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Originally Posted by Sharp

If we ask the question, "is balance good," the answer is, in my opinion, it depends what you sacrifice to achieve balance. Imo it is fine to have a slightly out of balanced system, provided it makes for more enjoyable gameplay. Obviously, fun is subjective, so that comes down to player preference, but there are some things which surfaces very clearly do add to the gameplay. For example.

• Opportunity cost of deciding whether you want to remove the surface or leave it there.
• Restricting movement.
• Adding interesting elemental interactions (the whole cloud thing div 2 had).
• Rewarding clever gameplay (being creative with the surfaces).

It also obviously has the following downsides.

• When its always easier to apply a surface than it is to remove it, the opportunity cost is pretty much gone because the best solution is always, "live with it." To avoid this, the relative ease of applying a surface needs to match the ease of removing it (for example, a free action "douse" which would put out a flame on the character and a small space surrounding them would be roughly equal to the ease of the cantrip).
• It messes with balance.

I am a fan of surfaces because of those first 4 points there and I can live with the 2nd negative, the 1st negative is the one which is imo more important because it counters the 4 points that I mentioned above. This was a problem in DOS 2 because of Necrofire (an ooze just needed to move around to apply it, but it took 2 spells to remove it).


So implicit in what you're saying in the first line here is the idea that balance entails a sacrifice by necessity, which is a mistake. I'll leave the counter-example to your imagination so we don't get bogged down in another series of misunderstandings. Sometimes I forget that not everyone has exposure to syllogistic logic.

The rest of it is you arguing against a strawman or going on tangents that don't directly pertain to what I said. I get the sense that you're trying to prove this isn't a particular type of PVP game for some reason. I'm not sure if you have an annoying friend IRL who keeps treating it that way, but whether or not it's a PvP game, or a certain type of PVP game is not really relevant to anything I said. Any number of the interventions you describe as uniquely environmental could just as easily be managed by another player without changing the nature of the game or the intended goals of the systems in it (i.e. enabling or preventing the player from beating the campaign.) It doesn't matter except in terms of the player's motivation whether 20 goblins are controlled by an AI or by a human being, I think your arguments here are more emblematic of your own competitive nature than anything to do with formalizing categories with design utility.

But there are some interesting things here: I think your points about the economy of surfaces are really interesting, thinking about how many actions it takes to remove them and the balance considerations that arise during spell selection vis-a-vis the number and type of surfaces that exist organically in the game. I.E. it will emerge that firebolt is better than acid splash if there are X combustible objects in the first Y hours of the game. Hopefully this is something that Larian is thinking about. Also considering that it may also slow the pace of combat by lowering the DPT of characters who focus on removing surfaces, or martial classes that have to maneuver around them to position for optimal damage output. How do you think these interventions might affect fights later in the game? While fire's damage may not scale, your fighter going suddenly prone on an ice surface will.

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Originally Posted by Limz

That's blatantly false because your first move isn't going to be to use acid under many conditions, same goes for ray of frost, etc. Nor will it often be your second or third action. Nor is party of four wizards only using cantrips going to be a superior composition over every other combination - EA or not. So, the answer is no it's not overpowered. You can argue that it is strong, but when you take a look at action economy and actual game play you won't be using those cantrips in first order of priority.


Gosh, what use could there possibly be for an 18 meter range, 2 meter splash spell you can target precisely, which leaves a -2 AC debuff surface which sticks around forever. What use could there possibly be for an spammable extra 10% chance to hit in a game where the to hit is usually between 40 and 70 percent?

"No it's not OP" is not an argument.


Originally Posted by Limz

You're literally the person who made a comparison of a physical fighter not being able to match a cantrip as an example of cantrips being overpowered -- you are the one who said that, in the current version of the game, a fighter is WEAKER than a cantrip. That's how stupid you are.


Someone who can't do basic math has no place calling anyone else "stupid".



Originally Posted by Eugerome

As far as I can tell the damage goes as follows: firebolt hits or misses dealing 1d6 or 0 damage, the area under the target is set on fire. The target receives the "Burning" condition, which deal 1d4 damage immediately, and one more time during the targets next turn, after which the "Burning" condition is gone. If the target moves through a fire surface the burning condition is re-applied. If the target does not move and stands still in a fire the "Burning" condition is not applied.

The enemies don't have to move through that burning area. If you managed to snipe 2 goblins standing next to each other - good on you, that feels good to me.


Two skeletons, and it does not feel good to me, because Larian said this was a game based on 5e, and that is not at all what the spell is intended to be doing.


Originally Posted by Eugerome

That assumption is based on the Fire Bolt cantrip, which says it deals 1d6 fire damage (at level 1-4), which I would assume is bumped up to 2d6 at level 5, following general 5e cantrip scaling. The 1d4 is not mentioned anywhere in the cantrip, but rather is tied to the "Burning" condition. Which I assume won't scale with levels, because it does not scale in DOS games.


The Firebolt cantrip was changed from 1d10 with an additional 1d10 at 5th, 11th and 17th levels to 1d6 direct and 1d4 burning. 6 + 4 = 10. 12 + 4 does NOT equal 20. Of course they're going to scale the Burning status.

It's completely absurd to say with a straight face that the 1d4 won't scale because that the cantrip doesn't mention the 1d4 burning status scaling. The whole reason for the 1d4 burning existing at all is why the direct damage was reduced to 1d6.


Originally Posted by Eugerome
My point is that 5e cantrips (apart from Eldritch Blast, which is why it is good) are weaker than multiattack.


We aren't talking about levels where multiattack is a thing. We're talking about the balance we can see in front of us. And if there are rule changes causing a problems of balance with cantrips, it stands to reason that there are likely going to be rule changes causing problems of balance with 3rd, 4th, and 5th level spells too.

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Surfaces are present in D&D but not in the way BG3 handles them.

A smart party of D&D players will use a lot of oil and ignite it as well as use poison because doing so is a lot of free damage. But oil burns for 2 turns and does 10 damage total. Poison only works for one strike.

And lots of effects in tabletop D&D create "difficult terrain" which halves movement or knocks you prone. So where are the ball bearings? Where are the swampy bits of ground?

I think that the surfaces are indeed present in D&D but they're of a very different flavour.

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Originally Posted by Xemeron
First of: I love playing with the enviroment in DOS. Its one of the things that makes Battles way more dynamic, even though just setting stuff on fire was the answer way too often, I feel like it had more pros than cons by far...

But I was worried, that you guys would go the same route in BG3, and I seem to be right. And it just doesnt work for a game based on D&Ds System.

You see, in DOS; Spells were only limited by Cooldowns and Action points. That meant manipulating the enviroment was way easier and more dynamic. When your Mage could cast Rain, you could just use it against enemies fire attacks to get your party out of a bad situation, with the only ressources needed being AP and putting the spell on a short Cooldown.

Now we go to D&D. Spells are limited here, everything you do takes spellslots and you only have one action per turn. Suddendly that burning floor becomes way harder to deal with than it was in DOS; because not only does your Wizard have to spend his Action on casting Create Water, but also use one of his valuable Spellslots to do so. That Goblin who just threw Alchemie Fire and set the Oil Barrel on fire had used its Action to deal alot of Damage AND basically stun your Wizard this turn, because he had to waste his action now.

D&D and DOS work on two very different systems. There is a reason why Spells that have lasting effects in D&D always costs concentration, because just having permanent ground effects is just not what the System was balanced around.

Please, use your time to rework the system. At least give us Spells like rain as a bonus Action Cantrip or something if you really want to keep enviroment effects in as they are, because in their current state, they are way too strong and will become the only way to play the game if they stay.



This works two ways though. You can do the same to them as what they can do to you. When I DM sessions the players want to do things like throw a jar of oil into a pit then set it alight to kill the monsters in said pit. And I let them because its innovative thinking.

I abuse the shit out of the push function to make combats easier. But at one point a clacker did the same to me. Pushed a character of my party over a cliff and one shotted her. It was awesome, and now I think more carefully where I place my characters.

The same goes for surfaces. I make sure I am not vulnerable by planning where I go and what I do. At the same time doing things like throwing explosive objects to create area effects.


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Originally Posted by st33d
Surfaces are present in D&D but not in the way BG3 handles them.

A smart party of D&D players will use a lot of oil and ignite it as well as use poison because doing so is a lot of free damage. But oil burns for 2 turns and does 10 damage total. Poison only works for one strike.

And lots of effects in tabletop D&D create "difficult terrain" which halves movement or knocks you prone. So where are the ball bearings? Where are the swampy bits of ground?

I think that the surfaces are indeed present in D&D but they're of a very different flavour.


There's your example of surfaces handled well, oil burning for 2 turns and only doing 20 damage total? Perfect. That's a reasonable balance. Also, is there a saving through against the burning oil? (seem like a lot of burning effects have a saving throw against them to halve the damage). The difference that instead of only lasting 2 turns and doing a max of 10 damage in BG3, I can make a massive pool of fire that will burn for a stupidly long time and has no maximum damage cap, meaning that any enemy in the middle of this pool of fire isn't capped to only taking 10 damage so they can (and have) very easily burned to death by running to get out of the fire, even with plenty of HP left. If surfaces lasted less time and had a max cap on the damage they could deal, and also required either a higher level spell or some kind of extra ingredient such as oil/grease for fire to burn then it would probably be easier to handle. As is I can just have my Eldritch Knight and Wizard spam firebolt or ray of frost cantrips all over the place to create areas that burn or knock enemies prone

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Originally Posted by Yawning Spider

So implicit in what you're saying in the first line here is the idea that balance entails a sacrifice by necessity, which is a mistake. I'll leave the counter-example to your imagination so we don't get bogged down in another series of misunderstandings. Sometimes I forget that not everyone has exposure to syllogistic logic.


There is always a trade-off in order to achieve something, even if the trade-off happens to be time. For example, lets assume they implemented surfaces as they currently are in the EA, then did some focus testing to determine how much they need to improve martials in order to keep the system balanced and then made that implementation. Time was lost while doing this and time is a resource. If you assume time is not sacrificed, that means something else is, unless you assume the developers have perfect knowledge and create a flawless system on the first try without messing anything up. If that was the case, we would not be having this discussion anyhow.

The more complex you make a rule set, the harder it becomes to balance because the more variables there are to adjust for. Sure, its easy to give examples of very simplistic, perfectly balanced games (for example, Rock, Paper, Scissors), but the moment you want to add more depth to a system, you need to sacrifice something.


Originally Posted by Yawning Spider

The rest of it is you arguing against a strawman or going on tangents that don't directly pertain to what I said. I get the sense that you're trying to prove this isn't a particular type of PVP game for some reason. I'm not sure if you have an annoying friend IRL who keeps treating it that way, but whether or not it's a PvP game, or a certain type of PVP game is not really relevant to anything I said. Any number of the interventions you describe as uniquely environmental could just as easily be managed by another player without changing the nature of the game or the intended goals of the systems in it (i.e. beating the campaign.) It doesn't matter except in terms of the player's motivation whether 20 goblins are controlled by an AI or by a human being, I think your arguments here are more emblematic of your own competitive nature than anything to do with formalizing categories with design utility.


I was making comparisons between this game and a PVP game (where balance is absolutely the core of the game) to draw attention to the key differences. And sure, whilst any number of monster interactions could be managed to another player, they aren't and they likely never will be, so that is a non analogous comparison because one of the limitations we are imposing on the system by having it within a computer game is that it is controlled by a computer and there are massive differences between a computer and a real person. For one, the computer can only react to situations it has been programmed to deal with, its a very narrow "intelligence" (if you can even call it that) with a whole lot of limitations and a creative player can easily bypass those limitations. This is incidentally why a player can get away with killing that entire goblin camp in the first place, because if it was a vindictive player controlling those goblins, the players would be very, very dead.

Originally Posted by Yawning Spider

How do you think these interventions might affect fights later in the game? While fire's damage may not scale, your fighter going suddenly prone on an ice surface will.

I think it depends on a few factors. If there was a surface that did 200d10 damage for example every round, even if it took you 3 rounds to remove it, you would probably make removing it a high priority. They could also scale fire surfaces at a high level by increasing the damage of surfaces as the player level increased. We don't really know what they are planning to do beyond spell level 2 right now and there are lots of ways which surfaces could become far more broken, or far more underwhelming. I mentioned above why I like surfaces, its possible to include them, without completely skewing balance. Although I acknowledge that even if they are made inefficient action wise to apply, by virtue of being there they make casters stronger by giving them more options.

An example I saw mentioned somewhere which I personally liked is if targeting the ground created a surface but targeting an enemy did not. This creates a situation where a player needs to decide whether they want the surface, or the direct damage and keeps the surface dynamics in the game. They could up the cantrip surface damage to say 1d6 if a player throws it on the ground and have it deal 1d10 fire damage directly. If the AI walks through the fire, it has a potential to maybe do more than 1d10 (I have seen some enemies do weird stuff on flaming ground which resulted in them taking 3+ ticks for example) and so it has a potential to do more but also a potential to do nothing.

Last edited by Sharp; 13/10/20 12:17 AM.
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So, I think the Acid Splash AC-2 debuff will not stack. I had Gail and my Wizard spam it on a Boss and Shadowheart attack % stayed the same. Still do think it's Overpowered because with multiple people able to cast it, could cover the area a fight is happening in.,

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Originally Posted by Sharp
There is always a trade-off in order to achieve something [...] Time was lost while doing this and time is a resource.

Oh mercy. This is exceptionally trite, even for a forum argument. Of course real-world resources like time are consumed in the course of any behavior. If the only idea you wanted to express was that space-time exists, you didn't need to post anything at all. The manner in which the statement supported your argument implied you believed balance entails distinct sacrifice, and you gave the example of fun. To reply that it's an action subject to the laws of physics is bad faith argumentation in its purest form.

Originally Posted by Sharp
If you assume time is not sacrificed, that means something else is, unless you assume the developers have perfect knowledge and create a flawless system on the first try without messing anything up

Non-sequitur in the original domain of discourse, but since we're now talking about whether or not actions exist in dimensional reality, I have to "concede" that this is technically true. In the domain of the original discussion to a reasonable observer, however, this is untrue. Again, I don't want to get bogged down in more slippery argumentation, but additive balance is a thing. You can expand a game space to produce a larger number of win-viable game states for all parties - though if you wanted to be slippery, you could argue a degree of parsimony is sacrificed in that case, but that's really just more bad faith argumentation. You clearly meant the number or quality of game states would be reduced, and if not, your argument becomes nothing more than the tautology "things change when they are changed."

At any rate, I'm glad we've finally come to agree that balance is a critical component of designing a cooperative game, as no development team makes a perfect product on first go and are likely to make a mistake that requires balancing (kind of like if you, say, made a game of Solitaire where you win every time you place a card down, eh?) Now you just need to recognize that classes and class options are a set of player choices and that player choice is a significant and common, if not the most significant and common, avenue for game balance.

Originally Posted by Sharp
I was making comparisons between this game and a PVP game (where balance is absolutely the core of the game) to draw attention to the key differences. And sure, whilst any number of monster interactions could be managed to another player, they aren't and they likely never will be, so that is a non analogous comparison because one of the limitations we are imposing on the system by having it within a computer game is that it is controlled by a computer and there are massive differences between a computer and a real person. For one, the computer can only react to situations it has been programmed to deal with, its a very narrow "intelligence" (if you can even call it that) with a whole lot of limitations and a creative player can easily bypass those limitations. This is incidentally why a player can get away with killing that entire goblin camp in the first place, because if it was a vindictive player controlling those goblins, the players would be very, very dead.


Again man, this just has nothing to do with what we were talking about and I don't understand why you want to drag me into it. Besides, look at all the caveats: "they likely never will be" (exactly, which is why this line of discussion is weird and pointless, and does not constitute a meaningful or useful delineation for creating categories of balance) "a vindictive player", "an intelligent player," you can just as easily design an AI to make vindictive or intelligent choices. In fact an unconstrained AI would probably be better at making those choices than an average player, it's not 1980 anymore. Even if this were meaningful or relevant, it's a bad line of argument.

Originally Posted by Sharp
I think it depends on a few factors. If there was a surface that did 200d10 damage for example every round, even if it took you 3 rounds to remove it, you would probably make removing it a high priority. They could also scale fire surfaces at a high level by increasing the damage of surfaces as the player level increased. We don't really know what they are planning to do beyond spell level 2 right now and there are lots of ways which surfaces could become far more broken, or far more underwhelming. I mentioned above why I like surfaces, its possible to include them, without completely skewing balance. Although I acknowledge that even if they are made inefficient action wise to apply, by virtue of being there they make casters stronger by giving them more options.

An example I saw mentioned somewhere which I personally liked is if targeting the ground created a surface but targeting an enemy did not. This creates a situation where a player needs to decide whether they want the surface, or the direct damage and keeps the surface dynamics in the game. They could up the cantrip surface damage to say 1d6 if a player throws it on the ground and have it deal 1d10 fire damage directly. If the AI walks through the fire, it has a potential to maybe do more than 1d10 (I have seen some enemies do weird stuff on flaming ground which resulted in them taking 3+ ticks for example) and so it has a potential to do more but also a potential to do nothing.


Yeah, more information from Larian on their intentions for further modifications to 5E would be extremely welcome. I hope we get a series of blog posts that explain the divergence, planned divergences to come, and give us some insight into the playtesting and design philosophies that led to so many changes. I think the Steam/Larian forums would be far less divided and far more civil if they provided some first-hand information.

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+1

The surface effects do not fit the game and I hope they tone them down, if not outright remove them.

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Originally Posted by Yawning Spider

Oh mercy. This is exceptionally trite, even for a forum argument. Of course real-world resources like time are consumed in the course of any behavior. If the only idea you wanted to express was that space-time exists, you didn't need to post anything at all. The manner in which the statement supported your argument implied you believed balance entails distinct sacrifice, and you gave the example of fun. To reply that it's an action subject to the laws of physics is bad faith argumentation in its purest form.


If you want to argue we live in a universe where an infinite amount of time can be spent on making something perfect be my guest, but until we actually do, balance does imply sacrifices will be made, because major deadlines are normally fixed.

Originally Posted by Yawning Spider

Non-sequitur in the original domain of discourse, but since we're now talking about whether or not actions exist in dimensional reality, I have to "concede" that this is technically true. In the domain of the original discussion to a reasonable observer, however, this is untrue. Again, I don't want to get bogged down in more slippery argumentation, but additive balance is a thing. You can expand a game space to produce a larger number of win-viable game states for all parties - though if you wanted to be slippery, you could argue a degree of parsimony is sacrificed in that case, but that's really just more bad faith argumentation. You clearly meant the number or quality of game states would be reduced, and if not, your argument becomes nothing more than the tautology "things change when they are changed."


Yes, I did mean the number of quality game states would be reduced and I meant that because time is a finite resource, so unless you dedicate additional time to making sure that balance is maintained between states, quality will suffer. Obviously, its possible to construct arbitrary cases where this is not true, for example you could add 1 more object to rock, paper, scissors and make it a square rather than a triangle, but the more initial complexity a system has before you try to modify it, the harder doing something like this is and 5e is not rock, paper, scissors. Sure, you could also do something like give every single class a new, specific action which has identical functionality on all of them, but even that is not guaranteed to be balanced due to inter class interactions, where some classes are better able to take advantage of that action than others. Point being, if you want to make changes with the intention of adding depth, its going to come at the cost of either time or balance and probably a bit of both.


Originally Posted by Yawning Spider

At any rate, I'm glad we've finally come to agree that balance is a critical component of designing a cooperative game, as no development team makes a perfect product on first go and are likely to make a mistake that requires balancing (kind of like if you, say, made a game of Solitaire where you win every time you place a card down, eh?) Now you just need to recognize that classes and class options are a set of player choices and that player choice is a significant and common, if not the most significant and common, avenue for game balance.

I never said balance was bad, I just drew distinctions between different kinds of balance and said that I care more about one than another. System balance is in my opinion important, where the system as a whole is seen as balanced, while individual class vs class balance is not something I am particularly interested in. So long as classes have their niches and there isn't 1 class which is ideal for every single situation, I see it as more or less ok outcome. Actually, it makes for a far more interesting game when classes have different strengths and weaknesses, even if it means in some cases, certain classes feel useless because at that moment in time their specific niche isn't available to them, provided there are other cases where being that role is useful.

Originally Posted by Yawning Spider

Again man, this just has nothing to do with what we were talking about and I don't understand why you want to drag me into it. Besides, look at all the caveats: "they likely never will be" (exactly, which is why this line of discussion is weird and pointless, and does not constitute a meaningful or useful delineation for creating categories of balance) "a vindictive player", "an intelligent player," you can just as easily design an AI to make vindictive or intelligent choices. In fact an unconstrained AI would probably be better at making those choices than an average player, it's not 1980 anymore. Even if this were meaningful or relevant, it's a bad line of argument.

You were the one who brought up that you could just replace the AI with a human doing the same thing, so I just followed your line of reasoning and showed why it was an unfair comparison. Whilst you could make an AI which is designed to be more vindictive than a human, that same AI would not also be able to do more considerate decisions, because of the way AI works. Until AGI is a thing, you aren't going to have a computer making as naunced decisions as a human is. Whilst it is nice to make arguments in an idealized world where time doesn't exist and we have super intelligent AIs, its not the world we live in so we might as well stick to the real world constraints.


Originally Posted by Yawning Spider

Yeah, more information from Larian on their intentions for further modifications to 5E would be extremely welcome. I hope we get a series of blog posts that explain the divergence, planned divergences to come, and give us some insight into the playtesting and design philosophies that led to so many changes. I think the Steam/Larian forums would be far less divided and far more civil if they provided some first-hand information.

That would be nice, yes.

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Originally Posted by Pupito


Disengage is not a new invention, combining it with jump is the only new thing there (which looks pretty stupid, but I digress). Also, at the current state of EA you don't really need an "idealized" caster to take down an idealized fighter, you could literally pull it off with three cantrips: Acid Splash to reduce their AC, Firebolt to set them on fire constantly, and Ray of Frost to knock them prone over and over. Is this an idealized caster? Of course not, it's just the simple and glaring issue that Larian made cantrips so OP that a caster can easily take down a fighter with the way they changed rules around. A cantrip that sets the enemy on fire even if it misses? That's free damage, no rolls even required. One that reduces AC just be making a giant pool of acid in an area? A free way to reduce AC, which is a HUGE deal. And finally one that knocks enemies prone more often than not, slows their movement range by 10 feet, and creates a rough terrain surface that can also knock them prone and reduces their speed yet again? Good grief, casters don't even need to use spell slots with these cantrips available. That's not even an exaggeration, I have gone through several combat encounters without even realizing that Gale (the companion wizard) had no spell slots left because his cantrips are so OP I almost never use regular spells.


The context isn't in a 1v1 situation, the context is in a group where cantrips makes every class obsolete or non-competitive.

Do not forget that cantrips still take one action, so weigh that against every spell that you have in your arsenal and if you would rather cast cantrip over 'big hitters' like web, grease, ray of fire, magic missile (with the amulet), hold person, under every condition then it's clear that adjustment needs to be made - that would also be true if the majority of your scenarios show that opening or spamming cantrips is more efficient than using spells.

Furthermore, keep in mind that most of the time unless you're meta gaming, you'll be reacting to ambushes in this game which means you're probably going to be splashed with acid and you're probably going to be swarmed. Or you may be in a DPS race.








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Currently, Firebolt out does Magic Missile pretty easily in terms of what I would choose for a quick burst of firepower. Now, if I want to hit 3 enemies in one turn but sacrifice some damage to do it, I might choose magic missiles, but as it stands my wizard has been running around out of spell slots for 3 or 4 combat encounters now and I really don't feel any need to long rest to refresh them because him and my Eldritch Knight using firebolt on each of their turns is so absurdly OP that taking the long rest doesn't even seem worth it. I also just remember, in the middle of typing this, that my wizard has arcane recovery. Haven't used that once so far because cantrips are just so useful that his spell slots aren't really needed. The only time I've really gone out with spells so far is when the enemies end up getting to close to my wizard, which doesn't happen very often because of the nice little trails of fire and ice his cantrips leave all over the place to slow their progress.

But while we're comparing using cantrips to using say, 1st level spells, Firebolt out damages Magic Missiles. Max damage I can roll on Magic Missiles is 15 (1d4+1 per missile) while max damage I can stack up from a single firebolt is 18 (22 counting the burn at the start of the enemies second turn). That level of firepower already out performs several of the 1st level spells in terms of damage potential, and it also creates a fire surface that can burn other enemies that walk into it. Ray of Frost might not out damage 1st level spells, but considering how often it knocks enemies prone it doesn't really need to because it's basically a "skip an enemies turn for free" cantrip. And so far I haven't come across any spells as powerful as tossing down an Acid Splash to deal damage and reduce AC in an AoE, which just further increases my odds of hitting attacks afterwards.

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I kept close track of what happened when an enemy Fire Bolt hit me in a recent battle.

- The initial hit, the d6 rolled 2 fire damage. All the remaining dice are d4's.
- The hit inflicted burning, another 4 damage.
- The surface underneath me rolled a 1, but we're already up to 1d6 and 2d4.
- Finally, my turn again.
- I lost the burning condition, but the surface beneath me was still on fire.
- Walking off the surface inflicted burning on me again and did another 2 damage.
- When the burning status rolled around again, another 3 damage, then the status expired.
- The damage total from the single Fire Bolt was 12, but the total dice rolled were 1d6 and 4d4. Total range of damage is 5-22.

Some people might argue that the last 2 d4's were avoidable, if you use jump, but even if you want to keep the surface, it should not tick not tick twice. It's a cantrip.


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Originally Posted by Limz

Dipping weapons in a fire source is fucking freely available if you actually play the game, it's called a candle, and can be freely dropped and lit.


Thinking about it for a moment, this defense is ridiculous. Are you seriously going to carry around candles all the time, and spend all those extra seconds in every battle to put a little bit of fire on your weapon?

Maybe you are, but you are comparing having to tediously drop and dip candles in every battle with the simplicity of select cantrip, click on enemy. You're spending a lot more effort to get that flaming weapon than the mage is to cast Firebolt.

Last edited by Stabbey; 13/10/20 04:20 AM. Reason: extra thoughts.
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Originally Posted by Pupito
Currently, Firebolt out does Magic Missile pretty easily in terms of what I would choose for a quick burst of firepower. Now, if I want to hit 3 enemies in one turn but sacrifice some damage to do it, I might choose magic missiles, but as it stands my wizard has been running around out of spell slots for 3 or 4 combat encounters now and I really don't feel any need to long rest to refresh them because him and my Eldritch Knight using firebolt on each of their turns is so absurdly OP that taking the long rest doesn't even seem worth it. I also just remember, in the middle of typing this, that my wizard has arcane recovery. Haven't used that once so far because cantrips are just so useful that his spell slots aren't really needed. The only time I've really gone out with spells so far is when the enemies end up getting to close to my wizard, which doesn't happen very often because of the nice little trails of fire and ice his cantrips leave all over the place to slow their progress.

But while we're comparing using cantrips to using say, 1st level spells, Firebolt out damages Magic Missiles. Max damage I can roll on Magic Missiles is 15 (1d4+1 per missile) while max damage I can stack up from a single firebolt is 18 (22 counting the burn at the start of the enemies second turn). That level of firepower already out performs several of the 1st level spells in terms of damage potential, and it also creates a fire surface that can burn other enemies that walk into it. Ray of Frost might not out damage 1st level spells, but considering how often it knocks enemies prone it doesn't really need to because it's basically a "skip an enemies turn for free" cantrip. And so far I haven't come across any spells as powerful as tossing down an Acid Splash to deal damage and reduce AC in an AoE, which just further increases my odds of hitting attacks afterwards.


Firebolt burst is 7(3.5 + 2.5) if you hit, if you don't, it's just 2.5 and then another 2.5 afterwards assuming the creature is alive. So that leaves you with Magic missile 10.5, magic missile can also be increased by one per level and there's also an item that adds another 2.5 per MM that's in Act 1. I would define burst damage as immediate damage. You can also factor in crits, but if you do go ahead and factor in an average hit rate of 65%. So, easily isn't the correct answer here, if you want to compare cantrips we can also compare Eldritch Blast. One way or another, firebolt while respectable isn't what anyone would define as quick burst of firepower unless you have no other option/resource.

Long rest is also free currently, you're just being fucking lazy which is fine because I am also lazy, but on the flip side I cast MM because I want combat the end sooner rather than later and I also happen to that aforementioned item (also, I don't need to hit).

So I don't think burst damage is where firebolt is at nor is it going to be damage efficiency, but where firebolt does shine if we're talking about pure damage is when you start limiting the spells per day / rests allowed. I mean, honestly, it's better than attacking with a bow.

But let's talk about your comparison to other level one spells and other cantrips, like say frost bolt versus grease; grease can again be bolstered, but keeping it at level one it has a larger area by far than frost bolt. Also, it has better synergy with firebolt but that requires two actions to be used so that's mainly there for food for thought. Would I say frost bolt is better than grease? In most conditions where you're being ambushed or having to fight... say a Boal spawn I would say grease is the better pick. But again, if I don't have spell slots then sure frost bolt is better than firing my bow.

And sure, Acid Splash is great, but again it's not going to be your first, second or even third spell under many conditions if you're playing with resources and playing optimally.

Are cantrips strong? Certainly, but they aren't the end-all-be-all that you're painting them out to be. Go ahead and fight the minos with just cantrips alone and nothing else or fight the phase spider queen with nothing but cantrips, see how many time syou win with four wizards, figure out how long it took and how many reloads it took, then take a normal party and play optimally and see the difference.








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Originally Posted by Stabbey
I kept close track of what happened when an enemy Fire Bolt hit me in a recent battle.

- The initial hit, the d6 rolled 2 fire damage. All the remaining dice are d4's.
- The hit inflicted burning, another 4 damage.
- The surface underneath me rolled a 1, but we're already up to 1d6 and 2d4.
- Finally, my turn again.
- I lost the burning condition, but the surface beneath me was still on fire.
- Walking off the surface inflicted burning on me again and did another 2 damage.
- When the burning status rolled around again, another 3 damage, then the status expired.
- The damage total from the single Fire Bolt was 12, but the total dice rolled were 1d6 and 4d4. Total range of damage is 5-22.

Some people might argue that the last 2 d4's were avoidable, if you use jump, but even if you want to keep the surface, it should not tick not tick twice. It's a cantrip.


Yeah I looked at the log last time I played too. This is usually the damage roll you get against enemies who are going to move. Average damage being 13.5 on a hit (If the enemy moves) and 10 on a miss (If it ignites) and 5 on a miss (if it doesn't ignite). There is probably something I haven't considered, but so far firebolt seems much stronger than eldritch blast (with agonizing blast), since the average damage is 8.5 (with 16 cha) and 12 with hex applied (but then you are comparing a cantrip vs a cantrip combined with a spell slot). Eldritch blast will probably overtake firebolt at higher levels with more blasts though, but I am unsure of firebolt scaling.

It does seem like firebolt is over tuned.

Last edited by Ascorius; 13/10/20 04:05 AM.
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Originally Posted by Stabbey
I kept close track of what happened when an enemy Fire Bolt hit me in a recent battle.

- The initial hit, the d6 rolled 2 fire damage. All the remaining dice are d4's.
- The hit inflicted burning, another 4 damage.
- The surface underneath me rolled a 1, but we're already up to 1d6 and 2d4.
- Finally, my turn again.
- I lost the burning condition, but the surface beneath me was still on fire.
- Walking off the surface inflicted burning on me again and did another 2 damage.
- When the burning status rolled around again, another 3 damage, then the status expired.
- The damage total from the single Fire Bolt was 12, but the total dice rolled were 1d6 and 4d4. Total range of damage is 5-22.

Some people might argue that the last 2 d4's were avoidable, if you use jump, but even if you want to keep the surface, it should not tick not tick twice. It's a cantrip.


****


Originally Posted by Limz

Dipping weapons in a fire source is fucking freely available if you actually play the game, it's called a candle, and can be freely dropped and lit.


Thinking about it for a moment, this defense is ridiculous. Are you seriously going to carry around candles all the time, and spend all those extra seconds in every battle to put a little bit of fire on your weapon?

Maybe you are, but you are comparing having to tediously drop and dip candles in every battle with the simplicity of select cantrip, click on enemy. You're spending a lot more effort to get that flaming weapon than the mage is to cast Firebolt.


You're moving the goal posts, we're now talking about the amount of effort? You know what's actually effortless? Just running up to something and smacking it with melee weapons and giving zero fucks because there are no limitations on rests. Or you know just casting level 2 magic missiles with the magic amulet that adds 1d4 per. Zero ground effects, zero waiting around for burning to do its thing, pure damage and zero requirements to hit.

The only reason that was brought up was an example of melee output, since I thought you were actually going to post a discussion and action economy was important here. But you're not, you're here to bitch about ground effects 24/7 and complain about something is being OP yet being unable to prove that it is anything other than competitive.

But let's put this to rest and point out something:

Originally Posted by Stabbey

My 1d10 cantrip actually deals 1d6 direct, plus 1d4 from the instantly created fire surface, plus 1d4 burning, plus an additional 1d4 - without any saving throw - on the creature's turn when they try to move out of the fire surface, for a range of 4 to 18. And if there is more than one creature in the radius of the fire surface created, they take damage from the surface as well. Oh, and when you miss, you still deal 1d4 surface damage.

Meanwhile those characters using physical weapons are dealing 1d6 or 1d8. It's completely unbalanced.


Pay attention to the last bit where you say physical weapons are dealing 1d6 or 1d8. That's why you're argument is stupid, you're literally comparing damage over time plus initial hit plus status effect to base weapon damage without modifiers while also factoring in essentially two turns. Stop defending that point and own up to it. There's actually a better thing to point out AGAINST having environments. Let's also take your stupid example up top where you deliberately run over the surface to take damage, you might as well have just expended all your movement in it to produce the most amount of damage to make a point.

And you know what? There's a good argument there unlike the rest of the shit you spew. But I don't think you have the honesty (nor capacity) to differentiate between the cantrip and the environment so I'll do your work for you. All environmental effects like burning, grease, etc. should tick once when entering and once if you end your turn on it. I believe grease doesn't follow this and ticks per set amount of move just like burning ground. I think that's an actual issue over cantrips creating terrain.

But by all means keep railing on the cantrips just don't say that physical dps is constrained to 1d6 or 1d8 and don't talk about math either since you haven't factored in advantage/disadvantage, feats, etc. As I have said many times there are going to be breakpoints where one thing is going to be better than the other, and to figure out balance you actually need to look at them sim them and then see if it's still far out of expectations. And, again, I don't think you're here for an actual discussion because you actually tried to compare things in such an uneven fashion that's blatantly incorrect.






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I think we are generally approaching the issue from a wrong angle, at least for FireBolt and Acid Splash. What I believe based on the log is that Larian added 2 conditions (similar to blinded, paralized, etc) that are not in 5e:

- Burning - deals 1d4 damage when applied, plus 1d4 at the start of the creatures turn. It then ends, and can be re-aplied if the creature walks through a burning surface
- Acid - while under this effect the target suffers a -2 to AC

These conditions do not stack with each other. After testing and shooting 2 Firebolts at the same target on the same turn the target takes 1d6 + 1d6 damage from the Firebolt while the 1d4 is not applied the second time from the second FireBolt.

Similarly with Acid Splash, the AC reduction does not stack.

I do not want these conditions to scale with level and I doubt they will. Because 5e conditions don't scale up at higher levels and neither do conditions in DOS games scale.

Then we need to consider two things - A - do these conditions belong in a DnD game, and if yes, are they scaled appropriately. B - should cantrips apply these effects.

A:

I do think the Burning effects needs to be in a game. It baffles me that in a game where you have fire based spells, fire elementals and dragons spewing fire there are no consistent rules for burning things. Fire elementals, Wall of Fire, Alchemist fire, Oil, Create Bonfire, etc all apply persistent fire damage but do so in completely different way. Streamlining these I think is a good idea, and making them do 1d4 is appropriate.

The Acid effect I am not sure - doesn't make much sense to me. At least at a -2 to AC, if it were -1 then I think would be more reasonable, but I am not sure why it is in the game.

B:

Should cantrips be able to apply these effects. I think so. Whether FireBolt is a good choice - if it is scaled down. There is a Create Bonfire cantrip that would probably be a better candidate though. Perhaps make it do 1d4 fire damage on a dex save and apply a burning effect?

Acid splash applying the Acid status effect makes sense and I think it is ok. Maybe a reduction in area would be appropriate and a reduction of the cantrips damage to a 1d4?

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+1 tone them down please.

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It does seem that the general environmental damage, especially burning will be mostly negligible in later stages, once hitpoints are higher. Right now at level two and three, 2-8 damage from burning is a huge amount of HP.

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I get more and more annoyed by the acid pools and other surfaces now. To the point where I'm always expecting them in a fight and feel like closing the game when they inevitably happen.

They nerf concentration based effects to oblivion.

They often don't make sense in any kind of way. Stone floors catching fire without some flammable substance and arrows exploding in massive pools of acid and soaking their targets. On a MISS.

Everywhere! It's cool to have these mechanics but the abundance turns them into a huge nuisance.

Dragon Age, Pillars of Eternity, Pathfinder... none of these games have these gimmicks and are better off without such. Why does BG3 need this, exactly?


Last edited by 1varangian; 13/10/20 11:21 AM.
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