by Thott

This is a post collection, from various threads discussing Fading Memories.  Its general tone is written in response to a rogue posting about Escape vs. Fading Memories, although that wasn't the reason for the original posts.

From Concert Hall:
FT and Fading Memories are essentially the only way for bards to improve their crowd control (CC) ability through items/AA's.

Enchanters can upgrade their CC via:

  1. Increased mana pool (longer periods of hero-level activity)
  2. Increased mana regen (increased number of mobs mezzed/hour)
  3. Shortened cast time (only on some spells, faster lockdown rate)
  4. Increased duration (multiplies increased mana regen, increases max number of mobs controllable)
  5. Increased range (earlier mez casts on incoming mobs, increased safety from distance)
  6. Increased hp/ac (less risk from failed mez attempts)
All of these are good things.  A fully equipped enchanter should be better at CC than a naked enchanter.

None of the above applies to bards.  Even increased hp/ac doesn't help a bard CC, because it's usually the cleric that is tanking if the bard fails, not the bard.  A naked bard and a fully equipped bard are almost identical in CC power.

Fading Memories is the answer to this.  Fading Memories improves faster with FT than enchanter CC, but it's just one part of bard CC.  Algebraically one might write it like this:

    Enchanter: CC*equipment_bonus = equipped CC
    Bard: CC + Fading_Memories*larger_bonus = equipped CC
Since only part of the bard equation increases, that part increases faster with equipment.  The same equation holds for charm in place of Fading Memories, but at higher levels, charm isn't useful for CC.

Everyone should want equipment upgrades to be fully effective.  For a bard it's just limited to this one area.



This explains why FM improves so quickly with items.  Escape is a stand alone ability.  Fading Memories is tied to bard crowd control.  Essentially, this one ability improves more, while other abilities improve less (or not at all).

Fading Memories is, in effect, the only utility upgrade bards have seen since Kunark.  Pure melees have seen great improvements in utility through items as well as through AA's, Escape being one of them.  Bards are a utility class, just as rogues are a damage class.  Would rogues be happy if their damage had stayed constant since Kunark?  Naturally not.  Every class expects upgrades, and unless something specific prevents it, every class should get them.

On the Safehouse, as part of a thread relating to Fading Memories, I posted this (excerpt):
This also helps balance FD.  This isn't intuitive, but in practice the least painful way to fix an unbalanced ability is to make it more common (the other method being gimping, and nobody wants to see FD gimped).  Consider for example if only one class in the game could heal.  All encounters would be based around this, one way or another.  Either all encounters would be too easy if the healing class were present, or all encounters would be too hard if the healing class were not present.  Even if the only heal spell this class had was greater heal, that class would still be the most powerful class in the game.  Yet lots of classes have greater heal in Everquest, and they are not overpowered.  It's not the power of an ability that makes it powerful, it's the rarity.

The solution to this, with regards to FD, is two pronged.  Other classes are not getting FD, but bards and rogues are getting partial FD-like ability.  FD includes the ability to wipe hate and to avoid aggro (i.e. while FD, nothing will aggro).  Bards gain the ability to wipe hate, while rogues gain the ability to avoid aggro.  Both classes gain this ability in a way that is sometimes inferior and sometimes superior to FD.  Rogue shroud of stealth prevents aggro like FD, but the rogue can move around without risk, while there is risk for the monk.  Yet the rogue version is also less powerful, since there is a chance for each see invis mob to be able to see through it, and in areas containing such a mob it is useless, while FD always works.  Bard FM wipes all hate instantly when used, while FD takes some time.  However, FM is heavily mana limited, can't be used nearly as often, isn't usable after a rez, and is useless when near mobs that see invis.

Thus the power of FD is now split across multiple classes, with each class situationally "best", and none are directly comparable.


Which conveys the bigger picture view of why Fading Memories was added at all, ignoring the class specific reasons.

Overall, a lot of thought went in to adding this ability.