My thoughts on Taming

Discussion in 'Skills and Combat' started by Bowen Bloodgood, Oct 15, 2015.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Bowen Bloodgood

    Bowen Bloodgood Avatar

    Messages:
    13,255
    Likes Received:
    23,305
    Trophy Points:
    165
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Caer Dracwych
    Like others, I strongly dislike how the current taming skill works for various reasons. However, I also dislike expressing an issue with something without also having thought out an alternative so.. here we are.

    1: Taming should not work if the target animal is wounded.
    1a: Healing an animal (if it's been wounded by someone else) might have a calming effect IF the healer is not in the same party as whomever wounded it and also if not having been within agro range at the time. (I'm just making this is up as I go so bear with me.. no pun intended :) )

    2: Taming should be a passive skill. First the target should be aggro'd on the tamer for it to work. If successful, the animal will become passive for a few seconds.

    3: Taming skill should allow the tamer to offer the animal food. Which, depending on the skill may be accepted or rejected. Different animals prefer different foods.. ie offering a bear fish would be more effective than offering a sweet roll. Success means greatly improved taming odds. Extending the time the animal is not aggressive. Should probably only get one shot at offering food.

    Now what I'm thinking is you need to keep the animal calm for X amount of time (consecutively). Long enough to approach and put the taming collar on. Mechanically, the calming effect would be an applied effect on the animal. Which successful use of the taming skill will increase the magnitude of the effect.

    4: The effect can be broken if the animal takes damage.. or you are too close. The greater the magnitude of the taming effect the closer you can get until you can put the collar on.

    5: Failure means the animal returns to normal behavior. An effect may be applied for a time preventing another attempt until the effect wears off in addition to the skill cooldown. So you and friends can't simply spam taming attempts.

    So the basic idea is that taming should be an active process by which you try to keep an animal calm enough to allow you to put on a taming collar. There are maybe 3 or 4 stages to the process with each one allowing you to get within a certain distance until you're close enough to put the collar on.

    Successful use of the skill should have a cool down that's faster than the calming buff applied to the animal. So you can keep trying until you succeed or fail. Or some other method to progress is also possible.

    Taming should never be a violent process.
     
  2. royalsexy

    royalsexy Avatar

    Messages:
    532
    Likes Received:
    1,725
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    Well thought out alternative - I like it! I wonder if we could sneak up on the animal to reduce the amount of time needed to catch it?
     
  3. Bowen Bloodgood

    Bowen Bloodgood Avatar

    Messages:
    13,255
    Likes Received:
    23,305
    Trophy Points:
    165
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Caer Dracwych
    Actually I think sneaking up would just make things worse. Animals tend to startle easily and run away. On that note.. should probably add that animals should stand still and watch you so long as your skill checks are successful. But.. thinking about that now.. continued attempts on the same animal should get progressively easier unless you have a critical failure or something. I imagine it could be a lot like trying to catch a stubborn punk pony (damn you Shaleyleigh(sp) for those lovely memories!). Even if you fail and the animal runs away you can still get just a little bit closer each time.
     
    Miracle Dragon, Womby and Sophi like this.
  4. Beaumaris

    Beaumaris Avatar

    Messages:
    4,233
    Likes Received:
    7,348
    Trophy Points:
    165
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Caladruin
    Great opening post. Glad to see ideas other than the 'beat the animal into submission' approach.
     
  5. Bowen Bloodgood

    Bowen Bloodgood Avatar

    Messages:
    13,255
    Likes Received:
    23,305
    Trophy Points:
    165
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Caer Dracwych
    I recall actually being taken back when that was first announced. In a way I can kind of understand why they're doing it that way (for now).. much easier to implement but it just seems wrong in so many ways. Though I do think the odds of getting it changed is pretty good. I can tell you this much.. as it is now my ranger type of a character will never even try taming.
     
  6. Soulicide

    Soulicide Avatar

    Messages:
    617
    Likes Received:
    1,252
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    US
    I really like the idea of non-violent animal taming, Bowen. It just makes more sense. Because how are we any different than the satyrs with their enslaved fauns otherwise? I especially like your idea of offering them the appropriate type of foods to gain their trust. Maybe depending on the level of the animal you must give them food several times. And they have a few things that they prefer on varying scales. For instance, a grizzly bear may like any type of fish but it may really love salmon specifically and depending on whether he's a normal grizzly or a large grizzly, it may require more feeding.
     
  7. mikeaw1101

    mikeaw1101 Avatar

    Messages:
    2,356
    Likes Received:
    1,688
    Trophy Points:
    153
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    The Lone Star state
    Yeah agreed, "beat it into submission and then throw a slave collar on it" is not very compassionate.
     
  8. Browncoat Jayson

    Browncoat Jayson Legend of the Hearth

    Messages:
    6,358
    Likes Received:
    14,146
    Trophy Points:
    153
    I really like this suggestion as a replacement system. However, I still think that initial taming should only result in non-combat pets.

    Training a pet to join you in combat should require successful summoning, use of a specific skill on the pet that will turn it into an aggressive version, and require upkeep until the creature is fully trained. For the first few battles, at least, the pet will be constantly de-agroing and attempting to flee, and the trainer will have to reapply the skill. (This is just mechanical explanation, someone who actually trains animals could provide better description of the transition). But this would also allow players to turn non-comba pets acquired through other means into combat pets, even if they are not as powerful as others in the world (compare a greyhound and a wolf, for example).
     
  9. mikeaw1101

    mikeaw1101 Avatar

    Messages:
    2,356
    Likes Received:
    1,688
    Trophy Points:
    153
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    The Lone Star state
    Yes, maybe we can get Michael Vick to be the skill trainer?
     
  10. Caladhan

    Caladhan Avatar

    Messages:
    45
    Likes Received:
    110
    Trophy Points:
    20
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Germany
    Me too. It's a shame, I really like the idea of having an animal companion.
    But I want a good relationship with it an not "beat it into submission and then throw a slave collar on it"!
     
  11. Sindariya

    Sindariya Avatar

    Messages:
    2,643
    Likes Received:
    7,751
    Trophy Points:
    165
    Gender:
    Female
    Then tame it without hurting it before. Noone force you to hit it. You can tame if you sneak up on it and try to tame it. The only difference is, that taming a hurt animal is a bit easier (up to 8%) what is not much. But why not give us a skill that allows us to combine distract + (taming food) to raise the taiming chance for those, that don't want to hurt the animal. Taming food must be cooked before out of fish, meat and vegetables so we don't need the disversity direct combined with the spell. The bonus could be, if you fail taming, the animal doesn't get agressive like it does now.
     
  12. Bluefire

    Bluefire Avatar

    Messages:
    530
    Likes Received:
    982
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Honestly this is the first game where I have seen inflicting damage to the tame target as a viable option to help in taming.

    I like your ideas, @Bowen Bloodgood.

    For a bit of real-life versus perception, bears would take a sweet roll over fish any day; the concept that each animal type should have a different food used is not lost on me, though!

    There is potential to make a very complex and rewarding pet handling and taming experience here - we just need to provide feedback about our experiences and ideas of where we'd like to see it go.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2015
  13. Bowen Bloodgood

    Bowen Bloodgood Avatar

    Messages:
    13,255
    Likes Received:
    23,305
    Trophy Points:
    165
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Caer Dracwych
    Sounds like one of my cats. :)
     
    Miracle Dragon likes this.
  14. Bluefire

    Bluefire Avatar

    Messages:
    530
    Likes Received:
    982
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Aye, I've seen it from experience - live close to Ocala national forest. When a black bear successfully breaks into my trash it eats all the sweet calorie dense food first, then moves to meats. I typically chase it off before then, though. I use a trash bin that is very difficult for them to break into so the only time they have a chance is when I put it at the curb. The garbage men refuse to take the trash from the tool bin I keep it in so we have to put it loose. :mad:
     
    Miracle Dragon likes this.
  15. Themo Lock

    Themo Lock Avatar

    Messages:
    4,950
    Likes Received:
    17,885
    Trophy Points:
    165
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Australia
    Why can't i tame animals with my awesome lute skills? :'(
     
  16. helm

    helm Avatar

    Messages:
    660
    Likes Received:
    1,282
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Agreed. While I do think the initial suggestion is excellent, at the same time can't help wondering about the disproportionate amount of attention to the initial taming process itself -- not related to this thread (again I'd personally love to get the initial process implemented as suggested in the OP), but rather to the general tone of comments in feedback forums concerning taming. I'm a bit concerned that it might take attention (=love in my book) away from things that might need it most.

    Taming an animal (at least at the level intended for the game, so it listens to commands etc.) is not an event but a process that can take a very long time. Of course it can be made to an event, but then it requires magical involvement of some sort. So I personally tend to interpret the initial taming as a story, currently something along the lines (for example): "My brother wolf, you fought well but let's remember that it was you who started it. I kind of like you and would like to know you better, so I'm offering you a choice: you take this taming collar, it will form a bond between the two of us. You will come when I call, and help me fighting a good fight. Or I can finish you, it's up to you bro." An alternative, much more prevalent story, at least if we are to believe forum posts, appears to be "I beat thee into submission, bwahaha!" I think it's largely up to us how we interpret the various pieces of game mechanics in our heads.

    So, what kinds of things might not be receiving enough attention because of the general outrage about "cruelty to animals"? I think the most obvious one is that tamed animals are not individuals, but generic classes. Look at the whistle: you summon, for example, "a timber wolf", not the timber wolf (that you tamed). They cannot be named or raised or developed or trained; instead you develop yourself -- your own skills, so the characteristics of an animal can vary wildly back and forth, depending on who happens to have the summoning whistle. The "tamed animals" are currently just commodity categories, without any individual differences.

    What I would most like to see is the the summoned creatures to have some individuality. That they would gain experience when participating in battles, that they could be named. That caring about them would make some difference. They would have individual stats, and individual levels of trust, so that you wouldn't be able to just buy a whistle with some generic animal category associated with it, you would need to work on building a certain level of trust with that individual animal -- technically that might be (just as a coarse example to illustrate what I mean) some kind of animal specific "trust table" that could include a few avatar individuals, and that the trust values would drop if the animal is sold on general market, maybe less if the animal is "borrowed" to a guild mate (so that your ranking would not drop instantly if you borrowed your bear to a friend, at least not if you got it back promptly) Acts like healing (during/after battle) and giving food build trust and connection.

    In the present implementantion, it appears to be just the mechanical number of "summons" that develop any abilities, and even then they are not animal specifc: grind enough silver, tame a chicken, grind enough summons for that chicken, and presto: after a few weeks of this you might attempt taming a fully combat-ready obsidian bear (or just buy one from the market).

    I'm aware many of these things that I mentioned would likely require a complete rework of the pet system, so possibly they are not 1st Episode material, but at the moment there just isn't much to get excited about in the current taming system. I have been grinding enough to have a supply about 50 taming collars, so technically I'd be ready, but just seem to be lacking interest to actually begin. So the collars stay in the chest for now.
     
  17. Bowen Bloodgood

    Bowen Bloodgood Avatar

    Messages:
    13,255
    Likes Received:
    23,305
    Trophy Points:
    165
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Caer Dracwych
    Fortunately, what we can get excited about is that any particular system, including taming, might continue in their development well beyond EP1 for as long as SotA remains online. So I agree that we shouldn't hold our breath for EP1. What we'll get will probably be pretty simple at launch. With enough enthusiasm from the community however I think we can ensure that taming will be revisited until we obtain a certain degree of satisfaction that it is as it should be. I only hope we get out of this beat the animal to near death mechanism by launch. I'm inclined to not even test it until then. As a ranger who's RP regarding animals depends on trust.. I just have no incentive to look at it as is.
     
    helm and Moiseyev Trueden like this.
  18. redfish

    redfish Avatar

    Messages:
    11,282
    Likes Received:
    27,520
    Trophy Points:
    165
    I've actually been thinking about this a bit, and reading some historical descriptions of lion taming. For now, just a few thoughts.

    From what I've read, the way lion taming has been done in the past is that there was at least some setting of boundaries. The motive wasn't to "beat the animal into submission," and inflict so much violence that it would be afraid not to obey you. That wouldn't even work. But the trainer had to keep in check the animal's own desire for dominance and get him to back down. So, for example, a trainer would get near the lion, and the lion would jump at his throat in an attack. He needed some way to get the lion to back down; to realize that attacking him wouldn't work, that he'd be hurt if he did. In a description I read from the 19th century, when the lion jumped at the trainer, he hit him with a small club. After the lion backed down for a while, he would be rewarded with some meat. At any rate, regardless of methods, all training was ultimately about establishment of trust.

    Naturally, all of these descriptions of lion taming involve a lion in captivity, and animals in captivity, where they're forced to get along with the trainer, against their will.

    What we'd want in the game is something more voluntary. Still, what we have in the game often is a wild animal that's attacking you, and you need to get it to back down. Like @helm pointed out, how you see the current taming process is a matter of interpretation. The animal is attacking you first -- you aren't attacking him first.

    I think a large part of of what would make training better is for the AI to be better. So, for instance, I've suggested before that monsters/animals should have more defensive behavior. Right now, fighting wolves, they only back down and start to run when they're near zero health. But a fight should be a process of moving back, defensively, and then moving forward for the attack. An animal I think should either be completely calm, or in a defensive state, in order for the taming process to begin. The only reason to attack at all would be to get the animal to back down from his attack. Decrease the animal's aggro. The more the animal's aggro is brought down, the better the taming process would begin.

    How fast the aggro would go down, would of course, vary from creature to creature , and, for instance, one thing that theoretically might make it very difficult to train a dragon is that it would be near impossible to get the dragon's aggro down and get him into a defensive position.

    There would also be alternate ways to decrease aggro; some of them mentioned in this thread. Music, animal charm spells, etc. These types of methods would also be more difficult on certain creatures, like a dragon.

    But after the aggro is brought down by any method, the taming would have to be a trust-based process, such as Bowen describes.

    Its also interesting to think about how the process would continue even after the animal is tamed. Would the animal continue to try to assert its dominance, even though you've established friendship with it? Would it run away from fights? Would there be some ways to bond with the animal?
     
  19. Bowen Bloodgood

    Bowen Bloodgood Avatar

    Messages:
    13,255
    Likes Received:
    23,305
    Trophy Points:
    165
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Caer Dracwych
    I like where this is going so far. I'd like to add my own comments in regards to 'discipline' as that is what is described above. In my own experience I used to work with horses and even taught riding for a few years and been around those who train them. There is a huge difference between striking an animal with a club or similiar device.. and a mace or sword. One is meant for discipline and the other is meant to cause real bodily harm.

    Some may wince or take offense at the very notion of striking any animal for any reason but believe me, larger animals to far worse to each just to get each other to move over. Their muscles are MUCH bigger and strong than yours. Biting, clawing and kicking are just some of the ways animals communicate. A club or crop is designed to be unpleasant sure.. but not harmful and when used properly in the hands of a skilled trainer is a means to get your point across that they understand. Hey if you try to kill me you're going to get whacked.. so don't do that.

    So let me expand on the thinking here and suggest that rather than beating a large animal down with deadly weapons.. that we have disciplinary tools like a club or crop which would.. as redfish suggests.. reduce aggro for taming. Carrot AND stick. Though a GM tamer should be able to be succesful with just the carrot. Any pet owner knows though that some measure of discpline is necessary so that pets know what they shouldn't do.. like not use the litter box.. etc
     
    Moiseyev Trueden likes this.
  20. Moiseyev Trueden

    Moiseyev Trueden Avatar

    Messages:
    3,023
    Likes Received:
    8,457
    Trophy Points:
    165
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    California
    Kidnap the baby crocodiles and then raise them into proper and obedient pets. 8^)

    I haven't played around much with taming this release (partly because of the perma death of pet, cost of collar, and ease of magical summons), but I REALLY am enjoying this thread and some of the alternatives to the beat 99% to death and enslave. My joking intro is actually my contribution to the discussion.

    I would enjoy being able to "raise" younger versions of animals or even breed animals as a way to get obedient pets. Initially, you may have to use the stick a bit more with the more feral animals, but as your generations (as perma death seems the way they want to go) continue to be produced, they are easier to train because they see the parents obeying you and its more of a carrot approach. As much as I'd love to get into further/higher end animal husbandry with breeding for traits, I don't think that would be easy/practical from a coding perspective and therefore should just be relegated to maybe a boost in general stats the higher rank your taming/animal husbandry skills become.
     
    helm and Bowen Bloodgood like this.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.