v0.10 First impressions

Polare

Count
Alliance Rules
Moderator
Seattle Staff
When I was still a coordinator, I was flat-out told that my chapter's opinions don't matter to ARC because we don't have a member on ARC, and ARC knows better than we do...only our owner's vote mattered in the slightest. That's far from democracy, given that we're one of the largest chapters (if not the largest), and we don't even have our feedback weighed by ARC. The "sit down and take what we give you" replies I'd gotten were very very very far from democratic.
While I'm not interested in getting into a back and forth about the politics involved (ARC's position has always been to enact the Owners' will over that of the players as that's the way Alliance is set up), I feel that your note here is a severe mischaracterization. Denver's feedback (from the Feedback Form) has been essential in helping craft the changes through each round of Playtesting. It's one of the chapters that has been most involved in playtests, and numerous changes have been enacted due to a preponderance of feedback including that from Denver.

In terms of actually making changes, the Owners are indeed the most important as they are the ones who actually vote for things. But Playtest feedback has been directly responsible for most of the changes from the very first round of Playtesting until this latest round. If you compare the first Playtest Packet to the current one, at least 60-70% of the changes from one to the next are directly due to Playtester feedback. It's certainly true that feedback often conflicts between different chapters and different playstyles, in which case ARC and the Owners do their best to find the best path forward for the National game, and it's also true that ARC primarily considers feedback via the approved Feedback Form over other sources, since the Feedback Form comes directly from individual Playtesters and is not filtered through a third party with their own priorities and concerns.

I find it difficult to reconcile your statements with what has actually happened during the Playtests, including the vast wealth of feedback collected from Denver and the inclusion of many changes during the Playtest rounds, and feel that you are strongly misstating the actuality of the Playtest procedures.

-Bryan Gregory
ARC Chair
 

Durnic

Squire
Owner
Oregon Staff
Marshal
We, the ownership, have typically stayed away from interacting directly with these forums but, at least myself and a few others, have been following them since they have been up. Your feedback is being heard.

Firstly, I would like to point out that Mike's comment about a committee of people to put together 2.0 is exactly what we already have -- ARC. ARC even has rules that state that no owners can be on it, and that they attempt to have as much regional coverage as they possibly can from a wide range of players with various types of experience in Alliance. They do this for exactly the reason brought up in this thread already – this is a national game, and we need a national perspective. In my limited years as an owner of an Alliance chapter, ARC has never failed the ownership when we have asked for their help. In reverse, I do not believe that the ownership as a whole can say that we've been good to ARC.

Before the holidays, the owners passed a measure that allowing ARC to propose rules changes and that we, the owners, would vote on moving forward with them. This is exactly what Mike V is talking about doing in this very thread, but apparently Mike V hasn't noticed that we've already done this. I'm just sorry we didn't do it much sooner. Historically, we have not used ARC to the full potential that we could, since instead the owners would pass things off to them to clean up instead of allowing them to take charge as we always should have.

PirateFox's statements about ARC could not be more false. Bryan has spoken with myself and multiple owners personally about much of the feedback given to us by all chapters, not the least of which has been Denver. I believe PirateFox is confusing using the agreed-upon player feedback forms (so we can get an unbiased unfiltered personal response from each play tester) versus sending in large Google Docs with personal accounts of how he felt the playtests were going and what he sensed from his play testers. I do not know if PirateFox is unable to see the forest through the trees during his playtests, but the feedback we have received from the individual play testers from Denver have rarely matched up as a whole with PirateFox's own personal thoughts on 2.0.

Secondly, I would like to point out that a lot of your criticisms were already mentioned and discussed, at least in regards to the .10 players packet:

Relics – This proposal was one of my ideas, and I am saddened to see that so many of you do not feel that they live up to your expectations. Originally, we were thinking of doing a wand analog that could do damage, but the majority of the ownership did not like that paradigm so we shifted it to debuff removal. I am getting a kick out of the comments about how hard it is to use in combat, which was quite honestly the point of having it take a minute to use. The risk vs reward of using it is the same as refitting your armor in combat, in my opinion. But if you hate Relics, you can hate me too. I can take it.

Paragon Paths – I know this isn't in the play test packet any longer, but this was also my brain child. Originally I had thought about just stealing the idea of High Magic to use with martial classes (I was going to call it Martial Mastery) but that has been historically shot down as "too much like High Magic", which, to be honest, was exactly the point. I know this isn't the first time anyone has thought of this idea; it just makes too much sense. What grew out of that discussion, and the removal of Master Construct, was a talk about "capstone abilities" which grew into the untenable situation we had in .9. Again, this was my idea so send any hate mail you have at me.

Unlimited Racial Dodges/Resist Magics – Buy as many as you would like, they are equivalent to an entire level of XP per purchase and I think the trade-off is worth it. It isn't so powerful that I'm thinking of switching away from Mystic Wood--- er, Sylvanborn.

Class Balance – Someone mentioned that it feels like "rock, paper, scissors", which was the design of the game since NERO. It's supposed to be a team game and you are not supposed to be able to do it all. Part of the reason that 2.0 is even happening is because we have too many people who can do it all right now. I, personally, have fun doing all kinds of builds for when the rules change goes into effect. I currently play a Fighter, but I've done builds for everything under the sun, and honestly I don't see what others are seeing here. The martial classes still seem strong to me. I am certain that last sentence is going to make a lot of you think I'm an idiot, but for what it's worth I will likely be sticking to Fighter come the 2.0 release. Take that as you will; either I have faith in the system we're creating and I think Fighters will be fine, or I am a moron who will be playing a stunted class.

Mettle – I am actually surprised that folks think this isn't strong enough. Do not forget that in the wording of the ability it allows the player to spend a second use of Mettle to drop that count down to three seconds. 10 seconds (or three seconds) to get a resist to pretty much any status effect seemed super great to me. We'll take this under advisement, but we would definitely like to see how people feel after some play tests.

Multiple Rollouts – It has come up in this forum before that we should roll out the magic item changes and then roll out the other rules changes after we have seen how the MI changes work. To be particularly blunt: this is not going to happen. At the very least it would play hell with our Logistics teams because MIs and the other rules are so ingrained into our game that we would have to offer Spirit Reforges both times. Most importantly, however, is that we have been mandated by the Owner of Alliance to not do this and to "rip the band-aid off" with one sweeping rules change.

Lastly, I would like to say that we do appreciate the feedback on this forum, and we take it seriously. However, please keep in mind that we put much more weight on the feedback we get after playtests through the play test feedback form. I enjoy hearing your individual points of view about 2.0, and you should all feel that you can reach out to me if you want to talk about this. I might not always respond quickly, because I am a busy man, but I will definitely read what you send me.

TL;DR: ARC is the committee for rules changes, especially now and a lot of your ideas about how to design things like Relics and a martial version of High Magic have already been discussed and shot down.
 
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Tantarus

Squire
@Durnic Hey thanks for posting. Alot of good info in your post.

So pertaining to relics, I am actually shocked you thought they would be well received. One theme has been consistent on these forums since they started, Earth casters don't want to be pigeon holed into a back line healer role that is only there to make others game better. We want something to do that is more proactive, that gives us more things to do in a day like celestial casters get from wands.

Not something like the proposed relic that further reinforces the role of healbot. And you really think people want to spend more time doing 1 minute counts in combat? We already have refitting, soon we will have mediating to get back ritual effects like spell parry. That is not compelling game play in the slightest.

Personally, if these new rules go through I am dropping earth so fast. If I stayed templar I get 700 points of wand damage for free just for being celestial and an extra 100 packets a day to use, not to mention my wand would do more then my actual swing as a templar. As a straight scholar you get even more bang for your buck. Where as, as an earth caster gets 90+ minutes of roleplaying and staying out of combat. Also as I read it you cant even really use your relic on yourself effectively.

Relic is super disappointing, almost a slap in the face to what earth casters have been asking for on this forums. We dont want to be forced into a healbot role. Many of us want to be able to participate in combat in a more proactive role. Even if we just got a healing wand we could use that to heal and our spells for offensive. And the wand itself against undead. And for those people that like to be healbots, they can do their role even more effectively and for longer amounts of time. It is win win.

And I will just quote myself to wrap this up.
Earth wands would be a big boon to the game. It helps new players giving them more packets to use in a day. Perhaps even helping alliance retain them as players.

It lessens the burden on older players spell trees and lets them customize more. As well as giving them more things to do every day.

Most importantly puts earth casters on par with celestial. Which is long past due.
 
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Durnic

Squire
Owner
Oregon Staff
Marshal
I know how you feel, honestly, I do. Until I had gobbies from staff positions I had almost no magic items, either. What I did have was donated to me from one specific very high level player and I ended up giving most of those away to friends. I still, to this day, almost exclusively have LCO magic items. In fact, I think my last Restricted magic item just expired in December.
We dont want to be forced into a healbot role.
I know, man, and I'm sorry. I keep fighting the good fight for people who want to use Earth in a proactive and offensive way, but I am a minority. I am one of over a dozen voting owners. It is frustrating to have to fight these fights politically over and over but we agreed to design a game by committee and that's what we had to work with. The other owners have their own vision of the game that doesn't completely line-up with mine, nor some of yours. It is sometimes frustrating work, and always slow work, but Alliance is still around and as active as it is in part to this slow process.
 

Polare

Count
Alliance Rules
Moderator
Seattle Staff
I don't think you would need to offer a Spirit Forge just for the Magic Item change.
Unfortunately, I think you dramatically underestimate how big of a player backlash that would create from the general playerbase. This idea was floated and dropped due to the fact that there are many, many characters who feel they have built their character around having specific Magic Items (whether Permanent items passed down from prior players, or Team items that they know they can rely upon having available, or whatever). Changing Magic Items around without a Spirit Forge would produce an immense playerbase problem immediately in many, many chapters.
 

marceasue

Newbie
@Durnic Hey thanks for posting. Alot of good info in your post.

So pertaining to relics, I am actually shocked you thought they would be well received. One theme has been consistent on these forums since they started, Earth casters don't want to be pigeon holed into a back line healer role that is only there to make others game better. We want something to do that is more proactive, that gives us more things to do in a day like celestial casters get from wands.

Not something like the proposed relic that further reinforces the role of healbot. And you really think people want to spend more time doing 1 minute counts in combat? We already have refitting, soon we will have mediating to get back ritual effects like spell parry. That is not compelling game play in the slightest.

Personally, if these new rules go through I am dropping earth so fast. If I stayed templar I get 900 points of wand damage for free just for being celestial and an extra 100 packets a day to use, not to mention my wand would do more then my actual swing as a templar. As a straight scholar you get even more bang for your buck. Where as, as an earth caster gets 90+ minutes of roleplaying and staying out of combat. Also as I read it you cant even really use your relic on yourself effectively.

Relic is super disappointing, almost a slap in the face to what earth casters have been asking for on this forums. We dont want to be forced into a healbot role. Many of us want to be able to participate in combat in a more proactive role. Even if we just got a healing wand we could use that to heal and our spells for offensive. And the wand itself against undead. And for those people that like to be healbots, they can do their role even more effectively and for longer amounts of time. It is win win.

And I will just quote myself to wrap this up.
Completely agree, I am an earth templar. I do not want to be a healbot. I only memorize level one healing to get someone up and then I bring them to a real healer. I play an archer/ who memorizes binds, curses and undead fighting spells. Not everyone who is earth wants to be a healer only. Right now how things are I will be switching to celestial templar.
 

Tantarus

Squire
Completely agree, I am an earth templar. I do not want to be a healbot. I only memorize level one healing to get someone up and then I bring them to a real healer. I play an archer/ who memorizes binds, curses and undead fighting spells. Not everyone who is earth wants to be a healer only. Right now how things are I will be switching to celestial templar.
Yeah I am an earth templar too, heavy in profs. I am planning on switching celestial, maybe even full scholar. It is pretty clear it will not change that the majority of owners want earth to be a healbot class meant to make the game better for other players. I envisioned my character as a dnd style paladin or cleric, something to crush undead. But we are not even that good at that.

I considered just going full earth and being a curseomancer. But if I go celestial I get over 1000 points of free wand damage for no build. Pretty hard to justify being earth at that point.
 

Draven

Count
Seattle Staff
Marshal
Relics – This proposal was one of my ideas, and I am saddened to see that so many of you do not feel that they live up to your expectations. Originally, we were thinking of doing a wand analog that could do damage, but the majority of the ownership did not like that paradigm so we shifted it to debuff removal. I am getting a kick out of the comments about how hard it is to use in combat, which was quite honestly the point of having it take a minute to use. The risk vs reward of using it is the same as refitting your armor in combat, in my opinion. But if you hate Relics, you can hate me too. I can take it.

TL;DR: ARC is the committee for rules changes, especially now and a lot of your ideas about how to design things like Relics and a martial version of High Magic have already been discussed and shot down.
I’m only commenting regarding Relics, because that’s where I feel I want to focus my energy, regardless of my opinions on other matters about this rollout.

Relics are generally appreciated in the sense that it feels like the owners finally acknowledge there’s an issue with Earth caster resources. But the proposal is literally “have some free 4th level slot equivalents, one of which is near useless (Awaken), and the other two still take a caster out of the fight for a minute, and all three are hugely niche.

I feel it comes from a place that doesn’t actually understand Earth casting responsibilities. So, if it feels harsh, sorry, but it’s because it was a pretty bad proposal. But we still really appreciate that the try was made, and would like to build from there.
 

Ruki

Scholar
...
Before the holidays, the owners passed a measure that allowing ARC to propose rules changes and that we, the owners, would vote on moving forward with them. ...

Paragon Paths – I know this isn't in the play test packet any longer, but this was also my brain child. Originally I had thought about just stealing the idea of High Magic to use with martial classes (I was going to call it Martial Mastery) but that has been historically shot down as "too much like High Magic", which, to be honest, was exactly the point. I know this isn't the first time anyone has thought of this idea; it just makes too much sense. What grew out of that discussion, and the removal of Master Construct, was a talk about "capstone abilities" which grew into the untenable situation we had in .9. Again, this was my idea so send any hate mail you have at me.

Class Balance – Someone mentioned that it feels like "rock, paper, scissors", which was the design of the game since NERO. It's supposed to be a team game and you are not supposed to be able to do it all. Part of the reason that 2.0 is even happening is because we have too many people who can do it all right now. I, personally, have fun doing all kinds of builds for when the rules change goes into effect. I currently play a Fighter, but I've done builds for everything under the sun, and honestly I don't see what others are seeing here. The martial classes still seem strong to me. I am certain that last sentence is going to make a lot of you think I'm an idiot, but for what it's worth I will likely be sticking to Fighter come the 2.0 release. Take that as you will; either I have faith in the system we're creating and I think Fighters will be fine, or I am a moron who will be playing a stunted class.

Mettle – I am actually surprised that folks think this isn't strong enough. Do not forget that in the wording of the ability it allows the player to spend a second use of Mettle to drop that count down to three seconds. 10 seconds (or three seconds) to get a resist to pretty much any status effect seemed super great to me. We'll take this under advisement, but we would definitely like to see how people feel after some play tests.
Great post, thanks Durnic! It's nice to have some insight and to put some rules to owners, haha!

I think giving ARC the ability to propose rule changes is a great idea! I can't wait to see what they are able to do. As for Paragon Paths, I want to say thank you! This was one of my favorite (besides the magic item changes) potential rule changes. I hope that they don't stay away for too long, because being able to diversify in unique and exciting ways is something that I enjoy so darn much. There's so much potential to a Paragon system, just needs some smoothing out.

I can't speak too much about fighters, since I play an adept (more rogue than caster)...but after seeing the rules, I've had no desire to move entirely into casting like some. I think Fighters will still be useful, especially with the Mettle skill which seems like it will be super useful (I was hoping for rogues to get a fancy new skill too, but I will survive). People keep talking about cheese and optimal builds on here....but I feel like the majority of players are going to play what they will have the most fun with (like melee fighting).
 

Durnic

Squire
Owner
Oregon Staff
Marshal
Yes. And it is righteous.

I should note that in the past it's mostly worked like this:

Owners: Hey ARC we really want to get your thoughts on Proposal A, could you give us some better wording for it? Help us out?
ARC: No problem, here is Proposal B. You'll see it's 90% Proposal A but we changed some stuff because of Obscure Rule Reference X that the Owners missed.
Owners: Awesome, ARC, thanks!

Now it's more like this:

ARC: Okay you guys, we are almost done. We just need input on X, Y and Z, so here's a proposal for X, Y and Z.
Owners: Awesome, thanks. We only have a problem with Z.
ARC: Cool, X and Y automatically pass. We'll get back to you with a different approach for Z.
 
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Durnic

Squire
Owner
Oregon Staff
Marshal
I can't wait to see what they are able to do. As for Paragon Paths, I want to say thank you! This was one of my favorite (besides the magic item changes) potential rule changes. I hope that they don't stay away for too long, because being able to diversify in unique and exciting ways is something that I enjoy so darn much. There's so much potential to a Paragon system, just needs some smoothing out.
I like the idea, too, but I would honestly rather see a Martial Mastery system that allows martial players to change their abilities to provide extra utility or functionality. I know it's a cheap High Magic analog but man would it be the simpler system to implement, imo.
 

DiscOH

Artisan
Looking at the focus mechanics, Repel looks absolutely unplayable.

You can't run and you can't use game abilities? Maybe if it was a 1st level spell...
 

Tevas

Scholar
Marshal
Playtest Community Manager
Unlimited Racial Dodges/Resist Magics – Buy as many as you would like, they are equivalent to an entire level of XP per purchase and I think the trade-off is worth it. It isn't so powerful that I'm thinking of switching away from Mystic Wood--- er, Sylvanborn.
I'm curious how many playtests you have participated in, as a Fighter. How much content those playtests contained, and what your experiences were on the receiving end of takeout effects as a Fighter over the course of the day. Did your playtests contain enough content to represent a full Logistics period? If I had to remain a Fighter for v2, which I absolutely do not plan on doing because the class is unplayable, the builds I would use each had a minimum of 150 build worth of Dodges from Hobling Racial Dodge. The current v0.10e packet makes trying to survive on the frontline as a Fighter absolutely impossible. Playtests v0.6, v0.7, v0.8, and v0.9 all demonstrated this thoroughly, and without question. Now, in v0.10e, there are even fewer defensive options per fight, so I definitely do not see that changing.


Mettle – I am actually surprised that folks think this isn't strong enough. Do not forget that in the wording of the ability it allows the player to spend a second use of Mettle to drop that count down to three seconds. 10 seconds (or three seconds) to get a resist to pretty much any status effect seemed super great to me. We'll take this under advisement, but we would definitely like to see how people feel after some play tests.
Mettle is a supplemental defense for non-weapon effects. Without a primary defense to supplement, Mettle falls flat. When hit by an effect, a Fighter should be able to have the opportunity to make a choice about whether their team can afford to have them out of the fight for X seconds or not. If they are in a good position, and can afford it, then they can pop Mettle. If not, then they should be able to pop a primary non-weapon effect defense that they can completely rely on. Like a Cloak, Dodge, Resist, etc. The Scholar tree has (Whatever) Shields, Cloaks, and Banes. The Rogue tree has Dodges. The Fighter class is the only class in the game that does not have non-weapon defenses in its own native skill tree. The addition of a reliable primary defense, and the standardization of Mettle to 5 seconds akin to the Disarm timer with no option for "doubling up" would provide the class with a more respectable defensive portfolio that better aligned them with the performance levels of other classes.


Multiple Rollouts – It has come up in this forum before that we should roll out the magic item changes and then roll out the other rules changes after we have seen how the MI changes work. To be particularly blunt: this is not going to happen. At the very least it would play hell with our Logistics teams because MIs and the other rules are so ingrained into our game that we would have to offer Spirit Reforges both times. Most importantly, however, is that we have been mandated by the Owner of Alliance to not do this and to "rip the band-aid off" with one sweeping rules change.
As the Head of Logistics for San Francisco, I will happily perform a rollout for Magic Item changes, as well as v2 Implementation, as well as Paragon Implementation. I will, with a beaming smile on my face, perform as many rollouts and database overhauls as need to happen, if they improve the quality of the game. If that's two, or twenty, I don't care. I would much rather do the extra work and get it right, then use the "workload" as an excuse for deliberately and knowingly underperforming, and shortchanging our players. Players are our customers and investors. The game has a duty to their players to ensure that the highest quality product be delivered.
 
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Graham Wolsey

Scholar
Denver Staff
Marshal
I like the idea, too, but I would honestly rather see a Martial Mastery system that allows martial players to change their abilities to provide extra utility or functionality. I know it's a cheap High Magic analog but man would it be the simpler system to implement, imo.
High Magic is a huge success in our system. It is one of the reasons Celestialists are so powerful. Why not give others classes an analogue? You create difference in the abilities. No one complains that all classes have hit points, armor, or that they spend build. Why make things different just for the sake of complication?

Re: State of Fighters.

There is zero chance I would play a fighter if the current system goes live. Double-tapping is too powerful without the ability to have Cloak, Bane, and Spell Parry or some other effect. Spell Parry isn't even a Fighter skill anymore! The changes to this packet nerfing Spell Parry and chained defenses is the absolute opposite direction the rules should have gone. All combined without providing any upside to being a Fighter combined with the de-limiting of Cloaks and Banes from 9ths for casters exacerbates the problem. Paragons weren't balanced, but at least they were an attempt at an end game for non-casters. Now there is nothing to look forward to as a melee combatant in the early middle or late game for a Fighter. It certainly feels like the owners took all the feedback about fighters and then intentionally went in the opposite direction of that feedback.

Mettle does not solve this problem for a front line combatant at all. It will be great for Archers and people refitting their armor, that is it. Tevas is 100% correct in his analysis. A Magic Item cap AND/OR the removal of Permanency and Preserve should be more than sufficient to to fix the stacking problems that occur at high levels of the Cloak spell or Spell Parry.

This update does nothing to improve the huge pile of complaints sent out after 0.9 by a huge portion of the player base. Fighter and Rogue damage is still miserable except for a very short period of time that it is hard to balance for plot teams. Fighters still aren't defensibly oriented. Celestial casters are still better options for sustained damage at mid to high levels (wands), burst damage at every point in character progression (spells and high magic), utility at every point in progression (Fighter's have almost none besides Intercept), crafting (high magic), defense against takeouts (High Magic, Spell Shield, Reflect Magic, Mem Down, access to more Ritual Scrolls), and are only slightly worse than fighters at physical defenses especially if the scholar purchased a shield or even worse the scholar is a Hobling.

What is the design goal for Fighters? What are they supposed to be good at?

Re: Removal of the Flurry Rule

I greatly support the removal of the flurry rule as it was previously suggested. However, our game has a problem with chaining powerful effects together. People cannot call defenses as quickly as offensive abilities are thrown at them. Players wouldn't be dependent on defenses they don't have if people couldn't chain count to 10 minutes abilities on them. The old Flurry rule didn't address this at all.
 
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Muir

Fighter
Honestly, in practice I expect mettle to simply become 'double tap the fighter', much like I often see casters toss a 1st level spell as a shield-breaker before going top-down on someone as SOP.
 

Melimir

Newbie
Asheville Staff
Just have mettle be universal like dodge, just with a 3 second stun effect so they cannot move as I have suggested elsewhere. Works on everything, so no reason to crossclass but still slightly worse than the more mobile dodge. Problem solved.
 
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