Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

In Defense of "Bloat" - Praise for the Developers

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #31
    Originally posted by Meianno Yuurei View Post
    A lot of people have expressed unhappiness at the "bloat" of 3e; the "dice tricks" and the like, the fact that trees like Dodge, Awareness, Stealth, and Performance are no longer four or five charms long, that Solars have a lot more charms in general and a lot of them have relatively minor-seeming effects.
    This is pretty much a provocation - from all my players no one had a problem with trees shorter before getting more love. Nor did I. The "bloat" problem is different. It would be ok for every ability to have 20-30 Charms. Problem starts when many abilities come close to 40-50.

    Originally posted by Meianno Yuurei View Post
    Speaking as someone who preferred non-Solars in 2e, I perceive a major value to this that is not being recognized; it creates a gap. In 2e, Solar excellence was described through two functions: Having the Excellency, and having nearly inviolate charms that had relatively baseline effects, that noone else was allowed to get close to. This resulted in such aberrations as the infamous DB Performance charm to ignore a penalty that didn't exist; a desperation to create charms that allowed Solars to maintain supremacy, resulting in charms that ranged from boring and pale copies to pitifully useless.
    This really doesn't have anything with Charm bloat, because:

    Originally posted by Meianno Yuurei View Post
    The expansion of Solar charms upwards and outwards does make their power less concentrated, this is true. But I think most people who experienced 2e will recognize this as a blessing in disguise. Firstly, the onerous cost of purchasing excellencies is gone, allowing extra charms to be purchased elsewhere. Secondly, this makes it easier to distinguish someone who is totally focused on stealth from a dabbler. And thirdly - not obvious to Solar-primary players, I believe - this allows for more room beneath them.
    First, I don't know anyone who didn't really houserule Excellencies in similar way as 3rd Edition did. Secondly, I would argue that concentrated power for Solars (most played splat, most played by beginners) would be a good thing, while making more of weaker Charms (in style of actual 3rd Edition for Solars) for other splats would let them archive levels balanced with Solars, but slower - focused melee combat Lunar or Sidereal would be a challenge for Solar, but Solar would at the same time dabble in some Craft on the side easily.

    Originally posted by Meianno Yuurei View Post
    The Craft tree is gigantic so that others can have actual crafting charms [as opposed to 2e Lunars' "I can turn a stone into a sword for a scene and that's about it"], letting them actually participate in some 'crafting of wonders' concepts, while still allowing Solars to be the potential absolute kings of crafting, as long as you don't make equal charms for everyone else.
    The Craft tree for main splat focused on Crafting is so big you need to spend additional hours on planning and 15 minutes on each dice roll and cannot do anything else than crafting (because you have to buy so many Charms) so the other, much less played and less crafty splats can craft a little? This is a really bad idea if it's true.

    Originally posted by Meianno Yuurei View Post
    Overall, I'm very pleased with what I'm seeing of 3e, and this is as someone who absolutely hated 2e's implementation of Solar supremacy.
    It was done badly in 2nd Edition, but Charm bloat is not an answer.

    Originally posted by Meianno Yuurei View Post
    "Why should I be happy with non-Solars being better?", some may ask? Well, what's a more exciting battle, fighting someone who's a step or two below you, or beating up a geriatric paraplegic who's currently suffering from a seizure? More capable non-Solars allows Solars to feel awesome by dint of being amazing both in their own right and by having worthy rivals.
    I'm happy with possibilities for other splats to be better (especially because I love Sidereals). But Charm bloat almost killed will to participate in session for some of my players who wanted to play 3rd Edition (some of them had problems with remembering what every of their Charms do in 2nd Edition, now they will have almost two times more...). I pretty much had to make list of basic Charm purchases for character concepts given to me. And this is basic, probably least complicated splat for 3rd Edition.
    Yes, it's ok for people who are capable in game mechanics. It's however bloated, unwieldy and reading even few character defining Abilities Charms tree is a slog. For people who don't really like mechanics it's extremely bad. And while I'm probably designated audience (I like to bite into game mechanics, I like to homebrew, I'm combination of powergamer , thinker and narrativist) reading 50 Charms in Brawl, Melee and Craft and thinking what I want to do with them was a chore, not a nice time (which, for the irony, I had while reading 2nd Edition Charm sections). To top that, many Charm trees are still not evocative at all, while getting longer and because of that, requiring more investment into not really interesting options (player who wanted to play Solar ship medic decided against it after reading Medicine Charms, as they were boring and not really interesting).
    Last edited by Daerian; 05-25-2016, 07:02 AM.


    My homebrew/rewrites:
    2nd->3rd Edition Sorcery Spells Rewrite
    Talisman of Ten Thousand Eyes Evocations
    Solar Occult Charms for Sorcerers
    Solar Thrown Charms (with Solar Danmaku Charms)

    Comment


    • #32
      I always found the argument about bloat to be a little weird in regards to ttrpgs. I mean lets face it, pathfinder is one of the best selling rpgs on the market and it has pretty huge bloat issues with all the feats/spells/archetypes/whatever else spread across all its books. Even in 2e the bloat wasnt that bad because all the charms were mostly localized to particualr books, usually going core for that exalt type - dreams of the first age - relevent special book (glories broken winged crane) and then ink monkies. Im sure the same will be true this edition and charms of a particular exalt type will all be contained in certain books.

      Comment


      • #33
        Originally posted by Drascin View Post
        Yeah, I basically have the feeling I'm not going to play Ex3 for a long time, simply because I just can't be arsed to read through the book. It's unpleasant and a slog too read through. And I'm the guy that takes FFG corebooks to bed.
        Conversely, I read the Ex3 pdf cover to cover across a 3 day period in between work and exams, thoroughly enjoying what I found within. (If it makes any difference, I've taken anything ranging from the old WEG Star Wars sourcebooks up to the current Catalyst Battletech rulebooks to read in bed, so YMMV)

        Comment


        • #34
          Originally posted by Nightwinder View Post
          Conversely, I read the Ex3 pdf cover to cover across a 3 day period in between work and exams, thoroughly enjoying what I found within. (If it makes any difference, I've taken anything ranging from the old WEG Star Wars sourcebooks up to the current Catalyst Battletech rulebooks to read in bed, so YMMV)
          Man, the WEG Star Wars books were so good. Nice system, and very interesting reading.

          Comment


          • #35
            Originally posted by John Mørke View Post

            1) The Orlando playtest group has managed quite a lot of homebrew content that is balanced and interesting. True they are a talented bunch of young university students, but I find that level of intelligence to be very common in the Exalted community.
            2) The Solar Charm set will never be fully published. Because it is technically infinite.
            3) The explicit purpose it serves is to give people the rules and examples they need to flesh out the set. To wit, anyone who looks at the Solar Charm set and writes more Charms is already working outside of what the core gives you to work with, and as far as we're concerned, they're doing god's work.
            This explicit endorsement of homebrew and the infinite nature of the charm set is welcome, and pretty important. Thanks, John.

            The OP is strawmanning the bloat arguments pretty hard, and doing it in service to some mythical ideal of Solar non-supremacy. If someone wants to viscerally understand bloat, they really only need to read Irked's charm rewrite along side the core book.

            Comment


            • #36
              Originally posted by Drascin View Post

              Man, the WEG Star Wars books were so good. Nice system, and very interesting reading.
              That was my very first RPG. Gosh, I loved those books - my gaming group still sometimes references a piece of GM advice helpfully labelled, "FOOOOOM! Got 'em!"

              Originally posted by Totentanz View Post
              The OP is strawmanning the bloat arguments pretty hard, and doing it in service to some mythical ideal of Solar non-supremacy. If someone wants to viscerally understand bloat, they really only need to read Irked's charm rewrite along side the core book.
              Kind words, and much appreciated.

              ***

              As others have said, the power critique is basically misguided. The problem isn't that these effects are weak - the problem is that they're... well, Excellencies.

              Combat Excellencies are darn near the most powerful Charms in the game. Because of the way WW probability curves work, an advantage of a few dice turns out to make an enormous difference between your probability of hitting him and his probability of hitting you. In 2e, this meant that the guy who got his free combat Excellency running for the scene won. Period, basically; he had double your pool, and he always hit you and never got hit, and then you died. Infinite X Mastery was the most important Charm in the game.

              It was also super boring. It didn't enable interesting tactical play. It didn't open up interesting new options for your character. It just messed with your dice pool in an extremely powerful way.

              So. 3e eliminates paying for Excellencies - they're free, hooray! It eliminates Infinite Masteries altogether, barring a handful of variants in a handful of Abilities - hooray! And then it introduces piles of dice tricks: double-9s, 8s, 7s; reroll 1s once; reroll 1s until they stop occurring; reroll 6s; set a die to 10; count your opponent's 1s; look for a straight; look for three-of-a-kind; and on the list goes. No one could fairly say these effects are not powerful - they are, because again, die pool tweaking is huge in WW games - but they're dull. They're dozens of different ways to purchase +5-10% successes, at slightly different costs, under slightly different circumstances.

              (This is the thing 1e did, that 2e looked at and said, "That's dumb; let's standardize it." This is why we have Excellencies. And now we have Excellencies and dozens of die pool tweaks.)

              That's the critique.

              ... or at least, that's the first half of the critique. The second half is that the Charms are unclear. They reference counterattacks - but there are no rules for counterattacks. They talk about adding or removing or ignoring Onslaught penalties, when we're missing big pieces of what those statements mean. (Easy clarity example: does Ferocious Jab add one damage on its first attack? Why, or why not? Hard clarity example: exactly what rolls, at exactly what difficulties, are needed to make a talent of orichalcum via Wyld-Shaping Technique?) They don't obey their own type rules - or they pick types seemingly at random, such that the same effect might be Permanent/Permanent or Reflexive/Instant in two different trees. They aren't keyworded well, and they don't follow the stated rules for what their keywords mean. They introduce ambiguity at the absolute last place I want ambiguity to be introduced: the moment where a player says, "So, can I kill him, or not?"

              They're hard to read, and hard to understand, which is kind of the opposite of what you want from powers of which you have a stack of 20+. They are, at an individual level, bloated. The sheer number of effects in the book is only relevant insofar as it feeds into those two problems, or as far as it feeds into those underpowered effects that do exist (Craft's slot Charms, I am looking at you).
              Last edited by Irked; 05-25-2016, 10:13 AM.


              Homebrew: Lunar Charms for 3e

              Solar Charm Rewrite (Complete) (Now with Charm cards!)

              Comment


              • #37
                Agree, 100%

                Comment


                • #38
                  The thing with all these complaints, at the end of the day, it doesn't matter, because every table, and every game is different. It's only an issue if for some reason, you want everybody to play like you play at your table which will never happen even with issues written as clearly as possible in a lot of details (see every tabletop rpg forums and discussions). Overall ex3 is a great success and that's frankly all there is to it.

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Originally posted by Totentanz View Post
                    If someone wants to viscerally understand bloat, they really only need to read Irked's charm rewrite along side the core book.
                    "Seething with remonstrative ire, the Solar palms a storm of Essence and fills the sky with demonstrative fire."

                    Visceral.


                    A Clutch of Dragons: First Draft pdf

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Originally posted by Irked View Post



                      Kind words, and much appreciated.
                      <Lots of great stuff>
                      You're quite welcome. You did the community a big service by posting that. If I ever meet you at a con, I'm buying you a beer/mead/whiskey/lap dance.

                      To build on what Irked laid out quite effectively (and I've said this before in other threads), there is nothing inherently wrong with spreading out math-manipulation mechanics throughout the charm set. They are exceedingly powerful, and forcing characters to buy deeper into the charm set to get more powerful effects is a no-brainer.

                      The issue is the non-standard implementation of those mechanics (reroll once vs reroll until fail, etc), and how many words are chewed up communicating them. Every word in a document is something the human mind has to process, so it needs to add both clarity and enjoyment. So, if I map out my progression of power in the charm set, and I know that at Essence 1 Solar Melee needs an effect that adds .1 sux/die on average, there are a variety of ways I can implement that, both in terms of how I communicate it, and in terms of how I tell players to do the math (the actual act of changing the dice rolls, or how to count them).

                      The system has bloat issues because it often chooses to use a lot of words to communicate these effects, AND its actual implementation of the mechanics is a point of pain for players. If you sit down with a spreadsheet and the core book, you can see that some math-manipulation charms are really effective mechanically and efficient in terms of mental overhead (double 9's), and others are of questionable mechanical utility AND a large amount of overhead for players (count exactly three of a kind).

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Originally posted by Eltacolibre View Post
                        The thing with all these complaints, at the end of the day, it doesn't matter, because every table, and every game is different.
                        An argument to stop arguing because the nature of argument is subjective is so inherently futile I could write a sutra about it. These complaints matter because without fan feedback the developers are working blindly, and the happiness (specifically, its financial expression) of their audience is at least a little deterministic for the entire endeavor. I'm hoping the generally negative reaction to natural language and the more nuanced contentions over things like bloat and Craft are providing a valuable look at what people who buy their stuff actually think about it because I would like this entire edition to be successful and long-living. Saying "let's not use the forums to talk about the game, it's fine" only works until Arms of the Chosen finishes out in closed development, is leaked anyway with entirely natural! language! Evocations and half a hundred dice tricks you desperately need to stay competitive, and ends up bought by five people. Or screw the game and the developers, think selfishly: you want the devs to write things you like and not to write things you don't like, right? If you don't say which are which, however will you get everything your heart desires?

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Originally posted by Eltacolibre View Post
                          The thing with all these complaints, at the end of the day, it doesn't matter, because every table, and every game is different. It's only an issue if for some reason, you want everybody to play like you play at your table which will never happen even with issues written as clearly as possible in a lot of details (see every tabletop rpg forums and discussions). Overall ex3 is a great success and that's frankly all there is to it.
                          On the contrary, I care very little about the rules that you and your table run with. What I want is for myself and my three players to read the book, sit down at the table, and have a consistent understanding of how the rules work. I want us to be able to play the game without frequent stops to say, "Wait, so what was that rule again?" and in particular, I don't want those stops to end by saying, "Uh, I guess there is no rule for that?"

                          And I'd like to be able to do this over and over again, for the next decade, without discovering that every table I sit down to has invented different and contradictory plugs for the game's various leaks, and internalized them so completely they don't even realize they're houserules. When I sit down to a game of Caverna or Through the Ages - games that are complex and flavorful, but explained quickly and unambiguously - I know I can have this expectation. Heck, even with D&D 3.5, for all its faults, I generally can.

                          With Ex3, I don't have that confidence. And that's a shame, because I'd really like to spend the next 5-10 years playing Exalted.
                          Last edited by Irked; 05-25-2016, 10:51 AM.


                          Homebrew: Lunar Charms for 3e

                          Solar Charm Rewrite (Complete) (Now with Charm cards!)

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            Originally posted by Irked View Post
                            This is the thing 1e did, that 2e looked at and said, "That's dumb; let's standardize it." This is why we have Excellencies. And now we have Excellencies and dozens of die pool tweaks.
                            This is a very important sentence.

                            Anyone who enjoys the dice tricks (and that totally includes me!) should bear in mind that those effects don't innately require the uneven implementation which we have. It would have been just as possible to have a series of Solar Excellencies - requiring steadily-increasing Essence and "X Charms from [Ability]" - which rerolled 6s, gave Double 9s, etc. 90% of dice tricks could have been a part of that, leaving any other tricks highlighted as something which probably didn't get shared around (I kinda doubt that the system wants you to make Harmonious Combat Meditation).


                            "For me, there's no fundamental conflict between really loving something and also seeing it as very profoundly flawed." -- Jay Eddidin

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              You can't standardize dice tricks without completely breaking the game's engine. One look at combat charms, social charms, and non-competitive charms makes that immediately obvious.


                              [Ex3] Why Gods Need the Exigence - Plot hooks for Exigent characters of various gods.
                              [Ex3] Homebrew Solar Charms - I can see the future, and it is glorious.
                              [Ex3] The Glass Library - My Exalted Third Edition Blog (Updated 24/04/2016)

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Originally posted by Tiresias View Post
                                You can't standardize dice tricks without completely breaking the game's engine. One look at combat charms, social charms, and non-competitive charms makes that immediately obvious.
                                The dice tricks and the engine were made by the same people, weren't they?

                                There is no reason why this should have to be so.


                                "For me, there's no fundamental conflict between really loving something and also seeing it as very profoundly flawed." -- Jay Eddidin

                                Comment

                                Working...
                                X