Thursday, April 30, 2009

Player's Handbook 2 Feats Corrected

After my previous post, it was pointed out that I overlooked the fact that the non-AC defense (I've seen this abbeviated as NAD) boosting feats are all typed "feat" bonuses except for the three Epic feats. This means that, at paragon level, you won't want to take the "+2 to one defense" feats if you take Paragon Defenses. Now, I always thought those feats were pretty mediocre anyways. But now what I see is that if you take Paragon Defenses in the early Paragon levels, it should bring your NAD's up to par, but they will still fall behind at mid to high paragon levels. But also, some characters will take armor specialization to bring AC even higher, and ensure that NAD's still fall behind. Once you reach Epic, everyone should take Robust Defenses, which at level 21 may almost make up the lost ground on AC. NAD's would fall behind again as you reach mid-to-high epic, except that you have those "+4 to one defense" feats.

These are at the point where it is unclear whether the players will take none, some, or all of them. My analysis of the monster manual was that at heroic level, monsters attacks are approximately 70% AC, 10% Fortitude, 15% Reflex, and 5% Will. I haven't had a chance to analyze higher tiers. Informal perusal suggests that non-AC attacks are more common at higher tiers, but AC is still probably as important or more than the other 3 combined. So +4 to one defense isn't necessarily better than +1 AC, which I think of as a solid but not overwhelming thing to get from a feat. Except that +4 is big enough that you may start becoming awfully hard to hit at all, which can be quite tactically useful. So it will depend on the character's design and how good other feat choices seem to be. But if you do take a +4 feats, that is a huge difference. If everyone takes all 3, they will be short on feats, but they will have extremely high defenses in the "strong" areas that match with their statistics. If only some characters take the +4, and only in some areas, it seems like the numeric chaos of high level combat will increase even more, where monsters may auto-hit some characters and be less than 50% to hit others. This is disappointing, I liked the way that, at least at lower levels, 4th edition tries to make sure your chance of hitting almost always falls into a reasonable range.

1 comment:

  1. There is a discussion on this matter in the game design fanatic forum (see sidebar).