Monday, August 15, 2011

What are point costs for really?

In a recent debate on Wizkids, Facebook page, I came to a revelation. All points are not created equal.

The general complaint is that 140 point Chun Li is not worth that many points. The feeling is that other figures of 140 points would stomp her flat. Some also feel that she should have more than one space on the dial of 3 damage. It's also suggested that most of her cost comes from her team ability. But how accurate are those statements?
They really aren't in the big picture.

In all the comparisons, I came to learn something. Just because a figure is 150 points, doesn't mean it's comparable to all 150 point pieces. Why? Because they don't all do the same thing. Different pieces have different purposes and combinations of abilities.

Consider this: Chun Li for 140 pts and the new upcoming Superman at 150 points. Now, because their points are similar does that mean that Chun Li should throw down like Superman? Of course not. Chun Li isn't halfway close to Superman's league. Should she constantly do 3 damage or have more than one space of 3 damage on her dial? Maybe, but what kind of damage is she doing? She's not a White Lantern, or guy in an enhancement suit. She doesn't have super strength. What kind of damage is that? Despite her longer dial (for martial artists) it's pretty basic damage. Seriously, how often could Chun Li hurt Superman just by kicking him? In the books, wouldn't happen. Superman would just stand there while Chun Li kicked him a dozen times or so. He would wait for her to get done with her hissy fit and that would be that.

Still, she's 140 points and not all for the team ability either. You get a lot of options for those points to include hypersonic speed, leapclimb mixed with the carry ability, indomitable (built in willpower), consistant stats across the dial, and her team ability. If anything takes her points over the top, it's her special power, hypersonic, and the indomitable.

Points don't make pieces equal or have anything to do with how hard they should be able to brawl it out. It's for what they do at a strategic and power level. How many powers they have, how long their dials are, what they numeric stats are, what their range is, how many targets they cans shoot at range, if they can fly or swim, if they have a trait, etc... all go into what a piece's points will be.

Chun Li is a powerhouse among the martial artists and with a supportive team, she can be lethal. Here's a thought, pay five points and give her the Gem of Cytorrak. Is that evil enough for you? She costs for what she does. If you can meet the challenge of how to use her, you can be a force to be reckoned with. But maybe she's not your style.

So remember, not all pieces are created equal. They may not all have great or what we see as fair points, but there is something of a pattern after all.


  1. Lol, when you put it that way, I'll give you a good price or trade for mine.

  2. Also, Gem of Cyttorak for 5pts is:

    A) no guarantee that she'll be a worthwhile investment since you still have to roll for it, and

    B) not an argument for her effectiveness since it would be more effective on a better piece (WL Flash, DC75 Barry Allen, etc).

  3. Well, jak, actually the gem won the world championship on Nightcrawler, so it's just a thought. And this really isn't just about Chun Li. She triggered the thought. It's about the idea that point value isn't so much what makes the piece and isn't a good way to compare them either.

  4. When looking at point costs on figures, you have to look at what they do. Every ability costs, though we have no idea how much. Because of this, comparing them to other figures of same point value is basically worthless.

  5. The entire purpose of the point value is to provide some relative measure for characters and teams. Based on this the collection of powers, abilities and stats on a figures dial should be worth the point cost. Experienced player should be able to assert some type of relative value to a piece based on the point value, because that is the limiting factor for the game. The more the relative value of figures is inconsistent, the more the scope of the competitive game narrows, and that should be viewed as a failure of game design.


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