You seem to have missed the point of my entry, which is about cascading changes. What seems like it "just makes sense" suddenly becomes a huge thing (+15-20 Defense if you allow easy Forging access!). These are in addition to know quantities (like Shield Willow and group threads), which would only make things more painful. Now, you have to make other sweeping changes to address the artificially created imbalance (let's say you double the step increase for attack skills/talents). But that breaks other stuff (Avoid Blow and Steel Thought are now super gimped). Changes accumulate, sometimes unexpectedly, usually not for the better.emeketos wrote: ↑Thu Aug 24, 2017 8:55 pmShield Willow already does this my windling elementalist had +4/+4 defense before 5th circle now at 7th he is +5 (and more from the group pattern)
there is already enough in the game to boost Physical Defense & Mystic Defense
Shields have a cost to use be it a lower initiative for better protection or minimal for hopes of a better initiative. A crystal buckler with shield willow is what I use. My windling doesn't get hit often
Shield Willow is a known quantity. *If* you have an Elementalist in the party, they *may* choose to take the spell, and they *may* choose to keep it in a matrix so they can either chain cast it or *maybe* cast it. Ignoring high circles, this tops out at +4/+4, but as I've demonstrated in my last sentences, it has drawbacks in recurring cost and timing and requires a trade off (limited matrices). It can also be Dispelled. Shield Forging would be a one-time cost, that cannot be interfered with, and create both obscene average bonuses (+7/+7 or worse) or unworkable focused bonuses (+14/0). Worse yet, these bonuses could be stacked with Shield Willow! [Side note: for those that are actually worried about unmanageable defense growth, You can also easily eliminate Shield Willow from the game without significant impact - the game surely is not balanced around a spell that is almost certainly not available to every party.] [Side note 2: technically, Forging is an ongoing effect and should be Dispel-able ... but it's kind of a jerk move in my opinion.]
As for the group pattern, I'm actually against its use to bump defenses. It becomes hard enough balancing the different Disciplines as time goes on, allowing their defense values to sway even further in no way helps. Feels too munchkin-y. But that is completely my own opinion and totally deviant from Rules As Written. Again, though,you know what you're getting in to if you allow it, which is to say a hard cap of +5, if they want to dump huge amounts of LP (scarce resource), rather than a chaos spiral of shield forging, which only requires money.