Is Alliance a solo/team game? (split from Packet Head shots)

Is your play style more solo or team focused?

  • Every hero for themselves

    Votes: 2 5.3%
  • I'll pitch in at times, but I've got my own ward

    Votes: 3 7.9%
  • I go on mods with my OoG friends

    Votes: 2 5.3%
  • I'm meaningless without my team mates

    Votes: 3 7.9%
  • It's me and my crew against the world

    Votes: 14 36.8%
  • I like to think of all PCs as one big team

    Votes: 12 31.6%
  • Dark side, and proud of it

    Votes: 2 5.3%

  • Total voters
    38

markusdark

Knight
Re: Is Alliance a solo/team game? (split from Packet Head sh

Dan Nickname Beshers said:
Fiction with a single protagonist typical allows one or more superhuman traits to that protagonist. By virtue of trying to make the game balanced for everyone, PCs are limited in the powers available to them. If PCs are to be on relatively equal footing, then the game can either allow any given PC to walt through virtually any "challenge" or can not. Demanding the game cater to solo play either means that no one is challenged or that some people are effectivley "main characters" and other people who payed just as much to be there are on sidekick status. That's a terrible model for a game in my opinion. You could change that so that there were a handful of main character slots per event and other PCs played lesser characters, but I challenge you or anyone to make that fair. If you want to be a solo hero, write a novel or make a movie.
I feel this every time I hit a monster and hear the words "no effect".

PC's as it is are already "having powers others don't have" based upon level, items, etc. As it stands now, during the big town battles, there are already "The Heroes" and "The sidekicks". It comes out naturally because you cannot have a first level character go toe to toe with a lich. When I go into those battles as a lowbie character, I usually come in with the full knowledge of that and even say such things as "Ablative Armor reporting for duty!" I'm someone's mobile Magic Armor/Spell shield/poison shield/etc. depending on what hits me first.
 
Re: Is Alliance a solo/team game? (split from Packet Head sh

I think we should clear up a little point here.

You guys keep talking about the game being soloable or team dependent. But what you guys REALLY seem to be talking about is combat being soloable. And combat is just not the entirety of this game we play. It's an rp game folks, and I've found most plots quite open to being won or lost long before the swords are drawn. I would be so bold as to say that I have indeed "solo'ed" a considerable portion of this game for the last 8 years. Mostly by choosing my words very carefully. You'd be amazed just how effectively a few well chosen words can spell a big bad's doom. Hm, or the town's actually ;)
 
Re: Is Alliance a solo/team game? (split from Packet Head sh

Different situation, I think. There is certainly a power curve, and it does tend to funnel certain people to the forefront. But I firmly believe anyone who cares to can get to a point on that curve where they can atleast be a consistant contributor. However, and I really hope this point comes across as clearly as I see it, graduating into that "A Team" zone should include the ability to contribute to a team effort. I do not mean necessarily as in an adventuring group that wears colors, has a name and a roster, a shared treasury, etc. That is a playstyle I personally don't real go in for. However, it certainly does include learning to work as a functional member of an impromptu group, learning to emphasize your strengths while letting other cover your weaknesses.

If the game rules worked in such a way that a single person faced no challenges other than absurdly overwhelming stat cards, it either renders good teamwork absurdly potent or largely moot. I would hate to see that aspect of the game lost in order to allow people to steamroll over 5 NPCs at a time on a regular basis.

And yes, Shhh, you are super good at stirring up trouble. Would you like to talk about your recent, er, circumstances in that regard?
 
Re: Is Alliance a solo/team game? (split from Packet Head sh

You can give me **** about that later. But the point is, "solo'ing" in a game like this isn't, or rather shouldn't be, about combat and being able to conquer every fight head on. Combat is just one aspect of the game. If you want to solo, find other ways to tackle a problem. If you do that, then so called solo'ing is indeed possible for a large part of the game.
 

jpariury

Duke
Re: Is Alliance a solo/team game? (split from Packet Head sh

Dan Nickname Beshers said:
cherry picking a team, mod group or individual to be indispensibly powerful to make them obvious protagonists is bad for the game. It breeds resentment amongst long-time players and drives off new people. It's a mistake, one that I have made as a plot writer and one that I have seen as a player.
Off the top of my head, some of the instances I can think of that I suspect Sarah is talking about are that exactly.

Is it a mistake? I don't know. I don't really write plot that way, so hopefully it's not a perception Oregon players have. Is it what had me call a bit of a hiatus from playing in Seattle? Not really. I don't know that it is bad, per se. It's simply one style of presenting a story that you want to tell. I wouldn't begrudge anyone the right or chance to try it out and see how it works out. If it's not the flavor of game you like to participate in, make your choices accordingly.
 
Re: Is Alliance a solo/team game? (split from Packet Head sh

In my experience, writers who chose to consistently give (and I mean make a gift of, not allow via taken opportunity) unreasonable combat powers to a small handful or even single player will soon enough find themselves with only a small handful or single player interested in their plot.
 

markusdark

Knight
Re: Is Alliance a solo/team game? (split from Packet Head sh

Dan Nickname Beshers said:
In my experience, writers who chose to consistently give (and I mean make a gift of, not allow via taken opportunity) unreasonable combat powers to a small handful or even single player will soon enough find themselves with only a small handful or single player interested in their plot.
Only if said writers are in the minority and there are other chapters nearby with which to entertain oneself. Otherwise, you get those not interested still attending to see friends and hang out and hope that there will be a plot that comes along that they'll enjoy (paraphrasing from a paper I read at a LARP conference I just attended).
 
Re: Is Alliance a solo/team game? (split from Packet Head sh

markusdark said:
Dan Nickname Beshers said:
In my experience, writers who chose to consistently give (and I mean make a gift of, not allow via taken opportunity) unreasonable combat powers to a small handful or even single player will soon enough find themselves with only a small handful or single player interested in their plot.
Only if said writers are in the minority and there are other chapters nearby with which to entertain oneself. Otherwise, you get those not interested still attending to see friends and hang out and hope that there will be a plot that comes along that they'll enjoy (paraphrasing from a paper I read at a LARP conference I just attended).
I don't see that as being anywhere close to where the game should be. "Keep slogging through till you catch a break" may sound about right for working at McDonald's, but it's nowhere on my radar for spending $250+ on event costs, travel costs, weekend babysitting, taking time off work and whatever else. Lack of competition should not be an excuse for slacking off or taking shortcuts for us. One of the things I appreciate about Alliance is the consistent push for excellence. It's a little galling to hear that some chapters might not be trying to put out a high quality game because they don't have to fear losing players to someone else who actually cares about what they do. I hope you were presenting a devil's advocate argument.
 

Lurin

Duke
Re: Is Alliance a solo/team game? (split from Packet Head sh

Take a deep breath folks, it's okay not to prefer a particular type of plot writing, it's okay to chose not to participate in that particular game or chapter whose writing/plot style doesn't appeal to you. It is not however okay, to start suggesting that a particular style doesn't mean people don't care about providing a quality game. If you honestly, deep down, can't possibly stand going to an event that has a plot lines that involves having a few folks that aren't you being important for a weekend, then I think you are missing out on part of the game such as propping up the unexpectedly important youngan etc.

I can guarantee you that every owner and plot team does what they think is best for their chapter, no one slacks off due to lack of competition etc. However that doesn't mean that you will enjoy your style, and to be honest every owner encounters those players that want a style that they don't enjoy running and we constantly get informed on how to 'fix our game' which will surely guarantee our attendance to sky rocket and the donations to rain upon us like uncommonly nutritional bread from a non-religious yet mysterious atmospheric source.

At any rate let's all remember that the people who play this game care a lot of about it, and the people who run the game care a lot about it, and let's not suggest again that a different story telling style that you don't agree with means that people are not putting in an honest effort okay?
 

Wraith

Newbie
Re: Is Alliance a solo/team game? (split from Packet Head sh

Dreamingfurther said:
I moved this response from the other tread.

Wraith said:
You mean the fact that the larger portion of the people you run into are some form of Templar with magic weapons and activated cloaks and dodges isn't just that? :wub2: It's really easy to gear a character to make other classes essentially irrelevant.
If you are, for example a Celestial Adept and you get a +3 magic longsword so now you swing 5's from the front and 13's from behind sure you might be able to now kill some things from the front with your sword that you couldn't kill before. But if you fight with a friend, or with a group of friends you are almost 200% better at doing your damage by actually getting behind things while your other team makes distract the monster. Furthermore if you fight things that are appropriately scaled to your level... good luck matching them toe to toe without team makes when you can't make use out of close to 100 build of back stabs...
That's an excellent job of cherry-picking examples I didn't use you've got going there, but it doesn't change the point. Alliance is by theory a team game, yes. But it is very easy to trivialize the classes in such a way that additional PC's are simply bodies on the field to counter NPC numbers, rather than adding any worthwhile contribution to effectiveness.

In short, we could do one hell of a lot better job balancing classes for PvE if we intend to be explicitly a team game.
 

markusdark

Knight
Re: Is Alliance a solo/team game? (split from Packet Head sh

Dan Nickname Beshers said:
I hope you were presenting a devil's advocate argument.
I was presenting a part of a presenatation from WyrdCon, a LARP conference, this past weekend. The question was put forth "If people are fed up with a game, why do they keep on coming back?" Unfortunately, some game managers feel that if people are still showing up and paying cash for the games, they must be doing it right and that the players are, deep down, satisfied with what is being given to them. However, the discussion and reports showed that this is not the case.

In such games where the majority of players are unhappy with the game but continue to play in it, the reasons were as follows (in no particular order):

-They want to hang out with friends they made in LARPing and it is a good focal point where they can all gather and meet.
-They enjoy 'getting away from it all' and this gives them some time outdoors, with fresh air and a bit of exercise.
-There isn't another game around or those that are are even worse than the one they're attending.
-There are better games around but they have invested/played in the campaign for so long that the idea of starting over at the beginning/level 1 is worse than what they're putting up with in the game now.
-They are always hopeful that things will change.
-Every so often there is a 'good mod' so they cling to them no matter how far and in between they are.

Some even have no idea that there is another way to LARP - that the way things are going are the standard norm throughout LARPing. It is a case of "If all you have ever been fed is vanilla ice cream, you have no idea that there are other flavors out there. Ice cream=vanilla and that's it."

Believe it or not, there are a plethora of resources out there, online about LARPing theory, practice, techniques and other 'academic' papers that people write, even on a monthly basis. I try to read as many as possible and am currently working with a company to put together an actual library to collect and store them so that there is a one stop search area where you can find and read them.

Lurin said:
I can guarantee you that every owner and plot team does what they think is best for their chapter, no one slacks off due to lack of competition etc.
No offence Lurin, but just because they do what they think is best doesn't mean that it is what is best. I could go into some extreme examples about this but will just mention that there used to be a chapter of Alliance here that is now gone because the way they worked and what they thought was best for their chapter apparently was not the case and the chapter was shut down.
 

Hammerfist

Artisan
Re: Is Alliance a solo/team game? (split from Packet Head sh

Wraith said:
Dreamingfurther said:
I moved this response from the other tread.

Wraith said:
You mean the fact that the larger portion of the people you run into are some form of Templar with magic weapons and activated cloaks and dodges isn't just that? :wub2: It's really easy to gear a character to make other classes essentially irrelevant.
If you are, for example a Celestial Adept and you get a +3 magic longsword so now you swing 5's from the front and 13's from behind sure you might be able to now kill some things from the front with your sword that you couldn't kill before. But if you fight with a friend, or with a group of friends you are almost 200% better at doing your damage by actually getting behind things while your other team makes distract the monster. Furthermore if you fight things that are appropriately scaled to your level... good luck matching them toe to toe without team makes when you can't make use out of close to 100 build of back stabs...
That's an excellent job of cherry-picking examples I didn't use you've got going there, but it doesn't change the point. Alliance is by theory a team game, yes. But it is very easy to trivialize the classes in such a way that additional PC's are simply bodies on the field to counter NPC numbers, rather than adding any worthwhile contribution to effectiveness.

In short, we could do one hell of a lot better job balancing classes for PvE if we intend to be explicitly a team game.
I am going to counter this with,
1: The intent does not seem to be explicitly a team game. But instead an individual game that encourages social interaction and has a cooperative combat system.

2: How is it easy to gear a character with multiple redundant defensives to everything and multiple offensive effects?

3: How are PC's on a field of battle engaging a foe/foes in combat not adding worthwhile contributions to effectiveness.

I may be completely off base here but it feels like you are trivializing a: all the work that PC's do put in to get the things they do and b: trivializing what PC's are doing when they are not directly engaged with the "primary antagonist" in open combat.

Again, I may be off base and welcome the clarification. My feeling has always been those that have the ability to stand toe to toe with "that guy"... Awesome.. you worked to get there go get it. Those that can't hang with that guy and go find and dispatch the things they can stay toe to toe with... Awesome... now "that guy" does not have reinforcements to continue the pursuit and destroy us all.
 

Wraith

Newbie
Re: Is Alliance a solo/team game? (split from Packet Head sh

Hammerfist said:
I am going to counter this with,
1: The intent does not seem to be explicitly a team game. But instead an individual game that encourages social interaction and has a cooperative combat system.
Which would work out fine if we were WoW. Unfortunately, we're not, and that means we don't have the benefit of a computer that can spawn enemies for each player and an unlimited bucket for treasure to come out of. The way treasure drops and mods are structured and scaled thanks to NPC and time constraints means that successful adventuring is going to require working in groups.

Hammerfist said:
2: How is it easy to gear a character with multiple redundant defensives to everything and multiple offensive effects?
Frankly, Goblin Stamps as replacements for Treasure Policy. When you can pick what you're getting rather than hoping for the right scrolls to drop, it is much easier to get on a power-curve that makes harder mods easier with less people, thus better treasure splits, thus more gear. Having power makes getting more easier. While said caster-in-a-golem-with-items represents a lot of investment on the part of the player, the fact that I can think of several people with access to just that suggests that it is far from impossibly difficult. The new golem revisions and additions to high magic make this even more doable.

Consider it. All a fighter or rogue has going for them is repeatable damage and defenses against specific attack types. Arcane is available to High Mages without too much effort, so the greater armor totals are a wash, given the lack of having to wear a high-point armor rep. Give a caster golem defenses (or a similar transform and/or stack of cloak items) and a magic weapon, and they've essentially made build-bought fighter/rogue skills obsolete. The only thing that caster doesn't have is the one-shot kill of Eviscerate/Terminate, and when was the last time you saw a big bad enemy actually take one of those and not call 'reduced' or 'no effect'?

It could go the other way, as well, but it is a -lot- easier for a caster to get a +3 weapon (3 profs on a scholar = 120 build) than for a fighter to get the equivalent column in activates.

Hammerfist said:
3: How are PC's on a field of battle engaging a foe/foes in combat not adding worthwhile contributions to effectiveness.
They are making good contributions, but are generally just making up for our game not having AOE spells rather than bringing any essential skills to the table that can't be duplicated with a scroll. Barring monsters specifically put out to kill casters, the fighter is generally just going to stick-jock a bit to save his real DPS from wasting spell slots that could be better burned killing something that will drop better loot.

Hammerfist said:
I may be completely off base here but it feels like you are trivializing a: all the work that PC's do put in to get the things they do and b: trivializing what PC's are doing when they are not directly engaged with the "primary antagonist" in open combat.

Again, I may be off base and welcome the clarification. My feeling has always been those that have the ability to stand toe to toe with "that guy"... Awesome.. you worked to get there go get it. Those that can't hang with that guy and go find and dispatch the things they can stay toe to toe with... Awesome... now "that guy" does not have reinforcements to continue the pursuit and destroy us all.
I admit, I may have bias as well, as my view of the game is that each class should have something unique to bring to the table, and that successful adventuring should need all of these things from time to time for success, in order to give everyone a chance to shine.
 

RiddickDale

Squire
Moderator
Public Relations Committee
Re: Is Alliance a solo/team game? (split from Packet Head sh

A scholar with a +3 DA and +15 armor from high magic is basically a level 5-6 fighter.

I've given my team's Earth Scholar a bunch of items and a +3 DA... even WITH his big block of healing he was still just a speedbump to the monsters he should be fighting at his level.

Fighters and Rogues bring plenty to the table that is inaccessible to other classes. High level scholars may be able to replicate low level fighters. But, I could replicate a low level scholar with a stack of cure lights and 20-30 disarm scrolls.

The only way to make the classes COMPLETELY unique would be to diminish the fluidity of our skill system as it stands.
 

Mobius

Squire
Re: Is Alliance a solo/team game? (split from Packet Head sh

RiddickDale said:
A scholar with a +3 DA and +15 armor from high magic is basically a level 5-6 fighter. ...
Fighters and Rogues bring plenty to the table that is inaccessible to other classes. High level scholars may be able to replicate low level fighters. But, I could replicate a low level scholar with a stack of cure lights and 20-30 disarm scrolls.
This doesn't quite track. A Scholar needs to invest 10-Build (1-H Edged) to benefit from those 52-Build worth of Fighter skills - a Fighter would need to invest 51-Build (12 for RW/RM + 4,3,2,1 pyramid) for the opportunity to purchase scrolls to use the Eigth tier spells available to a sixth Level Scholar. ¿How is that equitable? And this is putting aside Race and Monster reavers which emulate even greater amounts of Fighter Build for a scant investment on the Scholar's part.

Add in the fact the Master Constructs have built in effects unavailable to any other class (Rip from, Healed by, Immunities, etc) and can gain +8 strength (120 Fighter-Build) and there's no way that the classes are balanced.

The recent additions have made all but the most powerful Fighters secondary to even remedial Formal Scholars; further emphasizing the Fighter's need for team-work while decoupling the Scholar from that need. Basically, any team of Scholars can replace Fighter Skills with Formal Magic; any team of Fighter can do bupkiss.

The only way for Classes to be completely unique is to have abilities solely available to those classes and no other, as is: nearly every ability can either be emulated, improved, or copied by Formal Magic, the sole province of Scholars; every other class cannot approach that utility.
 

Inaryn

Knight
Re: Is Alliance a solo/team game? (split from Packet Head sh

Mobius said:
The only way for Classes to be completely unique is to have abilities solely available to those classes and no other, as is: nearly every ability can either be emulated, improved, or copied by Formal Magic, the sole province of Scholars; every other class cannot approach that utility.

CELESTIAL scholars. If you want to decouple all the classes, start right there. The Fighter by himself can still DO something about his situation in most cases. The Earth scholar just falls over and dies. There is no other skill set MORE coupled to being in a group than the Earth Scholar.

/soapbox.
 
Re: Is Alliance a solo/team game? (split from Packet Head sh

Firstly you are comparing apples an oranges to say a Scholar needs to invest 10 build to benefit from 45 build worth of fighter skills by using a +3 DA (3 profs) to a fighter investing however much build they need to invest to use 8th level scrolls. A fighter needs to invest NO build to be able to use an unlimited number of magic item activates per day.

Furthermore there is NO magic item/s that is going to allow a Scholar to swing 20's or even 15's, and have 4-5 parrys per day to back up that build. Or allow a scholar to swing 20's (or 30's) from behind and have 3-4 dodges and twice as many evades per day to get out of the way when they start getting pounded at close range for getting up in somethings face. You can't even get the fighter/rogue 'skills' as per day affects, but every single scholar's spell you can duplicate with goblin stamped or IG found/crafted MI's as per day affects!

The idea that mele classes are somehow 'invalidated' by people running around with +3 swords, or the 2-3 players among dozens who can put together a really powerful golum is a really limited view on what defines a characters power in a fight. A fighter who has 10 profs can swing 12's with a sword and board ALL DAY. They never run out of damage and they can always do that damage for free.

I started playing this game with characters that were much more scholar and spell heavy, but the more I've played the game the more I just spend my build on weapon profs and backstabs no matter the character. Furthermore whenever you have modules, or wave battles or any combat encounter just about, you are always thinking about 'the front line' and those folks up on it. Those folks are always the mele characters, and primarily the characters who have invested a good amount into their profs.
 

Wraith

Newbie
Re: Is Alliance a solo/team game? (split from Packet Head sh

CELESTIAL scholars. If you want to decouple all the classes, start right there. The Fighter by himself can still DO something about his situation in most cases. The Earth scholar just falls over and dies. There is no other skill set MORE coupled to being in a group than the Earth Scholar.

/soapbox.
I hear you, but apparently the answer is 'necromancy is stronger than evocation'.
 

Dom

Scout
Gettysburg Staff
Re: Is Alliance a solo/team game? (split from Packet Head sh

Because it is stronger. It's just illegal.
 
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