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Everything posted by Buhallin

  1. Just for fun, let's enumerate all this. Baseball Bat will break about 20% of the time, meaning you'll around 5 uses, and it takes both hands. Fire Axe requires you have no resources. Shriveling has backlash. Enchanted Blade has limited charges. .41 has limited charges. .45 has limited charges. Meat Cleaver costs you a horror. Thompson has limited charges, and costs 6 resources. Colt Vest Pocket has extra super limited charges and is impossible to have in play before you're engaged, so costs you damage or extra actions too. Knuckleduster hands them retaliate and risks damage, Survival Knife guarantees damage. Backstab, I've Got a Plan... Seriously? Jenny, Joe, Roland, Finn... one copy, AND limited charges. I'm seeing a theme here. So Magnifying Glass, Vantage Point, Flashlight, and Milan are stat mods, and completely different (otherwise we'd be talking about Beat Cop). Shortcut is certainly an awesome card, but doesn't actually get you clues. The only things in there that get you more effect for a single action are Fingerprint Kit, Deduction, Working a Hunch, and Connect the Dots. All of which are events or skills, which makes them... ...wait for it... limited use. Guardians have other options for extra damage too. Vicious Blow, Beat Cop, Dynamite, Guard Dog. All of which are... ...wait for it... limited use. Machete is UNLIMITED extra damage. No charges, no ammo, and a pretty trivial drawback. I'm not sure why that's so hard to grasp. The closest thing in there is Fire Axe, and it requires a pretty specific playstyle which closes off lots of other options (if it didn't nobody would care about Drawing Thin). How many people who can take both choose Fire Axe over Machete? Shotgun gives you two shots and takes both hands. Timeworn Brand is 5 XP, where it SHOULD be better, and gives you one card to draw into. Stick to the Plan is 6 XP to go with the Thompson, and will now require two actions to play, both hands, AND burns one of three very valuable slots that could be put to better use, all in a class that already struggles with resources... and STILL doesn't have as much damage potential as Machete. I get that you're invested in the idea that the Machete is useless at 2 XP, but... really? I mean... this is your choice for more efficient weapons than Machete at 2 XP? Here, I'll help you out a bit. If you ACTUALLY want a better weapon choice than Machete at 2 XP it's the Blackjack, assuming you're a multiplayer game. Same XP cost, same hand slots, easier limitation, costs one less resource, one more fight boost, and avoids friendly fire. If there's a real argument for Machete being less than 2 XP Blackjack is it, not some fantasy about how efficient the Thompson can be once you get Stick to the Plan.
  2. They do have several though, just not an unlimited one. I'm also not sure I agree with the base premise though. Sure, Guardians should be better, but should they do double the damage that everyone else does from the very beginning? Or should their strengths evolve and shine from the higher XP weapons? I'd compare them to Seekers, who don't have a permanent way to get 2 clues an action (now that Rex has been hit, anyway) but can grow into cards that enable big multi-clue grabs. IMHO I think it's better - Guardian/Seeker has always been the go-to pairing, because each was so good at their primary role they more than made up for the other half having none of it. Toning down those two out of the gate, while leaving them better and with the option to be the best once they evolve into it with some XP, weakens that best pairing a bit and makes playing the other classes less of a self-imposed handicap. We could debate to whether that's a better design until the heat death of the universe, although I think that discussion is impossibly colored by the fact that the ability existed previously - humans respond notoriously poorly to loss. This entire discussion is colored by this from the very beginning - every one of these cards would be respectably good in their new versions, but half the people out there seem to be refusing to accept the changes. If Machete(2) were the only thing released people would think it was a great pairing with Blackjack, and a great option because it removed the ammo limitation that damage-increasing weapons typically had. But we've had it, take it away and everyone loses their minds.
  3. The only thing worse than relying on an anecdote is relying on a personal one. I skimmed through the first few pages of Arkham DB. Excluding Carolyn, 17 of 20 decks I found that could take Machete, did. So no, I wouldn't say you're any more relevant than anyone else, and the vast majority of decks that can include Machete do so. That's not necessarily a problem in and of itself, as has been discussed ad nauseum, but a limitless L0 weapon that adds damage is something they've obviously decided doesn't fit with the rest of the L0 weapons.
  4. And each has limited charges. It's not really hard to see the design thinking here, and no amount of "Well, I didn't use it in that one deck that could have so it's fine" is going to change that.
  5. I'm not sure how? You said: I'm disagreeing with both these things pretty explicitly. It's a one-handed increased damage weapon with a fight boost. It's still a solid choice at 2XP with interesting advantages and limitations compared to the other weapon choices at 2XP, and I rarely replace it, rather supplementing it with other options. So yeah, pretty sure I'm not agreeing with any of that.
  6. I disagree with this (and I know I've seen plenty of other discussion that I'm not alone in this). A non-limited, one-handed, 2 damage weapon has carried lots of people all the way through the campaign. At a minimum when I've added weapons as a Guardian it's always been on top of the Machete, never replacing it - I typically hope to have the Machete early and save the big guns for big fights.
  7. Machete costs one more for a +1 fight bonus over the Colt. If you ever have to reload the Colt, you've now spent an extra action and 5 total resources. The action is probably offset by engagements with the Machete (outside solo), but the resource cost is real. In solo, the Machete is still obviously better for the Fight boost and ongoing damage. Larger multiplayer, it's probably the Blackjack, and where the transition point is between the two will be personal preference. The Colt gets around melee hate, of which there isn't a trivial amount. IMHO that's the epitome of interesting choices, not a "This puts Machete in the box forever".
  8. This seems entirely backwards to me. Rogues are indeed the money faction. Their baseline is generally less, but they make up for that by having lots and lots of resources. So why do they get more from spending those resources than anyone else? As a rough consideration, assume both have a +1/1 resource booster. A Rogue has a 3 stat and a primary has a 4, but Rogues get 3 resources to 2 for the primary. Both spend everything they got and end at the same 6 skill. Now throw Streetwise in - they both end at 6, but the Rogue spends the same instead of more. The faction that's about getting and spending money didn't spend any extra money, but rather got more efficiency for it. Their resources didn't make up for their lack - Streetwise did, all by itself. When you combine the ability to make more money AND an ability to apply that money more efficiently, it gets obscene.
  9. Stick to the Plan is great, and it's also 6 XP. Charisma and Relic Hunter do nothing on their own. They enable you to do more with the cards you draw, but those must still be drawn and paid for. The stat boosters, on the other hand, do something all by themselves, and they provide identical functionality to other cards which you do have to draw and pay for. And in the cases of the ones that got hit by the big stick they do so more efficiently. Higher Education as a card that cost 3 XP, wasn't permanent, and maybe 2 resources to play would still be a pretty solid card. As a permanent it's also granting you guaranteed presence from the very start, and saves you an action, and saves you a card draw, and saves you a few resources. That's just insane.
  10. Interesting and informative, but I think this still fits into the structure I suggested. There are any number of things that a deck can try and do, and mix and match them. But the fundamental approach to how you meet those needs is the same - you look at the possible cards you can take for each slot, you evaluate how they accomplish what you want them to do, consider the context of how well they can do that in relation to the rest of your deck, etc. Like I said, that can even just be prioritizing theme - we're going to the jungle so Beat Cops don't make sense so I'm not going to take them, etc. Where I'm confused is that phillos doesn't seem to approach it the same way, to the point that I'm "talking a different language". I'm very curious what the alternative is. I agree with this. I think they dramatically undervalued the benefit of Permanent cards, especially as stat boosters. The cost increases seem to bear this out, with the only unchanged ones being a lot more situational.
  11. Well gee, if you've already said everything worth saying, I guess we're done here I have to admit I'm really kind of losing the thread on your point here. For someone who insists they don't care about the power level of cards at all you really seem to feel that using the Taboos would ruin your entire experience. As near as I can figure you seem to just have a massive hate on for the entire concept of errata, which is in complete isolation from the actual cards involved. If you don't even deckbuild to the point of comparing any possible card to another then what does it matter if Higher Ed costs 8 instead of 3, or Rex only gets one extra clue a turn? Why does that diminish your enjoyment? I'm also not sure how I'm talking a different language here, because what I presented is pretty fundamental to any effort to build a deck in a customizable game. You have a limited number of card slots. You have tasks you need the deck to accomplish. You have ways the deck can interact with itself. You have a good card but it's expensive, do you add ways to gain more resources or find a similar card to fill that role? Do you take one copy, or two, to increase your chances of drawing it? It's not about min-maxing, or at least doesn't have to be, but if you expect anything to run well this is a pretty core process. How exactly do you build a deck? Do you do it entirely for theme (which I covered)? Do you care about capability at all? Do you just take the first card you happen to come across that catches your interest? Let the cat loose on your collection for half an hour and just take the 30 cards that end up on top of the pile when he's done?
  12. This is moving the goal posts on the challenge level though. I think a lot of people seem to be looking at this like Ultimatums, because both are optional - here's something that you can choose if you want to make your experience voluntarily harder. But that's not how it's presented. Don't undervalue the fun people get in min-maxing something like this. I find it's actually MORE common in cooperative games - there's nobody's feelings to hurt on the other side of the table, so you can really cut loose and feel awesome about what you manage to accomplish. Maybe. Yet the developers decided to fix it. That says something, I think, and it's an important something. Of course, Jobu found the quote that says that something a lot more explicitly, so...
  13. I honestly don't see how this can be supported. Sure, we can argue about whether Milan or Rex really needed the fix and how necessary this is. But there are inclusions in the list (like Ace in the Hole and Quick Thinking) that clearly and obviously exist solely to fix things like Rita's infinite actions. Ace in the Hole was nobody's idea of a problem card outside of that degenerative combo. It being on the list seems like a pretty explicit admission that it was a problem for the game. Edit: One other thought here is that the dramatic nature of the changes points pretty strongly to an admission of imbalance. I can look at Switchblade or Scrapper and say "Yeah, maybe a little too good, nice tweak". But Streetwise and Higher Ed effectively went up a level and became Exceptional. Milan and Rex had their benefits cut to a third (give or take) of what they previously provided. There is nothing subtle about these changes, and it's impossible for a card to be balanced at both 3 and 8 XP.
  14. I think this misses how most people play LCGs. Just because there's no player across from you doesn't mean there isn't an arms race. There is still something to beat, and people want to beat it as best they can. Literally EVERY player does this, even you. I don't know for sure, but I'd be willing to bet that you run multiple copies of a unique card in your deck? Why? To make it better. Simple as that. Specific cards are no different. Now sure, maybe you're the epitome of the "experience" player, or lean super-heavy into the RPG side and never play allies when you're in another dimension. That's cool. But it misses the way the vast majority of people play, and ignores what the GAME needs. Shotgun vs. Lightning Gun is actually a great example of this done right. Sure, most people prefer the Lightning Gun. But the Shotgun has a higher damage cap, costs less experience, and is arguably better for some investigators. Choosing one over the other also affects other deck designs - Shotgun needs a higher skill to make it work, whereas Lightning Gun brings its own big mods. If we expand the pool, the BAR brings flexibility at the cost of being less efficient overall. These are interesting design choices. There is no such choice in Higher Education (which I'm going to start using for Milan). Let's compare it to the upgraded Hyperawareness - for one more XP you don't have to draw it, don't have to spend an action to play it, get twice the resource efficiency, and get a better selection of stats. The only downside is the lack of agility icons if you commit it. In no way are those two comparable. Fixing Higher Education doesn't shut doors - it opens them. There's an actual choice now, because the XP cost is higher. And as someone mentioned, higher enough that it may take you two scenarios to save for it. Is it worth it? Is it better to upgrade Hyperawareness and get the coverage for half the XP? Maybe maybe not, but at least there's a choice there now. I'm sorry, but this is simply wrong. Every card you choose to include in your deck carries an opportunity cost. NO card decision is in isolation. For everything you want a card to do, you have to consider whether something else does it better. That may not mean the same thing for everyone. "Better" may mean "Does this fit the theme of my investigator better?" And that's fine. But at the end of the game, the Agenda doesn't care how well you respect your theme, and you aren't going to win or lose based on that. The game has a lot of flavor, but it also has strongly defined success conditions and that's what a vast majority of people play towards.
  15. Ultimatums weren't designed to fix balance problems with the game. If there was a broad consensus that the game was too easy and the best way to fix that was adding a second autofail, then it would be in the same vein. And that's really the core of my concern. If the "Taboos won't affect anything going forward" view is accurate, then they're basically saying "Yes, we know these are a problem but we're not going to do anything about it. Here are a few things you can change to make yourselves feel better about it."
  16. This is pretty much my point. I don't see how they don't take the Taboos as a new baseline for future design. The entire idea that these are a purely optional thing that will have no other impact just doesn't seem like it can hold up. Milan gets dragged out as an example a lot, but others have a much bigger impact. Shroud values can't be set assuming Higher Education, because it makes it impossible for anyone not a Seeker. But this was always the case no matter how strongly they phrased the errata. Nobody was going to show up at your door and ensure you were exhausting Milan. And while I can appreciate the salve to the conscience of those who might feel set-upon by errata, doing it the way they did leaves a big gray area. It's all well and good to say that nothing in the future will be designed based on these, but I'm not sure that's the case, or at the very least it would be nice to know for sure. Is the baseline to assume Seekers have tons of money so playing with the limited Milan is a handicap? Or do they not, so playing without the Taboos becomes a new easy mode? I don't think anyone seems to know for sure, and everyone's making their declarations based more on whether they like the idea of it being optional or not.
  17. The more I think about this, the less I'm sure what the point is. If it's all voluntary and none of it is going to affect card design (player or encounter) going forward, a lot of it feels pointless. Some of the changes do provide a developer-suggested middle ground short of just not using the card at all, but others (like Ace in the Hole) seem explicitly geared towards shutting down particular degenerate combos. My choice is to use the Taboo list which prevents me using the combo, or... just not use the combo. And assuming we ever get anything on the actual Forbidden list, it's exactly the same. I'm also not sure all the "Everything will be designed like this doesn't exist" really holds either. Does anyone think we'll get a new round of permanent 3 XP boosters like Higher Ed, or another Seeker card that generates resources as well as Milan? At the very least, the list represents an acknowledgement that those cards were design mistakes and I have a hard time seeing them repeat those mistakes just because the list is voluntary.
  18. I think this depends on the card in question. Milan crowded out every other Seeker ally because he was so good. The permanent boosters made taking any resource-for-stat cards redundant. If a card takes up a limited slot (like an ally or neck slot) and is far beyond anything else, I think it is a problem. Same for cards which provide the same functionality. Ideally those should be in the same league, or provide other tradeoffs. When there are obviously and clearly better options the only balancing becomes a choice to self-limit. Which can be done, obviously, but players really shouldn't have to do so.
  19. They do at least explain this in the FAQ: If an ability allows you to “take an action,” it is as though you are gaining an action and immediately spending it to perform that action. It's a pretty odd (and not otherwise defined, IMHO) rule, but they do at least explain it and why it's different.
  20. Just a minor point here, this is in the FAQ, not the Rules Reference. I hadn't caught it before and it drove me nuts trying to figure out where it actually was, because it wasn't there
  21. The Rita infinite deck, while requiring a lot of parts, did indeed break the core mechanics. IMHO cards can be broken even if they don't auto-win you the game by virtue of crowding out everything else, and requiring active designing around. LOTR is a good example of this. There are a number of very powerful cards in the early sets that skew literally everything that comes behind it, whether it's player cards (Leadership tax) or encounter cards (how many enemies can Gandalf's arrival one-shot these days?) That's my one concern with calling them optional. What's the baseline for design going forward? Will Seeker cards be based around Higher Education being hard to get, or easy? Will costs assume you've got access to the best money maker in the game? It would be helpful to know if respecting the Taboos is standard, and ignoring them is easy mode, or if they're optional, and using them is harder mode.
  22. I see it less as assuaging guilt than opening up options. Even if you're willing to try janky decks, it's hard to ignore the power level of a lot of these cards. And even if you're not taking them because they're crazy powerful, they fill niches and you get the crazy power along with it. Being able to use Milan without him covering every resource need makes deck building more interesting. The higher cost on Higher Education means there's a real choice between it and, say, the L2 Hyperawareness. And so on.
  23. I wonder if I've been thinking about Shortcut wrong? Page 3: Some abilities have bold action designators (such as Fight, Evade, Investigate, or Move). Activating such an ability performs the designated action as described in the rules, but modified in the manner described by the ability. Shortcut(2) could be a move action, which is modified by being a fast trigger so you don't spend an action on it. I've been treating it just like a fast ability, but I'm thinking it's more like Ursula's ability in that it gives you an action without having to pay the action cost. That would make it consistent.
  24. Not sure I agree that it would make it more relevant. If you kept the modifier, it almost becomes "Fail your next skill test, then shuffle it in". As it is, it's sort of a constant risk but not that guaranteed to go off. IMHO this makes it more interesting, as you have to constantly be aware of the potential and account for it for a much longer period of time. Higher probability of failure would mean you just take a few low-importance tests to get it to go away.
  25. Milan needed to change because he defined Seekers as a money faction, and did it all by himself. Resources were never an issue if you had him, but a serious limitation if you didn't. Every Seeker I ever played was night and day for a scenario depending on whether I had Milan in my opening hand. Once you had him out he's almost a free Emergency Cache every turn. It was just too much. 8 XP for the permanent boosters (or 5 for Scrapper) doesn't seem out of line for what you get. Yes, it makes them expensive, but they're incredibly efficient boosters that cost nothing to play, don't take up deck space, and aren't dependent on a draw. They completely invalidate every other pay-for stat boost in the game. And that's even before you get to the three that got hit covering even better stats than the ones you have to draw (with the possible exception of Streetwise not giving a Fight boost). Key of Ys... meh. I would rather have seen it get an errata that made it harder to keep around by requiring all horror to be placed on it first, but making it Exceptional will make it a lot less reliable to build an entire deck around. Rex is an obvious change as well. A lot of the other changes seem to target specific combos like the Rita infinite action loop, or are just sort of general. I'm sad seeing Elusive get hit, but it's honestly an incredible card for 0XP - free disengage and a near-unlimited move is always incredible even before you consider the potential it has to trivialize any number of scenarios. Sleight fixes bouncing Flamethrowers and can still do Lupara, so that makes me happy. Machete is obvious, and the Switchblade seems (as mentioned above) to be more of a general tweak to make ammo-based weapons a little more worth it. I'm a little nervous about that though, as Guardians no longer have a real damage-boosting melee weapon at L0. It's going to change how they have to approach the early game pretty dramatically (which is probably a good argument that the change needed to happen).
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