Experiences of a Fighter in 2.0

Saephis

Squire
And one of the worst things in the whole system, which Mike pointed out, is the impact of race. You want to play a fighter? Choose the right race or have an inferior build. I don't want to feel punished for playing a race I enjoy.
This was one of the points I was attempting to make with the Hearty Vs Frail discussion, as well. Starting system for the categorization of races who are 'better' at absorbing damage (Albeit in a lopsided manner, when other settings approaches are taken into account) will restrict what players feel they can play. And, on that topic, starting a system will inevitably see more pieces attached to it as time goes on. Hearty/Frail influencing Body via Hearty will move to other system on "That sword's too heavy, buddy" (like the current setup RE: Elf-Races) or "Sorry, you can't figure out how to just be a fighter" (RE: Hoblings) over time, as system-begets-system-use. This would see more people (to go to @James Trotta 's point) of players being punished by system for playing a race they enjoy.
 

Agnar

Newbie
I don't think you need to do an actual play test to see that with pretty much every change in this proposed rule set is detrimental to the Fighter class, whether it's nerfing fighters or enhancing the other classes.
Lowering the constant damage and making Fighters rely more on per day skills doesn't work. Slays are taken, Eviscerates are "no effect", disarm and shatter don't work most of the time, Ripostes are Riposted back. The only good skills are Stun Limb and Parry. Constant damage is all they have and that is being nerfed heavily. At the same time Magic Items are also changing dramatically and Spells are being made more powerful or just becoming more powerful due to the rules for spell effects staying the same while many other rules change. The imbalance on the Paragon paths only make the situation worse for Fighters.
All this together means the pendulum has swung from Fighter being the most powerful class (if armed with the proper items) to it being the weakest. There needs to be a middle ground.
 

tieran

Duke
Gettysburg Staff
Marshal
The real issue is that the change to profs/backstabs doesn't really eliminate the problem.

As I see it, the big problem with damage bloat, in large part, is that damage is needed. We need people swinging ridiculous numbers to combat body bloat and work around the issue of defense bloat and the two issues exacerbate each other.

So, we reduce weapon/wand damage and body by half, this allows for a reduction in body, which if it happens or not, makes takeouts (either outright like eviscerate or partial like stun limb or disarm) the more effective option.

So you end up with people swinging lower damage numbers (that are effectively the same as what they were (or thereabouts)) but having an dramatic increase in takeout effects, which escalates defense bloat, which makes raw damage the better option again, which puts us back in the same spot we are in now, just with less perception of the problem because the difference in hearing someone swing 10s vs 2s is less than the difference between hearing someone swing 20s vs 2s.

I don't know that I have a solution to the problem, but I don't know that this is one, unless the object is purely to make it look like there is not a problem.
 

Agnar

Newbie
The real issue is that the change to profs/backstabs doesn't really eliminate the problem.

As I see it, the big problem with damage bloat, in large part, is that damage is needed. We need people swinging ridiculous numbers to combat body bloat and work around the issue of defense bloat and the two issues exacerbate each other.

So, we reduce weapon/wand damage and body by half, this allows for a reduction in body, which if it happens or not, makes takeouts (either outright like eviscerate or partial like stun limb or disarm) the more effective option.

So you end up with people swinging lower damage numbers (that are effectively the same as what they were (or thereabouts)) but having an dramatic increase in takeout effects, which escalates defense bloat, which makes raw damage the better option again, which puts us back in the same spot we are in now, just with less perception of the problem because the difference in hearing someone swing 10s vs 2s is less than the difference between hearing someone swing 20s vs 2s.

I don't know that I have a solution to the problem, but I don't know that this is one, unless the object is purely to make it look like there is not a problem.
Smoke and mirrors lol
 

Agnar

Newbie
Why not just increase Celestial damage and Healing to base 10 and leave the Proficiency/Backstab rules the same? It's a lot simpler and has pretty much the same effect on the game.
 

tieran

Duke
Gettysburg Staff
Marshal
Why not just increase Celestial damage and Healing to base 10 and leave the Proficiency/Backstab rules the same? It's a lot simpler and has pretty much the same effect on the game.
But then you can tell there is a problem with absolutely no investigation of it.

Don't get me wrong, I'd rather have lower numbers than higher ones for the sake of people not feeling like they can contribute (and easier math, too, I guess) when they only swing 2 or 3 compared to the people swinging 20+ and they will be less likely to have that perception when damage essentially caps at about 19 for one handed, 28 for two handed and 36 for backstabs. Right?

Admittedly, I'm about 5-10 build short on each of these numbers and I'd do nothing other than swing that weapon, and it's a big change from me being able to swing 40/60/80 like I could now.
 

Shades

Newbie
The real issue is that the change to profs/backstabs doesn't really eliminate the problem.

As I see it, the big problem with damage bloat, in large part, is that damage is needed. We need people swinging ridiculous numbers to combat body bloat and work around the issue of defense bloat and the two issues exacerbate each other.

So, we reduce weapon/wand damage and body by half, this allows for a reduction in body, which if it happens or not, makes takeouts (either outright like eviscerate or partial like stun limb or disarm) the more effective option.

So you end up with people swinging lower damage numbers (that are effectively the same as what they were (or thereabouts)) but having an dramatic increase in takeout effects, which escalates defense bloat, which makes raw damage the better option again, which puts us back in the same spot we are in now, just with less perception of the problem because the difference in hearing someone swing 10s vs 2s is less than the difference between hearing someone swing 20s vs 2s.

I don't know that I have a solution to the problem, but I don't know that this is one, unless the object is purely to make it look like there is not a problem.
I think that the largest problem is that almost every class can almost only buy offensive skills with a few one shot defensive skills thrown in. For instance, there is no way for my fighter to gain additional static defensives( Can't increase armor and even in the new rules you have to rep more armor if you increase it, can't get spell defensives that aren't 1 shots, have too much hp already, ect). So basically every class (with the exception for dedicated healers) has 80%+ of their build dumped into offence. Yes, even crafters, because for the most part they build offensive items.
 

Alavatar

Baron
There are several options to deal with what Avaran and Tieran are poking at, but I don't think people like any of them. Examples include:
  • Level caps
  • Damage caps
  • Ritual caps
  • Remove Immunities
    • Change Defensive abilities to be Reductions instead of Cancellations (i.e. Make Cloak reduce durations to 3 seconds or reduce Damage to 5 or whatever)
  • Significantly reduce take-out effects (perhaps to just top tier effects such as Eviscerate, Terminate, Death, Prison)
    • Make all existing take-out effects do something else, like status ailments
    • Reduce the duration of take-out effects that are not top tier. 10 to 30 seconds, for example instead of 10 minutes or line of sight.
 

Polare

Count
Alliance Rules
Moderator
Seattle Staff
@Alavatar, For reference, one of the primary reasons for removing Web (other than it being duplicative of confine) was explicitly to make the first PC spell "takeout effect" 6th level instead of 5th (to help reduce their prevalance).

Personally, I think the last two items you mention - change Immunities to Mitigations, significantly change takeouts so that most of them are debuffs instead of takeouts - would be great to look into more, but those are significant changes to the flavor of Alliance (and another large change for existing players to swallow on top of the other 2.0 changes). I'd be curious to see if a significant number of Owners expressed interest in that sort of change.
 

tieran

Duke
Gettysburg Staff
Marshal
Realistically, I don't know that making the changes required to fix the issue would allow the feel of the game to stay similar to what it is now.

At the same time, I don't know that this particular bandaid makes any actual progress on the issues, it just kind of shifts which wound has priority on needing attention.
 

Gilwing

Baron
Alliance Logistics
Personally, I think the last two items you mention - change Immunities to Mitigations, significantly change takeouts so that most of them are debuffs instead of takeouts - would be great to look into more, but those are significant changes to the flavor of Alliance (and another large change for existing players to swallow on top of the other 2.0 changes). I'd be curious to see if a significant number of Owners expressed interest in that sort of change.
How ironic. To a lot of us 2.0 feels like significant changes to the flavor of Alliance.
 

Muir

Fighter
There are several options to deal with what Avaran and Tieran are poking at, but I don't think people like any of them. Examples include:
  • Level caps
  • Damage caps
  • Ritual caps
  • Remove Immunities
    • Change Defensive abilities to be Reductions instead of Cancellations (i.e. Make Cloak reduce durations to 3 seconds or reduce Damage to 5 or whatever)
  • Significantly reduce take-out effects (perhaps to just top tier effects such as Eviscerate, Terminate, Death, Prison)
    • Make all existing take-out effects do something else, like status ailments
    • Reduce the duration of take-out effects that are not top tier. 10 to 30 seconds, for example instead of 10 minutes or line of sight.
Level caps are the answer, but will never sell to the Owners because it means telling long time players than they need to retire or cut down characters they're already unwilling to give up, and that will hit them in the pocketbook.
 

tieran

Duke
Gettysburg Staff
Marshal
Level caps are the answer, but will never sell to the Owners because it means telling long time players than they need to retire or cut down characters they're already unwilling to give up, and that will hit them in the pocketbook.
I'm not going to lie, if you think a level cap will fix the problem, I am certainly part of the issue.

Personally, I don't think it will. One of the hallmarks of this game is unfettered advancement; taking that away changes things dramatically.

The issue isn't high level characters. The issue is that high level people don't have anything good (you can read that as combat effective if it helps) to spend build on.

The trick is attracting people away from buying straight damage, but right now, nothing beats it. If you want to be effective in combat, you do more damage. I've got all my good skills right now as a scout and I'm in a spot where I need to either spend build on PTDs that are largely not effective or buy spells. Or buy more damage.

Right now the right answer is damage, because it works, and when it gets blocked or parried or riposted, I don't have to not swing again.

Not to go all literary, but I feel like we're getting ourselves into a Flowers for Algernon scenario. (I really want to include an outlandish example of making @Gilwing wear an arm brace so he can't bend his elbows or some really fast guy have cinder blocks duct taped to his legs, but I feel that kind of hyperbole would distract from my actual point.)
 

Muir

Fighter
Level caps are the only way I can see that we're ever going to solve the systemic issues caused by an unlimited build potential. So far as I can tell, the original intent of the Alliance design is that this was going to balance with the 'stones in the bag' resurrection system to create an environment where there was a soft cap on PC survival as challenges rose to meet the PCs' level. Unfortunately, the proliferation of defenses via MIs as well as GS-based buyback on deaths massively restricted any real chance of permanent death outside of an unlucky 10% draw, and even that can be mitigated with a regen.

Most of the problem that the nerfs to repeatable damage is trying to solve is already going to be handled over time by removing those MI options. Further reducing the effectiveness of damage just appears to point us towards a loss of utility for anyone but casters, who have the easiest access to takeouts, and thus a strong advantage if the stated intent to reduce defensives on the monster DB similar to the reduction on the PC side actually occurs.

My personal preference would be to simply cap combat skill build at somewhere around 200, and let build above that be spent strictly on non-combat abilities such as crafting skills or C/O. That won't jive as well with the 2.0 changes to try and make those skills more appealing to combative builds as it does with the current skillset, of course.
 

Agnar

Newbie
Levels are not the problem. I play in a NERO chapter which has several characters around 100th level and a handful at 200th level. They last slightly longer in a fight than those of us who aren't near either of those numbers. The reason why is...
Magic Items are the problem. In that system there is a Magic Item limit. You can only have 5 active items with a maximum of 5 effects at any time. You can only get one item per year with Goblin Points and there are no Dragon Stamps. In Alliance before you could buy Magic Items with Goblin Stamps or Dragon Stamps there were only a few people that walked around with the "pocket scholar", but all those items went out as part of the Treasure Policy. Now you can get a Goblin Stamp item most weekends you npc plus Dragon Stamp items for those deemed worthy. The Treasure Policy was designed with balance as a issue, but neither the Goblin nor the Dragon Stamp policy were. The only control against the proliferation of the Goblin Stamp items was that they are LCO, but ways around that limitation were quickly devised. And these are all essentially designer items that have no chance of ritual failure.
If the only change that was made in Alliance was to the change the Magic Item rules by limiting the number that can be active at any time that would a reasonable change that would nerf Fighters without neutering them, as the 0.9 rules do, without "changes to the flavor of Alliance". And nerfing Fighters seems to be the ENTIRE purpose of 0.9
 
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Agnar

Newbie
Just get rid of all activates, banes, cloaks and skill stores and remove high magic. The ship will right it self
You've gotta let the kids have some fun, Dave :D
 

Draven

Count
Seattle Staff
Marshal
High Magic? Some people like having Ritual Casters to make their toys, y'know. :p
 

tieran

Duke
Gettysburg Staff
Marshal
In theory, I don't have an issue with the overall damage reduction, I just worry that people think it's a fix.

The better thing to come out of this is the changes to magic items, which, as @Agnar stated will go miles towards fixing a lot of the issues.

If the prof/backstab/wand changes go through, we're just reinventing the problem to look slightly different than it does now and deciding now what the next problem is going to be.

If we're good with changing the issue from, "New players are disenchanted because they don't swing 20/30/40/whatever," to "New players are disenchanted because they only have a handful of takeout/debilitating/defense effects instead of 30/40/50/whatever and swing lower, but not as many numbers lower," then this is a solution.
 
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