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    Default Gamers D&D and other faced with criticism about favorite class/system

    I've notice something, but could never pit it into words until I saw something on another forum: The Gaming Den

    Yeah, There are a lot of gamers out there who use the tactic of burying their head in the sand whenever something they don't like about an RPG comes out. They think that if they can't see the imbalance, that the game is somehow better, and thus it's anathema to talk to them about how the game may be broken.

    Some of them simply do this because they believe that dissecting any game makes it less fun. There are always that group of casual players that simply want to play the game on a simplistic unanalyzed level. Maybe they just don't' like going dumpster diving for crap to be competitive, or maybe they just think the game is more fun when characters aren't made 100% brutally efficient. This group legitimately probably has experience where a high level wizard didn't dominate, because he played horribly and chose the wrong spells.

    Then there's the other group of antisocial powergamers who deep down just don't want a balanced game. They want to keep on going with the Ars Magica system of fighters being side kicks and wizards being all powerful. And naturally, this is because they always play spellcasters and like making the fighter players feel small in the pants. It's a lot tougher to go on a power trip when you have to share power. And they get by through claiming that "Oh, D&D is all situational" or "the fighter is the master of nonmagical combat".
    But by showing scientifically how they're wrong, they're exposed for the abusive type of power gamers that they are.
    Do you think it is true?
    Does showing the flaws in a class such as the Fighter or D&D as a whole make the players of said class or System feel like they are power gamers. Is it a legitmate belief that dissecting a game makes it is less fun?

    The above quote was talking about Pathfinder, but can apply to any system really.

    What are you thoughts?

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    Default Re: Gamers D&D and other faced with criticism about favorite class/system

    Quote Originally Posted by Starbuck_II View Post
    Do you think it is true?
    This group legitimately probably has experience where a high level wizard didn't dominate, because he played horribly and chose the wrong spells.
    I would say whoever wrote this is very biased towards optimized play. Notice how he says that the wizard didn't dominate because he "played horribly and chose the wrong spells".

    This means that the intent for this player is character power, and those who don't achieve ultimate character power when that is possible for them are playing the game wrong.

    Trying to get someone of that mindset to discuss balance with someone not of that mindset will result in nothing by chaos.

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    Default Re: Gamers D&D and other faced with criticism about favorite class/system

    Quote Originally Posted by Starbuck_II View Post
    Does showing the flaws in a class such as the Fighter or D&D as a whole make the players of said class or System feel like they are power gamers.
    No.

    Is it a legitmate belief that dissecting a game makes it is less fun?
    Yes. It is a legitimate belief that dissecting anything makes it less fun. This belief, however, is far from universal - some people (e.g. geeks) believe that dissecting things make them more fun, hence the popularity of sites like TVTropes.

    What are you thoughts?
    That the poster thereof is overly cynical, rather self-righteous, and ignorant of the entire point of Ars Magica.
    Guide to the Magus, the Pathfinder Gish class.

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    Default Re: Gamers D&D and other faced with criticism about favorite class/system

    Quote Originally Posted by Tormsskull View Post
    I would say whoever wrote this is very biased towards optimized play. Notice how he says that the wizard didn't dominate because he "played horribly and chose the wrong spells".

    This means that the intent for this player is character power, and those who don't achieve ultimate character power when that is possible for them are playing the game wrong.

    Trying to get someone of that mindset to discuss balance with someone not of that mindset will result in nothing by chaos.
    Agreed - there is a subset of players out there think that unless everyone's Wizard is a Batman, or their class is fully optimized and twinked out to the full extent of RAW (including every splatbook available), then those people are playing the game wrong.

    Speaking for myself, my character doesn't need to be "all he can be" for me to have fun playing. To me, gaming (D&D) is about having fun with a group of friends. I'm not trying to "win". So long as my character isn't so useless as to be able to contribute nothing to the session, I'm not really that fussed about being "the bestest with the mostest".

    I'm sure there's a lot of people out there who's idea of fun is having a character that they've squeezed every last erg of efficiency and power out of - fortunately, I've never played with one of them.

    (Note: please don't take this an attack on optimizing or even powergaming - it's just me stating my personal tastes).

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    Default Re: Gamers D&D and other faced with criticism about favorite class/system

    I'm very leery of any of these attempts to psychoanalyse the various sides disagreeing in discussions. It seems like either thinly-veiled flaming or a hair's breath from descending into such.

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    Default Re: Gamers D&D and other faced with criticism about favorite class/system

    Quote Originally Posted by Starbuck_II View Post
    Do you think it is true?
    People refuse to see something bad about something they like?

    SAY IT AIN'T SO!

    Seriously, though, it's not a revelation. That's basic psychology, and if the writer thinks they're a genius for putting it to words, they really aren't one.

    (Also, I thought Ars Magica was about playing wizards? That sounds a bit like complaining that Werewolves, Vampires, and Ghouls all in the same WoD game is unbalanced.)

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    Default Re: Gamers D&D and other faced with criticism about favorite class/system

    It is, which is why Magic is part of the name. Ok, so Magica, but still.
    I would really like to see a game made by Obryn, Kurald Galain, and Knaight from these forums.

    I'm not joking one bit. I would buy the hell out of that.
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    Default Re: Gamers D&D and other faced with criticism about favorite class/system

    I would disagree with the quoted text. A good example would be WHFRP 1e. From a balance standpoint, it just doesn't work. Some careers are just way better than others, and randomly rolled starting abilities matter a lot in terms of 'power'. Then there's the old "Naked Dwarf" syndrome which gives everybody a good chuckle. Is it a bad game? No.

    Criticism of a game has to be put into context, and when judging "good" or "bad" elements it is necessary to define "good" and "bad". That is a notoriously subjective sitution. There's a huge difference between "Wizards can be way too powerful compared to other classes at high levels" and "Wizards are too powerful, this game sucks."
    Last edited by Matthew; 2008-09-03 at 10:03 AM.
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    Default Re: Gamers D&D and other faced with criticism about favorite class/system

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew View Post
    Criticism of a game has to be put into context, and when judging "good" or "bad" elements it is necessary to define "good" and "bad". That is a notoriously subjective sitution. There's a huge difference between "Wizards can be way too powerful compared to other classes at high levels" and "Wizards are too powerful, this game sucks."
    Agreed in full. Although I prefer balance, I can think of at least one poster on these very boards that much prefers spell casters to be far more powerful than melee types. Prefering that kind of system doesn't make the person an "antisocial powergamer" any more than my preference for balance makes me a player who "sticks his head in the sand" when I end games before spell casters reach the levels where they can make fighters essentially useless.
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    Default Re: Gamers D&D and other faced with criticism about favorite class/system

    Quote Originally Posted by AKA_Bait View Post
    I can think of at least one poster on these very boards that much prefers spell casters to be far more powerful than melee types.
    Me?! Me. Is it me?

    That aside, I really care little for the balance of the game as long as all the participants get to enjoy the game and get what they want out of it. For all his overepoweredness, a non-munchkined high-level wizard isn't going to be able to run up a wall, decapitate two people on the way, and shove his foot down the lich's throat the way a fighter or monk will; that fighter will never be able to fly or make illusions. It's just a matter of what you enjoy.

    Personally, I play clerics. Not buff clerics or melee clerics, but healer clerics or necroclerics. They're never gonna be gamebreakers, but that's not what they're for. I generally use a homebrew I call the Ecclesiast. It's basically what I think a cleric should be: a priest, a scholar, and a spellcaster; by no means is he a fighter.
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    Default Re: Gamers D&D and other faced with criticism about favorite class/system

    I think, ultimately, games need to be judged on how fun they are.

    Rules of the game should enable smooth gameplay, not complicate things.

    Sometimes there are rules to games that fail in this intention, and actually make them less fun. And those rules need to be eliminated or tweaked.

    The problem is, when determining what needs to be changed or not, is this: what's fun for you is not necessarily what's fun for me. The way you play is not the way I play.

    Out of this is the other problem: gamers--I am ONE of them, I love them, but I look in the mirror and I know what I see--are on the whole, GEEKS. We are obsessive about this hobby of ours, and a time intensive hobby it is. Some of us may be just a tiny, tiny, tiny touch socially inept. Some of us are great at intellectual analysis, but not so much on intuition or seeing someone else's point of view.

    (Translation, in case this isn't coming through clearly enough: Most of us are high in Int, and low in Cha and Wis )

    And we try to communicate with each other, largely strangers floating along the cyber-ether, in written media, where tone and subtlety is often lost upon the reader.

    So in our pride for our hobby and the time we've put into it, we object when someone tells us that the way we're playing is wrong. We honestly can't believe--and I am SO totally guilty of this--that someone might have a different approach to GMing, or building characters. Our gaming paradigm, we discover, is not the only one that exists, and for some reason, it drives us crazy.

    We down and out refuse to believe that someone else's play style may be legitimate, and refuse to let alternate play styles influence our analyses of the rules, so rules discussions become constant back-and-forths of "you're doing it wrong" rather than just looking at the two or more POVs and seeing what truths come out of the center.

    (Then why do you keep reading this board, DQ? Because, in spite of everything, I love you all. )

    It's interesting that the OP's quote comes from a discussion of Pathfinder. The Pathfinder Beta is a fascinating experiment. The developers are running an open beta, and receiving feedback from hundreds, maybe thousands of gamers. All of them contentious gamers who love their game so very much they MUST defend it at all costs, as usual. Somehow they need to pick through what are the different play styles and what are the REAL problems beneath all that banter and bickering.

    (Frex, one player says Wizards are too powerful. When asked, he specifies nothing in the build but certain abusable spells. Another player says they've never had a problem with Wizards BUT, if asked, it's because x spell is either not used or DM adjudicates spell so that it isn't problematic. Gamers' typical message board solution is to argue about whether Wizards are overpowered over pages of pages of text for all eternity and never seeing eye to eye, whereas actual rules solution is to just eliminate or re-write more clearly the problematic SPELL.... because in the end, the spell's the problem, not the class itself. )

    Quite a monumental task, really.
    Last edited by DeathQuaker; 2008-09-03 at 11:01 AM.
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    Default Re: Gamers D&D and other faced with criticism about favorite class/system

    Meh? These topics are really just about personal preference (like everything else relating to optimization).

    I think that there is a legitimate belief that optimization isn't the way to play. However, there's also an equally legit opinion that says otherwise, so what's the point of saying it? They're all just perspectives, each valid, each fine, each equally stupid.

    Everything boils down to, "are you having fun?" If Yes, then keep on keeping on. If No, you're doin' it wrong.

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    Default Re: Gamers D&D and other faced with criticism about favorite class/system

    Quote Originally Posted by arguskos View Post
    Meh? These topics are really just about personal preference (like everything else relating to optimization).

    I think that there is a legitimate belief that optimization isn't the way to play. However, there's also an equally legit opinion that says otherwise, so what's the point of saying it? They're all just perspectives, each valid, each fine, each equally stupid.

    Everything boils down to, "are you having fun?" If Yes, then keep on keeping on. If No, you're doin' it wrong.
    Wow, you just said the same thing I did, in far fewer paragraphs. I must learn how to do that some day.
    Last edited by DeathQuaker; 2008-09-03 at 11:11 AM. Reason: Professional typist cannot type
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    Default Re: Gamers D&D and other faced with criticism about favorite class/system

    Interestingly, I didn't even see your post when I posted mine.

    Also, I've been saying this since I joined these forums. >_> Meh.

    -argus

    All that I say applies only to myself. You author your own actions and choices. I cannot and will not be responsible for you, nor are you for me, regardless of situation or circumstance.

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    Default Re: Gamers D&D and other faced with criticism about favorite class/system

    Deathquaker: His may be shorter, but yours was more fun to read.

    Arguskos: But the discussion is also fun. Unless it turns into flaming, and everyone starts to hate everyone, and soon people are getting infractions for mocking other people's grammar, even when those people clearly deserved to be mocked... Ahem...

    I mean, the discussion is also fun.
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    Default Re: Gamers D&D and other faced with criticism about favorite class/system

    Quote Originally Posted by SleepingOrange View Post
    Deathquaker: His may be shorter, but yours was more fun to read.
    Well, shucks.

    I mean, the discussion is also fun.
    Yes. And it's worth noting that I think gamers usually start these debates with the best of intentions to get new ideas flowing.
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    Default Re: Gamers D&D and other faced with criticism about favorite class/system

    I think the biggest problem is that some people just don't realize how important game balance is. Sure, a good GM will make sure that everyone contributes and has a blast even in such a grossly inbalanced system as WFRP 1e or Cyberpunk, but that doesn't make the game alone any more balanced - a GM and players who lack experience with it could easily fall into the traps of being too weak or too strong in comparison to the others and make the game much less fun because of that.

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    Default Re: Gamers D&D and other faced with criticism about favorite class/system

    Some people put a lot of emphasis on game balance, some people don't. The amount of fun or "good" and "bad" involved is completely subjective and preferential.
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    Default Re: Gamers D&D and other faced with criticism about favorite class/system

    Quote Originally Posted by arguskos View Post
    Everything boils down to, "are you having fun?" If Yes, then keep on keeping on. If No, you're doin' it wrong.
    Actually, you might be doing it right, but it is the wrong thing (for you). It's an imporant distinction-I don't believe that a DM should always change what they're doing because the players are not having fun, I think they should somtimes just stop.

    Because the DM's supposed to be having fun too, and simply bending their idea of the gameworld to keep everyone else happy is eventually going to wear thin on the DM. A DM should be proud of their creation and if they are and the player's still don't like it then set it aside rather than compromise it.

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    Default Re: Gamers D&D and other faced with criticism about favorite class/system

    The problem with your statement, Tengu, is that it assumes that an unbalanced system is inherently wrong and unenjoyable. In a group where no-one keeps track of kills and everyone gets to do what they want/like, balance doesn't become an issue. In some senses, knowing your character is going to be somewhat inferior to another one can be a relief; it removes an aspect of competition that can drive conflict and distract from the game.
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    Default Re: Gamers D&D and other faced with criticism about favorite class/system

    Plus, there's at least two definitions of balance regularly thrown about here.

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    Default Re: Gamers D&D and other faced with criticism about favorite class/system

    I believe that when you make a character, you should be making a concept. Then again I'm one of the people who shunned 4e...anyway. When a lot of people make character sheets, all they think of is "How well would this guy stand up in a fight against a _____?" and I say shame on you to those people and tell them to go play 4e or better yet, Tekken. Its called an RPG which translates into Role-Playing Game. Emphasis on "Role-Playing" because god forbid a wizard should utter anything else besides a verbal spell component...oh wait, he didn't have to utter anything because you made him mute and gave him the silent spell feat didn't you, ya ****. The "****" statement was not targeted at anyone in particular, I've just finished watching all the zero punctuation videos for the Nth time. But like I was saying, its a Role-Playing Game, indicating that there are some points where you'll be tied up in a basement with a large hairy guy in a black leather mask wishing that you hadn't dumped your CHA modifier into the negatives just so you could throw a bit of bat crap a couple more times per day. And while your optimized, sociopath is being tortured, the rest of the group is having a cold drink with the mayor due to the bards quick thinking to disavow any allegience to the wrinkly gnome that just set his pants alight.
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    Default Re: Gamers D&D and other faced with criticism about favorite class/system

    Quote Originally Posted by SleepingOrange View Post
    The problem with your statement, Tengu, is that it assumes that an unbalanced system is inherently wrong and unenjoyable. In a group where no-one keeps track of kills and everyone gets to do what they want/like, balance doesn't become an issue. In some senses, knowing your character is going to be somewhat inferior to another one can be a relief; it removes an aspect of competition that can drive conflict and distract from the game.
    If everyone contributes and does what they are supposed to, it's okay. However, if I wanted to play an assassin, statted him as assassins are supposed to look in the system, and then it turned out that he's useless in combat, the group's bard is much better at sneak killing and I'm basically playing a sidekick, I'd be far from happy. The decision of playing a weak, mostly useless character should be taken by the player consciously, not shoved down his throat just because he has chosen to play a certain concept.
    Last edited by Tengu_temp; 2008-09-03 at 12:42 PM.

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    Default Re: Gamers D&D and other faced with criticism about favorite class/system

    Quote Originally Posted by Tengu_temp View Post
    The decision of playing a weak, mostly useless character should be taken by the player consciously, not shoved down his throat just because he has chosen to play a certain concept.
    But, in your selecting Assassin, was it "shoved down your throat"?

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    Default Re: Gamers D&D and other faced with criticism about favorite class/system

    Or, if you must play an assassin, but you must have balance, do one of two things:

    Take an existing class that doesn't suck (let's say rogue for this example) and customize it, and call it an assassin; instead of taking sneaky feats, take attacky feats. I'm not saying powergame, just use the customization options as they were meant to be used.

    OR

    Talk to your DM. "Hey, DM. I'm feeling kind of overshadowed here. Would you mind maybe boosting the damage I do, or giving me a nifty ability?"
    "That's a great idea; your concerns are legitimate and I want you to enjoy yourself. here!"

    And everyone wins.
    "I meant," said Iplsore bitterly, "what is there in this world that makes living worthwhile?"
    Death thought about it.
    "CATS," he said eventually, "CATS ARE NICE."

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    Default Re: Gamers D&D and other faced with criticism about favorite class/system

    Quote Originally Posted by Tormsskull View Post
    But, in your selecting Assassin, was it "shoved down your throat"?
    This is presuming that he has advanced knowledge of the imbalances bettween classes. I think Tengu was acting on the theory that a player is unaware of the imbalance at the time of selecting the class. Since they thought it was balanced, the picked the class thematically closest to what they want and only later discovered that it was underpowered.
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    Default Re: Gamers D&D and other faced with criticism about favorite class/system

    Quote Originally Posted by SleepingOrange View Post
    Or, if you must play an assassin, but you must have balance, do one of two things:

    Take an existing class that doesn't suck (let's say rogue for this example) and customize it, and call it an assassin; instead of taking sneaky feats, take attacky feats. I'm not saying powergame, just use the customization options as they were meant to be used.

    OR

    Talk to your DM. "Hey, DM. I'm feeling kind of overshadowed here. Would you mind maybe boosting the damage I do, or giving me a nifty ability?"
    "That's a great idea; your concerns are legitimate and I want you to enjoy yourself. here!"

    And everyone wins.
    This assumes one thing - that I'm experienced with the game. What if it's my first time playing it, ever, and I haven't analyzed the books to notice the glaring imbalances, and they turn out only in the actual game? Then I'm screwed. The best I can do is ask the GM if he'll let me rebuild my character.

    Ninjaed by AKA Bait, who indeed made a correct assumption.
    Last edited by Tengu_temp; 2008-09-03 at 01:08 PM.

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    Default Re: Gamers D&D and other faced with criticism about favorite class/system

    Quote Originally Posted by Tengu_temp View Post
    This assumes one thing - that I'm experienced with the game. What if it's my first time playing it, ever, and I haven't analyzed the books to notice the glaring imbalances, and they turn out only in the actual game? Then I'm screwed. The best I can do is ask the GM if he'll let me rebuild my character.
    That is actually not actually a result of imbalance, as much as it is inaccurate or misleading representation of character types. The Complete Warrior Samurai base class would be a good example of a weak class that appears strong. Even then, the "good" or "bad" dichotomy remains subjective, though, unlike the "more powerful" or "less powerful" dichotomy.
    Last edited by Matthew; 2008-09-03 at 01:22 PM.
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    Default Re: Gamers D&D and other faced with criticism about favorite class/system

    Quote Originally Posted by Tengu_temp View Post
    [...]The best I can do is ask the GM if he'll let me rebuild my character.
    At which point DM will ask why. You will explain that you feel weak and underpowered, and he'll say, "Yeah, that's sometimes a problem. Here; have some small concessions that balance you up and don't disrupt gameplay."

    This all happens regardless of your experience level.
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    Default Re: Gamers D&D and other faced with criticism about favorite class/system

    Quote Originally Posted by SleepingOrange View Post
    At which point DM will ask why. You will explain that you feel weak and underpowered, and he'll say, "Yeah, that's sometimes a problem. Here; have some small concessions that balance you up and don't disrupt gameplay."

    This all happens regardless of your experience level.
    Certianly that is a common fix. However, wouldn't you agree that it would be better to have avoided the problem and need for a remedy in the first place?
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