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  1. #1
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    Default Opportunity cost vs power creep - making things actually have trade-offs

    So I'm working on my 3rd Drow/Wizard life of maybe a half dozen. I'm running the combo to get Drow past lives and Wizard lives and some easy Epic Arcane lives. I'm running EK/PM/HA and basically wreaking havoc on R1, HE, EE, and LE depending on the quest.

    As I'm doing this I realize that one of the reasons this is such an easy call to make for leveling is that my undead status doesn't cost me anything in the game. I can run around like a Lich in Stormreach and nobody cares. the vendors all deal with me. The trainers all train me. The freaking Silver Flame will offer me quests without batting an eye. The Coin Lords are happy to reward me for helping Stormreach despite the fact that I am an undead mage who would no doubt eat their hearts if I had the opportunity.

    Now, there's a bit of a red herring here because clearly I could choose to revert from being a Lich and be very living Drow instead if I chose too. One of the funny things about being a Lich in DDO is that you don't have to sell your soul to do it. It's like you're prancing around in a Lich costume instead of being the real thing.

    However, that's kind of beside the point since there is no reason to ever revert if you do not want to. There's no penalty for being an undead Lich in the game.

    That got me to thinking about whether I would choose to be a Lich and gain immense power in the process - which I do - if there was a real opportunity cost involved in doing that.

    Would it be worthwhile to give up shopping privileges at most in-game vendors to gain the never-ending regeneration that being a Lich produces?

    What about quest givers? Would I give up permanent Deathward against negative levels if many of the factions in the game would not give me quests nor reward me upon completion?

    How about being hunted by city guards and Paladins looking to rid the city of undead influence? Would that be enough to make me give up permanent waterbreathing and fear immunity?

    Being a Lich is a very powerful thing. The opportunity cost right now for that power is negligible. A few levels of Wizard and a few enhancement points in Palemaster. This is why I am an EK/PM instead of just an EK. This is why a Wizard with a greatsword blows away any straight melee with a greatsword. It's basically free power.

    Ok, so having said that what would be an equitable way to make an EK/Lich with a greatsword not just a clearly better melee than actual melee?

    To start with make the change permanent, not a toggle. For this life once you have chosen to be a Lich you are a Lich. This makes all the other trade-offs to come actual trade-offs instead of just paying a few plat to switch up the tree and become a living Drow again.

    Now put in some quality of life penalties for being, you know, a major domo undead type. Turn off most vendors and make most city guards and all Paladin and Favored Soul NPC's Kill on Sight types - and make them really tough when this happens. Maybe have the city guard call down a squad to try to take you out when they see you. Have Paladin and Favored Soul NPC's be boss-level NPC's that drop nothing but Liches.

    Add in a few areas across the world where NPC's are not KoS and vendors will trade with them. I don't object to either the Portable Hole or Amrath being in that category. For low levels Three Barrel Cove might be ok, there are shifty undead types hanging around that port already. The point is to make being undead as unattractive outside of dungeons as it is attractive inside. Add in an opportunity cost and more people would be just EK's - still powerful but nowhere near an EK/Lich.

    Make the undead inherently unfavorable in the game. Lots of power, not lots of reknown and definitely not a walk in the park wherever you go.

    There are other classes/forms/etc that could be managed in this way also. Lycanthropes (wolf and bear form) are certainly unnatural and nothing that the average D&D citizen would approve of. Aasimar and Tiefling are both outside the realm that civilized D&D society comfortably comports with. Warlocks, oh my, Warlocks are not for decent self-respecting citizens to be dealing with. You can argue that Favored Souls are just a bit too holy for the average person to relate too.

    The restrictions on these would all be different but all would represent giving something up for great power.

    Just food for thought.

    I spent a bit of time running around on P99 (EQ emulator with original ruleset) recently and I was pleasantly surprised by what the trade-offs in play were. Power had real costs and that made lower power set classes more interesting as an option.
    Last edited by KoobTheProud; 01-06-2021 at 07:54 PM.

  2. #2
    Community Member Soulfurnace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KoobTheProud View Post
    It's like you're prancing around in a Lich costume instead of being the real thing.
    Well.. that's correct, actually. You aren't a true lich, it's just a magic costume.



    Quote Originally Posted by KoobTheProud View Post
    Being a Lich is a very powerful thing. The opportunity cost right now for that power is negligible. A few levels of Wizard and a few enhancement points in Palemaster. This is why I am an EK/PM instead of just an EK. This is why a Wizard with a greatsword blows away any straight melee with a greatsword. It's basically free power.
    (You aren't a lich, you don't get most of their immense power. You're a shadow of a true Lich lich, you're just a guy with a bad wig)
    Moving on from the fact you don't understand you aren't a lich...

    EK with pm does not beat most melees lol. Your dps is so far below a true melee that you're unable to see it, and in harder content the fact you're not undead is nice - you get healed properly.

    Quote Originally Posted by KoobTheProud View Post
    Ok, so having said that what would be an equitable way to make an EK/Lich with a greatsword not just a clearly better melee than actual melee?
    Give it drastically worse dps and reduced healing compared to a true melee .

    Wait, ****, that's our current system.

  3. #3
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    I think they'd treat you worse if they knew you were a drow.
    My main Orien Bozos - Mozenrath, Messam, Yashamaru, Quackerjack

    Hardcore bozos - Koganei, Hoid

  4. #4
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    This is one of the worst suggestions I've ever seen, for numerous reasons.

    Firstly locking off massive parts of the game will just make people not ever play PM, cutting out huge amounts of content permanently for a build choice is bad, good choices are things that ADD content based on your choices, things like special dialogue options based on skills, class, or even items.

    Secondly it will be a massive performance/lag cost to add full combat in public zones (city guards attacking you on sight), many abilities don't work in public areas to reduce lag.

    Thirdly Pale masters are not liches, I don't know why this is so hard for people to get, it is literally a "magic costume" where you get some of the benefits of an undead and some of the drawbacks but never truly becoming undead, DDO PM is somewhat different from PnP PM but they both do not make you true undead.

    Forth, you don't seem to understand just how cosmopolitan Eberron as a campaign setting is, other very specific hatreds like than the silver flame hating werewolves and elves/dragons hating half-dragons "monstrous" races that are relegated to purely dungeon fodder in other settings can be fully fledged members of society; drow, minotaurs, kobolds, hobgoblins, trolls, and orcs are all capable of being full citizens in stormreach. Many quest givers are from monster races. The most extreme examples are the ACTUAL lich in the portable hole tavern (see quest: Tavern brawl), the literal DRAGON who lands in the marketplace form time to time and knocks me over every time I try and port to gianthold, and of course our favorite abberation the mindflayer Fred who in a setting like the forgotten realms would be killed on sight as a monster more hated than even then undead.

    The amount of Tiefling NPCs in Sharn should be example enough of why they're fine, even in the realms they're not shunned in any larger settlements.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by KoobTheProud View Post
    This is why a Wizard with a greatsword blows away any straight melee with a greatsword.
    I understand your point. Removing the ranged/melee/odd multiclasses, there are approximately 10 potential cleric/FvS healers 15-30, removing 4 of these as melee leaves 6 healers per 160 players, or one healer per 5.3 groups of 5. This means 82% of the time one is playing without a player healer, and hirelings are terrible, so the self-healing of a wizard can be very powerful.



    A wizard with a great sword does indeed have inferior dps to almost every single other melee build other than cleric/fvs/arti, but it has that dps in any party it can self-heal in.
    Last edited by Tilomere; 01-08-2021 at 01:36 AM.

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