(last updated: 07/31/19)
MINDSET can be considered a more advanced form of STYLE, in that it has similar, but stronger, effects. While STYLE represents simply a shift in fighting stances and tactics on your part, MINDSET is far deeper. Noteworthy psychological conditions, changes to your physical status tend to be represented by MINDSET. The effects can vary from person to person.
Like STYLE, a character with MINDSET has two modes; normal, and one (1) alternate mode. MINDSET must occupy an Ability slot in each mode. Each character can only have one Signature Ability; this cannot change between modes. In all other cases, the Abilities can vary between modes.
Where MINDSET differs from STYLE is that your alternate mode can have significantly different stats from your normal mode. Also, while STYLE restricts the number of attacks you may have in each mode, MINDSET allows full attack lists in each mode. Also note a character can only possess one Signature move; the Signature move can be the same in both modes, but it must exist in your character's primary Mode. MINDSET also allows different Dramatic Moments and Traits between the two modes.
The tactical drawback MINDSET has is that switching MINDSET modes in the middle of a fight, by using the command +mindset, takes up an entire action. While you can switch modes and attack immediately afterwards in a STYLE switch, MINDSET typically requires you ONLY change, then attack on your next pose/turn; that is to say that MINDSET mode-swaps take the place of an Attack. Also, as it is an Active Ability, you cannot also use another Active Ability in the same turn, such as +brace or +resolve.
The use of +mindset can be hidden from those who don't possess Analysis by using the commands: +mindset/focus or +mindset/pass instead of just +mindset. Doing so may conceal the MINDSET shift from your opponent, though if the MINDSET shift is a very distinguishing IC change for your character, anyone reading your pose should be able to detect the change anyway.
Although there are numerous situations in which STYLE or MINDSET may be used, keep in mind this rule of thumb: if the differences between each mode require a significant change in stats, and not simply attacks, that constitutes MINDSET. Primarily changing attacks and little else constitutes STYLE.
Please keep in mind that MINDSET is rather rare. It will generally require a very interesting app to get. There will probably be some rules and regulations on when you can use the mode. Some, like Iori's Riot of the Blood, cannot be accessed by conscious decision; only certain events can trigger it, and these are likely to happen only within the scope of a special plot event. FC applicants will be told what the conditions for usage are upon being approved and awarded the character. OC applicants will need to arrive at some kind of agreement with staff.
MINDSET modes where one mode is superb at Physical, and the other mode is top-notch at Chi, or other such 'min-max' arrangements are generally not allowed. You're welcome to try, but we'll probably turn you down. Flat upgrades are also discouraged; the new Mode can be an overall improvement over the old one, but some stats will probably need to go down, and apping for an outright upgrade may make access to the mode more restrictive.
There is a variation of MINDSET called AWAKEN. AWAKEN is identical to MINDSET except it does not give access to the /focus, /pass commands. It also cannot be applied for. It is usually used for temporary plot builds on FCs and OCs alike. These builds should not be casually used and therefore AWAKEN does not count against a character's build in any way.
For special notes on character advancement with MINDSET, be sure to read the "Mindset Advancement" section below.
In TOP: MINDSET has no TOP mechanic.
B Rank: Access to +mindset.
SIG ABIL: Access to +mindset/shift.
MINDSET only exists at Rank B.
Normally, no other abilities can gain ranks higher than the Signature Ability's rank, but this restriction is waived if MINDSET is the Signature Ability. In other words, it is permissible to have, say, S Rank BRACE and B Rank SIG MINDSET.
Signature Ability -- SHIFT
While for many characters, a change in MINDSET can only happen from specific, climactic or dramatic circumstances, other characters have mastered MINDSET-like shifts in combat potential that they can alternate between with far greater ease. These shifts are still far more dramatic than adopting a different stance or style, and still take some time. The character's entire demeanor, mentality, and focus should also be changing between the two modes, to justify the significant statistical shifts as well as potentially possessing an entire different set of mastered Abilities, Traits, and DMs.
- Access to MINDSET/SHIFT.
- Using MINDSET/SHIFT will queue a mode swap for the end of your turn. In
other words, you will use MINDSET/SHIFT, then perform the action you want
to finish your turn with, such as attacking, focusing, or interrupting.
Once your action executes, your mode will swap to your alternate mode.
- Using MINDSET/SHIFT constitutes your ability use for that turn. You
cannot use an active ability and also MINDSET/SHIFT in the same turn.
- There are no limits to how many times you can use MINDSET/SHIFT in a given fight.
NOTE: There are not a lot of concepts that lend themselves to SHIFT. MINDSET swaps that require special IC circumstances, such as awakening an Orochi Mode or 'Evil' mode, will not usually be what this mechanic is for. Concepts that simply swap fighting styles will also not justify this mechanic. There needs to be a significant shift in the very personality or psyche of the character to switch between the modes. It is highly recommended that you discuss your character concept with staff before applying for a character with this Signature Ability.
MINDSET is a unique ability in the game in that existing characters may learn it, but with restrictions. Mindsets are effectively two separate personalities, so figuring out how to improve the skills of each personality is going to take substantially more effort than improving just one.
If we consider this ICly, it makes sense that a character who is evolving two separate personalities and two separate approaches to fighting will grow slower, overall, than a character who is focused on improving a single style of fighting. Each personality only gets to "drive" for part of the time, after all, so training time is limited; the upfront AP savings of MINDSET to be balanced out by the higher cost of progressing MINDSET beyond the starting point. Accordingly, character advancement is a bit trickier for MINDSET builds compared to other characters.
The following rules apply when spending AP on a MINDSET Build:
- If you buy a package of 8 stat points, the 8 stat points will be granted to both modes. Both modes will always advance by the same amount. This is because stats reflect a fundamental growth of the character's physique, which would apply regardless of which mindset is in control at that moment.
- Purchases of abilities, like SMASH, BRACE, etc., will only appear in only one mode. This means that if you want to add EVADE to one mode and RUSH to the other mode, you need to spend the AP to buy two separate abilities. You cannot spend the AP for 1 Ability and get 2 Abilities out of it. This is because these active abilities reflect aspects of the mindset itself and the character will be growing the mindset-specific aspects independently from each other. Unlike STYLE characters, MINDSET makes no distinction between "character trait" abilities and non-"character trait" abilities.
- Attacks are purchased one at a time for each mode independently.
- DMs and Traits are also purchased one at a time for each mode independently. (This is another key difference between MINDSET and STYLE.)
In short, yes, growing MINDSET builds will be a slower process than growing single-mode builds. Consider the AP cost savings that MINDSET users receive from day one:
- 7 more specials than a non-MINDSET build
- 3 more supers than a non-MINDSET build
- Up to 2 more abilities at R1 than a non-MINDSET build
By these measures, you are already saving a ton on build costs by taking MINDSET up front.
Note: If your character does not have MINDSET and wants to select it as a brand-new ability, and is currently at Ratio 3.0 or above, your character will suffer a 1 Ratio loss in power in order to provide the benefits listed above.