4ed Biggest Flaw

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Okay, lets get things straight first! I'm by no means one of those 4ed doomsayers, I'm actually a fan of the whole system of 4ed so far, being of this new generation of players that came into the game with this edition. I'm the proof that this edition managed to bring a new kind of players to the game, new players that obviously found themselves thrown into the petty war between 3.5 and 4ed defendants and are just more focused on trying to play the d*** game than discussing it, so yes I'm not here to discuss 3.5, only 4ed.

So for everyone who is going to read this, consider it as what it is, FEEDBACK. Not a rant, not a QQ, just feedbacks from someone who put money on something and relates how happy he is about spending that money. SO lets get started!

4ed has managed to create a system that vastly simplify character creation and game mechanics. However one point where this principle of simplification just don't work is, in my opinion, the power selection. Most of the times when I try to create a character, I come with a theme for it, like a bad-mouthed bard that will multiclass into a warlock to show how is voice is a deadly weapon, or a bloodthirsty dragonborn fighter that bulk himself in a giant armor to no longer have to worry about his own safety but rather on the massacre to happen.
And then, after I choose my build and class features (which are one of the things I like about 4ed, the whole build thing), I choose my powers, and I'm always confronted with this problem.

You get overwhelmed by all the powers you have to choose from, and worse, most of the time, their description and role is so narrow or distorted when compared to what they actually do than you end up choosing the abilty that differ the less to your character concepts.

Of course, that's to be expected. The guys who create those powers cannot possibly think of all the characters people are going to create, so they likely focus on creating ability that people will like to use or that are just needed by the class, either in term of flavor or mechanics. But even when you think about that, you wonders why all those abilities are in the same time so vague and still so heavily described.
For example, the description of some class powers like those of the Paladin classes are well done to the point where they give a theme to the power, make it distinctive among other powers, and most importantly do not describe it to the extent of telling you what your character exactly do. But now you compare them to the Fighter powers, you see a totally different trend. For example you have Anvil of Doom: "Your weapon make a satisfying clunk as it connects with your enemy skull.", and guess what the power does, it just dazed or stun your target, THAT's IT (You would expect some kind of effect from the description)! The Fighter class is clustered with abilities like that, they are vague, but still so narrow on what your character do with the power, and don't have ANY link to what the ability does!

If you really want to perceive this difference more clearly spend some time comparing the Paladin and Fighter powers, it's like two different worlds.

What could have been done to avoid that? Simple, more abilities like Reckless Strike: "You trade precision for power." Level 7 Encounter, Strength - 2 vs. AC, Hit: 3[W] + Strength modifier damage. Simple, elegant and the player can adapt the power to his character like, "my gladiator is going to use his favorite move, HAMMER BURST!!!" when the attack is actually a Reckless Strike but flavorfully customized.
Also, less ability like, Shift the Battlefield: "With supreme skill and great resolve, you beat your enemies back." Level 9 Daily, Burst 1, Each enemy in burst, STR vs AC., 2[W] + Strength modifier, and you slide the target 1 square. Why give such a name to what is just a whirlwind?? Whirlwind or All-around Strike would have been a perfect name for this ability, giving the essence of what the attack is, giving it to the player to make whatever he wants with it, and linking the name with the power effects!

Now even after that, there is still one more problem that is dangerously linked to this problem of flavor of those powers.
You guys are making way too much of them. WAY TOO MUCH... And now, just think about the fact that you are going to need to come up with concepts for each of those attacks,and end up with something like that --> Serpent Rock Strike, "You strike like the Serpent Rock, using your strength to sustain your attack." 3[W] and slide the target 2 squares ... will happen even more over time. You can get a lot of reaction from something like that, first the name, "What the h*** is a Serpent Rock??", then the description, "I guess I'm already doing that for just like... ALL my attacks!?", and finally the effect, "Reaaally??".
You guys are shooting yourself in the foot. Especially considering the timespan an edition is supposed to last. But hey, who knows, you guys may know something I don't that would offset that.

So yes, I think the ONLY real problem this system has is the way they handle what is the core element of it, the powers. I think you guys should consider powers to be more like utility. Something that carry a theme about the class and that can be used OUTSIDE of encounters. One of the reasons people complain about the fact that they find 4ed being way too combat-centric is reflected by the fact that more that 3/4 of the powers are made for combat and nothing else. If the opposite was the case, you had 3/4 utility powers and 1/4 combat-only focused powers, the utility powers would be more able to carry the feel of the class, in and outside combat, and combat power would be able to be more themed and have more breathing room than they do now.

Coming from the company that made Magic, which is a game that demonstrated that most people like to have a link between the flavor of an ability and it's effects, I was expecting this to be... "noticed". What would be great is if we could get pictures for each ones of those powers. That's one point where 4ed, should have improved upon 3.5. I hope the way the ability are made is not going to stay the same, its way too hard right now to come up with way to back up a character concepts with the way powers are made. Everytime I read one of the Character Concepts in Dragon I come to this conclusion. They take abilities that don't embody the character but are the least apart from it (even asking to twist the flavor of an abilty to make it fit with build). Anyway a system is bound to improve, and I think it's an area where much improvement is needed.

To finish on a positive note, I just love the whole thing about Paragon and Epic Destinies. They are most of the times what give me the inspiration for a character or what enable me to back up my own concpets, so props on that.
I don't really get what you mean by the power descriptions. You can change the "visual" aspect of a power if you want to. Just re-write the description on your power sheet.

So instead of Ghost Sound's normal description, mine would read like " with the wiggling of your small toe, you create an illusory sound that emanates from somewhere near by."

Simple fix and you get exactly what you want.

As for the "too many powers" issue. I feel the exact opposite. We don't have enough powers. Not even close. We need more. But I don't want 20 power books for martial classes. I'd rather wotc release balanced power creation guidelines, so we can create our own powers with as little difficulty as possible. 
Long Live Dragonlance and the Nexus! I still want an athasian nightmare beast and a warforged dragon mini! "Look, Meat, I'll tear your face off, rip your throat out and eat what's left-because that's what I do to food like you." ~Thrikreen Intimidation Tactic.
My Custom 4th edition Content (New Content:2)
* My Personal 4e Darksun Material found below: Updated Weapon Options. (critical impact, repair, salvage) http://www.4shared.com/document/bMZK2PNy/Updated_Optional_Darksun_Weapo.html 4th edition Athasian Sloth v1.2 (includes three monster write ups and a new disease) http://www.4shared.com/document/lj561SRh/4th_edition_Athasian_Sloth_v10.html 4th edition Athasian Flailer v1.0 http://www.4shared.com/document/JGi9PqSe/4th_edition__Athasian_Flailer_.html
Not when the power tells you that you are exactly hitting the knees of your target, for example, and after that tell you that you can slide the target for whatever reason.

If they just keep printing more and more powers it's highly likely that we are going to end up with more useless and broken ones. They cannont go eternally making powers and not end up end up in power-creeping. Unless they do it like Magic and give an environment to the ability where it can shine whatever its power level is.
Not when the power tells you that you are exactly hitting the knees of your target, for example, and after that tell you that you can slide the target for whatever reason.

If they just keep printing more and more powers it's highly likely that we are going to end up with more useless and broken ones. They cannont go eternally making powers and not end up end up in power-creeping. Unless they do it like Magic and give an environment to the ability where it can shine whatever its power level is.



I'm not seeing the existing examples of these problems, can you maybe provide a clearer example. What powers are useless and why? What powers are broken and why? What do you consider power creeping powers and why? Also, why can't you decide how you use a power? My players and I do, if we don't like something and its a reasonable change, it changes.

As for the conditional side effects of some powers, when you get hit in the head hard, it dazes or stuns you. Those conditions are no joke in a battle, especially stun. Thats a serious condition. As for sliding, use common sense. If something charges into you, and you get pushed, why do you think that would happen? Whats causing it. If you don't like the default explanation, change it to something you enjoy more.


If these are the biggest flaws for 4e, then it is indeed a great edition. Although these are not even close to the biggest flaws. But I'll not go into that "feedback".
Tongue out
Long Live Dragonlance and the Nexus! I still want an athasian nightmare beast and a warforged dragon mini! "Look, Meat, I'll tear your face off, rip your throat out and eat what's left-because that's what I do to food like you." ~Thrikreen Intimidation Tactic.
My Custom 4th edition Content (New Content:2)
* My Personal 4e Darksun Material found below: Updated Weapon Options. (critical impact, repair, salvage) http://www.4shared.com/document/bMZK2PNy/Updated_Optional_Darksun_Weapo.html 4th edition Athasian Sloth v1.2 (includes three monster write ups and a new disease) http://www.4shared.com/document/lj561SRh/4th_edition_Athasian_Sloth_v10.html 4th edition Athasian Flailer v1.0 http://www.4shared.com/document/JGi9PqSe/4th_edition__Athasian_Flailer_.html
When I say that some powers end up being useless I means that they are weaker than most other powers you would actually want to pick, I can come with some easy examples but not tonight. Same for "broken" powers, some powers are good enough to overshadow others, the more powers we get, the more powers like that we are going to end up with, negating the whole concept of adding more powers.

Also what you guys are doing when you change a text description is ok. But you have to realize that you guys give yourself the burden of making sense out of something that doesn't, I specifically gave the example of the Anvil of Doom and the fictious Serpent ROck Strike to demonstrate that.

Again, compare the Fighter powers and the Paladin ones, try to to see for each which abilities actually make sense in your head more often and which is more likely to enable people to build the character you want, the Paladin ones give enough liberty to the power description to have it fit your character. Of course I will try to come up with more examples, just not today.

Finally, I'm not saying 4ed is bad, but this is a problem I feel the system could rectify. I could be wrong of course.
For example you have Anvil of Doom: "Your weapon make a satisfying clunk as it connects with your enemy skull.", and guess what the power does, it just dazed or stun your target, THAT's IT (You would expect some kind of effect from the description)!



You mean an effect like dazing or stunning?

I really do not understand what you are saying.  Whack a guy in the head, stun him.  You say "for example," but I have no idea what this is supposed to be an example of.
I don't understand a single thing about your complaint. O_o

But then again, I hardly ever read the fluff section of a power. I always just make up the power's in-game description myself, and I've never had a single bit of difficulty doing so. Maybe that would help you? Try not reading the power's fluff lines at all, just reading the mechanical effects, and then decide in your head how the power accomplishes this. Plus, if you can think of more than one way, then the power doesn't even need to accomplish the effect the same way every time. Maybe that will make you feel less restricted by the power's default fluff?

Also, there's nothing wrong with re-naming powers. I do it all the time. If that doesn't help, I don't know what else to tell you, because I've read your post a couple of times, and I really just don't get your point at all.

You get overwhelmed by all the powers you have to choose from, and worse, most of the time, their description and role is so narrow or distorted when compared to what they actually do than you end up choosing the abilty that differ the less to your character concepts.

Like, I don't understand why the bolded result is a problem. You end up choosing the powers that fit your character concept that best? How is that a problem?

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!
The names are odd because you have so many powers that repeats of the names would happen otherwise.

Mechanics is mechanics, flavor is flavor. Refluff the flavor (including the name) and keep the mechanics, that way you can fit most powers to your character concepts - at least so many that you don't have to pick mechanically weak powers to be true to your character concept.

As for utilities, have you noticed that you get to keep all the utility powers you gain throughout your career, but you are limited to 4 encounters and 4 dailies? You end up with 10 utility powers, which is the same amount as you have of the other powers (2/4/4).

I do agree that there could be more powers that are better suited for out of combat actions, but skills cover some of that ground already.

I was thinking that since there are rituals to handle magic outside of combat, perhaps there should be more skill stunts that you can learn in a similar manner, that bear some cost and give you something extra.
This problem is kinda true ...

< Beast Soul Eyes: You get overwhelmed by all the powers you have to choose from. >

When you have a character concept in mind, it requires investment to sift thru the many powers in the Character Builder to pick the ones that best convey the fluff and crunch. The task is overwhelming thru the avalanch of feats.



I feel the solution is this.



The Character Builder should allow each character file to rate each power, feat, and item using color codes according to whether it is very-good (sky blue) for the characters flavor or mechanics, good (blue), moderate (gray), poor (purple), or very-poor (red). (Black means it remains unrated.)

Then let the player pick.

This color coding is basically what the Char Op builds do. Its very helpful for narrowing down a concept. It would be nice for the Character Builder to do this on the fly.



PS, Beast Soul Eyes, if you want help putting together an effective character concept, start a thread in the Character Optimization forum. Many experts there give excellent advice.
So the biggest problem with 4e is that it offers you too many power choices, and the other biggest problem is that the existing powers are too narrowly defined.

...so there are so many powers you can't deal with them all, but in spite of that you still can't find powers that fit your character concepts?

I feel the solution is this.

The Character Builder should allow each character file to rate each power, feat, and item using color codes according to whether it is very-good (sky blue) for the characters flavor or mechanics, good (blue), moderate (gray), poor (purple), or very-poor (red). (Black means it remains unrated.)

Then let the player pick.




Worst Idea Ever.

Why dont we just have them take out the powers that are less then  blue?  I mean there should be no reason to ever take grey or red.  so lets just take them out of the game period. 

Play whatever the **** you want. Never Point a loaded party at a plot you are not willing to shoot. Arcane Rhetoric. My Blog.

I don't have the problem that the OP has, but I won't deny that he has such a problem. This, however, leads me to disagree with his conclusion. It is not a flaw in 4e. It is a feature of 4e that causes the OP distress.
Here are the PHB essentia, in my opinion:
  • Three Basic Rules (p 11)
  • Power Types and Usage (p 54)
  • Skills (p178-179)
  • Feats (p 192)
  • Rest and Recovery (p 263)
  • All of Chapter 9 [Combat] (p 264-295)
A player needs to read the sections for building his or her character -- race, class, powers, feats, equipment, etc. But those are PC-specific. The above list is for everyone, regardless of the race or class or build or concept they are playing.

I agree with this goal ...

< Herro: There should be no reason to ever take grey or red.  so lets just take them out of the game period. >

But the reality is, with regard to balance, Purple and Red powers (feats, items, etc.) exist. It would be nice if we could mark them so we can ignore them while we comb thru the Character Builder.

Also, color codes can depend on flavor. What might be skyblue for one character concept, might be gray for an other character concept. It helps if each character file has its own color ratings. This is what the Character Optimization handbooks do, different colors for different build concepts. It would be nice if we could do this for our own build concepts too, on the fly.

Sometimes, powers are intentionally gray. The new skill powers seem to fall in this category, so as not to outshine classes that do something similar.



Finally, when it becomes clear most experienced players rate a certain power 'red', it helps WotC speed the process to remove or rewrite underpowered powers. The overall aggregate rating even helps finetune whether it just needs a tweak or a drastic erratum. Oppositely, if virtually everyone rates a power skyblue, WotC can monitor whether it needs a nerf.

Unfortunatly different people judge by different standards. A lot of things that are red in mechanics might just fit the idea I have and I'll gladly take a sub-par option that fits over a perfect option that makes no sense.

So your judging scale would only cater to the masses... that might not be a good idea. If you want to try this; at least do it on both levels, a Flavor scale and an Oomph scale, so you don't have to pick the cookie-cutter powers. 

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< Plu: Unfortunatly different people judge by different standards. I'll gladly take a sub-par option that fits over a perfect option that makes no sense. >

Yeah, different concepts prefer different powers for different reasons. Thats why each character file needs its own color rating.

But if say, 80% of all Character Builder users are flagging a certain power red. Its time for WotC to have serious look at errata for it.


<  Flavor scale and an Oomph scale. >

It would be ideal to give each power two ratings: one for appropriate flavor, one for optimal crunch. Can you think of any easy-to-read format to do both in a Character Builder list?
Still a dumb idea that kills creativity.

"Oh what powers did you take for your character?"

"All Sky Blue!"

"I have a red..."

"WTF Train that out now!" 

Play whatever the **** you want. Never Point a loaded party at a plot you are not willing to shoot. Arcane Rhetoric. My Blog.

Herro, so you basically hate the Char Op forum? It does the same thing.

Personally, I find the Char Op forum and its consensus for how to color code builds to be excellent.

It is satisfying to have a character concept that can express flavor well, and survive well. Being able to sort thru the powers, feats, items, etc, to do this - in the same way that the Char Op forum does - is a joy.
Herro, so you basically hate the Char Op forum? It does the same thing.

Personally, I find the Char Op forum and its consensus for how to color code builds to be excellent.

It is satisfying to have a character concept that can express flavor well, and survive well. Being able to sort thru the powers, feats, items, etc, to do this - in the same way that the Char Op forum does - is a joy.



I never said I hate CharOp, I use their handbooks quite regularly.  But I do not think they should be affiliated with CB.  If you want to have the "best" go look for the information.  Dont expect it to be handed to you.  Or at the very least it should be optional.  I dont want to have to see what everyone else thinks I should play when I am building a character. 

Play whatever the **** you want. Never Point a loaded party at a plot you are not willing to shoot. Arcane Rhetoric. My Blog.


< Dont expect it to be handed to you. >

Herro, do you even read posts before you reply?

The CB would let *you* color the powers *yourself*, based on whatever *you* like or dont like for your character.





"Finally, when it becomes clear most experienced players rate a certain power 'red', it helps WotC speed the process to remove or rewrite underpowered powers. The overall aggregate rating even helps finetune whether it just needs a tweak or a drastic erratum. Oppositely, if virtually everyone rates a power skyblue, WotC can monitor whether it needs a nerf."

Define most experienced players and how WotC should take their word over how to play instead of mine? 

((removed))

((Flaming is a violation of the Code of Conduct:http://wizards.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/wizards.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=1916 ))

Play whatever the **** you want. Never Point a loaded party at a plot you are not willing to shoot. Arcane Rhetoric. My Blog.

Herro, do you know anything about statistics?



Will you answer the question?  Who are these experienced users?

Play whatever the **** you want. Never Point a loaded party at a plot you are not willing to shoot. Arcane Rhetoric. My Blog.

So lets see.

You love Char Op.

You use them all the time.

You find their color-coded handbooks useful to sort thru all of the options to build an excellent character concept.

That is why the color codes are useful in the Character Builder.

It is a helpful way to sort thru all of the options.

I agree with this goal ...

< Herro: There should be no reason to ever take grey or red.  so lets just take them out of the game period. >

But the reality is, with regard to balance, Purple and Red powers (feats, items, etc.) exist. It would be nice if we could mark them so we can ignore them while we comb thru the Character Builder.

Also, color codes can depend on flavor. What might be skyblue for one character concept, might be gray for an other character concept. It helps if each character file has its own color ratings. This is what the Character Optimization handbooks do, different colors for different build concepts. It would be nice if we could do this for our own build concepts too, on the fly.

Sometimes, powers are intentionally gray. The new skill powers seem to fall in this category, so as not to outshine classes that do something similar.



Finally, when it becomes clear most experienced players rate a certain power 'red', it helps WotC speed the process to remove or rewrite underpowered powers. The overall aggregate rating even helps finetune whether it just needs a tweak or a drastic erratum. Oppositely, if virtually everyone rates a power skyblue, WotC can monitor whether it needs a nerf.




If this were an MMO, I'd say your idea had some merit..
Though again, I'd say if this were an MMO your idea wouldn't work.
The problem with people, is that they all have an opinion of what the game should be.  What this opinion entails almost never meshes with the developers ideas on how the game should play.
This is Wizard's game. Not yours.  The wonderful thing about a PnP game over an MMO is that "private servers" aren't illegal.  Laughing You can change everythin you want.  But the game designers are balancing and developing the game to their own model. Not ours.
I will forever be anti-power gaming or anti-min/max because it is not my play style at all.

I can't count how many times I've had someone ask me why I built my character a certain way when it's better to optimize like this {gives example}.

The group I DM right now is a min/max group and that's fine, that's how they enjoy the game.   We've also seen that with the MAX comes the MIN, and when the situation hammers on your MIN, it can be devastating.

That being said, a color coded appendix of powers would be nothing more than someone's opinion.  It's the same in the wargaming world, there are certain units that get taken over others because it makes the game easier to take them.

It wouldn't hurt to allow something like this to be put into character builder, because it already goes on in several forums.  Software is supposed to make our lives easier right?  It would also allow me as a DM to find broken combos and prepare better for them.
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For example, the description of some class powers like those of the Paladin classes are well done to the point where they give a theme to the power, make it distinctive among other powers, and most importantly do not describe it to the extent of telling you what you character exactly do. But you compare them to the Fighter powers, you see a totally different trend. For example you have Anvil of Doom: "Your weapon make a satisfying clunk as it connects with your enemy skull.", and guess what the power does, it just dazed or stun your target, THAT's IT (You would expect some kind of effect from the description)! The Fighter class is clustered with abilities like that, they are vague, but still so narrow on what your character do with the power, and don't have ANY link to what the ability does!

I think the problem here is that you're not letting go of the existing flavor enough.  Here's how various characters of mine (who aren't even all Fighters) might reflavor Anvil of Doom if they were to take it:

Wing Clap
You unfurl your wings to their full extent, then bring them crashing together with the hapless enemy caught between.  The concussive force leaves him reeling and unable to act.
(Dragonborn Fighter/Scion of Arkhosia whose flavor is fighting with only natural weapons, even though mechanically he wields a hammer.)

Time Compression
You warp the field of time around an enemy, slowing it to a near standstill and leaving him unable to act.
(Eladrin Tactical Warlord with everything reflavored to be arcane manipulations of time and space.)

Cherrybomb
You pull a small packet from your pouch and hurl it at the ground beneath your enemy.  The explosion buys you time for further action.
(Human Rogue who has all kinds of tricks given to her by her Gnome Alchemist friend.)

Of course, in all cases they'd deal 2[W]+Str damage and daze the enemy, or stun it if they used a hammer/mace.  Flavor is highly mutable, and if you can't think of a way to fit a given mechanic into the flavor of your build, it's likely that a friend or a fellow forum member can.

t~
So lets see.

You love Char Op.

You use them all the time.

You find their color-coded handbooks useful to sort thru all of the options to build an excellent character concept.

That is why the color codes are useful in the Character Builder.

It is a helpful way to sort thru all of the options.



I dont Dislike CharOp.

I use them when I want to know more not whenever I build a character.

I do find colorcoding to be quite restrictive.

But In character builder it is saying "Play this way!"

Haldrik would you then be opposed to having future reprinting of the books to have all the powers color coded?  I mean the PH1 can be reprinted with classes without choices, there cold be the Taclord and the only two ways to play. 

Play whatever the **** you want. Never Point a loaded party at a plot you are not willing to shoot. Arcane Rhetoric. My Blog.

If *I* can color code the options *myself*, the way I want, that would be fine.

The thing is, every one of my characters will be different. Il want different color codes for different characters.
If *I* can color code them *myself*, the way I want, that would be fine.



IM talking about the books,  I mean we already know whats useless in the PHB 1 perhaps it should be reprinted with only the powers that matter to the builds presented.  In fact lets just present builds rather then choices. 

Play whatever the **** you want. Never Point a loaded party at a plot you are not willing to shoot. Arcane Rhetoric. My Blog.

And Im talking about the Character Builder.
And Im talking about the Character Builder.



Alright, so how exactly does this help you?  what is the end goal?

You build a warlord and you flag your favorite powers.  what next?  when are you ever going to use these flags again?  when you build a carbon copy character? 

Play whatever the **** you want. Never Point a loaded party at a plot you are not willing to shoot. Arcane Rhetoric. My Blog.

I'm with Herrozerro here.  I have no idea what kind of utility would be gained by incorporating the features into the Character Builder that Haldrik is suggesting.  I don't even really understand what it is that Haldrik is suggesting.  As I understand it, you want to allow Character Builder users to rate power and feat options specific to the individual character they are currently building using the CharOps color-coding scheme and then for this data to be transmitted to WotC.  Then you suggest that the developers will use this information to bump up the power of under-utilized choices.  Haldrik, is this what you are trying to say?
For example, the description of some class powers like those of the Paladin classes are well done to the point where they give a theme to the power, make it distinctive among other powers, and most importantly do not describe it to the extent of telling you what you character exactly do. But you compare them to the Fighter powers, you see a totally different trend. For example you have Anvil of Doom: "Your weapon make a satisfying clunk as it connects with your enemy skull.", and guess what the power does, it just dazed or stun your target, THAT's IT (You would expect some kind of effect from the description)! The Fighter class is clustered with abilities like that, they are vague, but still so narrow on what your character do with the power, and don't have ANY link to what the ability does!

I think the problem here is that you're not letting go of the existing flavor enough.  Here's how various characters of mine (who aren't even all Fighters) might reflavor Anvil of Doom if they were to take it:

Wing Clap
You unfurl your wings to their full extent, then bring them crashing together with the hapless enemy caught between.  The concussive force leaves him reeling and unable to act.
(Dragonborn Fighter/Scion of Arkhosia whose flavor is fighting with only natural weapons, even though mechanically he wields a hammer.)

Time Compression
You warp the field of time around an enemy, slowing it to a near standstill and leaving him unable to act.
(Eladrin Tactical Warlord with everything reflavored to be arcane manipulations of time and space.)

Cherrybomb
You pull a small packet from your pouch and hurl it at the ground beneath your enemy.  The explosion buys you time for further action.
(Human Rogue who has all kinds of tricks given to her by her Gnome Alchemist friend.)

Of course, in all cases they'd deal 2[W]+Str damage and daze the enemy, or stun it if they used a hammer/mace.  Flavor is highly mutable, and if you can't think of a way to fit a given mechanic into the flavor of your build, it's likely that a friend or a fellow forum member can.

t~




Exactly.. My changling assassin has changed shadow darts into an attack that he throws three playing cards. (alice in wonderland theme.) I haven't come up with a cool name for it yet though.

My gnoll bard has Bark of Triumph, in which the explosive sound of his bark flings enemies and allies around.

My Garrote rogue does similar changes, where he uses the garrote as a strip of wire to cut his enemies. His powers change depending on if he has a guy grabbed or not. Eventually i'm going to work him out again so he doesn't suck as he did before.
I'd get along more with people if they didn't jump onto a hyberbole every single time you say something they don't understand.
Powers have fluff descriptions?  I have by now easily read over a thousand powers for various classes, races, and paragon paths and for 95% + of them I have not read the fluff.  The only time I read the fluff other than when I first skimmed through the players handbook was when a different player tried DMing for a few weeks and wanted us to read the fluff outloud the first time we used a power a the table.

< How exactly does this [color coding] help you? >

The color coding gives more control over a sprawling list. Its like a checklist but even more useful.

I grind thru the technical writing of the long list of feats in the Character Builder.

When I read a feat that sucks, I want to 'remove' it from the enormous list. Marking it Purple or Red helps me skip over it.

When I come across a feat that seems kind of cool, I want to mark it, so I can easily find it again. Perhaps I estimate it as Blue. I dont want to choose it right then because perhaps therer even better feats later on down the list. Id like to mark all the feats that seem interesting, and afterward compare them to eachother to decide which ones I want most. While ranking them more carefully, I can readjust some of their colors.

I dont just decide which feats to take, but at what levels to take them. If planning a Storm Sorcerer, I know Dual Implement is a Skyblue musthave, but it seems better to take it at a higher level when the magic item bonus adds a nicer boost. At lower levels, other feats, even ones I mark Blue, seem better.


I track the color codes while advancing thru the levels. I easily consult my ‘relevant’ feats whenever leveling, and even update them when changing my mind. Dragon may publish a perfect feat, or the setting may make a feat I chose less useful. I can swap the feats out with the other feats I found interesting that are easy to spot.

Its complex. I hop back and forth on the Character Builder calculating how a feat synergizes with alternate assemblages of feats, powers, and items. I need to spot each desirable capability easily.

Of course, I will consult with Char Op while evaluating the options, but I might want to do something slightly different, or a concept that Char Op hasnt explored yet. Id like to conveniently keep track of my own preferences.

And so on.

The color coding helps manage vast options to build a character concept.

you can do this.  go to the campaign settings and just remove the horrible options for each character.

Play whatever the **** you want. Never Point a loaded party at a plot you are not willing to shoot. Arcane Rhetoric. My Blog.

But what if your sky blues are red for different builds?
This idea (of a person labelling powers as ones they like or not) sounds interesting. I will pass this thread up to the DDI staff for consideration. Note that I am not talking about getting Char-Op (or WotC) to pre-label powers as good or bad, but having the option in there for a user to label the powers.
Mudbunny SVCL for DDI Before you post, think of the Monkeysphere
Haldrik, I get what you're saying, but I disagree that importing CharOp evaluations into the Character Builder is useful or wise.

Rather, I wish the Character Builder had better options for sorting powers.  For example, my rogue hits 5th level.  He gets to choose a new daily.  Right now he has nine to choose from.  The list just gives me a bunch of vague sounding names.  At an initial glance, I can't tell how Driving Assault is significantly different from Staggering Assault.  Or how Clever Riposte differs from Flashy Riposte.

If I could sort them better, it would help.  Maybe with a click I could highlight the ones that give bonuses for my build.  Maybe I can sort them by what action they require (as you can do in the Compendium).  Maybe I can sort them by the median damage I can expect to inflict.  Or by the conditions they impose.  Orbizards, for example, would love to be able to highlight powers that have a save ends effect. 

That would be a useful feature.  Knowing what the volunteers at Char Op think?  That's not as useful.  First of all, I don't always agree with their assessments.  Second of all, each class, as far as I can tell, has one to three guides, and some of them aren't always updated with the new errata.  So it's a small and sometimes outdated sample. 

The usefulness of sorting is better than the subjectiveness of knowing what the CharOps board thinks.
< Mudbunny: This idea (of a person labelling powers as ones they like or not) sounds interesting. I will pass this thread up to the DDI staff for consideration. >

:-) Much appreciated.
(Stuff about sorting I just happen to have been thinking about the other day.)



Yes, the other day, I was building a Winter-themed Fey-Pact Warlock, and going through the powers, I was looking for Charsima attacks with the cold keyword, or at least a fey pact bonus. I was wishing I could have weeded out the Constitution attack powers completely and put powers with the cold keyword at the top of the list.
That would be a useful feature.  Knowing what the volunteers at Char Op think?  That's not as useful.  First of all, I don't always agree with their assessments.  Second of all, each class, as far as I can tell, has one to three guides, and some of them aren't always updated with the new errata.  So it's a small and sometimes outdated sample. 



Just relying on the color codes is a bad idea.  I like the color code system, but it is giving me a headache when writing my new shaman guide because the shaman encounter powers and paragon paths are all pretty balanced.  How useful these things are depends to a large extent on what build you are going for.

The code system is good for identifying things that almost every character will find useful and others that few characters will find useful or things that have been outdated by later releases.  If you do not read the commentary on why the power got rated a color, the color codes are bad way to chose powers because no power or feat or race exists in a vaccum.
(Stuff about sorting I just happen to have been thinking about the other day.)



Yes, the other day, I was building a Winter-themed Fey-Pact Warlock, and going through the powers, I was looking for Charsima attacks with the cold keyword, or at least a fey pact bonus. I was wishing I could have weeded out the Constitution attack powers completely and put powers with the cold keyword at the top of the list.



A simple filter search would be useful here.  A little text box where you could type "cold" and anything that didn't mention "cold" would disappear.