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Roles and Role advantages (Capstones!)


Pathfinder Online

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CEO, Goblinworks

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This weekend I posted a few messages in the thread discussing capstones that opened a can of worms for my designers, who politely said "WTF DUDE?!?!?!?!" :)

The thread of this conversation is braided and has several twists.

When we were originally discussing the Pathfinder Online project with the Paizo team one of the things we wanted to do was identify as many things about the Pathfinder tabletop game that we could bring into the MMO as possible.

Roles and capstones were two of the items on that list, and they got authored into the design wiki that we all share to keep ourselves in synch, and from the design wiki into the written design specification for the game.

Subsequently we published a blog talking about these concepts, which was followed by a really great thread of comments and feedback, much of which we digested in thinking about how to implement these ideas.

More recently Lee and Stephen have been deep diving into these issues as a part of their work in designing the combat system. Their work is based on what was in the original wiki and the design specification.

Along the way my opinions have shifted to some degree based on the community feedback received and our discussions with many of you about these issues. Those opinions have diverged from the work Lee and Stephen are doing so now I get to "walk back" some of my comments from this weekend to reflect a correction.

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.

Lee and I just talked again about our capstone concepts and we're both of the mind that we need to be willing to take a hard look at both the nature of capstones and how we implement them. So for now, you can assume that we're still envisioning a capstone system of some kind, but it's precise nature, and power (if any) is still very very fuzzy.

Thanks for all your great feedback and commentary - we are listening and it really does impact our thinking!

RyanD

Goblin Squad Member

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I knew it sounded too good to be true. :P

Oh well. We'll see what happens. I'll just restate the point I've made before in my other topic. Whatever system you go with, I really hope you limit or eliminate permanent consequences of training certain things on your character. This is a sandbox. People's characters will be around for the long haul. No decision should ever be a permanent mistake, and there should never be a temptation to re-roll.

If a character trades a permanent mechanical advantage for a temporary reward... that is a mistake in the long run.

I would really like to see a system where if you have any abilities from ANY class other than class you have your capstone in on your ability bar, that your capstone is not useable. If the point is making single class characters viable, then that makes a hell of a lot more sense than allowing people to have capstones AND multi-class later on. I don't want to see capstoned paladins with their uber-smite capstone ability mixing it with their rogue sneak attack. Or worse... their uber-sneak attack capstone ability.

Goblin Squad Member

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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.

Whew! I can officialy stop freaking out now.

Honestly, the capstone stuff I could care less about.... but the above speaks to a much more fundemental aspect of the game to me.

Goblin Squad Member

Andius wrote:
No decision should ever be a permanent mistake, and there should never be a temptation to re-roll.

Exactly.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

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Andius wrote:

If a character trade's a permanent mechanical advantage for a temporary reward... that is a mistake in the long run.

How long does a 'temporary advantage' last? There is no endgame build, only the build you have right now. If your character concept will (almost) always benefit more from the first three months of cleric than it will from the next three months of whatever you are intending to train, (and you don't intend on spending the other 27 months on cleric for the foreseeable future) then dabbling in cleric grants the 'permanent' benefits of being able to swap out to a holy symbol and help heal between skirmishes, and the future benefit (say, of being able to channel positive energy to damage all evil creatures in range) is not lost until several decades later.

Goblin Squad Member

DeciusBrutus wrote:
Andius wrote:

If a character trade's a permanent mechanical advantage for a temporary reward... that is a mistake in the long run.

How long does a 'temporary advantage' last? There is no endgame build, only the build you have right now. If your character concept will (almost) always benefit more from the first three months of cleric than it will from the next three months of whatever you are intending to train, (and you don't intend on spending the other 27 months on cleric for the foreseeable future) then dabbling in cleric grants the 'permanent' benefits of being able to swap out to a holy symbol and help heal between skirmishes, and the future benefit (say, of being able to channel positive energy to damage all evil creatures in range) is not lost until several decades later.

Or until you realize you have only 3 weapon slots, you have crap in the way of healing spells and none of your other abilities improve healing via divine magic. Then you realize you've wasted 3 months of training on something that would only be a complete waste of a weapon slot.

And I'm really surprised people keep using mixing healing with offence as this amazing ability worth multiclassing for. You know what clerics, druids, bards, paladins, and oracles all have in common? They all have access to healing and offence without multiclassing. Pathfinder is devoid of the squishy pure healer class found in many MMOs.

Goblin Squad Member

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Ryan, thanks for posting. I really value that this is a dialogue, and that you're being upfront and willing to backtrack. That's a lot more important to PFO being a success than this particular issue.

Goblin Squad Member

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DeciusBrutus wrote:
How long does a 'temporary advantage' last?

Consider a multi-class Fighter/Wizard. The 5/5 Fighter/Wizard has a "temporary advantage" over a Fighter 5 or a Wizard 5 because of the multi-class synergies. Once all three characters are all Fighter/Wizard 20/20, that temporary advantage is gone, but the other two have the permanent advantage of their Capstones.

Goblin Squad Member

Andius wrote:


Or until you realize you have only 3 weapon slots, you have crap in the way of healing spells and none of your other abilities improve healing via divine magic. Then you realize you've wasted 3 months of training on something that would only be a complete waste of a weapon slot.

And I'm really surprised people keep using mixing healing with offence as this amazing ability worth multiclassing for. You know what clerics, druids, bards, paladins, and oracles all have in common? They all have access to healing and offence without multiclassing. Pathfinder is devoid of the squishy pure healer class found in many MMOs.

You can certainly make up specific examples that downplay the synergistic effect of multi-classing, but that purposefully ignores the reality of how players behave in the real world.

Pathfinder may be devoid of the squishy healer, but those healers--like any character build--may still very much "splash" or "dip" in order to optimize. This is a big part of the reality of playing Pathfinder: guide after guide about optimizing your build. For example, optimizing your cleric build:

Tark's Big Holy Book of Cleric Optimization: Multiclassing wrote:

Barbarian 2: This gets you Rage, a rage power (moment of clarity works best), fast movement, uncanny dodge and martial weapon proficiency. A solid dip and recommended for going into Rage Prophet.

Fighter 1-3: This is a question of how many feats do you want and if you really want armor mastery. Armor mastery’s nice and many recommend this dip for battle clerics. I personally think Barbarian is the better dip.

Monk 2: A solid dip if you don’t want much armor. Gives you improved unarmed strike to deliver touch attacks with that, two bonus feats, your biggest stat to armor class and more. Archer clerics will want the Zen Archer Archetype and go a full three levels to add Wisdom to their attack rolls. Master of Many styles will grant you a pair of typically very potent style feats. A pretty potent dip for a slower spell progression.

Paladin 2: Another solid dip. Let’s you use Lay on Hands, Smite Evil, gives proficiencies and grants divine grace. Good for battle clerics of lawful good dieties. Hinestly though you could be one of Asmodeus. That would certainly be ineresting.

Rogue 2: Get yourself some extra skill points, Evasion, that all important Trapfinding, and a rogue talent. Not a great dip but not without its benefits.

Sorcerer/Wizard: You need to get these to get into Mystic Theurge.

Synthesist 1: Cheesy, cheesy, cheesy. Essentially lets you dump your physical stats save for con in favor of getting a power ranger suit. Gives you more spells plus some limited throw away summoning.

Alchemist(Vivisectionist) 2: Use the discovery to get a vestigal arm, get sneak attack, and numerous other benefits up to and including a mutagen that lasts 20 minutes. Easily a solid dip.

And so on, and so on for other classes: dips, splashes and min/maxes. And that's why capstones are a design feature in Pathfinder, as a way to incentivize pure builds. That's the reality of actual, real gaming: synergies are so powerful, and so much more...optimal...that if you don't offer an incentive to have pure builds, you won't have them.

Now maybe we don't want to try and balance out multi-role builds in PFO. So far there have been three reasons offered: to encourage specialization for social reasons, diversity of characters, and as a link to Pathfinder TT. Maybe there are good reasons to not incentivize pure builds--I dunno. But that's the argument stasis here--that's the sticking point.

Until you acknowledge the reality that gamers will seek to optimize, and that multi-classing/multi-roles/total skill freedom/whatever-you-want-to-call-it enables optimization, we can't have a productive discussion--it'll just be repetition.

Goblin Squad Member

Andius wrote:
I would really like to see a system where if you have any abilities from ANY class other than class you have your capstone in on your ability bar, that your capstone is not useable. If the point is making single class characters viable, then that makes a hell of a lot more sense than allowing people to have capstones AND multi-class later on. I don't want to see capstoned paladins with their uber-smite capstone ability mixing it with their rogue sneak attack. Or worse... their uber-sneak attack capstone ability.

Why not?

I'm still very adamant about two important details about this whole situation:

1) Nothing about the special ability earned by a class at 20th level says that you can ONLY have levels in that one class to get to use it. Now, granted, you'll never get your Capstone ability at 20th level if you multi-class, but...

2) You CAN progress further than 20th level. People tend to forget this little detail, probably because there's really not a whole lot of support for campaigns that progress beyond 20th level. However, the rules are there (seriously, just scroll down that page until you hit the section titled Advancing Beyond 20th Level). And in Pathfinder Online, even though I know a lot of this content isn't set in stone, your character won't just STOP progressing once you hit 20th level (regardless of how many years it takes to hit 20th level).

You CAN have both one class's capstone and the abilities of whatever class you dipped into. The only real limiting factor is time. If you want to multi-class, you just have to wait that much longer to get a sufficient number of epic levels to qualify you for your capstone ability. In Pathfinder, that really just boils down to how much EXP you can pull from fighting stuff. In Pathfinder Online, it's a commitment of time for training and doing whatever special requirements are asked of you, and you should be rewarded for your commitment, ESPECIALLY since it ends up taking longer than a player who just sticks to one class.

A capstone shouldn't get arbitrarily locked away because, regardless of WHEN, a player decides to multi-class. If they multi-class early on, it should be given to them later than other people who don't multi-class. If they multi-class AFTER they've gotten their capstone, they shouldn't suddenly have their capstone revoked because they didn't like that their class probably doesn't give much of anything past 20th level.

Goblin Squad Member

Mbando. You are aware this is an MMO, and not an adventure path for the P&P version of the game right? That this game will be more akin to EVE and Guild Wars than even to D&D Online and Neverwinter Nights? That PFO does not use a straight translation of the D20 combat system, skill system, or it's system for leveling characters? Because your posts are so filled with references to the tabletop I am seriously starting to wonder.

You are seriously forgetting some huge differences between the two. Most relevant to this discussion is this:

In the table-top you can carry as many weapons as your character is strong enough to lift.

In PFO you can only use three. And holy symbols, spellbooks, and shields each count as one.

In the table-top you have access to every ability your character knows.

In PFO you have a limited number of ability slots so taking low level abilities in another class means removing high level abilities in your main class to free room for them on your ability bars.

Your fear of multiclassing is based off of it's application in a system totally irrelevant to PFO.

Goblin Squad Member

Mbando wrote:
And that's why capstones are a design feature in Pathfinder, as a way to incentivize pure builds.

I think you may be basing too much of your analysis on the mechanics of PFRPG. Much of that will probably not be applicable to PFO. It's also clear that, at the moment, we can't make any absolute statements about any aspect of Capstones.

Goblin Squad Member

Even though I'm pretty agnostic about capstones...in games with unlimited advancement...I'm not really sure there is such a thing as a "temporary advantage" because there is no "end" which is reached.

Even with Skill being tied to real time and a cap of 20 levels in any given class...that likely only mitigates the degree to which one can be advantaged in certain areas.

Certainly a characters play time, in general is being used mostly to achieve SOMETHING (wealth, resources, reputation, etc) which benefits the character?

Certainly the resources (play time, equipment, heal potions, coin, etc) which a character expends to reach a certain achievement make some difference do they not?

Thus does not a character who expends less resources and less time to achieve some goal realize some permanent benefit from that? Can they not then turn around and point the extra resources and time toward some other goal?

It's not neccesarly a bargain I would make....but I'm not sure I would classify it as no sort of permanent advantage...nor even neccesarly a mistake in all cases....

Goblin Squad Member

@Nihimon & Andius: If there is nothing analogous between the gameplay dynamics of pure vs. multi builds in PF and PFO, if the principles (not the mechanics) have absolutely nothing in common, why are the game developers talking about incentivizing pure builds, and multi-class systems as problematic because they lead to generalists? If the principles--not the specific mechanics--are totally irrelevant, why is Stephen saying things like:

Quote:
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).

?

Goblinworks Executive Founder

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Nihimon wrote:
DeciusBrutus wrote:
How long does a 'temporary advantage' last?
Consider a multi-class Fighter/Wizard. The 5/5 Fighter/Wizard has a "temporary advantage" over a Fighter 5 or a Wizard 5 because of the multi-class synergies. Once all three characters are all Fighter/Wizard 20/20, that temporary advantage is gone, but the other two have the permanent advantage of their Capstones.

Now, compare the advantage that someone who has spent x time training fighter and x time training wizard with someone who has spent 2x time training both.

My math estimates that the cleric 5/fighter++ will have an advantage for about 21-29 months over the fighter++/cleric++, assuming that the 5 badges in cleric are better than one additional badge in fighter

Math summary:

Making some assumptions and doing some math, we can come up with some tentative numbers: Assume 30 months, each with 4 weeks of seven days each. (This is wrong, but close enough and it makes the math easier)

Linear progression: The first role merit badge is available after a trivial amount of training (hours?) and each successive role merit badge takes ~4.5 days of training longer than the last one.

Exponential: The first role merit badge is available after a day of training, and each successive one takes ~33% longer to earn. (I don't think this progression is good, because of the end-loading involved; one month to the 8th badge, two more to the 12th, then over two years for the last 8.

The exponential model requires ~9.5 days to train to 5, and ~9.5 days to train from 8 to 9. Therefore a 5/8 has as much time as a 0/9. For the linear model, getting badge 5 takes 45 days, the same amount of time as training from 10 to 11; a 5/10 has the same time as a 0/11.

In both models, a 5/5 takes about the same time as a 7/0. (19 and 90 days) In the exponential model, a 10/10 takes about the time of a 12/0 (~90 days); the linear model has the 10/10 take the same time as a 14/0 (~400 days). A 20/0 in the exponential model takes the same time as 1 17/17, while in the linear model it is roughly a 14/14. (~840 days each)

The exponential model more closely approaches the PFSRD experience chart; typically earning each level takes about 1.3-1.6 times the added experience of earning the prior one. However, it does this based on character level, not class level.

In order to create a system where a 5/5 takes as much time as a 10/0, and a 10/10 takes as much time as a 20/0, qualifying for each merit badge needs to take the same amount of time: that means that each one takes a month and a half, given the prior assumptions. That seems unacceptably slow to start to me, and it wasn't considered.

Alternate pacing systems exist.

Goblin Squad Member

I think one of the biggest issues, the most solid points of say "Dipping" etc... in P&P come from 2 issues with the P&P game.

1. Too many skills are passive boosts, Sneak attack, unarmed strike, evasion, favored enemy etc... All of these are clear issues when it comes to synergy, because well as you keep adding up passives, your relative power goes through the roof, Especially considering these abilities, since they are the flavor of the class, they tend to come into play extremely early on in a class.

How PFO could avoid this, as few abilities as possible should be passives, sneak attack, favored enemy etc... should be activated, evasion buffs perhaps should only be activated with a certain weapon/armor wielded (negating say a wizard taking a short dip into rogue skills just to get evasion, while he is casting his spells at max capacity, his evasion should be off limits, wearing leather or something with a minor spell failure, or possibly needing a dagger [or a special spellbook that permits evasion at the cost of having less spells etc...). This is of course assuming there are equivalents of these passive abilities to begin with.

Goblin Squad Member

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For those of you who have clearly not used an EVE-like skilling system before, or a Guild Wars like combat system, let me summarize how and why, my single class character will be equally or more powerful than any multi-class character.

First off, as has been confirmed by Ryan over, and over, and over, and over. Gaining class levels does NOT give you abilities. It may or may not give you the right to train certain abilities but simply gaining the level does not give you the ability. You gain class levels by training abilities required for that class level.

So I start out my character with the intention of making capstoning it as a cleric before I take levels in any other class. From the beginning I know I have 3 weapon slots, with 6 abilities each.

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.

I want both offensive and defensive casting and a shield. 6 spells from my holy symbol will just not be enough even if I can cast fire and healing from the same holy symbol effectively so I'm going to take 2. There are all 3 weapon slots tied up right there. Fire Holy Symbol, Healing Holy Symbol, (Both domains of Sarenrae) and Shield.

Given this knowledge I am going to focus all of my skill training on casting divine magic, shield/armor skills, general support skills, and any additional things I need to level as a cleric (Probably most of that will already be covered but I am guessing there may be a few things like channel positive/negative energy I'll need as well).

A barbarian cleric / rogue cleric / fighter cleric / anything with melee cleric will have to split their training between divine casting and melee to make much use of both classes so right there I am training faster than them WITHOUT considering the additional skills needed to level in that class, most of which I will probably never use. My character is EXTREMELY streamlined in what it has to train which means even among single classers I will likely reach capstone before most other people. Anyone who has used the EVE skill training system and knows what they are talking about will back that statement up. For fellow people who have used the EVE system:

I am guessing training divine healing and divine fire spells will be like training autocannons and artillery, where training divine healing and melee will be like training autocannons, and assault missiles and divine healing and arcane (whatever) will be autocannons and beam lasers. Training my character will be like training for a navy faction Minmatar ship that uses all projectile weapons. Training a multi-class character will be like training a Gurista ship that requires both Caldari, and Gallante ship skills to use and splits its damage between drones and missiles.

Also we know my character has:

3 weapons with 6 abilities each.
3 slots for refresh abilities.
2 utility slots
2 consumables
Unknown # passive abilities
1 set of equipment that cannot be changed in combat

All of my gear is going revolve around staying alive and improving divine casting. All of my passives will revolve around buffing general stats and divine casting. My consumables will revolve around a cleric who is focused on divine casting. My refresh abilities will revolve around doing my role as a divine caster. My utility slots may be the only thing in that build not entirely focused on making me a better divine caster.

It's like in Guild Wars. With a really well thought out mix of classes you could get a really awesome synergy going and make a great character. But with limited slots and and classes built to have synergy within themselves, those multiclass characters were no better than a well built character that used all 8 ability slots for skills from their primary class, and if they WERE then they were nerfed shortly there after.

Which class do you think is going to have the best abilities to complement a character which revolves ENTIRELY around divine casting? Do you think that when I splash another class I'm going to want to give up one of my 3 refresh slots, few passive slots, or trade off a weapon slot to get access to something from a class I only spent 3 months training?

Do you honestly think one of those abilities is going to be so pivotal to my character design that it will make my cleric notably more effective than if I just focus entirely on what I want him to be good at which is... divine casting? Do you think that if splashing another class DOES make him that much more effective that my build won't get nerfed? If the devs DON'T nerf builds like that how do you expect single capstone characters to compete with characters that have had time to train another class in addition to the one they have their capstone in?

Silver Crusade Goblin Squad Member

My guess is that passive skills will be where splashing becomes handy. For example, referencing the Tabletop. 2nd level paladin gets a crazy handy bunch of passive skills. A cleric who dips two levels of paladin gets martial weapons, cha to saves, swift action heal, smite evil, etc. If there are low level passive skills (or even skills that can stack from class to class), then my guess is that splashing will be *very* attractive and may result in some synergy builds that work out better in the short run.

Mind you, I'm not sold on capstones, but I am not opposed to them either. I'll reserve judgement till I see more of what it looks like in all actuality.

Goblin Squad Member

Alexander_Damocles wrote:

My guess is that passive skills will be where splashing becomes handy. For example, referencing the Tabletop. 2nd level paladin gets a crazy handy bunch of passive skills. A cleric who dips two levels of paladin gets martial weapons, cha to saves, swift action heal, smite evil, etc. If there are low level passive skills (or even skills that can stack from class to class), then my guess is that splashing will be *very* attractive and may result in some synergy builds that work out better in the short run.

Mind you, I'm not sold on capstones, but I am not opposed to them either. I'll reserve judgement till I see more of what it looks like in all actuality.

Well the weapons right off the bat have been confirmed not to be splashable (IE Ryan has confirmed weapons and armors will be skills you train, not a set oh you got one merit badge of fighter, now you automatically have proficiency in every non-exotic weapon).

As far as passives go, I am more or less opposed to them working like that. I strongly would oppose the idea of the optimal route for someone who wants to be a cleric to be

2 merit badges of monk granting evasion, decent unarmed damage, wisdom AC bonus, etc...

1 badge for ranger to get better accuracy etc... when attacking something

1 badge in druid to have a minorly useful animal following

then start working on the main class. That might be fairly decent in P&P where taking a single level of a class, adds a huge increase in the amount of time to every level you take in your main focus. Not so much in a game where skills are treated individually. IE taking a skill, level etc... that takes 1-2 days to learn (probably what is to be expected for the early merit badges, in almost everything getting started should be reasonably quick). But without the added hindrence added that is a pretty big difference.

This difference also needs to be re-focused to everyone pointing out that there is no true hard cap in P&P. Assuming your DM and game are going into epic levels, there is still the soft cap.

IE taking that 2 level dip at level 1 may only seem like 2,000 XP commited to that at level 2, but in reality it is in the hundreds of thousands more XP needed at level 19, and even more above 20. While in a skill based system, something that takes a day's work, adds a day to your characters total ever advancement, IE the cost gets less and less significant as you move on, while the benefit remains constant, which is pretty much the opposite of P&P where the cost continues to add to your work for the rest of your characters career.

Goblin Squad Member

I'm going to guess the balance to dipping into the first few levels of each class to get a ton of great passives in the beginning will come in the form of limited passive slots. It might open the skill to get more passive slots as you gain levels in your highest class. I am guessing that if we have say... 5 passive slots at capstone, you will probably only start with 1 or 2 slots. Hell you may even start with 0.

I am guessing as you do unlock those passive slots, you will have not only enough passives to fill them from a single class, but enough passive skills to sort of pick and choose what fits your character best. So say I start with 1 slot and +100 spellpoints. As I advance I might unlock a 2nd slot at around the same time I unlock +10% divine spell damage and +10% divine spell healing. And around 3 I might get +10% shield block rating and -10% divine casting time. Depending on how I prioritize my training of course. I would make whatever skill it takes to get more passive slots knock out a major part of the prerequisite skills for passive skills meant to be earned around the same level, and the other part of the prerequisite be unlocked by the skills it's meant to enhance.

Now that is pure speculation. I have no basis for this. But it seems like the smart way to do it. If done that way splashing into a ton of classes isn't good. I'm going to be debating between what I can drop from those cleric passives as is. Going to another class may allow me to replace one of those with a passive skill that will give enough synergy make me competitive, but probably not better.

Goblin Squad Member

I'm out of my depth in this discussion. All I can say, is what Decius mentioned in the previous thread concerning an upside down "T" in terms of the shape that PfO progression might usefully take for players. The horizontal allows versitility and to various degrees, and the vertical perhaps is a personal choice to optimise in an area, but equally if you have a chartered company, maybe among those members, they're saying, "We need this type of role for the strength of the company, is anyone interested in specialising in this area, that we currently are not capitaling on/have a weak spot against roles of this sort?"

Goblin Squad Member

Andius wrote:


I am guessing as you do unlock those passive slots, you will have not only enough passives to fill them from a single class, but enough passive skills to sort of pick and choose what fits your character best. So say I start with 1 slot and +100 spellpoints. As I advance I might unlock a 2nd slot at around the same time I unlock +10% divine spell damage and +10% divine spell healing. And around 3 I might get +10% shield block rating and -10% divine casting time. Depending on how I prioritize my training of course. I would make whatever skill it takes to get more passive slots knock out a major part of the prerequisite skills for passive skills meant to be earned around the same level, and the other part of the prerequisite be unlocked by the skills it's meant to enhance.

Well I like the general idea of slots for the passives, though I must say I somewhat dislike that concept, for one I think 5 passives that unlock slowly is a bit excessive, and has 2 negative concepts.

1. If there were 5 passive slots of worth per role, IE fighter had a 10% HP, 10% damage, 10% hit rate, 10% increased move speed in armor etc... passives, All that together seems to me that adds too large of a difference in level, keeping low and high level fighters on completely different playing fields.

2. If there aren't enough skills to utilize per class, IE you had to pick 1-2 passives from 3-5 roles... then we are right back to the initial issue, where one would be a complete fool not to dip into 3 classes before going onto their main.

Goblin Squad Member

@Mbando, yes, the designers said that. Ryan said something completely different. They're working it out between them right now.

The only point I'm trying to make here is that where we stand right now in terms of information about how the game will work, how multi-classing will work, and how Capstones will work, we're simply not in a position to make concrete statements.

Again, I'm not arguing that the system shouldn't work the way the dev described in your quote. I'm just pointing out that Ryan had previously said things that were in pretty serious conflict with that principle. And that the current state of information is so low that we can't make reasonable analysis.

Ryan Dancey wrote:
Lee and I just talked again about our capstone concepts and we're both of the mind that we need to be willing to take a hard look at both the nature of capstones and how we implement them. So for now, you can assume that we're still envisioning a capstone system of some kind, but it's precise nature, and power (if any) is still very very fuzzy.

Goblin Squad Member

Onishi wrote:

Well I like the general idea of slots for the passives, though I must say I somewhat dislike that concept, for one I think 5 passives that unlock slowly is a bit excessive, and has 2 negative concepts.

1. If there were 5 passive slots of worth per role, IE fighter had a 10% HP, 10% damage, 10% hit rate, 10% increased move speed in armor etc... passives, All that together seems to me that adds too large of a difference in level, keeping low and high level fighters on completely different playing fields.

2. If there aren't enough skills to utilize per class, IE you had to pick 1-2 passives from 3-5 roles... then we are right back to the initial issue, where one would be a complete fool not to dip into 3 classes before going onto their main.

The numbers in the example are highly adjustable. I pulled them straight out of my butt.

You could easily have less passive slots, or more low level passives easily available to each class if you want to lower the gap between newbs and vets without giving a ridiculous advantage to those who multiclass early on.

One thing to also keep in mind is that in Guild Wars, almost every single skill is locked into a class. I can only think of 2 that aren't. In Pathfinder MOST things are not class specific. That leaves a lot more room for passives to fill those slots that don't require you to multiclass. For instance I am pretty sure druids use divine magic as well right? And I know paladins do. Rather than having a ton of cleric specific divine casting skills, and druid specific divine casting skills, and paladin specific divine casting skills, you can have divine casting skills unlocked by training divine casting. And make most of those skills available to all three with a minority of class specific skills meant to complement the style of that class and give it more flavor.

Goblin Squad Member

Those who are in favor of multi-classing and/or multi-dipping:

1) How do you see this fostering the overall goal of meaningful player interaction?
2) If it does lead to fostering "soloing", would you be willing to allow for "nerfing" the element of multi-classing down the road?

Note, I realize we are talking about fuzzy issues at this point, etc, etc. Also, I ask these questions in a purely platonic way. Additionally, I am much more interested in the meta-goal of meaningful player interaction, then I am in fostering single vs multi issues.

Goblin Squad Member

If merit badges will have a mecanic effet in the game. We have a sort a issue at the start. You will have to choose a role if you want to have a feel of Roleplaying game. Merit badges will have to be a sort of level because you will always have one merit badge at starting.

But, if you have a level 0 (the introduction section and tutoriel) you could try all role than have the prequisite for the first in the role you want to have.

the character will have no attack bonus or any skill. They will juste have to train (10 minutes) to achieve the first merit badge.

You could first use this level 0 in phase III.

Goblin Squad Member

Alright, let's say I'm a number cruncher and theorycrafter and I happen to find THE best build ever to solo. I can dish out massive amount of damage while tanking like a god (damage mitigation, self-healing or whatnot).

Now I take my character out in the open for soloing and quickly realize that 5 noobs are heading toward me for an easy kill. I die.

Why? Because offensive power is scalable. 5 guys means 5 weapons hitting me at the same time, I lose hit points 5 times faster.

On the other hand, defense is not scalable. Even if I had 4 teammates with me for a 5 vs 5 fair fight, they can all focus fire on me, I still die 5 times faster. My teammates' armors do nothing for me.

Morale of the story: Uber builds or not, you're better off with teammates.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

Andius wrote:


I want both offensive and defensive casting and a shield. 6 spells from my holy symbol will just not be enough even if I can cast fire and healing from the same holy symbol effectively so I'm going to take 2. There are all 3 weapon slots tied up right there. Fire Holy Symbol, Healing Holy Symbol, (Both domains of Sarenrae) and Shield.

What are the 7-12 abilities of fire, healing, and general clericness that you are unwilling to go without?

Goblin Squad Member

While I know it will never play-out this way, I do think it would add to the immersion factor.
Ryan has been vague in whether capstones will actually add any mechanical advantage (he's been campaigning against it from the sounds...), but it also sounds like they will be visible/obvious (whether a title, special glowing halo, a very very nice hat, etc.) As there will be NPCs in PFO, it would be awesome to see if any of those were capstoned (class/archetype). And, further, if there were no 20th level (capstoned) NPCs wandering around to be discovered/inspected/dueled, etc. then why should we know what a capstone is/looks like?

why not let the capstone be part of the discovery process?

this has a few advantages:
longer developmental lead time: add 2 years to this round-and-round discussion! yay!
the granting of something never-before-seen in the game has huge cool-factor (and thus merit)
gives time to balance whatever 'feels' wrong between the classes (see above as well).
provides a barrier to power-gamers/munchkins/min-maxers whatever.
enhances role-play as opposed to roll-play.

as 1v1 class balance has been only of minimal importance (well, i seem to remember reading that in one of the blogs, or maybe just a Dancey-Post *tm?) this can be used to either shore-up perceived weaknesses (something that Ryan has railed against) or to (marginally) level the playing field.

personally, though, i'd rather see the no-mechanical-benefit capstones. they are vanity things. couple of ideas (and i know there's another post about this...)

Paladin: yes, you finally get to ride a Griffon. your summonable mount is a glowing beacon of "aren't I awesome!" This, of course, begs the question: will this truly be a 3D environment, given the multitude of ways fantasy characters can simulate flight? this, then, for another post.

Wizard: your familiar reflects your school specialization (or if a generalist, then the school from which you cast the most spells over your career). Abjurationist: armadillo. Evocator: alignment dependent: maybe an imp/quasit, maybe a phoenix. Illusionist: pick a skin, any skin (from the allowable UBER familiar list!).

Anyhow, don't want to diverge too far, here, so:
Capstones: don't release them! make them a 'hidden' feature that only those who persevere through the ranks discover.

Grmy

Goblin Squad Member

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grymrayne wrote:
... add 2 years to this round-and-round discussion! yay!

I think a lot of players will want to know what the Capstone is before they make the decision of whether or not to pursue it...

Goblin Squad Member

grymrayne wrote:
... add 2 years to this round-and-round discussion! yay!
I think a lot of players will want to know what the Capstone is before they make the decision of whether or not to pursue it...

Granted, that's why I prefaced my discussion with the acknowledgement that it's very unlikely for us to see this in action.

However, if the decision is made to give capstone 'abilities' only fluff/flavor characteristics or even minor mechanical benefits, then the decision to pursue one would be moot: do I want a purple hat of awesome? do I want a blue hat of awesome?

It seems to me that the only interest in capstones is whether they will provide significant benefit in-game to a character or not.

If they do not, your power-gaming/munchkin/min-maxing crowd will not pursue them. No big loss (in PFO, where that crowd seems to be less catered-to). There are other avenues to sheer 'power'.

If they do, then that same crowd will endlessly debate whether to pursue them or not, based on their perceived worth/value vs. multi-spec'ing.

With just one design decision, all this debate could be laid to rest. On one side of that decision you could enhance game-play and immersion as well as bolstering achievement satisfaction, while on the other side you could cater to the overwhelming population of mmo players who have been bathed in the juices of previous (and divergent from this paradigm) iterations of the mmo genre. You provide the spreadsheet warriors (and not those as described by Ryan in his LFG blog) with more of what they've always had, always known: math rules all.

For those (like me) who don't follow the aforementioned optimization threads (for any game, not just PFTT), who aren't concerned with 'end-goals' or 'end-game builds' (especially considering there aren't any), for whom adventuring is a process of discovery (all aspects: new areas, new monsters, new abilities, new friends, new enemies, new markets etc.) the capstone conundrum is really an opportunity for PFO to further distinguish itself from the competition. It is also an opportunity to further express our continued commitment and trust and support of this game and its' developers: something we've already done by pledging $300k+ to have it built! We trust GW to turn out a great product (and we're helping shape that product), is it so hard to trust them in this? As we won't know a darn thing about balance in any aspect of the game until the initial 4500 players jump in, is there any value in discussing all the potential places where that balance might go askew? Or can we take balance out of the equation, and cater to the marginalized subset of players who play the game for play, for enjoyment, for discovery, for role playing immersion, etc.?

humbly yours
Grym

Goblin Squad Member

If a player can disqualify them selves from something, that something must be known from the start.

It is bad business to hide things from your customers that they can unknowingly deny them selves access to.

I would like to see something like the jedi in early SWG, but anything 'hidden' needs to always be possible to find.


Andius, we all understand what you're saying, and yes your 100% divine casting Cleric is going to be better at divine casting than anyone else. We get your points, you've made them clearly, would you please stop hitting us over the head with them.

Goblin Squad Member

Capstones are a known inclusion: they will be there. You cannot access them until 20th level or whatever we're calling it this week. So points 1 and 3 are covered. There have been numerous postings related to capstone-defaults ie: you will be told in no-uncertain-terms that if you proceed in gaining a merit badge that will disqualify you from attaining capstone, there will be no reversal (the design implementation and decision behind making this non reversible is still open for discussion and interpretation, let alone implementation), but you will be amply notified and allowed at that point to re-think your decision.

Valkenr, I appreciate and understand that you are a number-cruncher, with no interest in RP. If we take one extreme, and say that capstones are only going to provide a vanity-effect (big purple hat), then we know that this is one aspect of the game that you will have no interest in pursuing. You will know it's there, and know that it will not affect your enjoyment, because it is not what you're after. Then it matters not-a-wit what the actual 'purple hat' is, simply that it is there for others to enjoy.

OTOH, If we take the other extreme, and design capstone abilities (and their subsequent limited and non-reversible methods of achievement) to have significant game mechanics effects, then by all means, I'd want to know what those effects were before I structured a character to pursue them (or not). This definitely reinforces your style of play, and, I expect, that of the 'hordes'. This is, after all, the paradigm put out by every single other game on the market (in this genre and many others).

PFO should have many shades of grey in between most (all) extremes of play style. I fully expect something very close to my second example, if for no other reason than the bulk of the gaming community expects the top-tier ability to carry some (mechanical) weight, perhaps only to counter the prevalence of multi-spec'ing, but also to reinforce the 'roles' of PF that Dancey et. al. are trying to achieve.

What I'm hoping for is that this discussion continue, as Ryan and the developers are obviously taking note of our wishes. Personally, I think it's worth pursuing as an idea (capstones being 'hidden') as long as they are not mechanically significant (vanity/titles, mounts, minor effects etc.).

Please continue to debate and put forth ideas: we know they're being heard and acted upon (thanks for making that obvious with this post, Ryan!).

Finally, to me, there are only a few real discussions to be had at this point regarding capstones:
1: will they be mechanically significant (personally I hope not)?
2: how will they be attained/can more than 1 be attained/will those decisions be reversible (again, I hope not)

humbly,
Grym

Goblin Squad Member

CaptnB wrote:

Alright, let's say I'm a number cruncher and theorycrafter and I happen to find THE best build ever to solo. I can dish out massive amount of damage while tanking like a god (damage mitigation, self-healing or whatnot).

Now I take my character out in the open for soloing and quickly realize that 5 noobs are heading toward me for an easy kill. I die.

Why? Because offensive power is scalable. 5 guys means 5 weapons hitting me at the same time, I lose hit points 5 times faster.

On the other hand, defense is not scalable. Even if I had 4 teammates with me for a 5 vs 5 fair fight, they can all focus fire on me, I still die 5 times faster. My teammates' armors do nothing for me.

Morale of the story: Uber builds or not, you're better off with teammates.

Solid thought with regards to the mechanics of the situation. Thank you.

Goblin Squad Member

Elorebaen wrote:

Those who are in favor of multi-classing and/or multi-dipping:

1) How do you see this fostering the overall goal of meaningful player interaction?
2) If it does lead to fostering "soloing", would you be willing to allow for "nerfing" the element of multi-classing down the road?

Note, I realize we are talking about fuzzy issues at this point, etc, etc. Also, I ask these questions in a purely platonic way. Additionally, I am much more interested in the meta-goal of meaningful player interaction, then I am in fostering single vs multi issues.

I try to see how each can complement the other:

My guess would be that specialists (x1 role excel/trained at/experiened using) fit more effectively in groups of specialists that complement each other.

Conversely, generalists (various roles skill-trained) are more effective over a wider range of different conditions/mobs/combat situations/random groupings...

So if players form tight-knit charters/settlements etc players might find it suits their purpose to train in x1 role for the community? Whereas if they wish to be more fluid in their dealings with other players a generalist approach keeps their options open, in a sense?

That way it does not preclude players training other skills if they are in a charter, but they might coordinate with each other which skills are more useful/higher demand compared to a generalist who will coordinate with opportunities to use skills in unpredictable circumstances and generally likes variety?

Maybe Lawful Good Aligned characters will naturally gravitate to specialisms and neutral or chaotic evil might tend to general multi-skilling because their communities are always in-fighting?! /random thought

Goblin Squad Member

Very good answer, AvenaOats.

CEO, Goblinworks

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Nihimon wrote:
grymrayne wrote:
... add 2 years to this round-and-round discussion! yay!
I think a lot of players will want to know what the Capstone is before they make the decision of whether or not to pursue it...

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.

Goblin Squad Member

AvenaOats wrote:

I try to see how each can complement the other:

My guess would be that specialists (x1 role excel/trained at/experiened using) fit more effectively in groups of specialists that complement each other.

Conversely, generalists (various roles skill-trained) are more effective over a wider range of different conditions/mobs/combat situations/random groupings...

So if players form tight-knit charters/settlements etc players might find it suits their purpose to train in x1 role for the community? Whereas if they wish to be more fluid in their dealings with other players a generalist approach keeps their options open, in a sense?

That way it does not preclude players training other skills if they are in a charter, but they might coordinate with each other which skills are more useful/higher demand compared to a generalist who will coordinate with opportunities to use skills in unpredictable circumstances and generally likes variety?

Partly agree, IMO from most MMO's, specialists working well together is the absolute most efficient means to keep things going according to plan, Having a generalist or 2, is a good thing for when they don't... IE someone who is taking the role of DPS, but then when something horrible happens (say the cleric dies) he comes in as a backup healer and keeps the group up, or extra DPS when the wizard isn't cutting it etc... where as, in a group where things are going to plan, he would be fairly weak of a contributer (IE if the cleric can keep up and dosn't get incapacitated, the backup heals are worthless etc...)

Quote:

Maybe Lawful Good Aligned characters will naturally gravitate to specialisms and neutral or chaotic evil might tend to general multi-skilling because their communities are always in-fighting?! /random thought

Now here I'm going to directly contradict, I don't quite see a CE group of terrorists having any less need for specialists and organization than the lawful good group. Ryan has said numerous times that a disorganized group will lose to an organized group in most cases even when most other factors favor the disorganized group (Numbers, badges etc...)

Goblin Squad Member

Nihimon wrote:

@Mbando, yes, the designers said that. Ryan said something completely different. They're working it out between them right now.

The only point I'm trying to make here is that where we stand right now in terms of information about how the game will work, how multi-classing will work, and how Capstones will work, we're simply not in a position to make concrete statements.

Which is why I'm analyzing principles, not specific mechanisms.

One path the game design can go down is to allow for mutli-classing, but severely restrict synergy by tying skills to roles, and making roles singel-active-at-a-time. So we might imagine you can make a Fighter 10/Rogue 10, and activate your rogue role and try and sneak in somewhere, and then when you get there activate your fighter role and take people on. But you wouldn't be able to wear your armor, make fighter type attacks, and then at opportune moments make a sneak attack. This would mean no one would splash or dip a couple levels of rogue or monk in their builds, and make multi-classing much less attractive. I for one don't want that--I want multi-classing and clever builds to be a viable way to play the game.

Another path would be to throw it all open, allow free-skilling as you see fit, and no incentives for pure builds. Then I think you'd see people figure out a few "best" builds for specific circumstances, and there would be great pressure to have one of the "right" builds. That would basically suck, forever.

Another path is to make multi-classing attractive and viable, and pure builds equally attractive and viable. One possible way to do this is to be thoughtful about synergies, especially as Onishi points out, passive ones. We might also provide an incentive for pure builds--for specialists--by offering a capstone that is meaningful, but not a must-have. I like that option best, and if you had people going down both roads in significant numbers, you'd have the market telling you that you'd hit the nail on the head.

Goblin Squad Member

If I understand, the best generalist would be a fighter/rogue/sorcerer who specializes in enchantement spells.

A bard. ;)

Thanks! order of the stick!

Goblin Squad Member

Mbando wrote:
Which is why I'm analyzing principles...

Which is why I pointed out that the principles themselves are what's fuzzy right now.

Ryan Dancey wrote:
Nihimon wrote:
grymrayne wrote:
... add 2 years to this round-and-round discussion! yay!
I think a lot of players will want to know what the Capstone is before they make the decision of whether or not to pursue it...
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.

I think it will be fine as long as it's clear from the beginning whether Capstones are just flash, or if they have significant power behind them.

Then again, you could also give us some way to buy off the mistake. If we spend as much time training off a skill as we did training it, I don't think many people would complain about the benefit we got from the amount of time we got the benefit of the synergy. If they did, then maybe we'd need to train it off at 2 or 3 times it took to train it on.

Goblin Squad Member

DeciusBrutus wrote:
Andius wrote:


I want both offensive and defensive casting and a shield. 6 spells from my holy symbol will just not be enough even if I can cast fire and healing from the same holy symbol effectively so I'm going to take 2. There are all 3 weapon slots tied up right there. Fire Holy Symbol, Healing Holy Symbol, (Both domains of Sarenrae) and Shield.
What are the 7-12 abilities of fire, healing, and general clericness that you are unwilling to go without?

Try any variety in the spells available to me if I am planning on doing both healing and offence. Unless I am effectively able to heal with 3 skills, and run a decent offence with 3 skills, and there are absolutely no skills outside fire damage and healing useful enough to slot... 6 abilities is not going to cut it. If it is going to cut it... then there needs to be a serious discussion on this game having an overly simple combat system.

Given melee is just another form of offence why not give myself more abilities in what my character is stacked to perform well in rather than wasting my time on it?

This is assuming the system doesn't force my hand and not allow healing and fire spells to be cast from the same symbol in which case having both healing and offence will REQUIRE two symbols even if I want to limit myself to 3 abilities each.

Goblin Squad Member

Nihimon wrote:
Mbando wrote:
Which is why I'm analyzing principles...

Which is why I pointed out that the principles themselves are what's fuzzy right now.

It's not these sort of design principles that are fuzzy, but rather the development teams intentions that are. So we can't talk predictively about what they will choose to do, but we can talk--should talk--about the implications of these choices.

Goblin Squad Member

Nihimon wrote:
Very good answer, AvenaOats.

It was a good question, but a struggle to attempt to answer. I guess a bit like being employed in a field, it makes sense to specialise along that line of work (certifications etc), and then when you're unfortunate to be made redundant or require a career change/break or see an opportunity in another career, maybe enrol into learning something different but that maybe complements what you previously worked at (eg move from IT to finance if you worked at a financial business in the IT department and want to progress in the company so start an MBA to get a senior role)? Or take another role in a smaller organisation with more projected chance to advance or because you enjoy a different role. Think I'm well past my 5th "role" in rl, already. :O

Onishi wrote:
Now here I'm going to directly contradict, I don't quite see a CE group of terrorists having any less need for specialists and organization than the lawful good group. Ryan has said numerous times that a disorganized group will lose to an organized group in most cases even when most other factors favor the disorganized group (Numbers, badges etc...)

I imagine you're right, even if by chance or tendency, CEs tend to start off generalist , they'll like everyone else quickly realise that organisation and perhaps therefore specialisation "pressure" to successfully compete at larger scales of things would soon change that. I just really like the idea of all the "villains" too busy watching their own backs to compromise with each other. :p

===

On the topic of capstones, another concept for these might be, the percentile distribution definition for a player to have the right to access a role's capstone.

That would mean eg Top 25% in a role at level 20 would merit the capstone skill. The question then is how do you measure who earns the capstone, for how long (monthly?) and how easy is it to attribute "role definition" to earn "pts" towards a capstone: By usage/by efficiency and so on?

That might be one way acting as incentive to capstone quickly (early birds) and also when more players capstone, all are able to "compete for this skill" by specialising or choosing to spend their time prioritising this role. Also like any "marking system" you maybe can check who you are competing against for these honors, the "top characters" in the role? Also means it's not always available but it's available to everyone who does specialise? /just an idea.


Andius: You have three sets of abilities weapon-dependent abilities available to you. That doesn't equal your two symbols and a shield. I don't know the rules about wielding a holy symbol and a shield at the same time or I could be more clear. At any rate, weapon-slotted abilities 1-6 could be healing from one holy symbol, 7-12 could be fire from another holy symbol, and 13-18 could be weapon-and-shield related, or whatever you like. There isn't going to be a need to limit yourself to 6 abilities. And that isn't counting the refresh abilities or all of the passives.

Regarding alignment and generalist vs specialist: It seems like among LG and LE chars, that specialization would be fairly high, and that among CG and CE characters generalization would be more prevalent. I mean, after all, turning yourself into the perfect cog in a machine, being a specialist, is an inherently lawful life course, whereas being a rubber band that can fit many situations and tends to fluctuate and be effective in more situations is inherently chaotic. It's not the only deciding factor, but it's among them.

Goblin Squad Member

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!

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".

Goblin Squad Member

@Mbando, I disagree with your definition of "principles", but that shouldn't stop us from finding common ground :)

Mbando wrote:
One path the game design can go down is to allow for mutli-classing, but severely restrict synergy by tying skills to roles, and making roles singel-active-at-a-time... This would mean no one would splash or dip a couple levels of rogue or monk in their builds...

I think this is basically the design we're getting, and I'm not at all convinced that it would "mean no one would splash or dip".

What we know about Weapon Sets makes it fairly clear to me that most of the recognizable "class skills" will require a class item of sorts. There's a lot we don't know, like exactly which abilities require exactly which items, but in general, I get the impression we'll have to switch Weapon Sets in order to utilize our multi-class abilities.

In this design, it's quite possible that the "counterbalance" to the multi-class synergy is the time lost switching between Weapon Sets during combat. That cost might well be significant enough to make any other counterbalance unnecessary - even punitive.

But, we just don't know yet - because we don't know what founding principles the developers are going to settle on.

Goblin Squad Member

@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.

Goblin Squad Member

AvenaOats wrote:

I try to see how each can complement the other:

My guess would be that specialists (x1 role excel/trained at/experiened using) fit more effectively in groups of specialists that complement each other.

Conversely, generalists (various roles skill-trained) are more effective over a wider range of different conditions/mobs/combat situations/random groupings...

So if players form tight-knit charters/settlements etc players might find it suits their purpose to train in x1 role for the community? Whereas if they wish to be more fluid in their dealings with other players a generalist approach keeps their options open, in a sense?

That way it does not preclude players training other skills if they are in a charter, but they might coordinate with each other which skills are more useful/higher demand compared to a generalist who will coordinate with opportunities to use skills in unpredictable circumstances and generally likes variety?

Maybe Lawful Good Aligned characters will naturally gravitate to specialisms and neutral or chaotic evil might tend to general multi-skilling because their communities are always in-fighting?! /random thought

Thank you AvenaOats. So am I right to assume then, by your example that everyone should be a generalist because that helps meaningful player interaction?

If that is the case, it would be good to see whqt actual data shows across a variety of like MMOs to see if fostering generalists helps player interaction or creates an atmosphere of soloing with player interaction as an afterthought.

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