Ability Score Blues

Doctor Proctor

First Post
In 4e, less than 18 is sub-optimal.

Yes, but sub-optimal does not equal broken. Sure, you could have a better stat, but having a slightly worse stat and getting some of benefits from your secondary and tertiary scores might outweigh that...either gameplay-wise, or RP-wise. The point of the game is to have fun, and if everyone calculates the optimal race to use with each class, and the optimal party configuration, and the optimal weapon, optimal armor, optimal powers, optimal feats, etc...it will get really boring because everyone will be exactly the same!
 

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Turtlejay

First Post
Go higher than a 16 in the best stat and see how much that guts many character's feat choices. :] Playing 18's and 8's with ability scores. provides solid to hit, but closes many doors.This is completely intentional. System assumes the players are all working together to confer each other bonuses and enemies penalties at the latest levels.

Of course this is true! At first level your options for buffing each other are weak and rare. At 30th level they had better be the norm, the modus operandi, your life, everything. To say nothing of the fact that some of the comments read like this is a board for a video game. Some folk want a character with different stats. There is no 'right way' to play it, and I think the game has enough give to absorb sub-optimal combat choices in favor of other things.

Jay
 

Tony Vargas

Legend
Level 1 leader powers that give attack bonuses:

Righteous Brand
Lance of Faith
Blazing Beacon
Divine Glow
Furious Smash
Warlord's Favor
Lead the Attack

Plus the Warlord's Tactical Presence feature, of course.

On top of that, there's Aid Another, Flanking, and any power that inflicts a combat-advantage granting condition like Dazed or Prone.

That's a lot. The bonuses definitely get /bigger/ at higher level though, as well as from more numerous sources.
 


Doctor Proctor

First Post
That's not the point. The fact is, there are a lot of powers that give bonuses to attack rolls, and they exist at all levels of the game. Yes, if you have lower ability scores it might be harder to actually score hits with them, but with things like flanking you can get some extra bonuses to make those abilities hit.

And then once they do, you can still use flanking along with the attack bonus to stack up even larger modifiers to your rolls. Then once you do that we're no longer talking about +1's. We're talking about +4's and up.

And if you still want to be nitpicky and talk about misses, there are abilities that key off of a miss. Villain's Menace, a Fighter level 1 daily, is a particularly nasty power. It's essentially your big boss killer. If it hits, it does some decent damage (2[W]+Mod) and gives you a +2 to hit and a +4 to damage for the rest of the encounter. If it misses, you still get a +1 and a +2 for the rest of the encounter against that enemy.

So using this will increase your chances to hit those powerful elites and solos that have the higher defenses. Even if you miss, it will give you that magic '+1' that you seem to think is so important.

Other abilities like the Fighter level 16 Utility "Surprise Step" will give you automatic combat advantage against opponents, which is worth a +2 bonus. You don't even need to hit with those powers, it's automatic.
 

Bond James Bond

First Post
That's a lot. The bonuses definitely get /bigger/ at higher level though, as well as from more numerous sources.

And let`s not forget the tons of abilities, which give a penalty to the opponents defenses.

Not just powers, but also feats. Honestly, there are tons of possibilities for all classes to give a -2 penalty to defense to an enemy.

Sure it is always better to have a 18 (or sometimes a 20) at the start, but the notion, that 16 is "too low", and that it just gets harder as you level isnt all true. I havent played epic yet, but from what I´ve seen, landing a crucial power on any enemy should be quite easy, given all the amount of buffs / debuffs epic characters have access to. That is, if you group works together.
 

Thomson

First Post
I have seen lots of people getting frustrated because they don't hit anything. I never have seen anybody got frustrated because he put a 20 in his primary stat.

If you put your twelves wisely into the other stats you normally will be fine. Humans can pull off the 20 trick pretty easily because they get +1 to Ref/Fort/Will which usually makes their defenses as good as any other races with an 18 in a primary.

However, if you put a 20 in your primary, Toughness seems to be mandatory.

If you really can't afford a 20, try to get an 18.

16 is the absolute lower limit. With a 20 you can come into ranges where you almost certainly hit (e.g. Human Fighter with +3 proficiency weapon, +2 combat advantage, +2 bonus from a leader: +16 to hit). So you only miss on a 1 for AC 17 (pretty common). With Str 16 and a +2 you miss on a 1-3 or three times more. If you aim for AC 15-16 or an AC of 18-20 or a 17 without leader bonus, he still misses twice as often.
 

Milambus

First Post
With a 20 you can come into ranges where you almost certainly hit (e.g. Human Fighter with +3 proficiency weapon, +2 combat advantage, +2 bonus from a leader: +16 to hit).

Huh? How are you getting a +16?

+5 from your stat (+5 total)
+3 from prof (+8 total)
+2 from combat adv (+10 total)
+2 from leader (+12 total)

Even tossing in Action Surge, thats only +3 for +15 total.
 

Doctor Proctor

First Post
Huh? How are you getting a +16?

+5 from your stat (+5 total)
+3 from prof (+8 total)
+2 from combat adv (+10 total)
+2 from leader (+12 total)

Even tossing in Action Surge, thats only +3 for +15 total.

Well, Fighters get an extra +1 because of Weapon Talent. My Dragonborn Fighter has a Strength of 18 and uses a Battleaxe, so lets look at his stats.

+4 from stat (+4 total)
+2 from prof (+6 total)
+1 from weapon talent (+7 total)
+2 from combat adv (+9 total)
+2 from leader (+11 total)

Now, if you give my Fighter a sword (+1 additional prof bonus) and a 20 strength (+1 additional ability mod) then he'll have a +13. That's at first level with normal weapons of course.

Now, normally my Dragonborn Fighter would have a +7 to hit enemies with no mods. Going with the 17AC that Thomson used, he would hit on a 10 or higher. This gives you the 50% hit percentage that the system was supposed to approximate. Basically, they want the players to miss once in a while, but they still want you to hit a lot too.

Now, anytime you go beyond this +7 via either a higher ability mod, higher proficiency bonus or additional modifiers such as combat advantage, you will hit more than 50% of the time.

So, when you're trying to use something like one of your dailies, you're supposed to try and engineer situations where you're less likely to miss. Such as gaining combat advantage on the enemy and then having the Cleric hit him with something that will grant you a +2 to hit. This will take me from a +7 to a +11, which would mean I would only need a 6 to hit AC of 17. If the big bad guy had a higher AC though, like a 19, I would still only need an 8...which is very doable.

Assuming I'm using Villain's Menace (which is my level 1 daily that I selected), I would then add another +2 to my +11, bringing the total up to +13 against that enemy for the rest of the encounter! So now I'm hitting on a 4 or 6, as long as I can maintain combat advantage and the Cleric keeps hitting with her spell. Even if the Cleric is missing and the big baddy maneuvers out of combat advantage, I would still have a +9 to hit against him, which would mean I'd hit on an 8 or a 10.

And this is just level 1 and concentrating on only 2 abilities that would give bonuses. There's no magical weapons involved, and no feat bonuses. It's very doable to increase the odds of a hit even more. And say my Fighter only had a 16 strength? I could change to swords for the extra +1 proficiency point and still be at a base of +7 to hit and be hitting 50% of the time.
 

16 is the absolute lower limit. With a 20 you can come into ranges where you almost certainly hit (e.g. Human Fighter with +3 proficiency weapon, +2 combat advantage, +2 bonus from a leader: +16 to hit). So you only miss on a 1 for AC 17 (pretty common). With Str 16 and a +2 you miss on a 1-3 or three times more. If you aim for AC 15-16 or an AC of 18-20 or a 17 without leader bonus, he still misses twice as often.

yes, missing three times more sounds just terrible, but won´t reduce your damage over time that much... (5% more)

and if you look at the effective hp of your enemy by comparing + to hit against AC it is actually the least efficient +1...

the only thing it does is making sure you won´t miss that important daily, but there are many one time bonuses which will far outshine your stat bonus...
 

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