Anyone have any problem with...

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BasiliskWrangler
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Anyone have any problem with...

Post by BasiliskWrangler » July 9th, 2013, 3:18 pm

BOOK III CHANGES:

*No skill can be raised more that 3 points at-a-time in the Character Editor (the cap for Book II was 5 points).

*Skill Feats begin at Skill level 15 instead of Skill level 10.

*Characters must achieve Experience level 5 before Feats become available.

This slightly curbs the quick rush to get your Skill Feat early in the game. This would make Skill Feats more of a special treat for really dedicating your Character to a particular skill.

Complaints or suggestions?
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Re: Anyone have any problem with...

Post by IJBall » July 9th, 2013, 3:26 pm

BasiliskWrangler wrote:BOOK III CHANGES:

*No skill can be raised more that 3 points at-a-time in the Character Editor (the cap for Book II was 5 points).
My first question would be - why change the system from Book II?

One vote for: Keep the Book I-Book II system here.
BasiliskWrangler wrote:*Skill Feats begin at Skill level 15 instead of Skill level 10.
As above - I'd rather leave this unchanged from Book II.
BasiliskWrangler wrote:*Characters must achieve Experience level 5 before Feats become available.
I'm less opposed to this, but I still lean to "No"...
BasiliskWrangler wrote:This slightly curbs the quick rush to get your Skill Feat early in the game. This would make Skill Feats more of a special treat for really dedicating your Character to a particular skill.

Complaints or suggestions?
Over the past year or so, I've increasingly come to the conclusion that I'd like fewer, rather than more, changes to the "gameplay" experience set up in Book II.

And any changes I have advocated, have generally been in the direction of reversing the changes made in Book II back to more of the Book I way of doing things.

Basically, I personally think that, at this point, the focus should be on gameplay continuity over anything else.

But I suspect others may have their own ideas...

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Re: Anyone have any problem with...

Post by Kreador Freeaxe » July 9th, 2013, 4:27 pm

Personally, I have no problem with you doing it any way you think will make the game more enjoyable. However, with the 3 skill levels rule, I have to ask if that would be true during character creation, as well, or only when leveling up during gameplay?
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Re: Anyone have any problem with...

Post by Randomizer » July 9th, 2013, 4:44 pm

Weapon users rush to gain a feat not as much for the extra damage as for the guaranteed hit. Archers have always complained about the expense of arrows because so many of them miss for the first few levels. That was one of the reasons in Book 1 I went with a mage, since even with a low recharge rate for mana, I was able to always hit with spells.

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Re: Anyone have any problem with...

Post by SpottedShroom » July 9th, 2013, 5:08 pm

BasiliskWrangler wrote: *No skill can be raised more that 3 points at-a-time in the Character Editor (the cap for Book II was 5 points).
I think this would change the game a lot. The straightforward way to make a good character in Book I/II is to pick a combat skill and sink tons of points into it. Unless Book III makes other changes to make it more advantageous to develop more skills at once, this will make things a lot harder. And probably not "more fun" harder as much as "spend more time camping waiting for HP/MP to come back." I'm all in favor of balance, but as it stands the #1 piece of advice that veterans give out to new players in these forums is to be a specialist rather than a generalist.
*Skill Feats begin at Skill level 15 instead of Skill level 10.

*Characters must achieve Experience level 5 before Feats become available.

This slightly curbs the quick rush to get your Skill Feat early in the game. This would make Skill Feats more of a special treat for really dedicating your Character to a particular skill.
These seem reasonable. As others have pointed out, though, it would hurt bow/thrown combatants more than melee fighters and spellcasters.

At a higher level, I'm a little concerned that these changes seem designed to make it harder to build a good character - weakening skill specialization and feats. I'd personally be more interested in changes that make it easier to build a good character by making other strategies more viable.

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Re: Anyone have any problem with...

Post by Vroqren » July 9th, 2013, 5:14 pm

I would still play the game with any of them, though I really dislike the first one. I've been having trouble only being able to level up my skills 5 per level up, cutting it to 3 would make it even worse though.

Whatever you decide though, I'll play, and enjoy.

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Book III: here
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Re: Anyone have any problem with...

Post by MyGameCompany » July 9th, 2013, 6:07 pm

BasiliskWrangler wrote:BOOK III CHANGES:

*No skill can be raised more that 3 points at-a-time in the Character Editor (the cap for Book II was 5 points).
I tend to forget that I can save skill points and use them later, so this would not impact me too much. However, I can see how this could be a problem for users that are used to it. I agree with IJBall, I would go for continuity with the previous game rather than making too many changes.
BasiliskWrangler wrote:*Skill Feats begin at Skill level 15 instead of Skill level 10.
I don't like this so much. I agree with points the others have made about specialization, and the need to get the guaranteed hit early in the game when you don't have a lot of money or a high to-hit.
BasiliskWrangler wrote:*Characters must achieve Experience level 5 before Feats become available.
This doesn't bother me so much, but if you choose to implement this, I would recommend making the same change in Book II so the games are consistent. Of course, my preference as a player would be to not have this rule... :wink:
BasiliskWrangler wrote:This slightly curbs the quick rush to get your Skill Feat early in the game. This would make Skill Feats more of a special treat for really dedicating your Character to a particular skill.
I think feats are still rare enough, considering the recharge rate at skill level 10.

For me, part of the fun is being able to build a powerful character as early as possible in the game. One thing that really bugs me is when it takes the whole game to get a truly powerful character (even when I make all the right choices), and then the game is over and I don't have time to enjoy the character I've built. I understand that enemy difficulty increases as you go along, and I know there's a valid reason for that. I enjoy a good fight with a tough enemy, but I also think it's fun to be able to take my level 20 character into a room full of bandits, goblins, or other lesser enemies and single-handedly take them all out without them being able to touch me. I like the sense of euphoria that brings, and would like to see more of that in Book 3. I think that part of the reward for being able to create a powerful character should be having places and opportunities to use him/her and have the player come away feeling like they really are powerful and have truly accomplished something. The changes you're proposing sounds like it would diminish that reward rather than enhance it.
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Re: Anyone have any problem with...

Post by BasiliskWrangler » July 9th, 2013, 7:24 pm

Good thing I asked! :wink: Okay, no changes at all then (that's easiest for me anyway). The game can be balanced out in other ways.

Carry on...
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Re: Anyone have any problem with...

Post by blatherbeard » July 9th, 2013, 9:38 pm

HEY WAIT A MINNIT!! NO SAY FROM ME!>!>!!?!?!?!?

just kidding, im of the mind im gonna throw money at version 3 anyway.


I do like the feeling i get from 1 and 2 where i feel like i can create ANYTHING i want and i think that, even with the skills being 15, the limit of 3 feels very limiting as would the waiting to lvl X for feats.

The one thing i love about eschalon is the feeling that you can make anything you want, when you want.

*and really you can, even if its not a viable end game toon! lol which i love that you can screw up your own character if you play like i do LOL

Chaos theory at its best!


n e way, i really should finish book 2 ;)
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Re: Anyone have any problem with...

Post by quasimodo » July 10th, 2013, 10:19 am

I'm a big fan of "If it ain't broke don't fix." And EB2 works just fine.

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Re: Anyone have any problem with...

Post by BasiliskWrangler » July 10th, 2013, 5:25 pm

Prismatic Maelstrom wrote:Make the game more challenging and people dislike it.

Make the game more casual and people like it.

I'm disappointed that a decision has already been made. Not surprised though.
That's a fair assessment, PM. Although, since I am not making any changes, we are not going either way. My suggestion was not to make the game more challenging, but rather balance out the first section of the game. Those changes would have helped do that, but it's clear that long-time fans didn't want the change. So it's a no.

That doesn't mean the game is broken, or too-easy in the beginning. There are lots of things I can do for this- two possibilities are to increase enemy difficulty, and lower XP gains to slow down level progression. Traps and puzzles can also slow forward progression a bit. Quite frankly, these should have been the first adjustments- instead, I followed an alpha tester's suggestion (which seemed logical at the time) of making Feats more difficult to achieve. I'm glad I got the feedback (from everyone here) that I did.

No big deal- Book III is still the most fun of all the games, IMHO.
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Re: Anyone have any problem with...

Post by Randomizer » July 10th, 2013, 7:23 pm

Prismatic Maelstrom wrote:Make the game more challenging and people dislike it.

Make the game more casual and people like it.

I'm disappointed that a decision has already been made. Not surprised though.
Well you get the same thing during beta testing. Spiderweb Software uses two groups.

The first are referred to as the insane min-max powergamers that first test the game. They have all completely tested a previous game and are insane enough to want to do it again. They do most of the grunt work finding bugs. Some of us want the game to be harder and usually play a challenge game like a single character instead of a full party in Avernum.

The second group start two months later and are first time testers. Some of them want it easier.

For Avernum 6, the first group reached the end without too much trouble. The second group got to the last quarter of the game where the difficulty ramped up and some of them quit. Jeff Vogel wondered why he wasn't hearing from them and figured they were quiet because they weren't finding any problems, not that they were not playing the game. With less than a month to release he had to figure out how to balance the game for players that weren't prepared for the harder end.

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Re: Anyone have any problem with...

Post by Painted Lady » July 10th, 2013, 9:21 pm

I guess my two cents is as follows:

BW, you have a really great innate sense of what works and what doesn't. I think you should focus on what feels right to you. Everyone here has some facet of the game that trips their personal trigger. If you worry too much about making tweaks to please some sub-set of players you will only wind up making another sub-set unhappy. Your previous games were terrific, and you should just keep up the good work.

In other words, go with your gut feel.

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Re: Anyone have any problem with...

Post by Firall » July 11th, 2013, 4:51 am

I would be in the group that wants things to be more challenging, but I would still say no to these. I am very much a min/max style player. If there is a way to exploit something to make my character more powerful, I'll find it and use it. Forcing diversity would be a good way to make the game a bit harder in that case, but a delay is not forcing anything. All I see that suggestion accomplishing is making the first couple hours harder, or in my case a rush to gain exp. (In 2 you can get to level 5-6 in about 30-45 minutes without killing much.)

My suggestions would be pretty time consuming I think, but:

Remove the guaranteed hit on feats, making it work on your to-hit like a regular attack. Pull bow damage down on the feat to 2x, and give it a slight bonus to to-hit (Currently bows are easily the strongest weapon in game.). Heavy armor being much much more effective at negating damage than light, but in addition to being heavier lowers your to-hit. Light armor being much less effective than it currently is.

Magic needs it's own pass/fail modifier, likely pulling from all mental stats but harder from concentration. Keep perc as mana regen, but max mana coming from the other stats, as well as requiring a minimum amount of intel/wis to cast spells at a certain power. As b2 is, if making a mage, just make sure you get a good roll, then never put a point into anything but perc and you'll be just fine. There are more than enough items to make up for the "missing" stats when you want to learn a new spell, and after that you don't need them anymore. Utility spells increase skills, not just completely negate them.

Speed has been touched on in other posts, but it seems to do very little. Also creatures need to be faster than us in some situations. Running away is far too easy.

Invisibility. This is hard one for me. It's easily the most over powered thing in the game IMO. The only way I can think of balancing it without completely destroying it is giving late game enemies an AoE magic attack that will do regardless of if they can see you or not. This attack may cover just a few tiles or most of the screen, and wouldn't necessarily be targeted at the player, so there's a bit of rng to it. Damage to the player, any attack, spellcast, or item use would also pull you out.

All that being said, I did thoroughly enjoy book 1 and 2 the way they were, so major changes aren't really needed for me to enjoy 3. Just some of the thoughts I had on the "balance" issue.

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Re: Anyone have any problem with...

Post by deathknight1728 » July 11th, 2013, 12:25 pm

BasiliskWrangler wrote:

"Skill Feats begin at Skill level 15 instead of Skill level 10."
"Characters must achieve Experience level 5 before Feats become available."

I always liked being able to power up different characters faster than usual. Some cases I go all out with weapon skills, and other cases moreso with skills that aid in other areas. I think that was what made games like this so awesome and replayable.
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