Psychic, Coven Rotating Mode Rebalance [poll added]

Leave your suggestions about the game here!

Does Psychic need a nerf?

Yes, with all of the changes below.
3
11%
Yes, with some of the changes below.
1
4%
Yes, but in ways different than described below.
1
4%
No, Psychic is fine.
4
15%
No, Psychic is underpowered.
1
4%
Psychic should be removed entirely.
17
63%
 
Total votes : 27

Psychic, Coven Rotating Mode Rebalance [poll added]

Postby sarysa » Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:09 am

The Role and its Pitfalls

Let me preface that I have never played a non-practice Coven Ranked game before and as such, I won't be talking about Psychic's viability in Ranked. If it is properly balanced for Ranked, my suggestion would be to create a Psychic (Ranked) variant that only appears in Ranked games.

As it stands right now, Psychic is an overpowered role that goes against what developers have stated to be in the spirit of the game. Long ago, a limit was placed where only three players could be voted up in a single day...placed to stymie the practice of systematically voting for roles. (VFR) What the Psychic does, however, is not only akin to VFR, but it is VFR refined -- with one guaranteed evil every odd night.

The problem is its impact on two of the rotating modes, VIP and Lovers, as well as Coven Custom...albeit the latter rarely ever gets off the ground. It adds a completely pseudorandom factor to the game that you don't get with other roles, which are influenced by the "human factor".

What is the human factor? It's actually a number of factors...to name a few:

  • Having a name that draws attention...or conversely, having one that does not.
  • Voting in ways that make one look more or less suspicious.
  • How often one talks, and what one says when one does.
  • The willingness of good players to speak up when harassed. (witched/attacked)
  • How evils themselves play at night...how they manage their visits, who they harass, etc.

In a traditional Salem game, these factors are something a skilled player keeps in mind. In Coven games with a Psychic, none of these matters -- a completely pseudorandom factor can easily determine who lives or dies, if one is named along dead or easily confirmable Town players. Being named on the first day is essentially a ticking time bomb, and except in rare circumstances, a player can realistically only buy themselves a day before their inescapable demise.

This goes completely against the spirit of the game, making managed deception invalid in the face of inevitable and unmanageable absolutes.

VIP Mode

It's popular to say that VIP Mode is slanted toward town...and yeah, when you have inexperienced players as Coven, this is generally true -- while those who know and take advantage of the tricks Coven has up its sleeve tend to fare better. I have a decent VIP Coven win rate and have even written a bevy of strategies for Coven, so I'm not here to spread the popular sentiment.

What unfairly impacts VIP Mode, however, is the randomness of the Psychic. It has so much of an impact that wins tend to revolve around who is named on the first night:

  • If it's only the Pirate, Coven's chances of victory have greatly increased.
  • If it's only one Coven member, Coven's chances vary based on whether it's a low-importance member (the Medusa) or a critical member such as the Coven Leader.
  • If it's multiple Coven members, Coven is almost guaranteed to lose, regardless of skill level. The lack of claimspace all but guarantees one or more will be successfully counterclaimed.

Lovers Mode

Given that the Lovers' Win as a second goal adds a new dynamic of both faction-independent camaraderie and a selfish desire to keep your lover alive at all costs, the Psychic is not as impactful toward a Town win and may well stay silent to protect their evil lover. It does serve one toxic purpose, however:

It draws attention to players, one night before the Werewolf strikes.

Those who play Lovers enough will eventually notice a pattern -- if the Psychic fails to name an independent evil, it will instead serve as a hit list for the Werewolf. A smart Werewolf knows that trackers will follow evil lovers, and they know they can kill two birds with one stone by attacking an evil with a town lover -- those never get protected. The Medusa can also do the latter starting on N3.

This reduces the Psychic in Lovers to a troll that occasionally finds evils that must be lynched. It also, as described elsewhere, greatly diminishes the importance of human factors.

What Can Be Done?

I've had a lot of time to think about this, and yet there really isn't much that can be done given the role's nature. Instead, I'll simply toss out suggestions line-item style that addresses the concerns brought up in this post:

  • For the first three nights, the Coven Leader and Godfather are completely immune from being named at all, both on evil nights and good nights. If they are the only ones who can be named, a special message would appear, such as "The spirits are unable to determine who may be evil!" In the freak chance only one valid player remains on the second night (three total living players with either leader, four with both), the message would be the standard "This town is too small..."
  • On the first night, only one evil target can be named at all. I understand that this could auto-confirm two players, however this could also make them targets when they really don't want to be...
  • Framer and Hex Master can trick the spirits -- players with said debuffs could result in an evil night producing three goods, and a Psychic's usefulness would actually diminish over time as the result of a Hex Master. Psychic would need a later priority than Framer and Hex Master for this to work.
  • Conversely, maybe have it so the Disguiser fools the spirits into thinking someone is good.
  • Lovers Mode: Replace Psychic with an Investigator.
  • VIP Mode: Replace Psychic with either Spy (a role that relies on active deductive skills) or Town Investigative -- which can still include Psychic, but with other nerfs would be manageable while opening up potential claimspace for evils.

Conclusion

If you've made it this far, thanks for reading...or at least skimming this post. I'd love the thoughts of other Coven players.

Edit History:
- Forgot Lovers already has two Town Support. Since Town Killing is likely unwelcome due to its ability to troll, and Spy is useless, changing to Investigator...since most evil roles have a Town shadow, or the ability to kill visitors.
Last edited by sarysa on Mon Feb 05, 2018 5:52 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Image
Favorite roles: Jailor, Executioner, Consigliere, Witch, Coven Leader, Guardian Angel
Least favorite: Framer, Disguiser, Jester
Most broken IMO:
Jester - Revert the 2.3.0 patch, give a swiss army knife of nighttime annoyance (ala Potion Master) to aid in fooling the town. Just some kind of agency.
Psychic - Game-breaking enough that I made a thread about it.

VIP - The one true mode.
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Re: Psychic, Coven Rotating Mode Rebalance [poll added]

Postby HereThereEverywhere » Mon Feb 05, 2018 9:57 am

I just think Psychic in general should be removed, even if you find a way to balance it out, it's still random and requires no more skill from the Psychic than any other Townie, since just revealing and spewing results is about the most effective tactic.
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Re: Psychic, Coven Rotating Mode Rebalance [poll added]

Postby sarysa » Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:16 am

Between you and me, there'd be no love lost in the event of the Psychic's removal. However, that'd be contentious enough (I imagine) that reducing its impact and keeping it out of modes where it's most toxic is a good compromise.

Also, I've gone and added your option to the poll. ;) It had no responses anyway.
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Favorite roles: Jailor, Executioner, Consigliere, Witch, Coven Leader, Guardian Angel
Least favorite: Framer, Disguiser, Jester
Most broken IMO:
Jester - Revert the 2.3.0 patch, give a swiss army knife of nighttime annoyance (ala Potion Master) to aid in fooling the town. Just some kind of agency.
Psychic - Game-breaking enough that I made a thread about it.

VIP - The one true mode.
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Re: Psychic, Coven Rotating Mode Rebalance [poll added]

Postby Pikachu5128 » Mon Feb 05, 2018 1:54 pm

Psychic is really boring to play because all you do is just ask roles and ruin the entire game. I think that your arguments are very very viable with the role swapping in certain modes and the Framer/Hex Master breaking the evil nights and confusing the entire town. If they don't do this, they should just remove the psychic role entirely.
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HATED ROLES: Forger, Consort, Ambusher, Disguiser, Medium, Psychic, (even though its really important) Hex Master, Medusa, Veteran, Vigilante, yeah i hate a lot of roles...
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Re: Psychic, Coven Rotating Mode Rebalance [poll added]

Postby Repickler » Sun Apr 08, 2018 12:36 am

Hopefully this thread is recent enough that it isn't "necroing" to reply to it...

I definitely agree that the Psychic needs to at least be nerfed, if not completely revamped. You hit the nail on the head with the "pseudorandomness" vs "human factor" comparison.

One idea that I thought of was to add more of that "human factor" back in; have the Psychic pick 3 people the night before, and then receive a vision along the lines of "A vision has revealed that one or less of these people are good!" if 2 or more are evil/neutral or "A vision has revealed that one or less of these people are bad" if 2 or more are good/neutral. That way, the psychic has to actually pick their targets well, and starts out pretty weak but gets stronger over time as more people are confirmed.
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Re: Psychic, Coven Rotating Mode Rebalance [poll added]

Postby qwatbattery » Sun Apr 08, 2018 1:15 am

psyic should just be removed tbh. First, her invest results are trash. Survivor, Vampire hunter, amne and medusa? Why? Why would Amne and survivor and vampire hunter claim psy in the current state? So really only thing to worry about a psy claim is when shes the medusa. And we all know medusa is just an evil vet, so theres absolutely no way a town psyhic would vet bait.

Once someone claims psyic and an invest invests her, shes comfirmed.



My changes to make psyhic more harder to play would be to stuff her invest results with the framer, jester, vampires hex master. Thus way, she is actually easier to fake as an evil

My other change to her is to make it a cool down ability, kind of like a Potion master. Every night, she chooses a faction to reveal (neutral, evil, town) and instead of 3 names make it 5 names. This is my idea to nerf Physic

But still, her overall existence is just terribly flawed in general, like the Pirate. heavily reliant on RNG and not deception.
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Re: Psychic, Coven Rotating Mode Rebalance [poll added]

Postby dDShockTrooper » Mon Apr 09, 2018 12:38 pm

qwatbattery wrote:psyic should just be removed tbh. First, her invest results are trash. Survivor, Vampire hunter, amne and medusa? Why? Why would Amne and survivor and vampire hunter claim psy in the current state? So really only thing to worry about a psy claim is when shes the medusa. And we all know medusa is just an evil vet, so theres absolutely no way a town psyhic would vet bait.

Once someone claims psyic and an invest invests her, shes comfirmed.



My changes to make psyhic more harder to play would be to stuff her invest results with the framer, jester, vampires hex master. Thus way, she is actually easier to fake as an evil

My other change to her is to make it a cool down ability, kind of like a Potion master. Every night, she chooses a faction to reveal (neutral, evil, town) and instead of 3 names make it 5 names. This is my idea to nerf Physic

But still, her overall existence is just terribly flawed in general, like the Pirate. heavily reliant on RNG and not deception.


Honestly you've made me think that medusa claiming psychic would be better if medusa was not on the psychic invest result list, because then medusas could attract investigators to confirm it, and this would be a strategy I'd use every game. Claim psychic d2, list 3 random people, activate stone gaze, die d3 to lynch after killing every Sheriff, Invest, and TP. And yeah I do agree that psychic is busted as. Town should not have this because it's broke OP, and maf/coven doesn't need it. Only people that could benefit from such an ability are neutrals concerned with game outcome like NEs and NKs.
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Re: Psychic, Coven Rotating Mode Rebalance [poll added]

Postby sarysa » Tue Apr 17, 2018 1:21 pm

I'm glad someone bumped this so I wouldn't have to. Something's always bothered me about how Psychic finds names and I figured I'd ask about it.

I'm wondering if a dev could add input to this.

My question is, what is the flow of events that generates the psychic's list?
Is it A:
  • Get one random evil player
  • Get two random players
  • Shuffle list

Or is it B:
  • Get three random players
  • Check each for evil status. If at least one is evil, terminate. If none are evil, continue
  • Replace one randomly with a random evil

If it's B, it's a bit less likely to find more than one evil than A. That little change alone (assuming, again, it currently works like A) could be a nerf to Psychic right there.
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Favorite roles: Jailor, Executioner, Consigliere, Witch, Coven Leader, Guardian Angel
Least favorite: Framer, Disguiser, Jester
Most broken IMO:
Jester - Revert the 2.3.0 patch, give a swiss army knife of nighttime annoyance (ala Potion Master) to aid in fooling the town. Just some kind of agency.
Psychic - Game-breaking enough that I made a thread about it.

VIP - The one true mode.
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Re: Psychic, Coven Rotating Mode Rebalance [poll added]

Postby Villagerlover » Thu Apr 19, 2018 7:44 pm

I don't believe there is a way to make the Psychic work.

It is a role that is entirely composed of probability, and takes zero effort to get extremely accurate results.
There's just no way to balance that without changing the entire concept....and at that point, it wouldn't be Psychic anymore.




While the Psychic is EXTREMELY easy to fake, and especially useful for Medusa, it is still a bad role in general.

Just get rid of it.
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Re: Psychic, Coven Rotating Mode Rebalance [poll added]

Postby BasicFourLife » Fri Apr 20, 2018 5:40 am

Villagerlover wrote:I don't believe there is a way to make the Psychic work.

It is a role that is entirely composed of probability, and takes zero effort to get extremely accurate results.
There's just no way to balance that without changing the entire concept....and at that point, it wouldn't be Psychic anymore.




While the Psychic is EXTREMELY easy to fake, and especially useful for Medusa, it is still a bad role in general.

Just get rid of it.

Or we could change its abilities and attributes entirely.
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Re: Psychic, Coven Rotating Mode Rebalance [poll added]

Postby Villagerlover » Fri Apr 20, 2018 6:44 am

BasicFourLife wrote:
Villagerlover wrote:I don't believe there is a way to make the Psychic work.

It is a role that is entirely composed of probability, and takes zero effort to get extremely accurate results.
There's just no way to balance that without changing the entire concept....and at that point, it wouldn't be Psychic anymore.




While the Psychic is EXTREMELY easy to fake, and especially useful for Medusa, it is still a bad role in general.

Just get rid of it.

Or we could change its abilities and attributes entirely.



Villagerlover wrote: There's just no way to balance that without changing the entire concept....and at that point, it wouldn't be Psychic anymore.
Wanna say somethin'? >B3
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