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D1 Merc claims are boring. How can they be discouraged?

#1

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?

#2

Correction: claiming anything D1 is boring.

1 Like
#3

Make merc have a reason to not out d1
Like it can’t receive protection from attacks or something when not using don armor

Scum already want it dead so making it easier to kill would be the smartest idea

#4

Why u do this

2 Likes
#5

One problem. No one cares

#6

That’s rude of yours.

#7

That sentence makes no sense

#8

:frowning:

#9

…about a Merc being vulnerable enough to take advantage of it since the whole point of a D1 claim is to get left alone.

1 Like
#10

Lets look at the neut classes. To win, they all (except for sellsword) need to not get murdered by the evils during the night. How do they accomplish this?

Pretender, scorned and inq simply rely on their natural death immunity. Evils stab them once, realise they’re neuts and proceed to ignore them until the lategame (and even then only if they’re fighting the NK)

Fool and sellsword rely on acting really sus to try and make bd execute them - and then evils generally don’t stab the sus people because they would rather bd waste their time on them. This also works (although sometimes both fool and sellsword also claim neut classes instead)

Alch and merc do not have anything in their toolkit to avoid random stabs except for “get really lucky with the timing of the button”, something that is extremely difficult because you have no idea when the evils are going to stab you, and is overall just not viable. They don’t have natural death immunity, nor can they deliberately act sus (because then bd will execute them). Therefore, the only thing they have is to claim D1 so that the evils know they’re neut and know therefore that stabbing them is mostly a waste of time (they would rather be stabbing bd). This is the only thing alch and merc have got to protect themselves.

So the way to fix this problem is to give alch and merc SOMETHING that protects them from random stabs that doesn’t involve them outing. Some options are:

  • natural death immunity at least onece. This would probably be OP on alch/merc so this is not a good solution.

  • Completely redesign alch or merc so that being sus be a viable strategy for them - This isn’t what being a merc or being an alch is about and is a terrible solution. Alchs and mercs are supposed to try and not be sus, and if you break that you break their core identity.

  • Evils magically know who the alchs and mercs are at the start of the game - this has its own issues and is in general pretty weird. I’d say it’s slightly better than my other ideas though still bad.

  • Give alchs and mercs some way of suspecting that an attack by the assassin or NK is coming so they can click their buttons - again, this is super weird and I don’t know how it could possibly work.

  • Completely redesign the evil factions so that they would first gather information about the target before stabbing it. Sometimes this does already happen: the MM manages to find a neut as unconvertable and tells the assassin not to stab it. But this happens extremely rarely. Generally the MM gathers information about someone they would like to convert, and the assassin stabs someone completely different at random, which has a high chance of randomly murdering your not-outed alch. To make this solution work, the MM needs a pretty serious buff their investigative abilities so that they can actually find the neuts. I haven’t even mentioned the cult or the NK, who also need a buff to their investigation so as to actually find the un-outed alchs and mercs. All in all, this solution seems completely unfeasable and frankly stupid.

  • Give alchs an mercs some kind of investigative abilities so that they can find the evils themselves quickly and whisper to them in the early game not to stab them. This solution is also bad because alchs and mercs aren’t supposed to be investigative. And (in the case of the NK at least) there’s nothing stopping the alch/merc from outing the NK to BD to get them exed (the cult/unseen can at least get a revenge stab in if they want).


So in conclusion, there really aren’t any good solutions to avoid the D1 claims as alch or merc. It’s their only option for surviving night attacks and other ways to survive night attacks simply don’t work for alch or merc.

3 Likes
#11

Good writeup, with several strong points. I do however think you’re overcomplicating things.

There’s one thing that all classes (regardless of their win condition) have in common that can ‘safely’ out d1 without getting executed on stand: Being relatively less harmful to BD than to Evils.

If you’re less harmful to BD than to evils, BD are better off with you in the game, and will not execute you on stand. We see this for the neutrals currently in game:

  • Inquisitor. More harmful to BD than to evils. Cannot out d1.
  • Scorned. More harmful to BD than to evils. Cannot out d1.
  • Sellsword. More harmful to BD than to evils. Cannot out d1.
  • Pretender. Questionable who is more harmful to. Can generally out d1, but must be careful in doing so.
  • Mercenary. More harmful to evils than BD. Outs d1.
  • Alchemist. More harmful to evils than BD. Outs d1.
  • Fool. Special case. Can be ignored.

We also see how things change in fringe cases. Let’s say alchemist bombs n1. They will get hung, jail/exed or CS’ed because they’re now considered more harmful to BD than to evils. Same with alchemists who refuse to heal, or mercenaries who occupy on bleeding targets or targets that are likely to be investigated. Finally, we see that when an alch/BD threaten to side with evils in voting, they need to be dealt with.

So, the “simple” fix is to make Mercenary and Alchemist a little more harmful to BD in the early game (neuts are already super powerful in the end game due to increased value of voting). This can be done many ways I’m sure. Say for example change alch so they have only 2 charges to heal, but bombing replenishes 2 charges. Suddenly yolobombing alchs is something BD have to contend with.

I’m not saying the above suggestion is great, but something along those lines. Of course, this would nerf BD since they get less help from neutrals on average, so you’d have to compensate by buffing BD slightly.

1 Like
#12

This is actually why I like the truth potion on the alch.

It
A: Gave a good reason for scum to fake claim alch. (Accusation power + easy logs)
B: Gave a good reason for scum to kill a known alch
and (to avoid being checked)
C: Gave a stealthy alch a method of avoiding the night kill (find scum. Inform them of your alchness)

1 Like
#13

Alchemists and mercenary outing themselves is fine since they are meant to be helpful(though I do agree that it is a problem for other neuts). If you want to reduce D1 claims, then do something about all of them. Don’t be harsh on neuts. I do agree that the game needs more social deduction, but you shouldn’t be discouraging a helpful class from outing themself(and if you do want that, then make it work for all classes). There are also other problems contributing to the lack of deduction that are more important than D1 claims(Faction cops outing the faction, factions and NKs being easy to deduce in general, only one good faction(though to be fair there are less options for good factions than evils), and enemy factions/NKs being to similar)

I don’t see the problem with this. Merc is a SUPPORT.

Look above. And IMO evils shouldn’t instantly kill mercs. They can help them as well.

You shouldn’t kill someone just because they are merc. IMO you should only kill neuts if they are helping the enemy faction. Plus evil classes can kill as well, so it wouldn’t confirm you(at least you would only be confirmed as killer) and kills a potential ally.

Yes to alch but no to merc. Alch should be reverted to the JOAT alch, but you shouldn’t make a support suspicious.

Agreed, but I can see why people disliked the old version. If it does get brought back then it should be one use and alch should be made unique

#14

I would keep it at 2 use.

Remember it is equivalent to a nerfed obs peek in terms of it’s potential impact on scum.

The really bad potion alch used to have was tar. Since that ability is confirmable and thus shuts down fake claims.

2 Likes
#15

I can disagree about this.
Scorned aint a threat to anyone. except to Nk.

#16

I can confirm Scorned isn’t a threat to anyone.

#17

Oh, thought you meant the old old version(exact class).
But how is it a nerfed observer peek? Didn’t it use to do the same thing as peek?

I agree with that(though it is only semi-confirmable since several classes can occupy, some neutral and some evil). That was the only real problem that the old alchemist had. It was only a little confusing, but once you got used to the 4 night abilities it was fine.

It depends on who you target really.

#18

Observer has the additional benefit of being confirmable and trustworthy. An alchemist can be more easily be faked making an accusation from them even with the same information (in this case faction) less credible and therefore less dangerous.

1 Like
#19

Exact class was a mistake that should never have existed on a non-scum.

1 Like
#20

Oh god no please no

2 Likes