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Summons and Summoners - A different approach

Posted By: Hassat Hunter

Summons and Summoners - A different approach - 10/09/15 09:36 PM

So, we all know that summons could mean a big difference in the D:OS battlefield, there's nothing small about another meatshield (definitely on the cc-front) that also could do damage and do other nifty things. It was pretty clear the game was balanced around a party of 4, and if you summoned in 4 allies the game couldn't quite handle the amount of opposition.

So instead of balancing summons or summoners around this, limiting summons (as most 'balancing' progressions tend to do, just look at Baldur's Gate I and II) I would propose a full 180.
All characters have a summon/pet. All the time. Even without skills or abilities.

This way you can already from the start offer more intricate combat (8 vs AI) and don't have to balance for both 4 contollable characters till 8, but always 8. Such 'pets' could even have item slots and with certain powers and skills you can mold them however you want, always taking in mind they will be less customisable or powerful than the 4 "heroes". A party of 4 with their pets as shields? Possible. Ranged pets to help do some damage while playing defensive? Possible.

It would come close to old games that allowed you many characters (like Baldur's Gate) but at the same time slightly lessen the complexity by making part of it simpeler. Also it's a sollution to the much heard complaint already of loot. It would open entirely different loot-drops so even if you keep the same drop-rate, diversity is improved and the D:OS "swamp" as talked about in some other threads is already in itself tamed even without making any changes in that field.

You might wonder. Why would you be Master Summoner if everyone has a pet? Well, aside from improving your own you could boost the entire team. Instead of making a summoner just about calling a more powerful summon ("height balance") you can also take an entire different route ("depth balance") and instead buff all the summons of your team. And boy, can full pet-wide buffs change the field. Or would you rather have that one powerful beast? Choices, choices! And we all know that's great in RPG's, not?

LASTLY,
Another suggestion I already made for D:OS but didn't made it, and maybe now I no longer propose it near the beta, but rather before too much is done it might even make it in. Since I definitely think it would enhance the game, while it would take work to make it visually appealing.

The suggestion? Do not bind power to skin. WHAT? This means you can pick any "pet/summon" you want and the power isn't directly bound to them. You don't have to sacrifice your fluffy favorite wolf for an uninteresting and dull lesser elemental just because it's more powerful, the extra power is not directly related to the skin chosen.

However that doesn't mean that the path chosen cannot affect your pet. For example taking the wolf, going on a poison route could add sickly veins and distinct green burning on his teeth. Going for fire makes him look rougher instead, with a fire in his eyes. A summoner boosts him to be more powerful? He grows in size. You unlock a summoner team boost? Tufts of fur will fly off floating to your other pets, etc. etc.
Obviously as can be seen it would be more work than simply "summon other animal, more powerful!" but I personally think the added effort would pay off in the game. Especially if Summoner is chosen as one of the Skills and more emphasis on this area is put anyway.

What do you think?
Posted By: Raze

Re: Summons and Summoners - A different approach - 11/09/15 12:51 AM


Part of that could fit with the spell book crafting, combining a Summon Wolf spell book with a different summon, etc. That system will already require a lot of extra visual effects and variations of artwork.
Posted By: Dr Koin

Re: Summons and Summoners - A different approach - 11/09/15 01:42 AM

Don't forget that some people do NOT like pets and summons at ALL. Like, not, at, all.
While I played a few summoners class myself in my past, I'd rather not have a permanent pet in DOS, so I don't feel like being forced to bring one with me.

Obviously, that means having a way to get rid of them without suffering a malus since you essentially loose the companion and everything he could have brought to you.
In WoW, there was a way to sacrifice your demon in order to get some neat, long buffs. I wouldn't suggest time-limited buffs as they are a bit tedious in DOS1 with the frequent switch from real time to turn-based and whatnot. So either an unlimited buff as long as you don't use your pet, or something else entirely. No ideas right now.
As to how you could get the bonus : it seems DOS2 will feature some sort of Karma system since they want to keep tracks of characters absorbing souls and all. To further add to this, you could either dismiss your pet or sacrifice him, two actions that would bring you different advantages.
Posted By: Stabbey

Re: Summons and Summoners - A different approach - 11/09/15 01:56 AM

So instead of normally having 4 controllable characters and also having to balance for up to 8, you want to have 8 controllable characters, and also having to balance for 4 (because the 4 pets are optional and could die or possibly be left behind.

I don't really see this making it any easier to balance, and I don't like the idea of FORCING a pet on every character.
Posted By: Hassat Hunter

Re: Summons and Summoners - A different approach - 11/09/15 09:25 AM

No, getting rid of them is Dr Koin's idea, not mine. Obviously not going with your pets into combat is like going with 2 out of 4 people in D:OS into combat; generally a bad idea, but if you want, no-one stops you. Just expect to have a more difficult time due to it.
If they die, that's your problem, the game doesn't shouldn't go easier on you because of it.
Posted By: Madscientist

Re: Summons and Summoners - A different approach - 11/09/15 01:02 PM

I do not like the idea that every char is forced to have a permanent pet. This is not pokemon.

My suggestion would be something like the hunter class I have suggested here:
link

There is a skill that allows you to have a permanent pet. If you want, you can give all of your party members this skill and you have 4 chars and each of them has a pet. If you do not like this you can spend your points somewhere else
Posted By: Dr Koin

Re: Summons and Summoners - A different approach - 11/09/15 02:23 PM

Originally Posted by Stabbey
So instead of normally having 4 controllable characters and also having to balance for up to 8, you want to have 8 controllable characters, and also having to balance for 4 (because the 4 pets are optional and could die or possibly be left behind.

I don't really see this making it any easier to balance, and I don't like the idea of FORCING a pet on every character.


Well the idea of a bonus for getting rid of the pet when you don't want to play with them was somehow akin to the Lone Wolf talent from DOS1, meaning in the end you'd still balance your game for 8.

Originally Posted by Hassat Hunter
No, getting rid of them is Dr Koin's idea, not mine. Obviously not going with your pets into combat is like going with 2 out of 4 people in D:OS into combat; generally a bad idea, but if you want, no-one stops you. Just expect to have a more difficult time due to it.
If they die, that's your problem, the game doesn't shouldn't go easier on you because of it.


What Stabbey and I meant is that we don't like the idea of being forced to use pets. I just proposed a way to have both parties satisfied - players wanting to use pets vs players not wanting anything to do with them. And well, when we did our DOS1 playthrough with my coop partner, we DID go into combat with 2 out of 4 characters : we just had two Lone Wolves characters.
Posted By: Baudolino05

Re: Summons and Summoners - A different approach - 11/09/15 06:24 PM

Considering how many actions a single character can take during his/her turn, I'd rather prefer a single (more versatile, lasting and interesting) summon per party involved in the fight.

8 characters with 2-4 actions per turn? Definitely a terrible idea in my book.
Posted By: Dr Koin

Re: Summons and Summoners - A different approach - 11/09/15 08:59 PM

Originally Posted by Baudolino05
Considering how many actions a single character can take during his/her turn, I'd rather prefer a single (more versatile, lasting and interesting) summon per party involved in the fight.

8 characters with 2-4 actions per turn? Definitely a terrible idea in my book.


Agreed. I thought I had said this in my previous answer, seems like I forgot. 8 characters would just feel very, very, very slow and every turn would seem like they take an eternity.
Posted By: Hassat Hunter

Re: Summons and Summoners - A different approach - 27/09/15 08:11 PM

I generally find "big" TBS strategy battles to be the most interesting one, though of course it should be a little sped up from D:OS1 then.

Then again most TBS games don't offer the terrain altering properties D:OS1 showed.

It would also solve somewhat the 4 players - 15 opponent effect D:OS sometimes had that you have more to do yourself during each battle, even if the power level of the includants is slightly lowered to compensate. Allows you more different specialisations, and thus also more proper direct countering in combat as option.

But I guess that's just my dream smirk
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