[.11] Mettle and new fighters.

Feldor

Scholar
Marshal
If we introduce the concept of “scaling with level” to any ability, it would be an argument for all abilities.
I mean, the game doesn't currently have any defensive ability whose usage causes damage to the person who used it. Mettle is adding that. Doesn't that set a precedent for all defensive abilities needing to have a BP cost to use? (Honestly, if Mettle needs this, than its probably the case that spell-parry needs this as well.)

Honestly, I think its a bad precedent entirely, and that isn't how we should be scaling mettle.


Attempting to take half a step back, and establish some perpsective:

Mettle is providing a smart defense against a bunch of mostly magic effects that would take a fighter out of combat. The 2.0 changes include removing cloak/bane magic items, which can change high level play, some of which is desirable to preserve. We want fighters to be able to close and be in combat. At the same time, we don't want magic to be useless, so we can't have fighters able to soak a lot of magic in a short time.

You can purchase one mettle per 20 martial skills. It costs 3-6 XP per. This makes it one of the two cheapest defensive abilities, along with evade.

Its likely closest equivalent is Dodge, which applies to more effects and attacks, scales per 30 points in stealth skills, and costs 5-8 XP per.

The problem I think is mettle's current scaling is to harsh for non-straight fighters who aren't high level; and for low level fighters. I think it _should_ be usable by a fighter, scout, or spellsword of all levels - we have no other level restricted skill. In addition, because of the addition of hardy, a 40th level fighter who aggressively bought hardy _could_ use mettle 14* times in a row (* - actually 13, since you couldn't buy that much hardy and qualify for 14 mettles), which I think is definitely not intended. Interestingly, if a scholar had a way to get access to that many mettles, they could use it 11 times in a row.

Without Hardy, to use 1 more mettle a fighter needs 10 levels, a scout 14 levels, a templar 18 levels. A fighter can first use mettle at 6th level, a scout at 9th, a spellsword at 11th.

I'm starting to think the addition of Hardy makes Mettle scale in really unintentional ways.

Interestingly, it also makes mettle really good for spellswords who can heal themselves. You could conceivable close doing the templar-tuck (one hand free behind a shield), suck up a relatively arbitrary number of effects and be healing yourself after each. And I don't think this ability is intended to be better for spellswords than fighters.



Possible ideas:
Make Mettle & Hardy be one skill. Expending it removes the effect of the Hardy. I think my suggested variant is buyable every 4 levels, provides 10 body instead of 5, at 10-14 XP per purchase (twice current hardy), and using the skill removes the effect of the Hardy until the next logistics period. It'd likely make sense to double the effect of frail/hardy racial abilities in this case.

Make Mettle purchasable like dodge and remove the BP damage. Increase prereqs appropriately. Any skill-store restriction on dodge should apply equally to Mettle. Possibly make it slightly cheaper XP wise than dodge, since it doesn't cover some key effects dodge does. (We already have evade<->parry parallel, I think adding a dodge<->mettle isn't inherently flawed.)

Make Mettle have a secondary effect instead of damage. (This does set a precedent.) I'd suggested using Mettle cause weakness. But you could possibly make it progressive - something like first hit is slow, second is weakness, etc.
 

Ardos

Artisan
South Michigan Staff
If you are using multiple mettles in a row at low/mid level you're not using the ability right. The same could be said for using multiple resolutes in a row. Sure a high level can do it but the real advantage is being able to replace status effects with healable damage. I have 5 mettles. I only have 31 body. There are the same magic item ways to fix for this and it requires cooperation on spells. While I agree that it's odd that you can't use mettle when you first get it, you aren't supposed to use several in a row at any lower or mid level. Personally I would love if I could mettle into bleeding out, but having used it as is I can see why that wasn't a good idea.
 

Muir

Fighter
I actually wonder how often you'll ever be able to use it, other than right after logistics. I have never known a low level character of any stripe to have more than a couple body most of the time, because few healers want to spend serious healing on someone without the defenses to make good use of it.

Edit: Spelling correction. Autocorrect from phone posting hates me.
 
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Draven

Count
Seattle Staff
Marshal
I mean, the game doesn't currently have any defensive ability whose usage causes damage to the person who used it. Mettle is adding that. Doesn't that set a precedent for all defensive abilities needing to have a BP cost to use? (Honestly, if Mettle needs this, than its probably the case that spell-parry needs this as well.)

Honestly, I think its a bad precedent entirely, and that isn't how we should be scaling mettle.


Attempting to take half a step back, and establish some perpsective:

Mettle is providing a smart defense against a bunch of mostly magic effects that would take a fighter out of combat. The 2.0 changes include removing cloak/bane magic items, which can change high level play, some of which is desirable to preserve. We want fighters to be able to close and be in combat. At the same time, we don't want magic to be useless, so we can't have fighters able to soak a lot of magic in a short time.

You can purchase one mettle per 20 martial skills. It costs 3-6 XP per. This makes it one of the two cheapest defensive abilities, along with evade.

Its likely closest equivalent is Dodge, which applies to more effects and attacks, scales per 30 points in stealth skills, and costs 5-8 XP per.

The problem I think is mettle's current scaling is to harsh for non-straight fighters who aren't high level; and for low level fighters. I think it _should_ be usable by a fighter, scout, or spellsword of all levels - we have no other level restricted skill. In addition, because of the addition of hardy, a 40th level fighter who aggressively bought hardy _could_ use mettle 14* times in a row (* - actually 13, since you couldn't buy that much hardy and qualify for 14 mettles), which I think is definitely not intended. Interestingly, if a scholar had a way to get access to that many mettles, they could use it 11 times in a row.

Without Hardy, to use 1 more mettle a fighter needs 10 levels, a scout 14 levels, a templar 18 levels. A fighter can first use mettle at 6th level, a scout at 9th, a spellsword at 11th.

I'm starting to think the addition of Hardy makes Mettle scale in really unintentional ways.

Interestingly, it also makes mettle really good for spellswords who can heal themselves. You could conceivable close doing the templar-tuck (one hand free behind a shield), suck up a relatively arbitrary number of effects and be healing yourself after each. And I don't think this ability is intended to be better for spellswords than fighters.



Possible ideas:
Make Mettle & Hardy be one skill. Expending it removes the effect of the Hardy. I think my suggested variant is buyable every 4 levels, provides 10 body instead of 5, at 10-14 XP per purchase (twice current hardy), and using the skill removes the effect of the Hardy until the next logistics period. It'd likely make sense to double the effect of frail/hardy racial abilities in this case.

Make Mettle purchasable like dodge and remove the BP damage. Increase prereqs appropriately. Any skill-store restriction on dodge should apply equally to Mettle. Possibly make it slightly cheaper XP wise than dodge, since it doesn't cover some key effects dodge does. (We already have evade<->parry parallel, I think adding a dodge<->mettle isn't inherently flawed.)

Make Mettle have a secondary effect instead of damage. (This does set a precedent.) I'd suggested using Mettle cause weakness. But you could possibly make it progressive - something like first hit is slow, second is weakness, etc.
I’m not entirely certain how familiar you are with altered effects in your chapter. It’s kinda old-hat here. The idea of a person taking an altered effect (damage included) instead of the original effect isn’t really a new concept for us.

Comparing Spell Parry to Mettle as directly as you did is heavily flawed; they are not resources that are equally attained, equally used, or equally applicable. One is acquired through currency resources, the other through skill points. One is triggered by specific effects, the other by a specific qualifier. One is self-only, one is someone within weapon range.

Additionally, Spell Parry requires the expenditure of Parry; I’d argue that this is far more expensive than 20 Body at -any- level.

I find your suggestion of Weakness as an alternative to be particularly mind-boggling. You want the ability to be more useful for low/midbies, but you want the solution to be something that literally drops their damage to 0 for ten minutes or until cured?

Damage is simple. It’s a penalty that matters, but doesn’t take someone out of a fight. It’s a penalty that stacks, too, so just having 8 Mettles doesn’t mean you’re immune to an alchemist.

Damage might be really rough to lowbies, but man, that’s not stopping lowbies from playing Fighter. They still love the class. :)
 

Ardos

Artisan
South Michigan Staff
I'm glad you asked, we had a one day this weekend and I used 3 of my 5 mettles, never more than one at a time (though my health pool is boosted to 56 with armored shell) this is due to healers taking storms to be more efficient thus having "left over" healing to fill up fighters. Combining mettle with intercepts I am able to keep the heaviest hitters and the most fragile casters from being hit with takeouts at bad times, working as a group with scholars using protectives and filling spell stores. I recognize that I am not the be all end all user for fighters, I voluntarily stay at swinging 2s in order to have more survivability and utility, but if mettle we're to be any cheaper you will have to deal with trash mobs soaking even more hits in big bad fights.
 

Alkalin3

Administrator
Chief Technology Officer
South Michigan Staff
Marshal
I actually wonder how often you'll ever be able to use it, other than right after logistics. I have never know a low level character of any stripe to have more than a couple body most of the time, because few healers want to spend serious healing on someone without the defenses to make good use of it.
I'd encourage you to find a 2.0 game or encourage the chapters you play at to run one. You're coming at it with all these preconceived notions and none of the realities I've seen match that.
Healing is a lot more common given spell levels, channeling, earth storm. Heavy takes outs are a lot less common in the monster database. The notion that you stay at one body and just refit armor hasn't shown up in the 5 2.0 events I've played.
 
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Draven

Count
Seattle Staff
Marshal
I'd encourage you to find a 2.0 game or encourage the chapters you play at to run one. You're coming at it with all these preconceived notions and none of the realities I've seen match that.
Healing is a lot more common given spell levels, channeling, earth storm. Heavy takes outs are a lot less common in the monster database. The notion that you stay at one body and just refit armor hasn't shown up in the 5 2.0 events I've played.
Exactly this.

The following factors have made Healing so much more prevalent:

1) Healing spells at every level.
2) Flex casting.
3) Healing spells at every level means healing potions being more prevalent as dropped loot, coupled with the removal of “Rid” potions as dropped loot.
4) Lesser Earth Storms being able to be memorized in 6th/7th/8th level slots, allowing someone to really bulk up healing reserves.
5) Potency adds a -ton- is potential healing for ten minutes, particularly when coupled with Storms.
6) Storm Augmentation incentivizes Storm memorization.
 

Darkcrescent

Knight
Chicago Staff
Marshal
While I agree on the perspective, not everyone has the luxury of playing 2.0 early, especially when the nearest chapter hasn’t responded to emails in over 3 months....
 

Feldor

Scholar
Marshal
Commentary in-line.

I’m not entirely certain how familiar you are with altered effects in your chapter. It’s kinda old-hat here. The idea of a person taking an altered effect (damage included) instead of the original effect isn’t really a new concept for us.
Sure - but its not in the player mechanics. And its cool to bring altered effects in, but it is setting a precedent. And it is part of why I don't like both damage and weakness as a downside to mettle, unless its going to be something that is part of how players normally play. (NPC rules combat mechanics can always be different. They are run vastly different than a PC is.) This isn't a big objection, but its felt like something that ARC seems to be mindful of - setting new precedents.

Comparing Spell Parry to Mettle as directly as you did is heavily flawed; they are not resources that are equally attained, equally used, or equally applicable. One is acquired through currency resources, the other through skill points. One is triggered by specific effects, the other by a specific qualifier. One is self-only, one is someone within weapon range. Additionally, Spell Parry requires the expenditure of Parry; I’d argue that this is far more expensive than 20 Body at -any- level.
I actually think Spell Parry and Mettle are filling very similar roles. There jobs are to provide defenses against things that fighters can't normally defend against. When folks were talking before about needing more magic defenses for fighters, spell parry was the answer. And that conversation was very carefully framed so that Mettle couldn't be the answer, because it was the answer for so many of the spells.

I find your suggestion of Weakness as an alternative to be particularly mind-boggling. You want the ability to be more useful for low/midbies, but you want the solution to be something that literally drops their damage to 0 for ten minutes or until cured?
Honestly, as someone who weakness drops to 0, and who seems to get hit at least by one every event, I'm very familiar with this effect and what it feels like to play it. I also think its going to be harsher in 2.0 than it'd have been in the current rules. In my original suggestion, I did point out the flaw in that its much harder to fix than just getting healing. And of the possible fixes, this one ranks just above "keep it at 20 damage" on my preferred options. Functionally its an alternative effect. The one thing I liked about it is how it felt thematic -- like if I was going to teach it and explain it, it felt right. I realize that isn't a priority.

I suppose one thing that is nice about weakness is how it interacts with NPCs. It means a caster can throw a spell, have it resisted but still get a (reduced) effect that feels useful. Like its perfect for use against minion NPCs who get to still engage. Just damage removes the tension and down plays the value of damage spells.

Damage is simple. It’s a penalty that matters, but doesn’t take someone out of a fight. It’s a penalty that stacks, too, so just having 8 Mettles doesn’t mean you’re immune to an alchemist.
Damage may be simple, but I think it scales poorly. Its both to harsh at the start, and to insignificant later. Especially if you are doing a relatively tanky build, or playing either with someone who is a good combat healer, or just have self-healing. A templar-tuck advance on an alchemist could let me use 8 mettles even though I don't have the body to support 2. Having at other larps played a backpack-healer, I think mettle has great potential to be functionally unrestricted with a tight team -- healing is way more available than spellshields.

Damage might be really rough to lowbies, but man, that’s not stopping lowbies from playing Fighter. They still love the class. :)
If you are going to be playing a low XP character, especially since waylay will no longer infinite use, Fighter is the answer. It gets the most BP & armor, so you'll be standing longer. And it has the cheapest weapon skills, so your starting XP will go further. And if the choice is less than a dozen spells per day, or infinite 2-3 damage swings, one goes much further... But this feels like a discussion for a different thread. :)
 

Cedric

Rogue
Marshal
What if you made mettle scales in body cost based on level. From levels 1-10 - 10 body, levels 11-20 - 15 body - levels 20+ - 20 body
 

Ken

Artisan
Alliance Logistics
Feels awkward to have a single skill that scales like that with levels.
Another option is to scale it with number of purchases. That still feels a little weird.
 

Muir

Fighter
Another option is to scale it with number of purchases. That still feels a little weird.
Honestly I still have yet to see a justification for why Mettle costs body and Dodge doesn't have a price per use, while working on way more effects.

Dodge: 1/30 Stealth Skills, 5 xp per for the primary class, no cost to use, Smart Defense against everything.
Mettle: 1/20 Martial Skills, 3xp per for the primary class, 20 Body to use, Smart Defense on debuffs with a duration that isn't instant.

This is not remotely equivalent value for cost.

IMHO, up the cost of Mettle to 4/5xp and remove to cost to use.

While I agree on the perspective, not everyone has the luxury of playing 2.0 early, especially when the nearest chapter hasn’t responded to emails in over 3 months....
More than that. I've been trying to get a permanent item tag from a rit cast in 2017 (that IIRC you marshaled) out of what used to be my home chapter since the start of last season without a single email response. Thankfully it looks like my current home chapter is diving in full force on 2.0 this season.
 

Tantarus

Squire
IMHO, up the cost of Mettle to 4/5xp and remove to cost to use.
While I can see this argument, I think this makes it much worse over all in the long run. I would rather get the healing. And have more uses in a day.

Also I dont get why people are comparing this to dodge, it should be compared to evade. They are the same build cost and prereq requirement for there respective classes. They both help you avoid a limited range of effects.
 

Muir

Fighter
Mostly because Dodge is applicable against the same 10 minute effects, whereas evade only works on damage and is effectively an alternative to having to take a Cure Light and stand back up if we're assuming team play.
 

Draven

Count
Seattle Staff
Marshal
Honestly I still have yet to see a justification for why Mettle costs body and Dodge doesn't have a price per use, while working on way more effects.
No, you just haven’t seen a justification you like.

They’re defenses for different classes with different roles with different positions in combat.

Mettle means you need to lean on support more -which Fighters already do.-

Dodge is designed to be better for the class -that’s putting themselves in extra danger in order to use their skills.-
 

Cedric

Rogue
Marshal
I think there is also some benefit with mettle being effect protection vs delivery protection. Also with how low in xp cost, it means currently fighters can avoid/shrug off more effects than a rogue which I like. Also upping the xp cost even with body reduction means even less cheap good skills for fighters to take. It does penalize quite a bit of xp.

I do strongly feel like there needs to be some relief at low level fighters/hybrids with mettle tho.
 

Alkalin3

Administrator
Chief Technology Officer
South Michigan Staff
Marshal
Mostly because Dodge is applicable against the same 10 minute effects, whereas evade only works on damage and is effectively an alternative to having to take a Cure Light and stand back up if we're assuming team play.
Most effects are reduced to 5 minutes (Prison and Charm are some of the few that are not).

Evade also lets you block anything with the weapon qualifier. This is not always raw damage. It can be an assortment of pc skills, and npc skills. Weapon/Weaponstrike X is a relatively common in the new monster manual. This includes doom blow. There's a whole slew of problems fighters and rogues can cause that a cure light won't fix. On top of npcs having things like weapon/strike pin, web, etc.
 
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Draven

Count
Seattle Staff
Marshal
Most effects are reduced to 5 minutes (Prison and Charm are some of the few that are not).

Evade also lets you block anything with the weapon qualifier. This isn't not always raw damage. It can be an assortment of pc skills, and npc skills. Weapon/Weaponstrike X is a relatively common in the new monster manual. This includes when a doom blow. There's a whole slew of problems fighters and rogues can cause that a cure light won't fix. On top of npcs having things like weapon/strike pin, web, etc.
Web isn’t an effect in 2.0, sir.

#pedanticvengeanceismine
 
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