Mar 22, 2015

Oh you thought I was done making changes?

Being a perfectionist sucks. Thank God the game is out in two months or I would keep making changes every time someone brings up something that could be better until the end of eternity. My personal hell is being cursed to forever try to please the most finicky and demanding of people: Myself.

Okay, I'm done being Tsundere for game design. I have not one or two but three polls for you all today, that's three times more democracy than a normal poll! Here is the copy and paste from the Kickstarter update:

Subject 1: Gotta go Fast
Currently, this power is a movement boost for the user or another squad member. It is a somewhat niche utility power that also grants a +3 damage to Boosted Lance users. We could change it to a teleport-like effect that instantly repositions the user (and ONLY the user) 5 Zones away. This would let it get around tricky terrain and even function as an emergency replacement for Reversible Thrusters + Slippery Chassis if you don't have them. The tradeoff is that the original works better with movement-based weapons and can be used on allies.

I can see either of them working out fine, so it is up to what you guys and girls would prefer. Vote here: http://www.easypolls.net/poll.html?p=550eca1be4b0e9ad06a34a8d

Subject 2: Beam Weapons
Beam Weapons cost energy to use, but only when you boost them. If you don't boost them, they cost no energy to use, which is a bit iffy from a pure flavor standpoint but means you can at least use them when you can't spare any energy at all. I've been thinking of changing that by giving unboosted Beams a cost of 1 Energy for flavor's sake. In gameplay terms it is strictly a nerf, but unboosted Beams rarely see use anyway and when they do you can probably spare all of 1 point.

I would not feel comfortable doing this without your approval though. So tell me what you think here: http://www.easypolls.net/poll.html?p=550ecbb3e4b0e9ad06a34a8e

Subject 3: Antimaim Upgrades
This one is trickier than the previous two. If you've played BCG at all you've probably realized that having one of the various Antimaim upgrades (Invincible Alloy, Integrated Weapons, Expansion Pack and Secret Equipment) is a must by the time you're Power Level 2. I see this as a good thing, since it means they are doing their job. What I'm not sure about is if they are too good at their jobs, since you want them as soon as you can spare the 10-20 points they cost.

I said this one was trickier and that is mostly because, depending on your playstyle, you might even want to do away with them entirely. Negating the loss of areas means there is less luck involved in who wins, since getting your best stuff disabled early on can unfairly ruin your whole game plan. At the same time, it also means you don't have to adapt your plans on the fly as much. It is a complex issue and I'm far more interested in what you have to say about this one than the previous ones.

If we were to nerf them, by the way, it would be a small nerf like a bump to their cost or a reduction to how much stuff they can hold each. I'm not including the power or feature Antimaims in the poll because those are much weaker than their counterparts: http://www.easypolls.net/poll.html?p=550ed1bee4b0e9ad06a34a93

And now, a long summary of things I'm still trying out.

In addition to a whole bunch of stuff that got reworded for clarity's sake, which I'm not including, here's a list of potential changes straight from my workbench:

Miracles:
-All Miracles now have their Specializations split into different uses by mechanics rather than flavor. For example, Force has two specializations: Fitness and Intellect Tests for offensive or utility purposes respectively. This works a lot better than the previous approach, which was kind of vague.
-Streamlined the Sample Tests with a better and more balanced power curve for DNs going up to 15. Removed the DN 20 examples for now. There'll be a sidebar about those until I expand the use of Miracles in the expansion.

Genre Powers:
-Believe in Myself's antimaim effect lasts 3 Rounds. That buys you some time to finish the fight.
-Come at Me Bro affects enemies that stay within 5 Zones of you. This removes the potential exploit with taunting enemies from across the battlefield and taking free shots at them when they can't reach you.
-Trump Card lasts 3 Rounds instead of the whole Operation. Just enough time to use each of them once, but not enough to forgo buying weapons entirely.
-Mind Over Matter is a 5-Zone aura that negates debuffs for one Round. This makes it a much better option for support PCs.
-You are Going Down grants all attackers one Advantage instead of the Defense reduction. It is now very good when there's a bunch of people focus firing instead of an instant kill when there's a bunch of people focus firing.

Mecha:
-Stealth Field is a 2 Disadvantage shield vs non-area attacks instead of untargetability. This is both to line it up with what Interference Terrain from the Expansion does as well as to tone down how abusive Combiners with a dedicated maneuvering Stealth Field subpilot can get.
-Jamming Barrage halves Might and leaves Tension alone. This way it only really hurts the glass cannons instead of, well, everyone. The Tension raisers don't appear until the expansion and will have their own counters there.
-Superheavy Machinegun cannot be used if you cannot move at all. This means you can't mount and fire it during a Duel or if you're under like three layers of Difficult terrain. It is a small nerf meant to line it up with similar Weapons from the expansion.

Bosses:
-Do you Desire the Power? tweaked to only target allies with the second option. This is mostly for fluff reasons.
-Die for Me! can be used multiple times per Round but must have different targets each time. This makes it a lot more effective as a countdown timer for the PC squad without being too much for one individual PC to handle.
-Useless! is a once-per-round shield of 5 Damage + Tension. The power is meant to be a stalling mechanism and this conveys that much more clearly.
-Adaptive Morphology buffed to shield for 5 and 10 at Threshold Levels 2 and 10 vs the chosen type. This means you can expect it to block 15 damage per fight which is fairly reasonable considering all the ways to circumvent it and makes it comparable to Nanoskin Shell.
-Phantom Predator's untargetability changed to a 2 Disadvantage shield just like Stealth Field. Less likely to suddenly turn into an unwinnable battle.
-Three Times Faster makes you choose one Enemy and you increase the result of Might Tests against them by half your Speed at Level 2, your Defense against them by the same amount at Level 3, and boost up both values by your whole Speed score at Level 4. This makes it a lot less explosively good and keeps it in line with the similar Bloodlust.
-Overfreeze no longer creates Extreme Terrain. It was just too much vs low level groups and high level groups had plenty of ways around that anyway.

No pdf because I'm still not 100% sold on any of these. You know how I usually am about feedback? Yeah, that goes double now that we're potentially making changes so close to the release date. These are going to be some intense weekends to be sure.

116 comments:

  1. Trump card is still super strong even with 3 turn limit. You can still get 3 unmaimable technique weapons and use all of them in those 3 turns. It's still 25-30 MP for a single genre power + point. The limitation that you have to use them one after another isn't really very problematic. Still exploitable with assistant. There is no reason to take techniques normally.

    To make it balanced maybe make it give you a single weapon but for the whole combat. It's still nice for versatility but it's s single weapon. Fixed unmaimable weapon is like 10 MP so 15 MP for a one that you can change and choose in every combat on the fly sounds reasonable.

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    1. So the expansion armory adds a whole lot of options. There's more melee bursts, more long range debuffing terrain creation, more techniques, you name it. Even knowing that, myself, I'm not seeing how ONE weapon would be worth an Assistant. It would need to be usable multiple times per battle to let you grab more stuff if you need it.

      Though I guess that does simplify the power greatly.

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    2. It's one UNMAIMABLE weapon that is flexible to be changed for every scenarion. Need finger net against that speedy boss? Need AoE bombardment against a bunch of grunts? Need radiant fist for maximum damage? You can take different weapon every scenario and you can decide what exactly it is on any turn. It's like super flexible frame.

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    3. Super Flexible Frame is a pretty good comparison.

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    4. 3 weapons for 3 turns can be abused with one shots and techniques. There is no reason to take them normally if you can make them unmaimable for basically free through trump card. The limit of consecutive use is nothing when you save 10 or 15 MP. And you get the flexibility too. One scenario you can pick Bombardment for AoE vs grunts and the next resonance cannon to wipe out the boss.

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    5. You are right, and the more options the game gets, the more you'll want to keep your options open and grab an Assistant instead of buying any of them.

      It just seems like a really rough deal to get one gun for a GP, but the power level of the game in general is pointing that way.

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    6. You can drop the ranged/melee split so you can choose ANY one weapon.

      It will be a tiny bit better if anti maims become more expensive too.

      I would totally take two assistants for 30 MP to get any two unmaimable weapons I want. Shame you can only take it once.

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    7. I'll try out getting any single weapon but making the power repeatable.

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    8. If you make it repeatable nobody will take normal weapons anymore. Flexible integrated weapons for 2-3 genre points? That saves you like 30 MP and you get the crazy flexibility so you always have best weapon for every situation. It needs to be 1/operation for sure.

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    9. Like you want to boost your damage? Get a technique weapon. The damage increase compared to normal weapon means you just used your genre point as +damage at excellent ratio.
      Want to disable opponent? Take finger net. You just used your genre point to duplicate This is my battlefield.
      Wand to deal with grunts? Take bombardment. You just duplicated airstrike.

      With expansion weapons thrown in taking any weapon could act as a wildcard that duplicated a ton of powers.

      Perfect weapon selection for any situation is insane. Just think how effective resonance cannon is vs bosses and bombardment vs grunts. Normally it's impossible to have enough of both and you have to specialize. Getting a good weapon for the situation gives you more damage than any +damage boosting genre power would give you.

      You also save a ton of MP by using the power so you can pump those into might so your offensive power easily equals or exceeds the guys that use normal weapons and boost them with genre powers for damage.

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    10. 1/Op for 1 Weapon it is. It is not all that exciting at first glance but it is very powerful.

      Delete
  2. Can you take with assistant 1/operation power that you already have to get second use?

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    1. Yes but only with some of them. You can have multiple Signature Weapons, but you cannot use more than one instance of Trump Card.

      This is written into the Powers. Like other things, it could be spelled out more clearly.

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    2. You actually can take trump card twice. Once for shooting and second time for ranged.

      I just pointed out the need for clarification.

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    3. You can take it twice, but not activate it twice. Well, at least not by RAI but I can see how the wording might not be all that clear.

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    4. (Also I take you meant once for melee and a second time for shooting)

      Delete
  3. Mind over matter AoE debuff negation is awesome. Heavy disabling was super strong. That is a great way to counter it. It doesn't give anti maim anymore though, right?

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    1. It would still grant an antimaim effect. The idea is to allow Power-based Antimaims, which are temporary and thus not as reliable, potentially replace the Upgrades with some builds or lineups.

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    2. I see a build with Systems 10 Guardian of Steel tank in the middle and the rest of the team around him. Some other guy has shielding aura. Then two other guys alternate using Mind over matter every single turn. That gives everybody constant "free" anti maim and make the whole team completely immune to debuffs.

      The blob has +10 maneuvering bonus so any blasts are useless. Debuffs like finger net don't work too.

      Only things that kinda works is bombardment and airstrikes but some of the guys there could have absolute barriers and repairs still making it very tough.

      The blob looks pretty awesome.

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    3. On one hand it costs the team constant genre points. On the other, it does counter super-effectively the big weakness of blobs, which are otherwise unavoidable area debuffs. And gives antimaims on top.

      I suppose that is a really, really good deal for them.

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    4. It takes a lot of teamwork but since it undoes most of their weaknesses it is also really boring. I'm going to give it a try without the antimaim effect next chance I get.

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    5. One turn antimaim would also be excellent for techniques/one shots. You don't have to waste space in expansion pack for them. Just use Mind over Matter and you got your weapon online. The whole team would then spam their techniques on the same turn.

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    6. It still works like a group antimaim effect with a Power Suit party. In that one the support user is extremely important given how much Power Suit hurts.

      Not quite sure if this is a problem, tbh.

      Delete
  4. Useless! just went from the worst power to the best by far.
    It was really weak at 3 damage but making it over 2 times stronger is a bit too much.

    Let's compare the 3 defensive powers.

    I Believe This is Yours (IBTIY)
    + half systems damage reduction
    + half system damage reflected
    - only one weapon type
    - relies on systems
    +/- scales with PL
    You use this with bosses that have 8 or 10 systems basically so you can count it as 2x4 or 2x5. 8 or 10 damage reduced/dealt is good efficiency but it requires systems.

    This will not work again (TWNWA)
    + 3 damage reduction
    + half systems heal
    - must be the same weapon again
    +/- scales with PL

    very similiar to IBTIY. The limitation is a bit harsher but comparable. Only one part scales with systems. That makes it wierd. If you have 0/2/4 systems the power is too weak for you anyway and with 6/8 it's ok if you want healing but with 10 systems IBTIY becomes better.
    Make both parts here half systems. It's not worth taking with low systems anyway and it will make it more attractive for systems 10 builds.

    Useless!
    + 5 + tension shield
    + always works
    - 1/turn
    =/- doesn't scale with PL

    With the new buff it's super strong. You get 6 shield in the first turn which makes it comparable with TWNWA. After few turn it becomes clearly better than it. It completely replaces TWNWA. It doesn't require systems investment which changes a ton of things. Before there was a lack of defensive powers for Systems 0 bosses but now they get awesome defensive power. It's way too good. Make it flat 5. Then it's ok option for system 0 bosses then but worse than TWNWA and IBTIY which need systems and have limitations.

    It also doesn't scale with PL at all which means it's super strong on PL1 but falls off a bit later. Lot of boss upgrades and powers have this problem actually.

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    1. I kept thinking about making it a flat 5-6. Since I wasn't sure about either of them, figured I might as well post the even stronger version here and see if it'd get called out.

      I'll give flat 5 a try.

      Delete
  5. Overfreeze is useless without extreme terrain. Very few boss weapons require energy and for good reason. Overfeeze using boss gets shut down hard by EMP. It halves your energy and there is no way you can have spare MP to boost energy from 4 to 8 to cover that possibility. You can cover your ass with a genre power but that's a pretty high price. Without the terrain it's not worth boostng the weapon at all. Even if you don't use energy at all going from 0 to 4 costs 10 MP. You can almost get 2 Might for that on lower levels and 1 Might on higher that works on both your weapons. And you might want to use energy on a defense too because they're great. Technoleeches and ultimate bomb are completely superior. Reduce the blast or remove long range but leave the extreme terrain. Without it the weapon is too weak and not worth boosting.
    Extreme terrain still works very well on high level players. Most of them will only get to speed and/or systems 6 from 4. That's only 2 difference. Only support specialists with systems 10 and lancers with speed 10 are much more resistant. They go from 6 to 10 which is 4 difference.

    You say it's too much on low PL. Isn't Useless! and Keeps coming back a big problem on low levels? Both powers are flat number which are huge on low PL.
    5 HP regen + 5 HP shield + tension shield? Can low level PC really deal that much damage to a boss per turn?

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    1. I did not consider making it single target but keeping the exxxtreme factor. That also solves the problem. I guess I was stuck mentally on making it a Blast.

      I'm thinking of a Line effect, maybe losing Long Range while at it. It shouldn't get more than two people ever with it, but it can still get two people.

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    2. Line would be cool. There is no line boss weapon yet. It also solves problem with overfreezing yourself with old version.

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    3. Line works fine against low level groups.

      Delete
  6. Adaptive Morphology way overbuffed too. It was really ok before. If you're a specialized boss you can take shooting and you'll easily take 2 attacks per turn on it. +10 shooting defense when you have tentacles or bloodlust? Yeah. Tons of people will want to attack you in melee or shoot into that duel. Even if it counts as active defense and can be pierced it still made the players waste precious resources. Defense pierce is actually rare.

    It doesn't work that well as melee defense but it's completely overpowering vs shooting and makes spaghetti and bloodlust much stronger. It also feels overall better than afterimages.

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    1. New 3x faster is too similiar to bloodlust and still better.

      1. 3x faster works with all weapons not only in a duel. It's particularly nice with AoE tentacles but I guess bloodlust kinda works there too. Hmm. The bonus to might will only apply to one target even if tentacles hit multiple people, right? Still 3x faster work with shooting better.

      2. It needs speed 10 to compare though. You still want high speed to engage with bloodlust but maybe not 10.

      I guess they're balanced against each other but too similiar.

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    2. I'll remove Melee and Shooting as options though. It'll only be a choice between Beams and non-Beams which should make it easier to play around.

      With that said, there are three ways to punch through barriers: Signature Weapon, The Beast and I'm Breaking Through. Two of these are repeatable. There's also effects that deal Damage without an attack roll. And for this barrier in particular you can just use a weapon that gets around it.

      A Boss-class barrier should be strong enough to make you put effort into ignoring it, not letting you ride it through

      You are correct the Melee bonus only ever applies against one target. And yes, they are a little too similar, but I think that's a positive since it helps people gauge their ideas better in case they want to make their own Boss upgrades.

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    3. It's much more interesting if you limit if to beam and non-beam split. It still fucks over specialized builds like anybody with experimental reactor but it's strong without being overwhelming on some builds.

      Especially on level 4 when you can switch it around for a nice suprise.

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    4. Trying this out, this is very nasty if everybody is a specialist without barrier piercing and they don't have barrier piercing insurance or only one of them does.

      You can even put up a barrier that ignores that one character (say if you have a beast user and then a bunch of beam specialists) but blocks out everyone else if you really want to be a dick. It is very effective, if something of a dick move against people who stack up numbers without having a plan B.

      Which is pretty much what it is intended to be anyhow.

      Delete
  7. Die for me is kinda bad compared to I Believe This is Yours.
    The latter is 2x as effective and while less targettable you can still easily use it at least once every turn.

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    1. The end effect is twice as effective, yes, but it also depends on the PC lineup using the same weapon types over and over. Like you said, it is less targetable. IBTiY encourages PCs to use different weapons to reduce their % of missing and the damage they take, while DfM makes them want to blitz and take down the Boss ASAP.

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  8. Antimaims should be made more expensive for sure. If you know they're too good and mandatory make them more expensive until the alternatives are at least somewhat viable. Increase the starting points if you want to compensate for less MP available for other stuff.

    They could really use 5 MP cost increase. It will make alternatives at least worth considering instead of not even worth thinking about like now. The expansion pack needs to be nerfed the most. Reduce capacity to 10 or make it 15 for 20.
    First option is better because you can actually use the purge function after the stuff inside runs out like techniques or resupply.

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  9. Nanoskin vs Keep Coming Back.

    Regeneration is clearly better. With the half damage spillover rule vs bosses you can't burst one in 3 turns.

    As long a the boss survives 4 turns the regen will be better.

    The last stand at level 4 alone can give you 10 or mroe HP (your threshold + any overkill)
    Nanoskin is not even close. It's clearly much worse.

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    1. I'm still not sure if that rule is going to be standardized since it slows down play and it is not much of an issue without total glass cannons around. It is a pretty useful fix when that is the case, though, so at the very least it'd go in the Houseruling section.

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    2. Even without the rule regeneration is still 2x better.

      Nanoskin gives you 15 HP total.
      Regeneration gives you like 10 HP from level 4 last stand ALONE.
      Even if you only regenerate for a single turn for 5 HP you match the nanoskin.
      There is no way the boss is going to die in 2 turns.

      Can you present a scenario where nanoskin is better? Because I can't see one. Maybe if boss is hit with 4 aimed overdrives on turn 2 and the all are boosted with genre powers and they all roll 10...

      You still get like 15 HP on keep coming back from last stand in that situation so even then it's not really worse.

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    3. Nanoskin shell is, in theory, better against teams with higher focus fire ability. In practice though, yeah,I suppose it could use something like 5-10 extra points of defense.

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    4. Gave it an endure effect to survive the last level with 1 HP.

      Assuming each level of keeps coming back stays on for at least one round, it restores around 15-20 points (and endures a lethal blow once) before it croaks. If it lasts longer, it'll do more than that, but it honestly shouldn't as the boss will be focus fired the moment they see it regenerates.

      Nanoskin blocks out 15 no questions asked and endures with 1 point left. It is not an overwhelming slowroller like other boss defensive upgrades but it gets the job done in guaranteeing survival againt burst damage tactics.

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    5. Keep scoming back restores full threshold level instead of surviving with 1 HP. That's like another 7 extra HP. If anything switch them around with nanoskin getting full threshold and coming back getting 1 HP survival.

      Assuming players destroy 1 threshold per turn you have 5 threshold levels on regenerating boss now. So 3+5+5+5+5 = 23 regenerated + like 10 HP from level 4 effect. = around 33 HP gained.

      Now compare to Afterimages.
      Let's say the average is reroll with 2 disadvantages so -4. Bosses have energy to spare so they can easily use it 4 times per turn.
      How many attack boss needs to afterimage to equal keep coming back?
      33 HP / 4 = around 8 attacks
      That's pretty easy. It should take at least this many attacks at -4 to kill the boss.

      Now adaptive morphology
      How many attacks it needs to take on barrier to equal regeneration?
      3@10 + 1@5. If the boss survives at least 4 turns it need to get only 1 attack per turn on the barrier. It should be easy to do since hybrid weapon users are rare and players usually only have one shots or techniques from their non primary weapon group.

      Nanoskin feels weak at 20-25 points + one overkill damage. It's the easiest to use but regeneration is too and still feels better simply because it has better level 4 survival.

      Delete
    6. So 30 bonus health more than doubles the HP of lowish level bosses and makes them kind of a slog. Level 4 onwards it is pretty fair.

      I think it is going to use the current numbers plus Boss Power Level per Threshold Level. At Level 1 it is 18 bonus HP, at Level 5 it is 30 bonus HP.

      Delete
  10. It's a little out of left field, but since we're talking about 'changes', maybe something can be done with AA Missiles? It's fairly unimpressive. A comparison with the basic Beam Rifle:

    AA Missiles: +1 Advantage, situational.

    Beam Rifle: +1 Advantage, for 2En (unless you have Exp Reactor, then it's +2Ad for 1En).

    Even without Experimental Reactor (which is a popular thing for beam based builds), Beam Rifle stands out as the superior choice because it does the same thing, but will gain it's advantage far, far more often, making it the superior choice. And if you do have Experimental Reactor, it blows AA Missiles away.

    Perhaps AA Missiles could also ignore the effects of maneuvering against flying targets. Still situational (arguably more so), but at least it then becomes a superior option in relevant situations.

    Or maybe just reskin it to Homing Missile, give it Slow, One Shot, or Unreliable, and have it ignore the defense bonus from maneuvering against all targets? Again, situational, but considering how some mechs can literally get a +10 bonus from high speed or systems, and some boss builds are build around getting free maneuvers... it becomes a more attractive option, without being a 'must have'.

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    1. It is a very simple weapon that is either meh or pretty good depending on target selection. It does not use up energy and has no drawbacks, which is a pretty good thing for an alternative to the assault rifle or riot weapon.

      I don't want to change it because it is a decent simple weapon and it serves as a good example for how to homebrew your own variant weapons like it.

      Delete
    2. I understand the need to keep it simple and straightforward, but again I question it's usefulness when stacked up against similar weapons, it's just not as solid or reliable as a fallback. Assault Rifle is long range and you have total control over picking maims, Riot Weapon is multi-target... both are very useful, whereas AA Missile is +1 Adv, sometimes.

      It doesn't need a large buff or a dramatic change, even something as simple as, say, giving it +2 Adv instead of +1 against fliers would make it a more worthwhile option while retaining the simplicity of the weapon.

      Though now that I did mention it, a weapon that is designed to overcome maneuvering in some fashion sounds like an interesting idea (ha ha, more work, I'm terrible, I know). While the initial idea of flat out ignoring it is probably a bit much, it could be a sort of counter-play against things like Stealth Field or Guardian of Steel.

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    3. RPGs have a problem where, as they get more complex, the simplest options tend to end up being worse than the ones with more moving pieces. I really don't want to make everything more complex just to compensate though.

      A part of me is very interested in the antimaneuver effect. The other knows that this serves its purpose just fine as it is. It is a complicated issue.

      Delete
    4. Well, the anti-maneuver thing would be great for something from the expansion, maybe? But seriously, for AA Missiles, if it gets +2Adv against fliers, it'd still be simple and be a slightly better option.

      Delete
    5. I forgot to reply to this one too. +2 Adv vs fliers is ok since it depends on enemy build more than yours.

      Delete
  11. Beam rifle is like the second worst weapon (after beam saber)

    That 2 energy costs you like 10 MP if you already have some dedicated to active defenses. 10 MP is at least 1 Might. The energy cost is very significant factor here. It's like +1 Might and AA vs +2 energy and beam rifle.

    Experimental reactor is 20 MP now so you can just get +2 might for less instead. To break even at all you need to have like 7+ Might and 4+ energy. It's only worth it on high PL.

    AA Missile usefulness depends on the setting but in any setting on earth it's very probable you'll be facing enemy fighters/bombers or other flyers. It's a good weapon to counter those.

    That said it's also very likely those aircraft will be PL0 or PL1 and will also have squadron which makes riot weapon much better at dealing with them and also good against all other squadrons and can hit 2 enemies sometimes.

    The reasoning here is very meta and assumes a lot of things about how people will build things. Now that I look at it flyer is really good feature. The fact that you can ignore extreme terrain alone makes it worth it. If you're a sniper it's a no brainer too. The underwater penalty is super specific and unlikely to ever come up though GM might bring it up once just to make you feel the disadvantage but that one scenario where you suffer is totally worth the benefits in all others. It'd still be excellent feature if it cost 5 MP and for free it's worth taking on most build. The only thing preventing it from being used on like 60% of all units is the fact that it's an extra feature and people forget about it and don't even consider it. I don't think it will be used very often for that reason.

    I don't see how antigravity is worth it when you can just take flyer for free instead. You save 10 MP and energy which is like another 10 MP. The small disadvantages are easily worth the 20 MP saved.

    Flyer being so good and the rarity of flyers are good enough reasons to make AA missiles better to punish it more. AA missiles could use long-range or something to make them more attractive.

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    1. About Antigravity: It should also make you unable to move if you're forced to land, such as from Ensnaring Trap. I thought I had done that, but didn't, thanks for making me look.

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  12. The reason beam rifle and saber are so bad is that they are boring and barely better than normal weapons and yet cost you 2 energy. Other beam weapons cost even more energy but have very powerful effects.

    Beam rifle/saber are only good on PL0 or PL1 grunts that don't use energy on anything else so getting from 0 to 2 is only 3 MP. For everybody else they're better off with a normal weapon or a good beam weapon depending if they want to be more defensive or offensive.

    Like if you have active defenses already and like 4 EN to power it, the extra energy to power the beam rifle/saber costs you 5+6 = 11 MP.

    So you can get +1 might and assault rifle or riot weapon and still have a few MP to spare. Or a beam rifle/saber and 2 EN. I know which one is better for sure.

    If you don't have active defenses and 0 EN. The energy to power the beam rifle/saber costs you only 3 MP. That's pretty cheap for +2 damage.
    But then you look at other beam weapons and think. Hmm. I can get a 2x beam ripper instead and another point of EN. It only costs me 8 MP more and I get basically beam saber with crippling. That's great deal for 8 MP.

    weapon with advantage for 3 MP
    OR
    weapon with advantage and crippling for 11 MP
    hmmm

    replace ripper with charge cannon for beam rifle example

    It will get even worse for those two when they have to compete with expansion beam weapons too.

    Beam saber and rifle can easily be discounted to only 1 energy.
    Yes, that means you can fire them for free with experimental reactor.
    No, nobody will have experimental reactor and any of those because it's only efficient on high PL where nobody will have beam saber and/or rifle.

    Let the destitute PL0 grunts have the extra 2 MP they save by going EN 1 instead of EN 2 if it means that somebody with EN 4 used on defenses can have a choice of

    riot/assault rifle + 5MP on might vs beam rifle + EN 4->5

    The choice is still lopsided in favor of normal weapons.
    Beam saber is even more hopeless because it goes against dueling blade which has gets the advantage 65% of the time for 0 energy. And you need energy for overbooster too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. At higher level PLs you can get 1 point of might and 1 point of energy and end up with a weapon that, if you add experimental reactor, chucks dice at 2+ advantages for a whole 1 energy.

      But it also means you will end up with a much more offensive and fragile build than that of other PCs if you decide to use the other big beam weapons. So you're probably better off using the rest of your energy into defensive options.

      Also you cannot buy the same weapon twice.

      Delete
    2. Last time you said it was ok to get two instances of slow weapon to effectively get rid of that disadvantage. It needs to be stated clearly you can't take weapons twice. Kinda sucks for one shots and techniques too, The limitation kinda makes sense mechanically but it takes away some fun and I don't really like it.

      It doesn't change that much anyway. With expansion we'll get more slow weapons and you'll be able to take two different slow weapons and fire them interchangeably. How is that different from taking two of the same slow weapon? In a pinch you can get a non slow weapon to use in between.

      Like 2x beam ripper vs beam ripper + extending blade.

      One has more duel firepower but the other is more versatile. I wouldn't say 2x beam ripper is so much better that it needs to banned.

      And it's only a big problem for melee. For ranged you want to aim the weapon anyway so slow is much less of a problem.

      Delete
    3. I remember that now that you point it out, yeah. I checked this time and the manual does say you can't buy the same weapon twice. So that's that.

      Delete
    4. That was before v2 preview. I didn't notice the new limit.

      Delete
  13. That said another thing is rail bazooka vs charge cannon.

    4 energy costs 10 MP minimum.
    So you have

    blast, long range and 10 MP in might vs beam, blast

    At low PL where you can get might cheaply rail bazooka is plainly superior.
    At higher PL the might gets more expensive but so does energy cost so that 10 MP on lest side is actually more than 10.

    Experimental reactor makes it more efficient and you can cycle energy to active defenses every other turn because you aim but I still feel the rail bazooka is superior option because it has long range. It's really very significant boost for AoE weapons because the placing of the blast is crucial. It also allows you to engage the enemy earlier when the forces are clustered together and there are no frendlies in the AoE. The fact that the weapons are slow and you want to aim them makes the long range even better.

    Before all ranged weapons got the +5 range from aim so it was 15 vs 10 range when aiming. But now that only long range gets that it's 15 vs 5 range aimed.
    That was a really big nerf to charge cannon. Rail bazooka is the superior option with 3x the range. It needs something to compensate. Maybe give it blast(4) for maximum close range blasting with expert support.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Charge Cannon is the only ranged blast that can be fired as a non-blast so you can shoot into a duel with it as a dedicated area-weapons user without using a burst and sticking to pure shooting.

      It is also a beam, so it also has the innate advantage that all beams get and works well with experimental reactor builds.

      Delete
    2. wow, so totally useful
      Rail bazooka guy can fire into duels too with his default weapon. He has a disadvantage but the charge cannon guy kinda has one too because he loses the beam advantage. Not to mention he can and most likely will get another single target weapon for 5 MP to have good option for firing into duels.

      Can the charge cannon guy spend 5 MP to make his blast weapon long range?

      4 energy is 10 MP minimum. That's +1 might at least.

      So the actual effective beam advantage is only +1.

      What's better? +1 damage or 15 range instead of 5 on your primary weapon. I'd take the range always. It will allow you to get more targets in AoE a lot of times.

      And if the charge cannon guy has reactor then the bazooka guy should have sniper type or artillery.

      Delete
    3. The actual edge of charge cannon is LESS THAN 1 damage.

      Not to mention all beam users get DESTROYED by EMP which is a huge problem for them. Reactor mitigates that a tiny bit but it's still a big weakness for them.

      Delete
    4. Bazooka is slow and as the scenario progresses grunts get wiped out so AoE is less useful. Both charge cannon and bazooka users will want a second weapon to cover that.
      The unboosted firing option wasn't really an advantage before but you can't fire it unboosted after charged shot so you MUST get another weapon to cover the slow when tension gets high.

      Bazooka user uses default weapon that he can fire after slow bazooka shot.

      If you think in single weapon advantages and disadvatages bazooka actually has an advantage because it can cover the slow turns with default weapon on higher tension.

      Charge cannon guy loses the beam advantage AND gets another disadvantage if he uses default weapons. He also doesn't get the +1 might the bazooka user has for the MP spent on energy. Default weapons are not an option for him. He has to get another weapon.

      Delete
    5. Charge cannon has a big draw over rail bazooka in that it is a beam and thus a higher damage cap. Also if you're an experimental reactor user, it is pretty much your only area option that does not overheat.

      Delete
    6. It gets +1 damage and you sacrifice a lot of defense and range for that.

      The upgradeorder is something like Might 7 -> Reactor/Sniper type -> Might 8 -> Artillery -> might 10

      You need to fir expert support there somewhere too. It costs so much that you probably won't get to might 10 part even on PL5.

      Only thing charge cannon has is being +1 ahead in damage on the progression track. It has a bit longer track too but the damage cap is so high neither build will reach it even by PL5 without becoming complete glass cannon. And it pays for that with lower range and much worse defense and vulnerability to EMP. That +1 damage is not a big deal if you have like +16 anyway.

      You use bazooka + riot weapon or charge cannon + incinerator.

      Those combinations allow you to use your all your specialization modules in all situations. The only exception is if you're engaged in a duel and there is no other target available. Incinerator is kinda problematic because it needs investment into systems you otherwise ignore. You could another melee weapon to cover your versatility but then your damage cap becomes the same as the rail bazooka.

      Delete
    7. With a charge cannon you can forgo expert support. You already have a weapon to use in a duel, and the other half of the effect can be covered with (very) careful positioning. It is a noticeable drawback, but it is one that it would not have with a longer range and then we'd run again into the issue of beams being superior to their counterparts.

      Delete
  14. I also looked at the experimental rules again and noticed resonance cannon is now slow instead of one-shot. This makes it really good.

    I did some back of the envelope calculations but they're very chaotic and hard to follow. I'll do more calculations and post results tomorrow. Anyway.

    Does resonance cannon destroy threshold levels through absolute barrier and other damage shields? It seems that way because the special effect doesn't deal damage but outright DESTROYS threshold levels.

    How does You can do better than that work with unreliable/overheat? It auto passes the might test but how do you count if unreliable or overheat triggered? Do you roll anyway just to see if it did but only look at even/odd and ignore the actual number? And do you roll only one die even if you had advantages?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The slow resonance cannon is potentially devastating, especially in the hands of massed grunts, which is why it is one of my top playtesting priorities.

      It does get through damage shields, yes, to avoid it you have to completely dodge the attack. So of course, it has horrible accuracy!

      The power fixes a roll that was originally a miss, so you should use the number rolled there. It ignores all advantages and disadvantages entirely, but not modifiers to tension, which includes unreliable.

      Delete
  15. Because only long range gets +5 range when aiming now it makes long range weapons super good. Aiming is really good for shooting weapons and pretty much everybody wants to aim until second shot on turn 4 at least.

    Sniper rifle is now godlike. As I said you want to always aim anyway for first 4 turns. Extra sniper advantage means that aiming is clearly superior until turn 6 too. After that you can just forget the sniper rifle and switch to techniques so you won't feel its disadvantage. The extra advantage doesn't really cost anything because you'd want to aim for 4 turns at least with any other weapon too and once the aim limit starts holding you back just switch to different weapon. It's only 5 MP. It's one of few long range weapons and the difference between aimed long range and normal is 15 vs 5 instead of 15 vs 10 like it used to be makes sniper rifle pretty OP.

    It also highlights nicely how useless beam rifle is.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Here is a table I made
      http://i.imgur.com/2cOeBZ3.png
      It shows estimated damage based on tension and your might - enemy guard

      on turn 2 you have
      aimed +4 = 6.5 damage
      unaimed +0 = 2.8 damage + 2.1 damage from turn 1
      on turn 4
      aimed +4 = 8.5 damage
      unaimed +0 = 4.5 damage + 3.6 damage from turn 3

      Everybody wants to aim until turn 4 at least.

      Delete
    2. This is fairly interesting though a bit hard to parse until I read your post twice over. Aiming is meant to be a good option that gives long range attackers an edge over the competition... When they do have that luxury.

      Not all battlefields are huge and not all operations give the opportunity to turtle, though. And a sniper that has spent considerable MP into being good at sniping is extremely vulnerable to melee enemies in a 5x5 or similar arena. Or to multiple ones in a 10x10 arena. Or to enemies that drag the sniper towards the enemy side. And so on.

      Delete
    3. Aiming is no luxury. It's just free damage for first 4 turns.

      In that 5x5 arena you still want to aim your shooting weapons because you get more damage. The extra range is just a bonus. Doesn't matter if you have beam rifle, sniper rifle or riot weapon. First turn you aim. Doesn't matter if the enemy will engage you in a duel. You still aim and fire it aimed on turn 2. Because it gives you more damage.

      The only time you don't aim is when you have a melee weapon and can engage enemy this turn. And if the enemy has active defenses it's still better to aim your sniper rifle even if you have a melee weapon and can engage in a duel.

      That's how good aiming and sniper rifle is.

      Delete
    4. You aim at the highest priority target in a 5x5 field, then your team does the same and focus fires that target before you get to shoot it, either killing it or leaving it so low that the +4 bonus is pointless.

      Or you're 1v1ing the target, so right after you aim they maneuver and cancel out the +4 attack (+6 for sniper rifle) with a +6 defense. Now imagine your opponent has Stealth Field. They traded an attack for your aim action, which is a pretty good deal for them.

      Aiming is not free if it costs an action of setup. Part of the draw of ranged weapons is that they're great when you aim with them, especially the long range ones, but it is not 'free damage' unless you build around it and that means spending a lot of XP on doing that.

      Delete
    5. Let's sat the enemy has 20 HP (5 threshold). Let's say your team is 4 people. How likely you are to kill the enemy?

      We look at damage table.+4 on turn 2 is 6.5 expected damage.

      So you deal 26 expected damage to the enemy. That might seem like an overkill but if the expected damage was only 20 i.e = to the enemy you'd have 50% chance to kill him.
      http://anydice.com/program/5878
      You have 87% to kill the enemy.
      What if he had 24 HP instead of 20? Then it's only 66%
      At 28 HP the chance is only 40%

      The chance to kill the enemy of turn 2 even with 4 people aiming is not that great.

      Of course I ignored any beam or sniper rifle advantages.
      But I also ignored active defenses. And those are much more effective.

      Let's say we have beams or snipers or whatever. That's +2
      The target however can have shielding aura or custom defense that gives him +3 defense against each attack. So we actually end up at -1.
      Our damage drops from expected 26 to 22.

      http://anydice.com/program/5879
      The chances to kill the guy drop to 67%/40%/17% for 20/24/28 HP respectively.

      Absolute barrier can likewise cancel out the advantages.

      If the enemy has an active defense attacking twice instead of aiming is terrible.

      Like The scenario with +3 defense and +2 attack = -1
      1.5 damage on turn 1 and 2.1 on turn 2 = 3.6 damage over 2 attacks
      vs
      5.5 damage with aim.

      It's hard to kill even a basic grunt even with 4 people focusing him with aim. You can't be sure even if he has no defenses.
      And if he has defenses then you need as much firepower as you can get. If the grunt survives even with 1 HP he gets to attack at 100% efficiency. You don't really waste an aim against low HP enemy if it increases your chances to kill that 1 HP grunt from 60% to 100% on your shot. It's unlikely you'll reach 100% without aim on turn 2.

      Delete
    6. Basically the overkill on aim focusing is low. Definitely low enough that losing damage by splitting your attack doesn't benefit you.
      The amount of damage you lose is much higher than the amount of overkill you prevent.

      Delete
    7. As you get more advantages from specializations the defenses also get stronger and the enemy HP increases. The effect is even more significant on higher PL. You have near 0% chance to kill an enemy grunt even if you focus him with 4 aimed shots on turn 2 because he has like 8 threshold and strong active defense giving him +12 HP or +16 defense over 4 attacks. Giving him like 32+12/16= 44/48 HP. That's A LOT.

      Delete
    8. And yes. Those are real numbers.
      http://i.imgur.com/MX6ha2h.png

      Delete
    9. Fixed ver
      http://i.imgur.com/6l0mlZJ.png

      Delete
    10. Other things that could happen while you aim:

      -Your weapon gets maimed.
      -Interference terrain is puffed in the middle of the attack path.
      -You eat a damage debuff.
      -A different enemy duels you.

      Yes, those shouldn't happen during turn 1 very often. Aiming on turn 1 is very, very good, but that's pretty much the only time it is not risky to do and you need to have a long range weapon to do it effectively. I am okay with that.

      Delete
  16. Every time I read weapon descriptions that say "When ... it gains an additional Advantage to its Might Test" I always have to remember that it's an extra effect.

    Like Radiant fist. "When you Boost this Weapon it gains an additional Advantage to its Might Test." Beam weapons get that normally so I always think that text is just a remainder for that. It always takes me a few seconds to remember that it's extra effect. It also took me a long time to even notice this is an extra effect at all. It might just be me though.

    Can we change that to "When you Boost this Weapon it gains an additional Advantage (for a total of two) to its Might Test."

    The same applies to constrict boss weapon, double blaster and dueling blade.
    Can we get the extra "(for a total of two)" in all those places?
    Sniper rifle already avoids this.

    This might be only problematic for me but I think the extra text in () would be useful for everybody

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Actually better way would be to change it to "When you
      Boost this Weapon it gains two additional advantages to its Might Test instead of one"

      The issue here is with the "specific rule beats general rule" rule. If the specific rule is exactly the same as general one with the same wording it gets confusing whether it stacks for twice the effect or just replaces old one. It's obvious when you look at other weapons that don't have this but it always takes a second or two.

      Delete
    2. Good idea. Doing this for other weapons would make for fairly clunky text in trying to catch even the most common variables, but it is just fine with the the mentioned melee weapons and the boost bonus from beams too.

      Delete
  17. Discussing stuff in the comments section here is pretty chaotic. How about moving to a different format? I made a draft of a doc for discussing this stuff where we can have issues sorted and keep track of it.

    I put issue regarding supports there.

    https://docs.google.com/document/d/191emxw2WsiXLgFngQ7q7CU5PHts71PpzQWpLpTSfop0/edit?usp=sharing

    ReplyDelete
  18. Most of the anti-maim stuff is good, the only thing I find that is too powerful is the Integrated Weapons, which would be easy enough to nerf by dictating a limit to how many weapons can be integrated/what weapons can be integrated. An integrated Zweihander or Dueling Weapon is hard to justify, after all.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is a good idea, Noel. I had already considered doing something like it (three weapons for 15 MP). And it might have been what I'd eventually go with if there was enough time to make sure it goes well for everyone.

      As is, a bump of 5 points will have to do.

      Delete
  19. Page 87. Combiner description references sub units which do not exist.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Of course we'd miss that. Thanks for pointing it out!

      Delete
  20. Why would anybody ever use unison combiners if the components are pretty much straight up better? They share everything and use highest attribute from all units.

    So you can have getter-1, 2 and 3 forms that each specialize in different enviroment stat but also have weaknesses for each form

    OR

    You can have super robot that has all the best advantages of each form at the same time always.

    Unison combination mentions that all robots must have this upgrade to be able to join. Component units don't mention that. It is ambiguous whether the lead unit there needs the upgrade or only the components.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ok. I kinda answered my own question. Each getter has terrain specialist feature that gives it an edge on its chosen terrain. The disadvantage in other terrains is negated because you have another form that specializes in that terrain.

      This works in theory but in practice the terrain specialist bonus is so small that the massive point wastage in buying attributes multiple times offsets it completely.

      Let's say we have 200 point budget for each mech and 3 mechs.

      For combiners you waste 3x20= 60 points for the upgrade itself. Each combiner has two attributes at max and the rest is 0 (threshold at 1). Another 2 MP wasted.

      After combining you basically have a single mech built using 538 MP. You can have 10s across the board. Bypass the multiple weapon restriction so you can ignore slow and spam techniques.

      Your efficiency is 538/600= almost 90%

      For unison you get one mech with 180 MP in 3 different configurations.

      Internal upgrades are shared so let's say each mech has 30 MP of those.

      For unison you get one mech with 180+60= 240 MP in 3 different configurations.

      But on the other hand considering you have AT LEAST 120 MP in attributes.

      So you only have like 60 MP that is actually different.

      Your efficiency is 240/600 = around 40%

      I wonder which of those combiners would win in a fight. The ones with 3 different specialized loadouts or the one with all attributes at 10 and every weapon and upgrade imaginable.

      Also. You know what else gives you ability to change stats around and have different loadouts? TRANSFORMATION! Superior morphing even costs 20 just like unison combination.

      Delete
    2. More fun with PL cost table.

      You know what's better than PL1 rival with 130 MP that costs 4 points on the table?

      Two combined PL0 rivals that effectively have 158 MP and almost twice the genre points for the same 4 points on the table. They also get delicious autoaim every turn. That's worth like 40+ MP extra.

      No reason ever to take PL5 rival (250 MP) when you can have three PL 1s combined into 328 MP mecha and more than double the number of genre points.

      Or if you don't need the fancy genre powers and just want raw MP and infinite default power spam go for 6 PL 0s that combine into a 474 MP monstrosity

      That's using the old table. I hope the release will have it shifted down one row.

      Delete
    3. The other big draw of Unison Combination is that the components don't spend actions for Synchro Attacks. That turns it from a conditionally useful super attack to a guaranteed super attack that you WILL want to use once per operation.

      Delete
    4. Oh and the Power Rating guidelines are getting bumped up one level/shifted down one row.

      Delete
  21. The synchro attack is a nice bonus but it still doesn't fix hundreds of MP wide gap between the two combining options.

    And a unison combiner is still much worse than having separate robots. The only thing shared is internal upgrades which helps but that's what? 30 extra MP per additional robot? You sacrifice 150 MP mecha to get extra 30 MP of parts and aiming action. Not a good deal.

    Meanwhile even with the shifted table you can still get two combined PL 1s instead of PL 4. They both have the same 220 MP but the combiner has autoaim and much more genre points. 2x (1 start + 3 damage) = 8 vs 7 that normal PL 4 has.

    Or you can get three PL 0s that have 240 MP instead and 9 genre poitns.

    You sacrifice better genre powers yeah. But you get friggin autoaim and more points.

    ReplyDelete
  22. The cost for combiners should be % value of every mech not static that way it would scale much better. Something like 25%

    Two mechs can make a one mech with 150% MP with combiners. Sounds reasonable.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Problem with combiners is that there are two ways to use them:

    1. Take full advantage of it and take ether max or zero stats of component mechs so that when combined they don't waste any MP. Downside is they basically do not function as separate mechs at all. They deploy precombined and cannot separate so they are effectively no different from a single robot just with more MP. You can easily make a super robot that can easily overwhelm and annihilate theoretically level appropriate challenge.

    Like 4 PL1 PCs combining. Enemies have stats in 4-6 range and they go out with 440 MP with 10s across the board. They can easily kick even a PL5 boss to the curb when it should be very hard encounter.

    The super mech gets kinda shut down by debuffs though so it might not be that awesome.

    2. They do function as separate units but after combining the benefits are marginal and the power increase is small. It's hard to justify the cost of upgrade on each mech when the final result is only slightly stronger than each mech and the cost of lost actions outweighs the benefits.


    ReplyDelete
  24. Let's try this shit out.

    4 combining PL1 mechs. 440 MP total

    10/10/10/10/10/6 stats for 296 MP.

    Invincible alloy
    4 weapons
    Absolute barrier
    ECS
    Commander Type
    Resupply
    3x support upgrades

    That's like 400 MP total. You sill have almost 40 MP left.

    4 pilots actions
    1: attack
    2: aim
    3: maneuver
    4 spam support upgrades

    Every pilot is utilized almost to the max. There is almost no wasted actions.

    The two attackers gets attack and aim whch is what they would do every turn anyway for first 4 turns. You get 4 aimed attack in 4 turns. The same you would have with 2 separate mechs. The difference is they are with Might 10 not Might 5.

    The maneuver guy gives +10 guard and he's 100% confident that the target he used maneuver on will be the one attacked (because there are no others). That's like having guardian of steel and protecting your whole team every turn. The tank guy is actually much more effective in the combiner than he would be in his own separate mech.

    The support guy does the same thing he would do in his own mech, spamming support upgrades and resupplying. He can just enjoy having much superior defenses and systems 10 on PL 1.

    Energy budget is a bit tight but the power and synergy of the combined mech is immense overall.

    Pretty good power for a PL1 4 PC team.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If one support is 5 MP you have 50 MP left
      It can be spent on
      experimental reactor OR artillery type
      melee duel specialization
      ranged specialization

      Delete
  25. How does it work with combiners.

    There is almost no synergy at all.

    Support guy internal upgrades are useless for everybody else.
    Tank guy internal upgrades are useless for everybody else.
    Ranged guy internal upgrades are useless for everybody else.
    Support guy internal upgrades are useless for everybody else.

    Tank guy can maneuver and provide bonus but the lead mech might have low systems and speed so he's not as effective.

    Support guy can spam support upgrades but the lead might have low systems. Can even be 0 for melee lead.

    Attackers can attack but the lead might have bad weapons and low might like support or tank leads.

    The mech will hav eguard of 5 which is average for PL1 and won't have active defenses for all forms.

    It's impossible to make all 4 actions at optimal efficiency. Depending on the form some actions will get shafted.

    The bonus of better synchro attack is nowhere near offsetting the massive losses in other areas.

    Even if you took the exact same mechs and made them component combiners instead the result would be much better. You'd lose a ton of MP no redundant stats but each pilot could at least perform his actions with normal efficiency instead of lowered one. And he'd have better defenses from tank guy on all forms too.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Combiner system needs to be reworked.

    First you have to make sure that the mechs can function independently. Otherwise the combined mech is no different from a single mech with combined MP pool of all the units (minus combiner tax per unit)

    To make individual component combiners useful the final form should have stats of average of components. That means components can't dump most stats to 0 and focus on only one or two. That would be kinda weak however.
    Quick idea is to give +1 bonus to all stats for every unit after the first after averaging.

    So 2 units is averaged stats +1.
    3 units is averaged stats +2
    etc

    That would mean components with ton of units get massive bonuses but it also means it gets harder and harder to utilize the pilot actions effectively and you get more and more vulnerable to debuffs. That balances things nicely and makes both 2, 3 and 4 units combiners nice and useful. Maybe even 5+.

    The example super 4x PL1 robot would have averaged stats around 4-5. +3 bonus for 4 unit combiner gives you everything around 7-8. Much more reasonable than 10s across the board but still feels powerful on PL1.

    Unison combiners are too weak. Maybe also give it +1 bonus to all stats for every mech after first. That would make its stat line totally in line with the proposed component combiners.

    Again you get better stats but get more vulnerable to debuffs and limited in actions you can take and tight on energy. There is the combination tax too.

    It's a very fair tradeoff I think.

    Other option is treating the mech as a transformer with 3+ forms with subpilots. Which is what getter basically is. The units can detach but they ale virtually never used separately. It would require to make transformation stackable so you can have more forms.

    Like I said before the combiner upgrade cost should be % based. I think 20-25% seems right. You can get very powerful synergies so the tax need to be quite high.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Or if you really want combiners to deploy precombined and be unable to decombine just do it like that:

    "Combiners are mechs built with MP pool equal to the sum of MP pools of contributing players reduced by XXX"

    The individual components don't need their own stats at all if they're never going to be used. It's simple and easy. Just figure out a good tax value.


    ReplyDelete
  28. I just realized I hadn't replied to this although I was pretty sure I did. I guess I dreamt it or something. Sorry about that.

    Completely redoing combiners would... Well, would make them different than the ones we have. I'm not opposed to what you're proposing, but the core rules can't quite do something that drastic at this point (or a month ago). If I have the time for it I might try them out for the expansion, but I can't quite promise that they'll make it through.

    Bumping the cost of combiners to make it a percentage of the total cost would make them hardly worth it. The drawbacks of being a lone unit are already harsh enough.

    As a note, you cannot use the aim action as a subpilot, because it is an offensive action and subpilots can only take utility actions.

    Combiners do have two ways to use them, and each one has its pros and cons. The optimized way makes them very susceptible to single target debuffs and the way where they work well as individual units provides marginal benefits, but they also don't have the critical weakness to debuffs. It is a legitimate risk.

    The draw of Unison Combiners is that they are regular units and are better suited to the second method. I ended up making them cheaper to compensate anyway, since combining and decombining costs precious actions and is usually not a very good idea. That single super synchro attack per operation is extremely powerful burst damage, with four participants it is a +12 to attack on demand on top of their regular damage per round.

    ReplyDelete
  29. The change is not very drastic. Just change one sentence from best attribute to averaged attributes +1 per each mech above 1. The combiner rules are very separated from everything else so it won't cause problems elsewhere.

    Ok. So you can't aim. You still get +10 to defense from maneuver and can still spam support upgrades with 100% effectiveness.

    optimized 4x PL1 player component combiner is 440 MP
    "normal" 4xPL1 player combiner is what? 250 MP on a good day

    THERE IS ALMOST 200 MP DIFFERENCE!
    THAT'S TWO HUNDRED POINTS!

    So if you use them normally you get marginal benefits.
    But if you use them optimally they're balanced because they're vulnerable to debuffs.

    Normal combiners are vulnerable to debuffs the same as optimized ones. You can't decombine so it gives you no protection against them.

    Considering it's the same mech just with 200 MP added there are two possible cases which is a fuckton.

    Case 1:
    normal combiners are marginally beneficial
    optimized combiners are marginally beneficial with 200 MP added so they're MASSIVELY FUCKING OP

    Case 2:
    Optimized combiners are pretty good while being weak to debuffs which balances them
    Normal combiners are pretty bad because they have 200 MP less AND are weak to debuffs which compounds and makes them utter shit

    Either case one of the ways to use the combiners is broken. The difference between the MP values in normal and optimized way is just so massive that both of them can't possibly be balanced at the same time.

    Like I pointed out you can have 10/10/10/10/10/6 monster mech with 4xPL 1 PC combination.

    Let's say it has around 2x damage, 2x defense and 2x HP compared to single mechs.

    Those factors are multiplicative when determining combat power (approximately).

    The mech will take half damage of normal one and is twice as tough so it will last 4x as long while doing 2x damage the whole time so it's overall 8x stronger than normal.

    And that's without the maneuver every turn which makes it basically invincible with 25 defense.Even if you half its guard the +10 maneuver bonus is not halved.

    And while it's weak to single target debuffs multiple separate units are vulnerable to AoE attacks.

    Bunch of grunts with bombardment is just as dangerous to multiple separate units as debuffers are to single combined mech.

    And at higher PL you can get the same 440 MP with only 3 or 2 units which makes them much less susceptible to debuffs while maintaining that sweet +10 maneuver and super synergy.

    The change is drastic yeah but really necessary. Optimized combiners are a travesty because they aren't really combiners just a super big mech that is massively OP. Averaging stats instead of taking best will fix it very well.

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  30. Even if your energy is worhless because you got EMPd and your might, guard and speed are halved you lose what? 150 MP. You're still 300 MP Iinvincible monster with 20 defense and 40 HP. They'll run out of support upgrades before they take you down.

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  31. Another thing is attrition damage.

    If the enemy brings debuffs and you decide to fight as separate mechs you will mitigate the effects.

    It sure sucks getting a bunch of debuffs to your awesome mech. But a the end of the day you still have very good defense and can tank the focused attacks and will still deal some damage with your high might.

    What happens if you debuff and focus a separate component mech. IT GETS DESTROYED. You lose a big fraction of your offensive power as you lose your team HP.

    Meanwhile the combined mech has 100% attack power down to the last HP.

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  32. I actually tried to make component mechs that work as separate units but still have decent power when combined and it's impossible.

    Aside from redundant attributes you'll have redundant active defenses and anti-maims. So much MP gets wasted on those that there is no way to get any decent benefits from combining that offsets the lost actions.

    You can't just make normal mechs and slap 20 MP combiner upgrade on every one. The combined form will be only marginally stronger than single separate mech and the combination won't be worth it at all.

    I mentioned you can get 250 MP on combined mech with 4xPL1 but you'll be lucky to break 200 if you want truly independently functioning mechs.

    You'll have to make big sacrifices and cripple some of the separate mechs by not taking anti-maims or active defenses to make the combined form even remotely worth it.

    But if you try to go middle ground you'll just end up sucking both in separated forms and combined form.

    The extreme strategies are much more efficient.

    You either maximize individual potential and just don't take combiner upgrade because each mech functions well on its own.

    Or you just go full combiner and build the 440 MP monster that doesn't function separated at all but is a total beast combined.

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  33. I forgot to mention another thing: Combining now takes one action from one participant, not all of them. This makes mid-battle combinations not a waste of a whole turn, which benefits middle ground units more. That and the 10 point cost makes Unison Combining an okay build option for a handful of units looking for a burst damage option.

    The all-in combiner at high PL does have a defense of like 25, yes. But that gets dropped to 15-20 with anything that halves guard/speed being thrown into the mix. At the end of the day, they are still a lone unit that can only attack once per turn no matter how many defensive or offensive buffs they can stack together.

    It is a shift in how the game is played in that the PCs are now the boss and the enemies are in the role of PCs - except they have more tools for it, like enemy features, the paired attack action, and everything unique to bosses.

    Like don't get me wrong, a dedicated lead with 3-4 dedicated component units is pretty much the strongest single unit in the game. Yes, this is because it is actually a whole bunch of units tossed together into one.

    Likewise, your proposed changes are a different way to play combiners, and I see no harm in trying it out. Variety is the spice of life and all that.

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  34. Unison combining is okayish.

    +10 maneuvering bonus is from systems not speed so it can't be halved.

    You also have mind over matter if you get disabled really bad.

    All-in component combiner is strongest unit in the game as it should. But it's still TOO STRONG. I mean it eats level 5 bosses for breakfast. And that's the PL1 version. There is nothing that can really challenge it. It completely breaks the suggested PL guidelines.

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    Replies
    1. The combiner has insane defense thanks to maneuvering and absolute barrier.

      You said that it suffers in offensive departament because it can only make 1 attack. There is a solution for that though.

      Area attacks. It allows for making effectively multiple attacks with one action.

      It also allows us to stack more bonuses on the same attack. And thete is a weapon perfect for our mech. The incinerator. Normally it's very strong weapon but very hard to use and build around. With our crazy MP budget though all those disadvantages disappear and turn into advantages.

      Normally it has very short range but with our super systems it has 11 range which is looong.

      It benefits from artillery, duel and reactor types for a massive +6 passive attack bonus.

      We can easily take overheat on absolute barier thanks to huge energy pool too.

      It will hit at least 2 targets every turn. The guy we're dueling wit and another one within 11 range. It's melee so we even get melee bonus for dueling and we don't even need to spare our zone from extreme terrain because it's unlikely to damage us.

      That's +20 attack without genre powers. Against 2 or more targets.

      Or we can use blast (5) bombardment or charge cannon against easily 3 enemies and possibly much more.

      The offensive power here is MASSIVE.

      If it's 1v1 there is no way to lose because we're the strongest possible thing.

      Delete
    2. Let's not forget 5 direct damage blast from airstrike every turn. Thats pretty good offensive power too.

      Delete
  35. This thing is disgustingly overpowered and goes against the intent of combiners because it cannot separate. It has to be fixed.

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  36. How do enemy features help them?

    Squadron makes them die faster from aoe.
    Cryptid needs to go thrpugh 4 pilots so it will take
    ages.
    Paired attack is basically aiming and means there are two clustered enemies waiting for that blast.

    Any other features do anything.

    Players have something much better than any boss ability. That's 4 actions per turn and 4 times more genre powers and points. They are much strpnger than just single unit with 440 mp which is suer strong by itself.

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  37. Single attack has benefits too.
    If you have 4 players focusing boss with strong active defense they all have to use their signature attack power on the same turn. They get +20 total damage and neutralize the barrier fot 1 turn.

    If they are combined they can spread the signature attacks over 4 turns giving them +20 damage too but they neutralize the defense for 4 turns instead of 1 which can easily be another +15 or 20 damage.

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  38. writing walls of text is fun and all but there are faster ways to dicuss things
    mail me at mega.anon@ google mail and we maybe we can talk on skype or some chat

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I highly value the transparency that discussing things here offers.

      I also highly value doing things in a speedy fashion, so I emailed you.

      Delete
  39. You are right. Component Unit does not do combiners justice, but I can't redo combiners entirely at this point. What I CAN do is make them safer. In allowing them to combine with a single action and averaging stats we end up with something less extreme than what we used to have.

    You have convinced me thoroughly that we do need different, more interesting combiners.So, compromise: For now, we go with what works even if it is just sort of okayish. But we WILL have combiners with more depth of gameplay in the expansion, because I want them.

    ReplyDelete