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TOPIC: Build Diversity

Build Diversity 3 months 7 hours ago #73

Bob Chasan wrote:

Wade Schwendemann wrote: Is diversity in builds actually all that important in a team game where each class is only represented once?

If every monk or barbarian is the same at the highest levels, does that matter? Let those players play however they want.

I guess I'm not sure I understand that this is a problem at all.

If you want build diversity *and* equivalency, that will be tough. If you just want diversity, you can certainly have it. I cant wait to play my retribution builds. They aren't the "best," but I enjoy the DMs faces when they hit me for 30 and get hit back for 25.


Just going through this thread, I’m not sure why there has to be build diversity? In each rn there’s only 1 wizard and 1 Elf Wizard so it’s not as if there are 8 wizards with overlapping responsibilities and capabilities.


My opinion? The reasons are metagame. A big piece is economic. When there’s only one viable approach to build a class, then everyone is competing for this same BiS OOP tokens, making them hard to find. This creates pressure that jacks up prices and has a lot of people calling for reprints.

If there was more than one way to build a character, then there would be multiple BiS to choose from. That would make it easier and cheaper for people to climb the power ladder.

And maybe part of it is boredom. After your 100th adventure as a 2H-headbanger, people want to try something a little different, like Wade’s retribution build, or the various de-ranged characters.
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Build Diversity 3 months 6 hours ago #74

Brad Mortensen wrote:

Bob Chasan wrote:

Wade Schwendemann wrote: Is diversity in builds actually all that important in a team game where each class is only represented once?

If every monk or barbarian is the same at the highest levels, does that matter? Let those players play however they want.

I guess I'm not sure I understand that this is a problem at all.

If you want build diversity *and* equivalency, that will be tough. If you just want diversity, you can certainly have it. I cant wait to play my retribution builds. They aren't the "best," but I enjoy the DMs faces when they hit me for 30 and get hit back for 25.


Just going through this thread, I’m not sure why there has to be build diversity? In each rn there’s only 1 wizard and 1 Elf Wizard so it’s not as if there are 8 wizards with overlapping responsibilities and capabilities.


My opinion? The reasons are metagame. A big piece is economic. When there’s only one viable approach to build a class, then everyone is competing for this same BiS OOP tokens, making them hard to find. This creates pressure that jacks up prices and has a lot of people calling for reprints.

If there was more than one way to build a character, then there would be multiple BiS to choose from. That would make it easier and cheaper for people to climb the power ladder.

And maybe part of it is boredom. After your 100th adventure as a 2H-headbanger, people want to try something a little different, like Wade’s retribution build, or the various de-ranged characters.


Brad, thanks for being kind and explaining the excitement. In this case I’m FOR build diversity but acknowledge how difficult that will actually be to accomplish. I look forward to seeing the solution. I wish I had a viable solution to suggest.
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Build Diversity 3 months 6 hours ago #75

As both a player and a DM I am unhappy in either of these cases:
  • Every player with class XYZ has pretty much the same build.
  • Even worse, if more or less the same build is optimum for many classes

Effectively I want different flavors between and even within classes. It makes the game more interesting.
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Build Diversity 3 months 4 hours ago #76

Matthew Hayward wrote: Got it - interesting - well thanks for teasing out the play diversity / build diversity difference. I'm thinking more about play diversity.

One problem I see with build diversity is that, at least for melee, there is so much stackable strength and to-damage mods that seem unbeatable (e.g. Ioun Stone Onyx Cube, Surtr's +7 Girdle, Dungeonbane +4 STR, +5 Eldritch Boots, +3 Ring of the Eel), that the small differences in the gloves slot end up not really mattering.

For example, most UR melee builds can get to 30 STR easy, a +2 UR weapon, and at least +5 melee damage in their build.

That gives, say: +12 to hit / +15 to damage.

If you then fiddle around with the hands slot you get:

Mithral Gauntlets: +14 / +17, mithral set
Weapon Finesse: +15 / +15
Brute: +14.5 / +17.5, -2 DEX
Linked Fury: +12 / +20, class limits and must use 2 handed weapons

To me the differences between these are small enough that they don't count for much. Linked Fury seems to actually offer some kind of choice, but I don't see the difference between the others to be substantial enough to fit the description of offering build diversity.

As the builds get higher and higher the differences are minimized further - a BiS melee build can be fielding something like +24 to STR, an additional +6 to hit, an additional +14 to damage before the gloves slot. Here you're looking at like:

+21 to hit and +29 to damage before gloves. The ~2 point to hit or damage differences between different gloves seem irrelevant to me at this point.


We have several different levels of tokens that are part of the discussion here that should be broken out.

1) Common / Uncommon / Rare.
There is a lot of variety here, as tokens tend to be focused and have some pros and cons. For example. the Defenders set really only focuses on AC. There are other armors available that can do other things (add Con / Str / Damage / Saves) but they do not match the AC of Defenders. Additionally, even older tokens at this level tend to be available. If I want some 2012 token, like helm of the Eagle, all I have to do is check the regular token sites and generally I'll find what I'm looking for, for <$10.

2) UR and under.
Variety starts to shrink here as we have less tokens available, start to see more tokens that "do it all", and supply is so limited that some options can't even be bought. The Redoubt set tries to "do it all" by having the highest AC, and a STR boost, and a HP boost. It does have a - to saves, which is the only thing that keeps it from completely obsoleting the Templar set. The gloves discussed earlier have some variety, but good luck finding most of them on the token sites. We also start to see some best in slot items at this level, such as slot expander / slot traders.

3) Relic / Premium / Volunteer
We again see a decrease in token quantity, more tendency to add "do it all" by consolidating multiple tokens into a single token (charm of awakened synergy), and less competition (ex: only 1 choice for relic armor), and more BiS items. Since there are fewer tokens here, if you've reached this level builds start to looking more and more the same, unless there is a strictly better token available at the next tier up.

4) Legendary / Multi Year Set (Eldrich)
The smallest token base, and essentially 0 competition between slots outside of weapons. Anyone playing at this level is likely use the same tokens as everyone else, because there are no alternatives. Additionally, the numbers are so large that differences made in other pieces of the build start to become a small percentage. Ex, adding a +7 str belt means that the difference between swapping out +2 hit / +2 damage gloves for +3 hit +0 damage gloves is generally meaningless.

I'd like to leave tier 3 and 4 out of the discussion for now as the limited number of tokens, and small increase per year means these two levels are unlikely to change build wise anytime soon.

At Tier 2, I'd like to show how focusing on the differences in the gloves can greatly change the builds. Unfortunately, due to slot expanders and minimum slot competition, charm and ioun stones tend to be similar across the build, but otherwise there is quite a bit of variation. Additionally, these builds may not be fully optimized as once I realized how difficult it is to get to some of these tokens, I stopped playing with builds using them.

1H Fighter build that neglects range (+19 hit / +21 Damage / 70hp / 28 AC / + 21 fort / +11 Ref / +9 will)
tdcharactercreator.com/#/character/edit/53834f7f-6aa5-415a-b24b-fa2e692929e1

2H Fighter build that neglects range (+18 hit / +31 Damage / 45hp / 15 AC / +15 fort / +16 Ref / +17 will)
tdcharactercreator.com/#/character/edit/a6993cd6-a26d-4117-be92-051f6f4bda1b

1H Fighter Build that tries to be competent at range (Melee +16 hit / +15 Damage / Range +10 hit / +15 Damage / 44hp / 20 AC / +15 fort / +17 Ref / +18 will)
tdcharactercreator.com/#/character/edit/bf8ae7ae-ba4c-4570-9b8e-4b50c3607a52

1H Fighter Build that mains range, but can still hit in melee if necessary. Uses a relic bow, because its the only way you would go with this build.
(Melee +15 hit / +8 Damage / Range +14 hit / +9 Damage / 52hp / 21 AC / +17 fort / +16 Ref / +12 will)
tdcharactercreator.com/#/character/edit/be0e042f-e60f-42a0-baa1-147d9d49c3a6


*Edit*
I also left out all of the slotless items. Either you have them, or you don't. Any build can use the same slotless tokens as any other build, so it was faster to fill out the website without them.

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Last edit: by Endgame.

Build Diversity 3 months 2 hours ago #77

Kirk Bauer wrote: As both a player and a DM I am unhappy in either of these cases:

  • Every player with class XYZ has pretty much the same build.
  • Even worse, if more or less the same build is optimum for many classes

Effectively I want different flavors between and even within classes. It makes the game more interesting.


I agree that #2 is a problem. I'm actually ok with #1.

I think there are a lot of ways to keep the game fresh and new. Trying different builds, even if they aren't "optimized" does allow for some changing things up.

I definitely think that the current NM level allows for a lot of experimentation if one has Epic level gear. I would like to see more ways to be effective in combat (Psychic for example)
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