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Arkdin

In Combat vs Out of Combat (WHY?)

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Posted (edited)

Hey Everyone,


I'd like to discuss the implementation of combat mode vs out of combat mode.  Can anyone provide any pros to how the system is currently implemented?  It seems like it is creating far large challenges from a balance and skill implementation perspective than it adds.  Let me start by outlining the differences as a I understand them between "combat" and "out of combat".

When you enter combat you automatically leave combat mode after 3 seconds if your "opponent" is dead or 10 seconds if your "opponent" is still alive.

 

Out of Combat -

No restriction on use of abilities.

Automatic Sprinting

Pathfinding enables automatically

Can use mounts

Increased health regen.

Greatly increase stamina regen.

Can stealth at will.

 

In combat -

Cannot use harvesting items/abilities

Decreased stamina regeneration

Lower base movement speed

Sprinting costs stamina

Cannot mount

Cannot use *most* stealth abilities

Decreased health regeneration

 

Now lets discuss a couple balance/operational issues that have come up as a result of this weird dichotomy.

1) When Harvesting if you accidentally click to swing your weapon you must wait until you leave combat (3 seconds) to get back to whacking your node. (Annoying)

2) Many movement abilities such as champion leap, automatically queue "combat mode" even when being used in non-combat situations.  Other abilities like Knight's Pursuit do NOT queue combat mode (annoying)

3) Stealthers have a particularly difficult time as many of their abilities are tied to being stealth meaning that once they initiate combat those abilities are completely unusable (not fun).  There are exceptions to this like assassin shadowstep but thats super buggy.  (Balance)

4) Vastly impacts tactics when fighting in an open field, particularly when fighting outnumbered.  Example)  If you are fighting a 2v1, if you attempt to disengage and run away, one opponent can keep you in combat mode while the other opponent stops attacking and either mounts up or waits for pathfinding to begin so they can easily catch up to your "in combat" movement speed.  They can then engage you and keep you in combat while their partner leaves combat, mounts up and catches up.  Rinse/wash/repeat until you die.  Fighting outnumbered is already very difficult and this makes it almost impossible to escape an engagement outnumbered.  (Skill ceiling)

5) Makes balancing melee characters vs ranged characters way more difficult resulting in needing to make wonky ass changes like "lunge" weapons.  Range characters do not need to use sprint nearly at all during combat, resulting in them having a full stam bar for retaliate.  Melee characters need to close to within 6m and as such utilize sprint WAY more during combat than ranged characters, then once they get hit by a CC its also WAY less likely they have stamina available for retaliate because of this reason. (Balance/Skill Ceiling)


I'd like to hear some arguments in favor of the current system. 

One of the primary ways a smaller group can overcome a larger group is through superior coordination and tactics a big part of which is knowing when to engage and disengage.  What happens right now is that if you are outnumbered and attempt to disengage, there is a nearly zero percent chance of escaping from skilled players.  The players who are close enough to you will keep you in combat mode and limit your movement speed while the others will simply mount up and catch back up with you shortly.

My recommendation is to eliminate combat mode and instead have normalized movement speed.  Stealth should be usable at any time but should take a few seconds to "completely fade".  You can simply add a cooldown to switching to your stealth bar to balance that portion of combat.  If you're fighting a stealther, you should make sure you hit them with a dot so they can't just stealth away.  That being said however if a stealth pops their stealth ability between dot tics and hits you with an expose or an ambush, thats a SKILL move.  Zero reason why that shouldn't be possible.

I have some more thoughts but I'd like to hear some opinions first.

EDIT:  Another issue that we identified regarding combat mode and stealth.  If you have a DoT on an opponent, you're stuck in combat until that dot wears off.  Thats why shadowstep doesn't work on assassin reliably.  If there is a dot applied it immediately breaks you from stealth. 

Edited by Arkdin
new info

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The thing is those differences stem from the facts the DEVs decided to implement them and not because combat/out of combat stances exists.

The different speeds for example, it exists because the devs wants players to move slower while in combat but also dont want players to feel like snails when simply walking around. Or dont want people just mounting and kiting others. Same with OOC healing, they thought players would like healing faster out of combat. Are you suggesting we use the lower values all the time? That seems bad...

Stealth too, if they wanted players to be able to stealth anytime they would do so. It isnt the Stances that are the problem.

Cannot use harvesting items/abilities - I am pretty sure they enabled this because fighting near nodes was causing problems. Like I said, the stances solve a bunch of issues, it isnt like the DEVs are just using it for lols.

Other points are somewhat weird. 4), for example. How often does that happen anyway? Plus I dont understand how removing combat stances would solve that issue. I mean, both players would just chase and kill you faster and easier.

5) Is a complete different issue. Could simply have melee use less stam while running. Or any other ways.

Point 2) is the only one I can understand but even then it seem flimsy. I mean, if you use Leap I'd say it is pretty likely you will want to be in Combat mode. At worst it goes away after 3 secs. I mean, it can be annoying but it is so minor...

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21 minutes ago, BarriaKarl said:

The thing is those differences stem from the facts the DEVs decided to implement them and not because combat/out of combat stances exists.

Can you speak to Arkdin's point about a player being locked in a combat stance while a DoT is applied to an opponent?  It is causing problems with Shadowstep that do not seem intended.

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49 minutes ago, BarriaKarl said:

Stealth too, if they wanted players to be able to stealth anytime they would do so. It isnt the Stances that are the problem.

Can you speak to Arkdin's point about a player being locked in a combat stance while a DoT is applied to an opponent?  It is causing problems with Shadowstep that do not seem intended.

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2 hours ago, Atraeus said:

Can you speak to Arkdin's point about a player being locked in a combat stance while a DoT is applied to an opponent?  It is causing problems with Shadowstep that do not seem intended.

I'd say that is a bug. Or looks to me like a poor design choice. Still not a reason to scrap the whole thing from the ground up.

Could easily exclude self dots from placing you in combat. I mean, technically those arent attacks, so...

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2 hours ago, BarriaKarl said:

The thing is those differences stem from the facts the DEVs decided to implement them and not because combat/out of combat stances exists.

The different speeds for example, it exists because the devs wants players to move slower while in combat but also dont want players to feel like snails when simply walking around. Or dont want people just mounting and kiting others. Same with OOC healing, they thought players would like healing faster out of combat. Are you suggesting we use the lower values all the time? That seems bad...

Stealth too, if they wanted players to be able to stealth anytime they would do so. It isnt the Stances that are the problem.

Cannot use harvesting items/abilities - I am pretty sure they enabled this because fighting near nodes was causing problems. Like I said, the stances solve a bunch of issues, it isnt like the DEVs are just using it for lols.

Other points are somewhat weird. 4), for example. How often does that happen anyway? Plus I dont understand how removing combat stances would solve that issue. I mean, both players would just chase and kill you faster and easier.

5) Is a complete different issue. Could simply have melee use less stam while running. Or any other ways.

Point 2) is the only one I can understand but even then it seem flimsy. I mean, if you use Leap I'd say it is pretty likely you will want to be in Combat mode. At worst it goes away after 3 secs. I mean, it can be annoying but it is so minor...

 

I think you're making a bunch of assumptions about their intent.  Shadowstep not being usable if your opponent is dotted, when DOTs are a substantial part of their kit,   is 100% not working as intended.  Also, it doesn't make a ton of sense to me that stealth classes lose an entire portion of their kit once combat starts.  Again if that is the intended design, I disagree that it makes sense and I think it is a poor design decision.

Point 4) is probably the one of the most important to be honest with you.  The issue isn't that you can be chased down, its that when you're outnumbered it is near impossible to escape from skilled players.  If their intent is that every skirmish results in a complete wipe of the losing team then I think they've made a mistake that vastly limits the "skill ceiling" of play. 

If I am fighting a group of players while outnumbered, I should be able to use tactics designed to fight that way IE kiting opponents, stringing them out and choosing terrain that is advantageous to me to actually battle.  If my opponents become 60% faster than me after 15 seconds, it eliminates my ability to out play and outmaneuver.  It should take skill to chase down a skilled opponent in my opinion.

I don't agree that #5 is a totally different issue.  This all plays into balancing movement speed and for ranged vs melee this is of paramount importance.  Yes there are multiple ways of accomplishing these goals but I think the simplest would be to normalize movement speed over all.

 

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6 minutes ago, BarriaKarl said:

Could easily exclude self dots from placing you in combat. I mean, technically those arent attacks, so...

I'm not sure how their code or the combat system works.  I would really like to know a developer's thoughts on this.

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38 minutes ago, Arkdin said:

  Also, it doesn't make a ton of sense to me that stealth classes lose an entire portion of their kit once combat starts.  Again if that is the intended design, I disagree that it makes sense and I think it is a poor design decision.

Let me understand what you just said: You think its a fun game where every stealth class should be able to restealth WHENEVER they want. So basically if they get attacked they never die because they just stealth and leave?

Quote

Point 4) is probably the one of the most important to be honest with you.  The issue isn't that you can be chased down, its that when you're outnumbered it is near impossible to escape from skilled players.  If their intent is that every skirmish results in a complete wipe of the losing team then I think they've made a mistake that vastly limits the "skill ceiling" of play. 

If I am fighting a group of players while outnumbered, I should be able to use tactics designed to fight that way IE kiting opponents, stringing them out and choosing terrain that is advantageous to me to actually battle.  If my opponents become 60% faster than me after 15 seconds, it eliminates my ability to out play and outmaneuver.  It should take skill to chase down a skilled opponent in my opinion.

Same thing you want everyone who is skilled enough to be able to escape every threat even if that is a HIGHER player count than your own? 

 

6 hours ago, Arkdin said:

5) Makes balancing melee characters vs ranged characters way more difficult resulting in needing to make wonky ass changes like "lunge" weapons.  Range characters do not need to use sprint nearly at all during combat, resulting in them having a full stam bar for retaliate.  Melee characters need to close to within 6m and as such utilize sprint WAY more during combat than ranged characters, then once they get hit by a CC its also WAY less likely they have stamina available for retaliate because of this reason. (Balance/Skill Ceiling)

Quote

I don't agree that #5 is a totally different issue.  This all plays into balancing movement speed and for ranged vs melee this is of paramount importance.  Yes there are multiple ways of accomplishing these goals but I think the simplest would be to normalize movement speed over all.

But all of this doesnt count to ranged classes because they dont need to kite at all and should always be caught by melees?

What do you think ranged classes do once a sprinting melee is hammering away at them? I feel like it has always been that way that there are several "skills" each class can have and they all resolve around "Survivability, Mobility, High Damage output, Crowd Control" (There are probably more but this will be enough for the case). Most ranges have Mobility, and High Damage (cc to some extent). If you now decide to take that Mobility (Sprinting) away they become turrets with low life. (Remember a single catapult in a siege? Exactly.) I dont feel like that is a good idea. In my opinion Lunge adds some spice to melees that dont have much survivability, the ability itself just went a little over the top being able to charge whenever, wherever you want.

Forgive me if that sounded rude but i am not sure how much fun a PvP game would be where all you do is fighting but no one dies (except the ranged classes because **** them in particular). 

On a more constructive note i would imagine if stealth classes just had skills for "stealth" and for "not stealth" it wouldnt feel like you lose an entire portion of your skills but much more like you trade them for others.

Being outnumbered doesnt mean you are more skilled than your enemy. There are fights where you can get away but if you ask me i think its ok to lose a fight if they have equal skill but more players. If they do have the communication that one person keeps chasing you and the other tries to mount its your job to 1) kill his mate in the meantime, 2) prevent him from mounting so you can keep em both infight or 3) search for terrain where you cant use your mount or 4) die trying.

Last but not least: Lunge might need some tweaking but i can see where it might be going.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Hey Rooq,

I welcome the discussion.  You may not know this because I've never seen you in game but myself and Wolf Haven (my guild) is composed of like 90% archers.  Personally, nearly all of my game time pvping has been spent playing either an archer (90%) or a duelist (10%).  I definitely understand the ranged portion of the game.

1 hour ago, Rooq said:

Let me understand what you just said: You think its a fun game where every stealth class should be able to restealth WHENEVER they want. So basically if they get attacked they never die because they just stealth and leave?

Well, I did say you should add a cooldown to stealth.  Let me give you an example from another of Jtodd's games.  In Shadowbane when you were stealth you couldn't be targeted whatsoever.  You could only be hit by aoe abilities or revealed by someone with stealth detect.  It provided value to those classes that were able to see stealthed players but you could still overcome your lack of detect via skill.  

There should definitely be a cooldown on the ability, but if you are fighting a stealther and you don't keep them dotted, then you've made a mistake and they should be able to punish that mistake.

The other thing to remember is that classes that have stealth should have made some type of trade-off to have stealth, be it survivability, mitigations, DPS, etc.

1 hour ago, Rooq said:

Same thing you want everyone who is skilled enough to be able to escape every threat even if that is a HIGHER player count than your own? 

Well, I think that there should be a high skill ceiling.  That always makes for a lot of fun in PvP games.  Low skill ceiling battles result in winning via luck or numbers which in my opinion is boring.  

I think that if an opponent has 2 or 3 players chasing you, you should still have a chance to get away.  It should obviously be harder but not impossible.  Currently if you are a cleric for example you are not getting away from 2 players chasing, like, ever.

1 hour ago, Rooq said:

What do you think ranged classes do once a sprinting melee is hammering away at them? I feel like it has always been that way that there are several "skills" each class can have and they all resolve around "Survivability, Mobility, High Damage output, Crowd Control" (There are probably more but this will be enough for the case). Most ranges have Mobility, and High Damage (cc to some extent). If you now decide to take that Mobility (Sprinting) away they become turrets with low life. (Remember a single catapult in a siege? Exactly.) I dont feel like that is a good idea. In my opinion Lunge adds some spice to melees that dont have much survivability, the ability itself just went a little over the top being able to charge whenever, wherever you want.

Well, I'm not saying that you should take mobility away from them.  I'm saying that the you normalize the speed of travel between in and out of combat.  You can still allow movement enhancing abilities like sprint, they just don't change between combat states.

1 hour ago, Rooq said:

If they do have the communication that one person keeps chasing you and the other tries to mount its your job to 1) kill his mate in the meantime, 2) prevent him from mounting so you can keep em both infight or 3) search for terrain where you cant use your mount or 4) die trying.

This statement makes me question whether or not you've actually played the game that we're discussing. 

Edited by Arkdin
accidentally a word

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17 hours ago, Arkdin said:

This statement makes me question whether or not you've actually played the game that we're discussing. 

Isnt this Diablo 3?

19 hours ago, Arkdin said:

You may not know this because I've never seen you in game

Mhm.. Are you playing US servers? I know it sometimes might feel superior playing over there but once campaigns will be global we might run along each others way ;)

17 hours ago, Arkdin said:

Personally, nearly all of my game time pvping has been spent playing either an archer (90%) or a duelist (10%).  I definitely understand the ranged portion of the game.

I never wanted to to deny your game knowledge or hurt your feelings. Rereading my commment i dont think i have done so and i would appreciate you doing the same. Just because we might be playing on different servers or we dont agree on some portions of the game we still should keep this civil and try to argue within the game not going through our lifelong history of gaming in general. If it seemed like i wanted to push those boundaries i apologize.

 

BTT:

18 hours ago, Arkdin said:

In Shadowbane when you were stealth you couldn't be targeted whatsoever.  You could only be hit by aoe abilities or revealed by someone with stealth detect.

I never played Shadowbane so i dont really understand the meaning of this. Is this any different in Diablo 3? Uh- Sry i mean Crowfall (Sorry again i couldnt resist :D)? You can get hit by aimed abilites. Seems pretty straight forward that every ability in crowfall that you happen to aim to in the right direction will result in a hit. Otherwise it wouldnt be a stealth but more like "phasing"?

18 hours ago, Arkdin said:

Well, I think that there should be a high skill ceiling.  That always makes for a lot of fun in PvP games.  Low skill ceiling battles result in winning via luck or numbers which in my opinion is boring.  

I think that if an opponent has 2 or 3 players chasing you, you should still have a chance to get away.  It should obviously be harder but not impossible.  Currently if you are a cleric for example you are not getting away from 2 players chasing, like, ever.

I dont think we will ever agree on this one as i feel like if you have equal skill (including positioning), equal luck etc. you indeed should never get away if the enemy has twice the numbers you have. If that would be possible or worse you can win a fight while being outnumbered 1:2 there would be severe imbalances. 

18 hours ago, Arkdin said:

Well, I'm not saying that you should take mobility away from them.  I'm saying that the you normalize the speed of travel between in and out of combat.  You can still allow movement enhancing abilities like sprint, they just don't change between combat states.

I think i cant imagine any situation where this would be a gamechanger. Could you elaborate on situations/encounters that would have a different outcome by changing this?
From what i understand the outcome is the same as long as there is any way to become faster while not in a fight (like a mount).

 

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42 minutes ago, Rooq said:

I never wanted to to deny your game knowledge or hurt your feelings. Rereading my commment i dont think i have done so and i would appreciate you doing the same. Just because we might be playing on different servers or we dont agree on some portions of the game we still should keep this civil and try to argue within the game not going through our lifelong history of gaming in general. If it seemed like i wanted to push those boundaries i apologize.

Your post made it seem like I was hugely biased against ranged classes.  I was simply explaining how that is not the case and I understand how they play.

43 minutes ago, Rooq said:

BTT:

I never played Shadowbane so i dont really understand the meaning of this. Is this any different in Diablo 3? Uh- Sry i mean Crowfall (Sorry again i couldnt resist :D)? You can get hit by aimed abilites. Seems pretty straight forward that every ability in crowfall that you happen to aim to in the right direction will result in a hit. Otherwise it wouldnt be a stealth but more like "phasing"?

This is another one of those situations where you don't understand the game you're discussing with me.  The way stealth works in the game TODAY is that if you are stealth, you cannot be hit by "targetted" abilities.  That can mean rapid fire, that can mean a melee left click, that can mean a bow shot.  It will not hit you if you are stealth.  So you ARE basically phased out for the purpose of those abilities.

Abilities that are ground targetted AOEs are the only abilities that will hit you when you are stealth.

I was using shadowbane as an example of a game that had in combat stealthing that was not game breaking.  It also happens to be another game that Jtodd Coleman (the creative director for Crowfall) helped design and Crowfall is seen as the spiritual successor of shadowbane.

 

48 minutes ago, Rooq said:

I dont think we will ever agree on this one as i feel like if you have equal skill (including positioning), equal luck etc. you indeed should never get away if the enemy has twice the numbers you have. If that would be possible or worse you can win a fight while being outnumbered 1:2 there would be severe imbalances. 

You're confusing my argument. I don't disagree with you. I was not referring to this dream scenario of "equal skill" an "equal luck" and "equal positioning".  Obviously if there are two equally skilled groups the ones with more numbers will win almost every time.

Currently it takes no skill to chase someone down even if you are a scrub and the fact that you are forced to fight the first engagement you have to the death isn't a good design decision.  Tactics should matter.  I don't see the purpose of locking me out of skills like mounting and stealth that might allow me to evade just because someone pegged me with a 40m heat seeking snare hurlbat.

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On 8/1/2020 at 7:31 PM, BarriaKarl said:

The different speeds for example, it exists because the devs wants players to move slower while in combat but also dont want players to feel like snails when simply walking around. Or dont want people just mounting and kiting others. Same with OOC healing, they thought players would like healing faster out of combat. Are you suggesting we use the lower values all the time? That seems bad...

Ragnarok and ToS having people sit down for a healing boost is probably the best implementation of this that doesn't also cause problems for pvp. It also adds a social layer to the game due to small elements of downtime for players to accidentally gather together or designate sitting areas for buffs/healing etc in grind zones.

I see no other way to implement it in an open pvp game without causing the problems OP brings up.

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1: This is a player skill issue and one that is very easy to avoid doing, as resource nodes are stationary. The positives outweigh the negatives as the current method allows instant transition from harvesting to fighting. The alternative would be to allow attacks that don't hit anything to not count, which would create a massive advantage for ranged templates, allowing them to blind fire at distant targets while remaining at noncombat move speeds. This is a non-issue IMO.

2: Pursuit should enter a combat state, as should all combat abilities. Only survival abilitites, buffs, and harvesting should allow players to remain in a non-combat state. Block should not enter combat state so that it is in parity with dodge as they share a "defensive" slot. Players should not be using combat related resources to increase non-combat movement speed as this necessarily devalues noncombat move speed buffs.

3: This is a non-issue. Stealth is meant to be used out of combat, and templates intended to re-enter stealth in combat have abilities dedicated to that purpose. If those templates need more frequent re-stealth to remain viable, the cooldowns and resource costs of those abilities need to be adjusted.

4: This is a non-issue. If you want to be good at escaping fights, there are class and discipline options dedicated to this purpose. Don't expect to be good at escaping if you have not invested in your build being able to do so.

5: The primary defense of ranged templates is kiting. They're supposed to be good at kiting. Ranged templates being good at kiting is not a design flaw. It is a feature. Lunge and other closing abilities are not wonky changes. They are logical resources granted to melee templates for the purpose of some templates being better than others at catching kiters. If you want to be better at catching range templates, invest in builds or party with allies that increase your ability to do so.

Edited by PopeUrban

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Rub rock on face and say "Yes food is eaten now time for fight"

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