From The Lab #1: A Blow By Blow, L30 Fight

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From the Lab #1: A Blow-By-Blow Unoptimized Encounter


I am, as (I suspect) are many around here, fairly well sick of people talking about the difference between optimized and unoptimized characters at high levels. To give us some data, I'm going to run five characters through a simple encounter.

Methodology

The characters, who will be posted below, were built by selecting a class and then repeatedly hitting "Choose For Me" on the new Character builder. (And for sitting through that, I thank Zathris.) They are available for old or new CB here. Their names didn't make it into the files, but they are Krusk the Fighter; Zanne the Swordmage; Naivara the Sorcerer; Steeple the Artificer; and Lilli the Binder.  The encounter is G4 from the last Scales of War (so minor spoilers, I guess) and converted to MM3 guidelines.  (Thanks to the redoubtable kilpadtds.)  The dice will be rolled in groups of 100 at dicelog.com, and used as a list in numerical order. The rolls will be posted as soon as I figure out how.

Both the characters and the monsters will act as directed by me, in proper initiative order. The players will attempt to use all encounter powers ASAP but only use one daily per four rounds, rounded up (So 1-5-9), barring disaster on their sides' part; monsters will be played as indicated in Dungeon 175. A round-by-round map will be available, courtesy of the tool Ditzie.

If the combat takes too many rounds, I reserve the right to call it. (See hypotheses.)

Hypotheses

--Having the CB make your entire character is not a good idea.
--The combat will last longer than five rounds or result in a TPK with relative ease, which is below developer expectations 

Monster Stats

Monster stats, along with kil's commentary, follow.

Show

Deathshrieker


Interesting.  Encounter powers were already on the MM3 standard, for non-elites..  I upped the At-Will damage (including the Aura in my damage budget).  I did not include the Aura on the death burst (because you won't take it next turn) or the Recharge power (because it's CB:10 vs. aura 5), and I didn't discount for control at all.  It didn't come with an Elite Action, so I turned the RBA into a minor action.  HP are about normal for insubstantial creature, but I don't have the exact formula used there.  Defenses didn't need adjustment.





























































Deathshrieker
Level 30 Elite Skirmisher
medium shadow humannoid (undead)38,000

Initiative +28                               Senses Perception +23; darkvision
Despair (Psychic) aura 5; an enemy that starts its turn in the aura takes 10 psychic damage and is slowed until the start of it's next turn
HP 386; Bloodied 193
AC 42; Fortitude 42, Reflex 44, Will 42
Immune disease, fear Poison
Resist 30 necrotic, unsubstantial
Vulnerable 15 radiant
Saving Throws +2
Speed fly 8 (hover)
Action Points 1
 Slam (standard, at-will )  Necrotic
+35 vs AC; 4d8+10 necrotic damage
 Scream of Doom (minor, at-will 1/round) Psychic
Ranged 20; +33 vs. Will; 4d8+10 psychic damage
 Death Rattle (when the deathshrieker is reduced to 0 hp ) Necrotic
Close burst 10; +33 vs. Fort; 5d12+10 necrotic damage and the target is weakened (save-ends)
 Screams of the Damned (standard, Psychic
Close Burst 10; +33 vs. Fort; 5d12+10 psychic damage, and the target is dazed (save-ends)








Alignment Chaotic Evil
Languages Common

Skills Stealth +31














Str 26 (+23)Dex 32 (+26)Wis 16 (+18)
Con 28 (+24)Int 10 (+15)Cha 27 (+23)

Equipment 



Iron Golem


The "Elite Action" here is Cleave.  As a soldier, the mark gets moved to an effect, and To-Hits go down by two.  Defenses didn't need adjustment, although that swing is larger than normal.  This is a pretty weak creature, given it's limited range.  For damage purposes, I counted it's aura as 5-autodamage, on the assumption it will be on half the time.


























































Terrifying Iron Golem
Level 30 Elite Soldier
Large shadow animate (Construct)38,000

Initiative +21                               Senses Perception +16; darkvision
Noxious Fumes (Poison) aura 2; While the golem is bloodied, each creature that enters the aura or starts its turn there takes 10 poison damage
HP 552; Bloodied 276
AC 46; Fortitude 46, Reflex 40, Will 38
Immune disease, poison, sleep
Saving Throws +2
Speed 6 (Cannot shift)
Action Points 1
 Iron Blade (standard, at-will )
Reach 2; +35 vs AC; 3d10 + 16; Effect: the target is marked (save-ends)
 Cleave (Standard, at-will)
The golem makes two iron blade attacks, each against a different target
 Dazing Fist (Immediate Interrupt, when a creature marked by the golem and within its reach moves or shifts, at-will)
Reach 2; targets the triggering creature; +33 vs. Fortitude; the target is dazed (save-ends).
 Breath Weapon (standard,  Poison
Close Blast 3; +33 vs. Fort; 5d8 + 13 poison damage damage and ongoing 15 poison damage (save-ends)








Alignment UnalignedLanguages -















Str 30 (+25)Dex 17 (+18)Wis 13 (+16)
Con 28 (+24)Int 3 (+11)Cha 3 (+11)

Equipment : Large Longsword



Lich Castellan


Oh boy, this is a long stat block.  The create has multiple Elite Actions, so I eliminated some to shorten the stat block.  The Distain attack seems to have been nerfed by changed aimed at PCs, so I added a no-save exception (and a 1/turn restriction).  I also turned the Staff of Storms "daily item power" into a "break up Nova turn" bloodied action power.  I kept the +1 bonus to accuracy it seemed to have from it's artillery sub-role.  I actually reduced the damage on Gaze of Command but increased it's recharge





















































































Lich Castellan Wizard
Level 30 Elite Controller
Medium natural humanoid, human(undead)38,000

Initiative +21                               Senses Perception +27; darkvision
Despair (Psychic) aura 5; an enemy that starts its turn in the aura takes 10 psychic damage and is slowed until the start of it's next turn
HP 556; Bloodied 278 ; see also second wind
Regeneration: 15 (if the lich takes radiant damage, regeneration doesn't function on its next turn)
AC 44; Fortitude 42, Reflex 43, Will 41
Immune disease, poison; Resist 15 necrotic
Saving Throws +2
Speed 8
Action Points 1
 Death Touch (standard, at-will )  Necrotic
+34 vs Reflex; 4d8 + 10 necrotic damage, and the target is immobilized (save-ends)
 Lightning Bolt (standard, at-will)  Lightning
Ranged 20; +34 vs. Reflex; 4d8 + 10 lightning damage, and the target slides 3 squares and is dazed (save-ends)
 Orb of Shadow (standard, at-will)  Necrotic
Ranged 20; +34 vs. Fortitude; 3d10 + 10 necrotic damage, and the target slides 3 squares and is blinded (save-ends)
 Gaze of Command (minor, recharges when no creature is affected)  Gaze, Psychic
Ranged 5; +33 vs. Will; 2d10+9 psychic damage, and the target is dominated (save-ends)
 Lich's Disdain (minor, at-will 1/turn)  Psychic, Teleportation
Ranged 5; +34 vs. Will; 2d8+15 psychic damage, and the target is teleported 20 feet above any unoccupied space within 20 squares, no save.  A creature that falls takes 2d10 additional damage.
 Get Off!  (no action, when bloodied)  Lightning
Close Burst 10; +33 vs. Reflex; 5d8+15 lightning damage; Effect: all targets are pushed 3 squares.
 Lich's Disdain (standard, sustain minor, recharges if the zone is not sustained )  Lightning, Necrotic, Zone
Area burst 2 within 20; +33 vs. Fortutude; 4d8+10 lightning and necrotic damage.  The burst creates a zone that lasts until the end of the lich's next turn.  The zone is difficult terrain, and any creature that starts its turn within the zone takes 20 lightning and necrotic damage.
Second Wind (standard; encounter)  Healing
The lich spends a healing surge and regains 139 hit points.  The lich gains a +2 bonus to all defenses until the start of its next turn.








Alignment Chaotic Evil
Languages Abyssal, Common, Draconic, Infernal

Skills Arcana +31, History +31, Insight +29














Str 21 (+20)Dex 22 (+21)Wis 25 (+22)
Con 30 (+25)Int 33 (+26)Cha 28 (+24)

Equipment : Staff


 
On the CO IRC, generally as TorpedoFish.
Vain? Me? NEVER.
57223408 wrote:
You're the straightest shooter I know on these boards. You don't mince words about your opinions, and I respect that about you. The whole fiasco you described in the last State of the CO Forum was particularly enlightening (and kind of disappointing with regards to how they see us).
56868168 wrote:
Ah, Tsuyo. When your post isn't one sentence long full of asterisks, you have much wisdom to share with us .
From the IRC:
(19:52) RuinsFate: You know, I was gonna agree with something PalOn said... but I think I'm just gonna through my lot in with tsuyo's sudden train-wreck grade interjection. (01:45) Nausicaa: yes your rage is a righteous rage :D (01:45) Nausicaa: righteous rage of torpedo
My sci-fi writing.
Round 1

Initial setup is here. Initiatives: Zanne 34b, Krusk 34a, Naivara 25, Steeple 32, Lilli 49, Deathshrieker 31, Iron Golem 26, Lich Castellan 33

Init Order:
Lilli
Krusk
Zanne
Lich
Steeple
Deathshrieker
Iron Golem
Naivarra 

Lilli activates Bridge of Shades, moving as indicated, and attempts to Banish to Darkness the Golem. She misses.

Krusk moves as indicated, using the Bridge, charges the Golem, and misses. Golem is marked.

Zanne moves as indicated and marks the Deathshrieker.

The lich uses Gaze of Command on Krusk and succeeds, Lich's Disdain against Zanne and succeeds, and Lightning Bolt against Zanne and succeeds. Krusk takes 16 and is dominated; Zanne takes 60 and is proned and dazed. Steeple attempts a Rejuvenating Infusion, targeting the lich and triggering on Krusk, but misses.

Steeple uses Curative Infusion on Zanne, healing him to full, then uses Grave-Dust Cloud to catch all three baddies and Krusk. He misses all three, and Krusk does not spend the surge. (It would be a waste at this point.)

The deathshrieker moves, uses Screams of the Damned and hits everyone, then uses Scream of Doom against Steeple and hits. Zanne takes 40; Krusk takes 45 and is dazed; Naivara takes a critical hit (70) and is dazed; Steeple takes 76 and is dazed; Lilla takes 35 and is dazed.

The iron golem ignores Krusk, who is dazed and can't AoO or CC, moves, and charges Lilla and hits. Lilla takes 36 damage and is marked.

Naivara decides to risk moving closer in order to get in range with her powers. She fails her save versus dazed.

HP totals:

Monsters: Full 
Krusk: 144
Zanne: 163
Naivara: 100
Steeple:  102
Lilla: 113

Map Update 
On the CO IRC, generally as TorpedoFish.
Vain? Me? NEVER.
57223408 wrote:
You're the straightest shooter I know on these boards. You don't mince words about your opinions, and I respect that about you. The whole fiasco you described in the last State of the CO Forum was particularly enlightening (and kind of disappointing with regards to how they see us).
56868168 wrote:
Ah, Tsuyo. When your post isn't one sentence long full of asterisks, you have much wisdom to share with us .
From the IRC:
(19:52) RuinsFate: You know, I was gonna agree with something PalOn said... but I think I'm just gonna through my lot in with tsuyo's sudden train-wreck grade interjection. (01:45) Nausicaa: yes your rage is a righteous rage :D (01:45) Nausicaa: righteous rage of torpedo
My sci-fi writing.
Round 2
At the beginning of her turn, Lilla saves against dazed, but takes 10 damage and is slowed by the deathshrieker's aura. Lilla uses Darklands Eclipse to catch both the golem and the shrieker. She misses the latter, but an Offering of Blood changes that to a hit. Lilla takes 30 damage and is bloodied; the shrieker takes 11 damage, ongoing cold and necrotic 10, and is slowed; the golem takes 19 damage, ongoing cold and necrotic 10, and is slowed. She then activates Tribune's Authority and flies away.

Krusk moves as the lich directs.  At the end of his turn, he saves against dominate and stun.

Zanne stands up. At the end of his turn, he saves against both dazed conditions.

The lich moves, then uses Gaze of Command and Lich's Disdain against Krusk and hits with both. Krusk takes 46 damage and is dominated and prone.

Steeple heals Lilla for 73 with Healing Word. At the end of his turn, he fails to save against dazed.

The shrieker takes 5 ongoing damage, moves adjacent to Naivara, and uses both Slam and Scream of Doom against her as she can't make OAs. Both hit. Zanne is not close enough to ensnare. Naivara takes 69 damage and is bloodied. The shrieker takes an action point and uses Slam against her again and hits. Naivara takes 29 damage. At the end of its turn, the shrieker fails to save against ongoing and slow.

The iron golem  takes 10 ongoing damage, moves, and uses Poison Breath against Naivara and the lich, who is immune. It hits for 40 damage and ongoing 15 poison. Naivara is dying. The iron golem takes an action point to use Iron Blade against Naivara. Naivara takes 29 damage.

At the beginning of Naivara's turn, she takes 10 damage from the shrieker's aura and 15 ongoing damage and promptly dies.

HP:
Krusk: 98
Zanne: 163
Naivara: Dead
Steeple: 102
Lilla: 156 

Map Update 
On the CO IRC, generally as TorpedoFish.
Vain? Me? NEVER.
57223408 wrote:
You're the straightest shooter I know on these boards. You don't mince words about your opinions, and I respect that about you. The whole fiasco you described in the last State of the CO Forum was particularly enlightening (and kind of disappointing with regards to how they see us).
56868168 wrote:
Ah, Tsuyo. When your post isn't one sentence long full of asterisks, you have much wisdom to share with us .
From the IRC:
(19:52) RuinsFate: You know, I was gonna agree with something PalOn said... but I think I'm just gonna through my lot in with tsuyo's sudden train-wreck grade interjection. (01:45) Nausicaa: yes your rage is a righteous rage :D (01:45) Nausicaa: righteous rage of torpedo
My sci-fi writing.
Reserved.
On the CO IRC, generally as TorpedoFish.
Vain? Me? NEVER.
57223408 wrote:
You're the straightest shooter I know on these boards. You don't mince words about your opinions, and I respect that about you. The whole fiasco you described in the last State of the CO Forum was particularly enlightening (and kind of disappointing with regards to how they see us).
56868168 wrote:
Ah, Tsuyo. When your post isn't one sentence long full of asterisks, you have much wisdom to share with us .
From the IRC:
(19:52) RuinsFate: You know, I was gonna agree with something PalOn said... but I think I'm just gonna through my lot in with tsuyo's sudden train-wreck grade interjection. (01:45) Nausicaa: yes your rage is a righteous rage :D (01:45) Nausicaa: righteous rage of torpedo
My sci-fi writing.
Reserved.
On the CO IRC, generally as TorpedoFish.
Vain? Me? NEVER.
57223408 wrote:
You're the straightest shooter I know on these boards. You don't mince words about your opinions, and I respect that about you. The whole fiasco you described in the last State of the CO Forum was particularly enlightening (and kind of disappointing with regards to how they see us).
56868168 wrote:
Ah, Tsuyo. When your post isn't one sentence long full of asterisks, you have much wisdom to share with us .
From the IRC:
(19:52) RuinsFate: You know, I was gonna agree with something PalOn said... but I think I'm just gonna through my lot in with tsuyo's sudden train-wreck grade interjection. (01:45) Nausicaa: yes your rage is a righteous rage :D (01:45) Nausicaa: righteous rage of torpedo
My sci-fi writing.
Reserved.
On the CO IRC, generally as TorpedoFish.
Vain? Me? NEVER.
57223408 wrote:
You're the straightest shooter I know on these boards. You don't mince words about your opinions, and I respect that about you. The whole fiasco you described in the last State of the CO Forum was particularly enlightening (and kind of disappointing with regards to how they see us).
56868168 wrote:
Ah, Tsuyo. When your post isn't one sentence long full of asterisks, you have much wisdom to share with us .
From the IRC:
(19:52) RuinsFate: You know, I was gonna agree with something PalOn said... but I think I'm just gonna through my lot in with tsuyo's sudden train-wreck grade interjection. (01:45) Nausicaa: yes your rage is a righteous rage :D (01:45) Nausicaa: righteous rage of torpedo
My sci-fi writing.
Reserved.
On the CO IRC, generally as TorpedoFish.
Vain? Me? NEVER.
57223408 wrote:
You're the straightest shooter I know on these boards. You don't mince words about your opinions, and I respect that about you. The whole fiasco you described in the last State of the CO Forum was particularly enlightening (and kind of disappointing with regards to how they see us).
56868168 wrote:
Ah, Tsuyo. When your post isn't one sentence long full of asterisks, you have much wisdom to share with us .
From the IRC:
(19:52) RuinsFate: You know, I was gonna agree with something PalOn said... but I think I'm just gonna through my lot in with tsuyo's sudden train-wreck grade interjection. (01:45) Nausicaa: yes your rage is a righteous rage :D (01:45) Nausicaa: righteous rage of torpedo
My sci-fi writing.
Reserved.
On the CO IRC, generally as TorpedoFish.
Vain? Me? NEVER.
57223408 wrote:
You're the straightest shooter I know on these boards. You don't mince words about your opinions, and I respect that about you. The whole fiasco you described in the last State of the CO Forum was particularly enlightening (and kind of disappointing with regards to how they see us).
56868168 wrote:
Ah, Tsuyo. When your post isn't one sentence long full of asterisks, you have much wisdom to share with us .
From the IRC:
(19:52) RuinsFate: You know, I was gonna agree with something PalOn said... but I think I'm just gonna through my lot in with tsuyo's sudden train-wreck grade interjection. (01:45) Nausicaa: yes your rage is a righteous rage :D (01:45) Nausicaa: righteous rage of torpedo
My sci-fi writing.
Reserved.
On the CO IRC, generally as TorpedoFish.
Vain? Me? NEVER.
57223408 wrote:
You're the straightest shooter I know on these boards. You don't mince words about your opinions, and I respect that about you. The whole fiasco you described in the last State of the CO Forum was particularly enlightening (and kind of disappointing with regards to how they see us).
56868168 wrote:
Ah, Tsuyo. When your post isn't one sentence long full of asterisks, you have much wisdom to share with us .
From the IRC:
(19:52) RuinsFate: You know, I was gonna agree with something PalOn said... but I think I'm just gonna through my lot in with tsuyo's sudden train-wreck grade interjection. (01:45) Nausicaa: yes your rage is a righteous rage :D (01:45) Nausicaa: righteous rage of torpedo
My sci-fi writing.
Reserved. Go ahead and post.
On the CO IRC, generally as TorpedoFish.
Vain? Me? NEVER.
57223408 wrote:
You're the straightest shooter I know on these boards. You don't mince words about your opinions, and I respect that about you. The whole fiasco you described in the last State of the CO Forum was particularly enlightening (and kind of disappointing with regards to how they see us).
56868168 wrote:
Ah, Tsuyo. When your post isn't one sentence long full of asterisks, you have much wisdom to share with us .
From the IRC:
(19:52) RuinsFate: You know, I was gonna agree with something PalOn said... but I think I'm just gonna through my lot in with tsuyo's sudden train-wreck grade interjection. (01:45) Nausicaa: yes your rage is a righteous rage :D (01:45) Nausicaa: righteous rage of torpedo
My sci-fi writing.
"You are now subscribed to this topic."

Can't wait to see where this goes. :D
Mountain Cleave Rule: You can have any sort of fun, including broken, silly fun, so long as I get to have that fun too (e. g., if you can warp reality with your spells, I can cleave mountains with my blade).
I too am interested in seeing what develops here.
If you look past the plot and the voice acting, Metroid: Other M was an okay game. Not a great game, but an adequate one. Not using the Metroid item collect jingle though? That, was a mistake.
I can safely say that the characters are not optimized.
On the CO IRC, generally as TorpedoFish.
Vain? Me? NEVER.
57223408 wrote:
You're the straightest shooter I know on these boards. You don't mince words about your opinions, and I respect that about you. The whole fiasco you described in the last State of the CO Forum was particularly enlightening (and kind of disappointing with regards to how they see us).
56868168 wrote:
Ah, Tsuyo. When your post isn't one sentence long full of asterisks, you have much wisdom to share with us .
From the IRC:
(19:52) RuinsFate: You know, I was gonna agree with something PalOn said... but I think I'm just gonna through my lot in with tsuyo's sudden train-wreck grade interjection. (01:45) Nausicaa: yes your rage is a righteous rage :D (01:45) Nausicaa: righteous rage of torpedo
My sci-fi writing.
Thanks for doing this tsuyo, the empirical data will be incredible useful. Do you plan on posting the summaries for the characters? I think that would be especially helpful too.
10/10 Would Flame Again: An Elite Paladin|Warlock The Elemental Man (or Woman): A Genasi Handbook The Warlord, Or How to Wield a Barbarian One-Handed The Bookish Barbarian Fardiz: RAI is fairly clear, but RAZ is different That's right. Rules According to Zelink!
I will once I get them. Zathris is doing it for me. We're at 3/5 right now.
On the CO IRC, generally as TorpedoFish.
Vain? Me? NEVER.
57223408 wrote:
You're the straightest shooter I know on these boards. You don't mince words about your opinions, and I respect that about you. The whole fiasco you described in the last State of the CO Forum was particularly enlightening (and kind of disappointing with regards to how they see us).
56868168 wrote:
Ah, Tsuyo. When your post isn't one sentence long full of asterisks, you have much wisdom to share with us .
From the IRC:
(19:52) RuinsFate: You know, I was gonna agree with something PalOn said... but I think I'm just gonna through my lot in with tsuyo's sudden train-wreck grade interjection. (01:45) Nausicaa: yes your rage is a righteous rage :D (01:45) Nausicaa: righteous rage of torpedo
My sci-fi writing.
Need any help with this let me know, sounds awesome.
I've got to hit the hay, but if someone wants to come up with a level-appropriate non-solo encounter for a level 30 party, I would really appreciate it.
On the CO IRC, generally as TorpedoFish.
Vain? Me? NEVER.
57223408 wrote:
You're the straightest shooter I know on these boards. You don't mince words about your opinions, and I respect that about you. The whole fiasco you described in the last State of the CO Forum was particularly enlightening (and kind of disappointing with regards to how they see us).
56868168 wrote:
Ah, Tsuyo. When your post isn't one sentence long full of asterisks, you have much wisdom to share with us .
From the IRC:
(19:52) RuinsFate: You know, I was gonna agree with something PalOn said... but I think I'm just gonna through my lot in with tsuyo's sudden train-wreck grade interjection. (01:45) Nausicaa: yes your rage is a righteous rage :D (01:45) Nausicaa: righteous rage of torpedo
My sci-fi writing.
I am, as (I suspect) are many around here, fairly well sick of people talking about the difference between optimized and unoptimized characters at high levels. To give us some data, I'm going to run five characters through a simple encounter.

The characters, who will be posted below, were built by selecting a class and then repeatedly hitting "Choose For Me" on the new Character builder. (And for sitting through that, I thank Zathris.) The monsters were picked more or less at random by myself from the Compendium.  The dice were rolled at dicelog.com. 



The problem usually isn't grossly suboptimal characters vs. optimized characters. It is standard baseline vs. optimized. Choose for me will make grossly suboptimal characters which all they'll have going for them is that Choose for Me will pick a base 18 in the stat.

At the very least, all of the Choose for Me builds should have Expertise, Improved Defenses(or the equivalent), and WF.
At the very least, all of the Choose for Me builds should have Expertise, Improved Defenses(or the equivalent), and WF.

I disagree with this.  If anything, those are the most important feats to omit, since they're probably the ones most commonly cited by those claiming that the game doesn't suffer that badly if you don't take the "best" choices.
The reason I'm doing it this way is that someone might actually have the WotC CB make a character for them. This is also going to be an illustration of why this is a bad idea.
On the CO IRC, generally as TorpedoFish.
Vain? Me? NEVER.
57223408 wrote:
You're the straightest shooter I know on these boards. You don't mince words about your opinions, and I respect that about you. The whole fiasco you described in the last State of the CO Forum was particularly enlightening (and kind of disappointing with regards to how they see us).
56868168 wrote:
Ah, Tsuyo. When your post isn't one sentence long full of asterisks, you have much wisdom to share with us .
From the IRC:
(19:52) RuinsFate: You know, I was gonna agree with something PalOn said... but I think I'm just gonna through my lot in with tsuyo's sudden train-wreck grade interjection. (01:45) Nausicaa: yes your rage is a righteous rage :D (01:45) Nausicaa: righteous rage of torpedo
My sci-fi writing.
At the very least, all of the Choose for Me builds should have Expertise, Improved Defenses(or the equivalent), and WF.

I disagree with this.  If anything, those are the most important feats to omit, since they're probably the ones most commonly cited by those claiming that the game doesn't suffer that badly if you don't take the "best" choices.



When the combat goes 8 rounds because they've only made those choices and have no synergy between item/power/feats, then there's an example of the difference between making optimal choices and bad choices.

And then someone who actually plays without synergy might understand why their character is potentially a problem. Not that they'll look at the horrible mishmash of obviously no-synergy choices and be able to laugh and say, "Hey, I might not be optimized, but I'm not that bad." 
Three runs would be ideal imo.  Random, optimized, and a "standard casual" which attempts to approximate an average party at a typical unoptimized (but not totally clueless) table.  The random "choose for me" stuff is going to be much weaker than the "standard casual" imo, making a random unoptimized test somewhat useless for testing average casual vs. average optimized.
Three runs would be ideal imo.  Random, optimized, and a "standard casual" which attempts to approximate an average party at a typical unoptimized (but not totally clueless) table.  The random "choose for me" stuff is going to be much weaker than the "standard casual" imo, making a random unoptimized test somewhat useless for testing average casual vs. average optimized.



I agree.
Cattle die, kindred die, every man is mortal. But the good name never dies of one who has done well. Cattle die, kindred die, every man is mortal. But I know one thing that never dies: the glory of the great dead. - [i]Hávamál[/i] D&D 4th Edition Bard builds: The Dashing Swordsman, The Master of Sound and Illusions, The Warrior Skald Captain Morality! (No point in not having fun with it. )
If someone wants to make those characters up for me and then post them as summaries or .dnd4e files, I will run them.
On the CO IRC, generally as TorpedoFish.
Vain? Me? NEVER.
57223408 wrote:
You're the straightest shooter I know on these boards. You don't mince words about your opinions, and I respect that about you. The whole fiasco you described in the last State of the CO Forum was particularly enlightening (and kind of disappointing with regards to how they see us).
56868168 wrote:
Ah, Tsuyo. When your post isn't one sentence long full of asterisks, you have much wisdom to share with us .
From the IRC:
(19:52) RuinsFate: You know, I was gonna agree with something PalOn said... but I think I'm just gonna through my lot in with tsuyo's sudden train-wreck grade interjection. (01:45) Nausicaa: yes your rage is a righteous rage :D (01:45) Nausicaa: righteous rage of torpedo
My sci-fi writing.
Hmm...sounds like a plan. Anybody mind if I submit an optimized Warlord and a semi-opped Bard? I think I can take care of the leader duties for the second and third run (though I will defer if anybody has a ready-made build available). Also, should the characters be tested against equally opped encounters? It might make for an interesting barometer if we have them all face the same standardized encounter, but also if they're matched against encounters that suit their level of opping, at least in theory.
Mountain Cleave Rule: You can have any sort of fun, including broken, silly fun, so long as I get to have that fun too (e. g., if you can warp reality with your spells, I can cleave mountains with my blade).
This will be interesting.  However, one major point I find lacking in this whole discussion is player skill.  Give average -- note  I didn't say terrible or sub-optimal, but average -- PCs to good or very good players and they will still rip through combats without much difficulty.

I played a home campaign from 8th through 24th with mainly 4 characters:

1.  Drow Chaos Sorceror;
2.  Deva Avenger;
3.  Dwarf Warden; and
4.  Dwarf Heal Bot Cleric

None of these are considered power choices and we couldn't get too crazy b/c the DM would nerf us if we did.  Our sorceror did buff out Chaos Bolt so much that our DM nerfed the number of bounces it could do, since this guy was routinely hitting 3+ enemies with it [through utility powers, re-rolls, etc.].  I played the Avenger -- no Righteous Wrath of Tempus, no Battle Fury Stance, no Power of Skill, etc.  I have a LFR Ranger that would dust this Avenger .. but ...

All of the players were very good tactical players who understand tactics, teamwork, etc.  And we beat the Paragon/Epic campaign our tactical DM threw at us into submission.  Most combats were over in under 3 rounds.

So I think the focus on needing optimized characters really overlooks the fact that good or optimized players can run average characters really well.

Daren

I have a Thri-keen fighter that is built on a theme rather than optimization. Should fit the standard casual category, as I don't know the first thing about charop. Interested?
 
My two cents. Buy what you want with them.
Should so something about items, as well. It is unlikely that a group that does "choose for me" is going to have an item bonus to damage, but they might if their DM was using the random system, for instance.
I have a Thri-keen fighter that is built on a theme rather than optimization. Should fit the standard casual category, as I don't know the first thing about charop. Interested?
 

Perfect idea.  Target some non-optimizers, perhaps on the char dev forum, and round up some of their characters.

So I think the focus on needing optimized characters really overlooks the fact that good or optimized players can run average characters really well.



Bring the player, not the class :D

I have a couple of str/wisdom optimized clerics ready, but i'll take a minute to make them worse (or much worse). Tell me if you need them, they are mostly buffers.

Chauntea/Lathander/Torm Cleric since 1995 My husband married a DM - καλὸς καὶ ἀγαθός

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This will be interesting.  However, one major point I find lacking in this whole discussion is player skill.  Give average -- note  I didn't say terrible or sub-optimal, but average -- PCs to good or very good players and they will still rip through combats without much difficulty.

I played a home campaign from 8th through 24th with mainly 4 characters:

1.  Drow Chaos Sorceror;
2.  Deva Avenger;
3.  Dwarf Warden; and
4.  Dwarf Heal Bot Cleric

None of these are considered power choices


Your point is fairly true, but with the characters I randomed up for this, no amount of player skill is going to do well with an Artificer that only has +22 to hit or Weaponmaster with +30 to hit, or a Gnome Binder (the only character for whom the choose for me feats made any sense, so clearly there's some logic function that got programmed in).  I will also say that Drow Chaos Sorcerers and Dwarf Wardens are both power choices, maybe you didn't twink them out to the maximum extent possible, but both can rank among any list we throw around on the forums.
"Invokers are probably better round after round but Wizard dailies are devastating. Actually, devastating is too light a word. Wizard daily powers are soul crushing, encounter ending, havoc causing pieces of awesome." -AirPower25 Sear the Flesh, Purify the Soul; Harden the Heart, and Improve the Mind; Born of Blood, but Forged by Fire; The MECH warrior reaches perfection.
+22?!?! With +15 from levels and a +6 magic item thats 21 right there...
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One suggestion: maybe the session could include three encoutners and one skill challenge. This way it is also possible to analyze how well a well-optimized build for skill (like Arcana optimizers) could do both in and outside of combat and how great the gap is between optimized skills and unoptimized.
One suggestion: maybe the session could include three encoutners and one skill challenge. This way it is also possible to analyze how well a well-optimized build for skill (like Arcana optimizers) could do both in and outside of combat and how great the gap is between optimized skills and unoptimized.


Good point.  There should also only be a 5 minute rest between encounters as well -- can't have them going nova with the same dailies each fight.  Some attention needs to be paid to resource management.
Why not use the characters from last GenCon's D&D Open?  They weren't optimized, but they weren't super.
+22?!?! With +15 from levels and a +6 magic item thats 21 right there...



...and you *have* to bump all stats at 11 and 21. Which means Primary stat at best started at 11.
One suggestion: maybe the session could include three encoutners and one skill challenge. This way it is also possible to analyze how well a well-optimized build for skill (like Arcana optimizers) could do both in and outside of combat and how great the gap is between optimized skills and unoptimized.



May I also suggest that you run a few unoffical warmup encounters with the "Choose For Me" party? Given how aggressively sub-optimal they seem to be, I'd imagine that it'll take a few tries to find any hidden synergies that the party may have.

Certainly, your standard CharOp synergies won't be available, so you'll have to be more creative, and I imagine this will be the first time many of these powers will have seen play at a CharOp table. A few warm-up encounters will help you break in the characters, get you thinking out-of-the-box, and gel like a party that's actually been adventuring together for 30 levels.
Prsumably the builder is smart enough not to pick shield powers for a great weapon build but I wonder just how complex is the algorithm?  I expect it just picks variables from a list based off the optional character build choice.  If you don't pick a build, does it pick one for you or just make the powers more random?  I agree that it might be a good idea to work out synergies between the group in advance. 
I haven't tried with the online CB, but when I was at Norwes, the pregens that one of the people running 4th Ed at the con used where made using the old CB with "build for me" and they were excrable (a wis cleric build with 19 int, 13 wis and 10 str with wis based at will and encounter and a strength daily).

LOL.  Ok then as a bare minimum you should re-order stats so the highest is in the build's primary stat and maybe so that the next highest is in one of the class's secondary stats.  We want un-optimised characters not completely useless.

I admit that in 1e I had a lot of fun with 9 strength fighters and 14 intelligence wizards but they were oscillating in a much narrower band than 4e.  As an aside, perhaps they could introduce feats that grant a bonus to hit with certain class powers where your key stat is below a certain level?  More helpful for hybrid classes but could it help non-optimisers build non-standard characters too?

Prsumably the builder is smart enough not to pick shield powers for a great weapon build

That presumption is incorrect.  It can and often will pick such powers.

Seriously, I don't think it's possible to overstate just how terrible the auto-build in the CB is.