Meditation Changes (split)

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Meditation Changes (split)

Postby Ben » Wed May 13, 2015 12:41 pm

Is there too much essence/too easy to regain it?

On day adventures, opportunities to med for long were few: now we're event-based are people able to use less essence and regain it faster?

Couple of ideas (just throwing them out there to see what people think):
1) Nerf med (we talked about this at length and never did anything about it)
2) Nerf healing (2 essence for 1, 3 essence for 2, 5 essence for 5, 20 essence for True Heal which NO LONGER REPAIRS ARMOUR)
3) People no longer get essence free, you buy it with skill. Perhaps on a 1 for 1 basis or 5 skill for 5 but perhaps modified by something? This would vastly slow down progression: is this a bad thing?
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Re: Armour hits

Postby Stevie » Wed May 13, 2015 2:01 pm

I feel that nerfing med would probably be the right way to go, it brings us into a clever, more attrition based system, not just for healing but for all spell-casting. This would separate the good casters from the bad ones.

If we nerfed healing, we would likely see an increase in player deaths, one that's not necessarily due to bad game-play but because of a reduced healing output. Short term mistakes would be punished harshly, which I don't think should be the norm. This is because short-term mistakes that are instantly punished are hard to counter with good game-sense.

Whereas if meditation was nerfed and we moved into a more attrition based system, it wouldn't be a short term mistake that kills someone, rather a series of long-term mistakes and mismanagement of essence. With this, one short term mistake wouldn't cost a player their life but the knock on effect from that mistake would influence your game-play going forward (heralding in a new age of Essence-Austerity.

"We have had to make cut backs because of the mess we inherited from last encounter. It's only through reducing the amount of Essence we spend on welfare that we can get this adventure back on track. So yes, I think it's right that we cut back the amount of Essence we spend on welfare and yes, I think that it's also right that we encourage High-Skill Characters to help our adventure grow by reducing the amount of Essence Tax that High-Skill Characters have to pay. - Haran Cameron")

On the third point, I have thought for a while that you should be able to purchase additional Essence with skill. I think people should still get a base amount.

Perhaps part of the issue is where we have Warriors/Scouts with 100+ Essence who don't use it for casting and are generally free Essence batteries for Casters. Perhaps something like a set Essence award dependent on class. I.E - Warriors/Scouts have a range of 1-3 as a possible award whereas Caster Classes have a range of 1-6.

Again, this is just throwing random ideas into the mix for consideration.

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Re: Armour hits

Postby Ben » Wed May 13, 2015 2:33 pm

What if instead of essence being roughly equal to your skill award it was roughly half? So you get a reward of half as much essence as gain skill (rounded up) + a bonus if you have a good magic modifier (but no penalty for having a +1 or N/A to magic).

So a Warrior earns 5 skill, he has N/A for magic and so gains 3 essence (2.5 rounded up).
A bard earns 4 skill, he has +1 for magic (which doesn't penalise him) so gains 2 essence.
A High Mage earns 6 skill, he has a -2 for magic so gains 5 essence (half of 6 +2 for his mod)
A Mage earns 2 skill. He leaves the system. He gains 2 essence (half of 2 + 1 for his mod)
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Re: Armour hits

Postby Ben » Wed May 13, 2015 2:51 pm

So, an idea,,,get rid of med as it stands

The only standard ways to recover essence are:
- Sleep: every full, interrupted hour restores 10% of your total. You must inform a ref of when and where you are sleeping so that we have the option to stop you having a full, interrupted hour ;)

- New Meditation: across Velmaneth are many places where the crust is thin and the jewel is closer to the surface, at these places heroes can meditate in order to recover their essence. These will usually be marked by shrines and can be found using Sense Power. At some events these may be convenient (eg in the main house) other times they might be at the top of the mountain at Perth Y Pia) or not present at all: the writer of the event will decide this in advance along with how long someone must stay there and how much they'll gain by doing so.

- Ritual: most rituals are pretty loose in their rules but in the same way that "Resurrection" is a ritual with known rules and sacrifices, so will be the ritual of regaining essence. To perform this you cast Share Power to create a single pool of essence between all who intend to enter this ritual and then Open Ritual circle with ALL the essence of this combined pool. At this point no one within the circle has any essence and it is down to the participants to do a good ritual in order to gain more than they started with.
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Re: Armour hits

Postby Hatsuo1980 » Wed May 13, 2015 2:56 pm

Ben wrote:So, an idea,,,get rid of med as it stands

The only standard ways to recover essence are:
- Sleep: every full, interrupted hour restores 10% of your total. You must inform a ref of when and where you are sleeping so that we have the option to stop you having a full, interrupted hour ;)

- New Meditation: across Velmaneth are many places where the crust is thin and the jewel is closer to the surface, at these places heroes can meditate in order to recover their essence. These will usually be marked by shrines and can be found using Sense Power. At some events these may be convenient (eg in the main house) other times they might be at the top of the mountain at Perth Y Pia) or not present at all: the writer of the event will decide this in advance along with how long someone must stay there and how much they'll gain by doing so.

- Ritual: most rituals are pretty loose in their rules but in the same way that "Resurrection" is a ritual with known rules and sacrifices, so will be the ritual of regaining essence. To perform this you cast Share Power to create a single pool of essence between all who intend to enter this ritual and then Open Ritual circle with ALL the essence of this combined pool. At this point no one within the circle has any essence and it is down to the participants to do a good ritual in order to gain more than they started with.


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Re: Armour hits

Postby Hatsuo1980 » Wed May 13, 2015 2:57 pm

Ben wrote:What if instead of essence being roughly equal to your skill award it was roughly half? So you get a reward of half as much essence as gain skill (rounded up) + a bonus if you have a good magic modifier (but no penalty for having a +1 or N/A to magic).

So a Warrior earns 5 skill, he has N/A for magic and so gains 3 essence (2.5 rounded up).
A bard earns 4 skill, he has +1 for magic (which doesn't penalise him) so gains 2 essence.
A High Mage earns 6 skill, he has a -2 for magic so gains 5 essence (half of 6 +2 for his mod)
A Mage earns 2 skill. He leaves the system. He gains 2 essence (half of 2 + 1 for his mod)


Becomes difficult to administer, especially for some lazy people, and harder still after factoring in multiclasses?
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Re: Armour hits

Postby Hatsuo1980 » Wed May 13, 2015 3:00 pm

Couple of ideas (just throwing them out there to see what people think):
1) Nerf med (we talked about this at length and never did anything about it)


I think med is fine personally.

2) Nerf healing (2 essence for 1, 3 essence for 2, 5 essence for 5, 20 essence for True Heal which NO LONGER REPAIRS ARMOUR)


Not just healing. Upcost everything appropriately.

This means that not only do you not have to fix med (because if you double the cost of everything then med is, effectively, halved in value) but Serkanians are inherently more balanced to the system also, as they can do roughly half as much per chi influx.

Feels very win win.

3) People no longer get essence free, you buy it with skill. Perhaps on a 1 for 1 basis or 5 skill for 5 but perhaps modified by something? This would vastly slow down progression: is this a bad thing


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Meditation Changes 2

Postby Ben » Wed May 13, 2015 3:39 pm

Serkanians would be looked at alongside any other changes to balance them: I don't want to not implement something because it looks like it would make them too powerful. However, making everything cost more just puts more and more spells/abilities completely beyond their reach. I also don't want to make direct damaging spells more expensive to cast as I want mages to feel more comfortable using them without feeling like a waste (that was one of the goals of reducing melee damage: it makes a Strike much more impressive when not everyone can do quin with every hit).

Med is ok as it is, it serves a purpose and isn't broken in itself: however I do like it when the situation is looking grim and survival is a genuine worry and that normally happens when essence is in short supply, especially now with monsters doing less damage along with players.

If there's a problem, I think it's that there's too much essence so the ways to combat it seem to be:
1) Reduce amount of essence people get.
2) Make it harder to regain essence.
3) Make things use more essence.
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Re: Armour hits

Postby Hatsuo1980 » Wed May 13, 2015 3:45 pm

Cap essence use per encounter, and anything more damages your soul?

Might be a shit idea, just throwing things into the mix :)
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Re: Armour hits

Postby Hatsuo1980 » Thu May 14, 2015 9:09 am

You could cap med so it can never be greater than the base rate?

There are some characters with ridiculous med rates.

On the nightmare event, 1 character was basically doing nothing but medding at, what seemed to be, a largely accelerated rate and giving that power out. Made the event considerably easier.

Also, casting for 0. Spells should always cost 1 unless there is a significant cost/time - e.g. to reduce to 0 takes 15 seconds (so poor in combat) or costs 1 soul that isn't healable for 15 minutes or something.
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Meditation Changes 3

Postby Ben » Fri May 15, 2015 10:00 am

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=5610

When we downpowered Repair, made good reading and reminded me of this ides:

As for Share Power...what if it doesn't cost anything to open the link but only shares half the power? Person A gives 10 essence but person B only received 5. Would mean it was only done when really needed.


I like this.

Med idea: restores 1 point every 10 minutes unless meditating at an "Essence Shrine" (or better name) at which point this is increased to:
0-29: 2 per 10 minutes
30-59: 3 per 10
60-119: 4 per 10
120-299: 5 per 10
300+: 6 per 10

Possible additional idea: make med a ranked skill? Buy it once to grant you 1 essence back per 10, buy it a second time to be able to do 2 per 10 etc. Perhaps anything above 1 only works at an Essence Shrine?
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Re: Armour hits

Postby Hatsuo1980 » Fri May 15, 2015 10:06 am

When we downpowered Repair, made good reading and reminded me of this ides:

As for Share Power...what if it doesn't cost anything to open the link but only shares half the power? Person A gives 10 essence but person B only received 5. Would mean it was only done when really needed.


I like this.


I like this. Means the benefits of having someone working as an "essence battery" are halved. Seems great.

Med idea: restores 1 point every 10 minutes unless meditating at an "Essence Shrine" (or better name) at which point this is increased to:
0-29: 2 per 10 minutes
30-59: 3 per 10
60-119: 4 per 10
120-299: 5 per 10
300+: 6 per 10


Seems fine. Can get on board with this.

Possible additional idea: make med a ranked skill? Buy it once to grant you 1 essence back per 10, buy it a second time to be able to do 2 per 10 etc. Perhaps anything above 1 only works at an Essence Shrine?


I think it's one or the other. I don't like skill taxing people on med and THEN telling them it only works at an essence shrine. Perhaps there is a balance?

Med rank 1 - 1 essence per 10 minutes. 2 essence if at a shrine.
Med rank 2 - must be 60 skill. 2 essence per 10 minutes. 4 at a shrine.
Med rank 3 - 300 (120) skill. 3 per 10. 6 at a shrine.

So shrine doubles your med but med isn't 1/10 without a shrine. You get bother a skill tax for better med but without it being useless.
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Re: Armour hits

Postby Luke » Fri May 15, 2015 11:34 am

Agree with Andy. Though I still feel that this whole "too much essence" thing is an imagined problem. I don't understand why changes need to be made.
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Re: Armour hits

Postby Stevie » Fri May 15, 2015 11:45 am

Med rank 1 - 1 essence per 10 minutes. 2 essence if at a shrine.
Med rank 2 - must be 60 skill. 2 essence per 10 minutes. 4 at a shrine.
Med rank 3 - 300 (120) skill. 3 per 10. 6 at a shrine.


Med Ranks work quite well at stopping the high regen rate of non casters.

When Med costs 4, almost everyone buys it even if they don't use Essence often.

For an event, a Warrior (at 120) can med at a rate of 4 Essence every 10 minutes, being an effective battery. If he still wants to perform this role, he will have to put a higher skill investment in order to do so.

@Luke - I don't think there's a huge problem with "too much" essence, I think if I were to put a see-saw balance figure on it I would anecdotally say it's about 60:40 in favour of slightly too much essence available.

Sometimes I have an issue with the source of the Essence (Essence Batteries etc), but my main interest in bringing the numbers down isn't entirely from a balance perspective (whilst 60:40 isn't 50:50, it still isn't enough to cause a huge balance issue).

My interest is based on my personal view that reducing the amount of Essence available will increase immersion by heightening the difficulty of situations and making essence choices less trivial. I think it will force people to play smarter.

(On an actual balance/fun perspective - I feel that instant cast times (for normal spells not waxing/ministration) need to be higher and like people to come away from this discussion looking to change that. Also, Ministration/Waxing needs to be less OOC crappy.)

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Re: Armour hits

Postby Ben » Fri May 15, 2015 11:59 am

I'm not sure.

A couple of years ago (almost to the day: 19th May 2013) Will, Pete and I had a long discussion about "what was wrong with the system". With the exception of very high damage calls, most things came down to:

Will wrote:I think the ease of access to essence is at the core of a lot of these problems. Many spells/abilities are balanced assuming a limited amount of essence. With the amount that is available, and ease that it comes back, that balance is skewed across the board. Perhaps we need to tackle meditate, either increasing the time it takes to get back, or reducing the amount it returns. Maybe add to that more restrictions on what you can do whilst meditating? Along side this look at other methods of regaining essence and scaling them back (uniques, items)


At the time, the arguments against this were:

Peter Levy wrote:Personally, I've not found many situations where I've not burnt all my essence in a day. We rarely have time in a day for people to sit around and recover much. I may be the exception..


Ben wrote:Assume a 120 skill character: they could get back 20 essence if they do nothing for an hour. Doesn't seem that overpowered but I could be wrong.


At the time we were running adventures in which the above was indeed accurate. However, now we're running events almost exclusively the above don't apply as much. We get to the point where (if we want to stop people having lots of essence all the time) we feel the need to keep putting in random encounters to stop people meditating - and risk breaking the flow of roleplay with random attacks.

Also, I despise people "meditating" while doing anything else. I want people to meditate by having to sit and concentrate rather than people saying "sorry, I'll fix your armour/face later when I'm not meditating". It should be obvious your meditating because you're meditating. Hence the idea of essence shrines.

Another comment I made on that thread which I'll post up because some of it's relevant:

Ben wrote:I think the HoP system works best up to the 60 skill (maybe even 120 skill) mark. After all the day is the same length for a max 30 and a max 300 but people have 10 times the essence. I guess we need to challenge the higher level characters so that they need to use 10 times the essence every encounter. Unfortunately when it comes to healing/regen/shields etc you'd have to do 10 times the damage to accomplish this!
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