Master of all trades, but jack of none?

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nils
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Master of all trades, but jack of none?

Post by nils » 13 Jul 2020 09:15

Rules in Genesis have a tendency to appear set in stone; “It’s always been the rule, so.. can’t do nothing about it!” is the jist of how it feels sometimes. This applies to many subjects and categories like limitations to hit/pen on weapons in regards to how many hands are used to manipulate it, how much experience can be focused on a single stat and probably many more that I fail to conjure up from memory right now.

These rules are at best arbitrary, because they’re not results of causality, but merely decided upon, by someone, at some point in time. Rules that are decided differ from the former in the way that they can be changed. Yes, we/you/someone can just decide on a new set of rules for any given circumstance.

Which leads me to the topic I wish to shine a light on; Guild balance – the disharmony between specialized and versatile guilds.

Now take a guild like the two Dragonarmies. Highly specialized in how to inflict a maximum amount of damage, leaving little to nothing to defensives. We all know this, and we all accept this. It’s fine! It’s good at one thing, bad at another. Logically, it makes complete sense.

Now take a guild like the Neidar Clan. Highly specialized in how to basically turn into combatant rocks, absorbing hit after hit, leaving little to nothing to offensives. We all know this, and we all accept this. It’s fine! It’s good at one thing, bad at another. All good with the logic here as well.

Moving on to the Army of Angmar, not highly specialized in either offensives nor defensives. It’s pretty good at both, but not as good offensively as the dragonarmies and not as good defensively as the neidar clan. A true ‘Jack of all trades’. We all know this, and we all accept this. It’s fine! Logic checks out.

Calians are exceedingly good offensively and the more calians in a team, the better they become defensively too. Their drawback is that they excel at nothing alone and need at least one team mate to even matter. We know this, accept it and it’s fine. Logic kinda checks out.

Then along come the magic guilds who completely break with this pattern. They can choose to deliver the same, and sometimes (much?) more, damage than the dragonarmies one day, and absorb hits better than the neidar clan the other. In rare cases both simultaneously! Additionally, they can boost their teams, teleport them in some cases, debuff enemies, send messages and items through the air, summon beasts of burden to carry their spoils and the list goes on.
This isn’t even unique to the magic users, newer melee guilds also show this tendency of “switching between modes” and be on par with the specialists in either direction. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see something is awry.

There are systems in place that are supposed to keep things in check, and in a way they do. In most cases both magic guilds and new melee guilds are restrained by their “combat aid” in either mode. Anything else would be unbalanced. But that’s also the very core of the problem; the fact that they have the ability to switch around as they see fit. Now the creators of the guilds and even the Arch of Balance will say something like “Yes, but they pay a higher tax for that versatility”, and logically this makes sense too.

Reality, though, is a little different. The amount of tax you pay don’t defeat mobs or win duels. The amount of tax you pay don’t exclude or include you in a team or decide whether you live or die in battle. The amount of tax you pay hardly impacts your growth, as you just make up the increased tax with higher income (killing speed).

We pick our guilds/classes for various reasons, and in most games the options presented at character creation all come with pros and cons. If you pick versatility as a pro, the con is that those specialized in either direction does their thing better than you. Logically, it follows that a guild that can switch between one mode or the other in a heartbeat should never be as good as one that is ‘locked’ to one specialization, no?

Do we simply accept that versatile guilds in Genesis are specialists in several/all fields and turn a blind eye? Or should there be more drawbacks to versatility than an unknown, but elevated, percentage of tax that has no real impact on a day to day basis?

There are rules concerning combat aid and taxation; the amount of abilities are governed by taxation, and the abilities utilized at any given point are governed by a set amount of combat aid.

Is it time to re-write the rules, or even write new rules, regarding how versatility is - in lack of a better word - penalized?

What I dislike about any discourse is the pointing at a problem, screaming about its’ existence and throwing criticism left and right at whoever looks the most responsible for it, without even attempting to suggest a remedy, so here’s mine:

Replace taxation as grounds for versatility itself with a relative subtraction of total available combat aid. Basically, the more versatile you are, the relatively worse you are at whatever it is you’re attempting, defined by a reduction of combat aid available. The more ‘modes’, the less total combat aid available at any given time.

The manipulation of a system/min-maxing within a set of rules must come to an end. While clever design is admirable in isolation, it doesn't always result in good overall game design. You can’t be a master of all trades and jack of none while simultaneously calling it balanced!


Nils’ player.
Lesser guilds deserve their suffering, you feel unjustly nerfed and want to be restored to your rightful glory... huh. I guess you're Genesis Hitler then. It feels so sweet to say this.. Fuck you, Hitler.
-Drazson, 21.07.2019

Amberlee
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Re: Master of all trades, but jack of none?

Post by Amberlee » 13 Jul 2020 10:51

What you don't mention is the heavy tax the magic guilds have for their abilities or like WoHS that they have to plan their specialization ahead in time by memorizing which of their spells they prepare and if they want to change, that in fact takes quite some time.

Then you have other like EC that as long as you have the spell on your "list" you can cast it.
Which sort of breaks the system since they can do pretty much everything.
How about limiting them a bit more like WoHS, would that help? hmm.

Though what really killed the need for specialized tank guilds is in fact the size inflation.
Isn't that something we should look at as well as an equal problem?
The endless grinding and endless size people can get, basically nullifying the need for a specialized tank?
Is a hardcap on size desired there or is there any other solution that is better?
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Nerull
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Re: Master of all trades, but jack of none?

Post by Nerull » 13 Jul 2020 11:03

Could always add special requirements for new gamecontent that requires a tank class (else npc deals much more damage).

In this case, tank-classes must exist in a reasonable manner for all factions to avoid content lockout.


Example: Deep one of Cthulhu requires either an AA, Neidar or (knight or ??) as main tank, else the encounter becomes impossible to defeat.

Thoughts?

Drazson
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Re: Master of all trades, but jack of none?

Post by Drazson » 13 Jul 2020 15:57

I understand the thought, but I think that's an outright bad idea Nerull. The aim is not hardcoding necessity into roles, it's to actually making the role (and the diverse skillsets of guilds) equally or more useful than damage or size.

I understand the concerns regarding magic guilds, but for WoHS in particular there are various restrictions and, while some might be known more or less, some are both non-deductable from outside nor easily understood if you have an alt with whom you don't actually daily play.

I am saying this because I, for example, take the word of other players and the Wizards that, for example, AA or Calians are balanced, and while I might theoretically know a lot of things for them, I'm neither privy to their practical angsts as the players are, or to their code as Wizards are, in orders to to judge that much. Of course poking at stuff wondering "hey that's too much maybe?" is, I assume, welcome by all.

Nerull
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Re: Master of all trades, but jack of none?

Post by Nerull » 13 Jul 2020 20:24

But, how do you do that? How would you turn for example AA more valuable in a team rather than, let's say a dragonarmy soldier, if dps is indeed king?

Drazson
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Re: Master of all trades, but jack of none?

Post by Drazson » 13 Jul 2020 22:18

Nerull wrote:
13 Jul 2020 20:24
But, how do you do that? How would you turn for example AA more valuable in a team rather than, let's say a dragonarmy soldier, if dps is indeed king?
The king has to die.

Edit: I do not mean nerf them to the ground but I would have the need for teaming up (with different roles like healers and tanks, not just to add speed to the grind) as a guiding star, I guess. Maybe "a myth alone CANNOT hunt solo in some of the higher xp grounds" would be an interesting rule to test out.
Last edited by Drazson on 14 Jul 2020 10:14, edited 1 time in total.

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Zhar
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Re: Master of all trades, but jack of none?

Post by Zhar » 13 Jul 2020 22:56

Nerull, could you clarify your stance a bit? From what I understand is that currently some guilds can switch between offense and defense. Let's say DA is 100% offense, NC 100% defense and AA 75/75 (I know it's a big oversimplification and 75 for AA might seem much but I'm not even counting dragons and neidar chop/crush but it's the gist of it). I guess the problem you see is that the guilds that can switch between modes can be either 100% offense or 100% defense and instead you'd like them to not be able to go this high and be more like 75/25 or 25/75 or even 75/75 as in case of AA, in any case, limiting their maximum power or maximum defense to be under that of specialized guilds. Am I getting it right?
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sylphan
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Re: Master of all trades, but jack of none?

Post by sylphan » 14 Jul 2020 02:52

No way a WOHS hell-bent on defence is as effective as a Neidar or a monk. So we're not talking about swinging from 100 D to 100 O, not even close. And regardless of whether they emphasize offense or defense, there is quite the price to pay for abilities in WOHS, apart from tax. On the subject of flexibility, from an RP standpoint, WOHS is unbelievably flexible. But from the perspective of power-grinding, there are very few long-term viable options, which you can tell if you spend time around the big power-grinding wizards. There are a couple variations, none of them without drawback. (This isn't a complaint, by the way - of course there are drawbacks to any guild or set-up within a guild.) If people want to argue for nerfing spell-casters, at least make the case coherently, including all of the relevant factors.

Edit: I can't really speak to concerns about EC as I have no experience there.

Nerull
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Re: Master of all trades, but jack of none?

Post by Nerull » 14 Jul 2020 16:03

Zhar wrote:
13 Jul 2020 22:56
Nerull, could you clarify your stance a bit? From what I understand is that currently some guilds can switch between offense and defense. Let's say DA is 100% offense, NC 100% defense and AA 75/75 (I know it's a big oversimplification and 75 for AA might seem much but I'm not even counting dragons and neidar chop/crush but it's the gist of it). I guess the problem you see is that the guilds that can switch between modes can be either 100% offense or 100% defense and instead you'd like them to not be able to go this high and be more like 75/25 or 25/75 or even 75/75 as in case of AA, in any case, limiting their maximum power or maximum defense to be under that of specialized guilds. Am I getting it right?

I personally like a sweet-spot in the 65/35 - 75/25-range since it renders a guild often adaptable and generally playable. I don't mind guilds going over, but in most cases, must be AoB-sanctioned, and often comes with similar downsides. Might render the guild feel unplayable.

Nerull
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Re: Master of all trades, but jack of none?

Post by Nerull » 14 Jul 2020 16:09

Drazson wrote:
13 Jul 2020 22:18
Nerull wrote:
13 Jul 2020 20:24
But, how do you do that? How would you turn for example AA more valuable in a team rather than, let's say a dragonarmy soldier, if dps is indeed king?
The king has to die.

Edit: I do not mean nerf them to the ground but I would have the need for teaming up (with different roles like healers and tanks, not just to add speed to the grind) as a guiding star, I guess. Maybe "a myth alone CANNOT hunt solo in some of the higher xp grounds" would be an interesting rule to test out.
I would like to see such content as well, but not sure its realistic due to low numbers of players and uneven distribution of for example healing power. But, perhaps more than anything else, it depends a lot on gamecontent implementation.

But it's cool to see Mirandus is experimenting with traditional mmo teambased content. Maybe his content can provide some valuable data for future balance and development for more and similar content.

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