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> Just my .02 cents, Diving into the madness...oh what a fool
SR4-WTF?
post Jun 8 2005, 02:34 AM
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QUOTE (mfb)
resistance to change is definitely not a factor, at least not for me. i want a new SR game very much, and i've wanted one since before the SR4 announcement (another case of FanPro's damn thought-ninjas stealing my thoughts). based on the initial positive response that the SR4 announcement got from a lot of SLers, it's probably not a factor with them, either.

Change was welcome until it was a change. As soon as it became clear it wasn't just a touch-up with additions the freaking out commenced.
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mfb
post Jun 8 2005, 02:45 AM
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as several of us have said, few of us are particularly tied to keeping CP in its present form. there are oddities and problems associated with the mechanic. what we're looking for is something that makes the game mechanics more than simple mindless hack-and-slash. i don't believe that goal is achievable without some way for players to emphasize certain rolls over others, and to do so fairly often over the course of a battle (eg, not just when they're in trouble and need an ace in the hole to survive). is it possible to achieve this wholly through action selection? yes, Jagged Alliance 2 manages it quite well. but Jagged Alliance 2 is a computer game. i want a game that makes me thing, but not that much.

edit:
QUOTE (SR4-WTF?)
Change was welcome until it was a change. As soon as it became clear it wasn't just a touch-up with additions the freaking out commenced.

malarky. i've proposed changes as big as some of what's in the FAQs myself, and people thought they were great.
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SR4-WTF?
post Jun 8 2005, 03:14 AM
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QUOTE (mfb)
QUOTE (SR4-WTF?)
Change was welcome until it was a change. As soon as it became clear it wasn't just a touch-up with additions the freaking out commenced.

malarky. i've proposed changes as big as some of what's in the FAQs myself, and people thought they were great.

Well cough it out, let's hear them.

QUOTE
is it possible to achieve this wholly through action selection? yes, Jagged Alliance 2 manages it quite well. but Jagged Alliance 2 is a computer game. i want a game that makes me thing, but not that much.


Think but not think too much? Picky, picky. :D One option that usually works well table top is spacial tactics. I don't know how much people use tactical maps in SR. The books themselves don't seem to emphasis it much. I find putting it down in minatures gives a bump to both emersion and tactical considerations. It is more spacial than mathematical, but attack and defense bonuses/penalities do flow from the spacial choices. Unfortunately SR3 movement rules are on the weak side so the effect is not as good as it could be.
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mfb
post Jun 8 2005, 03:23 AM
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yeah, that's why i try to avoid detailed maps myself. the SR3 rules just can't handle them well enough to suit my tastes. also, online mapping is often a chore.

the real draw of CP, to me, is that it allows you to break the combat turn down into a lot smaller time increments than "simple action/complex action". even in three seconds, there's a lot of important decision-making that goes on that it's just too cumbersome to represent through actual action selection.

when i say "i've proposed", that's short for "i was part of a group that proposed", just to spread the credit around where it's due. the biggest proposed change i was a part of was melee combat. we completely restructured the skill rules so that armed and unarmed skills worked the same way. despite the glowing reviews, that one didn't make it into the SL house rules because it would have been too much of an entry barrier to new SLers, and too difficult to integrate with SLers who didn't want to use it (SL house rules are all strictly optional). ellery's complete rebuild of the magic system is one change that has seen a lot of support, largely because the end result is pretty much the same as the existing system.
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Ellery
post Jun 8 2005, 08:27 AM
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My stuff isn't a complete rebuild. It uses all the existing mechanics of edges, flaws, and metamagics. It just does so in an extensive way that allows one to rebuild one's magical characters (at some cost) to be more the way one would envision them. And it introduces new rules for learning metamagics (that replace the old rules) since the old rules break when you have too many metamagics.

Unfortunately, a lot of things break in SR when you stretch them very much. Thankfully, the base mechanics don't break, but lots of additions do--I'm happy to give examples upon request.

Very often, the breaking occurs because of linear addition and subtraction. For example, the metamagic rules break because you *must* learn from someone more experienced from you, but the TN goes *down* at the same time, so you end up in the peculiar situation of it being completely impossible to learn a metamagic from almost anyone in the world, except for those rare magicians who are very slightly more advanced than you, in which case it's completely trivial to learn. The problem is caused by "simple" linear trends interacting with caps and subtraction.

It's almost painfully tempting to come up with such systems when trying to "simplify" and "streamline". It takes a lot of work to figure out how to make it work.

Guess what the SR4 mechanic lends itself to?

The genius of tactical pools is not that you can replicate all the various tactical options that you might be able to have with huge tables and lists of interactions (or geometrical interactions or whatnot). Those are all complicated. Tactical pool is simple, yet flexible. That's the trick: tactical pools reward good tactics with a simple, abstract mechanic. It's a great compromise between realism and tactical richness on the one hand, and fast play and simplicity on the other.

You can't get tactics out of opening doors and such unless there are richly populated tables full of bonuses and penalties for various circumstances. SR3 has limited tables of that type, and they certainly help (and require tactical thinking). In SR4, the tactical necessity of position will diminish since for low-skill+atr people, penalties will bottom out and not matter any more, and for high-skill+atr people the loss of a few dice is irrelevant. So they'll need bigger, more complicated tables just to stay even with SR3-minus-tactical-pools.

I hope the tables are well constructed and are of sufficient size and are thorougly playtested for maximum utility with minimum overload. Given the difficulty and time constraints, I'd be very surprised if they are.

QUOTE (SR4-WTF)
If SR4 ships in truely worse shape than SR3 in that area then I'll join your street corner protest wearing a placard that reads "FP STINKS! Y U make SR dumber?"
Which area? The clear resolution of rules, or the tactical actions (that matter)?
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SR4-WTF?
post Jun 8 2005, 07:27 PM
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QUOTE (Ellery @ Jun 8 2005, 03:27 AM)
My stuff isn't a complete rebuild.  It uses all the existing mechanics of edges, flaws, and metamagics.  It just does so in an extensive way that allows one to rebuild one's magical characters (at some cost) to be more the way one would envision them.  And it introduces new rules for learning metamagics (that replace the old rules) since the old rules break when you have too many metamagics.

Unfortunately, a lot of things break in SR when you stretch them very much.  Thankfully, the base mechanics don't break, but lots of additions do--I'm happy to give examples upon request.

Ya, I too think Magic needs a serious rework to keep the addons to it from snapping. I was happy to see that in the FAQ. Of course you must be more pessimistic about the result of the rework being any better than SR3 otherwise you wouldn't be dreading SR4 so much.

QUOTE
Very often, the breaking occurs because of linear addition and subtraction.  For example, the metamagic rules break because you *must* learn from someone more experienced from you, but the TN goes *down* at the same time, so you end up in the peculiar situation of it being completely impossible to learn a metamagic from almost anyone in the world, except for those rare magicians who are very slightly more advanced than you, in which case it's completely trivial to learn.  The problem is caused by "simple" linear trends interacting with caps and subtraction.

It's almost painfully tempting to come up with such systems when trying to "simplify" and "streamline". It takes a lot of work to figure out how to make it work.


Funny, I see that problem stemming from trying to make things realistic and/or complex. If you don't use multiple trends to try model something in a "realistic" way you get rid of or at least reduce the chances for oddies occuring due to interactions.

The painful temptation appears to have been to cluter the situation with rules.

Example of somewhat streamlined: An instructor must know the metamagic you want to learn. You learn a metamagic from an instructor in a fixed amount of time. If you don't have an instructor you teach yourself. The test for self taught metamagic is an Extended Test to get a fixed number of hits rolling a given Attribute or Attribute+Skill. Each roll with the Extended Test represents the same unit of time as it takes to learn from an instructor.

Example of more streamlined: When your PC is eligable for a new metamagic you pick which one you want and add it to the character sheet. [EDIT]Handwave roleplay as desired, or assume that all learning costs and action are implicitly included in the gaining eligability rules.[/EDIT]
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SR4-WTF?
post Jun 8 2005, 08:20 PM
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QUOTE
we completely restructured the skill rules so that armed and unarmed skills worked the same way. despite the glowing reviews, that one didn't make it into the SL house rules because it would have been too much of an entry barrier to new SLers, and too difficult to integrate with SLers who didn't want to use it (SL house rules are all strictly optional). ellery's complete rebuild of the magic system is one change that has seen a lot of support, largely because the end result is pretty much the same as the existing system.


Gee, that seems like an inheret SL resistance to change, even when it is change preceived as being for the better. :) Though in that case it is more systemic and not just person by person preference.

As for reworking combat so that armed and unarmed work the same way, hasn't this been done in SR4? By putting the effort into aligning armed with unarmed combat aren't you saying you think that that is an important area of concern. But in your post panning the current iteration of SR4 rules you talk about the things you felt needed fixing weren't?
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Raskolnikov
post Jun 9 2005, 02:14 AM
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I will just point out that Shadowland does not hold a single party line or philosophy between all of its userbase. You are looking foolish painting with such a wide brush. Not all negative SR4 posters are from Shadowland, not all Shadowland posters are wholely negative about SR4.
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Guest_Crimsondude 2.0_*
post Jun 9 2005, 02:17 AM
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Plus, some of us are entertaining the idea of house rules and pursue them with vigor with others would prefer to stick with one set of canon rules, doesn't matter which edition. Even if I did want to house rule something, I know that my ideas are generally very different that a lot of other peoples' ideas--people on DS and SL or just SL.

I've warmed up to some of the official T6W house rules, but OTOH I rather dislike them when they become more than peripheral (which is what most of the T6W official house rules are with the exception of Called Shots rule and maybe one other). I like the cyberlimbs rules, but I have never used them.

But overall, there is no "SL" that exists as one entity. It's a community with some things in common, but a lot more differences--opinions on SR4 especially.
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Penta
post Jun 9 2005, 02:17 AM
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It certainly feels like it does.
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Guest_Crimsondude 2.0_*
post Jun 9 2005, 02:23 AM
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Perhaps you should feel it out a little more then, and you'll realize how foolish that perception is.
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SR4-WTF?
post Jun 9 2005, 02:32 AM
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QUOTE (Crimsondude 2.0)
Perhaps you should feel it out a little more then, and you'll realize how foolish that perception is.

You are James, right?
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SR4-WTF?
post Jun 9 2005, 02:38 AM
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QUOTE (Raskolnikov @ Jun 8 2005, 09:14 PM)
I will just point out that Shadowland does not hold a single party line or philosophy between all of its userbase.  You are looking foolish painting with such a wide brush.  Not all negative SR4 posters are from Shadowland, not all Shadowland posters are wholely negative about SR4.

I just noted the striking correlation between the vocally expressed opinion there, at least the portions that I could find, and a large portion of the vocally expressed negative view of SR4 here. I realize that there are other SL members that are under NDA, or the possibility that there are some sort of intrapolitical discussions at SL I haven't come across or are not public. But the stuff from the lukers certainly seems lobsided.
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Penta
post Jun 9 2005, 02:41 AM
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I feel it and feel it, but can hardly feel much difference.

CD, it's becoming nearly correlative that as soon as someone identifies themselves as playing on SL, you can guess with better-than-even accuracy that they're against SR4.

It's a trend.
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Raskolnikov
post Jun 9 2005, 02:48 AM
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Actually you didn't just note any correlation. You started refering to Shadowland like an individual. Additionally, those of us holding out optimism can not break NDA anymore over there than we can here, so it's not suprising you see people who post to both Shadowland and Dumpshock saying the same thing in both places.

I am not terribly concerned, you can think of Shadowland what you may, but many people on Shadowland like SR a lot, not just Shadowland's SR. Many may be of the opinion that it would take some serious 11th hour development to make SR4 a good game, but they're hoping.
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SR4-WTF?
post Jun 9 2005, 02:56 AM
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QUOTE (Raskolnikov @ Jun 8 2005, 09:48 PM)
Actually you didn't just note any correlation.  You started refering to Shadowland like an individual.


No more than Ellery did, and arguably less than Critias did:

QUOTE (Critias )
SL is SL, and DS is DS, and only occasionally shall the two meet. SLers are amongst the first to admit (or almost brag) that we have our own view of Shadowrun and it's world, and our own style of play (remarkably lethal, very tactical and precise). Lots of the things we very specifically like as a gaming group are being stripped away by SR4 (if what we've heard so far is accurate). So, yes. We're opinionated about it.


I also specifically refered to majorites of opinion, not to a single opinion.
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Raskolnikov
post Jun 9 2005, 03:06 AM
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Yeah, it is funny how a group of people who play the same game together for years like the same things about the game. We have similar opinons about Shadowrun, on a site dedicated to playing Shadowrun. Critas said "we" a lot.

He did not, however, suggest that Shadowland thinks a certain way, or that it has an inherent reistance to change, for example.

Edit: I'll take the word of your edit above that you intended to mean majority opinion and not collective groupthink.
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mfb
post Jun 9 2005, 03:16 AM
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QUOTE (SR4-WTF?)
Gee, that seems like an inheret SL resistance to change, even when it is change preceived as being for the better.

you're absolutely right: as it stands, SL draws in new blood. if that new blood were to be driven away because we force houserules down their throats, that would be a pretty big change. in that respect, we're certainly resistant to change. as to change for the better, i'd have to disagree.

QUOTE (Penta)
CD, it's becoming nearly correlative that as soon as someone identifies themselves as playing on SL, you can guess with better-than-even accuracy that they're against SR4.

you, on the other hand, are badly mistaken. i know what you meant to say, but what you actually said is absolutely incorrect. the only SLer i know of who is actually against SR4 is Crimsondude. he likes SR3, and doesn't want to see it change. the rest of us are very much pro-SR4. we're just not thrilled with the SR4 that FanPro seems to be putting out.

if SLers seem like we groupthinking, it's probably because you only see 10% of our discussion concerning any given topic. the other 90%, we conduct on SL, with the people whose opinions on those subjects we tend to value most: other SLers.
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SR4-WTF?
post Jun 9 2005, 03:35 AM
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QUOTE (Raskolnikov @ Jun 8 2005, 10:06 PM)
Yeah, it is funny how a group of people who play the same game together for years like the same things about the game.  We have similar opinons about Shadowrun, on a site dedicated to playing Shadowrun.

But I'm forbidden from mentioning it?

QUOTE
Critas said "we" a lot.


Then maybe he is the one you should be crapping on instead?

QUOTE
He did not, however, suggest that Shadowland thinks a certain way, or that it has an inherent reistance to change, for example.


Shadowland is an entity, and there are individuals within it. In the post you seem to be refering to I explicitly mentioned the difference between the two. I never said Shadowland and therefore all the people in it were of one mind, thoughout my posts I made an effort to avoid that very thing. Both in text and in my mind.

Or are you somehow arguing that Shadowland the entity does not inheretly within itself have a barrier to rules changes because of how it is logistically structured? If so maybe you should take that up with CD and Ellery [EDIT]and mfb[/EDIT]?
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mfb
post Jun 9 2005, 03:38 AM
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similar opinions != monolith, which is what's being implied.

questions concerning SL's structure should be directed to Ellery, preferably via SL's chat or mail systems. we're here to discuss SR4, not SL. despite recent posts.
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SR4-WTF?
post Jun 9 2005, 03:41 AM
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QUOTE (mfb)
similar opinions != monolith, which is what's being implied.

No it was not implied. Recheck my posts, I was very careful to not word it in the monolithic sense.
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SR4-WTF?
post Jun 9 2005, 03:45 AM
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QUOTE (mfb)
QUOTE (SR4-WTF?)
Gee, that seems like an inheret SL resistance to change, even when it is change preceived as being for the better.

you're absolutely right: as it stands, SL draws in new blood. if that new blood were to be driven away because we force houserules down their throats, that would be a pretty big change. in that respect, we're certainly resistant to change. as to change for the better, i'd have to disagree.

By better I meant better rules. You seemed to think the unified armed and unarmed Skill rules were better? Ellery suggested that even "stupid ones" were kept. :)
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mfb
post Jun 9 2005, 03:51 AM
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i know what you meant. i was addressing what you actually said, because what you actually said acknowledges the fact that houserulings in any gaming medium require more than a simple assessment of whether the new rules makes sense, without twisting that fact into some sort of gaming Luddism. SL's purpose is to play SR, and a smattering of other games. no gaming group accepts houserules which would end the game, or they quickly cease to be gaming groups. SL is no different. had i addressed what you meant, i'd have been silent partner to your apparent view that it's more important to have good rules than it is to have a gaming group. i'm not of that view.
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Raskolnikov
post Jun 9 2005, 03:51 AM
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If you think you did not imply that, then I'll take your word that you did not mean to. You are trying to be very precise in your wording, that much is obvious. Much of the phrasing is pained and overly complex. You may be mistakenly lacking accuracy though.
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SR4-WTF?
post Jun 9 2005, 04:08 AM
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QUOTE (mfb @ Jun 8 2005, 10:51 PM)
i know what you meant. i was addressing what you actually said, because what you actually said acknowledges the fact that houserulings in any gaming medium require more than a simple assessment of whether the new rules makes sense, without twisting that fact into some sort of gaming Luddism. SL's purpose is to play SR, and a smattering of other games. no gaming group accepts houserules which would end the game, or they quickly cease to be gaming groups. SL is no different.

With SL, because of the number of people and the requirement for a critical mass, the cycle for acceptance becomes longer, for a given size change, than a typical table top. Also if the current group of SL users was to split along SR3/SR4 lines you would seriously endanger the critical mass of people to keep the world functioning at the level it is at. A single table top group usually has an easier time converting all or none. Or recovering from a split group, at least in cities. They can also switch back and forth between versions of the game or even to other games for a while to create a workable group compromise.

So while the problem exists in many gaming groups, the problem is more exasberbated for larger groups like SL.
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