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McTan

Rethinking Combos

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I feel that a primary issue with the game at this early stage is that, despite each fight being somewhat unique in how it plays out, actually playing my character is quite prescriptive.  I typically play a Legionnaire, and want to describe a situation that happens commonly.

 

I'm in a group of 4.  We are engaged in a fight with another group of 4.  Several members of my group have lost 10%+ health and I have rage enough to cast my heal and a couple more abilities.  In Crowfall combat as it currently is, there is almost no scenario in which I would not immediately cast my heal (range being one salient factor).

 

In contrast, imagine the same situation but I know that if I cast my heal, I have a 3 second opportunity to combo with any of my other skills and have them be modified/improved.  Suppose one modification is that my snare ability will cast instantly, instead of needing to charge.  Suppose another modification is that my knock-back is twice as effective (i.e. enemies fly back twice as far).  Suppose a third modification is that my speed buff/snare break also yields a 10 second snare/knockdown immunity.  What do I do?

 

I think the (wonderful) answer is: it depends.  It depends on whether we are likely to win the battle or we should flee.  It depends whether we are on top of a rampart and a bigger knock-back could knock people off.  It depends on if I can afford to wait to cast my heal until I get into a more strategic position.  Or maybe, I am not going to be able to do any of those things because of cool-downs and should simply cast my heal.

 

Several of us began discussing this combo system here but that thread is primarily a discussion of how many active abilities each archetype should have, rather than directly about combos.  Thoughts?

Edited by mctan

Mic MWH, Member of Mithril Warhammers since 2003,


Hammers High! http://www.mithrilwarhammers.com

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I think the combo system works, we just need more options. Hopefully that will be provided by skills/promotions/disciplines.

It's tough to speculate without the full system, but I've become more concerned, having now seem that skills don't add anything new and Blair's comments on promotions classes only providing statistic changes and not additional powers.

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I think the combo system works, we just need more options. Hopefully that will be provided by skills/promotions/disciplines.

 

I guess I see this type of combo system being a (relatively efficient) remedy to adding more options.  The abilities themselves, in terms of base activity and animation, remain the same.  For example, instead of having the unlocking Legionnaire combo 4-4-e to get a bleed, those abilities can separate completely.  But, if you do the equivalent combo, maybe the bleed can be activated at 1/2 base Rage cost.

 

In other words, the current combo system can theoretically embed within a modification based system.

 

Edit: Assume there are 10 base abilities. If they all come as ordered 2-pairs which modify the second ability activated, you wind up with (assuming cool-down on all first abilities) 90 2-pair combos, which are qualitatively different than just casting 2 of the base abilities sequentially.

Edited by mctan

Mic MWH, Member of Mithril Warhammers since 2003,


Hammers High! http://www.mithrilwarhammers.com

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ALCON,

 

   First of all like to say a lot of great ideas and opinions I've seen in thread so far;  it got me thinking.  That being said this is what I thought would be interesting thus far:

 

1.) Base archetype skills remain their current number

2.) Single Character Combos:

     a.) Link new promotion/disc abilities to current base abilities (Similiar to what was mentioned before)

     b.) Possibly add combo skills that can be trained to flavor combos

3.) Multi-Character Combos (Big Fan of these):

      a.) Simple combos that can be tied into archetype/disc/promotion abilities of different teammates.

      b.) Complex combos these would require not just an initial skill, but say openers and chains that are in the middle of other combos.  These would require great coordination and team work to pull off, but should also reward such effort.

4.) Vessel limitations:

     a.) Vessels could be utilized to help balance this.  For instance some vessels might not be able to do complex, simple, or single character combos.

     b.) Vessels could also be used to balance this by what abilities they are able to utilize.  Note all vessels would have the base archetype abilities.

5.) Rune stones could have the abilities or combo capabilities in/on them.

6.) Combos can have specific requirements other than just other abilities.  For instance need an ability, but also tied to a type of weapon damage or other triggers.  (Are archetypes limited to only one type of dmg?)

 

So that's all I have for now, it's more of a rough draft and I'm no expert on the game.  Let alone it's mechanics at this time =) 

 

Very Respectfully,

Vagantem

Reference: http://community.crowfall.com/index.php?/topic/10930-passive-skill-gain-is-a-cool-and-all-but/page-3

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I had read your post over there, thanks for the response.  I appreciate your stance on coordination and teamwork.  I am suspicious (but not knowledgeable) of the technical limitations for implementing cross-character ability combinations.  It seems like that communication within the system of the game would be a major challenge in terms of ping.

 

To that end, I think it is likely less of a system burden to implement ability communication within character (what I am proposing).  To the extent that this spices up the flavor of each archetype, I think it also flavors the group dynamics.  That is, the more serious choices I can make as an individual, the more combinations and coordination possible among different individuals.  


Mic MWH, Member of Mithril Warhammers since 2003,


Hammers High! http://www.mithrilwarhammers.com

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I had read your post over there, thanks for the response.  I appreciate your stance on coordination and teamwork.  I am suspicious (but not knowledgeable) of the technical limitations for implementing cross-character ability combinations.  It seems like that communication within the system of the game would be a major challenge in terms of ping.

 

To that end, I think it is likely less of a system burden to implement ability communication within character (what I am proposing).  To the extent that this spices up the flavor of each archetype, I think it also flavors the group dynamics.  That is, the more serious choices I can make as an individual, the more combinations and coordination possible among different individuals.  

Not really. One player could place a status effect on the target and another player could exploit that effect. That's usually how it's handled.

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Not really. One player could place a status effect on the target and another player could exploit that effect. That's usually how it's handled.

Nice, thanks.  Showing my complete amateurism with programming...

Edited by mctan

Mic MWH, Member of Mithril Warhammers since 2003,


Hammers High! http://www.mithrilwarhammers.com

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I like the possibilities of using one ability that can give limited windows of opportunity for other abilities to the degree that it does not force funnel you to always then just do the ability that is buffed next. It should have a draw back or some sort of balancing factor so the expanded options do not become the 'only' logical options.   

 

Example could be by buffing the charge attack you gain +3 (whatever amount of seconds) added to another ability(s) reuse time.

Edited by nomadmerc

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I think combat is awkward since it is like most mmos, while missing key elements. It wants to be realistic with limited healing (which is fine) but only works in games like Chivalry which are first person and slow. With the third person view and "powers" it makes combat more like a key spamming WoW game with harder aiming. Most of the archetypes are basically just "spam 4" and you win. It's very little skill since the majority of the powers do similar things. A knight's 3, 4, and 5 are very similar only varying in damage dealt. 

I think Crowfall should have a healthy balance between realistic and traditional MMO combat. As much criticism as ESO got, it had a fairly decent combat system. It meshed Skyrim's system with WoW and it worked. With Crowfall, I want to seem like I know what I'm going and what my powers "do" to form a strategy of sorts, but I've learned that in it's current state,:blocking does nothing and usually gets you killed, fleeing to heal is never an option, you will likely put all of your effort into spamming your 4 and 5 combos for the chance of winning, then if you do, some other team plays cleanup and kills you.

*Minor note: Has anyone else noticed even if you kill another player it doesn't count it in the end? At first I thought it might just be me not actually getting the final blow, but after 8-9 situations, it's getting odd.

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Having more action deviation and having to make decisions about what to use rather than just when to use is a great way to make actions more tactical.

 

Combos work inversely to this objective, circumstances are changing all the time, tying powers together makes many sub optimal situations where you are using powers at the wrong time to get effects on other actions. This is more of a sacrifice than a benefit.

 

Combos exist primarily to create continuous chains of action instead of using all independent actions, and to limit the use of certain actions to situations where you can follow through for an extended period of time.

 

It's great to have a variety of combos in certain actions, even a degree of branching and mixing combos. But the benefit is to create continuous engagement. In order to get more decisive actions which make combat more tactical, it's actually better to have more actions, or variations on actions, but without combos.

 

Using features like Chording to alter combos or independent actions would allow players to choose the best choice for the situation. A forward advancing attack? Or a stationary attack? Dodge or block? Reaching thrust?, or spinning sweep?

 

Some of this can be done to the regular attacks and branching abilities, some of it can be added to diversify general actions.

 

That's not to say none of the actions couldn't improve with combination effects, but combination of actions could better improve on a general level rather than an "ability" level. Like combining an attack during a sprint, or a spell during a jump. Consider holding a block button while attacking to perform an attack while defending yourself from frontal attacks.

 

These things improve the diversity and depth of choice better than trying to find the best way to burn all of your abilities in the optimal order, something like that will probably end up having more restrictive optimal use situations and burn out all of your options quickly leaving you in a cooldowns hole more often than not.

 

If, instead the scenario with Centaur using heal was altered by which direction you held down when healing, you could either heal in an area around you, or press any direction with the heal action to adjust the heal area to land in the direction pressed, with the user sitting inside the edge of it instead of the center. Because if the opportunity at the moment is to heal allies, than searching for an alternate objective to add effects to a different power doesn't increase the tactical behavior, it limits it to a point where your trying to achieve something else, reducing freedom of action.


a52d4a0d-044f-44ff-8a10-ccc31bfa2d87.jpg          Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes... Than if they're upset, they'll be a mile away, and barefoot :P

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There are two ways they could help combat.

  1. have combos stay on screen longer and pressing another button should not cancel the skill that was triggered .  We should be able to stack secondary effects.
  2. let the player choose the combo he desires by allowing the player to make his own combo's.
Edited by Nakawe

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There are two ways they could help combat.

  1. have combos stay on screen longer and pressing another button should not cancel the skill that was triggered .  We should be able to stack secondary effects.
  2. let the player choose the combo he desires by allowing the player to make his own combo's.

 

Hmm. I kind of like both of those. The first would let you "que up" longer casting powers (like Cuddles "2, 2, step off keep, E" insta tornadoes to the face! The second might be even cooler. Creating your own combos .... Like the old daggerfall spell building. manna cost, cast time, duration, damage, recast could all be factors altered based on which spells are inserted into the combo chain (longer casting spells on the front end "bump up" damage of later spells in the chain. Or any manner of secondary effects).

 

That would be worth being rooted for a while. That would allow a level of customization I could get behind.

Edited by coolwaters

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A knight's 3, 4, and 5 are very similar only varying in damage dealt.

 

No.

 

3 + 3 is a quick low cool down mainly single target stun that restores stamina.

 

4 is area damage > knockdown or damage > bleed depending on cool downs and situation

 

5 is small cone damage and applies a barrier to your self

 

All tactically and mechanically different

 

p.s. only just noticed coolwaters necro'd this thread. hope these were the case when he wrote that....

Edited by Tinnis

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p.s. only just noticed coolwaters necro'd this thread. hope these were the case when he wrote that....

 

To be fair, I linked it again recently, so it was a self-rez.  

 

I think, however, the conversation is still very relevant and BK's input is particularly on point.  What can we do about combat that would not dramatically increase the technical/animation cost, but greatly increase the value of the system?  Non-prescriptive combos is one way to help things along (my original suggestion) and alternative ability branches is another (BK).

 

Both have the benefit of greatly diversifying the actions involved in combat with the added benefit of not affecting the amount of animations necessary.

Edited by mctan

Mic MWH, Member of Mithril Warhammers since 2003,


Hammers High! http://www.mithrilwarhammers.com

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It's tough to speculate without the full system, but I've become more concerned, having now seem that skills don't add anything new and Blair's comments on promotions classes only providing statistic changes and not additional powers.

 

If that is the route they're indeed going; that's damn disappointing. You would think specializations would have some more meat to them. Statistical changes are about as bland and boring as you can get.

 

The combo system we have now is very "shake n bake" / one dimensional. The beta is supposed to start at the tail end of this year, but I honestly hope they pushed it back even further. Combat (and combos specifically) still need a lot more work.

Edited by helix

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