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Do you like the new skills/abilities system changes ?

Pros: feels so much more classless its a relief.

Cons: Needing to spend abilities to buy skills feels awkward, like really, although I kindda like it.
Hate to buy skills in shops. Will always do.

No time left to expand, I will be back to it.


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I love the new system! can finally make multi use characters. Before I was stuck with a Thief and a healer.. which made it hard without anyone who could really take a hit.

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So the reasons we did this:

We noticed that the players knew too many skills too fast, which made the game really easy.
For higher level characters, this became even more of a problem.
People got the idea "I am a Ranger so I MUST learn all Ranger skills asap".
We noticed a lot of people just stuck to one "class" even though we don't think in terms of classes.
We noticed the bonuses in "Way of the..." were OP because we didn't think everyone would quickly go for "all five points in Way of the...".
We noticed a lot of people thought the char customization was kind of "over" for them as soon as they had five points in one of these "Ways" and didn't seem to bother with any of the other abilities. ("I am a warrior and there is a Way of the Warrior ability so as soon as I have five points in Way of the Warrior, my character is maxed.")
We wanted to make players choose what skills they wanted to "equip" instead of simply buying all skillbooks, learning them, and having skillbars full of skills.

Now my personal opinion.

Actually, I also believe not a lot has changed in the skill system.

Your ability now defines how many skills you can learn. In the old system, the amount of skills you could learn was limited too, but by requirements. In the new system, the fact that you only have to put points in "Way of the..." abilities if you want to, and if you want more skills, actually gives you the power to invest more points in other abilities. I mean, why go for five points in "Man-At-Arms" immediately if you only need 2 points to enable you to learn all Warrior skills that are available at that level?

We noticed that a lot of people were quickly putting all their ability points in their "class" ability, thus underestimating the other abilities, and getting the feeling that there was nothing more for them to invest in.

The bonuses you received from the "Way of the..." abilities have now moved to talents. They are still available. Some got removed because they were overpowered anyway. We now have more control, and you have more choice. If you still want them, they are there.

The old system seemed to push you into a class-system and we noticed a lot of people actually thought of it that way. The presets are not classes, they are proposed builds. Yes, there will be an option to completely customize them in the future.

So this "class thinking" is the reason why we changed the abilities, and the reason why we re-organized the categories of the abilities, and improved their tooltips. You can still go full-on wizard, and I believe that a wizard with more than one discipline will always be better than a wizard that specializes in one school only. That was also the idea from the start: that people would mingle different schools. The skills were even written in such a way that they combine very well, so it would not be ideal to only specialize in merely one school. You lose all the synergy and you depend on the rest of your party which may not always be there (or alive). And I'm not only talking about wizards. I also think it is a lot more do-able now to make battlemage-builds and cleric-builds if we're speaking in terms of classes anyway. A warrior build with just one point in an elemental school can learn some Touch spells, or a warrior build can put a point in ranger and learn some healing skills, and I think those are cool combinations.

The previous system didn't seem to provide people with this customization or didn't give enough people the idea or incentive to do it. I think that this new system invites the player more to experiment with different builds. It's not as if you're handicapped with "only 3 skills" or "only 5 skills" if at that point there are "only" four or five skills available. And as soon as more skills are popping up for you, you can choose to "forget" a skill or not, which gives you more choices to make, which is what RPGs are about in my opinion.

If we had a skilltree, you would also not be able to learn every single skill in there. If we had something like a D20 system, you would also be limited and have to choose. The fact that we are classless and work with skillbooks actually just gives you more choice and more power.

I really like this system because as a player, it gives me more "AARGH I HAVE TO CHOOSE" moments. And as a dev, I feel like we have more control over balance and difficulty.


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I agree.

It is a good choice. The game feels much less restricted and narrow in this sense now.
And it does promote that kind of skill-sets experimentation.

Personally, i always preferred these kinds of hybrid classes, which they were in most of other games of this kind, so i would usually go for any kind of mutli-class or dual class if it was at all possible.

But i feel this specific setup aimed at it and a game built around it is actually better then any of those other games.

Feels great for me, and i mean that playing with a setup like that feels great.
I dont feel restricted or restrained and i really like how diverse my options are in any combat encounter.

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Sniped by Hiver, but ForkTong, when I started messing with the new update, I realized this was the Larian thinking, and agree with your above points on the new skill/ability/talent system 100%. It's much, much more flexible and balanced than the old system - well done.

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I do have to add, though, that the current traders do not offer enough skillbooks. They will have more different ones. We also still want to look into skillbook requirements. I will have to talk to Lar, but I believe I can remove the level requirement and play around with primary stats only.


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Now if you guys can just decide on whether to call them "Ranger" or "Survivalist" skills... wink

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I think level requirements could stay. because some skills are a bit too overpowering to get very early.

Besides, another way to balance things is to enable more enemies to use those skills on us.

Elemental arrows that they an use now bring a whole new tactical dimensions to the fights, and seeing mages actually do more then they use to is very good (though first fights in the west have them using only the simplest spells).

Enemy fighters should also use more diverse skills.


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The enemies will start using a wider array of different spells, we didn't want to make the early fights too hard. They should also not use too many things you cannot counter and vice versa.

Removing the level requirement does not mean you will be able to learn Meteor Strike from the get-go. If that has INT requirement 13 or something, it's still a late-game spell.

And if there are multiple skills to choose from at the start of the game, with e.g. INT requirement 8, then it's up to you which one to pick, because your amount of slots is limited. I think that gives more choice.


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Oh, i was counting on enemies using more spells and higher level spells later on. Yes, please.

Levels - well its up to you. Im just saying i dont mind it the way it is now.
Tying the restrictions to attributes should work fine too, i guess.

While it would enable players to get a nice pay off for investing a lot into a specific attribute - but wouldnt limit them to having a specific level... yes. Yeah... that... could work nicely indeed.
You are right.


- i think im going to "borrow" that for my game :P
(which i should be workingon right now, instead of playing OS...)

Last edited by Hiver; 17/05/14 11:37 AM.
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I can understand why you did it, and your points are fair, but from a roleplaying experience I have to say that it all feels very weird. To go from never having cast a fire spell, to suddenly being able to wield massive fire abilities at later levels by investing a single point in the pyrotechnic skill (even if only limited to 3 of them) feels very unnatural. Perhaps I simply favor a class-like system, but there isn't any notion of training towards something anymore. You just go and buy some abilities off the shelf and there you go. *shrug* I guess I would like to see the skill points do a little more than increase your capacity, but that seems to go in the opposite direction of your vision.

I will say that I am disappointed in the additional nerfs to the Way of the Ranger skills, unless I simply haven't found them yet. No more smokescreen escape, or whatever it was called, and no more multi-shot ability.

*edit* - Just caught ForkTong's post above after I was done typing this and see his point about attribute requirements. That does put a little more qualification on the lack of roleplaying your progression. I still liked the old system better, I think. smile

Last edited by Windemere; 17/05/14 11:47 AM.

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Originally Posted by ForkTong
I do have to add, though, that the current traders do not offer enough skillbooks. They will have more different ones. We also still want to look into skillbook requirements. I will have to talk to Lar, but I believe I can remove the level requirement and play around with primary stats only.


Removing the level requirement would be greatly appreciated! My ranger needs his wolf pet back, the witch can keep her ugly spider to herself... wink

Originally Posted by Windemere
To go from never having cast a fire spell, to suddenly being able to wield massive fire abilities at later levels by investing a single point in the pyrotechnic skill (even if only limited to 3 of them) feels very unnatural.

But that will only happen if you are specced like a wizard, anyway. Otherwise you will not be able to match the requirements in intelligence of high level spells.

Last edited by pts; 17/05/14 11:46 AM.
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Originally Posted by Windemere
I can understand why you did it, and your points are fair, but from a roleplaying experience I have to say that it all feels very weird. To go from never having cast a fire spell, to suddenly being able to wield massive fire abilities at later levels by investing a single point in the pyrotechnic skill (even if only limited to 3 of them) feels very unnatural.


well...if things like that are restricted by level, or would be restricted by attributes themselves - then it would feel more natural to gain such capabilities as you improve your character stats.

Then it isnt dependent on just investing a single skill point into that specific school of magic or whatever.

This is a bit different system then most players got used to, with various DnD games over the years.
But it isnt difficult to get accustomed to it at all.

At least, thats how i see it.

Originally Posted by Windemere

I will say that I am disappointed in the additional nerfs to the Way of the Ranger skills, unless I simply haven't found them yet. No more smokescreen escape, or whatever it was called, and no more multi-shot ability.

I think you just havent found them yet.

Im running a wayfarer "class" and i do have a ricochet skill, which is very useful.
Multishot was a "bit" too overpowering previously though.

Im expecting it was moved up.


Originally Posted by pts

Removing the level requirement would be greatly appreciated! My ranger needs his wolf pet back, the witch can keep her ugly spider to herself... wink


My wayfarer has the spider and the wolf...

Last edited by Hiver; 17/05/14 11:51 AM.
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Originally Posted by ForkTong
I do have to add, though, that the current traders do not offer enough skillbooks. They will have more different ones. We also still want to look into skillbook requirements. I will have to talk to Lar, but I believe I can remove the level requirement and play around with primary stats only.


Yeah that's the only negative I have with this new system. As of right now it feels a bit lacking. If more variable/variety of skillbooks are added in to buy, more people will be fine with this new system.

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Originally Posted by ForkTong
I think that this new system invites the player more to experiment with different builds. It's not as if you're handicapped with "only 3 skills" or "only 5 skills" if at that point there are "only" four or five skills available. And as soon as more skills are popping up for you, you can choose to "forget" a skill or not, which gives you more choices to make, which is what RPGs are about in my opinion.


Well, since my biggest complaint was that "there aren't enough skills available", and since that was exactly the point, I guess I can't complain. I shouldn't anyway since I'm not that far into this build anyway. I just haven't got enough skills around to build a deck - but keep in mind that, I am not even level 4, so...

This change did get me to change my pre-patch Rogue build - instead I put my first attribute point into Intelligence so I could learn Water of Life to boost my Rogue's CON.


Originally Posted by ForkTong
I do have to add, though, that the current traders do not offer enough skillbooks. They will have more different ones. We also still want to look into skillbook requirements. I will have to talk to Lar, but I believe I can remove the level requirement and play around with primary stats only.


Yes, please fix vendors. They're now selling a random array of spellbooks for one school, including duplicates, and missing other skills. Eg. the first time I visited the Rogue skill vendor, Lacerate wasn't there, but Wind Up Toy was.

The level requirement does make logical sense for balance reasons, but yes, that is the reason why I end up returning empty-booked from a skill shopping expedition.

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I think the problem seems much worse because the vendors inventories are lacking proper selection of books, rather then the new system. Since that will be corrected - obviously, - things should look much better in that regard.


- i have to make a correction, my wayfarer only had a scroll of the wolf, not the spell.
But im almost sure i have seen the book somewhere...

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Originally Posted by Hiver

- i have to make a correction, my wayfarer only had a scroll of the wolf, not the spell.
But im almost sure i have seen the book somewhere...

Yes, i also have the book, but iirc it requires lvl 10 and int 9. Int 9 i can live with, but lvl 10 is quite harsh (especially in the beta with about maxlvl 12)

Last edited by pts; 17/05/14 01:28 PM.
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Originally Posted by ForkTong

Removing the level requirement does not mean you will be able to learn Meteor Strike from the get-go. If that has INT requirement 13 or something, it's still a late-game spell.

Wouldn't that return us back to class restricitive gameplay? Meaning, for example, instead of upgrading the before mentioned Ranger's "Way of The Ranger" asap, we'll now have to upgrade Ranger's primary stat - Dexterity asap to get all those powerful ranger skills early on. People will certainly want those skills, even if they will have fewer slots for them. That means we will still have very specialized minmaxed characters.
I think level restriction is better, because it means more relaxed gameplay - players won't have to dump all their points into one thing to get those desired skills faster. They will be more prone to experimentations, knowing that at higher levels further down the road they will get new, more powerful skills, so there're no need to rush for them now.
So I say - leave it as it is, it's good enough as it is.

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We are thinking about a quickfix to at least give traders more skillbooks, which will not break savegames. More on this next Monday or Tuesday. Kinda bummed cause a lot of people will be playing during the weekend of course...


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Originally Posted by Aramintai
Wouldn't that return us back to class restricitive gameplay?


You can either indeed build a specialist that has quick access to cool stuff, but it's still impossible to have like 14 DEX on a level 8 character, so we can still have control.

Or you can also build a mix that has a bit of a mix in primary stats that can learn a lot of different, be it lower level, stuff.


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