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EE 14

Gross
I believe that ammo / ranged vs melee must be balanced for PVP first and foremost - we can work around most things in PVE even if annoying like the longbow nerf, and colleagues are always happy to have one or two non optimal extras in group as they do still contribute, whereas if we are ever to have lots of players running around the map PVP balance will be decisive to the user experience.

This is despite being a ranged PVE specialist who has done very little PVP and on the evidence is not particularly good at it smile..
Mercenary monster hunter from Forgeholm
War priest of Angradd… patiently waiting on Goblinworks to deliver him (and greataxes, Dwarves need 2 handed axes).
Edam
I am also not convinced a tanking heavy armor fighter build is impossible.
  • Unbreakable 13 + T2 resistance tokens gets your energy resistance up to +17 for a very long time
  • The -20 to reflex sort of sux bigtime but you could offset that by +10 just by playing an elf and getting a speed buff.
  • What you DO lack is a reliable way of self healing and keeping regen up. It may be necessary to cross train some channel positive, carry bloodblocks or possibly carry a focus for top up healing.
Decius
It's easy anymore to keep Regenerating up, except versus things that dispel it, which does the bulk of the healing work. Adding in Tenacious gets you a fair bit more.

The reason that tanking is hard is that there's only a little bit of constant Resistance, and as a percentage of opponent's base damage the magnitude of mitigation goes down fast.

When more variation in Resistance comes into play, 'tank' still won't be a thing, but there will be a round-robin where different builds have longer 'time to die, unaided' against different sources of damage.
Duffy Swiftshadow
Edam
I am also not convinced a tanking heavy armor fighter build is impossible.
  • Unbreakable 13 + T2 resistance tokens gets your energy resistance up to +17 for a very long time
  • The -20 to reflex sort of sux bigtime but you could offset that by +10 just by playing an elf and getting a speed buff.
  • What you DO lack is a reliable way of self healing and keeping regen up. It may be necessary to cross train some channel positive, carry bloodblocks or possibly carry a focus for top up healing.

Its not that it's impossible, it's just noticeable sub par. Unbreakable with a medium armor (losing 1 minor keyword) is superior to tanking with Heavy armor and full matches imo (at least til you max out Unbreakable and get the Medium keyword). Ultimately the dynamic is really that kiting and occasionally healing with the stronger heals are the primary way to overcome large amounts of mob damage, not tanking abilities or builds. Sure there's two real good sustain options for one or two mob tanking (of your appropriate level) that lets someone go toe to toe. The new aggro system makes this even easier since aggro is far easier to control, before it was hard to peel aggro so whoever had the aggro had to deal with it while the rest focus fired down targets. Lack of any real sustainable tanking abilities for an Unbreakable build fighter means they need to dabble into Cleric to really tank. My Iomadae/Unbreakable 1h Holy Sword/Focus Cleric is pretty damn tanky with healing to boot, but he's a hybrid character that takes twice as long (XP and grind wise) to level due to the conflicting gates just to make it feel plausible for an armored character to really tank one or two ideal mobs.

Edit: Part of the problem could be that a lot of the crowd control abilities and interrupts don't really function well (or at all) on mobs which makes it harder to offset incoming damage with those sort of aspects.
Flari-Merchant
Bob,

What can you tell us about Player Housing? Do you have ideas nailed down as to what features will make it attractive for us to buy into it?
"I buy Azoth for 5sp/ea. I will trade Enchanting or other rare materials/anything for Azoth. Contact me if interested. GET YOUR COIN EASY!"
uotopia@msn.com
Bob
Bringslite-Dominion Soldier
What can you tell us about Player Housing? Do you have ideas nailed down as to what features will make it attractive for us to buy into it?

We're planning to meet about this today or tomorrow, hopefully I'll have something to pass along soon.
Bob
Edam
Bob
Cantrips do get split in half at T3, and I believe your suspicion that not matching the T3 keyword would leave your attack as T2 is correct. However, there are a lot of cantrips available for both wand and staff, and wizards should have a fair number of options available for either weapon when compared to the choices for other weapons.

That is not right. The T3 advanced keyword at level 6 of an attack on staffs and wands is intelligent which you get on every T3 staff/wand regardless of staff/wand type.

A feat trained to level 6 will always be a T3 attack on a T3 staff/wand regardless of staff/wand type or level.

That said, their are serious issues with the choices available to wizards. The quickening staff for example only has 4 cantrips available, 3 secondary and just one primary.

Charged and Somatic Staves/Wands add Extraplanar instead of Intelligent for T3, and roughly half of the cantrips add Extraplanar at rank 6 to match.

And yes, there probably do need to be some more cantrips added, or some other changes made to the system, to flesh out certain staves or wands. You do at least get the option of using some not-quite-matching cantrips, though admittedly at the cost of missing out on 1-2 minor keywords. Still, you can match the major keywords and get the most important bonuses, and you may want to learn some extra attacks anyway so that you can select a different staff/wand depending on the main things you're going up against during any particular session.
Bob
Duffy Swiftshadow
Are you assuming people will run out of ammo and therefore lose their inherent ranged advantage in a particular encounter or fight? If you aren't, then how is having ranged damage and melee damage be similar ever balanced against the inherent advantage of range? Especially with most cases of rooting going away. If you are assuming they will regularly run out of ammo, then are you assuming that all ranged characters will also have to be proficient in a melee weapon but not necessarily melee characters (in reality many melee usually have a bow or focus secondary right now anyways)?

When using ammunition as a balancing factor, you have to consider both its effects on individual battles (the ability to use expensive ammo to gain an advantage, the need to reload occasionally, the possibility of running out of ammunition) and its effects on an ammunition-using character (and her company/settlement/alliance) over time (the need to acquire ammunition, the decreased probability of adventuring, the effort spent on acquiring ammunition that could have been spent elsewhere). It's quite possible that a company will sometimes have to choose between better ammunition and better support, which could in turn affect future battles.

In terms of individual battles, no, I don't expect players to regularly run out of ammunition if they really don't want to. Stock a bunch of ammo at a smallholding and refill regularly so that you can constantly use the best stuff if that's the way you like to play. However, I ultimately expect that players will be more effective in the long term if they use their ammo judiciously, and if they have non-ammo-using attacks to fall back on when high-powered ranged attacks are both expensive and basically overkill. Ideally, there will be times when the best ammunition will be worth any price (like for fending off a critical attack on your territory) and times when it's not worth wasting (like when you just need to clear out some goblins. An ammunition user who properly balances all that earns the right to bring some of her economic power to bear on the battlefield.

And, of course, others can always invest in consumables to get some of the same advantages, just not as consistently.
Bob
After looking into it further, I'm trying something different out on the Chill Touch/Devourer's Caress combo. Instead of a cooldown on Devourer's Caress, I'm going to try having Chill Touch only have a 50% chance of applying Drained. That makes it a lot less predictable, so it's more likely that you'll have to adjust your strategy depending on how things go. In exchange, Chill Touch gets to apply a bit more Drained when it does work, and will always do a bit more damage.

However, taking the cooldown off on Devourer's Caress means it gets a bit less Cure and deals a bit less Exhausted. That reduction alone would just limit the usefulness of the combo to slightly less tough mobs, but with the added randomness on applying Drained, the combo should be unpredictable enough to be interesting, while still remaining reasonably effective when it works. I'm also less worried about being able to spam a secondary attack when the condition it depends on isn't so dependable.
Duffy Swiftshadow
Bob
Duffy Swiftshadow
Are you assuming people will run out of ammo and therefore lose their inherent ranged advantage in a particular encounter or fight? If you aren't, then how is having ranged damage and melee damage be similar ever balanced against the inherent advantage of range? Especially with most cases of rooting going away. If you are assuming they will regularly run out of ammo, then are you assuming that all ranged characters will also have to be proficient in a melee weapon but not necessarily melee characters (in reality many melee usually have a bow or focus secondary right now anyways)?

When using ammunition as a balancing factor, you have to consider both its effects on individual battles (the ability to use expensive ammo to gain an advantage, the need to reload occasionally, the possibility of running out of ammunition) and its effects on an ammunition-using character (and her company/settlement/alliance) over time (the need to acquire ammunition, the decreased probability of adventuring, the effort spent on acquiring ammunition that could have been spent elsewhere). It's quite possible that a company will sometimes have to choose between better ammunition and better support, which could in turn affect future battles.

In terms of individual battles, no, I don't expect players to regularly run out of ammunition if they really don't want to. Stock a bunch of ammo at a smallholding and refill regularly so that you can constantly use the best stuff if that's the way you like to play. However, I ultimately expect that players will be more effective in the long term if they use their ammo judiciously, and if they have non-ammo-using attacks to fall back on when high-powered ranged attacks are both expensive and basically overkill. Ideally, there will be times when the best ammunition will be worth any price (like for fending off a critical attack on your territory) and times when it's not worth wasting (like when you just need to clear out some goblins. An ammunition user who properly balances all that earns the right to bring some of her economic power to bear on the battlefield.

And, of course, others can always invest in consumables to get some of the same advantages, just not as consistently.

Thanks, I guess what I'm slowly hinting at is that economic power will always make or break a war, but it will rarely matter in a particular battle. And for any incidental conflict, it will never matter at all. I also personally feel that trying to balance around the economy is a flawed premise when the coin in the economy and the economy itself isn't directly controlled. Which basically boils down to ammo costs rarely mattering in a particular fight that actually matters. By the time the cost of ammo matters you've probably already reached "losing" conditions (economically if not territory wise) and it's just a matter of time. To me the balance matters way more in the moment of conflict than in the theoretical logistics war surrounding the conflict.

What I keep coming back to in my head is the pre-ranged nerf days: if ammo isn't actually a real inhibitor beyond adding another thing to gear costs, then what we're really saying is that the movement and reload mechanics are the only thing that was needed to balance the old advantages of range. So if we're looking at ranged attacks with average or better ammo being comparable or better than back in the pre-nerf days why won't it be just as unbalanced since the "cost" is an abstract component that really doesn't impact moments in the field? I'm having a hard time solving that part unless we assume ammo will be scarce or a precious resource regularly while out in the field.
 
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