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Beyond the First Specializations: A look at the numbers


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#1 Sarone

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 02:57 PM

With the Update 4 released last week, over the weekend I worked on how much the extra specilizations would run between getting career and non-career.  Here's the math based on 5 specializations.  Please note, the first Specializations isn't shown since that is a bedrock choice.  The number in brackets [ ] is the number of games a player needs to participate in at 15 X/game, rounding up.

(C= Career Specialization; NC=  Non-Career Specialization)

C    10
C    15
NC 40
NC 50
Total 115 [8]

C 10
NC 30
C 20
NC 50
Total 110 [8]

C 10
NC 30
NC 40
C 25
Total 105 [7]

NC 20
C 15
NC 40
C 25
Total 100 [7]

NC 20
C 15
C 20
NC 50
Total 105 [7]

NC 20
NC 30
C 20
C 25
Total 95 [7]

As you can see, going into a non-career Specialization early will be cheaper than waiting until the end.  Going 6 specializations is this when dealing with Non-Career Specs

Backloading (taking the Specilization last) 60 (175) [12]

Frontloading (taking the Specialization as soon as possible; career specializations add 10 to the final count) 40 (145) [9]

Although not recommended, taking 7 Specializations looks like this:

Backloading (taking the Specilization last) 70 (245) [17]

 

Frontloading (taking the Specialization as soon as possible; career specializations add 10 to the final count) 50 (205) [14]

Please note, that's if you spend all XP on specializations as soon as possible.  THIS IS NOT RECOMMENDED!



#2 korjik

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 03:18 PM

Which is also why the cost issue is to some degree irrelevant. Yes, you may save 30 xp if you get the non-class specs first, but if you spread out your talents, skills and buying of specs, that is prolly about 30 pts out of 500 or so. Not a huge difference.

Depending on your group, I can see play issues being a far larger effect on points spent than optimization. Paying a premium to get a skill or talent now would be more of a reason to spend than saving some points down the road.

An easy way to get rid of the issue would be to get rid of class altogether. It is a pretty irrelevant label when all is said and done



#3 Sarone

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 03:33 PM

korjik said:

Which is also why the cost issue is to some degree irrelevant. Yes, you may save 30 xp if you get the non-class specs first, but if you spread out your talents, skills and buying of specs, that is prolly about 30 pts out of 500 or so. Not a huge difference.

Depending on your group, I can see play issues being a far larger effect on points spent than optimization. Paying a premium to get a skill or talent now would be more of a reason to spend than saving some points down the road.

An easy way to get rid of the issue would be to get rid of class altogether. It is a pretty irrelevant label when all is said and done

20 points.  But also consider the extra talents as well as getting additional skills (especially for ones that the GM and the group seem to use the most).



#4 LethalDose

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 05:53 PM

 While some players are welcome to min-max to their hearts desire, the spread of costs over your examples is only 20 points out of ~ 100, and this is small enough that I wouldn't be concerned.  I'd interpret this as players who have painstakingly planed every move get about one additional play session of 'advantage' at the expense of doing what would make sense in character.  Playing that way is their choice.

That being said, I DO believe the Spec/Skill expenses provided by the Week 4 update are pretty f#cked up, for but other reasons.

 

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#5 darkrose50

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 04:50 AM

I hate it when games make the end result cost different amounts.  A character that can do X should cost Y.  I want to grow my character organically and not have to pay a concept tax for doing so.  This is a glaring flaw in the system.  Just remove any instance where one could build the same character for a different point total and be done with it!  Some folks care, some do not care.  Why piss of the folks who care?



#6 mouthymerc

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 05:10 AM

darkrose50 said:

Why piss of the folks who care?

Because you can not please everyone. At some point you have to draw a line and there is always going to be individuals that will not agree with that line. The nice thing about this is that it is a beta, so it remains to be seen where that line will be. Honestly I don't see this as much of a big deal except to bean counters and die-hard long-term planners. I look at most of the specializations and don't see myself going into more than 2 or 3 at the most, if I ever get to play as a player.


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#7 Doc, the Weasel

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 05:16 AM

mouthymerc said:

darkrose50 said:

 

Why piss of the folks who care?

 

 

Because you can not please everyone. At some point you have to draw a line and there is always going to be individuals that will not agree with that line. The nice thing about this is that it is a beta, so it remains to be seen where that line will be. Honestly I don't see this as much of a big deal except to bean counters and die-hard long-term planners. I look at most of the specializations and don't see myself going into more than 2 or 3 at the most, if I ever get to play as a player.

Is there a compelling reason to have it the way it is? I have yet to see anyone give any actual reasons for why it should be that way.

Otherwise, the entire argument to leave it is "it's fine, quit complaining," which is not very convincing.


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#8 darkrose50

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 05:31 AM

I thought that was what I communicated by saying “Some folks care, some do not care. Why piss of the folks who care?”, but I guess I was not clear.

All the naysayers are saying “I don’t care about it, its not important.  I don’t care if we go left or right, the choice is meaningless to me.  You want to go right, I don’t care if we go right, but lets talk about why you should not care if we go left or right."

I do not understand this argument.  Basically they are saying they do not care either way, but want to make converts to the church of ambivalence.


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#9 mouthymerc

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 07:02 AM

I think that most people who say they don't care are happy with the way things are or the way they feel it will go. That doesn't mean that they will still be happy with the result if it changes dramatically enough. If the team tries to satisfy some small group who happen to scream the loudest, we may end up with something that many do not like. So I hope that the design team looks at issues with a critical eye towards fulfilling their vision (and hopefully ours) without tipping into the absurd or something that doesn't please.


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#10 Doc, the Weasel

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 07:15 AM

mouthymerc said:

So I hope that the design team looks at issues with a critical eye towards fulfilling their vision (and hopefully ours) without tipping into the absurd or something that doesn't please.

So 5 x number of specializations (+10 if out of career) is absurd? 

I have yet to hear a reason for the change other than apathy.


Listen to my actual play podcasts at BeggingForXP.com.

 

Take a look at my Talent Trees (Edge of the Empire and Age of Rebellion), YT-2400 deck plans for the Lazy Bantha, as well as my other handouts.


#11 mouthymerc

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 08:15 AM

Doc, the Weasel said:

So 5 x number of specializations (+10 if out of career) is absurd? 

I have yet to hear a reason for the change other than apathy.

Absurd can mean in either direction, but nothing that I have seen is totally absurd. Back when Pathfinder was gearing up to release their own version of D&D they started off with some good ideas, specifically I liked the direction they were thinking of going as far as skills were concerned (as in away from skill points). But what they ended up with was pretty much the same as D&D 3.5. Which worked out for them in that they grabbed all those disgruntled players who didn't like 4.0. That's too bad because I really thought they had some good talent and could have done so much better. I like what I am seeing and I'll be interested to see the final product, but I'm not going to get too hung up on the "math' of everything as there is no percentage to it.


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#12 darkrose50

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 08:35 AM

One of the issues that D&D 3.0 / 3.5 had that Pathfinder specifically tried to address was the lack of game balance at the higher levels.  What we have now in FFG’s version of Star Wars is a group of point-anomalies that are a relatively small problem now, but will become a larger problems later.

Such as [1] only being able to openly spend points on characteristics during character generation, thusly resulting in those who are aware and mindful of points will end up with a more powerful character, [2] changing the point-cost of gaining a career specialty based on the order they are picked, and [3] most species starting out with, effectively one +1, one -1, and four +0’s in characteristics . . . but droids get -1 to ALL six characteristics (this feeds back into 1).

This is a fist full of suck. 

 



#13 LethalDose

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 09:55 AM

 darkrose50 said:


One of the issues that D&D 3.0 / 3.5 had that Pathfinder specifically tried to address was the lack of game balance at the higher levels. What we have now in FFG’s version of Star Wars is a group of point-anomalies that are a relatively small problem now, but will become a larger problems later.
Such as [1] only being able to openly spend points on characteristics during character generation, thusly resulting in those who are aware and mindful of points will end up with a more powerful character, [2] changing the point-cost of gaining a career specialty based on the order they are picked, and [3] most species starting out with, effectively one +1, one -1, and four +0’s in characteristics . . . but droids get -1 to ALL six characteristics (this feeds back into 1).
This is a fist full of suck.

Some comments on your points:

  1. With unlimited specs available, you can now continue to buy Dedication talents in as many trees as you want. It costs about 75-110 pts/talent (based on the tree, some are a bit more) in addition to the cost of taking the spec. You also get a variety of other bonuses on your way down to that talent, so I think this is pretty fair.
  2. The examples of the point differences above really show pretty minor changes, and as the number of specs purchased increases, the relative costs will even out even more, just because of the large number of points going into specs.
  3. Yeah, the droid costs suck right now, but at least the devs are paying attention to it.

I don't think an attribute rank one way or the other in late game is nearly as important as people seem to think it is. In late game, skills will typically outrank their associated attributes, and increasing attributes will lead to upgrading dice, not adding dice, which is a pretty minor impact on your roll in terms of success rate, # of advantages, and # of triumphs.

-WJL


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#14 Kallabecca

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 07:49 PM

I don't see this as a real issue. Yes, you might end up "behind" a few points if you don't buy the specializations in the "right" order, but with each Spec having 400-500XP worth of Talents, that really amounts to one game session's worth of XP over the course of a year of play.

Other games systems I play have this same cost structure. Savage Worlds has it. If you buy up a skill above the attribute, then raise the associated attribute, you end up short compared to someone who did it the other way around, but you got to use that higher skill before the other person. Same thing here. Yes, you spent a few more points to move into a new Spec, but 20/500 is only 4% of the Spec total.



#15 Sarone

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 04:04 AM

Kallabecca said:

 

I don't see this as a real issue. Yes, you might end up "behind" a few points if you don't buy the specializations in the "right" order, but with each Spec having 400-500XP worth of Talents, that really amounts to one game session's worth of XP over the course of a year of play.

Other games systems I play have this same cost structure. Savage Worlds has it. If you buy up a skill above the attribute, then raise the associated attribute, you end up short compared to someone who did it the other way around, but you got to use that higher skill before the other person. Same thing here. Yes, you spent a few more points to move into a new Spec, but 20/500 is only 4% of the Spec total.

 

 

300 Points max per Spec Tree, and that's if you take all the specs.  Minimum of 75 XP for certain specs if you're just after the Characteristic boost.

That maybe true, and it might be only "20" xp difference, but you are not considering what that 20 extra XP can help with.  Why waste points when you don't have to?

Mostly, I did the above so that people can have a good assessment of how to plan their character.  This goes doubly true for someone that wants to get into the Force Specs after the initial buy in.

Be mindful of this as well:  The above numbers in the brackets were going off getting 15 XP per game.  That's showing up, sling some dice, and complete the objective.  No roleplaying, no lowering the obligation, no extra/secret objectives.

Heck, roleplaying alone adds between 1 and 2 xp, which for the player using the last set (5 Specs @ 95 XP) can be done in 6 games instead of 7.  For group that meets once a week, that's a month and a half of gaming.  His skills and talents may not be very high up, but then again, you don't have to worry deciding on where to put the points later on, and you aren't concerned about extra costs for taking a skill outside your initial career/specialization list.



#16 Doc, the Weasel

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 06:07 AM

Again, does anyone have an argument for why the current system is a good idea, or even just better than the proposed change?

I don't think there is one.


Listen to my actual play podcasts at BeggingForXP.com.

 

Take a look at my Talent Trees (Edge of the Empire and Age of Rebellion), YT-2400 deck plans for the Lazy Bantha, as well as my other handouts.


#17 Kallabecca

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 06:33 AM

Sarone said:

Kallabecca said:

 

I don't see this as a real issue. Yes, you might end up "behind" a few points if you don't buy the specializations in the "right" order, but with each Spec having 400-500XP worth of Talents, that really amounts to one game session's worth of XP over the course of a year of play.

Other games systems I play have this same cost structure. Savage Worlds has it. If you buy up a skill above the attribute, then raise the associated attribute, you end up short compared to someone who did it the other way around, but you got to use that higher skill before the other person. Same thing here. Yes, you spent a few more points to move into a new Spec, but 20/500 is only 4% of the Spec total.

 

 

300 Points max per Spec Tree, and that's if you take all the specs.  Minimum of 75 XP for certain specs if you're just after the Characteristic boost.

That maybe true, and it might be only "20" xp difference, but you are not considering what that 20 extra XP can help with.  Why waste points when you don't have to?

Mostly, I did the above so that people can have a good assessment of how to plan their character.  This goes doubly true for someone that wants to get into the Force Specs after the initial buy in.

Be mindful of this as well:  The above numbers in the brackets were going off getting 15 XP per game.  That's showing up, sling some dice, and complete the objective.  No roleplaying, no lowering the obligation, no extra/secret objectives.

Heck, roleplaying alone adds between 1 and 2 xp, which for the player using the last set (5 Specs @ 95 XP) can be done in 6 games instead of 7.  For group that meets once a week, that's a month and a half of gaming.  His skills and talents may not be very high up, but then again, you don't have to worry deciding on where to put the points later on, and you aren't concerned about extra costs for taking a skill outside your initial career/specialization list.

And why is someone buying access to 4 more specializations that quickly? It doesn't gain them anything. In fact, buying access to those trees has now put them behind the group by a good amount of XP as they are still, for all intents and purposes, a starting character. In two months of game play your stats haven't changed. No new talents were bought. So… why? Again, that means the real "penalty" is spread out over a larger time frame of playing and so is really minor, if it has any real impact at all.



#18 Kallabecca

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 06:36 AM

Doc, the Weasel said:

Again, does anyone have an argument for why the current system is a good idea, or even just better than the proposed change?

I don't think there is one.

Actually, there are a few.

1) It discourages players from overspreading their character by trying to take on too many roles too quickly.

2) In later game play, it slows down the growth of the character a small bit, but at that point they have so many talents and probably a lot of maxed skills that not always getting a new ability every game session isn't unusual anymore.



#19 LethalDose

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 06:46 AM

Doc, the Weasel said:

Again, does anyone have an argument for why the current system is a good idea, or even just better than the proposed change?

I don't think there is one.

Doc, the Weasel said:

Again, does anyone have an argument for why the current system is a good idea, or even just better than the proposed change?

I don't think there is one.

The current system encourages players to stay within their career, which can be good or bad, depending on whether or not the devs are encouraging players to stick to the archetypes represented by the careers.

This could be seen as being needlessly restrictive.  

With the removal of a profession cap, I think there does need to be a progressive increase in cost for additional specs.  Your solution does this as well as the current system and solves what you see as a problem. And you have support here too.

Others, myself included (I fully agree with Kallbecca posts above.  Those views mirror my own from previous posts), do NOT see it as a problem, and view making the change you propose as simply making a change for its own sake, which in my view (and I assume, others' views, but I don't want to speak for them in a democratic forum) doesn't justify making the change. That's why, at least, I disagree with it.

I personally think this would be a much less severe problem, empirically, if the change to out of career skill cost was reversed.

-WJL 


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#20 Boehm

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 11:30 AM

Doc, the Weasel said:

Again, does anyone have an argument for why the current system is a good idea, or even just better than the proposed change?

I don't think there is one.

 






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