A re-look at class banns

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A re-look at class banns

Post by BenevolentDevil » Mon Apr 04, 2016 7:46 pm

I recently re-read the signs in the OOC area , and while I knew of two banned classes, and the reasons why ... I was kind of somewhat shocked at a couple on there at the same time.

Now, let's get this part out of the way first:

I am by NO means, trying to upset Tara or the founder by "arguing" a case here. I understand , there are viable reasons for the class bans , even if I don't fully understand the "why" of it all.
This is just a discussion for consideration , a look back into things , to see if there is any wiggle room in some cases.

Now, let me put out there, my intentions as plain as typing will allow.

I completely understand Monk and Palemaster banns. In a way ...

First off, even though I have played them in the past ( Slooge the Illithid PM/Sorc was a super effective Villain PC of mine. ) , Pale Master Prestige class is almost completely "worthless" as a class option. The ONLY thing it's good for is the Immune to Critical Hits at it's highest progression.
However, the drawbacks: ... No extra spell progression for base class, a very sucky "death touch" that NEVER seems to work against level appropriate monsters and bosses anyways. The summons for a Palemaster, are some of the worst in game by default.
So To me, it's practically useless "class" option , even me playing some before ... that experience showed me how crappy the class option was.
So I am not going to ask for it's installation or removal from the ban list.

Monk - Well, this is where I start making faces at that sign. Epic Level monks do indeed have some super-awesome abilities. Mega high AC, fast attacks, and keep going, spell resistance and epic devastating attacks.
BUT ... I have played many a monk character in PWs , and usually the end result is the same - Mobs and monsters in the high level to epic level ranges, are normally immune to the best attacks a Monk can throw at them. The spell resistance , is still there, but honestly ... it doesn't protect a monk as well as one thinks.
The only way I see "monks" as being too over-powered, is if one Cheese builds a cleric/monk, or a Paladin/Monk > Clerics as we know, cannot multi class in Alangara , so that option isn't even a factor here. Paladin/Monk builds ... well, first off, there is no GOD that has a Pally/Monk allowed portfolio ... only on Pure PvP arena servers, are they usually "allowed". Yes, there are GODs that allow monks, and Pally's in their services, but not actually a combo of both classes. One must choose it's path , go pally or Go monk ...

On my side of the fence here ... I see NPC monks in the game.
I think that is a tad bit strange, to have NPC monks, and not allow PCs to be monks.

Monk class can be combined with other classes, such as Rogue ... which somewhat lessens the over-all "power" of a pure monk build, but adds some extra boost in melee , and skill selections.
Honestly ,one can build a fighter super specialized in unarmed combat , take the right feats ... and is equally as devastating, if not more than a monk of the same level. With high hard AC armor I might add. Damage resistances, and pre-buff spells, still rocks with Overwhelming crit!

I think personally ... monks would be awesome addition in Alangara , and if the Big Class abilities of the monk, are indeed an issue ... simply limit how many levels of monk can be taken.

I will admit ... Monk is one of my fav classes to play , and when getting up in the past level 20 stages, Monks are no longer "show stoppers" by any means. They will not be able to "tank" as a fighter or Barbarian would be able to. Most of their "special abilities" are negated by immunities on monsters/bosses anyways.
A look at classes ... in comparison, the Assassin is way more deadly than a monk. A RANGED stun attack , plus Death attack, plus sneak , decent BAB , and depending on your dex/dodge/evasion ... , yes, the assassin lacks the raw speed of a monk , and the spell resistance ... but in the Inner Realms here, one can pick up a few items that have spell resistance that is compatible, and are far more epicy-deadly than a monk in the end game.
The assassin isn't banned , and has some of the same abilities ( like stun/paralyze ) at range , where as the monk must be in the face of a monster, bare-handed , and subjected to getting nailed while facing an non-flatfooted monster.

So, I have to ask ... "why"?
Monks can be limited in ways ... lower damage gloves. Kamas will only go up so far using the forge. Cap it's level at say 15? Forcing a multi class option? This will give 10% penalty to xp , and lower the BaB of a monk ...
If it's the haste like effect, script it down/change it.

Now onto Shadowdancer -
The SD's ONLY main strength is the HiPS ( Hide in Plain Sight ) , the other abilities a SD gets is fairly water-downed "bleh". Noting is "game breaking" in that ability selection by any means.
Ok, by the class build rules, you MUST take 6 levels in each class by level 40 , so that stops any "cheese" min/Maxing by taking only one level of SD right there. ( rendering supporting classes to be weaker by level 40 )

HiPS - MOST of the high end to epic stuff , is immune to this because of True Sight. The only way HipS can be abused, is a SD can at low to mid ranges, waltz passed monsters like goblins, and raid the chest, safely.
That seems "bad" on the surface, but one could say thats a good tactic as well ... and there are drawbacks to that:
Drawback 1 - If using it to gain chest goods , and not combating ... the SD isn't going to get much XP. Sure they might have pots and be richer ... but at a cost of not gaining levels.
Drawback 2 - Eventually that "good tactic" runs out do to True Sight.

Really, at the levels HipS is any use at ... a normal rogue with high hide, and move silently ... can do the same exact thing!

I simply cannot see any reason to ban the class option, other than someone ( as in the Devs ) not liking the HipS ability.

Sometimes, SD's can make some awesome RP builds, because they are being "blended" with shadow , or consumed by it ...ect.

Lastly, and probably the one that confused me the most -

Shifters: - *blink* even at level 40 , a shifter has little on a level 40 pure druid , and even with the Dragonshift ... hahaha, is way sub par compared to a Weapon Master , or fighter, or bard at the same levels.
Yes there are few "wonky" shifts in that line up ... a HiPing Kobald , and a scythe wielding Skelly that's imune to Crits > Both are not 'all that' even with those "abilities". We already covered HiPs in the ShadowDancer category , and the Kobald's damage is kind of low compared to a lighter of the same level ranges, and way less than an AA or ranger or Bard ranged attacks. The Skelly one ... only useful in mid ranges of the shifter level , and I have no idea why Bioware thought a Druid would shift into a undead which they ALL oppose in the first place. But, I have played a shifter or two, and that skelly falls just as easily as any other character ...
The Ac absolutely sucks on most of those shifts ... and will be weaker than any base class at the same level ranges.
Pure druids, can go Elemental, gain the same imunities as an elemental ( immune to crits BTW ), so ... I have to say , the ban really doesn't make much sense when considering it carefully.

And server side lastly -

I personally think with all the recent changes and additions, the original reasons these classes were "banned" , meant something else back then.

Now, as the Alangara stands, I don't think the classes would be "game-breaking" ,or uncontrolled ... A LOT has changed since the original remake.

Since it has, I thought maybe it was time we discussed it, and Tara looked at it again as well.

The MAIN reason for this discussion, from my seat here ... is simple :

I am not looking to have , all powerfull, show stopping , super build toons ...
I am simply looking at the bans , limit possibilities , that it could potentially be limiting creativity and role-playing aspects , and having some more variety in what players can play.

More creativity, more imagination, and more variety, means more fun for everyone in my eyes.

Now, my closing statement -

Again, this was not designed to anger Tara, or upset him. I already know he's kind of burned out on NWN/and re-working as hard as he does on the PW for US!

It is merely a look at the subject, and up for consideration. This doesn't mean, things WILL change on that front.
It doesn't mean, I will be upset if no changes are put forth.

I'm fine with how things are. I have a lot of fun here as it stands!

I just thought I'd bring it up , and because things have changed ( and me adding some logic into it ) , that Tara might want to consider the rule, and see if there is any wiggle room to it or not.

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Re: A re-look at class banns

Post by Somnium » Mon Apr 04, 2016 9:50 pm

Tara is the balancing master, so I'll just supplement with a few technical/historical points about the above classes :)

The shifter is "banned", not because that it is overpowered, but because it can permanently mess up the character-file. For the shifter class, there are a lot of special-case bugs in NWN 1 on an engine level, which were never completely resolved by Bioware. So as I recall, the ban is for technical reasons, not for balancing reasons

I believe that the other bans are for balancing reasons, so Tara will surely comment on those :) But historically:

For the Shadow Dancer, the HiPS ability can wreak havoc with the monster AI (as you mentioned), and was also pretty overpowered in PvP. As I recall, those were the main reasons that it was banned originally.

As I recall, the original primary reason for bannning the Pale Master, was the immunities it gains at level 10. And since, as you mentioned, that is really the main point of taking this prestige class, it was just removed completely.
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Re: A re-look at class banns

Post by BenevolentDevil » Mon Apr 04, 2016 11:23 pm

The shifter is "banned", not because that it is overpowered, but because it can permanently mess up the character-file. For the shifter class, there are a lot of special-case bugs in NWN 1 on an engine level, which were never completely resolved by Bioware. So as I recall, the ban is for technical reasons, not for balancing reasons
Now that makes sense now! :)

So it's an engine technicality , or scripting technicality? If it's a matter of needing some form of extra scripting, I know the OLD vault had many shifter "fixes" , I am not sure what the NEW vault has in it in that department, but I could look into it.

Yeah , PM stinks ... hands down it ranks right there with harper scout and purple dragon knight.

Shadowdancer ... not entirely sure that HiPs would effect AI much at all. It works the same as Hide skill, except only TS reveals it, or the player attacks or discontinues it's use.
But Hips, atatck, hips again "dance" I can now see ( and I forgot about that ) might be slightly overpowered to combating monsters as well.

PvP ... meh .. , it really isn't like we have loads of players of opposing alignments now. And one can always make he rule, "no HiPS in PvP " situations. (If SDs find that unfair ... to bad , it's equally unfair to hips, attack and hips again against a fighter ... so there! )

BUT, I do believe there is a way to make restrictions on HiPS as far as the "dissapear" attack and Dissapear" trick goes. I played my "ninja" on a server that could only use HipS every so many spaced rounds or turns wile in combat. It was done by scripts , as the server had no haks or overrides.
She couldn't do that "attack, fade away,attack and not get hit" trick ... No she had to pick moments when HiPS would be useful.

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Re: A re-look at class banns

Post by BenevolentDevil » Thu Apr 07, 2016 7:17 am

and, lol I'm over it ...

Nothing is needed here , as usual I was putting too much thought into something. :ugeek:

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Re: A re-look at class banns

Post by icywind1980 » Tue Jun 21, 2016 10:51 am

If I could, I'd make a fighter /monk/weapon master.

Or even a monk /druid

What this world needs is less rules on what we can/can't do and more fun.

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Re: A re-look at class banns

Post by tarashon » Tue Jun 21, 2016 1:13 pm

Monks are banned from Alangara for balance reasons. Most importantly their speed at high levels completely ruin encounters. For this reason we wont see the monk.

Sorry but excactly the monk wont enter unless something dramatically change with them, which is more than unlikely in an old game like this.

As for limitation I think its a fairly "broad" statement. Our number of limitations is by far outweighted by extraoptions and spell/feat changes with the rest of the classes. When it comes to "fun" we are trying to implement new quests and options all the time, but it is admitably hard to keep coming up with new ideas in a game where most players have tried scores of different worlds/servers and naturally would like for their specific serverchoice the perfect blend of all those servers put together.

We try though and if you have more specific ideas on the FUN department I am more than listening ! Truly, and utterly Icy :)


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Re: A re-look at class banns

Post by BenevolentDevil » Wed Jun 22, 2016 9:40 pm

could we not give a token to curb monk speed?

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Re: A re-look at class banns

Post by tarashon » Fri Jun 24, 2016 9:40 am

No clue. Perhaps seeker can manipulate Class ses or we can Even do it via 2da files Perhaps.

If possible we cold Perhaps Even look at others Clas ses also...


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Re: A re-look at class banns

Post by tarashon » Fri Jun 24, 2016 3:53 pm

I've been looking at monks again more widely and I see basically many problems with the class in Alangara. ( besides the speed that ruins encounters ).

What we have in monks is single class wise a situation where the damage potential to rival or superseed a fighter - due to flurry of blows. also gain more ac from wisdom and inherent SR. in a situation like Alangara where it is fairly easy to gain both +12 from items in several stats and lots of extra permanent stat bonusses the monk basically become way to overpowered. When this is then mixed in with various "powerbuilds" the monks simply ( as i can see it ) ruins class balance completely.

As it is now the rogue have become a bit of a gamble since we now "allow" dex ac builds with tolmar armor and shield or shield potions. This means the dex based AC might already become a potential problem. add to this an extra 10+ wisdom based ac and you have the recipe for balance disaster.

All in all the monk to me seems alot like the drow that basically is just another fighter that mysteriously also become more or less immune to all magical damage. I basically end up once again simply getting a feeling that some game designer at old tsr wanted to be all powerful as gamer and designed the class in a fit of a "self-glorifying-powertrip".

The balance of the monk might indeed ( from the many comments i read about monks technically ) be fairly balanced in an extremely lowmagic based inviroment but not Alangara.

Feel free to correct me if i am wrong :)


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Re: A re-look at class banns

Post by BenevolentDevil » Mon Jun 27, 2016 7:23 pm

Well, I am not certain you are wrong in your assessment lol.

I honestly do not think a Monk in even pure class could ever stand up in comparison to a fighter.

About the only ability a monk gets that is truly "good" is the additional Wis bonus to AC. They have decent saves, but low on the fort side. Hard to hit yes. But when something does hit, it hurts bad ... low hit points and average constitution ( due to covering the class stats. )

The stunning fist , the one they get to hit save vrs die , never get up high enough in DC to effect the high end level monsters and such.
Plus take in consideration of granted immunities to the baddies after level 15 , and in Alangara wouldn't really be useful at all.

The speed of a monk ... which I can understand the "movement" based aspect on how that would ruin encounters.

However, another portion of their speed is number of attacks , which can be very high in comparison to even specialist fighters hasted.
But the counter to that , is they only get that using bare-hands ( gloves ) , or a kama which both are low damaging "weapons" ... unlike a fighter that can specialize in say a bastard sword, Katana , two handed sword , or scythe ... which potentially can do 150 damage a hit bare minimum in epic level ranges. Thats something a monk can never achieve. Yeah a monk hits 10 times in a row , but that 1-12 points of damage is spread out over a turn/round each hit.
It's slow chipping away at monsters, and any DR baddies have , makes that even worse.

Yes, it can be a powerful class option.

I am unsure myself about "power builds" with them ... normally when I played a monk, it was either single classed , or a combo that mimicked a "ninja" in some way. My Usual build would be a Monk/Rogue/SD. < Which is powerful in all areas except for base damage out-put.

But I have heard combo of monk/druid or monk/druid/shifter was incredibly powerful in high epic levels.
But that is something I have never done or wanted to do.

25% SR - Spell Resistance , this is one "iffy" area in my opinion. The SR always seems to work in times things don't matter much , and usually never against truly devastating spells used. The SR is useful to the monk, to avoid minor things like a curse spell that lowers to hit -1 , or other things like that. But only one out of 4 times. All spells that directly "attack" a monk, still have a 75% chance of working.
Of course I don't know what SR can be granted by the forge , so I do not know how that will stack up.

In my opinion ... ALL NWN "classes" are over-exaggerated , and all that are playable are built around a combat mechanic engine, in a combat oriented made videogame.
On my list ... The Bard , The ranger , the Cleric , the Druid ,the Paladin , are all extremely Over powered , in comparison to the fighter. Or even multiclass combos of Fighter/Sorc, or Fighter/Wizard builds ... still cannot "compete" with the classes I just listed.

When speaking of monks being a "one man show" ( I've seen others say the same thing ) , I point at the Bards and say the exact same thing. A class way pumped up , that absolutely does not need any "support" characters. Even building a Fighter/Bard/RDD as a overwhelming Crit based build, is one of the most powerful "fighters" one can produce in NWN.
Even more so if allowed to Dev Crit. ( Which is why I built Jess differently initially. I do not like that "powerbuild" myself.)

And in Alangara , there is practically no "item support" for a monk to be found. Not specifically for monk builds , you don't have high damage kamas and gloves, the few "cloth armors" of any worth , don't even compare to Tolmar Full Plate. A monk isn't going to have enough STR to prance around in Full Plate, and be able to carry gear too.
So, to gain anything ... the forge would have to be used, and one can only gain so much from that ... it takes a lot of gold , and cherries over time and effort , and every class already has that same option to use.

Back to the extra high AC ... I personally don't think it's a bad thing not to get hit. In fact, thats the reason to build dex based on most servers.
The downside is Dex based characters , don't get hit ... but they also do not do high damage output either. ( not with-out high levels of sneak attack added in.)
I mean you watched Jess back in the Ruins with Lanselare ... he smack down 3-4 enemies, and watch her struggle to chip away at one.

Yeah, high AC makes surviving encounters "better" , but it still does little good as far as combat goes. Especially when swarmed or surrounded.

I mean you know how to stack items and play the system, because you know everything about the server ... but those of us "discovering" things as we go, simply cannot match that knowledge level easily enough to make the dex builds anything close to hard armor characters.
Case in point -
Jess was topped out at 39 AC with-out haste when wearing cloth armor ( not forged , using tolmar cloth or the one from the green dragon ) , with haste gaining 40-42 max. Thats with Shield spell, Prot from Evil , Mage Armor added.
( Using Tolmar Plate and Tower Shield now , I can gain up to 49 AC maxed out, with spells and hasted. )

Incartus at the same level range, boasting 60+ AC before haste all from hard armor stacking, no Shield spell, no mage armor spell , and only occasionally I boosted him with Prot from Evil. Incartus did not use barkskin pots, just the regular ability pots like bulls strength, cats grace, endurance ...ect.

I still do not believe a dex based character , can ever gain as much or more AC as hard armor characters based off the experience of playing a dex comparing it to a build like Incartus had.
At least, not with-out spending roughly fifteen times more forge tokens just to reach those same values, and barely getting there at that with haste going.
Not on alangara they can't. I simply do not think it's possible , unless one invest all 40 levels in grinding out extra gold and cherries just to get custom forged gear , which will cost a dex build at least fifteen times more ( probably more than that ).

On other servers , it's the exact opposite. Usually the had armor types , are complaining they do not have enough AC , and dex based classes seem to rule as far as High AC goes.

But the only things high AC grants a character is a increased chance of surviving physical combat. TO me , that's a good strategy, and you trade off AC for lower ineffective damage outputs. So, you don't get hit ... but you also can't fight your way out of a wet paper bag either.

So, yeah a monk AC with the +12 bonus from WIS if maxed, might render a potentially high AC , and a monk might not get hit much. But from what I've seen of Alangara , I think that'd be the only real perk to the class. The damage output, will never be high enough, to be comparative to a fighter.
In fact, see it with limited points to spend to boost wis or dex up, I have a hard time seeing even a monk at level 40 attaining 60 AC still.
It may be possible ... but very difficult to do still.

But, no ... I can't say you are wrong in your assessment at all. Because, I simply do not know all features or the server like you do. I don't even know how encounters or monsters are built , to be opposition to what classes are available , nor what anything beyond Jess' level ranges are like.
So, I can't base my ideas on the class , with-out knowing the "big picture" of course.

From my perspective, I honestly do not think it's be a game breaking aspect to include them ... if one could somehow tone down that foot speed of theirs of course.

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