[Combat Items] "What is overshadowed, underpowered, impractical?" - discussions

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Re: [Combat Items] "What is overshadowed, underpowered, impractical?" - discussions

Post  Quietkal on Wed Oct 02, 2013 12:59 am

That's fair. I'll retract my objections to Gambler's Armor.

Still looking for feedback on Vorpal Sword and my suggestion for nerfing it.
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Re: [Combat Items] "What is overshadowed, underpowered, impractical?" - discussions

Post  DrownedChampion on Sat Apr 19, 2014 6:01 pm

Why is Lighting Cowl 5,000 gold? It's utterly ridiculous.

First of all, the established trait-to-item ration is 2,000 gold = one trait. Training Diploma and Gold is Power both support this. Then we have Lighting Cowl, which is a ludicrously expensive option that is actually worse than a pre-established trait.

Lightning Reflexes not only reduces the pip cost once per turn, just the same as Lightning Cowl, but can also reduce costs to 0, while Lightning Cowl can only get them to 1. And that's the only difference! I can respect that due to the cumulative effect granting more power, the cost should be increased, but to 3000 gold at /most/. Either that or they should remove some of the limitations. Make Lightning Cowl able to reduce things to 0 but Reflexes can't, or make it so that the cowl reduce the cost is a static benefit and not a once-per round thing. Otherwise why the hell wouldn't you just go for the Energizing Amulet and Rapid Recovery and micromanage pip-cost using Reactions and Interrupts in a more efficient manner? A bit more difficult, maybe, but if you have more than four pips you aren't getting much benefit out of Cowl and Reflexes anyway.

Also, about the Vorpal Sword: it is 15,000 gold. It is the entire cash supply of a level 10 character. It is the Infinity +1 Sword, and it is by rights SUPPOSED to be ridiculous in terms of damage output. If you were to scale up a Wand of Fireballs to x15, you would get an average damage output of 165 to a creature and all adjacent foes (as opposed to Vorpal Sword peaking around 73.5 to a single opponent and 42 to multiple), so you're actually seeing a major /loss/ in terms of effectiveness. Make no mistake: Vorpal Sword is awesome. Its supposed to be. But it is a centerpiece: it is built around, and no part of it makes it easy to use.
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Re: [Combat Items] "What is overshadowed, underpowered, impractical?" - discussions

Post  Crystalite on Sat Apr 19, 2014 6:09 pm

Has ZamuelNow mentioned his opinion on Spellbook? Because I'm starting to agree with him...

I also thin the Conjured Weapon/Form talents and items could use some loving. They're really good options at low levels, but I really think we need more options for characters who might specialise in this sort of thing.
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Re: [Combat Items] "What is overshadowed, underpowered, impractical?" - discussions

Post  sunbeam on Sat Apr 19, 2014 7:18 pm

DrownedChampion wrote:Why is Lighting Cowl 5,000 gold? It's utterly ridiculous.

First of all, the established trait-to-item ration is 2,000 gold = one trait. Training Diploma and Gold is Power both support this. Then we have Lighting Cowl, which is a ludicrously expensive option that is actually worse than a pre-established trait.

Lightning Reflexes not only reduces the pip cost once per turn, just the same as Lightning Cowl, but can also reduce costs to 0, while Lightning Cowl can only get them to 1. And that's the only difference! I can respect that due to the cumulative effect granting more power, the cost should be increased, but to 3000 gold at /most/. Either that or they should remove some of the limitations. Make Lightning Cowl able to reduce things to 0 but Reflexes can't, or make it so that the cowl reduce the cost is a static benefit and not a once-per round thing. Otherwise why the hell wouldn't you just go for the Energizing Amulet and Rapid Recovery and micromanage pip-cost using Reactions and Interrupts in a more efficient manner? A bit more difficult, maybe, but if you have more than four pips you aren't getting much benefit out of Cowl and Reflexes anyway.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Yrhqg9ZcLFCEea72SAnhgs7DEFN35AzkeXnNzCp97YM/edit#heading=h.6g7pgbzedi9p

This document has the bare essentials for a build that lets you get off at least 6 interrupts per turn. The full build was built by Karilyn, and it utterly destroyed things. It's a very good demonstrator of how there's basically no limit to how much you can abuse lightning cowl*. Look at it this way: If lightning reflexes is worth 2000 gold, and you get a 1-energy discount 1/turn, and this thing can get you that discount at least 3/turn easily (just by alternating a [+3] move and carrying a suite of reactions+interrupts, without any investment in extra traits+items), then it's worth at least 3 times as much, right? By that metric, it's actually still a little cheaper than it should be, which is fair because shutting it down with dazing or something similar is quite straightforward. Regardless, Lightning Cowl is definitely worth a heck of a lot more than 2000-3000 gold.

*for extra fun, use the trait at the same time.
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Re: [Combat Items] "What is overshadowed, underpowered, impractical?" - discussions

Post  Quietkal on Sat Apr 19, 2014 7:22 pm

Document's locked. Or more to the point it's only open to certain people, not just anyone with the link.
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Re: [Combat Items] "What is overshadowed, underpowered, impractical?" - discussions

Post  DrownedChampion on Sat Apr 19, 2014 7:25 pm

sunbeam wrote:
DrownedChampion wrote:Why is Lighting Cowl 5,000 gold? It's utterly ridiculous.

First of all, the established trait-to-item ration is 2,000 gold = one trait. Training Diploma and Gold is Power both support this. Then we have Lighting Cowl, which is a ludicrously expensive option that is actually worse than a pre-established trait.

Lightning Reflexes not only reduces the pip cost once per turn, just the same as Lightning Cowl, but can also reduce costs to 0, while Lightning Cowl can only get them to 1. And that's the only difference! I can respect that due to the cumulative effect granting more power, the cost should be increased, but to 3000 gold at /most/. Either that or they should remove some of the limitations. Make Lightning Cowl able to reduce things to 0 but Reflexes can't, or make it so that the cowl reduce the cost is a static benefit and not a once-per round thing. Otherwise why the hell wouldn't you just go for the Energizing Amulet and Rapid Recovery and micromanage pip-cost using Reactions and Interrupts in a more efficient manner? A bit more difficult, maybe, but if you have more than four pips you aren't getting much benefit out of Cowl and Reflexes anyway.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Yrhqg9ZcLFCEea72SAnhgs7DEFN35AzkeXnNzCp97YM/edit#heading=h.6g7pgbzedi9p

This document has the bare essentials for a build that lets you get off at least 6 interrupts per turn. The full build was built by Karilyn, and it utterly destroyed things. It's a very good demonstrator of how there's basically no limit to how much you can abuse lightning cowl*. Look at it this way: If lightning reflexes is worth 2000 gold, and you get a 1-energy discount 1/turn, and this thing can get you that discount at least 3/turn easily (just by alternating a [+3] move and carrying a suite of reactions+interrupts, without any investment in extra traits+items), then it's worth at least 3 times as much, right? By that metric, it's actually still a little cheaper than it should be, which is fair because shutting it down with dazing or something similar is quite straightforward. Regardless, Lightning Cowl is definitely worth a heck of a lot more than 2000-3000 gold.

*for extra fun, use the trait at the same time.

Well, I feel foalish. I thought that Lightning Cowl had a one-per-turn limit, too, huh.

Yeah, that makes more sense. With that in mind, 5000 gold is a pretty decent price.

Can't see the build. :\

Another thing I was thinking about: Chain of the Drunken Master should, rather than giving the ability to stand up from prone in board version, give a movement action. Otherwise the ability to roll twice on melee abilities is practically useless, especially considering the vast number of ranged abilities that exist and work better than a lot of melee abilities..

Mind you, this is me wanting to transfer a Dance with Discord/Daze/Daggerstorm combo to board version with limited effect, so I'm a bit biased.

Crystalite wrote:Has ZamuelNow mentioned his opinion on Spellbook? Because I'm starting to agree with him...

I also thin the Conjured Weapon/Form talents and items could use some loving. They're really good options at low levels, but I really think we need more options for characters who might specialise in this sort of thing.

Busting out the good ol' Extra Credits, I think that Conjured Weapons are intended to be FOO Strategies, or First Order Optimal strategies. That is, massive bang for buck that then falls away very quickly. By Level 3 you have Staff of the Stars, the boosting trait for Staff of Stars, and can get both the Mystic Sheath and Talisman of Weapons for ridiculously cheap summons of relatively powerful abilities.

From there, they quickly become useless. That summoner you were making fun of for not doing anything at level one can bust out their Fire Giant turn 2 and sit atop it while they summon and explode Bunnies for 1d10 damage each and gain the pips to get their next big and nasty motherbucker out. Your rogue now can get Midnight's Blade on turn 1 and start slaughtering everything with a couple of stacks of backstab damage. Etc. etc.

While late-game the Summon Weapons benefit from flexibility and limited input required, they quickly get outpaced. I'd say if you want to do summoned weapons, keep 'em up 'til level 5 at most than change to a different build, unless they're just the icing on the cake for some crazy defensive combo or some trait-based option.

The exception is Blood Weapon which never stops getting better because of pip-building minors. But I've built around that one.
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Re: [Combat Items] "What is overshadowed, underpowered, impractical?" - discussions

Post  ZamuelNow on Sat Apr 19, 2014 8:28 pm

Crystalite wrote:Has ZamuelNow mentioned his opinion on Spellbook? Because I'm starting to agree with him...

*busts through wall like the Kool-Aid Man* I heard my name?  

I did not bring up Spellbook here since it didn't feel like it fit "What is overshadowed, underpowered, impractical?" plus a fair bit of that discussion happened elsewhere.  The issue is twofold.  On one hand, it's a bit of a dominant strategy for some builds since there's no reason not to take it.  On the other hand, the system design of only taking only 5 of 8 combat talents has issues with understandability and simply fitting.  There's some strategy usage, it's kinda videogamey (which the system is noted as having inspiration from), and makes tons of sense for mech/starships.  However, it simply doesn't fit most settings and it's a pretty heavy tax for non damage focused builds.  I think I started to truly notice it both from attempting to build combat templates and because I rarely play pure damage characters.

Removing Spellbook and editing the rules to taking all eight is something I think the system would badly benefit from while the wait for the revamp continues.  I just don't find myself directly requesting it since I don't see it happening.  I'd also acknowledge that it takes more updates  since "all eight" effects more than just Spellbook but I'm the type who wouldn't mind searching through the documents and providing the new text.

I also thin the Conjured Weapon/Form talents and items could use some loving. They're really good options at low levels, but I really think we need more options for characters who might specialise in this sort of thing.

It really depends on build style but I think it a lot is from just how much one invests in them.  Traits are universal and some of the rebalanced specials synergize with some conjured weapons/forms.  Oddly, the biggest benefit is probably a mix of flavor and versatility.  The healbot can now whip out the laser cannon when needed but that's not your default.  I think a few might need individual adjustments since they aren't all equal.
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Re: [Combat Items] "What is overshadowed, underpowered, impractical?" - discussions

Post  sunbeam on Sat Apr 19, 2014 11:59 pm

Quietkal wrote:Document's locked. Or more to the point it's only open to certain people, not just anyone with the link.

I am absolutely rubbish at remembering that sort of thing on a google doc. It should work now.

The select people viewing thing has to do with the viewing privileges of the original document, which wasn't mine.
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Re: [Combat Items] "What is overshadowed, underpowered, impractical?" - discussions

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Sun Apr 20, 2014 12:51 am

Our current plan for the new system is to give players 7 combat talents (now called powers) and let them bring them all into battle. 7 is a very good number for mental tracking, determined by many psychological studies.

If you want to houserule the current system to work this way too, you have my full endorsement.

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Re: [Combat Items] "What is overshadowed, underpowered, impractical?" - discussions

Post  Zarhon on Sun Apr 20, 2014 12:57 am

DrownedChampion wrote:Chain of the Drunken Master should, rather than giving the ability to stand up from prone in board version, give a movement action. Otherwise the ability to roll twice on melee abilities is practically useless, especially considering the vast number of ranged abilities that exist and work better than a lot of melee abilities.
Chain of the Drunken Master is completely game-breaking, when combo'd effectively. First off, the armor affects ALL rolls, not just melee abilities:

Chain of the Drunken Master:
Chain of the Drunken Master - 1500 Gold
Armor
While you are dazed, you may roll twice on all die rolls and use either result. You may also stand up from prone as a minor action.

This includes save ends, attacks, utilities, etc. So, by intentionally dazing yourself, you gain a huge advantage in anything that requires rolling, including the stuff that usually causes dazing. 'Daggerstorm' is a particularly nice ability to use it with. It also synergizes with 'Critfisher' to give almost guaranteed special move triggers.

I've had a player in a game combine this armor with 'Redirect Focus', 'Critfisher', and the 'Wild Lightning' special move.

The result? A combat build that self-dazes, and uses critfisher's five rolls and the 'roll twice' property of the Drunken Master armor (due to being dazed) to roll 10d12s every turn, with any d12 crit rolled causing them to trigger one of their other combat abilities for free - which were all powerful nukes that cost [-6] or higher, including Daggerstorm, Requiem, the broken-by-design 'It's Over'...

He once managed to trigger 'It's Over' AND 'Daggerstorm' in a single turn, thanks to the magic of rolling twice on every single roll, and reaping any crit that came out of it, along with the obvious guarantee of having huge damage from re-rolling the damage and picking the better results.

It was a build that ignored pips (it didn't even need them - crits did stuff for free) in favor of triggering endless crits, which triggered free nukes, which could in turn trigger MORE crits. It turns combat into a lottery of 'you crit, you win'.

When the build essentially demolished two encounters by itself (60-100+ damage in a turn) with no counter other than 'defeat the guy' (dazing, usually a counter to such combo-monkeys, only HELPS the build, and so long as they have any healer, KO's don't phase them at all), I was resigned to first nerf the build (limiting crits), then veto it entirely when it was still too powerful / unfun to deal with.
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Re: [Combat Items] "What is overshadowed, underpowered, impractical?" - discussions

Post  ZamuelNow on Sun Apr 20, 2014 1:02 am

Aren't most forms of bonus damage considered reactions? If so, they can't be activated while dazed. Still may need tweaking but just noting that.
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Re: [Combat Items] "What is overshadowed, underpowered, impractical?" - discussions

Post  Zarhon on Sun Apr 20, 2014 1:10 am

If the bonus damage comes from a non-ability (e.g. a trait that offers it directly, without an 'ability' to trigger it, like some of the 'challenges' do), then it can re-roll. 'Standard action' and 'minor action' abilities also function, for weapons and such, but you can only use one of any.

The Wild Lightning d12s are, I think, exempt from dazing as well, since the special move itself isn't 'prevented' from daze (it's not classified as attack/utility, exempt from most other rulings to let it happen without silly shenanigans), and explicitly tells you to use an ability (plus, dazing preventing a d12 special move from function in its entirety would be a pretty low-blow to it), which, being a defined ability, functions as it normally does.
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Re: [Combat Items] "What is overshadowed, underpowered, impractical?" - discussions

Post  Xel Unknown on Sun Apr 20, 2014 1:14 am

Yeah... Specials are in the odd combat void of being only defined as a Special... Never has it really been clear cut. In spite of them trying to make it so.

And last I recall Dan's reaction to such a build. "That's really neat that you built that cool build." Or something to that effect.
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Re: [Combat Items] "What is overshadowed, underpowered, impractical?" - discussions

Post  ZamuelNow on Sun Apr 20, 2014 1:18 am

I figured specials would be exempt.

I think the best thing to do with Chain of the Drunken Master would be to limit it to Standard and Minor attacks and maybe be lenient to allow it on save ends. I think that better benefits of the spirit of the rule versus the letter of the rule. You only get one attack but you can double roll it. This also avoids silly Critfisher loopholes and feels more in line with the cost.
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Re: [Combat Items] "What is overshadowed, underpowered, impractical?" - discussions

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Sun Apr 20, 2014 1:22 am

Dan's response to a build that pushes things this far is actually,

"That's way, way, way outside the margin of acceptable optimization. It also slows the game down massively due to all the dire-rolling and resolving various effects and overshadows reasonable player builds. Everything that can be wrong with it is wrong with it and it's our fault for letting it into the system, because we weren't careful about controlling the tools available (for example - reroll effects are development minefields, breaks waiting to happen). The system rework is going to focus much more on limiting combo-potential and using the added space to design more cool things that stand on their own."

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