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Roles and Role advantages (Capstones!)


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Goblin Squad Member

Nihimon wrote:

@Ryan & Lee,

The problem is that the value of Capstones to individual players might change over time, and a decision they made early on, when the Capstone was under the value threshold, might be a mistake later on, when the Capstone rises above that value threshold. This makes it seem incredibly important to me that players be able to recover from that mistake.

One way, that I've already discussed, is to allow players to undo skill training.

Another way that just occurred to me is to simply make the Capstone Skill training cost scale based on how many off-Role Merit Badges have been earned.

Both solutions rely on the player-base's acceptance that time spent training the Capstone (or un-training prior) is a suitable counterbalance to time spent playing with the multi-class synergy. In both cases, that time spent training the Capstone can be increased arbitrarily. Seems like you ought to be able to find the right number that is acceptable to enough players.

I get the idea that you are emphasizing, but I wonder if this starts to run counter to the whole idea of a sandbox. By that I mean the central sandbox ideas of the unknown, exploration, emergence, and consequences. If you can make fundamental changes every time there is an emergent situation, then you throw out consequences, and as such you throw away a part of what makes a sandbox a sandbox.

Goblin Squad Member

randomwalker wrote:

at the risk of "wtf dude?!" I butt in here,

What is the capstone in pen and paper? A reward for patiently sticking with a single class for 20 levels, or an ability so powerful that you want to forsake any dipping in order to reach it as fast as possible? I want the latter!

Well I see a huge problem with going for the latter. The time for a dip is pretty much guaranteed to be negligable on the grand scale of things.

I think it is an extremely probable assumption that time to gain each merit badge will be spread out with diminishing returns, because well if they aren't, quite a few people are going to quit if it takes a month and a half to get their second merit badge.

So most likely we are looking at a system more like, a few days tops to get merit badge 1-2, 2-3 months minimum to get merit badges 18-20.

So given the choice between,

A. Get a decent ability tomorrow, and the totally awesome capstone in 93 days.

vs

B. get absolutely nothing for 89 days, get the awesome capstone in 90.

I would say it is almost certain that 9/10 players would take A. over B.

Quote:

IMO the capstone should be the ultimate merit badge, when you get this you've effectively reached the end of the skill tree and now you have to go in another direction.

Mechanical benefits? Heck yes! BUT it should be a benefit only when you play your mastered role and not a all-round usable benefit. A capstoned fighter should be the best fighter there is, but not have an advantage in other roles/classes. Yes, this gets tricky since some classes have similar flavours, but i trust the designers (and community) to work this out.

short: i don't want the ultimate fighter merit badge to be the "blue hat of awesome".

This I can agree with, IE if a capstoned fighter, only got the benefit of his capstone, when in a setup that pretty much negated his ability to benefit from his alternate roles while he has the capstone equiped, this I could stand behind 100%. Maybe that is how the capstones should be. Presuming 1-2 passive slots if a fighter capstone were something like, 20% improvement to mellee hit/damage, 10% increase to armor effectiveness, 100% chance of spell failure, -100% sneak attack damage etc... in other words when it is equiped, almost all alternative class skills are blocked out, But that versatility isn't lost, when in a town/inn changing your loadout, you could remove both the pro's and the cons of the capstone.


First of all i think it's pretty hard to balance single class vs multi class to the extent that all parties will be happy, so good luck with that devs.

I agree with Randomwalker tho, that capstones should be powerful class defining abilities that you want to get as fast as possible, and that you only should be able to use them if your build is of a single class.

That way you would want to level a single class as fast as possible.

I don't know how much multi classing will delay your progress in a single class (please inform me if you know). If there is a significant delay you really have a tough choice, do you want to delay getting that powerful capstone ability so you can get some more versatility now?

This way you might want to stick to a single class so you don't get delayed to the peak of your class.

I feel this is enough to balance capstones. A straight leveling path from 1-20 isn't really needed. Only single classes can use capstone abilities and a (significant) time delay to capstones if you multi class.

About the generalist vs specialist discussion, there is too much we don't know yet to say how it's gonna be in PFO. Personally i hope we can ''specialize into a few areas'' without loosing too much progression into the game. What i mean by that for instance is that i would like to be good at sneaking, scouting and skirmishing (small scale combat, mostly ranged, some melee). Others could be good at squad-fighting and mining production. Others could be good at Weapon AND armor crafting. Others at dungeon crawling and wood refining.

You will still be reliant on other players because there are way too many roles for you to even be close to fill yourself. But at the same time you have a couple of interesting fields to progress in. I think it's important to have more than ONLY ONE thing you should do while playing.

Goblin Squad Member

I've been following the several threads on capstones for awhile now. There are a lot of good arguments one way or the other for what capstones should be and how you should get them.

My opinion
My opinion is that the various dev posts (perhaps excluding Ryan's) make it pretty clear that even with the combat system as envisioned, they believe either the synergies between classes or the ability to fit more roles (maybe even only after significant time invested to fully 'switch' roles) will make multi-classing an option with significant advantages.

For one, in the 'leveling' systems that we can imagine (others have already posted in-depth about this), multi-classed characters will have more total badges than single-classed ones, which means that those players have made more choices earlier on that they could be exploiting for their benefit.

This is important. This means that the oft-quoted example of the two 5-year players, one with 2 capstones and the other with none, are not truly equal, even in the end, as some have attempted to explain.

If the multi-class character has some advantages over a single-classed character, you can expect him/her to exploit that fact early on to gain some small increase in power. Example: Buying some better equipment than his/her hypothetical counterpart. That character then has that better equipment advantage as well as the initial advantage he/she gained from multi-classing that allowed them to acquire the better armor. You can then expect that character to leverage his/her now-greater advantage to achieve even greater things; this, as well as continuing to make more skill choices over time that increase the advantages.

Over 5 years, even if the multi-class character only made 1 extra gold a day and did not invest it, they are measurably richer than the other. It becomes apparent then that when that character can actually use that 1 gold on the first day to help make 2 gold on the second day and so on, 5 years can be a huge difference.

Even as the character ability advantage starts to swing the other way after the single-class character gets his first (mechanically advantageous) capstone, the multi-class character has a torrent of investments still working for him/her.

Sorry, I just thought I'd jump on the treadmill for a bit. Now:

Conjecture Aside
Excluding the arguments based largely on conjecture of the benefits of multi-classing vs sticking to one, the arguments seem to be based mostly on a person's opinion on choices. Specifically, whether a choice made perhaps 1-2 months into the game should affect something that happens to you in 2.5 years.

I like capstones. I think they could be really cool. I think we should have them. The problem is that a choice that you cannot accurately make until 2.5 years down the road when you realize the full consequence of your actions can be un-fun.

Choices are meaningful (fun) when you have reasonably accurate information to use in your decision-making process and you can see the results of your decision.

Nihimon has been focusing a lot on this aspect of the issue (actually, he focuses a lot on every aspect of every issue; I vote Nihimon for community liason! =P). We can still have a meaningful choice to be made early-on so long as you can rectify it later. We can have it be a high-cost decision to reverse.

You couldn't take away the extra investments the multi-class character was able to make, but you could take away it's skill training, which is not an insignificant cost in a game with infinite advancement. Personally, I think it would suck to watch a timer tick down as you lost skills, so maybe just have an option to lose it all at once.

I think you should lose all badges that would disqualify you from your capstone in the archetype, as well as any badges in that archetype that you gained since you were disqualified. This would address the issue of somebody using the advantage of multiclassing up until the 19th badge, then dropping the other class(es) to get the capstone.

I expect that after a few months, even those persons that ignored all the warnings like "YOU WILL NOT GAIN YOUR CAPSTONE IF YOU GO DOWN THIS PATH" will have had time to talk to others and otherwise gather the necessary information to make the decision of whether or not they want to go for the capstone, and so would only lose a few months of training time.

Goblin Squad Member

Waffleyone wrote:
Andius: You have three sets of abilities weapon-dependent abilities available to you. That doesn't equal your two symbols and a shield.
GW Blog wrote:
Characters can have up to three weapon sets and switch between them in combat, so a cleric could switch between her mace with shield and her holy symbol with shield.

That is taken directly from the blog on the combat system. So yes you can use a holy symbol and a shield, and more importantly... it at least appears in that quote that they are counting that configuration as 3 weapons. That isn't what I would consider 3 weapon sets either, but that is the example they gave.

Goblin Squad Member

Nihimon wrote:

@Ryan & Lee,

The problem is that the value of Capstones to individual players might change over time, and a decision they made early on, when the Capstone was under the value threshold, might be a mistake later on, when the Capstone rises above that value threshold. This makes it seem incredibly important to me that players be able to recover from that mistake.

One way, that I've already discussed, is to allow players to undo skill training.

Another way that just occurred to me is to simply make the Capstone Skill training cost scale based on how many off-Role Merit Badges have been earned.

I really think the best solution is this. If you have 20 in a class, you have that classes capstone ability. Regardless of training order.

All of your skills you have equipped must be available to the class you have trained to in order to use your capstone.

So if I am playing a cleric and my cleric level is 20. I can use my capstone but only so long as every ability on my bar is either a cleric class skill, or a non class specific skill available to clerics. The minute I slot a single passive, refresh, utility, weapon ability etc. from another class my capstone is not useable. If I take that skill back off my capstone is useable again.

A few advantages to this system are:

1. It makes capstones a non-permanent consequence. Anyone can pursue a capstone at any time, which is important when the exact details of capstones may be unknown early on, while it is still possible to lose them.

2. It still kind of captures the PF tabletop idea of being rewarded for having a single role.

3. Not only does it help give single class characters an advantage against multi-class characters, it is the ONLY proposed system that balances a singleclass character against a multiclass character with a capstone. Which is where the advantage of multiclassing will undebatably be most pronounced.

I think the only people who shouldn't be happy with the above system are the people who are less concerned with balancing singleclass against multiclass and more concerned about getting perks that will give them an advantage.

Goblin Squad Member

Andius wrote:
I think the only people who shouldn't be happy with the above system are the people who are less concerned with balancing singleclass against multiclass and more concerned about getting perks that will give them an advantage.

When I'm being thoughtful, I always try to avoid characterizing other people's motives - especially if I disagree with them.

Goblin Squad Member

Nihimon wrote:
Andius wrote:
I think the only people who shouldn't be happy with the above system are the people who are less concerned with balancing singleclass against multiclass and more concerned about getting perks that will give them an advantage.
When I'm being thoughtful, I always try to avoid characterizing other people's motives - especially if I disagree with them.

Well I am personally pretty frustrated with the other side. Everyone is freaking out about Level 1-19 multiclassers and through page after page on this debate our side is the only one talking about multiclassers who have capstones.

Multiclassing is such a huge concern that we are to be terrified of their power as they level more slowly (By dev confirmation now!) than single class characters. But that problem just goes away if the multiclasser maxed their original class before training the new one?

How can people who claim they want to stick with their role and not be forced to dabble in others reconcile themselves with this? Why aren't you at least equally as terrified of multi-capstone characters as pre-capstone multiclassers???

To my mind the answer is that they intend to be multiclassers once hitting capstone, so the extra power and clear advantage over any other model of character development will be welcome.

Goblin Squad Member

Andius wrote:


Well I am personally pretty frustrated with the other side. Everyone is freaking out about Level 1-19 multiclassers and through page after page on this debate our side is the only one talking about multiclassers who have capstones.

I think that idea, that there are "sides" and you're on one side trying to win, as opposed to being engaged with partners in dialogue, is a problem.

Goblin Squad Member

Andius wrote:
Well I am personally pretty frustrated with the other side. Everyone is freaking out about Level 1-19 multiclassers and through page after page on this debate our side is the only one talking about multiclassers who have capstones.

I thought I addressed this very situation in the 'my opinion' section of my post.

Andius wrote:
How can people who claim they want to stick with their role and not be forced to dabble in others reconcile themselves with this? Why aren't you at least equally as terrified of multi-capstone characters as pre-capstone multiclassers???

If there is a benefit to multiclassing, then that benefit can be exploited to obtain material advantages. For at least two and a half years, then, the multiclasser is steadily increasing his/her advantage over the single-classer as time goes on.

This material advantage can also be invested to multiply that advantage; it's not just a simple straight mechanical advantage such as an additional/modified ability.

Also, it's somewhat difficult to wonder what the game is going to be like 5 years down the road (when the first characters are presumably getting their second capstone). I can't imagine much of the game will be the same as it was at launch. So, perhaps pragmatically, people are worried about their first 2.5 years in the game; and even that is a long time for things to happen.

I'm not saying it's a bad idea to think that far in the future, I'm merely commenting on why people might not be as worried about it at this point in time. Then again, after the game has been out for 3 years and we and the developers have a good amount of experience with the game and capstones in particular, we could have a discussion about them long before somebody reaches their second.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I like your proposal a few posts up, but it does not address what we've been told a capstone is: A reward for dedicating oneself to a particular archetype.

If there is a benefit to some multiclass builds, then it will be advantageous to do that and accrue the benefits of it as you work towards your first capstone. The only downside to doing so would be getting your capstone a few months later than those that went straight for it.

I don't think Nihimon or I expect capstones to be uber-abilities; I think that would go against the design-goal of giving a couple of intelligent noobs a good chance of beating a 5 year vet. I wouldn't be surprised if capstones were designed in such a way that they would be mutually exclusive. I don't know enough about PFRPG to give a few good examples, but I'm sure they're out there.

Goblin Squad Member

Kakafika wrote:


If there is a benefit to multiclassing, then that benefit can be exploited to obtain material advantages. For at least two and a half years, then, the multiclasser is steadily increasing his/her advantage over the single-classer as time goes on.

This material advantage can also be invested to multiply that advantage; it's not just a simple straight mechanical advantage such as an additional/modified ability.

Quite frankly I am operating under the assumption these are at least semi competent developers working on a game worth playing.

That rules out the idea that they would use a system that puts one character type at a clear disadvantage for years in exchange for a clear advantage down the road, because any HALFWAY DECENT developer will want as many players as possible to have a balanced and enjoyable experience all the way through.

"You can be powerful now, or powerful later." Is such a crap way of balancing that no self-respecting / paying customer should stand for it.

Goblin Squad Member

Andius wrote:

I really think the best solution is this. If you have 20 in a class, you have that classes capstone ability. Regardless of training order.

All of your skills you have equipped must be available to the class you have trained to in order to use your capstone.

So if I am playing a cleric and my cleric level is 20. I can use my capstone but only so long as every ability on my bar is either a cleric class skill, or a non class specific skill available to clerics. The minute I slot a single passive, refresh, utility, weapon ability etc. from another class my capstone is not useable. If I take that skill back off my capstone is useable again.

A few advantages to this system are:

1. It makes capstones a non-permanent consequence. Anyone can pursue a capstone at any time, which is important when the exact details of capstones may be unknown early on, while it is still possible to lose them.

2. It still kind of captures the PF tabletop idea of being rewarded for having a single role.

3. Not only does it help give single class characters an advantage against multi-class characters, it is the ONLY proposed system that balances a singleclass character against a multiclass character with a capstone. Which is where the advantage of multiclassing will undebatably be most pronounced.

I think the only people who shouldn't be happy with the above system are the people who are less...

Andius,

If I understand, let's me present you a exemple. my ranger has 20 merit badges and the capstone. He want to have a level in rogue. He can't be a active 20/1 because there a maximum of 20 badges. so, to have the effect of the rogue badge, he will be 19/1 because of the maximum and than he lose the capstone. But the 20th ranger merit badge will be the if he need it.
He can be (16/2/2) or (12/6/2) but it will always be 20 badges actives top.

That will stop the problem of multiclassing or single. The cost will be more time consuming. You can also me more powerful in other skill that are not role dependant.

The problem with this idea is that it will rob meaningful choice. It the consequence will not be permenant. Only time consuming.

Goblin Squad Member

Gayel Nord wrote:
He can't be a active 20/1 because there a maximum of 20 badges.

Nope. Nothing ever discussed so far says there's a maximum of 20 badges.

Unless you're suggesting that the game should limit us to 20 badges, in which case I think you'll meet a lot of resistance.

Goblin Squad Member

Nihimon wrote:
Gayel Nord wrote:
He can't be a active 20/1 because there a maximum of 20 badges.

Nope. Nothing ever discussed so far says there's a maximum of 20 badges.

Unless you're suggesting that the game should limit us to 20 badges, in which case I think you'll meet a lot of resistance.

I wasn't suggesting that. I was trying to understand a system which Andius's suggestion would work. Then came the Idea of the badge being a sort of item and the limit.

I am myself against that because it will be a sort of endgame. Even if a lot of skills is not related to role progress. You have just reach the top like in the Rpg.

Goblin Squad Member

I don't see the value in this talk of 'limiting badges' you will not receive specific archetype abilities from merit badges. You train a skill, you learn that skills, you could have ranger abilities and never get a merit badge in ranger.

Getting a merit badge is not like gaining a level in the TT, the closest comparison is that a merit badge is what you get after you learn everything you would get from gaining a level in the TT.

Goblin Squad Member

Ryan Dancey wrote:


The design we're working on does assume that the role-based merit badges you earn will have some mechanical benefits or be perquisites for some mechanical advantage. These are all things that are tightly coupled to the role - we're not talking about basic combat stats but about things that characters following a Role would naturally benefit from - an example might be abilities that modify a Barbarian's Rage, for example.

Goblin Squad Member

1 person marked this as a favorite.

My suggestion works with the currently confirmed combat system and it has nothing to do with limiting merit badges.

Every combat ability (Including passive abilities) you have are linked to slots. Removing an ability from a slot means it cannot be used even though known. Adding an ability to a slot means it is available for use. You cannot slot or de-slot abilities in combat. It may even require you to return to a town. This isn't part of my suggestion, it's the combat system detailed to us in the blog.

My suggestion is that you can only use capstones if every slotted ability is available to the class that capstone is in. It doesn't matter if you are level 20 in every single class. If all your slotted abilities ( including passive) are from one class, your other classes are not doing you a single bit of good.

Goblin Squad Member

Andius wrote:

My suggestion works with the currently confirmed combat system and it has nothing to do with limiting merit badges.

Every combat ability (Including passive abilities) you have are linked to slots. Removing an ability from a slot means it cannot be used even though known. Adding an ability to a slot means it is available for use. You cannot slot or de-slot abilities in combat. It may even require you to return to a town. This isn't part of my suggestion, it's the combat system detailed to us in the blog.

My suggestion is that you can only use capstones if every slotted ability is available to the class that capstone is in. It doesn't matter if you are level 20 in every single class. If all your slotted abilities ( including passive) are from one class, your other classes are not doing you a single bit of good.

ok, I understand now.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

Andius wrote:

My suggestion works with the currently confirmed combat system and it has nothing to do with limiting merit badges.

Every combat ability (Including passive abilities) you have are linked to slots. Removing an ability from a slot means it cannot be used even though known. Adding an ability to a slot means it is available for use. You cannot slot or de-slot abilities in combat. It may even require you to return to a town. This isn't part of my suggestion, it's the combat system detailed to us in the blog.

My suggestion is that you can only use capstones if every slotted ability is available to the class that capstone is in. It doesn't matter if you are level 20 in every single class. If all your slotted abilities ( including passive) are from one class, your other classes are not doing you a single bit of good.

Depending on what abilities are role-specific, and which abilities are role-agnostic, that could work.

I could also see a direct 'synergy' effect resulting from the condition where all slotted abilities are from the same role. I'm not sure if it's a good idea or not; it needs codifying and testing.

Goblin Squad Member

Andius wrote:
Kakafika wrote:


If there is a benefit to multiclassing, then that benefit can be exploited to obtain material advantages. For at least two and a half years, then, the multiclasser is steadily increasing his/her advantage over the single-classer as time goes on.

This material advantage can also be invested to multiply that advantage; it's not just a simple straight mechanical advantage such as an additional/modified ability.

Quite frankly I am operating under the assumption these are at least semi competent developers working on a game worth playing.

That rules out the idea that they would use a system that puts one character type at a clear disadvantage for years in exchange for a clear advantage down the road, because any HALFWAY DECENT developer will want as many players as possible to have a balanced and enjoyable experience all the way through.

"You can be powerful now, or powerful later." Is such a crap way of balancing that no self-respecting / paying customer should stand for it.

Can I ask Andius, what exactly is your motivation for wanting to multi-class? Why is it essential to your playstyle that you must have abilities from multiple class areas?

Goblin Squad Member

this is a key question, actually:
Why multiclass?
and the counter: why singleclass?

the goal seems to be to max human interaction. But is the key here the builds or the roles? If they make a system of action bars and capstones (maybe several milestone abilities too?) that make you want to play in a 'pure role' at any given time, then the ability to change roles (including equipment) between bouts maybe isn't so bad. ie: multiclass characters would be "dr.Jekylls" and play very much like having different alts in different games.

I don't see that a multiclass would necessarily be more powerful. Jack of all does not always beat King of spades.

Goblin Squad Member

Why multiclass:

  • You have a specific character/RP concept you want to play
  • To optimize your character due to synergies
  • For the pleasure of designing a synergistic build
  • To fulfill a game role (as opposed to an archetypal role)
  • To fulfill a "best" build idea in the community and thus be in demand
  • To be more self-reliant as a generalist and maximize individual ultility

Why Single-Class:

  • You have a specific character/RP concept you want to play
  • You want to pursue the high end abilities of a role (e.g. damage and AC bonus in a monk in pathfinder TT)
  • To achieve class mastery (e.g. a capstone)
  • To be more socially reliant as a specialist, but maximize group efficacy

Goblin Squad Member

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Whatever it is that draws a player to multi-class (or single-class) is going to be extremely subjective - as long as there's not a "best build".

Goblin Squad Member

Southraven wrote:
Can I ask Andius, what exactly is your motivation for wanting to multi-class? Why is it essential to your playstyle that you must have abilities from multiple class areas?

Great question. First off, even if I consider multiclass and singleclass characters perfectly balanced at every stage of development, and there are no permanent rewards for either, I may not multiclass. I simply like having the OPTION to multiclass and I feel a capstone ability permanently blocked from pre-capstone multi-class characters but useable in post multi-class characters is so CLEARLY overpowered it eliminates pre-capstone multiclassing as a viable option if it offers any noteable mechanical advantage.

I also am STRONGLY against the idea that trading late game power for early game power is an acceptable version of balancing. Depending on the amount of power being traded it could actually be a deal breaker for me, because I am not going to sit around for 2.5 years waiting for my character to be viable, nor am I going to put up with having a character that is only viable for 2.5 years. (Though I still think single class characters will probably be more powerful the whole time if not balanced.) So I think that makes it pretty clear to me at least, that there should be a lot of effort to balance out character strength, and avoid systems that allow you to permanently harm your character's development.

The reason I want the OPTION to multiclass is because I want to create a character concept and build the most viable character possible around it. Multiclassing of course opens up the door to a VAST array of possible character concepts, where the concepts within single classes are much more limited.

The other reason is because I want to allow experimentation in this game. If I start training cleric, and I discover I would really rather be a druid or a bard, I want to be able to try to those archetypes without this insane fear that if I switch back my character will no longer be able to fulfill it's full potential. That places too much pressure the on me to make solid decisions early on when I should still be learning the complexities of the game. Especially when we MAY NOT EVEN KNOW what capstones do yet.

One thing I would also like to note, is if I felt my option to play a viable single class character were in danger, I would be just as or more upset. But I do not feel that way. At all.

Goblin Squad Member

Andius wrote:

My suggestion works with the currently confirmed combat system and it has nothing to do with limiting merit badges.

Every combat ability (Including passive abilities) you have are linked to slots. Removing an ability from a slot means it cannot be used even though known. Adding an ability to a slot means it is available for use. You cannot slot or de-slot abilities in combat. It may even require you to return to a town. This isn't part of my suggestion, it's the combat system detailed to us in the blog.

My suggestion is that you can only use capstones if every slotted ability is available to the class that capstone is in. It doesn't matter if you are level 20 in every single class. If all your slotted abilities ( including passive) are from one class, your other classes are not doing you a single bit of good.

I think this is a good suggestion in general, but couple points:

1) We don't know exactly what abilities will be slotted--for example, while the blog mentions combat abilities, passives, etc as being slotted, will abilities for riding, armor, etc be slotted? And why just combat abilities? At the heart of your suggestion is "You need to be in your pure build to have access to your capstone." However exactly that would look, in principle I think it makes sense I could get behind it.

2) This seems to handle the concern over long term power/effectiveness disparities pretty well, but I'm not sure it matches the goal of incentivizing pure builds for the first 2.5 years.

Goblin Squad Member

I'd like quote Stephen Cheney from the other thread...

.......
"While we'd love to somehow balance every feat against every other feat, there are very likely to be synergies between different role feats.....

.... 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. "
.....

I'd encourage folks to read his full post.

- Personaly I'm not in favor of capstones as a balancing factor, because I think it ignores the path from 1-20 which is an important part of the character experience and also ignores what happens post 20 which is another issue.

- It's not at easy to balance out synergies from multi-classing with benefits as some might think. In fact, achieving a semblance of balance in any game, especialy computer games is REALLY, REALLY hard...as I think the above post recognizes. So I don't think it's realistic to expect them to balance it internal to the feats themselves.

- Limited slots doesn't really change the cherry picking equation much, it just means you need to pick more judiciously.

- EvE doesn't really apply well here since it limits you to the skills relevent to the ship you would be flying at any given time (i.e. effectively you are forced to pick a single class for each foray/mission)

- Given the above, there are a few different approach's one can take toward balance. I actualy favor something similar to what DLH mentioned in the other thread... you get a degree of bonus toward your core class ability (whatever that is) relevant to the number of abilities you've slotted that are tied to that class. That way slotting things outside your class has both direct and indirect costs toward performance in a specific role....

In other words Wizard Ability #127 might be more attractive in itself then any of your other unslotted fighter abilities when putting together a build for fighter...but when you factor in that it costs you a certain percentage of your potential "fighter bonus" as well...that could change the equation.

I think that would be an interesting way to deal with the issue of cherry picking...make going "outside of role" have a direct cost to effectiveness of that role... but it would still allow you to fulfill a diversity of roles.

Goblin Squad Member

Mbando wrote:


1) We don't know exactly what abilities will be slotted--for example, while the blog mentions combat abilities, passives, etc as being slotted, will abilities for riding, armor, etc be slotted? And why just combat abilities? At the heart of your suggestion is "You need to be in your pure build to have access to your capstone." However exactly that would look, in principle I think it makes sense I could get behind it.

2) This seems to handle the concern over long term power/effectiveness disparities pretty well, but I'm not sure it matches the goal of incentivizing pure builds for the first 2.5 years.

Well this is a guess, but I wouldn't imagine things like armor use etc... as slotted (after all armor is already limited by changing time, weight capacities etc...)

Assuming mounted combat is implimented, I would imagine those would fall into weapon skills.

My only hope is that when it comes to the passive slots, they don't over cater to the multi classes, and ensure there are enough non-typed + single role skills to use all of the slots in a way that is comperable to someone who dips to each class for the passives.

IMO dips are a much greater threat to class balance than multi classes. Namely because capstones don't conterbalance it at all as described currently.

Guy dips into rogue just long enough for rogue passives, (say a week or 2)
does the same with 5 other classes.

Then the guy plays every other class straight through in order. It is actually going to be 15 years at that point before he runs out of roles that he can take from start to finish earning the capstones for, before he is down to the classes that he has voided the capstone on. and dipping itself IMO is the greater issue of somethign that pretty much has no flavor of the class, just entirely for the free abilities

Goblin Squad Member

Andius wrote:

I really think the best solution is this. If you have 20 in a class, you have that classes capstone ability. Regardless of training order.

All of your skills you have equipped must be available to the class you have trained to in order to use your capstone.

So if I am playing a cleric and my cleric level is 20. I can use my capstone but only so long as every ability on my bar is either a cleric class skill, or a non class specific skill available to clerics. The minute I slot a single passive, refresh, utility, weapon ability etc. from another class my capstone is not useable. If I take that skill back off my capstone is useable again.

I could get behind a system like this. Don't penalize people by not ever giving them access to their capstone if they multiclass. Give them their capstone when they hit 20 in a class, but only let the capstone be usable if they're not using any other abilities than one gained by that class.

Goblin Squad Member

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Alexander asked a question in another thread he started:

"What makes a class?"

Ryan said: "There are no classes."

Good response, Ryan.

Hopefully we can put this passionate discussion on hold until we have more information about what 'multi-class' and 'single-class' mean in a game with no classes. Currently, I feel like there are about 5 different arguments for and against capstones, and 4 of them are based on different assumptions of what these terms mean in PFO. We are arguing past eachother.

One of the arguments we have been having is whether it is ok to have a choice in the game early-on that is so long-term as to not fully realize the consequences of your choice for 2.5 years.

This puts aside all assumptions of what a 'class' is and how characters gain power, so it is not frivolous to discuss this point now.

Goblin Squad Member

GrumpyMel wrote:

-snip-I actualy favor something similar to what DLH mentioned in the other thread... you get a degree of bonus toward your core class ability (whatever that is) relevant to the number of abilities you've slotted that are tied to that class. That way slotting things outside your class has both direct and indirect costs toward performance in a specific role....

In other words Wizard Ability #127 might be more attractive in itself then any of your other unslotted fighter abilities when putting together a build for fighter...but when you factor in that it costs you a certain percentage of your potential "fighter bonus" as well...that could change the equation.

I think that would be an interesting way to deal with the issue of cherry picking...make going "outside of role" have a direct cost to effectiveness of that role... but it would still allow you to fulfill a diversity of roles.

I missed that from DLH. I really like this suggestion also. That combined with Andius' suggestion of capstones requiring "role-unity" between all slots to be usable.

Sounds intuitive also.

Goblin Squad Member

The only argument is about having choices that permanently close some doors. Some people like it, some people don't. This is going to be the way it is for the life of the game. The argument will never move, and I assure you with every new wave of players there will be a wave of complaints about capstones if they are in the game. Some people will accept it and play, others will never touch the game, that is simply how it is going to be.

GW will have more subscribers if they make capstones always accessible. Is that a good enough reason to change the current plan? I don't think so. GW should make the game they want, listening too hard to the community rarely turns out well, everything the community puts forward needs to be taken with a grain of salt.

To much of this argument is based on speculation about mechanics we don't even know about, all we should be arguing about is if permanent choices should be in the game. The community and Ryan seem to have two different opinions on the 'time == options != power' argument, so we should wait before delving into the discussion about how much capstones give, all we know is 'not enough to make it necessary' and we should leave it at that, for now.

I think there should be permanent choices, it makes players think more, they can't blindly move forward to no end, some planning should be required. Not full 5 year plans, but a general target and boundaries.

Goblin Squad Member

Valkenr wrote:
The only argument is about having choices that permanently close some doors...[snip]... I think there should be permanent choices, it makes players think more, they can't blindly move forward to no end, some planning should be required. Not full 5 year plans, but a general target and boundaries.

I disagree to an extent. I think the argument against exclusive capstones is a little bit more nuanced than that. Or, at least mine is.

As I stated previously, I'm all for what some have described as 'meaningful, long-term choices.' My dissatisfaction with the current, tentative set-up is that we won't have the information available to us to make a meaningful choice. We are essentially being forced to make a choice blindly.

Firstly, we won't have experience with how capstones affect the game until 2.5 years down the road, long after we have made our individual choices whether or not to pursue them. Secondly, I share Ryan's concern that whatever we think capstones are 3 months into the game when we make that choice, they may change.

Ryan wrote:
This is actually one of my biggest concerns. I would rate it as "highly improbable" that whatever idea we have on day one would survive all the way to the day the first Capstone is earned.

The problem is that if the consequences of the choice aren't very clear at the time players are asked to make it, many of them may feel cheated, and for good reason. I could still see room to make the capstone choice a long-term, meaningful one, as I described in the Conjecture Aside portion of my first-page post. In this specific case, I believe players should have some way to reverse their decision; a high cost for doing so may be acceptable.

Valkenr wrote:

GW will have more subscribers if they make capstones always accessible. Is that a good enough reason to change the current plan? I don't think so. GW should make the game they want, listening too hard to the community rarely turns out well, everything the community puts forward needs to be taken with a grain of salt.

To much of this argument is based on speculation about mechanics we don't even know about, all we should be arguing about is if permanent choices should be in the game.... so we should wait before delving into the discussion about how much capstones give, all we know is 'not enough to make it necessary' and we should leave it at that, for now.

I agree with these sentiments.

Goblin Squad Member

On the question of permanence, one way to look at it, is how much PfO is intended to simulate a world of "cause and effect". And that c-o-u-l-d be extended to permanent choices/decisions made by characters who wish to pursue a path in their alloted "mortal time". But I'm not sure that makes the game more playable, mainly given the training time appears fairly long already, then the sum of those choices is as effective as a truly permanent choice if there are a huge number of these choices that could be made by any one player and all equally diverse and useful so that players end up taking very diverse decisions from each other.

I'm sure that is the ultimate goal of the game: To see players take diverging choices in sufficient numbers? So balancing the 2-extremes: single role specialisation vs multi-role generalist to promote the widest spread in the population must be the question? Do capstones aid that in some form or other?

I'm curious what the highest extent that devs are expecting to reveal about skill-training, to players on day 1 might be also? Surely some imperfect information as to where decision take you, makes the game interesting if dicey?!

Goblin Squad Member

I would expect to see full progression maps and descriptions of every skill and badge. There can be hidden stuff, but that should all come with no consequences and no disqualifications, i think it is unfair to block people off from things without their knowledge.

Lantern Lodge

@Valkner For a game that can be 'completed' and then replayed a few times before losing interest, then permanent choices are fine as they apply only to single playthrough. In PFO however you make a single playthrough and never reach the end therefore it is no longer a charater choice but a player choice and that no longer qualifies as a meaningful choice, it becomes a barrier choice, particularly for those that change playstyle with their mood.

Goblin Squad Member

Valkenr wrote:
I would expect to see full progression maps and descriptions of every skill and badge. There can be hidden stuff, but that should all come with no consequences and no disqualifications, i think it is unfair to block people off from things without their knowledge.

I appreciate from the pov of players investing time/cash into training, they might want more certainty because of that. That's a strong case.

But (maybe I'm quibbling) is there not an opportunity to add uncertainty sufficiently far down the line that minimally affects early decisions (known-majority), but still has sufficient influence on later decisions (unknown-minority of skills)? As said, perhaps there is no case to be made, but I want to consider the situation when everyone starts at level 1, that those who increase the amount of multi-classing will reach those unknown higher levels more slowly while single-role specialists will reach those unknowns sooner. I like the idea that that uncertainty is disruptive on that the initial decision-making process on day one or alternatively when the first players reach those skills, that new information, has an influence on players at those times?

Goblin Squad Member

Uncertainty is fine, as long as players can't disqualify them selves without their knowledge.

Goblin Squad Member

@AvenaOats I'm not opposed to that, but remember that after 2.5 years, all of that information will be a mouse-click away for new and veteran players. I don't know, maybe exploring character development options fits with the focus on exploration and development of the environment in the early stages of the game.

Lantern Lodge

The easiest, and for some the most prefferable, way to avoid unknown disqualifications is to not include disqualifications.

Frankly, capstones don't really exist in pf and I think dedication to single character/game for 2.5 years (longer for multirole people) is more then enough to earn a trinket of dedication.

He says it's a homage to pf but that makes no sense as neither capstones nor permanent disqualifications exist in pf.

Goblin Squad Member

Kakafika wrote:
@AvenaOats I'm not opposed to that, but remember that after 2.5 years, all of that information will be a mouse-click away for new and veteran players. I don't know, maybe exploring character development options fits with the focus on exploration and development of the environment in the early stages of the game.

Just thinking it might have the effect of increasing the appeal of levelling sooner towards cap? And realise it's different for later players once those higher level skills are documented, but that itself is a balance of sorts for them arriving late to the game, they have more information to start with and plan against.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

Everyone, myself included, has been assuming that "leveling" a role will be essentially a linear process, with everyone who focused a role gaining essentially the same abilities in the same order.

What is the advantage of the 'default' that we have been using over a system where between 25% and 100% of role abilities can be the first one gained?

Goblin Squad Member

DeciusBrutus wrote:
Everyone, myself included, has been assuming that "leveling" a role will be essentially a linear process, with everyone who focused a role gaining essentially the same abilities in the same order.

I don't think that's right. I think we'll generally be able to learn any Skill we want in any order we want. Granted, some will have prerequisites, but I imagine there will be various Fighter builds with radically different skill choices.

Goblin Squad Member

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Here is another way of implimentation that could work. Assign the Capstone a point threshold that it becomes functional when achieved (or perhaps multiple point thresholds, if you want some level of gradiation). Now assign each pertinant ability that is tied to one of the archtypes a point score.

Learning abilities that are tied to a particular archtype add to your point total toward that archtype, learning abilities that are tied to a different archtype subtract from your total, learning abilities that are not tied to an archtype do nothing....

So....

- a character who was really focused on learning abilities for an archtype could gain it in the minimum amount of time.

- a character who was less focused on arctype but didn't learn abilities that were against type would achieve it somewhat slower.

- a character who was more diverisfied by taking abilities against type would harm thier work toward that capstone, but could MAKE IT UP by learning EXTRA ABILITIES beyond what a character would normaly need to achieve type (i.e. Say a character was going toward the Fighter Archtype and had picked a Sword and Board fighting style as thier prefernce. Normaly they could achieve capstone by just learning abilities relevant to that path....if they learned stuff that was against thier archtype they might have to learn abilities tied to 2-handed fighting, which really weren't usefull to them as a fighting style they would use...but would help make up the point total toward the Fighter capstone)

- a character that went all over the board and diversified too far would essentialy disqualify themselves toward that archtype.

This would preserve the concept of permanent choices but allow for some tolerance of choices that diverged from the path to capstone, making the consequence of that divergence having to work harder/longer to get back on the path...and ultimately player might diverge so much that they couldn't get back on path but that would be a concerted effort on the part of the player to diverge..not the result of a single decision at a single point in time.

Lantern Lodge

much better, penalizing is better then preventing.

Goblin Squad Member

@GrumpyMel, that's a good idea. It's the same general effect I was trying to get to by suggesting buying off certain Skill Training, or scaling the Skill Training Cost of the Capstone ability relative to the number of Skills from other Roles.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

Nihimon wrote:
DeciusBrutus wrote:
Everyone, myself included, has been assuming that "leveling" a role will be essentially a linear process, with everyone who focused a role gaining essentially the same abilities in the same order.

I don't think that's right. I think we'll generally be able to learn any Skill we want in any order we want. Granted, some will have prerequisites, but I imagine there will be various Fighter builds with radically different skill choices.

Now, imagine those same degrees of choice for a sorcerer, or a rogue.

Goblin Squad Member

@Decius, I don't see your point.

Goblin Squad Member

@GrumpyMel, That pt system is really good suggestion. There's balanced tension between the 2 extremes without precluding either. :)

Goblin Squad Member

I really like GrumpyMel's idea. It's pretty awesome.

Some other decent ideas in the threads don't really address the stated intent of capstones: To be a reward for sticking to a single-class, presumably due to the inherent benefits of multiclassing (the extent of which we can only wonder about at this point).

I could imagine a situation where GrumpyMel's idea could address it, but we would have to assume that capstones are powerful enough to offset the benefits of multiclassing in the length of time that the single-classer has it and the multiclasser doesn't.

We don't want it to be too powerful, because then the power-gap between vets and new players widens. It would also widen the gap between capstone characters and multiclassers without a capstone, which, if not handled properly, could make life suck for multiclassers once the first capstones come out.

Example
I imagine a 'fighter archetype' character gets it in 2.5 years. A multiclasser that does 6 months 'other classes' needs to put 3.5 years into figher skills. Some length of time long enough so that the small benefit of the capstone makes up for the small benefit of having other class skills at your disposal for 2.5 years.

We don't know what either of these benefits are, but in my example the multiclasser has the benefit over the singleclasser for 2.5 years, while the singleclasser has the benefit over the multiclasser for 1 year, with that benefit becoming greater towards the end as the single-classer begins to pick up skills from a new class. Remember, that benefit also has to make up for the multiplicative value of the multiclasser benefit.

At the end of 4 years, they are equal.

Thoughts
Balancing might be difficult, but there are a lot of variables that the devs could play with to change things as more information comes out. The magnitude of the bonuses or maluses on individual skills(to penalize specific dips and to increase/decrease the gap in capstone achievement), the point threshold (before the first players reach it), and the power of the individual capstone abilities (to an extent, for reasons above).

It ends up being a very complicated system, but a very rewarding one, especially for those of us that love number-crunching and strategizing builds (and those of you that might already be doing that in the PnP), while the 'archetypal' role guidelines in themselves would make it easy for a new player to jump right in and do something that they are perhaps used to from previous MMO experiences.

We would also have to have perhaps 4 years worth of training within a single archetype so that a person that spends 6-10 months on another class can still get the capstone.

I hope the skill system is a complex one like the one you imagine, GrumpyMel.

Lantern Lodge

Actually it was stated that balance wasn't the point (with good design that becomes moot anyway regardless of capstones) but rather it is somehow supposed to be a homage to PnP PF (which how this has anything to do with the PnP escapes me but oh well) and a reward for "dedication."

Therefore those are what need to be addressed, first by clarifying how the capstones relate to to the PnP, second I personally think dedication to a character is a better thing to reward then a "role" (though I admit I hate being bound by such stupid boundaries as classic stereotypes, to the point of seeing objectively becomes hard) I therefore think that either they should use an "exp" penalty or just reward characters who have achieved max ability in an area regardless of path taken.

The exp penalty translates to learning things at a slower rate, which means if a character has some wizard abilities then it takes 3 years total time to learn all the fighter abilities plus however much time was spent learning the other stuff. Once a role reaches max ability then it no longer affects training time.

In effect it takes longer to reach 20/20 if you train both alongside then if you go one then the other.

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