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Bug: game lying about Weapon Specialisation for Swashbucklers

GallowglassGallowglass Member Posts: 3,356
edited March 2013 in Fixed
I know there's previously been lengthy discussion about whether or not a swashbuckler should or should not get an extra 1/2 APR for specialising in a weapon. There are views on both sides of that debate, but the following is definitely a bug:-

Observed behaviour: the level-up screen specifically tells us that the second proficiency point in a weapon yields an extra 1/2 APR, but that's an outright lie unless you're a Warrior class.

Expected behaviour: the in-game description and the game mechanic should match. EITHER the swashbuckler should get the extra 1/2 APR promised by the description in the level-up screen OR the description should be modified to say that this bonus only applies to Warrior classes.

Whichever side of the debate about the principle you're on, it's a definite bug if the in-game description promises a specific result and the game mechanics deliver a different result.

Personally I lean towards the view that Weapon Specialisation ought to mean what it (currently) says it means, not class-dependent (i.e. the 1/2 APR is part of the definition of Specialisation, so if a Swashbuckler can Specialise then he should get the 1/2 APR for it like anyone else). However, I can live with it being decided the other way (i.e. Specialisation means different things to different classes) PROVIDED THAT the game tells you correctly what you're going to get (or not get) for your particular class. The game lying to the player has got to be wrong!

Post edited by Aedan on

Comments

  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,447
    There is a note in the description of weapon proficiencies in general, which states that bonus attacks only apply to warrior classes. So no, the game's not lying to you; the note is just not where you're looking.

    Unfortunately, this description only appears until you start applying points to weapons, so it's easy to miss. @Jalily, maybe we should consider adding an additional note to the specialization descriptions; add, after "an additional 1/2 attack per round", "(Warriors only)".

    TJ_Hooker
  • TJ_HookerTJ_Hooker Member Posts: 2,438
    edited January 2013
    It also says in the game manual that only warriors gain extra attack from specialization. But because Swashbucklers are the only class this applies to, would it not make sense to just put a note right in the kit description?

    Post edited by TJ_Hooker on
  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,447
    @TJ_Hooker
    Right now, yes. But if you create a new kit for a non-warrior class that also allows specialization, it would also not receive the bonus attacks, meaning that you'd have to remember to include it in that kit's description as well.

    The goal is forward compatibility, which means that a two-word parenthetical note now will save a lot of effort in the long run.

    TJ_Hooker
  • JalilyJalily Member Posts: 4,681
    Added the note to all proficiency levels that mention extra attacks.

  • GallowglassGallowglass Member Posts: 3,356
    Aosaw said:

    There is a note in the description of weapon proficiencies in general, which states that bonus attacks only apply to warrior classes. So no, the game's not lying to you; the note is just not where you're looking.

    Thanks for your prompt attention, but I disagree: the note on p.57 of the manual (but nowhere in-game that I can find) doesn't annul the lie. On the screen when you're actually applying proficiency points, there's an explicit promise displayed which says that you're going to get an extra 1/2 APR by adding a second point to an existing proficiency (and on that screen there's currently no caveat explaining that this part of the benefit applies only to Warrior classes) ... but then in fact a Swashbuckler doesn't actually get what it said you'd get. That's a lie in my book.

    Assertion of general principle in the software business: what the software says on-screen ought to be the definitive truth about what the software is going to do. If the manual disagrees, then the normal presumption is that the manual has been superceded by later changes in the code (or the manual-writer just plain cocked it up). If the documentation (usually this might occur in a readme.txt rather than in an actual manual) contains a statement to the effect that "in spite of what the software says on-screen, actually it works as follows ...", then that means you're publishing a workaround for a known bug. Correct software is software which actually does what it tells you on the screen that it's going to do, and any deviation is a bug by definition. (No, I haven't worked in the game software business, but yes I have done QA for business software, and that's the principle we worked by.)
    Aosaw said:

    @Jalily, maybe we should consider adding an additional note to the specialization descriptions; add, after "an additional 1/2 attack per round", "(Warriors only)".

    @Jalily, thanks for your prompt attention too, but for maximum clarity (so that players clearly see that this caveat applies only to the APR part of the benefit, rather than the THAC0 and damage components as well), I recommend instead that the wording should be "... and (for Warrior classes only) an additional 1/2 attack per round".

    @Aosaw, I remain on the other side of the debate about the principle of this. If we're going to say "Swashbucklers can Specialise", then I reckon that ought to mean the same as what Specialisation means everywhere else, i.e. including the extra 1/2 APR, which is (in most circumstances) the biggest benefit of Specialisation, more significant than the +1 THAC0 or +2 damage. However, I accept that this opinion is a feature request rather than a bug report. If we're going to continue with Specialisation meaning different things for different classes, then I suggest that the terminology (both in the manual and in the in-game kit descriptions) ought to be changed (for example to "Partial Specialisation" for what Swashbucklers can do) so that players don't feel deceived.

  • TJ_HookerTJ_Hooker Member Posts: 2,438

    Thanks for your prompt attention, but I disagree: the note on p.57 of the manual (but nowhere in-game that I can find) doesn't annul the lie. On the screen when you're actually applying proficiency points, there's an explicit promise displayed which says that you're going to get an extra 1/2 APR by adding a second point to an existing proficiency (and on that screen there's currently no caveat explaining that this part of the benefit applies only to Warrior classes) ... but then in fact a Swashbuckler doesn't actually get what it said you'd get. That's a lie in my book.

    It does say it in game, just as @Aosaw says. When you're in the proficiency selection screen, but before you click on any of the different proficiencies, it has a general list of the benefits for proficiency/specialization. Next the the "extra 1/2 attack per round" there's an asterisk, which leads you to a note at the bottom which states "warriors only". This is easy to miss however, which is why they are adding it the the individual proficiency descriptions.

    Regarding whether or not swashbucklers should get the extra 1/2 attack:
    There was a big discussion on this a while back. Based on the fact that the extra attacks for warriors only comes from PnP, as well as this being how it always functioned in BG2, they decided to not give swashbucklers an extra 1/2 attack at 2 pips.

  • GallowglassGallowglass Member Posts: 3,356
    @TJ_Hooker: Aha! I've found it now, thanks for that. Yes, there's a footnote, but scrolled off-screen to the bottom of the explanation about the various proficiency levels. Okay, it's there, but that's pretty darned hard to notice, so it's rather useless.

    @Aosaw: sorry, I now see what you mean. Nevertheless, the crucial footnote vanishes when you start actually applying proficiencies, so at level-up (or at creation after applying the first point) you're still facing a screen which tells you a lie.

    @Aosaw: whole new bug report as follows:-

    Observed behaviour: the content of the "Proficiency Slot Table: *" at character creation (in Skills) is entirely blank between the heading and the footnote (scrolled down far off-screen) when I first enter the Skills tab. I have to assign a point, then back out to the main creation menu, then go back into Skills again, before the table appears at all. (But the preceding text in the Skills tab, before the table, is always visible.)

    Expected behaviour: when I first enter the Skills tab during character creation, the Proficiency Slot Table ought to be immediately visible without having to back out and go back in again.

  • JalilyJalily Member Posts: 4,681
    Registered.

    Here's how I added the note:

    Specialized (2 slots): The character receives +1 to hit, +2 to damage, and (for warriors only) an extra 1/2 attack per round with the selected weapon.

    Master (3 slots): The character receives +3 to hit, +3 to damage, and (for warriors only) an extra 1/2 attack per round with the selected weapon.

    High Master (4 slots): The character receives +3 to hit, +4 to damage, -1 to Speed Factor, and (for warriors only) an extra 1/2 attack per round with the selected weapon.

    Grand Master (5 slots): The character receives +3 to hit, +5 to damage, -3 to Speed Factor, and (for warriors only) an extra attack per round with the selected weapon.

  • GallowglassGallowglass Member Posts: 3,356
    TJ_Hooker said:

    Regarding whether or not swashbucklers should get the extra 1/2 attack:
    There was a big discussion on this a while back. Based on the fact that the extra attacks for warriors only comes from PnP, as well as this being how it always functioned in BG2, they decided to not give swashbucklers an extra 1/2 attack at 2 pips.

    I read the previous discussion although I didn't participate in it: I referred to it at the beginning of my original post. I wasn't intending here to re-start that argument, I merely offered my opinion on the question as context. I know it's an old design decision from BG2, but I thought it was a confusing mistake then (and I still think it's mistaken now) that "Specialisation" doesn't mean the same thing for one class as for other classes.

    Regardless of differing opinions on which way it "ought" to work, it's surely obvious to both sides of the argument that the game should do either one thing or the other, and not mislead players into thinking it's doing one thing whilst it's actually doing the other, so I'm very glad that the official team have immediately addressed the issue. Thanks again, @Aosaw & @Jalily.

  • JalilyJalily Member Posts: 4,681
    I'm not on the official team. <_<

  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,447
    @Jalily
    Shhh, not everybody knows that. ;)

  • GallowglassGallowglass Member Posts: 3,356
    Jalily said:

    Registered.

    Here's how I added the note:

    Specialized (2 slots): The character receives +1 to hit, +2 to damage, and (for warriors only) an extra 1/2 attack per round with the selected weapon.

    Master (3 slots): The character receives +3 to hit, +3 to damage, and (for warriors only) an extra 1/2 attack per round with the selected weapon.

    High Master (4 slots): The character receives +3 to hit, +4 to damage, -1 to Speed Factor, and (for warriors only) an extra 1/2 attack per round with the selected weapon.

    Grand Master (5 slots): The character receives +3 to hit, +5 to damage, -3 to Speed Factor, and (for warriors only) an extra attack per round with the selected weapon.

    Excellent, that makes it much clearer. Thanks.


  • GallowglassGallowglass Member Posts: 3,356
    Jalily said:

    I'm not on the official team. <_<

    Oh! I'd got the impression herein that you must be. Sorry for my misapprehension.

    How, in that case, does your improvement to the text get into the next patch?

  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,447
    @Jalily is one of our super-awesome volunteers.

    You can also see (quite a lot of) her proofreading skills in the official manuals. (Believe me, they would be virtually unreadable without her help!)

  • GallowglassGallowglass Member Posts: 3,356
    @Aosaw: Mmmm ... interesting. I guess I missed the boat when the call for volunteers went out. Are you still adding to the list? I've done technical authoring as well as QA, I'd gladly help proofread your documentation if you want more assistance.

  • AedanAedan Member, Translator (NDA) Posts: 8,534
    Descriptions have been updated as requested.

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