And people thought the expertise feats where a feat tax feat before

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In the new essentials books there is a list of new weapon expertise feats. For example there is a new feat called light blade expertise ( as opposed to the weapon expertise (light blade)

This feat gives you a +1 feat bonus to attacks with a light blade that scales wth paragon and epic, but now this feat also adds in the line you gain +1 bonus to damage rolls (note it's not a feat bonus) when you have combat advantage against the target. This part also scales with paragon and epic.

My god if people thought weapon expertise was a feat tax before people must be hating these changed to the expertise feats.  The feats have just become even better and more mandatory.

It's odd I have never heard weapon focus called a feat tax.  I do hear complaints about monsters having to many hps.

I have always through a good portion of people who were calling weapon exprtise a feat tax said it because its such a awesome feat, but at was also boring.  Only a +1 to attacks. 

I have a feeling that we are going to hear less about the expertise line of feats being a tax now because there a bit more fun
I like em. It gives the feats more flavor. 
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I just hope they're coming out with a feat in the very first book, or in the update, that lets weapliment users get the attack bonus and secondary benefit when making use of their weapon as an implement, or vice-versa.

The original core books said that this was our game too. It doesn't feel like that anymore.

expertise is so mandatory that ive never even really formed an opinion about it. its like wearing pants
I just hope they're coming out with a feat in the very first book, or in the update, that lets weapliment users get the attack bonus and secondary benefit when making use of their weapon as an implement, or vice-versa.



I believe as of the update you don't get extra damage from weapon focus if your using the item in questions as a implement. In other words weapon focus doesn't let you get a +1 to damage if your using the weapon as a implement. 

I think this hurts monks to much.
I just hope they're coming out with a feat in the very first book, or in the update, that lets weapliment users get the attack bonus and secondary benefit when making use of their weapon as an implement, or vice-versa.



I believe as of the update you don't get extra damage from weapon focus if your using the item in questions as a implement. In other words weapon focus doesn't let you get a +1 to damage if your using the weapon as a implement. 

I think this hurts monks to much.



I'm sure monks will be rewritten, at least their weapliment ability. They're supposed to be able to use any proficient weapon as an implement, so I think their rules are going to be a little different concerning feats.

As for the new Expertise feats, I like them in that they do something other than to-hit. What they do is worth a feat on their own (notice that the light blade's secondary ability is as powerful as weapon focus, but it is untyped to pay for it being circumstantial). My players won't feel as bad about "having to take them", and for DMs who just give out those bonuses automatically (like I do) the feats still have benefit.

Poe's Law is alive and well.

I do think they're even more of a feat tax now, but on the plus side, as Xeviat says, you don't feel as bad for having to take them since at least each one is a little different now, and each gives you a little something besides a fix for WotC's broken math.
except implement users are now even more hosed in terms of damage unless implement expertise does the same thing.
And there's no reason to assume it does not.


Anyway, I'll be alright with this.  I take expertise anyway, it'd be cool to have a flavorful/tactical bit added on to it.
Seriously, though, you should check out the PbP Haven. You might also like Real Adventures, IF you're cool.
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And there's no reason to assume it does not.


Anyway, I'll be alright with this.  I take expertise anyway, it'd be cool to have a flavorful/tactical bit added on to it.



id honestly rather see it be assumed into the math of the game so i can spend the feat on something more interesting than just flat bonuses to damage and attack.
I wouldn't mind that, either, but I'll take a moderate improvement over no improvement, any day of the week.
Seriously, though, you should check out the PbP Haven. You might also like Real Adventures, IF you're cool.
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expertise is so mandatory that ive never even really formed an opinion about it. its like wearing pants



Pants Expertise
But saying it should be written in is like saying there are no worthwhile builds without it, and I dont think thats accurate
I wouldn't mind that, either, but I'll take a moderate improvement over no improvement, any day of the week.



True.

I think these feats are a nice step forward. I love all the things that come together to make a weapon's base damage one of the least important things about it. I'd rather see more things that trip off of a weapon's properties, type, et cetera, to give a more well-defined "feel" to each weapon beyond "this one does 1d4 damage and this one does 1d12".

I don't get how something that wasn't an option before... and is thus clearly not required by anyone... can be called a "feat tax". If this seems like such an appealing option that you can't imagine taking any other feat at level 1, that's not because this one is required and the rest are so lackluster... other people will keep on picking other feats. Sure, characters who revolve completely around weapons and whose players aren't interested in branching out to dip into other concepts will end up with these feats a lot, but "having available options to fulfill a character concept" isn't a tax.
...and that's the news from Lake 4th Edition, where the Gnomes are strong, the Half-Orcs are good-looking, and all the PCs are above average.
I, too, would have rather seen the expertise bonus subsumed into the game's basic design - these feats could have easily been made to stand alone, without the attack bonus.
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I don't get how something that wasn't an option before... and is thus clearly not required by anyone... can be called a "feat tax". If this seems like such an appealing option that you can't imagine taking any other feat at level 1, that's not because this one is required and the rest are so lackluster... other people will keep on picking other feats.

Short answer:  the Expertise feats weren't considered feat taxes because they were strong, but because we are being asked to spend a feat to make a portion of the game function "correctly".

Long answer: 
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the term "*game element* tax"  tends to get thrown around rather liberally, but it does have a correct usage.  Any time a game asks you to spend some form of resource in order to make a portion of the game function, then you are being taxed on that resource.  This is by no means inherently bad.  Monopoly, for example, taxes your money to make the property aquisition and improvement portions of the game function.  From a game design standpoint, taxes become undesirable when essential portions of the game (as opposed to optional portions) don't function correctly unless you spend resources that are designed to give you options.

Moving to D&D, feats are a clear example of a resource that is designed to give you options.  Therefore, essential game elements shouldn't ask us to spend feats in order to make them work.  Imagine if the PHB had included a series of feats called "Divine Source Access", "Martial Source Access", etc., and that you couldn't use any powers from a given power source unless you had the appropriate Access feat (and that no class gave those feats for free).  That would be a clear and egregious example of a feat tax (although some might argue that characters could function fine off of the basic attacks, and thus those feats were optional....).

In the case of the Expertise feats, things are fuzzier, since it's entirely possible to have a functional character without them.  However, it is easy to demonstrate that PHB1 character attack rates do not scale as fast as monster defenses do.  From various designer comments and other observations, it is relatively clear that the difference in scaling was a mistake rather than an intentional, gradual decrease in player accuracy.  From some of those comments, we know that the PHB2 was supposed to include something to address this mathematical "flaw" in the game (along with problems in non-AC defense scaling).  Given that and the overall contents of the PHB2, it's clear that, if a game element was introduced in the PHB2 to "fix" the scaling issue, then that element is the Expertise feats.

Now, many of the individual assertions in that logical chain can be (and have been) attacked.  However, if you agree with the assertions, then the conclusion is that the Expertise feats exist to correct a flaw in the intended operation of the game.  In other words, a character must take the appropriate Expertise feat (or feats) to make the game function as intended by design.  That makes the Expertise feats a tax, and the tax is problematic because it asks us to give up resources that are intended to be spent on options that would otherwise create diversity.

I'm not trying to restart the whole Expertise argument here (and I won't argue it in this thread--start another thread and link it if you're so inclined edit: obviously, everyone else is going to argue it, so I guess I will too).  I'm just trying to explain the rationale behind the term "feat tax" as applied to those feats.  I don't ask anyone to agree with the viewpoint; I'm just hoping the explanation will help with understanding.


Going back on topic, I think what's happening here is that WotC is trying to lessen the tax by giving us a feat's worth of power on top of the Expertise math fix.  This is an improvement, but only somewhat as we'll still see a lack of diversity within each weapon or implement group; all light blade wielders can be assumed to deal extra damage with CA, for example.

t~
I am aware of the ~opinion~ that the feats are intended to patch a mistake on the math. I say opinion because I have never seen substantiated by a designer actually saying "It's a mistake", only designers acknowledging that yes, monster numbers scale up faster.

People link me to quotes they claim will lay all doubt to rest and I see nothing more than, "Well, monster numbers do scale up faster and some people don't like it, so here's a feat for them." I've never seen anybody argue for why, if Wizards agrees it's a mistake and would go so far as to publish something to fix it, they wouldn't just fix it... one person, in a thread in which people were suggesting "Just make the bonus free!", said "Well, fixing the math would be hard and complicated compared to a feat." Never mind that the math fix is already done in the feat.

But I don't care to fight this battle all over again. It's a ridiculous argument. It's proven wrong by everybody who never even considers the expertise feats, and doubly so by people who consider it and go, "Oh, yeah, that would be nice, but what I really want for my character is _________".

My question is how does adding something that you couldn't even have before make them more of a feat tax, as the topic of this thread suggests. Is there some reason that having extra forced movement from a hammer is mechanically required? Does the math fall apart if swords aren't better at parrying? 

What this thread does is illustrate the problem with the "feat tax" notion: people use it when what they really mean is "I really want this feat. The game should give it to me because my character doesn't work the way I want it to without it."

Feats are great for customization. Expertise is a perfect example of this, not an exception. Want to be slightly better than a stat-optimized member of your class? You spread your stats more widely than everyone else and you want to hit more often anyway? Or do you just conceive of your character as the best, the consummate swordsman/spellslinger? Take Expertise. Otherwise, don't. The game works fine. The math works out fine. Monsters' raw numbers scale up faster, but they have fewer tactical options. They're far less likely to have allies who can hand out buffs like candy. They can't pick a feat if they want to be better at this thing or that thing.

"It's a feat tax or it's overpowered, because nothing is as good a choice as Expertise" is the response I've gotten in the past, but that's only using one measurement of "good". It's as meaningless an argument as "My favorite feat is a feat tax because I don't want any other feats as much as I want it."
...and that's the news from Lake 4th Edition, where the Gnomes are strong, the Half-Orcs are good-looking, and all the PCs are above average.
I like how you can choose Master at Arms to get a blanket +1 and minor special power if you don't want to go with one of the specific ones. It's less powerful than the specific ones because the bonus power is not as snazzy, but it applies to everything. Good if you end up using a variety of weapons.

I don't think Expertise is a tax. You can live without it... you're just 5% less awesome than people who do have it. Your character won't shrivel up and die without it. You just hit slightly less often (like... 5%, right?).

If you have Expertise, you're a master or prodigy with that sort of weapon. A common enough heroic attribute, but neither necessary to the fiction nor mandatory to the mechanics.

Would I always take it? Yes, unless I had a compelling reason not to. But that's not a tax, that's a preference. You might as well say that a starting base 18 in an attribute is an "Attribute Tax". It's not.
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I am aware of the ~opinion~ that the feats are intended to patch a mistake on the math. I say opinion because I have never seen substantiated by a designer actually saying "It's a mistake", only designers acknowledging that yes, monster numbers scale up faster.

Yes, that's an opinion, which is a lot of why I'm not trying to convince people that I'm "right" to hold the viewpoint that I do.  That said, I have several reasons for holding that opinion besides the designer quotes, which I'd be happy to discuss in another thread if there's interest.

But I don't care to fight this battle all over again. It's a ridiculous argument. It's proven wrong by everybody who never even considers the expertise feats, and doubly so by people who consider it and go, "Oh, yeah, that would be nice, but what I really want for my character is _________".

Well, the argument that Expertise is a feat tax isn't in any way affected by people not taking it, since that argument just hinges on opinions about how the game is "supposed" to work.  Now, the argument that Expertise is a "must have" is entirely different, and that's the argument that those examples actually dispute.

My question is how does adding something that you couldn't even have before make them more of a feat tax, as the topic of this thread suggests. Is there some reason that having extra forced movement from a hammer is mechanically required? Does the math fall apart if swords aren't better at parrying?

I agree; the feats don't become any more of a feat tax.  The tax remains the same: 1 feat.  All that changes is the relative power level of the feat.  A much more appropriate argument is that the feats are even more "must have" for any normal, reasonably optimized character than they were before.

What this thread does is illustrate the problem with the "feat tax" notion: people use it when what they really mean is "I really want this feat. The game should give it to me because my character doesn't work the way I want it to without it."


But this, I don't agree with at all.  I don't want to spend a feat on Expertise.  In most cases, the new feats don't actually do anything to make me want to spend the feat on them.  However, I do care about my characters being effective.  For every character I have, hitting is an integral part of their being effective in combat.  In every campain I play in, a majority of challenges are resolved through combat.  Those factors, combined with my ability to assess the power level of a bonus to hit, combine to make it correct for me to take Expertise on my characters because the Expertise feats are so powerful that no other feat does more to help my characters be effective.

"It's a feat tax or it's overpowered, because nothing is as good a choice as Expertise" is the response I've gotten in the past, but that's only using one measurement of "good". It's as meaningless an argument as "My favorite feat is a feat tax because I don't want any other feats as much as I want it."

The correct argument is this: "regardless of whether or not you think Expertise is a tax, regardless of whether you think the math needs fixing, and regardless of whether you think Expertise should be free, Expertise as a feat is slightly overpowered at level 1, overpowered at level 15, and vastly overpowered at level 25.  Vastly overpowered things are bad for game balance, and should be nerfed".

That's the core argument I've held to ever since we had credible previews of the PHB2.  Ironically, the Expertise feats just keep getting more powerful.

t~
I'd call any overpowered feat that can be taken by any character (all the expertise feats) a feat tax.
I realize some don't call it that, but I don't care.

I just see those feats as a mandatory thing if you do any optimization for combat at all. There is no alternative way to become more effective at swordplay than picking up an expertise feat if the other options are situational bonuses that don't even exceed the expertise bonus effect on damage and to hit.

There are some players that don't optimize, and that is fine. However, those of us that do it, don't like mandatory feats because it makes characters too similar feat wise.
I am aware of the ~opinion~ that the feats are intended to patch a mistake on the math. I say opinion because I have never seen substantiated by a designer actually saying "It's a mistake", only designers acknowledging that yes, monster numbers scale up faster.

Yes, that's an opinion, which is a lot of why I'm not trying to convince people that I'm "right" to hold the viewpoint that I do.  That said, I have several reasons for holding that opinion besides the designer quotes, which I'd be happy to discuss in another thread if there's interest.

But I don't care to fight this battle all over again. It's a ridiculous argument. It's proven wrong by everybody who never even considers the expertise feats, and doubly so by people who consider it and go, "Oh, yeah, that would be nice, but what I really want for my character is _________".

Well, the argument that Expertise is a feat tax isn't in any way affected by people not taking it, since that argument just hinges on opinions about how the game is "supposed" to work.  Now, the argument that Expertise is a "must have" is entirely different, and that's the argument that those examples actually dispute.

My question is how does adding something that you couldn't even have before make them more of a feat tax, as the topic of this thread suggests. Is there some reason that having extra forced movement from a hammer is mechanically required? Does the math fall apart if swords aren't better at parrying?

I agree; the feats don't become any more of a feat tax.  The tax remains the same: 1 feat.  All that changes is the relative power level of the feat.  A much more appropriate argument is that the feats are even more "must have" for any normal, reasonably optimized character than they were before.

What this thread does is illustrate the problem with the "feat tax" notion: people use it when what they really mean is "I really want this feat. The game should give it to me because my character doesn't work the way I want it to without it."


But this, I don't agree with at all.  I don't want to spend a feat on Expertise.  In most cases, the new feats don't actually do anything to make me want to spend the feat on them.  However, I do care about my characters being effective.  For every character I have, hitting is an integral part of their being effective in combat.  In every campain I play in, a majority of challenges are resolved through combat.  Those factors, combined with my ability to assess the power level of a bonus to hit, combine to make it correct for me to take Expertise on my characters because the Expertise feats are so powerful that no other feat does more to help my characters be effective.

"It's a feat tax or it's overpowered, because nothing is as good a choice as Expertise" is the response I've gotten in the past, but that's only using one measurement of "good". It's as meaningless an argument as "My favorite feat is a feat tax because I don't want any other feats as much as I want it."

The correct argument is this: "regardless of whether or not you think Expertise is a tax, regardless of whether you think the math needs fixing, and regardless of whether you think Expertise should be free, Expertise as a feat is slightly overpowered at level 1, overpowered at level 15, and vastly overpowered at level 25.  Vastly overpowered things are bad for game balance, and should be nerfed".

That's the core argument I've held to ever since we had credible previews of the PHB2.  Ironically, the Expertise feats just keep getting more powerful.

t~

But that's not really making the point that it's a "feat tax", that's just saying that it's a "no brainer" choice, which it honestly is. Everybody takes an Expertise feat even if they don't see it as a "feat tax" because the right one for your character is just about the single best feat you can take, period. A scaling bonus to hit is just too good to pass up.
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But that's not really making the point that it's a "feat tax", that's just saying that it's a "no brainer" choice, which it honestly is. Everybody takes an Expertise feat even if they don't see it as a "feat tax" because the right one for your character is just about the single best feat you can take, period. A scaling bonus to hit is just too good to pass up.

True, I could have been clearer about my full opinion.  I don't consider Expertise to be a feat tax because "I really want the feat and the game should give it to me for free" (paraphrasing).  I consider Expertise to be a feat tax because I believe it exists to fix the math scaling.  I also consider Expertise to be overpowered because it outclasses other feats.  Because Expertise is overpowered, I wind up taking it on my characters.  Because Expertise is a feat tax, I think the game would be better served if the Expertise feats did not exist, regardless of whether the game math gets "fixed" by some other method.  Finally, since in my experience the game plays better if the math is fixed, I do think it's better if the math does get fixed, although I actually care more about the problems with monster hit rates against player non-AC defenses than I do about player hit rates.

To illustrate why this is different than someone thinking the feats should be free because they really want to have them, let me give you a preference order on game styles, from most enjoyable for me to least:

  1. No expertise or NAD boosting feats, background math is fixed "for free" by adjusting player hit rates and defenses.

  2. No expertise or NAD boosting feats, no change to background math.

  3. (not a category, just a measure of strength of feelings)

  4. Expertise and NAD boosting feats exist, but in forms that give some extra benefit worth a feat.

  5. Expertise and NAD boosting feats exist in a form that taxes all "normal" character builds equally.

  6. Expertise and NAD boosting feats exist in a form that taxes some "normal" builds more than others.

WotC has gradually been improving itself on this list from 6 to 5.5 (Focused Expertise) to 5 (Versatile) to 4.5 (not 4 since we've also reintroduced some of the inequality seen with the original Expertise feats).  Clearly, 1 and 2 aren't going to happen, so I'm about as happy as I'm going to be with the situation.  Aside from home games, of course, where DMs can do whatever they feel is necessary.

t~

Personally, I'd prefer the expertise feats let you replace your attribute bonus on attack rolls with what you would have if you started with an 18 and boosted at every opportunity (no demigod bump). So +4 at level 1, +5 at 8, +6 at 14, +7 at 21, and +8 at 28. That would allow you to use your expertise in place of natural talent, enabling unusual builds. If that was too weak for the designers' tastes, 1 pt more makes it appealing to a larger percentage of builds without making it a must-have (you could if nothing else just start with 20 in your main stat to have better results in terms of attack/damage). Similarly, NAD boosting feats could have been done as replacing attribute bonuses w/ 2-3 at level 1, scalling at 8, 14, 21, and 28 again. Basically you can use the feat to shore up a weakness.

Given our current expertise feat setup, I actually would hope they release more feats, like say 3-4 total for each weapon/implement group, that are built like the current ones, so that with the same weapon group you have different choices that give you the to-hit scaling and different stacking benefits. You could chose any one of them to get your accuracy and something handy, or get multiple to get your accuracy and several handy bonuses, but since the feat bonus to accuracy doesn't stack you'd be clipped at the +1/+2/+3.

As for the question someone brought up about weapon focus: a small contingent do call it a feat tax, and some people long bemoaned the absence of a comparable option for implement users (which we do finally have). However, the difference between hitting and missing is usually absolute. A miss is usually a totally ineffective action, and sometimes worse (perhaps you took an OA on the chin and still got nothing for your trouble). +1/2/3 damage is just a difference of degrees, and only occassionally actually changes the number of hits needed to take down a target. Also, when higher level enemies are used there's a point where +/- 1 to hit can be a massive percentage swing in effectivness. the 1 pt that swings you from just hitting on 20s to critting on 20s is roughly +100% damage, the next 1 pt about 50% more on top, then +33% for the next +1 etc.. there's no level of enemy that makes weapon focus anything like that kind of swing.

Basically my point is people don't generally end up feeling like they -need- weapon focus. Certainly such feelings are far from universal, and even weapon based strikers may put it off perhaps indefinitely. Expertise not only overshadows a lot of other feats like nimble blade and warforged tactics that are more fun because they alter the tactical layout of the game and add incremental meaning to the choices we have, but also make far too  much difference in effectiveness between the haves and the have-nots. Since the degree of difference the feats make grows with higher monster defenses (i.e. higher monster level), a DM or mod author who targets characters w/ expertise when setting difficulty level will naturally exacerbate the problem the expertise poses.

I'd call any overpowered feat that can be taken by any character (all the expertise feats) a feat tax.
I realize some don't call it that, but I don't care.

I just see those feats as a mandatory thing if you do any optimization for combat at all. There is no alternative way to become more effective at swordplay than picking up an expertise feat if the other options are situational bonuses that don't even exceed the expertise bonus effect on damage and to hit.

There are some players that don't optimize, and that is fine. However, those of us that do it, don't like mandatory feats because it makes characters too similar feat wise.




With this you sort of highlight the reasons why I feel that "feat taxes" are good, expecially in 4e.

A "mandatory feat for anyone who wants combat optimization" is an awesome, necessary thing. 4e has a very flat approach to attack bonuses, leading to having very streamlined values between classes and even monsters.

What expertise feat do is basically letting the player check the "I'm really good with my weapon" box. Most heroes will check that box; it makes very little sense not to. It's the kind of feat that defines a character more when he doesn't have it than when he does, but that doesn't mean it should not exist.

They're good feats exactly because you need to have them to be on top of your game. Their impact on the game allows us to outline the difference between a cloistered cleric who spent his entire life in a temple and a war priest who's been using his mace since he was 14.

You can't say the feat should be built in the character because anyone would want it, because someone may NOT be an expert in his weapon of choice. If you prefer, not picking Expertise is like taking a "flaw" ("my character is less proficent in combat than true weapon experts") but in exchange you get an extra feat slot.

Take it as you will, but the Expertise feats are integral and perfectly consistent with the system. The idea that all feats should be as good and no feat should be mandatory is respectable but in my opinion absolutely illogical.
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No, feats similar to but less powerful than Expertise should exist.  Feats like Nimble Blade.  Feats like the new Expertise feats, except without an attack bonus.  Or maybe even with a +1 to hit, but certainly not the scaling.  That does everything that you're asking for without creating feats that destroy the power curve.

Yes, feats are going to vary in power level.  Yes, that's ok.  No, it's not ok for a feat to be more than triple the strength of all the other feats.

t~
yay i love debating whether you need expertise or not, so fun
No, feats similar to but less powerful than Expertise should exist.  Feats like Nimble Blade.  Feats like the new Expertise feats, except without an attack bonus.  Or maybe even with a +1 to hit, but certainly not the scaling.  That does everything that you're asking for without creating feats that destroy the power curve.

Yes, feats are going to vary in power level.  Yes, that's ok.  No, it's not ok for a feat to be more than triple the strength of all the other feats.

t~

I agree. Nimble blade is a great feat. Some end up taking it, some don't. The benefit is just right for a feat - not too good, not nearling useless either.

How I see character building:

Depending on level, you have a variable, but limited, amount of feat slots.

I'd like to have space for flavorful (useful, but rather specialized) feats that are different from other character's selections, or even from the selections of someone playing the same role or even class.

The more feats there are that overpower other feats, the less space I have for these "flavour" feats if I want to be roughly on the same level of effectiveness than the others.

I view these "mandatory if you want to be effective" feats to be a form of feat tax.

Eventually, with more and more "overpowered feats", the situation might be that two 10th level characters have exactly the same feat list when playing a weapon using striker for instance.

I am all for style feats for different weapons or implements, as long as they support different but roughly equally effective styles, and that are not necessary for the game math.

I like having feats that add to effects with specific weapons - like adding to push with a shield feat or similar stuff. They are something you can build a fighting style on, but someone else might do something completely different and still remain effective.

It also irks me that some people are constantly understating the value of +1 to hit. Hitting is crucial and if you fall behind the baseline, your character is measurably less effective, no matter what he/she does. Landing hits is usually needed to apply conditions and such, not only dealing damage.
Rothe said: 

"Hitting is crucial and if you fall behind the baseline, your character is measurably less effective, no matter what he/she does. Landing hits is usually needed to apply conditions and such, not only dealing damage."

Perhaps then the problem is all the classes benefit more or less equally from to-hit bonuses.  The avenger does the most to break the mold but it stops there.  The rogue and fighter sorta have it built-in(w/o scaling which gives good value to feats like nimble blade), so sure.  But everyone else is likely left in the weeds.  Perhaps more varied ways for characters to "beat or equal the 'math'" are needed...rolling two dice to hit shoulda spread to other classes, its a great idea...hitting a bunch of ppl like the sorcerer can...hitting varied defenses in the powers and making it a theme for a class....anything besides just more '+1, +1, +1'.

Just fresh mechanics that would circumvent the need to just add static to-hit bouses to feel effective.
Perhaps its a lack of very good support to classes that would not need to rely on to-hit as much as other classes?





 
And there's no reason to assume it does not.


Anyway, I'll be alright with this.  I take expertise anyway, it'd be cool to have a flavorful/tactical bit added on to it.



id honestly rather see it be assumed into the math of the game so i can spend the feat on something more interesting than just flat bonuses to damage and attack.



not all the new expertise feats deal extra damage. The heavy blade expertise gives you a +2 ac to opportunity attacks
And in the two years I've played 4e only a couple people took expertise, and the whole party still hits at about 50-65%.

So the whole concept that you have to take this is largely an opinion held by those that require that their characters are hitting at max % all the time.  While a valid way of doing things, it isn't a universal way of doing things, and as such is only a tax to someone who is optimizing their character all the time.
And in the two years I've played 4e only a couple people took expertise, and the whole party still hits at about 50-65%.

So the whole concept that you have to take this is largely an opinion held by those that require that their characters are hitting at max % all the time.  While a valid way of doing things, it isn't a universal way of doing things, and as such is only a tax to someone who is optimizing their character all the time.



And you hit the nail on the head. We have people in our group who don't take the expertise feats and the seem to hit just fine.

I think people hated taking these feats because they were boring, now there snazzed up a bit they may look more interesting and fun
And in the two years I've played 4e only a couple people took expertise, and the whole party still hits at about 50-65%.

So the whole concept that you have to take this is largely an opinion held by those that require that their characters are hitting at max % all the time.  While a valid way of doing things, it isn't a universal way of doing things, and as such is only a tax to someone who is optimizing their character all the time.

For some groups, the DM might adjust the monster levels differently, resulting in easier to hit numbers.

My experience is that in the difficult to very difficult fights you often come up with situations where hitting vs. AC is around 13+ if you have reasonably optimized for hitting (not rogue with piercing strike or avenger). Here, if I did not take expertise, and someone else did, there is a big difference.
And in the two years I've played 4e only a couple people took expertise, and the whole party still hits at about 50-65%.

So the whole concept that you have to take this is largely an opinion held by those that require that their characters are hitting at max % all the time.  While a valid way of doing things, it isn't a universal way of doing things, and as such is only a tax to someone who is optimizing their character all the time.

For some groups, the DM might adjust the monster levels differently, resulting in easier to hit numbers.

My experience is that in the difficult to very difficult fights you often come up with situations where hitting vs. AC is around 13+ if you have reasonably optimized for hitting (not rogue with piercing strike or avenger). Here, if I did not take expertise, and someone else did, there is a big difference.



well at that point if you have a that hard of a time hitting a +1 won't make much of a difference.  I think if you look at groups who blissfully unaware of the DnD forums they will tell you that they don't seem to be missing a lot. 

This thread was stated the people who thought exprtise was a tax before must be hitting these new exprtise feats because they even better now
The harder it is to hit, the more valuable a +1 bonus becomes.

If I only with with 20, a +1 more gives me +100% chance of hitting.
With 16+ I get +20% more.
If I hit with 11+, a +1 is 10% more.

The rest falls in between.

I do agree that a +1 is not that interesting if you only need 6+ to hit.

Also, expertise gives +2 at paragon and +3 at epic. There it is very very difficult to skip taking the feat if you want your to-hit to stay comparable to other characters.

Obviously, if nobody in a group takes the feat, the problem is smaller. The DM can compensate for it even (and probably does, even if he does not realize it).
And in the two years I've played 4e only a couple people took expertise, and the whole party still hits at about 50-65%.

So the whole concept that you have to take this is largely an opinion held by those that require that their characters are hitting at max % all the time.  While a valid way of doing things, it isn't a universal way of doing things, and as such is only a tax to someone who is optimizing their character all the time.



Were you playing at level 25, or 5?  There's a pretty decent difference between the two, especially as flanking gets harder at higher levels for many creatures.
You did not ask me, but just for reference, most of my gaming is done at 7 - 15th level.

I have played 1-25th levels, but the low levels not so much.

The importance of to hit bonuses definitely goes up in paragon levels and becomes very important at epic.
Were you playing at level 25, or 5?  There's a pretty decent difference between the two, especially as flanking gets harder at higher levels for many creatures.

Why is getting a flank harder at higher levels than lower? I have ont goen to higher levels yet (I ended our first campaign when the group got to Paragon)

There's only one feat that gives you a familiar. There's only one feat that gives you a bunch of languages. There's only one feat that gives you a bunch of wild talents. For each of the more interesting tactical bonuses that people are apparently being forced to give up because this awful, boring, stupid feat that they hate soooo much compels them to take it, there's generally speaking only one feat that accomplishes it.

So why should the game obfuscate things by giving a bunch of ("must have", in the sense that you'd have to take one by the same logic that claims you have to take expertise) different options for getting to the top of the game hit-score-wise? 

You look at the feats. You figure out what you want for your character. You take it. Everybody who wants the same thing is going to end up with the same feat. Everybody who wants to check the hero box, as someone put it, is going to end up taking that feat.

Pointing out that the DM will compensate for who has it and who doesn't... so what? That doesn't prove Expertise is mandatory, it only demonstrates how mandatory it isn't. Groups with and without Expertise (or, as is most likely in groups that aren't run with an emphasis on optimization, mixed groups where some have it and some don't) can still fight the same encounters, though how they'll cope with them varies.

Heck, characters with 16 in their main stat and characters with 20 in their main stat will average out to the same difference in attack mods over the course of their careers as someone without Expertise and someone with Expertise. And yet the 16s are perfectly viable. What's the explanation there? Is it like Sixth Sense where they don't realize their character died at Level 1?

Is adjusting challenges for a group a new and unique state of affairs that only happens with regards to combat efficiency? Do you throw a bunch of traps and locked doors at parties with no Thievery to speak of? Do you not pose more frequent/harder tasks for parties with the skills to show off in them?

Every single person in this thread who's said "Everybody takes this", "everybody will take this", "everybody must take this"... you're not just wrong, you're lying to make your point. Because you know there are people who won't. It comes up in every thread relating to Expertise and other so-called "feat tax" feats.

Say it with me: "I will take this feat because the advantage is too good for me to pass up." Not everybody. You. Learn the difference.

Or practice saying this with me, if it really bothers you to take Expertise and something else: "I will  not take Expertise, because a +5-15% hit difference isn't worth it to me compared to these other, more interesting, options."
...and that's the news from Lake 4th Edition, where the Gnomes are strong, the Half-Orcs are good-looking, and all the PCs are above average.
And in the two years I've played 4e only a couple people took expertise, and the whole party still hits at about 50-65%.

So the whole concept that you have to take this is largely an opinion held by those that require that their characters are hitting at max % all the time.  While a valid way of doing things, it isn't a universal way of doing things, and as such is only a tax to someone who is optimizing their character all the time.



Were you playing at level 25, or 5?  There's a pretty decent difference between the two, especially as flanking gets harder at higher levels for many creatures.



I'm playing at level 16 currently.  And none of the monsters' defenses have been modified yet.  The only things modified on the monsters are their damage expressions. 

If this changes as we get into EPIC where my party is hitting on average less than 50% of the time, I'll concede that there is something broken.  I was told by early to mid paragon I should start noticing, but I haven't yet.

They took on a level 18 elder black dragon last week at level 15 and with all of their buffs and boosts they were hitting it on average 75% of the time.  And none of them have any expertise feats.  The dragon came directly from monster builder except with a few added powers.  Defenses were all stock.

Their stats are all min/maxed so that does help a lot.  But most char ops players do that on top of taking all of the expertise stuff.

So if expertise were taken by all of them, the average would go up to hitting 80-85% of the time against that dragon instead of 75% of the time. 

I'm seeing something so outrageously not important... that's why I feel it's not a "tax" or a "mandatory decision".  It is a mandatory decision for players that have to be riding the top of the bell curve, nothing more. 

Let me further clarify what that means:  It means if I'm playing Class X, and at level N if I take every possible upgrade and max my primary attribute, I should be striking at +Y.  Anything less than Y is not optimal, and therefore I feel I must take all of the feats that get me to Y or I am not optimal.  Therefore they are feat "taxes".  Therefore I feel they should be built in to my class so that I can choose other feats as well AND still be striking at +Y.

For the record, I do not agree with the above philosophy.
There's only one feat that gives you a familiar. There's only one feat that gives you a bunch of languages. There's only one feat that gives you a bunch of wild talents. For each of the more interesting tactical bonuses that people are apparently being forced to give up because this awful, boring, stupid feat that they hate soooo much compels them to take it, there's generally speaking only one feat that accomplishes it.


If I played a game where I ~needed~ to know every single language every single day, you can bet that I'd be taking Linguist. Multiple times. And you know what, I'd call it a feat tax. Imagine the alternative: you simply cannot communicate on the same level with other people. I really don't see your point in bringing up that there is only 1 feat for these things (and for familiars, I wouldn't even consider it 1 feat, because you still choose your familiar. It's the same mechanics as there being 1 feat for every familiar).

But there are multiple feats that raise to hit chance.

Take my level 2 rogue. His name is Flash.

He is currently looking at nimble blade (he finds combat advantage easily and this would represent his ability to backstab better) and melee training (he charges quite a bit and also does not want enemies to get away from him scotfree). Nimble Blade will give him a +1 to attack when he has CA, something he finds very important. Melee Training gives him +1 to attack with basic attacks (16 strength, 18 dexterity, and the way melee training is worded, I could still use str for damage).

Now, add in expertise. It is clearly better than both Nimble Blade and Melee Training. It crowds out the other options.

Sure, I can choose to not take Expertise. It probably won't make enough of a difference to make my character unplayable.

But in the face of other options, why would I not take expertise? Is the feat really optional for people who are interested in hitting more? No; it crowds out the other options. No option is as good or better than Expertise. How many other characters run into a situation like Flash, where they, in the interest of making their character find many good options that are flavor-friendly for their character but are upstaged by the expertise feat?

I think the number is quite high.

Now they're changing it. But really, the only difference is that each weapon has something nice along with it. It doesn't change that it still crowds out the other options. If anything, it does it more.


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