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Cpt.Haxray

Why Innocent Revive Roles are a Nightmare to Balance

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I've been seeing a lot of discussion about this topic recently, due to Anarchy EU adding the Sacrifice role. A lot of people are asking why we don't have this role or a similar role on the  server when EU has it. A lot of debate has insisted that they aren't that strong or wouldn't be an issue. As this topic is rather complicated to cover, i decided to split it into it's own thread so i could discuss it, + address a lot of common arguments, including why Pharaoh is on the server and considered fine. 

 

First, lets cover the basic information any player gets when they die on our server. This is not addressing normal TTT information, or normal TTT2 information. We're solely addressing what you get on our server, because frankly that's the situation the average player on our server will be in when they die. 

First, you get a freezeframe camera. This usually zooms in to your killer(albeit sometimes it can be blocked by walls). It will tell you their name, regardless if they got a Disguiser or Advanced Disguiser active. It will also state their role, their current HP, and what weapon they killed you with. 


Secondly, you enter Spectator mode. In this mode you can either free roam the map or snap your view to specific player's view. This allows you to see their currently equipped weapon.  While in Spectator mode, you can also see the true name of any disguised player. You can also see exactly who is dead and who is alive at any given moment which is updated regularly via the scoreboard. You can even see the names and current estimate of a player's health at all times through walls. You can view any part of the map at any time by simply flying there or snapping to the view of a player who is in the location at a time. 

 

Thirdly, you're now able to speak with dead players. You can hear what they say or think. This is usually a mix of complaining that they died, complaining that a specific person killed them, complaining they lost their "X round" due to dying or a Sidekick Deagle, etc. Dead Traitors or Jackals also regularly complain about their teammates, calling them out for being stupid or delaying. 

 

Fourth, you're able to see reports issued against you. While this is intended as a method or feature to deal with RDM, this also inadvertly shares information due to being able to display damagelogs shortly before death. While damagelogs aren't always the most reliable source of Info due to not tracking a player's current role very well let alone tracking all special roles properly, it is still a source of useful information. 

 

So what does this mean for the ability for a player to come back from the dead? It means they still retrain all of the information or knowledge they had gotten while dead, which can be a mix of many sources, from other player's claims to what they saw with their own eyes while dead, + information on their killer. They can see gluttons eating bodies, traitors holding T weapons, Traitors entering T rooms, Restless respawning, etc. All sorts of information. They might not get all of this information at once, but a person who is expecting to be revived and knows how to use this information can easily obtain massive chunks of undeniable information able to instantly out a lot of evil roles. They can even get information as to where a specific player is or was on the map, what kind of equipment they have, a rough estimate on how much credits they have, how much health they have, and if they were disguised. 

 

This amount of information gain is INCREDIBLY powerful. For comparison here, the Detective's DNA scanner is an incredibly powerful tool allowing you to track down the identity of a killer so long as they still had DNA left on a body of someone they killed, an item they dropped, a slam, bomb station or c4 they placed, etc. The scanner has multiple items in the T shop that exist solely to help combat the DNA scanner, and some weapons whos downsides are balanced around giving more DNA duration on bodies. (Decoy and Flaregun are both mainly anti-DNA scanner weapons, both costing a credit and having limited use outside of the Anti-DNA Scanner power. The Knife can instantly kill someone at 50 hp or less without making a single sound outside of weapons/body dropping, but cause DNA to linger on the body longer than normal as well as marking the body as being killed via a knife).  An entire role is designed around the DNA scanner being their main go to thing(the Detective), and TTT2's DNA scanner is even nerfed from the original TTT1 version by requiring it to still be held out to get the radar on it. 

Yet despite all of the Information the Detective's DNA scanner gives, the amount of information that a Dead player can get is not only MUCH more vast and instant, but doesn't have any hard restrictions outside of having died. You dont need to get to a body in X time, have the body killed in X way, ensure no one else picked up X item, etc. You simply have to be dead, and witness the action. 

 

But there is a second half to this. Evil roles benefit a LOT less from this information gain than Innocent roles. Evil roles already want to kill everyone, so coming back from the dead doesn't help them figure out who needs to die. It can help them prioritize or hide their identity by killing a Neutral Evil thats not on their side that they found out by spectating, or track down individual players, but it doesn't inherently help them with super critical game important information.  On the Flipside, Innocents get to not only figure out who is Evil, which is how Innocents win the game and destroys the main power of all evil roles, not being known from the get go, but they also get to figure out who is good via this information as well, which is just as useful. 

So TL:DR: A reviving Innocent can potentially figure out some or all of the identities of all evil roles, is 100% confirmed to know the identity and role of their killer, can see the locations of anyone, their equipment, and see through disguisers. This is also including the Innocents having a 100% confirmed person on their team who they know they can trust any and all information from. 

This puts the evil roles in a DRAMATICALLY bad spot. Their only ideal counter play would be to ensure an Innocent role cannot be revived at any cost. The sheer amount of information a reviving Innocent could give is devastating. Otherwise, if they ever accidentally kill a certain person who can be revived, they could effectively out the entire team, plus the fact they would be instantly outing themselves. If we're to bring our server's specific setup into question, there is technically a second counter play in the form of the Imposter comms mute, which would prevent any revived person from speaking. But the comms mute is a super long cooldown ability, and can only be used if the Imposter has a station spawn available, doesnt have sabotages on cooldown, and is only a temporary measure. In the long term once an innocent revives, if they have a lot of information, evils cannot do much about it. 

So, with all of this information written down, lets address the Sacrifice role. For the sake of argument we will use the role's default convar settings. By default, only one Sacrifice can spawn. They can only revive a single person, their defib disappears when they die, they will die after successfully reviving someone. The revived person keeps their original role and comes back to life with full health.

 

First, lets list off the Pros/Cons of this role:

 

Pros:

-Defibulator can be used to help prove one's self. 

-They are able to bring back any dead person to life regardless of role, with the person keeping their original role.

-It does not matter how long the person has been dead.

-It does not matter how the person died.

-Able to choose specifically who you are reviving, and when you are reviving.

-Can speak to the dead person before reviving.(More on this later). 

 

Cons:

-The Sacrifice will die after reviving a person.

-Can revive an evil role back to life. 

-Defib could be confused for a Mesermist's Defibulator if reviving someone without properly informing people ahead of time.

 

Considering the sheer amount of information a dead person is able to obtain before reviving, the power behind this revive is terrifying. They will be able to share who killed them as well as all information gathered while dead. But this isn't the only problem with the role. As mentioned previously, the Sacrifice can speak to the dead person they plan to revive. "But Living people can't hear dead chat!". That is true, but Dead People can hear Live chat. A Sacrifice has the ability to verbally announce who they are reviving, allowing said dead person to actively start hunting for as much information as they can before reviving, if they weren't already doing so before hand. This is INCREDIBLY strong. 

What counterplay options do Traitors or other evils have against the Sacrifice? Well, they can burn a body with the flaregun. This costs 1 credit, and can be used four times each. A person cannot be revived if their body doesn't exist. They can also kill/eliminate the Sacrifice before they revive someone, which would completely prevent the Sacrifice's revival abilities. However, in both of these cases, this relies on the Traitor team knowing there is a Sacrifice active in the round, having the credits available to afford the flaregun or ability to Eliminate the Sacrifice. If the Sacrifice is hidden somewhere they could be difficult to find. If they're in a group it could be near impossible to kill them without being found out yourself. 

Additionally the Flaregun(or other body disposal methods) is only available to certain roles. Other roles do not have access to this method leaving the only possible counterplay to get rid of the Sacrifice all together. But this is a problem for Traitors or roles that DO have access to the flaregun or body removal tools as well, as one of the evil roles who DON'T Have these tools could easily kill someone being unaware there is a Sacrifice in the round, and promptly doom both the T team and the neutral evil in question. 

 

This is a judicious amount of basically uncounterable power for a single role to have.

Im aware there is common arguments used against these points, and I will be addressing these below.

 

1. What about the Pharaoh? They revive and they're on the server. 
The Pharaoh is a very unique case of a revive role. Unlike the Sacrifice, or basically any other Revive role, the Traitor team is instantly alerted to their existance in the round the second they place their Ankh. This allows them to know there is a Pharaoh in the round, and react/plan accordingly. Additionally, the Pharaoh's revive has some very hard conditions tied to it.

 

1. Their Ankh has to be placed somewhere.

2. They can only place their Ankh if there is a Traitor left Alive. If there is no one left on the Traitor team, they are unable to place down the Ankh.

3. They can only respawn at their Ankh's position. This means they can be spawn camped before they can say or do anything. 

4. Their Ankh can be destroyed. 

5. Their Ankh can be stolen by the Graverobber, taking away their revive and allowing the Graverobber to revive. 

6. Their revive timer starts the second they die if their Ankh is enabled. This is shown via a display on the Hud that covers part of the screen. They cannot delay this timer or chose when they respawn, limiting the amount of time they have to gather information while dead. 

7. They can only revive themselves and cannot choose to revive someone else.

 

In order for the Pharaoh to get and benefit from their revive, they need to place it down somewhere, ensure it doesn't die before they die, ensure it doesn't get stolen, ensure they can't get spawn camped or have their Ankh destroyed while reviving, and then gather as much information as possible in a very short period of time, all the while Traitors are aware of their existence and will be actively searching for the Ankh. 

Compared to other roles that can revive themselves or others, the Pharaoh has a LOT of available counterplay for evil roles to exploit, and hard limits on the amount of information they can gain due to the short amount of time they remain dead. This makes it significantly weaker and more balanced than the Sacrifice or similar revive roles.  

 

2. What about the Marker? The Marker's Revive never caused problems, as people would never call out their killer or other evils.

The Marker is a neutral evil role who had access to a defib. The Defib could revive anyone as their original role but they spawned marked. its important to note that the revived people know a Marker revived them, and know they cannot kill the Marker. They also know the Marker wins instantly if they mark enough people, and the amount of people they need marked gets lower the less people alive there is(hard capped at 4). 

Any Innocent getting revived by a Marker would prioritize calling out the Marker over any other evils due to being the massive main threat. Any other evil would then be alerted to the person being revived, and due to the person being marked would be a priority to kill only slightly lower than the Marker due to them counting toward's the Marker's win condition. As such, these players would rarely be alive for long after the Marker is dealt with, let alone if they even survive that long or the Marker simply revived them to hit their "marked players' quota preventing any information they share from being meaningful in the first place.

 

Additionally, Marker revives DID cause problems. In cases where the Marker decided to Grief or randomly revive innocents by deciding to play "ON THE INNOCENT SIDE", or by simply not realizing it is a terrible idea to revive random Innocents for no reason, the revived person would usually have a load of information to share with the Innocent team. 

3.
People aren't good enough/Smart enough to gather information while dead to share it with teammates.

This is also not 100% True. It is a fact that a lot of regulars or random players aren't particularly great at TTT, and seem to suffer from a case of Deafness, blindness, and a crippling lack of ability to remember to breathe. It is also a fact it is not difficult to understand that you can gather information while dead, and a role like the Sacrifice gets to choose who they can revive. They can simply always choose someone who they know will have been gathering information and can give it back, or who would listen to them to gather information when asked. 

You could argue that it would be a Random who obtained the Sacrifice who then chooses to revive a random player, and both of them were bad at the game resulting in the Sacrifice role not doing very much. This would also be a fallacy depending on this argument where it is always an idiot who always revives an idiot, and that is simply not going to be the case, and is even very likely to even be commonly the case.

To truly show the flaws in this argument, let me use it to defend a similar situation. Lets say I buff the P90 to kill instantly on headshot regardless of the person's health or armor, but no longer deals damage on chestshot. I then argue that this is not overpowered in the case of someone aiming for headshots and getting instant kills on mass, by claiming that its possible someone who is terrible at aiming obtains the p90, or decides to not buy the p90 when they got the ability to. You would consider this a silly argument, as even though there is people who can't aim, there is plenty of people who can. The same logic is applied to the argument in the Sacrifice "What if it revives a bad person". 

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