Fix The Lady Lover and Steed Birthsigns

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Jemolk
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Re: Fix The Lady Lover and Steed Birthsigns

Post by Jemolk » 06 Dec 2018, 23:01

TamrielCitizen wrote:
04 Dec 2018, 21:32
I am among those who wish to see the Vanilla Engine behaviour in this case. As I wrote in a separate topic, I believe that OpenMW should always provide the player with an option to make it behave exactly as the Vanilla Engine. I also think it's a good idea to give those who prefer current OpenMW behaviour in this case an option to enable it when (I hope) the Vanilla Engine behaviour is restored.
Always appreciated.
TamrielCitizen wrote:
04 Dec 2018, 21:32
I'd like to mention that, unless I am very much mistaken, in the Vanilla Engine Abilities not only change Base Value of Attributes, but also Base Value of Skills. Maybe someone can check it (I don't have access to my main computer currently) with a simple plugin that adds, say, a "Fortify Speechcraft 10" Ability to the Dunmer Race. When the character generation is complete, check the Stats Menu - if Speechcraft Skill number isn't shown in white, then I am correct. Or just use console to get Base Skill Value, I guess.
Correct. It does this in Oblivion as well.
TamrielCitizen wrote:
04 Dec 2018, 21:32
I also disagree with the opinion that such behaviour of Abilities was originally added to the game only to circumvent the bug with restoring Attributes up to their Modified Values. This behaviour basically makes the "Abilities" origin type of Magic unique. It also makes sense to me - Abilities are supposed to represent some inherent qualities of magical nature of the affected character, as opposed to some magic effect that influences the character at some point and has another origin entirely.

And I also don't understand how such behaviour of Abilities can narrow modding possibilities. On the contrary, having an origin type of Magic that is unique in terms of gameplay mechanics increases modding possibilities. Actually, I have a half-finished mod that relies on this Vanilla Engine behaviour of Abilities. I believe that Curses, on the other hand, do change Modified Values of Attributes and Skills, so if someone needs such behaviour they may use Curses instead. Although, it may have side-effects because of gameplay mechanics unique to Curses. But that's the whole point I am making - every origin type of Magic (Abilities, Curses, Deceases, Powers, Spells, what else did I forget?) has its own gameplay mechanics, which I consider to be a good thing.
The problem I see is that with vanilla behavior, Ability fortify effects do little more than cause you to hit the cap sooner. However, the ones that are applied later in the game, after the cap has been hit, boost the stats above it. This heavily encourages metagaming in a way that's annoyingly unfriendly to attempts to roleplay. If you want to get the most out of an ability-type boost, you must obtain it after hitting 100 in the relevant attributes and skills. This isn't a thing for other types of effects.

However, I'll grant that there are times that base skill or base attribute makes a huge difference. Especially egregious is the vanilla health calculation. I admit this rarely occurs to me because it's probably the first thing I modded out, but it's a valid concern for people who don't. I also should clearly be more accommodating to such positions, even if I find them utterly incomprehensible, making it difficult to charitably address them.
TamrielCitizen wrote:
04 Dec 2018, 21:32
Maybe post-1.0 OpenMW/OpenMW-CS will allow to add more origin types of Magic, each with separately customisable gameplay mechanics, as part of the de-hardcoding (that may actually have been in the stage 1 document, but I don't remember for sure)?
Probably. Since that's a hardcoded thing, it'll probably be dehardcoded. The dehardcoding may even allow us to make GetBase[attribute/skill] effects take abilities into consideration, but levelups near the skill and attribute caps ignore them. That'd be really nice.

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Husaco
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Re: Fix The Lady Lover and Steed Birthsigns

Post by Husaco » 07 Dec 2018, 08:42

Jemolk wrote:
06 Dec 2018, 23:01
The problem I see is that with vanilla behavior, Ability fortify effects do little more than cause you to hit the cap sooner. However, the ones that are applied later in the game, after the cap has been hit, boost the stats above it. This heavily encourages metagaming in a way that's annoyingly unfriendly to attempts to roleplay. If you want to get the most out of an ability-type boost, you must obtain it after hitting 100 in the relevant attributes and skills. This isn't a thing for other types of effects.
Aren't the only abilities in vanilla Morrowind the ones you pick at the start of the game? It seems like the amended behaviour really only fixes quirks with modded content while altering the balance of the original game. In any case I don't see much reason to single out abilities as encouraging metagaming when levelling up optimally means picking dump skills as your main skills, increasing only skills governed by the attributes you intend to increase, getting the exact number of skill increases for a +5 multiplier, etc.

TamrielCitizen
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Re: Fix The Lady Lover and Steed Birthsigns

Post by TamrielCitizen » 07 Dec 2018, 11:05

Jemolk wrote:
06 Dec 2018, 23:01
Correct. It does this in Oblivion as well.
I hope it won't be overlooked then, when the time comes to fix Issue #1751. I hadn't yet seen anyone mention that it also applies to Skills, so I brought it up.
Jemolk wrote:
06 Dec 2018, 23:01
The problem I see is that with vanilla behavior, Ability fortify effects do little more than cause you to hit the cap sooner. However, the ones that are applied later in the game, after the cap has been hit, boost the stats above it. This heavily encourages metagaming in a way that's annoyingly unfriendly to attempts to roleplay. If you want to get the most out of an ability-type boost, you must obtain it after hitting 100 in the relevant attributes and skills. This isn't a thing for other types of effects.

However, I'll grant that there are times that base skill or base attribute makes a huge difference. Especially egregious is the vanilla health calculation. I admit this rarely occurs to me because it's probably the first thing I modded out, but it's a valid concern for people who don't. I also should clearly be more accommodating to such positions, even if I find them utterly incomprehensible, making it difficult to charitably address them.
Well, I'd argue that Morrowind in general heavily encourages meta-gaming if you want to maximise everything (maximising Endurance first, increasing Luck almost every time and trying to get better multipliers on Attributes you plan to increase). Actually, one may argue that a boost to Attributes' Base Values gives more room to have smaller Attribute multipliers at level-ups if one's preference is just to eventually have Base Values of everything at exactly 100 (also, a boost to Endurance's Base Value boosts Health if it isn't modded out). And overall, maximising the stats and role-playing are often somewhat mutually exclusive in many games. ;)

And if I remember correctly, in the unmodded game the only obtainable Abilities are those associated with Races and Birthsigns. Which means Abilities obtainable later on are added by a mod. If a mod author wants the mod's Abilities to not affect level-ups, I think adding a simple script should work pretty well (and definitely better than using Curses instead, as I suggested earlier). But as I said, adding an option in OpenMW to make Abilities change Modified Values of Attributes/Skills, would also be great.
Jemolk wrote:
06 Dec 2018, 23:01
Probably. Since that's a hardcoded thing, it'll probably be dehardcoded. The dehardcoding may even allow us to make GetBase[attribute/skill] effects take abilities into consideration, but levelups near the skill and attribute caps ignore them. That'd be really nice.
As long as this change to level-ups stays optional, that would be great! :)

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Jemolk
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Re: Fix The Lady Lover and Steed Birthsigns

Post by Jemolk » 07 Dec 2018, 17:27

Husaco wrote:
07 Dec 2018, 08:42
Jemolk wrote:
06 Dec 2018, 23:01
The problem I see is that with vanilla behavior, Ability fortify effects do little more than cause you to hit the cap sooner. However, the ones that are applied later in the game, after the cap has been hit, boost the stats above it. This heavily encourages metagaming in a way that's annoyingly unfriendly to attempts to roleplay. If you want to get the most out of an ability-type boost, you must obtain it after hitting 100 in the relevant attributes and skills. This isn't a thing for other types of effects.
Aren't the only abilities in vanilla Morrowind the ones you pick at the start of the game? It seems like the amended behaviour really only fixes quirks with modded content while altering the balance of the original game. In any case I don't see much reason to single out abilities as encouraging metagaming when levelling up optimally means picking dump skills as your main skills, increasing only skills governed by the attributes you intend to increase, getting the exact number of skill increases for a +5 multiplier, etc.
Believe me, it's far from the only thing I want to see resolved. As I mentioned, I use Talrivian's State-Based HP to deal with the endurance metagaming. I also use Linora's Levelling Mod to make all multipliers above 1 into 5. Makes micromanaging skillups unnecessary. Unfortunately it's still a pain to deal with luck. Sometimes on that count, I just cheat and set it to 100 at the beginning. With regard to making dump skills as major and minor skills, unfortunately I just haven't found an alternate levelling mod I really like, so ensuring the highest possible max level is still a pain in the ass on that count. I only mentioned abilities here because it's the topic of the thread.

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wareya
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Re: Fix The Lady Lover and Steed Birthsigns

Post by wareya » 07 Dec 2018, 20:18

Once you realize you can level up forever with the help of prison and also that NPC stats aren't coherent for their levels etc you give up on the endurance metagame a little.
paying attention to #1751 #2473 #3609 #3862/#3929 #3807 #4297 #4623

shrugo
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Re: Fix The Lady Lover and Steed Birthsigns

Post by shrugo » 06 Feb 2019, 08:27

Jemolk wrote:
06 Dec 2018, 23:01
The problem I see is that with vanilla behavior, Ability fortify effects do little more than cause you to hit the cap sooner. However, the ones that are applied later in the game, after the cap has been hit, boost the stats above it. This heavily encourages metagaming in a way that's annoyingly unfriendly to attempts to roleplay. If you want to get the most out of an ability-type boost, you must obtain it after hitting 100 in the relevant attributes and skills. This isn't a thing for other types of effects.
I'd say that the vanilla behavior of birthsigns and racial abilities doesn't encourage meta gaming. Trying to "get the most out of ability-type boosts" is already approaching the mechanics from a perspective of meta gaming. The game is easily completeable without maxing out any attributes, by design. Approaching the game mechanics from the perspective of someone who intends on maxing out the benefits isn't necessarily RP friendly in the first place.

I am not saying meta gaming is bad or invalid, but that from the outset, thinking about abilities and bonuses to that extent is ALREADY at odds with roleplaying a character in the world. A character might want to get stronger, but they wouldn't have insight into deciding what sign they were born under or what race they are. These things also probably shouldn't push someone's skill beyond what is under normal circumstances 'naturally possible' and in these games a skill or attribute ranking of 100 represents the absolute pinnacle of natural ability. Magical effects outside of that certainly can push one beyond those boundaries, and the vanilla behavior perfectly captures this concept.

The idea that reaching your skill caps faster leaves those bonuses worthless is simply not true. You have a natural head start, that's a real benefit. The impact of that benefit may be less evident when you reach the hard cap, but it doesn't make the benefits you received until then non existent, and you still have a mathematical advantage simply in the number of attribute points you have distributed.

Either way, unless you are metagaming to the point of achieving perfect level ups every time, the significance of your birthsign or racial choices (in respect to ability bonuses mainly) diminishes as you progress through the game, leaving your character creation experience mostly irrelevant. This is an intentional design choice post Daggerfall: Play what appeals to you thematically and grow into whichever role you like. Don't worry too much about making your character at first. In this way Morrowind made steps toward becoming more beginner friendly. It isn't perfect in that regard, but it's clear that the design of the Morrowind character creation system was informed by that intent.

There was clearly thought put into making those birthsigns function mechanically as they do, as evidenced by the fact that abilities have such a specific behavior, and that functionality is informed by the design philosophies of the team that made Morrowind.

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Jemolk
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Re: Fix The Lady Lover and Steed Birthsigns

Post by Jemolk » 11 Feb 2019, 15:51

shrugo wrote:
06 Feb 2019, 08:27
Jemolk wrote:
06 Dec 2018, 23:01
The problem I see is that with vanilla behavior, Ability fortify effects do little more than cause you to hit the cap sooner. However, the ones that are applied later in the game, after the cap has been hit, boost the stats above it. This heavily encourages metagaming in a way that's annoyingly unfriendly to attempts to roleplay. If you want to get the most out of an ability-type boost, you must obtain it after hitting 100 in the relevant attributes and skills. This isn't a thing for other types of effects.
I'd say that the vanilla behavior of birthsigns and racial abilities doesn't encourage meta gaming. Trying to "get the most out of ability-type boosts" is already approaching the mechanics from a perspective of meta gaming. The game is easily completeable without maxing out any attributes, by design. Approaching the game mechanics from the perspective of someone who intends on maxing out the benefits isn't necessarily RP friendly in the first place.

I am not saying meta gaming is bad or invalid, but that from the outset, thinking about abilities and bonuses to that extent is ALREADY at odds with roleplaying a character in the world. A character might want to get stronger, but they wouldn't have insight into deciding what sign they were born under or what race they are. These things also probably shouldn't push someone's skill beyond what is under normal circumstances 'naturally possible' and in these games a skill or attribute ranking of 100 represents the absolute pinnacle of natural ability. Magical effects outside of that certainly can push one beyond those boundaries, and the vanilla behavior perfectly captures this concept.

The idea that reaching your skill caps faster leaves those bonuses worthless is simply not true. You have a natural head start, that's a real benefit. The impact of that benefit may be less evident when you reach the hard cap, but it doesn't make the benefits you received until then non existent, and you still have a mathematical advantage simply in the number of attribute points you have distributed.

Either way, unless you are metagaming to the point of achieving perfect level ups every time, the significance of your birthsign or racial choices (in respect to ability bonuses mainly) diminishes as you progress through the game, leaving your character creation experience mostly irrelevant. This is an intentional design choice post Daggerfall: Play what appeals to you thematically and grow into whichever role you like. Don't worry too much about making your character at first. In this way Morrowind made steps toward becoming more beginner friendly. It isn't perfect in that regard, but it's clear that the design of the Morrowind character creation system was informed by that intent.

There was clearly thought put into making those birthsigns function mechanically as they do, as evidenced by the fact that abilities have such a specific behavior, and that functionality is informed by the design philosophies of the team that made Morrowind.
See, part of my gripe is that "optimal" leveling shouldn't require metagaming in the first place. Okay, some bonuses will be worth less than others, like leveling up strength as a pure mage will be worth less than intelligence or willpower, but you shouldn't get strictly less bonus for it, IMHO. This means that from my perspective, vanilla leveling is already broken. "Perfect level-ups" are only really a thing in TES. I feel like the short-term-only nature of bonuses from attribute-raising birthsigns only compound that problem.

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wareya
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Re: Fix The Lady Lover and Steed Birthsigns

Post by wareya » 11 Feb 2019, 16:47

At the end of the day you can always just repeatedly go to jail over and over again so you can keep leveling up past your character's natural level cap.
paying attention to #1751 #2473 #3609 #3862/#3929 #3807 #4297 #4623

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Jemolk
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Re: Fix The Lady Lover and Steed Birthsigns

Post by Jemolk » 11 Feb 2019, 17:05

wareya wrote:
11 Feb 2019, 16:47
At the end of the day you can always just repeatedly go to jail over and over again so you can keep leveling up past your character's natural level cap.
True enough. I thought this was a reasonable enough note to end on before, but the topic was resurrected, so I figured I'd pop in again and explain where I differed from the new points raised.

By the way -- there is a mod that relies on the current OpenMW implementation of Fortify abilities, I have realized -- Greywander's Natural Character Growth and Decay, which is to my current knowledge the only total overhaul of the leveling system that works in OpenMW. So, uh, keep that in mind if you want to change things, please.

TamrielCitizen
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Re: Fix The Lady Lover and Steed Birthsigns

Post by TamrielCitizen » 14 Feb 2019, 01:07

In my opinion, Issue #1751 is a perfect example of a case where OpenMW should definitely offer an option to have either behaviour, as there are clearly people with different preferences.

To summarise:
  1. There are obviously people who believe that Vanilla Behaviour of Abilities is better.
  2. There are reasonable arguments that the Vanilla Behaviour is not a bug, but a deliberate choice by the developers.
  3. The behaviour of Abilities has implications for such things as Maximum Health, Maximum Attribute Values and Faction Requirements - all of those things currently behave differently in OpenMW than in the Vanilla Engine as a result.
  4. Abilities having special gameplay mechanics is consistent with other origin types of Magic (such as Curses, Diseases, etc.) having special gameplay mechanics.
  5. Special gameplay mechanics of Abilities make this origin type of Magic unique, allowing Mods to take advantage of this uniqueness and making it possible that some Mods may be relying on it.
  6. There are also people who like current behaviour of Abilities in OpenMW and at least one Mod may be relying on it.
  7. People are continuing to argue about this issue, and there are periodically duplicate bug-reports on the bugtracker about it by new people.
Therefore, the best solution I see is to add an option to have either behaviour. I also believe that Vanilla Behaviour should be made the default one, all of the above considered.

Also, something that I've mentioned before: Abilities modify Base Values (as opposed to Modified Values) of both Attributes and Skills. I hope the developers are already aware of this, but I think it's unwise to just assume they are. Considering the length of the discussion, this information may have been overlooked when I first mentioned it.

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