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Subject: Overpowered new investigators? rss

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Kreczdos Isaac
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Don't get me wrong. I do love how are the new investigators. Each time an expansion is out, I'm just like "ohmagad, Gloria look so nice, and Kate, and William, I want to play with all of them..."

But aren't they kind of overpowered compared to first investigators?

For example, in the core game, we have Norman Withers (my all times favourite investigator) but he only get one little spell, allowing him to improve one skill with, often, counterparts. But, on the other hand, you can have investigators with 1 automatic improvement of their choice AND one or two assets (I'm not counting Rex - I know that his unbearable curse is hardly counterbalanced by his amazing stats).

Now it seems it's just like ALL the new investigators have at least 2 starting assets. Where's the time when your started with only one personal assistant, or one spell?

Is this conspiracy real or is it just my going slighty mad by the mythos?
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Igor Persin
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new ones seems better compared to the old ones to me, and I am not even looking with what they star, but just their ablity/action.
 
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Kreczdos Isaac
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Well, starting assets can had a lot to the game. For example, the ability of the AH Mandy (reroll the dice who aren't a success) is now, for her, a asset. Adding that to her two wonderful abilities and, theorically, I find Mandy kind of overpowered (which not change at all from AH, you'll say )
 
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Mark Bauer
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This pehomenon is called Power Creep
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Kenneth H
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Like with any game with characters released over a number of years, it's likely they are refining their craft. Some of the initial characters may have been too good, others too weak. Based on public perceptions or empirical evidence, they then (presumably) try to make characters that will either lead to a more balanced game experience or will be more fun for the players.

Also worth noting, there are a number of axes upon which characters might be balanced. Abilities, skill levels, starting possessions, and even starting locations or death encounters might be factored in. If they are not equal on one axis, the difference might be made up in another. That's if balance between the characters is a priority to the developers - which it may not be at all.

Starting possessions seem to be a crapshoot. The default seems to be that you get assets with a value of 2, unless you just don't (Tommy gets a 3 and a Will improvement, but his abilities are on the bad side). Spells, Unique Assets, and clues seem to be priced at 1 each, unless you're Norman. But he always has a clue with his ability, doesn't he? (Though I suppose you could say the same thing about Jacqueline...) Meanwhile, poor Silas over here only gets a Fishing Net, which, how is that even worth 2 in the first place? But he has one of the best action abilities in the game, so maybe that's a form of balance.
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M.C.Crispy
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I think that it's a result of adding a new mechanism (Talents) and having characters that actually use the Mechanism (seems fair: Ithaqua got to use Hypothermia when it was introduced...). I also think that they are deliberately more powerful to help redress the difficulty balance and/or help out those of us who struggle because we only play 4 times a year (though I have played a fair few games with the current expansion already).
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MC Shudde M'ell
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I certainly wouldn't use Norman as an example of underpowered - there are a lot of Mysteries and tests that don't care where your Clue comes from, and Norman is also one of the most fun to role play - he has the power to make up crazy stories that turn out to be true (and crazy) - he's a Yankee Baron Munchausen.
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Bryn Ballard
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We draft investigators from a random selection at the beginning of each game. This keeps us on our toes, we can't just choose whomever we deem most powerful in a given situation.


I think the design of William Yorrick's component action is insightful. Not only does it fit thematically in that he goes digging, but it gives the players some control over the reserve without action cost. This is especially important when playing with all the expansions mixed in since the assets deck is getting quite tall.

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meles meles
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Yes, there seems to be power creep.

(M) Ursula Downs: 64%
(P) Sister Mary: 62%
(M) Daisy Walker: 62%
(P) Minh Thi Phan: 61%
(C) Wendy Adams: 60%
(C) Jenny Barnes: 60%
(P) Mandy Thompson: 60%
(P) Harvey Walters: 59%
(P) Rex Murphy: 59%
(M) Agnes Baker: 59%
(C) Dexter Drake: 58%
(P) Monterey Jack: 57%
(E) Charlie Kane: 56%
(M) Wilson Richards: 56%
(S) Marie Lambeau: 56%
(M) George Barnaby: 56%
(M) Partrice Hathaway: 55%
(E) Jacqueline Fine: 55%
(M) Finn Edwards: 55%
(P) Hank Samson: 55%
(S) Zoey Samaras: 54%
(S) "Skids" O'Toole: 54%
(C) Michael McGlen: 54%
(P) Joe Diamond: 54%
(M) Tommy Muldoon: 53%
(E) Lola Hayes: 50%
(E) Lily Chen: 50%
(E) Norman Withers: 50%
(E) Jim Culver: 49%
(E) Diana Stanley: 49%
(E) Trish Scarborough: 49%
(S) Tony Morgan: 48%
(E) Akachi Onyele: 47%
(E) Silas Marsh: 47%
(E) Leo Anderson: 47%
(E) Mark Harrigan: 45%

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1ZdxFQZu-5jT9zyTRuE0J...

The Dreamlands stats are not yet in.

Other possible explanations:

* expansions tend to be played by more experienced people, who win more often. But then why do Charlie Kane and Jaqueline Fine keep scoring high ?

* some investigators seem to be a silver bullet against Ancient Ones they come with, such as Wendy Adams, Sister Mary, Ursula Downs

The most powerful investigators seem to come from Mountains of Madness, Under the Pyramids and Signs of Carcosa.
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Le Roux Van Der Vyver
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I would agree with the Power Creep sentiment.

The stats don't lie, and there is quite a clear different in Win rate with more recently released investigators. The only 2 base game investigators that don't form 10 out of the bottom 11 are heavy Support Investigators. So it makes sense why they are still used in combination with the others.

Just looking at their abilities and starting items I have also felt that they have gotten stronger over time. I think they possibly wanted to make the game "harder", so they bought out harder Mythos cards and Ancient Ones. And now to compensate they may need to up the power on the Investigators.
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MC Shudde M'ell
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b0rsuk wrote:
* expansions tend to be played by more experienced people, who win more often. But then why do Charlie Kane and Jaqueline Fine keep scoring high ?


It's possible for both of these things to be true - expansioneers are better players (on average) and also Kane and Fine are much better than average, perhaps even more so than indicated by the stats (since those stats will include, for example, new players who try to solo with one of those two).

The stats may also be somewhat exaggerated by the methods of veterans - if Mark, Leo, and Silas are very slightly suboptimal, veterans are much more likely to be aware of this and exclude them, while new players will always pick them up a time or two. That would suggest that they belong at the bottom, but that the "real" spread (i.e. what is the relative effect of including one of these Investigators, all else being equal) is not as significant.

Just noticed - I'm ignoring data in favour of the crackpot theory that just popped into my head, no wonder I want to keep using Norman...
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leroux13 wrote:
I would agree with the Power Creep sentiment.

The stats don't lie, and there is quite a clear different in Win rate with more recently released investigators. The only 2 base game investigators that don't form 10 out of the bottom 11 are heavy Support Investigators. So it makes sense why they are still used in combination with the others.

Just looking at their abilities and starting items I have also felt that they have gotten stronger over time. I think they possibly wanted to make the game "harder", so they bought out harder Mythos cards and Ancient Ones. And now to compensate they may need to up the power on the Investigators.


The stats are inputted by a very select category of people. Not only are they likely to be gamers, but they're ones that frequent websites that actively look for stats, strategies etc. (there is no way an average joe who played with their buddies would be putting in the stats).

I think for sure they represent people that have played many games through the years and have honed their skills.
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aurelian
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There's been some moderate power creep with investigators, but I feel it's been matched by increasing toughness elsewhere, eg. some very nasty mythos cards, impairment tokens, weaker spells etc. So not a problem if you randomly select investigators, though I guess it might be if players can choose.
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meles meles
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An expansion that adds more powerful investigators to compensate for new, hard challenges effectively removes the weak investigators. At least for people who optimize for maximum success chance. That's not necessarily me, I have a fetish for underdog characters.

The stats I just posted above make me like Strange Remnants even more. Its investigators fit right between Charlie Kane and other base investigators. And difficulty of Syzygy seems to be right in the middle of the AO pack. Moral of the story: a well-balanced expansion with plenty of new mechanics, fun investigators, Ancient One and a lot of encounter cards.

I think Norman is a good investigator. He can conjure clues out of nowhere, that's perfect for many mysteries and rumors. He's very good at researching. His stats are near-perfect for gate closing, plus he has his own way of removing gate guardians. If he happens to be close to Istanbul, he will have very easy time upgrading his terrible Influence (roll his 4 Will). Note the "spend 2 clues" power doesn't require Norman to BE on the same square, so he's a sort of a sniper too. He can take out various nasties that advance doom or curse investigators, etc (although I think the Starspawn lands in Antarctica without a gate).
Norman's weaknesses: he's squishy and has both weak Strength and Influence. He risks getting hurt in wilderness and in cities, but I'd prefer wilderness/sea in his case. He's most safe when doing research or closing gates.
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Le Roux Van Der Vyver
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Fatesadvent wrote:
The stats are inputted by a very select category of people.


This does not matter, as long as it is the same group constantly putting in the stats. If the sample is from the same population, it will be representative of the population.

Your reasoning assumes that these players never returned to the base game investigators, why would they just leave them alone for 3 years? If we look at the data in front of us, objectively, Investigators released later on have higher win rates. The skill of this "select group" should then push the Win rates of the other investigators up as they improve and the number of base game only games compared to the overall number of games would become a small fraction.

There is power creep. How is anyone so scared to comment on any aspect of this game? You pay a lot of money for it, you are allowed to make observations that don't shower it in gold and rainbows.
 
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MC Shudde M'ell
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leroux13 wrote:
There is power creep. How is anyone so scared to comment on any aspect of this game?


I don't see anyone scared in this thread. I'm also not scared to point out that self-selected samples are better than anecdotal evidence or pure theory, but far from infallible. For example, veteran players are more likely to play expansion Investigators because they have already played the Core a lot, and are bored with them. Boredom is a worse outcome for a cooperative game than losing, so veterans have no compelling reason to use a powerful but dull character.

Also, I suspect these samples give much higher rates of victory overall than would be experienced by relatively new players (which doesn't hurt the strength of the relative rankings) and also reflect the ability of experienced players to use certain Investigators in particular ways - a player who is inclined to be active or especially play solo might get the mistaken impression from the pure stats that Charlie Kane is the best for them.
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I've only played one expansion - someone else's Mountains of Madness. Do new expansions have cards with "old" conditions such as delayed or imprisoned ? I know Yig is about poison, and Ithaqua about hypothermia.

Mark Harrigan is immune to delayed and imprisoned. If expansions make these conditions happen less often - by watering down encounter decks with cards that don't have them - it's an indirect nerf. Have you considered the possibility that expansions might be making some investigators... worse ?

Esgaldil wrote:

I don't see anyone scared in this thread. I'm also not scared to point out that self-selected samples are better than anecdotal evidence or pure theory, but far from infallible. For example, veteran players are more likely to play expansion Investigators because they have already played the Core a lot, and are bored with them. Boredom is a worse outcome for a cooperative game than losing, so veterans have no compelling reason to use a powerful but dull character.


The same spreadsheet I linked to also lists the most used investigators. First positions are, in this order: Lily Chen, Charlie Kane, Diana Stanley, Jaqueline Fine, Trish Scarborough, Leo Anderson, Silas Marsh, Akachi Onyele, Norman Withers, Jim Culver, Mark Harrigan, Lola Hayes, Ursula Downs(and then it's just expansion investigators).

With Lily Chen, it's obviously the cool factor. Probably the same with Diana. Charlie Kane is a completely uncool politician, so it must be an example of a powerful but dull character. Leo Anderson is the 6th most played investigator with 1856 games, yet he's the 3rd worst one. Lola, Norman, Jim are among the top vanilla investigators, but they're quite unpopular.
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Krzysiek Domański
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b0rsuk wrote:
Mark Harrigan is immune to delayed and imprisoned. If expansions make these conditions happen less often - by watering down encounter decks with cards that don't have them - it's an indirect nerf.
Both being delayed and the Detained Condition came with the core game.
Every element from the core game is used in every expansion.
So Mark Harrigan doesn't generally get weaker with subsequent expansions (whether he was strong at the start is a completely separate matter).
Investigators abilities in general aren't prone to dilution.
 
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haroth9842 wrote:
b0rsuk wrote:
Mark Harrigan is immune to delayed and imprisoned. If expansions make these conditions happen less often - by watering down encounter decks with cards that don't have them - it's an indirect nerf.
Both being delayed and the Detained Condition came with the core game.
Every element from the core game is used in every expansion.
So Mark Harrigan doesn't generally get weaker with subsequent expansions (whether he was strong at the start is a completely separate matter).
Investigators abilities in general aren't prone to dilution.


You're not answering my question.

For the sake of argument let's assume base game has 20 encounter cards, and 4 of them can give the effect "delayed" or "imprisoned". Chance of stumbling upon delayed/imprisoned is 4/20 = 1/5. You add an expansion having 6 encounter cards, and NONE of the new cards have delayed or imprisoned. Now delayed/imprisoned occurs on 4 out of 26 cards (1/6). Indirect nerf.

I heard the same argument about Lily Chen. Lily depends on getting a skill increase, and one of people on BGG was claimed that expansions are so eager to add fancy new stuff to city encounters that they no longer reliably do what they advertise (e.g. Buenos Aires - "Gain a ritual spell"). The post had actual percentages of cards granting a skill increase before and after expansion.
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Trevor Taylor
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As it's a fully co-op game, does it really matter if some investigators are slightly stronger than others? Generally when I play this, I'll let other people pick who they like the look of and then pick a character to balance out what they have a bit. Playing solo I pick 1 random and then one to pair with. But who cares if one character is slightly more powerful than another? It's just one more variable element of the game to keep it interesting, not some 'cheese' that ruins it for other players.
 
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M.C.Crispy
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negatrev wrote:
As it's a fully co-op game, does it really matter if some investigators are slightly stronger than others? Generally when I play this, I'll let other people pick who they like the look of and then pick a character to balance out what they have a bit. Playing solo I pick 1 random and then one to pair with. But who cares if one character is slightly more powerful than another? It's just one more variable element of the game to keep it interesting, not some 'cheese' that ruins it for other players.
I don't think that the concern is over whether one player at the table has a "better" character than the others! It's more about the possibility of picking a team that contains only OP characters and therefore Nerfing the game.
 
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Michal K
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I consider myself quite an experienced Eldritch Horror Player (250+ games) and I am always using a Random Investigator at the start of the Game.

If he is defeated then I pick an Investigator that seems reasonable.

I have played every Investigator to Date except Luke Robinson, William Yorrick, Vincent Lee, Amanda Sharpe. (Although I have seen them played by my group)

I can confirm that the newly released Investigators tend to be better than the Base ones, even according to our statistics.
 
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mccrispy wrote:
negatrev wrote:
As it's a fully co-op game, does it really matter if some investigators are slightly stronger than others? Generally when I play this, I'll let other people pick who they like the look of and then pick a character to balance out what they have a bit. Playing solo I pick 1 random and then one to pair with. But who cares if one character is slightly more powerful than another? It's just one more variable element of the game to keep it interesting, not some 'cheese' that ruins it for other players.
I don't think that the concern is over whether one player at the table has a "better" character than the others! It's more about the possibility of picking a team that contains only OP characters and therefore Nerfing the game.


But why does that matter? If they are different in ability, I doubt it's a huge difference and the game will still be a fun experience. If you find it too easy, they pick a different combination next time (there's a nice spreadsheet somewhere with the success rates of pretty much every combination ever). It's not like the game has been ruined in any way shape or form.

The biggest change in difficulty with the newer expansions was simply that the cards weren't as difficult and 'Focus' made the game easier. Hence why they released new setup cards for player counts.
 
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Krzysiek Domański
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b0rsuk wrote:
haroth9842 wrote:
b0rsuk wrote:
Mark Harrigan is immune to delayed and imprisoned. If expansions make these conditions happen less often - by watering down encounter decks with cards that don't have them - it's an indirect nerf.
Both being delayed and the Detained Condition came with the core game.
Every element from the core game is used in every expansion.
So Mark Harrigan doesn't generally get weaker with subsequent expansions (whether he was strong at the start is a completely separate matter).
Investigators abilities in general aren't prone to dilution.


You're not answering my question.

For the sake of argument let's assume base game has 20 encounter cards, and 4 of them can give the effect "delayed" or "imprisoned". Chance of stumbling upon delayed/imprisoned is 4/20 = 1/5. You add an expansion having 6 encounter cards, and NONE of the new cards have delayed or imprisoned. Now delayed/imprisoned occurs on 4 out of 26 cards (1/6). Indirect nerf.
The situation you described would be an indirect nerf.
But it haven't happened for the last 6 expansions so I don't think we'll see it in the upcoming ones.
 
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haroth9842 wrote:
The situation you described would be an indirect nerf.
But it haven't happened for the last 6 expansions so I don't think we'll see it in the upcoming ones.


Do you mean new encounter cards from expansions still dispense conditions like delayed and imprisoned ?

negatrev wrote:

But why does that matter? If they are different in ability, I doubt it's a huge difference and the game will still be a fun experience. If you find it too easy, they pick a different combination next time (there's a nice spreadsheet somewhere with the success rates of pretty much every combination ever). It's not like the game has been ruined in any way shape or form.


A few expansions from now, do you want to wake up in a situation where base game investigators don't feel viable anymore ? Mark Harrigan has an action that deals 1 damage to him and a monster on his square. In Dreamlands you can buy a 3 cost magic bow that does the same, no, wait it doesn't deal damage to user.
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