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TOPIC: Build Diversity

Build Diversity 7 months 5 days ago #109

jedibcg wrote: That would not create build diversity (unless you mean year to year). People would just have BiS of whatever year restrictions you place. And thus have the same builds as everyone else.


You don't see that happening in Magic deck builds. Not everyone plays the same red build, or black/white build, etc.

If you want to shake up the BIS crowd, you have to limit their play access to the token library. You have to force them to assess the current available token library.

Once you have that restriction in place, you can change the token design to adjust to that kind of play, and then make difficult slot choices for every build.

But you have to start with limiting the token build pool.
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Build Diversity 7 months 5 days ago #110

Endgame wrote:

Hawk Fingle wrote:

Brad Mortensen wrote: There are a lot of countervailing forces at play.

There’s a strong lobby for build diversity.
There’s another strong lobby to reprint older BIS tokens. There are a few who want it both ways, but I think it’s not possible to do both.

The bad news is, they are at odds. People demand reprints of older tokens instead of alternatives, no matter how good they are. When Jeff acquiesces, that BIS token is more firmly locked in, and the cheaper price makes it more so. Worse, it takes up a spot in that year’s release that could have been used for a diversity token.

If we truly want diversity, then we should stop reprinting old stuff. If we want cheap reprints, then we should concede we’re not going to have diversity.

I don’t think you can make them both happy in the current environment. We have to pick one. For now, the de facto consensus appears to be that diversity is just not that important. It’s a shame, really.


If you really want build diversity...

I mean, you REALLY want build diversity...

Like, if build diversity is the number one issue that deserves fixing...

Then you need to implement rules on what is allowed to be equipped and what is not, and put expiration dates on tokens.

The problem is every token ever printed for the past sixteen years with few exceptions is entirely allowed to be used in the dungeon, which is what is making the whole reprint issue such a hot contention on the secondary market.

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.

Then offer one dungeon that is formatted to allow all tokens ever made. Call it "Classic" or "Legacy" format, and only run it at GenCon.

Collectors don't have to throw out their entire collection, and build diversity becomes based around what is allowed. Reprints become more meaningful for the current format, and more predictable overall as there wouldn't be any point in reprinting something until at least five years or more after its most recent printing.

But good luck floating that massive change through the congregation...


I don't think that would create diversity - it would just create a much smaller token pool, which makes it easier to identify and create BiS builds.

If you want true diversity, go Living Card Game style. Any UR token or lower in token DB is available for purchase. All transmute recipes live forever.


You aren't looking at the design opportunity that comes with changing the rules to limit the token build library.

After you have the rules in place, you can start adjusting the token designs to implement new approaches that make it next to impossible to have uniform BIS tokens. You can start to change the power creep and have power consistency. You can move laterally instead of hierarchically. Heck, one could upend the entire rarity=power structure entirely and start connecting common token builds with UR slotless tokens, use "keystone" UR build tokens that reward different build concepts, etc.

You can't do that if you can't get the current BIS tokens out of the pool and start fresh somewhere.
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Build Diversity 7 months 5 days ago #111

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IMO, the biggest and hardest to solve blocker to build diversity is the limited options in the dungeon.

You must solve to puzzle, or defeat the monster. Fail, and you take (more) damage. So the primary goal in most builds is to beat monsters quickly. There are far fewer tokens that effect puzzles, and they are more limited. So, except maybe the Rogue, there aren't really options for an anti-puzzle build.

Imagine if we got rid of push damage after fights. If tanking and waiting it out was an option. High AC builds would become more viable. What if there were more rooms where you could solve or fight. And what if those had different incentives. Complete a no-kill run and get a different pin and completion token.

Frankly, while I understand the reasoning, I miss the treasure stamps and having performance as an incentive. That didn't help build diversity (or harm it, really), but incentivizing certain play styles; making them give different rewards (not necessarily better or worse), could definitely influence how people play.
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Build Diversity 7 months 5 days ago #112

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Hawk Fingle wrote:

Brad Mortensen wrote: There are a lot of countervailing forces at play.

There’s a strong lobby for build diversity.
There’s another strong lobby to reprint older BIS tokens. There are a few who want it both ways, but I think it’s not possible to do both.

The bad news is, they are at odds. People demand reprints of older tokens instead of alternatives, no matter how good they are. When Jeff acquiesces, that BIS token is more firmly locked in, and the cheaper price makes it more so. Worse, it takes up a spot in that year’s release that could have been used for a diversity token.

If we truly want diversity, then we should stop reprinting old stuff. If we want cheap reprints, then we should concede we’re not going to have diversity.

I don’t think you can make them both happy in the current environment. We have to pick one. For now, the de facto consensus appears to be that diversity is just not that important. It’s a shame, really.


If you really want build diversity...

I mean, you REALLY want build diversity...

Like, if build diversity is the number one issue that deserves fixing...

Then you need to implement rules on what is allowed to be equipped and what is not, and put expiration dates on tokens.

The problem is every token ever printed for the past sixteen years with few exceptions is entirely allowed to be used in the dungeon, which is what is making the whole reprint issue such a hot contention on the secondary market.

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.

Then offer one dungeon that is formatted to allow all tokens ever made. Call it "Classic" or "Legacy" format, and only run it at GenCon.

Collectors don't have to throw out their entire collection, and build diversity becomes based around what is allowed. Reprints become more meaningful for the current format, and more predictable overall as there wouldn't be any point in reprinting something until at least five years or more after its most recent printing.

But good luck floating that massive change through the congregation...


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Build Diversity 7 months 5 days ago #113

Hawk Fingle wrote:

jedibcg wrote: That would not create build diversity (unless you mean year to year). People would just have BiS of whatever year restrictions you place. And thus have the same builds as everyone else.


You don't see that happening in Magic deck builds. Not everyone plays the same red build, or black/white build, etc.

If you want to shake up the BIS crowd, you have to limit their play access to the token library. You have to force them to assess the current available token library.

Once you have that restriction in place, you can change the token design to adjust to that kind of play, and then make difficult slot choices for every build.

But you have to start with limiting the token build pool.

pool of magic cards is larger than pool of tokens. Even still everyone might not play the same red build deck but there certain cards that red builds will use is it is available to them. If all red rare cards from a et had the same desirability they would cost the same on the secondary market, they don’t. The supply is the same the demand is not because some cards are more desirable. In TD you only have 140 base tokens that occupy 20 something slots. You cannot have that much diversity by limiting to 1, 2 or even 3 years, it is just a fact.
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Build Diversity 7 months 4 days ago #114

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

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Last edit: by Jamie Campbell.

Build Diversity 7 months 4 days ago #115

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


While I really like this idea, I believe that Cranston, Amorgen, Acherin, and co. may hunt you down in a dark alley.

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Build Diversity 7 months 4 days ago #116

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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.
D&D teaches all the important lessons in life - the low blow, the cheap shot, the back stab, the double cross. - Jerry Marsischky

Let them trap us. We have our swords. - Elric of Melnibone.

You try to get them to play the game, but all they want to do is play the rules. - Ardak Kumerian

I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend - Faramir

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Build Diversity 7 months 4 days ago #117

I wonder if "build diversity" means different things to various posters here.

From a perspective of financial gain for TD, encouraging people to get new tokens seems to be a good thing. Additionally, they want to keep growing their audience. It does push people away a little to see how crazy the gulf is between new players and veteran "fully geared" players. Although the game isn't competitive, you do end up with mixed power level runs that can frustrate newer players.

I recommend a token strategy for TD where you limit maximum power levels and have multiple ways to get there. Yes, it can frustrate more veteran players but even they can benefit from not always having X slot occupied by a BiS item. For example, my wizard build doesn't allow for a ton of variation while still being towards to upper end of damage output. I would love to still be near some maximum but experiment with other concepts (like using a melee weapon periodically other than the staff or being able to do both polymorph and spell damage well).

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. 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.

Personally, I think putting in limits could improve the game.

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Build Diversity 7 months 4 days ago #118

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.

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Build Diversity 7 months 4 days ago #119

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The challenge is what you have to do to succeed in the dungeon.

Combat. You typically get 2 to 3 rounds of combat versus a monster. You need to be confident you can get the job done in that amount of time.

Puzzles. There is a lot less “intermediate” damage from puzzles than was once the case. So, you are mostly worried about push damage. To my mind, the best coping strategy is lots of hit points. (Sure, solving the puzzle would be the best strategy...)

As long as these are the drivers, it will be hard to encourage the kind of diversity some want.
D&D teaches all the important lessons in life - the low blow, the cheap shot, the back stab, the double cross. - Jerry Marsischky

Let them trap us. We have our swords. - Elric of Melnibone.

You try to get them to play the game, but all they want to do is play the rules. - Ardak Kumerian

I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend - Faramir

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Build Diversity 7 months 4 days ago #120

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)

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.

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