Second Test Session

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Second Test Session

Post by Archengeia on Wed Dec 11, 2013 2:00 am

I feel like the second session went pretty well.  I have changed and nerfed a few abilities (only a few) but the DPR numbers were spot on and I felt like the damage and healing were pretty good where they were.  Couple things.

First I realized a great way to ask a question I wanted to on vent but couldn't vocalize; was it too easy?  Or was it easy at all?  Feel free to be as detailed as you want from your own unique perspective.

Second per the suggestions of y'all I'm going to implement Reactionaries as a way to emphasize aggro management.  For now the way this works is simple; anything that's a Miniboss or up (Elite or higher in WoW terms), if you pull aggro off of it from whomever had it previous (aka a tank) then that enemy gets an instant Reactionary ability they use on you (the person who pulled aggro).  This will vary wildly, always dependent on the individual enemy, and can only happen once in a round (to ensure that ping ponging doesn't wipe the party).  Now, I like this rule, but I MIGHT eject it in favor of another idea I have no idea how to implement without being paperworky.  MORE paperworky.

See, I do actually like what WoW has done with tanks lately.  Aggro?  Any tank can hold aggro.  Gear to live, with avoidance and armor to absorb damage?  That's baseline, and a tank that relies on just standing there and soaking is a dead tank.  No, now days tanks have to do active mitigation.  Each tank has different things they can do, but in simple terms it boils down to the tank having a different game they're playing.  They're not trying to hold aggro, they're not trying to do damage, they're guiding the fight (positioning and whatnot) and using their various abilities to maintain active mitigation to survive.  Now I like this, but it's easy to implement a mechanic such as, say, Stagger while a computer is doing those calculations near instantly.   Now I wouldn't do anything as insanely complicated as that, but I'm curious what you guys think of the general concept.

Finally, per Javan's suggestion about a fourth the way through that combat I started using macros to simplify a lot of the math which I feel sped things up considerably, it certainly made it easier on me.  I'm curious if you guys noticed at all or not.

And finally any additional thoughts are always welcome.

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Re: Second Test Session

Post by Snarg of Wildpaw on Wed Dec 11, 2013 2:20 pm

First I realized a great way to ask a question I wanted to on vent but couldn't vocalize; was it too easy?  Or was it easy at all?  Feel free to be as detailed as you want from your own unique perspective.
Overall easy. It seemed pretty easy most of the time, but then when some abilities went off, it felt like it suddenly shifted straight over to the harder realm with no in-between. A good example would be the AoE nuke that the boss did. If we didn't have several dailies blown, that probably would have ended the fight right there. If that's how it's supposed to be, then that's okay, it's just that anyone playing should probably be aware that they are required to blow their dailies on bosses or they will die.

Just as an overall thought, I know this is 13th level so there are more abilities, but the turns were really taking a long time to get through. It reminded me a lot of initiative passes, which to me is not a good thing. I think it probably would benefit to try and consolidate some of the math and chance abilities because for some people they were doing 3+ attacks, rolling for multiple procs on each of them, applying multipliers ... and it went on. Some people may like that, but it's kind of "eh" to me. It's one of the reasons I'm not too wild about system like Shadowrun or the old Deadlands system. I think it was best shown when you were not wanting to calculate the damage out and we just "killed" enemies.

To me it seems like it's a bit on the complicated side - especially on the GM. I'm not sure if you're planning on releasing this game system, but in its current state, I'm not really sure if I'd want to GM it and deal with all the math. If I had to do it, I'd probably just make it so that if the tank hasn't been hitting on someone a bit and ignore calculating threat completely. I've already got to break out a calculator to play my character so I can't imagine what it's like doing the other side of things and worrying about threat and all the debuffs that were going on. That is another thing too: there were so many buffs and debuffs going on we would often forget about at least one every round.

I did have a good time playing the buffing character and having my little summons. When I got up in combat my damage wasn't insignificant, although it was a bit of a chug to get there if we started a ways off. With the exception of the few things we talked about, everything seemed like it had a use and I was able to have access to it the majority of the time.
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Re: Second Test Session

Post by Archengeia on Wed Dec 11, 2013 2:27 pm

I'll admit with all abilities unlocked the game is a bit complicated, which is hilarious given how much it's been stripped down from its first iterations (and indeed virtually every standard D&D rule has been literally thrown out the window to even further strip it down).   The only 'solution' I've thought of for that is to remove even MORE abilities universally across the classes and get rid of what I've been mentally referring to as the interesting abilities.  But that... kinda defeats the point, doesn't it?  So I'm rather torn on the issue.

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Re: Second Test Session

Post by Snarg of Wildpaw on Wed Dec 11, 2013 2:47 pm

One thing I believe would help is to bring down the procs, since I noticed that there was a fairly significant amount of time being spent managing chance effects. Could make them charges (per combat) instead of it just being active all the time. Then that class has been given more control over that ability, you can still balance it around the damage they can do with it, and you don't have to roll more dice every time to determine if things happen.

Admittedly it is kind of a problem in standard D&D too - especially with martial classes that get a metric buttload of attacks.

That could just be me though. You kind of know my feelings on RNG effects. I may be in the minority here and that's a portion you shouldn't balance for.
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Re: Second Test Session

Post by Archengeia on Thu Dec 12, 2013 1:29 am

So I'd really like everyone's thoughts on a few potential, large changes.  I am without question implementing at least one of these, but they're not mutually exclusive, so I could do one or two or whatever.

1: Remove all 'math' abilities.  Buffs, passives, procs.  A decent amount of pruning (about 6 per spec, plus a total redux of talents).

2: Remove just procs, which is about 1 per spec and several talents.

3: Simplify the dice rolls by... removing them entirely.  For those unfamiliar with game design, when dealing with damaging or healing dice the purpose of the entire term 'dice rolls' just refers to having a range of damage rather than static.  For an example of this, see any Final Fantasy game ever.  It's quite rare to see a static system (best example: Chrono Trigger) where there's no range.  Ability A does damage A, modified by B, C, and D.  You can 100% predict the result each time because there's no range, no dice roll.  Regardless this would make damage and healing much quicker and easier to calculate (and also make gear more important, interestingly enough) and be easy to convert from the existing numbers (thus maintaining balance).

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Re: Second Test Session

Post by Snarg of Wildpaw on Thu Dec 12, 2013 2:51 am

1: No, at least not right now.

2: Yes.

3: Sounds interesting, although I'm not a super huge fan of removing it entirely. Maybe would be interesting to see how it goes for the playtest though. It may sound a bit contradictory since I've been all up in procs' grill, but having no range of damage may remove too much of the random element and make it more of a math game (crits aside). e.g. if you know for sure you can survive x amount of hits, there's no uncertainty and much less risk. However, I'm very willing to try it out since I can see it being fun too if it makes combat really quick. That may be a good tradeoff, who knows.
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Re: Second Test Session

Post by Rory on Thu Dec 12, 2013 10:04 am

2. I don't really like procs either. I would suggest that the effect could just proc 100% and then not proc against certain higher level/rank/class enemies. I remember seeing that in Dragon Age. Per player discretion, of course. If I wanted to punch a...wolf, we'll say, and had a 100% chance of stunning it because I've got ability Y, I should be able to, as a PC, choose to "pull" that punch if I'd prefer not to stun the wolf.

1. Alternatively, you could make the buff and debuff effects static, kind of like how you suggested in #3.

3. At the same time, an enemy can still crit your PC, so there's that to think about.
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Re: Second Test Session

Post by Gwydo on Thu Dec 12, 2013 2:41 pm

Archengeia wrote:
1: Remove all 'math' abilities.  Buffs, passives, procs.  A decent amount of pruning (about 6 per spec, plus a total redux of talents).
I say we keep this. We're using excel, which does math for us. It'd be simple enough to enter formulas to do the math for you and all you'd have to do is enter the die roll result.

Archengeia wrote:2: Remove just procs, which is about 1 per spec and several talents.
If you're referring to the (example of the Paladin's duplicating ability), I disagree. I personally like the idea of doing the extra damage/healing. That said, as long as there is something interesting to replace it, losing it wouldn't bother me.

Archengeia wrote:
3: Simplify the dice rolls by... removing them entirely.  For those unfamiliar with game design, when dealing with damaging or healing dice the purpose of the entire term 'dice rolls' just refers to having a range of damage rather than static.  For an example of this, see any Final Fantasy game ever.  It's quite rare to see a static system (best example: Chrono Trigger) where there's no range.  Ability A does damage A, modified by B, C, and D.  You can 100% predict the result each time because there's no range, no dice roll.  Regardless this would make damage and healing much quicker and easier to calculate (and also make gear more important, interestingly enough) and be easy to convert from the existing numbers (thus maintaining balance).
Kinda makes #1 redundant... I'm going to just quote Snarg here as I believe he said it best:
Snarg of Wildpaw wrote:
Sounds interesting, although I'm not a super huge fan of removing it entirely. Maybe would be interesting to see how it goes for the playtest though. It may sound a bit contradictory since I've been all up in procs' grill, but having no range of damage may remove too much of the random element and make it more of a math game (crits aside). e.g. if you know for sure you can survive x amount of hits, there's no uncertainty and much less risk. However, I'm very willing to try it out since I can see it being fun too if it makes combat really quick. That may be a good tradeoff, who knows.
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Re: Second Test Session

Post by Essoje on Thu Dec 12, 2013 2:53 pm

1. Leave them

2. You could make procs a free action daily resource that you can use 3 to 5 times before you need to wait for the next day. The procs are not usually all that powerful, but are useful enough that you'd want to use them even when it's not a boss battle.

3. I'm not a fan of doing away with randomness, even if crits still count. The time it takes to do the math could be used to run a dice roll macro, which keeps everything fast. Once you get the macros right, it's damn fast. You guys only remember when I had no macros, but about the middle of the game, I was using macros and it was fast. Then, they failed me... sadface
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Re: Second Test Session

Post by Archengeia on Sun Dec 15, 2013 6:11 pm

Well I've decided to test a revised setup for the classes we'll be testing Tuesday.   I've only edited the classes slotted for testing Tuesday, but here is a new link for the page with the edited abilities and talents.  Please do me a favor and edit your char sheets accordingly.
https://docs.google.com/document/d/15bnowxXkMNdYrX8QfoFoRQguhEvwVJsFXXXAWf7_lC4/edit

For reference the following class/specs were changed:
Javan: Retribution Paladin
Third: Restoration Druid
Gwydo: Elemental Shaman
Kolson: Frost Mage
Rory: Demonologist Warlock
Sis: Beast Hunter

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Re: Second Test Session

Post by Gwydo on Sun Dec 15, 2013 7:32 pm

You took out all the level 6 and 10 talents?
Characters too overpowered or something?
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Re: Second Test Session

Post by Archengeia on Sun Dec 15, 2013 7:33 pm

All the classes listed received a massive pruning and retuning.  Do note that several abilities were changed too, not just having abilities gutted out.

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Re: Second Test Session

Post by Gwydo on Sun Dec 15, 2013 7:55 pm

Here's my updated Shaman
Elemental Shaman
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Re: Second Test Session

Post by Rory on Sun Dec 15, 2013 9:22 pm

Is there a reason why you picked the level 2 and every other 4 pattern as opposed to level 3 and every 3 levels afterward?

When performing the ritual for Grimoire of Sacrifice, does the Warlock need to be thinking of someone specific, or can they just perform it and choose someone to sacrifice later(i.e. the first person they kill)? If they can simply choose a person after-the-fact, does it have to be someone they killed? What qualifies a death caused by the Warlock(or his party members) as a sacrifice for the ritual?

"Fire and Brimstone and "Healthstone" mention Embers. What are they? Where do they come from, or how do I obtain them for use in combat?

Updated: Pandaren Demonologist
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Re: Second Test Session

Post by Archengeia on Sun Dec 15, 2013 9:37 pm

@Rory: 1: The scaling up method.

2: Yes you need to have a specific target in mind for Grimoire of Sacrifice.  To qualify for killing you need to do over half the damage required to kill that target.

3: Okay I have no idea how you managed to do this but you added a Destruction ability to your list.  You also didn't cull your list appropriately.  Carrion Swarm, Healthstone, Metamorphosis, and Demonic Circle no longer exist.

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Re: Second Test Session

Post by Rory on Mon Dec 16, 2013 12:04 am

Ok, I corrected the stuff.
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Re: Second Test Session

Post by Gwydo on Tue Dec 17, 2013 2:22 am

OK Guardian Druid is done. Take a look: Troll Guardian Druid

You'll want to double check the stats and equipment, but the abilities and talents are done.
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Re: Second Test Session

Post by Archengeia on Tue Dec 17, 2013 2:41 am

@Gwydo: To make this easy, just swap your INT mod and whatnot with your STR.  That should boost your tank stats to;
Health: 403
DR: 28

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Re: Second Test Session

Post by Kolson on Tue Dec 17, 2013 4:59 am

Alright, updated my Frost Mage: http://goo.gl/6MSW1l
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Re: Second Test Session

Post by Gwydo on Tue Dec 17, 2013 9:00 am

Archengeia wrote:@Gwydo: To make this easy, just swap your INT mod and whatnot with your STR.  That should boost your tank stats to;
Health: 403
DR: 28

Done. I switched the Str and Int stats and also the Fort and Will saves.
Updated health and DR.

No change to AC, To-Hit, crit bonus or attacks per round?

Editable Druid Sheet Here
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Re: Second Test Session

Post by Archengeia on Tue Dec 17, 2013 2:10 pm

Druid tanks don't get any boosts to AC, so no.  To-hit just change it to 14.  Or nevermind it's editable.

I don't care that much about the other stats (crit is about right too) so otherwise no, no real changes.

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