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fhayte

Combat Pets

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$1.7million, check. That means combat pets. I feel like this could a chance for a home run, or a complete flop, as combat pet AI is potentially very important, and very hard to get right.

 

I've played pet classes in a number of games, each with its own quirks and each with its merits.

 

The first that I played was Everquest, which has a pet system similar to WoW's, which I consider to be the baseline pet system, and one which I really do not care to see again in crowfall. This system worked by having a single persistant pet which follows the player around, and obeys a few set commands, but otherwise follows the rules of an AI entity as it runs around accidentally attacking things you don't want and aggroing mobs and breaking CC and otherwise being a nuissance.

 

The second game I played with pet classes was DAoC. There were classes with the baseline pets, but also two unique ones which stood out to me.

One, the Necro, made the player incorporal and had a very strong pet which was effectively an avatar for the player. It was very different, and might be cool as specific archetype. The player had skills on her bar to make the pet cast skills as well as a few that the player could cast as well.

The other, the Theurgist, created small temporary pets which exist until killed or a very brief time period expired. They had command of various elements of pets and could use them as needed according to the situation.

 

Another game which I think did pets in the least frustrating way possible was Dungeon Defenders. In this game, the pets did not have health bars. They simply orbited the player and attacked things within range. You could collect a variety of pets, each with different functionality.

 

 

TL;DR

Combining my thoughts from all these experiences I have come to the following conclusions regarding my opintions on pets:

1. Pets should be collectible: The player can venture out and gain access to a variety of pets that they can use depending on the situation.

2. Pets should rely on AI as little as possible.

3. Pets should *also* rely on player control as little as possible - small amount of micromanagement.

4. Pets should augment player ability, and not be detrimental if left uncontrolled.

5. Pets should be powerful enough to be worth using.

6. Not all pets need to directly attack an enemy.

7. Pets don't need an hp pool.

 

 

Some example pets I wouldn't mind seeing.

 

A hawk. Once tamed it sits on a players shoulder or flys around nearby. If the player shoots an enemy with a bow, the hawk will follow the arrow and attack the enemy once, the proceed to fly up to safety and then back to the player, at which point the next bow strike will cause the hawk to attack again. If the hawk is in ready mode and the player is hit in melee it flys off and comes back a short time later.

 

A viper. Similar to the hawk, but it curls around the player when ready. When the player strikes an enemy in melee, the viper lashes out to attack that player.

 

A familar. This little guy floats around the player restoring energy / mana / whatever every time the player uses a skill. It does not attack.

 

An earth elemental. He hides in the ground and burrows along with the player. When the player is struct, he erupts in front forming a barrier, and knocking the attacker away.

 

A boar. He hides in nearby forests, until commanded, at which points he charges to the player's aid, goreing and knocking down the nearest player before he retreats to safety.

 

 

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7. Pets don't need an hp pool.

 

This is the one thing I most strongly disagree with in your suggestion.  I want to be able to kill you pet.  Especially if the thing is biting my ankle.  An automatic "retreat to safety" after every attack sounds awful.


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I'm not sure I follow... Maybe you could explain?

 

The idea is that the player plays his chosen archetype and should not not need to micromanage the pet, while it remains an important tool.

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It sounds like you're suggesting that "pets" should just be elaborate animations that go along with what would otherwise be pretty standard MMO abilities - free attack, free block, retaliation when struck by ranged or melee, and so on. Is that about right?

 

I think this is a cool cosmetic idea, but I'm having trouble seeing how it'd work in practice. If those abilities aren't otherwise available, the devs will have to cose a whole new set of abilities from scratch + visuals...all so you can have every character running around with some kind of animal hanging off them, because why would you not fill what's effectively another gear slot?

 

These sound like spell/attack animations for some kind of pet-based class, rather than something you'd add to an already existing archetype.

Edited by Rabscuttle

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I remember in SWG as a creature handler I had a rare tusk cat, called a swamp stalker. Super Rare Spawn. I hope pet trophies like that exist.

 

I'm pretty sure we will be able to train different types of Raptors (bird of prey... not dinosaurs) especially with the Falconry Discipline already teased.


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What about something like: if you use a pet you can allocate [small amount], [medium amount], or [large amount] of your power to it. Meaning your health but maybe also whatever action points/mana/??? mechanic you use. Depending on which one you pick, you get a pet that's stronger and has more abilities. So if you just want a basic low dps mob that'll follow you around, you don't have to give up much. But if you want a high-powered dps/cc/tank beast, it'll weaken you quite a bit.

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I know this sounds odd, but I would like a pet that could also double as a mount. Maybe a form of a pet, not all pets. Maybe each pet has different abilities once you "tame" them. A pet with the ability to morph into a mount at will, and become a pet when in battle. Maybe if you tame a bear in the wild you can train him to ride and also attack when in combat. 

 

A side note, I would like to see pets with different abilities depending on its species. Maybe you tame a wolf and it's an aggressive fighter, but if you tame a rabbit its friendly and provides extra warmth in the winter.

 

Maybe to add a little bit of risk, maybe there is the problem of your pet turning against you once hunger takes over. Maybe you have to also make sure your pet stays fed, or its natural instincts will take over and he will attack you instead.


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I never liked pets/NPCs in PvP

 

they're either utterly useless in anything but 1v1 (see SB) or they demand your attention, because if you ignore them they're gonna wreck your team (see UO or SWG)

in UO you just chain para'd any dragons/nightmares/whatever and then dispatched them after the fight. And I don't even want to think about the AT-AT spam in SWG.

 

 

I just hope they're gonna have perma-death for pets, like early UO.

Your crutch shouldn't be readily available whenever you want. Make people work for it.

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I'd like the combat pets to turn on their master if they get friendly fired too often. Will give the opponent a chance to play with lines of sight and give the tamer/petter (heh.. petter) second thoughts about sitting back and lobbing fireballs at their quarry while their pet keeps them busy.

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1. Pets should be collectible: The player can venture out and gain access to a variety of pets that they can use depending on the situation.

DISLIKE. This isn't PokemonFall.

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DISLIKE. This isn't PokemonFall.

Tell that to ACE... The figurines might as well be pokeballs...


a52d4a0d-044f-44ff-8a10-ccc31bfa2d87.jpg          Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes... Than if they're upset, they'll be a mile away, and barefoot :P

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I would be happy to see the combat pets be an essential part of the game where you can control and fight your pets vs elements in the game but as an interactive addition to player vs player combat then I cannot see a viable way of having them interact on a sustainable level without allot of work,

 

I think the major issue is the terminology "pets"

 

"pet" my nature in an MMO is usually associated with a fluffy, useless, cuddly, cute addon for cosmetic ego

 

Other than "buff" pets which you see in other games then combat for pets will need allot of work to be a viable addition to PvP/PvE battles.

 

If attack power and maybe skils the pets could use are on an equal level to that of a player then yes this could work but it would have to be hevily balanced

 

--

 

another option to consider is something like Rappelz, for those that have played Rappelz you will know that "pets" also known as creatures are a viable add-on to PvE and PvP combat, they have substancial skills and HP/MP assocaited to them and will level up and gain skills as you progress with them through the game.

 

I think that the system Rappelz offered might be a viable option for combat "creatures" in Crowfall, obviously with major changes to the mechanics to suit.


"Hope is not a Strategy"

Old school MMO player, now with wife and kid so casual player :)

 

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I never liked pets/NPCs in PvP

 

they're either utterly useless in anything but 1v1 (see SB) or they demand your attention, because if you ignore them they're gonna wreck your team (see UO or SWG)

in UO you just chain para'd any dragons/nightmares/whatever and then dispatched them after the fight. And I don't even want to think about the AT-AT spam in SWG.

 

 

I just hope they're gonna have perma-death for pets, like early UO.

Your crutch shouldn't be readily available whenever you want. Make people work for it.

 

I think a truly combat relevant pet should absolutely take after the SWG model, with more interaction.

 

It's funny someone brought up pokemon, as it's a pretty good representation of the only fun way to handle combat pets. They are useless without direct commands from their handler.

 

Handing people an auto-attacking, auto-reflecting, or otherwise passive tool that can compete with active tools controlled by people who don't specialize in animal handling is, as you've put it, a crutch. Handing someone the ability to train a pet that they actually need to order around and focus on throughout the fight necessitates that the player actually use a modicum of skill. Imagine it more like a handler playing a very granular RTS game. His overall power is analagous to a non-pet player, he just has to leverage it differently, and this comes with certain advantages and disadvantages.

 

The idea of multiple weaker vectors of attack is a big advantage in some situations (small fights) and really awful in others (sieges) and while the pet handler's kit might require him to be less twitch reliant than a non-pet guy, it's going to require him to win with a separate set of player skills in the form of micromanaging both his character and one or more pets, manage combo interactions between those "units" and otherwise actually play the game rather than kite while an automatic AI does all the work.

 

Personally I don't like using combat pets, but I can see the appeal, and making sure a higher degree of skill is required to manage pets is the only way I can see them being viable in a PvP context.

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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Would it be fun if 10 people in a siege set pets after the same target, and that people died? No it wouldn't.

 

I can't think of a good way to get this working. Especially if line of sight is important. Especially if you have physics and can't pass through other players. Especially if in large fights you lag (but pets won't since they are mostly server-side).

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Would it be fun if 10 people in a siege set pets after the same target, and that people died? No it wouldn't.

 

I can't think of a good way to get this working. Especially if line of sight is important. Especially if you have physics and can't pass through other players. Especially if in large fights you lag (but pets won't since they are mostly server-side).

 

I fail to see how that's any different than sending 5 people after the same target, unless you're assuming pets are autopilot passive DPS hoses, which is absolutely the worst way to design them.

 

I'm suggesting, basically, if we're gonna have combat pets (and we are) those pets should require direct interaction from their handlers for all actions beyond "follow me around"

 

No autofollow, no autoattack, if you want to use a pet be prepared to micromanage it and be prepared to be skilled at doing so to use it effectively. Every time you want that pet to do something worth a custard, be prepared to issue it a command to do so.

 

For some people, that doesn't sound fun. Good. If you're not prepared to use pets in a manner that enhances rather than destracts from skill-based PvP then don't use them. People shouldn't feel pressured to take pet discs to compete for passive DPS, and it'll sort out people using pets as a crutch from people who are actually good at it.


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

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When I saw pets as a KS goal, my heart sank a little. Never liked combat pets in-game, tbh, kind of functioned like mounts: a mindless buff that you toggled on and off without really adding anything to overall gameplay. Plus, I prefer to play my characters as solo acts, without some furry mongrel stealing the spotlight with their "enormous contribution" through passive DPS.

 

Main problems I see with pets is how are they going to play when you implement stealth. Unless they choose to add straight up invisibility (I pray they won't), they're probably going to cause problems for stealth based classes with pets continuing to hound them, or being useless when as stealthed player does show up. No matter what kind of stealth mechanic they choose, it's going to be problematic for/against stealth based players.

 

Another issue is making the pet impactful without it stealing the spotlight. For this, I say focus on Pets being better for utility than actual combat. GW2 had a pretty nice way to keep pets relevant while not taking the spotlight from them, essentially giving them an active ability for players to execute as they saw fit which normally would have a fairly significant utility effect. Unfortunately, this does cause pets to become an almost mandatory addition for players to be at their full strength, which could again lead to gameplay issues (if an assassin stealths, what happens to the pet? So now we not only have to worry about an invisible killer stalking us, but an invisible man-eating creature as well?!). So the only way to make this not a mandatory thing for players is to potentially have some drawbacks to having a pet or not having a pet, thus becoming a conscious decision on the players part of whether it is worth having a pet around or not.

 

IDK how they plan to handle this in a gracious manner, but hopefully, they can make it worthwhile.

Edited by RKNM

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All the pets shouldn't be a dps hose like stated above, each pet should bring in a unique set of tools, they should be used in the best circumstances for best effect like pure disciplined players. The hawk should be aligned with scouts, let the player gain the ability to look through the hawks eyes for marks or planned ambushes for a time while your body is hidden(game of thrones?),(scout using the ability has to be in close proximity) as one of the hawks unique abilities. Let beast taming be a perfectly valid roll/discipline etc instead of it being a novelty like in other MMOs. You could take it even further and breed combinations of aligned species for differing results(Final Fantasy Chocobos anyone?). It all depends how much time Crowfall is prepared to spend on it. The best system I've seen for taming creatures would be in Nox, you'd have to have the lore of the beast and knowledge of handling before you could charm them and if they died under your neglect they'd be gone for good(until OP summoning half way through the game) as a conjurer.

 

They could add more beast variables to the game over the time, but they should make pets as feasible as the other discipline counterparts, otherwise it will just be waste of production time.

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