Rule-of-Three (2011 May 23)

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Rule-of-Three (2011 May 23)
by R&D Staff

Each week, our Community Manager scours all available sources to find whatever questions you’re asking.

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The third answer wasn't really an explanation. The part about turn undead was ok; but the rest was basically a definition of nerfing. Is (/wasn't there supposed to be) the podcast explaining the nerfs out yet?

More Importantly: "we also want to include character themes, general feats, and items."
Well at least they adressed the question, this means they're AWARE of our reaction which I chose to find encouraging. The first two felt like stuff we've heard before.

Yeah where is that podcast at?
58292718 wrote:
I love Horseshoecrabfolk. What I love most about them is that they seem to be the one thing that we all can agree on.
See for yourself, click here!
I'm hearing the Mortal Kombat announcer in my head...."Round 1, Fight!"
So let me get this straight updating a class requires them to take a poorly designed middle of the range class cut down a whole heap of powers down to mediocraty or below, give nothing back in return nor fix the known issues of the class whilst leaving a considerably more powerful class with the same role nearly untouched. What a load of tripe, if I performmed my job that poorly I would loose my job not have my boss tell the world how good a job I did. I wonder inability, blindness or agenda?
My sig is so gonna apply here ...
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
My sig is so gonna apply here ...



It's never earned is it now?
So let me get this straight updating a class requires them to take a poorly designed middle of the range class cut down a whole heap of powers down to mediocraty or below,



I guess that cutting above avrage down to middle of the road is the idea...



I think they want lets say a 3 is avrage for how powerful each choice is... 2s,3s, and 4s are left alone, but 5s and 6s get brought down to 3...   

Before posting, ask yourself WWWS: What Would Wrecan Say?

Having these controller like powers as their secondry role was what enabled them to stay in the middle of the pack, take away this secondary role you drag to the low end of the pack. All this after an article about How we try to get more people to play this class. Let me tell you what you they did was not how to go about it.
The question developers should ask themselves: why do people play X class.  Than, when you decide to update said class, do not mess with the reason people play said class.

I think they want lets say a 3 is avrage for how powerful each choice is... 2s,3s, and 4s are left alone, but 5s and 6s get brought down to 3...   



That was my interpretation as well.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
Reposting the questions and answers for convenience:


1 Are you guys ever going to come out with a Psionic Power II, or Arcane Power II... and all down the line?


A: No.


2 Do you have any plans to make a boxed set specifically designed for the epic tier?


A: I'm not going to say "Never," but pretty much that.


3 Why did the cleric get nerfed? What were the underlying reasons for the changes?


A. Some cleric powers were on par with or slightly better than some wizard powers, and that is unacceptable.
The question developers should ask themselves: why do people play X class.  Than, when you decide to update said class, do not mess with the reason people play said class.




that depends...if the reason everyone playes ranger is becuse they do 30+  more dpr then nerfing that is perfect in order... or if people choose a controler becuse he is a better leader then many leaders..then nerf away... 

Before posting, ask yourself WWWS: What Would Wrecan Say?

I don't know why they think thematic grouping would result in us using more from the books than the X power format. If anything it just cuts on the number of powers they have to come up with -.-

or if people choose a controler becuse he is a better leader then many leaders..then nerf away... 




Yeah but what if that Controller is barely above average as a controller and loses his leader ability without getting more Controller abilities?!
58292718 wrote:
I love Horseshoecrabfolk. What I love most about them is that they seem to be the one thing that we all can agree on.
See for yourself, click here!
1. The powers, taken in isolation, looked more powerful than other powers of the same level from other classes

2. The Cleric class on the whole was only middling on the effectiveness scale, and these strong powers did not change that

2a. Even with powers stronger than what most blasters and controllers get, the Cleric was less effective than dedicated blasters and controllers at performing those roles under the best of circumstances.

3. Strong powers on a non-overpowered class got hit with the nerfbat, reducing the power level of that class a few steps towards mediocrity

4. Errata fail
...whatever
I don't feel that making cleric powers less good for control if they are on par with some good Wizard powers to be a bad thing.

But on the other hand, if they're going to do this for the Cleric, then I'd expect that the "Blaster" Wizard is going to get smashed to pieces, considering people ~already~ consider it better than the Sorceror.
Problem is, the good cleric powers already weren't better then the good wizard powers, and the cleric kind of relies on its strong secondary role to compensate for it's mediocre primary role performance.  Seriously, the cleric wasn't biting at the heels of wizards or invokers in the controlling department, and as a striker they were far behind rangers, barbarians, rogues, basically any of the competent ones.

Cleric wasn't hurting anybody, wasn't invalidating any choices, was barely holding its own as a middle of the pack class, and was already struggling in popularity.  If they wanted to refocus it towards its leader primary, so be it, but given that the class on the whole wasn't overpowered, those nerfs to its secondary role should have come with buffs to its primary role, and that we didn't see.  In fact, instead we see nerfs to its primary role as well, not only acceptable reductions to high end power like consecrated ground, but also the ridiculous, both thematically and mechanically, nerf of removing the divine keyword from healing word.  Other known problems of the class remain (overvaluation of healing, standard action utilities, lack of strcleric support - though they did at least make nominal moves on the latter issue) as well.

On the whole, this was a one sided nerf of a middle of the pack class that wasn't messing with the game at all, while mere weeks earlier a class that is orders of magnitude stronger was cleared through with a rubber stamp.  Not that I want the warlord nerfed, but what was done to the cleric is just inappropriate. 
Is it just me, or does their answer to the first question seem a bit disingenuous? While there is some support for pre-Essentials Wizard and Cleric in the Heroes of Shadow book, I would definitely not call it a replacement for Arcane/Divine Power 2. I doubt the support for pre-E classes in Heroes of the Feywild will qualify as a replacement for those supplements either.

Color me unimpressed.

"You got your Essentials in my 4E!" "Well, you got your 4E in my Essentials!"
Is it just me, or does their answer to the first question seem a bit disingenuous? While there is some support for pre-Essentials Wizard and Cleric in the Heroes of Shadow book, I would definitely not call it a replacement for Arcane/Divine Power 2. I doubt the support for pre-E classes in Heroes of the Feywild will qualify as a replacement for those supplements either.

Color me unimpressed.




I've been that color since... I dunno september maybe?
58292718 wrote:
I love Horseshoecrabfolk. What I love most about them is that they seem to be the one thing that we all can agree on.
See for yourself, click here!
Is it just me, or does their answer to the first question seem a bit disingenuous? While there is some support for pre-Essentials Wizard and Cleric in the Heroes of Shadow book, I would definitely not call it a replacement for Arcane/Divine Power 2. I doubt the support for pre-E classes in Heroes of the Feywild will qualify as a replacement for those supplements either.

Color me unimpressed.


Let me think....umm yes.
Is it just me, or does their answer to the first question seem a bit disingenuous? While there is some support for pre-Essentials Wizard and Cleric in the Heroes of Shadow book, I would definitely not call it a replacement for Arcane/Divine Power 2. I doubt the support for pre-E classes in Heroes of the Feywild will qualify as a replacement for those supplements either.

Color me unimpressed.




I've been that color since... I dunno september maybe?

 

(Sigh), me too...
"You got your Essentials in my 4E!" "Well, you got your 4E in my Essentials!"
Is it just me, or does their answer to the first question seem a bit disingenuous? While there is some support for pre-Essentials Wizard and Cleric in the Heroes of Shadow book, I would definitely not call it a replacement for Arcane/Divine Power 2. I doubt the support for pre-E classes in Heroes of the Feywild will qualify as a replacement for those supplements either.

Color me unimpressed.




I've been that color since... I dunno september maybe?

 

(Sigh), me too...



Unimpressed is the new black.
58292718 wrote:
I love Horseshoecrabfolk. What I love most about them is that they seem to be the one thing that we all can agree on.
See for yourself, click here!
I don't feel that making cleric powers less good for control if they are on par with some good Wizard powers to be a bad thing.

But on the other hand, if they're going to do this for the Cleric, then I'd expect that the "Blaster" Wizard is going to get smashed to pieces, considering people ~already~ consider it better than the Sorceror.



On the other hand, as far as WotC is considered, sorcerer doesn't seem to exist anymore, so maybe wizard is safe. In fact, wizard and warlock are the only arcane classes that WotC seems to be aware of these days.
Meh. The X Power books are vastly superior to the Heroes of X books if Heroes of Shadow is taken as example. X Power series books offered a bigger selection of options, and more importantly for ALL the relevant classes. So WotC, if you want my money, you might want to reconsider your first answer.

Epic level support, one would think that three years is enough for the designers to understand how epic tier works. If not, hire more competent designers. CharOp forum might be a good recruiting ground.

I hope the third question will be answered better in the podcast although I wonder what kind of explanation could possibly make me think that the cleric update was successful.
I wonder if they've ever considered doing a compilation Power book.  Who says it has to be one power source.  If we could even get 1 or 2 builds for the under-supported o4e classes, it would help a lot. Truthfully, I think most of those classes are considered not to exist now.  I hope we at least see some Dragon articles that help round out some of these classes.
They've pretty much ignored every classes that didn't have a version in a 'Heroes of' book. The only thing we got was the Warlord Class Compendium article and that's not a product I'm paying for (and I wouldn't, but I would a Divine Power 2).

Maybe I should go back and buy Manual of the Planes, the Plane Below, Demonomicon and all those classic books I've yet to buy... I didn't get Martial Power 2 either...
58292718 wrote:
I love Horseshoecrabfolk. What I love most about them is that they seem to be the one thing that we all can agree on.
See for yourself, click here!
Again, this week, I feel like 'translating' or 'un-spinnning' I guess:

1.   No.

2.   If you're not a DDI sub, we don't care what you want. 

3.   We figure if we nerf the old stuff really hard, you'll have to buy the new stuff.

 

 

Oops, looks like this request tried to create an infinite loop. We do not allow such things here. We are a professional website!

The change from "there's something (maybe a single feat) for everyone in every one!"-supplements (3.5) to "there is a significant amount of material for a handful of specific (and thematically linked) classes"-supplements (XPower) really got me buying supplements again.

Heroes of Shadow feels like a return to the... questionable days of of those 3.5 "throwing material at the wall, and seeing what sticks" supplements that I completely stopped buying.

I just prefer my supplements more organized, and more focused - HoS didn't feel like it was either of those.

The "PHx for Races + New Classes; xPower for Supplemental Material" system was one of the things about 4e that made me very very happy.
Feedback Disclaimer
Yes, I am expressing my opinions (even complaints - le gasp!) about the current iteration of the play-test that we actually have in front of us. No, I'm not going to wait for you to tell me when it's okay to start expressing my concerns (unless you are WotC). (And no, my comments on this forum are not of the same tone or quality as my actual survey feedback.)
A Psion for Next (Playable Draft) A Barbarian for Next (Brainstorming Still)
The change from "there's something (maybe a single feat) for everyone in every one!"-supplements (3.5) to "there is a significant amount of material for a handful of specific (and thematically linked) classes"-supplements (XPower) really got me buying supplements again.

Heroes of Shadow feels like a return to the... questionable days of of those 3.5 "throwing material at the wall, and seeing what sticks" supplements that I completely stopped buying.

I just prefer my supplements more organized, and more focused - HoS didn't feel like it was either of those.

The "PHx for Races + New Classes; xPower for Supplemental Material" system was one of the things about 4e that made me very very happy.



Why is this happening? DDI. Flavorless books of 90% crunch have little to nothing to offer someone with a DDI subscription. I'm not sure that DDI is making enough money to justify this fluff-ifying of splat books, but I'm guessing that WotC's long-term plans are counting on internet resources to trump books. Ergo, the books are adapting to WotC's on-line materials, and not vice-versa.

"Ah, the age-old conundrum. Defenders of a game are too blind to see it's broken, and critics are too idiotic to see that it isn't." - Brian McCormick

The question developers should ask themselves: why do people play X class.  Than, when you decide to update said class, do not mess with the reason people play said class.


Trouble is, to WotC it seems apparent that the reason people play Clerics is 'somebody has to be a healer'.  Apparent fundamental misnderstandings of the role of the leader abound.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
its kind of hilarious for me to read him talk about power creep when this is the FIRST BOOK THAT CAME OUT. how can it be power creep when it is the phb, the beginning of the edition lol.


you want to talk power creep, essentials makes me feel bad at the table for playing it. at low levels its the most powerful, dare i say 'broken' builds in the game and youre going to actually bring up power creep? LOL. seriously. LOL
I think we've reached a point where the player base should be the ones putting out errata. There's enough people around that have High System Mastery that I think people could pull it off.

Plus, there's a lot of people in Char-Op active in LFR; whether its playing, DMing, or writing the mods (I'm pretty sure Dielzen has written at least a few).
A few thoughts:

Nice to see everybody still hating on this, not just the tinfoil hat brigade. The last few days the anger had
died down.

This stuff makes one lose faith in the 4E errata train and using Character Builder as gospel.

One could make the argument that the designers have lost grip on what the Leader role is supposed to do. Three out of the last four things WotC has done with the Leader role(Warpriest, Sentinel, Marshal, Templar) have been weaksauce enablers, and the fourth(Marshal) was just left as is.
...whatever
Meh.  I'm always slighly wary of the inmates running the asylum, if you get my meaning.

That said, on the topic of Books VS D&Di, I think it's more the other way around.  A book like Arcane Power offers barely anything it a D&Di subscriber; there's almost no flavour whatsoever.  You start making the books more flavour-oriented (by adding additional flavour text to every power, for example, or by group the books by some general theme and offering discertations on it like in Heroes of Shadow, or like Primal Power's discussion of the Great Elders, or Martial Power 2's discussion about how the power source works (and why there are dailies), then you start offering reasons for people to buy the books. 

But you don't want to invalidate the reasons people do D&Di either – so the D&Di Compendium and the D&Di Character Builder are both online products that you need to have a current subscription to use; if you could just download them, then you wouldn't have any reason to keep up a subscription (like how some people subscribe for a month, download all the magazines/magazine articles, and then cancel). 

Also, if I'm creating my character, I'm much more likely to use the Character Builder now, due to the sheer amount of options, and the fact that I can print out my sheet and power cards.  And the magazines, of course, are always a good reason for subscriptions, though they've been called out on being vastly reduced as of late.

But the books aren't being gutted to serve D&Di.  It's more they're switching to a higher level of setting flavour because raw mechanics don't sell books.  It's the same reason we're seeing more flavourful monster products, like Monster Vault: Threats to the Nentir Vale.  That book is finally going into what the Sword-Barrow on the Gray Downs is all about (hint: it's like the Barrow-Downs only with ghost-dogs that curse you too), as well as detailing groups like the Tigerclaw Barbarians that have been mentioned since the DMG but haven't been featured anywhere.  The Nentir Vale and Beyond Setting is getting a major flesh-out because flavour sells.  Even if the vocal minority on these boards disagree.

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

IMAGE(http://images.onesite.com/community.wizards.com/user/marandahir/thumb/9ac5d970f3a59330212c73baffe4c556.png?v=90000)

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

Another thought:

Rule of three answered the obvious question generically but dodged the bigger question: why? Why was it necessary to nerf the cleric? Were the strong blaster/controller powers causing problems in games beyond looking stronger on paper? What in-game issue is fixed by changing the Cleric so? Were laser cleric powers a bigger problem than the Cleric's other issues, such as bad proficiencies/defenses, lack of enabling, lack of support for Str/Cha build, V-shaped issues, ect.
...whatever
Wotc, you can nerf cleric damage even more, if you want. No, seriously.
But please, give them some leaderish stuff in return!








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.
Another thought: Rule of three answered the obvious question generically but dodged the bigger question: why? Why was it necessary to nerf the cleric?

I believe the answer to your question lies in the Rule-of-Three question and answer text:

"When we design a game element, we have a target power level in mind, and the final powers always fall within a short range of that target. Sometimes powers are better, and sometimes a little worse than the target. A little better or worse is fine, but when a power or feat clearly sails way over the target, we need to bring it back in line. Otherwise, whenever we make new powers for the cleric, we’d have powers like fire storm or astral storm to compare them to, and if we make the new powers competitive with the original versions of the 'storms, then we introduce unintentional power creep to the game."
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.
 seeker does that mean they are getting rid of the 'heroes' feats? haha no of course not that would be consistent


still trying to wrap my mind around how the first book of the edition can represent popwer creep but im sure all will be answered in the podcast Undecided




I asked Abdul why he thought the same standards were not being applied to feats that were being applied to powers... I dont think there is a good answer myself.
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

Meh.  I'm always slighly wary of the inmates running the asylum, if you get my meaning.

That said, on the topic of Books VS D&Di, I think it's more the other way around.  A book like Arcane Power offers barely anything it a D&Di subscriber; there's almost no flavour whatsoever.  You start making the books more flavour-oriented (by adding additional flavour text to every power, for example, or by group the books by some general theme and offering discertations on it like in Heroes of Shadow, or like Primal Power's discussion of the Great Elders, or Martial Power 2's discussion about how the power source works (and why there are dailies), then you start offering reasons for people to buy the books. 

But you don't want to invalidate the reasons people do D&Di either – so the D&Di Compendium and the D&Di Character Builder are both online products that you need to have a current subscription to use; if you could just download them, then you wouldn't have any reason to keep up a subscription (like how some people subscribe for a month, download all the magazines/magazine articles, and then cancel). 

Also, if I'm creating my character, I'm much more likely to use the Character Builder now, due to the sheer amount of options, and the fact that I can print out my sheet and power cards.  And the magazines, of course, are always a good reason for subscriptions, though they've been called out on being vastly reduced as of late.

But the books aren't being gutted to serve D&Di.  It's more they're switching to a higher level of setting flavour because raw mechanics don't sell books.  It's the same reason we're seeing more flavourful monster products, like Monster Vault: Threats to the Nentir Vale.  That book is finally going into what the Sword-Barrow on the Gray Downs is all about (hint: it's like the Barrow-Downs only with ghost-dogs that curse you too), as well as detailing groups like the Tigerclaw Barbarians that have been mentioned since the DMG but haven't been featured anywhere.  The Nentir Vale and Beyond Setting is getting a major flesh-out because flavour sells.  Even if the vocal minority on these boards disagree.


There needs to be a balance of fluff and crunch. Heroes of Shadow is a usless book for our group. We don't buy into the e-format for one, but more importantly we're not interested in a book full of half-designed classes. Vampires have no power selection, Binder's make no sense, blackguard has empty levels and is missing powers, and replacement powers for a few classes is stuff that D&DI is ment for. It's just filler information.

WotC Was already begining to fluff up the power books. Primal Power and Martial Power 2 are great examples of it. If they want to create more fluff to pad their word counts and pat themselves on the back thats fine. You can create Arcane Power 2 but just call it "White Lotus Academy" (to use a known fluff example). Fill in stuff about learning magic and what it means to arcane classes. Then put a bunch of powers and builds for Arcane classes. See that? A thematic book where the player knows what they're getting and it's full of fluff that will never be used at our table! Everyone wins! 
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