Author Topic: Are Augmentations too weak?  (Read 1301 times)

Reshy

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Are Augmentations too weak?
« on: (16:08:27/03-16-17) »
Hello, I've been discussing with a friend of mine the state of Mundanes being usually outmatched by Awakened characters and what it comes down to seems to be the fact that augmentations are overpriced and often times just outshined by other things. 

Genetech is probably the worst offender, it's exceedingly pricey and it's effects are minuscule.  The worst part of it is when I was reading the "Color blindness" therapy, which made me immediately go and look at the prices for just you know... replacing your eyes.  Here's what I found.

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Color Blindness Therapy:  90,000 nuyen, -0.2 essence from operation, restores a basic function to the eye.
Cybereye Basic System (Rating 1):  4,000 nuyen, -0.2 essence from operation, fully functional eye-sight that's modular and able to be modified.
Cat Eyes:  4,000 Nuyen, -0.1 essence from operation, gives fully functional eye + low-light vision.
Troll Eyes:  10,000 Nuyen, -0.2 essence from operation, gives fully functional eye + thermographic vision.

Notice an outlier?  Because I do.  What's the point of Color Blindness therapy when it's outclassed in every possible way by pre-existing options?  There's no way they could sell color blindness therapy to the public at such an absurd mark up, nobody would buy it.

This is a common problem with Genetech in general, everything it can do has been done better by bioware or cyberware.  Initiative boost?  Bioware and Cyberware can hook you up, and more cheaply to boot.  Strength boost?  Muscle Augmentation is less essence intensive and has the same price and is scalable!  And so on and so fourth.  It makes Genetech largely irrelevant.  The worst part is that most Genetech also comes bundled with an absolutely unnecessary drawback.  The aforementioned strength boost from genetech?  You take more fatigue damage.  The drawback from Muscle Augmentation?  Absolutely nothing.

This isn't just a problem with Genetech though, almost all augmentations possess dead-end designs.  Muscle Replacement is largely beaten out by Cyberlimb Enhancements or Muscle Toner/Augmentation.  Bone Density is cheaper and less essence intensive than Bone Lacing, and you can get it via prototype transhuman as well.


Another issue is that the costs of Ware, both in terms of essence and in terms of raw cost, is far too high.  Most  characters cannot hope to ever upgrade their ware based on the book's recommended payouts of nuyen.  This means that 90% of the augmentations you will ever have will be in character generation only, which hobbles the options of mundane characters and forces them to be arbitrarily wealthy at the cost of other traits.  Essence costs are also far too high for the effects of augmentations, a character buying an initiative boost not only costs nuyen but a limited pool of capacity points that magic users don't have to worry about.  An adept can get the benefit of a Synaptic Booster or Wired Reflexes for 3.5 points of their "essence" capacity, but it's free and the comparable mundane alternatives are either Wired Reflexes, which cost 5 capacity and 217k nuyen on top of it, and 1.5 from a synaptic booster at 285k nuyen (which funnily enough makes wired reflexes the weakest option of the bunch).  This isn't even getting into the fact that a magic user can boost their "capacity" through initiation or increasing their magic score.  And this doesn't even take into account availability, which are far higher than they ought to be in this day and age and often causes ware to be even more expensive.


This isn't a case for awakened characters to get nerfed, so much as that Augmentations need to be comparable and currently they aren't. 
« Last Edit: (16:12:08/03-16-17) by Reshy »

Rooks

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Re: Are Augmentations too weak?
« Reply #1 on: (01:56:33/03-17-17) »
then of course these gear oh and transgenetics

Tetrachromatic vision for 8k which gives you night vision and +3 to perception tests

vs

Glasses Capacity 4 400
Low-light vision 500
Vision enhancement 3 1500

8k and .1 essense vs something you can wear and the gear boosts your limit

Reshy

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Re: Are Augmentations too weak?
« Reply #2 on: (02:48:03/03-17-17) »
then of course these gear oh and transgenetics

Tetrachromatic vision for 8k which gives you night vision and +3 to perception tests

vs

Glasses Capacity 4 400
Low-light vision 500
Vision enhancement 3 1500

8k and .1 essense vs something you can wear and the gear boosts your limit

Or heck contacts, which are basically the trode answer to cybereyes.

Kiirnodel

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Re: Are Augmentations too weak?
« Reply #3 on: (05:31:48/03-17-17) »
then of course these gear oh and transgenetics

Tetrachromatic vision for 8k which gives you night vision and +3 to perception tests

vs

Glasses Capacity 4 400
Low-light vision 500
Vision enhancement 3 1500

8k and .1 essense vs something you can wear and the gear boosts your limit

Technically, all of that's available as cyberware too, don't really feel like looking it up, but quite possibly cheaper there too.

The reason why you pay more to have things implanted is because nobody can disarm you of your implants; they're a part of you.

And the reason why the tetrachromatic eyes enhancement costs more is because it is doing all of that without any obvious change to the implantee's eyes. Cat's Eye bioware causes an obvious change in the person's eyes, cybereyes are likewise, usually obvious, but geneware isn't. And on top of all that, you can use the vision enhancements with the geneware, they stack! That extra ability to get an even bigger bonus is also a pretty common reason that certain options are more expensive.

Novocrane

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Re: Are Augmentations too weak?
« Reply #4 on: (05:33:51/03-17-17) »
There's also the fact that Tetrachromacy and Hawkeye are not directly incompatible.

Rooks

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Re: Are Augmentations too weak?
« Reply #5 on: (07:48:57/03-17-17) »
There's also the fact that Tetrachromacy and Hawkeye are not directly incompatible.
neither is smartlink but it still only gives +1 dice pool +1 accuracy if its only gear specific, recall 3rd edition had an induction smartlink in your hand so whenever you held a smart link weapon you automatically enjoyed the bonuses of smartlink

Reshy

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Re: Are Augmentations too weak?
« Reply #6 on: (09:26:25/03-17-17) »
The reason why you pay more to have things implanted is because nobody can disarm you of your implants; they're a part of you.


Even Catalyst recognizes that that's a debatable statement, otherwise why have bioware organleggers?

And the reason why the tetrachromatic eyes enhancement costs more is because it is doing all of that without any obvious change to the implantee's eyes. Cat's Eye bioware causes an obvious change in the person's eyes, cybereyes are likewise, usually obvious, but geneware isn't. And on top of all that, you can use the vision enhancements with the geneware, they stack! That extra ability to get an even bigger bonus is also a pretty common reason that certain options are more expensive.

It's not about that Genemod costing more, it's about most of the Genetech being completely outclassed.  Look at the 'therapeutic' genetech treatment for colorblinness and compare that to all of the other options presented.  That's a massive markup on something that's literally beaten out by any other type of ware (and apparently even genetech!).

What I am getting at though is that several augmentations are basically just plain bad.  Lots of dead-end design, and in general an augmentation is going to cost you far more in both capacity and resources than the magical equivalent.  Wired reflexes will take 5 capacity versus 3.5 for the adept, and in addition it sets you back around 217k nuyen to boot.  Synaptic Booster consumes less capacity, but is marginally more expensive at 285k nuyen.  However, this makes Wired Reflexes a weird outlier where it underperforms in every way, it's not particularly cheap for a mundane option, and it's more capacity intensive than the free option.  For paying an additional 31% on your ware you receive a piece of ware that consumes only 30% the normal capacity.  Not to mention the availability for the bioware option is lower than the cyberware option, which is insane.  It's stuff like that which puts mundanes at a disadavantage compared to magic characters.  Cost, Capacity, and Availability are far too high.

There's also the fact that Tetrachromacy and Hawkeye are not directly incompatible.
neither is smartlink but it still only gives +1 dice pool +1 accuracy if its only gear specific, recall 3rd edition had an induction smartlink in your hand so whenever you held a smart link weapon you automatically enjoyed the bonuses of smartlink

And 4e's Skinlink, which disappeared too in 5e conspicuously.
« Last Edit: (09:43:41/03-17-17) by Reshy »

Ghost Rigger

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Re: Are Augmentations too weak?
« Reply #7 on: (10:14:36/03-17-17) »
If someone rips your cyberware off in the middle of combat, losing any enhancements it had is only the beginning of your problems....

That said, 'ware is still grossly overpriced. A normal ultrasound sensor is 100 nuyen per rating, while a cyberware ultrasound sensor is 12000 nuyen per rating, more if you want higher ware grades. While the cyberware version can't be (easily) removed and doesn't face the same size-based rating restrictions the normal version does, the cost is not worth it, especially when you can just shove a normal one into your cyberarm and have it be just as good. And speaking of cyberarms, 15000+ just to get one as good as my meat arm?

Adamo1618

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Re: Are Augmentations too weak?
« Reply #8 on: (11:18:37/03-17-17) »
I find your post inconsistent with the title. Cyberware or Bioware being better than Geneware is not the same as augmentations being weak. Augmentations in general are pretty good and the most reliable way of boosting many abilities. (Looking at you, Background Count.)

Geneware isn't meant for everyone. There are cheaper ways of boosting stats, but only to a point. Genetic enhancements are usually aimed towards specialists. Reakt and PuSHed for example, give bonuses that stack with all other bonuses, augmentation or drugs. A hacker who survived a few runs and needs an edge would probably invest 62k for a +1 to all his important rolls. There are also many useful abilities that only genetech grants. Narco and Genewipe spring to mind. Look at them like a complement, not a main focus. Also, never underestimate the GM's need for geneware in more well-equipped NPCs.

What I am getting at though is that several augmentations are basically just plain bad.  Lots of dead-end design, and in general an augmentation is going to cost you far more in both capacity and resources than the magical equivalent.  Wired reflexes will take 5 capacity versus 3.5 for the adept, and in addition it sets you back around 217k nuyen to boot.  Synaptic Booster consumes less capacity, but is marginally more expensive at 285k nuyen.  However, this makes Wired Reflexes a weird outlier where it underperforms in every way, it's not particularly cheap for a mundane option, and it's more capacity intensive than the free option.  For paying an additional 31% on your ware you receive a piece of ware that consumes only 30% the normal capacity.  Not to mention the availability for the bioware option is lower than the cyberware option, which is insane.  It's stuff like that which puts mundanes at a disadavantage compared to magic characters.  Cost, Capacity, and Availability are far too high.
I already mentioned BGC, and you do know that you need a high priority to get enough power points, right? Either you get the bonus from magic, or from nuyen. Everything has a price.
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Reshy

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Re: Are Augmentations too weak?
« Reply #9 on: (11:45:25/03-17-17) »
I find your post inconsistent with the title. Cyberware or Bioware being better than Geneware is not the same as augmentations being weak. Augmentations in general are pretty good and the most reliable way of boosting many abilities. (Looking at you, Background Count.)

Geneware isn't meant for everyone. There are cheaper ways of boosting stats, but only to a point. Genetic enhancements are usually aimed towards specialists. Reakt and PuSHed for example, give bonuses that stack with all other bonuses, augmentation or drugs. A hacker who survived a few runs and needs an edge would probably invest 62k for a +1 to all his important rolls. There are also many useful abilities that only genetech grants. Narco and Genewipe spring to mind. Look at them like a complement, not a main focus. Also, never underestimate the GM's need for geneware in more well-equipped NPCs.

What I am getting at though is that several augmentations are basically just plain bad.  Lots of dead-end design, and in general an augmentation is going to cost you far more in both capacity and resources than the magical equivalent.  Wired reflexes will take 5 capacity versus 3.5 for the adept, and in addition it sets you back around 217k nuyen to boot.  Synaptic Booster consumes less capacity, but is marginally more expensive at 285k nuyen.  However, this makes Wired Reflexes a weird outlier where it underperforms in every way, it's not particularly cheap for a mundane option, and it's more capacity intensive than the free option.  For paying an additional 31% on your ware you receive a piece of ware that consumes only 30% the normal capacity.  Not to mention the availability for the bioware option is lower than the cyberware option, which is insane.  It's stuff like that which puts mundanes at a disadavantage compared to magic characters.  Cost, Capacity, and Availability are far too high.
I already mentioned BGC, and you do know that you need a high priority to get enough power points, right? Either you get the bonus from magic, or from nuyen. Everything has a price.

Getting rating 6 magic is trivial.  Even C magic gets you at a minimum 4 MAG, which is enough to get Increased Reflexes 3, an effect which is worth hundreds of thousands of nuyen.  By contrast to have the same initiative boost on a mundane character you have to invest at least resources B if not A, due to how nuyen scales in 5e.

Furthermore, outside of chargen you're not expected to be bringing in much nuyen, at least according to the game.  So any ware you don't start with you probably never will have.  That geneware like Reakt would take you easily 10 runs or more to acquire, and that's just a single piece of ware.  By contrast the awakened are initiating, which is not only cheap (26,000 nuyen effectively for an additional power point).

I'm not saying Geneware is totally useless, but more often than not it seems to be outshined by other options.  They're also way too pricey.  Furthermore, I don't care if a GM's NPC can make use of a piece of ware, they aren't necessarily limited to nuyen constraints and can specialize far more than a PC might be able to, because NPCs typically aren't going to have too much screen time and even when they do things they're usually only ever going to do a handful of actions.
« Last Edit: (11:47:56/03-17-17) by Reshy »

Adamo1618

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Re: Are Augmentations too weak?
« Reply #10 on: (13:42:12/03-17-17) »
Getting magic 6 is not trivial. You need priority B for that, meaning both a street samurai and an adept need to invest heavily into it. After chargen the sammy will advance faster since nuyen is earned at a much higher rate than karma.

By contrast the awakened are initiating, which is not only cheap (26,000 nuyen effectively for an additional power point).
Irrelevant because after chargen money cannot be converted into karma.

Quote
Furthermore, I don't care if a GM's NPC can make use of a piece of ware, they aren't necessarily limited to nuyen constraints and can specialize far more than a PC might be able to, because NPCs typically aren't going to have too much screen time and even when they do things they're usually only ever going to do a handful of actions.
But many GMs do. This game is for them too.
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Ghost Rigger

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Re: Are Augmentations too weak?
« Reply #11 on: (14:08:20/03-17-17) »
After chargen the sammy will advance faster since nuyen is earned at a much higher rate than karma.
Let's assume that nuyen is earned faster than karma. That still doesn't mean the streetsam is going to be advancing faster, because let's face it there's lots of things nuyen needs to be spent on. Armor, weapons, gear, vehicles, modifications and accessories for all of the previous, medical bills, repair bills, ammo, rent.....yeah, the adept is paying all that too, but it's not the resource he uses to significantly advance so it's not holding him back.

Reshy

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Re: Are Augmentations too weak?
« Reply #12 on: (15:35:44/03-17-17) »
Getting magic 6 is not trivial. You need priority B for that, meaning both a street samurai and an adept need to invest heavily into it. After chargen the sammy will advance faster since nuyen is earned at a much higher rate than karma.

Not really, I can get a MAG 6 adept with C magic.


By contrast the awakened are initiating, which is not only cheap (26,000 nuyen effectively for an additional power point).
Irrelevant because after chargen money cannot be converted into karma.

Might I direct you to the Missions FAQ page 19?

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Is there a Cash for Karma (or Karma for Cash) option?
Yes! Once between each Missions adventure you may choose to Work for The Man or Work for The People.
If you are Working for the Man, you can trade 1 Karma for 2,000 nuyen. This represents your character going out and doing the dirty, sleazy, or simply boring grunt work for a company or corporation. It pays well, but eats away at your soul.
If you Work for the People, you can trade 2,000 nuyen for 1 Karma. This represents you going out and doing some pro-bono runner work, helping out at a local soup kitchen, or doing some volunteer work. It costs you a little something, but you feel better about yourself afterward.

Quote
Furthermore, I don't care if a GM's NPC can make use of a piece of ware, they aren't necessarily limited to nuyen constraints and can specialize far more than a PC might be able to, because NPCs typically aren't going to have too much screen time and even when they do things they're usually only ever going to do a handful of actions.
But many GMs do. This game is for them too.

They don't have to play by the rules by design.
« Last Edit: (16:38:05/03-17-17) by Reshy »

Ghost Rigger

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Re: Are Augmentations too weak?
« Reply #13 on: (15:41:33/03-17-17) »
They don't have to play by the rules by design.
They don't, but coming up with rules of their own would be work, and if they were the sort to treat the rules as guidelines they'd probably be using a different system.

Dwagonzhan

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Re: Are Augmentations too weak?
« Reply #14 on: (16:00:30/03-17-17) »
Getting magic 6 is not trivial. You need priority B for that, meaning both a street samurai and an adept need to invest heavily into it. After chargen the sammy will advance faster since nuyen is earned at a much higher rate than karma.

For any Awakened Human build, there is zero reason to ever take Magic at A or B. Magic C + Race D will get you 6 magic on any type, plus or minus 1 extra point to throw into Edge.
Using this "hack" you effectively reserve your A and B slots for Resources, Attributes or Skills. (usually Resources and Attributes)

The only noticeable drawback is not getting a ton of free spells at chargen for mages and mystic adepts. But spells are pretty cheap to learn as needed post-chargen anyway, and take far less downtime vs larger investments you're saving on now by taking higher attributes or skills. (or availability tests for anything else)

You only really pay through the nose if you want an Awakened Troll, which is already extremely twink-specific build path already.
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