Semi-Persistent Buffs and Pets


Pathfinder Online

Goblin Squad Member

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First, lets begin by defining the terms:
Semi-Persistent Buffs - Any beneficial effect that is cast once and the duration lasts over 1 hour or until cancelled.
Pet - A spell that conjures, raises, charms, or crafts an NpC(Non-playable character) that follows the PC (Player Character) around and follows basic commands.

Next, the reason for this thread.
The idea here is to brainstorm a solution that allows the play-styles eliminated by the current problems. And then present the format to Idea Scale

Conflict
1) Game Balance
2) Resource and Time investment
3) Play-Style Bias

Initial Ideas
Game Balance:
1) Power (Daily Resource) Investment - Once cast this expendable will not allow Power to Regen up its cost while the spell is maintained.
Ex: Bob casts the expendable Summon Animal Companion for 50 Power. Bob has a total of 100 Power before casting the spell. After Casting the spell Bob has an effective total of 50 Power until Bob dismisses or cancels the spell.
2) Additional Resource Cost - A Material Component is required in addition to a power expenditure to cast the expendable. This material component should be a RAW (Found in Nature) crafting material or a REFINED (Crafted by players)crafting material.
Ex: Bob's Sister casts the expendable Phantom Steed. Bob's Sister spends the appropriate Power and the appropriate material component (A Horseshoe...?). Bob's Sister now benefits from the Phantom Steed Mount for 1/Hour per level or until dismissed.

-In order to successfully mitigate Game Balance Concerns in regards to Semi-Persistent Buffs and Pets both or either of these methods should be utilized. This makes Semi-Persistent Buffs and Pets:
1) Exclusive: Only those that slot the Expendable can utilize them. In addition in order to slot them you:
A) Need to find the expendable
B) Need to choose this expendable over other expendables
2) Costly: A sacrifice in power that does not regenerate and/or material components will:
A) Greatly reduce the frequency of usage to those who enjoy these play-styles
B) Prevent abuse by making the expendable more than a single cast (Equip it and Forget it Spell)
C) Allow for more player interaction. (Crafting, Trading, Inn travel to regen power, etc..)

Resource and Time Investment
I understand that a programmer will need to devote time and resources into crafting a system that is both balanced and fun to play.
This is not a demand to have these systems in the game NOW. These are merely suggestions to aid with getting these systems into the game EVENTUALLY.

I myself have only a very basic knowledge of coding and therefore cannot contribute heavily in this area. I invite anyone with more experience and knowledge to comment and attempt to alleviate time and resource investments by suggesting specific things to aid the programmers.

Play-Style Bias
This one is present because there are individuals/groups who do not want to see certain play-styles in the game. No one player/group should have any more or less say. With that reasoning, individuals and groups should not be able to revoke access to certain play-styles.

If there is even one individual that wishes to play a certain way then it is the responsibility of the community and the developers to do our best to enable that play-style with the following in mind:
1) Game Balance
2) Resource and Time Investment

If individuals or groups do not want Rangers to have pets, then they can play a ranger that does not utilize a pet, but the individual that wishes to travel and explore next to his faithful hound should have the same opportunity.

Most play-styles have been around since the beginning of Online Gaming, or Gaming in general. And the majority of games offer a way to enjoy that style of play in some way.

-2 Coppers

Goblin Squad Member

Interesting idea, I support the idea with a as diverse game as possible. With the caveat that the more stuff that are put in, the more difficult it will be to balance and run the world.
But we are far from that now.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

Mechanically a semi-permentent buff is virtually the same as current Feats you swap out. The differance comes in when and where you can swap it out for somehting else. If its that persistent and is going to likely be reapplied shortly after it wears off, its essentially a passive feat with notable advantage and disadvantage (taking a power penalty for example)

Pets can possibly be balanced by looking at actions per "Round" (6 seconds). A pet gives you an extra set of automated actions beyond what you'd normally do. A balance point would be to slow or reduce the number of actions you take while the pet is out, distributing your actions across mulipte targets at distance. Penalizing cool downs would be the solution that comes to my mind.

Scarab Sages Goblin Squad Member

Exploring the issues around pets and persistent buffs is interesting, but unlikely to bear fruit for quite a while.

The most recent official word from Goblinworks said that "pet classes" like druid, ranger and summoner will be some of the last roles brought into PFO. They're slated for last specifically because of the challenges of programming their companions/eidolons.

(Monks are also supposed to be pretty late arrivals, because they'll need so many role-specific animations.)

Goblin Squad Member

Man I love monks. I hope there are options for re doing your character once other roles drop.

Goblin Squad Member

Jakaal wrote:
Man I love monks. I hope there are options for re doing your character once other roles drop.

GW has stated no respecs.

Goblin Squad Member

Jakaal wrote:
Man I love monks. I hope there are options for re doing your character once other roles drop.

Ryan has made clear that we won't be able to reallocate XP like that.

Scarab Sages Goblin Squad Member

The plan is that when a new role arrives, you can begin training it. No XP refunds, no feat trade-ins.

For a lot of roles, if you've trained something similar, some of your training should apply to the new role. If you've trained as a fighter when ranger arrives, for example, your training in things like Base Attack Bonus, Hit Points, and Ranged Attack Bonus should apply toward ranger levels.

Goblin Squad Member

Hmm good input, anyone else have any more ideas?

Goblin Squad Member

Great topic Lord Deacon.

If I remember the discussions concerning how Anet was going to work on the Ranger's Pet System in their game for GW2, the break-down of the conundrum was:-

1. Ranger needs to be viable without Pet
2. Ranger needs to have a requirement to use Pet(s)

Pet depends on AI. This leads to:-

1. Ranger without Pet is under-powered
2. Ranger with Pet is over-powered

IE the balance is incredibly challenging.

One solution is as per Druid Wild-Shape the player avatar just turns into an actual "pet" and hence it's a version that can then be balanced in combat. I think this will be easier in combat.

For Rangers, I guess in pathfinder TT the pet is part of the combat engine of the class.

I'd suggest two routes therefore:-

1. Combat Pets
2. Role-Based Pets

=

1. Combat Pets:-

A. They can switch the player to being AI and the Pet being the player being directly controlled and vica-versa to help "balance" the AI during combat via context?

B. The Pet is the usual AI companion with all the conundrums that entails and requirements from players to make their own macro-commands. This is very challenging.

C. Another player can take the option to assume being the pet and play with the Ranger if the ranger can get a friend to agree to this?

Personally C. really appeals as co-op role to choose "meaningful human interaction".

2. Role-based Pets:-

Here combat is de-emphasized and pets are trained to perform functions such as horses for riding, oxen for bearing vehicles, dragons for settlement wars and so on. Here the Pet is function of some task.

Grand Lodge

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Perhaps making ranger pets dependent on a special handed Implement like a whip, riding crop, or the like would be appropriate where you can slot the implement bar with commands you can give the pet which follows your character.

Make the first basic one be a toggle switch for passive/defensive/aggressive stance for the pet, and allow the Ranger to choose from any number other "tricks" you can teach the pet which you'd slot in the other remaining slots.

Thoughts?

Scarab Sages Goblin Squad Member

KotC Carbon D. Metric wrote:

Perhaps making ranger pets dependent on a special handed Implement like a whip, riding crop, or the like would be appropriate where you can slot the implement bar with commands you can give the pet which follows your character.

Make the first basic one be a toggle switch for passive/defensive/aggressive stance for the pet, and allow the Ranger to choose from any number other "tricks" you can teach the pet which you'd slot in the other remaining slots.

Thoughts?

I like this idea quite a lot. The ranger's pet could be in the game only when the ranger has the training implement slotted. The pet could rely on standardized AI control when the training implement is slotted but not active. Having the training implement (whistle?) slotted and active would provide maximum control of the pet. In order to have full command ability with the pet, the ranger would have to forgo using another implement full-time. (He or she could switch implements as usual, but the pet would be AI-controlled (and less effective) while the ranger used the other implement.)

Grand Lodge

A whistle is perfect.

Goblin Squad Member

I've thought for some time now there needs to be implements for druids and rangers that grant pets and implements that don't. The implements that don't should offer very good abilities not available on the ones that do. With implement abilities such as implode, web, etc. already in the game it's easy to see how losing some of your better implement abilities could be a very real drawback in power level that justifies the strength of an NPC fighting by your side.

Wildshape on the other hand should consume a weapon slot. One major advantage of doing it that way is that you can have druids in their wildshape using pets as happens in the TT.

Goblin Squad Member

KotC Carbon D. Metric wrote:

Perhaps making ranger pets dependent on a special handed Implement like a whip, riding crop, or the like would be appropriate where you can slot the implement bar with commands you can give the pet which follows your character.

Make the first basic one be a toggle switch for passive/defensive/aggressive stance for the pet, and allow the Ranger to choose from any number other "tricks" you can teach the pet which you'd slot in the other remaining slots.

Thoughts?

Pretty cool idea Carbon~

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