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Deverenian Faction Focus 
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Post Deverenian Faction Focus
This stems from the "New Initiative Rule" thread (excuse my lack of hot-linking fu, I'm trying to leave work shortly).

How do the Deverenian players feel about the direction of Deverenian design and focus?

* Upward pointing High level Focus: this has been with the Deverenians basically from the beginning. The pleebs support the warlords and powerhouse characters.

* Redirection / Cancelation: The Deverenians are the premiere faction for dictating (or at least attempting to dictate) where an opponent's strike lands (if at all)

* Fire: This own is new, but it is a fairly organic jump from the old Deverenian War Waizard philosophy.

Personally, from a design standpoint, I find the redirection / cancelation one of the hardest things to do with balance. actually, that is not true. Redirection is okay, although too much of it leads to having warlords that can hit the front rank with near impunity, trusting in the defense of the lackeys. Cancelation though, that is a tough one - because cancelation doesn't care if it is a nothrog warlord with a +35 attack for 9 wounds or a +0 Brine Fiend of Doom. Actually, it is worse because cancelation does care. With enough cancelation, the Deverenian control elements determine which strikes they even have to be concerned about getting lucky.

This is in no way, shape, or form an endorsed design activity - Just a candid (and hopefully calm) discussion with the Deverenian playerbase. What do you like? What do you want to see more of? What do you hate? I cannot make any claims that I am going to be able to do anything about it, but I would like to hear your viewpoints just the same.

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Last edited by Kerebrus on Fri May 29, 2009 7:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Fri May 29, 2009 3:29 pm
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Post Re: Deverenian Faction Focus
The way I used to run my decks was based on the lower levels helping out the higher levels. In this I did it quite differently as I didn't use the lower levels for strikes or anything of that nature, but prefered to use them to get the higher level knights to the front ranks and/or bringing characters back from the dead (when consume from within, severed of flesh, mana shield, etc were legal)
Because of how I played, I either ran a lot of card draw or a lot of stall. Either way I never agreed with the whole having to run 12+ steeds in a deck to get your characters to the front. I preferred to stun them up by manipulating my ranks and then using healing/readying/etc tech to get them swinging either this or next turn.

I don't mind running a lot of steeds except for the point that it takes an easy 5-6 actions to get a character up to the front ready where with the readying tech that was in the game it was play character, stun character up (usually 2-3 actions depending on how I had to manipulate ranks) and ready character, so I'm saving myself 2 actions to where the opponent doesn't have as many actions to ready him/herself for the character i'm throwing up there. Not to mention how often was a stunned character considered a threat until it was readied? almost never.

I liked the cancellation, but usually only in the level 1-2 range as 1: you could start it so that the character's focus was to hold the ranks for the first turn until you had 2 characters either stunned up, or spent so that you didn't have to worry about losing the critical 3 ranks for your level 4 characters.

The only level 3 wizards I used to run were for phantom steed and darkwood staff to recycle the spell.


Fri May 29, 2009 3:52 pm
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Post Re: Deverenian Faction Focus
As I stated in the other thread, I am an avid dev player.

In epic I hated the devs were because they were so strong. At some points I refused to play them, Being strong is one issue, irritation and NPES are another, devs were all of the above.
win or lose, its a little annoying to take 8 strikes at a +infintiy for 2 wounds a pop, and maybe do one wound to something.

I was playing a game against kaiten the other day with setrokh, he had Deiena and caleb the shifter on the feild, I was really having to work hard to do something productive to his army, which is fine, But it was starting to get on my nerves.

Design is doing good, especially being two sets in already and still balanced, But devs are definatly heading in a powerful direction character base wise. Diana, caleb, mariah. even adding one or two cancels like this a set will add up. But I have faith in design.
I like were devs are right now, Im just really on edge about cancelation getting strong.

As far as the fire focus, theres only one warlord that does anything with fire, I hardly call that a focus.

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Fri May 29, 2009 4:04 pm
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Post Re: Deverenian Faction Focus
I'm happy with the balance of the Deverenian faction in 4E.

I'm good with our faction foci. Peasants supporting their leaders is just as it should be. Cancelation and redirection are just about right as of CC and easily the most difficult to keep from becoming "broken". As long as we have those I don't think we should also have dice manipulation beyond the focus on helping win initiative and reacts to doing so. More reacts like Edgard Rellions for losing initiative would help too. Initiative is too important to allow to be won just through modifiers to the roll. I applauded the rule change when I noticed it with the release of Shattered Empires.

Unless they could be useful for more warlords than just Yavlo I don't want to see more Fire focus for the factions characters. Fire spells and items would be a better way to help Yavlo keep up with the Jones's. If it is going to be a focus it needs to be supported by classes other than wizards as it is too narrow as it currently is.

What I would like to see more of is Stormwraiths and a warlord that supports that faction trait. Paladin's are very well represented and should not be forgotten but they are not the deverenian factions unique character trait.

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Fri May 29, 2009 5:25 pm
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Post Re: Deverenian Faction Focus
Kerebrus wrote:
How do the Deverenian players feel about the direction of Deverenian design and focus?
First of all, thank you for asking this question. I will be honest in saying that there have been times in 4E that I wondered if anyone on the design team really cared much about Devs beyond having to think of a few to put into the new set to keep collecting my money. I understand the desire to bring Devs back under control from the absolute dominance they had at the tail end of EE, but I have often felt that the reaction on the part of design was very excessive. I want to be crystal clear in saying, I NEVER want to have the level of power in the faction as we once had. It was not fun to play then, I do not believe it would be fun now. By the same token, I do not want to be at the same level of power the Deverenians (did not) enjoy in Saga era either. Somewhere in the middle there needs to be balance. I think 4E has come very close, certainly closer than any previous era I can think of, but there are a few issues I feel are outstanding.
Kerebrus wrote:
* Upward pointing High level Focus: this has been with the Deverenians basically from the beginning. The pleebs support the warlords and powerhouse characters.
I used to enjoy this about the Deverenian faction, but I have been missing it a great deal in recent days. With the exception of Mariah Blachthorn who is absolutely a house or Temur who I have yet had a chance to play with but who looks quite solid, I would pretty much take any Dwarf, Nothrog, or Chosen level four over any of those available for the Deverenians. The same is true of the level five selection with the exception of Lord Argen D'Ilchant. Because of the incredibly overpowered higher level characters the Deverenians had in EE, their character selection is 4E is somewhat hindered. Sacrificing power in the interest of balance is one thing, but to completely re-work the level spread for a faction is a bit frustrating. Looking at the relevant power of the characters across the board for all factions when compared to their level, it seems that the Deverenians fall quite short on the level fours and fives. On the upside however, our level three characters seem to be getting better than those of the other factions which makes for a relatively solid mid-level cavalry option.

This in itself is not such a terrible thing as the cavalry archetype has some major flaws in both tempo and resource requirements. A problem I often face with Clay, our local Free Kingdoms player, illustrates this quite clearly. As a Deverenian player, I invest a character, one or two movement cards, and about five actions to get a character to the front rank. As a Free Kingdoms player, his response is to take one action to play a Selai Yscar or a Mudslick to negate all of that. This is the clearest example, but a Krenthor with Nothrog S'sike, Bear's Soul, Outmatched, Thrust, or any one of the other order strikes gets the job done even better. Still better is the new Illusionist card which simply takes the character over to use against me. The problem is that by virtue of playing higher level characters, there is a higher cost associated with them beyond just that they come in one rank higher. They also need to have more resources and actions invested in them before they become a threat to your opponent. When my opponent's one card can effectively neutralize my three to four card investment, it doesn't take much to understand that I will eventually lose that game. The opportunity cost to kill my level three or four characters right now is so similar that I cannot justify investing any more into a character to get it to rank one than is absolutely required.

Higher level Deverenians I think were a GOOD example of what Devs should do:
Duke Blackthorne
Lady Keithia
Master Anandale
Princess Dashkova
Solus d'Ilchant
Caran Tremayne
Count Adrian

Higher level Deverenians I think were a BAD example of what Devs should do:
Lady Drac
Ghed Vengir
Cardinal Bromin
Davaenus
Ghed Daucet
Grigori the Spineless
Reilya the Merciful
Kerebrus wrote:
* Redirection / Cancelation: The Deverenians are the premiere faction for dictating where an opponent's strike lands, if at all. Personally, from a design standpoint, I find the redirection / cancelation one of the hardest things to do with balance. Redirection is okay, although too much of it leads to having warlords that can hit the front rank with near impunity, trusting in the defense of the lackeys. Cancelation though, that is a tough one - because cancelation doesn't care if it is a nothrog warlord with a +35 attack for 9 wounds or a +0 Brine Fiend of Doom. Actually, it is worse because cancelation does care. With enough cancelation, the Deverenian control elements determine which strikes they even have to be concerned about getting lucky.
Here we agree. Cancellation and Redirection are tricky because too much of them and the faction becomes a very 'Mother may I' faction, which is not much fun for the opponent, and honestly not terribly fun to play either. Cancellation should absolutely be rare nearly to the point of non-existence.

Conditional clauses I feel would be a far better approach to the situation. The Duke Blackthorne example above for instance. While not cancellation, it does have an element of control inherent in it. Pleebs will have a difficult time attacking him, but large melee strikes and any ranged strike will get around the restriction. I feel that characters like that should be a bigger part of the faction. Some who cannot be targeted by ranged strikes less than 'X' or cannot be targeted with spells, or characters that can cancel only specific things like melee, ranged, non-strikes, etc. Blanket Cancellation without restriction is not the way to go IMO. This would create choices in the deckbuilding process wherein I can decide what I want to meta against, rather than the current trend to cancel anything.

Redirection I feel should be the choice Deverenian control. It still gives the attacker the chance to run me out of redirection, or out of legal targets. Again however, I think it is important to have restrictions on the redirection. Tybert the Worthy I feel is a shining example in that he has level and rank restrictions in addition to the spend cost. In the right deck he will be strong, but he is not so strong that I will play him in every Dev deck I build, like Halo of Secrets was.

I also think this the appropriate time to mention dice control which was a Deverenian focus as well since the very beginning in Princess Dashkova. I know this is a touchy subject for people who were on the receiving end of too many Dev re-rolls and dice manipulations in EE, but hear me out please. I agree that it is inappropriate to control the opponent's dice, it should be rare to the point of non-existence. That said however, I do not feel that some dice manipulation on your own side of the board is overpowered. Dmitir has an excellent ability to control his own dice and I have yet to hear anyone outside the occasional player of a Planar heavy deck make much a fuss of it. I think people are willing to deal with some dice manipulation so long as it does not get out of hand and VERY rarely effects the dice of an opponent. When my opponent has to re-roll 5 dice before I finally just tell him he will miss because I said so, of course there are going to be angry players. On the other hand, so long as my opponent does not have to watch me roll 15 dice in a turn before I decide which one I want to keep, I do not think there will be much issue there either.
Kerebrus wrote:
* Fire: This one is new, but it is a fairly organic jump from the old Deverenian War Wizard philosophy.
I really do not have an issue with the Fire aspect of the Deverenians. It looks like every faction is getting some elemental or otherwise traited focus, such as Tactics. If I were an Elf player and had to deal with Poison, I would be fairly frustrated, but I feel that Fire has been relatively well implemented. We have a Warlord who likes to play with Fire, and enough supporting cast to make some use of it as well. I would like to see more dynamic fire actions however, burn, burn, burn, does get a little boring, but it is something I assume will come eventually.
Kerebrus wrote:
This is in no way, shape, or form an endorsed design activity - Just a candid (and hopefully calm) discussion with the Deverenian playerbase. What do you like? What do you want to see more of? What do you hate? I cannot make any claims that I am going to be able to do anything about it, but I would like to hear your viewpoints just the same.
The fact that you even want to know is enough for me. I hope this is something that design can look in on and get some direct feedback from the playerbase and then make the best decisions they can as to the future of the faction. A constructive discussion between players and design is long overdue IMO. I feel that it could not be done so long as people were still upset about the direction Devs went in EE, but it would seem that enough time has passed that people appear to be able to look at the situation objectively, free from the emotional responses they developed in the EE arc. I hope many good things come from this discussion, not only for the Devs, but for every faction and for the game as a whole.

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Fri May 29, 2009 6:27 pm
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Post Re: Deverenian Faction Focus
Kerebrus wrote:
This stems from the "New Initiative Rule" thread (excuse my lack of hot-linking fu, I'm trying to leave work shortly).

How do the Deverenian players feel about the direction of Deverenian design and focus?

* Upward pointing High level Focus: this has been with the Deverenians basically from the beginning. The pleebs support the warlords and powerhouse characters.


This doesn't exist anymore. As the numerous examples can be seen of others factions characters being flat out better then ours. During a conversation with Dave even he said it was a flawed focus; as it essentially limits all other level 4-5 characters to being subpar in comparison to Dev high levels, or you would have to make the Dev powerhouses broken to not make the other factions high characters not suck.

Quote:
* Redirection / Cancelation: The Deverenians are the premiere faction for dictating (or at least attempting to dictate) where an opponent's strike lands (if at all)


Stupid difficult to balance effectively without being either totally useless (like many reprints and new characters) or stupid broken (devs in Epic). This form of control is essentially Blue Permission from Magic and is a serious downer to play against. Either there is not enough to make it an effective focus or it is too much and an NPE. There is no grey area.

Quote:
* Fire: This own is new, but it is a fairly organic jump from the old Deverenian War Waizard philosophy.


This is limited to Yavlo and Castus basically. Not what I would call a faction focus.

Quote:
This is in no way, shape, or form an endorsed design activity - Just a candid (and hopefully calm) discussion with the Deverenian playerbase. What do you like? What do you want to see more of? What do you hate? I cannot make any claims that I am going to be able to do anything about it, but I would like to hear your viewpoints just the same.

Design needs get back to doing hard documentation of what a factions strength's weakenesses are and take a hard look at how feasible they are to implement in game. Right now the Davs (the only faction I would ever play) just does not have a focus. They are maintained in game not by the faction strengths but by essentially borrowing other factions quirks.

The Dev's need to return to what they are and what they are supposed to be both gameplay and fluff wise IMO.

Calculated Risk.

High Knights of Deverenia from the RPG book.
Slayer the Unkind.

This is what the Devs were about and what IMO really drew people to them.

I understand that the current design team may not see it this way but hence that is why the game doesn't get any of my money right now.

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Fri May 29, 2009 6:47 pm
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Post Re: Deverenian Faction Focus
Thank you for all the input. And if any other thoughts / insights / hopes / fears come to mind, say so. Dev_Knight and I exchange emails fairly regularly.

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Mon Jun 01, 2009 10:54 am
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Post Re: Deverenian Faction Focus
Kerebrus wrote:
Thank you for all the input. And if any other thoughts / insights / hopes / fears come to mind, say so. Dev_Knight and I exchange emails fairly regularly.
There is one item I would like to address with the Design Team. I am a bit frustrated with the recent trend of printing steeds with a once per turn movement ability on them. Currently there are three characters with the printed Riding feat, Lord Argen D'Ilchant, MIstress Edrea, and The Beast Knight. Both Rellion Truebred and Gilded Chariot have the movement ability restricted to once per turn. Is Riding truly so dangerous a feat that it necessitates steeds having once per turn on the movement portion of the effect? I understand the need to limit some of the other text on steeds, like the ranged strike on Verdatha Mount, or the item readying ability on Camel, but making the movement once per turn is a direct attack on the Riding feat that I am not sure is warranted.

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Arven wrote:
So, yes, Warlord was is done "unprofessionally".


Mon Jun 01, 2009 2:52 pm
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Post Re: Deverenian Faction Focus
OK a few pointers ^_^

If Dev focus is: Initiative, Action Manipulation, Fire

Initiative:
Abilities that grant actions as a result of winning Initiative should not exist, or at most be extremely limited. Taking 3 actions at the start of the turn = bad.
Characters should receive bonuses for both winning and losing initiative. This way, characters are balanced either way, rather than being over-powered or underpowered depending on the initiative roll. As the card pool determines the average initiative roll, cards with only a win bonus will constantly be shifting power depending on the initiative bonuses available in the pool causing distortion.
Finally, it would more characterful if characters did not simply add to initiative but could add or subtract. If offensive bonuses are given for winning initiative and defensive for losing, more control elements could be implemented and would give more interesting play styles.

Cancellation and Redirection:
Simply put: Card A, which redirects an action from Card B to Card C should be avoided at all costs. Cards such as these are the cards which become no-thinking staples. The also applies to cards which cancel actions.
The best examples of Redirection and Cancellation are:
Level 4-5 Char. OPT Redirect strike to a lower level character.
Level 1-2 Char. OPT Redirect a strike from a higher level character to me.
Defend.
Level 4-5 Char. Opposing characters must make a Fear save DC = something or miss.
+X AC/Skill for strikes generated by lower level characters.
Abilities which trigger off redirection such as +X AC when successfully redirects a strike. Very cool as they implicitly (rather than explicitly) redirect opponent's strikes as they realise hitting the little guy first makes more sense than being redirected to him.

Fire:
So this is essentially a legacy of Slayer the Unkind not having a subclass and Wizards having too many already. This mechanic is fine as it stands, but it won't be a faction focus until multiple warlords are printed with the trait, or a fighter/wizard warlord is released. Essentially, unless there is a sensible reason to include fire-actions/characters in a non-wizard deck, it won't really be a faction focus.


Mon Jun 01, 2009 4:31 pm
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Post Re: Deverenian Faction Focus
i agree that riding shouldn't be hindered, kinda dumb IMO.

ok. personal issues.

Focus: agree with gooba, fire needs to be on another warlord. and that initiative based focus should have a win initiative/lose initiative idea. See Dame Selen and Sir Edgard


there is a warlord based on fire actions.
we have had two sets with no fire actions (excluding elemental bolt)
whats the point of a fire action powerhouse warlord when fire actions are few and far between.
the only real difference in actions from one yavlo to the next is their reliance on meteor swarm.
idk i would like a little diversity in it.
i feel like our warlords have been kinda "meh" warlords for the most part.
Not saying they aren't good, just uninteresting.
Kaiten: yay! paladin. gets big with calvary. Though i will give the paladin attacks on initiative a +
Dmitir: ginerva of the moon the way she should have been. can see the next few cards.
Brymin: Front rank fighter, really not that good for much else.
Yavlo: Fire. 2 spendorder spells but they have to be fire.
just feels bland to me.
i would like to see a warlord with built in redirection that actually has a cost.
Karkos was a decent example. you had to have dead characters to redirect. Maybe tone it down a bit more.
Overall i guess my biggest problem is i have almost lost interest because they don't do anything that really makes my opponent go "WTF THAT JUST HAPPENED"
i mean thalaasa's ability is really just makes your opponent scared when she pitches a few spells.
The last thing i will say is that we need a more interesting startup.
Right now it is squire arrigan or genecourt initiate. which i guess im bored of since it has been around since campaign.

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Mon Jun 01, 2009 4:54 pm
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Post Re: Deverenian Faction Focus
Quote:
Characters should receive bonuses for both winning and losing initiative. This way, characters are balanced either way, rather than being over-powered or underpowered depending on the initiative roll.


:yes:

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Mon Jun 01, 2009 7:36 pm
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Post Re: Deverenian Faction Focus
Certain characters like Mother Diane and Scelus being Unique is rough, when compared to some of the other Faction's lvl 4 base. Severed of Bone is a prime example. And Ghed Nuri restricted to just melee strikes was a bad call imho as well. His previous text of "strike or action" was dumb. It would have been fair if he had come back with the text "melee or ranged strikes."
:shrug:

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Post Re: Deverenian Faction Focus
I agree that Nuri's nerf was terrible, but Scleus and Diane both deserved to be unique. They're insanely good.

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Mon Jun 01, 2009 9:43 pm
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Post Re: Deverenian Faction Focus
AragornRoR wrote:
Quote:
Characters should receive bonuses for both winning and losing initiative. This way, characters are balanced either way, rather than being over-powered or underpowered depending on the initiative roll.


:yes:

:stupid:

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Post Re: Deverenian Faction Focus
AragornRoR wrote:
I agree that Nuri's nerf was terrible, but Scleus and Diane both deserved to be unique. They're insanely good.

So is Barret, Severed of Bone, As'sa, Bokos, Iam Hotelen, Kul of Clan Tergoth, Pagophoros, Sir Erik Kaisen, Vels of Clan Manaka, Vex Duntan, Enkida, Dragonkin... :shrug:

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