Jump to content
Fujin

The Puppet Master / balance equation

Recommended Posts

An insightful comment in another thread has really got me thinking about the future of the guild and a lot of the frustrations being expressed by players.

True or false - Morticians guild balance (current players, potential new players, cross-over players, errata, seasonal rules and card changes, design space) ultimately hinges on a single character play: Puppet Master.

Agree or disagree, would you be willing to suck down a change to Puppet Master if it meant a general refocusing  (up scaling?) of some of our players (Squaddies AND Mascots) and a stronger, more competitive guild overall?

EDIT -  also accepting that because of Reverie, Bonesaw can't actually be better in Morticians.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, CaerSidis said:

Both Bonesaw and VGraves feels better in Ratcatchers...and thats. ....weird.

Because they have better synergies in Ratcatchers? Is vGraves better because of Snack Time on Scourge and a better Mascot? Is Bonesaw better just because of Reverie? I thought it was an interesting call from SFG to do a straight cross-Guild trade with minimal (vGraves card/Mascot synergy) change. Maybe the option was trialled for cross-overs to have one card for their home guild and a second card for their minor guild and that was found to be too confusing for players to follow? Now that they're tied to Ratcatchers, feels like it's MUCH more difficult to improve them from a Mortician's point of view.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If that’s your logic then they never should have been mort players, it’s a waste of space.  Why not just make them Rat Catcher players from the start?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh no, I agree. In fact I would moot that they were designed with foundational knowledge of the minor guilds in place, hence being so distinctively bad in Morticians right from their release. It's more like they were released for Ratcatchers and their second/crossover guild is actually Morticians.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, Mantanza said:

If that’s your logic then they never should have been mort players, it’s a waste of space.  Why not just make them Rat Catcher players from the start?

Because they were designed long before the idea of minor guilds were conceived...?:lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Are the Morticians players really that bad?
I have also been on record stating that Morticians are the Captain and Mist show, everyone else is mostly just a distraction

Granted both mascots are average.

Cosset - possibly highest damage dealer in game, Fragile so needs to be protected.
Ghast - Off tank, but has some really annoying defensive abilities, whilst playbook is slightly awkward is still really good
Graves 1 - people rave about this guy, although I think hes so average, but he's not what I would call terrible either
Silence - still has some unique annoyance

Bonesaw - alright garbage fine
Graves 2 - IMO he's pretty decent, too bad he just doesn't have a back of a card
Casket - ultimately built around his own legendary, has the ability to win games

Brain & Memory - still decent, although my head hurts whenever I play them

Plus
Pelage is pretty cool and Skulk is alright
 

Whilst I think it's true that there is some balance around puppet master, & Morts always feel like they are lacking some damage output.

Where do you think the gap is?


 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, Redtiger7 said:

Because they were designed long before the idea of minor guilds were conceived...?:lol:

Are you sure? I'm not at all convinced that they were designed before minor guilds were conceived.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, PaW said:

Are the Morticians players really that bad?
I have also been on record stating that Morticians are the Captain and Mist show, everyone else is mostly just a distraction.
 

I wonder if you would go on record (post-Ratcatchers release) stating that Morticians are the Captain and... yeah... just the captain :lol:

5 hours ago, PaW said:

Granted both mascots are average.

At least average, if not very tired and/or underwhelming given the most recent model releases and state of the game (imo).

5 hours ago, PaW said:


Cosset - possibly highest damage dealer in game, Fragile so needs to be protected.
Ghast - Off tank, but has some really annoying defensive abilities, whilst playbook is slightly awkward is still really good
Graves 1 - people rave about this guy, although I think hes so average, but he's not what I would call terrible either
Silence - still has some unique annoyance
 

Agreed. I think people rave about Graves because if you want to play a true damage game with a guild that so struggles to pile burst damage, then you must have Tooled Up somewhere. Cosset is as good as your opponent lets her be (i.e. if they get baited/Puppet Mastered in and engaged by Dirge... and knocked down... then yes, Cosset is bananas). Silence does still have some (mostly) unique annoyance value.

 

5 hours ago, PaW said:

Bonesaw - alright garbage fine
Graves 2 - IMO he's pretty decent, too bad he just doesn't have a back of a card
Casket - ultimately built around his own legendary, has the ability to win games

Brain & Memory - still decent, although my head hurts whenever I play them

Plus
Pelage is pretty cool and Skulk is alright
 

Bonesaw is great outside of Morticians. Graves2 is half a player competing in a game where the back of your card is frequently the make or break point. Casket is solid (imo) but yes, built around his legendary. BP&M are a 'player' whose potential is yet to be fully realised. Having access to Pelage and Skulk is very nice.

 

5 hours ago, PaW said:

Whilst I think it's true that there is some balance around puppet master, & Morts always feel like they are lacking some damage output.

Where do you think the gap is?
 

They're trapped in design space hell because you can't truly buff damage output or goal scoring without either 1) infringing upon the real estate/schtick of other guilds (Butchers reliable mom damage, Brewers mom KD and short playbooks, Fish mom dodges and mobility for days, anyone's mom character plays from playbook results), and/or 2) hitting the PM/balance wall because great kick stats/MOV values exponentially buff the value of Puppet Master.

I think the gap is that they've been framed as a high INF control team. The truth is they are a team that generates an average amount of INF (12-13) and that control mechanisms are either constructed as 1) only as good as your opponent allows them to be (i.e. the better your opponent, the worse your game - straight up control will not win you the match; it must be converted quickly into VPs either way), or 2) busted levels of OP (a la earlier editions of Obulus I guess) and NPEs for your opponent.

Controlling/repositioning where your opponent's models are on the pitch, or having your own models move out of activation is/should be an extremely powerful ability, but it's centred strongly around Puppet Master itself. Dirge not having Tag Along for example is a missed opportunity. Or playbooks with low single/double pushes. Or native effects (i.e. back of the card text) that alters the movement state of the game. I don't know, but what could have been has already been absorbed by recent releases.

It doesn't give me hope for anything interesting to happen in a proposed Season Four re-look at the state of the guild in terms of a 'refocusing' on what makes Morticians who they are. A bit like their gimmick is one very cool and borderline broken (and expensive) ability, plus a general lack of focus across their squaddies in terms of play style and playbooks. I wonder if they were the last Season One team to be designed way back when?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 24.03.2018 at 9:07 PM, Fujin said:

An insightful comment in another thread has really got me thinking about the future of the guild and a lot of the frustrations being expressed by players.

True or false - Morticians guild balance (current players, potential new players, cross-over players, errata, seasonal rules and card changes, design space) ultimately hinges on a single character play: Puppet Master.

Agree or disagree, would you be willing to suck down a change to Puppet Master if it meant a general refocusing  (up scaling?) of some of our players (Squaddies AND Mascots) and a stronger, more competitive guild overall?

EDIT -  also accepting that because of Reverie, Bonesaw can't actually be better in Morticians.

PM is what makes Morticians. Whenever I think about tactics it's based around that skill. I don't mind it at all. Spooks were OP back in season due to many factors - activation advantage, unlimited union, no momentum for 2nd player, high statlines and it was all nerfed to the ground lately. It felt fine at the start of S3 with striking A&G, not so bad as long as we had access to Mist and quite terrible ATM.

Now the 2 influence we've lost (1 on Silence and 1 on PM refund) hurts quite badly. Morts are not unplayable, they just feel inferior to other guilds due to low damage, low goal threats and pass reliability and being generally squishy. It made me laugh when some people called vGutter a squish with 4+/1 and 14 hp. That as good as it gets on a Spook with 2 inf...

We need some minor changes to get in touch with top teams, nothing

crucial I guess. +1 inf on Ghast and Casket, a buff to Bonesaw that will not push him over the top in Rats (I'd try giving him Shadowlike and 1 armor or Reanimate), give Dirge back his Damage support instead of this silly Assisted and we're good to go.

I'm not even talking about  vGraves and Vileswarm, they don't exist.

6 hours ago, PaW said:

Granted both mascots are average.

Cosset - possibly highest damage dealer in game, Fragile so needs to be protected.
Ghast - Off tank, but has some really annoying defensive abilities, whilst playbook is slightly awkward is still really good
Graves 1 - people rave about this guy, although I think hes so average, but he's not what I would call terrible either
Silence - still has some unique annoyance

Bonesaw - alright garbage fine
Graves 2 - IMO he's pretty decent, too bad he just doesn't have a back of a card
Casket - ultimately built around his own legendary, has the ability to win games

Brain & Memory - still decent, although my head hurts whenever I play them

Dirge is average at best. He is a relict of ancient times when Creation was a thing. Now, with Sic 'Em gone he's even worse. Maybe if he had a special rule allowing him to trigger Singled Out as a result of Parting Blow? Vileswarm is just plain bad.

Cosset - damge is potentialy amazing but easy to counter/disrupt

Ghast - dies easily when focused, influence hungry, provides 1

Silence - he can be more annoying to his owner than oponnent, 1 dice skills that make or break whole turn cause cancer

Graves2 - no back of the card and front doesn't shine either, he could be solid with some nice passives

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, Fujin said:

I wonder if you would go on record (post-Ratcatchers release) stating that Morticians are the Captain and... yeah... just the captain :lol:

 

They're trapped in design space hell because you can't truly buff damage output or goal scoring without either 1) infringing upon the real estate/schtick of other guilds (Butchers reliable mom damage, Brewers mom KD and short playbooks, Fish mom dodges and mobility for days, anyone's mom character plays from playbook results), and/or 2) hitting the PM/balance wall because great kick stats/MOV values exponentially buff the value of Puppet Master.

I think the gap is that they've been framed as a high INF control team. The truth is they are a team that generates an average amount of INF (12-13) and that control mechanisms are either constructed as 1) only as good as your opponent allows them to be (i.e. the better your opponent, the worse your game - straight up control will not win you the match; it must be converted quickly into VPs either way), or 2) busted levels of OP (a la earlier editions of Obulus I guess) and NPEs for your opponent.

Controlling/repositioning where your opponent's models are on the pitch, or having your own models move out of activation is/should be an extremely powerful ability, but it's centred strongly around Puppet Master itself. Dirge not having Tag Along for example is a missed opportunity. Or playbooks with low single/double pushes. Or native effects (i.e. back of the card text) that alters the movement state of the game. I don't know, but what could have been has already been absorbed by recent releases.

It doesn't give me hope for anything interesting to happen in a proposed Season Four re-look at the state of the guild in terms of a 'refocusing' on what makes Morticians who they are. A bit like their gimmick is one very cool and borderline broken (and expensive) ability, plus a general lack of focus across their squaddies in terms of play style and playbooks. I wonder if they were the last Season One team to be designed way back when?

Haha, Maybe after Vet Hemlocke I might do that. I am forever hopeful after all. Let's see what she does first?

It's interesting because Morts had access to mass damage through A&G , and yet it didn't seem to help. Whilst I agree to a degree that things are centered around puppet master itself. I don't natively feel that Morts players are weak. Maybe they are just not as tuned as other guilds and suffer from the Hunter problem where they do all sorts of things but actually don't get close to winning you the game.

The playbooks do seem to suffer actually, especially the older ones. Ghast, Casket, Graves (both, though Graves 2 is better Mom push on 1). ,  Silence , bonesaw
That said I think Pelage, Cosset, B&P (although unique and weird) are fine


As you know I play "team garbage" (Scalpel, Vileswarm, Graves 2,  Cosset, Ghast, Mist) and have something like an 88% tournament win rate on it. Maybe I was drawn to the simplicity of the players in the list. I wasn't trying to do too much, each has a role and fulfills it best for Morts. I don't feel like Morts are in too bad a place whilst Mist was available, but with the loss of Mist, I'll have to adapt. My point was I don't even play with puppet master, yet don't feel like I am suffering

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, PaW said:

, I'll have to adapt

This is the key part of this entire argument. Even with obulus, it’s all about adapting and changing what you are doing. Something morticians have always been about. 

Playing competitively, I always have 2-3 plans going into a turn. These constantly chang and adapt each turn. 

The reality is morticians are a very tricksy team. It makes them hard to play for sure but the better you know the game,  the better you will do. 

Or worse case, go grab another guild and when you find a good morts player, good luck 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Mattyg2787 said:

Playing competitively, I always have 2-3 plans going into a turn. These constantly chang and adapt each turn. 

The reality is morticians are a very tricksy team. It makes them hard to play for sure but the better you know the game,  the better you will do. 

Or worse case, go grab another guild and when you find a good morts player, good luck 

I love this 'git gud' reasoning, really on-topic and valuable content.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I still think of myself as a Morts player but have not played them much recently. I have been in with Butchers, Blacksmiths, Brewers & Union, learning what they do. Reading is no good you have to do it under pressure, even if it is not clock pressure. (Some of my opponents won't use the clock.)

I am struggling as a small fish in a tiny pond. I realise how small the pond is when I play anywhere else!

If "Puppet master" is the guild defining trait then we have only one captain. I am not convinced. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’m sorry but it is a git Gud mentallity. 

Buffs for morts won’t hurt me but I’m winning plenty without them. 

Even if you listen to team rankings, the gap is less than 10% from top to bottom. 

There are 100% some changes I’d like to see. Bonesaw lose his stupid goal bonus defence, ghast and/or casket getting +1 inf and bonesaw getting an extra tac or anatomical 

 

but none of these things have me mopey about morticians. And I’m still finishing top 4 in tournaments.  Morts aren’t an easy team to play. We don’t have a shark who can auto score. We don’t have a thresher to delete players. We have the jankiest players in the game but the jank is real

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, I'm trying not to mope and I didn't really want to steer the conversation in that direction.

The OP was focused on the (either real or perceived) power of Puppet Master, and how this may (or may not) affect balance within the guild (both currently and in terms of future tweaks).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But as paw said, he’s played scalpel with a great win rate. The reason I get frustrated with negativity, even where it was directed at maybe puppet master keeps everything else nerfed is because I feel like some people just haven’t done the hard yards. I’ve told multiple players who aren’t interested in competition play to leave morts alone purely for the fact that can be brutal to learn. It took me a long time to get good at them and I’m still not winning everything. But I’m getting a hell of a lot closer.

threads like this can cause group think problems, the internet says x is bad so it must be bad...

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm afraid you're still missing the point of the thread. My intention was not to call Puppet Master or Morticians good or bad. My intention was to question whether Puppet Master is the balance factor in Morticians. 

If we ever got to a serious discussion about +1 INF for Casket, or change Bonesaw this, that and the other thing... I'm trying to draw on a theory that the players in the guild are inherently balanced due to the potential access (whether you opt to take Obulus or not, whether you choose to use Puppet Master or not!) to a single character play.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the only thing nerfing PM would do is open options for another "true" striker in Morts. We've got a new weak striker in Skulk, but he definitely doesn't make up for the Mist loss. Right now, a huge chunk of the design space issue is that Obs, as is, is still a jack of all trades captain - goal threat, control piece, reliable 10-14 damage with either tooled up or a gang up, can kill the ball, and isn't easy to kill. Because of that, the guild will always be based and balanced around him so you never get a core group in any of those things. You would have to change his whole card to actually nerf what he does for his team.

You want 3 strikers? Well, one of them is a jank setup with a puppet and the other is is a 50mm 1" melee.

You want crushing damage with tooled up in faction? Your team is going to be fragile as shit with some kind of odd playbooks. Also: have a puppet again.

You want to control everything? Hope you like 1 dice character plays and limited access to conditions.

That said, I love where the guild is at. I have been using both Skulk and Pelange and I think they do wonders for the team. I don't mind Bonesaw as my primary goal threat with either of the captains as a back up. I do think its going to be rarer to see 3-goal morts games without a little luck or misplay by opponents, but I think they will be able to do 2-2 really well. Right now though, I hate the Hunter's matchup which is stupid prevalent where I'm at. It doesn't feel good with either captain, though I think Scalpel is the better pick into it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 27.03.2018 at 10:55 PM, Mattyg2787 said:

I’m sorry but it is a git Gud mentallity. 

Buffs for morts won’t hurt me but I’m winning plenty without them. 

Even if you listen to team rankings, the gap is less than 10% from top to bottom. 

There are 100% some changes I’d like to see. Bonesaw lose his stupid goal bonus defence, ghast and/or casket getting +1 inf and bonesaw getting an extra tac or anatomical 

 

but none of these things have me mopey about morticians. And I’m still finishing top 4 in tournaments.  Morts aren’t an easy team to play. We don’t have a shark who can auto score. We don’t have a thresher to delete players. We have the jankiest players in the game but the jank is real

 

There are 4 major factors deciding who is going to win: Your skill, opponents skill, team strength and luck. You can directly change only one of these 4 - Your own skill. This topic was meant to discuss how Puppet Master influences Spooks players. Arguments "I can win with Morts, co can You!" are invalid. Obviously one can still play Spooks competitively but they surely are unedr the curve at the moment (48% WR?) and, in my world, they will get even weaker without Union.

And here comes the main topic: is the Puppet Master the gating factor that doesn't let our players be stronger? Maybe. Whenever we start discussing this someone comes in with the 'git gud' mentality. PM is huge. I let's You capitalize on enemy mistakes hard AF. IF Morts players were as strong as their counterparts, would it push Spooks above other teams? I'd say no, they could be top tier and the ultimate noobhammer but not OP.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Spooks also wouldn’t be spooks without it. Player vs player - morticians stack up pretty close to original teams players. 

Ghast is an amazing enforcer player

casket brings huge amounts of control and denial with foul odour, ghostly visage and of course, casket time

graves 1 is an interesting hybrid player. He’s not a straight beater, he’s not a straight strikers. He brings a lot of utility with tooled up, 2” melee and decent football stats.

bonesaw I’m not going into much but I like him as a striker and scrum disruption

cosset has the highest damage output in the game. It’s not easy to setup but 15 damage on a charge shouldn’t be easy to setup.

silence is just stupid. Shut out, tucked, fireblast and mom 2 damage on 2. Also a 4/7 kick.

bpm is another great beater/striker hybrid. Also, giving an effective free crowd out for every activation is huge.

sure, we don’t have players as clean cut as flint or mist. We don’t have the killing power of butchers or the staying power of brewers.

weakening puppet master may allow other players to get a small buff but I can’t see it giving us alloy. Morticians center around a couple of big plays and always have. They have always felt like a team built around giving your opponent a heap of bad choices and capitalising on them. 

If they remove that from morticians, I might as well play fish or butchers. 

I’m sorry you guys have been offended by the “git gud” mentality but I feel it applies for morts more than any other team.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Mattyg2787 said:

Ghast is an amazing enforcer player

casket brings huge amounts of control and denial with foul odour, ghostly visage and of course, casket time

graves 1 is an interesting hybrid player. He’s not a straight beater, he’s not a straight strikers. He brings a lot of utility with tooled up, 2” melee and decent football stats.

bonesaw I’m not going into much but I like him as a striker and scrum disruption

cosset has the highest damage output in the game. It’s not easy to setup but 15 damage on a charge shouldn’t be easy to setup.

silence is just stupid. Shut out, tucked, fireblast and mom 2 damage on 2. Also a 4/7 kick.

bpm is another great beater/striker hybrid. Also, giving an effective free crowd out for every activation is huge.

Ghast - true, but 1/3 inf is hard handicap

Casket - I feel like foul odour is more annoying to me than opponent, heavy burden is cute and caket time hard to land (it should be, cause effect is massive), yet he is 1/4 inf...

Graves1 - great player, don't change a thing

Bonesaw - is squishy AF, can't retrieve ball reasonably, has a hard time avoiding being engaged by 2" melee models... I'd never play him if we had other striker at least at Salvo / Angel level that are rarely seen in their respective guilds

Cosset - situational but not bad overall

Silence - You are right he's stupid. He either hits his 1 inf plays and is stupid good or misses it and is stupid bad. I don't like this design, maybe he should have confidence?

B&M are solid choice

 

Trash tier: vGraves, Vileswarm

 

Spooks are fine, 45% recent WR is there 'cause we have to 'git gud'

MxCFuWu.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, this thread seems to have gone down the usual path. However, I'd like to share my limited experience:

I have played a fair share of Obulus, but have always mostly been a Scalpel player. As such, I do not agree with the core proposition of this thread. PM is a very powerful play, but it comes at a very high opportunity cost: 4 INF less MOM, less attacks and less versatility in allocation throughout the team.

Scalpel can reliably move an opposing player 6" during her activation (9" with legendary), generates 6 MOM and delivers 6-12 DMG (if you want to compare with PM, exchange 6 with 4). At the end of that, she can be further away than she startet. Yes, her >< on 3 is no PM, but it is also very powerful - especially coupled with an easy T on 2. It is different, but good. I feel a lot of this argument stems from an overreliance on Obulus/PM, which naturally leads to an underexploration of the guild's depth (note: this is no "get git" argument! My point says nothing about your playing skill!).

I currently have some issues with Morts, but they are not related to PM. I feel that our low health pools and the downgraded INF total have been collateral damage in the change from S2 to S3. Perkins recently wrote somewhere that Morts have more INF than other guilds, which is simply untrue. He also said somewhere else that the low health pools were not intended as such. I feel that we have lost some guild profile, especially with the downgrade of Silence,  who was our main control guy apart from Obs. That said, all recent additions to the guild habe been very flavourful as well as powerful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, Commander Vimes said:

I currently have some issues with Morts, but they are not related to PM. I feel that our low health pools and the downgraded INF total have been collateral damage in the change from S2 to S3. Perkins recently wrote somewhere that Morts have more INF than other guilds, which is simply untrue. He also said somewhere else that the low health pools were not intended as such. I feel that we have lost some guild profile, especially with the downgrade of Silence,  who was our main control guy apart from Obs. That said, all recent additions to the guild habe been very flavourful as well as powerful.

You see, in my opinion the very reason we have been nerfed that hard since the strat of S3 is partially the Puppet Master. It is considered super powerful (not without a reason!) but it might be kind of overrated. You are just right. It offers huge possibities but at the harsh cost and team is heavily lacking in other departments. That's the point of this topic: are Mort players below the curve due to potence of PM? You seem to confrim they lack influence efficency and toughness and I'm asking why is it so?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×