Update #39: Non-Core Classes, Cooldowns, Attack Resolution, Damage vs. Armor and a Tileset!
Hail, elves. It's been a while since we've had a mechanics update, so I'd like to cover a variety of topics today: the basics of our "non-core" classes, our cooldown system (or lack thereof), an update on how attacks are resolved, and another update on the evolution of our armor system. I'd also like to show you a dungeon tileset test render and some sweet shakycam of some of the combat basics running in engine.
We've previously discussed the design of our "core four" classes: fighter, priest, rogue, and wizard. The non-core classes are the other seven: barbarian, paladin, ranger, druid, monk, chanter, and cipher. Like the core four classes, the non-core classes all start the game with two active or modal abilities and one passive ability.
When it comes to the balance of active/modal and passive options, the classes generally reflect their D&D counterparts, with spellcasters having more active use abilities and weapon-based classes being oriented toward more passive or modal abilities. Even so, it will be possible to push a spellcaster toward more passive talents and to optionally buy more active/modal abilities for traditionally low-maintenance characters. While all classes will have many more abilities as they advance, here are some basic elements for each of the seven classes.
- Barbarians can use Wild Sprint a limited number of times per day, allowing them to rapidly rush across the battlefield to a distant target while ignoring hazards along the way.
- Paladins have limited healing capabilities, but their Revive command allows them to instantly snap an unconscious ally awake with a large Stamina boost.
- Rangers' animal companions are so closely bonded to their masters that they share Stamina and Health pools, which can be both a blessing and a curse.
- Druids can Shapeshift into animal forms, gaining natural -- and some supernatural -- abilities associated with those creatures.
- Monks absorb a portion of incoming damage and convert it into a Wounds resource they can use to power their soul-based abilities (such as Stunning Blows) through any weapons they use, including unarmed strikes.
- Chanters begin the game with a number of phrases they can arrange to form songs with different effects. Aefyllath Ues Mith Fyr is a phrase that causes allies' weapons to emit magical flames.
- Cipher powers often gain intensity as they maintain focus. Their basic Mind Jab starts as a minor irritant but can build to inflict devastating damage.
Early on, some folks asked about cooldowns and both Tim and I agreed that we weren't opposed to using them in some form if it made sense for our mechanics. To be more explicit about it, the only way in which we are currently using anything cooldown-like is for per-encounter and per-rest abilities. Per-encounter abilities can be used a number of times in an encounter and are then disabled until combat ends. Per-rest abilities can be used a number of times after resting before you must rest to recover them. We've previously discussed grimoire-switching for wizards possibly invoking a cooldown. It's more likely that grimoire-switching will be limited through the inventory system and not by a cooldown.
We also have modal abilities that can be turned on and off at will, with some abilities being exclusive to others, meaning you can only have one active at a time.
I've talked about this a bunch on the forums, but not in an update. All attacks in Project Eternity compare the attacker's Accuracy value to one of four defenses: Deflection (direct melee and ranged attacks), Fortitude (body system attacks like poison and disease), Reflexes (area of effect damage attacks), and Willpower (mental attacks).
A number between 1 and 100 is generated to determine the attack rules. If the Accuracy and target defense are the same value, these are how the results break down:
- 01-05 = Miss
- 06-50 = Graze
- 51-95 = Hit
- 96-100 = Critical Hit
A Hit is the standard damage and duration effects, a Graze is 50% minimum damage or duration, a Critical Hit is 150% maximum damage or duration, and a Miss has no effect. In a balanced Attack and defense scenario, the majority of attacks wind up being Hits or Grazes. If the Accuracy and defense values are out of balance, the windows for each result shift accordingly, while always allowing for the possibility of a Graze or a Hit at the extreme ends of the spectrum.
Damage Type vs. Armor Type
We've previously talked about how different weapon damage types (Slash, Crush, and Pierce) fare against Damage Threshold (DT) in the game. We implemented that system and found that while it worked well on paper and scaled well, it was unintuitive when put into the game. It was not possible for players to make informed decisions about what weapons to use against a given armor type because doing so required making relative damage vs. DT calculations for all weapon types, i.e. having a spreadsheet open for comparison at all times.
In light of this, we are going to try a more explicit damage type vs. armor type model where armor, regardless of its DT, has a familiar weight classification: Light, Medium, and Heavy. Damage types are either good or bad against a given weight classification. When a damage type is "bad" against an armor type, it does half damage before DT is applied, making it very inefficient. Within the "good" types of damage, there's still an efficiency curve against DT for meticulous players to figure out, but it has less impact than avoiding "bad" damage types in the first place.
Energy-based attacks (like most spells) oppose a different characteristic of the armor, its substance type (Natural, Armor, or Spirit) and like damage types, have good and bad opposition characteristics. Weapon bonus damage that is energy-based is applied to the target separately, but at a fractional DT value matching the bonus damage. E.g. if a sword has a fire effect that does +15% the sword's damage, it is opposed by 15% of the target's Damage Threshold.
Tileset Trials and Tribulations
Environment artist Sean Dunny has been experimenting with building tilesets for our dungeons. "Tilesets?!" you may be saying (or thinking). It may be a surprise, but many Icewind Dale and Planescape: Torment levels started from a tileset or modular unit base. We use these tilesets to generate basic renders for testing layout, navigation, and combat. Once we like the basic layout, we refine it by adding additional "meta" (special) tiles, modifying the tiles individually in the layout, adding lights, and of course having an artist do a 2D touchup pass.
That's all for this week. Thanks for reading!
Update by Josh Sawyer
seconds to go
Pledge $5 or moreYou selected
Thank you for your pledge! Everyone at Obsidian loves you! Every backer for this level or more will receive a KICKSTARTER BACKER BADGE on the PROJECT ETERNITY forums. We want to invite you to our forums where you get a place to speculate about the game, offer suggestions, and interact with the development team.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $20 or moreYou selected
25000 backers All gone!
For early backers only! DIGITAL DOWNLOADABLE COPY OF PROJECT ETERNITY. This limited price point is only available for the first backers of PROJECT ETERNITY. All Kickstarter backers will receive a special Kickstarter only in-game achievement and item. (The item will not affect the game's balance). Includes Cooking with Tim – An RPG-themed e-Cookbook, and Making of Project Eternity Documentary (streaming).Estimated delivery:
Pledge $25 or moreYou selected
DIGITAL DOWNLOADABLE COPY OF PROJECT ETERNITY. This price is only available for those who help fund before the game is released! All Kickstarter backers will receive a special Kickstarter only in-game achievement and item. (The item will not affect the game's balance). Includes Cooking with Tim – An RPG-themed e-Cookbook, and Making of Project Eternity Documentary (streaming).Estimated delivery:
Pledge $35 or moreYou selected
Previous reward tier + DIGITAL DOWNLOADABLE SOUNDTRACK + DIGITAL COLLECTOR'S BOOK IN PDF FORMAT. The digital book will include concept art, player's handbook, monster manual, exclusive information about the campaign setting and characters, and the Making of Project Eternity Documentary (download option).Estimated delivery:
Pledge $50 or moreYou selected
DIGITAL ONLY TIER - All previous digital rewards + NEW NOVELLA BY CHRIS AVELLONE (PDF) + DIGITAL CAMPAIGN ALMANAC + EXCLUSIVE IN-GAME PET + DIGITAL HIGH RESOLUTION GAME MAP + DIGITAL HIGH RESOLUTION CONCEPT ART PIECES + WALLPAPERS FOR MULTIPLE MONITORS + RINGTONES . You will get a new, original novella written by Chris Avellone and multiple high resolution downloads of concept art and wallpaper (single through triple monitor resolutions). We've also added in a super high resolution PDF of the game map. Our great audio guys are also going to pick out some of the best sound effects and music for you to have a little of Project Eternity on your phone.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $65 or moreYou selected
Previous reward tier + BOX VERSION OF PROJECT ETERNITY. The boxed copy will include a DVD version of the game and a printed manual. This is in addition to the digital version of the game (so 2 copies total!). Please add $15 for international shipping.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $80 or moreYou selected
DIGITAL ONLY TIER - All previous digital rewards + DIGITAL STRATEGY GUIDE PDF + ANOTHER DIGITAL DOWNLOAD OF THE GAME. We are going to be working in conjunction with a great strategy guide company and at this reward level you will get a PDF of the guide. You will also get a second key to enjoy Project Eternity on another computer, platform, or as a gift to a friend.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $100 or moreYou selected
Previous reward tier + a PROJECT ETERNITY T-SHIRT + SPECIAL THANKS IN GAME CREDITS + THANK YOU POSTCARD FROM THE DEVELOPMENT TEAM + VIP FORUM BADGE. We really appreciate your contribution, and by showing our appreciation we will add your name to the game's credits and send you a thank you note in the mail. This tier will also unlock a special VIP badge in the PROJECT ETERNITY forums. Please add $20 for international shipping.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $110 or moreYou selected
COLLECTORS DIGITAL ONLY TIER - All rewards from the previous digital tiers + SPECIAL THANKS IN GAME CREDITS + THANK YOU POSTCARD FROM THE DEVELOPMENT TEAM (sent physically) + VIP FORUM BADGE + EARLY ACCESS BETA KEY + all the other digital rewards of the $140 tier available now and added during the Kickstarter campaign. If you are looking for all the rewards of the Collector's Edition, but you don't need the physical goods, then this is a great reward tier for you.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $140 or moreYou selected
Previous reward tier + we will upgrade your box to a COLLECTOR'S EDITION BOX. You will find a CLOTH MAP OF THE GAME WORLD and the PROJECT ETERNITY CLOTH PATCH inside the box + EARLY BETA ACCESS + PROJECT ETERNITY MOUSE PAD. The collector's edition box will include a cloth map just like the old RPGs that we love. You will also get early access to the game with a BETA KEY. Includes Making of Project Eternity Documentary (DVD/Blu-ray). The game patch is an embroidered high quality non-iron on patch. Game patches are a tradition at Obsidian, and we want to share that tradition with you! Please add $20 for international shipping.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $165 or moreYou selected
FIRST EXPANSION/WASTELAND2 DIGITAL ONLY TIER - All rewards from the previous digital tiers + PROJECT ETERNITY'S FIRST EXPANSION + DRM free digital download copy of WASTELAND 2 + all the other digital rewards of the $250 tier available now and added during the Kickstarter campaign. If you don't need the physical goods, then this is a great reward tier for you.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $250 or moreYou selected
Previous reward tier + you get your COLLECTOR'S EDITION BOX signed by CHRIS AVELLONE, TIM CAIN, JOSH SAWYER, and the rest of the development team + full color printed PROJECT ETERNITY COLLECTOR'S BOOK + an elite version of the PROJECT ETERNITY CLOTH PATCH. The book will be a full color book that includes concept art, player's handbook, monster manual, exclusive information about the campaign setting and characters, and a special behind the scenes look at making the game. Please add $30 for international shipping.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $350 or moreYou selected
30 backers All gone!
Obsidian-AMD Loot Bag (US. ONLY). The Loot Bag contains an AMD Processor donated by our incredible friends over at AMD, a signed Obsidian game (not Project Eternity), and a random assortment of Obsidian loot such as pens, coasters, t-shirts, game patches, doodles, etc. The AMD Processor is an A10, does not have a heat sink attached, and will be shipped OEM style. The Loot Bag includes everything in the $250 tier level too. Since we are shipping computer parts, we can't ship outside the USA with this one.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $500 or moreYou selected
The Complete Kickstarter Obsidian Pack: signed COLLECTOR'S EDITION BOX (cloth map, elite cloth patch, and printed manual included) + your name and a personalized message on a MEMORIAL STONE IN-GAME + full color PROJECT ETERNITY *HARD COVER* COLLECTOR'S BOOK SIGNED by the development team + A GOLD PLEDGE SPECIAL THANKS in the credits + T-SHIRT + DIGITAL DOWNLOADABLE COPY OF PROJECT ETERNITY + DIGITAL DOWNLOADABLE SOUNDTRACK + A GOLD PLEDGE VIP FORUM BADGE. Your name will also go on our top pledger plaque in our office, so we can always remember your special contribution.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $750 or moreYou selected
29 backers Limited (1 left of 30)
Chris Avellone draws you a CUSTOM TROLL PORTRAIT. Chris Avellone has graciously volunteered to draw a custom troll portrait for you to help raise additional funding towards our last stretch goal target of $3.5m for Big City #2. Chris will number and sign the portrait, write a humorous message to you, and a print will be physically and digitally sent to you. This is a limited run of 30 at a $750 tier (includes all the goods in the $500 tier), so get in quickly. If you are above the $750 tier and would like a custom troll by Chris Avellone please contact Obsidian and we will work with you.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $1,000 or moreYou selected
114 backers Limited (86 left of 200)
NAME AND DESIGN AN NPC (Non-Player Character). Help us design PROJECT ETERNITY! We will send you a PROJECT ETERNITY NPC character sheet for you to fill out for our design team. We will turn your personalized character design, with your name, class, and race into an NPC in the shipped game (within reason of course). You will also receive The Complete Kickstarter Obsidian Pack ($500 reward tier) + 5 EXTRA DIGITAL DOWNLOADABLE COPIES OF PROJECT ETERNITY to gift your friends and family.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $1,000 or moreYou selected
49 backers Limited (1 left of 50)
HELP DESIGN AN EPIC HIGH LEVEL WEAPON, ARMOR OR ARTIFACT. Help us design PROJECT ETERNITY! Your personalized item will be used by thousands of players and will be one of the best in the game. You can provide the lore, look, and type of the item (within reason), and we will put it in the shipped game. You will also receive The Complete Kickstarter Obsidian Pack ($500 reward tier) + 5 EXTRA DIGITAL DOWNLOADABLE COPIES OF PROJECT ETERNITY to gift your friends and family.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $3,000 or moreYou selected
7 backers Limited (13 left of 20)
BECOME A CUSTOM PORTRAIT IN THE GAME + GET A SIGNED ART PRINT OF YOUR PORTRAIT. Help us design PROJECT ETERNITY! Your personalized portrait will be seen and used thousands of players. With a supplied photograph and some additional input from you, a talented Obsidian artist will make a custom portrait to be used in the shipped game. The artist will sign a print of the portrait that will be sent to you. You will also receive The Complete Kickstarter Obsidian Pack ($500 reward tier) + 5 EXTRA DIGITAL DOWNLOADABLE COPIES OF PROJECT ETERNITY to gift your friends and family.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $5,000 or moreYou selected
3 backers Limited (3 left of 6)
NAME AND HELP DESIGN AN ENEMY ADVENTURING COMPANY. What beats the classic RPG challenge of squaring off against a diverse enemy party with skills, abilities, and equipment to match your own? Nothing, that's what! Now you can design a crew of knuckle-cracking skull-crushers to ambush players at the worst possible moment. Ha, HA! You are the devil himself! We will send you six PROJECT ETERNITY NPC character sheets for you to fill out for our design team. We will turn your personalized party design into a lethal wrecking crew to oppose the player in the shipped game (within reason of course). You will also receive The Complete Kickstarter Obsidian Pack ($500 reward tier) + 15 EXTRA DIGITAL DOWNLOADABLE COPIES OF PROJECT ETERNITY to gift your friends and family. You also get the top tier WATCHER FORUM BADGE.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $5,000 or moreYou selected
5 backers All gone!
NAME AND HELP DESIGN AN INN OR TAVERN. Help us design PROJECT ETERNITY! Your personalized area will be prominently seen in the shipped game. You can name it (within reason), and with your input, the design team at Obsidian will create an inn or tavern in your honor. You will also receive The Complete Kickstarter Obsidian Pack ($500 reward tier) + 10 EXTRA DIGITAL DOWNLOADABLE COPIES OF PROJECT ETERNITY to gift your friends and family + DESIGN AND NAME AN NPC + DESIGN AN EPIC WEAPON. You also get the top tier WATCHER FORUM BADGE.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $10,000 or moreYou selected
The Ultimate Pledge Pack. We really want to thank you for your generous pledge in person. You will receive an INVITE TO THE OBSIDIAN PROJECT ETERNITY DEVELOPER LAUNCH PARTY + AN INVITE TO COME PLAY A GAME AT OBSIDIAN. You and a buddy get to party with the game developers at Obsidian and get a behind the scenes tour of the Obsidian office. You get to have a once in a lifetime opportunity to play a board or pen and paper game of your choice with Chris Avellone, Tim Cain, Josh Sawyer, and Feargus Urquhart! You must be able to pay for travel and accommodations to the Obsidian office in Irvine, California for the party and game day. You will receive everything else: The Complete Kickstarter Obsidian Pack ($500 reward tier) + 10 EXTRA DIGITAL DOWNLOADABLE COPIES OF PROJECT ETERNITY to gift your friends and family + DESIGN AND NAME AN NPC + DESIGN AN EPIC WEAPON + CUSTOM PORTRAIT. You also get the top tier WATCHER FORUM BADGE.Estimated delivery:
- (32 days)