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I would prefer 15-25 combat abilities on standard hotbars with your active dodge/block included in that number (and long term buffs can be included in that too I guess if the class is on the high end of that number). Additional empty action bar slots for us to keybind mount, consumables, etc. That was how TERA did it and I liked it a lot. It's enough variety without being too many keybinds. Too little would make me leave right now (10 or less is just not enough variety), but more than 25 really is too much.

 

Another concern with low numbers of abilities aside from just not enough variety, is that it'll feel boring and repetitive - a la GW2, Neverwinter, and The Secret World.

 

Also I'm not sure how the ability system will work, but please just do not lock skills to weapons like GW2 did. Either give me a skillbook and say "Here's what your class has, have fun" and I'll be ok with that, or if we have choices, let me choose everything and not "this block of 5 or that block of 5".

 

And one more thought (sorry for the brain dump), please don't mix skills like GW2 did because that did not work and it also watered down the effectiveness of each skill. If I have a damage move, let it be meaningful, powerful, and fun. If I have a CC or buff make it last long enough, or be powerful enough to really notice, etc. GW2's skills often felt so watered down in comparison to most other games.

Edited by leiloni

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I'm hoping there aren't action bars and they come up with something novel. I'm bored with hotbars.

 

Like what, the key combos you see in Vindictus or Black Desert? Because honestly that doesn't do anything other than be annoying. It's just forcing you to memorize keybinds other than the ones you like using. You still have a bunch of skills to use. And at least with ability bars I find the visuals helpful to have on screen.

Edited by leiloni

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Like what, the key combos you see in Vindictus or Black Desert? Because honestly that doesn't do anything other than be annoying. It's just forcing you to memorize keybinds other than the ones you like using. You still have a bunch of skills to use. And at least with ability bars I find the visuals helpful to have on screen.

yeah Tekken- or Streetfighter-style within a MMO would just be over the top.

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I think 10-15 would be best.

In all honesty, with a game with tons of buttons like WoW you only end up using 10-15 anyways, and the rest amounts to clutter which is most people's complaint.

And I agree, GW2 felt way to shallow (in reality you get 10 skills but it just didn't feel like it)

10-15 slots and then smaller, off-to-the side bars for macros and consumables and what-not would be fine with me.

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Please no macros in this game. No need for that. It's action combat - make people actively play the game.

 

It´s basically not up to the game. Every modern keyboard has bindable macro-keys.

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The whole point of limited action bars is to build a strategy around the skills you choose to have available. Not saying it is the only way to do things, but there should be plenty of interesting things in the world so that your action bar isn't always the most interesting or important thing you have access to.

or like ESO which was geared towards consoles pwrs were limited because there are a limited buttons on a xbox/ps4 controller.


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The memorization part comes very easily after a while, if you're using keybinds instead of clicking.

 

You're assuming I'm trying to solve for clicking. I just understand that the average person's hand can only comfortably reach to the 5 key on a QWERTY keyboard. Four or five is also really safe for gamepad players and puts less focus on keyboard and more focus on mouse and movement. I'm of the opinion that aim, positioning, and combos are what modern combat should aim for. Game design shouldn't need more than 5 buttons beyond a max two keyboard movement buttons. Potentially with shift as a sprint modifier and space to jump.


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I think 10 combat, 5ish noncombat skills is the way forward.

And I agree, GW2 felt way to shallow (in reality you get 10 skills but it just didn't feel like it)

 

Actually when you consider most professions had weapon swapping that would be an additional 5 so 15, then you had dodge which some people apparently consider a skill so that's 16 nearly every weapon had at least 1 chain skill where if you repeatedly us it, it would chain to a new skill so we're easily looking at 20. And on top of that you had the action skills which were bound to the F keys so another 4.

Elementalist had 4 elemental attunements that you could switch to, each with 5 unique skills for your weapon so that's 26 for the elementalist.

 

I assume people who think GWs 2 had 5 skills didn't play the game. Guild Wars 1 had 5 skills and it worked quite well in that context but GWs 1 in terms of skill play was very much a MOBA/MMO hybrid. The system worked quite well in GWs 1 because it created quite a strategic system when planning for dungeons etc.

I don't think it would work in the context of a persistent sandbox game so you probably need around 10 skills, 20 at most.

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I hope for up to 10 tops. In shooters, you only have LMB (+weapons switch), and the game is fun. In League you have 6 action buttons (counting summoner spells), and that's quite enough and fun.

 

With good combat mechanics, where you have to aim your skills, you don't need more, than several at hand.

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Ideally I'd prefer 12 active skills at a time with 60+ to choose from, though that may be a little excessive on the options side. Probably end up giving some poor designer PTSD. Though if some skills are are shared between classes it might be more feasible (both Knights and Templars getting the same "hit thing with big sword really hard" skill, for example).

Edited by amitar

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Like what, the key combos you see in Vindictus or Black Desert? Because honestly that doesn't do anything other than be annoying. It's just forcing you to memorize keybinds other than the ones you like using. You still have a bunch of skills to use. And at least with ability bars I find the visuals helpful to have on screen.

I don't think you understand the term novel.

 

No, not key combos like in some other game. Something new. Something unique to Crowfall. Something we haven't seen or tried yet. Something novel.


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I don't think you understand the term novel.

 

No, not key combos like in some other game. Something new. Something unique to Crowfall. Something we haven't seen or tried yet. Something novel.

Like typing spell names on the keyboard? Oh, wait... It's hard to think of something entirely new, that would also be useful.

  • action bars, fixed, or configurable (many MMOs, MOBAs, Diablo clones) -- check;
  • keybindings (roguelike games, platformers) -- check (actually, that's a subtype of action bars);
  • mouse aiming/shooting (FPS) -- check;
  • full word typing (MUD) -- check;
  • combo fighting (subtype of action bars with special skills interaction) -- check;
  • mouse gestures (Mount&Blade) -- check;

Any other ideas?

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I'd prefer something like GW2 where we can actually focus more on the fights, strategy and scenery of the battles. I'd say 5-10 would be perfect as this is an action combat game, much more than that and it takes all the action and strategy away. Who wants to sit and play world of macros in a combat situation. Although give us a vast selection to apply on those 5-10 spaces

Edited by Bionics

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You're assuming I'm trying to solve for clicking. I just understand that the average person's hand can only comfortably reach to the 5 key on a QWERTY keyboard. Four or five is also really safe for gamepad players and puts less focus on keyboard and more focus on mouse and movement. I'm of the opinion that aim, positioning, and combos are what modern combat should aim for. Game design shouldn't need more than 5 buttons beyond a max two keyboard movement buttons. Potentially with shift as a sprint modifier and space to jump.

 

alright... so I did "the math"... you can comfortably reach the following keys:

 

- WASD + space + shift for movement

- Q E R T F X C V CAPSLOCK TAB ~ 1 2 3 4

- Mousekeys: 1 to 5 and the mousewheel up and down

 

Let's say Crowfall will use a system where you chose a power and then activate it with mousebutton 1. At least I hope they will use something like that, because aiming and then activating with a key is an absolute garbage mechanic. So let's subtract 2 mousebuttons because of that reason (1 for the power, 1 for an active block), which leaves us with 20 keys to bind powers to. Mulitply by 2, because every key can be pressed while holding down ALT as a modifier, which makes this 40 powers.

Now we add another 17 which can be easily reached while holding down SHIFT as a modifier ( CAPSLOCK, TAB and ~ can't comfortbaly be reached while holding down shift imo). This makes 57 powers.

Theoretically we can add another 17 with CTRL, but I personally hate that key; doesn't feel good when holding it down with my left pinky.

Same goes for ALT+SHIFT at the same time. For some abstruse powers you barely need. That makes 74 active abilities then can be used during movement, while at the same time being easily reachable!

 

Now you can also double- or even triple-bind weapon-specific abilities to the same keys.

 

 

People need to think about their keybinds and stop using keys like 5-0 or the F-keys.

There is absolutely no reason to bugger about too many keybinds in my opinion.

 

Now please don't expose that I can't count... I hope I made no mistake ;)

Edited by freeze

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You're assuming I'm trying to solve for clicking. I just understand that the average person's hand can only comfortably reach to the 5 key on a QWERTY keyboard. Four or five is also really safe for gamepad players and puts less focus on keyboard and more focus on mouse and movement. I'm of the opinion that aim, positioning, and combos are what modern combat should aim for. Game design shouldn't need more than 5 buttons beyond a max two keyboard movement buttons. Potentially with shift as a sprint modifier and space to jump.

 

I'm sure you comfortably reached more than 5 keys when typing that post. The dumbing down of mechanics are what's killing games. We don't need it to run 720p 30fps so it can run on all hardware, or have 5 buttons for someone who wants to use a gamepad. That's like some Assassins Creed-Ubisoft-crossplatform-shananigans.


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See the awesome thing you learn about developing games, especially with a focus on UI and UX, is that the consumer never has any clue what they actually want. Now you may be able to hit a whole number of keys if you stop and consider doing so, but from a usability standpoint we can't ask the user to take their hand off the mouse to hit abilities. We can't ask the user to stop focusing on the game to trigger a complex key combination, and we can't assume that anyone will actively want to go out of their way to bind abilities to other buttons on their keyboard.

 

You may, as an advanced user be more than fine with that but what you perceive as a lessening of intelligence required to play a game is truly just optimization. The interesting elements of gameplay aren't hotbar management. Similar to inventory management, the sooner we can relegate this antiquated system to the compost bin the sooner we'll all be better off.

 

You see, the average user enjoys engagement with the game world. And while in a diminutive exploration of individual concepts one could argue that the resulting action of any video game is simply button pressing. Though to simplify to such a degree is to generally dismiss the differences between one product or another, one genre or another and thus becomes futile so we're relegated to arguing with a degree of nuance.

 

So we optimize our interactions, and part of that is removing the degree of complexity required by older games in favor of more streamlined and interesting interactions for the general user.

Edited by Pawkette

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I wholeheartedly agree with you, but if optimization means dumbing down, then no thank you, keep it complicated then.

 

streamline, optimize, improve... call it whatever you want, but if it ultimately means catering to the lowest common denominator, then I, personally, am not looking forward to games in 10 years.

 

I have no desire to play with people that can't be bothered to change their key-binds, organize their UI and so on.

Edited by freeze

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