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Inspector Jee

Lost Legends: "Elementalist" Question

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The Elemental skill Tide reads:

Exhaust this card after you perform an attack. A monster adjacent to the target space suffers "damage" equal to the number of exhausted "elemental" cards. (emph mine)


The Skill Sun and Sea reads:

When you use Tide or Blaze, you may exhaust this card to reroll 1 attack or power die. When you purchase this card, gain an additional "elemental" skill.

What is going on here?  How can you possibly use Sun and Sea with Tide?  By the time Tide can legally be used, the attack is complete and any chances to re-roll attack or power dice is long over.

- Jee

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Inspector Jee said:

 

What is going on here?  How can you possibly use Sun and Sea with Tide?  By the time Tide can legally be used, the attack is complete and any chances to re-roll attack or power dice is long over.

- Jee

 

Tide reads that you exhaust the card after you perform an attack. It doesn't require the attack be resolved first, so you can do a reroll on that attack.

Edited by Charmy

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Charmy said:

Tide reads that you exhaust the card after you perform an attack. It doesn't require the attack be resolved first, so you can do a reroll on that attack.

Are you sure that wording doesn't require that the Attack be resolved first?  Tide's syntax is what is usually used by the game when it means exactly that - after the attack is over.  Take Mordrog's Heroic Ability for example:  "Use after you perform an attack that does not defeat a target. Perform an additional attack, using the same target. This attack adds 1 Surge to the results."  This is clearly meant to be used only after the first attack has been resolved.  Or Quick Casting:  "After you perform an attack with a Rune weapon, exhaust this card to immediately perform an additional attack.  Same thing.

All of the effects and abilties that actually affect an attack in progress uses the wording  "... when you perform an attack ...".  See Blaze:  "Exhaust this card when you perform an attack, after dice are rolled" or Dual Strike:  "Exhaust this card when you perform an attack" or Long Shot:  "Exhaust this card when you perform an attack with a Bow weapon".  Or any number of the endless mechanics that allow attack/power dice to be rerolled.  But Tide doesn't use this wording; it uses the wording that "post attack" effects use.  This makes it incompatible with Sun and Sea.  Seems like something is worded wrongly here.

Has FFG clarified these phrases at all in the last 6 years?

- Jee
 

Edited by Inspector Jee

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Posted (edited)

There seems to be a few examples of dubious or inconsistent wording in this expansion. I’m not claiming Descent is consistent in its wording (heavens no) but there seemed to be several inconsistencies in this expansion.

I do not remember which specific skill it was (perhaps a Lorekeeper skill) that had the player test knowledge.

Then it said “If you succeed...

While its meaning is obviously clear, no question, no other skill or card I know of uses “succeed” in place of “pass” when referring to attribute tests.

That’s a nitpicky example, but this inconsistency with Tide and Sun and Sea is very glaring.

I apologize if I sound salty. I’m quite happy we’re getting this expansion and I’m glad @Alicitorte had the chance to design much of this expansion with FFG.

I’m just disappointed at the shockingly high power level the Elementalist appears to have.

Particularly with Spiritual Balance being a phenomenal fatigue restoration ability for a class that has no fatigue costs period for any of the powerful buffs in the class deck.

Edited by Lightningclaw

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3 hours ago, Inspector Jee said:

Are you sure that wording doesn't require that the Attack be resolved first?  Tide's syntax is what is usually used by the game when it means exactly that - after the attack is over.  Take Mordrog's Heroic Ability for example:  "Use after you perform an attack that does not defeat a target. Perform an additional attack, using the same target. This attack adds 1 Surge to the results."  This is clearly meant to be used only after the first attack has been resolved.  Or Quick Casting:  "After you perform an attack with a Rune weapon, exhaust this card to immediately perform an additional attack.  Same thing.

All of the effects and abilties that actually affect an attack in progress uses the wording  "... when you perform an attack ...".  See Blaze:  "Exhaust this card when you perform an attack, after dice are rolled" or Dual Strike:  "Exhaust this card when you perform an attack" or Long Shot:  "Exhaust this card when you perform an attack with a Bow weapon".  Or any number of the endless mechanics that allow attack/power dice to be rerolled.  But Tide doesn't use this wording; it uses the wording that "post attack" effects use.  This makes it incompatible with Sun and Sea.  Seems like something is worded wrongly here.

Has FFG clarified these phrases at all in the last 6 years?

- Jee
 

Sure. Wording is a trouble not from yesterday. Sometimes logic goes beyond wording rule.

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@Inspector Jee Your examples are indeed correct. The wording is not consistent with other cards.

However, I think the interpretation that you can reroll the dice on that attack is the only reasonable one to make in this case.

Hopefully we get an errata soon. I don’t have my cards yet, but from seeing them online I can already think of a few I’ll need clarity on.

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Posted (edited)

I agree that when semantics fail, obvious interpretations prevail.  But this is Descent - there are no obvious interpretations.  Every piece of behavior that gets ascribed to a mechanic has implications for the same mechanic in a dozen other places.  It's often impossible to know what the designers actually intend, because any interpretation will result in new precedents being set in established situations.  In a precariously balanced game where a single, obscure mechanical interaction is often the difference between Overlord victory and Hero victory, "reasonable interpretations" just aren't good enough.  A single grain of rice can tip a scale like this.  In this case, this is the difference between potentially being able to damage a target-adjacent monster mid-attack vs. being forced to wait until afterward.  This may not seem like a big deal, but there are a number of ways this can matter:

- A Master Changling with 1 Health remaining that is adjacent to the target will be Laughing, hideously.  This applies a -1 to the attributes of the Heroes around it.  If it dies immediately after the attack is declared (via Tide) but before it's over, the attacking Hero could potentially have an easier time using skills DURING that attack that require attribute tests.  No such reprieve is given if Tide must be used post-attack.

- A Dark Minotaur with 1 Health remaining that is adjacent to the target will be full of putrid boils, causing any Diseased Heroes within 3 spaces to spend extra fatigue in order to use fatigue-based skills and abilities.  If it dies before the attack is over, Diseased Heroes in the area can ignore this penalty during the Attack allowing them to use their skills to augment said attack with impunity. Not so, if Tide cannot be used until after an Attack.

- A Broodwalker with 1 Health remaining that is adjacent to the target will be spilling Sludge and Hazards to its surrounded spaces.  If Tide can be used mid-attack, it could eliminate this Broodwalker before the attack is over and thus eliminate those two terrain effects.  This allows the attacking Hero to use movement abilities that might trigger from an attack (via surges or some other mechanic) freely, without worrying about those impediments.  If you had to wait until the attack was resolved to use Tide (which is what's written on the freakin' card), then said movement abilities will be subject to the might of the Broodwalker.

These may seem like highly specific cases, but it's just the tip of the iceberg.  Combine these with an effect that deals extra Hearts every time a Monster takes at least 1 Heart and suddenly the problem is twice as common.  It's not like its a Level 3 ability either - Tide can used right out of the gate.  Many of the Act I Monsters have very low health.

The Descent Official FAQ hasn't seen an update in 2 and half years;  maybe this is a good opportunity to update it?

- Jee

Edited by Inspector Jee

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Posted (edited)

It feels like this expansion could have used a lot more playtesting in general. The more I dig into it, the more concerned I get with broken stuff.

I was taking another look at the LoreKeeper, and if I'm reading it correctly, the All-Knowing ability can potentially give an Apothecary with Bottled Courage an unlimited number of attacks and elixir tokens in a single turn. Hm. Rather problematic I'd say!

Edited by Charmy

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I think All-Knowing should be exhausted when you use it. There are cards which can be used endless - for example Runemaster's Ghost Armor - but the text is "use this card" on those cards.

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Posted (edited)

It doesn’t even say “Use this card”. 

It’s peculiar, because there are cards that are worded quite carefully- the Crusader’s Righteous is worded to prevent recovering buckets of fatigue for blasting lots of monsters.

Although I’m still skeptical of a 2xp skill that turns the entire party into pseudo-Tinashis.

I’ve said this lots of times, but the Soul Reaper looks brilliant and useful, with clear but not crippling weaknesses for an OL to attack.

The rest of the expansion feels rather like when you bite into a biscuit and it’s doughy inside.

Edited by Lightningclaw

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Posted (edited)

I'm also really concerned with the Avenger's Death From Above allowing a hero to teleport from across the map dealing tons of free attacks. The skill should at least require you to be within 3 squares of the hero and also really should be exhausting on use, but doesn't say either of those things. What the heck.

Urgh. I wonder if I'm even going to be able to use most of this expansion :(

Edited by Charmy

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Yeah but you need to spend at least 4 XP for this and you have to discard 2 damage tokens for each 'free' attacks. To collect those damage tokens you have to stick around 3 spaces away to your friends. I think it's fair. I expect something like this from a 3XP skill considering how much I have to wait in a campaign till I can spend 4 XP to have this combination.

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Posted (edited)

Most of the time you are within 3 spaces of your friends, so it doesn't seem to be much of a limitation to acquire these tokens. It is done automatically too, just by having your friends hurting monsters.

I do agree that 3xp skills are supposed to be very strong, but up till this expansion I haven't seen skills (even 3xp skills) that can potentially grant a hero more than 1 additional attack per turn without a lot of setup and fatigue cost (e.g. Cataclysm, Prismatic Assault). The ability to teleport any amount of distance for 1 stamina is kinda unprecedented too.

Edited by Charmy

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5 hours ago, Charmy said:

It feels like this expansion could have used a lot more playtesting in general. The more I dig into it, the more concerned I get with broken stuff.

I was taking another look at the LoreKeeper, and if I'm reading it correctly, the All-Knowing ability can potentially give an Apothecary with Bottled Courage an unlimited number of attacks and elixir tokens in a single turn. Hm. Rather problematic I'd say!

I didn't read it that way. I was almost sure All knowing would exhaust. Holy ****, this is far too strong, then !

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Posted (edited)

I find it rather amusing that many of you are surprised by the apparent lack of playtesting of Legends, as well as various wording issues (lack of consistency with key terms).

After all, this is pretty much the STANDARD for FFG components - especially for D2e.

Further, considering that this is an expansion that is pretty much an after thought, and has come out years after everything else ... how can anyone be SURPRISED?

Edited by any2cards

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2 hours ago, any2cards said:

I find it rather amusing that many of you are surprised by the apparent lack of playtesting of Legends, as well as various wording issues (lack of consistency with key terms).

After all, this is pretty much the STANDARD for FFG components - especially for D2e.

Further, considering that this is an expansion that is pretty much an after thought, and has come out years after everything else ... how can anyone be SURPRISED?

The frustrating thing is a lot of these issues could have easily been caught if they had just reached out to the community a little. They would have found plenty of people interested in testing this product for them.

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Posted (edited)

The only way to stop the All-Knowing combo (with or without errata) is for the Overlord to play directly against it, which shouldn't be too hard since you have a lot of time to see it coming.  Relentless Befuddles and Uncontrolled Powers, combined with cards like Solidarity and the Level 1 stuff from Shadowmancer (plus the Universal cycle cards) might effectively counter it - or at least limit it.  You could combine these tactics with Baron Z's (or Rylan Olliven's) Plot Deck.

It's also quite possible that the lack of exhaust on All-Knowing is precisely because this card is meant to only be able to affect exhausted cards (i.e. CANNOT target unexhausted ones) and the designers didn't want it to be able to target itself (which really would be an f-ing nightmare).  It's not strictly written that way, but I can think of no other valid reason for the current version to behave as it does (aside from total disregard for balance which, while an easy scape-goat, is a far too simplistic and knee-jerky opinion for me to invest in by default).  In that context, basically anything which drains fatigue or targets Attribute tests would be a solid play.  And it's not like those mechanics aren't useful in other places.

- Jee
 

Edited by Inspector Jee

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On 6/22/2019 at 7:53 AM, Charmy said:

It feels like this expansion could have used a lot more playtesting in general. The more I dig into it, the more concerned I get with broken stuff.

I was taking another look at the LoreKeeper, and if I'm reading it correctly, the All-Knowing ability can potentially give an Apothecary with Bottled Courage an unlimited number of attacks and elixir tokens in a single turn. Hm. Rather problematic I'd say!

A simple errata like 'you can't use All-Knowing for the same card in a turn (Exhaust - Refresh with All-Knowing - Exhaust, ignore cost - Refresh ... ...) could also solve it. Or the other one suggested already - Exhaust All-Knowing.

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27 minutes ago, kbalazsa said:

A simple errata like 'you can't use All-Knowing for the same card in a turn (Exhaust - Refresh with All-Knowing - Exhaust, ignore cost - Refresh ... ...) could also solve it. Or the other one suggested already - Exhaust All-Knowing.

The problem with setting All-Knowing to Exhaust (as a fix) is that it will become indisputably able target itself.  Then it's free for the rest of the Round and you're at the complete mercy of whether or not the Hero eventually fails the test ><

- Jee

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, kbalazsa said:

You can't use an Exhausted card I believe. So if you exhaust you cannot use is to refresh itself  as that would be a Münchausen trilemma.

Why not?  It says "Choose any number of your skill cards and test [Book].  Add [Shield] to the results equal to the number of chosen cards.  If you pass, unexhaust each of those cards and ignore their fatigue cost until the end of the round."

Nothing in there says I can't choose the card that activated this ability in the first place, and on-use card Exhaustings always happen before the effects they bestow since they're treated as part of the cost.  So I suppose you could get around this by putting "Then, exhaust this card." at the very end of the text.  That would do it.

I'm still not convinced that this card wasn't worded this way intentionally - without an exhaust clause - to indicate that it's effects cannot be applied to unexhausted cards (and therefore cannot be used on itself since the card deliberately does not exhaust).

- Jee 

Edited by Inspector Jee

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