Let's talk about traits

The tale of the siblings Althea and Shea
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yayswords
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Let's talk about traits

Post by yayswords » Fri Jul 25, 2014 7:07 am

I know this would fit in the skills thread, but I think there's enough discussion there already. Right now we're talking about... paralysis, right? No wait, mages vs. bosses. Or were we comparing No Chances to Wreak Havoc and Barrage? Yeah, we have enough topics there.

I find the traits to be very varied in their attractiveness. In order of appearance...

Toughness: This one owns, hands down. More health is more healing received, more sturdiness, and so on, and so forth. This is partly due to the fact that all heals are %-based, else it might just pay off to try to take less damage. I am going for this trait on all my characters. The entire party. Requiring 20 strength on top of the 50 constitution, I don't mind, it's increased threshold.

Willpower: Okay no. As the game goes on, there's certainly a need for larger health pools, because enemies do more damage. There isn't a need for (much) larger mana pools, because your spells don't cost more as you gain levels. Especially if you have % regen effects, there is a point where you couldn't run out of mana even if you tried. My level 16 druid, with 20 will, has 180 mana. That's 18 mana/turn from Vigorous Sonata, plus another 6 from her necklace, so 24/turn. Her most expensive spells cost 30 mana, so if she used those every single turn, she would run out of mana after 30 turns. That really isn't a concern. Now if she had 30 more will, that'd be 330 mana - already 33/turn. And then +15%, um yay? :P

Sure you could say, but what if Vigorous Sonata gets nerfed or you want to use another song or you just don't always have Jariel? I'd still fix the mana issues with regen items, not an absolutely gargantuan mana pool. And let's keep in mind that each of the 50-20 traits is a huge commitment, requiring 15-20 levels worth of attribute points (with NM point gain). They're not something you pick up casually. Especially the 40-50 step requires 30 points.

Dual Wield: I don't like this one either. Who is going to take it? Chalassa, whose skills use her bow anyway? Yeah no... hunters? Rangers, Krimm or Vaelis? The thing is, if you're going to rely on your melee weapons, you're obviously gonna be in the frontline. And sure, in that regard, it makes sense to increase your skill. My frontline characters would see a ~25% defense increase if they spammed their skill up that much... but at what cost? Obviously no constitution spam, and there's still magic to worry about - they'd get wrecked by spells. And what's the end result? Judging from the damage I've seen on onehanders so far, the end result is that dual wielding is now as good (raw damage-wise) as using a two-hander, with the exception that you'll probably get more stats from dual wielding.

Critical Hit Bonus: 5% crit is a 1.25% or so increase in damage. It's not an exciting trait, but it uses attributes you might get anyway with a warrior/thief. Kind of a small bonus for a medium commitment - you might still lock yourself out of a 50-20 trait by getting it.

Defender: Increases mah BASE defense, no. The white number in the character sheet. Let me go through those for all 8 characters: 24, 28, 26, 24, 26, 24, 26, 29. Average of 26, which means this trait would give me a whooping FOUR defense. And unlike the next two traits, I won't build defense by trying to get the trait either. Just compare it to simply getting skill. You'd be totally fooling yourself if you deliberately went for this trait to be tanky. At best I could see someone getting it because they wanted 50 agility and 20 constitution anyway.

Attacker and Archwizard: These are a bit unexciting too. I'm not exactly sure how base attack and magic are established, because they are evidently not only derived from strength/arcane. I'm guessing if I went for these I would get perhaps +10 to the stat at best. However, if I really wanted a RAWR PAINBRINGER character, I certainly would build strength or arcane on it, so these are probably something I might end up getting without changing much from how I would build the character if there were no traits. I mean after all it's: This trait requires what you're spamming up anyway and pretty much boosts the value of those attribute points.

Doesn't feel affordable for nightmare though to make such a glass cannon commitment, receiving little cannon and much glass for it.

Elementalist: Said it before, this is cute from a lore/RP perspective but anyone willing to commit 35 points to arcane is highly likely to be a mage anyway, sporting gear riddled with +magic and not really afraid of enemy spell attacks. And the way I play, 35 will is too much for any character at all.

Cold Blood: Getting 35 con/agi on a mage is less controversial than getting 35 arc/wil on a warrior/thief. This trait isn't so bad, a good bonus for any character, without requiring a crazy commitment. I think if you were absolutely determined to, you could get this + Toughness on some characters. Or Defender lol.

A Ruined Pelt for your thoughts, people.
If at first try it doesn't explode, it ain't Jack who wrote the code.

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jack1974
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Re: Let's talk about traits

Post by jack1974 » Fri Jul 25, 2014 7:34 am

Well I can tell you already that I've nerfer Vigorous Sonata to 5% SP regain. But even using your save, the SP gain each turn is already a lot. Of course not going to lower it even more. I think I found an interesting solution instead, if enemies kills the bard, all the effect fades! with the new AI system I should be able to do some really bastard enemies. Of course you can have guard/protect and so on, but I can also have enemies that dispels the buffs, or other solutions mouahahah :twisted:
I realize that the main issue of many problems people found on SOTW wasn't really / only the unbalanced skills themselves but the fact that the AI was clearly outdated for a more complex battle system like this one vs Loren's.

I'm also thinking about the Toughness trait, since it really gives a BIG bonus, so I don't want to be too much overpowered. For now I'll keep as it is though, since maybe the new AI will balance things out.

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yayswords
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Re: Let's talk about traits

Post by yayswords » Fri Jul 25, 2014 7:37 am

Dispel Guard/Protect? You bastard. I want that ability too.

If you nerf Toughness I will probably just not take any traits at all :P maybe Cold Blood.
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jack1974
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Re: Let's talk about traits

Post by jack1974 » Fri Jul 25, 2014 7:40 am

Well the traits needs more work for sure :lol:
I can tweak them of course so that they're all worth it, more or less. Or transform them, in a starting bonus or something else, for example Attacker could give 25% attack bonus first 5 turns of each battle and cannot dispelled. Stuff like that, unfortunately when I designed them I had no clue how the game would evolve :)

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fabulaparva
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Re: Let's talk about traits

Post by fabulaparva » Fri Jul 25, 2014 11:34 am

Ah, the traits! Very easy to get them on EASY-difficulty, with 7 attribute points. Mah Riley had Elementalist unlocked and Archwizard only 7 points away at level 16... At the same time he had 21 points in Agility and few extras in Skill as well... NM is, naturally, a different story.

At this point I haven't had any solid plan in regard to traits. I keep changing my mind on what I want on whom. Some of them do not really feel worth it. The foremost example of this would be the defender. It makes no sense to me to be putting 50 points towards agility in a defender, when I want to raise the Skill for him/her. I think yayswords pointed out elsewhere that having a fast defender just makes him/her waste his/hers defensive buffs faster than the enemy takes turns in attacking.

Also, 3 of the traits require the combination of Will and Arcane, which I found a bit repetitive. Why not have a trait for the combination of Skill & Will/Arcane or Agility & Will/Arcane? Eg, the Elementalist --that raises defense and thus logically would go with Skill--- could be given for Skill & Arcane.

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jack1974
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Re: Let's talk about traits

Post by jack1974 » Fri Jul 25, 2014 11:50 am

Well at this point I think will redesign them completely, though I'm not sure how. I could just eliminate them if there's no time and they don't make much sense (since 99% of players would just pick Toughness!) :lol:

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fabulaparva
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Re: Let's talk about traits

Post by fabulaparva » Fri Jul 25, 2014 11:53 am

WOW, I am in the 1%! :P

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yayswords
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Re: Let's talk about traits

Post by yayswords » Fri Jul 25, 2014 11:59 am

I'd like to see Elementalist conceptually changed so that arcane has nothing to do with it, or at least not 35 points required. I want to be considering this for my warriors and thieves, giving up some offensive stats in exchange for a much welcome resistance boost, and it should feel better than simply spamming up constitution. Arcane/skill does sound like a good combo for it; both are defensive stats for warriors/thieves. Not more than say 25 of each though.

Just out of curiosity, is it possible for traits to be active? As in, you unlock them and gain an ability?

I don't think 99% would pick Toughness, but I think a majority of NM players would pick it if they had to pick one :) I think stopping at 40 con and raising other stats wouldn't be a terrible idea.

If you are redesigning them, would it be possible to have them be more class-specific? We could have for example a +20% magic trait that requires say 25 arcane and skill, but isn't available to mages (or requires more attributes for them to unlock). Similarly mages could cheaply unlock a +20% defense trait. And we could get Dual Wield out of the mage tree lol.
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jack1974
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Re: Let's talk about traits

Post by jack1974 » Fri Jul 25, 2014 12:06 pm

Yes I can convert them into an abilities, though a problem problem would be the screen space, some characters that have a lot of offensive spells almost fit the whole screen on Y :lol:
I could even make them class-specific and unlocked at some levels, I am not sure the attribute thing makes much sense honestly... I am just thinking out loudly. But I wouldn't want to spend too long on this. If I could find a way to make them all useful (more or less) as they are now, would be better.
So that was my idea to make them just starting buff on each battle, but make them more powerful. Like a 25% permanent bonus is very different from a 25% bonus that lasts only the first X turns of each battle and can't be dispelled.

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yayswords
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Re: Let's talk about traits

Post by yayswords » Fri Jul 25, 2014 12:11 pm

Instead of attribute requirements, you could let us purchase traits with skill points, and give us a few more skill points perhaps. Could still keep the requirements though, just ease them up a little. Attacker, Defender and Archwizard would climb the attractiveness ladder quite significantly if they affected total stats, not base.

If class-specific trees are easily created then we could come up with something better I'm sure. It's not like traits need much testing. I unlocked it, did I get the passive bonus? Yes, okay it works :D
If at first try it doesn't explode, it ain't Jack who wrote the code.

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