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SpaceViking21

Open Beta: Final Thoughts

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As the open beta ends, I am optimistic about the direction of the RPG. There are a large number of directions that I enjoy, or like the direction of. However, I want to talk about school balance a bit more, as the week intended to discuss that was sidelined to give a (much needed) new pass on dueling. 

School Balance:

I originally wrote a very long paragraph detailing my issues with some of the school technique design and the Shiba Guardian in particular, but I’ll keep it short. With the current design of a rank 1 technique that scales, then leading into a rank 6 technique for mastering the school, a once per scene utility-only technique feels un-fun compared to the fun and fluffy (and less restricted, in most cases) techniques of other schools. If you’re committed to the rank 1/rank 6 model, rank 1 balance needs to be on point and every option should be fun for the players to get them through the five ranks it takes to get the other school technique. Otherwise players are going to struggle with watching their Akodo Commander and Kitsuki Investigator teammates use their fun and interesting techniques while they wait for someone’s strife to build up, then remove it, then go back to making regular attacks for the rest of the scene. My biggest concern here is my players. People in my play group have had a consistent distaste for the current designs of some of their favorite schools (the two most notable were Shiba Guardian and Kakita Duelist), and as a result the new edition, barring some significant changes in the balance here, may be a hard sell for those players.

 

Aside from that, I did want to discuss this week's survey as well, specifically in areas of ninjo/giri.  I had more I wanted to say on the survey, but the choices were very binary in how they were presented. As a result, I’ll say them here: I think having scenes for people to outline their ninjo/giri is a solid idea. And I think that having glory or honor staked on those scenes gives mechanical weight to those concepts. However, I have concerns with how timing will interact with the ability of a player to call for a scene. Further, I think the void point cost is unnecessary, and may have the unintended side effect of void-reliant builds using them less than builds that do not have that reliance. I think these should end up as being scenes that players can set up with their GM for no cost beyond staked honor/glory, but should also require some advanced warning to avoid the potential problem of players calling for scenes at disruptive times.

 

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