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Absol197

Tweak to Soresu Defender?

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I've recently gotten into reading up on the vast body of lore regarding the various Lightsaber styles, and I really like them. I also really like how well the different Lightsaber specializations were able to capture the distinct feel of each, within the limits of the system.

However, one thing I've noticed is that I feel the Soresu Defender should have Supreme Reflect, to convey the focus on defense at the expense of offense.

As it stands, Shien Expert is the only specialization that has Supreme Reflect, ands I can understand the desire not to have the two stepping on each other's toes. So here was the tweak I was thinking of: replace Improved Reflect in the Soresu Defender tree with Supreme Reflect.

Off the bat, of course, this seems odd: how can you have Supreme if you don't have Improved? But I can't find anywhere where it says that you can't do so, nor anywhere where it says Supreme doesn't function without Improved. Other than being based off the same base talent (Reflect), the two function differently enough that, if presented with the effects without the titles I don't think I would feel any necessity for one to come before the other. I've looked in the general talent rules and the individual descriptions, and it seems to work.

So with that said, it feels like it gives us what we (or at least I) want: Soresu becomes a better defensive form at the expense of an offensive option, and now the unique ability Shien has is Improved Reflect, which is what it's best known for, anyways.

So, thoughts? Comments? Criticisms? Have I finally lost my marbles?

Edited by Absol197

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According to what it reads in The Jedi Path about Soresu, it is a part of the form to return blaster fire back at foes, but it is far more common to do so with Shien. So, as it is, a Soresu Defender can defend against blaster fire (Reflect) and bounce attacks back at foes (Improved Reflect), but a Shien Expert can the do the same thing with more ease (Supreme Reflect).

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According to what it reads in The Jedi Path about Soresu, it is a part of the form to return blaster fire back at foes, but it is far more common to do so with Shien. So, as it is, a Soresu Defender can defend against blaster fire (Reflect) and bounce attacks back at foes (Improved Reflect), but a Shien Expert can the do the same thing with more ease (Supreme Reflect).

This is my thoughts exactly. I feel shien spend so much of their time focusing on reflect that they are they ones that learn to do it with less stress.

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Soresu specializes in defending from blaster fire as well as lightsaber/melee attacks, so it makes sense that it wouldn't have the supreme reflect. Kind of a jack of all trades, master of none concept. It would take away from Shien to give it to Soresu also.

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According to what it reads in The Jedi Path about Soresu, it is a part of the form to return blaster fire back at foes, but it is far more common to do so with Shien. So, as it is, a Soresu Defender can defend against blaster fire (Reflect) and bounce attacks back at foes (Improved Reflect), but a Shien Expert can the do the same thing with more ease (Supreme Reflect).

This is my thoughts exactly. I feel shien spend so much of their time focusing on reflect that they are they ones that learn to do it with less stress.

 

 

Well that's actually a misnomer.  Shien wielders spend most of their time learning how to redirect attacks.  That would imply they're good at Improved Reflect, which is why the talent appears earlier in the tree.  Sorezu on the other hand is none for having the best defense bar none.  Whether you're talking melee/lightsaber dueling or blaster fire, Sorezu has the strongest defenses!  Also interestingly enough, Sorezu is one of 2 forms (Makashi being the other) known to maximize a wielders economy of movement.  This allows them to defeat opponents simply by maintaining an impenetrable defense longer then any attacker can keep up a full assault.  Dooku mentions in the Revenge of the Sith novelization that Obi-Won's mastery of Sorezu was such that his defenses were nearly impregnable and his economy of movement far surpassed even Dooku's Makashi style.  Now, if only their was a talent that exemplified Sorezu's economy of movement by allowing it's user to continue a defense without tiring as quickly!?

 

Sorezu should absolutely have Supreme Reflect in it's tree.  I do however understand FFGs concern that putting all the best defense talents (Imp Parry/Reflect and Supreme Parry/Reflect) in one form could lead to it becoming to good to pass up.  I can actually see someone taking Niman, Ataru, or Makashi and picking Sorezu as a secondary to get access to the best attacks and defenses.  A quick sidebar to GMs about such an exploit would have been all we needed to maintain balance.

Edited by TalosX

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According to what it reads in The Jedi Path about Soresu, it is a part of the form to return blaster fire back at foes, but it is far more common to do so with Shien. So, as it is, a Soresu Defender can defend against blaster fire (Reflect) and bounce attacks back at foes (Improved Reflect), but a Shien Expert can the do the same thing with more ease (Supreme Reflect).

This is my thoughts exactly. I feel shien spend so much of their time focusing on reflect that they are they ones that learn to do it with less stress.

 

Well that's actually a misnomer.  Shien wielders spend most of their time learning how to redirect attacks.  That would imply they're good at Improved Reflect, which is why the talent appears earlier in the tree.  Sorezu on the other hand is none for having the best defense bar none.  Whether you're talking melee/lightsaber dueling or blaster fire, Sorezu has the strongest defenses!  Also interestingly enough, Sorezu is one of 2 forms (Makashi being the other) known to maximize a wielders economy of movement.  This allows them to defeat opponents simply by maintaining an impenetrable defense longer then any attacker can keep up a full assault.  Dooku mentions in the Revenge of the Sith novelization that Obi-Won's mastery of Sorezu was such that his defenses were nearly impregnable and his economy of movement far surpassed even Dooku's Makashi style.  Now, if only their was a talent that exemplified Sorezu's economy of movement by allowing it's user to continue a defense without tiring as quickly!?

 

Sorezu should absolutely have Supreme Reflect in it's tree.  I do however understand FFGs concern that putting all the best defense talents (Imp Parry/Reflect and Supreme Parry/Reflect) in one form could lead to it becoming to good to pass up.  I can actually see someone taking Niman, Ataru, or Makashi and picking Sorezu as a secondary to get access to the best attacks and defenses.  A quick sidebar to GMs about such an exploit would have been all we needed to maintain balance.

My comment was more based on how FFG described Shien in the Rulebook. Sorry for the confusion. I understand your point about what Shien was designed as prior to FFG.

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What part is a misnomer (which I don't think is the word you want in this case)?

 

If you're planning to play "word police" on these forums, you've got your work cut out for you!  :P

 

Misnomer means an inaccurate name/term/designation, and the comment made was: "I feel shien spend so much of their time focusing on reflect that they are they ones that learn to do it with less stress."

 

What I consider the "misnomer" was the word "reflect".  It should have read "Improved Reflect".  Shien's primary purpose is to redirect a blaster attacks and not simply defend against them.  It's a small distinction but in FFG Star Wars, Reflect and Improved Reflect are important distinctions with very different objectives in mind (one is defensive the other is offensive).

 

Form V was developed specifically for offense, and sacrificed much of Sorezu's defense to achieve it's goal.  Shien wasn't known for economy of motion either.  Shien's sub-form of Djem So was known to be even more taxing and required great strength to overpower their opponents.

 

EDIT: Also I admit... I really like the way "misnomer" rolls of the tongue!  ;)

Edited by TalosX

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Let's not forget that Soresu Defender has a large selection of other talents that add to its "ultimate defense" distinction, such as Defensive Stance, Defensive Circle and Strategic Form. Also, The Jedi Path mentions a technique that Shien users use that is basically Reflect cranked up to eleven; to pull it off, you just need Supreme Reflect.

 

So I do think Soresu Defender needs Improved Reflect, see my first comment, but it has plenty of good things that makes up for no Supreme Reflect.

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So what are you planning on having Soresu Defender give up in order to make room for Supreme Reflect?

 

Part of the issue is that Soresu Defender is already one of the best specs for "tanking" out there, thanks in no small part to Defensive Circle providing multiple setback dice, and that since it's not a combat check to activate, means that a Soresu Defender PC can get a lot of benefit from Supreme Reflect simply because ranged attacks happen far more often, and with Defensive Circle going the chances of getting the 3 threat necessary to use Improved Reflect is going to be much higher, which in turns makes the PC a monster in combat, as anyohe that attacks him with a blaster stands a very good chance of getting shot back in return, and the PC is suffering minimal strain for doing so, to the point you'd need to seriously overwhelm the PC in order to get him to burn through his strain at a rate where overusing Reflect would be a concern.

 

Supreme Parry isn't too big of a worry, since Improved Parry doesn't have the raw damage potential that Improved Reflect does, and that melee attacks are far less common, except in duels where Soresu actually excels in its defensive focus, perhaps more so than Makashi, which itself has more of an offensive focus than Soresu.  In the novelization of RotS, it was explained that the reason Obi-Wan was sent to confront Grievous on Utapau was that Obi-Wan's mastery of the ultimate defensive Form made him the perfect counter to the Grievous' highly unorthodox dueling techniques.

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So what are you planning on having Soresu Defender give up in order to make room for Supreme Reflect?

 

Part of the issue is that Soresu Defender is already one of the best specs for "tanking" out there, thanks in no small part to Defensive Circle providing multiple setback dice, and that since it's not a combat check to activate, means that a Soresu Defender PC can get a lot of benefit from Supreme Reflect simply because ranged attacks happen far more often, and with Defensive Circle going the chances of getting the 3 threat necessary to use Improved Reflect is going to be much higher, which in turns makes the PC a monster in combat, as anyohe that attacks him with a blaster stands a very good chance of getting shot back in return, and the PC is suffering minimal strain for doing so, to the point you'd need to seriously overwhelm the PC in order to get him to burn through his strain at a rate where overusing Reflect would be a concern.

 

Supreme Parry isn't too big of a worry, since Improved Parry doesn't have the raw damage potential that Improved Reflect does, and that melee attacks are far less common, except in duels where Soresu actually excels in its defensive focus, perhaps more so than Makashi, which itself has more of an offensive focus than Soresu.  In the novelization of RotS, it was explained that the reason Obi-Wan was sent to confront Grievous on Utapau was that Obi-Wan's mastery of the ultimate defensive Form made him the perfect counter to the Grievous' highly unorthodox dueling techniques.

 

As of this moment, I'm not planning to change Sorezu.  In my first post I said:

 

"Sorezu should absolutely have Supreme Reflect in it's tree.  I do however understand FFGs concern that putting all the best defense talents (Imp Parry/Reflect and Supreme Parry/Reflect) in one form could lead to it becoming to good to pass up.  I can actually see someone taking Niman, Ataru, or Makashi and picking Sorezu as a secondary to get access to the best attacks and defenses."

 

So Sorezu "should" have Supreme Reflect!  It is the only form which has no offensive abilities outside of basic counterattacks.  So it should be a very strong tanking spec, since that's all it can actually do.  I do however understand that inserting S-Reflect would cause several issues that would need to be addressed though.  Perhaps a line stating that S-Reflect can not be used in conjunction with Defensive Circle (just an initial thought)?

 

Truthfully though, none of my 5 players are interested in Sorezu.  So I don't have any need to worry about it at the moment.

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And the answer to that, which I gave in the OP, was that I would remove Improved Reflect to make room for Supreme.  It puts Supreme at the bottom row, where it belongs, and gives Shien, which is the form that exemplifies reflecting a ranged shot back at the attacker the unique ability to do so very easily.  And, to reiterate, nowhere in the descriptions of either talents in general or the Reflect line specifically is it indicated that you have to buy talents in the [base] - [improved] - [supreme] order to have them work, so having only Supreme and not Improved shouldn't be a problem.

 

Blackbird888, I can see your point.  Having something like both Supreme Reflect and Parry in the same spec alongside Defensive Circle might be extreme on the defense side.  And I can see your point about Soresu utilizing reflected shots.  But I'm not yet convinced: each of the other lightsaber specs have both defensive options (parry and/or reflect, often with upgrades, and talents like Dodge, Defensive Training, etc.) and offensive options (Hawk-Bat Swoop and Saber Swarm; Makashi Flourish/Finish; Force Assault/Draw Closer).  If Soresu is meant to be all about defense, it being exceptionally good at defense makes sense.  And while Improved Reflect is necessary to reflect the shots of nemeses, against minions and rivals you can deal them strain and narrate it as the shot being reflected, which means low- and average-class opponents can be reflected (if not extremely accurately, i.e. not full damage), but high-class opponents are too tricky to fall for it, unless you're trained in a style that maximizes that ability.

 

Although I could see changing the wording of Supreme Parry/Reflect slightly could help with the "defensive overload" that you've mentioned.  Instead of "made a combat check last round," we could make it, "Made a check with a combat skill last round."  In general that's the same thing and there's no change, but it means that Defensive Circle and Strategic Form negate Supreme for the round, because they are activated by checks made with a combat skill, a.k.a. Lightsaber.  So you can either grant everyone in the area a huge amount of defense, but the wider area you're protecting means parry/reflect tire you out quicker, and to force people to engage you you have to (at least initially) give up some of your economy of motion.

 

Would that additional change make it seem better for you?

Edited by Absol197

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Well here's the problem.  As has been confirmed by the devs, in the cases where a talent chain has Basic->Improved->Supreme, you need to have the earlier versions on order to use the advanced versions.

 

For instance, the talent Full Throttle has both an Improved Full Throttle and Supreme Full Throttle.  It's possible in the Pilot spec to purchase Improved Full Throttle and Supreme Full Throttle without buying Full Throttle, but as confirmed by the devs, those two talents are useless without having Full Throttle.  They generally try to structure the talent trees so that you have to pick up the basic version of a talent (such as buying Reflect before you can purchase Improved Reflect) so that this doesn't crop up, but things do occasionally slip through the cracks.

 

Same thing holds with Supreme Reflect, in that if you don't have Improved Reflect then the Supreme version doesn't do you any good.

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Well here's the problem.  As has been confirmed by the devs, in the cases where a talent chain has Basic->Improved->Supreme, you need to have the earlier versions on order to use the advanced versions.

 

For instance, the talent Full Throttle has both an Improved Full Throttle and Supreme Full Throttle.  It's possible in the Pilot spec to purchase Improved Full Throttle and Supreme Full Throttle without buying Full Throttle, but as confirmed by the devs, those two talents are useless without having Full Throttle.  They generally try to structure the talent trees so that you have to pick up the basic version of a talent (such as buying Reflect before you can purchase Improved Reflect) so that this doesn't crop up, but things do occasionally slip through the cracks.

 

Same thing holds with Supreme Reflect, in that if you don't have Improved Reflect then the Supreme version doesn't do you any good.

 

Do you have a reference on that?  It makes sense that you would need a base skill before you can use modifiers to that skill (ie, full throttle or reflect to make use of improved or supreme versions), but as in both cases, the supreme version gives a distinctly different effect than the improved version, I fail to see why a requirement for improved before supreme would be needed.

 

Your argument seems to skirt around the middle skill, and focus on the obvious requirement of the base skill, ie you cant do better reflect without being able to reflect, or better full throttle if you cant take the full throttle action in the first place.  I would like to read the developers comment and see if it similarly skirts the question here and focuses on the obvious requirement as well.

 

For example, with the rules as written, if you took supreme reflect without improved reflect as a shien master (which you can do, god knows why you would mind you), there is no reason to think you could not deflect for 1 strain, even if you couldnt reflect the bolt.

Edited by Kyrinthic

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It was referenced on an episode of the Order 66 podcast, with the answer coming from Sam Stewart.

 

I still stand by the notion that giving Soresu Defender both Supreme Parry and Supreme Reflect makes the spec unbalanced in much the same way that a PC that pushes their Soak Value above an 8 (which can be and has been done, especially if the PC is a Droid) is unbalanced, as it requires the GM to employ harder-hitting enemies just to have a chance of damaging that character, while those same enemies will flatten any PCs that aren't combat focused.

 

Soresu Defender already has the "ultimate defense" ability in the form of Defensive Circle, where a good roll can provide half the party with 3 ranks of melee and ranged defense, and even an average roll can provide 2 ranks of melee and ranged defense to the PC and an ally or two.

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Honestly, and I have probably played the game less than you, but some of the great defense things feel less great in play than on paper.

 

For example, defensive circle.  This requires a non-trivial roll, and needs both successes and advantages to be great, which makes it even harder.  Tack on to that the mechanics of defense stacking, and the average person is better off grabbing a defensive 2 weapon and not worrying about spending the action.  While you could in theory give half the party 3 ranks of defense, the person I see using it in my game (with 5 int and 3 lightsaber skill) is more likely to give 3-4 people 1 defense that doesnt stack with their armored clothes, or give himself 2 defense, but enemys tend to be intelligent enough not to aim for the guy with the lightsaber out for some reason.  And failures do happen to, that roll is a hard one.

 

In general reflect is hard to do, even with 2-3 defense dice, having enough threat to reflect is uncommon at best against any target that is a meaningful threat.

 

I would say that circle of protection out of the guardian tree is stronger than either of those talents for being a useful defensive character in a group.  But of course then you really need the supreme reflect so you dont destroy your strain pool.

 

If I were to redesign it, I would change supreme parry to a different name and have it allow the 1 cost parry or reflect if you didnt attack.  Then change the shien supreme deflection to reduce the threat cost for a reflect, to make it easier to do, since that form really is supposed to be all about pushing your limits for stronger offense and reflection.

 

That allows both of them to have a niche, where soresu is about non-offensive delfection and patience, and Shien is about sending blaster bolts back at people better than anyone else.

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With getting Improved Reflect or Improved Parry to trigger, your best friend is going to be upgraded difficulty dice, with the Sense power providing a universal boon on that front thanks to the defensive Control Upgrade.  If you've only got Force Rating 1, commiting it powering that Sense upgrade is a great way to use it in a fight.  Add another 20 XP and you can upgrade the difficulty twice and do so twice per round.  I've played enough Force user PCs to find that ability has been insanely useful, not only for Improved Parry or Improved Reflect, but just for cutting down on the number of attacks that did hit, or if my PC got hit the attacker didn't have enough advantage to do anything nasty like trigger a crit or a weapon quality.

 

Between that and the extra dice added by Defensive Circle, I've seen combat rounds where the Soresu Defender was cranking out more damage that round than the guy with the heavy blaster rifle using auto-fire.  Take a species that has a high strain threshold like Cerean, and you've got plenty of chances to use Reflect before you start red-lining your strain threshold.

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Posted (edited)

You really shouldnt rely on Soresu alone as a lightsaber spec.  I would recomend pairing it with either an offensive spec or niman.  This game puts out more offense than defense, you will never keep up with the offensive op builds in this game.  Screw circle of shelter its only usefull if you are with a group that has ignored defense on their own characters and I've never seen a group like that.  You should go all the way for difficulty upgrades or soak its the only way to survive in this game.  BTW some offensive builds nullify your defense so your better off putting more time in what I just said above.

Edited by Metalghost

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On 1/28/2016 at 2:37 PM, TalosX said:

 

As of this moment, I'm not planning to change Sorezu.  In my first post I said:

 

"Sorezu should absolutely have Supreme Reflect in it's tree.  I do however understand FFGs concern that putting all the best defense talents (Imp Parry/Reflect and Supreme Parry/Reflect) in one form could lead to it becoming to good to pass up.  I can actually see someone taking Niman, Ataru, or Makashi and picking Sorezu as a secondary to get access to the best attacks and defenses."

 

So Sorezu "should" have Supreme Reflect!  It is the only form which has no offensive abilities outside of basic counterattacks.  So it should be a very strong tanking spec, since that's all it can actually do.  I do however understand that inserting S-Reflect would cause several issues that would need to be addressed though.  Perhaps a line stating that S-Reflect can not be used in conjunction with Defensive Circle (just an initial thought)?

 

Truthfully though, none of my 5 players are interested in Sorezu.  So I don't have any need to worry about it at the moment.

All supreme reflect does is making your reflect cost less strain if you havent made a combat check before hand. You can already reflect back with full damage from that shot.  Honestly I feel they should have added it into the Soresu form after playing as a Soresu defender for a while.  It really fits the nature of what the soresu form is supposed to do which is outlast your opponent by using less energy and the ability to mitigate damage as so.  I mean you have supreme parry so by your standards they should remove that too.  Honestly since Shien is a little of offensive on one side and defensive on the other I dont think supreme anything fits it at all since the Shien form is not designed to outlast your opponent but the opposite its supposed to overpower your opponent through strength, and have the ability to use basic defenses if needed.  In Shiens current form its much stronger than Soresu in this game.  You can easily out defense your opponent with Shien over Soresu forcing them to roll against so many red dice if used correctly.  Something Soresu cannot even come close too.

Its obvious they were thinking to much into it making the mistake of seeing supreme reflect as an offensive form and less of a defensive form.  Shien is supposed to be a little bit of offensive and defensive, but it actually comes out stronger defensively from range than soresu because of a poor view of it.  A supreme defensive position should only be given to a defensive form that specializes in defense which Shien does not.  If you really understand their purpose of Soresu then you can easily see that supreme reflect is the embodiment of the soresu form just like supreme parry.  Both do not make the form any stronger but enable the form to last longer like it supposed to defensively unlike all the other forms since thats its specialty.  This is why Soresu does not have any offensive skills unlike all the other forms.

It really sucks that my character who I made to be the mechanic and armorer is stuck with Soresu instead of Shien because intelligence is my main stat while cunning and dex are my lowest.  He would have been much better off using Shien form instead of Soresu.  Its a much stronger form and can easily be a much better defensive form if you use it right.  They really made Shien too strong.  It gets really strong defensively with the more force die you have.

The good thing about this game its easy to enjoy since min/maxing is allot less important compared to dnd, and my GM doesnt punish our characters if the build is sub par or my character would have died a long time ago. I just feel like they could have added supreme reflect to Soresu and removed it from Shien since it makes sense to both forms and how they are used since supreme reflect and supreme parry are advance defense skills and do not belong in the Shien form.  It makes it too strong.

Edited by Metalghost

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What stops you from taking Shien Expert as an out of career spec ? Especially if you already took Soresu Defender. The two forms are the best defensive combo  for lightsaber fighting.

And Supreme reflect is not a Soresu talent because the Soresu form was develloped to defend against the Makashi form, that was developed for lightsaber duelling. That means Soresu is the best for defence against melee weapons / lightsabers because it was designated especially for that. But Soresu was designated to counter blaster's shots, so it isn't the best against them.

Shien is composite form that was designated by borroowing elements from others forms. That why it's good for defence, but not as good as Soresu, and good for attack, but not as good as Shi Sho, Makashi and Ataru. And that's why it's the best form for parrying then riposting in melee.

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