Words Breaking Words

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Vazbol
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Words Breaking Words

Post by Vazbol » Tue Dec 29, 2020 12:23 am

Disclaimer: I'm posting this fully aware of the backlash this might end up causing. However, considering certain mutterings in the playerbase, and the fact this archetype has popped up way too common to be healthy, it's time to maybe pull the trigger on it.

In summary, mummer abilities need a massive nerf. It's evident that a number of mummer players have joined the guild not for the Rp aspect of being a storyteller, but for the express purpose of using the abilities to essentially be annoying in CVc conflict. or as someone dubbed it, 'the Unbeatable hero."

From what's gleamed from the help files, mummer abilities are supposed to be defensive in nature. A tool to use when they get in a bit of trouble to get the heck out of dodge, or calm down the chaos around them in group settings. Word of wonder is great at this, usually taking someone briefly out of a fight while other targets are focused on. However, Word of wonder is honestly the main issue with mummers, and why it's an attractive CVC guild for people who truely hate much interaction or risk.

In short, Word of wonder creates an annoying chain where one is unable to do anything to a person, while they stack up the other mummer abilities for the express purpose of combat. You're unable to do anything as the target spams word of tranquility, negating the low chance of the sleep effect as you're unable to move until it lands. Then stick on Word of Horror to root you and mindfog for extra agony. Then, use a high damage weapon to smack you for an easy hit, or wacking you in general while you're unable to fight back at all. This is entirely unfun at all, and considering the low roundtime on Word of Wonder, really easy to land and spam.

My suggestion to kill this little strategy here involves the starter, Word of Wonder:

Word of Wonder and maybe all words of general can only apply one type per casting. If you cast Word of Wonder on a person, then try to cast word of tranquility, you instantly break Word of Wonder.

Next, (assuming it doesn't do it already) break word of wonder on the action of being attacked, rather than being hit. Compensate with lowered defense rolls for the delayed reaction.

Additionally, being affected by a Word should skyrocket your mental defense for any other attempts. Maybe one is too distracted by the prior enchantment to fully understand what you just said to them. but darn it, you made me forget what you said before.

Kill the starter, and the combo dies. Frankly, I think Word of tranquility should lose the sleep effect, and just pacify someone to be unable to take aggressive action until hit or it wears off, but that's an entirely different topic. This will...

A. revert Word of Wonder to being an effective Crowd Control tool for temporarily taking attackers out of a fight, or to daze a target to flee far away.

B. Severely nerf a really unfun aspect of conflict interaction. Standing there and being able to not do anything is discouraging for anyone at the other end of it, and apparently those who try to be a hero without resorting to such things. yes, it's discouraging to try to be a force of good in the land, when all your training and abilities is nothing compared to some low skill player spamming mummer abilities for easy kills.

In fact, this is why I'm posting this. I've actually never had much of an issue with mummers in the few CVc interactions I had. My policy is to murder them first if an interaction like this calls for it, even if its a gamble for landing a disabling strike attempting to resist word of wonder. However, I really see how it's discouraging for someone to have issue taking out a legitimate threat after grinding their combat related skill for a while. Then, some 5 week old character defeats that same threat with ease and little effort, bypassing 99% of the skill checks in the game with a spammable mental roll.

Also, correct me if it's just me not speaking with many mummer players as often as I should, but not as many of them really seem to embody the aspect of the guild, especially the ones taking up the 'hero" archetype. They don't seem to embody being the traveling entertainers or storytellers that their members are supposed to be famed for (or at least able to spout when throwing alcohol at them). in fact, some backgrounds I have noted fit much better in the Wyrvardn or mercenaries. However, those two guilds don't have a spammable low effort I win combo, do they?

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gralkik
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Re: Words Breaking Words

Post by gralkik » Tue Dec 29, 2020 7:12 am

Like every guild, one aspect isn't concrete to how things are, or how people demand how certain guilds are or should be played, except Templar and Monks, where they have a very rigid RP base. Mummers have a vast spectrum of what their RP can be. Some do play according to the Storyteller trope; others, like every other adventuring hero, seek adventure or do good. I recommend before people start harping on how Mummers' abilities should be nerfed, they actually get to know the Mummers by their characters. Be actively engaged in what the Mummers do, and actually take note of how often the Mummers' are actually played. If you find that Mummers are abusing their abilities, report it.

Vazbol
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Re: Words Breaking Words

Post by Vazbol » Tue Dec 29, 2020 10:51 am

Or, rather than reporting every single instance of this, just nerf Word of Wonder to only provide its current free hit, rather than this combination to assure one is locked into having 0 interaction or defenses? Eliminate it, and then observe how many mummers stick with the guild. It's already silently agreed by players that no one would play a mummer like that, and an agreement not to full combo for every situation with other players. However, there's already been enough players over the year who ignore that and do it anyway. And strangely enough, highly upsetting to other players not on the other end of that combo.

As someone told me. Why bother playing a Wyrvardn when the mummer can do what I do infinitely times more effectively the moment they unlock a few abilities? Just join the mummers instead, grind guild ranks and suddenly you can put down players who have been playing for years with vastly superior skill ratings because you can spam rolls that will never improve for either party and have very short RT to do it.

I'm not really bothered fully by it. I already expressed my solution to this. Kill the bard first. Hell, I might even add I should kill the bard first before any Rp. In fact, an incident a couple of weeks back already had us agreed icly to murder the mummers then stop to see what happens. We already have the mindset to eliminate those players with 0 interaction because we don't want to deal with their mechanics or rt at all. That is also not a healthy way for character interaction, since players not even into cvc but encountering an antagonistic player will result them in getting murdered with little interaction out of a group becaues that player doesn't want to be hit by wonder/tranquility/horror/mindfog in one string endlessly.

Divos
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Re: Words Breaking Words

Post by Divos » Tue Dec 29, 2020 11:50 am

Honestly, from not being on but seeing the change log, I'm not even sure how it fixes it exactly, but I'm with Vazbol on this one. Even I, someone who's not really an antagonistic player has thought about killing the mummer in the situation, since it really drives the RP and CVC down in my opinion. You don't get that epic feel of battle, when you can't combat against it. I don't mind it. In fact it is very useful when used properly, but there are also times when you're like why is this allowed!

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Caleb
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Re: Words Breaking Words

Post by Caleb » Tue Dec 29, 2020 1:43 pm

I have had encounters with Harbingers that just constantly cast their fear spells. Can't do much when constantly feared much like you can't do much when constantly put to sleep by a Mummer. So, nerfing this Mummer ability doesn't make sense unless a lot of other mind attack abilities in other guilds are also nerfed. I am of the opinion that all mental attack abilities need to be nerfed. Possibly to a degree where there is a nice cool down to these abilities.
"All I have are my codpiece, and my word...and I don't break them for no one."

Vaelin
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Re: Words Breaking Words

Post by Vaelin » Tue Dec 29, 2020 1:54 pm

From someone who has a mummer for a main. How the nerf on channeling affects the words. It is a lot difficult to land any of the mummer abilities. It took me 7 attempts to even put a mob to sleep, where I only need to do it 1-3 times.

I'm not sure if I'm roleplaying my mummer as it should be to be honest. Am I being too combative? However I do avoid using the words in CvC situations in direct combat, only during times where I needed to do some shinanigans.

Vazbol
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Re: Words Breaking Words

Post by Vazbol » Tue Dec 29, 2020 2:03 pm

As a harbinger player, the problem with mummer abilities was their eventual reliability on landing and their really short roundtime. That spell your mentiong has enough of a roundtime where the mummer can cast 3 word of wonders on me by the time I leave my roundtime. Also, shield blocking and parrying still function while feared. It's only dodge that's affected, where being able to safely spam tranquility will leave you with 0's across the board.

Frankly, that other guild should be the ones roaming about with a lot of the Mummer abilities in far less spammable/reliable forms, and mummer's shifting to have a few more group support abilities. The recent change for them shows the guild is intended to be non-combat, while this other one is a combat guild. And one usually is in situations where they're being hit with 3 v 1 fights, whether that be with mobiles, or when the local pillaging gank squad is formed.

if you're getting smacked with fear by a harbinger, that's just due to severe bad luck. I have had situations where the spell fails 3-5 times in a row, and my roundtime for recasting is way longer than 2 seconds. And that's the only major worry. A mummer could do this, make you durp out unable to stop them from doing tranquility and horror,a and root you to the floor, quickly recasting the debuffs when you wake up.

however, bombing channeling for mummers might of been going overboard. Nerfing Word of Wonder to not be a starter and nerfing tranquility to having it's new rare possibility for sleep would of been fine. I'm not sure if this pushed the abilities to be too heavily weak to affect much. If stuff feels highly unreliable, increasing the land rate for wonder while shortening it's duration would be warranted? Though if we're going to do that, tranquility still needs to break wonder and replace with pacified when landed to avoid the same situation appearing.

Vaelin
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Re: Words Breaking Words

Post by Vaelin » Tue Dec 29, 2020 2:10 pm

Horror should at least break tranquility and wonder... those are uhm. opposite emotions... how can one be peaceful if one is terrified out of their minds.

Also, still not sure if amplifying anthems is working. At least with the last changelog it should give more channeling boost when learned.

vidor
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Re: Words Breaking Words

Post by vidor » Tue Dec 29, 2020 2:23 pm

I have two thoughts here: that the mummer v. harbinger comparison is flawed and that the telepathic abilities need to be addressed.

As for the first, I don't think the Harbinger and Mummer comparison has juice. I have not witnessed Harbingers spamming fear effects as a way of eliminating more powerful foes. I have seen Mummers do so. However, obviously personal experience does not an argument make. First, Harbingers are maybe Mummers light. Even the most successful Harb fear effect can, at the worst, drop dodge (but not I believe parry or shield). It also lasts a relatively short period of time or can send someone out of the room. Mummers, on the other hand, have this same ability, the ability to break combat, the ability to put to sleep, the ability to dramatically cut skills, and the ability to combine all of these together. Second, Harbingers have their fear spell that succeeds, or doesn't. In comparison, Mummers have the ability to word-stack so that even if one fails, the others will succeed by nature of easier risk-free repetition.
For all of these reasons, Mummers are going to be the very first target because they can, on their own and barred only by the RNG, completely demolish an opponent. That situation is not based on any sort of grinding other than risk-free guildrank progress. In a CVC area, if they are not changed, I will unabashedly go for the Mummer first, every time. Their build is based on player restraint -- that you could absolutely win almost any encounter, but you choose not to.

Second, and echoing all of the reasons in this thread, the telepathic abilities seem a bit overpowered. In fact, I struggle to articulate whether they are more or less overly powered than the current stealth system. If I wanted to make a character able to absolutely break cvc, it would be a stealth mummer with a crossbow or some other high-output weapon. CLOK's combat system is beautifully designed; it is a question of balances at every point. Each build or guild has something specifically to counter it. That is why I struggle so much with these abilities -- they are countered, not by skill or training or dedication or strategy, but by the RNG (absent a few very specific examples). Many similar abilities have drawbacks -- Dwaedn only get a few before cooldown, others have channeling and energy limits, and others have IC ethics or code restrictions that stop them from getting too frisky. Without there being some ability, generalized or otherwise, trainable or otherwise, to give someone the shadow of a chance to overcome these telepathic abilities, selecting a mummer is the same as intentionally making a female elemancer in order to avoid losing channeling through groinkick.

The GMs have done an amazing job creating this game. Balance is the hardest part, and the fact that these are the really only issues I've had with combat in my five years with the game is astounding.

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sona
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Re: Words Breaking Words

Post by sona » Tue Dec 29, 2020 8:38 pm

Honestly, and i'll not derail it much more than this. I feel like Sorcerers (tainted), are the ones most in need of CVC nerf. Mummers are powerful yeah, but like you say, they often don't seem to start stuff. Sorcerers and Harbingers seem more problematic, but I don't know what, if any OP harbinger powers exist. I've just never felt major issue with mummers. Maybe it is because they're "good" and not "evil" it seems. Just my two riln though.

Vaelin
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Re: Words Breaking Words

Post by Vaelin » Tue Dec 29, 2020 9:03 pm

I also play a Harbinger. I don't think they need more nerfing to be honest. They are a conflict driven guild, which means with the mud usually against them, they need as much advantage as they can get, especially when many times it's 1 against a group of people is how it ends up.

Vazbol
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Re: Words Breaking Words

Post by Vazbol » Tue Dec 29, 2020 9:23 pm

Actually, there was a famous Corvite mummer player a few years back. Can't really say how they were, but considering some stuff one can dig up from ic interaction, they joined all of their guilds and special choices for rp related reasons. Granted, I'm also not sure how the guild even was back then either. For all I know, word of tranquility probably didn't exist at the time, so it was impossible to fully lock out someone.


unpopular opinion. but if one decides to throw their lot in with an organization that's on the evil end of the spectrum, I honestly don't see it much of an issue if their particular abilities are the ones overpowered. They tend to be the ones enduring situations where they're outnumbered 1 v 3+, and should be the groups getting advanced crowd control, various escape methods or damaging attacks to try to even the playing field. But nothing to the spamability of what mummers were pulling out before. Nor a certain guild that no longer exists that were walking boss fights. Oh and also something a templar or monk can easily fix/resist because yes, we can't win at the end. No one wants a story to ultimately end like that.

...However, I kind of agree that people on team good who aren't part of the Church of Light need stuffs too. Wyrvardn getting some sort of rallying and fear rerolling ability being one recent example. However, the solution for balancing stuff out is never to give a single person the ability to entirely remove someone from any interaction with a telepathy combo like this. Especially when you can count the number of allies you have with more than 3 fingers. And especially for a non-combat guild.

Alila
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Re: Words Breaking Words

Post by Alila » Tue Dec 29, 2020 9:36 pm

Hi,

IN an attempt to both re-rail the thread and have an answer to the slight derailing, it may help to understand this is not so much a thread about 'are mummers overpowered' as it is one about 'how and why mummers are overpowered'. Regardless of whether or not someone feels other aspects of the game should be reevaluated in terms of conflict balance, reading through the original post and subsequent replies, the general consensus by most everyone appears to be 'mummers are overpowered because every ability they learn seems to bypass any rolls over which players have control in such a way that a mummer with 0 skill and all of the mummer words has a very significant chance of defeating any given player, regardless of their skills or abilities or shiny trinkets'.

Truthfully, as has previously been mentioned here, fear is scary--as it should be--but it has balances. Some skills will still work, it can have the undesired effect, and so forth. Fear alone is a powerful but well balanced ability which can be planned around. This seems less true for abilities with negligible roundtimes which can be layered while someone has roundtime from stealth extremely quickly and then lower every defense skill to zero and keep the target from taking any action whatsoever. It matters less that something can resist a word seven times, if they are unable to act for half of the attempts.

It is also worth noting this is particularly within the context of cvc. Some creatures appear to have mental resistances not available to players.

Regardless, this was only an attempt to refocus the thread and restate some things. Hopefully it helps a little! Personally, cvc of any kind terrifies me oocly and I attempt to avoid it if at all possible within the ic context.

Thank you,
-Alila
[ESP-GRAY - Amaranth-Purple]: Yew should always respect your Alders. If you do, you'll do Oak kay. If you don't, they might kick your, um... Ash.
In the large bird's nest you see a pewter mug.

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Jaster
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Re: Words Breaking Words

Post by Jaster » Wed Dec 30, 2020 7:33 am

This used to be a thing for dirty tricks, too. Most of them were installed with a timer to prevent spamming them over and over on the same target. Why is this still not a thing for every ability with the potential to "lock" other PCs?

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