Let's Talk About Medium

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Re: Let's Talk About Medium

Postby texer » Fri Aug 14, 2020 12:54 pm

wozearly wrote:
texer wrote:I think that a medium should only be able to seance uncleaned/unstoned Town roles. If the medium tries to seance a disguiser who disguised as a Town role, then the seance should fail. (The medium should not be allowed to seance the Town Traitor, but that's open to debate).

An idea I have is that the medium should be able to speak specifically with the dead town player (if they did not leave). The medium should get all of the night ability feedbacks from each night regardless (I disagree with the idea that mediums will need to keep a long will --for TI roles if the TI was leaving an accurate will the medium will really only need to see the info from the very last night unless the will was forged). I think this won't be that overpowered since the medium will probably only be able to seance a specific dead player once.

Medium should lose its seance once they die.


As I understand it, the general aim is to rework the Medium to operate broadly as it does now (give or take) but without needing to rely on the dead sticking around to talk to them - and ideally scotching the issue where multiple Mediums can too easily cross-confirm each other.

On that basis, it would make sense that the Medium continues to be able to seance cleaned/stoned roles to collect some information from them. Otherwise it boosts the Janitor/Medusa, who are already more influential on the game's outcome than most other supporting roles for Mafia/Coven. However, taking the opportunity to stop the Medium hard-revealing the Medusa is probably a good step IMO.

If the Medium seances a Disguiser and it fails, that 100% confirms them as a Disguiser. I personally think that's too powerful, especially in the absence of additional buffs to the Disguiser role, and why my thinking was to confirm the Disguised role but provide no other information; not a perfect solution, but the closest we can get to the current balancing without also needing to rework Disguiser. Similarly, I'm not a fan of the Medium getting all of the dead person's info from every night; not only is that excessive to wade through given most of it will be in the last will, but yet again it comes back around to hard countering the Disguiser. It would be more justified for cleaned/stoned roles but, again, I don't think the benefit outweighs the drawbacks.

Speaking to the dead person if they're still alive while seancing is nice on paper, but retains cross-confirming of multiple Mediums (even if it may be delayed by a night if Meds seance different people) and so I'd rather see it gone on that basis. I can take or leave the Med having one last seance to the living while dead. There are reasons to remove it, but as the Med isn't really in need of nerfbat attention I would probably be inclined to leave it in for now and revisit further down the line as needed.


Other town roles will know if a disguiser is a disguiser based on what happens (retris unable to use a disguiser, vigis shooting a disguiser at night and then not dying from guilt, etc.). Medium shouldn't be any different.

Maybe if a person is cleaned the Medium gets limited information? I don't think the medium should get as much information from a cleaned role as they do normal roles. How much information a Medium gets though is up to debate.

I completely forgot about the multiple mediums issue. In that case mediums shouldn't be allowed to use dead people at night.

Remove Medium seancing after death; it would make medium more complicated than it is, and I don't think that is necessary when Medium is getting buffed anyways.
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Re: Let's Talk About Medium

Postby Achilles » Mon Aug 17, 2020 4:53 pm

Well this didn't go the way I thought it would. I feel like we have gotten complaints about the Medium for years, primarily how Medium is useless if players leave after dying. Additionally how multiple Mediums can confirm each other. It seems like reworking the Medium to fix these issues isn't getting much support however. I may put a pin in this for now and focus on other roles.
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Re: Let's Talk About Medium

Postby Ezradekezra » Mon Aug 17, 2020 5:12 pm

Achilles wrote:I may put a pin in this for now and focus on other roles.

Which roles are the devs planning on looking at next? I feel like most of the Mafia Deception roles at least need some tweaks, while Forger could do with a whole rework so that it isn't just a weaker Janitor.
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Re: Let's Talk About Medium

Postby DFrenchBoi » Mon Aug 17, 2020 11:38 pm

Achilles wrote:While this change will stop players from contributing to the games outcome from the graveyard


Stop right there. The problem with medium is that players will leave the game when they die. Buffing it so they will gain information even a dead player wouldn't know makes being dead even worse. Medium is a balanced role. Similar to a retributionist, if the wrong roles are dead it cannot do anything, whereas if the right roles are dead it can be extremely powerful for town. Even if a role such as as sheriff who checked an innocent person died night 1, they might be a talented player and spotted something that will help the town win.

Please don't remove medium's ability to talk to dead players.
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Re: Let's Talk About Medium

Postby cob709 » Mon Aug 17, 2020 11:42 pm

DFrenchBoi wrote:
Achilles wrote:While this change will stop players from contributing to the games outcome from the graveyard


Stop right there. The problem with medium is that players will leave the game when they die. Buffing it so they will gain information even a dead player wouldn't know makes being dead even worse. Medium is a balanced role. Similar to a retributionist, if the wrong roles are dead it cannot do anything, whereas if the right roles are dead it can be extremely powerful for town. Even if a role such as as sheriff who checked an innocent person died night 1, they might be a talented player and spotted something that will help the town win.

Please don't remove medium's ability to talk to dead players.

I'm pretty sure there's a word for this: "swingy", a role that depends on other roles existing in order for it to function properly.
Medium does indeed need a rework, but it's hard to rework roles that interact with the dead.
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Re: Let's Talk About Medium

Postby PolarH » Tue Aug 18, 2020 6:39 am

So my idea would be having med be almost like a psychic. So they seance a player but they only get the last visit of that player say you seance Cotton Mathers the sheriff you get his last visit as “Sarah Bishop, William Phips or Thomas Danforth was found sus”
Or if it’s a escort for example Cotton Mathers the escort you receive his last visit as “Sarah Bishop, William Phips or Thomas Danforth were roleblocked”
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Re: Let's Talk About Medium

Postby DragonClaw66 » Tue Aug 18, 2020 9:00 am

Didn't realize this thread even existed. Commenting on some things.

Achilles wrote:Now that the Retributionist rework is completed we want to take a look at the Medium. The goal is to remove the Medium's dependency on dead players not leaving the game. While this change will stop players from contributing to the games outcome from the graveyard it will also remove a necessity for Town roles to not leave once they have died. Many members of the community have suggested that this will be a healthier and more fun environment for players. It will also allow the Medium to be a useful role, even if all of the dead players have left the game.

General Rework Idea:
Medium will now seance with a dead role each night.
Medium will learn important information about the dead player (Up for design debate here but things such as):
role (hard counter to janitor/medusa/disguiser/no role reveal game modes) - being a hard counter may be too strong This is what it currently does, this is fine.
who visited them (lookout for dead people, possibly too strong) Like Brilliand said in the post following this, I believe the only information the Medium should learn from a dead player is information that the dead player was aware of.
who the dead player visited each night Good.
night ability feedback from each night (maybe limited to TI roles?) forwarding of TI info from each night would replace the lost last will when cleaned/stoned or if the dead player failed to leave an accurate will, also counters forged wills Shouldn't be limited to Town Investigative roles, however, it should be limited to Town roles for reasons listed below.

Also, Medium should have access to a dead player's will when targeting them and they are cleaned/stoned (as long as they are a Town member).

Additionally: Should the Medium keep it's ability to open a seance with the living when the Medium dies? Refer to comment below.

Opening the floor to debate and discussion.

Look inside the quote for responses.

Achilles wrote:I did see Dragonclaws post. It didn't seem quite right given that his version keeps the seance from the graveyard. I took his ideas and any other options I could think of and listed them so we could discuss options and balance. What are the balance reasons for his Medium not getting any feedback on non-Town roles?

My version keeps the seance from the graveyard because I felt like that part of the Medium's kit was the least complained about. While it is very strong, the focus was almost always on the "speaking with the dead" aspect. The Medium also doesn't get any feedback on non-Town roles because that's basically how it works with the current one; there are few reason for a dead evildoer to be honest with the Medium. Additionally, learning an evildoer's (particularly a Mafia member's) visits or private messages would be very overpowered (*cough* overhaul Spy *cough*).

Achilles wrote:I'm brainstorming with the other Devs. Here is a potential idea we came up with to keep the Medium seance. Medium could not join the graveyard chat until they use their seance with a living member ability.

If the Medium were to receive the changes mentioned in the first post, this should also be added. Seancing was always very strong, and this new Medium now has access to more information now that they are guaranteed results every night.

Achilles wrote:It seems like reworking the Medium to fix these issues isn't getting much support however. I may put a pin in this for now and focus on other roles.

The Medium should definitely be reworked, but it is probably lower-priority than other roles right now (Mafia Deception).

Edit: Realized something. If new Medium had the ability to read private messages, it would just create a meta where a confirmed Town member would whisper codes to every living player in order to confirm/deny Medium claims. Abandon that part (though, it wasn't in your OP, so shouldn't be a big deal).
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Re: Let's Talk About Medium

Postby phoenixstephan » Thu Aug 20, 2020 12:06 am

I disagree with changing the current way medium is. Adding an ability that medium could seance with a dead player to see their last will/role if they're cleaned or stoned and leave the game is fine.
Changing medium to not be able to speak with the dead anymore should not be an implemented change. If anything is done it should be in addition to medium speaking with the dead for the instances that players leave the game (i.e. having the ability to a certain player's last will/role if they leave).
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Re: Let's Talk About Medium

Postby bobkami123 » Mon Aug 31, 2020 3:40 pm

Hi Majin Vegeta

I saw the mediums yes

and love the ideas all

my contribution is this:

What if Medium could "sacrifice themselves" to gain the ability to seance with every member at least once?

Also yes please add an ability for Medium to see cleaned or stoned wills
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Re: Let's Talk About Medium

Postby Brilliand » Mon Aug 31, 2020 6:04 pm

bobkami123 wrote:What if Medium could "sacrifice themselves" to gain the ability to seance with every member at least once?


That would really not be worth the price of having to sacrifice yourself.
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Re: Let's Talk About Medium

Postby cookies4you » Fri Sep 11, 2020 2:07 pm

If the discussion is still open, I'd like to chime in. I'll be talking from a Classic/non-Coven perspective:

Medium is unhealthy for the game much like OG Spy was.

In its current state, it is easily one of the most powerful roles in the game whose effectiveness is based solely on the RNG of the people who joined the lobby. Get a lobby of people who AFK or leave after dying? You're a completely useless role that can't even suicide on an alerting Veteran to confirm them. Get a lobby full of competent people communicating? Kiss any semblance of fun for the non-Town good-bye.

Suddenly you're a hard-counter to Forger and Janitor, you're a counter to any Serial Killers not giving up their role-block immunity, and you have access to a pool of information unsullied by forgery or cleaning that only grows larger as more Townies die. A Medium doesn't just get the results of the people who died last night, but also all of the information those dead Townies compiled and discussed about during the daytime. Unlike the living Townies, a Medium doesn't need to worry if their sources are lying because everyone feeding them information is confirmed by the graveyard. In fact, a Medium doesn't even need to be alive to do their job because they can simply decide a date and seance whatever information they acquire to the Jailor on that night. At that point, all they have to do to succeed is brainlessly parrot whatever the smartest dead Townie is saying.

And it isn't like Medium is an easy claim for non-Town roles. Its Investigator result (Medium, Janitor, Retributionist) is a safe claim in the Medium's favor when there isn't a Janitor around (and you'll know when there's one), but proving itself on trial is a matter of copy-pasting quotes from death chat too fast for anyone to fake. Meanwhile, any Mafia or Evil pretending to be Medium needs a degree in writing just to make their fan-fiction sound convincing, and even if they succeed, any real Medium would be able to dispute it immediately because all non-jailed Mediums receive the same information at night anyways. At worst, the real Medium gets lynched and the Town gets a 1-for-1 on the fake.

Roles like Jailor, Mayor, and Veteran have the luxury of easily verifying themselves, but they're also unique and either rely on not-as-easily-verifiable roles to protect or spot for them or pose a risk to their own team. Spy, Investigator, and Lookout have strong investigative abilities, but they can't instantly dispute another one of their own unless they had the same target. They are also at constant risk of getting lynched by Townies and each other because their abilities are easily faked by Mafia. A big part of non-Town gameplay is lying about your role and clearing your objective before your story falls apart, but that's thrown out the window when you have a role that's safe after a single check, can't be false-claimed, can't be silenced, and has a hive-mind figuring out the murder mystery for it.

OG Spy made it impossible for the Mafia to communicate safely, ruining an important gameplay mechanic in both games with and without a Spy. Medium does something similar by making it too difficult for Mafia and Evil to effectively control information. Killing an investigative role that knows too much is moot because they can simply relay their latest results to the Medium, and any lies told during trials can be debunked by dead Townies for the Medium's nightly conversations. And not only is the role not unique, but multiple Mediums can confirm each other once the first Townie dies. All killing one Medium does is definitively prove the other Mediums for the Town without taking away their ability to communicate at night, and killing all Mediums doesn't make a difference because they can simply beam their knowledge into the Jailor's head.

I'm not arguing that Medium is an overpowered role that constantly wins games. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if its win-rate was garbage for a Town role because of its reliance on competent players. But even if Medium is only busted in 10% of its games and useless in the rest of the 90%, that doesn't make it balanced or save it from the utter bore that it is. All Town roles can be played poorly enough or countered in a way that they become effectively useless, but that comes as a result of actual gameplay choices from yourself and other players. Medium is the only Town role whose strength or uselessness is decided before the first day even begins. The role is too dependent on dead players willingly sticking around and engaging in an optional feature (death chat) that, quite frankly, isn't enjoyable for most people. After all, who wants to sit around playing secretary for 10 minutes when you could just quit now and play another game? You could argue that Medium is balanced around ranked play where Townies don't leave, but if that's the case, it sure doesn't stop them from AFKing and letting the Medium stay useless.

At the minimum, Medium's current kit needs to go. OG Spy and OG Retributionist were clearly stepping on lines they shouldn't have been, and much like them, Medium shouldn't be breaking something as important as the communication barrier between the living and the dead. Keeping a fundamentally broken role in its current state just because it's thematically interesting isn't worth the clear issues it's causing. And, no, enforcing strict quit penalties and dead chat participation for the sole purpose of making Medium not-useless isn't the answer.
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