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XP Code Changes III: Chuck Norris Returns!

General discussion about Avlis

Moderators: Nighthawk4, Dungeon Masters

PostAuthor: Naieth » Thu Jan 12, 2006 5:27 pm

Deider wrote:Wasn't there some guy who got to 20th just by farming (crops, not spawns)?


Quintillion, the uber-farmer :lol:
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PostAuthor: Starslayer_D » Fri Jan 20, 2006 10:39 pm

Ok, as promised my feedback after having it seem over some time life. I try to avoid spoilers, thus it's a bit vague.

Some results are strange.. for example a noticeable XP jump was noted depending on whether the hole group stayed close together or scattered all over the map, from the same creatures.

Overall, the code is fair. Epics still have a hard time to find creatures, but some can be found wich give good rewards.

Huge parties suffer, over 10 people ypu notice party size. Best thinsg work for small parties, 3-6. But all party sizes work when faced with creatures of various CR's.
(Thanks to Icarusdaddy for throwing such a huge range of critters at us in an event, wich made my observations possible.).

Overall, I like the changes.

They allow some old style pause from RP standinga round and go bashing some things with actually attainingnoticeable XP as a group. This allows one to RP much more relaxed, as one knows that one can go out and make a step towards net level if one desires to (instead of constantly hounding ares just for some small xp.).
This is my personal favorite effect. I can relax and let Xp be Xp, and can go out with friends when I desire.. and still feel not like being on a grind mill when going out hunting.
The changes also absolutely achieve their goal in eliminating solo XP hunters with an urge for quick leveling..
ashzz: at the very core of the problem is that good characters and organizations can do much more EVIL in the name of good than evil can do evil.
Daerthe: There is only room for so much realism before things start to get silly

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PostAuthor: Moredo » Fri Jan 20, 2006 11:59 pm

After testing the code for hours and hours I've come to the conclusion that on a normal day, spent RPing, and playing with equal level Epic characters (in M'Chek) I'll earn about 100 to 200 xp. This is 5 hours or so spent IG, and not running FedEx quests or crafting.

However, all my characters friends aren't the same level. Over these few weeks I've played with other characters that are much lower level than my character and earned several thousand XP over the course of a few short hours.

All in all I've gained about the same xp, now as before the change. But there is still a lot of things that have changed with the xp code change. Now you can't just worry about playing, and the xp will come on it's own, because it doesn't. You have to go look for XP, in a dungeon or wherever - if you want to level.

I know DMs can't be everywhere with their XP cookie wands, and giving this feature to Guild Leaders or Players seems like a bad idea to me. But getting that d4+1 xp for those dire spiders or bears helped balance the fact that you could spend hours chatting at the Rock, without seeing anything in return for it (except for a fun time that is).

So what if it doesn't make much sense that you get XP from creatures, that your character can kill millions of, without breaking a sweat? So what if powergamers exploit it, by killing ants over and over again? We're almost on the fourth year of Avlis being live now, and I predict if there are still powergamers here - they'll find a way to get the XP that they want.

Sorry that I don't have any spesific examples. I guess could show you how I'd rather ignore/run past dire wolfs, instead of fighting them and getting 0 xp, but losing 10 hp, which again costs about 13 gp to fix with a kit.. but I think that might be a bit redundant. :P
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PostAuthor: Deider » Sat Jan 21, 2006 8:11 am

Starslayer_D wrote:Some results are strange.. for example a noticeable XP jump was noted depending on whether the hole group stayed close together or scattered all over the map, from the same creatures.


This is either the EL adjustment code in action (whch had nothing to do with where the party was and everything to do with how many creatures you were facing when you killed one), or the fact that you have to be within a certain distance from the killer to get xp for that kill. That was in the old code also. That's to prevent newbies from standing at the entrance to a dungeon and get xp while an epic goes and clears it.

Moredo wrote:So what if powergamers exploit it, by killing ants over and over again?


For the 354893th time: don't care about powergamers. We weren't seeing powergamers doing this. We were seeing well-known and respected longtime players of epic PCs doing this. As well as kick lowbies out of said lowbie dungeons so they could do this. Do I really need to go so far as to name names?
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PostAuthor: Starslayer_D » Sat Jan 21, 2006 8:16 am

Deider wrote:
Starslayer_D wrote:Some results are strange.. for example a noticeable XP jump was noted depending on whether the hole group stayed close together or scattered all over the map, from the same creatures.


This is either the EL adjustment code in action (whch had nothing to do with where the party was and everything to do with how many creatures you were facing when you killed one), or the fact that you have to be within a certain distance from the killer to get xp for that kill. That was in the old code also. That's to prevent newbies from standing at the entrance to a dungeon and get xp while an epic goes and clears it.



Yep.. the strange thing was, it was within a bowshot. If the archer was basically 2 meters from teh frontliners, it made a difference as compared to him being 20 meters behind them. And once again when about at the edge of his range.
(3 chars involved, total, thus good and simple data possible in a place where 2 frontliners can hold well. )
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PostAuthor: loki70 » Sat Jan 21, 2006 8:45 am

Two questions:

1) is this live on Kuras? My 13th level cleric is getting 0xp from 4cr creatures. Don't know if that is a glitch or intentional

2) I was fighting Elder Earth Elementals, and got a decent amount for the first 3, and 1-2 for the other 3. Is this the EL at work, or am I hallucinating again?
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PostAuthor: Eef » Sat Jan 21, 2006 9:11 am

Starslayer_D wrote:
Deider wrote:
Starslayer_D wrote:Some results are strange.. for example a noticeable XP jump was noted depending on whether the hole group stayed close together or scattered all over the map, from the same creatures.


This is either the EL adjustment code in action (whch had nothing to do with where the party was and everything to do with how many creatures you were facing when you killed one), or the fact that you have to be within a certain distance from the killer to get xp for that kill. That was in the old code also. That's to prevent newbies from standing at the entrance to a dungeon and get xp while an epic goes and clears it.



Yep.. the strange thing was, it was within a bowshot. If the archer was basically 2 meters from teh frontliners, it made a difference as compared to him being 20 meters behind them. And once again when about at the edge of his range.
(3 chars involved, total, thus good and simple data possible in a place where 2 frontliners can hold well. )


I've noticed this too, the range for getting XP is extremely short, a lot shorter than bow range. At first I thought Oorayv was not getting XP for any critters because he's level 20, but then later Sterre -did- get XP for them and she's level 22. The difference? Oorayv kills stuff from a long distance with a bow or spells and Sterre likes it up close and personal.
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PostAuthor: Deider » Sat Jan 21, 2006 10:17 am

loki70 wrote:1) is this live on Kuras? My 13th level cleric is getting 0xp from 4cr creatures. Don't know if that is a glitch or intentional


It is live on Kuras. And it is intentional. Read the first post in this thread for details.

2) I was fighting Elder Earth Elementals, and got a decent amount for the first 3, and 1-2 for the other 3. Is this the EL at work, or am I hallucinating again?


It is the EL at work. Again, first post in this thread :)
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PostAuthor: Deider » Sat Jan 21, 2006 10:18 am

Eef wrote:I've noticed this too, the range for getting XP is extremely short, a lot shorter than bow range.


The range was never changed. It's been the same for almost two years now.
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PostAuthor: Khaelindra » Sat Jan 21, 2006 10:32 am

Deider wrote:
Eef wrote:I've noticed this too, the range for getting XP is extremely short, a lot shorter than bow range.


The range was never changed. It's been the same for almost two years now.


I used to get xp-messages from monsters killed by party-members on the other side of the area. Now, as soon as they are sort of out of sight, i get nothing except the happy TELLS from said partymember that suddenly the xp goes up high when the distance between us is greater. Something definately changed.
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PostAuthor: loki70 » Sat Jan 21, 2006 10:39 am

Deider wrote:
loki70 wrote:1) is this live on Kuras? My 13th level cleric is getting 0xp from 4cr creatures. Don't know if that is a glitch or intentional


It is live on Kuras. And it is intentional. Read the first post in this thread for details.

2) I was fighting Elder Earth Elementals, and got a decent amount for the first 3, and 1-2 for the other 3. Is this the EL at work, or am I hallucinating again?


It is the EL at work. Again, first post in this thread :)
I think I am reading the wrong thread for answers to these questions. This thread only covers anti-towing and associates. I'll go look, though.
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PostAuthor: slave_of_emotions » Sat Jan 21, 2006 10:44 am

Deider wrote:
Eef wrote:I've noticed this too, the range for getting XP is extremely short, a lot shorter than bow range.


The range was never changed. It's been the same for almost two years now.


The EL code has apreantly problems with large creatures like Earth Elementals and giants, even when fighting a group of elder elementals i get mostly 1-2xp for them and only sometimes abit more(perhaps 1-2 elementals out of a group). With other elementals it seems to work great.
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PostAuthor: Moredo » Sat Jan 21, 2006 11:32 am

Deider wrote:
Moredo wrote:So what if powergamers exploit it, by killing ants over and over again?


For the 354893th time: don't care about powergamers. We weren't seeing powergamers doing this. We were seeing well-known and respected longtime players of epic PCs doing this. As well as kick lowbies out of said lowbie dungeons so they could do this. Do I really need to go so far as to name names?


Of course you don't have to go into naming names, but that wasn't the main point of my post either, more like a digress. This was the point however:

Moredo wrote:Now you can't just worry about playing, and the xp will come on it's own, because it doesn't. You have to go look for XP, in a dungeon or wherever - if you want to level.


Bear with me a while, I'm going to try to explain this.. and I'm not too good with words, when I want to explain myself. :P

To paint it very roughly I'd say that Avlis is almost like a three part experence for me (used to kinda be four part, but I'll explain that later) and it's all about the fun.



1. Hanging out with the other players. Just going to the Elf Gate (yep, I do that from time to time ;)) or sitting at the Rock, in the City Gate Inn or attending a guild meeting - anything like that (ie. non combat, chatty type RP). Great stuff, I really like it.

2. DM events - both spontanious and with my guild are super fun! This is a major reason for my enjoyment of the game, they can spice up any of the events I described in part 1 or run something themselves. Great fun!

3. Gaining XP. I like to level, for me it's a big part of the game. It's not all of the game, but it's a major part. Sure, you have Janur and probably a dosen other characters that are great, but don't have all the XP in the world, and I applaude them. That's great stuff, but for me that's fun with an alt, because I don't think I have the stamina to only do part 1 and 2 of the game. As I said, maybe as fun with an alt though.



Anyway, back to business. Gaining XP, before you could do this relatively easy, kill a few half orcs there, do a dungeon here, solo a bit, get in a big party for some epic place, and sooner or later you'd have your level. It's not like that anymore, I don't get XP for most stuff I spawn, and some of the stuff I spawn I just get d2 xp for, even with the EL stuff. I'll adress that first.

Killing stuff for XP is not fun, and from a non-RP POV pointless, why risk spending that heal kit you just bought for 50 gold, to kill an animal that just drops a crafting component? As for the d2 XP for tougher creatures (or 0-1 if you have a penalty), as far as I can see now, three weeks in, is that it's making leveling slow down. But it's turning adventuring into a grind that's grows tiring after a while. By this I mean that part 3 on my fun chart, is turning into part 1. (ie. you're chatting with friends in combat, but almost not gaining anything from it).

The other thing I can do is kill stuff that's within my challenge rating, stuff that cons as easy to impossible, when I examine them. And sure, I'd love to, except that I can't. I play a pretty poor figher PC, (though I've cheated the system by adding some mage levels - one of my ooc reasons for plaing a mage was to save gold on potions) and I don't enjoy crafting all that much either. So, I'm stuck with what I can find in drops, and then selling that and buying new potions and kits. If I'm going to kill stuff that within my challenge rating I'm basically going to go broke. The gold and healing drops are way, way, way too low to continiually support my character against these foes (and I have pretty much a tank of a character). Also these creatures are few, and far apart and more often than not in some remote dungeon, meaning it takes time and effort to plan and get a group to go there.

That means it's back to grinding the d2 xp creatures for me, but you have to grind for so long that there is almost no light in the end of the tunnel, which again makes part 3 of my fun chart, into something boring. It's not fun to gain XP, if you're not gaining XP.

I also mentioned a 4th part, and that's exploring. When I first arrived here from Mythos it was super fun to run around exploring the new areas and creatures. (I put this under 'used to be a part', since after playing on average 3-5 hours a day for 2 years, I think I've pretty much seen all the areas that are open for my characters to explore)

I'm going to try and sum this up in one paragraph.. :P There used to be neat balance before, between the fun you'd get from the gaining XP side and the non-combat chatting stuff. That balance has shifted now, to rely heavily on the chatting stuff, and however much fun it is, (and it IS fun!) it grows a bit old in the end.

There, I think I did it. :D

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PostAuthor: Aerill » Sat Jan 21, 2006 12:40 pm

Before you could RP all day, get picked up for a random adventure, take part in a DM event, and the xp would slowly come. You could just do your own thing without thinking about xp and the progression would come on it's own.

Now if you want to progress in levels you can still find ways of getting xp, but you have to think about it and go out of your way to get it. You need to choose the right place to go to, carefully pick your party members (levels), and avoid taking that high-epic character with you if possible.

That is how I see the changes affecting gameplay.

On the other hand, from what little I got to see of the new loot drop code, changes seem to be great. It is nice to see more variety.

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PostAuthor: Eef » Sat Jan 21, 2006 1:25 pm

Deider wrote:
Eef wrote:I've noticed this too, the range for getting XP is extremely short, a lot shorter than bow range.


The range was never changed. It's been the same for almost two years now.


Then I think something unexpected broke, or maybe it was broken before and it suddenly works now, because it's definitely different from before.
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PostAuthor: Grunt » Sat Jan 21, 2006 2:03 pm

Weighing in...

One thing I can say I like about the change (as in "cool factor") is the way it staggers out for me at lvl 25... the random chance of XP in an adventure.

Example: A group of us in varying levels took a walk, hit some spawns and got 0,0,0,0,0.. for XP. Then a couple 1 or 2 xp fights tossed in, followed by more 0s. Then suddenly BAM! a small run of 9xp spawns, and then back to 0.

It's like a slot machine. "Damn, 0. Damn, 0...woo! 9! *gets more quarters*" ;)

In theory, a good side effect of this is that in a progessively harder dungeon you WILL get the XP due if your group continues on and hits their challenge. Take the Spider cave in Elysia, for instance. Think how far 4 low (<10) characters can go, then a mixed group of average level 15, then an average of 20, 25... some of these groups won't see XP until further in, but all should get similar XP before turning back that the low levels did before having to turn back (or run back naked). This may be totally wrong of course.

So I don't mind playing through all of the 0s on an adventure so long as there's a good chance of a 9-10xp or larger in the travels to even it off.

Before:
spider 1xp
spider 1xp
bug 1xp
mephit 1xp
Fortano's Mom 5xp (+VD)

for a total of 9XP

Now:
spider 0xp
spider 0xp
bug 0xp
mephit 0xp
Fortano's Mom 9xp (+Spite +stackapotionsomgwoot)

for a total of 9XP

Even XP, and cooler drops. Cooler to the point that I see gold and am almost disappointed ;)

That's how it's been lookin', at least for my level range.
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PostAuthor: Deider » Sat Jan 21, 2006 3:36 pm

The EL code has apreantly problems with large creatures like Earth Elementals and giants, even when fighting a group of elder elementals i get mostly 1-2xp for them and only sometimes abit more(perhaps 1-2 elementals out of a group). With other elementals it seems to work great.


This has nothing to do with creature size and everything to do with CR. Example: you 30th lvl PC fights a group of 10th lvl creatures. With the EL adjustment some of them will count as CR14, but that's still too low to net your 30th lvl PC anything more than the token 1d2 xp.

Then I think something unexpected broke, or maybe it was broken before and it suddenly works now, because it's definitely different from before.


I'll look into this.

Since we're doing testimonials, here's mine:

Partied with an epic two days ago. My PC was 10th level. We explored the Le'Or canopies. The epic died once, I died twice, and we pretty much blew our wad in terms of resources. I went down more times than a presidential intern.

We both leveled. I gained about 5k xp in 3 hours, that's with a multiclass penalty, meaning the epic gained more. At first I thought that Le'Or hadn't adopted the new code yet and that we were seeing the power of towing in action. But the code was updated there over a week ago.
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PostAuthor: Alphonse » Sat Jan 21, 2006 3:42 pm

Deider wrote:We both leveled. I gained about 5k xp in 3 hours, that's with a multiclass penalty, meaning the epic gained more.


*suddenly sees LeOr filled with epic/newbie duos*
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PostAuthor: Significant Owl » Sat Jan 21, 2006 3:48 pm

Alphonse wrote:
Deider wrote:We both leveled. I gained about 5k xp in 3 hours, that's with a multiclass penalty, meaning the epic gained more.


*suddenly sees LeOr filled with epic/newbie duos*


Wouldn't really be anything new, would it?
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PostAuthor: gwydion2 » Sat Jan 21, 2006 6:12 pm

I was really worried by the first implementation of the new code, but having waited and seen the tweaking and got used to how it works, I'm a lot more comfortable with it. Some things could do with more tweaking, but no system will please everyone.

I agree that my epic shouldn't get xp for killing fire bettles etc and as long as people still get some xp for the CR10+ creatures then you can still progress.

The new anti towing code, does seem to work a lot better than the old one as it rewards sensible partying. If you party with lower level characters within reasonable distance of your level, you are better off than with the old code. If you party with a load of newbies, then you can't exploit it as much.

Example :-
Ed 40 parties with Fealith 30
Old system - party level ((3x40)+30)/4 = 37
New system - party level = 40+30 / 2 = 35
Because this is a sensible party, you aren't penalised.

If you wanted to be silly however
Ed parties with 3 lv2 newbies
old system - party level ((3x40) + 2 + 2 +2) / 6 = 21
new system - party level highest level charcter - 7 = 33

This is a great change, which encourages partying, while being less exploitable.



In general, I've found that a change of play style is needed to gain exp for a lot of characters. I used to just go about my business, travel from A to B killing spawns that I came across, going to mines for ore and killing the spawns in my way etc. Now, it's more a matter of going a few days without many exp and conciously deciding "I owe myself a dungeon bash, I'll get some people and go to one of the places I can get xp". I probably do get less than before, outside DM events, but I could easily get more if I wanted to work at it.

One thing I'm a bit dubious of (don't have personal experience of this, so can only go from what I've heard here) is the cutoff level for killing creatures way above your level. I understand that it is to prevent people from gaining massive exp when killing creatures by exploiting in some way. Just wondering if it is correctly balanced for all levels.

Examples :-
3 lev 1 characters killing a CR10 creature, really can't do it without exploiting in some way. Such as an epic not partied with them, paralysing it for them to kill. Giving them the minimum 1-2 exp here makes such exploits less likely.

An epic group, that has a party lv of 26 taking on a CR35 creature are obviously in for a tough fight, but it is not inconceivable that with good tactics, proper preparation and good equipment they could win fairly. Giving them 1-2 exp for this seem a bit harsh.

Looking at Vett's report about the group that got 2 exp for the Lord of the pit, I wonder if that might have been the issue there? Not that the pit lords CR was too low to give them decent XP, but that it was too high? I don't know what the pit lords CR is, but that might make sense.

Maybe some tweaking could be added so that even if the creatures CR is more than 7 above yours, you can still get reasonable xp for it, if it is less than double your level? Just a thought.
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PostAuthor: Deider » Sat Jan 21, 2006 6:26 pm

gwydion2 wrote:An epic group, that has a party lv of 26 taking on a CR35 creature are obviously in for a tough fight, but it is not inconceivable that with good tactics, proper preparation and good equipment they could win fairly. Giving them 1-2 exp for this seem a bit harsh.


In 3E, they'd actually get 0xp IIRC.

Maybe some tweaking could be added so that even if the creatures CR is more than 7 above yours, you can still get reasonable xp for it, if it is less than double your level? Just a thought.


'Reasonable xp' will get you 10 different numbers from 10 different people. :)

It would be 'reasonable' to let people get the same XP for killing creatures of CR 7 or more than their level. But it'd get exploited like mad. You can't escape the fact that some classes almost effortlessly pwn certain types of creatures. We might as well just remove the golem caves and stick a lever at their former entrance that lets psions gain a level when they pull it. Same with clerics and The Deep.

These aren't just lvl 1s vs. a CR10 creature issues. I assume 3E made its xp system like they did to try and cover these issues. Can't be helped, really - classes and monsters are all supposed to have strengths and weaknesses, and in that sort of system you are going to get some anomalies.
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Well.. and idea Ive been using.

PostAuthor: icarusdaddy » Sat Jan 21, 2006 6:46 pm

Ive seen some epic chars.. that have been adventureing with lowbies.. that dont party with em... dont kill stuff... just hang back.. heal... help when things are tough.

I assume they do this to help out their guild/friends.. without causing them xp loss. Its bad they have to go without any xp... so as a DM.. I make sure that they get some XP rewards from me. They are taking their time to help out some youngins... without causing the youngins to not get as much xp as normal... thats a good thing to me.

Of course.. there wont always be a DM on... but if you know there is...I think this would be a good thing so as not to discourage guilds from taking out their associates, underlings and newbies.

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PostAuthor: Grunt » Sat Jan 21, 2006 6:48 pm

Deider wrote:These aren't just lvl 1s vs. a CR10 creature issues. I assume 3E made its xp system like they did to try and cover these issues. Can't be helped, really - classes and monsters are all supposed to have strengths and weaknesses, and in that sort of system you are going to get some anomalies.


Right, thus the idea of using different classes as an adventure team. A balanced party isn't about level... I would think the best data would come from your "typical vanilla blend" of a classic D&D party. Not soloing or 2 people, but a 4-6 person team. Ideally a trip through a dungeon with multiple baddies of varying strengths and such would give everyone a chance to shine and participate as part of the team, and yield a reasonable (by DM standards) amount of XP for effort given.

So, you put a fighter type at the front, with a rogue next to him tossing in sneak attacks, a mage who can buff and throw down the emergency spell when needed, and a healer keeping people on their feet or dealing with undead with turns... there's a simple 4 person party who can cover a lot of ground within their challenge range. If you want to go 6, add an archer or psion for ranged attack support and another melee/rogue/mage depending on what you think you'll need. I've found having 2 rogue types flanking me on the front line can be very deadly when their sneak attacks start landing.

Bring a dire boar too, just in case you need backup, or bacon.
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PostAuthor: Deider » Sun Jan 22, 2006 2:54 pm

icarusdaddy wrote:Ive seen some epic chars.. that have been adventureing with lowbies.. that dont party with em... dont kill stuff... just hang back.. heal... help when things are tough.


Umm... this is also known as 'cheating.'

Someone asked me about this in IRC. If you need an epic's help to 'bail you out' or heal you, that epic is acting as a party member. So just party with him. Otherwise my epic PC can take a bunch of lowbies to the LRC and 'help them out when they get in trouble,' which will be every fight. Maybe I start 'helping them out' by buffing them to the hilt, or softening up the spawns with spells.

The epic is really 'helping' them by avoiding the anti-tow code so they get more xp. If anyone is doing this and thinks this is legit, we can discuss it while I toss your PC in Immortal Jail. It's cheating, plain and simple. If you are acting as a party member, party up. If your epic needs to 'help' folks out, then party up with them and either take them somewhere safer or accept a challenge and take them somewhere harder. Look above - I got my ass handed to me in Le'Or, but we managed to come out with more xp than we started - and that's with the new code.

loki wrote:I think I am reading the wrong thread for answers to these questions. This thread only covers anti-towing and associates. I'll go look, though.


My bad. The EL adjustment in a nutshell:

- if you kill a creature over CR10, when it dies the xp code checks to see how many of its companions are nearby and its CR gets adjusted accordingly, up to 4 more than its original CR. So if you fight 5 CR10 creatures, the fiirst counts as CR14 (because it has four buddies helping to gang up on you), the second counts as CR13 (because now there are only 3 buddies), the third counts as CR12, the fourth counts as CR11, and the fifth - who is now alone - counts as its normal CR10.
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PostAuthor: VETT SCALES L7 » Sun Jan 22, 2006 4:25 pm

I agree with Moredos post entirely. However being higher level my main character suffers harsher penalties and still can't get xp for spawns that can kill him. Bad build I suppose.

For me, I don't want to camp some ants in Le Or. Hell, I don't want to HAVE to figure out the math involved in going someplace to have fun with people and get some xp after hours or possibly days of roleplay. Completely kills the game for me.
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