[.11] Oregon Playtest - Sept 21-23 - Thoughts and Musings

Cedric

Rogue
Marshal
So I wasn't there but I heard a few things from others. Can we start threads like this on each playtest to see how they went?

Mike
 

Tantarus

Squire
These are my take aways form the Oregon playtest.

1) Riposte needs to be higher prereq, maybe every 45 or 60 build spent.

2) Undead slayer seemed insanely good.

3) Swarm ability needs to have a call when used... It was not obv what was going on many times, it seemed like the npc just had a lot of spellstrikes or whatnot. I am not a fan of random trash mobs having this ability. It seems like a boss monster thing to me.

4)Slay and assassinate really need verbal ques of "slay" or "assassinate" I saw a ton of people needing it to be pointed out they got hit by something big because it got lost in the attack spam. E.I. 4, 4, 4, 4, 40, 4, 4.... Did you take my Forty? Oh, no didnt realize you did that.

5) The Earth incant is terrible. Please please add "the" back before the word earth... I call upon THE earth etc etc. It was clunky as all hell to try and say.

6) The first doom I put to an undead was No effected. I clarified and it was yes, it is no effect. Just saying. (I guess it was immune to curses cause it was a mummy template. )

7) I played an 8 tree templar swinging for 5s. Melee felt really strong, my eviscerates and such landed most the time, where as my spells got resisted, cloaks and protected most of the time. I had zero of 9 dooms kill anything.

8) Weapon strike and spell strike sound very similar on the field of battle. I saw a ton of clarifying what defense you can use when people where hit with them. Could just be getting use to new things though.

9) Overall I really liked 2.0. The flow of combat was similar to 1.3. I look forward to play testing a fighter in Nov for Seattle's event.
 

Krystina F

Artisan
Oregon Staff
5) The Earth incant is terrible. Please please add "the" back before the word earth... I call upon THE earth etc etc. It was clunky as all hell to try and say.
Oh my god yes. Please add it back. I dropped my Earth for this play test to try other stuff but was suuuuper annoyed by the dropping of such a simple word that makes the whole incant flow significantly easier.

I will add my other thoughts later when I have more time to compile them.
 

Draven

Count
Seattle Staff
Marshal
7) I played an 8 tree templar swinging for 5s. Melee felt really strong, my eviscerates and such landed most the time, where as my spells got resisted, cloaks and protected most of the time. I had zero of 9 dooms kill anything.

8) Weapon strike and spell strike sound very similar on the field of battle. I saw a ton of clarifying what defense you can use when people where hit with them. Could just be getting use to new things though.

9) Overall I really liked 2.0. The flow of combat was similar to 1.3. I look forward to play testing a fighter in Nov for Seattle's event.
That’s really disappointing.

#BringBackGift
 

Tantarus

Squire
@Draven I am not going to lie, I think memorizing doom is pretty unthinkable in the real. We where super short on life spells. And to give one up to throw a spell that gets cloaked or resisted feels real bad.
 

MaxIrons

Squire
Oregon Staff
Marshal
HoP notes:

Having looked at the cards, most of them were just reskins of 1.3 monsters, and 1.3 monsters had body to compensate for melee, and resists/cloaks etc... to deal with magical stuff. I will say that the cards are MUCH more susceptible to damage, and pretty beefy against Crowd Control / Take Outs. Binding is not the go-to it used to be. We tested mostly undead, constructs, and fae. May be different for goblins, ogres and the like. Otherwise, I'd like to see more things like Resolute, Intercept, Counterspell, etc. on cards.

Fights are much faster, with bigger "Burst" damage that stuck more.
 

Durnic

Squire
Owner
Oregon Staff
Marshal
This is a direct copy and paste from my notes in a note taking app, so it might not be the easiest thing to read. It is also not the end-all be-all of everything I saw or experienced or think about 2.0.

Pain points / balance concerns
  1. Undead slayers. Slayers in general, really.
    1. I don't think Reavers or Slayers should be in the game. With the new monster database building guidelines of including natural armor along with lowering body points, these rituals completely roll over the creature types that they target. Specifically, the Undead Slayer is very good, as that is the most prevalent monster type in the new monster database and traditionally a heavily-used enemy.
  2. Retribution ritual.
    1. This ritual is very abusable. At one point, there was a monster swinging for Engulf and a player next to me was running forward with the explicit purpose of using this ritual to Bane back the Engulf for the laughs.
    2. There is no special call when using this ritual, which means it is a little confusing to just hear "Bane" called after someone is hit with a large Slay or, like in the above example, a strange carrier like Engulf.
  3. Lack of High Magic options.
    1. For people who wish to specialize in being ritualists, there was some feedback about how there really aren't many compelling High Magic choices. For people like me who had only five formal as a Celestial Spellsword, there really wasn't an option that interested me other than stacking Cloaks. I know that there were a couple of straight-up scholars who brought their formal magic levels waaaaayyyyy down for the playtest because they didn't like any of their options in High Magic.
  4. Riposting Strike.
    1. Could be tweaked to have a higher pre-requisite and/or higher cost.
  5. High-end monster scaling.
    1. At one point, we went to fight three very big (ACE 35 and 40) monsters. We were warned that this fight would be very difficult and might result in some character deaths. While we did outnumber the enemy by a large margin, it ended up being a very simple fight where the big day was dropped by several people using a couple of large Slays or Eviscerates combined with either Healing Strike, Precise Strike, or an Undead Slayer.
What went well
  1. My build for the weekend, Celestial Spellsword.
    1. I played a Celestial Spellsword and it felt amazing. I was effective in melee, loved being able to spell strike spells. Landing those Spellstrike Prisons and Confines were very fun and rewarding.
    2. I know of one other player who was a Celestial Spellsword for the event and he and I were absolutely having a blast.
    3. At no time did I feel as if I was overpowered, but I felt like it actually played like how I envisioned a spellsword in my mind when I started playing seven years ago – the mighty warrior, swinging spells through his weapon.
  2. Combined Strike.
    1. felt awesome as a Celestial Spellsword. It forced me to memorize Elemental Bolts, which I did not mind at all because of this spell. I rarely threw my damage, but I did find myself throwing them when I was facing monsters with the Swarm ability.
    2. I have some concerns that in some campaigns Combined Strike, if picked up by an Earth Spellsword, will either be incredibly amazing (those with Undead) or downright useless (campaigns like Maelstrom where they face Elementals a lot).
  3. Armor rituals.
    1. The new armor rituals are amazing. During the big fight on Saturday I went through both of my 110-point suits using Empowered Armor. Combined with Armored Shell boosting my meager Spellsword body up to that of my equal-level 1.3 fighter, I felt like I had enough health to really use my Mettles and take a beating.
  4. Flex casting.
    1. I heard (primarily Earth casters) who took Flex casting saying how much they loved not having to memorize healing and could instead focus on using their skills for "fun things" like curses and binding. This was particularly true of the non-scholar types who were playing Adepts and Spellsword.
  5. Alternate builds.
    1. It was refreshing to hear and see so many people playing so many other builds than the "standard, efficient" builds found in 1.3. For instance, we had a number of Fighters on the field, but they were all built differently. We had at least two Rogues that I knew of and they were both built very differently; one for bursty damage and the other with a lot of the strike skills like Disarm Strike.
    2. I will mention that there were only six Celestialists on the entire PC camp this time around, which was a little strange to see. I am counting myself among them.
    3. Because of the different builds, people were far more specialized. Some builds were very good against certain things and only so-so against other things. It gave most players a chance to shine.
  6. Low-end and medium-end monster scaling.
    1. The crunchies (which I NPC'd) and the mid-level baddies (which I fought) all felt balanced. I loved seeing the bodyguards for bigger baddies using Intercept and Resolute to soak up PC punishment, it made the game world feel more alive. In 1.3 the only way to really do that is to parry, which is less interesting (imo) because it isn't sacrificial. It was especially cool when one of the higher-end casters would then turn around and heal the bodyguard that just dove on a sword or a spell.
  7. Melee damage being lower.
    1. There were very few people on the field swinging for more than 6. I think the most common call I heard for melee was 4s, this is combining both players and NPCs. It made combat typically more of a give-and-take, as creatures were able to take numerous hits before going down making for better combat flow.
    2. A side effect of this was that when I went for a 40 Spell Strike Flame, I felt like it was actually a big swing and a lot of damage. Like a Spellsword version of an Evicerate.
Overall I very much enjoyed 2.0 and I want to attend more play tests. I think there is definitely some tweaking to do, but there is so much good stuff in 2.0 and we're very nearly there.
 
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Durnic

Squire
Owner
Oregon Staff
Marshal
For what it is worth, we had 48 total people at the game this last weekend. 18 have already sent in event feedback (not playtest specific feedback that ARC wants). One of the questions I have on there is "do you prefer to keep play testing 2.0 or would you like to go back to 1.3". Only one person has said 1.3 (with no comments as to why) and one person chose 1.3 but then said in the comments that they wish I had put in a "no preference" option. Everyone else has so far said they wish to continue with 2.0.

Most of the comments about 2.0 is that it is "much easier to learn" and that it "flowed better". One of the most gung-ho answers even mentioned that they feel that even with the little issues that they felt 2.0 had that they thought it was already substantially better than 1.3 and that we should roll it out soon. Specific skills in the comments that were pointed out were that folks very much enjoyed Mettle and some of the new Skill Strikes (Weakness Strike in particular).

This is a small group of people who knew they were going to a 2.0 play test and were interested in trying out the new rules, but the feedback has been very positive for 2.0.
 

Naomi

Artisan
100% I would like to continue play testing. I don't think everything is perfect but I think this is a fantastic step forward.

This is a small group of people who knew they were going to a 2.0 play test and were interested in trying out the new rules, but the feedback has been very positive for 2.0.
Absolutely. I agree. The overall feel from people I've talked to has been positive for 2.0

7) I played an 8 tree templar swinging for 5s. Melee felt really strong, my eviscerates and such landed most the time, where as my spells got resisted, cloaks and protected most of the time. I had zero of 9 dooms kill anything.
Also, I had 4 dooms for the SoMi weekend and they wen't off without a hitch. I thought I would be more skeptical of Doom replacing Death, but I didn't mind it as much as I thought I would.
 
A couple weeks ago South Michigan has their first full weekend playtest of 2.0. We loved it in general.

There was a few tweaks we all kinda agreed needed to be loooked at- but the new feel of the game was exciting!

I am pure healer - and while there was some clunky wording and some blown incants for their “newness”- I loved it ! The channeling and flex casting was amazing.
Yes there was less life spells but we as adventures are learning to deal!

There is a learning cure with 2.0 but it is totally worth it!

- Nette
SOMI
 

Ardos

Artisan
South Michigan Staff
Somi had a great play test, it's certainly a different game and there were certainly parts of my build I am changing for our next test, but there is not a single thing I would change back to the way we did things in 1.3.
Playing a celestial spellsword was immensely satisfying, I enjoyed playing a low damage, high crowd control/resistance spear and board fighter. I enjoyed feeling like I could make a difference in a fight with weakness, destruction, stun, and intercept without my role being a stick jockey or a caster. My one suggestion would be to make there be a reason to take and cast signature spells, but I've posted that elsewhere.
I strongly disagree that the monsters were a straight port of the 1.3 monsters, there appeared to be a lot of care in making the FEELING of a monster type fit in to all the new rules and changes. as someone made an example above, intercepts from lackeys, fear from big vampires, various strikes from the monsters that made it obvious of exactly what the thing was. sure, the effort of the NPCs doing the flavor cant be understated, but bears and wolves are vastly different to fight, but fairly similar to rep.
I'm looking forward to our second playtest in order to see what was "new rules funk" and what was mechanically clunky (retribution stuck out to me as feeling odd in the moment only to remember that it was pretty common in practice). I am shifting a fair amount of XP away from blacksmithing investment, as while having 30 sec refits was great, there just wasnt enough to do with production to justify the spent XP not going to more fast refits instead (maybe have more consumables than arrows/bolts? or more rituals using the strengthening charge?).
All in all, the rules changes have done something more valuable for an immersive game than any single thing could, it gave a variety to character creation that has been missing for far too long. If I walk into a LARP tavern, and there are 4 identical fighters, 4 identical casters, 1 bow rogue and one sword rogue with the same skills, then that feels like a game. If I walk into the tavern and see a multitude of interesting things, character concepts, finally having a reason for craftsman, etc., then it feels like a fantasy tavern. you dont know if the weak guy is weak because he could drown you in status effects for then next 10 minutes, and you don't have everyone and there mother piled high with pocket magic.
 

Cedric

Rogue
Marshal
The main feedback I've been hearing from the 4-5 people that were at the oregon playtest that I spoke to is that magic spells were not very useful. A lot of this had to do with the plot team playing with a non-standard monster database with scaled defenses. Does anyone have comments on this?
 

Mark of Chaos

Artisan
Denver Staff
  1. My build for the weekend, Celestial Spellsword.
    1. I played a Celestial Spellsword and it felt amazing. I was effective in melee, loved being able to spell strike spells. Landing those Spellstrike Prisons and Confines were very fun and rewarding.
    2. I know of one other player who was a Celestial Spellsword for the event and he and I were absolutely having a blast.
    3. At no time did I feel as if I was overpowered, but I felt like it actually played like how I envisioned a spellsword in my mind when I started playing seven years ago – the mighty warrior, swinging spells through his weapon.
Being able to do what you're talking about is an easy 400+ build I would guess (9 profs and into formal magic, plus any bells and whistles). Out of curiosity, was the other player you mentioned level... 20 or less? I've played around trying to get a spellsword build I like with my low 200's build points and, on paper at least, it just doesn't look appealing yet.
 

Durnic

Squire
Owner
Oregon Staff
Marshal
The main feedback I've been hearing from the 4-5 people that were at the oregon playtest that I spoke to is that magic spells were not very useful. A lot of this had to do with the plot team playing with a non-standard monster database with scaled defenses. Does anyone have comments on this?
Other than one creature that I know of, the Plot team used standard monsters out of the new 2.0 database. They used a new Dawnsteel golem but I'm am pretty confident that everything else was "standard". I'll let @MaxIrons, my Head of Plot, answer for sure, though.

My magic was consistently hitting, especially my straight-up damage. Binding was Baned by a couple of creature types, but I just stopped using it on them after a Pin or a Bind or two. Half of my Prisons hit as well as most of my Disarms and Shatters. My Confines almost all landed, IIRC.

There were some bigger cards with cloaks, but those got chewed through pretty quick.

I know @Tantarus had a problem with one of the mummy types calling "no effect" to Doom, but that is a creature that is still in the 2.0 Monster Database with "immune to Curse" on the card. Perhaps the card should be updated?
 

Durnic

Squire
Owner
Oregon Staff
Marshal
Being able to do what you're talking about is an easy 400+ build I would guess (9 profs and into formal magic, plus any bells and whistles). Out of curiosity, was the other player you mentioned level... 20 or less? I've played around trying to get a spellsword build I like with my low 200's build points and, on paper at least, it just doesn't look appealing yet.
I had 300 build for the playtest and it got me swingin' 5's with a four column, five formal, 1 rank of Blacksmith, four Mettles, 27 WEA (woot!), Combined Strike and 2x Resolutes. There were probably some other supporting skills (5 CO for instance) that I am forgetting. I had a couple of Resist Commands to top it all off. My formal went into Cloaks.
 

Ardos

Artisan
South Michigan Staff
Being able to do what you're talking about is an easy 400+ build I would guess (9 profs and into formal magic, plus any bells and whistles). Out of curiosity, was the other player you mentioned level... 20 or less? I've played around trying to get a spellsword build I like with my low 200's build points and, on paper at least, it just doesn't look appealing yet.
Ill send you mine if you want, it was lots of fun and Im at level 20, that said the master blacksmith could have easily been a few profs.
 

Polare

Count
Alliance Rules
Moderator
Seattle Staff
I played a slightly less than APL fighter at the playtest, going for a tanky build with very little offensive attacks (3 Repel Strikes and 5 profs was it for offense, everything else was defense). It felt far more satisfying than the 1.3 version, and it felt great to Intercept attacks meant for other folks with a beefy set of plate mail. Swinging 10's with a 2 hander felt like "enough", unlike 1.3 where you always ALWAYS need more static damage.

On the topic of spells landing, my character had 2 Memory Strikes and bought spells from another character to fill them each day. Of the 3 I used (all Confines), all 3 landed. I intentionally didn't target the "biggest" enemies on the field with them, as I didn't have something to double-tap through a spell shield so I would expect them to be stopped - but using them against the mid-level enemies felt satisfying when they landed.

-Bryan
 

Durnic

Squire
Owner
Oregon Staff
Marshal
I would also like to note that I did a couple of NPC shifts, I played monsters all over the ACE-range and I had a blast with every one of them.
 

Mark of Chaos

Artisan
Denver Staff
I had 300 build for the playtest and it got me swingin' 5's with a four column, five formal, 1 rank of Blacksmith, four Mettles, 27 WEA (woot!), Combined Strike and 2x Resolutes. There were probably some other supporting skills (5 CO for instance) that I am forgetting. I had a couple of Resist Commands to top it all off. My formal went into Cloaks.
Were the spellstrikes via Empowered Strike or through one of the new rituals? I've been trying to do my builds item-independent right now, and Empowered Strike is meh due to prof tie-in, but maybe that's where my hangup is for a spellsword build I'd enjoy. I just need to start adding a few base items as well and see how I feel.
 

Mark of Chaos

Artisan
Denver Staff
Ill send you mine if you want, it was lots of fun and Im at level 20, that said the master blacksmith could have easily been a few profs.
Sure, I'd love to see it.
 
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