November rules update/errata

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When does it take effect for LFR?  Dec. 1?   UPDATE: the changes go into effect immediately

The July updates took effect August 4th so I was wondering if there was a delay with this one.  I am guessing not since the July delay was just until CB/Compendium was updated with the changes.
When does it take effect for LFR?  Dec. 1?

AFAIK it takes effect immediately upon release

When does it take effect for LFR?  Dec. 1?

AFAIK it takes effect immediately upon release




That seems more than a bit harsh considering that probably 90% of avengers can no longer use the armor they bought and still benefit from armor of faith and a number of tempest fighters may no longer even be proficient with both ends of their urgroshes.

Also, the last batch of errata had a waiting period before its use became mandatory. I would expect this to be the same.
That seems more than a bit harsh considering that probably 90% of avengers can no longer use the armor they bought and still benefit from armor of faith and a number of tempest fighters may no longer even be proficient with both ends of their urgroshes.

The whole errata is very harsh. I guess most of them would be screwed just as much with a two-week period as they're without it.

Also, the last batch of errata had a waiting period before its use became mandatory. I would expect this to be the same.

But the batch before the last batch did not and the last batch specifically stated the waiting period.

I am not saying that I am against any waiting period, just that I don't have any reason to believe that there'll be one since it was an specifically stated exception the last time. If it helps some people let them have their reprieve.
Can I have my character use unused 'swaps' at various levels to swap a bunch of feats en-masse? That would save me the pain of my wimpified double bladed sword weilding rogue. Of course, I would still have to figure out a way to get a magic rapier.

I actually like the changes, objectively speaking, but they do mess with my rogue, who I spent the last year and a half playing.


Of course, I would still have to figure out a way to get a magic rapier.



A ritual scroll of Transfer Enchantment is your friend.
Can I have my character use unused 'swaps' at various levels to swap a bunch of feats en-masse? That would save me the pain of my wimpified double bladed sword weilding rogue. Of course, I would still have to figure out a way to get a magic rapier.

I actually like the changes, objectively speaking, but they do mess with my rogue, who I spent the last year and a half playing.





Transfer Enchantment will do it for about 200gp.  My double sword rogue is also in need of major changes now. Rapier, bastard sword, or spiked chain... I have no idea.  Plus I need to re-convert my miniature. After he hits the next level, I think I'm just going to set him aside until Martial Power 2 comes out, in case there's a class feature worth swapping out for, because he's in need of a major overhaul.

Can people with nerfed bloodclaws sell them for full value like people with nerfed veteran's armor did?
The Global Admins haven't had any opportunity to review the errata and our boss (Mr. Tulach) is out of the country for a couple of weeks.  In general, we want people to use official updates as soon as they become official, but at the same time, there are so many changes in this update that will affect character builds and magic items, I do think we will need to offer some kind of "trade-in program" for people with affected items.  Exactly what that might look like, I am really not certain. Changes to powers and feats should be able to be addressed through the rebuild rules that already exist, although we might allow a free retrain for those items, too.  

I guess what I would say is, if you can use the updates right away without needing massive guidance from the campaign staff on how to fix your character, then you probably should use them right away.  As always, the best we can do is appeal to common sense.  

In most cases, these updates will reduce the power of item or power selections you've made, and you might like to swap those selections out, but it isn't the end of the world -- so common sense would dictate that the right thing to do is start playing with the updates.  For example, if you have a bloodclaw weapon or a rod of reaving, then you should go ahead and apply those updates.  You might eventually want to go ahead and trade that out for a different item, and I would imagine that we probably will allow those kinds of swaps to be made, but your character is hardly unplayable in the interim even if you are "stuck" with the weapon.  If a power got changed and you don't like the new version, you can retrain it at your next opportunity if all else fails, so again, it isn't the end of the world for you to start using the updated version.

About the worst-case scenario I can think of would be someone playing an avenger who had made the necessary investments of feats and magic-item selections to climb the AC tree.  That character just lost at least 3 and possibly 4 points of AC due to the changes to Armor of Faith and Improved Armor of Faith.  But you were probably up 3-4 points of AC due to the difference between leather or hide armor and cloth armor anyway.  Since we haven't issued guidance on what to do with your items yet, the easiest thing to do is probably just keep playing the character, take the AC hit and keep wearing your current armor (after all, it's not illegal to take the feats and wear heavier armor, even after the update -- you just lose the Armor of Faith bonus).  Then when we have a chance to issue some guidance on whether and how you can swap things out as a result of the update, you can make a decision about which way you want to go with your character.

Now, all that being said, if a WotC rules update leaves you with an illegal character, then you can always make the minimum necessary adjustments to your character so that you have a legal character.  But being left with a less-powerful character isn't the same thing as being left with an illegal character.
Talk to you later -- Sean ---- M. Sean Molley | sean [at] basementsoftware [dot] com LFR Global Administrator
I really liked the changes, even if I heard about them minutes after taking out what I now know to be my last minion with my +2 Rod of Reaving. IC I attributed the change to a fell power used by the necromancer whose minions I was slowly removing. (I still will keep my Rod, though, and even upgrade it to +3 next mod; I like the damage boost as an off-hand implement).

I do think that WotC should A) buy us a beer or beverage of our choice for the size of the errata document and, B), should have addressed the whole weapon as implement thing.

Still, it is a good day. These were good fixes. Even though for some folks they will be really harsh, for the game overall it was a nice sanity check. It used to be near impossible to get errata like this on books. There was a trickle of information back in the LG days between RPGA play to Circle to WotC. It is now a pretty equal opportunity flood of information and the online environment allows for quick errata dissemination. Awesome.

Also, for those that write CS, three of my recent error reports were included in the errata as corrections. Good to see CS and the team in the errata boards getting some fixes into the errata as well as the CB/Compendium.

Hmm. Maybe I need to buy them a beer.

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Now, all that being said, if a WotC rules update leaves you with an illegal character, then you can always make the minimum necessary adjustments to your character so that you have a legal character.  But being left with a less-powerful character isn't the same thing as being left with an illegal character.



I agree and also like the changes in general. However, I don't think it's clear what an "illegal" character actually means. For example, a dwarf tempest who was using dwarven weapon training to gain urgrosh proficiency is not actually illegal. At least not in the way that a non-shadar kai with reaper's touch became illegal. He can still legally take dwarven weapon training. He can still legally own an urgrosh. But he is no longer proficient with the secondary head of his weapon and the primary head of his weapon is no longer compatible with his class feature (since it is no longer off-hand). At that point, every choice the character made is still legal but it seems to me that a character who is no longer proficient with his primary weapon is not simply "less powerful."

Full disclosure: I have an eladrin tempest fighter who was formerly using an urgrosh and got nerfed pretty hard by the errata (no longer proficient with the primary end of the weapon, no longer qualified for tempest technique bonuses with it, etc). Since the character doesn't have a magic weapon or armor yet and just made 2nd level, I can almost certainly fix what I need fixing under the normal retraining rules--if I can figure out a good direction to take him in now that my initial plan doesn't work. But it seems like it would really suck if he were 7th or 10th level with a bunch of feats invested in the build. (My avenger also got smacked by the errata--but the avenger errata actually has far less effect on the character despite being actual avenger errata).
The Global Admins haven't had any opportunity to review the errata and our boss (Mr. Tulach) is out of the country for a couple of weeks.  In general, we want people to use official updates as soon as they become official, but at the same time, there are so many changes in this update that will affect character builds and magic items, I do think we will need to offer some kind of "trade-in program" for people with affected items.  Exactly what that might look like, I am really not certain. Changes to powers and feats should be able to be addressed through the rebuild rules that already exist, although we might allow a free retrain for those items, too.  

I guess what I would say is, if you can use the updates right away without needing massive guidance from the campaign staff on how to fix your character, then you probably should use them right away.  As always, the best we can do is appeal to common sense.  

In most cases, these updates will reduce the power of item or power selections you've made, and you might like to swap those selections out, but it isn't the end of the world -- so common sense would dictate that the right thing to do is start playing with the updates.  For example, if you have a bloodclaw weapon or a rod of reaving, then you should go ahead and apply those updates.  You might eventually want to go ahead and trade that out for a different item, and I would imagine that we probably will allow those kinds of swaps to be made, but your character is hardly unplayable in the interim even if you are "stuck" with the weapon.  If a power got changed and you don't like the new version, you can retrain it at your next opportunity if all else fails, so again, it isn't the end of the world for you to start using the updated version.

About the worst-case scenario I can think of would be someone playing an avenger who had made the necessary investments of feats and magic-item selections to climb the AC tree.  That character just lost at least 3 and possibly 4 points of AC due to the changes to Armor of Faith and Improved Armor of Faith.  But you were probably up 3-4 points of AC due to the difference between leather or hide armor and cloth armor anyway.  Since we haven't issued guidance on what to do with your items yet, the easiest thing to do is probably just keep playing the character, take the AC hit and keep wearing your current armor (after all, it's not illegal to take the feats and wear heavier armor, even after the update -- you just lose the Armor of Faith bonus).  Then when we have a chance to issue some guidance on whether and how you can swap things out as a result of the update, you can make a decision about which way you want to go with your character.

Now, all that being said, if a WotC rules update leaves you with an illegal character, then you can always make the minimum necessary adjustments to your character so that you have a legal character.  But being left with a less-powerful character isn't the same thing as being left with an illegal character.



People who take silly broken items like bloodclaw or pre errata veterans armor should realize that one day, it will be nerfed and shouldnt base a character around it. I did get affected by it myself, so I will suck it up. I mean people shouldnt be coddled when they use broken rules items.  It was broken, it got nerfed. You either keep using it in its nerfed state or sell it for 1/5 price like any other item.  As far as avengers go, really? They needed the nerf most of all. It wasnt right when my guardian fighter in plate and heavy shield had a lower AC than our supposed striker. The avenger is still higher, but the gap isnt nearly as wide now. I personally was satisfied by the errata. I didnt think they were going to hit things as hard as they did, but Im ok with it. Underpowered is far more preferable to overpowered. Now if they were to change grasp of the grave next, it would be complete.











but at the same time, there are so many changes in this update that will affect character builds and magic items, I do think we will need to offer some kind of "trade-in program" for people with affected items.

Please make whatever exchange programm you come up with an official part of the CCG rules and stick to it in the future.

Thing is that I know people (myself included ) who abstained from getting certain magic items for fear of them getting nerfed in the next big rules update. E.g. I did not get myself Iron Armbands of Power (I know they're not in the errate, but how could I know that?) and a Reckless Weapon many games ago  because I feared that they would be nerfed (and had no way to tell whether it would come the next day or in a half year) and as a result my character has for many mods been weaker than a character with these items (1d10+7 at level 11 - yeah!).

If there's now just a trade in programm that allows the characters who used these items for all this time to trade them in with no loss, I and others have weakened ourselves for months for actually no reason at all.

Note that I am not saying that you shouldn't create such an option, just that you should create it as a clearly defined permanent LFR rule. While this of course would still mean that I have to live with the fact that I have deliberately weakened myself for no reason at all, I and all other would at least have a clear directive how this will be handled in the future on which we can all base our next decisions regarding stuff that might get an errata.

So what I am saying: either keep it as the all or nothing gamble (aka enjoy them while they last, live with the lost slot/money once they're fixed - anyone just has to live with the risk) or create an assurance rule (so that we don't have the people who due to fear of comming errata abstained from taking these items in the first place be the fools) on which we can rely for all future updates.
That's a really good point, Mirtek. I've done the same at times (not going melee with my warlock), while embracing cheese at other times (Guileful Switch - so much fun!).

I'm torn on what should happen. I largely want to say that players should deal with it. You enjoyed something, it changed, you sell it. But, as others point out, it can make a PC suddenly very weak. And, many broken things can be used by non-broken PCs in non-broken ways. A leader with bloodclaw could get a small damage boost, for example, with little issue.

Regardless of what path is chosen, it would be good to see one rule so the repercusions of choosing cheesier things is clear.

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*rant on*

I can't shake off the feeling that allowing rebuilds after errata is playing favorites with the cheesing powergamers.
I mean, why can't I change powers and feats every time a new Dragon comes out? Same issue, really - I am crippling myself with not being able to take every new overpowered and obviously never playtested item that appears in Dragon. It makes my character weaker. I need a rebuild every month!
Besides, what are people going to rule?
Issue specific rules for every change?
If an item is erratad, you can sell it for full price?
If anything is errata, you can instantly replace if for free?
If there is new errata, everyone gets a free rebuild?
Not really in favor of any of this, really.
I know this is just emotional, not rational, but it annoys me as hell that people use an overpowered item for months, bragging about its awesomeness on all the boards, then complain they are crippled and useless when it is nerfed...

*rant off*

Gomez


People who take silly broken items like bloodclaw or pre errata veterans armor should realize that one day, it will be nerfed and shouldnt base a character around it. I did get affected by it myself, so I will suck it up. I mean people shouldnt be coddled when they use broken rules items.  It was broken, it got nerfed. You either keep using it in its nerfed state or sell it for 1/5 price like any other item.  As far as avengers go, really? They needed the nerf most of all. It wasnt right when my guardian fighter in plate and heavy shield had a lower AC than our supposed striker. The avenger is still higher, but the gap isnt nearly as wide now. I personally was satisfied by the errata. I didnt think they were going to hit things as hard as they did, but Im ok with it. Underpowered is far more preferable to overpowered. Now if they were to change grasp of the grave next, it would be complete.



I agree in a way, but a lot of things that I didn't see coming got hit with the nerfhammer.

Case in point, the rod of reaving. It says in the updates that this was specifically to whack the 'reaving/corruption' combo, but I never used that. I just used the rod as a convenient way of triggering my warlock's pact boon every now and again. Killing one minion a round with a minor action and getting your boon may be good, but it does have the opportunity cost of not cursing a more juicy target.

I'm not going to weep to much about the item, I'll just sell it and move on. But I will have to reassess my battlefield tactics somewhat. Given that it's hard enough to make warlock's effective, I don't think they were in particular need of the beating.

The errata in general I'm massively in favour of.

I am in favour of a trade-in program for people who chose an item as a bundle that has been nerfed. Bundles are a valuable resource, and I am sure a lot of people would not have picked up certain items in their current form (it also works the other way - I have overlooked certain bundle choices that I would have taken now that my cloak of distortion and rod of reaving have been whacked. Oh well.)

I'm a bit bemused by the idea that people who bought or chose magic items that have now been updated have been cheating and therefore somehow deserve to be punished.  Last time I checked, the definition of cheating didn't include "playing a game according to its rules."  It isn't the players' fault that some of these items were overpowered.  A lot of them showed up in adventures as treasure bundle options; in some sense, you could say that we were encouraging people to take them, since the character wealth value of a found item above your current character level is higher than the character wealth value of pretty much any other option available in the campaign.

One of the features that people like about a Living Campaign (as opposed to the D&D Campaigns model with fixed level bumps) is that your character grows and has continuity over time.  Except, of course, that the rules of the universe arbitrarily change on a sporadic and unpredictable basis.  So whose fault is it, exactly, when the designers of D&D put out a game and say "here is our game, these are the rules" and then people have the audacity to play the game according to the rules?  I would say it's nobody's fault; the designers did the best job they could at the time (and having done design, development, and editing work for published RPG products, I can assure you, there is never enough time) and they are now continuing to do the best job they can by fixing those things that they have now realized they should have done differently.  But on the spectrum of people who one could potentially "blame" for the existence of overpowered items and abilities, I would have to say that the players ought to be at the very bottom of that list, if they are even on the list at all.

I'm not saying that we will or won't allow people to swap out affected items.  It's being discussed on the Global Admin list (and to the poster who wished for us to establish a permanent, consistent policy for these situations and enshrine that policy in the CCG, I hope and believe that you are going to get your wish).  I just want to be clear that whatever we decide with regards to how to treat items, class features, feats, powers, etc. that were affected by the updates, it has nothing whatsoever to do with trying to punish or reward anybody.  It simply has to do with trying to determine what is fair in the context of the organized-play environment -- what is the right thing to do when the rules change, and people already made decisions in good faith based on the old rules, and one of the defining characteristics of the campaign is that you cannot easily revisit those sorts of decisions once you make them?  In general, players only get to voluntarily make certain types of changes to their characters, and even then are only allowed to make those certain types of changes under specific, restricted circumstances (such as gaining a level), or have to pay a cost to undo decisions (such as selling items at 20% of market price while buying them at 100%). So when a whole bunch of involuntary changes get handed down from above, I think reasonable people can disagree about what is the right way to handle that situation fairly.
Talk to you later -- Sean ---- M. Sean Molley | sean [at] basementsoftware [dot] com LFR Global Administrator
My impression is that there are two sides.

The first says that since treasure bundles are supposed to become useless once every 5 levels (assuming Transfer Enchantment cannot solve it and the item truely becomes useless), and powers and feats can be retrained so why go through all the pitfalls* in free exchange and retrain. Especially since without such an errata if new material becomes available they themselves have to wait. 

Pitfalls: the biggest problem with a free item exchange lies in bundle selection. There is an inherent unfairness in allowing a free full exchange of a chosen item for full gold or another item. The only thing that might work is to open up the bundle and provide the PC with the amount of gold they would otherwise have gotten if they had selected the extra gold option. But what if they improved the item?

The other side points out that some changes can truly weaken a character to become very difficult to enjoy or become downright illegal. Why force those PCs through several levels of play because R&D changed some things?

Personally I am split up. I don't want to ruin the fun of the players, but at the same time I am having difficulties seeing what is a fair sollution that avoids all the pitfalls of a free instant retrain...

So do people have some good suggestions on what is fair and easy way to resolve this?

I don't believe that there is a easy answer for this. 

My main PC is affected greatly by the Rod of Reaving errata - he has been carrying a +1 around since he found it more than a year ago then a week and a half ago I grabbed a +3 version since the bundle was any +3 implement and that was an offer I couldn't refuse.

I would just hope that this fix isn't the same as the Veteran's Armor fix where you were allowed to pick from the bundles you had access to.  I don't have all of the adventures so I can't just pop open pdfs until I find something I'd like (now I have heard that there is a "spoiler sheet" that lists all of the loot from any LFR game but I have not come across it nor do I have the compulsion to search for it since that would ruin a lot of the fun for me) so that option would most certainly fall into the not simple category.

Now for my recommendation for simplicity while keeping the spirit of the new lase fare RPGA is:

Items: swap out for another like item (implement for implement, armor for armor, weapon for weapon, etc) of equal or lesser level.

Feats: swap out for another feat you're allowed to take.  If your PC had a series of feats tied to a particular rule change you are allowed to swap all of them at this time.

Powers: swap out for another power you're allowed to take.

Can't wait to see what is official but with the holiday weekend coming along with a number of games I hope the call is made sooner rather than later.

I'm a bit bemused by the idea that people who bought or chose magic items that have now been updated have been cheating and therefore somehow deserve to be punished.  Last time I checked, the definition of cheating didn't include "playing a game according to its rules."  It isn't the players' fault that some of these items were overpowered.  A lot of them showed up in adventures as treasure bundle options; in some sense, you could say that we were encouraging people to take them, since the character wealth value of a found item above your current character level is higher than the character wealth value of pretty much any other option available in the campaign.

One of the features that people like about a Living Campaign (as opposed to the D&D Campaigns model with fixed level bumps) is that your character grows and has continuity over time.  Except, of course, that the rules of the universe arbitrarily change on a sporadic and unpredictable basis.  So whose fault is it, exactly, when the designers of D&D put out a game and say "here is our game, these are the rules" and then people have the audacity to play the game according to the rules?  I would say it's nobody's fault; the designers did the best job they could at the time (and having done design, development, and editing work for published RPG products, I can assure you, there is never enough time) and they are now continuing to do the best job they can by fixing those things that they have now realized they should have done differently.  But on the spectrum of people who one could potentially "blame" for the existence of overpowered items and abilities, I would have to say that the players ought to be at the very bottom of that list, if they are even on the list at all.

I'm not saying that we will or won't allow people to swap out affected items.  It's being discussed on the Global Admin list (and to the poster who wished for us to establish a permanent, consistent policy for these situations and enshrine that policy in the CCG, I hope and believe that you are going to get your wish).  I just want to be clear that whatever we decide with regards to how to treat items, class features, feats, powers, etc. that were affected by the updates, it has nothing whatsoever to do with trying to punish or reward anybody.  It simply has to do with trying to determine what is fair in the context of the organized-play environment -- what is the right thing to do when the rules change, and people already made decisions in good faith based on the old rules, and one of the defining characteristics of the campaign is that you cannot easily revisit those sorts of decisions once you make them?  In general, players only get to voluntarily make certain types of changes to their characters, and even then are only allowed to make those certain types of changes under specific, restricted circumstances (such as gaining a level), or have to pay a cost to undo decisions (such as selling items at 20% of market price while buying them at 100%). So when a whole bunch of involuntary changes get handed down from above, I think reasonable people can disagree about what is the right way to handle that situation fairly.



I largely agree with you. But from a consumer perspective, here is where my problem lies.

I have a large number of D&D 4e books.  I bought them to use in LFR and home campaigns.  With every book release, we (the consumer) has been seeing a power increase.  There are feats, powers, and items that come out in the books that everyone knows are a step above anything similar in their class.

Now, how do we view a player who decides to purchase a superior feat, power, or item?  Do we view them as rules-cheezing cheaters who are simply trying to min-max their characters?  Or do we view them as smart consumers?  If you were a knight riding a broken down mule, and another knight came by on a warhorse - is he a rules cheezing cheater, or simply using a better tool for the job?  No smart consumer deliberately picks inferior merchandaise.  Thus we, as players, pick superior items, feats and powers for our characters. 

Now, at some point, WOTC determines by looking at an feat, item, or power (henceforth PIF)  that it is more powerful than other PIF's at the level it is being used at.  In order to maintain a game balance, they then issue errata, removing some power from the PIF.  

Really, there are two places this could be done (well, three, but I'll get to that).

1) WOTC could actually edit their material before release.  They could playtest the material.  Other companies playtest, and other companies release material that is not _expected_ to be erratted because it is "stupid broken".  By not sufficiently playtesting or editing material before release, they are failing their customers.

2) A more cynical view might be that WOTC intentionally issues high-power PIFs in order to sell more books.  A book that only gives weak choices would most probably not sell as well as a book that provides strong choices.  By allowing material to be published that is overpowered, they create a better market for their printed material.

3) So your saying, jeez joe, that's kind of harsh.  And cynical, and unprovable.  Yes.  It is.  I can accept that things get through without sufficient editing in the press to make a release date.  What then becomes important is, when you make a mistake, how do you rectify it?  Do you immediately correct the mistake so as to minimize collateral damage (players relying on material that is too powerful for its intended use), or do you let the mistake hang out there and correct it once the book sales have slowed down (thereby gaining as much profit from the "mistake" as possible)?  The fact that we are only now seeing errata on things like Rod of Reaving/Corruption, despite people having been using and talking about this for nigh on two years now, really indicates that these are not simple mistakes that are simply being corrected as soon as they are found.  It seems to indicate that the power level of PIFs at release was exactly what WOTC intended, and that in order to keep releasing future broken PIFs it is now necessary to step down the power level, so that the next wave of releases will have material which can be oohed and ahhed over as more broken than what is currently available.

Yes, I actually have a character that is strongly affected by at least three of the changes - Bloodclaw, Giant Lizard, Soldier of Faith.  I'll keep the bloodclaw, and buy a weapon for the rest of the encounter.  I'll keep the lizard, as it still doubles my speed and gives me a climb speed, and I'll retrain soldier of faith (actually haven't played with it on the character sheet yet, so it's a change I can just back out).  I'm not asking for a free anything from LFR. 

What I would like is that books WOTC releases to not need power level errata.  What I would like is some decent level of playtesting and editing.

Until I start seeing a change in the current policy of "Write It, Spellcheck It, Ship It, then Playtest It, Edit It), I'm not buying more books.  I'll have my DDI subscription, which in reality gives me everything that the books do and more (Revenant, Assassin).
My impression is that there are two sides.

The first says that since treasure bundles are supposed to become useless once every 5 levels (assuming Transfer Enchantment cannot solve it and the item truely becomes useless), and powers and feats can be retrained so why go through all the pitfalls* in free exchange and retrain. Especially since without such an errata if new material becomes available they themselves have to wait. 

Pitfalls: the biggest problem with a free item exchange lies in bundle selection. There is an inherent unfairness in allowing a free full exchange of a chosen item for full gold or another item. The only thing that might work is to open up the bundle and provide the PC with the amount of gold they would otherwise have gotten if they had selected the extra gold option. But what if they improved the item?

The other side points out that some changes can truly weaken a character to become very difficult to enjoy or become downright illegal. Why force those PCs through several levels of play because R&D changed some things?

Personally I am split up. I don't want to ruin the fun of the players, but at the same time I am having difficulties seeing what is a fair sollution that avoids all the pitfalls of a free instant retrain...

So do people have some good suggestions on what is fair and easy way to resolve this?



Pieter,

I agree with your points. Doing nothing will only serve to generate backlash from impacted players and create long-term anxiety amongst the player base. Here are my thoughts:

While I think that refunding bundle slots and coverting impacted items into the appropriate amount of "more gold" appears to be a fair solution, it fails to address item depreciation. A player who selects an item and uses it for 5 levels usually ends up selling it at 20% when he upgrades to a better item. This reflects the heavy depreciation of PC investments in 4e. While items depreciate, bundles do not - they retain their same value as compared to a PC's net worth throughout the PC's lifespan. Allowing any PC to convert any item back into an open bundle slot circumvents that depreciation.

On the other hand, the solution of allowing PCs to convert impacted items into other items of equal or lesser value brings up a different fairness debate. We must look at this solution from two perspectives: conversion of purchased items and conversion of bundles. We have virtually no fairness issues with the conversion of purchased items because the player could have purchased the new item all along. The issue with the conversion of bundles is that the player may thus be able to obtain an item that he wouldn't have been able to obtain at his present level otherwise (i.e. the new item is not available in any module). While this is somewhat of an issue, I believe that it is strongly mitigated by the level of item depreciation we see in 4e (i.e. that new item will lose all of its value within 5 levels and will simply be sold at 20% like its predecessor would have been).

Would love to see others' opinions.

Dave Kay LFR Writing Director Retiree dkay807 [at] yahoo [dot] com
I don't think there is an easy solution that's going to be 'fair' to everyone. On the one hand, it's fair to say that if your PC was so dependent on a specific treasure bundle to be any use then it's not a well-constructed PC. On the other, a player who used up a precious bundle slot on an item that's now got the nerf (there are a lot of +3 bloodclaw weapons floating around) will feel rightly aggrieved.

The thing is, bundle choices are permanent. I, and am sure most people, put a lot of thought into their bundle choices, because they cannot be undone. Feat and power choices can be. Magic item purchases also cannot be undone, and it sucks to have purchased a nerfed item, but as has been pointed out you can only buy items on-level, and in three or four levels time the amount of gold you 'wasted' will be almost irrelevant due to the exponential gold scaling in 4e.

With a bundle, however, you may well have taken an item that was 3 to 4 levels higher than your PC, one which you were expecting to use for many levels, and now find that you've used a precious slot on something you wish you hadn't taken, with no way to get it back.

It goes both ways, though. My warlock has used and enjoyed his rod of reaving for 11 or so levels now. It'll probably hit the bin now, but it's not as though I haven't gotten good use out of it. Is it really fair that I get my bundle slot back that I spent so long ago, and would have spent on a different +1 implement yonks ago if I hadn't taken the rod of reaving?

I see no solution that will please everybody. My solution would be that if you have taken the item as a bundle, have not modified or upgraded it in any way, and your character's level is equal to or lower than the item's level, then you can take the bundle choice back and receive the gold you would have received by taking the 'more gold' option.

My rationale is that if you took the item as a bundle and have now reached or exceeded the item's level, then you've probably got your bundle's worth, so to speak, or could have simply purchased the item with gold.
Allowing a player to regain a slot potentially allows them to gain a more powerful item than they currently have. For example, if they took a 3rd level item at 2nd level, but are now 5th, they can potentially use the slot recovered to get a 9th level item (or higher, if they are willing to not use it for a level). Another player who does not have to do this because their items didn't get changed, does -not- get this choice. Therefore the player with the item that got changed is in potentially a much better place. That's not fair to those who don't have to change their characters' items, especially since it is possible that with new books coming out, better choices might have come around since and -everyone- would like to replace an item to get them.

I like the idea of trading an item for an item of equal or lower level. This preserves the power level of the item/character and does not allow for trading "up". But it still is allowing a trade for some and not for others.

Second, if the item isn't illegal now, for example Bloodclaw, Leather Armor on a Leather Armor Proficient Avenger, etc ... why allow a trade-in at all? There are mechanisms to allow changes, re-training, selling of items, buying of news ones, etc. Sure, the item has changed, but let's face it, this is going to happen again and again and again. There's a perfectly reasonable set of rules within the current framework that allow PCs to change and move on. Let's use it.

Finally, I have to agree with something someone else said. Allowing trade-ins like this, no matter how it ends up being done, can be seen as a "benefit", while those players who are not taking the ... let's just call them "cheesy" and leave it at that ... cheesy items are not getting the chance to swap items in and out. Let's keep in mind that fair is fair ... but for all players, not just those with powers and items affected by rules changes.
What about a ruling that allows a character to swap the item only if their character level is still below the item's level?  Otherwise they sell it for 20% value as is standard.
There is a bit of a fairness issue with bought items as well. If you allow it to be sold at a full-value those players who are considering to sell it anyway because they have outgrown the item get a benefit out of it (although due to gold scaling not much).

In regards to bundles, what do you do with people who upgraded the item?

I really fear this is going to become a damned if you, damned if you don't type of things... Anyway, keep the suggestions and opinions comming.
Replace the item with any item of the same type (slot) of the same level or lower.

If the item was upgraded, the cost can still be applied to the new upgrade.

Dan Anderson @EpicUthrac
Total Confusion www.totalcon.com
LFR Calimshan Writing Director
LFR Epic Writing Director

LFR Myth Drannor Writing Director

There is a bit of a fairness issue with bought items as well. If you allow it to be sold at a full-value those players who are considering to sell it anyway because they have outgrown the item get a benefit out of it (although due to gold scaling not much).

In regards to bundles, what do you do with people who upgraded the item?

I really fear this is going to become a damned if you, damned if you don't type of things... Anyway, keep the suggestions and opinions comming.



Upgraded bundles ... the trading in for equal or lower option still allows them to get a similar power item. So there's no loss there. Some will argue, "but I could have used it to buy X if I had known." Except you never do know. Things can change due to updates, new books, or new rulings.
Background: My highest level LFR character is the proverbial Cheese-head Half-Elf Avenger dual wielding Reckless and Bloodclaw. (Revenant, to be exact.).

I welcome the Reckless and Bloodclaw nerfs.  I actually expect I'll keep those axes for now... although I'll be looking at Jagged for an upgrade.  I don't feel cheated by the change, I'm glad it came.  And really, Bloodclaw is still a great weapon after the nerf (Compare to Gauntlets of Ogre Power.  Encounter power vs. Daily power), and Reckless isn't horrible.

On the other hand, I've now got a serious AC problem, and would really like some free feat retrains to fix that.  (I need to get into Chain... kinda quickly.)

So I'm more interested in opportunities to get feat retrains, and really don't care about the changes to the items.

"Nice assumptions. Completely wrong assumptions, but by jove if being incorrect stopped people from making idiotic statements, we wouldn't have modern internet subculture." Kerrus
Practical gameplay runs by neither RAW or RAI, but rather "A Compromise Between The Gist Of The Rule As I Recall Getting The Impression Of It That One Time I Read It And What Jerry Says He Remembers, Whatever, We'll Look It Up Later If Any Of Us Still Give A Damn." Erachima


Transfer Enchantment will do it for about 200gp.  My double sword rogue is also in need of major changes now. Rapier, bastard sword, or spiked chain... I have no idea.  Plus I need to re-convert my miniature. After he hits the next level, I think I'm just going to set him aside until Martial Power 2 comes out, in case there's a class feature worth swapping out for, because he's in need of a major overhaul.

Can people with nerfed bloodclaws sell them for full value like people with nerfed veteran's armor did?



It can be a lot less than 200gp actually.  According to the CCG:
"If a non-player character (NPC) is available and has the resources (determined by the DM and/or the adventure) to cast a ritual for the group or an individual within the group, the group (or that individual character) pays the cost of the ritual casting. This cost is equal to the component cost plus 20%."

I believe Transfer Enchantment costs 25gp, so that plus 20% is 30gp to move an enchantment from one weapon to another or one armor to another.  This of course assumes that an NPC is available to cast it, but I know that as a DM I personally will make sure that such an NPC is available in cases where characters have been impacted by rules changes, such as some Avengers wanting to migrate their enchanted leather armor to enchanted cloth. 
I'd do the following:
Avengers wearing Leather or Hide armor get to convert it to Cloth of the same kind(example: Veteran's Armor Leather becomes Veteran's Armor Cloth). If the armor isn't available in cloth, they may pick a Cloth armor of the same level or lower. They may then retrain those feats out immediately.

Double Weapon users have the option of changing the weapon to a legal choice of the same type and retraining the feat which gave them proficiency.

Items which aren't as useful as previously thought should stay the same. Just because a +3 Bloodclaw weapon was overpowered before doesn't mean most people wouldn't have picked a +3 Bloodclaw weapon when it became available - I happily picked up a +3 weapon without a property when I got the chance as an option when my 7th level character got the chance...
Some ideas:

1. Strictly Illegal Features, Feats, Powers
Here, it seems the player should correct the choice for free. Simply choose another available option. An example would be Reaper's Strike on a race other than Shadar Kai.

2. Not Illegal but Changed and Retrainable, Feats, Powers
The player must abide by the choice, using the Retrain option as normal when they next level. Because leveling takes place so quickly in LFR, this is probably fine for most cases. At worst you have 3 adventures in a non-ideal state.

3. Not Illegal but Changed and Not Retrainable, Such as Class Features
Similar to previous cases (Martial Power and Battlerager, the PC should gain the ability to change for free. Should this count as using their once per PC ability to change a feature?

4. Magic Item, Purchased
Every PC should know if a magic item was a bundle or purchase, since that is part of the tracking forms. For purchased items, they should be able to get the cash back. However, arguably there is an effect where the item probably gave some utility and they would be selling it at 20% in some time, or paying to upgrade. Thus, they gain a benefit. Arguably, it may be fair to allow cash back, but perhaps something like 100%-10% for each adventure played since the purchase, up to a minimum of 20% back. It depends on how math heavy we want to be. A flat 75% seems fair to me, though it probably seems less fair to the person that bought an item last mod.

5. Magic Item, Bundle Pick
Every PC should know if a magic item was a bundle or purchase, since that is part of the tracking forms. So, for bundle picks, here the player wins if they just free up a slot. Awarding that would probably encourage taking really broken items, such as Veteran's Armor, for a huge benefit pre and post the likely nerf. So, what might be fair is to allow the bundle to be freed if it was within 4 adventures on the log sheet. If the item was picked more than 4 adventures ago, then the slot is filled, but you gain a one-time benefit of selling the item at 50%. This helps alleviate the pain and seems fair to me. Edit: Thinking further, you could also allow a one-time weapon type change for magic item bundles. If the affected magic item was a weapon and that weapon was changed, you can gain a one-time free swap of the magic item to a different allowed weapon. Same thing for armor, as was just pointed out.

Thoughts? Stuff I missed?

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Some ideas:

1. Strictly Illegal Features, Feats, Powers
Here, it seems the player should correct the choice for free. Simply choose another available option. An example would be Reaper's Strike on a race other than Shadar Kai.

2. Not Illegal but Changed and Retrainable, Feats, Powers
The player must abide by the choice, using the Retrain option as normal when they next level. Because leveling takes place so quickly in LFR, this is probably fine for most cases. At worst you have 3 adventures in a non-ideal state.

3. Not Illegal but Changed and Not Retrainable, Such as Class Features
Similar to previous cases (Martial Power and Battlerager, the PC should gain the ability to change for free. Should this count as using their once per PC ability to change a feature?

4. Magic Item, Purchased
Every PC should know if a magic item was a bundle or purchase, since that is part of the tracking forms. For purchased items, they should be able to get the cash back. However, arguably there is an effect where the item probably gave some utility and they would be selling it at 20% in some time, or paying to upgrade. Thus, they gain a benefit. Arguably, it may be fair to allow cash back, but perhaps something like 100%-10% for each adventure played since the purchase, up to a minimum of 20% back. It depends on how math heavy we want to be. A flat 75% seems fair to me, though it probably seems less fair to the person that bought an item last mod.

5. Magic Item, Bundle Pick
Every PC should know if a magic item was a bundle or purchase, since that is part of the tracking forms. So, for bundle picks, here the player wins if they just free up a slot. Awarding that would probably encourage taking really broken items, such as Veteran's Armor, for a huge benefit pre and post the likely nerf. So, what might be fair is to allow the bundle to be freed if it was within 4 adventures on the log sheet. If the item was picked more than 4 adventures ago, then the slot is filled, but you gain a one-time benefit of selling the item at 50%. This helps alleviate the pain and seems fair to me. Edit: Thinking further, you could also allow a one-time weapon type change for magic item bundles. If the affected magic item was a weapon and that weapon was changed, you can gain a one-time free swap of the magic item to a different allowed weapon. Same thing for armor, as was just pointed out.

Thoughts? Stuff I missed?



I'd actually argue for

Rules changes happen.  If your character is made illegal, then pick something legal, and move on.  If your Power, Item or Feat (PIF) no longer does what you wanted to do, chalk it up to the Spellplague, role play it until you can fix it. 

My option:

 X) Suck it up, and put some energy into getting WOTC to

   A) Playtest before publishing
   B) Technical Edit (looking for abusable situations, power level, rules ambiguities) before publishing
   C) Issue errata promptly, not 17 months after publication date
and possibly
   D) Let your global admins, and organized play people know what is going on, so when questions happen, you don't have someone answering (paraphrased from the post) "the person who can make a decision is out of the country for the next 2 weeks". 


Replace the item with any item of the same type (slot) of the same level or lower.

If the item was upgraded, the cost can still be applied to the new upgrade.



I think that this might be the best option for items that have been nerfed.
Double Weapon users have the option of changing the weapon to a legal choice of the same type and retraining the feat which gave them proficiency



What is a legal choice of the same type? And why do you think that will be helpful to the characters?

Presumably, the feat double weapon is still "legal"--after all, none of them were removed from the game. It is, of course, quite possible that characters are no longer unambiguously proficient (dwarven weapon training, eladrin soldier, etc). It is very likely that the character is no longer able to use the weapon with tempest fighter class features (since only the double sword and the as-yet-unchanged spiked chain training spiked chain and staff training quarterstaff retain the off-hand keyword on both ends) but that is not the same as illegal. So, being a legal choice doesn't distinguish it from the choice that the players have now. Likewise, it is unclear what a choice of the same type is. If you had an urgrosh, does that mean that your new weapon needs to be a double weapon (same type)? An Axe? A spear? Or does it simply mean that it needs to be a weapon? Retraining the feat that gave the character proficiency is certainly helpful, but how about weapon focus and expertise? If a tempest was previously using weapon focus and expertise spear to benefit his Urgrosh, he will need to retrain those feats or retrain tempest technique since there are no off-hand spears (other than the Urgrosh whose primary end is no longer a spear and while there may be some kind of designer intent to allow feats and powers keying off either end to benefit both implied in the ruling that magic item abilities and properties can effect ends that would normally be ineligible, that is ambiguous to say the least).

I think there is a very real danger in trying to be too restrictive. It will be easy to create rules that are not sufficient to actually resolve the issues that the errata created for characters.

That said, I think that allowing characters to change the base item of a magic weapon or magic armor is a far better way of dealing with the changes to avengers and double weapons than allowing them to be exchanged for any item of equal of lesser level. +2 leather of psychic resistance? Let it become +2 cloth of psychic resistance--or +2 chainmail of psychic resistance if the character wants to go that way. No longer proficient in that +2 vicious urgrosh? Let it become a +2 vicious longsword, shortsword, doublesword, bastard sword, greatspear, longbow, tratnyr or whatever else. All of those would have been legitimate choices at the time the character selected the bundle and should not raise balance issues. That may seem like a minor issue compared to the feats and powers, but treating players justly and fairly in the minor issues is still important to the integrity of the campaign and the loyalty that players feel to it. Players should not be charged 200+gp just because the designers changed their mind about whether or not avengers should be forced into cloth armor or decided to completely change the model for double weapons. There will be enough issues for those players scrambling to find a second magic weapon when they switch from a double weapon to two weapons or trying to figure out how to play their avenger now that his AC has gone from good to average (or from average to poor--there were people who took advantage of leather armor to let them focus their stats in places other than Int or Dex). This probably won't satisfy the vindictiveness of those players who take joy in seeing other peoples' characters ruined, but I'll go out on a limb and say that the campaign will be better off if those players get no satisfaction.
I think you've got a good start there, but I think it's a bit rude for an Avenger in Hide Armor. In that particular case, the character's stats are poor (Str) which isn't fixable at all, they're down 2 feats, at an AC _penalty_ if paragon, and can't swap out their magic item because it didn't change. That's a case where what seems potentially subtle has a deep effect.

Personally, I think the campaign should just let people retrain like crazy. Who cares, as long as the character is legal now?

Magic Items and Found Item slots are the big sticking point. Personally, I'd do:

1) If the item is over your level, you may get the found item slot back and/or swap it for a legal choice from the same module.
2) If the item is your level or lower, you may convert it into any other item of your level or lower.
Keith Richmond Living Forgotten Realms Epic Writing Director
1. Strictly Illegal Features, Feats, Powers
Agree w/ alpha.

2. Not Illegal but Changed and Retrainable, Feats, Powers
Disagree. One rule change can cascade into a number of feats/powers selected, especially as we get further into the campaign. This could impact a character for much more than 3 adventures!

3. Not Illegal but Changed and Not Retrainable, Such as Class Features
Agree - though what if someone has already used their class feature retrain? This one should be free.

4. Magic Item, Purchased
"something like 100%-10% for each adventure played since the purchase, up to a minimum of 20% back" I like the depreciation modifier here.

5. Magic Item, Bundle Pick
I like alpha's suggestions here too.

Not to pick at a scab or open a Pandora's box, but what happens when a Paragon Path gets adjusted? My wife plays a Dreadnaught, and was very disappointed to see that the Free Action was changed to a Minor Action. Should she, potentially, get the option to "retrain" her paragon path?

Dan Anderson @EpicUthrac
Total Confusion www.totalcon.com
LFR Calimshan Writing Director
LFR Epic Writing Director

LFR Myth Drannor Writing Director



People who take silly broken items like bloodclaw or pre errata veterans armor should realize that one day, it will be nerfed and shouldnt base a character around it. I did get affected by it myself, so I will suck it up. I mean people shouldnt be coddled when they use broken rules items.




I think it's a bit tough to say that WOTC should present the point-of-view of "Use the material from our books at your own risk!  If we decide a year from now that we screwed up, well, that's just your own darn fault for buying our books."

From a player point-of-view, I also tend to think that if a book has been published more than a year ago and already went through one round of errata, we're a little past the point of saying that the player should have known that they were out-of-line for using an item exactly the way the book says it is used.

Combinations of items that the author failed to take into account?  Player's own fault, perhaps.  Using a rules item exactly as the author intended, but the author didn't know what he was doing?  Not the player's fault.

A player should be free to use all WOTC-produced and campaign-approved materials to their fullest extent.  Players aren't responsible for making the rules, just following them.  If the rules need to be changed, they should be changed, but it wasn't the player who made the mistake in using the rule, but those who made the rule.  As such, I would argue for the campaign to implement errata in such a fashion as to penalize players the least, even if it ends up giving unearned benefits to some.

Our responsibility is to follow the rules as given, not the rules we think should be given.
Some ideas:
2. Not Illegal but Changed and Retrainable, Feats, Powers
The player must abide by the choice, using the Retrain option as normal when they next level. Because leveling takes place so quickly in LFR, this is probably fine for most cases. At worst you have 3 adventures in a non-ideal state.



I think you underestimate the scope of the problem here.

A lot of characters are going to have problems that cannot be fixed in one level-up retraining. If you are first level, you only have one feat sunk into whatever choices you made or perhaps two if you are human. On the other hand, a 8th or 11th level avenger could easily have two or three feats into the light armor chain. Leather armor, hide armor and hide armor specialization is not out of the question. That would be seven to nine adventures before it could possibly be fixed and a very dramatic change in the way the character functions that would probably lead to retraining of other feats or powers as well. (To say the least, a paragon tier avenger who is looking at losing four points of AC will suddenly find durability and mobility enhancing powers more attractive since he'll be hit more often and can't afford to take OAs like he used to). Likewise, a higher level tempest fighter might well have four or five feats soaked into his double weapon. Proficiency, focus, expertise, and one or two weapon type based feats (blade opportunist, surprising charge, etc).  Furthermore, there are secondary effects to various retrainings--a character who trades tempest technique for weapon talent, for instance, will want to wear scale armor and a character who switches weapon types (which may well be an issue for double sword wielders who treated it as a heavy blade and urgrosh wielders who treated it as a spear) will want (and sometimes need) to change their secondary weapons as well.

What is more, there is not necessarily a useful in-between state for the character. Take the urgrosh tempest fighter, for instance. For the sake of argument, let's assume that he wants to remain true to his concept which he sees as a tempest fighter. Now, he was 8th level and had eladrin soldier, weapon expertise: spear, and surprising charge on his character sheet. Because he was planning to take fey charge and fey gambit in paragon, he just took sneak of shadows. Being a little unconventional, he had also gone with brash strike as an at-will power to take advantage of the fact that he wielded a weapon with the axe keyword. Now, at the moment, the most efficient way for him to retain his "double weapon wielding tempest fighter" concept would be to become a spiked chain wielder. So, we'll assume that he is allowed to switch his +2 vicious (that's what everyone has) urgrosh to a +2 vicious spiked chain. He needs to do that right away because he won't have that option next month. That means that in order to be playable he really needs to become proficient in that spiked chain and in order to not suck, he probably needs spiked chain training. The problem is that spiked chain training is a multiclass feat and he can't have that at the same time that he has sneak of shadows. So, rather than replace the feat that gave him proficiency (eladrin soldier), he has to replace sneak of shadows with spiked chain training. Now, I suppose that is enough to make him playable (as opposed to the two-three adventures where he wasn't proficient in his magic weapon and his class features and feats did not support any weapons in common), but he'll be level 11 before all his feats are actually useful to him again--and he'll be level 12 before he's able to trade out brash strike for a different at-will power.

On the other hand, let's imagine that the character decides that his real concept was a bad-@$$ elf with a big axe who could fight two people at once like in kung fu movies. This guy is going to stick with  the urgrosh but because he isn't proficient in it anymore (at least not with the useful end) and tempest technique does nothing for the useful end of his urgrosh, he needs to follow a different retraining route. He doesn't need to change his magic item, but he somehow does need to survive and contribute in one-four adventures without any of his feats, class features, or magic weapon since none of those are useful to him in his current state. When he hits level 9--if the payer decides that it's worth it to actually endure those mods--he gets to retrain from tempest technique to two-handed weapon talent. (We can hope that he didn't already use that to become a Tempest when martial power came out--if he did, his character is pretty much done). Now his class feature works with the useful end of his weapon and he also gets two feat retrains. So, he loses eladrin soldier for urgrosh proficiency and loses weapon expertise: spear for expertise in axes. Now, since his features and feats mostly work for the axe head, he no longer has any use for surprising charge, so he'll be trading that out at level 10 for weapon focus: axe. Now, at the moment, he looks like he's come out ahead of the guy who wanted to stay a tempest with a double weapon, but he has still has some problems to fix. Since he lost two weapon defense and no longer has to be in chain for his class feature, he'll want to upgrade to scale armor. If we assume that his magic armor was not chain only and we can gloss over the question of whether he can buy some masterwork scale and transfer the +2 enhancement to it (rather than ending up with non-masterwork +2 scale), he's still out a fair amount of gold, effort, and DM persuasion--all of which only became useful at the point he was able to retrain since he needed every bit of tempest class feature benefit he was able to muster during the 2-3 adventures when none of his feats worked, he wasn't proficient in the weapon he was designed to use, and he effectively didn't have a magic weapon. Also, there were a few incidental casualties of the retraining. Now that he no longer has eladrin soldier, he's not proficient in tratnyrs so he'll need to replace that +1 magic tratnyr or transfer its enhancement to a handaxe (since his feats are now all for axes rather than spears).

Now I'm fortunate in my own characters effected by this mess. My avenger only has one feat sunk into the armor chain and my urgrosh tempest fighter just made 2nd level so everything can be solved in one level of retraining. (And his only magic item is a magic amulet). But we shouldn't underestimate the difficulty that this errata will pose to higher level characters--and we should also consider that those characters are the ones that their players are likely the most attached to.

The fact that we've now seen updates for rules items 18 months after the rules item was published means that no build is ever truly safe.  Obviously, in Living Greyhawk, we saw huge modifications to the PHB 3.5 rules as late as the polymorph errata (2007?).  At some point, the argument that 'someone should've known better' becomes false, particularly if the item was fine prior to later releases.

A related issue is that when Wizards 'rebalances' something, they err on the side of caution and simply kill the item.  Most of the items that have nerfed (veteran's armor, bloodclaw weapon, phrenic crown, earthroot staff, for example) are totally unusable.  Telling people, 'ok, you've had your fun, so retrain everything for the next five levels until you're average again' seems rather absurd.

The fact is, being allowed to change one's character midsteam is an advantage.  The problem is that the advantage is intrisic to the system, and won't go away merely by willing it.  Many of the most effective builds require planning for several levels in order to use them, and the system requires people to grind out perhaps 15 modules of being ineffectual in order to arrange their toys they way are needed.  Then when people get there, they are told they're cheezy for investing effort in their characters, and are mocked for their 'bad' choices.

I have a PC affected by these changes, as it turns out, not terribly meaningfully in any mathmatical sense, but in that a bunch of stuff needs to be switched around, after which he'll be the same effectively as before.  But it's certainly not worth the bother if I need to wait around another 5 levels to do it (either to get the money to replace my items after selling the useless ones at 20% or to retrain 3 feats and two powers...), and then they decided to fix the other stuff too, since it worked to similarly to the stuff they just fixed.  It's really not my fault that I decided to read the rulebooks before building my characters.  I would think that the RPGA should be bending over backwards to accomodate me, rather than the other way around.

Brayden Glad 
Dealing with WotC customer service is like milking an emu... You might get scratched, bitten or kicked, or might simply be ignored, but you won't be successful... and people will think you odd for trying.
A related issue is that when Wizards 'rebalances' something, they err on the side of caution and simply kill the item.  Most of the items that have nerfed (veteran's armor, bloodclaw weapon, phrenic crown, earthroot staff, for example) are totally unusable.  



Phallacy. Veteran's armor is an excellent armor for its level. Bloodclaw may not be optimal, but it is a fine item since you can activate it after you hit and it is an encounter power. Pure damage add and you can switch to another weapon. Earthroot is fine. Phrenic is a bit weak, sure.

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The fact is, being allowed to change one's character midsteam is an advantage.  The problem is that the advantage is intrisic to the system, and won't go away merely by willing it. 



The problem is not intrinsic in the system. There's an advantage to making wholesale changes to a character but that choice doesn't exist in 4E. Re-training a single option (per level) IS (a part of the system).


Many of the most effective builds require planning for several levels in order to use them, and the system requires people to grind out perhaps 15 modules of being ineffectual in order to arrange their toys they way are needed.  Then when people get there, they are told they're cheezy for investing effort in their characters, and are mocked for their 'bad' choices.



Interesting choice of words there. See, many builds require planning. Many a paragon path choice requires planning to be eligible for it when you get to 11th. Feat choices of all sorts require planning in order to reach them. Epic destinies require planning to use them. Planning, at least, is a part of the game and it doesn't matter if you're on the "effective" side of the house or not.

But not all builds disintegrate when you lose a single feat, item or power's abilities. Many of the uber-cheese builds, however, do. And for those builds, I feel only a slight twinge of sympathy. And that twinge could possibly be gas. I can't tell anymore.
1. Strictly Illegal Features, Feats, Powers
Agreed. If an update changes a feature, feat or power so that it is no longer legal for the character, the character should be able to retrain it immediately.  My understanding is that this is way that this currently works.

2. Not Illegal but Changed and Retrainable, Feats, Powers
3. Not Illegal but Changed and Not Retrainable, Such as Class Features
I think it would be appropriate for the next version of the CCG to provide an option for players to adjust their characters in light of the updates, with a minimum of existing rules changes.  My suggestion is this: In the next release of the CCG, declare that a character regains his/her class feature retrain (including the feat/power retrains) if it has already been used.

4. Magic Item, Purchased
5. Magic Item, Bundle Pick
With the exception of double weapons, no magic items changed to such a degree that they are unusable by the character.  There are already plenty of options for changing magic items in game, so the player should abide by his choice.  A complex formula for selling or converting items would be error-prone and make it difficult for the judge to determine what is legal and what isn't.  In the case of double weapons, the class feature retrain should give enough flexibility to the character.