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Combat and Magic Feedback R10

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

  1. Sunswords

    Sunswords Avatar

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    - 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 burst out laughing here, but yes, very good points from the OP. I'm not really able to comment much on the combat / magic system for now other than the fact that:
    1. Randomisation of a hand of moves doesn't sit well with people (for a lot of players I'm guessing) - to be fair, some players have specific tactics in mind and choose to lock their moves instead.
    2. Which leads to: combos currently cannot be done on locked glyphs
    3. Higher tier magic spells need more time to be reworked, the pay-off versus cost is not there - I will just use free spells with no interruption on tiers 1 - 2.
    I'm in agreement with you about:

    - 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​

    Regrettably, in an all-out slugfest between two entities (or players), it is always a race to see who hits the dirt first (or the prevention thereof). I don't think this will change.

    The only thing I could think of is that there would be more "utility" skills or options in and out of battle, such as:
    • Skill lockdown, Focus Leech, Rooting (not just cripple)
    • Item mechanics (bombs, traps)
    • Pre-battle prepping items (poisons, enchantments)
    This would extend the fight to factors beyond the immediate heat of the moment, and give leeway for more tactical preparation.

    Edit: To add, it's still a race to see who dies first, the aggressor or the defender - the above suggestions merely open the variety in which it can happen. I'm guessing that's better than nothing at this point.

    Also, I'm a big fan of skill mastery through constant use as mentioned by another poster - it's probably a balancing nightmare for Devs, but that would aid greatly in RP choices and player immersion with the chosen skillset.
     
  2. Vendetta

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    Others in this thread have mentioned the imbalance that casters get vs melee, so I won't harp on that. It should be obvious that staff and any armor less than plate is actually a good thing in just about every PVP situation and many PVE situations.

    I've experimented quite a bit in my 3 days of playing this Alpha and since I'm attempting to run a shield/bludgeon build, I've noticed several critical things:

    1) 1-h Bludgeon with shield doesn't stand up to 2-h sword users in PVP. Synching issues with the server give top-end damage dealers a huge advantage when things on screen do not match up with what's really happening.

    2) Shield + 1H just seems under-powered period. Even with strength buffs on and points heavily into Heavy Armor and Bludgeon base damage, very often I completely miss weak mobs, even skeletons and when I do hit, the damage is all over the place. Vs Liches it's an absolute joke what the auto attack damage is. 1-3 hps?

    3) Plate armor is overly penalized for fizzles. I'm sorry, but are people still limping around from UO's tank mages and someone thinks 70% fizzle is a justifiable penalty? Even with many points dumped in for a -10% reduction, 60% is a massive disadvantage in PVP and becomes a liability in PVE when you need it most (healing in a tight spot). (BTW, this is the #1 reason I even have an alternate mage build in cloth and staff and I've poured points into reducing the swap focus penalty. Frankly, swapping gear in combat should be impossible, but since plate armor is a joke in combination with most magic right now, and back-peddling ranged have the advantage most of the time, no wonder I'm doing it. I would suggest altering the game for release so that switching between builds only allows change of armor when out of combat, but weapons/decks can be swapped via main and alternate at any time.)

    4) DURABILITY. Wow, this is just flat-out annoying right now. First off, it's damn near impossible to find full durability plate in this alpha to begin with. You're lucky to find pieces with 50%, despite the fact that the things are misrepresented by the NPC merchants as 100 durability. (You have to hover over the items in the window to really know what's going on.)

    Then dumping points in to reduce damage to armor by 8% and having Field Repairs is just short of useless.

    In the Challenge Dungeon I am getting auto-hit by everything on the screen and losing what appears to be 1 durability point on every piece of armor at a rate of every 5 mins or even less. For cloth wearers this isn't a big deal. For Plate Armor, again, I have to say this is harsh. I'm not even aware when the armor is 0 durability typically until I'm suddenly getting the snot beat out of me in combat. I tried to bring along extra pieces, hoping I can swap out but at least 2x I ended up dying because I was simply getting overwhelmed and 0 durability pieces played a massive role in my demise.


    Conclusion: Plate melee, especially with shield + blunt, needs some love.

    The shield+spell combos are a nice touch though. Keep those. At least they don't fizzle once the combo is ready.

    Please note that my alternate build is a fire-heavy mage in mainly cloth, with staff and shield, so I can always see how the other half lives in every fight I try.
     
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  3. Poor game design

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    Sunswords, you've done a very good job applying logic to this problem. It's good logic. But I challenge you to think outside of the MMO box. Here's what I mean. Is Chess a game about "the guy that swings first has the advantage?" No, of course. So it's not that it can't happen, it's that it can't happen using the MMO mechanics of the last 20 years. I think you bring up interesting points and possible solutions within the contemporary framework of "damage and cool downs", and if the game is destined to be "one of those games" so be it. I hope the devs listen to your suggestions.

    But I'd like the game to break out of that thought process (damage and cool downs). I'd like the game to be more like a cross between Chess and Poker. The guy that "goes first" doesn't win those games. There's no way to "do the most damage" in those games. You can't MIN/MAX...it's impossible because the design of the games doesn't allow it. That's how I wish the developers would think here.
     
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  4. Poor game design

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    Here's my question to the developers. If you're making a mechanic where you have to 70% (or whatever it actually is) fizzle rate to make it either balanced or immerssive (and in this case it's probably for both reasons) then why have the mechanic at all? Why not just say that if you wear plate you can't cast the following spells (Traditional Mage Spells) BUT you can cast these other spells without penalty (Traditional Cleric Spells)?

    To me, this is the type of thinking we need. We can't balance the game with 10% Damage here and 5% Cool Down there, when what we should really be trying to do first is make an immerssive and fun game based on traditional fantasy roleplaying.
     
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  5. Sunswords

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    When you mentioned Chess and Poker - the first thing that came to mind was this:

    http://shrines.rpgclassics.com/psx/suikoden/duel.shtml

    3 Moves - Attack, Defend, Desperate Attack

    Attack chips away at Defend, Desperate Attack smashes up Attack by 2x , Defend completely nullifies Desperate Attack and turns it back at them for 1.5x.

    It's very much like the Rock, Paper, Scissor approach as mentioned by a poster in this thread. In this sense, there is a very deliberate selection of a specific skill(s) in a hedge against the enemy's move - except that this makes a huge difference to the battle and is far more streamlined than defense skill #14 versus attack skill #3, with hundreds if not thousands of permutations (and the Dev nightmares about how to balance this). There is also an element of pure risk - one that can turn completely negative (Defend versus Desperate Attack). What struck me was the simplicity of the mechanic and its beauty in describing ALL of gaming, since the very first game in known creation - as long as you have an enemy you need to defeat, how much risk are you willing to take? A better weapon, or a better piece of armour? Or in SotA's case, both, because we're classless.

    Before I get to how this may be a possible solution, I'd like to go on a side ramble of my observation of the issue at hand:

    Reiterating three problems:
    1. It's a DPS race
    2. Randomised Combat Element
    3. Classless System
    DPS Race: nothing can change, unless we add different victory outcomes. As a historical example of games such as Capture the Flag: it differs greatly in objective than Team Deathmatch - as a result, players respond to the objective and adapt accordingly. Without a point score system, time limit, or other possible outcomes. PvE and PvP is a race to the death and all factors will always be maximised to achieve the most efficient method. Truly, no way out of this box! What we can do is to put in variables such as skills (random and / or deliberate) to give players an edge over each other, and this is where we have gone down the past few decades in PvE / PvP.

    Randomised Combat Element: I do understand the grievance of some PvP-ers, especially those that pride and live on specific attack setups in a strict, disciplined and precise order. To many, the Deck system appears (and not without reason) chaotic, unpredictable, hard to reproduce for the same exact results every battle. This mentality is pitting one's strategy (or skill set) versus another player's. Those that love or are comfortable with the Deck system are probably not sticklers for twitch and razor thin precision (my assumption). What PvP-ers should realise is, we're all using the same system, so we're equalised in a more RNG prone manner, SotA mitigates this with semi-locked glyphs or a hard 9 (or was it 10) glyph hand as a compromise to standard MMO combat mechanics.

    Classless System: Coming back to the link and Rock Paper Scissor issue - technically the above '3-way stalemate' sounds like what all games have tried to achieve (Risk versus Reward) in combat, those who favour an attack heavy build will be penalised heavily in terms of defense and survivability (hence the Berserker concept). Without the frames of a 'Holy Trinity' in the case of a classless system like SotA, the lines are completely blurred: players would attempt to maximise all 3 of the 'Holy Trinity' at the same time. We're not going to escape this, because it's one of the cores of SotA. Hybrid tank mages or Player Megatrons (I get a kick out of this description), is going to happen unless something changes (E.G. limitations on deck swapping, armor swapping, time-sunk investment in skill trees like the old UO).

    So I finally come back to the above suggestion, my points below:
    1. Create a Trump Glyph bar that is separate from the existing Glyph Hand - it starts its cool down upon damage received or dealt. Everyone has the basic Trump Glyphs and can be activated at anytime after cool down - these should be key-binded for ease of change or activation. Defend Glyph CANNOT be activated. Trump Glyphs fight Trump Glyphs only. You may only have ONE Trump Glyph in the bar at anytime.
      • Attack Glyph - Deal an instant X amount of damage to the target, regardless of range, unblockable.
      • Defend Glyph - Reduce the Attack Glyph's damage by X%, regardless of range, if Desperate Attack Glyph is used, revert all damage and effects back to aggressor for 1.5X. Attack Glyph effects will still be applied, and will be applied first, if Defend Glyph has cleansing effects, it will be applied second.
      • Desperate Attack Glyph - Deals 2X amount of damage to the target, regardless of range
    2. Trump Glyphs can be an invested skill tree under Combat or Magic
    3. When I mean regardless of range, it can be activated quite a distance away, but still limited (though a large area) - this is to adjust for latency issues
    4. Optional - You can dress up the Glyphs to look more "class appropriate"
    5. Optional - lock both players in a synchronized 'duel' while the Trump Glyph is in animation.
    6. Optional (Advanced) - Attack, Defend and Desperate Attack Glyphs are PRE-SET combos with a limit to what you can put in it - E.g. (Attack Glyph for a Fighter - Rend + Whirlwind, Defend Glyph for a Fighter - Dodge + Health Potion, Desperate Attack for a Mage - Fiery Decay).
    7. Optional (Advanced) - Multiple pre-sets of Attack / Defend / Desperate Attack Glyphs - E.g. Attack Glyph 1 - Root spell + Fire arrow, Attack Glyph 2 - Offhand Attack + Flame Fist, etc.
    8. Optional - You can use the Attack / Desperate Attack Glyph in PvE. Too bad for the MOBs, they cannot defend or use it (maybe for boss monsters).
    Yes, now there's another thing to watch on the HUD, it needs improvement at this point, I'm glued to the HUD and plate spinning anyway (as aptly described by a forum user).

    Why do I suggest this system?
    1. It's a compromise for some PvP-ers who want bound skills and effects to unleash in combat, and can potentially setup a combo with different pre-set Attack Glyphs. (Reduces randomisation)
    2. It's a compromise for Role-players who are not min-maxed, you have now have a fighting chance to reverse the enemy's attack or activate your own back-up plan.
    3. It complements the current system, and is not a stretch to input.
    To the Devs if you read this, I hope it's worthy of your consideration, it's the best I can do to help your 'rock and hard place' situation with combat. You'll still need to fix all the previously mentioned issues by the OP.

    @ Baron, how can I send this to the Devs to consider?

    Edit: Spelling, punctuation and extra point (8) under Trump Glyph.
     
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  6. Vendetta

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    Whew, I just got a taste of a few rounds of random PVP and it's right along the lines of what I expected and possibly worse. 2-h weapons + stun chains are king. It hardly matters what armor they are wearing and it certainly didn't matter that I was in full plate and a shield. Well, it did matter -- I fizzled a lot trying to do emergency heals and only was able to heal by switching decks to a cloth caster and pray that I didn't get interrupted or worse, stunned.

    The Decks these opponents are using are probably geared almost entirely to stuns, max damage on 2-Hs and a heal or two. The stunning is so immediate, so repeatable, that more than a few times we stunned one another at the same time (shield bash vs whatever). The randomness of the decks makes using a shield for defense vs melee quite limited. If I became any more defensive with sword and board by tossing in even more cards along that defense line, I'd never kill a thing.

    Server dynamics involved in the fights also are a slippery slide thing, literally. I'm hopeful that will improve a great deal over the next few months. Getting hit from what appeared to me to be 2 or 3x weapon lengths away was common.

    Flavor of the Day combat builds will have to be avoided by the devs. I would say nerf stuns ( -duration, + cool downs) and shouldn't plate armor and/or shield, if it's going to be high fizzle especially, at least convey some natural reductions to stun chances?

    I doubt I'll have time to rework my toon into a 2-h user before this alpha leg is over, but maybe next time.
     
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  7. Poor game design

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    Good post, good observations, but I'm going to highlight some areas of it to make a point.

    The parts in yellow are the way most games try to balance themselves. The point I'm trying to make, in part, is that it doesn't work. The moment you "NERF" something, other things become out of balance that were not a problem before. The moment you "increase damage" here or "decrease cool downs" there, the game foundation changes and you've basically just moved all the rules around. People figure it out, and then instead of "max damage on 2-Hs and a heal or two" they are using whatever else is "the best".

    This doesn't have anything to do with the deck system, it's just the way combat and magic have been implemented (in all games). It's wrong, and we need to stop thinking like this. I know I'm not going to change everyone's minds in this thread or this post, but what we need to do (if we can) is stop thinking about "fixes" in terms of damage and cool downs. We need to get rid of damage and cool downs. That's the problem.
     
  8. StrangerDiamond

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    I'm following this thread, you can be sure the devs are going to read it Vendetta...

    I'm also with Baron Francisco Drocis on this one !

    The problem however with getting the point across is that King Gariott himself stated that he did this system because he tought in UO is was ALL about min/maxing...

    I don't know how many old UO players feel insulted by this, because in our minds the new system is 10x worse and reminiscent of WoW...

    In fact all those that played UO's pvp and enjoyed it were eagerly WAITING for more out of combat skills to complexify the amount of unrelated actions you could do to either save your skin or win.

    Age of Shadows ruined it all in UO why ? because they diverged from what we perceived to be roleplaying and aimed rather towards roll playing... you had to combine this and that weapon to get the best build... sounds familiar ?

    Now instead of having the stats on the weapons we have them on the skills and with combos ?

    I watched quite alot of pvp fights in my sejour... some consistent winners just told me its all about the build, they just mash the buttons and hope for some combos... yet they win.

    Totally random... and besides, how easily is it to create a sophisticated macro thats going to identify glyphs and create INSTANT combos ?! So many did it in UO... now why would they not do the same thing here ? You've created a system to facilitate it !

    I'm sorry but this is beyond any bounds of reason, thats why its going to be extreemly hard to get the point across without some people feeling ****hurt. :(
     
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  9. mike11

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    After chat today and my own research some of the user videos of R10, I am feeling positive, creative and enthused.

    More stream of thought observations and speculations;

    - Stacking will be common place and utilized as the "norm" for many fighters

    - more "types" of combat synergy is coming, to address the min-max issues. I guess things like Parry and Dodge will get more interactive, possibly combined with the "roll" style "double-tap" action, which I think is a good idea. I think abilities will need to have classifications suited to make this happen.

    Classifications of Abilities - So Abilities can have more Purpose.

    - stealth, movement, dodge, surprise, defend, attack, range, magic, heal... These are all examples of "types" of ability which can "look" for these cards in your opponents deck so that there is less of a "dps funnel" created, through decks.

    More examples could be..

    - Pairs and 3s and 4s of stacks will have the chance to "cancel one another out" in card combat, the end result for players could more interactiveness of Decks prior to actual ability choices. good!!!

    - Card stealing, e.g. "Taunt", "Silence", even "knockdown" will remove cards from your enemy deck. Taunts would take melee cards away and Silences would take magic cards away.

    - Card blocking, e.g. "Shield" or "Heavy Defense" will block melee kinds of cards or glyphs

    - Full House combo - 3 of a kind and 2 of a kind. I think it would be cool for the cards to move quicker during combos like this. We then see All 5 cards used up at once!

    - Free card given - card given on perhaps, "critical", or "defend" or "luck".

    - Risk - Hold onto a stack for too long and you could lose all (but success would be worth it).

    - Risk - Draw a card or dispose of cards to quickly you run the chance of losing your stacked card
    etc

    edit:

    - Bluff !! Have to have a bluff card, you just have to!! Perhaps phoney cards could be shown if combat takes that kind of turn in the future..


    Somethings we FOR SURE need to address before this thing will be complete:

    #1 Less pure randomness involved with ability flow! It should not be "raining abilities", rather we should see "class styles" develop (hopefully)
    #2 more thinking involved in card choices (beside DPS or heal output), such as my thoughts above on direct deck-deck interactions e.g. blockers and stealers and even being able to see some of the opponent hand.
    #3 Differentiate "draw" cards and "combo" cards from regular non-special abilities. This could be done through "Hotbars" or GUI elements like heads up ability display. I do not think it is working to have Alchemy (for example) mixed in with other Draw cards.
    #4 I would like to see additional ideas with the card decks or Glyphs to give a new "type" of card such as Moon card or Chaos card... or Virtue cards. The purpose of these would be to add Lore and History and Alignment kinds of choices into combat, also a Social card if your playing with a party.

    cheers
     
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