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MaliciousOnion

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  1. Like
    MaliciousOnion reacted to Nimsim in Soooooooo..... How'd Dark Heresy Turn Out?   
    Well, here are some basic issues:
     
    Failure in this system is inherently boring, as well as occurring with a high amount of frequency.
    The d100 system has always scaled poorly among different skill levels and especially for non-humans or monsters.
    The system encourages finding lots of modifiers in order to succeed, which in turn slows down play and punishes newer players
    The combat system has never really bridged the gap between the fluff and playability (survivability vs. weapon performance, etc.)
    The system,in it's "evolution" has constantly been adding on new rules that don't integrate well with existing ones, create unintuitive or broken interactions, or increase complexity without increasing depth
    There is a very complex combat system with little guidance on actually using it or balancing encounters, due to the fact that the system is not actually possible to balance
    The core system does not serve to emphasize much beyond getting into combat, with everything else being one-and-done skill rolls.
     
    Those are the issues I could think up in about five minutes, but I'm sure there are a lot more. All of those issues have either been "solved" or at least addressed by more modern game systems. You can say if it ain't broke, don't fix it, but the fact is that the system isn't broken so much as outdated. People back at the turn of the 20th century thought a car going 15 miles per hour was unnaturally fast, but times have changed, and the introduction of modern technology has changed how we perceive things. RPG design is a technology itself, and seeing more modern designs has really highlighted the flaws in a lot of these old systems. Even to hear how a lot of people actually run things, most of the rules end up being ignored, which indicates that the system is wasting a lot of ink on things that won't be used.
     
    Don't change a a winning formula? I'll admit that the books still sell well enough, but I'm curious how many new people are buying them as opposed to just the same old, aging audience. You know, The Simpsons is still on the air and McDonalds still sells a lot of cheeseburgers, but I don't see anyone calling them out as high quality any more. This isn't "change for the sake of change," it's "change because times have changed."
  2. Like
    MaliciousOnion reacted to guest308838 in Soooooooo..... How'd Dark Heresy Turn Out?   
    Seriously dude, you are overthinking this.
    It's a game. With rules. As GM, pick from them what you like and discard what you don't like. Like with every other RPG out there.
  3. Like
    MaliciousOnion reacted to Nimsim in Examining the d100   
    How does the d100 system work?

    At it's heart, the d100 system works on the idea of telling the player exactly what his percent chance of accomplishing a task is. You are given a binary success/fail with a 1-100% chance of success (or 1-95%). The Dark Heresy system elaborates on this by including an additional mechanic in degrees of success, which dictate how WELL you succeed or how BADLY you fail. These results are sometimes binary (e.g. on 3+ DoS, gain X; on 2+ DoF, inflict X damage to yourself), sometimes scaling (e.g. increase damage by 1 per DoS), and sometimes left to GM interpretation, depending on what you're trying to do. As I type that out, I feel like the system could seriously do with some consolidation for Degrees of Success and Failure, and what they mean. Maybe some sort of big table of ways to apply those degrees for players/GM within encounters would be nice.

    The d100 system has characters testing against their own skills or attributes, thus defining the difficulty of any task by the character's own abilities. In essence, assuming no other detriments from context, characters faced with any task determine its difficulty entirely through their own skill. DH introduces contextual effects through difficulty penalties or bonuses, and other ways of increasing the chances of the roll. At it's core, however, is that player's starting attribute. Compare this a system like D&D where hits are all based on an external difficulty and skills are then added to the roll. Technically, yes, both ways of determining difficulty arrive at the same destination, but the route they take to get there determines how the players and GM perceive the mechanics of the game.

    In particular, the modifiers for difficulty in Dark Heresy are fundementally unintuitive for players. This is because the player's conception of difficulty is resting within his character's own skill. The external difficulty of the task is secondary in the player's mind to what his own character is capable of doing, because that is how the base of the roll is determined. When you determine that a task is easy, it gets a +20 or +30. That still leads to your average human in DH failing the task 1/2 the time or 2/5 of the time. So what if you increase the task to where your average person can almost never fail. Why even roll, then? The only reason to make these kinds of rolls is to see how the Degrees of Success/Failure mechanic comes in, which I've already established isn't consistent across all the rolls that players make.

    Consider this: you have two characters, one with WS 50 and one with WS 30 both trying to hit someone. Intuitively, and technically, it is harder for the WS 30 character to hit someone. However, the task of hitting someone, external to the characters, is equally difficult. Within the reality of the game, it is not more difficult for WS 30 to hit someone, but it is more difficult within the reality of the dice. Again, this leads to a disconnect between the fiction of the game and the game mechanic.

    I mentioned "the average person" above, which DH defines as having around a 35 in all attributes. This average means that for any challenging task, completion only occurs 1/3rd of the time, with around a 2/5ths chance of 3+ degrees of failure. I'm not the first person to note how immersion-breaking this is. However, Dark Heresy briefly states that a roll should never be made unless it can result in something interesting happening. First of all, that rule flies out the window during combat, in which a miss is just a miss, and nothing more. Second, the binary nature of the rolling often leads to times in which a die roll could definitely lead to something interesting, but only for one of either success or failure. Although the "interesting" rule for rolling works well in theory, it is actually at odds with the mindset of the system. The binary dice result leads to players striving for success, adding on modifiers. The GM, in turn, adds on penalties. These bonuses and penalties are not about how interesting an action will be; they are about achieving the binary result. The mindset of the GM and Players is guided toward thinking about success/failure, NOT how interesting the roll is.

    Of course, it's simple enough for players and GMs to work around these problems, but I'm arguing that the d100 system by its nature guides players toward these issues by nature of its design and effect.

    Something else to mention when it comes to using the d100 system at different power levels is the aforementioned self-determined difficulty. Given that the difficulty of a task is determined by a character's own ability first, it becomes impossible to balance characters of widely differing power levels within the system. The modifiers for "Easy" and "Hellish" are not actually given any grounding within the system. Consider the characters with different WS values. Even though the core difficulty of a shot is based on character attributes, the modifier is based on the factual difficulty. Players and GM have to somehow simultaneously grasp these two different philosophical metrics of how difficult something is. Should picking up a car that is easy for a space marine be difficult for a human? What happens when you reach feats that are literally beyond the ability of a human, but easily within the ability of an alien or space marine? If you try just saying "a human can't do this but the space marine can attempt it", any difficulty modifier you apply is suddenly based on the character rather than the factual difficulty of the action. And that's where the contradiction occurs. The game's design cannot simultaneously handle these things without violating the assumptions of itself.

    So, to sum up:
    The d100 system bases the core difficulty of an action on a character's factual internal ability
    The d100 system modifies that difficulty based on factual external reality for the character
    The d100 system runs on a binary Pass/Fail Mechanic
    The d100 system modifies the Pass/Fail Mechanic with an inconsistent Degrees of Success/Failure System
    Players and GMs are naturally inclined to first view the difficulty of an action by their character's ability, and this in turn conflicts with the ability to determine external difficulty
    The d100 system sees the average person failing any challenges 2/3 of the time
    The d100 system has a rule to only roll when a task is interesting, but...
    The Pass/Fail Mechanic, inconsistent DoS/DoF mechanic, and the system of modifiers all guide players toward focusing on conflict resolution rather than the narrative weight of a task, leading to the above rule getting ignored and not working within the game's framework
    The system is unable to simultaneously handle having creatures with greatly differing abilities due to the system for difficulty modifiers not being able to ground itself without violating the assumption that it is based on external difficulty.

    Or, to really sum up:
    The d100 system kind of sucks, the DoS/DoF system is poorly implemented, and the system can NOT handle having large power differentials in characters/creatures.
     
  4. Like
    MaliciousOnion got a reaction from Nick OTeen in Let's have the unified system debate.   
    I'm no game designer but I imagine there's potential problems in combat when adding psychic powers (including navigator powers) and/or vehicles (including space ships). Sure, these things work OK (mostly) in the individual rulesets but not so well together.
     
    I'm really confused as to how you think that FFG can just mash five separate rulesets together and call it a day.
  5. Like
    MaliciousOnion got a reaction from Nick OTeen in Let's have the unified system debate.   
    I just wanted to point out that I think this is a terrible idea, forcing prospective players (ie. us) to buy a minimum of two books just to play the game. Even if the individual books are cheaper, even if they're packaged in a starter bundle, there's a chance you'll alienate new players through perceived complexity. Ideally, you either have each module stand on its own (much like the current games as a whole, except have them work together properly), or you have a base core rulebook that is playable on its own across a broad but shallow range of settings, then additional splatbooks delve down into finer detail (like any single current game).
     
    Like cps says, it's not just a matter of fixing characteristics or psychic powers or advancement, etc. You need to make sure that every element works with every other element, for every possible scenario. It's not impossible, as I said, just very time- and resource-consuming. Which means FFG need to divert those resources from maintaining their current lines in order to create this hypothetical universal ruleset, and while they're doing that, they're not generating revenue from new products in the current lines.
  6. Like
    MaliciousOnion got a reaction from Nick OTeen in Let's have the unified system debate.   
    There's no way a unified system would work with either the system as it currently is, or a moderately modified system. It would require extensive re-writing of the rules, across all aspects. Then there'd be an inordinate amount of testing to ensure everything works properly and scales well. It's probably more effort than FFG's willing to dedicate for a system that may or may not be more profitable than what they've currently got - not to mention the costs involved in developing such a game.
  7. Like
    MaliciousOnion got a reaction from knasserII in Am I the only one who likes the Beta's more varied values ?   
    C'mon, that was an easy one. Let me make this sarcasm thing easier for you to understand: next time I'm being sarcastic, I'll underline it.
     
    By the way, I really like your posting.
     
    (Seriously though, my point was that your attempt to JUDGE BY THIS THREAD was flawed and shouldn't have occurred.)
  8. Like
    MaliciousOnion reacted to cps in Am I the only one who likes the Beta's more varied values ?   
    I wish I was the first to jump on you for this but MaliciousOnion beat me to it. So I guess I'll just congratulate you for both missing the point of his post and for making the stupid posts that you did. \/\/\/ something something best bad poster
  9. Like
    MaliciousOnion got a reaction from cps in Am I the only one who likes the Beta's more varied values ?   
    C'mon, that was an easy one. Let me make this sarcasm thing easier for you to understand: next time I'm being sarcastic, I'll underline it.
     
    By the way, I really like your posting.
     
    (Seriously though, my point was that your attempt to JUDGE BY THIS THREAD was flawed and shouldn't have occurred.)
  10. Like
    MaliciousOnion got a reaction from cps in Am I the only one who likes the Beta's more varied values ?   
    I just did a census of every single person alive and can confirm that GauntZero and MILLANDSON are the only two people in the entire world who like the new presentation.
     
     
    (I like it, too.)
  11. Like
    MaliciousOnion reacted to Simsum in Let's have the unified system debate.   
    It took us about 3 months. But we incorporated the majority of the material released for the lines at the time, and we edited out maybe 90% of the word-spam clogging up the rules. And, of course, we turned the whole thing into a fully indexed html document with (accurate!) references to the source material.
     
    Mind, this was primarily done by two people who either had no job or wasn't working for most of the time.
     
    Actually doing a reasonably competent job of it takes a deceptively long time. In no small part because it's often faster to re-write rules from scratch, than it is to try to salvage something worthwhile from the source material's wording.
     
     
    - If it makes you feel better, FFG people, pretty much everyone sucks at concise rules writing. You're not special in that regard. But man, I wish you'd drop the "repetition, repetition, repetition" and "spirit of rulez what it means? lemme just stuff teh fluff in dere and iz good see?"  mantras, because nobody benefits from either of those stupid ideas. They eat up page count that could be spent on worthwhile stuff, and they make consulting the rules a painfully slow and far more confusing process than it could be.
  12. Like
    MaliciousOnion reacted to cps in Let's have the unified system debate.   
    These two posts next to each other are great.  Tygre's post reads like someone trying to design a plane having only ever seen one with no idea how they work. "It's a big tube shape, with two wings in the middle with wheely feet coming out of them. And a wheely foot in the front, and a fin on the back. That should do it!"
  13. Like
    MaliciousOnion got a reaction from MILLANDSON in Did I read that right? Redone to be BC/OW compatible?   
    I've always said that someone's opinion can't be wrong. I stand corrected.
  14. Like
    MaliciousOnion got a reaction from MILLANDSON in Did I read that right? Redone to be BC/OW compatible?   
    Seconding MILLANDSON's anger at your posting. Had you ever considered that the alpha playtesters had broken the ruleset and had reported it to FFG, but FFG hadn't done anything about it?
  15. Like
    MaliciousOnion got a reaction from cps in Did I read that right? Redone to be BC/OW compatible?   
    I've always said that someone's opinion can't be wrong. I stand corrected.
  16. Like
    MaliciousOnion got a reaction from Morangias in Why same same but still diffrent? / More races wanted   
    A loss of fluff potential? Before they had absolutely no character, they were just midless automatons bent on destroying everything. They could have easily been a grey goo type of threat and they would have had the same level of personality.
     
    Basically, by making a race of xenos unknowable, you're making it difficult for some people to define their motivations. By giving them character, a person can look at them and say, "ok, I know what they want and I know how I can use that." I'm not saying that everyone's going to face this problem of an unknowable xenos race but a lot more people will be able to understand a knowable one.
  17. Like
    MaliciousOnion got a reaction from Morangias in Did I read that right? Redone to be BC/OW compatible?   
    I've always said that someone's opinion can't be wrong. I stand corrected.
  18. Like
    MaliciousOnion reacted to Morangias in Did I read that right? Redone to be BC/OW compatible?   
    Dude, that's really unfair. The game could have undergone the most meticulous playtest in history of RPG playtests, and it would still mean diddly-squat if someone higher up chose to ignore the input for whatever reason. Because that's how playtesting works - people submit reports, developers decide what to do with them.
     
    Seriously, you're laying the blame on the wrong people, and it's not earning you brownie points with anyone. Sometimes, it's better to accept you made a mistake.
  19. Like
    MaliciousOnion reacted to cps in Broken Strenght and Toughness   
    Dude you are the last person who should be calling out spelling and grammar errors.
  20. Like
    MaliciousOnion reacted to MILLANDSON in Did I read that right? Redone to be BC/OW compatible?   
    Thank you for essentially insulting probably one of the hardest working groups of the development process, which includes myself and several writers for the 40k line, and many of the people who have been most vocal during the beta period.
     
    And then you went and brought nationalist rubbish into it. That's impressive.
    And by impressive, I'm being sarcastic, since you don't know how the playtesting operates, what problems we pointed out, if changes were made, and if they were, what they were, and imply that Americans are better than other people.
     
    So yes, excuse me for thinking you are talking out of your rear.
  21. Like
    MaliciousOnion got a reaction from MILLANDSON in Did I read that right? Redone to be BC/OW compatible?   
    Maybe I should've said objectively, rather than empirically. My fault.
     
    If these forums have taught me one thing (they haven't), it's that the success of the 2e ruleset vs the 1e ruleset is entirely dependent on the perception and opinion of the players. I'm not sure a new ruleset could ever be objectively better, only subjectively.
     
    I agree with the rest of your post, though.
  22. Like
    MaliciousOnion got a reaction from MILLANDSON in Did I read that right? Redone to be BC/OW compatible?   
    It is your opinion that 2e is worse; it is not empirically worse than 1e. That is exactly what I said. I didn't say anything about backwards compatibility (incidentally, I think the argument for backwards compatibility is a fallacious cop-out).
  23. Like
    MaliciousOnion got a reaction from Ghaundan in Dark Heresy 2 is Dead. Could we have a post op?   
    With the beta effectively stalled until the end of November, people are becoming bored and restless.
     
    I agree with the sentiment of the OP, though I found it passive-agressive whiny. The content is all there for someone with a bit of time to compile into their very own version. I've already partly done so, although I won't be sharing.
  24. Like
    MaliciousOnion got a reaction from Simsum in Did I read that right? Redone to be BC/OW compatible?   
    Maybe I should've said objectively, rather than empirically. My fault.
     
    If these forums have taught me one thing (they haven't), it's that the success of the 2e ruleset vs the 1e ruleset is entirely dependent on the perception and opinion of the players. I'm not sure a new ruleset could ever be objectively better, only subjectively.
     
    I agree with the rest of your post, though.
  25. Like
    MaliciousOnion reacted to Simsum in Did I read that right? Redone to be BC/OW compatible?   
    I'm not sure you're right about that. To me, empirically in this context means the system provides a better or worse framework for the various elements that make up the intended scope of the system.
    I don't think it can be honestly argued that WFRP and its derivatives aren't primarily a framework for combat. And while I think DH2's design is conceptually better for running skirmish combat, I don't think the DH2.3b RAW is. And it really comes down to wonky fire rates and too many book look-ups.
    However, the advertised scope of the game is horror, intrigue, investigation and action, and I very much think DH2.3b RAW does intrigue & investigation a great deal better than the WRFP derivatives.
    So.. Empirically better, I think, is a very real thing. But which wins comes down to playstyle. And OW most definitely is a vastly more polished system than DH2.3b - which, of course is perfectly understandable given that DH2.3b is the first generation of its system, while OW is the 7th generation of its system. And it has to be said DH2.3b has surprisingly few rough edges for a 1st generation system. It's almost as polished as D&D4e was (which you can love or hate or be indifferent about, but you can't argue it doesn't do what it intended extremely well).
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