The talk on mechanical power and other things related.
Recently, there's been a bit of a talk regarding mechanical power of characters and such. It seems to be some sort of stigma to actually do the hard quests that give a lot of rewards and to reach the levels that lie in the mystical lands beyond level 7. (There is a little sarcasm there to spice this post up, it is not intended as ass-hattery)
Yet, we see most if not all recent DM events have been highly dependent on mechanical power to survive them if you wish to fight anywhere near the front lines. The things fought are hard and use high damaging spells and abilities, with high attack bonuses and high damage output. It honestly sees to me like the server is having a bit of an identity crisis and very mixed messages. On one hand it is people being encouraged not to set out and stock up on gold and consumables and mechanical power (levels) and on the other hand there's event after event that encourages it.
I say that the server -should- embrace the mechanical aspect, don't be afraid of it.
Does this post makes sense, i hope i got my meaning across, guess we'll see by the responses that will follow ;)
Sparrow last edited by
On one hand it is people being encouraged not to set out and stock up on gold and consumables and mechanical power (levels) and on the other hand there's event after event that encourages it.
The issue isn't that people are going out and doing scripted quests, it's that they're doing it in a manner that is OOC I think. ie. Partying with people they are normally opposed to, forgoing RP and treating quests like a WoW XP grind, breaking off meaningful RP sessions to run to a sending.. that sort of thing.
Darlene Te'len last edited by
this is a very real issue
the DMs have a hard time creating a balance, and in situations like this, and i have personally seen a few of them, the average person will not survive (you forgot to mention monsters that can see invisible and have ungodly high spots, which some events do have, the events seem geared for stronger players and template characters, which not everyone has, or is ever going to get)
this really should be corrected, make the sever for the average person, do not be worried if a few blow through things with ease, if you do not, people will become discouraged. And those ones eventually start to not play as much, and in time some of them simply leave
i am not advocating some carebear server, but the points made in CBs post are strongly valid. listen to him!!!
Dedagin Andagin last edited by
eh, I don't do power builds. Don't know how :-)
I try hard to make the feats i choose make sense
for the character instead of the best possible feat to take.
Took Dirty fighting as a feat because i figured, as a Sunite,
she'd have had to say "no" forcibly somewhere in her career.
As for the RP and questing thing. Some of the absolute BEST RP I have ever had
the pleasure to be a part of has taken place during quests. And yeah, breaking off meaningfull, or even derpy, rp to answer a sending for a quest is uncool.
As for questing in general? haven't done a single one since I hit my current lvl, mores the pity.
As for the balance of DM events and the power of some of the better built pcs–-
Every story needs a hero.
Zool last edited by
I recently bumped a post that explain the DM teams views on levels.
Unfie last edited by
I'd honestly be surprised if the difficulty of recent DM events wasn't proportioned in consideration of all the high level PCs in the first place. If I were playing a high level PC, I'd rather fight challenging DM spawns than a cluster of roflstompees. At least that way it wouldn't be a breeze for high level PCs, and with a certain balance of roleplay included, low level PCs can still make a difference in certain situations. Not to seem rude, but maybe some people don't realize that they're contributing to this 'issue' a lot more than they thought they were.
I hope people realize i was not complaining about things being tough for higher level PCs. I was pointing out that there are mixed message that say that people should not be hoarding consumables and xp, but every event relies on those things. I am saying embrace the hoarding and mechanical demands.
Matriarch last edited by
Embracing hording and mechanical aptitude?
That sounds to me like grinding quest, ninja looting dungeons, dry looting opponents, that the mechanically savvy will always win at PvP and other things,that RP will be thrown in the gutter, etc.
I'm sure the above is not what you are suggesting. How would you suggest people gather more loot and gear and faces challenges that are more demanding on the mechanics of their character, while avoiding all the negative side effect listed above?
This is what i am saying. We get mixed messages. On one hand that those who quest a lot are "grinders and dry-looters" while the fact is, some truly enjoy questing. On the other hand, when the mass DM events come, it tests mostly the mechanically strong while others who try and stay on the front lines drop like flies.
I've made suggestions to a few DMs before that mass Dm events should focus more on moral choices and creating conflicts between characters instead of uniting everyone against the DM's spawns. Instead they glorify those of US that are very comfortable with the mechanical parts of the server. You're preaching one message while practising another.
Hominid last edited by
As Unfie says, we balance for the characters on quests.
Generally speaking, if we know there is a large level range on a quest, we try to throw diverse monsters at you. So that level four fighter can focus on the imps, while the level 11 barbarian tackles the hoggetfiends.
It's not fun for anyone if we make quests too easy. If you find yourself on a DM quest at a low level where you're not much mechanical use, RP it! No one is saying we want you to go toe to toe with the same monsters as the experienced PCs. No one starts out at level 1 as a badass. People forget this often.
As to the OP, we don't have a problem with mechanical power. If we did not want players to be able to reach level 11, we would make it so you can't get to level 11. If we did not people to not have awesome loot, we would not make awesome loot available. What we don't want to see is people sacrificing story and roleplay in the name of acquiring power. We don't want to see people rapidly questing to high loot and levels, and only then deciding to "RP" and throw their power around. Yes, you might lose a few times if you take risks at low levels. You need to be willing to lose. Losing is part of your characters story, and really it is the struggles and conflicts that stem from victories AND losses that -are- your character's story.
The server should embrace roleplay and story - do not afraid of it.
Ponies last edited by
There is nothing wrong with "grinding" quests. Or being savvy mechanically. All we ask is that if you do quest alot you involve others into it, rp while you quest, and not transition straight from leveling to upper mid levels, to pvp heavy conflict. Other then that, quest away.
I can think of nothing more IC for an adventurer, then to obtain the skills, and tools necessary to survive their adventurers, and further their, or their Gods aims. On CoA, this very often means questing. And thats fine. We put quests in for a reason, so its fine if you do them alot.
Just understand that your characters story should start at lvl 1, when you create him, not when you have obtained the needed loot and levels.
AronFF last edited by
I don't like this. As if you were participating different arguments.
CB says that he'd prefer DM quests less about mechanical power, while the DM team expresses that characters should be roleplayed from level 1.
CB, I think the reason you see DM quests like this might be that DMs see you on those quests. :)
Like today, we grabbed payment from Nada then rushed to the gate to hold it. And we held it for a while. Then you arrived, and Hoggetfiends did too.
I don't see this as a problem. And I died at the gate, yes. :D
Heh, at least Aaron understands my not-so-well worded point ;) Thank you Aaron!
Matriarch last edited by
I gues I am not very good at explaining things either, and I apologizes if I have offended anyone. It is never my intention. The problem is, when it comes to loot, mechanics and high level, I see the abuse that can come with it. But thank god, not everyone abuses these and I've seen many successful PCs doing quite well and not being bashed down because they got loot, power and good mechanics. That's because those PCs were RPed from the start.
There is always two side to a coin and I've seen so much of the bad side that I tend to forget the good one. My apologies.
The two side of questing:
- grinding the quest with no RP whatsoever, just killing all the monsters and looting every corner of the place.
- Going through the quest RPing, using the quest's story to create fun, making fun out of finding that loot and killing them monsters not just for yourself but the others with you, using strategy to include everyone in the fun.
The two side of high lvls
- powergaming until you reach a comfortable level then start throwing your weight around being sure to win that pvp
- Getting involved from level one, growing with your failures and your winnings to become a figure of power that involves many and creates all manner of fun and conflict for all to join in
The two sides of great mechanics
- choosing stats and feats that generates an exceptional build but is not RPed whatsoever and used to crush the competition
- making a strong build with the right mechanics and rping the strength and flaws that comes with it, using the skills/feat/knowledge of the mechanics ICly to help others grow as well
I do not mind if you become high level. I do not mind if you got tons of loot. I do not mind if you are good with mechanics. What I mind is what you -do- with it all. I guess I've seen too many people abuse all these, taking advantage of it all, and I got disillusioned. I don't want the server to turn carebear, no, I just want people to be responsible with all this. I just want this to work.
We try to balance events but it is not easy. Feedback is always welcome. Sometimes we also offers options other than fighting, perhaps we need to make those more obvious? Do not be afraid to give some constructive feedback about events so we can adapt the next ones.
Anyway. Sorry if I do not understand fully your point, CB, I guess I'm not good at this. I guess I'll just stay out of it and let the more active people handle it.
Mortui last edited by
I've never seen the point in mechanically gimping yourself for "RP purposes", it makes no sense and seems to be the social norm because people don't want to be labelled as powergamers.
However, onto the topic at hand I'm in agreement with CB, it's frowned upon to quest with the sole purpose of gaining supplies yet every combat event I have been in so far really requires a huge amount of supplies and mechanical power to survive.
Cheshire last edited by
Maybe, just maybe the dm's balance the events so that they're challenging despite your supplies? And your getting more supplies in the hopes that it isn't as challenging makes them beef up the difficulty so that it still is?
And if instead you had little supplies they'd lower the difficulty (it'd still be challenging, but not as much) Long story short no matter how much you beef up, the dm's will try to make the event challenging because when making an event that's kindof the goal most of the time?
Though I get what everyone else is saying this just seems like "escalation" to me, the players have a gun, the dm's bring out sub machineguns to make it interesting, the players get submachineguns to make the next fight easier, so the dm's have to bring out full automatic rifles to keep it fresh. As long as the playerbase sticks to the mentality that they need a bigger gun to make the events easy, the enemies guns will get bigger to keep it interesting.
ShortMagicBlonde last edited by
As long as the playerbase sticks to the mentality that they need a bigger gun to make the events easy, the enemies guns will get bigger to keep it interesting.
Unforunately, the very nature of the game is set up in such a way that this really /is/ the only way to play. Scripted quests give not a damn for how well you can put together words representing your character's actions any more than they care about your awesome back story and inspiring speech. I'd say the same is true about most pvp that I've seen on CoA, the die roll is a fickle mistress and the only counter to it is getting more +1's than the other guy (or monster).
I hate to say it, but I've been railing against this for years– NWN and D&D are meant to be combat oriented. Big events are -NOT- the place to open up options, because people in a horde are stupid and they'll keep clicking until everything not blue is dead. >_> We all know it's true. So the alternative is small, contained events that're allowed multiple options to completion (notice, I didn't say 'success') and having them mean something. Player agency is a powerful tool too seldom utilized to its fullest potential, but it's on us to respect the DM enough to be open to that kind of playstyle too. Something I don't recall seeing too much of in our player base. Talking your way out of shit is too COA SIMS for some people, I guess.
There really isn't a universal answer to it. We have too wide a player base attention/interest span to tailor anything except for groups of people we play with consistently. It's just the nature of multiplayer games and, for better or worse, it makes things interesting!
Generally speaking DMs have no desire to punish people who are mechanically adept or enjoy questing. The focus is mainly on allowing people who aren't mechanically adept but are otherwise good roleplayers to have an opportunity to participate in DM events as well.
That said, my own two cents regarding the "embrace mechanical aptitude" statement is that is that there has been at times an alarming tendency for players who are more mechanically adept to use their mechanical power as a crutch rather than a tool when it comes to resolving conflicts. The old adage "power corrupts" seems relevant here. Granted, not every player who is mechanically adept displays this kind of behavior. I'd go so far as to suggest that most who are mechanically adept do not. However, they still have the option of doing so if they are so inclined. Hence it's not so much a stigma toward those who are mechanically adept as it is wariness.
One might argue that this is unfair to those who are mechanically adept; that if players want their PCs to be active participants rather than passive bystanders in DM events then the simplest solution is to simply get better at playing the game. There is some validity to that line of thought insofar as playing on this server is orders of magnitude less frustrating when an errant cough from a sick ancient dire rat won't kill your PC.
However, I find it much more unfair to tell people that they will never have a PC who will have his moment of glory in battle, or that they will never have a PC who will be remembered for his heroics, simply because they aren't as good as crunching numbers as others. Personally speaking, and I don't speak for the DM team, the main reason to play a PC on CoA is to tell a story, and as a DM, I will do whatever is necessary to help a player in this endeavor. Sometimes this means fudging the dice, because I don't care how mechanically adept you are. If your PC acts like a hero, and has all the right ingredients to be a hero save for your own deficiency when it comes to mechanics, then he deserves to be a hero. I am okay with letting that happen.
Consequently I've always enjoyed letting players feel like heroes when it came to the combat (imagine if the Fellowship of the Ring lost every fight because they didn't have enough potions to last the whole trek), while making the real impact of the battle itself come from the way they approach it (e.g. PCs should not be punished for losing 3 levels to respawning from a scripted quest last night despite making sound strategic decisions, assuming that the numbers on a PC's character sheet is not necessarily the end-all-be-all indicator of their overall competence).
In other words, it is absolutely possible for DMs to do more to encourage players to focus more on roleplay and less on mechanics, but it is also, to a certain extent, the players' responsibility to inspire a desire to do so from the DMs.
If this post offends anyone, although I'm not sure why it would, I apologize. That is not its purpose.
AronFF last edited by
Matriarch, I suspect you are in full agreement with CB in most of these.
I mean, I have no idea how he kills all those monsters while I stand next to him and being useless (with my level 4 char), but he portrays an interesting character the same time. I think these points are often not raised in this complexity, rather, the context often suggest that we shouldn't bother chasing these tempting things, fearing to fall to the dark sides you mentioned.
CB, I try my best. Reading these forums I keep in mind that we come of very different cultures and backgrounds, and thus we often say very different things and think differently. Sometimes I even read comments twice. Shorter ones. :D
(Mind you, we don't write a pointless additional a in Aaron! ; ) )
Zool last edited by
I've, over the last month of my time in game, which has been limited, mostly, allowed an option for alternative resolution to all the encounters I created.
There is normally a clue to when these are possible. When the NPCs you meet are blue when you meet them, this means you can speak to them. This means it may well be possible to do something other than throw a +75 dagger at their head while casting RUIN at their buddies
This may not suit your character, so throwing that dagger will be an option (Or smashing the bars between you, or whatever situation I have created to try and discourage just jabbing pointy things at the stuff that moves), but it may not be the best one, especially before gathering any information.
I'll make a reference to an event in which the OP was involved here - There are creatures who are quite adept with illusions, or even have 'natural' or supernatural abilities to take on other forms. And, we currently have a metaplot runnning which involves many of this kind of being. This is something to be aware of.
Several people have suggested that DMs will balance events to the characters involved. While this may be true sometimes, and possibly all the time for some DMs, I can tell you outright that 70% of the time, I don't look at the characters levels when I am creating monsters. I look at the situation, and balance the monsters to the setting/region/situation.
I am not going to make a raging hoarde of barbarians who have just raided a nearby town, all be level 3, simply because the adventurers in their path are level 3. No, they just raided a town, depending on their numbers, how big the town was, then there would at the least be a level 9 leader in there, and probably some kind of level 7 shamen type, the general soldiers might be level 5-6 or so.
Equally, if a Glabrezu just escaped from a planar rift, and some adventurers come upon him, it will still be a Glabrezu, and the adventurers might want to flee once they realise this creatures power. Then again, there may be other options as well, and the creature will most probably start out 'blue'