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TOPIC: Build Diversity

Build Diversity 2 months 4 weeks ago #25

I can imagine
"Anytime someone posts they think the Paladin legendary guard should or shouldn't work the entire run, take a shot"

The only way I know this didnt happen is because work appears to have actually gotten done in the last few days, which would have been impossible if this game was being played.
First ever death in True Horde
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Build Diversity 2 months 4 weeks ago #26

Xavon wrote: I don't think the Hand of Glory or even the Gloves of Glory are a good example. Trading out a slot for a weak slot is interesting, but even in a world without slot expanders, is generally not going to be a good trade off.

I would be curious to hear who used the HoG back in the day. I have one, but I never used it, and have more than once lobbied for a transmute to upgrade it to something more balanced.

Through 2019 tokens, Hand of Glory is a requirement for the max healing Cleric build so you can use the SRoEC, +5 Focus Ring, and +3 focus ring. and Gloves of Healing.

Personally, I've been looking for the 3rd ring slot so I can use Charming Ring, Ring of Spell Storing, and +3 Focus ring. Gloves of glory were on my buy list, but it's looking like I'll pickup the Arcane Earcuff and a charm of Glory for less cost than the Gloves and get better healing out of the deal.

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Last edit: by Endgame.

Build Diversity 2 months 4 weeks ago #27

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I apologize or trimming down your post so much. You made some really excellent points, and it helps me understand where you're coming from, for which I thank you. Just can't reply to it all at once while there's a new round of tokens to look at!

Endgame wrote: (Snip re: Gloves)
For me there were 5 different build options that would give different effects, and each different than the other, and almost none were actually available.

Fast forward a few weeks to token design time. Some vets were actively arguing against reprints of those very tokens (they already had theirs), while in other threads there were complains about build diversity. Diverse options exist... but you just can't buy them because the newest of those tokens are from 2015, and the oldest are from 2010. There can't be more than a few hundred of the 2010 tokens at this point with a TD base that has to be at least 10x larger than that.


Okay, I definitely understand what you mean, now.
And I agree - with those multiple options, we should be able to at least see some reprints. Personally, I'd like to see a Weapon Finesse Reprint. I wonder whether the request for reprints gets watered down as multiple voices speak up for different options, and no clear winner comes out.

Perhaps that's something we can keep an eye on next year, and put forward a solid request for "At Least One of the Following Gloves: A, B, C, D..."

Agreed on trying to balance what everyone wants. Its not a simple job, thats for sure. And I am totally guilty of making the same points 4 iterations in a row.


Hey, I recognize that it's your passion speaking. We all love this game, and want to help shape it into something even better. Honestly, making the same point with each iteration of Token Dev. changes isn't a bad thing... it keeps points from getting lost. I only start to roll my eyes when I see the same person's name as having posted in 4 different threads, and 3 of those are making the exact same comment across the threads. :D
Even then, I really shouldn't talk. I've been guilty of the same thing myself, in my (slightly) younger & more passionate years. You shoulda heard me going on about how we need to move First Round Sneak out of the Boot slot!
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Cranston's Character Generator for iDevices or Android
Amorgen's Excel Character Generator
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Build Diversity 2 months 4 weeks ago #28

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Justice wrote:

Raven wrote: And I occasionally wonder what drinking games they play while reading the forums, in order to endure the.. i dunno.. nineteenth reiteration of the same individual asking in 3 different threads for their pet token idea.


There are drinking games!?!?!? Someone send me the rules.. things just got interesting.


Well, now ya got me wanting to make another thread...!
"THERE WILL NEVER BE A TOKEN EQUAL TO A GOOD BRAIN!"- Smakdown

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Amorgen's Excel Character Generator
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Build Diversity 2 months 4 weeks ago #29

Raven wrote:

Justice wrote:

Raven wrote: And I occasionally wonder what drinking games they play while reading the forums, in order to endure the.. i dunno.. nineteenth reiteration of the same individual asking in 3 different threads for their pet token idea.


There are drinking games!?!?!? Someone send me the rules.. things just got interesting.


Well, now ya got me wanting to make another thread...!


Yep that’s me ...

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Last edit: by Justice.

Build Diversity 2 months 4 weeks ago #30

Raven, you raise some excellent questions, and I think that TD is such a unique and niche beast that in order to encourage build diversity according to your definition would require absolute retirement of tokens from certain years, in order to make the token design process more lateral and less hierarchical.

By permanently retiring set years, players become forced to make revisions to ensure they keep reaching their end build results from year to year, and side effect buy current year tokens needed to maintain their builds.

Allowing every token ever made has generated 16 years of token bloat, and as you say, diversity comes of restricting choices. Eliminating a large portion of the bloat would ease many design issues on all ends and generate the diversity you define.

I think that it would make reprints that much more special as their powers become dungeon legal again for another X years. Legendaries should naturally be exempt. Possibly Relics as well. Unless the future Legendaries and Relics had their recipes reduced drastically to allow them to be made more frequently. That doesn't seem to be Jeff's way of looking at those tokens, though. He wants them to feel like a quest that takes some effort to achieve.

But good luck flying that major change in the TD community winds. And making such a change could impact many other parts of TD that we couldn't possibly anticipate.

My point being, if build diversity by your definition, were made out as the number one approach when considering token design, then the entire game would likely change into a different beast altogether, and I'm not sure if that would necessarily solve more problems than it would cause.

I don't have any real problem with builds looking the same. Each player plays TD how they want to play it. And while offering multiple ways to reach the same build goals seems like a great idea, I'm not sure if that's what the player base at large really wants. Games are ultimately exercises in behavior modification in order to reach the objective efficiently and decisively, wrapped in packaging that is entertaining to the players. In order to encourage your build diversity, you have to modify player behavior to make them want to explore multiple paths by changing the win condition(s) of the game. Not sure how that can be done with TD since the win condition is not easily defined. "Survive seven fantasy themed mini-escape rooms" is the closest I've been able to explain what a player is trying to do in TD to someone who has never played before.

After someone has played for a few years, they learn what is important and what is not so important to have in their build, and party card stats seem to matter most for combat rooms while high hp and healing matters more for puzzle rooms. Yes, puzzle rooms require thought and are fun to solve, but by and large tokens do not help solve puzzle rooms and as such have little if any direct bearing on build diversity beyond having enough hp and healing to overcome puzzle trial and error/push damage.

The win condition of "Survive seven rooms" is too limiting IMO, and having the game so driven by party card stats along with a vast library of every token ever made being legal along with the power of the token to affect the game mechanics tied to a hierarchical rarity structure means the most obvious token choices to make for a given build are the BiS tokens that the player can afford.

Which is exactly what is happening in TD today. BiS tokens are locked in because they directly impact the player's behavior towards the win condition.

Change the win conditions, limit the token library, and focus on supporting multiple build structures instead of a power hierarchy, you'll end up seeing more diversity by your definition.

At the same time, though, TD becomes a different game altogether, and the players who spent a lot of time and money on their build as well as the secondary market sellers and major token buyers would probably riot, and with TD being dependent upon token sales to make TD happen, well...

Like I said. Unique and niche beast. Increasing build diversity within token design as you define it would require changing a lot of gears in the complex TD machine, from what I can tell. So many unintended consequences remain unaccountable, too.

Yeah.

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Build Diversity 2 months 4 weeks ago #31

@Raven - quite. You get what I was trying to say.

TD is going from one to a half-dozen conventions in just a couple years. That’s going to be significant disruption to the market. It’ll settle out.

That makes it a perfect time to print diversity tokens. Some vets won’t want them, some will want to upgrade, and new players will have a low-cost alternative that’s hopefully as good is the old BiS token. Maybe not in every build, but in NM builds just as viable.

And there will always be people who say it’s not good enough, just as there are people who bemoan the fact they can’t afford to play MTG with Power 9s. I’ll just remind you that MTG pits one player against another. TD is a team game, the only competition we have with other players is based on our own envy and egos.

I don’t think we want to make a bunch of subclass cards. It’ll be a logistical nightmare, we’ll run out, etc. I’d be in favor of a new Tattoo token (it can be UR, transmute, rare, or even common for all I care) that sets you on a new build path. Maybe something like: Battle Medic Cleric: -10 STR, may convert any spell to a same-level Heal spell. Or whatever. Point is it would be on a token to make life easier for coaches, and it encourages new priorities without fueling power creep, assuming we balance them properly. Many clerics would stop wearing combat gloves in favor of focus gloves, and many of those old gloves will go up for trade or sale, driving down the price.

As for just driving down OOP BiS prices with reprints because high prices aren’t “fair”: I don’t think intentionally hurting long-time players is fair, either. Life isn’t fair. At Apple’s IPO, some people bought 10 shares at $22 each. Apple is at $205 today, after four splits along the way. At that price, that initial investment of $220 into 10 shares turned into 560 shares worth about $115k, not including dividends along the way. That’s not fair, just because they bought it early. Why can’t I buy 560 shares for $220 today? It’s not fair WoTC won’t reprint the P9. Life, in general, isn’t “fair.”

IMO, “fairness” isn’t an argument. It’s a purely subjective opinion that means “I don’t like it.”

Resorting to calls for “fairness” and ad hominem attacks based on assigning evil motives to people who don’t agree with you is intellectually lazy and morally bankrupt. That’s why politicians do it all the time. I’m glad we usually do much better.

I hope y’all figure it all out.
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Build Diversity 2 months 4 weeks ago #32

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Brad Mortensen wrote: IMO, “fairness” isn’t an argument. It’s a purely subjective opinion that means “I don’t like it.”


I get ya. And it's something I try to teach my spawn all the time, when they use "It's not fair" as a manipulative tactic to get what they want.

My guess, tho, is that when folks use "It's not fair..." in a token development thread, they're usually trying to say something else instead, and haven't quite articulated it. Sometimes they are trying to say:

* I'm worried that token will give long-term players a much bigger boost than new players, and will widen the power gap, which will make it harder to balance dungeons.

* Your support for this token makes me realize how big of a gap I'll need to overcome in order to play at your level, and it frustrates me. Please take a moment to consider what it looks like from my perspective, and don't dismiss my comments outright.

* You're missing the fact that the tokens which synergize with this token haven't been printed for 5 years. You think it'll make a great combo/develop a cool build path, but I think we need to lay some groundwork first.

* Your proposal solves a problem which only exists for a very small percentage of players. I'd like to look at options which solve that problem in a more creative way, and gives a larger percentage of players something beneficial.

* I know you support this particular premise because you've mentioned it two thousand times, and just hearing you repeat the same thing is irritating. But I don't want to call you out for your poor social/communication skills, so I'll try to express myself as best I can with really simple, vague words.

* You are strengthening a single build path at the expense of other potential paths, and I'd prefer we spread the love around thanks.

* I am crying inside because I want this token so bad, and know I won't be able to afford it.
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Build Diversity 2 months 4 weeks ago #33

I look at this from a highly invested but new player point of view, so some of my ideas may not be new to this community - but I'm going to share them anyway.

At this stage, I play mostly a Ranger, but want to experience all of the classes to get the full diverse range of characters that I can play. So for me that is enough personal diversity, however, I think the point of this thread is how does a TD run become more diverse.

I really believe that much of what has already been discussed here related to having competing tokens for particular slots help to diversify the builds somewhat - so there is no distinct BiS at whatever level the player is playing at. I think this should extend to legendaries as well - when I need to fill a particular slot it would be good for my class to have more than one option. This would help make different builds of the same class look different throughout the difficulty range. This would also help to curtail power creep somewhat - meaning new tokens do not need to add more power, but rather can add alternatives.

I also like the idea Brad brought up relating to the "Tattoo" token idea where the base class is branched in some fundamental way. This is simple, but would create great diverse builds and would make it easier to create competing BiS tokens for a given class. I also feel that this provides a reason for a player to work towards a more diverse build. With a single class - particularly the ones that are single threaded (fighters, Monk, etc) - everything tends towards the same end point. This changes that.

There have been some other discussions on the forums of late - power creep for one - that have started me thinking a little more on some of the issues people associate with TD. One thought I had relates to many of these facets of the game - including diversity. One thing that I find missing from TD that was part of the D&D experience is that of a backstory. I realize that this is not always easy to fill - and for some players / groups they do have their own backstory - however these do not impact the gameplay much.

What if there were a set of tokens that described a backstory in some way. So there may be some sibling tokens like "Sibling of Wizard" useable by Paladin and "Sibling of Paladin" useable by Wizards - when both tokens are equipped bu both characters, the paladin automatically guards the wizard and the wizard can cast a retribution spell when the Paladin is directly attacked. In this case two of the party are bound to each other by the backstory.

I am sure that there could be many other backstory ideas that could change the nature of the base class. However, the idea of siblings first occurred to me as a way to possibly balance the differences we see in PUGs where experienced players and newbies play in the same run - something like a "Big Brother"/"Little Brother" (or sister) scenario where some of the big brother's stats gets redirected to the little brother.

Just some thoughts to throw in there...

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Build Diversity 2 months 4 weeks ago #34

@Brad Mortensen

I'm afraid I still don't really understand your position on diversity. The best I can make out is below, please correct the flow.

1) Diversity in builds via tokens a good thing
2) Reprinting tokens to keep existing design space viable is bad, because protecting older player investment is more important than maintaining the existing design space
3) Creating new tokens of different, and likely slightly higher power, is better because new players will buy these tokens, and vets might also upgrade and sell off their old items. The older, slightly less powerful items might get resold, which will keep a few hundred of the older items circulating in builds.

Given 2, and 3, we should not reprint Gloves of Glory, Gauntlets of Linked Fury, Gloves of the Brute, Gloves of Weapon Finesse, or Mithral Gauntlets to reuse any of that design space. Instead we should create items like the Charm of Glory that generally obsoletes the Gloves of Glory - vets upgrade and maybe sell off some of their gloves after the charms have gone out of print.

Unfortunately, I just don't see how this creates more diversity than occasionally reprinting from an existing of 5 different gloves that let builds go in different directions.

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Build Diversity 2 months 4 weeks ago #35

Endgame wrote: @Brad Mortensen

I'm afraid I still don't really understand your position on diversity. The best I can make out is below, please correct the flow.

1) Diversity in builds via tokens a good thing
2) Reprinting tokens to keep existing design space viable is bad, because protecting older player investment is more important than maintaining the existing design space
3) Creating new tokens of different, and likely slightly higher power, is better because new players will buy these tokens, and vets might also upgrade and sell off their old items. The older, slightly less powerful items might get resold, which will keep a few hundred of the older items circulating in builds.

Given 2, and 3, we should not reprint Gloves of Glory, Gauntlets of Linked Fury, Gloves of the Brute, Gloves of Weapon Finesse, or Mithral Gauntlets to reuse any of that design space. Instead we should create items like the Charm of Glory that generally obsoletes the Gloves of Glory - vets upgrade and maybe sell off some of their gloves after the charms have gone out of print.

Unfortunately, I just don't see how this creates more diversity than occasionally reprinting from an existing of 5 different gloves that let builds go in different directions.


#1 yes
#2 waaaaay off base. Preserving value wasn’t even in the equation. In fact, I said the exact opposite. See #3
#3 I never said the replacements would be stronger overall, just steering builds in a different direction that the old tokens didn’t support as well. Note I said this would likely decrease the value of old tokens, which is the opposite of what you seem to think I think in #2.

So #2 is NOT a given, but I agree, if I were king of the world, I would not have and would not ever reprint any of the tokens you list and would have vetoed every one. But I gave up even arguing against reprints years ago, because too many people think it’s only fair to slash the price of any token that goes above $200.

Because let’s be honest. Dropping token prices doesn’t hurt vets. Not at all. They got them cheap, so if they drop back to PYP price they’re just back where they started. It punishes the newbies who see the Mighty Longbow at $300 and buy one, only to have it drop to $100 with the reprint within a couple months.

Maybe you think reprints sticks it to the vets and helps the newbies. (But maybe I’m no better at reading your mind than you are at reading mine.) That is at best debatable. Maybe some people don’t care, saying “I’ll get mine cheap, screw all you suckers who just paid more.”

Speaking of which, of those four, one grants a third ring and all the others are melee gloves. Not much diversity there at all, IMO. It’s all the same thing, the numbers just tweaked a little.

So I, in turn, don’t see how reprinting old tokens does anything to promote alternative build directions, it simply cements the current direction more firmly in place. Then, when a real alternative does come along, everyone says nah, I’m too invested in this one path.

There’s another thread about making subclasses available for variety. The green cards are one way. The other is to stop reprinting support for the old builds and use that space to create tokens that support other builds.

But maybe that’s too abstract, and we have it all backwards. If we knew what some of those alt-builds might look like, we’d probably design so many tokens to support them that there wouldn’t be any room for reprints anyway.
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Last edit: by Brad Mortensen.

Build Diversity 2 months 4 weeks ago #36

Brad Mortensen wrote:

Endgame wrote: -Snip-
Given 2, and 3, we should not reprint Gloves of Glory, Gauntlets of Linked Fury, Gloves of the Brute, Gloves of Weapon Finesse, or Mithral Gauntlets to reuse any of that design space. Instead we should create items like the Charm of Glory that generally obsoletes the Gloves of Glory - vets upgrade and maybe sell off some of their gloves after the charms have gone out of print.

Unfortunately, I just don't see how this creates more diversity than occasionally reprinting from an existing of 5 different gloves that let builds go in different directions.

-snip-
Speaking of which, of those four, one grants a third ring and all the others are melee gloves. Not much diversity there at all, IMO. It’s all the same thing, the numbers just tweaked a little.

Not much diversity? I see 5 different distinct sets of tokens there, and if all were equally available, we might sit down in the training room and not have a single duplicated token in the gloves slot. Unlike my party where we are going to sit down this year with 5 copies of Gloves of the Midgard Serpent.

These tokens could yield a:
1) Barbarian with +11 damage, 20 AC (Gauntlets of Linked Fury, Ring of the Eel, Ring of Brilliance)
2) Barbarian with +3 hit and +6 damage 20 AC (Gloves of Weapon Finesse, Ring of the Eel, Ring of Brilliance)
3) Barbarian with +2 hit, + 8 damage 20 AC (Mithral Gauntlets, Ring of the Eel, Ring of Brilliance)
4) Barbarian with +3 hit, + 6 damage 19 AC(Gloves of the Brute, Ring of the Eel, Ring of the Hallowed)
5) Barbarian with + 7 damage, Gain 1 HP on hit, 20 AC(Gloves of Glory, Ring of the Eel, Ring of Dark Health)

Each one of these decisions causes different build path that cascades through different tokens. Item 1 might require the Barbarian to see +Hit or more +Str items elsewhere in the build - or they might just say "I can slide a 18+ every round, no problem". Items 2 and 4 might seek + damage items in charms (Draco Litch / rampage / etc)

I see a whole bunch of build options and TONS of token diversity that is all gated - not because the tokens weren't designed, but because they aren't available.

If your idea of diversity isn't everyone having different tokens, and all those tokens tweak +hit / +damage / +AC / +hp / +saves differently, a complete card overhaul is necessary and that might not even do it. Unless a barbarian is casting spells, or suddenly gains a ranged bonus (which will still lead to tweaking +hit / +damage / +AC / +HP), they are still going to be fitting tokens to boost +hit / + damage / for 2H weapon and enough HP (and maybe AC) to survive the dungeon.

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