Restated conclusion: Claiming merc d1 is a good strategy for merc/sellsword, and will continue to be so as the game incentivises this meta. This is boring and should be changed.
Assumption 1: Having a Mercenary in game is on average more damaging to evils than it is for Blue Dragon.
Assumption 2: Blue Dragon is under more time pressure than evils.
Assumption 3: Merc-claims are easy to confirm as being either Merc/Sellsword.
First impact of assumptions: Merc-claims are generally not a high priority kill target for BD, unless they are both acting sellswordy AND prince is outed/someone is dying of bleed.
Second impact of assumptions: Mercenary-claimers are not a high priority kill target for evils until they can be deduced to obviously not be Sellsword. If obviously not sellsword, they become high priority targets for evils
Exception: If there is a Knight in game, the knight should CS Merc N3 with deathnote to confirm themselves, making merc d1 claims risky. However, this is not a widely done meta-play and I’d argue this is for a reason. If it was, you’d start having assassins kill mercs n3 to safe-claim Knight, in which case BD would now have to deal with even more suspicious knights AND losing their mercs (which is bad for them, per assumption 1). So, this exception doesn’t make much of a difference.
Result on in-game meta: Claiming Merc d1 is a safe and strong play for both Sellsword and Merc. You will be a low priority target for BD pretty much all game, unless you act too much like a sellsword, as you’re relatively more disruptive to evils than to BD. You will also be a low priority target for evils until mid game because they won’t want to kill/exe a potential sellsword.
At midgame you might already have won if you are merc. If not, you can just act like a sellsword for a bit, and probably stay alive as BD won’t have time for you. If you’re a sellsword and still alive midgame, you can take a bleeding BD down with you, and proceed to waste the next court day/prince exe as they kill you and be happy with your impact.
Opinion: Having neuts openclaim d1 is boring in a social deduction game, because it takes a way from the deduction aspect. This should change.
Now, the million dollar question: What is the best way to change this design?