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First look: Ranger powers & UI - Official discussion thread

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I think the best way to balance a long distance fighter is to make the projectile faster. If you have decent aim the problem with long range shots becomes your targets can zig and zag out of the way. The faster the projectile is the less zig zagging matters. 

 

Maybe it's the difference between a ranger using a short bow and a stalker using a long bow - projectile distance and speed.

 

Well that's definitely one way to do it. In most FPS games, there are typically 2 ways to determine damage: either manifest a projectile and calculate if the projectile will intersect another player; or judge where the reticle is pointing, set a distance in which damage is applied, and the object (or objects) in this path on player action that can take damage calculates the damage instantly making it easier to animate and easier on the server. The first style appears to be the one used for the confessor and ranger, but maybe the second would be better for the Stalker, considering their long windups and slow fire rate. This formula is used in most shooter games, so it can also be applied for the duelists pistol as well (I know I'm paraphrasing/oversimplifying the mechanics a lot).

 

The downsides to the second formula is that lag or server disruptions will mess with the damage calculations (though this can also happen with the first formula, but on a less dramatic scale...with the first, the server will think you missed; on the second formula, the server will assume all shots hit) and can be immersion breaking. To use actual projectiles was definitely the right call for the confessor and ranger, but do you guys think that the second formula should be used for the stalker/duelist pistols? Not really advocating either (would prefer the first one for dodging purposes (though at the speeds the Stalker's projectile would need to go, would it matter?), though the second does make things a lot easier to develop and apply), just putting it out there.

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Hiding in one spot because it is a ranged character is not a good enough excuse...

 

That means passively waiting for someone to run by you, that is boring...

 

Well since the movement stealth has been confirmed with a rune then I am ok with that.

 

@Ziz; What did I tell you, lol XD

 

This is one of those "if you give a mouse a cookie" scenarios

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I am disappointed the ranger isn't a stealth class.

 

 

You get to move via stealth on a melee character that needs to move (assassin).. The ranger can attack from.... Wait for it..... Range! So hiding in one spot is just fine.

Plus we dont now what the general stealth skill line will have, so maybe you can get movement that way?

 

A ranger isn't named for using ranged weapons. It's named for ranging in the wilderness. Stealth is as much apart of the archetype as the bow is.

Edited by frozenshadow

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They mentioned that they would address the weaknesses of traditional melee vs ranged combat in games (read: kiting), but didn't really see them address this much, if at all.

 

So what IS going to happen to address this? Sure there's the limited ammo thing but is a knoght just going to have to wait till the quiver is empty. Ranger already has a ton of mobility, so chasing is out of the question, so what, melee twiddles it's thumbs and hope they don't become half tree before they can finally attack?

 

I expect that the ranged abilities will have some startup and animation lag, kinda like the confessor's, requiring them to stop and aim the skill every once in a while. Is that the current course, or are we looking at the typical run&gun / happy feet shooting you see in so many other games?

 

It's easy to address range vs. melee. Just give melees the tools to get in. This can be as simple as damage mitigation buffs, movement buffs, or teleports / flashes / dashes to bridge the gap.

 

Healing also helps melees a whole lot, so hopefully we'll see more of that.

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I'd love to see one or two more traps for the ranger to use as that was the most interesting aspect of the class for me, maybe one that snares or one that has massive knockback?

 

Maybe the ranger's current OP feel can be mitigated by giving it traps instead of more damaging/stealth skills, that way other classes that are less versatile can do more combo based damage by simply having more attacks.

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I am disappointed the ranger isn't a stealth class.

 

 

 

A ranger isn't named for using ranged weapons. It's named for ranging in the wilderness. Stealth is as much apart of the archetype as the bow is.

 

Are Rangers in the wilderness typically able to remain unnoticed by prey while moving? Because I was always under the impression that after learning or anticipating patterns in their target, the Ranger would lie in wait and use greater patience to catch the jump on the enemy.

 

Assassins, however, remain hidden/disguised up until the point when they move right next to their target.

 

Thus, possibly, the realism in the rational for the difference between the Ranger's Hide and general Stealth.

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TLDR: For those clamoring for stealth movement on a ranged character with a 40 meter radius of influence, sure, by all means...but your ranged damage is going to be trash. Good luck with your "ranged" class

 

OK, enough of the "Ranger Stealth should move" nonsense, here's some visual aids (AND MATH, KIDS!!):

 

 

The default values of most shots allow the Ranger to shoot up to 40m away. There are skills in the Ranger skill tree which allow the increasing of both stats. We are still playing with how high we want to let these stats go. - FIRST LOOK: RANGER POWERS & UI

 

So 40m is a minimum range we're given. let's see how that looks:

 

12805959_1693546134234819_31803167704066

(I'm sorry folks, looks like there is a Ranger HIDING on the field today, so for the immediate safety of our players, second string, and coaches, we're canceling the game today)

 

Now, we haven't seen the assassin yet, but assuming that she'll likely have swords as an alternative and considering the Knight's range with the sword at 5 meters (and this is their farthest reaching skill), this is what an assassin at maximum melee range would look like:

 

12802764_1693548400901259_21718317739157

(I considered not adding radius to avoid talking down to people and it just looks sad, but then I remembered why I was doing this, so...)

 

Now, considering the area of influence, the total area that the Ranger can affect is 5026.55 meters while the Assassin only has 78.54. "Oh, but the Assassin can move." That's right, but to have the same area of influence, the assassin would need to move in an area 64 times that of their own area's size (so an assassin moving around in the same space as 64 other assassins...that's a lot of assassin, I can imagine a wingtip putting out someone's eye...if the ranger hasn't shot it out first...). AND THIS IS ONLY THEIR MINIMUM RANGE.

 

And now you want this 5026.55 area of arrow based death to move...(Folks I just received word that the ranger can move while invisible, so it's about that time to evacuate to your escape points, the city is lost, we're in a state of emergency, the gods are dead...)

 

If Ranger's can move then we now have a problem with balancing the soft values of stealth mobility and ranged tactical influence. Not only will Ranger's have a "Hide" for an initiative/escape advantage, a ranged kit, a melee kit, along with their utility powers, but they'll have ADDITIONAL advantages in positioning, invisible mobility, and safety in their freedom of movement TOO?! Already, the Ranger has a metric sh**-ton of versatility (yes, abilities are going to move, but even then, their versatility is going to be through the roof with melee and ranged skills, all of which are pretty impressive) with 2 different sources of damage, so you just know that ACE is preparing the nerfbat to bust some OPknees.

 

So the ranger will have two options:

  • Their ranged attacks will be garbage because of how much tactical influence they'll have with their stealth mobility (when I think of "Ranger," I do not think of their ranged attacks being the weakest part of their game). This will mean their melee attacks will have to take center stage for damage, so for those wanting a viable ranged Ranger...well, prepare to be disappointed. But those who wanted a stealth melee ranger!...will probably still be disappointed. And here's why: You still have that shiny DPuSeless Ranged Kit!!

vfkr1.jpg

So you'll have a ranger useless in every scenario when it comes to DPS

  • OR they can keep their hide immobile as a UTILITY power to help them set up their snipes and damage can be normalized, since those soft advantages would be gone. This would at least allow their ranged kit to be viable.

 

When it comes to stealth classes, you always hear the same thing: Risk vs Reward. So let's take a look at our assassin, shall we. Her risk comes from her need to get close to her target to do damage and one target only, but her invisibility grants her the MASSIVE safety she needs to get close to them. Well, this major advantage needs to be checked, so we'll check her with: low defenses (to make up for the safety) and slow speed (to make up for her freedom of movement). The reward for the Assassin is her high burst damage so she can quickly collect on her "risk."

 

Let's see where the risk is for a stealthed ranged character!...wait...(Oh hang on, the risk comes from nerfbats...)

 

(That said, Devs in MMO's always seem to look for ways to mitigate these checks to their own toxic system: the defenses are never low enough, as even caught stealth characters still have enough defenses to try their rotation another 2 or 3 times; and in MMO's there are ALWAYS ways to buff stealth speed, to the point where in many cases, their stealthed speed is higher than their normal speed. And it's so realistic, having all the environment-based sneaking in that empty lawn...wait...)

 

Now there are a number of things that we don't know about stealth, but they have said that it will be full invisibility and full mobility (which I already hate: http://community.crowfall.com/index.php?/topic/11148-first-look-ranger-powers-ui-official-discussion-thread/?p=260083), and that is the worst part of it (there are no good parts to invisibility and game design, only managing the fallout). Things like when & how stealth is popped, is the concealing/revealing process on a cast-time or is it instant, etc...these are things we're still waiting to find out. Invisibility already provides a MAJOR tactical advantage that is inevitably nerfed, so those clamoring for stealth movement on a ranged character with a 40 meter radius of influence, sure, by all means...but your damage is going to be crap.

 

The only hope is that this runed/promotion stealth mobility comes with the debuffs "Crawl," where their movement speed is lower than even their walking speed (even the typical default "hurried" pace of melee stealth characters in MMO's is still pretty bad, where they're between a walk and a run. Try sneaking hurried...then try sneaking slowly, and tell me which is better for remaining undetected longer). To me, that would be the only way I could accept stealth movement on a ranged character without a massive nerf to their ranged damage output.

Edited by RKNM

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Good point. Rangers should have the ability to Track.

 

I think the Stalker will fit this role, as the scout in Shadowbane. As you read his storyn, the stalker is clearly a hunter


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Thelanas Kar'Pal Membre fondateur de l'alliance Naerth en 2001 - Ex Shadowbane European Advisor Damnation/Carnage/Vindication/Corruption http://www.twitch.tv/gorwald/profile

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Wow.  What can I say?  Since you like The 5th Element, how about this: "I am very disappointed!"

 

Do you honestly not realize just how incredibly OP the Ranger is its current form?

 

Let's take a look at the so-called "minimum viable powers" lol

 

Ranged - Fundamentally the Ranger is a ranged class which always has an advantage over melee.  And the arrows are much faster than the Confessor fireballs, and gets an aim zoom?  Anyone who has played a FPS will have no problem landing shots.  The only things I can think of that would possibly balance this is if your allies can block arrows (maybe with friendly fire?), and/or the ranged attacks simply do noticeably less damage than melee attacks.  Also, the Ranger should not be able to fire an arrow while moving, or, if moving gains a large accuracy penalty (perhaps a skill can reduce this?).

 

"Traps" - When I think "Ranger and traps" I think of stuff like snares, deadfalls, tripwires, etc. that take time to construct at the Ranger's location, and must be placed tactically to improve the chances that an enemy will trigger it.  I do NOT think of sticky, wall destroying satchel charges that self arm in 1 second and can be thrown as far as an arrow can be shot!  Furthermore, who thought it was a good idea to make traps an ability with no "ammo" consumption?  Finite arrows, but infinite traps?

 

Lifesteal - Because nothing is more fun than trying to kill something that heals itself as it kills you. <_<  Especially when combined with...

 

Blink and Disengage - So you're giving the class a blink which also gives a 50% movement speed buff, AND a 25m disengage!?  Are you ****ing serious!?  So even if the lifesteal can be overcome, the Ranger can just leave.  SMH

 

The only thing it's missing from the Big Bag of BS Mechanics is a stun, but it makes up for that with a ranged, AoE, 6 second silence!

 

Here's the "I Win" combo that every Ranger will use if anything ever comes close:  Blink --> run away for 3 seconds --> turn 180* (instantly, due to the horrible pseudo-kinematic character controller) --> non-channeled Slice N Dice --> Disengage --> (optional: lifesteal + throw satchel charge/suppression/barrage) --> turn 180* --> Dodge Roll --> run until the the skills are off CD and repeat

 

Hide - Ironically, the Hide ability looks to be slightly balanced since the Ranger must be out of combat, and cannot move while hidden, but after using the I Win combo a couple times, the Ranger should be far enough away to Hide and go get a pizza, completely safe from any retaliation since there's no way to break Hide w/o knowing where the Ranger is in the first place.  It's perfect, infinite invisibility in plain sight.

 

Archer’s Stake - Cool idea with terrible execution.  Why in the hell should "stand next to spikes" = "huge attack power buff"?  The spikes should be a deterrent to melee classes, not an attack damage steroid.  They should physically block movement and be a thick enough model that melee attacks and many melee abilities cannot reach the Ranger behind the spikes.  The spikes should have a large HP pool so they can be destroyed, but any melee attacker would take damage from attacking them and be riddled with arrows in the meantime.  They should be formed in a semi circle so a Ranger can place them strategically near a wall or cliff or with another Ranger to get full protection.

 

"We didn’t want to burden our Rangers with carrying around a large wooden stake..."  Why?  Just as arrows are and as traps should be, why not make it a finite resource?  Even better, make every tree a "harvestable node" from which a Ranger can resupply their spikes.  I assume that inventory will have a weight or volume limit, and this would play into what you said: "the Ranger requires much more preparation and hand-eye skills to play than any of our other archetypes."

 

The Ranger is broken AF.

 

 

I am very disappointed.

Edited by sidney

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My feedback :

  • Truly not a fan of forcing the player to be ranged before going melee (if some do not understand why I am saying this, read the section called Ranger Power Resources).  This drastically reduces choices and playstyle originality.  Sounds like a cookie-cutter class.
  • Not a fan of limited arrows, while the others classes, such as the Confessor, do not have such limits.

I would normally, naturally, be attracted by a ranger class, but I will pass in this case.


Baraz / Siriel, The Shipwrecked Pirates and ally of the WinterbladesUndead Lords (UDL)
- Loved Shadowbane. I play mostly Darkfall, Mount & Blade Warband, Heroes & Generals, Fallout 4 (Steam).

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My feedback :

  • Truly not a fan of forcing the player to be ranged before going melee (if some do not understand why I am saying this, read the section called Ranger Power Resources).  This drastically reduces choices and playstyle originality.  Sounds like a cookie-cutter class.
  • Not a fan of limited arrows, while the others classes, such as the Confessor, do not have such limits.

I would normally, naturally, be attracted by a ranger class, but I will pass in this case.

I guess you didn't read the whole thing.

 

 

 

But remember, there are ways to modify the base archetype to fit your playstyle!  For example, one of the Ranger promotion classes significantly improves the size of their energy pool and power resource efficiency stat, which allows them to spend the majority of time in the melee tray if they enjoy the playstyle.

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Do you honestly not realize that the current ranger set is for testing purposes?

 

This seems to be a common issue in a lot of threads (particularly balance related threads), the fact that all of this is for testing purposes.

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1. Interesting read. Love the swapping trays...but as others have said, if you do that for ranger, it really begs for it with other Archetypes. The Confessor swapping between book and staff. The Knight swapping from Sword & Board to 2H Sword. The Champion swapping between 2H Melee and 2H Spear. The Legionnaire swapping between the 2H Polearm and the 2H Spear...etc etc etc.

 

2. My general impression is that the Ranger's inherent diversity of powers make it presently significantly OPed in comparison to the other 4 archetypes. That's fine at this point...I have no problem with that...and thats even without mobile stealth. Hide is an incredibly powerful skill...especially when only certain other Archetypes can detect and reveal. The ability to move hidden...and have the offensive ranged and melee powers as outlined? Oh dear lord.

 

3. Stealth mobility from disciplines. Err...I'm pretty skeptical about this. Mobile stealth would seem to me to be a fundamental skill that shouldn't be something that is rampant across lots of archetypes...just as lots of archetypes shouldn't get healing from just applying a discipline. Now, with that being said, aren't disciplines applied to vessels at this point? i.e...arent they something you lose if you lose your vessel? Maybe that will help balance this out...ie losing a fight...and losing your best vessel that gave your Ranger the ability to stealth...and now you have to re-enter the battle with an inferior vessel which lacks that ability. Maybe I'm remembering how disciplines and vessels work...but that was my understanding. Could certainly prove to be interesting.

 

4. Any chance ACE can roll this out in the Hunger Done before SP hits? No matter how OPed, the soon we start testing the better IMHO.

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Do you honestly not realize that the current ranger set is for testing purposes?

 

While everything is subject to change entirely, what they've released is a real and clear indication of the thinking of the designers, not merely in terms of kind but of degree. In that light, one might entirely reasonably be concerned, and even disappointed, with what they're seeing, without assuming that it's release-ready.

 

You are being condescending, but in reality it's you who demonstrates naiveté. Do you honestly not realize that the current ranger set is a first approximation of what they currently intend the ranger to be?


I mean, I'm assuming "fluffer" is just another pjorative term for carebears, whales, etc. Of course, I could be incorrect, but I doubt it.

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As for your larger post, you are correct in that the Ranger was first billed as more of a stealthy, trap placing sapper. That is where we started, and with what we have right now, it wasn't really fun. The way we are building Crowfall and putting it in front of all you backers so early doesn't lend itself to building features/classes and putting it on the shelf for months awaiting the rest of the pieces that make that feature fun to be built. (This is vastly different than typical MMO development where you build lots of features and slam it all together in the last year and then try and "find the fun")

 

In Hunger Dome and SP there just isn't a large preparatory time to align with the idea of setting up a minefield around the keep and building defenses like you would if it was a structure you owned in a Campaign. So having a character who sneaks around planting traps, just didn't make sense right now. It won't make sense for another 2 or 3 major milestones. People might have gotten excited about the idea of the Ranger as a stealthy sapper, but going the route we did should make her fun in both SP and the Hunger Dome.

 

It is much more likely that by the time we get to the Assassin that will also align with Campaigns coming online, so we will have a use for a stealthy sapper type (promotion class more than likely).

 

 

 

 

Blair (appreciate the response) a few things I think are worthy of a larger notice to people looking at the ranger class. Not sure how many potential people will read this specific thread and see your comments but the biggest takeaways to me are;

  • Rangers in the upcoming build are being designed to fit into the current mix of archetypes available in pre-alpha.
  • They are NOT indicative of what your eventual goal for the archetype will be.

Do you plan on ever returning the Ranger archetype to its proposed role; "Stealthy Sapper"? Or is that role going to be delegated to its promotion class? I guess what I'm most confused on is that archetypes are being designed, not with their eventual place in mind, but rather with a focus on designing the tech necessary to flush out a archetype system later on. I get the sentiment, but its confusing for the larger audience.

 

The larger problem, however, is that people are likely to confuse the current state of Ranger with the perceived launch state of Ranger. There was no indication this was the case in your press reveal for Ranger. People who might have been attracted to Crowfalls Ranger (or insert any archetype name for that matter), might not understand the development purposes behind doing and making the decisions you did. The last thing I want is some players abandoning this game because their favorite archetypes and roles have taken a 90 degree turn from what they hoped they would be.

 

In my mind, I had always assigned ranger as one of those two archetypes specializing in stealth (your front page still indicates "Specialist: Stealth"). To the outside and casual follower of the progress Crowfall is making, you have effectively eliminated one of those two archetypes (based on your press release again). To a player who ONLY wants to play a stealth character, our choices and breadth of selection have shrunk by one.

 

Now of course, a logical and well read observer like myself would understand this is not the case. Yet, you can see why I'd be concerned that others less read up on Crowfall might feel this way reading your press release no?

 

Devils Advocate Part 2

 

One comment you made in reply to me, was that you were concerned about "fun" in the tests. I know you are doing this for a few reasons, namely you want backers to enjoy the game so they stream more and bring more people in. Yet let me play devils advocate for a different approach.

 

Design your archetypes the way you intend for them to be at launch. A ranger whose sole job is to plant traps and stealth around a battlefield (movement stealth mind you) might sound un-fun at first considering no counter exists yet. Yet that leads to a clearly inherent need for your next archetype to be developed to counter the Ranger. Further, it saves you the trouble of having to go back and "redo" an archetype. 

 

The way you guys are approaching archetype design feels a little crazy to me because you are simply pushing off the balance discussion till closer till launch when its harder to make changes. Wouldn't you rather want to understand and experience the challenges a "stealthy sapper" has right now, as opposed to two months out from a soft launch of your campaigns? I feel like you guys are doubling or tripling your work load by trying to appease the current testing pool with "fun". I guess this part of your design decision from an overall standpoint feels very wasteful to me.

 

Who cares if Ranger isn't fun right now, good players will understand the role the archetype will play in the larger campaigns. I can already picture it now, even if I don't have fun in an upcoming test.

 

Instead, what we have is an archetype which you have indicated might not be at all representative of the archetype we get at launch. This just seems to be alienating people from the Ranger looking at the comments in this thread.

 

TLDR; Design the archetypes as you intend to be in the final game, not as a "fun" placeholder for upcoming tests.

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TLDR; Design the archetypes as you intend to be in the final game, not as a "fun" placeholder for upcoming tests.

 

The goal of all of these Pre-Alpha tests is to test the technology, not to craft and balance archetypes.  They want to test as much tech as soon as possible so that they can deal with issues ASAP, testing the tech will save them more work and give them a better idea in crafting the future archetypes that will utilize the same tech.  The reason to make the tests and the archetypes fun is to keep people playing so that data can be gathered and bugs can be squashed.  Archetypes will be constantly balanced as more archtypes and other game systems are created and introduced, you aren't going to hit the sweet spot with the first attempt, so they wouldn't be saving significant time by trying for the final version now.

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Although I wasn't ever really interested in the Ranger as a class I find it a little unnerving that an entire theme was scrapped entirely simply to balance a class within the limited scope of the Alpha. That being said, I do like the way the class appears in the preview, and it gives us a greater insight into new mechanics, however if I was invested in the stealthy Sapper I would feel betrayed.


Sneak home and pray you'll never know the hell where youth and laughter go.

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