, with armour pool being correspondingly shallower.
    This would have a number of effects:
    • It would eliminate distinct combat phases (in particular the unfun one) and encourage both ability use and more careful target selection and navigation of environmental hazards (a sea of flames could now set you aflame even in turn 1, while at the same time you could take a brief shortcut through fire without ill effects).
    • It would feel much more natural - instead of armour falling apart, yet somehow staying intact (as game has no durability mechanics for armour) the meter would now reflect the amount of protection character has and the amount of work necessary to get through it.
    • It would encourage switching targets depending on tactical situation rather than stubbornly sticking to whoever's armour you are currently trying to deplete.
    • It would encourage mixing damage types.
    • It would reduce attrition tedium.
    • It would encourage mixing skill and basic attacks.
    Of course, some of the skills restoring armour would have to work differently.

    Second fix would be NOT splitting affected armour types neatly along physical/magical skill lines. In general, you should probably have at least three armour pools - physical, environmental and mental.

    The first would deal exclusively with being hit with solid-looking objects and effects that causes - any weapon involving skills would target that, same with most instances of what is now earth damage. It would not deal with taunts or anything like that - face it, having a good suit of plate protect you against being taunted makes no sense whatsoever. The armour should be, well, armour.

    Environmental protection would deal with surfaces and clouds, their associated damage types, plus effects like disease, blood rain/storm and mosquito swarm - if it's physical (fire, poison, mosquitoes, worms, etc.) but looks like it could just bypass conventional armour by going through chinks or visor, and you'd probably need some sort of full body hazard suit to protect against anything similar IRL, it should target environmental protection. Protection should generally involve all sorts of ranger-y and wrap-y looking stuff that could reasonably be used to insulate yourself from environmental hazards.

    Mental would target both magic without any distinct physical component/vector and completely mundane, but not physical effects - all sorts of curses, taunts, polymorphing into chicken, etc. I would imagine protective gear to mostly be of the sort of amulets and robes embroidered with arcane symbols.

    This distinction would both make intuitive sense, diversify toolboxes provided by single skills, help diversify armours, and break up the tedium of "I fight this guy with fighter to reduce his physical armour, I magic this other guy with mage to reduce his magical armour".
     
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  2. deama Liturgist

    deama
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    Removing the hp/armour bloat for leveling up would also be a good step I think.
     
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  3. Roqua Prospernaut Dumbfuck Repressed Homosexual In My Safe Space

    Roqua
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    YES!
    I like the armor system of DOS2. I think it adds a lot to combat and build variety and how I need to/want to approach party building.

    I dislike how many levels there are in the game as it makes all my chardev choices less valuable and less impactful. I think this game and WL2 would have been drataically better games with a lvl 10 or 20 level cap where every point placed, every decision made, was extrememly important.

    I absolutely despise how leveling has such huge jumps in power gear-wise. I think they should completely unlink gear and character level - and just have static gear with static values independent of level, like all the good crpgs do. To me, itemization ruined DOS2 and made DOS1 a far lesser product, even with great mods like the Epic Overhaul (or something close to that name).

    I think static items unlinked from leveling would address the issue of armor being such an annoyance after a while.

    EDIT - what button would apply to give the OP basically saying I disagree but appreciate the thinking you are putting into this and advancing real rpg discussion on the forum? The disagree button would cover the first part, but seems too negative and does not convey the second.
     
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  4. deama Liturgist

    deama
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    I just use "Arcknowledge this user's agenda", which I think means that you disagree on some parts, but agree on other parts, or that you agree on what the user is trying to do with their post, which I guess is the thing you mean by "advancing real rpg discussion".
     
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  5. Yosharian Cipher

    Yosharian
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    Nani
     
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  6. DraQ Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    DraQ
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    Bloat is ludicrous, but it's a whole other issue.
    It is something that happens over time rather than something affecting any single combat (but leaner HP and armour pools would be better).
     
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  7. DraQ Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    DraQ
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    Armor system is crap for reasons outlined above.
    You could make a non-crap armour system preserving any desirable qualities of the current one in the way that is also outlined above.

    Actually, the amount of levels and points to use isn't too bad, especially given that there are many synergistic skills with multiple prerequisites. This is great, although there should be more and for more combinations - possibly some of the existing skills should be made synergistic as well.

    What is bad is stat bloat - both on characters and on items. A well designed RPG power curve generally has character's power output increase maybe 3x from stats alone and items' raw power another 3x. Here you have both increasing by around 3 orders of magnitude. It's the level of bloat that's beyond surreal and robs anything those stat blocks are supposed to represent of any meaning - you can't say ANYTHING meaningful of, say, 2h sword that does 10 damage (for example if it's dull or sharp, etc.) if later on you find a dinky dagger doing 1000. You can't say anything meaningful about a lvl 1 character (whether they are strong or intelligent, etc.) if a level 10 rat vastly exceeds this character in all attributes. It is atrocious design by any measure.

    In a well designed game stat values have intrinsic meaning, rather than being intrinsically meaningless and really cool stuff (both gear and character progression) is distinguished by expanding user's capabilities. I am puzzled that the people who gave us ability to turn a large part of the level into a sea of flames by the way of combat and element interactions, rather than having us watch floaty numbers, don't seem to be able to grasp that.
    Item fever is crap, or rather how pumped you are for the next drop is proportional to rarity and uniqueness of good drops - it's like that famous headcrabs-in-vents quote from one of the Valve people - you don't build tension by having a headcrab in every vent, you do it by having one in one in ten. In good system items are first and foremost reasonably unique and good stuff is rare - see Diablo I for example of such a system that is still based on random loot (which I approve of). Player shouldn't be waiting for another coloured name item after 10', that might improve their damage output by 1%, they should wait for one that does something completely different than their current one and agonize which one they would rather have (because inventory limitations are also a good thing).

    I must say that DOS2 seems better than DOS1 in terms of drop rarity, but the bloat is simply awful.
     
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