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