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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Reason You're NOT a Game Designer- The Debate Over Saves

Everyone has seen this guy on the Internet. You know him. He's the guy who thinks he can make an uber character or "fix" a rule in an established game system. Every time I look at a homebrew thread I pretty much want to choke the shit out of whoever wrote it. It really just seems like most of the time the people coming up with this bullshit don't have the foggiest idea about the mechanics behind the games they are playing. 9 times out of ten this guy makes something ridiculously over powered or that isn't congruent with the current state of the game system.

Case in point, this is what Captain_trips01 had to say about how he thinks cover saves should work (I will snowmobile in red):

Hey guys, just some ideas I had about some minor changes to cover saves.

1st: Weapons of strength 8 or higher impose a -1 to cover saves taken
against them ~so kind of like fantasy, but more arbitrary, since honestly something like a melta gun or railgun is probably going to go through most kinds of cover. ~so are railguns and meltas getting an additional bonus. If 40k needs one thing to fix it, it's another chart
2nd, when a unit takes cover saves given to them by an intervening unit or model, for every save passed the intervening unit is hit by the saved weapon wound on a roll of 4+. (basically, every saved cover save from intervening models has a 50% chance to take that saved hit instead). ~I think I had to read that like 5 times before I could figure out what the fuck he was trying to say. Allow me to translate into English- 'when targeting a unit receiving cover from an intervening unit apply each wound saved by the target unit to the intervening unit on a roll of 4+.' Well, now that I can understand your rule, I think it sucks major ass. Can you imagine trying to add all this shit into a game with a time limit? Nice to see somebody trying to over complicate things when the trend is to streamline them. What if there are multiple intervening units? Didn't plan on that one, did ya?
Thoughts, opinions, derogatory comments about my mother?
~ I heard she sucks cocks in hell.

Great job dude. Arbitrary mechanics and bogging down a game that is meant to be played fast. That should go over well. Stupid rules, no doubt, but it only gets worse from here.

In another recent thread about the same topic Darkvoidof40k proves that he is dense and void of intelligence. How would he fix cover saves? Well, since you asked.....

"My space marine captain has power armour and a forcefield. He is shot by a
lasgun while in the cover of a ruin. The lasgun, being a weapon of untold fail ~I think what you meant was a weapon of untold reliability. This is the same guy who will be extolling the virtues of fluff over good lists in some other thread. Good thing he fails at fluff, automatically bypasses the cover and the forcefield as if it wasn't there. WTF"

This isn't for everybody, so no flame or RAEG please. Constructive critisism and discussion only. ~it's almost like he knows how badly he's about to fail at life. If only his precognitive abilities could have saved him from looking the fool.
Anyway, onto the actual proposed rules:

take the aforementioned Captain for instance. In his situation, under my
rules, he would first take a 4+ cover save, which if failed, he would take his
4+ invulnerable save, which if failed would mean he takes his 3+ save. ~sssssssllllllloooooooooowwwwwwwwww ppppppppppllllllllllllaaaaaaaaayyyyyy

So basically, a model gets to take all of these saves in this order if
it has them and if it is not prevented from taking them.
Cover save
Invulnerable save
Armour save

This is likely to make Vulcan Terminators rediculous ~everyone knows that Vulcan Termies are actually greendiculous under these rules, but oh well. ~so what you're trying to say is that you run a Vulcan army, so you're creating a rule to pump up your own dudes If it really matters that much, then you could just make them cost more points, or not use these rules. ~so we've now gone from "I think this is a quick fix to make cover saves more realistic" to "here is how I would overhaul the entire rules system and re-work every codex because I just unbalanced the game off a cliff."
Also, before anyone starts saying, ~it'll overpower certain units and unbalance the game "it'll overpower certain units and unbalance the game" - as I said before withthe Terminators, just add on however many pts you think is fair. ~well that'll certainly fix the gaping hole you just blew into the rules. Leave it up to the players to decide. I'll add 0 points to my Terminators. That seems fair, right?

Two MAJOR problems with the above "fix." First, throwing more dice means slower play, as with our previous example. Second, as Void points out, this creates huge imbalances in the system. Problem is, he hasn't bothered to look into just how badly his rules change throws things out of whack. Models with already low saves in addition to cover/invulnerable saves will get exponentially better than troops with low saves. Don't believe me, let's shoot some lasguns...pew pew.

I'm setting up a target range in my basement right now. I'll be using a lasgun and I have a ballistic skill of 3 (sorry Reecius, we can't all be veterans). My first target will be a regular Terminator in Cover (2+ armor, 4+ cover, and 5+ invlunerable save). My second target will be an Ork (4+ cover save and 6+ armor save).

First volley will be done with the rules as the currently exist.

Terminator has a 1/2 x 1/3 x 1/6 x 100% = 2.78% chance of being killed.

Ork has a 1/2 x 1/3 x 5/6 x 100% = 8.33% chance of being killed

Now for the second volley, we'll use the proposed changes, giving the Terminator 3 saves to the Ork's 2 saves.

Terminator now has a 1/2 x 1/3 x 1/6 x 1/2 x 2 /3 x 100% = 0.93% chance of being killed (or you have to shoot each Terminator 107.53 times).

Ork now has a 1/2 x 1/3 x 1/2 x 5/6 x 100% = 6.94% chance of being killed

So with the proposed rules changes, the Terminator is now more survivable by a factor of 2.78% / 0.93% = 2.98

The Ork's survivability only increases by a factor of 8.33% / 6.94% = 1.20

Now you're playing Danabnetthammer! Pretty fucked up when you look at it with the most basic statistical analysis, no.... Now imagine if those Terminators had Stormshields... eep. So the single save system is far superior, as it doesn't give ridiculous advantages to certain types of troopers. The current system is great for keeping this balanced.


Randroid said...

Eh .. I don't buy into the "it will slow down play" argument. Fantasy has multiple saves (up to 3) and it is plenty fast.

Not to say the ideas aren't bad, ill conceived, and poorly planned ... they are.

Then again it is possible GW will kill the multiple saves in WHFB to make the game more in line with 40k. I don't like that idea but I can see why they would do it ...

The CPT said...

I'm running a tournament this weekend, and I think I'll run the multiple save idea as a special rule for the tournament*.

I'll let ya'll know how it goes if I don't get shanked after the first games.

*joking. I have to caveat here because some people are really stupid and take shit literally.

kennedy said...

I've heard the "stacking saves rule!" argument so many damn times.

Honestly, what it comes down to is GW made the decision to move 40k rules away from fantasy rules pretty early on. While they weren't entirely successful, they did get rid of armor and shooting modifiers (eventually), movement values and stacking saves. Now, we've been through... what? Three editions that lacked these rules? And people just keep wanting to put them back in. Why? Well, they play marines and can't get over the fact that they'll lose a termie on a 1. What they really want are the old termie saves of 3+ on 2d6 (which I remember being a pain in the ass). But they can't come out and say that because it would make them look like tools. So they say this instead which still makes them look like tools. Win?

The_King_Elessar said...

"Ork now has a 1/2 x 1/3 x 1/2 x 1/2 x 100% = 8.94% chance of being killed
" - Typo.

Anyway, stacking saves only work with Save Modifiers. And/or AP values for CCWs. Or Save Mods for CCWs, more betterly.

It was Dakka - it's full of morons yelling nonsense at each other because they're so fucking stupid they can't even have a coherent thought, and have to deride anyone who does.

Dethtron said...

typo fixed- the end result was right, but I forgot to fix something earlier on :) good catch TKE, you are now Dickmove Mathlete of the week!

John Laubersheimer said...

Ahhhh... the sweet smell of people trying to add 'realism' to a wargame set 38 thousand years in the future.

Fucking Jackasses.

Anonymous said...

I'd be all for that system. I think a TH/SS termie would cost about 300 points. A unit of 5 for a 1500 game, would be sweet.

Oh... but I'd have no scoring units!

And do they get a bit more expensive if they start in cover because they get an extra 4+ cover save!

That would be hilarious though, a unit of termies would need over 1000 shots to take them down!

Anonymous said...

p.s. I think the termie calculation is a bit out too.

The one you've got is for a SS, not the standard 5++.

The 1/3 should be a 2/3 at the end, as it is chance of being killed, not chance of survival.


Dethtron said...

arg Loring you got me. Note to self, don't do math after 1:00 in the morning after starting at dakka stupidity for over an hour :(

I think a new segment is about to be born though...more on that later if I have time.

MagicJuggler said...

And having Cover, an Invulnerable, an Armor Save, and Feel No Pain...let's not get into how Blood Angel Terminators would fare under such a proposed fix...

Anonymous said...

Right, I'm now gunning for the title!

F*ck sharing sh*t with TKE!

Check you edit out!

"Terminator has a 1/2 x 1/3 x 1/6 x 100% = 2.78% chance of being killed.
Terminator now has a 1/2 x 1/3 x 1/6 x 1/2 x 2 /3 x 100% = 0.93% chance of being killed (or you have to shoot each Terminator 107.53 times)
So with the proposed rules changes, the Terminator is now more survivable by a factor of 2.78% / 0.46% = 2.98"

Since when has 2.78/0.46 been 2.98? I'd love to snowmobile (nice word ;p) and point out the fail, but it's difficult to when there are no options for different colours :(

Dethtron said...

haha, forgot to change the .46 to .93. it's almost like it's on purpose at this point.

SandWyrm said...

Actually, I'm all for putting save modifiers back into the game. They didn't get dropped because they slowed the game down. They got dropped because the 14yo kiddies that GW was trying to attract to 40K were put off by the need to do simple addition during the game.

Which is somewhat understandable, as I've taught plenty of first year college students that can't confidently tell me what 10 + 2 is, or use a ruler without being told what the little marks mean. But I also don't think that these kids are going to be attracted to 40K in the first place.

Dethtron said...

quoth sandwyrm: "Actually, I'm all for putting save modifiers back into the game. They didn't get dropped because they slowed the game down. They got dropped because the 14yo kiddies that GW was trying to attract to 40K were put off by the need to do simple addition during the game"

Agreed, but that was kind of what I was getting at with slowing the game down. Considering that the kids these days can't do math without calculators, I think adding any additional addition to the game bogs it down a wee bit. I don't think it's a bad idea to add it in, but I think it's gone for good. I wouldn't even be surprised if WFB drops this in 8th ed either, since all rumors point to speeding the gameplay up. I blame vidya games for reducing attention spans and lazy math teachers for failing to teach "the fundamentals." when I have trolls of my own you can be damn sure they're learning some math before tey start school.

DFM said...

I got a third grader who's on multiplication tables and division already. I don't remember being that far into math when i was in the third grade.

I got him into that damned Bakugan game with his little brother. Gotta make em read the cards and add up the "g-power". Math becomes less of a chore if it's something that they want to do for it.

I blame lazy ass parents who want to blame kids teachers and everyone else for them not stepping up and helping their kids with their schoolwork.

Then again, odds are mommy and daddy were too interested in playing hide the sausage than learning anything from grade 7 on.