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Monx

Testers
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About Monx

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    Hatchling

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  1. Monx

    What We Want

    What is needed to counter this OP static zone created by overlapping aoe buffs is displacement. With physical displacement, the opponent can punish (mana and cd - not damage) the overlapping aoe zone. I'm talking aoe displacement, suitably large enough to displace an entire group hovering inside their buff rings. It's important.
  2. Monx

    What We Want

    As of now, proximity buffs / heals are OP. If Crowfall launched right now, the group+ size battle meta will be clumps of overlapping buffed zones and attacking from range. There is no answer for it, besides charge with a meat-wall which you can only afford with zerg.
  3. Monx

    What We Want

    Greetings Crowfallers. I read this entire chain with all its replies from the start. Ok. I want to try to show a little game theory. I want to show how un-enamored, uninstanced land can add to an army's power output. Take 2 sides in a battle. 50 melee tanks and 50 aoe mages apiece. Let's say that the mages' aoe produces above-average results if it contacts 3 enemy characters (or more, of course.) The way to taking less damage than your opponents is to spread out. If your opponents can only contact 2 of your allies in their aoes, while your aoes contact 4 of their characters, you can see that with exactly the same amount of players per side & the same power aoes, your side is effectively outputting x2 the damage as your opponents. Here's the tricky part. In order to spread out for the win, yet still maintain casting distance, your army must begin surrounding your opponent's army. If your opponent's catch onto your plan to surround them & they contest, then there will be fierce battles at the fray - as both armies attempt to surround the other. So one might argue, forget about trying to surround them, let's just charge a wall of melee / tank at our opponents and follow up with our mages in the backline. If this "wall" of charging tanks are shoulder to shoulder, they might be vulnerable to 6 or 7 contact per your aoe. Also, if you can AoE slow, snare, root, etc... Now you can multiply your output. So what if the opponent doesn't charge their melee inside a tightly-packed wedge, but instead charges across the span of the entire contested line. Now we have a splintered battlefront. And this is what mmo war is all about, in its best form. It's designed to produce dozens of small yet meaningful encounters across a large area. Battle of this sort has infinite replay-ability, because unlike standard zerg formats that end in one of two ways, the splintered battlefield contains a host of potential win-conditions. The key is finding a suitable power output for aoe's for use in large-scale battles. The lower the power of your aoe's results in more tendency to clump. The higher the power will result in more ground used. I would be interested to speak with another game theorist - whatever your level of experience. Game theory and the dynamics of mmo combat is cool.
  4. Monx

    What We Want

    Hey Crowfall gang, So I don't think I have much of interest to speak about this morning. Okay, last week we were talking about debuffs. What about a debuff that affects your speed. Until this debuff expires at 45 seconds, the faster you run the more it hurts you. This game allows you to control your movement speed, and if you're standing still it won't hurt at all. That's an interesting debuff. I suppose, it would punish even moreso characters with higher max speeds, if they choose to push it to max. Here's a thought. An actual character ability that allows for turbo-boost movement but at cost of damage. That would be fun to use.
  5. Monx

    What We Want

    The best debuff from Shadowbane was the Fury's ability, "Call Storm." This spell single-locked an opponent and caused intermittent bursts of AoE damage. The reason Call Storm was so cool is because it changed the way your opponent plays. They are faced with a decision to either run to the healer in anticipation of soaking a lot of damage (over the next 20 seconds) or running away as far away from your team as you can in order to protect them from the AoE. Sometimes, once afflicted by Call Storm you would frantically try one method before frantically switching to the other. The healer's voice in TeamSpeak "Come to me quick, quick!" Then when that area is targeted with heavy damage, "No, go away go away!" And that's awesome. So often players' abilities DONT cause peaked interactions like that. But that's exactly what debuffs should be - they take you off your A-plan, and force you through sub-optimal decisions, but being taken off-guard yet remaining cool in combat is what veteran-gamesmanship is all about, not ">reflexes." p.s. I know Call Storm is not popularly thought of as a debuff.
  6. Monx

    What We Want

    Alright, here's a quiz for Shadowbaners. What was the best debuff, per the way I characterized debuffs in my previous post? There is a right answer.
  7. Monx

    What We Want

    As a habit, I never read my own threads. However, I just saw that someone isn't familiar with Stasis. Okay guys. I didn't know we didn't know this. Stasis is not cc-locking. It's stasis. It's invulnerable while silenced per duration. Umm... it's zhonya's hourglass... Stasis has been around in multiple platforms for at least 15 years. Now I'm wondering how much of the time I've invested here is just swooshing right overhead.
  8. Monx

    What We Want

    Hey gang, It's Monx. Alright, so I intended to briefly discuss proper debuffing. Battlestat debuffing (ie, reduce attack speed 30%, reduce attack damage 15%) is the #1 worst way. What it's actually doing is so minimal, and most importantly the INTERACTIVITY is practically zero. Interactivity is the bomb, and we need to learn about this. The best potential in debuffing is not "making the other guy paper," but playing-around the debuff, from the target's POV. Game longevity can be measured not in (the amount of characters you can choose from) but in interactivity. Your game might support 60 playable character-types, but your interactivity is low to nil, which is most games. You can only smack a stop-sign with a sword so many times, shoot it with range, fire aoe at it. It's just stop signs smacking each other. Don't worry. It's not your fault. This idea that "Battle = 2 things taking-turns-hitting-each-other" began with Dungeons & Dragons and got converted to about every fantasy game there is. Just can't seem to shake it. D&D is a half century old. Let's evolve. Interactivity = the choice you impose on your opponent's play. What you do to him affects more than his stat bars - it affects his actual mind. Interactivity presents elements into your opponent's mind that he optimally wasn't hoping for, and will test his flexibility. Debuffing is a great channel for people just learning about interactivity, but not debuffing "the old way." Reducing battle-stats does nothing. Debuffs open (suboptimal) avenues that force decisions (albeit the kind of decisions we didn't want to see coming). And the key is to develop in every single debuff, a silver thread that allows it to be played-around. Now we have interactivity, now we have true dynamics, and now we see what a game of unending longevity looks like.
  9. Monx

    What We Want

    good gobble-gobble day to you Crowfalling fools, it's monx. I can't stress enough how important aoe (simply the threat of) is to keeping a dynamic battlefield from stagnating into a low-skill environment. I just feel I need to mention that again. Okay, let's talk about 2 mechanics I personally think are the coolest. 2) Debuffs and 1) Stasis. Stasis is truly cool because you can't be hurt either. It's like you're a frozen impermeable statue until the timer is over. What's great about it, is that on first theory-craft you'd suggest that falling into stasis is a death-sentence (once the timer expires) but actual play proves otherwise. The window of opportunity for the perfect stasis-initiated-sequence is pretty small. Many times you have a pack of players loitering by the stasis statue getting free harassed until they realize "maybe we should move along." That's what makes stasis cool. It taxes a player's strategy rather than reflexes. And anytime you can prioritize mechanics that cause that, you should. Here's 2 new things for stasis to jazz it up. 1) Wide Random Timer - unknown to initiating player as well as the targeted player. This accentuates everything cool about stasis. 2) This is what I was getting to. Debuffs. Add debuffs to stasis, and what do you get? ultra-ness. Here's how: after a min stasis (like 1.5 seconds should be fine) a targeted player can break out of stasis at any point BUT they will accrue a severe debuff (more severe per the earlier the stasis break.) O, and by the way, I am referring to not the normal debuffs you've seen before. I'm talking about the good stuff. Debuffs that have so much flavor it feels not like "-30% attack speed" but more like "Oh poorly made socks! There's a demon in here with me standing right next to my soul!" That's debuffs.
  10. Monx

    What We Want

    Good morning Crowfallers, It's Monx. I wanted to drop a line and talk about "splintering," a battle dynamic. A splintered battle, as opposed to a clumped battle, is a battle with large numbers per side but that splinters into many many meaningful small engagements. Youthful players might prefer getting lost in the crowd, crammed in a wedge of allies, and charging forward when told to charge. Advanced players, and higher skilled players, will always prefer splintered battle because of the heightened potential to outplay your opponents (due to greater reflex-based mechanics / anticipation or greater knowledge, for example, knowing your opponent's threats and when your opponent is out of threats and vulnerable.) Splintering is a cool dynamic and can be done easier than you think. If you actually take time to visualize what you want the battlefield to look like, you can "reverse-play" to contrive the splintering features that will get you there. Here's some ways built into individual characters, and some ways built into meta-strategy: The capability to pursue - even in a tightly packed battlefield. The capability to isolate. The capability to harass - to "come out ahead" in brief skirmishes. Meta Strategies: Own the most ground. This dynamic does not require artificial instance layering. I actually hate artificial imposed "rules" to battle, and resist ever putting these things in. Smart developing is all that's required. So when I say "own the most ground," I mean that the ground inherently provides your characters with power. Imagine a character who grows stronger (for longer) based on the amount of time channeling beforehand. Except, during that time a "zero-zone" builds in a growing circumference around that character. That circumference must be protected (think npc fragile acolytes roaming outward.) The longer the acolytes roam outward (in all directions) the more power they source back to to the channeling character. So in this way, battle changes from "kill all your enemies," which zerg will do just fine, to "win and maintain control over the most ground," a task that requires much more skill and a facet the zerg might easily overlook. There are many other innovative ways to turn battle into the fight for owning the most ground. Furthermore, scouts (or flanks) would actually be required to keep an eye or a boundary on your opponent's army. The fight for ground is just much more involved, but way more fun.
  11. Monx

    What We Want

    Okay. I'm going to do something big. I'm going to try to create a theoretical battle - construct a full-fledged battle macro through character micros. There are a couple keys, one of which is the idea of rock, paper, scissors; another key is land - just un-enamored space. So two sides, let's say 120 characters per side, gather for battle. Imagine the line. Now right off the bat, we need to grant that AoE's keep either side from clumping ftw. And granting also that both sides know the threat of that, so there will definitely be no clumping. Okay, let's move on to what there will be. A deadlock. With a deadlock in place, we're looking for any small advantage. We don't need to rush their 120 for a coin flip. There's no hurry. We can just whittle at them until they rush us. Introduce, assassin. He strikes from real far away. And yanks an opposing character to an isolated place where in the next 30 seconds he will slay that character, 1v1. Okay, what's the counter to having 120 of all assassins then? Answer: Assassins can isolate whomever they want, but 40% or so of builds are the rock to the assassins scissors. But the more important thing is that during that 30 seconds of slay-time, the assassin leaves a "statue" behind, for safe-keeping, guarded by his fellow army. If this statue is damaged while the assassin is away, the assassin will die. Okay, so who's going to go find the 3 statues on the opponent's side of the battle line? Answer: No one. A better solution is to simply have considerably more assassins than your opponents. If they have 3 then you bring 15. Okay, I get it. Then they bring 25... where does it end? If we already established that no side can clump ftw, then why don't we just rush those 25 statues of assassins? Answer: You can protect those statues with "zone-control mages." Every mmo has them. The zone-control mage is not a good mage for pushing lines forward but can stop a small force from pushing into his zone. Good. See we're utilizing "space." Just plain old land for a zone-control mage to watchdog 1 or 2 assassin statues. Now what? I'll ask you guys, "What is the counter to a zone-control mage?" What do you do to remove one? A small lumbering force of melee won't work - a zoning mage eats small packs of melee. And we can't advance in a clump or we get burned remember... So who do we call? Answer: We call the "High-mobility burst mage." From pretty far away, she flashes in and blows-up that "zone-control mage" superfast - let's say 4 seconds from 100 to 0. Okay, so what stops 120 burst mages? One is their cooldown - high burst is always an inverse ratio to sustained dps, right? But what IMMEDIATELY stops them? The rock to their scissors is any cc-effect at all. Just a dab of stun or root will end the High-mobility burst mage. Anyone who has played this mage knows what I'm talking about. So who can reach the mage before the 4 seconds is up and our zone-mage is dead thus our assassin is dead? Answer: A swift invisible warrior-light. Remember he just needs to leap into cc into strike and that's about it for the mage. He doesn't even need to kill her, he can root her then shove her away into a gang of killers. He doesn't watchdog, he cruises around constantly. By staying on the move 8 light-footed stealthers is effectively 10 or 12. So who hunts down these "stealthy warrior-lights?" Well, now we're starting to get into the meat of it. Let's say that "Warrior-mediums" acquire "sight" as a skill among others in the trade-off for just being "heavier." "Warrior-medium flyers" can swoop in if they time it right, grab one and win the harass-exchange before relaunching in a timely manner. But Flyers need to look out for "warrior-heavy leapers." Heavies sport uncompromising damage and sustain. Sometimes it might be better to just follow a couple "Warrior-medium rangers with sight" behind a heavy to draw initial aggro and let them hold down your opponent's stealther and maybe kill him just in time to get away. Of course you need to watch for Tank-Grabbers etc... on and on. Always a rock to a scissors, and a paper to a rock. Now we have a real battle on real land where your rocks are chasing their scissors, while watching out for their papers... but on a large frenzied scale. Now traditional battle tactics play a part, such as how deep do we want our line versus how long. And how do we invade their line, in wedges or snipes... etc... And by the way, this whole thing need not start with Assassins. Assassin is just one example of a stalemate-breaker. Stalemate breakers don't rack up kills quickly just certainly. They are expert whittlers, but only that. Another "open" is to exploit the stalemate by beginning long "vulnerable" channels on your 10 or 15 "power mages." After a minute of channeling, they throw a long range fireball at an area and severely compromise about 5-6 opponents for half their life. Then follow up with "warping lockdown mages," to finish off 1 or 2 targets. "Warping lockdown mages" aren't bursters, they can't 100 to 0 in 4 seconds; but warp-mages can do 50-0 in 6 but with lockdown at their disposal. So, this is another reasonable open, and you can envision it from here - it's a working model of properly balanced battle. This is how we build battle macros from character micros.
  12. Monx

    What We Want

    Greetings Crowfall Loyal. Let me just speak personally for a moment and express my pov that Crowfall will be the unrivaled best MMORPG. It is the first of its kind. Crowfall travels beyond the MMO experience (through the phases that all MMO's traverse) to become an altogether new thing: a game-maker. It is a game that spawns games. Dual-level progressive. This isn't just revolutionary - it's the new standard. Furthermore, Crowfall transcends the earthy experience. I'm not speaking in hyperbole. I'm being literal. The Crowfall experience is what we do in Heaven. We have our Eternal Kingdom owned by the virtuous and apportioned to those fortunate to be our friends, then we travel through multiple events (at our leisure) and meet and fight others in contests of flexible duration and flexible "rules." This is forever. The part that was new to me was "keeping" relics from one to carry over for use into others. That's a great idea that I hadn't considered. Nice work Mr Coleman, you just changed the afterlife. Crowfall will succeed and spread to the world. It is the greatest parable of Heaven the world has ever been given, thus divinely important. Crowfall is the end in that it is the business of Heaven. Truthfully.
  13. Monx

    What We Want

    "How a battle ends." This sounds simple but is really important. The reason it sounds simple is because mmo-battle gamers are used to, for the most part, the two only battle victory conditions being, 1) zerg and in the case the numbers are even, 2) overall player skill and level. This is as far as it goes. But battles are too important for games based on large-scale battles to end either of these ways only. Battles can be fashioned through game dynamics with minimal outside elements. Look at MOBA's and the win-conditions created by the dynamics of those games. MMO battle can do the same. Victory can be achieved through win conditions apart from "We killed them because they're noobs," and "zerg." Implanting the right mechanics into your characters can form dynamic win conditions for battle. It's worth doing.
  14. Monx

    What We Want

    A fallacy is that "battle is the sum of its parts." Rather, battle is a wholey ordained creation of the Developer.
  15. Monx

    What We Want

    The first thing in creating characters for simulated battles is deciding the best manner of battle. As the developer, don't get caught in the trick of jumping to the part where you assign a cool set of abilities to a character model because "they're cooool!" That's the trap; putting the micro-horse ahead of the macro-carriage. Frst thing, write down with permanent marker on your Dry Erase Board in your Thinktank room the subject line "What We Want" followed by the 3 meta answers; so you never lose them while creating the host of micros to come. Each micro should slot into a skill sync that fits into a player strat that slots into a team strat that fits into the 3 meta answers to "What We Want." Crowfall. It's core is battle, so what you need to do way before character-creation is decide "What do I want battle to look like?" For Example: Remember the 10v10 meta "All stack on the healer!" in SB? What was the closest answer to that non-interactive form of battle? Unfriendly AOE's (but more often Shadow Mantle followed by debuffs. Unfriendly AoE's were not prevalent / powerful enough to prevent the stack. Standing in a stack playing "Shadow Mantle" versus "Remove Debuffs," was not optimum battle. How did this situation occur? Because "What We Want" got lost in "Let's make a cool AoE HoT (among other stacking heals etc...)" In contrast to "this ability-set is sooo coool!" character creation should actually inspire little to no emotive response from the Lead Developer. Here is the right response, "This (new character) is both balanced-by-the-numbers and uniquely integral, thus it has a place; so I guess it's strong." I'll tell you what I would do if this was my project. First, I would decide all the intangibles I wanted to create. Momentum, Tempo, Threat. If my battle contains elements to variances of Momentum, Tempo, and Threat, I think the battlers come away with a cool feeling. Ftr, I would also add other optional yet more complex variances such as Scaling (Eventuality) and character-sourced Objective Control. I think devs too often just skip to the parts they can understand. Their view of players is that players just want to trigger a cool ability and watch it play out in a field of other players who are hitting their buttons to do cool stuff. Half will win and half will lose, but at least everyone was afforded a place on the field to hit their buttons. However, that spike quickly fades. Memorable battles are the ones where the battlers feel the intangibles. If you can create that, good job because your game is now forever. The real game is played out before the players ever take the field; it's the game that pits the devs' threshold to their maximum level of understanding and control. Believe it or not, the process of creating is real.
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