Jul 6, 2014

An Appetizer

I'm touching up the manual with more general advice to make games run smoother and to answer some recurring questions that seem to come up often. The biggest problem I always run into is that I could always do more, but the pagecount is already over 200 pages of intimidating content, so I have to be very selective with anything that isn't absolutely indispensable.

The other thing I've been doing is integrating the Experimental pdf into the game after all these months of testing it out. It was a good experiment and showing what was on my workbench unfiltered worked pretty well and I'd love to repeat it in the future. I'm pressed for time at the moment and can only make one pdf in the near future, so I'll add the two or three new ideas I had in the meantime to the core and we'll see how it goes.

By far the most important of these changes (albeit one of the least exciting) is the one concerning starting XP and Attributes. Starting PCs have 100 XP to use in whatever they want and we're keeping the current Attribute progression rules. The Houseruling section also has an alternative method to Attribute XP Costs, keeping all costs to multiples of 5. It takes a bit more effort to memorize but works very well.

A slightly less important (and far more interesting) change is what happened to the weapon specialization line.

Melee Specialization.

Duels are a cool thing. You single out a baddie (or a baddie singles you out!) and you both are now in your own little war that other people can't easily butt into until only one of you is left standing. You can also use it as a way to draw the attention of key targets and force them to fight you instead of someone else. Well, you can't force them to attack you, but you can make trying to ignore you a really bad idea.

Like this.

Duelist Model
Internal Upgrade (15)
Effect: When an Enemy uses the Disengage Action to get away from you, you get a free Offensive Action against them. Your Melee Weapons gain an Advantage to Might Tests.
Your Mecha was engineered to corner foes and force them to face you, punishing all that dare turn their backs on you with extreme prejudice.

Notice that the free attack works with any kind of Weapon, in case you have a gun you'd rather use in that situation. The attack happens before your opponent moves away, so you can whack them with your sword or equivalent of choice. Slippery Chassis will still get around this though, but that one is getting more expensive to compensate for being much better now.

Shooting Specialization

Sniping is also cool. In the context of interactive fiction it is problematic to handle because good snipers will assassinate their target before they even know the sniper is out there. The closest we can give to snipers is a ton of bonus range with their guns, so that they get one or two free attacks before they're in the sights of midrange or close range opponents.

Preferably without ironically turning them into sitting ducks.
Sniper Model
Internal Upgrade (15)
Effect: Increase the Maximum Range of your Long Range Weapons by twice your Systems instead of just your Systems. All your Shooting Weapons gain an Advantage to Might Tests.
Equipped with very expensive and sensitive targeting systems, your Mecha could hit a moving target beyond the horizon with enough force to be considered a weapon of mass destruction.

Well that certainly helps in making that free shot not just happen, but also in making it count. The bonus range needs an investment in Systems, but boy that's a lot of range. There's not a lot that you'll need to hit from 20 Zones away, but just the fact that you can do it could be a world of difference when it comes up. The bonus range applies to Melee Weapons too, basically in case you want to use Finger Net with it.

Beam Specialization

The thought of having to remove the beam spammer archetype from the game due to not knowing how to balance it always bothered me. But energy weapons are already stronger than their equivalents and being able to make them extra stronger ran the risk of turning combat into a game of rocket tag. If they were going to get another Advantage to their Tests, it had to be expensive to preempt low-level instakill megacannons, but that also meant they'd need a nice something extra on top. It was a complicated scenario and for the longest time I thought it would be best to leave it for later.

Replicating Zeorymer is not necessarily a good thing.

Experimental Reactor
Internal Upgrade (20)
Effect: Your Beam Weapons cost 1 less Energy to Boost and gain an additional Advantage to the Might Test.
Your Mecha has a greater energy output, maximizing the efficiency of Element G for maximum destructive power.

This is essentially a +2 bonus to Might and a +1 to Energy, though they are immune to stat halving. It won't do much for you if your stats are below average, but if they're around 6 this is cheaper than getting flat Attribute bonuses. It is not the build-defining monster that it once was, but just by existing again it helps bring some diversity to the game.

Blast Specialization

Artillery Frame stays as is. It is kind of a hard sell between the high cost, the drawbacks to most Blasts, and the necessity of Expert Support to stop it from blowing up your allies, but it is also crazy strong and annihilates Grunts like nobody's business. Moving on!

Default Specialization

Lastly you have the weapons that you are not supposed to use unless you have no other choice. Who needs fancy schmancy swords and guns when you have the raw power of kung fu and throwing buildings at enemies?

Not this guy.
The Beast
Internal Upgrade (20)
Effect: Your Default Weapons don’t suffer an innate Disadvantage to their use and gain an Advantage to Might Tests for each Level of Threshold you are missing. After attacking with a Default Weapon, you might spend 2 Energy to make your attack immune to the effects of Active Defenses.
In place of giant robots, some organizations chose to tame giant monsters. They eschew most equipment, relying on their natural weapons instead, and are at their fiercest when cornered.

It remains more or less as you know it, yes. It offers a very different playstyle compared to most other options and saves you a ton of points in Weapons and protection from Maims. The feeling of playing a miniboss is pretty cool and this works pretty well even if it requires getting beat up a little.

Two New Powers

This is nice and all but now we're missing a way to punch through the barriers of tank builds. I've made a Power to fill that niche, but because I don't want said tanks to completely get the shaft they also get a little something else:

I’m Breaking Through
Reaction Power
Effect: Your current Offensive Action is immune to the effects of Active Defenses.
Mahzun thrust his G-Lance one more time against the giant monster’s Gravagne Field. Just like last time, his strike was stopped cold against a wall of repulsive force, but now he was prepared. “Take this!  Mahzun Special!” he overloaded the weapon, redirecting more power to it than it was made to hold. The tip of the weapon exploded inside the field, scorching the face of the Cryptid with green flames.

I Cannot be Defeated
Reaction Power
Effect: The next time that you would be destroyed during this Operation, you remain functional with a Threshold of 1 instead. You can use this Power once per Round.
The Sunbuster got hit by several kilotons worth in missiles, but mere seconds after the blast, the Gear was walking through the flames like nothing happened. “I told you, you cannot touch the sun!” Sunbuster was engulfed in fire once again, but this time by its own power creating a blazing pillar reaching all the way to the clouds. “My burning flames of justice shall purge the world of your evil!”

"Pierce the Heavens" and "Who the Hell do you Think I Am?" 
were strong contenders for names.

The first is not as powerful as Signature Weapon, but can be used in response to seeing the result of a roll and that makes it more useful than you'd think. Plus, it can be repeated. The second on the other hand is just plain super strong and makes the user invincible 1v1 provided the opponent does not have weapons that do bonus Damage on hit, cause Extreme Terrain, or another similar ability. Of course, you're still three Levels down so you're going to need a way to be effective with most of your stuff gone.

I've been really busy these days (and still am!) but I'll have some good news this month. Stay tuned for the main course!

36 comments:

  1. Mmmk. Math time. I'm assuming Power Levels are still 30 XP?

    If so...

    4 Standard Array
    Energy to 5 (5)
    Might to 7 (18)
    Integrated Weapons (10)
    Experimental Reactor (20)
    Beam Rifle (5)

    ...So by reducing one stat to 3 (let's say Guard?) it's possible to also snag Sniper Model and start the game with a glass cannon setup that has an effective Might of 13, or 15 if you're a madman and want to go with a Double Blaster (which gives you the option of two Might 13 shots a round instead). That...is seriously beefy. Like, hella beefy. I'm not sure if having a Beam infighter who hits that hard is good or bad for the game...but it's *still* an issue that the meleeist does this straight up better. Extending Blade makes the Beam Rifle utterly pointless. The Double Blaster, Powered Rifle and Reactor Overdrive (so two choices and then one that is not really usable in practical terms because it's a technique) are decent though. Beam Rifle buffs pls? Or Extending Blade nerfs?

    Now let's build a sniper.

    Energy to 7 (18)
    Might 5 (5)
    Systems 5 (5)
    Sniper Model (15)
    Commander Type (20)
    Assisted Targeting (5)
    Powered Rifle (5)
    Integrated Weapons (10)

    ...Blech, it's not workable. You can't get all the tools to build a beam sniper together at game start. Sniper Model needs a redesign because it's *still* better to have Commander Type over it if you want range, since it adds more damage AND range than just investing in Sniper Model and a couple Systems points. No good at all.

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  2. You can make a sniper with sniper rifle though.

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  3. You're not supposed to have everything you want on a starting mech. How many times does it have to be repeated?

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  4. And sniper model doesn't cost energy while commander+targeting costs a massive 5 energy. How can you ignore this fact?

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  5. So uh, long range beam weapons seems like it's chock-full of advantages.
    Fun.

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  6. Power Levels are still 30 XP apiece, yes.

    Sniper Model costs a lot less XP and frees up your Energy for other uses, like say Invincible Alloy and your choice of barriers. If you're not going exclusively for pure damage at the cost of everything else, it is the more practical choice.

    And yes, two characters (one with beams, one with supports) can do some serious damage. One character can too, but it takes a ton of XP and energy, leaving you vulnerable. There are also no ranged beams currently that can punch through I Cannot be Defeated, so if that's your entire plan you run the risk of getting stonewalled by a Rival with that one.

    Still a damn fine high PL build though.

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  7. Take less time to post on a blog for a game you don't even play and spend more time running your game.

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  8. The energy cost is ignorable (beyond the actual cost to buy the needed amounts) because sufficiently advanced firepower obsoletes the need for defenses beyond threshold. Remember, Integrated Weapons turns your four layers into one, singular HP pool. Against a dedicated attacker, adding 3 or even 5 Guard is a piddly defense because they can hit you with as much as Might 22 or 24, erasing thresholds and causing you crippling damage with average dierolls (including, in fact, defensive maims, which means you need to invest in Invincible Alloy, which means that whoops, you don't really have that much of an energy edge at all, and do less damage!). More threshold maximizes your defensive bang for your buck, and as a helpful bonus, it even makes it easier to pick Genre Powers that help you survive. Defense itemization is...not exactly a trap, but highly inefficient for a ranged beam build, because your strongest setups all want you to spend EN10 or close on attacking, and BCG is not a game that rewards jacks of all trades. Investing on stuff that you won't actually use come your endgame is kind of improfitable and a textbook case of choosing to gain more now in exchange for gaining less overall and in the long run.

    This is also ignoring, of course, that for long range weapons, you want more range, period, end of story. You do not actually care for how you acquire it, only that you can squeeze as many turns of extra attacks off without reprisal as humanly possible, as that tends to compensate for any losses in Might. The problem is that you can't bring all the pieces you need to hang against a properly built opponent together early on! A Powered Rifle only gets you to Range 20 even with Sniper Model (and Systems 5), after plonking down 25 MP, and has a deadzone where you can't attack that necessitates a backup weapon. An Extending Blade, Overbooster and the energy needed to use both of them together comes out to about the same and both nullifies the 'attack from a distance' advantage damn near instantly AND enters the deadzone ASAP. This is a pretty bad thing. And you know what makes it worse? That a Sniper Rifle can do the exact same thing as the Powered Rifle, except better, cheaper, and with no energy costs, managing to actually fulfill the 'sniper who shoots from so far away they get extra shots' schtick better than the Powered Rifle, the weapon with the longest range in the game and deadzone mechanics, can. And it can do it from PL1 onwards, to boot. So where's the balance in that? Run the numbers if you don't believe me. Who died and said that one of the two sniper builds wasn't allowed to play the game until two PLs later, eh?

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    1. It never ceases to amaze me how you can speak with such certainty when you conveniently ignore obvious facts that make your whole argument invalid. We point them out to you and your argument gets taken down EVERY SINGLE TIME.

      In this edition you missed the fact that aimed sniper rifle has range 10+systems while aimed powered rifle has 15+systems range so the sniper rifle is not just plain better. Reversible thrusters also nullify the deadzone of the powered rifle.

      Again for the god knows which time you complain that you can't get all the cool systems that make your super awesome glass cannon build on PL1. You're not supposed to.

      And you don't realize just how easily you can get wiped out with a glass cannon build like that. Imagine you're facing 2 grunts with invincible alloy. It will take you 3 shots per grunt to finish it off. You won't be able to kill them fast enough before they close in. And after that they eat you alive. What if you're facing 4 even level grunts? Snipers are good against single target but against massed enemies they are hopeless.

      Being a glass cannon only works on first 2 power levels where you have a massive advantage over grunts. On high levels you are facing grunts with threshold 8-10. Their HP scales much faster than your damage. The playing field is much more level and battles become longer. High guard and active defenses become a key so you can tank long enough to take down the huge grunt HP pool. Putting all your energy into offense actually starts working against you because battles are longer and you can't just burst the enemy down at range. Defenses are also much more energy efficient than offense so in the long run you get destroyed.

      You always argue so that you can make your cool sniper build as good and broken as possible while not considering overall game balance at all. You also tell people to run the numbers when you clearly don't do it yourself. If you did you'd see all the things you conveniently omitted in your argument

      Delete
  9. I agree conceptually that offense is the best defense, and in practice it often works that way against bosses since they get stronger the more you plink at them.

    Spending all your Energy offensively and having less than 5 Guard doesn't do so well with Grunts and Rivals though.

    A lowly Grunt with 4 Might and 1 guaranteed Advantage (from either an Assault Rifle + Sniper Model or the underestimated Powered Rifle) is going to have the range to reach you from the first Turn, and will on average take out one of your Levels with each strike. And there's 2-4 of them against you.

    Rivals too can exploit this easily, because you're spending 25 MP and 5 Energy for a +4/+6 attack boost and they can essentially cancel that for all of 5 MP and 2 Energy. This damage race is an uphill one for the glass cannon.

    With that said snipers have a really high damage ceiling. If you have a teammate that can shield you, or one that can buff you, you -will- win most damage races. But two specialized units in concert should be stronger than two allrounder units acting independently.

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  10. I didn't miss that the Powered Rifle has more base range. It just *doesn't matter* because it takes so long to get a build that uses it going that Commander Type makes it a wash until the very highest PLs. Let me break it down for you, 'k?

    ASSUMPTION: Both snipers will buy at least Systems 5 for cost-efficiency reasons if they're getting Sniper Model.

    ASSUMPTION: You're getting sniper model. You DO want to snipe, right?

    CONCLUSION: You're 20 MP in the hole to set up your build, regardless of what else you're doing. You have 50 MP remaining.

    ASSUMPTION: You need an anti-maim system.

    ASSUMPTION: Invincible Alloy doesn't pay for a sniper because mobility and damage are better for it.

    CONCLUSION: You're down another 10 MP for Integrated Weapons.

    FURTHER CONCLUSION: After spending on a sniping weapon, you now have 35 MP left to spend on other things.

    Thus, we spend 25 of those MP on getting Commander Type and Assisted Targeting for the Sniper Rifle. We then spend 10 MP on getting Energy 5 (duh) and Might 5 (also reasonable). That's our build, right there. Well-rounded for PL1 and with room for growth. This build is, effectively, complete. It can do its job from the get-go and very well because it has four advantages and Might 5. Even against the biggest megatank, its dieroll will still be a damage roll, not an accuracy check.

    Now, what do we DO with the Powered Rifle? We can't actually use Assisted Targeting. This means our range advantage vs the Sniper Rifle is nonexistent - we gain 5 range from Boosting, it gains 5 range from aiming. It also has two advantages on us, which is bad karma. We can recoup the advantage gap by buying Experimental Reactor + Might 7, but that leaves us with dead points (2 points are going to waste, irksome), less energy (yes, really), and a deadzone. What exactly is the payoff here? Nothing at all, really. We can boost Systems and get more range, but then our attacks are significantly weaker, as much as five points weaker - or, an entire threshold's worth of damage at PL1. We can get Reversible Thrusters to kite more...and suddenly we have a potential avenue for advantage, but that lasts as long as it takes for the Sniper Rifle user to buy Reversible Thrusters, then we're once again playing catch-up. It's bizarre that the Powered Rifle is supposed to have an edge in range but in practice it doesn't because the same option that cost-efficiently grants more damage also grants more range.

    (And incidentally, you got your math wrong. Dead wrong. The Sniper Rifle has 15 base range too, same as the Powered Rifle. Aiming takes the Sniper Rifle to 20, Boosting does the same for the Powered Rifle. Yes, the Powered Rifle can gain more range by Aiming, but this costs turns. Turns are the most valuable resource you can have and must be spent wisely. SPending on +5 range instead of +1 shot is a bad investment.)

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    1. I really like how you call a glass cannon 100% offense sniper build "well-rounded". You literally spent every single XP on offensive stuff.

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  11. Now that the point about builds is made, let's look at PL1 grunts. They'll have 40 points to get stuff. Let's assume they're equipped with a reasonable barrier, Sniper Model, Assault Rifle, Might 5 setup. Nothing fancy. This gives them a range of 13, and movespeed of 4. Assuming you start at the edge of your range or further away, you get a free shot before the Grunt can strike. His Guard with a 5-point barrier bonus is 14 (5 base, 4 stat, 5 barrier). Your Might is base 13 before dierolls (5 Might, 2 Sniper Model, 4 Aiming, 2 Sniper Rifle). Add Tension and your dieroll becomes pure damage. You will, on average, maim a threshold and change per attack. You have a 25% chance of mission-killing the grunt by disabling the Assault Rifle's threshold per shot, before adjusting for your average damage - that pushes the kill chance up to...what, 30%, I think? So about one in three shots will render a grunt useless. You get one free shot, then another shot either before or after a counterattack, pending initiative. You can take something like five shots from grunts like these before folding. The numbers are simply in your favor, even with defense focuses. Grunts...are not scary. And I'm not even accounting for Try Again and Genre Powers!

    So those are the numbers for how the Sniper Rifle acquits itself under pressure, mon (answer: Very well). Unless you pack Reversible Thrusters and have major amounts of space to move, the Powered Rifle build performs significantly less well because of its lack of damage. Your turn to show me where I'm wrong, and why exactly one sniper build deserves to be better (significantly so, at that). Ain't about brokenness, here - just how counterintuitive it is that the most long-ranged weapon in the game is both not actually that long-ranged for a dedicated sniper, and worse than a vanilla sniper build.

    (Incidentally, I didn't bother running the calculations for the Invincible Alloy build because it's just flat out less powerful than the Barrier user. Effectively the same durability, but less Might means you are in less danger of losing. No point in attaching Invincible Alloy to units that aren't going to use defensive systems due to lack of points.)

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    1. If you make a shitty grunt of course you'll defeat it easily. If you can optimize, the grunts can too.
      You can use both alloy and barrier.

      What about higher power levels when you don't have significant XP advantage over grunts and run into diminishing returns?

      If you conveniently omit things that work against you and use only assumptions that make the result come out in your favor your argument is worthless.

      Try this

      -10 systems 0
      5 chainblade
      5 custom defense (ranged)
      10 invincible alloy
      10 threshold 6
      10 guard 6
      10 speed 6
      = 40 XP

      How will the battle turn out against those grunts?
      The result will be vastly different.

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    2. even better lower guard to 5 and get a sniper rifle

      Delete
    3. They have 24 HP. Guard 15. Your average damage with might 13 is 3.5 + tension. Assuming you focus a single grunt.

      1. 3.5 damage
      2. 8 damage
      3. 13.5 damage
      4. 20 damage
      5. 27.5 (dead, but not really because invincible alloy)
      6. first grunt dead
      7. 9.5 damage
      8. 20 damage
      9. 31 damage (dead, but not really because invincible alloy)
      10. second grunt dead

      I takes you 10 rounds to kill those 2 grunts.
      They double move on first turn to close in.
      Second turn they move and aim snipers.
      Third turn they move and fire aimed snipers. 2 x 8.5 = 17 damage
      oh wow you're already dead with more than 50% probability
      And they were designed as melee grunts too.
      4 turn+ they move in and engage with chainblades

      Looks like you're completely hopeless.
      You're welcome to bring your genre powers into this so you can make it look slightly less worse.

      What was this supposed to prove anyway?

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    4. They guy with powered rifle has energy to spare for defenses which means he can survive longer that 3 turns and deals more damage overall.

      Delete
    5. Instead of spending 25 XP on commander and targeting beam sniper uses it on reactor and custom defense. He also take invincible alloy instead of integrated weapons.

      He has 3 spare energy to power the defense.
      You use that 3 energy to get +2 might and not have a deadzone below 5 squares.

      In a duel between those, beam sniper wins in a landslide because he gets +5 defense for 2 energy instead of +2 might for 3 energy.
      He also is much tougher because invincible alloy.

      Both of those build are viable and one is not clearly better than the other.

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    6. Beam sniper can also aim which gives him more options than normal sniper.

      Delete
  12. And now that this ridiculous "You're wrong! And you're trying to make sniper builds buh-rooooooooooooooookeeeeeeeeeeeeeen! BWAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!" dickwaving contest is over and done with, I may as well address GimmickMan. As you can see, I ran the sims before running my mouth. Before adding Genre Powers (which turn this contest absolutely lopsided - the sniper Genre Power that adds range more or less buys you a free kill against one grunt thanks to the extra shot that also happens to be boosted, plus the tension gain while you wait for your enemies to get into range, at which point you're easily expected to smash a two grunt pair that is supposed to be an equal match to you and do pretty well against more of them), one of the sniper builds has a really easy time of beating an appropriate challenge. Because the other one gets put in an enormous mathematical hole due to its energy investment, it can't compete unless you feed it an outrageously big battlefield (I can run you the sim for the Powered Rifle as well, if you like - lack of space stops me from doing it right now because of the character limit, but it's easy). I don't care how, exactly, but one option should not be emphatically worse than the other until you hit a critical mass of upgrades that requires a lopsided PL3 build to achieve (if my numbers are correct - 25 for Commander Type, 13 for EN7, then either 8 more MP for EN8 or 15 MP for Experimental Reactor, that puts you halfway through your second Power Level or almost all the way through before every piece comes together). Most games won't get that far. The easiest fix to this major imbalance is to allow the Aim action to extend range by 10 instead of 5 for the Powered Rifle, as well as allowing Boost to add 5 range to it.This means it requires a setup early on and a massive Energy investment later, but it has a real range edge over a dedicated Sniper Rifle build...which is logical, to me. What do you think?

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    1. OH WOW.
      You've been shot down again and your numbers and simulations are full of holes as always because you conveniently omitted stuff that would invalidate your argument.

      Delete
  13. It is also the GM's job to not let you get comfortable with easy victories. If everything goes right and you tear holes into the opposition once or twice, the next set of Grunts will ambush you spawning at close range and the Rival that you shot down will come back with My Pain is Your Pain.

    I see what you mean, Evernaut: Supporting yourself gives you better damage per turn and range than just stacking passives. We agree there. But I am okay with this because, while it is is a pretty good battle plan, it is also a suicidal one. Even if you park near a friend who Maneuvers for you every Turn, you're still vulnerable to things like Bombardment + Impetuous Style or just plain Overfreeze.

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  14. I mean you have a pretty long battle plan with a list of conditions that need to apply so you can cruise through it and I brought up four ways a GM can put the pressure back on you without even trying to get creative.

    The more involved your plan is and the more assumptions you are building on, the more likely it is to go wrong.

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  15. Don't you think that the longest ranged gun in the game should be able to enjoy its schtick of range from the get-go instead of having to wonder why somebody else gets to do it better, though? I'm not talking about power differences, here - what I'm talking about is how it's a fail in design intent that a gun that says 'hey, use me to be the super long ranged sniper' doesn't actually snipe from a further range than several other alternatives (even a goddamn Assault Rifle, c'mon). Have you heard of the concept of a 'gaming fantasy' before? We play games so we can pretend to be things we aren't. If somebody picks the Powered Rifle, they obviously want to be the ace sniper. When the fantasy the player wants to experience is not appropriately reinforced by mechanics, that's a problem. The Powered Rifle needs some tinkering so it doesn't have to wait until much later to deliver on what it promises. It is, mechanically speaking, fine, more or less. The problem is that it doesn't actually do what it should be doing, even if it has a job in the game. This needs fixing, and unlike some of the major issues in the game (such as how ludicrously game-warping and mandatory Integrated Weapons and Invincible Alloy are), this is an easy fix. There's no reason not to change something so minor as this.

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    1. Here is a straight copy paste of Powered Rifle as you'll see it.

      Powered Rifle
      Shooting Weapon (5)
      Effect: Beam (Boost 3), Long Range. When you Boost this Weapon its its Maximum Range increases by 5. Powered Rifle can target only Enemies that are at Range 5 or higher.
      A Weapon for providing support fire at long distances, combining accuracy with penetration power. It can pierce through all but the most heavily armored of foes if you take a moment to align the sights.

      When it comes to flat range bonuses the Powered Rifle has a base +5 from being boosted plus Long Range so that's also Systems. Add Duelist Model on top and you get Systems x2.

      I think the only thing that comes close to it in terms of pure range bonuses is, ironically, the Rocket Punch.

      Now it is true that any Long Range gun with an Aim bonus on top will match your range, but that's why doing it costs a ton of points, someone else's turn, or your own turn. Even then, should -you- get the aim bonus you'll the highest range bar none.

      Now it is true that early on you don't have the reach to have free attacks on most Rivals (though plenty of Grunts should, not all of them can be snipers after all). But you're also attacking with your best weapon from the get go during the stage of the game where lucky hits are the most critical and the difference between 6 and 10 could easily mean one Threshold Level. Making the hit count is also part of sniping, and cost-effective advantages play a big role there.

      Delete
    2. Here is a straight copy paste of Powered Rifle as you'll use it.

      Powered Rifle
      Shooting Weapon (5)
      Effect: Beam (Boost 3), Long Range. When you Boost this Weapon its its Maximum Range increases by 5. Powered Rifle can target only Enemies that are at Range 5 or higher.
      A Weapon for providing support fire at long distances, combining accuracy with penetration power. It can pierce through all but the most heavily armored of foes if you take a moment to align the sights.

      When it comes to flat range bonuses the Powered Rifle has a base +5 from being boosted plus Long Range so that's also Systems. Add Duelist Model on top and you get Systems x2.

      I think the only thing that comes close to it in terms of pure range bonuses is, ironically, the Rocket Punch.

      Now it is true that any Long Range gun with an Aim bonus on top will match your range, but that's why doing it costs a ton of points, someone else's turn, or your own turn. Even then, should -you- get the aim bonus you'll the highest range bar none.

      Now it is true that early on you don't have the reach to have free attacks on most Rivals (though plenty of Grunts should, not all of them can be snipers after all). But you're also attacking with your best weapon from the get go during the stage of the game where lucky hits are the most critical and the difference between 6 and 10 could easily mean one Threshold Level. Making the hit count is also part of sniping, and cost-effective advantages play a big role there.

      Delete
  16. Or, to illustrate this with a classical example I think everybody here will understand: The Powered Rifle functions like a D&D 3.5 Cleric. The Cleric is, in theory, the class that you pick to banish undead, be the healer and support your buddies, pretty much a White Mage with armor.

    ...And it actually PLAYS like a rampaging unstoppable colossus of Fuck You loaded with selfish self-buffs to the gills instead, when you use it right.

    That's the problem with the Powered Rifle. Its power level is fine. The fact that it and the Sniper Rifle (and to a lesser degree the Assault Rifle as well) suffer from a job swap until PL3, at which point both start playing the way you'd expect them to from a cursory look, is kind of a problem. I'm a designer too. As a designer, something that promises one thing and delivers another irks me. It's like if the Double Blaster was actually a shittier weapon for damage-dealing than the Charge Cannon but much better for crowd control or something. You see what I'm talking about?

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    1. The cleric example is completely off the mark.

      Is powered rifle super strong weapon all-around that outperforms other weapon in their specialties?
      Nope.

      Delete
  17. 1. Powered rifle hast the longest range of any weapon bar none.
    2. It's has the highest single shot damage of all long range weapons. (outside techniques)

    Both of those are true from PL1 all the way to PL5.
    Those are two undisputed facts.
    How the fuck isn't it working as intended?

    A player can play a perfectly valid sniper using it. It's a pretty strong build.
    The fact that there are suicidal glass cannon build that have higher DPR while still having lower maximum range doesn't invalidate it in the slightest.

    On the contrary. If powered rifle had BOTH the highest maximum range AND unrivaled damage it would be too strong.




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    1. Double Blaster has better single target damage... But it also slaps you in the face around one third of the times you use it.

      It is something of a technicism, but the distinction is important in a discussion like this.

      Delete
    2. Double blaster is not long-range.

      Delete
    3. Oh right. I misread that bit.

      Just in case anyone is doubting, I wasn't trying to say the double blaster was gaining long range.

      Delete
  18. You seem to think that any sniper that isn't a glass cannon with commander+targeting is unviable which is just plain wrong

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  19. I don't think that's the case. What IS the case, however, is that there's two 'dedicated' sniper weapons, the Sniper Rifle and Powered Rifle. The Sniper Rifle needs the boost from Commander Type to be truly functional because otherwise it takes half the turns the Powered Rifle does, which is sort of really really bad unless you're starting wayyyyyy in the distance outside of shooting range. As a side effect, this also gives it equal range to the Powered Rifle at low PLs and causes a weird role reversal. Normally Beam weapons are energy-guzzling, damage-heavy pieces of work. The Powered Rifle stands alone in that it is the only (and I mean the only) Beam weapon that is a more defensively-oriented alternative to a mundane weapon. I don't think this is the design intent behind it, but it shakes out that way until you get a ton of MP and it starts pulling away. It should probably work more similarly to its brethren, instead of requiring a big mindset change if you want to use it. Quite honestly, I wouldn't be opposed to having a way to exchange its damage for more range. The range is what it's there for, after all. It SHOULD have the highest actual, effective play range of all weapons instead of having an advantage that only asserts itself come the lategame.

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    1. I see where you are coming from. I don't think it is -the- sniper's option (that's why there are two guns around the concept) and -personally- I would prefer having that extra Advantage, but there is nothing wrong with the idea. We could leave it to a vote.

      Delete
  20. Power:
    Sniper Rifle < Powered Rifle < Sniper + Commander

    Survivablity:
    Sniper Rifle > Powered Rifle > Sniper + Commander

    Pretty simple tradeoffs

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