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Consumables and Effect Power

Tuoweit
Mistwalker
The other dynamic that we have to keep in mind of that of charges - casting an orison will use up charges when ammo comes into the game. Using a charge and only healing 50 HP for a new player vs the 300 HP that a veteran player can get with their rank 4 orison, in my opinion, will devalue the aid/usefulness of a new player.

The veteran with a rank 4 orison is also using a more expensive T2 charge.
Yrme
Mistwalker
The other dynamic that we have to keep in mind of that of charges - casting an orison will use up charges when ammo comes into the game. Using a charge and only healing 50 HP for a new player vs the 300 HP that a veteran player can get with their rank 4 orison, in my opinion, will devalue the aid/usefulness of a new player.

The new cleric's charge for a rank 1 orison will be less costly than the veteran's T2 charge for a rank 4 orison, just like the new archer's arrows for rank 1-3 attacks will be less costly than the veteran archer's arrows for T2 attacks.

And just as the general might have to use a handful of green archers to overcome the defenses of a T2 fighter, he might have to use a handful of green clerics to keep a T2 fighter in the fray. And the combined products of a handful of apprentice alchemists might be needed to match the effects of a journeyman alchemist.
At some point, crowdforging suggestions seem to be like fan fiction. Some good, some bad, some repetitious and predictable. But maybe there are some gems out there.
Decius
The damage that a t1 character is taking from a level-appropriate creature is not 1/6 the damage that a t3 character is taking from a level-appropriate creature. It's roughly equal.

A mid-t1 cleric focused on keeping someone from not-dying should be able to keep them alive until they run out of charges while almost any single mid-t1 monster is attacking them, and while any one of a few specific t2 monsters who are using attacks that the defense is effective against. Not "Be part of a group of clerics that only combined have a noticeable effect at any level", but "Have a major effect by themselves when operating on their level."
Nihimon
Midnight
Nihimon
You simply won't be effective using Rank 1 Heals, or Tier 1 +0 Consumables when you're running around in Tier 2 +2 Armor fighting other folks in Tier 2 +2 Armor. To me, this is the main thing that mitigates the effectiveness of the "monsters in the basement" (1,000 XP alts whose sole purpose is murder and mayhem).

I actually know of ZERO instances in our over 100 days of EE where anyone has exploited an alt that way. You're worried about a possibility that no one has found even tempting, much less appealing, in my opinion.

I don't think it's worth worrying about until this game has the kind of playerbase that makes it profitable. We're not going to have a game to enjoy if new players don't subscribe and stay.

I don't think new players will like hearing "Well, we used to be GREAT characters with tier 1 because EVERYONE was using it, but now tier 1 makes you a scrub, so go out and gather for weeks because gathering is the only activity where the game doesn't penalize you for being a new player."

I apologize for muddying the waters with the additional comment about 1,000 XP Alts. I hope you don't think I expected 1,000 XP Alts to be running around in Tier 2 +2 Armor. The primary concern I have is about folks in Tier 2 +2 Armor, not the 1,000 XP Alts.
Nihimon murmurs in sheer ecstasy as the magic courses through his veins
Giorgio
Guurzak
New player friendly may not be a priority for you but I'm confident it is for Ryan.

The game in its current state is very difficult and frustrating to many PF TT players and to players new to MMOs; the low population levels, the lack of 15 day account conversions, the "why my guild is leaving" threads, and the general apathy from many in the current player base I would argue is a sign that this game is struggling to attract, retain and motive players.

Improving the New Player Experience (TM) is something I strongly believe should be a priority after Holdings & Outposts are on their 2nd or 3rd iteration.

Even more important if the subscription numbers plummet in May when the "Free" KS game time expires (as Bluddwolf's doom and gloom warnings have been predicting for months; I'd hate to see him proven right.)
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Nihimon
Giorgio
The game in its current state is very difficult and frustrating to many PF TT players and to players new to MMOs…

New Players need something obvious to do. They need to be able to intuitively figure out not only that it needs to be done, but also how to do it. The low-hanging fruit here is Buy Orders on the AH. They'll see that they can go out and adventure or gather and sell the stuff they get for Coin to train. They should also be able to see that they can buy something at one Settlement and move it to another Settlement for profit. This is the game loop that Ryan's been writing about for years.
Nihimon murmurs in sheer ecstasy as the magic courses through his veins
Stephen Cheney
Apparently I picked a contentious week to go on vacation smile .

We're seriously discussing everyone's points in this thread around the office, and any of this might change, but I wanted to explain the logic for why things work the way they work right now and clear up a couple of misconceptions:

As designed, consumables are expendables that are consumed rather than costing Power, that are crafted rather than costing XP, and that use their quality instead of matching keywords to determine their damage and effect power. That is, your consumable slots are treated pretty much exactly like two more expendables, as far as their balance is concerned in the current implementation.

So under our current paradigm, anything that is true of expendables (except for Power cost, XP to learn, and matching keywords to your role feature) has to be true of consumables. If a healing potion ignored effect protection, and had a flat, built-in scaling by plus value, that would somehow have to apply to the rest of expendables (and most of combat, since expendables aren't really that different from attacks, either). So while we'll look at whether changes like that make sense, I expect the tech hurdles to be pretty high, as our consumables rely heavily on the logic for every other kind of action.

Minor points/clarifications:
  • Consumables use the same EPow logic as expendables and they actually get 1.4 EPow per keyword (rounded down), so you essentially see a progression of EPow that goes 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 12 as you get more keywords for expendables and pluses for consumables. That is, EPow from consumables should keep up with EPro from armor as there's functionally an extra +1 per Tier that I didn't see people including in their math in this and the other threads.
  • That said, we didn't get in the fix for higher-Tier consumables so all T2 consumables are currently about 4 EPow behind (and T3 will be 8 ). Higher pluses count for higher keyword value, but it's not yet using level in the equation the way it's supposed to be. Any T2 potions will presently be 40% less than expected because of this.
  • I'm seeing reports that EPow vs. EPro may be failing to work as expected in general in some cases, but we haven't yet been able to reproduce. You should be seeing a pretty straightforward difference of 10% per EP variation, so getting a 140 heal on 350 Channel Positive Energy should be happening if you're fully matching T2+2 armor and getting no keywords on the CPE, but it should not be that low if you're matching any keywords on the CPE.
  • I have a combat tech goal to adjust the EP system to scale up somewhat rather than stay flat (using the expected numbers to start the change, you'd get +15% for every EPow and only -10% for every EPro) to give some sense of progression, but that tech change isn't scheduled yet.
  • We did get in the "Cure X%" effect (which heals based on a percentage of target max HP rather than a flat number) for EE8, and I'm experimenting with using that on the orison and utility heals to see how it feels. The flat Heal effect can't really scale by level except using EP, making things like Minor Cure and Channel Positive Energy possibly too good at low level and not good enough at high level.
  • I am worried that healing is so much more desirable than other buff types, as a result of all other current truths about the implementation of the combat system, so I'm pretty hesitant to make any improvements to healing that don't also result in a global attractiveness improvement for other types of buffs.

In general, we can't do a lot of the scaling that other MMOs do at higher levels because one of our core combat design goals was that lower-level characters should always be able to do something, even against max level characters. That something might not be much, but the more we make the numbers scale, the more likely it is that high-level players can ignore low level ones completely. Thus, a lot of effects were designed to scale in duration or magnitude based on the relative strengths of characters, rather than scaling in an absolute way (which would require faster increases on the higher-level numbers to absorb lower level magnitudes). That said, we may have already introduced enough scaling into various areas of the system that the combat environment as a whole needs to be reexamined to see if it's accomplishing this goal.

And that's my brain dump of rationales and information on the topic first morning back after a week off. I don't intend to disagree or agree with anyone's points at this time, merely to clarify the debate. So please carry on smile .
Decius
Stephen Cheney
  • I am worried that healing is so much more desirable than other buff types, as a result of all other current truths about the implementation of the combat system, so I'm pretty hesitant to make any improvements to healing that don't also result in a global attractiveness improvement for other types of buffs.
I think that one is mostly psychological; it's hard to see how good Cold Resistant is when fighting a Mordant Spire Champion, and it's easy to see how much good Minor Cure does. I think there's a similar problem with getting the feedback about how much harm debuffs are doing to opponents.
Nihimon
Stephen Cheney
Consumables use the same EPow logic as expendables and they actually get 1.4 EPow per keyword (rounded down), so you essentially see a progression of EPow that goes 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 12 as you get more keywords for expendables and pluses for consumables.

Thanks for pointing that out.

Do Consumables get extra Effect Power at +4 or +5?
Nihimon murmurs in sheer ecstasy as the magic courses through his veins
Stephen Cheney
Yeah, a +5 T1 consumable is functionally matching 5 keywords. Once T2 and T3 are working correctly, a T3 +5 will have the same effect as matching 11 keywords, for a 15 EPow.
 
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