sear wrote:I'll note that stat pool damage is something we are considering including for certain enemies or special attacks, but it probably won't be a universal thing.
..you mean, so you could combine an inconvenience with a contrivance, to get the worst of both systems? To really make all role-playing choices either pointless on easy difficulty, or extremely gated to the point of removing them all on hard difficulty? Great idea!
I can see the relationship between Obsidian's PoE project and Tton is close!
Seriously, though - please consider looking into balancing the light characters with increased speed and intellect dodge bonuses, damage treshold limiters, etc. While giving the might-based characters either rescue rolls when the last intellect points are spent (to reduce damage received and take physical damage, etc), or a resilience bonus to avoid getting knocked out before doing anything. While letting combo characters consider increasing edge in low-stat pools for defense purposes over having to fill speed pools and then spam rest constantly to have a chance, and things like that. And then imagine that expending effort beyond your limit can be recovered from more easily in the domain you've chosen to be strongest in, just like protecting yourself from attacks you are weak against should become a priority early on and a strategic choice to improve on later.
I mean, be honest here - the problem you really got was that a super-specialized character had trouble surviving a particular attack that was specifically going to bypass their defenses early on. And because this type of player "intuitively" expects their character to gradually transcend to demigodhood for whacking things randomly on the head for hours without aim - they are never prepared for even the low-level crises, no matter how long they play, as long as that specific attack they are weak against happens.
So you added a stat that helps idiots who don't learn survive no matter what. And in the process also end up making the stat-pools and the choices you make almost purely cosmetic, and at the very least completely disconnected from the game-mechanics. Rather than adding a way to use other pools to dodge or rescue against lethal damage early on. And then balancing against longer encounters of different kinds (that focus on particular strengths), letting the player pick those encounters they feel they may be able to control. While also making sure that the AI doesn't simply constantly pick the lowest difficulty target for their attack, as if they can smell your weaknesses like a disgruntled beta-tester aiming to agitate for a stupid solution by invoking words like "accessibility" and "popularity".
It's lazy, it's bad design, it's disregarding more convenient balancing methods tied to encounter design. And you're going to regret this manual "balancing" process you've inserted bitterly until the point where you decide to simply declare it's good enough. Which will be at about the same time people stop playing the game, or resign and simply turn the difficulty settings off altogether so they can get through the story, without being interrupted by some irritating GM temp who thinks their purpose is to make the game last for as long as possible.
But whatever. Are you absolutely sure you shouldn't just add more stat-points and more buttons to press, though? Along with a minimum limit you can't go below, just in case you start fiddling around too much and potentially are unable to defeat the first monster with any weapon, any tool, and any method in general? You know, to "balance" the game so even the most careless gamer will never, ever, run into any difficulty?
Just saying. After all, making bad choices and getting punished for it is clearly the antithesis to ANY GAME EVER DESIGNED since the beginning of history. In fact, why not put in an automatic playing mode where you can make a skill-check on the first turn to insure victory, based on your strongest stat-pool? That'd solve all your problems immediately!