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Rule-of-Three: 05/23/2011
R&D Staff

You’ve got questions—we’ve got answers! Here’s how it works—each week, our Community Manager will be scouring all available sources to find whatever questions you’re asking. We’ll pick three of them to answer, whether about the about the making of the game, the technical workings of our DDI studio, or anything else you care to know about… with some caveats.

There are certain business and legal questions we can’t answer (for business and legal reasons). And if you have a specific rules question, we’d rather point you to Customer Service, where representatives are ready and waiting to help guide you through the rules of the game. That said, our goal is provide you with as much information we can—in this and other venues.


1 Are you guys ever going to come out with a Psionic Power II, or Arcane Power II... and all down the line?

We’re doing the design work that would normally show up in such titles, but are instead packaging it together in books like Heroes of Shadow and Heroes of the Feywild. Focusing on themes with ties to the world of D&D gives us a way to look beyond character class in creating support. While obviously those books do include new powers, we also want to include character themes, general feats, and items. This approach also lets us be more flexible in addressing the game’s needs.


2 Do you have any plans to make a boxed set specifically designed for the epic tier?

We’re going to start epic tier support in Dragon and Dungeon, primarily because that’s a venue where we can be more agile in responding to the community. Getting epic support right is not simply a matter of printing more stuff. We need to print the right stuff. That said, a boxed set with adventures, poster maps, and other components would be great—but before we can run that marathon, we need to do some training in Dragon and Dungeon.


3 Why did the cleric get nerfed? What were the underlying reasons for the changes?

The biggest nerfs to the cleric fall into a couple of categories: turn undead and a handful of other attack powers that had higher-than-typical damage for powers of their level.

In the case of turn undead, the scaling damage and size of the burst made this power substantially better than most daily attack powers available to the cleric. We didn’t feel that the targeting limitations placed on this power justified it being better than any daily attack power, especially when it can be recharged through use of power or path combos. An area-effect pile of radiant damage is already going to benefit from the vulnerability that most undead have to such damage (even on a miss), and the push plus immobilize is great control. The changes to the power do make it weaker than your typical daily attacks, but it is still likely better than your encounter attack power options.

We also reduced the damage or area of about a half-dozen cleric powers. We felt these powers went too far above our target power level, especially in comparison to controllers like the wizard, but even in comparison to other powers the cleric had available. When we design a game element, we have a target power level in mind, and the final powers always fall within a short range of that target. Sometimes powers are better, and sometimes a little worse than the target. A little better or worse is fine, but when a power or feat clearly sails way over the target, we need to bring it back in line. Otherwise, whenever we make new powers for the cleric, we’d have powers like fire storm or astral storm to compare them to, and if we make the new powers competitive with the original versions of the 'storms, then we introduce unintentional power creep to the game.

Of course, we are always listening to community feedback, and we’ll also have a discussion in the most recent podcast to address this more in depth.


How can I submit a question to the Rule-of-Three?

Instead of a single venue to submit questions, our Community Manager will be selecting questions from our message boards, Twitter feed, and Facebook account. You can also submit questions directly to dndinsider@wizards.com. So, if you’d like to have your question answered in the Rule-of-Three, just continue to participate in our online community—and we may select yours!


Poll Time

Our past encounter conversions have explored N1: Against the Cult of the Reptile God and B1 In Search of the Unknown. Which adventure would you be interested in having covered for a future encounter conversion?

Where should the next encounter come from?
Castle Amber
Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan
The Mines of Bloodstone
Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh
Slave Pits of the Undercity
A Paladin in Hell
White Plume Mountain

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