Treating a development phase on this server like the personal testing grounds for pet character builds has led us to the crux of this problem. No progress towards meaningful challenge design, character balance or freedom of choice can be achieved with this as the ulterior motive to feature implementation.
Is it being done to fulfill an inwardly facing need for self-satisfaction?
We need a course correction in design philosophy, one with a broader scope on creating an interesting challenge level for all classes.
Not one whose only recourse is to invalidate the experience of adequate challenge through complete obsolescence of character efficacy as demonstrated by the development of Beholder's Anti - Magic Cone and the Flesh Golem Aura flooding out non divine charisma based characters.
In addition we do not need a design outlook that only sees higher and higher numbers as the only option for character growth as demonstrated by the fine tuning of arcanes.
(Solo Bossified Ex 8 Belphegor Rift Kill by Unequipped Sorc/Pal)
Players and encounter designers need more fun tools to play with and players need an item system designed to create more options for players to choose not less.
I'd like to put forward the framework of item system that challenges players to reexamine their character through the addition of Mythic feats, not accessible to them under normal optimized build constraints. Targeting about 85% of the time.
Brumm's Item Generator is perhaps the most interesting aspect of RoTs reward systems yet is completely overshadowed/underutilized due to the power level and inflexibility of current set design.
Shamelessly aped the Magic the Gathering card collection and deck building experience. I propose we harness the random nature of the generator to allow players to create their own set bonuses based on the average ILR of the Randomly Generated Items they collect throughout the lifetime of treasure hunting.
You need to give them the ability to build things that are uniquely their own.
I've already confirmed with Brumm the existence of a handle that can discern randomly generated items versus cyborg made.
In this scenario a tradeable inventory Trinket with an activated ability similar to the DM event reward items scans the player for average ILR of Randomly Generated Items Equipped and generates attributes accordingly. Creating a one per character, tradeable, reforgeable seed for a character reroll or starting a new character.
If you get your random item system good it makes your game replayable.
An item system similar to this would encourage repeat play through, support new players in their acclimation, represent near infinite avenues of character efficacy customization and bring donations into the server. Forgive the crudity of this model.
(Avg ILR of RGIE * Number of RGIE/6) with something like this utilizing more RGIE than 6 would contribute more towards the Average ILR perhaps bridging the gap in break points at tier shifts.
Tier 1 ILR 1-6
Tier 2 ILR 7-13
Tier 3 ILR 14-20
Tier 4 ILR 21-27
Tier 5 ILR 28-34
Tier 6 ILR 35-39
Mythic Tier 40+
Tier 1 - Regen. one of the most important attributes for oddly mismatched fights when leveling where rollin 20s is the only thing important and the only thing keeping you from succeeding is impossibly long fights and the inability to rest.
Tier 2 - Randomized Status immunity that is mutually exclusive to the current set design Immunity suite but is not represented in the archetype endemically.
Tier 3 - Randomized Spell Based Clicky that Shores up one of many particular weaknesses in the archetype or provides general per rest utility.
Tier 4 - Randomized Spell Slots or Mid Ranged Utility Feat (Toughness/Combat Expertise/Armor Skin/Expert Tactician)
Tier 5 - Defensive Power Adjustment - Preparing the player for boss fights and farming other uniques.
Increase to Combat Endurance* for Martials/Warlock
*In this scenario the Combat Endurance feat for martials adds increased hps as well as the regen to shore up the gap between Caster free CON bonus and epic warding and access to heals.
Increase to defensive oriented spell school Caster level
Abjuration for Arcane
Transmutation for Nature
Abjuration/Conjuration for Cleric
Tier 6 - Offensive Power Adjustment - Increasing Mastery and Suppressive Power
Martial Randomized 1-3 AB addition and %Combat Lethality Boost
Offensive spell school Caster level increase
Warlock Ability Focus Blast, Ability Focus Invocation and Harsh Caster.
Mythic Tier - At the very end of the current RGI scale we encourage trying out something different with your character or rolling a new through the randomized addition of keystone feats that serve as a platform for exploring different builds or simply add more power to your current build.
Martial feat examples Shadow Strike, Epic Precision, Whirlwind, Caster's Bane, Shield Skin, Epic Dodge, Greater Two-Weapon Defense, Epic Damage Reduction
Casters feat examples are Practical Metamagic, Piercing Cold, Master Summoner or if they are particularly adventurous Daggercast, Bladesong Style, Divine Might.
At about 15% of the time no new feats are added in its stead a randomized increase in Defensive or Offensive power adjustment.
Martial power handles need to be firmly in place beforehand with adjustments to Epic Combat Endurance to bridge the gap in mitigation between Epic Warding.
Hypothetical parameters for power metrics used above could again devolve into unnecessary arguments over number crunching and only serve to distract or ignore the roots of the problem laid out in part 1 and 2.
ILR is all over the place and currently doesn't scale past 30. A new lookup table would need to be created that references Brumm's Item Generator and scales accordingly. In the hypothetical scenario above Tier 6 unlocks when 6 or more pieces of individual randomly generated items have rolled at least one top tier RG Modifier on each of the pieces. Mythic tier would only unlock if 2 or more top tier RG mods spawn on all your randomly generated items. Gathering this many rare items should be a mythic feat.
A stop gap needs to be in place to ensure the randomly generated items maintain ILR Tier parity with the generated Trinket. Specifically not the exact RGIE configuration to allow for even more flexibility and freedom of item choice.
Discussion points for implementation
What should the donation cost be?
What should the cost (Gold/Shards) to reforge these tokens be?
How do we want to ritualize this process for RP purposes? I was imagining the Adventurer's equivalent of a Victor('s)ia's Secret Outfitter seeking to profit off player's magical panty raids.
Should this be a season only mechanic?
Despite the challenges laid out above I believe an incentive structure similar to this would create near endless opportunities for character build exploration, allow players to create truly unique characters while working in the confines of current set design, aversion to perceived loss of power and KC's finely honed Occam's Razor.
With a presence on the front page I believe it will also bring donations into the server not just from new players wanting to try out the current sets but also from entrenched players who are looking for something interesting to do with their hoard of odds and ends with no home.
1. Subjective design philosophy has been a problem since the beginning due to lack of development of feats that represent tools already available to casters.
2. Subjective design in item rewards continues to be a problem for martials in an attempt to rectify this lack of development.
3. Despite the class and encounter design imbalances I've outlined, I am not advocating for any nerfs. Only slight buffs to combat endurance and lethality for martials as a handle on item design.
4. Focus should be on creating feats characters and encounter designers can use to create adequate challenges.
5. Proposal for an alternative item system that provides an outlet for players who seek to challenge themselves with new character builds. Current item sets remain the default best option for the defenses, immunities, saves and damage boosts they provide.