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Thread: balanced?

  1. - Top - End - #1
    Orc in the Playground
     
    rollfrenzy's Avatar

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    Default balanced?

    Do you think the OOTS game is balanced between the members of OOTS?


    Personally, I think it's Roy and Haley FTW.
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  2. - Top - End - #2
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    DwarfClericGuy

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    Default Re: balanced?

    Haven't had a game with all 6 players yet, but I think it is pretty balanced.
    Roy actually comes off a bit weak IMO - He's not that good on def, and until very late in the game, he's completely useless against flying monsters.

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    rollfrenzy's Avatar

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    Default Re: balanced?

    In the game we played, after the second level of dungeon, Roy barely needed to roll the dice to kill the first monster and after the first, due to greater cleavage, DIDN'T have to roll. He just picked up all the cards.
    Quote Originally Posted by Amotis View Post
    "Hands in, lets-all-be-heroes on three."

    After a long break, I am back and forget who was nice enough to create the zombie ninja avatar for me. If you did it, or know who did, PM me so I can give proper credit.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    DwarfClericGuy

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    Default Re: balanced?

    Of course, it all depends on the players and playing style. If the other players see Roy is gaining momentum, they can stop him before he gets to +12\+12 with his Great Cleavage. Make him miss turns, refuse to aid him against the first monster, don't play puny kobolds and goblins first and let him "rev up". (keep them last in your hand or as support for the chiefs).
    Great Cleavage works only on the Greenhilt Sword - a single flying or impervious monster and Roy is left there feeling like a tool.

    Dealing with Haley is trickier, as she is more balanced.

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    Orc in the Playground
     
    rollfrenzy's Avatar

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    Default Re: balanced?

    Yeah, but doesn't the fact that you have to actively cooperate as a team against a character make it a bit unbalanced?
    Quote Originally Posted by Amotis View Post
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    After a long break, I am back and forget who was nice enough to create the zombie ninja avatar for me. If you did it, or know who did, PM me so I can give proper credit.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    DwarfClericGuy

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    Default Re: balanced?

    It doesn't take that much to block Roy. As I said, a single flying monster and he's out of the fight.
    feeding Roy all the helpless monsters in the first levels is playing to his strengths. It's no different than resting 3 spaces from belkar or accepting Elan's aid every time he offers it.
    I think it's great how it captures the spirit of the comic: after all, the main function of most members of the OOTS is to make Roy's life harder.

    Now, how about Haley? How can you stop the lovely chaotic good-ish rogue?

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    PMDM's Avatar

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    Default Re: balanced?

    Obviously, you could out play your character against Haley. (Take all the loot as Elan, destroy monsters as Roy, etc.)

    I think the only way to deal with haley is Lightning Bolt her with V, or use Roy's Party Leader Veto to cut Haley down.

    But V has a really hard time winning the game, he/she has only a +1/+1 to start with. V's shticks are all magic based, except for verbose recitation, and the Quarterstaff. Frankly, those aren't good alternatives.

    Sure, Lighting bolt is great, when fully boosted. But you have to find it in the deck first. Fireball is absolutly needed. But, unless you're willing to take a wound, you probably won't gain loot from the monsters you killed.

    Overall, it justs adds up to the fact that V has to rest a whole lot more than any other character, including Durkon. This slows V down. Add that to the fact that ranged attacks can only be made if you don't move, and V becomes a turtle. But V can only win by killing Xykon quickly, so it's counter intuitive.

    Let's group the characters into 2 classes: Shtick oriented and Loot oriented.
    Loot Oriented: Obviously, Halley, Elan, and to a lesser extent Durkon, are Loot Oriented characters. They're more likely to recieve the Special "Everyone wants it" loot cards. So they want the game to last as long as possible, so that they find those loot cards, and boost their score. The reason Halley is a good character is because she's good at just taking those special loot cards from people. Elan and Durkon need to recieve them.
    Shtick Oriented: Roy, V, and a lesser extent Belkar, are Shtick Oriented. They want to get the Shticks out of their deck and into their hands. so they can gain Shticks better than the Loot character. Roy is very good at this, because each Sthick he gets adds to his monster fighting power. With Belkar, it usually helps him kill players, not monsters.(This is why the daggers of doom has the +1 wound boost, instead of an attack and defense boost). With V, the more Shticks he/she gets helps him fight better, but because V usually has to flip Sthicks to kill monsters/get more Shticks, he/she usually doesn't feel the extra power effect until he/she rests.

    So to sum up, the Loot Characters want a long game. The Shtick characters want a short game. The main reason for this is because the Shtick deck is easier to max out than your loot cards are.
    The Shtick characters want to stop the Loot characters from gaining too much loot, so they want to end the game faster. As an added bonus, they usually get to fight more monsters if they move quickly, and of course, the Xykon bonus is nice.

    So with V, I dunno. V needs to move fast. That's why V has the elf senses. He can find stairs quicker so that he can get to Xykon quicker. But his main Shticks make him sit still, or force him to rest. It seems like V was built to fail.


    I'm not saying V can over come such a disadvantage. If V isn't considered a threat by anyone, than V can essetially become "The come from behind winner", where V is allowed to rest and profit from other people's rivalries. But then, so can everyone. So it seems that V has a disadvantage.
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    HOW TO ROLL ON THE FORUM SITE:
    Quote Originally Posted by Jacob Orlove View Post
    For example: [roll=Spot ]1d20+5[/roll ] would show up (without the extra spaces) as a normal roll.
    There's also [rollv=NameOfRoll]xdy+z[/rollv] which will show you all the individual rolls, eg: [rollv=strength ]4d6[/rollv ] gives you 4 rolls, and their sum.
    [roll=strength ]4d6b3[/roll ] gives you the best 3 of the 4 rolls

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    InaVegt's Avatar

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    Default Re: balanced?

    And V, as an evoker, should have a disadvantage.
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    PMDM's Avatar

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    Default Re: balanced?

    Maybe in terms or D&D, but certainly not in terms of this game.

    Then again...

    When V is maxed out, he has a +7/+7 lightning bolt, and a range of 4-5 (haven't checked this). There's only one card that's stronger than that, and that is a banjo the clown, with 5 people believing in him. Unlikely, but not impossible.
    I'll race you to the top of the spire.

    HOW TO ROLL ON THE FORUM SITE:
    Quote Originally Posted by Jacob Orlove View Post
    For example: [roll=Spot ]1d20+5[/roll ] would show up (without the extra spaces) as a normal roll.
    There's also [rollv=NameOfRoll]xdy+z[/rollv] which will show you all the individual rolls, eg: [rollv=strength ]4d6[/rollv ] gives you 4 rolls, and their sum.
    [roll=strength ]4d6b3[/roll ] gives you the best 3 of the 4 rolls

  10. - Top - End - #10
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    HalflingRangerGuy

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    Default Re: balanced?

    our play group feels V is a very weak character, and the game feels very booring when you play him/her.
    V isnt very balanced in regards to the others.

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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: balanced?

    In three games I've played solo (myself playing all 6 characters) and VERY co-operatively:

    Roy has won once, and Haley has won twice.
    V and Elan have generally finished in the middle of the pack every game; V because he can wander around on his own and kill things to get schticks and loot, Elan because he's the most useful character to give loot to in most instances (Durkon's healing is less generally useful in friendly games because you aren't afraid to rest, but he REALLY helps V since he allows him to drop a fireball without fear of losing the wound).
    Durkon was second in the first game since he got "Turn Undead" which allowed him to kill Xykon. After that, getting schticks has been very hard for him.
    Belkar in a friendly game can do quite well with wandering within one move from the entrance and killing monsters. He can simply try to attack one and if he doesn't succeed on his own retreat to the entrance. Eventually his rolls will come up. Also, he ends up being the first one out of the dungeon, which is an easy 5 points.

    So I'm not sure how unbalanced it is. Yes, V's magic abilities make it generally harder for him to loot (since he has to attack and then move into the room to avoid a wound on his multi-monster attack) but he can also pick up schticks quickly doing that if his rolls come up. Roy's "Great Cleavage" attack is powerful unless he gets a really tough monster as the first opponent, at which point he's in trouble. And with weak monsters in a stack, Haley, V, Belkar and even Elan and Durkon can clean up as well.

    Haley is really tough once she gets multiple sneak attacks and Longbows, but before that she's really kind of weak in combat. Her ability to get loot, though, is what always carries the day for her.

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    Default Re: balanced?

    Umm... did durkon use 'turn undead' on xykon directly or on the monsters that were supporting him? If you read the rules on the 'xykon special', xykon himself is immune to turn undead. Now you can use turn undead on xykon and banish undead minions underneath him to weaken him but xykon himself can not be defeated by turn undead. Anyways, back to the topic... Personally I think the game is pretty well balanced. There are characters that seem weak (such as V) but their strengths balance it out. I've found that the characters most people consider to be weak really aren't weak, their just not as obvious to play. V for example CAN get loot. Either by playing nice with the 'buff spell' (sure other guy can give you +2 but I can give you +2 *and* extra range, extra wound, etc.) or by playing dirty with any ranged attack spell (shoot a weakened character so that when they run to entrance they drop loot at V's location).
    Do not be afraid to joust a giant just because some people insist on believing in windmills.
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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: balanced?

    Quote Originally Posted by donkyhotay View Post
    Umm... did durkon use 'turn undead' on xykon directly or on the monsters that were supporting him? If you read the rules on the 'xykon special', xykon himself is immune to turn undead.
    Oops [grin].

    Quote Originally Posted by donkyhotay View Post
    There are characters that seem weak (such as V) but their strengths balance it out. I've found that the characters most people consider to be weak really aren't weak, their just not as obvious to play. V for example CAN get loot. Either by playing nice with the 'buff spell' (sure other guy can give you +2 but I can give you +2 *and* extra range, extra wound, etc.) or by playing dirty with any ranged attack spell (shoot a weakened character so that when they run to entrance they drop loot at V's location).
    Or just kill things at range 0 with fireball. With good rolls, you'll only take one wound that you'll heal back when you rest to get your schticks unflipped. Kill the tough things with LB if you have it, easy things with MM. You may be roll dependent, but ultimately all the characters are unless they want to give away a lot of loot to guarantee hits.

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    Default Re: balanced?

    Sure, you can PvP with V. But in the long run, you'll usually lose. You have to flip shticks. So the chance of having to rest as V is much bigger than any other character. Then any character (even elan) has a good chance of dealing with you on their own.
    I'll race you to the top of the spire.

    HOW TO ROLL ON THE FORUM SITE:
    Quote Originally Posted by Jacob Orlove View Post
    For example: [roll=Spot ]1d20+5[/roll ] would show up (without the extra spaces) as a normal roll.
    There's also [rollv=NameOfRoll]xdy+z[/rollv] which will show you all the individual rolls, eg: [rollv=strength ]4d6[/rollv ] gives you 4 rolls, and their sum.
    [roll=strength ]4d6b3[/roll ] gives you the best 3 of the 4 rolls

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    DwarfClericGuy

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    Default Re: balanced?

    Actually, Elan is extremely very in defense. Probably second only to Durkon. With X-treme Diplomacy, the Chain-shirt, and the angel, Elan is very hard to take down. And that's before counting the Lute boost.
    It really makes him the most likely to rush ahead into unexplored rooms or dodge psychotic halflings.

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    Default Re: balanced?

    Thats what he's meant to do. The game is designed so that you can play *as* the character and elan is very likely to do something like that.
    Do not be afraid to joust a giant just because some people insist on believing in windmills.
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    Pixie in the Playground
     
    PirateGuy

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    Default Re: balanced?

    Ahhh, but we're talking about game balance, not RPing.

    Our group has also found something of a puzzlement.

    The only distinct advantage I have found is that V can use AoE's--which means you get an economic advantage when trading loot for support from characters. Putting +6 on your fireball to hit 4 bad guys is a really good way to gain X's.

    If you can pair yourself up with Elan, you can create a powerful team where Elan uncovers monsters with illusions or hiding, supports V when it's time to fireball them, and consistently trades loot to V for support when he's triggering encounters. Thus, they keep the loot flowing to each other, as long as they can keep far enough away from other players interfering with them.

    V still has to rest more, though, because of all the schtick-flipping. And resting sucks--you can't even support people while you're resting.

    I think V should be put on a recharge magic variant. Just say that V can't use the same magic battle shtick twice in a turn, instead of all the flipping of schticks. V is an evoker, after all! It would do wonders for V's playability.
    Last edited by GymGeekAus; 2007-07-31 at 08:41 PM.

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    Default Re: balanced?

    Quote Originally Posted by GymGeekAus View Post
    Ahhh, but we're talking about game balance, not RPing.

    Our group has also found something of a puzzlement.

    The only distinct advantage I have found is that V can use AoE's--which means you get an economic advantage when trading loot for support from characters. Putting +6 on your fireball to hit 4 bad guys is a really good way to gain X's.

    If you can pair yourself up with Elan, you can create a powerful team where Elan uncovers monsters with illusions or hiding, supports V when it's time to fireball them, and consistently trades loot to V for support when he's triggering encounters. Thus, they keep the loot flowing to each other, as long as they can keep far enough away from other players interfering with them.

    V still has to rest more, though, because of all the schtick-flipping. And resting sucks--you can't even support people while you're resting.

    I think V should be put on a recharge magic variant. Just say that V can't use the same magic battle shtick twice in a turn, instead of all the flipping of schticks. V is an evoker, after all! It would do wonders for V's playability.

    That would drastically unbalance the game in V's favor. I wasn't talking about playing the game for RP value. I think that would be a little silly myself. What I was saying though was that with his defense, elan is good at diving into bad situations and managing to come out of it. I've seen people play elan and do horribly because they don't have the 'guaranteed win' that occurs more often with other characters like roy or durkon. But even if elan doesn't often get a 'guaranteed win' if you throw him into the middle of a mess he usually manages to come out of it pretty well (especially if you use PPI properly) to win some experience and loot. Especially if someone is playing durkon. All that extra loot people trade to elan for bard song allows him to make great deals with durkon for healing. Strangely, elan giving durkon loot that elan drools over works well. Elan gets healed for a 'promise' that during a later battle he will give durkon a free bard song. Admittedly durkon could refuse to trade back (and this has happened late game) but for early/middle game that doesn't happen since it pays more to swap loot back and forth like that between those two characters.
    Do not be afraid to joust a giant just because some people insist on believing in windmills.
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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: balanced?

    Quote Originally Posted by donkyhotay View Post
    I wasn't talking about playing the game for RP value. I think that would be a little silly myself.
    Why?

    One of the main reasons that I wanted to get this game was because it can be played in multiple ways. First, you can use it as an RPG-lite. Second, you can play it more like a board game but as more of a PvE game (like Shadows Over Camelot, if you know about that game) than a PvP game. Or as a PvP game. Or as a strategic competitive board game. So if someone wants to indeed try to roleplay it, the fact that you can roleplay the OotS and do what they would do is a HUGE advantage, and likely part of the design (I've seen comments elsewhere that in some ways it was designed to BE an RPG that you could play if not everyone showed up to a session).

    Quote Originally Posted by donkyhotay View Post
    Strangely, elan giving durkon loot that elan drools over works well. Elan gets healed for a 'promise' that during a later battle he will give durkon a free bard song. Admittedly durkon could refuse to trade back (and this has happened late game) but for early/middle game that doesn't happen since it pays more to swap loot back and forth like that between those two characters.
    This isn't strange at all. Durkon will want to trade treasures that Elan drools over (and Durkon doesn't) to get Elan's aid since it makes him more likely to win the battle and thus potentially get access to loot that Durkon DOES drool over. Loot that Durkon drools over is more valuable to Durkon than loot Elan drools over. However, it's a good idea for Durkon to accept loot that Elan drools over for healing because it means that he won't have to trade away a loot that he DOES drool over in the future to get aid ... and Elan's aid is also worth more than everyone else's, so that's still more of an advantage to him.

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    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: balanced?

    Hey I have played only two games with the full six players. I have to say Roy is the better at ahcking away but we have had Durkon win both games so far. And as far as V goes has always finished third not bad at all...

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    Giant in the Playground Administrator
     
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    Default Re: balanced?

    V may be the most difficult character to get rolling, simply because the best thing for V is if every other character does poorly early on. The reason is, nothing is better for V than stacks of monsters sitting out in the open, undefeated. They make perfect Fireball fodder.

    Thus, V's best bet is often the counter-intuitive one of refusing to help other players in the opening stages of the game. Normally, players freely trade Loot until things start to get near the finish line. V should do what he/she can to make other players lose early so that he/she can bat clean-up and gain shticks very quickly. In games I've played where V follows the other players around, picking off from a safe distance the monsters they can't beat, he/she might gain 4-5 shticks before an unlucky player gains even 1.
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    Default Re: balanced?

    An interesting note is that each character has a certain way to slow them down, and this directly correlates as how they can be "defeated" in the strip. Roy faces a big baddy without momentum (Dragons, anyone?) or gets hit by something that dodges Greenhilt Sword, Elan loses support of the crew, V loses rest, Durkon gets put out all alone, Haley gets little loot, and Belkar gets the shared hostility of the group.

    Related to Loot/Shtick based, a note is that Elan, Haley, and to a lesser degree, Durkon, all are devastated by a long run (or several) to the dungeon entrance. V, Roy, and Belkar are less affected.

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    PirateGuy

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    Default Re: balanced?

    Thanks for your perspective, Giant!

    How does everyone suggest V overcome the loot problem early-game? The strategy The Giant introduced, withholding assistance, reduces loot for a character that already has issues accumulating it. My strategy of sidekicking with Elan has promise, I think, but I wanna hear other ideas.

    Perhaps a house-rule switching Blackwing with Ambiguous Gender as a starting schtick? Blackwing does appear before the gender ambiguity as a joke in the comic, after all (#3 vs at earliest #9, the first time a gender is applied to V).

    Also, we've interpreted the fireball schtick to have no effect on players (well, other than V at range 0). That's right, right?

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    Default Re: balanced?

    When I play V I work hard to make certain the stairs are right next to the entrance for the first two levlels 'kamakaze' monsters with magic missle/fireball on the lower levels moving back up when I've used all my spells or too wounded.
    Do not be afraid to joust a giant just because some people insist on believing in windmills.
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    Default Re: balanced?

    When I play V, I socialize a lot less. V needs a friend. V can provide "supporting power" with his/her spells. V needs to keep a low profile, so letting everyone else get loot is in his/her best interest. When I play V, I take full advantage of that Magic Runes room, and the janitorial closets. I encourage people to avoid the secret rooms, and I'm always watching everyone. I never equip loot, unless I know I'm going to use it that turn. The exception are the 2 shtick boosting ones. when I gain enough loot, I then equip enough to go to Xykon's lair, and then immediatly remove them. Obviously, I can't do this with loot like the Talisman, or the stick. But I do it as much as possible.
    Basically, I try to solo. But if I can get a bodyguard, I take it.

    I never thought of putting stairs near each other as an advantage. I'll try that next game.
    I'll race you to the top of the spire.

    HOW TO ROLL ON THE FORUM SITE:
    Quote Originally Posted by Jacob Orlove View Post
    For example: [roll=Spot ]1d20+5[/roll ] would show up (without the extra spaces) as a normal roll.
    There's also [rollv=NameOfRoll]xdy+z[/rollv] which will show you all the individual rolls, eg: [rollv=strength ]4d6[/rollv ] gives you 4 rolls, and their sum.
    [roll=strength ]4d6b3[/roll ] gives you the best 3 of the 4 rolls

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Default Re: balanced?

    I've played 4 games, but only finished two so far.

    I've been Roy essentially every time (Our character cards are rigged. I'm always Roy, and everyone who wants a specific character usually gets it. I swear I shuffled them!) (Actually, we have a male in our group that we call "the homogenous" because you "can't tell what sex he is" [it's a joke...]. He has been V every time we've played.)

    Everyone else is threatening to remove Roy from the game entirely. I think it's just that I'm really good at playing the game. (Ok, so I'm insanely lucky too... I got three Greenhilt Swords within my first four shtick draws, two of which were "Up a Level, Down a Level")

    I actually auto-killed Xykon due to +12 Sword and +14 assist (3 player game, assist from NPCs).I totally agree on the flying anti-Roy, until you just run back to the first floor and force them to play their other monsters...

    Our group actually thinks that Belkar is the worst character (one of them thinks it's V), I just think Belkar's starting shticks suck.

    (Edit: Let's contradict myself... )
    (Edit: And.. clarification.)
    Last edited by Omega_Goo; 2007-09-07 at 09:03 PM.
    I'm participating!

    Wait, I think I just failed a Spot check.


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    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: balanced?

    Quote Originally Posted by Omega_Goo View Post
    Our group actually thinks that Belkar is the worst character (one of them thinks it's V), I just think his starting shticks suck.
    I think having a range attack at the start of the game that doesn't flip when used is pretty nice..

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    Default Re: balanced?

    I've always thought ranged attacks we're too weak in this game to really be useful. You can't move, you can only attack one monster, you (usually) don't get loot, and any monster strong enough to warrant having the protection of a ranged attack can almost always attack back anyways.
    Do not be afraid to joust a giant just because some people insist on believing in windmills.
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    ElfRangerGuy

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    Default Re: balanced?

    I'd agree Belkar is the worst character overall, with V coming a close second. The not getting XP from attacking other players (yes yes, there's a schtick but for that you need XP) is a real killer - as is his inability to defend.

    V has a tendancy to be either really good or really bad. The times when he's been good, he's got multiple magic missiles/the scroll that boosts it early on. That allows him/her to actually get a decent chance at defeating a stack of critters alone when standing on them.

    Haley is silly once she gets going, and is a strong candidate for strongest character IMHO, as she can kills stacks almost as well as Roy, is not impeded by flying creatures, and has a schtick to get past impervious.

    Durkon has a problem if (as is often the case with us) other players often don't attack resting players, so his healing ability is less useful. Mind you, if he gets turn undead and Thor's lightnings he gets silly quickly, so he's balanced but not overpowered.

    Roy has been discussed. Good against big stacks, has real difficulty vs flying/impervious and therefore fairly easy to stop. Also weak if he doesn't get a greenhilt sword in his first few schticks. Pretty balanced (a tactic we have often used against him is putting very low loot/XP monsters towards the end of a big stack so he gets less reward for killing the first few)

    Elan is nicely balanced. He can quietly win if everyone uses his bard song ability to get loot, and is fun to play so people never really seem to mind too much if he falls behind (unlike V or Durkon, who can be quiet boring if that happens).

    So, there's my tuppence on the subject
    "Hope is the biggest and best lie there is. You have to keep going as if it all mattered, or else we wouldn\'t keep going at all"

    thog fears he will never again know the majesty of the gumdrop mountains

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Lizardfolk

    Join Date
    Sep 2007

    Default Re: balanced?

    I have only had a few games, but tended to find the winner is the people who get a few +1/+1 loots right at the start. They are SO damn useful.

    disco

    PS. Also we introduced a houserule that involves "rolling off" to see who places their monster first (or at all). I think it works well.

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