Project Update #15: Classes!

Discussion in 'News Comments' started by Dark Elf, Oct 4, 2012.

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  1. Dark Elf

    Dark Elf Administrator Staff Member

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    <blockquote><b>Posted by Obsidian Entertainment</b>

    <object width="640" height="360"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/Cdf2wHt1vBo?version=3&hl=sv_SE"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/Cdf2wHt1vBo?version=3&hl=sv_SE" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="640" height="360" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object>

    In today's update, I'll be talking about new stretch goals and the "core four" classes. We also have some fantastic art for you that illustrates five of our adventurers engaged in some classic dungeon exploration. Other great stuff going on includes <a href="http://www.reddit.com/r/projecteternity/comments/10ummz/a_message_from_tim_cain_and_another_reddit_q_a/">Tim Cain’s reddit on combat</a> and you can now pledge with PayPal over on the <a href="http://eternity.obsidian.net/">Project Eternity Site</a>.

    And, for our Polish- and Russian-speaking fans - we are very happy to announce that distributors in Poland and Russia will be handling localization for these two languages, so we will be able to provide them without requiring a stretch goal!

    <img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/ksr/assets/000/190/780/e49917855934dcc9a6b2ee4bc18cf8e7_large.jpg" />

    <b>PayPal</b>

    First things first: our PayPal is now set up and ready to use! If you'd like to back the project using PayPal, you can do from the Project Eternity homepage at Obsidian:

    <a href="http://eternity.obsidian.net/">http://eternity.obsidian.net/</a>

    Please note that pledges made through PayPal will not show up on our Kickstarter page, though we will count them toward stretch goals at the end of the campaign.

    <b>$2.5M and $2.6M Stretch Goals - Barbarian and Cipher, Adventurer's Hall with Party Creation</b>

    Since the days are counting down, we'd like to introduce two new stretch goals. As you'll read in a few more paragraphs, Project Eternity is currently slated to support seven classes. Our current roster includes fighters, priests, rogues, wizards, rangers, monks, and druids. We believe this represents the common core and several popular secondary classes that many players enjoyed using in the Infinity Engine games. We would like to use our <b>$2.5M</b> stretch goal to include two additional classes: the <b>barbarian</b> and the <b>cipher</b>.

    <img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/ksr/assets/000/190/774/424ccc53930f19fec94c2b470020e573_large.jpg">

    <b>Barbarians come</b> from many of the more remote cultures found across the world. In the Dyrwood, they are commonly found among Glanfathan elf communities. They are distinguished from fighters by their recklessness, ferocity, and their predilection to substitute raw aggression for discipline. Barbarians are a challenge to deal with on a battlefield, though they are vulnerable to exhaustion if they don't pace themselves.

    <b>Ciphers</b> are uncommon and often misunderstood individuals with extraordinary mental abilities. Like wizards and priests, they have many talents that draw directly from their souls, but ciphers have the unique ability to peer through the spiritual energy of the world to manipulate other souls. While wizards use complex formulae in large tomes and priests tap into the passion of their faith, ciphers are able to operate directly through the power of their minds... and yours.

    But wait, we're not done yet! We've been reading a lot of feedback online about classes, companions, and party composition options. We want to give people the ability to build their parties as they like and we also want to allow people to experience the full spectrum of class mechanics. Companions go a long way toward achieving that goal while also providing a ton of reactivity in the world. Even so, we'd like to do more.

    <img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/ksr/assets/000/190/777/f54f8a4237bb46103ff831e7089e2c95_large.jpg" />

    At <b>$2.6M</b>, we will add an <b>Adventurer's Hall</b> to the world. In the Free Palatinate of Dyrwood, adventurers and mercenaries from across the world are often employed as personal bodyguards, elite security, or salvage (plunder) teams that venture into the forgotten corners of Eír Glanfath. A lot of the folks who hang out as such places are robbers and miscreants, but reliable agents can be found and employed with a bit of patience.

    What does this mean for you? It means that if you don't like a companion, or if you don't like any of our companions, you won't be cut off from having characters of their classes. Over time, you can build your own custom parties to play through the game. If you want a party of monks or all casters, this gives you the ability to do it within the game while still maintaining the pacing of the standard PC + companions play style.

    And now that that's out of the way, let's talk about..

    <b>Classes: the "Core Four"</b>

    Classes in Project Eternity are meant to provide a general framework for character types. Different classes excel in different areas, but the framework can be extended and elaborated on in a multitude of ways to create characters with unique capabilities. If you see a fighter, chances are good that he or she is going to be able to take a lot of damage, but that's about all you can be sure of. If you see a wizard, he or she probably has some hard-hitting spells that can cover a large area, but his potential list of capabilities is vast.

    If you want to create a wizard who wears plate armor and hacks away with a broadsword from behind a heavily-enhanced arcane veil, we want to let you do that. If your idea of the perfect fighter is one who wears light armor and uses a variety of dazzling rapier attacks in rapid succession, we want to help you make that character. So it's good to think of Project Eternity's classes as being purpose-ready but not purpose-limited.

    To date, through our Kickstarter campaign, you have helped us fund seven classes. In our design, we started with the "core four" because they are the most broadly familiar and also some of the most versatile: the fighter, the priest, the rogue, and the wizard. To these four, you helped us add three specialized, but popular, classes: the ranger, the monk, and the druid. The design of each class has a solid, distinctive base set of abilities that remain in most builds, but will have a large number of optional specializations and alterations to give players a high level of flexibility in developing an individual character's particular style.

    Though we are still early in development, we'd like to let you know the rough ideas on what the “core four” classes of Project Eternity encompass:

    <b>Fighter</b> - Fighters are men and women trained to use a wide variety of traditional weapons in brutal combat. They are often put in -- or put themselves in -- harm's way and are built to take an extraordinary amount of punishment. Though not traditionally as mobile as the monk nor as likely to dish out individually withering attacks as a rogue, fighters are dependable and flexible, able to shift between a variety of attack modes that alternate between high damage, maintaining a strong defense, weakening opponents, and dealing harsh retribution to those who attack his or her allies. Some fighters build up arsenals of feints, knockdowns, and special attacks rather than rely on the “slow and steady” approach.

    And while fighters are often thought of as being primarily melee-based, they can specialize in a variety of weapons, including bows, crossbows, and even firearms. They're unlikely to outclass rangers at their own game, but fighters can be almost as dangerous at a distance as they are up close. Though it may not look like it to see them in battle next to wizards and priests, fighters are just as able to tap into the power of their souls to devastating effect: accelerating their attacks to a superhuman speed, striking foes with such power that nearby opponents are knocked off their feet, and maintaining a phenomenal endurance that allows them to rapidly bounce back from even terrible wounds.

    When they aren't locked in life and death struggles, fighters are, unsurprisingly, often quite athletically capable. Even so, it's not uncommon to find fighters who are stealthy and well-educated. Moving unseen and knowing how to get out of a jam can come in handy even for them.

    <b>Priest</b> - In a world with many gods, there are many different types of priests. Though the majority of priests spend their time tending to worshipers or engaged in relatively peaceful pursuits, there are ranks of dedicated adventuring or mercenary priests who have turned the flame of their faith into a spark to ignite the power of their souls. Such men and women have found a divine link to their chosen deity, but their abilities stem solely from within.

    Dedicated to spreading the news of their gods' dominions in the realms of mortals through their own deeds, adventuring priests thrust themselves into lethal conflict to prove their worth. Often trained to fight alongside soldiers of their respective churches, priests are capable in the fray (and near the fray, for those who follow less melee-oriented faiths), but their true power comes from their prayers, faith-inspired miracles that aid their allies and punish their enemies. These miracles range from combat blessings, weapon enchantments, and protective barriers to divine summons, sanctified wards, and crippling curses. In many ways, the prayers of priests have almost as much variety as wizards spells, though priests are restricted to invoking prayers that are aligned with their faith. Additionally, priests often specialize in the weapons, armor, and litanies of prayers most beloved by their church. Thus, the multitude of gods produces a multitude of different priests, each with their own unique array of abilities.

    Most priests are church-educated and are widely versed in many types of lore. However, some priests get by on pure faith alone, having little knowledge of the world around them. Such battle priests often lean more heavily on their athletic abilities when they are in the field.

    <b>Rogue</b> - Contrary to what their name might imply, rogues come from many walks of life. They are cutpurses, thugs, and courtesans but also aristocrats, diplomats, and personal guards. Often separated by station in life, they are united by their reliance on wits, speed, and subterfuge to achieve their goals. The way of the rogue is not to stand toe-to-toe with the biggest brute in the room and exchange body blows, but to glance away in feigned confusion and slip an unseen blade between the brute's ribs as he turns his attention. When a room explodes in a storm of fire, the fighters grit their teeth, the priests pray for salvation, and the wizards fumble to find a spell to protect them, but the rogues just... disappear. They excel at being in the one place where no one's looking, at kicking people when they're down, at taunting a foe into turning its back on the rogue's ally while he or she nimbly skips away, and at being just too damned slippery to pin down.

    Whether they pack a pair of daggers, a fine rapier, a slim bow, a stubby pistol, or a brutish club, rogues haul a carnival of pain with them wherever they go. If their natural tendencies weren't dangerous enough, their affinity for skullduggery allows some talented rogues to tap into their souls to perform amazing stunts: fading from view in plain sight, briefly cloaking their allies in a veil of shadow, imbuing their weapons with a soul-eating venom, or even becoming so insubstantial that blades barely hurt them.

    While rogues are known for their stealthy nature both in and out of battle, many of them are quite talented with machines and contraptions of all sorts. High-born rogues are often very knowledgeable about esoteric, while many low-born rogues are well-equipped to survive in the wild.

    <b>Wizard</b> - Widely respected in most societies, wizards of Project Eternity are men and women of high education and extreme mental discipline, if not always outright intelligence. Wizards are sometimes called navigators of the mortal soul, charting out and practicing the precise ways in which “ordinary” people can unlock the power inside of themselves. Using their knowledge to truly spectacular ends, wizards rely not only on ancient practices but also their own research to propel them forward. Far from being occult or protected knowledge, most wizards' spells are just so incredibly complex and physically demanding that even practiced wizards cannot invoke them without the use of expensive, specially-enchanted tomes.

    And what do the tomes contain? Instructions on ways to use one's soul to alter reality, to warp time around enemies, to make skin as tough as stone, to counter even the most powerful magic, to invoke balls of flame, bolts of lightning, gouts of acid, to conjure nightmares out of thin air. Truly, the possibilities open to wizards seem to exceed even those of what priests can call upon through their faith. And though any wizard may prepare several tomes, an inexperienced caster is not capable of channeling power through the log-thick, anvil-heavy, dog-eared grimoires of wizened archmagi. Such novices must alternate between more modest selections, relying on their less demanding spells and talents when they are unable to call upon their tomes.

    Wizards are often assumed to be masters of occult lore. While this certainly applies to their knowledge of spells, many wizards are so narrowly-focused that they are ignorant of outside culture and history. It is also not uncommon for wizards to delight as much in mechanical curiosities as rogues. Because their powers make them targets in battle, a surprising number of wizards are quite fit, even if they aren't particularly strong.

    That's all for our class update, but we wanted to give you a piece of art to show you examples of characters you may encounter (and adventure with) in Project Eternity. We hope you enjoy this fantastic painting from Kieran Yanner, and we have wallpapers of the art available in different resolutions.

    <img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/ksr/assets/000/190/780/e49917855934dcc9a6b2ee4bc18cf8e7_large.jpg?1349300271" />

    <a href="http://media.obsidian.net/eternity/media/wallpapers/wallpaper001/wallpaper001-1280x1024.jpg">1280x1024</a> | <a href="http://media.obsidian.net/eternity/media/wallpapers/wallpaper001/wallpaper001-1650x1050.jpg">1650x1050</a> | <a href="http://media.obsidian.net/eternity/media/wallpapers/wallpaper001/wallpaper001-1920x1080.jpg">1920x1080</a> | <a href="http://media.obsidian.net/eternity/media/wallpapers/wallpaper001/wallpaper001-1920x1200.jpg">1920x1200</a> | <a href="http://media.obsidian.net/eternity/media/wallpapers/wallpaper001/wallpaper001-2048x1536.jpg">2048x1536</a>

    Thanks for reading!

    <i>Update by Josh Sawyer</i>

    <a href="http://forums.obsidian.net/topic/61013-update-15-paypal-polish-and-russian-support-25m26m-stretch-goals-new-reddit-qa-classes-and-art/">FORUMS: Join the class discussion and everything else in Update #15 in our forums!</a>


    <a href="http://www.facebook.com/obsidian">Obsidian's Facebook Page</a>

    <a href="http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/obsidian/project-eternity/posts/321413?ref=email&show_token=ed7dceef0f394390">Care to comment? View this update on Kickstarter →</a>

    </blockquote>
     
  2. Jojobobo

    Jojobobo Well-Known Member

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    I don't know what to make of the classes really, I'm playing through Icewind Dale II again at the minute and they do seem pretty much exactly the same. Well that's all fine and good, I think I expected a little bit more originality (even if it was just in how the classes were named) then having them almost the same as the D&D world; obviously there are archetypes that need to be filled in any class system but filling them in precisely the same way as they have been before wasn't what I was expecting. Hopefully $2.5 million will be reached so the Cipher can be unlocked, which does sound like something a bit out of the ordinary (there are psions in D&D but I've not seen them in games before) and the class I'd most like to play.

    I also noticed that rogues use "machines" - maybe there will be some more high end technology a la Arcanum.
     
  3. Muro

    Muro Well-Known Member

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    Classic races and classes are nice, but indeed that which stands out is the most appealing. Given the game's setting revolving around souls, I'd like to roll a godlike cipher for my first game. The Adventurer's Hall, while not necessarily useful in the first game, may make for some nice replay value in subsequent playthroughs, neatly enhancing the game's longevity.
     
  4. Yuki

    Yuki Well-Known Member

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    The thing I liked most about Icewind Dale was the opportunity for character creation and roleplaying. And now, my currently most anticipated video game is adding the option of going Icewind Dale? So good.
     
  5. Dark Elf

    Dark Elf Administrator Staff Member

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    Wizards also use machines. I will so roll a shotgun mage.
     
  6. Jojobobo

    Jojobobo Well-Known Member

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    After re-reading that bit, so they do. It'll be refreshing to play a game where magic and technology are not actually at odds after so much Arcanum.
     
  7. Dark Elf

    Dark Elf Administrator Staff Member

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    Makes all the sense in the world for mages to use firearms. They'll be in the backrow anyway, typically sport ability scores conducive to ranged weaponry and as we all know, to properly kill an enemy incantations and hexes must often be assisted by corporal saturation of deflagration-propelled lead.
     
  8. werozzi

    werozzi Member

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    I'm looking forward to exterminate some arcane procrastinators with a fair share of hot lead!
     
  9. magikot

    magikot Well-Known Member

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  10. Jungle Japes

    Jungle Japes Well-Known Member

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    Am I the only one that thinks bards are a stupid concept in roleplaying games? Oh no, bad guys! Quick, sing a song at them and maybe they'll, what? Die of audible duress? The only game I remember ever implementing a bard skill in a believable way was Betrayal at Krondor. If you upped your lute skill enough, you could play at inns and taverns and earn a few gold. If you sucked, you got thrown out.

    Game mechanics aside, the only bards I remember encountering in RPG's were, much like real-world musicians, huge toolbags.
     
  11. werozzi

    werozzi Member

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    I use bards only to roleplay, to relax the real heroes and write /sing about them, like sir Robin's minstrels in a movie referenced many times in a famous interplay game.
    I also like to have a character in my party with social/merchant skills and no remarkable combat ability, except provoking or making enemies sleep with music, like a death metal/ classic music player.

    The very best class for my style of play is the rogue, so i hope that they develop a decent stealth system.
    Skyrim's was just overpowered (Well, in a second thought, Skyrim is all overpowered and dumbed down)
     
  12. magikot

    magikot Well-Known Member

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    Skalds in DAoC are great bard classes. They chant through combat buffing their allies as a representation of increasing their morale. Also a bard would have great out of combat abilities like playing at the inn/tavern for some extra gold, or being generally charming to bypass combat altogether. How they would incorporate the soul portion into the bard class would be interesting to see.
     
  13. Dark Elf

    Dark Elf Administrator Staff Member

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    CRPG's also tend to suck horribly at properly implementing the bard, as class descriptions typically outline them as loremasters, spies and diplomats even in games where all you ever do is maximise the damage output of your party. Using disguise and bluff to trick oneself into a noble's mansion, singing the lone guard down in the basement to sleep and using one's knowledge of ancient lore to decipher the mysterious, crumbling old scroll kept down there just never happens. And even if it's possible, just killing everyone typically yields ten times the XP and loot anyway... without having you suffer the repercussions normally trailing in the wake of a bloodbath, of course!

    I certainly don't have a problem with songs and poetry being a catalyst for magic, what with it being a staple of mythology and all. The bard has a lot of potential, I just want to see it done right for a change. More Celtic Bard and Nordic Skald, less D&D Clown.
     
  14. werozzi

    werozzi Member

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    But Dark Elf, i want to have a clown in my party...
     
  15. Muro

    Muro Well-Known Member

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    By the way, did the wallpaper from the update remind anyone else of something?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  16. Jojobobo

    Jojobobo Well-Known Member

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    It dun looks like that there Fallout picature!
     
  17. Muro

    Muro Well-Known Member

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    Just noticed they changed the Project Eternity logo, dropping the Ouroboros in favour of some generic sun emblem or whatever. A shame.
     
  18. Jojobobo

    Jojobobo Well-Known Member

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    True, but I am quite impressed with the companion art featured here - particularly the phantasmal snakes Aloth is using and his key armour. It's the first time I've seen either of them.

    EDIT: Is it just me or is anyone else reminded of a Warhammer style fantasy setting when they look at Project Eternity? I think the combination of the level of technology (flintlock pistols, muskets) and the sort of high fantasy style setting (with location names like Godhammer Citadel and Dyrwood region) just really reminds me of Warhammer Quest and Mordheim (the single player or small party Warhammer games) I used to play in the days long past. Not that there's anything wrong with that, I'm sure with the writing talent working on the game even if there are superficial similarities the setting won't be half as hokey as Warhammer can sometimes be.
     
  19. Dark Elf

    Dark Elf Administrator Staff Member

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    Warhammer is over the top on purpose, a cartoonish gimmick turned grimdark floating in a sea made of decades worth of accumulated cheese. Obsidian couldn't make PE half as hokey even if they tried.

    Also, Aloth reminds me of the Alot.
     
  20. Drog Alt

    Drog Alt Member

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    Is this a textbook case of the generic high fantasy RPG with elves and shit? Even the classes are lifted from D&D. I've no idea how can they make it more banal than this.

    Why would I want to play this? How can they sell this to me? Arcanum at least had the steampunk/industrial revolution premise.
     
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