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Wasn't sure whether to post this in Mods - Projects in Progress or here, but I guess this mod isn't technically in progress yet. This is a small document of my proposed changes, and all I want to know is if a mod like this is worth it to be made. I've played a lot of RPG's over the years and DOS:EE has always been my favorite, and while DOS:2 is a great game I've found progression to be dumbed down and combat too easy.

Combat has turned into more of a chore than something exciting, partly because of all the tooltip reading that goes on to see if you can do enough damage to break down their armor and open them to stuns (The only status effect that matters, because why apply literally any other status effect when you can stun just as easily.)

Something I find that made DOS:EE so good is that if I wanted an enemy knocked down, I use a knockdown and if that don't work I do it again. It was far more about tactics and intuition than numbers, while in DOS:2 it's all about numbers.

A huge limiter on how one can build their characters is the armor system; Battlemage is a stupid class for someone to go for and Physical rules all due to no enemies having any resistance to it. Synergy between your mages and your frontline was utterly nonexistant and reduced every encounter to a series of 1 vs. (enemies/4) , and the initiative system meant that the winning strategy was simply to have whoever goes stun the next in line en repeat.

There's a lot more issues but the end goal of the mod is to fix all of these issues. Not necessarily looking for feedback on the possibility of some of the proposed changes even being possible; I know some changes may need to be changed to suit the engine, but I will certainly do what I can. I've done a lot of modding before. I do have a second document for abilities and alike that's in a much more spreadsheet-y format but I'd like to fill it out a lot more before sharing that. Generally spells will be relatively familiar, but with several new additions and things like Battle Stomp will be moved to a much later tier.
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1CpiUjLEhm5p6f15dYkkf_MjIuS6qihQfUfctHeR6Gsc/edit?usp=sharing
Do note that everything here is subject to change (which is why I'm posting this here).

If the general concensus is that this is worth it then I'll make a post sometime later in the Projects in Progress forum. If you have any questions as to why anything in there is there or if something isn't clearly explained then feel free.

Edit: Updated document with new tab.

Last edited by BlueFeuer; 06/12/17 01:20 AM.
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Well, it's a good thing to make the game closer to your taste. Though I think there are few mods already that helps CC skills to ignore the armor and does some rebalance.
Also, you really should move this thread to Mods, because this is the discussions of the mod, even it's only a planned one.

About your idea, it depends on the taste. First, seems like your plan is to buff a lot of things in the game. The game was easy most of the time even on the first playthrough on Tactician. And on my current second playthrough on Honor mode it's frustratingly easy. When you know what to do, enemies can't give you the challenge. So why do you want to make it even easier?
Second, about armor system and CC. By doing this, developers removed most of the frustrating random of the game. So if you want to cast Battle Stomp you usually will see if it will knock down the enemy or not. Which means you don't blindly rely on random but on your own skill and tactics. Which is a good thing.
Also, this means there won't be cheap deaths where attack with 5% stun probability procs on you 3 times in a row. So your Honor mod walkthrough won't be ruined by a blind unluck, only by your own actions.

Last edited by JetNLoad; 05/12/17 08:36 AM.
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The point isn't to add RNG back into the mix. In fact I absolutely despised it in the first game. But the problem was that the vast majority of status effects in DOS2 are worthless when compared to a stun.
So, the objective of the status system laid out is to keep RNG out, keep powerful/boss enemies as fairly resistant to these status effects, and to remove people needing to look at tooltips for every little thing they do.

I should have explained what I'd be doing to skills better; My plans are not to buff a lot of things in the game. Very much so the opposite actually. Things that can knockdown would now need to be cast multiple times, and on a more powerful enemy it might take very many skills that knockdown to finally get them to fall over. But that isn't to say that casting all these knockdowns don't do anything.
I most definitely do not want to make things easier.
I'd want to make lite CC far more prevalent than hard CC, and hard CC more difficult to inflict, so as to give enemies much more an opportunity to actually DO something later in the game.

Armor itself wouldn't be removed; it would still serve as hard CC prevention, and as damage reduction rather than damage prevention. Armor values would be reduced, but restores every turn so a fight doesn't suddenly get much easier just because you removed some enemies armor.

As for if this mod should be in Mods - Projects in Progress, I'll leave that up to the moderators for if it should be moved or not.

Last edited by BlueFeuer; 05/12/17 08:50 AM.
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I think I have a grasp of your overall concept. Obviously, this will require a ton of work on your part, as many of the changes are massive overhauls to the system...

As far as feedback goes, mine is mostly centered around positive reassurance and overall concept. Clearly you've put a lot of thought into this project, even to the point where most of the numbers seem balanced around one another. You seem to have a good amount of "logical creativity", not afraid of thinking outside the box, as long as it makes sense. The fact that you're able to see some of the potential problems - and sometimes solutions to those problems - to your proposed changes before they are even made, is a good demonstration of that.

One of my favorite parts is moving earth and water damage over to physical and cold damage. I mean, it's logical right? Unlike fire or electricity, earth is not inheirently damaging to a living being... unless of course, it comes in the form of dense material flung at you at HIGH VELOCITY, in which case the threat of bodily physical trauma is very real.

The status effect tier system is definitely my favorite part. From a design perspective, it's elegant, but it's rather complex, and may be unintuitive to a player. Its success hinges on how well you're able to create tooltips for the skills, and explain the tier system in a simple way.

And finally, I can understand the aversion towards having to sit with your merriam-webster for synonyms that accurately describe the severity of an affliction (priorities), but many of those status names are placeholders right? I'll leave it to you to find other ways to describe "slightly, barely, very, highly (insert status)", but two incongruities I spotted were: "nullified resistances", gives -50%, but the word nullify literally means "to make something zero". Also, "unconscious" does not wakes you up when attacked, but in real life you that's not always the case. "Comatose" more accurately reflects this status.

Good job, and best of luck!

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Thanks for the words, man. I've actually been thinking on the document for a lot longer than I'd like to admit. It's gone through more than a few iterations and revisions.
I fully recognize the telegraphing problem this system could pose, and it's definitely something I'll be thinking about a lot.
Hopefully I'll be able to directly put the TV/power of the statuses inflicted by abilities in the tooltips.
I'm also leaning towards putting the current TV of statuses in the status name, E.G. a Blind of TV 3 would displayed as "Partially Blind (3)".
For the record, "threshold value" is a term subject to change (The abbreviation of TV is killing me).

Telegraphing is the reason for a lot of the statuses following the same naming scheme. Original thought is that if all statuses followed the exact same scheme (Barely-Light-Normal-Very) or something along those lines then it might be a lot easier for players to differentiate statuses and associate statuses of the same type with eachother. I realized pretty quickly that wasn't the case, but didn't bother to think to hard about the names. So of course, the names are indeed placeholder.
I'm updating some of the names with your notes in mind.

Something I appear to have left out of the document, and probably rather important, is that turn AP is being increased from a base of 4 to a base of 6, with max AP being increased to 10, and of course the ability to increase both via attributes. All abilities will of course be balanced with this in mind, but the extra AP enables much more granularity in AP buff and debuffing and management without 1 extra AP being so exorbitantly powerful.

Last edited by BlueFeuer; 05/12/17 03:58 PM.
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I will just toss 2 respectful cents in this conversation, because I feel strongly about RNG myself.

Basically, if you want a good game combat experience, RNG must die. It will make a more complex combat system inevitable; one that will be harder for the player to learn, but it will be more rewarding in the end.

The reason behind this bold little statement of mine is: there is no tactical or strategic insight in RNG. You are not rewarded for your effort. This sounds incredibly bold, I know. But as a seasoned RPG player myself, I have been in scenarios on hard modes where I have had my sniper take 3 consecutive aimed shots at somebody at 85 % hit-rate each and have all 3 miss. I have had 2 consecutive strikes at a max hit chance at 95 % miss(multiples of these), and I have had critical status effects fail multiple times at probabilities of about 90%. I assure you that in all of these cases we are talking about A.I. having a considerable advantage over me in numbers, cover being already taken or superior stats in terms of level or equipment, while my advantage is my human intellect(as far as that will ever get me ;D).

To cut the long story short--look at Pillars of Eternity. I am not giving a hard example here, but rather one that takes a more deterministic approach towards status effects. Over there, instead of 50/50(hit/miss), which most other cases fall into, or 0/100(armour/no armour), which is the case of OS2, you have 25/25/25/25, which is a miss/reduced effect/effect/critical effect. It's a neat little way of doing things and it's based on your skill accuracy and their defences. There is a dice roll, but if you're focused and make an effort to increase a particular type of accuracy, it is rewarded, by ATLEAST falling into reduced effect/effect types. There are also more types of defences which makes for greater diversity in approaching combat and how you use your skills(skills that hex enemies, skills that buff allies, ect.ect).

The idea that you gradually erode a defence and/or gradually stack a status effect is GREAT. RNG kills your tactics. It is always 50/50! A system not unlike the one already discussed, if well implemented, will reward your tactics.

I am not saying it's the only way of doing things and I really hope this serves well to those who have the passion of making such systems, and if somebody wants to chat about it with me, please don't hesitate.

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RNG is fine as long as it's transparent and can be outplayed.

If people keeps missing 99% hit chances shot then the reason is probably one of the following:
1. Tooltip problem. e.g. The enemy has 50% dodge chance/cover bonus/whatever not calculated in the tooltip and your actual chance to hit is only 45%
2. RNG generator is screwed and it has 50% chance to roll a 1 out of 100.

They are bad due to poor implementation, not the problem of RNG itself.

The combat of Baldur's Gate 2 is also RNG, does anyone felt it is unfair? I can't think of a single fight in BG2 where I lost simply because I missed an attack or a spell.

You mentioned Pillars, the system is more deterministic than its predecessor but there are still RNG involved. Can you think of a single fight in the game where you lose because of bad luck?

Does anyone think Bridge players are "just lucky", Bridge has zero tactics and strategy?

I think the RNG is DOS:EE is fine since it can be mitigated. CC chance can reach 100%, Enemy CC resist may be reduced (Divine Light, Disease, Soulsap, etc.) our outplayed by choosing a different one. Hit chance can be buffed or reach 100% against CC-ed enemies. I never have a problem with it compared to games like XCOM.

IMO there should be more RNG in single player games to feel tactical. This is not a competitive game like chess where you face different players and have to keep thinking, learning and adjusting tactics against them. If it is 100% deterministic, once you figure out how to exploit AI, there is no need to think any more. Just repeat the same action again and again and again. It's pretty much braindead.

There should be random ambushes, random buff on enemies, random availability of scrolls/spellbook/items from enemies/merchants to keep the game fresh.

Can't find a spellbook of fireball? Well, you have to try to craft it or live without it. What will you do? Want to instakill that boss by switching lava under his feet? Too bad, he is hovering and ignore ground effects. In these cases RNG forces you to think differently and change strategy/tactics based on what you have at hand and adds replayability.

Last edited by sehnsucht; 05/12/17 06:52 PM.
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[quote=sehnsucht]RNG is fine as long as it's transparent and can be outplayed.

If people keeps missing 99% hit chances shot then the reason is probably one of the following:
1. Tooltip problem. e.g. The enemy has 50% dodge chance/cover bonus/whatever not calculated in the tooltip and your actual chance to hit is only 45%
2. RNG generator is screwed and it has 50% chance to roll a 1 out of 100.

They are bad due to poor implementation, not the problem of RNG itself.

The combat of Baldur's Gate 2 is also RNG, does anyone felt it is unfair? I can't think of a single fight in BG2 where I lost simply because I missed an attack or a spell.

You mentioned Pillars, the system is more deterministic than its predecessor but there are still RNG involved. Can you think of a single fight in the game where you lose because of bad luck?

Does anyone think Bridge players are "just lucky", Bridge has zero tactics and strategy?

I think the RNG is DOS:EE is fine since it can be mitigated. CC chance can reach 100%, Enemy CC resist may be reduced (Divine Light, Disease, Soulsap, etc.) our outplayed by choosing a different one. Hit chance can be buffed or reach 100% against CC-ed enemies. I never have a problem with it compared to games like XCOM.

IMO there should be more RNG in single player games to feel tactical. This is not a competitive game like chess where you face different players and have to keep thinking, learning and adjusting tactics against them. If it is 100% deterministic, once you figure out how to exploit AI, there is no need to think any more. Just repeat the same action again and again and again. It's pretty much braindead.

There should be random ambushes, random buff on enemies, random availability of scrolls/spellbook/items from enemies/merchants to keep the game fresh.

Can't find a spellbook of fireball? Well, you have to try to craft it or live without it. What will you do? Want to instakill that boss by switching lava under his feet? Too bad, he is hovering and ignore ground effects. In these cases RNG forces you to think differently and change strategy/tactics based on what you have at hand and adds replayability. [/quote]

A few points on this:

Baldur's gate 2 had randomness (which definitely did occasionally screw you over), but the optimal builds all heavily mitigated or ignored it. For example, sorcerer builds frequently just went all damage (chain contigency, spell triggers, etc.) because even if enemies saved against them, it would still do half damage. It was inefficient to do builds that relied on instant death or CC mechanics because stronger enemies saved against them more often than not. The combat in BG2, once you knew how it worked, was pretty simple and easy to abuse and I don't think it's a good guideline on what to do by any means.

As far as RNG is concerned, you have to really distinguish between different types of randomness: input vs. output randomness. Randomness that gives you more time to respond and adapt to it is closer to the input side of the spectrum (such as random map generation, random vendor loot, etc.). As you creep towards the output randomness side of the spectrum, you get randomness that is harder to react to, but still gives you enough leeway to adapt around it (random enemy affixes, for example). On the far end of the ouptut randomness spectrum, which is the stuff that you want to avoid, are things like hit % chance or critical % chance. These give very little wiggle room to adapt to the result of an action, and mostly serve to obfuscate feedback and create noisy scenarios. Generally speaking, input randomness is good, and output randomness is bad.

In general I think the OP may be missing the mark as to why he finds the combat unsatisfying. From my experience, the armor system is a good system conceptually, but it has some problems in implementation.

A few of the problems I've noticed that could be addressed:

Front-loading damage is too strong - it's too easy to stack a bunch of AP through either abilities (adrenaline, flesh sacrifice, lone wolf/glass cannon traits, haste, what a rush, plus abilities that effectively give you multiple turns in a row like chameleon cloak and time warp), which allows the player to quickly burn through enemies' armors and chain stun them. Ironically, the initiative system which many people dislike is one of the methods of keeping this from getting even worse.

There are a lot of clearly overtuned abilities - many of the source skills are obviously (at least to me) put there to help out casual players and are very overtuned. This trivializes many encounters for those that don't put self-imposed restrictions on their play (which I'd venture is most players). There are also plenty of overpowered non-source skills. Let's not even get started on lone wolf - people playing with lone wolf might as well be playing an entirely different game.

Positioning is trivialized by the ubiquity of teleports/teleportation skills - if you want a game to be tactically challenging without just becoming a number crunching contest, the best thing you can do is make space matter, since it's much harder to optimize the math for controlling space than it is to calculate optimal damage (which is usually just basic arithmetic). The easy access to so many teleporting skills makes this portion of the game a little too simple and thus it can feel like you're just optimizing your damage and AP most of the time instead of trying to cleverly position your party.

There's not enough reason to use softer CC - this is related to some of the other points here. Because players can frontload damage to evaporate enemy armor, and the soft CCs that work through armor like slow and frozen surfaces are trivialized by the teleport abilities, it becomes a race to eliminate armor and stunlock the AI.

Multiplicative damages get too high - There's just too much damage, and combined with frontloading AP, armor disappears too quickly.

The scaling is too absurd - luckily there's a mod that fixes it, but it really should be standard.

I think focusing on how to fix these problems would allow you to make a more graceful fix to the combat without overhauling the entire thing or introducing unnecessary output randomness to the system. For example, I would reduce the number of ways to increase AP (frankly I'd just dump lone wolf, glass cannon, and time warp, as they cause way more problems than they solve in terms of balancing) so that it's harder to burn through armor. I'd also make it harder to obtain teleporting and teleportation abilities so that combat positioning is more important.

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I really like the ideas discussed here. Cheers guys.

I only hope that OP does not feel we're high-jacking the thread and I want to express my respect to all the rest.

But to be a bit more on point: Perhaps I have been a bit improper in the way I wrote out my sentiment; I only wanted to do it with the least possible words.

I would love for a game to have a degree of randomness involving stats/affixes/suffixes for the enemies that it tosses in front of you, but once combat begins, its up to you to find their weaker spots in their positioning, offensive capabilities, defences, ect. Additionally, I think OS2 suffers a bit from power creep, making things a bit too stream-lined, but that might just be because they wanted the game to appeal to more people.

As far as BG2 and PoE are concerned, I feel that these games reward you for being focused with your statistics, by granting you a more deterministic outcome in areas of your choice. Sure, there are dice rolls in them, but like I already mentioned, if you need a particular status or damage on an enemy, it isn't a hit/miss. There is more nuance to it, especially with PoE. I think OP actually wants to make something that is in spirit similar, at least in its basics, to PoE's system. Correct me if I am wrong.

I just realise that the more simple a game tries to be, the more it leaves to luck, not skill/tactical insight. Whereas a shot from a gun has got 80 % hit chance, it is still 50/50, because it is a hit or miss.



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On the topic of RNG, originally it was slated as a possible inclusion under one of three requirements:

  • It must be an AoE skill so as to be able to hit many targets (and be very likely to always do something)
  • If it is single target it must have multiple effects or lesser effects if it fails so as to always do something
  • Or the RNG must not be the main focus of the skill, such as very high damage and the RNG portion isn't the main focus (So as to always deal damage with a small bonus sometimes).


A common thread you'll see here is that every spell must do something.
I think a system like this could work okay, but in the end the status system proposed fully won out.
RNG is not slated for being added, and RNG that will exist in the form of dodging/missing will be easy to overcome with a few status effects.

Proponents of RNG will say it is there for risk management; While this can be true, the approach I'm instead going for is with an across-the-board reduction to the amount of CC the player can lay, risk management will take place in the form of reducing the amount of threat the enemies who aren’t stunned pose rather than trying to minimize the chance for your stun not to fail.

As far as teleports go; The skill overhaul will apply to enemies as much as players. Pheonix Dive/Cloak and Dagger/Tactical Retreat are all slated for removal (Or possible placed at much higher levels/tiers. Possibly.)
And I fully intend to remove the vast amounts of teleports every enemy and their dog seems to have. (And I do mean their dogs. I'm pretty sure their dogs also get like 15 teleports.)

Too much AP in a turn; the idea to fix this is to make AP stacking a lot less possible (Adrenaline will remain as 2 AP under the AP system and will take 3 AP instead, but will upgrade at rogue of 8 so as to gain 3 AP instead).
This isn't to say ways to increase AP won't exist; it just means that it'll be functionally impossible to use all of them.
Time Warp's AP cost will be increased to 6 if it stays at all.
Most source skills in the game I'm currently debating towards removing their source cost and as a general rule of thumb, adding it to their AP cost, and then scaling the AP cost up by ~1.5x to be inline with everything else.

The purpose of armor restoring is to make sure that if someone does decide to stack AP to break through someone's armor and get at their vitality and stun them, that's their prerogative. But then the enemy's armor will restore and you'll have to somehow do it all over again. Armor shouldn't be impossible to break through; But it should be very difficult to break through multiple times in a row unless the player specifically focuses that one enemy with their full power.
On top of this, breaking through armor is absolutely required because otherwise you'll be dealing 0 damage to their vitality, which is the reasoning behind armor now acting as damage mitigation instead of damage immunity.

For multiplicative damage, the only way to increase damage is via the Weaponry proficiency (which only increases weapon damage), the Might attribute, crits, and then status effects. Status effects are planned to mostly increase might rather than damage directly, though a few may deviate (Such as potentially Death Wish or re-addition of Oath of Desecration).
Weaponry will likely stack additively with Might due to how damage is calculated.

While those things are of course some of the key problems with combat, I'm not here to do a halfway job. While fixing those issues may help the game immensely, I'm also here to fix all of the other issues.
And I don't know why RNG keeps getting brought up; I don't intend to add RNG to the game in any serious form.
Perhaps it was my statement about using knockdowns twice; That will be present, but it will not be RNG driven. It was to demonstrate that I didn't need to read tooltips or alike before doing literally anything in DOS:EE, I did what I wanted to happen.

In my effort to keep the document as brief and readable as possible, there's a fair amount of stuff not in the document but I think I'm going to take some time today and add a new tab to make it more inclusive.

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I have to say that I am impressed.

After reading through all of that, I am eager to see how it's going to play out.

Do you need beta testing at all, or...?

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No, I doubt I'll need a tester any time soon. As it stands I'm not sure how much time I'll have to work on it; Wanted to get my thoughts out there to see if it was worth pursuing further. I have some time and ideas on how to do things so I'm going to see what I can do tonight.

Biggest worry of mine would be stepping on the toes of modders like Ameranth (Who I'm sure is going to make a new Epic Encounters), and I'm sure there are others out there also working on larger projects.
I've kinda resigned myself to the fact that this mod won't have much compatibility.

Last edited by BlueFeuer; 07/12/17 06:32 AM.
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Dude, you could do something like this as a test for a future project. Changes are substantial and the system in question could be used as a basis for a stand-alone game.

Needless to say, because it does sound more complex, it may not be to everyone's tastes. But I think there are enough people who think that the current combat system is flawed enough for them to try something fresh and with a promise for balance.

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Originally Posted by Yasen
Dude, you could do something like this as a test for a future project. Changes are substantial and the system in question could be used as a basis for a stand-alone game.

Needless to say, because it does sound more complex, it may not be to everyone's tastes. But I think there are enough people who think that the current combat system is flawed enough for them to try something fresh and with a promise for balance.


I suspect the above would happen at some point in the future, though of course... when that would actually happen is not really on the table yet.

Merely speaking from the perspective of a bystander who gets to discuss a lot of the changes here...

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Glad to hear it's catching somebody's eye :>.

Really interested in how it's gonna come out.


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