A better delay option

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A better delay option

Postby Sangarunya » Wed Mar 31, 2021 6:59 pm

Before anything, congratulations for the game - it's impressive how many combat options, maneuvers and spells can be used effectively in each encounter. Of course, it can be improved, and this is the point of my post.

Having played the game several times with different parties I miss a better choice to change the actuation order of the party in a proactive way. The game has three options for doing this reactively: Ready against approach, Ready against spell and counterspelling - all of them are useful in several situations but for certain strategies and leveraging synergies between the party members, a preemptive manner is needed. And Delay is very limiting.

Right now if you choose delay, the character goes to the bottom of the initiative list and must wait for all the other characters in the battle act before getting the turn again.

Compare with the SRD 3.5 version rules:

"By choosing to delay, you take no action and then act normally on whatever initiative count you decide to act. When you delay, you voluntarily reduce your own initiative result for the rest of the combat. When your new, lower initiative count comes up later in the same round, you can act normally. You can specify this new initiative result or just wait until some time later in the round and act then, thus fixing your new initiative count at that point.

You never get back the time you spend waiting to see what’s going to happen. You also can’t interrupt anyone else’s action (as you can with a readied action)."

The OGL 3.5 delay option allows to change your initiative to any value lower than the original, altering the initiative order of the group. This is very important for classes specialized in buffs to empower the martial characters, or debuffs to activate some abilities (like Coup the Grace or the Sneak Attack) or simply getting combat bonuses. Without this option all depends to the random dice rolls and hope for the right order in the initiative queue. Delaying the action means that all the enemies act - this is not so bad when the number of enemies is small but when you are up a dozen or more, becomes an almost mediocre choice and forces to act without considering that type of synergies, focusing in dealing the maximum damage possible or incapacitating them with control spells.
Thats why the best classes right now are those who can deal more damage by themselves, like the Red Mage of the Psionicist. Cast some spells with the right feats, and enemies explode. The order of actuation within your group doesn't matter to them (almost always). But classes like the Bard, Death Knight, Rogue or the Green Mage feel underwhelming - acting after or before other members of the party alter ostensibly your strategy and most of the time you must make a subpar choice. For these characters, certain placements force them to do a below par action at their initial initiative or delay to the last position to do their best course of action.

A few examples where the order matters:

-Your White Wizard wants to cast Flaming Oil on a group of enemies and then the Red Wizard cast Burning Hands, doing more damage.

-A Blue Wizard casting Sleep on enemies and a melee character use the Coup of Grace to deal the fatal blow.

-A Bard singing first to give bonuses to the martial characters or prefers going last in a caster party to buff the summons.

-Casting Enlarge and Enhance Ability on your monk to help with a grappling roll.

-A Necromancer casting Blindness and a Rogue waiting to use Sneak Attack.

There are dozens of synergies between classes we cannot fully take advantage of because of the inability of altering the initiative order in a efficient way. With the 3.5 OGL delaying action some of the enemies get their turn before you can act, but no the entire bunch. Given the current state of the game, the most powerful classes are the ones that can deal tons of damage by themselves without relying on friendly spells - the group is more about six powerful individuals than the synergies between them.

I think the game should allow to adjust the order in a proactive way to create more teamwork in the party. Gish classes, buffers and those who use Sneak Attack will benefit a lot.

Consider this change to Delay or adding it in the Game Options: when you pick this option, choose a number less than your initiative and this becomes the new value for the rest of the encounter. You can't delay more than once per turn, and you must act in the round. Is practically the same as now, but instead going last you can decide how many positions go down in the list. This is somewhat punishing: the more you delay a character the lower the initiative will be (with the added risk of waves of new enemies arriving with more probability of getting higher initiative and act before your group) but it let you improve your actions in the turn until a certain point.

Please, consider implementing this before doing drastic balance changes - some classes cannot show the full extent of their power and some spells lose their value in favor of the pure damage ones.

Thanks for reading.
Sangarunya
Stone Giant (CR 8)
Knights of the Chalice 2
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A better delay option

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Re: A better delay option

Postby BlueSalamander » Sat Jun 05, 2021 3:40 pm

Hello Sangarunya, thank you very much for the detailed posting.

You certainly make a compelling case for a better << Delay >> action.

I'm adding it to the list of things I'd like to do. It will have to display a sub-menu with the list of the upcoming combatants. You click on one of them and you'll get to act after the creature you've selected. ToEE did it with a click and drag system, but that's more complicated.

Best regards 8-)
'Say there is a chunk of meat. Pirates will have a banquet and eat it! But heroes will share it with other people. I want all the meat!!' - Luffy in One Piece
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Re: A better delay option

Postby LordSith » Sat Jun 05, 2021 9:08 pm

If "delay" becomes better, that would be perfect. I'd never use it because it pulls you last on list too.
OS: windows 10, 64bits, family edition.

Playing KOTC v1.14 as of 1 juni 2021.
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Re: A better delay option

Postby Sangarunya » Wed Jun 30, 2021 2:02 pm

Great! I have several parties to try when this get implemented.
Sangarunya
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Knights of the Chalice 2
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Re: A better delay option

Postby BlueSalamander » Sun Aug 01, 2021 3:29 pm

It's implemented now in version 1.16. Thank you!! :)
'Say there is a chunk of meat. Pirates will have a banquet and eat it! But heroes will share it with other people. I want all the meat!!' - Luffy in One Piece
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