Why arn't Controllers Sexy

Aulirophile

First Post
Hmm, didn't look at those. Anything better than irrefutable armor + cloak of distortion?

I think that the damage part of Winged Horde is clear, so I won't say anything about it. But control... it is true that other characters can escape flank. But, which is easier - the caracter sets up a situation where he won't be flanked next round, or wizard drops 5x5 Burst of Flanking Annulation? For wizard, only cost is not using encounter or daily powers, but those usually have even nastier effects (hell, simple daze stops flanking).
Shimmering armor (no OAs from ranged or area attacks, I love this), Parchment Armor (kind of weird, it has a number of charges equal to its enhancement bonus per day, at-will you can expend 1 charge to increase an attack roll by 1, free action. So if you know you missed by x, you can turn it into a hit). Robe of Contingency (Daily: immediate reaction, while bloodied and an attack damages you, teleport 6 squares and spend a surge).

If you're a Sage of Ages Runic Armor is nifty (+enh bonus to Arcana checks), and when you second wind you get to add the enh bonus to the damage of all arcane attacks till EoNT (fairly minor).
 

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firesnakearies

Explorer
This seems like Snark, just to be Snark, regardless of your original qualifier to the contrary.

I'm a Wizard.


Fair enough. This was a good and rational post, and I have no counter-arguments for you. I admit that I was a bit snarky, on purpose, in my last post. I appreciate you not taking offense.

We obviously have different strategies, in general, and perhaps weigh the relative values of different effects as having greater or lesser merit. That's fine, and with your last post, you've demonstrated to me that your strategies and values are not wrong or ridiculous, but simply another style. I concede that you have some good points, and that there could very well be a real mechanical reason to take Scorching Burst instead of Winged Horde. I found your comments about when you'd be likely to use an at-will and the reduced number of targets at that time to be especially persuasive.

Thank you for explaining your perspective in more depth.

I'll note just two more things in defense of my original post on this topic.

First, I did say that I considered Winged Horde to be always better than Scorching Burst for me, personally. I'm sticking with that. But it's only because I have a certain playstyle and preferences for how I like to use my resources, and the kind of risks I like to take or not take. That's entirely a subjective "style" thing though, and I'm not arguing that it's fundamentally "better" or smarter or mathematically superior to yours. I can see the value of your style as well, now, and I don't disagree with it or consider it "wrong".

Also, I did mention that my statement was regarding purely mechanical purposes only, and that I'd still potentially take Scorching Burst for thematic or character concept reasons. In fact, I only have one Wizard character, a Dwarf with a sort of elementalist theme, and he HAS Scorching Burst, and not Winged Horde. I have a character with the Linguist feat, too. So I get where you're coming from there, and not discounting that as being invalid. I definitely do NOT feel that "the only good design is a combat optimized one", and I never meant to imply otherwise.

So, in short, I don't disagree with you. I just found some of your previous arguments unconvincing, even a bit ridiculous at times (hence the snark). But you've explained yourself much more fully now, and I now see that we have much less to argue about than I'd supposed.
 

Budalic

First Post
Shimmering armor (no OAs from ranged or area attacks, I love this), Parchment Armor (kind of weird, it has a number of charges equal to its enhancement bonus per day, at-will you can expend 1 charge to increase an attack roll by 1, free action. So if you know you missed by x, you can turn it into a hit). Robe of Contingency (Daily: immediate reaction, while bloodied and an attack damages you, teleport 6 squares and spend a surge).

If you're a Sage of Ages Runic Armor is nifty (+enh bonus to Arcana checks), and when you second wind you get to add the enh bonus to the damage of all arcane attacks till EoNT (fairly minor).

Thanks. Parchment armor sounds better than irrefutable when you miss. I'll probably retrain & make it (enchant magic item).
 

And, yes, not getting the exact magic items I want as a character would make the game simply not fun for me. I appreciate good character building, and magic items are a part of that. So saying that "it doesn't make the game not fun" is untrue, for me, and you should perhaps stop making generalized statements about your opinion as if they were facts.

Heh, maybe it IS a 'grognard' thing, but I have to agree with KD and Keterys etc on this one. You get what you get, lol. The whole FUN of it is making good with the resources at hand. Now and then I let my players pick a bunch of items or drop them something that is perfect for them. Other times I hand them some item they can use effectively but is not one of the items optimizers would consider to be the best possible item.

I'm happy to have players express their desires for items. I just don't think its my job to simply present everything the players desire on a silver platter. Besides, what is the fun of endless carbon-copy characters with exactly the same items as every other character ever made with a similar build? Items should be part of the story, a bit unique to the character, and entertaining, not a tool for optimization.
 

Mengu

First Post
Items should be part of the story, a bit unique to the character, and entertaining, not a tool for optimization.

I agree mostly.

However I do think there are some items that can be vital to the function of a build. For instance I would feel bad not giving a tiefling rogue a flaming dagger at some point, especially if the build is not optimized to begin with. I tend to drop items like iron armbands with equal opportunity for a whole party to keep their damage output respectable, and it again feels unfair to give one pair out in a party with 4 melee characters.

Having said that, I try to make the party's item optimization for them. But I'm not going to give every heavy armor character Dwarven armor. One might get Dwarven, one might get Black Iron or Demonscale, and another might get Piecemeal. I like variety. Also if I know they will be facing a lot of cold creatures, someone might get a Frostwolf Pelt, Before they go into an undead infested area, someone might get the Blessing of Pelor. So I do a bit of story oriented optimization as well.

Edit: And I just realized this post is not even a tangent to the original topic.
 

Blackbrrd

First Post
I think one of the issues with controllers are the ones that provide control instead of damage. They slow down the game. Slowing down the game isn't something I like in 4e as 5 rounds of combat is just about right in my mind. I have a player playing a controlling Wizard. It's fun for him, but not so fun for neither me nor the other players. It isn't that he isn't effective. ;)

There are several kinds of controller builds though. The ones that go for high damage, aka "Blasters" can often have higher DPR than any of the strikers and in my eyes a lot of fun. ;)
 

I agree mostly.

However I do think there are some items that can be vital to the function of a build. For instance I would feel bad not giving a tiefling rogue a flaming dagger at some point, especially if the build is not optimized to begin with. I tend to drop items like iron armbands with equal opportunity for a whole party to keep their damage output respectable, and it again feels unfair to give one pair out in a party with 4 melee characters.

Having said that, I try to make the party's item optimization for them. But I'm not going to give every heavy armor character Dwarven armor. One might get Dwarven, one might get Black Iron or Demonscale, and another might get Piecemeal. I like variety. Also if I know they will be facing a lot of cold creatures, someone might get a Frostwolf Pelt, Before they go into an undead infested area, someone might get the Blessing of Pelor. So I do a bit of story oriented optimization as well.

Edit: And I just realized this post is not even a tangent to the original topic.

I look at it this way. If an interesting character build requires a specific item, then I wouldn't have the player play that build if the item wasn't going to be provided. Generally I'd give them the item. OTOH often some minor house rule will fix those builds and let them do more fun things.
 

I think one of the issues with controllers are the ones that provide control instead of damage. They slow down the game. Slowing down the game isn't something I like in 4e as 5 rounds of combat is just about right in my mind. I have a player playing a controlling Wizard. It's fun for him, but not so fun for neither me nor the other players. It isn't that he isn't effective. ;)

There are several kinds of controller builds though. The ones that go for high damage, aka "Blasters" can often have higher DPR than any of the strikers and in my eyes a lot of fun. ;)

Hmmmm, how does debuffing the enemy or shaping the map in favor of the party slow down combat? A controller shouldn't be reducing the party's damage output, and that's the main gating factor on encounter length. To the contrary by giving them tactical freedom to concentrate their fire effectively and keep the enemy from being able to attack them and put conditions on the party the battle should always go faster with a controller.

And if your party is running blaster wizards then this is why they are slowing things down, because blaster wizard damage output ROTS. OK, if you are really an excellent optimizer and focus on nothing but damage output and run a Genasi EE blaster wizard you can hit the DPR of a sorcerer, but that's best case. Its the BLASTER type wizard that is making things slow because he simply is a sub-par striker, which always makes encounters drag out.

This is exactly the reason people say controllers suck.
 

Herschel

Adventurer
Exactly AA. A good controller makes the PARTY better, not his own damage stats. He prevents damage to his party as well as does his own. So unless your goal is to have everyone dead in under 5 rounds, controllers can be very useful.

Also, rounds of battle has rarely been a good indicator of good battles. I've been in four-round battles that were just plain dull and four-hour battles that were epic, dynamic and loads of fun.
 

Benimoto

First Post
Hmmmm, how does debuffing the enemy or shaping the map in favor of the party slow down combat? A controller shouldn't be reducing the party's damage output, and that's the main gating factor on encounter length.[...]
The problem is that a lot of control, while it does reduce incoming damage by making the monsters less effective, actually limits the party's tactical options. Walls, zones, teleports, and pushes can all be a sort of "isolation control" that works by separating a combat into several smaller combats. Unfortunately, that can actually increase the overall combat length, even as it lowers the combat difficulty.

That's an example of a controller who some people would say is doing his job, but is actually dragging things out longer.
 

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