Masterwork weapons > Weapon Expertise

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Really, I'm not one to get all fanatical on these boards, but this is something that just drives me crazy in 4e.  

So, in initial development WotC realized the math didn't quite work and fixed it for AC only by developing masterwork armor.  They failed to notice the match wasn't quite right for NADs or Attacks either (even though they all work identically), and decided it was a good idea to leave in that particularly egregious bit of asymmetry.

Flash forward a year.  By this time, they've realized the scaling was off for attacks and NADs too, so they created some alternate masterwork armor that beefed NADs and decided to go ahead and create masterwork weapons to compensate for attack rolls. Oh wait, no, they instead decided it was a better idea to continue to leave them out and instead bandage attack roll scaling by taxing players with simplistic, overpowered feats that nobody could justifiably pass up. 

Flash forward two more years and lots of complaints about those specific feats later.  They go back to the drawing board for a lot of things with essentials.  Once again, they had the opportunity to fix their initial error with the much more elegant and more symmetrical solution of masterwork weapons.  Is this what they do? No, they decide to take the already dramatically overpowered expertise feats and tack on a special function that is worth a feat by itself, making them now thrice as good as other feats instead of merely twice as good and doing nothing to eliminate the asymmetry or the tax to players. 

I mean seriousy, what are you thinking WotC?

Truthfully, I would'nt be so bothered by it and would just create my own feats/weapons if not for the fact that the Insider tools are so much better than trying to do things manually with all of the errata and disorganization of the books.  And the insider tools leave almost no room for custom content.  
So, in initial development WotC realized the math didn't quite work and fixed it for AC only by developing masterwork armor.  They failed to notice the match wasn't quite right for NADs or Attacks either (even though they all work identically), and decided it was a good idea to leave in that particularly egregious bit of asymmetry. 


There is no proof that the to hit formula's were not satisfactory to Wizards goals. The issue is almost entirely player generated, and based on a incomplete analysis or just what the PC can do, as opposed to comparing the tactics of the group, leader bonuses, etc. 


Flash forward a year.  By this time, they've realized the scaling was off for attacks and NADs too, so they created some alternate masterwork armor that beefed NADs


Those armors are all from Adventurers Vault, the First suppliment, not PHB2, it is not fast forward a year, they knew that they needed new amasterwork right of the bat, or are you going to claim that they though they though the  selection of magic items in the PHB was acceptable, and realized afterwards tat it was not?
 
Flash forward two more years and lots of complaints about those specific feats later.  They go back to the drawing board for a lot of things with essentials.  Once again, they had the opportunity to fix their initial error with the much more elegant and more symmetrical solution of masterwork weapons.  Is this what they do? No, they decide to take the already dramatically overpowered expertise feats and tack on a special function that is worth a feat by itself, making them now thrice as good as other feats instead of merely twice as good and doing nothing to eliminate the asymmetry or the tax to players. 


once the feats were there, adding anything else that doubled up their effects would have been a mistake, sorry this part of your rant is pure fail.

I mean seriousy, what are you thinking WotC?


That fans were complaining about a problem they precieved to exist, so make a "patch" to try and shut them up, tthen they took the "oatch" as proof they were right all along and complained about needing to speand a resource for the patch, when it should be free.........

The problem is that no one every actually proved that the math error was there, none of the argument for it ever included any of the other factors, they just demonstrated that the static and common to every PC factors of accuracy gros my 5 less then enemy defenses grow. They ignore anything else that could effect this, like classes PPs and EDs that could effect the math, 
Out of the 8 PHb 1 classes the fighter and Rogue have a direct built in accuracy boost, rangers have 2 potential boosts (prime shot and twin strike) Warlocks and Wizards can attack multiple NADS, plus warlocks have their own copy of prime shot and wizards can attack multiple enemies at once. As well any weapon class can use a +3 instead of a +2 weapon. 
Plus party tactics, magic items, and leader bonuses can easily bump up the accuracy as well,

The stated accuracy goal was for it to be around 50%, assuming a 18 stat (and the majority of players would have at least that) then with not other modification you accuracy bottoms out at 40% at level 25, so you only need a +2 to get back in line which was easily doable using just PHB1 rules. Now thanks to these feats I can build a PC whose average accuracy will minamize at 75% (at the following levels 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 19, 20)

though one thing I always found funny is that accuracy only really hits these problems in epic, but from day one people were complaining that epic characters were overpowered, as you have added the featurers of your PP and ED un top of your class, and things add up. 

In my opinion, the “math gap” was real and intentional. I suspect the designers built in the gap as a way to preempt power creep.

I feel the reason they used the feat mechanic as the bandaid is because they can easily eliminate the feat when power creep finally does accumulate.
The masterwork armour mechanic is clunky and confusing. Hardly a week goes by without someone asking in the forums why the CB is calculating their AC a point or two higher than what their own calculations are giving them. When I hand out magic armour to my players, I have to give them two Compendium printouts: one for the enchantment and one for the base masterwork armour.

Spreading that clunky, inelegant design to NADs and weapons (and presumably implements) too would have been a very bad idea.

"My flying carpet is full of elves."

I never understand this arguments about the maths.  Maybe I'm just thick or something, but my players pretty much play with just the core rules albeit with the rules compendium, we've been playing a variation of the scales of war AP, and we have a blast every other week we get together.  

The only thing I've done is update the monster math where possible, otherwise we don't use essentials or anything else, but I've yet to drop a player or kill one.   They are tanks more often than not who seem to overcome most encounters suitably well.  The biggest problem I face is making it challenging and interesting without being overpowered and unwinable.  

When people make these comments, I really don't understand what they mean or what they find so difficult.  Don't get me wrong, I''m not complaining about the OP, I genuingly don't understand what the problem is?  

So feel free to enlighten me, but so far I don't think anyone save my poor monsters have had a hard time within the game we play.  

Colour me surprised

Ab 
The issue is almost entirely player generated, and based on a incomplete analysis or just what the PC can do, as opposed to comparing the tactics of the group, leader bonuses, etc.



Replace "almost entirely player" with " a few CharOp boards posters" and I think you're right on.  ;)

That fans were complaining about a problem they precieved to exist, so make a "patch" to try and shut them up, tthen they took the "oatch" as proof they were right all along and complained about needing to speand a resource for the patch, when it should be free.........



I've been saying this since the first time I saw a "feat tax" argument.  And then, as a result, the devs felt the need to up monster damage too.  People can use whatever half-baked (and I use that term with precision) mathematical arguments they want, and play however they want, but none of this has ever been a problem in my games.  Combat was always fun for the parties I DMed for and nobody ever complained about things being too easy or too hard.  The game was and still is fun and a few points here and there makes no significant difference.

But hey, whatever works ... the idea is to have fun.  I just thought the whole debate was a big collection of mountains from molehills, so I completely agree with you.

OD&D, 1E and 2E challenged the player. 3E challenged the character, not the player. Now 4E takes it a step further by challenging a GROUP OF PLAYERS to work together as a TEAM. That's why I love 4E.

"Your ability to summon a horde of celestial superbeings at will is making my ... BMX skills look a bit redundant."

"People treat their lack of imagination as if it's the measure of what's silly. Which is silly." - Noon

"Challenge" is overrated.  "Immersion" is usually just a more pretentious way of saying "having fun playing D&D."

"Falling down is how you grow.  Staying down is how you die.  It's not what happens to you, it's what you do after it happens.”

The masterwork armour mechanic is clunky and confusing. Hardly a week goes by without someone asking in the forums why the CB is calculating their AC a point or two higher than what their own calculations are giving them. When I hand out magic armour to my players, I have to give them two Compendium printouts: one for the enchantment and one for the base masterwork armour.

Spreading that clunky, inelegant design to NADs and weapons (and presumably implements) too would have been a very bad idea.



It's especially confusing to some people now since Essentials where the "masterwork bonus" is baked into all magic armor.  I still say that they should have just eliminated masterwork armor altogether, except those types that trade a slightly lower AC for an increased NAD or damage reduction.  But I can understand why they don't want to DELETE things from the game - that creates even worse issues.

OD&D, 1E and 2E challenged the player. 3E challenged the character, not the player. Now 4E takes it a step further by challenging a GROUP OF PLAYERS to work together as a TEAM. That's why I love 4E.

"Your ability to summon a horde of celestial superbeings at will is making my ... BMX skills look a bit redundant."

"People treat their lack of imagination as if it's the measure of what's silly. Which is silly." - Noon

"Challenge" is overrated.  "Immersion" is usually just a more pretentious way of saying "having fun playing D&D."

"Falling down is how you grow.  Staying down is how you die.  It's not what happens to you, it's what you do after it happens.”

That a feat gives a +3 bonus to attack at Epic speaks for itself. If it isn't overpowered, it's because it needs to be there.
So, in initial development WotC realized the math didn't quite work and fixed it for AC only by developing masterwork armor.  They failed to notice the match wasn't quite right for NADs or Attacks either (even though they all work identically), and decided it was a good idea to leave in that particularly egregious bit of asymmetry. 


There is no proof that the to hit formula's were not satisfactory to Wizards goals. The issue is almost entirely player generated, and based on a incomplete analysis or just what the PC can do, as opposed to comparing the tactics of the group, leader bonuses, etc.


So, the developer who said it was a mistake is just what, a CharOp plant?
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
So, in initial development WotC realized the math didn't quite work and fixed it for AC only by developing masterwork armor.  They failed to notice the match wasn't quite right for NADs or Attacks either (even though they all work identically), and decided it was a good idea to leave in that particularly egregious bit of asymmetry. 


There is no proof that the to hit formula's were not satisfactory to Wizards goals. The issue is almost entirely player generated, and based on a incomplete analysis or just what the PC can do, as opposed to comparing the tactics of the group, leader bonuses, etc.


So, the developer who said it was a mistake is just what, a CharOp plant?


(to add to this point) And the man who is writing "75%" of the new elemental sourcebook thinks it's a tax.

Specifically from Robert Schwalb:

These feats correct the game’s underlying, shoring up the gaps created when monster defenses and accuracy (which is determined by level) outstrip PC defenses and accuracy (which is determined by half-level). Expertise feats and defenses feats are must-take feats. If every character has to have these feats, why require them at all? Why not build them into the game directly?

Currently, every character should take an accuracy feat, a damage feat, and a defense feat. That’s three feats already gone. Then you have superior weapons/implements. That’s another feat. Tack on an armor feat and you’re now looking at five feats before even looking at other options. This accounts for all the feats you get until you hit 10th level (1 @ 1st, 2nd, 4th, 6th, and 8th).





Honestly, the designers are likely just as split on this issue as we are.
So, in initial development WotC realized the math didn't quite work and fixed it for AC only by developing masterwork armor.  They failed to notice the match wasn't quite right for NADs or Attacks either (even though they all work identically), and decided it was a good idea to leave in that particularly egregious bit of asymmetry. 


There is no proof that the to hit formula's were not satisfactory to Wizards goals. The issue is almost entirely player generated, and based on a incomplete analysis or just what the PC can do, as opposed to comparing the tactics of the group, leader bonuses, etc. 


Flash forward a year.  By this time, they've realized the scaling was off for attacks and NADs too, so they created some alternate masterwork armor that beefed NADs


Those armors are all from Adventurers Vault, the First suppliment, not PHB2, it is not fast forward a year, they knew that they needed new amasterwork right of the bat, or are you going to claim that they though they though the  selection of magic items in the PHB was acceptable, and realized afterwards tat it was not?
 
Flash forward two more years and lots of complaints about those specific feats later.  They go back to the drawing board for a lot of things with essentials.  Once again, they had the opportunity to fix their initial error with the much more elegant and more symmetrical solution of masterwork weapons.  Is this what they do? No, they decide to take the already dramatically overpowered expertise feats and tack on a special function that is worth a feat by itself, making them now thrice as good as other feats instead of merely twice as good and doing nothing to eliminate the asymmetry or the tax to players. 


once the feats were there, adding anything else that doubled up their effects would have been a mistake, sorry this part of your rant is pure fail.

I mean seriousy, what are you thinking WotC?


That fans were complaining about a problem they precieved to exist, so make a "patch" to try and shut them up, tthen they took the "oatch" as proof they were right all along and complained about needing to speand a resource for the patch, when it should be free.........

The problem is that no one every actually proved that the math error was there, none of the argument for it ever included any of the other factors, they just demonstrated that the static and common to every PC factors of accuracy gros my 5 less then enemy defenses grow. They ignore anything else that could effect this, like classes PPs and EDs that could effect the math, 
Out of the 8 PHb 1 classes the fighter and Rogue have a direct built in accuracy boost, rangers have 2 potential boosts (prime shot and twin strike) Warlocks and Wizards can attack multiple NADS, plus warlocks have their own copy of prime shot and wizards can attack multiple enemies at once. As well any weapon class can use a +3 instead of a +2 weapon. 
Plus party tactics, magic items, and leader bonuses can easily bump up the accuracy as well,

The stated accuracy goal was for it to be around 50%, assuming a 18 stat (and the majority of players would have at least that) then with not other modification you accuracy bottoms out at 40% at level 25, so you only need a +2 to get back in line which was easily doable using just PHB1 rules. Now thanks to these feats I can build a PC whose average accuracy will minamize at 75% (at the following levels 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 19, 20)

though one thing I always found funny is that accuracy only really hits these problems in epic, but from day one people were complaining that epic characters were overpowered, as you have added the featurers of your PP and ED un top of your class, and things add up. 





1.  Yes there is proof, the developers have admitted it was an oversight.
2. Yes, I'm aware those armors are from the Adventurer's Vault.  So what?  This is a red herring and an irrelevant argument.
3. This statement makes no sense.
4. Yes there is a problem.  It doesn't matter what kind of power your character has, requiring a maxed attack stat just to get a 40-50% accuracy is too low and was a mistake. 
5. Your rudeness is duly noted.
I find the masterwork armor to be clunky and inelegant.  The AC disparity between my group's defender which has masterwork and the defender which doesn't is quite large.  All because of a piece of equipment.  While math fix feats are not the best of all worlds, equipment fixes are even worse. 

How I wish the game was not designed to assume a +1 to every number on the character sheet for every level gained.
I find the masterwork armor to be clunky and inelegant.  The AC disparity between my group's defender which has masterwork and the defender which doesn't is quite large.  All because of a piece of equipment.  While math fix feats are not the best of all worlds, equipment fixes are even worse. 

How I wish the game was not designed to assume a +1 to every number on the character sheet for every level gained.



Why does the second defender not have masterwork armor?  It's supposed to be automatically built in based on the enhancement bonus.

That said, I would be almost as happy if they just removed masterwork armor and replaced it with something else (like an automatic tier bonus for heavy armor).   
 Why does the second defender not have masterwork armor?  It's supposed to be automatically built in based on the enhancement bonus.



He has not yet acquired +4 armor.  No such thing as treasure parcels balanced for what the characters need/desire in games I run, but rather, they gain the treasure that I think makes sense for the situation.  Fortunately for him, it will make sense in the next campaign arc to battle someone wearing such powerful armor.
Any heavy armor starting at +2 and any light armor starting at +3 is assumed to be masterwork.  That assumption is actually written in a book, now - HotFL.  If you don't give them masterwork versions of these, you're gimping them unnecessarily.  What class is your non-masterwork defender, and what type of armor is he using?

There's a reason masterwork doesn't cost any gold.  For you to call masterwork "such powerful armor" is in conflict with the mathematics of a balanced game.  If you're referring to the +4 as "such powerful armor" then his +3 armor should have masterwork as well.  Now, if your choice is to not care about balance, that's your choice to make, but you should be aware of the consequences of any choice you make as a DM.

Also, what level are they now?  If you're in the mid to high teens and the guy's wearing +2 non-masterwork heavy armor, yeah his AC is going to be way, way behind.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
Any heavy armor starting at +2 and any light armor starting at +3 is assumed to be masterwork.  That assumption is actually written in a book, now - HotFL.  If you don't give them masterwork versions of these, you're gimping them unnecessarily.  What class is your non-masterwork defender, and what type of armor is he using?

There's a reason masterwork doesn't cost any gold.  For you to call masterwork "such powerful armor" is in conflict with the mathematics of a balanced game.  If you're referring to the +4 as "such powerful armor" then his +3 armor should have masterwork as well.  Now, if your choice is to not care about balance, that's your choice to make, but you should be aware of the consequences of any choice you make as a DM.

Also, what level are they now?  If you're in the mid to high teens and the guy's wearing +2 non-masterwork heavy armor, yeah his AC is going to be way, way behind.

Whilst, I agree that the Maths Hole has never been proven to be real beyond people saying "oh look, I now have less chance to hit on average than before". Some defences were a little more problematic.

The whole issues could've been solved more easily with Masters work weapons and amulets / cloaks or just a +1 at each tier.

There was no huge problem before hand and now we have these so called "Taxes" people have to pay.

How the hell are they Taxes? They really are optional, a better comparison would be a premimum subscription service but even then, people go on about them way too much.
Yes, I could devour the Adventurer's Vault and other books in a quest to make the game as mathematically balanced as possible and be concerned about whether the party's performance ratio matches their expected XP budget.

To my failing, such a formulaic approach to DMing feels dry and lifeless and would suck the joy of adventure design.  So I merely eyeball things and go by gut feeling.

Fortunately, it is still possible to have fun playing without worrying too much about such things.  Some encounters will be beyond the PCs combat abilities and require tackling with out-of-combat strategies; some encounters that are expected to be something are a walk in the park - like their recent easily overcome subdual of a red dragon.

1.  Yes there is proof, the developers have admitted it was an oversight.

one designer 2 years later is not proof. also look at the book the "patch" was released in, that designer is not one of the 3 names listed is he?
2. Yes, I'm aware those armors are from the Adventurer's Vault.  So what?  This is a red herring and an irrelevant argument.

No, you were trying to use them creating extra masterwork armors as justification, and since they origionate in a book that was released 3 months after the initila release, I highly doubt that is the case since the AV would have bene in development right next to the PHB, especially since the AV is basically a we do not have enough space in the core books for these things book. It is entirely possibl and likely that those armors were in development right along side their PHB1 equivalents, and as well the AC bonuses of the NAD boosting armors are not as good as the non NAD boosting armors of the same enhancement value, and since they boost 1 NAD instead of all 3 it looks more like a benefit for the ignored NAD line of thought then accounting for and defense math issues.
3. This statement makes no sense.

No it does, you just need to think about the full consiquences of any proposed acitons in order ot see it, which you clearly are not.
4. Yes there is a problem.  It doesn't matter what kind of power your character has, requiring a maxed attack stat just to get a 40-50% accuracy is too low and was a mistake. 

the game is based around the asumption that you will have a 16-20 starting value for your mani attack stat, a 18 starting is average, not maxed, maxed is a 20 starting. a 16 (like from the standard array) and a +2 racial mod give a 18. If you do not understand that then you should not be trying to figure out these things. 
And a 50% accuracy was the goal, the only mistake here is that they did not set their accuracy goal high enough to satisfy "the fans", getting withing their stated goal was perfectly viable upon release with a little teamwork, and the low accuracy issues doe not exist until the start of/mid epic, when there are so many other things going on it is not funny. 

 
So, you say that there is no proof that devs think it was a mistake.  We give you evidence to the contrary, and you dismiss it out of hand.

Glad to know you're engaging in honest debate.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
Does anyone have the quote from the devs saying they were shooting for the 40-60% to-hit range? (I'm not doubting it's existence as I distinctly remember it, just not what article/interview it was in.)  That would be evidence from the devs that they didn't make a mistake.  Or at least that they don't agree that they made a mistake.  I really do think that the problem is mostly char-op spawned as I've never had a character that felt like they were missing too much, even before PHB2.
Yes, the latest book/release that you don't like is a blatant attempt by Wizards of the Coast to make money off the fanbase. They all are. That's kinda the point of the Free Enterprise system, companies are in it to make money...
Show
69889855 wrote:
You can't! I tried... and the next night masked men came into my house and beat me until I burned up my ranger character sheet and rolled a scout. They told me... if I ever thought of making a non-essential character that they would kill mitsy..... OH GOD THEY ARE COMING BACK AND ARE FORCING ME TO BUY HEROES OF SHADOWS! SOMEONE STOP THEM PLEASE!
58321818 wrote:
Your DM is your friend. He's not trying to screw with you, or dick you around. Play your character how your character would act. Accept that your character won't always be able to do what he's best at, but also know that as a goddamn HERO, he's gonna try to do his best at what he can do. Roleplay your goddamn character, make the decisions he would make, and roll appropriately. Everything will be fine.
57025236 wrote:
But filling a post with vitriol, hate-filled comments, like "these people should be fired", swearing at us or other ambiguous members of the company - there really is no reason for that. Please share your feedback respectfully, and consider how you would share your ideas if this were a face to face conversation between real people, not faceless names on a screen.
If you see me posting in a thread about editions or Essentials (that isn't simply a rules thread or similar) remind me that I'm trying to stay away from them. (My blood pressure will thank us both.)
The problem si it is not an official statement form the development team, but a single quote from a ddev on his blog, all it shows is what one dev hinks, not what they think as a whole, and as such does not reflect the devs as a whole. 
the only proof that they thank that way would be either an official statement by Wizards or statement by more then half of the dev team. anything less is not conclusive.
Plus the time delay is a problem, 2 years later and the discussions leading to the feats are not going to be as clear in the persons mind, and with all the ranting about the feats being a tax over 2 years and math wholes, it is entirely possible that it is a case that the design intentions were not wrong, but the devs mind has changed due to player reaction, or justs sayng what he thinks the players want to hear.  
I mean seriousy, what are you thinking WotC? 


Most likely, the problem is that they weren't really thinking about the math holes; at least not before first publication. It probably seemed unimportant at the time, with the chaos of writing, play testing and approaching deadlines. It's an understandable mistake.

The AC hole being mostly filled by masterwork armor, for example, was just an accident. Heavy AC has to keep up with light AC, so the devs implemented masterwork heavy armor to close the gap. Then one of them said "Hey, heavy-wearers get cool new armors, but light-wearers don't? Lame!" So they made masterwork heavy armor better by 1 per tier, and implemented masterwork light armor. If it hadn't been for that one dev, the AC math hole would be as big as the attack hole.

That said, I would be almost as happy if they just removed masterwork armor and replaced it with something else (like an automatic tier bonus for heavy armor).   


That's exactly what I did with my Complete 4th Edition house rules. No masterwork, no feat taxes; everyone simply gets a few extra level bonuses.
I mean seriousy, what are you thinking WotC? 


Most likely, the problem is that they weren't really thinking about the math holes; at least not before first publication. It probably seemed unimportant at the time, with the chaos of writing, play testing and approaching deadlines. It's an understandable mistake.

The AC hole being mostly filled by masterwork armor, for example, was just an accident. Heavy AC has to keep up with light AC, so the devs implemented masterwork heavy armor to close the gap. Then one of them said "Hey, heavy-wearers get cool new armors, but light-wearers don't? Lame!" So they made masterwork heavy armor better by 1 per tier, and implemented masterwork light armor. If it hadn't been for that one dev, the AC math hole would be as big as the attack hole.

That said, I would be almost as happy if they just removed masterwork armor and replaced it with something else (like an automatic tier bonus for heavy armor).   


That's exactly what I did with my Complete 4th Edition house rules. No masterwork, no feat taxes; everyone simply gets a few extra level bonuses.



I would do the same, the only problem being that it isn't compatible with the CB.  Well, I dunno, maybe I could just disallow the expertise and Superior defense feats and remove all masterwork armor, then manually grant all characters +1 per tier to all attacks and defenses, and an additional +1 per tier to AC when wearing heavy armor, or something to that effect.  

Either way, they really need to address this issue.  Even though the math itself is fine, the ways that you acquire the bonuses you need by high level are extremely sloppy and need a comprehensive reboot.
Any heavy armor starting at +2 and any light armor starting at +3 is assumed to be masterwork.  That assumption is actually written in a book, now - HotFL.  If you don't give them masterwork versions of these, you're gimping them unnecessarily.  What class is your non-masterwork defender, and what type of armor is he using?

There's a reason masterwork doesn't cost any gold.  For you to call masterwork "such powerful armor" is in conflict with the mathematics of a balanced game.  If you're referring to the +4 as "such powerful armor" then his +3 armor should have masterwork as well.  Now, if your choice is to not care about balance, that's your choice to make, but you should be aware of the consequences of any choice you make as a DM.

Also, what level are they now?  If you're in the mid to high teens and the guy's wearing +2 non-masterwork heavy armor, yeah his AC is going to be way, way behind.

Whilst, I agree that the Maths Hole has never been proven to be real beyond people saying "oh look, I now have less chance to hit on average than before". Some defences were a little more problematic.

The whole issues could've been solved more easily with Masters work weapons and amulets / cloaks or just a +1 at each tier.

There was no huge problem before hand and now we have these so called "Taxes" people have to pay.

How the hell are they Taxes? They really are optional, a better comparison would be a premimum subscription service but even then, people go on about them way too much.



Even though they're technically optional, in practice they really aren't.  The feats are so powerful relative to other feats that they are mandatory for anyone concerned at all about optimization, hence why people call them a tax. That, my friend, is bad game design, period.   

Even though they're technically optional, in practice they really aren't.  The feats are so powerful relative to other feats that they are mandatory for anyone concerned at all about optimization, hence why people call them a tax. That, my friend, is bad game design, period.   


So what I'm hearing is that the problem isn't a math hole. It's blatant power creep in the form of the expertise and defense feats.
Yes, the latest book/release that you don't like is a blatant attempt by Wizards of the Coast to make money off the fanbase. They all are. That's kinda the point of the Free Enterprise system, companies are in it to make money...
Show
69889855 wrote:
You can't! I tried... and the next night masked men came into my house and beat me until I burned up my ranger character sheet and rolled a scout. They told me... if I ever thought of making a non-essential character that they would kill mitsy..... OH GOD THEY ARE COMING BACK AND ARE FORCING ME TO BUY HEROES OF SHADOWS! SOMEONE STOP THEM PLEASE!
58321818 wrote:
Your DM is your friend. He's not trying to screw with you, or dick you around. Play your character how your character would act. Accept that your character won't always be able to do what he's best at, but also know that as a goddamn HERO, he's gonna try to do his best at what he can do. Roleplay your goddamn character, make the decisions he would make, and roll appropriately. Everything will be fine.
57025236 wrote:
But filling a post with vitriol, hate-filled comments, like "these people should be fired", swearing at us or other ambiguous members of the company - there really is no reason for that. Please share your feedback respectfully, and consider how you would share your ideas if this were a face to face conversation between real people, not faceless names on a screen.
If you see me posting in a thread about editions or Essentials (that isn't simply a rules thread or similar) remind me that I'm trying to stay away from them. (My blood pressure will thank us both.)

Even though they're technically optional, in practice they really aren't.  The feats are so powerful relative to other feats that they are mandatory for anyone concerned at all about optimization, hence why people call them a tax. That, my friend, is bad game design, period.   


So what I'm hearing is that the problem isn't a math hole. It's blatant power creep in the form of the expertise and defense feats.



Actually, the main problem is that it's just sloppy as hell.  Characters lose about 4 points relative to monsters as you climb toward level 30 in all attacks and defenses.  I could actually live with that, btw, because honestly level 30 monsters should be nightmarish.  

However, there is a patchwork of really poorly conceived mechanics attempting to band-aid that 4 point separation.  For AC, you have masterwork armor, which is asymmetrical, unintuitive, and only partially closes the gap.  For attack and NAD, you have you a few different feats that are so overpowered that you can't logically justify not taking them, and they make a lot of other feats obsolete or redundant.   

It's just a horrible mess.  They either need to scrap the feats and add masterwork to other forms of gear, or scrap both the feats and masterwork armor and shore up the math in some other way (or not at all).  
 
Seems to me like the argument about "is this an error" can't take place. Unless one of the original designers steps forward and convincingly proves one way or the other, no one will prevail oin this discussion. The discussion we can make is "is this a problem?" Evidently designers at Wizards of the Coast thought "yes," for whatever reason.

I also thought that masterworked weapons would be a much better choice. "Masterworked" is a sacred cow that would be well-fitting, since the idea of masterworked weapons in the past was that they were better for making attack rolls.

As it stands, it is not as though they are no longer an option. Wizards of the Coast could put them in a Dragon article, since at this point they would not be a tremendously valuable conept. Perhaps Dungeon, since DMs are supposed to be in charge of items these days. I dunno where they'd fit as an add-on -- perhaps the trade-off is that such weapons are rarer. Or there is a relatively low cost attached (for heroic tier, level 1 item as an additional cost; paragon tier, level 11 item; epic tier, level 21 item).

In any case, masterworked items would have to be joined with masterworked implements.
I don't use emoticons, and I'm also pretty pleasant. So if I say something that's rude or insulting, it's probably a joke.
Seems to me like the argument about "is this an error" can't take place. Unless one of the original designers steps forward and convincingly proves one way or the other, no one will prevail oin this discussion



They.  Already.  Have. 

But because that information would conflict with an already-established opinion held by the OP among others, it gets conveniently neglected.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
I'm considering just taking 1 defense off each monster per-tier, and lower their hit numbers a bit, and just get rid of all the feats and masterwork armours in the game. Less things on the sheet, the better in my experience.
It's just a horrible mess.   



Wait, I thought this was a 4e board, not a Pathfinder board.



Seriously, the minor issues people hyperbolize about ... sheesh.  You want to see a mathematical disaster?  There are games like that, but you won't find it in 4e.  No game has the "perfect" math some are looking for and if it did they'd probably complain that it was too much like a video game like WoW.

Wait a minute.  People do complain that 4e is like WoW.  Huh, maybe I'm on to something here.

OD&D, 1E and 2E challenged the player. 3E challenged the character, not the player. Now 4E takes it a step further by challenging a GROUP OF PLAYERS to work together as a TEAM. That's why I love 4E.

"Your ability to summon a horde of celestial superbeings at will is making my ... BMX skills look a bit redundant."

"People treat their lack of imagination as if it's the measure of what's silly. Which is silly." - Noon

"Challenge" is overrated.  "Immersion" is usually just a more pretentious way of saying "having fun playing D&D."

"Falling down is how you grow.  Staying down is how you die.  It's not what happens to you, it's what you do after it happens.”

It's a lot bigger issue when you're in heroic and you also needed to take 2 or 3 other feats just to get to where your character concept is fleshed out to the minimum.
It's just a horrible mess.   



Wait, I thought this was a 4e board, not a Pathfinder board.



Seriously, the minor issues people hyperbolize about ... sheesh.  You want to see a mathematical disaster?  There are games like that, but you won't find it in 4e.  No game has the "perfect" math some are looking for and if it did they'd probably complain that it was too much like a video game like WoW.

Wait a minute.  People do complain that 4e is like WoW.  Huh, maybe I'm on to something here.





Again, it's not the math itself I'm ranting about, it's about the lazy, disorganized band-aid fixes.  I can't help it if I like cohesive, streamlined systems and dislike asymmetry and overpowered options that effectively diminish choice and customization.  

Oh, and 4e doesn't even come close to comparing to WoW - you want to talk about a game just riddled with incoherent and nonsensical design elements - that's a real mess. 
If there was every any doubt as to the feat tax problem, three designers have confirmed it:

Mike Donais
Greg Bilsland
Robert Schwalb

Nobody involved with WotC has denied the problem.



That said, I would be almost as happy if they just removed masterwork armor and replaced it with something else (like an automatic tier bonus for heavy armor).   


That's exactly what I did with my Complete 4th Edition house rules. No masterwork, no feat taxes; everyone simply gets a few extra level bonuses.



I would do the same, the only problem being that it isn't compatible with the CB.  Well, I dunno, maybe I could just disallow the expertise and Superior defense feats and remove all masterwork armor, then manually grant all characters +1 per tier to all attacks and defenses, and an additional +1 per tier to AC when wearing heavy armor, or something to that effect.  


I understand your dilemma. Some of my players use the CB, and they have to find work-arounds for my house rules, or do them manually. I'm giving them free stuff though, so I haven't gotten any complaints.

Either way, they really need to address this issue.  Even though the math itself is fine, the ways that you acquire the bonuses you need by high level are extremely sloppy and need a comprehensive reboot.


I wouldn't hold your breath. I've been waiting since about a month after release for a real fix, and it became clear long ago that we won't get one from WotC.
If there was every any doubt as to the feat tax problem, three designers have confirmed it:

Not as well as some would want to claim it. 

Mike Donais
Greg Bilsland


Both of them just said in the posts/blog  referenced that they are giving them away for free, so people could take more interesting feats. They said nothing about any math issues. In fact Greg Bilsland specifically said in the linked post "A lot of people take issue with game’s math. I’m not here to protest or defend the math. Instead, I’m just saying that feats should be fun", he was specifically. Nothing in either post requires a math error, only that the feats are to good compared ot other feats, which they are. 
Robert Schwalb

Who is not listed in the PHB1 or DMG1 credits, which means he was not a part of the development team.
Nobody
involved with WotC has denied the problem.
Because they do not need to, Plus if they did to many people would flame them because they have convinced themselves that there is a problem there, so the fan base has actually made it a bad move to say that the math works as intended. 

If there was every any doubt as to the feat tax problem, three designers have confirmed it:

Not as well as some would want to claim it. 

Mike Donais
Greg Bilsland


Both of them just said in the posts/blog  referenced that they are giving them away for free, so people could take more interesting feats. They said nothing about any math issues. In fact Greg Bilsland specifically said in the linked post "A lot of people take issue with game’s math. I’m not here to protest or defend the math. Instead, I’m just saying that feats should be fun", he was specifically. Nothing in either post requires a math error, only that the feats are to good compared ot other feats, which they are. 
Robert Schwalb

Who is not listed in the PHB1 or DMG1 credits, which means he was not a part of the development team.
Nobody
involved with WotC has denied the problem.
Because they do not need to, Plus if they did to many people would flame them because they have convinced themselves that there is a problem there, so the fan base has actually made it a bad move to say that the math works as intended. 




Just stop already.  You're acting like a fanatic who can't process any information that contradicts your viewpoints.  There is very obviously a math problem that they very obviously created poorly-conceived feats to fix when that very obviously went against their stated design goals, and it's very obviously sloppy and unintuitive.

Geez, it's like arguing with a YEC.
personally i like masterwork armor bc of flavor and it gives a choice between a nad bonus or xtra ac bonus. everyone says its gone but its still in the cb, you can choose between them just use the dropdown box under the generic armor



 You're acting like a fanatic who can't process any information that contradicts your viewpoints.

 No, the post you are responding to is me explaining why the references used are not actually valid enough to prove many posters woyuld want to use them to claim. 
Thinking that a feat is so good everyone is going to feel they have to take does not mean you think that there is an underlying error in the math. But to many people are going to try and miss represent any quote they can to say that they have official support for their side. 
There is very obviously a math problem that they very obviously created poorly-conceived feats to fix when that very obviously went against their stated design goals, and it's very obviously sloppy and unintuitive.

Except that there is not a very obvious math problem. There is what people have convinced themselves is a math problem, except that the analysis to show it is a problem was never a full analysis including everything else that could effect the math like group tactics and how easy it is to get bonuses to attack, or get rerolls. 

The feats exist and are overpowered, but that does not mean that there is a math problem because there was so much complaining about there being a math problem that they could be entirely an attempt to apease the players that failed. 


Except that there is not a very obvious math problem. There is what people have convinced themselves is a math problem, except that the analysis to show it is a problem was never a full analysis including everything else that could effect the math like group tactics and how easy it is to get bonuses to attack, or get rerolls.



You may be right, but the problem is that it's really easy to provide evidence for the "math hole". By my math, over 30 levels, monsters will go up by 3 points more than PCs in attack and defense, and additionally, each PC is going to have an additional 4-to-5-point deficit in one, maybe two defenses.

I'm not saying you're wrong - party tactics and well-chosen powers may well bridge that gap. I don't know. But since it's really easy to pull together evidence for the math hole, it might be a good idea for you to provide some evidence or examples of how real-world parties will bridge those gaps without using the "mathy" feats or other material that math-hole proponents give as examples of patches.

You could certainly provide evidence of parties bridging that math hole. However, that does not mean that there isn't a problem: It's the parties that do not bridge the "math hole" that are the evidence that there is one and that it is a problem. Leaders may not have adequate buffs or monster teamwork and/or abilities could team with strong defenses to make players ineffective.

Expertise evens things out. You don't need to have an optimized character in order to reliably contribute. If circumstance, poor decisions, or remarkable opposed teamwork happen, the party has a chance to recover. Without expertise, a bad round=run away.
So, in initial development WotC realized the math didn't quite work and fixed it for AC only by developing masterwork armor.  They failed to notice the match wasn't quite right for NADs or Attacks either (even though they all work identically), and decided it was a good idea to leave in that particularly egregious bit of asymmetry.

The problem MW armor was patching was primarily that the DEX or INT adding to AC in Light Armor would keep going up, while heavy armor would be static.  Yes, there was also a little bump for light armors at paragon and epic.  A similar bump for weapons might have addressed the 'math problem' - so would including stat-boosting items like those in 3e.  Maybe one or the other was planned and cut at the last minute for some reason?

 

 

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Was that math hole real?  That is, could a good group of tactical level 30s defeat Orcus or Demogorgon with proper consumables?  If so why did characters receive a MAJOR unneeded buff that necessitated all new monster math?
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