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sephiroth1084
07-14-2009, 07:20 PM
Eladrin posted this in a thread about FoM no longer applying to the Abbot's trapping ability:


It could be an interesting discussion.

In the long run it would probably be better for the game, in my opinion, if many effects that granted immunities instead did something like "grants a (significant) bonus to saves vs. (effect trait)" combined with a "reroll failures once like Slippery Mind" mechanic. It would be interesting to explore for some of the monster immunities as well.

Racial immunities would likely have to be left alone, to avoid a problem with the Warforged, who rightly should be immune to poison. A discussion could be broken out into a separate thread in the non-beta Suggestions forum.

So, let's discuss.

First, let's try to list the effects and spells that currently grant immunity:

-Freedom of Movement: immunity from some knockdown, slippery surfaces, paralysis, earthgrab

-Neutralize poison: immunity to poison

-Greater Heroism: immunity to fear

-Heavy Fortification: immunity to sneak attacks and critical hits

-Death Ward: death effects, enervation, some stat damage

-Undead, constructs and elementals: immunity to sneak attacks and critical hits


Please feel free to post things I missed.



So, the base assumption of this thread is that immunities are poor design, because they invalidate a lot of design space, causing problems for developers and players alike, as awkward ways around these immunities are sought.

Something we had been discussing as a solution to the problems FoM presents would be the change the spell to function like Slippery Mind, granting a reroll on a failed save.

Please post any suggestions of your own.

Zippo
07-14-2009, 07:25 PM
Given the Vicadin I might be a little off my rocker here but heavy fort wouldn't be a spell. That's a persistent effect from an item so I don't see why that would be on the list.

sephiroth1084
07-14-2009, 07:33 PM
Given the Vicadin I might be a little off my rocker here but heavy fort wouldn't be a spell. That's a persistent effect from an item so I don't see why that would be on the list.

Try again when the Vicadin wears off. :rolleyes: . I said, "First, let's try to list the effects and spells that currently grant immunity."

Zippo
07-14-2009, 07:36 PM
Try again when the Vicadin wears off. :rolleyes: . I said, "First, let's try to list the effects and spells that currently grant immunity."

So you did :o but the drugs made me do it ;)

Praut_Ektor
07-14-2009, 09:03 PM
Re-posting from the other thread:


Sorry to harp again on the same thing, but one thing that might resolve the Freedom of Movement issue is treating it similarly to the globes of invulnerability.

It would only protect against spells lower level than itself and a mass version for instance would make it 8th level and thus protect against mass hold. Just as mass hold should bypass a globe of invulnerability, etc.

It's not 100% immunity, it brings it into balance and yet still preserves the immunity to web and normal hold that we enjoy today (while similarly giving us the mass version that we clerics pine for).


Break down:

Freedom would only block 3rd level affects and lower.

Hold and web would still be resisted.

Mass Hold would affect someone with Freedom.

Mass Freedom would be introduced as a level 8 spell and would make you immune to level 7 affects and lower (and thus mass hold).

Getting rid of immunities is a silly idea. Skeletons and Constructs ARE immune to poison and ARE immune to paralysis, just as an example. Vorpaling a raid boss, also a silly notion. However, it is possible to bring at least this affect into step with other things.

Partial immunities or case specific immunities are more warranted than the wholesale immunities that FOM give you currently.

That was the basis of my idea and proposal.

sephiroth1084
07-14-2009, 09:59 PM
Re-posting from the other thread:




Break down:

Freedom would only block 3rd level affects and lower.

Hold and web would still be resisted.

Mass Hold would affect someone with Freedom.

Mass Freedom would be introduced as a level 8 spell and would make you immune to level 7 affects and lower (and thus mass hold).

Getting rid of immunities is a silly idea. Skeletons and Constructs ARE immune to poison and ARE immune to paralysis, just as an example. Vorpaling a raid boss, also a silly notion. However, it is possible to bring at least this affect into step with other things.

Partial immunities or case specific immunities are more warranted than the wholesale immunities that FOM give you currently.

That was the basis of my idea and proposal.

That's a possibility, but it really doesn't fix anything: if Mass Freedom gets introduced, it'll just become as prevalent (probably more so) as FoM is now (most 8th level spells kinda suck). It also still completely negates a lot of effects in the game--I for one would like to see more terrain effects that aren't completely negated or dependent upon a monster that dispels magic (giant in White Dragon room in Tor, Beholder in Litany).

It is an interesting idea, just not, I think, a solution.

Praut_Ektor
07-14-2009, 10:06 PM
I guess I just don't see what the overall problem is in that case.

The problem that I latched on to was immunities and game balance. In your scenario, either we slide around the ice or we don't. The balance is the teetor-totter back and forth of being dispelled and needing to be rebuffed, otherwise there is no balance in that specific example.

To me the immunities narrow the playing field on needing to find options to overcome something. The problem is that you can approach most situations with similar tactics.

Zippo
07-14-2009, 10:12 PM
Re-posting from the other thread:




Break down:

Freedom would only block 3rd level affects and lower.

Hold and web would still be resisted.

Mass Hold would affect someone with Freedom.

Mass Freedom would be introduced as a level 8 spell and would make you immune to level 7 affects and lower (and thus mass hold).

Getting rid of immunities is a silly idea. Skeletons and Constructs ARE immune to poison and ARE immune to paralysis, just as an example. Vorpaling a raid boss, also a silly notion. However, it is possible to bring at least this affect into step with other things.

Partial immunities or case specific immunities are more warranted than the wholesale immunities that FOM give you currently.

That was the basis of my idea and proposal.


But then given your proposed fix what does this do with things like earth grab?

Praut_Ektor
07-14-2009, 10:15 PM
But then given your proposed fix what does this do with things like earth grab?


http://www.systemreferencedocuments....sage/home.html

"This spell enables you or a creature you touch to move and attack normally for the duration of the spell, even under the influence of magic that usually impedes movement, such as paralysis, solid fog, slow, and web. The subject automatically succeeds on any grapple check made to resist a grapple attempt, as well as on grapple checks or Escape Artist checks made to escape a grapple or a pin.

The spell also allows the subject to move and attack normally while underwater, even with slashing weapons such as axes and swords or with bludgeoning weapons such as flails, hammers, and maces, provided that the weapon is wielded in the hand rather than hurled. The freedom of movement spell does not, however, allow water breathing."



According to the SRD's quote of the description of the spell, you are immune to grapple. Today's the first time that I heard of this and had to look it up. I don't necessarily agree with it, but it's in the rules. I see the earthgrab effect as a grapple.

Uska
07-14-2009, 11:07 PM
I think changing the way immunites works is a poor idea as its another step away from pnp and to me thats not good, that being said I dont like the blanket immunites bosses have for no good reason Part of the problem with the game is the power escalation we have from items and enhancements and over abundance of magic items, if they hadnt done enhancements and made magic items so common then monsters wouldnt have had to be buff'd up and immunites wouldnt be a problem for players or monsters.

sephiroth1084
07-14-2009, 11:49 PM
I think changing the way immunites works is a poor idea as its another step away from pnp and to me thats not good, that being said I dont like the blanket immunites bosses have for no good reason Part of the problem with the game is the power escalation we have from items and enhancements and over abundance of magic items, if they hadnt done enhancements and made magic items so common then monsters wouldnt have had to be buff'd up and immunites wouldnt be a problem for players or monsters.

I know you're a PnP purist Uska, but this, honestly, is a problem with the PnP mechanics as well--it just doesn't come up as much because of the more limited spell-rules, but a problem nonetheless. My feeling about game rules, whether in PnP or DDO, is that the game is strongest when functioning around opposed checks and rolls, while being weakest against static DCs, immunities, etc...

In this case, things like FoM cause problems because developers can't use many of the tools available to them due to one spell (and we have several commonly cast spells available to us that also have this affect).

Zippo
07-15-2009, 12:05 AM
http://www.systemreferencedocuments....sage/home.html

"This spell enables you or a creature you touch to move and attack normally for the duration of the spell, even under the influence of magic that usually impedes movement, such as paralysis, solid fog, slow, and web. The subject automatically succeeds on any grapple check made to resist a grapple attempt, as well as on grapple checks or Escape Artist checks made to escape a grapple or a pin.

The spell also allows the subject to move and attack normally while underwater, even with slashing weapons such as axes and swords or with bludgeoning weapons such as flails, hammers, and maces, provided that the weapon is wielded in the hand rather than hurled. The freedom of movement spell does not, however, allow water breathing."



According to the SRD's quote of the description of the spell, you are immune to grapple. Today's the first time that I heard of this and had to look it up. I don't necessarily agree with it, but it's in the rules. I see the earthgrab effect as a grapple.

Well I guess that answers my question then doesn't it. BTW I did mean that as an actual question not a rhetorical snipe.

Borror0
07-15-2009, 04:18 AM
Please feel free to post things I missed.
Disease Immunity: Immunity to disease
Proof Against Poison: Immunity to poison
Death Block: Immunity to [Death] spells
Underwater Action, Merfolk's Blessing: Immunity to asphyxia

Praut_Ektor
07-15-2009, 10:39 AM
Well I guess that answers my question then doesn't it. BTW I did mean that as an actual question not a rhetorical snipe.

No harm no foul. I didn't take it as rhetorical which is why I posted the spell description.


As for other immunities and effects I just see them as ways of convenience to get around some affects.

You're not paying attention if Poison or Disease kills you, being immune is hardly game imbalancing. The only exception I see is Aerretrikos which is just no balance at all. A thousand points of con damage? Did I miss that in the books somewhere?

Featherfall could be seen as immunity to falling damage. Again, only the careless usually die to this, while it's convenient and fun to jump off of high objects at times, other paths can be found.

Deathblock, if you're a nuker, extremely inconvenient, but there are other spells (don't tell the sorcs I said that).

Heavy fort to me doesn't prevent damage, just prevents a type of damage, like sneak attack and crits. It doesn't even stop crit based events like puncturing or flaming burst.

I'm just not sure I'm clear on what's to be gained by clearing out or reducing immunities.

Borror0
07-15-2009, 11:24 AM
I'm just not sure I'm clear on what's to be gained by clearing out or reducing immunities.
As sephiroth said, it invalidate a lot of design space. That's the problem.

If all players are immune to X, then that implies that developers cannot use X to make their dungeon more challenging. This is often perceived from the player side when we complain about monsters being immune to too many of our abilities.

When we are immune to Y or Z, it means that developers are more limited in what they can use to challenge us. When monsters are immune to A or B, it means that we have less tools in what we can use. In both cases, it is bad because it leads to less interesting and more repetitive dungeons. Whereas, if there was no immunity, the challenge would be there in each case and we would see more variation from dungeon to dungeon. That's a good thing.

Maybe that a clearer way to look at it is when I said:
Underwater Action, Merfolk's Blessing: Immunity to asphyxia

Admittedly, that's a far less problematic situation but I think it might be the best example to explain what the problem is.

In this case, those spells allow the players to skip the challenge of managing their air while under water. This means that the developers cannot build a quest where the challenge is to proceed under water while not running out of air. That's something that is impossible to do because those spells totally remove that dimension. While it's neither game breaking or unbalancing, it means that the developers have less tools at their disposition to challenge us and create interesting dungeons which is something we would gain out of.

It leads to a more shallow game, as I have attempted to explain in the past (http://forums.ddo.com/showthread.php?t=166563).

Kistilan
07-15-2009, 11:30 AM
Just as some immunities become weaker as the boss goes weaker in many stories games etc, it might be worthwhile for Tubine to consider immunities fading as hit points lower on bosses.

For example, at 15% or less life a vorpal on a normally-beheadable creature would be allowable on red-names.

Perhaps at 25% poisons work, etc and spell resistance is lowered.

Things where your initial efforts make it possible to destroy a boss near the end would be key.

I wouldn't want any immunities to start to fade any earlier than ~50% health and those would possibly be the amount of damage reduction the boss has and/or elemental immunities, etc. Also possibly heavy fortifications become moderate fortifications at 40%. These are just random numbers I'm throwing out there.

The idea just hit me and I wanted to toss it out there as I've not run into any thread recommending this. We have bosses that trigger lack of immunities already (See Hound of Xoriat) at a certain HP percent so this coding is possible.

Praut_Ektor
07-15-2009, 12:22 PM
Lol, I just wrote like 2 pages that got whitescreened... Awesome. I'll have to recapture what I was writing later.

Praut_Ektor
07-15-2009, 12:37 PM
When we are immune to Y or Z, it means that developers are more limited in what they can use to challenge us. When monsters are immune to A or B, it means that we have less tools in what we can use. In both cases, it is bad because it leads to less interesting and more repetitive dungeons. Whereas, if there was no immunity, the challenge would be there in each case and we would see more variation from dungeon to dungeon. That's a good thing.



I don't see this being an issue as Coal. Chamber and Harry are just as challenging even with things like Feather Fall and Disease/Poison immunities. It didn't stop them from creating these quests, but it does alter our interaction with them.

Part of a point I was making that was lost to the bug is that it seems that the quests need to be challenging all of the time for them to be fun. This just isn't going to be the case. Prey was challenging when it started, it is still for groups that haven't run it, but it isn't suddenly easier from new toys and immunities that we got recently. A ranger soloed the two dragons in there, that wasn't because of some spell they were wearing to make them immune, it was determination and will (and heal scrolls) if anything.

I can grant that UA may nullify some flavor, but not that it makes the game too easy and limits dev creativity. There are three quests I can think of where it's still difficult with UA: Crucible, Shadow Lord (I think that's the UA quest) and Tempest Spine. Being able to swim isn't an easy button for the quest, there are other challenges.

Once a quest has been beaten several times, it stops being a challenge, that's where new content comes in. You will never again be challenged by WW, and that has nothing to do with your immunities or gear.

Praut_Ektor
07-15-2009, 12:38 PM
Just as some immunities become weaker as the boss goes weaker in many stories games etc, it might be worthwhile for Tubine to consider immunities fading as hit points lower on bosses.

For example, at 15% or less life a vorpal on a normally-beheadable creature would be allowable on red-names.

Perhaps at 25% poisons work, etc and spell resistance is lowered.

Things where your initial efforts make it possible to destroy a boss near the end would be key.

I wouldn't want any immunities to start to fade any earlier than ~50% health and those would possibly be the amount of damage reduction the boss has and/or elemental immunities, etc. Also possibly heavy fortifications become moderate fortifications at 40%. These are just random numbers I'm throwing out there.

The idea just hit me and I wanted to toss it out there as I've not run into any thread recommending this. We have bosses that trigger lack of immunities already (See Hound of Xoriat) at a certain HP percent so this coding is possible.


In short this is a really good idea, but I'm not sure how that would effect situational immunities like FOM or Player immunities.

Borror0
07-15-2009, 01:02 PM
I don't see this being an issue as Coal. Chamber and Harry are just as challenging even with things like Feather Fall and Disease/Poison immunities. It didn't stop them from creating these quests, but it does alter our interaction with them.
If I understand your argument right, you postulate that, since developers can still make fun quests with the current limitations, there is no problem at all. That's not true at all. It would be fallacious to conclude that since they can overcome a limitation and accomplish to build fun quests that there is no limitation in the first place.

Even if they can build fun quests it does not disprove that they are more limited in what they can build or cannot build.

Part of a point I was making that was lost to the bug is that it seems that the quests need to be challenging all of the time for them to be fun.
Well, yeah. As MadFloyd says "No challenge, no fun."

As a LOTRO developer once said "*I* consider overly easy content to be an inconvenient waste of my time" which later followed by "There are certain forms of obstacles and inconvenience which are necessary to keep the experience vibrant - and there are those that are NOT: I have no need to go make another sandwich while my character rides on rails from one end of a continent to another. That's time I could be logged out doing something more interesting with my life."

Simply put, if it's going to be easy and boring, then why can't I press an easy button and get my reward? It's not fun otherwise.

If you have a reason to repeat the same adventure over and over again, it has to be challenging in some way. If I can simply autopilot through without any sense of risk or fear of failure, then the developers are only wasting my time which I could better spend by doing something else. If you want to have a fun game, it has to be challenging even after your tenth time through it or the game must be design to prevent dungeon repitition. Otherwise, you are simply wasting your players' time.

Praut_Ektor
07-15-2009, 03:33 PM
If I understand your argument right, you postulate that, since developers can still make fun quests with the current limitations, there is no problem at all. That's not true at all. It would be fallacious to conclude that since they can overcome a limitation and accomplish to build fun quests that there is no limitation in the first place.

Even if they can build fun quests it does not disprove that they are more limited in what they can build or cannot build.

Well, yeah. As MadFloyd says "No challenge, no fun."

As a LOTRO developer once said "*I* consider overly easy content to be an inconvenient waste of my time" which later followed by "There are certain forms of obstacles and inconvenience which are necessary to keep the experience vibrant - and there are those that are NOT: I have no need to go make another sandwich while my character rides on rails from one end of a continent to another. That's time I could be logged out doing something more interesting with my life."

Simply put, if it's going to be easy and boring, then why can't I press an easy button and get my reward? It's not fun otherwise.

If you have a reason to repeat the same adventure over and over again, it has to be challenging in some way. If I can simply autopilot through without any sense of risk or fear of failure, then the developers are only wasting my time which I could better spend by doing something else. If you want to have a fun game, it has to be challenging even after your tenth time through it or the game must be design to prevent dungeon repitition. Otherwise, you are simply wasting your players' time.


I think we're reading a little to far into some of the comments.

I provided examples of quests that have not shown dev limitation of creativity that still pose a challenge.

The examples that I used, specifically Crucible and Shroud are how they are regardless of immunities to related effects. I don't see any limitation there. The devs, regardless of knowing or not of our impending immunity to disease and poison continued to give Pit Fiends these abilities. They even went as far as to create an immunity item that makes you immune to blind, fear, poison, disease and death effects.

Can you provide an example where you feel the devs would have been wholly unhindered by there not being immunities?



As to my comment about the ease of quests, I am implying that a quest that I have run more than a handful of times is not going to pose a challenge. That's why I prefer story in many aspects. Using again the examples that I proposed, Prey is no longer as challenging as it was. This is inevitable. The Abbot isn't a challenge, it's nigh on impossible (and is impossible without using non-standard techniques in many cases). Water Works is no challenge, but that doesn't invalidate the quest, it's more the fact that I have run the quest well over 100 times. How would any of these changes make that quest challenging and thus fun again?

A new quest should not be overly easy, as it will challenge us and thus be fun, but explain to me how someone like Java/Tygre might find the Titan a challenge after over 100 runs? New players and new teaching, what joy would you have running a quest like that? How could Dev attention or forethought solve that problem?

There are some quests that I just love: Rainbow in the Dark, Fleshmaker's, Desecrated Temple of Vol, but I don't find them challenging and sitll find them fun. Out of DDO I have played HalfLife or Halo a dozen or more times through any difficulty and there's no challenge there either. My point is that regardless of the rules and the initial mechanic, your challenge will not be fun once first beaten and then mastered. If I solve a brain puzzle, it's done. There's no more challenge, the fun is watching others struggle.

Borror0
07-15-2009, 03:59 PM
I provided examples of quests that have not shown dev limitation of creativity that still pose a challenge.
No, you have not. You have shown places where developers could provide challenge in spite of limitations.

Can you provide an example where you feel the devs would have been wholly unhindered by there not being immunities?
Easily.

Here are a few that I came up with in two minutes:

Quests where running out of air underwater is part of the intended challenge
Fights that involve holds, earthgrab, hypnotism, fear, poison, disease, [Death] spells, negative levels or slippery surfaces as part of the intended challenge.
Monsters with heavy fortifications.
Quests where falling damage is part of the intended challenge.


As to my comment about the ease of quests, I am implying that a quest that I have run more than a handful of times is not going to pose a challenge.
How is that Elite Shroud going for you?

Water Works is no challenge, but that doesn't invalidate the quest, it's more the fact that I have run the quest well over 100 times.
That's a problem. It's a waste of your time if it's not. You should be allowed to either skip it or developers should consider making it more challenging.

Making players run something that's horribly easy just for the sake of it is not conductive to a fun game.

A new quest should not be overly easy, as it will challenge us and thus be fun, but explain to me how someone like Java/Tygre might find the Titan a challenge after over 100 runs?
Simply put, a quest should be challenging no matter how often you've done it. To say that a priori knowledge and practice lead to absence of challenge is simply fallacious. I played Guitar Hero and Rockband quite a bit over the years but I still find challenge in it. It's far from boring or lacking challenge. Of course, I started playing on Easy and finding it pretty tough and then moved on to Medium and then Hard but DDO has difficulty settings too.

PS: Tygre has completed the titan far more than 100 times.

QuantumFX
07-15-2009, 04:10 PM
Just as some immunities become weaker as the boss goes weaker in many stories games etc, it might be worthwhile for Tubine to consider immunities fading as hit points lower on bosses.

For example, at 15% or less life a vorpal on a normally-beheadable creature would be allowable on red-names.

Perhaps at 25% poisons work, etc and spell resistance is lowered.

Things where your initial efforts make it possible to destroy a boss near the end would be key.

I wouldn't want any immunities to start to fade any earlier than ~50% health and those would possibly be the amount of damage reduction the boss has and/or elemental immunities, etc. Also possibly heavy fortifications become moderate fortifications at 40%. These are just random numbers I'm throwing out there.

The idea just hit me and I wanted to toss it out there as I've not run into any thread recommending this. We have bosses that trigger lack of immunities already (See Hound of Xoriat) at a certain HP percent so this coding is possible.

I’ve always wondered why Turbine couldn’t turn a lot of the insta death effects into massive damage effects on red named. (ala Lightning II’s Lightning Strike)

If you need a P&P justification: It's Turbine's attempt to mimic Action points from P&P on bosses. Since Hit Points represent “luck” to some degree the massive damage doesn’t represent actual damage vs. the red named physical being but the expenditure of luck (Action points) to avoid the insta death effect.

Borror0
07-15-2009, 04:21 PM
I’ve always wondered why Turbine couldn’t turn a lot of the insta death effects into massive damage effects on red named. (ala Lightning II’s Lightning Strike)

If you need a P&P justification: It's Turbine's attempt to mimic Action points from P&P on bosses. Since Hit Points represent “luck” to some degree the massive damage doesn’t represent actual damage vs. the red named physical being but the expenditure of luck (Action points) to avoid the insta death effect.
Addiotnally, Turbine could improve the base damage for the failed save to counterbalance the fact Maximized and Empower have become stables in DDO (ie the game is balanced around these two) while instant-death spells cannot because affected by them (which is a good thing because no one wants to really Maximixe or empower these two).

This would bring the effect closer to PnP in that the damage those spells deal on a failed save is supposed to be meaningful.

sephiroth1084
07-15-2009, 04:29 PM
I think we're reading a little to far into some of the comments.

I provided examples of quests that have not shown dev limitation of creativity that still pose a challenge.

The examples that I used, specifically Crucible and Shroud are how they are regardless of immunities to related effects. I don't see any limitation there. The devs, regardless of knowing or not of our impending immunity to disease and poison continued to give Pit Fiends these abilities. They even went as far as to create an immunity item that makes you immune to blind, fear, poison, disease and death effects.

Can you provide an example where you feel the devs would have been wholly unhindered by there not being immunities?



As to my comment about the ease of quests, I am implying that a quest that I have run more than a handful of times is not going to pose a challenge. That's why I prefer story in many aspects. Using again the examples that I proposed, Prey is no longer as challenging as it was. This is inevitable. The Abbot isn't a challenge, it's nigh on impossible (and is impossible without using non-standard techniques in many cases). Water Works is no challenge, but that doesn't invalidate the quest, it's more the fact that I have run the quest well over 100 times. How would any of these changes make that quest challenging and thus fun again?

A new quest should not be overly easy, as it will challenge us and thus be fun, but explain to me how someone like Java/Tygre might find the Titan a challenge after over 100 runs? New players and new teaching, what joy would you have running a quest like that? How could Dev attention or forethought solve that problem?

There are some quests that I just love: Rainbow in the Dark, Fleshmaker's, Desecrated Temple of Vol, but I don't find them challenging and sitll find them fun. Out of DDO I have played HalfLife or Halo a dozen or more times through any difficulty and there's no challenge there either. My point is that regardless of the rules and the initial mechanic, your challenge will not be fun once first beaten and then mastered. If I solve a brain puzzle, it's done. There's no more challenge, the fun is watching others struggle.

I was going to say much of what Borro did. That is, there are many quests where we completely invalidate mechanics of the quest via commonplace items or spells.

-Rainbow in the Dark has earth elementals (biggest threat is their earthgrab ability) and constructs that cause flesh to stone and paralysis (their biggest threats) which get invalidated by FoM (notice the immunity symbol over your head every time you kill one of the golems?).

-One of the Shadow tombs involves a lot of underwater sections, and the quest was clearly designed to run something like the unerwater levels in a Sonic the Hedgehog game, where characters have to stop at air vents along the way, but we have underwater action items. Everyone does, and they defeat the design of the quest. I tried running it without my UA item on recently, and it was definitely a little more fun and less of a monotonous swim-grind.

Think about all of the quests with poison traps or monsters whose primary attacks are negated by immunities. Heck, now that they are changing how ability damage and negative levels function, it makes more sense than ever to change the way immunity-inducing spells and items function.

Eladrin
07-15-2009, 04:31 PM
Just as some immunities become weaker as the boss goes weaker in many stories games etc, it might be worthwhile for Tubine to consider immunities fading as hit points lower on bosses.
This is a very interesting idea. We did it a little bit with Xy'zzy and the Warforged Titan, but expanding it might work. (Most of the immunities on red named monsters are intended to retain some element of challenge in the encounters.)


I’ve always wondered why Turbine couldn’t turn a lot of the insta death effects into massive damage effects on red named. (ala Lightning II’s Lightning Strike)
We've actually debated that internally a few times.

Praut_Ektor
07-15-2009, 04:32 PM
No, you have not. You have shown places where developers could provide challenge in spite of limitations.

Easily.

Here are a few that I came up with in two minutes:

Quests where running out of air underwater is part of the intended challenge
Fights that involve holds, earthgrab, hypnotism, fear, poison, disease, [Death] spells, negative levels or slippery surfaces as part of the intended challenge.
Monsters with heavy fortifications.
Quests where falling damage is part of the intended challenge.


How is that Elite Shroud going for you?

That's a problem. It's a waste of your time if it's not. You should be allowed to either skip it or developers should consider making it more challenging.

Making players run something that's horribly easy just for the sake of it is not conductive to a fun game.

Simply put, a quest should be challenging no matter how often you've done it. To say that a priori knowledge and practice lead to absence of challenge is simply fallacious. I played Guitar Hero and Rockband quite a bit over the years but I still find challenge in it. It's far from boring or lacking challenge. Of course, I started playing on Easy and finding it pretty tough and then moved on to Medium and then Hard but DDO has difficulty settings too.

PS: Tygre has completed the titan far more than 100 times.

I'm aware that he has several toons with over 100 runs, not the point.

Did you ever find your job challenging? Do you still now? A learned skill is no longer a challenge once you've learned it. If it is, you may have a learning disability (not meaning it as a personal attack, but the fact that you learned something shouldn't mean it ever gets to challenge you again in the same way).

Water Works needs no updates. You have run it 100 times, many have yet to run it. Why should the devs amp up the quest to challenge your years of experience when there are some that have scant hours of experience that it will yet challenge.

You want to keep bringing up fallacy, but in doing so you're saying that only when you are challenged is the answer right. Even if the quest initially challenged you and it no longer does, that can't possibly be the way that things are, it means that the devs must revamp the quest to challenge YOU.

I understand that with no challenge some find no fun, but the challenge there is finding new things to challenge you, and thus new content. If you are challenged in life you beat it and move on. It doesn't typically get stronger and come back for a second go of it, you find another challenge, not change the existing challenge.

Your list of challenges doesn't valid your claim of devs not having tools of creativity at their disposal. All of these things exist whether or not the spells that negate them are present. The Devs include this in nearly every quest still regardless. Their tools are just as available and readily used whether or not the proposed change is acted upon.

The point that I am reading in your post is that if you are not challenged every time out of a thousand that you run a quest then it's not worth running, something needs to change. Simply changing something makes it a new challenge, but you are not the the sum of the userbase of the game. There are new people awaiting these challenges that will in time have their chance. Taking immunities will make the game different, interesting and more "challenging" but once you learn to overcome that limitation and once the water works is no longer a challenge again, then what will you be doing?

sephiroth1084
07-15-2009, 04:32 PM
This would bring the effect closer to PnP in that the damage those spells deal on a failed save is supposed to be meaningful.

Yeah?

I'm not sure whether you're addressing the notion of having insta-death spells deal damage to red named monsters, or whether you're talking about the 3d6 damage FoD and PK deal when the monster passes its save.

I'm against the former, since it would likely invalidate actual damage spells, while the latter always seemed like an attempt to avoid the player from feeling like they accomplished nothing on their gamble to end a fight quickly.

sephiroth1084
07-15-2009, 04:43 PM
This is a very interesting idea. We did it a little bit with Xy'zzy and the Warforged Titan, but expanding it might work. (Most of the immunities on red named monsters are intended to retain some element of challenge in the encounters.)

I think that could be very interesting. Also, and I'm sure you've had some internal debate on this, one of the few cool ideas from 4E (and a lot of video games) is the idea that monsters' abilities and tactics can alter somewhat dramatically as their HP drops. I know that Harry does this a little in part 5 of the Shroud, but I don't recall seeing this elsewhere.

Maybe we could start seeing monsters that trade defense for offense as they get lower on HP, becoming more threatening, but a little easier to harm? And maybe some that do the reverse? Or others that gain additional effects when they're under a certain tier: such as gaining a powerful fire shield when under 20%, or the ability to cast spells while performing other actions when under 10%?



We've actually debated that internally a few times.

I don't really like this idea much. We have spells that are supposed to be dealing damage, and balancing, say, Finger of Death, so that it is useful in such an instance seems like it'd just invalidate those kinds of spells. After all, it'd have to do so much damage on a failed save, that it'd still be worth using even though monsters tend to have good Fort saves. Kind of like Disintegrate, and I don't see that getting cast at red names that are vulnerable to elemental spells very often.

I have no problem with bosses being immune to instant death effects--if they weren't every raid would take a bunch of casters or guys with vorpals and would just spam that stuff until the boss died.

I'd much rather remove some of the other protections they have, like against trip and stun. As a counter to the protections being lifted, make sure that they don't remain disabled for long, and maybe add secondary effects that get triggered when those things occur. As an example, tripping a large boss might result in a shockwave from there fall, which deals damage to everyone around the boss and has a chance to cause a knockdown as well. Heck, I'd love that just for the chance to take a screenshot of the boss and 12 raid members all laying down.

Borror0
07-15-2009, 04:55 PM
Did you ever find your job challenging? Do you still now? A learned skill is no longer a challenge once you've learned it. If it is, you may have a learning disability
Not really. It only would mean that I have a job that is neither boring nor repetitive.

You want to keep bringing up fallacy, but in doing so you're saying that only when you are challenged is the answer right. Even if the quest initially challenged you and it no longer does, that can't possibly be the way that things are, it means that the devs must revamp the quest to challenge YOU.
Incorrect conclusion.

It means that the developers have the following options:

Redesign the quest or one of its difficulty settings to challenge me
Implement an higher difficulty setting that will challenge me
Allow me to skip it under the principle that it's simply a boring time sink for me
Decide that veterans are not worth their time and give up on retaining their attention

Of all those I listed, #2 and #3 are the most probable while #1 is possible but less likely, though we have seen instance of that with Korthos becoming harder on Lamannia. As for #4, it's a possibility but it's not ideal in terms of profits from Turbine. It might be a short term policy but in the long term they would probably turn themselves to 1-3.

Your list of challenges doesn't valid your claim of devs not having tools of creativity at their disposal. All of these things exist whether or not the spells that negate them are present. The Devs include this in nearly every quest still regardless. Their tools are just as available and readily used whether or not the proposed change is acted upon.
For your argument to be valid, one must accept that developers intentionally design quests to be less hard then they intend.

That's internally contradictory.

Borror0
07-15-2009, 05:00 PM
I'm not sure whether you're addressing the notion of having insta-death spells deal damage to red named monsters, or whether you're talking about the 3d6 damage FoD and PK deal when the monster passes its save.
I am talking about making the damage for making the save hit harder than it does so it's not totally irrelevant and meaningless.

spade413
07-15-2009, 05:16 PM
As long as boss immunities are being looked at...

Has some consideration been given to reducing/modifying the immunities based on the level of the boss vs the lvl of the player?

I know that it's a much less pressing concern, as it primarily affects higher lvl players attempting to farm either favor or items, and that the most likely case in these events is that the player has other means at their disposal to deal with the enemy.

Regardless, it's always bugged me that my wizard is supposedly singled out for his arcane mastery in the fight against Shavarath... but most of his spells are effortlessly shrugged off by a kobold interrogator.

Depravity
07-15-2009, 06:33 PM
I don't really like this idea much. We have spells that are supposed to be dealing damage, and balancing, say, Finger of Death, so that it is useful in such an instance seems like it'd just invalidate those kinds of spells. After all, it'd have to do so much damage on a failed save, that it'd still be worth using even though monsters tend to have good Fort saves. Kind of like Disintegrate, and I don't see that getting cast at red names that are vulnerable to elemental spells very often.

I agree on this - we already have a limted enough selection of 'good" spells that most sorcs have almost exactly the same spell lists and don't feel that they are lacking anything. Making any spell more swiss army knife like just encourages that. 3.5 psionics had quite a bit of this - psionicists got even fewer powers/spells than sorcs, but their elemental powers came with energy substitution built in (choice of energy type at cast), and the various charm and hold powers could be scaled to better versions. I used to run psionic summon specialists, because it was just one power and replaced all 9 of the arcane/divine summon spells, giving me room for lots of other flexibility.

Regarding the design space issues, while immunities do invalidate some effects, they can also be exploited to force players to make choices. Extended FoM is 35 points, times 6 players makes for 210 SP, a not inconsiderable chunk of a cleric's pool. Putting poison and disease in can cause some juggling of gear, which messes with people's "perfect EQ sets". They have the choice of juicing their character for every last drop of uber-leet hurty goodness, or taking steps to keep from being incapacitated. Just because an immunity exists for something, doesn't immediately rule it out of the design options. Things change to become another handle on influencing player challenge and behavior.

Example: underwater action makes swimming (usually) trivial, but most people don't rig their characters to wear one all the time. If the designers introduced a water elemental with a "drowning aura" that causes people around it to deal with a dropping breath bar, players now have to prepare themselves by shoehorning in an underwater item, casting water breathing, etc. This is still a challenge, and encourages players not get too complacent with their gear or spell selection. They can still wear their usual gear, but they're going to have to be able to shake aggro and back off to get their breath before darting back in. Either way, mindless right clicking is discouraged.

Rather than across-the-board removal/reduction of immunities, it could be handled on a case-by-case basis. A general rule in PnP (and most games) is that "specific trumps general" - giving a monster the ability to punch through an immunity makes that specific monster more of a threat, without making it seem like an outright nerf to player abilities. Maybe we could have an aberration boss that dwells in a room with slimy (heightened grease) floors, and a FoM specific counter that goes off every few clicks, making somebody subject to the slipperyness for 20-30 seconds. On hard and elite it turns into an AoE, then a larger AoE to discourage clumping.

Turial
07-15-2009, 06:50 PM
.....
Underwater Action, Merfolk's Blessing: Immunity to asphyxia

Those two only apply to being in water.

Asphyxiation from being in a vacuum would not be prevented. Nor would be being croaked to death by a vine creature.

Depravity
07-15-2009, 07:06 PM
Those two only apply to being in water.

Asphyxiation from being in a vacuum would not be prevented. Nor would be being croaked to death by a vine creature.

Also, since you're breathing water, if we placed an adventure in a swamp (or sewage plant or somesuch), you could easily make people choose between holding their breath or taking some sort of debuff for ingesting the nastiness.

Edit - Since next mod is announced as "The Dreaming Dark", and this implies quori, kalashtar, and psionics, I feel it necessary to bring up the "Crisis of Breath" power (I think that's it, don't have my psionics manual handy). It forces the target to expel any held breath, and shuts down their automatic lung functions until the end of the power. Even in PnP, it rarely killed, but it did cause a nasty debuff where people had to choose between fighting to breath or acting normally and possibly passing out. Fun, especially with concealment (Hey, Torg passed out! = great way to distract enemies).

Riggs
07-15-2009, 07:08 PM
This is a very interesting idea. We did it a little bit with Xy'zzy and the Warforged Titan, but expanding it might work. (Most of the immunities on red named monsters are intended to retain some element of challenge in the encounters.)


We've actually debated that internally a few times.

The Titan and Xy'zzy have complete and total immunity to everything until quest specific triggers are done.

If those immunities were instead changed to say...a high DR until the triggers are activated, then it would add a second way to beat the quest, one by design, and one by sheer damage overcoming the DR. That would be cool.

Adding in more red names that are immune to everything until you 'pull a lever' is probably not as fun.

the Paladin Hunter of the Dead thingy I believe has an 'insta-kill, except for red names' feature where against red names it adds light damage instead.

Changing Vorpals, disruptors etc to do a bunch of added damage when the insta kill effect goes off would be fitting. So a regular monster gets hit by the kill effect, AND the damage(so even on a save vs disruption say - undead will take some kind of damage), red names only get the damage. Making instakill weapons still useful vs a red named a little bit at least, as opposed to now where it goes form being a vorpal to a +1 sword.

4th edition made Vorpals just do extra damage on crits anyway - no instakill.

it would be a waste of mana to try and FOD the pit fiend, just to have the damage go off even when it saves - but adding in damage to all insta-kill effects would be a way to smooth out the whole "Either you one shot something or you do nothing and it completely ignores you"

Borror0
07-15-2009, 07:47 PM
4th edition made Vorpals just do extra damage on crits anyway - no instakill.
4th Edition made many changes that either had to be done or made a lot of sense. This is not one of them.

Lewis Carroll must be rolling on his grave. Lets just hope he does not roll a 20!! :eek:

Considering the origin of the word Vorpal, it makes absolutely no sense at all for vorpal to become a "I do lots and lots of damage once in a while" type of weapon. Vorpal, by definition (well, if you can all it a definition), is meant to behead. That is the only use of the word we know.

If you are against making Vorpal a insta-kill, then simply remove it altogether!

/rant off

Changing Vorpals, disruptors etc to do a bunch of added damage when the insta kill effect goes off would be fitting. So a regular monster gets hit by the kill effect, AND the damage(so even on a save vs disruption say - undead will take some kind of damage), red names only get the damage. Making instakill weapons still useful vs a red named a little bit at least, as opposed to now where it goes form being a vorpal to a +1 sword.
I think it is best for players to view their arsenal as a toolbox.

Quite obviously, you are not going to a screwdriver to hammer nail or use an hammer to tighten bolts. Likewise, it's perfectly fine for weapons to be rendered useless by certain foes. It means you have to think about which tool is most appropriated for the situation.

Borror0
07-15-2009, 07:55 PM
Regarding the design space issues, while immunities do invalidate some effects, they can also be exploited to force players to make choices. Extended FoM is 35 points, times 6 players makes for 210 SP, a not inconsiderable chunk of a cleric's pool. Putting poison and disease in can cause some juggling of gear, which messes with people's "perfect EQ sets".
That incorrectly assumes that other designs can't take the space left vacant by these.

For example, the situation you described where a player would have to think about whether or not he should spend 210 SPs to buff the whole group or not would still be present if Freedom of Movement was changed to a bonus versus the spells it's supposed to protect. As a matter of fact, the choice would be even more present because granting a bonus to saves is far less powerful than immunity so you would have to consider this more deeply.

As for your disease immunity and poison proof equipment, the situation could also be solved by changing both efforts in something less powerful but possibly still desirable. It's only a matter of if the design is left vacant or is exploited.

sephiroth1084
07-15-2009, 08:41 PM
That incorrectly assumes that other designs can't take the space left vacant by these.

For example, the situation you described where a player would have to think about whether or not he should spend 210 SPs to buff the whole group or not would still be present if Freedom of Movement was changed to a bonus versus the spells it's supposed to protect. As a matter of fact, the choice would be even more present because granting a bonus to saves is far less powerful than immunity so you would have to consider this more deeply.

As for your disease immunity and poison proof equipment, the situation could also be solved by changing both efforts in something less powerful but possibly still desirable. It's only a matter of if the design is left vacant or is exploited.

Exactly. If, for example, the spell effects became rerolls instead of immunity, equipped items could grant that same new effect. Are the items less powerful in such an instance? Sure. Are they useless? Far from it.

Someone with poor saves may be more likely to forgo the item, but even moderate saves would keep such an item worthwhile. Also, character who have spent a lot of effort/time/money to gain very good saves would benefit more, since their items would essentially continue to grant the immunity that few others have any longer.

Another option, as far as the spells go, may be to dramatically reduce the duration of non-ablative buffs, so that the likelihood of buffs running out before reaching a shrine or in the middle of a big battle is higher, meaning more careful spell selection/application would be required.

This is a common DM tactic in PnP: either assaulting players with a particular effect over a prolonged period of time, forcing them to run out of their protective resources, or exposing them to enough different effects that they can't cope with all of them. In DDO, we skirt this issue largely through foreknowledge, the spellpoint mechanic, and buff duration vs. quest duration.

If buffs were reduced to a much shorter duration, there would be more lapses in protection during heated fights and longer dungeons. This might be a partial workaround for spell immunities, as no caster is going to want to throw out GH, Blur, Resist, FoM, Deathward, SR, etc... 2 or 3 or 4 times per shrine vs. the one casting per person currently required for 80% of the content.

sephiroth1084
07-15-2009, 08:45 PM
The Titan and Xy'zzy have complete and total immunity to everything until quest specific triggers are done.

If those immunities were instead changed to say...a high DR until the triggers are activated, then it would add a second way to beat the quest, one by design, and one by sheer damage overcoming the DR. That would be cool.



While I'd like immunities reduced, this would probably either not change the quest at all, or would encourage groups to form up with only very heavy hitters and ignore the entire quest design (take some beefy barbarians who can punch through high DR and swing away).

sephiroth1084
07-15-2009, 08:49 PM
Example: underwater action makes swimming (usually) trivial, but most people don't rig their characters to wear one all the time. If the designers introduced a water elemental with a "drowning aura" that causes people around it to deal with a dropping breath bar, players now have to prepare themselves by shoehorning in an underwater item, casting water breathing, etc. This is still a challenge, and encourages players not get too complacent with their gear or spell selection. They can still wear their usual gear, but they're going to have to be able to shake aggro and back off to get their breath before darting back in. Either way, mindless right clicking is discouraged.



I really like this idea!

While it probably isn't a solution that can be applied to the various other listed problems, adding in monsters, traps or whatever that draw on the drowning/breath mechanics would be cool. In fact, there is a monster in the Monster Manual III called a Drowned, that has an aura exactly as you describe, which I'm probably throwing in against my players in an upcoming session.

sirgog
07-15-2009, 10:08 PM
This is a very interesting idea. We did it a little bit with Xy'zzy and the Warforged Titan, but expanding it might work. (Most of the immunities on red named monsters are intended to retain some element of challenge in the encounters.)


We've actually debated that internally a few times.


I think this would be an excellent idea.

Make Slay Living, Destruction, Implosion et al each deal (caster level)^2 damage on a failed save. For a level 9 cleric, getting 81 damage for 30 mana is not terrible at all - it will make casters useful for damage using something other than AoE spells that can tick multiple times on the boss (like Firewall, Bladebarrier and so on).

Then, make Vorpals deal 150 damage on a successful proc.

SneakThief
07-15-2009, 11:38 PM
Did you ever find your job challenging? Do you still now? A learned skill is no longer a challenge once you've learned it. If it is, you may have a learning disability (not meaning it as a personal attack, but the fact that you learned something shouldn't mean it ever gets to challenge you again in the same way).

You lost me here ... I'm guessing you have a boring repetitive job that never changes ... Just the same thing, day after day after day after day ...

Me personally ... My job gets more interesting all the time. If it didnt I would quit when I was bored. :D Hmmmm sounds like what Turbine doesnt want ... people to quit.

Bogenbroom
07-16-2009, 11:43 AM
Just as some immunities become weaker as the boss goes weaker in many stories games etc, it might be worthwhile for Tubine to consider immunities fading as hit points lower on bosses.

For example, at 15% or less life a vorpal on a normally-beheadable creature would be allowable on red-names.

Perhaps at 25% poisons work, etc and spell resistance is lowered.

Things where your initial efforts make it possible to destroy a boss near the end would be key.

I wouldn't want any immunities to start to fade any earlier than ~50% health and those would possibly be the amount of damage reduction the boss has and/or elemental immunities, etc. Also possibly heavy fortifications become moderate fortifications at 40%. These are just random numbers I'm throwing out there.

The idea just hit me and I wanted to toss it out there as I've not run into any thread recommending this. We have bosses that trigger lack of immunities already (See Hound of Xoriat) at a certain HP percent so this coding is possible.

As a jumping off point, I think this is very interesting. Where I would prefer to go with it, though, would be to have something trigger immunities dropping/vulnerabilities appearing that you could not predict and that could encourage a mid-battle tactic change.

Say, for example, you beat down your boss to 60% and suddenly his stat damage immunity is disrupted. Or maybe he is now susceptible to frost damage or whatever. And the trigger of damage is not key. Maybe it is the death of a mini-boss or a certain # of something else being killed off. Or (oh, this would be evil) if one of his attackers dies. :)

Bogenbroom
07-16-2009, 12:11 PM
As sephiroth said, it invalidate a lot of design space. That's the problem.

If all players are immune to X, then that implies that developers cannot use X to make their dungeon more challenging. This is often perceived from the player side when we complain about monsters being immune to too many of our abilities.

When we are immune to Y or Z, it means that developers are more limited in what they can use to challenge us. When monsters are immune to A or B, it means that we have less tools in what we can use. In both cases, it is bad because it leads to less interesting and more repetitive dungeons. Whereas, if there was no immunity, the challenge would be there in each case and we would see more variation from dungeon to dungeon. That's a good thing.

Maybe that a clearer way to look at it is when I said:
Underwater Action, Merfolk's Blessing: Immunity to asphyxia

Admittedly, that's a far less problematic situation but I think it might be the best example to explain what the problem is.

In this case, those spells allow the players to skip the challenge of managing their air while under water. This means that the developers cannot build a quest where the challenge is to proceed under water while not running out of air. That's something that is impossible to do because those spells totally remove that dimension. While it's neither game breaking or unbalancing, it means that the developers have less tools at their disposition to challenge us and create interesting dungeons which is something we would gain out of.

It leads to a more shallow game, as I have attempted to explain in the past (http://forums.ddo.com/showthread.php?t=166563).

Generally I agree with where you are going on this Borror0, but the thought that keeps coming back to mind is how much it annoys me when my abilities/immunities/whatever get nullified to accommodate a quest. Take the Reaver's Fate. It has always annoyed me that feather fall is disabled in there.

That isn't, in the least, to say they shouldn't have made it like that, but instinctively, I feel jipped. Intellectually, I am glad they did what they did to expand the borders of the game, but I still find myself annoyed.

I, personally, prefer it when an entire game mechanic is modified, even if it is nerfed. Consistency in the rules application is important to me. So some thoughts along that line...

- Create reasons to *not* have an immunity. FF for example, maybe there is a reason you want to *not* be up in the air. :) Maybe you need to have a certain "disease" to survive an encounter, etc.
- Maybe some "immunities" should be changed to a capacity/rest model. You can FF 120 seconds per rest. Your FoM is applied to 6 saves, etc.
- Maybe some effect should counter-act or nullify each other. For example, Freedom of Movement and Feather Fall have opposite effect (FF restricts your move rate in complete opposition to FoM.)

Just some thoughts...

Kistilan
07-16-2009, 12:34 PM
As a jumping off point, I think this is very interesting. Where I would prefer to go with it, though, would be to have something trigger immunities dropping/vulnerabilities appearing that you could not predict and that could encourage a mid-battle tactic change.

Say, for example, you beat down your boss to 60% and suddenly his stat damage immunity is disrupted. Or maybe he is now susceptible to frost damage or whatever. And the trigger of damage is not key. Maybe it is the death of a mini-boss or a certain # of something else being killed off. Or (oh, this would be evil) if one of his attackers dies. :)

In a specific location in the battle zone... :D The Queen for the King.

Borror0
07-16-2009, 12:34 PM
If it didnt I would quit when I was bored. :D Hmmmm sounds like what Turbine doesnt want ... people to quit.
Vastin, one of LOTRO's developers, wrote a very good post (http://forums.lotro.com/showthread.php?p=3863778#post3863778) about a related topic a few days ago.

It has always annoyed me that feather fall is disabled in there.
The reason is that gravity pulls you down. It's questionable but acceptable.

sephiroth1084
07-16-2009, 12:52 PM
In a specific location in the battle zone... :D The Queen for the King.

That would be interesting!

sephiroth1084
07-16-2009, 03:05 PM
Or (oh, this would be evil) if one of his attackers dies. :)

This could be interesting. Maybe, as a boss kills a character, the boss could receive a stacking buff/debuff until that character gets raised, where some of the boss' abilities would get pumped while others would be lowered (specifically immunities perhaps). Hell, it's complicated, but maybe the buff/debuff could be related to what type of character was killed: gain spells of a certain type if an arcane caster was killed, different ones for a divine caster, rage if a barb dropped, etc... (based on most levels present).

QuantumFX
07-17-2009, 10:04 AM
I have no problem with bosses being immune to instant death effects--if they weren't every raid would take a bunch of casters or guys with vorpals and would just spam that stuff until the boss died.

Actually it would be easy enough to adjust the massive damage effects to where that wouldn’t be a good idea.

For Example: Lets say on crit + save effects have a 500 point untyped damage effect.

Smiting Rapier vs. Marut
Anarchic of Pure Good weapon (ML:6): Averages red damage from the weapon + an average of 7 points of damage per hit
Smiting Rapier (ML:8): Averages yellow zeroes from the weapon + 30% chance to fire off a smite followed up with a 5% chance for the smite to actually do anything. (This averages out to +7.5 damage with the best smiter in the game.)

Something like Vorpal would be more like a 4d6*25 (Average 175) point strike. (Compare to another Tier III weapon effect: Incineration) That works out to about an average of 9 points of damage (Which would be quickly overrun, DPS wise, by an appropriate alignment burst enchantment.)

Borror0
07-17-2009, 10:15 AM
Something like Vorpal would be more like a 4d6*25 (Average 175) point strike. (Compare to another Tier III weapon effect: Incineration) That works out to about an average of 9 points of damage (Which would be quickly overrun, DPS wise, by an appropriate alignment burst enchantment.)
It still leaves the most important question unanswered: what is there to gain in doing that?

QuantumFX
07-17-2009, 10:25 AM
It still leaves the most important question unanswered: what is there to gain in doing that?

Verisimilitude.
In the case of a smiter: It’s illogical that the ultimate weapon against constructs does nothing against a construct with a red or purple name.
If you need an in forum example: Look at the Assassin III enhancement. It's biggest drawback: useless versus red named. If Turbine replaced “ability to vorpal on a natural 20 sneak attack” with “ability to assassinate on a natural 20 sneak attack” it would be a lot more useful and representative of what an assassin is - a opportunistic attacker.

Established precedence: It brings insta death weapons in line with other effects like assassinate and the Hunter of the Dead's ability to “vorpal” undead.

Note: (Cause I’m not sure this is getting across to the forumites) For the massive damage effect to go off you would still have to have to meet all the requirements of the attack. (ex. Vorpal - Natural confirmed 20, Smiting/Banishing - Crit + failed save.)

Borror0
07-17-2009, 10:38 AM
Verisimilitude. In the case of a smiter: It’s illogical that the ultimate weapon against constructs does nothing against a construct with a red or purple name.

Established precedence: It brings insta death weapons in line with other effects like assassinate and the Hunter of the Dead's ability to “vorpal” undead.
Good points.

If a programmer has some spare time and that bugs him, it would be a way to spend his time. Though, the effect it has on gameplay is very minimal.

Vhlad
07-17-2009, 11:24 AM
My opinion on the matter, is that reducing/removing immunity effects is BAD idea.

This kind of stuff annoys players. Tinkering with these specific mechanics may make quest design more fun for the DM, but I don't believe it will make players enjoy the game more and/or cause a net increase in subscriptions. It may, in fact, cause a net decrease because it will annoy the dedicated pnp players (i.e. the people who really don't like it when things in DDO stray away from the written pnp 3.5 ruleset). And Turbine must currently rely on many of these players to promote the game via word of mouth.

I'd rather see dev time and resources be spent on creative ideas that increase fun or interest in a quest. Removing immunities just seems lazy.

Someone had a good idea in this thread: design scenarios where players may WANT to take their immunities off. i.e. maybe a NPC reacts favourably to PCs that share the same disease as him (a disease that you can get from an enemy in the quest), or maybe there's a bright light that causes massive damage and players will want to get a blindness buff and navigate around the lighted area while blind [ok, maybe a bad idea, because players wouldnt need to go blind for that, they'd just have to close their eyes (but we cant choose to close our eyes in this game so yeah)]. The idea is to keep power and control, or the feeling of power and control, within the hands of the player. Focus on adding new and interesting (and memorable!!!) things in quests that rely on player choice.

Borror0
07-17-2009, 11:37 AM
My opinion on the matter, is that reducing/removing immunity effects is BAD idea.

This kind of stuff annoys players.
If the best way to make the game more fun is to give total immunity to certain effects, then there is something wrong with those effects.

To say "Don't remove the immunity." is alike to say "It's boring. Let us avoid it." That's not an argument against removing/reducing immunities. It's only an argument in favor of changing X or Y to be less annoying and more fun.

QuantumFX
07-17-2009, 11:40 AM
If the best way to make the game more fun is to give total immunity to certain effects, then there is something wrong with those effects.

All you had to say was “Let’s use the example of Air Elemental knockdown…” to get your point across! :D

Vhlad
07-17-2009, 12:08 PM
If the best way to make the game more fun is to give total immunity to certain effects, then there is something wrong with those effects.

To say "Don't remove the immunity." is alike to say "It's boring. Let us avoid it." That's not an argument against removing/reducing immunities. It's only an argument in favor of changing X or Y to be less annoying and more fun.

It doesnt necessarily mean something is wrong with the effects. There IS something wrong with changing this aspect of d&d core mechanics though. Taking power away from the player is less fun. Creating situations where someone is going to be poisoned or held or knocked down no matter what they do or wear is less fun. D&d is suppposed to give the player choice. Deciding whether to take up an item slot with disease immunity, or poison immunity, or freedom of movement, is part of the fun in character customization, and can add to the sense of progression and achievement.

And perhaps some of the problem may not be in the effects themselves, but in what players do to remedy them. As long as certain potions are coded as a casting animation, which cannot be used while raged, which deactivates combat expertise every time you use them, then players are just going to be more frustrated when the DM does something they perceive as cheating (i.e. poisoning them when they should be immune), since they're suddenly poisoned AND they have to put up with the sloppy coding.

Junts
07-17-2009, 12:18 PM
If the best way to make the game more fun is to give total immunity to certain effects, then there is something wrong with those effects.

To say "Don't remove the immunity." is alike to say "It's boring. Let us avoid it." That's not an argument against removing/reducing immunities. It's only an argument in favor of changing X or Y to be less annoying and more fun.

Immunities are necessary in part because there can be gigantic differentials in the ability of characters to innately resist certain effects. A resistance-giving or charge-based fom effect is fine on a moderate to high reflex/will save character. However, there are also characters who mechanically have saves so poor that if they are not using immunity effects, they will pretty much never resist, and would be lucky to get to 50% resistance even from a +10 saves vs blah effect. (my sorceror's standing 8 reflex save comes to mind as an example). The gigantic disparity in character resiliance and the potency of some attacks (eg, instant death, or effectively instant death from holds, etc) mean that in some cases, the ability to achieve blanket immunity is pretty essential; what would be a better method of address than removing immunity from fom, for example, might be more extensive use of mobs that dispel, especially since dispelling does not involve a saving throw of any kind and affects all people equally; the way fom is used in the abbot now is an outstanding example and requires good teamwork and fast reflexes to maintain immunity from the guaranteed death recieved if the encasement is thrown on you when you lack said fom.

in a d20 system, there's simply no way to balance the impact of effects as powerful as holds or death when characters' resistances to them are going to vary by a value larger than the die roll (20, 25, 30 point differences in reflex and fort saves are not impossible on ddo). In fact, I have characters with standing reflex 23 points and fort 21 points higher than another. The low-save character is wearing the appropriate items, too, but anything that has the smallest chance to work on the other characters is going to slaughter that one, every time, without exception, but for the existance of death ward and fom; simply removing player immunity effects is not going to make that situation fun, in fact, it would make it substantially less fun.

Vhlad
07-17-2009, 12:27 PM
Immunities are necessary in part because there can be gigantic differentials in the ability of characters to innately resist certain effects. A resistance-giving or charge-based fom effect is fine on a moderate to high reflex/will save character. However, there are also characters who mechanically have saves so poor that if they are not using immunity effects, they will pretty much never resist, and would be lucky to get to 50% resistance even from a +10 saves vs blah effect. (my sorceror's standing 8 reflex save comes to mind as an example). The gigantic disparity in character resiliance and the potency of some attacks (eg, instant death, or effectively instant death from holds, etc) mean that in some cases, the ability to achieve blanket immunity is pretty essential; what would be a better method of address than removing immunity from fom, for example, might be more extensive use of mobs that dispel, especially since dispelling does not involve a saving throw of any kind and affects all people equally; the way fom is used in the abbot now is an outstanding example and requires good teamwork and fast reflexes to maintain immunity from the guaranteed death recieved if the encasement is thrown on you when you lack said fom.

in a d20 system, there's simply no way to balance the impact of effects as powerful as holds or death when characters' resistances to them are going to vary by a value larger than the die roll (20, 25, 30 point differences in reflex and fort saves are not impossible on ddo). In fact, I have characters with standing reflex 23 points and fort 21 points higher than another. The low-save character is wearing the appropriate items, too, but anything that has the smallest chance to work on the other characters is going to slaughter that one, every time, without exception, but for the existance of death ward and fom; simply removing player immunity effects is not going to make that situation fun, in fact, it would make it substantially less fun.

Yes, a point I failed to include. This is a good example of why reducing/removing the immunity effects of d&d would not be a healthy endeavor to pursue, in terms of player satisfaction and enjoyment, from a mechanics standpoint.

Borror0
07-17-2009, 12:37 PM
Creating situations where someone is going to be poisoned or held or knocked down no matter what they do or wear is less fun.
How so?

Deciding whether to take up an item slot with disease immunity, or poison immunity, or freedom of movement, is part of the fun in character customization, and can add to the sense of progression and achievement.
That is what reducing/removing immunities is trying to encourage.

in a d20 system, there's simply no way to balance the impact of effects as powerful as holds or death when characters' resistances
I understand where you are coming from but I disagree. That's giving up simply because it's more work.

simply removing player immunity effects is not going to make that situation fun, in fact, it would make it substantially less fun.
Thats a point I agree with and "simply removing player immunity effects" never has been my stance.

sephiroth1084
07-17-2009, 12:44 PM
It doesnt necessarily mean something is wrong with the effects. There IS something wrong with changing this aspect of d&d core mechanics though. Taking power away from the player is less fun. Creating situations where someone is going to be poisoned or held or knocked down no matter what they do or wear is less fun. D&d is suppposed to give the player choice. Deciding whether to take up an item slot with disease immunity, or poison immunity, or freedom of movement, is part of the fun in character customization, and can add to the sense of progression and achievement.

And perhaps some of the problem may not be in the effects themselves, but in what players do to remedy them. As long as certain potions are coded as a casting animation, which cannot be used while raged, which deactivates combat expertise every time you use them, then players are just going to be more frustrated when the DM does something they perceive as cheating (i.e. poisoning them when they should be immune), since they're suddenly poisoned AND they have to put up with the sloppy coding.


Immunities are necessary in part because there can be gigantic differentials in the ability of characters to innately resist certain effects. A resistance-giving or charge-based fom effect is fine on a moderate to high reflex/will save character. However, there are also characters who mechanically have saves so poor that if they are not using immunity effects, they will pretty much never resist, and would be lucky to get to 50% resistance even from a +10 saves vs blah effect. (my sorceror's standing 8 reflex save comes to mind as an example). The gigantic disparity in character resiliance and the potency of some attacks (eg, instant death, or effectively instant death from holds, etc) mean that in some cases, the ability to achieve blanket immunity is pretty essential; what would be a better method of address than removing immunity from fom, for example, might be more extensive use of mobs that dispel, especially since dispelling does not involve a saving throw of any kind and affects all people equally; the way fom is used in the abbot now is an outstanding example and requires good teamwork and fast reflexes to maintain immunity from the guaranteed death recieved if the encasement is thrown on you when you lack said fom.

in a d20 system, there's simply no way to balance the impact of effects as powerful as holds or death when characters' resistances to them are going to vary by a value larger than the die roll (20, 25, 30 point differences in reflex and fort saves are not impossible on ddo). In fact, I have characters with standing reflex 23 points and fort 21 points higher than another. The low-save character is wearing the appropriate items, too, but anything that has the smallest chance to work on the other characters is going to slaughter that one, every time, without exception, but for the existance of death ward and fom; simply removing player immunity effects is not going to make that situation fun, in fact, it would make it substantially less fun.


We're not talking about removing the ability to mitigate attacks entirely, but removing the ability for players to spend 30-40 SP, or equip a fairly standard item, and ignore half of the effects in a dungeon that are supposed to be dangerous.

How low can you get your saves? I run my wizard at endgame with Nightshield and GH and I make the majority of my saves. If I found and wore a +4 or +5 resistance item, that'd go up. If I swapped in my Voice of the Master for my Bat that'd go up. Also if I had the Head of Good Fortune. Or if I started with more than a 12 in Dex, 14 in Con and 8 in Wis.

So, if I'm making most of my saves, who the hell is getting lower? The min/max guys who gave their barbarian starting 18s in Str and Con, and left their Wis at a 6? This stat array is possible because we can just get immune to anything of any real threat later on. You don't see a problem with this?

Junts
07-17-2009, 01:03 PM
We're not talking about removing the ability to mitigate attacks entirely, but removing the ability for players to spend 30-40 SP, or equip a fairly standard item, and ignore half of the effects in a dungeon that are supposed to be dangerous.

How low can you get your saves? I run my wizard at endgame with Nightshield and GH and I make the majority of my saves. If I found and wore a +4 or +5 resistance item, that'd go up. If I swapped in my Voice of the Master for my Bat that'd go up. Also if I had the Head of Good Fortune. Or if I started with more than a 12 in Dex, 14 in Con and 8 in Wis.

So, if I'm making most of my saves, who the hell is getting lower? The min/max guys who gave their barbarian starting 18s in Str and Con, and left their Wis at a 6? This stat array is possible because we can just get immune to anything of any real threat later on. You don't see a problem with this?

actually i was talking about my sorceror who's buffed 14 reflex and 21 fort, while wearing a resist 5 item (in fact, also with 28 constitution), a resistance ritual, etc, when characters on ddo can and do easily achieve 40+ fort saves and 35+ reflex saves.

Its not a question of 'make your saves' now, because there's not actually that many things to be saving against, but go run around sans fom and deathward against mobs that do use such attacks and see how many times you save.

And the example you give is pretty flawed because those builds are usually wf and are and would remain immune to most holds anyway, which is why they do it.

its reflex/fort save issues (particularly the very high range that they rise to) that causes the problem: anything that has a chance against the 35-40 save people slaughters your caster and mine without blinking.

Also hold in mind that mobs on ddo have so many hd that their caster levels are huge and so those attacks are the only defense against many sr only spells (like enervation), since static sr items in ddo are inadequate to the task of actually stopping mob's spells.

However, the reality is that most people use immunity items because the static 5% success rate is just too high. Its too easy to get spammed with some attacks (especially earthgrab) so much that one will inevitably work, especially when you have all the aggro and/or are soloing. The immunities are frequently the only things that make people able to solo at all, because so many attacks are almost guaranteed death should they actually land, whether its literally (death spell, hold in the middle of a pack you're dealing with) or in the longer-term due to wasted resources.

QuantumFX
07-17-2009, 01:15 PM
However, the reality is that most people use immunity items because the static 5% success rate is just too high. Its too easy to get spammed with some attacks (especially earthgrab) so much that one will inevitably work, especially when you have all the aggro and/or are soloing. The immunities are frequently the only things that make people able to solo at all, because so many attacks are almost guaranteed death should they actually land, whether its literally (death spell, hold in the middle of a pack you're dealing with) or in the longer-term due to wasted resources.

This actually ties back into the immunities discussion because in P&P you can do something about the 5% success rate. You can disrupt a casters concentration by hitting them.

Borror0
07-17-2009, 01:30 PM
its reflex/fort save issues (particularly the very high range that they rise to) that causes the problem: anything that has a chance against the 35-40 save people slaughters your caster and mine without blinking.
That is something that can be dealt with separately.

Also hold in mind that mobs on ddo have so many hd that their caster levels are huge and so those attacks are the only defense against many sr only spells (like enervation), since static sr items in ddo are inadequate to the task of actually stopping mob's spells.
That's something that the developers can change if deemed desired.

However, the reality is that most people use immunity items because the static 5% success rate is just too high. Its too easy to get spammed with some attacks (especially earthgrab) so much that one will inevitably work, especially when you have all the aggro and/or are soloing.
The problem is that monsters can spam-cast; not that 5% is too high.

sephiroth1084
07-17-2009, 01:32 PM
actually i was talking about my sorceror who's buffed 14 reflex and 21 fort, while wearing a resist 5 item (in fact, also with 28 constitution), a resistance ritual, etc, when characters on ddo can and do easily achieve 40+ fort saves and 35+ reflex saves.

Its not a question of 'make your saves' now, because there's not actually that many things to be saving against, but go run around sans fom and deathward against mobs that do use such attacks and see how many times you save.

And the example you give is pretty flawed because those builds are usually wf and are and would remain immune to most holds anyway, which is why they do it.

its reflex/fort save issues (particularly the very high range that they rise to) that causes the problem: anything that has a chance against the 35-40 save people slaughters your caster and mine without blinking.

Also hold in mind that mobs on ddo have so many hd that their caster levels are huge and so those attacks are the only defense against many sr only spells (like enervation), since static sr items in ddo are inadequate to the task of actually stopping mob's spells.

However, the reality is that most people use immunity items because the static 5% success rate is just too high. Its too easy to get spammed with some attacks (especially earthgrab) so much that one will inevitably work, especially when you have all the aggro and/or are soloing. The immunities are frequently the only things that make people able to solo at all, because so many attacks are almost guaranteed death should they actually land, whether its literally (death spell, hold in the middle of a pack you're dealing with) or in the longer-term due to wasted resources.

First, I often go without buffs on my paladin who is not in the 40s range (all his saves except Fort are in the high 20s I think--no resist item, no buffs). I don't fail saves on him in almost any content except on a 1. There aren't many DCs around 35, let alone 40.

If a reroll mechanic were added in place of immunity, even if you failed a save 20% of the time, that'd be cut in half. Honestly, yeah, it's hard to go without the immunities, but think about how much content we are totally ignoring because of them.

The balance has to come from somewhere, and the devs have few options:
-hit players with dispel a lot (annoying, and unrealistic in some instances)
-use attacks for which we have no defense (ok on rare occasions, but if used too often feels like the intentional circumventing of our abilities that it is)
-keep throwing in monsters with poison, disease, death effects, hold effects, slow effects, etc... in the hope that they'll catch someone unprepared every now and then
-give some reason for us to choose to not apply a buff (very difficult to figure out many situations for this one)
-do something about the immunities that wreak havoc with DM planning

Honestly, as frustrating as it is to die or get debuffed, I (and I'm sure others as well) prefer quests that are challenging, and not just due to attacks that deal a bazillion damage and are unavoidable. I also dislike the fact that saves matter so little at end game because of all the buffs we get. What's the point of playing a character with stellar saves if everyone is making them anyway?

Look at what the raid bosses do...we have intelligent, powerful spellcasters who throw nothing but fireballs and lightning bolts at us (or DBF and Chain Lightning). Part of that is due to the immunities we're expected to have: if a boss spends time throwing out spells that will have 0 effect most of the time, he's going to be a lot easier, and the AI doesn't learn the same way players do.

Also, if we get our immunities reduced, perhaps the devs can use the same mechanics to reduce immunities on monsters. Have you ever read a comparison between wizards and sorcs at endgame? Wizards are generally regarded as being on the short end of the stick because there just aren't that many useful spells at that point, mostly due to monsters have tons of immunities. Where is the player enjoyment in that?

Junts
07-17-2009, 02:02 PM
That is something that can be dealt with separately.

That's something that the developers can change if deemed desired.

The problem is that monsters can spam-cast; not that 5% is too high.


5% is too high because there are 10 of them doing it, not because they do it quickly.

Borror0
07-17-2009, 02:54 PM
5% is too high because there are 10 of them doing it, not because they do it quickly.
Even if you threat all ten as one mob, that's still 60% to make it through without being affected.

Plus, if you have the aggro of ten mobs with the same crowd control ability, you asked for it. It's not a situation that you encounter every day unless you purposely seek it.

sephiroth1084
07-17-2009, 03:10 PM
Even if you threat all ten as one mob, that's still 60% to make it through without being affected.

Plus, if you have the aggro of ten mobs with the same crowd control ability, you asked for it. It's not a situation that you encounter every day unless you purposely seek it.

And that'd have to be 10 creatures that all have a particular type of ability we're discussing. In most situations, you get one or two casters or monsters with save-based attacks, along with several "brute" types. As such, you'd have to be working pretty hard at getting into such a dire situation as described above.

Borror0
07-17-2009, 03:29 PM
And that'd have to be 10 creatures that all have a particular type of ability we're discussing. In most situations, you get one or two casters or monsters with save-based attacks, along with several "brute" types. As such, you'd have to be working pretty hard at getting into such a dire situation as described above.
That is what I meant when I said "with the same crowd control ability" but your version is clearer.

sephiroth1084
07-17-2009, 04:01 PM
That is what I meant when I said "with the same crowd control ability" but your version is clearer.

There is something to be said for verbosity (on occasion). :D

Now if only those occasions came more frequently. :rolleyes:

Junts
07-17-2009, 04:05 PM
That is what I meant when I said "with the same crowd control ability" but your version is clearer.

admittedly, the dungeon alert ******** already pretty much stuck a fork in running quests quickly and effectively and probably zeroed out the occurance of things like running through the low hallway in rainbow without killing all that extraneous ****.

Aerniel
07-20-2009, 07:39 PM
if ya wanna get really whiney just beg for the spells..

Veil of Undeath
cleric level8/sorc-wiz level8
components- Verbal, Somatic, Material
casting time- standard
range- Personal(could be changed to target in DDO if the powers that be grant it)
duration- 10 minutes per level(2 minutes per level in DDO)

Upon completion of the spell you exhale your last breath and accept a breif embrace from death

You gain many traits common to undea dcreatures. While the spell lasts you have immunity to mind afftecting abilities, poison, disease, sleep, paralysis, stunning, death effects, extra damage from critical hits and sneak attacks, death from massive damage(Paper and pencil only), ability drain, negative levels, fatigue, exhaustion, and any effect requiring a fortitude save unless it is harmless or affects objects. you need not to eat, sleep, or breathe.
Like an undead creature you are damaged by heal spells and healed by inflict spells. special material component: finger from a zombie.

Spark of life
Necromancy
Cleric3/druid4
Components- Verbal, Somatic
Casting time- standard
Range- touch
Target- One undead touched(possibly make it into a mass spell higher in level)
Duration- a round per level(a round is 6 seconds. so maybe 10 secs a level? or permanant untill they save?)
Saving throw- Will Negates
Spell resistance- yes

A touch from your hand outlines an undead in a faint yellow glow, making it vulnerable to many of the dangers that can harm living creatures

Undead creature is subject to extra damage from critical hits and sneak attacks, non lethal damage, ability drian, energy drain, fatigue, disease, poison, exhaustion, and damage to its physical ability scores(though it stil llacks a con score and cant take con damage) as if it were alive.
The undead also loses its immunity to sleep affects, paralysis, stunning, effects that require a fortitude save, and death effects. Its fortitude save is determined by its charisma bonus because of its lack of con. It must eat, breathe, and sleep just like a normal living creature.
While under the spell BOTH heals and inflict spells heal the creature rather than damage it.

SquelchHU
08-31-2009, 08:43 AM
I know you're a PnP purist Uska, but this, honestly, is a problem with the PnP mechanics as well--it just doesn't come up as much because of the more limited spell-rules, but a problem nonetheless. My feeling about game rules, whether in PnP or DDO, is that the game is strongest when functioning around opposed checks and rolls, while being weakest against static DCs, immunities, etc...

In this case, things like FoM cause problems because developers can't use many of the tools available to them due to one spell (and we have several commonly cast spells available to us that also have this affect).

If we're talking about PnP, then however clunky immunities are they are required, because it is the only way to be adequately protected against those things. Even if you resist the effect 95% of the time, you don't resist it 5% and often not resisting it once is enough to die as a result. And you will encounter these effects many times, so even that 5% is going to catch up with you fast, but 0% will not. It comes up more there because the consequences (death) are far more severe and by the time it becomes a problem you have more than enough spell slots to handle immunity granting effects as well as your other needs.

In DDO death is less severe, but effects that cause or lead to it get cast on you far more frequently as you are fighting more and higher level things at any given time. It is not unheard of to encounter level 19 enemies in a level 10 or 11 quest when your group is in the 8-10 range and do fine against them, whereas this would be a TPK in PnP for example.

In other words, it's not that different.

As for the game being 'strongest when dealing with opposed rolls', I think not. Look at how saves turned out. You're either passing them 95% of the time, and getting taken out often anyways or you are more susceptible to them and are annoying your Cleric, who has to keep reviving you every other encounter. For a better example, look at how AC turned out, and look how people will suggest Displacement and Stoneskin instead, because if you cannot get a long list of gear AC does nothing at all to help you at the higher end of the level spectrum. And this isn't that different from PnP either, except that you were unable to get the crazy gear that made AC work because it did not exist there.

The arbitrary immunities on enemies are another matter, but are still necessary because even a 5% chance is going to result in the enemy being taken out quickly, especially if more than one character is trying to use Finger of Death or a similar effect. Think about how trivial every boss would be and you'll understand why they need that immunity.

The irony of the complaints about messing with the purity of PnP is that DDO is actually more balanced than PnP, even taking into account the arbitrary immunities on boss encounters. Messing with immunities would simply detract from that. Would you really want a pure D&D experience?

Here's a few of the major things that would mean:

The only viable classes are Cleric, Sorcerer, Wizard, and Rogue. Druids and Artificers would also make the viable list if they were in, as would some psionic classes. Favored Soul when they come in. The Rogues are only there for traps, instead of also getting to throw down with sneak attacks. At high levels they stop being viable because traps stop being viable, and they fall behind sooner if they aren't specializing in dealing with traps since you're looking at DC 34 vs 13 ranks + stat and other stuff at level 10. The other guys do ok at low levels but quickly fall behind after that for various reasons, one of the bigger ones being they cannot get high enough quality gear (in that light, the Monty Haul nature of DDO is not so bad).

Along the same lines, enemies automatically 'aggro' on the primary spellcasting classes, and it is flat out impossible for any of the other guys to get their attention if such a character is present. This is because the intelligent enemies in PnP are aware that these casters pose the greatest threat and aim to take them out quickly, and most of the non intelligent ones will be selecting their targets in terms of whoever looks most like prey - probably not the Hulk. Compared to this, MMO style taunting is both acceptable and an improvement.

Nearly every quest at mid and high levels consists of using divinations to find your target, loading up on buffs to counteract what you've learned they are capable of, and then teleporting to them to take them out before they can even react. Sure you could try doing it other ways, but then you risk them doing the same to you. Zerging doesn't seem so bad anymore either does it?

Does this sound like a fun game to you? It doesn't to me. And while I don't quite agree with DDO's take on it, I must admit it is better than the purist's approach in this instance. This assumes we're talking about 3.5... if we're talking about 4th edition, imagine the most grindy, beat on the huge pile of HP instances of DDO and then slow it down considerably while you roll all the dice for that. I would hate to see a video game take on that, as the game is very heavy on the 'make enemies take a while to die by boosting their stats through the roof' philosophy without any changes.

Edit: One more thing.


Exactly. If, for example, the spell effects became rerolls instead of immunity, equipped items could grant that same new effect. Are the items less powerful in such an instance? Sure. Are they useless? Far from it.

Someone with poor saves may be more likely to forgo the item, but even moderate saves would keep such an item worthwhile. Also, character who have spent a lot of effort/time/money to gain very good saves would benefit more, since their items would essentially continue to grant the immunity that few others have any longer.

Another option, as far as the spells go, may be to dramatically reduce the duration of non-ablative buffs, so that the likelihood of buffs running out before reaching a shrine or in the middle of a big battle is higher, meaning more careful spell selection/application would be required.

This is a common DM tactic in PnP: either assaulting players with a particular effect over a prolonged period of time, forcing them to run out of their protective resources, or exposing them to enough different effects that they can't cope with all of them. In DDO, we skirt this issue largely through foreknowledge, the spellpoint mechanic, and buff duration vs. quest duration.

If buffs were reduced to a much shorter duration, there would be more lapses in protection during heated fights and longer dungeons. This might be a partial workaround for spell immunities, as no caster is going to want to throw out GH, Blur, Resist, FoM, Deathward, SR, etc... 2 or 3 or 4 times per shrine vs. the one casting per person currently required for 80% of the content.

This is not true at all. A large part of the reason why zerging exists in DDO is because buff timers encourage doing as much as possible in as little time as possible, whereas there are not any reasons to slow down as you are only rewarded for completing objectives, don't normally regenerate HP and mana, and so forth. This is also true in PnP, though there many of the effects last for hours so even if they aren't controlling the pace proactively, it still is not a big deal. Regardless, making buff timers shorter just further encourages speed runs.

There is one part that is right but for the wrong reasons - one of the few things that does slow spellcasters down is setting things up so they have to use their versatility. They can't counter everything, so resources spent countering stuff Freedom of Movement blocks detracts from their ability to do other things. Whereas if it wasn't an immunity, would it still be worth casting? Probably not. Leaving the immunities alone means there's more to think about.

Angelus_dead
08-31-2009, 10:35 AM
If we're talking about PnP, then however clunky immunities are they are required, because it is the only way to be adequately protected against those things.
Untrue. You failed to defend that claim.

The biggest justification for blanket immunities in PnP is "table work"; the processing time to actually do the math to resolve what happens when a special attack runs into a special resistance. It would be difficult to read and apply a subtle rule for partial immunity, and hardly worth the time if it reduces the effect to be barely noticeable anyhow.

But in the computer-moderated world of DDO that excuse doesn't apply. More complex rules can be used when they would lead to better gameplay.


Even if you resist the effect 95% of the time, you don't resist it 5%
Untrue. There is no reason that "partial resistance" necessarily needs to fail 5% of the time. "Partial resistance" would be a new game rule, and therefore it could be written to produce whatever numbers are desired.

For example, a nerfed version of Deathward could give you a +10 on saving throws against death/negative effects, offer you a saving throw even when the effect doesn't allow one, and prevent a natural 1 from being an automatic failure. Or there are many other ways it could be built.



As for the game being 'strongest when dealing with opposed rolls', I think not. Look at how saves turned out. You're either passing them 95% of the time, and getting taken out often anyways or you are more susceptible to them and are annoying your Cleric, who has to keep reviving you every other encounter. For a better example, look at how AC turned out
Hilarious. Both saves and AC turned out to be much better than the alternatives.



The arbitrary immunities on enemies are another matter, but are still necessary because even a 5% chance is going to result in the enemy being taken out quickly
False. As has been suggested many times, it should be easy for the devs to give bosses a kind of protection that causes hitpoint damage whenever they resist a instakill or CC effect. That way Hold Monster could still be used against a Hill Giant even if he is red named.


The irony of the complaints about messing with the purity of PnP is that DDO is actually more balanced than PnP
Yes, it's a lot more balanced. The only way the PnP can work in gameplay is if the DM is constantly ignoring a lot of the rules... in which case the rules aren't technically working at all.


This is not true at all. A large part of the reason why zerging exists in DDO is because buff timers encourage doing as much as possible in as little time as possible
Yes, that's why attacking fast is also usually tactically correct, despite people who want to stop and scout each room to form a plan to attack the next five hobgoblins.


They can't counter everything, so resources spent countering stuff Freedom of Movement blocks detracts from their ability to do other things. Whereas if it wasn't an immunity, would it still be worth casting? Probably not. Leaving the immunities alone means there's more to think about.
False. If FOM changed Hold Monster from hitting you 30% of the time for 4 sec to 2.5% of the time for 2 sec, or allowed you to move at 88% speed in Solid Fog instead of 50%, then it would still be quite worth it. And weakening the immunities in that way would mean there is more to think about, because there are more possibilities that can occur in combat: Instead of the players buffing up to completely deactivate a big portion of the monsters' attacks, they instead weaken them to be managable, but still a factor while the battle is taking place.

DSC
08-31-2009, 11:04 AM
If a reroll mechanic were added in place of immunity, even if you failed a save 20% of the time, that'd be cut in half.

Way lower than half, actually, which is one of the points in favor of such a change. If people are concerned that "I get hit with too many fail-on-1 effects, I need my immunity", then a reroll would take them from failing 1 in 20 to failing 1 in 400.

Borror0's initial point still stands: blanket immunities to an effect (e.g. drowning) are so common that they are always on when needed, then that effect has suddenly lost almost all of its contribution to the game. That's bad for the existing dungeon designs, and severely shrinks the size of the developers' effective "toolbox".

baddax
08-31-2009, 11:38 AM
Just as some immunities become weaker as the boss goes weaker in many stories games etc, it might be worthwhile for Tubine to consider immunities fading as hit points lower on bosses.

For example, at 15% or less life a vorpal on a normally-beheadable creature would be allowable on red-names.

Perhaps at 25% poisons work, etc and spell resistance is lowered.

Things where your initial efforts make it possible to destroy a boss near the end would be key.

I wouldn't want any immunities to start to fade any earlier than ~50% health and those would possibly be the amount of damage reduction the boss has and/or elemental immunities, etc. Also possibly heavy fortifications become moderate fortifications at 40%. These are just random numbers I'm throwing out there.

The idea just hit me and I wanted to toss it out there as I've not run into any thread recommending this. We have bosses that trigger lack of immunities already (See Hound of Xoriat) at a certain HP percent so this coding is possible.

I like this idea.
I also like the way the end fight in Storm Cleave is set up, where you can take the eles down to reduce his resistance/regen. I would like to see more end fights with the ability to reduce immunities/abilities by doing optionals. This would allow turbine to make harder end fights while still allowing for a reasonable chance for completions. It also reduces the same old same old dps end boss with 1 million+hp. It also could allow for completions with less traditional party make ups. Ie if you are caster heavy you could make optionals to reduce SR or Fire/Cold resistance to allow a caster heavy group the ability to complete the quest.

Aspenor
08-31-2009, 11:41 AM
I like this idea.
I also like the way the end fight in Storm Cleave is set up, where you can take the eles down to reduce his resistance/regen. I would like to see more end fights with the ability to reduce immunities/abilities by doing optionals. This would allow turbine to make harder end fights while still allowing for a reasonable chance for completions. It also reduces the same old same old dps end boss with 1 million+hp.

This mechanic is why, IMO, stormcleave is one of the best quests in the entire game, even after all the new quests have been added.

sephiroth1084
08-31-2009, 11:53 AM
AC and saves are not examples of opposed rolls. In both cases you have a static "DC" that one character or another is rolling against. Now, sure, someone with a huge spot score vs. someone with a piddling hide will almost always spot the sneaky person, and with the inflation of skills in DDO, that number reaches 100% fairly early in the game, but for characters who aren't at an extreme end of the system, opposed rolls work better, because one person may roll high with a low modifier while the other may roll low with a high modifier, making for a more dynamic system.

Part of the problem with DDO, as others have alluded to or suggested, is that all of our stats are out of whack--our saves, our AC, our attack bonus, damage, skills, they're all much too high: inflated beyond any reasonableness. Somehow, that needs to get addressed.

But other problems exist, such as high saves being meaningless in a lot of instances because we have spells that take care of those threats for us, whether we have a 40 Fort save or a 10. That's not good either.

Sure, if you are soloing and manage to grab the aggro of 10 earth elementals without FoM, you're probably dead, but why shouldn't that be the case? DDO is already a fairly easy game even without immunities that make foolish play acceptable. We ignore whole categories of effects just by having the appropriate spell on hand, which is MUCH easier to do than in PnP because we have fewer useful spells on the whole, have foreknowledge about quests, and due to the spell point system in contrast to Vancian casting.

Currently, it's generally considered okay to just dump you Dex and Wis on most characters, and Con would be a dumpstat also if HP didn't figure so heavily into the game. We ignore our saves at the beginning, because we bank on having enough equipment or buffs to invalidate the real threats. That's broken design.

How often do you feel that crappy Will save on a fighter after level 10? That mediocre Fort save of a Rogue ever?

How can we continue to be challenged in interesting fashions if immunity to nearly every possible avenue of attack is commonplace? A standard, high-level party is immune to:
-fear
-paralysis
-poison
-disease
-mind control
-web
-solid fog/acid fog (slow portion)
-slippery surfaces
-instant death
-enervation
-blindness
-sources of minor damage (via resists and protects and DR)

That makes a huge chunk of the spells in the game completely meaningless in the hands of our enemies, not to mention the attacks of many of the monsters. And for what investment? 150 SP per character? Less?

SableShadow
08-31-2009, 01:09 PM
Part of the problem with DDO, as others have alluded to or suggested, is that all of our stats are out of whack--our saves, our AC, our attack bonus, damage, skills, they're all much too high: inflated beyond any reasonableness. Somehow, that needs to get addressed.

But other problems exist, such as high saves being meaningless in a lot of instances because we have spells that take care of those threats for us, whether we have a 40 Fort save or a 10. That's not good either.


I think you're priorities are 180 degrees out of sync with mine. Blanket immunties are the biggest problem, not the stuff that requires a roll. Maybe I'm misreading you, and you think the same thing, but this sentence structure stuck out for me.

Angelus_dead
08-31-2009, 01:22 PM
AC and saves are not examples of opposed rolls. In both cases you have a static "DC" that one character or another is rolling against.
You are getting confused with a D&D game mechanic that is irrelevant to this topic. Whether there are two d20 dice or only one has little importance. The DC is not static, because it is influenced by the ability scores, level, or feats of the character.

An example of an unopposed roll would be Heavy Fortification or Deathward. There is a 100% chance the effect fails, and a more powerful effect doesn't change that.

An opposed roll would be a weapon attack or Fortitude save, where the character on each side can add an ability modifier from strength, dexterity, charisma, or constitution. Because the abilities of the characters are involved, the gameplay is more involved and entertaining.

Angelus_dead
08-31-2009, 01:26 PM
I like this idea.
I also like the way the end fight in Storm Cleave is set up, where you can take the eles down to reduce his resistance/regen.
The concept is ok, but the implementation details don't work, because every knowledgeable party just chooses a single monster to kill and ignores the others.

sephiroth1084
08-31-2009, 01:32 PM
I think you're priorities are 180 degrees out of sync with mine. Blanket immunties are the biggest problem, not the stuff that requires a roll. Maybe I'm misreading you, and you think the same thing, but this sentence structure stuck out for me.

Sorry for that sentence structure.

Uh, I feel that the problems are related.

Yes, I want blanket immunities done away with, even before the larger problems of numerical balance gets addressed, even at the detriment to some classes some o the time, but I don't know if I'd agree that blanket immunities are the bigger problem.

While immunities are frustrating for players (and developers, I'm sure), the game continues to work fairly well despite them, while the stat-inflation (in this case I'm using "stat" for any character-based value) is causing a lot of problems; the grazing hits system had to be created just to try rectifying the problems with widening gaps in armor class and inflated attack bonuses.

The ripples caused by stat inflation extend much farther and have a greater impact on the game as a whole than do those produced by immunities, whether player-based or monster-based. Just look at the quests we run: many monsters continue employing effects that we're immune to almost 100% of the time.

SableShadow
08-31-2009, 01:44 PM
but I don't know if I'd agree that blanket immunities are the bigger problem.

Oh, good. Now we have something to fight about. :D


While immunities are frustrating for players (and developers, I'm sure), the game continues to work fairly well despite them, while the stat-inflation (in this case I'm using "stat" for any character-based value) is causing a lot of problems; the grazing hits system had to be created just to try rectifying the problems with widening gaps in armor class and inflated attack bonuses.

It isn't the inflation of stats as much as the disparity between a max stat and an average stat. Grazing lets you do things like lower monster to hits (to make average ACs worth something) while pumping monster ACs (to make high character to hits worth something).

The problem isn't the value, it's in the range of the value...otherwise they'd simply have moved monster ACs and To Hits up a bit.

SquelchHU
08-31-2009, 02:13 PM
AC and saves are not examples of opposed rolls. In both cases you have a static "DC" that one character or another is rolling against. Now, sure, someone with a huge spot score vs. someone with a piddling hide will almost always spot the sneaky person, and with the inflation of skills in DDO, that number reaches 100% fairly early in the game, but for characters who aren't at an extreme end of the system, opposed rolls work better, because one person may roll high with a low modifier while the other may roll low with a high modifier, making for a more dynamic system.

Luck favors the enemies. I would say more to this, but someone else beat me to the punch.


You are getting confused with a D&D game mechanic that is irrelevant to this topic. Whether there are two d20 dice or only one has little importance. The DC is not static, because it is influenced by the ability scores, level, or feats of the character.

+1 rep for that.


Part of the problem with DDO, as others have alluded to or suggested, is that all of our stats are out of whack--our saves, our AC, our attack bonus, damage, skills, they're all much too high: inflated beyond any reasonableness. Somehow, that needs to get addressed.

While I agree that the stats are inflated, they are not inflated nearly as badly as most mean when they say that. For example, a common complaint is that AC under 60 is worthless in the endgame content. Currently that's what? A level 18 elite quest? Level 20, in other words.

ACs below 60 already were worthless at level 20. This is not new. (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/tarrasque.htm)


Sure, if you are soloing and manage to grab the aggro of 10 earth elementals without FoM, you're probably dead, but why shouldn't that be the case? DDO is already a fairly easy game even without immunities that make foolish play acceptable. We ignore whole categories of effects just by having the appropriate spell on hand, which is MUCH easier to do than in PnP because we have fewer useful spells on the whole, have foreknowledge about quests, and due to the spell point system in contrast to Vancian casting.

Nope.

Level 16 Cleric: 5/5/5/4/4/3/3/2 spell slots, not counting domains and wisdom.
Level 16 Sorcerer: 5/5/4/4/4/3/2/1 spells known, 6/6/6/6/6/6/5/3 spell slots not counting charisma.
Level 16 Wizard: 4/4/4/4/4/4/3/3/2 spell slots not counting specialization and intelligence.

Your casting stat will be at least 28 by now due to a starting 18, 4 level up points, and a +6 item. You probably could get a low tome, but it would be better to wait one level to stockpile 5 Wishes and use them in rapid succession to get a +5 inherent bonus. That amounts to 3/2/2/2/2/1/1/1 bonus spell slots in all cases. Clerics get one domain slot, wizards can get one specialization slot for each level of spells.

That gives us 8/7/7/6/6/4/4/3 for the Cleric, 9/8/8/8/8/7/6/4 for the Sorcerer, and 7/6/6/6/6/4/4/3 for the Wizard. I think that 45 + domains/58/42 + possible specialization spells are more than good enough to handle whatever the day throws at you. That doesn't count items either which can either increase this number of spells or replace them (scrolls, wands, staves).

Divination effects serve the same purpose as memorization in that you learn what you will be facing. The lower level stuff will be less useful directly, but many of the effective buffs are lower level so you can use them for that.

I say it's easier to buff up in PnP, because the spells last longer - often several hours, or even all day. It's even possible to get them lasting longer than that at higher levels. In DDO you're doing things quest by quest.

In high level D&D or DDO you need to be able to ignore whole categories of effects or you simply cannot survive. Saving throws help but cannot fully prevent effects as you always fail on a 1. The only way to be safe, especially against the enemy spell spam is to block them entirely.


Currently, it's generally considered okay to just dump you Dex and Wis on most characters, and Con would be a dumpstat also if HP didn't figure so heavily into the game. We ignore our saves at the beginning, because we bank on having enough equipment or buffs to invalidate the real threats. That's broken design.

Dexterity mostly gets ignored because there is no longer a such thing as 'Initiative'. Wisdom gets ignored by some characters in PnP as well - but that's because they use another stat for it. Namely Steadfast Determination - Con to Will saves on a martial type. I want to know who is actually ignoring their saving throws though, considering that you will probably first encounter an effect before you get access to the thing that blocks it.


How can we continue to be challenged in interesting fashions if immunity to nearly every possible avenue of attack is commonplace? A standard, high-level party is immune to:
-fear
-paralysis
-poison
-disease
-mind control
-web
-solid fog/acid fog (slow portion)
-slippery surfaces
-instant death
-enervation
-blindness
-sources of minor damage (via resists and protects and DR)

None of this is anything new. Heroes Feast, Death Ward/Soulfire armor enchantment, and Freedom of Movement and you've blocked almost everything on that list. The stuff that isn't blocked is extremely rare, trivial, or both. If anything DDO has improved on it by making you take more resources to become immune to all the good stuff so that enemies are forced to employ lesser options to hurt you.


That makes a huge chunk of the spells in the game completely meaningless in the hands of our enemies, not to mention the attacks of many of the monsters. And for what investment? 150 SP per character? Less?

If it's all from your mana, I'd imagine it's more than that. But how much does that amount to for a group? At least 900? There goes a third of a sorc's mana bar, or about two thirds of a wizard's for one round of buffs. Seems like a fair price to me.


Untrue. You failed to defend that claim.

The biggest justification for blanket immunities in PnP is "table work"; the processing time to actually do the math to resolve what happens when a special attack runs into a special resistance. It would be difficult to read and apply a subtle rule for partial immunity, and hardly worth the time if it reduces the effect to be barely noticeable anyhow.

But in the computer-moderated world of DDO that excuse doesn't apply. More complex rules can be used when they would lead to better gameplay.

False and irrelevant. False because I illustrated how even a 5% chance is enough to screw you in short order, irrelevant because I said nothing about more work for the DM.


Untrue. There is no reason that "partial resistance" necessarily needs to fail 5% of the time. "Partial resistance" would be a new game rule, and therefore it could be written to produce whatever numbers are desired.

Saving throws always fail on a 1. Now demonstrate how a 'partial resistance' that makes a 1 also pass is any different from immunity, keeping in mind there are many effects that boost saving throws and are often employed anyways for their other effects.


For example, a nerfed version of Deathward could give you a +10 on saving throws against death/negative effects, offer you a saving throw even when the effect doesn't allow one, and prevent a natural 1 from being an automatic failure. Or there are many other ways it could be built.

Functionally no different, which only serves to satisfy those obsessed with the semantics of not 'technically' being immune, when they can in fact have a dance party and all the enemy necromancers are invited. They can bring their minions along as an escort.


Hilarious. Both saves and AC turned out to be much better than the alternatives.

Explain yourself.


False. As has been suggested many times, it should be easy for the devs to give bosses a kind of protection that causes hitpoint damage whenever they resist a instakill or CC effect. That way Hold Monster could still be used against a Hill Giant even if he is red named.

Because doing a few dozen, or a few hundred damage to the enemies with four, five, and six digit HP totals is a completely worthwhile use of limited resources. Oh right, that's why they are trying to use Hold Monster and not a direct damage spell. And if it does amounts of damage that aren't trivial, then it replaces nukes anyways.


Yes, it's a lot more balanced. The only way the PnP can work in gameplay is if the DM is constantly ignoring a lot of the rules... in which case the rules aren't technically working at all.

Ignoring or rewriting. Both of which make you wonder why you're paying for something you aren't using or are replacing with your own superior work. But that's another topic.


False. If FOM changed Hold Monster from hitting you 30% of the time for 4 sec to 2.5% of the time for 2 sec, or allowed you to move at 88% speed in Solid Fog instead of 50%, then it would still be quite worth it. And weakening the immunities in that way would mean there is more to think about, because there are more possibilities that can occur in combat: Instead of the players buffing up to completely deactivate a big portion of the monsters' attacks, they instead weaken them to be managable, but still a factor while the battle is taking place.

Nope again. Keeping track of a bunch of trivial stuff (such as a very small chance of being screwed by luck) is the biggest reason why 4th edition is a marketing and design failure in every possible sense of the word. What makes you think applying the same types of logic will make any difference for the better here? All it really does is make you seem to be fine, then you get screwed by bad luck and suffer for it. Which is exactly the same thing that happens when you have pass on 2 saves and no immunities. Except that if you don't bother casting them, you can cast something else. Perhaps something to kill the enemy quickly before you roll a 1, since sans immunity that's your only option.

I know, it's a long post.

sephiroth1084
08-31-2009, 05:12 PM
Nope.

Level 16 Cleric: 5/5/5/4/4/3/3/2 spell slots, not counting domains and wisdom.
Level 16 Sorcerer: 5/5/4/4/4/3/2/1 spells known, 6/6/6/6/6/6/5/3 spell slots not counting charisma.
Level 16 Wizard: 4/4/4/4/4/4/3/3/2 spell slots not counting specialization and intelligence.

Your casting stat will be at least 28 by now due to a starting 18, 4 level up points, and a +6 item. You probably could get a low tome, but it would be better to wait one level to stockpile 5 Wishes and use them in rapid succession to get a +5 inherent bonus. That amounts to 3/2/2/2/2/1/1/1 bonus spell slots in all cases. Clerics get one domain slot, wizards can get one specialization slot for each level of spells.

That gives us 8/7/7/6/6/4/4/3 for the Cleric, 9/8/8/8/8/7/6/4 for the Sorcerer, and 7/6/6/6/6/4/4/3 for the Wizard. I think that 45 + domains/58/42 + possible specialization spells are more than good enough to handle whatever the day throws at you. That doesn't count items either which can either increase this number of spells or replace them (scrolls, wands, staves).

There is a huge difference between the way PnP spellcasting works and the way DDO spell points work. The primary difference being that you can ignore your lesser spell slots to focus on more useful higher level spells, casting them more often. Aside from Web, how often do you use level 1 and 2 spells on your 16 caster or cleric?

On my wizard I hit myself with Jump, Blur and Nightshield, and that's about it. Most casters don't bother with Nightshield. So, in a typical quest, I spend 25 of my 1700+ SP on lvl 1 and 2 spells, which is a much lower percentage of total spell power than 2 lvl 1 slots and a 1 lvl 2 represent in PnP. As a result, I have a lot more SP for higher level spells. That's just an example.

A cleric with 4 slots at level whatever is not going to spend all 4 on Freedom of Movement, but cannot otherwise buff the whole party, unless he's giving up higher level slots just to do this.

Whereas in DDO, you spend one slot of FoM, and hit the whole party with it. If it's a quest (raid) where 150 SP/character worth of buffing is so important, chances are you'll have a shrine early, a mana pot handy, or some other way to mitigate spending half your SP on buffs.


Divination effects serve the same purpose as memorization in that you learn what you will be facing. The lower level stuff will be less useful directly, but many of the effective buffs are lower level so you can use them for that.
Divinations do not give you any where close to the amount of foreknowledge that we in DDO have heading into a quest. We know precisely which spells we'll need going in, when we'll need them, when we will get to rest...there will be no guessing about how long we can last before needing to rest, wondering whether such and such spell should be saved for some more important fight coming up...


I say it's easier to buff up in PnP, because the spells last longer - often several hours, or even all day. It's even possible to get them lasting longer than that at higher levels. In DDO you're doing things quest by quest.
You're comparing apples to oranges here. Let's do a direct comparison: in PnP, many buffs last 1 minute per level, and some hours per level (all day at higher levels). A typical adventure will take the party 2 or 3 days to complete, and they will have, let's say, 4 encounters each day.

In DDO, most of our quests also last 3 or 4 "days" (equate number of shrines to number or rests/days in PnP), but we have many more than 4 encounters per "day", yet we have virtually no buffs that do not last for multiple ecounters. All of our min/lvl buffs tend to last for the whole "day" or even the quest (that's a buff lasting for a few days). Even haste, a short-term, single encounter buff in PnP lasts for 2+ encounters usually in DDO.


In high level D&D or DDO you need to be able to ignore whole categories of effects or you simply cannot survive. Saving throws help but cannot fully prevent effects as you always fail on a 1. The only way to be safe, especially against the enemy spell spam is to block them entirely.

Which is why one suggest that was circulating earlier in the thread and elsewhere was for the spells to instead allow for a reroll on a failed save, and maybe also a bonus. Sure, failing on a 1 is 5% and that may be too high, but rolling two 1s is a 1 in 400 chance, which is pretty low. That's, what? a 0.25% chance of failure? That's reasonable.

Sure, some characters fail more often, because their saves aren't as high, but that serves to reward players for putting a little effort into having decent saves and promotes teamwork and group play, which, despite the increasing trend toward solo play in DDO, is the core of the game.




Dexterity mostly gets ignored because there is no longer a such thing as 'Initiative'. Wisdom gets ignored by some characters in PnP as well - but that's because they use another stat for it. Namely Steadfast Determination - Con to Will saves on a martial type. I want to know who is actually ignoring their saving throws though, considering that you will probably first encounter an effect before you get access to the thing that blocks it.

That is precisely my point. In PnP people don't take Dex just for Initiative, and tend not to dump Wis unless they are grabbing a replacement for Will saves, such as the feat you mentioned, but in DDO, many fighters, barbarians, rangers, paladins, rogues, wizards, sorcerers and bards start with an 8 (or even a 6) Wis.

Sure, they equip an item and maybe read a tome, but for the most part, they just dump the stat, relying on buffs and immunities to see them through.




None of this is anything new. Heroes Feast, Death Ward/Soulfire armor enchantment, and Freedom of Movement and you've blocked almost everything on that list. The stuff that isn't blocked is extremely rare, trivial, or both.

Who said anything about new? People have been complaining about immunities since before I joined the game. The problem is that we, as players, get to waltz through a lot of content becomes enemies' attacks pose no or little threat to us, while on the other hand we get frustrated that more and more monsters ignore our most potent abilities. In either case, options and creativity are being limited due to these immunities. This is frustrating as a player and as a developer.

And, on a lesser not, tends to erase most of the benefit of being a prepared caster vs. a spontaneous one, since, as more and more spells become less useful, having fewer spell slots and no ability to change spells becomes less and less of a detriment. As this trend increases, sorcerers start looking like wizards with 50% more SP, faster casting, and missing 3 bonus feats (2 bonus feats get eaten by Mental Toughness, which is kinda pointless on a sorc).

Where the difference should be that sorcerers have to make a decision about whether they can afford to be giving up the utility and versatility of additional spell slots and the ability to adapt to changing situations.


If anything DDO has improved on it by making you take more resources to become immune to all the good stuff so that enemies are forced to employ lesser options to hurt you. The AI in the game is not good enough to support this mentality--what AI in a game is? It can adapt a little, but enemy spellcasters will continue trying to hit us with Finger of Death, earth elementals will continue trying to grab us, beholders will keep shooting us with enervation, all despite our immunities.

Maybe the programming exists, but I doubt the DDO devs have the time or resources to implement the type of AI that would be able to adjust to all of our many changing tactics and buffs.

Furthermore, how many attempts should it take before the AI "learns" what we are buffed with? Should enemies further in the dungeon learn from their former allies who have died trying to Hold us? Is that metagamey? Is it fair? How much can the monsters' tactics change? Can whole dungeons be repopulated, removing earth elementals and inserting something more dangerous when we get into a fight while buffed with FoM early in the dungeon?

Finally, mana pots and shrines largely obviate the penalty for buffing. Some remains, but how much content is this a problem in?


[/quote]




It isn't the inflation of stats as much as the disparity between a max stat and an average stat. Grazing lets you do things like lower monster to hits (to make average ACs worth something) while pumping monster ACs (to make high character to hits worth something).

The problem isn't the value, it's in the range of the value...otherwise they'd simply have moved monster ACs and To Hits up a bit.

True, the disparity is really the issue, but the inflation underlies it--characters can focus on a stat and pump it far beyond what is reasonable, while other characters who aren't as focused can't keep up. Wording it otherwise is semantics: stats are too high = too great a disparity to my mind. If the disparity weren't there, monsters would just get boosted until the proportions were intact, while if the inflation weren't there, the disparity wouldn't exist.

Let's look at PnP for a moment. How high an AC can you get by level 15?
Fighter 15
+13 (+5 MFP)
+4 Dex (12 +4 item +2 tome, BIG 'if' there)
+9 (MTS)
+4 ring of protection
+4 amulet of NA
+1 dodge
+2 greater heavy armor optimization
__________________________
47

Wizard
+4 mage armor
+4 shield
+2 ring or protection
+2 amulet of natural armor
+4 Dex (14 + 4 item...want Dex for saves, Initiative and ranged spells)
________________
26

So a maxed-out fighter's AC is just about 20 higher than a wizard's who has largely ignored AC. Add or subtract a few points, and they're both still getting hit and missed on a d20 roll. Sure, some monsters will always be hitting an AC of 26 at level 15, but not all of them, and there are additional benefits that lower AC classes may have that the fighter doesn't--a 30 AC rogue will have a better chance of avoiding a touch spell for example.

Stat inflation has caused this dramatic gulf between the "haves" and the "have nots" in every category. Is glancing blows a good solution to the AC/attack issue? Maybe, but we have yet to see such solutions regarding saves, damage output, etc...

SableShadow
08-31-2009, 05:23 PM
Is glancing blows a good solution to the AC/attack issue? Maybe, but we have yet to see such solutions regarding saves, damage output, etc...

Grazing hits, but yah, we'll have to see.

SquelchHU
09-01-2009, 08:01 AM
There is a huge difference between the way PnP spellcasting works and the way DDO spell points work. The primary difference being that you can ignore your lesser spell slots to focus on more useful higher level spells, casting them more often. Aside from Web, how often do you use level 1 and 2 spells on your 16 caster or cleric?

On my wizard I hit myself with Jump, Blur and Nightshield, and that's about it. Most casters don't bother with Nightshield. So, in a typical quest, I spend 25 of my 1700+ SP on lvl 1 and 2 spells, which is a much lower percentage of total spell power than 2 lvl 1 slots and a 1 lvl 2 represent in PnP. As a result, I have a lot more SP for higher level spells. That's just an example.

If we're talking about DDO you're right. Throw down a few buffs and a Web, and everything else level 1-2 spells do higher level spells can do better. Especially since you would likely have to Heighten them anyways.

If we're talking about PnP, not really. Obviously they aren't nearly as useful as your higher level slots but they do have practical applications.

As a Wizard I would take a Mage Armor for the minor cheap fire and forget benefits, and maybe a Shield in case I need it (and if not, no loss). I could also use Grease here which stays useful even at high levels but I'd mostly be using them for Nerveskitter, that way at the beginning of the fight I can boost my already high initiative further to act first, then do something that stops the enemy from acting so they are stopped before they even get started. For second level, a False Life for the fire and forget ablative defense and a Rope Trick to not get ambushed in the night but mostly Webs and Glitterdusts. Glitterdust stays useful even at very high levels as there are very few enemies immune to being blinded and a fair number of enemies that have bad Will saves and that can easily be categorized on sight. In fact it actually becomes more useful over time against certain enemy types, as your Intelligence/Charisma and therefore save DC is improving faster than their 1/3 HD save is. It also affects a small area so you might get multiple enemies with it and is a decent anti stealth measure. Web is Web. It's not nearly as useful in PnP at these levels because FoM can be expected more often and high Strength scores definitely can.


A cleric with 4 slots at level whatever is not going to spend all 4 on Freedom of Movement, but cannot otherwise buff the whole party, unless he's giving up higher level slots just to do this.

There are other casters in the party. If this is a PnP game, and we're assuming optimal play there is no reason for the group to not be all casters which means the only ones they need to cast it on other than themselves are the ones that don't have it on their list. If not, the non casters are fairly screwed as they either need an expensive item to gain FoM directly (Ring of FoM), a less expensive one to give the Cleric another shot of it (PoP 4), or are being dead weight to the party again, much to everyone's dismay.

Though the Cleric has 6 level 4 slots + his domain slot so he could use two thirds of them on a spell half his maximum level and the others for something else.


Whereas in DDO, you spend one slot of FoM, and hit the whole party with it. If it's a quest (raid) where 150 SP/character worth of buffing is so important, chances are you'll have a shrine early, a mana pot handy, or some other way to mitigate spending half your SP on buffs.

In other words, it works like Sorcerer spells known. Or Favored Soul I should say. Regardless you could cover it, it just isn't optimal to do so because if you need to do it all your group isn't optimal.


Divinations do not give you any where close to the amount of foreknowledge that we in DDO have heading into a quest. We know precisely which spells we'll need going in, when we'll need them, when we will get to rest...there will be no guessing about how long we can last before needing to rest, wondering whether such and such spell should be saved for some more important fight coming up...

If you know what you will fight, you can very easily work out what spells will work against them.

Cast one divination. If it comes back saying the main foes will be Giants for example, you can load up on Will based effects and not be losing out on much against them. You also know exactly when you will need them in optimal play - directly before Scrying on an important giant and Teleporting to his location to ambush him, which is the most deadly tactic possible bar none. You also know exactly when you will get to rest - directly after completing the adventure, which you can easily do in a single day unless it is an extremely long adventure (something covering two or more character levels).


You're comparing apples to oranges here. Let's do a direct comparison: in PnP, many buffs last 1 minute per level, and some hours per level (all day at higher levels). A typical adventure will take the party 2 or 3 days to complete, and they will have, let's say, 4 encounters each day.

I thought we were assuming optimal play.


In DDO, most of our quests also last 3 or 4 "days" (equate number of shrines to number or rests/days in PnP), but we have many more than 4 encounters per "day", yet we have virtually no buffs that do not last for multiple ecounters. All of our min/lvl buffs tend to last for the whole "day" or even the quest (that's a buff lasting for a few days). Even haste, a short-term, single encounter buff in PnP lasts for 2+ encounters usually in DDO.

Once you have teleported into the enemy stronghold, you can go through multiple encounters in rapid succession simply by going room to room. Assuming optimal play, the combat part of the adventure is over in a matter of minutes at most. And if you only count the direct combat parts, only a minute or two (which is 10-20 rounds). Even Haste can do this, though if you're at level 16 you are getting it from your boots which are used on a round to round basis.


Which is why one suggest that was circulating earlier in the thread and elsewhere was for the spells to instead allow for a reroll on a failed save, and maybe also a bonus. Sure, failing on a 1 is 5% and that may be too high, but rolling two 1s is a 1 in 400 chance, which is pretty low. That's, what? a 0.25% chance of failure? That's reasonable.

See earlier comments about seeming fine until you are screwed by bad luck.


Sure, some characters fail more often, because their saves aren't as high, but that serves to reward players for putting a little effort into having decent saves and promotes teamwork and group play, which, despite the increasing trend toward solo play in DDO, is the core of the game.

Who wouldn't boost their saves as high as possible? Failing even a single Fortitude or Will save can very easily be the end of you. Reflex is less important in tabletop, in DDO it still matters as the Reflex save effects do a lot more damage.


That is precisely my point. In PnP people don't take Dex just for Initiative, and tend not to dump Wis unless they are grabbing a replacement for Will saves, such as the feat you mentioned, but in DDO, many fighters, barbarians, rangers, paladins, rogues, wizards, sorcerers and bards start with an 8 (or even a 6) Wis.

Sure, they equip an item and maybe read a tome, but for the most part, they just dump the stat, relying on buffs and immunities to see them through.

No, they don't read a tome in PnP. They can't afford it. 27,500 gold per +. That's far too cost inefficient with the way the wealth system works there. That only happens in DDO because the only limit to your cash reserve is your patience.

The primary purpose of Dexterity is Initiative. Around level 8-10, enemies will start hitting you on a 2+ or close to it so AC is not helping you, Reflex saves are the only saves that can be safely ignored as you would have to fail 2 or 3 in rapid succession before you start to notice, and while touch AC can make some rays miss there are better ways of protecting against those, and it will not help you against normal attacks that have been converted into touch attacks and thereby have a much higher accuracy. You're right about Wisdom, though there is no reason not for them to do that as it allows them to focus most of their stats on Strength and Constitution boosting them both offensively and defensively. 32 PB = 17/12/17/10/8/8, and then you only need items for two stats, and a tome for Strength. Add level up points and you finish out around 32/12-18/24/10/8/8 assuming 4 level up points to Str and a +5 tome and one level up point to Con to even it out. That doesn't count any racial mods you might have or a minor Con tome.


Who said anything about new? People have been complaining about immunities since before I joined the game. The problem is that we, as players, get to waltz through a lot of content becomes enemies' attacks pose no or little threat to us, while on the other hand we get frustrated that more and more monsters ignore our most potent abilities. In either case, options and creativity are being limited due to these immunities. This is frustrating as a player and as a developer.

It was implied this was something unique to DDO, and not simply a matter of porting the source material accurately in that case. Having to counter a bunch of stuff with limited resources is the only thing that keeps spellcasting classes in check. And if enemies did not ignore the good abilities, they would be completely trivialized by them. So as frustrating as it may be to see 'Immune' on your Finger of Death vs a normally [Death] susceptible type of enemy, it would tick people off more if they went down in 3 seconds to it. How many do you suppose would quit over 'DDO getting even easier'? I stand by my original statement that immunities are 'clunky but necessary'.


And, on a lesser not, tends to erase most of the benefit of being a prepared caster vs. a spontaneous one, since, as more and more spells become less useful, having fewer spell slots and no ability to change spells becomes less and less of a detriment. As this trend increases, sorcerers start looking like wizards with 50% more SP, faster casting, and missing 3 bonus feats (2 bonus feats get eaten by Mental Toughness, which is kinda pointless on a sorc).

This is true. To an extent. But you still have to think about it somewhat, which is better than the alternative of Wizards being superior to Sorcerers, no contest.


Where the difference should be that sorcerers have to make a decision about whether they can afford to be giving up the utility and versatility of additional spell slots and the ability to adapt to changing situations.

Except that the answer is always 'no'. If you need to be able to adapt, then not having the ability to do so means you fall far behind. This is why Wizards are far superior to Sorcerers in PnP, and it is also why non spellcasting classes quickly become non viable. Adaptability directly equates to usability in any diverse situation. I don't agree with things being simplified in that way, but the alternative is that they be simplified in a far more grievous way.


The AI in the game is not good enough to support this mentality--what AI in a game is? It can adapt a little, but enemy spellcasters will continue trying to hit us with Finger of Death, earth elementals will continue trying to grab us, beholders will keep shooting us with enervation, all despite our immunities.

Maybe the programming exists, but I doubt the DDO devs have the time or resources to implement the type of AI that would be able to adjust to all of our many changing tactics and buffs.

Sounds like a simple if = then statement to me. Try casting it a few times, if nothing seems to happen select a different spell or a different target. I say a few times because sometimes they'll pass the save.


Furthermore, how many attempts should it take before the AI "learns" what we are buffed with? Should enemies further in the dungeon learn from their former allies who have died trying to Hold us? Is that metagamey? Is it fair? How much can the monsters' tactics change? Can whole dungeons be repopulated, removing earth elementals and inserting something more dangerous when we get into a fight while buffed with FoM early in the dungeon?

Finally, mana pots and shrines largely obviate the penalty for buffing. Some remains, but how much content is this a problem in?

I would say that depends on the enemy. No, not unless they ran off to communicate that. Earth Elementals are fine against FoM as long as they stick to their physical attacks.


Let's look at PnP for a moment. How high an AC can you get by level 15?
Fighter 15
+13 (+5 MFP)
+4 Dex (12 +4 item +2 tome, BIG 'if' there)
+9 (MTS)
+4 ring of protection
+4 amulet of NA
+1 dodge
+2 greater heavy armor optimization
__________________________
47

Wizard
+4 mage armor
+4 shield
+2 ring or protection
+2 amulet of natural armor
+4 Dex (14 + 4 item...want Dex for saves, Initiative and ranged spells)
________________
26

This is not practical at all. That Fighter is taking -2 to hit (assuming MTS = Mithril Tower Shield), and is using three feats just to boost AC, one of which only helps against one enemy. Most importantly though he is spending over 98% of his total cash to that effect.

MFP = 35,500.
+4 Dex gloves = 16,000.
+2 Dex Tome = 55,000.
MTS = ~26,000.
Ring of Protection = 32,000.
Amulet of Natural Armor = 32,000.

Total: 196,500, out of 200,000 total.

And you still don't have a weapon, any defense against magical attacks, any utility items such as Flight and Haste, any defense against critical hits or sneak attacks... and after all that your AC still isn't that good, as level 15 stuff will hit you about half the time at the least. You also have low HP as you don't have a Con item. In fact you probably have the lowest HP in the party as a Fighter for that reason alone.

All you've succeeded in doing is making a character that cannot do anything and can be completely replaced by one that spent his cash better and is Displaced.


So a maxed-out fighter's AC is just about 20 higher than a wizard's who has largely ignored AC. Add or subtract a few points, and they're both still getting hit and missed on a d20 roll. Sure, some monsters will always be hitting an AC of 26 at level 15, but not all of them, and there are additional benefits that lower AC classes may have that the fighter doesn't--a 30 AC rogue will have a better chance of avoiding a touch spell for example.

In order to hit an AC 26 the maximum of 95% of the time, you only need a to hit of 24 or better. Any sort of martial sort passed that mark several levels ago. Unless you're counting 8 Str wizards swinging quarterstaves as part of your example you do not encounter things with that low to hit that care about hitting you with a physical attack.


Stat inflation has caused this dramatic gulf between the "haves" and the "have nots" in every category. Is glancing blows a good solution to the AC/attack issue? Maybe, but we have yet to see such solutions regarding saves, damage output, etc...

Really? How many enemies even have a high AC? I've seen somewhere that that pit fiend or whatever the uber raid boss is only has an AC of 51 or 52 on Elite. And that's one of the hardest enemies in the game. I highly doubt hitting enemies is a problem, it's hurting them enough that separates the haves from the have nots.

Enemies do have very high to hit scores though, which is why you have to try so hard to make AC matter and in most cases you're still better off with Displacement. I'm not sure what 'Glancing Blows' are supposed to accomplish, aside from face slapping those who put in all the effort to try to make AC work for them.

Letrii
09-02-2009, 06:15 AM
You are getting confused with a D&D game mechanic that is irrelevant to this topic. Whether there are two d20 dice or only one has little importance. The DC is not static, because it is influenced by the ability scores, level, or feats of the character.

An example of an unopposed roll would be Heavy Fortification or Deathward. There is a 100% chance the effect fails, and a more powerful effect doesn't change that.

An opposed roll would be a weapon attack or Fortitude save, where the character on each side can add an ability modifier from strength, dexterity, charisma, or constitution. Because the abilities of the characters are involved, the gameplay is more involved and entertaining.

Sounds like you are the confused one, now whether it is irrelevant here or not is another matter.

sephiroth1084
09-02-2009, 12:31 PM
There are other casters in the party. If this is a PnP game, and we're assuming optimal play there is no reason for the group to not be all casters which means the only ones they need to cast it on other than themselves are the ones that don't have it on their list.

What kind of D&D do you play? Even with CoDzilla and Wizards reigning supreme from a power perspective, how many groups actually are entirely comprised of casters? The other classes are far from useless; even the much-maligned Fighter can be useful at higher levels. We tend not to do this very often even in DDO where there are quests that obviously favor this sort of party make-up.



In other words, it works like Sorcerer spells known. Or Favored Soul I should say. Regardless you could cover it, it just isn't optimal to do so because if you need to do it all your group isn't optimal.
We aren't talking about optimal here. We're talking about realistic, about fairness and fun.



If you know what you will fight, you can very easily work out what spells will work against them.

Cast one divination. If it comes back saying the main foes will be Giants for example, you can load up on Will based effects and not be losing out on much against them. You also know exactly when you will need them in optimal play - directly before Scrying on an important giant and Teleporting to his location to ambush him, which is the most deadly tactic possible bar none. You also know exactly when you will get to rest - directly after completing the adventure, which you can easily do in a single day unless it is an extremely long adventure (something covering two or more character levels).

Once you have teleported into the enemy stronghold, you can go through multiple encounters in rapid succession simply by going room to room. Assuming optimal play, the combat part of the adventure is over in a matter of minutes at most. And if you only count the direct combat parts, only a minute or two (which is 10-20 rounds). Even Haste can do this, though if you're at level 16 you are getting it from your boots which are used on a round to round basis. Again, what kind of games do you play where the monsters don't enact precautions against scrying and teleportation? I can say with certainty that while some enemies may not care, or may not have the means with which they might protect themselves from these things, certainly the more intelligent and/or dangerous ones would, and as levels increase further, the number of unprotected citadels would drop.

Divinations and teleportation are useful, yes, but they are not the end-all be-all of high level play unless you're playing with a very inept DM, or playing out of the poorly written modules Wizards has a tendency to produce.




I thought we were assuming optimal play. I don't know where you got that idea. We're talking about a generalization across all classes, levels, difficulties and skill levels.


Who wouldn't boost their saves as high as possible? Failing even a single Fortitude or Will save can very easily be the end of you. Reflex is less important in tabletop, in DDO it still matters as the Reflex save effects do a lot more damage. Look at all the "optimum" builds on the forums. How many begin with a Wis score of more than 8? How many take Iron Will or Force of Personality?





The primary purpose of Dexterity is Initiative. Around level 8-10, enemies will start hitting you on a 2+ or close to it so AC is not helping you, Reflex saves are the only saves that can be safely ignored as you would have to fail 2 or 3 in rapid succession before you start to notice, and while touch AC can make some rays miss there are better ways of protecting against those, and it will not help you against normal attacks that have been converted into touch attacks and thereby have a much higher accuracy. You're right about Wisdom, though there is no reason not for them to do that as it allows them to focus most of their stats on Strength and Constitution boosting them both offensively and defensively. 32 PB = 17/12/17/10/8/8, and then you only need items for two stats, and a tome for Strength. Add level up points and you finish out around 32/12-18/24/10/8/8 assuming 4 level up points to Str and a +5 tome and one level up point to Con to even it out. That doesn't count any racial mods you might have or a minor Con tome. I have no idea what your point is here.




It was implied this was something unique to DDO, and not simply a matter of porting the source material accurately in that case. Having to counter a bunch of stuff with limited resources is the only thing that keeps spellcasting classes in check. And if enemies did not ignore the good abilities, they would be completely trivialized by them. So as frustrating as it may be to see 'Immune' on your Finger of Death vs a normally [Death] susceptible type of enemy, it would tick people off more if they went down in 3 seconds to it. How many do you suppose would quit over 'DDO getting even easier'? I stand by my original statement that immunities are 'clunky but necessary'. It is unique to DDO--as I mentioned earlier, in PnP the more intelligent enemies will have some foreknowledge of the players, just as the players do of their enemies, and will plan accordingly, or they will react to immediate inputs, such as spells not working. We don't have this in DDO, we can't really.




This is true. To an extent. But you still have to think about it somewhat, which is better than the alternative of Wizards being superior to Sorcerers, no contest. There is a middle ground where in some situations sorcerers are better because they can keep on slingin' spells for longer (and can do so more swiftly), and others where the wizard is the stronger character because he has just the right spells for the occasion. We've lost this in DDO, largely due to immunities invalidating so many spell choices that there just is no need for an expanded list.


Except that the answer is always 'no'. If you need to be able to adapt, then not having the ability to do so means you fall far behind. This is why Wizards are far superior to Sorcerers in PnP, and it is also why non spellcasting classes quickly become non viable. Adaptability directly equates to usability in any diverse situation. I don't agree with things being simplified in that way, but the alternative is that they be simplified in a far more grievous way.
With DDO's focus on DPS and higher monster count, sorcerers have an edge in that they can kill things faster, whether we're talking about an individual target or multiple targets, and may continue doing so for a lot longer than a wizard can. If you're running VoD with a WF tank, you'd probably prefer a sorc with Recon vs. a wizard because the sorc will be able to mana-heal for much longer.


Sounds like a simple if = then statement to me. Try casting it a few times, if nothing seems to happen select a different spell or a different target. I say a few times because sometimes they'll pass the save. Except most casters in the game are dead by the time they've thrown a few spells. Additionally, that time spent throwing the "exploratory" spells, is time that the monster is getting its ass kicked without posing a real threat to the party, which means that all the monster is doing, at best, is drawing aggro away from its comrades and causing the party to expend some resources. If this were happening on occasion, then it could be interesting, but that this happens frequently just makes for stale, easy fights.


I would say that depends on the enemy. No, not unless they ran off to communicate that. Earth Elementals are fine against FoM as long as they stick to their physical attacks. No they aren't. Their slam attack, while not laughable, is far from being a great threat. And if all you're going to do is have them melee, why have them at all? Why not swap them all for something with more interesting attacks?




This is not practical at all. That Fighter is taking -2 to hit (assuming MTS = Mithril Tower Shield), and is using three feats just to boost AC, one of which only helps against one enemy. Most importantly though he is spending over 98% of his total cash to that effect.


All you've succeeded in doing is making a character that cannot do anything and can be completely replaced by one that spent his cash better and is Displaced.
That was precisely my point! Here you have a fighter who has dedicated himself to obtaining a high AC, almost to the exclusion of anything else, and his AC is still just 20 points from that of a wizard who has hardly invested anything. Drop a few points from the fighter, or add some to the wiz, and you can start including monsters that have a chance of both missing the wizard and hitting the fighter more than 5% of the time. That's a pretty reasonable balance. Sure, not all monsters are going to fall within that narrow band of attack bonuses, but some will, and that's a much better place to be, from a design/gameplay/fun perspective than where we are now, with 40+ point gaps.



In order to hit an AC 26 the maximum of 95% of the time, you only need a to hit of 24 or better. Any sort of martial sort passed that mark several levels ago. Unless you're counting 8 Str wizards swinging quarterstaves as part of your example you do not encounter things with that low to hit that care about hitting you with a physical attack.
There are plenty of characters who are threats in melee but who do not have full BAB or the feats to make up for it. Let's take a level 15 rogue: +11 BAB, +8 Dex, +2 flanking, +2 weapon = +23/+18/+13 attack bonus. That character is going to miss the wizard 10% of the time with his first attack, 30% with the second and half the time with his final attack. In this case, the fighter's AC is still a bit too high, but against a fighter of the same level as the rogue, the wizard would get hit more, while still having a chance to avoid the later iterative attacks.



Really? How many enemies even have a high AC? I've seen somewhere that that pit fiend or whatever the uber raid boss is only has an AC of 51 or 52 on Elite. And that's one of the hardest enemies in the game. I highly doubt hitting enemies is a problem, it's hurting them enough that separates the haves from the have nots. That is because of the problems that we ran into the few times when Turbine included monsters with very high AC--the drow knights in Tempest Spine were nigh unhittable by anyone but a fighter w/ Attack Boost. Their high AC invalidated non-full BAB characters. Because of scenarios like this, we've had incredibly easy to hit monsters: having a monster be a little too easy to hit, is more fun for everyone than one that only 1 or 2 members of a party can touch.


Enemies do have very high to hit scores though, which is why you have to try so hard to make AC matter and in most cases you're still better off with Displacement. I'm not sure what 'Glancing Blows' are supposed to accomplish, aside from face slapping those who put in all the effort to try to make AC work for them. I'm fairly certain you've reversed the chicken and the egg somewhat: monsters' attack bonuses have likely gotten inflated to counter our own inflated ACs.

SquelchHU
09-02-2009, 08:44 PM
What kind of D&D do you play? Even with CoDzilla and Wizards reigning supreme from a power perspective, how many groups actually are entirely comprised of casters? The other classes are far from useless; even the much-maligned Fighter can be useful at higher levels. We tend not to do this very often even in DDO where there are quests that obviously favor this sort of party make-up.

All of the optimal ones. All of the ones that don't like babysitting those that can't do their jobs due to design failure.

If they don't care we're back to 'ample slots to FoM others'.

Stop flip flopping.


Again, what kind of games do you play where the monsters don't enact precautions against scrying and teleportation? I can say with certainty that while some enemies may not care, or may not have the means with which they might protect themselves from these things, certainly the more intelligent and/or dangerous ones would, and as levels increase further, the number of unprotected citadels would drop.

Divinations and teleportation are useful, yes, but they are not the end-all be-all of high level play unless you're playing with a very inept DM, or playing out of the poorly written modules Wizards has a tendency to produce.

So everything in there is affected by the 6-8 level higher Mind Blank?


It is unique to DDO--as I mentioned earlier, in PnP the more intelligent enemies will have some foreknowledge of the players, just as the players do of their enemies, and will plan accordingly, or they will react to immediate inputs, such as spells not working. We don't have this in DDO, we can't really.

Except my it is 'long list of buff granted immunities'. Yours is enemy reactions to that.

Get on the same page.


There is a middle ground where in some situations sorcerers are better because they can keep on slingin' spells for longer (and can do so more swiftly), and others where the wizard is the stronger character because he has just the right spells for the occasion. We've lost this in DDO, largely due to immunities invalidating so many spell choices that there just is no need for an expanded list.

Where?


No they aren't. Their slam attack, while not laughable, is far from being a great threat. And if all you're going to do is have them melee, why have them at all? Why not swap them all for something with more interesting attacks?

Because enemies do not cease to exist when you counter their best ability.


That was precisely my point! Here you have a fighter who has dedicated himself to obtaining a high AC, almost to the exclusion of anything else, and his AC is still just 20 points from that of a wizard who has hardly invested anything. Drop a few points from the fighter, or add some to the wiz, and you can start including monsters that have a chance of both missing the wizard and hitting the fighter more than 5% of the time. That's a pretty reasonable balance. Sure, not all monsters are going to fall within that narrow band of attack bonuses, but some will, and that's a much better place to be, from a design/gameplay/fun perspective than where we are now, with 40+ point gaps.

1: 20+ points of difference on a D20 is all the same.
2: If the wizard has lower ac but wants ac he did something wrong.
3: If a 7+ wizard doesn't have more survivability vs physical attacks he should reroll immediately.

Your example is irrelevent.


There are plenty of characters who are threats in melee but who do not have full BAB or the feats to make up for it. Let's take a level 15 rogue: +11 BAB, +8 Dex, +2 flanking, +2 weapon = +23/+18/+13 attack bonus. That character is going to miss the wizard 10% of the time with his first attack, 30% with the second and half the time with his final attack. In this case, the fighter's AC is still a bit too high, but against a fighter of the same level as the rogue, the wizard would get hit more, while still having a chance to avoid the later iterative attacks.

No, the Rogue 15 is attacking touch ac.


I'm fairly certain you've reversed the chicken and the egg somewhat: monsters' attack bonuses have likely gotten inflated to counter our own inflated ACs.

Or they ported the MM.

D&D level 20: ACs below 60 do nothing vs equal level martial threats. 70+ is required for decent protections.

Good luck getting over 50 while still being a threat.

Only differences I see are that you encounter level ~20 stuff in level 12 quests, and that it is possible to hit a decent AC.

Higher level = higher attack mods.

If anything they NERFED enemy to hit.

sephiroth1084
09-03-2009, 01:58 AM
An old red dragon (CR 20) has an attack bonus of +36. A titan has +37. And that's CR 21. Elite Orthons in the Shroud (normal) are reported to have attack bonuses of over +50. Where is the nerfing exactly?

How is a rogue attacking tough AC? Maybe flat-footed is what you meant, which is almost irrelevant (aside from granting SA) vs. a fighter, let's say, because that only represents a -1 to -3 penalty to AC.

Monsters designed around particular abilities, such as earthies and their grab, who can no longer use that ability are much less of a challenge, and may as well not even be there. Earthies don't hit as hard as trolls do, don't have regen, can't knockdown like giants do, can't cast spells...their only advantages at that point are DR and immunity to sneak attacks and such--not overly important when they aren't posing a threat.

There are numerous other defenses against scrying.

Honestly, I think you're just pulling a lot of stuff out of your ass, and/or you only play incredibly short-lived, epic level munchinky games.

SquelchHU
09-03-2009, 08:10 AM
An old red dragon (CR 20) has an attack bonus of +36. A titan has +37. And that's CR 21. Elite Orthons in the Shroud (normal) are reported to have attack bonuses of over +50. Where is the nerfing exactly?

Wrong. An old red dragon has an attack bonus of +36 based solely off of BAB and Strength. Other level 20 dragons range from +36 to +42, so this is the lowest end example.

Dragons also have a full selection of feats, the ability to self buff with their Sorcerer and sometimes Cleric spells depending on the dragon, and the ability to use useful items from their horde. If they are inclined towards melee combat they will manage similar numbers to the Tarrasque. If they are not then they are using things that no amount of AC would make a difference against. Dragons are in many ways like PCs, so I don't know why you are not expecting them to behave similarly.

The nerfing comes in because endgame enemies go higher than level 20, often by far so to hit numbers in the 70s, 80s, or even higher are expected. Yet apparently you can have an AC in the mid 70s and be fine. Clearly they are not as strong as their level would indicate, ergo their to hits have been reduced.


How is a rogue attacking tough AC? Maybe flat-footed is what you meant, which is almost irrelevant (aside from granting SA) vs. a fighter, let's say, because that only represents a -1 to -3 penalty to AC.

No, I meant touch. Flat footed too, and with a +2 bonus besides. (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/magicItems/rings.htm#blinking) It is very easy for anyone not dependent on weapon damage such as a Rogue to deliver touch attacks. (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/equipment/goodsAndServices.htm#acid)

When almost everything effectively has an AC of 8 (ignore non touch AC, ignore Dex, +2 to hit), accuracy is not a problem and discussions of AC are even more silly than they normally are.


Monsters designed around particular abilities, such as earthies and their grab, who can no longer use that ability are much less of a challenge, and may as well not even be there. Earthies don't hit as hard as trolls do, don't have regen, can't knockdown like giants do, can't cast spells...their only advantages at that point are DR and immunity to sneak attacks and such--not overly important when they aren't posing a threat.

At which point the players should be rewarded for their preparation by a fight they made much easier by their own actions and not screwed over by a vindictive DM that makes all the things they planned for cease to exist.


There are numerous other defenses against scrying.

Honestly, I think you're just pulling a lot of stuff out of your ass, and/or you only play incredibly short-lived, epic level munchinky games.

Aside from Mind Blank? Nondetection is only a CL check, which means you can boost the check easily to get past it or just keep trying, and it costs JUST enough to be irritating to maintain. And again you need it on everyone that will ever be in your base, otherwise any would be ambushers have an easy jump off target.

Anticipate Teleportation is the only one you can have at or before Scrying becomes available and that reliably works against it... unless they simply land outside of the small radius emanation, made all the easier by the fact walls block emanations so they could just aim at the next room over.

Both of these require that everyone in there either be a Wizard or have one very close to them at all times. This is not practical.

Given your earlier comments regarding the earth elemental it's quite likely you'd make up some vindictive fix to arbitrarily punish your players for being effective but this doesn't change the fact the rules do not support this.

Unless you go rewriting the rules scrying + teleport allows for quick and easy ambushes, particularly when dealing with site based adventures. The lesson you should be learning from this is that site based adventures are no longer level appropriate and that you should stick to things that can and are easily relocated.

So how about telling me and everyone else here what these rules founded things that defend against Scrying are? You seem so sure of yourself you aren't even willing to back up your claim with examples.

Or you could just keep making baseless personal attacks that include one or more instances of 'That word does not mean what you think it means'. Whatever works for you.

DSC
09-03-2009, 10:32 PM
There is a huge difference between the way PnP spellcasting works and the way DDO spell points work. The primary difference being that you can ignore your lesser spell slots to focus on more useful higher level spells, casting them more often. Aside from Web, how often do you use level 1 and 2 spells on your 16 caster or cleric?

On my wizard I hit myself with Jump, Blur and Nightshield, and that's about it. Most casters don't bother with Nightshield. So, in a typical quest, I spend 25 of my 1700+ SP on lvl 1 and 2 spells, which is a much lower percentage of total spell power than 2 lvl 1 slots and a 1 lvl 2 represent in PnP. As a result, I have a lot more SP for higher level spells. That's just an example.

If we're talking about DDO you're right. Throw down a few buffs and a Web, and everything else level 1-2 spells do higher level spells can do better. Especially since you would likely have to Heighten them anyways.

If we're talking about PnP, not really. Obviously they aren't nearly as useful as your higher level slots but they do have practical applications.

That was exactly his point. Exactly. That in DDO you don't use any other low level spells (and can instead use those points for high level spells), while in PnP you do use your other low level spells, and couldn't use those slots for higher level spells anyway.



If this is a PnP game, and we're assuming optimal play there is no reason for the group to not be all casters


You also know exactly when you will need them in optimal play - directly before Scrying on an important giant and Teleporting to his location to ambush him, which is the most deadly tactic possible bar none. You also know exactly when you will get to rest - directly after completing the adventure, which you can easily do in a single day unless it is an extremely long adventure (something covering two or more character levels).


Once you have teleported into the enemy stronghold, you can go through multiple encounters in rapid succession simply by going room to room. Assuming optimal play, the combat part of the adventure is over in a matter of minutes at most.

Your notion of "optimal play" is not relevant to any D&D game I have ever played or run, though I suppose I can see how it's relevant to this conversation if it results in a DDO-like experience of knowing the entire "module" inside and out before you even start it.

Orratti
09-04-2009, 12:37 AM
Ok I'm not positive I'm exactly understanding this thread but I'm going to take a shot at interpreting what I am reading here.

You WANT the devs to nerf the game? Taking away UA items, poison immunity items, and disease immunity items in order to make quests more challenging. Like the swim quest in the necropolis that everyone already hates by adding the further excitement of drowning to it. Making mummy rot unavoidable so you have to cast remove curse and remove disease every few seconds or minutes. What about the pots? Shall we take those away too? As for freedom of movement I thought we already got that taken away by debuffing in many cases. Making these items into items that simply give you higher saves? I don't think so. If you want to go that route just have a magical force destroy every one of those items in all of stormreach and turn them to dust like the sun hitting Drow weapons in the old days. All of this done to make lower level quests more of a challenge?

At the same you want to make Finger of Death do damage to red named bosses and raid bosses since they cannot be hit with it in its current form and vorpals that they are also immune to do more damage to them to make it EASIER for HIGH lvl characters? How about just making a new spell...call it Finger of Wrath that does damage and you have to choose between the two which you are gonna mem or drop another spell for but keep vorpals worthless. DnD is the basis of the game ie the name Dungeons and Dragons Online. After spending three years to make a superpowerful uber character now complaints that it's too easy? Not too easy for the superpowerful character but too easy for the lower level characters at that. Sick of grinding the same easily defeated quests over and over again everytime you make a new character well who isn't but nerfing isn't the way to fix this nor is taking the rule book and throwing it out the window. It is true that magical items are far too abudent in Ebberron (or at least this version of it) so the big idea to "fix" this is to say, "oops sorry folks we made a mistake letting you have all these goodies so we're just going to take them away or make them worthless"? I hated losing my transmuters. Too powerful you say? All they really do is save you pack space where you don't have to have silver, byshek,adamantine, cold iron etc weapons filling up your spaces. They don't do a single more point of damage that a normal weapon of the same variety with a +1 to +5 range but ok I'll live with that no problem. Fear not though I do have a solution for the grind.

Build a whole new city for Ebberon with all new quests lvl 1-20 and not just some rehash quests using old maps from other quests but something with some creativity. I posted this idea on a thread called "Mod 9 and beyond". Why is it we have to take what is in effect punishment for playing too long in order for the developers to make it more difficult for us to run quests we are already tired of? Do you really think drowning in the necropolis is going to add spice to a map and quest that you already know or constant mummy rot in the wizard king is going to make it shine new in your eyes? How about getting debuffed and poisoned by the pit fiend. Now you have turned what was a grind into a grind and a PITA.

SquelchHU
09-04-2009, 06:58 AM
That was exactly his point. Exactly. That in DDO you don't use any other low level spells (and can instead use those points for high level spells), while in PnP you do use your other low level spells, and couldn't use those slots for higher level spells anyway.

It does not matter you cannot use those points for higher level spells, as you still have a large number of higher level spells, and barring something like taking on three or more times the expected number of encounters per day will finish up with most of those spells remaining.


Your notion of "optimal play" is not relevant to any D&D game I have ever played or run, though I suppose I can see how it's relevant to this conversation if it results in a DDO-like experience of knowing the entire "module" inside and out before you even start it.

Precisely. It was meant to illustrate that optimal PnP play was conceptually no different than optimal DDO play. Either way you know what you will face and will prepare accordingly with buffs which you then utilize as much as possible before they expire, it is the details that vary. You may not play optimally (and apparently your enemies don't either, else they'd be able to easily ambush you and turn the considerable advantages thereof against you) but that does not change what optimal is.

DSC
09-04-2009, 10:55 AM
Why is it we have to take what is in effect punishment for playing too long in order for the developers to make it more difficult for us to run quests we are already tired of? Do you really think drowning in the necropolis is going to add spice to a map and quest that you already know or constant mummy rot in the wizard king is going to make it shine new in your eyes? How about getting debuffed and poisoned by the pit fiend. Now you have turned what was a grind into a grind and a PITA.

Those effects are already in the game, though - it's just that (most) players have immunity to them. What's the point of that? If effects are too obnoxious to be in the game, the solution is not to give players immunity, but to remove the effects and have monsters do something more interesting.

Universal, cheap immunity really adds nothing whatsoever to the game. For example, the fact that all players have Water Breathing whenever they want it just invalidates all underwater challenges. Now, I understand that you might not like underwater challenges themselves, but this is not a good solution.

I'd argue that an "easy grind" isn't really any more fun than a "hard grind". It's the grind that's the problem, not the difficulty.

Orratti
09-04-2009, 11:44 AM
It's the grind that's the problem, not the difficulty.

Exactly