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Durenthal

Combo mechanics need to change

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Combos in Crowfall are... terrible, frankly.

 

You really need to stop burying CCs and utility powers behind generic attack buildup powers.

 

As an example - the knight's knockdown:   4-4-4 is knockdown.  The cost is frontloaded to the first keypress (so very foolish) so it's not even truly a combo any more.  But putting that aside, no one uses this combo for the first two powers in the chain.  They are just a barrier to get to the knockdown.  You may as well make it a single keypress that does two buildup attacks and then a knockdown.

 

Combos are a great idea.  Combos that build up to a big smash attack would be awesome.   Or have combos give us real options.

 

For example (and I'm not saying this a good example, but it makes the point):  On a knight:  LMB does its normal attack.  SHIFT-LMB means the next LMB attack does +10% damage.  If it stacks 3 times, next LMB does double damage.   CTRL-LMB means the next LMB attack has an area of effect 20% larger.  Stacks 3 times.  ALT-LMB means the next LMB applies a slow.  Stacks 3 times.. on 3rd, it applies a root.

 

You could further add combos of these to generate still other effects.  Knockdown followed by stun could cause a bleed or an armor break or something nifty.   Give us a choice to make.  Right now combat is use big high cost power, use next biggest power, use whatever's not on cooldown, LMB to regen mana / resources while waiting for cooldowns to go away.

Edited by durenthal

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I'd like to see a combo of key / mouse inputs over the optional chain attacks / procs we have now.

 

I also want to see buffs / debuffs and CCs decoupled if possible.

Edited by helix

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yes some can be quite hidden away with filler powers before at the moment. and very little depth in the combo choice 

 

also many combo powers should be redesigned / tweaked so you might actually want to stop during the combo just for that effect e.g. fire shield etc

 

i want:

 

1) more impactful combo branching and choice

 

2) more reactionary or effect based combos

 

e.g. after you are stunned / knockdown / slowed / bleed effect etc you can start a X part hidden retaliate style combo with multiple choices of effects

 

or if you are attacking someone who is stunned / knockdown / slowed / bleed effect etc you can start a hidden combo 

 

3) cross effect combos:

 

e.g. if you use X power that usually causes a bleed effect - on a target that has been knocked down by another power or player - then it will do a combined effect - like extra damage or in this case they get blood in their eyes and are then blinded.

 

4) positional combos / powers

 

powers that do extra effects or can only be used from a certain position e.g. attacking from front, side or rear, above. also to possibly have combos.

Edited by Tinnis

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The "combos" in Crowfall aren't actually really combos, since they are all the same ability they are in fact not "combinations" of anything - they're attack/skill chains like in GW2, for eg. You might say semantics, but... I always found it really weird they were called combos. It invites the thoughts of something much more highly complex/intriguing than basic attack chains, so is a little bit of a let down due to expectations.

 

Some of them feel rewarding (last I played) but others felt very underwhelming, esp. due to the anim locks. By the time you get to the combo that you actually wanted the effect of (eg a knockdown), you have telegraphed that fact for a couple seconds (or more) at least by using filler attacks you don't really care about, and the target(s) can/will be gone.

Edited by taroskin

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The "combos" in Crowfall aren't actually really combos, since they are all the same ability they are in fact not "combinations" of anything - they're attack/skill chains like in GW2, for eg. You might say semantics, but... I always found it really weird they were called combos. It invites the thoughts of something much more highly complex/intriguing than basic attack chains, so is a little bit of a let down due to expectations.

 

Some of them feel rewarding (last I played) but others felt very underwhelming, esp. due to the anim locks. By the time you get to the combo that you actually wanted the effect of (eg a knockdown), you have telegraphed that fact for a couple seconds (or more) at least by using filler attacks you don't really care about, and the target(s) can/will be gone.

 

The combo system rework would be a huge undertaking, and I'm not sure they're really up to doing it or have the resources. I think if combos were reworked tho, it be a huge step towards polishing up combat and making it more responsive.

Edited by helix

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The "combos" in Crowfall aren't actually really combos, since they are all the same ability they are in fact not "combinations" of anything - they're attack/skill chains like in GW2, for eg. You might say semantics, but... I always found it really weird they were called combos. It invites the thoughts of something much more highly complex/intriguing than basic attack chains, so is a little bit of a let down due to expectations.

 

The abilities in the combos ("... term that designates a set of actions performed in sequence, usually with strict timing limitations, that yield a significant benefit or advantage.") are different, with unique effects and benefits. Confessor's [2] is a shield, [2-e] is a 4m AoE spell, [2-2-2] are tornadoes, [2-e-e] a knock up, etc. That seems to correspond to what a combo is generally understood to be.

Edited by courant101

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Aren't TERA combos, the same? I played TERA till level 20 or so before I got bored of it, but I know on the Warrior, using a certain strike would combo into a dodge which combos into a backstap or something. I don't see how Crowfall's and TERA's combos are any different.


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Aren't TERA combos, the same? I played TERA till level 20 or so before I got bored of it, but I know on the Warrior, using a certain strike would combo into a dodge which combos into a backstap or something. I don't see how Crowfall's and TERA's combos are any different.

Well in TERA pretty sure could make your own combos. Any ability you knew could be put in a combo chain with another. Also TERAs combos were status effect based as well. Meaning spell 1 does fire damage, then spell 2 in the chain could be something that does more damage based on the previous ability's fire effect etc.

 

I think Crowfalls combo system was more based off of Champions Online MMO game that Blair and maybe other ACE devs worked on. Never played that game so no idea if CO combos were good or not.

 

If Crowfalls combo system was perhaps a bit MORE like TERAs I think that would be a huge improvement.

Edited by pang

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By the time you get to the combo that you actually wanted the effect of (eg a knockdown), you have telegraphed that fact for a couple seconds (or more) at least by using filler attacks you don't really care about, and the target(s) can/will be gone.

 

This is the whole point! That means you have tactical combat! People can respond before the attack lands not after. I can't underscore this enough.

 

A person who has spent time learning the powers knows all the animations, and will respond before the attack lands with a Dodge, Block, or other Get out of the way. This is how you get good.

 

I know this is different than many MMO's who primarily use "after the fact" or "during the cast" style counters with cleanses, heals, interrupts, etc. (yes I know there are games that use ground projections, but these are the exception and not the rule)

 

Again the whole point is to telegraph what you are intending to do to other players, so you can respond. Blocking an incoming CC only works if you know the CC is incoming, and we don't intend to add cast times to everything so you know someone is casting. The animation tells you what someone is about to do.


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This is the whole point! That means you have tactical combat! People can respond before the attack lands not after. I can't underscore this enough.

 

A person who has spent time learning the powers knows all the animations, and will respond before the attack lands with a Dodge, Block, or other Get out of the way. This is how you get good.

 

I know this is different than many MMO's who primarily use "after the fact" or "during the cast" style counters with cleanses, heals, interrupts, etc. (yes I know there are games that use ground projections, but these are the exception and not the rule)

 

Again the whole point is to telegraph what you are intending to do to other players, so you can respond. Blocking an incoming CC only works if you know the CC is incoming, and we don't intend to add cast times to everything so you know someone is casting. The animation tells you what someone is about to do.

 

What about combos like champion #1. Seems like a complete waste of time for it to be a combo and having to use 2 abilities while being rooted just to getto the spinning movement attack.

 

Its stuff like this that makes the game feel clunky and slow


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This is the whole point! That means you have tactical combat! People can respond before the attack lands not after. I can't underscore this enough.

 

A person who has spent time learning the powers knows all the animations, and will respond before the attack lands with a Dodge, Block, or other Get out of the way. This is how you get good.

 

I know this is different than many MMO's who primarily use "after the fact" or "during the cast" style counters with cleanses, heals, interrupts, etc. (yes I know there are games that use ground projections, but these are the exception and not the rule)

 

Again the whole point is to telegraph what you are intending to do to other players, so you can respond. Blocking an incoming CC only works if you know the CC is incoming, and we don't intend to add cast times to everything so you know someone is casting. The animation tells you what someone is about to do.

 

That's all well and good (telegraphing a CC) but why does it need 3 keystrokes?  Why can't 4 simply start a big telegraphed knockdown with distinctive lead up attacks?

 

By frontloading the combo cost onto the first power, you're effectively saying "the first and second powers in this combo (the telegraph powers) only serve to telegraph the knockdown.  You cannot use them on their own (to fake a telegraph (hey! tactical combat) and provoke a response) because the mana cost is utterly ridiculous.  At that point, you may as well make it one keystroke.

 

But what about 4-4-E, you say?  4-4-E is a crap bleed that we only use when the knockdown is on cooldown and we've already blown the mana for the combo.  Make it a severe bleed and it becomes worth the mana cost.  But it ticks for 400.  It's an insult, not a wound.

 

We want reactive tactical combat.  We want real choices in our combos.  Put the mana costs back on the individual powers instead of frontloading them so you can at least pretend the lead-up attacks have worth on their own, and so that we can abort the combo when our target moves away - we're rooted and cannot follow (yes, there's just enough time to hit the next element in the combo to take a single step.  It's not enough to follow someone who's moved away).  Make the options at the end of the combos equally compelling.

 

Also, you say we should be able to recognize the telegraph lead ups to big CCs - but the knockdown has two paths that don't look alike - 4-4-4 and 4-E-4 have the same effect but different telegraphs.  And those two telegraphs can each lead to two different powers - one a CC, the other a tickle.

 

Further, this is group vs group combat.  In a 1v1 duel, knowing the telegraphs has value (sort of - really, at the moment, don't stand in front of the enemy when he's standing still... wait until he starts a move that roots him, rotate 90 degrees around him and start the attack that roots you - his will miss, and if you're lucky he will turn to face you instead of moving out of your rooted attack when his animation ends).  But in a sea of bodies, the telegraphs don't matter.  Don't stand in front of the champion, keep moving as much as rooting attacks allow to make ranged characters miss, and run when your health gets low or you get clearly outnumbered.

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This is the whole point! That means you have tactical combat! People can respond before the attack lands not after. I can't underscore this enough.

 

A person who has spent time learning the powers knows all the animations, and will respond before the attack lands with a Dodge, Block, or other Get out of the way. This is how you get good.

 

I know this is different than many MMO's who primarily use "after the fact" or "during the cast" style counters with cleanses, heals, interrupts, etc. (yes I know there are games that use ground projections, but these are the exception and not the rule)

 

Again the whole point is to telegraph what you are intending to do to other players, so you can respond. Blocking an incoming CC only works if you know the CC is incoming, and we don't intend to add cast times to everything so you know someone is casting. The animation tells you what someone is about to do.

 

 

I appreciate that ideal. It's of course a way to produce an interative combat system. However.... Can't an animation show me that? I can see, for example, in Shadowbane when someone was casting an important spell. This gave me time to get out of the way, to stun them, to displace, etc. Why do so many of the unique and cool effects need to be buried in generic chains that (sometimes) don't otherwise connect to the "idea" of the final ability? When I want to use an specific effect it produces the scenario where I have to go through a bunch of stuff I don't care about. That reduces the feeling of combat speed and combat responsiveness to me because my intended result is delayed massively.

 

Why do I need generic filler attacks before that last telegraph? Delay & animation is the defining interaction - the generic attacks add little to it for that purpose other than perhaps reducing the pace of combat and giving people even more time. There is so little difference between noticing a combo right now and noticing a certain animation, or as you described, "during the cast". If the generic filler attacks are just that - fairly generic and filler - then they will be treated as an extension of the real abilities (combo 2 or 3 in this case), and as such, any information gleaned from them would be "during the cast". Allowing interrupts or other cc, displacement or dodge abilities - the most important factors here are (1) delay and (2) visual telegraphing. The fillers are not necessary for those factors, are they?

 

What I mean to say is, some of the abilities just seem to have combos, "just because". It de-emphasises the fun/unique/powerful parts of the abilities for an unclear reason. It also makes some of the abilities just kind of weird - I want to launch this cool ass AoE effect now. So... I need to spend the next while getting there by building or casting some personal DS/shield/blah?

 

The result is also that use cases of the 1st combo in the chain can be so quite different to the final combo in the chain, which makes the previous ones feel wasted & combat or responsiveness feel slowed down.

Edited by taroskin

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Can't an animation show me that? I can see, for example, in Shadowbane when someone was casting an important spell. This gave me time to get out of the way, to stun them, to displace, etc.

The point Blair was trying to make, I think (and you said it later in your post) was that he wanted you to know what was going to happen (filler powers), not what's about to happen (Animation telegraph). Reacting to something you know is coming and reacting to what's about to happen are different things, besides one being more twitchy than the other.


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The point Blair was trying to make, I think (and you said it later in your post) was that he wanted you to know what was going to happen (filler powers), not what's about to happen (Animation telegraph). Reacting to something you know is coming and reacting to what's about to happen are different things, besides one being more twitchy than the other.

 

 

If I am casting an ability, and as such an animation is showing on my character that is unique to that ability and it has 2s cast time, people around me have up to 2 seconds to notice my animation that is telegraphing my intent, and react accordingly. (stun/move/dodge/blah)

 

If I am in attack chain 1 of a 3 combo chain, and the third combo is the "big deal", and it takes 2 seconds to get from combo 1 to combo 3, then people around me have up to 2 seconds to notice my animations of the previous two combos, which are telegraphing my intent, and react accordingly. (stun/move/dodge/blah)

 

Is there really any difference between "something is coming" and "something is about to happen"? The above scenario shows that, given the same timeline, they are pretty much the same in terms of counter-activities. Notice an animation, which acts as a telegraph, and react accordingly.

 

The only difference here is that in scenario two, there are more things happening (dealing damage while telegraphing my combo, other secondary effects etc). Whether or not the casting player actually cares about those things happening (or if they're even relevant in terms of the intent of the final combo effect) is a different matter. In scenario two there can of course be more interactivity, for example, if I'm snaring someone on combo 1 and leading up to a huge PBAoE damaging attack on combo 3 (synergy) - the problem is that we are also seeing less synergetic things than that, like the first combo being a personal damage shield and the last being a potent area of effect ability (little to no synergy/not even the same use case). It's these second ones that are particularly annoying because using those combos feel like you're wasting your time or wading through trash to get to your true intent/use case.

 

The key question that I see failing in some combo chains is this: "When would I want use this ability?". The later combos (combo 2&3+) sometimes have completely different answers to that question than the early ones (1 &2). Without that question being similar throughout the combo, or evolving synergetically (eg, 1 being an attack, 2 being a cc, 3 being a devastating damage effect on nearby or cc'd dudes - naturally play into eachother & work well together), then some abilities will just feel weird to use in some instances.

Edited by taroskin

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If I am casting an ability, and as such an animation is showing on my character that is unique to that ability and it has 2s cast time, people around me have up to 2 seconds to notice my animation that is telegraphing my intent, and react accordingly. (stun/move/dodge/blah)

 

If I am in attack chain 1 of a 3 combo chain, and the third combo is the "big deal", and it takes 2 seconds to get from combo 1 to combo 3, then people around me have up to 2 seconds to notice my animations of the previous two combos, which are telegraphing my intent, and react accordingly. (stun/move/dodge/blah)

 

Is there really any difference between "something is coming" and "something is about to happen"? The above scenario shows that, given the same timeline, they are pretty much the same in terms of counter-activities. Notice an animation, which acts as a telegraph, and react accordingly.

 

The only difference here is that in scenario two, there are more things happening (dealing damage while telegraphing my combo, other secondary effects etc). Whether or not the casting player actually cares about those things happening (or if they're even relevant in terms of the intent of the final combo effect) is a different matter.

Yeah... difference is the second scenario you did 3 abilities not 1. Those abilities have their own damages and effects, they are not just filler. You made that point yourself in the last sentences.

 

You would really prefer to do just 1 ability in that 2 second then 3? Seems an odd stance to take for an action combat game and not a tab/lock on target game but ok.  

Edited by pang

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Yeah... difference is the second scenario you did 3 abilities not 1. Those abilities have their own damages and effects, they are not just filler. You made that point yourself in the last sentences.

 

You would really prefer to do just 1 ability in that 2 second then 3? Seems an odd stance to take but ok.  

 

I think you caught me mid editing! My bad, you may wish to check above, particularly the last two paragraphs. That should clear up the intent. What I'm saying isn't that current combos = entirely bad. It's that... well, read the last paragraph for that. They don't serve a function in some cases ( since we've established that unique or long animations can serve the same interactivity element) because their use cases can be erratic and the cool or unique part of the ability becomes super de-emphasised or doesn't feel as good as a result.


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Well in TERA pretty sure could make your own combos. Any ability you knew could be put in a combo chain with another. Also TERAs combos were status effect based as well. Meaning spell 1 does fire damage, then spell 2 in the chain could be something that does more damage based on the previous ability's fire effect etc.

 

I think Crowfalls combo system was more based off of Champions Online MMO game that Blair and maybe other ACE devs worked on. Never played that game so no idea if CO combos were good or not.

 

If Crowfalls combo system was perhaps a bit MORE like TERAs I think that would be a huge improvement.

 

I haven't read the thread yet, I just zoomed in on Blair's comment and then saw yours. I will read the whole thing after this but just wanted to touch on this for a second. TERA as a game had standard abilities like any other hotbar game. They didn't have combos in the way Crowfall or Blade and Soul or other games do. 

 

Some skills casted faster when used in a combo with another specific skill but that's really it. You didn't even have to hit the combo key (Spacebar) to get that effect to happen, you could just hit your skill hotkey (which is what good players did because hitting spacebar at the wrong time in combat made you jump in the air which is a guaranteed knockdown if you get hit in the air).

 

Yes it's true that players could make their own combos via a combo UI menu, and some skills were already in there as a sort of suggested skill rotation (much of this you could also disable), but all that did was make it easier for you to spacebar your way through combat without thinking - it didn't give those skills any extra advantage or any effects such as the fire effect you mention, other than saving you space on your action bar. But as I said, spacebar'ing in TERA = baddie mcbadderson. If you wanted to "combo" something, you're better off hitting the assigned hotkey.

 

Saving space on the action bar was a benefit for some classes whose keybinds could get up to 35-40 keybinds (I had I think 36 or so on my Priest just for class abilities and yes I used them all in combat). Certain non-combat abilities such as the Priest's 5 or so buffs were often fully or partially combo'd by some players to save space, but that's about it in terms of the player made combo UI menu. Most players hotkeyed nearly everything and just used skills as necessary outside of the couple of "fast cast" combos their class may have had.

 

So with all of that being said, "comboing"  in TERA usually referred to either 1) those pre-set combos that allowed you to execute certain skills far faster or instantly when combo immediately after something else - within a second or so like BnS. Or 2)just standard MMO's ideas of "it's good to use these skills together in this scenario, and these ones are good for this, etc.". TERA often relied more on shorter skill combo's in that 2nd sense, but merely as opposed to full skill rotations WoW style, due to the way fights often worked. Although there are even classes that deviated from this rule - Sorcs had both short combo's as well as full blown 20+ skill rotations depending on what you were doing. And even there, these were individually hotkeyed - even in PvE - because fights were so mobile, you often had to cancel a skill mid cast to dodge out of the way of something, and then continue your rotation where you left off, so trying to combo them all into one keybind was not beneficial.

 

So combos in TERA were nothing special and isn't something you can really use as an example for Crowfall.

Edited by Leiloni

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This is the whole point! That means you have tactical combat! People can respond before the attack lands not after. I can't underscore this enough.

 

A person who has spent time learning the powers knows all the animations, and will respond before the attack lands with a Dodge, Block, or other Get out of the way. This is how you get good.

 

I know this is different than many MMO's who primarily use "after the fact" or "during the cast" style counters with cleanses, heals, interrupts, etc. (yes I know there are games that use ground projections, but these are the exception and not the rule)

 

Again the whole point is to telegraph what you are intending to do to other players, so you can respond. Blocking an incoming CC only works if you know the CC is incoming, and we don't intend to add cast times to everything so you know someone is casting. The animation tells you what someone is about to do.

How well does it work in scenarios where you're fighting not one or two opponents but dozens if not hundreds? This works great in games like street fighter where it's more personal and reading your opponent is a possibility, but not so much in a game where large scale fighting casts a shadow on it. This is where it all falls apart, because while in 1v1 being able to interpret what someone is going to do with a long elaborate animation or chain of animations is great, it goes right out the window when you have 50+ people wailing on you and flooding the screen with hogwash.

 

In general, having to hit the same key two or three times just get the ability I want to use feels silly.

 

 

Also what's the argument for having buffs hidden behind other buffs? 

Edited by helix

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How well does it work in scenarios where you're fighting not one or two opponents but dozens if not hundreds? This works great in games like street fighter where it's more personal and reading your opponent is a possibility, but not so much in a game where large scale fighting casts a shadow on it. This is where it all falls apart, because while in 1v1 being able to interpret what someone is going to do with a long elaborate animation or chain of animations is great, it goes right out the window when you have 50+ people wailing on you and flooding the screen with hogwash.

 

Also what's the argument for having buffs hidden behind other buffs? 

 

I have to disagree. Even in large scale fights in games like TERA that also used telegraphed animations in this way, you did and had to learn to recognize the animations of other classes. With practice it all becomes second nature and you can understand what's going on in a fight with a lot of players because it's all much more familiar. You can look at a mass of people at a glance and your eyes learn to pick out what's most important - I see a few Confessor's dotted around getting to their fire tornado chains, ok I need to avoid those when they come my way, oh crap there's a wall of Knights about to rush in and pull our front line, etc. Just will take some practice and learning but I think it'll work out well. And from a design stand point I'm glad they're going that way.

 

Edit: Also you won't have 50+ people wailing on you specifically - collision detection prevents everybody from occupying the same space. So while a battle may be large, your small part in that battle will not involve everybody at the same time. You'll only need to pay attention to a smaller amount of players depending on where you are and what you're doing. I mean let's not exaggerate here. Think realistically about how things will play out in game.

 

I do agree on the idea that buffs, debuffs, and CC sound like they'd be better used outside of a combo chain. I also worry that, while I like the way the chains are designed and see the point behind it, that some skills will be mere "filler" instead of each skill being important on it's own and usable on it's own without having to be used in conjunction with others. Somebody mentioned GW2 and frankly I hate GW2's skill system so I am fearful that Crowfall's combos will dip into that territory. I could be wrong so please somebody tell me I'm wrong lol...

Edited by Leiloni

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