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-   -   Eschalon: Book II - Beta Update (http://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?t=10138)

magerette March 15th, 2010 11:30

Eschalon: Book II - Beta Update
 
Basilisk Games posts a short update on the Book II beta testing process:
Quote:

We are no longer accepting Beta Tester applications. Thanks to everyone who has submitted an app- the response has been great! We will begin contacting the lucky applicants in the next 48 hours.
Posted: March 12th, 2010
There's also a hint in the forums that the game may be ready by late April.
More information.

ikbenrichard March 15th, 2010 11:30

Quote:

There's also a hint in the forums that the game may be ready by late April.
Oh yeh !!
Really do hope so !!
After finishing avernum 6 this game is gonne be THE game on my laptop.

crpgnut March 15th, 2010 15:34

I'm mildly hopeful for this one too. Mages were extremely weak in Book I, so I'm hoping this got addressed in the second game. If you wanted the easiest path to victory you took any fighter and divination in Book I. For whatever reason, damage was static for mages no matter how much intelligence, perception, and ranks in elemental magic you had. A level one character did as much damage with a fireball as a level 15 character.

BasiliskWrangler April 14th, 2010 20:29

Quote:

Originally Posted by crpgnut
A level one character did as much damage with a fireball as a level 15 character.

Sorry I am replying so late to this- just caught it.

One thing that seems to be really difficult for some players to remember is that Eschalon is a Skill-based RPG. What you are describing is a Class-based RPG, where your character's Archetype is described by his Class, and his power comes from his level- meaning a level 15 Mage can cast more powerful spells than a level 1 Mage.

In Eschalon, it is all about where your place your Skill and Attribute points. A level 3 Mage could potentially cast much more powerful spells than a level 10 Mage, if it so happens that the L3 Mage dedicates more Skill and Attribute points to the appropriate stats. The stats that you develop tend to describe your character, not necessarily his Class moniker. In beta testing we're seeing all sorts of character builds come through the game: Mage-Fighters, Rogue-Healers, and Ranger-Alchemists just to name a few- it's all about the Skills you decide to develop.

So to answer your question, crpgnut- Book 2 still works with the same basic ruleset as Book 1.

crpgnut April 15th, 2010 16:36

I played several characters through level 10 or so in Eschalon. The bottom line is that a pure mage doesn't stand a chance of doing as much damage as a melee class. The game wasn't balanced fairly, it was made for weapon fighting with damage spells strictly inferior. The 2nd problem was that a mage would constantly have to rest because mana regeneration was a joke. The game was well written and fairly fun, but mage weak. I just happen to enjoy playing battle-mage types and so your game's flaws were very evident to me. It sounds like Book II will be the same. I've read about feats and stuff for combat that will make it even more lopsided against magic. Your beta testers are pointing out magic's weakness but it doesn't sound like you're going to address the issue in any meaningful way. To me, swinging a sword isn't a fantasy crpg. You can do that in real life. Magic makes crpgs different than other games. Otherwise, you might as well play Mount and Blade.

I'm willing to try the demo as a mage and as a fighter and if I'm wrong about the balance, I'll gladly admit it. I've been around a LONG time so if there is a way for mages to equal fighters, without weapon skills, I'll find it.

BasiliskWrangler April 15th, 2010 20:27

Quote:

Originally Posted by crpgnut
Your beta testers are pointing out magic's weakness but it doesn't sound like you're going to address the issue in any meaningful way.

Unsure what you mean by this. We've taken every suggestion that any beta tester has given us to heart, resulting in Mana regeneration rates being addressed and a number of spells being adjusted. In the latest version getting ready to be tested, Mages are notably more powerful.

What is most important, to me, is that Eschalon does not become "Torchlight" or "Diablo" where spells are flung like some kind of unlimited energy weapon. Mages who are so incredibly deadly have little need for any other utility or defensive spell, and that makes for a horribly unbalanced magic user IMO.

I certainly understand your desire to play a "Heavy-duty Battle Mage" type of character, and it is possible to create that in Eschalon if you focus 100% of your character's development towards this goal. But any other player who chooses to diversify their Mage's skills will find it challenging to play their character in such an aggressive manner, and may need to rely on stealth, defensive magic and even melee weapons to supplement their play style.

Either way, I do hope you find Book 2 enjoyable and I appreciate your comments. :)

crpgnut April 15th, 2010 23:54

I've said this before and it's worth repeating: I got my money's worth out of Eschalon. I found the magic system to be weaker than melee and not as satisfying, but I played 10-12 characters through the first areas of the game. For whatever reason, I'm tungprc, which is crpgnut backwards, on your site. I guess I blew up my first attempt to create an account. I bought the game very early in the process and was quite vocal (in praise and criticism) on your forums.

I'll be purchasing Book II if I have as much fun as I did with Book I, even if magic is again weaker than melee. I've been playing Oblivion for so many hours that I need to buy other games to make up for all the value I get from it :D


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