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#1 gribble

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 09:49 AM

I saw a post a few days ago by LethalDose that enumerated his list of the biggest outstanding issues with the game, and now I can't find it.

I think it'd be worth tracking these in a thread, both for the Game Devs to reference, and also for those of us running games to be aware of. Here's my take:

1) The number of advantages generated, especially on failed rolls, is too high:

This is an issue, because it becomes cumbersome in play to spend large amounts of advantage for each roll, especially when the roll is failed as the most commonly activated (and usually most expensive) options - critical hits and weapon qualities - can't usually be activated on a failure (miss). There is also no "example uses for advantage" table for out of combat skills, so if the given examples for a skill aren't appropriate it's often difficult to come up with options on the fly.

Suggested fixes:

  • Re-tool the dice, to make the distribution of results more sensible.
  • Triumph/despair count as three successes, to swing the dice math in favour of success/failure.
  • Make triumph/despair "explode" (add an additional die of that type to the roll).

2) Soak values are too high:

This results in fairly non-cinematic combat, where two equally armed/armoured foes will take 4-5 direct hits to take each other down. Also, the naked wookie syndrome, where a character optimised for melee will be nigh-invunerable to attacks.

Suggested fixes:

  • Make base soak 1/2 Brawn rather than Brawn.
  • Increase weapon damage values.

3) Autofire weapon quality is too good, especially when targeting a single opponent:

Only costing one advantage makes autofire particularly good, especially against a single target (where 2-3 advantage can result in double to triple damage against that target, usually enough with the already high damage from autofire capable weapons to drop/kill an opponent with one attack).

Suggested fixes:

  • Make activating autofire cost two advantages.
  • Make activating autofire more expensive for successive hits on the same opponent.
  • Give other options (suppression, etc) for spending advantage with autofire.
  • Make additional hits based on extra successes rather than advantages, giving the option of more damage on a single target vs additional hits on other targets.

4) Melee weapons are too weak:

Unless a character is specialised in melee, the damage values seem too low against an average opponent. Also, there is only one option for customising melee weapons (superior).

Suggested fixes:

  • Increase melee weapon damage values.
  • Add additional customisation options for melee weapons.

5) Step between vehicle/starship and personal scales too large:

Most vehicle scale armour is completely impervious to personal weapons without the Breach quality, making combat against vehicles very binary - either it has armour and can't be hurt, or it doesn't and is no tougher than something at character scale. The converse is true for vehicle/starship weapons - they autokill characters at personal scale. There needs to be a smoother scale to accomodate characters taking on light vehicles in personal scale.

Suggested fixes:

  • A three step 1-5-10 multiplier between personal-vehicle-starship scales.
  • Reduce the multiplier between personal and vehicle/starship scale to 5, and increase the armour/hull integrity and damage values for the larger vehicles and starships accordingly.

What have I missed?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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#2 Venthrac

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 10:42 AM

I really just wanted to post "Looks good to me!", but my post failed because it was too short.

Seems a bit draconian, but there it is.



#3 Donovan Morningfire

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 12:04 PM

Just some thoughts on the various points you listed.

#1) Number of Advantages.
Since the dice for at least the Beginner Box have likely gone to press as it were, re-tooling the dice probably isn't a feasible option.  However, in light of that, perhaps an alternative would be to flip the Explosion and Alliance Firebird to equal Advantages and Successes respectively.  This will probably make successes a lot more common and Advantages less so, but it doesn't require any changes to the existing dice.  Even if FFG feels the math works the way they envision it and thus don't make any changes, it's a very easy to implement house rule for any GM's that don't wish to make the paradigm shift that EotE is asking them to make in regards to what counts as a 'successful role.'  To which I posit that perhaps the only roll that is truly a 'failure' from the developers' view is one that generates no successes and no advantages.  Again, not a conventional view on the success/failure aspect of RPGs, and not one that everyone is willing to embrace.

#2) Soak Values too High.
Given how dangerous this system can be to a character that's not spec'd for combat (average Soak Value 2 and Wound Threshold 12), I'm not sure that Soak Value's are "too high," particularly when it comes to weapons that fall into the Ranged (Heavy) category, with the primary exception being a character that has chosen to focus on being a damage sponge (4+ Brawn, padded armor, possibly even Enduring talent), but from what I've seen most characters tend to average about a 3 for Soak Value (Brawn 2 + heavy clothing), which leaves them plenty vulnerable to damage from a blaster pistol.

It's also general conceit in RPGs that handguns (which is what most characters in EotE will be packing) don't have the kind of stopping power that a rifle does.  That said, the proposal of having Soak Value use one-half the character's Brawn (rounded down, minimum of Soak 2 before armor) would probably address that concern, though it does make the game much more dangerous for the PCs, a point to keep in mind.

#3) Autofire quality is too good.
Agreed, and by association so to is the Linked quality too good, as it turns starship battles into "who hits first" more than anything.  Granted, I haven't had much play experience with Autofire, but what little I've had suggests that setting the cost to the default "2 Advantage to activate" that most qualities have would be the best and simplest fix.

#4) Melee Weapons too weak.
I guess it depends on what sort of melee weapon you're using.  A vibro-knife or combat knife a pretty wimpy, but a Brawn 3 hero with a Vibro-Ax is going to mow thru most mooks (6 Damage with Piercing 2, dealing what amounts to 8 damage on a basic hit).  That said, I think a +1 to the Melee weapons (except Truncheon) would be sufficient, putting a few of them back at their Pre-Week 3 Update values.  And while the vibro-weapons were perhaps too good as originally written in terms of damage, and thus were in need of a reduction in damage values, but not qutie as drastic as what they got.

#5) Add an extra step (Vehicle Scale) between Personal Scale and Starship Scale to cover planetary craft.
Agree that not having planetary vehicles be at Starship Scale would be a good thing, as we've got some movie instances and plenty of EU examples of the heroic leads using personal-scale weapons to take out smaller planetary vehicles, such as civilian landspeeders and speeder bikes, so providing the PCs with the means to do so would be a good thing.  As much fun as it was in WEG, I can accept that shooting down a TIE Fighter with a blaster pistol isn't possible in EotE, but the solider with a blaster rifle should at least have some chance of crippling a fleeing speeder, so I think the 1-5-10 scale would work for Personal <-> Vehicle <->  Starship scaling

I don't think you missed much of anything.  While I don't think all of these are "critical" issues (only #3 truly fits that category), I can accept that not everyone feels the same.


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#4 Exalted5

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 03:50 PM

 Gribble:  the original list is in the week 7 thread… Maybe first or second page.  There is some good stuff in there.  I'm on a mobile device, else I'd cut and paste some of it in here.  I think you and DM captured the bulk of it, though…



#5 LethalDose

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 05:45 PM

This is a blatant & shameless act of self promotion, but because the people asked for it…

 LethalDose said:

… in order of decreasing priority:

  1. Fix the dice mechanics.  [Top priority]
  2. Auto-fire is too powerful.  
  3. Mild skill consolidation.
  4. Droids still need a boost (though the Enduring talent makes a lot of sense, there's a long way to go).
  5. Damage scaling between characters, vehicles, and starships feels clunky, and could afford some tweaking.
  6. Provide a use for vigilance for force powers.
  7. Add specialization career skills for Force Exiles. [Lowest priority]

Proposed solutions, respective to list above:

  1. Either address source of the problem (distribution of symbols on the dice), OR re-balance ability costs, maneuvers, defense, etc to reflect the source (player vs luck vs GM ruling) and actual effect (numerical advantage provided) of the abilities.
  2. Increase cost to activate AF.  Regardless, please make changes in small increments: start with increasing the adv cost to 2, then re-evaluate.
  3. Officially break rigid ties between skills and attributes.  Allow the appropriate attribute for a skill to vary by the task at hand.  This will allow consolidation of pilot skills, vigilance/perception/surveillance['s old uses], and potentially others.
  4. Consider giving Droids either a set of integrated equipment starting packages, about 2 per class OR provide droids with a credit allowance at creation to purchase integrated equipment.
  5. Create new damage scale "Speeder" or "Vehicle" for Landspeeders, airspeeders, AT-PTs, etc.  Ratio of character:speeder:starship scale something around 1:5:10.  TIE's and AT-ATs can stay "Starship" scale.  Or just scale armor value to silhouette or something.
  6. This description hasn't been removed from the Vigilance tree, and I think the majority of players feel that adding discipline uses to the Influence and Move powers was generally positive.  Provide similar uses for Vigilance to the Sense power (either default or via control upgrades).
  7. Discipline and Vigilance should be the minimum of the Force Exile's spec skill list.  This can allow the removal of the Insight talent.  This frees a talent slot in the tree to add a "Clear your mind" talent or other talent.

[Mostly joking in the first line, re-posting here because it was referenced]

I hate to say this [or 'say this again" as I think I've consented in other threads], but I think it is probably too late to make changes to the dice since the beginner's box got rushed to the printers.  Its a real shame, because I don't know how else to fix the upgrade mechanic, and we're going to be stuck with these dice not just here, but in 2 more games!  Though I guess they could change dice for Age of Rebellion and claim to make the change retroactive (e.g. new dice to use with old systems, or new dice and new systems that replace old ones).

I do think #1 can be fixed by changing rules & costs.  I just don't feel it's the best method of addressing the problem because it is a clumsier & much, much larger undertaking than modifying the generating mechanism.  Though after reading some other recent posts tonight, I'm more optimistic that it could produce acceptable results.

As for whats on this thread, I'm really happy that 2 adv for auto-fire is getting some traction, instead of other more involved or convoluted fixes.

I don't think soak is to low.  I'm happy to see combat be pretty dangerous.

I think that melee weapons should get a buff, to round out the difficulty and danger of close-quarters combat.

I think that's it.  

Thanks for mentioning my list in the initial post, Gribble.  And thanks for saying it was worthwhile, Exalted5.  I appreciate the support.

-WJL


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#6 LethalDose

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 08:04 PM

 One day I'll learn to read.  I assumed the soak complaint was the same one I'd seen elsewhere: too low.

I think soak is fine where it is, I don't think it needs changing.  Defense needs work though.

-WJL


"All models are wrong, but some models are useful."  - George E. P. Box


#7 borithan

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 12:07 AM

Oh, I know it isn't a big issue, but all the bits about "Way! We're awesome because we don't use maps, and it is so intuitive n cinematic n stuff" can go. It really irritates me (it did in WFRP as well). Not having maps is not better. It isn't worse either. It is purely a design choice. Some games suit one, some suit another, and some do both (to greater or lesser extents).

Its not like it really makes it easier either (in WFRP I just take the fatigue to go the full range band as I cannot be bothered remembering how much of a fraction of a range band I have maneuvered yet). In fact, often a map (and the minutiae of counting squares or whatever) makes it easier to understand what is going on, and can be quicker, as long as players don't get obsessive about square counting. It keeps it clear the general outlay of what is going on, rather than different people having very different ideas of what is going on and then being upset as something they thought wouldn't be possible suddenly occurs.



#8 Boehm

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 01:09 AM

 

 Here is a thought regarding Melee weapons:

 

Leave melee dam as it is, but set difficulty to 1d vs. opponents not wielding a melee weapon ( riffle counts as improvised and thus not a proper melee weapon unless attached with a bajonet!)

This would give a nice boost to melee weapons and at the same time encourage characters to atleast carry a combat knife to defend themselves …
 



#9 Venthrac

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 02:16 AM

Do we know for sure that the Beginner's Box was "rushed to the printer"? I'll be happy to have the physical dice sooner.

And I'll toss my hat in the ring with the Soak thing… I've played a bit of the game and soak seemed fine to me. It's usually very low, but on soldiers or other professional combatants, it was higher. That feels about right.



#10 EldritchFire

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 04:16 AM

For auto-fire, what if it was made a function of successes, instead of advantage? Since one success means you hit, then you should be able to spend 2 successes to hit again. Just like with many skills, every additional 2 successes does something extra.

Or 1 cumulative success for each additional hit. So the first additional hit is 1 success, the second additional hit is 2 success, and the 3rd additional hit costs 3 success. Meaning one success is one hit, two successes is two hits, 4 successes is 3 hits, and 7 successes is 4 hits. Nah, that's too much.

Still, the idea of auto-fire being success-based has precedence in many skills. Charm allows you to spend additional successes to extend the duration of the support given, and additional successes on a stealth check lets you add boost dice to your ally's stealth pool.

-EF



#11 Callidon

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 05:37 AM

I've done something similar with Autofire EF, and it was more or less successful (my two sessions cannot really constitute exhaustive testing).

Additional successes with Autofire allow for increased full damage hits on the same target.  Walking fire works as written, where advantage can be spent to apply secondary hits to adjacent targets.  Any weapon with the cumbersome quality advantage equal to its cumbersome rating to perform walking fire (so a light repeating blaster without any harnesses, would require four advantage to walk-fire).  I slotted in Suppressive Fire which can be activated for two successes or two advantage and one success.  It doesn't do any damage but it denies anyone in the targeted engagement their free maneuver on their next turn because they are ducking or otherwise reacting to the flying death-storm around them.  It may seem rather lackluster but it can slow advancing enemies down, and make for a more Strain-y time if subjects want to move and attack in a turn that they have been suppressed in.   I've also added a new weapon quality called Spread.  Some weapons simply toss out shots at an accelerated rate (stock blaster rifles, or my auto-fire mod for blaster pistols for example).  Others are going to just hose an area down with life altering bolts/bullets/energy/etc (this is where your repeating blasters and modded blaster rifles are going to come in).  Spread is essentially the Blast quality applied to auto-fire weapons.  Spread cannot be applied in the same action that walking fire is used…because you would be hitting a full engagement and then switching to another target in that engagement and hitting the full engagement…it would only make sense in odd cases so I cut the linkage there.  When spread is activated the Spread damage is applied to an entire engagement instead of the default weapon damage.

So a Light Repeating Blaster in my version of the game now has Autofire (my version), Cumbersome 4,  Pierce 1, and Spread 7.  It takes extra successes to perform additional full hits (using the previously suggested Three successes per Triumph makes Autofire weapons a bit scary, swingy and unpredictable which I really like).  If desired, the active character must generate 4 advantage (due to Cumbersome 4) to walk an extra (assuming multiple successes are generated) hit onto an adjacent target because this thing kicks like a mule and it's hard to be accurate with the Star Wars equivalent of the mini-gun.  OR…you can just spend 2 advantage, activate Spread 7 and hose an engagement down with bullets/bolts/death/magma/bees/etc with a 7damage hit.  If you get a triumph or extra successes and have a four advantage to spend?  You could spread the hits out between a couple targets in an engagement…OR…you could apply Spread 7 twice to the entire engagement.

It worked for me and my group, but I've most certainly neglected something in my tweaking of Autofire…or perhaps it's over complicated?

 

 


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#12 Venthrac

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 06:25 AM

Another way to handle would be to treat Autofire like Blast. For each success beyond the first (or maybe for every 2 full advantages), the attack can deal damage equal to the weapon's Autofire rating to either the original target, or another target that is either engaged with, or within short range of, the original target (so this is walking fire).

In this case, Autofire would gain a numerical rating like Blast, so a weapon might have Autofire 6 or Autofire 8 or whatever. However, I'd think it would be wise to require that Soak be applied individually to the main attack and to each additional application, so you don't get huge stacks of damage on one character.
 



#13 LethalDose

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 06:34 AM

Venthrac said:

Do we know for sure that the Beginner's Box was "rushed to the printer"? I'll be happy to have the physical dice sooner.

And I'll toss my hat in the ring with the Soak thing… I've played a bit of the game and soak seemed fine to me. It's usually very low, but on soldiers or other professional combatants, it was higher. That feels about right.

Status is listed here, scroll about 75% of the way down, or use the filters to find "RPGs" that are "At the printers". It was posted there about a month ago (listed announcement on 27.Sept). 

It's frustrating because the problems with the dice were demonstrated just after the first set of patch notes, and despite some dev responses to the thread, FFG never commented on whether the mechanism was "functioning as intended" or not.  After three weeks, they announced the beginners box, which was immediately listed as "at the printers".

-WJL


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#14 Venthrac

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 07:04 AM

Yep, I see it there. Thanks for pointing that out, Dose.

I wonder… if a product is "At the printer's", maybe that just mean some parts of it are being printed. The rules adn dice could still be in flux, but they could print other elements of the Beginner Box that are not directly connected to those things.



#15 LethalDose

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 08:50 AM

Venthrac said:

Yep, I see it there. Thanks for pointing that out, Dose.

I wonder… if a product is "At the printer's", maybe that just mean some parts of it are being printed. The rules adn dice could still be in flux, but they could print other elements of the Beginner Box that are not directly connected to those things.

You have no idea how badly I hope this is true: FFG held off creating the dice that will go into the game and that later today or next week we'll see a revised dice design. 

I'm not getting my hopes up though.

-WJL


"All models are wrong, but some models are useful."  - George E. P. Box


#16 gribble

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 04:00 PM

Guys - the autofire activated using successes is already listed as a potential fix in my initial post!

:)

Thanks for posting the original list that kicked off this idea LD. From your list, I think there are two further things that can legitimately be considered "biggest issues". I wish these forums allowed me to edit the initial post, but here they are:

6) Skill (and now after the week 8 update, Talent) assignment and consolidation

After the removal of the Surveillance skill, we're left with a system that has a bunch of really narrow skills (Cool/Vigilance, Underworld/Streetwise/Skullduggery, Negotiation/Charm) and some really broad skills (Perception, Mechanics, Education). There needs to be either more consolidation - or reinstated and enhanced narrowing - to ensure that every skill is equally useful.

Related to this, there are a number of careers/specialisations that have poorly matched career skills (Doctor missing Xenology and other examples) that should be addressed. This was made worse by the week 8 update that removed some odd (and very core in some cases) talents to give all specialisations access to defensive talents.

Suggested fixes:

  • Consolidate a number of very narrow skills into single more general skills.
  • Or, split a number of very general skills into multiple more narrowly focussed skills.
  • Revisit the list of career/specialisation skills and talents to ensure they all make sense (preferably after the previous suggestions are completed).
  • Break the link between skills and attributes, allowing (potentially, at GM discretion) any attribute to be used with any skill.

7) Droids are underpowered

Droids seem to be, by common consensus, the weakest of the playable species. Devs have stated that they want them to be very good at one thing, but the current design just seems to make them as good as everyone else can be at one thing, and lowsy at everything else.

Suggested fixes:

  • Allow droid characters to start with a single career skill at 3 ranks during character creation.
  • Give droids "type" customisation packages or templates, allowing them additional characteristics/skills/talents for free in a narrow area.
  • Give droids integrated equipment packages, or an additional starting credit allowance to purchase integrated equipment.

 

 


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#17 beeblebrox

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 04:35 PM

Break the link between characteristic and skill

This is one of the most underrated ideas proposed so far. This is an idea that encourages the creativeness that is already inherent in the system and allows the developers to create broader skills far more efficiently. For example, the "Athletics to Repair" issue that some people had issues with would be Mechanics with Brawn as its characteristics. Seeing as how fast building dice pools is once players get used to it, compared to the complicated math in d20, this mechanic wouldn't really be a time/complexity issue either.

The one issue I can see popping up would be players twisting to use their best characteristic whenever possible. This could be cool, since it encourages creative and cinematic scenes, but it could also lead to some player/GM conflict.



#18 Boehm

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 11:00 PM

beeblebrox said:

Break the link between characteristic and skill

This is one of the most underrated ideas proposed so far. This is an idea that encourages the creativeness that is already inherent in the system and allows the developers to create broader skills far more efficiently. For example, the "Athletics to Repair" issue that some people had issues with would be Mechanics with Brawn as its characteristics. Seeing as how fast building dice pools is once players get used to it, compared to the complicated math in d20, this mechanic wouldn't really be a time/complexity issue either.

+1



#19 aramis

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 05:16 AM

 I think 4 scales - personal, vehicle, ship, capital -with x3 each, would be better than the current two. WEG  had the same initial oversight, too.



#20 LethalDose

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 07:57 AM

aramis said:

 I think 4 scales - personal, vehicle, ship, capital -with x3 each, would be better than the current two. WEG  had the same initial oversight, too.

This has been discussed at length in another thread.  The problem with the WEG (had 6-7 scales) was that it was far too complex.  Seeing as how capital ship combat is absolutely not a focus of this system (explicitly being held for Age of Rebellion for an extensive treatment), we just don't need a capital scale for this game.

The vehicle scale would be useful.

-WJL


"All models are wrong, but some models are useful."  - George E. P. Box





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