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Jan 30, 2018
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I'd say I've spent a fair amount of time digging around Google trying to find info on this and location for that and I've seen a lot of griping about "Messy Ability and Spell" pools or whatever. While I don't wholeheartedly agree with most of their complaints, I think there's some merit to them.

Sigils: While I think having full access to both the Expressions and Accents lists should be allowed, the Core sigils should have been locked behind Character Generation, Conquest Choices, and Ending Results. While Lantry providing you with the Healing Sigil was prudent, Eb sharing the Terratus Sigil shouldn't have been the way we gain access to it. It takes away from what Eb could bring to the table when it comes to picking companions for your travels. I think we should have had to complete a companion quest arc for Eb that would unlock access to a Scroll containing the Terratus Sigil during New Game+ playthrough. The Earth Sigil would've required you to side with the Earthshakers during the "Coalition" arc, giving you the option to snag a scroll for it for NG+. I understand the approach to giving you all the Core sigils in that it makes you feel like a badass having all this magic at your fingertips, but I believe in this case it makes all your caster companions and your Fatebinder rather bland due to the fact they all can use all the magic. Giving Eb sole possession of the Terratus Sigil gives her a certain flavor when it comes to playstyle and overall magic choices for her and allows you to create a more flavorful skill set for her by enabling her to really customize what she can do with it. I think the same could be said about Sirin and her Emotions Sigil. Give the Fatebinder access to a small selection of Cores and lock the rest. It would make the choices you make that much more rewarding and add even more replay value to NG+ rather than only allowing us to pick from Artifacts that you can get most of them every playthrough anyway.

Abilities: Honestly I don't get the complaints about abilities for the most part. You can just as easily snag most of the passive talents to flesh out a skill tree and move on to the next one. What I would have liked to see, though was modular talent tree selections. Give us a modest list of skill trees to choose from and select to allow for deeper customization rather than have a static list of six rather generic skill trees. If you set it so that you play through the conquest first and THEN ran character generation, you could lock other skill trees behind Conquest choices (would also work well for Sigils). Locking additional skill trees behind gameplay choices throughout the game that unlock "training manuals" for NG+ would further enhance customization and make it even more rewarding to make certain choices or stick with certain companions. Maybe finishing a companion quest chain for Barik unlocks a Stone Shield training manual for future playthroughs or a chain for Verse could unlock Three Whispers, Seeking Sheath, and/or Red Geyser manuals. Maybe picking the Forge-Bound gives you access to a talent tree that passively improves the Fatebinder's and their companions' gear and improves the functionality of the Spire Forge. Maybe getting Bleden Mark to join your cause gets you his training manual. There are a lot of ways to hide interesting talent trees and having the ability to pick a set for a particular playthrough would allow you to focus the strengths of each tree and make them feel more like a defining part of the Fatebinder rather than a generic list of buffs and abilities.

Artifacts: While I'm on this tangent I might as well gripe (let's face it I'm griping just like everyone else) about Artifacts. When you're told that the Dauntless was a legendary Blade that all of Stalwart rallied behind and cleaves through the Disfavored ranks with ease, you expect the weapon to be pretty badass. ...And it was alright. Dauntless, along with all other Artifacts, are basically run-of-the-mill unique items with a single use per-rest ability. In fact there are many unique items that can outshine Artifacts. Call me old fashioned but when you label something with the word Artifact and then tack on some pretty epic stories to them, I better get me something that would make a God nervous of they found out a mortal had the item in their possession. I really enjoyed the Soulbound items of PoE, but I think we could take it a step further. Have the game initially only contain a very few Artifacts, but as you play through the game, your deeds could elevate generic equipment to the level of Artifacts by having certain game events, milestones, and achievements impart enchantments onto your gear. Slay enough Disfavored, suddenly your weapon gains the trait "Northbane" and deals cold damage and automatically severs Ashe's Aegis. End the Edict of Fire and then take a certain amount of fire damage and suddenly your armor gains "Flame Infusion" reducing fire damage taken, increasing fire damaged dealt, and generating a permanent fire damage aura around you. With a system like this you could hide Artifact Abilities behind all sorts of things like quests, Conquest choices, and achievements thus having us hungrily hunt down each one and forge ourselves equipment deserving of the title of Artifact.
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