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TOPIC: Build Diversity

Build Diversity 1 month 3 weeks ago #121

Fiddy wrote:

Fred K wrote: It's fun being able to do a variety of things without a huge drop in the primary element a group counts on from your character. That really gets promoted by capping damage output or capping stats.


I'm not sure stat capping is as necessary as making sure the alternative options are viable. Or even ensuring that every class has more than 1 viable option on what to do. Wizards and Druids have multiple things they could choose to do each round (cast attack spell, cast non-attack spell, polymorph attack, melee attack, ranged attack, wand, scroll) Other classes have much less option on what to do (Fighters, Barbarians, Monk - either attack melee or attack ranged)

Stat capping is a bit heavy handed, I agree. It is also true this problem impacts fighter types as well. Druids and bards have the most diversity right now then elf wizard and paladin. After that, it is what flavor of melee or ranged combatant do you want to be. That allows for some variety such as a dwarf fighter fishing for big crits versus a retribution build dwarf fighter.

Fred K wrote: Clerics are probably the biggest victims of this since it takes a lot of gear in specific slots to max out healing capacity. It's hard to make a cleric that is good in melee, can be a good front line combatant, and really optimizes healing.


Yes, and no. Clerics have a lot to shift around to be strongest at a particular aspect, but if you're willing to give up a couple points of healing, it isn't so bad. I put together a Cleric build that is +22 healing while being +19 on ranged to-hit. Biggest trade-offs wound up being AC and HP.


I’ve found that having a nightmare/epic capable cleric is exceedingly difficult unless it is just healing or AC focused. Big damage bonuses aren’t common for the cleric without giving up a lot of healing. If you give up the healing, nightmare or harder parties are really going to notice that since you are the primary healer. You can get +20 to hit but your damage will probably be 20-30 without giving up more than 3 or 4 points of healing.
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Build Diversity 1 month 3 weeks ago #122

Harlax wrote:

Jamie Campbell wrote: Just thinking about diversity and how to make a subtle change that gives a chance to tinker with the “settings”

Add a slot—-race
Every race token is “consumable” of “expires current year” so that bad ideas eventually go away
The race token provides min-max to key attributes as well as a “special power”
E.g. to borrow from dwarf fighter, special power is taunt, but DEX max is say 14
E.g. or a troll can have a “two handed weapon” and a shield but max will save is 3...
E.g. or halfling never takes puzzle room damage and has “monk improved evasion” but cannot carry larger than 5-10 damage wheel weapon
E.g goblin as an evil race, cannot use sacred etc, but gets spells blah
Anyway with some of these races, you could have C/U/R of the race and create various min/max to special power combos

The idea is that with a race slot, diversity doesn’t become a massive wholesale change to the game design


Every dwarf who made Thor’s Hammer will be hunting you down as well.


Hahaha! Yeah bad example. Concept needs tweaked but it’s a way to deal with diversity without changing too much
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Build Diversity 1 month 3 weeks ago #123

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Fiddy wrote: I'll toss out a crazy idea for build diversity that I don't think has been mentioned yet (apologies if I missed it).

Pick 2 slots for 2022. Make 8/9 URs, 4 Relics, and 2 Legendary for both slots. Spend the time to make sure each are interesting options, aimed at different viable build styles. Repeat for the next ~10 years, picking different slots each time, avoiding the Neck slot till the end.

Why didn't I suggest 10 URs per slot? We need room for Arcanum pieces, the planned-for TEs, and likely other special cases as well.


I like the idea, and have suggested similar elsewhere. But the issue generally is considered to be that we don't want to force new players into the secondary market. If someone new decides that they want to go in heavy, we want them to be able to fill a reasonable number of slots with PyPs They probably won't be able to get everything filled without waiting or going secondary, but if they can get over half, that's better.

The secondary issue is that it might hurt sales. Next year I need 12 purples to upgrade my builds (and my wallet bleeds). But if every year it was at about two (maybe more if they were multi-slot tokens), then some of us mid-range buyers might not get as much.
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Build Diversity 1 month 3 weeks ago #124

Hawk Fingle wrote: If you wanted to see immediate build diversity, then change the rules to say that only tokens released within the last three years are allowed to be equipped, including legendaries. Sort of like how Magic has Standard format. In fact, just flat out have three dungeons that are "Standard" format, where only tokens released within the past three years are allowed to be equipped. Run those dungeons at any/all cons.


I'm coming back to the game after many, many years. If my URs were obsolete now, I would have never entertained coming back at all. There would have to be a meaningful use of the tokens I spent money getting back then. Maybe some transmute-based solution?

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Build Diversity 1 month 2 weeks ago #125

I have been thinking about the problem and ultimately I feel like Build diversity will not be natural until the reason for having build diversity becomes natural. Right now, the focus is slide battles and maximizing efficiency of slides vs all other options in those 12 minutes. That common goal against every single class creates 12 distinct build diversities (one per class) with maybe some mixture of role within class of strange adaptations are made...

So back to natural reasons...the realm of behavior is always to exploit to most effective choice given parameters.

Perhaps the room designs is what needs to change...

A room with dual monsters is clever but similar

A room where the goal is such that the monster can only be hit by RD because it is only weak when IT attacks

A room where the fight is to protect the sage from dying

A room you cannot kill the monster but can “nullify” their effect

A room where rogue box is key to death of monster

I guess there is plenty of material (a la gloomhaven) and all D&D Adventures

The point I am saying here is change the environment for which the classes operate and all the diversity will come....

I have another idea along these lines as well...
For the Thursday and Friday runs...3 sets of tokens are in the boxes multiplied by the number of dungeons at that con...

So for example we just had GHC
E2 and E3
Then common uncommon and special

All three (common uncommon and special) app have different monsters and different solutions to the same puzzle(change the riddles)

Then it’s the token draw that gets you to those three events per dungeon...

This creates an immediately consumable treasure item
This creates a flurry of play in the early days of the con
It forces a design diversity
—-imagine a run commons only
—-now uncommons only
—-special is basically epic++

With the first two run types, all are included because they didn’t need to buy their way to the huge loot
The third special is for the biggest baddest and not available any way except to play and try and find one. If a newb found one ...suddenly he holds a value to an ultra rare or even more depending on who wanted it
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Build Diversity 1 month 2 weeks ago #126

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you can have build diversity without changing room design. If there are equal paths to being able to damage the monster you would have diversity that Raven first spoke about. Redesigning rooms has to be done with care because we cannot assume any group has or doesn’t have certain tokens.

Honesty I don’t that it matters if everyone at the tops level has the same tokens. Maybe it does but I don’t know how it harms the game. Currently there are only so many tokens at that highest level so diversity is going to be difficult. Is diversity going to sell more tokens? Dunno, I wouldn’t think so. I only have 1 head slot. I will buy token A or B if there are equal. Does it matter if two players have token A or those players have each have an A and B seperately?
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Build Diversity 1 month 1 week ago #127

jedibcg wrote: you can have build diversity without changing room design. If there are equal paths to being able to damage the monster you would have diversity that Raven first spoke about. Redesigning rooms has to be done with care because we cannot assume any group has or doesn’t have certain tokens.

Honesty I don’t that it matters if everyone at the tops level has the same tokens. Maybe it does but I don’t know how it harms the game. Currently there are only so many tokens at that highest level so diversity is going to be difficult. Is diversity going to sell more tokens? Dunno, I wouldn’t think so. I only have 1 head slot. I will buy token A or B if there are equal. Does it matter if two players have token A or those players have each have an A and B seperately?


You may buy A or B if both are the same price and both are BiS, but collectors will certainly buy both. People who want options will buy both and use A at certain times then use B at other times. If A is offered in 2020 and A becomes BiS, then older players and new 2020 players who commit to BiS-level of play will buy A. Then in 2022, B is offered and is also BiS with A, so some of those established players will buy it to also have that option but not everyone who bought A will buy it and newer players who missed the chance to buy A will now buy B without having to worry about the fact that A’s price will certainly be higher in 2022 than it was in 2020. Then in 2024, C will be another BiS with A and B and some established players will buy that one too and all of the new players commuted to that level will buy C too because it is the more affordable option than A or B, and they won’t be at a disadvantage. Some players will not be thrilled by C being printed, but it will be a new token and is as good as a token they already have while being different, so it is a better option than a straight reprint of A in 2024 for those older players because it is offering them a new choice and it in theory wouldn’t be worth less than A would be worth in say 2028.

From a coaching perspective, it is easier if all 10 party members have the exact same tokens, because you have to know less information to understand how every party member’s equipment works. But it is also more boring for the coach, because then they see the exact same thing on every single party and person within the party they interact with. I personally think it is more fun to have an entirely different and unique combat each time a new group enters the room as opposed to fighting against the exact same thing every single time, so that’s how uniformity hurts TD.

I think going forward, for any proposed token where more than one token of that rarity in that slot for that class exists, I will prefer to argue for the proposed token to not outclass the existing option or always be worse than the existing option but instead be an interesting new option that is equal while being unique from the existing option(s).

I agree with earlier thoughts that retiring tokens from play decreases build diversity (it increases the total number of tokens that are BiS, but drastically decreases the number of tokens that can be BiS for any given class and slot at any one point looked at). It is different to compare MtG and TD because MtG suffered from the earliest cards being so much more powerful than every card after it, the diversity couldn’t be supported without drastic power creep, which is something MtG wanted to avoid. Additionally, the scale of MtG card options and how building a deck works with its restrictions is very different from TD. A better comparison is a smaller scale game that is okay with power creep, like Heroclix or Star Wars Destiny.
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Build Diversity 1 month 1 week ago #128

Fred K wrote:

Fiddy wrote:

Fred K wrote: It's fun being able to do a variety of things without a huge drop in the primary element a group counts on from your character. That really gets promoted by capping damage output or capping stats.


I'm not sure stat capping is as necessary as making sure the alternative options are viable. Or even ensuring that every class has more than 1 viable option on what to do. Wizards and Druids have multiple things they could choose to do each round (cast attack spell, cast non-attack spell, polymorph attack, melee attack, ranged attack, wand, scroll) Other classes have much less option on what to do (Fighters, Barbarians, Monk - either attack melee or attack ranged)

Stat capping is a bit heavy handed, I agree. It is also true this problem impacts fighter types as well. Druids and bards have the most diversity right now then elf wizard and paladin. After that, it is what flavor of melee or ranged combatant do you want to be. That allows for some variety such as a dwarf fighter fishing for big crits versus a retribution build dwarf fighter.

Fred K wrote: Clerics are probably the biggest victims of this since it takes a lot of gear in specific slots to max out healing capacity. It's hard to make a cleric that is good in melee, can be a good front line combatant, and really optimizes healing.


Yes, and no. Clerics have a lot to shift around to be strongest at a particular aspect, but if you're willing to give up a couple points of healing, it isn't so bad. I put together a Cleric build that is +22 healing while being +19 on ranged to-hit. Biggest trade-offs wound up being AC and HP.


I’ve found that having a nightmare/epic capable cleric is exceedingly difficult unless it is just healing or AC focused. Big damage bonuses aren’t common for the cleric without giving up a lot of healing. If you give up the healing, nightmare or harder parties are really going to notice that since you are the primary healer. You can get +20 to hit but your damage will probably be 20-30 without giving up more than 3 or 4 points of healing.


I have a pretty decent melee cleric build that is a good healer, not saying it isn't an expensive build but I enjoy playing it, the problem is to be effective I usually have to spend the first round buffing attack bonus on the first round of combat and on boss fights using my restore spell/power so I normally don't get a slide in. Typical nightmare run I get maybe 3/4 slides of combat if I am really lucky, with some of these murder hobos I run with that can be 1-2.

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Build Diversity 1 month 1 week ago #129

I honestly don’t think DMs or coaches care about diversity.

We DMs look at the numbers on the card, that’s all, and don’t care what your AC is or how it got there. I bet Coaches don’t care either. If your character is in one of the builders, they just copy the numbers.

The more I think about it, I’m not sure anyone really does, except in a philosophical way.

MTG is a terrible analogy to TD. It’s competitive, and if every deck was identical then each match essentially turns into an elaborate coin flip and becomes boring for the players. If every TD Paladin was equipped the same it doesn’t hurt anything. None of the players care.

The most diverse set of players are newbies who build their party out of ten random packs.

If diversity is seriously the goal, then the simplest way to get there is to stop reprinting any and all tokens. The limited supply and high price of Mithral Gauntlets, for example, ensures not everyone will use them.

And this is where the chorus of “no not like that!” begins.
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Build Diversity 1 month 1 week ago #130

Loremaster wrote:

Hawk Fingle wrote: If you wanted to see immediate build diversity, then change the rules to say that only tokens released within the last three years are allowed to be equipped, including legendaries. Sort of like how Magic has Standard format. In fact, just flat out have three dungeons that are "Standard" format, where only tokens released within the past three years are allowed to be equipped. Run those dungeons at any/all cons.


I'm coming back to the game after many, many years. If my URs were obsolete now, I would have never entertained coming back at all. There would have to be a meaningful use of the tokens I spent money getting back then. Maybe some transmute-based solution?



I like this idea... The UR Teal Helm (+3 AC) can transmute either into the Blessed Teal Helm (+4 AC) or into the Helm of Burrito Slaying (+3 AC, +1 to hit. Slay a burrito on a natural 20).

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Build Diversity 1 month 1 week ago #131

Brad Mortensen wrote: I honestly don’t think DMs or coaches care about diversity.

We DMs look at the numbers on the card, that’s all, and don’t care what your AC is or how it got there. I bet Coaches don’t care either. If your character is in one of the builders, they just copy the numbers.

The more I think about it, I’m not sure anyone really does, except in a philosophical way.

MTG is a terrible analogy to TD. It’s competitive, and if every deck was identical then each match essentially turns into an elaborate coin flip and becomes boring for the players. If every TD Paladin was equipped the same it doesn’t hurt anything. None of the players care.

The most diverse set of players are newbies who build their party out of ten random packs.

If diversity is seriously the goal, then the simplest way to get there is to stop reprinting any and all tokens. The limited supply and high price of Mithral Gauntlets, for example, ensures not everyone will use them.

And this is where the chorus of “no not like that!” begins.

That doesn’t get diversity across players starting at the same year - they all have the same tokens based on the year of starting.

Best variety would just be to just open up the whole token db to on demand orders at a fixed price based on rarity.

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Build Diversity 1 month 1 week ago #132

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As a coach, I can tell you I don’t give 10 seconds of time thinking about build diversity.
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