Author Topic: Evade - The perennial problem of fight or flight  (Read 2326 times)

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Hobbes

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Evade - The perennial problem of fight or flight
« on: March 25, 2015, 03:17:06 AM »
So, having had the issue of evade crop up in the Woodsman's cloak, I thought it best that the mechanic get a closer look. Firstly, what does evade *do* ?

Evade acts thus : First, it replaces your fight stat (or Spirit stat if you're fighting something corrupted with Sana) with your Wits stat. Second, it treats all functional "success" rolls as shields, Wyld rolls explode, but are still counted as shields regardless. Finally, the player automatically retreats, or routs if there's no space to retreat to.

The problem is threefold. Firstly - Unless you're mercurio, the odds of your Wit Stat being higher than your Fight stat are not good, generally speaking your items are geared either towards improving your chances in battle (such as +fight items, or +die such as bane sword), spells which you'd ordinarily rely on to help you in battle (such as Feral) now become an outright stone around your neck, and conversely spells which -shouldn't- be useful (such as Evil Eye) suddenly become useful. This makes the use of Wits as a fight stat somewhat counterintuitive.

Secondly - By forcing a retreat regardless of outcome, it's entirely possible that by placing evade on a target you can force them to rout, thereby instantly killing them (as they have no path of retreat) and forcing them back to their clan grounds.

Finally - Evade is something that can be placed upon you, this means that it can be used "offensively" to entirely cripple you in situations where counterintuitively evade should be acting defensively in your favour. In effect, Evade is causing more harm than good in quite a few scenarios. A good example might be to use it upon Thane who with a low Wits score would be effectively rendered vulnerable and easily killable by virtue of someone dropping a spell that imparts evade upon him, even though that might otherwise be treated as a buff.

Evade -should- be a viable defensive option, but right now it fails in that regard entirely. That stands out as a real issue, because it means items with Evade on will not be taken by virtue of it being classed as a potentially harmful quality to put on an item.

With all this said - how would one go about fixing Evade?

The easiest, and simplest solution I can come up with, and the most elegant would be this :

Evade converts Wyld (or rot explosions) into Shield Die. They still explode, but rather than exploding and being added to the sword pool, now they explode and are added to the Shield pool.

That's it. Problem solved. You need make no other change other than that, the net result would be to make evade the equivalent of a "defensive stance" that confers a significant potential boon, and would make evade a possibly desirable trait (you'd trade the potential offensive strength of a high crit, but in return gain the potential of having a very high "dodge" stat in effect).

Thoughts?

Mahasuchi

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Re: Evade - The perennial problem of fight or flight
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2015, 03:35:13 AM »
I think the current evade system is still viable, though maybe not as desirable to some players, you can see my thoughts on it in the card feedback thread. However, I think your suggestion is also viable and would make it more desirable to other players. The best part is that testing it shouldn't take very long.

Kletian999

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Re: Evade - The perennial problem of fight or flight
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2015, 03:46:28 AM »
Other Problems with Evade:

If you are in the castle, having evade means anyone can make you lose your spot, wasting a turn to get back in.  I have won games by casting Wyld warning on people trying to King slay or even spirit stone.

Thane can hurt you with his power no matter how high your defense gets.  The fact that most gear is offensive and dice explosion means that you can even be hurt by regular means with bad luck, and there's no disincentive for people to keep trying to attack you.

Someone who'd be "immortal" with like +4 static shields and full life is easily killed by someone even if they have no fight stat (from mirror image) via routing.



Mahasuchi

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Re: Evade - The perennial problem of fight or flight
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2015, 04:02:10 AM »
Other Problems with Evade:

If you are in the castle, having evade means anyone can make you lose your spot, wasting a turn to get back in.  I have won games by casting Wyld warning on people trying to King slay or even spirit stone.

Thane can hurt you with his power no matter how high your defense gets.  The fact that most gear is offensive and dice explosion means that you can even be hurt by regular means with bad luck, and there's no disincentive for people to keep trying to attack you.

Someone who'd be "immortal" with like +4 static shields and full life is easily killed by someone even if they have no fight stat (from mirror image) via routing.

It's going to have some downsides no matter what, I think. If you don't want it's effects, don't use it. I've only used it a few times myself and when I had, it helped. But I wouldn't stand to have it on me at all times, which is why I don't use the cloak. Perhaps, giving an option to use evade or not in a battle should be something added as well. Also, no matter what cards you have, if someone removes your dice pool by spamming mirror image or other cards, you're kinda screwed evade or no evade. That part of the problem isn't exclusive to evade alone.

Stacking items to have maximum shields or swords has never been a strategy I would use. It seriously limits your versatility and Armello, in my experience, tends to reward versatility rather than sticking to min/max combos or repeating the same tricks over and over.

Hobbes

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Re: Evade - The perennial problem of fight or flight
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2015, 04:45:13 AM »
This is partly why I'm campaigning to remove the effects from Evade and to simplify what it does, changing it so it shifts Wyld explosions and makes them go boom > shield as opposed to boom > sword. This would stop Evade being used as a tool that can screw with other players (as Kletian has pointed out) and would generally make it a useful secondary defensive option and a muted beneficial quality to have on some items and spells. Right now Evade is just -bad- in most cases, and if anything is more useful when played "offensively", which is aberrative.

Mahasuchi

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Re: Evade - The perennial problem of fight or flight
« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2015, 04:55:13 AM »
Yeah, I understand what you're saying. Even as an offensive measure, I haven't had much reason to use it though. I haven't played multiplayer yet, so I wouldn't know how it plays out. But it still seems a less cheap method than to spam Mirror Image cards to remove dice from your opponent. Even if you play it on a hero in a palace, you're not guaranteed to push him out.

Kletian999

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Re: Evade - The perennial problem of fight or flight
« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2015, 05:06:21 AM »
Exactly, Evade is something you never want on yourself unless you initiate it right before battle.  Any other time it's a liability to you which is why having rings/gear giving it automatically is terrible.

fritzb2

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Re: Evade - The perennial problem of fight or flight
« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2015, 05:21:17 AM »
I was thinking Evade would be better if there was no retreating if you rolled more shields than the opponent rolled swords. Just have it be treated like a stalemate instead of a guaranteed retreat.

dragoncrescent

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Re: Evade - The perennial problem of fight or flight
« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2015, 07:32:52 AM »
Not a bad idea, changing Evade's mechanics to "Wyld explosion results in shield". Quick question, though; would it still demand that the character use their Wits stat, or would it be changed so that this new Evade uses whatever stat they would normally use during a fight (i.e. Fight for Thane, Spirit for Sana vs. a corrupted creature)?

Hobbes

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Re: Evade - The perennial problem of fight or flight
« Reply #9 on: March 25, 2015, 07:55:36 AM »
No using wits, no oddball mechanics. This simplifies things. I'm a great believer that a good solution should be both able to solve the problem and resolve any counterintuitive mechanics. Under my approach, Evade would simply turn Wyld booms into shield booms, as opposed to sword booms. Nothing more, nothing less. That would remove a lot of the "gotchas" that come up from people misunderstanding evade, and would at the same time allow for a greater degree of tactical elegance as you'd be able to dynamically shift from offense to defence by playing evade on yourself "off turn" if you feel under threat.

Alvorn

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Re: Evade - The perennial problem of fight or flight
« Reply #10 on: March 25, 2015, 10:24:44 AM »
Not much to add that hasn't already been said besides to say I only have ever played Evade to myself once that I can recall. And that was when it first came out so I could test it.