AWY Consolidated 2.1 Questions/Concerns List

PirateFox

Scholar
The following are the concerns (and some questions) that AWY has come up with regarding the 2.1 alpha packet. Any additional items we have, we’ll add on as a reply post. Before we get started with more specific concerns…please address the following items, as they form the underlying concerns of a LOT of our specific questions and may eliminate some of the individual questions later.
  • What is the goal/aim of this packet? Early on, we were told it was to expand and improve both crafting and the economy. Reviewing 2.1, it appears that the goal has been changed into turning all crafting skills into semi-mandatory combat supplementary skills and to actually diminish the “crafting” aspect heavily. Was this intended or is this goal-drift?
  • What is the purpose of coin going forward? If crafting doesn’t use it, items all are valued by differing materials, etc, it doesn’t appear to have much value. This pushes item valuation heavily toward material tags, rather than coin. If the intent is to eventually remove coin from the game, this probably should be made clear up front.
  • Devaluation of ritual magic: We’ve heard from several players who feel that ritual magic has no place going forward the way things are written. Many of their rituals are duplicated in crafting (often far cheaper), crafters can replace ritualists in rituals, and crafters can cast their own rituals. What can be said or done to reassure them that the game isn’t replacing them?
  • What consideration has been made for new players? All of these changes actually seem to raise the bar dramatically for when a crafting skill becomes useful, and reduces the ways it can be used at lower numbers of purchases.


Specific questions/issues/concerns:
  1. Broken items: Most feedback on this has been positive. However, with effectively all non-magical items no longer expiring or being at risk of destruction, what is the place for crafters in 2.1? Given that this is an expansion of crafting, it seems odd to then make items permanent/unbreakable. To sum it up, if my character crafts weapons, but weapons are permanent and indestructible (mostly), how would I ever sell more weapons, especially with them still coming out as treasure, too? What would encourage players to take crafting skills for mundane items—specifically smithing—rather than just using the skill for its combat passives?
  2. Channeling changes/Relic Bearer’s/Wand Wielder’s Siphon: With players already occasionally showing up with 1000s of points of channeling, adding meditation restoration of channeling pools and refueling methods appears to give effectively unlimited pools, even with people pushing 25+ points per cast. This is both unmarshalable and incredibly difficult for players to accurately track. Is this intended?
  3. Ritual Changes: If we’re removing marshals from rituals…but requiring a mini-game…doesn’t that leave us with a marshal watching the game anyway? This change seems like a lateral move that actually requires more of staff by requiring the creation of mini-games, while not giving back anything in value to gameplay.
  4. Indomitable Will: This skill uses the word “unlimited” and it’s been clarified that it stacks with other abilities. Is the intent to make fighters 100% immune to all effects covered by mettle?
  5. Lifestyle: Concerns have been voiced over “Found a Thing” replacing one of the few ways that being a crafter involves actually crafting non-special-effect items. With so few ways for crafters to actually be crafters in 2.1, between lifestyle and gobbie purchases, what is the place for an actual merchant (profession, not the skill) character in 2.1?
  6. Merchant: In 1.3/2.0, this is a fairly limited and all but useless skill. In 2.1 that doesn’t change unless you invest more points into it. Strangely, the base version of Merchant appears to have been weakened from its already questionable state. With the cost adjustments, this now costs several times more than previously in order to be useful. Moreover, what was the intention behind making it vary in cost by class? Merchant has always represented being a trader, which has little-to-nothing to do with class.
  7. Potion Coating: What was the reasoning behind converting this from a magical strike into a blockable/parryable effect?
  8. Qualifiers: (p9) This section is seriously complicated and needs work. There are myriad renames without clear reasoning, addition of a new delivery, conversion of old deliveries (many of which cascade other problems). This one feels like change for the sake of change.
  9. Shatter Spirit: Can we find a different name? Anyone who was around circa 2000 (or before) knows Annihilate as something VERY different. “Shatter Spirit” was clear that it was a spirit-effecting ritual. Annihilate doesn’t have that clarity, which seems to actually make it less clear.
  10. Slow/Weakness Blow: Why remove Slow? The effect still exists in the game, so the removal here seems odd. Also, we already have Disarm abilities, so why duplicate? Also, has the effect on hybrids been considered, given that this provides overlapping skills, rather than something of value from each side of their skill trees?
  11. Wither: Most feedback has been great on this!
  12. Talismans: While the idea is good, it’s been noted that these will not be made “obvious” or different from catalysts. In the past, scrolls were clearly scrolls. Why the change to allow for “hidden” and unrecognizable scrolls/catalysts?
  13. Sorcerer: Concerns have been brought up about the fact that while spells are discounted for dual-school, the costs for channeling/high-magic weren’t raised much. If this is intended to be a spellcaster class, this seems like a natural tradeoff. Allowing relatively cheap use of all things magical appears to make this class effectively the go-to for anyone over a certain xp point.
  14. Workshops: These only work on true-crafting, rather than anything special or part of the crafting-skills. However, true crafting doesn’t have much use, so workshops seem to have little value. Players have invested heavily in them, so this change seems to wipe out that investment.
  15. Cloak: Giving crafters magical Cloak abilities seriously devalues ritualists’ ability to do the same. The fact that crafter Cloaks are exponentially more powerful (ie, “Cloak Arcane”) furthers this concern.
  16. Magnum Opus: This appears to be True Empowerment for crafters. With TE recently removed for being imbalancing, it seems counterintuitive to re-add it to crafters.
  17. Recycle: Confusion has been expressed about the existence of this, while simultaneously adding more uses to Merchant. This appears to replace Merchant, if the user is a crafter. Can you clarify the ways these do not overlap?
  18. Passive Crafting Skills: This was unclear how the points are used, though it might well be documented. At the start of game, would the points for passive skills be spent once for the whole event? Once per logistics? Or, because it’s “passive” are there no points spent?
  19. Alchemy Globe Superiority: To be clear, this allows globes to be used how they were already in 2.0, correct? If that is correct, 2.0 required 3 levels of Alchemy to do this, but 2.1 requires 20 levels (and 6 CP) to do the same. This seems like quite the leap. What design intent is there to multiplying the cost 6-fold to do what was already being done in previous editions?
  20. Strong Will Stomach: Poisons are barely usable in the game as it stands and were very nearly removed in 2.0. This ability further devalues their usability by allowing some characters to ignore them. At a single level of Alchemy, it’s easy for anyone to be immune to poisons.
  21. Temporary Transmutations/Preserving Energies/Scroll Mastery: This type of “change game rules” mechanic has long been called cheat-on-the-fly for a reason. Allowing tags’ names to be ignored and used as something else makes it impossible to marshal tag usage. Are we moving to a tagless system, if they aren’t valid as-is?
  22. Vomitous Blasts: Tremendous numbers of complaints are coming in on this. We removed mandatory vomiting from Nausea for a reason. Adding it back as an offensive weapon is gross and unnecessary. As with other things, concerns have also been raised about adding more devaluation of ritualists in the form of vengeance.
  23. Endure Elements: One level of Brewing can mimic a ritual (which requires a scroll, components, and similar XP investment)? This appears to be another devaluation of ritualists, despite the relatively minor effect of this skill.
  24. Healing/Harming/Evocation Blades: This one got complaints from claw users and ritualists alike. Claw users can get claws for 8xp, and cannot have any auras for more than 10 minutes unless cast on body via very expensive rituals, and are required to be Wylderkin. This allows the same effect, all event, with spellstrike options (limited in number only by quantity of potions available), regardless of race, for 5 levels of Brewing, and no rituals.
  25. Life’s Renewal: This should be a healer ability, not a brewing ability, or simply something that happens as part of resurrection. Making such a powerful effect bound by one tradeskill means that rez’s should only be performed by a brewer. This feels strongly imbalancing both between other tradeskills and with healers.
  26. Purify The Potion: Why is necromancy illegal if people can choose to use it for good anyway? This muddies the water on why we have this rule.
  27. Celestial Armor: This has already been clarified, but remains a concern. With CA adding to base armor now, it increases the need for effects that ignore armor from NPC camp, especially when combined with Empowered Armor and Armor Mastery. This crafting skill also diminishes the value of Celestial High Magic.
  28. Armor Mastery: This has already been clarified, but remains a concern. With Armor Mastery adding to base armor now, it increases the need for effects that ignore armor from NPC camp, especially when combined with Empowered Armor and Celestial Armor.
  29. Armored Mettle: Unlimited 5-body mettles rather defeats the purpose of having this be a daily skill and renders fighters immune to anything covered by Mettle. This is a large concern for many.
  30. Immovable Shield: This doesn’t say that the shield must be the worn shield. Could a character fill their pockets with 3-resist shields, then resist strikes in a nearly unlimited fashion? At 1gp per use, this seems to be inevitable, especially with the decreased uses/value of gold.
  31. Reckless Strength: Immovable Shield gives near immunity to strikes so long as the character has gold to spare, but Reckless Strength mimics a single Critical Attack. Would strongly recommend increasing this to +2 instead of +1, given the short duration.
  32. Repair Armor: Since before 2000, armor refits have been 1 minute with smithing. 2.1 raises it to 2 minutes but makes it available to all, then requires smiths to spent 1CP to get back to 1 minute. This feels mandatory and means that the smith with 1 level cannot use their skill for anything else. Largely, this feels like an unnecessary change.
  33. Stoke The Coals: This is seriously underpowered, especially compared with other abilities such as Healing Blades. This requires 20 levels purchased, 6CP spent, to be able to spend 10 minutes meditating, to activate a 10 minute aura. Improved Meditate helps, but that is another XP expenditure to be able to use this in a reasonable fashion.
  34. Automatic Injector: Do you need to call the activation? Do you need a visible rep?
  35. Careful Hands: Contact poisons are nearly impossible to use and even harder to get players to acknowledge already. Allowing a single level of Tinkering to passively negate them makes them no longer viable at all for traps and boxes. Suggested alternative: “1/daily. When activated, grants one automatic defense to contact poisons encountered in the next 10 minutes.”
  36. Danger Sense: Concerns brought by ritualists, rather than rogues. This replaces the ritual Trap Avoidance at a much lower cost. Trap Avoidance requires Dodge, plus a scroll, and a fair bit of ritual skill. Danger Sense does not require the Dodge, requires initial investment of 15 levels of Tinkering, but then from that point only costs 3CP per use. This means that while Trap Avoidance requires a sizable investment in resources, XP, and ritual power per charge…and a redo on all that cost every couple years as items expire, Danger Sense becomes a free 5/day ability from the point that the Tinker reaches 15 levels.
  37. Deadman’s Switch: As with other things, concerns have also been raised about adding more devaluation of ritualists in the form of vengeance.
  38. Tinker Globe use: This should probably be reduced to 2CP, as in 2.0 it required 3 levels of Create Traps to use globes AND do legerdemain. With it at 3CP, it requires 4 levels to do both.
 
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tieran

Duke
Alliance Rules
Gettysburg Staff
Marshal
I want to thank you very much for the feedback you've collected! I would also appreciate it if you could extend that same thanks to the players that participated and also express to them the importance of participating in the survey that was posted earlier today.

I've tried to go through and pull the rules related questions from your post to answer below. A lot of the items that are purely feedback (or are more conceptual questions that require more drawn out answers than I am prepared to type up) I'm not going to address here, but it will be factored in to the ARC discussions on the beta packet.

What is the goal/aim of this packet? Early on, we were told it was to expand and improve both crafting and the economy. Reviewing 2.1, it appears that the goal has been changed into turning all crafting skills into semi-mandatory combat supplementary skills and to actually diminish the “crafting” aspect heavily. Was this intended or is this goal-drift?
I want to very briefly address this without getting too deep into the weeds. This packet is not merely a direct product of ARC's work, but also includes items that ARC investigated at the direction of the Chapter Owners, items that the Chapter Owners voted to implement, and items that were submitted by players. While the original aim of the packet was certainly improvements to crafting skills within the realm of things "Rules governed" and updates & changes to the base 2.0 rule set based off of feedback, items have been added outside of that scope for various reasons and with varying levels of ARC input.

Devaluation of ritual magic: We’ve heard from several players who feel that ritual magic has no place going forward the way things are written. Many of their rituals are duplicated in crafting (often far cheaper), crafters can replace ritualists in rituals, and crafters can cast their own rituals. What can be said or done to reassure them that the game isn’t replacing them?
There are a number of differences between the ritual duplication and ritual casting provided by crafters and the ritual casting provided by ritualists. Crafters have no ability to extend the rituals they cast, have a very limited selection of rituals they can cast, and for the ritual duplicating effects are required to continually spend xp in the form of CP to maintain them.

Ritual Changes: If we’re removing marshals from rituals…but requiring a mini-game…doesn’t that leave us with a marshal watching the game anyway? This change seems like a lateral move that actually requires more of staff by requiring the creation of mini-games, while not giving back anything in value to gameplay.
Typically, ritual marshalling is a multi-hour experience and requires a person with a specialized knowledge set. This person will either be a PC who is taking time out of their event to marshal or an NPC who is then prevented from being used by Plot for other tasks. Alternatively, the PCs are put in the position of not being able to cast a ritual due to not having access to a Marshal for whatever reason. The challenges from the Chance to Fail flaw can be designed in advance to require minimal game knowledge and/or bodies to oversee and should not require the same time commitment on the part of NPC camp during an event.

Indomitable Will: This skill uses the word “unlimited” and it’s been clarified that it stacks with other abilities. Is the intent to make fighters 100% immune to all effects covered by mettle?
They would be able to call the skill as many times as they are able to pay the cost in body, but PC-side healing is a finite resource, and NPC-side effects are not subject to the same hard limits.

Lifestyle: Concerns have been voiced over “Found a Thing” replacing one of the few ways that being a crafter involves actually crafting non-special-effect items. With so few ways for crafters to actually be crafters in 2.1, between lifestyle and gobbie purchases, what is the place for an actual merchant (profession, not the skill) character in 2.1?
Found a Thing is limited in scope to 1CP items and gobbie purchases are limited to 50 production per day. Crafters still have plenty of opportunity to craft goods as well as additional uses for their skills beyond just crafting items.

Merchant: In 1.3/2.0, this is a fairly limited and all but useless skill. In 2.1 that doesn’t change unless you invest more points into it. Strangely, the base version of Merchant appears to have been weakened from its already questionable state. With the cost adjustments, this now costs several times more than previously in order to be useful. Moreover, what was the intention behind making it vary in cost by class? Merchant has always represented being a trader, which has little-to-nothing to do with class.
ARC has had an extensive discussion about the cost setup of Merchant and (among other potential cost matrices) did look at a 1/3/5 across the board cost. We elected to move ahead with the presented cost in the alpha packet, in great part, to be able to gauge reaction to it. Much of the feedback we have received so far has been in line with what we anticipated.

Potion Coating: What was the reasoning behind converting this from a magical strike into a blockable/parryable effect?
From personal experience, potion coating is ridiculously powerful offensively. Additionally, this makes potion coatings actually function like weapon coatings would in 2.1.

Qualifiers: (p9) This section is seriously complicated and needs work. There are myriad renames without clear reasoning, addition of a new delivery, conversion of old deliveries (many of which cascade other problems). This one feels like change for the sake of change.
I may be misinterpreting what is being said here, and I would certainly like some additional clarification on it if I am. That said:

There are two things being renamed, both deliveries, Packet (to Mystic) & Physical (to Material). Packet was changed due to some issues with certain packet attacks (I'm looking at you Archery) not working with the Packet delivery rules. Physical was changed because we found it to be a more appropriate descriptor (and the alliteration was nice, too).

No new deliveries are being added.

The only qualifier that is changing delivery type is Poison, and ARC has found this change allows us to solve a few problems (ahem, Archery again), make some QoL improvements (packet colors), and eliminate some problems (weapon coatings with the poison qualifier that don't work like the other poison qualifier).

I don't think there is anything in the packet that I would categorize as change for its own sake, but I'm certainly willing to admit that some of it may appear that way without insight into the process. If there is something in this answer (or really anywhere else in this reply) that you feel I've misinterpreted or that you feel you or any one else could use clarification on, please do not hesitate to ask.

Shatter Spirit: Can we find a different name? Anyone who was around circa 2000 (or before) knows Annihilate as something VERY different. “Shatter Spirit” was clear that it was a spirit-effecting ritual. Annihilate doesn’t have that clarity, which seems to actually make it less clear.
While ARC (and I, specifically) have a great amount of appreciation for the long-lasting existence of this game and a great amount of respect for the time in, Annihilate is not a call that has had an official place in the rulebook in at least two decades.
At the same time, if you have a better suggestion, I will 100% plug the survey.

Slow/Weakness Blow: Why remove Slow? The effect still exists in the game, so the removal here seems odd. Also, we already have Disarm abilities, so why duplicate? Also, has the effect on hybrids been considered, given that this provides overlapping skills, rather than something of value from each side of their skill trees?
A good amount of the changes to the per day martial and stealth weapon abilities came about due to a deep dive into purchase and sell back data through the CMA. The changed skills were found to not be purchased in the quantities expected based on their accessibility and prerequisites. Some of these skills we made changes to the cost, some we made changes to the functionality, and some (like this one) we changed the ability itself, in an effort to encourage more purchases.

Talismans: While the idea is good, it’s been noted that these will not be made “obvious” or different from catalysts. In the past, scrolls were clearly scrolls. Why the change to allow for “hidden” and unrecognizable scrolls/catalysts?
First, I want to note that there is nothing preventing (and in fact the Talisman write-up specifically mentions) a chapter continuing to use scroll-like reps for Talismans. It also allows for other, just as neat, things to be used to represent an object that holds magic bound inside of it waiting for a trained individual to extract and use. A bejeweled skull that allows for Transformation into Undead, a withered heart that will allow a caster to fortify the spirit of an ally, a crystalline bracer that coalesces into an arcane field around the target. The possibilities, as they say, are limited only by your imagination!

Cloak: Giving crafters magical Cloak abilities seriously devalues ritualists’ ability to do the same. The fact that crafter Cloaks are exponentially more powerful (ie, “Cloak Arcane”) furthers this concern.
I would feel remiss if I did not point out that Crafting Cloaks defend against either a single, specific qualifier or a single specific effect group. High Magic Cloaks can select from any of the standard effect groups. While a Cloak Arcane is powerful when faced with something throwing Arcane Sleep, it will not protect against Spell Sleep, Poison Sleep, or Weapon Sleep, but all of those (and the Arcane Sleep) could be defended against by a HM Cloak Command.

Magnum Opus: This appears to be True Empowerment for crafters. With TE recently removed for being imbalancing, it seems counterintuitive to re-add it to crafters.
TE basically turned into a mechanism to allow for the creation of 21+ ritual items. MOpus is for advancement of a more plot-related type, creation of the magic doodad that is needed to advance a plot line, and the like.

Recycle: Confusion has been expressed about the existence of this, while simultaneously adding more uses to Merchant. This appears to replace Merchant, if the user is a crafter. Can you clarify the ways these do not overlap?
Merchant allows someone to recover coin from stuff at a flat rate. Recycle allows that same stuff to be converted into Crafting Materials, based on the character's dedication to crafting that day and the type of item being turned in.

Passive Crafting Skills: This was unclear how the points are used, though it might well be documented. At the start of game, would the points for passive skills be spent once for the whole event? Once per logistics? Or, because it’s “passive” are there no points spent?
Much like High Magic, CP can be spent at any point during a Logistics Period to purchase abilities, which last either until used (Daily) or until the LP ends (Passive) or you resurrect.

Vomitous Blasts: Tremendous numbers of complaints are coming in on this. We removed mandatory vomiting from Nausea for a reason. Adding it back as an offensive weapon is gross and unnecessary. As with other things, concerns have also been raised about adding more devaluation of ritualists in the form of vengeance.
I understand your concern, but this ability has no requirement to roleplay vomiting, similar to how the Bag of Cats Superior Equipment does not require you to fling felines.
In regards to the devaluation of Celestial ritualists, and I'll say some of this again later on in regards to Deadman's Switch, where a similar concern is raised, this is a single mandatory use vengeance charge that consumes (a potentially significant amount of) resources. ARC is not of the opinion that a single use ability that does not persist beyond a given LP, and has a recurring cost, both in the form of xp and resources, is on par with or detracts from the value of a multi-use ability that lasts until it is fully used and does not require any kind of upkeep.

Immovable Shield: This doesn’t say that the shield must be the worn shield. Could a character fill their pockets with 3-resist shields, then resist strikes in a nearly unlimited fashion? At 1gp per use, this seems to be inevitable, especially with the decreased uses/value of gold.
To clarify, the shield must be properly wielded to be used.

Reckless Strength: Immovable Shield gives near immunity to strikes so long as the character has gold to spare, but Reckless Strength mimics a single Critical Attack. Would strongly recommend increasing this to +2 instead of +1, given the short duration.
Reckless Strength is an increase to the base damage of the weapon which has additional impacts beyond the +1 to damage granted by a critical attack.

Automatic Injector: Do you need to call the activation? Do you need a visible rep?
The character benefitting from the effect would make the call "Arcane <effect>" referenced in the packet.

Careful Hands: Contact poisons are nearly impossible to use and even harder to get players to acknowledge already. Allowing a single level of Tinkering to passively negate them makes them no longer viable at all for traps and boxes. Suggested alternative: “1/daily. When activated, grants one automatic defense to contact poisons encountered in the next 10 minutes.”
The purchase of Careful Hands does not make the character immune to contact poisons, it allows the the opportunity to call an evade against a delivery method they normally would not be able to. Evade definitely has a low prerequisite to purchase, but for each time you evade a contact poison its one less time you can evade an attack in combat. There are far more effective methods available to avoid contact poisons.

Deadman’s Switch: As with other things, concerns have also been raised about adding more devaluation of ritualists in the form of vengeance.
Given the relatively low values of vengeance damage allowed by these items for the cost and the fact that they do not persist beyond the Logistics Period they are used in, there was not significant concern about competition with Celestial Ritualists in this regard.

Tinker Globe use: This should probably be reduced to 2CP, as in 2.0 it required 3 levels of Create Traps to use globes AND do legerdemain. With it at 3CP, it requires 4 levels to do both.
Due to the substantive changes throughout 2.1 ARC does not place a great amount of value on maintaining parity with the 1.3/2.0 production skills.

If there is anything in here you feel needs expansion or further clarification, please feel free to ask.

And again, thank you very much for the feedback!
 

PirateFox

Scholar
Before I get into replies to replies, I just want to thank you for your answers. While I and the submitters don't agree with all of them, I appreciate the open and public discussion. With 2.0 there was a sense of things being secret in the background and feedback being utterly ignored. With text discussion, it's very easy to have comments be interpreted as attacks (especially when criticism is involved), which is why I wanted to put this up front.
  • Goals: As I read this, you're saying there's no set goal for this and it ended up being a mish-mash of other ideas? Is that correct? We're trying to pin down the intent, so if it ended up getting dragged in a lot of directions, that kind of answers the question, but I want to make sure I'm not putting words in your mouth.
  • Ritualists: This one I admit I don't understand the reply on. As I read the packet (and how others seem to have read it based on the comments I've been getting), if you bought X levels of a skill, you can do Y ritual. I don't see (and I may be simply overlooking it) where it requires constant recasting other than for superior gear. The comment about it costing more and more xp I definitely don't get. Can you clarify? This may simply be a case of those close to the text understand the vaguer points and those of us who are reading it for the first time might be making other assumptions.
  • Rit Marshal: So the goal is not to remove the marshal, but rather the ritual training/knowledge for said marshal?
  • Indomitable Will: I think the crux of our disagreement on this one is the amount of available healing. In 2.1, it seems night onto limitless, making this ability vastly overpowered. If we agreed on healing being limited (which we don't :) ), then yes, the ability has limits.
  • Qualifier: No, I think you covered it. "Shot" was the new delivery (qualifier? I could see it argued as being either category, since it's a modifier to either) I was referring to.
  • Shatter Spirit: I think the reply on this one rather misses the point being made by the original asker, but if they have suggestions, I'll send that your way.
  • Passive Crafting: Resurrect? So as I read that, if I took Trap Making's passive to do lockpicking/legerdemain and I resurrect...I can't touch locks until logistics?
  • Immovable Shield: Figured that was the intent, but it wasn't stated so wanted to verify.
  • Reckless Strength: Good point! I think we missed the "base" in that.
  • Automatic Injector: Perfect on the call. Wasn't sure if it was a silent call or stated. Still curious if it needs a rep.
The one remaining major concern we have (aside from the items not addressed, obviously) is in the last comment you made. "ARC does not place a great amount of value on maintaining parity with the 1.3/2.0 production skills". This feels like a pretty harsh statement on the condition of Alliance rules. We've thrown away 100% of the game many of us signed up to play/run/own when 2.0 came along, then this statement appears to indicate we're overhauling yet again, two years later (most of that with chapters closed). This really doesn't give any sense of stability and continuity to the rules system if it's endlessly being rewritten. Many of us want to be able to play without having to rewrite or relearn every season or two, so this definitely has my concerns raised!

Again, thank you for your replies and digging through that long list!
 
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Fade

Newbie
So let me understand this. Alchemy globes are is now blockable with a Shield (As it is a Material packet, thus a Mystical with the Shot qualifier) unless you have 20 levels of Alchemy, which you have to spend on the Superiority ability to be able to throw them as "Strikes?"

This is a HUGE change, and not one for the better. Gutting Alchemy to fix a perceived problem with Archery and packet colors is not a good thing. This is a Significant nerf to alchemy going largely under the radar, and I say this as someone who does not have any Alchemy characters. Making someone have 20 levels of alchemy before they can do what they could prior to this proposed change with 3 is awful.

Alch globes should go through a shield.

As I will state in my breakdown of things, the "Shot" qualifier is very problematic and will lead to many a breakdown in combat. Adding a call that must be said, should not subtract from it (In this case it takes from it the strike ability, which is restored with Superiority, which makes Strike work on Packets again...... but Qualifiers say you shouldnt use the qualifiers like that in the last line... Its circular and contradictory in the same rules package)
 

Xanian

Newbie
I'm not sure that calling it 'gutting alchemy' is fair. It brings down the power level of the low investment in alchemy 3, which has frankly been far stronger than it should have been for its cost for a long time, especially if you have a group and resources. IMO this brings it more in line to getting what you pay for with the XP. Sure, it feels bad to lose some effectiveness, but it is really effectiveness that we should not have had at that level in the first place, if the skill was balanced to begin with.
 

Fade

Newbie
By making the investment in Alchemy take almost 7 TIMES the investment to have the same effectiveness that it does now isn't gutting it? Would Gutting it be closer to 10 times? How about 20 times? Seriously, I have a bridge to sell you.

So you're saying how it's been for multiple decades (Effectively since the dawn of the ruleset) is wrong and only now we're going to fix it?
I strongly disagree with that sentiment. Adding that globes can be blocked with a shield severely de-powers Alchemy and makes Shield THAT much more effective than it already is.

This, on top of making "some" globes go through shields with the Strike keyword... its a disaster in the making. Ever been in a mass scrum of a melee in the dark on a Saturday night? How many "Shot" calls are you realistically going to hear in that chaos?

This is a clear move in the wrong direction
 

Xanian

Newbie
We said the same thing about scaling weapon profs but I am still pretty strongly in the corner that it was a good change for the game. "That's the way it's always been" is not a valid reason to resist change, to me.

I am not sure we are going to see things the same here, sorry. I am seeing a mole hill and you are seeing a mountain. I don't feel like this is going to substantively change anything about fights go in the dark. We'll still have the same about of "What was that?" "Ok, got it" that we did before. Sure, the first few events may have some growing pains as we get used to it and in the end, it will be far easier to describe what can be blocked to new players.

Some things are blocked by shields, some things aren't. This just standardizes the verbals instead of making exceptions with the way the attack was sent (packet vs weapon).
 

Fade

Newbie
How about we not resist change and say that since this is such a big revision of the game EVERYONE gets set back to level 1, so everyone can be on even footing again? Push the reset button since the game is pretty much a new one overall. It's honestly the most fair way to deal with things.


This leads into another problem stated above.

At what point is this no longer the game we signed up for? Are we just screwed?
2.0 was a big enough change I was not a fan of to begin with. It wildly missed the mark of simplification and reigning things in. That ship has sailed though.
This takes it and twists it to something almost unrecognizable.

This is not the game I signed up to play or run.

As far as Alchemy, having an expensive but otherwise effective way for low level people to contribute in a big way is a good thing. The concept of Balance in this call is skewed heavily towards the high level player base. Shields don't need the boost either.
 

EC-JP

Scholar
The relative strength of Alchemy 3 has long been known to be a problem, and there have been any number of thoughts on how to fix it over the years (“throw only what you can make” being the most common), but none have been a consensus. The new proposed model fixes that by letting people with Alch 3 still throw anything they could throw before, but having to be more careful re: aim and opportunity. Skilled alchemists can choose to be better at it and not need to try as hard. I view this as a minor (but warranted) nerf to alchemy while being a comparative buff to being an actual alchemist. That’s a tough needle to try and thread.

Coming from the perspective of a player with multiple characters that all have Alch 3, and only one is a real alchemist, this change puts Alch3 where it probably should be.
 

Xanian

Newbie
How about we not resist change and say that since this is such a big revision of the game EVERYONE gets set back to level 1, so everyone can be on even footing again? Push the reset button since the game is pretty much a new one overall. It's honestly the most fair way to deal with things.


This leads into another problem stated above.

At what point is this no longer the game we signed up for? Are we just screwed?
2.0 was a big enough change I was not a fan of to begin with. It wildly missed the mark of simplification and reigning things in. That ship has sailed though.
This takes it and twists it to something almost unrecognizable.

This is not the game I signed up to play or run.

As far as Alchemy, having an expensive but otherwise effective way for low level people to contribute in a big way is a good thing. The concept of Balance in this call is skewed heavily towards the high level player base. Shields don't need the boost either.
I don't know you, as a person or as a member of this community, so it is difficult for me to work to find some common ground to have a conversation. However, based on this, it is pretty clear that there are still some substantial negative opinions regarding 2.0 and how that change occurred that have stuck with you. In light of that, it makes much more sense why what I am seeing as a relatively small and warranted balance change would be much more severe and obtrusive in your eyes. I apologize that there isn't anything I can do or say to help overcome the previous situations to move forward.
 

Fade

Newbie
How is a 400%+ higher (minimum) build investment seen as minor? From a minimum of 15 to a minimum of 66? How is FIFTY BUILD minor?

How much build do you actually have?
Again, this is heavily skewed in favor of high level characters.
Look at the average new player and how much build will they get just playing the local game over the course of their 3 -5 years on average. No build buying shenanigans with pay/no play, no season pass stuff, just playing the game, once a month, sometimes twice depending on where they are. Fifty build is a big deal, not some drop in the bucket.

As for me, Ive been in the game since the 90's, and yes I felt that 2.0 was a big step in the wrong direction, and I felt that the feedback that was given was largely ignored in the process of putting it together, so there's a bit more fire this time. 1.3 wasn't perfect, but there were ways to fix it without writing a new system.
But again, that ship has sailed.
 

Mobius

Squire
Chicago Staff
Marshal
Skilled alchemists can choose to be better at it and not need to try as hard. I view this as a minor (but warranted) nerf to alchemy while being a comparative buff to being an actual alchemist. That’s a tough needle to try and thread.

This is what I see at the core of this Balance Change: changing Poison to Material is a reduction in the efficiency of Alchemy Globes; however, when taken in balance to the rest of the Alchemy changes and additions, there is a net growth in Alchemy's effectiveness as a Crafting And Combat Skill.
 

Xanian

Newbie
Sorcerer: Concerns have been brought up about the fact that while spells are discounted for dual-school, the costs for channeling/high-magic weren’t raised much. If this is intended to be a spellcaster class, this seems like a natural tradeoff. Allowing relatively cheap use of all things magical appears to make this class effectively the go-to for anyone over a certain xp point.

Now, on to replying to this. I wrote the original proposal for the sorcerer class, so I am hoping that I can shed some light on the thought process here to maybe clarify its intention.

For a basis on the discussion, there is an assumption that the game currently has 4 primary classes. Those classes are Fighter, Rogue, Earth Scholar, and Celestial Scholar. The book doesn't define the two types of scholar as different classes, but consider them different, as they have very different playstyle, battlefield capabilities, and such.

Given that, hybrids were created to mix the primaries together. There are hybrid classes to mix any combination of 2 primary classes together EXCEPT for both scholars. Additionally, the current cost for the second school of magic on scholars is punitively expensive for the variety of spells that they gain access to. The proposal is specifically to propose a hybrid class to combine the earth and celestial scholar.

They don't pay a premium for channeling as that should be a valid path for a dual school, if they wanna go that way, though the cost of improved channeling was increased as it would benefit both schools with a single purchase. They pay more per column than scholars do (30 v 25) but they pay that same amount for both schools. They also pay more for high magic (3 v 2) but again, for both schools.

It isn't an inevitable choice for scholars, as they will still have more spells and more high magic if they stick to a single school, but if they wanted to become balanced in both, an option now exists to support that.

We crunched a ton of numbers to try and get things to a good point. A pure scholar will always have more spellpower than this class if they stick to their specialty. Dual school is still an uphill battle, but this class can make it one worth fighting for those interested in the play style.
 

Xanian

Newbie
How is a 400%+ higher (minimum) build investment seen as minor? From a minimum of 15 to a minimum of 66? How is FIFTY BUILD minor?

How much build do you actually have?
Again, this is heavily skewed in favor of high level characters.
Look at the average new player and how much build will they get just playing the local game over the course of their 3 -5 years on average. No build buying shenanigans with pay/no play, no season pass stuff, just playing the game, once a month, sometimes twice depending on where they are. Fifty build is a big deal, not some drop in the bucket.

As for me, Ive been in the game since the 90's, and yes I felt that 2.0 was a big step in the wrong direction, and I felt that the feedback that was given was largely ignored in the process of putting it together, so there's a bit more fire this time. 1.3 wasn't perfect, but there were ways to fix it without writing a new system.
But again, that ship has sailed.
To me, minor is "Can't be blocked by shields" to "Can be blocked by shields".

It's a nerf, for sure, but this skill has long been considered very strong for its XP spend.

Let's frame this another way. Instead of saying that we dislike the idea of moving the poison strike to alch 20, what would you propose, assuming that keeping it at 2-3 is not considered acceptable for the power level of the XP spent.

How about adding a per day at 1 CP that lets you throw a single globe with the strike keyword?

or moving the prereqs around so that the Alch superiority is at 15, fusion globe is at 10, and reliable reaction (throwing a second if you miss) is at 20?
 

Mulgrum

Newbie
The difference between "Can be blocked by shields" and "Can't be blocked by shields" is not minor. The balancing factors to shields are spells, gases and strikes. You have just removed one of those balancing factors and paywalled it behind 60xp in a skill that someone was only paying 9xp for previously. That's only looking at this particular change though and not the entire swath of changes to alchemy or the game as a whole.
Poison is probably the most commonly seen immunity in the game, if that's not a factor then you have to hope that the globe type doesn't hit on of their resistance/immunities. That's today and in some parts of the country we have players regretting going into alchemy. Now we're going to tack another layer of defenses on making it even less likely that when you throw money at a problem it gets solved.

I'm hearing that there's a net gain in the combat power of Alchemy. Lets examine:

Alchemy Globe Prof: Straight nerf used to come free and you could make a couple of globes an event. Now you have to invest more in alchemy for that functionality. This is a problem with Tinkering and Smithing too.

Alchemy Globe Superiority: Straight nerf. We've covered this.

Cure for What Ails You: Throwing Cure Wounds elixirs like a Final Fantasy Tactics Chemist makes me smile, but its not really that great. If alchemy could make a stronger elixir this would be more attractive.

Effective Antidotes: This is strong. Also requires 60xp in alchemy to get.

Fusion Globe: 6xp to turn a single globe into a trap globe. Eh? It gets around the poison immunity issue but each use is 2 CP less to build globes with. You trade the power to make globes for the power for them to actually land.

Reliable Reactions: Perfectly strong, plays into the "Be all you can't be" aspect of Alliance by giving people with bad aim a second shot.

Strong Will Stomach: The actual uses of this are so limited that I can't see it as anything other than a fun rp gimmick.

Temporary Transmutations: Its a fun trick but you kind of need to know you need it before you need it. If you don't have it in memory you have to spend a meditation to switch a single globe. Seeing as alchemy is a rogue's sidearm skill I just don't think there's going to be a bunch of rogues running around with Enhanced Meditate to make this worthwhile.

Viscous Poisons: Poison Coating forever. Its one of the more sought after rituals for a reason. Good on you to include claws.

Vomitous Blasts: So you eat globes so you don't have to carry globes? But you still physically have to carry them so I guess this has value if you know you're going to be kidnapped by the big bad. This is like once a campaign for a single character in your chapter specific. The second part is also really specific. I guess you can swallow a bunch of globes if you expect to be ganked or that killing blow active enemies are on the loose.

So in exchange for your globes, the primary thing you craft, being far less useful unless you stack a ton more xp into the skill you get:
The ability to throw 5 healing point poitions
The ability to use antidotes as purify (If you go to 20 ranks)
The ability to turn single globes into elemental (Which reduces the amount of globes you can make per day for each time you use it)
An immediate meditate of missed globes
A fringe use RP skill
A daily toolbox trick that requires a rogue to invest in a skill that most aren't taking to actually be useful as a toolbox trick.
A better version of a ritual.
A very situational use for globes that requires you to know you're going to need it, potentially waste a bunch of blast globes to make the second part worth your time AND brings vomiting back into the game for some reason.

There's some power here for sure, but a lot of it is gated behind large investments into alchemy and/or enhanced meditate. I'm not sure these things balance out.

Lets look at the Superior Equipment to see what power alchemists are getting there.

Quill of Insert Component: Not for a rogue/combat alchemist. Cool though

Dragon's Breath Distilate: 5 Elemental flame every ten minutes. Even at every one minute this is really disappointing. I guess you give it to a newbie? I'm not sure I'd ever waste the resources (Especially because that would compete with the alchemy abilities that make my craft usable)

Liquid Courage: This is on the right track. Really depends on how much CP someone has to blow to make this.

Howlbear Brew: Its strong but its usefulness really depends on how much CP it takes to make it. No one is getting to 20 alchemy to make this, and the globe suite (Globe Prof/Superiority/Reliable Reactions) is going to eat 9 out of 20 CP. Add Effective Antidotes and you're at 15/20 CP. This might never see the light of day.

Eat Me Not: Holy niche thing Batman. Nice to have in the toolkit when you find it as treasure, not sure anyone is making it unless a game has a serious Engulf problem.

It looks like there's not much power there, certainly not for the alchemist themselves. Howlbear brew doesn't really scream "rogue" to me.

I'm just not seeing this massive power boost that justifies taking the iconic product of a craft and making it worse than it already is. This just reinforces that if the target has a shield the alchemist/rogue needs to go somewhere else because they're going to be less than effective. Which might be a purposeful design choice, but shields are already pretty strong. Especially now that shield holders can grab infinite mettles and have such high armor values that multiple high level spells will be required to breach them.

This packet shifts the power of alchemist from a situational takeout machine to a side healer with some really situational tricks and takeouts.
 

Fade

Newbie
I’m game, lets take a look. First, though, I want to make it clear I don’t agree with the premise that 3 level alchemy is unacceptable. It is not only a somewhat useful tool for PC’s of low level to use, it is also a useful tool to stat a low level encounter with a dangerous guy who has just a couple of globes, who could really make an encounter feel cool but not bloat the character up with a bunch of extra build.

Traditionally, Alchemy has had two major limiting factors.

1: The range of encounters Alchemy is useful in is fairly narrow and restricted to normal metabolism creatures



2: Alchemy costs money to produce and is expensive in both production and coin to just throw in bulk for someone who doesn’t have a hoard of gold, thus it is slower to acquire through producing it.



I would split the thrown alchemy into something like Acids (Or dissolvents, or blasts etc) and Gasses. Acids would be cheaper to produce, thus more common, and could be blocked. Gasses would continue to be expensive and slower to acquire. Blast globes fit this nicely with the current setup.

Essentially, I would put the burden of cost upon the individual Alchemy as opposed to the Experience of the character.

Gasses need more effects than “No Skills” or “Sit down” (Vertigo, Nausea, and Laugh were all “No Skills” variations, rolled into Enfeeble, while Sleep and Paralysis are “Sit Down”). Perhaps an Awaken effect (Smelling salts), or a Pin or Shackle (Glop Grenade). Alchemists, of any crafter, should have access to Molotovs. A half full bottle of burning high octane whisky breaking on your shield isnt going to be something you can block and not muss the finish on your ringmesh.

Alchemical oils one would smear upon their armor or person to help against certain elements as a dumb defense would be interesting



All that said, if you wanted to continue with the paradigm presented in the 2.1 packet:

If you wanted to make each globe that uses the Strike keyword cost a CP to prep as you throw it, that would work, but would be very prohibitive in terms of what is spent each day. Makes it more of a meaningful choice though

If you wanted to still retain the superiority skill, make it closer to 10 than 20, where at 10, the extra prep is no longer necessary and they do not cost the extra CP to toss.

That said, this splits out Gasses and non-gas globes in terms of production and treasure distro, but it retains the spirit while still skewing things to more investment.
 
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Fade

Newbie
Strong Will Stomach: The actual uses of this are so limited that I can't see it as anything other than a fun rp gimmick.
I would argue it's not much more than a tax on Vomitous Blasts

A big thing here, is that this system isn't being built in a vacuum. It's important to remember this will drastically alter how people play the game with existing characters.

When I asked for a reset before, as facetious as it sounded, I really do mean it. As we all know, these systems tend to eat their own faces at higher levels, where the absurdity of the numbers causes unavoidable strain until it just breaks. A full reset is not only 100% justified, but it would be healthy for the game as a whole. I grumbled a bit when I had to start over after the first split, but in the end with everyone else on the same page it was just fine, and statting was a breeze.


Alliance, as a product, seems to have shifted from a story driven immersion experience, to a power fantasy experience when it comes to system building. Just look at the amount of huge numbers and takeouts exist now as opposed to prior to the change.
To me, it is what it is. Its neither good nor bad, just a shift that started with 2.0 and continues with 2.1 proposal.
 

Squee

Newbie
To me, minor is "Can't be blocked by shields" to "Can be blocked by shields".

It's a nerf, for sure, but this skill has long been considered very strong for its XP spend.

Let's frame this another way. Instead of saying that we dislike the idea of moving the poison strike to alch 20, what would you propose, assuming that keeping it at 2-3 is not considered acceptable for the power level of the XP spent.

How about adding a per day at 1 CP that lets you throw a single globe with the strike keyword?

or moving the prereqs around so that the Alch superiority is at 15, fusion globe is at 10, and reliable reaction (throwing a second if you miss) is at 20?
Speaking as someone who plays a dedicated Alchemist (So understand there is bias here) This is a minor nerf to people who just dabble in throwing what globes they find, but a massive nerf to those of us who spend significant resources to craft globes. Every globe I throw cost money (Even with 2.1 I will need to either get super lucky finding mats, give up money for mats in loot splits, or spend money to purchase them off other players). I already struggle greatly with most monsters I come across being immune to my globes. Now I have to also contend with the idea that shields can now block them? I get that a lot of people see alchemy globes as a minor tool to aid them in combat. But for those of us who dedicate a large portion of our XP and resources to be able to weaken enemies through alchemy, there is no denying this is a massive change and not for the better.

I know a response was basically, "Just get better at throwing them", and I agree that is helpful, but not a solution. I don't care how good you are at throwing packets, if someone is decent with a shield, you have an uphill battle on your hands. No matter how good you are, you are still going to hit less and waste more resources trying to achieve the same goal you could before. Keep in mind a crafting alchemist spends gold/ resources every time he throws.

Most importantly, this devastates low level alchemists. If I made a new character, with a focus on alchemy, it is going to be a very long time before I am effective. I can't make many globes, what globes I do make are expensive given my lower crafting ability, and now, they are even harder to hit with, meaning I will be wasting a lot more money/ resources. This change makes alchemy far less useful for low level characters that just don't have the resources or XP to get 20 levels in alchemy. Even at it's cheapest, 20 levels of alchemy is 60 XP. That is 8 logistical periods or 4 events if I buy nothing BUT Alchemy. As we all know, that is unrealistic. So make that 6 events. On top of this, they need to spend money/resources at a higher rate due to the less effectiveness of their build. Are we really saying that a new player has to wait almost a year before their alchemy build starts to pay off? Even longer if they want to add some sort of combat or role play skills in there.

I get that alchemy globes being used by people who just fling what they find is powerful. I just don't think making it so that Alchemy builds are only viable at high levels is the answer. One thing I see happening a lot, is people forgetting about or dismissing low level builds. Remember, part of the goal here should be drawing in new players and making the experience fun. Can anyone here honestly recommend building a dedicated alchemist as a low level character? If so, maybe I've got it all wrong (Very possible). If you can't Recommend it, isn't that a problem?
 

PirateFox

Scholar
Speaking as someone who plays a dedicated Alchemist (So understand there is bias here) This is a minor nerf to people who just dabble in throwing what globes they find, but a massive nerf to those of us who spend significant resources to craft globes. Every globe I throw cost money (Even with 2.1 I will need to either get super lucky finding mats, give up money for mats in loot splits, or spend money to purchase them off other players). I already struggle greatly with most monsters I come across being immune to my globes. Now I have to also contend with the idea that shields can now block them? I get that a lot of people see alchemy globes as a minor tool to aid them in combat. But for those of us who dedicate a large portion of our XP and resources to be able to weaken enemies through alchemy, there is no denying this is a massive change and not for the better.

I know a response was basically, "Just get better at throwing them", and I agree that is helpful, but not a solution. I don't care how good you are at throwing packets, if someone is decent with a shield, you have an uphill battle on your hands. No matter how good you are, you are still going to hit less and waste more resources trying to achieve the same goal you could before. Keep in mind a crafting alchemist spends gold/ resources every time he throws.

Most importantly, this devastates low level alchemists. If I made a new character, with a focus on alchemy, it is going to be a very long time before I am effective. I can't make many globes, what globes I do make are expensive given my lower crafting ability, and now, they are even harder to hit with, meaning I will be wasting a lot more money/ resources. This change makes alchemy far less useful for low level characters that just don't have the resources or XP to get 20 levels in alchemy. Even at it's cheapest, 20 levels of alchemy is 60 XP. That is 8 logistical periods or 4 events if I buy nothing BUT Alchemy. As we all know, that is unrealistic. So make that 6 events. On top of this, they need to spend money/resources at a higher rate due to the less effectiveness of their build. Are we really saying that a new player has to wait almost a year before their alchemy build starts to pay off? Even longer if they want to add some sort of combat or role play skills in there.

I get that alchemy globes being used by people who just fling what they find is powerful. I just don't think making it so that Alchemy builds are only viable at high levels is the answer. One thing I see happening a lot, is people forgetting about or dismissing low level builds. Remember, part of the goal here should be drawing in new players and making the experience fun. Can anyone here honestly recommend building a dedicated alchemist as a low level character? If so, maybe I've got it all wrong (Very possible). If you can't Recommend it, isn't that a problem?

TBF, it's not just the shields. If it's a physical(ish) attack...can't they parry/intercept? Even throwing "better" doesn't fix that.
 

Squee

Newbie
TBF, it's not just the shields. If it's a physical(ish) attack...can't they parry/intercept? Even throwing "better" doesn't fix that.
True! I meant to add that and forgot. On top of that, there was a nice little ability that allows you to throw a second packet free if the first misses, but that has never applied to parry, evades, or blocking.

And Since I forgot to add this as well:

If you truly believe that globes are too powerful (Given that half the monsters are immune for just this reason) Then nerf them, but give Alchemist something else to focus on. We are woefully limited in what we can actually craft elixir wise. Let us go all Witcher and craft elixirs that enhance a character. Once per logistical period/purchase let us craft an elixir that lets the drinker dodge or evade or hit harder. An alchemist is supposed to be a support class. After all, they can only craft one thing that directly deals damage. So let us Support! If we can't put things to sleep, let us beef up our friends.
 
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