[.9] Flurry 3

Graham Wolsey

Scholar
Denver Staff
Marshal
Concerning the flurry rule proposed for the new system:

I play Dystopia Rising as well as Alliance and they have a 3 hit flurry system for their game as well. I have been playing in this system for about 2 years and have engaged in extensive fighting with this system. I've also played Alliance for the duration of the Colorado chapter's existence.

The 3-hit rule changes the nature of combat to be less about "fighting skill" and more about what is on your character card, but it doesn't eliminate player skill in fighting situations. This rule would widen the gap and accessibility of the game for good fighters from other systems in chapters that have wide level range gaps. At the same time it helps players not "estimate" on defenses and gives more time for calculation.

There are three major differences between DR's implementation of this rule and as its currently written in the play test for Alliance. I vastly prefer the way it is implemented in DR.

1. Only hits that "connect" are counted for the flurry rule. If you hit your opponent's shield 3 times in a row then you can keep swinging for example. Similarly, if you hit their shield once and connect twice you can keep swinging until you hit again.

2. The time of the pause is defined. It is defined to be 1 second.

3. Florentine fighters get 6 connects not 3.


I think implementing these changes would be a good middle ground between the current rules and the proposed rules.
 

Briannon

Newbie
For context, my main character is a level 14 Celestial Scholar.
Question 1 - How does the flurry pause interact with a monster's rip-free count? That three seconds to attack freely is extremely valuable.
Question 2 - Did I miss the clarification on if one must pause when chasing? A person can gain a lot of ground on me in two-three seconds. If I am not taking that time to halt their pursuit (e.g. by throwing a binding spell) and they aren't pausing, my character is doomed.
 

Alex319

Artisan
The way I would interpret it is that if you are pursuing someone and hit them three times, then you can keep running after them, you just have to wait 2-3 seconds (or whatever the pause duration ends up being) before you can hit them again.

You are right though that the flurry rule does make binding someone who can rip free much less useful since you get fewer hits in.
 

marceasue

Newbie
As a newer player, I just wanted add in my two cents since people say this is easier for newer players even though it seems like most people who are saying that have not been a newer player for a while. To be honest I do not think this will make it easier. I will now have to worry, did I pause enough, ohh wait how many have I thrown... Also I am an archer templar that does alot of bindomancy. So I love throwing multiple arrows and getting the shield people use to blocking my arrows and , then throwing a spell and tricking them up to block the spell because they thought it was going to be another arrow. This will hurt how I play it. Also it will make my binds less effective. I bind monsters and while they rip out I throw my arrows at them and now you are saying I can only get three hits in?
 

Briannon

Newbie
That three seconds of rip-free are the best gift one can give to fighter/rogue allies. I would be sad to lose the effectiveness of this, particularly as there aren't a lot of offensive fighter / celestial team up opportunities.
Also, in regards to the pause in pursuit, I was more thinking about kiting i.e. doing enough damage / delaying at range to prevent having to engage in any melee combat. A character can certainly be taken down with three melee blows and melee combat does not go well for packet specialists. Kiting may simply not be possible with packet flurry rules regardless of packet type.
 

Graham Wolsey

Scholar
Denver Staff
Marshal
I strongly dislike the proposed flurry rule for a number of reasons:

1. It punishes flankers, especially those with Florentine.
-Currently, a viable tactic is to wait on the outskirts of a battle as a Rogue or Scout and rush in behind the enemy landing several blows and then darting out to the edges again for your next opportunity. This change makes it so you can only deliver 3 hits before giving the target time to turn around and kill you. This makes Florentine suffer even more because they could easily deliver more blows than that in the current system even if they swing slowly. Flankers, Rogues and Scouts especially need protection because of the massive changes to how damage is dealt and reduced. If a flurry rule is implemented players with twice the weapon should get twice the strikes before having to pause at a minimum.-

2. It slows down combat too much. This is compounded by the changes to damage.
-With suits of armor going up to 63 points, the inclusion of hearty, the reduction of viability of weapon proficiency and backstab, and the nerfing of fighters, rogues, and scouts generally combat is going to take a lot longer. If you then make it so there needs to be enough time in between 3 swings where you can deliver witty banter with your enemy field battles could easily take hours. Many players, myself included, enjoy combat and enjoy the fast pace of it currently. One of the draws of Alliance over Dystopia Rising (another LARP I play) is the faster pace of combat and the greater focus on real life skill. If that fast pace is slowed then you will lose the interest of a lot of combat enthusiasts.-

3. It widens the gap for new players in a system that is already crushingly weighted against them.
-If you reduce the number of swings a character can make without stopping to regroup then you greatly advantage people with more abilities and defenses. The proposed addition of Paragon classes and charges of magic items along with the fact that there is no build cap, reset, or limiter means that gulf between new players and old players will continue to be a big recruitment problem. I started playing Alliance several years ago and had never picked up a boffer weapon before hearing about the game. I went to several combat practices and learned how to fight. Through practice and the luck of having great teachers I quickly learned how to fight and was about to defeat NPCs that had significantly more impressive stat cards than my silly 15 point build character had. This hooked me on the game and caused me to come back again and again. If I had to stand and wait for 2-3 seconds between every three swings it would have pulled me from the immersion of combat and lessened my skill as well as my ability to have fun as a new player in combat situations.-

4. It kills immersion.
-Requiring a pause after an artificial number of swings breaks the heart-pounding adrenaline of combat. It makes some question "why did your character that *hates* undead just let up on him so he could monologue at you"? Why did you let that orc run up to you and kill you? "Oh, because you had thrown another spell recently" should never be the answer. It makes the game feel more like playing Final Fantasy on Nintendo rather than being in a battle for your life. It makes the game more about counting and less about role playing, more about staring your opponent down and less about aggression. It removes a critical and primal element from combat and the game would be less for it. Worst of all it makes combat about "did you pause long enough" and "did you rotate your arm enough to constitute a swing" rather than great battles with great villains.-

5. It adds more subjectivity to combat.
-Combat should be about fair play. It should also be about fighting rather than deciding if someone paused for the "correct" length of time, whether someone's arm movement counts as a swing or not, and whether they were throwing the packet at you or your neighbor. This policy adds a ton of guesswork to being fair and will cause rules disputes that don't need to happen. Giving time to allow calling of defenses is fine, but forcing a mini-hold every exchange regardless of whether blows connect or not is extreme. I'd much rather see the Swarmed By X rules implemented on all big bads than this change.-

6. It encourages "wolf-packing" the big bad even more than the current system.
-If one person is fighting one person then it is easy for both to call their defenses under this system. However, if its a 3 on 1 then the big bad will have significantly more problems calling their defenses while also be prohibited from pressing the attack on PCS. Most NPC camps are outnumbered in most fights and this new rules vastly favors large numbers against small numbers.-

7. It nerfs bows to the point of them lacking viability.
-Bows are very weak in the current rules and the new rules make that worse by not having significant paragon paths that cater to them along with the quiver changes. This rule makes them even worse by forcing them to wait a huge length of time between throws. Same goes for storm spells.-

8. It makes combat less nuanced and interesting.
-Feints, combination strikes, tricks to your opponent's muscle memory, and other swings that don't connect are all massively penalized under this system where for artificial rules reasons you need every strike to do combat damage or you're wasting time. This is made even worse by gigantic shields. This gives even more power to casters who are essentially unchanged by most of the new rules.-

9. It has limited up side.
-Aside from allowing players to do math better (which is generally only a problem for a lot of players in one on many situation which this doesn't help with) there is little upside to this system. I'd much rather have a rule that defenses must be called immediately and the person calling defenses is immune to attack while calling them than this system, though honestly I prefer out current system to either.-

10. It fundamentally changes the nature of our LARP.
-The single BIGGEST reason not to make this change is that it changes what our LARP is at its core. Players have come to this LARP with the expectation of fast and furious but SAFE combat along with deep immersive role playing. These two things are what make our game different than other product on the market. This is a major change to the nature of that combat and will make us more like other LARPS with little upside. I'd much rather see us homogenize in a way that everyone agrees is good rather than something as contentious as this change. Lets work on a crafting system that allows non-combatants to contribute first before making something that people that participate in combat love different.
 
As a newer player, I just wanted add in my two cents since people say this is easier for newer players even though it seems like most people who are saying that have not been a newer player for a while. To be honest I do not think this will make it easier. I will now have to worry, did I pause enough, ohh wait how many have I thrown... Also I am an archer templar that does alot of bindomancy. So I love throwing multiple arrows and getting the shield people use to blocking my arrows and , then throwing a spell and tricking them up to block the spell because they thought it was going to be another arrow. This will hurt how I play it. Also it will make my binds less effective. I bind monsters and while they rip out I throw my arrows at them and now you are saying I can only get three hits in?
Honestly, I think you will be fine. I play an archer. If you are following the rules for throwing arrows, your rate of fire simply isn't fast enough to activate the flurry rule. Even with arrows held in your off hand, the time to grab a packet, touch the bow, pull your arm back to your shoulder, and then throw adds enough of a delay that you are effectively pausing with every shot.

Weapon swings are MUCH faster. Even spell casting, if done right, is much faster. No matter how quickly you shoot arrows, your rate of fire will always give your opponent enough time to easily call all defenses (which is the purpose of this rule).

-MS
 

Graham Wolsey

Scholar
Denver Staff
Marshal
Honestly, I think you will be fine. I play an archer. If you are following the rules for throwing arrows, your rate of fire simply isn't fast enough to activate the flurry rule. Even with arrows held in your off hand, the time to grab a packet, touch the bow, pull your arm back to your shoulder, and then throw adds enough of a delay that you are effectively pausing with every shot.

Weapon swings are MUCH faster. Even spell casting, if done right, is much faster. No matter how quickly you shoot arrows, your rate of fire will always give your opponent enough time to easily call all defenses (which is the purpose of this rule).

-MS
I think the way the rule is currently written its pretty unclear that this is the case. 2-3 seconds is a really long time in a combat situation, our local archers fire much faster than that.
 

Tayl

Newbie
Honestly, I think you will be fine. I play an archer. If you are following the rules for throwing arrows, your rate of fire simply isn't fast enough to activate the flurry rule. Even with arrows held in your off hand, the time to grab a packet, touch the bow, pull your arm back to your shoulder, and then throw adds enough of a delay that you are effectively pausing with every shot.

Weapon swings are MUCH faster. Even spell casting, if done right, is much faster. No matter how quickly you shoot arrows, your rate of fire will always give your opponent enough time to easily call all defenses (which is the purpose of this rule).

-MS
I'm confused as to how spell casting (An entire incant, I call forth a dragon's breath, With Eldritch Force I build a prison), would take longer than just calling damage for archery and mimicing the bow/bolt. Our archers do not take that long.

ON TOP OF THAT

The flurry rule does not care how long you take to fire the arrows. After three consecutive hits, you must pause.
 

marceasue

Newbie
I'm confused as to how spell casting (An entire incant, I call forth a dragon's breath, With Eldritch Force I build a prison), would take longer than just calling damage for archery and mimicing the bow/bolt. Our archers do not take that long.

ON TOP OF THAT

The flurry rule does not care how long you take to fire the arrows. After three consecutive hits, you must pause.
That is my issue with it, with how it is written I have to "pause" and not sure how long that is after three consecutive hits no matter the speed. Also I can legally throw arrows pretty fast, as long as they are in my cauliflowered hand. Now when I need to reload my hand that is cauliflowered with arrow packets that is where my natural break is, it seems rather immersion breaking and a hindrance to have to break when there is no need and honestly I do not want to have to keep track of that in my head along with all the other numbers I have to keep track of.
 
I'm confused as to how spell casting (An entire incant, I call forth a dragon's breath, With Eldritch Force I build a prison), would take longer than just calling damage for archery and mimicing the bow/bolt. Our archers do not take that long.

ON TOP OF THAT

The flurry rule does not care how long you take to fire the arrows. After three consecutive hits, you must pause.
This is the exact text of the rule, so we are on the same page: "This is intended as a constant change to Alliance combat. Under the Flurry rule, a player should not direct more than three consecutive attacks (weapon strikes and/or packet attacks in any combination) against a single target before pausing to let the target call defenses and, if appropriate, reset their combat stance. Individual deliberate strikes which give enough time between them for a target to call defenses need not be counted as part of a Flurry. All players involved in a combat should adhere to this rule. The intent is that no player should be so “overwhelmed” calling defenses that they cannot apply their own offensive abilities."

The second sentence is key. If individual strikes give enough time between them for a target to call defenses, they don't count as part of the flurry. If you arrow shots aren't giving enough time to allow your target to call defenses, you are almost certainly violating the archery rules. Spells, wands, and poisons allow you to throw with just a flick of your wrist. Archery explicitly requires three distinct arm movements: packet to bow, packet to shoulder, and throw. Even if you are holding arrows in your off hand (possible, but difficult while wielding bow and probably limited to about 10-12 at most even with big hands), that only cuts one movement out of the required 3. Compare legal archery shots to any attacks with a melee weapon and the speed difference is astronomical.

I respect that some archers fire quicker than others, but I reiterate, if you are following the strict rules for archery movements, you honestly can't break the flurry rules on your own.

-MS
 

Thorgrim

Artisan
Wolsey brought this up a bit but I think it should be looked at more closely.

Flurry rule when looked at in a vacuum does not sound like a terrible idea. However, when you look at all of the other changes that have been made, combat is going to slow to a stand still, and the only way to effectively end an encounter is with per day abilities or spells.

With changes to hearty and increased armor totals, it is entirely reasonable and even expected for PC fighters to be rocking 150+ body and armor. With the changes to prof, removal of DA, and the necessary investiture in paragon paths in order to be competitive, you are unlikely to see many fighters consistently swinging for more than 8 damage even in higher level games. Combine that with much larger shields which give a heavy defensive advantage, and you've created a scenario where the only way to deal with fighters is to use take out abilities.

Our earlier rounds of play testing already concluded that fights that did not make use of stacked crit attacks, multiple powerful blows, or take out spells dragged on entirely too long. Flurry will only increase this.

Lets look at a scenario and math this out

2 shield fighters with over-sized shields square off, each with 150 points of armor and body, each swinging for 8.
Both fighters are skilled and therefore are only able to land a blow on average once every 3 flurries
Each flurry lasts approximately 6 seconds between the swings, pause, and reset.

It takes 19 hits to put an opponent with 150 body/armor down by swinging 8's. It takes 3 flurries in order to land a hit. Each flurry takes approximately 6 seconds. That fight would take almost 6 minutes to conclude. This is WAY too long.

Now I know what you're thinking, the above scenario doesn't take into account other abilities on the characters' cards like slays, disarms, eviscerates, crit attacks, etc. You're right it doesn't. But low level players don't have access to those abilities in abundance. High level characters have access to a few slays and eviscerates but they are now lost after 1 swing. Based on our model where we only land about 1 blow in every 3 flurries, it also means you only land 1 slay /eviscerate in 9 activations. Yes you can combo it with a disarm to improve your odds of landing that single swing, but now you're burning 2 per day abilities to do so. High level characters will also rely on negating abilities, parry, riposte, etc to negate anything that happens to get through. Activating a crit attack might decrease the duration of the fight by 30 seconds for each activation, but eventually you run out of crit attacks. There's just no good way to get through all the defenses on a consistent basis to make these fights anything but long drawn out slugfests unless you are willing to burn multiple per days to end the fight.

On the other hand a single scholar walks by and double taps the fighter with a disarm/sleep with relative ease thanks to the fighter's large shield. The fight is over before it ever begins.

Do you see the problem here?

You've created a scenario where it's nearly impossible for 2 fighters to kill each other without expending multiple per day abilities, but a mage can come along and take a fighter out of the fight for almost 10 minutes with no effort. There has always been an imbalance in the game where casters > fighters because of their large number of take out abilities, and now the problem is only exacerbated. Scholars become the only option to effectively take down fighters, and can do so quite easily. Playing a fighter who is invincible in melee combat but can be easily dispatched and told to sit down for 10 minutes by a scholar is not fun to play and is not balanced.

The answer to this conundrum has always been to create bad guys who are immune to some schools, can rip free from binding, and have multiple resists/dodges/phases. In doing so you make half of your scholar's spells useless in a given encounter, and make them needlessly burn through a bunch more of their spells just to get through spell defenses. This is also not fun to play and is not balanced.

The new rules system only exacerbates this issue, and using per days and take out abilities as the only way to end a fight will become even more necessary now. This will also require more defenses that negate take out abilities, otherwise encounters end in a matter of seconds. And more take out defenses mean more calling defenses in combat creating confusion, which is what this rule was supposed to help prevent in the first place.

If you truly want to reduce the confusion associated with getting overwhelmed and confused from calling defenses, then you will create a combat system that doesn't require take out abilities (and their subsequent defensive counters) to resolve a combat, or at the very least, don't make it worse than it already is.
 

Tevas

Scholar
Marshal
Playtest Community Manager
This is in part why I think take-out effects will have even more value than they do now.
Our playtests in San Francisco were structured as fully repped faire days. They represented roughly a single logistics period worth of content. Throughout all of our playtests, we received the same feedback regarding damage versus takeouts. Damage in v2 is currently negligible. Healers ended the day with substantial healing remaining. Takeout effects, however, were the primary reason players dropped, and takeout removal was almost entirely exhausted by the end of the day. As a result of this repeated outcome across multiple playtests, I would fully agree with your statement.

If we could find a way to tie these observations into the Flurry discussion, that would be outstanding. Otherwise, it may be beneficial to begin a thread that addresses the concerns regarding takeouts, and how changes to the system could potentially exacerbate these issues. As always, I appreciate everyone's willingness to provide feedback on these topics.
 

mythic

Knight
Owner
Calgary Staff
Well, I can only tell you folks this. Flurry 3, once you get used to it does work. Calgary has been using it for several years already. Will it take getting used to? Of course! Is it odd for the first while? Yup. Sure is. The only thing I can offer is that you give it a try. Not just at the playtest, do some combat practice with a couple others. Stat it out if you want. Just try to get into the rhythm. Give it an honest try. Please don't try to theorycraft this. Theories look great on paper, but once you get onto the field, there are other factors that toss those theories right out the window.

I've read all the posts, and I do truly understand player's hesitation. But not even giving it a shot is a disservice to the playtesting that we are trying to do. Please keep an open mind, that is all we can ask.

Cheers!
 

Tevas

Scholar
Marshal
Playtest Community Manager
If this proposed rule is a part of the playtest packet, then it should be tested in this cycle, and thoroughly. I have seen you express an unwavering drive for this proposal over the course of the playtesting endeavors. I would simply like to caution you to be prepared for the potential possibility that it may not be well received. It could go over well, sure, but it could also be a proposal that does not work culturally for other groups. In the end, we need to adopt policies that are good for the game as a whole. If local chapters wish to implement additional policies above and beyond what is in the ultimately approved rules, then that is entirely their prerogative to do so. But if those proposals do not mesh well with the culture of other chapters, then those proposing them must be equally prepared to allow them to be downvoted, as they are eager to see them approved. Just because something works well in one chapter does not by default mean that it will work well in other chapters. The overwhelming amount of feedback presented in this thread is a testament to those difficulties in cultural translation.
 

Thorgrim

Artisan
While I understand the desire to say "don't theorycraft, just got to a play test and try it" this is not really doing due diligence as a play tester.

That would be like walking into a car dealership, taking a car for a test drive, deciding you liked it and buying it on the spot. A much better move would be to do research online first, read reports, reviews, and comparisons, and after doing your research, then go in to the dealership for the test drive. This does two things. First when you are taking the test drive, you can look for potential problems that your research turned up (car is noisy at high speed, it doesn't handle well on tight corners, etc.) and make sure you try those things for yourself to see if the reviews are true. Second you can find things by doing research and reading reviews that you might not have found during your 30 minute test drive, such as long term cost of ownership, resale value etc.

It's not a perfect analogy but I think it works well enough. We should be combining theory crafting and number crunching in conjunction with our play tests to get the most accurate representation possible of what the final product will look like. It gives us specific problems to look for during play testing, and may illuminate some problems that otherwise would not come up during play testing.
 

Ruki

Scholar
Hopefully we will be able to get some video of our event next weekend and be able to show the speed that flurry 3 can be.
 

Tevas

Scholar
Marshal
Playtest Community Manager
Hopefully we will be able to get some video of our event next weekend and be able to show the speed that flurry 3 can be.
Would you mind clarifying what you mean by this? What has been posted regarding Flurry seems to be promoting the absence of speed as it's primary selling point. I feel like there may potentially be some misalignment here. I would appreciate any clarity you can provide on the posted intent.
 

Avaran

Baron
Under the Flurry rule, a player should not direct more than three consecutive attacks (weapon strikes and/or packet attacks in any combination) against a single target before pausing to let the target call defenses and, if appropriate, reset their combat stance. Individual deliberate strikes which give enough time between them for a target to call defenses need not be counted as part of a Flurry. All players involved in a combat should adhere to this rule. The intent is that no player should be so “overwhelmed” calling defenses that they cannot apply their own offensive abilities.
This rather reminds me of the Charge rule, where someone just has to "Feel" like they are being charged; it seems like as long as someone "feels" comfortable fighting at a certain speed, then it's all good. But the moment you start getting uncomfortable, you can say, "NOPE! FLURRY RULE!" This would drive me absolutely bonkers and I wouldn't want to fight against someone who didn't have a consistent threshold. And the only way I can guarantee that I'm NOT called, is to Hit...pause.....Hit...pause....Hit...pause.... There's no consistent evaluation from person to person since everyone has a different level of comfort and experience with combat speed. So to have a consistent experience and feel across the game and in every chapter, I feel like it's imperative to have a clearly defined rule that defines in some form or another, the maximum speed of combat allowed.

Hopefully we will be able to get some video of our event next weekend and be able to show the speed that flurry 3 can be.
Three hits at a time seems to be the intent here, but now there's indications that it can be "fast" now? I share concerns about this comment because the stated intent is to slow combat down.

Confusing it is.

It slows our combat down allowing each person time to process all the hits/spells/effects.
This is again to stop the rapid fire of spells and globes. Let your opponent process the hits, call their defenses and then carry on.
 
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