normal KR Rules Straight Talk Thread!

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18 Apr 2018 09:31 - 24 Apr 2018 14:54 #1 by Gallion (Gallion)
KR Rules Straight Talk Thread! was created by Gallion (Gallion)
KR Rules Straight Talk Thread!
I am starting this thread on straight talk about the rules. I will try really hard to cover as many things of importance as I think I can, and then plan to use this as a place to post periodic updates, hopefully one or two in between each event! I am going to try to keep the tone as laid back and down to earth as possible so that I can help you guys keep track of where my personal thoughts are on the rules progression as the owner and director of the game.

Me and Tori
Even though the rules development team itself was small, the errata decision process is even smaller by design. All decisions are basically boiling down to a conversation between me and Tori. Tori is the lead rules designer who understands at a drop of a hat, how each skill and spell interacts currently with one another and understand how all of the game elements synergize with one another. I am the owner and director and have an overall vision of what I want the end result of the 2.0 system to feel like, and also I am solely and directly responsible for the satisfaction and fun for all current players and all future players of Knight Realms. I have complete faith and trust in her overall ability to do a great job for us, which is why I have her performing in this role. We are frequently on the same wavelength, however we do not always agree on each and every detail. Sometimes I pause and think on it and come to my own conclusion that her solution in the end is the best solution. Sometimes I come to the opposite conclusion and have her shift our direction against her initial desires because I feel that is what is best. Regardless of which it is on any particular day, we work very well together and make quality progress at a good speed; especially considering that she has several other responsibilities in her life and this is more or less a donation of her time for a shared passion. Every day there are three factors I see as fact. 1) She puts a lot of passion into honestly trying to make sure that she is “getting this right for you” in her mind. 2) I am the sole person in charge of and responsible for every final decision made. 3) Both of us want you to be happy the final result and we will work as hard as we can to get as close to that as possible, while keeping to our laid out goals.

My Personal Satisfaction
I will start on the good note of expressing my personal satisfaction. I am extremely pleased with were everything is headed. I want to look at it when it is done and be personally proud of it as a finished product. I am certain that when the dust settles it will be where I want it to be.

Not Everyone Shares my Satisfaction
While there are plenty of people who exercise a verbal belief that we are doing the right thing, not everyone shares in my excitement. I obviously wish this were not the case, but I understand. Everyone has their own opinions about what is the proper way. Everyone has their own ideas of what the best system would look like for them, and if you put everyone in a room those ideas will all often severely contradict one another for various reasons. I have been periodically changing the Knight Realms rules for over 20 years now and each time there is a wide range of emotions from excitement to resistance. All I can say is that we are doing this for the good of the game. To some people that statement makes a lot of sense and feels true, and to some people it doesn’t feel that way at all. I get it, I understand, but if I allowed every person's voice of displeasure to prevent me from moving forward, then progress would truly and perpetually remain crippled. Despite this, I am working very hard on behalf of all players both satisfied and unsatisfied.

But things were great the way they were...
I can appreciate that some believe that things were good enough or great as they were and all we are doing is ruining a good thing. I can appreciate it because I realise that everyone has different and unique experiences, however I can say that my viewpoint is from not just a group of my friends, or a group of players or staff. My viewpoint is from watching over two thousand players come into and out of the system at various times over the last twenty years. My viewpoint is a broader analysis of how well the system operates and sustains its players and allows for us to entertain them effectively. What we have done in the past always is what has brought us to where we are, but what will bring us further is always something different. It’s harder to see as we actively work out the kinks because many of the kinks are in our face… but after all the kinks are worked out it will become more apparent to most that this change was necessary and an extremely positive move for the community.

The Process (What I might have done different…)
An overhaul of this magnitude needed some extraneous factors to allow it to take place. To that end, I stand by much of how things were done. However that is not to say that I wouldn’t have done a few things differently. If given a mulligan I probably would have started off with a post like this, and then posted a monthly journal entry, with each post outlying progress and the thought process of our work; outlying some of our decisions and why we came to them. It might have made some people feel better, and might have given us a more transparent appearance and lend prof to the fact that we were carefully listening to and considering all feedback.

While we are talking about Feedback!
Since I brought up feedback I would like to clear something up. If you send in feedback, and you see nothing happening based off of that feedback, that does not mean that we are not paying attention to your feedback; it means we don’t agree with it at the moment. That doesn’t mean that we don’t care about you or your happiness. It doesn’t mean that we don’t appreciate your time and your effort, and it most certainly does not mean that we are not listening. All it means is that we studied your feedback, and we could not agree that it could be utilized while still accomplishing several other factors we are intent on also accomplishing. It is also not uncommon for much of the feedback that we get to be in direct opposition of other received feedback. Sometimes it means that we generally agree with a problem but have not yet nailed down the solution we want to go with and so the issue appears ignored. The amount of feedback that we have allowed to change our course of direction is monumental. I have head a few very loudly proclaim that we are not listening to the players or taking feedback. That statement could not be any further from the truth and it might be one of the most sad things for me to hear echoed, when I know for a fact that the exact opposite is occuring. We allow feedback to change our course, when we believe that it will change it for the overall good and also synergize with our goals.

Our Time Schedule
The way I laid it out in the explanation several months ago was that we were going to release the rules, then spend the next three or four months cleaning them up on a monthly basis. In my eyes, nothing has changed and this is so far still working as originally intended. We released the rules. We played one event, we listened to feedback, we then released an update. Next we played another event, and now we will release another update in a week or so. … After this second update we will be roughly halfway there. I feel the error is that when I described this process, I might have indicated that those updates would all be minor tweaking. Well right out of the gate, through observation and feedback I started seeing bigger changes that need to happen to improve the system, and I wasn’t going to let my previous statement prevent those needed changes from happening. I sincerely apologize that I made any distinction between minor and major tweaking during this initial explanation, as I should have just said “over the next four months we will change whatever we need to end up with the best system.” I truly believe that after the fourth update is released the result will be close to 100% complete.

Playing the rules through the evolution of them
Some have rather passionate opinions on playtesing and the process thereof. I fully respect that everyone has their own opinion. It is not my intention to deviate from my above time schedule as I have laid out what to expect and offered what I could as additional compensation. What I will say is that after listening to some feedback about playtesting I do agree that these rules would benefit from some more specific isolated testing as well. To that end, I am going to find a way to add that isolated observed testing into the mix as well, either at the events somehow in the form of a fighting academy or some such mechanism, or in between events at someone’s house. The added element may help to give us a more focused perspective on some of these issues. We may also hold off on some of the bigger changes for a month in order to test them in this fashion and give you more time to digest.

Right Now
Right now we are in the process of reading all of your feedback and trying to figure out what changes would make the most positive impact on the system and still synergize with our goals. We only have a about a week left before we need to release this next errata and so we are working quickly and thoroughly to do the most good in the shortest amount of time. We are considering that we may save some of the changes for the following errata and instead play those changes out in a microcosm at the event and give you more time to digest before implementing.

I will say one more time, to those who are excited, rock on and thanks for the constant positive energy needed to keep us going! To those who are struggling with frustration; I apologize. I wish nothing but happiness for you and it pains me to be a point of unease. We are working very fast and very hard to try to bring this to a conclusion so that we can begin sharing what I truly believe will be a much better experience.

Moving Forward
Having touched on the above subjects, this is what you can expect from me in this thread:
1) A copy of the rules mission statement that we use when working on the rules.
2) A post update explaining some of the thoughts and processes behind the first errata that we released a week before the last event.
3) The same type of post update for each of the next three errata.

- James C. Kimball Director, Knight Realms
Last edit: 24 Apr 2018 14:54 by Nicoletta (tori).

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18 Apr 2018 09:31 - 18 Apr 2018 09:38 #2 by Gallion (Gallion)
Replied by Gallion (Gallion) on topic KR Rules Straight Talk Thread!
Rules Mission Statement
Going into our twentieth year we want to revamp the games core engine to make the game easier to learn and play. We also wanted to fix the details of the system, fixing inconsistencies and exploits that we have dealt with for the last twenty years. The following principles are what we used as a guideline throughout the process.

1) We want players to be able to use their skills and abilities more frequently.

2) We want to address the level gap once and for all and create a system that allows a higher-level character to feel higher level, but not dwarf a lower level character in power so much that they cannot adventure together; allowing for everyone to participate and easier to scale encounters.

3) Reduce the number of skills and spells so that there is less required to memorize in the long term. In the process of this remove redundant and actually useless skills.

4) Create a system where the reason to stay focused on a single class is just as strong as the innate benefit of multi-classing.

5) All skill, spell and abilities lists should each have a formula that determines their contents, creating a situation where everything within a category compares fairly against similar items. Example: All casted lists have the same number of spells.

6) Lower numbers across the board to make math more manageable and more likely to be followed in combat.

7) Reduce the number of holds and combat explanation to improve combat flow.

8) All content in the lower list rulebook should be made to be allowable to play in the game world without question.

9) Allow players more options to play the characters they want to play, and to have more flexibility in creative role-play.

10) Skill interaction and skill use strategy is designed off of “The Wheel” in which Warrior, Rogue and Caster archetypes create and complete the wheel, while Support archetypes support it. The wheel is divided into three parts. In each part a single archetype has qualities that are unique to the archetype and also has abilities to more effectively counter other archetypes. The more you multiclass into the three archetypes that make up the wheel, the more command over the wheel you have. This extended command over the wheel grants a player a clear advantage of extreme versatility, which comes at the cost of reducing your constant white damage abilities.

NOTE FORM JAMES: I will get you a visual diagram of "The Wheel" which should help explain some things and bring them into better perspective, hopefully within a week or two.

- James C. Kimball Director, Knight Realms
Last edit: 18 Apr 2018 09:38 by Gallion (Gallion).

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18 Apr 2018 09:36 - 18 Apr 2018 09:43 #3 by Gallion (Gallion)
Replied by Gallion (Gallion) on topic KR Rules Straight Talk Thread!
Errata 1 (Notes from James)

Several Loopholes and exploit fixes
Not going to spend time talking on this one, several spells and abilities and the such needed tweaking to get rid of some problems. They are all listed point by point in the errata and should be self explanatory.

Hand signals for concealment
The reason we added hand signals for concealment abilities is because of the hassle and clunkiness of trying to stop what you are doing to get out and put on your headband. It is sometimes not even reasonable in some situations to do it all in time. This allows us to allow the players an easier time using those skills, and it also allows us to have more NPCs use these skills more frequently which will allow for more balanced feel to npc encounters.

Crafting Time and Multi Purchase
We reduced the crafting time significantly to make it more manageable, also the multi purchase benefit will allow for far more time effective crafting by allowing items to have multiple uses.

Skills added to lists
Several classes received one skill to lists to help balance out some inherent mechanisms.

Tying Body and White Damage to your Archetype choices
This is by far the biggest change and so I will take a lot of time trying to explain the thought process so that it is easier to understand.

We tied a characters body and white damage (unlimited damage) to the characters choice in archetypes. Doing so allowed us to close up some major exploit that have always existed even during the previous event.

One Example of an Exploit:
A Caster/Caster/Caster/Warrior could swing the same base/white damage with a long sword as a Warrior/Warrior/Warrior/Warrior. They could accomplish this with the simple process of a single warrior class and the expenditure of build; it was not even really hard at all to get there. This same exploit could be used in reverse and by all the archetypes.

Higher Body/Armor Points is the unique quality to the warrior archtype, and so this is built into this system as well. It prevents someone from buying caster three times, and then warrior once, just to get a sharp boost in health. You still get the boost, but by being static, it does not allow for as much abuse.

We expanded the concept to allow you a choice in each instance; do you want to do more base/white damage, or have more battle stamina? Your choices can be mixed in a variety of ways and the result accurately reflects the choices you made.

Some have argued that this is a “Hard Cap” and my rebuttal to that is we already had a hard cap because our “Soft Cap” is actually a hard cap once the skills get too expensive to purchase. All we are doing is allowing you to reach the end goal based on your character choices and with no build purchase. By giving you this, we are allowing ourselves to close exploits that make the players feel cheated through perceived unfairness.

But tell me one more time and in greater detail... why did you do the above change?
  • Because one of our goals is to keep numbers lower, diminishing returns absolutely had to be applied and in the case of weapon damage, with no overlap. However diminishing returns, specifically on base body and damage created its own problems. It still allowed for us to have no solid baseline to plan from, and it held with it a feeling of dread.

  • Because spending build on your body points and your base damage sucks. It sucked in the old system, and it sucked even more in the new system because of diminishing returns. Unlike a tag skill that has a clear and measurable use, damage and body is a very slow tick up that often requires several purchases to feel any measurable difference. The thought of spending 80 build on an extra point of damage, or for 5 to 15 more body points is not only painful but boring specifically because it is a tiny incremental tic in one direction and cannot be felt on its own. If you were not already in the system with an established character than the thought of raising the build just to be able to do the base numbers is so daunting it creates a feeling of boring dread. Trying to get into the system, you would need to invest way too much build into it just to have your characters numbers not be laughable. To leave it that way would be stressful and unfriendly to new people coming in to join us. New people that will one day become our best of friends, because they stuck around with us, because we did not allow ourselves to have an attitude of, “Oh well it just sucks to be new, good luck on the build grinding champ!”

  • Because having static body and damage numbers allows us to plan out encounters and all other numbers based off of them. These numbers act as a solid foundation in which we can balance the rest of the PC rules appropriately, the NPC stats, the difficulty of encounters, etc.. Without that solid foundation to start from there is no starting point and all of the above tasks are far more difficult and almost result in guessing and hoping for the best.

  • Because the idea of a caster, caster, caster, warrior doing the same amount of base damage with a sword as a warrior,warrior, warrior, warrior is silly, unrealistic and unfair no matter how you cut it or try to explain it through levels. Because the idea of a warrior, warrior, warrior, rogue doing the same amount of backstab damage as a rogue, rogue, rogue, rogue is silly, unrealistic and unfair no matter how you cut it or try to explain it through levels. There are several other examples but I hope the above examples gets the point across.

  • Because at the end of the day this change is fair and will lend to a better system of adventuring with your friends regardless of their level. I built the Count in this new system and I am excited to see an environment where he, two mid level characters and two first time characters can go on the same mod and have a great time and all feel useful. At the heart of all of these changes is an environment where we can do this.

- James C. Kimball Director, Knight Realms
Last edit: 18 Apr 2018 09:43 by Gallion (Gallion).

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24 Apr 2018 08:36 - 24 Apr 2018 14:53 #4 by Gallion (Gallion)
Replied by Gallion (Gallion) on topic KR Rules Straight Talk Thread!
Errata # 2 (Behind The Scenes Notes)
AKA (This is the errata that many of you have been waiting for)

This entry will be an explanation of the contents of our second errata for the 2.0 rules. This will be a very detailed explanation of what we are doing, what we are thinking about doing but are not ready yet to do, and what the thinking process was on how we arrived there. This is going to be a very long post, but it you want to understand the intentions behind the changes please get yourself a coffee, tea or soda and be prepared to sit down for a little while.

We received feedback submissions from a large number of players. I can say with enthusiasm that in this errata we addressed a large portion of the issues brought up with this errata, and we will even still cover more of them in the next one.

A Slight Shift In The Philosophy
In some of the past explanations of the philosophy we described to you the concept of the RPS (Rock Paper Scissors) were Warrior beats Rogue, Rogue beats Caster, and Caster beats Warrior. Over time a portion of players expressed continuous and lingering displeasure when trying to digest it. While we still believe that the formula is a solid design formula, we do understand that it could be jarring to be told that other character archetypes are designed to defeat your character. After some extensive consideration we decided it would be best in the end to shift course towards a formula focusing more on collaborative game-play and emphasis on roles. To that end we are shifting away from the RPS philosophy and more towards a Wheel philosophy, which covers the different roles of an adventurer. The number of changes that need to take place to readjust this are not nearly as bad as one might think. Several of the changes are going live with this errata, but even still the bigger picture will need a few more adjustments to be complete and those adjustments will need to wait until the next errata. I strongly felt that it was worthwhile to implement what we could now instead of waiting and playing out another event with watered down casters, warriors that felt inferior and other issues that clearly need to be fixed. The end result we believe is one that you will enjoy much more.

Build Cost Increases
After viewing the rest system in place for a few months we have determined that periodic skill costs need to have the initial build cost increase by 1 point each. Also due to your body and damage numbers being tied to your classes, your second class now will cost 20 build, third class will cost 30 build and fourth class will cost 40 build. The math will be done automatically on your character cards and you can then choose to unlearn some skills through the card problem system if you are in the negatives.

Casters Uniqueness
Several of the most frequent issues brought up in feedback revolved around the idea that because all the casters shared so much overlap in spells, the casters classes felt like there was little difference among them. Healers were an often-used example of this. Quantity was a big part of the problem. Too many spells created a scenario in which we had to perform so much overlap between casters, that individuality for each was largely compromised. While it was always intended that some overlap would occur and that overlap had to be streamlined, too much overlapping created too much streamlining and also a reduction in individual identity.

For casters we cut down the number of spells, which severely cut down the amount of overlap, which allowed us to rename some of the abilities with more flavor, and also gave back a significant amount of individual identity to the classes. In addition to this we also found ways to allow some spells to be called with more RP flavor specific names in lieu of their formal name. All of these issues are issues that casters brought up to us and we truly believe that these changes will help improve their experience.

We also needed to bring spells more in line with tag skills. Mana points no longer exist and you instead purchase a periodic skill that allows you to use any spell you know of that rank. Some have expressed concern that this would be more complicated; but I assure you it will not. As it stood previously you already had to know what rank each one of your spells where, because you needed to know how many mana points it was to cast. If you know what rank each spell is, because you needed to already in the old system, than the only difference is that flexibility reduced a bit, but still is still greater than any other archetype. To be clear about what this means, you still cast your spells as normal, and you do not need to choose them ahead of time or prepare them in any way. The number of each rank spells you can cast all refresh to full after a rest like all other tag skills. I want to emphasis that the caster even still has the clear advantage in this element and is meant to. If a warrior spends six build on a slaughter then they must use that slaughter. If a caster now spends five build on a rank four spell, they can still choose in the moment on the battlefield from five different rank four spells, and perhaps even ten, fifteen and twenty, if they are multiclassed into other casters. This flexibility and variety is the solid benefit of casters and is intended as such.

Base Damage Lowered / Burst Damage Numbers Leveled Evenly
Many believed that base damage was still too high, especially on the higher end. To be clear, most of the players who thought base damage was still too high are dedicated warrior players. We agreed that the continuous numbers still felt higher than what we were going for, especially in the extremes. To that end we made an adjustment which involved reworking the offensive and defensive options to each archetype. When you receive a number for your base damage, you also receive a number for your burst damage, and your total burst damage number is multiplied by a number dictated the skill description. As an example, if your Med Weapon Melee Burst Damage is 10, and the description for Slaughter is “x4 your Burst Damage”, than your Slaughters will swing for 40 damage. Overall burst damage numbers that you hear will be lower on the caster end then previously because of multi-classing and defensive class purchases. Annihilate was brought up specifically several times during the feedback. Only two out of the eight casting classes will now have Annihilate and some characters that use the spell will likely be dealing less damage with it. Warrior burst damage skills have received a huge boost from their previous amount as now all archetype burst damage numbers are on a level playing field and the numbers are only altered by method of delivery and personal character options.

“But because my base damage numbers are lower I feel less powerful… “
I understand the psychology of larger numbers feeling more powerful. With this errata the numbers are finally crunched properly after several attempts. It is possible that there are lingering numbers out there that need to be adjusted still, but anything missed will be adjusted over the course of the next few months. The smaller the base damage numbers, the better for everyone. We will examine what this means for higher lists when we get to them.

Combat Flow
Several points of feedback had to do with Auto-hits, AoEs, Movements Skills, Chain abilities and other details about the flow of combat. We want combat to flow better. We will be removing most of the movement skills, replacing them with other skills. We will retain Relocate as a spell on some lists, which will work for the purposes of retreat. We are greatly reducing the number of auto hits as well and no longer allow spells to be cast through the casting Phokus. Most AoE abilities are being removed; spells that were formerly Spray attacks will work by throwing three spell packets. We hope that these changes increase the flow of combat. We are seriously listening to your feedback about it because we care about your fighting experience and we will continue to make adjustments each errata as needed until we feel we are in a good spot.

Merging Body and Armor points
Differentiating between your Body and Armor points was an extra layer of complication not truly needed in combat. In favor of more smoothly calculating the math during combat, Body Points is a representation of Battle Stamina, which is also increased by wearing Armor. Armor no longer needs its own separate points. Because we are moving away from the concept of the archetypes being designed to defeat one another, the dynamic of Body Damage, versus Armor points, etc. became increasingly less important, and we really like the smoother math, and the increased need for healing on the battlefield. Please note that anytime you take damage, no matter how much of that body comes from your armor, you should still be role-playing pain. In real life, if you are wearing a bulletproof vest and get shot, you still are going to get pushed back and feel some major pain. The Thaumaturge ability Mysterial Armor, for next event will be reduced by half, and will be removed all together in the following Errata. Any references of AP that we may miss are simply to be considered BP.

Warrior Archetype
Consistently feedback from warriors has told us that warrior characters felt underpowered. Several of the changes described above address this concern. Even though base damage numbers are being reduced, they are being reduced for every archetype across the board. Warriors burst damage attacks are now on par with every other archetype. Your Crits and Slaughters now have the potential to do high damage. The differences in damage now is based only on the situation of how the damage is being delivered and what the character chooses from their own options. Body Points are now being solidly put into the benefit category of a warrior. Their body point numbers are the highest by far and other archetypes will no longer be able to supplement those numbers artificially, bypassing the need to buy a warrior class. Most of the avenues for stamina from other classes will be reduced this month and then removed altogether the following month. Furthermore, because body points are now the only stamina points, warriors will not suffer from an attack of any type ignoring a portion of their stamina, such as armor did previously. So if you had 80 Body points and 80 Armor points in the old system, you now have 160 body points. There is no such thing as dealing direct body damage.

There are several more changes that will benefit warriors in the following errata but we are not ready for those changes just yet. All archetypes will be able to only defend against their own types of attack in the next errata and so no other archetype will be able to defend against a warriors attack. Warriors will also receive some status effect defenses in the next errata. Over the coming months we will continue to monitor the details surrounding warrior value, but we truly believe that these changes will correct a majority of the issues that can be corrected.

“But I’m still worried I’m going to be killed and as a result, punished for playing in rules that are not 100% finalized?!?!”
Don’t be. The new rules on death, retirement and PvP are coming out soon, and I am moving us to a unique philosophy that it is never OK to punish the player of a character for playing the game fairly and letting their characters experience death. To that end anyone who dies in the interim will benefit from the new death rules when they go live, so you truly do not need to worry about loss of character investment.

Still To Come …
There are several items that we are pretty sure we want to look at and possibly address but we have either not come up with the solutions yet, or we just did not have time to get them into this errata. We may take a look back on damage types and see if they should be edited in any way. Altars will likely return along with mass, but in the form of an item not in the form of the rulebook.

I think it is clear that the crafter lists need some kind of revision. They are suffering from several of the same issues that spell casters where suffering from and we feel that giving them the similar attention we gave casters will be a step in the right direction to getting them their individuality back.

We are likely to revisit details in the Armor system to make sure it is as comprehensive as it could be while also not being too complex or a tool for min-maxing power.

We are going to revisit the specialition skills in the next errata and adjust the master list skills to be in line with our adjusted philosophy. Some minor changes may take place this errata.

Because we are moving away from the triangle and more towards a philosophy of working together the tagged defenses available to each archetype will undergo some changes in the next errata. Deflect will no longer work against piercing attacks or physical ranged attacks. Dodge will no longer work against spells but instead will defend against piercing attacks and physical ranged, and casters will have a tagged ability that they can purchase called “Negate” which will defend against casted abilities only. The end result will be that each archetype has access to defenses against the types of attacks that they make. All in all we believe that this will balance out the best with everything else that we have in place. The only thing that we intend to do differently as a result is increase the number of NPCs who attack with piercing attacks and use physical ranged weapon attacks, so that all three types of attacks are prevalently encountered in PvE battles. In order to encourage the dynamic of players working together, the skill “Intercept” is going to be worked in as a common list skill so that each one of these archetypes can use the skill to use their defenses on their allies and party members. For this current errata Negate will be placed onto caster classes because stoneskin and counterspell no longer exist.

A Word about Min-Maxing or Do you have to join “The Rat-Race”?
If you want to do the most damage than you will buy four of one archetype and choose offensive for all four proficiencies. You will do the highest amount of damage in both base damage and burst damage. Your body points will suffer from that choice and you will more easily fall from lack of them. You will also be highly susceptible to 2/3 of the games attacks as you will only be able to defend against 1/3 of them, with the exception of specific effects that your classes are good at defending from any source.

If you want the most survivability you will make other choices than the one above.

We subscribe to the thought that fifty percent of the max damage is good damage. You can choose to design your character to do fifty percent max damage and those numbers should still be really effective. Aiming for fifty percent allows you to balance out the rest of your character better. If you don’t want the balance, and just want super high damage, then go for it. If you want balance, then go for it. If you want to be a jack-of-all-trades go for it. All character concepts are viable, and you do not need to run as fast as you can to the extremes, unless your character concept is to be extreme at something, in which case that is fine as well but still always comes at a cost.

The point that I am trying to make is that if you want to do or have the most “X”, than you can do that, but doing the most “X” comes at the cost of also being able to do the least “Y”. Balancing could yield good results. Racing to the highest numbers is one way to play the game, but it is not the only way, and there is no best way; there is only character choices and we all have to make them for ourselves and not get sucked into the illusionary rat-race.

Errata Coming Very Soon
That’s it for now. Please re-read this as many times as you need to help you understand it. I truly hope that you see the hugely positive implications for everyone and are as excited as we are for the direction of things. Please remember, we have two more erratas after this one, so keep in mind that if there is still something that you don’t like, it may be addressed in the near future. We will continue to solicit feedback immediately following each event so you can help us get there! I know that people are starting to become weary of re-writing over and over from scratch, so I will be meeting with Drew tonight to figure out a plan that will require the least amount of work on you and the card team to make adjustments.

- James C. Kimball Director, Knight Realms
Last edit: 24 Apr 2018 14:53 by Nicoletta (tori).

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27 Apr 2018 16:18 - 27 Apr 2018 16:24 #5 by Nicoletta (tori)
Replied by Nicoletta (tori) on topic KR Rules Straight Talk Thread!
The Card Database
As we go through changes to the rules, even many things that seem minor have a great impact on the Character Card System. The database was designed several years ago with the old system of rules in mind and did a great job facilitating that system. However, the growth of Knight Realms and development of rules is beginning to put a lot of stress on the constraints of the database.

For the upcoming event, we promised some changes: notably, the transition from Mana points to spell slots; the updates to the Spellcasting lists; and the universal increase of every non-continuous skill’s base Build cost. We postponed releasing this Errata several times in order to make sure those changes were as great as they could be for the players, followed our design principles, and were fair and balanced against the rest of the game. We heard concerns over prices and reevaluated the cost of spell slots to establish parity between spellcasting and the existing periodic skills based on those concerns.

Though it might seem strange, the change to the spell slot system and complete overhaul of the spell lists is actually the easy part of that change as far as the card system is concerned. In order to adjust the base cost of skills, we would have to require everyone to do a full card rewrite from scratch. Drew is working on a solution to try to avoid this, as it is a great amount of work for everyone - both the PCs and for the card team to try to process every rewrite in under a week. However, this solution is going to take more than a week to come to. If all goes well, it will be ready for the Week in the Life event, and if not, we will know early enough to be able to make the changes manually.

But Why Are We Waiting?
Without adjusting Build costs of skills, there is a major discrepancy between the amount of abilities a caster and a non-caster can use in one encounter - namely, the caster will be at a severe disadvantage. Casters are built in a way that favors using abilities over using their low and slow white damage, so this affects them doubly so. We don’t want any situations where someone feels like they have to sit out of an encounter because it lasted longer than five minutes and they have fewer skills than their friends of the same level, so we are waiting, in order to put everyone on the same playing field.

((“But casters are more powerful than non-casters because they can autohit 80 damage ad nauseum, so this situation is already happening in the reverse?”
We have made some changes to address this concern that are going live for this month, notably: changes to how Burst damage is calculated, so only x4 casters will be able to deal 80 damage, and the removal of Casting Phokus’s ability to deliver spells as an autohit. Please read the errata for full descriptions of these changes, as they affect everyone, not just casters.))

What this also means is that certain skills which we would have had to disable for the event while we worked on replacements will still continue to function until this update is put out, with practically the only exceptions being Movement abilities. This means we can release the changes to casters in tandem with the (comparatively smaller, but still noteworthy) changes to Warriors and Rogues to really highlight and enhance every character’s position in the Wheel which defines the unique talents of each class. We are confident that waiting a short time to launch these changes will vastly improve how these rules interact with each other, in addition to allowing us to make tweaks if necessary to balance the skills against each other before they go live.

What Does That Mean For This Month?
We still have errata for this month. It is a collection of primarily minor quality-of-life changes to different mechanics. However, there are still some more major changes we did not want to wait any longer than we already have to address. Most importantly, new changes to proficiencies are launching this month, which include adjustments to the calculations of Burst damage. James described the reasoning behind these changes at length in the post above this one.

If You Already Wrote Next Month’s Changes, Can We See Them Now?
Absolutely! However, please keep in mind that we may need to make edits to those changes before the event. We typically release as many changes as possible at once, because sometimes making what looks like a small adjustment to one skill actually causes a cascade effect of rebalancing other skills to account for it, and we’d rather not release six different iterations and risk causing confusion. With this in mind, consider that we will be making changes to the non-caster classes to account for decisions made between this and last event, which may cause us to need to backtrack and adjust some spells. Overall, we are pleased with the direction these changes are taking, so don’t expect too much change; but, be prepared for some minor adjustments in any case.

Click here to view the PREVIEW Errata for Week in the Life.

Click here to view the Errata for updates that are live in May.

OOG: Tori Turqman
Rules and Atmosphere Officer
Last edit: 27 Apr 2018 16:24 by Nicoletta (tori).

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30 May 2018 21:37 #6 by Gallion (Gallion)
Replied by Gallion (Gallion) on topic KR Rules Straight Talk Thread!
Based on continuous feedback and In an effort to make things easier on the players we have decided to allow players more time to digest most of the changes before requiring those changes to be re-written on your cards. To that end we are doing several things.

First, we are making a couple of core changes that will not require any character cards to be re-written. We will separate these changes and they will also include the new life and death system. Those changes will be played out this weekend.

Second, we will show you the completed errata. We will not require you to re-write and play by this errata. Read the errata and decide if you want to play test the changes this weekend or just ignore the changes for now and give yourself time to digest them instead.

Third, We will allow those who wish to play-test the errata changes to do so at this upcoming event. There will be instructions following shortly that will allow you to re-write your character if you desire to do so in order to play test the changes.

- James C. Kimball Director, Knight Realms

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30 May 2018 21:39 - 30 May 2018 22:27 #7 by Gallion (Gallion)
Replied by Gallion (Gallion) on topic KR Rules Straight Talk Thread!
Part I (Core systems live for this event. None of these changes require you to re-write your character for the event)

Simplification of the Archetype Proficiency - (Lower Body/Easier Burst Math)
When purchasing a class you receive the proficiency for that archetype and no longer need to choose offensive vs. defensive. We feel that with the addition of Paragon skills for all classes you now have plenty of options and this option is no longer needed. Removing it allowed us to remove some complexity that existed. It allowed us to lower the max body points to more properly match the reduction in base damage. It allowed us to drop the complexity of the “burst” variable number, making simpler and less complicated math and number tracking. You have one (archetype) burst for every archetype purchase, so if you have two warrior classes, than you have (melee) burst two. Skills that do damage work off of a simple calculation that is X damage times the appropriate burst. For example: Slaughter deals fifteen points of damage for every (melee) burst the character has. Therefore if you have two warrior lists than you have two (melee) burst and your slaughter deals thirty damage
This is infinitely simpler than the previous calculation, however if you have any difficulty understanding this whatsoever then simply think of it like this; your slaughter does fifteen damage for every warrior class you have.
For those who previously chose extra body points and wanted to build a “Tank” style warrior there are now more defensive skills built into the defensive warrior classes that allow for this option to be an even greater character concept.

Life and Death System! - (More dramatic and fun, less oog punishment)
Our life and Death System has been updated. It is a very dramatic change, and may require the most explanation. So prepare to read a mini-novel if you are interested in this.

Killing blow is being changed to be longer and more dramatic, but also to become something where it is acceptable for many of the NPCs to be killing blow active.

The basics of our new life and death rules:
When you lose all of your body points you become incapacitated which is a semi-lucid state. You are perpetually in this state until healed or you receive a killing blow. If you are killed than you have one minute to receive critical healing. If you do not receive critical healing than you must resurrect. At some point after you resurrect you role on a chart of side effects. You never lose a painful percentage of build for dying and you decide when your characters story is over.

Here is some backstory to the old death system. In the beginning of time, the old death system was at its core a mechanism to periodically reduce the power gap, whereas people will reach higher levels and then suffer all of their deaths over the course of several years and then recycle back into the system at a lower level. For twenty years this system has not ever reduced the power gap in the game, not even once. The idea that it ever would do so is in actuality an illusion. In fact the only thing that this system has done is punish the player (not the character) for a character death and in most cases threaten to take the character away from the players who play the game with the utmost honor and integrity to the rules and their card. At best we had fostered an environment where we create a situation of real life punishment that gives real-life fear and often very real anxiety to the players; at worst we had created an environment to encourage sub-conscious cheating to avoid that punishment.

Many players equate the build their character has very directly to the amount of money that they have spent to buy that build and the amount of investment they have put into the game and organization to earn it. While it is true that you are also paying for the experience itself and not just numbers on a card, it is also true that the removal of those numbers under any circumstance can feel very wrong; you either paid for or earned those numbers and taking a portion of those numbers away feels more and more like an unfair game practice or even theft to me as the years go on. If the original true purpose was to reduce the power gap, and that purpose in practice doesn’t truly work, then why are we continuing this practice; especially when our new diminishing returns system closes the power gap far greater than any other game device has in twenty years?

The diminishing returns system solves the power gap problem far greater than any system of losing build would ever achieve. On the other side of the spectrum, the thirty-minute rest system has increased a new character’s usefulness by about two-thousand four hundred percent. Between these two elements we will never need build lose to work as another mechanism for closing the power gap. The only function it could ever serve is an out of character punishment, and I am not eager to punish my players in an out of character way.

Some may argue that the forced removal of your character is a function that provides realism and danger to the environment. In the far past I might have agreed, but I have evolved to a point where I no longer agree. One may argue that final character death is not forced, that it is just what happens when you effectively lose. Well if the consequences for losing are so great that it never seems to happen to anyone other than the most honest of players than the only other option which includes keeping it is to make a far more deadly game and watch players like a hawk to ensure character loss and character turnover. That is not the type of gaming environment that I feel is going to be fun for either the players or the game runners.

Let me take this explanation deeper and state that over the last twenty years I have come across several good players whose play style does not support the concept of alts or new characters. In all of these cases these players lost their original characters and happened to also never be able to find a new character they can enjoy, and not for lack of trying. Some people are just single character players. I especially empathize with those players because I am that kind of player in other types of games. Some people love alts and can play a new character every year with great ease. At the end of the day the game system needs to be welcoming to both styles of gameplay. This is why it should be your decision when your characters story is over.

Moving from that point back to the build reduction element; I no longer feel comfortable taking build away from someone who paid for and earned it over the years. I don’t feel comfortable about it under any circumstances. This is why we are developing a new policy of “Its your build, your earned it and no one will take it away from you.” Your total earned build will always be tied to your character card number, so if you do decide that your characters story is over and you are eager to play a new one, you retain your build for that card number. You may or may not be able to spend all that build right away on the new character, but you will still have it. One interesting concept is that If you want to play a character on “Hard Mode” and predetermine you have one life and stick with that decision, then you can do so and not be penalized build from your new character.

So how does this play out? The new life and death system is designed to actually make it easier for you to die, but at no lasting oog detriment. We want players to feel like they can experience the death portion of the game more often and more freely without an oog fear of investment loss. From an in-game standpoint number of resurrections is random and so anytime a character dies could be their last. Death should feel more dangerous on an in-game level because you never know when a characters death will be there last, and less dangerous on an out of game level, since the player is the one deciding whether the death was their characters last or not.

There are still consequences of dying, but the negative effects are not painful on an out of character degree and sometimes those effects are fun and interesting and in extremely rare cases even beneficial. Some punishments for breaking the laws will need to be adjusted slightly, but we have already begun thinking of solutions for that.

Removing the loss of build from character death will remove one of the major problems of PvP and should make finalizing the PvP rules much simpler. We will however wait until the rules are finalized and hard coded before reinstating the PvP rules.

I believe that we have the following things to look forward to with this new system:
- Cooler more dramatic killing blows and rescue attempts
- Cooler more dramatic stages of death
- Death is always deliberate and not accidental because it always requires a killing blow.
- The mystery and drama of never knowing when an ally character’s death will actually be their last.
- Allowing yourself to drop on the battlefield does not immediately equate to death and even if you are killed you are no longer being put one step closer to losing your character or losing a very large percentage of your build.
- Death should be a bit more frequent and allot more fun. The side effects from death are interesting and there is also a chance of initiating a cool role-play scenario for your character as a result of death.

- James C. Kimball Director, Knight Realms
Last edit: 30 May 2018 22:27 by Nicoletta (tori). Reason: Removed link to errata.... it's in the next post

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30 May 2018 21:42 - 30 May 2018 22:28 #8 by Gallion (Gallion)
Replied by Gallion (Gallion) on topic KR Rules Straight Talk Thread!
Part II (Errata #3 Not live for WiTL / Playtest optional)

Spell Casting Changes
The spell casting changes that we showed you at the same time of the last errata are part of this errata. The reduced number of spells greatly brings back the individuality of each caster class and also allows for more flavor specific spell names. Healer in particular should be once again separately viable. The spells for each class where very carefully and specifically chosen through a precise formula which spreads usefulness out evenly among the classes.

Skill Defenses
We have chosen to move forward with each archetype only defending against their type of attack. We tested this out in several areas at the last event and it worked well. We understand that some people have skepticism about this change but we would like to try it out on a larger scale to get feedback from an events worth of play with it. Support classes currently all make trinkets that can assist you in temporarily covering this gap. As an example if you are a warrior/caster and worry about the occasional rogue attack, you can purchase a trinket from a support character to use in such a case. What you will not be able to do is permanently cover this area unless you also purchase a rogue list.

Profession Alterations
The skill lists themselves needed to be altered to consider several changes such as the removal of the movement abilities and re-working of the wheel and the paragon abilities. As such all lists have seen some updates that should result in more carefully fine tuned lists. Also most of the initial skill costs have been increased by a single point of build.

Paragon Skills
This is perhaps the biggest and possibly most anticipated change. Every class now has a set of four continuous paragon abilities. You may purchase one of these abilities for each time that you have purchased that specific class. They allow us to give some more uniqueness and individuality to each list while providing a solid benefit to multi-purchasing the same list. The Paragon skills are similar in design to how some of the heroic skills used to be written. Currently some lists are missing their fourth paragon option and those will be added into the next errata.

Specializations have been removed
All of the changes made thus far have really removed the need for archetype specializations and so we have removed them. You are no longer under pressure to have three of one archetype in order to get access to a special skill. We feel that all the skill did was purposefully break the balancing formula we had set out and artificially pressure players into having to purchase three of one archetype in order to max efficiency. The system to allow focusing as a viable option is built in and does not need assistance in the form of a specialization skill.

Miscellaneous Points
- Druid Animal form is back in as a Paragon Skill.
- Some Bard Paragon skills were specifically designed to address some bard player desires.
- We’ve added several new continuous skills
- We have removed the continuous effects that were just given to you for having a master list.
- We have removed Tracking as a continuous skill, but more specific paragon skill versions of them exist on ranger and bounty hunter. Also tracking in general is a role-play concept that a marshal can oversee and adjudicate in a PvE situation.

Support/Crafter Classes
We needed to get everything else done before being able to properly fine tune the role of support and crafter classes. Now we are finally at that point and will begin work on these classes very soon.

Once you have finished reading this post, click here to view the errata.

- James C. Kimball Director, Knight Realms
Last edit: 30 May 2018 22:28 by Nicoletta (tori). Reason: Added link to Errata

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16 Jun 2018 09:43 - 16 Jun 2018 09:48 #9 by Gallion (Gallion)
Replied by Gallion (Gallion) on topic KR Rules Straight Talk Thread!
Support Changes Explanation
The first thing we did was restore their individuality by reducing their overall number of talents, but making every one of their talents unique to their class.

The single largest problem that support classes expressed to us was the component cost to use every one of their abilities. Other problems included crafting time, differences in play style and proficiencies being gimped by the addition of a support list. The solutions that we came up with solve all of those issues.

Talents are broken up between “Items” and “Procedures”. The ratio of items versus support vary greatly between the support classes. Procedures no longer have a material cost, and their role-play time has been reduced to allow procedures to be viably used during a combat encounter. You could role-play a procedure longer if you have the luxury of the extended role-play out of combat, or you could use the reduced role-play time during combat with the explanation that your prep work was done prior to the situation. Support classes now may purchase Talent Slots. A Talent slot allows you to perform a procedure of its appropriate rank. Alternatively a talent slot may be expended to use the skills “Innovate” or Improvised Creation” on an Item that they can create.

Procedures are limited by the number of talent slots you have but no longer have a cost. Items have no limit to the number that can be produced as long as the materials are spent. Talent slots can be used to “innovate” items (Instant create and use) or make an “improvised creation” (no cost item that expires at the end of the encounter). The above dynamics create a wide variety of support play styles to be viable.

All support classes now have paragon skills. Like the other classes, most are missing one of their options, and those will be filled in over the coming month and a half.

Master List Changes Explanation
We made the first rank of each master list all continuous abilities. We changed the skills on each list to properly reflect all the changes we made since the initial release.

Click here to go to the Errata!

- James C. Kimball Director, Knight Realms
Last edit: 16 Jun 2018 09:48 by Nicoletta (tori). Reason: Added Errata link

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