Mar 30, 2014

That was Random

Usually when we say that something is random, we do so with a negative connotation. Something random is often something unfair, illogical, and difficult to work with. Randomness is fundamentally about loss of control over the outcome of an event and difficulty in predicting what is going to happen. You wouldn't decide to marry or not at the flip of a coin or leave your choice of career to the roll of a die, that would be silly. Generally speaking, we don't like randomness in our lives, because we like being able to predict things.

This carries over to fiction: Think of your favorite show and describe to yourself what makes it good. You will probably think about a combination of likable characters, well-thought out plot, fancy special effects or animation, and a plethora of other positive qualities. None of those things are random. Even comedy that tries to sell itself as 'random' has gags and jokes written deliberately to seem like they're random, while something that is truly random does not make any sense.

If you're watching a movie and, just when things are getting good, the main character gets run over by a car and the movie abruptly ends... You will probably be a little bit upset. We could make the argument that the movie is realistic, but that does not make it good. Odds are that if you were to deliberately write a piece of fiction that does not seem to make sense and has an ending that no one could have seen coming then it is bound to draw negative attention.

 This summarizes the last two episodes of Evangelion perfectly.

How come then that Roleplaying Games always have such an intrinsic element of randomness to them? And specifically why would a game centered around the notion of simulating Mecha Anime & Manga leave whether a character lives or dies at the whims of the dice gods? 

Randomness can lead to a lot of moments that are simply unfun. Randomness means that you will sometimes fail to do anything meaningful because you keep rolling ones, and you cannot do anything to change your luck! When the same bad thing happens to you time and time again in a game, for no real fault of your own, that's annoying.

OH COME ON THIS IS LIKE THE THIRD ONE!

An Unexpected Development

It turns out that we humans do like randomness, just in small and measured doses. The doses are so small and measured that we often simply call it "surprise" instead of randomness. Randomness as surprises, as opposed to randomness as nonsense, are a desirable thing in entertainment, especially in Games.

A plot or character that never pulls any surprising twists is often a boring one. In the same way, you don't want to know exactly what will happen when you sit down to Roleplay. If you already know how things will turn out, then why are you doing them? Everyone has expectations, sure, but when all expectations enter the game you have to find out how they all fit together. A good resolution will carry an element of surprise for everyone in some way. This is part of the reason we use dice: Randomness does not play favorites.

It might seem contradictory after all that has been said about it, but randomness gives everyone equal opportunities. When two PCs are sparring against each other, their owners can come up with all sorts of justifications to argue that their PC should be the victor. Annette's Player argues she should win because she is the better fighter and she has the moral high ground. Barry's player argues he should win because he is better equipped and the savvy underdog always beats the cocky veteran. Dice do not care about any of that, and under their tyrannical rule there is no room for dissent. All you can do is plan around the idea that luck can be with or against you.


Planning. That's the key to it all. Randomness creates unexpected adversities, rewarding you for creating a character who can overcome the challenges that the story presents to the group. When it comes down to it, Roleplaying is all about solving problems. Some you solve by looking for the right skill or weapon in your character sheet, some with the assistance of other PCs or NPCs, and some you solve by thinking outside the box. Randomness means that sometimes your Plan A fails and you need to resort to a Plan B, combining all the above examples.

Because you never know for sure if you'll succeed or fail, it keeps things from being repetitive. It guarantees that the fifth time you do something will continue to be exciting, which is kind of an important quality if you want to be playing the game for a long time. You never know what challenge you'll be facing next, and while that does not qualify under randomness (unless your GM has tables of randomly generated scenarios and adversaries) it certainly qualifies as surprise.


Imagine spending your starting cash preemptively buying these.

Different Strokes (of Luck) for Different Games

So if we can agree that having an element of chance is desirable, the next question is just how much should be left up to chance. It is a considerably more complicated question, because different games have different needs and thus leave completely different amounts of their gameplay up to chance. Why use dice instead of, say, cards? Why ten sided dice instead of six or twenty sided? Just how much of your character's destiny should be in the hands of lady luck? What if the entire process of character creation was left to the whims of the dice? Those are subjects I'll elaborate on next week.

58 comments:

  1. This is some pretty good timing! Speaking of surprises and randomness, I was actually working on a Support power to pitch and a matter to address that popped up that probably needs fixed. First, the bad news:

    -The Experimental Changes to Commander Type accidentally invalidated all Ranged Boosted beams except the Reactor Overdrive and Charge Cannon-alikes, because now the Sniper Rifle can be fired round in round out and provides a +6 Might bonus for 5 EN, at a cost of 20 MP. While a Beam can technically equal the Rifle by spending 15 MP on upping Might two points (at any level below Might 8), this means not having access to any versatility, just a lot of hitmore, which is kind of lame. This has a really simple fix in specifying you MUST spend a turn action Aiming to get the bonus, but it means the Snper Rifle probably needs some other kinda buff as well. Ripple effects are always a bitch like that. What's your suggestion on the buff to combo in with this tweak to the sniper rifle, GM?

    And in honour of the randomness discussion, have a new Support upgrade next post!

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    1. Yup. It's totally the sniper rifle that is broken and not the experimental commander.

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  2. And here it is. Enjoy!

    Predictive Algorithms
    Separate Upgrade (10)
    Effect: You or an ally may treat all rolls you make or that are made against you as if they had rolled a 5 for a Round.
    Description: Combat computers have gotten extremely fast these days, and can predict the moves enemies are going to make several seconds in advance. This makes attacking and avoiding enemy fire much easier. While this requires periodic reboots to prevent the terabytes of data from crashing the processing Gear, it's still an invaluable edge in a pitched firefight.

    It's pretty much a self-contained way to insert the Go Five rules into the standard game without fully switching to them. This axes unpredictability, flattening curves and making both defensive and offensive calculations much easier. It may be a little too strong with a stonewall Gear, but I'd love to see someone put it to the test before applying nerfs. Thoughts on it?

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    1. Kinda bad. I wouldn't pay 10 xp for single round of effect like that.

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    2. Go Five does trigger the clauses for odd numbers, like overheating and hitting allies in duels, so that is not the best inspiration there. Also the reason it works is that ou can, at any time, get an average result (that sometimes is below average) but you do so under your own terms and it does not cost you anything.

      When you are spending your resources (like XP, Energy, Actions or whatever) you want to do better than average, because you can do average on your own! Setting multiple rolls to average could be interesting and twist math to your side but... Who would take it and why? It is not a particularly resonant concept so it needs strong mechanics to make it attractive, and I'd be hard pressed to take this over something more obviously useful to my battle plan like Ensaring Trap or Interference Bomb.

      "What makes an ability a keeper" is also material for a post one of these days. In this case it is not that Predictive Algorithms it is bad and does not deserve to exist, it is more that every existing ability has to contribute something unique to the game as a whole.

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    3. Hmm, that so? Interesting. I assumed it worked like set numbers in GGG, i. e. do not apply advantages or disadvantages, do not trigger roll-based abilities, and so on. If that's not the case, that allows me to be *less* conservative and split the functions into two more interesting abilities. This, I can roll with easily. Let's give it a shot...

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  3. Taking 5 on your attacks is bad because you trigger all the bad extra effects. Opponent chooses maim, overheat, unreliable, etc. Forcing enemy to take 5 is better because the same applies to him. Taking 5 in a system that depends on even/odd numbers to determine additional effects doesn't work that well overall.

    Also because of single roll for hit and damage there is no threshold to meet (outside some specific weapons) where your damage changes drastically so over a few attacks you get close to expected average values even without taking 5.

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  4. It actually doesn't proc any effects to 'Go Five', because you're not actually rolling. No roll, no effects, just a raw number.

    As for the Experimental Commander Type being broken and not the Sniper Rifle, I disagree, because it isn't. It opens up a much bigger breadth of archetypes to have the option to apply combat conditions without having to spend an entire action doing so, and makes energy less of an 'I'm using this on an attack and then defending if I have leftovers' kind of mind-numbing deal. The Sniper Rifle is also not broken, it just obsoletes the single-target Beams because it may as well be a weapon that reads 'Beam (5), Long-Ranged. This weapon gains 5 extra range and two additional advantages when Boosted'. Considering that this is the only 'glitch' with the new Commander Type, I think it's worth it to just patch it out and let the rest rock, rather than stick with the current paradigm where a support is committed to supporting for life, with a limited number of useful turns, and less able to make big plays, and investing in Support Upgrades without paying a 10 MP surcharge is an enormous gimp.

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    1. >Beams because it may as well be a weapon that reads 'Beam (5), Long-Ranged. This weapon gains 5 extra range and two additional advantages when Boosted'.

      Except you can't fire it without boosting so it's not equivalent.

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  5. You get the point, though. It's an energy weapon in disguise, which means it needs some tweaks to distinguish it...or y'know, what if the Powered Rifle was replaced by a sniper rifle that worked more or less like that? It would be pretty neat I think. 'Course you'd need to differentiate the vanilla Sniper, but that's easily doable.

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  6. Given the extra context from the above GM reply, new version of Predictive Algorithms, doing new things. Behold!

    Predictive Algorithms v2
    Separate Upgrade (10)
    Effect: You or an ally may treat all rolls you make or that are made against you as if they had rolled a 5 for a Round. These rolls ignore all extra effects keyed off of rolling (such as abilities that trigger on certain numbers), Advantages and Disadvantages, with the exception of Maims which default to the defender.
    Description: Combat computers have gotten extremely fast these days, and can predict the moves enemies are going to make several seconds in advance. While this requires periodic reboots to prevent the terabytes of data from crashing the processing Gear, it's still an invaluable edge in a pitched firefight.

    Explanation: With the new rules clarifications, this is mostly a defensive upgrade, something Support upgrades don't do much. You can use it to gain some powerful utility and more or less buy someone a round, at the cost of your offensive firepower. Since it does not actually increase Guard but instead just normalizes attack rolls (and Extreme Terrain rolls...which is actually a neat potential offensive application of it if someone else can land the burns since that's one of the rolls you most want to roll high on), it's something that can share space with the Gravity Territory without stealing its niche. It still won't help you much against an enemy with more Might than you have Guard though. Also, it's a bit overwordy, but clarity of concept comes first, polish goes later.

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    1. This ability still has problems.

      The short version is that it it still lacks focus and now it is very unfun to play against.

      The long version is that the concept doesn't quite tell you how to use it, and it is not until you realize that it is pretty powerful defensively that it clicks and becomes awesome. This to me says that it should just plain be a defensive ability. Compare it to Overcharge, which also makes you think about how you can use it, but its applications are both intuitive in terms of rules and narrative.

      But it would also be excessively frustrating to play against. Reducing someone's final result to 5 (plus stat) is not just much stronger than nullifying their Tension bonus, but it is also just plain irritating. I'll be elaborating a little on this issue more tomorrow.

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    2. It was badly worded and you're reading it wrong.
      It should read:
      "Ignore all effect that trigger on rolling even or odd numbers, (both advantageous and disadvantageous)". Defender chooses the maimed area."

      You keep all the modifiers and everything. You just assume you rolled 5.

      Considering that all effects that trigger on certain numbers are all bad (unreliable, overheating). It makes the ability laughably weak as a defensive option as it makes enemies using those weapons stronger instead of weaker by allowing them to ignore those effects that are serious disadvantages for those weapons. The best use for it would be on offense together with a chainblade which would become basically zweihander except with no drawback and useable multiple times.

      It's still bad because it only lasts 1 turn.

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  7. I actually don't mind an ability forcing a change of tactics. Sure, it's too strong at first glance, but look at what goes into it - either a use of a support upgrade at a minimum (meaning it is only usable once every two turns) or five energy to use it every turn (meaning it costs 20 MP plus whatever it costs you to get 5 EN), and either an ally helping you out (in which case two characters are doing nothing but defending. That sounds like a reasonable payoff to me). or picking between protecting others and granting yourself total immunity to direct damage (since you need 10 whopping EN to pull off this trick and also shield others. Not exactly the cheapest thing in the world). It's no more frustrating than infuriating tactics like 'Ensnaring Trap, Fire At Will, GG', or 'Airstrike five times a turn, every turn'. two eminently possible support combos...and certainly much less annoying than GGG Assistant spam, due to the sheer cost of this tactic in actions and MP. Or, y'know, just Advantage stacking to blow up multiple thresholds instantly. That's a thing too (off the top of my head, you can stack two from a Double Blaster, two from Aiming, two from Signature Weapon and blow off a minimum of at least one threshold no matter what the enemy does...and for a long time, you're more likely to straight up oneshot your target, not wound him. Add Synchro Attacks and you can two-shot even the toughest boss with a setup such as this one, from the get-go. How's that for irritating?).

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    1. how do you airstrike five times a turn every turn?

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  8. Continuing since the last post went too long: Incidentally, that upgrade came about as a thought experiment with what is always an interesting ability (probability control), and an interesting theme (predicting enemy moves and outsmarting them without having to straight up query the GM) and was supposed to be one of a pair, but the other half of it was stifled by a more boring option, Assisted Targeting. This was supposed to be the defensive side of the pair. The offensive option would have been 'treat your attack roll as a 10. Treat all rolls made against you as a 10 also'. The problem was that the existence of Assisted Targeting made it degenerate because an automatic 10 with a +4 bonus on top was sort of too good, and trading a better result with one attack roll for being a super focus fire magnet was suicidal for the machines that would want that sort of ability the most, the glass cannons. It probably deserves revisiting at some point, but it's tricky to maintain a reasonable symmetry between the upgrades (and their personal tradeoffs) when one of them weakens one roll in exchange for making many enemy rolls worse, and the other makes one roll better but at the cost of also improving a lot of opponent rolls. It honestly makes me a little mad at Assisted Targeting because it's a really boring, vanilla effect that is catastrophically powerful if properly applied because it's a double whammy of empowering kiting and making it hit harder, and it also eats up all the fun design space that could go to more involved abilities. Alas, that is life.

    PS: Though writing this post gave me the idea for a fix, and a new upgrade based on predicting enemy moves. Let's stat them out, why not?

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  9. And here are two new powers written on a lark. I'm honestly pretty happy with both of them though, and as a bonus this not only completes the 'enemy analysis' pair and thus reinforces its theme (making the uses really intuitive by letting you look at the upgrades side by side), but makes a fun 'soft control' support trifecta.

    Predictive Algorithms, Offensive
    Separate Upgrade (10)
    Effect: You and all allies may treat rolls made against one specific enemy as if you had rolled a 10 for one Round. That enemy may treat the result of all of its rolls made against allies who benefit from the bonus as if he had rolled a 10 for one Round.
    Description: Combat computers have gotten extremely fast these days, and can predict the moves enemies are going to make several seconds in advance. Such battle plans are fragile and tend to produce disastrous results when disrupted by unexpected actions...but they are also utterly devastating when perfectly executed.

    Comments: I would've liked to find a way to make clear that this power would allow you to roll 10s against Extreme Terrain generated by the attackers (and other abilities that call for rolls), but that's a bit fluff-breaking and it works fine this way. It's like a potentially even more devastating Ensnaring Trap, but it's going to make you feel area attacks.

    Rapid Analysis
    Separate Upgrade (10)
    Effect: Roll a d10. Select a number of enemy units equal to the number rolled or less. Their player must share his plans for their next set of actions with you.
    Description: The best way to defeat an enemy is to know him like he knows himself. Fortunately, crack teams of psychologists and analysts can produce extremely accurate results in a surprisingly short amount of time, and savvy pilots can use them to prepare brilliant counterattacks in a matter of minutes.

    Comments: This one's simple, easy and clean, and I just had to write it down RIGHT NOW because inspiration struck and this is a super cool idea. Though superficially similar to the Combat Profiling Boss Trait, it's not really meant to cause a lose-lose situation like that one does, merely allow PCs a chance to cordinate a strategy in advance and thus outwit the opposition. Sometimes it'll be really strong because you have all the right tools for the job. Sometimes, it won't and it'll be a little lame. Same thing goes for the roll, since it can give you meager intel or perfect battle awareness. Really my only worry with it is that it puts the GM (or players) on the spot and forces him to abide by a set of decisions that may not be the ones he would have made, had he had time to think them through. Maybe it should have a clause so that the affected units can break from their predicted actions but give you some kind of benefit in return? No idea what that could be, though. Regardless, the basic idea is solid.

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  10. Predicting Algorithms is better like this but now it is essentially the best party buff in the game. Halving Guard is usually an increase in Damage between 1 and 5. Assuming the average roll is a 5, this is a guaranteed increase in Damage of 5 for everyone plus ignoring the complications that come out of odd rolls.

    Rapid Analysis has the problem that it does not work with dynamic planning. If the situation changes and the owner of the other Unit changes their mind, you essentially just wasted a Turn. Combat Profiling works because it has a clause stating what happens if they don't do as expected. Also affecting more than one Unit with this at a time is probably annoying.

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  11. I'm not so sure it's the best buff in the game, because it doesn't actually make your top end better, it just makes your results more reliable. At a minimum, Ensnaring Trap will 'proc' once for a +1 bonus to your maximum damage, in the worst use case scenario (well, technically the worst use case is against a Guard 0 target, but yyyyyyyeah). In most practical scenarios though, it's going to be a minimum +2 bonus, that applies at least once per Round, and mostly likely a minimum of three times per round. Nobody who takes Ensnaring Trap will be without Fire At Will for long, at which point you're providing what is likely a +2 damage increase to at least one ally, then a bonus to damage for each Extreme Terrain roll. Two characters working together can generate a burst turn that taps Ensnaring Trap thrice for more damage than Offensive Predictive Algorithms, particularly at high PLs, and it gets stronger and stronger the more heavy attackers you have on the team. This isn't taking the counterstrike downside of OPA into account either, which can cause you plenty of trouble as well. Preliminary math models tell me it's inferior for actually dishing out damage, but superior for when you have an effect that absolutely, positively needs to hit and will weaken the target (for example: an energy stealing weapon, something that causes temporary maims...if it's a status effect, the algorithms make it better). That's alright by me.

    As for Rapid Analysis, obviously the current version is meant to FORCE you into following the plan you share with its user. If you could break it, it'd need a clause to give the user a benny. Maybe everything you do works off half tension for a round because you're spending some of your skills compensating for getting read like a book? May be too close to Combat Profiling, though. This is something you've mention you disliked before, but what about increasing a side's Tension because the situation has escalated? That feels a little better and more thematic, making the scramble when plans crumble more rewarding, though it may cause fights to end too quickly. What about granting a free roll-and-keep-better Advantage for each deviation from preexisting plans, which the Analyst can distribute to his party (or similarly, a Disadvantage for the guy breaking from his mold)? Doesn't raise the ceiling for effects, but it does let you adapt to changing situations better.

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  12. Oh yeah, and since I forgot to answer to the question about Airstrikes above: That's a full party working together to nuke targets quickly and painlessly. Is it a little cheaty? Yes. Is it boring? Yes. Can it happen? Good god, it certainly can. I saw GGG assistant spam firsthand, and it was boring as hell. Players stilll did it because in combat, every edge counts. Certain options can be really degenerate when stacked and make big dangerous enemys into absolute chumps, unfortunately.

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  13. I don't want a repeat of the Assistant scenario. It is why I've been saying that the new Commander Type is to be examined carefully before being implemented for good. If it becomes the equivalent of Beams in that it is obligatory at the high end then it is no good and just having buffed Supports will have to do.

    I would not Airstrike spam it is more cheaty than your average optimized build. It is effective, and making Supports effective was the intent all along. Bombardment and other Blasts can still deal more raw Damage without tying up your Energy in the process.

    I'm basically not really considering the drawback half of OPA because a team buff is generally more effective as a death sentence than a Technique, and you generally use Techniques only when you know you'll finish off the target. Ensnaring Trap cannot be stacked, because it uses the Difficult Terrain rules, though it will stack with other effects that halve Guard (or Speed) individually. I am generally paranoid about making burst damage options too good though, so I might be worrying too much.

    Anything that forces PCs or NPCs to do something is bound to not work well in practice, even if it were balanced properly. It essentially wastes enemy turns for very little effort, which makes you feel really clever the first few times until you realize that it is just a cheap trick. Combat Profiling is essentially a choice between the lesser of two evils, it is just flavored as something else entirely.

    Even then, it is a very powerful ability and not the kind of thing I want Support users using against Bosses. Bosses are supposed to be heavyweights that shift the focus of the battle around themselves and make the PCs react to their overpowering abilities. Support users should get to mitigate said abilities, but not to counter them entirely.

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    1. I accidentally a sentence.

      "I would not say that Airstrike spam is more cheaty than..."

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  14. I definitely agree that forcing actions is a pain in the ass, in practice. I think it's solid to make it a choice between feeding the support player information for his team to use, or making it harder to fight them. Something like this should work:


    Rapid Analysis
    Separate Upgrade (10)
    Effect: Roll a d10. Select a number of enemy units equal to the number rolled or less. Their player must share his plans for their next set of actions with you. If he chooses to deviate from his shared plans, he takes a disadvantage to all actions until the end of his next turn.
    Description: The best way to defeat an enemy is to know him like he knows himself. Fortunately, crack teams of psychologists and analysts can produce extremely accurate results in a surprisingly short amount of time, and savvy pilots can use them to prepare brilliant counterattacks in a matter of minutes.

    Voila! A really simple tweak offers the option of improvising, but at a minor cost. This won't be enough to stop a boss, but it will give a bit of an edge when fighting him...and more importantly, it will allow a support player to predict the actions of grunt squad and organize his team to waste them and look awesome.

    ---

    As for the OPA discussion, I think this can be split into two things:

    A) Is OPA better than Ensnaring Trap for burst damage?

    Depends on the number of allies benefitting from it and the enemy's Guard. The higher the Guard and the more actions that are getting thrown around, the better Ensnaring Trap is. I didn't mean to imply it was stackable, BTW - only that it's an incredibly reliable, powerful buff and that it only gets better with more actions that benefit from it, because while it is 'random' and OPA is 'deterministic' (in the sense that one makes you roll and the other just hands out a result), Ensnaring Trap ups your actual maximum damage, and thus has an increasing chance of allowing for one-round-kill combos. As an attacker, you want to have a baseline of efficiency (i. e. 'my attack is always going to do damage'), and then you want as high a top-end damage value as you can get, so that you can spend the minimum number of actions possible killing a target. Due to this, ET is better for the purpose of dealing damage. In this point, I think there's a parity and balance between the buffs.

    B) Is OPA's design going to straitjacket it into a 'finishing move' ability that you only use to finish a target off, like a Technique?

    Probably yes, unfortunately, and that needs fixed. Finding a decent fix for it is tricky though, because any drawback it may have will make you want to use it only in ways that will void the drawback. How do you keep a team buff from being a 'FOCUS THIS GUY' button? You don't, really, the design just has to assume it will be used in whatever way grants maximum action advantage. And besides, I think I'd like it if it stuck to the fluff of 'we know this guy's every move, fire on my mark! Ready...AIM...FIRE RIGHT THERE!'. What drawbacks would you suggest for it? Right now, what I'm thinking of is:

    (Cont., too long)

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  15. (Continued from above)

    A) Spend Energy to set the roll at a certain value. This would make it literally the only support upgrade that requires energy, and force it to be a 1 EN * 2 points of dice results at most (to prevent it from being dumbly blocked by Commander Type and thus having a much lesser stock compared to other, more spammable and infinite options). Not a fan of it, but it would certainly be a tradeoff for the support.

    B) Lower Tension for allies who take the 10 on their next turn, because what tension is there in following mechanical orders and not chucking the dice? This could be a reduction to half Tension, or 0, and create an ebb and flow of attacks and counterattacks because now you've got clipped wings for a round, offensively speaking, so you need to stall out. This is interesting, but may be a bit too punishing and thus unfun for offensive dudes?

    C) Grant the enemy team one 10 against the OPA using side per participant for a round. This has the problem of allowing the opposing force to focus fire right back (bringing back the issue of OPA v1), BUT has the plus side of being pretty fair and square. It could possibly be split around and allow only one 10 to be used per character, instead. This one's also a neat option, but easily the clunkiest to write a statblock for.

    D) Hand out Disadvantages to the units who partake in the bonus after the fact, because now they're adapting to operating on their own again. Workable, but a bit boring and likely toothless unless it's a truly massive number of disads (and then it's just unfun).

    E) Embrace the 'execute' aspect and provide a bonus to the enemy team when the attempt fails (maybe one of the above, or granting one or two advantages teamwide?). Make it a proper setup-response minigame, where each side is trying to burst down a valuable asset or protect it, so that the 'FOCUS THIS GUY' signal becomes relevant not just for your side but the enemy team too.

    What do you think of these ideas? I think OPA could easily be comparable and more or less equivalent to the options currently in the game, it just needs proper tuning so that it has a clear and discernible tradeoff between it and Ensnaring Trap, going beyond numbers (in my mind's eye, OPA's drawback is more conditional than Ensnaring Trap's, comes up more often and is less disappointing than 'I have immunity to difficult terrain so you just wasted a turn or 5 EN, lolitrollu', while its benefit is potentially less powerful, but more reliable in turn). Do any of these possible drawbacks sound like they'd make for fun gameplay?

    EDIT: Also, this gave me ideas for a couple status effect guns. I may crank out a few of them once OPA and Rapid Analysis have achieved a reasonable balance. There's something of a lack of those right now, and it'd be interesting to make some.

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    1. You cannot have immunity to Ensnaring Trap outside of Remote Hotfix. Other than that you make some good points when comparing the two.

      RA is troublesome to play with as long as it affects multiple targets (especially a random number) and seems like it would be better with a single target and having a little more of a bite to going against it.

      The problem with giving OPA a downside is that it has to make sense as a thing that happens when your analysis abilities fail. At the same time, it reads like a finisher setup move when the flavor feels half like a defensive move and half like a setup.

      The solution to me seems a little obvious now that I am writing this out. They ought to be combined once again.

      Predictive Analysis
      Effect: Ask the owner of a Unit what their Action will be during their next Turn. If they will take an Offensive Action they have to say against whom and with what Weapon. If they do not abide by this answer, then for one Round afterwards all Might Tests made against them will automatically obtain a result of 10.

      This is a slightly more focused version of Combat Profiling and plays similarly. It is meh against Grunts, decent against Rivals, and great against Bosses. The risk of this being used to set up opening strike instakill moves is basically zero, but the tactical value of telling your enemies what you will be doing every Turn is almost as bad so it should make for some good mind games.

      The fluff would be that it reads their next move to the point that even if they see what you are doing and break out of it, they'll still walk into a trap.

      Another option for something like this would be to go the way of the "They are too fast I can't even read them in time." trope. To break out of the mold safely they must win a Contested Systems vs Speed Test (yours vs theirs) or they lose a Genre Point. Grunts cannot break the mold and Bosses gain an Advantage to the Test.

      It is a bit wordier but it might carry across the feeling that it is a miniature Combat Profiling even better.

      With that said there's plenty for me to do before I can start adding new abilities. So while these are neat it'll be a while before I am in a position to consider inserting them. Thanks for the ideas though!

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  16. No problem. This is more of a thought experiment for my own sake than pitching materials for the BCG corebook. That's an interesting way to solve the problem - I was liking the idea of the 'setup minigame', and the fluff was easy to change to match it (tactician develops a brilliant strategist, rapid enemy reactions foil it, suddenly the tide turns against our heroes!), but that's a good way to solve it too. I may just go ahead and make the setup version to see how it turns out, for kicks (and because I love me some natural minigames within bigger systems). Will make for nice food for thought I think.

    PS: Also, can't you use Antigravity to protect yourself from the effects of Ensnaring Trap? It allows you to ignore terrain, IIRC, which should stop Difficult Terrain from being a nuisance in theory.

    ---

    Now for some new weaponstuffs. Two 'status effect' guns, and one meant to address a hole in the Beam arsenal.

    System Shocker
    Shooting Weapon (5)
    Effect: Long-Range. When you hit with this weapon, you may choose to spend any amount of Energy to reduce the target's Energy stat by an equivalent amount until the end of his next turn.
    Description: These large, oblong slugs are highly conductive and capable of storing large quantities of electricity, which can be released to scramble enemy systems. It takes a lot of power to disrupt Gears with appropriate failsafes and keep them that way, but that's a small price to pay for avoiding their worst attacks and defenses.

    Comments: A weapon for a character that wants to run very aggressive support, using a nonstandard build. It's decently safe to use thanks to Long-Range, but it leaves you open to attack and it requires either a great Might stat or constant GP guzzling to make good use of it. I bet you've thought of this one before, so I'm not treading new ground here. It has all the usual perks and cons of 'denying' abilities, so there's no need to go over those.

    Hellraiser Beam
    Shooting Weapon (5)
    Effect: Beam (4), Overheating. If you boost this weapon, it temporarily Maims one of the Defender's areas for a round, using standard Maim rules. This does not grant the target a Genre Point, however.
    Description: By deliberately overriding all internal safeties, this two-handed monster of a beam can unleash a blast of cataclysmic power. Even if its target survives the shot, they are sure to feel its aftereffects for a while.

    Comments: This is an effect that's been in the back of my mind for a while, since I read the Called Shot power from GGG 1. Sort of like the next step up from the Beam Ripper and Assault Rifle, this weapon actively causes 'mini Maims' when you use it. Gives you ways to disable enemy systems RIGHT NOW without having to kill the target twice over, which I like, and its hefty energy cost and Overheating keyword make sure it cannot be spammed without consequence to lock down a target.

    (cont.)

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  17. (Continued from above)

    Particle Projector Cannon
    Shooting Weapon (5)
    Effect: Beam (2), Long Range. This weapon cannot be used against targets less than 5 Zones away.
    Description: Hard-hitting and precise, this beam delivers a nasty thermokinetic impact over large distances. It takes a bit of time for the beam to achieve total coherence once in flight, however, limiting its use in close quarters.

    Comments: This one's just a fun solution I came up with for the Powered Rifle/Sniper Rifle problem. Making the PR Slow makes it bad (because then it's just a less usable Sniper Rifle that also does less damage), but it can't be straight up fire-forever or the Assault Rifle ends up obsoleted. The answer? Make it a long-range only weapon. 'Can't be used against most enemies' is a very raw deal, which enables the PPC to have an aggresive energy pricing that opens it up to useful sniper combos like Overcharger + Reversible Thrusters from the get-go, and even has easy access to the Commander Type + Assisted Targeting + Beam 'Gold Standard' of damage, though it's not quite as great at it as the Double Blaster. Overall, the highly competitive package of the PPC is balanced out by strong disadvantages in the speed heavy game of BCG, making for a great weapon for an outfighter that doesn't want to spam the Aim action until the cows come home.

    ---

    That's all I've got for now, though new ideas are coming up everyday. It's surprisingly easier to make new, unique guns than I thought. Much easier than support upgrades, that's for sure!

    PS: And on an entirely unrelated note, something I forgot from a while back. Can Don't Give Up get a buff to restore a threshold level's worth of TP in the next revision pass, please? There's no other Genre Power that has an effect as uninspiring as 'you may possibly restore 1 TP to target, or none at all. Yay'. It's even sorrier than Take One For The Team ATM.

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  18. The Particle Projector is more or less what I did to the Powered Rifle (with an extra tweak) Both other weapons are also some of the ideas I've got in my 'to do' list for an eventual expansion.

    From this I think all I have left to say is that great minds think alike.

    Don't Give Up is very likely to be much better than Believe in Myself at Power Levels 3 and above when you use it. At some point it will heal 5-7 points to anyone. That's pretty good. If it healed a fixed amount it would basically let a team where everyone has the Power basically revive the dead in the blink of an eye. Spreading three or four Assistants around the team to basically get a 1-UP on demand is too much. This way it is conditional, but still effective. Just very limited early on.

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  19. Thing is though, if it's healing five points, then it's just equaling Believe In Myself. To heal more, it requires the target to invest a bunch of points into Threshold. It'll probably happen, eventually, but IME characters have one stat they need maxed ASAP, one they really would rather prefer to max out, and a few upgrades they need to buy, which means it takes until like high PL 3 and onwards for people to start thinking about patching holes like a low Threshold. That's a loooooot of time Don't Give Up is very finicky and hard to use. I totally get the balance conceit of not wanting it to be too easy to spam, but I feel like an entire team investing in an Assistant to get the power isn't even close to the ballpark of buying up Airstrike and Commander Type en masse to deal tons of damage, being much less abusive. There's got to be a tweak that makes it a little less awful to use when the dice refuse to cooperate and leave a player with a threshold almost blown but not quite.

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  20. I agree in principle that it is weak early on, but healing effects are so powerful that healing on demand should be conditional in its effectiveness.

    Healing someone is basically hitting a rewind button and undoing someone else's Turn. If the person getting healed is the tank spamming maneuvers and spreading them to the whole group, then healing them for a guaranteed 5-10 means you need to hit them for their entire health all at once or they will just not die.

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  21. With Airstrike becoming reusable and useful and Fire At Will gaining repeatability, I think this has ceased to be a problem, actually. At this point, 'don't focus the tank' is something you can actually pull off by investing in Support upgrades, instead of getting straitjacketed into it. Given that there exists an entire strategy that is easy to splash onto a damage build and bypasses tanks, I think it's not such a bad idea to make Don't Give Up regularly useful. The tools to deal with healing are there now.

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  22. We lose nothing by trying it out. I'll add it to the experimental doc.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Do you guys really don't see how broken the experimental commander type change is? You assume it as if it was implemented multiple times during discussion. Did you actually made a mech using it to see what it can do?

    Well, here it is:

    Level 0
    M0G5T5E5S5S4
    Commander Type
    Fire At Will

    This mech deals basically 2x Tension damage at long range every turn which bypasses all active defenses except absolute barrier and bypasses maneuvering.
    Fire at will is free so it can use its action on maneuver every turn to boost its guard by around 5 every turn making it as tough as if it was using custom defense with 2 EN again both beam and non beam attack on any number of attacks per turn. (It can effectively have guard 10). It is completely immune to maims for free (10 xp worth), It can move in any direction when attacking (free reactive boosters worth 10 xp). It use boost action instead of maneuvering which is equivalent to having overbooster. It can "attack" other targets without consequences when engaged in a duel by the enemy making it almost a good thing. It also has spare points to boost guard and threshold making it tougher than average mech.

    THIS IS ON A POWER LEVEL FUCKING 0.

    Compare it to any other attacker mech using normal weapons...

    HOW THE HELL DID YOU NOT SEE THAT THIS SHIT IS COMPLETELY INSANE?

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    1. Here is the Level 1 version:
      M0G6T5E7S5S4
      Commander Type
      Fire At Will
      ECS

      The ECS allows it to add systems to guard against a single attack per turn. Together with maneuver it can negate pretty much any attack.
      You get even more base guard too.

      Or you can get stealth field which basically has the same result.

      Delete
    2. Level 2:
      M0G6T7E7S6S4
      Commander Type
      Fire At Will
      Airstrike
      ECS

      We now add airstike capability for AoE ability and for those enemies that are good against extreme terrain. Also even more threshold.

      Delete
    3. Level 3:
      M0G7T9E7S7S4

      EVEN MOOORE TAAANK. Also some systems.

      Delete
    4. Make some attacker mechs using actual weapons and compare their damage and defense against this design. See how they stack up.

      Delete
    5. As a bonus, the only way to really counter them is to drain their energy or to deal pure damage, of which there is only one way. Yes, I noticed. The diversification is good but likely not worth the risk of Maneuver spam tactics.

      What I've been toying with is to have the "does not spend on use" clause only on Supports that cost 5. That gives the weaker Supports a push while keeping the stronger and more dangerous with a limited supply. I'll discuss this more in depth when I make the proper post with the experimental rules.

      Delete
    6. Making any supports free, reusable action is a bad idea. You can make them either free action or repeatable but not both.

      Delete
    7. Once example of broken stuff even when limited to 5 XP supports is you could use supply delivery to reload bombardment and spam it every turn.

      Delete
    8. There is also infinite Jury-Rigging. Both come from using Supply Delivery which was already is better than Resupply itself before applying this stuff, so maybe the problem is there.

      Neither of the two combos is half as exploitable as spamming the offensive ones was. You still have to Attack to make use of them, making them more of an alternative to Weapon Master for Support types or Support/Offensive hybrids.

      But! It has far more flexibility than Weapon Master, so they need to cost the same. At that point it is a question of comparing +2/+6 Might (depending on Weapon and Support type) versus +2 Might and barrier-piercing.

      Delete
  24. I don't see the problem with Commander Type. What I do see is that, as is obvious, Maneuvering is really strong when you can still take actions. I think the better fix is to make Maneuvering a start-of-turn choice (think a combat mode) that prevents *all* actions and non-Active Defense expenditures while doing it, except for free movement. This is a much easier, cleaner fix and preserves the versatility of Commander Type, to boot.

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    1. Even without free maneuvering, it is still a constant wave of unavoidable Damage or very strong debuffs. Basically you are trading 5 Energy and some XP for extra Genre Points.

      The very first thing I said about it was that it was potentially game breaking, and it took me long enough to put it in a pdf that to prove that to beat them you have to join them. That's kind of the worst case scenario we're looking at right here.

      Delete
  25. As a counterpoint though, that's something you already do, for the most part. A Might heavy attacker doesn't have a hitchance - he has a damage chance where literally any result causes a damage surplus. There isn't much of a counter to it, either - either you maneuver and eventually get killed because you'll get hit anyway, you sacrifice enormous amounts of Energy to an absolute barrier to block one attack (which does not help if two heavy attackers are on deck), or you spam a Custom Defense to introduce a very small chance of missing, if and only if the attacker has not yet acquired Weapon Specialization. It's even less avoidable than the Commander Type spammer's attacks in practice, particularly because it's very easy to boost and has a much higher damage payoff (Round 1 Technique with Impetuous Style = automatically sitting this fight out because of at least one guaranteed blown threshold, probably more). If you axe the degenerate Maneuvering case, I really want to hear about how a Support Attacker beats a Might Attacker at taking down a target speedily and efficiently, which is, in the end, the actual true measure of effectiveness of a build: How fast it can help win the fight before the other side hits the point where it can achieve its win condition.

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    1. The difference is that with an offensive support you are getting the benefits of being unmaimable, moving in any direction, and forgoing Defense entirely. It is much harder to -counter- even if it would be less effective from a pure DPS standpoint.

      This is more or less why I'm fine with the 5 cost supports being repeatable, because even if you are constantly resupplying your jackhammer stakes or autoaiming your sniper rifles, you are still playing by the same rules that everyone else is and can be countered in the same ways.

      Delete
  26. I'm not so sure the 'forgoing Defense entirely' part is true if maneuver spam is nerfed, since it's going to get you super blown up. But assuming it's right...what if offensive supports actually counted as offensive actions? That'd reduce the amount of kiting.you can pull off with them, making them considerably less irritating to fight. So if the Offensive Support build has the following problems:

    A) Stupid defenses due to being allowed to mix Maneuvering with its normal action at no cost.
    B) Free Reversible Thrusters on actions that really should not benefit from it when they already have ultra long range as a default.
    C) Unmaimable, thus no drop in effectiveness until the mecha finally changes from 'Live' to 'Dead'.

    A and B are easily fixed with the changes we discussed above (which really should happen anyways because they make entirely too much sense). C is a problem, but then again I'm a believer in Integrated Weapons being entirely too cheap for what it does and that Maims should be way more important in general, including against Bosses, so this is more a systemic issue with how easy it is to remove the ability to 'mission kill' targets in BCG. So applying the fixes to A and B takes care of the major problems of the Support Attacker, I think. Is there anything I missed?

    PS: On a different note, can I get a super quick clarification on something? In a BCG game I recently joined, we switched to using the Experimental Errata + Boosted Beams, but one of the players had a problem with it because it completely destroyed his battle plan because of the Extending Blade gaining Slow when used to attack from range. Is that going to get changed so it doesn't have it anymore? We went with the hackjob fix of just saying 'yeah this drawback doesn't exist' just so the weapon could retain a measure of usability, but I assume there should be further changes. What would they be, IYO?

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    1. At that point they would basically be Weapons. If I'm going to have Airstrike and Bombardment as separate things I would like them to work differently. I also don't want to clutter up the rules with conditional clauses for some abilities. If I have to, I will, but if there is a way to avoid it then I'd rather do that.

      Repeatable 5 cost Supports are exploitable but far less so, because they are weaker. It also acts as a buff of sorts to them, and encourages you to take them so you can scan Enemies during the first few rounds or give yourself/a friend Aim/Suppression bonuses.

      Extending Blade (Boosted) will not be Slow and neither will be the Powered Rifle. They're all a fair bit stronger and I'm hoping I can get them posted this next Sunday.

      Delete
  27. That's the annoying part, isn't it? If they don't benefit from Commander Type, the Attack Supports are not worth it compared to just feeding allies tons of advantages, except as an occasional clutch play. If they do, they cause lots of trouble. Hell of an issue...maybe the best approach is to do incremental nerfs here. Nerf Maneuvering so it can't be a source of shenanigans by preventing all actions and leave it there for a while. If the free Reversible Thrusters are an issue, verbiage meant to address them can be added later. That's probably the best compromise I can find, solving the main problem and seeing if the smaller one truly is a big deal.

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  28. CT would still let you use the big supports without spending an action. It would also let you use up more energy to make the small supports not spend themselves on use.

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  29. So if I get it right, CT would have X cost to make supports not spend an action, then another surcharge to make the 5 cost supports not spend their uses? I dunno...that sounds pretty inelegant. There's got to be a better solution than that, particularly because it obsoletes builds that are interesting in their execution (Ensnaring Trappers who set the team up and contribute to the burst with, for instance, Incinerators, or Fire At Willers who go for maximum damage but have to balance some four stats around and play carefully to avoid getting exploded due to not being able to afford Active Defenses), while still not touching the game-warping Assisted Targeting, which forces a major rebalancing of Shooting Weapons. If the issue is that offensive supports (specifically Airstrike, since Fire At Will's effectiveness can be halved by Antigravity, there's a feature that weakens it a lot, and high enough Speed/Systems give you practical immunity to it for the first few rounds) are too uncounterable, why not add counterplay to them? Like introducing a delay to the effect, making it dodgeable, putting in a contested test, or whatever else you can think of. What's wrong about the big supports is their degenerate interaction with Maneuvering and that they're boring to play against even if they're not very powerful. So...the best answer is to fix the loophole and make them less boring, then. I think that can work.

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  30. Here is the text: At the beginning of your Turn you may activate one of your Support Upgrades without having to use an Action. When you use a Support with a Cost of 5 or less you may spend 5 Energy to restore said Upgrade after use.

    It is not perfect, but it works.

    You can still do all those things with the expensive Supports, just not every single round. It is more than enough to be a decisive factor against bosses or rivals meriting focus fire, so the battlefield control aspect works as intended.

    Constant Assisted Targeting is comparable to Weapon Master. It is better at the low end (when there are only weak barriers or no barriers around at all) and worse at the high end when you would rather ignore active defenses. This is the safest implementation of repeatable Commander Type I can think of, for a multitude of reasons. If that is not enough to make them as a whole more enticing then they could get a rewrite, we'll see.

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  31. I really wouldn't call them comparable. Assisted Targeting gives you two things *at minimum*:

    A) +4 Might (Translation: worth it even before the freakin' Advantage Breakpoint of Might 5), two rerolls, OR +2 Might and +1 reroll.
    B) +5 Range.

    Again, this is a *minimum* benefit. It's already gigantic compared to Weapon Master because it literally doubles its main bonus for a 75% of the price (OK, and buying EN 5, but seriously, you were gonna do that anyway if you wanted Weapon Master, it's a non-cost), plus also hands out the ability to pull off kiting strategies much more easily and indirectly reduce damage by sniping targets that can't hit back. Strap this on the Sniper Rifle and you triple the benefit from Weapon Master plus remove a weapon's negative quality for the same cost, doubling your damage per round because you can now hit every round instead of one out of two. There is no world in which Weapon Master is comparable to this level of benefit, and even with the minimum bonus it still struggles to put up a reasonable argument against Constant Targeting because it's better at overcoming +3 Guard ADs, barely worse at overcoming +5 Guard ADs, and only much worse in gimmicky situations where you're either the sole damage dealer on your team and need to deliver your payload against Absolute Barrier spammers or you're in a super offense heavy party where everybody has acquired Weapon Master (so there is no wastefulness in only partially allowing your damage to bypass the barrier, instead of completely). Weapon Master was already a trashy luxury 'MORE BONUSES' upgrade in the Experimental Reactor world - now, it basically has no room as anything but 'I want yet another advantage to add more deeps' PL5 builds because upping EN to 10 and snagging a Double Blaster is a better use of your Energy than barrier-piercing with Weapon Master. Hell, buying a backup weapon and two Assistants with Signature Weapon is ALSO a better way to spend Weapon Master's 20 MP, because that way you're getting two barrier piercing shots (at +8 bonus, no less) that should really end the fight after you hit with them, or close enough for the leftovers to not matter. Bottom line of this rant:

    -Weapon Master is an absolute joke and not even close to being in the same league as Constant Targeting.
    -Constant Targeting is not gamebreakingly strong, but it most certainly warps the Shooting Weapons list around itself - it has to factor into literally every Shooting weapon's design, beam and nonbeam, because it is such an enormous damage spike and usability buff. You can run without it, but you need a plan (Double Blaster, Bombardment, Reactor Overdrive, etc.).
    -Weapon Master really really REALLY needs a freakin' buff, it's sad how the Assistant * 2 (Signature Weapon) setup mops the floor with it in most practical scenarios. It's probably much better off as a 20-pointer upgrade that just says 'ignore active defenses, forever' and then has a 'spend 5 energy for X' boon on top that does something that is not Advantage related, making the endgame numbers less dumb and WM more useful.
    -I really don't think Support Attacking is as degenerate as it sounds when compared to Constant Targeting. Just boring.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Active Defenses generally block at least 3 Damage, and usually do more like 5-8, so the boost from WM is more like 5-10. But yes, early on Targeting almost always does more, because even when you can't get a benefit from it, you can give it to a friend who will make a better use of it.

    If constant Assisted Targeting and Supply Drops are genuinely a problem, then the experimental Commander Type was just not meant to be for this world. It'd be better to have variants of Electromagnetic Detonator or Ensnaring Trap in its place.

    If it doesn't make regular Weapons much better than their Beam counterparts, I would be fine with lowering the cost of Weapon Master later. There's another option though, which I'll bring up with the next post.

    I forgot to bring up another thing last time: Troubleshooting states that you can't get around Ensnaring Trap, Incinerator and their ilk with Flyer and company. There's been enough confusion on that front it might be worth a rewrite though.

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    Replies
    1. The post was getting a bit unwieldy so I didn't want to bring up Weapon Master too. If the experimental attribute and advancement changes work out then I can make things that cost 15 or 25 without complicating the math during character and mecha creation. Weapon Master might be too good at 10, and Integrated Weapons might be too expensive at 20, but they could be just right at 15.

      Delete
  33. ...You can't? That...makes no sense. Like at all. Yes, this definitely deserves a rewrite because it is not at all obvious from reading them. If they say they overcome terrain, then anything that says 'X Terrain' should be overcome by them, probably.

    PS: Where do you get Active Defenses blocking 6+ damage lategame against one target? They all cap out at 3 or 5 Guard boosts except the Absolute Barrier. I mean, yes, you CAN dunk 4+ EN on the AB and take a lot of extra punishment, but it's going to be limited to one enemy attacker unless you straight up deny yourself the use of any other energy outlets. It's opportunity cost-inefficient compared to the ratios of a pair of Custom Defenses for the most part (blocking two enemies with CDs: 10 damage prevented, potentially. Spending 4 EN on an AB: 8 damage prevented, at a guaranteed 4 EN loss). Am I missing something here?

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    Replies
    1. You only missed ECS, which is very likely to be a +5 to +7 Defense bonus. Absolute Barrier might not be super efficient, but it scales much better than the others against single targets because taking no Damage for a lot of Energy is better than taking a little Damage for little Energy.

      Delete
  34. ...And this Energy talk reminds me: The Overcharger is getting caught in the crossfire of Commander Type adjustments. It's an entirely selfless buff that is unfairly punished for being in the same pricing bracket as Fire At Will and Airstrike, when all it does is enable cool moments. It really shouldn't be one of the buffs that is only reusable if you pay an MP surcharge, I think, but of course it's not easy to make it fit the 5 MP pricing bracket. The best I can think of is to make it an upgrade that lets you grant 3 EN, then add a second upgrade that piggybacks off the first and increases the energy granted to 5. It's a bit clunkier, but leads to the same end result and does not inhibit cool plays.

    PS: Also, I have to insist on this: The new Commander Type and Assisted Targeting combo really isn't a bad thing. It makes the gameplay of the first few rounds more dynamic, introduces a decent energy outlet for non-beams to have fun investing in offensively, and serves to equalize non-beam Shooting weapons with the energy-based counterparts (and they were really, really bad before because they didn't let you hit the numbers you needed to hit as an offensive specialist with any degree of regularity). It just changes the landscape of the game because of how many options it opens up, and how it offers a true alternative to going Beam or going home for damage dealers. Just to give an idea of how successful it was at making non-Beams attractive, it made *me* pick an Assault Rifle as the starting weapon of my newest machine, and you know I'm an absolute Beam nut from all the times I spoke in their defense while the Beam rebalance was ongoing. It was a really brilliant addition, and should be kept at all costs.


    PPS: Before I forget, there was something that needed mentioning. Is the new version of The Beast going to explicitly remove the Disadvantage from the Default Weapons? One of my fellow players in my new game wanted to take it to represent the comeback power of a Lucha-based robot, but the lack of clarification made it sound like being in the second threshold merely made them vanilla weapons, and being on your last legs only gave you two advantages, which seems completely ass-backwards. We're running with it canceling the disadvantages as part of the package to make the default weapons properly attractive, but a bit of clarification would help.

    PPPS: Lastly, is the Beam Ripper going to be buffed whenever the updated BCG PDF hits? I reverse-engineered a Weapon Creation system from the sample weapons (I can share it if you'd like, I think it works pretty much perfectly) and it's one of two weapons (maybe three, depending on whether I'm missing something about the Stun Rod or not) that don't actually spend their entire Weapon Budget, along with the Anti-Air missiles. Whereas the Anti-Air Missiles are just missing a Minor benefit (like Long-Range) to be competitive, the Ripper has a Minor benefit in place of its second Major, which hobbles it completely.

    PPPPS: ...Wow. That's a lot of Post Scriptums.

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    Replies
    1. You get the full answers in a few hours when I wake up, upload the pdf, and finish the post.

      Delete