The disappearing strategy thread...... (in Off-topic)

QBJohnnywas March 30 2007 3:03 PM EDT

I was sitting here, feeling a little nostalgic for the 'old days' when you couldn't move for strat threads, those lovely long posts where we all used to gather around and toast marshmallows and prove how much we all knew about the game.. ;)

There's a strange thing happened in the past year or so; there are still a lot of strat threads, in fact so far March 2007 has seen twice as many strat threads as March 2006. But a lot of the posts these days are pretty short, whereas before we used to waffle on and on and on about every last little detail. And most of the strat threads cover the same subjects these days. Not like the 'old days' lol....

So do we now know too much about the game? Has the Wiki killed off the strategy thread?

QBOddBird March 30 2007 3:07 PM EDT

We know too much. I vote Jon makes UC the strongest skill in the game, Evasion the weakest, Elven Long Bows only work against people with 'E' in their names and 4 minion teams, AMF is now Antimelee field and it does its current effect against melee, MM fires from the middle outwards, FB causes other mages to harm themselves, and the Cornuthaum is an oversized full-body helmet that stretches from head to toe and protects against the VB. And AC now starts at 400, which is the weakest possible, and works its way down to 0. And all weapons have an acidic effect which causes AC to slowly become less useful as the battle continues. And arrows have a random chance of disintegrating, and the RoBF becomes the BoBF, Boots of Balrog Flame.

Eurynome Bartleby [Bartleby's] March 30 2007 3:18 PM EDT

I do see that sometimes innofensive threads gather intricate strat/skill/spell/anti-ranged talks that have little in common with the original subject...maybe that compensates ;)

Nerevas March 30 2007 5:31 PM EDT

Strategy isn't dead. People are just gravitating towards cookie cutter or FOTM (flavor of the month) builds way too much.

[T]Vestax March 30 2007 6:27 PM EDT

Nerevas, that would indicate that strategy is indeed dying. You are still right about one thing though, people are quick to take the word of others about what is and is not powerful. The issue is that people are often lured very easily into simple strategies that do only one thing, deal a lot of damage. It has always been this way.

Most people are familiar with these simple strategies. Some measure a strategies success by advising it to new players and seeing their confirmed progress. This says nothing about how well they do against a tested strategy.

Most people are familiar with the fact that any strategy has a counter to it. They simply don't care because its not as simple. Most people care not for the balanced strategy, the one that rarely can't beat someone weaker then themselves. I've always admired such strategies.

As much as sutekh hates clans and thinks they're dumb, they are still the only reason to make these balanced all-around characters. I appreciate the clan system for this incentive.

I dislike brute force strategies because they only exemplify brute force thinking. I am hardly a fan of it and I am certainly of the opinion that brute force strategies are weak and pathetic, and far from overpowering. Simply saying such-and-such strategy is the best doesn't make it true. They are beatable if you try. Now let the discussion begin.

Eurynome Bartleby [Bartleby's] March 30 2007 7:43 PM EDT

The problem is that simple and overpowered strats offers some kind of constant 'carrot on a stick' in the form of simply mowing through opponents like they are blades of grass. It IS cool. It IS easy, and it pays -right now-. Such is also the mentality that has been going on outside CB too, anyways, and it moves people. Not surprised to see it happen here.

I have tried the two options in my almost-a-year-of-CB, and I must say, archer strats rock. (archery being used here for the benefit of my little rant) They rock cuz no one likes to lose, and equipped with a large bow, you do not. (but archery overpoweredness is not my point) The novelty of it soon wears off though, and I am starting a new NCB with a much less safe tactic. Not many peeps will do the same, though, I am certain. I do believe that it is a tendency that will keep going on at a constantly greater scale, this ' I wanna kill, NOW' thing. Unfortunately, for sure.

CB is a mirror of society like any MMOG, but I sure would like people to get more creative, including me I hope, I just can't stand evasion anymore XD

QBRanger March 30 2007 8:06 PM EDT


Remember in the past year, most of the spell/skills have been already discussed at nauseam.

And, the FOTM is the uber TOA archer using a HOC, BG's, and seekers at least for defense. Why mess with such a simple and powerful strategy when it allows you to climb the ranks and get large rewards far easier than other strategies.

Eurynome Bartleby [Bartleby's] March 30 2007 8:23 PM EDT

HA, you guys need a couple more hidden formulaes to find about :)

Nerevas March 30 2007 9:43 PM EDT

All I can say is, experimentation pays off. There's plenty of strategies out there that could rock most or possibly all the top10 if someone took them to the top. Most people tend to think inside the box and we pass on that thinking to new players as you said. So the playing field gets stale with the same overused strategies. Different people have different goals with their characters. You're certainly not "aiming for the top" by starting an NCB alongside fifty other people all using the same strategy.

GO PATS March 30 2007 9:50 PM EDT

Whats cooler?

A band of mercenaries, each good at what they do, working in tandem to overcome obstacles, find cool gear, and win some fights...


One guy, with just a real cool bow, that is so good he can just shoot each of them in the face with an arrow each, before they can hit him?

I vote for Uber-Archer.

Aside from working well, it's cooler. So there.

QBOddBird March 30 2007 11:09 PM EDT

Seems the team of mercenaries would be cooler, if you really think about it.

GO PATS March 30 2007 11:13 PM EDT

Nah, the Archer is cooler...

You gotta know that every one of those mercenaries have already picked someone in the team that they would have no problem replacing with said archer... (Especially their archer, who smoke cigarettes, and it's beginning to bother the Wall who is asthmatic.)

QBsutekh137 March 31 2007 12:23 AM EDT

I promise you something to talk about on Sunday.

[T]Vestax March 31 2007 2:34 AM EDT

Ashilizator, archery, though highly effective, is not overpowered. Go ahead and just try to beat me with an archer who's MPR isn't well above mine. You are likely to lose every time.

MrC [DodgingTheEvilForgeFees] March 31 2007 5:16 AM EDT

I miss the old days too.

Sut, you've got the right idea and I look forward to seeing whatever it is you've got planned.

I'll see if I can in the next month or so do something to achieve the same goal of giving people something to talk about. If most people are staying quiet because they haven't got much to talk about, we'll just see if we can't teach them a thing or two.

QBJohnnywas March 31 2007 8:43 AM EDT

I do miss the old back and forth on ideas; knowing exactly how AMF backlash is reduced by a ToE down to the nearest decimal point isn't the problem. Those old strat talks would always throw up interesting ideas, things that you didn't know that would spark off new things. I don't see that these days.

What I do see is a overall conservative view to strategy, not just where archery is concerned. And some of that is because we have a 'rulebook' in the shape of the Wiki. It's good in some ways, because it gets people off the ground a lot quickly. But they do so with proven ideas. I miss that 'whoa I didn't know it could do that' factor that you used to see. I also see it too often where somebody says something is weak or overpowered and that becomes the accepted view.

We have always had that mind you; UC was always considered the weakest skill in the game. Then Barzoo pushed it up really high, inspiring me to do the same on a single minion...that still remains one of the funniest things I've seen here, UC overpowered threads!

I dunno, maybe it's just me. Maybe I'm hitting that point where my time here is nearly done. We shall see.... ;)

[T]Vestax March 31 2007 9:43 AM EDT

Ahh! Quick, everyone talk like the old days before Johnny leaves.

Errr... this is olden talk here and I think the ToE blocks damage as a percentage based on the enemy's MPR. Also, flame, idea, idea, and flame.

QBOddBird March 31 2007 9:52 AM EDT

Olden talk!

Why is there no tattoo for the mages like what there is the ToA, which allows a diluted minion to be capable of holding the 'main damage dealer' position? Should it give PTH?

Let's have a ToIntelligence, for the mages, giving them DD like the TOA gives PTH, STR, and DX!

When will score start flying up past the top MPRs? I want to see a 10 million score!

Should we have the option to reset our MPBs, in case of an anomaly such as the x25000 Slayer fired throwing it off?

I prefer melee combat over ranged combat. Like, UC and BL, tanks rushing and charging in headfirst while the archers pelt them and then when they reach them annihilating them....the very idea is much cooler to me. Anyone else hold this preference?

Should Jonathan put his hair in a ponytail? I think so!

Let's make the RoBF work during ranged rounds as well as melee, so that when combined with heavy damage reduction it causes the attacker's PTH to work against them, due to the fact that it retaliates per blow!

Does the Exbow have a 'magic number' that will always absorb 100% STR? More questions after this, folks! ^_^

QBBast [Hidden Agenda] March 31 2007 9:57 AM EDT

Nov is out getting a tan, the forums are suffering accordingly.

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] March 31 2007 10:06 AM EDT

>Why is there no tattoo for the mages like what there is the ToA, which allows a
>diluted minion to be capable of holding the 'main damage dealer' position?
>Should it give PTH? >Let's have a ToIntelligence, for the mages, giving them DD like the TOA gives
>PTH, STR, and DX!

>When will score start flying up past the top MPRs? I want to see a 10 million
likely not until someone hits 10 mil pr from the looks of things, unless someone builds a strat we've not seen yet.

>Should we have the option to reset our MPBs, in case of an anomaly such as the
>x25000 Slayer fired throwing it off?
No, being cute with upped ammo is it's own reward/punishment. >I prefer melee combat over ranged combat. Like, UC and BL, tanks rushing and
>charging in headfirst while the archers pelt them and then when they reach
>them annihilating them....the very idea is much cooler to me. Anyone else hold
>this preference? Sure, I'd love to see what would happen if you removed some of the penalties to hit
in ranged (I did suggest the charge skill at least once) as dim witted tanks
are charging forward with no cover fire...can you say Fine Red Mist?

>Should Jonathan put his hair in a ponytail? I think so!

>Let's make the RoBF work during ranged rounds as well as melee, so that when
>combined with heavy damage reduction it causes the attacker's PTH to work
>against them, due to the fact that it retaliates per blow!
Personally, I was saddened when the RoBF lost it's evasion, but this could be fun.

>Does the Exbow have a 'magic number' that will always absorb 100% STR? More
>questions after this, folks!
Yes, and it's not that high I don't think...less than 3000x IIRC.

QBJohnnywas March 31 2007 10:07 AM EDT

lol, I'm not gone yet!

Nov's out getting a tan?!??! My God, he'll melt!

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] March 31 2007 10:14 AM EDT


QBsutekh137 March 31 2007 10:43 AM EDT

OK, I'm going to be ultra-predictable and come down on what I always come down on: clans.

I'm not sure things are more conservative, but they are definitely samey. Here are the aspects of clans that I think breed stagnation:

1. More imperative need to grind out clan points, usually on a limited fightlist.
This issue makes the game seem more like work, and since people tend to fight a smaller list of people to get clan points, that means less diversity. There is also frustration at the "dead" points in the score ladder where clan opponents are hard to find. The upside? A bit of bonus that everyone gets anyway (making it not really a bonus at all). Like I said: samey.

2. Clans breed cliques that would be more fun if they fought each other.
High end clans-people tend to join up. Yes, that would be folks like Battle Royale. Do you think Mikel and Popsicle Man will duke it out after Mikel's NCB is over and he buys some minions? I sure hope so, because I can barely beat PM even in two fights. That kind of titan-battle breeds change, evolution, and spirit. Sadly, if they remain in the same clan, I don't see them regularly fighting each other. Don't get me wrong, I love cliques -- but only the kind that contain single persons. *smile* Pure individuality = pure fun.

3. Clans make things more mechanical.
This kind of goes along with item 1, but is different enough that I figured it deserved its own number. Because of wacky times, Sundays, and cache flush times, etc, people into clans are careful about when they burn their purchased BA, or even when the bunch their naturally-accrued BA. This is fun!...for about 15 seconds. Then it just gets old. "OK, Friday, time to wait to buy my BA until after 4 PM CST in order to have maximum gains during Saturday's high experience..." Ho hum. Maybe I am more like what Johnny mentions -- just tired of the mundane. Maybe other folks get fired up each and every time they press "C-enter" and crank out some more clan points, or make a the same decision they have made 450 times before about how to maximize clan scoring. I don't know.

But other parts of the game DO still get me going! Tomorrow I am going to swap my FF out for an HF, and take a bunch of data (already did so for the FF). That's fun stuff! That's value-added. Clans aren't value-added any more. There hasn't been any enhancement to clan play in as long as I can remember.

For me it's always about upside/downside. What's the upside to clans? Bonus, for one. Though, we all get it, and it's negligibly different (13-15%) for any clans that care. As a singleton, I get 13% almost all the time. So we all get the bonus, meaning it isn't really a bonus at all. I guess another thing is comraderie -- though every time I post asking about that, if it is really something that people get excited about, the only enthusiasm I get is in terms of mentoring -- clans do seem to help with that to some extent. Beyond that, clans seem to get a big "meh".

The downsides? Well, what I list above, perhaps causing a perceived "work" to the game. I'm not saying games shouldn't involve work. Any game worth its salt HAS to involve work, in fact. But the work that clans force is tedious and mechanical -- "donkey work". Alternatively, the work involved with trying a new strategy, saving money to re-ink a tattoo, planning one's day around BA fills -- well, that seems more fun to me, and is what has kept me on CB for nearly four years. Clans? They have traditionally been the one thing that has made me closest to leaving on several occasions. That's a pretty severe downside, at least for me personally.

So there, I said it... I think clans are THAT bad. They no longer add anything to the game, they are no longer a dynamic aspect of game mechanics, and their downside exceeds their upside. That makes a lot more than just strategy disappear.

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] March 31 2007 10:53 AM EDT

Artificial meaningless achievements are where it's at!

I would still like to see clans become what I've been fighting for since a few months into my time here, an actual test of strat intelligence rather than lack of a life.

Have scrimmage matches where a short half hour or one hour tourney is held, huge bonuses to XP that allow you grow chars very quickly (hitting 250k mpr in an hour say) but only allowing you to fight the chars the other team is building.

QBJohnnywas March 31 2007 11:02 AM EDT

There's a lot in that post Sut, that rings bells with me; and there's also the word I was looking for - 'fun'. I guess I'm just missing the fun element at the moment. Forums and fighting were my 'thing', never chat, never clans; and the forums are pretty dry at the moment for me. A lot of what I considered the forum crew aren't as active lately; that's probably my biggest problem - nothing to do with the game.

But yeah, there is a certain 'nine to five'-ness about CB lately, and a big emphasis on winning. And that gathering of the big guns that happens in clans does annoy I must admit; I really would like to see all out war if we're going to be competitive at all here. Now that would be fun!

QBsutekh137 March 31 2007 11:45 AM EDT

Johnny, there is a measure of that over time no matter what is done... It is hard to keep the fun in something once you have it sussed out to a large degree.

QBJohnnywas March 31 2007 11:52 AM EDT

yeah, I know...I guess I'm just looking for a bit of magic to appear; I should probably be grateful that I'm still interested after nearly three years. ;)

[T]Vestax March 31 2007 12:47 PM EDT

I get happiness out of shaping my team. I'm not sure I've said this out load, but I consider it to be an art form. I like my strat tidy and nice to look at. If it isn't pleasing to the eye, and completely apparent about what the strat does, then I've failed. However, that is part of where I draw my fun out of CB.

The forums are my greatest pleasure and any post made by Johnny is worth my time in my opinion.

Now to go back to clans for a moment.

sutekh makes some good points. It is hard to deny any of them. I myself would like to see it changed up. Something on the level of a real battle royal would be nice.

Personally, it would be nice if a person in a clan could buy special BA that they used to fight other clan members with. The player wouldn't choose the members but instead get a roster. He could prepare before every fight and right before the fight he gets a sort of level and NW adjustment. That in my opinion would make clan fighting worth the money it takes to be in one these days.

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] March 31 2007 2:02 PM EDT

I think the problem is we've found out just about as much as we can (from muling things over, and from people like NS really analysing things) and we're at a point now were the answer to any question is either;

"It's in the Wiki"


"there's no real way of finding that out without Jon letting something slip".

As for strategy, we need something major to change to shake things up again. Not making DD much more damaging to sway the balance back to Mages from Archers, but totally new stuff.

New items, new spells, new skills.

PL changed the game, shook things up for a while. The HF didn't have such an impact.

QBRanger March 31 2007 2:09 PM EDT

The HoC has had a huge impact.

But right now, there are only a few strategies to use if a NCB/NUB to maximize your rewards in an attempt to get as powerful as possible in such a short time as the NUB/NCB allows.

If you have the funds, the TOA archer with BG's/HoC/ELB/seekers/DM is the best right now.

Mage options are typically a SMFB mage with HoC/DM/AG or a MM type team with a HoC/COI/AG using either DM or AMF.

QBOddBird March 31 2007 2:18 PM EDT

Mimic has a really (expensive) fun team going, IMO. =)

QBJohnnywas March 31 2007 2:58 PM EDT

lol, I like it ;)

QBJohnnywas March 31 2007 3:00 PM EDT

Actually, that is really good; nice way to utilize the HF. A DM/GA team would cause it a few problems, but apart from it! ;)

QBOddBird March 31 2007 3:10 PM EDT

That and FB mages, specifically ones with a good Evasion. ^_^

lostling March 31 2007 3:45 PM EDT

just wait till i up my SODs they are currently around 700k NW if you like interesting strat look at my other chars

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] March 31 2007 6:09 PM EDT

I can't remember who had a similar setup back in the day, but I certainly thought more of yours when you had the JKF on it just to be the minion who lived (chuckle)

GS must be lowering your HF PTh badly...

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] March 31 2007 6:14 PM EDT

There also needs to be a reason *not* to use four minions.

QBOddBird March 31 2007 6:28 PM EDT

Exp. Dilution, but as I said, the ToA solves that for tanks. For mages, there is still a good reason not to have 4 minions.

QBJohnnywas March 31 2007 6:48 PM EDT

There has been an attitude that to cut it near the top you can't compete with less than four. But the top twenty is full of variety in terms of minion count; one minion through to five minions up there.

QBRanger March 31 2007 6:58 PM EDT

Agreed Johnny,

But 4 minions are nice to both dispuse the FB damage and those extra kill slots.

QBJohnnywas March 31 2007 7:11 PM EDT

Oh I agree completely there; personally I like either one or four; completely focused in the first instance; as many kill slots as I can get in the second. I've never made two or three work for me; two always feels like a watered down single minion; and three might as well be four. But I'm also lazy; two and three require a bit more thinking in terms of what to train.

Whereas four gives you the freedom to devote each minion to a single stat and still be effective. And one forces you into Zen territory.

Zen and the art of Carnage Blending.

QBRanger March 31 2007 7:49 PM EDT

Actually I prefer 2 to 1 as one minion will hold the tattoo and the other can use all the equipment to boost his/her damage capabilities.

QBOddBird March 31 2007 8:09 PM EDT

Agreed, I prefer 2 to 3 myself as well. 1 to hold the tattoo and train a single stat, 1 to be the damage dealer, and then depending on the strat another to supplement.

AdminNightStrike April 1 2007 2:03 AM EDT

"And AC now starts at 400, which is the weakest possible, and works its way down to 0."

No!!!! THAC0 is dead!! Let it stay dead!

[T]Vestax April 1 2007 3:01 PM EDT

I'm a 2 to 3 minion man myself. (I like the extra thinking.)
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