[.9] Flurry 3

PirateFox

Scholar
While I can't speak for everyone's experience, this is something I actively try to do, many players in OR and SEA do this as well, and we try to encourage this type of behavior as well; it makes the game more fun for everyone. If I know someone is knew, I'll try to avoid fighting against them and let other, newer, PC's deal with that NPC (PvP so rarely happens now these days, I feel it's a given that I'm not going to be fighting against a new(er) player as my PC unless they give me a reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaallllllllllllllllllllyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy good in-game reason for doing so). I just don't think we need a rule to mandate it, ya know? It should just be a cultural thing that players, ownership, and marshals all encourage and foster. I feel like the "be a good sport" rule kinda already covers this to some degree...
I'm right there with you on these concerns about Flurry, and have voiced them previously/repeatedly. Very recently, I actually got to see the conflict between playstyles come into play on this. Player from a chapter using Flurry NPCing, me PCing:
- I attack at about 50% speed, mostly using my attacks as feints to keep them from striking someone nearby, because they have to defend against me.
- When NPC turns to fight someone scarier, I unload on their back, changing locations, but attacking at 80%+ speed. I manage to burn through less than half their defenses, and then have to run away when they turn back to me.
- Me, I'm thinking this was decent...I did blow half the defenses on a big creature, but wasn't overly useful beyond that.
- NPC gets angry at me for "attacking too fast, making it unfair." Mind you, I accomplished nothing but burning defenses. With Flurry, I wouldn't have even done that much. My effectiveness as a rogue would be reduced to approximately nil in this fight.
- Taking this one step further, with 2 weapons, I struck at most 6 times, varying which hand I used and locations struck...with Flurry, duel-wielding is penalized, as it gets the same number of attacks as one-weapon.

This leads me to strongly believe that we're playing very different games with non-Flurry vs Flurry. A rogue ambushing a target is at a serious disadvantage over someone with all day to spend punching them in the face (metaphorically, not literally). To a fighter, it's annoying, but not much different than current rules. To a rogue, it's HUGE, since surprise means nothing if you're required by rules to then sacrifice your surprise. To a caster (especially with a storm up) it's an amazingly different feel to the whole game. I may change my opinions once we run our local playtest to compare with previous playtests, but so far, not a fan of the implementation.
 

MaxIrons

Squire
Oregon Staff
Marshal
PirateFox, do you think that the intended reduction of monster defenses would mitigate this? Also, thank you for being willing to see it in action before making final decisions.
 

Muir

Fighter
PirateFox, do you think that the intended reduction of monster defenses would mitigate this? Also, thank you for being willing to see it in action before making final decisions.
That's a good question. Is any of the 'new' monster DB available for testing?
 

PirateFox

Scholar
PirateFox, do you think that the intended reduction of monster defenses would mitigate this? Also, thank you for being willing to see it in action before making final decisions.
Yes and no. Initially, I think it will help offset this, but not the downplaying of surprise/speed-required attackers in general (ie, rogues and 2-weapon both suffer). However, long-term stats always go back up. I'm not convinced on this change, but it's fairly low on my radar. I think addressing some of the fringe issues of it (two weapons, missed/no-call attacks, etc) will mitigate a lot of the perceived problems fwiw.
 

mythic

Knight
Owner
Calgary Staff
When the Calgary folk went on a specific mod for Big West, we brought along about 6 more non-Calgary players (there was about 10Pcs). It was POURING rain. The NPCs were with us under the gazebo and we asked if anyone would mind if we switched to Flurry 3 when we started to fight out in the rain. We explained what we do and everyone agreed to it. We had a blast! The NPCs could call their defenses and attacks, we would circle each other, no more than 3 on 1 (melee, casters and archers could toss whatever). We only had to remind one player once to check swing speed and he did immediately. The pace was fun, the NPCs could RP during the fight etc. After the fight everyone chatted about it (on both sides). Pretty much we agreed we loved the combat. Once you get into the rhythm it is easy to pace. It's "fun" for both sides.

Then I hooked for the high level PCs. I again had great fights when I was one on one with other PCs. One of the reasons is I would back off after 3 hits, allowing them a second or two to call defenses (or taken) reset their footing then go again. Then the dog-pile came in. 4 or more PCs swinging so fast I could not even get a word out for defenses so I just dropped. Then when I stepped off to the side for respawn I watched several players machine gun, hit the exact same location multiple times, not pull back to at least 45 degrees or swinging so fast you could not understand the call (all current rules!) on other NPCs, and the NPCs would pretty much just give up. No back and forth. No banter. No RP. Just a beat down. I stopped respawning because I did not just want to be a target for dozens of unchecked swings. It's no fun on either side. And if your NPCs are no longer having fun, well, you may start to lose NPCs. Who wants to just be beaten down every single time they step on the field?

Flurry 3 "forces" those players to check their swing. To stop hitting the same location (easier to tell when you get hit in the same spot), stop wrist-flicking their ultra-lights, call clearly and other things.

And yes, I play a high level rogue. I hit 3 times and back off. Honestly? I don't even think the NPCs could even hear me over the din of the dozens of hits and spells coming at them from every angle. No one can calculate that quickly. If everyone would take a pause between hits, the NPC could "react" to them a bit better. Call some defenses, or tell PCs if they were taking the hits etc. It happens currently. You see dozens of hits come in then the NPC has to put up their hand, stopping the fight and make a ton of calls anyway (reflect, bane, taken, evade, dodge, riposte etc.). Especially in large battles. This just mandates that we allow each person to actually get a chance to call them.
 

Avaran

Baron
Then I hooked for the high level PCs. I again had great fights when I was one on one with other PCs. One of the reasons is I would back off after 3 hits, allowing them a second or two to call defenses (or taken) reset their footing then go again. Then the dog-pile came in. 4 or more PCs swinging so fast I could not even get a word out for defenses so I just dropped. Then when I stepped off to the side for respawn I watched several players machine gun, hit the exact same location multiple times, not pull back to at least 45 degrees or swinging so fast you could not understand the call (all current rules!) on other NPCs, and the NPCs would pretty much just give up. No back and forth. No banter. No RP. Just a beat down. I stopped respawning because I did not just want to be a target for dozens of unchecked swings. It's no fun on either side. And if your NPCs are no longer having fun, well, you may start to lose NPCs. Who wants to just be beaten down every single time they step on the field?
The biggest problem with this is numbers - PC to NPC ratios. If you have a game where you have 100+ players and 12 NPC's, how do you NOT have a problem where you have 4-10 people attacking 1 NPC? You had a 10 to 1 PC to NPC ratio there. That's a cluster asterisks no matter how you slice it, regardless of rules.

You have people who paid their event fee, and part of the expectation is being able to do things as their character, including fighting.

I realize that this may come off as being rude, but it's not intended to be, but I have to ask: How does the flurry rule, in any way, deal with this issue without creating bored PC's who are disgruntled because they aren't getting to use their skills/abilities? If you enforce a situation where you can only have a 3v1 and your PC to NPC ratio is 5, 6, or even 7 to 1 or higher...you're going to end up with bored PC's and players who don't come back. And if the PC's force things, you're going to end up with a circle beat-down no matter what you do (even 1 attack from 7 people is still 7 attacks to deal with).

I don't feel this is much of an issue with numbers are equal, in part because when you're fighting 1v1 or 1v2, you are kinda forced to fight more carefully to avoid hits and such (unless you severely out-scale your opponent). I know that when I am fighting at a ratio of 2 to 1 or - as you say - 3 to 1, I fight as you describe. But as you grow and have more and more people around and more people on the field, that goes out the window. Swarm Ability is one way to ease the pain (if used properly), but if you have 9 people attacking 1 person, even with the Flurry Rule, that's TWENTY-SEVEN attacks that are legal on that person before "stepping back". Even with 5 or 6 people, that's 15-18 attacks under this rule, which isn't effectively different from 27 attacks because it's an overload either way in most cases.

People fighting illegally is a whole different issue. People machine-gunning, hitting the same spot, "drum-rolling" their attacks is not fighting legally and should be admonished by a marshal and warned not to do it again. That's those players not following basic Fighting rules and if that is happening, the NPC doesn't even have to take those hits (the NPC can even speak up about it, depending on their experience level for recognizing these kinds of things).

And yes, I play a high level rogue.
If it isn't too forward to ask: What is the level of your Rogue? A simple "30+" 0r "35+" if you don't want to say specifically is fine by me. =) I have a 40+ Fighter that I play like a Rogue (as people who fight with me can attest).
 
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Avaran

Baron
PirateFox, do you think that the intended reduction of monster defenses would mitigate this? Also, thank you for being willing to see it in action before making final decisions.
Reduction in Monster Defenses would depend on several factors. And while baseline monster HP is reduced, factors like PC to NPC ratios will force adjustments (most likely up) on that front as well.

But if you take into account the fact that PC's will have MORE skills and abilities than they have now for comparable build, I think you'll eventually end up with needing MORE defenses on Monsters, not fewer.

Monster Time-To-Live - the minimum amount of time you want a monster to be able to engage in combat - is something you have to factor/consider. The longer you want a monster to live, the more defenses and HP you will need to stack; as your HP goes up, take-out effects take on that much more value and as PC's level, those will be more prevalent (and easier to use in the case of Waylay).

For example:
As a plot member, how would you deal with a character like this: right now, I have 8 or 9 Slays (can't remember for sure). One of the new builds I came up with had me with 12 Slays (10 Imp Slays), 6 Eviscerate (I have 4 now), 7 Stun Limbs (I have 5 now) and other bells and whistles including 11 Parries (I have 8 or 9 of those now), and 6 Ripostes. Not counting Paragon Paths. And no, the Slays don't hit as hard as they do now, but relatively speaking, that's some really, really high damage output. That's in addition to the baseline 10 to 11 damage from Profs and the 28 Spell Parries (since you only need to have 1 Parry to use the ritual).

Scholars don't change in terms of spell-slot counts, unless you factor in high-level abilities like Paragon Paths that add per/day abilities and spells. They also don't pay a penalty for their Signature Class Ability (spells), where Melee do (Profs and Backstabs have cost scaling increases).

Here is another challenge for you though:
Were I to go full scholar in 2.0, I'd choose to just build out my tree (with other RP stuff and weapon skills, etc.) and I'd likely have a 16-column. Would you not be tempted to stack defenses with 1 character being able to throw 16 Prisons at one target?

I realize that high-level characters kind of break scaling and play their own game (for many reasons), but it's something that not just you, but other plot and chapter runners will have to deal with. 350-370 build in the new system makes pretty beefy PC's with lots of skills and abilities. PC's lost constant damage but added a whole lot more through additional skills, new skills, new spells, and new high-level uber stuff (Paragon Paths). I think there will once again be an emphasis on take-out effects, possibly more than before if Flurry stays a thing. My group has 6+ characters that are well above level 30 (multiple level 40+ as well). How to deal with a whole group of us?

The other factor to consider is how the plot team ends up building their monsters. Do they build the PC-race monsters like PC's would? Do they just build the skills out on an NPC and not worry about build costs and pre-reqs? What level is the NPC intended for? How many PC's is it going to have to fight at once? Do more defenses need to be added to compensate for NPC skill level?

I feel that answers to those questions can't be answered until plot teams get experience with how combat feels, how powerful their PC's are, what kind of challenges they want the PC's to deal with - and so many other factors. Play tests can only provide so much data, unfortunately.
 
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Gilwing

Baron
Alliance Logistics
Flurry 3 "forces" those players to check their swing. To stop hitting the same location (easier to tell when you get hit in the same spot), stop wrist-flicking their ultra-lights, call clearly and other things.
This rule won't prevent any of that. I can still hit the same location with out a change in pitch. People can still machinegun and break every rule that they did in your time as an npc. Wrist shots with an UL? I didn't know that was agaisnt the rules.

What this boils down to is if our chapters had more npcs we wouldn't need changes like this and swarm. The issues aren't the rules, they work. It's npcs. a vast majority of the problems will be solved with more npcs. We need numbers. We should work on increasing npc numbers, our ratios. Then see if we need more "fix combat" rules.

A two questions for the Denver chapter and it's players. Ive heard nothing but great things about your chapter and numbers. How is your pc/npc ratio?
Do you have these issues in combat (the 6v1 beatdown) when you have a close ratio?
 

PirateFox

Scholar
This rule won't prevent any of that. I can still hit the same location with out a change in pitch. People can still machinegun and break every rule that they did in your time as an npc. Wrist shots with an UL? I didn't know that was agaisnt the rules.

What this boils down to is if our chapters had more npcs we wouldn't need changes like this and swarm. The issues aren't the rules, they work. It's npcs. a vast majority of the problems will be solved with more npcs. We need numbers. We should work on increasing npc numbers, our ratios. Then see if we need more "fix combat" rules.

A two questions for the Denver chapter and it's players. Ive heard nothing but great things about your chapter and numbers. How is your pc/npc ratio?
Do you have these issues in combat (the 6v1 beatdown) when you have a close ratio?
Our ratio is usually not ideal, but not awful. We tend to have about 20 NPCs for our 80-100 person events, so 1:4ish, give or take. In mass melee, we're usually looking at 4v1 to 6v1 range. We've been testing swarm and that was VERY well received as a fix, though it depends on what it's adding (ie, swarm spellstrike death vs swarm massive dmg). Having more NPCs fixes far more than anything else, especially rules-wise, but that's of course harder to control. We definitely do have these issues on and off, but they are rarely an "issue"...just a thing that happens in combat. We tend to see a lot more squad movement where 4-6 PCs will pick off pieces of NPC lines, preventing large-scale mobbing.

Having been on the receiving end of some of the claims regarding flurry at BWE...
- Wrist flicks/shots with UL isn't illegal...but had some folks calling it as illegal.
- Fast single swings aren't illegal...but had some folks calling it as illegal.
- Fast combos hitting multiple locations isn't illegal...but had some folks calling it as illegal.
- Brief not-quite-drum-rolls (two weapons, hit back, leg, back, arm, never same location, never same hand) aren't illegal...but had some folks calling it as illegal.

From what I could see, the people insisting on flurry rules were mandating a slow combat style that relies more on momentary advantage and character card advantages than physical OOG skill, to the point of actually scolding players who used OOG skill. There's a certain morbid joy a lot of players take in becoming better OOG combatants and removing that from play seems disadvantageous. I'm actually in favor of some flurry mechanics, but this seems to go too far, especially when adding in spell flurry rules and whatnot.
 

Inaryn

Knight
As someone with a high level pc with probably one of the biggest bags of tricks available to it, anything that lets me spend less resources because the person receiving them has time to process them is an all around good thing for both of us.
 
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Tayl

Newbie
I understand the intention of adding the flurry rule for melee weapons, and I agree with many of the voiced concerns here. Adding the flurry rule will slow down combat, and remove most of the fun that I find in Alliance combat. I have played in other LARP systems that have the flurry rule, and I do not enjoy the style of combat that it lends itself to.
I believe these concerns have been thoroughly voiced though. I would like to bring up the point that applying this rules to packets makes no sense. Why should an archer have to slow down, or change targets, because they have thrown three arrows? Why can I not throw more than three wand charges? It seems unnecessary and will slow down combat to an extreme. If the point is to allow people to call their defenses for spells, then make a rule for specifically that.
 

mythic

Knight
Owner
Calgary Staff
Wrist flicks/shots with UL isn't illegal...but had some folks calling it as illegal.
"A weapon swing should progress between
45 to 90 degrees. If you are merely moving your
wrist back and forth to cause your damage, then
you are not fighting correctly and may be subject
to disciplinary action" Page 94 ARB 1.3

If the person is just snapping their wrist back and then hitting, that's illegal. (That is what I mean by a wrist flick just for clarity)

All calls must be understandable. If you are "mushing" your damage and carrier to the point the NPC cannot understand, that's illegal.

I'm not here to argue regarding NPC/PC ratio. Even if there is a 10:1 fight, that means 5-7 players need to back off. Or take turns jumping in. It's the players that need to police themselves on that front.

@Avaran I'm 30th level with my main PC. No harm in asking. :)
 

Tayl

Newbie
With a flick of the wrist, the sword can move more than 45 degrees. That would make it a completely valid tactic.
 

mythic

Knight
Owner
Calgary Staff
Except the rules state that you cannot just move your wrist back and forth. So no, not a valid tactic.
 

PirateFox

Scholar
"If you are merely moving your wrist back and forth" being used to justify disregarding both the content and intent of my post seems like it's an attempt to derail the actual discussion. You did say "wrist-flicking their ultralights" without context for specifically what you were complaining about motion-wise and I maintained that vagueness in my reply. My arm motion is a full-arm movement, with the last angle created by my wrist. I'm fully in compliance with the "merely moving your wrist" portion of the rules, and there are only a few attacks that I can even vaguely imagine that are 100% wrist-only movement (none of which I use). I'd be happy to draw diagrams, but I feel we're so far off-topic to prove a point that it's beyond any realm of usefulness to this discussion.
 

Thorgrim

Artisan
A weapon swing can move 45+ degrees with a wrist flick. I can easily go from a defensive stance having my sword facing straight up, and use a wrist flick to come down and hit someone in the arm which is almost perpendicular to the original angle of my sword.

I have fought Lagarde, (and beaten him, silly claw fighters) as well as several other good fighters in our chapter who use a "wrist flick", and I've never seen them drum roll or machine gun. They change locations, their weapons move in at least a 45 degree arc, because they practice their craft a and have gotten good at it. The people who drum roll or machine gun tend to be the ones who don't know how to properly fight. Does it sometimes feel like you are being machine gunned because our fighters are good can swing exceptionally fast? Maybe if you're not used to it. But if you took a video of it and slowed it down you would see that the shots were legal

The rule only states that your weapon swing should progress between 45 and 90 degrees not that your arm must. Not only is a wrist flick more effective, it is also safer. It's much more of a touch based attack that doesn't have the full weight of an arm swing behind it. Your arm is still used in the attack, pushing the weapon towards the target, but the "swing" comes from the wrist. This gives more control over your shot location, so fewer head shots, and attacks can still come fast with less power. I used to be an arm swinger, and I would often have people ask me to check my swings because I was swinging too hard. As I have transitioned more to the wrist flick I get far fewer complaints in that regard, and if I do it's usually because I went back to swinging with my arm rather than using my wrist.

It seems like the complaint is that some people swing too fast and other people are unhappy that they are unable to defend against said attacks. It would be a shame if we changed the rules to penalize those people who are skilled at boffer combat just because others can't keep up. If that's the case why not just put a weight minimum on boffers while we're at it to take care of those pesky fighters who are better than us.
 

Tevas

Scholar
Marshal
Playtest Community Manager
If the entirety of your shot is generated exclusively through linear wrist motion, then the blow will land in an identical location every time, provided no other motion on the part of either combatant. If the shot landed in any other location, then the likelihood of the shot being generated exclusively by "moving your wrist back and forth" is exceptionally low. From a body mechanics standpoint, it is not an isolated motion that is typically observed, as it is predominantly accompanied by at least minimal contributions from elbow or shoulder motion. As the Alliance rules prohibit striking an identical location within a two second window without first changing locations, this likelihood finds itself even further reduced.

I find most frequently that individuals who voice concerns on the implementation of wrist mechanics in shot delivery have unfortunately not had the opportunity to educate themselves on shot and body mechanics. Taking the time to better verse oneself on how these components of shot delivery contribute to the final product can help dispel many of the misconceptions that have appeared throughout this thread.
 
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Avaran

Baron
If the person is just snapping their wrist back and then hitting, that's illegal. (That is what I mean by a wrist flick just for clarity)
I think that ARB entry is in the context of "machine-gunning" and is attempting to give another example of the swing mechanics involved in doing so (which shouldn't be employed).

If I am standing ready, at guard, and I flick a fast shot with my weapon, then bring it right back up to guard, just by "flicking" my wrist and maybe moving a little arm, that isn't illegal. We do that all the time out here when dueling and such; I've never heard anyone call that as an illegal swing in 15+ years of playing.

If you're drumming on someone's back, and you're just flicking your wrists, that is obviously and definitely illegal.

Also: thanks for the info. :) Gives me a bit more context to put your comments in! =)
 

Muir

Fighter
This rule won't prevent any of that. I can still hit the same location with out a change in pitch. People can still machinegun and break every rule that they did in your time as an npc. Wrist shots with an UL? I didn't know that was agaisnt the rules.
A weapon swing should progress between 45 to 90 degrees. If you are merely moving your wrist back and forth to cause your damage, then you are not fighting correctly and may be subject to disciplinary action.
I don't think this text in the ARB has changed in the last fifteen years, and has generally been interpreted by the marshals I've played with to imply that a shot should be thrown from the elbow, not the wrist.
 
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