Possible Lightning Reflexes fix

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Possible Lightning Reflexes fix

Post  Kindulas on Sat Jun 22, 2013 8:41 pm

So here's the deal. Lightning Reflexes is silly. Belongs in Camelot. 
People can activate it about 3 times a round, and after five rounds that's not one trait's worth of pips, that's two and a half.
So how to fix it? One idea was do what we've done with some and make there be a pre-req trait so you have to take two. But I have another idea in mind.
If it's worth 2.5 traits, what if it was actually not a trait, but a 5000 Gold Trinket?
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Re: Possible Lightning Reflexes fix

Post  Zarhon on Sat Jun 22, 2013 10:08 pm

Possible limits you could add to it for balance:

a) It can only be used once per round.
b) It has to be Linked/assigned to a specific interrupt/reaction you own, and benefits ONLY it (unless you get another copy of the trait and assign to another).
d) Increase the minimum cost limit to -2 (so it is only effective for -3 or higher costing Interrupts/Reactions).
d) Make it non-stacking with any other cost-reducing effects (e.g. rabbit hat, conjuration reduction traits...).
e) Make the "cost reduction" be refunded afterwards: They gain a reduction in cost now, but their next pip booster will gain them one less Pip (e.g. a +1 Pip booster gives them no PiPs), or they automatically lose a pip on the next round, once they can.
f) Separate the trait into affecting only interrupts, or only reactions, rather than both, possibly linked as prerequisites.
g) Make it 1/battle.
h) Have it work on other player's talents, rather than your own.
i) Using the trait makes you dazed afterwards, or applies stuff like "weakened" or "blindness" to the cost-reduced talent.
j) You gain a penalty to the working of the talents in exchange for the reduced cost (e.g. -3 damage to damage effects, +3 to saving vs save end effects you cause on enemies, -3 to healing effects, one-round stun on conjurations, for respective interrupts/reactions...).
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Re: Possible Lightning Reflexes fix

Post  Ramsus on Sun Jun 23, 2013 12:31 am

F is probably the best suggestion. A would probably second best but, really isn't very great (though is a decent idea for a pre-req trait if things go that way). G and D(1) are "nobody ever takes this". D(2) is just a kick in the pants to certain builds for no good reason. H would be interesting but, hard to get people to actually take but, is still a neat idea for the beginnings of an entirely separate trait. I means it's only good for certain builds (the ones that can get around whatever effect it applies) so that's just random favoritism and thus is a bad idea. J is actually a decent idea for, again, a different trait entirely but, would probably involve a large and awkward amount of specific wording (and a lot of errata to cover every possible thing it could apply to).

I'm pretty not in favor of it becoming an item. A lot of the things people care about are already items and there's a limited number of trinkets you can have. (The fact that what most people are gonna care about are trinkets is an entirely different problem.)
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Re: Possible Lightning Reflexes fix

Post  Philadelphus on Sun Jun 23, 2013 1:32 am

What if we combine the ideas of making it two talents with a pre-req and splitting up what it effects? So something like:

Lightning Reflexes
Reaction combat talents not granted from items cost 1 less PiP for you to use. This cannot reduce their costs to less than 1.

Slicker than Lighting
Pre-requisite: Lightning Reflexes
Interrupt combat talents not granted from items cost 1 less PiP for you to use. This cannot reduce their costs to less than 1.

That way you could take only the reaction-affecting one if you like, or take both of them to get the same effect as it currently has. I put the reaction one as the pre-requisite because interrupts are a bit more powerful, I think, since they can do thing like prevent you taking damage rather than simply triggering afterwards.

I'm also going to say that I don't mind it becoming an item, if that would be a better fit.

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Re: Possible Lightning Reflexes fix

Post  sunbeam on Sun Jun 23, 2013 1:43 am

I really don't have anything to add to this that hasn't already been said, but if it is split into two traits, I think the second trait should be named Greased Lightning.
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Re: Possible Lightning Reflexes fix

Post  Ramsus on Sun Jun 23, 2013 1:59 am

Phil, is there anything to be gained by making one require the other? It just seems like we'd be favoring Reactions over Interrupts. (I mean, maybe we should but, I think we should at least examine that to make sure we aren't doing so just because we can and screw those guys.)
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Re: Possible Lightning Reflexes fix

Post  Kindulas on Sun Jun 23, 2013 2:47 am

Zarhon wrote:Possible limits you could add to it for balance:

a) It can only be used once per round.
b) It has to be Linked/assigned to a specific interrupt/reaction you own, and benefits ONLY it (unless you get another copy of the trait and assign to another).
d) Increase the minimum cost limit to -2 (so it is only effective for -3 or higher costing Interrupts/Reactions).
d) Make it non-stacking with any other cost-reducing effects (e.g. rabbit hat, conjuration reduction traits...).
e) Make the "cost reduction" be refunded afterwards: They gain a reduction in cost now, but their next pip booster will gain them one less Pip (e.g. a +1 Pip booster gives them no PiPs), or they automatically lose a pip on the next round, once they can.
f) Separate the trait into affecting only interrupts, or only reactions, rather than both, possibly linked as prerequisites.
g) Make it 1/battle.
h) Have it work on other player's talents, rather than your own.
i) Using the trait makes you dazed afterwards, or applies stuff like "weakened" or "blindness" to the cost-reduced talent.
j) You gain a penalty to the working of the talents in exchange for the reduced cost (e.g. -3 damage to damage effects, +3 to saving vs save end effects you cause on enemies, -3 to healing effects, one-round stun on conjurations, for respective interrupts/reactions...).
a) Takes a lot the fun out of it, I think. It works well, though... perhaps if there was BOTH a 1/Round trait and an item version?
b) Not a bad idea, as it would be harder to trigger it a million times by using something like "defender into damage reaction," but it wouldn't be sufficient on its own
c) Maaaaaybe if it was restricted to -3, as -3s to -2s is still a huge problem and much of what broke it, but it feels odd
d) It's broken before comboed with those
e) Makes some sense, but it's kinda odd too. I kind of like the idea of something that gives you a few pips, only to ask for them back the next round, though, if there's a good way to work it
f) But if you can make a build that gets full value on only one, it becomes irrelevant. It's weaker in versatility, but the right build can still break it all the same
g) Well, it would have to be more than 1/Battle. I thought about having it be limited use, but that kind of takes the fun out of it and it also gets to be nova-y, that is, you can get fill value out of it really fast. A few things are that way, but they're usually over-costed for it, and this seems more fun as the kind of thing that you have to grind out the value for
h) Seems even easier to break
i) Plausible, but it seems less fun that an appropriately costed version without painful drawbacks. I like the idea of a reaction/interrupt that dazes you though... I like it a lot... maybe a cheap Stunning Heron's Hoof that stuns you as well, or something along those lines
j) Seems needlessly complicated when we have simpler fixes

So, to clarify, do you guys not like it being an appropriately costed item with no functionality changes? I didn't suggest it just because I didn't have other ideas, I personally see it as the simplest, best option for something as powerful as it is, rather than add some kind of de-buff to it. You're offering alternatives, which is great, but what is the actual feeling on it being an item? What about a 5k item if there was a 1/Round trait as well?
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Re: Possible Lightning Reflexes fix

Post  sunbeam on Sun Jun 23, 2013 2:55 am

I know of several people who aren't too fond of 1/round limited abilities unless there's a very clear reason for why they're limited outside of "game balance," so my head just produced a workaround.

Lightning Reflexes
Once per round, when you use a reaction or interrupt, you may gain 1 pip.

This should produce about the same effect, except that you still need to have the full cost of pips on hand at first. But that shouldn't mess with things too much, and this feels much less like an arbitrary restriction, to me.
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Re: Possible Lightning Reflexes fix

Post  Kindulas on Sun Jun 23, 2013 3:03 am

Well, it doesn't feel any less like a 1/Round restriction to me, at least.
However, do you have anything against moving it to an item?
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Re: Possible Lightning Reflexes fix

Post  Ramsus on Sun Jun 23, 2013 3:39 am

Well, I stated my feelings on the matter of it becoming an item.

Sunbeam, that actually kills/damages a lot of low pip cost/gain builds and I'm not sure exactly why we want to do that.
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Re: Possible Lightning Reflexes fix

Post  Zarhon on Sun Jun 23, 2013 11:10 am

The thing with making it an item is that it makes it unavailable to new characters for quite a while (as well as the fact that items are costly and you end up sacrificing armor/weapons for it, unless you go for a money trait). I'm mostly in favor of the Zoidberg route - both a trait (probably reduced in power somewhat, but permanent) and an item (as it is now, and/or with a limited number of usage), that don't stack with each other to prevent game-breakage (players can switch/exchange things out later).

Could also apply this as semi-limitations:

1) The trait flips a coin prior to interrupt/reaction use, and makes the talent 1 PiP cheaper if it's heads. Whether it does the coin toss before the pip cost happens, or after (meaning you need to have enough pips before doing the ability, regardless of coin toss result) is up to balancing. Could also add an extra effect to getting 'tails' on the toss (e.g. makes the ability unable to miss, or unable to be stopped by reactions and interrupts, or you are treated as having displacer armor for a round...).

2) Make the trait not reduce costs, but rather allow you to go into negative PiP range if you can't pay the cost (so you can go into -1Pips if you have use a -4 with only 3 PiPs available). Penalties may apply whilst in "negative PiPs" mode, like weakness.

3) Activating the trait in turn "disables" another one of your other traits/item/active combat talents, either chosen intentionally, or randomly, for one round.

4) The trait acts similar to the Wild Lightning d12 special move: At the start of combat, it randomly chooses which picked combat talent (either just the -PiP ones, or just the reactions/interrupts) it will cost-reduce.
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Re: Possible Lightning Reflexes fix

Post  Ramsus on Sun Jun 23, 2013 2:42 pm

2 starts the slide down a very slippery slope and the rest are pretty bad for anyone currently trying to use it.

I think we might be best off just making a prereq trait that is limited to 1/round and maybe make Lightning Reflexes itself 1/turn? You could then I suppose make a 500 or 1k gold item that requires you have Lightning Reflexes and removes the limit? I suggest making this item armor instead of another trinket vying for people's already overcrowded trinket space.
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Re: Possible Lightning Reflexes fix

Post  Philadelphus on Mon Jun 24, 2013 2:29 pm

Ramsus wrote:Phil, is there anything to be gained by making one require the other? It just seems like we'd be favoring Reactions over Interrupts. (I mean, maybe we should but, I think we should at least examine that to make sure we aren't doing so just because we can and screw those guys.)
I chose that order somewhat arbitrarily on the premise that, if you're 1 HP from being knocked unconscious and about to be hit by an attack, an Interrupt can re-direct, block, or prevent the attack outright and leave you conscious, whereas a Reaction can do no more than apply some punitive damage or effects as you're knocked out. Thus, in my opinion, Interrupts are stronger than Reactions because they can actually prevent damage. That's a bit of an extreme example, obviously, and the difference is not always as clear cut or dramatic, but I do generally feel that Interrupts are the more powerful of the two.

@Kindulas:
As I mentioned, I don't have a problem with the current version of Lightning Reflexes becoming an item. Perhaps we can come up with a more appropriately-powered Trait version if that happens. And I think I'll second Ramsus' suggestion that it be made an armor piece; I think it'd make a nice unique armor, and there aren't many high-cost armors to vie with it at the moment. In fact, if we then have a Trait version, it'll have a nice parallel with the Displacer Armor and the Improved/Expert/Master Defense line of Traits. Just my 2¢.

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Re: Possible Lightning Reflexes fix

Post  Kindulas on Mon Jun 24, 2013 4:42 pm

Well, first off I apologize as it seems I somehow missed the end note comments about feelings toward it being an item. 

And it's true, if one were listed more powerful than the other, being an interrupt is generally a more powerful thing than a reaction, since -all else being equal - it's better to get to take your action before the trigger than after. However, the fact is that while such a restriction would be a considerable nerf, if a way was found to get 3/Round value from reactions alone, it's still a problem, just one with more restrictions.

As for the idea of making the item version an armor instead, that's actually perfect. I was thinking it didn't really seem like an armor-esque thing, but you guys are right, considering how reactions are typically defensive/reactions to attacks, it totally is dodge-tank style armor.

And I suppose there could also be an upgrade to a 1/Round Trait that allows you to use it 1 more time per round, and you could take that trait multiple times - probably come with some sort of extra bonus due to the cost of that - though if we have that AND the item, it might be just plain too effective to stack all of them, but it's a thought.
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Re: Possible Lightning Reflexes fix

Post  Ramsus on Wed Jun 26, 2013 6:44 pm

So, yeah, here's my suggestion for right now. The reason I'm suggesting it work this way is so that people have a bit more flexibility and don't have to pay anywhere from 3000 to 1000 Gold for benefits they aren't going to be using anyway. And it'd mean it's at all possible to have a build that takes advantage of this stuff in any way at level 1 instead of having to basically change your build completely at level 2.

Lightning Reflexes 1/Round
Reaction combat talents not granted from items cost 1 less PiP for you to use. This cannot reduce their costs to less than 1.

Counterstrike 1/Round
Prerequisite: Lightning Reflexes
Interrupt combat talents not granted from items cost 1 less PiP for you to use. This cannot reduce their costs to less than 1.

Quicksilver Armor
1000 Gold
You may gain the benefits of Lightning Reflexes and Counterstrike an unlimited number of times per round.
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Re: Possible Lightning Reflexes fix

Post  Kindulas on Wed Jun 26, 2013 7:28 pm

Ramsus wrote:So, yeah, here's my suggestion for right now. The reason I'm suggesting it work this way is so that people have a bit more flexibility and don't have to pay anywhere from 3000 to 1000 Gold for benefits they aren't going to be using anyway. And it'd mean it's at all possible to have a build that takes advantage of this stuff in any way at level 1 instead of having to basically change your build completely at level 2.

Lightning Reflexes 1/Round
Reaction combat talents not granted from items cost 1 less PiP for you to use. This cannot reduce their costs to less than 1.

Counterstrike 1/Round
Prerequisite: Lightning Reflexes
Interrupt combat talents not granted from items cost 1 less PiP for you to use. This cannot reduce their costs to less than 1.

Quicksilver Armor
1000 Gold
You may gain the benefits of Lightning Reflexes and Counterstrike an unlimited number of times per round.
1) The reason that it doesn't give the reduction to stuff from items is that powers from items are more powerful than normal, meaning you'd get more that 1 pip value from using them, but how much depends on the item, meaning it's impossible to balance - so no, we cannot have a version that works on item reactions/interrupts
2) It seems silly to have the armor force you to have the trait. It's more complicated for character building and more restrictive. Don't forget Gold is Power is a thing. The item is much cooler if it just does its thing, not be some kind of unlock for a trait you need.
And if by having it at level 1 you mean you can just take LR and the armor at level 1 without Counterstike... then that's still broken. Together, that's still supposed to be 5000 Gold worth of stuff, since Counter-strike was never a thing.
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Re: Possible Lightning Reflexes fix

Post  Ramsus on Wed Jun 26, 2013 8:13 pm

Huh? I didn't say anything relating to your 1) thing.

As for 2), "cooler" is your opinion of how it works. I don't find having to completely change my build and pay for things I don't want at level 2 (minimum) cool at all. Functionally you're talking about the same thing at the end result of 5000 gold worth of stuff. My idea just allows people the ability to start with any of it or customize what they're getting.

I didn't forget gold is power is a thing, but, you really need to understand that play by post games don't involve leveling up as quickly as your skype or irl games. People don't want to make a character and play it for 6 months still be waiting on their ability to play it the way they wanted to.

Technically speaking the armor doesn't force you to do anything. It just provides no benefits if you don't have one of those traits.

It's barely more complicated and it's actually a lot less restrictive. "Pay for the entire bundle or no deal" is always more restrictive than "Pay for the stuff you want".

I'm not really sure how my version of LR + the armor would be broken if old Lightning Reflexes wasn't super crazy broken before and somehow nobody cared. (I agree it was probably stronger than it needed to be but, not so strong that half of it at half again the price is broken.)
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Re: Possible Lightning Reflexes fix

Post  Kindulas on Wed Jun 26, 2013 8:19 pm

Ramsus wrote:Huh? I didn't say anything relating to your 1) thing.

As for 2), "cooler" is your opinion of how it works. I don't find having to completely change my build and pay for things I don't want at level 2 (minimum) cool at all. Functionally you're talking about the same thing at the end result of 5000 gold worth of stuff. My idea just allows people the ability to start with any of it or customize what they're getting.

I didn't forget gold is power is a thing, but, you really need to understand that play by post games don't involve leveling up as quickly as your skype or irl games. People don't want to make a character and play it for 6 months still be waiting on their ability to play it the way they wanted to.

Technically speaking the armor doesn't force you to do anything. It just provides no benefits if you don't have one of those traits.

It's barely more complicated and it's actually a lot less restrictive. "Pay for the entire bundle or no deal" is always more restrictive than "Pay for the stuff you want".

I'm not really sure how my version of LR + the armor would be broken if old Lightning Reflexes wasn't super crazy broken before and somehow nobody cared. (I agree it was probably stronger than it needed to be but, not so strong that half of it at half again the price is broken.)
1) For some reason I misread counterstike's significance as saying "granted from items" as opposed to "not granted," my apologies
2) Also, it is super crazy broken and people do care. But clarify for me, this might the the misscommunication; in your version, could you take LR without Counterstike and still get the armor to get an unrestricted LR?
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Re: Possible Lightning Reflexes fix

Post  Ramsus on Wed Jun 26, 2013 8:26 pm

On, no, no you couldn't. Otherwise you wouldn't even bother with the traits at all. I suppose the wording on that could use some work. It was intended to work for whichever ones you have.
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Re: Possible Lightning Reflexes fix

Post  Kindulas on Wed Jun 26, 2013 8:45 pm

Right, whichever ones you have, so you could just have one of them, and the armor would work for that? Or you have to have both of them, so that the armor would say "If you have both Lightning Reflexes and Counterstike" (Or I guess it could just say 'if you have counterstrike,' considering)?
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Re: Possible Lightning Reflexes fix

Post  Ramsus on Wed Jun 26, 2013 9:21 pm

Kindulas wrote:Right, whichever ones you have, so you could just have one of them, and the armor would work for that?
Right.
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Re: Possible Lightning Reflexes fix

Post  Kindulas on Wed Jun 26, 2013 9:26 pm

Kindulas wrote:And it's true, if one were listed more powerful than the other, being an interrupt is generally a more powerful thing than a reaction, since -all else being equal - it's better to get to take your action before the trigger than after. However, the fact is that while such a restriction would be a considerable nerf, if a way was found to get 3/Round value from reactions alone, it's still a problem, just one with more restrictions.
This is why that's still too powerful. It's not okay to have an unrestricted LR, even reactions only, at level 1.
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Re: Possible Lightning Reflexes fix

Post  Philadelphus on Thu Jun 27, 2013 2:30 pm

So, if having it fire unlimited times per round is overpowered, how about attaching a limit to it? Using Ramsus' proposed traits (spoilered for reference), how about a different armor?

Ramsus' Traits:

Ramsus wrote:
Lightning Reflexes 1/Round
Reaction combat talents not granted from items cost 1 less PiP for you to use. This cannot reduce their costs to less than 1.

Counterstrike 1/Round
Prerequisite: Lightning Reflexes
Interrupt combat talents not granted from items cost 1 less PiP for you to use. This cannot reduce their costs to less than 1.
Reactionary Armor – 1/Round
2000 Gold
Interrupt and Reaction combat talents not granted from items cost 1 less PiP for you to use. This cannot reduce their costs to less than 1.

Hmmm...having sat down and written it up, I'm having difficulties in the pricing. The way it is the armor is giving you the opportunities of two traits (letting you use Interrupts OR Reactions), but only giving you the chance to use ONE of them per round. I'm putting the cost at 2000 because that's the best I can come up with – since actually having both traits would let you use BOTH an Interrupt and a Reaction in one round, whereas the armor only lets you use one.

Another possibility would be to increase the limit on the armor to 2/Round, and the cost to 3000 or 4000, so if you took the armor and both traits you could get their benefits up to 3/Round. Because, after all, how many people actually make use of the current Lightning Reflexes more that 3 times per round? I think 3/Round would probably capture the majority of use cases (unless you guys happen to know people who regularly go past that number).

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Re: Possible Lightning Reflexes fix

Post  Kindulas on Thu Jun 27, 2013 4:49 pm

It's not having no limit ever that's overpowered. It's having no limit on a budget of 3000 gold. That's why i protest a 1/round Lightning Reflexes as a trait and an armor for 5000 gold that simply is the current form of LR should work. Besides, this way they'd get to stack.

3/round is the amount we would balance this as an unlimited trait for, as that should be about the worst case scenario save for lucky circumstances. Ramsus was trying to figure out a way you could get unlimited reactions at level 1. But you simply shouldn't get that at level 1. And as for the idea you have to change your build entirely after level 1 once you afford the armor:
1) You can still make a reaction/interrupt based build that gets what value it can from 1/Round LR, then really gets going with the 5k armor in hand.
2) There are builds that don't work at level 1. Master Defense/Displacer armor Dodgetank has to wait a long time before it really functions. It's awkward, but if you're building around something a level 1 character shouldn't have, you can't build a level 1 character around it.

Given the fact that splitting up reactions vs interrupts is a nerf that isn't mathematically significant, I'd like to avoid it if possible. It does make sense because reactions are lesser (all else being equal), but because the math just says pips it's unwieldy to really work with, considering we would put such a nerf in place, but then the value would look the same - since we don't have a number on the value of versatility.
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Re: Possible Lightning Reflexes fix

Post  Ramsus on Thu Jun 27, 2013 5:32 pm

The issue is not that I want people to necessarily have unlimited at level 1. I want people to be able to have a build that functions in that style at all at level 1. Your proposition simply means people will completely change their builds at whatever level they can afford those things.

I wasn't really considering Master Defense (because it's broken as all get out in my opinion) and high cost armors because none of the play by posts are going to reach the levels required for those things for ages. (In fact, I doubt few play by posts that actually start at level 1 will ever likely get to the point where someone would be using Master Defense/Displacer Armor). I was more concerned with Defender/Slashback builds and other lower level setups because those are the ones most people will actually have the opportunity to be using.
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