Redefining and Reviewing

Toddo

Knight
HQ Staff
Marshal
Lol, thanks for the love, that was kinda spur of the moment. Looking at it though it'd need some tweaking to work in terms of the secondary skills based off the lists. It would make for some cool diversity though. Just for fun I was looking at what 10 "profs" could make.

Up Front Types:

Swashbuckler: +4 damage, 6 evades (option to buy 3 dodges with other build)

Tank: +3 damage, 5 parrys, 2 evades (option to buy 1 dodge, 1 riposte with other build)

DPS Dude: +6 damage, 4 slays (would eviscerates go off slays or damage? Hmm)

Berserker: 10 slays (poor guy swings 2s otherwise)

Backy McStabbertons:

Assassin: +12 from behind, 4 Assassinates (heavy damage, no defense)

Ledgerdemain Larry: +2 damage, 6 Evades, 2 parrys (for those pesky weapon traps)

Dark Alley Darryl: +5 damage, +10 from behind (you don't want to meet this guy)

The idea is to make it so that you can choose the nifty per days which can save your butt or choose to do more damage rather than one being required before you can do the other. People who swing 15s are likely not going to have as many defenses or special offenses as someone who opted to take those exclusively and I think most people would build their own hybrid melee class to suit their character concept (Which is just NIFTY). It's more customization and flavor, plus it lowers overall damage from the fighting classes (or not if they don't want defense, which is a valid and possibly short life choice) without hamstringing them.
 

Avaran

Baron
Toddo said:
2. Lower overall fighter damage output. Remove Critical Attack, Back Attack and Backstab from the game and replace it with a new Weapon Proficiency skill that costs 15 build for Fighters and Rogues (with similar increases for cross and off classes as exist now and you might even want to make it 18 points for primaries, read on). The weapon Proficiency Skill has no effect but to allow you to choose ONE skill from the following list at no additional build cost:

A: +2 Damage from behind
B: +1 Damage in general
C: Slay
D: Parry
E: Evade
F: Assassinate

The other fighter skills would then require multiples of things on this list to buy at their normal build point cost (ex: 2 evades lets you buy a dodge). Whether you are a Fighter, Scout or Rogue would depend on the proportion of the skills from that list you take. This would keep overall damage down unless you want to just be "swings 20 guy" and would lead to really diverse "fighter" builds with some people opting to be nigh unhittable in exchange for lower damage, or a damage pumping beast who is hideously vulnerable to counterattack and everything in between.
The only reason to play a Fighter is for the damage. That's all they do; it's ALL they do.

Now, I'm not taking about a Fighter with a Scholar-In-Their-Pocket, I'm talking just a fighter. A first level spell renders a fighter useless (disarm), and it just goes on up the spell tree to see how many times/ways a caster has to shut a Fighter down.

With the proliferation of Magic Items in places where Fighters are actually a "problem", making this change won't do anything to fix the problem. They'll get get their defenses from MI's and throw all of their build into offense.

It will, however, screw over Fighters everywhere else who don't have access to the "streets are paved with MI's" chapters that we hear so much about.

You're talking about cutting Fighter damage down to 3-5 per swing, yet you'd have equivalent level C-casters potentially throwing 12 Elemental <yadda> 81 times per day. What is the incentive to play a melee at that point? Throw a golem up front for a meat shield! Or two! Plus you'd have lots of self-healing and defenses not otherwise available depending on the golem type.

A lot of things were changed to keep up with the "body bloat"; you'd have to look at those as well, and not just screw Fighters over. I agree that Fighters could probably use some changes, but not like that.
 
Point of interest, if the melee classes were undergoing that radical of a redesign, it's fairly likely that the casters would be getting a comparable overhaul. If monster body levels drop back down to the point where a flame bolt represents a significant problem and a double dragon's breath can end basically any conversation, wands can be safely reduced in power without leaving celestial feeling gutted. It's all about relative damage. It doesn't matter if your calling 4s or 40s; if it's high in relation to the body of your target, it's effective. Swinging 6s when virtually every foe tops out at 30 body is no small thing. Swinging 20s when crunchy zombies are rockin' 360 body doesn't mean much.
 

Wraith

Newbie
Indeed, a major change like that would men system wide rebalancing.

My theory on combat is that it should -feel- dangerous. When the numbers get to the point that defense is ignored to attempt victory by overwhelming dps, it leads to doors and force issues. I would much rather the rules keep the numbers low but deadly enough that a more careful style is necessary, as wading into blows is suicidal.
 

elliotbay

Knight
Oregon Staff
Marshal
I really like the idea of having more diverse fighters, but I don't think it's a solution to body-bloat, and a lot of what it does as the suggestion stands is turbo-nerfs fighters, keeping profs the same expense, but more than doubling the cost of everything it serves as a prereq for. Critical attacks and Back attacks aren't useful for the most part, so I'd definitely like to see them go. There's no reason to have a 6-in-1 skill, though, when you could have 6 different skills. I'd like to see less emphasis placed on getting a prof or a backstab, meaning removing all the prereqs that require these. Balancing that would mean making profs less expensive, and things that require them more expensive. That might look like this:



The right 3 columns would simulate how this change would alter the build cost of 3 builds which are currently roughly the same. It increases the cost of specials, sure, but would allow you to specialize more in them. The conversion for backstab-based skills would be similar.



Tyson's comment deserves some significant love, though:
Tyson said:
I think attempts to simplify the game should be focused on the receiving end of rules and effects. It's okay to add complexity to determining how you arrive at an end result if it means knowing what to do with the result is made easier.
This is the core of making the game easier to play for new players. To that end, and to address Mike V's point, I have another suggestion to simplify things:

There are currently 6 effects that all mean stop what you're doing and start being ineffective: Laugh, Nausea, Feeblemind, Sleep, Vertigo, Paralysis. There's no reason for that from a game balance perspective. Most of these are from the Alteration effect group. I propose removing the Alteration effect group entirely. The two alteration effects that couldn't be replaced by sleep or paralysis are intoxicate and paranoia. Intoxicate can be replaced by just drinking (or chocolate if you're into that), and if we really want to keep paranoia, it could fit into Command. That removes 7 effects that a new player no longer has to remember (including Antidote), 5 of which could potentially be thrown at you in combat, and it's one fewer immunity to remember the first time you try to NPC an undead or elemental.

It's really hard to simplify an existing rule set, because you'll usually find somebody who uses the thing you're trying to remove, but this seems like low-hanging fruit to me.
 

Shandar

Artisan
Avaran said:
With the proliferation of Magic Items in places where Fighters are actually a "problem", making this change won't do anything to fix the problem. They'll get get their defenses from MI's and throw all of their build into offense.

It will, however, screw over Fighters everywhere else who don't have access to the "streets are paved with MI's" chapters that we hear so much about.
For that matter, if MI proliferation is where the bulk of the problem stems from (and that's what it really sounds like to me, reading back through the thread) then why are we talking about fixing it with a skill rewrite? Shouldn't we be looking at the relative importance of magic items compared to character skills?
 

Avaran

Baron
Shandar said:
Avaran said:
With the proliferation of Magic Items in places where Fighters are actually a "problem", making this change won't do anything to fix the problem. They'll get get their defenses from MI's and throw all of their build into offense.

It will, however, screw over Fighters everywhere else who don't have access to the "streets are paved with MI's" chapters that we hear so much about.
For that matter, if MI proliferation is where the bulk of the problem stems from (and that's what it really sounds like to me, reading back through the thread) then why are we talking about fixing it with a skill rewrite? Shouldn't we be looking at the relative importance of magic items compared to character skills?
If we took away a Fighter's ability to use Magic Items it would go a long way to limiting their effectiveness in terms of being able to get into a BBG's face and unload. They would likely have to pick up Archery, but a shield takes care of those quiet nicely.

The limiting factor would be: "Can I cast or use that defense from memory?"

If a Fighter can't High Magic a cloak or bane, they can't use Cloak or Bane items. Can't cast a Spell Shield from memory? Can't use that 3/day Spell Shield item.

Limiting items that reproduce build and skills to the classes that can already do so is, I think, a step in the right direction (except for rits specifically designed for melee -- Spell Parry). For Templar/Adepts, you could probably use something like we have for Scrolls -- If you are Templar/Scout you can use items at your current spell tree circle +5 (to throw out a random example) so that they aren't totally hosed. They'd still have to use the full verbal if they can't cast from memory, but they'd at least be able to use them.

Kind of leaning that same way toward Skill Store items too; Racials don't count, sorry! :p

:ninja:
 
Requiring that build reproducing items only be available to those who can already use them would lead to an enormous increase in templars and adepts, and probably somewhat less scouts. If the goal is still to get items to make you stronger, then it absolutely stands to reason that all people even remotely interested in that goal will choose the avenue that makes it most viable.

If you make possessing a spell column too important to being able to take advantage of treasure, it dramatically reduces the usefulness of any character lacking a spell column.
 
Making magic items unavailable to certain classes wouldn't just ruin balance and make those classes undesirable, I think its also just not in keeping at all with the fantasy setting we've created these many years.

The problem is how much are available and how much they are able to stack. There is no outer limit on how much magic anyone can be carrying on them, so you end up with fighters in golems with magic flame swords and 9+cloaks verses subjugate, prison, whatever and throwing a full casters four column from those six other items he's got.

Instead of just limiting how many levels of rit can go on an item, cap how many can go on a person.
 

jwconvery

Spellsword
Coming late to this party, so I need to Necro one point that we have moved past. this might just be a problem with the build calc. I use: http://www.alliancelarpohio.net/buildcalc.htm but if the database uses the same system I think it should be addressed.

Simplying Build/Exp/Blankets: I hate that with the exp conversion, and blanketting system you can get a disparity in build for people who get credit for the same events. 10 blankets isn't ten blankets, it depends on the size of the event, and the order they get applied.

4 one days get more build then 2 two-days, but both are 4 'blankets'

The other point, is if they get applied in different orders. Getting a one day in, before you level will effect your total.

I'm not saying to get more build, but it should be standardized if we are overhauling the system. The difference doesn't matter numerically (really it's like 2-3 build depending on level) but if your group is leveling together, or you and your friend/GF/BF/wife, it can create a noticable customer service issue.

For example: They can't go to some random mod-day, you do. You get your build. You both attend the next weekend event. A month later they turn in some packets and goblin blanket the missed event. You could have more build then them. You get your prof before them, so the whole next event they hear you swing 11's to their 10's. You can get past the monster's threshold, they can't. etc...

Not trying to complain to get more build. Just saying the Exp/Blanket system should get looked over. 1-2 build isn't an issue in a faceless database, but couples/friends playing together it could create un-needed dissatisfaction with the system.

-Joe
 

Mike Ventrella

Duke
Owner
Moderator
HQ Staff
Tyson said:
Fearless Leader said:
It's very difficult to simplify the game, though. Everyone says that they like the idea and then they come up with 100 new rules to replace the simplification!

I mean, just look at the other threads with all these new ideas for healers and mages! :zonks:
I think attempts to simplify the game should be focused on the receiving end of rules and effects. It's okay to add complexity to determining how you arrive at an end result if it means knowing what to do with the result is made easier.

Wands are like this: there are calculations that go into the number of charges you get and how much damage they deal, but the end result is easy to handle: "9 flame" means you take 9 points of flame damage. Having scaling damage and healing spell amounts would do the same thing if you add those amounts to the incant. We do this with profs/backstabs determining weapon damage, and how slay/backstab damage is calculated.

Having intuitively named Effects added to the verbals of other spells and skills would simplify things too. From "I call upon Chaos to Cause Disease." to "With Chaos I Cause Disease to Slow you." You can have multiple deliveries of the same effect reference the effect name: "With Chaos I Wither Limb to Cripple your right arm." "Prepare to Die. Cripple right arm." This lets you add more spells or skills without having to add more things for people to remember. "I call forth 20 Ice to Slow you." "With Earth I Regenerate 10 body and Restore your arm."

The idea here is to have a number of Effects defined, and to keep this number relatively low. That way all everyone needs to know are the Effects. Then for your particular character or monster, you only need to learn your abilities and verbals (which should contain either a damage/healing amount and/or the Effect within or appended to it.)
I agree. The object should be that someone playing for the first time doesn't have to stop every time they get an effect and remember how it works. Flame Bolt does how many points? How is a Confine different from a Web? What's the difference between Nausea and Vertigo?

How we get to that point -- the logistics part of it -- can be more complicated, since that's all behind-the-scenes stuff.
 

Mike Ventrella

Duke
Owner
Moderator
HQ Staff
Avaran said:
Shandar said:
Avaran said:
With the proliferation of Magic Items in places where Fighters are actually a "problem", making this change won't do anything to fix the problem. They'll get get their defenses from MI's and throw all of their build into offense.

It will, however, screw over Fighters everywhere else who don't have access to the "streets are paved with MI's" chapters that we hear so much about.
For that matter, if MI proliferation is where the bulk of the problem stems from (and that's what it really sounds like to me, reading back through the thread) then why are we talking about fixing it with a skill rewrite? Shouldn't we be looking at the relative importance of magic items compared to character skills?
If we took away a Fighter's ability to use Magic Items it would go a long way to limiting their effectiveness in terms of being able to get into a BBG's face and unload. They would likely have to pick up Archery, but a shield takes care of those quiet nicely.

The limiting factor would be: "Can I cast or use that defense from memory?"

If a Fighter can't High Magic a cloak or bane, they can't use Cloak or Bane items. Can't cast a Spell Shield from memory? Can't use that 3/day Spell Shield item.

Limiting items that reproduce build and skills to the classes that can already do so is, I think, a step in the right direction (except for rits specifically designed for melee -- Spell Parry). For Templar/Adepts, you could probably use something like we have for Scrolls -- If you are Templar/Scout you can use items at your current spell tree circle +5 (to throw out a random example) so that they aren't totally hosed. They'd still have to use the full verbal if they can't cast from memory, but they'd at least be able to use them.

Kind of leaning that same way toward Skill Store items too; Racials don't count, sorry! :p

:ninja:
Since classes are out-of-game and since any class can buy any skill, it would have to be skill based.

For instance, "if you can't cast a Flame Bolt then you can't use a Flame Bolt scroll" is one proposal that's been around for years. Maybe something like that would encourage more teamwork, too, which is always a good thing in a game that is trying to make every player useful and needed.
 
"No mem'd flame bolt, no flame bolt scroll" seems a bit harsh. So do the magic item limitations, when otherwise fighters have no way to get cloaks to defend themselves from spells when they're supposed to be tanks. What if you can carry only so many items, sort of like what Shhh, I'm Not Here said, with "wear extra magic" either a skill or a high magic effect? Or treat it like formals and arcane armor, so if you have formals you can carry and use more of them. Slots could work as a limiting factor, and make a certain amount of in-game sense. It wouldn't stop people from having a stash back in their cabin and switching out after every fight (unless you had to choose your loadout at the beginning of every event), but it could add some cool strategizing surrounding either option.
 

jpariury

Duke
Not "you must have memorized one", but "you must have that spell slot" rather than the current "you can cast up to four levels higher than you spent build on".

I'm not a fan. I'd rather it be "you must be capable of producing it to use it" for alchemy.
 

jwconvery

Spellsword
jpariury said:
I'd rather it be "you must be capable of producing it to use it" for alchemy.
I see what you're saying. Alch 3 being a fairly common stopping point. However if you go all the way to your extreme I think you would lose the people selling alchemy. Similarly with scrolls, if you must have the spell slot to cast it then the person who made it, can't neccesarily use it? I don't like either of those situations.

-Joe
 

jpariury

Duke
jwconvery said:
I see what you're saying. Alch 3 being a fairly common stopping point. However if you go all the way to your extreme I think you would lose the people selling alchemy.
I dunno. People have the stuff they like to throw. I would expect them to buy the few levels more needed to keep throwing it. They'll still buy/sell it.
 

Avaran

Baron
Anazstaizia said:
So do the magic item limitations, when otherwise fighters have no way to get cloaks to defend themselves from spells when they're supposed to be tanks.
Serious question: Where does it say that Fighters are "tanks"? For that matter, where is this term "tank" defined and outline in the rules? How did you come to this conclusion?

Fighters are made to be weak against spells as far as I can tell since they have no cheap, built-in ways to defend against spells.
 

Ezri

Knight
HQ Staff
Avaran said:
Anazstaizia said:
So do the magic item limitations, when otherwise fighters have no way to get cloaks to defend themselves from spells when they're supposed to be tanks.
Serious question: Where does it say that Fighters are "tanks"? For that matter, where is this term "tank" defined and outline in the rules? How did you come to this conclusion?

Fighters are made to be weak against spells as far as I can tell since they have no cheap, built-in ways to defend against spells.
Alliance fighters are not designed to be "Tanks" the way we think of them in the MMORPG world. And if they turn into MMORPG fighters I'll be very sad.

Avaran's got it right - the game is designed for each class to have strengths and weaknesses. Alone, a fighter should be a one spell kill, and a scholar is almost always a one-swing kill against an opponent of the same level (maybe two if they have a magic armor on).

The entire idea of the game was cooperation between players. A fighter and scholar working together will likely do better in a fight than two fighters, or two scholars against the same enemies through a combination of offensive spells, buffs, healing and the martial defense of the fighter.
 

Wraith

Newbie
Man, I can't remember the last fighter past level 20 who was a one-spell kill. Maybe I just see the ones who buy a lot of MI's?
 
It has been repeatedly acknowledged and agreed upon that the system was not originally designed with post 20 play in mind, and that changes to address post 20 have been stop gaps and varying sizes of bandages, rather than a true overhaul.
 
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