Why is 3rd Edition so much better then 2nd Edition

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Why is 3rd Edition so much better then 2nd Edition

Postby VIRTUE » Tue Apr 29, 2014 11:38 am

I have been gone for a long time from the game and this message board, I was around this game from the start, did playtesting for both first and second edition.
I am getting back into this game some what and i want to know why 3rd is so much better and I should reinvest my money on the new edition of the game.

What has changed? What has improved? What is the same? What is worst?

Thanks in advance

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Re: Why is 3rd Edition so much better then 2nd Edition

Postby Monolith » Tue Apr 29, 2014 12:25 pm

The first thing about 3e is that it's much less exact then 2e. 3e's designed to be played more streamline and quicker. Stats give ranges of abilities rather then exact amounts. So someone with a 5 strength has the ability to lift/carry/move weight of 801 to 1,600 lbs. There's no exact weight amount, nor is there any type of encumbrance with limitations, you simply can move a value between 801 and 1,600. Another example, if you have 8 ranks of flight your move action is any distance up to 1 mile and your mph is 500 mph. You're not generally counting inches in 3e.

Combat has been slightly altered in that damage has removed the stunned condition, so you can't get someone in stun lock from damage. Degrees of damage are now basic 5 point shifts and consistent across all powers. So everything is 1-5 is 1 degree, 6-10 is another, and so on.

Most of the non-damage powers have been grouped into a single effect called affliction. So mind control is built from affliction. Snare is built from affliction. Blinding flashes are built from afflictions, and so on. Again, more streamlined.

Abilities have been reduced to the modifier. So you don't have a 20 strength in 3e. You have a 5 strength, which was the +5 modifier from 2e. Abilities also divided dex into dex and agility and added fighting ability. I haven't really found going from 6 to 8 abilities to be much of a benefit, but it does make it feel a little different then 2e.

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Re: Why is 3rd Edition so much better then 2nd Edition

Postby digitalangel » Tue Apr 29, 2014 1:19 pm

In addition to the above listed:

1) 3E seperates defenses for melee and ranged into seperated stats. Close Combat and Ranged combat are skills (that use your fighting and dex modifiers) similar to attack specialization from 3E for each weapon type (or unarmed, or throws and grapples or power use). Using Close or Ranged Combat untrained basically uses your dex (for ranged) or fighting (for melee) attributes as that many ranks in attack focus from 2E.

2) All skills are basically the broad skill option from 2E mastermind's manual (personally I dislike this change), also skill ranks are 2/PP instead of 4/PP, even with the broad skills this makes really heavy skill characters kinda expensive, but slightly reduces skill costs for most characters. PL caps for skill points were changed slightly as well.

3) Attack and Defense are affected by ability midifiers (more standard with most other d20 systems)

4) 2E DEX has been split into 3 different abilites: dex for manual dexerity for fine tasks and ranged attack bonus, agility for things like acrobatics and dodging ranged affects, and fighting to cover melee attack and melee defense modifiers. This allows for the character that is great with thier hands (soldering, repairs, etc), but is still a clumsy walking down the hall or trying to fight if you want or an amazing acrobat that is butter fingers with small tools.

5) Uses a single table for speed, mass, size, etc instead of seperate charts for each (a good thing for most people), and the chart doubles for each rank instea dof every 5 ranks. As mentioned earlier this gives broader ranges than 2E did. This also makes some common calculations really on the table. Time to travel is (distance rank - speed rank), and go to the time column.

6) Overrun, mastermind feat, fearsome presence, rage, sneak attack, ranged pin all went away. You can built similar abilities from other effects still with a little tinkering. Luck was drastically altered are reduced some in power. Som eother feats (language for example) still exist but had thier mechanics tweaked some). The improved throw feat is now the standard rule for throws for everyone.

7) A lot of similar or redundant powers from 2E were rolled into larger effects that rely on descriptors and flows or extras to differentiate them (similar to building powers in 2E ultimate power)

8) Drawbacks were eliminated for PPs back at creation and turned purely into complications to earn hero points during play.

Personally I think 1,3,4, and 5 are improvements, and I dislike 2. 6 and 8 are different, but not really better or worse in my opinion, and 7 is basically just what UP did from 2E anyway.

I experimented with taking 1,3,4 and 5 into 2E as house rules and find that for my local group it seems to be the happiest balance point between the 2 editions for me, but as new members came and went we have ended up defaulting to 3E now.

Introducing M&M to new players 3E throws some people who are used to the standard 6 DnD attributes being replaced with 8, and 2E thows others with attack and defense not getting ability modifiers applied. A lot of that seems to depend on what systems they are coming from.

GR has a conversion cheat sheet from 2E to 3E on thier site at http://grfiles.game-host.org/3e_files/MM2E3EConv.pdf which also helps highlight some of the differences.
Last edited by digitalangel on Tue Apr 29, 2014 1:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Why is 3rd Edition so much better then 2nd Edition

Postby Ysariel » Tue Apr 29, 2014 1:29 pm

I run 2e games and I play in 2e and 3e games.

In my view,

Advantages

1) Balance is better in most cases. Some undercosted 2e effects (Emotion Control, Mind Control) have been replaced with Affliction, and a lot of things that were 'merely' discouraged in 2e are not allowed outright, like attacks taking less than a Standard action. It's less hazardous for a new GM to run.

2) A defense shifted character is less disadvantaged. In cases where a 2e character would be Flat-footed (lose dodge defense), a 3e character is only Vulnerable (lose half active defenses) -- and the former tends to be more serious since most characters have at least some dodge focus. 2nd degree failure vs damage no longer inflicts Stunned, so it's less of a death sentence (and Stunned, the condition, no longer makes you flat-footed and lose 2 more defense).

3) Power stunting feels more free and easy since the first level of Fatigue only inflicts -1 movement speed rank which is meaningless. In 2e, it was -1 attack and defense, which made me more hesitant to use it. Also, characters can recover for free as a standard action once every scene. It's like all characters come with 2 free built-in stunts now.

4) One big ranks and measures table instead of separate progression, time and extended range tables.


Disadvantages

1) Balance actually got worse in a few cases -- 3e Impervious costs the same as 2e Impervious, but only defeats attacks of half your Impervious rank, so it's useless against most attacks and overcosted against the ones it does stop.

2) Most skills are overcosted at 2 ranks per pp.

3) Loss of some useful options from 2e like targetted AOE attacks.
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Re: Why is 3rd Edition so much better then 2nd Edition

Postby Doresh » Tue Apr 29, 2014 1:48 pm

I only really got into the game with this edition, so any comparisons I make with previous edition are only bases on my little research :mrgreen:

They've generally tried to move away from the classical D20 model, which is a good thing considering how restrictive and rules-heavy contemporary D20 is. This does however result in almost everything being called differently ("Advantages" instead of "Feats").
The increased number of abilities is alright. The two new ones are basically modified version of the D20 BAB.

3e generally seems to have gotten rid of a couple exploits. Aside from stun locking, the usefulness of Impervious has been basically cut in half, which helps weaker characters (legend has it that Impervious-focused characters were almost unstoppable in the old days, which could result in several types of PCs being absolutely useless against a villain). Sure, it doesn't help much against characters with a similar Power Level, but since Impervious makes every point of Toughness more expensive, it basically acts like a resistence against the dreaded Weaken Toughness.

What is the same? Well, it still is better to be shifted towards damage and toughness (though not as much). I'd say that's something both players and the GM can built around.

As for what might be worse, there are some passages that might've been formulated better for newcomers (the damage system is a whole lot easier to grasp if they would just use terms like "Wounds"). Or this indirect suggestion that normal humans can't have "powers", even though this is an effects-based system. That stuff needs to go.

A common gripe seems to be that Afflictions are less effective than raw damage (or rather needs more points to be as effective). Though it seems the more freeform and less D&Dish a campaign is, the less this seems to be an issue. Still, there are some easy fixes around (though I believe that making Affliction more potent can in turn bite the players in the outside-worn underwear when they are affected by it).

Still, I find the system overall quite smashing. It does some neat stuff with the D20 mechanics, and in quite an elegant way.

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Re: Why is 3rd Edition so much better then 2nd Edition

Postby digitalangel » Tue Apr 29, 2014 2:17 pm

Oh yes, how did I forget to mention Impervious getting nerfed so badly? Depending on how you want to look at it Impervious either got its price doubled and limited to 1/2 PL or got its effects cut in half with no reduction in price. It has become fairly useless except in low Pl games in my opinion. In high PL games, if an attack is small enough to get stopped by impervious all it is letting you do is basically take 10 on a toughness save. In PL 4-8 games it is still useful, but no overpowering like it used to be.

Also if you are a player who enjoys tactical combat, it got less supported in 3E than 2E. All the options for tactical combat in 2E mastermind's manual thrown back out the window. Of course a GM can still house rule them back in if you want.

With the broader skills, the options for skill synergy got thrown away too.
Last edited by digitalangel on Wed Apr 30, 2014 7:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Why is 3rd Edition so much better then 2nd Edition

Postby FuzzyBoots » Tue Apr 29, 2014 3:01 pm

My overall impression is unfavorable. There were improvements, largely covered above. Renaming is pretty rampant and largely amounts to making things more confusing ("Flat" extras instead of Feats, a number of powers now being designated by a single common word like "Create" or "Senses" which means searches in the PDF have a lot more noise). The expansion of abilities makes little sense to me, with "Presence" (formerly Charisma) being even more useless than before. Grappling got heavily nerfed. They went from 2E where some of the core builds could always win a grapple to 3E where the Powerhouse, with the greatest grappling bonus, can secure a hold less than half the time against anyone other than the Mystic (who has about a 30% chance of slipping out on the initial hold). Afflictions are nice, but their desire to shoehorn most of the powers into that bucket means a lot more handwaving. The less said about Obscure being turned into "Attack Concealment *finger waggle*" the better. Arrays as a power structure got removed, which was OK, except that it technically makes it so that you always have to have a base power within PL to accommodate all of the points. Oh, and Devices no longer have to contain integer multiples of 5 pp.

Most annoying to me? All of those years of ORQ answers that fixed the confusing bits in 2E were completely ignored. The same things that were confusing in 2E Core and answered in the ORQ forum are just as confusing as before. I know it's silly, but it that was the worst of it for me. On top of all of the other seemingly arbitrary changes, it made 3E feel like an attempt to get everyone to rebuy the books instead of an actual progressive improvement.

Personally, I'm holding with 2E as long as I can find people to play, although I may gradually adopt some of the 3E bits like Affliction and arbitrary size Containers (as well as making the Action and Duration "flaws" into "drawbacks"). I was really iffy on Drawbacks-are-Complications, but it's growing on me.

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Re: Why is 3rd Edition so much better then 2nd Edition

Postby kenseido » Tue Apr 29, 2014 8:58 pm

I agree with Fuzzy on every point. For those reason (and several more), I am trying to avoid 3e as long as possible.
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Re: Why is 3rd Edition so much better then 2nd Edition

Postby Illusionista » Wed Apr 30, 2014 12:10 am

I'll take the side of Fuzzy and kenseido. I've played 3e. I don't think it's bad, but after years of playing second edition, 3e feels like its trying to force you to be a one trick pony. Too little for too much. One trick ponies are OK, but sometimes you wanna play a jack of all trades/swiss army knife

Afflictions are probably the only thing i like out of it. breaking the debuff powers into their core components and letting you build your own personalized power.
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Re: Why is 3rd Edition so much better then 2nd Edition

Postby Gilliam » Wed Apr 30, 2014 2:16 am

Personally I prefer 2nd edition as well although Affliction does have potential.

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Re: Why is 3rd Edition so much better then 2nd Edition

Postby Monolith » Wed Apr 30, 2014 5:53 am

In general I find I like the less gradation in 3e over 2e. The simplifying of skills, the merging of defenses and checks, and so on. That's probably because I've spent some time playing other lighter superhero games like Steve's ICONS. My play style doesn't cater to exactness any more. This is probably part of a logic progression of me slowly stepping down for more exacting games over time: 20 years with Champions, moving to 2e (which has far less gradation then Hero), and now to 3e.

I do find 3e to be a flawed game, though; in part because it was written without player input. As Fuzzy stated, instead of looking at the thousands of questions and answers in the ORQ Green Ronin just went off and made all the same mistakes again. Only this time there's no line developer answering any of our questions or trying to clarify the rules. 3e's more like find an answer that works for you and go with it.

There's no reason to buy 3e stuff if you enjoy 2e; but I would buy the core book so you can at least see some of the changes and decide for yourself. 3e stuff isn't that hard to convert to 2e, or 2e to 3e. So even if you play 2e you can still get some use out of Emerald City and other 3e products.

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Re: Why is 3rd Edition so much better then 2nd Edition

Postby thaumonuclear » Wed Apr 30, 2014 7:20 am

I really like the simplification that comes from throwing away the 3d6 heritage of abilities and reducing them to just their bonus (Strength 7 is much easier than Strength 24 (+7)). But I don't think the move to 8 abilities was worthwhile. It's hard to find a justification for giving different agility and dexterity to a character, and I just end up setting Fighting to the minimum of the melee attack bonus or parry bonus that I want (Fighting 12? sure why not)

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Re: Why is 3rd Edition so much better then 2nd Edition

Postby VIRTUE » Wed Apr 30, 2014 7:29 am

Thanks for all the comments for right now, I am moving soon so I dont want to start a new group but in the mean time im going to stick with 2nded and work on planning adventures and a general campaign
Thanks again great information

I might pick up a few PDFs and mine them for ideas

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Re: Why is 3rd Edition so much better then 2nd Edition

Postby Unbeliever » Wed Apr 30, 2014 7:33 am

I actually agree with all of FuzzyBoots' comments above. But, I still prefer 3E. The few improvements that make the difference for me are essentially the core combat rules: the loss of stun locking, the consistency with degrees of failure for various powers, and the relative ease of power stunting. I also like the elegance of the ranks and measures table. I actually think they didn't go quite far enough with making drawbacks into complications -- I'm not sure why devices, especially hard to remove ones, aren't just treated as complications, for instance.

My overall assessment is that 3E is a better game than 2E, but a poorly-written one. The rampant renaming alone is a big drag, and it's a startlingly hard book to read if you haven't actually played M&M before, which is kind of insane. And, Afflictions. They are a nice idea, but I think the game designers got obsessed with them, so you end up with "everything is an Affliction now."

As others above have noted, I will never understand why 3E did not receive and benefit from extensive input from this community.

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Re: Why is 3rd Edition so much better then 2nd Edition

Postby saint_matthew » Wed Apr 30, 2014 7:35 am

Illusionista wrote:3e feels like its trying to force you to be a one trick pony. Too little for too much.


Really? Because I've converted almost 90 characters & they come out at roughly the same cost, sometimes slightly cheaper.... I've also created a plethora of other characters for one offs, my campaign setting & just for crits and giggles, an the one thing I've never said is "wow, this character is one note."

So if you are having issues with that I think you might find its not something specifically intrinsic to the system & something more to do with how you are attempting to employ it.
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