Stat rolls and the experience of having good/bad stats

Started by Kavrick, February 15, 2023, 08:43:41 AM

So this is more a post I wanted to make to try and get an idea of other people's views/opinions on stats at character gen. Personally I feel significantly demoralized when I make a new character and both of my stat rolls are bad. Even though I haven't been playing the game for long, I've 100% experienced what the game is like with and without good stats, and the difference is easily noticable and impactful, even with stuff like endurance and ending up with ~50%~ less/more hp.

What do people think about stat rolls? Do people think that people should be able to improve their stats through play? What do people usually do if they roll a bad-statted combat character? How do people feel about combat characters being a little MAD (Multi-ability dependant) compared to other character types? Just generally want to get an idea of what people think, as personally I find it really hard to find the enthusiasm to play a character with poorly rolled stats.
I was told this game was full of twinks, all I found was power gamers.

The question isn't how we can make stats feel better, it's how can we make the game feel less dependent on stats.

That's a MUCH harder problem to solve, though, so I don't know if my input here is going to be that great.
My brain is constantly filled with the sound of elevator music, as the Gods intended.

Quote from: HazelHomewrecker on February 15, 2023, 08:49:34 AM
The question isn't how we can make stats feel better, it's how can we make the game feel less dependent on stats.

That's a MUCH harder problem to solve, though, so I don't know if my input here is going to be that great.

I'd much rather prefer it if everyone started with similar stats and then raised stats similarly to skills, maybe different skills having different stats associated with them that would raise when you riased said skill. Having your stats permenantly decided from character creation in a long-term game about progress and development doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me and has a pretty big impact when you make a new character and type "score" for the first time.
I was told this game was full of twinks, all I found was power gamers.

Don't forget that depending on your age, your characters stats are actually improving over time. Most PC's are, they just don't live long enough to see it.

Quote from: Doublepalli on February 15, 2023, 08:55:08 AM
Don't forget that depending on your age, your characters stats are actually improving over time. Most PC's are, they just don't live long enough to see it.

I'm aware of this, but having to wait irl time for that to happen alongside knowing that some people just start amazing and get even better doesn't really feel like much of a decent system.
I was told this game was full of twinks, all I found was power gamers.

The ironic part is my last few of my preferred style characters, stalkers, has been passable or horrible stats.

I make a crafter, AMAZING stats.

It's like some sick joke.
"This is a game that has elves and magick, stop trying to make it realistic, you can't have them both in the same place."

"We have over 100 Unique Logins a week!" Checks who at 8pm EST, finds 20 other players but himself.  "Thanks Unique Logins!"

I don't think there is any problem with the current way the game implements stats per say.

Stats should matter. It gives the game some important dimensions and gameplay.  Getting to prioritize stats over another basically should resolve most problem.

The problem the game has had is that one stat: strength matters a lot more than the others in terms of combat effectiveness. Having an agile character, or having a high endurance character should open new dimensions of play with different combat styles but it doesn't because e-two and high strength are so overpowered at the human and dwarf levels of exceptional strength.

I think the game is moving to fix/balance these existing issues with the next wave of combat changes.

After that the only thing I would recommend is looking into giving players who only choose to prioritize one stat a bit of a bonus when rolling that one stat. After all, there are already mudane ways to resolve low stats but will agree their half-life after taken and cost should probably get reviewed at some point in the future mostly to promote more viable money sinks.
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Quote from: Dresan on February 15, 2023, 09:13:18 AM
I don't think there is any problem with the current way the game implements stats per say.

Stats should matter. It gives the game some important dimensions and gameplay.  Getting to prioritize stats over another basically should resolve most problem.

The problem the game has had is that one stat: strength matters a lot more than the others in terms of combat effectiveness. Having an agile character, or having a high endurance character should open new dimensions of play with different combat styles but it doesn't because e-two and high strength are so overpowered at the human and dwarf levels of exceptional strength.

I think the game is moving to fix/balance these existing issues with the next wave of combat changes.

After that the only thing I would recommend is looking into giving players who only choose to prioritize one stat a bit of a bonus when rolling that one stat. After all, there are already mudane ways to resolve low stats but will agree their half-life after taken and cost should probably get reviewed at some point in the future mostly to promote more viable money sinks.

I'm fine with the idea of people having different stats. In a perfect world, every character would have one good stat, two average stats and one bad stat. But I think the main issue I have is the sheer range of stats and how it impacts you. Like you can roll a character with three EG/EX stats and then your very next character can have a second VG stat and that's it. The range is pretty massive and there's no real mundane way to raise your stats once you roll them (and yes I'm gonna say that waiting irl months for your stats to increase doesn't count)
I was told this game was full of twinks, all I found was power gamers.

My worst luck too is on spec apps, I'll wait a month to get approved or to play because my previous homie is still alive.

Jump into my OMG AMAZING CLASS, and be physically handicapped.
"This is a game that has elves and magick, stop trying to make it realistic, you can't have them both in the same place."

"We have over 100 Unique Logins a week!" Checks who at 8pm EST, finds 20 other players but himself.  "Thanks Unique Logins!"

It's all randomized so it's not really something that can be controlled. Some classes give bonuses to specific stats and sometimes you roll a significantly low number that even the bonus doesn't help. That's just how playing a game like this is.

If the stat window were halved, that might be less impactful.

I mean, we ARE suppose to be playing a hardy bunch of humanoids surviving in a harsh desert environment.
The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

February 15, 2023, 12:01:35 PM #11 Last Edit: February 15, 2023, 03:30:10 PM by Dresan
Other than the obscene flat damage strength stat gives, currently stats aren't really that game changing.

Running down the list:
- High HP from endurance is my favorite but i've had PCs with around 90~ hp survive a long time.
-For stealth, skill is king, in terms of miscreant you won't notice much of a stealth performance difference between mul, dwarf, human and elf at max skill and some gear. For lower level of skill, I would argue it all sucks equally but your millage might vary.
- Agility for combat has been seen as demerit by many vets for a long time. Maybe the new agility damage update changes that perception a bit, but you still won't be two shoting anyone with agility alone.

I can keep going but honestly I think once the combat updates go ahead, stats will really matter a lot less than skill.
This message was brought to you by a fair weather player.

Quote from: Dresan on February 15, 2023, 12:01:35 PM
Other than the obscene flat damage strength stat gives, currently stats aren't really that game changing.

Running down the list:
- High HP from endurance is my favorite but i've had PCs with around 90~ hp survive a long time.
-For stealth, skill is king, in terms of miscreant you won't notice much of a stealth performance difference between mul, dwarf, human and elf at max skill and some gear. For lower level of skill, I would argue it all sucks equally but your millage might vary.
- Agility for combat has been seen as demerit by many vets for a long time. Maybe the new agility damage update changes that perception a bit, but you still won't be two shoting anyone with agility alone.

I can keep going but honestly I think once the combat updates go ahead, stats will really matter a lot less than skill.

I think Wisdom plays into stealth though.  Every stalker for well ever I've had has ended up with max scan due to E l n l s l e, rinse and repeat IG day in day out.

Only thing I've noticed is that elves no matter what, if they have stealth maxed, I can't see their shadow reliability.  But let a dwarf, a human or anything else try to hide and I see them each and everytime.

Elves seem to have whatever makes stealth literally unfindable.
"This is a game that has elves and magick, stop trying to make it realistic, you can't have them both in the same place."

"We have over 100 Unique Logins a week!" Checks who at 8pm EST, finds 20 other players but himself.  "Thanks Unique Logins!"

Stats are fine as is - they're a random factor that can lead your character down a number of different roads and cause a number of different RP decisions based on how they were rolled. 

To normalize and equalize stats the way it was suggested would be to lose a lot of the luster from the world.  Not everyone is Conan.  Not every concept is going to be King Shit of Fuck Mountain.  That variance creates and removes opportunities in equal measure on both sides of the spectrum.

Life is cheap.  You can make a new character.  Awesome stats don't mean you're going to survive.

Quote from: Brisket on February 15, 2023, 03:59:02 PM
Stats are fine as is - they're a random factor that can lead your character down a number of different roads and cause a number of different RP decisions based on how they were rolled. 

Life is cheap.  You can make a new character.  Awesome stats don't mean you're going to survive.
Quote from: roughneck on October 13, 2018, 10:06:26 AM
Armageddon is best when it's actually harsh and brutal, not when we're only pretending that it is.

I personally would be fine if stats were not a thing.  I think they're fun but I agree it's demotivating if they're low in some areas and it's totally random that you might feel disappointed about a character you were otherwise looking forward to.  The answer people will give is that it doesn't matter, just enjoy the game.  But by that logic if they don't matter, it shouldn't matter to start everyone of the same race with the same capability.

It's a bit of a tabletop kind of situation but tabletops are much different than coded video games.

I'd be open to -

No stat rolls below average.
No stats everyone starting at the same stats and characters being skill based.  But that would require some alterations to the meta I think.

February 15, 2023, 08:50:53 PM #16 Last Edit: February 15, 2023, 09:45:28 PM by LindseyBalboa
Quote from: Krath on February 15, 2023, 07:40:07 PM
Quote from: Brisket on February 15, 2023, 03:59:02 PM
Stats are fine as is - they're a random factor that can lead your character down a number of different roads and cause a number of different RP decisions based on how they were rolled. 

Life is cheap.  You can make a new character.  Awesome stats don't mean you're going to survive.

good stats end up having absolutely no bearing on character survival if you just roleplay your character and train your craft consistently (assumedly as part of usual rp).

i do see the argument that it would be nice if there were no stats that gave negatives (rather than averages. average str on an elf for instance may not be that good). it's kind of weak and lame and catering to players over reality but also nobody wants negatives they don't choose when making a character. and this is a game and people are here to have fun. as long as it's an equal playing field in mechanical fairness, due to pvp.

edit: nm i don't like that actually
Fallow Maks For New Elf Sorc ERP:
sad
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When I roll a PC with excellent stats I typically end up finding reasons to like the PC because the stats are too good.

When I roll a PC with horrible stats I usually end up having a blast and liking the character despite the shit stats. Red shirt baby!
Live your life as though your every act were to become a universal law.

--Immanuel Kant

From a combat character perspective, stats are changing a bit with the recent weapon/style updates.  To be effective, since like the year 2000 (is that when they turned off 10 rolls in char gen?), you only needed one thing:  High str.  Even if all your other stats were dumpster fires, you could at least contribute with high str. Extremely Good or Exceptional human Str was the only baseline, really(Vg really doesn't cut the cheese with the 'old' combat system).   These changes will change the game to make it so you probably need to have 2 good stats to be a 'contributor', at least that's my concern.  In all cases you want all four stats to be kinky high to be the guy punching mekillots (if that's the goal of your character).  So this is adding a bit more pressure for high stats for combat rolls.

For crafters, in which I have MUCH less experience but still some, there was a stat that was king and I don't think that's changed.  You can still one stat them, though like combat roles, more stats in the other three still help a lot.

On the other hand, digging through the changes that were implemented while I was gone, it looks like some bug fixes were done to make the rolls finally obey the priority you set, so that really helps.  And I think I was around when they 'upped the min' a bit.  All in all, I'd say its precarious as to where stats sit in the balance but overall I get more enjoyment from the randomness than feeling like punished Kryos.  In conclusion, I'd say unless you overhaul the whole char gen system, stats might need a little polish but are 'close', and I'd highly suggest to leave them random.  You don't know how much you miss the RNG of stat rolling in a reasonable way until you are forced to used point buy.

I don't think stats need less impact.  Stats are a big part of pretty much every 'rpg' character aside from pure storytelling ones...and even there they usually have some system of determining the capabilities of your character.

I don't mind the idea of there being various ways of customizing your stats: random vs point buy, where random has more potential but more risk, and point buy can be customized to make sure you get exactly what you want without giving you enough to degrade the value of stats.  Template, where you have set stats that you assign.  Whatever, I'm okay with alternatives to randomization, as long as they make sense from a design perspective.

I will say that some of my coolest moments, looking back, are: the -struggle- to keep those wondrous-statted characters alive while simultaneously trying to stay involved in things in the game enough to enjoy it, and as permadeath games make you do, failing at it.  And the -struggle- to make an unnotable character notable in any other way possible and succeeding.  The latter is perhaps even better simply because you can have low expectations, and end up surpassing by far the expectations you'd have for a far more 'meta' character.
She wasn't doing a thing that I could see, except standing there leaning on the balcony railing, holding the universe together. --J.D. Salinger

Saw 80 hp's on a heavy combat and definitely thought to myself, "and suicide isn't an option,  what a punishment of a past time."  To those that seem to be under the opinion that stat don't matter, please put me in touch with your Dealer.  I can't see myself getting excited to play a pc that takes longer than 60 seconds, while sleeping, to restore 1 hp.  Let alone the unmitigated shit show of a slog that will be for a heavy combat grind.  Sure maybe pc stats ultimately don't matter, but my time does to me at least. To which, there is a DIRECT correlation.  Sit and hope nothing tries to kill me for thirty minutes, or go play literally anything else.
"Elves are kinda antagonistic by default, aren't they? I'd say being an opportunist who robs and raids, particularly when there's low risk of consequence, is inherent to the elven experience." -Seltzer

Delves, shitty by design.

February 16, 2023, 08:13:49 AM #21 Last Edit: February 16, 2023, 08:30:52 AM by Master Color
The impact stats have on combat is bonkers. Hence the impact stats have on any sort outdoors combat pc is vastly disproportional. It doesn't matter what your skills are, you arn't going to get very far if it takes you 5 minutes to kill a scrab.

If you join a clan? Stats really do stop mattering anywhere outside the sparring ring.

Staff could easily save themselves a stupid amount of work just by narrowing stat differences within a race down to a d4 and give half-giants and dwarves longer pauses between swings.

I think it's worth considering something like a point-buy model for stats, rather than the current system. Or at least have that as an option. Although we have more control over stats than ever before, there is still something a little strange about discovering a character's stats as they enter the game, after already having dreamed up the concept and written the description.
"No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream." - Shirley Jackson, The Haunting of Hill House

Of all the things I've seen posted here, I will say the one that I see the biggest merit in is just limiting the bad stats, just making it impossible to roll a character with mild muscular dystrophy or something.
"This is a game that has elves and magick, stop trying to make it realistic, you can't have them both in the same place."

"We have over 100 Unique Logins a week!" Checks who at 8pm EST, finds 20 other players but himself.  "Thanks Unique Logins!"

Someone mentioned them "upping the mins". I don't think that happened.  In fact,  I've noticed lower hp rolls on humans primarily lately for the hp and stun numbers.  Stats matter in the beginning of a character primarily and frankly that's when most players are playing characters then die late early to mid of their characters lifespans. So no experiencing the master combat skill levels that end up slightly changing the mold.

If you have sub 90ish hp you risk dying to a single crit fall. One sap from anything with higher stats. One swipe of a claw and fall from a mount. It's a huge difference. I understand the rp is king but so many people focus on pvp and in that case stats matter so much.
"I stalk the shadows, I am the one who wears that friendly face. Behind your every move, there is nothing you can do. Pride yourself in the fact that you do not already rot and bake. Be prepared, I am always watching." - Allanaki Assassin