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Balancing psionics
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GuiltySpark
Noobie

Joined: 25 Sep 2005
Posts: 8
 Balancing psionics

Here's a thread dedicated to how you feel psionics are unbalanced and/or how they can be balanced out.

Just saying their unbalanced isn't say much much. Why exactly do you think their unbalanced? How do you fix it?

Post about the old or new proposed powers. Who knows, maybe the staff will take something they read here into consideration.

PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2005 11:40 am
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GuiltySpark
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Joined: 25 Sep 2005
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Here's a question. Whats the big deal with monks?

I see a lot of negitive attitudes towards psions with a monk class.
Why?
Psions *NEED* a starting class. Monk makes a natural sense for psion. The classes are very close.
Some psions have different classes. Wizards, rogues, fighters. It all depends on their character backround.
I guess psion/monk does give you some big bennifits but can it be helped?
Should a psion go out of their way not to pick a monk, even if their back round is going to suffer?

Like Paladin/Sorcerers
Wizards and fighters with 2 levels of rogue
Clerics with one (or whatever) level of monk.

Why not let someones role playing make or break them? I really don't see how a monk psion is a big deal. They have a lot of advantages (and some disadvantages) sure, but thats just how it ended up working out.

PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2005 12:25 pm
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Apandapion
CoPaP: Player Coordinator

Joined: 17 Jan 2005
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I think psions are pretty balanced as they stand. Perfect? No, but there's no such thing as perfect balance. Any kind of spell-pointish system where you can use the same power over and over is always going to have an issue. Or five.

I do think that psionics should have been Charisma-based instead of Wisdom-Based. Psionics is force of will. Force of will is charisma. But that's a whole different discussion, and I wouldn't advocate changing it now and breaking all the existing psions (except one) anyway.

PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2005 1:32 pm
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slave.of.emotions
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Joined: 25 Oct 2004
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That they need a starting class is only a excuse to take monk, why does no psion/monk ever use shilds or armor if it is only for rp reason ? Psions dont get wisdom to ac and atacks evry 3 baste atack step so there is no reason why they would do it.

a level 18 unbuffed psion with common +2 items



fully buffed - without haste



and when a damage bonus is a required





normaly psions would have 3 atacks at this level, each 5 steps lower then the previous not up to 6 (with fury of blows activated) with each 3 distance between them. a fighter/psion could have maximal 4 and a similar AC, a normal psion would need to take two armor feats to reach it and shild proficiency.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2005 1:46 pm
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GuiltySpark
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Joined: 25 Sep 2005
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Quote:
That they need a starting class is only a excuse to take monk, why does no psion/monk ever use shilds or armor if it is only for rp reason ? Psions dont get wisdom to ac and atacks evry 3 baste atack step so there is no reason why they would do it.


Firstly, I think it's a pretty safe guess that most people will agree Monks make an idea starting class for psions.
Do some people take it because of the good stats/feats they get? Of course they do. We've seen that before. Sorcerers taking paladin levels. Wizards taking rogue levels. Red Dragon Deciples, champions of torm, shadow dancers. You name it.

It's easy to take a class and find a way to justify it in character. Some people will have valid reasons for taking monk, other people use it as an excuse. Then the argument turns into judging each others role playing.

I'm a noob when it comes to stats and the game engine. I know your very smart when it comes to that stuff.

No ones going to argue. A Monk psion is a very powerful build.
At first look of the pics you posted in thinking wow thats a lot of PSP. A character could litterly go forever if their careful, mages and clerics can run out of spells.
Then i remember some peoples corpses i've snooped in. Some people have hundreds of scrolls. Hundreds. They can cast fireballs until the end of time. Psions dont have scrolls.
Mages can run out of spells and fall back on scrolls. Psions can slowly regenerate their PsPs. Anyone whos played one in game will tell you its not a get power quick thing.
In the end we can normally rest ever 4 hours in game. I don't see that as unbalanced.

Thats high armor class. Why don't monk psions use armor and shields? Well they don't want to. Why would they? Their a [u]monk[/]/psion.
Obviously it's a big advantage to them.
Some players are going to handicap themselves. My psion has an armor class of about 20. Hes a rogue with 15 dex and wears medium armor. Not much chance of him getting better AC, though with powers he can raise it for a short time.
So?
My paladin has an AC in the 40s. When he starts buffing up he can get it very close to 60. Theres still room for improvement when it comes to equipment AND hes a budding cleric, meaning, hes going to get some very nice AC increases via spells.

Asking why a monk/psion doesnt wear armor or use a shield is like asking a paladin why they use full platemail, a body shield and divine shield. Why? Simple. They can.
You might find a dex based paladin. I found a monk who was using weapons. You can either choose to see it as a character role playing a class that conviently has good stats, or, you can see someone powergaming and trying to justify his role playing. i prefer the former, its a lot less stress.

Monk psions are just powerful builds. Perhaps unfortinuately, its a very convienient one to justify. It just not something you can really effect.

PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2005 2:46 pm
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Arkonswrath
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Ok... everyone knows i've not been the biggest fan of Psions when they first came up, but with the recent updates, my mood on them has changed...

How's this for a look at why people pick Monk as a starting class for their psion.

Monks strive to become perfect in self. Self in Body, and Self in Mind. Perhaps through that perfecting of the mind they unlocked hidden Psionic powers. Thus they become even more mentally focused, which is already a goal of a monk. Now, do I agree with a Monk 2 Psion 16? Not in the slightest, I think psions should be treated as every other class in that you must raise the starting class as well. But that is my personal opinion on that. Monk Psions make perfect sense.

Ok yes... that level 18 character has 5 attacks a round as a psion with only a 3 step decrease... however... look at his first to hit bonus... +18.... at level 18, most of the creatures you spawn are going to have an armorclass that is going to stomp that into the ground, so you aren't going to be connecting a whole lot with those punches... and you can forget taking on a PC of the same level... they are going to be dang near untouchable to you unless you are lucky and get a lot of 20s.

As far as the ones saying that Psions should be charisma based... Look them up in the expanded Psionics handbook... they aren't charisma based in the slightest bit... hell, one of the best races to play as a pure psion is an Elan... and they take a NEGATIVE to Charisma. Force of Will = Will Save = Wisdom based. Makes perfect sense.

PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2005 3:31 pm
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Apandapion
CoPaP: Player Coordinator

Joined: 17 Jan 2005
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Arkonswrath wrote:

As far as the ones saying that Psions should be charisma based... Look them up in the expanded Psionics handbook... they aren't charisma based in the slightest bit... hell, one of the best races to play as a pure psion is an Elan... and they take a NEGATIVE to Charisma. Force of Will = Will Save = Wisdom based. Makes perfect sense.


Oh, there's someone saying it other than me?

I don't own an expanded psionics handbook. If it ever comes to pass that I do, I'll give it to someone who wants it.

PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2005 5:48 pm
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Apandapion
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slave.of.emotions wrote:
That they need a starting class is only a excuse to take monk, why does no psion/monk ever use shilds or armor if it is only for rp reason ? Psions dont get wisdom to ac and atacks evry 3 baste atack step so there is no reason why they would do it.

a level 18 unbuffed psion with common +2 items


Common? Err... Not to me.

Quote:

normaly psions would have 3 atacks at this level, each 5 steps lower then the previous not up to 6 (with fury of blows activated) with each 3 distance between them. a fighter/psion could have maximal 4 and a similar AC, a normal psion would need to take two armor feats to reach it and shild proficiency.


Since you've clearly thought this out, what do you see as being the psion's core powers?

PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2005 5:49 pm
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teleri
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Just one of the issues I currently have with the class...
There is no way for a NPC or creature not under DM control to use Psi Powers effectivly, thus leaving a Psi using his/her powers effectivly unmatched.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2005 10:40 pm
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Loki70
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Joined: 26 Sep 2005
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teleri wrote:
Just one of the issues I currently have with the class...
There is no way for a NPC or creature not under DM control to use Psi Powers effectivly, thus leaving a Psi using his/her powers effectivly unmatched.
Odd, I would think that the mind flayer script would help. Or did bioware treat that as magic. Clone should automatically take this into account and buff itself, drawing off the PSP pool, problem being that you sacrifice your own abilities. Then again the AI for NWN is horrid. Fighters spamming attacks without changing tactics, mages casting the same spell, over and over, to no effect, monks that either don't use their special abilities or use them in bad situations, and clerics that spend the first five rounds of a fight casting useless buffs and heals on dead people. Let's just say the AI bites and call it even. No NPC mage that is not DM controlled fights effectively, most of the NPC fighters are pathetic, and all of the clerics are worthless. The only reason rogues are half-way effective is because their skills are automated.

PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2005 12:14 am
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Druid523
Clueless Prime

Joined: 21 Mar 2004
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slave.of.emotions wrote:

a level 18 unbuffed psion with common +2 items




I'm sorry, but I have a level 21 Monk/Psion...and I only wish I had stats like that...
Actually...no I don't, because then I'd be useless and/or dead a lot. At level 21 (or 18 in your case), what creature is going to even get hit by me with those Attack Bonuses? Pretty much anything even a wizard at that level could melee, but not much else, as per Arkonswrath's point:

Arkonswrath wrote:
Ok yes... that level 18 character has 5 attacks a round as a psion with only a 3 step decrease... however... look at his first to hit bonus... +18.... at level 18, most of the creatures you spawn are going to have an armorclass that is going to stomp that into the ground, so you aren't going to be connecting a whole lot with those punches... and you can forget taking on a PC of the same level... they are going to be dang near untouchable to you unless you are lucky and get a lot of 20s.


Now...as your psion, I've pumped all my points into Wisdom...and some into Constitution...leaving my Intelligence sadly sadly lacking. So essentially I'm a psion wannabe monk. I would suck at melee. I might not get hit too often, but I certainly won't be hitting anything worth breaking a sweat over at that level.

So let me fall back on my vast pool of PSPs. I could definitely cast a lot of telepathic powers (based on Wisdom) without worrying about failing a power check or anything. Uh oh...Immunity: Mind Spells. Lemme try Animate Shadow (Wis based). Oh, it got killed quickly (not the best summon). I guess I could use Disintegrate over and over (hoping it doesn't have a good Fortitude save). I could buff myself like crazy, since I have relatively good Constitution...but for what? So I can just run around not doing much? I think the only power you could use is Molecular Agitation. You can't really take advantage of the new Summon Planar Creature since your Int is kinda crappy. And so on and so on. Of course, this is just from my limited experience playing a psion with the powers I'm familiar with. Unless you run into some higher level creatures without Mind Immunity, good luck.

Also...with my Psion/Monk...I have an AC of 31 fully buffed without haste (using a Wis ioun stone)...I could send you my character file if you want to play around with him and see how it goes. Maybe I'm a bit naive to some powergaming aspects that I'm not taking advantage of.

-Sceluscio Potementia

Edit: Also...why is it whenever someone makes an argument about how powerful psions are...the theoretical psion they use as an example has every power at their disposal. Not every psion chooses the exact same powers or has access to all of them. I actually have ESP as a power...it adds 10 skill points to Bluff, Persuade and Intimidate I believe...it's purely for roleplay. Not every psion has Statis Field or this or that.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2005 2:15 am
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Loki70
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You know, I keep coming up with better builds than that, lots of them, most of them non-monk/non-psion builds (fighter/rogues, druid/rogues, wizards (no second class needed), clerics (again, no second class needed), etc). Don't want to argue any more. If you really think they are that unbalanced, try playing one. You will see what I mean, eventually.

PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2005 2:34 am
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slave.of.emotions
Groundling


Joined: 25 Oct 2004
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Extendet psionic handbook:





The DC right now is 12+1/2 spellcaster level+ability.
Powers have levels just as spells, and are maximal level 9 powers with means that current powers DC should be caped when they gain +9 from the 1/2*psion and it should be 10 not 12.

Thats why contact becomes so powersful, mages have a level 5 spell that allows to lower the willsave of characters, all creatures have to make a save like against other spells, psions now still gain a bonus on using contact.


Many powers are addet diferent at all as they should be, for example excoplasmic form , i looked it up after i was wondering what that pwoer does as i selected it for my psion.
Quote:
Ectoplasmic Form
Psychometabolism
Level: Egoist 3, psychic warrior 3
Display: Olfactory
Manifesting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Personal
Target: You
Duration: 1 min./level (D)
Power Points: 5


You and all your gear become a partially translucent mass of rippling ectoplasm that generally conforms to your normal shape. You gain damage reduction 10/psionics, and you gain immunity to poison and critical hits. Your material armor becomes meaningless, although your size, Dexterity, deflection bonuses, and armor bonuses from force effects (such as those gained by inertial armor) still apply to your Armor Class.

You can manifest powers while in ectoplasmic form, but you must make a Concentration check (DC 20 + power level) for each power you attempt to manifest.

You cannot physically attack, you lose supernatural abilities (if any), and you canít speak while in ectoplasmic form. You canít run, but you can fly at a speed of 20 feet (perfect). You can pass through small holes or narrow openings, even mere cracks, with all you were wearing or holding in your hands. You are subject to the effects of wind, and you canít enter water or other liquid. You also canít manipulate objects or activate items, even those carried along with you. Continuously active items remain active, though in some cases their effects may be moot (such as items that provide armor or natural armor bonuses).

And i still have not found in any psion handbook powers that are just similar to shapechange or polymorph. and in the spell description of shapechange you lose all own supernatural abilities.

Then the powers can not be distrubed currently, acording to the extandet psionic handbook powers can be distrubed by damage just as spells, after all you have to concentrate to manifest a power with can be distrubed by dmg.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2005 2:35 am
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Loki70
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You are on the wrong version of psionics. We are using Mr. Nathan's version of the Dark Sun system and the Complete Psionicist's handbook from the second edition. It was agreed that the feat system was easier to impliment than the spell system. In the 2nd edition system, psions also got psi attack powers (at least one attack and one defense at first level) for psionic combat. Sadly this did not get implimented, since the class was put in as a PrC. The 3rd edition has several times as many powers as the 2nd, with some that are truly scary. There is a pdf of Mr Nathan's system in the NWVault if you are interested in the correct version.

PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2005 2:44 am
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Arkonswrath
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Slave... Look up the Psion Feat Metamorphasis and combine that with the psion spell that allows for changing into any creature the psion has met based on it's level. That feat allows the psion to gain the supernatural abilities of the creature it turned into. And yes, a psion in that form can still use their psionic powers.

PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2005 4:17 am
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slave.of.emotions
Groundling


Joined: 25 Oct 2004
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Loki70 wrote:
You are on the wrong version of psionics. We are using Mr. Nathan's version of the Dark Sun system and the Complete Psionicist's handbook from the second edition. It was agreed that the feat system was easier to impliment than the spell system. In the 2nd edition system, psions also got psi attack powers (at least one attack and one defense at first level) for psionic combat. Sadly this did not get implimented, since the class was put in as a PrC. The 3rd edition has several times as many powers as the 2nd, with some that are truly scary. There is a pdf of Mr Nathan's system in the NWVault if you are interested in the correct version.



rogues are 3th edition, wizards are 3th edition, paladins are 3th edition, fighters are 3th edition. How do you bring a rogue from second edition to 3th edition game ? How do you balance a 2th edition fighter without to convert him to 3th edition ?

And multiclassing in second edition was far harder.

This is like trying to use basic with a C++ compiler. Rolling Eyes
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2005 4:39 am
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Loki70
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Actually, none of those are third edition. All of them have been tweaked one way or another to make them playable. Mages don't cast Bull's Strength for hours in PnP. Clerics don't have spells that stun all non-allies in an area of effect. Rogues don't get four sneak attacks in a round. The only one that hasn't changed that much is fighters. Every class out there has been modified in some way shape or form to make them work with the engine, so why should psions be different. The spell system wouldn't work, since the picking and choosing out of over 200 abilities would take forever, and the ones that were picked wouldn't be the "right" ones in someone's point of view. Instead of crying out "Nerf the ..." why don't you help by telling the coders what changes would make the class more "equal".

PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2005 5:04 am
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GuiltySpark
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Joined: 25 Sep 2005
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[rant on]
I'm trying to keep up with all the shop-talk about stats and the math. I should probably bow out soon.

Maybe i'm looking at this the wrong way. I know when something comes into copap it has to be balanced so it doesn't grossly screw up the game.
Fine.
But wow.

Where my biggest concern about psions before was how I would role play using certain powers.
Telekinesis-imagine reaching out and grabbing the rock.
Or how I would explain psionics compared to magic.
Imagine the energy of life is a stream. A wizard is a rock in the stream making the energy bend around him. A psion is a tunnel and the energy is flowing through him. All in character.

NOW its DCs +10 and spell levels and level 20. 2nd edition here and 3rd edition there. Monks and druids.

Balncing a class is important so it jives with the rest but some people (I don't mean just this thread) really come across like DCs and stats are more important than role playing. Some of this stuff sounds more like it belongs to an action server than a role playing server. You know the servers where you go to level 40 in a week?

Anyone can sit inside an area and level up given ideal conditions. Perfect stats, ideal equipment, just kepe pulling the level and picking powers. hey guess what. THATS NOT ROLE PLAYING.
Every class is going to be different.
But a level 2 monk 20 psion BLEH. Why are some people so worried about someone making an uber class? If all someone cares about is making an epic build, go here. http://nwn.bioware.com/underdark/character_builds.html . I promise the DMs are going to see this and treat the person accordingly.

Theres lots of psion combinations. Not every psion is going to be a 2 monk-20 psion that shape changes into a dragon and slaps people while using haste and flesh armor.

I know the thread and more generally, the constant argument about psions being balanced is about this stat and that DC but seriously - try stepping away from the numbers and approach it from a role playing point of view. Don't throw making the class balanced out the window but don't be in a crusade to balance psions (or any other class) at the cost of role playing.
Your missing the forest because of all the trees in the way
[rant off]

PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2005 5:31 am
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Drakuul
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Quote:
The DC right now is 12+1/2 spellcaster level+ability.


DCs are actuall anywhere between 8 and 12 + 1/2 psion lvl.

Please don't make assumptions about everything based on limited experience - the more powerful powers have base 8, such as disintegrate.


Also, as people have noted, that wildly unusable psion you showed us would also be failing around 40% of INT based powers.

Psions aren't WIS based monsters, to play a useful well rounded psion, you have to have fairly decent stats in INT WIS and CON, otherwise they'll be one trick ponies.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2005 5:44 am
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slave.of.emotions
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ehm, i am playing a psion and its ALWAYS the same DC

Psions can rely on low levels on metaphisis powers, the great int powers are comeo n high level where they have decent concentration checks.


Quote:
Please don't make assumptions about everything based on limited experience - the more powerful powers have base 8, such as disintegrate.
i throw that ball back to you.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2005 6:10 am
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Drakuul
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DCs from the scripts are varied between 8, 10 and 12.

And what ball? Just because you are just using DC 12 + 1/2 psion lvl powers doesn't make that point less valid. Try using other powers.

And using INT based powers at high levels once you've got a good concentration score WITHOUT having a decent INT score is a waste of time. (Believe me, I know - 40 ranks of CONC) potions only go so far in getting that DC up. You either have a decent INT to start off with, which makes INT powers useful throughout your psions life, or you have a sucky INT which means you only have a half decent DC at high levels - against which your opponents will save 90% of the time.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2005 6:23 am
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slave.of.emotions
Groundling


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Drakuul wrote:

And what ball?


Quote:
Please don't make assumptions about everything based on limited experience


and that those dcs varie from 8 to 12 does not mean that they should not be cabed at some point and why dont remove the concentration checks from clerics and mages and turn they DCs to be based on mage level not spell level ? that would help bards greatly with they low level will based spells.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2005 6:38 am
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Loki70
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I'm done. Apparently the only way to balance psions according to SoE is to change the entire game, which is impossible since every suggestion he has is hard-coded the way it is. Game on.

PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2005 6:51 am
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Drakuul
Groundling


Joined: 03 Feb 2004
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As you may or may not know, concentration checks for other casters are only used when they are in threat area of a hostile. Psions are the ONLY class that use CONC checks ALL THE TIME.

Mages/Clerics/Bards can use buffing spells/ attack spells perfectly well if they aren't very near a main fight. Psions can fail thier power checks at ANY time, especially if their CON or INT or WIS aren't high.

No psion of 15th lvl or below can reasonably get all their power stats up to 20-22 without some good gear, or continually quaffing potions. This means that for those levels there is always a chance that powers will fail with every attempt. Compare that with other casters who can buff with no worries out of combat, or cast offensive magics at distance with no worries.

I'm not saying Psions are not powerful, quite the reverse when played well. But ALL classes are powerful when played well.

I trust Kinarr and the team enough to playtest and modify the new powers enough so they can decide what stays and what goes and what gets changed, and quite frankly I doubt they're going to be swayed by powerbuilds or ranting or whining on any forums.


For some reason I am reminded of a line from a Les Barker poem... "Never argue with an idiot, for they are doing exactly the same thing."

*Follows Loki*
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2005 6:58 am
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papainhell
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Joined: 21 Aug 2005
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Apandapion wrote:
I think psions are pretty balanced as they stand. Perfect? No, but there's no such thing as perfect balance. Any kind of spell-pointish system where you can use the same power over and over is always going to have an issue. Or five.

I do think that psionics should have been Charisma-based instead of Wisdom-Based. Psionics is force of will. Force of will is charisma. But that's a whole different discussion, and I wouldn't advocate changing it now and breaking all the existing psions (except one) anyway.


Charisma based? You are wrong my friend. Wisdom is the strength of ones soul i.e. determination, charisma is how well you interact with people, charm and the like. From this it is easy to see that willpower is the only viable stat that fits for psionic power manifestation, as you will be willing the desired effect to happen, not coercing or bribing an effect in to manifesting.

PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2005 9:35 am
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