How broken can repeatable powers get?

16 posts / 0 new
Last post
Mostly out of curiosity I ask:

If you set up powers so you expend them like a 3rd Ed Sorcerer, how broken does it get?
Allowing the expenditure of one Encounter Attack Power to re-use another Encounter Attack Power. (and same for Daily Attack Powers)

I understand that this one one of those things that can break the game, but how much does it break
Pretty much entirely. The balance of the game relies on the assumption of the AEDU power setup, or the essentials at-will buff setup.
Pretty much entirely. The balance of the game relies on the assumption of the AEDU power setup, or the essentials at-will buff setup.


Yes. I know this. But you're just re-stating what I already said.

You're answering the question "Does it break?" And we agree, the answer is "yes".

My question is "How much does it break"?
Like, what are some worst-case, game-breaking scenarios to be had if you allowed the use of an Encounter power to be used 2-4 times, depending on the number of total Encounter powers the character has?
It might not be broken under this sort of approach:

It applies to attack powers only. (Utility powers shouldn't cross over with attack powers or vice versa, and utility powers are awkward to do this with because they don't have clear at-will/encounter/daily 'tiers' like attack powers do.)

You can only trade DOWN in level. You can expend a level 7 encounter power to reuse a level 3 encounter power, but not the other way around.

In the case of daily powers, you can't re-use the same daily power in the same encounter.

This applies only to class-derived AEDU powers. It can't be applied to theme powers, racial powers, feat powers, class feature powers, etc.
Pretty much entirely. The balance of the game relies on the assumption of the AEDU power setup, or the essentials at-will buff setup.


Yes. I know this. But you're just re-stating what I already said.

You're answering the question "Does it break?" And we agree, the answer is "yes".

My question is "How much does it break"?
Like, what are some worst-case, game-breaking scenarios to be had if you allowed the use of an Encounter power to be used 2-4 times, depending on the number of total Encounter powers the character has?

You can gain some pretty serious optimization. 4e powers are really not "all created equal". MOST of them are useful and they made a good job of making a lot of them interesting and being potentially worth using for at least some builds. HOWEVER, there are still powers that just stand out A LOT. Even with some errata Rain of Blows is still a power you would create an entire build around, IF you could use it more often. No fighter would avoid putting up Rain of Steel if they could reuse it several times a day. You can heavily optimize for these things. Even worse are casters. An orb-wizard tweaking Sleep or one of several other really obnoxious lockdown powers.
That is not dead which may eternal lie
You can gain some pretty serious optimization. 4e powers are really not "all created equal". MOST of them are useful and they made a good job of making a lot of them interesting and being potentially worth using for at least some builds. HOWEVER, there are still powers that just stand out A LOT. Even with some errata Rain of Blows is still a power you would create an entire build around, IF you could use it more often. No fighter would avoid putting up Rain of Steel if they could reuse it several times a day. You can heavily optimize for these things. Even worse are casters. An orb-wizard tweaking Sleep or one of several other really obnoxious lockdown powers.

That is pretty broken, though mostly at higher levels since these are Daily attack powers.

Neutronium_Dragon's approach would limit stuff like this from happening too often.
So barring Daily attack powers, what about Encounter powers specifically? Any big game-changers in there?

You can gain some pretty serious optimization. 4e powers are really not "all created equal". MOST of them are useful and they made a good job of making a lot of them interesting and being potentially worth using for at least some builds. HOWEVER, there are still powers that just stand out A LOT. Even with some errata Rain of Blows is still a power you would create an entire build around, IF you could use it more often. No fighter would avoid putting up Rain of Steel if they could reuse it several times a day. You can heavily optimize for these things. Even worse are casters. An orb-wizard tweaking Sleep or one of several other really obnoxious lockdown powers.

That is pretty broken, though mostly at higher levels since these are Daily attack powers.

Neutronium_Dragon's approach would limit stuff like this from happening too often.
So barring Daily attack powers, what about Encounter powers specifically? Any big game-changers in there?



There most certainly are. Just off the top of my head I can think of: low slash, any ranger minor attack, come and get it, curtain of steel, vengeance is mine, charm of (anything). Those are all really good powers that I'd sacrifice higher level ones to use 4 times in a combat.
Neutronium_Dragon's approach would limit stuff like this from happening too often.
So barring Daily attack powers, what about Encounter powers specifically? Any big game-changers in there?


Neutronium_Dragon's approach doesn't especially deal with the fact that many of the most potent encounters that people would want to spam are in heroic.

basically, most of the offense comes from 4e allowing too many stacking damage modifiers on damage rolls (and to a lesser degree hits). So optimizers will spam attacks that add damage rolls most commonly.

Some lesser offense comes from a few troublemakers like Disruptive Strike that can do pretty massive buffs/debuffs. A ranger doing Disruptive Strike 3/enc means pretty much every round you're turning a hit to a miss (and not necessarily against you). This is basically a nastier version of the psion's level 1 at-will (augment 2) secondary-stat-attack-debuff spam (Dishearten, I think?).
(Depending when you require Disruptive Strike to be announced: pre-roll or post-roll. Even pre-roll it's not worse than the psion)

-----------
On the plus side, you may indirectly increase variety in a way. For example, a ranger might normally pick up Off Hand Strike and Ruffling Sting, a level 1 and 3 power that differ only by the latter inflicting CA. People pick up Ruffling Sting because it's another use of Off-Hand Strike, not because they really want CA. With the sorcerer-style, they might instead get a power they don't plan to use all the time. Like a close-burst-1 attack. If the 2 minor-action-attacks is more tempting in a fight they can still use it, but now they have an option that works better when mobbed (especially by minions). 

On the plus side, you may indirectly increase variety in a way. For example, a ranger might normally pick up Off Hand Strike and Ruffling Sting, a level 1 and 3 power that differ only by the latter inflicting CA. People pick up Ruffling Sting because it's another use of Off-Hand Strike, not because they really want CA. With the sorcerer-style, they might instead get a power they don't plan to use all the time. Like a close-burst-1 attack. If the 2 minor-action-attacks is more tempting in a fight they can still use it, but now they have an option that works better when mobbed (especially by minions). 


This does sound like a nice plus. I don't really mind if the players are broken with respect to the monsters. That's simple to remedy. I just wouldn't feel right if some players felt they were getting the short-end-of-the-stick when it came to power and output.
This does sound like a nice plus. I don't really mind if the players are broken with respect to the monsters. That's simple to remedy. I just wouldn't feel right if some players felt they were getting the short-end-of-the-stick when it came to power and output.



I think if your players have roughly similar char-op skills and they all know up front that you're doing this, they should be able to come out roughly similar in power level. 
A few Essentials subclasses don't really work with this, but they should be obvious up front. ANd if someone really really wants to play one you could at least consider working with them.
(letting the Essentially subclasses pick base-class powers at levels 3 and 7 to hot-swap to is probably mostly fine, though Slayer + 3x Rain of Blows could probably break the curve a bit even compared to everything else we're talking about.)

I think allowing trading up + down instead of only down is probably fine, especially if it is (again) up front, universal, and compensated on the encounter-building side. SInce many of the offenders are low level powers, you probably won't have everyone trading up all the time.      
I think allowing trading up + down instead of only down is probably fine, especially if it is (again) up front, universal, and compensated on the encounter-building side. SInce many of the offenders are low level powers, you probably won't have everyone trading up all the time.      


I like the idea. And I think I would be staying away from the Essentials classes this time around anyways, so many this could work out after all.

Again, I don't mind having broken op players. I ran a whole Heroic to high Paragon campaign with 4e Gestalt classes. (It was crazy) The power levels were already through the roof and I could still give my players a good challenge then and again.
I think allowing trading up + down instead of only down is probably fine, especially if it is (again) up front, universal, and compensated on the encounter-building side. SInce many of the offenders are low level powers, you probably won't have everyone trading up all the time.      


I like the idea. And I think I would be staying away from the Essentials classes this time around anyways, so many this could work out after all.

Again, I don't mind having broken op players. I ran a whole Hero to high Paragon campaign with 4e Gestalt classes. The power levels were already through the roof and I could still give my players a good challenge then and again.



Nice.
I was looking at giving players their full racial paragon paths at level 1 (damage scaled down temporarily) as a bonus, on top of about a feat worth of additional tweaks as a campaign rule at one point. I'd reflavor Dragonborn as wyrmling dragons (complete with flight and breathweapon. Their bonus was going to be using claws and bite to emulate weapon of choice). Shifters were going to be reflavored as werewolves, giving them Wild Shape and a druid beast form at-will for free, and allowing them to take Beast Form powers in place of class powers as desired. 
Sadly that campaign never took off. :/ 
Mostly out of curiosity I ask:

If you set up powers so you expend them like a 3rd Ed Sorcerer, how broken does it get?
Allowing the expenditure of one Encounter Attack Power to re-use another Encounter Attack Power. (and same for Daily Attack Powers)

I understand that this one one of those things that can break the game, but how much does it break



Honestly? Not as much as a lot of people think if you put a little planning into it.

Our group has been doing this for years now in our game and it really hasn't made a lick of difference in terms of breaking encounters. The two big things that keep it from getting out of hand have been that we keep attack and utility powers in seperate usage pools and we greatly reduce the use of dailies by having each daily count as the use of two encounter powers during an encounter.

'Sleep' may be good, but is it two uses of 'mass charm' good? Maybe sometimes, but not all the time. By the same token, only getting all four encounter uses if you don't spend any dailies means those encounters can be spams of your highest level encounters without throwing off math that presumes roughly one daily power used per encounter.
At which point you're not playing the same game any more, so you'd have better luck in the homebrew forum.
Back to Basics - A Guide to Basic Attacks You might be playing DnD wrong if... "Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former." Albert Einstein
At which point you're not playing the same game any more, so you'd have better luck in the homebrew forum.


All of the above are deviations from the rules as written, but the question wasn't about homebrewing per se (which I've always considered to be new races, feats and powers and not minor changes to how a table burns its power uses). Rather it was about to what degree making such a change would effect game balance... the answer to which varies with how you handle it with different people providing examples. I think it belongs in General about as much as anything else on the first page does.

Frankly, at this point in the edition's life cycle, there's not much to discuss other than how alternate game systems compare to 4E that wouldn't fit better under a Q&A, What's a X to do? or Homebrew thread. We haven't had a major new release in over a year, the magazine content has slowed to a trickle of fluff and the online tools haven't been updated in months. A discussion about the effects of changing a few of the rules is as good a topic to discuss as anything.

Maybe a topic discussing if its time to consolidate some of the 4E threads is in order?
Building around an Archer Ranger which would use only Twin Strike, and either Disruptive Strike or at the right levels, Manticore's Volley?  I could live with that, definitely.
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.