Class and School Breakup September '19

500 Body can be Reduced or Resoluted. I don't think you'd be able to Resolute a 1.3 Eviscerate the way you can a 2.0 Eviscerating Blow; Resolute says it lowers any damage from a blow to leave you with 1 Body, but the 1.3 Eviscerate wording of "allows a character to knock a target to -1 Body points" while blowing straight through Armor feels more to me like it doesn't actually deal any damage, and just sets your status to "at -1 Body with 0 Armor". It's a moot point, in any case, unless Eviscerating Blow gets changed back.
 

Draven

Count
Seattle Staff
Marshal
Eviscerate was regularly reduced in Seattle against BBGs, tbh.

And if monsters are reducing Body damage, that’s a local Plot decision that’s not part of the regular monster DB, I suspect.
 
Yeah, but it should probably have been an Altered Effect, since Eviscerate's Effect was "deal so much damage that the target is left with 0 Armor and -1 Body", so Reducing that strikes me as odd for the reason I noted above. I have no doubt that it was defended against in at least a couple of ways for any BBG that was intended to stay up for longer than 30 seconds, but I guess now the how is entirely irrelevant.

I recall there being at least one monster in the limited database we were using for playtests that had "reduce all Weapon damage to 1" in its Defenses section, but I might be misremembering that; if I'm not, and such a monster continues to exist in the database, it would reduce 500 Body to 1 Body unless the Qualifier was changed. But it was like... APL 25 or higher, I think.
 
I personally would like to see backstab damage be increased (perhaps 3:1 instead of 2:1) to bring them more in line with what a fighter can do. When a fighter's all day swings are the average of your front and back, there really is no numerical reason to go backstab (as it is VERY unlikely that half of your attacks are from behind, unless you are exceptionally skilled).
Backstab isn't intended to help rogues be absolute damage machines, it's to give rogues a different style of similar damage output. Rogue damage is less reliable but much faster, which allows fitting truly impressive bursts of damage into small windows of opportunity. Compare Assassinate damage to Slay damage and note that even Two-Handed Martial damage doesn't have the raw burst power of stealth damage. Also worth noting: rogues are more likely than anyone else to be able to crack high thresholds or kill a target trying to rift to safety.

Backstab is also balanced against the rest of the Stealth toolkit. Alchemy is simply more powerful than anything in the Martial repertoire, and Dodge/Evade is a more potent defensive combination (for the individual) as well. Traps are very situational, but they are situationally incredibly deadly.

A rogue with a good collection of alchemy globes and, who knows, maybe a small stack of scrolls can wreak absolute havoc. I've seen a single rogue with a good sense of timing win a wave battle by themselves a well placed Charm gas, and I've seen a rogue save a lost encounter by buying time for everyone else to get a head start by holding a choke point single-handedly. It's important to play the class, not just just it's most basic skills.
 

Xanian

Newbie
Backstab isn't intended to help rogues be absolute damage machines, it's to give rogues a different style of similar damage output. Rogue damage is less reliable but much faster, which allows fitting truly impressive bursts of damage into small windows of opportunity. Compare Assassinate damage to Slay damage and note that even Two-Handed Martial damage doesn't have the raw burst power of stealth damage. Also worth noting: rogues are more likely than anyone else to be able to crack high thresholds or kill a target trying to rift to safety.

Backstab is also balanced against the rest of the Stealth toolkit. Alchemy is simply more powerful than anything in the Martial repertoire, and Dodge/Evade is a more potent defensive combination (for the individual) as well. Traps are very situational, but they are situationally incredibly deadly.

A rogue with a good collection of alchemy globes and, who knows, maybe a small stack of scrolls can wreak absolute havoc. I've seen a single rogue with a good sense of timing win a wave battle by themselves a well placed Charm gas, and I've seen a rogue save a lost encounter by buying time for everyone else to get a head start by holding a choke point single-handedly. It's important to play the class, not just just it's most basic skills.
I see your point on that, but kinda disagree a bit. First, while alchemy is a stealth skill, 3 ranks is incredibly accessible for pretty much everyone, so it isn't really a 'rogue only' tool.

Second, I agree that rogue defenses are much more easily utilized than fighters, which does help mitigate the situational nature of rogue skills.

I think the main point is that Backstab is the 'core' rogue skill, as weapon prof is the 'core' fighter skill, and BS really doesn't add up, when a comparison is done.

For reference on how I came to that conclusion: A friend of mine and I sat down for about 5 hours of spreadsheets trying to compare and contrast the capabilities of four classes (fighter, rogue, scout, and spellsword) at 4 different build point levels (50,100,200,300) and at every level, fighter's damage outclassed everything else. I tried to make a point of the extra tools that rogues/scouts get, but when fighters could get parry/evis/weapon strikes as well, the extra tools didn't outweigh the sheer damage difference.

To note: we believe there is a CLEAR difference in the power of rogue strikes and defenses, but it was just not enough to overshadow the repetitive damage difference.

I do not have the numbers in front of me at the moment (but can recreate the sheets later, if it would be helpful), but at similar build breakpoints, fighters would swing the average of the front and back damage of rogues/scouts (i.e. fighter may swing 8 to a rogue's 5/10, or fighter may be at 10 for a rogue's 5/15). In this case, unless you are spending over half of your time in combat behind targets, being a fighter is just mathematically better.

Additionally, I understand that people have fun with playing the sneaky/backstabby type people, even if they are not as strong. This is not stating that the class cannot be fun, just that I do not believe it to be on an even playing field with others who have a similar role. Hell, I play a dual school scholar, which is really build costly, so I am no stranger to 'wasting' build for fun skills.
 

Feldor

Scholar
Marshal
This is getting a bit off topic for this thread, but seems to be an interesting discussion. Maybe give it its own thread?
 

Polare

Count
Alliance Rules
Moderator
Seattle Staff
For reference on how I came to that conclusion: A friend of mine and I sat down for about 5 hours of spreadsheets trying to compare and contrast the capabilities of four classes (fighter, rogue, scout, and spellsword) at 4 different build point levels (50,100,200,300) and at every level, fighter's damage outclassed everything else. I tried to make a point of the extra tools that rogues/scouts get, but when fighters could get parry/evis/weapon strikes as well, the extra tools didn't outweigh the sheer damage difference.
There are some areas where spreadsheet calculations compared to 'game as played' can't take everything into account.

I have both a Rogue and a Fighter; I've played them both in 2.0. The way the game plays is just different. Dan's comment:

Rogue damage is less reliable but much faster, which allows fitting truly impressive bursts of damage into small windows of opportunity.
is absolutely correct. For example, in any given 120 seconds of a combat, my fighter is probably:

- refitting armor for ~60 seconds, because he's in the front line and taking damage
- averaging 3-4 hits in 10 seconds of each actual engagement period (of which there's probably 3-4 in this time frame), because he's having to feint attacks, his swings are getting blocked by the target, and the target can dodge some of his attacks as they are watching and able to see them coming

However, in the same 120 seconds of a combat, my rogue is probably:
- sneaking around for ~90 seconds, because he's working to get position
- averaging 10-12 hits in 10 seconds of each actual engagement (of which there's probably 3-4 in this time frame), because the targets don't see attacks coming, don't block attacks, and he doesn't have to feint or try to swing around the opponents' weapons

And he hits twice as hard as the fighter.

Overall, my rogue definitely puts out more damage in the same time frame. He's also more fragile even at a higher level (not walking around in 50+ points of armor with a ton of Body Points).

The point is that this kind of stuff doesn't calculate on a spreadsheet - but it absolutely does show up at games. Rogues spend less time engaged because they only have a little bit of opening before their target turns around - but they do tons more damage in that time, because they don't have to worry about their opponent blocking or dodging.

-Bryan
 

Xanian

Newbie
I am not certain that the example you gave is truly representative of a normal fight, as I do not believe most fighters spend half their time refitting, but for the sake of discussion, lets assume it is.

You stated that a fighter gets off 3-4 hits every 10 seconds (assuming the other shots are blocked, etc). I think this is fair. So even if they were refitting for one minute of every 2, they are still landing 18-24 hits in this time frame.

For the rogue, they sneak around and get 1 flurry of 10-12 shots every couple minutes. I think this is also fair to assume. In that time, each of their shots does about 1.5 times the fighter would do (based on the math I provided above). So they would equate to doing about 15-18 fighter hits.

For this increase in damage from behind, the rogue gives up significant defenses in the forms of armor and body, and gets upgraded versions of the per day skills a fighter has. This means they are in much greater danger if something turns around on them, unless they rely on expending per day skills.

Your above example also assumes that the fighter is never in a position to attack when a monster turns on the rogue. This is something to consider but hard to codify, so I think it fair to leave out of the math.

Based on my suggestion, I think a rogue should do tremendous damage when they can take advantage of the situation. At 2:1 backstab damage, they even out, or do less than, the damage done by the fighter in the same time frame. If backstabs were increased to 3:1, Rogues would actually do double the damage of fighters from behind and the numbers start to even out a bit.

If a fighter of a build level can swing 10s, I do not think it is unreasonable for a rogue/scout of similar level to swing 5s/20s. At this point, they cannot do that.

If people playing rogue don't think this is the case, I understand and appreciate the input. I just think that the spreadsheet math and proofs provided should not be immediately disregarded. I just think that there is a reason for low rogue representation and I know of at least 1 person playing a fighter who would prefer to be a rogue or scout but can't justify it due to the above numbers.
 

Alkalin3

Administrator
Chief Technology Officer
South Michigan Staff
Marshal
For starters, who's your friend Ben? I'd love to talk with them about my experiences as a scout and why I think it's great, and what you'd need as a baseline to excel in the midwest. Send them towards the somi discord or have them hit me up on facebook, maybe they'd feel better with scout.

For this increase in damage from behind, the rogue gives up significant defenses in the forms of armor and body, and gets upgraded versions of the per day skills a fighter has. This means they are in much greater danger if something turns around on them, unless they rely on expending per day skills.
This is a super duper NERO / Alliance 1.3 mindset. I'm working through it with another convert on it and he's struggling with the same opinion. Profs and backstabs aren't the name of the game anymore, especially at higher levels. It's about per lp skills.

The general reduction in damage, monster abilities, and means that a lot of times when someone has a back shown, it's worth dropping a lp move.
Rogues get a high level take out from behind for 2 xp every 15 xp spent, this means a pure rogue is looking at 8 or 9 at 15 level (I really achievable level given the 2.0 xp curve). Paralysis is a hard take out. It's a defense or die move against just about everything. Curse based defenses are relatively rare, which leaves baseline monsters with only a few defenses options, phase, dodge, parry, evade or mettle (Maybe weapon guard?). In Michigan these tend to land. Usually if you've caught some grunt, you've got them. With larger monster who have a few defenses, you can quickly eat up its catch alls. Letting someone land that take out if you can't bust through it's phases. Along this line you've also got a 4 assassinates at 125. Combined with an assassin's edge or you dip into fighter some. You can make these call body relatively easy. That'l kill a bunch of stuff in a single shot. Especially undead, which are relatively common in the midwest.

So you're sitting pretty at at least 12 solid per day moves. How many real chances are you getting to do back work before monsters die per day? 20? 30? 1/3 of those encounters you can shut down pretty quickly.

I don't value the other per day skills a ton but, that's a fair amount of take out, or takeout adjacent moves. You've also unlocked at least 1 opportunistic attack, so you can drop something from the front AND surprise attack, which is crazy given mods with 3 counting, or a good bindomancer who you know how to work with.

Lastly, trap globes don't get a lot of credit but they should. Shatter is one of the best effects in 2.0. It's an undead killer, it's a take out to lot of humanoid npcs. You don't need a light, you don't need read magic, it's rogue xp to start making them.

Even if the other lp skills aren't great (other folks rave about them but, I don't see the value maybe as a scout, they're a bit pricy), your toolkit of teh workhorse skills are SUPER strong.

I think you're selling the class way short if you're only looking at backstab damage.
 

Draven

Count
Seattle Staff
Marshal
Hmm. I’m not sure that I agree that profs/bs aren’t the name of the game anymore, though I agree that they’re not as big a factor.

The high level scout swinging with 5 or 8 Profs (2h or 1h) with 5 Backstabs for 10/20 damage, the rogue with 9 BS or the fighter with 5/8 Profs are still pretty efficient static damage dealers. I’d even say static damage is still the best weapon against BBGs who have huge amounts of defenses.

That could be regional, of course.
 

Polare

Count
Alliance Rules
Moderator
Seattle Staff
You stated that a fighter gets off 3-4 hits every 10 seconds (assuming the other shots are blocked, etc). I think this is fair. So even if they were refitting for one minute of every 2, they are still landing 18-24 hits in this time frame.

For the rogue, they sneak around and get 1 flurry of 10-12 shots every couple minutes. I think this is also fair to assume. In that time, each of their shots does about 1.5 times the fighter would do (based on the math I provided above). So they would equate to doing about 15-18 fighter hits.
At least in my personal experience that's not what I expect from a fight. My Fighter and my Rogue get in approximately the same number of "engagements/flurries of attacks" in a given amount of time (note that in my earlier example I noted both were getting 3-4 of these engagements in during the same amount of time). My Fighter is a lot more durable and soaks hits all day long. My Rogue does a ton more damage in the same amount of time. Even just looking at pure damage output - without any of the fancy other skills that are available in 2.0 and (like Chris noted) really add flavor to these classes - my personal experience is that my Rogue out-damages my Fighter in pretty much any given fight. By a lot. Getting in lots of fast hits without needing to worry about your opponent blocking or dodging is a huge, huge deal that shouldn't be underestimated.

But everyone's mileage will vary! Everybody has their own experiences and their own style of game, and that's OK. Some people really prefer Alchemy rogues. Some love per-day attacks and don't care about Backstabs at all. Some sites have wide open fields and lots of shadows; some are primarily narrow trails and module buildings. Each one has its own way of playing. My point is really just that comparing numbers on a spreadsheet won't give a great view of each class' benefits and detriments - you have to try them out and see how each fits with your own personal style best.

-Bryan
 
Yeah, I really think it's important to consider how much more versatile the Stealth tool kit is. Especially with the statement that "a dip into Alchemy 3 is pretty easy for anyone" that's true - except for Fighters.

Also, bear in mind that a Fighter who is investing heavily, or close to exclusively, in damage options is missing out on a lot of the interesting new Martial tools. Yes, they can hit pretty hard over and over again, but every time they grab an Intercept, or Hearty, or WEA, or Resolute, or any of the "tanky" style skills, that damage potential gets lower.

It's also, I suppose, important to consider what these fights look like. If your combats look a lot like everyone standing in a line of shields with polearms, archers, and casters behind them, yeah, Fighter fits very well in that paradigm. If you're pushing through a tunnel, that's a great time to be a Fighter. If it's night, or if it's chaotic, or if you have the element of surprise, Rogues or similarly styled characters can do incredible work.
 

Xanian

Newbie
I think of Profs and Backstabs as the 'core' of the classes. Once your core is strong enough to hold your own (based on those around you and the monsters you are fighting), everything else is gravy.

I just, personally, think Backstabs could use a little nudge to allow a rogue core to get to that strong enough point faster/easier. If you are based on swinging stick, your base damage that you can do all day will greatly effect what you can do in a game. I just think that rogue touching classes are underrepresented, and increasing the 'core/backbone' skill of the class may help bring them in line.

I am, in no way, saying rogues/scouts are bad or unplayable. But I think their core skill is well below the equivalent skill for other weapon users and it is driving people to go fighter/spellsword instead
 

Tantarus

Squire
I'm really just a fan of Weapon Doom for this. Or scrapping the doom concept all together and going back to the drawing bored.
Do Rogues really need a doom effect? Fighter's no longer have a -1 move, and against my better judgement, it largely turned into a not a big deal.
I would prefer this, though it does nerf riposte pretty heavy for rogues.

I would not mind it being just like my Assassinate damage added for free to the doom blow as is.

Or maybe just double your assassinate damage as a capstone, though that would be kinda boring.

I would not mind it just mirroring eviscerate change and being just 500 body, much like terminate and eviserate where the same in 1.3.

Right now Doomblow is not great and very overcosted imo.
 

Feldor

Scholar
Marshal
I think one of the weakness of the current fighter skill tree is that it doesn't have something that is the equivalent of alchemy, that lets you qualify for skills without just buying more static damage. You are basically forced to buy static damage to open up being able to buy per LP skills. With rogue its possible to dip in, get thrown alchemy and/or traps, 2 evades & a dodge; and have a solid support to either fighter or scholar.

I'm sort of hoping that someday blacksmithing gets turned in to something that fixes this problem, instead of its current incarnation where it mostly exists to make arrows for other characters.
 

Alkalin3

Administrator
Chief Technology Officer
South Michigan Staff
Marshal
I think one of the weakness of the current fighter skill tree is that it doesn't have something that is the equivalent of alchemy, that lets you qualify for skills without just buying more static damage. You are basically forced to buy static damage to open up being able to buy per LP skills. With rogue its possible to dip in, get thrown alchemy and/or traps, 2 evades & a dodge; and have a solid support to either fighter or scholar.

I'm sort of hoping that someday blacksmithing gets turned in to something that fixes this problem, instead of its current incarnation where it mostly exists to make arrows for other characters.
Wear Extra Armor is that skill.

We have a no prof fighter, and a no prof spellsword. Wear Extra Armor gets them to their first set of skills.
 
I think that's a fair interpretation of the data, but I think it's not the only interpretation, and looking to adjust something as fundamental as base damage scaling is a difficult ask based on an interpretation. This is particularly true because, as mentioned, the Stealth skill set isn't intended to be a strict match on a damage chart with the Martial one. They have different focuses, which is deliberate.

Now, I do think it's useful to ask the question why there is such an under-representation of the Stealth skill set classes. It's probably important to track that data over time, though; evidence of a trend is a lot more useful than a snapshot sample.
 

jerrett

Newbie
@Xanian -- I think you're selling Rogue way short. I'm presently playing a Rogue and the scaling in damage is excellent at low levels for the build points put in. +4 Backstab allows calling of 10s with one handed short/long weapons which is a sweet spot to be in. Compared to calling an equivalent 6 as a Fighter with the same build point investment, I think Rogues in combat have their strength. I think they are, by design, not as good at 1v1 fighting as a fighter. If they were, why would anyone play a fighter? They sacrifice 1v1 fighting ability/durability for their other abilities. I think the core skill of backstab vs proficiency is quite nicely balanced. Rogues also get access to Alchemy at quite reasonable costs which balances out their difficulties fighting 1v1 from the front and the Alchemy costs are quite affordable. I think that if you want to be a Rogue, you have to buy in to the fact that some of the abilities are very powerful for the investment but are very conditional.

@Chris -- I'm not sure if this is something that can be looked at but I wonder what the level breakdown looks like at respective character levels. For example, once you get above level 20 are there more adepts/scouts/spellswords as a proportion of the breakdown? I suspect this may be the case but it could be interesting to see how the numbers shake out (such as some classes having really nice power spikes early at lower build levels but then people switching out of them at higher levels. Did you by chance see any of this data when you were looking at this set?

I agree with some of the critique re: Doom Blow. It certainly feels like it doesn't do very much as a stand-alone skill because it is a carrier and likely needs to be combined with other skills to be effective. If it came with built-in Assassinate damage (instead of needing to burn an Assassinate with it), perhaps that could make it a touch more viable?

edit--spelling
 
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I think it is rude to point out that Xanian is undervaluing rogue, when the statistics show that it is the majority of the game that does. We should use this platform as constructive feedback and not attacking someones opinions. Honestly he is approaching a problem and trying to talk a solution only to be torn down. We should work to understand why the imbalance and not just say they are fine. A small damage change can be tested in a local level and see how the outcome works without overhauling any rules. I am not understanding the argument of just looking at an extra few points of damage.
 

Tantarus

Squire
I think you are reading into things that are not intended. People are just disagreeing and stating reasons. No Malice is intended.
 
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