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Thread: Playtest Update
Monday, 24th September, 2012, 08:45 PM #41
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Monday, 24th September, 2012, 09:40 PM #42
Magsman (Lvl 14)
First, PC hit points & Monster damage output are just fine
1. Lower PC attack modifiers or raise Monster ACs. The PCs are hitting far too often for 1st level PCs. Something like 65+% (I'd lower attacks to keep the numbers small)
2. Lower PC damage output or raise Monster HPs. Just like #1 , but 1st level PCs are 1-hitting 3rd level monsters. (Routinely given the odds in point #1 ) Again, I'd lower PC damage rates.
3. Lower PC ACs or raise Monster attack modifiers. The other side of #1 . The monsters aren't hitting almost ever. Honestly, I'd do both here. Monsters need more than a 35% chance of hitting the standard PC as most players immediately aim for the nonstandard.
4. Remove critical hits from the standard game and make them an option. Do you really want to make the game less lethal? Remove these & bonus damage due to powers and such. My monsters went from totally ineffectual for dozens of rolls to 2 crits both with rage damage on 1 PC and killed him in one round. Players should have the option to run after 1 hit against a balanced opponent.
My point, it's like the design team really dislikes randomness unlike seeing it as their best friend. As a player? Sure, I'm trying to get rid of it left and right, but as a designer it makes everything 100% easier. Players need to know they can run and should run when the odds aren't in their favor.
All of which leads me to the biggest problem currently with the game (and it's not healing). The game is still coming off as 95% combat rules, which was the problem with 4th edition. The almost accidentally designed exploration rules (what used to be the majority of the rules) are hard to find and almost uniformly bad and nonsensical. My advice is to stop making D&D into a combat game and realize that is as much an optional part of the game as any other.
Monday, 24th September, 2012, 09:49 PM #43
Magsman (Lvl 14)
Monday, 24th September, 2012, 09:49 PM #44
Guide (Lvl 11)
I don't understand what a post explicitly stating that they are seeking more 4E fan feedback would demonstrate to you.
If you believe that the designers don't read the message boards, or read the comments on their own columns, then I'm surprised. On occasion they even explicitly reply to a comment or address a point.
All I am proposing is that they weight the data they collect according to the market they want to aim for. They have no choice in their sample, but they can attempt to detect sample bias by observing the edition preference of the respondent. They ask that question at the start of every survey, I assume, for that very reason. To take an extreme case, if every respondent gave the same feedback and said they preferred 4th edition, you would end up believing that the market desires a game like 4th edition. However, in reality you have prior information that the market is split and, well, in that case you're a bit stuck, but if you had at least some non-4E fans responding you would consider them with some more weight than the percentage of respondents they actually make up. You would value the minority of responses greater if they form the majority of the market.
I would also appreciate if you refrain from personal attacks on my knowledge of statistics.
Everyone is weird, but those who are weird in the same way call themselves normal.
Monday, 24th September, 2012, 10:16 PM #45
Magsman (Lvl 14)
Obviously, these would all be DM guidelines and not "rules" in the sense of "spell X has effect Y." Likewise, it would be foolish for DMs to track time slavishly when it doesn't matter. But at the same time, good "typical case guidelines" are extremely helpful to new DMs and for setting expectations for groups that haven't played together.
These rules are important to allow players to intelligent tradeoffs about whether they should take the time to search carefully or hurry along before they are detected. And -- since there is a heavy subjective element -- they are the type of rules that are served well by playtesting over a long period of time.
Other types of rules for which playtesting would be helpful:
* Investigation Rules - divination / detection spells, truth magic, knowledge / research / gather information checks, and related feats etc. Different groups will have different desires from the information gathering mechanics. For some groups, divination and character checks is how the PCs are supposed to solve mysteries. In other groups, "mechanical" mystery solving spoils the fun. D&DN should provide a dial. Personally, I'd like to see a GUMSHOE-style skill module.
* Social Interaction Rules - charms and related magic, social skills and class abilities. In the same way, some groups want detailed mechanics for persuasion while other groups want "light mechanics" to provide character differentiation in roleplaying. Other groups want some social magic and little else in the way of rules. WotC should present the range of options, so folks can test what they want.
* Extended Checks - I'm not a big fan of 4e skill challenges, but I think there is a lot of merit to the idea that some non-combat challenges should involve a number of skill checks. This needed much more testing in 4e than it received, and I'd like to see the designers ideas on these rules early enough to go through multiple revisions.
Monday, 24th September, 2012, 10:41 PM #46
Guide (Lvl 11)
Monday, 24th September, 2012, 10:41 PM #47
Myrmidon (Lvl 10)
I thought the whole point of backing away from AEDU was that it was more elegant to play, say, a rogue or fighter with a variety of flexible at-will powers rather than with an array of daily and encounter powers. This carries over nicely into wizards vs. sorcerers: wizards have to keep detailed lists and carefully plan their spells, since they're nerdy bookworms, while sorcerers can just keep tossing out whatever spells they know until they run out of juice.
I note that nobody's talking about sorcerers memorizing spells or warlocks "needing" a bunch of daily spells. And the vast majority seem happy with CS fighters with no daily or encounter powers. So really I think this is less of a system issue and more of a specific class issue. My hope is that they release the arcane sorcerer and some "wild mage" non-Vancian spellcasting traditions it does a good enough job satisfying people who like wizards and hate Vancian casting that this issue dies down.
Here's my question: why the heck isn't anyone but me clamoring for a non-Vancian cleric? We've got three arcane casters and people are still complaining that they can't cast Magic Missile exactly the way they want to, while the only guy who can heal is stuck with an even more convoluted Vancian system (and so far, zero options for getting rid of it).
Monday, 24th September, 2012, 11:01 PM #48
Thaumaturgist (Lvl 9)
I think they are being torn every which way with the Wizard. They aren't going to solve anything just by throwing all the mechanics in the same class. There is absolutely no way that could ever be balanced and a complete nightmare for a DM with a power gamer at his table. There is also no way non-4e players are ever going to be happy with encounter powers shoved in there.
Monday, 24th September, 2012, 11:02 PM #49
Magsman (Lvl 14)
Monday, 24th September, 2012, 11:03 PM #50
Lama (Lvl 13)
My initial thought is that most people who play clerics are pragmatists. They're choosing to play the cleric so that they can heal the group. They're less concerned with how they heal the group, and more concerned that the group gets healed. I would expect to see complaints if healing wasn't strong enough, or healing was excessively boring.
The other idea is that maybe healing fits Vancian a little better than damage. Healing is reactive, you heal what needs to be healed. Thus, a healer doesn't mind saving big heals, and indeed prefers using small heals when she can. A damage dealer on the other generally wants to use the bigger spells. Thus a lot of damage dealers prefer systems where they can use more big spells, even at the expense of many smaller ones.
Edit; To elaborate on the last point, is there any proposed alternative magic system where the wizard ends up casting fewer max level spells per day than Vancian? Or do all proposed alternative magic systems allow the wizard to cast more max level spells per day?
Last edited by GSHamster; Monday, 24th September, 2012 at 11:10 PM.