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[No Spoilers!} My pets sometimes become Charmed for no obvious reason: Bug?


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Greetings, all!

Sometimes in battle, units (friendly and enemy) become Terrified and run around.  Odd, but manageable.

Stranger and less pleasant is when my units spontaneously become Charmed for no obvious reason and start attacking my side.  Often, this has happened after all enemies are dead!  This felt like a bug regardless of its intent and I believe it should be fixed.

(I play on Veteran difficulty and I'm new to the game.)


Edited by Endarire
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  • Endarire changed the title to [No Spoilers!} My pets sometimes become Charmed for no obvious reason: Bug?

This is very deliberate. It is happening because your Control Levels over your Creations (visible on each Creation's stats page, and varies by Creation) are too high. Somewhat confusingly, a higher Control Level represents weaker control over a Creation: the higher a Creation's Control Level, the more likely it is to go rogue when it has low HP, so you want it as low as possible. Things that raise a Creation's Control Level include said Creation's level (if it's greater than your Player Character's; a Creation's level is itself determined by your relevant Shaping skill and how many upgrades you've bought for the Creation), the number of Creations you currently control (each additional Creation makes all of them harder to control), and your difficulty level (minor; but on Veteran there's a flat +1 to each Creation's Control Level). The only thing that reduces Control Level is your total Shaping skills- that is, the sum of each of your Fire + Magic + Battle Shaping skills past the first point.


So: to stop this happening again, or at least make it less common:

  • Run fewer Creations at once. You probably won't be able to effectively run more than 2-3 Creations at once until a good ways into the game;
  • Run lower-levelled Creations. The way combat works in Mutagen, you don't want to have Creations that are too low-levelled; but while higher-levelled Creations are more effective, each level they have above your PC's means an additional +2 Control Level. Generally you want to keep your Creations at about the same level as your protagonist until a ways into the game;
  • Raise your Shaping skills, even if you don't use each of them. The sum of your Shaping skills reduces a Creation's Control level. Raising a given Shaping skill increases the level of all Creations of the relevant type, which can actually more-than-offset the Control Level gain you get from the additional point- for example, if you're level 5 and have two level 5 Fyoras, and raise your Fire Shaping by 1, you'll gain 1 more Control Level over each of your Fyoras, but lose 2 because you've also increased the Fyoras' level above your own, for a net loss of 1 Control Level. As such, while it's effective to focus on one type of Shaping (Fire/Magic/Battle), you can't afford to minmax these skills, and need to put at least a few points into even the ones you don't use so much.
Edited by googoogjoob
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26 minutes ago, Endarire said:

This was poorly explained

I agree with this. A lower Control Level being better might make sense from one design perspective (since there's no theoretical maximum, it's not really possible to set a certain value as the default, and have the Control Level decrease to represent weaker control), but on the other hand, its being higher being worse is just counterintuitive (naming it "rogue proclivity" or something might make more sense). It's also frustrating that nowhere in the game can you see, explicitly, how the Control Level is calculated (the information in my post above is largely derived from Mechalibur's testing-deduced stats, here), and you can't actually see what it means (AFAIK, no one has yet figured out the formula that determines a Creation's chance to go rogue- a higher Control Level clearly makes it more likely, but it's not clear exactly how likely). The game also tells you to raise your Shaping skills to increase your control over your Creations, which is sort of misleading, in that, as in the example I gave in the post above, it's actually possible, especially at low levels, for raising a Shaping skill to actually weaken your control over a Creation by a level.


33 minutes ago, Endarire said:

the Charm effect still seems like a bug.  Other conditions like fear are more logical to me.

I disagree with this. One of the risks of a Creation going rogue has to be the chance that said Creation will attack its Shaper or teammates. The game happens to implement this via the "Charm" effect, presumably as a result of Jeff Vogel's traditional parsimony (why create a new effect that does exactly what an existing effect does, but with a different name?). Calling it "Charm" is maybe misleading, in that it implies active hostile action in a way that words like "fear" or "confusion" don't. But you get used to it.

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Creations turning on their masters is a constant fear of the Shapers as you have found out in practice and soon you will also find out in lore that the Shaper - Creation bond is not always peachy. I can't say more since it would be spoilers but remain assured that creations attacking you is very much NOT a bug and it is an important aspect of the world and the power of the Shapers. 


Now, about why the creation appears charmed when it is rogue, I have no explanation aside of what @googoogjoob said. 

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