Author Topic: Dev Log #68: The Psi Question  (Read 6888 times)

Styg

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Dev Log #68: The Psi Question
« on: August 31, 2020, 10:37:53 pm »


Hi guys,

On September 7th the psi update will be release on the main branch, but before that happens I want to briefly address this controversial change again and also offer a compromise.

First I'd like to restate that the reason the psi was reworked was not primarily because of its power, though it will reign that in a bit as well. I will not list all the major arguments I've given in the previous dev log here again, but the sum of it is that the psi is too cheap to spec in, in comparison to what it offers, and that there is no way to expand upon it without even further overloading it with combat versatility. There were multiple ways to address it and I went with what I think fits well. I went in a bit too hard with the restrictions, which I have since eased on a bit (check out the patch notes for details), but the point of the experimental build was to tweak these numbers and mechanics anyway. I think it's in good place now, where both the (now somewhat nerfed) pure psi wizards and hybrids are viable, though they will require more management in terms of resources and psi selection.

Now in terms of adding more management to the psi build, one could argue that this is adding unnecessary tedium, but if look back at the history of Underrail's development you will find that we do tend to add these sort of complexities and restrictions to our mechanics as we flesh them out. Player is intended to have to pay attention and do some busywork in order to keep his character going. There used to be time when we had no weight restrictions, no selling restrictions, and at one point guns didn't even require ammo, though, to be fair, that was before the game was even available to play to the public. So you may not like this part of our design approach, but it is not at all inconsistent with what we did in the past.

The difference here is, however, that the game has been released for a long time and that the way the psi currently works has been something that's been firmly established. I will concede to the argument that it may not be fair to change it at such a late time. I should have done it way sooner, back when I added the last batch of psi abilities in the late early access stage, but I didn't and I don't have a good excuse. I do, however, still maintain that this is a good and necessary change that will benefit the game in way of build diversity, especially in the long run, even if it comes a bit late.

But for those that are firmly against this change, or maybe just want to finish their current cave wizard rampage, I've made a separate Legacy branch (on both platforms) that will permanently host 1.1.1.6 version of the game. It will receive no updates and no other version of the game will ever be preserved in this way in the future (don't worry, no further major mechanical changes are planned anyway). If you do hop between the version be advised that, as always, saves of a higher version are not compatible with older version of the game. So if you intend to keep playing on this version (either temporarily or permanently), you can switch now.

I hope that this compromise will be agreeable to most of you.

Cheers.

UnLimiTeD

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Re: Dev Log #68: The Psi Question
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2020, 10:49:34 pm »
Well, that is certainly quite the investment into keeping everyone happy.  :o 
I applaud the thought. Though, personally, I think if I had a problem with the changes (haven't even tried them yet), it would feel like purposefully avoiding a bugfix.  :P
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Styg

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Re: Dev Log #68: The Psi Question
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2020, 10:52:12 pm »
Well, that is certainly quite the investment into keeping everyone happy.  :o 
It took like 10 seconds to make a new branch.

HulkOSaurus

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Re: Dev Log #68: The Psi Question
« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2020, 10:56:41 pm »
Warframe is a game that's fun, but not engaging. Legacy Psi felt that way, as well. I never made a full Psicher. Never felt interesting.

PS: Better late than never.

destroyor

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Re: Dev Log #68: The Psi Question
« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2020, 11:13:01 pm »
... I think it's in good place now, where both the (now somewhat nerfed) pure psi wizards and hybrids are viable, though they will require more management in terms of resources and psi selection.

... So you may not like this part of our design approach, but it is not at all inconsistent with what we did in the past.

... But for those that are firmly against this change, or maybe just want to finish their current cave wizard rampage, I've made a separate Legacy branch (on both platforms) that will permanently host 1.1.1.6 version of the game.

First it's always nice to see continue development and additional effort to Underrail.

I'm one of the more vocal opponent to the psi changes and dislike the tedium design approach. So the tedium part is pretty much settled (tradition: just because we have always done it this way doesn't mean it's right) and that's a lost battle here I guess. I just hope Styg will keep the tedium/fun part in mind in the future. However the question about psi slots effectively making tons of psi abilities useless will not be address at all? If the answer is yes than I must say I'm disappointed.  :(

Lastly I really hope the legacy branch will include the bug fixes and improvements (Alt + click ground to move) ... but I guess that's also too much to ask for ...

Styg

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Re: Dev Log #68: The Psi Question
« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2020, 11:25:12 pm »
I try to keep the busywork at a level where it doesn't become tedious (though, that is subjective, I guess).

I did not, nor do I plan to address every complaint, that would be futile. You are many and I'm just one. But, since I'm here already: I reject the premise that it does make "tons" of psi abilities useless. It makes SOME psi abilities that were already undesirable even less desirable. But that can be further addressed with improving upon those abilities, but it is also fine for some abilities to be very niche.

There will be no updates to Legacy branch. I will not maintain two code bases. It's not a perfect solution, I know, but it's some kind of compromise at least.

destroyor

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Re: Dev Log #68: The Psi Question
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2020, 12:03:17 am »
Thanks for the prompt and honest response Styg, appreciate it.

UnLimiTeD

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Re: Dev Log #68: The Psi Question
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2020, 09:00:12 am »
It certainly looks like it would make players focus even more on the best abilities, even if they didn't before. I mostly liked the utility aspect of it, and then also used it for combat because I could not possibly make a psyker also effective at any actual weapon - and I like mage characters. I feel like the changes might make a psi character a lot more one-dimensional, using the same 5 abilities instead of some variety, but I can not judge powerlevel; I never went for crits, and I always considered int mandatory to craft items, so my investment will not change one bit. Or maybe I'll grow bored of it.
It took like 10 seconds to make a new branch.
Guess it's easier than I thought. Never made a branch on Steam.  :P

Edit: Though something that would have been nice, even though I know it's probably very hard to do, would have been an option to replace a single feat. I remember that I bought some crafting feats that I never used on my expedition test character because, as a psi-generalist, it just didn't feel right to buy a feat that just benefited a single aspect of it. I know, first world problems.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2020, 09:48:41 am by UnLimiTeD »
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Re: Dev Log #68: The Psi Question
« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2020, 09:15:30 am »
There will be no updates to Legacy branch. I will not maintain two code bases. It's not a perfect solution, I know, but it's some kind of compromise at least.
You're tricky. Who will remain in the old branch if there are no updates. This is not a compromise.
Although at the same time I support the decision to transform the psi. This brings variety to the game and maintains balance.

P.S. Only I ask you not to change the visual style of the game, and then in "Infusion", judging by "Real-time 3D Models" it is planned.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2020, 09:24:43 am by `louse` »

Tamior

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Re: Dev Log #68: The Psi Question
« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2020, 10:57:52 am »
You're tricky. Who will remain in the old branch if there are no updates. This is not a compromise.
Compromise or not,  it addresses directly two types of complains
1) "Don't change rules in the middle of a play-though.".
2) "The game was much better before the patch, just let me keep playing that."

Mr The

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Re: Dev Log #68: The Psi Question
« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2020, 06:44:28 pm »
Compromise or not,  it addresses directly two types of complains
1) "Don't change rules in the middle of a play-though.".
2) "The game was much better before the patch, just let me keep playing that."

While it does address those complaints, it doesn't address the future complaints of people that don't want the psi changes but still want updates (like infusion).


There will be no updates to Legacy branch. I will not maintain two code bases. It's not a perfect solution, I know, but it's some kind of compromise at least.


To add to the ever growing mound of suggestions, has it been considered to make a new game option like with classic and oddity exp?
I.e. EZ mode (classic psionics) vs Normal (New psionics)
It would probably require significantly more investment but this would probably appease the largest amount of people out of the game's audience.


Sykar

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Re: Dev Log #68: The Psi Question
« Reply #11 on: September 01, 2020, 07:49:30 pm »
Still does not change the fact that niche spells like Neurovisual Interuption are now obsolete. Are there any plans of making these spells either more viable alternatives or do we get some special slots or maybe let us cast them anyway without memorizing them.

Meladonimi

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Re: Dev Log #68: The Psi Question
« Reply #12 on: September 01, 2020, 08:02:00 pm »
Here we go again.
Changing psi basicly good, but there all time some "but".

1) Niche abbility - is best way to kill game fun, all time start from ability and ended in class (build). Im rly hope on some changes on some psi abbility like d.field in future
2) Psi shools not optimazed now. Only t.control feels rly good as solo shool.
3) Well pure psi is real bad now, need alot of changes to actulizate it. No matter what "deck" you use, problem in CD and old sence of abillity's. Well i think there will be alot of work.
4) Psi was hobo from start - so bring back regen of regen of reserves *anoing player noices*

Psi now look like children's sores. Im shure it is will gone in time.
And i must admit - i like what devs dont forget lore side of changes.

Tamior

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Re: Dev Log #68: The Psi Question
« Reply #13 on: September 01, 2020, 10:22:24 pm »
3) Well pure psi is real bad now,
This is provably false. Some players still do dominating ironman runs with pure PSI with little to no problems.

Tamior

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Re: Dev Log #68: The Psi Question
« Reply #14 on: September 01, 2020, 10:58:02 pm »
To add to the ever growing mound of suggestions, has it been considered to make a new game option like with classic and oddity exp?
I.e. EZ mode (classic psionics) vs Normal (New psionics)
This approach is almost guaranteed to require something effectively very similar to maintaining two code bases.