I would like to put forth a suggestion for consideration. Perhaps implementing a point allocation system similar to those currently used in games like Dungeons and Dragons. I can tell that your development team has a great love and reverence for the more traditional days of group adventure gaming and to that I am grateful. There are far too many World of Warcraft clones out there and even those players are beginning to clamor for something different. I was quite pleased when the gypsy first rolled my dice as I was taken back many years to good memories of actually having to figure out puzzles because there were no hint sites and worrying about getting lost in a dungeon because there wasn't a mini-map. Thank you for that.
My point to the stat allocation might seem initially contradictory then. We must remember though that the hard core roll six sets in order and keep them was really only utilized heavily in the earliest editions and slightly more forgiving systems such as, point allocation, stat distribution, etc. were introduced fairly quickly. With a video game such as this, while I am a roleplayer and will play a scaredy cat rogue with a CON of 4 or a klutz wizard with a DEX of 3 that keeps dropping his book mid cast or spilling his reagents on the ground typical gamers won't. They all want a good character that they can see as a hero. So what will they do, they will spend countless hours in the character creator re-rolling stats until they get 'good' ones while their friends are waiting for them to start a dungeon. Or they will simply take whatever, only to realize later they hate their stats and their luck with the RNG and probably stop playing or reroll an entirely new character.
Now I really hope that the answer to this will not be, well the stats really don't matter that much so just get something you can live with, because that completely trivializes a large part of your character and would make most players ask, then why are they there in the first place? Why not just give us a generic character with set stats and let us play like Diablo does, which K&H does seem to take a fair amount of inspiration from. Stats need to mean something. The roleplayers will want to play to it, the raiders will want to powerlevel it, and the PvPrs will want to meta game it.
Which is a good point to spotlight. This game has PvP and we all know in a competitive player vs player environment gamers are going to roll and roll and reroll again until they get amazing stats because they will want that edge in PvP. So will those that simply take whatever stats be at a distinct disadvantage and will they be ok with that? Will the answer be in that case as well, stats don't matter that much, it is all skill based which experienced gamers can tell you has never gone over well in any competition environment. A characters abilities, gear, stats, they are are part of the equation.
So in conclusion, my suggestion would be to perhaps entertain the possibility of using the standard D&D style point allocation system where a character starts off with eights in all areas and then uses a set pool of points to purchase increases. This way the player is given an easy, quick system to create the hero in their head without being unbalanced against other gamers and without spending the first hour of a game they should be in playing, watching a gypsy lady roll dice.
Now I know some will say, no I want that .001% chance at a full set of 18s and I know I would as well. But we must think of the good of the game. The balance of all players, and the way character stats are seen and valued by all play styles. With a system such as this and down the road I hope eventually implementing the +1 to any stat every four levels or so we can all have amazing heroes to play that are just what we wanted.
The stats that aren't your classes primary or secondary stat have largely no value to the player. Con is the only stat that has the same value to all classes. So really, a player only needs to roll 3 18s and not 5. This is fairly easy to do with racial bonuses. When I created my Amarian this week I only spent about 5 minutes rolling up 18s in my class stats and Con.
So a Wizard that has 18 Int, 18 Wis and 3 Dex will do the exact same damage as a Wizard with 18 Int, 18 Wis, 18 Dex in the same gear with their spells, with the only difference being that the Shoot ability will deal more damage for the 18 Dex Wizard. Since Shoot will never out scale their spells, this isn't really reason enough to change the rolling system. Since there are no Str and Dex scrolls that I know of, the basic Melee and Shoot skills are the only ones affected by Str and Dex for Wizards and Clerics. Rangers are the in same spot with Str and Melee. Champions and Rogues only factor Wis and Int when using a scroll ability that actually scales, but again, since they are using them from scrolls they will never scale equal to the core class anyway. Rangers are the only odd man out in that they scale Dex and Int, so they gain a slight boost to scroll abilities over Champions and Rogues, but only because we presume they will have a higher Int value by virtue of it being a core class stat.
To your point though, a player with 18s in their class stats will always have a higher possible output than someone with less than 18s.
However, I'm not sure what point allocation would accomplish other than just eliminating the roll. When you select a class the game tells you what stats you want and it tells you what the maximum value can be. If you choose not to attain the max value then that's your decision. I agree the game could better explain what those stats do, but removing the roll would invalidate the racial selection. An Orc Wizard will never have the same output ceiling as an Elf Wizard because they can't attain 3 18s in Wis, Int and Con. If an allocation system still capped the Orc at 17 then what has the system really provided that's different than what it is now other than just removing the rolling?
Finally, if you have 18s in all 3 stats, and the max remains 18, then giving players points to spend while leveling would have almost no effect on the player, and if anything would benefit casters the most since they would be able to have maxed spells plus high stats affecting melee or shoot. As for pvp, all they would need to do is disable scrolls in pvp and it pretty much solves any problems.
Quite true, currently the system only truly takes three stats into consideration but I would really hope that is not the end of this game's developer's future design dreams. If it is then, to your point, why not just give every starting player 18 in their primary stats since we have already established they are just going to keep rolling until they get those anyway. So why those 5 minutes? What purpose do they serve. Do we want a new player's first 5 or 10 minute impression of a new game to be endlessly spamming rolls until RNG happens to give them 18's in those three stats?
It is only my opinion but the devs here seem to have a soft spot in their heart for the golden age of adventures from potentially meaningful stats to the beautiful touch of having to sit around a table with a "GM" in anticipation of a fantastic dungeon adventure. I venture before we know it, those stats will mean something. CHA is going to play a major role in quests and NPC interaction, DEX will have effects for everyone on whether that trap you just set off hurts or kills you outright. WIS could provide the insight for any class with a high enough score to properly utilize crafted medical supplies to heal or cure poisons or diseases.
From what I have seen, they are already laying the groundwork for a much more in depth world than we see now and that will require the use of all of those stats, much the same way the classic P&P games do. In the end though it does really all come down to what the devs have in mind a year, two years, hopefully many years down the road for K&H. If the game will never move beyond three stats, then just give them at the start. If they do intend a much more grand picture then those stats will need to mean something and when they do taking any meaningful decision that affects the life of a player's character out of their hands and into RNG always seems to result in disaster.
The current systems of rolling for stats is badly broken. Since this will be a min/max game and you have an unlimited number of attempts to roll for stats, it's only a matter of time until someone creates a macro that will roll for you until you have 18s in your primary stats and 16 or more in your con. A point buy system would be a lot better and as mentioned above all stats should matter. Low Dex would increase you chance of ranged attacks critting on you for example.
Currently you cannot really choose what you want to play until you know what the game rolls for you.
The problem is that stats can't have some kind of secondary effect, such as Dex affecting traps, while also acting as core power modifier without creating a lot of balance issues. For example Int is a primary for 3 classes, so what kind of secondary effect would be on Int to make it useful for Champions and Rogues, but not op on Wizards, Clerics, and Rangers?
If they did add in a bunch of secondary effects to stats then I agree we would need an allocation system since it would be better to be a generalist rather than a specialist. But in that case everyone just becomes the same, which is the same as it is now I guess.
Now don't get me wrong, I agree with the idea of every stat doing something. I think though that they would need to change the power stats and generalize them. Champions, Rogues, and Rangers all scale damage from Strength and Wizards and Clerics all scale damage from Int. That would then open up Dex, Wis, and Cha to have more generic effects that players could customize their character with.
It doesn't have to be complicated:
For all stats : 8-12 no modifier, 0-7 negative modifier, 13-18 positive modfier
DEX - chance to evade
STR - damage mitigation
INT - chance to resist magic effect
WIS - chance to successfully use out of class scroll
CHA - interaction wth NPCs
CON - chance to resist physical effect
so a champion with hih str and con would have high mitigation and res to physical effect such as poisoning but he would be 'slow' and be hit more often than a dexterous ranger or rogue
I will say it here and now , i refuse to heal anyone claiming to be a ''dodge'' tank.
@Paladine Or a Strength Tank... bloody FFXIV.
So some alternative use for stats beyond min/maxing is always a wonderful way to give players more than the simple out of the box MMO design we have seen for so long. I have not been around the game as long as some so I cannot really say what the direction the devs are hoping to take the game in down the road. It may be intended as just a simple put your quarter in session based romp with friends and that is fine and will be a lot of fun. But, I have an odd suspicion they are looking for more of an immersive big world feel. If I had to describe the feeling I get about K&H right now it would be Diablo with a coat of Fable paint giving a respectful nod to D&D and following in Skyrim's footsteps.
Quite a collection of shoes to fill but like I said, I have a good feeling. Each stat could be given all sorts of uses beyond the stereo-typical me bash bad guy good rawr. What if that STR that we love for Champions could be used to rip the door off of a treasure room in times when there isn't a rogue in the group? Now imagine a group with no champion or rogue but player with an Orc cleric that sees him as sort of a battle medic and gave him super high STR. Now maybe you can get into that treasure room still. Couldn't work all the time because rogues need to keep their niche but some obstacles could even be beyond rogues. What about a huge slab that blocks a secret corridor? Sure, the rogue spotted the opening but there is no trap to pick so hope someone can lift it.
INT for that studious wizard allows a group to decipher the odd scrap they found that contains the random lever pattern to the room trap they are in. Great but what do you do when you don't have a wizard? Enter the ranger that started his life as a noble prince, heir to a throne, well educated and versed yet abandoned his birthright for the freedom of the wilds... where have I heard that before... anyway, player gives his ranger high INT and decodes the message.
Sure, some classes will already have high scores in certain areas making them naturals in some game features but making all the stats matter beyond the bash bash dungeon crash add depth and a chance for every player to maybe be the hero when they can step up and have a unexpected talent that saves the day. I remember once back in the early days of Everquest when you had to learn languages and I had to translate between the humans and the elves in our group. I was a half-elf. I could not tell you a thing about the instance or what dropped but I remember how much fun that evening was. These are the memories that a game with more than one dimension can give their players. That is what can make them want to come back to relive what they can only get here and not in 20 other titles all doing the same thing.
Assuming a point buy system you wouldn't be able to build a dodge tank - well you might be able to but it wouldn't work well. You need your con high for survival and your str for damage and mitigation. If you also wanted high dex you'd have to sacrifice one of the two either being squishy or not doing much damage and therefore not causing much threat.
I love the idea of alternative uses for stats like strength based checks to 'open' doors I was simply trying to find an easy way to make stats more useful and at the same time support the classes' primary stats.
I have played for about 10 hours so far, Id say an hour and a half of which has been on Re-Rolling stats. It was cool, made me think of old school games (I am old, so that helps), but there has to be a better way. Something that gets us into the game faster and works for the classes.
Until I can see what effect the stats actually do its all pointless.
My char with 18 str shows the same weapon damage as one with 3 in str on my character sheet, not to mention rolling up 4 or 5 characters with con ranging from 4 to 18 showed some lower con characters with more hp than those with high con. Currently Its completely broken to me and the rolls and time wasted trying for high numbers is just that.. a waste of time and meaningless. Show me what these numbers do already!
Currently, I would tend to agree. Until we know what all the stats do and how they will be utilized testing them is a little moot and rolling for them during creation is kind of a waste of effort. So perhaps for now we move on to other elements. I did have another thought if perhaps the point buy system was not a winner. Many D20 titles have also utilized a stat allocation system as well where in you roll your seven stats but then you get to choose where you want them to be placed. You cannot change the number but at least you have some control over their distribution. I could see this system working as well as it retains the random roll generation and simply adds a drag and drop off the numbers from one stat card to another prior to moving on in character creation.
Thanks for the discussion on stats. The stat issue is something we largely debated prior to EA Launch. The stats intentionally were closer to a system that HirnKhan had mentioned but in testing the variance seemed large enough that testers spent a large amount of time rolling stats. We wanted players in the game and not just rolling stats so we made the decision to make the stats have a greater impact on attack powers and reduced the other impacts (crit, attack speed, etc). Our intent it to allow for these to be improved/modified via an end game progression system that will be more like your traditional point allocation. So if you are just trying the game, you can be competitive base stat wise in a short amount of time. If you level a character to 50 and gain skill points in the progression system, that is where you tune the specifics. We are always open to ideas but the previous system, testers felt beholden to roll until they had a "great" roll. Another option we are considering is the ability to reroll your main stats via questline or item in game (possibly at 50). If this is the case we could improve the impact (and detriment) of the early rolls. We would love to hear your thoughts on this.
thanks for the explanation.
So if I understand you right we're looking at a 2-phased life cycle of our characters - the road to 50 and specialisation. Assuming that is correct I think the current classes are ok the way they are since they should be looked at as generic types - the STR based melee fighter (CHA), the DEX based melee fighter (ROG), The INT based caster (WIZ), the WIS based caster (CLE) and finally the DEX based ranged fighter (RAN). Which leaves an open spot for an additional ranged fighter so we end up with two each. The missing class would be the CHA based ranged fighter (BAR).
Once at 50 you would earn and spend points into specialising/fine tuning your character. For example you choose a passive that will make your attacks generate more threat (CHA as tank) or another to reduce threat (CHA as dps).
Are we looking at a shared pool of skills/abilities that all class will draw from or dedicated pools for each class? Will there be a max to the number of skill points you can earn which would lead to flavor of the day templates?
As for rerolling at 50 - I don't know. Wouldn't being able to put skill points into stat improvements be more efficient? Maybe for a max of +5 total?
Anything done down the road is only going to make a poor early decision mildly better. You add more stats to allocate down the road it will not change the hours spent rolling stats in the beginning. Players will simply look to add those points to the good stats they will take forever to roll at creation. Give them 5 points later they will want to add those to a previous 18 making 23. They will not simply go golly, guess that 13 was OK because now I can spend all my end game points to get up to where I could have been at the start.
Questing for a reroll is not a solution either as a single reroll could easily mean worse stats than they had unless you are going to let them sit and reroll over and over like they are now until they are happy. So now we are just putting them back into the same RNG frustration they had to deal with already.
If the stats don't really matter that much to be competitive then get rid of them. If they matter enough that they do add a competitive edge then you need to put that control into the hands of the players. You have to think like a current gamer. There was a time when a bad roll on a stat could mean fun and interesting adventures around a table with your good friends but now a bad roll means hate, ridicule, and frustration in a genre of hyper-competitive min/maxing. Unfortunately that is where we are.
Now if you do want to make this game like it was long ago back in the days when it was about fun and not power leveling, or grinding the same mobs for 6 months, or being forced to have top 1% stats and gear in order to even attempt end game, (Yoshi P can go sit on a hand grenade) then you will need to take a very serious look at the stat system and make each stat count and make stats count for more than just killing mobs. But I don't think that is the direction and that is OK. To each their own. It just won't be where I spend my game time.
Thanks for the post. We unfortunately were aware of the ridicule and scorn that can come from having a character that is less than optimized. That did lessen some of the impact of the stats. We want to put players in control of improving their character be it stats, abilities or gear. Any adjustment wouldn't be to the negative, that's not rewarding. If we want you to invest time then we need to make the reward appropriate. As we get closer to bringing advanced leveling to fruition we will post an overview for players to check out and provide their thoughts. Thanks for the support.
Absolutely. I still think you all are on to something with K&H. This could really be an amazing world of continuous and varied experiences where the imagination is the only limit. I promise I will continue to check back but unfortunately for now, I am just not able to get past an hour of hitting reroll just so I don't end up with a 3 somewhere. I'm telling you, stat allocation is something to look at. TSR used it for years and Bioware also has seen great success with their D20 style games. Something to think about. Then you could go in a multitude of directions down the road in so far as alternate progression.
I propose to leave the rolls system intact, leaving two main parameters + constitution, as important stats.
The remaining 3 can be implemented in a peaceful form.
For example, add to each dungeon for NPCs with their randomly roll that once per run can help all parties when provided that the character who spoke to him the same as at least one parameter.
If all players will roll high rates (including useless for them), the chance to help will tend to zero.
Help may be quite different from the level pass (throw down a rope ladder on which all the team will be able to climb and so on), open
secretive passage to the treasure \ secret boss, will allow once per passage to rise to the whole team if they all die.
Of course, this approach will add developers to work, but will not have to worry about the system of character generation and amateurs reroll hours (like me hehe).