Racials.... Should we have them?


Pathfinder Online

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Scarab Sages Goblin Squad Member

Alarox wrote:
... Dwarf players to be in the mountains ... "I'm a Dwarf, these abilities REALLY want me to play in the mountains. I like the forests but meh, I also like efficiency".

Unfortunately the RK doesn't have any mountains around Mosswater where we're starting. There's some farther out in the northern and eastern edges of the territory, which may take years of expansions to reach.

River Kingdoms map

Goblin Squad Member

Guess were going to be having hill dwarves rather than mountain dwarves in that case :D

Goblin Squad Member

I like the concept of bonuses and minuses for race and sex, but ...
OK these races are not tied to real races and there is no PC associated with that.

Sex, well that could be a problem with US laws and biases and political correctness.
Yet it can be an optional choice (female, choose to use ro not use bonus/minus)
The sex differences should be different for different races (Drow females are smarter an more dextrous than males -- or whatever).
Human females are more dextrous and have high constitution than males (or whatever)
Dwarf males are higher strength and lower wisdom and charisma (which is why you do not see dwarf male clerics, sorceers, or bards).

... or what ever. this may be good concept for crowd forging, but needs to be sensitive to, sorry, Politically correct.

Is bias shift of center (+1 or +2) or distribution 3 d6 (ave 10.5, range 3-18) vs 5d4-2 (ave 10.5, range 3-18) -- the later having lower chance of values much different from 10-11 but also slim chance of 5-1 or 16+)

Lam

Goblin Squad Member

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racial bonuses are fine. The only thing I dont want to see happen is that every fighter is race X or that every crafter is race Y because mechanics dictate thats the best option and not because people want to play that race.

Goblin Squad Member

Keovar wrote:
Alarox wrote:
... Dwarf players to be in the mountains ... "I'm a Dwarf, these abilities REALLY want me to play in the mountains. I like the forests but meh, I also like efficiency".

Unfortunately the RK doesn't have any mountains around Mosswater where we're starting. There's some farther out in the northern and eastern edges of the territory, which may take years of expansions to reach.

River Kingdoms map

It could be encumbrance while carrying/mining minerals as dwarf's natuarl greed and ambition and skill kick in while doing these things, which happen to be in mountains in general or hilly slopes.

Conversely Elves are more about movement so might get a small bonus evasion while in woods, natural environments.

As said small bonus is just a nice nod towards their roots. You could have small boost be a big boost but for a very small amount of time per day etc.

Goblin Squad Member

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I've no problem with races getting small bonuses to traditional areas. An elf is racially a better archer but that is in exchange for something else (CON usually). That means that elves will commonly use bows but be less hardy that humans, which fits the traditional stereotype. It doesn't stop an elf being a meat shield fighter with a two-handed axe, but such individuals would be rare. I would hesitate about more powerful bonuses such as magical effects.

Gender differences I'd stay away from. I don't think a 3d6 system is fine-tuned enough to cater for real-world average differences in physical strength or manual coordination between genders, and Pathfinder isn't the sort of gritty realistic game where such things get modelled (after all, female characters are allowed to do everything male characters do, which is certainly not realistically modelling an historic Euro-centric medieval society). Unless a particular race has extreme differences between male and female (female half-orcs weaker but wiser/more intelligent perhaps) it is not an area worth including.

Racial differences yes. Maybe even small background bonuses for different social backgrounds for starting characters (similar to the free Traits in PnP). It is not straightjacketing a character, it is encouraging 'traditional' roles. If most of the armourers and clockmakers are dwarfs then great, that's what I would expect in a traditional RPG setting. It makes that half-orc sage really stand out as unusual, and elven barbarians more about the fur-and-leather-chic than the raging.

Goblin Squad Member

I think I might restrict any racial bonus to an advantage in crafting: Dwarven forges, Elven woodcraft, Human leatherwork, and so on.

Goblin Squad Member

That's good Being, make racial tie in with "cultural" roots. I still like Geographical... but I can't deny that's good.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

If you're going to offer racial crafting advantages, make them free recipes rather than better versions of the same things; elven chain mail is still elven chain mail even if made by a dwarf, but the dwarf has to spend a lot more time learning how to make it than the elf does.

Scarab Sages Goblin Squad Member

Bottom line - People will min/max. People will create "optimal builds". Some people will put every possible point into "optimizing" their combat effectiveness, and those people will probably win a one-on-one fight against someone who has put some points into crafting, or diplomacy, or survival, or a weapon favored by another race.

That's okay. The ability to win a one-on-one fight is much less important when the core conflict of the game is settlement vs. settlement. Let'em min-max. Make up for it by providing your settlement with better gear, or better morale, or deeper coffers.

When an axe-only dwarf sees a sword with a great keyword, it's "market trash". When a dwarf who's trained sword and axe sees a sword with a great keyword, it's useful.

As Heinlein said, specialization is for insects (and optimizers). Spreading your points a little brings its own rewards.

Goblin Squad Member

KarlBob wrote:
As Heinlein said, specialization is for insects (and optimizers). Spreading your points a little brings its own rewards.

I'm no min/maxer, but spreading points is not a very good idea, if PFO's skill system will even be remotely like EVE Online's.

If there are "Core Skills" ie. survival, train those up as quickly as possible.

If there are skills that enhance multiple areas, train them up quickly as well. Ie. Perception (everyone should max this very early on).

Choose one area of expertise and train it to near max.

Train other skills that support your secondary goal(s), to about mid level.

You will eventually see that capping skills in a set plan, will pay off in all terms (short, mid, long).

A "Jack of all trades, and a master of none" is another way of saying "Can't do anything very well".


Moridian wrote:
I've been considering this matter for some time. Should there be racials in the game? Is it something which should be carried over from the board game?

Just a little note...you do know that Pathfinder is not a board game right? It is a Table Top Role-Play Game.

Goblin Squad Member

Bluddwolf wrote:
KarlBob wrote:
As Heinlein said, specialization is for insects (and optimizers). Spreading your points a little brings its own rewards.

I'm no min/maxer, but spreading points is not a very good idea, if PFO's skill system will even be remotely like EVE Online's.

If there are "Core Skills" ie. survival, train those up as quickly as possible.

If there are skills that enhance multiple areas, train them up quickly as well. Ie. Perception (everyone should max this very early on).

Choose one area of expertise and train it to near max.

Train other skills that support your secondary goal(s), to about mid level.

You will eventually see that capping skills in a set plan, will pay off in all terms (short, mid, long).

A "Jack of all trades, and a master of none" is another way of saying "Can't do anything very well".

Though of course the rule of thumb in EVE is 80% of the benefits (from 4 levels of training) come from the first 20% of the training time. The remaining 80% to get a skill from level IV to level V is usually only warranted if it is a prerequisite for an item or another skill set. The exception being a few "core" skills.

Goblin Squad Member

Preparing yourself for PvP won't be as important in PFO as it is in EVE. In fact, I expect there will be a significant number of players who never engage in PvP in PFO.

It can't be stated enough: The differences between PFO and EVE will be far greater than their similarities.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

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I will laugh at the character who can survive the coldest winter, and track eagles through the clouds, but runs away from rats because they are too tough.

Train the skills that make you better at what you want to do, proportionately to how much you want to do those things.

Goblin Squad Member

I think there should be noticeable advantages for every increase in skill level. The EVE skill system mentioned above did have a level 5 skill in each skillbook, but that fifth level cost a small fortune and often didn't add a noticeable benefit. (If that level 5 was a prerequisite to the next skill level, that's a benefit, but many didn't offer anything.)

Saying that, I do like the idea that anyone can learn any skill, but some things are picked up faster than others, and in this case (and this thread) I like the idea that my Dwarf could learn how to craft Elven Chainmail, but it would not come naturally. Either it would take me twice as long to learn the same skill as an Elven armorsmith, or it would take him half as long as me. (That depends on whether I had a penalty or he had the bonus.)

Goblinworks Executive Founder

My thought was that "elven chain mail" would be an upgrade to "chain mail" that elves who met the prerequisites got for free, but everyone else had to spend XP at a specialized facility to learn.

Basically, any weapon or armor that contains a race in the name can be made and used by members of that race as soon as they can make or use the base item, but everyone else has to have specific training to gain the full benefits. I'm not sure what e benefits should be, but at a rough estimate having an additional keyword seems fair.

Scarab Sages Goblin Squad Member

Bluddwolf wrote:
KarlBob wrote:
As Heinlein said, specialization is for insects (and optimizers). Spreading your points a little brings its own rewards.

I'm no min/maxer, but spreading points is not a very good idea, if PFO's skill system will even be remotely like EVE Online's.

If there are "Core Skills" ie. survival, train those up as quickly as possible.

If there are skills that enhance multiple areas, train them up quickly as well. Ie. Perception (everyone should max this very early on).

Choose one area of expertise and train it to near max.

Train other skills that support your secondary goal(s), to about mid level.

You will eventually see that capping skills in a set plan, will pay off in all terms (short, mid, long).

A "Jack of all trades, and a master of none" is another way of saying "Can't do anything very well".

I did say "a little". Some people get militant about skill plans. I'm just saying that deviating from your plan to throw a few points into a couple of neat-sounding skills shouldn't cripple you. Sure, dividing all your advancement between every possible career will leave you generally ineffective. If you're mostly focused on magic, though, and drop a few points into harvesting so you can find the best wood for wand- and staff-making, it shouldn't cripple you for life. In a brand new game, there won't

Scarab Sages Goblin Squad Member

Bluddwolf wrote:
KarlBob wrote:
As Heinlein said, specialization is for insects (and optimizers). Spreading your points a little brings its own rewards.

I'm no min/maxer, but spreading points is not a very good idea, if PFO's skill system will even be remotely like EVE Online's.

If there are "Core Skills" ie. survival, train those up as quickly as possible.

If there are skills that enhance multiple areas, train them up quickly as well. Ie. Perception (everyone should max this very early on).

Choose one area of expertise and train it to near max.

Train other skills that support your secondary goal(s), to about mid level.

You will eventually see that capping skills in a set plan, will pay off in all terms (short, mid, long).

A "Jack of all trades, and a master of none" is another way of saying "Can't do anything very well".

I did say "a little".

Some people get militant about skill plans. I'm just saying that deviating from your plan to throw a few points into a couple of neat-sounding skills shouldn't cripple you. Sure, dividing all your advancement between every possible career will leave you generally ineffective. If you're mostly focused on magic, though, and drop a few points into harvesting so you can find the best wood for wand- and staff-making, it shouldn't cripple you for life. You might even discover you like the crafting system, and devote a future alt to it.

In a brand new game, the optimum paths won't be known yet with certainty. Don't dilute yourself into uselessness, but don't worry too much about deviating from the One True Path once in a while.

Goblin Squad Member

Just for context, here is the typical EVE skill training schedule for a single skill. (and yes we know PFO is not going to be identical to EVE but the skill training looks like being very similar).

Note that training one or two levels in a cross skill is neither here nor there. Training a skill to level 5 is a substantial commitment.

Advanced Spaceship Command. The advanced operation of spaceships. Each skill level grants a 5% Bonus to the agility of ships requiring Advanced Spaceship Command.

Level 1. 30 minutes
Level 2. 2 hours 20 minutes
Level 3. 13 hours 13 minutes
Level 4. 3 days 2 hours
Level 5. 17 days 15 hours

Scarab Sages Goblin Squad Member

Neadenil Edam wrote:

Just for context, here is the typical EVE skill training schedule for a single skill. (and yes we know PFO is not going to be identical to EVE but the skill training looks like being very similar).

Note that training one or two levels in a cross skill is neither here nor there. Training a skill to level 5 is a substantial commitment.

Advanced Spaceship Command. The advanced operation of spaceships. Each skill level grants a 5% Bonus to the agility of ships requiring Advanced Spaceship Command.

Level 1. 30 minutes
Level 2. 2 hours 20 minutes
Level 3. 13 hours 13 minutes
Level 4. 3 days 2 hours
Level 5. 17 days 15 hours

That does provide useful context. When EVE Online introduced planetary interaction (setting up automated factories on planets) a couple of years ago, I dipped my toe in the water by training one level in the base skill. I quickly decided it wasn't for me, and never threw any more training points into that line of skills. Here we are a couple of years later, and I don't regret "losing" those points at all.

Something else to keep in mind: In a long-lived game, "optimal" tends to change over time. At one time, railguns were better than lasers in EVE, and everybody pushed to train railguns. Later, CCP re-balanced the various weapons systems, and everyone raced to train lasers instead. The same thing could easily happen with swords and maces, or Elven chainmail and Dwarven chainmail, in PFO.

When a game lasts for years, each skill can only be trained so much, and any character can train any skill, the old-timers tend to have a very broad skill base. I know that in EVE, I've been through several rounds of "Everybody train to fly these ships. Our war doctrine calls for us to be experts in these ships, with these weapons," followed by "If you're still training for those ships, stop immediately and train for these other ships, using these different weapons. We've got a new doctrine." The same will likely happen in PFO, both with weapon types and class roles.

Essentially, that's what makes me so leery of statements like "I'm going to play a cleric, and I'll never train any wizard skills." Eventually many people will end up proficient in a variety of roles. Again, don't try to train fighter, cleric, wizard, thief, crater and noble in equal measure during EE. You'll wind up equally terrible at everything. On the other hand, in a long-lived game, one- or two-level dips into skills that aren't on your current training plan may end up coming in handy during Year 2, or Year 5.

Goblin Squad Member

KarlBob wrote:


Essentially, that's what makes me so leery of statements like "I'm going to play a cleric, and I'll never train any wizard skills." Eventually many people will end up proficient in a variety of roles. Again, don't try to train fighter, cleric, wizard, thief, crater and noble in equal measure during EE. You'll wind up equally terrible at everything. On the other hand, in a long-lived game, one- or two-level dips into skills that aren't on your current training plan may end up coming in handy during Year 2, or Year 5.

One thing I imagine, there will be no shortage of people who will stick with one "role" Though I imagine each role will have a good deal of paths. IE I imagine no shortage of people who say I will always play a wizard, and follow through on that. I expect however for "I will always focus on conjuration, or evocation. To be flavors that those people will indeed change between.

At least I expect the general gist of training a new role like one switches out, to be a much more annoying task, vs taking a new path in a role, and I do very much hope, roles have a good deal of potential paths (whether officially, or just builds and abilities that can greatly modify the results).

Scarab Sages Goblin Squad Member

Maybe there will be more people who switch between evoker and conjuror than people who switch between wizard and fighter. I'm extrapolating from EVE, in which many people can switch between frigate pilot and battleship pilot, as opposed to just switching between covert operations frigate pilot and assault frigate pilot.

Goblin Squad Member

There should be racial traits, feats, abilities and unique bonuses. Take it straight from the current PnP Pathfinder rule set, its pretty balanced except there are some races which would need more love to make them equally attractive to play(like goblins). PnP Pathfinder's racial system has already proven to support many creative and balanced options, why try to fix it?

Goblin Squad Member

Here are the PnP stats for Humans, Elves, and Dwarves:

Humans:
- +2 racial bonus to one ability score of their choice
- Base Speed: Humans have a base speed of 30 feet.

Elves:
- +2 Dexterity, +2 Intelligence, and –2 Constitution.
- Base Speed: Elves have a base speed of 30 feet.

Dwarves:
- +2 Constitution, +2 Wisdom, and –2 Charisma.
- Base Speed: (Slow and Steady) Dwarves have a base speed of 20 feet, but their speed is never modified by armor or encumbrance.

I think these can pretty much directly translate to PfO, obviously converting the +2 to whatever equivalent along the way. In the system as currently described, a bonus to stats only serves to allow faster gain of prereqs required to get higher end abilities. Since everyone is starting out with the same stats before racial mods, the difference between an elf getting to use Rapid Shot and a dwarf using the same ability is just a matter of the dwarf having to invest in other lower dexterity based abilities before they have enough dexterity to qualify for the prereq for Rapid Shot. Alternatively, dwarves will probably end up having the same advantage with divine spell prereqs as elves do with dexterity based skills (and arcane spell prereqs because of the +2 intelligence). Humans can select which stat they like best at character creation, as in the PnP system.

I see no problem with this, and I also see no problem with the dwarven movement penalty and subsequent encumbrance buff. This will come in handy for people hauling stuff between settlements or from a resource node, but since they'll be moving slower than everyone else when not carrying loads of stuff I feel like it's balanced.

Once you get into non-core races, you start to get wonky with balancing, but that's years down the road and as with every other system, I have faith that the GW team can make it work in a balanced way.

tl;dr: core race bonuses from PnP can, for the most part, be directly translated into the PfO system in a balanced way.

Goblin Squad Member

Uthreth Baelcoressitas wrote:

Here are the PnP stats for Humans, Elves, and Dwarves:

Humans:
- +2 racial bonus to one ability score of their choice
- Base Speed: Humans have a base speed of 30 feet.

Elves:
- +2 Dexterity, +2 Intelligence, and –2 Constitution.
- Base Speed: Elves have a base speed of 30 feet.

Dwarves:
- +2 Constitution, +2 Wisdom, and –2 Charisma.
- Base Speed: (Slow and Steady) Dwarves have a base speed of 20 feet, but their speed is never modified by armor or encumbrance.

I think these can pretty much directly translate to PfO, obviously converting the +2 to whatever equivalent along the way. In the system as currently described, a bonus to stats only serves to allow faster gain of prereqs required to get higher end abilities. Since everyone is starting out with the same stats before racial mods, the difference between an elf getting to use Rapid Shot and a dwarf using the same ability is just a matter of the dwarf having to invest in other lower dexterity based abilities before they have enough dexterity to qualify for the prereq for Rapid Shot. Alternatively, dwarves will probably end up having the same advantage with divine spell prereqs as elves do with dexterity based skills (and arcane spell prereqs because of the +2 intelligence). Humans can select which stat they like best at character creation, as in the PnP system.

I see no problem with this, and I also see no problem with the dwarven movement penalty and subsequent encumbrance buff. This will come in handy for people hauling stuff between settlements or from a resource node, but since they'll be moving slower than everyone else when not carrying loads of stuff I feel like it's balanced.

Once you get into non-core races, you start to get wonky with balancing, but that's years down the road and as with every other system, I have faith that the GW team can make it work in a balanced way.

tl;dr: core race bonuses from PnP can, for the most part, be directly translated into the PfO system in a balanced way.

Those are indeed the ones that translate with little to no problem.

But the question comes in how you handle the others, if at all

IE dwarves, darkvision, stonecutting, bonuses when fighting orcs, giants etc...

Elves +2 to overcome Magic resistance, immunity to sleep, and bonus to resist normal magic.

Balancing that against humans, is going to be a challenge.

Unless of course, all of the racial abilities are trainable etc... and the races start with a head start in them. Namely because for the most part, human's bonus being to the trainable skills (free skill points/feats), most every idea I've seen to explain that, is that it will be bonus XP. Which is something that is going to degrade in value the longer the character exists. Meanwhile a +2 to resist enchantments, is going to be extremely valuable in the event that it brings them over the maximum a human can reach, and will leave a 3 year in dwarf or elf, notably superior to a 3 year in human.

Goblin Squad Member

You know, it might be part of the problem that pursuant to cultural prejudices specialization is overly emphasized and generalization is gimpy. The focus on min-maxed specialists for the sake of relative power goes hand-in-hand with political polarization, expectations of entitlement (expecting something for really nothing), and similar illnesses.

I perhaps have not imagined adequately the consequences, but I think I would like to see PFO play out differently, such that diversity has the advantage and being good at many things comes to be preferred to trinity-dominated overspecialization.

For the same reasons PFO will feature a very flat power curve, I propose that characters in PFO should gain very limited advantage from their efforts to overspecialize. Advantage should instead be primarily a product of their interrelationships and contributions to their respective communities.

Granted this vision is murky at best: I do not know how it would turn out even less than I foresee how it would be expressed mechanically.

If you agree with my thought can you aid in refining the vision's focus? Or if you disagree how do you see it failing? Either type of response should serve to gain greater understanding.

Goblin Squad Member

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If racial bonuses are necessary, I think the slight headstart bonus approach is definitely best. Permanent bonuses and having one race always better suited for a certain task just limits player freedom too much.

Personally, I believe the game will be no worse if they just throw racial bonuses out the window completely. Elves will still be better archers in general since more players who choose elves will also be interested in archery. There will be more dwarves than halflings wielding axes no matter what bonuses dwarves start with since players will just feel that axes are a good choice for a dwarf.

First rank in a skill will probably be trained so fast that 'starter' skillsets for the different races can be caught up with in a matter of hours. I would prefer if they left it up to the players to decide what kind of character they want to play. As I said, generally more elves will choose archery and more dwarves will choose axes anyway. For the odd dwarf that wants to dual wield shortswords I don't think it should be at an early disadvantage compared to the others.

If the community is divided I think this would be a good topic for a crowdforging poll so you Squadders can decide the course.

Goblin Squad Member

@Being, I think that your thoughts are congruent with Ryan's. Veteran characters will be more powerful because they have more options, not because their attacks are overwhelming and their defense impenetrable.

On a side note, since we're talking about specialization, I think it's important to point out that there will be lots of different ways to specialize that have absolutely nothing to do with the "trinity" (Tank/Healer/DPS).

A character optimized for fighting aberrations, undead, fey and other sorts of "monsters" might not be very effective at fighting player characters.

Goblin Squad Member

Being wrote:

You know, it might be part of the problem that pursuant to cultural prejudices specialization is overly emphasized and generalization is gimpy. The focus on min-maxed specialists for the sake of relative power goes hand-in-hand with political polarization, expectations of entitlement (expecting something for really nothing), and similar illnesses.

I wouldn't necessarily say that is because of cultural prejudices, rather than the nature of team games. Solo, it doesn't matter what the heck you do, and a good versatility is very helpful, but in a group, to maximize potential you need to know what your team is doing. If someone takes damage, and all 4 members of the team stop what they are doing and start healing him and he starts healing himself, well 4 of the members are just overhealing, and the groups offense offense just completely halted. Solid use of team play, involves being able to know exactly what everyone else is doing, which either involves working with the group nonstop to the point where you can predict who is going to do what at all times, or without that investment, people are assigned roles so they can think, OK X has got this covered, I need to focus on my responsibility. If all the roles are covered, than it is still useful to have one generalist in the group who can see what role isn't quite able to keep up with what's being thrown out if I step up to the plate and aid in this area, things will be smoother, of course in that case, we are still looking at a 5 specialists to 1 generalist ratio needed, and in general generalists tend to draw the most people, and 3/4ths of the time groups tend to not want them due to the fact that players who can actually read and correctly asses what is currently needed.

And that's before noting the fact that in most games and most environments, someone specialized in X can generally do more in the same time than 2 generalists. It still has full merit under the assumption that everyone can do everything equally well.

Goblin Squad Member

Wurner wrote:
Elves will [...] be better archers in general since more players who choose elves will also be interested in archery. There will be more dwarves than halflings wielding axes no matter what bonuses dwarves start with since players will just feel that axes are a good choice for a dwarf.

This. The best restrictions and flavourings are the self-imposed ones. Most of us will come to PfO with pre-existing ideas (stereotypes if you like) about what an elf, a dwarf or a halfling should be. The cultural norms are going to be self-selecting. If one or two people want to play elves with crossbows or dwarven bards with lute and longbow, they should be encouraged not penalised.

If, however, racial abilities are wanted, then it should be of the type Uthreth suggests above, something that gives a small advantage but that is not overcome-able with either a little more training time or a little thought.

Goblin Squad Member

Onishi wrote:
I wouldn't necessarily say that is because of cultural prejudices, rather than the nature of team games. Solo, it doesn't matter what the heck you do, and a good versatility is very helpful, but in a group, to maximize potential you need to know what your team is doing.

That is organization, not specialization.

Onishi wrote:
And that's before noting the fact that in most games and most environments, someone specialized in X can generally do more in the same time than 2 generalists. It still has full merit under the assumption that everyone can do everything equally well.

Which is exactly my point: Since, as you pointed out, 3/4 of the players go generalist and are thus excluded from min/max nirvana in most games where one specialist can do twice as much as two generalists then there is an argument to be made that where three quarters of the population are excluded from success the game fails. The inference then is that coddling specialization is a key broken element in the design leading to game failure for the greater portion of the player base.

So just as we have a very flat power curve so too might it be a very good idea to also promote independent versatility rather than dependent specialty.

And it is too a cultural prejudice. It makes sense to specialize in a body of knowledge like medicine or physics, too great for anyone to grasp the whole and push beyond, but an MMO is neither physics nor medicine.

Goblin Squad Member

Another semi related EVE observation.

In EVE you can have up to three characters attached to an active account but you need to pay money or use a PLEX for those characters in training. All three characters are playable but only the ones with current "PLEX" assigned can advance in training.

It is very common to have one "MAIN" that trains continually which keeps the account active and two specialized ALT accounts.

These specialized accounts are often only trained to the point where they can do a single job such as mining or transporting very well. Training a Planetary Interaction ALT for example will take less than a month. A basic transport ALT that can use hisec industrial ships probably about the same.

The point? In EVE specialization, rather than being just about min/maxing, is often to do with ALT characters who only need to train one particular skill set and then can stop training.

Goblin Squad Member

Being wrote:
Onishi wrote:
I wouldn't necessarily say that is because of cultural prejudices, rather than the nature of team games. Solo, it doesn't matter what the heck you do, and a good versatility is very helpful, but in a group, to maximize potential you need to know what your team is doing.
That is organization, not specialization.

It is both... Having people fulfill a specialized role, is a method of organization, and the easiest one to accomplish at that, and to the best of my knowledge, the only means to organize a group that does not require hours of training and learning to solidly fall into a line in which the team can predict what the other members of the team are going to do.

Lets take a hypothetical world in which specialization was 100% untrainable, everyone can heal, everyone can do physical and ranged DPS at 100% equal capacity,

If say we put 2 teams of 10 against eachother, both had 10 minutes of time to prep, and meet eachother etc... Both were complete strangers at the start.

In team A. The group leader looks at the group and says "OK jimmy, you focus on healing and removing debuffs, Bob, focus on applying the debuffs, Tim you focus on cutting the line and dealing mellee DPS etc... If your role seems to be unnecessary at the time, then cover a secondary role, but first and foremost make sure your task is taken care of at any given time. While everyone is a generalist, the team is treating everyone as a specialist for strategic benefit.

Team B's strategy is: OK everyone, we're all generalists, so just use whatever seems to be most useful at the time.

Team A will almost certainly steamroll team B. 9 out of 10 times, because team B, will have far more times in which either everyone attemps to cover the same thing at the same time, and misses out, or times in which everyone thinks "someone else will handle X" at the same time

Now lets take it further, closer to PFO. We have skills to be equiped, armor and weapon choices etc... All that can make someone better at one particular task, and sometimes at the expense of other tasks. It is still going to come out more beneficial in most situations, for a team to pick say someone wearing gear that helps his healing and defense skills and someone with high magic skills, gear to boost the magic, someone with heavy armor heavy weapons etc... vs a team of generalists, wearing medium armor who are good at everything. Unless the team of generalists have been working together hours a day for months, there is almost no way they can be expected to realistically work well as a cohesive group, and once we realize that the groups are almost inevitably going to be working in roles, it only makes sense that having a role at 70%, when grouping, is more valuable than having 11 roles at 20%, even if the difference between 20% and 70% us barely 15-20% better in performance. Oh and I nearly forgot, capstones... a specific bonus for training 1 role a certain distance, that is only applicable while you have only that role active.

Hence my point, specialization, is a means of organization. Not the only means of organization by any regard, but it is to my knowledge the only means of organization, that can take someone from just met the party, to able to predict what every member of the party is going to do with 95% accuracy, in 5 minutes flat.


Moridian wrote:
What do you think of the topic?

I think you should let your players play their game.

If someone can come up with a racial that breaks the game, stand up. Let's hear it.

Goblin Squad Member

Havoq wrote:
If someone can come up with a racial that breaks the game, stand up. Let's hear it.

Hear, hear Havoq!

Goblin Squad Member

Havoq wrote:
Moridian wrote:
What do you think of the topic?

I think you should let your players play their game.

If someone can come up with a racial that breaks the game, stand up. Let's hear it.

Anything that involves level adjustments is a good candidate. Player Drow with actual Drow racials and level adjustments for example might break things. Not to mention player characters with various undead templates (play a Lich anyone?), player characters with planar traits or are ephemeral.

I always wanted to play an ooze :D Or maybe play a beholder "Elf Only Inn" style.

Goblin Squad Member

Regarding the specialisation vs. generalist discussion I think it might be good to remember that we can only slot a certain number of skills in our 'active' build. To me that would lean towards being 'specialised for X' at any given time.

Goblin Squad Member

Neadenil Edam wrote:
Havoq wrote:
Moridian wrote:
What do you think of the topic?

I think you should let your players play their game.

If someone can come up with a racial that breaks the game, stand up. Let's hear it.

Anything that involves level adjustments is a good candidate. Player Drow with actual Drow racials and level adjustments for example might break things. Not to mention player characters with various undead templates (play a Lich anyone?), player characters with planar traits or are ephemeral.

I always wanted to play an ooze :D Or maybe play a beholder "Elf Only Inn" style.

Its also a case of equivalent power. In PnP the usefulness and relative power of racials is dependent on a number of factors including DM style, DM interpretation and campaign structure (i.e. what the DM throws at you). In a computer game where things are not meant to be left to arbitrary DM decision, having relative balance and usefulness between racials becomes more important. For example, implementing something like the elven immunity to sleep could become problematic. And just to clarify Im not saying these things WILL be a problem, Im saying they COULD be a problem and its worth taking a look at them.

Goblin Squad Member

By Torag's flamin' beard there'd better be preferences, at least where we Dwarves come in! We didn't dig our way to the surface overnight, and we shant be givin' up our mining and quarryin' skills jus' cause some half-orc thinks we have an advantage! We earned it!

Goblin Squad Member

Onishi wrote:

...

Lets take a hypothetical world in which specialization was 100% untrainable, everyone can heal, everyone can do physical and ranged DPS at 100% equal capacity,

If say we put 2 teams of 10 against eachother, both had 10 minutes of time to prep, and meet eachother etc... Both were complete strangers at the start.

In team A. The group leader looks at the group and says "OK jimmy, you focus on healing and removing debuffs, Bob, focus on applying the debuffs, Tim you focus on cutting the line and dealing mellee DPS etc... If your role seems to be unnecessary at the time, then cover a secondary role, but first and foremost make sure your task is taken care of at any given time. While everyone is a generalist, the team is treating everyone as a specialist for strategic benefit.

Team B's strategy is: OK everyone, we're all generalists, so just use whatever seems to be most useful at the time.

Team A will almost certainly steamroll team B. 9 out of 10 times, because team B, will have far more times in which either everyone attemps to cover the same thing at the same time, and misses out, or times in which everyone thinks "someone else will handle X" at the same time
...

If team B is experienced this is not the case. If team A is inexperienced it will also not be true unless Team B is just as inexperienced. If both are inexperienced it is a toss up. If both are very experienced it will be a toss up. The difference is made in experience, communication, organization, and situational awareness.

Goblin Squad Member

havoq wrote:

I think you should let your players play their game.

If someone can come up with a racial that breaks the game, stand up. Let's hear it.

I would say this post is a result of the regular, Paizo's forums popping up PFO threads into the recent posts lists, and people not realizing the topic is related to PFO and not the TTRPG. No reason to pay it much attention as it is a common mistake.

Being wrote:
If team B is experienced this is not the case. If team A is inexperienced it will also not be true unless Team B is just as inexperienced. If both are inexperienced it is a toss up. If both are very experienced it will be a toss up. The difference is made in experience, communication, organization, and situational awareness.

I partially agree, in the sense of experienced within the context of working with each-other. The key is specialization, drastically reduces all of the obsticals when it comes to communication, organization, planning etc...

If team B, is all experienced veterans, know the game very well inside out and backwards, but has little foreknowledge of the playstyle, abilities etc... of the other members of their team. Team B will most likely lose to a less experienced version of team A. Simply due to team A, automatically starting with a general understanding of what each member on their team is going to focus on.

In a scenerio in which say both teams have a half hour to pick their plans, strategies etc... team B, who is experienced players, that have no idea what eachothers builds are, is going to be spending the first 15 minutes figuring out "ok does anyone have an ability to break enchantments? No? OK who is going to equip break enchantment, OK now poisons, who is going to be able to do poisons?". Being able to know your teams roles, and know there's an 95% chance they have everything related to those skills equiped and ready for you, is a HUGE boost to communication, and strategy.

Now if Team A and B, have both been working as a team for 6 months, and thus team B has came up with a means to ensure every aspect needed is covered, has an idea of what is going where etc... Team B probably has an advantage, that I concede. Team A's style however, has an ENORMOUS advantage when it comes to ad-hoc parties, or anything short of groups that are always the same people working together every time.

and again, all of this is before we factor in things like, gear requirements, IE some abilities that work better with certain gear etc... Time spent switching between a great club, spellbook and dagger, as well as the increased cost of death if you are decked out in such a way.

Ignoring stats, gear, etc... There's 3 parts of being experienced.

1. Know the game. Know every aspect of what move counters what move, what tactics beat what tactics etc..., this is part of the battle.

2. Know your enemy. Knowing what tactics your enemy is likely to use, what the makeup of their team is, what abilities they are likely to come at you with and when etc...

3. Know your allies. Know what their party makeup is, what tactics your allies are going to use, and when to effectively combo in, be able to differentiate between when your ally needs help, when he's got everything covered, etc...

No amount of time playing alone, playing in a different team etc... is going to give you a head start into 3, and IMO 3 is probably one of the biggest parts of being "experienced". Specialization is kind of easy mode for 3. Admitted, it does give a drawback in that your enemy earns an advantage towards 2. Which is also why I conceded that in the event that group B, has had a significant amount of experience in working with each-other, they gain the advantage as a whole. But are still at a significant disadvantage with little prior knowledge of eachother, and considering that in an MMO, peoples schedules etc... do not likely wind up with you having the exact same team mates every time. Scenerios of group A's, will have the edge more often than group b's.

Goblin Squad Member

Onishi wrote:
I partially agree, in the sense of experienced within the context of working with each-other. The key is specialization, drastically reduces all of the obsticals when it comes to communication, organization, planning etc...

I understand your preference, but my experience is to the contrary. If team B is experienced, aware, and in communication they don't have to have been working with that team to coordinate: they understand full well what each must do and have the advantage of being prepared to cover for any functional team slot that falls. Specialization actually weakens this ability to fall back and cover each other: your healer goes down it is only a matter of time until it is time for a dirtnap. This is especially true where the challenge environment is unknown and/or fluid. Nobody is going to despair they are specced for nuker and don't have their healer gear or their off-tank role.

The difference is that the game that encourages excessive specialization also encourages excessive codependence.

Specializing gives more power because that is how themepark games are designed, not because specialization is intrinsically better.

Goblin Squad Member

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Instead of having bonuses to each race as an active, in-game feature, what about having the racial bonus apply to a skill group. Say if you were to get a +2 to a D20 attribute that could be translated into a 10% tome savings in training (2/20 = 10%).

For example, Dwarves may get a training time bonus to Greataxe skill, mining skills and detect stonework skill. Elves would get a bonus to archery skill, woodworking skill and find secret door skill. Gnomes would get bonuses to dart throwing, gemcutting and engineering or tinker skills.

Just some examples. This system might help alleviate some concerns about any race having an overpowering advantage in a group setting, but would encourage members of that race to train those traits and skills, as they would require less time (and perhaps consume fewer experience points) to train.

Goblin Squad Member

Hardin: I think that's really solid suggestion. Simple but very fitting and intuitive for players to make a choice on race via.

Goblin Squad Member

Hardin Steele wrote:

Instead of having bonuses to each race as an active, in-game feature, what about having the racial bonus apply to a skill group. Say if you were to get a +2 to a D20 attribute that could be translated into a 10% tome savings in training (2/20 = 10%).

For example, Dwarves may get a training time bonus to Greataxe skill, mining skills and detect stonework skill. Elves would get a bonus to archery skill, woodworking skill and find secret door skill. Gnomes would get bonuses to dart throwing, gemcutting and engineering or tinker skills.

Just some examples. This system might help alleviate some concerns about any race having an overpowering advantage in a group setting, but would encourage members of that race to train those traits and skills, as they would require less time (and perhaps consume fewer experience points) to train.

This breaks down at the point where they have stated that they do not want players changing races in order to optimize training benefits. At least, I believe that was stated. You don't want a Human who seeks to be a great-axe wielding barbarian to race change to dwarf to build up his training and then race change back.

So, this only really works if you rule out the option to Race Change.

Goblin Squad Member

Lifedragn wrote:
So, this only really works if you rule out the option to Race Change.

Ryan has already ruled out this kind of Race Change:

No non-core races will get a free change. The only change is, per character, one time, you can change from a race already in the game to a core race added to the game after you created that character. And that option will be sunset.

Goblin Squad Member

Nihimon wrote:
Lifedragn wrote:
So, this only really works if you rule out the option to Race Change.

Ryan has already ruled out this kind of Race Change:

No non-core races will get a free change. The only change is, per character, one time, you can change from a race already in the game to a core race added to the game after you created that character. And that option will be sunset.

Ah, okay. Then I suppose such bonuses would work.

Goblin Squad Member

This bonus method would provide a bonus, but would not do things like allow a big stacked PvP bonus for Dwarves with a greataxe, of an Elf with a bow. They would get their bonus in the training of the skill, not the using of the skill. Plus, as we know from the various game lore each races has favored, but not mandatory skills. It would be possible to do anything you like, but since the cost of training the racially favored skills is lower is it simply more likely members of that race train that /those skills.

Goblin Squad Member

Decided to add my thoughts here (possible someone else mentioned already, it is late and I did not read them all):

Should definitely have racial abilities.

Give a flat +x ranks to a given trainable stat, i.e. +2 hp ranks, +2 crafting rank, +2 archery ranks.

Since the ranks are supposed to have diminishing returns anyhow, this will give a larger advantage in earlier ranks, while still offering an edge towards the end of a given progression.

Things like Low-light vision and Darkvision should absolutely be brought in, I really hope when the lights go out, that it is actually hard to see. This was something I appreciated in EQ and look forward to in Shroud of the Avatar. As would I like to see the ability to blind a drow with bright light temporarily.

Will be curious to see what comes of this.

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