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My displeasure about combat's related features in this game.

Discussion in 'Release 49 Feedback Forum' started by Hornpipe, Dec 26, 2017.

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  1. Hornpipe

    Hornpipe Avatar

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    Before I begin with this post, I want to make this clear : I love this game and I have no intent to quit (for now). I spent a lot of time on Novia, something like 3000 hours, thanks to social features, role play, housing or "basic" crafting. I enjoy to be part of such a community, and every contact I had with the developpment team has been a nice experience. I think that, overall, this game has evolved in a good way.

    But, besides that, there is one thing that, from my point of view, has only deteriorated a lot : Combat and everything related to it. This is the reason why, lately, my negative contributions have multiplied on this forum. Combat is an important part of this game, and I would say that it's rather impossible to play Shroud of the Avatar without any fight.

    I will try to summarize my problems, here :

    - Clunky : That's the most used word I saw when people described the combat in Shroud of the Avatar. I think it's unfair to say that every aspect of combat is clunky in Shroud of the Avatar, but yes, for sure, there is something wrong. Many people have complained of having to stare at the hotbar rather than the surrounding area in combat because of the deck system. And despite the heat system, it's still a problem. In my opinion, the reason is simple: it is much more effective to manage combos, buffs and heals than to aim correctly at the target, to seek a favorable location (behind a cover / in height) or to move. Yet I thought that this is something devs were actively trying to fight against and that this game has always sought a good balance between the classic RPG where the construction of the character and his equipment is central, and action RPG, where the reflexes of the player count. But maybe I was wrong ?

    - Unbalanced : That's the word that @Chris use when describing the state of "some" skills. I know that there is still a lot of work to do with this. But there is a fundamental design flaw that has never been dealt with. Everyone can do anything, including magic. And to learn how to resist magic, everyone must train magic. Then, everyone is training spells. In addition, most of the best area of effect attacks (those that help you with earning experience faster) are spells. Even melee warriors who still have the ability to hurt multiple targets at once often end up using such spells when it was not their initial choice. More generally, this game requires to train a vast choice of skills, because it is more competitive to stack defensive spells and passives one on each other, than to focus on a particular skill tree to become, for example, an excellent swordsman or an excellent archer. And with hard caps, this would be even worse @Stundorn .

    - Artifacts : @Baron Drocis Fondorlatos made a brillant post about this. When the artifacts arrived in Shroud of the Avatar, they had a relative utility, but they were a funny element: A ring for fishing, a ring to fall without getting hurt that forces you to speak like a cat, a ring to jumping high that alters your complexion, etc ... Then there were the rings and amulets that strengthened your attunement with magic schools, the instruments that allowed to heal quickly between two fights, the belts that increased the damage of your rapid fire, etc ... And finally, it has become possible to enchant them. So, now, crafting is less a thing than adventuring in areas where these artifacts are most likely to be discovered. The most experienced players are those who sell the most of these things even though the gap between their wealth and that of the most casual players was an admitted issue for the development team. In the end, people have to use artifacts when we're talking about being competitive in a fight (the main reason why most of us train combat skills).

    All of this completely ruined my combat experience in SotA. At start, I thought that all of this was a part of the balance tests. But now, with the release approaching, my fears are bigger than ever before about this.

    It's not the artifacts in themselves, nor the magic, nor the soft caps, nor even the deck system that are a problem here. The problem is the way they are set, while the eye of the developer monitors about twenty players who holds the top of the ranking in terms of playing time and accumulated experience. Worse, every topic launched on this subject is literally derailed by some of these people. And yet, the evidences of those issues are not lacking:
    - the results of the tournaments where mages and hybrid mages hold the podium each time,
    - the most widespread profile among the characters who have accumulated the most experience points,
    - the fact that these tournaments have prohibited the artifacts for certain categories of duels,
    - the anemic population of people who really agree to fight in pvp.
    And don't forget those who only flag pvp for the experience bonus...
    - and so on...

    Until now, I got no answer on this but that does not prevent me from summarizing here all my anxieties. Because if the game stays in the current state, combat will remain for me a very serious source of frustrations. And I could easily prove that it's not only a problem for me, but whatever.
    This is not my first game, nor my first pvp experience. I am able to learn and I can adapt to the rules but my problem here is that it is the game that does not reward enough different play styles. Hence the expression of the "ONE class system" for Shroud of the Avatar. I rub shoulders with people in Novia who have totally resigned themselves to the frustration about it. I also meet people who stay away from this game for the same reasons.

    @Lord British @Chris @DarkStarr
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2017
  2. Stundorn

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  3. blaquerogue

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    I have to agree with all that Hornpipe said here (ALL) I have been part of this game before we could actually play it, so needless to say ive been here from the start watched all the changes etc.. One of the things that really displeases me about this game is if i want to play a Cleric or Warrior, i have to invest in many skills i dont need, just to get to ones that make sense for whatever build im working on focus/mana is for magic casters, so i feel that if your not playing a mage type you shouldnt even have a focus bar, you should have a stamina bar instead. That makes more sense! So to sum up a little part here,,,,,,,,,Every character or build i make is basically a mage, which i hate to play as, using skills that naturally as a warrior type i would not use in any MMO or rpg ive played! There should be a fix for this somewhere, where only combat builds should be offered, that mirror the defense and offense of any magic users skills.

    PVP and Combat in general is clunky! Yes im using this word as well. heres an example - when an npc mage casts fire arrow or fireball they have a homing system that follows you like a guided missile so why when i cast these spells they only go in one place and dont home in on them? Stuff like this makes combat irritating. The combat in PVE is lacking reward for the time spent killing things and repetitive mostly skeles, wolves, bears, bandits and spiders all the time everywhere no matter what level the area your fight in is, this makes it slightly boring, there should be many different types of creatures and humanoids to find, its an easy fix! Pick up a Monster manual for D&D find stuff in there, rename them to avoid copy wright laws and add to game, give them loot they would actually be carrying! i highly doubt some skeletons, bandits, kolbolds etc... would run around with rusted weapons fighting things, doing the damage they do, my brand new two handed mace would shatter a rusty sword in one hit!! Leaving them with nothing but his hands to fight with, ending in a losing battle for them! So im going to stop here with my gripes (there are soo many more)

    Overall the graphics look excellent, thats the best i can say about the game for now.

    Heres another thread basically explaining some of the same things.

    Some things that i think need to change about this game
     
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  4. Barugon

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    I feel the combat system is the best part of SotA. My only criticism would be that I need another hand in order to press the keys that I need to while manipulating the mouse.

    This all boils down to resistance. If they limited the amount of resistance you could get from attunement then this probably wouldn't be an issue.

    I really don't have much to say about artifacts. The only thing I use them for is display; I have a bag of pristine artifacts that is publicly viewable and I might move them to display cases when they're all useable as decoration.
     
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  5. Hornpipe

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    Why exactly do you say that it's "the best part" of the game ? Did you ever try to duel someone ? Did you test how the skills are interacting with each other with friends ?

    Not only resistance, as long as attunement gives resistances but also power. And resistances alone don't explain why magic area of effects are so effective.

    That's also my case, because I don't like the logic behind those. But that doesn't mean that you wouldn't have any advantage when using them.

    I see where you are going here. You are happy with how the things are, and I can respect that. There are some others people who like things as they are too. That doesn't mean that the combat is good at it is. It only means that combat system has some aspect that makes you happy. Don't even think to say that your happyness is a good proof of the balance in this, or more over, that combat is fun for everybody and that people can't disagree with you.

    When your target is 50 000 players and your active player base is 1/5-6th of this, sorry to say that, but your goal is not to know who is happy with things as they are, but how things can get better without losing those who are already happy. When your system is only rewarding for some few individuals and when people who are happy with it are those who don't try any competitive activity or those who have all the benefits, there is a problem. Personally, I think we are there. But thank you for your opinion.
     
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  6. Barugon

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    Because it's fun.

    I feel that power in a certain magic tree should increase the more you have invested in it. Ultimately, what you can do is limited by the number of active glyphs in your deck.
     
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  7. Hornpipe

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    Let me correct this : it's fun for YOU and probably some others. But you probably know that your post here doesn't help. I asked you precise things which could justify to keep the system combat exactly as it is. Fun could be a good argument... if everyone agreed with it. But as far as I can tell, it's not the case.
    Here, you push me toward an argument I already gave you : "When your target is 50 000 players and your active player base is 1/5-6th of this, sorry to say that, but your goal is not to know who is happy with things as they are, but how things can get better without losing those who are already happy." I don't like to repeat myself but you are in fault here.

    What's important here is not how some people feel. It's how you allow a real and interesting classless system.

    The hotbar (and the decks) is quite often mentioned as a limit, when it's not really one. I'm a curious person. I built a deck with more than 190 cards taken in every magic trees to train those (5 cards for each glyph max). I could probably had even more but I limited myself. It works. It's totally random, not very effective, but it works. And you know what ? With time, it became more effective that my deck with level 110/120+ skills in some situations.
    The truth is that even without trick, the system already allows to easily use more than 10 glyphs at a time without any real problem. For exemple, deck switching allow you to use two different decks, hence 20 glyphs. Unlocked slots allow you to use more than 1 glyph per slot. And if you are smart enough, with the proper heal, you can use chaotic feedback to boost the chance to get the proper skill for the proper time. Also you can dismiss the wrong glyph with Ctrl + 1/2/3... and get another one.

    I could give you another exemple of flaw in the system : softcaps. For long, a lot of us believed that soft caps would prevent a too big gap between the casual player, who play something like 1 hour each day, and the most experienced players, who play until ten times more. It was not counting on the way bonuses are combined in this game. First, the most experienced players will have trained every stats and passive skills. Secondly, as most defensive skills and healing skills can be used all together, they will have probably those well trained in their deck. Now, look at the skill trees. Most weapons skills don't stack with each other and very few deal damage over time. Look more closely at the magic trees. Yes, you get it. The most experienced players will have trained every skills to get all the defensive buffs, to be healed constantly, and to use magic spells attacks on top of each other. This combination of things makes that when a casual player gets to master his bow, his sword or his fire arrow, he deals almost no damage to an enemy who has 10 times his experience. The soft caps were there to ensure that with 10 times more experience, the effectiveness gap would not exceed 25 or even 30%. But the reality is different. And that goes for PvE and PvP. It's not a mystery when some are able to kill a dragon alone when others can not even stand up to a skeleton with a rusty sword. And when the one who kills the dragon cleans the Monkeys Room, the other struggles to win more than what he loses with the death decay. The result is that at one stage or another, any new player will be confronted with this reality. Some of those who are interested in pvp will probably leave. Some others will probably end in friend online mode, to avoid being robbed of their targets. What ? It's already the case ?

    Personally, I have other things to do than post here my opinion on this forum. It takes time and I probably have many other things that would require this time. Then, if I do it, it's because I have heavily invested myself in this game and that it annoys me to see that what could be an asset probably became an obstacle. Of course, I'm aware that I could be wrong, but so far, I've never really received a proper answer, while I meet almost every week with people who complain about this aspect of the game. Today again, one tanky warrior that I know better than anyone else told me that he stayed away of the game for two days after being two shoted in PvP. Good level, good build, good deck for a traditional play style, good equipement, probably more than 900 health points but alas... people are experimenting every artifact, spell, buff and debuff to get more than 1500 damages with one single critical hit, so... here is the result.
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2017
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  8. Weins201

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    TY for saying it again but it will get ignored and left in the wake of something else, you know it already but keep trying :)
     
  9. GreyMouser Skye

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    Well thought out post. I cannot disagree with anything, only add. Combat mechanics are lacking, like some form of collision. Devs up high thought I wanted collision so that I could exploit something, but really it was to stop what I am currently doing... running inside a troll so that he can never hit me. I call that an exploit but it is what they designed it seems. They have to keep the bosses with super high HP because of these silly combat mechanics that an AI cannot thwart.
    Imagine a fight with a troll when you cannot run inside the wireframe. Could @Mac2 still win?
    OK, second mechanic that is silly. 2 second animation for an attack, the animation starts, you are now 20m away but still get hit when those 2 seconds are up. I understand server lag, but this is ridiculous.
    @Lord British I like realism like you do. Do you know of these combat quirks and are fine with them?
     
  10. HogwinHD

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    i vastly dis-agree with your reasoning on this particular one. there are people that held the podium because they pvp regularly, practice non stop and constantly learn their strengths and weaknesses.

    im not going to say i dont afgree with some things you have said BUT on that particular thing you are entitled to your oppinion but imo, you are wrong.

    @Dhanas MoonWhisperer is exclusively death amge and won a few times in the top PVP tier, Purely because she works hard and keeps trying.
     
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  11. Ravicus Domdred

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    I love this post. I agree. I would though want hard caps, and thats my opinion of course. I think hardcaps promote group play because people have dependencies, but I digress. I support your position here. I disagree with hogwind because he is one of the elite 1% trying to dictate his position as the majority, which he is not, and that is one reason why our population is so small. Port needs to cater more to the casuals and not listen so much to the elite.
     
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  12. HogwinHD

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    im not trying to dictate anything, Hornpipe has Raised Some valid concerns, i am simply Expressing my oppinion as someone who has Won PVp as Pure Archer, And again as pure mage, I have said time and time again Skills is only one aspect of pvp. say what you will BUT MANY people will agree with me. i am speaking purely from my experience in pvp and not from my Position as one of the highest levels in the game.
     
  13. Ravicus Domdred

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    let them speak, speak for yourself.
     
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  14. Tsumo2

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    I really love how it is possible to use a wide diversity of glyphs in widely diverse ways in this game. It's fun to change things to mesh with not only the environment, but even to the styles of people you find yourself playing with. I played with a new person in a new environment today and am thinking up a totally new deck. Fun.
     
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  15. Barugon

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    And that was exactly my point. No correction necessary.

    You'll note that I said "active glyphs", which is precisely ten at any given time. Yes, there are ways to manage this and make it more (or less) effective but there are ultimate limits. Every action you take to change out glyphs costs you time.
     
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  16. Mac2

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    Ummmm, I would just walk around it then.
     
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  17. Mac2

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    Ya, don't exactly understand how someone corrects someone elses opinion of a person they have never met, and don't even really know.
     
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  18. Ravicus Domdred

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    I think it was more of a clarification to note that one does not speak for more than himself. I don't think it was a correction, more so a statement.
     
  19. Mac2

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    When you ask a question right to the person, you are not asking the community but the person, this is how language works.

    "Why exactly do you say that it's "the best part" of the game ?"

    "Because it's fun."

    "Let me correct this : it's fun for YOU and probably some others. But you probably know that your post here doesn't help. I asked you precise things which could justify to keep the system combat exactly as it is. Fun could be a good argument... if everyone agreed with it. But as far as I can tell, it's not the case."
     
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  20. Ravicus Domdred

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    I was not trying to argue with you, but clarify. Yes language works, but you can use better description as it was left open for interpretation. When you make bold statements and do not use things like "IMO" then people can assume that you are speaking for a group. Sorry I was not trying to nitpick but to clarify.
     
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