Gameplay and Fun, my 2c

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Black FjP, Dec 20, 2018.

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  1. Black FjP

    Black FjP Avatar

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    I have been playing this game for about 6 months now, and I have really enjoyed my time spent so far in Novia. A lot of my enjoyment has come from the great community and the desire and effort the players themselves have shown to make this game work. It's really staggering, and even when I disagree with someones ideas I know that a lot of it comes from caring about this project and that is awesome.

    Some of you know me, but let me introduce myself for those who don't. I am a member of EVL. I have been playing MMORPGs starting back with Ultima Online where I got my first taste and love of player versus player competition. I was a big fan of the ultima series growing up, sometimes going to extremes to make them run on machines they weren't built for. I love challenging games and systems that make me really think and plan to overcome them and succeed. I am what some would consider a min/maxer, I love to deconstruct systems and find out why things work the way they do and how I can use it to my or my teams advantage.

    Lately I have been spending a lot of time thinking about where this game picks up a lot of the negative criticism and thinking about my own experiences, and I have some ideas that some people may love, and some people may hate. Most of it will be focused towards adventuring and pvp, I know that this is a sandbox game and people enjoy the roleplay aspect, and that is awesome, but I mostly will be focusing on those game systems at a higher level. If you are doing what you like and enjoying it, don't sweat it.

    -First off, tooltips, information, misdirection, mystery. Don't get me wrong, I have gotten hours, even days of enjoyment scouring the internet for old patchnotes, testing, piecing together information, proving outdated math wrong, learning how the tooltips are wrong, figuring out misleading stat numbers. This is my bread and butter. But it's not very many peoples bread and butter, and it's frustrating to find out that there are things that are just plain wrong in skill descriptions or stat descriptions. Especially for newer players that put a lot of time into building up their skills to find out that they don't work as advertised. Some of the tooltips are like trying to solve a logic problem. Are you aware of how many people think that fireflies lowers the chance for the target to land a critical hit, or the targets critical damage? It's a lot. Some of this stuff is REALLY counterintuitive, like crit% for weapons on equipment, it's pretty inneffective, and only a few people know that. Publish the stats, make a stat sheet so people can understand what their gear does and can compare things without doing a calculus problem, this is the biggest thing that seperates "min/maxers" and the average joe in efficacy, lack of knowledge.

    - Dex sucks. What's up with dex, what does it do? A lot of people think you should focus on dex if you are a bow character or use daggers. You should not, it barely does anything stacked at very high levels. You will get more damage *and more hp to not get killed* by stacking strength, and you can carry more, the bonuses abound. You are told it increases your crit chance, does it? I think it does by a little bit, I could barely get a different rate in some long tests between 50 and 150 dex. I think around .5% more crits was the average over multiple hour long tests.
    I don't remember exactly, but what I do remember is that my conclusion was I should stack int instead to have more focus and to make my heals stronger. More focus means you can use more glyphs for dps, it gives you higher focus regen, not very many people know that, see above. Dex should not suck. There should be viable dex builds for bows and daggers and other light melee weapons, and it should matter a lot more. It should be setting a bar between pure melee and hybrids becuase its hard to focus your gear between 3 stats, but it's very easy to focus it between 2.
    I propose that weapons should get part of their damage bonus from dexterity. And it should scale between different weapons.

    Something like this:
    Short bow 40% Str bonus 60% dex bonus
    Long Bow 50/50
    Dagger 40/60
    Short Sword 50/50
    Long Sword 70/30
    2h sword 80/20
    Spear 60/40
    Polearm 80/20
    Hand Axe 70/30
    Mace 80/20
    2h Axe 80/20
    2h hammer 90/10

    And I also think that weapon glyph focus costs should scale with how heavy of a weapon you're using, as this will offset the lack of focus for more melee focused str/dex character. They don't hit as hard with smaller weapons, so why should they cost as much. Have parry CHANCE be increased by dex, and parry AMOUNT be increased by strength, this would support light armor duel wield types and make them more viable. Another cool idea would be a small amount of fizzle reduction based on dex, possibly like .01% per dex so at 100 you get 1.0% fizzle reduction since your character is nimble and it ties into my next section. Bear in mind that this stuff should all be visible and known information.

    -Light Armor is pretty bad for melee and archery. The upside of light armor as it stands now is mobility and attack speed, and even this gets put down at higher levels with berserker stance and the fleet flute giving this bonus to heavy armor users. In addition to making dex great, I think the light armor tree needs some love as well to make light armor dps builds like rogues a viable force in pve and pvp. People love these builds, make them viable. I think there should be a passive for light armor that adds a static dex buff, similar to the heavy armor passive. I also think there should be an active buff for dex, and also an active buff for int, both similar to inner strength from the heavy tree, but they don't stack, you can only have 1 active at a time. I think dodge could also be a little more reliable as a mitigation tool, but not so much that it's overpowered. Maybe just make it scale with dex a little more.

    -Buffs are boring and monotonous. This one is a little controversial, and I have gotten some negative feedback from people about it. This game has more short duration buffing than any game I have ever played, and most of it is without decision making, you just keep up every buff you can all the time whenever you are fighting. It's very monotonous and repetitive gameplay in my opinion. Some have told me it adds a skill element where you have to remember your buffs, ok, duly noted. Others have told me the design is that you have to decide which buffs to use on your deck, it limits using everything, ok, I can dig that.
    But let's expand on that, becuase I see people just using a buff deck spamming all their buffs every few minutes or so and then swapping back to their active skill deck with a few very short duration buffs on it. Not really limiting much, I have to apply 4 buffs every minute and a half or so while doing physical DPS, they dont have real cooldowns, they are just button presses every 1.5 minutes that stay up constantly. This is not fun to me. If they were real cooldowns with a real effect that you had to decide when to use, that would be interesting to me. My proposal is this:

    Make a vast majority of the buffs a toggle that you have to have active on your current bar to gain the effect from. These would not have a duration, you can actively turn it on and it stays on, it takes up deck building space *on your active deck*.

    Buffs I think that would be a good cantidate for this process:
    All the tactics stances and spellbinder stance: This is supposed to be a stance, you are in that stance, why are you monotonously refreshing it every minute? The cost should be deck building space, not remembering to push it every minute.
    Shield of X, X Shield spells: Make these a toggle with a cast time. Especially new players are refreshing these every minute or so taking away from the action, not very fun. Make the specialization bonus and level effect how strong they are, not how long they last, you can scale it accordingly. These could be dispelled and have to be recast to enable the toggle.
    Temporary defensive buffs: These should be active all the time, with the active cooldown component being only the temporary buff which increases the chance dramatically of parry/dodge/glancingblow/block. I find the whole "my character forgets to parry unless I use a skill once every 30 seconds to 1 minute" aspect of it kinda rediculous. I would prefer if the passive component was actually passive, and the active component was a real effective boost which had a real cooldown to be used strategically when you needed it, that would make for some more interesting decisions other than spam these abilities all the time always when you are getting hit.
    Inner strength, proposed dex/int buff - I'm not sure on these as honestly were already talking about taking up some deck real estate with other buffs that you have to keep on your deck to have active, filling the whole deck with buffs is not where you want to be. We want room for active abilities, maybe just roll these into the passive to remove some buff micromanagement and add a toggle decision to the dex/int buff or keep these the way they are but increase the duration.
    Berserk: I use bludgeon and this buff drives me nuts. It already comes with a huge penalty to avoidance and on top of that you have to 6 stack it every 2 minutes which with the animation takes about 7 seconds to recast, and you have to have another buff on your bar. I honestly think this should just be a passive in the bludgeon tree with +20% weapon damage at GM, and no avoidance penalty, it only adds about 12% damage fully stacked at GM with spec and 20% would cut that down to about 5% more damage with no micromanagement. Or something, anything.

    Stat balancing: Crit damage and polearms. Crit damage is broken, if you are a regular pvper, you know what weapon people use, and you know why. Polearms can 1shot people regularly if built right, and this makes for some real uninteresting duels. Now there are a lot of other reasons that people use polearms in pvp, it basically does everything that every other weapon type does better while being immune to shields and solving the desync problem with increased range. But hey, cutting bec de faucon in half would at least be a start down that long road.

    Anwyay, I've already written a book, and I'm sure there will be some flames, but these are some of the ideas that I've had and I'm open to any criticisms and counter ideas. I have a lot of opinions on other things like the crafting economy and upper tears/grinding but I think I have responded enough in other peoples posts about these things.

    I realize that we have a small dev team and a lot of these would be sweeping unrealistic changes but they are just ideas, like I said, take them as you will.

    Thanks for listening,
    Black FjP
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2018
  2. Simon LayBon

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    Good read and a dig deeper into how things work that I tend to think... but I'm very UNinterested in PvP personally. I agree that Dex should mean more. There needs to be more decision making and tradeoff in how we build our avatars and what buffs we utilize and when.
     
  3. Chris

    Chris Tech Lord Moderator SOTA Developer Ambassador

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    Read and absorbed. I agree with most of your points. Still working on making Dex more meaningful but I've started slowing how quickly I move things to gain balance to reduce player frustration. I'll get a few of these concerns addressed to at least some small amount for R62. Thanks for the honest, constructive feedback!
     
  4. GreyMouser Skye

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    Good read. Would you be willing to state what some of these skills and effects do from your testing? Is there already another thread on this?
    Like Damage Resistance. From the tool tips it seems totally worthless once you leave a 2 skull area (which means after the outskirts, sorry all you 1 skull spots). And adding a masterwork of Damage Resist to anything other than plate is completely pointless because 25% sounds great great, but taking 0.25 off that hit when you are wearing light armor just is not noticed.
    I have other examples. Just keeping this short to see if you say more. I have ideas that some things are wonky but have not really tested them like it sounds you have.
    Thanks.
     
  5. Rook Strife

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    Here is an additional way to improve combat you can try for yourself

    Go into combat charging and stacking your skills like we do now.

    Now go into combat pressing or clicking each button once


    It does not take a rocket scientist to realize which one is going to give you the more engaging combat.
     
  6. Barugon

    Barugon Avatar

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    I have the three stat skills at 80 right now. My next goal is to train all of these to 100 but I will do Train Strength and then Train Intelligence first.
     
  7. Black FjP

    Black FjP Avatar

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    Damage resistance in pve does matter even against higher level content, its better to have more. It is less effective against things that hit for more damage at once becuase it's a flat rate, but it will still add up. Bear in mind that defensive stance multiplies by the amount of DR you have, so at GM it will add double whatever your masterwork is giving you. Compared adventure level seems to be the most important stat for how much damage you take in PVE =)

    @Rook Strife I'm not sure what you're trying to say. I personally don't like the draw decks very much, they take too much away from my situational awareness, and force me to play the memory game haha, plus I dont have 4 open slots with all the stuff I want to have available most of the time.
     
  8. Barugon

    Barugon Avatar

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    At GM it adds 125%.
     
  9. Black FjP

    Black FjP Avatar

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    Word, I wasnt sure, I have 115 defensive stance, it's great.
     
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  10. dcyumyum

    dcyumyum Avatar

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    I have only played a short time and found this to be very frustrating! I PAID for a box version of the game thinking that I was getting a game that's been tried, tested, and proofread.
     
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  11. Rook Strife

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    The main issue why so many people find our combat is crap is because we are stubbornly attempting to make this unique system of drawn glyph / heat work instead of adopting the locked glyph / cooldown system used practically everywhere else.


    Could be fine tuning skills at this point but no.... We need to stack glyphs.


    The draw of this game is not it's unique combat bar.

    There is no lineup of rabid PVP or PVEers just waiting to test it out.

    The basic system does not need to be special. The difference should be in the depth of skills, equipment, character building options etc.
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2018
  12. Vesper

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    Don't we already have that as an option with the ability to add drawn slots? It's been a long while since I played an MMO prior to sota.
     
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  13. Rook Strife

    Rook Strife Avatar

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    No we have Heat.

    It's similar in that glyphs are locked but with heat you can cast the same spell repeatedly or charge it for supposedly greater effect.

    Locked glyph / Cooldown you can only cast once then you have to wait a certain amount of time before you can cast again.


    Technically you could lock all glyphs and wait for heat to disipate before recasting but your dps, healing etc compared to drawing / heat would be so abysmal it's not really an option.
     
  14. Jason_M

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    @Black FjP I really like the idea of toggling stances! I don't think a skill toggle exists in any way, but that would certainly make me *feel* like a proper swordsman... And how awesome would it be if the combat posture of the sprite changed with the stance! That would be fantastic!

    Anyway, going back to the rest of your review, I've been playing about the same amount of time as you, but our playstyle seem worlds apart. My total experience with pvp is avoiding people in ruins (
    lots of practice on Siege Perilous o_O) and getting PK'd in Blood Bay witin 10 seconds of spawning in (not an exaggeration).

    While combat isn't a priority of mine, I spend at least 60% of my time fighting. I'm out there every night with my guild singing that classic PVE song. I think it's cool as hell that players are testing and taking notes - reminds me of the good old days of UO Stratics.

    I believe that the game is pretty well balanced from a PVE perspective (except for the age-old chain vs plate situation :confused::(), so your feedback is very helpful. It might be beneficial for everyone if you and folks like you shared some more of your test data :)
     
  15. Beaumaris

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    I disagree on buffs. Folks that argue that buffs should be on all the time are those that see them as divine right or annoyance. But some see buffs as part of their casting repertoire, and to make them super long term eliminates buffs as meaningful spell casting for a certain class of players. Short term, tactical, buffs can be fun … but … they must give meaningfully big buffs if they are shorter term. If everyone has the same long term buffs, that they need to apply only once per game session then they are not skills, they are just standard stats, and should be removed from the game in their entirety and their effect just adjusted for us in base stats.

    I disagree too on the perspective on critical damage. Its as if all damage is being judged based on an ability to affect a critical. But one has to look at damage wholistically over the course of battle. Is pole arms using its critical to 'catch up' in damage output over the course of battle compared to blades because poles otherwise puts out less? If so, then just because it hits with a high critical doesnt make it over powered. Want to reduce pole arms critical? Then reduce bleed damage over time output of blades rend too, which isn't as noticeable but has a big effect is used well. The point is damage has to be viewed in its entirety not just for the 'showy'.

    I also have to disagree on light armor being better for melee. Sure light armor would be awesome if it was better for melee because it has much less fizzle effect on spell casting. But that fizzle is tied to armor type is the major check and balance between flexibility of casting and prowess at defensive melee game play in SOTA. Take that away, then what? Does plate have to block even more damage still to remain viable. Its easy for any of us to explain that our skills need to be better, but the best arguments for that reflect that pros and cons of that change on the system on whole. Explain why plate remains viable while light armor gets better.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2018
  16. Vesper

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    Quick response, I agree with Beaumaris regarding buffs but not poles / crits / and rend. The issue with poles in PvP at least is that puncture bypasses armour, there is no counter. There are several ways to clear bleeds however.
     
  17. Black FjP

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    @Beaumaris some of you're points are fair and I agree with them but I believe you may have misunderstood some of my points, let me try to reiterate.

    Buffs - I agree that buffs should be an important part of your repertoire, and I believe they should be a choice that you make, however under the current system that is not the case, everyone just puts the same sets of buffs on all the time depending on what they are doing and then switches over to an active deck, and then they refresh the majority of those buffs every 1 or 2 minutes. If I am doing melee dps what buffs am I using? Earth shield, strength of earth, inner strength, berserker stance, berserk, and some number of defensive buffs for when I pull aggro, berserker stance lasts 1 minute, so that means every minute I click berserker stance, every 1:48 I click inner strength, every 2:16 I stack berserk 6x. Every 6 minutes or so I 5x stack shield of crystal, and strength of earth lasts over 2 hours. Yes, I choose those buffs, but what choice am I making after that? Nothing, just monotonously refreshing them at or before their duration ends, and if I want to, I can put them on a second quick deck and can have the advantage of them without using the deck space. What I want will make them LESS of a divine right, as you will have to have some buffs on your active combat bar in order to have that effect, and that will make it a tougher choice with a cost than "do I feel like tabbing over and refreshing my buff" and at the same time will remove the need to mindlessly spam your buffs on every round of UT.

    Critical damage and polearm - it is not a dps issue we are talking about, although polearm will give sword a run for its money in that department also, the issue is the effectiveness of polearms in pvp. Vesper has the right of it as puncture completely bypasses the best defenses in the game while critting for sometimes 900+ damage and applying all the same effects of a rend from twice the distance. *And this is without spear specialization*. Critical damage scales at 100% and with the right build you can easily be running +300% crit damage with polearms with no specialization, this means your crit of 300 does 900, with no damage reduction possible while adding a healing debuff and a dot. It completely dominates all other physical dps builds in pvp, barring a few exceptions of people with insanely high skills and talent.

    Light armor and melee - my goal in this section is not to make light armor as good as heavy armor at mitigation, nor as good as heavy armor at pure damage with everything. I understand that there is less fizzle with light armor, and that is a weighing factor, but there should be some light armor physical builds that are more competitive in endgame pve and pvp. I don't think I've ever even seen someone wear a leather chestpiece in the two higher teirs of virtue league. Yes, you can get away with it in pve, because everything can be facerolled with enough adventurer levels or people.
     
  18. GreyMouser Skye

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    This is still a sore point for me because ADV level is really not supposed to matter. Yet it does time and time again. Skill level should be the factor.
     
  19. Black FjP

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    @GreyMouser Skye I agree with you, and it seems like ALvl is a crutch to help them balance content without having to balance relative power of skills. Unfortunately this seems like a hell of a lot of work to open this can of worms and really get it working right, so my guess is that as long as ALvl is working to structure content difficulty, then I doubt they can justify going down that road for the foreseeable future.
     
  20. Daxxe Diggler

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    Black, I agree with a lot of your points, especially those suggestions about the toggles.

    In fact, I've suggested this exact thing a few times:

    https://www.shroudoftheavatar.com/f...t-chris-daily-blog.85583/page-161#post-928884

    https://www.shroudoftheavatar.com/f...t-chris-daily-blog.85583/page-162#post-928906

    https://www.shroudoftheavatar.com/f...t-chris-daily-blog.85583/page-194#post-938150

    In any case, I'm in full agreement that having to rebuff every few minutes (with the same exact buffs) is tedious and monotonous. I get that there should be some things with short temporary buffs, but those should only be situational or reactionary type buffs... not things like stat buffs or magic resistances, etc. These are things you are going to have to want active at all times, so why can't we make them an on/off toggle?

    I'd even be OK with a change that made them a toggle that while "on" would constantly drain your focus by a small amount. If your focus runs out, the toggle turns off. This way, it's not a "turn on once per gaming session" because you still have to manage your focus to keep it on. This would also help balance things slightly because you likely wouldn't be able to keep everything active at all times, but a few frequently used buffs would basically become a passive with a cost.

    Perhaps stacking could make the skill toggled "on" more powerful, but also cost more focus per second... instead of just making it last longer? That way, people have some flexibility with what they can afford to get out of the spell, as well as give a reason to raise the skill's level.
     
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