Combat Enjoyment since 2.0

Alkalin3

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Chief Technology Officer
South Michigan Staff
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Your questions imply a tone that I clearly don’t know what I’m talking about. I would ask you consider editing your statements to avoid unintended confrontation.
You should reread my post. My questions were meant to reveal how you deal with scaling problems? I was curious what your baseline experience was? I know roughly what the power levels look like in Seattle. So, i didn't need to ask about the APL you play in. And to continue the conversation, because I don't know anything about you.

I think on paper a lot of stuff looks great but, practical experience goes a long way, as monster stating and encounter crafting is much more an art than a science to me. So I was curious how your opinions formed.
 

Alkalin3

Administrator
Chief Technology Officer
South Michigan Staff
Marshal
This has always been my philosophy of the game, and something I use in writing for tabletop RPGs. It is a lot easier to scale the enemies a little low and just add more spawns if the players are going through them easier than you thought than to recover the players' interest and good attitude if you wipe them by overscaling.

One of the scariest, most challenging mods I ever played was a double-hook town mod back in Alliance Kzoo: Town split half and half. The high-level half went and got into a scrap with the Graveyard of the Four Winds. The lower level half got ~15 players as 10 body, dual short claws, swinging one dumb zombies. Only targeting on sound or movement.

Infinite respawns, 30 minute timer.

It got very Dawn of the Dead up in there.
Sure, that's a playstyle we've had a lot, as in Kzoo and South Michigan as they are the same exact chapter. And it's really not as great as you think it would be in 2.0. But, it did work really well in 1.3.

Unlimited pops actually tends to not encourage skill use because most fighters can manage pops all day with a bit more work, and everyone with skills pretty quickly realizes what the deal is when you see the same 6 npcs and their numbers don't go down. Once you realize that, it's clear it's just easier to out wait the timer, or solve the objective quickly, then throw your skills into the grinder for a small reprieve. In practice the only time skills get used are if something goes wrong or someone makes a mistake.

This wasn't a large deal in 1.3 since most folks were built for static damage. Earth Scholars still had roles to play. And well Celestial kind of waited I guess. We had a grand total of 0 consistent golem players in our game, so I'm sure they'd probably be up in the front.

These fights in 2.0 generally turn into fighters and earth scholars having the only roles to play.

Static damage is already a largely optimal choice in every encounter, unless your monster designers are really thinking about how to work around it.

Instead I might challenge your assertion with this. A monster with a large amount of body, let's say 499 body (just for conversation) is a pain to kill with static damage. You're really working him over, now add a few spell blocks on to him, and you've done a few things.

You've crafted a monster with a big pay off for signature spell casters (they can strip the 3 defenses fast with sig spells, and drop a take outs or have a partner who does).
You've created a real opportunity for rogue and fighter capstone to shine. As a doom blow, or an eviscerate will end the fight with this monster.
You could even pepper in resolutes to allow eviscerate to still be effective but, not end the fight, with out someone dropping doom, or some alchemy, or another take out like sleep or web.

Does this scenario make static damage dealers "feel bad"? Maybe but, they're also all over the place fighting crunchies, fighting regular pc races, etc. There are so many chances for hero moments for them.

And the person who lands that take out, is going to feel pretty good. Once the first one hits, the players start to realize what to do, and start rearranging the fight quickly. Now folks who have take outs and per day skills that fall into this category get a chance to use your characters.


If you've ever talked with me in person about this, I talk a ton about how plot teams are the stewards of the meta game. Their stating and encounter creation can dictate what kind of builds are good bad, etc. This can go beyond just stats of course, the use of mod buildings and "dungeon crawls" often puts rogues at a serious disadvantage for example.


All these things have their place in the game so baseline saying x is bad, or this is the best way to run mods is not using all the tools in your tool box as a plot runner.
 
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