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Restoring Merc Viability

#1

I’ve rolled Merc quite a few times since most recent changes to the class. Here are my thoughts. I would welcome input from others.

Since the inclusion of Sellsword, and with other protective BD classes, Mercenary seems to be considered largely redundant and unnecessary by BD. Often Merc gets exed as a suspicious claim for SS, NK, (I’ve even been exed as a purported MM), or exed just to eliminate a Neut Counter on the list (“no loss” is heard frequently). They are usually targeted by Unseen/Cult/Killers because of their prohibitive abilities, but BD doesn’t have enough interest in keeping Merc alive when that Neut Counter elimination is such valuable deductive information.

Here are some of the issues I keep bumping into in my playtime as Mercenary:
Why trust a Merc claim when you can trust a confirmed Knight?
Anything claimed by a Merc can be doubled or faked by a different class’s abilities. Occupations are easily falsified by other classes, and Guards can be mistaken for Sellsword abilities.
Also, players want confirmation.
In a choice between a Merc guard and a Knight guard, Prince usually does and frankly should choose Knight because Knight kills back – and the death note confirms them. Not so for Merc.
True too of the player behind our hypothetical Knight: they want that confirmation too - it’s their ticket to survival, even in the event of a conversion.
It also makes Merc an ungratifying class to play. There is no material difference that Merc can make to impact the outcome of the game in early game, and if they survive early game, they better hope NK is dead too! Usually other BD members see them as “getting underfoot,” and they aren’t quite Neutral in their win conditions - so they get no support from their “Let’s see which way the wind blows” Neutral faction-mates.

Give Mercenary a way to confirm themselves. This is a standalone suggestion. As far as potential solutions to restoring their viability in play… random ideas:

Re-combining Merc and SS into one “Mercenary” type class that be contracted to both factions
Making Merc and SS “twinned” classes - somehow, making their win conditions supportive of each other, as a converse to Sorc/Inq
Making Merc more supportive of other Neut classes, (e.g. an Alch-specific empowering guard abiltiy or something, an extra TB for fool if guarded by Merc prior night, etc)
Maybe even allowing Merc to support (“borrow”) the win conditions of a fellow Neut as a form of their own win conditions.

Idc if you think my suggests are poo, but the info on Merc play is good, and I hope to see it restored to a fun class. TY

#2

I agree, Merc is sooooo boring to play

1 Like
#3

Confirmablity is bad for this game

5 Likes
#4

Someone said something like that

Neutrals can be two of the three

Unconvertable
Helpful
Confirmable

6 Likes
#5

By that logic, Merc is only 1 of 3 :frowning:

#6

Then perhaps the solution is to remove confirmability from other classes. But either way, the playing field is not level for Merc given their abilities v their win condition. For a win condition that is reliant on BD success, BD needs a way to confirm them or they will not protect Merc.

1 Like
#7

They don’t need to protect merc.

BD wasting resources on a inquistor is dumb as well:

3 Likes
#8

You’ve just hit the nail on the head as far as my complaint :slight_smile:
It shouldn’t be a waste. So my suggestion is to fix the balancing so that it either isn’t a waste, isn’t dumb, or isn’t the win condition of Merc to protect a faction that has no use for them.

(I guess alternatively, we could rename the class to Neglected Lover – at least then we’d have a context for understanding why on earth the class exists. But I’ll remove my tongue from my cheek)

As it stands, the play experience can be summed up to “Die for BD and get wished good riddance”

That’s not fun for anyone :frowning:

1 Like
#9

he means wasting resources on killing them

#10

that’s not how i read that, so I’mma leave my reply there just in case. if so – oops, my b

#11

And merc is far more confirmable than knight. You visit someone. Someone else visits someone. They were prevented. Done.

#12

I agree that the current status of Mercenary and Sellsword are really bad. I strongly think that mercenary should be able to choose which faction to side with like the alchemist but they can only have support/defensive abilities.

1 Like
#13

In any case right now merc is unconvertible and helpful. We don’t want to make him more confirmable.

1 Like
#14

Old merc had a killer ability

#15

The problem with Merc is that they’re a necessary class for evils to fake-claim more easily, but they need to be sufficiently useful for BD that they won’t be executed “just in case”. I think Shield was a good ability idea, but it needs to be reworked into something that’s sufficiently useful but not that confirmable.

Perhaps something like the old Rebound? That kills all visitors to the target? It works better than Knight to protect a Prince and frees up Physicians to heal others (or themselves) but it can also royally screw BD over and because it functions just like Circle of Death, becomes a decent fake-claim for Sorcerer or a clever Cult Leader.

Obviously, this Rebound would only have 1/2 uses.

1 Like
#16

And trying to combine the merc and sellsword wincons together would end up with essentially either:

“You win”

or

“You are either a merc or a sellsword”

2 Likes
#17

confirmable to players who understand second-tier dynamics, maybe, but those second-tier dynamics are generally only noted by folks who understand the trickle-down of ability interaction. Which (for those of us who dont do premade discord groups) is usually not very high % of players in a lobby >>

I don’t disagree with you, but I think it’s not obvious enough to plebs for anyone to trust a Merc claim based on the abilities that can be confirmed, because everyone wants a Neut off the counter and would rather believe it’s SS and just exe the possibility for deductive info. And on the off chance that you’ve got one smartypants in the lobby pointing out the situation, usually they’re drowned out by a mob and the evils hop on board to push the exe of who they know is actually a Merc.

I don’t think my solutions are tops or even the right answer, just ideas to spark some in others who have more understanding about the balancing than I. I’m just here to offer observations on my Merc play and point out that I don’t think the class is working “as intended”
(otherwise it seems a bit of a wasted class slot honestly)

#18

I meant having the old ability to offer contract to anyone.

#19

Old Merc was basically just an auto confirmed BD 9 times out of 10 and encouraged prince out.

6 Likes
#20

But then it’s another alch. That’s not really fun.

1 Like