Hello everyone. Please forgive me if repeat an old discussion but as a new member of this forum I can only resort to search engine and I haven't found any topics related to the matter I'd like to discuss with players more experienced then I. And I belive it's an important one, especially seeing the speed with which FFG announces content for Descent.
There is a very delicate balance between strength of the heroes and the overlord, and while people can argue which side has it easier, i belive we can all agree that shop item cards that heroes manage to get their hands on have collosal impact on the outcome of the campaign. As such, it is of utmost importance to keep benefits of those items in check, otherwise the very frail balance between two sides will lie in shambles. And with Labirynth of Ruin I had to ban first item shop card in my playgroup, because in my eyes it's horribly broken. An act I item so powerful, one could argue it's the the best in it's category, and for one archetype it's not even an argument. I'm speaking of course about the Rune Plate.
To those unfimiliar with it: it's an act I heavy armor that costs 175 gold pieces and gives you grey defense die. If you have 4 or more knowledge (which all of avaible 2 edition mage characters do) it gives you additional +2 health; moreover, if you have a rune equipped (which, for a mage character is very likely) you replace grey defense die provided by it with a black one. And that's it.
What's the biggest problem with this card? Is it that it's the only act I shop item that can grant a black defense die? Considering that it requires you to have a rune equipped (which, if you're unlucky and your mage didn't start with one you might not see for a while) and there is an act I relic that gives black defense die for anyone no, that's not it (however it is a concern raising precedent). Is it the fact that it rivals act II armors? That's more of a problem, but then there are other act I items that you will use thought whole campaign (mana wave anyone?), so no, once again that's not it.
Can you guess what's the biggest gripe I have with it? No? Look at other armors avaible to the players and you might guess it (or already know it if you are fimiliar with the cards well enought). The biggest problem is that it's one of the two only armors (and the only act I one) that gives you grey (or better) defense die that has no penalties whatsoever for using them. All while being the best pick mitigation wise for one hero archtype throught entire campaign.
Just look at items like demonhide leather, an act II light armor that costs 200 gold, gives you a grey defense die and makes you suffer 1 fatigue when you perform 2 move actions on your turn. Why is it more expensive (and as such, considered 'better') then rune plate? Because some hero abilities work better with a light armor or something?
I simply cannot understand FFG as to what drove You into making such unbalanced cards that obselete previous ones. This is not a LCG god damn it, people WILL buy descent products without You resorting to power creep like this, it's a completly different business model, where the key is the variety. The new Shadows of Nerekhail with it's city based campaign? Awesome idea, gives a whole expansion with city tiles. I'm really happy with it since I use these for pen & paper RPGs, and let's not forget a very nice Influence idea. Manor of Ravens, which gives us gothic feel and Warhammer-esque heroes? Superb, that's what some people were asking for. See, that's what customers appreciate in Descent and it's line of expansions/addons - variety. Not the power creep.
Maybe I overthink things, maybe I'm slightly oversensetive on such matters. But still, I'm slightly worried, and I'd love to hear opinions of more experienced folks over here.
Edited by BigBadUnshaved, 24 March 2014 - 05:41 AM.