D&D Next (5E) How much should 5e aim at balance? - Page 9




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  1. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Choice View Post
    Balance, in a cooperative, collaborative, social activity like D&D is crucial. It allows for everyone around the table (or across the internet) to share the same basic expectations for their usefulness in the game.
    I want to focus on the part in bold.

    I can tell you from my personal experience that players don't want to always share the same basic expectations when it comes to usefulness. Usefulness in the game means a lot of different things to many groups out there. I know people who don't want to give up their character's concept because their character is supposed to achieve a certain level of usefulness that is in accordance with the system.

    "Usefulness" comes in all shapes and sizes and the system shouldn't decide where your level of usefulness needs to be.
    Last edited by ForeverSlayer; Monday, 6th August, 2012 at 12:59 PM.

 

  • #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by ForeverSlayer View Post
    I want to focus on the part in bold.

    I can tell you from my personal experience that players don't want to always share the same basic expectations when it comes to usefulness. Usefulness in the game means a lot of different things to many groups out there. I know people who don't want to give up their character's concept because their character is supposed to achieve a certain level of usefulness that is in accordance with the system.

    "Usefulness" comes in all shapes and sizes and the system shouldn't decide where your level of usefulness needs to be.
    You're missing a closing slash (/) to make the bolded part actually bold, @ForeverSlayer
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  • #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mustrum_Ridcully View Post
    You're missing a closing slash (/) to make the bolded part actually bold, @ForeverSlayer
    Opps!

    Thanks!

  • #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by Li Shenron View Post
    Exactly!

    For me D&D is not a competition, but I am not against some other group thinking of it that way...
    It isn't really about competition for people that are after balance either, at least not usually so.

    If it was just competition, then it would be okay, we'd just all play Wizards and CoDzillas and try ot make the most uber character we can.

    I would classify it more as "contribution". We do not want that the choice of a particular character class automatically means that character has less to contribute.

    If it comes to, say Travelling, you have a Fighter. In 3E, he could train Climb, Jump and Swim, which is pretty useful for traveling. But the Wizard could fly and teleport - possibly the entire group. That means the Wizard is better than the Fighter alone for traveling, and if group abilities are used, the Fighter's ability is even superflous.
    Take Combat. A Fighter has the best attack bonus, the best armor and the best defense. A Druid has his animal companio nwhose stats equal that of the Fighter or exceed it, and he can still cast spell or wild-shape.
    Chosing the Druid allows you to contribute as two Fighters. Chosing the Fighter allows you contribute as... one Fighter, not surprisingy.

    Now, there are other reasons other than mechanical balance why one player contributes less and one player contributes more. Someone may be shy and rather hold back, rarely adding. Another player may have no sense of tactics and make the worst mistakes. And yet another player is sleeping with the DM and gets everything he wants anyway, or whatever. Those reasons are their own "problems", but not one that the game mechanics can fix.

    If we don't want to give the Fighter the ability to teleport and summon animal companions, and the Rogue the ability to cast Silence, Invisiblity and Knock, and we don't want to take these abilities away, there may be other ways than 4E. But they'll probably be heavily meta-game focused, like giving the Fighter and Rogue "Karma Points" or "Bennies" or "Possibilities" or some other metagame resources which they can use to bend the rules for their benefit. Say spend Karma so the Fighter can say "No, I can't teleport, but I once worked as body guard for a local Wizard and he still owes me a favor or two, I think he can teleport us wherever we want" or the Rogue may say: "Oh, I think I remember the kitchen servant of the BBEG, she can smuggle me in, so we don't need Invisiblity" or "I just spend Karma so the enemies ignore my failed stealth roll".
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  • #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raith5 View Post
    I should have avoided the word "silly". My experience in 3rd was that a very narrow band of spells were used at each level. Rarely did the wizard not memorize 3rd level spells not called fireball, major image, fly and haste. So from his point of view other spells were somewhat peripheral.

    Ah yeah. Luckily, we never ran into that problem. I've not seen major image used in ages, we are mostly under-fireballed and only a few bother to learn fly or haste. But then we've twitched the magic rules in a way to punish repeat spells.
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  • #86
    Quote Originally Posted by Libramarian View Post
    It's about protecting the Right to Dream.

    The way I look at it, n00bdragon is saying that players should be entitled to make any choice they like without being judged or punished by the game for it. Their incentive should be basically entirely subjective. Whatever best fits the character in their head.

    My distaste with this take on D&D goes deeper than mere preference, because I think it's bad for the game's image overall. I think this take on D&D is more alienating and strange to people outside our hobby than mine.
    And my take is different again. I feel that any time the rules offer you something as a supposedly viable option then it should tell you the truth. I don't agree that Skill (Underwater Basketweaving) should automatically be as valuable as hide. But I do think that a class presented as being the experts on sneaking around and hiding shouldn't be worse at it than a generic wizard who's decided to become a sneak for the day. At least unless the wizard's job description says this. Of course the wizard being able to outfight anything in Ars Magica is fine because that's what the system telsl you is supposed to happen.

    If I were explaining D&D to a new player, I could say "it's your job to make a good character and take on these challenges and beat the monsters and get the treasure", and they would intuitively get that, because it has a bit of a competitive bite to it, like a video game.
    And like a video game I'd consider it bad design if only three classes turned out to be viable at high difficulties and all three of them because they did the same thing (Vancian Magic - incidently of the six top tier classes, five of them are spell-prep Vancian and the sixth is the Artificer).

    Quote Originally Posted by TwinBahamut View Post
    Ideally, yes. If the game presents two major choices like class and ability scores, then it should be very flexible regarding how those two choices are combined.
    Or it should tell you what worked, and do it accurately. I have no problems with the 4e fighter saying "You should put your highest score in Str".

    Basically, the choices made before the game starts, like class, race, and so forth, need to be balanced, not every moment-to-moment tactical choice.
    ...
    If those options are presented as being equal, then yes.
    This. They need to be indicated accurately. I wouldn't mind if they had a scale marked by each class for power level and difficulty.

    A commonly used example is that a druid's animal companion is mathematically superior to a fighter in every way, and a druid's wildshape form is pretty much just as strong.
    You sure about the first claim? Last time I checked the fighter was harder to hit. But the animal companion is worth at least half a fighter. So is a wildshaped druid. And that's without spells.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mustrum_Ridcully View Post
    It removed the mandatory items "for math" to the weapon, armor and defense items and gave every other type of item minor (and, to be frank, often boring) powers.
    To be honest, the biggest problem with 4e magic items is the presentation. They aren't any worse than in any previous editions - but you really don't need a table presenting a Robe Of Displacement +1, +2, +3, +4, +5, and +6. Take inherent bonusses and then take the + off the items and things would look a whole lot better.

    Quote Originally Posted by Raith5 View Post
    I should have avoided the word "silly". My experience in 3rd was that a very narrow band of spells were used at each level. Rarely did the wizard not memorize 3rd level spells not called fireball, major image, fly and haste. So from his point of view other spells were somewhat peripheral.
    *blinks*

    Your wizards used Fireball? Mine banned Evocation on general principles. And if they wanted a fireball effect, the save-or-suck Stinking Cloud did the job.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dannyalcatraz View Post
    Sometimes, sub-par is where the fun is!
    *shrug*

    Sometimes it is. But only when you are doing it intentionally. You know what's going to happen. When the game deceives you about what's good there is a problem.

  • #87
    NoobDragon....

    I think you need to identify if something is for adventuring power or for flavor enrichment.

    It's a rare case that craft or profession skills add much to the adventure. They do on occasion I'm not arguing but it's rare. None of them are as good though as stealth.

    So if you say that a skill or feat or power needs to be of value to someone in some game (dishwasher wouldn't be but blacksmith would) then I'm for it. If though you say that it has to be equally value to every other skill when on the adventuring trail then I think you are taking a lot of fun elements out of the game. Your approach results in the 4e skill list. A list so short and so abstract that it's basically worthless for a lot of us.

    I think D&D players are very good at optimizing. They know what they need to choose to be effective. I just think we need to stop obsessing over damage combo powers (basically make each class do it's damage intrinsically) and then let the powers/feats/spells etc.. be the way we vary how it works flavorfully. Then those choices become about fun instead of powergaming.

  • #88
    Quote Originally Posted by Mustrum_Ridcully View Post
    If we don't want to give the Fighter the ability to teleport and summon animal companions, and the Rogue the ability to cast Silence, Invisiblity and Knock, and we don't want to take these abilities away, there may be other ways than 4E. But they'll probably be heavily meta-game focused, like giving the Fighter and Rogue "Karma Points" or "Bennies" or "Possibilities" or some other metagame resources which they can use to bend the rules for their benefit. Say spend Karma so the Fighter can say "No, I can't teleport, but I once worked as body guard for a local Wizard and he still owes me a favor or two, I think he can teleport us wherever we want"
    I have a question. Why does the fighter need a metagame resource to teleport? Is that class-specific or available to any class? Instead of a metagame resource, why can't it be roleplayed? A metagame resource implies to me that the player is officially authorized to give the fighter a reliable way to teleport. But why does the player of the fighter need to know that he/she has reliable teleport as much as the player of the wizard with the teleport spell memorized? Or in another words, why must the fighter equally contribute to teleport-like results? Why is parity sought for that specific goal? Why can't a party without a teleport-empowered wizard ride somes horses and get to the destination? Is that so awful and why? It keeps coming up and I don't really get it. D&D isn't an intra-player competition about getting from A to B as fast as possible, is it?

  • #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by Underman View Post
    I have a question. Why does the fighter need a metagame resource to teleport? Is that class-specific or available to any class? Instead of a metagame resource, why can't it be roleplayed? A metagame resource implies to me that the player is officially authorized to give the fighter a reliable way to teleport. But why does the player of the fighter need to know that he/she has reliable teleport as much as the player of the wizard with the teleport spell memorized? Or in another words, why must the fighter equally contribute to teleport-like results? Why is parity sought for that specific goal? Why can't a party without a teleport-empowered wizard ride somes horses and get to the destination? Is that so awful and why? It keeps coming up and I don't really get it. D&D isn't an intra-player competition about getting from A to B as fast as possible, is it?
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  • #90
    What's really interesting, to me, is that what I'd describe as "transparency" is often being described as "balance" or "what's important" to "balance". These are two completely different things in my mind.

    What makes this so intriguing to me, personally, is that the big pro-balance posters (mostly pro-4e posters) are the ones describing things this way, while the posters who aren't focused on balance (or are specifically against aiming for it as a top priority... usually the pro-pre-4e crowd) seem to think of balance more along the terms that I do: equal in output (or effectiveness), to some degree.

    What strikes me, really, is that I'm actually very big on balance. It was one of the three big things that was considered every time I instituted a new rule, modified one, etc. (the big three were realism, fantasy, and balance). When it comes to designing 5e, I'm very pro-balance, and I think it should be aimed for from the beginning. Yet, even with this view (pro-balance) seemingly aligned with pro-4e posters (of which I am not one... not that I play pre-4e, either), I'm coming to realize that I may not actually be on the same page with them, as our definitions differ pretty substantially.

    It's just a striking, interesting development in this conversation. But, don't mind me; carry on! As always, play what you like
    As always, play what you like

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