Quote Originally Posted by masteraleph View Post
A couple of issues-

1) While there are people who optimize, it's actually pretty rare for them to be doing so at a rate that's table breaking (and it's usually easy to spot).

2) The bigger issue is the requirement for optimization- that is, the devs assumed a certain level of accuracy and damage and defenses in monster design. It does no good to limit optimizers when the thing that's causing long or annoying combat is the people who are under the curve.

3) Many people build using the character builder, and doing so means that directly modifying feats/items/etc is frustrating or annoying.

The easiest way to deal with this problem is:

*Either make sure to hand out appropriate items or use Inherent Bonuses
*Grant everyone Improved Defenses and Versatile Expertise (you can do this at level 5 or 7 or 11 instead of 1 if you prefer)
*Grant everyone +1 to damage every 2 levels and eliminate feat and item bonuses to damage and all Dragonshards

Rather than limiting players, you've just opened up the options to them that don't involve optimization- you've freed up 3 or so feats and whatever slot they would've used for item bonuses, usually arms. You've also just reduced the advantages of elemental damage, so players might choose more varied enchantments. Everyone will hit or be close to the damage/accuracy benchmarks the devs designed for, so combats won't be ridiculously drawn out, and they can generally choose "weak" options without dragging out combats.
1) Indeed, that is why I mentioned that 4th is the most balanced D&D edition. However, when a min-maxing abuse happens it is quite annoying, so here we go...

2) Another thread of mine gives a suggestion to make combat faster by trading hp for attack bonuses and damage bonuses. Another option to speed up combat is the fair use of minions. In general, I don't think that the people who don't optimize are the reason the combat system "lags". A reason is the fact that non-optimizers have the right to play dnd as well as optimizers and to have about the same amount of fun. The other reason is that balance exists imho mostly in order to help the non-optimizers and not the optimizers.

3) Indeed. However, using the character builder by both optimizers and non-optimizers helps to close the gap between them because it makes optimization really much easier for the non-optimizers. But I am here to help mostly people who do not have access to character builder or who prefer more traditional ways to build their character, like me.

About your suggestion, it is good and I will not deny that, but I prefer mine because when you free Feat slots, without limiting the power of the Feats themselves, the extra free Feat slots are going to be used for more optimization, more min-maxing, more power building and not for e.g. Linguist. As for the items, I also prefer the Inherent bonuses, that you mentioned, of the DM's Guide 2 (iirc). The only thing I find a little bit strange in your advice is the elimination of feat and item bonuses to damage. Wouldn't that drag out the combat even longer?
Still, I really thanks both for your reply and your advice. :)