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Combat is SR6?

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Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #165 on: (16:15:18/07-12-19) »
There'll always be people who don't like a change, The bigger the change, the more people that'll be.

I do think 6e's changes are, when taken as a whole, both an improvement over 5e as well as making SR more attractive to new players.  And the latter is, when you get down to brass tacks, the single most important thing in a game.


I totally get negative reactions.  For me, 4th "killed" everything I thought Shadowrun was supposed to be.  In my case, I quit the game for an entire edition.  I get it when people don't like what they're hearing about 6w... I've been there with 4th.

But on a long perspective, I do really think 6e is not just a better game than 5e... but that 6e (or something like it) is necessary if SR is to remain a living, supported game.
« Last Edit: (16:17:12/07-12-19) by Stainless Steel Devil Rat »
RPG mechanics exist to give structure and consistency to the game world, true, but at the end of the day, you’re fighting dragons with algebra and random number generators.

dezmont

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« Reply #166 on: (16:16:08/07-12-19) »
Let the past die. Kill it, if you have to.

You realize that Kylo was framed as being totally in the wrong when he said this right? Like his entire arc is that he has learned nothing from the past and is doomed to make the same dumb mistakes over and over because he refuses to grow.

dezmont

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« Reply #167 on: (16:25:44/07-12-19) »
[quote author=Quantronic DreamViolence link=topic=29520

I mean, if you've got a huge post about why you like the old combat and don't think the new combat is for you then uh, this quote is super applicable no?

Unless you think "people" is a word that refers only to your own experience.

EDIT: And this is, again, coming from someone who doesn't think 6th edition is going to be any better than 5th for their preferences.
[/quote]

My post was basically saying "Simplifying is fine. Changing the combat system is fine. But sell the changes as good, not as 'not bad.'" Maybe I should have baked that more into the TL;DR, but I did try to make it clear that I don't think old SR is perfect (And I actually tried to make a bit of a dig at people who turn their noses up at D&D and simple combat systems, but I suppose I utterly failed to make that clear) and that the idea of simplifying it could work, but there needs to be something good about the new system, not just 'less bad.'

Like the new combat system's changes can be summed up as 'removing fiddly bits and simplifying it.' Sure. Ok. A lot of my favorite combat systems are very simple. Traveller comes to mind.

Now why is this good? Why will this be fun? So much of the dev talk is about how they don't like something about the old system and are nuking it, but there is so little talk about what will be fun or great about combat, especially for PC types that are losing a major dimension of themselves.

If you were to be asked "What is cool about 6e combat" what would you say, other than saying 'its simple, you don't need to look stuff up?'

In Exalted you have crazy charm combos that allow you to do wacky things. D&D 3.5 has a super complex spell space that helps elevate it above grinder combat.

Traveller, a very simple combat system, is basically rocket tag where defensive actions are very strong but if someone subverts your defensive actions through finding a clever way to bypass them your probably doomed so despite the fact guns are very scary you want to be doing proactive things in addition to hiding and running.

SR5 focuses on one side establishing a huge advantage, usually yours, that turns fights into puzzles almost like Hotline Miami where when things are going well you roll through everyone, when they are not things go terrible. SR4 is hyper-lethal, a lot like Trav, but with more complexity and fancier tools.

What about 6e? What is going to be the thing that makes it actively fun? What do you do in a 6e combat? What are you trying to accomplish in order to eliminate your foe? Avoid? There isn't a lot of focus on that, there is in fact sort of an anti-focus on it in some ways by talking a lot about things canceling out and situational effects being very limited in scope and intensity.

6e's combat MAY be great. But they aren't talking about why it is great. They are talking about how they are trying to get rid of things they don't like. They are pushing for like, rather than love, and I think that is a real problem when the like comes at the cost of love. I didn't think it needed to be said, but so far we have seen nothing constructive about the new system, only reductive. It is fine if you do want to reduce 5e's combat system, but that still leaves samurai PC in the lurch. I think it is obvious that if we don't learn anything new and transformative about the new combat system anyone who plays a combat PC transitioning from 5e to 6e is going to be extremely disappointed, and no one who didn't enjoy a combat PC in 5e is going to find 6e makes it better for them because, again, combat PCs and a focus on combat is just now worse and less rewarding.

If everything about your combat PC gets worse, and a major dimension for why you would make a combat PC goes away, and nothing fills that gap, then what are people who play combat PCs going to do? Like that isn't me projecting my distaste of 6e's combat system on everyone, that is a super valid question any game designer would (or should) ask: "OK, so you got rid of the old upshot and basically turned every dial down... so what is the new upshot?"
« Last Edit: (16:31:07/07-12-19) by dezmont »

« Reply #168 on: (16:30:21/07-12-19) »
[quote author=Quantronic DreamViolence link=topic=29520

I mean, if you've got a huge post about why you like the old combat and don't think the new combat is for you then uh, this quote is super applicable no?

Unless you think "people" is a word that refers only to your own experience.

EDIT: And this is, again, coming from someone who doesn't think 6th edition is going to be any better than 5th for their preferences.

My post was basically saying "Simplifying is fine. Changing the combat system is fine. But sell the changes as good, not as 'not bad.'" Maybe I should have baked that more into the TL;DR, but I did try to make it clear that I don't think old SR is perfect (And I actually tried to make a bit of a dig at people who turn their noses up at D&D and simple combat systems, but I suppose I utterly failed to make that clear) and that the idea of simplifying it could work, but there needs to be something good about the new system, not just 'less bad.'

Like the new combat system's changes can be summed up as 'removing fiddly bits and simplifying it.' Sure. Ok. A lot of my favorite combat systems are very simple. Traveller comes to mind.

Now why is this good? Why will this be fun? So much of the dev talk is about how they don't like something about the old system and are nuking it, but there is so little talk about what will be fun or great about combat, especially for PC types that are losing a major dimension of themselves.

If you were to be asked "What is cool about 6e combat" what would you say, other than saying 'its simple, you don't need to look stuff up?'

In Exalted you have crazy charm combos that allow you to do wacky things. D&D 3.5 has a super complex spell space that helps elevate it above grinder combat.

Traveller, a very simple combat system, is basically rocket tag where defensive actions are very strong but if someone subverts your defensive actions through finding a clever way to bypass them your probably doomed so despite the fact guns are very scary you want to be doing proactive things in addition to hiding and running.

SR5 focuses on one side establishing a huge advantage, usually yours, that turns fights into puzzles almost like Hotline Miami where when things are going well you roll through everyone, when they are not things go terrible. SR4 is hyper-lethal, a lot like Trav, but with more complexity and fancier tools.

What about 6e? What is going to be the thing that makes it actively fun? What do you do in a 6e combat? What are you trying to accomplish in order to eliminate your foe? Avoid? There isn't a lot of focus on that, there is in fact sort of an anti-focus on it in some ways by talking a lot about things canceling out and situational effects being very limited in scope and intensity.

6e's combat MAY be great. But they aren't talking about why it is great. They are talking about how they are trying to get rid of things they don't like. They are pushing for like, rather than love, and I think that is a real problem when the like comes at the cost of love.
[/quote]

6th's combat will (presumably) flow better and be about closer fights tipped by cool edge effects allowing player expression for resolution and more dynamic circumstances than pure GM fiat or action economy in 5th can allow.

Like that's 6th's whole gimmick near as I can tell: Shadowrun streamlined with narrative currency.

Which I'm not overly enthused about (because I'd like trolls with clubs to hit harder than humans) but it's a perfectly decent pitch that I'll be happy to read.

Banshee

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« Reply #169 on: (16:31:38/07-12-19) »
dezmont's post triggered one thing I want to post here

Now I can't go into much detail without giving away some things that are still behind NDA (grrrr can't wait for that to be over soon) ... but anyhow a well equipped street sam with at least 4 edge out of the gate can still reliably mow down an entire group of goons before they ever get a chance to react. I have done as a player and had it happen as a GM both so far. Now granted to will be almost edgeless afterwards but it can be done. Now if you are just a little bit more conservative with your edge, that same street sam can also solo that same group of goons in just a hand full of rounds and come out barely hurt if hurt at all.
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Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #170 on: (16:33:59/07-12-19) »
Quote
"In the end, we came up with a system that kept my group's hacker and mage happily sitting at the table and waiting for their next turns instead of whipping out phones or checking out or going to pick up pizza, while also making the street sam feel like she still ruled combat in the shadows."

That's a pretty huge improvement over 5e in my view.
RPG mechanics exist to give structure and consistency to the game world, true, but at the end of the day, you’re fighting dragons with algebra and random number generators.

dezmont

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« Reply #171 on: (16:38:15/07-12-19) »

6th's combat will (presumably) flow better and be about closer fights tipped by cool edge effects allowing player expression for resolution and more dynamic circumstances than pure GM fiat or action economy in 5th can allow.


I can see why it might flow better, but nothing about new edge allows for more expression and dynamic circumstances. Furthermore, this does nothing for old combat PCs, who, again, just had their raison d'être just... evaporate. Unless we see a very intense use for a huge edge surplus edge will likely actually make combat much more static. Having seen multiple LPs where the samurai just gets dunked on I am not optimistic about the future of the archetype. And that shouldn't be surprising because a stated goal was to make them less overwhelming in a fight. Which is fine but, again, what was that replaced with?


Like that's 6th's whole gimmick near as I can tell: Shadowrun streamlined with narrative currency.

Which I'm not overly enthused about (because I'd like trolls with clubs to hit harder than humans) but it's a perfectly decent pitch that I'll be happy to read.

As someone who has played quite a few narrative focused RPGs, there are good narrative currencies and bad ones. A good example is fate, because it gives players more narrative control and reduces the GM's need to track stuff.

Not to get too deep into the weeds of why I don't think new edge will work (I deliberately pretended it would accomplish its goal of simplification when trying to point out that in game design terms that doesn't translate to 'good' or 'fun' because I think it is important to highlight the changes, even if they worked, won't draw people to SR, like you yourself said), but SR's edge does the opposite of what you want a narrative mechanic to do. It forces the GM to constantly think and adjudicate about specifics without good guidelines and increases the specificity they need to apply to the world because now the players absolutely have to care about every tiny detail to earn that edge.

In a good narrative system, earning currency happens as an afterthought of the GM, and you spend it to create detail where there wasn't so that mismatches in the mental image of the game stop being a flaw and instead are something that the players can actively leverage and create stories out of. Earning is passive, use is active.

In a bad one, the currency forces you to be extremely detail oriented to earn which increases the consequences of miscommunication and mismatched mental images of a situation, and their effects are boring and very static, which edge seems to fit to a T. Earning is active, use is passive.

I think this is also the issue with Anarchy: A good narrative system puts narrative control in players hands and lets the GM lean back a bit, and it seems to be the key element missed here and in Anarchy. Fate and Savage World hacks of SR are really popular already, so it isn't like SR would die without complexity, but the pitch of 'narrative SR' needs to be backed up by good narrative systems.
« Last Edit: (16:43:58/07-12-19) by dezmont »

« Reply #172 on: (16:45:09/07-12-19) »
You can get more expression purely via having an extra vector for it in edge tokens and when you spend it. I don't disagree with the rest of stuff where I'm not convinced by it being a particularly fluid or smooth version of narrative or momentum tokens.

But then again shadowrun has almost never being a system about smoothness. For better and often worse.

dezmont

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« Reply #173 on: (16:53:16/07-12-19) »
You can get more expression purely via having an extra vector for it in edge tokens and when you spend it. I don't disagree with the rest of stuff where I'm not convinced by it being a particularly fluid or smooth version of narrative or momentum tokens.

But then again shadowrun has almost never being a system about smoothness. For better and often worse.

I suppose that could be viewed as narrative control if you really squint but I always had the power to describe my rolls the way I wanted to in Sr anyway.

Still, by and large I think we mostly agree that the pitch is good and execution looks questionable in the extreme. I am more focused on the design philosophy where it seems like they made the same mistake they made going from 4e to 5e: Focusing on limitations and overfocusing on how to turn things down in a vacuum, rather than why something is good. Like the simplification angle is fine, but there is also a clear angle of an unambiguous nerf to Street Sams and to a lesser extent mundane PCs in order to facilitate this, so if that ends up being true, and nothing comes in to fill the void left in street samurai by losing defensive supremacy, old initiative, and the ability to push through insane modifiers, that is... a problem and it is going to not just fail to get people to love combat in SR, but make them not like it, which is obviously not good.

Michael Chandra

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« Reply #174 on: (16:56:11/07-12-19) »
Except that a lot of people loved it in playtesting. So honestly I think that not everyone with a negative opinion will stick with that when it comes to actual play.
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dezmont

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« Reply #175 on: (17:02:40/07-12-19) »
Except that a lot of people loved it in playtesting. So honestly I think that not everyone with a negative opinion will stick with that when it comes to actual play.

Multiple testers have come out and said it isn't good as well at pretty significant risk to their relationships with Cata, and the testing environment seems to have been small scale static groups with rapid design turn around which is... not a good testing environment. Nominally this was done for cost reasons, but I don't think there is any pretense that this was an ideal environment, and even in this environment that is going to bias extremely hard towards an artificially narrow consensus we are getting pretty strong warnings about this system.

So like yeah maybe it will be successful but I think that it is pretty clear the concerns about this interpretation of narrative mechanics flipping the traditional dynamic that makes narrative mechanics so good are, while obviously not confirmed because none of us can see the future, very valid. It could be great. It could be taste based. But lets not pretend that this is some isolated belly aching when errata team members are brawling out with the designers about the math and concepts behind this. There are very real reasons to be skeptical here, and pretending these concerns are unfounded, even if they aren't correct, doesn't serve anyone.

At the very least it strongly indicates these changes were not SOLD well, and that Cata should change its communications style when relaying these changes, because first impressions matter a lot for a product launch.
« Last Edit: (17:08:50/07-12-19) by dezmont »

Michael Chandra

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« Reply #176 on: (17:13:29/07-12-19) »
the testing environment seems to have been small scale static groups with rapid design turn around which is... not a good testing environment.
If you're going to claim your interpretations are solid reality about how the playtesting went, I don't think there's any point to this topic. Nobody ever claimed only a few small groups were involved. And people not liking all is not the same as 'everything is bad'.

Since your mind is obviously set, I'm out. I've had it with the attempts to lure out NDA-violations by some people.
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dezmont

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« Reply #177 on: (17:19:20/07-12-19) »
the testing environment seems to have been small scale static groups with rapid design turn around which is... not a good testing environment.
If you're going to claim your interpretations are solid reality about how the playtesting went, I don't think there's any point to this topic.

I am not claiming anything about how play-testing went. Like I said, getting hyper-defensive about the optics of 6e doesn't serve anyone.

I am saying that from an objective standpoint if that summation of the environment is accurate (and you are claiming its not, which is its own problem in terms of the optics, especially because Cata essentially confirmed it was true in trying to excuse why it happened as a cost measure, so now we are getting mixed messages) that is not a good play-testing environment for the same reason why you wouldn't want to do that for a clinical trial or for a survey: Your continued interaction, immediate effect on the results, and small sample size would bias the results.

It is essentially an echo chamber. Maybe that didn't influence the results, I definitely don't think anyone deliberately tried to make anything worse, but there is a lot to be kinda "Eh" about. Optics of a product launch are incredibly important and getting huffy that people are saying 'this looks sketchy and there is a lot to be concerned about' isn't... going to help anything.

And this isn't an attempt to bait an NDA violation. Obviously no one testing the game should give details about 'razzle dazzle' in violation of NDA. Part of the problem likely stems from a lack of a centralized narrative about 6e anyway that is resulting in rampant speculation and leak culture. What I am saying is that the way that the combat of 6e has been officially sold is not good, and saying 'Well people in playtests liked it' is sketchy on many levels. For one, if they did, it would behoove the official communication to play up these enjoyable accounts, maybe even get some quotes. For another, that is just more mixed messages. And finally, we are hearing weird stuff about the playtests anyway, so even if those rumors about them are not true that is still not going to boost confidence, which matters, because negative buzz isn't an adversarial thing. Cata isn't (or shouldn't be) viewing people being anxious or concerned with a launch in an adversarial light, that is a losing marketing strategy.

They shouldn't be bending over backwards to every little criticism either mind, but like managing the buzz and perception of a product around launch is literally one of the most important things for a company to do. It is literally an entire discipline of marketing, and when a company loses control over a product launch's narrative that is in its own way a red flag.
« Last Edit: (17:27:20/07-12-19) by dezmont »

Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #178 on: (17:33:19/07-12-19) »
Dezmont, I daresay you're mistaking plebean forum chatter as CGL communication.

The marketing is those updates like the one this thread is discussing.  Everyhing you've seen in this thread is fandom discussion. Even the statements by those posters bound by NDAs.
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adzling

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« Reply #179 on: (17:52:05/07-12-19) »
The exact same place that it started: That the troll is fictional and it's approximation one way or another to whatever touchstone you think makes it 'real' is artificial and even subjective among the people who agree it's 'like a bear'.

There are no real trolls or realistic shadowrun rules.

Because realism is a silly word to use for a game about shooting dragons with sniper rifles.

this comment is lazy, as you've either not read previous comments addressing this fallacy or your ignoring them.

Lazy is a fucking piss poor word to come from the guy whose post history in sixth edition sutff might as well be "I don't like men in black".

Like your literal last post was to complain "actually I want it to not be realistic but more real than that" and then you're calling me lazy for examining how realism isn't a meaningful damn word in a fictional game system? Come on man.

with the utmost to respect as you as an individual the use of the word lazy in this context was accurate.
why?
because I have stated the same response to your "realism" fallacy and yet you ignored those comments.

moreover this reply of your is also lazy as it incorrectly summarizes my statements on 6e, boiling it down to a comment that bears no relation to the thoughtful and in-depth comments i have posted within this thread.

I actually love MiB, just not as an RPG.
I also love trolls with axes lopping heads off of elves with monowhips.
However I also love it when that troll's axe swing bears some relation to the fact that the 600 pound combat troll is an order of magnitude more dangerous than a pixie with the same combat axe.
This is the crux of my dissatisfaction with the direction 6e has gone.
It perfectly summarizes the inanity that can occur when you so completely decouple mechanics from what should happen IRL.
It becomes a parody of itself.

I recognize that people have very different playstyles from our table, and have very different reasons to play that drives those preferred styles.
It's totally cool that you want some insane, crazy, stunt-driven mechanics for your RPG, that's awesome!
However it's not me, and it's not my table.
Our preference is to have that combat troll swing his axe with enough force to take down that armored door with one shot while the pixie struggles to lift the same axe.