What's next on the chopping block?

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So there has been some talk on the "obviously broken" quality of some of the PIF (Powers Items Feats) that were changed with the update, and how players should have realized such PIFs were destined to be nerfed (or brought in line with designers intentions, depending on your viewpoint).

So, leaving aside the question of what to do about what has been changed, my current question is:

What powers, items or feats currently printed are "obviously broken" and should be expected to be nerfed?

Example - Giant Riding Lizard had its Combined Attack mount ability changed to a once-per-encounter ability.  The Blade Spider had no such change to its Combined Attack ability, and it remains an At-Will ability (which also does ongoing poison damage).

Should players consider this "obviously broken" and expect errata, even though it has now gone through multiple updates without change?

What other items are there that are as powerful as what got errata'd that players should expect to see brought down in power, and are thus forewarned to take caution when choosing them?

This thread offers numerous suggestions:

community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758...

So divine power and primal power are expected to see attention next time, as well as catching up on some of the Dragon stuff. So my first guesses:
Hide Armor Expertise
Targeted Assault (clarifying that the table text is correct, not the feat text)
Summer weapon
Solar Enemy
More save penalty attention (Cunning, Orb of Imposition, Tyrant domain, etc)
Silent Malediction
Salve of Power
Fey Charge

Maybe a few more epic things like
Sage of the Ages
Chosen
Keith Richmond Living Forgotten Realms Epic Writing Director
It wouldn't surprise me to see fey charge changed, (though since it is a martial power feat, it has now survived two rounds of errata nerfbatting) but it would disappoint me because fey charge is not the problem in feycharger builds. The reason that feycharger builds sprang up all over the charop boards is eladrin swordmage advance.

By itself, fey charge is just a slightly better way of charging for eladrin--nifty but not particularly broken. By itself, eladrin swordmage advance is an ambiguous feat that could be broken(does "target" imply that you only make one attack or do you attack every target you fey step next to?). If you add eladrin swordmage advance to fey charge, then you get at least one extra attack every round until you miss with your charge attack. And that's where the broken enters. If eladrin swordmage advance were restricted to once per encounter or prohibited from being used during a charge (perhaps by making it a minor action), all of the broken builds would go away.
Fair enough. I'll admit I don't actually know that much about the mechanics of the various fey charger builds, just that they're likely exploiting an unintended mechanic to achieve higher than expected DPR.
Keith Richmond Living Forgotten Realms Epic Writing Director
Moral of the Story - If something seems to good to be true it most likely is.

Stuff I'm predicting will be nerfed in the future:

Blade Spider (my guess is that this one was an oversight that will be address in the next batch of nerfs)
Any abusive teleport schenangains (forced teleportation is on the chopping block)
Grasp of the Grave
Crit Stacking
Power Salves
Fey Charge

My nerf wish list was pretty much emptied by the November errata. My roommate is getting tired of hearing 'I told you so'. I'm working on repopulating it now.

Targeted Assault will likely get the axe but it's entirely possible that it will remain unscathed. I doubt Hide Armor Expertise is going to be changed as it doesn't do anything that can't already be done with dex and/or int. The notion that barbarians are now unstoppable due to this feat is largely a myth as barbarians could already do this with dex via the dex build. Would you suggest Whirling Barbarians lose Barbarian Agility too?

If you're considering taking advantage of any of these options and you're the type of player who hates having his toys taken away/nerfed I would suggest against it. If you don't mind a few nerfs feel free to enjoy this stuff for the weeks/month prior to their nerfing. I haven't studied Divine Power/Primal Power extensively enough or been exposed to it enough via my local group to make any judgement calls on the majority of their content.
Moral of the Story - If something seems to good to be true it most likely is.

Stuff I'm predicting will be nerfed in the future:

Blade Spider (my guess is that this one was an oversight that will be address in the next batch of nerfs)
Any abusive teleport schenangains (forced teleportation is on the chopping block)
Grasp of the Grave
Crit Stacking
Power Salves
Fey Charge

My nerf wish list was pretty much emptied by the November errata. My roommate is getting tired of hearing 'I told you so'. I'm working on repopulating it now.

Targeted Assault will likely get the axe but it's entirely possible that it will remain unscathed. I doubt Hide Armor Expertise is going to be changed as it doesn't do anything that can't already be done with dex and/or int. The notion that barbarians are now unstoppable due to this feat is largely a myth as barbarians could already do this with dex via the dex build. Would you suggest Whirling Barbarians lose Barbarian Agility too?

If you're considering taking advantage of any of these options and you're the type of player who hates having his toys taken away/nerfed I would suggest against it. If you don't mind a few nerfs feel free to enjoy this stuff for the weeks/month prior to their nerfing. I haven't studied Divine Power/Primal Power extensively enough or been exposed to it enough via my local group to make any judgement calls on the majority of their content.



I'd disagree with you about the moral of the story.  The moral I take away is that Hasbro/Wotc do not care enough about product quality to adequately test or edit before publishing.

(That's my personal rant.  I know others might disagree.  For now, I'm voting with my dollars and buying Shadowrun and Pathfinder products. )

I'm thinking about blade spider, but it's a huge investment for an item that cannot be sold under the current rules.  The fact that they did not errata it, but possibly plan to is further indication of their lack of respect for the community.  (If it needs nerfing, then it needs nerfing now, before anyone else buys it.  If it doesn't need nerfing now, then it doesn't need it in X months).

I do appreciate your list.  I think you are more right than wrong about what's up to be nerfed. 
You're pretty much spot on about what the greater problem is. WotC needs to get more/better play testing done for their content before it's published to catch the abusive/broken stuff before it hits the public. It doesn't take much system mastery to take one look at the books and tell what is clearly too good. I can't say for certain where the fault lies but there is definitely a problem in their process somewhere.

However in light of the fact that WotC is unlikely to change their testing policy anytime soon it seems a lot easier to just learn to avoid the broken stuff.


However in light of the fact that WotC is unlikely to change their testing policy anytime soon it seems a lot easier to just learn to avoid the broken stuff.



Agreed.  But thus the problem of essentially paying full price for alpha/beta test material. 

I've got a subscription to DDI, which is all I need right now.  The books don't contain enough flavor/backstory to add any value over the content in the Compendium.  I've told my local game store that I won't be buying wotc printed material, and he agrees with my reasons. 



Personally I really find discussions about people expecting WotC to deliver prime products with no errors what-so-ever really funny. In a perfect world they would be right, but considering the amount of errors one find in prime products that have a much bigger impact such as computer security, computer OS or less important stuff like any RPG published by any random publisher (if you really think that games like Pathfinder or Shadow Run do not have abusable stuff, then I admit there is little point in discussing things) or any computer game out there (I certainly never played a game that did not required a patch or more, many times even before being able to play the game). Of course, products like an airplane or new medicine have a much higher standard, but somehow I doubt that WotC would survive a product development phase that takes decades, nor would hundreds of people die when there is a fault. Even laws get constantly changed. I find it really odd that you somehow hold WotC against a much higher standard then the rest of the world (either that or you are constantly unhappy with many other products in the world).

They give us the errata for free, and it is really easy to implement in your own game without any issues. Mind you, if you are the type of gamer that is angry about these changes for their own game because it ruins your DPS build, then just keep it the same. Nobody is forcing you to use the errata. If you have a DM that sticks to the RAW, even though one player outshone the rest or all the players love to make truly optimized characters, then talk with your DM. The group apparently prefers another style of gaming then the DM. If it would be otherwise, the DM already changed most of these items or the group avoided them and they never realized they could be problematic.

Now for a public campaign like LFR it is a different story. Players are more tied to RAW, and people with different gaming style preferences are much more likely to mix. So I can see how this irritates the LFR crowd (both the need for the errata in the first place, as well as the implementation of it, although, rarely within the same person). Then again, how many game companies out there run world wide campaigns offering 1 to 2 adventures per week for free? Of course, the game designers are not designing the game for a public world wide campaign. They keep it mind, otherwise there would not be this many errata, but it is not their prime concern. And I don't blame them. I wished all D&D gamers also played LFR, but we all know it is only a relatively small crowd that does...

Personally I really find discussions about people expecting WotC to deliver prime products with no errors what-so-ever really funny. In a perfect world they would be right, but considering the amount of errors one find in prime products that have a much bigger impact such as computer security, computer OS or less important stuff like any RPG published by any random publisher (if you really think that games like Pathfinder or Shadow Run do not have abusable stuff, then I admit there is little point in discussing things) or any computer game out there (I certainly never played a game that did not required a patch or more, many times even before being able to play the game). Of course, products like an airplane or new medicine have a much higher standard, but somehow I doubt that WotC would survive a product development phase that takes decades, nor would hundreds of people die when there is a fault. Even laws get constantly changed. I find it really odd that you somehow hold WotC against a much higher standard then the rest of the world (either that or you are constantly unhappy with many other products in the world).

They give us the errata for free, and it is really easy to implement in your own game without any issues. Mind you, if you are the type of gamer that is angry about these changes for their own game because it ruins your DPS build, then just keep it the same. Nobody is forcing you to use the errata. If you have a DM that sticks to the RAW, even though one player outshone the rest or all the players love to make truly optimized characters, then talk with your DM. The group apparently prefers another style of gaming then the DM. If it would be otherwise, the DM already changed most of these items or the group avoided them and they never realized they could be problematic.

Now for a public campaign like LFR it is a different story. Players are more tied to RAW, and people with different gaming style preferences are much more likely to mix. So I can see how this irritates the LFR crowd (both the need for the errata in the first place, as well as the implementation of it, although, rarely within the same person). Then again, how many game companies out there run world wide campaigns offering 1 to 2 adventures per week for free? Of course, the game designers are not designing the game for a public world wide campaign. They keep it mind, otherwise there would not be this many errata, but it is not their prime concern. And I don't blame them. I wished all D&D gamers also played LFR, but we all know it is only a relatively small crowd that does...




Having worked in the gaming industry for several years (software), I've got a pretty good idea as the what is an acceptable level of testing and bug fixing, and what is simply alphaware packaged as a finished product.

It's obvious to me which of these WOTC is selling.

Do other companies (Catalyst, Paizo, etc) release product that has things that later need to be fixed.  Sure.  On the first day of Gencon when Paizo released Pathfinder, they also issued an errata to cover the typos and mistakes that they found between release to printer and first sales date.  Catalyst maintains an errata to each of their books as well, though the amount of changes between printings is surprisingly small.  (Largest change I noticed was that the point cost for certain magical abilities changed, and the karma cost to increase stats significantly increased.  Neither of these were things that players by and large felt were broken, but were more in the line of tweaks.)  I guess the idea of fixing problems quickly, and not releasing things with enormous brokenness to start with impresses me more than it might impress others.  Opinions vary.  Mine may be wrong.

I am personally dissatisified with the sheer volume of items, powers, and feats that I and ( judging by the "ha! everyone knew it was due for the nerf hammer" atitude so prevalent here) just about every customer finds in the printed material that should not have survived even the most basic technical review (I can only liken it to buying a flight simulation where the plane was unable to bank to the left...?)  only serve to prove my point that what I have bought in PH1, PH2, AV, DP, AP, MP are simply untested, unedited, unflavorful dreck that WOTC has no motivation to correct on a timely basis.

Yes, I have a DDI subscription, and yes I will continue to play LFR and my home game.  But unless and until WOTC improves the quality of the printed product that they sell, I have no reason to buy it.


Draconic Spellcaster and its Gnome Illusionist counterpart should probably get chopped soon.
Agreed on Grasp of the Grave, though it's mostly broken when you have a fighter around to keep someone in it.

Wouldn't be surprised if, in a year or so,
Winged Horde at-will
Frost of Letherna
both from the last Dragon

Also possibly the fighter utility 2 from today's Dragon fighter article. But, not next - eventually.
Keith Richmond Living Forgotten Realms Epic Writing Director

Winged Horde at-will



Agreed on winged horde--it would not surprise me in the least if that got nerfed.

However, I can't say that this is really one of the "use at your own risk; you knew it was too good" abilities because, I don't think that the direction the expected nerf will take is predictable. Depending upon the designers' whim, I could see any of the following happen:
A. Targets change to "creatures" in a burst rather than "enemies" in a burst
B. Lose the "and may not take opportunity actions" element
C. Reduce damage to 1d4
D. Damage type change to untyped (this would be a nerf since it would eliminate the possibility of applying the increasingly broken psychic lock feat to it).
E. Lose the illusion keyword (this would eliminate the synergy with the various gnome illusion feats and abilities.
F. Defense targeted changes from Will to Fortitude or Reflex. (This would be a nerf since will is generally thought to be the best defense to target and a number of paragon paths (such as divine oracle) grant bonuses or a double roll for attacks against will).

A or B I would consider to be the most likely nerfs, but none of them are outside the realm of the imagination and each of the different nerf options would hit different characters in different ways.

For instance:
A would leave players who follow the "thunderwave and winged horde are the only options now" school of thought by leaving them without any at will power that can hit a surrounded enemy without hitting their friends.
B. Would make players who wanted the control of preventing opportunity actions regret their choice (perhaps they would rather have chilling cloud at that point).
C. Would hit those wizards who looked at it as scorching burst plus (they might want to go back, change to thunderwave or give up on at-will area attacks altogether)
D. Would hit any wizards playing with psychic lock and dark fury (they might want phantom bolt or illusory ambush instead)
E. Would hit the gnome illusionists (not that I would object--beating of gnomes should be encouraged at every opportunity; they should never have let those varmits out of the monster manual)
F. Might hit any wizard who was trying to keep a set of at-wills targeting diverse defenses and might make divine oracles, etc look for another at-will.

For my part, I plan to retrain my wizard into winged horde as soon as possible and would be happy to keep playing with it if it gets nerf A, B, D, or E, would think about keeping it with nerf C, but would want to drop it entirely if it gets nerf F. I want my wizard's at-will powers to target different defenses and to deal different damage types so if it got changed to target Reflex, I wouldn't want it anymore. (And in that event, I don't think I should be obliged to wait two levels to get back to a scorching burst/phantom bolt combo).
If I were making a wizard a few months ago, I'd have made a human to get three at-wills. If I made a wizard today, I might consider something else because I could get away with just Winged Horde and Thunderwave.

Not that I intend to make a wizard, so it's moot, but that does mean that there might be people whose race, not retrainable at all, would be different if it's nerfed to no longer be enemies only or gets nerfed to just Int damage instead of 1d6+Int.

I could also easily see it taking a year for it to get updated, which means that all kinds of feats, race (like a gnome illusionist), even paragon path - for example a white lotus master, admixture thunder, enlarge spell, crazy faerie hordemaster gnome character concept might suddenly get thrown into disarray by the mildest of changes on a power that is demonstrably better than previous powers. Or it might just be intentional power creep.

But I wouldn't worry that much about it. Just... hypothetical.
Keith Richmond Living Forgotten Realms Epic Writing Director
I just noticed that Auspicious Dice made it into the Compiled Issue #381.

Anyone else going to buy multiple sets?

(Yep, in a year or two, they might possibly receive errata.  Until then, it'll be fun.)
How much do those other companies publish in comparison to WotC? Is the number of errors per product for WotC really higher then for other publishers? And are most of these changes really more then little tweaks? Besides, are those games played by the same number of people? The people that prefer the same style of game breaking (I would be rich if I get a dollar for anybody who start a game saying that they use this broken build at the start of a game or on these boards)? Would those companies be as diligent in publishing errata?

One thing you ignore though is the difference between a home game and LFR. In my home game those dice would cause no issues, nor would a power salve. First of all, as a DM I control the amount of treasure. Secondly, I have seen people build characters, they begrudgingly admit would never have built in a home game. Thirdly, my players in a home campaign cannot meta-game about healing surges and the number of encounters per day. Fourthly, if I really want to, I as a DM can easily change encounter design to take items and attack powers into account. Fifthly, I can easily change the item after consulting the players of course. A mass public game like LFR that targets a broad audience just has an easier time to bring out the faults in a system.

Could WotC do a better job? Probably, although, likely at the cost of their publication schedule and an increase in the price of their products. Does the current stuff bother me, hardly. I am not going to let my enjoyment of the game being ruined about something like this.

P.S. Can somebody tell me why a player would knowingly play something that player considers broken, brag about it and then turn around complaining it was easy? I can see how a player want to own a fight through tinkering with a build, and I gladly give these players what they apparently want (an easy fight), but bragging about it is not going to endear you to your fellow players and complaining about the difficulty is odd since that conflicts with the signal of building "broken" builds Undecided
How much do those other companies publish in comparison to WotC? Is the number of errors per product for WotC really higher then for other publishers? And are most of these changes really more then little tweaks? Besides, are those games played by the same number of people? The people that prefer the same style of game breaking (I would be rich if I get a dollar for anybody who start a game saying that they use this broken build at the start of a game or on these boards)? Would those companies be as diligent in publishing errata?

One thing you ignore though is the difference between a home game and LFR. In my home game those dice would cause no issues, nor would a power salve. First of all, as a DM I control the amount of treasure. Secondly, I have seen people build characters, they begrudgingly admit would never have built in a home game. Thirdly, my players in a home campaign cannot meta-game about healing surges and the number of encounters per day. Fourthly, if I really want to, I as a DM can easily change encounter design to take items and attack powers into account. Fifthly, I can easily change the item after consulting the players of course. A mass public game like LFR that targets a broad audience just has an easier time to bring out the faults in a system.

Could WotC do a better job? Probably, although, likely at the cost of their publication schedule and an increase in the price of their products. Does the current stuff bother me, hardly. I am not going to let my enjoyment of the game being ruined about something like this.

P.S. Can somebody tell me why a player would knowingly play something that player considers broken, brag about it and then turn around complaining it was easy? I can see how a player want to own a fight through tinkering with a build, and I gladly give these players what they apparently want (an easy fight), but bragging about it is not going to endear you to your fellow players and complaining about the difficulty is odd since that conflicts with the signal of building "broken" builds



So your argument comes down to: WOTC publishes tons of material, and they can't be bothered to playtest it - besides, a good DM can make up for crappy rules and writing.

If that is how you feel, then we really don't have an argument. 

My enjoyment of the game isn't ruined.  I never stated it was, and by implying that that was my argument, you are being disengenuous. 

I stated that I have no reason to purchase WOTC printed material unless and until they decide to playtest before publishing.  This is a personal decision.  You are free to buy all of the alphaware you want. 

If a lot of people feel as I do that the material being published by WOTC is of inferior quality and not worth the cover price, then WOTC's sales will decline and they will either increase quality or sell less material to adjust.  If I am the sole voice calling for better quality, then WOTC's sales won't suffer, and they simply won't get my sales dollar and I won't be missed.

As I stated, they have my DDI subscription money, which probably accounts for more as much of  my printed sales dollars (after markups at distributor, and retail). 

per your Post Script - Will I use material that I think has high enough power that it is worth selling an item five levels higher.  Sure.  And when they eventually possibly some day issue an errata that should have been issued before release date, I'll suck up the change.  (If you will look at the errata thread, I have consistently called for the "suck it up" approach to nerfed items, rather than whining and asking for a free upgrade to something else.) 



I just noticed that Auspicious Dice made it into the Compiled Issue #381.

Bloody hell. I guess we didn't raise a big enough stink on the dragon errata forum, or maybe too many people were out for holiday. That one could actually break games, might be worth raising a stink so it hopefully gets hit by February.
Keith Richmond Living Forgotten Realms Epic Writing Director
I just noticed that Auspicious Dice made it into the Compiled Issue #381.

Bloody hell. I guess we didn't raise a big enough stink on the dragon errata forum, or maybe too many people were out for holiday. That one could actually break games, might be worth raising a stink so it hopefully gets hit by February.



I really didn't think that Auspicious Dice would have made it through to the compiled issue. 

I know I've been really ragging WOTC about editing/playtesting lately, but this is exactly what I meant.  On its face, these dice are very very powerful.  Given the stink on the errata forum, these should not have been published.  They don't need any other item for their power.  They are just that good.

Is this a signal that WOTC is having more in-house problems?  Are they so short staffed that nothing is getting playtested?  (I know the RPGA guy was unavailable to deal with repercussions of the big rules update because he was out doing "Learn to Play" for magic at a big tournament.)

Per another thread.  Maybe we should be talking about what level these dice should be set at.  They are much more powerful than an 11th level item.  If they were a 21st level item, I'd think they were reasonably balanced.  (Epic level ability).
I just noticed that Auspicious Dice made it into the Compiled Issue #381.

Anyone else going to buy multiple sets?

(Yep, in a year or two, they might possibly receive errata.  Until then, it'll be fun.)



Nope. They're obviously broken and using multiple sets is a great way to suck the fun out of the game for players who aren't using the cheese and for GMs who want to provide a fun challenge for the group.

Seriously. This crap is damaging to the campaign. Why would one deliberately exploit something that's obviously unbalanced and broken? It's adolescent behavior at best.
I just noticed that Auspicious Dice made it into the Compiled Issue #381.

Anyone else going to buy multiple sets?

(Yep, in a year or two, they might possibly receive errata.  Until then, it'll be fun.)



Nope. They're obviously broken and using multiple sets is a great way to suck the fun out of the game for players who aren't using the cheese and for GMs who want to provide a fun challenge for the group.

Seriously. This crap is damaging to the campaign. Why would one deliberately exploit something that's obviously unbalanced and broken? It's adolescent behavior at best.



Why would WOTC design an item that is "obviously unbalanced and broken"?

Would I use these dice in a home campaign, where there is not the 4 hour deadline to complete a mission, and where people actually can spend _TIME_ on roleplaying?  Nope.  In home games, I've been more than happy to run characters with no usable skills, but who have personality and are fun to role play.  (The 86 year old halfling cleric who insists on equipping the party with signal whistles.  Or, the rich, good looking fop who has a huge bank account, but has nothing else to offer the party but a good brunch each day, yet somehow manages to parlay this into successful storylines.)

Would I use these dice in LFR where the group has 4 hours to go through 4-5 encounters, and spending more than a modicum of minutes actually playing a role is considered bad form?  Sure.  Because LFR is a game of tactics, not a game of role playing.  Tactically, Dice of Auspicious Fortune are economically sound.  They provide a guaranteed die roll result for a daily power, or for when a successful attack or skill role is absolutely necessary. 

If you truly think "this crap is damaging to the campaign", then you should be bitching about "this crap" to the people who publish "this crap".  Not to the paying customers who are paying money for the published "this crap" and who are paying in game gold to buy "this crap".  Blaming the customer is misdirected and counterproductive.  In fact it is only though the customers that any change in "this crap" might occur.  If customers use "this crap", then it will bring out the shortcomings of the published material driving change.  If customers don't use "this crap" then they are simply giving the publisher license to continue publishing material that is unusable.  We might as well be paying them to print lorem ipsum.

If you truly think "this crap is damaging to the campaign", then you should be bitching about "this crap" to the people who publish "this crap".  Not to the paying customers who are paying money for the published "this crap" and who are paying in game gold to buy "this crap".  Blaming the customer is misdirected and counterproductive.  In fact it is only though the customers that any change in "this crap" might occur.  If customers use "this crap", then it will bring out the shortcomings of the published material driving change.  If customers don't use "this crap" then they are simply giving the publisher license to continue publishing material that is unusable.  We might as well be paying them to print lorem ipsum.



I'm not blaming the customer, I'm blaming a fellow LFR player. I think your behavior is regrettable and damages the game for other people at the table who don't take your approach. As someone who may someday wind up playing with you, I'm telling you that I find your reaction to overpowered items distasteful.

WotC doesn't have any way to know how many people use the dice in an LFR game. The mechanism we have to provide feedback is a) CustServ and b) these forums. Neither of these is enhanced by abusing the dice. You can post every day noting the problem even if you're not using them in play; you can ask CustServ about them, ditto. You can corner a WotC dev at a con, likewise.

Claiming that you need to use them to make your character more powerful in order to demonstrate how broken they are is silly. You can tell they're broken by looking at them, as evidenced by your post.
If the dice at least saw some usability errata, they could maybe squeak in as an epic item, but as written I'm not even sure they'd fit in at 30th or lower. Certainly not below 26th to avoid there ever being a casual 'Oh, I have 6 of those'. And there are some crazy good items at that level.

Thankfully, one of the biggest excesses happens in a home game rather than LFR - rolling the dice on offdays until you roll something you like then hanging onto it, including across multiple dice sets. Most LFR scenarios don't allow you to do that - you can still have multiple dice sets, but you can't preload them to nearly the same abusiveness.

That said, I would expect these dice to become ubiquitous in late paragon. They will ensure that daily attacks land and critical saves are made. There are many who will take them for pretty much wholly those reasons. Others will take multiple sets of the dice. The number of criticals that happen, especially on certain abilities, will climb sharply. Certain effects like stun attacks, knockout, will start hitting BBEGs with startling reliability. It will have a big effect.

And I'd not be surprised if by early epic you're met with confusion if you're a leader type (whose attacks are critical to hit, for handing out bonuses) who doesn't have them, and misses your attacks with any regularity.

Home games are in far more danger, since there are probably epic home games already where people have bought 3-6 _per person_ to cycle through and load them up with good values.
Keith Richmond Living Forgotten Realms Epic Writing Director

If you truly think "this crap is damaging to the campaign", then you should be bitching about "this crap" to the people who publish "this crap".  Not to the paying customers who are paying money for the published "this crap" and who are paying in game gold to buy "this crap".  Blaming the customer is misdirected and counterproductive.  In fact it is only though the customers that any change in "this crap" might occur.  If customers use "this crap", then it will bring out the shortcomings of the published material driving change.  If customers don't use "this crap" then they are simply giving the publisher license to continue publishing material that is unusable.  We might as well be paying them to print lorem ipsum.



I'm not blaming the customer, I'm blaming a fellow LFR player. I think your behavior is regrettable and damages the game for other people at the table who don't take your approach. As someone who may someday wind up playing with you, I'm telling you that I find your reaction to overpowered items distasteful.

WotC doesn't have any way to know how many people use the dice in an LFR game. The mechanism we have to provide feedback is a) CustServ and b) these forums. Neither of these is enhanced by abusing the dice. You can post every day noting the problem even if you're not using them in play; you can ask CustServ about them, ditto. You can corner a WotC dev at a con, likewise.

Claiming that you need to use them to make your character more powerful in order to demonstrate how broken they are is silly. You can tell they're broken by looking at them, as evidenced by your post.



I find your reaction to overpowered items equally distasteful.  If I purchase and use an overpowered item, that my character has paid in game gold for, and that I (the customer) have paid cash money for (in my DDI subscription), then you feel that I am damaging the game.

If I were breaking the rules, then I would be damaging the game.

If I were making arbitrary rules as a DM, then I would be damaging the game.

But to state that by playing by the rules, not only as written, but as intended (I am not using any corner case, or cheesing any interpretation, but simply looking at the plain text of the item, as written, edited, published, discussed on message boards and then republished in the monthly compilation - thus passing at least five separate review steps by WOTC), you feel that I (the customer) am damaging the game?

Distasteful indeeed.



Home games are in far more danger, since there are probably epic home games already where people have bought 3-6 _per person_ to cycle through and load them up with good values.



But in a home game the GM just bans them.

LFR doesn't have that luxury.

All we can do is harp on to the devs.

I'm amazed at how it seems that we can all see how absurdly good they are, yet the devs are apparently oblivious. I really expected them to have been pulled by the compiled issue.,

4e had the right idea with daily magic item powers, but forgot to insert a clause about not being able to use the same daily power multiple times with multiple copies of the item. I don't think the designers ever thought that people would buy multiple low-level items for the abusive daily properties, in the same way that I think they never thought people would hang on to their level 1/5 dailies until 30. If they didn't, salves of power wouldn't be an issue. But if they will go and print Sleep, Grasp of the Grave, Lead the Attack, Silent Malediction and other low level dailies that outshine higher level options, then abuse is inevitable.

And yes, people will use and abuse every broken option out there. There are only two solutions: either WoTC stops printing broken crap, or players as a whole shun it. Neither looks likely. People will, as a rule, take the most powerful options available.

I expect Epic tier LFR to be 100% unplayable. Un-houseruled epic is already wonky, and with another eight months of potential rubbish between now and Epic LFR. Urg.

Looks as if heroic is going to be the 4e sweet spot. For me, at least.


Home games are in far more danger, since there are probably epic home games already where people have bought 3-6 _per person_ to cycle through and load them up with good values.



But in a home game the GM just bans them.

LFR doesn't have that luxury.

All we can do is harp on to the devs.

I'm amazed at how it seems that we can all see how absurdly good they are, yet the devs are apparently oblivious. I really expected them to have been pulled by the compiled issue.,

4e had the right idea with daily magic item powers, but forgot to insert a clause about not being able to use the same daily power multiple times with multiple copies of the item. I don't think the designers ever thought that people would buy multiple low-level items for the abusive daily properties, in the same way that I think they never thought people would hang on to their level 1/5 dailies until 30. If they didn't, salves of power wouldn't be an issue. But if they will go and print Sleep, Grasp of the Grave, Lead the Attack, Silent Malediction and other low level dailies that outshine higher level options, then abuse is inevitable.

And yes, people will use and abuse every broken option out there. There are only two solutions: either WoTC stops printing broken crap, or players as a whole shun it. Neither looks likely. People will, as a rule, take the most powerful options available.

I expect Epic tier LFR to be 100% unplayable. Un-houseruled epic is already wonky, and with another eight months of potential rubbish between now and Epic LFR. Urg.

Looks as if heroic is going to be the 4e sweet spot. For me, at least.



It's very difficult to believe that designers never thought about people using multiple low levels items for the daily abilities.  3.5 was rife with x/day items that people would buy extras of. 

If you see a low level item that gives a 1/day "ooh, that's awesome", why in the world wouldn't you buy one for half of your day's expected encounters?  (milestones giving extra daily power uses)

I'm afraid that you might be right about epic LFR being unplayable.  It may be that LFR tops out at 21st level or so, the way that LG topped out at 16th level.  This is a serious design flaw that is only getting worse with the lower level power creep that every printed article and book brings.

I agree with you that much could be solve with a simple rule:

"Items of the same name are considered to be the same item when determining the frequency that their powers may be used."
Home games are in far more danger, since there are probably epic home games already where people have bought 3-6 _per person_ to cycle through and load them up with good values.

But in a home game the GM just bans them.

A savvy GM, sure. But there are games that don't look at things that closely. Heck, there are probably GMs who'll hand them out going 'Hey, they hate when they miss that important daily' and then let the party enchant magic item a dozen more out 8 levels later. Or, as I said, have an epic character today just make twenty and hand them out amongst the group.

LFR at least has a number of months before they're casually affordable, and they don't currently have high paragon modules available. Things will start to get tricky after DDXP to a certain extent, and Gen Con by a large extent, but I can hold out hope that these can be fixed fast enough before they make things too horrible.

They are definitely working on fixing up epic play, though. I hope they at least fix save penalties soon (yes, they took some initial steps). Stunned (can't save) is really going to be a total downer if I start running into it.
Keith Richmond Living Forgotten Realms Epic Writing Director
I really just don't get the attitude of 'let's buy multiple, so we can abuse them and suck the fun out of the game'.

Gomez
I really just don't get the attitude of 'let's buy multiple, so we can abuse them and suck the fun out of the game'.

Gomez



Nor do I, but try telling that to everyone who already owns three salves of power.
Going out on a limb - because they find it fun to use that daily, or crit with that power, or not be stunned (save ends), or _whatever_ the thing is, but are either shortsighted with respect to challenge (not realizing that they're taking away their own fun to a certain extent, and the rest of their tables to a larger extent) or expect the campaign to match the challenge of its options.

But it starts at 'I enjoy being the guy who does bla (hits with his cool powers, doesn't stand around stunned, etc), and snowballs from there.
Keith Richmond Living Forgotten Realms Epic Writing Director
Nor do I, but try telling that to everyone who already owns three salves of power.



You'd be well within your rights by RAW to state that someone who has multiple salves of power can't actually use more than one of them. Page 226 of PHB gives more than enough RAW ammo to state such as DM. It depends on whether you interpret 'different magic item' to mean. You could interpret it to mean that once you've used one salve of power, you can't use another one, because it is the same magic item even if you have multiple copies.

A lot of people interpret this as meaning the specific item, but given that you generally can't use a power more than once per day when it is a daily(with explicit exceptions), I don't really think that holds. And magic items are supposed to follow the rules of powers in general except where mentioned.
expect the campaign to match the challenge of its options



I think there's a certain amount of this. 

The reality is, as the player options grow, power creeps up.  A character playing one of the early mods today will have a far easier time defeating every encounter than a character did 17 months ago. 

Because power will always creep up, the options a player has are:

1) deliberately play a character at the power level of core rulebook classes, feats, and items and never play anything stronger, so that modules will be just as challenging tomorrow as they were yesterday.

2) Play with every cool option WOTC releases.  WOTC releases cool options to sell books.  They expect players will want to play them.  Know that early modules will be easier, and simply play at the highest band allowable, as this will be as challenging as you can find.  Trust WOTC to not release material that is too strong for its level.  (I'm not saying this is realistic, but from a customer perspective, this is what _should_ be.)

3) Play a character that deliberately does not take the best available equipment and powers and feats, but instead walks an invisible, unstated line of "not broken".  Other players at the table playing roles other than yours might outshine your own performance in your primary role, but accept it in the righteous knowledge that you are a better player for making uneconomical decisions.  (yes, I recognize the sarcasm inherent in that statement, and it somewhat mirrors the sarcasm of the people joyously gloating over people who have seen their characters decimated [in the 1/10 actual meaning, not the oft ill-spoken meaning] in the update thread)

Of the three, in LFR, I tend towards option 2.  I know that WOTC doesn't care to maintain balance.  I know that some I items I use might eventually be downgraded, but so what.  If I'm not going to use published material that I've paid for, then I'm simply being cheated out of my money. 

I tend towards option 3 or even 2 in home games, because a home game allows more opportunity for actual role play, and there are character choices you might take in role play that you would never take in tactical play.  LFR is tactical play. 


I find your reaction to overpowered items equally distasteful.  If I purchase and use an overpowered item, that my character has paid in game gold for, and that I (the customer) have paid cash money for (in my DDI subscription), then you feel that I am damaging the game.



You did not pay cash money for the privilege of using an item. You can use the item regardless of whether or not you have a DDI subscription; "cash money" is a red herring.

I find your reaction to overpowered items equally distasteful.  If I purchase and use an overpowered item, that my character has paid in game gold for, and that I (the customer) have paid cash money for (in my DDI subscription), then you feel that I am damaging the game.



You did not pay cash money for the privilege of using an item. You can use the item regardless of whether or not you have a DDI subscription; "cash money" is a red herring.



Really?  By what method do you gain the text of the item description if you have not paid cash money?

Either you have the book, or you have a paid subscription to DDI for access to the character builder or compendium, or you are copying the text from someone's book (which while oft-overlooked, is a violation of the copyright). 

How do you gain the text of "Dice of Auspicious Fortune" without a DDI subscription or without violating copyright?

I cannot post the text of the item here without violating Item 4 of the Code of Conduct (copyright violation). 

As I said, I paid cash money for the published material.  If I am not to have the expectation that published material is usable, then I am simply paying for lorem ipso.

Either you have the book, or you have a paid subscription to DDI for access to the character builder or compendium, or you are copying the text from someone's book (which while oft-overlooked, is a violation of the copyright). 



Your understanding of copyright law is flawed. Mechanics can't be copyrighted.

However, since you've seamlessly transitioned from "I'm just forcing them to fix the problem" to "I'm getting ripped off in this worldwide campaign which allows my DMs to download hundreds of thousands of words of modules for free," I'm pretty sure you're just looking for an excuse to exploit the overpowered stuff. Nothing I say is going to convince you otherwise (not that I expected you to change your mind); so I return to the original statement.

I'm not going to buy multiple dice, because I think doing so is a completely jerky thing to do. You asked; I answered.

Either you have the book, or you have a paid subscription to DDI for access to the character builder or compendium, or you are copying the text from someone's book (which while oft-overlooked, is a violation of the copyright). 



Your understanding of copyright law is flawed. Mechanics can't be copyrighted.

However, since you've seamlessly transitioned from "I'm just forcing them to fix the problem" to "I'm getting ripped off in this worldwide campaign which allows my DMs to download hundreds of thousands of words of modules for free," I'm pretty sure you're just looking for an excuse to exploit the overpowered stuff. Nothing I say is going to convince you otherwise (not that I expected you to change your mind); so I return to the original statement.

I'm not going to buy multiple dice, because I think doing so is a completely jerky thing to do. You asked; I answered.



Wow.  Putting words into my mouth much?

Hint: the little quotey things are for quoting what people say, not what you wish them to have said so that you can argue against a strawman.

Good day, sirrah.
It's very difficult to believe that designers never thought about people using multiple low levels items for the daily abilities.  3.5 was rife with x/day items that people would buy extras of. 

If you see a low level item that gives a 1/day "ooh, that's awesome", why in the world wouldn't you buy one for half of your day's expected encounters?  (milestones giving extra daily power uses)

I'm afraid that you might be right about epic LFR being unplayable.  It may be that LFR tops out at 21st level or so, the way that LG topped out at 16th level.  This is a serious design flaw that is only getting worse with the lower level power creep that every printed article and book brings.

I agree with you that much could be solve with a simple rule:

"Items of the same name are considered to be the same item when determining the frequency that their powers may be used."



When I first started playing 3e, I didn't like the concept of wands of cure light wounds.  With them in the game, there's never the question of "Do we have the hit points to survive another encounter, or should we rest?"  You can always start at full health.

Definitely overused items were pearls of power and metamagic rods.  Get three 2nd level pearls and a lesser metamagic rod of extend, and a twelfth level druid can keep a PC in Barkskin for every waking hour, only requiring one spell slot to do it.

I agree that making each item unique would improve matters, and make the game more interesting.
The designers didn't think of multiple magic items, because they assume the DM will regulate how items are distributed in the game.
The designers do not design for LFR, so the designs occasionally fail in that context.

I am personally in favor for a LFR rule that prohibits more than one version of an item per PC (with an exception for potions of healing).

Gomez

I'd disagree with you about the moral of the story.  The moral I take away is that Hasbro/Wotc do not care enough about product quality to adequately test or edit before publishing.



But here's the thing.  They are perfectly capable of creating balanced, well-edited, and playtested work.  They do it all the time for Magic: the Gathering.

Card rules are written in a consistent manner with consistent terminology.  FAQs are released at the same time as new cards, detailing how the rules work on the cards that aren't clear on the first read ("Any permanent that's both an artifact and a creature is a legal target for Molten Frame."), and even mentioning less common rule interactions ("Nyxathid's two abilities are linked: The second one refers only to the player chosen by the first one. If another creature becomes a copy of Nyxathid (due to Mirrorweave, for example), the second ability won't do anything because a player was never chosen as a result of the first ability. This is true even if a different ability allowed a player to be chosen as that creature came into play.").

I think there's been one card in the last ten years that needed immediate errata because it was printed incorrectly (if I remember correctly, it was missing "until the end of turn").

Like D&D's powers, some Magic cards are better than others.  But they're extensively playtested for balance in Constructed and Limited formats.  R&D is generally good at predicting which decks will rise to the top in Constructed, rarely missing some combination that makes things "too good."  (For example, they missed the use of Gigadrowse, which made Dragonstorm a better deck than they thought it would be.)  Only one block this decade required bannings to correct an imbalanced format.

WOTC can do this.  Why don't they do this for D&D?
The designers didn't think of multiple magic items, because they assume the DM will regulate how items are distributed in the game.
The designers do not design for LFR, so the designs occasionally fail in that context.

I am personally in favor for a LFR rule that prohibits more than one version of an item per PC (with an exception for potions of healing).

Gomez



Again we hear the argument that a good DM can compensate for poor writing/design.

While it is true, it speaks poorly of the writer/designer that we make thousands of DM's repeatedly deal with shortcomings that one or two writers could have fixed.

Highly inefficient.  Its like shipping cars with known safety and mechanical flaws, leaving it up to the mechanics at dealerships to fix when things go wrong.  The designers and writers need to be more responsible for their errors.  There is never an excuse for poor quality product.


I'd disagree with you about the moral of the story.  The moral I take away is that Hasbro/Wotc do not care enough about product quality to adequately test or edit before publishing.



But here's the thing.  They are perfectly capable of creating balanced, well-edited, and playtested work.  They do it all the time for Magic: the Gathering.

Card rules are written in a consistent manner with consistent terminology.  FAQs are released at the same time as new cards, detailing how the rules work on the cards that aren't clear on the first read ("Any permanent that's both an artifact and a creature is a legal target for Molten Frame."), and even mentioning less common rule interactions ("Nyxathid's two abilities are linked: The second one refers only to the player chosen by the first one. If another creature becomes a copy of Nyxathid (due to Mirrorweave, for example), the second ability won't do anything because a player was never chosen as a result of the first ability. This is true even if a different ability allowed a player to be chosen as that creature came into play.").

I think there's been one card in the last ten years that needed immediate errata because it was printed incorrectly (if I remember correctly, it was missing "until the end of turn").

Like D&D's powers, some Magic cards are better than others.  But they're extensively playtested for balance in Constructed and Limited formats.  R&D is generally good at predicting which decks will rise to the top in Constructed, rarely missing some combination that makes things "too good."  (For example, they missed the use of Gigadrowse, which made Dragonstorm a better deck than they thought it would be.)  Only one block this decade required bannings to correct an imbalanced format.

WOTC can do this.  Why don't they do this for D&D?



I agree with every word you've said.

My guess at an answer -

1) Magic makes more money for WOTC than D&D (I don't know if this is true, if it is then it is a reason that D&D gets the short end of the design stick).

2) The attitude that the DM will make up for poor writing.  (see above posts)

WOTC pioneered exception-based rules systems.  They still have patents running on Magic:The Gathering.  They consistently show that they _CAN_ produce balanced, well designed product.  (BTW, what's the total card count for Magic? Something like 12K different cards?  And every single possible interaction has a knowable-within-the-published-rules resolution.  Even the very crazy stuff relying on copy effects, enters battlefield effects, and while-on-the-stack abilities.)  

The only reason they are not doing so with D&D is that they choose not to.

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