Testing Grounds Role/Concept Poll Guidelines

Test roles that have been suggested in simulated gameplay.

Testing Grounds Role/Concept Poll Guidelines

Postby BS4125 » Tue Aug 07, 2018 4:26 pm

Testing Grounds Role/Concept Poll Guidelines

Q: How do I submit my role idea?

A: To submit your role idea as a candidate for testing, please refer to the TG Role/Concept Poll thread for a detailed method of how to submit your concept.

Q: Does my role idea have to follow a set of guidelines?

A: Yes, to an extent. We advise you to follow these guidelines to the best of your ability, as many common conceptualisations have a negative impact on the game and make the game more based on luck than a player's skill. However, there are situations where these ideas don't have downsides, but are still unviable. Therefore, following the guidelines below would be in your best interest to get a concept accepted here.


The following guidelines describe aspects that your role/concept should NOT use.
Roles/concepts will be checked for if they conform with these guidelines in the Overview phase. If they violate any negatively, they will be removed from the Poll completely.
Any buffs, nerfs or overhauls submitted to the Testing Grounds will also be checked whether they transform roles into any of these categories.

1) Roles that depend on, exist to counter or copy abilities from roles being generated in the game, or fill the same niche as other existing roles.

Roles which depend on another role to be generated can cause a role to be confirmed to be in the game if the dependent role is confirmed to be in the game, and the dependent role to be confirmed to not be in the game if the role is confirmed to not be in the game as well. These roles are then easily known to be in the game and as a result of this, players will either actively act to counter such a role, causing the role to have an unfair possibility in winning, or actively act harmoniously with the role since they know that certain role is in the game and trusts them.

Roles which exist to counter another role generated in the game makes the role only existent to give less power to a certain role, therefore not functional alone. Additionally, due to the role only sometimes being generated when the aforementioned role is in the game, the power drawback occurs inconsistently since the drawback only occurs when this role is generated, and can link with role dependency described above.

Roles which copy the abilities of another role generated in the game can be inconsistent with power due to some abilities of roles being more powerful, including roles that can kill which can raise the amount of deaths per night, and more suitable to certain alignments; the ability to roleblock or similar obstruction ability is more practical to an evil role than a protection ability.

Roles which are very similar to another existent role with some minor alterations means the role is most likely a less balanced duplicate of the existent role, since the role most likely includes an unnecessary additional ability which may increase the variability of the role or make it too complex compared to the existent role. Therefore, if the role was to be smoothed out, it will then become an exact duplicate of the existent role and unoriginal.

Common existing roles which break this guideline include:

2) Roles that increase another role's killing ability by duplication, allowing Mafia independent killing or have a killing ability not akin to their alignment

Roles which duplicate kills, generally Neutral Evil roles, can increase the total amount of deaths per night, and because the duplicated kills are more likely to come from scum due to majority of these roles being Neutral Evil and scum killing more frequently, more Town roles will die which will swing the voting balance into the scum's favor. This can therefore disrupt the voting balance between Town and Mafia as Mafia can gain voting majority at a faster rate from the shift of the equilibrium. Also as duplication is sometimes very successful at increasing kill counts and sometimes has no effect, it can be swingy and hard to determine if it will cause a large impact or be redundant.

Roles which increase the Mafia's killing power by any means can allow the Mafia to have more impact when these kinds of roles are generated in the game, due to an increase in the kills from Mafia per night resulting in less rivals for the Mafia to compete with and therefore an increased rate of Mafia majority. The game is balanced so the Town and Mafia's killing and lynching frequency results in an approximate 50/50 probability that the Mafia or Town faction will gain voting majority near the end of the game, however duplication of kills on one side can offset the equilibrium and lead to an imbalance in fairness.

Roles which possess a killing ability not akin to their alignment are, compared to other roles existent in the same alignment, more powerful and cause more deaths throughout the game; therefore, the game becomes more swingy based on who survives and who dies. For this reason, any role with a killing ability will have to be placed in Town Killing or Neutral Killing, otherwise the role’s ability will not correlate with the duty of their alignment and damage the balance of the rolelist from the roles generated.

Common existing roles which break this guideline include:

3) Roles that convert or change the role, abilities or win condition of any other role.

Roles which convert or change another role in any form can promote gamethrowing, due to conversion to a new alignment changing the win condition of the player, and therefore their approach to the game. If a Town role is positively impacting their alignment for example and is then converted to a scum role, their past actions are now seen as self-destructive and negatively impacting their new alignment and vice versa, rewarding players for playing poorly pre-conversion. Plus, it can also promote gamethrowing with players in late game nearing a loss waiting to be converted rather than actively playing.

Common existing roles which break this guideline include:

  • Vampire - Converts other roles, changing their abilities and win condition.
  • Yakuza - Kills themselves to convert a Town member to Mafia, changing their wincon in the process.

4) Roles that are hard to implement, understand or operate, especially chaos roles.

Roles which are too hard to implement and test in the Testing Grounds put simply will not be able to be concluded whether they are suitable and balanced in a Town of Salem environment accurately. These roles are also less likely to be added into Town of Salem as a whole due to the complexity and incomprehensibility of the role confusing the players and even developers to the point where they will move their interest to something less confusing and playable. For any role that is over-complicated but could be dialed down into a more simplistic role, we recommend to do so for ease of usability plus the more abilities added to a role, the more swingy the role will be in game.

Chaotic roles generally include Neutral Chaos roles which mostly have abilities so distant from each other since their win condition is not set in stone. Neutral Chaos roles are usually Neutral Killing roles with limited amount of attacks they can perform throughout the game morphed with a powerful harmful ability akin to what a Neutral Evil role would possess.

Common existing roles which break this guideline include:

  • Paradoxist - The mechanics of the role are highly complex and is largely chaotic.
  • Bomber - The bomb detonation results in too much chaos and ruins the integrity of the factions.

5) Roles that have abilities based on random number generation, anything randomly generated or choices from other players.

Roles which rely on external unpredictable sources which are out of the player’s control can remove the skill and choices that the player should have, since the resulting action is dictated by random number generation rather than the player’s decision. This makes the role’s utility less defined by the player’s choices and more defined by random numbers, therefore performing more like a simulation than a game. This means the player has less control and has to rely on luck in order to progress, which takes away from the strategy of the game. Any aspect which is built with random generation causes the same problems for the same reasons; these mainly include roles which target neighbouring houses, causing the position of your house to be a strategy.

Roles which solely rely on other player’s decisions in determining whether you can use your ability can significantly weaken your role’s power, due to the choice of the action you are presenting needing to be accepted by not only you, but also your target. Additionally, this causes the player to have less control over their actions due to an outside interference which makes the role more based on luck than skill. Furthermore, it is very easy for this role to have no effect on the game from all targets declining, and it is easy for people to gamethrow.

Roles which rely on player visitations where less or more visits increase or decrease the role’s active influence may sometimes cause the role to be more luck based if the visitations can not be predicted or controlled from other tactics or strategies. A reliance on visitations too greatly may cause the role’s ability to vary in active influence too much (in other words become very swingy) and therefore it will be hard to predict how much influence a role may have each game since the range of influence is so wide.

Common existing roles which break this guideline include:

  • Psychic - Ability randomly determines which players will be shown in a result.
  • Pirate - Whether a Pirate will win a duel or not is largely decided by random elements (similar to Rock, Paper, Scissors).

6) Roles that negatively impact themselves or their own alignment.

Roles which prevent themselves and their alignment from achieving their goal due to their mere existence act as a hindrance rather than an aid. Every role has a goal set for the player to win, so a role which impedes on it’s own victory therefore conflicts with the player trying to succeed in the game. A role which negatively affects or influences themselves will also negatively affect their alignment, which can cause the cost of not only the role in question, but the entire faction. Roles which possess this trait may also cause complications regarding whether the players are gamethrowing or not since it is difficult to discern whether the player is actively going against their design or if it’s due to the design. Roles may hinder themselves and their alignment only if their influence is a net gain, where the role’s benefits outweigh the drawbacks.

Common existing roles which break this guideline include:

  • Miller - Appears as a Mafia member to investigative roles.

7) Roles that have goals which are too hard or easy to win or are not contributed to with their abilities.

Roles which have goals that are too easy to complete retracts from the strategic and competitive elements of the game, since less skill from the player is needed to fulfill their win requirements. This can be seen as an unfair advantage, since players that get these roles will inevitably win more often. As such, there is less emphasis on abilities and more emphasis on which role you get in order to achieve your win requirements.

Omniscient roles are seen as being too easy to win as due to their abilities only being successful when targeting a certain alignment or role type, such as a Town role’s kill only being successful when directed at scum roles. This causes the role to never backfire from poor strategic play and that therefore signifies there is no strategy involved as there is no risk.

If Town roles possess permanent night immunity then they cannot be disposed of easily by scum killing roles, since less or no attacks from scum will be successful. As such, these roles have an extremely high likelihood of surviving until the end of the game, making it very challenging for scum to reduce Town numbers to gain majority.

Roles which are too hard to win as also create an unfair advantage, since players with the same skill level will have less wins with one role compared to another. This may be caused by the roles not possessing abilities which contribute to fulfilling their win condition because their actions have no impact on the role’s chances of winning; therefore, every decision made by them is meaningless. In order to ensure roles are neither too difficult or easy to win as, the utility of the role in question should usually be the same as other roles sharing their alignment, and if not, their sub-alignment, and limited use abilities should neither be too plentiful or too meagre so the player has enough resources to work with.

Common existing roles which break this guideline include:

  • Survivor - Vests contribute to their victory but the conditions to win as a Survivor are too easy in many situations.

8) Roles that can block or manipulate chat messages or votes from other players.

Roles which block or manipulate chat messages and/or votes are deemed to go against some of the game’s more skill oriented and fun aspects. Voting and chat messages are two of the game’s core mechanics which players depend on in order to express opinions; removing a player’s opinion is equivalent to removing an overwhelming amount of the player’s potential to make more skilful plays. As well as this, far more emphasis is placed on abilities for the restricted player; this is a large issue considering one of the main criticisms of ToS is that abilities already hold too large of an influence in deciding the game’s outcome, and discussion doesn’t hold enough.

Vote blockage or manipulation can be taken advantage of by scum roles in order to decrease Town’s voting power or increase Mafia’s voting power. This ability can then become massively impactful late game since with the reduction of numbers, an extra vote for Mafia may be the deciding factor in Mafia reaching majority, and therefore can be extremely powerful even if used once. Chat blockage can prevent discussion and a large amount of highly important evidence from being spread throughout the game. Blocking investigative roles from messaging others may give Mafia in late game enough time to gain majority voting power, which makes blocking messages very powerful. Manipulating messages of others too can allow Mafia members to use Town’s trust in their favour by revealing what they please. This can cause justification for Town gamethrowers and lead to Mafia having so much more power since no one can even trust their allies but Mafia.

Common existing roles which break this guideline include:

  • Blackmailer - Denies other players from speaking in the chat.
  • Politician - Control one person’s vote the next day.

9) Non-scum roles that can easily confirm themselves and/or other players.

Town roles which can confirm themselves and/or other players subsequently give a large advantage to the Town. Confirmed players don’t have the struggle of having to encourage people to trust that they are a certain role by referring to previously discovered evidence. Becoming confirmed also offers a multitude of strengths that will both help you and the Town in general, including but not limited to: a decrease in suspects and an increase in the people Town can undoubtedly trust, leading to more candidates with the potential to carry the game as a result. This can then make it too easy for the Town as a whole to achieve their goal, since it decreases uncertainty regarding who is scum regarding who is scum whilst simultaneously increasing certainty about who is Town. This usually includes the role dispatching unnecessarily unique notifications, confirming their existence and/or other players’ existence in the game, since no other role can send such notifications.

Neutral Benign roles which are easily confirmable may have less of a choice over which side they are inclined to join since due to their confirmability ensuring that they are in the game. The Town will expect a player to follow their cause, and once found or revealed, the Town will automatically assign the role to side with the Town, since otherwise the Town will lynch them. This means that Neutral Benign roles which have such a trait are made such that they have less ability to choose which faction to side with, since the confirmability factor makes them town-sided. Neutral Benign roles should also not be able to easily confirm other players, since it is unnecessarily benefitting one faction and harming all opposing factions for something largely outside of their control. It also adds linearity to the game, which results in the game being more formulaic and less skill dependent.

Common existing roles which break this guideline include:

  • Mayor - Reveal ability automatically confirms the Mayor.
  • Retributionist - Can claim that they are going to revive a specific player before they revive; after said player is revived, it is almost certain that the Retributionist is confirmed.
  • Jailor - Powerful with a hard to fake ability that can confirm themselves.
  • Amnesiac - Revealed the day after they become another role.

10) Neutral Killing roles that have limitations to how, when and who they can kill.

Neutral Killing is a faction whose goal is to win on it’s own, and so it logically follows that their win chance should largely be determined by factors within their control. However, Neutral Killing roles which have limitations on the methods they can use based on external occurrences or the night number contradict this logical following; the role’s active influence - and thus it’s win chance - is affected by something outside of the role’s control.

Neutral Killing roles which have limitations on what nights they can kill have their active influence on the game dictated by which phase it is, which the player is, as previously stated, unable to control. This causes the night number to hold a large significance on the role’s power and other roles in the game wishing to interact with the aforementioned role, which causes the specific night an action is submitted to be a strategy. In ToS, there are only a few nights that occur per game, causing the role to become severely limited concerning tactics; especially in the end game, where the wrong night may cost the role significantly and result in their loss.

Neutral Killing roles which have limitations on who they can kill means that if the role is generated with roles that they cannot kill, their influence on the game is giantly handicapped since the role can either kill no one, making them not have any impact on the game concerning abilities and no way to fulfill their win conditions; or can kill a few roles however when all the roles they can kill are killed, the problem in the former arises. This also relates to Neutral Killing roles which have limited amount of kills it can make over game, causing the role to become exhausted of kills in longer games and therefore unable to kill anyone else to fulfill their win condition.

Neutral Killing roles which have limitations on how they kill, including awkward methods with a low amount of accuracy and probability of killing a desired target can make the roles hard to play with skillfully and causes the kills to be spread wildly and randomly. An example includes a Neutral Killing role which kills all its target’s visitors, causing the role to kill an uneven amount of players each instance and random players which cannot be predicted or planned in advance. This causes the role’s active influence to vary significantly and becomes unpredictable with its power and accuracy.

Common existing roles which break this guideline include:

  • Werewolf - Killing ability is dependent on the night number.
  • Shadowalker - Kills whomever their target visits causing the choice to be less based on the player.

lemonader666 wrote:
Seththeking wrote:
BS4125 wrote:Please post relevant posts to the topic at hand and not digress. Also please explain your opinions otherwise your contribution is sub-zero.

Oooooooo Mister Power over here!

And would you look at that, I was on the forums longer then you.

But overall the role for this topic needs work, I mean it's so bad people would rather
get off topic lol.

solola is a mod you retard
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