There we were, in the thick of the “what do you want to do?” phase, when I logged in with my choice of character for the evening’s session: Coin Serf, my Hagglebot with Benefits.
“Why do you keep bringing Coin”, began my Gamer Girl, “instead of one of your good characters?”
Ouch, cut to the quick. Backpedaling ensued, a polite and loving attempt to soften the blow, but the words were said, and one cannot just unsay them.
Not that I was bothered. Not really. Coin isn’t designed for maximum party effectiveness. Rather instead, she is designed for maximum Haggle skill. Her feat list includes such winners as Negotiator, and Skill Focus: Haggle. Even her Epic Destinies reflect her single purpose: she is a Sorceror, but is only given Sorcery boosts when all of the Haggle boosts are already taken.
Which is not as bad as it sounds. Coin’s non-Haggle contribution consists of being a Damage-Per-Second (DPS) Air Savant; a specialty that does not worry about enemy saving throws, or spell resistance, or spell schools, none of that. She just blasts away with her electrical spells and spell-like abilities (SLAs) as fast as she can, over and over, as quickly as she can mash the buttons. Yes, she has other spells, some non-electric (a necessity when running against electric-resistant opponents), DoTs for bosses, that kind of thing.
But all are DPS.
My other casters balance crowd control and damage. My other casters can buff too, and aid the party in ways both subtle and practical. Not Coin though. With Coin there is no finesse, only explosions.
Some of the problem is Coin’s aggressive play style. She fearlessly runs out ahead of everyone so she can drop her touch-range Shocking Grasp, blasts everyone in range with Electric Loop and Chain Lightning, throws Elador’s Electric Surge on whatever has the most hit points, and generally flits about making a nuisance of herself.
Not surprisingly, she dies a lot. Coin attracts the agro like a barbarian, but has the hit points and defenses of a sorceror. It used to bother me. I tried throttling down her play style, but she felt like a First Edition Wizard, standing around waiting for the opportunity to cast her one spell and otherwise maybe throwing a dagger just to have something to do.
So instead, I became accustomed to playing with the Coin Death-O-Meter, an imaginary gauge that displays how many times Coin has died in the current quest. Yes, there is a death count in the experience window, but the Coin Death-O-Meter is a much more fun way to envision the same information.
I got used to her dying. I adjusted. And those I regularly play with had to adjust too.
But not all that often. After all, she is not built to adventure, she is built to Haggle, and that is best done from the safety of our guild Airship. Coin hit cap when the cap was 20, with a Haggle in the high 70’s, and that was good enough. Platinum (and therefore, Haggle) doesn’t have the same importance that it used to have. So Coin sat in the ship and rarely ventured forth.
Recently I got it in my head that Coin should have the best possible Haggle again, like she used to. But now it will require some Epic gear and a couple of Epic Destinies and Epic feats. One of which, Epic Skill Focus Haggle, requires a maxed-out Divine destiny.
Meaning quests. Lots and lots of quests.
I love Coin. I think she is probably my best-looking character. And there is something appealing about the way she plays; blasting away at maximum rate of fire. It is simple, but not so simple as to be boring. Seeing how long I can keep her alive is almost like a sub-quest, I am playing the quest with everyone but also playing the Coin Death-O-Meter game by myself, two games for the prices of one.
If you define a “good” character as one you enjoy playing, one that is fun, then Coin is one of the best characters I have. But if you define “good” as a character that is most likely to help complete a difficult quest, well, Coin is not that kind of good.
I can live with that. Coin cannot, of course, but her soulstone is cool with it. And I am cool with it too.
I love my Coin Serf. Alive or (mostly) dead. Now all I have to do is convince those around me.
🙂 😀 🙂