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tychii
24-01-2014, 04:18
So I was thinking about Psychic powers and how they effect the game right now.
It really is hard to balance powers at the moment because their are just so many to pick from, and they can all interact differently with all the different units.

So a solution to this would be to get rid of the book powers completely.
The issues with the book powers is a similar one to allies, the amount of combinations of things you can do to make something really powerful kind of breaks the power scale.

If everyone had their own codex powers I think it would help to keep psychic powers in line, because as we are going right now we are going to end up with fantasy powers in space. Which is no ones goal.

let me know what you think, and any issues that would come up from this.

bork da basher
24-01-2014, 07:59
most (all armies who have psykers i think) armies their own powers. and by and large most of them aren't very good. you are also not picking powers at all, you're generating them randomly. the only thing you pick is the table you roll on and the primaris power if you chose to.

army specific powers is what they used to do and it was the reason why you rarely saw psykers. their limited utility wasn't enough to justify their cost.

there is no issue with psykers IMO. it's random, you have to test so you can fail to cast or suffer perils, theres deny the witch and you still have to hit/wound most of the time too. i fail to see where the problem is, it is certainly nothing in comparison to the allies rules which DOES affect the game and throws whatever game balance their was out of the window.

totgeboren
24-01-2014, 08:16
army specific powers is what they used to do and it was the reason why you rarely saw psykers. their limited utility wasn't enough to justify their cost.

there is no issue with psykers IMO. it's random, you have to test so you can fail to cast or suffer perils, theres deny the witch and you still have to hit/wound most of the time too. i fail to see where the problem is, it is certainly nothing in comparison to the allies rules which DOES affect the game and throws whatever game balance their was out of the window.

Well, this is the problem. The only psychers who provide enough utility are the ones with blessings and to a lesser extent maledictions. That's why you only ever see Divination, and then Telepathy and Biomancy psychers. These powers have good blessings and maledictions, and therefore they provide utility.

No one wants to spend over 100-150 points on a heavy flamer or frag missile (I'm looking at you Pyromancy), or a random S plasmapistol with bad Ap (Telekeinesis). Witchfire psychers have such a hard time getting their powers through that it makes no sense at all to use them. First you have to pass the Ld test, then hit, then the enemy has to fail DtW, then you have to wound and then the enemy has to fail his save.
In most cases, a psycher is better of with a plasmapistol than a psychic power, and no one uses plasma pistols because they cost too much for what you get.

I think if DtW was sort of flipped around it would even out the powers somewhat. By that I mean that you can try and DtW against blessings and Maledictions, but not against Witchfires. A Psycher can try and Deny a enemy power whose target is within 12" of him/her.

That way you could try and resist malign influences or thwart an enemy psycher manipulating the warp to aid his allies, but 'resisting' a bolt of pure warp energy to the face would be impossible. DtW as it stands not only unbalances the powers severely, it also goes against the background completely. Since when has a psycher been able to 'resist say a vortex?

A good thing about the common powers is that it's easier to learn the rules when everyone has access to the same powers. Though not a good argument in favour of rulebook powers. They do give the potential for variety, if they were not so extremely unbalanced in favour of blessings.

omegoku
24-01-2014, 11:07
I agree that the powers need to be rebalanced a bit. Witchfire should be a viable option, but at the moment they are just a less useful gun.

How about.
Witchfire weapons count as a shooting attack. If the Psychic test is passed, then the power counts as having hit, roll to wound and save as normal.

Bubble Ghost
24-01-2014, 12:46
I'm not saying this balances it out, but one thing that's often overlooked in these types of discussion is that witchfires have the advantage of being used after moving, while maledictions and blessings need line of sight before your turn starts. Many witchfires could stand to have stronger stats, or to hit automatically, or both (Pyromancy, lolwhut) but on paper, being a witchfire is an advantage for certain types of power. Psychic Shriek is decent, and would suck if it were a malediction.

I don't think making them ignore DtW is the answer - that would leave DtW as a weird penalty for maledictions alone, rather than it being a buff for witchfires to ignore it. It would sort of detract from the idea that DtW is part of the dynamics of how psychic power in general works in this universe, and having a sense of those dynamics is an important part of the atmosphere. Also, not all attacks that use the witchfire rules are hadoukens - it makes no more sense for Puppet Master to ignore DtW than it does for Assail to be affected by it.

Baaltor
24-01-2014, 14:22
Well put, totgeboren. My only comment is that the idea of worsening powers so they're ALL as bad as Witchfires is a bit silly, but I know you know. XD

As I see it rulebook powers are a good thing, and I was excited to see them. I'd even been advocating such. In terms of gameplay you only need a few architypical disciplines, and as long as they're different, useful and interesting, they should be fine. Of course this means powers as an entity are garbage in GW's rules. Half the powers are guns. BAD guns at that. It's almost like a joke how bad some of them are. And deny the witch. Oh my lord. like Tot said: plasma pistols are superior, AND famous for being terrible.

My group houseruled the devil out of the rulebook lores, and even some codex powers, since I got tired of the Lore of Gun Tzeentch. The first thing I did was nuked the random crap, and all primaris powers are 2-4-1 deals like in the Eldar codex, thought they cost double. With the primaris powers representing the entire lore fairly well, additional powers aren't neccesary to make a psyker that feels like he is of his discipline. We restructured the lores to each have themes instead of being random crap, although we did hand out a lot of nerfs to most powers besides witchfires.

totgeboren
24-01-2014, 15:19
I was thinking that you should not be allowed to use DtW against Witchfires, only against maledictions and blessing. Instead of it working as it is now, you should be able to use a unit to deny a power whose target is within 12" of the unit. If the unit used includes or is a psycher, they get same same improvements to their DtW as now.

So a nerf to Blessings, a tiny nerf to Maledictions and a buff to Witchfires.

Bubble Ghost
24-01-2014, 15:53
But it would be weird if you could long-range block a blessing but not a witchfire. It would be totally the wrong effect for the background. DtW represents shrugging off malicious effects with strength of will or faith, which strongly evokes a key element of the fiction; but implying people can use this to dispel some psychic effect just because it happens to be invoked upon someone nearby just doesn't scan with that imagery for me.

Most witchfire powers do indeed suck, I'm not disputing that. I just don't think applying DtW to blessings or just outright removing it from witchfires are the right ways to correct it. A -1 penalty against witchfires, rationalised as the power having been manifested at a distance and become semi-corporeal by the time it arrives, that I could get behind.





We restructured the lores to each have themes instead of being random crap

They're already themed. So when you say "themed", do you mean themed according to game effect, rather than according to background? Like "this is the buff discipline, this is the debuff discipline" etc?

totgeboren
24-01-2014, 16:07
But it would be weird if you could long-range block a blessing but not a witchfire. It would be totally the wrong effect for the background. DtW represents shrugging off malicious effects with strength of will or faith, which strongly evokes a key element of the fiction; but implying people can use this to dispel some psychic effect just because it happens to be invoked upon someone nearby just doesn't scan with that imagery for me.

Most witchfire powers do indeed suck, I'm not disputing that. I just don't think applying DtW to blessings or just outright removing it from witchfires are the right ways to correct it. A -1 penalty against witchfires, rationalised as the power having been manifested at a distance and become semi-corporeal by the time it arrives, that I could get behind.


Maybe, but it makes more sense than being able to shrug off the effect of a warp rift, vortex or fireball. The warp has already been unleashed on the physical realm at that stage, a little hard to prevent it.
What I was thinking is that a nerf to Blessings is probably a good thing. Iron arm or Prescience are much bigger game-changers than any of the Witchfires, and so a nerf of 17% when within 12" of the enemy hardly seems unfair (though a nerf of 33% if cast close to enemy Psychers), whilst Witchfires would be buffed by 20%. Maledictions are targeted at an enemy unit already, but a psycher would be able to protect more than his own unit, so they would be slightly nerfed by that.
However, using Witchfires vs psychers would lead to a quite massive buff of 50%, which I think is definitely needed.

I dunno, I personally think the psychic system works ok, except that the DtW rules makes it totally lopsided in favour of Blessings. So I believe I have identified the problem, and offered a solution to the problem instead of rewriting all the different powers. Though rewriting all the powers is also a prefectly valid solution, but a much more cumbersome one.

Baaltor
24-01-2014, 18:31
Maybe, but it makes more sense than being able to shrug off the effect of a warp rift, vortex or fireball. The warp has already been unleashed on the physical realm at that stage, a little hard to prevent it.

Mmmm... does it really? I get were you're coming from, but in classic mythology there are lots of things like that I think, but I can't get any examples now and I have to leave soon. I think it's pretty common to have something like a talisman or a ward that protects against evil magic, and turns aside thrown lost souls, or is harder to burn with warpflame.

Don't get me wrong, I think it could go either way, and as it is now Witchfires suck. One other thing might be getting an inv. save instead of just straight up ignoring the whole spell on a 6/5+.

tychii
24-01-2014, 19:46
The main point that has come out is that the powers are not balanced. Witchfire is clearly the big loser with the reasons stated above.
The biggest issue is with blessings being way stronger in general, and specific being able to twin-link any gun in the game.

The idea of getting rid of the book powers is to streamline things so less combinations are possible to allow for an easier time to balance codex's.
ex. Iron arm on librarians is totally not over powered at all, however on MC's it becomes a big issue, because T9 deamon princes, and hive tyrants is a big problem and isn't how the unit is intended to play. This also makes it quite difficult to balance when every psycher can take the ability as an option

Creating balance in codex's is becoming increasingly more difficult due to the rampant options of support allowed with book powers and allies.

Tau aren't nearly as game breaking without psycher support, MC's aren't overly crazy without biomancy.

Given this would simply tweak the meta, and not that much to be honest, but it would allow for codex's to be balanced easier, and give a platform to restrict some of the combo's available now.

The game has simply become too big, and too many combos allowed with allies and psychic powers to balance IMO.

If they did this I believe they would be able to put more power into the codex's themselves and have less floating around waiting to be picked up by the community.
I think that the play testers simply can't go over all the options due to the limitless available in the game right now.

Baaltor
24-01-2014, 21:01
The idea of getting rid of the book powers is to streamline things so less combinations are possible to allow for an easier time to balance codex's.


Nope, not a fan, sorry.

totgeboren
24-01-2014, 21:11
I understand where you are coming from, but to me the problem would be much more easily fixed by first of all not allowing Battle Brothers to cast Blessings on allies, and secondly, well, sure, Biomancy on MCs could sometimes be considered a problem.
But as it is now, which MC can actually access Bio anymore? Daemon Princes and the Great Unclean one. Getting Iron Arm on the GUO is hardly a problem, since he is really slow and tough as nails in the first place. Flying DPs with Iron Arm is a huge buff, since they go from a rather frail T5 to a normal MC T of 6 or better. However, worst case scenario we have a Nurgle DP from the Daemon codex (worse since a CSM DP have to take one Nurgle power, the Daemon one can pick all Bio). This badboy will cost about 300 pts, and still only has about a 50/50 chance of rolling Iron Arm. Really, the only time the model would even be worth 300 pts is if you manage to roll Iron Arm, so you either get what you pay for, or you get a pretty weak model for the points.

Off the top of my head I can't think of any other MC with access to Biomancy.

*edit*
Another problem is that for example SM and CSM don't have their own powers, yet have 6ed codices (sure, CSM have some mark powers, but lots of CSM player prefer to have no mark because of the background and/or the lameness of the CSM powers). When all the 7ed books start rolling out, they could change it back to how it was with each army only having their own powers, but personally I like having access to so many powers.
I even tried out Pyromancy the other day(!), and through maximum luck (got exactly the powers I wanted), my Psycher did a lot of good, killing lots of Striking Scorpions and Wraithguard (Fiery Form and Molten Beam) whilst keeping key parts of my army safe (Flame Shield). However, one other problem with Witchfires is the limit on how many you can cast. Most can only cast a single one, so if you roll many witchfires, not only are you stuck with weak powers, you can also only cast a single one per turn, and you are not even allowed to use them for Overwatch. Really, almost all the rules in the game seem set out to nerf witchfires when they are not all that powerful to begin with (except for Jaws of course).

tychii
24-01-2014, 21:30
But thats only because Tyranids got singled out and aren't allowed book powers.
the solution of not allowing blessing cast on battle brothers works well as well.
easier then changing the whole allies chart

agurus1
24-01-2014, 21:41
I would personally like to see psychic powers fall more in line w/ what Magic is like in Fantasy. You still roll for powers and all that, but no duplicates per army and I would like to see the attempt to make it go off a bit more different than just "leadership test lulz" Also would be cool if destructive powers of psykers were more inline with the destructive abilities of mages in Warhammer Fantasy. Honesty. In the fluff we have stuff like, "oh a psyker killed that tank by crushing it with his mind" or what have you, but really there is no way that psychic (offensively) is displayed as being anything but weak compared to buffs/debuffs. Give us magic missile type things and interesting "cinematic" powers that are actually competitive with the maledictions and blessings.

And honestly a "miscast" type chart for a failed power would be better too than the 1 auto wound lazy move they made with 40k thus far.

I don't know how they could generate dice for creating powers that didn't directly copy the fantasy system but I think that it would be way more interesting that the leadership test/warp charge system they have now.

tychii
24-01-2014, 21:46
Magic kind of ruined fantasy for a lot of people due to it being totally ridiculous.
I like that psychic powers are buffs, or debuffs mostly.
I don't like how its implemented where everyone has access to everything, minor +1's to shooting or +1 strength, -1 armour save or toughness. These would be a bit boring, but less powerful then rerolls to hit everywhere.

Making psychic powers really powerful takes you down the though process for Jaws... and nobody liked that either

Arthanor
24-01-2014, 22:25
The problem comes when the offensive powers, like a traditional fireball, are so much worse than blessings. Twin-linking a whole squad's shooting is incredibly potent when applied to the right squad. There's a reason why everyone loves divination. By opposition, all the powers which cause direct damage have a much lower potential. If the offensive powers were upped, maybe the other psychic disciplines would be used more often.

tychii
24-01-2014, 22:43
Or get rid of the book powers all together, which would again make it easier to balance instead of harder.
If you make them too strong you still have Flying MC's who will then have access to shooting multiple unit crushing "fireballs" who can then assault and cause issues for everything.
Adding more power across the board just creates more issues with future codex's with regards to balancing.

Make something strong enough and cheap psychers pick it up for cheap power abilities, like psycher battle squads, or low lvl inquisitors with these powers. Making powers balanced for cheap lvl 1's that as well as big MC's is just super hard.
If you balance them based on each book (ie. Tyranids) it makes it much easier to give out powers that are balanced within the book and for the army.

My opinion of the state of the game as well as the issue with balance and meta with regards to the Book powers and psychers in general

Ironbone
24-01-2014, 22:47
Nope, not a fan, sorry.
Me too. RB lore are interesting addiction granted by 6th ed, and in some way, I like them, especialy fluffwise.

Problem lies in two factors :

1 - disbalance between lores. Piromancy is described as most destructive, despite is actually least ( kinda like lore of fire in WFB ). Telekinesis have internaly balanced but mostly medicore powers. Both telepaty/biomancy have 2-3 broken powers, and 3-4 weak-to-medicore ones. This leves divinacy as a clear winner, as it have not only greatest number of uesfull powers but argubably most powerfull ones as well. Even in worst case scenarion for 2nd lvl psyker - rolling 5,6, you still can have 1 very good spell ( signature/primaris power), and one decent. And even spell nr 6, that pales in comprehensuion to rest of the lore, isn't that bad as many would think. Having accest to divinacy is almost no-brainer, and only eldar, who have some own equaly usefull spells ( fortune/guide/doom, rest is meh ), can concider rolling in other lore than ( nomen omen ) faeseeing :p .

2 - disbalance between power types. Well, timeing of casting is one thing, as some powers are cast on the begining of turn, others in shooting phase. But blessing are again claer winner. Maledictions may seem as better ( after all, only one unit benefit form beeing buffed, but your entire army can benefit from weakning a enemy unit ), but they allow dtw rolls ( well, DtW is more like a "fig leaf" than a real protection :p, unless ofc we are talking about psyker-heavy armies like GK ). If blessing is cast ( no hard thing, as most of usable psykers are LD10, for good reasons ), there is no way of stopping it. Puff, unit buffed, deal with it now, poor player :p. Wichfire not only aren't usually more powerfull than ordinary weapons ( maybe outside lightnig arc. And JOWW, but this power deserves own place in totture pit in hell, right alongside the old CSM lash of submittion :mad:), they are used much like ordinary weapons ( yo know, roll to hit/scater, to wound, roll saves, etc. ) with deny as iceing.

Compare divinacy spells to maybe closesest rule - IG orders. Both share some similarities ( ld test, LoS reqired ), but :
- blessings are more powerfull ( re-roll succesfull cover, vs re-roll all succesfull saves/ignore cover, twin-link against mosters/vechicles vs. re-rolls against everything [ and in cc/overwatch too ] )
- multiple blessing are cumulative, while one unit can benefit from only one order
- blessing are more reliable, as they are always cast on psyker LD, almost always 10, while IG must test on ordered unit LD, wich varies usually between 7 and 9. To have LD 10 for orders, army will have to incloude lord comissar, who can not issue orders on his own, and ( unless you take inquisitor ) he must be army very fragile warlord.

Other than that, only foccused wichfire hold their own, because of their ability to snipe models, but overall, with blessings ( especialy divinacy ones ) so usefull, it's hard to not to use them.

Pearhaps first step should be tonning down divinacy a bit ( not too harsh, but for example presciense would grant ability to re-roll all 1's, not all misses )

Lord Damocles
24-01-2014, 22:48
Anyone remember how during the decade we had Codex-specific powers, you still only saw a tiny selection of those available ever get used..?

agurus1
24-01-2014, 23:38
I think a blanket rule saying that no two psykers can have the same powers might balance out some lists

MajorWesJanson
25-01-2014, 09:36
I think a blanket rule saying that no two psykers can have the same powers might balance out some lists
And easily break others.

Baaltor
25-01-2014, 10:12
I don't really think the problem is that some powers are more useful on some things, but more that the powers themselves are too good or too bad.

Mr Zoat
25-01-2014, 11:39
Let people choose what powers they want. Take data from major tournaments, then errata the ones no one likes. Then do the same for Warlord abilities.

Camman1984
25-01-2014, 11:39
I think the only changes i Would like to see are less random powers so that 150 point psyker doesnt become useless on a single roll. And if they are keeping random powers, make the primaris of divination less of a universally useful spell so the other schools can compete.

Baaltor
25-01-2014, 20:55
Let people choose what powers they want. Take data from major tournaments, then errata the ones no one likes. Then do the same for Warlord abilities.

That's the stupidest idea I've ever heard. It'd never work. What are you trying to do, examine stuff and act accordingly? Do you even know how this game works?

Rationality has no place in purple.

Ironbone
25-01-2014, 21:11
That's the stupidest idea I've ever heard
No, that title belong to guy that said that 6th ed rule set neffed nekrons :p.

Still, it's rather unrealistic than stupid. Sheer number of data required is above level of what this company can work over, especialy if GW already showned it's so lazy, it can not even handle a lot easyier jobs, like proofreading, playtests or answering burning questions in FAQ on time.