Author Topic: 4e Testing  (Read 5093 times)

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Bill Bisco: Eloquent Elf

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4e Testing
« on: May 31, 2008, 12:11:46 AM »
Hello Everyone,

My name is Bill Bisco.  I'd like to do some playtests with 4th edition characters against monsters in various environments and map types.  Is there a convenient way to do this visually online?  Would anyone else be interested?  My goal is to find the 4e super-character.

AlienFromBeyond

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Re: 4e Testing
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2008, 12:14:51 AM »
I'd love to do this. As for online battlemat like programs, I hear Fantasy Grounds is good.

MittenNinja

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Re: 4e Testing
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2008, 12:22:08 AM »
I'm down.

As far as maps go, I've pretty much always used excel spreadsheets and then host them online via a wiki or something similar.

LogicNinja

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Re: 4e Testing
« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2008, 12:23:40 AM »
Hello Everyone,

My name is Bill Bisco.  I'd like to do some playtests with 4th edition characters against monsters in various environments and map types.  Is there a convenient way to do this visually online?  Would anyone else be interested?  My goal is to find the 4e super-character.

I'm interested. I've got some ideas (my paladin/warlock especially). I don't think you'll find a true super-character, though. Some characters will be more effective than some others, but still.

It'd be nice to, say, compare archery and TWF rangers, and stuff like that, too.

ImperiousLeader

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Re: 4e Testing
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2008, 12:39:29 AM »
I'm interested. To be honest, the more I look at the system, I think uber-characters won't be as easy or impressive, but uber-parties could cause some chaos. For fun, I generated a party of 8th level characters, and they did quite well in their first encounter.

Anyway, I've been checking out the rogues. Kobold Rogues are scary good.

EntropicShadow

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Re: 4e Testing
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2008, 12:46:58 AM »
Wish I could participate, but final projects are going to be keeping me busy for the next two weeks.  I would be interested in the results if you would be kind enough to post them here. 
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AlterFrom

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Re: 4e Testing
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2008, 01:04:27 AM »
I'd love to do this. As for online battlemat like programs, I hear Fantasy Grounds is good.

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Re: 4e Testing
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2008, 01:06:13 AM »
I'm in for this. I have access to the core books and I am more than eager to give this a spin, Bill!
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X-Codes

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Re: 4e Testing
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2008, 01:07:06 AM »
I'd love to do this. As for online battlemat like programs, I hear Fantasy Grounds is good.

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Oh, and I'm willing to participate as well!  I posted a level 1 Tiefling Paladin on this forum a little bit ago, and I have a good idea where I want to take it.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2008, 01:09:20 AM by X-Codes »

AlterFrom

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Re: 4e Testing
« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2008, 01:09:38 AM »
Oh, right, suppose I should mention I'd like to get in on this as well.  :P
Siggy
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Quote
We're ALL rules lawyers here. The BEST at what we do, too. It's like a Tom Grisham novel in which everybody at the top law firm is a dirty crook, but they all know the rules so well that TECHNICALLY speaking, they aren't breaking them...:eh

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AlienFromBeyond

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Re: 4e Testing
« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2008, 01:57:44 AM »
I'd love to do this. As for online battlemat like programs, I hear Fantasy Grounds is good.

Maptool Maptool Maptool!
Maptool! Maptool! Maptool! Maptool! Maptool! Maptool! Maptool! Maptool! Maptool! Maptool! Maptool! Maptool! Maptool! Maptool! Maptool! Maptool! Maptool! Maptool! Maptool! Maptool! Maptool! Maptool! Maptool! Maptool! Maptool! Maptool! Maptool! Maptool! Maptool! Maptool! Maptool! Maptool! Maptool! Maptool! Maptool! Maptool! Maptool! Maptool! Maptool! Maptool! Maptool! Maptool! Maptool! Maptool! Maptool! Maptool! Maptool! Maptool! Maptool! Maptool! Maptool! Maptool! Maptool! Maptool! Maptool! Maptool! Maptool! Maptool! Maptool! Maptool!

Oh, and I'm willing to participate as well!  I posted a level 1 Tiefling Paladin on this forum a little bit ago, and I have a good idea where I want to take it.
Tiefling Paladin fight! :P

Bill Bisco: Eloquent Elf

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Re: 4e Testing
« Reply #11 on: May 31, 2008, 04:35:02 AM »
Alright wonderful.  People are interested!  :D    As far as people being busy, I'm going to be busy too with my summer school starting on this Tuesday.  However, there's no need for me to be in charge , we can make a list of tests to do and then resolve them together.

We need to start out with some base rules on how we're going to do our test.  There are several factors that affect the accuracy of a playtest

1. # of Characters in Party
2. Diversity of Characters
3. Levels to Playtest (ex. 1,5,8,13,18)
4. Diversity of Encounters
5. Number of Successive Encounters
6. Diversity of Terrain
7. Available Magic Items
8. # of times to conduct a battle


It seems to me that to do an effective playtest we need to remove some of the factors.  If we tested 3 different types of terrain for 3 types of encounters for 3 different character combinations for 5 different levels 3 times (for a more accurate test) that would be 405 tries which is a bit much. 

My idea is to use the following choices

1.   1, 2, 4 or 5 characters 
The problem with more than 1 character is that it's hard to statistically justify that one character is better than another against monsters. 
The problem with 1 character is the game has a plethora of supportive powers which would become unhelpful in a playtest.
2. All parties are the same character ( 4 Fighters, 4 Wizards, etc.) or All parties are the same character with 1 control character (3 Paladins 1 Cleric, 3 Rangers 1 Cleric, etc.)
3. Do tests for Level 1, 5, 11.      Start with lower levels and then proceed to higher levels.  Other level tests can be conducted if people are still interested
4. 3 different types of encounters
5. 3 successive encounters with a 5 minute rest in-between (to simulate daily power loss)
6. Open Field or Open Field with 2, 2x2 rocks for cover and rogue hiding
7. Minimal, one level-appropriate enhancement weapon and one enhancement armor item with no daily or encounter powers.
8. Conduct each encounter 3 times, maybe a critical, miss, etc. tainted the results

With this way in place we'd test a party for 3 battles 3 times each.  This would be 9 battles per party per level to test against another one.  Tell me what the rest of you all think.


X-Codes

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Re: 4e Testing
« Reply #12 on: May 31, 2008, 04:49:21 AM »
I think the parties should be more diverse.  The key factor should be how much a given character "neutralizes" an encounter such as...

Defender- How much damage dealt, how much damage mitigated, how much damage absorbed.
Striker- How much damage dealt
Leader- How much damage dealt, how much damage healed, how much damage mitigated.
Controller- How much damage dealt, how many enemies taken out of the fight.

Secondly, I think we should limit ourselves to Heroic for now.  Paragon level is deep enough to be interesting, but not really optimizeable, while Epic level is barely functional.  In heroic, levels 1, 5, and 9 are the levels at which characters gain new Daily powers, and it's shortly after they also get new Encounter powers and ability score boosts.

Finally, we should go through the whole day 3 times, instead of doing each encounter 3 times.  This might have been your intent in the first place, but just in case.

Bill Bisco: Eloquent Elf

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Re: 4e Testing
« Reply #13 on: May 31, 2008, 05:46:00 AM »
Yes indeed, I would suggest the playtest do one day of encounters, then test that same day 2 more times.

I'm really thinking of how to do a proper test because I know that the more variables there are, the higher the difficulty of obtaining meaningful results.

If we have a 4 member party for instance and one party is a Fighter/Ranger/Cleric/Warlock and the next one is a Fighter/Ranger/Cleric/Rogue is that a fair comparison to try to make to see if the Warlock is better or worse than the Rogue?  Can we say that the effect of the other classes is negligible?

Also, we need to be sure of what the goal of the test is.  Is our goal to find the best character or character(s) or to find out if party x is better than party y?

AlienFromBeyond

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Re: 4e Testing
« Reply #14 on: May 31, 2008, 06:01:41 AM »
General consensus seems to be that party optimization will be more important than character optimization.

Bill Bisco: Eloquent Elf

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Re: 4e Testing
« Reply #15 on: May 31, 2008, 06:19:36 AM »
For the sake of argument, if we want to test out party x vs. party y optimization to come out with the 4e Super-TeamTM how can we accomplish this goal?  If we have the standard 5 person team that 4e suggests then that would mean there's 8 classes that can fill 5 slots.  How many possible combinations is that?! :help 8^5 or is my math way off?

Alternatively, we could have each person build their own team, and then test that team out.  People can view the results of previous teams and adjust theirs accordingly.  Theoretically, with each iteration, the teams would be more optimized.




AlterFrom

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Re: 4e Testing
« Reply #16 on: May 31, 2008, 06:25:10 AM »
Assuming you can repeat classes, yes, you have 85 = 32768 possibilities for parties.

If you are not allowed to repeat classes, then you have 8C5, or a mere 56 party compositions.
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AlienFromBeyond

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Re: 4e Testing
« Reply #17 on: May 31, 2008, 06:31:37 AM »
If we have the standard 5 person team that 4e suggests then that would mean there's 8 classes that can fill 5 slots.
I keep seeing people say this, but where is it stated that 4e suggests a party of 5?

yellerSumner

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Re: 4e Testing
« Reply #18 on: May 31, 2008, 06:41:19 AM »
DMG, page 6.  Third paragraph under the heading Players.

It seems to be an assumption rather than a suggestion.

AlienFromBeyond

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Re: 4e Testing
« Reply #19 on: May 31, 2008, 06:44:26 AM »
DMG, page 6.  Third paragraph under the heading Players.

It seems to be an assumption rather than a suggestion.
Ah, DMG, that's why I didn't see it. Still, I'm surprised they've deviated from the classic 4.