Dragon 390 - Countdown to Essentials: Powers, Implements, Feats…

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Dragon 390
Countdown to Essentials
Powers, Implements, Feats…

By Mike Mearls

Today, Mike talks about major revisions that occur in Essentials for the game moving forward: Implements now work like weapons; rules updates for powers; versatile racial ability score modifiers and the Human Racial Power; feat categories and replacements; and the magic item revision mentioned at Gencon.

Talk about this preview column here.

Before posting, why not ask yourself, What Would Wrecan Say?

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A great man once said "If WotC put out boxes full of free money there'd still be people complaining about how it's folded." – Boraxe

There've been a lot of threads calling doom and gloom about essentials, and I've for the most part ignored them.  But the change to Melee Training is the first thing that worries me.  So basically, Battleminds and Swordmages get a nerf because 3e grognards don't like having powers and want to play characters whose sole function is 'I hit it with my sword'?

Whee. Fun. 
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Hooray for nerfing feats that weren't even remotely overpowered or outrageous at all. And oh boy, swordmages get beaten down even more. 
Won't Swordmages still have Intelligent Blademaster, though?
I think the update to Melee Training feat should not be done.

Having full attack roll bonus but only half damage bonus is .... too weak. MT was never be "must have" in my games but a useful option. I guess this update will change this feat from a useful one into a worthless one.

If they think giving good melee basic attack with one feat is too much, they should also update Power of Skill feat. That one is more powerful.

In one game I am attending, there is an avenger of Erathis who took Melee Training. In another game I am DMing, another avenger just took Power of Skill feat because she worship Ioun, who has skill domain.

I am afraid that this change encourage players to choose their PC's deity just for having good domain feat, not for player's taste. This problem is not new, but not something should be made more significant.

Plus, IMHO, this one is another "over-update". Didn't Mike say he is trying to reduce the number of updates? This feat is NOT causing that big problem at this moment. 4e is already becoming infamous for having tons of updates. Some even say current rulebooks are almost useless because of it. Update should be only done, when something is REALLY causing game-balance issue.
Won't Swordmages still have Intelligent Blademaster, though?



Yes they have. And charisma paladin already have an at-will CHA weapon power which can be usable as a melee basic attack. The real ones who suffer from this change will be Battleminds.

And maybe Monks. Even now they have almost no use for their "monk unarmed strike" class feature. If they cannot have a way to use their Dex for melee basic attack, then it will become "why on earth be there?" class feature.

All of these changes sound realy good to me. Melee training sounded kinda bad at first, until I gave it a few seconds thought. At level 30, the most damage you will give up to this nerf is 5. That doesn't even register. And the classes who use this feat are using it for extra attacks beyond their regular standard action per round. When I think about that, it makes me wonder why the feat wasn't always like it's soon going to be.

I am currently playing a rogue with melee training. I will not be retraining it. I guess it can't be all that bad then (for me anyway).

Anyway, after reading this latest article and seeing the 2011 product list, it has really hit home that D&D is in very good hands with Mearls at the helm.
Melee Training messed with class balance a little, and was poised to break the Essentials Martial classes before they'd even hit print.  The nerf is mild.  'Updating' it to replace STR for attack rolls /only/, and leaving STR for damage would have been perfectly reasonable. 

 

 

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this article raised a question about the feats change. When the essentials product come out will we have two system of feats working along each other ? the essentials feat on one side with no tier and the previous feats with tiers systems ?
or does the previous feats lose their tiers classification ?

if so how are they gonna be updated ?

in the future (the other non-essential product, ex: primal power 3), the feats in those supplement will be tiered or not ?  
if not , the tier system become kinda unwanted and so those feats will need to revised , no ?

as i said, questions...questions...
 
Melee Training messed with class balance a little, and was poised to break the Essentials Martial classes before they'd even hit print. 



Would you please explain how Melee Training messed with class balance?

I understand that there are some builds which works better with Melee Training feat. But usually a build of one character alone does not give enough reason to take this feat.

Melee basic attack itself is, even with full ability modifiers for both attack and damage, the weakest kind of attack.

Even now, I see people take melee training only when,

1) The class's primal ability score is not STR
and
2) There is no other ways to use their primal or secondary ability score for making a melee basic attack (So no charisma-din, no avenger of skill domain deity)
and
3) There is a good chance to use melee basic attack often. This is usually done by having some special characters (like warlord) in the party.

I still can't understand why this feat must be nerfed down.
II love how instead of making Essentials compatible with 4th Ed, they're just erring 4th Ed. technically the two are compatible, but only after current purchases are made pointless.
II love how instead of making Essentials compatible with 4th Ed, they're just erring 4th Ed. technically the two are compatible, but only after current purchases are made pointless.



Pointless? Isn't that a bit strong?

We're looking at maybe half a dozen feats being outdated. Maybe one or two that get directly changed. Some new options for races, which changes nothing retroactively. Some boosts to Wizard encounter powers. And maybe a handful of updated powers.

If 98% of the material you have is still the same, I think it will remain a worthwhile product.  
Damn I love errata. After they fixed that uber broken Magic Missile, they are now finally fixing Melee Training feat. Boy was that feat broken!
Damn I love errata. After they fixed that uber broken Magic Missile, they are now finally fixing Melee Training feat. Boy was that feat broken!


Nobody ever said MM was broken; it was meant to go back to the original "feel" of the spell, since from Basic to 3.5, it always was an autohit spell.

Anyway, I see where they're going here.  Melee Training isn't broken as it stands, but for the Essentials classes that focus on basics, it kinda is.  We're talking about taking a character who normally depends on two stats -- a primary for attack rolls and damage, and a secondary for kicker effects -- and making them depend on one stat for everything.  I can see where you'd want to give some benefits to the guy who chose not to feat into that (other than just having an available feat slot).

That said, is this change meant to be an update to those of us playing the main game?  Is the compendium going to update to the Essentials version of the feat, or can my monk continue to punch for full damage on his opportunity attacks?  The article doesn't really say, and I'd love to get some kind of clarification on that!

I like the changes to racial stat bonuses; the original races were written up with the expection of having more V-shaped classes (choice of two primary stats and one kicker stat, like the paladin and warlock), and they found out that V-classes kinda sucked, but having only A-shaped classes really limits where your races can go if they want to have a +2 to your primary attack stat (and who doesn't?)  Having three primary stats to pick from really opens up your options.  And I really like the human "encounter power instead of bonus at-will" thing.  I know several builds that don't really benefit from having another at-will.
Anyway, I see where they're going here.  Melee Training isn't broken as it stands, but for the Essentials classes that focus on basics, it kinda is.  We're talking about taking a character who normally depends on two stats -- a primary for attack rolls and damage, and a secondary for kicker effects -- and making them depend on one stat for everything.  I can see where you'd want to give some benefits to the guy who chose not to feat into that (other than just having an available feat slot).

That said, is this change meant to be an update to those of us playing the main game?  Is the compendium going to update to the Essentials version of the feat, or can my monk continue to punch for full damage on his opportunity attacks?  The article doesn't really say, and I'd love to get some kind of clarification on that!


i, too, readily appreciate the need for this revision to melee training with respect to the new mba-based classes; however, the revision really is nothing but an unnecessary--even inappropriate--nerf for most preexisting classes (the battlemind, as mentioned above, being an excellent example of this).

i think that a rather simple remedy for this dilemma is to provide each at-will using class at least two at-will options that can serve as basic attacks.  of course, power point using psionic classes will need more attention in this regard.
i think that a rather simple remedy for this dilemma is to provide each at-will using class at least two at-will options that can serve as basic attacks.  of course, power point using psionic classes will need more attention in this regard.


I think it's kind of a rip that Battleminds don't get the ability to make MBAs with their con as a class feature.  Why give them a feat tax, when you know defenders have to be able to make serious opportunity attacks?
"dwarves now gain a +2 bonus to Constitution and a +2 bonus to either Strength or Wisdom"

awesome

"Elves excel at both archery and arcane magic"
 
hmm, maybe it will be

elf: wis, dex or int (good primal and wizards)
eladrin: int, dex or cha (good wizards and warlocks)
drow: cha, dex or wis (good sorcerers and clerics)
i think that a rather simple remedy for this dilemma is to provide each at-will using class at least two at-will options that can serve as basic attacks.  of course, power point using psionic classes will need more attention in this regard.


I think it's kind of a rip that Battleminds don't get the ability to make MBAs with their con as a class feature.  Why give them a feat tax, when you know defenders have to be able to make serious opportunity attacks?


i agree wholeheartedly.
Battleminds have only got one Level 1 At-Will power (Twisted Eye) that can be used as a Melee Basic, and even then only on opportunity attacks, and even then they have to spend a power point to do so.

There does seem to be a pretty obvious hole there for them - a class feature, a special feat (Battlemind-specific in the same vein as Intelligent Blademaster for Swordmage), an At-Will that can be used as a Melee Basic (like Virtuous Strike for Cha-based Paladins), or even an At-Will that can be used as a Melee Basic only for opportunity attacks (un-augmented, Twisted Eye doesn't cut it by using encounter resources to make useful opportunity attacks). (Maybe material in Psionic Power fixes that, I dunno, I haven't seen that yet.) Better yet, give them multiple options and let the player choose; wasn't giving the players interesting character creation options supposed to be one of the main points of 4E?
“If the computer or the game designer is having more fun than the player, you have made a terrible mistake.” -Sid Meier
Battleminds aren't really dependant on Opporutnity Attacks and thus don't need a serious basic melee strike.  I've been playing the D&D Encounters: Dark Sun battlemind and I've not had to make a melee basic attack yet (despite the fact that said battlemind as the aforementioned Melee Training feat).  Mind Spike (the battlemind's retribution for ignoring his mark) is an Immediate Reaction, not an Opprotunity Attack.  The battlemind has no class features which allow him to make melee basic attacks on a regular basis, nor does it have any class features which interact with basic melee attacks.  Battleminds are in no worse of a boat in this respect than any other melee character who doesn't use Str as their primary stat.  The fact that they are defenders doesn't play into it.
I've been DMing that same encouters season.  And I'm not joking when I say this:

To make the battlemind feel like a defender, I have to work.  I have to try to make the monsters act in ways that permit him to react.  I have to deliberately decide to shift away rather than just walk away.  I have to make artillery shift back for no good reason rather than just walk away before shooting.  It's work to make the battlemind look competent.  The fighter, on the other hand, makes me work to keep him from dominating.

To repeat:
  • The Battlemind makes me work to make the battlemind feel effective

  • The Fighter makes me work to keep the fighter from dominating.


The THREAT of a reasonable OA is a required element for being a defender.  If the OA is never provoked, it's working perfectly.  The battlemind doesn't have a reasonable OA.  I think your DM is just assuming he has to be worried about it, when he doesn't.

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

I don't think it's about foes who ignore a mark - every defender has a possible punishment for that. I think it's about foes that simply run away. Or use ranged powers while adjacent.

Fighters, Wardens, & Str-based Paladins naturally have good Melee Basic Attacks.
Cha-based Paladins can take an At-Will power that can be used as a Melee Basic Attack; alternatively, they could take Melee Training (Charisma) [though I feel taking the At-Will (Virtuous Strike) is a better avenue].
Swordmages have the Intelligent Blademaster feat; also, they have Strength as one of their secondary attributes, particularly for the Assault build where Strength would be the attribute most likely raised along with Intelligence.
Battleminds are left with Melee Training (Constitution), as Strength isn't even one of the secondary attributes for the Battlemind, so it will continue to fall behind the primary attribute their class is built around.


“If the computer or the game designer is having more fun than the player, you have made a terrible mistake.” -Sid Meier
AHHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! I KNEW IT!

Jeez, WotC, you get worse every year. Now you're pulling all the stops to COVER UP the blatantly obvious fact that Essentials is really 4.5e! What true corporate jerks you are!

Anyone that says Essentials is not 4.5e is clearly in denial because they're too big of a 4E Fanboy to realize it. Oh I can't wait for 5e! It's just around the corner, with the Rules Compendium coming out and all.

Within the next 2 Gen Cons, 5e WILL be announced! You heard it here first!
AHHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! I KNEW IT!

Jeez, WotC, you get worse every year. Now you're pulling all the stops to COVER UP the blatantly obvious fact that Essentials is really 4.5e! What true corporate jerks you are!

Anyone that says Essentials is not 4.5e is clearly in denial because they're too big of a 4E Fanboy to realize it. Oh I can't wait for 5e! It's just around the corner, with the Rules Compendium coming out and all.

Within the next 2 Gen Cons, 5e WILL be announced! You heard it here first!

Wow. Here we have another disgruntled fan-boy reading something about a game on the internet, making it out to be something it isn't, going on a message-board where people who play the game congregate, yelling, "I told you so! HAHAHA!", making an outrageous claim that has no basis in reality, calling the players of the game a name that just as well suits him, and finally, claiming he was the first person to do so. You don't just win the internet, you are the internet.
AHHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! I KNEW IT!

Jeez, WotC, you get worse every year. Now you're pulling all the stops to COVER UP the blatantly obvious fact that Essentials is really 4.5e! What true corporate jerks you are!

Anyone that says Essentials is not 4.5e is clearly in denial because they're too big of a 4E Fanboy to realize it. Oh I can't wait for 5e! It's just around the corner, with the Rules Compendium coming out and all.

Within the next 2 Gen Cons, 5e WILL be announced! You heard it here first!

Love your avatar..
When they say Elves are good at Arcane magic . . . that doesn't suggest they are phasing out the whole Eladrin Elf difference does it? I quite liked the separation of the two, I was hoping they would have a str increase so they would make good wardens, rangers, and barbarians.

Has anything mentioned Elves and Eladrin being fused back together? 
Has anything mentioned Elves and Eladrin being fused back together?


The product page for Heroes of the Fallen Lands says, "In addition to new builds, this book presents expanded information and racial traits for some of the game’s most popular races, including dwarves, eladrin, elves, halflings, and humans."
So, it sounds like there's still some separation between them. Haven't seen anything official, tho...
“If the computer or the game designer is having more fun than the player, you have made a terrible mistake.” -Sid Meier

And maybe Monks. Even now they have almost no use for their "monk unarmed strike" class feature. If they cannot have a way to use their Dex for melee basic attack, then it will become "why on earth be there?" class feature.




I don't understand where you are coming from here.  How does the new version of MT mean that "they cannot have a way to use their Dex for melee basic attack"?
If you are playing a Centered Breath Monk, you most likely have a pretty low Strength and a very high Dexterity.  So taking a feat to give you a +4 to hit and +2 to damage with melee basic attacks (if you have an 18 Dex and 10 Strength) still seems like a very nice option to me. 

I do agree that the Unarmed Strike feature is a bit silly considering you either need a decent Strength or spend a feat to really make use of it. 

I wonder what the implications on gameplay would be if you were to give Melee training out for free to all classes that don't use Strength as a primary.  It always seemed odd to me that classes like the Rogue or Avenger were great at hitting with their attacks, but suddenly when the monster tries to move past them they have much more trouble hitting.
So I guess the question is this: is there an advantage to a class that uses another stat for melee attacks compared to ones that use Strength?  The quick answers that come to me are: bonus to AC (if you use Int or Dex), and bonus to skills (Str only gives a bonus to a single skill).

When they say Elves are good at Arcane magic . . . that doesn't suggest they are phasing out the whole Eladrin Elf difference does it? I quite liked the separation of the two, I was hoping they would have a str increase so they would make good wardens, rangers, and barbarians.

Has anything mentioned Elves and Eladrin being fused back together? 



Yeah, kinda sad they are having elves pick up more of the magic using background. The seperation still works - elves live in this world, and still have some of the ancient lore, even if they aren't connected to the fey as much as the true high elves who are the eladrin.

But still, I'd have preferred +Dex and +Wis or +Str which would fit more with the Wild Elf and Wood Elf concepts - I always like the concept of feral barbarian elves, for whatever reason. Blame Dragonlance, I suppose.
Why didn't they just say "essentials classes cannot take Melee training"?  It's really not that hard.
I've been DMing that same encouters season.  And I'm not joking when I say this:
  • The Battlemind makes me work to make the battlemind feel effective

  • The Fighter makes me work to keep the fighter from dominating.


The THREAT of a reasonable OA is a required element for being a defender.  If the OA is never provoked, it's working perfectly.  The battlemind doesn't have a reasonable OA.  I think your DM is just assuming he has to be worried about it, when he doesn't.

I'm confused.  The Battlemind in Encounters has Melee Training (Con), so he does, in fact, have an Opportunity Attack worth using.  I guess if you haven't given his "Shift after they shift" power the update that makes it a free action, then what you are saying makes more sense.  Give it a shot during the rest of the season: let him shift once per turn as a free action if the enemy shifts, and still get an OA when it is provoked (just remember that it will be +5 (+Weapon) in Chapter 2) and he still has the immediate reaction to dish out some damage when the mark is triggered.

I still think Fighters are the best Defenders, hands-down, but I was impressed with the Battlemind's effectiveness.

What makes me sad - no more compiled magazines: http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/27580349/Dungeon_and_Dragon_Magazine_PDFs&post_num=24#495423645
"dwarves now gain a +2 bonus to Constitution and a +2 bonus to either Strength or Wisdom"

awesome

"Elves excel at both archery and arcane magic"
 
hmm, maybe it will be

elf: wis, dex or int (good primal and wizards)
eladrin: int, dex or cha (good wizards and warlocks)
drow: cha, dex or wis (good sorcerers and clerics)



Sounds reasonable.

I can live with that set up. Amazingly it reinforces their racial interconnections while also consolidating each unique flavor.
"dwarves now gain a +2 bonus to Constitution and a +2 bonus to either Strength or Wisdom"

awesome

"Elves excel at both archery and arcane magic"
 
hmm, maybe it will be

elf: wis, dex or int (good primal and wizards)
eladrin: int, dex or cha (good wizards and warlocks)
drow: cha, dex or wis (good sorcerers and clerics)



Sounds reasonable.

I can live with that set up. Amazingly it reinforces their racial interconnections while also consolidating each unique flavor.


just to throw a monkey wrench into this:

CelticMutt wrote: ". . . And for those doubtful about the +Int for Elves, that's what the Red Box spoilers are saying.  That Elves specifically get Dex/Int."


if this is true, it would suggest:

elf: dex, wis or int

which would make me suspect:

eladrin: dex, int or cha
drow: dex, cha or wis

time will tell.



just to throw a monkey wrench into this:

CelticMutt wrote: ". . . And for those doubtful about the +Int for Elves, that's what the Red Box spoilers are saying.  That Elves specifically get Dex/Int."


if this is true, it would suggest:

elf: dex, wis or int

which would make me suspect:

eladrin: dex, int or cha
drow: dex, cha or wis

time will tell.



That sounds like the best possible set-up to me. Continuing to force all eladrin-kin to have dexterity is great for the reason Haldrik said.

I'm in the camp that would have preferred Elves be DEX and (STR/WIS), because I think of the Ranger as their iconic class.  Whatever their, or anybody else's, iconic class was before is irrelevant to me.  1e, 2e, 3e, doesn't matter.  They're history.  Toast.  Over.  Complete.  Yesterday's mashed potatoes.  Rung down the curtain and joined the choir invisibule.

Respecting what has come before is one thing.  Living in the past, quite another.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
II love how instead of making Essentials compatible with 4th Ed, they're just erring 4th Ed. technically the two are compatible, but only after current purchases are made pointless.



Pointless? Isn't that a bit strong?

We're looking at maybe half a dozen feats being outdated. Maybe one or two that get directly changed. Some new options for races, which changes nothing retroactively. Some boosts to Wizard encounter powers. And maybe a handful of updated powers.

If 98% of the material you have is still the same, I think it will remain a worthwhile product.  



I don't think it is pointless.  Let's say you bought the PHB, and built a wizard who has Magic Missile.

How drastically different the printed Magic Missile is from the erratad magic missile.

Or let's say you built the wizard as a tiefling.  They have a completely different racial power.

The point is, the books are being erratad to the point of uselessness.
But aren't you then talking about a person that has bought a PHB, wants to rely on the PHB instead of using a DDI account, but still wants to keep up-to-date on all changes?

Do you know what percentage of powers, feats, skills, and magic items have changed in the PHB since it was first released? Is it 10%? 2%? Less than 1%. The percentage here does matter.
I don't think it is pointless.  Let's say you bought the PHB, and built a wizard who has Magic Missile.

How drastically different the printed Magic Missile is from the erratad magic missile.

Or let's say you built the wizard as a tiefling.  They have a completely different racial power.

The point is, the books are being erratad to the point of uselessness.



Having one or two character elements out of date is very different from the entire book being useless, is what I'm saying. If every character concept had 50% of its build out of date, you'd have a point. But right now, the updates aren't nearly that extensive.
I want to start by saying I think the Essentials product line and these rule updates are all a step in the right direction.  From a meta-perspective, I really think making the game more accessible and streamlining the rules is a wonderful thing.  I am glad D&D is headed in this direction and I like the trend.

Like many, I still have concerns, but they are different than those listed above.  For those saying they think this change goes too far, I say this change doesn't go too far enough!    I was really looking forward to some very smart ideas to come down the pipeline that I keep seeing hinted but they never appear.  For example:  cleaning up feats - great idea, and a good start.  Categorizing them by effect - brilliant, needed that from day 1.  Getting rid of pre-reqs that weren't necessary - awesome.  But then you stopped!  Why didn't you go further?  For example:  kill all the feats that are must-buys for every character!  There isn't a single character of any class that can't benefit from a +1 to defenses - so why have it as a feat?  Why not drop it and just give everyone a +1 at level X/Y/Z and be done with it?  Same thing with the bonus to hit feats - they've been redone and reworked and retooled to the point where I can't even remember what they are called anymore, and frankly, they're just dumb.  Give everyone the +to hit and remove the feats from the game.  Feats should be about setting your character appart from the crowd, and gaining special abilities that your class didn't give you.  They're about making choices for how you want to improve your character and in what way.  They shouldn't be about shoring up math errors and blanket stat increases that everyone needs.  You already took those out of items - you were so close!  Don't stop!  You've been appealing to the WoW crowd for some time already (and the white/green/blue - I mean, common/uncommon/rare item delineation goes even further), so go ahead and copy their ideas about talents (feats for you) for their upcoming expansion:  dump the "filler" and focus on things that add new and interesting options for playing your character.  No more filler feats!

Also, I love the idea that the Red Box has everything you need to play the game immediately.  That's a smart move and one I wish you had done two years ago.  However, as an existing player, I'm confused about whether or not I want to spend money on it.  How much of this content will also be available with a DDI subscription?  How much is new, and how much is stuff I already own?  Is it worth my money for a "mostly new" monster catalog? I already own dice, minis, and a battlemat: should I get a Red Box or is that redundant?  I am wary of the trend of more tangentially-related merchandise that isn’t necessary to play the game (power cards that are outdated by the time they hit the shelves, for example), and I wish it was easier for someone like me who has already invested in the product to simply pick up the new bits that I am interested in without wasting cash on stuff I already have.  How this issue gets solved will be interesting to watch.

Related to this, I guess my biggest concern with this new product line is that I feel a little incensed that I might have to purchase a whole new book just to replace the worthless PHB I have right now.  I am grateful that new technology allows for rule updates and changes/tweaks so much more quickly now, and the fact that you treat the core D&D rules like a software product that continually gets updated and fixed is in some ways very nice:  it shows a real passion and committment to the product, and instead of aging it actually improves over time.  But that system does not mesh well with the old-world idea of purchasing a book, or some other physical thing that cannot be changed once you own it.  I really wish you would just sell auto-updating PDFs, or somehow otherwise embrace the technology model that you are currently just flirting with.  I am sure it would alienate some of the player base, and that's certainly a strike against it, but I for one have learned my lesson when it comes to purchasing a hard copy of these materials:  it isn't worth it.  Will Essentials be worth it?  Or is it all stuff I already own along with stuff that will be outdated the moment it comes off the line?
Why didn't you go further?  For example:  kill all the feats that are must-buys for every character!  There isn't a single character of any class that can't benefit from a +1 to defenses - so why have it as a feat?  Why not drop it and just give everyone a +1 at level X/Y/Z and be done with it?  Same thing with the bonus to hit feats - they've been redone and reworked and retooled to the point where I can't even remember what they are called anymore, and frankly, they're just dumb. 



I want to chime in here as something I absolutely agree with. I loathe the Expertise feats. From one of the preview feats, it looks like Essentials is adding even more in that fashion, as it looks like we'll see feats that are scaled down versions of Epic Reflex/Fortitude/Will adjusted for heroic levels, with additional bonuses. Which will make them, again, into 'must have' feats, which are really annoying - either you take them, and don't have the room to take feats that actually work for the character... or you don't take them, and are way behind the rest of the group in power level.

I'm liking the rest of what I've seen in Essentials, but it is already sounding like the readjustments of feats will be an epic fail. I'll hold judgement until I've seen the final product, of course, but even just 3-4 'must have' feats will be enough to prove disappointing.
I really wish you would just sell auto-updating PDFs, or somehow otherwise embrace the technology model that you are currently just flirting with.


i agree with much of what you said in your post.  regarding this particular quote above, i suggest that a ddi account is a close approximation of what you are seeking.
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