Mage v Knight Balance, Revisited

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Geras
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Thu Oct 15, 2020 12:43 am

So I think we have an issue with mage v knight balance again, and it's virtually killing mage RP. It's not killing mages mind you, just their RP - my sense at least is there are plenty of solo mages out there just none congregating or RPing with each other. And I think this is costing us players.

So what's the solution?

I don't think it's mages being able to straight up murder Lans.

I don't think it's bringing back the Manus tower in its original form.

What could be done?

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galaxgal
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Thu Oct 15, 2020 6:55 pm

0. The base assumption is that Knights should be directly dangerous to mages but -never- other way around.

It follows from 0:
1. Mages put themselves in mortal danger doing mage RP.

2. Mage RP is hard to set up due to precautions/anonymity necessary due to 0. Wonky Astral Plane is wonky.

3. Most mage RP starts with wanting to learn other elements' spells

4. Most spells aren't worth the extreme risk of seeking a teacher given all the other conditions

5. Also, learning and teaching RP is extremely time consuming for mages. Teach moon. Teach element. Pool and come back tomorrow. Teach spell

6. Magic doesn't really get you any benefits related to how TI is 'played' today, ie. moving around Gold and IP and only using violence or crime as a final resort.

Change some or all of these, and once the population returns Mage RP will return with it.

Geras
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Thu Oct 15, 2020 10:56 pm

So which point makes the most sense to tackle?

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galaxgal
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Fri Oct 16, 2020 12:09 am

Speeding up the teach process is the low-hanging fruit.

As a less-low-hanging-fruit, giving high level mages some way to interact with the game's most favored systems, like city metrics, IP, and support would also go a long way.

As it stands, the most popular spells in the game are for communication and forms of hiding/escape, and mage players will always pick schools that favor these aspects.

I think that alone is very illustrative as to what TI has become "about" recently and how much it has changed from what the design of a lot of spells intend.
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EDIT: I also have a bit of a peeve with wax. It's a necessary tool for Knights and Inquisitors, but the fact that it's a near-permanent object that can be handed out to anyone and the small size of the pbase means like 80% of noteworthy targets are difficult to impossible for a mage to touch.

I almost think most of the "anti-magic" trinkets the Order gets should be locked behind a Guildskill, but they would probably need more than the "maybe 3" they have to justify this. But then this veers dangerously close to "Give Orderites More Toys" and not "Make Mages Want To RP Their Magic Side."

Starstarfish
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Fri Oct 16, 2020 1:42 am

EDIT: I also have a bit of a peeve with wax. It's a necessary tool for Knights and Inquisitors, but the fact that it's a near-permanent object that can be handed out to anyone and the small size of the pbase means like 80% of noteworthy targets are difficult to impossible for a mage to touch.
Having been on both sides of that. Wax does not 100% prevent acts against targets.

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galaxgal
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Fri Oct 16, 2020 2:00 pm

Starstarfish wrote:
Fri Oct 16, 2020 1:42 am
EDIT: I also have a bit of a peeve with wax. It's a necessary tool for Knights and Inquisitors, but the fact that it's a near-permanent object that can be handed out to anyone and the small size of the pbase means like 80% of noteworthy targets are difficult to impossible for a mage to touch.
Having been on both sides of that. Wax does not 100% prevent acts against targets.
I know how it works, at least what's commonly known, and I've both had it and seen people use it.

It's still an extremely powerful deterrent against many categories of acts, most players don't know how it works or how to circumvent it, it's concealable without a check, and anyone can have one as long as there's a GI to hand it out and the right tradeskills on-grid to make it.

And again, it's permanent except in certain situational cases.

Again, I don't think it's bad that Knights or Inquisitors have it, but their use is so ubiquitous that there have been cyans wearing them.

Geras
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Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2011 8:50 pm

Sun Oct 18, 2020 11:57 pm

I'm not very familiar with the wax issue so I can't comment there. I'd rather have better hidey holes and track disabled than ways to murder or harass Knights though.

nemovonfish
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Mon Oct 19, 2020 12:21 am

Track is a little silly - you can isolate once set off footprints on a dirt path that sees thousands of pedestrians every day? Lithmore is the capital - that you can follow someone reliably along the major roads is ridiculous. Side streets MAYBE, but not main roads.

There's two issues that make playing a mage unfun - role ambiguity and established players.


What is the purpose of mages? What's their point? The purpose of the Order is to enforce the incredibly strict behaviours demanded by Davism, essentially to act as antagonists to create drama and tension. So what do mages do? If they're meant to be a foil to the Orders absolute power, they don't have the tools to be effective. They can't offer anything anyone would want, and they can't force anyone to obey. Yes Compulsion, Regnancy and Blackmail are things, but without giving spoilers, they're far from reliable - they place the caster in so much risk that they're not close to worth it.

So are they meant to be the deadly bogeymen in the shadows? Well, they can't do that either. A grand master mage is no more a threat than any other grand master. Spells can only be used one at a time, none are particularly deadly, and given the ubiquity of mage ash, won't last long.

So... What's their point? What do they contribute? A victimised class - an option to have a deep dark secret that nobody can know about - a part of you to confess when it is dramatically appropriate. I haven't asked, but I suspect each mage has chosen it for this reason, not because of any power it might bring, but for the RP it fosters. In that context, your magery is a macguffin - it could be easily replaced by anything equally secret and ostracized: Daravi heritage, homosexuality, non-Davist faith. And nothing much would be lost.

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Taunya
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Mon Oct 19, 2020 3:45 am

On wax balls, they're a rare restock only available when Piety is high. It took me RL months to acquire a wax ball on Prisca, who was often targeted by spoopy folk. It cost 1500 silver when one was finally available, so it's not like they're handed out like candy. While they technically can be crafted, I've never actually seen it happen as they require mage ash to craft, which the Order keeps a tight grip on. Mage ash is likewise a rare restock or created in small quantities by burning an legitimate witch, and is usually needed more for other things.
Speaking from the receiving end of things, the wax ball didn't seem to offer much help in the end.

Track does need some work, and is supposed to be looked at someday. But for now, I think you can explain tracking in the city as a combination of various things, including asking vNPCs "Which way did he go?"

Geras
Posts: 978
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2011 8:50 pm

Mon Oct 19, 2020 12:41 pm

I miss Prisca. :(

I'm not suggesting just tweaking tracking though. I'm suggesting nuking it entirely to make it harder to find mage hidey holes. Not sure that's the best solution - just throwing it out there.

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