Which performance problems and opportunities should the new rules address

Tevas

Scholar
Marshal
Playtest Community Manager
James,

Early on in one of the threads I asked that a member of the ARC or an administrator post a thread titled "Clarifications of Intent" that is pinned for us in the Coordinator forum. This might help clarify some of the questions that you are asking. I have provided some samples of it for you, but as I stated in my original request post, I do not feel comfortable making its entire contents available without their permission. In the document, the question was specifically asked regarding the intended development direction that influenced the purchasing changes to Weapon Proficiencies and Backstabs. The response was primarily that combat had become a "grind the monster down fight", which devalued things like slays and high level damage spells, and that having to track high levels of body points was an undesirable activity that made NPC'ing more difficult to approach. The intent of reducing passive damage is to make the usage of slays and high level damage spells more impactful and rewarding, and to reduce monster body points by 40-50%.

Weapon Proficiencies and Backstabs are not the only items being addressed in the v2 revision. There are eight chapters worth of changes. Damage, however, seems to be the area that you are heavily focused on. That's not a bad thing, as every aspect of the system should be thoroughly reviewed. However please do not state things like, "ARC only want to address profs and backstabs". Statements like that are simply untrue and quite misleading to the outside reader.

Thank you for providing a revised statement on Meditate that more accurately represents the changes in the playtest packet.

An Alchemist's ability to affect more things is subjective, and varies from event to event based on what type of enemies are present. Yes, the changes allow them to better engage opponents who are non-poisonable (as stated in the playtest packet), however if all enemies you face are in fact susceptible to poisons in the first place, there is really no net change. Declaring that high level players have more money to throw is not necessarily a true statement. The economy varies from chapter to chapter, and wealth varies by individual. Just because a player is a higher level than another does not assure them any degree of wealth, aside from increased opportunities for investment in Crafstman skills through additional build. Distribution of wealth aside from Crafstman is strictly an in game mechanic managed by plot teams and players. Is it more likely that higher level players will have access to a larger amount of wealth? That is typically the case, however it is not a hard and fast constant in the game system that can reliably serve as a centerpiece for design theory.

As aforementioned, I have already requested for the "Clarifications of Intent" thread to be made available for general viewing. The performance objectives are available therein. Personally I would love for them to be available for you to view, as I think information and design transparency is critical in the development process. I have been involved in a number of discussion with ARC about exactly that, and continue to encourage them to provide as much insight as is reasonably possible.
 

bgardner

Newbie
You mention "no more pillow party" but I bet it still happens and I know with swarm I would still surround them specially if it's a group of people my character doesn't like...whoops hehe. Remember that swarm isn't a auto land, so they will have to hit the players and most likely the ones closest to them. Also when your have swarm activated you still take damage.
All swarm says is that NPCs can activate the named ability, which can be anything legal under the rules. "Radius Shun" would be my go to if I was writing this up for a monster. Gives the NPC some breathing room. Note I'm not an expert on how to write up these kind of calls but Radius seems to be a legitimate call for a monster if I am reading the current rulebook correctly. Swarm stays in effect as long as the # of enemies threshold is met so the NPC could keep activating it, unless some sort of limit like 1/day was added as part of the ability description. It could also activate some kind of healing effect or protective effect.

I love the swarm ability but it could be abused by NPCs in line battles. If NPCs were fighting PCs along a road in a 4 person wide line and the NPCS had a Swarmed by 3: <ability> it would technically activate. Since for any given NPC there would be 3+ PCs threatening it. Any good plot team can train their npcs on this issue but infrequent npcs to a chapter might try to game the system.

If there was some way to defined an area of effect call that said "everyone Swarming me will take this effect" that would be nice. "Swarm Radius" <effect> ?
 

Draven

Count
Seattle Staff
Marshal
Plot shouldn't give NPCs cards they aren't able to handle.

Like any other tool in the Plot box, it needs to be used and provided responsibly.
 

James Trotta

Spellsword
Diversity Committee
Thanks for requesting the performance objectives for us.

Weapon Proficiencies and Backstabs are not the only items being addressed in the v2 revision. There are eight chapters worth of changes. Damage, however, seems to be the area that you are heavily focused on. That's not a bad thing, as every aspect of the system should be thoroughly reviewed. However please do not state things like, "ARC only want to address profs and backstabs". Statements like that are simply untrue and quite misleading to the outside reader.
I don't remember saying that ARC only wants to address profs and backstabs. I think you said something similar:
The gap being referred to in the playtest document is specifically the gap in passive damage output between high level players who have purchased extensive numbers of Weapon Proficiencies and Backstabs, and those who have not. No other "gap" has been stated or defined by ARC. No other "gap" has been mentioned, referenced, acknowledged or disavowed.

Plot shouldn't give NPCs cards they aren't able to handle. Like any other tool in the Plot box, it needs to be used and provided responsibly.
This is certainly true. However for an APL 20 weekend, plot may have trouble finding appropriate cards for NPCs who are new to the game (especially when there's an NPC shortage). I guess this is why ARC wants to reduce monster body by 50%. Reducing monster body is an intervention (it helps fix the problem) rather than a goal, but I think I get it. There is a problem with NPCs playing their cards incorrectly. Reducing monster body should help NPCs play their cards more accurately.

Declaring that high level players have more money to throw is not necessarily a true statement. The economy varies from chapter to chapter, and wealth varies by individual. Just because a player is a higher level than another does not assure them any degree of wealth, aside from increased opportunities for investment in Crafstman skills through additional build. Distribution of wealth aside from Crafstman is strictly an in game mechanic managed by plot teams and players. Is it more likely that higher level players will have access to a larger amount of wealth? That is typically the case, however it is not a hard and fast constant in the game system that can reliably serve as a centerpiece for design theory.
This may be off topic, but why should we start staying on topic now?

While not every high level player will have a lot of stuff, I think you can absolutely count on a lot of high level players collecting a lot of stuff. In fact, I think people were using high level players' stuff for design theory when they got rid of cloak and bane items. So when I say that some rules benefit high level players more than low level players, please realize that doesn't mean every high level player and every low level player. It means most high level players will benefit more than most new players.
 

mythic

Knight
Owner
Calgary Staff
I strongly urge everyone to keep on topic or we will have it locked down. Be civil and let's have this thread cool off for a day or so. We do not want these threads devolving into flame wars, or venting or nit picking. There was a reason we shut down other Rules Forums.
 
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