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Combat and Magic Feedback R10

Discussion in 'Release 10 Feedback' started by Baron Drocis Fondorlatos, Sep 26, 2014.

  1. Poor game design

    Poor game design Avatar

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    As of build 156.

    Damage and Cool Downs (assuming we're stuck with this, here are things that need changed for balance purposes)

    I know it's pre-alpha. So although I'm going to talk a little about things "being overpowered" and I'm going to talk about "damage" and "cool downs" I'm also going to try to avoid saying things like "X skill does 3 more damage on average than Y skill". I know that's not going to be helpful. Instead, when I talk about something being "overpowered" or broken, I'm going to talk about it conceptually in terms of how this impacts Rolelpaying, because this should be everyone's number one concern.

    If there's a specific areas where the devs would like to hear possible solutions, I'm sure I could write volumes on that. But for now I'm going to offer only feedback from one roleplayer's point of view.

    - The glyph system is not "the problem". The glyph system is a good idea that has a lot of potential, but the implementation of the glyph system has been poorly applied to a roleplaying game. As stated in other threads, the backbone of this combat system is designed with modern MMO powergaming in mind. The combat system is rooted in contests of DPS (Damage Per Second).

    At the end of the day, the design rewards players that min/max builds, and not players that think on their feet or come up with a strong pre-planned strategy. Best Builds win the day, and that's not good for roleplaying.

    - Staves and Wands are currently overpowered. Not because they do too much damage (they do not), but because they work as a ranged autoattack that works as long as you're not casting spells or actively doing something else at the time. Players can use them while running (even under the shoulder sometimes) and they do not require focus. They are essentially a FREE attack at range. Oh yeah, they're also fantastic at interrupting opponents spells.

    Staves require no reagents and suffer very little durabilty issues becauase players are using them at range and not hitting things over the head with them (I assume, or maybe they just have a very low durability modifier). All in all, staves and wands are whack.

    - All (or almost all) of the combos tell players to be hybrid mages. This may have been for testing purposes, and that would be an understandable position to take. However, traditional roles will require just as much testing here as hybrid roles, so I don't buy that argument. To me this speaks directly against roleplaying (or at least in-spite of it), saying "you're going to have to use a little magic to compete" and "you need to carry weapons to win in pvp". Although I know this can easily be rectify, I'm not really interested in having more traditional (all magic) or (all fighting) combos, as much as I'm interested in having a combat and magic system that encourages THAT more than it does super hybrid tank mage.

    - Deck Swapping seems reasonable when I think about a player using a bow, and then putting that down and using a sword. But it doesn't sound reasonable when I think about a player in full platemail wielding a two handed axe, swapping a deck and turning into a robe wearing fire mage in the middle of combat! I don't really want to fight against Player Megatrons that are more than meets the eyes.

    - I'm not sure why we have the ability to have 1 to 5 glyphs? If most players are anything like me, then they probably MIN/MAX their decks to either have 1 or 5 glyphs. 1 for a spell you only plan to use once, like the Fire Elemental. You can lock this glyph down and then use it prior to entering combat. Or 5 for a spell like Fire Arrow that you intend to spam all over the place (heck you'd probably put all 20 spells as Fire Arrow if they'd let you!). :)

    - Speaking of Fire Arrow. Why in the world does Ice Arrow need Reagents and Fire Arrow doesn't? Casual over-site? You guys hate the water spells? I'll take a reagentless Fire Arrow over a reagentless Ice Arrow any day. Again, I know this can be fixed easily and the devs have bigger fish to fry right now. That's not the point. This is an example of one of MANY things that will never be balanced in this system. Because think about it, what are the options? They could make everything require reagents, or they could bump Ice Arrow down to a 2nd tier spell (adjusting damage and cool downs to be more in line with Fire Arrow). But what unintended consequences does that have? If Fire Arrow and Ice Arrow are now both the same damage and cool down wise, isn't that just encouraging players to have 10 instead of 5 magic arrows in their deck? There's no balance here, it's all just shuffling around the imbalance. That's exactly why these damage and cool down systems never work right and there's always a "best build".

    - Knocking someone down or knocking someone back has very little meaning. Which is good because there's no active way to block it in the first place. But when someone gets knocked back, with for example a Mace, it just makes it so you have to chase them. Even if you're using a polearm the advance you should receive is really not something you're receiving with these skills because your opponent gets back up so fast and you're out of range and (often) unable to hit them for extra damage. (experiences may vary with this one, I'm sure some people will claim to be an expert at hitting people when they're down or manipulating the battlefield with these crowd control options, but I think that experience will be rare).

    - Shields are static and (practically speaking) non-functional. Again, everything is damage (and damage reduction) and cool downs. Shields can't just be a defensive value or a skill that you use on occasion because you have it. Shields should BLOCK and help set up COUNTER attacks. Of course, if you can BLOCK and COUNTER ATTACK, then there's absolutely no need to have damage and cool downs of any kind. We could take that completely out of the game and be all the better for it.

    - Fighting is too long and too twitchy. I hit you with a fireball you're dead. The end. That's the way it should be. Can we balance this? Absolutely we can balance this. Can it be fun, absoltuely it can fun. Will it happen, it sure doesn't look like it.

    - Why can players move through MOBS and other players? During PVP, I often see players attack and move right through another player, then turn and attack that player's back as they try to figure out where their opponent left. It's an incredibly smart and understandable tactic, but it's horrible for roleplaying and it's counter to any type of competitive play. In short, it's a cheap move that exploits poor design (yes it's pre-alpha, I get it).

    - Range between opponents is important, but more so for players that carry traditional combat weapons (mace, sword, dagger, etc..) It's very difficult to judge where your opponent is. The skill tree lights up when a skill can be used, but often this is incorrect! A player or a MOB can be on a rock or a weird incline in the game and you'll think you're hitting them but you really aren't. I think the coding for this "highlight" should be changed to automatically calculate if ACTUAL damge will occur and if it does, then and only then would the highlight appear to show that you were in range. Yes I know this is going to take more server traffic, so if there's a better way great - just giving feedback.

    - Latency in PVP is a big issue, it will always be a big issue. Unless of course we create a more controlled (turn based) like environment. It doesn't mean we need to take everyone's freedom away. It just means we have to be more thoughtful and less spammy with our attacks and we have to have more QUALITY movement versus so much QUANTITY movement. Meaning instead of having 30 second battles where the average player attacks 40 times and moves 50 times. Maybe we could find a system where players move and attack at half that.

    - Reagents for some spells but not others hurts roleplaying, but it's also harder to balance (see Fire Arrow example above). There are also many spells where it just doesn't make any sense to allow spells to be cast (unless it's just for testing) without reagents. Summoning a Fire Elemental is a great example, but so too is creating a light spell. Why would anyone need a more powerful light spell when it doesn't cost anything to recast to begin with?

    - Off hand attacks need to be more dynamic. Instead of making off-hand attacks have their own skills, I think you should make them ALL combos. The off hand just doesn't attack at all unless it's part of a combo. This should actually be easier to balance with the other skill trees by doing it this way, and it gives more of a high level attack to people using two weapons. As it stands right now, because the off hand attack is it's own skill tree, every time you use your off hand, you're NOT using your main weapon. That's never going to balance correctly doing it that way (in this DPS intensive system).

    That's all I have for now. I may add more to this list if something else of value comes up.
     
  2. Smokinjoe14

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    Very good points.

    I'm not looking to start a debate about how this isn't UO2, etc. But... I enjoyed that UO did not have 'combos.' The simplicity of 'hit/shoot' auto-attack was nice, albeit boring to some. The skill came in the movement, and use of supporting skills/items. i.e. potions and bandages.

    Melee combat suffers not having 'ranged' attacks. But costs no 'ammo/regs.'
    Ranged combat suffers not having good protection. But costs 'ammo for archers' and should 'require regs for mages.'

    Archer/Mages get 'roots.'
    Melee only has close-quarters-combat stuns.
    An 'authoritative shout' or 'command to halt!' "root" would be nice for melee types. Just require that they need regs for it :) so all is fair.
     
  3. mike11

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    long post, i just read the first part and i have a similar mind.

    Right now we have player vs card generation with a main goal of a dps race as the only means to defeat a enemy.

    My issue is the cards vs the player. What it should be is your deck vs the enemy deck, and not have dps as the focus (of min max) strategies.

    Take any decent card game and look at it. The point is to put your moves up against your opponents. Not to add up the sum of your points in a race to the death.

    Add risk factor like the option to draw a extra card but with the chance to lose the round if you've gone over a set limit (eg 21).

    hope example is not too bad.

    Sent from my GT-S5690M using Tapatalk 2
     
  4. Smokinjoe14

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    Let's break combat down into a simple concept:
    Shield = Rock
    Mage\Archer = Paper
    Melee = Scissors
    Polearm = Long Scissors

    Primary Ability Match-up:
    Paper > Rock | (ranged damage trumps Close-Quarters)
    Rock > Scissors | (Shield blocks flashy-swords or slow polearm)
    Scissors > Paper | (flashy-weapons slice up cloth)

    Secondary Ability Match-up:
    Rock > Paper | (Shield bash knocks mage unconscious)
    Scissors > Rock | (feign attack opens gap in shield defense)
    Paper > Scissors | (root spell holds scissors at bay)

    With the above 'guideline' in mind, the other thing that shifts these around is distance and rate of fire. With increased distance, ranged gets the advantage. With reduced distance, melee gets the advantage.

    But each user can hybrid or focus on one, two, or three skill lines.
    So this changes the balance during a fight, since a player can switch from melee to ranged instantly.

    Maybe two things would inject more life into the fights...

    1. Distance modifiers: Shout-Stuns or Bolas root weapons for melee/archers, and PUSH! spell for mages (although I think there's a wind gust spell already) and Bow-Bash for archers. To allow each type to PUSH/PULL opponents into or away to shift the flow of battle more.
    2. Increase the skill point costs of 'mastering' a skill line, so the hybrid builds cannot be a "Master of 3 Skills" set it so they can only be "Average of 3-5 Skills"

    Also, rate of fire needs to be balanced with distance and ammo/reg cost in mind.
    Such that the most powerful spell should only hit as hard as the most powerful melee attack.
    The difference is that it can be cast from a distance from the target.

    Mastered Skills (swords, polearms, archery, fire, ice magic etc.) should do x2 or x3 damage of non-mastered skills. Such that the dabblers of magic will never be as proficient as the master wizards and grand master swordsmen. But at the cost of not being "jack of all trades." This will encourage mastery as well as cooperative play between players in multi-player mode.

    Since characters in single-player-mode cannot enter the multi-player mode, then damage output in the Single-Player mode can be as high as you want when compared to Player vs Monster.
     
  5. Poor game design

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    Exactly, you get it!

    It's just like in Poker, everyone has the same chance of getting the same type of cards. That's what makes it "fair" is that while luck may determine what kind of hand you get, luck doesn't determine your skill as a player because you have tools to bluff and fold and live another day...

    It's also like Chess (see example in the long post above).

    Thanks for the reply. I appreciate knowing that I'm not the only one that understands this.
     
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  6. Smokinjoe14

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    Hey! My post was long, but it was shorter than yours! :p
     
  7. da.n.ynu.tk.os.@gmail.com

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    Baron Drocis this is an excellent post and I agree with pretty much every point you raised here.

    The stated goal for this combat system was always to do 'something different'. This system is a complete failure of that goal.

    Sure it looks a little different and tries to hide it with the annoying randomness of the glyphs, but the core mechanics are nothing that hasn't been done a thousand times before. It is not even done better or even as well as other games either. There are plenty of things that have been done in other games, that could have been implemented here to make combat quite good and exciting, even if not completely new.

    Context specific skills would have been much more strategic and tactical than making things randomized.
    For examples:
    Attacks that can only be used in certain positions such as behind or to the side of your enemy would introduce a need to be aware of your positioning and actually jockey for a better position during combat.
    Make shields give you a chance to block an attack completely instead of just a straight damage reduction. Then give skills that can only be used when you successfully block, or when you successfully dodge, or parry.
    Make spell combos that chain off of each other in interesting ways. A stun followed by gust knocks a person over instead of just away for example.
    The same could be done for attacks, chain them in interesting ways in order to get your combo effects.

    Note that this also elimites the problem everyone talks about with all skills just being 'damage on a cooldown'. You could have a system with no cooldowns at all, using context specific requirements as your restriction on more powerful abilities.

    Mechanics like this are what makes a combat system fresh and exciting. These are the kinds of things that make combat take skill, feel more intuitive and realistic, and fit in well with roleplaying.
     
  8. Poor game design

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    I don't think it's time to say complete failure. I have some fun in the combat system and it could be Stage 0.3 of a 20.0 plan the devs have yet to include us on. But yeah, thus far I'm not seeing anything that tells me that's what's happening, and if combat is similar to this (with polish) a few months from now, that's going to be very disappointing.


    Contextual skills without damage and cool downs is exactly what I'm looking for. My big fear is that the devs have already chosen a lane to drive in and it's right down MMO Street. The good news is that they always listen, they always read, and once they figure out something is "wrong" they change it. So here's hoping they figure this out soon. :)
     
  9. Poor game design

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    I love the idea of having the concept be simple. Rock, paper, scissors is a fair example. Although that might be too simple for many gamers (myself included).

    But I agree that it would be better than the DPS wars we have now. :)
     
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  10. StrangerDiamond

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    I also hope for a roleplaying game and not a MMO, aka what Ultima Online was poised to be, but was poisoned not to be...

    that is the question...
     
  11. redfish

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    I was just thinking about the fact that the passive skills in magic -- just interpreting how they would figure into game lore -- are basically designed with the idea of reagent-less casting in mind. How can a skill increase your fire damage (Highly Flammable) and another increase your range (Fire Reach) and another increase your resistance (Fire Proof), unless there's a presumption that magic skills are partly innate, through some kind of personal affinity, rather than drawn from the power of the reagents? And if magic is drawn from personal affinity rather than reagents, that basically justifies reagent-less casting. Because if its innate in the game lore, you don't really need reagents to explain it.

    But, these damage addition and resistance mods are the least attractive part of the glyph system, as you've been arguing. Its what turns combat into a min-maxing number game. Giving more damage by using more powerful reagents is one thing, because you give up your reagents in return, but giving more damage through a skill is just creating a build by crunching the numbers. And we naturally have more powerful and less powerful spells of the same element anyway, and more can be created potentially by combos. Think of combining Fire Arrow with Fireball to create a "Rain of Fire" spell that is an AoE where dozens of Fire Arrows rain down and each do the same damage as the individual spell. Or a different spell "Conflagration" or "Immolation" which would be similarly created and sets onto the target a burst of flames. That's more interesting than min-maxing numbers.

    If they're really bent towards reagent-less casting, it might even make more sense to make the innate skill an affinity skill instead of a damage mod skill. So 'Fire Affinity', and the more you've invested skill points into Fire Affinity, the less dependent you are on reagents. Or, a compromise: make something like Fire Affinity a pre-requisite for the other passive/innate skills. Or just gaining more affinity the more you gain in level, so beginners need to use full reagents.
     
  12. redfish

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    Something on the same topic...

    I find it incredibly disorienting to run after an enemy who is running from me, because of issues with the camera. The enemy fleeing will naturally switch directions to get away from me, but following sometimes, my camera gets flipped around and I don't know what's going on.

    I don't know whether other people here have had this problems or have any ideas of their own.. but an auto-follow ability might be helpful. The player could then choose to speed up the pursuit through sprinting. Would have to be made so ranged fighters could also use it, and the auto-follow wouldn't force them to get too close.
     
  13. Smokinjoe14

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  14. StrangerDiamond

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    Lets be fair however, if the devs were to heed any of this, they would need to hire at least 4 more programmers... and enter a series of rebalancing only akin to the worse nightmares.

    As I've said previously I'm willing to be patient, I can't see anything not being done by a dedicated crew with this much funding... Maybe Richard is playing it safe, but he is experienced in other areas, such as durability of purpose and fetching new structures at random in unbeknownst places.

    I was kind of sad tho that my incredibly good suggestion about the fact that we should have a way to "preselect" our skills that pop up depending on what we can know of the person we suspect might be attacking us.

    Say someone is running towards you with clear intents to make the exercise simple... I see this huge armored knight that probably can't use magic much and has a flaming weapon.

    In roleplaying I don't want to look at my skillbar and see resist ice, I want to see resist fire, and shield parade. My avatar is also not dumb in roleplay so he wants some of this selection to be done automatically, and the rest of the choices would appear on the screen bigger so you can easily say which to discard because you know he's going to hit hard with that sword. Maybe the surprise effect would have a purpose then, but did we mention anything about rogues yet ?

    Thats what I meant by implemented wrong in my case, the system is really all inside out. I emphasize because I think its easy to fix and I'm not complaining, this is one of the solutions I freely gave and I know oh I know how much its worth, especially now.
     
  15. Poor game design

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    I don't care if it takes a long time to balance. I care that it begins to balance and make sense and have roleplaying elements soon.

    Each release (and to be fair this was a polish release and the last release had a lot of key people sick and out of the office for new babies), but each release has appeared to get further away from roleplaying elements where combat is concerned.
     
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  16. redfish

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    I guess its possible too that the mage's form of movement or of mental concentration needs to be adapted to every spell differently, too, like with "chi magic", but still draws the power from the reagents.
     
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  17. StrangerDiamond

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    I'm just playing devil's advocate here... its going to be a family endeavor after all...

    I'm saddened to think we're leaving the adolescent man behind without a second tought, when we have never really appreciated his freedom.

    It sure is however hard to turn back, I would applaud anyone that would but can we ask it of them ?

    Simply understanding this rethoric is not in everybody's reach...
     
  18. Borg

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    Glyph system is not the problem , having to look your deck all the time is the problem.


    You forgot to mention they can even run backwards at same speed, so the advantage is even greater.

    And the game mechanics to create combos is another way to get your vision to your deck out of the real combat.

    Agree 100%


    Knocking down and Knocking back opponents place your opponent out of range , if you add some latency to that then you just can forget playing a melee character in pvp.



    Yep the DPS direction is taking the combat system is scaring me :(. exactly opposite that we were promised.



    I suppose they will fix that as well as the running backwards issue.


    When I read my combat logs it is so disappointing finding out that you missed 50% of your hits due to out of range , again Latency works against melee players.


    X
     
  19. Poor game design

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    Thanks for the reply, Borg. Good points.
     
  20. Borg

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    I would like to see next points included in next release.

    • Fix running backwards speed.
    • Fix running through other players.
    • Add some strategy to combat moves.(actually all is about stun , hit , stun, hit)
    • Melee weapons range detection should be improved and maybe weapon range slightly increased.
    • Add a way to remove or reduce Particle effects in combat, they are simply annoying. (when using healing inside sewers you see nothing at all for several seconds)
    • Add a way to selectively hide GUI elements, including deck (yes I use fixed deck so don't need to see it, the fact is that I don't want to see it, I only want to see health bars on screen.)
    • Add a way to move GUI elements like health bar to any screen position we want.(Compass already has that functionality)

    Thx.