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TOPIC: Power Creep Discussion

Power Creep Discussion 1 month 1 week ago #13

Brad Mortensen wrote: If you deck out your character like a Christmas tree and one-shot the boss on Nightmare, and then you’re bored, that’s kind of on you.


I very much agree with this idea. My problem with power creep is that TD keeps adjusting the levels (hardcore, nightmare, etc.) for it. This has put my party and me in a strange place where the gap between levels is growing faster than we can. We've been playing for 8 years and have even been buying some extra tokens for the last three years. We were hoping, starting a few years back, that we'd finally be able to play on hardcore. Now, based on the yearly investment we are willing to make, I feel that we will never catch up to hardcore. Our characters get better every year, but we don't feel like we are "leveling up."

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Power Creep Discussion 1 month 1 week ago #14

My thoughts on this are maybe related to what Michelle is getting at. Last year my group had a terrible experience with N2 - Odin's Haven at normal difficulty. Four of us were 5th level and we still ran into a TPK in that stupid giant fight. The 4th level players had the tokens they got plus a another pack from a previous run which did not equip them at all for that run. Perhaps there should be a power increase at the common/uncommon level.

Instead of power creep I guess I am far more concerned about consistent difficulty at normal and hardcore which I have to believe is where almost all players play (does someone have stats on that?). It is also unclear about what stats are need to move up to hardcore difficulty. Right now we have to rely on coaches who may or may not be right.

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Power Creep Discussion 1 month 1 week ago #15

I *hate* the idea of de-equipping tokens to inflate the difficulty. Mostly because, there is a huge spread not only in stats, but in those who have high end tokens as a playership.

Some can equip an entire party with UR+ builds, a ten stack of awakened synergy, and are at the one side of the outlier curve.

Then there are those that have enough high end to play in the deep end (hardcore/nightmare/or even epic) but don’t have a slew of loaner builds available... but they have very much invested into 1-2 builds (for myself, I’m a hardcore+ level cleric, and my wife has a hardcore+ Paladin build). I can spot some people tokens to help play up, but if I play down, either it’s the ‘I get to wait it out or will smite this monster’ or feel equally bad throwing tokens I’ve invested in to the side.

Then there are the many year players that have a ton of reds and an UR here or there.

Finally there are the new players with only starter bags. And honestly, this group matters a lot, because they might not even have an available weapon/armor/shield within that or the other bags at the table.

If you aren’t in that first group, you really can dictate difficultly more because you have the resources available. But outside of that... you have a very expensive (but worth it!) ticket price in which no one wants to end up dead or unable to participate, so it’s hard to convince folks to play up, but it feels like you have to purposefully nerf yourself to play down. As cleric, this is far less egregious (because having a huge heal bonus and focusing on healing means it doesn’t impact the fights as much) but any non heal class would have to make that choice.

I think the endless drive towards strength (and associated physical stats) has been the largest factor in causing this. But everyone - from new players to vets - likes to see their numbers go up.

Personally, I wouldn’t mind a bit of structure to what could be equipped at the far end (outside of Nightmare/epic), but in lieu of that, caps on stats would help the cause.

Likely put no restriction on epic difficulty (it should be hard and all available tricks should be useable), but maybe put out tiered limits based on difficulty. As a consequence, that might help reveal the spread to new players/experienced thinking about playing up so they know what they might want to shoot for, difficulty-wise.
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Power Creep Discussion 1 month 1 week ago #16

Chris Heuer wrote: My thoughts on this are maybe related to what Michelle is getting at. Last year my group had a terrible experience with N2 - Odin's Haven at normal difficulty. Four of us were 5th level and we still ran into a TPK in that stupid giant fight. The 4th level players had the tokens they got plus a another pack from a previous run which did not equip them at all for that run. Perhaps there should be a power increase at the common/uncommon level.

Instead of power creep I guess I am far more concerned about consistent difficulty at normal and hardcore which I have to believe is where almost all players play (does someone have stats on that?). It is also unclear about what stats are need to move up to hardcore difficulty. Right now we have to rely on coaches who may or may not be right.


That giant fight was not picnic on Nightmare for a group that can and has run Epic. We were totally out of healing spells by the end of that room - room 5. No one died, but it was ugly. Now some of that was on us. We held back a lot of damage spells thinking there was no way that both room 6 and 7 would be puzzle rooms. Oh well...
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Power Creep Discussion 1 month 1 week ago #17

In general, I agree that we need some solution to either address power creep or make it less of an issue.

I have some thoughts on this which I will share once I have them straightened out in my head. That being said, are we possibly trying to solve a problem that doesn't exist? Being relatively new to the community, I defer to the many years of experience in this group, but can anyone tell me:

1 - What are the proportions of Normal / Hardcore / Nightmare / Epic runs per con?
2 - What is the typical experience of each run difficulty (in terms of no. runs done)?
3 - What is the typical distribution of tokens per player per difficulty (Rares/UCs/Relics/etc.)?
4 - How many players (of all experience levels) enjoy / do not enjoy their runs?
5 - What are the main reasons for enjoyment / dissatisfaction?
6 - What is the proportion of planned runs vs PUGs?
7 - Is there data backing any of the answers to questions above?

Would it be feasible to have a short "survey" in epilogue for players to complete while they wait for their loot? If TPTB could do that, I believe we would have a much better picture of the health of TD and either prove or disprove some of the perceived issues.

Thoughts?

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Power Creep Discussion 1 month 1 week ago #18

As I read this, it seems like many people (other than Michelle) are more worried about bad actors than the creep per se. Just don’t go all TSA on innocent players: one idiot tries to put a bomb in his shoe, and now I get to share athlete’s foot with every other person in the airport.

You can’t make a-holes into non-a-holes through rules alone. You mess with people who aren’t doing anything wrong, and then they just run off and find new dimensions of a-holery to exhibit.

These issues are exactly why we pretty much stopped doing PUGs. We set up every run on the forums ahead of time, so we know what we’re doing weeks before the run. No squabbling over classes, no unexpected power disparity, and the coaches just pull our builds off the app.

I’d like the problems to be solved as much as anyone. I just honestly feel that a lot of people are on the wrong track. But what do I know?
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Power Creep Discussion 1 month 1 week ago #19

P.S. I think Normal & Hardcore should stay at the same challenge level year-over-year, as should commons through rare. I get that URs etc will creep, it can hardly be avoided, so Nightmare and Epic can grow progressively more challenging. If that means the gap between HC and NM grows a little every year, I guess that’s just how it goes.

Then you could say “no more than one UR until NM,” but if you thought there was angst over level 3+ players not getting the only class they want to play, just imagine some coach telling people to downgrade their build for the newbies.
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Last edit: by Brad Mortensen.

Power Creep Discussion 1 month 1 week ago #20

Brad Mortensen wrote: These issues are exactly why we pretty much stopped doing PUGs. We set up every run on the forums ahead of time, so we know what we’re doing weeks before the run. No squabbling over classes, no unexpected power disparity, and the coaches just pull our builds off the app.


I enjoyed this at Origins this year with BeLinda's guild. But how do you do this at Gen Con? This year I have four people in my group and would love to play on at least Hardcore, but I know once again I will be lumped in to a normal PUG. And my Nightmare cleric and wife's Hardcore rogue (and another Hardcore barbarian) will crush normal. But I'm forced to play there because the tickets are so scarce and I was lucky to even get a run of each module. I had zero chance to buy out a run and didn't want to bank playing on finding a group on the forums to accept four people (with two relatively newbies). I had to pull the trigger on getting tickets and made all our other events slotted around those times.

But yeah, for Origins (the only other con we go to) I will start always trying to get in on complete forum runs.

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Power Creep Discussion 1 month 1 week ago #21

Flik wrote:

Brad Mortensen wrote: These issues are exactly why we pretty much stopped doing PUGs. We set up every run on the forums ahead of time, so we know what we’re doing weeks before the run. No squabbling over classes, no unexpected power disparity, and the coaches just pull our builds off the app.


I enjoyed this at Origins this year with BeLinda's guild. But how do you do this at Gen Con? This year I have four people in my group and would love to play on at least Hardcore, but I know once again I will be lumped in to a normal PUG. And my Nightmare cleric and wife's Hardcore rogue (and another Hardcore barbarian) will crush normal. But I'm forced to play there because the tickets are so scarce and I was lucky to even get a run of each module. I had zero chance to buy out a run and didn't want to bank playing on finding a group on the forums to accept four people (with two relatively newbies). I had to pull the trigger on getting tickets and made all our other events slotted around those times.

But yeah, for Origins (the only other con we go to) I will start always trying to get in on complete forum runs.


Hey - I have extra tickets available for E3 at 10:02a on Friday. We only have 5 people out of the 10 tickets - we’d be happy to have you join us for a harder difficulty run :)

Fred

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Power Creep Discussion 1 month 1 week ago #22

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To not re iterate what others have said, I more or less agree with Brad.

In terms of limiting creep, my prefered method would he stat caps. Put them far enough out so that people dont feel cut off right away (say somewhere in the 30s) the just let people do whatever makes them happy.

I also share Matt's concerns about the token economy bringing more delicate then people give it credit for.

In terms of difficulties, I would say keep normal where it is, make epic as hard as can reasonably be done (or down right unreasonable) then put nightmare and hard core in the middle and an equal distance apart.

Also the giants were an outlier, but IMO they were fun. Back in the bad old days of dragons a lot more rooms felt like that.
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Power Creep Discussion 1 month 1 week ago #23

Picc wrote: To not re iterate what others have said, I more or less agree with Brad.

In terms of limiting creep, my prefered method would he stat caps. Put them far enough out so that people dont feel cut off right away (say somewhere in the 30s) the just let people do whatever makes them happy.

I also share Matt's concerns about the token economy bringing more delicate then people give it credit for.

In terms of difficulties, I would say keep normal where it is, make epic as hard as can reasonably be done (or down right unreasonable) then put nightmare and hard core in the middle and an equal distance apart.

Also the giants were an outlier, but IMO they were fun. Back in the bad old days of dragons a lot more rooms felt like that.


I think Normal is (probably?) the only place I would put stat caps. Let people equip whatever they want, but they get +10 to hit, +10 damage or whatever given the highly likely chance that there are newbs or semi news on the run.

If everyone agrees to hardcore or above, but want to play all legendary items, I think I'm OK with that(?)

As for epic, I want to pull out one of the modules I bought and try designing it to be tough for a party of coordinated, BiS builds. I'll start a thread for it, but probably not any time soon.

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Power Creep Discussion 1 month 1 week ago #24

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I posted this a few days ago about my solution/help to Power Creep. I stand by it...

Ro-gan wrote: Avoiding power creep is always a good thing.

How about in the future Relic and Legendary Tokens be something like this...

Magic-Users: The Relic/Legendaries are familiars. Maybe the Relic just offers a special power like night vision or able to see invisible things/people or never surprised. The Legendary could be a familiar that has damage numbers and the Magic-User gets to slide as a second attack.

Every year or so the new Legendary is a new type of familiar. No power creep here because the Token is spotless and doesn't break the game... it just adds a coolness factor.

Paladin: A War Horse Relic/Legendary Token. The Relic version could just add a unique special ability like trample or never surprised or first strike (Paladin gets to always slide first in combat. The Legendary could be a War Horse that gets to attack and do damage.

Ranger: Same as above. Rangers usually always get an animal companion.

Fighter: Same as above but it's a squire-type Token.

Dwarf Fighter: Same as above. The Relic/Legendary Tokens are either a squire-type or animal companion.

Bard: Same as above. The Relic/Legendaries are an animal companion. Or a Bard Instrument that turns into a mechanical companion. Think Bubu from the original Clash Of The Titans movie.

Monk: Same as above. The Relic/Legendary are "padawans" or whatever low level trainee a Monk takes on to train.

Barabarian: Same as above (see the pattern developing - LOL!!). The Relic/Legendary are an animal companion like a wolf or bear.

Druid: Same as above. Animal companion - duh!

This way for the next few years power creep is avoided and there are some cool arse Tokens being crafted for specific classes their respective years. An attacking familiar/squire doesn't have to be uber-powerful and won't break combat. Same for the Relic version. Getting something minor-ish like free movement/never surprised/special vision/some type of minor immunity/whatever doesn't break the game and frees up a different Token slot that did grant that ability.

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