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Development Info Josh Sawyer's GDC 2016 talk about attribute tuning in Pillars of Eternity

Discussion in 'News & Content Feedback' started by Infinitron, Apr 7, 2016.

  1. Excidium II Self-Ejected

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    Or they could just let you set their stats. PoE stats are just weird and don't even try to simulate anything anyway, "reflecting who they are as characters" is p. meaningless.

    It was already patched at some point to allow you to level companions up from level 1 instead of getting them at whatever level they become available.
     
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  2. ZagorTeNej Arcane

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    Sarcasm (it's Bubbles). Characters in a Josh Sawyer directed game don't stand out either as personalities or in their stat sheet, they're moderate in both regards, middle of the road.
     
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  3. AwesomeButton Personally falsified the US election results Patron

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    PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy Insert Title Here RPG Wokedex Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    Did you notice how Josh admitted they were not going for realism with the stats, and then proceeded to explain Pallegina's stats distribution with realism arguments from her character description?
    :philosoraptor:
     
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  4. Infinitron I post news Patron

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    That's not what realism means. "Simulationists" oppose PoE's attributes on the grounds that their effects model physical reality in too imperfect a way, not on the grounds that they have absolutely no correlation with in-world "real" qualities. A high Might score that increases both melee damage and ranged damage might not make sense, but it nevertheless indicates a character who is physically strong (ie, he'll be described as strong in dialogues, will be able to pass dialogue stat checks for lifting heavy things, etc).
     
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  5. Excidium II Self-Ejected

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    It does make sense, at least for bows and throwing.

    And this is where it breaks, since Might represents the power of all things including spells or gunfire.

    Purely an afterthought is what it is with text adventure/dialogue checks, the attributes names aren't meaningful of what they represent, and if you'll remember they only got those names after backlash from the generic gamey terms that were used initially.
     
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  6. felipepepe Prestigious Gentleman Codex's Heretic Patron

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    You conveniently left Magic damage out, because the most damaging wizards are obviously also body-builders. That fails at realism, simulationism and everything in general, except BALANCE!!!11
     
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  7. Excidium II Self-Ejected

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    It's obviously DBZ Ki.
     
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  8. Ninjerk Arcane

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    OH ho ho, not so fun when the shoe's on the other foot, eh shill?
     
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  9. Infinitron I post news Patron

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    Sure, that falls under "ranged" as well. I don't deny this, how could I?

    Yes, you're looking at the effects of the Might stat and trying to reverse-engineer what such a strange physical quality must be able to do outside of combat. Surely a bodily attribute that makes your gun do more damage could be used for more than just pushing aside heavy crates, right?

    But, it still also indicates the qualities needed for pushing crates. That's why I said "correlation" rather than "perfect one-to-one correspondence".

    O_o Get a hold of yourself, man.
     
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  10. Excidium II Self-Ejected

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    I'll call it what it is, inconsistence. The first mark of a bad rulesystem.
     
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  11. Hegel Arcane

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    Might is the mary sue of the stats.
     
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  12. AwesomeButton Personally falsified the US election results Patron

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    Lol, that's like listening to a literature teacher who makes up reasons for why a writer wrote something that way, which the writer himself wouldn't understand. :lol:
    I must warn you, a day will come when a hair will drop from Josh's head and you won't be able to catch it in mid-air.

    My guess is that the stance "we don't care about realism" came post-factum, and Josh made a slip. Even he thought of the attributes in realistic terms. "Because roleplay". But in the name of balance, I agree with him that what they settled with is better.

    Anyway, I understand Josh's goal with the attribute scores system and I agree it's a legitimate goal - to increase the set of possible builds which will not make a player hate the game, [and, "by the way", will guarantee, with minimum amount of QA, that the crit path can be beaten with any configuration of NPCs] . He had to balance between multiple pairs of tradeoffs. The first two I can think of are "a multitude of viable builds and weak impact of ability scores" vs "stronger impact of ability scores and a smaller set of viable builds", and "clear and intuitive connection between an attribute and secondary stats, but certain stats being prone to becoming dump stats" vs "more abstract base stats, less of a connection between stat name and controlled secondary stats, but prioritizing that there won't be dump or super stats".

    Of course this decision has a major drawback - like someone pointed out above, if every build is viable, no build is particularly outstanding, and many people want their build to be outstanding. Finding the outstanding build is a minigame for them. I'm among them, and I would have liked to have more impact of base attributes, even if not as much as strenght has in the IE games' AD&D. I wish there was some golden mean that Josh had found.

    I think he decided right, including based on my own experience with the IE games, where I don't see the situation to be much better than in PoE - instead of a multitude of builds which allow for the same playing style, you have The One True Build, I don't see that as much more exciting.

    I think the problem with old fart players is that they themselves tend to make their games boring. I'm playing IWD and if I show you how unoptimized my party is, attribute score-wise you'll probably deem it unacceptable. I distributed the scores the way Josh distributed Pallegina's scores - I thought about the character and tried to distribute scores realistically. As a result my game is pretty tough on Core Rules. The alternative was to compose a party like the one in Sensuki's LP of IWD. Is this way of playing supposed to be the "fun" that Josh "hates"? :)

    Another reason for Josh's approach being better from a game designer perspective - it's more in line with the times:
    Just one example because I wrote a wall of text again - I have a friend, (I won't mention sex, because some people here are touchy) playing BGII for the first time ever, playing completely blind, and was very annoyed that his party sucked while trying to clear the tomb for Korgan not long after having entered the city. I advised that they get the Liliacor for Minsc before going to that tomb, and then it suddenly became a cakewalk. If I hadn't given that advise though, my friend would have probably dropped the game in frustration. My point is, a more 'old school', punitive system is suitable for a more patient and pedantic player than what we have today. The average PoE player's reaction to a similar situation would have been to go shitpost on the Obsidian forums of PoE being "bugged", and reach for another game in his steam library where he has a long backlog anyway. And that's not what Josh as a game designer wants.

    BTW, overall my opinion of Josh improves the more I hear of him, which is more than I can say about most other devs.
     
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  13. Excidium II Self-Ejected

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    The correct way is to roll 6x3d6 and deal with it. Hell IE games already cheat by guaranteeing you qualify to classes. :M

    Also you can support multiple character playstyles without having such a clusterfuck of stats purely concerned with combat game mechanics, so it's no justification. There's wide world outside IE games and PoE.
     
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  14. Infinitron I post news Patron

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    Hehe, it's not really that complex, it's just a bit long-winded to define precisely. tl;dr Might's effects don't make sense, but a high Might still means you're strong. Same for every other attribute.

    If I may geek out a bit, I think they could try to explain this if they really wanted to. From the game's lore, we know that when animancers tried to implant animal souls in Hollowborn babies, they grew up to become feral wichts. That means that souls are somehow attuned to the physical attributes of their (original) owners. That gives Obsidian an opening to use souls to explain stuff. They could say that when under conditions of extreme stress (ie, combat), a particularly strong soul could exude minor reality-warping effects corresponding to its owner's physical attributes.

    (Then use that idea for a supervillain who somehow induces an unnaturally large amount of stress on himself to create MAJOR reality-warping effects and take over the world!)
     
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  15. Excidium II Self-Ejected

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    I already explained it in one word: inconsistence. It's more than physical strength in combat only.
     
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  16. Roguey Codex Staff Sawyerite

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    Matters for stat checks in dialogues. :M
     
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  17. mutonizer Arcane Patron

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    Sorry man but it doesn't, that's 100% you projecting your own views there.
    The game states clearly that Might is both Physical and Spiritual strength, which in itself means that there can be no persona which is strong physically that is not equally strong spiritually, and vice and versa, which is completely retarded. It's also not your soul explanation (though it could have been) since there are clearly people strong physically but not spiritually or the other way around, which is not possible in the system itself.
    Also, pushing crates would not be might, it'd be Athletics, which has no link whatsoever with Might, Constitution or Dexterity.

    Not gonna go on a debate here and I accepted to move past when I played, but that doesn't mean it's not completely stupid. You cannot describe things appropriately when words you using mean nothing in your actual system, period.
     
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  18. Excidium II Self-Ejected

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    ~which companions can't take~

    At most they help in text adventures. Again shows how much of an afterthought it is, but suddenly it defines characters. I guess Sawyer is lucky nobody at GDC audience played the game.
     
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  19. ushas Savant

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    Well, it's gamist mechanics primarily for the combat resolution of encounters. All this attributes, class talents/spells, it stands aside from the PoE settings in game. The point is that companions could have completely different attributes and it wouldn't change anything in the terms of their story, for example. So it's kind of unsupported to talk about their backgrounds and characters?

    This argument seems all it's needed. Not that's important anyway.
     
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  20. Excidium II Self-Ejected

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    Oh yeah, then why can't you set their stats? If it's meant to support more playstyles that's even more important.
     
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  21. Roguey Codex Staff Sawyerite

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    J-Saw wasn't throwing around the term "muscle wizard" for nothing. A high might wizard is like Azar Javed. If you want to imagine your character as the traditional sickly thin intelligent wizard, you can make that character too, you just won't do as much damage.
     
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  22. Excidium II Self-Ejected

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    #lmao

    You know I remember when the attributes weren't even going to have larpy names. You want to convince me now that was always the intention, mighty wizards are muscle wizards? That's even dumber since might is naturally a neutral term in RPGs, it's less pathetic to just say they couldn't think of good checks for other mightinesses.
     
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  23. Roguey Codex Staff Sawyerite

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    You're misremembering. There was a time when intellect was the damage stat which is why D&D's strength was replaced with might. :M
     
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  24. FeelTheRads Arcane Patron

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    And some actually think this is fine.
     
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  25. Excidium II Self-Ejected

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    I just remember the names didn't even try to correspond to what the attribute actually affects. Not much different from now but even worse.
     
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