Jump to content

Why are the kits so similar?


SixOfSpades

Recommended Posts

I'm much more a fan of the StarCraft version of making things different-but-equal than the Age of Empires way of making things different-but-equal. I got StarCraft first, and I actually experienced culture shock when it was time to start the Zerg campaign. Terrans were straightforward enough, especially to someone who'd already memorized Warcraft II. When I got to the Zerg, though, I was like, "WTF? You want me to tell my Farm to go scout out the enemy, and then you want me to tell my guys to climb into my Farm, and it will carry them across the sea?!?"

But the 3 races all came out to be very equal in the end (though I will always love Terrans and their Siege Tanks), so I was colored very, very impressed.

And then I got Age of Empires, and was, "Ho hum. Everybody's unique unit is slightly different, a (usually) more powerful version of one of the other units. And the races all have small variations in what units and technologies they can build, and some of them can, like, catch fish faster and stuff. Apart from that, the races are all the same. So, um, whose unique unit is the best version of the foot archer? The Britons, you say? Okay, then the Britons win, every time. Done."

 

I hate to say it, but Divine Remix is starting to look more like Age of Empires than StarCraft. Don't get me wrong, it's great that each Cleric kit gets the set of spell spheres most in accordance with their chosen deity's portfolio. And their granted innate abilities make a good counterbalance for being denied certain spell spheres. But, all in all, the various kits look basically the same to me.

 

Why are the Cleric kits' resistances/immunities so scanty? Why are none of them allowed greater weapon proficiency in the class of weapon favored by their god? Why do none of them have things like item restrictions, level-based THAC0 adjustments, special spells granted only to that kit, certain Wizard spells that they can cast as Priest spells, tweaks to their HLA pool, the ability to use certain Thieving skills, etc.? In short, why aren't the various Cleric kits more different from the base class?

 

Example: Pretty much the only Level 3 spells worth giving a damn about are Holy Smite and Animate Dead. Now, 2 different Cleric kits might be diametrically opposing in both ethos and alignment, but as long as they can both cast those two spells, they might as well be the same kit, because people are going to play them pretty much the same. The Cleric kits offered by Ashes of Embers, however, actually seem to have some valid differences in there: Even if their armor limitations aren't actually supported by the game, I can impose that limitation myself--even though the game will let me put Full Plate on my Priest of Thieron, I'll take the trouble to find him some good enchanted Chainmail, unlike every other Cleric I've ever played. True, Ashes of Embers has its downsides. I've never so much as heard of those gods before, so I have difficulty identifying with them, and of course AoE doesn't have the system of spell spheres, so Divine Remix wins out. But even so, I think you'd be wise to take a page out of Ghreyfein's book and make the kits more unique.

 

I've posted an example in the Paladin Remix workroom--a different version of what a Paladin of Ilmater might be like: The Martyr, basically the Paladin version of the Shieldbearer.

Link to post

There is a one thing, which can be so good for that. More special deity spells, and insert them NOT to special abilities, but to spellbook. For example. Eye of Helm, MoonShield (it should give +2 or +4 to save throws vs. spells and death!), Shield of Lathander (that spell from IWD).

 

No I've got a book called Human Deities, and there is a many deity spells accessable only for his clerics.

 

Next thing. Weapon restrictions. It should be something like that, but only if the Ashes of Embers is installed.

Helm - standard knight equipment: long sword, bastard sword, dagger, mace, hammer, halberd, spear.

Talos - primitive weapons: spears, clubs... Maybe he should got druidic item restrictions?

Lathander: staffs, maces, clubs, hammers, daggers, short swords.

 

And a one thing, which Six didn't say. Many ranger kits are so similar. Vanilla Archer and Bowslinger... Disadvantages of Forest Runner and Wilderness runner.

Link to post
Why are the Cleric kits' resistances/immunities so scanty?

 

Why should lots of cleric kits have special resistances/immunities? That's generally one of the things their spells and innates are for.

 

Why are none of them allowed greater weapon proficiency in the class of weapon favored by their god?

 

Because half the favored weapon types are not actually usable by clerics, so you would be giving an unfair advantage to some kits over others.

 

Why do none of them have things like item restrictions

 

We have talked about introducing different item restrictions for different kits, but the problem is that, due to engine limitations, it isn't possible to allow kits to use items that aren't available to the base class. So we could *add* more restrictions to certain kits, but given clerics' rather severe existing weapon restrictions, that's probably not a good idea.

 

There is a possible workaround which we've been discussing, which involves removing all restrictions from the base cleric, and having the in-game kitless cleric actually be a kit. I wrote the prelimary code for this a while back, but it's something that will need plenty of both discussion and testing.

 

level-based THAC0 adjustments

 

In an ideal world, those kits of more martially inclined deities would have better THAC0 and fewer spell slots. However, the only way to make a kit have less slots than the base class is to give it an innate that removes spell slots... and the game really doesn't like it when you do that. So unfortunately, it isn't really possible.

 

special spells granted only to that kit

 

This was discussed a while back, and IIRC it was decided not to be worth it. It uses up the limited space available in the spellbook for that kit, and isn't realy worth it in terms of development time either.

 

certain Wizard spells that they can cast as Priest spells

 

The number of spells that can appear in the spellbook is limited (16 per level IIRC), so why fill them up with spells that are duplicates of those from another class when we can introduce brand new spells instead?

 

tweaks to their HLA pool

 

They already have. In fact, no two kits HLA pools are the same. Quest level spells have all been assigned spheres (though most are in at least two), and each kit only kits those HLAs belonging to spheres they have access to. There are also a few new quest level spells (including a handful of unique ones, such as Lathender's Renewal, Shar's Curse and Xvim's Summoning), and I have no doubt that more will be created in the future. Finally, several DR kits have HLAs from other classes (Avoid Death, Death Blow, Evasion, Hardiness, Power Attack, Resist Magic, Tracking, and Whirlwind have all been "adopted" for particular kits).

 

the ability to use certain Thieving skills

 

Not possible due to engine limitations.

 

In short, why aren't the various Cleric kits more different from the base class?

 

They're more different than most of the unmodded game's kits are from their base class, IMHO.

 

Example: Pretty much the only Level 3 spells worth giving a damn about are Holy Smite and Animate Dead.

 

Only five of DR's 11 current kits actually have access to both these spells, and three of the mod's kits don't have either.

 

You're also ignoring the new level 3 spells added by DR; in particular, Alicorn Lance, Cause Blindness and Deafness, Cause Disease and Moonblade are all pretty handy spells.

 

Now, 2 different Cleric kits might be diametrically opposing in both ethos and alignment, but as long as they can both cast those two spells, they might as well be the same kit, because people are going to play them pretty much the same.

 

Unless you're talking about LN vs. CN, two kits diametrically opposed in alignment *aren't* capable of casting both these spells, because Holy Smite isn't available to evil aligned characters.

Link to post

Hmm... in my opinion, cleric kits shouldn't be a faith-selector. You should can choose that in game.

 

And I'm thinking about create a other cleric mod. Erase normal cleric kits, give 'Faith defender', 'Healer' and someone else (:)) and give a new reward in temple's. Special deity spells. If you serve Talos, you will gain innate ability of Storm Shield, if Helm - Seeking sword, if Lathander - Lathander Boon.

 

Offtop... it should be in General Mod Discussion... sorry :D

Link to post
Hmm... in my opinion, cleric kits shouldn't be a faith-selector. You should can choose that in game.

 

 

In theory it is, you choose your faith when you choose your character class at character creation, it wouldnt be any different if you picked a stock cleric and a script ran when the game started that lets you choose what faith you wanna be. Choosing at character creation is much simpler than scripts running when the game starts

 

 

ronin

Link to post
Hmm... in my opinion, cleric kits shouldn't be a faith-selector. You should can choose that in game.

 

We considered choosing your deity in game, but it became extremely complicated and no matter how hard we tried to hide it (we were gonna have an ability that triggered a dialogue allowing you to pray to different gods) it was still choosing by dialogue, which always jars horribly.

 

Also, the kits we're using started off being entirely based on the Cleric Orders from IWDII. We then expanded this in the same style for various other deities. I think it works quite well for clerics as all their class abilities are based on which god they pray to.

Link to post

tbh, I happen to agree with much of 6oS's points about the similarities amonst the cleric kits. The kits have ended up, to some degree, as cookie cutters. Unfortunately, Nick and Andy have already answered why--the engine is not playing ball. Just getting the spell spheres to work was a tremendous hack.

 

Why are the Cleric kits' resistances/immunities so scanty? Why are none of them allowed greater weapon proficiency in the class of weapon favored by their god? Why do none of them have things like item restrictions, level-based THAC0 adjustments, special spells granted only to that kit, certain Wizard spells that they can cast as Priest spells, tweaks to their HLA pool, the ability to use certain Thieving skills, etc.? In short, why aren't the various Cleric kits more different from the base class?

 

I think there are some good suggestions here, most of which were either implemented or rejected as impractical due to the engine. Resistances and immunities are present, where appropriate (Nightcloaks can't be blinded, Firewalkers and Stormlords have elemental resistances). Nick's 'shadow kit' idea may help with weapon profs, but it doesn't alleviate the lack of available 'kit bits' in item unusabilities. In turn, the solution to that is to make a radically different usability system--a tremendous amount of work for little return, and we create tons of incompatibility to boot.

 

There is certainly room for making the kits unique, and I would love to hear more ideas. Thanks for kickstarting a discussion.

Link to post
. . . one thing, which Six didn't say. Many ranger kits are so similar. Vanilla Archer and Bowslinger... Disadvantages of Forest Runner and Wilderness runner.

I've nothing really against kits being similar, it's just not as good as kits being different. If the Archer/Bowslinger overlap bothers you, just don't install the Bowslinger. I just think that if we're offering more diverse deities to worship, we should be offering more diverse kits. Like, as you said, a Ranger kit that has disadvantages other than armor restrictions.

 

Next thing. Weapon restrictions. It should be something like that, but only if the Ashes of Embers is installed.

Yep, I agree. Mind you, I think Ashes of Embers still has some kinks to work out (for instance, Mages can use Longbows, but Thieves can't?), but I think a general loosening of (pointless) item restrictions opens the game up so much that it's practically a required component. Before, Clerics differed only by alignment, race (and like that makes a hell of a difference), and what other, more diverse class you Multied or Dualed with. Where Fighters could specialize in, say, Spear and Crossbow, or Dual-wielding Hammers, or being the Fastest Dart Thrower on the Sword Coast, Clerics all followed the same pattern of Full Plate, Shield, Sling of Everard, and either the FoA, DoE, or CFaeyr. No variety.

So, I for one feel that at best, Divine Remix and Ashes of Embers should be combined into one mod, or at least, DR should operate with the assumption that the Sensible Weapons components of AoE have been installed.

 

 

Why should lots of cleric kits have special resistances/immunities?

Mostly, for additional roleplaying flavor, since I think I don't think the existing kits are really crying out for anything you haven't already provided in that regard. I would, however, like to see the Lorekeeper of Oghma immune to Feeblemind and maybe Rigid Thinking, and the Heartwarder of Sune immune to Contagion. But as those spells are practically never cast in-game, it's no big deal.

 

half the favored weapon types are not actually usable by clerics, so you would be giving an unfair advantage to some kits over others.

One of the reasons I'd like to see Divine Remix combined with AoE.

 

We have talked about introducing different item restrictions for different kits, but the problem is that, due to engine limitations, it isn't possible to allow kits to use items that aren't available to the base class.  So we could *add* more restrictions to certain kits, but given clerics' rather severe existing weapon restrictions, that's probably not a good idea.

Read you loud and clear, and huzzah for all your (and everyone else's) efforts to attempt to buck the system and push the Infinity Engine to do more than it was ever designed to do. But until/unless you guys actually do manage to talk some sense into the computer, have you completely written off the idea of writing the kit descriptions on the honor system? Such as, oh, let's say there's some god who holds odd numbers to be unlucky, and so for the kit's Disadvantages you write in that the priests "Cannot use weapons of odd-numbered enchantment," something that there's no way we could ever hope to enforce, but just take it on faith that the players will feel honor-bound to obey the requirement and not use +1, +3, or +5 weapons?

 

In an ideal world, those kits of more martially inclined deities would have better THAC0 and fewer spell slots.  However, the only way to make a kit have less slots than the base class is to give it an innate that removes spell slots... and the game really doesn't like it when you do that.

Who says that all THAC0 adjustments have to be to the person's advantage? Besides, there are plenty of other things to take away besides spells: Turn Undead, the bonus spells that all the DR kits currently have, the kit's recieving a Holy Symbol. Or you could balance out the level-based THAC0 bonuses with armor restrictions or level-based AC penalties, something that would work just fine for, say, a Priest of Garagos or Baghtru.

 

IIRC it [adding extra spells to a kit's spellbook] was decided not to be worth it.  It uses up the limited space available in the spellbook for that kit, and isn't realy worth it in terms of development time either.

Considering the number of spell spheres restricted from each kit, and the fact that adding kit-specific spells is something that can be monitored very closely, I don't think you're in any danger of exceeding 16 spells/level. As for why not, why can't Heartwarders of Sune cast Friends? Or Authlim of Iyachtu Xvim cast Spook or Skull Trap?

 

. . . no two kits HLA pools are the same.  Quest level spells have all been assigned spheres (though most are in at least two), and each kit only kits those HLAs belonging to spheres they have access to. . . . Finally, several DR kits have HLAs from other classes (Avoid Death, Death Blow, Evasion, Hardiness, Power Attack, Resist Magic, Tracking, and Whirlwind have all been "adopted" for particular kits).

Good and good. I see Hardiness as an obvious no-brainer for Painbearers, and perhaps Evasion & Avoid Death as well, but I would expect to see something like Scribe Scrolls for Lorekeepers as well. But since HLA pool adjustments are really part of the kits' Advantages & Disadvantages, they really should be part of the Kit Description as well.

 

[Clerics using Thieving skills is] Not possible due to engine limitations.

Really? You can't, for example, increase a Watcher of Helm's Detect Illusions stat by 3% every other level, and then just stick a "Detect Illusions" icon behind his Special Abilities button? It doesn't need to work exactly like a Thief's ability to be useful enough to make the Watcher be useful in ways that a pureclass Cleric could never be.

 

They [DR's Cleric kits] are more different than most of the unmodded game's kits are from their base class, IMHO.

I disagree. People don't play a Swashbuckler anything like the way they play an Assassin, yet both fulfill the role of "Thief" just fine. Same with the Archer and the Stalker. The Kensai and Berserker almost couldn't be more different. What you have done with DR is put the Cleric kits on the same level as the 8 nearly-identical Mage kits: Exactly the same, except there are certain spells that you can't use. The difference is that, with the Thief, Ranger, and Fighter kits I listed above, the difference in play is evident practically all the time. With the Mage and Cleric kits, the differences only appear during spellcasting, and the player will have tailored their spellbook to mask the gap as well as possible--as opposed to actually casting the types of spells that should be their favorites. (When's the last time you had Jan say, "Gee, I can't cast ADHW. I know that Incendiary Cloud is the next best thing, but I think I'll just memorize Simulacrum instead.")

 

While I'm thinking about it, somebody dropped the ball on the Spiritual Weapons as well: They're all tediously identical, the "Fury of Talos" doesn't even add electrical damage. Try things like having the Tendril of Flame live up to its name by having a % chance of casting Aganazzar's Scorcher on the target on each hit--5% chance per enchantment level of the weapon. The Hand of Ilmater could impose THAC0 or Speed Factor penalties to the target, the Scimitar of Souls could be Vorpal, something like that.

 

Only five of DR's 11 current kits actually have access to [Holy Smite and Animate Dead] . . . You're also ignoring the new level 3 spells added by DR; in particular, Alicorn Lance, Cause Blindness and Deafness, Cause Disease and Moonblade are all pretty handy spells.

I find Moonblade useful enough to be one of Jaheira's memorized spells in my edited version of her CRE file when starting out in Irenicus's Dungeon. (Because neither she nor Minsc can see any available weapons or armor, so he's got Shillelagh and she's also got Barkskin.) And I suppose that Cure Blindness would be useful if you're playing Weimer's Improved Undead and are stuck with those damned Blindness spells that take about 8 hours to wear off. But apart from that, sorry, I just don't think those spells are on the same power level with the rest of the game--certainly not with Holy Smite and Animate Dead.

 

 

We considered choosing your deity in game, but it became extremely complicated and no matter how hard we tried to hide it (we were gonna have an ability that triggered a dialogue allowing you to pray to different gods) it was still choosing by dialogue, which always jars horribly.

Not necessarily. An invisible creature speaking to you before Imoen even unlocks your cell is shockingly unrealistic, this is so, but what about a stranger simply inquiring as to your faith? Aataqah might be a perfectly good person to whom to proclaim your devotion. But regardless, I don't think Clerics should be broken down like "War Priest," "Summoning Priest," "Healer Priest," "Scholar Priest" or the like--I say, leave that broader style of classification to the Paladins, while the Clerics focus on specific gods. If a Paladin kit tends toward a certain deity, that's fine, and if more than 1 Cleric kit tends to promote the same basic portfolio, that's fine too, but I just like the current setup of Clerics going towards which god they worship, and Paladins going toward how they serve their god.

Link to post
Considering the number of spell spheres restricted from each kit, and the fact that adding kit-specific spells is something that can be monitored very closely, I don't think you're in any danger of exceeding 16 spells/level.

 

I just realized it's actually 24, not 16 :). Anyway, the cleric kits are usually well into double figures at each level, and there are a few instances where it actually exceeds 16 (particular at 3rd level), though there are also a number of exceptions (most notably with 4th level spells).

 

However, DR druids, paladins, and rangers are all currently extremely lacking in terms of spell choice, so our priority when it comes to new spells should really be for those spheres that these three classes have access to. This will, of course, also eat up slots for those cleric kits which have access to the same spheres.

 

 

As for why not, why can't Heartwarders of Sune cast Friends? Or Authlim of Iyachtu Xvim cast Spook or Skull Trap?

 

Because they're priests, not wizards?

Link to post

On HLAs: We thought about mentioning HLA selection in the kit screen, but decided against it (I think because the existing kits don't). One thing about HLAs is that I for one don't like ToB so haven't really done very much about them.

 

On skills: Actually, has anyone tried that? If it could be made to work in a similar fashion to thief skills, it would be quite cool.

 

Thinking again about weapons, I would like to try the loosened weapon restrictions, although I'd probably break it down as follows (in a more 3.5E-esque fashion):

- Kitless Clerics/those worshipping a deity without a particularly martial bent would be able to use "simple" weapons. These would pretty much match the current game's restrictions, but allow use of other weapons classed as "simple" in 3.5E (notably daggers and crossbows), and take away only one or two (flails and morningstars).

- Clerics worshipping either a rogueish or elven deity (due to racial weapon preferences) would also have access to various one-handed swords, and bows.

- Clerics worshipping a martial deity would have access to all weapon types, and probably also the ability to specialise in weapons.

 

This'd reclassify the base class usabilities slightly, and then use 2 of the 3 available Cleric kit slots for the other weapon types. We can control armour restrictions to a degree already, using existing kit flags from other classes. It'd cause conflicts with maybe Refinements, but that's it, isn't it?

Link to post
I just realized it's actually 24, not 16 :).  Anyway, the cleric kits are usually well into double figures at each level, and there are a few instances where it actually exceeds 16 (particular at 3rd level), though there are also a number of exceptions (most notably with 4th level spells).

I just counted up the spells available to Clerics, including all of those added by DR, and there's room for 5 brand-new spells at Level 1, 10 at Level 2, 0 at Level 3, 6 at Level 4, 8 at Level 5, 12 at Level 6, and 7 at 7--although factor in the HLA spells at Level 7 and there's actually 1 spell over the limit. . . and Ranger/Clerics might be over the limit at Level 3 as well. But those numbers are really for kitless Clerics, those who have spell restrictions would obviously know fewer spells. So there's plenty of room for new spells open only to specific kits. If you don't like the idea of new spells, just say so, don't say the engine can't handle it.

 

However, DR druids, paladins, and rangers are all currently extremely lacking in terms of spell choice, so our priority when it comes to new spells should really be for those spheres that these three classes have access to.  This will, of course, also eat up slots for those cleric kits which have access to the same spheres.

True. But, again, that's no reason not to make kit-specific spells.

 

Because they're priests, not wizards?

Extrapolate that idea, and you'll be arguing that we shouldn't be modding at all. I hardly think that's why we're here.

 

 

On HLAs: We thought about mentioning HLA selection in the kit screen, but decided against it (I think because the existing kits don't). One thing about HLAs is that I for one don't like ToB so haven't really done very much about them.

If there was, for example, a Fighter kit that had nothing but Thief HLAs, I for one would want to know about it before investing 3 million EXP in the character. If the HLAs are part of the balance, then they're part of the balance. Besides, since it's perfectly easy to exceed the SoA EXP cap while you've still got 1/3rd of SoA to go, it's perfectly plausible to hate ToB but love HLAs.

 

We can control armour restrictions to a degree already, using existing kit flags from other classes. It'd cause conflicts with maybe Refinements, but that's it, isn't it?

So--if the new kit is only allowed to wear up to Splint mail, you can make the game think the kit is a Barbarian as far as armor is concerned? Truly kickass if it really works that way. Even so . . . .

 

Thinking again about weapons, I would like to try the loosened weapon restrictions, although I'd probably break it down as follows:

- Kitless Clerics/those worshipping a deity without a particularly martial bent ....

- Clerics worshipping either a rogueish or elven deity ....

- Clerics worshipping a martial deity ....

This'd reclassify the base class usabilities slightly, and then use 2 of the 3 available Cleric kit slots for the other weapon types.

On the whole, I think NiGHTMARE's more comprehensive system (this weapon is sharp, this weapon is metal, this weapon is "simple," this weapon is mechanical, etc) is better, and possibly the only thing really worth overhauling the entire system of kit-usability flags for. Unbearably complex, sure, and it'd take years to implement, but it's the only to get as close to perfect as the Infinity Engine can get. Still, for now, a "kit-flag-borrowing" system should work well enough.

 

 

We could just have a crossmodish thing with AoE i.e. if AoE is installed, we remove the spirtual weapons for each kit and instead give them bonuses in using that weapon type.

I see no reason to remove the Spiritual Weapons if they add flavor. But yes, I don't imagine there will be many people who will install DR but not the Sensible Weapons components of AoE. And since DR is (or at least should be) installed practically last, there goes your problem. I imagine you could also get Ghrey's permission to copy the components wholesale into DR, with a detect to see if they've already been put in by AoE.

 

 

[ADD] Oh yeah, the Holy Symbols. Are the new ones all Rings? I hope not. Iyachtu Xvim should obviously be Gauntlets, Helm should be either Gauntlets or a Shield with the emblem, Ilmater should be a Shield, Sune would probably get a Necklace, Lathander could be a circlet (in the Helmet slot), there could be Belts, Boots, etc.

Link to post

IIRC Xvim is a gauntlet, yeah. Cyric was, I think, also going to be a gauntlet when we did him.

 

I think if no type of symbol was clearly specified by the sourcebooks we just went for rings otherwise.

Link to post

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...