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Posted (edited)
53 minutes ago, awp832 said:

Do you feel the same for other permanents?   Such as:  Stick to the Plan, but also Relic Hunter and Charisma?   None of these made it on to the Limited list.  

I dunno,  I just can't quite agree on Higher Ed and Streetwise getting their massive XP cost increase.   In particular I feel that both Relic Hunter and Charisma are far more powerful cards that Streetwise,  and about as powerful as Higher Education.   It's super rare that a character deck I build doesnt pick up at least 1 of either Relic Hunter or Charisma eventually, and more often than not I consider it a priority when spending XP for the first couple of scenarios.  

Sure, the Permanent talents are permanent (duh..)  and they can give good bonuses.   But they still cost resources to use and you still have to spend them every time you want to use your card. 

I honestly have NEVER used relic hunter. But Charisma, sure. I think I've added charisma to more decks overall than any other card (but maybe that's because it's a neutral?). But while you are saying that the cost for boosters is resources, charisma does absolutely nothing unless you get and play at least two allies that have lingering effects. I mean, if you dump nothing but art students in your deck or allies that disappear soon after being played, charisma is really not that useful either.

I think the booster permanents are all sort of in the same camp. Streetwise and Higher education are often talked about though, and I think that's because they hit a threshold of 1 resource per 2 bumps. It just feels like you're gaining an advantage instead of simply making an equal trade.  Played optimally keen eye will not even do the same work, and blood pact is a different kind of beast because you're risking doom (if doom becomes easier to remove, I can see people equally being upset about blood pact).

Stick to the Plan is a GREAT card, but it is exceptional and costs a whopping 6 xp. I'm always tempted, but haven't reached for it yet when there are so many other convenient guardian upgrades. It might be the next card I get in my Carolyn deck though because she's not pumping xp into combat tools.

 

Edited by Soakman

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, awp832 said:

Do you feel the same for other permanents?   Such as:  Stick to the Plan, but also Relic Hunter and Charisma?   None of these made it on to the Limited list.  

I dunno,  I just can't quite agree on Higher Ed and Streetwise getting their massive XP cost increase.   In particular I feel that both Relic Hunter and Charisma are far more powerful cards that Streetwise,  and about as powerful as Higher Education.   It's super rare that a character deck I build doesnt pick up at least 1 of either Relic Hunter or Charisma eventually, and more often than not I consider it a priority when spending XP for the first couple of scenarios.  

Sure, the Permanent talents are permanent (duh..)  and they can give good bonuses.   But they still cost resources to use and you still have to spend them every time you want to use your card. 

To preface all this, I'm currently suffering a migraine so any combativeness or sloppy wording is entirely unintended.

Charisma and Relic Hunter are very commonly used, but all they do is enable things. By themselves, they do absolutely nothing.

By comparison, Streetwise is essentially a win condition, by itself, for the big-money Rogue decks. Preston or Jenny, or anyone rocking dual Pickpocketing, can rack up absurd amounts of resources (I've commonly seen pools of 30+ resources). Streetwise means that you have an incredibly efficient way to turn those resources into survival (evasion) and victory (investigation). Streetwise and Higher Education are way beyond the curve in terms of efficiency, and in doing so they render obselete the Talent assets that let you spend resources for boosts. The same is true of Scrapper (it's as efficient as a generic boost asset) which is why it was also hit, whereas Keen Eye and Blood Pact don't directly step on the toes of other cards. Any other card in the game has to be evaluated on the basis that it has a cost and an opportunity cost, and that you may not be able to guarantee that you can draw and play it at a given time. When you draw your opening hand, you have to ask yourself: Have I drawn the cards I want to start the game? What can I afford to mulligan? This card is very useful but it's expensive so I won't be able to justify playing it for a few rounds, should I mulligan it away? When you start playing the game, you have to consider: Do I want to put down Well Prepared now? I haven't played assets that synergise particularly well with it but it will still give me some benefit - can I better afford the action to play it now, or should I save it for later and prioritise attacking the scenario or building up my board state elsewhere? These are all issues and questions inherent to how the game functions. The generic booster talents, at least the 3 efficient ones, knock away a huge amount of that decision-making. You didn't draw your evasion boosters early on, no worries! You can throw some resources into Streetwise to dodge until you get the cards you need. Wondering if you have too much resource gain and not enough to spend it on? No you're not, you always have, from turn 1, with no action, resource or card cost, a useful way to use them. These cards distort the way the game is played; Charisma and Relic Hunter merely enable different approaches to the normal way the game functions.

Stick to the Plan is a sticking point, though, since it also distorts the usual way the game is played. So why do I think that escaped the nerfbat? Because it has inherent limitations (it mainly just enables utility and resource cards and therefore provides resource fixing and de facto draw power to a faction that lacks both, and does so in a way that is thematically appropriate) and because it doesn't make other cards pointless (Arcane Studies is more or less entirely superfluous on a character who can take Higher Education). It also has a limitation in use - it has 3 different cards underneath and once they're gone, they're gone - and it doesn't directly help you win the game (you could put dynamite blast or elusive underneath, certainly, but that hardly compares to unlimited access to high-efficiency skill boosts that directly help you win the game). Would I object to Stick to the Plan being bumped up an exp or two? No, but it already costs double the original cost of Streetwise.

Popularity of a card is not inherently indicative of overbearing power. A huge number of decks run Emergency Cache, but it's a low-efficiency card, roughly equivalent to a single extra action used very inefficiently (converting 1 action and 1 card into 3 resources). It's very useful, and it's a cornerstone for how the game is designed (bear in mind that every core set gives each player 2 copies, whereas you only get 1 copy of each neutral skill). It's a baseline resource gain option, and is incorporated into the underlying assumptions of how many resources players have access to, just like how Unexpected Courage is a baseline stat boost skill and how Knife is a baseline combat option. Emergency cache is no more broken than basic lands are in Magic the Gathering. How does that apply to Charisma and Relic Hunter? Maybe it doesn't; these cards do make it a little harder to balance ally and accessory cards because the baseline logic is that those are relatively powerful but you can only have 1. But people like playing allies and allies do lots of useful, unique and fun things, so the popularity is primarily because they help people make the decks they want to play. If Charisma ever becomes problematic that's more a function of Ally card design. These cards don't constrict the design space, like incredibly powerful resource gain outside of Rogue or absolutely reliable access to sufficient evasion does; instead they broaden it by allowing players to choose different ways to build their characters and allowing designers to create combo potential involving multiple allies. Would I object to Charisma being bumped up an exp or two? No, but I'd far rather see a half dozen other, far more problematic cards addressed first.

With respect, if you don't think Streetwise is as powerful as Charisma, and you don't think it's deserving of being on the Limited list, you likely haven't seen it used to its full potential. I'd consider Streetwise viable at 10 exp any day of the week.

3 hours ago, Soakman said:

I think the card pool is big enough (and balanced enough) to accommodate different playstyles without automatically making one deck feel inferior due to balancing problems.

Consider this scenario: It's a 4-player campaign. You are playing a seeker, let's say Minh. Your primary job is to collect clues. You've taken a deck with the Miskatonic Army theme, dropping several students into play, and you like trying to complete the Hawk-Eye Folding Camera. Maybe you like leaning into your off-class and trying out a few support cards like Ancient Stone (Minds in Harmony). It's the middle of the game, you settle into a 4-shroud, 8 clue location and get ready to investigate next turn; between your high Intellect and a couple copies of Working a Hunch, you feel like you stand a good chance of clearing it in two rounds if you're lucky. "Don't Bother!" cries Seeker #2, playing Daisy, who rolls in with Pathfinder having amassed 10 resources with Dr Milan in the early game. Seeker #2 activates Pnakotic Manuscripts, investigates with Archaic Glyphs (Guiding Stones) and committing Deduction (2) to the test. They drop 3 resources into the test with Higher Education and collect all 8 clues in a single action. "Oh well," you think, as Daisy Pathfinders to the next location (Shroud 3, 12 clues) and drops another charge of Pnakotic followed by another charge of Archaic, then dumps their remaining resources and commits a couple of cards to the test, collecting all 12 clues with their last action and completing the current agenda and 2/3 of the next, "At least my investigator ability saved them a resource and I got +1 sanity on my camera"

Sadly, it's very possible for one build to be just "better", so much better that another build can't hope to even compete on the same playing field. Now that's a scenario on the extreme end (though one I have more or less seen hit the table) but it does highlight my point: imbalance in game design can adversely affect how fun it is. You said earlier:

22 hours ago, Soakman said:

I think I'm just coming from a place where the player extracts fun from card choice and deck construction over simply min-maxing for optimal efficiency.

With respect, that's a false dichotomy. You can (and I do) prioritise making an interesting deck that works thematically, while still being aware of what choices do and do not work. If I play William Yorick to be the main monster-hunter in the game, it's certainly not because I want to min/max my ability to kill stuff; I'd be playing Leo or Mark if I were (not that you can't also have fun and flavourful decks with them). If I start with Baseball Bat and Knife rather than Machete and the .45, it's because I want to feel like a scrappy, well, survivor, holding back the hordes with nothing but my wits and whatever comes to hand. But I still need to take into account that I need to kill monsters for the team, and that both my fun, and the other players' fun, is to an extent contingent on me being able to do that. So obviously I'll take Vicious Blow and obviously I won't take Blackjack (0), because I actually want to be able to hold back the monsters. In Arkham, I am able to both make interesting, thematically appropriate choices that don't conform to a single one-size-fits-all approach, and make an effective, useful, dare I say optimised deck that lets me achieve my goal of portraying a skilled and effective member of the team. That is the mark of exceptional game design, and that is why I am so in favour of the Taboo list.

Incidentally, I come at Arkham more from an RPG background, as the only other CCG/LCG I have played to a major extent (at least in the last decade or so) has been LOTR LCG. RPGs, by their nature, are inherently co-operative experiences (excepting outliers like Paranoia or whatever). All the players are in the same party, working broadly towards the same goal, and broadly working as allies of one another. Even the GM isn't the antagonist; their job is to help the players have fun - in Arkham, they are more the scenario designer than the Agenda deck. And of course in a broader sense, the purpose of the game is to make a shared story together rather than to "win" or to "lose". And RPGs have extensive errata to fix balance issues - look at the errata to Star Wars RPG or D&D or the 40k games, etc etc., and you'll find a whole host of changes intended to flatten out the power of player options relative to each other - and this is a normal and expected part of how these games function and it improves the experience for the players, which is why I find the hostility towards the idea of balance changes to Arkham LCG so baffling. In an RPG, let's say I want to make a brave and heroic knight, standing firm against the forces of darkness. That's my goal story-wise, but to achieve it in the framework of the game I have to make certain optimisations - I have to prioritise Strength to make sure I can attack effectively, Constitution to make sure I can take hits, and so forth. It's part of my job as a player to realise my character goals within the game framework, so that my brave knight isn't too weak to lift his sword and isn't killed by a single goblin cutthroat, and it's part of the job of the game and its designers to allow me to make a brave and heroic knight without feeling like I should have made a different choice.

Edited by Allonym

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Posted (edited)

I absolutely do not want to under-react to your very thoughtful and edifying post, and I do on some level take these points to heart. (Also no need to apologize for reactions to your migraine... they're the worst!)

I really believe my perspective is dissimilar to a lot of other players (and so maybe not well suited to general design choices made for the larger context of mass player appeal) just because I consistently play with 3 players and will very very infrequently, for example, ever see two seekers in the same game trying to fulfill the same role. I suppose you could have 2 seekers that are both trying to be 'primary' seeker, but that's just not the way we approach the game. We talk about our deck builds and build them cooperatively. If someone really wanted to be the Daisy in your example, for instance, my role would be understood to be a secondary clue gatherer, and a primary support that is chucking skill cards and maybe making it easier for daisy to investigate by purchasing arcane insight, and packing my deck full of cards to help other players search for key cards via No Stone Unturned, or some such.

But could I feel undervalued if I try to do what Daisy is doing and just can't do it as well? Yes, sure, absolutely. And I find value in the Taboo list for those sorts of environments much more than for my own personal play. But to my mind, the scenario where I have role/card envy is not going to occur simply because my playspace involves a lot of pre-planning and we're not walking into a scenario blindly or with other decks that could be filled with just about anything.  

I imagine that meet-and-play spaces at local game stores, for example, may have more room to consider things like the Taboo list for instance than I or my gaming group would.

(I also have no issue with balance adjustments, I just feel that true balance adjustments should just be included in errata if balance is truly being affected. Anything in the Taboo list, remaining optional, should not affect the card design of future releases. I don't have any reason to think it would, and I'm glad the Taboo list exists so there is a line in the sand about what is official and what is simply helpful).

Edited by Soakman

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Soakman:  Well... Relic Hunter is REALLY good.   Especially on Mystics.    But part of the whole Rogue THING  is being able to leverage resources into doing stuff.   This is why I guess Streetwise is particularly concerning to me.   It's like a cornerstone of making the entire rogue class work.   That's where the advantage of the rogue lies,   they have money.  They might not have as good of stats in combat or investigation as other classes, but they are supposed to be able to make up for that with their resources.   Streetwise Limited list just seems like putting an XP tax on what the rogue is supposed to be doing.

Alloymn:   You're right,   I have never seen a rogue regularly rocking 30+ resources they can spend on streetwise.  Ever.     I have a feeling that this is going to be a "well if you're playing Preston and you commit Watch This  with a double-or-nothing and etc, etc, etc....  and then you're pinning all of the blame on Streetwise.   I don't really think that's fair.   

Similarly I dont really think it's fair to compare your pretty ho-hum Minh investigator with a Daisy who has 10+ resources banked, with Pathfinder, Pnakotic Manuscripts, Milan, Deduction (2) Higher Ed and Guiding Stones.   Your minh has...  3 xp, and the XP she does have isn't  really relevant to the goal (finding clues)  your example sets up.   Where Daisy has 14 xp on the table and 10+ resources banked, and all of that is geared towards clue finding.   And again,  you're blaming that all on Higher Education where Higher Education is clearly only one cog in the machine.  

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Just now, awp832 said:

Alloymn:   You're right,   I have never seen a rogue regularly rocking 30+ resources they can spend on streetwise.  Ever.     I have a feeling that this is going to be a "well if you're playing Preston and you commit Watch This  with a double-or-nothing and etc, etc, etc....  and then you're pinning all of the blame on Streetwise.   I don't really think that's fair.   

Similarly I dont really think it's fair to compare your pretty ho-hum Minh investigator with a Daisy who has 10+ resources banked, with Pathfinder, Pnakotic Manuscripts, Milan, Deduction (2) Higher Ed and Guiding Stones.   Your minh has...  3 xp, and the XP she does have isn't  really relevant to the goal (finding clues)  your example sets up.   Where Daisy has 14 xp on the table and 10+ resources banked, and all of that is geared towards clue finding.   And again,  you're blaming that all on Higher Education where Higher Education is clearly only one cog in the machine.  

It's not even remotely difficult to get 30+ resources. For example, Preston doing nothing achieves that in under 4 rounds, before you bring in ecache, lone wolf, hot streak. Sefina with Hot Streak copied with Painted World. Finn, Sefina and even Wendy with Pickpocketing (2) and some other basic resource gain. Obviously Jenny finds it even easier, much like Preston. Generally, when we play with rogues, after the first couple of scenarios, they cease using resource tokens and instead use dice or LOTR threat trackers to count their resources because of how rich they can become. And while "blame" seems an overly pejorative way of looking at the analysis, Streetwise certainly is a problem because it's an always available, versatile and highly efficient way to convert resources into victory. Rogues having big money is clearly an intended goal facet of the game and there are many methods for doing so, but Streetwise means that they will never be without an efficient way to leverage their resources, regardless of what happens to them and with no initial cost, opportunity or otherwise, aside from 3 exp.

Looking at my seeker/seeker scenario that was very obviously a specific response to refute a specific point in a different post, and framing it as a one-to-one comparison intended to show equal builds with equal thought put into them seems disingenuous - as does stating that I posited the scenario just to "blame it all on higher education" - that clearly wasn't the point at all, and indeed I think that the scenario probably better shows that Guiding Stones needs to be fixed or banned as well. The point is that not all builds and not all approaches are created equal, and that it is entirely possible for one build to overshadow another. Did I put 14 exp worth of cards on fictional!Minh's board and go turn by turn how we got to that point? No, of course not. I could construct a scenario where I did and the same outcome was achieved, but that's superfluous to the intent of the thought experiment. Milan builds getting massive piles of resources is a common occurence, and seekers using Guiding Stones can gather clues with unparallelled efficiency. They don't need to use Milan/Higher Ed to do so; I've seen Minh do it with just loads and loads of committed cards and card draw, but again, that's not the point of the exercise.

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2 hours ago, awp832 said:

Do you feel the same for other permanents?   Such as:  Stick to the Plan, but also Relic Hunter and Charisma?   None of these made it on to the Limited list.  

I dunno,  I just can't quite agree on Higher Ed and Streetwise getting their massive XP cost increase.   In particular I feel that both Relic Hunter and Charisma are far more powerful cards that Streetwise,  and about as powerful as Higher Education.   It's super rare that a character deck I build doesnt pick up at least 1 of either Relic Hunter or Charisma eventually, and more often than not I consider it a priority when spending XP for the first couple of scenarios.  

Sure, the Permanent talents are permanent (duh..)  and they can give good bonuses.   But they still cost resources to use and you still have to spend them every time you want to use your card. 

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.

 

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35 minutes ago, awp832 said:

Soakman:  Well... Relic Hunter is REALLY good.   Especially on Mystics.    But part of the whole Rogue THING  is being able to leverage resources into doing stuff.   This is why I guess Streetwise is particularly concerning to me.   It's like a cornerstone of making the entire rogue class work.   That's where the advantage of the rogue lies,   they have money.  They might not have as good of stats in combat or investigation as other classes, but they are supposed to be able to make up for that with their resources.   Streetwise Limited list just seems like putting an XP tax on what the rogue is supposed to be doing. 

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.

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I keep finding myself agreeing partially with everyone.

I've played Stick to the Plan rather routinely with my Guardians, in particular with my all Guardian team. And it tends to be my first upgrade. Even with nothing else it can store a pair of Emergency Caches and cut deck size by 2 making it easier to draw and afford starting weapons. With a few more xp a Prepared for the Worst, Extra Ammunition, and Custom Ammunition go in, making upgrading past a simple .45 (0) almost unnecessary, particularly if you manage to draw a Reliable, and now a Well-Maintained, early enough. Depending on the campaign, it would probably be my first upgrade if it cost 8 xp, and maybe even at a dizzying 10 xp. I find it is just that good, that often - for my style of play.

As for the Bonus Slots versus Permanent Talents, I don't use Relic Hunter, but Charisma is the only card that can displace Stick to the Plan for Leo. Having used them, I find there is a "combo requirement" for both types.

Yes, you have to draw and play the Allies (or Relics) for Bonus Slots to work, but presumably you are stacking your deck to begin with. When you have 2 copies each of 5 Allies in a Leo deck, that's a full third of your deck. You have to be all kinds of stupidly unlucky not to have 1 in your hand for at least half the game. With Leo's ability, he always has an action to play them, and with the discount, he almost always has the resources. Other investigators have to work a bit more, but it is far from impossible. I've "used" Charisma almost every scenario I've had it with an Investigator with an Ally deck. Conversely, having just Peter Sylvestre and Leo De Luca in your deck and counting on both to show up all the time is a great way to waste 3 xp on Charisma.

For the Skill Cards, you still have to get the resources, and for Higher Education the cards in hands. Doing that requires actions that are often not directed at winning the game - gathering clues and killing enemies. Getting rich doesn't win scenarios. If a Rogue spends 2 actions every turn to get rich enough to Investigate or Fight once, that's not going to win long term. That includes spending the first 3 turns stocking up and then cruising. The Encounter Deck may have left you in the dust by the time you are ready to start playing. As for sitting on cards to fuel Higher Education, it seems it works about half the time for me. Either I get the 2-3 cards (like Death and good old Milan) in my starting hand and never have to play another so I can sit on everything I draw after that, or I don't, and I'm dropping cards left and right to skill checks all game, wondering if I will get to use Higher Education in the next scenario. While I have started taking it as a "mandatory" upgrade, I always find myself looking at Arcane Insight and Guiding Stones and wondering if I should have bought one of those instead. I can easily understand passing on Higher Education for some more of those sweet, expensive Seeker spells and Task upgrades, or leaving Streetwise to grab Skeleton Key first, and then Ace in the Hole and The Gold Pocket Watch are staring at me.

Everything that cost resources has an action cost associated with it, and unless you play an all Skill deck, every card has a cost associated with it that impacts using Talents. That pushes the "value" of most cards back to being dependent on play style over card text.

 

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Posted (edited)
28 minutes ago, SamWeiss said:

I've played Stick to the Plan rather routinely with my Guardians, in particular with my all Guardian team. And it tends to be my first upgrade. Even with nothing else it can store a pair of Emergency Caches and cut deck size by 2 making it easier to draw and afford starting weapons.

 

The rest of your post mainly concerns your personal playstyle so I won't comment, but I'm sorry to bring you the following bad news: Stick to the Plan specifies 3 different events, so you can only put one copy of Ecache under it (which is why I only start with one copy on Carolyn).

Edited by Allonym

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48 minutes ago, Allonym said:

The rest of your post mainly concerns your personal playstyle so I won't comment, but I'm sorry to bring you the following bad news: Stick to the Plan specifies 3 different events, so you can only put one copy of Ecache under it (which is why I only start with one copy on Carolyn).

😮

Well phoo. How did I not recognize that?

Well, time to add an extra starting tactic. :)

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17 hours ago, Buhallin said:

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.

There's a flip side here. Which is that Rogues can't choose the 1 resource for 1 stat bump.  On Standard, being +2 to the test is where we aim for as a balance between cost and probability of success. So if they're already +1 and would rather spend 1 resource for a 1 bump, they can't. Instead they have to spend 2 resources and overshoot where they'd ideally be. And then maybe lack the resource to try to efficiently try that test twice. So sure, it's more efficient in some ways. But it's actually less efficient in others. And that tradeoff gets routinely ignored.

Higher Ed's restriction also gets continually glossed over. There's certainly some scenarios that will mill your hand. And maybe you want to keep playing cards that you want in play. Now, Seekers are in a decent position to solve this with cards that give you card draw. But that restriction isn't nothing.

Oddly, surprisingly?, I didn't read any post in the 4 pages that I agreed with as much as the OP; although there were definitely a number that I agreed with some. The Mutated list all makes sense and I have no problem with any of the changes. All of them bring down the power of the cards into a way that are still usable and in line with many others. All of the Limited List is garbage with the possible exception of Elusive which is a sneaky great card. 

Machete - Lots of people use it. Great. That isn't necessarily a problem. Every kitchen in America contains eggs & flour. Does that mean that they're overpowered in recipes? Or that they're just a nice, basic starting point. If the favorite default weapon was from Seeker then that would be a problem. But having something that allows a class to reliably, but not amazingly, do their job is a very sensible and reasonable starting point. It's not like it creates a situation where Guardians then ignore future weapons. Buying new weapons is pretty much the first thing they spend xp on. Because they don't want to settle just making a simple flour & egg batter. They want to go buy the steak. And frankly Enchanted Blade already replaces Machete in some decks. Machete is a very good 0xp weapon. I can't see many people spending 4xp to get 2 copies in their decks in the future. I would spend the 1 extra xp on Timeworn Brand and then rely on Guardian's various weapon seeking cards to pull it. Or 2 more xp on Stick to the Plan and largely solve the trade-off on the bigger guns by putting in Custom Ammo, Extra Ammo, or upgraded Emergency Cache to overload the guns which are supposed to be balanced by limited uses.

Switchblade - This seems just fine as is. It's not fantastic. It relies on the Rogues over-success to be really useful. And they're not the class that is set to consistently over succeed on combat. Frankly it's a marginal add at even 2xp.

Higher Ed - Obviously this has been talked about forever as being one of the best cards in the game. So nerf'ing it somehow makes sense and would be expected. But changing Milan to once per turn weakens it significantly just on its own. Seekers aren't resource generators, other than Milan. And the 5-card restriction does come into play with some regularity. If you wanted to bring it down making it cost an exorbitant amount of xp is both ham-handed and  unwieldy. Seekers already have a smorgasbord of things to spend xp on. In TFA I used Ursula and granted she has access to some expensive relics, but I finished with something like 67 xp and still had another 10-15xp that I could have productively used. Putting it at 8xp doesn't fix it at all; it just makes it really expensive. Even off the cuff fixes could have been using it max once per test or unlimited in one test but only one test per turn in exchange for removing the 5-card restriction would've been totally fine, especially once you tweak Milan and Rex.

Streetwise - See above. Sure, it's more efficient in giving you +3 to a test. But less efficient in giving you +1. And I agree with the person earlier who said that gaining resources is one of the strongest class identifies for Rogues. And making this less attainable weakens that entire class of cards. And even then I find the idea that Rogues have a limitless bank account to be specious. Sure, Preston has a lot of money. But that's who he is. Jenny gets an extra resource per turn. But that just lets her improve a test per turn, without having anything leftover to play new cards. Moreover it doesn't obviate Hard Knocks as Hard Knocks lets you increase combat; Streetwise doesn't. 3xp seems fine. If you want to bump it to 4 then, well, ok. But 8 is just silly. That's the same as the Pocket Watch which is amazing.

Scrapper - Eh. I guess increasing to 4 or 5 is ok. It is pretty good and can make a big difference in the game. But as someone else said above, is this really worth being the place that FFG breaks the 3xp ceiling for Survivors? That was both a frustrating but thematically amusing restriction and class definition. It's a pity and bit of a shame to break that mold just for something they already had.

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20 hours ago, PJimo said:

Machete - Lots of people use it. Great. That isn't necessarily a problem. Every kitchen in America contains eggs & flour. Does that mean that they're overpowered in recipes? Or that they're just a nice, basic starting point. If the favorite default weapon was from Seeker then that would be a problem. But having something that allows a class to reliably, but not amazingly, do their job is a very sensible and reasonable starting point. It's not like it creates a situation where Guardians then ignore future weapons. Buying new weapons is pretty much the first thing they spend xp on. Because they don't want to settle just making a simple flour & egg batter. They want to go buy the steak. And frankly Enchanted Blade already replaces Machete in some decks. Machete is a very good 0xp weapon. I can't see many people spending 4xp to get 2 copies in their decks in the future. I would spend the 1 extra xp on Timeworn Brand and then rely on Guardian's various weapon seeking cards to pull it. Or 2 more xp on Stick to the Plan and largely solve the trade-off on the bigger guns by putting in Custom Ammo, Extra Ammo, or upgraded Emergency Cache to overload the guns which are supposed to be balanced by limited uses.

Explain to me how Machete is in line with the other L0 Guardian weapons because I think its much better than the other choices.  I just don't see how its balanced compared to .45 Auto, Trench Knife or even Enchanted Blade.  Or to put it another way: if you had Machete and any other level 0 weapon in hand at the start of a game, which would you play?  For me it would be Machete almost every time. 

Comparing the cost of 2 copies of the new Machete to one copy of Timeworn Brand and cards that seek weapons is a little off.  A fairer one would be 1 copy of Machete and cards that seek weapons to Timeworn Brand and cards that seek weapons.

Saying its only 2 more xp so that you can have easy access to 6 or 7 more xp of cards is also underselling the xp variance.  And its not like you can't boost Machete with other cards as well.

 

 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Jobu said:

Explain to me how Machete is in line with the other L0 Guardian weapons because I think its much better than the other choices. 

I didn't say that it was and I didn't say that it has to be. There is, and is no reason for there to be, that all cards in a universe to be considered interchangeable at a power level. Some are better. Some are worse. Some are both depending on the situations. What I said is that it's a bread & butter card that allows a class to reliably, but not spectacularly, to do their job. Nearly as many decks use Magnifying Glass as they do Machete. Does that mean that Magnifying Glass is OP and should be made more expensive? Nah. It just means that Magnifying Glass is a card that allows Seekers to reliably to do their job. Pair it up with some similar options like Flashlight so you're fairly guaranteed on getting at least 1 early on to be able to go out and get clues. Arcane Initiate serves the same purpose for Mystics.

These are just cornerstone cards. Not particularly awesome. But pretty good. And gives an avenue for a class to do its fundamental purpose. If a Seeker can't bump their Investigate, it's tough on them. If Mystics can't pull a spell or often specifically the right type of spell, it's tough on them. If Guardians can't do more than 1 damage/action, it's tough on them. These are backstops and security blankets, not an OP game breaker. They're the Magic Missiles of Arkham.

3 hours ago, Jobu said:

I just don't see how its balanced compared to .45 Auto, Trench Knife or even Enchanted Blade.  Or to put it another way: if you had Machete and any other level 0 weapon in hand at the start of a game, which would you play?  For me it would be Machete almost every time. 

Depends on the deck. Right now in TCU I'm running a Yorick deck and have 4.5 L0 weapons in the deck, none of which are Machete. (I also have 2 Timeworn Brands). Instead I have 2 Baseball Bats, Survival Knife, Enchanted Blade, and Gravedigger's Shovel (I did say 4.5). The Enchanted Blade can give you +2 combat and a guaranteed +1 damage when you need it. It's more low-powered when you don't. And with Yorick's recursions he's ok throwing away things that have limited charges. Moreover, it's a Relic, which is important sometimes. Survival Knife provides a unique ability to get action-less damage when your investigator is well able to soak it themselves (or redirect it to allies). And Baseball Bat is just flat-out better than Machete, provided you're ok with something with limited uses. (And taking up 2 hands can be a benefit if you have the upgraded bandolier in play). There's some builds that will definitely be preferring Meat Cleaver to Machete. Or Fire Axe if they're running Dark Horse and want a money sink. So not only are there situations where I would play something instead of Machete in the beginning of the game, there's decks where given the choice, I wouldn't even include it (and right now, don't).

Don't get me wrong. I'm a big fan of something being reliable and being unlimited uses. It's why I like the Brand so much. But reliability and unlimited uses is what the Machete has going for it. But it's not so great that people don't try to move onto other weapons. Instead, spending xp for other weapons is in the first 2 or 3 buys a Guardian will make.

3 hours ago, Jobu said:

Comparing the cost of 2 copies of the new Machete to one copy of Timeworn Brand and cards that seek weapons is a little off.  A fairer one would be 1 copy of Machete and cards that seek weapons to Timeworn Brand and cards that seek weapons.

Fair, although most Guardian decks are going to get one or more of those weapon-seeking cards regardless to pull the other, better weapons and just make sure they have one in the first place. It's not like if someone buys 2 Machetes they'll decide against it. So it's basically a sunk cost either way. And if you buy Machete, what are you swapping it in for? You have two .32 Colts that you decide you want to upgrade, one at a time, to Machete? I think instead people would spend 4xp on a Shotgun, Lightning Gun, or similar and/or Stick to the Plan to put in an Emergency Cache to pay for a .45 Thompson. I can't see it being that worthwhile to spend xp on something that's an intermediary solution that doesn't have an upgraded version that gives you a discount for buying it.

Edited by PJimo

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Posted (edited)

Can I first delve into the realm of the theoretical before addressing the practical?

Theory time:   Which weapons are good choices is dependent entirely upon how the designers set up each scenario.  Currently there are some things that generally hold true:   most enemies have more than 1 hp,  and every investigator can expect to draw roughly the same amount of "aggro", as it were.  That is to say,  if I am playing Daisy and I have Roland and Jim on my team,    I expect that in the broadest of terms,  roughly 1/3 of the enemies drawn will engage me.  But these things are only the current convention, they don't have to be true all the time.  Imagine a scenario where most enemies have 1 hp and a 4-5 fight value, and you have to fight a lot of them.   The mythos deck is constantly spawning them, or respawning them, or churning out similar high fight, 1 hp enemies.   A machete is now simply less good as a weapon than something like the Gravedigger's shovel,  which is cheaper and provides a higher combat bonus.  This has nothing to do with the cards themselves and everything to do with the parameters  in which the cards are being played.  Another example,  imagine a different theoretical scenario in which most enemies have multiple HP and the text:  Hunter, Spawn:  Investigator with the lowest Combat.  Prey:  Lowest Combat ONLY.    Now these enemies are going to hunt down and engage the people who tend to be poorly suited to dealing with them,  and any guardian wishing to protect their Seeker friends will have to constantly spend actions pulling enemies away from the Seeker so the machete can get its damage bonus.   This starts to make things less efficient compared to a .45 automatic, Enchanted Blade or .45 Thompson.  

Practical time:   There have been many times when I have had a machete out and found myself unexpectedly engaged with multiple enemies at the same time.  Machete is a much less favorable choice in these situations.  Spoiler for a recent scenario:

 

Recently in The Secret Name there is a part where  the agenda advances, you spawn Nahab and Brown Jenkin in the same location, and then draw your card for mythos.   Easy to pull a 4 HP rat here that has 3 combat value (b/c of brown jenkin).   Hacking through all of this with a Machete is just not happening.  If you had a .45 Automatic,  your chances improve dramatically.   Or at least, you might be able to take out Nahab and save the less damaging rats for a later turn. 

Edited by awp832

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Posted (edited)
42 minutes ago, awp832 said:

Can I first delve into the realm of the theoretical before addressing the practical?

Theory time:   Which weapons are good choices is dependent entirely upon how the designers set up each scenario.  Currently there are some things that generally hold true:   most enemies have more than 1 hp,  and every investigator can expect to draw roughly the same amount of "aggro", as it were.  That is to say,  if I am playing Daisy and I have Roland and Jim on my team,    I expect that in the broadest of terms,  roughly 1/3 of the enemies drawn will engage me.  But these things are only the current convention, they don't have to be true all the time.  Imagine a scenario where most enemies have 1 hp and a 4-5 fight value, and you have to fight a lot of them.   The mythos deck is constantly spawning them, or respawning them, or churning out similar high fight, 1 hp enemies.   A machete is now simply less good as a weapon than something like the Gravedigger's shovel,  which is cheaper and provides a higher combat bonus.  This has nothing to do with the cards themselves and everything to do with the parameters  in which the cards are being played.  Another example,  imagine a different theoretical scenario in which most enemies have multiple HP and the text:  Hunter, Spawn:  Investigator with the lowest Combat.  Prey:  Lowest Combat ONLY.    Now these enemies are going to hunt down and engage the people who tend to be poorly suited to dealing with them,  and any guardian wishing to protect their Seeker friends will have to constantly spend actions pulling enemies away from the Seeker so the machete can get its damage bonus.   This starts to make things less efficient compared to a .45 automatic, Enchanted Blade or .45 Thompson.  

Practical time:   There have been many times when I have had a machete out and found myself unexpectedly engaged with multiple enemies at the same time.  Machete is a much less favorable choice in these situations.  Spoiler for a recent scenario:

  Hide contents

Recently in The Secret Name there is a part where  the agenda advances, you spawn Nahab and Brown Jenkin in the same location, and then draw your card for mythos.   Easy to pull a 4 HP rat here that has 3 combat value (b/c of brown jenkin).   Hacking through all of this with a Machete is just not happening.  If you had a .45 Automatic,  your chances improve dramatically.   Or at least, you might be able to take out Nahab and save the less damaging rats for a later turn. 

The Secret Name is a great example of a situation in which the machete is not better and actually may be less ideal. I feel like machete was hands-down the best choice for a long time, but I'm not sure that holds water any longer. Or will in the future. It's never going to be a BAD card, but I think it has plenty of competition. Particularly if you want to load up your deck with gun mod cards.

Edited by Soakman

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I agree that all the cards on the taboo list were powerful, but haven't all the investigators been designed and balanced around having these op cards available so early? I'm not against bans/nerfs in any game. It's just right now I'm not seeing viable alternatives. I'm looking at you Streetwise.

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Well, maybe when Return to Carcosa comes out, the Taboo list will be modified to reduce Machete (2) to Machete (1), or even just drop it off the list altogether.
That's a benefit of an optional list that can be regularly modified.

Of course it should be noted that it requires an action to replay the .32 Colt (2), something the Machete (any) does not require.

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1 hour ago, SamWeiss said:

Well, maybe when Return to Carcosa comes out, the Taboo list will be modified to reduce Machete (2) to Machete (1), or even just drop it off the list altogether.
That's a benefit of an optional list that can be regularly modified.

Of course it should be noted that it requires an action to replay the .32 Colt (2), something the Machete (any) does not require.

I'm just going to ignore the extra xp now and altogether. But for future campaigns probably use the Mutated list of errata (including making the Key of Ys exceptional). 

The thing is that you would want to use the Machete forever is when you don't have anything better to replace it with. But as soon as you have 5 or 6 xp, you generally do. So its main advantage is having it when you have 0xp. Having to pay xp for it destroys its value.

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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".

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1 minute ago, PJimo said:

The thing is that you would want to use the Machete forever is when you don't have anything better to replace it with. But as soon as you have 5 or 6 xp, you generally do. So its main advantage is having it when you have 0xp. Having to pay xp for it destroys its value.

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.

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2 minutes ago, Buhallin said:

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.

You're not disagreeing with me.

 

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2 minutes ago, PJimo said:

You're not disagreeing with me.

 

I'm not sure how?  You said:

15 minutes ago, PJimo said:

you would want to use the Machete forever is when you don't have anything better to replace it with....

its main advantage is having it when you have 0xp

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.

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8 minutes ago, Buhallin said:

I'm not sure how?  You said:

26 minutes ago, PJimo said:

I'm just going to ignore the extra xp now and altogether. But for future campaigns probably use the Mutated list of errata (including making the Key of Ys exceptional). 

The thing is that you would want to use the Machete forever is when you don't have anything better to replace it with...

its main advantage is having it when you have 0xp.

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.

Replace = replace in play, not replace in your deck.

Its main advantage is being able to put it into play, and then not replacing it in play, when you have 0xp and haven't bought any better weapon. As you get other and better options which you would then play over it, its value diminishes. Its value would diminish further if you then have to spend 4xp to put into your deck the 2 copies you had previously been putting in for free versus something like a Shotgun or a Lightning Gun.

So no. You misunderstood what I was saying. You weren't disagreeing with what I said.

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So I fail to see how any of that makes the change anything other than beneficial for the health of the game.

36 minutes ago, Buhallin said:

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".

This, plus the fact that with the Upgrade cards there are now ways to build to take advantage of one option or the other.

Reliable is great for a Machete and pretty bad for the Colt, but guns like the Colt can have Custom Ammunition and plentiful, cheap ammunition is great for effects that spend ammo (Eat Lead!, Warning Shot).

You can very much use a Machete as your primary weapon throughout the entirety of a campaign. You can very much go a different route. Giving the machete an exp cost makes that an actual choice rather than a default option.

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