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Capstones... Why?


Pathfinder Online

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Goblin Squad Member

DarkLightHitomi wrote:

Two, not everyone multiclasses because of optimization.

I think with any of these discussions we have to keep in mind the meta-goal, encouragement of meaningful player interaction.

Now, as to this specific point. If you foster a "generalist" then that is what you will see the majority of in an MMORPG, because most people take the "easy" route, with the main consideration being their own, single-player type good time with team play being secondary. Just look around at the evidence.

It may be the case that there are cool players (and there are) who are concerned with creating an interesting character and want the mechanics to provide support, but to ignore the evidence simply to provide support these cool players doesn't seem the way to go.

The good news is that you can create interesting character concepts regardless of the mechanics, basically what one does now in the PnP.

I would venture to say that based on the evidence that if your goal is meaningful player interaction you will get more bang for your buck if you only allowed specialists. That is clearly not the direction GW is going in, but I believe it is an arguable claim.

Lantern Lodge

That would be true in a single focus game, but the fact that this game has multiple foci changes that, because I might like to solo one aspect yet socialize in another. For example I like the idea of being part of a museum, I go out on my own to dungeon delve and bring back artifacts, then come back and work with others on building a museum and discussing the artifacts and lore that we discover and maybe upon occasion defend the town that our museum is in against an attack.

Goblin Squad Member

Personally I don't think the "They want people to take only specific roles instead of dabbling in all of them to maximize player interaction" is a very valid argument for a pure and simple reason I'm sure most of you have heard many times before:

A jack of all trades, is a master of none.

I don't see a group of fighter/cleric/bards winning against a group of fighters, clerics, and bards. Those fighter/cleric/bards are going to have to spread their attributes around more. Their passives, consumables, and refreshes etc. will have to either be split between their three roles, or else stacked on one role leaving the other two less effective. And of course the mixed single class group will have higher level abilities.

Multiclassing is it's own punishment, even if you get some good synergy going all it does is make you competitive. I know for me I don't want the option to multiclass because I think it will be effective. No I think a pure cleric will be DEVASTATING in almost every form of PVP. It's for character flavor reasons. It's for roleplay reasons. But I'm not going to skip out on permanent rewards for that.

I can easily twink myself to just kick the living crap out of everyone if I feel forced to stay on a single path.

Goblin Squad Member

DarkLightHitomi wrote:

@Sparrow who ninjad me

The answer to your final question, multiclassing isn't instant gratification, it's playing the character I want, the problem comes in when 5 years down the road, if I'm still playing, then my character has achieved everything and is identical to this other character and yet that other character has something I don't, not because he spent money, or because he completed some quest that I didn't, but because he didn't play what he wanted.

It's not punishing me for multiclassing, it's punishing me for playing what I want for 5 years, as opposed to not playing what I want for 5 years.

It's a game, and as such should be enjoyed every minute of playing it. I shouldn't have to spend 5 years playing something just to get to the point of playing what I want. I can garuntee, that no game will get me to play for 5 years without me enjoying it the whole way through.

If you want a fighter/monk, then you can have a fighter/monk and you can have your capstones.

If you do not get the capstones it is because you wanted certain things at a certain time. Instant gratification.

If capstones were some ultimate power then it would be easy to not multiclass. No amount of 'and then I can get this and that ability by training up skills in another class' would be worth it.
This isn't what they have said that they are doing, though, and I wouldn't want to see it because it would take away any true freedom.

By making them a minor, or even inconsequential, thing they are letting you have the freedom to pick your way of levelling up.

Would it really matter if your character doesn't get some flashy FX accompanying some ability if they can use a less flashy version of that same ability anyway?
Does it really matter if some character has access to an emote that you do not get if you were able to level your character the way that you wanted to?

All you have to do is decide whether you want that capstone later more than you want to learn how to pick locks or whatever right now.

Goblin Squad Member

Point of fact, you will not be "punished". You will have made a choice, and one that limits your options. Just like every other choice. If after 5 years of hopefully meaningful and enjoyable game play, you're worried about not having 2 abilities that someone else has.... really? At the end of the day, that's simply a choice. Particularly if the ability sits closer the the Hair on Fire side of the scale. Its just not really worth debating without details.

A good researcher knows to suspend judgement or conclusion in the face of an incomplete data sample.

Now, if you don't think its good game design to preserve something "special" for people who dedicate their characters to a very specific goal path, that's fine. That's a valid opinion. The counterpoint to that is, if everyone can have everything, then no one is special. Also an ok and valid opinion. If the designers of the game, who stake their names, lives, goals, hopes, dreams, and waking lives on one option over the other, you will not have been punished by that decision. Maybe it won't be the choice you would have liked, but not getting what you want shouldn't be equated to punishment.

Goblin Squad Member

DarkLightHitomi wrote:

That would be true in a single focus game, but the fact that this game has multiple foci changes that, because I might like to solo one aspect yet socialize in another. For example I like the idea of being part of a museum, I go out on my own to dungeon delve and bring back artifacts, then come back and work with others on building a museum and discussing the artifacts and lore that we discover and maybe upon occasion defend the town that our museum is in against an attack.

Naturally you can do quite a few things solo and it is possible it would really tough solo. But, again, we have to keep in mind the meta-goal, encouragement of meaningful player interaction. The question is whether fostering a type of gameplay will enhance or detract from the stated meta-goal.

If they can legitimately cater to player-interaction and solo crowd at the same time, more power to them. But, I do hope they stick with their stated meta-goal, especially as there are very few that offer this approach, at least to the extent that GW is talking about.

Lantern Lodge

@Sparrow
That is not gratification at all because it skips out on everything I want, thus no gratification.

You say you want to play a fighter/monk, does that mean you want to play a fighter for awhile then play a monk for awhile, or does that mean you want to play a fighter/monk?

It isn't instant gratification because the fun comes from playing your character throughout, not the end state of said character, particularly when there is no end state.

It isn't more gratifying to have those capstones at all, but it's irritating to plainly see that I have met all requirements for something but don't get it because I took my own path and enjoyed playing the game.

So what's more important? Playing the game or having the perfect character?

I don't like the capstone limit not because I want those abilities, but because it makes me feel as though I am being punished for enjoying playing the game.


@Gruffling

They aren't preserving anything. Any game I played in either intended on stopping before getting to that point or ignored that point. I have played plenty of high level games, even played a god, and not once did anyone go "Hey you are level 20 so you have to stopping advancing" or "your not allowed to take wizard for level 21, because you spent 1 level on rogue and that would let you have the best wizard ability."

As for everyone having access to everything, I think it should be allowed, because not everyone is going to use it the same, and because in this case getting everything is going to take about 30 years and anyone who plays for 30 years deserves evrything.

Goblin Squad Member

At this point, I really think there is alot of argument going on based on facts not in evidence and people are filling in the blanks with assumptions that may not neccesarly hold true.

I mean, I could easly make the arguement that as a person who is really only interested in playing a single class, I'm being "punished" because once I reach 20th level, I'll run out of new abilities to learn (probably a false assumption) while those that who really want to multi-class will have lots of cool and usefull new abilities to continue to learn.

In the end, though, I think all that matters comes back to the comment Gruffling made about choices, which is will we get to be able to make viable characters who can effectively fullfill the role(s) we want?

Honestly, I think we may be projecting a little too much from the PnP ruleset into PFO which seems to be a very different paradigm. In PnP almost everything you get comes from your level advanacment through the class system. PFO sounds like it might be more of a true skills based system where a level in a class really isn't what grants you the majority of your firepower...merely a recognition of the skills/badges you've already learned with perhaps a small perk as a bonus for going the aditional step of earning the merit badge for that class.

For example, the majority of my combat power may well come from the fact that I've learned Sword Skill 5, along with the appropriate Merit Badges....and not from earning the Merit Badge for Fighter Level 5 which may give a relatively minor perk in itself.

It may also be that Sword Skill 5 counts as "credit" or whatever towards Levels in Paladin and Ranger, Barbarian, etc...

At this point we've started to get some decent information about the combat system...but only the most general of info about how advanacment works. I really think we're jumping the gun by quite a good bit in trying to understand whether the capstone thing makes sense until we've gotten ALOT more detail on just how advancement actualy works. YMMV.

Goblin Squad Member

If there's more roles and careers than a single player can possible experience (partly due to diversity and partly due to skill-train time to specialise) then I think PfO will be mission objective achieved. At least I hope so.

On the question of capstone vs multi-classing: Maybe Multiple Characters will mean in a sense ppl can "have their cake and eat it"? And as said we don't know all the ingredients or proportions yet for baking cakes.

Goblin Squad Member

Hobbun wrote:
... but by giving out a Capstone ‘only’ if you focus on one class (at a time) I would consider they are encouraging single-classing.

And by allowing you to gain Merit Badges in other Roles' skills, they are "encouraging" multi-classing.

As for the whole generalist/specialist discussion, please keep in mind that you will be able to specialize in any number of roles that have nothing to do with whether you're single- or multi-classed. Is a Pure Fighter who tries to be good at Harvesting and Crafting and Unit Fighting and Kobold Slaying a specialist or a generalist? What about a Fighter/Wizard/Cleric who focuses solely on Unit Fighting?

Goblin Squad Member

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Hitomi, I think you're missing my point entirely. It isn't punishment to force consequences for choices, particularly if there's little difference between option A and option B.

So "preserve" wasn't the best choice of term, since we're so focused on being precise, I'll rephrase. The design choice to gift a dedicated path vs a non-dedicated path is not punishment . You are allowed to do either, and accept the consequences of that choice. One results in slightly less options at the conclusion of nearly 5 years of gameplay. By slightly, we really are talking about at most 2-4 options, based on the still as of yet un-detailed limits on capstones.

I'm sorry if you think you're going to feel punished by that, but in the grander scheme of things, i take issue with a generalization using such language. If you're forced to make a choice, and you think your preference would be served by not having to make that choice, its simply not punishment. Its just a design choice. Punishment would be taking away an earned thing. Punishment is not limiting potential by fractional difference.

My personal view, the difference between the two options is minimal, and easily ameliorated by having an alt character. I realize that's not a perfect solution for everyone, but for me it would be fine. I also can't really state if its an important choice or not, as the details that are so crucial to this judgement call haven't even been put to paper yet.

To Support Grumpy's comment, and paraphrased from the Thornkeep book;

Advancement at the table: You gain a level and then spells/abilities/skills pop into your head.

Adv. in PFO: you train skills, and at the completion of the proper array, you gain a merit badge (roughly equivalent to a level)

Just this paradigm shift alone is enough to make your head spin, and of course generates more questions than answers, but that's to be expected at this stage of development.

Goblin Squad Member

DarkLightHitomi wrote:

@Sparrow

That is not gratification at all because it skips out on everything I want, thus no gratification.

What you want appears to be everything, and exactly when you want it.

There is nothing wrong with presenting players with a choice.

Quote:
You say you want to play a fighter/monk, does that mean you want to play a fighter for awhile then play a monk for awhile, or does that mean you want to play a fighter/monk?

It was just an example, but I'll play along...

Depends. Is there a benefit to multiclassing that makes the journey more pleasant for me?

What is the capstone ability that I will trade off for that benefit?

I just have to weigh my options. No different than when I am choosing which skill to train up or what gear I might equip.

If I have come across one to many locked doors that I couldn't get through or locked chests that I couldn't open, then maybe I think that that losing a capstone is worth learning to pick a lock.

Quote:

It isn't instant gratification because the fun comes from playing your character throughout, not the end state of said character, particularly when there is no end state.

It isn't more gratifying to have those capstones at all, but it's irritating to plainly see that I have met all requirements for something but don't get it because I took my own path and enjoyed playing the game.

But if the requirement is to level a class from 1-20 and not earn any levels in another class then you have not met all requirements unless you do that.

You made a choice that obtaining/advancing certain skills that were not associated with your class were more important than focusing on the requirements to get the capstone ability.

Denying that taking that second class skill is somehow gratifying doesn't change anything.
If that off-class skill (whether it be for a second class, or a third, or fourth, or eleventh) offers no benefit, then you should have no problem waiting until you get the capstone in your current class to start training it up.

I want to have fun playing throughout, but who said that you can only have fun by multiclassing and getting capstones?

Quote:

So what's more important? Playing the game or having the perfect character?


I don't like the capstone limit not because I want those abilities, but because it makes me feel as though I am being punished for enjoying playing the game.

I don't think that playing, and enjoying, the game precludes my ability to build the character that I want to play.

I do not expect that I will have to have capstones alongside the ability to dip into any of the 11 classes at any time in order to build the character that I want.
If I want a capstone badly enough I will work towards that capstone.

However useful or useless those capstones may ultimately be.

The deal is on the table.

If you refuse to take it it is not a punishment. It means that you felt that the rewards for doing something else were better.

When they start explaining capstones with some useful context then this may be worth revisiting, but as of right now it all looks just fine to me.

Goblin Squad Member

There is going to be a constant resistance from people who want everything to be available and nothing to be made unavailable. In order for a decision to be meaningful it has to carry some wight, every decision you make that has a positive benefit, should also have a negative detriment.

Sticking to a class for 2.5 years and never branching out is a large commitment and should be rewarded as such. Taking another class allows you to get synergies someone who is working towards a capstone will never have.

This is a bit of an expansion on my earlier post but I think It would solve the conflict(that I still don't think is a problem):

*This first part is how I want to see capstones function*
Capstones are tied to ability layouts sets(of 3{all of them}). And across the 3 sets you can only have abilities slotted that are under that archetype. A capstone could even have 10 or so abilities tied to it and each layout can use up to 2.

*This is to lessen the magnitude of the decision, but does not reduce the effort required*
When you create your character you are given the option of locking in an archetype, once locked in all skills that are outside of the archetype will be grayed out, you can still read them, but you can't select them. If you decide you want to break out of the path, you can do so at any time, but you are no longer on the path to that capstone. To get a capstone you must be locked in from 1 to 20.

At any time you can re-activate this path, but you start from the beginning. Each Merit Badge should have enough paths to it that you won't have to0 much re-do. Any abilities you have that come from skills/abilities not under the chosen archetype will be grayed out and not available until you get the capstone, or exit the path.

This way you will always have to work a solid 2.5 years to get a capstone, but everyone has to do the same thing to get to it. If you want to be a master of an archetype you have to work exclusively on that archetype, if you want the quick solution, the end result is not as good.

The problem people have is that they never want to get locked off from something, this makes them do the same amount of work. Capstones should offset the benefit of multi-classing, and to get this benefit you have to work for 2.5+ years. So if you hit 19, then break the capstone and take another archetype skill, you have to repeat those 19 badges to get it again.

Lantern Lodge

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Two people are standing at the checkout counter with $20, is it really fair to deny one of them simply due to one working at pizza hut and the other at pizza inn?

They both offer the same result, +$20 to the merchents account, yet they get treated differently for something that has no involment in the current situation (buying a CD).

This is beyond making a choice, anyone can look at the two characters and not tell which is which, so the capstone only going to one of them despite plenty of capstones to go around seems the very definition of biased.

Only one decent motivation has been mentioned for doing something like this and it doesn't really apply well, because this is a sandbox not a themepark.

Edit: I can get there by enjoying myself or by hating myself, but it doesn't change the fact that I got there. This isn't choosing between the left door and the right door.

I can live a wonderful life then die, or I can just die. And someone thinks it's okay to encourage the just die option when the entire point is to live a wonderful life?

Goblin Squad Member

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Hitomi, I'm sorry mate but I have to respectfully disagree and it's the way you keep using the term 'punished' that is bothering me.

There is a line of thinking in a lot of MMO players that all characters should be equal in every way. "I pay the same money as that guy so I should be able to do everything he can! It's not fair that his platemail armour protects him more than my leather armour does! I should be able to solo that undead champion even though I'm a rogue, and not a dedicated paladin of life."

It's a silly example but I think the key here is to realise that this line of thinking seems to have come in at the same time people stopped saying MMORPG and just left it as MMO. The "Role Playing Game" element has been stripped out and replaced with a "everyone must be able to do the same thing everyone else has".

Classes in RPG's have always represented trade-offs.

A warrior can fight and endure through a terrible gladiatorial ring taht no other could face.

A wizard, if they can handle that horrible slow pace and under-powered start, can eventually face down dragons and terrible arch-mages of the highest calibre.

Both of them would fall to the evil traps and tricks of the riddler demon's dungeon that only a master thief could overcome.

And all would fall to the undead hordes of the gods of death, but a true savant cleric of the gods of life might overcome them.

Instead though, "I pay my money, so I should be able to do it all!"

No you shouldn't. This is a Role Playing Game. Don't forget that. You choose a character, you accept that it has flaws, and you set out to do what you can. If you can overcome something despite those flaws it's truly an amazing experience. If you cannot, well then you try and team up with someone who can, and then you have a company, and then you can really try and overcome the big challenges the world has.

Now some people really won't like this as a reason. They will say it is up to the game designers to make everything 'fair' and 'balanced' when in reality what they actually want is just to be able to do everything when they want, how they want, with as little challenge as possible. They'll min/max stats, study guides, do the maths, and they will complain. Constantly. About how this little bit over here isn't fair becuase a DPS rotation over 15 seconds is clearly in favour of the thief. And they pay their money so they should be able to do that to.

Someone else earlier in the thread said its up to the Game Designers to "prove to us why this is how it is". A ridiculous assertion, their game is their game. We choose to play it or not. This is the game, pay your money and have fun within the set rules or don't pay and walk away.

Of course the problem is that these people do pay money, and game companies want them to keep paying, so they inevitably give in to them if the numbers go down. And the game is never the better for it, and the RPG gets dropped off the end of the game again. The players know this and they keep complaining and the wheel turns faster and faster till the game dies.

This makes me very sad for those games. I would deeply love it if this game really did it's damnedest to keep the RPG side, and people make choices, aware that they have consequences like "this ability will mean I don't have a capstone if I choose it".

Now Hitomi, and others in this thread, I'm not saying you aren't entitled to your opinions on this, but this has been a gripe of mine for years and I'm taking the opportunity to state my feelings on what I feel is a very very thin end of what will eventually become a massive wedge in the game.

Lantern Lodge

2 people marked this as a favorite.

You are missing my point, might be my poor explanations.

You compared a rogue to a fighter, this is not what I am doing, what I am comparing is two characters that are exactly alike, they have the same stats, the same bonuses, the same abilities, the same skills, but one is single out because of past decisions that no longer matter in any other way (other then affecting my enjoyment of playing the game)

Two identical fighters should have the same options to progress further.

My biggest dislike about this in one sentence,
Two identical characters should be equal, period.

Goblin Squad Member

2 people marked this as a favorite.

One thing I have found is that 'popular opinion' is usually the worst way to go, because popular opinion us usually "make those hard activities that give great rewards easier to do and require less effort! So the worst player in the game can get the same things the best player can!"

Look at SWG, the original Jedi system was great, it involved a lot of work and some luck, and you were granted access to an alpha class with 3 lives before you had to re-start the process. Then people rage-quit and cried enough that they made the Jedi path more straight forward, and they became a common sight instead of a rare one. Most long-term SWG players I run into that aren't total Star Wars fanboys, left the game after the removal of Jedi Perma-death, or shortly after, especially if they had a Jedi they worked extremely hard to get, suddenly become not as special.

You never want to lose the people that work really hard for things in your game, and a clear way to make them leave is to lessen their achievements. The people that are willing to work that hard are some of the people that can give you the best feedback about your game, and even run new ideas past them or invite them to some closed testing.

The MMO market is missing a game with some great achievements, that require a huge effort, and give a huge reward. Let the big studios make the 'soft' games, they care more about big paychecks and pleasing the masses, than building community.

Lantern Lodge

Note, I am not looking for anything to be easier, but if you present a challange then succeeding in that challange should be the importent part, not how I did it.

If I didn't cheat then I should get same reward as someone else who completed the same challange with the same results.

In your above example anybody could play how they wanted and then achieve the reward (a chance to get a jedi), previous actions did not ever deny a character the ability to go and achieve what is needed to get a chance roll at jedi.

However these capstones don't allow me to at a later time to suddenly decide to go for the capstone. If I decide I want to go for it then my only option is to restart from the beginning, and that's the unfair part, I can't change my mind and go for it later by meeting the requisites as someone else.

Edit: I should earn it, but I also should always have the option to earn it, without restarting a new character.

Goblin Squad Member

So the person that takes the time to go down a single path, and struggles along the way, not picking up any side abilities to make their journey easier, then does it again with another path, should get the same outcome as the person who took the easier route running both at the same time, and never having the same struggle?

You say 'two identical characters should be equal' If one character progressed to a capstone, and the other didn't, they are not identical.

And the SWG example was what happens when you listen to the community, not a parallel to the capstone argument.

Are you opposed to my earlier suggestion a few posts back?

Goblin Squad Member

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Valkenr wrote:

So the person that takes the time to go down a single path, and struggles along the way, not picking up any side abilities to make their journey easier, then does it again with another path, should get the same outcome as the person who took the easier route running both at the same time, and never having the same struggle?

You say 'two identical characters should be equal' If one character progressed to a capstone, and the other didn't, they are not identical.

And the SWG example was what happens when you listen to the community, not a parallel to the capstone argument.

Are you opposed to my earlier suggestion a few posts back?

I second this, also I must point out the only way where I personally can agree with one of the key points in DLH's arguement

DLH wrote:
However these capstones don't allow me to at a later time to suddenly decide to go for the capstone. If I decide I want to go for it then my only option is to restart from the beginning, and that's the unfair part, I can't change my mind and go for it later by meeting the requisites as someone else.

IMO the only way this is truely unfair, is in the event that the mechanics, warnings etc... were unclear at the time. Everything goblinworks has said has been "We will make it crystal clear at the time you attempt to take an option that will disqualify the capstone, a big warning will pop up and tell you, if you do this, you will disqualify the capstone). This is the case of a decision, with meaningful longterm results. Goblinworks goals is to have choices that can be made, that have longterm results, no different then the P&P rule of say "If a nuetural cleric choses to channel negative energy, he cannot change the decision to positive energy" etc... in the end there are choices that help in the short run, that might not be beneficial in the long run.

Just like if you focus your ranger with his favored enemies as dragon, fey, goblinoid and orc, he will likely not likely ever be a particularly effective ranger for PVP, but he will be one awesome companion for dungeon delving. (Yes I am aware 5 years down the road, you might have one probably mostly for show skill less than the person who actually heeded the warnings, but unfairness isn't a factor when both players had the warning and made the choice.

Goblin Squad Member

Gruffling wrote:
Point of fact, you will not be "punished".

If you have two characters with identical skills, who developed their skills in different orders causing one to lose out on abilities the other has. The one who lost out has been penalized, or punished.

Or you could say that the other has been rewarded, but that is really a pointless argument. Either way there one is getting preferential treatment, and there needs to be a REASON that one is getting something that the other is not.

I'm sorry, I like the Goblin Works team overall. I think they are doing a great job. For every issue like capstones or non-scarce flying I object to there is a more important issue like the crafting system, Open World PVP, skilling over time, or the combat system that I feel they have gotten right. But when I disagree I'm not going to censor myself and kiss up to them. If I feel like a system is punishing the player, that is what I am going to say.

This capstone issue is on the whole a fairly minor issue for me at least. That's why I waited so long to bring it up but when I started hearing others echo my feelings on it in Teamspeak...I knew I needed to give some feedback. Not false praise or honeyed words in hopes of brownie points. If all they have is fanboys they won't known their own weaknesses. That is why Star Wars 4-6 were so much better than 1-3. Because in 4-6 there were people who were able to tell George Lucas "That's a terrible idea" instead of just sitting there and agreeing with everything he says because hes a living legend.

I am kind of getting the feeling that if GoblinWorks proposes it's own Jar Jar or midichlorians you will either hold your tongue or tell them it's a great idea. That may or may not be true but that certainly is the impression I get when the main point of your argument seems to be "Don't take that tone with them!!!" and I'm not even aiming to be offencive.

I feel like this system punishes players who want to multi-class when it comes to long term character development, or gives rewards for a behavior that doesn't need encouragement. It doesn't much matter how you say it. They know what I mean, you know what I mean, I know what I mean. Lets debate the real issue rather than turning this into an argument of "You're being disrespectful / using the wrong words."

Goblin Squad Member

Gonna echo Gruffling in that there is a finite amount of speculation that can be done without the neccessary info before devolving into pure opinions and assumptions. That being said, provided the ability is not overwelming in combat or creating an elite, upper class distinction between soloists and multiclassers, im in favor of it. Personally I plan to play a single class, but im sure there will be times ill be tempted to deviate. A mostly fluff or possibly convenience ability is a nice reward to focus on when im wishing I could unlock that chest or persuade that npc.

Speaking of which, that's also why i dont consider the classes identical at the end like you suggest hitome. The multi class character may have accessed more loot during leveling, had access to different armors, gained better reputation with a faction, or any number of other things that might leave him with greater resources or options beyond the strict class abilities he also has more of. Your argument is that the two players should have equal opportunities in the end regardless of their paths, but I am unconvinced they'll be identical and thus equally deserving.

Even if they are, consider the following: two players are both 20 in the same levels, with the same abilities. But one played during an event and won a limited item, or perhaps began playing a month earlier before a certain armor was discontinued, or any number of other minor things that allow him access to something his friend cannot. I would not say his friend is being punished simply because he didnt log on at the same time. Its merely a minor reward for one person based upon one of his choices.

Lantern Lodge

The person who went left then right should have no more difficulty then the guy who went down center lane. They play experience might be different but not harder.

Two identical characters (not including the capstone itself since it is the topic of debate.) Why should two identical characters be treated differently? there are some reasons related to the world outside the game such as MTXs and subscriptions etc, but the capstones don't relate to the outside world at all and the choice to ignore it at first precludes the possibility of persuing it later (this is the biggest part that makes no sense, a 40 badge fighter/wizard went through as much trouble and taken as much time but gets treated differently), I don't know about following anything the precludes things on a whim.

I think your idea might be good for some game, but it doesn't really keep with PF very well, as capstones don't really exist in the original game, the last ability was just the last ability and wasn't remarkable compared to any others.

It actually fits insanity, insanity is doing the same thing but expecting different results.
I look at many identical characters, sanity means they get treated the same way, insanity means they don't.

If you drive home, does the route you took change whether or not you get to sleep?

Goblin Squad Member

Mcduff wrote:

Gonna echo Gruffling in that there is a finite amount of speculation that can be done without the neccessary info before devolving into pure opinions and assumptions. That being said, provided the ability is not overwelming in combat or creating an elite, upper class distinction between soloists and multiclassers, im in favor of it. Personally I plan to play a single class, but im sure there will be times ill be tempted to deviate. A mostly fluff or possibly convenience ability is a nice reward to focus on when im wishing I could unlock that chest or persuade that npc.

Speaking of which, that's also why i dont consider the classes identical at the end like you suggest hitome. The multi class character may have accessed more loot during leveling, had access to different armors, gained better reputation with a faction, or any number of other things that might leave him with greater resources or options beyond the strict class abilities he also has more of. Your argument is that the two players should have equal opportunities in the end regardless of their paths, but I am unconvinced they'll be identical and thus equally deserving.

Even if they are, consider the following: two players are both 20 in the same levels, with the same abilities. But one played during an event and won a limited item, or perhaps began playing a month earlier before a certain armor was discontinued, or any number of other minor things that allow him access to something his friend cannot. I would not say his friend is being punished simply because he didnt log on at the same time. Its merely a minor reward for one person based upon one of his choices.

I'm having a related issue in EVE Online right now. I'm currently stacking all my points into gunnery skills to make abaddon battleship I am using for my missions stronger. The problem is I would like to train social skills to get more reward from my missions. And destroyer skills because they are coming out with those new destroyers and I heard destroyers are really good in factional warfare, which I want to try at some point. I also want refining skills so I can refine trash modules I get from looting missions better, and the ore I get that I mine while I do other things in the background. Oh and I really want Trade skills at some point because I want to try my hand at playing the market. I hear there is A LOT of money at playing the market.

You know why I'm sticking with gunnery skills? Because if I train all those other skills, I will never get around to my gunnery skills. Because I have a limited amount of training and I realized the best course of action is to stick with what I'm working on until I finish it, and then move on to other goals.

Why the heck do I need extra rewards for doing something in my own best interest? To me it simply seems to be heaping extra PUNISHMENT on players who are ADD in their training. I guess the best reason why that word fits is because players who aren't ADD are ALREADY GETTING REWARDED with a character that is effective in it's chosen role rather than a weak jack of all trades. Rewarding one playstyle too heavily is effectively punishing everyone else.

If GW were to state. "We are giving 500% more HP to anyone who sticks with combat skills" AKA doesn't take a crafting profession would that be a reward for non-crafters or a punishment for crafters?

Similarly the capstone could be phrased "We are giving an ability to everyone who sticks with a single archetype" OR "We are giving an ability to everyone who doesn't multiclass." Punishment or reward is purely a matter of perspective.

Goblin Squad Member

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I've stated why I believe that you are incorrect, and I'm not going to belabor the point since this argument is just becoming a "yes it is" "no it isn't" back and forth.

Suffice it to say that I completely disagree with what you are saying, and would absolutely love for Capstones to remain as they have been described.

Goblin Squad Member

Since we are giving opinions I have to admit I do not understand any argument suggesting punishments and rewards are the flip sides of the same thing. I would hope no one pays to play a game that doles out punishment. Punishments by definition are not fun and if ever it is not fun, you should not play...that is my opinion and advice.

If I give you $x for winning a race, that is a reward. If I do not give you $x for winning a race...that is not a punishment. If I fine you $x for winning a race, that is a punishment. Since the reward or lack thereof is preposted, consider it prior to entering the race.

So, the debate really is that in one case a reward is available and the other is not (never is there a punishment). I do not have to be a fan boi to appreciate the hope that the capstone reward results in at least as many archetypes late in the game as the base classes they make available. Otherwise there will be one min/maxed acceptable build (listed at the maxdpspfo.com website) for each traditional role: tank, dps, healer...and players will be expected to conform to these builds in order to participate in higher end dungeoneering. Instead, I look forward to alternate role'd characters, even if some are only utility based.

I also applaud Goblinworks insistence on real consequences for player choices (as also highlighted by Southraven above) and I hope they continue to force tough choices and make players live by those choices.

Finally, just to illustrate that I am not just on a fanboi agreement trip, I would like to remind those who have been here awhile that I am not easily appeased when I feel their (GW) ideas are bad. I continue to get in my jabs and rationales for unrestricted construction, real darkness, and improved stealth...and I happily point out where I think design features are lacking...this just does not happen to be one of those times. I think the system (as I envision it) that emerges from the existence of this rule across 10k players is better and leads to more overall variety than a system without.

Lantern Lodge

Do I want "abc" or "abc"? Isn't really a choice since they are both the same thing so why does one get something special?

Capstones don't reward choices, they reward a simpleton, lead by the nose, themepark playstyle rather then a creative playstyle. The former takes the clearly marked path (themepark), the latter takes whatever is available to make their own path (sandbox).

It feels a lot like they are trying to encourage themepark playstyle in a sandbox world.

Goblin Squad Member

@DLH: Depends if order is important in the above doesn't it?!

Tbh, I have no idea what Capstone is at this point. But what you say about Themepark is interesting speculation. I wonder... that might have a bearing. My pet theory so far is Capstone reward specialisation in a way that encourages players that find a niche and predominantly enjoy only that niche?

Goblin Squad Member

DarkLightHitomi wrote:

Do I want "abc" or "abc"? Isn't really a choice since they are both the same thing so why does one get something special?

Capstones don't reward choices, they reward a simpleton, lead by the nose, themepark playstyle rather then a creative playstyle. The former takes the clearly marked path (themepark), the latter takes whatever is available to make their own path (sandbox).

It feels a lot like they are trying to encourage themepark playstyle in a sandbox world.

Careful dude. You're getting dangerously close to personal attacks here. I can appreciate if you feel outnumbered or that people have misunderstood your reasoning, but there's no need for name calling.

It seems to me that the two major disagreements others and myself have with your argument is that a: you claim both characters are identical when they may well not be.
And b: even if they are, the devs have never promised that they're striving for equality in all things by giving everything to everyone. Even if capstones prove unfair, which I dont think they will, the devs are well within their rights to implement them if they so choose. There may well be multiple abilities that come as a consequence of player choice and they may not be open to everyone. Or a player may choose A over B only to have it nerfed a month later. That wouldn't necessarily entitle him to a respecc.

Edit:
@Andius, if any capstone ability is equivalent or greater than a 500% hp boost, I'll totally agree with you. It would be a death sentence for anyone who missed out on it. I think this is a ridiculous example though and that capstones, even if they are advantageous in combat (which they may well not be) will not be nearly so unbalancing.

Also, just a reminder, we still don't have the final word on how multiclassing will work with regards to ability selection and progression. It seems there are alot of assumptions that single classes will have just as many advantages from their chosen rout as multiclassers and that may well not be the case. I would argue that the inclusion of a capstone ability in and of itself suggests that there may be significant difficulty in remaining pure in a single class for 1.5 to 2 years and that capstones are a way to balance that.

Let's assume for a moment that all things are not equal during progression. Just for the sake of argument, assume that there are no Jack of All Trades disadvantages for multi classing during the first year or so. If it turns out that multi classes have a distinct advantage, would you be less bothered by Capstones as a reward for people who had been fighting an uphill battle for the past eighteen months? Or does that not change anything?

Goblin Squad Member

Mcduff wrote:
Let's assume for a moment that all things are not equal during progression. Just for the sake of argument, assume that there are no Jack of All Trades disadvantages for multi classing during the first year or so. If it turns out that multi classes have a distinct advantage, would you be less bothered by Capstones as a reward for people who had been fighting an uphill battle for the past eighteen months? Or does that not change anything?

If capstones offer any mechanical advantage I would feel it's an overall bad system. That they need to rebalance things so that sticking with a single class is more viable as you do it. That said I have never seen a game where multiclassing had any substantial advantage over single class characters in terms of being more viable while advancing at the same rate. We may not have details, but I personally feel the details aren't that important given the trend I've observed over and over in other games. The advantage of multiclassing always comes out once the single class is maxed. Never before.

In EVE, any choice you make NEVER bars you from taking your character down certain paths / earning certain rewards later on. That is a good rule to stick by.

I would prefer that if there is ever anything in PFO that ever made unavailable to people as in, no matter what you do with your character you can never earn it ever once you make a certain choice or a certain time period has passed, it needs to be pure cosmetic or fluff content. Nothing with any real mechanical value.

I have seen quotes here earlier by Ryan hinting at the fact that that may be what capstones are. I have also seen a few people saying that capstones need to offer a mechanical advantages though, so that's mainly what I'm arguing against.

Goblin Squad Member

Andius wrote:


If capstones offer any mechanical advantage I would feel it's an overall bad system. That they need to rebalance things so that sticking with a single class is more viable as you do it. That said I have never seen a game where multiclassing had any substantial advantage over single class characters in terms of being more viable while advancing at the same rate. We may not have details, but I personally feel the details aren't that important given the trend I've observed over and over in other games. The advantage of multiclassing always comes out once the single class is maxed. Never before.

This I mainly agree with, Personally I would preffer capstones not to have much if any mechanical advantage. Personally I would preffer the limits within multiclassing to be pretty noteworthy to limit the mixtures.

This is for a reason, The overall intent of the game at least as far as I know that is still the goal, is that a triple capstoned character, isn't to be significantly stronger than a single capstoned character, by extrapolation, someone who is 1 year fighter, 1 year monk, also can't be much stronger than a 1 year fighter, unless GW has some voodoo I don't know if, that one can't fall both ways.

As a result I think a pure 20 pretty much has to be better than a multiclassed, and IMO a capstone should not be something to make that differentiation larger, but simply a flashyer version of existing moves, that is simply to prove commitment or look cool.

Quote:

I have seen quotes here earlier by Ryan hinting at the fact that that may be what capstones are. I have also seen a few people saying that capstones need to offer a mechanical advantages though, so that's mainly what I'm arguing against.

Goblin Squad Member

incentive for single classing is all very sweet, but why use disaccociated game mechanics to achieve it?

i.e. there appears to be no in game explanation for the capstone.

why does a character with 20 levels A and 20 Levels b get two capstones

why does a chacter who took 1 level A, 20 levels B, 19 levels A oly get one?

yepp, there is a slippery slope here:
at which ratio would you deny the capstone?
for which reason?

IN GAME explanation please!
________

why set the current idea in stone so early in the developement process?
what a waste of creative energy!

or have I just missed the discussion from being offline for a while?

Goblin Squad Member

@Hitomi
For the record I agree with your position. However, since PFO has so far been firm on how they will implement capstones, it's time to accept that this is out of our hands.

Personally I won't be aiming to get the capstone abilities as I fully intend of taking prestige classes and perhaps levels in other classes. Despite whether I'm rewarded or punished for my play style, my character concept is the important thing for me.

In relation as to why they're made this decision, I couldn't say one or the other. The argument about increased human interaction due to most players being specialist rather than generalist, may be the reason. However, the way they've described the hot keys, seems to force a certain amount of specialisation due to the limited number of weapon/spell slots. So even if you had a fighter 20/ rogue 20 / wizard 20 / cleric 20 character, you'd have to choose what role you're specialising in anyway.

Lantern Lodge

AvenaOats wrote:

@DLH: Depends if order is important in the above doesn't it?!

Tbh, I have no idea what Capstone is at this point. But what you say about Themepark is interesting speculation. I wonder... that might have a bearing. My pet theory so far is Capstone reward specialisation in a way that encourages players that find a niche and predominantly enjoy only that niche?

Niches aren't covered by classes, stereotypes are and in general niches are usually more about what is being achieved rather then how it's being achieved,

IE Ranged DPS is a niche, but it can be filled in a variety of ways, not just a single class (of which even the closest classes can go in very different directions). Ranged DPS can be arrows or magic or both and still fill that niche.

Besides once you hit 20/20 it no longer matters how you got those abilities because you now have them and the order you took them doesn't change how well they work

By Andius

Quote:

In EVE, any choice you make NEVER bars you from taking your character down certain paths / earning certain rewards later on. That is a good rule to stick by.

This right here is what I am trying to say.

@Onishi
Pure class at 20 is only debatably better then multiclass if 20 is a max, but it's not so I can go get all 20 badges even if I am already multiclass.

@all
It seems to me that if no one said anything about roles, that they wouldn't be noticable in character building, only the fact that they clarify some skills as belonging to a role is all that tells you such a role exists.

Like in skyrim, keep it the same but have messages pop up when you have certain perk combos that tell you what roles you have achieved.

Goblin Squad Member

Andius wrote:
I am kind of getting the feeling that if GoblinWorks proposes it's own Jar Jar or midichlorians you will either hold your tongue or tell them it's a great idea. That may or may not be true but that certainly is the impression I get when the main point of your argument seems to be "Don't take that tone with them!!!" and I'm not even aiming to be offencive.

This very well may be the most offensive thing anyone on the internet as ever directed my way, :P.

One of the huge problems i have with the reasoning presented has been this sort of black/white absolutism. If one person is "rewarded" the other is "punished!!!!" zomguh! oh noe... except, you're looking at it only from the end goal back. Neither character will be "identical" to any other, unless the pathing is literally identical. We can't know if that's the case, but even then... even in the far off future, at the end of a long slow journey, both have not had the same experiences, even if in some theoretical universe they did exactly the same things. One would enjoy whatever potential benefits/penalties from multi-classing, and the other would enjoy whatever potential benefits/penalties from single-pathing. By the very core of this whole discussion, the two are inherently different. Thusly, Its not ABC = ABC. The process matters in this regard.

As to the use of language, there's a significant difference between the opinion that a) we don't have enough data to make a valid choice, and b) the basics of what they've proposed seem ok and kissing GW ass and acting like a benevolent fanboy without a single bad thing to say. You want to disregard my statements, and go with veiled ad hominem attacks, that's fine, its your logical fallacy to carry around. Its one thing to not like an idea, and express that, and entirely another to belabor the point, once others have decided not to agree with you. Rewarding one choice over another, even if in some theoretical mechanical fuzzy logic space they end up "the same" is simply. not. punishment. Its the consequences for choices made.

Goblin Squad Member

DarkLightHitomi wrote:
Do I want "abc" or "abc"? Isn't really a choice since they are both the same thing so why does one get something special?

I must disagree, "abcdefg" is not at all equal to "a1AbcdBef2g". Yes, both contain the same subset {abcdefg}, but they are definitely not equivalent. Consider this, GW balances the "roles" within the 2.5 years or so it takes to meet the capstone. This means while they might start weak, they might end strong (like wizards) or even start strong and end up less strong by comparison to other roles. People choose their roles based upon the challenge and play-style they enjoy. Sidestepping those challenges by synergizing with the strengths of other roles is certainly an option but does change the intended level of challenge in the development of any single role. It defeats the "intended balance". If "they" have stated the capstone is intended to reward the effort of meeting the challenge and effort of staying the course in a single role, then it does make sense to deny that achievement to someone who does not meet the criterion. However, this argument as is might suggest one should only ever be able to acquire an initial capstone.

And again, just to clarify, this argument is not the main reason I support capstones, promoting variety is.

DarkLightHitomi wrote:
Capstones don't reward choices, they reward a simpleton, lead by the nose, themepark playstyle rather then a creative playstyle. The former takes the clearly marked path (themepark), the latter takes whatever is available to make their own path (sandbox).

This is based upon the assumption that there will not be enough variation within a role to allow creativity. I certainly hope your assumption is incorrect and will be very disappointed if you are right. And I must point out that GW is laying out all the roles with freedom to choose among them, so actually...any possible combination you can imagine will be seen by some as a "clearly marked path". Most multiclassers will be min/maxers who get their mathematically optimized build off some website....those could probably also be viewed as "clearly marked paths" as well.

DarkLightHitomi wrote:
It feels a lot like they are trying to encourage themepark playstyle in a sandbox world.

Okay, actually...

https://goblinworks.com/ wrote:
Pathfinder Online is a hybrid sandbox/theme park-style MMO

I think for me I also highly disagree with:

DarkLightHitomi wrote:
I should earn it, but I also should always have the option to earn it, without restarting a new character.

In a persistent world one's choices would have consequences. Some of our actions and choices would and should result in the closing of previously available pathways and options. That is how a persistent world would behave...as sandboxes are often described. Themeparks on the otherhand are those in which persistence does not exist and every option is open to every character...everyone gets to save the world by killing the ultimate bad guy, etc...so, it actually feels as if you are trying to encourage "themepark playstyle in a sandbox world." (which as highlighted above is well within design parameters, just wanted to point out what I see as an odd contradiction).

Finally, as to why one would want to play a stereotype, I for one would argue that the anti-stereotype is the new stereotype. One of the things I really like about PF is the effort Paizo made in the redesign of the base classes to make them strong alternatives in themselves.

Lantern Lodge

Most of what I said was intended to to point out the particular facet that I didn't like, not to say that the world is absolute black and white (sometimes it's easier to paint black and white pictures when trying to illustrate a point)

Also, after the first 20 badges you are multiclassing, and thus you are a multiclass character when going for your second capstone, thus multiclassing vs single classing isn't the rock hard line that determines if you get a capstone or not.

And the punishment isn't that I don't get something, it's that I get prevented from getting something.

Two characters get the Fighter 20 merit but one gets more out of that badge then another. (Again assuming a black and white universe to illustrate my point)

The process matters not in any regard, with but two exceptions, my enjoyment of playing, and the capstone. That's is as far as the system has been described, and the goals stated so far also makes it highly unlikely for the process to matter for anything else. And in no other game I've played did an ability perform differently based on when I achieved said ability.

Text on capstones and choices:

You must also consider the choice that is associated with the consequences you are discussing and how that choice fits in with the other choices.

In the case of capstones, the choice is 1 do I relax and have fun achieving a goal, or 2 do I spend 2 years being super careful and very unrelaxed, performing tasks without any particular enjoyment, and possibly ignoring current needs and maybe being unreliable to others, to achieve the same thing.

If I need to put my progress on hold so I can do something else to help my friends, I should be able to without completely destroying any possibility of resuming said progress at a later date.

This is also the only choice, we know of currently, that has this highly undesirable effect, any other choices only delay other rewards rather then denying them them (as far as has been explained, it is also likely to be the only such choice). As it also has no discernable reasoning behind it, it is a serious breach of pattern.

This means
1, it will always be a point of contention, (because it goes against the grain of everything else in the system)
2 or the developers have failed (accidently or through lack of info) to illustrate how limiting and themeparkish the character advancement will be. (In fact the current immpression is that we will have lots of freedom in character creation, and that the main restriction is not what abilities we get but how many we can use)

@Mcduff
I have no idea how my comments were personal on any level and I apologize for them seeming like it.

As with your disagreement number a, please see my remark on black and white above. I ignored all of grey area out of simplification, and because none of that grey area changes the fact that 20 fighters badges are in fact, 20 fighter badges.

And disagreement number b, yes they can be unfair, but that won't endear me to play their game. There is a difference between giving everyone everything, and locking select away on a completely arbitrary basis.

It's about system consistancy, if they implement similar restrictions throught out the game, that making some choices will lockout future abilities and this was the norm and not simple exceptions, then I would have less complaints about the game on an objective level, though I personally wouldn't play it, as this falls under the same reason I hate classes.

Goblin Squad Member

DarkLightHitomi wrote:
AvenaOats wrote:

@DLH: Depends if order is important in the above doesn't it?!

Tbh, I have no idea what Capstone is at this point. But what you say about Themepark is interesting speculation. I wonder... that might have a bearing. My pet theory so far is Capstone reward specialisation in a way that encourages players that find a niche and predominantly enjoy only that niche?

Niches aren't covered by classes, stereotypes are and in general niches are usually more about what is being achieved rather then how it's being achieved,

IE Ranged DPS is a niche, but it can be filled in a variety of ways, not just a single class (of which even the closest classes can go in very different directions). Ranged DPS can be arrows or magic or both and still fill that niche.

Besides once you hit 20/20 it no longer matters how you got those abilities because you now have them and the order you took them doesn't change how well they work

That could be true. But I'm trying to figure out the "sense" of capstones, and one idea that occurred, is that eg a role in PvE will be quite specialised. For eg let me speculate with an imaginary eg:

Cleric = strong at fighting Undead, So Lvl6 Cleric is very useful when fighting undead at Lvl6 or up. In fact if no Lvl6 Cleric and a party is fighting Undead a few levels above, then that's going to be a lot tougher? And maybe the same idea with different roles for different types of foes? There might be some super undead creatures which can only be competively defeated with a capstone cleric in toe? Eg some sort of super liche/vampire?

As to PvP, I'm sure different roles will probably be useful more allied to how they influence each other and what contexts, so maybe capstones won't figure so much in this area? IE more about player skill and player teamwork than skill matching?

/rife speculation!

Lantern Lodge

The capstones while yet undefined, have been said to be an ability or a fluff effect and of minor importance.

The capstone rewards someone for reaching full potential in a "role" but only under certain conditions (while these are defined they are nonsensical) that are completely irreversable if broken (which is also an undesirable limit particularly as it currently appears to be the only such case).

Thus the issues,
1 It has a nonsensical, abstract, and dissociated requirment
2 Early decisions with character can prevent any future possibility to achieve
3 Currently appears as though the 2 above issues apply only to this item thus making it unique and breaking from the currently understood pattern.
4 If it turns out that these issues apply in number and as a major part of how the game works, not only would I feel mislead, but I wouldn't bother playing the game even if I understood correctly from the beginning.

Goblin Squad Member

@DLH: Capstone from Goblin Works Blog:

Capstone GW Blog:
Quote:

We also wanted to capture the idea from the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game that dedication to one path would have additional benefits. Therefore, if your character chooses to stay committed to one of these archetypes until it has achieved all 20 archetype merit badges, your character will earn an additional capstone ability! (A character can train in many other skills outside of their archetype skill tree and still progress towards the capstone ability—they just need to avoid training in the skill tree of a different archtype. Don't worry—if you accidentally start to train a skill tree outside your archetype, you'll be warned, the consequences will be explained, and you'll have a chance to change that decision before it's irrevocable!)

Of course, if you decide that it would be more interesting or fun for your character to training in the skills of more than one archetype, you'll still earn the appropriate class-type bonuses when you meet the prerequisites—you just won't be eligible for the final special capstone ability when you achieve the 20th merit badge in that archetype.

Reaching 20th Level

It won't be easy or quick to reach the 20th-level capstone in an archetype. Some of the prerequistes for archetype merit badges will be hard to achieve and will require your character to succeed in some extraordinary adventures. In terms of sheer time, I'd like to see the first 20th-level characters emerge around two-and-a-half-years after launch. Capstone-level characters should be unique, powerful individuals not commonly encountered.

1. You get warning if moving outside capstone potential
2. "extraordinary adventures" are involved in following the capstone path
3. It's a "special" Ability
4. It'll take about 2.5yrs

& Mbando summarises Capstone from Thornkeep pdf:

Capstone pdf:
Quote:

CAPSTONES

Games that encourage multiclassing—taking levels in more
than one class—tend to create generalist rather than specialist
characters. These same games tempt players to take a level in a
new class just to gain a specific ability without offering any inworld
incentive to incorporate the nature of that class into play.
The Pathfinder RPG gives players an incentive to focus on
the same class by adding a special ability, informally called a
capstone, that a player can earn only by taking 20 levels in the
same class. Since the tabletop game is designed for characters
of up to 20th level, only single-classed characters can earn the
capstone ability.

To capture that flavor, Pathfinder Online offers capstone
abilities for characters that earn 20 levels in a single role.
However, herein lies another key difference between the
Pathfinder RPG and Pathfinder Online: characters in the online
game can earn more than 20 levels, and can eventually earn
multiple capstone abilities. While the Goblinworks designers
expect it to take years for anyone to earn 40 levels, the current
thinking is that anyone with that level of commitment to a
character’s development deserves to play a truly epic character.

(Thornkeep, "Behind the Scenes of GW" p. 72-3)

1. "a truly epic character" = we don't know what that means: Is it "power", is it "renown", is it "a measure of uniqueness"? We don't know.
2. A "completionist" thing; especially over that time period.
3. Ties in thematically with the RPG -> directed for this playerbase?
==

Seems to me this incentive for specialism promotes diversity, is the driver for this. Maybe also a driver for training a couple of characters also?

Goblin Squad Member

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DarkLightHitomi wrote:


2 Early decisions with character can prevent any future possibility to achieve

Given that A: there will be ample warning about deviating from capstone, and B: Permanent consequences are one of the defining attributes of a sandbox game, I'm not sure how this is a problem.

Anyone who chooses to multiclass early on and avoid capstone should be well aware of what they are doing. This is one of the improvements they are trying to make on Eve's approach.

Secondly, there is still alot of disagreement with your assertion that both characters will be identical after a couple years. This may be one of the issues we need to wait and see about before finalizing our opinions. At the moment it seems to be an impass. You say they'll be the same in the end and thus equally deserving of an ability. I don't agree. Not much point in pushing this one till we know more.

Finally, You've mentioned multiple times that being forced into a single role would suck the enjoyment out for you. Essentially you'd have to spend two years playing something you didn't like, not being able to help your allies in the ways you want, and missing out on various other rewards your multiclass might have lead you to.

If this is in fact genuine and not exaggeration, then I don't see why there's that much of a conflict for you. As far as we know, it's mostly a fluff ability, so if the price you pay for not getting it is spending two years playing an awesome character who you love in a game that you love, why is it such a big deal? I can see you not being thrilled with it, but threatening to not play a game that you like everything else about simply because there is a single particle effect you don't have access to after enjoying it for a quarter of a decade?

Lantern Lodge

I wasn't threatening not to play if this is the only ability that breaks the currently understood pattern. I was saying that if lots of abilities end up being locked away because of early choices then I wouldn't play. It's just like single class only games like wow, where you choose at the beginning to play something and are locked out of being able to earn other things. And I don't play those.

It is also the fact that I might be part of a group and our healer has to quit game, by saying that I can't stray from path at all means that I am not allowed to dip into cleric to cover the healing till we recruit another.

And multiclassing isn't what they are avoiding because you can have all the abilities you want, except the ones belonging to the capstone, before starting the chain. So if multiclass isn't a problem then why?

And him saying it's to preserve something special for dedication, as though he's taking it from the PnP game is the only thing I've heard him say about it and that's not even close to the PnP game. PnP doesn't have any capstone abilities nor any abilities at all that get denied if I dip into another class in the middle of progression. A couple folks around here say that 20th level is max but that's bs, you just starting taking levels in other classes. Now if PF doesn't want to write modules for above 20 doesn't mean we can't play above 20 and it is even addressed in the core book.

I am less interested in the capstone ability then trying to prevent the precedent of having abilities that become impossible to achieve at a later date.

This is a sandbox game, as such I should be able play for awhile and later on decide to go for something and have it be open to me to achieve. EVE and Mabinogi are both skill based sandbox games and neither of them deny skills or abilities to the players because of past choices.

If they start with this capstone ability then how many more will they choose to be like it? How long before playing for a month locks us out of 20% of the higher level abilities?
If this comes to pass then they are just making themepark characters, and that will drive me away.

Quote:

Mcduff

Anyone who chooses to multiclass early on and avoid capstone should be well aware of what they are doing. This is one of the improvements they are trying to make on Eve's approach.

[][/]

Also you say that it is an imporvement on EVE, but how is this an improvement? What is it improving? EVE already let's you train any skill without restriction based on past choices, so I don't see how this is an improvement.

Goblin Squad Member

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I want to make meaningful decisions that permanently alter the path of my character. I want capstones to be more than what they are described as now, but the current understanding of a capstone is an ability you don't need to enjoy the game to its fullest, and marks your character as someone who is extremely dedicated to their path.

I laughed when I read this:

Quote:
If they start with this capstone ability then how many more will they choose to be like it? How long before playing for a month locks us out of 20% of the higher level abilities?

You're acting like they are a child that stole a candy bar. How long until they hold up a drug store!?!

Arguments like this don't help your cause at all.

Goblin Squad Member

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DarkLightHitomi wrote:

Two people are standing at the checkout counter with $20, is it really fair to deny one of them simply due to one working at pizza hut and the other at pizza inn?

They both offer the same result, +$20 to the merchents account, yet they get treated differently for something that has no involment in the current situation (buying a CD).

This is beyond making a choice, anyone can look at the two characters and not tell which is which, so the capstone only going to one of them despite plenty of capstones to go around seems the very definition of biased.

Only one decent motivation has been mentioned for doing something like this and it doesn't really apply well, because this is a sandbox not a themepark.

Edit: I can get there by enjoying myself or by hating myself, but it doesn't change the fact that I got there. This isn't choosing between the left door and the right door.

I can live a wonderful life then die, or I can just die. And someone thinks it's okay to encourage the just die option when the entire point is to live a wonderful life?

I'd look at the situation a bit more like this. Two individiuals waiting in line to buy the same CD at the store for $20. They are both offered thier choice of rewards. One takes the reward of going to the express line (multi-classing) so they don't have to wait so long to check out. One chooses to wait in the regular line but selects a free poster (capstone) to go with the CD. They've both gotten thier rewards....one chose convenience the other an extra frill. YMMV.

Goblin Squad Member

I think what is really quite frankly starting to anger me about this topic is everyone implying multiclassing is the easy way to go, and single classing is the hard road of toil that you need the carrot at the end in order to endure the difficult trip. Like all the people going single class on on a long difficult pilgrimage and I am asking to take away the the sacred relic they are going to see.

In EVERY other game I've played it's been the opposite. Multiclass characters take far longer to develop into decent characters than single-classing which is the express lane. This was the case in the first RPG I ever played. Dungeon Siege. It was the case in Runescape. It was the case in Darkfall. It was the case in Mortal Online. It was the case in EVE. It would have been the case in Guild Wars if you had to level your classes one at at time.

Every single time the same pattern hold true. The fastest path to success is ALWAYS to follow a single specialization to it's completion then broaden out into multiclassing AFTERWARDS. That is exactly what capstones encourage you to do. Follow a single path to completion, then broaden into multiclassing after you have done that.

The failure of people to see that just... astounds me. It's like saying "Every other time I hit my head against the wall it hurts. But we don't have enough details to know if we hit our head against THIS wall if it will hurt. We don't even know what pattern the bricks will be set down in yet!" I can tell you one thing for sure. Hitting your head against the wall is a bad idea. I'll leave it at that.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

Why, then would anyone miss out on the capstone?

Goblin Squad Member

Now we have touch something.

Leveling.

In the thornkeep document, they said that level will be a achivement and not the power himself.

When I understand about multiclassing is that.

Vincent is a 10 level fighter. To be 11 he need 30 hours of training but he want to have 1 level achivement in rogue. He need 20 hours of training.
Why? because the skill requirement for achevement is for a level one rogue and not a 11th character.(It will surely have some 11th requeriement like attack or resistance to spell)

Then Vincent decide to have another level of fighter that will take now 25 hours because requirement have been done by the level 1 rogue.

This is how I understand it and this his why that those who single classing will have a capstone.

It think this thread is transforming in how level multi or single will be handle than the pertience of capstones. (Who should be available in more than 2.5 year.)

But, maybe capstone to obtain the feel of a rpg is a bad idea if there no level cap... I don't know and I don't really care. I am not a min-max person.

Goblin Squad Member

DeciusBrutus wrote:
Why, then would anyone miss out on the capstone?

Roleplay. And variety of gameplay. In EVE, despite the fact you can be more successful as a fighter by picking a single race, a single ship, and focusing on training a single fitting for that ship until you have mastered it, than by jumping around training many ships in many roles from roles from logistics, to mining, to pure DPS output, people like to explore many aspects of the game. They want to see if they enjoy projectile weapons more the missiles or lasers. They want to see if a stealth ship is more fun than a battleship. Because focusing on one thing can be tiring after awhile even if it is the quickest route to success. This is why I refer to capstones as an extra punishment for being ADD in your skill training. It's the same concept as altoholics. Everyone knows making a ton of alts just means you have a ton of weak alts, but people still do it. They do it because they enjoy variety.

The other reason is roleplay. I kind of like the abilities of both clerics and druids. I don't really want my character to be entirely devoted to Sarenrae or nature though, as would make sense for a pure cleric or druid. Mixing classes gives an RP reason for me to play down my devotion to either my chosen deity or nature, to where it is important to me, but not what I think about from the moment I wake up in the morning to the moment sleep enfolds me at night as I think it should be for a pure cleric or druid.

What I do know is this. A cleric of Sarenrae. A PURE cleric of Sarenrae is a VERY powerful class both solo and as part of a team. If I pick my domains in fire and healing and then devote all my abilities toward stronger divine magic I have a powerful offence and defence on a character that can wear medium armor and use a shield. Thats a good mix for 1vs1 PVP. It's a good mix for small squad PVP. It's a good mix for PVE. It's a good mix for battles. Clerics are just a deadly class.

Despite that I think if there is an effective way to mix druid with another class to give him wolf form and some healing abilities while having RP justification not to be a total treehugger. I might just go with that. Wolf form is just plain cool. I could go with just plain druid but it's easier for me to reconcile Andius as being fervently devoted to a neutral-good god than to nature. As a hybrid I can explain it off as a healthy respect for nature and admiration of wolves.

But if the capstones are even somewhat good mechanically. I'll be sticking cleric, and I can almost guarantee I'll have a stronger character for it, if one who's RP I'm not quite as happy with.

Goblin Squad Member

The multi-classing issues won't arise until very late in the game(4-5 years) when people have 20 merits in one archetype and are picking the abilities out of other archetypes to boost their own.

Goblin Squad Member

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Andius, however you try and spin it, all of us who are experienced 3.5 or D20 players know that multi-class builds are the path of the munchkin. If you know the rules well, you can mix and match classes and come up with really powerful synergies, and that's a fact the designers are explicitly addressing.

Maybe you personally want to RP, but as Lee points out in the Thornkeep book, if you make min/maxing an option, people will do it, and others will pressure them to do it to get the "best" build. So for that reason, they've made a design choice to reward playing a class straight through.

You can complain about how dumb everyone else is, and their "failure to see" and whateves, but the bottom line is that until you say something that address the actual issue (a design choice meant to inhibit min/maxing), you're not engaged in dialogue in a meaningful or sincere way. You're quibbling.

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