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Drastic Change to Sadida Dolls

By Haevery0#2463 - MEMBER - July 25, 2021, 10:20:16

A (very) rough idea that popped into my head while reading about player frustrations toward the Sadida's Dolls.

Instead of being individual Summons(that take up space and get in the way), the Dolls themselves are the buffs/debuffs, and are carried rather than taking up a space or a turn. Hear me out!

  • Sadida takes out one of their Dolls.
  • Throws the Doll at an Ally or Enemy (maybe include a +Range passive)
  • Doll latches onto target and has the "Carried" state (like Pandawa's Barrel) OR becomes a status effect with animation.
  • If latched to Ally: +Buff (cute doll hugging leg/arm/back/head, whatever)
  • If latched to Enemy: +Debuff (biting head, angry doll noises)
  • The status effect, depending on the Doll, is triggered at the start of the target's next turn, making Initiative important for Sadida:
[+/-] 2AP/2MP/100RES/10%DMG
  • Each Doll and its effect lasts 2 turns.
  • At the end of the second turn the Doll explodes(+1WP to Sadi), dealing Area dmg and causing an AoE around the target that damages nearby enemies.
  • On an Ally the AoE heals a small to moderate amount while causing Area dmg to nearby enemies. (Maybe the same type of Doll can't be applied to an Ally in a row?)
  • Control effects how many on the field at once (max 4?)
  • Make Voodoll a damage mitigating spell(2AP, 1WP?) NOT IT'S OWN DOLL: Cast on an Ally carrying a Doll, for 1 turn the Doll absorbs 40/60/80% of all dmg inflicted to it's host. (2turn cooldown)(animation of the Ally wearing a plush Doll suit)

The Ultra Powerful is the only ACTUAL Doll with it's own turn and space on the map. It is the Sadida's Summon companion (like in the show, change the look of the UP to match) with it's own spells, and can be controlled like other summons.
Its main focus is to get close to other attached dolls and use it's spells for different effects:
  • ST spell that extends a nearby Doll's buff/debuff an extra turn.
  • ST spell that blows up a nearby Doll immediately.
  • AoE spell that increases the Buffs/Debuffs of Dolls within its range of effect around the UP.
  • Doll AoE explosions deal increased dmg if within a certain range of the UP.
With "Lone Sadida" builds the Ultra Powerful becomes a mini-Tank, usefull for solo play:
  • AoE spell that draws enemy aggro.
  • Can switch places with a target.
  • Can return to the Sadida's side.
  • Stacks a dmg counter every time it is hit.
  • When destroyed deals massive Area dmg depending on how many stacks of dmg.
  • The Sadida can use Dolly Sacrifice to destroy it, granting a big self-heal depending on the stacks of dmg.

This would eliminate the frustration of Dolls cluttering the map, completely scrap the wonky AI, free up a TON of time waiting for each Doll's turn(especially for team-play), and solidify a unique identity and mechanic as a support character, so your Sadida can spend its turn focusing on Dmg, Heals, Positioning, or throwing another Doll or two.
The Sadida's own dmg would be reduced if using Dolls instead of Lone Sadida, but the Doll AoE would scale off of their Area Mastery. Taking "Explodoll" and "Sic 'Em More" and making it the key mechanic for the class.
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Reactions 18
Score : 9389

This looks similar to the old Masqueraider‘s masks that could be thrown, and in all honesty, I LOVE your idea! Animation wise, they could ride piggyback on the Ally’s head or both allies and enemies have this doll glyph on top, or just the doll walking alongside. Ecaflip’s hot potatoe is basicaly this ball of yarn nearby. Doesn’t clutter or interact in an odd way.

Also, Voodoll could work like Foggernaut’s blockade, you place the voodoll and in a 2 or 3 area around it, allies take less damage and after 2 turns the doll explodes healing the more damage it absorbed. It could be Stabilized but the Ultra Powerful could have a spell that swaps places with it.

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Score : 121

I love it! Have the UP absorb damage, only to explode upon death for a comparable amount of damage taken. This would definitely make the UP a sort of mini-Tank, especially if you're playing Sadi solo since the map won't be full of actual doll summons anymore. However, I'd like Voodoll to stay a spell that turns ANY Doll on the map into a dmg absorbing shield, not a Doll itself. Also the swapping spaces would be better left as a Sadida Air spell, otherwise it'd lose it's positioning effectiveness in Air.

How about each doll has it's own place to grab onto allies?

  • +AP Doll = Top of head
  • +MP Doll = Leg grab
  • +Resist Doll = Piggyback
  • +Dmg Doll = Arm grab
  • Voodoll Dmg Absorb = Character is in a full body Doll suit
  • On Enemies = Angry Doll biting head
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Score : 153

OH man, I really like this idea.

I'd even argue just get rid of UP doll completely and just add them to the roster. But buffs and debuffs happen at the start of the next turn. For three reasons - Stronger effect, More counter play options, and dolls still get to keep their attack animations.

I can already see how cool the passives could be.

No extra animations necessary, just reuse K'mir animation. Give the summons HP but no turn played for counterplay options(Also puts some more power potentially into summons). If it's following the enemy, the enemy can destory it, there could be passives to encourage this playstyle.

This sounds extremely encouraging as an idea,

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Score : 121

It'd be nice to not give the Dolls a square on the map so they don't clutter things, especially since other classes have spells that could [+/- ] AP/MP/RES/DMG to Allies/Enemies.

But on the other hand, you are absolutely right. If the debuffs are big enough, Enemies and PVP opponents would have to be able to destroy them. But that would depend on how great the debuff. For example:

  • -1 AP/-1 MP/-50 RES/-10% DMG (Crit -2 AP/-2 MP/ -100 RES/-15% DMG) = No, leave as a simple status debuff.
  • -2 AP/-2 MP/-80 RES/-15% DMG (Crit -3 AP/-3 MP/-130 RES/-20% DMG) = Yes, too strong an effect, make them destructible. The payoff for the Sadida wasting 2 AP for the Doll that gets destroyed is the target wasting AP to get rid of it. But only if the debuff is powerful enough, in which case, I'd rather keep them as purely status effects with an animation.
A third option would be to meet in the middle:
  • At start of enemie's turn: -2 AP/-2 MP/-50 RES/-10% DMG.
  • At end of enemie's turn: The Doll deals [XX] damage.
The end-of-turn minor damage can be crit-able. This would leave the enemy hindered but given the entire duration of their turn to "destroy" the doll before it does damage or explodes in an AoE at the end of the second turn. This would make the Sadida focus, during the Ultra Powerful's turn, on getting the UP close enough to detonate the Doll.

Also, keeping the Ultra Powerful as the only actual summon would help it to defend or draw enemy aggro from the Sadida during solo play (Like Astrub Knight early game). Possibly make the UP part of the Lone Sadida Kit:
  • A spell that draws aggro
  • A spell to return to the Sadida's side
  • Switch places with it
  • Depending on how much dmg it absorbs, the AoE when destroyed deals more dmg.
  • Depending on how much dmg it absorbs, the Sadida can sacrifice the UP to gain health.
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Score : 3090

I have a bit of reservation despite suggestions of people changing doll summons into something more akin to totems mainly because we're reducing the number of "summoner" classes this way, I.e. classes that create things that have their own turn (rogue, eniripsa, eca, ouginak, osa and sadida Vs all other classes)

however if we go along with your idea of reducing the amount of time they consume after being summoned, then there are a few ways we could increase their physical presence on the board, rather than just being a "buff" (like how masks or shields used to be permanent, rather than their current version of having distinct names but generic states as buffs with limited durations

"Gobbowl" doll - similar to the gobbowl stadium dungeon for the zinit questline, dolls that become a state when attacked with ST spells, and released when the state bearer is attacked. This would only work for defensive or ally supporting dolls usually, so for offensive dolls the doll may walk towards an enemy every of its turn, and if its adjacent to an enemy, “hop on” like your attached state. Alternatively, Sic’em more can cause the closest doll to “hop on” to the target when casted on the target.

“Totem” dolls instead of having dolls that walk towards the enemy to attack, or away from the enemies, dolls have 0mp on their turn and just applies their effect on their turn. This veers them dangerously close to being mechanisms rather than summons, with I guess the difference being they can be buffed with %DI states and resistance, unlike mechanisms like bombs or barrels.

"Piñata" Dolls - summons that apply an effect or counterattack every time they’re attacked, but do not have turns
“Seed” Dolls - with the advent of third bar spells, it is once again viable to revert the UP summoning spells into a seed spell and move it to the third bar, then have it turn into different dolls by casting different spells on it (E.g. healing spell, poison applying spell, armouring spell, MP removing spell, buffing spell, debuffing spell, pushing spell) to create a doll with those properties

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Score : 121

Personally I never really liked totem mechanics. I think the dolls would work best as status conditions or invisible glyphs like the sram has. The most important points of my post are:

  1. No dolls cluttering the map
  2. No clunky AI
  3. They aren't summons so they don't get their own turn, making the Sadi's turn drag on.
Their buff/debuff activates at start of target's next turn.
Most complaints about dolls and my own experience ask for these 3 things. 
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Score : 964

We're gonna likely see Sadida on the second round of revamps, it is highly requested and even the devs acknowledged it when announcing their first round of class revamps on their devblog.

I'll add my own suggestion inspired by the other comments in this post, I will not go so much on to details, but how I imagine the Sadida overhaul would be:

What I think Ankama will do on dolls is that they will use pre-revamp Xelor's sinistro as inspiration. I agree with Thothus that seeds/dolls will be placed on the 3rd bar. Siu mentioned that it is a matter of when than if concerning bomb spells, I see that doll/UP will be the same. Heck, I could see Ultra Powerful being scrapped altogether.

Dolls would be immobile, still have HP, not take turns, and apply their debuff/damage/buff at start/end of whoever is in their vicinity's turn.

Not only this makes Sadida's dolls less of a pain to manage, this opens up the opportunity for a Sadida off-DD build. Poisons and dolls, anyone? 

Ankama's recent revamps have been divisive as of late, but the way they handle the differentiation of how a class' path will go through the passive system has been a success in my eyes. Foggernaut and Feca has been very good with this. Masqueraider and Xelor ... is a bit iffy for different reasons (Masqueraider being a jack-of-all-trades already and Ankama overshooting it, Xelor with the community response being divisive towards Xelor's WP consumption). With Sadida not being that complicated, I think they can learn from their mistakes and open Sadida to different paths.

With that, I could see some builds coming out of this:
- Indirect damage (exchanging buffs/debuffs for poison-like effect or increased damage from dolls)
- Support (maybe damage-specific dolls get support effects instead. Heal and Armor given increased)
- Doll-less (controversial, I know, but I could see it in one way or another)

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Score : 9389

Perhaps dolls could have an AI, but with a different style:

  • Effects that are emanated in an AoE like Fogger's blockade
  • an AI with the sole function of moving the doll towards the enemy or ally
  • a spell that allows the Sadi to mark the doll to move close to allies or enemies
This way, the dolls are kept as something sentient, with a lrger area of effect so we don't need too many dolls, and an AI easier to predict and control. Every doll could be compelled to stay 1 cell away from it's intended target. Not too close, not too far.
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Score : 3090

In addition, perhaps some changes to the Voodoll are in order too:

-Instead of lasting 2 turns, the voodoll has a HP threshold after which it dies (e.g. 5,000HP). Both ally and enemy damage/heals increases value towards the threshold, but only ally damage/heals is transferred to the linked target.

-You can link an ally for heals, not just enemies for damage. While debuffs are not transferred to linked enemies (as how voodoll currently works), buffs are transferred to linked allies.

-Removal of LoS requirement, linearity is already plenty penalising.

That about gives it a lot of useability without need of Wild Whispers to boost transferred damage by 20% and give % heals and armour received.

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Score : 3644

Didn't old old rogue have the ability to throw a bomb onto an enemy to make it like a debuff tha exploded later? Could be something like that but with dolls.
I really like he hot potato style visual indicator for dolls idea.

Also since xelor's hydrant was turned into an end of turn effect, maybe one of the dolls (voodoll?) could have a start of enemy turn effect like old hydrant? This way it would also not need to have a turn of it's own.
Or maybe voodoll could steal buffs from enemies in the area (redirects buffs cast on enemies to itself insead)?

And yeah I think UP should go.

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Score : 3090


Haevery0#2463|2021-07-28 04:22:45
Personally I never really liked totem mechanics. I think the dolls would work best as status conditions or invisible glyphs like the sram has. The most important points of my post are:
  1. No dolls cluttering the map
  2. No clunky AI
  3. They aren't summons so they don't get their own turn, making the Sadi's turn drag on.
Their buff/debuff activates at start of target's next turn.
Most complaints about dolls and my own experience ask for these 3 things. 

While anyone with experience with Sadida would not contest that those points would improve the team's experience when dealing with dungeons while partying with a Sadida, there's the standpoint of flavour to consider as well.

The Sadida was created as a summoner class being one of its main points, and losing those dumb dolls walking pointlessly around, getting into everyone's way, or letting you extend your presence across the entire field, wHile being much less frustrating, will also mean the losing of sadida's strong identity.

You will also have to consider some dungeons where Sadida's hold of the map with dolls that have turns using Wild Whispers serve some useful purpose in:

Phase III Lenald to remove glyphs
Consuming blue lightning tiles in Hoodlum
Triggering bombs in Remington
Finishing off low health vines in Grozepin
ushering Pandora off the middle with The Block while on the opposite side of the field

This gives a non-insignificant strategic value in combat.

Hearttyace#2739|2021-07-29 03:10:57
I'm 100% of the opnion that summoning has literally nothing to do with turn cycles. As long as they're on the field, They've summoned a unit.

Idenitity is lame argument to have. Xelor can techinically out range a Cra eventually. Does that make Cra any less an archer? Iop is outdamaged by Sacrier and Ougi at a point in melee, does that make Iop any less of a strong melee?

The idea of identity is that you can frame your mind around a certain class, just thinking of them. Dolls themselves being summons have nothing to do with it. Bombs were not summons before, and were part of Rogues identity. They only now have hp and take up a space, yet still they are part of Rogues identity.

TL;DR Get rid of Doll turns. They have one spell, they're effectively a DoT/HoT that moves. Latching is a pretty cool idea that retains all that stuff(assuming they stay on the field and take up a space).

Your example proves my point, not suggest towards the alternative.

A Cra is no less of an Archer not because of anything to do with Xelors, but because of Cra's own properties that gives it the flavour of an archer, as does Iop with being a close combat character, no less because so many of its spells have melee range. Sacrier's have other properties that define the class, that pushes them into another role.

A summoner class creates organic beings on the field, otherwise it's flavour turns closer to being a tinkerer class like the foggenaut

The Sadida has plenty of things that affect the turn cycle of doll. Heals increase it's longevity on the field, mudoll gives it more attack procs (compared to more damage in one attack), Wild Grass keeps it location locked, Fertilizer increases its trap triggering utility and the Sadida's hold on the entire map. Even if you argue that AP granted can be converted into a % DI buff instead, giving a doll it's own turn and MP greatly reduced the need of the team to spend AP repositioning them for them to serve their purpose (look at turrets, portals, Sinistroes and bombs)

​​​​By comparing the cat tree and the bow meow, you can see very different approached to their usage simply because the bow meow can walk and block line of sight.

And because summons are their own entity unlike mechanisms, they can be affected by things like Sacrifice, Telluric Whack, Firedamp Explosion, various resistance buffs and % DI buffs casted on them as opposed to casted on the summoner, and their damage is based on their orientation to the enemy, not the summoner's orientation to the enemy, which affects their damage, as well as actually being able to damage things with alignment restrictions like Lenalds, Shushu dungeon bosses, Tropikokos etc

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Score : 9389

While this is an issue, I think perhaps we could decrease the amount of dolls and increase their impact, basicaly quality over quantity. Sadida could be better if it only summoned one doll of each kind (Inflatable, Sacrificial, Greedy and Block) and their AIs had some improvement or AT LEAST given a passive where they don't block Line of Sight.

Especialy when you consider 3 of these dolls have different actions as well. Sacrificial Doll will just walk to the target and explode, so its not gonna bother anyone, Inflatable is a healer, so it will stick closer to allies, Block is the tank so it will try to stick to the enemy, and Greedy could be updated to always try to keep a maximum distance of 2 cells from the enemy before casting the debuff.

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Score : 574

here's an idea that doesn't crap on the work that the previous developers have put into making the dolls, and concentrate them onto one spell on the third bar:

Max 2 seeds on the field. 2 turn cooldown after casting.

After summoned, it does not have a turn, and can be interacted with, as well as block LoS.

Any spell casted by an enemy/ally changes it to a doll of that element (even if causing damage to it). When the doll is given an element, it gets a turn after the Sadida. Give the Sadida an active spell that can convert the seed into a fire doll (e.g. Sic'Em More).

The doll can be controlled and reverts back into a seed after 2 turns.

Fire doll: takes the explosion spell of Sacrificial Doll, and a spell that can cause it to be linked to an enemy in linear range. Henceforth it can act like a Voodoll and ally attacks will redirect damage.
Earth doll: takes the Attraction spell of The Block and AoE spell of Ultra Powerful
Water doll: takes the heal spell of The Inflatable and damage spell of The Greedy
Air doll: takes the -range and -mp spell of Mudoll and the Kmir spell of The Block

This has several key points to note:

1. When the Sadida doesn't need the dolls, they can be kept on the field without taking up turns.

2. A Sadida specialising in less than 3 elements will be limited in doll utility that goes with the identity of that element (Earth- AoE and tank, water- ST damage and heals, Air- positioning), creating the "class balance" that the developers seem to prefer recently.

3.A Sadida has to have enough range to interact with the seed for it to become a Doll. Otherwise, it is at the mercy of allies and enemies to convert it.

4. Passives can be introduced to increase cast cooldown of seed, duration as a doll and boosts its HP (focused strong summon mode), or reduce cast cooldown of seed, its duration as a doll and boost its damage (disposable summon mode).

5. Sadida's elemental spells/active can have different effect on seeds, or on dolls


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Score : 3090


Hearttyace#2739|2021-07-29 03:10:57
Edit: Not really. I also don't think the popular opinion for fogger is a "Tinker". A lot of your comparisons are reaching and could be used under any circumstance in both ways, Sinstro has orientation for example but doesn't hold a turn. Again, Playing around summons like that isn't a very enjoyable experience and actually something I'd like to see go. Sadida supporting their dolls isn't something that has always existed for the class, it was an addition after they included UP doll as "the doll summoner". This is a mechanic that Rogue had and was changed, I'd also like to see it removed on this end too.

There was an iteration of sadida that planted seeds and certain spells triggered them into specific dolls.

It's not a popular opinion for Foggenauts, and most people use it as a tank or distance damager, but that doesn't mean Foggenaut was not designed with summons in mind of a tinkerer/mechanic.

To explain, look at the Cat Tree, Sinistro, Cog, Blockade, Microbot and Turret

These are inorganic beings that grant their effect as long as their conditions are met. As long as a target is within range, as long as the object is triggered, they will apply their intended purpose.

Now look at the Bow Meow, Coney and Dolls

These are organic beings that react based on what is on the field. If you can control them, you can direct them to perform willful things that are not necessary their intended purpose - triggering traps, blocking LoS, setting up a field for phase change, choosing a designated target to attack, or even not attack to avoid autocounters, or for AI controlled summons, simply move closer to the enemy without need for expending AP on positioning.

This is what I meant by flavour and strategic value of dolls.

When you remove this flavour, all classes will tend towards a similar combat approach of heal/buff/direct attack.

If you look at a lot of soulless clone mmorpgs, you will tend to find that their skills are just different animations with different numbers. The way the skill is applied in combat has no variation- select target, apply damage, and if the developer actually put any effort into the game at all,  a DoT status effect

That’s why while I agree having dolls turn into mechanism-like totems make combat flow better, you will also lose a lot when you turn a class with high summoner flavour into a generic DoT class (like Feca or Sram) or a buff/debuff class (like Eniripsas)

Another way to look at this is looking at Sram's bloody blade, which makes an "Afterimage" attack, vs the Masq's Masked Spirit, which literally creates a copy that you can use to repeat an attack. Would you deny the masq their controllable double and turn it into a generic buff? 
If turn timer is an issue, I'd prefer to have dolls' turn timer hardcoded to 10 seconds and have a max cap of 4 on the field
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Score : 964


Thothus#6662|2021-08-14 13:37:40
 If turn timer is an issue, I'd prefer to have dolls' turn timer hardcoded to 10 seconds and have a max cap of 4 on the field

Weird AI bugs that cause them to stop and walking + casting animations (especially when nettled) makes the 10 seconds a hard ask.

Let's compare to the other summoner class, Osamodas. Most people don't mind Osamodas even though they take double the time to take their turns usually because their summons are impactful and doesn't take much to work around with.

Sadida's dolls right now are:
  • Inconvenient. We've all been there. 3 greedy dolls surrounding an enemy blocking the damage dealer's line of sight and they take forever to kill because of it. Yep.
  • Impractical. starts really underbuffed because Sadi needs to be hit for nettle buffs to hit. Gotta wait for 5 turns for them to be fully effective! Oh, pray they survive by then (they won't).
  • Time-wasters. once it gets to 4 dolls, they start racking up time, fast. and with the other two reasons above, frustration starts to boil...

You can see why most Sadidas are Lone sadidas (except for the dungeons you've mentioned, other classes with summons can do it too that are better than dolls in almost all other scenarios, you know..)

Where do I see doll sadidas? Tank PvP builds made for the purpose of boring their opponents to death.

I'm all for flavor, sure, but if it's already harming the convenience and over-all fun of the group, I'm willing to take the bullet and transform the identity to something else.
Thothus#6662|2021-08-14 13:37:40

That’s why while I agree having dolls turn into mechanism-like totems make combat flow better, you will also lose a lot when you turn a class with high summoner flavour into a generic DoT class (like Feca or Sram) or a buff/debuff class (like Eniripsas)

While I don't consider the class to have high summoner flavour to begin with, you do know that Sadidas are mostly used as buffer/debuffer nowadays? But that doesn't make them a "generic" class. Unlike Eniripsa's who's literally stereotyped into a healbot, Sadi is a support that can do so much more compared to them. Armor, remove resistances, remove MP, give damage boost, give resistances. That was their hook anyway before Masqueraiders kicked both of their butts and took the premiere support role.
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Score : 3090

You don't consider Sadida's to have a high summoner flavour? They are literally THE class that people think of next to osamodases when the word summoner is mentioned. People aren't going to mention Ouginak or Ecaflips.

All of my arguments aim to discuss on the possibilities of how we can keep the spirit of the summoning part of the class intact.

Three of four of its beta spells were things to do with creating and controlling other entities- I am a proponent of expanding it's design of entity control, instead of reverting to buffing/debuffing, because the latter is just so plain as a concept in combat- decide who needs the boost, click a target. With summoning, you introduce so much more tactics and variables to the battle. For me it keeps things interesting.

Though I understand creating separate identities will always have issues- AI will very likely perform unwanted actions, controllables with turn timers will create stalling in pvp and party player downtime in dungeons.

If the summoning is cut off, I'd at least like see the voodoo aspect expanded- disrupting the existing target's movements (like hoodfella's debuff), shuffling their intended spell into another upon cast, triggering their spells from their location on your turn, extending the spell of your range based on the position of existing entities. Wholesome witch doctor stuff.

Of course, that will be a lot harder to code than select target, modify value of parameter, so

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