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Decks are not a problem

Discussion in 'Release 10 Feedback' started by Baron Drocis Fondorlatos, Sep 28, 2014.

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  1. Poor game design

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    The implementation of decks has been poor. But the "decks" are not the problem. The integration of decks with the current combat system is the problem. People tend to focus way too much on the decks and not enough on the fact that the combat system is essentially just a DPS shootout.

    Many people seem to think that if the decks would just go away and players could bind all the skills to their keyboard however they like, combat would be great! No, combat would still be unbalanced, unsophisticated, and very similar to every other game made in the last 20 years.

    I know there are a lot of people that like this type of DPS shootout, but I am not one of them. I previously posted several larger more detailed observational threads, but I wanted to address the key issue of "what's wrong with combat" at a high level, without focusing on the "deck" part of it, as so many other people are want to do.

    The current implementation of the combat system has failed to do the following things:

    - Adjust for Latency: Too much free movement and the ability to move through players makes latency a determining factor in PVP success.

    - Consider the impact to Roleplaying: I don't even know where to begin on this. There's almost zero consideration for roleplaying in the current combat system. Players are encouraged if not mandated (if they want to compete) to be a hybrid mage.

    The worst part of power gaming is built into the system by rewarding "best builds" over traditional and foundational fantasy genre classes. Yes, of course I know it's a "classless system" but it's still a roleplaying game and when you can't be a warrior without using "spells" and you can't be a real mage without using weapons, it highlights the contemporary MMO "roll" playing mentality.

    - Build meaningful Tactical and Strategic Rules: On a macro level, there's only ONE strategy, build a deck that lets you do more DPS than your opponent. On a micro level, there's only ONE viable tactic, ATTACK and HEAL. There's no depth beyond these single goals.


    I believe these are the three major overarching problems with the combat system. I also believe that using decks can and probably will be a part of the solution. However, the one thing the decks have the most problem with is the fact that players are forced to keep their eyes on the decks and not on the action. As many other players (including myself) have suggested, the solution for this would probably be to move the "decks" behind the scenes and substitute the glyphs for animations that told the same story in a different way.

    But to be clear, just changing the animation will NOT fix the arching problems listed above. The problems I've listed above will require the combat system to be far more than just a DPS shootout.
     
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  2. Violation Clauth

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    That's a specific request without specifics. Have a game to say "like this" to give a clearer idea of the expectation? I don't disagree with some of your points but I have a hard time thinking of a better system. HALP! me visualize please :)
     
  3. Malchor1

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    I like your post Baron Drocis and was thinking that as i struggled to play a magic only mage. If you used a locked deck and choose not to use the glyph system it's quite frustrating. By default you must be weapon wielding. I tried dual wielding a dagger with a wand but that didn't seem to work and not sure why. And when your best spells do little more damage then the weapons and melee attacks and reagents cost 20g per piece (which i'm assuming will be modified in time) being a mage made little sense. Root has been toned down to be more of a nuisance than an effective spell and i suspect lots of these tweaks and the direction of the balancing is to appease PvP community wirh less focus on PvE or roleplaying. PvP i suppose is the bigger financial selling point
     
  4. Akrondar

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    I Agree with a lot of what you bring on table, Baron Drocis.

    I said it some time ago. It would be great to have hand equipped items that enhance pure casters on different ways, depending on properties of the specific item.
     
  5. Poor game design

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    I've come to the conclusion that building hypothetical solutions is counter productive in the current environment. When I look at the combat system I don't know what kind of game the developers are trying to build.

    The combat system doesn't jive with the other core components of the game, especially roleplaying (which is the whole purpose of the game). Combat is all about Min/Maxing and has nothing to do with roleplaying. This is confusing because the original vision of the Kickstarter was quote:
    The problem I have, and I think any fans would have in developing a "better way" is that the devs are very tight lipped about what they want and what they don't want. As much as they listen and work hard and come up with cool ideas, they rarely say thinks like....
    • We don't want to build more animations because we're a small team and that costs time, money, and resources we don't have the budget for.
    • We don't want to scrap the card deck system because we've already put in four months of time, money, and resources we don't have the budget for.
    • We don't want to make all spells require reagents because we WANT magic to be accessible to a wide audience.
    I could go on and on with this train of thought, but I won't because most people should get the idea by now. And just to be clear the devs have never said anything like this publicly that I'm aware of. But that's the problem with coming up with ideas and solutions. I may come up with a FANTASTIC solution that ignores all of the above assumptions and the devs might be thinking, "Yeah that's great but we don't like that idea because of the direction we want to take the game." So then my idea is just a bunch of wasted time and effort on my part as Release 11 ends up being an expansion of this horrible combat system that no one seems to want but no one can help fix because no one (but the devs) really understands what they want and what they don't want.

    That's why I'm done with blindly throwing solutions at the Listening Wall of the Developers. I need more feedback from them. Not me specifically, but just in general, here's what they're trying to do, here's what they don't want, here's how inclusive it has to be, and oh yeah this is the reality or scope of what we can and can't do. Until I hear something like that I'm just going to tell the devs what the overall problem is and let them fix it however they wish.
     
  6. Sunswords

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    I agree with you on this, we may be able to come out with flawless solutions or revolutionary ideas for the combat problem - but ultimately it's still the call of the Devs on how this will proceed.
     
  7. Duke Death-Knell

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    Well I have to question the "randomness". I built a bludgeon ground pounder. Earth and blunt weapons.

    From earth I took 4 earthquakes. And in my deck out of 20 cards I put 4 earthquakes, 5 knockbacks, 5 knockdowns, like 2 healing and then various other cards. But taking on the lich when I was low on focus I got nothing but earthquakes through a few sequences. I had 2 earthquakes and 4 blanks, used an earthquake just to get rid of it and got a blank, then another blank cleared to be replaced by another earthquake. Before that sequence I'd been getting one or 2 earthquakes and various others as I would expect from "random" draws but then out of 16 other cards plus blanks I got almost exclusively earthquakes.
     
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  8. da.n.ynu.tk.os.@gmail.com

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    but according to the deck supporters on these forums.. that makes your combat more 'strategic' and 'tactical'...

    -sigh-

    I'm very much with Baron Drocis on this one. It's pretty clear that many don't like the system and there have been tons and TONS of suggestions for making it better, but the silence is deafening, and it certainly feels like the devs have a specific way of doing it in mind. It seems no amount of negative feedback, or negative reviews and comments (of which there is a growing amount as the game gets publicity), is being acknowledged. I could be wrong, maybe they do read all this feedback and suggestions to make it better and are working on some changes, but we certainly are not getting any sense of that from them that i've seen.

    edit- NOTE: I am not complaining that the devs are doing it their way, that's fine if that's how they want to do it. I'm simply agreeing with Baron Drocis in pointing out why many people have given up making suggestions or even providing feedback at all on things like the combat system.
     
  9. mike11

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    As in many games, I have encountered countless situations where through some sort of difficulty, maybe because of bugs, ways that the players are left to fight vs the interface or fight vs game. This kind of situation is superbad!!!

    If player can't get to fight the other players online because of frustration or some kind you have a big problem ok.

    Deck combat right now is the only method besides auto-combat for the player to fight and make tactics from so it is very important to make the "decks" as transparent and fun as possible.

    /cheers
     
  10. Lord Aventine

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    I think combat just needs a little more ummmmphhh. I want to 'feel' the melee blows as they hit. They should give the impression of force happening. Some other games out there (definitely not all) capture that fairly well. If we could get that, then I think combat would start to feel like something.
     
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  11. Poor game design

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    This is where I think pre-casting is a useful mechanic. I'm probably not talking about the same type of pre-casting other people are used to talking about. I mean memorizing a spell like "fire ball" and then not using but one time for the whole day. Sure, you're prone to make mistakes and sure you're not flinging spells all over the place. But when you finally cast it, it means something. It's strategic. You have control over it. There's nothing random about it, and there doesn't need to be anything random about it.

    When it comes to magic, I wish we would memorize a select group of spells for a day (ala D&D) and they'd be powerful enough to get the job done. But that's just me, I know I'm probably in the minority on this. I know it doesn't balance well in a game where the combat has a lot of twitch mechanics. So we're right back to the real question...what kind of game are we making here? Is it a roleplaying game (even when we're in combat?) or is it something else?
     
  12. Poor game design

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    There are a lot of people on the forums and in the game, and those who have yet to play the game that will never agree on what the solution is. You and I probably won't agree on what a good solution is. :)

    But it would be nice to work towards that solution. It would be nice to work towards the same goal. It really does feel like there are 1000 voices but the only one that really matters is very quiet. The devs are doing a wonderful job listening to people. I've seen first hand how they take feedback and work it into the game. The point I've been trying to make is that I think the community would be more helpful if they knew what the end result was supposed to be.

    It's very much like the "full loot" argument. I think the devs have been very clear that an open pvp full loot ala Old UO is NOT going to happen. That's helfpful because I never spend any time thinking about that, asking about that, or reading those threads. That's the kind of direction I'd like to get from the developers. "We want to do THIS, but we don't want to do THIS".
     
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  13. Borg

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    Actually I think that yes, Deck is the problem.

    Right now you can choose your skills (aka Glyphs) based on the role you want to play and you have a certain number of points to spend.
    Then comes the Deck limiting the number of glyphs you can use at a given moment during combat.
    And finally you have a system dealing random glyphs to your Deck.

    As I see it now , the problem comes because the system is dealing the glyphs to your Deck, and this kills the possibility to player planned strategies.
    Player has to wait until system delivers glyphs, so the player has to look his deck constantly to see which glyphs the system is dealing to him.

    To give combat system a strategic sense players should take glyphs control.

    So the first step is ok, you choose your skills based on the role you want to play, I have to say I love the classless system it gives freedom to create
    your very own template, so you have a limited number of points to spend so a limited number of glyphs.

    But next step is not right, if you let the computer dealing random glyphs to your deck there is no strategy at all.
    It should be the player deciding which glyph is going to be used next based on the combat situation at a clear and precise cost, focus cost, glyph cool down, or even removing glyphs for a given time.
    For example a very powerful glyph could only be used once per hour or even once a day.

    Letting the player decide, would give combat control to players and the opportunity to take strategic decisions.

    The other problem I see is the lack of strategical glyphs. I mean Stun should be a glyph itself, that way you have to decide how many stun glyphs you have.
    That way you solve the problem people spamming stuns, no one is going to have 5 stun glyphs, or maybe yes, but that is your strategical decision.
    And of course there should be anti stun glyph you can use right before your adversary tries to stun you, its up to you deciding when to use it based on your combat experience.
    The anti stun glyph has a limited duration so you have to use it wisely. There could be another strategical glyphs like remove stun, you can use to break stun at a fair focus cost,
    and again the number of strategical remove stun glyphs you have is a decision player takes.

    So now you have to choose well the type and number of glyphs to get the right skills balance.
    If you want to use 5 stuns in a row you need 5 stun glyphs, but this is your strategical decision. You have to balance how many you will need based on this glyph cost and effect.
    (As stun works right now, it is linked to a weapon skill at a success percentage. System takes control and there is an innate anti stun skill, no way for planned strategies.)

    What about combos?

    Combos should be the result of a perfect combination of skills so if you chain correctly the right skills (sequence of glyphs) you get a damage buff or benefit what we usually call a combo.
    No need to combine glyphs, no need to stare at your deck, no need to waste a single second with your view out of your adversary actions and state.
    All you need is knowing the right glyph combination and the right timing.

    What about Deck?

    Deck would contain all our glyphs, identical glyphs staked in same slot showing quantity.
    Used glyphs will be removed from deck and recovered after cool down period.
    Decks would have unlimited slots, and you can place glyphs in selected slots so you can link to a hotkey.
    When you run out of a certain glyph the slot is empty until cool down passes and you recover that glyph.

    And that is my humble vision of a glyph based combat system.
     
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  14. E n v y

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    Completly agree.......there is no real feeling in combat at the moment, I hope animation comes in time.
     
  15. Poor game design

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    Let's examine that logic...

    That's all true. But regardless of if that system is packaged in a deck or not a deck, it's still essentially the same thing. Who cares if it's a deck or not?

    Would you say there's no strategy in poker? Only if you don't know how to play.

    In poker the cards are dealt randomly and the players don't know what kind of hand they're going to have, yet it's a very sophisticated game and requires ridiculous amounts of skill to play well. It's also fun, challenging, and very balanced.



    But what are they going to decide in this system? The choices are still the same, there's just no randomness left. You're still just trying to get the best build so you can do more damage per second than "the other guy". Again, the "deck" is not the problem, it's the implementation.

    The way the system is currently designed, EVERYONE would have 5 Stun glyphs. Does anyone take LESS than 5 glyphs for spells and skills that they plan to use a lot? No. Which is something I wrote about in another thread, the option to have 1 to 5 glyphs is meaningless. You either MIN (one) or MAX ( five). Think about your own customized decks for reference.

    With Latency being a very important part of PVP success, I don't think having an "anti stun glyph" is going to work. I can't even really use Douse effectively because just using that spell takes away from my DPS.

    If there's going to be a viable defense in the current system, it's going to have to be 100% active. I'd like to change the system so it's more dynamic than that, but that's how it currently is.

    Strategy is done before the fight. Tactics are done during the fight.

    You're right, there's actually very little of both. There's currently only ONE strategy, build a deck that does the most DPS. And ONE tactic, use that deck to ATTACK and HEAL as much as possible.

    I'd actually like to see Combos for everything, even regular attacks. Going back to the Poker example, imagine you have a hand that you're holding, waiting to get a combination of cards that will do something amazing. Your whole hand is set up to get this combination for you, but because it's very powerful it sometimes takes a while before you have it. It's just like if you have 2 pairs and you're waiting to get 3 of a kind to complete your Full House (in poker).

    This is the "concept" that the devs should explore, in my opinion. But because no one wants to play a game of poker as a substitute for fighting in a medieval fantasy game, my suggestion would be that the devs simply use the same logic behind the scenes for balancing purposes and show the players some cool animations (like sword swings and stances) that will tell them what kind of "hand" the other player currently has. So now the choices are more like "should I play that 2 pair now or wait for the full house and blow this dude up?"


    Again, when we look at this problem with "damage vs. cool down" glasses we don't get anywhere (good).
     
  16. Borg

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    But we are not playing Poker.
    Staring at your hand in poker is ok, in a video game it isnt.

    Anyway you are right, maybe I should have to rephrase that Deck is the problem.
     
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  17. E n v y

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    I was playing around with combat a little today, I have to say my biggest issues are:

    - Cool downs
    - Combo mechanics
    - Character movement

    I really don't see the point in cool downs at all, there is already casting time and fizzles.....cool downs should be abandoned as I honestly believe it would make combat a lot more fun. People already have mana/focus (whatever it's called in SotA), when it's gone it's gone .... That's part of the skill of combat.

    I love the concept if combination spells, moving one card into another......the biggest issue is how to do it. I'm deep in combat, running around attacking/defending.....I need to concentrate on my character and position and not the cards. I really don't know what the answer is to this if they must be combined during combat. Could a solution be combining cards in the deck prior to combat to create a new card?

    I dont know what it is about the movement but it always feels difficult to connect with another character in combat, it feels very clunky due to the lack of focus on who you are attacking. I always like to zoom out as much as possible, I think being able to zoom out more would be nice.
     
  18. Poor game design

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    No, we're not.

    But there's a STRONG conceptual link between games like Poker and Chess and where we need the combat system to be.
     
  19. Borg

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    Well, I'm just trying to give some new ideas...... something this thread is lacking.
     
  20. Borg

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    Well I have to admit I didn't explain very well all my points, I should better go to bed right now :p
     
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