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TOPIC: Discussion of Class Selection Process

Discussion of Class Selection Process 3 weeks 3 days ago #1

At Origins, for one of the True Horde events that I was running, we had a situation where one group of players was late (but had discussed class selection on the forums) and another group of players was on time (but did not post online) and they were arguing about who should get priority.

I explained that the official policy is that 3rd+ level players have priority over 1st and 2nd level players but beyond that, it's determined by random die roll. And that online signups and order/time of arrival don't have any official status.

(What ended up happening is players pulled ranked as 3rd+ level players, which I think is fine even though Henwy doesn't like it when people do this).

Afterwards, I had a thorough discussion on class selection procedures with several players. For the past several years I've been saying that Jeff really needs to update these. Some ideas that were floated about include:

- Having formal online signups that you do before the event to determine class
- Getting assigned a random class when you buy a ticket (or before the event) and then you can trade classes
- Signing up for a chosen class
- Further stratifying the 3rd+ level players to create more of a hierarchy during class selection
- Having some time cutoff so late players forego their right to class selection
- Having players pay extra to get the class they want
- Allowing duplicate classes

Also, while a common and simplified process if for just the players who have a conflict to roll off and the loser(s) choose from the remaining classes, due to cascading issues, the proper (and more official) procedure is to have everyone roll off and then choose their class one at a time.

Furthermore, we could probably learn from other games that have had to do with player conflict due to class/role selection. I don't play League of Legends, but a friend told me how historically they have changed some of their selection procedures due to tension and arguments among players.

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Discussion of Class Selection Process 3 weeks 3 days ago #2

I’m curious what other coaches think about how routine of a problem this is.

In 10+ years of playing I’ve never seen it get to a die roll or level based priority selection (but that’s only ~30 dungeons probably).

I think it could be very reasonable To have a time based cutoff like:

Everyone who is in the room when the coach arrives is entitled to a class before anyone who arrives later. This can be justified by difficulty in swapping builds/tokens around.

The “you get a random class and then can trade” approach might generate less conflict than the way it’s done today - but if we went that way we should eliminate the player level bonus because “I got lucky and got my favorite class and then a VIP player stole it because he spent a lot of money” is not a narrative we need to create.

In universe I could see GP bidding on classes (winning bids collected by DM) to be feasible as well. I think real money spending to get your class is likely a bad way to go for the P2W/VIP player complaints it would generate.

I could also see some kind of pre-registration being a good thing in that it could drive users to the forums or the Td website - which td might want for its own reasons. If you could come to the td website after ticket sales and register your classes after creating a forum account and getting signed up for the newsletter for instance.

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Discussion of Class Selection Process 3 weeks 3 days ago #3

I don’t care for the pay extra to pick your class. Dungeon runs are kinda pricey and it may turn people away from it all together. And it two people pay extra and want the same class you’re stuck in the same boat.

But, online signups sound good though I wouldn’t personally care for the idea of priority by order of signup.

Rather I would like the idea of a link at each signup that takes you to a forum post for your run so you can chat with other people in your future group to discuss class picks. Also make note on the signup that these players who discuss their class picks on the forum get priority and others will have to choose from the remaining classes. Then you can implement other priorities like 3rd level or whatever else on the forum. But, at least this way all discussion is handled beforehand. Of course that leaves the issue of someone having to monitor these individual dungeon run post discussions. I’m sure Druegar would love that.

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Last edit: by Krym.

Discussion of Class Selection Process 3 weeks 3 days ago #4

On the one hand, all sorts of problems are solved by just letting people play any class they want. I probably run 75% the same tokens no matter what class I play, which is one of the reasons I don't really care that much, anymore.

On the other, there are built-in token reasons to prevent 10x same class, e.g. Cabal (could limit to bonus for five, but it's awkward, probably worse with some other tokens or class ability combinations, like 10x bard with ability to attack).

And, philosophically, diversity is intended to enhance cooperation and has some benefits with not having one build just be strictly better than another build. Also, TD is supposed to be aimed at adults, who should be able to work together, including picking classes.

No paying. That's the airlines' way of treating people like chattel. No signing up or randomizing, which are only going to add to the headaches of who plays what, probably making even more people irritated.

Further stratifying and having late cutoff are less annoying. But, how much of a problem are we actually talking about?

For people who discuss classes online ahead of time but don't have all of the tickets, they should realize that ... they don't have all of the tickets. I know some people build to play certain classes, but I don't find that many who must play a particular class or who find TD miserable because they played something different than desired. There's only so much catering to exceptions that makes any sense. Not everyone will always love every run.

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Discussion of Class Selection Process 3 weeks 3 days ago #5

On regular runs I personally just try and make things work when I get there, pre-arrangements on the forms is best to resolve conflicts and I feel on special runs like Grind and Raid that the prearranged stuff online should take priority over anything else. It’s kind of bad when you have 18 people on the same page generally just for 2 people that didn’t get on the forms to completely change everything.
On normal runs I will not ask someone to give up a class if they beat me to the room and already have that card, even if they are first time players.

I am not against the idea of making player level a tie breaker and only do a dice roll if two players have the same player level.

I don’t like the idea of random classes being assigned, it just feels like it can cause conflicts and some people might even return tickets if the random isn’t there preferred class (not all people would know they could trade)

I do agree the dice roll straight up doesn’t feel like a good solution but for now it’s what we have.

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Discussion of Class Selection Process 3 weeks 3 days ago #6

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I think Matthew was 100% correct that we should figure out if there really is a problem before coming up with solutions to it. My 2 cents.
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Discussion of Class Selection Process 3 weeks 3 days ago #7

If this is the True Horde run I'm thinking about, I'd like to point out that:
1) The players who were late, were late because the event check-in process was not working at the time (TD staff was having connectivity issues and could not complete the registration), and as such could not go in until the issue was resolved.
2) At least one of the persons in the group that arrived earlier was aware of the character selections made on the forum post for that run.

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Discussion of Class Selection Process 3 weeks 3 days ago #8

I'd be OK with getting rid of the 3rd level pick first bonus, I've always thought that might alienate new players.

I definitely don't like the sign on online option, most players don't visit the TD website. Paying a premium for your spot is also a bad idea I think.

I like the idea of allowing duplicate classes, but what happens if all 10 people want to play the same class? And how would that affect the character cards? Popular ones might run out.

I think the first option should still be if the group can work it out among themselves. If that doesn't work, I like the die roll method. I like the cut off time also, as long as it's relayed to all players ahead of time.

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Discussion of Class Selection Process 3 weeks 3 days ago #9

My rule would be: If you want to play the Level-3 card, you must be in the coaching room at or before the time on the ticket. If more than one L3 insists on the same class, roll off. Once the coach has entered a character on the party card, that’s it, the first one there gets to keep it.

So organize ahead of time, or work it out like adults, or have some alternate builds ready to go. With all the apps and whatnot out there, you should be able to create 12 playable (not necessarily optimized) builds, especially since most PUGs are going to be on normal anyway.

I realize this wouldn’t have solved the Horde situation, other than the “plan ahead” part.
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Discussion of Class Selection Process 3 weeks 3 days ago #10

Matthew Hayward wrote: I’m curious what other coaches think about how routine of a problem this is.

In 10+ years of playing I’ve never seen it get to a die roll or level based priority selection (but that’s only ~30 dungeons probably).

I think it could be very reasonable To have a time based cutoff like:

Everyone who is in the room when the coach arrives is entitled to a class before anyone who arrives later. This can be justified by difficulty in swapping builds/tokens around.

The “you get a random class and then can trade” approach might generate less conflict than the way it’s done today - but if we went that way we should eliminate the player level bonus because “I got lucky and got my favorite class and then a VIP player stole it because he spent a lot of money” is not a narrative we need to create.

In universe I could see GP bidding on classes (winning bids collected by DM) to be feasible as well. I think real money spending to get your class is likely a bad way to go for the P2W/VIP player complaints it would generate.

I could also see some kind of pre-registration being a good thing in that it could drive users to the forums or the Td website - which td might want for its own reasons. If you could come to the td website after ticket sales and register your classes after creating a forum account and getting signed up for the newsletter for instance.


At gencon it's pretty common when I coached like at least once a day for me.

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Discussion of Class Selection Process 3 weeks 3 days ago #11

I don't know. I play a lot and only once has it ever been an issue. And then there were extenuating circumstances that none of the suggested solutions was going to resolve.

I'm fine with eliminating the 3rd level player priority. Generally, I either sign up on the forum, but unless all 10 agreed on the forum prior to the run I never assume that its a done deal. Beyond that, usually whoever shows up first to the room picks first. If someone shows up later and requests a particular class that's already been taken, the two parties have always worked it out without a die roll or without an argument (except the one time, but again...extenuating circumstances).

In my case, I will almost always relinquish my class to anyone else who really wants it. In general, I'm against anything that will add complications or cost to the process. I'm sure the situation does arise, but is it really that often?

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Discussion of Class Selection Process 3 weeks 3 days ago #12

I am all for allowing individuals to have choices and to build as imbalanced of a party as they wish. Let people play duplicates of any classes. I see no issues with 2, 3 or more of the same class.

Change the class name on the party card to a blank which is filled out by the trainer. Let people play the classes that they want to. If a party is completely imbalanced and has issues due to their choices, it was the players choice to create that party. Coaching would be a little more difficult due to having to likely reference a separate sheet with the default stats but it seems easy enough to handle. Their might also need to be a blank to allow nicknames so the DM's have some way to refer to players other then Barbarian number X.

Allowing players to build their party how they wish is a core component of D&D. Just make sure the stacking rules prevent crazy parties, for instance a party can run 10 bards, but only gets the bonus of one song at a time.

I have never actually seen a roll off, and do not feel like the rules NEED changed. I just prefer letting the players pick their fate, and people should be allowed to play what they want.

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Last edit: by Kenban.
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