Character Advancement Debate (split)

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Character Advancement Debate (split)

Post by daveyeisley on Mon Jan 05, 2009 6:32 pm

Split from this thread on encounter difficulty... (by The Amethyst Dragon)

MannyJabrielle wrote:Depends on the buffs used, and when you use them. If you're going to layer everything on at one time, you may only get one buff up.

Using the spells selectively as needed though can lead to far longer hunts between rests. Running through orc country, Aurora doesn't need protective gale until I get into Tesh where the archers are far more numerous, and usually no need for premonition until the orc destroyers, who do manage to hit often enough to warrent the use. There's no need for the weapon buffs if I'm not planning on using her sword in melee. No need for true seeing unless I intend to be utilizing darkness in an attack, or am facing something that happens to go invisible. No need for shadowshield against orc soldiers or the average non-undead dragon. I would imagine for a wizard, it would be more of a hassle to juggle spells around each rest for the most optimum selection, but at least from the sorcerer standpoint, it's pretty dang easy.

And vorpal-keened weapons with a weapon master who has great cleave are nice... but still no where near as fast as a single cast of wail or hypothermia on that same 8 beholder spawn. Sometimes one or two will survive the initial spell, so a follow up of an greater missile storm might be needed... which still works faster than meleeing them. And given 18 casts of hypothermia, all the lesser attack spells, the my caster can completely clear out the tarnesha tunnels far quicker than my meleers, can clear out Tesh and Fort Morth far faster, vale graveyard... mummies in the searing sand ruins, the temple of teeth... all of them can be cleared out far faster with Aurora than they can be with Alex or Angelica.

I will have to completely disagree. A well equipped and tactics minded caster is easier to succeed with than any melee only character. Even one with basic stock equipment can get by very easily, as their power doesn't rely on items, it's in their spells. Items are nice, but not required by any means.

Yes, the caster needs to rest, the meleer doesn't. That's not a huge issue. it's a veritble non-issue past the first few levels where a caster has only 5 or 6 spells total to use. Potions of renewal completely remove the need for the scant 10 or 15 seconds required to rest and re-equip shield and weapon.

It's also far easier to play a caster who can easily teleport between prime hunting spots no problem. Clear out tarnesha tunnels and enclave, teleport to Ando's. Zap the golem, teleport to ice reach. Zap the dragon, teleport to the searing sands ruins, zap the elder. Teleport to the graveyard, zap vorshlag, do another tarnesha run, or hit greyskull. I'd say a few seconds of required rest is a very cheap price to pay for not only hitting a vast array of high XP enemies, but the ability to take on all of them in a relatively short amount of time. And there's a side benefit of at least 3 soul gems, a couple blood gems, and more than enough loot to buy the single potion of renewal that might be used in that whole run.

I didn't say that a caster played properly couldn't defeat some challenges more easily. They can if you do it right. It still isnt *easier*.

My warrior handles those challenges more easily in general, and has FAR less chance of me making a fatal mistake. One mistake or bad roll on Crid = dead. Just because some of us might be skilled at playing casters well, and not making those fatal mistakes, doesnt make the class more powerful. An optimally played melee character does have it easier in most cases. Casters in Aenea get some nice benefits (like teleport), but I simply cannot agree that they are easier to succeed with. They require more skill and resource management, have less AI assistance, and are MUCH more fragile. Can these issues be compensated for? sure. That doesn't make the benefits of caster classes outweigh the ease of play and success for melee characters on most challenges.


Last edited by The Amethyst Dragon on Wed Jan 07, 2009 1:22 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Added link to originating thread)
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Re: Character Advancement Debate (split)

Post by sevenar on Mon Jan 05, 2009 7:34 pm

daveyeisley wrote:I didn't say that a caster played properly couldn't defeat some challenges more easily. They can if you do it right. It still isnt *easier*.

Agree to disagree I suppose Twisted Evil
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Re: Character Advancement Debate (split)

Post by MannyJabrielle on Mon Jan 05, 2009 7:53 pm

Of course meleers are easier to play in that you don't need to apply much effort (the closest to a caster they come is abilities like knockdown, called shot, and whirlwind attack), where in the same instance the caster has to target each spell. If the issue is click and watch your character brawl, then yes, meleers are better in that regard... anyone who's not familiar with the game (newbies to NWN) will have a much easier time playing a meleer than a caster or a rogue style character.

How little effort is required doesn't make the meleer better. At upper levels, even the meleer will start to require more attention in regards to where to use knockdowns, when is power attack can and can't be used efficiently. Casters need that attention to detail earlier, yes, but that is not a downside to them.

Are meleers easier to level? I don't think so. The original statement was Aenea favors casters. Perks like teleport add in to the efficiency of casters vs their killing power. Even without custom aenea spells... casters are easier and more efficient to level.

Stomp about goblins until level 5 or 6 or so. By that point, one should have gathered enough +1 weapons to have several thousand GP to spend on gear and supplies, even considering negative appraise scores such as on drow and half drow subraces.

Now, head to a good XP hunting spot, like mindflayers, which scales nicely for the 5th to 20th level range, and is also where the balance between meleer and caster starts to show itself in favor of the caster.

The meleer will need to spend much of that GP reserve on holy guard potions, healing potions, stoneskin potions... just to fight effectively through the enclave. The caster won't. The caster will have protection from evil they can cast, invisibility, and summons. Get a summoning staff with that GP reserve if one doesn't have that spell, or would like a higher level summon than they can cast themselves.

Here's the kicker. The summon not only takes the hits and generally takes the heat off the caster, but they increase the spawn's scale. So, even while the summon is reducing the XP the caster gets per kill, it is easily made up for and then some when the caster and his crew are spawning full grown mindflayers while the equal level meleer is spawning only the lone baby mindflayer. Save up enough, staffs and scrolls of the higher level summons will spawn far greater spawns, and produce far more durable creatures to do the bashing for the caster. All this while, the meleer is burning GP on potions, not getting the same XP, not getting the same GP. This is just low to mid sub-epic battles where one might think the meleer still has the upper hand.

This same tactic can be used on creatures other than mindflayers, and
at the benefit of not needing PFE protection as well. Not all of them will scale as well through the sub-epic levels, and not all carry as great a haul in loot as mindflayers, but the gains are still better. Bandits,
kobolds, mummies, skeletons... Sure, the caster will need to rest every
so often, but needing to rest every so often is -not- a huge crippling
aspect. It's a mildy annoying one at best, much like not being able to
get a roll of 20 while trying to disarm a trap while a party member is
'in combat'.

But sure, it's easier to play a meleer, point, click, watch. But as efficient and effective? I do not think so for one instant.

And then you start getting into the higher levels where the caster has far more versatility in their tactics, spells, and supply money. A couple scrolls of blackblade and invisibility potions for when the caster gets into deep trouble... access to instant death spells such as wail, circle of death, high damage spells like fireball, delayed blast fireball... defensive spells that far outstrip any peice of equipment a straight meleer would have access to...

And the caster will be at those levels far quicker than a meleer. The caster will be able to take on the harder creatures at an earlier timeframe. Yes, it requires actually knowing what your spells are and what they do, it's not as simplistic as point-click as a meleer, but it's not rocket science either. Aenea favors casters. There's a plenthora of resources at the caster's disposal, which meleers simply do not have the equivalent of.

The -one- mass spawned enemy that will give casters utter hell in dealing with are golems and their spell level immunities. Even then... weapon buffs, defensive spells, summons... caster can deal with them just as the meleer does. Will they have as high an AB? No. Will they have as high an AC? Not always. Will they have as many hitpoints? Probably not even with empowered endurance casts. But they will have plenty or resources, be it spells, or purchased supplies, to take on the challenge anyhow. A meleer can't even make use of purchased supplies such as a number of spell scrolls unless they have caster levels themselves, or UMD skill sufficient to use the items.
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Re: Character Advancement Debate (split)

Post by daveyeisley on Mon Jan 05, 2009 9:57 pm

Again, I believe you are missing my point about meleers.

A well played caster vs. a mediocre played meleer will of course see some advantages.

Meleers *are* easier AND also have better success on *most* enemies. If you have a +5 weapon, there are only a handful of enemies you cannot whollop to death with relative ease. On the other hand, spells are many and varied because there are *so* many different ways enemies can resist or avoid them. Yes, if you make good choices you can overcome. Thats good play, and can apply to a meleer too.

I am sorry to debunk your statement here, but a well played meleer will reach those higher levels *before* the caster will. I have proven this. It took me 80 hours to hit lvl 40 on Aszhad.

We can even take into account that I had prior knowledge of what was in the world and also what choices would be optimal for the build and for his gear. Crid took me *much* longer to hit level 40, all things considered, it was over 260 hours. Lets chop 100 hours of "learning curve" off that number and its still more than *double* the time it too me to level Aszhad.

Remember also, Crid had NO experience penalty. Aszhad had a 30% penalty.

You may have had a different experience, sure. I think that difference may be due to other factors than how the world is balanced for different classes.
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Re: Character Advancement Debate (split)

Post by MannyJabrielle on Mon Jan 05, 2009 11:06 pm

I'm sorry you haven't debunked my statement. You're comparing, as you admitted, your first character in the setting vs a later character who was purposedly grinded very hard for 40th with prior knowledge of the setting. I won't compare Alastair to my other characters for the purpose of he was my first character as I learned the ins and outs of the server, and naturally was not leveled as quickly and efficiently as my later characters.

My three fastest leveled characters have been Alex, Aurora and Auger. All three were started in a relatively close time frame, and have received somewhat equal play time. The exception has been Aurora, who after grinding her initial levels, I haven't played so much for efficiency in XP gain and do a lot of mucking around with now. Alex, my shifter is pretty much melee only, not counting the spells via rakshasa form and an occasional use of water breathing from his incredibly limited spells via the 5 druid levels. Aurora, sorc with 2 BG levels, primarily caster who has heavy armor aiding her melee durability and increased saves compared to a 100% pure caste... and Auger, wizard 4/DD6/PM rest... spell capable meleer for all intents and purposes.

Alex is the slowest leveller, and not for lack of trying, as 90% of his play time has been devoted to levelling. Auger leveled up to 20 pretty fast (to 20th in 18 hours), and Aurora outstripped both of them. That's with only roughly half their time grinding their levels, the other half messing around. All three have subrace penalties ranging from 15% for Alex to 35% for Auger.

At the rate Aurora gains XP, *if* I had grinded her non-stop in her first 80 hours, I could have made 40th with her no problem well before that 80th hour mark. As was, I had her to 20th in under 16 hours, and stopped hard-core grinding after I had reached the goal of having her float. After that, it was mild grinding for auto stills. I grind her for XP now only when I decide to swap out spells. Even at 32nd level, I can grind out 20K in XP with an hour taking my time and being careful. Faster probably if the beholders would respawn at a quicker rate.

Alex could reach that rate of gain as well possibly, only due to risen lord shape being highly resistant vs beholder attacks, but he burns through several asis full heal potions in a round through beholders (average 1 potions per encounter). Aurora will only need if I slip up and get nailed by a spawn. Auger, with the largest XP penalty, does faster than Alex, but is handicapped by the fact that while he can cast higher level spells, his caster level is only 4. He has a vast advantage over a pure fighter class in having access to defensive buffs, but the lack of caster levels puts him at a severe disadvantage compared to a pure caster who can get far better use out of the spells.

Out of -all- my characters, all of them epic level ranging currently at 21st, 27th, 32nd, 35th, and 40th, the caster of the group leveled the fastest, handles any encounter with far greater ease, and in the long run costs less GP in supplies to run. Those with some caster ability leveled faster than those with minimal or no caster ability, but no where near the ease and capability of the caster.

I have laid out a concrete example of how a caster and a meleer of equal levels will begin to show a disparity in XP/GP gain as their levels progress with the mindflayer example. Even if you eliminate the readily available items at the caster's disposal in aenea... the caster will still fare better in that scenerio. Perhaps even better because if you eliminate items from one half the argument, you must eliminate the items from the meleer's side as well.... no holyguard potions for the meleer.

This example can echo through every other given mass spawned encounter as well. A number of the 'boss' type encounters will favor the melee in terms of time and resources devoted, but realisticly, not many players are teleporting from one such encounter to another as rapid-fire as possible... and if they are, the meleer is doing the teleporting via custom items that give teleport ability, or with the aid of.... a caster.
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Re: Character Advancement Debate (split)

Post by daveyeisley on Tue Jan 06, 2009 6:25 pm

MannyJabrielle wrote:I'm sorry you haven't debunked my statement. You're comparing, as you admitted, your first character in the setting vs a later character who was purposedly grinded very hard for 40th with prior knowledge of the setting. I won't compare Alastair to my other characters for the purpose of he was my first character as I learned the ins and outs of the server, and naturally was not leveled as quickly and efficiently as my later characters.

We definitely disagree on this one. I find the facts involved in the time needed to level both characters, even with the above considerations taken into account does indeed disprove the theory that casters level faster.
The disparity in the time required is simply too drastic for your statement to be at all true.

Out of -all-my characters, all of them epic level ranging currently at 21st, 27th, 32nd, 35th, and 40th, the caster of the group leveled the fastest, handles any encounter with far greater ease, and in the long run costs less GP in supplies to run. Those with some caster ability leveled faster than those with minimal or no caster ability, but no where near the ease and capability of the caster.

This does not definitively mean the class is the factor that is causing a disparity in levelling time. I have proven melee characters can level just as fast if not faster than a caster can. I am good at playing both and made good decisions for both. There are a LOT of reasons why the above may be true for you, but it is not the class balance. It could be character build decisions, gear decisions, choice of enemies engaged, among a myriad number of other things, as well as several combinations of these things. You have said Aenea favors casters, that casters are easier to level and faster to level. I have proven facts that this is not always the case. Hence, there must be other factors involved.


I have laid out a concrete example of how a caster and a meleer of equal levels will begin to show a disparity in XP/GP gain as their levels progress with the mindflayer example. Even if you eliminate the readily available items at the caster's disposal in aenea... the caster will still fare better in that scenerio. Perhaps even better because if you eliminate items from one half the argument, you must eliminate the items from the meleer's side as well.... no holyguard potions for the meleer.

Mindflayers are only a single enemy. While I found they were easier to handle on my melee character, if you found differently, as above, there were likely other factors involved. While arguably a "concrete" example, it is not necessarily indicative of the conclusion you put forth. Aszhad chewed through that whole place with ease at lower levels, barely needing healing at all. I made choices about his gear that gave him capabilities to defend him. Crid had to blow many defensive buffs and rest once in the middle to get through. While crid didnt need specific item properties, he had to use up seplls to gain those benefits temporarily, and wasnt able to sustain them long enough to get through the whole place. At higher levels he can, but the place still rpesents little or no obstacle to aszhad anyhow. The beholder example you used is another "concrete" example that only proves my original point that classes and builds function differently based on what they are engaging. If one meleer has difficulty is does not mean that ALL will, and while most casters may have trouble, not ALL will.

My original point was that meleers have ease with MOSt enemies but a select handful are VERY tough. The meleer can still take advantage of their situation against the other enemies and come out ahead overall in the long run. Im speaking from direct, personal experience on that. Im not saying ALL melee characters are going to have it better than ALL casters, but rather... I am simply saying that Aenea does not favor one over the other as, depending on the choices a player makes, either one can do better. The only thing the casters gets over melee at higher level is increased versatility in exchange for limited resources.
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Re: Character Advancement Debate (split)

Post by MannyJabrielle on Tue Jan 06, 2009 7:59 pm

You can suggest that my statements can't be true, but that doesn't disprove the fact that they are... true.

I am also very adept at playing casters and meleers. I am also very aware of each class' strengths and weakenesses, so I find your suggestion that it may only be true to me due to gear choice, feat choice ect., and that somehow disproves my statements simply illogical and a sidestep in the issue. Well yes, all my characters are built optimally, their gear and feat choices make a huge difference than any random hodgepodge of stuff. With Alex and Aurora, I specfically waited to turn in their custom vouchers until I was aboslutely positive I could design an item to optimally fit their play styles for the most efficient and fun gaming experience. Choice of enemies is moot when I will pit all of them against the same range of enemies. Dragons, mummies, skeletons, beholders, golems, mindflayers, goblins, bandits, orcs... I'm -not- selective in what I will pit them against, and thus have no issue with testing them against any an all possible creatures.

I do not beleive you've proven any facts what so ever. You have stated you got Azahd to 40th by the 80 hour mark, which is commendable, but that does not prove anything when you haven't put the same effort into grinding a caster as quickly the same degree as you have a meleer, and are rather comparing, with speculative adjustments, to your 40th level caster.

If you really want to put this to the absolute test, I would suggest the challenge of two characters. You grind a pure meleer, I'll grind a pure caster, same race, stock gear available in shops/drops. Hit 40th, get the time-played info. When we're both done, the conclusions should be absolute.

Mindflayers are only a single enemy. While I found they were easier to
handle on my melee character, if you found differently, as above, there
were likely other factors involved.

I think that you're making the comparison to your meleer grinded with prior knowledge vs your first character is one factor. Not mindblowing signifigant, but definitely on par with "gear choices" or "feat choices", as if there's some forbidden choices in regards to what may be chosen for the comparison.

I have also stated the same could be said for any encounter, not just mindflayers, which are obviously a 'single enemy'. Beholders is another example, and I have good evidence that one reason why a character such as Azhad does very well vs them while one such as Crid doesn't. It is due not on class or feats, but rather subrace SR. 30+ SR makes a huge difference in that specific encounter. If Azahd didn't have as much SR, the results would be different. Same for mindflayers, as there's not much need for mental immunity when the flayers can't beat your SR to start with. And as the plain and simple fact is that beholders are the only way to gain appreciable experience in the 30+ level range, subrace plays a signifigant factor in grinding a character to 40th in such a short time frame, more so than the details of feat or skill selections.

I too am basing all my findings on direct personal experience, to be clear since your statement seems to imply I'm not speaking from any direct experience. I have stated various reasons why the setting favors casters. I have a decent range of high level characters, from a pure meleer to a pure caster and various multi-classed combinations between. No bias against any one of them, they're all built optimally, they all perform very well, I enjoy each one of them.

Simple fact of the matter is, the setting favors the caster. They can be leveled faster, due to being able to take on the better XP creatures far earlier. There are ample caster only supplies from scrolls to wands/staffs that make levelling a caster far easier. The limited resource point is moot when resting is a trivial issue in mid levels onward. Potions of renewal render rest flat out irrelevant.

My points don't even need to take into consideration 'choices' the player makes. It is in fact somewhat impossible to have player choices as a definitive factor due to the fact that a) there's how many feats to chose from? b) how many combinations of point spreads across the 6 stats and c) how many different races and on aenea, subraces as well? The permutations of those 3 factors alone on -just the build itself- are far to numerous to suggest that 'player choice' is a huge factor in comparing classes. One meleer may go strength based with knockdown feat, another may go dex based with improved crit. Both are equally applicable to use as the 'meleer' in comparison to the 'caster, in which case you could have one player who went for spell focuses over great cha/wis/int feats and who have two completely set of spells they favor.

Then there's the permutations of what gear is chosen... and still, the fighter who focuses on a scythe and heavy plate will still be equally as applicable as a meleer as the fighter who focuses on a rapier with light armor and shield.... the caster who chooses AC items will still be as applicable as a caster who choses items that offer other properties besides AC.

Further permutations.... playstyles. The meleer who does knockdowns to disable the enemy is still as applicable as the one who uses hit and run tactics with a ranged weapon or who uses called shots. The caster who buffs up with premonition/acid sheath to let the enemies kill themselves in striking him is still as applicable as the caster as the one who buffs up a summons/familiar and doesn't directly engage the enemy.

You may try to disparage the specific examples and disqualify them in such manner, but then you will be required to put forth what is the "pure caster/pure meleer" for your critiques, and detail what feat/skill/item selections disqualify a given character from being considered for the argument.

My arguments hold.
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Re: Character Advancement Debate (split)

Post by sevenar on Tue Jan 06, 2009 8:01 pm

daveyeisley wrote:
MannyJabrielle wrote:I'm sorry you haven't debunked my statement. You're comparing, as you admitted, your first character in the setting vs a later character who was purposedly grinded very hard for 40th with prior knowledge of the setting. I won't compare Alastair to my other characters for the purpose of he was my first character as I learned the ins and outs of the server, and naturally was not leveled as quickly and efficiently as my later characters.

We definitely disagree on this one. I find the facts involved in the time needed to level both characters, even with the above considerations taken into account does indeed disprove the theory that casters level faster.
The disparity in the time required is simply too drastic for your statement to be at all true.

I still agree with Manny more, but my first character - Sevenar, a 39 wiz/1 ftr when he's done - leveling has been beyond swift. He is currently level 35 and has 64 hours under his belt. I anticipate he will hit 40 well before the 80 hour mark previously mentioned with no problem; it will most likely be closer to 72ish. Probably about 10-12 of those hours have been spent exploring, figuring out the prophecy, and finding the best grind spots. Oh, and another 3 hours working out the paths to all the horribly frustrating mazes that The Amethyst Dragon hid around the world *shakes fist* lol! . He also found the mind flayers at about level 7, got rocked, and didn't revisit them until 18 or so and missed out on that great xp. Ended up at the mummies for much of that time letting a summon slowly grind away at them.

So level 40 in apx. 60 hours leveling time. With the 15% bright gnome penalty. I'm not sure what you were doing with Crid for the other 200 hours you spent on him, but I think that is an extreme example of how a caster is slower to level.

Throw in the fact that he has free teleports to all the places he usually needs to go, has saved up 900k gold without doing hardly any looting after level 23ish... win.

The only thing the casters gets over melee at higher level is increased versatility in exchange for limited resources.
Those limited resources are very nearly unlimited considering the Potions of Magical Renewal (wrong name?). That free rest in addition to everything else puts casters even further ahead of the curve. And as far as having to take time to rest, re-organize spells in preparation for a new area... The caster is still faster than the meleer due to the time the meleer has to spend running to said spot. I have a glove attuned to just outside All Things Magical in Mountainholm. That's 6 area transitions away from the Sleeping Dragon. Starting naked and with an empty spellbook in SDI, I have a feeling I could still beat a hasted RDD there and be ready for battle if they were running and i teleported. (maybe not a monk, but any other class)


I think a problem we are having is we are bouncing back and forth between two topics: The ease with which a class can be played and the speed at which it can level. I will definitely agree that meleers are *easier* to play in that all you have to do is click on an enemy and go afk (over dramatization), but I will never stagger from my belief that a wizard/sorc takes far more skill to play and will wipe the field with any other class when it comes to speed.
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Re: Character Advancement Debate (split)

Post by daveyeisley on Tue Jan 06, 2009 8:43 pm

MannyJabrielle wrote:You can suggest that my statements can't be true, but that doesn't disprove the fact that they are... true.

Im not suggesting anything.

I shared facts with you. They contradict your conclusion. Im not sidestepping or disparaging.

I levelled a melee character faster and more easily to 40th than a caster. That meleer had a 30% XP penalty while the caster did not. Had I made other choices, I could have done it faster. The melee character was easier to level, its that simple.
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Re: Character Advancement Debate (split)

Post by daveyeisley on Tue Jan 06, 2009 8:48 pm

Sevenar, those magical renewal potions are the most expensive consumable in the game. Not exactly a counter to the "limited resources" argument.
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Re: Character Advancement Debate (split)

Post by sevenar on Tue Jan 06, 2009 8:51 pm

Yes they are, I haven't been to buy any for a while. What are the 35-40 ones, 15k a bottle?

However expensive they are gold is extremely easy to come across and when you said limited resources i took that to mean defensive spells and firepower.
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Re: Character Advancement Debate (split)

Post by daveyeisley on Tue Jan 06, 2009 8:55 pm

Also manny, I *DID* grind a pure meleer. That was Aszhad. 76 hours to level 40, with a 30% XP penalty, and I was *not* focused on levelling as fast as I possibly could. This is what I have been telling you.

Beat 76 hours to level 40 on a pure caster, and I guarantee you it wont be by very much if at all. Aenea does not favor casters.
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Re: Character Advancement Debate (split)

Post by MannyJabrielle on Tue Jan 06, 2009 9:19 pm

daveyeisley wrote:Also manny, I *DID* grind a pure meleer. That was Aszhad. 76 hours to level 40, with a 30% XP penalty, and I was *not* focused on levelling as fast as I possibly could. This is what I have been telling you.

Beat 76 hours to level 40 on a pure caster, and I guarantee you it wont be by very much if at all. Aenea does not favor casters.

You misread what I posted.

MannyJabrielle wrote:I do not beleive you've proven any facts what so ever. You have stated
you got Azahd to 40th by the 80 hour mark, which is commendable, but
that does not prove anything when you haven't put the same effort into
grinding a caster as quickly the same degree as you have a meleer, and
are rather comparing, with speculative adjustments, to your 40th level
caster.

As by that quote, yes, you did level a pure meleer and I said it was commendable.... but that you didn't grind a *caster* with the same effort and agenda as the meleer.

I shared facts with you. They contradict your conclusion. Im not sidestepping or disparaging.

You shared two facts. How fast you leveled Az, and that Crid was your first character.

I have shared multiple facts, which support my conclusions completely. I have given concrete examples of those facts that support my conclusions, which you have contradicted only with alluding that feat choices or selection of enemies faced may be the real factor. It's not. I have stated the fact that I have pitted the characters I've mentioned against all range of enemies, not selective, so being selective about enemies faced is not a point at all. Feat choice or skill choices are not a very critical matter unless you're comparing a poorly built character against a decently built one (in which case it's obvious the poorly built character will perform more... poorly)... all my characters are built optimally for their race/classes. I could create a second set of characters with the same race/classes with a whole different take in the feat/skill selections... still worked out to perform just as well. As with the enemy selection... moot.

I will take up that challenge. I will level a caster in the quickest most efficient manner possible. You can choose to let Az's record hold for your end (in which case I will also select a demonspawn for my character's race), or you could do a new one and level as efficiently as possible if really you feel you don't grind Az as hard as you once told me you did. In that case, we'll let the matter rest until we both have our final results in.

I may even be willing to bet you 50 bloods of magic I can get a caster up to 40th in half that 76 hour timeframe Smile
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Re: Character Advancement Debate (split)

Post by daveyeisley on Tue Jan 06, 2009 9:48 pm

MannyJabrielle wrote:
daveyeisley wrote:Also manny, I *DID* grind a pure meleer. That was Aszhad. 76 hours to level 40, with a 30% XP penalty, and I was *not* focused on levelling as fast as I possibly could. This is what I have been telling you.

Beat 76 hours to level 40 on a pure caster, and I guarantee you it wont be by very much if at all. Aenea does not favor casters.

You misread what I posted.

MannyJabrielle wrote:I do not beleive you've proven any facts what so ever. You have stated
you got Azahd to 40th by the 80 hour mark, which is commendable, but
that does not prove anything when you haven't put the same effort into
grinding a caster as quickly the same degree as you have a meleer, and
are rather comparing, with speculative adjustments, to your 40th level
caster.

As by that quote, yes, you did level a pure meleer and I said it was commendable.... but that you didn't grind a *caster* with the same effort and agenda as the meleer.

I shared facts with you. They contradict your conclusion. Im not sidestepping or disparaging.

You shared two facts. How fast you leveled Az, and that Crid was your first character.

I have shared multiple facts, which support my conclusions completely. I have given concrete examples of those facts that support my conclusions, which you have contradicted only with alluding that feat choices or selection of enemies faced may be the real factor. It's not. I have stated the fact that I have pitted the characters I've mentioned against all range of enemies, not selective, so being selective about enemies faced is not a point at all. Feat choice or skill choices are not a very critical matter unless you're comparing a poorly built character against a decently built one (in which case it's obvious the poorly built character will perform more... poorly)... all my characters are built optimally for their race/classes. I could create a second set of characters with the same race/classes with a whole different take in the feat/skill selections... still worked out to perform just as well. As with the enemy selection... moot.

I will take up that challenge. I will level a caster in the quickest most efficient manner possible. You can choose to let Az's record hold for your end (in which case I will also select a demonspawn for my character's race), or you could do a new one and level as efficiently as possible if really you feel you don't grind Az as hard as you once told me you did. In that case, we'll let the matter rest until we both have our final results in.

I may even be willing to bet you 50 bloods of magic I can get a caster up to 40th in half that 76 hour timeframe Smile

I shared several more facts than that with you. You are being willfully ignorant now. I think this discussion is over. Let me know when you level a caster to 40th in 38 hours Smile
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Re: Character Advancement Debate (split)

Post by Eric of Atrophy on Tue Jan 06, 2009 10:13 pm

I'll give MannyJabrielle 50 BoM if he can level up a caster that quickly ... and pass me the cliff notes, of course! Wink
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Re: Character Advancement Debate (split)

Post by sevenar on Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:49 pm

Let me know when you level a caster to 40th in 38 hours

Where did the 38 hours come from? I think it's totally doable btw.

1 free level from 4 hour chest
19 hours - save the freebie for level 40, apx. 1 hour per level for epics, maybe just a hair more (assuming you don't die)
that leaves 19 hours to get to 20 which is more than enough

Hmm, I might have to see if I can do this too. Can I claim the BoM prize if i beat manny to it? *wink wink*
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Re: Character Advancement Debate (split)

Post by Svair on Wed Jan 07, 2009 12:49 am

Dave, it does not inductively follow from the example of Azhad (counterpointed by Crideas) that your argument stands valid. Regardless of whatever merits of what you have said, this is logic at it's simplest especially as Phyllick (a *pure* melee character) and a handful of other PCs stand as counter examples of general play behavior and it's results.

This difference between melee characters resists being explained away merely as differences in "player choices" unless you believe melee builds should be homogenized to a very limited set of choices in classes, weapon selection, and so on.

I respectively submit that Azhad is razor-sharp character that benefited from the experience and intelligence of his player whose knowledge of Aenea and the game mechanics (Aenea specific race, Ftr/WM/RG/War Hulk using a Scimitar, worships Gort, has UMD, etc...) allowed Azhad to, respectively speaking, do phenomenally well. This is a good thing, and is a positive testament to the player. But the weight of your argument does not rest on this character alone, and reviewing your posts, you've made Azhad your spokesman and crux of your dissension from the majority view.

Additionally, I don't consider SR specific to a melee or spellcasting character, and personally remove it from the equation as both classes could equally benefit from the race's SR. The SR you mention is not inherent to class.


Last edited by Svair on Wed Jan 07, 2009 12:51 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : waka waka waka)
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Re: Character Advancement Debate (split)

Post by daveyeisley on Wed Jan 07, 2009 6:36 pm

Svair, dont get me wrong. I feel bad that folks are having issues with their melee characters. I wish I could help.

Myself, it was easier to level up my meleer. Thats just truth, plain and simple. If others had different experiences, it doesnt mean the melee classes themselves are the cause of difficulties.

One thing I think is very relevant is that for casters, its mostly a no-brainer how to build them. Raise your casting stat, take feats that fit well with your playstyle. In the end, each caster will have VERY similar capabilities. The build selections will make differences, but they will not be overly staggering

For meleers, there is a LOT more options. And a LOT more possible VERY different outcomes. Some of the options may not work as well as others, and because meleers do not have the same versatiluty that casters have, it is very imporant to play to your builds' strengths when levelling (unless you're going for a tough challenge).

Meleers capabilities are more static once chosen, but are still available all the time. They are FAR more dependant on gear and feat selection than casters.

While you say Aszhad is "super-sharp", he is no moreso than Crid is... truly. And I had an easier time levelling Aszhad.

Now as for the SR issue. That SR, while nice, only came into play in a realistic sense AFTER I had already levelled up to level 30. Before that, I may as well have not had any, because I couldnt rely on it in any way shape or form to protect me. The only times it came into play before then, was against enemies that were already easy to defeat. After level 30, the only enemies I *needed* the SR against was the beholders, and it *still* didnt reliably keep me alive against them.

With the combination of the 30% XP penalty, and all the deaths I had against beholders, it likely would have been just as fast to clear out enemies that were available in large numbers, such as Orcs, skeletons, mind-flayers, mummy lords. If the beholders sped up my progress, it was not by any incredible amount. The loot was the reason I kept on them, as sacrificing sped things up some. The orcs in Forth Morth often gained me just as much if not more XP, with less risk, and no need for SR, etc.

I did a lot of my levelling after 30 on enemies that were more numerous and vulnerable to melee. Vorshlag was tough all the way up into my 30s as well, so I didnt try to level on him either. I could kill him, but it was somnething i reserved as a once in a while thing to challenge myself. I also explored a lot, and did quests and whatnot. So those 76 hours were inflated by not being purely focused on getting to 40.

To date, I think Aszhad is the fastest character to level 40 on Aenea. He is a pure meleer, and his other choices didnt help level him as much as you may think. The 30% XP penalty really cost more than the SR added. The built itself could be easily rivalled by other strength based sword and board builds, without focusing on scimitar. Worshipping gort provided VERY little benefit, convenicne of not needing to swap boots around is all. The UMD was probably the nicest benefit of the build... and its available to melee types without taking caster levels at the expense of BAB. Even without it, and the SR, Aszhad would have been to level 40 in the same time, it just wopuld have involved slightly different choice of enemies.

I dont see any issue with meleers having to be more selective on what they engage (unless they want it to be tough). Casters versatility is balanced... warriors dont have that same versatility but have more durability and reliability.

Regardless, nothing disqualifies Aszhad as being an example of a pure melee character who didn't have trouble levelling.

Im not saying ALL melee characters will have it as easy. Im just saying that not ALL melee characters are worse off than casters.
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Re: Character Advancement Debate (split)

Post by RustyDios on Wed Jan 07, 2009 9:15 pm

In truth I think a lot of this debate comes from the player - not the choice of build.... a PC who's player is in-experienced in Aenea will take a long time to level. Full stop. It doesn't really matter what the build is... I do think it takes more experience to level a caster then it does a meleer though.... as a caster you need to know what spells will be effective in the world, as a meleer if it hurts something it's effective... it's a less of a picky path.... .... now if you have say over 200hrs in Aenea with a PC, leveling anyother PC will be easier.... ... there is no need for exploration, you can go direct to those grind spots.... ....
.... I think we need to take into consideration, player experience as well as melee vs caster.....

Take say MJ's PC's... all have level up rather fast... because he knows Aenea very well, what to put on custom items, where to go.... etc.. the same with Crideas vs Az.. Dave has prior experience with Crid, making it easier to level Az (even with a 30% penalty).. ..

Also to further the debate, I've heard how Dave thinks about levelling in the long run, what to pick now and later, how the PC will fair at each 5 level increment.. .. thats a lot of effort "outside the box".. thinking of what to do next... thats a Player's experience coming through... I prefer to go the route of --"Oh that looks good, I want it"... ... so then throw into this mix the case of powerbuild vs RP build and we have another angle on the debate..... ....

A player may know that having "x" feat will be useless in Aenea so not take it, but they may do so just because thats what the PC would logically do/know next.. even if it gives no bonuses... hell in some cases "bad choices" can lead to a very rich hard to play flawed PC, that still matches the powerbuild because the player has gotten to learn what the PC can and can't do....

I'm not saying that a powerbuilded PC can't also be logically thought through however...

I think in this debate of melee vs caster levelling, and which is easier, we need to take into account player experience and metagame thinking.....
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Re: Character Advancement Debate (split)

Post by Maeglin Dubh on Wed Jan 07, 2009 9:28 pm

Well, if someone could tell me the secret, I'd appreciate it.

73 hours with Derfel and I'm not even at level 20 yet.

Part of that might be the fact that most of the time I'm fighting, it's with Derik, and as we've determined, party grouping diminishes XP returns, or at least seems to.
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Re: Character Advancement Debate (split)

Post by MannyJabrielle on Wed Jan 07, 2009 9:38 pm

Dave, I will have to completely disagree with your assessment of SR's value in regards to beholders. And I would disagree on the assessment of XP gain off beholders vs XP off masses of orcs/skeletons, ect.

First, the SR issue. I can prove reliably that SR plays an invaluable role in surviving beholders. It is equally important as AC.

My shifter, has several forms available to him. Rakshasa form has 0 SR, 58 AC. Iron golem form has 26 SR, 49 AC. Improved drow warrior shape, 30 SR, 53 AC, and Risen Lord form, 20 SR, 46 AC.

In all forms, he has the same feats, same gear and immunities, with the caveat that iron golem form has 15/+5 DR and immunity to critical hits, risen lord has 15/+3 DR, immunity to crits, and +2 vampric regen on it's attacks, and rakshasa has 15/+5 DR and +2 to all saves.

Drow shape, highest ratio of SR and AC. Takes little to no damage, is affected by an eye beam maybe
once per 10 spawns at worst. If I remove enough items to lower the drow shape's AC down to the same as the risen lord's AC, the drow shape still takes half as much damage than the risen lord due to SR.

Iron golem, same results as the drow shape, only 6 more SR than the risen lord, a few more AC.

Risen lord, SR and AC below what iron golem and drow warrior have... takes enough damage with the timespan of 1 or 2 beholder encounters to knock him down to 50% HP or less, even with the benefit of vampric regeneration on the weapon. Gets petrified twice as often as the drow form. (has not been killed by a deathray, but is a seperate matter I intend to investigate in regards to death immunity from items vs the death immunity granted naturally by the shape, as I think that the natural death magic immunity is working for the undead shape, while it doesn't work should alex have a helm of soulguard on in a non-undead shape)

Rakshasa.... highest AC, no SR. Dies. Quickly, within a few rounds if no healing potions are used.

The results are completely reliable. There is no question about different
builds, as it is the same character, same feats, same gear. All forms
in question merge the same gear, except the iron golem which does not
merge the weapon properties (which is irrelevant for defense).

Consider the numbers and statistics at play too, and it's obvious SR is
invaluable for surviving beholders. Not only does the beholder have to
hit with the eye beam (which is where AC is the primary defence), but
then, should they get past your AC, they need to beat your SR (20 to 24
SR resists a fair number, 26 resists the eye magic far more reliably and 30 resists near perfectly baring a a 20 roll from the beholder's attempt to beat SR). Then it
gets down to your saves should AC and SR fail to protect you.

Without the SR, you have to get only 2 bad rolls on a single attack to get
nailed, with the SR, you have to get 3 bad rolls on a single attack to
get nailed. That extra line of defence increases the odds substantially in the player's favor.

Now, as for XP gains....

At 28th level, a single spawn of beholders will net 738 XP. There's 5, 6 spawns through
the tarnesha tunnels? Let's go with just 5, discounting the elder
beholder.

5 X 738 = 3690. That's a little over 900 4 XP kills. 8 beholders to 900 orcs/skeletons/ect...

That XP declines as levels go up... at level 40, that XP is reduced all the way down to 350 per spawn.

5 X 350 = 1750. That's 438 4XP creatures to the 8 beholders.

Let's consider the lowest possible XP gain, the 350.

As you've stated previously, you could tear through beholders with Az at
amazing speed.... would you put that at what? 1 minute per spawn?

I'm sorry, but there's simply no possible way a meleer is going to find,
and kill, the 400+ creatures within 5 minutes, even considering all kills
at 1 hit a kill and great cleaving.

Nearly 1000 creatures in 5 minutes for comparing the lower level gains? Not even fort Moth spawns that many orcs that fast to make the statement that more XP can be gained from them true, and I'm not sure of anywhere that spawns as many creatures as fast as fort morth.
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Re: Character Advancement Debate (split)

Post by Enterprise2001 on Wed Jan 07, 2009 11:23 pm

Besides the fact that this has strayed so far off the original topic that The Amethyst Dragon had to split this off, I think everyone here has seriously missed the point:

We play games because they are fun. Period.

I just starting playing here about 2 weeks or so ago and have put in about 2 days (48 hours) on a single character and he is still only level 14. (This count not including the time spent agonizing over his first custom item in the toolset. Very Happy ) What have I been doing? Oh, taking "tours" with "guides", exploring on my own (and getting totally creamed for it repeatedly to the tune of about 10k XP), bumping into other people and talking, RPing, and asking questions, and generally, trying to figure out how the hell Aenea works.

Am I having fun? You betcha, or I wouldn't still be here. Is it sometimes frustrating? You Betcha. Am I a little bummed my character isn't a little higher level? Yeah, well, maybe a little, but I didn't expect to get it right the first time, and I wouldn't have traded the time talking and RPing with people for in-game XP. XP is just a number stored at an address on a computer, real memories are forever.

And as for the original question of how fast or easy one levels a character, that's easy:

It depends solely on the person playing the character. How badly does he want to level up? How well does he know the game? Is level grinding fun for him or would he prefer to actually interact with the other players? The player's experience and attitude is the primary force here, not the game.

The question *I* would like answered is:

If all you are worried about is how fast you can reach level 40, why are you playing a multiplayer game on a persistant world server? Isn't the main idea behind multiplayer games to actually play with them? Wouldn't it be easier to level grind in a single player game? You know, with less annoying distractions, like other people, getting in the way...
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Re: Character Advancement Debate (split)

Post by MannyJabrielle on Thu Jan 08, 2009 12:13 am

Depends on the server. The other server I play on is very party oriented. Better XP gain in groups than solo, party roles are important and well defined (got your tanks, your damagers, your lockpickers, your clerics, buffers, and nuker-mages...). Teamwork is the key, it's fun, and it's not too much distraction talking to people while slaughtering enemy npcs. Smile
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Re: Character Advancement Debate (split)

Post by sevenar on Thu Jan 08, 2009 12:19 am

well i agree it's much more fun to interact with people (even if your character is a little off putting and demeaning haha)

at this point i don't really care who thinks what will level faster, but a challenge was issued for a record time to level 40 and i intend to beat it!

And to any interested parties: level 11 and counting. I'm not going to post timeplayed until the end, but i'm taking screenies along the way as benchmarks Wink
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Re: Character Advancement Debate (split)

Post by Eric of Atrophy on Thu Jan 08, 2009 12:27 am

People like to mull about the rules, Enterprise2001, and discuss various builds and what conditions go into what PC is successful. As you pointed out, though, a successful character is not necessarily a high-level one.

Now, some testimonial: I always hate when someone says, "I'm so great because I've been around since the beginning of this or that," and that is not what I'm doing here. I have been on this server for some time, kinda bee-bopping away. I remember the old forums well and had many posts there, including the quoted one that graces Aenea's website (right under Barus Gorn's). Not many people from that time are still around today, unfortunately. I tried to play one other character before I created Sta'stillen Thriceblind, but Sta' has been around pretty much since the near beginning of my Aenean career. And here's the shocker - she's only 16th level. And I still consider her one of my most successful PCs. Ultimately, I think it's like this: I completely agree with Enterprise2001, that the build of a character doesn't matter a hair to its success. I understand the debate and discussion concerning various builds/success, but I read them out of curiosity, as opposed to anything else. Honestly, I probably won't ever see a 40th level PC on Aenea - I just don't see it in the books for me. Fulfilling the Prophecy and getting a cool screenie from MannyJabrielle or daveyeisley - yeah, that's not gonna happen. And I'm cool with that. I'm in it for the fun of the game, and build mechanics be damned!

But I'll still give 50 BoM to the person who levels a caster in - what was it, 38 hours? - I don't remember, it's out there somewhere ... but I'm wondering if it can be done ... kinda like the Cannonball Run, eh? Cool

To the victor go the spoils! And for me, I enjoy the game no matter the level of the PC, so I have spoils! Wink
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Re: Character Advancement Debate (split)

Post by sevenar on Thu Jan 08, 2009 12:38 am

I really wish I could be as lax as that with the games I play... however I began my gaming career with some of my friends who were power gamers and that's how I learned. Figuring out how to be the best as fast as possible is part of the entertainment factor for me.

Every other RP server I've tried to get involved in never worked for me, leveling was too slow or the people were lame or there was *something* wrong that kept me from enjoying it. Aenea has quick leveling if you want to, PLENTY of areas to explore and awesome people. perfect combo! group xp is awful though and since advancing in level is what i enjoy, i've sort of avoided grouping with sevenar. now that i've gotten him rather high (and am in the progress of speed leveling Hadaly) I think the next few I will be ok with slowing down on.

Going to stop writing now because I'm super distracted watching Buffy but uhh... moral of the story is Aenea is awesome and I love it here. w00t!
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Re: Character Advancement Debate (split)

Post by MannyJabrielle on Thu Jan 08, 2009 2:27 am

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Re: Character Advancement Debate (split)

Post by Eric of Atrophy on Thu Jan 08, 2009 5:59 am

Now we're talkin'! MannyJabrielle, that alone is almost worth 50 BoM ... almost! Laughing
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Re: Character Advancement Debate (split)

Post by Eric of Atrophy on Thu Jan 08, 2009 7:03 am

sevenar,

please don't think that I am lax in my game-playing, as that's not it at all. When I discovered Aenea I was smack in the middle of my run through graduate school, so I didn't have much chance to play lots (as I had to write lots). Having finished my education (for now), I have a very happy wife and four children - why is my wife very happy? Because I'm very involved in the doings of the children and the household, which also translates into little time to play online. Plus we just moved. Right before Christmas. Arrgh. (Which i would NEVER recommend to anyone. EVER!)

So, all that boils down to the fact that I don't have much time to invest, but what I do I do, all without reservation or complaint (most of the time, anyways). I wish I had the time ... well, maybe if Aenea is around in 20 years, when my youngest goes off to college or wherever ... maybe then I'll be able to power-level a PC. For now, though, I play when I'm able. Cool


Last edited by Eric of Atrophy on Thu Jan 08, 2009 7:05 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : put more stuff in.)
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Re: Character Advancement Debate (split)

Post by sevenar on Thu Jan 08, 2009 8:56 am

Maybe lax was the wrong word. I didn't mean that you didn't work toward making your character excellent I meant that I wouldn't be able to handle having a toon around for that long and only have him be level 16. That might also be due to the fact that just about every game I have played is focused on end game content (WoW, Warhammer, and all my previous NWN servers)

And what is this Cannonball Run II business? I haven't heard of it (which I'm guessing is going to get me lots of gasps and 'what?!?'s)
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Re: Character Advancement Debate (split)

Post by MannyJabrielle on Thu Jan 08, 2009 1:32 pm

Cannonball Run was a cheesy car comedy from the early 80's. It had tons of stars in it (Deluise, Burt Renoylds, Jackie Chan, Fara Fawcett, Sammy Davis Jr...). The basic plot is about an outlaw race from one side of the US to the other. No rules other than don't get stopped by the police. Not sophisticated humor by any stretch, but funny. Think camp like National lampoons or such Smile
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Re: Character Advancement Debate (split)

Post by sevenar on Thu Jan 08, 2009 3:07 pm

ahh so it's like Deathrace but without the point system in place for grannies, children, and dogs xD
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Re: Character Advancement Debate (split)

Post by MannyJabrielle on Thu Jan 08, 2009 3:32 pm

Something like that... :p
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Re: Character Advancement Debate (split)

Post by Enterprise2001 on Thu Jan 08, 2009 4:11 pm

Eric of Atrophy wrote:People like to mull about the rules, Enterprise2001, and discuss various builds and what conditions go into what PC is successful.

Oh, no argument there, debating the rules can be a good thing, but the thread had long stopped debating the rules and started debating the "best" character and "best" play style. You might as well have been debating the best color, the greatest place on earth, or the perfect mate--they are different for every person. Smile The character that works best for you could very well be difficult or virtually impossible for another person to play.

Eric of Atrophy wrote:As you pointed out, though, a successful character is not necessarily a high-level one.

A successful character is one you enjoy playing. (If anyone argues with that statement, he must be getting payed to play. Please hook the rest of us up, would you? Very Happy)

Eric of Atrophy wrote:Now, some testimonial: I always hate when someone says, "I'm so great because I've been around since the beginning of this or that," and that is not what I'm doing here. I have been on this server for some time, kinda bee-bopping away. I remember the old forums well and had many posts there, including the quoted one that graces Aenea's website (right under Barus Gorn's). Not many people from that time are still around today, unfortunately. I tried to play one other character before I created Sta'stillen Thriceblind, but Sta' has been around pretty much since the near beginning of my Aenean career. And here's the shocker - she's only 16th level. And I still consider her one of my most successful PCs. Ultimately, I think it's like this: I completely agree with Enterprise2001, that the build of a character doesn't matter a hair to its success. I understand the debate and discussion concerning various builds/success, but I read them out of curiosity, as opposed to anything else. Honestly, I probably won't ever see a 40th level PC on Aenea - I just don't see it in the books for me. Fulfilling the Prophecy and getting a cool screenie from MannyJabrielle or daveyeisley - yeah, that's not gonna happen. And I'm cool with that. I'm in it for the fun of the game, and build mechanics be damned!

Well, actually, there is a lot of truth in that. The longer you play a game, the more you understand, and the better you are going to be at it. But when they put it that way, it can sound snobby and be a serious put-off. If the experienced player doesn't shove his experience in your face and instead is helpful and well mannered, then you just found yourself a new best friend. Smile

And before another debate can pop up, let me remind everyone that "fun" and "success," like colors, locations, and beauty, are in the eye of the beholder. Some hold their level as their greatest achievement, others their wealth, some prefer to collect items of power or interest, and there are some that their level 5 old dwarven rouge without a gold coin or item to his name is the greatest character they ever played because they just can't stop RPing him.
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Re: Character Advancement Debate (split)

Post by MannyJabrielle on Thu Jan 08, 2009 5:49 pm

I don't think anybody is confusing the roleplay aspect with the mechanics aspect of the game.

And, just as one can't ignore the roleplay aspect when discussing the game as a whole, one can't ignore the mechanics aspect either when discussing the game as a whole.

This thread isn't touching on any aspects of roleplaying, because they are fundamentally not required to examine when the subject is the rules and mechanics.

The rules are important though. Are they the *only* issue? No, but it's very difficult to have a game without rules, be it one where the players compete against eachother as well as one where they compete alongside eachother.

This isn't necessarily saying X class is better, but it is illuminating aspects where a very general choice can lead to an inequality. Take subraces for example. They have bonuses over non-subraces. Those bonuses are evened out with penalties. If there wasn't a give-and-take in making that choice, what reason from a mechanics standpoint would there be NOT to take the subrace then?

Again, this isn't about roleplaying, lack of roleplaying, ignoring the fun of roleplaying. Nothing in this topic touches on or concerns roleplaying, or the fun derived from such.

What this *is* about though is the fun derived from having a successfull character... again, this is *not* qualifying fun as *only* possible through a mechanics sense.

The original subject of the thread (or rather the thread this was split from) was encounter difficulty... a purely game-mechanic topic. For people with high end characters, 90% of the enemies to battle are extremely easy. For those who are familiar with the game mechanics (not just knowledge of the server setting, but the mechanics of NWN), even some low level encounters with low level characters are very easy. Thus the suggestions on how to improve their difficulty, to make things more challenging, especially for the higher level characters.

Because, on the game mechanics front of the issue, not the roleplaying issue, one would like challenge. Otherwise, what really is the point of XP, levels and such, when there's no challenge to be tackled?

There is yes, of course great fun for roleplaying, creating a character with a unique personality, the interaction with other players.

But there is also the fun derived from creating a character who does very well on the mechanics side of the game. One who can succeed at the challenges they face. This is almost 100% mutually exclusive from the roleplaying aspect of the game. The area where the two aspects mix is in the long term developement of a character. Character X who's been around X amount of time, is a 'highly renowned fighter/mage/rogue/whatever'.... one would expect that they do, in fact, have the actual ability to set them above the character who doesn't. This is represented in levels and abilities. The brand new character is not, nor should not, have the same strengths ability wise as the one who's grown and developed a much longer time.

As to the "best" character, in this thread, it's about the mechanics issue, and about I think demonstrating the inequality on the playing field as it were. Ideally, you want a game where equal level characters are equally adept, where the playing field is as level as possible in terms of ability to develope said character.

I am of the opinion that the setting favors one character over the other in this regards from the mechanics standpoint. To be absolutely clear, this isn't about "best character" from a roleplaying standpoint. It is abosulutely correct that discussing the 'best roleplayed' character is like trying to say which color is the best...it depends on the player's personal preference.

But when it comes to the game rules that we all play by, there is indeed a 'best' in terms of one PC will excell much faster and easier than another... not due to personal choices, preferences or choice of favorite colors, but due to game mechanics. Now "best" doesnt' convey the correct meaning here... it conveys a distinct advantage though. Not a roleplay advantage, a game mechanics advantage.
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Re: Character Advancement Debate (split)

Post by daveyeisley on Thu Jan 08, 2009 7:58 pm

I can agree with a lot that has been said about fun and enjoyment in the last 10 posts or so.

That being said, I did just want to throw out a tidbit relating to the SR portion before that, and other bits regarding others evaluation of Aszhad as not being a good indicator of certain things.

I totally understand how one may think that the SR is *required* to survive beholder encounters. I would like to explain why I believe this is not so.
Before level 30, Aszhad's resist rate was garbage... it was so unreliable as to make it not worth considering, as death came swiftly if I did not take defensive measures.

Those defensive measure I think are natural to any non-caster... namely collecting different pieces of gear for specific situations. I had 3 or 4 totally separate sets of gear depending on what I was fighting. My gear allowed me to succeeed against the beholders even when my SR was not helping.

My SR only started being about 50% effective at level 30, and it did get better until at level 40 I can basically waltz through those tunnels.... but the levels from 30-40 required me to use mass slaughter and mass sacrifice as levelling tools to avoid time wastage from many many deaths to cheesy death rays that immunity would not protect against.

Before level 35 or so, my "beholder gear" which was 100% in-game items, no custom stuff... included many passive immunities that rendered most of the eye rays irrelevant whether they hit or were not resisted. The onlky rays that posed a threat were the inflict wounds, (which my armor still partially reduced, but it still HURT when it critted), the death ray (which I *SHOULD* have been immune to, and the raw magical damage ray.

I was walking around in there with Immunity to Death Magic, Immunity to Level/Ability drain, Immunity to Knockdown, Immunity to Mind Effects, Freedom of movement, Instant de-petrification, and escape-from-death bracers. This made my only real worry rolling 1's against death rays, and being able to soak up LOTS of damage (which still usually killed me until my SR got up to 40 or so at level 35). With consumables like Invis potions, and good tactics, this was doable well below level 30. In fact it was *easier* at lower levels when the spawns were still only 2 or 3 beholders, even though my SR was for crap. When I got higher level the number of enemies made it MUCH harder to manage all that damage, and the SR wasn't helping at all... the gear made MUCH more difference, as did my tactics.

When I got myself to level 35 on other stuff and my SR was reliable, then yeah, sure I could resists most eye-rays.... but the fact was, at that point I could kill them fast enough with my tactics and was immune to almost evertything they could throw at me already. There is no defense against the magic damage and that was what smoked ANYBODY of ANY level if all 8 beholders in a room can see you. That was the only thing that the SR helped with, and only after level 35.

The beholders were still manageable before that, but it was safer and faster to mass slaughter and mass sacrifice... with an oocaisional detour to fight a tougher boss guy thrown in every so often between grouping and exploring/doing quests.
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Re: Character Advancement Debate (split)

Post by MannyJabrielle on Thu Jan 08, 2009 8:24 pm

I will still have to disagree with your assessment on SR.

I have provided the numbers proving the importance of SR. My character has the same immunities, minus the petrification as stonebreaker cloaks don't work for shifters.

The immunities do help. But the difference between 20 or less SR and 25 to 30 SR is a massive one. Look at the numbers I've posted again. Feel free to come watch Alex fight the beholders in the various forms if you're having a difficult time believing the numbers posted.

I simply do not undertand how 35 SR would only be 50% effective when I'm finding it to be 99% effective at 5 points lower and 9 points lower (30 and 26).
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Re: Character Advancement Debate (split)

Post by Svair on Thu Jan 08, 2009 10:23 pm

[Practices a couple of swings with stick. Approaches prostrate horse.]

[Decides to log-on instead...]
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Re: Character Advancement Debate (split)

Post by daveyeisley on Thu Jan 08, 2009 11:08 pm

Very simple, manny. youre lucky.

Crid has 24 and it does nothing. 26 aint gonna be 99% unless you are phenomenally lucky... which time has proven you are, over and over.

i have bad luck if i have any luck. 35 was about 50% for me. we can quibble over 10% variances and whatnot, but if neither of us is lying, then the only thing your numbers are showing is good luck compared to my awful luck.
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Re: Character Advancement Debate (split)

Post by MannyJabrielle on Wed May 13, 2009 1:54 am

Eric of Atrophy wrote:
But I'll still give 50 BoM to the person who levels a caster in - what was it, 38 hours? - I don't remember, it's out there somewhere ... but I'm wondering if it can be done ... kinda like the Cannonball Run, eh? Cool

To the victor go the spoils! And for me, I enjoy the game no matter the level of the PC, so I have spoils! Wink



23 hours, minus the 8 hour jumpstart reincarnation gets ya... 15 hours Smile I vant to enchant your bluuuud. blah! affraid
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Re: Character Advancement Debate (split)

Post by Svair on Wed May 13, 2009 4:14 am

I thought as much... :-)
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Re: Character Advancement Debate (split)

Post by daveyeisley on Thu May 14, 2009 12:03 pm

Im just glad I didnt make that bet.... cuz the Xp system got changed afterwards Razz

I don't think Manny is actually trying to collect either, I think he just wanted to let us all know how awesome he is... hehe
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Re: Character Advancement Debate (split)

Post by MannyJabrielle on Thu May 14, 2009 12:27 pm

Na, I want the 50 BoMs. Awsomeness doesn't get one a +5 enhancement to a whip Very Happy
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Re: Character Advancement Debate (split)

Post by daveyeisley on Thu May 14, 2009 2:09 pm

Well, you'll have to take that up with Eric, then Razz
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Re: Character Advancement Debate (split)

Post by Eric of Atrophy on Sat Jan 13, 2018 2:40 pm

Holy thread necro, batman, but I can't help wondering - did I ever get Manny his 50 BoM? Question
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Re: Character Advancement Debate (split)

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