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  #26  
Unread 25th of August, 2010, 06:16
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“ Originally Posted by treehouse # But I am specifically arguing that 3E fighters aren't simplistic, ”
We're not arguing "are and aren't" here, tree. It's irrelevant to the issue. We're arguing "can and can't". Which is also objective.

4e stands out as the edition where you couldn't play a "I hit it with my sword" fighter.
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  #27  
Unread 25th of August, 2010, 06:21
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“ Originally Posted by treehouse # A 180? I've never taken a side on the edition wars. This is pretty much par for the course for me. But I am specifically arguing that 3E fighters aren't simplistic, which relates to the topic here because we're drawing negative comparisons to 3E fighters with the Essentials variants. ”
I didn't mean YOU were 180 out from previous opinions, but that morons who want simple fighters in 4th Edition are 180 out from everyone else.

“ Again, you're arguing about something that is completely objective. Saying that it's 'retarded' or 'stupid' to like a game with less options only convinces me that you like the other edition better. Which we already know ”
That wasn't directed at you. I merely quoted your statement to use as a discussion point. I think people who want "simple" fighters in 4E are precisely the kind of inexperienced numbskulls that I don't want to play with.

“ More on topic, this Essentials pack might be exactly what I need to draw my IRL table into 4E. Which is probably exactly what WotC is up to. ”
Agreed.
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  #28  
Unread 25th of August, 2010, 06:22
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“ Originally Posted by Mercutio # That wasn't directed at you. I merely quoted your statement to use as a discussion point. I think people who want "simple" fighters in 4E are precisely the kind of inexperienced numbskulls that I don't want to play with. ”
Well then screw you too.
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  #29  
Unread 25th of August, 2010, 06:23
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“ That wasn't directed at you. I merely quoted your statement to use as a discussion point. I think people who want "simple" fighters in 4E are precisely the kind of inexperienced numbskulls that I don't want to play with. ”
Ahh, there is the disconnect.

I happen to be one of those inexperienced numbskulls from time to time, just so you know who you are talking about.
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  #30  
Unread 25th of August, 2010, 06:26
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I think we should avoid lingering on Mercutio's lack of empathy for players who prefer the more classic take on fighters. Arguing opinions is as much fun as banging nails into my penis.
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  #31  
Unread 25th of August, 2010, 07:32
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“ Originally Posted by LeadPal # Well then screw you too. ”


“ Originally Posted by treehouse # Ahh, there is the disconnect.

I happen to be one of those inexperienced numbskulls from time to time, just so you know who you are talking about.
”


“ Originally Posted by BigRedRod # I think we should avoid lingering on Mercutio's lack of empathy for players who prefer the more classic take on fighters. Arguing opinions is as much fun as banging nails into my penis. ”
No offense, but then why play 4E? One of the very publicized, earliest stated goals (indeed, one of the first things I remember being discussed during the runup to 4E) was the idea that changing fighters so they weren't "I swing my sword at it" was a paramount issue needing to be fixed by the new system.

It just seems like a step backward, I guess. If you want to play simple fighters, the mechanic IS present in 4E via melee basic attacks. It's not ideal, but then neither is a simple attack in 3E really ideal either.

Again, I just think it's dumb to want to play a 3.5 edition fighter in 4th edition.

For that matter, the fighter was made far better in PF than 3.5's fighter, so it seems like that would be the best solution for those people. But I suppose Wizards can't really say that to their customers, huh?

Just a last note, I used strong language, partly to provoke a response, but mostly because I figured most posters here would feel the same way.
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  #32  
Unread 25th of August, 2010, 09:51
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“ Originally Posted by Mercutio # No offense, but then why play 4E? One of the very publicized, earliest stated goals (indeed, one of the first things I remember being discussed during the runup to 4E) was the idea that changing fighters so they weren't "I swing my sword at it" was a paramount issue needing to be fixed by the new system.

It just seems like a step backward, I guess. If you want to play simple fighters, the mechanic IS present in 4E via melee basic attacks. It's not ideal, but then neither is a simple attack in 3E really ideal either.

Again, I just think it's dumb to want to play a 3.5 edition fighter in 4th edition.
”
I definitely see what you are saying, but at the same time, do you really know exactly what this new fighter kit entails or are you just guessing that it will be '4E fighter with a basic attack and nothing else!' ? I thought someone said something about stances.

Personally, I do like the 4E fighter on paper. I have yet to play one above level 1, which means I've been doing a lot of basic attacks anyway (all of Lorien's at-will powers are somewhat situational; now that I've played him for a while, I think I would use a completely different build if I could start over).

Hell, the 4E fighter was the very first thing I saw of 4E, and it was what I showcased to my IRL table when I was trying to pitch the edition to them.

But I still like the 3E fighter, especially with supplements like Player's Handbook II. And the class is nearly god-like in a gestalt game, which is all I run nowadays anyway.

“ For that matter, the fighter was made far better in PF than 3.5's fighter, so it seems like that would be the best solution for those people. But I suppose Wizards can't really say that to their customers, huh? ”
The PRPG fighter is very powerful, especially with the excellent Combat feats in the core rules.

“ Just a last note, I used strong language, partly to provoke a response, but mostly because I figured most posters here would feel the same way. ”
You're pretty good at arguing your case by making actual points, so I would leave this tactic to inexperienced numbskulls like me
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Last edited by treehouse; 25th of August, 2010 at 09:59.
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  #33  
Unread 25th of August, 2010, 10:14
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“ Originally Posted by treehouse # I definitely see what you are saying, but at the same time, do you really know exactly what this new fighter kit entails or are you just guessing that it will be '4E fighter with a basic attack and nothing else!' ? I thought someone said something about stances. ”
True, but stances are a step backwards too. Not that it isn't a good idea on some level (I thought it was kind of stupid that some of the great advancements from Tome of Battle didn't cross over into 4E), but it is, by definition, a step back.

“ I think I would use a completely different build if I could start over). ”
Ditto. But do you think you'd be happier with Lorien if your options were pretty much the same as they are? From what I understand, the stances will do things like add a bonus to damage or a bonus to AC, but otherwise the fighter would just stand up and slug it out.

“ But I still like the 3E fighter, especially with supplements like Player's Handbook II. And the class is nearly god-like in a gestalt game, which is all I run nowadays anyway. ”
Fair enough. Wasn't a big fan of pure fighters. It was nice for a two-level dip in most builds I created, but I would never have played a straight class fighter for long.

“ You're pretty good at arguing your case by making actual points, so I would leave this tactic to inexperienced numbskulls like me ”
Like I said, I just made the (incorrect, obviously) assumption that you guys would feel the same way.
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  #34  
Unread 25th of August, 2010, 15:11
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Here's what Gabe at Penny Arcade had to say about the Red Box (which includes the basics of Essentials classes).

“ I received an early copy of the new Dungeons and Dragons Red Box last week and quickly wrangled a group of friends for a trial run. The game consisted of my wife Kara who has only played 4e a handful of times. My friend Alex who has played in my Monday night game for nearly two years now (Holy shit has it really been that long!). The dashing Kris Straub of Chainsaw Suit fame with his months of 4e experience and his lady friend Marlo who had never played a game of D&D in her life. I want to mention my players because I think that your level of familiarity with the game will shape your opinion of Essentials.


The first thing I noticed about Essentials was its character creation process. I have honestly never filled in a character sheet with a pencil. Since I discovered D&D with 4e I have always had the benefit of the online character creator. I have to say there was something cool about filling in numbers and erasing mistakes. The Essentials Player’s Handbook does an incredible job of walking you through this process via a solo adventure.


It’s structured like an old choose your own adventure with questions at the end of each section. When your wagon is attacked by goblins in the beginning the story asks you if your first reaction is to draw a weapon, cast a spell, heal the driver or sneak around behind the attackers. From there you jump to the appropriate section and continue with the adventure. What kind of spell do you cast? do you offer to help or ask for a reward? By the end of the adventure you have completely filled out your character sheet with your class, defences, skills, languages, gear and powers. I honestly found this part to be really smart and a lot of fun.


Once we had characters it was time to play and honestly I don’t think there is much difference between 4e and Essentials. I’d say the biggest change is an overall simplification of the character classes. In my regular game the players are level 20 now and each of them has pages of power cards, items and feats. Even the fighter has a hundred different ways to hit someone with a sword. For the most part Essentials gets rid of a lot of this stuff. Sure the wizard had half a dozen powers but the fighter just hit things with his sword all night.


I guess the idea is to help get new players into the game without confusing them with a binder full of powers as well as get older players to come back. From what I’ve been told this is a return to the roots of D&D where fighters hit stuff and wizards were the ones with all the cool spells. Essentials attempts to solve two problems that I don’t actually have, so it’s hard for me to really comment on it. It does a great job of doing something I’m not interested in doing.


My players all come from video games and almost all of them have played World of Warcraft for years. My wife felt very comfortable stepping into 4e because it felt like building a character in WOW. Even if she is a warrior she expects to see a ton of different powers down there in her action bar. The idea of only being able to do basic attacks from a couple different stances just doesn’t cut it for most of the players I know. They certainly had fun with Essentials but I don’t think any of them would build an essentials character to play in a regular game vs. a 4e character.


As a DM there was really no difference in adjudicating the Essentials game. I can see how someone could play an Essentials character at a table of 4e players with no difficulty. The Red Box is a great product and it really does give you everything you need to play Dungeons and Dragons. They have succeeded in stripping away everything that is not “essential” to playing D&D. The end result just happens to be something I’m not interested in.


I never played the older versions and so I don’t long for some return to the “good old days”. I don’t have a group of friends torn apart by edition wars. Essentials isn’t a new edition or even a dramatic departure from the current game. It’s really just a slightly different way to play 4e. I think it’s worth picking up and showing to your players. I say get it and run it as a one off some night. Who knows, maybe one of them will fall in love with it and want to play an Essentials character in your regular game. There is certainly no harm in exploring different ways to play D&D and in the end that’s all Essentials is doing.


-Gabe out
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  #35  
Unread 25th of August, 2010, 15:25
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“ Originally Posted by Mercutio #
Fair enough. Wasn't a big fan of pure fighters. It was nice for a two-level dip in most builds I created, but I would never have played a straight class fighter for long.

Like I said, I just made the (incorrect, obviously) assumption that you guys would feel the same way.
”
2 levels is a nice fighter.

However, to be fair, a lot of my characters are extremely complicated variations on "hit things with a sword to get gigantic damage numbers."
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  #36  
Unread 25th of August, 2010, 16:46
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“ Originally Posted by Mercutio # No offense, but then why play 4E? One of the very publicized, earliest stated goals (indeed, one of the first things I remember being discussed during the runup to 4E) was the idea that changing fighters so they weren't "I swing my sword at it" was a paramount issue needing to be fixed by the new system.

It just seems like a step backward, I guess. If you want to play simple fighters, the mechanic IS present in 4E via melee basic attacks. It's not ideal, but then neither is a simple attack in 3E really ideal either.

Again, I just think it's dumb to want to play a 3.5 edition fighter in 4th edition.
.
”
We get that you think it's dumb. You do not speak for everybody. There seems to a market for this. Having you direct insults at anybody who doesn't share your opinion is not productive.

And the classic fighter is not a viable choice in 4e, that is not the purposes of basic attacks and we both know it. Why should the group of people you're apparently entirely unable to empathise with have to play less effective characters?

Even so, as has been said, we're making a lot of assumptions about what this class will look like. It could be something entirely unexpected.
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  #37  
Unread 25th of August, 2010, 21:50
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“ Originally Posted by BigRedRod # We get that you think it's dumb. You do not speak for everybody. There seems to a market for this. Having you direct insults at anybody who doesn't share your opinion is not productive. ”
You know what, BRR? Unnecessary. Completely unnecessary. I believe I explained that I made the mistaken assumption that people here would share the opinion.

“ And the classic fighter is not a viable choice in 4e, ”
And I'll say it again, since no one seems to listen--that was a major design point. In every design document that was released by Wizards of the Coast, that specifically (I hit it with my sword) was pointed out as a major flaw in 3rd Edition, not just by the design staff but by thousands of players they talked to. You can continue to ignore that this was a foundational issue for the building of 4E, or you can accept the fact that "I hit it with my sword" is a step backwards, literally, in game design for D&D.

“ Why should the group of people you're apparently entirely unable to empathise with have to play less effective characters? ”
As Gabe made perfectly clear above in his playtest report, the "I hit it with my sword" build of the fighter, already is a less effective character. So, whether they play with melee basic attacks or "stances" their fighter already is gimped, when compared to the wizard. Which is exactly the opposite of what 4E was founded on, which is balance between the classes, and everyone having something interesting to do each round. Again, this isn't just my opinion--this is literally the design philosophy of the entire edition. Breaking that philosophy, to go backwards, breaks the system. Rather than call this 4.5 edition, based on the different figher and rogue (apparently the only two classes that will ever be different from the rest, mind you), they should call it 3.9, because it is, in every way, a reversal.

“ Even so, as has been said, we're making a lot of assumptions about what this class will look like. It could be something entirely unexpected. ”
Did you read the bit I posted from Penny Arcade? Seems to be that the class is exactly as I described. Maybe I'll pick just up a red box this weekend and confirm it myself.
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  #38  
Unread 25th of August, 2010, 22:51
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“ As Gabe made perfectly clear above in his playtest report, the "I hit it with my sword" build of the fighter, already is a less effective character. So, whether they play with melee basic attacks or "stances" their fighter already is gimped, when compared to the wizard. ”
I don't really see him saying that, at least not in the text you quoted above. He says the fighter has less powers than the wizard, but he doesn't say anything about overall effectiveness.
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  #39  
Unread 25th of August, 2010, 23:16
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I guess. Maybe it's the tone of the piece then that makes me feel that way, particularly this bit.

“ the wizard had half a dozen powers but the fighter just hit things with his sword all night ”
(emphasis mine) Maybe it was effective, maybe it wasn't. I read that "just hit things" to be a negative assessment of the class, especially when compared to the wizard who had half a dozen different things he could do.


As a last bit on this, since I feel like we've hit the bottom of this conversation, the below quote from Gabe sums up my feelings.
“ Essentials attempts to solve two problems that I don’t actually have.... It does a great job of doing something I’m not interested in doing. ”

Last edited by Mercutio; 25th of August, 2010 at 23:19.
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  #40  
Unread 25th of August, 2010, 23:20
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It does seem to be a negative assessment, but I read it more that he views it as a negative in terms of play style - not necessarily a negative in terms of effectiveness. He wants more options than just that, all his players want more options than that, and all they've ever known is having more options than that.
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  #41  
Unread 25th of August, 2010, 23:28
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“ Originally Posted by Gralhruk # It does seem to be a negative assessment, but I read it more that he views it as a negative in terms of play style - not necessarily a negative in terms of effectiveness. He wants more options than just that, all his players want more options than that, and all they've ever known is having more options than that. ”
I can certainly see how Wizards will insist that this isn't 4.5.

And I've come up with a better term for it, since it is clearly a step backwards. It's not a "new" edition. It's a "lateral" edition. The best comparison is, of course, Basic D&D (the Tom Moldvay creation) as compared to Advanced D&D.

That makes Player Essentials sets extraordinarily less desirable in my mind.
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  #42  
Unread 25th of August, 2010, 23:33
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I don't know, it doesn't really seem much different than the way they introduced new classes in any other book.
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  #43  
Unread 25th of August, 2010, 23:37
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It's changing a core mechanic of the system, though. It's a step backwards in design, a step I don't agree with. And as everyone says (but continues to argue anyway), no one is coming to your house to steal your old books or forcing you to buy the new ones. And for my money, a backwards design philosophy that abandons core mechanics of the current edition is not something I wish to support.
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  #44  
Unread 25th of August, 2010, 23:48
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“ Originally Posted by Mercutio # You know what, BRR? Unnecessary. Completely unnecessary. I believe I explained that I made the mistaken assumption that people here would share the opinion. ”
Which is an awful, awful way of learning to express yourself. Be tolerant of other people that wish to play differently, don't just wait until you're among a group of equally unempathic individuals and then mock them. That said, this is not the forum for discussing such things.

“ And I'll say it again, since no one seems to listen--that was a major design point. In every design document that was released by Wizards of the Coast, that specifically (I hit it with my sword) was pointed out as a major flaw in 3rd Edition, not just by the design staff but by thousands of players they talked to. You can continue to ignore that this was a foundational issue for the building of 4E, or you can accept the fact that "I hit it with my sword" is a step backwards, literally, in game design for D&D. ”
No, I have listened and I understand perfectly that the 4e fighter was consciously designed. Of course it was. The point you're missing is that in any given group you may have a few individuals who don't enjoy having vast swathes of powers to pick and choose from, so it's nice to cater for all interest levels in the mechanics.


“ Did you read the bit I posted from Penny Arcade? Seems to be that the class is exactly as I described. Maybe I'll pick just up a red box this weekend and confirm it myself. ”
I did read it, but I don't really see it. We'll get a firmer answer when somebody has actually looked at the class, I agree.

“ Originally Posted by Mercutio # I can certainly see how Wizards will insist that this isn't 4.5.

And I've come up with a better term for it, since it is clearly a step backwards. It's not a "new" edition. It's a "lateral" edition. The best comparison is, of course, Basic D&D (the Tom Moldvay creation) as compared to Advanced D&D.

That makes Player Essentials sets extraordinarily less desirable in my mind.
”
Yes, from what I understand it's really not 4.5 as the only rules changes are errata and extra content, nothing has really been "changed". It's a lot like a more developed version of the starter set that was introduced for 3.5e (it had a basic dungeon, pre-generated characters with rules for the first three levels and what have you).
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Unread 25th of August, 2010, 23:57
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“ Originally Posted by BigRedRod # The point you're missing is that in any given group you may have a few individuals who don't enjoy having vast swathes of powers to pick and choose from, so it's nice to cater for all interest levels in the mechanics. ”
I'm not missing the point. The point was deliberately changed, according to the desires of a vast swath of the D&D playing populace, with the advent of the new edition, precisely because that huge population sample wanted more options than "I swing my sword" than the previous edition provided.

Indeed, the change to the fighter, to bring it up on par with the wizard, was heralded as a great change, not just among 4E fanboys, but among those who were diehard anti-4E too. It was the one change that most people who post online actually liked, regardless of their feelings about the edition.
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Unread 25th of August, 2010, 23:59
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Ah, there's a difference here between the balance issue of previous editions and the simplicity of playing certain classes.

Obviously it's far easier to balance classes when they all work from very similar mechanics (as they do in 4e), so the question is whether they've achieved this when the fighter no longer relies on powers. It'd be an impressive feat if so.
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Unread 26th of August, 2010, 00:11
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For those interested in the actual mechanics of the Essential's Figher, WotC released a partial preview of the slayer build and the knight build. The knight build isn't playable (three level 1 class features aren't described in the preview, though one does appear in the slayer build too) but the slayer build is through level 2 (assuming you take one of the existing level 2 utility powers for fighters). Both previews, however, do give you a good feel for the playstyle that these builds are meant to support.

As others have stated, it's not a playstyle that I personally like, but apparently WotC thinks that enough of a market exists for it to make products geared towards the playstyle, at least in the introductory products, worthwhile. Personally I doubt that we'll see many more builds like this in the long term. The idea of a "simple to play" class targets two niche markets: nostalgia and brand spanking new players. The first want it to remind themselves of the "good ol' days." The second isn't necessarily a market that wants this kind of class, but rather a market that has this kind of class wanted for them so that they get to the actual gaming faster (and hopefully get hooked on the game). The broader D&D market has gotten used to the idea that even fighters have a broad array of options and come to expect it. Also, the modularity of the original design space makes it far easier to generate new content for than the Essentials-style fighter.
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  #48  
Unread 26th of August, 2010, 00:11
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On that we are very much in agreement. If the "bare bones" fighter build can hold it's own with the "regular" fighter, then I will be similarly impressed. I still won't play it because I hate the "I swing my sword" playstyle (and, truth be told, I'd probably disallow it from any games I run), but I'm very interested to see the balancing.
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  #49  
Unread 26th of August, 2010, 00:20
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Ghost of ORP Past [Epic Admin]

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“ Originally Posted by BP For those interested in the actual mechanics of the Essential's Figher, WotC released a partial preview of the slayer build and the knight build. ”
Call me crazy, but those look like 4e fighters who have had their powers chosen for them (and who simply don't have any others to choose from).
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Unread 26th of August, 2010, 00:22
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Mercutio
Grave Digger [Epic GM]

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Can someone explain to me how this is "simpler" than the one that follows? Never mind the fact that it's actually a weaker encounter power than any of the core ones in the PHB.

Power Strike

Fighter Attack

By pushing yourself beyond your normal limits, you unleash your full wrath against a foe.
Encounter Martial, Weapon
Free Action Personal
Trigger: You hit an enemy with a melee basic attack using a weapon.
Target: The enemy you hit
Effect: The target takes 1[W] extra damage from the triggering attack.




Steel Serpent Strike
Fighter Attack 1

You stab viciously at your foe’s knee or foot to slow him down. No
matter how tough he is, he’s going to favor that leg for a time.

Encounter ✦ Martial, Weapon
Standard Action Melee weapon
Target:
One creature
Attack: Strength vs. AC
Hit: 2[W] + Strength modifier damage, and the target is
slowed and cannot shift until end of your next turn.



EDIT - I mean, the format is identical, the words themselves are the same, and the design is the same. (So I guess much gnashing of my teeth over not much, eh?). All told, it's just weaker and relies on melee basic attacks with triggering powers rather than an active power.

Last edited by Mercutio; 26th of August, 2010 at 00:25.
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