Pleasantly surprised with so many people interested in this class.
Pleasantly surprised with so many people interested in this class.
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My usual criticism of being a list class holds true here, as well. Maybe bake a Duskblade-like armor progression and the fundamentals of Arcane Archery into the baseline, so that all Arcana Archers are guaranteed direct mixing of archery and magic. The Heavy Armor and Tower Shield ASF bypass seems a good fit for one of the options, possibly coming with oversized weapon use, as it's very unfitting to the default flavor of the class, but some people will want to be a basically-literal tank with crazy defenses and a stupid amount of ranged damage.I can see your point wih the spell arrows, but I don't feel like it should be a mandatory part of the class. An Arcana Archer should be viable too just shooting lots of arrows with lots of enhancements and class special effects while using actual spells for self-buffs, and still feel magicish.
Edit: To give crunch to this, this means making Spell Arrow baseline, possibly with a slightly slower spell level progression with the Beautiful Bow option remaining to bump it up to full spell levels. The armor effect would be a direct rip from the Duskblade, save for being placed at different levels.
As for the heavy armor/oversized weapon... It could honestly work as a more Martial variant class, but here's it as a pair of Beautiful Bow options:Ironclad Bowyer: You must be at least character level 7 to pick this option. You gain the Craft Magic Arms and Armor feat, though the only magical weapons you may craft by the feat gained this way are bows and arrows, as well as Heavy Armor proficiency, as well as allowing you to ignore Arcane Spell Failure on Heavy Armor.That seems nice, added with a few tweaks.
Beautiful Arbalester: You must be at least level 11 to pick this option. Your Beautiful Bow choices apply to Crossbows and Crossbow Bolts and you may use bows and crossbows as if they were one size larger or smaller. They must still use appropriately sized arrows and bolts, respectively. For example, a Medium Heavy Crossbow could be used as a two-handed weapon without penalty by a Large-sized Arcana Archer, or be used one-handed with a -2 penalty by a Medium-sized Arcana Archer.Allowing for crossbows are something I had considered from the start but ended up not implementing so nice see others think it should be supported.
Something to clean up the class's list would be rolling all the "Spell X Arrows" into this:
Infused Spell Arrow: You may combine your Spell Arrow with one Beautiful Bow option of your choice that requires a Standard Action to use, allowing you to use both with one Standard Action for the attack made, or apply the Beautiful Bow option to each attack of a Full Attack made with a multi-target spell through Spell Arrow.
"Alright. We have records of Red Ring Rico having met Dark Force before... possibly even being taken over. So if we're going looking for those ruins, we absolutely musn't let her get to them first. I want you guys to shadow her and report her movements to me. If it seems like she's close to finding the ruins, you're going to need to provide a distraction to throw her off-track.":”Sure thing!”
"If you didn't care the least bit about me, you wouldn't have gotten as angry as you did by the acts you were shown. I'm not letting someone use your love to get at us through me ever again.":”That’s sweet, but I think I would’ve got pretty angry at somebody who was helping awaken Dark Force and all the other things shown in those videos. Red Ring Rica's gonna get an harsh scolding the next time I see her at least.”
"Speaking of your mistress, Murasaki. How capable are her einst drones when searching for delicate intel? I need a survey of the ruins left by Dark Force's previous incarnations. Seems like a job that could be done particularly well by a hivemind.":”Unless you want them to find delicate food, my mistress’s drones are pretty terrible at scouting by themselves.”
"You know ladies, the SOP for turning enemies into assets at the academy was to wipe their memories clean, reprogram their minds, and then clone the resulting dolls. You should really count yourselves lucky that I find those methods particularly distasteful and that you're useful enough for me to keep you out of jail. Believe it or not, the bombs are there for your safety, not mine. Anyone who cares to look into why you're working for me will find that blackmail is a lot easier to overlook than actual loyalty. I may be older by newman standards, particularly first generation, but none of you are newmans.
So I suggest you think loooooong and hard about your life choices. Particularly within earshot."
"Nei, I would never make more of your sisters. For one thing, I know your opinion on the matter, and I respect it. For another, after seeing how your head got turned around by that video footage, I'm afraid they could be manipulated against us... or worse."
"As for the ruins on Ragol... not necessarily, Murasaki. There's enough attention on the planet's surface that someone else is bound to find them first. If previous patterns are any indication, by then the current incarnation of Dark Force will start moving in earnest. If anything, we should avoid touching Ragol as much as possible for the time being."
Good idea, added Awesome Arrows for that.
-It would make Alternate Arrows obsolete because if you get a bit of warning time before battle you could fully change the configuration with multiple uses of amazing arrow.
-It would bog down gameplay because every battle you'll want to cherry pick the most optimal configuration from the many magic enhancements out there.
I see your points, how about some sort of floating bonus requiring both abilities, maybe picked twice, and allowing you to switch bonuses around between your sets? So if you have 2 sets, one magebane flaming and one frost seeking you could switch 1 single plus between them so either magebane OR flaming but not both. Which would be more and more useful with more and more sets of alternate arrow.
Neither, Arcana Arrows only works with nonmagic arrows. If you pick up an arrow that's already magic, you can only use the arrow's own magic enhancements.Yes, at least until somebody points out some uber archery-related feat or something, but can't really think of any.
Only thing I could find was that one feat that allowed you to shoot arrows as a 60 foot line attack.
More questions! What happens if you pick up magical arrows, does arcana arrows overwrite the bonus, do they overlap? So if I have a +1 flaming longbow, a +1 frost arrow and my arcana arrow is +1 acidic, do I end up with a +1 acidic arrow or a +1 flaming frost acidic arrow ?
Speaking of that, I just realised I was unnecessarily penalising my speed despite having the STR to wear any armour I feel like without trouble. Whoops.
What happens if I have a +1 wounding arrow and want to change it with amazing arrows, do I get double the bang for my buck or does it simply not work?Would need to spend multiple uses, clarified.
Also would a 1/min like on seeking/phasing/hope of arrows not be more fitting? You could use it most fights, but only once. Maybe have it require 5 minutes of meditation or similar could also work?-It would make Alternate Arrows obsolete because if you get a bit of warning time before battle you could fully change the configuration with multiple uses of amazing arrow.
Does hope feat allow for skipping those pesky pre-reqs?Yes, at least until somebody points out some uber archery-related feat or something, but can't really think of any.
Instead of a completely new setup for alternate arrows, maybe allow one to change a single +1 on the fly for each time it is picked? To make room for some of the more rarely used enchantments?Added Amazing Arrow.
And if you pick the ACF should you not get the spell arrow automatically?Good idea, done.
Ok, thanks.If you don't mind me asking, how can the real/super hybrid be below the pure real? Because the hybrid should be able to do all that the real does but with upgrade customization on top.Somehow I had it in my head that they lose their arsenal access, but that only applies to Soul Soldier, not the base classes. The main point of differentiation between Reals and the Real/Super hybrids is maneuvers and bonus feats vs their class features. In retrospect though, you're right: Statistically, Techno Thief and Magitech Knight are potentially the most powerful base classes in raw mecha numbers, mitigated somewhat by the Stolen System quirk and Code of Conduct respectively. I'll need to think about that in more detail. That said, bringing Reals down in power somewhat would mean that they're naturally just like playing a Real/Super x-class with some flavor instead of just being Better.
Ok, so something like every 2 captain levels grant +1 to hit with the base weapons? Or maybe different progressions for each, +2 per level for anti-air, +1 per level for missiles, +1/2 level for Beam cannon.BBs need numerical boosts in TH primarily, but I'll let others dive into those details. Supers mostly don't need buffs if the top level to-hit, damage, and AC (especially this) on Reals come down somewhat. BB combat ACF is reasonable for itself, the problem is more that the Custom Ship feature (Arsenal) is useless without it. Custom Ship needs to be better or useful in some other way, so that the ACF can enhance it instead of be mandatory to use it. I don't know how to make BB/real x-class work better, it's something I've been thinking about for a long time.This is the source of much of the frustration you've heard from us over the years. Much of our feedback has revolved around the Super/Real dichotomy - reducing the power on high-level weapons that only reals can truly access, and giving Supers access to options to keep up with Reals in more ways. Battleship is now even further behind as a result, and I suggest looking into ways to improve BB build variety.Ok, so just to make sure I'm understanding your points properly, you're suggesting to:
-Supers/battleships should be buffed up numbers-wise (with battleships getting greater boosts).
-Battleship multiclassing with real/super too weak, buff up.
-Battleshiip combat ACF too weak, buff up.
-Battleships need more build options.
Something I don't understand here, generic Dodge+Natural Armor only lags 2 points behind named reals. And then there's a bunch of smaller generics that will make them harder to hit, while named reals don't go below small and several are large/huge and even the gargantuan Banpreios that will end up with actually worst AC than generics. Doubly so because generics get as much if not more hardpoints than named reals in average.-The only thing that should be toned down on the reals are the current top weapons (any more problematic weapons on arsenals or just in-built?)Top level AC is the other big issue with reals - anything but another Real (and even them sometimes) need Strike or tons of buffs to hit them. Another way to look at the issue is that at the top level, the roll barely matters at all - it's all an arms race between TH and AC, and AC wins in the end. Generics don't need a buff, they're only weak compared to pre-built reals. Compared to other classes they're pretty reasonable.
-You also said that the real generics are too weak, should they be buffed up as well?
Hmmm, how about favored feats? Aka the real pilot would be able to count as having extra picks of some multi-pick feats, including being able to go over the normal caps. So Favored Feat +1(Counter) would allow the real pilot to have Counter x2 even if they're below PL 4 for example.e needs to be a simple option. I understand your group prefers deeper customization, but there's also people out there that want to be able to just pick a mecha with stats already prepared with a bunch of weapons and go to town.I can accept that on Reals being the drop-in-and-go option. If the pre-built Reals weren't so far ahead of the generics it would actually feel like they have much more choice now that there are more generics per tier than pre-built models. I'm not questioning that role, just the fact that they don't stand out in any way other than numbers. I guess what it comes down to is that Real Pilot is the only class without a truly unique class feature. Even Super Robot, the other "vanilla" class, has Favored Maneuver to distinguish itself from the Super-based classes. That's about as small a point of
customization as can be, but it's something to draw you in.
More acuratte weapons should help with that.Ditto for battleships, they're supposed to be simple mobile bases with a bunch of big guns (that surprisingly are just about as effective as smaller mecha weapons) supporting from behind. Yamato and Neo Nautilius are the exception in the series, not the rule, and thus at best should be ACFs.As for BBs... I know they're like that in the games, but that's exactly the problem. In the games, the player controls lots of units, and BBs are few and far between. This lets you (the player) focus the fun on the more varied mecha. In tabletop, someone is dedicated to largely a single character, and if that class is boring, there isn't something else to do. I don't think every BB needs to be as broken as the Yamato, that's just an example of why some BBs are fun in their own right - they're able to proactively contribute.
Generics good compared to non-reals, that's good to hear... But then what exactly pushing named reals so much ahead in your opinion? Again, in something like AC they're actually pretty close, and the other raw values shouldn't be that different (besides the smaller generics that get significantly reduced HP, but G.U.N.D.A.M.S and V.A.L.K.Y.R.I.E.S are quite close, actually pulling ahead of the squishier named reals). The only significant advantage of the named reals to me seems to be the in-built weapons (plus some specials like regeneration, but then it's a case-by-case problem).Now the main problem seems that there's not enough real options, in particular since you claim generics are too weak. I can go work on more reals, buff the generics if that's the case.More real options would certainly help across the board. Generics are only weak statistically by comparison to the pre-built Reals - they're reasonable until the very top level compared to other classes.
Funny since Reals right now have Real Rank and supers don't have any exclusive feat.Also we can make more prcs a la Star Sniper to offer further customization paths for reals. Another idea I had floating around was a real-only self-engineering feat for reals to represent stuff like Amuro who can tweak their machines (and only their machines) a bit during downtime.Exclusive feats was actually something I was going to bring up in the future, since a few classes are still missing them. That's certainly something that could help.
So, how would you feel about an option for real pilots to use a lower tier real in return for getting some extra machines of the same reduced tier with "free" elite grunts to pilot them? The grunts get the same stats as the real pilot while close (only main pilot gets spirit but can share with the whole squad), representing close team training, but training replacements wouldn't be that hard.And yes, mechas with fixed stats should have slightly higher raw power, because mechas with customizeable stats will end up being, well, more customizeable and be able to make up for the raw difference with better synergies. Now if the difference is too big it needs to be toned down, but again I would like you to tell me what's the ideal "middle point" that would be best to aim at. Einst Queen numbers since you claimed it to be the one with no problems?In the end, yes, a Real will have better default stats than any other class. It's just a matter of degree. I think the first four or five tiers of generic Reals are about the sweet spot. They start with stats commensurate with or a bit ahead of other classes, and then customize with weapons and accessories to taste.
Einst Queen isn't really a good example for balance, because it gets its strength from multitudes rather than raw numbers, see below.Although now that I think about it, it's a bit weird to me that you claim Einst Queen's pretty cool but Real Pilot's too limited. Why? Einst Queen drone list is smaller than the real robot list, the list of bioweapons and mutations is also shorter than the list of arsenal weapons and accessories, and to pick up the mutations you need to give up on maneuver/spellcasting progression. The way I see it, the Einst Queen's even more limited than the Real Pilot and one of the things in my to-do list is expanding the drones/bioweapons/mutation lists.Einst drones do indeed start with limited models and can by default can only be modified with Bioweapons (like Arsenal weapons). They're individually weaker than mecha, but that's fine since they make up for it in quantity. The reason that's not a problem is that Einst are different from everything else. I think the three queen types are a strength there, not a weakness. The reason they're interesting is that precisely what you point out - each Queen type interacts with the drones differently (mutations/maneuvers/spells). Einst Queen is almost three classes in one, or one class with two major ACFs. Adaptive queen is the most limited there, but the some of the options it gets are still distinct from anything available to other classes. There are also more choices than it seems just by looking - consider how many accessories are "the last one but better". On top of that, the ability to make the drones have different types and levels mean that at any given Einst Queen level you have a wider array of actual build options than it would seem by looking at a single drone. The Einst Queen feats give you a wide variety of tactical options if you want them. Einst Queens also don't suffer from the key disadvantage of other classes when they cross with Reals, because they still get to use the rest of their class features in a way that doesn't make it seem like they switched their primary playstyle to be Real-based.
So what is it exactly that makes you like the einst queen but not the real pilot? If we can pinpoint that key difference, it would be a great help.
To summarize, there are four main types of classes:Considering einst queen is being left aside for now I agree.
- Real/Super Hybrid
In order of raw power, they are:If you don't mind me asking, how can the real/super hybrid be below the pure real? Because the hybrid should be able to do all that the real does but with upgrade customization on top.
- Real/Super hybrid
In order of fun to use, they are:Ok, so just to make sure I'm understanding your points properly, you're suggesting to:
- Super-Based or Real/Super hybrid
This is the source of much of the frustration you've heard from us over the years. Much of our feedback has revolved around the Super/Real dichotomy - reducing the power on high-level weapons that only reals can truly access, and giving Supers access to options to keep up with Reals in more ways. Battleship is now even further behind as a result, and I suggest looking into ways to improve BB build variety.
Addendum: Even if you don't agree with the assertion that Reals are numerically superior, the rest of the issues with Real and BB not being as fun as other classes apply, just without the element of compromise on power. If you take that view, then there's no point to playing a Real at all, because everything else is equally powerful but more interesting.
Quick look:You're right, fixed, also removed Synthetic Shot from table levels 2-9 since it's also supposed to be gained at every level.
Sniper Arts is missing from the table, and Sharpshooter Special is there but only on some levels. Did you mean to reverse those in the table? Sharpshooter Special shouldn't need to be there since it's every level.
Artificial Archer seems incomplete, the last sentence just cuts off. It also doesn't specify the range on the ranged form of the weapon. "Only you can use it" is redundant since all customized weapons miss wildly per the Synthetic Shot feature. As for the option itself, the first part seems like it's way more painful to use than just spending a single super upgrade point on Dynamic. I don't see the tradeoff being worth it for Arsenal melee weapons at that cost.Range of 75 mu(125 if heavy), fixed, replaced double ammo/energy cost with flat energy cost increase of +5 (if it didn't have energy cost, now it costs 5 per shot).
Real Range and Hyper Lenses seem like they'd work well together. Good classic Sniper stuff.Nice.
Custom Clip is potentially very powerful with higher level ranged heavy weapons, but I suppose that's fine.
Stratos Shot: Good for hyper-specializing on a particular weapon. This seems like it could be way too powerful for reals with lots of arsenal space and solid builtins eg. Orgone Rifle A with 15-20/x5. I would suggest limiting it to one increase of each type per weapon (multiplier and threat). When applied to Twin-Linked/X-Linked weapons, does it apply to one of them, or all?Limited it to two picks for +1 multiplier/threat.
Area Point doesn't make sense for Area (line). Does this mean the line originates from another place?Yes, it would, should be clearer now.
Synthetic Smoke: Not bad. I like utility options.It's supposed to be attacks with the weapon so it's harder to defend from, clarified. Also made it limited to 1 weapon per mecha as well as Bindings of Sacae.
Codes of Sacae is a bit odd - it defends against attacks on the weapon? So, disarms and the like?
Algorithms of Sacae: Decent backup option for a super-specialized ranged fighter.Equipped at all.
Does Brave Sniper apply when the weapon is equipped at all, or just actively being wielded?
Star Stance seems way too expensive energy-wise for what you get.Reduced to 1+actual stance level.
Legendary Sniper: Another fun one. That said, RAW if a pilot makes a headshot save by less than 10, they die for one roundIntentional, there's no lack of examples of "X just died!" and then they start moving again a few seconds later.
On the whole, it feels like this is great for a few variants of ranged builds, but the fact that there are 10 levels and only 12 options means the choices become meaningless after a while, even with the repeating ones. At the same time, it's very powerful - Real can dip into this for a few levels and effectively only give up a few SP and a bonus feat or two. Overall I don't see anyone taking all ten levels, but it's a powerful option for any ranged class.I'll admit I kinda started running out of inspiration by the end.