Thoughts on Multiattack Nerfs

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Thoughts on Multiattack Nerfs

Post  Kindulas on Tue Jun 25, 2013 1:17 am

Multiattack builds seem to be the quintessential striker right now. It brings people down that they're still top dog, and especially at higher levels, nuke-builds are inferior. Multiattack builds should be viable, but they're too viable at the moment. So, here are some thoughts:

1) Whirling Blades isn't really the issue here as far as power goes, but there are reasons to take it down a peg. For one thing, Multiattack builds take a long time. They feel powerful not just because they are, but because people who take so long often give the feeling to others that they're not optimizing their actions as much as the other guy, even though, in a perfect world, just taking a standard shouldn't be inferior to those that max out their minors. 
Right now, Whirling rolls a die and gives a possible vuln, which lends itself to multiattacks but the odd probability makes it hard to balance and means you can't "macro" your turn. If it did flat damage and didn't have a possibility of buffing other attacks, players could simply calculate how much each blades *will* do and not roll them seperately. Secondly, it's basically just powerful because it's an attack, so nerfing its power won't hurt functionality much while making it easy to work with. So, I suggest

[-1] Whirling Blades - Minor Attack
Deal 2 damage to target creature.


Furthermore, there's a possible thought about Drain Blood that will take it away from multiattacks but make it a more interesting, unique power. Because it won't be useful for multi, the actual damage output will likely be buffed, but here's the idea: Drain Blood will not "deal damage," but rather it will cause the creature to "lose life," which means DB won't benefit from Duelist or Fleshrender, *but* we'll add a rule that explicitly states that a when a creature loses life, the effect bypasses both resistance and temporary hit points. The temp hp thing is most interesting, as it will mean you can damage a creature's real hp without affecting its temp and if that reduces the hp to 0, it will die/fall unconscious while still having thp. 


Now to the big toys. Motion Blur, with the appropriate attack bonuses, is too much value as one trait. So I suggest the following, in order to not bring down MB uses who don't use it for multiattacks (like Nehiel, usin' all dem minor utilities)

Fast Gambit
You may make an additional minor action each turn, but you cannot use it to make attacks.

Motion Blur
Prerequisite: Fast Gambit
You may use the minor action granted from Fast Gambit to make attacks.


This way, if you get a +5 bonus to each attack, say using the favorite tools Duelist as well as Fleshrender, or Duelist and then daze the opponent for vuln two, you get a total of 7 damage from the motion blur trait over 5 rounds, which is 5.4 standard actions worth (while 2 traits is 4 actions), minus the pips required. That's about 1.6 actions of pips, so just under at 3.8 actions for the two traits when used in this way, but there's also opportunities to get even more value out of the deal with more vuln and perhaps the bloodied bonuses or what-have-you. So, this means it's still viable for heavily dedicated multiattack builds to get value out of, but it makes it less early-accessible and not such an easy way to blow right over the damage curve, while again keeping MB's usefulness for other purposes as Fast Gambit. Possible that it could still get out of hand, but it at least, again, won't be so easy to do and will have to wait more levels.
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Re: Thoughts on Multiattack Nerfs

Post  Xel Unknown on Tue Jun 25, 2013 2:13 am

Some very interesting ideas... In fact I like the new motion blur traits, because it helped me think of non-attack options you can get from having two minor actions, and only one of them being attackable thingie.

And the new Whirling Blades can work as well.
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Re: Thoughts on Multiattack Nerfs

Post  A1C Bronymous on Tue Jun 25, 2013 2:15 am

"It brings people down?" Who? Who is brought down by this? In a team combat situation where just about everyone has a different role and an objective to focus on, who is saying "I wish the guys that do damage on our team did less damage, so my Healing will seem more impressive?" Too viable is and has been a ridiculous reason to nerf these things. 

Seriously, just take out pips, take out traits and items, take out the statuses, take out all of the talents and just make combat this:
-Do 1d8 damage
-Heal 1d6 damage
 
Because that's what we might as well have. Every combo is declared OP and nerfed as soon as possible. Every strategy is picked apart and diminished, and every role in combat suffers, and meanwhile, enemies just keep getting harder and harder to kill. You know in the three separate games I'm playing, I have not recently fought even a minion that has less than 5 resist, enemies that have crazy homebrewed talents and traits that can stop everything I have in its tracks, or turn it around on me, that can trow off status effects and one shot most players. Why do you guys feel the need to take away what few good, effective things we as players can put together and pull off to keep these fights fair?
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Re: Thoughts on Multiattack Nerfs

Post  Ramsus on Tue Jun 25, 2013 2:16 am

I don't really have an opinion on anything else you mentioned but, I'd prefer Drain Blood remain a Minor Attack and deal damage. For one thing, we already have a non-minor attack equivalent. It's called Syphon Life. If it stays as a minor you certainly can't change it to lose life because that would become "Minor Action: kill a minion".

As for losing HP, that already does ignore resistance/vulnerability and I thought temp HP as well. If not you could pretty easily offset things like Blood Pact via temp HP gain.

I should also note that you guys have a distressing tendency to nerf or change things into no longer filling a niche and then leaving that niche empty (or at least lacking many options). So, you probably shouldn't change things to not be minor actions (especially minor attacks) unless you've come up with another one to fill that void.
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Re: Thoughts on Multiattack Nerfs

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Tue Jun 25, 2013 2:44 am

Bronymous, it sounds like you're involved in an arms race with your DM(s) - building more and more powerful characters in response to more and more insane enemies and vice versa.

If things are reaching your upper limit, it might be more efficient to talk to your DM about it instead of asking the entire system to be built around helping you face your DM's custom-designed enemies. =)


Last edited by Stairc -Dan Felder on Tue Jun 25, 2013 2:50 am; edited 2 times in total

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Re: Thoughts on Multiattack Nerfs

Post  Nehiel Mori on Tue Jun 25, 2013 2:45 am

Bronymous wrote:Because that's what we might as well have. Every combo is declared OP and nerfed as soon as possible. Every strategy is picked apart and diminished, and every role in combat suffers, and meanwhile, enemies just keep getting harder and harder to kill. You know in the three separate games I'm playing, I have not recently fought even a minion that has less than 5 resist, enemies that have crazy homebrewed talents and traits that can stop everything I have in its tracks, or turn it around on me, that can trow off status effects and one shot most players. Why do you guys feel the need to take away what few good, effective things we as players can put together and pull off to keep these fights fair?

Uhhh, ideally minions aren't supposed to have resist 5, or monsters shouldn't one shot players. If your games have been going well and the combat balance has worked then, well it has worked but monsters getting one-shot abilities raises a red-flag in my head.
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Re: Thoughts on Multiattack Nerfs

Post  A1C Bronymous on Tue Jun 25, 2013 4:17 am

I know how it should be, but how it should be isn't necessarily how it is. The point is, every time I build something to be proud of, whether its effective, efficient, effective, fun, or god forbid all three, then it apparently is not something I as a player should not be allowed to do. Apart from being frustrating, it's also extremely tedious to have to reread everything to see what's changed, and see what I can do at every turn to come up with something that isn't borderline useless- which it will then soon be, come next update.

So here's my more rational critique: With this update to motion blur, you're limiting its effectiveness by cutting the player's options for their two minors. This is a similar change that was made to several items, one or two updates back. In that case, limiting the number of times per battle also limited options, but the real killer was the pip costs- many items that had given [0] talents now had -1 to -3 pip costs. And while looking at it solely mathematically, the talents may seem more balanced, but looking at it in conjunction with builds gives a different point of view. That is, adding those extra pip costs all but nullifies the reason to even have the extra talents. Tacking on a -3 pip now requires the player to basically waste a turn on the item itself, instead of using it in conjunction with his established strategy (or in the case of an interrupt, uses up the pips he may have needed for that next turn). For that cost, you may as well just introduce all of the item-given talents as regular combat talents, and scrap items altogether (merging the trait-like effect items with the traits). This boils down to "if this introduced facet of gameplay is so breaking, then why keep it implemented at all?", which is the point I was making with the very limited list of combat choices. Basically, if you continuously boil everything down to its assumed "balance" point, then everything more or less equates to such basic options- do damage, or heal, and all of the other factors are just equal additions to each side of the equation. Or: A system that is continually nerfed and updated to be more balanced is the same as 1370(x+12)/1370(y+12), which might as well just be x/y. At least that's what it looks like to me. It doesn't help that your ideal of balance is based on math and numbers you yourselves made up- no laws of reality or mathematical constants, just "well I guess X is a good number for Y cost, so..." and everything goes from there.

Speculation is speculation. All I know is, every time something like this happen, instead of giving everyone a feeling of equality, it just feels like I'm less and less useful, important, or effective. And since nothing ever gets buffed, there is no give and take, just take.
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Re: Thoughts on Multiattack Nerfs

Post  Kindulas on Tue Jun 25, 2013 4:53 pm

Ramsus wrote:I don't really have an opinion on anything else you mentioned but, I'd prefer Drain Blood remain a Minor Attack and deal damage. For one thing, we already have a non-minor attack equivalent. It's called Syphon Life. If it stays as a minor you certainly can't change it to lose life because that would become "Minor Action: kill a minion".

As for losing HP, that already does ignore resistance/vulnerability and I thought temp HP as well. If not you could pretty easily offset things like Blood Pact via temp HP gain.

I should also note that you guys have a distressing tendency to nerf or change things into no longer filling a niche and then leaving that niche empty (or at least lacking many options). So, you probably shouldn't change things to not be minor actions (especially minor attacks) unless you've come up with another one to fill that void.
You're right, losing HP does already do that, but I don't think there's a special section of the rules to make it explicitly clear. Which there probably should be anyway.

And you're probably right about it becoming "-1, kill a minion," - I plan to add a necro +1 standard for target creature losing life, but a minor that zaps past a minions resist is probably not okay
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Re: Thoughts on Multiattack Nerfs

Post  Ramsus on Tue Jun 25, 2013 4:54 pm

A standard +1 loss of life talent sounds great.
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Re: Thoughts on Multiattack Nerfs

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Tue Jun 25, 2013 5:00 pm

I like that too, especially as it lets players feel clever when they realize they can use it to "Kill target minion".

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Re: Thoughts on Multiattack Nerfs

Post  Paper Shadow on Tue Jun 25, 2013 8:20 pm

Wouldn't it be better/possible to make the nukes more appealing?

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Re: Thoughts on Multiattack Nerfs

Post  Kindulas on Tue Jun 25, 2013 9:55 pm

Hopefully nukes will get more appealing, but buffing those to meet the current power of multis would mean rewriting our algorithms and re-balancing everything against a new standard. If we just pull these in line and gives nukers more options and toys to play with, that should do the job - we do plan on giving nuke damage more support (esp. once we take Crescendo away from its current role.)
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Re: Thoughts on Multiattack Nerfs

Post  Xel Unknown on Thu Jun 27, 2013 3:15 pm

Well, I just realized that with the planned change for Drain Blood, it'll no longer be able to combo it with Barter in Blood... A really fun combo to get around any annoying enemy that has invisibility (read: everyone must flip a coin on all attacks).
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Re: Thoughts on Multiattack Nerfs

Post  Kindulas on Thu Jun 27, 2013 4:35 pm

The Drain Blood change has been taken off the menu. Most people okay with trying out the other changes?
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Re: Thoughts on Multiattack Nerfs

Post  Hayatecooper on Thu Jun 27, 2013 8:11 pm

I kinda agree with Brony, if you're going to nerf all this stuff and you are nerfing a lot of stuff(For reasons I mostly agree with to an extent)

Can we have some buffs?
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Re: Thoughts on Multiattack Nerfs

Post  Kindulas on Thu Jun 27, 2013 9:36 pm

Well, right now we're trying to figure out what the appropriate power of ults is which might well result in them being more powerful. IT IS NOT THIS DAY needs a buff, too. Thing is, we're working to bring stuff in line, and the most glaring things are always the overpowered things that overshadow other build options, so that's what we're tacking first.

And that's who gets brought down, btw, by multiattacks being too powerful - people who want to do something else and not feel inferior.

However, as well as possible buffs there's a lot of content I'm waiting to release, which should hopefully make a lot more build options.
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Re: Thoughts on Multiattack Nerfs

Post  Pingcode on Thu Jun 27, 2013 9:41 pm

Thought: What if Resistance is given priority over Vulnerability? ie. If you successfully resist all the damage from an attack (before vulnerability), it's considered a complete miss and neither vulnerability nor any rider effects kick in?
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Re: Thoughts on Multiattack Nerfs

Post  Paper Shadow on Thu Jun 27, 2013 9:44 pm

Pingcode wrote:Thought: What if Resistance is given priority over Vulnerability? ie. If you successfully resist all the damage from an attack (before vulnerability), it's considered a complete miss and neither vulnerability nor any rider effects kick in?
Spoiler: It does. In fact, just look at Gambler's Armour. You gain Resist 6, but if you actually take damage, you suffer thanks to all that vulnerability...

Kindulas wrote:However, as well as possible buffs there's a lot of content I'm waiting to release, which should hopefully make a lot more build options.
Technically, my combat expansion is a lot of content...

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Re: Thoughts on Multiattack Nerfs

Post  Xel Unknown on Fri Jun 28, 2013 12:14 am

Personally I'm fine with the nerfs that have been suggest... (other then the Drain Blood thing, but that's a non-issue now) But I suggest you WAIT to nerf things until you have a good deal of nice buffs for the system as well. That way things feel a lot more like you wanted to improve things and as you said, give more options for everyone. Because if you do some random nerfs without any buffs you are just limiting and removing playstyle options making the poeple who use and enjoy those options feel like you are just doing it out of spite or something. Sure no matter what there will be people who react badly to any update and change. But when those changes are nothing but nerfs, it's a good deal easier to see is in a more negative light then you intend to have it be.

Try to have like at lest one buff for every nerf, in fact if you can, try to have there be two buffs for every single nerf you plan to do. The more buffs you can make be releasted to us the better I'd say, it gives you all the more odds of the changes being taken as a good thing. Now it wont always work like this. But given how you did just talk about you got some major buffs nearly ready to give us all, so save these nerfs to be giving out with the buffs.
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Re: Thoughts on Multiattack Nerfs

Post  Ramsus on Fri Jun 28, 2013 3:01 am

There's a couple problems with that suggestion Xel. While nice in theory, it doesn't actually work out too well in practice. First off, it means delaying issues which really just pushes progress on the system further back bit by bit as you wait for this or that and forget things in the meantime. There's also the issue that if you ask for people's responses to A-Z you'll only get a few answers for each thing. Also, it means people will compare things and say "overall that's fair" instead of judging each idea solely on their own merits. (Sometimes you do need comparisons but, largely it actually gets in the way of getting accurate data.)

Really, I think people should just stop complaining about the idea of change itself. If they don't like a specific nerf or buff or change for specific reasons and concerns, that's great. But, opposing balance (which is another way of saying opposing improvement) just because you would rather have the things you like be better than other options just because you like them isn't an opinion even worth listening to.
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Re: Thoughts on Multiattack Nerfs

Post  Kindulas on Fri Jun 28, 2013 3:29 am

Ramsus wrote:There's a couple problems with that suggestion Xel. While nice in theory, it doesn't actually work out too well in practice. First off, it means delaying issues which really just pushes progress on the system further back bit by bit as you wait for this or that and forget things in the meantime. There's also the issue that if you ask for people's responses to A-Z you'll only get a few answers for each thing. Also, it means people will compare things and say "overall that's fair" instead of judging each idea solely on their own merits. (Sometimes you do need comparisons but, largely it actually gets in the way of getting accurate data.)

Really, I think people should just stop complaining about the idea of change itself. If they don't like a specific nerf or buff or change for specific reasons and concerns, that's great. But, opposing balance (which is another way of saying opposing improvement) just because you would rather have the things you like be better than other options just because you like them isn't an opinion even worth listening to.
Very well put Ramsus.
I do understand Xel's concerns, but there is one thing I would like to reiterate: Nerfs don't always limit options. Especially this multiattack thing isn't made to invalidate multiattack builds, it's to bring them more in line with other damage builds so that they're all fairly equal options. I hardly wish to make multiattack builds a non-option, as I am a big fan myself (and when you get a plot based +20 initiative bonus and make 5 attacks a turn, Seize the Initiative is hilarious). Granted, it will make Multiattacks harder to put together and they'll inevitably have fewer toys, but only so that they're fair.

However, I do get the discontent with the nerf-storm, it's admittedly quite painful. Buffs have a way of getting a back seat since they don't "break" the game like things that are overpowered, but I'm sure there are a few things that need them, so I'll try to look at some of that. I mentioned IT IS NOT THIS DAY, though we can't really buff that until we do the special move revamp...
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Re: Thoughts on Multiattack Nerfs

Post  Kindulas on Mon Jul 08, 2013 8:50 pm

Anyway, it seems for the most part people are okay with these changes, so here goes...
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Re: Thoughts on Multiattack Nerfs

Post  A1C Bronymous on Tue Jul 09, 2013 1:58 am

Well I'm not ok with these changes, but they already happened. But let me just drop this in- multiattacks are supposed to be rapid firing and somewhat constant, whereas nukes are meant to take several turns to build up to, and unleash a lot of damage at once. So ideally, "balance" between the two would be multiattacks doing less damage per round, but by the time they get to the same round as the nuke fires off, it should have around the same damage output by the end, or an average dmg/turn, yes?

What is not balanced is having multiattacks do less damage per turn AND have to wait, and wait, and wait, taking much longer to reach a damage output equal to the nukes several turns after. And that's where you're going with these changes. I'm not saying you overdid it or not, that remains to be seen- and I don't claim to follow the witchcraft you call math to work out your made up balance numbers- but its definitely a step in that direction.

That's why we call for buffs because hey, maybe the multiattacks weren't overpowered, maybe the nukes were underpowered, did you think of that? You guys have had to nerf sooooooo many things so far, maybe you should have buffed the stuff that was too low, and balance it that way. Instead of taking away from one side of the scale, try adding to the other. I guarantee no one will complain about it, as long as you don't go past the middle ground balance point.
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Re: Thoughts on Multiattack Nerfs

Post  Ramsus on Tue Jul 09, 2013 2:20 am

Ideally a nuke should do a bit more than multiple attacks that happen during the same time it takes to build up the nuke because nuke's suffer more from status effects.
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Re: Thoughts on Multiattack Nerfs

Post  Kindulas on Tue Jul 09, 2013 2:29 am

Ramsus wrote:Ideally a nuke should do a bit more than multiple attacks that happen during the same time it takes to build up the nuke because nuke's suffer more from status effects.
Yep. Nukes should deal more damage in the end because you have to put off doing things. We're going to figure out how much more they should actually do, because yes, nukes probably are underpowered, and they'll probably receive buffs. Even so, Multiattacks were overpowered, whether or not nukes were underpowered - because nukes are technically on the curve, but underpowered because they might not get enough benefit from the wait. Multiattacks? Way above the curve AND do consistent damage.
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