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Capstones... Why?


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Lantern Lodge

@Mbando
First, they already addressed that by having a limit to how many currently usable abilties you have at any one time. This alone is more then enough to squash that.

Second, min-maxing might have a couple combos that would work awesome by multiclassing, but it always, either takes forever to reach reach that point, or it's something that is awesomely cool but has very limited usablity (sneak attack can mix with any number of things but it is still very limited by being both conditional and not multiply-able)

Besides whether I qualify for something should be based on current stats/info/abilities not past history.

At any point I should be able to pick a new goal (such as getting a capstone)and be able to go for it.

Goblin Squad Member

Mbando wrote:

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.

This is NOT the tabletop!!! I have played 3.5, and Pathfinder but the system we are using to gain skills in PFO is so radically different that I didn't even think it was worth discussing.

In the tabletop 10 levels fighter, 10 levels rogue = 20th level character.

That is NOT how it works in PFO. You know how I know? Because if that were the case that would mean that:

20 levels fighter, and 20 levels rogue = 40th level character.

Yet we know progression caps at 20. You can multiclass to gain more options at 20 but not more power.

OBVIOUSLY the progression of power is not going to follow the tabletop rules. Someone spends half their time training rogue and half training fighter is going to have a character that is lower level than someone who spends it all training one class because one thing we do know:

20th level fighter and 20th level rogue = 20th level character in PFO

We don't know if someone who spends half of their time training rogue and half of their time training fighter will be a 10th or a 17th level character by the time the single classer reaches 20. We don't know how many of the skills you need to level cross over from class to class, or how much progression slows down as you hit each level. But we should be able to conclude based on what we do know, that they will be behind. No matter how you work the math they WILL be behind. 100% of the time, in every system unless GW plans to make it so you can gain levels in multiple classes at the same time, at the same rate as a single classer. So a system where if a multi classer and single classer start at the same time the multi classer become a fighter level 5/rogue level 5 at the same time the single classer become a fighter level 5. I will give you 100$ and start a new topic to give a personal apology to you, Gruffling, and everyone else I've been debating with here if that is the system they use. Because it's not going to happen.

Again. I am surprised by people's failure to see the obvious.

If you want to be terrified of people's multiclassing munchkins, you need to be worrying about people with multiple capstones, not people who dabble around before they reach their first capstone. Someone who is 5 levels fighter, 5 levels rogue, 5 levels cleric should only be a big concern to you, if you are level 5.

Lantern Lodge

Just to note, I am with Andius on this.

Goblin Squad Member

In response to Hitomi's question regarding my Eve online reference, I was alluding to the fact that new players in Eve are often at a loss when presented with the seemingly limitless options with no idea which to take first or even which direction to aim. From what I've read, GW is looking to soften this experience a little and one of the ways would be giving a heads up that by choosing a certain option, they'll be missing out on something else.

You also seem to imply that your problem is not entirely with Capstones per say, but more that they set a precedent for future locking out of abilities. While I'm not particularly worried about this, I'll at least agree that I'd prefer if they didn't go too heavily in that direction. Beyond that, I'll bow out of the discussion for the time being. I've stated my perspective and I believe I have a fairly solid grasp on the opposing viewpoint. Sans new information in a blog post or in response to this thread, I'll leave it at that.

Goblin Squad Member

Isn't it obvious that more questions than answers at present:

ie Good reason: players have some structure to work within when they are newbs

ie Bad reason: Ouch, how does his affect my levelling, is it addititive across roles and at what rate (ie 6+1=7, vs 5,1,1= 6 or 1 or 1)? AND! I don't get my capstone if move around before 20.

Those have all been stated by various people. Most interesting thing said, I've seen is that the devs have "put this in stone" "so early in development" - either that's premature or they have a great idea we're not getting? :)

Goblin Squad Member

Really I think this discussion is pretty much over. Let me recap for those who disagree.

Fact 1: Reaching 20th level in a single class is end of your progression as far as character strength goes. After that you do not get stronger, only more diverse in the abilities you have access to.

Fact 2: Capstones are given on 20th level only if you stick with a single class. Training even one level in another class after you have taken the 1st level in the class you want to capstone prevents you from doing it.

Fact 3: You may train additional classes after you capstone without losing your capstone. You may even earn multiple capstones.

Fact 4: Given Fact 1. We know that a character that is has twenty levels in two classes is in effect a 20th level character. Therefore we can conclude that a character that is NOT 20th level in any class is NOT a 20th level character.

Fact 5: Given Fact 4. We know that multiclass characters will advance slower than single class characters in every scenario except the all but impossible one that you can can gain levels in multiple classes at the same rate as a single class.

Fact 6: Given Fact 5 it is almost assured that a character that levels from 1 to 20 in a single class will be more powerful than a multiclass character at every stage of progression from level 1 to 20.

Fact 7: Given Fact 6 we can estimate that the most efficient way to level in terms of keeping your character at it's most powerful during all points of progression is to level a character from 1 to 20 in a single class. Then 1 to 20 in another class. This is true WITH OR WITHOUT capstones.

Fact 8: Given Facts 2,3, and 7, Capstones are an additional reward for leveling your character in the most efficient method.

Fact 9: Given Fact 8, Capstones do nothing to address min-maxing.

That is pretty much end of discussion IMO, unless you believe that capstones should be used to guide people to do what is in their best interests at which point I would ask you... why bother to allow pre capstone multiclassing at all? I really don't see how anyone reading this list can come to any other conclusion than that capstones which give a mechanical advantage are entirely unreasonable so long as Fact 2 remains true.

Goblin Squad Member

Thanks Andius: That's really helped clear things up, for me, as to how potentially things might pan out. Cheers.

Goblin Squad Member

I get it you do not like consequences (as stated by DLHitomi "whether I qualify for something should be based on current stats/info/abilities not past history." - consequences are due to causal interactions...aka history). I actually hope history has at least as much a role as the other stated points. I want a game with consequences (yes, personal opinion).

As for your last 2 posts Andius, I cannot agree with you. For instance the logic of your #4: A character that is has earned 1 merit badge in n role(s) is not equal to one which has earned 1 merit badge in n+1 roles. The later will be much more versatile and have more options in both utility and conflict. Therefore, the following is also true via induction:

A character that is has earned 10 merit badge in n role(s) is not equal to one which has earned 10 merit badge in n+1 roles.

A character that is has earned 20 merit badge in n role(s) is not equal to one which has earned 20 merit badge in n+1 roles.

Since the above is true, your #4 cannot be. I do not deny #5, although it does not really rely upon #4. I am making no claims about time to cap...it is irrelevant to claims about quantities of power (or anything else as far as I can see).

Since #4 is false, #6 has been put into question. I can fairly comfortably deny it, or at least deny its current reservation as a FACT (it is a broad unfounded claim about the future design and play of the game). In each case I presented above, both characters have learned n to the same "level" and therefore have that base, the former is limited to that base, the later is not...meaning the later can never be less than the former (assuming all additive learning in roles). In denying #6, this also directly denys #7, #8, and #9; and again how do you quantify power?

I would have to quantify "power" with versatility and options rather than the more obvious combat strength (otherwise your argument starts bleeding over to have unintended consequences concerning the design of individual roles themselves). Since I argue "power" is more a matter of versatility and options, my argument above suggests earning "levels" in a variety of roles will always result in more of it. Again, I do not really see what relevance the time to "level 20" has to do with anything.

I see what you are arguing I just don't agree with the structure of your argument or your conclusions. As for a counter claim, others smarter than myself have already made them here.

You yourself state that a level 20 character is a level 20 character...no matter how many level 20s it has. Will you really argue that a level 20 fighter/ 20 rogue/ 20 wizard is not more powerful (in any way you try to measure it) than a level 20 fighter? Or even a level 10 fighter/ 10 rogue/ 10 wizard is not more powerful than a level 10 fighter? That is what your #6 claims...upon which the proof of #7, #8, and ultimately your conclusion #9 rely.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

All this discussion of character level, using numbers.

Where was character level discussed? I've read every blog post and literally every post in this forum, and I don't recall seeing a goblinworks post reference "character level" as something that will exist. What properties are each of you attributing to "character level"?

Goblinworks Executive Founder

DeciusBrutus wrote:

All this discussion of character level, using numbers.

Where was character level discussed? I've read every blog post and literally every post in this forum, and I don't recall seeing a goblinworks post reference "character level" as something that will exist. What properties are each of you attributing to "character level"?

I think they get it from here:

From the Blog, 2012 January 12 https://goblinworks.com/blog/index.html#20120104
"In the tabletop Pathfinder RPG, you earn the benefits of a level all at once as you hit an experience point threshold. In Pathfinder Online, we've turned the system on its head: instead of using experience points as a prerequisite for improving in a skill, improving skills are part of the prerequisite for gaining new abilities. Your character must earn all the things needed to qualify for a new "level," and then you're rewarded with a special bonus. If you want to be a better rogue, you do roguish things and train roguish skills, and at a certain point, you receive a special merit badge recognizing a development milestone, rewarding you with a benefit for your persistence. Like class levels in the tabletop game, there will be 20 of these rewards available for each class type, creating a way to simulate a 20-level progression within our unique system."

Fact:
In Pathfinder PnP, multiclassing makes your character stronger as most abilities are additive - you add Attack Bonuses, you add Saving Throw bonuses and so on.

A lot of the posts in this thread assumes that all bonuses from having earned a "special merit badge" are additive with every other "special merit badge". It is much more likely that you get the best benefits of each type, whatever they are, like multiclassing worked in (classic) Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. Also, some Abilities might counteract each other. Consider the following hypothetical setup for Barbarian and Fighter (based on how I would design the Archetypes to make "classes" make sense).

speculation starts
Barbarian: Must have High rating in Fight, Rage and Fortitude, and not so much in other skills. When reaching a threshold in these skills, as well as a much lower threshold in secondary skills like Willpower, Avoidance, Armor, Stealth, Survival, Tracking and Climbing, as well as doing implied or explicit Barbarian stuff (like killing something in a rage), you get a merit badge which gives you one or more new abilities. For a Barbarian, these would be Rage powers and some passive bonuses here and there, at least some additional hit points.

Fighter: Must have High rating in Fight, Armor and Fortitude. When reaching a threshold in these skills, as well as a much lower threshold in secondary skills like Willpower, Avoidance and a few skills of their own choice, and doing things expected by a fighter (like taunting an opponent away from a teammate), you get one or more Abilities. For a Fighter these would be things like Weapon Specialization and Combat maneuvers like disarm, trip etc.

These abilities could counteract each other: If you used a rage power, for as long as that power was active, and 5 seconds after that, you lost you Weapon Specialication bonuses and couldn't use the Fighter Abilities which are based on the concept of a controlled fighting style.
end speculation

That is how I expect the game to work. Thus, you would multiclass for versatility, not power.

Goblin Squad Member

Blog about levels.

It would take my hours to compile my references as not all of them are from the blog. A lot of them are from Ryan's posts on the forums but Ryan has said that he wants players to be rewarded in terms of power as they level. Not so much of a reward as most MMO's but he seems to think people will not want to play an MMO where they gain no inherent bonus in strength as their character advances.

I also remember reading that once you reach capstone the point is diversity. You gain more options but not more power. And what I mean by this is that you have more abilities to choose from, but no increased HP. No increased attack damage. No increased armor rating etc. unless perhaps the new class you are leveling as more than the old and you slot whatever abilities you need to take advantage of that. I'm not sure exactly how it works, all I know is character strength does not rise.

I want you to think about the system for a minute if what I just said ISN'T true. If all you gain as you level is new abilities, and these new abilities are not inherently stronger than the old ones. Multiclassing will be OFF THE CHAIN. You could go through and easily level the early stages of every class and you now have access to a crap ton of abilities. And since diversity of abilities is the reward for leveling your level 5... everything is going to have a lot of really good build options.

That system makes no sense, and it's not what Ryan has talked about every time he posts on these forums. Given that you can bet your bottom dollar that your multiclass character will have less damage output, less health, less armor, less effective power than your single class character before he reaches capstone, and that is what I am talking about in terms of character strength. Brute strength. Brute force.

So in terms of brute force your multiclassing character will always be weaker or lower level. I can almost assure you that if you dip heavily into another class, that the time to level it will leave you substantially weaker because you are lacking the brute force of a single class character. And if you don't dip heavily into another class, it's all too easy to take the few levels of your secondary class BEFORE you start on the class you want to capstone.

Goblin Squad Member

I am very sympathetic to the position that a character should always be able to change their mind and start advancing down another path - and ultimately be as good in that new path as if they'd started that path from the outset. That's the principle that most appeals to me about an open-ended, skill-based (as opposed to class-based) system.

It's true that Capstone abilities violate that principle. If there are a large number of game systems that violate that principle, I will be extremely disappointed. I don't expect to be disappointed.

Goblin Squad Member

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Andius,

Respectfully just because something has worked one way in EvE, Guildwars, Runescape, etc...does NOT mean it will work the same way in PFO. To say that is to contend that you can draw inferences about how Monopoly works from looking at Risk. PFO is it's own game...and neither you nor I have all that much information about how advancement and levels work. Nor really just how much synergy is capable from multi-classed (abilities). Frankly we don't even know how much, if any, power is given by earning merit badges for class "levels" as compared to simply earning merit badges for abilities. I understand your concern...and IF all of your points hold true in PFO then you certainly have a case for griping but at this point I'd say we really have no evidence to show that those points do hold true.

I'd say your point #5 is definately unproven at this point and potentialy your point #4, both of which form this basis for the rest of your arguement.

If for example, learning sword skill 5 counts for both Fighter and Rogue "levels" and learning upto Level 4 in any class takes 3 months but going from 4 to 5 takes 6 months...and having sword skill 4 and level 4 Rogue also allows "Sneak attack" for a Rogue, lets look at what happens to the equation shall we?

- For the first 3 months of the game both our characters are equal, they've both advanced to level 4 Fighter.

- For our single class fighter...he has a 6 month wait before he can open up Fighter Level 5.

- For our Multi-Class Fighter/Rogue....he decides to bring his Rogue Level upto 4...which would normaly take him 3 months...but wait 50 percent of the skills he learned for Fighter advancement ALSO count for Rogue advancement. So his actual training time is only 1.5 months.

- So now our Multi-Class Fighter/Rogue...for the next 4.5 months enjoys ALL the abilities that our 4th Level Fighter has (They are both the SAME level Fighter) but ALSO enjoys ALL the Abilities a 4th level Rogue has...which includes any benefits from SYNERGY between the 2 classes abilities AND all the benefit of DIVERSITY in being able to switch out thier skill sets out of combat when they know they need to fill a more Rogue like role...and they are only 1.5 months behind the single class Fighter in thier advancement.

- How does the benefit that 1.5 months that the single class get for being Fighter 5, stack up against the Multi-Class enjoying 4.5 months of Rogue 4 and having the same abilities as the Single-Class?

- How does the power of being 1 level ahead in thier class stack up against the versatility of having all those extra Rogue abilities?

- How much of our actual abilities even come from gaining "Level" merit badges compared to what comes from gaining merit badges for raw abilities?

We just don't know the answers to the above questions because GW hasn't really filled in the details of how all that works for us yet. I'm not claiming that "PFO" will actualy work like the model I detailed. I really have no idea how it will work. The point I'm trying to make is that I can easly construct a game dynamic where the benefits of multi-classing FAR outweigh those of single-classing...even under all the parameters we know about PFO currently.

Not trying to dismiss your concerns but for those of us who are interested in single-classing it's a little bit disconcerting to see someone claim they aren't justified when we don't have much of the critical information that would determine how multi-classing stacks up against single-clssing on the road to cap.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

Especially considering the stated intention for new characters to be relevant, I don't think that someone who spent six months on 'fighter skills' and six months on 'druid skills' will be on a different scale from someone who focused on one or the other exclusively. I think the 'multiclass' character will be better than the fighter at things the fighter is bad at, and worse than the fighter at things the fighter is good at.

"better at some things and worse at some things" is part of "balanced".

Granted, a fighter and a druid teamed will probably be better than two fighter/Druids teamed- but the right comparison would be a fighter and a druid versus a barbarian/Druid and a rogue/cleric (or any two combinations that go well together)

I think the ideal member of any organization would be T-shaped in abilities: a basic ability in everything, and a narrow focused area of maximum ability. I'm not sure how to model that in skill training terms, because I don't yet know enough details to be that fine-grained.

Goblin Squad Member

I wonder if the capstone abilities in PFO will be comparable to Pathfinder's. Here's a link to the PF Reference document for classes.

Lantern Lodge

@Mbando
Still not seeing any capstones, unless they are capstones by virtue of simply being the last ability gained, and in that case they are nothing special, and most certainly not denied to multiclass characters.
-----
Fact 1, False, power comes at least partly from the abilities equipped and multiclassed characters have many more (give sneak attack to your 20th fighter, how can you deny the power increase)

Fact 4, given falseness of fact 1, this is also false.

Fact 5, we know the leveling your second class takes the same amount of time as leveling your first one (I did a time estimate for how long to train all 11 classes assuming otherwise and was corrected) Therefore getting any particular class to 20 takes longer as a multiclass character but getting the first level of every class will be faster then getting 11 levels in one class.

Fact 6 false, since power is partly what powers we have available a multiclass character can more quickly fill in the ability slots to max and have much more versatility in equipping powers and thus more likley to be able to hit an opponants weak spot (even if he can't hit that weakness as good as the appropriate single class, but far more likely to hit it) Further, given the the power level across the board is suppossed to be 6-10 range of the PnP, the difference between a maxed character and a middleing character is not enough to compensate for a better built character which can almost certainly be done only by multiclassing.

Fact 7 Assuming no overlapping requisites, it will take 7.5 years to level to 20 in three classes regardless of the order you learn the abilities (could be shorter if overlapping requisites, but that is an unknown variable) the power level in terms of defeating opponants will be higher at the lower levels if multiclassed, but the power in terms of maxing out the individual numbers occurs either in three sets by going single class or all near the end by going multiclass. Also depends on how HP is done which is likely its own skill and will be maxed out soonest regardless of class method (barring class bonuses, if any).

Fact 8 depends entirely on what kind of effiency you are referring to.

Fact 9 given the above, if capstones do anything at all it addresses early level min-maxing while adding to late level min-maxing.

Fact 2 while true, this is the fact that we don't want. The leveling time is entirely too long to make it worth making a new character for completionism and having a play character. And given the length of time involved, the goals and needs of the player will shift many times in that period. Given that it would take 27.5 years to get the capstone of every class for just the starting classes alone, it is unlikely anyone will bother being completionist anyway as the chances of the game being around that long are slim (though I am rooting for them to get into the guiness book of world records)

Given the above I have to conclude that the reasoning behind capstones remains elusive, but that I still don't want to see capstones remain as something unachieveable for the players who play concepts rather then classes.

Classes have always been my bane and it is dissappointing that my hopes for a new classless RPG have been dashed twice in a row (the elder scrolls online is going classes as well, even more so then the PFO token to classes)

Goblin Squad Member

Mbando wrote:

I wonder if the capstone abilities in PFO will be comparable to Pathfinder's. Here's a link to the PF Reference document for classes.

Judging by the quotes etc... from Ryan I would say they almost certainly would be drastically different, considering ryan has implied they are intended to be minor abilities, and a good portion of classes 20th level abilities, are things I would very much not like to see in a game that is mixing high and low level characters in the same fight. Namely because most of them are pure save or die effects. Which I am as a whole against having in the game at all. As well save or dies are certainly not in the counter of a minor perk that is more for bragging rights than effect.

Goblin Squad Member

I still think it would be cool if there was a unique Capstone for each possible combination of Roles you dabbled in.

So, when you hit 20 as a Fighter, the system looks to see if you gained any other Merit Badges in other Roles between Fighter 1 and Fighter 20. If there were none, then you get the "Pure Fighter" Capstone. If you only dabbled in Rogue, then you get the "Fighter-Rogue" Capstone - which would be different than the "Rogue-Fighter" Capstone. If you dabbled in Rogue, Wizard, Cleric, Barbarian (regardless of order), then you get the "Fighter-Rogue/Wizard/Cleric/Barbarian" Capstone.

Goblin Squad Member

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Onishi: could you steer me to the quotes you're thinking of? The quotes from Lee and Ryan I've put up say explicitly that the capstones are meant to be worthwhile. I missed what you're getting at.

I do think you're right that the capstones vary significantly. Deadly Performance (Bard) and Holy Champion (Paladin) seem pretty darn powerful, whereas Wildshape at Will (Druid) and Master Hunter (Ranger) seem very cool and very much "capping off" a single path, but not uber. And then Master Strike (Rogue) is just godlike. So you would have to make sure they were cool enough to serve the intended function of incentivizing single-role play, but not something you HAD to have.

Nihimon: It would be cool in a tabletop game, but in PFO it would defeat the purpose of capstones: a reward meant to be an incentive for forging the power of multi-role synergies.

Lantern Lodge

If they did multiclass capstones it wouldn't be as terrible to have but still don't like having a semi-class based system.

I say semi-class based system as the major distinguishing factor between skill based and class based is that class based systems work by allowing or denying abilities based on earlier decisions and skill based systems always allow abilities but you can only select so many as you progress.

AKA class based depends on what and in what order you choose, and skill based depends on how much time you have.

Goblin Squad Member

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Mbando wrote:
Nihimon: It would be cool in a tabletop game, but in PFO it would defeat the purpose of capstones: a reward meant to be an incentive for forging the power of multi-role synergies.

I haven't been following this thread very closely. Have you already provided quotes that support your assertion that the purpose of capstones is to incentivize players to forego multi-classing?

From Goblinworks Blog: Your Pathfinder Online Character:

Ryan Dancey wrote:

As to the issue of why capstones come to those who do 20 levels in a row, as opposed to multiclassing, it's really an attempt to preserve one of the features of the Pathfinder tabletop game, an homage, if you will.

... The captsone abilities won't be game breakers. The intention is not to make capstone "uber", just "a bit more fun/interesting/spectacular". Think of it as icing rather than cake.

@DarkLightHitomi, from the same post:

Ryan Dancey wrote:
One thing I've learned over the years is that making consequential choices adds value to gaming. The choice to focus on one path of development while resisting the tempation to dabble with other paths is an interesting one.

It sounds like Ryan wants to force some choices like this on us. I'm not thrilled with that. To my mind, if my "interesting choice" is really just a compelling reason to make me want to re-roll my character, then it's not very interesting...

Goblin Squad Member

Andius wrote:

Really I think this discussion is pretty much over. Let me recap for those who disagree.

Fact 1: Reaching 20th level in a single class is end of your progression as far as character strength goes. After that you do not get stronger, only more diverse in the abilities you have access to.

Fact 4: Given Fact 1. We know that a character that is has twenty levels in two classes is in effect a 20th level character. Therefore we can conclude that a character that is NOT 20th level in any class is NOT a 20th level character.

”Your Pathfinder Online Character” wrote:

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.
And of course, reaching the capstone doesn't mean your character has to retire—you can continue training the same character with a different archetype if you like.

My understanding on character progression differs from what you have as fact 1. Based on the excerpt above, once you have 20 merit badges in a particular archetype you can continue to train in a different archetype and continue to gain abilities. More abilities = more power. I haven’t read any suggestion that abilities will be nurffed after you’ve gained your first 20 merit badges.

Andius wrote:


Fact 2: Capstones are given on 20th level only if you stick with a single class. Training even one level in another class after you have taken the 1st level in the class you want to capstone prevents you from doing it.

Fact 3: You may train additional classes after you capstone without losing your capstone. You may even earn multiple capstones.

”Your Pathfinder Online Character” wrote:

Each of the base classes in the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook will be represented in the online game in this way, and in time we intend to add additional development paths to simulate prestige classes, archetypes, and base classes from other Pathfinder RPG content such as the Advanced Player's Guide and the Ultimate rulebooks.

These are the 11 basic development paths, which we refer to as archetypes. The key to each archtype is a skill tree that encourages characters to train a skill that is directly linked to their development in that archetype, in addition to many other skills…

I agree with the above two facts. It should be pointed out that since a prestige class (archetype) isn’t an archetype, that training in a prestige class will make you miss out on your archetypes capstone ability. I’m not sure if this has been spelt out anywhere, but this is my understanding from reading the blogs.

Goblin Squad Member

I would like to see about 3-4% of the game be based on choices. If people play their cards perfectly, they will get access to 75% of that content. It would be 50% doing things in a specific order, and 50% 'one or the other' choices. These choices should always be piled under warnings, so if you click yes 5 times in a row, you can't complain about it being an 'accident'.

Goblin Squad Member

@Ravening

I would imagine a prestige class would end in a capstone, if you only take the archetype badges to qualify for that prestige class, and then only take badges in that prestige class.

Goblin Squad Member

Ravening wrote:
My understanding on character progression differs from what you have as fact 1. Based on the excerpt above, once you have 20 merit badges in a particular archetype you can continue to train in a different archetype and continue to gain abilities. More abilities = more power. I haven’t read any suggestion that abilities will be nurffed after you’ve gained your first 20 merit badges.

Well there is quite a bit to imply limits on mixing and matching at once, between weapon requirements and limits of how much one can equip at a time, a system that somehow limits the amount of refreshes you get based on abilities

Blog:Three headed hydra wrote:


Our design gives more Refreshes to new characters and fewer to experienced characters. Generally speaking, as a new character you will be able to do a few things often using Refresh, and as an experienced character you'll be able to do a wide variety of things without depending on a Refresh

It sounds to me that characters with less abilities can use what they have more, while characters with more abilities have more abilities but less uses/day per ability.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

I read the refresh more along the lines of "If you have fewer refresh abilities, you gain more refreshes."

I also read that to mean that the every-classed character after 30 years would have the fewest refreshes possible.

Goblin Squad Member

Onishi wrote:
Ravening wrote:
My understanding on character progression differs from what you have as fact 1. Based on the excerpt above, once you have 20 merit badges in a particular archetype you can continue to train in a different archetype and continue to gain abilities. More abilities = more power. I haven’t read any suggestion that abilities will be nurffed after you’ve gained your first 20 merit badges.

Well there is quite a bit to imply limits on mixing and matching at once, between weapon requirements and limits of how much one can equip at a time, a system that somehow limits the amount of refreshes you get based on abilities

Blog:Three headed hydra wrote:


Our design gives more Refreshes to new characters and fewer to experienced characters. Generally speaking, as a new character you will be able to do a few things often using Refresh, and as an experienced character you'll be able to do a wide variety of things without depending on a Refresh
It sounds to me that characters with less abilities can use what they have more, while characters with more abilities have more abilities but less uses/day per ability.

My point was more in relation to the comment that a character won't get any stronger once the first 20 merit badges in an archetype is achieved. I tend to agree with you. A character will continue to gain new abilities from further merit badges, thus getting stronger.

However, a characters ability to utilise these abilities will be restricted based on the limitation of hotkeys, thus forcing us to pick and choose what our character will be able to do. Personally I love the idea of this system, and it’s inherent checks and balances.

@Valkenr
I hope they do provide capstone abilities for getting all of the levels in a prestige class. It would make it a good incentive for a player to do so.

Lantern Lodge

Except this thread clarifies the difference between getting all the levels and getting all the levels sequentally.

Goblin Squad Member

DarkLightHitomi wrote:
Except this thread clarifies the difference between getting all the levels and getting all the levels sequentally.

Cool. I must have missed a post by the dev's. I'll have another read thru to clarify what they've said in relation to this point.

Goblin Squad Member

DarkLightHitomi wrote:
Except this thread clarifies the difference between getting all the levels and getting all the levels sequentally.

Which is, one ability, that will obviously count against the total number of abilities you can have, and is not necessarily any stronger than any of the others you have to choose from. Honestly there's no ground either way to confirm or deny whether that is essentially a cosmetic thing, a slight difference or possibly a larger difference. The details we have are far too vague to know.

Goblin Squad Member

Why do all AAA MMOs have classes?

Easy because it helps the players avoid gimping themselve by selecting a lot of skills unrelated to another and end up being able to do a lot of things badly.

The same reasoning appears here. You should go with one path up to 20 and then diversify. If your really know what you are doing it might be worth to not do this, to miss out the capstone in order to have a more optimized character in between.

Finally, a all games, PFO is very likely to have skill retraining at one point or another in their (distant) future. Once that happens multi-cheese most optimized fotm builds will start to pop up and to counter this there should be a strong incentive to get the majority of your levels in the skills of one class.

Whats not to understand here?

Goblin Squad Member

RE: This quote, I don't think any given role is always going to be effective, but some roles are going to be more effective than others in some scenarios, always more effective than a multiple role skilled char in a few specific scenarios (in combat) but less useful in most other scenarios: For EG:

Ryan Dancey wrote:

There are all sorts of combat potentials in a sandbox MMO and each needs to be considered when building the system.

People will fight monsters as a group
People will fight monsters as multiple groups (i.e. PvEvPvE)
People will fight Many vs. One
People will fight in asymmetric group sizes
People will fight One vs. One
People will fight in Large Groups (i.e. armies)
People will fight other people who are trying to just run away without engaging
People will fight from ambush or stealth and will try to make a quick kill rather than engage in a toe-to-toe brawl
Some people will be making ranged, not melee attacks

etc. etc. etc.

Goblin Squad Member

Nihimon wrote:

I haven't been following this thread very closely. Have you already provided quotes that support your assertion that the purpose of capstones is to incentivize players to forego multi-classing?

Yep :)

Goblin Squad Member

Mbando wrote:
Yep :)

I see you're going to make me search for them... back in a minute (or ten).

Goblin Squad Member

Okay, I found the section where you reference the Thornkeep book.

I may be getting caught up in semantics here, but I think there's a significant difference between "rewarding players for dedicating themselves to a single class" and "creating incentives for characters to forego multi-classing".

I'm having a very difficult time trying to express what I see as the difference between the positive reinforcement on the one hand, and negative incentives on the other. That difficulty is making me think it's probably purely emotional, and not actually based on reason.

It doesn't feel like they're trying to get me not to multi-class, but when I analyze the statements, I can't make a convincing argument to that effect.

Goblin Squad Member

2 people marked this as a favorite.

It is a matter of semantics Nihimon--a matter of meaning. Lee points out that multi-classing is driven by an incentive: specific abilities. He also points out the problems with this: generalists rather than specialists, and a lack of "any inworld incentive to incorporate the nature of that class into play":

Quote:

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.

Now, I know none of the good folk in this thread are the kind of little munchkins that would, say, "splash" two levels of rogue into their build just to gain synergies. No, no, they would never do that. But tons of other people would.

So, as Lee points out, since there is a built-in incentive to multi-classing (powergaming), PFO will offer a countering incentive for playing a role:

Quote:

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.

We don't know what that incentive will look like exactly, but if it leads to viable choices--if we end up with people making choices down both paths, then it's a design win in my book.

Goblin Squad Member

Mbando wrote:
... since there is a built-in incentive to multi-classing (powergaming), PFO will offer a countering incentive for playing a role...

That probably makes the point I'm trying to make better than anything I said.

They're not actively trying to get players to forego multi-classing. They're trying to balance the rewards of each choice so that it's not a no-brainer for munchkins.

That's the significant difference I was trying to put my finger on.

Goblin Squad Member

Nihimon wrote:

Okay, I found the section where you reference the Thornkeep book.

I may be getting caught up in semantics here, but I think there's a significant difference between "rewarding players for dedicating themselves to a single class" and "creating incentives for characters to forego multi-classing".

I'm having a very difficult time trying to express what I see as the difference between the positive reinforcement on the one hand, and negative incentives on the other. That difficulty is making me think it's probably purely emotional, and not actually based on reason.

It doesn't feel like they're trying to get me not to multi-class, but when I analyze the statements, I can't make a convincing argument to that effect.

I tend to agree with Nihimon here with regards to this specific direction. Though I would add, that the more basic goal seems to be about making sure all of the game elements support/foster meaningful player interaction, so every system we look at has to be seen through this lens.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

Given the sanction to do so, I would splash levels on one character to maximize current potential, or just play around with the rules.

Then again, I'm not above paying for subscriptions for multiple alts to train simultaneously. If the amount is within my budget I would not be above paying for a character specifically to test out the low-level abilities of everyone, in addition to a main character.

Yes, there is an aspect of pay-to-win in that. Yes, it is less bang for the buck than paying the subscription of a disabled friend who can't work and therefore can dedicate more time to playing than I can. No, I don't think it is unfair to pay for my friend's subscription.

Goblin Squad Member

Nihimon wrote:
Mbando wrote:
... since there is a built-in incentive to multi-classing (powergaming), PFO will offer a countering incentive for playing a role...

That probably makes the point I'm trying to make better than anything I said.

They're not actively trying to get players to forego multi-classing. They're trying to balance the rewards of each choice so that it's not a no-brainer for munchkins.

That's the significant difference I was trying to put my finger on.

This is exactly the kind of rational, non-binary semi-nuanced thinking I've been advocating for this thread.

Goblin Squad Member

Ravening wrote:
My understanding on character progression differs from what you have as fact 1. Based on the excerpt above, once you have 20 merit badges in a particular archetype you can continue to train in a different archetype and continue to gain abilities. More abilities = more power. I haven’t read any suggestion that abilities will be nurffed after you’ve gained your first 20 merit badges.

They don't have to be nerfed because more abilities do not give more power. They give more options. If used the right options can make you more effective but they do not make you more powerful. I'll give an example.

If you are arming up for the zombie apocalypse and you have a shotgun, then you are given a katana as well. You do not gain more power. You gain a new method of fighting zombies which can be used in addition to the old one. This may make you more EFFECTIVE but not more powerful.

If you get body armor that makes it so zombies can't bite you as easily. Upgrade your shotgun so it can hold more rounds, fire faster, or inflict greater damage. Train yourself to run/jump/climb faster and better. Now you are more POWERFUL.

A character with a capstone can still become more effective. They cannot become more powerful.

A character that takes a ton of classes will be like a character with a knife, a handgun, a sniper rifle, a shotgun, a riot shield, a katana, a grenade launcher, and a medical kit. But a very basic version of each with not much in the way of add ons or things you know how to do them other than their most basic function. Plus, you only get to carry three of them.

In the time it takes the multi-classer to gain all these options a single classer will have a more powerful shotgun, complete with add ons, stronger body armor, more abilities for their shotgun than any single weapon of the multiclass character, more slots for their abilities, and higher physical performance. This greater level of power should give them greater overall effectiveness if the multiclass character invests any significant time training a class other than their most used one.

I am 95% sure this will be PFO's system based on the blog, statements from Ryan, and what I know about the EVE and Guild Wars system which like it or not counts for a lot. Skill training is based off EVE. Combat abilities are very comparable to Guild Wars.

So given that. You can disagree on the how sure I should be able to be. But let's just assume I am right for a second. Do you still support capstones?

Goblin Squad Member

Andius wrote:
Ravening wrote:
My understanding on character progression differs from what you have as fact 1. Based on the excerpt above, once you have 20 merit badges in a particular archetype you can continue to train in a different archetype and continue to gain abilities. More abilities = more power. I haven’t read any suggestion that abilities will be nurffed after you’ve gained your first 20 merit badges.

They don't have to be nerfed because more abilities do not give more power. They give more options. If used the right options can make you more effective but they do not make you more powerful. I'll give an example.

If you are arming up for the zombie apocalypse and you have a shotgun, then you are given a katana as well. You do not gain more power. You gain a new method of fighting zombies which can be used in addition to the old one. This may make you more EFFECTIVE but not more powerful...

How about if your fighter finds a sword with the 'sneak attack' keyword that allows them to do more damage, but only if they train up some rogue skills so that they can actually access the sneak attack ability?

The person that stays pure fighter never gets that extra back-stab damage, while the person that takes rogue skills does.

Long term benefits? Maybe not, but capstones are said to be 'nice', not must-have.

If someone thinks that backstabbing would be nice to have right now, then the price to pay is the capstone.

Besides, even if class skills are all unique, it's going to be faster and easier to get the early levels (and the flexibility that multiclassing offers) than it is going to be to continue to drive up the skills for the single class.

It's going to be easy for a fighter to drive up a few fighter skills from 0 to 1 or 2. Once you have all of those lower level skills raised up, though, now you have to spend ever more time raising 2s to 3, and then 3s to 4 and so on.

Much faster to start looking for the multiclass payoff, right?

Goblin Squad Member

Sparrow wrote:

If someone thinks that backstabbing would be nice to have right now, then the price to pay is the capstone.

Besides, even if class skills are all unique, it's going to be faster and easier to get the early levels (and the flexibility that multiclassing offers) than it is going to be to continue to drive up the skills for the single class.

It's going to be easy for a fighter to drive up a few fighter skills from 0 to 1 or 2. Once you have all of those lower level skills raised up, though, now you have to spend ever more time raising 2s to 3, and then 3s to 4 and so on.

Much faster to start looking for the multiclass payoff, right?

I am guessing wrong. I do not expect to see classes offer too much in the way of benefits not related to some kind of slot unless they are abilities shared by all classes.

Think about it. If rouge offers backstab, and fighter offers some increased weapon damage, armor, or health bonus, and barbarian offers a movement speed bonus and all these abilities are not related to slots. Think of how unbalancing that would be.

I am guessing that that fighter, if he takes 2 levels rogue to get backstab, will have to swap out a fighter ability to use it. I am guessing a high level fighter will not be trading out high level fighter skills for low level rogue ones, or if they do, it won't be all that effective given they will have dismal sneak skills etc.

Goblin Squad Member

@Andius
I disagree that gaining merit badges in other classes doesn’t result in a character becoming more powerful. So let’s agree to disagree. To answer your last question I do support capstones. I don’t have a problem if there is a perk for a character gaining 20 merit badges in an archetype, and I hope that have something similar for characters who get the maximum number of merit badges for a prestige class.

So while I do support capstones abilities, I won’t be playing my main (and probably only) character with the view of achieving a capstone ability. I already have a firm character concept (including background and long-term goals) and have planned out what archetypes and what prestige class he will be training in.

I’m not someone who enjoys or is good at min/maxing, so missing out on a capstone ability doesn’t bother me, as I’d rather play my character the way I want, rather than because I’m aiming to get a reward/incentive for getting 20 consecutive merit badges in an archetype.

Goblin Squad Member

Ravening wrote:
I disagree that gaining merit badges in other classes doesn’t result in a character becoming more powerful. So let’s agree to disagree.

As long as you realize you're not just disagreeing with Andius, you're disagreeing with the stated intentions of the people making the game...

From Goblinworks Blog: Your Pathfinder Online Character:

Vic Wertz wrote:
The character [a 20/20/20/20 Fighter/Cleric/Wizard/Rogue] won't be a better wizard than a character who's *just* Wizard 20, but he *will* have more options to choose from at any given time. The advantage "older" characters have is not power, it's flexibility.

Lantern Lodge

@Mbando

The idea of splashing levels of a class, only works when classes are designed as classes. Being how much everything is going to be able to be mixed they would be foolish to come at the design from that direction.

They should design the abilities as one whole balanced set, then when they are done they can select abilities for each role by what feel they have without any need to worry about singleclassing vs multiclassing. As I have said you can't go half way and expect a good game.

They can call them roles but they should be a tacked on classification for homage/reference purposes rather then a primary element of balanced design, aka fluff.

Goblin Squad Member

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Nihimon wrote:
Ravening wrote:
I disagree that gaining merit badges in other classes doesn’t result in a character becoming more powerful. So let’s agree to disagree.

As long as you realize you're not just disagreeing with Andius, you're disagreeing with the stated intentions of the people making the game...

From Goblinworks Blog: Your Pathfinder Online Character:

Vic Wertz wrote:
The character [a 20/20/20/20 Fighter/Cleric/Wizard/Rogue] won't be a better wizard than a character who's *just* Wizard 20, but he *will* have more options to choose from at any given time. The advantage "older" characters have is not power, it's flexibility.

I’m not disagreeing with PFO’s stated intentions nor do I disagree that a 20/20/20/20 Fighter/Cleric/Wizard/Rogue will be a better wizard character than someone who is just a wizard 20. The multiple archetype character won’t necessarily be able to cast stronger or more spells than the straight 20 merit badged wizard. However, the added flexibility does make character better IMO.

Depending on actual gameplay the multi-archetyped character will be able to hit as well (and the same damage output) as a 20 merit badged fighter, could very well have improved evasion (or other useful passive archetype abilities) as a passive ability and be able to use both consumable items (wands, scrolls, potions etc.) and other items specific to his other archetypes that make his much more powerful that a straight 20 merit badged wizard. Obviously we can’t argue specifics because we don’t have the full details yet.

Goblin Squad Member

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@Nihimon

I won't speak for Ravening, but speaking for myself as I generaly agree with his position, I'll make 2 points:

1) I don't disagree with the stated design INTENTIONS but I somewhat doubt they are practicaly ACHIEVABLE to the degree many people here seem to be implying. Big difference. I don't expect a 20/20 to equal a 40 or anything like that. I do kinda think they'll probably be the equivalent of something like a 22 or 23, due to the ability to cherry pick from a wider array of options and at least partial stacking/synergy that EFFECTIVELY makes them more powerfull then a straight 20 when intelligently arranged. I'm ok with that, I don't really think it break the overall design goal of the game (at least not for until way down the road) but I do think it cuts against the arguement that multi-class characters are inherently less powerfull then single class characters on the road to 20th and no more powerfull then them after cap. Especialy in regards the current discussion of capstones which are supposed to be fairly minor perks at most.

2) Further I would actualy argue that flexability IS a form of power. Being adaptable and having access to a wider array of tools makes one significantly more power, especialy in environments that are fluid and complex. Even if there are limitations on how and when characters can swap out active abilities just being able to do so at all significantly adds to the characters overall "power" (IMO). So while I understood the concept that Vic was trying to get across it actualy struck me as a bit of an oxymoron...kinda like saying "The advantage older characters have is greater resiliencey not greater toughness." Just like resilencey is a form of toughness that has an additive effect to the individuals overall toughness so to is flexability a form of power, so unless they are actualy loosing something to gain it (like unlearning abilities, loosing hit points, etc) they are getting more powerfull in my book. YMMV.

Goblin Squad Member

GrumpyMel wrote:
I somewhat doubt they are practicaly ACHIEVABLE...

I am well aware. I had to pore through some of our prior *ahem* conversations to find that quote from Vic. I believe there are others from Ryan as well, but couldn't find them quickly.

I choose to believe Ryan and Vic when they say that a 20 Fighter and a 20/20/20/20 Fighter/Wizard/Cleric/Rogue with be on fairly level ground. If you choose not to believe them, that's your business.

Lantern Lodge

@Grumpymel

Funny, I actually agree with those two points but neither addresses my concern.

Not that I really know if you want to bother with my concern but there it is.

My concern is that, not including capstones, a 20/20 fighter/wizard is basically the same as any other 20/20 fighter/wizard, regardless of the order the abilities are gained, but the capstones are rewarding a certain pattern of gaining abilities despite giving something to only some characters as though they did something more special and amazing then someone else with the exact same achievments.

So why include capstone in such a limited way?

It will take 2.5 years or more to achieve regardless of consecutive or not, and Ryans reasoning is lost on me. Unless something was added in later books that I don't know about, not that it would change my mind but would give understanding.

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