Poll: Lets talk about DoomBlow

Are you a rogue and do you think doomblow is a good capstone skill for rogues?

  • I am a Rogue, I think Doom blow is underwhelming.

    Votes: 11 25.6%
  • I am a Rogue, I think Doom blow is good.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • I am not a Rogue, I think Doom blow is underwhelming.

    Votes: 13 30.2%
  • I am not a Rogue, I think Doom blow is good.

    Votes: 5 11.6%
  • I am a Scout/Adept, I think Doom blow is underwhelming.

    Votes: 14 32.6%
  • I am a Scout/Adept, I think Doom blow is Good.

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    43

MaxIrons

Squire
Oregon Staff
Marshal
I'm going to avoid veering off into rules design territory here too much, but from a story telling perspective with the rules system we do have, I highly recommend reading the following three articles. They explain why, if you're in a game where there are multiple capstone abilities:

ContractualBossImmunity
UselessUsefulSpell
GameBreaker

Alliance's answer to these tensions is ablative effect defenses.
 

Mori

Newbie
Alliance Logistics
Marshal
Because if you can't take things out in at most two shots the high-risk/high-reward "sneak behind the lines and murder an enemy before running away as fast as your legs can carry you" play style isn't possible, and that is fun for some of us.
 

Draven

Count
Seattle Staff
Marshal
While that might be fun for some of you, it ends up taking a lot of opportunities to engage for other players.

Reducing lieutenants with quick kills should absolutely be a valid and rewarding tactic. Bosses with useful healers, bodyguards, and strikers should be hurt by those tools being removed from the field of play.

Because of this, Plot should enable PCs to have multiple valuable targets that have an impact when taken down. A SuperBBG surrounded by trash, particularly infinite trash, is extremely boring to fight. A BBG surrounded by ModerateBGs and some trash is far better.
 

jerrett

Newbie
The better question is, why do most people think that we should be taking things out in one shot? Would players rather use 4 effects on 4 different "monsters" to take them out or 3 resists and then the take out on the 4th? If everyone wants to use their one ability to take out that one "monster" then I just send out 4 more lives than I normally would. Same result, oh and treasure every 4th life too
I think that mentality is pretty rude. I think it is very reasonable for players to expect for their capstone abilities designed to instantly defeat a foe should be able to work. They are goals characters work towards and abilities that should feel useful. One of the changes in 2.0 philosophy, if I'm not mistaken, is decreasing overall damage output from static effects (backstabs, proficiencies, auras, etc.) and trying to push that power to other expendible skills. To take that philosophy and say that you're going to now not have rewards except for every fourth life seems, again, rude. I imagine that is a great way to push players away from engaging with content when they don't feel that their abilities are useful and that expending their abilities has no reward.
 

Feldor

Adept
Marshal
Those links do seem relevant. And I think the tension around doom blow is in some cases it is ablating a sometimes unique-to-it defense (cloak curse), as compared to eviscerate which is always ablating a shared defense - either a weapon defense or body.
 

MaxIrons

Squire
Oregon Staff
Marshal
While that might be fun for some of you, it ends up taking a lot of opportunities to engage for other players.

Reducing lieutenants with quick kills should absolutely be a valid and rewarding tactic. Bosses with useful healers, bodyguards, and strikers should be hurt by those tools being removed from the field of play.

Because of this, Plot should enable PCs to have multiple valuable targets that have an impact when taken down. A SuperBBG surrounded by trash, particularly infinite trash, is extremely boring to fight. A BBG surrounded by ModerateBGs and some trash is far better.
One of the things I'm coming to realize as 2.0 plot is that a BBG is generally a mistake. A big bad TEAM... now that's where it's at on the field and things get fun as the NPCs start using PC tactics instead of the brute hammer of power.
 

Gilwing

Baron
Alliance Logistics
One of the things I'm coming to realize as 2.0 plot is that a BBG is generally a mistake. A big bad TEAM... now that's where it's at on the field and things get fun as the NPCs start using PC tactics instead of the brute hammer of power.
A bunch of "Lackeys" with Intercept, Mettle and the likes are fun and are great when its pulled off and........the PCs can do the same thing, look at that.
 

Draven

Count
Seattle Staff
Marshal
One of the things I'm coming to realize as 2.0 plot is that a BBG is generally a mistake. A big bad TEAM... now that's where it's at on the field and things get fun as the NPCs start using PC tactics instead of the brute hammer of power.
I absolutely agree. I think a truly Epic SuperBBG has a purpose, but only hella occasionally (and maybe with some escape skills to temporarily remove them from the field). I much prefer a fight where there’s multiple pieces to solve. With violence.

I know that NPC numbers can greatly affect this. Chapters that can run closer to a 1:1 ratio or have more split fights with double-hookers are better equipped to have more satisfying combat, simply because you don’t need one person to take on four people.

Volunteer to NPC, folks! :) #shamelessplug
 

A.mungo

Artisan
Alliance Rules
Marshal
I think that Doom Blow as written with the original 2.0 intent was great. In the original database there were like 8 out of 400 cards that had any kind of defense against curse. That being said, as ARC has always stated, we should trust our plot teams. If the current plot team for your game has decided that skills will not be useful and you should only be utilizing static damage to kill enemies, then that is the game you are paying for. It is definitely a 1.3 mentality, and hopefully they are giving you neat LCO abilities and items to make up for all the other 1.3 pieces that were removed which helped to deal with those kinds of problems. I have Doom blow on a fighter card, every time I have used it in Crossroads it has landed and worked. Every time I have used it in any other game it has been defensed. Some legit, some questionable. It honestly comes down to the cards your team is writing. I can 100% say that the intent of 2.0 was more NPC lives, less NPC immunities and defenses, but while the owners might have originally been on board for that, most plot teams were not. In addition, all skills are going to be weaker when facing NPCs built on PC stats. If anything, 2.0 has increased natural PC defensives while removing most rampant itemization. I would still say trust your plot team, but the fix really needs to start at a local level instead of looking for a national change to fix a local statting issue. Give your teams feedback.
 

Draven

Count
Seattle Staff
Marshal
I think that Doom Blow as written with the original 2.0 intent was great. In the original database there were like 8 out of 400 cards that had any kind of defense against curse. That being said, as ARC has always stated, we should trust our plot teams. If the current plot team for your game has decided that skills will not be useful and you should only be utilizing static damage to kill enemies, then that is the game you are paying for. It is definitely a 1.3 mentality, and hopefully they are giving you neat LCO abilities and items to make up for all the other 1.3 pieces that were removed which helped to deal with those kinds of problems. I have Doom blow on a fighter card, every time I have used it in Crossroads it has landed and worked. Every time I have used it in any other game it has been defensed. Some legit, some questionable. It honestly comes down to the cards your team is writing. I can 100% say that the intent of 2.0 was more NPC lives, less NPC immunities and defenses, but while the owners might have originally been on board for that, most plot teams were not. In addition, all skills are going to be weaker when facing NPCs built on PC stats. If anything, 2.0 has increased natural PC defensives while removing most rampant itemization. I would still say trust your plot team, but the fix really needs to start at a local level instead of looking for a national change to fix a local statting issue. Give your teams feedback.
This has nothing to do with Plot teams.

This is about a skill that is unusually difficult to employ without either linking in another damage skill or praying that whatever you hit with static damage doesn’t have invisible Armor, since there’s no calls for when armor goes down.

As a result, it’s not worth the cost of the skill, because it only really represents a partial cost for one attack, with the remaining cost being the linked skill.

Please don’t deflect this to Plot teams, because you’re unintentionally blaming them for when this skill doesn’t land.
 

A.mungo

Artisan
Alliance Rules
Marshal
Please don’t deflect this to Plot teams, because you’re unintentionally blaming them for when this skill doesn’t land.

I'm not unintentionally blaming them for when this skill doesn't land, if they have chosen the cards, and are choosing to increase the difficulty of landing skills intentionally, then I am intentionally blaming them. As said before the skill naturally lends itself to be combined with other delivery methods
Doom + Assassinate
Doom + Slay
Doom + Backstab + Back Attack
Doom + Eviscerate
etc.

It is supposed to be powerful, but even if it were to be made a Weapon Doom, or Weapon Strike Doom while it would be much more effective it still suffers from the same faults as all high cost abilities - stacked defenses. Personally speaking, I have never had one of my Doom blows not land due to armor thresholds.

Also Monster Cards aren't coming out cookie cutter from an RNG. As someone with experience dealing with these things across multiple chapters, I can tell you that there is generally a thought process or planning that goes into putting cards out, and that every local game has the ability to make adjustments to these cards. So, while I understand your thoughts, the responsibility ultimately does land in the lap of the team creating the challenge, not necessarily the ability or rule itself, AND the player making a conscious choice of when to utilize the ability based upon IG knowledge of when it will or wont work. That being said, I think Weapon/Weapon Strike Doom would be an upgrade, but it will still be hard to land if facing off against a card/s with multiple Evade/Parry/Dodge/Phase/Guard/Intercept/etc.

So, I don't solely deflect this to the teams, but I do point to them as the source of what will or will not work on a case by case basis irrespective of how hard a skill is to use (Positionally, or other fringe rep or skill requirements).
 

Draven

Count
Seattle Staff
Marshal
I disagree entirely with your assessment. While it sounds like you've had a fair amount of success with your usage of Doom Blow, it sounds like your experience is the exception, and not the rule, considering the degree of unpopularity with the skill.

You're right that Plot teams should ensure that they're putting out effective, and achievable, challenges for PCs. However, that doesn't excuse mechanics that are difficult to balance for. How is a PC supposed to know that an undead enemy has 200 Natural Armor, because Plot wanted to reward players who had Healing Imbuement? They tossed out a 150 Doom Assassinate that only resulted in the NPC moving back to refit their armor.

What about a PC that's regularly chucking out Assassinates big enough to level anything it hits? 200 damage is a lot, but a mid 20s Rogue can definitely get that. Why add a Doom to something that doesn't need it?

Static damage Doom is terrible, because you're always going to worry about Armor. Armor is great for the system because it allows NPCs to refit rather than respawning. Also, you'll never know how many hits are needed to take out that armor.

Eviscerate with Doom is pretty great...if you're using Riposting Blows to throw them out. Otherwise, you're throwing out an attack in excess of 10XP. Eviscerate with Doom is actually an argument for what's wrong with RB, because it throws skill balance extremely out of whack.

On paper, Doom Blow sounds like a really fun mechanic. But the price is wrong, its balance is wonky because of RB (here's looking at all the Fighters who dip Stealth for Dodge and one DB just for RB synergy), and frankly, it doesn't help the class do what it's supposed to do. Lastly, Stealth didn't need a 60 skill that was this complicated, and let's be honest, complicated mechanics should probably be avoided when the quality of what it adds is questionable.
 
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