Mage v Knight Balance, Revisited

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Starstarfish
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Mon Oct 19, 2020 2:35 pm

I feel admit that during a time we seem to be looking to revitalize things and get numbers higher, etc, a lot of feedback that seems to hint at "established players bad" whether or not that's the intention I find overall not conducive to at the least my personal morale.

That said, I'll propose one thing that I think should be addressed: The ability that once folks learn/recognize the echoes and 'symptoms' of magery on any alt, that becomes part of their awareness OOCly they carry forward even if a new character has no personal background with knowledge to have that information. IE ... instantly finding something suspicious because a previous character knew Magecraft or had certain spells.

I'd honestly suggest that should be part of cnote policy. Where yes things glowing and humming is clearly more obvious and pretty open, but I think requiring notes for things might cut down on things like ... instantly recognizing what is or isn't magic when there are other rational explanations. But when the standing OOC community instantly "knows" all the tells of magic ... it can be difficult.

Geras
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Mon Oct 19, 2020 3:41 pm

I think the established player thing has more to do with game balance than casting aspersions on individual players for the most part. The fact is that there's a group of "established" mages that existed during one or more of the Manus incarnations that are vastly more powerful than mages that have come into being more recently. And I think there's also a general game-wide problem that as XP sinks have been eroded, the XP gap between new and existing players has widened substantially.

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galaxgal
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Mon Oct 19, 2020 5:31 pm

Again, my complaint with wax balls is that non-orderites commonly use this permanent, supposedly scarce, specialized mage-fighting tool. Either way, I don't think it's as big of a deal as everything else I listed before.

I think it is worth highlighting the gap between a player who has had access to organized tutoring and the lonely independent mages of today.

Most elements have lots of spells that are weak alone but strong in combination with other elements. Lots of elements have obvious gaps in function meant to be filled by other elements. This is great when there are active, powerful teacher mages with time and energy to teach.

It's crippling for this current generation of newer Mage players, who have weak networking tools and are easily captured/killed when discovered, and powerful teachers have begun to cycle out of their old characters.

Basically, Magic feels like it was designed around the existence of a 'mage guild' or active 'mage groups', but they have no good tools to form or join them despite multiple attempts to.

This creates a cascade effect where players will also gravitate to the 1 or 2 elements that are 'cool' straight out of chargen, and avoid ones that need synergy from other elements to work well.

mystry
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Mon Oct 19, 2020 5:35 pm

But then the question becomes: do mages, when they have access to all the elements and teacher mages and magic guild and so on, become overpowered?

Oh and also, I really don't get the complaint about wax balls. I know exactly one person outside the Order who has one at the moment, and they have a VERY good IC reason to have it.

All that being said... I am actually in favor of a mage guild returning, or some kind of method by which mages can more easily meet. Perhaps allow teaching while in the astral plane?

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galaxgal
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Mon Oct 19, 2020 5:44 pm

In my experience, these "elder mages" are real tough cookies to catch but limited in what they can do to others once they're outed and blacklisted. They're also spending learn slots (2 per element, plus magecraft) that mean they can't do other skill-based things with their time.

There was a time when there were like regularly 3-5 wax balls floating around outside the Order. You also can't perfectly track who has them because they're concealable, so I might be underestimating. That might have changed during current day and as Order internal policy/knowledge shifts.

EDIT ADD: I don't think 'teach inside the Astral' is the solution just because it's too strong. Some kind of org would help, or even just Application support for "we need an Archmage PC" or something the same way we do Nobles or GL's.

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Taunya
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Mon Oct 19, 2020 10:40 pm

galaxgal wrote:
Mon Oct 19, 2020 5:44 pm
There was a time when there were like regularly 3-5 wax balls floating around outside the Order. You also can't perfectly track who has them because they're concealable, so I might be underestimating. That might have changed during current day and as Order internal policy/knowledge shifts.
Thematically, they're supposed to be more of a protection from evil charm for those outside of the Order, rather than a mage hunting tool for those within.


                            Helpfile for Wax balls

Wax balls are a Lithmorran tradition that has spread far and wide throughout
the Five Duchies.  Small, hollow balls of wax, they contain a secretive
mixture of fragrant herbs and other esoteric ingredients devised by the Holy
Order.  Each one is a work of art, carved with a lacey, flowing pattern of
swirling water that only a master carver can achieve.

The Rhyme of Portents claims that "Wax balls ward off evil tidings," and
indeed, most Litmorrans believe this to be true.  Members of the faith
purchase these expensive balls both to ward off the "evil eye" and some even
eat them if they feel they've suffered a hex.  It's not uncommon to pass
Lithmorran homes with them hanging in the windows.

Rumors in more critical circles claim that all wax balls do is line the
church's coffers - the balls are expensive, and it's rare for common members
of the congression to afford them, though some freemen inherit them as family
heirlooms.

(Subject area: lithmorran             Last modified: Thu Oct 13 17:03:23 2016)

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galaxgal
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Tue Oct 20, 2020 9:48 pm

Thanks for the clarification on wax. There are other reasons for the dearth of mage RP of late and I hope to see them discussed as well.

Starstarfish
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Tue Oct 20, 2020 10:31 pm

There are other reasons for the dearth of mage RP of late and I hope to see them discussed as well.
I'll start here. First we'd have to identify what we mean by 'mage RP' ... there are at any given time I think a healthy portion of the playerbase that is indeed, mages. Depending on activity waxing and waning. However, from what I can tell very few mages like to do 'mage RP' ... IE, visit the Astral and RP with others, learn spells/tricks/tips from others besides a select trusted friend group. And it seems to perpetually cycle to the idea that -other mages- should be the ones doing these things or that someone else will.

And that I think is the real dearth felt with the lack of some kind of organized group for mage RP there is no one who has the "job" of doing that. Even being an 'Archmage' (depending on what we mean by that) is not a guarantee that person will ever teach or interact with a newer player. As there is no requirement or real expectation of it.

Geras
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Tue Oct 20, 2020 11:14 pm

Every single element mage has something to offer every other single element mage though. And every multielement mage was social at some time in the past. There are some incentives there.

Curious what other reasons people think there is for the dearth of mage RP.

mystry
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Tue Oct 20, 2020 11:17 pm

I believe that it's a perception that the danger level is just too high. Unless you know for a fact who the other mage is, and you know they won't betray you, there's little to incentivize someone to seek out another mage. Having an actual organized (and obviously covert) guild or something similar might mitigate that, particularly when interacting with the GLs of that guild, as I think I've read in policy somewhere that GLs must be loyal to the guild they are in.

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