Author Topic: ECL 2 on Aasimar and Tiefling  (Read 4237 times)

Insignia

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ECL 2 on Aasimar and Tiefling
« on: July 08, 2018, 12:35:15 PM »
Probably been discussed many times before, but I'm having a little trouble understanding the reasoning behind it. ECL 2 makes them significantly less powerful than a human except for VERY specific situations, likely involving heavy min/maxing. I've been playing an Aasimar since around February now and I guess it is perhaps my fault for truly not delving into it before character creation. I've heard similar situations involving Tieflings, but never played one myself, so can't vouch for it.

Aren't Aasimars supposed to be better off than humans? Is that not the reason why an application is required? Now that I am reaching mid-high levels (About to turn level 13 paladin) it's becoming very apparent that the trade off is very slated in the favor of human. While +2 wisdom and charisma seems like a worthy trade off, upon closer inspection and comparison to the human equivalent, it's pretty obvious that human is the stronger race of the two, especially at break points involving spell slots and extra attacks.

Paladins gain one 4th circle spell at level 15, and then an extra slot at 19 and 20, both of which are not accessible to Aasimar. So I'd be doomed to only ever having one fourth circle spell slot unless I took 18 Wisdom (16 base before Aasimar) which would certainly gimp a paladins other stats given how thinly stretched their stats already are. Maybe it's isn't the ECL that is the true problem, but that certain classes are a bit end game heavy. Personally I'm having trouble finding a reason why they would be ECL 2 over ECL 1 like in PnP and most other servers. ECL 1 would certainly not make them overpowered, as they would still lose the stat point at level 20, and also typically another highest level spell slot, base attack bonus, and saves for essentially every class in the game, but perhaps someone else can shed some light on it? I'm certainly not angry about it, just confused and wanting to better understand and maybe open the discussion for others who are perhaps feeling the same.

Thanks!

aprogressivist

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Re: ECL 2 on Aasimar and Tiefling
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2018, 01:51:50 PM »
I think one of the issues is that Aasimar still get the extra skill per level and feat as Humans do. Thus they are technically stronger than PnP Aasimar.

With EE it might be possible to remake them without the extra Skills and Feat, thus making them true to their PnP stats and lowering the ECL to 1.
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Iridni Ren

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Re: ECL 2 on Aasimar and Tiefling
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2018, 02:52:16 PM »
I've argued for flattening ECL in general, rather than it being this huge 2 level chunk to deal with, and won't repeat all the details of that argument here.

But basically I think ECL should be replaced with XP penalty, such as earning XP at some percentage of normal--for example, ECL 1 = 90 percent, ECL 2 = 80 percent. Whatever number seems balanced for the given race.

That way ECL races could still have some hope of reaching the top level, but more importantly, they wouldn't have such hell at the beginning when to get XP they have to deal with foes basically twice their current level.

At 2nd level, for example, anything that will give 4th level XP, can one-shot you. This is less of a problem later on when you can get some HP under your belt, but in a generally mob-based dungeoning system, you won't keep avoiding that single hit forever.


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Mellybelly

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Re: ECL 2 on Aasimar and Tiefling
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2018, 05:36:15 PM »
There's already an xp penalty while leveling, on top of a reduced maximum level.

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Re: ECL 2 on Aasimar and Tiefling
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2018, 06:12:40 PM »
Well... sort of. I believe Iridni's point is if it were as simple as a x% of xp penalty then you could still gain xp in lvl 2 dungeons as a lvl 2 ECL 2 subrace, you'd just gain less. As it is, you are technically lvl 4 when you are level 2, meaning most of the monsters that you would start out against at lvl 2 aren't actually going to give you xp at all. It's not really an xp penalty in that sense.
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Insignia

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Re: ECL 2 on Aasimar and Tiefling
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2018, 08:43:39 PM »
I like Iridni's suggestion, though it sounds like it's one that has been argued before. Is one extra feat and a skill point per level really enough to be work a whole character level though? That doesn't make much sense to me. Personally I'd be all for losing that feat and skill points if it meant that I could achieve level 19. Level 19 and 20 are typically where you are going to learn your most powerful spells under any casting class, I'm just wondering now if removing the feat/skill points and reducing to ECL 1 is an option since we have transitioned to EE.

I guess the bottom line to summarize is that ECL 2 is way too harsh a penalty in my eyes. 2 Levels is huge when you consider that you are expected to be on par with another race of your class 2 levels higher. For spell casters that means you are 1 spell circle lower than they are, for front liners it means you are 2 levels of AB and HP lower, which certainly hinders your ability to hold the line.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2018, 08:48:57 PM by Insignia »

Mellybelly

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Re: ECL 2 on Aasimar and Tiefling
« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2018, 09:47:54 PM »
Not to mention the HP difference. Trated as 2 levels higher, needing to go to higher level areas, and being sneezed on is enough to bleed you out.

aprogressivist

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Re: ECL 2 on Aasimar and Tiefling
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2018, 08:14:56 AM »
I think it's important to distinguish between tweaking and fixing a singular case, which may be possible with just a small amount of work (hopefully) in EE; versus an all-encompassing change that would require completely reworking, re-balancing, and re-testing the system.
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Iridni Ren

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Re: ECL 2 on Aasimar and Tiefling
« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2018, 08:39:40 AM »
Actually, the XP change could be implemented in a way so that it is very minor indeed because we know what two levels of XP are worth. The difference between 2nd and 4th level is 5,000 XP. The difference between 18th level and 20th level is 37,000 XP.

That means at 2nd level, the current penalty is about 500 percent (1,000 versus 6,000), whereas at 18th level the penalty is a much smaller fraction. This is why I say it needs flattening/smoothing.

If an ECL2 received XP at 80 percent of normal, then by 18th level the XP received would be an approximate wash; i.e., she would have 152,000 XP (1,000 less than what is needed for 18th) just as the non-ECL had earned 190,000 XP and hit 20th. One thousand XP isn't anything that breaks much, plus the ECL2 actually earns 1,0000 less  over the same time than under the current system:

190,000 x .8 = 152,000

The first few levels would be much less hellish, however :)

Secondly, because of the application process, ECL races are pretty regulated. In other words, a change to them is inherently more minor and less likely to throw everything drastically out of whack than changes to more fundamental and universal parts of the game.

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Iridni Ren

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Re: ECL 2 on Aasimar and Tiefling
« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2018, 08:58:47 AM »
One other point in terms of end-game balance: because enchanted gear is bought with XP, an ECL 2 would in effect pay 125 percent for all enchanted gear compared to a non-ECL because of earning XP at only an 80 percent rate.




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aprogressivist

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Re: ECL 2 on Aasimar and Tiefling
« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2018, 10:10:35 AM »
The point is, this is the XP engine you're suggesting we change. There's nothing minor about ripping out the current ECL system wholesale and replacing it with a custom implementation. It would require a substantial rewrite and need careful testing, since any errors might potentially impact all XP calculations.
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Mellybelly

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Re: ECL 2 on Aasimar and Tiefling
« Reply #11 on: July 09, 2018, 12:47:09 PM »
And any new coding, scripting, or systems we add might break the entire server. Change is bad! Let us never add or revise a thing! Fear the change because it risks too much!

Iridni Ren

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Re: ECL 2 on Aasimar and Tiefling
« Reply #12 on: July 09, 2018, 01:16:10 PM »
And any new coding, scripting, or systems we add might break the entire server. Change is bad! Let us never add or revise a thing! Fear the change because it risks too much!

I know you're being tongue-in-cheek, but my understanding of the primary reason to move to EE was that it makes doing new and nifty things easier :D

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Arawn

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Re: ECL 2 on Aasimar and Tiefling
« Reply #13 on: July 09, 2018, 01:31:44 PM »
And any new coding, scripting, or systems we add might break the entire server. Change is bad! Let us never add or revise a thing! Fear the change because it risks too much!

I know you're being tongue-in-cheek, but my understanding of the primary reason to move to EE was that it makes doing new and nifty things easier :D

None of the changes so far would make this easier, unfortunately, it's all essentially just math in scripts.
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aprogressivist

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Re: ECL 2 on Aasimar and Tiefling
« Reply #14 on: July 09, 2018, 01:38:50 PM »
And any new coding, scripting, or systems we add might break the entire server. Change is bad! Let us never add or revise a thing! Fear the change because it risks too much!

Changes are more likely to be accepted and implemented if they are modular (i.e. self-contained) and don't require a radical gameplay philosophy change. Just sayin'.
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BraveSirRobin

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Re: ECL 2 on Aasimar and Tiefling
« Reply #15 on: July 09, 2018, 01:40:35 PM »
I will admit, however, that... ECL characters are just a pain to play as it stands. Especially in the way that Ravenloft for a purpose, truncates the entire leveling curve of NWN/DnD.

An ECL 2 doesn't make a big difference at all, when you're at a level 40 cap.

It doesn't make a *huge* difference on a level 30 cap.

But on a level 20 cap with very limited XP gains, and a leveling system challenging for normal PC's, it makes playing any ECL 2 or god-forbid, ECL 4 PC basically impossible. Especially with how tightly-tuned our spawns are that give XP. An ECL 2 or ECL 4 character will /never/ be able to fight what they need to fight in order get XP, essentially existing as a leech onto other PC's parties that will inevitably be outleveled and left behind each time, leading to a very dissatisfying play experience. The system needs revision, somehow. I dunno if this is it. But it isn't worth even playing them and enjoying the breadth of server content at this rate. Consigned to being an RP-only character, which is a primary focus of the server? But not the only focus of the server.

Mellybelly

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Re: ECL 2 on Aasimar and Tiefling
« Reply #16 on: July 09, 2018, 02:14:36 PM »
And any new coding, scripting, or systems we add might break the entire server. Change is bad! Let us never add or revise a thing! Fear the change because it risks too much!

Changes are more likely to be accepted and implemented if they are modular (i.e. self-contained) and don't require a radical gameplay philosophy change. Just sayin'.

Admittedly I'd be less tongue in cheek if I could remember a single change discussed you weren't vehemently against. Any change, big or small, always seems to destroy balance and ruin PotM forever.

aprogressivist

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Re: ECL 2 on Aasimar and Tiefling
« Reply #17 on: July 09, 2018, 02:51:36 PM »
Admittedly I'd be less tongue in cheek if I could remember a single change discussed you weren't vehemently against. Any change, big or small, always seems to destroy balance and ruin PotM forever.

Uh. I supported the Greater Sanctuary change and the Time Stop change. You are flatly incorrect.

I also presented a possibility for a change that I thought was achievable and meets the OP's requirements -- indeed, since we're now talking about me, I would state that I frequently do more than most to explore the possibility for compromise and middle ground. But you're not the first person to prefer to focus on our differences in opinion than said ground.

What's your contribution to this thread?
« Last Edit: July 09, 2018, 02:53:25 PM by aprogressivist »
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Mellybelly

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Re: ECL 2 on Aasimar and Tiefling
« Reply #18 on: July 09, 2018, 02:57:55 PM »
My contribution? Well, I did give two posts stating two of the absurd difficulties that ECL characters deal with. As a player of two ECL characters, one a _2 and another a +3, I have a pretty firsthand opinion on the topic.

aprogressivist

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Re: ECL 2 on Aasimar and Tiefling
« Reply #19 on: July 09, 2018, 03:09:52 PM »
My contribution? Well, I did give two posts stating two of the absurd difficulties that ECL characters deal with. As a player of two ECL characters, one a _2 and another a +3, I have a pretty firsthand opinion on the topic.

Actually your post above says more than all the rest of your posts combined. :)
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aprogressivist

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Re: ECL 2 on Aasimar and Tiefling
« Reply #20 on: July 09, 2018, 03:14:47 PM »
To actually continue the thread in a manner that is helpful to the OP and the devs, it may be possible to add extra races whole cloth in EE? Thus perhaps offering an improvement on the current system:

https://forums.beamdog.com/discussion/71173/how-to-create-a-custom-races-and-classes
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MAB77

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Re: ECL 2 on Aasimar and Tiefling
« Reply #21 on: July 09, 2018, 04:07:49 PM »
Changing current ECL races to standard races is not something I advise. It would take a lot of work to redo all those aasimar and tieflings out there for what would be in the end but a relatively small difference.

Speaking as a tiefling player myself. I'd rather keep the extra feat and skill points over gaining an additional level I'll likely never reach. Beside ECL races should be played for flair, not mechanical advantage. (Own personal opinion only here.)

We are definitively open to the idea of new races and classes, provided they would fit the setting and can be implemented properly, but we're more likely talking about new content here.

//Addendum: I do see the value in redoing some subraces into full races to make sure the stats modifiers are applied properly. But even then I'd limit myself to non-ecl races (which believe me is still a mount Everest of work to begin with anyway).
« Last Edit: July 09, 2018, 04:28:32 PM by MAB77 »
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Iridni Ren

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Re: ECL 2 on Aasimar and Tiefling
« Reply #22 on: July 09, 2018, 04:48:03 PM »
Changing current ECL races to standard races is not something I advise. It would take a lot of work to redo all those aasimar and tieflings out there for what would be in the end but a relatively small difference.

I don't think there's much point in redoing old mid- to high-level ECL PCs because they've already gone through the suffering that BraveSirRobin described both eloquently and accurately:

Quote
But on a level 20 cap with very limited XP gains, and a leveling system challenging for normal PC's, it makes playing any ECL 2 or god-forbid, ECL 4 PC basically impossible. Especially with how tightly-tuned our spawns are that give XP. An ECL 2 or ECL 4 character will /never/ be able to fight what they need to fight in order get XP, essentially existing as a leech onto other PC's parties that will inevitably be outleveled and left behind each time, leading to a very dissatisfying play experience. The system needs revision, somehow. I dunno if this is it. But it isn't worth even playing them and enjoying the breadth of server content at this rate. Consigned to being an RP-only character, which is a primary focus of the server? But not the only focus of the server.

As with the horrors of some crafting, however, that previous generations of players went through the equivalent of grindy hazing is no reason to perpetrate the suffering on all the future ECLs.

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aprogressivist

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Re: ECL 2 on Aasimar and Tiefling
« Reply #23 on: July 09, 2018, 05:36:18 PM »
Changing current ECL races to standard races is not something I advise. It would take a lot of work to redo all those aasimar and tieflings out there for what would be in the end but a relatively small difference.

It might be more feasible to start tackling the conversion of such races in a drip feed fashion, starting with a few races that are relatively rare and then moving up towards the more common ones. Doing a "big bang" implementation is definitely going to be a huge amount of work up front, while also having more risk of errors; instead, rolling out freshly re-made races one by one might make the task more manageable.

I'll try looking into it when I have some time, see how much time it takes to follow the instructions in the link above and mock something up.
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BraveSirRobin

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Re: ECL 2 on Aasimar and Tiefling
« Reply #24 on: July 09, 2018, 10:36:08 PM »
Speaking as a tiefling player myself. I'd rather keep the extra feat and skill points over gaining an additional level I'll likely never reach. Beside ECL races should be played for flair, not mechanical advantage. (Own personal opinion only here.)

It's one thing to talk about preventing advantages, it's another to address inherent disadvantages that make playing a subrace a masochistic endeavor. In my opinion, arguing a mechanical disadvantage as a blood price for RP that isn't even well-received her is not enough incentive to inspire me to make a character with an ECL. We aren't talking about a total revamp here, atleast I'm not. I'd rather just have an ECL subrace be considered his or her base mechanical level for the intents and purposes of leveling so that they may progress alongside their peers, even if they max out early on. In-fact, that might make them very appealing, because as you so frequently state: Most people do not make it to the level where the level 20 cap matters.

But, fewer people with ECL's make it to where level 10, even matters, because the road to progress for them is so ridiculously treacherous. Now, that isn't even a statement of being challenging, either. As an ECL 2 Subrace, unless you have been min-max'd and have someone else helping you find the best gear around, you are not, by server design, going to be suitable for most things you are able to kill. Only very rare, veteran-player exceptions exist because they have had such extensive experience with the server, they know how to game the system for maximized mechanical progression. This being said, I want you to think about the number of Tiefling and Drow PC's you have ever seen, and tell me how many of them have been male compared to female, as they are the two most common types of characters.

The only thing that those races really have going for them, is that they are 'Exotic looking,' which gives them an advantage in the sexual arena, rather than any other arena. So very frequently, that is the variation you see. Even more interesting, is that most people who are wanting to play a Drow, do not do so. They opt for a Half-Drow, because there is no benefit to RP'ing a hardline Drow here, and a Half-Drow does not have the same ECL as a Drow. They are, for all intents and purposes, equally as Exotic, with a more fulfilling body model that's generally considered more attractive, and as I've noted before, almost all the PC's from that bloodline I have met are female. They're female, because that's the only benefit you have in RP for the most part from those races is that it gives them an 'Exotic look.' Which doesn't work so well for men, but works in female favor substantially.


If you didn't want these things around the server, just get rid of those races. But don't go to bed at night thinking anyone for a moment isn't sacrificing half of their gameplay experience to play an unfulfilling line of roleplay, compared to practically anything else they could do on the server. They are giving it all up to try to shake it up, and being brutally and unforgivably punished for it mechanically, and only a few, few select few Tiefling/Drow/Etc PC's actually make it to end-game levels, a margin even smaller than normal PC's, and even then they are being punished for it.