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Old December 2, 2019, 17:59   #28
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 326
Quirk is on a distinguished road
Originally Posted by DavidMedley View Post
The Forewarned ability states:
If your base Perception exceeds your Evasion, you gain a bonus to your Evasion of one-third your Perception score.

It's not entirely clear what a "base Perception" is. For quite a while I thought it was skill points plus your base stat, but now I'm convinced it's just skill points.

Versatility reads:
If you have more skill points in archery than in melee, you gain a bonus to melee of half the difference between the two scores (rounding down).

I think this wording is clearer.

Here's what I really wanted to ask: Why did you reject the existing half-the-difference model already in use in favor of the 1/3rd skill formula? The latter seems much more powerful, despite the larger divisor, because you're not handcuffed against increasing the lower skill. But I like the smooth benefit curve of the former. Both have merit.
Good question, and worth an explanation.

Forewarned was designed as an ability to complement the many Perception abilities which scale with more Perception: Concentration, Focused Attack, Master Hunter, and as a reason to invest more heavily in the Perception tree after the difficulty of spotting traps was scaled down from Sil (where it had been in several instances actually bugged).

Using the former calculation was not remotely viable, power-wise. Versatility is somewhat niche, even though a pure Archery build with no Melee is possible - it's there mostly as a tool to handle no-crit enemies or to conserve ammo. Having Perception far exceed Evasion is really unlikely unless you're a Stealth build; but a Stealth build taking Keen Senses, Listen, probably Alchemy, maybe Focused Attack doesn't have room for Evasion it hopes never to have to use.

So, Forewarned had to give a bigger bonus and work for builds that wanted enough Evasion to hold their own in a fight. Finding an elegant way for it to give a bonus that's neither trivial or entirely broken has been difficult and the current solution is not entirely elegant.

The condition is that you have invested slightly more into Perception than Evasion. The payoff is initially substantial. At the point you get Forewarned, you're probably getting 3, maybe 4 Evasion for it; raising an Evasion of 6 to 9 or 10 by investing XP is worth 2400 or 3300 XP. This is a pretty good bargain if you were already picking up other Perception abilities, but the consequence is that if you want to keep your Forewarned bonus you need to keep spending on both Perception and Evasion - your immediate future is easier but your longer term strategy less so. If you have other abilities that benefit from Perception you may get enough value from the Perception investment in the long term anyway.

The ugly thing is that once your Evasion investment exceeds your Perception investment, you take a sudden drop in Evasion overall. Scatha commented on it in his review, and it's on my list for reworking at some point because of this. It could be even uglier if the bonus condition went not off your investment but your equipment, or stats. Removing the ugliness by having it always contribute some flat percentage of Perception as Evasion (e.g. 25%) would be a bit dull and do relatively little to encourage buying more Perception.

In terms of power level it is managing to find some buyers and helping Master Hunter out a bit.

It's possible several things in the Perception tree need reworked, as the scaling motif is even less successful than it is with Song, and the base skill itself is probably the single least useful skill. Perhaps at some point I'll get a brainwave that makes it more viable.

Last edited by Quirk; December 2, 2019 at 18:15.
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