Concerned about Alchemist bias...


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Cuttlefist wrote:

Of course Sith had a bias for them, they are better in every way and the developers were just doing the right thing.

Seriously though, being right on that is not very impressive. There were only two sides to divide attention to, so some imbalance is a lot easier to overlook. And also Sith are by nature cooler and have broader appeal than Jedi, everybody wants to be Dartb cader or Maul, nobody wants to be Quigon or Luke, so the odds of there being more people playing Sith was easy to place your bets on.

In Pathfinder there are 11 other classes for the devs to balance focus and development between, it ‘s going to be significantly more difficult to have bias towards one class without it being glaringly obvious, and that has not occurred yet. The odds of Paizo’s team somehow missing that the Alchemist gets cooler toys and more advertisement than other classes to their detriment is pretty slim.

Not really... Its really easy to have that happen Cuttlefist.

Say, for example, using the Alchemist...

Here are all the reasons I can name that could look like bias, but wouldn't be.

Like here are the things that they might have to do:

1. Article on the class - Every class gets one. No biggie.

2. Article on Alchemical Items, which basically contains a special section for Alchemists specifically.

3. Article on Resonance, with a special foot note for Alchemists as they (of all the classes) follow completely different rules regarding resonance.

4. Article on non-Alchemical potions, which has a special line explaining the difference between Alchemical and non-Alchemical potions etc.

5. Article on crafting with a section on Alchemist as Crafting is one of their primary features.

That is 5 articles.

-----

Now - Let us look at say a class like Wizard -

1. Article on the class - Every class gets one. No biggie.

2. Article on Magic which touches on all forms of magic rather than just Wizard magic.

That is 1.25 articles.

-----

How about Fighter -

1. Article on the class - Every class gets one. No biggie.

Since they don't have a sub-system, they might get a partial mention in feats, but they have no dedicated system to have to elaborate on.

That is usually 1 article.

-----

Before you know it, you're looking at the Alchemist more in-depth than other classes simply because they interact with more systems. You're having to laser focus on it more because of sheer size and volume of interaction.

-----

To expand on this:

The second most in-depth class would probably be Clerics.

1. Article on the class.
2. Article on the Gods with primary focus on the class.

-----

Paladins will likely get 1, which a mention in the article on the Gods. So you can have a bunch of reasonable explanations for Alchemists to get more attention than other classes in the blogs. That doesn't mean there is a bias. However it is, as I said, a cause for concern.


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I like the double standard where an article having a paragraph on the wizard only counts as a fraction of an article, but an article having a paragraph on the alchemist counts as an entire article. ALCHEMISTS TAKING OVER THE GAME OMG

Seriously, there's 29 articles left to go as of this posting, more if they throw in some wednesday ones or if we count more inevitable interviews. There's /plenty/ of time to touch on stuff relevant to /every/ class /multiple/ times.


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I really wonder what your definition of bias is, because getting mentioned in a few articles doesn’t exactly imply that they are actually getting more attention or preference. And your example of how it could develop into bias does not seem to take into consideration all the articles that could feature the classes you think are not getting enough love. You think an article about combat maneuvers will not mention the fighter? An article about animal companions won’t talk about druids, wizards, Sorcerors and Rangers? They are very likely going to have one or more articles on God’s that will talk about clerics. An article about energy damage that will bring up clerics and druids, and an article about alignment that will include info about clerics and paladins. An article on item enchantment that will talk more about casters able to do it.

Nobody is saying that you are calling fire where there is smoke, you are calling smoke where somebody vaped five hours ago. There is little reason to believe that the trend of alchemists having a tiny number more article mentions than any other class will continue to hold true or worsen, and you trying to draw attention to the possibility it might be is not enhancing or adding to the discussions on this board in any way. You might as well be warning people of raccoon attacks in the White House. Yeah, it could happen but there are adults and professionals who are making sure it doesn’t and it hasn’t happened yet.

And on the designer commenting here that you say validates your post, I actually read it as more of a “Yeah we are fully aware of how things can be perceived when they are presented in certain orders and time periods, but even when we do take steps to avoid problems like that, conspiracy theorists are still finding a way to infer what we were intentionally avoiding.” Not trying to put words in his mouth. That response was not forced because you did good journalism and they had to be held accountable for the rate they have released info, it was because the topic you brought up was reflective of an anecdote, which is the extent of value it brought to the discussion.


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Why are we counting an article about "alchemical items" as an alchemist specific thing when rogues and fighters can take the feat to craft alchemical items, but we aren't counting the "how spells work" as an article for six or so classes that get spells?


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I definitely have an unabashed 'tengu bias' and I've never hidden from it.

Honesty being the best policy and all.

...Iiiiii like big *birds* an' I cannot lie!


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I mean, the reality is classes aren't factions, and more complicated or more changed classes are going to require more explanation than others. At their roots rogue and fighter weren't really changed much. Alchemist however seems to have gone through a lot of fundamental mechanical changes, which requires more explanation. Its unsurprising they'd get a little more blog time because of that.


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Hey why be rational when you can just shout unsubstantiated stuff as if it was fact while repeatedly ignoring peoples arguments, in favour of repeating the same 4 points over and over?


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Elegos wrote:
Hey why be rational when you can just shout unsubstantiated stuff as if it was fact while repeatedly ignoring peoples arguments, in favour of repeating the same 4 points over and over?

Can I quote you?


The only problem I have is it all looks really clunky, and the terminology "3 Operation Activations" is atrocious.


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Vidmaster7 wrote:
Elegos wrote:
Hey why be rational when you can just shout unsubstantiated stuff as if it was fact while repeatedly ignoring peoples arguments, in favour of repeating the same 4 points over and over?
Can I quote you?

If you like. Technically you just did. I would like to clarify Im addressing the OP not the person directly above me, though. I dont wanna be stepping on the wrong toes.


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Personally every class and playable race they add(beyond the core book) should be considered "core":)


Dragon78 wrote:
Personally every class and playable race they add(beyond the core book) should be considered "core":)

Sounds like more semantics to me!


It's better then having so many different subcategories of classes such as alternate classes, occult classes, hybrid classes, etc.


Fair although Hybrid did make sense. It let you know it was 2 classes in one. Alternate less so only because their was like 3 of them total. They probably could of just been extensive archetype. Now was occult classes officially called that for any reason other then they were from that book?


Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
OCEANSHIELDWOLPF 2.0 wrote:
But it is going to be a core class. And Alchemy is coming front and centre for anyone with the Craft-ability. I think it's bold, but not terrifying. If PF2 wants to grab some niche with a little Alchemipunk and Goblinry, so what? Neither are my favourite part of fantasy, but I like a little razzle-dazzle, and this seems razzle-dazzle with a purpose rather than style over substance for its own sake.

So, funny story, you were at one point going to get a bunch of alchemist information in more rapid succession. After I wrote the alchemist blog, we are going to do the alchemical items blog later that week. Because Tech Raptor was keen on doing a story about alchemy that same week, I argued to give the alchemy blog a bit of space, and we did the blog on gnomes and halflings later on in the week.

In short, we have a list of topics to cover as we approach the release. That list was made months ago, but we change things up every so often in the attempts to split up topics, so you're not getting "too much of a good thing" in quick succession. Obviously, you believe we missed the mark this time, but it had nothing to do with dev bias. If anything we spaced it out a little more than we were first planning to because of interest from outside groups about the subject.

I think you quoted me instead of the OP by mistake Stephen...


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As an aside .. if there is bias towards the alchemist, so what?

Perhaps they are really excited about the new changes and want to show off their favorite things. Perhaps they recognize the arguments that people have put forward that wizards were ruling the game and are moving to another direction. Perhaps they are using the alchemist as a template on how to change all the other classes and are preparing us.

Regardless, bias isn't a bad thing. Wei Ji the Learner likes tengu. If he used them in multiple articles to illustrate points about the rules, would that bias towards a race or ancestry (never going to get used to that) somehow diminish what he is illustrating?

The sky is not falling. Being right about something elsewhere means you were right then. The two situations are not the same.


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knightnday wrote:

As an aside .. if there is bias towards the alchemist, so what?

Perhaps they are really excited about the new changes and want to show off their favorite things. Perhaps they recognize the arguments that people have put forward that wizards were ruling the game and are moving to another direction. Perhaps they are using the alchemist as a template on how to change all the other classes and are preparing us.

Regardless, bias isn't a bad thing. Wei Ji the Learner likes tengu. If he used them in multiple articles to illustrate points about the rules, would that bias towards a race or ancestry (never going to get used to that) somehow diminish what he is illustrating?

The sky is not falling. Being right about something elsewhere means you were right then. The two situations are not the same.

Oh.. oh.. k ... sorry.. Ill just like be over here then. sorry again...


That is true.

"This may not be the bias you are looking for..."


Damn chicken getting in the way of my post...Where is that fox....


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*laughs evilly as he grabs the chicken*

HA HA HA!

*vanishes*

Scarab Sages

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It only really matters if there is a mechanical imbalance... which is likely largely what the playtest is for. If we get our hands on the game and find out that alchemist is overtuned, then we can give honest feedback. If the dev's are excited about one of the more popular classes, I can hardly see why that's cause for alarm. And if it encourages a wide population of players to play Alchemists: why does that matter? It's a cooperative game. In MMO's and the like bias like this creates problems because PvP tends to suffer. In TTRPGs, it just means you see one class more frequently than others, which just isn't a big deal.

Since we don't have any hard mechanics on which to base any insight in regards to balance, we should probably wait until the playtest to determine concern on a mechanical front.


The whole point of the previews is to highlight things that are different in the new edition and, unsurprisingly, that's exactly what they've been doing...


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Its kind of incredible really to think that if you went in pushing for the opposite of what you thought you would be more likely to sway people to your side


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My big frustration with this thread is that I was hoping to finally get an article on Resonance as this Monday's blog. An in depth explanation of what is apparently one of the most important features of the new system. But now we're less likely to get it, because even have a single sentence about the Alchemist will apparently be decried as "alchemist bias" :|


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Fuzzypaws wrote:
My big frustration with this thread is that I was hoping to finally get an article on Resonance as this Monday's blog. An in depth explanation of what is apparently one of the most important features of the new system. But now we're less likely to get it, because even have a single sentence about the Alchemist will apparently be decried as "alchemist bias" :|

If it gets me an article on Resonance, I'm TOTALLY down with Alchemist bias! More please.

Senior Designer

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OCEANSHIELDWOLPF 2.0 wrote:
I think you quoted me instead of the OP by mistake Stephen...

Yeah, I trimmed in the wrong place there. It was the weekend. ;)

That said, I don't think anyone misunderstood what I was responding to, and for those who did my apologies.

I would add that IMO the long back and forth about bias (and we all have them), while an interesting aside, may seem like a strange and somewhat long back and forth for those coming to the forums looking for information and discussion about the story at hand. It's easy to digress, but do me a favor and try to avoid such lengthy digressions when possible.

Feelings are more likely to get hurt, which sparks aggressive comments, which brings in the moderators. The moderators have a hard enough job. I know I may just be spitting into the wind, but I would like to try and make this process as easier on them as we possibly can.


Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
OCEANSHIELDWOLPF 2.0 wrote:
I think you quoted me instead of the OP by mistake Stephen...

Yeah, I trimmed in the wrong place there. It was the weekend. ;)

That said, I don't think anyone misunderstood what I was responding to, and for those who did my apologies.

I would add that IMO the long back and forth about bias (and we all have them), while an interesting aside, may seem like a strange and somewhat long back and forth for those coming to the forums looking for information and discussion about the story at hand. It's easy to digress, but do me a favor and try to avoid such lengthy digressions when possible.

Feelings are more likely to get hurt, which sparks aggressive comments, which brings in the moderators. The moderators have a hard enough job. I know I may just be spitting into the wind, but I would like to try and make this process as easier on them as we possibly can.

It is completely true that everyone has biases. There is also a lot of forum cartel activity too which complicates issues.

There are enough topics that split us into "us vs them" situations.

If, for example, you're for LG only Paladins expect a certain group of players to blacklist you. If you're for alignment expect it. If you're on the other side of those then you can expect it as well. It's the nature of the beast.

It's almost worse than talking about politics.

I mean, full disclosure? I don't like Alchemists. I really don't. I ban them in my games usually - along with the gunslinger.

Now - I say usually.

If I'm running a game about Victorian era sky pirates with airships I might ban Barbarians and Druids but allow Alchemists and Gunslingers.

My concern here was only to bring attention to, what appears to me to be,, too much of a focus on one class. Which can, but doesn't always, present problems in play.

Dark Archive

gustavo iglesias wrote:
brad2411 wrote:

I do see it as a bias as it feels like more info has come out on the alchemist then really any other class. 2 blogs dedicated to it. A whole "interview" on it that came out the same day as the alchemist preview came out. Quite a bit more info on a lot of other interviews and playtests.

But I will say that me seeing bias could and most likely is Paizo trying to create hype on the goblins and the alchemist which is new stuff to the core rulebook. I really wish they chose something else to start hyping more.

That alchemy has 2 articles out and other classes has 1 is not bias, it is just the fact that you can only present one thing per blog, and something has to be first. If they had made a blog about, say, the cleric instead of the alchemist, then we would have an article about Clerics plus one about spells, while we would only have one about alchemy. Same goes with rogues + skills, or fighters + combat

The only bias here is yours. Because they did not pick first what you would like to see first, you think they are biased.

I think they are biased because they keep talking about the alchemist and not as much about any other class. They have not had a skill blog yet they have had a proficiency blog which covers all classes not just the rogue. Combat also covers all classes. Alchemy on the other hand is very specific to the alchemist more then proficiency and combat are specific to rogue or fighter. Spells are more close to your point but at the same time not as tied to 1 class as Alchemy is to Alchemist. Other classes can use alchemical items but are not tied to those things. Also you talk about 2 articles but there are more then 2 articles on the alchemist and once again I will state that they have talked about the Alchemist in almost everything we have seen them do from playtests to interviews.

Senior Designer

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brad2411 wrote:
Also you talk about 2 articles but there are more then 2 articles on the alchemist and once again I will state that they have talked about the Alchemist in almost everything we have seen them do from playtests to interviews.

Part of that issue may be because there are two blog posts, other folks in game journalism have *wanted* to talk about the alchemist. As far as interviews and such go, I've been on a few of them, but I'm as likely to talk about action economy, my love of black and white art (though I admit it might be nostalgia) and Shadow of the Demon Lord as I am about Alchemy.

The Exchange

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ok, from my limited game experiences in RPGs (only 42 or so years of playing, running, organizing events, and trying my had at writing some), I have a few observations.

It seems like the "newest thing" released often has a minor "bias" - it is often the thing that side-steps some rules or has "special" rules that allows it to do something different and unusual.

On that note - having the Alchemist teaser and the Alchemy teaser come out early in the Play Test would seem to doom the class to a lesser role in the game. First out... is not a good thing.

Perhaps Alchemist will be able to overcome this disadvantage by having "new" features... but I am not really expecting this. Perhaps it will gain some from being the "newest" of the classes in the Core book? Maybe.

But I think this OP is jumping at shadows... reminds me of the guy who was always on the boards posting about how over-powered any class that had Animal Companions were. Everything (for them) was seen thru the lens of how it effected (or how he imagined it effected) the hated "pet classes"...

Dark Archive

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Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
brad2411 wrote:
Also you talk about 2 articles but there are more then 2 articles on the alchemist and once again I will state that they have talked about the Alchemist in almost everything we have seen them do from playtests to interviews.

Part of that issue may be because there are two blog posts, other folks in game journalism have *wanted* to talk about the alchemist. As far as interviews and such go, I've been on a few of them, but I'm as likely to talk about action economy, my love of black and white art (though I admit it might be nostalgia) and Shadow of the Demon Lord as I am about Alchemy.

Shadow of the Demon Lord, yes please!!


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Even if (and I am not convinced it is true) Paizo are biased in favour i of alchemists, does it really matter? Given that the game played at my table has precisely zero impact on the game played at anyone else's, there isn't a meta campaign that is damaged by a preponderance of one character option, as might happen in an MMO. If five hundred people in Belgium play alchemist only campaigns that won't invalidate the number of clerics in Moscow or unbalance the Tengu population of Mexico.

The one place you might just be able to argue it is in a PFS, but my experience there is that people play all sorts of weird things, and use it as a test bed for odd build ideas, and I can't imagine that changing.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The irony of a post allegedly concerned with bias coming out swinging with "alchemists shouldn't even be a core class" is delightful.

Two articles doth not preferential treatment make. The alchemist, a core class, got a blog. Then alchemical items, something that has been part of the game for ages, and which happens to have a through-line to the Alchemist class, got a blog.

Nor does "promoting" a popular class which interacts with a thus-far neglected subset of the rules bespeak anything but a desire to give customers something cool to play with.

August, and the formal launch of the playtest, is nearly a third of a year away. We still have no data on clerics, wizards, sorcerers, paladins, and so forth. We got a blog on spells, though- something which, much like alchemy, multiple classes get some mileage out of, what a shock.

Chill.


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I mean, what matters more than "what gets the most love in the core rulebook" is "what gets more love in the subsequent releases" and these sorts of things tend to be appointed to the classes that need it more coming out of the CRB.

So while there were 29 wizard archetypes in PF1 (the Wizard being on the far end of the "CRB love" for PF1) there were ~55 monk archetypes, ~64 fighter archetypes, and and ~76 rogue archetypes. Moreover these three classes got an alternate class, two unchained remakes, and a bunch of optional subsystems to enhance CRB features.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

...and most of them were at best 'band-aids' to deep issues with each class.

If that can be avoided this time around...


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

I mean, what matters more than "what gets the most love in the core rulebook" is "what gets more love in the subsequent releases" and these sorts of things tend to be appointed to the classes that need it more coming out of the CRB.

So while there were 29 wizard archetypes in PF1 (the Wizard being on the far end of the "CRB love" for PF1) there were ~55 monk archetypes, ~64 fighter archetypes, and and ~76 rogue archetypes. Moreover these three classes got an alternate class, two unchained remakes, and a bunch of optional subsystems to enhance CRB features.

Favoriting this so I can refer back to it the next time someone tells me PF1 isn't bloated.


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Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
HWalsh wrote:

There is also a lot of forum cartel activity too which complicates issues.<snip>

expect a certain group of players to blacklist you.

Forum cartels and blacklists? Where did that come from?

As far as I know, there isn't a way to "blacklist" someone and keep them from posting on the forums.

Perhaps you mean "block"? Like, someone deciding that they don't want to read your posts? How do you even know if I've done that?

And what is a "forum cartel". Again, users don't have any way to control what goes on in the Paizo forums. Only staff can do that.

You seem to be objecting to other people disagreeing with you and either
a) posting just as frequently as you do, but with a different perspective
or
b) not reading anything you write.

That's pretty normal for groups to disagree and/or stop listening to speeches that contain no new information.


CrystalSeas wrote:
HWalsh wrote:

There is also a lot of forum cartel activity too which complicates issues.<snip>

expect a certain group of players to blacklist you.

Forum cartels and blacklists? Where did that come from?

As far as I know, there isn't a way to "blacklist" someone and keep them from posting on the forums.

Perhaps you mean "block"? Like, someone deciding that they don't want to read your posts? How do you even know if I've done that?

And what is a "forum cartel". Again, users don't have any way to control what goes on in the Paizo forums. Only staff can do that.

You seem to be objecting to other people disagreeing with you and either
a) posting just as frequently as you do, but with a different perspective
or
b) not reading anything you write.

That's pretty normal for groups to disagree and/or stop listening to speeches that contain no new information.

Forum Cartels are a name for "group of vocal forum posters who share similar views" who become aggressive with anyone they disagree with.

They'll often start pulling stunts like favoriting each other's posts to the point that it inflates the person's perceived support.

If someone they don't like posts something, instead of not ignoring it, they'll attempt to mock the person for things unrelated. You see it here or there. I pretty much have my own list of players I ignore in general though so it is nothing but a minor annoyance.


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Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

The staff here do a fantastic job of moderating aggressive posters or posts that mock other people. All you need to do is flag those posts and move on.

And use the block tool. Saves a lot of time that would otherwise be used reading, reacting, and responding to those toxic people that you already keep a list of.


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Ah, learned a new term. Google had no idea what it was.

In any case, I believe it is less some organized effort to discredit any one poster but rather a reaction to specific posters provoking reactions from the community.

In this case, for example, there seems to be agreement between posters that otherwise do not agree on many topics.


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So a magic blog last week, Cleric blog today and a domain blog coming on Friday. New Pazio favourite class?

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