Controversy in Pony Tales!

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Controversy in Pony Tales!

Post  Hayatecooper on Wed Sep 11, 2013 11:25 pm

Here's a good place to post Controversial(Or not universally uttered/believed) opinions about the game. Not no back up is needed, though feel free to argue as desired. And no, in this thread no one needs to be nice so if you post here and get butt hurt it's your own fault. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

For example.
I think GE, while fun, is overpowered and broken and that PT is really at the moment a broken mess(So many exploits, No real races thanks to GE, more stuff being added when core stuff hasn't yet been finalized(Combat mostly), though fun in it's own little way.

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Re: Controversy in Pony Tales!

Post  LoganAura on Wed Sep 11, 2013 11:42 pm

Hayatecooper wrote: And no, in this thread no one needs to be nice so if you post here and get butt hurt it's your own fault.
Yeah-no, sorry Hayate. Same rules apply to this thread as any other one in the forums. You want to argue about something, be civil about it. everywhere on the forum is under the rules.

Now your comments:

Gather energy delays your standard action a round for a PiP. Not too sure how this is broken, since it's basically "Gain a pip" at least until Wild Lightning is introduced, but then again crits are broken anyways and are being reworked sometime.

This system is still in open alpha. Things will be added and changed and tweaked and fixed.

If you're not fond of genetic engineering, there are races given in the documents for things, and if you can deny the use of any of the supplements if you want. That's why they're supplements.

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Re: Controversy in Pony Tales!

Post  ZamuelNow on Wed Sep 11, 2013 11:50 pm

Hayatecooper wrote:And no, in this thread no one needs to be nice
I disagree but that comes from the feeling that you can disagree with people and make a point yet still be civil.

I think GE, while fun, is overpowered and broken and that PT is really at the moment a broken mess(So many exploits, No real races thanks to GE, more stuff being added when core stuff hasn't yet been finalized(Combat mostly), though fun in it's own little way.
I kinda agree. It feels like GE is used to just min-max a build rather than build a race. In theory it should be balanced enough for open use but you notice numeric buffs tend to be often taken. There does seem to be things missing from the system but I don't know what can be done about it due to staff size and differences in opinion.

Focused Evolution was an okay idea but horribly implemented. It's blatant min-maxing with easy mode loopholes to get around its drawbacks rather than a genuine choice and tradeoff a player has to make about whether they think its worth it.
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Re: Controversy in Pony Tales!

Post  Hayatecooper on Thu Sep 12, 2013 12:04 am

LoganAura wrote:
Hayatecooper wrote: And no, in this thread no one needs to be nice so if you post here and get butt hurt it's your own fault.
Yeah-no, sorry Hayate. Same rules apply to this thread as any other one in the forums. You want to argue about something, be civil about it. everywhere on the forum is under the rules.

Now your comments:

Gather energy delays your standard action a round for a PiP. Not too sure how this is broken, since it's basically "Gain a pip" at least until Wild Lightning is introduced, but then again crits are broken anyways and are being reworked sometime.

This system is still in open alpha. Things will be added and changed and tweaked and fixed.

If you're not fond of genetic engineering, there are races given in the documents for things, and if you can deny the use of any of the supplements if you want. That's why they're supplements.
Oops
My bad
When I say GE I meant Genetic Engineering, not Gather Energy. Used to talking about it on skype, forgot to preface it here. my bad.


Also
Curious about your definition of Alpha, I was taught that Alpha was essentially a "Studio only" build. Used basically to fix all the crashes, stupidly broken things(Characters not showing up, bears flying etc) and tweak it untill it's playable

From Alpha you go into Beta, beta being where you have a build that while not 100% functional, is playable a majority of the time(Which pony tales is I have to say. It certainly doesn't have any real playability issues). Closed beta usally comes first, where you test the system in a controlled enviroment and then Open Beta(What Ponytales is currently in now)

So yeah, curious. When you say Alpha do you mean Beta or is everyone on the forum part of the "Studio" so to speak?
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Re: Controversy in Pony Tales!

Post  ZamuelNow on Thu Sep 12, 2013 12:26 am

Yeah, I was pretty sure it was beta. Despite quirks, it's quite playable and enjoyable.
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Re: Controversy in Pony Tales!

Post  LoganAura on Thu Sep 12, 2013 12:47 am

Thing is that the reason that it's Alpha? There's still things being added to the system, like complete thing revamps.

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Re: Controversy in Pony Tales!

Post  Hayatecooper on Thu Sep 12, 2013 12:50 am

So.. it's more like everyone the forums is a studio employee. Got it.
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Re: Controversy in Pony Tales!

Post  LoganAura on Thu Sep 12, 2013 2:25 am

This is just my understanding mind you. Not too sure on the term, and last I heard it being called an alpha was months back.

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Re: Controversy in Pony Tales!

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Thu Sep 12, 2013 2:26 am

Exactly. Things are still being added and the system isn't complete. That makes it alpha. We're just opening it to everyone for feedback and suggestions throughout the process. I'd love to hear any specific exploits that you're talking about, so they can be addressed. However, when things *do* get added to the system and are tested for balance and such - those parts are in beta. So the system is in an alpha build, but various aspects of it are playable and testable - making those parts in beta. Game development language is kind of confusing, especially in a waterfall production model making use of crowdsourcing... But now we're getting into operations management and that is I'm sure nothing any sane person is interested in.

You've already given one element. I definitely feel that a lot of people abuse Genetic Engineering. However...

Spoiler:
It's made pretty clear that it's only to be used with DM approval in order to create custom races or alternate versions of existing races that fit better with a personal take on the setting. The ideal example is the use of the Personal Project racial for a gnomish race (non-pony version). Some people didn't want to have such a risky racial trait but still wanted to play a gnome for a roleplaying concept.

Also, we used to get endless requests and submissions for races like Bat-Pony and similar. Races are extraordinarily time-consuming to design because they need to work for everyone... Without genetic engineering options. Just check how much discussion went into the racial revamp moving it to an 8 point base.

Not only that, one of the main attractions of the core system is that it works in just about any setting. People have used it for star wars, classic D&D setting, dresden files, ponies (of course) and more. We can't make races like Madalorians or Winter Fae or... Lots of other options.

In short, people need a balanced system to make races. Whether they use that system for good (supporting original races or tweaking existing ones for setting/flavor reasons) or evil (arbitrarily using racial abilities as nothing more than extra utility talents without any regard to flavor) is really up to what the DM allows. We specifically say that building your own race needs to be cleared with the DM.

However, that system shouldn't lead to building 'overpowered' races - which is sort of the whole point in having a system to begin with. If there's any specific examples you can think of - let us know.

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Re: Controversy in Pony Tales!

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Thu Sep 12, 2013 3:22 am

Quick question though. Why would any of those examples be controversial enough to require a special thread? I mean, we *want* people to point out places we're slipping up in all places of the game. We either...

1) Get valuable ideas and find our intention drawn to important issues that will make the system better when they're fixed or...
2) Get an argument that makes us explain why we think it's not an issue and therefore get a better understanding of the game.

Either one leads to a great advantage for the system, so long as it's discusses civilly. =)

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Re: Controversy in Pony Tales!

Post  Hayatecooper on Thu Sep 12, 2013 4:08 am

Mostly? I get bored and wanted to see what would happen.
Also, somewhere people can have long lengthy discussion without cluttering up official spaces would be nice? Maybe? I don't know, mostly I get bored.
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Re: Controversy in Pony Tales!

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Thu Sep 12, 2013 4:10 am

Gotcha. Well, either way - if you'd list the specific exploits that you think are issues, it'd be great to address them.

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Re: Controversy in Pony Tales!

Post  A1C Bronymous on Thu Sep 12, 2013 8:19 pm

Stairc -Dan Felder wrote:It's made pretty clear that it's only to be used with DM approval in order to create custom races or alternate versions of existing races that fit better with a personal take on the setting. The ideal example is the use of the Personal Project racial for a gnomish race (non-pony version). Some people didn't want to have such a risky racial trait but still wanted to play a gnome for a roleplaying concept.
I have seen this done precisely ZERO times, though. The only ones whop use it for that purpose are DMs brainstorming for potential campaigns (Like my Elder Scrolls races), or people just submitting new official race ideas (like Zamuel's crystal ponies). In practice, players only ever use them to make unique specimens- which means it obviously isn't super clear that that is incorrect, either to the players, or teh DMs who should be vetoing it when they don't want it.

As for exploitables, I have an Earth Pony (yes, hypocrisy incoming- I'm not proud, but it was... let's go with necessary) who, at game start, could breathe underwater and didn't take fall damage. Not bad- doesn't make sense, but it had good flavor to make up for it. Then Highborn and pick of the litter came out. Swapped out some generally useless UTs for those, and took all of the Xborns (except spider), so that he's now immune to fire, frost, lightning, and acid. He is nigh unkillable outside of combat (as well as in combat- unrelated), and I could swap one of those 1 pointers for Focused evolution, and use that to take that same 1 pointer back, AND 9 lives. So basically, a " Regular Earth Pony" who is all but indestructible, and if he is killed, he gets to come back an hour later.

Such a build is a bane to DM's who like to throw the occasional deathtrap and let the players try and solve their way out of it, because I can just... not care. Also good defense against killer DMs.
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Re: Controversy in Pony Tales!

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Thu Sep 12, 2013 8:23 pm

Can't go over the specific exploit right now (have to run out the door) but I have seen people tweak the races due to racial stuff they didn't like or didn't fit. That gnome problem was one of the reasons we wanted to make GE in the first place. There's a lot of text that says "check for DM approval" and explains the intent of the expansion to create new races or tweak existing ones for flavor-based reasons that actually make sense. If people aren't doing it that way, it actually *is* the DM's fault.

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Re: Controversy in Pony Tales!

Post  Hayatecooper on Thu Sep 12, 2013 8:40 pm

True
But when people are like
"Can we take this, here is all this amazing flavour"
And DM's are like fine
And then someone figures out three sessions later how to break it
Is it really the DMs fault?
Especially if the DM is new(I was and DM'd Brony's game with that character and several others)
And it didn't LOOK so bad on paper.. just when it got put into practice.
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Re: Controversy in Pony Tales!

Post  Xel Unknown on Thu Sep 12, 2013 8:43 pm

While I am majorlly one to only build with flavor in mind... Yeah... I mostly just see Racials at this point just a second Utility System... >.>
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Re: Controversy in Pony Tales!

Post  ZamuelNow on Thu Sep 12, 2013 8:49 pm

I feel there's a bit of "everyone's doing it" to GE structure. I found it weird when I started out since I sorta like the current AoH races but it seems like alterations are standard for many. One of the interesting problems is the dissonance of different expectations. For instance, designing a trap/puzzle with multiple ways out but you focus on weather only to find none of the pegasi took it. Something that's actually not broken but has differing views.

Bronymous wrote:and I could swap one of those 1 pointers for Focused evolution, and use that to take that same 1 pointer back
Focused Evolution is just so... Trying to think of a way that involves constructive criticism than just ranting but I hate the current structure of the thing. It's oddly contrasted by how much I like Highborn and Pick of the Litter.
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Re: Controversy in Pony Tales!

Post  A1C Bronymous on Thu Sep 12, 2013 9:09 pm

You could call it dumb and overtly minmaxy, like I do. I haven't actually done that with this build, mostly because I really dislike that kind of stuff (and partially because I just took over as DM, so he's now a DMPC, and will be less and less important over the following sessions).
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Re: Controversy in Pony Tales!

Post  Hayatecooper on Thu Sep 12, 2013 9:57 pm

You should post your build, and go through it in detail.
I'm kinda curious to see others reactions to it.
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Re: Controversy in Pony Tales!

Post  Xel Unknown on Thu Sep 12, 2013 10:13 pm

I will point out that while I do feel that Racials are kinda another Utility Pool, I equally don't see that as a bad thing... Helps to personalize one's character. Also I would totally go apeshit if you dare think of removing the GE add-on just because of my viewpoint on things. If anything this topic just says that we need to get a better handle of the "GM Guidebook" thing.... I know that's been something that's been on the backburner for WAY TO LONG to get impovements.
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Re: Controversy in Pony Tales!

Post  Zarhon on Thu Sep 12, 2013 10:22 pm

Yeah, as far as character building goes, RP-wise, GE generally allows for a lot more flavor than the utilities can, and is in some cases required to make a character as envisioned (or not be clunky as hell). Most of them are passive abilities, and as such are easily applicable as "part of who you are", unlike utilities, which due to many of them being of the x/day variety, rely on the frequency of their usage to be attributable to a character.

This is particularly blatant with the races with racials that are purely mechanical and have little to no in-character flavor to apply to them - for instance, Zebras and their tribal gossip (sacrificing almost every racial to "rhyme" for a benefit), or Earth Ponies and their "crits on a 19" racial - they work from a game standpoint, but for an in-game,  RP standpoint they just make you an "average joe", you aren't really unique or special. How do you compete with a creature that can transform itself, or breathe fire, or fly at the speed of sound?

The same applies to minor, but reasonable alterations to existing races - pegasi who can't fly (or are poor flyers), unicorns without magic, bookworm earth ponies, weather-crafter griffons, griffons that don't yell at things, etc... The racials are pretty diverse and can define what your character is about (just look at dragons and fireborn), or set them apart from the rest of their "kin".

I mean, if you look at it from a pro/con perspective:

Pros of GE:
- A lot of cool, interesting abilities that the legacy/"canon" races simply don't have, and are unobtainable outside of getting more racial points.
- Allows for a lot more utility/practicality of one's character, especially when combined with a number of utilities. It's a lot more fun to play a character whos abilities fit what you envision AND don't gimp them in the process, mechanics-wise.
- Allows for more variety and flavor in what your character is like, without relying purely on utilities, or waiting until you get your destiny features.
- Allows for modifications of existing races, avoiding redundancy if everyone has similar pony types, or to make the "bland" races a little bit more exciting / non-passive, or to have an interesting backstory (earth pony raised by diamond dogs?).
- Can be used to indirectly justify combat abilities (for instance, fireborn for fire-based abilities)

Cons of GE:
- Min/maxing allows for some broken, alicorn-like characters. This is DM-preventible, however.
- Hard to justify some racials when they don't make sense for the "base" creature (the highborn/pick of the litter utility make this troublesome as well, for instance when your earth pony can suddenly fly).
- Some racials are purely for mechanics manipulation and have little to do with flavor or RP.
- Divergence from the show (irrelevant for LL or "special" pony settings).
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Re: Controversy in Pony Tales!

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Thu Sep 12, 2013 10:34 pm

We can't get rid of genetic engineering - it makes too much sense to have it.

However, we can change the phrasing perhaps to make it even MORE clear that it's not supposed to be just an extra utility pool.

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Re: Controversy in Pony Tales!

Post  Hayatecooper on Thu Sep 12, 2013 10:39 pm

Maybe take out Specialist and overachiever?
I mean.. those are pretty much exclusively built for Min-maxing and are one of the reasons why Magecraft is so exploitable(I mean base 18 isn't that much better then base 20.. but still)
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Re: Controversy in Pony Tales!

Post  Pingcode on Thu Sep 12, 2013 10:41 pm

Genetic engineering is a lost cause - there's too much utility design tied up in Genetic Engineering now. Perhaps better might be to merge a lot of it into Utilities and have Utilities be point costed rather than talent costed.

Then build a new racial system, designed to provide the baseline for actual races rather than nobody ever using the races as written because they want their pony to be extra fit or what have you.
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Re: Controversy in Pony Tales!

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Thu Sep 12, 2013 10:43 pm

I don't even understand that post Pingcode. Like, I literally don't understand what you're saying.

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