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Franck83

Weapon & Character differentiation constructive suggestions

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Posted (edited)

Hi all the crowfall team,

 

These are constructive feedback and suggestions to fix the previous stated issues about (take a look at previous posts before reading this) :

1. Lack of weapon differentiation in gameplay

2. Lack of (true) liberty in character differentiation

 

1. To improve the lack of weapon differentiation.

Parry: we can't make a real sense of melee fight without a parry system. In sb, Parry creates the chance for a player to cancel out melee attacks with their own weapon. Chance to parry receives a 5% bonus for dual-wield and a 10% bonus for wielding a two-handed weapon. Here some weapons could be better in parrying (swords, staff, pole arm). A parry mechanics could be passive (if player keep staying idle) or active. It can stack with a shield block. in sb, a shield block was more efficient than weapon parry against projectiles.  It's is a good way to introduce a weapon differentiation because now you have a 'parry chance' value to weapons.

Powers differentiation:  In sb, powers were mainly linked to weapon type (1H sword, 2H Sword, 1H Axe, 2H Axe, Dagger, 1H Hammer, 2H  Hammer, Bow, Crossbow, Pole Arm, Unarmed, spears, staff (Weapon power example on swords https://morloch.shadowbaneemulator.com/index.php?title=Sword)). It seems more realistic, because, that's not only your class that should define what you can do (stun, debuff, bleed...) but your weapon nature and your skill using it. Each class got a different skill on weapons. A warrior was master in swords, a ranger expert, A barbarian journeyman...It mainly impacts the powers efficiency. Linking powers to weapon nature could allow much more liberty on character building. Discipline could add powers or change the class behaviour (https://morloch.shadowbaneemulator.com/index.php?title=Blade_Master). Now you can unlock access to a wider range of weapons to your classes without thinking of designing each class behavior.

Attack rating / defensive rating : in crowfall, attack power seems a bit confusing. It overlaps with damage without a real gameplay impact or sense of cohesion. But the idea could be more developed. Sb introduced the attack rating and defense rating system. Just like other RPG/RTS games (Total war series...), attack rating increases accuracy chance on melee or projectile. This adds a lot of deepness in fights. Because you need to make a balance your trains between dexterity (that increases accuracy) and strength (that increases damage). 

On the other side, defense rating was trained in your armor skill. High defense rating increases the chance to auto-dodge the attack. So the formula is relative between your opponent and you. Your defensive rating is effective only if it's higher than your opponent attack rating. So you have full deepness to build your character here. Its not an absolute system, its a relative one (it mainly depends on the players builds on the server). So you can focus your trains on armor and/or on weapon skill. For example, you can make full dps char with less train on defense, or full tanky low dps. And if you char is less accurate than your opponent you can have to pay the cost.

So all these mechanics blend brilliantly. Now you have a meaningful weapon differentiation. Equip your ranger with an axe and the powers will be different than a sword. As a weapon, axe can have all current crowfall mechanics (armor piercing, damage increase...) plus new mechanics (attack rating buff, defense debuff, parry). Then a relative system is better (from an absolute system) because implies that the other players' char builds drives the creative choices (in order to find some counters builds).

 

2. To introduce more character differentiation

Char differentiation as a focus: If powers are linked to weapon type, it would much easier to find some character differentiation. Now you can concentrate not on same classes features but on unique ones.  If you can train 90% of a tree, you will have poor differentiation. It will be on the remaining 10%. Imagine you can only train 40% of a tree at the end, You can have a much better differentiation on the same classes.

A simple look at sb can show us how deep can be a char building with meaningful differentiation (https://morloch.shadowbaneemulator.com/index.php?title=Main_Page). On some classes i spend most of my training points on skills (and so not on powers) because it was my goal. I don't mind.

Buffing the talent system: the talent system could introduce common skills between classes (parry, block, regen, defense rating, attack rating...) but at various degree of effectiveness. In sb, class or race could have different parry chance. The same things can be said for health regen, stamina regen...The talent system should give more flexibility and more customization amount. Not a 15% critical chance can change a build. The talent system must not be cosmetic. It should really impact gameplay by a great amount by unlocking any kind of exotic strategies.

Unlocking creativity in a relative system:  choices should impacts gameplay so it allows creativity. Imagine I want to make a high defensive char for harvesting resources. DPS isn't my focus. I would be able to focus everything on defense (parry chance, block chance, high defensive rating, movement speed, escape artist discipline...). So my opponent will need to catch me. He needs to be fast, accurate (high attack rating) and has to make use of snare/stun abilities. The attack will be more challenging. But now if i'm high dps strength based, the opponent needs to log another char build. That made sb fantastic, it could need a tailored char to perform a task.

Do not invent the wheel: most of the previous suggestions are from sb. It's just because sb designer team meet the same problems than crowfall about char designing and differentiation. Crowfall is richer on features but much less deep than sb. Crowfall features stack themselves in a vertical layer way with poor differentiation. The crowfall engine is fantastic but it should a good thing to learn from sb. Same problems can have same solutions. The combat engine in crowfall must not be only good, it must be fantastic!!! Because its the core of the game!!! All turn around the fight at the end. Of course we cannot copy everything from sb, but sb is mainly praised for its char building customization and deepness.

 

 

Just a citation from a forum member managainsttime about sb that perform an accurate resume :

Quote

The diversity showcased by SB's race/class combo ruleset is a model worthy of emulation, whether one has enjoyed the game or not. The model had so much depth that it offered veteran players opportunities to experiment with new, unorthodox, and perfectly viable ideas even after playing the game for years. Moreover, anyone who has played the game long enough has seen plenty of builds and group dynamics declared "impossible," "ridiculous," or "not viable" by the majority of the playerbase (even on class discussion boards on the like) effectively 'break out' later and then themselves become "FOTM" due to the efforts and advocacy of a few dedicated contrarians. Such provides its own "rush" and reward to skilled players that cannot be duplicated elsewhere, and it undeniably keeps even those players who've played in hundreds of sieges and "done it all" coming back for more. Moreover, I've seen this happen in SB on some server or another in just about every period of the game, so this had very little to do with class re-balancing by patch changes alone (although of course certain FOTM builds spawned after certain passive racial abilities and the like were patched into the game later). 

Just a few examples I could think of from the top of my head would include PA templars back in the day, various human builds (starting with Bofis' GS warrior probably, but even including various other human warrior, caster, and at least one barb build), various aelf warrior builds, elf BW warrior builds back when you could use GS passive d null power with 'em, different PvP druids (a class that, until then, was strictly for farming except for a few dedicated contrarians), BM warriors and warlocks, different bird specs, HG sentinels, certain rangers, I could go on and on really. 

If Crowfall could duplicate this aspect, it'd at least ensure them a dedicated following for a substantial period of time even if the game itself becomes 'obscure' or 'forgotten' in the fickle mass market, which is worth something I guess. 

 

Edited by Franck83
Quoted code as rich text instead of plain text. Typos.

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About Weapons, would it be possible to add a range to melee weapons ? I mean, a pole arm should hit an enemy 2 meters away, whereas a dagger must be really close to hit. This should be taken into account when fighting. In a real fight, how can a dagger armed guy can stand against a 1 handed long blade enemy, if the dagger guy can't approach because of the blade ? The weapon size is very important in a real combat.

Short Swords should have less hit range than Long Swords. Also, the weapon size should affects 360 degres powers AE with such weapons. A long weapon ranges a bigger area than a little weapon.

This is real true weapon differentiation.

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