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Capstones... Why?


Pathfinder Online

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Goblin Squad Member

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.

I don't think I could reasonably accept this as an answer to the situation and for one very important reason:

Pathfinder doesn't stop at 20th level.

Now yes, Pathfinder really doesn't provide any content for characters over 20th level and 20th level is apparently seen as the apex of most adventurer's careers. If a person decides to multiclass and doesn't go any higher than 20th level, naturally they're never gonna see their capstone.

BUT, just because there's no official content for it, doesn't mean you can't do it. Paizo DOES give you a way to calculate how much EXP you need to get to the levels beyond 20 (I believe it's 50% more than how much it took to get to the prior level), and recommends that the easiest way to calculate epic levels for players is to start taking levels in another class. So, with enough epic levels, you could multiclass and still get your capstone.

Once more, it's been confirmed that your career as an adventurer in Pathfinder Online doesn't stop at 20th level either (though it will take you a crazy-long amount of time in order to get 20th level in the first place), but why do you only get capstones if you don't multiclass until 20th level?

They're basing this on a "feature" of the Pathfinder RPG that doesn't exist in the first place.

Lantern Lodge

Yep, everyone else totally has a better way with words then me, cause that's what I was saying didn't make sense as a reason. Not that it bought me a better answer.

Goblin Squad Member

I think the problem is in how we are defining power. Which makes sense, power is a slightly difficult word to define. There are infact 9 definitions many of which contain even further sub definitions.

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/power

For me at least, when I am thinking of power I am thinking in terms of raw numbers. HP, damage rating, armor rating, etc.

If you can imagine a body builder and a fencer I'm thinking of the body builder as more powerful even if the fencer can defeat him in a fight. The fencer may be more skilled or deadly, but one of them has the brute force to break concrete with their forhead.

What I am saying and what Vic Wertz seems to be saying as well is that raw numbers cease to rise at level 20. If your sword does 50 damage. It isn't going to go up to 51 as you gain more capstones. If your health is 500 it isn't going to go up to 550 as you gain more capstones. If your armor rating is 300, it won't go up to 350 as you gain more capstones. Maybe you can get abilities that will allow you to make trades in power like less HP and armor for more spell points, but you will not see any increases in raw power.

The "power" you get from multiclassing is more like the fencer. It isn't pure brute strength that just makes you inherently better. It's more access to techniques that will grant you power if used properly. You may be able to crank out higher damage than the other person, but it's from proper usage of a well designed build. A greater synergy. More ability to respond to the situation perhaps. It's not because they deal 50 damage and you deal 60 damage. The largest determining factor of this kind of power is of course player skill, and how well you actually designed the build you are using. But multiclassing can grant some of it.

That is what I am saying. That is what I have been trying to say all along, and that is what we have quotes from the developers now backing me on.

Personally I think the synergy that comes from the kind of power you are talking about, will be no match for the raw power granted by being several levels ahead, which single classers almost assuredly will be.

Goblin Squad Member

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.
Ryan Dancey wrote:

I agree. On the other hand, it's easy to have lots of stuff that would be considered "cool" to have earned but which don't affect your character's desirability as a companion. The problem with WoW is that everything they do in the game seems to require some kind of mechanical benefit (well except maybe the pets).

Earning the 20th level in a class will get you a 20th level class-type merit badge and that will unlock a 20th level Ability. That will be the mechanical benefit people will pursue. The capstone ability does not necessarily have to be something that changes a 20th level non-capstone character into a mistake. It could be something that is just enjoyable for the player - a way to "show off" to friends and opponents.

The devs position on this topic now makes complete sense to me.

These two quotes are an acceptable answer to my original question.

I'm done here.

PS. Where did you find that quote Harrison? Was that in another topic or did Ryan post here and I just missed it?

Goblin Squad Member

Great thread... Waiting patiently for Lee and Ryan to chime in (:

Goblin Squad Member

Andius wrote:
PS. Where did you find that quote Harrison? Was that in another topic or did Ryan post here and I just missed it?

Someone posted that quote a page or two ago.

Goblin Squad Member

My take on Vic's comments isn't that the numbers stop after twenty merit badges for an archetype. The numbers will stop for that archetype, but not necessarily for any other future archetypes. Therefore a 20 merit badged fighter stands a decent chance against a 20/20/20/20 Fighter/Rogue/Wizard Cleric. Especially if they're both only using their fighter based skills.

Once 20 merit badges are gained in the first archetype, you'll still gain abilities for gaining merit badges in other archetypes. Whether that means you'll still gain the equvalent in hit points I don't know. However, a 20 merit badged fighter that gains merit badges in wizard, is still going to gain all of the abilities of the wizard archetype (spells, passive abilities etc). Despite having the ability to cast spells and/or fight they'll be restrained by what they have equiped and what they have assigned to the limited hot keys.

Anyway thats my 2 cents worth.

Goblin Squad Member

Harrison wrote:
Andius wrote:
PS. Where did you find that quote Harrison? Was that in another topic or did Ryan post here and I just missed it?
Someone posted that quote a page or two ago.

Ah found it thanks. And from that same post:

Nihimon wrote:
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...

Me and you don't seem to agree much but we are in 100% agreeance on this one. I never want to even feel SLIGHTLY tempted to re-roll in this game. I would say PFO should make part of it's core design principle avoiding anything that would cause someone to re-roll.

Sandboxes are complex games. There is a lot of decisions to make that players will not fully understand when they make them. There is a lot that can change about the game that might make a decision that seemed good at one point, become a very bad decision. It should be IMPOSSIBLE to ruin a character so bad it can't be fixed. I would prefer if the only choice you make that might have a negative effect on you later down the road in terms of character progression is race. And I would prefer those negative effects be fairly light.

Lantern Lodge

I agree which is why I don't think abilities and such should be denied because of what order we learn abilities, if they do that and sometime later I decide to go for the capstone my only, not best but only, option would be to reroll cause it can't be fixed, warnings or not.

----
As for power I tend to define it as "A measure of one's ability to affect a situation to attain the desired result."

Thus it is a single definition that applies to any kind of power and is pretty much how the majority of people use it. Though I have noticed there is quite often a disparity between common people I meet and forum posters, but that may be attributed to always having handy access to a dictionary.

Sometimes pure numbers will give you this, but other times it's what you can do with them.

Goblin Squad Member

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Alright, I've read over the thread and here's where I see both points right now.

A Fighter 2 has Fighter 2 abilities and such.

They meet a Fighter 1/Cleric 1 on the field. Hijinks ensue.

The F2 hits harder but the F1C1 heals through it while still doing some damage. Eventually the F2 is beaten down.

To alleviate this, multiclassing isn't so much discouraged, but is merely balanced out by the removal of what they would've gotten if they straightclassed.

Eventually things would be balanced and yes that F2 might've lost, but in the end they're just as powerful and have a capstone to show for their patience.

The multiclassed character has immediate satisfaction as their capstone, the patient character has the same power plus an added thank you.

It does pose a decision that the player will need to make.

Be more versatile now or be versatile+ later.

Goblin Squad Member

But that does make one wonder.

How balanced is it when the F2 types are constantly losing gear to the F1C1 types.

Which is why I hate the D2-esque "you died so your crap be gone sorry bro" stuff.

But that's a whole other argument.

Goblin Squad Member

Xein wrote:

But that does make one wonder.

How balanced is it when the F2 types are constantly losing gear to the F1C1 types.

Which is why I hate the D2-esque "you died so your crap be gone sorry bro" stuff.

But that's a whole other argument.

Well between the 2, the F2's will actually lose slightly less than the F1C1's, as the fighters weapon will be exempt, but the F1C1 will have to chose whether to exempt his fighter weapon or his holy symbol.

Second it is worth noting, 1v1 is the very odd exception to the rule in terms of PVP. Traveling alone in non-marshal patrolled territory isn't expected to be the norm. Most opperations are going to take a group to do them either way, so people are probably going to be grouping up before making the trip. Bandits asside harvesting draws NPCs. There will be wandering monsters of varying power levels around, basically traveling alone is simultaniously setting yourself up for the highest risk, and the lowest reward factor possible. Realistically harvesting opperations, duneon crawls, war actions and darn near anything... will be done as group activities. Rendering the solo 1v1 balance more or less the exception rather than the rule in debate.

Goblin Squad Member

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Hey everyone, just doing a brief drive by :) . No tag yet, but I'm Stephen, the other game designer currently on the project.

The particulars of capstones are still in flux, so your feedback on this thread is extremely helpful.

GrumpyMel's post from Monday is on the right track. While we'd love to somehow balance every feat against every other feat, there are very likely to be synergies between different role feats. This is intentional to allow players in a group to set one another up for success. When you multiclass, you may be able to claim some of this synergy on your own (with gear and number of available feats at once obviously making one multiclass character not as good as two characters with a single role each). Even without this synergy, a multiclass character will have the ability to select from many more options when preparing for a known confrontation, making it easier to use the right tool for the job (and get invited to a wider array of groups).

Additionally, limitations to your core combat stats are more likely to reflect your overall time played* than your highest role level. So two characters of similar play time are likely to have access to similar HP, attack, defense, etc. (should they have chosen to purchase those upgrades) even if one is working toward a capstone and the other has evenly distributed role levels. It's likely that the opportunity cost of training all the necessary feats for two or more roles will leave the single role character more time to dedicate to directly relevant combat upgrades, but it's unlikely to be an overwhelming advantage.

So, for all these reasons, we're currently suspecting it will make your life easier to diversify earlier rather than after you've gotten one role to 20. And the capstone is a reward for sticking it out with a single role before diversifying. But we're completely open to discussion on how big that reward should be and whether that's even the best way to incentivize such behavior.

* How we're handling this is not exactly like EVE, but I don't want to derail this thread by dropping any particulars at this moment. Look for future info from Lee ;) .

Goblin Squad Member

Thank you very much for taking the time to post on this Stephen.

Goblin Squad Member

I think you just confirmed both our assertions so it will be very hard to say how powerful capstones need to be until we have more details. We don't know how powerful synergy will be be, and how much effect more time to train core skills will give single class characters.

In most systems I have seen it is possible to get some very good synergy between the abilities offered within a single class.

Like Xein's example of a Fighter 2 vs. Fighter 1 Cleric 1 which is capable of both healing and offence. I'll bet my Cleric of Sarenrae 2 with domains in fire and healing can beat them both with it's powerful healing and offensive spells it can get without multiclassing.

I also would encourage you to seek a balance where mechanically advantageous capstones are not needed. Some people are going to multiclass to min-max and get a great synergy going. Some will do it for reasons of roleplay and ADD, and likely won't get a synergy going that makes them much more effective than a single class character. All of them will be permanently punished in how their character can advance by mechanically advantageous capstones.

If synergy is too powerful, the gap between characters will a capstone and with multiple capstones will be too great anyway. As I'm assuming based off your statements that getting two capstones won't be 2.5 + 2.5 years but more like 2.5 vs. 1-1.5 years because not all the skills needed to level a class are unique to that class.

Goblin Squad Member

Hey Stephen,

Thanks for stopping by and shedding some light on the subject. One of the things that really sets PFO apart from other MMO's I've experienced so far is the degree of interaction between the Developers and the community... frankly it's awesome.

FWIW, even though I think you guys have setup a really tough set of design goals to fullfill, I've been really impressed with the mechanisms you've filled us in on so far to address them, particularly Lee's post about the details of the combat system and "slotted" abilities on the action bar. That's a really elegant (IMO) solution to a difficult problem. Was very impressed by that.

I'll be looking forwared to more details on advancement and the relationship between skills, abilities/merit badges and "class levels" as I think that'll probably be very informative to this particular discussion.

Your approach with capstones makes alot of sense to me (given some of the assumptions I'm making are accurate). It doesn't seem all that different then what Patfinder PnP does with "Favored Class".

I'm wondering if it might be a more effective dynamic to "front-load" the capstone concept a bit or maybe gradiate it in steps toward that final reward? My thinking is that the journey to 20th is just as important an experience as reaching 20th, especialy given the 2.5 year estimate to get there. Maybe let people choose a "favored class" upfront and give them a set bonus that's relevant to that class from the start or let them earn points toward specific milestones every time they advance that class within the first 20 levels of advancement?

My main concern (and I really should credit Gruffling for this because it's his post that made me realize it) isn't with whether a single-class character is more or less advantaged then a multi-class character it's just whether a single class character can be competent by comparison at the core role which that class is supposed to fullfill. I want to be able to self-identify and say I want to be X (fill in the blank Fighter, Wizard, Rogue, etc) and as long as I've followed that arch-type and haven't made stupid decisions about my choice of perks/abilities within that archtype's advancements be at least competent in the core role that archtype is supposed to perform when compared to someone who has cherry picked abilities within 3-4 different archtypes to get the ultimate synergy/stacking/combination to put toward that role. I don't even care if the multi-classer does end up a bit more effective in my core role, I just don't want to be blown out of the water...and that includes at 20th, beyond 20th and on the path to 20th. YMMV.

Lantern Lodge

Avoiding being blown out of the water at any level is a design goal so I don't think you need to worry about that with someone near your level.

I can see the interest in wanting to give incentives to single classers but having something gradual and not locked out to everyone else would be better, so an idea for this concept,

Have a page of equipped badges, you can equip up to 20 of them and abilities require a certain number of badges from the appropriate role to be equipped in order to be used, thus any one can have all the badges but if he wants to use wizard and fighter abilities he needs to equip both fighter and wizard badges, thus even if he is a 20/20 he still can't use his best fighter or wizard abilities unless he equips all 20 badges of a single role.

Doing this means anyone can eventually earn all abilities, but can only use their best abilties by single classing. This would actually balance out at all levels without ever feeling like you lost something or need to restart because you changed your goals in the last 2 years.

Besides, I don't know if I'll have time to play 2 years from if I get deployed overseas so having the greatest amount of fun when I can play is kinda more important then holding off for a future that might never come.

Edit: I.E. if you want 9th level spells you need 18 badges in a full caster class, if you want to equip your weapon mastery, you need most of your fighter badges equipped, therefore you can't do both at once. This is different from limited slots of abilities in that slotting abilities can be your best abilities, but with this you can only get the best abilities from one class (well two if your a 10/10 but others will have better abilities then you at that point)

It also let's you change the ratio of fighter vs wizard and the badges can have minor passives such as extra hp for each fighter badge, or extra mana for each wizard badge, etc. The you can have unlocks that grant something if so many badges of the same class are equipped I.E. a get +1dr for every 4 barbarian badges equipped.

Goblin Squad Member

Stephen Cheney wrote:


But we're completely open to discussion on how big that reward should be and whether that's even the best way to incentivize such behavior.

I think that simply inserting options for alternate animations and FX is fine.

I mean, I don't know all the details so I might be selling it short, but I have been defending capstones in this thread based on them being no big deal.

I am all for a capstoned cleric to be able to get a giant flashing holy symbol to appear over their head when they turn undead if they want it, for example.

But if you let that capstoned cleric turn undead more effectively then it will lead to people asking for for capstoned clerics only for some occasions, and then the slippery slope and group-think take over; Some occasions becomes all occasions, and clerics become every class.

A player should feel free to know that they can multiclass, and while that choice may leave their OCD with an itch that can't be scratched, at least they will know that they didn't make a non-correctable choice that will ultimately make their character mechanically worse than someone that did not make that choice.

Goblin Squad Member

Sparrow wrote:


But if you let that capstoned cleric turn undead more effectively then it will lead to people asking for for capstoned clerics only for some occasions, and then the slippery slope and group-think take over; Some occasions becomes all occasions, and clerics become every class.

I think that's precisely the kind of thing that would be appropriate for a capstone ability: a meaningful ability that is core to the role, the very clear "caps off" the long road to 20. So something like "Pillar of Faith" where you are a conduit for your god's power, such that any turning successful turning check is a destroy/command, would be good. It would be meaningful and have an in-game logic, but wouldn't be a "must have," so that someone who had a synergistic multi-role build would feel ok pursuing their Sneak Attack Monk, or Self-Buffing Fighter, or whatever. Although I think in Pathfinder Turn Undead is a general feat, not a core class ability.

The same for other classes--the ranger ability Master Hunter is pretty powerful, especially if the ranger had PC races as favored enemies, and could one-shot another player once a day. But the other part of it is pretty nifty and makes sense: "A ranger of 20th level becomes a master hunter. He can always move at full speed while using Survival to follow tracks without penalty" (maybe buff it up a bit with a bonus to stealth while moving at full speed in natural terrain). The Druid capstone of "Wild Shape at Will" is perfect: absolutely caps off the class, is meaningful, but going from Wild Shape 8x per day (every four hours/refresh) to at will isn't overpowering.

Goblin Squad Member

To explain how I want capstones to function, I have to go a little more in-depth.

Multi-classing will lead to synergies, it will happen. I don't want to see limitations such as DLH's previous post, I want someone to be able to take 20th badge abilities from multiple trees.

Everyone should have the option to lock their ability bars to a single archetype. You can only lock/unlock in cities, settlements with the proper upgrades, and insanely advanced camp setups(super uber master camper stuff, post 20th badge epicness).

While you are locked to an archetype you can only use abilities allowed by that archetype capstone path, and train abilities allowed by that capstone path. Unlocking the 20th archetype merit badge gives you the ability to train other skills outside of the capstone path.

All abilities under that archetype are boosted wile locked, and there could even be abilities that can only be used while in that archetype. The balance of this boost would be to offset the better synergies in a multi-archetype character.

Capstones start at the 2nd badge, so people have a chance to test the waters, there can even be a 'get all 11 first rank archetype badges' badge. But you must start the capstone path at the 2nd badge.

Once you accept your 2nd badge you are given a pop-up option to lock that archetype in, you must lock in at that moment to get a capstone, lots of visual, and audio warnings and 'yes' buttons that change location and orientation, maybe a short video of Ryan dressed up as your archetype explaining the situation with no option to skip.

Once you make it to the 20th badge with your archetype locked the entire time, you receive the ability to get a capstone.

Getting the capstone should require a good chunk of effort, and mastery of your class. In other words, you have to be a skilled in your archetype to get it, and you should be skilled after 2.5 years. It should be impossible to create a guide to getting a capstone, it should change randomly, with some bias towards what skills the player has.

The Capstone should contain one non-game-changer and mostly visual ability, something to throw out to say "I HAVE A CAPSTONE @#(*(*!". Along with that your character gets access to 'cooler' visual effects on signature abilities, and some visual character customization options, stuff along the lines with holographic armor in Global Agenda, everyone gets some cool stuff, but the really cool stuff goes to people who deserve it, you have to do more than just pay for the game, and i hope the 'I pay to play, so you cant deny me anything, and I should be able to easily get everything' argument doesn't see any sympathy from GW.

The Capstone most of all signifies supreme dedication to an archetype. People who capstone will be experts in their character and should be sought after, the capstone helps to visually identify them. The first groups to do anything 'epic' in the game should be capstoned characters, not because they capstoned, others will be able to do it, but multi-classing will take longer to become equal with a single class capstoner. These 'epic' challenges should be harder than getting a capstone.

After you get one capstone, the option opens up to start another. While working towards this 2nd capstone the requirements change. With your 2nd archetype you can do a 'soft unlock' where you are allowed to train skills under your previous capstone, and do some multi-classing with your previous capstones, but you must be fully locked to advance skill training in your 2nd capstone. I you ever do a full unlock, you lose your chance at a 2nd capstone. This can apply to getting more capstones, you only get access to what you have already done.

Goblin Squad Member

If capstone ability are things like, a really nice hat, or something equally stupid, I'm going to make a Kaze no Kama dual-weilding Fighter/Monk.

Goblin Squad Member

That's a great idea. What kinda capstone abilities would be right for each class?

Druid wild shape at will, definitely.

Cleric - channel energy at will?

Paladin - smite or lay on hands at will?

Fighter - Um. More feats at will? I dunno.

Barbarian rage at will.

Wizard - This is a toughie. Empowered familiar abilities? Perhaps unique familiar forms?

Sorcerer - Easy. Bloodline pinnacle trait.

Goblin Squad Member

Bards could have "Hide Behind The Mound of Dead Bards" once per refresh.

Goblin Squad Member

The Pathfinder pally capstone is megasuperultra powerful:

Pathfinder RPG Reference Document wrote:
At 20th level, a paladin becomes a conduit for the power of her god. Her DR increases to 10/evil. Whenever she uses smite evil and successfully strikes an evil outsider, the outsider is also subject to a banishment, using her paladin level as the caster level (her weapon and holy symbol automatically count as objects that the subject hates). After the banishment effect and the damage from the attack is resolved, the smite immediately ends. In addition, whenever she channels positive energy or uses lay on hands to heal a creature, she heals the maximum possible amount.
Quote:

But if you just kept part of it, say the "Banishment" part, that is absolutely part of the paladin spirit (remember "A Paladin in Hell?"), but not a must-have. Fighter I like the Weapon Mastery capstone--you can't be disarmed with your chosen weapon type and a boost to critical confirm.

Lantern Lodge

The point behind sandbox is to never be completely locked out of an option

To get that last badge is going to require just as much work regardless of whether you single classed or not, and the second capstone will be easier then those who got it first anyway.

But if you require having only fighter badges equipped (using my idea) when you go to unlock new fighter badges then you still need to be a skilled fighter regardless of whether you multiclassed and thus it remains open to be achieved by anyone who is capable of getting all 20 badges.

Which the whole point of sandboxing is to always have all the options open, not that anyone can just walk over pick it all up, but anyone can take the test whenever they feel like it and with no need to plan it from 2 years ahead of time, I don't play games to plan, I play them to get away from planning, I don't feel I should have to plan my character or lose out on something, If it takes me 6 years of bouncing to finally get the last fighter badge then I should still get everything it has to offer.

My idea addresses everyone's concerns over balance and allows to you to restrict things when meeting requisites for badges to being a single classed character when unlocking new badges and such, thus you still require a mastery of the class without synergies when advancing the class and makes it easier to tweak things to keep them in the power range desired without including arbitrary limits to preserve something that I still haven't found to even exist.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

Stephen Cheney wrote:
The particulars of capstones are still in flux, so your feedback on this thread is extremely helpful.

I think the best path to pursue is to give the capstone ability to anyone completing the archetype no matter how they did it. To do it any other way creates way more problems than it solves.

I love the idea of an open system with lots of possibilities. If you want to keep open the possibility of getting abilities from multiple archetypes, and this is going to be extra useful due to a system of synergies between archetypes as hinted, you will be hard-pressed to keep distinctive archetypes in the game unless keeping to one archetype is awarding in and of itself.

There are more than one way to do that. Some alternatives:
1: "Preferred Class": Faster advancement in skills belonging to one archetype. At capstone - choose a new preferred class.
2: "Preferred Class": Additional damage with abilities belonging to one archetype. 20% should do it, I guess.
3: Skill advancement is slowed as additional skills are piled on. Then it makes even more sense to focus.

Goblin Squad Member

Xein wrote:
Fighter - Um. More feats at will? I dunno.

Fighters at 20th level get Weapon Mastery, which lets them never get disarmed with their weapon of choice and any critical hits with that weapon are always confirmed. Since critical hits are gonna work differently in PFO (no needing to confirm them)... and I'm not sure how they want to work with being disarmed... maybe some kind of special weapon attack with their chosen weapon?

Goblin Squad Member

Stephen Cheney wrote:
-snip- So, for all these reasons, we're currently suspecting it will make your life easier to diversify earlier rather than after you've gotten one role to 20. And the capstone is a reward for sticking it out with a single role before diversifying. But we're completely open to discussion on how big that reward should be and whether that's even the best way to incentivize such behavior.

Seems to me that with so many different scenarios, what you want for players is to be able to experiment and experience, early on. Then you want any subsequent choices to not be "bad choices" going forwards. After that players are in a suitable position to make a fork in the road, which needs to be meaningful: Do I stick to (1) jack of all trades or do I (2) specialise to what I find myself doing the most/fit in with a coordination with other players of some arrangement that leads to synergy?

1) Allows to do more in wider range of probabilities of types of scenarios, because you have more tools and you are more flexibible in what you decide to do in game.
2) But (2) should allow an edge in a narrower range of probabilities of scenarios, because you have a longer-range plan that taking a specilist approach is the "best fit" for.

So the player is saying, what do I spend my time doing a) because I like it or b) because it suits my game objectives which I spend most time on to be most efficient at this area.

What Valkenr says about conditions of CHANGING "roles" being confined to specific areas to perform this, makes a lot of sense for toning down multi-classing "always being applicable". So you can change roles, but it has a certain hassle attached to it (multi-roles beyond 2/3 (ie # weapon sets carried)?) as well as not being as high level in the chosen role out in the field, compared to a specialist role.

The question of capstoning then may be more a question of multi-roling 2/3 other "minor roles" but that being the limit to getting a capstone in the "major role"? The next question, is at what level does that condition kick in, to allow players to have a ton of experiments with lower skills? I think something like if (20lvls = 30 months, then maybe up to lvl 4 (each skill training takes 6 months approx. up to lvl.4) can be trained, before picking 2/3 minor roles to go with the x1 captone (major) role?

So on the one-hand multi-skilling is somewhat checked (limit on changing weapons) and on the other capstone allows some multi-classing but limited in sense also? That balances both paths a lot better I think.

As for the actual capstone ability: Probably useful/powerful (those cool egs above from Pathfinder) but maybe most useful for countering OTHER SAME-CAPSTONE characters using the same archetype/role? Maybe that keeps things interesting for a "race" to have someone with those particular skills? Maybe that is too general, but if capstone skills are partly effective based on ratio of players who have them, that creates a nice incentive for rare ones to be more sought after?

Goblin Squad Member

@DLH

Then we have a fundamental disagreement of opinion.

There are two sides to this argument

1. Everything should be available, you should never lose an opportunity. If there is a choice in the game, a character should be able to experience all outcomes.

2. There should be meaningful choices that players have to make, that can shut them out of certain parts of the game for that character. These choices can have perks for one or all options, but only one choice can be taken per character.

And 'sandbox' doesn't mean that you can do everything, it means that players effect the game world. This has nothing to do with the 'sandbox vs. theme-park' argument.

I took a shot on page 2 and wrote a post outlining a similar badge slot system, and found that it would need to be very complex. A first badge is not equal to a 20th badge, so first of all you have to have badge 'weight' instead of 'slots'. A 10/10 will not be equal to a 20, it will probably be more like a 16/16 or 18/12. And the system did nothing for people who hit 20 in two archetypes. So I stuck with my idea of capstones being boosts that lock you into your archetype, and scrapped the post. Now I feel that everyone should get access to that boost, and the capstone should just be mostly for show/convenience.

Goblin Squad Member

Mbando wrote:
If capstone ability are things like, a really nice hat, or something equally stupid, I'm going to make a Kaze no Kama dual-weilding Fighter/Monk.

I'm just going to throw this out there. If the balance between multiclass and single class is achieved by measures that don't permanently hinder character development, I'll probably develop a character based on my roleplay.

If single class characters are given permanent mechanical advantages, I'm going to min-max the hell out of a single class character, and forsake any training that does not make me a better PVPer until people beg GW to nerf my build. God help them if I reach multiple capstones before capstones get nerfed. I can just base my roleplay on whatever makes me the most insanely powerful I guess.

Just saying.

Lantern Lodge

@Valkner
I don't want this to turn into a wow clone where picking this precludes that, other sandboxes don't do it because it is a themepark style element.

Besides this is a long game, there will be no changing your mind and creating a new character just to achieve 20 badges, 2.5 years for that it is impractical. On a shorter and limited span such as wow it isn't to bad because it takes hardly no time to make a new character and reach it's end, that however doesn't apply to this game.

If you make a character, 2 years down the road, restarting just for some completionist aspect isn't an option, it will take 30+ years to get all the first 11 capstones even without adding arbitrary limits.

A lot can happen in 30 years and if someone changes their mind then they probably won't ever get another chance, because however good the game is I doubt we all be playing this game 30 years from now. And for those old schoolers to be who are still playing 30 years is a bit much of an investment in a character to drop so you can go back and catch up on what you missed out on the first time.

This isn't wow, if you miss out the first time there will be no second tries. There will be no going back and grabbing the other you didn't get the first time through. That's not a meaningfull choice, that's a stupid choice, it is like being shoehorned into "never see all the options" or spend too much time playing something you don't want to play with no garuntee of being able to play what you want when you finally get there.

That's why we need to be able to pplay what we want on the way to whatever objectives we go for, the timespan is too much for multiple playthroughs.

----
No a 10/10 is not the same as a 20, but that wasn't the point eithereveryone is going to be in a similar range period so that doesn't really matter, I may not be good at explaining myself but my idea is not as complex as you think.

And the point was to not be able to be 20/20 at the same time, so I would call that addressed. There is also no need for weighting the badges because my system only counts how many from a role are equipped with no regard to 1st, 2nd, or 20th.
And really only the special abilities are affected anyway, basically a system for favored class like abilities and to keep capstones in the hands of those currently equipped as a single class without denying the ability to play as you want for 2 years or more to get there. And an interesting concept thrown in just to get brain juice flowing.

Besides DnD and PF have rather ridiculous concepts of roles to begin with so why would endorse locking roles which only serves to draw this closer to wowism? Which is the opposite of the direction the devs theoretically want to go?

The only thing that bothers me is all the people who seem to think that not being barred from certain abilities somehow automatically makes it all a cakewalk and pay to win.

The path through the ability trees should be like a path through the game world, open. To get somewhere will certainly be challanging but there no reason one can't suddenly pick a new direction. Nothing in reality says I can't go halfway through medschool stop get a degree in physics turn around finish medschool get a doctorate then go get a doctorate in physics. Reality is the ultimate (if less adventuresome) sandbox, which makes it an excellent role model for sandboxes.

----
@Avena Oats
I will certainly be devested if there is even remotely any kind of selecting roles, if I am not dedicated to staying in a single role then the role shouldn't even be noticable. The further this you get the closer you get wowdom, which is a bad thing.

Besides after spending years on the same character should allow me to specialize one day, and generalist the next as needed.

Playing for fun vs reaching game objectives (aka capstones) is all well and good when the time scale is at most a few months, but this game will take years, it needs to be fun and the character we want to play the entire way through or you won't make it to the game objectives.

Somehow I think not enough players realize just how long they can play this without hitting the end, I don't think they realize how much they will find their investment in one character will mean 3 years later, and how that effects their decisions about locked out abilities.

Goblin Squad Member

Andius wrote:


If single class characters are given permanent mechanical advantages, I'm going to min-max the hell out of a single class character, and forsake any training that does not make me a better PVPer until people beg GW to nerf my build. God help them if I reach multiple capstones before capstones get nerfed. I can just base my roleplay on whatever makes me the most insanely powerful I guess.

Just saying.

No matter how GW addresses this, you'll be min/maxing any single class character, just like everybody else. Ain't no one going to assign a "3" to intelligence so they can roleplay a really stupid, yet cheerfully persistent wizard. And no one's taking Point Blank Shot for that same wizard, because she was raised by a retired ranger famed for his bowmanship.

Everyone is going to build their character thoughtfully, trying to make them as effective as possible, and no one is going to pay money to skill up a character they've purposefully gimped. The only question is whether there's going to be a single way to build, i.e. you need to splash-build because synergies are so effective, or you need to single-class because capstones are so effective.

IF GW gets the balance right, so that there are meaningful choices, then it's a design win.

Goblin Squad Member

@DLH,

I actualy like the system you described mechanicaly but like @Valkner I'm going to have to fundementaly disagree with you about "sandbox's" always keeping all choices open at all time.

For me Character Development is ALL about making choices that have permanent and lasting effects upon your character. You may have a very wide array of choices open to you, but the choices you make and the actions take close off some doors to you while opening others. That's what developing and growing a character is all about. "Sandbox" (to me) is that you aren't forced down one narrow predefined path that the Developer has perscribed for you but it's also that the actions you take and the choices you make DO have some lasting effect both upon you and the world.

If you reject the offer of the Wizards Guild to apprentice with them and instead join a troop of mercaneries to learn the way of the sword, the offer the Wizards gave you may never come again. If you desecrate Torags Shine to win favor with some Demonic Power one day, it's not likely Torag will accept you into the ranks of his Clerics the next.

The things you do and the actions you take SHOULD permanently effect the options open to you. Perhaps with great effort and luck you may find your way back to reopen paths you had previously shut away...but that shouldn't generaly be a quick/easy or automatic thing and the act of doing so will close off yet other doors.

Goblin Squad Member

GrumpyMel wrote:
... the choices you make and the actions take close off some doors to you...

I don't understand this sentiment, and would appreciate anyone who believes this to explain why it's right. Please try to use real-world examples where decisions that are made early in life permanently "close off some doors".

Goblin Squad Member

Mbando wrote:


No matter how GW addresses this, you'll be min/maxing any single class character, just like everybody else. Ain't no one going to assign a "3" to intelligence so they can roleplay a really stupid, yet cheerfully persistent wizard. And no one's taking Point Blank Shot for that same wizard, because she was raised by a retired ranger famed for his bowmanship.

Everyone is going to build their character thoughtfully, trying to make them as effective as possible, and no one is going to pay money to skill up a character they've purposefully gimped. The only question is whether there's going to be a single way to build, i.e. you need to splash-build because synergies are so effective, or you need to single-class because capstones are so effective.

IF GW gets the balance right, so that there are meaningful choices, then it's a design win.

But there is no cap.

You don't stop once you hit 20, you just move on to the next thing and the next.

You can talk about multiclassing because all you get is a stupid hat, but everyone will be able to multiclass. It's only a matter of whether they start diversifying before they get to 20 in a class or if they ride a class to 20 before moving to the next (and the next, and the next, and...).

So yeah, you can go ahead and be that fighter/monk from the start and enjoy whatever that offers you, while someone else may not be there for a couple of years, but when they get there, they will at least be able to wear their stupid hat.

If a character could only get 20 total levels, then yeah, capstones should carry some power to cover for whatever was lost in terms of diversity or power by not multiclassing and/or selecting a prestige class, but that is not the case here.

========================================================================

One option, if I am just throwing random ideas out there, would be to give capstones some real power but only let characters have a single one; Whatever capstone comes with whatever class they get to 20 first.

You could multiclass all you wanted then, and enjoy whatever advantages that offered, but the more you multiclass the longer it takes you to get to 20 and get the power that whatever capstone you would get has to offer.

But as it has been presented, with everyone qualifying for every capstone if they just train up to 20 one class at a time, the capstones really don't need to be more powerful.

A simple reward for people that want it, but nothing that should compel anyone to avoid multiclassing for fear of gimping their character.

Goblin Squad Member

Nihimon wrote:
GrumpyMel wrote:
... the choices you make and the actions take close off some doors to you...
I don't understand this sentiment, and would appreciate anyone who believes this to explain why it's right. Please try to use real-world examples where decisions that are made early in life permanently "close off some doors".

Sure, that's easy.

- In college, I considered doing ROTC and joining the millitary...for rather complicated family reasons I ended up not pursuing that option. Now I'm 45 and married with a kid and a good career. Even if I wanted to up and join the millitary I just wouldn't physicaly qualify anymore.

- Growing up and in High School I was a pretty darn good downhill skier. I had a pretty decent NASTAR handicap, etc. If I had actualy been serious about it, I could have tried to get a coach and might eventualy have had a chance to compete proffesionaly. That probably would have meant living with dad (close to ski areas) rather then mom. But I wasn't serious about it and elected to stay with mom. Opportunity lost. Later on even if I could have done it physicaly (say in my 20's) and invested the time to get back to the level I was in High School, I would have had to find a way to support myself financialy while still investing enough time to train....that just wouldn't have been feasable...while I was in high school, I would have had my parents support.

- Another buddy I had in college had the opportunity to goto Law School after graduation. He had the finances all worked out. Instead he elected to help out with the family business which went bust. Now he's married with a family to support and try to scrape by on low end jobs. Being a lawyer is a closed option for him...no way he could put together the finances to do it and support his family and devote the time needed for going through school while trying to find work.

Life is full of these sorts of things. Opportunities become availble to you and there is a certain window to take advantage of them, if you don't then that window closes and it is unlikely to come again. The choices you make preclude other choices.

Goblin Squad Member

@GrumpyMel,

Your third answer is completely off the mark. People pursue degrees late in life all the time, with student loans, etc. Your buddy might well choose not to pursue that legal career, but there's nothing in the universe making it impossible.

Your first two answers are also off the mark. You're decision not to pursue those careers isn't what permanently closed off those doors; rather it's your age that has closed those doors.

Please try to present a scenario where you would be able to do something right now if only you hadn't chosen to do something different in the past. Please try to keep it vocational, since that's really what we're talking about in game as well.

Goblin Squad Member

@Sparrow

I would hope its more than a hat. I am planning to make a Paladin but, really have no reason to multiclass until i have run out of other things. The fact that I don't want to multiclass and be one awesome class should give me something to compensate for my lack of diversity. Giving me a hat and pushing me out the door isn't going to be cool since after that I am probably going to focus on non-class skills.

@Nihimon

If you commit a violent hate crime and charged you can't become a police officer later in life?

I am sure there are more examples.

Goblin Squad Member

JakBlitz wrote:
If you commit a violent hate crime and charged you can't become a police officer later in life?

Please try to keep it related to the kinds of choices that will close doors in PFO.

For example, in PFO under the current design, if I go to college and declare a Math major, then later switch to an Engineering major, I'll never be able to get my PhD in Math.

Show me a real world example where that kind of choice has that kind of impact.

Goblin Squad Member

Nihimon wrote:

@GrumpyMel,

Your third answer is completely off the mark. People pursue degrees late in life all the time, with student loans, etc. Your buddy might well choose not to pursue that legal career, but there's nothing in the universe making it impossible.

Your first two answers are also off the mark. You're decision not to pursue those careers isn't what permanently closed off those doors; rather it's your age that has closed those doors.

Please try to present a scenario where you would be able to do something right now if only you hadn't chosen to do something different in the past. Please try to keep it vocational, since that's really what we're talking about in game as well.

Going to disagree with you there Nihimon. Time, health, money, lack of responsibility, prestiege...are not infinate resources you make choices about what to spend them on and those choices preculde your other options and close off doors to you.

If a person never aged, had an infinate amount of time in a day, had an infinite amount of money, could magicaly shrug off responsability, could magicaly make people forget that he declined the opportunities that were offered them...then maybe thier options might not be precluded...but that's NOT how things work either in our world nor in most campaign settings....people have limited resources however you define those resources, spending them on one thing precludes the option of others.... that's what many advancement system mechanisms are simulating in the abstract, but all game mechanisms are an abstraction to one degree or another.

So for example, invitation to join the Wizard's Guild as an apprentice in a Fantasy World might well be considered a great honor.....spurning such an invitation in order to do something else won't likely be forgotten, that's an opportunity that won't come again. There are only so many ways to learn magic. In the real world, getting a specific scholarship or grant to goto Law School or College, etc is also considered and honor and an opportunity to help those who want and truely deserve it...there are long lines of applicants and specific conditions that must be met (example be a graduating Senior in High School with a 4.0 GPA)....turn that down and it's likely it will be awarded to you again.

Spend 20 years learning the intracies of magic and your body is no longer fit for the rigors of the sort of basic training a fighter needs to go through to start to learn thier craft....while someone who has spent 20 years already has the basics behind them and can rely on experience and a life of built up conditioning to overcome some of the limitations of age.

In real life, the millitary expects new recruits to be young and in good health so they can get through the training and conditioning they need....so generaly no signing up as a 40 year old with some health issues unless in times of war with extreme manpower shortages but soldiers who are already 40 and might have some health issues but are 20 year veterans are still valuable and can serve because of the wealth of experience they've built up along with the conditioning thier bodies have already become used to, etc..

Training to become an Olympic Gymnast takes a huge amount of time and focus. So does working to become a Noble Prize winning Physicists. Doing both at the same time or even in the same lifetime is more then most mortals can muster. How many people do you know who are both?

In a Fantasy Game learning to be one of the Adventuring Classes is NOT like learning to tie your shoes and chew gum. It takes an amazing amount of natural apptitude, focus and just plain luck of being in the right place at the right time with the right resources and getting the notice of the right entities/individuals who can train you. Maybe 1 percent of the populace MAX ever has a shot at doing so. Achieving highest level of ability (caps) in multiple ones....

That's like being an Elite Navy Seal, an All Star Proffesional Baseball Player, A Noble Prize Winning Astro-Physicist, a Juliard Trained Concert Pianist and the winning jockey of the Kentucy Derby....yeah nothing standing in the way of an individual doing all those things in a single life time.

Goblin Squad Member

@GrumpyMel, so you can't come up with a scenario where there's something that you could be doing right now if not for a choice you made earlier in life. Noted.

Goblin Squad Member

Mbando wrote:
Andius wrote:


If single class characters are given permanent mechanical advantages, I'm going to min-max the hell out of a single class character, and forsake any training that does not make me a better PVPer until people beg GW to nerf my build. God help them if I reach multiple capstones before capstones get nerfed. I can just base my roleplay on whatever makes me the most insanely powerful I guess.

Just saying.

No matter how GW addresses this, you'll be min/maxing any single class character, just like everybody else. Ain't no one going to assign a "3" to intelligence so they can roleplay a really stupid, yet cheerfully persistent wizard. And no one's taking Point Blank Shot for that same wizard, because she was raised by a retired ranger famed for his bowmanship.

Everyone is going to build their character thoughtfully, trying to make them as effective as possible, and no one is going to pay money to skill up a character they've purposefully gimped. The only question is whether there's going to be a single way to build, i.e. you need to splash-build because synergies are so effective, or you need to single-class because capstones are so effective.

IF GW gets the balance right, so that there are meaningful choices, then it's a design win.

Obviously you don't know me. I'm the guy who refused to play a Thursar or Veela in Mortal Online even though those two races were so broken 95% of all combat characters used them because I didn't want to roleplay as them. I'm the guy who spent the last bit of his money and weight in his pack on soap, a journal, and a writing materials in Pathfinder because they are something my character would want, and I gave the same character extra points in wisdom because I wanted that character to be wise... even though it really didn't give me much mechanical benefit. In Darkfall it took forever to convince me I needed the spell schools witchcraft and necromancy because they didn't fit with my character. Even though there was no mechanical downside to learning them, and the skill "witch's brew" was a huge asset for EVERY type of character.

For me what I like to do is think of a character concept, and design the most effective character I can around that concept. You're right I wouldn't take point blank shot alone on a wizard just to RP a background of my father being a renowned archer. But I might make the character an arcane archer even if I had a more powerful wizard build in mind.

My characters are generally pretty effective, but not as effective as if I made every decision based on being a stronger PVPer. I guarantee you if I don't consider roleplay and instead focus purely on stats, I will be someone to be feared in this game. At least if you're on my badside.

Goblin Squad Member

No, no Andius, not you.

I just mean everyone else.

Goblin Squad Member

Mbando wrote:

No, no Andius, not you.

I just mean everyone else.

That you think that reveals a lot. I hope PFO isn't another game ruined by people like you that think the ability to make decisions based on RP is not important to people's enjoyment of a game.

I like how a lot of the people in this topic claim they want capstones to stop min-maxers and at the same time grind their boot in the face of every RPer who's character concept requires them to multiclass.

Goblin Squad Member

Nihimon wrote:
@GrumpyMel, so you can't come up with a scenario where there's something that you could be doing right now if not for a choice you made earlier in life. Noted.

Nihimon, you're being silly. There's an incredibly robust literature in cognitive psychology on expert knowledge acquisition and expert performance. People who gain mastery in complex expert tasks dedicate themselves to mastery practice for years, with significant empirical evidence for 10 years of "deliberate practice" across a very wide domain range: music, mathematics, swimming, fencing, etc.

People who pursue mastery devote themselves to that one thing for something like a decade +, and don't dabble: they don't multi-class.

But that's real life--who cares? This is a game. The point is to give us great options to chose from that make the game richer. I hope they work this out so that we are like "Oh crap should I go straight rogue or maybe try for a Wizard/Rogue stealth master?"

If people are hung on the horns of a dilemma=win.

Goblin Squad Member

Mbando wrote:
The point is to give us great options to chose from that make the game richer. I hope they work this out so that we are like "Oh crap should I go straight rogue or maybe try for a Wizard/Rogue stealth master?"

I think the problem is the only two character types you are leaving viable is classes that have extreme synergy, and single classers. Theres a whole huge category of players you are giving the shaft called multi-classers who aren't munchkins.

One reason multi class character can be so powerful in P&P is the nerfbat does not exist. If someone finds a combo that is entirely broken, the books are already written. They aren't going to go back and change those mechanics. Only a DM can say "That's broken. I won't let you do that in my campaign." and most people would be ticked at a DM who stifled their creativity like that.

In MMO's if it's determined your fighter/monk is far more powerful that any single class character... they can nerf it. They SHOULD nerf it, or else it diminishes the point of playing any other type of character.

Ideally we should be expecting GW to balance out synergy based characters so that aren't overpowered. Not asking them to make single class characters overpowered as well.

Goblin Squad Member

Mbando wrote:
Nihimon, you're being silly.

No, you're ignoring the context.

Mbando wrote:
People who pursue mastery devote themselves to that one thing for something like a decade +, and don't dabble: they don't multi-class.

BS. (( I wanted to type that out, but thought better of it. )) People master things like Aikido while they're mastering their careers and their families all the time. People play multiple professional sports at the very highest level at the same time.

I think it's great that you've accepted the fact that PFO wants us to make meaningful choices. I've accepted that too. I'm not arguing about whether it makes sense in a game. I'm responding to someone who claimed that real life had the same sorts of choices. And I challenge anyone to provide real-world examples that are actually analogous.

Name the real world case where I could start Activity A today and reach Capstone A. But if I had started Activity A earlier, then started Activity B, then I would not be able to reach Capstone A.

Goblin Squad Member

I was envisioning the whole character concept as a clean slate. You start with nothing and build up your character through skill training and merit badge acquisition.

Say you train in "longsword proficiency" and acquire the "kill a monster with a longsword" badge, then your character unlocks some ability related to longswords. That doesn't make you a fighter, ranger or barbarian, just a longsword wielding dude.

Now once you have that longsword ability, you'll have to chose what to train next.

If you focus into one field, you'll be able to build on top of already acquired abilities and "specialize" your character toward an archetype, ultimately unlocking a cap ability.

On the other hand, if you chose to train in various fields, like rage abilities, or lock picking or divine spellcasting, then you have a longsword wielder dude that can rage, pick locks and cure himself. A "generalist" with lots of minor abilities that do not point toward any cap ability.

I don't see generalists locking themselves out of cap abilities. If it takes a full dedicated year of training to acquire it and you decided to train various skills here and there for 2 months, well it's going to take you a year and 2 months if you change your mind and decide to aim for that cap ability after all.

Goblin Squad Member

Nihimon wrote:
@GrumpyMel, so you can't come up with a scenario where there's something that you could be doing right now if not for a choice you made earlier in life. Noted.

Nihimon,

I provided you numerous ones, but apparently you believe that you are better informed about my own life options then I.

I made a choice to spend 20+ years mastering my particularly field of expertiese, to get married and start a family. Whether you are willing to accept it or not, those choices have taken certain other options off the table for me right now.

Goblin Squad Member

Technically arguing a real-world case has no meaning. Given this is a Fantasy RPG MMO.

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