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Save or Die Spells: Keep Them Out of PvP Please


Pathfinder Online

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Goblin Squad Member

@Blaeringr, I may very well be inconsistent. I'm not sure that's the case though.

A Necromancer with an Undead Army isn't likely to be able to bring that army to bear on a single other player.

Goblin Squad Member

@Nihimon Whether it be a necromancer with an army, or a player with a single a "powerful" dragon, or a lord with a humanoid army, you have not yet explained:
A) Why couldn't they attack a single player? (That response absolutely baffled me, as a big part of the PvP system I'm seeing is RvR)
B) Why this is more like Pathfinder than Warcraft?
C) Why this concept is not forcing everyone into roles far narrower in approach than the dreaded "trinity"? And yes, it is narrower. Whether it's skeletons, human soldiers, or whatever beast, the approach is the same, just with different graphics. Any significant differences will just lead players to flock to the most efficient method.
D) Why is this approach more balanced because we are discussing an MMO vs PnP (or is the issue just that Pathfinder is just too imbalanced whatever format it be played in)?

Your posts may in fact not be inconsistent, but as we cannot read your mind, leaving the above questions without a solid, rational answer sure does paint a vivid picture of inconsistency to the rest of us.

Goblin Squad Member

Blaeringr wrote:

@Nihimon Whether it be a necromancer with an army, or a player with a single a "powerful" dragon, or a lord with a humanoid army, you have not yet explained:

A) Why couldn't they attack a single player? (That response absolutely baffled me, as a big part of the PvP system I'm seeing is RvR)
B) Why this is more like Pathfinder than Warcraft?
C) Why this concept is not forcing everyone into roles far narrower in approach than the dreaded "trinity"? And yes, it is narrower. Whether it's skeletons, human soldiers, or whatever beast, the approach is the same, just with different graphics. Any significant differences will just lead players to flock to the most efficient method.
D) Why is this approach more balanced because we are discussing an MMO vs PnP (or is the issue just that Pathfinder is just too imbalanced whatever format it be played in)?

Your posts may in fact not be inconsistent, but as we cannot read your mind, leaving the above questions without a solid, rational answer sure does paint a vivid picture of inconsistency to the rest of us.

While I overall am not in favor of the one man army method. I still see a huge difference. Every suggestion for the 1 man army is implying a huge expense to create it, that theoretically will take more or less an entire guild working together for a very long time to maintain an army or a dragon, in addition it contains the risk that if/when said army is defeated, the creator is likely out a huge amount of money with absolutely nothing to show for it.

Essentially if you spend a year training your army, and takes over 4 kingdoms, before it is defeated by an allience of the members of the 4 kingdoms you just trashed, and another 3 that you had. You are pretty much powerless for another year.

While any attempt of save or die spells, pretty much implies you don't lose them if you die, are defeated etc...

an ability that takes very long time and expense to get, will harm the balance far less than an ability that can be used as much as desired once earned.

Goblinworks Executive Founder , Star Voter 2013

If I face a horde of undead that will surely defeat me, there remains the chance that I will take some of them with me before I join them. Given that, I can be victorious even if I am killed, if I can inflict casualties that cannot be restored.

If, on the other hand, I have a 40% chance of dying instantly in the first round, a 40% chance of dying in the second round, provided I participate in the second round, and win if I close to melee distance, there is no territory between 'flawless victory' and 'hopeless defeat'.

Goblin Squad Member

Onishi wrote:
an ability that takes very long time and expense to get, will harm the balance far less than an ability that can be used as much as desired once earned.

Is that how you envision spellcasting working? Are spellcasters not limited in how many times they can cast in a day? Are they not limited to concentration checks? Are they not more limited than other classes earlier on who start of more durable, with higher saves, and able to do more sustained damage? Isn't that supposed to be the whole idea behind the balance of the class, that they trade power early on to get more later?

But I suppose that's a silly question for talking about an MMO where nobody cares about immersion or the path, but rather just each one's own personal skewed concept of balance at end game.

Goblin Squad Member

Blaeringr wrote:
A) Why couldn't they attack a single player?

Well, I never said they "couldn't". I said it wasn't likely.

Blaeringr wrote:
B) Why this is more like Pathfinder than Warcraft?

I'm not sure what you mean by "this". If you're asking me why "No Save-or-Die spells" is more like Pathfinder than WoW, I can't really answer that either, but I've also never claimed that.

Blaeringr wrote:
C) Why this concept is not forcing everyone into roles far narrower in approach than the dreaded "trinity"? And yes, it is narrower. Whether it's skeletons, human soldiers, or whatever beast, the approach is the same, just with different graphics. Any significant differences will just lead players to flock to the most efficient method.

Are you saying that "No Save-or-Die spells" is forcing everyone into roles? I really don't understand this question at all. What does "No Save-or-Die spells" have to do with "Any significant difference will just lead players to flock to the most efficient method."

Blaeringr wrote:
D) Why is this approach more balanced because we are discussing an MMO vs PnP (or is the issue just that Pathfinder is just too imbalanced whatever format it be played in)?

I am on record quite vociferously stating that balance should not be a major concern. I won't bother repeating all of my reasons.

I am genuinely trying to understand your questions, but I'm having a lot of trouble because it seems like you're asking me about things I've never said.

The reason I am opposed to "Save-or-Die Spells" is the same reason I proposed in another thread that the actual difference in power between newbies and fully developed characters not be so great as to make it literally impossible for an infinite number of level 1's to defeat a level 20. It's the same reason I am opposed to any characters who have the ability to utterly lock down another "properly matched" character for the entire time it takes to kill them. It's the same reason I am opposed to the game shutting down my control of my character and taking it over to do things in a cut-scene cinematic that might be against my wishes. If you understand the common thread running through all of those, then you understand what I'm trying to say in this thread.

Goblin Squad Member

Blaeringr wrote:
Onishi wrote:
an ability that takes very long time and expense to get, will harm the balance far less than an ability that can be used as much as desired once earned.

Is that how you envision spellcasting working? Are spellcasters not limited in how many times they can cast in a day? Are they not limited to concentration checks? Are they not more limited than other classes earlier on who start of more durable, with higher saves, and able to do more sustained damage? Isn't that supposed to be the whole idea behind the balance of the class, that they trade power early on to get more later?

But I suppose that's a silly question for talking about an MMO where nobody cares about immersion or the path, but rather just each one's own personal skewed concept of balance at end game.

We honestly don't know what the balance factor for wizards is, odds of it being per day are extremely low, odds of it being less powerful now in exchange for being more powerful then average later is also highly low. Neither of those concepts work in practice in an MMO, In P&P per day works because time can be super zoomed foward, obviously in an MMO with time players actually play per day being a variable, that isn't going to be a fair use.

When wizards are more powerful later, usually when they get too far above hte others, for too long, the GM flushes the campaign. 9/10 DMs end their campaigns at level 14 or sooner for this reason. Just look at modules for sale, the ratio is around, 10% of modules written for 1-3, 75% written for 4-10, 10% 11-15, 5% 16+.

No-one will want to continue playing when they are better for the first year, and worse for every day after that in a game with no end. 5 years down the line we'd wind up with nothing but wizards.

Goblin Squad Member

A) Why isn't it likely? Sure beats fighting your battles one on one when you can just swarm them. It may be the honorable thing to do, but that's hardly "likely" in an MMO.

B) What I mean by this is Warcraft, not World of Warcraft. Real time strategy, building up armies, individual character meaning very little, especially when one is trying to fight your army of dragons (slight sarcasm in that last line).

C) The availability of huge armies. Why would I quest around and build up my one on one combat skills when the next guy will just overwhelm me with numbers? You give one person pet power of the magnitude you've repeatedly suggested and it would be pointless for anyone else to follow any other approach.

D) In all fairness, even though you're not directly advocating "balance", some are taking the same views (no save or die, and massive pet followings) with cries for either "balance" or "fairness".

Goblin Squad Member

@Onishi look at DDO. They've worked around the regenerating mana thing by providing a set number of non-reusable rest points where time can in fact be "fast forwarded". They use the spell point system as well, which started off closer to the PnP variant rules, but got inflated as time went on and monsters with over 100,000 hitpoints were introduced (compared to player maximums of 600-700ish).

It all depends on how many monsters a high level wizard has to fight though. They can hit hard, but they can't keep it going like a combat character can. They also lack the ability to heal, or defend themselves. Even at high levels, they sacrifice much for what they gain.

So in all fairness, if you want to eliminate their save or die spells in PvP, in the interest of give and take, what do you propose to replace those spells with? If they can't hit harder, then why should they be more vulnerable?

Scarab Sages

1st of all:

To the notion that removing save-or-die spells imbalances the game: What kind of wizard uses save-or-die spells in the PnP? I mean, yeah, you could kill one enemy... or you could put 5 of them in a coma, or stun them, or grapple them (Tentacles ftw!), or about 10 other things that are WAY more efficient than killing them. Removing SoD spells is like removing kittens from the game... yeah, they're gone, but would anyone really notice?

2nd:

Yes, raid bosses on rage timers with lucky crits are stupid, and should be done away with. It's not that they're difficult(it takes no effort for a healer to heal through damage that instantly kills the tank), it's that the fight is immediately over, and continuing to fight is essentially dragging out the inevitable. You don't lose because you failed to use a winning tactic, and you don't lose because you didn't use your skills efficiently and wisely, you lose because the game decided your gear wasn't good enough, or because you just got unlucky, and that isn't fun.

3rd:

I played an enhancement shaman in PvP in vanilla World of Warcraft. For those of you who don't know, back in the old days, Shamans got a weapon enchantment called Windfury that had a flat chance of providing extra attacks on every attack, and these extra hits did bonus damage. This ability still exists, but has a built in cooldown and provides fewer bonuses to attacks. However, back in my day, there was no such thing. Windfury had a flat proc%, and could proc off of itself. Lucky hits from my poorly geared character could one-shot super-well geared characters, and it was cool... for about a day. After that, I realized that if I didn't instantly win fights, I was pretty much screwed against well geared players. It turns out that flipping an I-WIN coin isn't very fun, nor is it exciting, nor does it take ANY skill. It's flat not fun, and any game that wishes to BE fun should make an effort not to make WoW's mistake, and completely disallow one-hit kills.

Goblin Squad Member

Blaeringr wrote:

@Onishi look at DDO. They've worked around the regenerating mana thing by providing a set number of non-reusable rest points where time can in fact be "fast forwarded". They use the spell point system as well, which started off closer to the PnP variant rules, but got inflated as time went on and monsters with over 100,000 hitpoints were introduced (compared to player maximums of 600-700ish).

It all depends on how many monsters a high level wizard has to fight though. They can hit hard, but they can't keep it going like a combat character can. They also lack the ability to heal, or defend themselves. Even at high levels, they sacrifice much for what they gain.

So in all fairness, if you want to eliminate their save or die spells in PvP, in the interest of give and take, what do you propose to replace those spells with? If they can't hit harder, then why should they be more vulnerable?

DDO's system worked well for DDO (least origionally). But it worked because the game was pure themepark, straight liniar goals, get from point A to point B. Not quite plausible when you throw in a huge map with infinite potential goals, some of them possibly revolving around holding your ground, restpoints can only be written in if you know exactly where the players are trying to get to.

And again with the if you remove what do you replace it with arguement? That arguement makes no sense until the game is actually made. There has been no anouncement of anything beyond the general feel of the game matching the PFO universe. No announcements even implying that that is a goal of the developers. The goals ideas etc... that PFO wants to specialize in are things that the P&P game is not designed for and would not make a fun game if it were to focus on following the rules of. In reality 95% of P&P modules and DM run campaigns are theme parks, which is the oposite of the direction that goblinworks is focusing on in the game.

Goblin Squad Member

A) It's not likely for the same reason it's not likely that a criminal gang would amass the kind of gear, personnel and intelligence they'd need to take out Fort Knox, and then use it on a corner liquor store.

B) I actually think there's a lot of room for traditionally RTS gameplay in an MMO. I don't see the two being mutually exclusive at all.

C) There will be huge armies. Whether it's limited to guilds that can bring hundreds of players simultaneously working toward the same goal, or whether it's open to other players who choose to dedicate their gameplay to building up the means to hire an NPC Army, or building up an undead army, remains unanswered.

Blaeringr wrote:
So in all fairness, if you want to eliminate their save or die spells in PvP, in the interest of give and take, what do you propose to replace those spells with? If they can't hit harder, then why should they be more vulnerable?

Reading that, I believe I understand your argument. You're saying that in the tabletop version of Pathfinder, access to Save-or-Die spells is one of the things that balances Wizards, and you're concerned that without them in PFO, Wizards will be unbalanced towards the weak side.

I can understand that concern, but I've played in a ton of MMOs, and the wizards were never really unbalanced to the weak side, and none of them ever had Save-or-Die spells.

Goblin Squad Member

A) said gang will very likely take out any individual guards who stand in their way. Grand objectives does not at all mean not stepping on the individuals, in fact your case illustrates the opposite point of what you're trying to make.

B) But we're talking Pathfinder Online, which is for the most part focused on parties and individuals. Not saying that RTS games are bad - they have their place - but that clearly isn't the game they're working on here.

C) Huge armies controlled in a general kind of way by settlements (not single players going after single targets) and limited to RvR combat is vastly different from targeting over individuals. Even in RvR, armies will act like armies - a lot of soldiers to fight in small groups or individually at a time. If you hand over control to a single player who has a grudge against another, then that other may as well stay away from RvR altogether until they get their own army, or they don't stand a chance.

Goblin Squad Member

I just read through the last 48 comments...wow. Here is my opinion for what it is worth. I am all for "devastating damage". If I (or someone else) can figure out how to cause someone (or me) twice the damage they (I) have life for, such as pushing them off a cliff, or dropping a piano on them...Or, be I/they a raid boss, 45 feet tall with a warhammer that weighs a ton...and I/they hit you with said hammer. I am all for players being able to build siege weapons that allow them to drop pianos on other players....or even swing that boss's now player claimed warhammer from a large engine of some sort (read battering ram pendulum). I am all for the recipients of said "devastating damage" to get a roll to decrease or avoid the damage all together. In each of these cases the damage is calculated and subtracted from their life.

I do not support less-than-biblical abilities that make someone dead regardless of damage done and their total life.

Goblinworks Executive Founder , Star Voter 2013

Davor wrote:

1st of all:

To the notion that removing save-or-die spells imbalances the game: What kind of wizard uses save-or-die spells in the PnP? I mean, yeah, you could kill one enemy... or you could put 5 of them in a coma, or stun them, or grapple them (Tentacles ftw!), or about 10 other things that are WAY more efficient than killing them. Removing SoD spells is like removing kittens from the game... yeah, they're gone, but would anyone really notice?

I do, but I prefer the Sorcerer method. Sleep, color spray, ghoul touch, hold x, are all save-or-die spells when I've got a longspear. Spells which directly inflict death are also on the menu, as are spells which deal damage and some which have noncombat use. But a 1st level spell with a 15' cone of save or die (for creatures of 2 HD or less, 3d8-3 damage from a CDG is still probably dead, those that survive might still fail their fort save.)

Granted, it's a save-or-die that takes a full-round action to make it official, but Suffocation, Mass doesn't instantly kill, either.

It's also worth noting that a lot of the SoD spells from Pathfinder are limited in terms of valid targets, but that PCs are typically fully vulnerable.


Blaeringr wrote:

You reference the thread about raid bosses being toned down to eliminate a need for the "trinity trap" but then in another thread suggest players being army of one powerful

Nihimon wrote:
I actually still think there's room for a single character to swoop in riding a powerful dragon if it took a significant number of players a significant amount of time to unlock it, and then would only last a limited amount of time.
as well as:
Nihimon wrote:
Basically, what I'm saying is that I think the game should support not only direct power, by having a large army immediately present, but also amassed power, where you build up resources over time and then can unleash those resources when the timing is right. I see the effort to capture a dragon and bend it to your will temporarily in this light. Likewise, my oft-stated desire for it to be possible for a Necromancer to gradually build up an entire army of undead (with appropriate costs, and very likely working with other players to help tend his army and gather resources, etc.)

and then in another complain about single target insta killers.

I'm getting a very odd picture of "balance". How are your suggestions in the taming thread not ridiculously more powerful than an instakill spell with a save (which can be blocked altogether with small preparation)? And how are they not going to force all players into a pet gathering role, else be obsolete?

It is precisely due to other posts in other threads that I have come to the conclusion that keeping out insta spells has nothing to do with balance, otherwise players asking for armies of the undead would not occur. Which is why I attribute the stance I did to you Nihimon. If I am wrong, I apologize, but I stand by my interpretation of the events. You can't ask for it one way and then remove it in another, that's very inconsistent and going to be interpreted as self motivated by anyone that reads them.

Goblin Squad Member

@Probitas, help me understand why you think I should see insta-kill spells and Necromancers with armies of undead as equivalent?

Army of Undead would require a very significant amount of time to build up, and a lot of risk of being discovered while doing so, in addition to require vast resources that can only realistically be acquired by convincing other players to do your bidding. The army would not be mobile unless the Necromancer spent even more time, gained more power, endured more risk, and acquired more resources, and even then would require every drop of concentration he had or they would turn once more into a mindless horde, seeking nothing but more brains.

Insta-kill spells require being whatever caster class gets them, and gaining some merit badges, and maybe getting some rare spell components?

How many times in a 3-month period is the Necromancer going to be able to march his undead army around? In my view, once, and that's if he's already spent a year or two building it up.

How many times in a 3-month period is your insta-kill caster going to be able to cast his insta-kill spells?

Do you see how I can be a reasonable human being and not agree that they're the same? I'm not asking you to agree with me. I'm just asking you to admit I don't have to be an idiot to believe what I believe.

Goblin Squad Member

2 people marked this as a favorite.

You know, typing that out changed my mind.

I agree, instant-kill spells should be available in game, with a fairly high (50+%) chance to fail against a well-protected, "properly matched" foe, and a significant effort to acquire the ability to cast once. And by significant effort, I'm talking about maybe 3 months of game time with a dozen people helping you in order to cast the spell once, with no possibility of getting two casts saved up. That should be about on par with requiring a 2 year investment with 100 people helping you to build up an army of 100 or so undead minions.

Goblin Squad Member

- I could be wrong, but I believe the Dev's have already explicity stated that PFO will NOT be using the PnP ruleset. So any arguements of "If you make this change to the PnP ruleset, it will have X other effects" pretty much have no bearing on the discussion here, because the apriori assumption of such a statement is invalid.

- PnP PFO is a "Human Moderated" ruleset, mostly focused on PVE rather then PVP and generaly scaled to involve a very small number (maybe 8-10 at most managebly) number of players....and a rather small potential of player hours for active gaming. The core conditions which PFO must operate under are ENTIRELY DIFFERENT then that. Meaning that the rules which work well in PnP won't neccesarly translate well into PFO.

- Games such as DDO or WOW also have entirely different design goals and intended play styles then what was anounced for PFO...so mechanics that work a particular way under them won't neccessarly work the same way for PFO.

- A mechanic which results in instant victory from a single action, and where determination of the success of that attack is largely based upon a single result obtained from a RNG has a dramatic effect on the game-play style of a game. It has a tendency to make combat MUCH shorter, MUCH more dependant on RESPONSE SPEED (i.e. "twitch factor") and tend to involve less player skill and strategy. Instant Kill abilities are much less problematic in FPS style games, for example, because they are much less susceptible to LATENCY and SERVER Lag effects then a typical MMO...FPS games feature servers which are geo-located and which are limited to representing a small number of player objects (typicaly 32 or 64 max) in any one session which means players are unlikely to be forced to deal with significant latency and lag effects and in fact many have engines designed to BOOT players who's response times are above a certain threshold. Fast paced combat is not really an issue since the maps are not generaly persistant but meant to be played in short game sessions of perhaps 20-30 minutes after which everything is reset anyway. Furthermore, there is a considerable player-skill factor involved in instant-kill mechanisms in such games...as they typicaly require both manual aiming and awareness/spotting of the enemy (i.e. figuring out there is a hostile player behind those bushes) is a major play component..... for technical reasons both of those are much more problematic to achive in MMO games....and don't match up with the style expected of most fantasy MMORPG's.


I'm still fairly sure that removing anything that kills instantly is a bad thing. After all, falls from a height should knock you down when you strike bottom, the travel time is not casting time. And if they implement traps, some of them are very lethal. Even a simple spike trap can kill you if poisoned. There isn't much difference in consequence except it wasn't player controlled. If you can accept death by falling, death by trap, even death by poison, death by spell has to be allowed. Otherwise, a lot of spells become pointless. Like the aforementioned death ward and the like.

I see no real justification for removing game mechanics that are not unbalanced simply because any one person doesn't want to be on the receiving end of it. These same arguments were made in AoC, and look what that game turned into: It was trash at release, and is even worse now. All because a vocal component of the player base didn't want PvP to have instant kills. Now the mages can sprint from combat with impunity, while they STILL retain their own full power. It's a joke. If some guy walks up to you with a two hander and hits you dead on your bean, and you wear a dress for armor, then you should die, period. That is where melee power is. For people to suggest that mages should not also be able to respond in kind at range is not balanced. And to suggest NO one should be able to do that is simply going to make fights take longer than they should. I don't know about you, but I would rather not waste all my game time in one fight with a player, when if that player were an NPC, it would be over much faster. Those games simply tweak the rules when players fight. I say it should not be done.

As for the undead army issue, I say why bother fighting them at all. Sneak behind the lines and fight the necromancer. After all, the undead are mindless and only do what they are told to do. They don't look for hidden foes, they don't attack what they can't see. Kill the mage, and the army drops dead. There goes two years of work in an instant. That's what I would do every time. Chop off the head and the body dies.

You aren't as powerful as you think you will be, especially when dealing with people who have accumulated as much personal power as you and haven't wasted it on mindless drones, but augmentation on a more personal level. Call it an Achilles heel. Even against a single Paladin your army isn't going to amount to much, what with the perks they can accumulate that make fighting undead relatively easy, particularly if they have an Avenger sword. Paladin keeps the army busy, while the thief taps you on the back of your head. At level 20, I can easily see that happening. And with an on level anti-magic buff, even the spells you cast will fail most of the time, assuming the save doesn't happen. You may not wish to be aware of it, but each and every class has a way to counter another class easily. That's how the game was designed, because the NPC villains are characters under GM control, or are otherwise monsters and supernatural creatures.

This can be coded in if they wish to put in the effort. And I see no reason to remove the balance that is already there. If people are playing games without those abilities in them, they are playing homebrew games designed for what they consider fun for them. I'd rather P/GW stick to the rules as they wrote them, because they are fun the way they are, they don't need tweaking for an MMO beyond anything that has a time component, like healing and spell casting. If it obviously can't be done, that's one thing, but insta spells like finger of death is not one of those things. I wonder if anyone has put any thought into counterspelling yet? That's another thing that has to be taken into consideration at some point. And what could be more fantasy like than having mages battling it out, trying to slay each other with powerful spells, and defeating those spells with counters? And if one lands, it's curtains. I think if DDO can apply spell components, PFO can do the same, and the rarity of them will control the usage. If someone manages to gather a ton for some mega powerful spell, good on them. That means they haven't been doing much else and will have a ton of weaknesses.

Goblin Squad Member

Probitas wrote:
I see no real justification for removing game mechanics that are not unbalanced simply because any one person doesn't want to be on the receiving end of it. These same arguments were made in AoC, and look what that game turned into: It was trash at release, and is even worse now. All because a vocal component of the player base didn't want PvP to have instant kills. Now the mages can sprint from combat with impunity, while they STILL retain their own full power. It's a joke. If some guy walks up to you with a two hander and hits you dead on your bean, and you wear a dress for armor, then you should die, period. That is where melee power is. For people to suggest that mages should not also be able to respond in kind at range is not balanced. And to suggest NO one should be able to do that is simply going to make fights take longer than they should. I don't know about you, but I would rather not waste all my game time in one fight with a player, when if that player were an NPC, it would be over much faster. Those games simply tweak the rules when players fight. I say it should not be done

So your main argument is one game did not have save or dies, and was not good...

Now here's a challenge, can you name one game that did have save or die spells that was good? Roughly the closest to an example I can come up with is DDO... Which even DDO had to take drastic steps to control save or die spells. Namely by granting every boss or enemy of significant importance, direct blanket immunity to all save or die spells. Oh and adding them at all was more or less 100% at the cost of all PvP. Ask anyone who plays why no-one ever goes to any pvp arena beyond once in a blue moon goofing off in a tavern brawl for a few minutes, and the general responses you'll get are. "Otto's iresistable dance, flesh to stone, finger of death.

Second argument is that it will unbalance and make the death ward spell useless... So in other words... if you add one spell then it will make another spell pointless to add.

Ya don't say!

Guess what, I can tell you there is a 99% chance that gate, and planeshift will not exist in PFO and if they do, they will have entirely different purposes.

Arguing "but that makes dimensional lock and dimension anchor completely worthless if you remove plane-shift".

Again we are working with a completely blank slate... Not starting with mechanical Pathfinder. Also you are pretending that pathfinder is anything remotely resembling balanced... it isn't, I can guarantee you, if you were to run a 20 vs 20 game where everyone rolls a level 20 character, in pure pathfinder rules, over half of the classes would be completely negated in a match, and 90% of the fight would be over within the first round, and almost no-one involved would enjoy it (and this is assuming you had some time manipulating field to eliminate the dull wait that a 40 person turn based game would involve).

Pathfinder online is focused on drastically different elements then pathfinder P&P was built around. The "what will you substitute X with if you don't add it" or "that will also defeat the purpose of X", all of that is balancing against a direct port of the P&P ruleset... which is in no way been announced, or even implied to be a part of the game. Instant kills that work on main bosses etc... in games have never existed, because it defeats the purposes of having major bosses, it negates the whole fight, which is why no MMO would actually do so. I'm sure a handful of games have attempted it, and scrapped it by alpha testing after realizing that it would kill most any meaningful encounter.


I disagree that, if you have death by falling and death by trap, you need to have death by spell. It is much easier to be aware that the dangers of being high up on a cliff or walking around in an unexplored dungeon, than the danger of being near a PC in robes. If you are going for realism with people with hammers one shotting mages then striking that person with a bolt of lightning would be just as deadly.

IF it is like most games where it takes more than one hit to kill someone, than allowing a few classes to ignore that and randomly kill people, seems like poor design/ simply unfun to me. A few classes have will have spells and some will have items to combat it, then if mages are balanced around having these save-or-dies they are a auto lose if they go against an opponent who has the proper defenses or if they are balanced against a foe who is properly prepared they are OP versus someone who cant cast those spells/havent found the proper items yet.

IF the game is more realistic and a properly placed arrow can fell a high level character, then I see no reason to not have save or dies as they are simply powerful gambles.

As far as raising armies/hordes, the point being that a person spending all of his resources on raising the hordes would still not be that much more powerful (if at all) than someone spending all of his resources on combat. The raising hordes of zombies and marching on a town was something that was mention when talking about the most powerful necromancers in the game, and would likely be able to be stopped by equally epic heroes. To most of the non-epic characters they would appear to be rediculously powerful though. I don't really think that this has a place in this thread though as it is something that is completely irrelevant to the conversation. If I get attacked by a horde of undead as a ranger(what I plan on playing), there are still many options left to me. I can kite them and kill them one by one, I can try to hide from them and take out the necromancer controlling all of them, retreat back to town and get help from gaurds, etc... What plan I choose and how well I execute these plans is what determines my skill as a player. If I am hit by a save or die I only have two options, save or die, and neither of those have anything to do with my skill.

Goblin Squad Member

Probitas wrote:
As for the undead army issue, I say why bother fighting them at all. Sneak behind the lines and fight the necromancer.

Great idea. Not at all unexpected, though.

Probitas wrote:
You aren't as powerful as you think you will be...

I don't really expect to be that powerful, other than the fact that I have an undead army.

Probitas wrote:
... with an on level anti-magic buff, even the spells you cast will fail most of the time...

I wasn't really expecting to have any spells, other than those required to animate and control my undead army.

Probitas wrote:
You may not wish to be aware of it, but each and every class has a way to counter another class easily.

Did you think I wanted my Necromancer with an undead army to be so strong that no other class could counter it?

You seem to think that I wanted to be "the most powerful" by use of my undead army, and that you are telling me something new when you point out how this won't be the case. You're totally wrong about my motivation. Is that because you want the insta-death spells so that you can be "the most powerful"?

Probitas wrote:
I'm still fairly sure that removing anything that kills instantly is a bad thing.

As am I. Good thing no one here is actually arguing for that.

Probitas wrote:
If you can accept death by falling, death by trap, even death by poison, death by spell has to be allowed.

No I don't. That's a false equivalence.

But for the record, I think it's perfectly acceptable for a Wizard to have a Telekinesis spell that can push me back, and if he knocks me off a high cliff then I should die when I hit the bottom. That's an instant-kill, and it's the result of a spell, and it's the very first thing that happens in our combat. But it doesn't reduce the entire combat to a roll of the RNG. My very, very bad decision to stand on the edge of a cliff so a Wizard could knock me off had far more to do with my death than the RNG.

Probitas, I'd really like to understand the bounds of what you find acceptable here. For the sake of argument, let's say it's 2.5 years after PFO opens up, and we're starting to see our first Capstone characters. Let's only consider Capstone characters of a single pure Archetype, for right now.

1. How many save-or-die spells do you think should be available to which archetypes?

2. How often should those spells be usable, and at what relative cost? By cost, let's say what fraction or multiple of the cost to cast a Fly spell for 1 hour.

3. What percent chance would you expect each other Archetype to have to save against those spells.

4. In a PvP battle with 20 Wizards all trained to maximize their ability to use Save-or-Die spells, and an equal number of opponents, what configuration of Archetypes for the opponents would stand an even chance of defeating the Wizards.

5. If you got everything you wanted, what are the chances for succes for a group composed entirely of characters that didn't have Save-or-Die spells if they are up against an even number of characters maximized to cast Save-or-Die spells?

6. Is there any way that this system doesn't result in Wizards becoming a required class for any PvP group?

Goblin Squad Member

Nihimon wrote:
4. In a PvP battle with 20 Wizards all trained to maximize their ability to use Save-or-Die spells, and an equal number of opponents, what configuration of Archetypes for the opponents would stand an even chance of defeating the Wizards.

Very solid point and I think it deserves expanded upon, take that idea and then expand that to say groups of 12 people defending their town from say... an Great Wyrm or ancient Dragon, or even a Tarrasque. Just have 12 people simultaniously blast their save or die spells at it, 5% chance each shot, you are bound to hit the 5% chance pretty quick. Unless you do like DDO and just make powerful enemies immune to death, and just allow players to get death ward items etc... In which case then you aren't adding save or die spells, you are just giving players 1 less slot, because anyone with half a brain is going to wear something enchanted with death block, except for the low/new players, and considering that the idea with low/new players is to make the game as attractive as possible to them, having them be instakilled on a regular basis is not a good way to do that.

Goblin Squad Member

Probitas,

If you really want to go in for full on realism, then most combatants should be expiring of dysentry before they ever get into a battle...and a minor flesh wound should have a pretty good chance of turning septic and killing you a few weeks later. We also really won't need to worry about save or die spells because the only one "magic" is going to end up killing is the lunatic that thinks it actualy exists...and is foolish enough to think he won't end up tied to a stake at an Inquisitors weenie-roast if he pretends he can practice it.

While I'm a big fan off "more realistic" games then most, alot of things just don't work well in an MMO game format.....and alot of Pen N Paper rulesets won't either.

Save or Die or really most instant kill abilities tend not to work well in an MMO Game format....especialy ones attempting to portray a classic fantasty RPG feeling....quite frankly I don't think they work very well in PnP rules either...and most PnP gamers I know don't play with them.

In the context of most MMO engines, all insta-kill abilities do is reduce combat to a single, rather unsatisfying mouse click. It's not even a measure of player skill (as it can be in FPS engines)....it has a measure of who has less network latency between them and the game server...as if your half a continent further away, the server will register your attack before it does mine...even if we clicked the mouse at the same exact time. At best, it's a measure of who wins a single coin toss.

Falling from heights or setting off traps don't neccesarly suffer from the same effects....as latency or response speed plays no role in whether you are effected by them. The player has time to examine the object or area in question and decide whether it's safe to trust it.


You know, this is tiring. If people want to play games with no negatives, that's fine. Tiddlywinks comes to mind. No risk, other than losing. Although some people can't handle that much ego abuse.

If they take the PnP game and do not code the game as much in its entirety as they can, and cave in to demands from people who can't stand losing to spells from players that they just happen not to save to, it's not going to be PFO, it's going to be WoW with a PFO wrapper. And I know I won't go near it.

I'm sick to death of games catering to children. I'm an adult, and I'd like some adult sized game consequences. I'm going to go out with an agree to disagree statement. I will never agree to adverse risk management in a game that adults are expected to play. That's fine for children, they can't handle adult situations. I would have thought that people would expect larger situations as they matured, but I guess due to WoWs popularity, that is not the case, and it's becoming obvious that game developers will keep trying to slice a piece of WoW's demographic and are just going to make a game similar to that. Have fun with it.

I'd rather play a game with other adults in it who can handle real risk/reward, not some lopsided 'Here you go little Jimmy, this is what you win for playing a game you can't lose'.


Probitas wrote:

You know, this is tiring. If people want to play games with no negatives, that's fine. Tiddlywinks comes to mind. No risk, other than losing. Although some people can't handle that much ego abuse.

...
I'd rather play a game with other adults in it who can handle real risk/reward, not some lopsided 'Here you go little Jimmy, this is what you win for playing a game you can't lose'.

This is such a condenscending post I had to reply. Somehow, because we want a game where certain classes don't have an I win button, it's childish? We want a game with more depth than I spammed my button faster than you so I win, you want slapjack and we want Go. They can both be fun games but Go is in no way childish, there are layers and layers of strategy and is considered one of the hardest games in the world to master, yet there are no insta-death moves. Feel free to edit your post and argue our points or just say that you agree to disagree, but don't be so insulting to the other members of the forum please.


It's only a personal attack if you take it that way. And I stand by it. Children get the kid approach because they are still maturing and don't need to be hit with the full reality of adult life all at once. Once they get past that though, the gloves really should come off. PvP is supposed to be the adult form of gaming, but a lot of games simply take a childish approach to PvP, either because their target demo ARE children or because they don't think they can succeed any other way, with winning being rewarded, and losing being rewarded with no loss. It's a totally positive equation that is ultimately unrewarding for people who want more out of an experience. It's cute when little league teams all get medals for playing, win or lose, but how much respect would we have for the players if they did the same thing for the NHL or NFL? I sure wouldn't have much.

The largest whine I hear from the so called elite pvp players who complain about no one to game with is that if you lose, you lose nothing, so there is no risk, so come play and don't worry about it. My take on that is that if I can't really lose, why bother, it won't be fun, because winning is meaningless, there is no reason to try because I have nothing to protect. It also tends to reduce any large scale combat to nothing more than zerging, running back from rez locations endlessly. Yawn. You would do well to just fight mobs then, it has the same equation. They don't lose anything either really. And in some PvP games, players are reduced to nothing but slightly more intelligent mobs thanks to PvP levels (AoC comes to mind).

Making players farmable would be alright if the players could retaliate and remove the farmer, but games never do that, they remain lopsided in their mechanics. Which is why those games never do well long term. Smart people know better than to allow themselves to be abused in such a fashion due to skewed game mechanics that were never balanced for a proper win/loss situation. The best way for players to police themselves is to have the mechanics in place to do that. And the only way to really balance that is to allow for meaningful loss. Griefing would grind, if not to a halt, at least to a trickle, when that occurs. And if players state they will avoid PvP if they lose their precious swords and such, then they are cowards. And cowards have no place on battlefields. I think it's ridiculous for someone to have to defend themselves from player attack and not be able to be punitive to the person who decided to start something. Maybe if you had something to lose you might not be so brazen. And I know that in a sandbox, the last thing people want to deal with is constantly being attacked every 20 feet, and meaningful loss would curtail that.

I'm sorry if you feel this is targeted at you personally, but I don't make people wear shoes they don't choose for themselves. That's why I keep bringing WoW up. It has PvP with no loss and silly combat rules with mixed melee, and if that's your thing, go play that. P/GW is trying to do something different, so I would hope they do not simply clone WoW and wrap it with their own skin. Because the sad truth is that no company is ever going to drag people from that game, they are there until the game no longer does it for them, and then they try looking for other places to fill the need in them for substantive gaming. Because while they may have started out as teens playing that game, they don't remain teens forever, regardless of how much they might wish it were true in Blizzards front office.

This is why most adults don't play tag or hide and seek anymore, because those games don't fulfill them as adults, they need games to be a little more substantial. For instance, if all classes are given a possible I win button (I won't address calling something that doesn't always work an I win button), that's fair too isn't it? It should be, but I know some people are going to whine about it, because they have to find any reason to remove the chance that they can lose on anything other than their own terms. Now if the mods think my posts need to be modded, let them, but I don't think I've said anything that is false.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

Probitas: Do you believe that you have been posting in good faith? When you called all games that don't result in losses to the loser "childish", were you including all nongambling games? Professional sports players get payed regardless of whether their team wins, and typically their pay is negotiated in advance.

Has TF2 been reduced to 'zerging' because the only penalty for getting killed is having to respawn? I know that teams that don't just mindlessly rush the enemy win more often, and that lots of adults have a lot of fun playing in that manner.

If you want to play a game where losing has negative consequences, play poker. Specifically, play a variant of poker where any hand that has the two of diamonds is unbeatable.

Goblin Squad Member

Probitas wrote:
stuff...I'm sorry if you feel this is targeted at you personally...stuff

My only problem is that I have no idea who you are targeting...it definitely does not seem to be anyone in this thread. I do not see how this or your previous rant has anything to do with the topic at hand...are you asking for serious death penalties? If you look at some of our pre-Probitas discussions, many of the people you are attacking have asked and argued for harsh and/or meaningful death penalties. From what I remember, most of the arguments were for DBs that were harsh enough to make people think twice about stupid actions and suicidal behavior...like random PvP...

...and none of this has anything to do with what this thread is about. Unless I really missed something, this thread is about insta-death spells. I am all for the ability to do devastating damage. I am all for the ability to cast spells that do many times the average life of a PC...but it has to have the same cost as someone doing that much damage with a sword. No, it should have more cost because you are doing it all at once. If you can save mana in gems or something and you can save enough for that effect, then I am all for it...but then your mana and stone are empty until you can take the time to recharge it. AND...the effect is not instant death, the effect is a huge amount of damage of some type. I as your target might have my own tricks...such as a gem I can store life in...and your massive damage just canceled out my massive life.

Point being, Death is a condition gained by the loss of all your hit points...if you want your instant death spell, fine...figure out a way to use a spell to do more damage than I have hit points...I really don't see what you are going on about.

Goblin Squad Member

1 person marked this as a favorite.

It may not be appropriate for me to say this, but I for one am not going to respond to a single thing Probitas says until he returns the courtesy I showed him a few posts back and responds to me directly like an adult rather than ranting about "childish losers".

Goblin Squad Member

Probitas wrote:

You know, this is tiring. If people want to play games with no negatives, that's fine. Tiddlywinks comes to mind. No risk, other than losing. Although some people can't handle that much ego abuse.

If they take the PnP game and do not code the game as much in its entirety as they can, and cave in to demands from people who can't stand losing to spells from players that they just happen not to save to, it's not going to be PFO, it's going to be WoW with a PFO wrapper. And I know I won't go near it.

I'm sick to death of games catering to children. I'm an adult, and I'd like some adult sized game consequences. I'm going to go out with an agree to disagree statement. I will never agree to adverse risk management in a game that adults are expected to play. That's fine for children, they can't handle adult situations. I would have thought that people would expect larger situations as they matured, but I guess due to WoWs popularity, that is not the case, and it's becoming obvious that game developers will keep trying to slice a piece of WoW's demographic and are just going to make a game similar to that. Have fun with it.

I'd rather play a game with other adults in it who can handle real risk/reward, not some lopsided 'Here you go little Jimmy, this is what you win for playing a game you can't lose'.

Guy, I'm used to playing games like Advanced Tactics - WWII, Combat Mission - Normandy, Norm Kruegers The Operational Art of War.

From the MMO style of things, I happened to enjoy WWII - Online....or an old style MUD called Gemstone3 by Simutronics that featured both item loss and even the potential for Perma-Death (though that was pretty easy to avoid).

From my perspective you are the one who is asking for a childish game...because what you want in the context in which you are asking for it essentialy boils down to an "I Win" button....which calls for no greater demand from the player then low internet latency and the ability to win a coin toss.


To be perfectly honest, you're arguing about whether air with 5% CO2 tastes better than air with 2.5% CO2. Maybe I've just overlooked a few things, but the only SOD spell I've seen in PF P&P is Phantasmal Killer. Finger of Death? Flat amount of d6's, so it's obsolete after your caster level exceeds that amount. Same for Slay Living. Even Wail of the Banshee is now a save vs. damage spell. Shouldn't you be asking for a nerf to Disintegrate as well since it's essentially papercut or die through massive damage? (2d6 per caster level if you fail, 5d6 flat if you pass)

Hold Person/Hold Monster are save or die if Coup De Grace is an option. Dominate spells come close, they just require a little more creativity. The rogue ability to stun someone that was mentioned earlier in this thread is also a candidate if you consider this feat: http://www.d20pfsrd.com/feats/combat-feats/dastardly-finish-combat
Save or stun, then eat a Coup De Grace. In the end, same thing basically.

At low levels Color Spray is deadly, as has been mentioned. But you all seem to forget one critical issue: They have CLEARLY stated that while the MMO is BASED on the P&P game, it's more specifically based on the game world and lore than actual class abilities and feats. Which means that it's almost a guarantee we won't see SOD spells. Stundeath combos from invisible rogues and speedbarians are far more likely to be an issue.

Lantern Lodge

The issue with save or die spells is that we want to have fun and the fun comes from us making decisions and taking actions and finding out whether we are smart or stupid.

save or die spells remove that aspect, they put everything on chance and nothing on skill or intelligence, that is the issue, power and balance have nothing to do with it.

who wants to play a game where they lose on chance alone, regardless of any other factors?

Goblin Squad Member

A well engineered ambush does the same. Shall we remove the ability to outnumber someone in an attack as well? Or to surprise them? If you're going to ask to penalize wizards for specific reasons, and then it's pointed out that similar reasons apply to other classes, are you willing to ask to have everyone penalized for your brew of balance?

And whatever name you want to call it, whatever stigma you're trying to avoid by saying this isn't a "balance" issue, it is exactly what is being discussed.

Goblin Squad Member

Blaeringr wrote:

A well engineered ambush does the same. Shall we remove the ability to outnumber someone in an attack as well? Or to surprise them? If you're going to ask to penalize wizards for specific reasons, and then it's pointed out that similar reasons apply to other classes, are you willing to ask to have everyone penalized for your brew of balance?

And whatever name you want to call it, whatever stigma you're trying to avoid by saying this isn't a "balance" issue, it is exactly what is being discussed.

How many times in this thread does it have to be pointed out... it can't be called "penalizing", or "removing" when things haven't even been put in to begin with. They have already stated that the rules aren't going to cross over, what spells will be used and which ones won't will be purely the ones that make the game fun and better. I can pretty much say at minimum of 40% of pathfinders core spellbook won't make the cut.

In general tactical advantages etc... are understood and respected by most. Gathering a group, setting up an ambush etc... makes sense an opponent also can know and run from it, or travel with a group themselves etc...

Save or dies are pretty universally unfun to a vast majority of people. There is a reason why there are so few save or die spells in pathfinder, and why the only one below 8th level spells gets 2 different saves against it.

Ah there's also cloudkill but that one also is intentionally limited on HD, which is something that won't likely be a factor in PFO from the sounds of the direction of the game. (considering actual level isn't going to be a straight path, HP will most likely be a skill trained seperate from archtype, a set number or something along those lines).

Bottom line when deciding if something should or shouldn't be added to the game, the question to ask shouldn't be, is it in the pathfinder rules. The question is, does it make the game more fun and how will it effect the game when scaled up in size. Bottom line, there are few people I know of who would consider save or dies as fun. Most people consider them hollow victories or hollow defeats, decided purely on chance with no concern for strategy planning etc...

Goblin Squad Member

"does it make the game more fun" = "my idea of balance"

Having a bigger group than the target, and surprising them is hardly what I'd call a brilliant stroke of strategic planning. If something being a hollow victory is your yardstick for what should be removed, then ambushes and greater numbers are out. You're applying your yardstick to the things you want to apply it to, and ignoring the rest.

And like you said, it's not "penalizing" or "removing" if they haven't yet implemented the ability to outnumber your opponent. We don't know, after all, what will be transferred from the paper rules, do we?

Goblin Squad Member

Blaeringr wrote:

"does it make the game more fun" = "my idea of balance"

Having a bigger group than the target, and surprising them is hardly what I'd call a brilliant stroke of strategic planning. If something being a hollow victory is your yardstick for what should be removed, then ambushes and greater numbers are out. You're applying your yardstick to the things you want to apply it to, and ignoring the rest.

And like you said, it's not "penalizing" or "removing" if they haven't yet implemented the ability to outnumber your opponent. We don't know, after all, what will be transferred from the paper rules, do we?

Well obviously numbers aren't something that mechanically can nor should be done without turning the whole game into instanced controlled areas. Numbers are something that is within a players control, recruiting or joining an organization, helping that group build up and grow larger and stronger is within a players control. Not to mention the larger a group is, the more visible it is, the easier it is to avoid and not wind up fighting.

Save or dies... sure, just have everyone play only wizards and clerics... boy that sounds like fun. Or just impliment death block items, to which then 100% of players who could afford them, would wear them, and save or dies would be rendered moot and the only thing save or dies would add to the game, is giving 1 less equipment slot for the moderately wealthy, and giving the wealthy a good way to grief those who are too low/weak to afford it.

Look at DDO, save or dies are implimented in it. Upon entry to any instance that has save or dies, everyone has their death block items equiped, all bosses etc... that would be worth using a save or die spell on, are immune to them etc... Essentially it is the most pointless addition because it is negated in every way shape or form, because any use of it is detrimental to any form of gameplay.

The only beneficial use of save or die spells in games, is clearing out weak chaff faster, and that somewhat works for PVE, but in PVP it turns the lower characters from being slightly less effective charcters, to dead on arival, which kills the fun for them entirely.

Goblin Squad Member

2 people marked this as a favorite.

@Onishi, don't waste your breath. Anyone willing to seriously argue that "I can kill you in one spell" is equivalent to "my friends and I can ambush you and probably kill you" isn't arguing honestly.

Goblin Squad Member

And somebody who says I can be surprised by myself by you and your 5 friends and still feel it's a fair fight is arguing honestly? You say "probably kill you" with a straight face? Hard to tell over the internet. This is why I shouldn't waste my breath here anymore.

Not the first time you've turned to insults in a conversation you didn't like either, is it? Be honest now.

Lantern Lodge

It is called perception and planning, if i am going to point b by myself I probably wont travel the roads, instead hiding alongside them. either way I have a chance to avoid you by taking a path less likely to set for ambush by you or by looking for you( and maybe seeing you) as i travel with the big bodyguards I hired.

ambushes can be beat by planning while you have yet to suggest any strategy or tactic to fight against save or die spells, and the only methods given by others also inherently have several reasons to not include them.

Goblin Squad Member

@Blaeringr, I apologize. Especially since right after I posted that you were very helpful to me in another thread.

But yes, I think it's possible to run away from an ambush. And I never said "fair fight".

Goblin Squad Member

Blaeringr wrote:

"does it make the game more fun" = "my idea of balance"

Having a bigger group than the target, and surprising them is hardly what I'd call a brilliant stroke of strategic planning. If something being a hollow victory is your yardstick for what should be removed, then ambushes and greater numbers are out. You're applying your yardstick to the things you want to apply it to, and ignoring the rest.

And like you said, it's not "penalizing" or "removing" if they haven't yet implemented the ability to outnumber your opponent. We don't know, after all, what will be transferred from the paper rules, do we?

It's a little more involved then "Click button + decent roll = I win."

Now if you want to make an arguement for a save or die spell that requires about 5 different conditions that need to be applied, which the target can realisticaly take some counter-measures to avoid...then maybe you have an arguement....otherwise (IMO) not really..... and frankly, if you realy do want that in a game, then I hope you don't mind playing single-player RPG's.....because I really don't see much of anyone here being interested in playing a game with PvP mechanics like that....

I know I won't be playing a game that features that.... so good luck, enjoy.

Goblin Squad Member

Save or Die is the result of pen and paper RPG's NOT being designed for PVP. They are not a suitable format for PVP and any PVP 100% or even 90% based on a pen and paper RPG will be HORRIBLY broken.

D&D is a game based on teamwork and cooperation against NPCs controlled by your DM. Any character designed around the premise of 1vs.1 PVP is fundamentally flawed and a burden on a campaign of decent players. Generally they are played by egomaniacs who everyone secretly wants to leave the campaign so that they can be replaced by a decent contributing member.

When designing a D&D character your number one objective should always be "How can I help the team?" A rouge with super high intelligence and therefore 5 bazillion skill-points while being less valuable in combat than a rouge with more dex, strength, or con, is still a valuable asset to a team with their persuade, bluff, lockpicking, search, spot, trap disarming, pickpocketing, move silently hide, set trap etc. Your party not only never gets hit by traps but they recover those traps, the rouge plants those traps around before major fights that they know about beforehand because they snuck ahead to scout things out, and of course you get extra loot, and can take that secret back entrance because of their lockpicking skills etc..

Because of things like this it doesn't matter that your wizard/sorcerer can one shot enemies. EVERYONE is pulling their weight, even if not in a direct combat capacity.

Your rouge will be the one keeping guard with their keen eyes while that wizard has to get a full nights un-interrupted sleep to restore their spells.

In a game where moving around as a party is NOT necessarily what you will be doing, and PVP actually IS a major deal you simply CANNOT have a system where spellcasters are one-shotting people, or where they can entirely run out of spells in the middle of a battle/have to lay down and rest to get those spells back.

Those are PVE systems designed for an exclusively party based PVE game. They do not translate well into anything else. This game should bring a lot of D&D concepts into the world to give the Pathfinder flavor most of the fans are looking for. It should never even CONSIDER a cut and paste of the Pathfinder books. It would make a terrible MMO. We already know that isn't what they intend to do with leveling. It shouldn't be what they do with the spellcasting system either.


I think the bottom line for what spells/tactics/abilities can be included is how they are countered. If the counter is RNG or limited to certain items or classes, they shouldn't be included.

A great example would be MMO's that allow rogue-like classes to completely shut down another player's ability to do anything through CC type abilities. Meaning if played properly they kill someone without that person ever getting the chance to *play*.

It doesn't require any particular skill to smash buttons in a certain order over and over, or hit a macro; every fight, and there isn't anything to do as the target of such a build or character except twiddle your thumbs and wait to die.

Everything I can do, you should be able to do *something* to counter it regardless of archetype or advancement through the skill trees. Whether it's hit a dodge key, move physically out of the way, trigger a countering ability, or trigger an ability to interrupt the other ability's execution.

Otherwise we end up with a horde of assassin prestige rogues or hold-person/sleep/FOD specced wizards, or command specced priests and the gameplay suffers hugely as a result. Controlling effects are key to strategic play, but they also have to be treated like fingers of death or other abilities that, while relatively harmless or useful in PvE, can destroy any semblance of fair play in PvP.

When you include any ability that results in instant or delayed death for a person while not letting them control their own character; those abilities have to be limited in scope, application, and counter-able on some level across the board and all archetypes. Failure to factor that into the core design results in a game that is poorly balanced and not fun to play in a PvP capacity.

DDO's PvP is a joke. Every ability in P&P D&D and Pathfinder is built around the idea of fighting monsters in a party as Andius mentioned. You must rework (EVERYTHING) with the concept that it will now be thrown at players. Cut out what could logically never be balanced, and adjust heavily much of what is left.

A blind in this type of game would be an even more irritating way to die than a Wail of the Banshee. If Blind is in PFO it should make the player lose target, be blinded for 2-3 seconds, and be on a significant cooldown. Not, *welcome to permanent uselessness, woo!". That's the type of balancing they have ahead of them.

Implemented as is in paper form PFO would rightfully be called Epic Wizard Griefer Online. Instead of having an undead army I'd have an army of low level players "drafted" with dominate person. I'm sure since they are all presumably adults they would be fine with that, ya? :p


I for one am a fan of save or die spells and I definitely want hold spells. Wizards should not be party buffs and nukes. That being said, we don't know how they're going to handle spells in groups of people or how they cast. How about if spells have friendly fire. Would it make sense to throw fireballs or Wail into the crowd? I think spells per day could work in this game. This would ensure wizards don't just spam certain spells and would allow wizards to be feared. Maybe spells like finger of death will have a longer casting time so they can be interrupted easier, too. It's possible they can add a defense button that would prevent spell affects or give a bonus to saves.

Back to the spells per day idea. The developers have already said they are speeding up game time to 1/4 time. So if a wizard requires 8 hours of rest normally, they would require two hours in this game. That's enough incentive to me to not throw around spells like nothing, especially if these spells still offer you a save. It would also make me afraid of the enemy wizard. If wizards are still fragile, then they should be powerful.


I for one am a fan of save or die spells and I definitely want hold spells. Wizards should not be party buffs and nukes. That being said, we don't know how they're going to handle spells in groups of people or how they cast. How about if spells have friendly fire. Would it make sense to throw fireballs or Wail into the crowd? I think spells per day could work in this game. This would ensure wizards don't just spam certain spells and would allow wizards to be feared. Maybe spells like finger of death will have a longer casting time so they can be interrupted easier, too. It's possible they can add a defense button that would prevent spell affects or give a bonus to saves.

Back to the spells per day idea. The developers have already said they are speeding up game time to 1/4 time. So if a wizard requires 8 hours of rest normally, they would require two hours in this game. That's enough incentive to me to not throw around spells like nothing, especially if these spells still offer you a save. It would also make me afraid of the enemy wizard. If wizards are still fragile, then they should be powerful.

Goblin Squad Member

CoopTang wrote:


Back to the spells per day idea. The developers have already said they are speeding up game time to 1/4 time. So if a wizard requires 8 hours of rest normally, they would require two hours in this game. That's enough incentive to me to not throw around spells like nothing, especially if these spells still offer you a save. It would also make me afraid of the enemy wizard. If wizards are still fragile, then they should be powerful.

While I dislike parts I do agree with a significant enough drawback save or dies could be added, however I highly doubt wizards are going to have the potential to be particularly squishy. Considering unlimited mixing and matching of classes there's no logical way that wizards will have less HP vs barbarian and even if they do they will be able to mitigate it by multiclassing so for all intents and purposes it dosn't exist.

Now as far as armor, I have no idea the extent it's power will be, though Ryan has made comments saying that in order to avoid the holy trinity, the key area is to reduce how effective tanks are at tanking, in both defense and in agro control.

So overall I would say it is unlikely or particularly plausible for the current situation for glass cannon concept of wizards to work. I also say that largely the ideas of stunlock, infinently repeatable CC loops etc... greatly harm the enjoyment of most people in the game, Hold person is fine, it just shouldn't last the full course of an average fight and not have something quick and guaranteed to work to follow it up with to re-hold the opponent.

Goblin Squad Member

Nitpicky, I know, but what Ryan actually said was that it would be important to avoid the feedback loop that would push them to make Tanks able to tank almost all the mobs in [/i]almost every[/i] encounter.

For my part, I think Crowd Control spells like Hold Person should virtually all break on any damage, so that you can't be stunlocked while you're being killed.

Goblin Squad Member

Nihimon wrote:

Nitpicky, I know, but what Ryan actually said was that it would be important to avoid the feedback loop that would push them to make Tanks able to tank almost all the mobs in [/i]almost every[/i] encounter.

For my part, I think Crowd Control spells like Hold Person should virtually all break on any damage, so that you can't be stunlocked while you're being killed.

True it was the feedback loop, but it seemed to me that they were responding by talking about by lessening the difference to some extent. I think we both agree though that the plain and simple conclusion, while there may be a difference between a wizard and say a paladin's defense, it will be drastically less then the difference we are used to in other games, which we all can agree that means the offense difference has to be lower then your average MMO right now, not greater.

Ryan Dancey wrote:
he Tank problem is emergent. It's not just Taunt. It's over-development of the armor bonus too. The Tank becomes so grossly over-armored that if you don't build encounters to challenge him, he'll just slaughter everything with impunity. So after a few rounds of power inflation the Devs either are locked in to the Tank, they are forced to gimp the expensive and time intensive gear, or make the other classes equal to the Tank's defense (effectively a nerf). The only solution is to vigilantly stop the feedback loop every time it starts (I.e. you piss off the handful of advanced theory crafters for the benefit of the rest of the community).

I also agree with you on the hold person, personally I'd say there's multiple solutions to it.

1. Break on first damage,
2. Shorter durration with brief immunity afterwards.
3. Multiple consumable cure items to break oneself free. etc...

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