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Hey Devs! I know people have suggested allowing custom characters in Arena. Whether that's a good or bad idea for the competitive scene remains to be seen. However, we're in early access and one of the most important things in early access is to tweak combat mechanics and balance. So, why not let people utilize the Arena for it?

Proposition: allow players to create 4-men parties with any combinations of starting classes & races they want, level each member all the way to level 8 with all the proper stat/talent progressions. Allow players direct access to unlimited number of all skill books in the game so each member can learn (and memorize) any of the skills he wishes to use during combat as long as he has the prerequisites for it. Players can then choose gears from a preset pool that's typical for a level 8 party. A limited number of consumables (ie: 3 items maximum) such as potions, scrolls, grenades & special arrows should also be available for each member at the player's choosing. After which the party can be named, saved, and used for Arena.

Reason: because I am too lazy to go through the campaign over and over and level my party all the way to level 8 every time I want to test a specific combination of character builds. Also the current preset characters in the Arena are missing some obvious archetypes (clerics, shield tank, pyromancer etc) and racial combinations. Instead of adding all the archetypes in manually, why not just let the people who want to play them do it themselves? Please make it happen, Larian!

Last edited by M3SS3NG3R; 29/09/16 06:11 PM.
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I have to agree.

Not only is creating custom characters more fun, it also provides valuable insight into how players value the various skills/builds.

The only possible downside to this is that any data gathered this way would be biased for a PvP scenario(i.e. equal number of equally powerful enemies), rather than anything that could happen in PvE.

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This should definitely happen. +1 Million

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Originally Posted by Naqel
The only possible downside to this is that any data gathered this way would be biased for a PvP scenario(i.e. equal number of equally powerful enemies), rather than anything that could happen in PvE.


True, although after consistently backstabbing 2 to 3 enemies to death on the very first turn with just one lv 4 elven rogue I have decided that the current AI is not much of a challenge in the campaign and certain things need some re-balance (ahem flesh sacrifice & warlord). Testing different builds against human opponents should prove to be more interesting.

Also this can be a good opportunity for Larian to tweak their AI. Then they can make some encounters in the campaign where players run into hostile 4-men min-max parties using dirty strategies originally made by other players and now controlled by AI on steroids.

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Nice idea, as long this doesn't go to the upcoming (I hope so Larian, I certainly hope it's coming!) matchmaking/competetive/rating system.
Yeah, yeah, I'm whining about the PvP balance again smile

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I like this idea - most notably that creation should happen outside of the lobby/arena. Part of the reason they went with preset characters IMO is that they didn't want people to take forever setting up their party before a match. But if you can create and save characters to be used in arena, that would be cool.

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On second thought, I think I know why this isn't included from the beginning -> this system has the potential to be abused for essentially cheap wins.

Imagine the following scenario:

You see a heavily armored enemy fighter slowly walking up to the bridge. There doesn't look to be any supporting characters in sight. With your team in perfect defensive position you click end turn.

The next turn, the fighter pulls out a dagger, cloak & daggers into your midst, vaults over the head of your wizard, disappears into thin air and cuts him to pieces with a mortal blow. Oh, adrenaline! Backstabs X N, your ranger is down. *Poof* he uses tactical retreat and enters sneaking mode. Turns out it's actually a scoundrel/huntsman hybrid with glasscannon, warlord and backstabber. The sword & armor is just for show. You concede the match. GG.

---------------------------------

I think it's fair to say that if we want to add custom characters there should be some ways for all players to check out each other's character builds thoroughly before the match starts. At least if we want to keep things competitive instead of having all the first matches degenerate into people face checking unknown random things disguised as all kinds of stuff.

Last edited by M3SS3NG3R; 01/10/16 02:11 AM.
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Originally Posted by M3SS3NG3R
On second thought, I think I know why this isn't included from the beginning -> this system has the potential to be abused for essentially cheap wins.

Imagine the following scenario:

You see a heavily armored enemy fighter slowly walking up to the bridge. There doesn't look to be any supporting characters in sight. With your team in perfect defensive position you click end turn.

The next turn, the fighter pulls out a dagger, cloak & daggers into your midst, vaults over the head of your wizard, disappears into thin air and cuts him to pieces with a mortal blow. Oh, adrenaline! Backstabs X N, your ranger is down. *Poof* he uses tactical retreat and enters sneaking mode. Turns out it's actually a scoundrel/huntsman hybrid with glasscannon, warlord and backstabber. The sword & armor is just for show. You concede the match. GG.

---------------------------------

I think it's fair to say that if we want to add custom characters there should be some ways for all players to check out each other's character builds thoroughly before the match starts. At least if we want to keep things competitive instead of having all the first matches degenerate into people face checking unknown random things disguised as all kinds of stuff.


I actually don't see anything wrong with the scenario you posted. If anything it'd keep arena new and fun with each match. It'd be nice to review builds used by both players after the match though?

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Originally Posted by M3SS3NG3R
Imagine the following scenario:

You see a heavily armored enemy fighter slowly walking up to the bridge. There doesn't look to be any supporting characters in sight. With your team in perfect defensive position you click end turn.

The next turn, the fighter pulls out a dagger, cloak & daggers into your midst, vaults over the head of your wizard, disappears into thin air and cuts him to pieces with a mortal blow. Oh, adrenaline! Backstabs X N, your ranger is down. *Poof* he uses tactical retreat and enters sneaking mode. Turns out it's actually a scoundrel/huntsman hybrid with glasscannon, warlord and backstabber. The sword & armor is just for show. You concede the match. GG.

So a boring turtle game was averted. I don't see the problem.

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The problem is say during a tournament or a money match, in the very first match where none of the players have played each other you will literally have no idea what your opponent is using. He can have his entire team all dressed up exactly the same, with very confusing names (ie naming all of his chars "fighter 1", "fighter 2" etc) then hit you with things you won't see coming until it's too late.

Think of it like a chess match where your opponent refuses to tell you his pawns across the board are actually queens, rooks, or whatever they are supposed to be. So you walk your king into a death trap then he shouts "checkmate!". The match ceases to be skill-based and becomes luck-based because you cannot react to the position of his pieces properly anymore.

Last edited by M3SS3NG3R; 01/10/16 11:51 AM.
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This confusion tactic assumes no civil skills. Loremaster would easily clear up any uncertainty about your opponent's build. My concern is the Phoenix Dive/Tactical Retreat/Cloak and Dagger/Rage/Flesh Sacrifice/Crippling Blow warriors that would inevitably be built. Snipe could end up even worse, in the hands of a capable and patient player.

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Yep loremaster is one of my solutions for this right now. In Arena mode character sheet should not only display character stats and talents, but also their memorized skills. Also allow the full sheet to be displayed without the requirement of points in loremaster (only in Arena of course). This should greatly reduce the advantage of sneaky disguise.

As for broken builds, well that's why we need to allow custom builds ASAP. Larian should see how far people can push things before they decide on what's broken and what's not.

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Originally Posted by M3SS3NG3R
On second thought, I think I know why this isn't included from the beginning -> this system has the potential to be abused for essentially cheap wins.

Imagine the following scenario:

You see a heavily armored enemy fighter slowly walking up to the bridge. There doesn't look to be any supporting characters in sight. With your team in perfect defensive position you click end turn.

The next turn, the fighter pulls out a dagger, cloak & daggers into your midst, vaults over the head of your wizard, disappears into thin air and cuts him to pieces with a mortal blow. Oh, adrenaline! Backstabs X N, your ranger is down. *Poof* he uses tactical retreat and enters sneaking mode. Turns out it's actually a scoundrel/huntsman hybrid with glasscannon, warlord and backstabber. The sword & armor is just for show. You concede the match. GG.

---------------------------------

I think it's fair to say that if we want to add custom characters there should be some ways for all players to check out each other's character builds thoroughly before the match starts. At least if we want to keep things competitive instead of having all the first matches degenerate into people face checking unknown random things disguised as all kinds of stuff.


Then This warrior used slow movement speed because of his armor, wasted AP to switch weapons. Just have to balance by increase AP cost of weapon switching and there you go.
Not fan of Loremaster giving you info about memorized skills, it's too much of an advantage, but is ok for other info like armor/hp.

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I R CUM 2 SSOLV UR PROBLEM

U CAN CRETE 5 CHAR LOL! THEN U MAEK TEEM OF 4 U THEN KAN MAY INVESTIGATE TEH ENEMEY TEEM BEFORE START ( DEY DO SAM TING TO U ) TEHN OPSHUNALY SUB 1 DUDE IN.

I KALL IT SAID BOARD LOL!

TEH ARENZ SHUD BE TEST OF UR GAEMPLNZ + TAKTICZ !11

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Originally Posted by Gled
Then This warrior used slow movement speed because of his armor, wasted AP to switch weapons. Just have to balance by increase AP cost of weapon switching and there you go.
Not fan of Loremaster giving you info about memorized skills, it's too much of an advantage, but is ok for other info like armor/hp.


He doesn't have to wear heavy plate. He can disguise as all wizards or even naked if he wants to avoid movement penalty.

Not sure why character sheet giving you info about memorized skills would be consider an unfair advantage. You can make full inspections even with characters that don't have points in loremaster since it's not required in Arena. Also, with the current preset roster everyone already knows everyone's memorized skills. All this does is to make sure things stay that way even with customized characters.

Originally Posted by Limz
I R CUM 2 SSOLV UR PROBLEM

U CAN CRETE 5 CHAR LOL! THEN U MAEK TEEM OF 4 U THEN KAN MAY INVESTIGATE TEH ENEMEY TEEM BEFORE START ( DEY DO SAM TING TO U ) TEHN OPSHUNALY SUB 1 DUDE IN.

I KALL IT SAID BOARD LOL!

TEH ARENZ SHUD BE TEST OF UR GAEMPLNZ + TAKTICZ !11


LOL Limz you shouldn't drink and type!

But Sideboard like MTG is an interesting idea indeed. I was thinking best 2 out of 3 for a tournament setting. If you lose your previous match you get the chance to swap out your entire party before the next match. A limited swap like a sideboard should encourage more well-rounded party setup though.

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Originally Posted by M3SS3NG3R

LOL Limz you shouldn't drink and type!

But Sideboard like MTG is an interesting idea indeed. I was thinking best 2 out of 3 for a tournament setting. If you lose your previous match you get the chance to swap out your entire party before the next match. A limited swap like a sideboard should encourage more well-rounded party setup though.


I honestly just felt like being silly.

Marvel vs Capcom 3, you see the enemy team composition and you can switch up the load order in the middle of the loading screen.

Magic the Gathering only allows you to sideboard after the first match and it's a 2 out of 3.

2 out of 3 would be ideal as would having side board/limited change options.

Generally, tournament formats smooth out of everything and have restrictions such as bans and picks to limitations (1 of each, no dupes).

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I'm not sure that it's even possible to use the arena to test the balance of builds - and that's just from taking a look at the supposedly balanced arena classes.

I entered the Arena with a Lizard Wizard and a Dwarf Rogue. Both are level 8.

Lizard Wizard
STR = 24
FIN = 20
INT = 29 + 2 = 31
CON = 24
MEM = 42 (!)
WIT = 24
========
Total = 165 - 60 base = 105

Dwarf Rogue
STR = 25 + 2 = 27
FIN = 31
INT = 24
CON = 27
MEM = 42 (!)
WIT = 24
========
Total = 175 - 60 base = 115

The Rogue gets 10 more Attribute points, 7 more Combat abilities, and 2 more Talent points than the Wizard.

The Wizard gets 5 more Civil abilites than the Rogue.

...These are the preset characters which are supposed to be balanced. If the presets need to have wildly different point spreads to be balanced, what hope is there for custom characters?

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Stats alone don't make them really balanced, armor, magic armor, weapon, skills are also important factor I would say.

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Originally Posted by Stabbey
I'm not sure that it's even possible to use the arena to test the balance of builds - and that's just from taking a look at the supposedly balanced arena classes.

I entered the Arena with a Lizard Wizard and a Dwarf Rogue. Both are level 8.

Lizard Wizard
STR = 24
FIN = 20
INT = 29 + 2 = 31
CON = 24
MEM = 42 (!)
WIT = 24
========
Total = 165 - 60 base = 105

Dwarf Rogue
STR = 25 + 2 = 27
FIN = 31
INT = 24
CON = 27
MEM = 42 (!)
WIT = 24
========
Total = 175 - 60 base = 115

The Rogue gets 10 more Attribute points, 7 more Combat abilities, and 2 more Talent points than the Wizard.

The Wizard gets 5 more Civil abilites than the Rogue.

...These are the preset characters which are supposed to be balanced. If the presets need to have wildly different point spreads to be balanced, what hope is there for custom characters?


...Isn't that the point: They should be collecting data on how players would actually build characters and comparing them?

Everyone knows they're not balanced at the moment; except the devs maybe if they reaklly considered them so. Arena would just let us actually put them side by side and against each other to express this more clearly.

At the very least it would allow devs to see how we'd push the system so they can better plan and account for encounters at varying difficulties

Heck, even an unlimited wave spawn mode of zerge would be nice as long as they let us actually play with the system and stress test it freely

Last edited by aj0413; 04/10/16 10:34 PM.
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Originally Posted by aj0413
...Isn't that the point: They should be collecting data on how players would actually build characters and comparing them?

Everyone knows they're not balanced at the moment; except the devs maybe if they reaklly considered them so. Arena would just let us actually put them side by side and against each other to express this more clearly.

At the very least it would allow devs to see how we'd push the system so they can better plan and account for encounters at varying difficulties

Heck, even an unlimited wave spawn mode of zerge would be nice as long as they let us actually play with the system and stress test it freely


Sadly the devs might be good at making the game, but they are not the best at playing it, at least those who made the demonstration during kickstarter campaign. Not trying to offend, just trying to state a fact.

So yes, I would support player based testing, mainly for looking for far to broken combos.

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