Also leaving the playtest... feedback with attempted constructive criticism


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After 4 rounds, our group is adding to the list leaving the playtest.

It's not that I think that classes or powers are underpowered. There are some balance issues that have been beat to death (non-scaling druid forms, bardic performances, etc). It's not the lack of the difference between "trained" and legendary... these are problems to be sure, but I am confident the team will eventually fix these issues.

No, the issue is I think the game is, fundamentally, not fun. And I don't know that you can fix this with just playing and rebalancing.

It took playing the (I enjoyed it) Pathfinder: Kingmaker video game to really help me understand the real difference here. I must have played the first act 10 times, just because I wanted to test various combos and builds and rebuilds and feat setups. This was what Pathfinder was all about, what DND 3.5 had that 4.0 and 5.0 lacked, the ability that you were truly building towards something unique with tons of options. Someone that could do their "special trick" without worrying too much about the die roll mitigation.

With Pathfinder 2.0, it felt like no matter what you did, your success was more or less 50/50 on pretty much every action you did (poor scaling made the monsters hitting on 6-7 while parties hit on 13-14, but again I have some confidence you'd balance that out). Your tanks were 2-3 points higher AC than your non-tanks; which sounds like a "big deal", but in our play simply meant things were more regulated to the dice.

And actions? You were so focused on making sure that things can't stack or build in ways that you did not anticipate that, well, everyone is cookie cutter. Yes a few classes have certain specific "long term goal setups" that you can pick and choose (Paladin change was good, for the record; I played a paladin in our final round). But by and large, every character feels the same, like I can't really put much thought into my character creation and say "look how cool!"

In the end, the best you can do with this fundamental system is add a few more interesting options and fix the bad abilities to be slightly better or scale better. But this isn't going to change having a system based too much on everyone being average at everything.

My hope that I don't think will be realized from 2.0 is that you take the parts that work well (love the "3 action setup", I think there SHOULD be a limit to the number of ongoing buffs that characters can have going on, and like at least the idea of the racial feats for free... even if I think there are obvious choices for nearly every race). Take those pieces, put them into PF 1.0 system, and you have something better (already you've given martials "move and attack", which I think was the only thing they were honestly lacking). I hope you do not let Pathfinder die into a 4.0 "blah" system... remember that PF dominated the market because players hated DND 4th.

Please. I believe in you Paizo. With love and hope,

-Dave


Sorry to hear things didn't work out for you, hope you'll check back when the full CRB comes along and see if things have changed up for you.

I may not have the same outlook as you on all these matters but I can certainly see your side of things. And I hope that PF2 will at least provide you with some good ideas and features to better your PF1 games.


In the spirit of constructive criticism, how would you suggest Paizo allow more customization or special tricks while fulfilling the design goals Paizo set out?


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EberronHoward wrote:
In the spirit of constructive criticism, how would you suggest Paizo allow more customization or special tricks while fulfilling the design goals Paizo set out?

Redefine class niche to be mechanical game engine niches that feel different when you play them, and require different approaches to strategy rather than using the Golarion setting as an excuse to shoehorn players into a small number of roles.

Reduce arbitrary restrictions to meet level gating quotas, give a large list of class features to serve as feats that scale up with class proficiency (the thing that sets your class's DC), and include lists that go up with your proficiency rather than in level groups.

Then change multiclassing to scale up certain degrees by improving your secondary class's "Class DC" which would also open up the class feats of that group. Makes things become more open, and free, but still intuitively organized.


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I only have to say that while I agree on many of your points, (a lot of people do as far as I can tell) remember that this is a play test and they can’t incorporate over 10 years of expanded content into 1 book. Remember, 3.5 and PF1 also started with limited options. You have to get the basics down and worked out before you can expand. Being part of that process can be tiring and isn’t for everyone. It’s understandable to step back and wait, just don’t write it off yet. Also about 3.5 and PF1. I honestly think they did need to end. Admittedly D&D4 was abominable but 3.5 was suffering horribly from system bloat and power creep. PF1 mostly avoided the power creep but definitely has gotten pretty bloated.


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"its only a playtest" isn't a rebuttal to "its not fun" I've been in a number of playtests where the game was fun...buggy and in need of work but fun.


Fair enough I suppose, this is the first play test I’ve ever been a part of so it’s kinda new ground for me so I might be being too nice. But I do stand by what I said about 3.5 and PF1.

Liberty's Edge

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"I'm not having fun." is indeed a reasonable complaint for a playtest in and of itself, but the specific complaint in the first post was "I'm not having fun because I lack options and the odds of success are too low."

And that complaint has two issues:

1. They're changing the math, so stuff like 'everyone has a 50% chance' is almost certainly not gonna be true of the final game. Now, whether they'll be high enough for Thalin (even at the high optimization end) I have no idea, but it is changing.

2. As Raylyeh notes, the options don't actually seem much more limited to me than those in, say, the PF1 core rulebook. They're different, but not inherently a lot more limited...and will probably be expanded for the final game to boot.

It's not as many as the Kingmaker game...but that includes a whole heck of a lot of stuff that isn't in the PF1 core rulebook, and expecting any one book to equal it is a bit unreasonable.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Raylyeh wrote:
Fair enough I suppose, this is the first play test I’ve ever been a part of so it’s kinda new ground for me so I might be being too nice. But I do stand by what I said about 3.5 and PF1.

you have a point about the playtest being super focused, however the underlying systems not being all that interesting is also a valid concern. I have been in several playtests, they are always buggy, but sometimes the system grabs on anyway and you can see the potential, other times.. Not so much or not at all.


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I have noticed that as a general rule I've had a significantly more positive experience with the play test than a lot of people. There have been issues and annoyance here and there but so far it hasn't been anything that couldn't be worked out or polished by the time the core rule book comes out.

How can I say this well? Lets try. PF2 has to fill a pretty tall order. Paizo has to simultaneously streamline and update over 10 years of PF1's bloated content, try to satisfactorily change the core system itself to (in my opinion) truly make PF their own instead of for all intents and purposes being D&D3.6, and satisfy some very hardliner fans. I've noticed that fans of crunchy systems tend to be much harder to please than looser systems. sorry all.

The second part is the tricky bit especially since the 3rd will and is pinning it to the wall. Many games that live to have multiple editions started with a system of their own and while they may change it a bit there is rarely a complete overhaul... With the main exception of D&D and that has on occasion bit them in the ass. (looking at you 4th) One thing to note is that Paizo is trying, probably rightly to go the middle ground. So I and hopefully many others are trying to meet them there in the middle. Instead of hanging them out to dry.

Eh I hope that I got across what I wanted to. I know I'm not much of a wordsmith. Let the dissections and tirades begin...


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
2. As Raylyeh notes, the options don't actually seem much more limited to me than those in, say, the PF1 core rulebook. They're different, but not inherently a lot more limited...and will probably be expanded for the final game to boot.

The biggest options that feel missing to me are TWF support for rogues, Dex fighters and paladins, and until recently, ranged paladins. For the most part, I can think of ways to recreate removed classes, like using a celestial-blooded sorcerer as a stand-in for the oracle until that class gets remade. But those three are the biggest examples of tying classes to certain equipment which feels more restrictive because it also prevents me from repurposing the class in as many ways. For example, since the fighter never grants that good of proficiency with light armor, it feels like they're pushing you away from the swashbuckler archetype, even if there are class feats to support the combat style.


RazarTuk wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
2. As Raylyeh notes, the options don't actually seem much more limited to me than those in, say, the PF1 core rulebook. They're different, but not inherently a lot more limited...and will probably be expanded for the final game to boot.
The biggest options that feel missing to me are TWF support for rogues, Dex fighters and paladins, and until recently, ranged paladins. For the most part, I can think of ways to recreate removed classes, like using a celestial-blooded sorcerer as a stand-in for the oracle until that class gets remade. But those three are the biggest examples of tying classes to certain equipment which feels more restrictive because it also prevents me from repurposing the class in as many ways. For example, since the fighter never grants that good of proficiency with light armor, it feels like they're pushing you away from the swashbuckler archetype, even if there are class feats to support the combat style.

I agree on this, though a lot of this is definitely slated for handling in the final book. I know TWF for Rogues is on the docket, and I am fairly sure I heard talk of an archery focused Archetype or something to open archery specialization up to more.

Ironically I think right now Swashbuckler is better served by a Rogue with Fighter multiclass. Rogue gets you Dex to damage and sneak damage is a great augment to a Rapier's d6 damage, Fighter MC can get you Dueling Parry, the Sly Striker Rogue feat lets you get some extra damage even without stealth or flanking, Sidestep feels like a Swashbuckler-y feat, etc.

Kinda funny considering Swashbuckler is a Rogue Archetype in 5e. XD (Not going for any edition jabbing here, just a funny coincidence I noticed)

Dark Archive

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Deadmanwalking wrote:

"I'm not having fun." is indeed a reasonable complaint for a playtest in and of itself, but the specific complaint in the first post was "I'm not having fun because I lack options and the odds of success are too low."

And that complaint has two issues:

1. They're changing the math, so stuff like 'everyone has a 50% chance' is almost certainly not gonna be true of the final game. Now, whether they'll be high enough for Thalin (even at the high optimization end) I have no idea, but it is changing.

2. As Raylyeh notes, the options don't actually seem much more limited to me than those in, say, the PF1 core rulebook. They're different, but not inherently a lot more limited...and will probably be expanded for the final game to boot.

It's not as many as the Kingmaker game...but that includes a whole heck of a lot of stuff that isn't in the PF1 core rulebook, and expecting any one book to equal it is a bit unreasonable.

I think that when people complain about the lack of options, they're speaking to an issue more significant than a lack of choices for, say, a given feat slot. The underlying problem is that the PF2 character-building-and-progression system does not support a high level of customization. Essentially, there aren't enough points at which a character can be meaningfully defined. The best discussion I've seen so far with regards hereto is a thread called "The Customization Bottleneck". The original post in that thread identifies arguably the most heinous of personalization barriers: currently, too many character-building choices come at the expense of a class feat slot. It's too much competition for a scarce resource. And there are others barriers; for instance, a character cannot start with an 18 in a stat unless its class specifically allows it.

The result of this system, combined with the game-wide nerf of everything, is cookie-cutter character production -- a system wherein "every character feels the same," to use Thalin's phrasing. Martials hit things, spell-casters sling their profoundly inconsequential magic around (and are honestly better off just hitting things, gish-style), and healers heal the folks who are hitting the things. Class features (sneak attack, rage, etc) amount to mere gimmicks -- neither powerful enough to make their parent classes play distinctly differently from other classes, nor customizable enough to at least support fun, useful twists.

Yes, some of that sameness can be alleviated by adding, say, more class feats to fighters. I'm very comfortable assuming there will be more options per feat slot, come the final version of the game. But again, because I can't stress this enough (and because it addresses the go-to retort thrown at folks who lament the low level of customization), giving more options per feat slot is not enough to consequentially augment the low level of character customization, as the greater character creation system inherently limits customization far too much in other, more serious ways.

Thalin actually made these points in the original post, even if only in a summary way. I'll paste the relevant quote here -- to support my claim, yes, but also because it concludes my own thoughts here remarkably well:

Thalin wrote:
In the end, the best you can do with this fundamental system is add a few more interesting options and fix the bad abilities to be slightly better or scale better. But this isn't going to change having a system based too much on everyone being average at everything.


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I personally would be all about cutting down the amount of feats a character get from their class, if we had feats that meant more. Right now, we make A LOT of almost meaningless choices and that's not even accounting the fact that paizo, for some reason, LOVES feat taxes and not ones that allow a new direction to take the class, but things that the class should be doing but is gated behind feats.

I think the class could benefit a lot more from inherent benefits and having the feats be reserved for ACTUAL choices, not a +1 to the path I'm already taking. SO those feats that let my class play more smoothly (better action economy) should come WITH the class, let the feats decide which aspect of the class will be getting it. The same issue plagues the ancestries. Both had a lot of inherent abilities stripped down for the sake of "choices", a lot of them, with very little impact.


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perception check wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:

"I'm not having fun." is indeed a reasonable complaint for a playtest in and of itself, but the specific complaint in the first post was "I'm not having fun because I lack options and the odds of success are too low."

And that complaint has two issues:

1. They're changing the math, so stuff like 'everyone has a 50% chance' is almost certainly not gonna be true of the final game. Now, whether they'll be high enough for Thalin (even at the high optimization end) I have no idea, but it is changing.

2. As Raylyeh notes, the options don't actually seem much more limited to me than those in, say, the PF1 core rulebook. They're different, but not inherently a lot more limited...and will probably be expanded for the final game to boot.

It's not as many as the Kingmaker game...but that includes a whole heck of a lot of stuff that isn't in the PF1 core rulebook, and expecting any one book to equal it is a bit unreasonable.

I think that when people complain about the lack of options, they're speaking to an issue more significant than a lack of choices for, say, a given feat slot. The underlying problem is that the PF2 character-building-and-progression system does not support a high level of customization. Essentially, there aren't enough points at which a character can be meaningfully defined. The best discussion I've seen so far with regards hereto is a thread called "The Customization Bottleneck". The original post in that thread identifies arguably the most heinous of personalization barriers: currently, too many character-building choices come at the expense of a class feat slot. It's too much competition for a scarce resource. And there are others barriers; for instance, a character cannot start with an 18 in a stat unless its class specifically allows it.

The result of this system, combined with the game-wide nerf of everything, is cookie-cutter character production -- a...

Okay, so I don't intend this in any snarky or defensive manner, but to the idea of your customization options within a class all competing for the class feat slots:

Isn't that essentially how it is in PF1?

I mean, your customization choices after character creation at level (And even some at level 1) generally comprise of your fixed class features, your every-other-level feat, your choice of skill rank placement, and any bonus feats or feat equivalents (Rogue talents, Rage powers, etc.) from your class.

The way I see it on a base level PF2 has this and more.

Every other level feats are replaced by General Feats and Ancestry Feats, Skill Ranks by Skill Increases and Skill feats, and bonus feats/feat equivalents are replaced by class feats, which now every class has. And we still have static class features.

I don't know if I'm missing something or if I just have a different outlook but I feel like at a base level you have MORE facets in which to customize your character, not less. Ancestry grows with you and is customizable over time instead of just giving you traits at 1st level that stay the same onward. Skills you can gain new ways to use them or augment them with feats instead of just your bonus growing (Though in some ways a bonus growth did effect what you could do with a skill bt it wasn't very nuanced. In PF1 a player with a +20 in a skill can do the same things with that skill as another with the same, but with Skill Feats I feel that isn't so). And I feel like the different types of feats in general encourages broader customization than PF1, where the vast majority of characters I saw spent all their feats on maximizing the main thing they do, be that fighting (Or specifically a specific style of fighting), casting, sneaking, etc. And in general I saw very little skill customization unless it was Stealth or Perception, because doing so beyond skill ranks required spending the feats that are being competed for by more primary parts of your character.

There are certainly less choices within each facet, but that's because of Playtest vs. 10 years of content.

Again, not aiming to be defensive or misrepresent the argument, I just honestly don't quite understand.


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Lightning Raven wrote:

I personally would be all about cutting down the amount of feats a character get from their class, if we had feats that meant more. Right now, we make A LOT of almost meaningless choices and that's not even accounting the fact that paizo, for some reason, LOVES feat taxes and not ones that allow a new direction to take the class, but things that the class should be doing but is gated behind feats.

I think the class could benefit a lot more from inherent benefits and having the feats be reserved for ACTUAL choices, not a +1 to the path I'm already taking. SO those feats that let my class play more smoothly (better action economy) should come WITH the class, let the feats decide which aspect of the class will be getting it. The same issue plagues the ancestries. Both had a lot of inherent abilities stripped down for the sake of "choices", a lot of them, with very little impact.

Having old class features as feats don'r really bother me that much (with some exceptions) because I like the option of not having them or having other things in their place.

However, I agree 100% with the other statement. If you are going to have a tree of feats that require the previous one and you basically need to pick all of them if you want to keep being good at that thing, it would be better if it was just one feat that gave you those things at set levels. There is no real choice in there, no one is going to pick Animal Circle Druid, Full-Grown companion and then stop and not get the other two feats, for instance.


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Edge93 wrote:
perception check wrote:


I think that when people complain about the lack of options, they're speaking to an issue more significant than a lack of choices for, say, a given feat slot. The underlying problem is that the PF2 character-building-and-progression system does not support a high level of customization. Essentially, there aren't enough points at which a character can be meaningfully defined. The best discussion I've seen so far with regards hereto is a thread called "The Customization Bottleneck". The original post in that thread identifies arguably the most heinous of personalization barriers: currently, too many character-building choices come at the expense of a class feat slot. It's too much competition for a scarce resource. And there are others barriers; for instance, a character cannot start with an 18 in a stat unless its class specifically allows it.

Isn't that essentially how it is in PF1?

I mean, your customization choices after character creation at level (And even some at level 1) generally comprise of your fixed class features, your every-other-level feat, your choice of skill rank placement, and any bonus feats or feat equivalents (Rogue talents, Rage powers, etc.) from your class.

Not really. On the surface, they're definitely similar. Class feats look like a generalized version of rogue talents, alchemist discoveries, unchained monk ki powers, etc. But the notable difference is that 2e class feats also include 1e combat feats. For example, if Double Slice were available to rogues, you would be taking it in place of trapfinding.

Currently, if I wanted to become a good archer, I would use my feats- choices outside of my class- to do so. But under the advancement system as it currently exists, I would take an archery archetype at the expense of my class. Your archer barbarian/monk/paladin/rogue is now less of a barbarian/monk/paladin/rogue because you wanted to be good at archery.


More customization is good and overtime will more than likely be available. I guess what I want to say is that by the end of PF1 players were spoiled with the number of possible options and are forgetting that most of the base classes are pretty bare bones and that it was mostly archetype options and a few feats which came later that made customization a thing. As it stands the PF2 playtest gives most of the classes more options than the PF1 core book did. (other than probably rangers, they probably need more work than any of the others in this regard)

I also find it ironic that you guys are mentioning the swashbuckler because it was a class that came pretty late to the game and while it technically had some customization there is only one build that makes it work otherwise it's pretty sub par.


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I pretty much agree with you 100%. I love the action system, and class feats are a neat idea, but I capital-h HATE how everything in the game scales with level. It's the most boring, uninspired design I've ever seen. As others here have mentioned, I also hate feat taxes. Why feats are pretty much the only thing in the game which don't scale with level is beyond my understanding.

Dark Archive

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I'm glad everyone is keeping open and constructive. This is the conversation I wanted, what I think Paizo needs to hear.

The concept of "what can I do to open it up" is a difficult one, and the short answer is "I don't know". In PF2, each class feature is, in and of itself, an action or reaction. There isn't a way to get a static bonus, or add keywords to actions; and 95% of the items are regulated to your specific class. In fact, even in multiclassing you can not EVER get to the defining characteristics of a class (Paladin retributive strike, rogue sneak attack, etc).

So to open things up, you have to have more "static bonuses" allowed into the game. And make it so that you can stack up a reaction setup (I react retributive strike with a finishing trip attempt added on). That's a fundemental change on what they are going for, but may be necessary to fix up the two inherent problems previously mentioned... lack of customizationand lack of ability to be great at anything. Otherwise by not adding a chance of something accidentally being broken (hey, there's always errata); you've eliminated any chance for Roleplayers to "think outside the box".


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Raylyeh wrote:
More customization is good and overtime will more than likely be available.

What you're missing is that it CAN'T become available later, as you're using the same exact feat slots... Any nifty new option removes your class abilities to take: you want to have a combat style, take an archetype to get it that locks you out of other archetypes AND takes away from class options...

'normal' archetypes, combat style archetypes, prestige archetypes, class abilities and the mythical 'it's possible later' archetype that alters actual class set abilities... ALL going for the SAME slot vs being able to do most all of those things at once in the old pathfinder. You might call it being 'spoiled' but a lot of us picked pathfinder because it gave us so many options to customize our characters and the new system seems like a major step back in flexibility.


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Raylyeh wrote:
More customization is good and overtime will more than likely be available. I guess what I want to say is that by the end of PF1 players were spoiled with the number of possible options and are forgetting that most of the base classes are pretty bare bones and that it was mostly archetype options and a few feats which came later that made customization a thing.

Then you misunderstand what players are saying when they want customisation. The biggest change is the fact general feats are no longer able to be spent on combat feats. Either not making every combat feat a class feat or allowing general feats to be spent on any type of feat would address the customisation complaints. Putting out 10 new hardcovers won't address them.

Exo-Guardians

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John Lynch 106 wrote:
Raylyeh wrote:
More customization is good and overtime will more than likely be available. I guess what I want to say is that by the end of PF1 players were spoiled with the number of possible options and are forgetting that most of the base classes are pretty bare bones and that it was mostly archetype options and a few feats which came later that made customization a thing.
Then you misunderstand what players are saying when they want customisation. The biggest change is the fact general feats are no longer able to be spent on combat feats. Either not making every combat feat a class feat or allowing general feats to be spent on any type of feat would address the customisation complaints. Putting out 10 new hardcovers won't address them.

So basically they are upset because now things have an opportunity cost.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Edge93 wrote:
perception check wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:

"I'm not having fun." is indeed a reasonable complaint for a playtest in and of itself, but the specific complaint in the first post was "I'm not having fun because I lack options and the odds of success are too low."

And that complaint has two issues:

1. They're changing the math, so stuff like 'everyone has a 50% chance' is almost certainly not gonna be true of the final game. Now, whether they'll be high enough for Thalin (even at the high optimization end) I have no idea, but it is changing.

2. As Raylyeh notes, the options don't actually seem much more limited to me than those in, say, the PF1 core rulebook. They're different, but not inherently a lot more limited...and will probably be expanded for the final game to boot.

It's not as many as the Kingmaker game...but that includes a whole heck of a lot of stuff that isn't in the PF1 core rulebook, and expecting any one book to equal it is a bit unreasonable.

I think that when people complain about the lack of options, they're speaking to an issue more significant than a lack of choices for, say, a given feat slot. The underlying problem is that the PF2 character-building-and-progression system does not support a high level of customization. Essentially, there aren't enough points at which a character can be meaningfully defined. The best discussion I've seen so far with regards hereto is a thread called "The Customization Bottleneck". The original post in that thread identifies arguably the most heinous of personalization barriers: currently, too many character-building choices come at the expense of a class feat slot. It's too much competition for a scarce resource. And there are others barriers; for instance, a character cannot start with an 18 in a stat unless its class specifically allows it.

The result of this system, combined with the game-wide nerf of everything, is

...

if general feats actually did anything worth talking about you would have a point, but apart from fleet and the saves, they don't make a meaningful difference.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
MER-c wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
Raylyeh wrote:
More customization is good and overtime will more than likely be available. I guess what I want to say is that by the end of PF1 players were spoiled with the number of possible options and are forgetting that most of the base classes are pretty bare bones and that it was mostly archetype options and a few feats which came later that made customization a thing.
Then you misunderstand what players are saying when they want customisation. The biggest change is the fact general feats are no longer able to be spent on combat feats. Either not making every combat feat a class feat or allowing general feats to be spent on any type of feat would address the customisation complaints. Putting out 10 new hardcovers won't address them.
So basically they are upset because now things have an opportunity cost.

things always did have an opportunity cost, but you could make thr character you wanted work. Now you can't, you could remove general feats entirely and not change the game to any noticeable degree, every thing is tied to your few class feats, and you don't gain anything else.


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MER-c wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
Raylyeh wrote:
More customization is good and overtime will more than likely be available. I guess what I want to say is that by the end of PF1 players were spoiled with the number of possible options and are forgetting that most of the base classes are pretty bare bones and that it was mostly archetype options and a few feats which came later that made customization a thing.
Then you misunderstand what players are saying when they want customisation. The biggest change is the fact general feats are no longer able to be spent on combat feats. Either not making every combat feat a class feat or allowing general feats to be spent on any type of feat would address the customisation complaints. Putting out 10 new hardcovers won't address them.
So basically they are upset because now things have an opportunity cost.

TOO much of an opportunity cost, yes. If I want my barbarian to have two weapon fighting, I have to lock myself into a 3 feat archetype tree. If I want that same barbarian to be a pirate, I have to again lock myself into another feat tree. If I want to swap out my rage to another variety, guess what? another 3 feats... so to get that character, I'm now 18th level. In pathfinder 1? I can do it at 1st. So yeah, 17 levels to get the same characters is FAR too great an opportunity cost.


@ graystone: I think there are enough customization points in PF2. Ancestry feats, skill feats, class feats, and general feats are gained on different tracks, and don't compete with each other. There isn't a loss of choices, just a name different from 'archetypes'. A 7th level Paladin will choose 11 different feats amongst these tracks! The only difference is that a PC can't hyper-specialize in just one track.

Thalin wrote:
That's a fundemental change on what they are going for, but may be necessary to fix up the two inherent problems previously mentioned... lack of customizationand lack of ability to be great at anything. Otherwise by not adding a chance of something accidentally being broken (hey, there's always errata); you've eliminated any chance for Roleplayers to "think outside the box".

I do think that is a fundamental change in what the playtest is going for. In PF1, "thinking outside of the box" was done during CharOp, and if you built an one-trick pony or someone who was unbeatable at one thing, you did that thing exclusively. In PF2, "thinking outside of the box" happens during play, because everyone is average (as Thalin said), every solution isn't a nail to a hammer.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
EberronHoward wrote:

@ graystone: I think there are enough customization points in PF2. Ancestry feats, skill feats, class feats, and general feats are gained on different tracks, and don't compete with each other. There isn't a loss of choices, just a name different from 'archetypes'. A 7th level Paladin will choose 11 different feats amongst these tracks! The only difference is that a PC can't hyper-specialize in just one track.

Thalin wrote:
That's a fundemental change on what they are going for, but may be necessary to fix up the two inherent problems previously mentioned... lack of customizationand lack of ability to be great at anything. Otherwise by not adding a chance of something accidentally being broken (hey, there's always errata); you've eliminated any chance for Roleplayers to "think outside the box".
I do think that is a fundamental change in what the playtest is going for. In PF1, "thinking outside of the box" was done during CharOp, and if you built an one-trick pony or someone who was unbeatable at one thing, you did that thing exclusively. In PF2, "thinking outside of the box" happens during play, because everyone is average (as Thalin said), every solution isn't a nail to a hammer.

if general featz mattered... At all you would have a point. They don't.


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MER-c wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
Raylyeh wrote:
More customization is good and overtime will more than likely be available. I guess what I want to say is that by the end of PF1 players were spoiled with the number of possible options and are forgetting that most of the base classes are pretty bare bones and that it was mostly archetype options and a few feats which came later that made customization a thing.
Then you misunderstand what players are saying when they want customisation. The biggest change is the fact general feats are no longer able to be spent on combat feats. Either not making every combat feat a class feat or allowing general feats to be spent on any type of feat would address the customisation complaints. Putting out 10 new hardcovers won't address them.
So basically they are upset because now things have an opportunity cost.

They have always had an opportunity cost. Now the opportunity cost is essentially twice as high as it use to be.

You can make snarky comments or you can try to understand what people are complaining about and why the game they've played for 8+ years is less enjoyable thanks to the changes in the playtest.

Silver Crusade

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Deadmanwalking wrote:


2. As Raylyeh notes, the options don't actually seem much more limited to me than those in, say, the PF1 core rulebook.

I used to think that but now I don't.

Even within Core there are substantially more options. I was working on a Level 2 martially focused druid yesterday. Martial, Caster? Equipment? Stats? Multiclass?

Different variations had differences to hit from +2 through +7. Different variations had ACs ranging from 16 to 22. Movement speeds varied from 20 to 60 (assuming hour long buffs). Etc.

Lots of tradeoffs for me to decide between. Decisions on how I wanted it to play, how important the Animal Companion (if it even had one) would be.

All of those variations were characters that I thought would be viable in PF1 play. Neither too powerful nor too weak.

In PF2 there just isn't that much choice. At the moment (and this MAY change) there really is essentially only ONE choice. Weapon wielding druid with good spells. Its just significantly better than the alternatives, at least in the PFS context where you're strongly encouraged to build a character who is at least somewhat of a generalist


John Lynch 106 wrote:
You can make snarky comments or you can try to understand what people are complaining about and why the game they've played for 8+ years is less enjoyable thanks to the changes in the playtest.

Is it just the general feats, or is there more to it?


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TOO much of an opportunity cost, yes. If I want my barbarian to have two weapon fighting, I have to lock myself into a 3 feat archetype tree. If I want that same barbarian to be a pirate, I have to again lock myself into another feat tree. If I want to swap out my rage to another variety, guess what? another 3 feats... so to get that character, I'm now 18th level. In pathfinder 1? I can do it at 1st. So yeah, 17 levels to get the same characters is FAR too great an opportunity cost.

I'm trying to follow here... Don't hang me here because I have never and probably would never make a character like the one you're mentioning but in PF1 there was only really one rage at 1st level, you could take TWF at 1st level but at cost and there wasn't really anything to my knowledge to be a pirate at first level that changed your capabilities. You just called yourself a pirate and maybe take a trait to back it up. most actual changes in your capabilities happened at later levels.

PF2 for the same character gives you a choice of different rage totems at 1st level instead of later, you do have to sink two feats to get TWF at the moment but that could change later, and while there is a pirate archetype it currently isn't good and just taking the sailor background and thematically calling yourself a pirate seems sufficient.

there are opportunity costs and there should be. in some cases there maybe too steep of one but that seems to be situational not the general rule. I do agree that general feats need a big boost in power considering how few you get. Also it's worth noting that most of your character choices can be retrained during downtime.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
EberronHoward wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
You can make snarky comments or you can try to understand what people are complaining about and why the game they've played for 8+ years is less enjoyable thanks to the changes in the playtest.
Is it just the general feats, or is there more to it?

it's class features and combat feats being put in one way smaller pool of 'class feats', and the gating that imposes (you want twf? Fight multiclass and it comes online at 5th level, or ranger multiclass for the hot garbage twf they get.)


Raylyeh wrote:
TOO much of an opportunity cost, yes. If I want my barbarian to have two weapon fighting, I have to lock myself into a 3 feat archetype tree. If I want that same barbarian to be a pirate, I have to again lock myself into another feat tree. If I want to swap out my rage to another variety, guess what? another 3 feats... so to get that character, I'm now 18th level. In pathfinder 1? I can do it at 1st. So yeah, 17 levels to get the same characters is FAR too great an opportunity cost.

I'm trying to follow here... Don't hang me here because I have never and probably would never make a character like the one you're mentioning but in PF1 there was only really one rage at 1st level, you could take TWF at 1st level but at cost and there wasn't really anything to my knowledge to be a pirate at first level that changed your capabilities. You just called yourself a pirate and maybe take a trait to back it up. most actual changes in your capabilities happened at later levels.

PF2 for the same character gives you a choice of different rage totems at 1st level instead of later, you do have to sink two feats to get TWF at the moment but that could change later, and while there is a pirate archetype it currently isn't good and just taking the sailor background and thematically calling yourself a pirate seems sufficient.

there are opportunity costs and there should be. in some cases there maybe too steep of one but that seems to be situational not the general rule. I do agree that general feats need a big boost in power considering how few you get. Also it's worth noting that most of your character choices can be retrained during downtime.

Okay, so a few things here:

Not sure what the "Three feats to change your rage out to a new type" bit is supposed to mean. Like at all. Sorry.

As Raylyeh said on the Pirate thing pretty much.

On TWF, to get PF2's version of strong TWF you actually only need 2 feats, not 3. Fighter Dedication and Basic Maneuver (Double Slice). Yeah having it not come online until 4th level isn't ideal but that could easily change for the final book. (Addendum, I realize now you were probably saying 3 because that's what's needed to switch to another archetype. My bad.)

Compared to PF1, where TWF required at least Two Weapon Fighting, probably Double Slice, Improved Two Weapon Fighting later, and quite possibly Greater Two Weapon Fighting after that. Not to mention requiring 15 Dex to start, eventually 17 and 19. If you wanted a Str-based TWF Barbarian at 1st level you would be putting a heavy investment in Dex. If you were talking point buy getting 15 Dex and 16 Str costs 17 points, more than the standard 15 point allotment, meaning you needed to dump a stat to 8 before even raising your Con or Wis above 10 (This is disregarding racial modifiers but in my experience you're probably aiming to jack that Str from 16 to 18 with that which means no racial Dex boost and the above issue stands). If we're talking dice rolls, it's not likely you will gat a 16+ for Str, a 15+ for Dex, and still have a good roll to put into Con and decent for Wis. 25 point buy is much more manageable but I think a build requiring a highly lenient character build base to work without sacrificing vital areas is just as much of an issue as having to wait a few levels to get a character concept rolling.

Not to mention character concepts taking time to get rolling is nothing new to Pathfinder. Want to be a magical thief? Well short of maybe grabbing a cantrip with a trait you're going to have to wait until 2nd level to have both Rogue and Wizard features, and then you're going to have to multiclass in a way that makes for a fairly weak character for several levels (Barring sneak attack touch spells but even that only just keeps up with the damage you would do going straight in one of the two classes), not even getting into Arcane Trickster until 7th level unless you cheese with Accomplished Sneak Attacker. And it'll be a bit further yet before you really come into your own beyond being a meh Rogue and a weak Wizard at the same time (Again, except for spell sneak damage, which scales fast once you get into AT. But again, you'll be like 8th or 10th level before you beat the damage of a straight caster).

Pardon the general overview of the concept example here, but I think it's mostly accurate. I apologize for any inaccuracies though.

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