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Gilgamer

A Combat Dialogue

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Call it semantics but I am not using this thread to suggest just a combat system for Crowfall per se; I would like to start a discussion on combat.  All I've seen so far is a general dislike for telegraphed combat, very generic statements about skill counts (few versus many), the hope of action combat aside from any concrete details, and a community that has taken up the posture of wait-and-see.  I too am curious to see the developer's vision for combat and what they do about telegraphs, but that doesn't mean we can't each take a crack at it. 

 

I hesitated to go here because combat systems can be a very contentious issue; everyone has played games they liked and games they disliked, and every game draws either negative or positive comparisons.  I thought I'd take a stab at it however, not because I have any particular expertise, but because I've been trying to distill my own thoughts about what I like/dislike and find a way to articulate it. 

 

Goal: Create a combat system that eliminates global or arbitrary cool-downs, allows developers an opportunity to show off stunning animations, and creates a flow to combat that is situational, never rotational, and impactful.

 

The Proposal:  Categorize player actions into tiers based on shared animation length*, and give them a reason to use actions from each tier to build custom combos, while weighing resource management against factors like positioning, opportunity, and situational demands. 

 

Tiers:

This system uses three tiers of abilities based on animation length:

 

First tier - abilities with quick animations you want players to have immediate and constant access to. 
These would be spammable until their tied resource (stamina/mana) is exhausted**, but doing so would be far from optimal. 

 

Second tier - would encompass more powerful direct damage abilities, ones that hinder your target's combat flow, and ones that either close gaps or create space; the increased power comes with a longer animation and greater resource consumption (stamina/mana).
Diminished returns and player reactives will handle Stun and CC spam as opposed to CDs.

 

Third tier - will be the most situational as you will have to decide between buffing yourself, your allies, or continuing to dish out the damage. These have a very lengthy animation by default and high resource cost.

 

Combat flow: 

All abilities would be usable anytime your character isn't in the middle of an active animation; however, there would be a benefit called momentum*** to using them in ascending order by tier.

Tier one abilities should be numerous and varied as these will be the majority of the combat, but their primary role is to keep the pressure on your opponent while you wait for a good tier two opportunity.  

Tier two abilities will be very strategic, because they give you the chance to take away an opponent's opportunity, create an opportunity for an ally, or take advantage of an opportunity created by an ally.

Tier three abilities, due to their animation length, would be hard to pull off successfully in hectic combat, but when successful could turn the tide of combat

 

Situational:

Just because you can move to the next tier doesn't mean you should, and will you be ready to capitalize on an opportunity with an ability from the appropriate tier.

 

*Animation Lock: 

A game mechanic by which your character is locked into a player made choice of action until that action's animation plays through in its entirety. Example: a massive overhand chop with a two-handed axe might be a three second animation, once the player commits to the overhand chop they cannot choose another action for their character.  Many people believe this means your character is rooted during the animation; this doesn't have to be the case, though that might be desirable for certain actions, you could also allow only limited movement like the ability to pivot allowing for better aiming without outright moving. 

 

Animation locks give the developer's a nice chunk of time to fill with very detailed and weighty animations, that do a much better job of conveying character momentum.  Tera, a game that is being looked at by the developers, uses animation lock in some form for most classes, though that does not mean they like that particular aspect of Tera's combat.  Without animation lock developers have to either keep all animation within the smallest window possible (usually a GCD), or use animation blending to truncate and run one animation into another, which often looks unnatural.   For examples of GCD/SkillCD games look at WoW or any of its spawn, and for an example of the latter look at ESO.

 

I would propose tier one abilities at a quick one second animation. These would certainly not root your character.

I would like to see tier two abilities at 3 seconds and tier three abilities at 5 seconds by default, but sped up to 2.5 and 4 seconds respectively under the influence of momentum**.  These would potentially root your character, or move your character along a path determined at the time the action is executed (like an intercept ability).

I propose animations that look good in the two to three second range but also looks good when slowed down to exaggerate emphasis.

 

***Momentum: 

Using an ability in the first tier and then progressing to an ability in the next tier within five seconds grants a haste like buff called momentum that shortens the animation length for that tier (sped up animation without dropping frames or clipping the animation);  the momentum carries forward from the second tier if a third tier ability is used within ten seconds.  After attempting a third tier ability all momentum is lost.

 

**Exhaustion:

Outside of combat, resources regen very quickly, but if you run your character completely out of a resource pool, you'll receive a debuff to the regen rate for that pool.  Be careful to always keep a little reserve.

 

Free Flowing Combos:
Combine any three abilities - one from each tier starting in tier one and moving up to build momentum and create a unique combo. 

Tier 1 - single target abilities like: melee attacks, touch range magic, ranged magical/physical projectiles, debuffs, dots, reactives (block, dodge, parry)

Tier 2 - situational abilities like: stuns, interrupts, crowd control, movement abilities (leap, charge, warp), knock backs, positional attacks, higher damage "charged-up" melee/magic attacks

Tier 3 - highly situational abilities like: buffs, heals, damage shields, AOEs both physical and magical, summons, directing a pet, coup de grace melee attacks (on prone or CC'ed targets). 

 

Conclusion:

All the numbers could be tuned with testing to speed up or slow down combat; and abilities could be moved between tiers as gameplay balance required (though the animations would need to be redone).  I tried to provide a framework w/o getting weighed down by individual abilities/skills.   Let me know what you think. 

Edited by Gilgamer

Luke I am your Uncle... Bob.  What, my sister Padmè never mentioned me?

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This is an interesting idea Gilgamer; I haven't across a discussion which looks at MMO combat in terms of animation before. Still, what've pointed out here makes sense, that the complexity of character animations can have an effect on the flow of combat. Which is why it's important to get animation right, so that the combat feels more natural and is less likely to get bogged-down when players start using more time-consuming attacks.

 

Come to think of it, this discussion reminds me of 'invincibility frames' as a concept. Basically, invisibility frames refers to moments in a character's animation cycle where they are immune to conventional damage, like in mid-jump or when they are preforming certain attacks. This sort of thing is more common in 2D sprite-based games but recent 3D games like Dark Souls 2 also feature invincibility frames. Anyway, the important thing to understand is that invincibility frames aren't regarded as glitches or exploits. Rather, depending on the game, skilled players are able to time their attacks to ensure they are protected by invincibility frames at the moment they face the full force of a major enemy attack.

 

In regards to Crowfall, this means that an emphasis on character animation can have a significant impact on how players fight. When it's not just about the speed of the combat, the existence of invincibility frames can change the dynamic of the whole game. As players could use invincible frames from a short animation to effectively negate the damage of a third tier attack, allowing for a second short animation while the other player is still completing their third tier animation cycle. Which I think will add an extra element of risk to combat, making PVP more interesting as a whole.

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As you may have guessed I am a big fan of Dark Souls so the idea of invincibility frames is not new to me.  Assuming the animations are keyframed at a minimal 24 frames per second (which is wholly seperate from the FPS of rendering) and a tier two ability is 3 seconds that = 72 frames of animation and it should look spectacular as well as give the devs plenty of opportunity for invincibility frames should the ability warrant it.  During the first full second you should be most vulernable to being interrupted, after which you could have a brief invincibility moment at the peak of the animation, then make the player vulnerable again right as their skill fires off.  For people who maybe haven't played these type of games they can think of it like a cast bar from games like WoW, only it's hidden to both players.  If you do enough damage, quickly land a CC, or perform a specific interrupt ability during the very beginning of that "big over-hand chop" I used as an example, chances are you are going to interrupt it.  The only abilities that would provide full invincibility would be dodges. Blocks and parries would only mitigate attack originating from wherever your target reticle was aimed when executed.


Luke I am your Uncle... Bob.  What, my sister Padmè never mentioned me?

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interesting read...

 

/golfclap

 

the one thing that pokes me instantly is the animation timing....as Tera itself shows, that systemic can be ripe for exploits...one must be VERY careful that the lock can't be broken in any unintended fashion (as in Tera form what i understand) as opposed to say, an upper tier ability such as you describe, which may have an animation lock break as part of the Ability....(think a tier 2 counterpunch kind of thing, it breaks off the initial animation and flows into this one to counter an opponents attack midstream....just a example of possibility)

 

as for the rest....i'd have to try it and see how it *feels* when played out....1 v 1, small groups...and most importantly....

 

sieges


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let the Code build the World and it's Laws....let the Players build the rest...

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As you may have guessed I am a big fan of Dark Souls so the idea of invincibility frames is not new to me.  Assuming the animations are keyframed at a minimal 24 frames per second (which is wholly seperate from the FPS of rendering) and a tier two ability is 3 seconds that = 72 frames of animation and it should look spectacular as well as give the devs plenty of opportunity for invincibility frames should the ability warrant it.  During the first full second you should be most vulernable to being interrupted, after which you could have a brief invincibility moment at the peak of the animation, then make the player vulnerable again right as their skill fires off.  For people who maybe haven't played these type of games they can think of it like a cast bar from games like WoW, only it's hidden to both players.  If you do enough damage, quickly land a CC, or perform a specific interrupt ability during the very beginning of that "big over-hand chop" I used as an example, chances are you are going to interrupt it.  The only abilities that would provide full invincibility would be dodges. Blocks and parries would only mitigate attack originating from wherever your target reticle was aimed when executed.

Cool, I figured that you were probably familiar with invincibility frames. I mainly gave an explanation of invincibility frames for the benefit of anybody else who might be reading the thread; because unfortunately MMORPGs tend to lag behind other genres when it comes to combat mechanics. Certainly, I understand the problems associated with network latency mean that in the past compromises had to be made to make an MMORPG playable. Yet, technology continues to advance, with high-speed broadband connections available to more people all over the world. So, I think it's time for MMORPGs to really push what is possible in terms of online combat mechanics. The inclusion of nuanced mechanics like carefully times invincibility frames would certainly add a lot to Crowfall and make the gameplay more worthwhile.

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so some would really advocate such an intricate and crucial systemic like Combat to a mechanic that is intrinsically tied in performance to the vagrancy of latency/ping?

 

on a small map shooter with limited Players it's a tough nut to crack...

 

in a siege of 100v100 or more.....???

 

i don't mean to be a wet blanket here, but it IS the single most important part of CF, imo


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let the Code build the World and it's Laws....let the Players build the rest...

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I would almost rather call them uninterruptable frames.  I would expect that the health pool would much larger in relationship to damage dealt in an MMO versus an action game; this larger HP pool could mean you continue to take damage throughout the animation, though once a threshold in the animation passes it becomes unable to be interrupted by your opponent.  I could still see a moment on invincibility for things like dodging, blocking, parrying, but even then it's more like your hitbox becomes unhittable temporarily (and only to your primary target in regards to the latter two: blocking/parrying), you would still continue to take dmg from DoTs and would still have to make sure you got clear of large AOEs.


Luke I am your Uncle... Bob.  What, my sister Padmè never mentioned me?

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so some would really advocate such an intricate and crucial systemic like Combat to a mechanic that is intrinsically tied in performance to the vagrancy of latency/ping?

 

on a small map shooter with limited Players it's a tough nut to crack...

 

in a siege of 100v100 or more.....???

 

i don't mean to be a wet blanket here, but it IS the single most important part of CF, imo

 

I really depends on what server pings the average user is going to be able to get.  High latency will effect gameplay of all varieties, including games with very short global cooldowns.  The fact that animation lock gives you a longer average window for each ability that just a GCD, I would same it's more tolerant not less.  If latencies of less than 200ms are the norm and people aren't experiencing framrate issues (that's a seperate issue altogether), than I think the sytem could work.  WoW has been able to boast an average server latency of just 80ms, that's some phenomenal net code. 

 

With animation lock you click the ability and the animation begins immediately but the result isn't tallied until after the animation plays.  Your opponent sees your animation, and they react. To that end it's important that players see the animations synced up at roughly the same time and I have some ideas on how this could be achieved. 

 

Now I don't expect players to react to Tier one abilities, those with the simplest/quickest one second animation.  You are either within range and get hit or you aren't.  You coud throw up a block, dodge, or parry pre-emptively in anticipation but you'd really just be guessing and you might be wasting an opportunity to launch your own offensive, or interrupt a higher tier ability.  Tier two abilities and up I would expect players to react to and in fact they must or the battle will quickly get away from them, but those animations are longer on purpose and will have a healthy window during which to interrupt, dodge, block, parry what have you. These middle tier abilities will be the most sensitive to latency, as the reaction window in relationship to the animation length is the smallest ratio so you'll need to be vigilant as you may have as little as a few hundred milliseconds to react in time to interrupt though you'll have a considerably longer time to side-step, throw up a block, or dodge.  So it becomes a bit of a gample, if you try to interrupt but your too slow, and miss the window to interrupt you now have no time to block or dodge and will likely have to eat whatever damage is incoming, but this is the mechanic working as intended, because reaction times and latency cut both ways.  It doesn't give anyone an unfair advantage.  And as I said before the timings could be adjusted after play testing if the margins where too narrow for the server performance.


Luke I am your Uncle... Bob.  What, my sister Padmè never mentioned me?

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so some would really advocate such an intricate and crucial systemic like Combat to a mechanic that is intrinsically tied in performance to the vagrancy of latency/ping?

 

on a small map shooter with limited Players it's a tough nut to crack...

 

in a siege of 100v100 or more.....???

 

i don't mean to be a wet blanket here, but it IS the single most important part of CF, imo

 

I gotta agree with Gonzo here.  The most important question to ask about any proposed combat system is "how well will it work in large GvG scale combat?" 

 

I feel like with this kind of combat system, it would come down to a matter of scale.  Not scale of the player base, but scale of the stats system, such as how much health do players have, how much damage to players do per swing, and things like that.  Like with just about any combat system you can propose, it'll obviously favor whoever has the higher number of players.  But the level of impact that number of players will have can be toned down by giving players higher health and lower damage.  The player collision detection system CrowFall is using also helps reduce the effectiveness of such zerg tactics as well (Meaning 30 guys can't focus-fire one person at a time and melt him instantly), so overall I see this system working fairly well. 

 

I feel like methods of breaking animations aren't always a bad thing.  Dark Souls had a few unintentional animation breaks, like "toggle-escaping," where one would escape a stun lock by rapidly swapping back and forth between their primary and secondary weapons while attempting to roll away, as well as a fun little trick to cancel a Wrath of the Gods cast by quickly facing backwards and then forward again.  Neither of these were intentional, but they weren't exactly easy to pull off either, and actually wound up adding to the skill of the game's PvP as well as the ability to play mind games with other players. 

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I would almost rather call them uninterruptable frames.  I would expect that the health pool would much larger in relationship to damage dealt in an MMO versus an action game; this larger HP pool could mean you continue to take damage throughout the animation, though once a threshold in the animation passes it becomes unable to be interrupted by your opponent.  I could still see a moment on invincibility for things like dodging, blocking, parrying, but even then it's more like your hitbox becomes unhittable temporarily (and only to your primary target in regards to the latter two: blocking/parrying), you would still continue to take dmg from DoTs and would still have to make sure you got clear of large AOEs.

True, the phrase 'invincibility frame' can itself be problematic, when there will always be some attacks that the careful timing of frames can't avoid. It's interesting though the name for invincibility frames is only a relatively recent invention. Most games in the 16-bit era before the jump to 32-bit 3D games had some form of damaging reducing frames; although I can't recall anyone at the time giving a name to this phenomena; it was just parting of the gaming experience. Only now, the best part of two decades later, when invincibility frames have almost disappeared, have gamers settled upon a term to describe the idea. Regardless, the name itself could use some work - 'uninterruptable frames' might just be a better of way of describing it.

 

As for Crowfall, I agree that measures would certainly have to be taken to ensure that combat is balanced for large scale PVP battles. To that end, having larger amount of base HP would help to compensate for the extra damage associated with MMO gameplay, from more players fighting once and the ever present nuisance of latency issues. I don't expect invincibility frames to be able to negate all attacks, but their careful use in the game can still make things more dynamic. So that AOE and DOT animations will have their place in combats, it's just that those players who use such skills would need pay closer attention to what is happening right in front of them.

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I think part of the issue is that if combat scales out to 100v100 watching animations isn't really practical. Its one thing to tell people to l2p when they cry about getting smashed by something with a long windup in a 5v5. It isn't really going to fly in a mass combat though.


David Sirlin's Balancing Multiplayer Games should be mandatory reading for all gamers.

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While I really am trying to hold off on forming any opinions before getting my hands on some play testing, I will say if they could modify the flow and feel of Smite which is a 3rd person "MMO perspective/control" MOBA, I would be very very happy. 


"He's like Batman except without the moral compass" ~Juror during first innocent verdict 

 

Ghost's of War, PvP gaming community founded 2002

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I think part of the issue is that if combat scales out to 100v100 watching animations isn't really practical. Its one thing to tell people to l2p when they cry about getting smashed by something with a long windup in a 5v5. It isn't really going to fly in a mass combat though.

There will be a general lack of situational awareness anytime you have large number of players in a small area (this is closer to the real definition of "fog of war"); and this will be an issue regardless of the combat system.  You won't be able to track every possible combatant, whether you give them casting bars over their heads, wind-up style animations, or ugly telegraphs.  If people coordinate and focus-fire a particular target it's hard to see a way out for that target, but again that can happen in any combat system. 

 

Generally speaking though, even if your large group is fighting another large group, you yourself are not fighting everyone on the opposing team in 1v100 combat.  You only need to know who's picked you out as a target (maybe the game should help with that), or who you've picked out as target and be cognizant of  their actions/animations. I am not sure sports analogy will fly on an MMO forum, but if you take a game where man to man coverage is the norm and your opponent doubles up on one of the better players on your team, that leaves someone on your team with no coverage and it will be up to them to recognize the imbalance and use their freedom of engagement to make your opponent pay.  In a combat system where giving an opponent a free five seconds to think and act could be disastrous, you'll want to make sure no enemy goes unengaged, which should combat focus-firing.  Is it perfect? Perhaps not, but I am still not hearing alternatives, though to be honest I am not sure how "Smite" plays.


Luke I am your Uncle... Bob.  What, my sister Padmè never mentioned me?

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I enjoyed UO's duel system for attack-"parry"-counter attack system. Unlike other MMOs, in UO you had very little HP but healing magic was accessible to everyone via various skills. So to lose any given duel, you had to make 1-2 mistakes in a row. Attacks that were countered would leave you at full health.

 

Unfortunately, this didn't scale well to large fights, where focus-fire from 3 people pretty much guaranteed someone could get instakilled.

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I dislike the 'invincibility frames' that Kintor was talking about. Nobody should be invincble just because they are in the middle of an animation. Gameplay wise it just feels like an exploit.

 

And what is this obsession with animations anyway? I see animations as cosmetic and I never cared about them. Great combat doesn't require great animations. It requires great combat. Animations are cosmetic.

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I dislike the 'invincibility frames' that Kintor was talking about. Nobody should be invincble just because they are in the middle of an animation. Gameplay wise it just feels like an exploit.

 

And what is this obsession with animations anyway? I see animations as cosmetic and I never cared about them. Great combat doesn't require great animations. It requires great combat. Animations are cosmetic.

Bear with me, I am going to start somewhere else but you answer is coming.  Did you like the telegraphs that showed up in early gameplay footage?  If not than you are in the majority on these forums.  They are ugly but their purpose is well-intended if you like the idea of avoiding damage versus simply mitigating damage through CDs and healing (and we know they are not intending fire-hose healing).  The purpose of the telegraphs is to convey information so you have time to react, and this reaction is the crux of action combat.  If you are just going to use your skills w/o regard to what skills your opponent is using why even play a PvP centric MMO. 

 

You can remove telegraphs simply enough but if you want people to be able to react they need something to react to, and that is where animations come in.  They have to be varied enough, detailed enough, and of sufficient length to convey enough information and with enough time so that reaction is possible.  If you have crap animations and no telegraphs you may as well remove active dodging, and turn dodge into a passive stat, because at that point you'll only ever dodge/block/parry anything by accident or passively without any user input.  That sounds like un-action combat to me.   


Luke I am your Uncle... Bob.  What, my sister Padmè never mentioned me?

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Of course there will be enemy moves to react to, but I'm not in favor of having to learn all of the archetypes and their moves in order to play at the highest level. I'm simply not interested. It's boring, (so maybe telegraphs can save me some trouble?). I would rather react with speed and knowledge about my own character and his power.

 

Knowledge about other classes is an advantage and it comes naturally over time, but it shouldn't be neccesary to know them or learn them because it's too hard and not enjoyable having to learn so much when you basically don't really care about them. Obviously, you care about your own character. You care about staying alive and killing your enemy. The essence of PvP skill should be how good you are at playing your character and how good that character is. Nobody wants to learn how to play every class and how to react to every class. Isn't that a MOBA thing anyway? ESPECIALLY, if you have detailed compound skills/abilities. GTFO, that's a headache I don't want. 

 

Example: 

Simple fight: 2 guys with bow, arrows and a short sword.

It's the same for everyone and being good requires aiming well with ur crosshair and moving around well, evading shots, etc.. Maybe you get 1.5x damage for backhits. Anyway, still simple and enjoyable.

 

Complicated fight: The same scenario, but now it's tab target and there are 17 rules you need to learn if you want to be good.

1: Double arrow damage when the enemy has his sword out.

2: Double sword damage when the enemy has his bow out

3: Double weapon switching delay when you are being attacked by a sword.

4: Decreased arrow shooting speed when sprinting

5: 2 successful arrow hits to the back followed up by a sword hit generates a combo with more damage.

6: bla bla bla

7: 

8:

9:

10:

17:

 

Somewhere along the way it stops being a game and I think it has to do with the fact that TAB targeting and other non-manual aim systems feel the need to overload their combat with crappy scripted situational effects. They automatize a MAJOR part of combat, which is to aim at your enemy and hit him. And then they have to find alternatives because they basically dumbed down combat. So they are fixing something that they broke.. And why did they break it? They broke it because they want to appeal to all the people who aim poorly, but who still want to be competitive. Okay.. I understand that, but I think it's boring. I might go along with it, but not if you're going to overload the combat with a memory game of situational awareness. Then I will go play an mmorpg with better combat.

 

Something I also absolutely hated about Archeage was how I got constantly knocked down by certain melee classes when I just wanted to slit their throats. I couldn't because apparantly my character was knocked down. Well, IM NOT KNOCKED DOWN IRL - lol.. And I am MAD. I want to keep the fight going and use my abilities. I dont want to sit there and get dominated. Okay.. If he out damages me. Fine. I lost. BUt these annoying magical control abilities that I don't have - AND CAN NEVER GET BECAUSE IM THE WRONG CLASS - are extremely frustrating and just annoying. .. This is also why pre-CU/NGE in SWG people were crying so hard about combat. You had these annoying Teras Kasi Masters running around mitigating so much damage. You used all your best moves on them and you got rolled in the end. They would run up in your face and just throw you down on the ground so that even if u MIGHT still have a chance to finish them off, they simply killed that opportunity now with their crowd control.

 

 

Most player reactions (such as retreat or heal) comes from having ur health bar lowered and feeling the battle go the wrong way. Most don't care about what the enemy is doing and what animations he is casting unless it's something obvious that they know and need to look out for. And that's fine because combat shouldn't be boring, but you shouldn't go overboard with it either and focus so much on animations. Just give spells and abilities different colors and a crude movement and people will soon distinguish the moves that they need to look out for.

 

With regards to zerging, you can't react very well if you are the target of a zerg. There's simply too much information and it all becomes a blur with exception of a few moves, maybe, if your camera is aimed towards them, but not if you are running away.

Edited by ZtyX

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Knowledge about other classes is an advantage and it comes naturally over time, but it shouldn't be neccesary to know them or learn them because it's too hard and not enjoyable having to learn so much when you basically don't really care about them. Obviously, you care about your own character. You care about staying alive and killing your enemy. The essence of PvP skill should be how good you are at playing your character and how good that character is. Nobody wants to learn how to play every class and how to react to every class. Isn't that a MOBA thing anyway? ESPECIALLY, if you have detailed compound skills/abilities. GTFO, that's a headache I don't want. 

 

I am not suggesting that you would have to know every archetype's complete set of abilities based on animation alone, because their isn't going to be a specific optimal reaction to very action.  So let's say you see your opponent charging up something, you know it's not one of their spammable basic attacks because they would go off nearly instantly, and now you have to decide do I attempt to interrupt with damage or a specific stun/CC ability of my own, do I dodge, do I use a defensive ability like block or parry.  It all comes down a split second decision, how long do I have, what's at my disposal, and what's the current situation.  You ask yourself, "Am I too low on health to risk a failed interrupt likely resulting in death?", "Is my opponent nearly dead and there is a good chance that engaging them with even my smallest attack might be enough to topple them?", "If I play defensively will help arrive first for me, or for them?".  Whatever ability they are using it's going to benefit them and hurt you, so which ability they are using is kind of mute though you will eventually learn to spot and differentiate their attacks, from their buffs, from their debuffs, from their AOEs, from their heals, and on and on.  Does it matter which attack, or which buff, or which debuff? Maybe, maybe not.  The important thing is you had time, even if it's the tiniest window, to make a reaction that effected the outcome of the battle.  

 

Just so I am clear on what you are proposing:  

 

You are ok with the limited use of telegraphs?

 

You don't want CC's even if they are short interrupts and every class has access to their own?

 

You talk about evading shots but you don't mention how, if projectiles move at a slow enough speed and have a great enough distance to travel I suppose you

could simply move out of the way, but how do you avoid a sword thrust, a ranged spell, to any other direct damage attack.  

 

If you don't telegraph every ability (many don't want that) and you don't slow combat down with lengthy animations, how do you handle active damage avoidance?

 

If you can't avoid damage actively you either have to have:

Passive mitigation (dodge, block, parry as a passive stat = to a % chance of avoidance)

Activatable wards/shields that absorb damage (HP pool extenders).

Mitigation abilities that when toggled reduce damage of a specific type by a set amount.

Welcome to WoW and every one of it's clones.  

 

Or:

Drastically reduce the effectiveness of damaging abilities, or inflated HP pools, or both.

 

The Reason:

Without ways to avoid or mitigate damage directly most fights would end very quickly with the winner being the person who attacks first.  I think active avoidance is much more in the realm of action combat than clicking an ability that gives me X amount of mitigation, though both can be strategic.  


Luke I am your Uncle... Bob.  What, my sister Padmè never mentioned me?

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Just been thinking about these tiers you mentioned in OP and how that would be different for each stat..Just to give an idea(not sure/pleased yet with some but feel free to alter it)

Strenght (- dexterity)

°°°°

Tier1: you are able to use force ,using abilities weak characters can't.Tied to stamina & you can't spam force attacks

°°°°°°

Tier2 :Your brute force allows you to hinder the target's combat flow

°°°°°°°°

Tier3:your strenght allows you to take shield allies for a % of all the incoming blows ,Defence wall,..

 

 

Spirit (-intellect)

°°°°

Tier1 you have an inborn gift to deal with the supernatural powers of this world,yet it makes you over-confident.

°°°°°°

Tier2:You've gained a deeper understanding of your inborn gift & are able to participate in rituals

°°°°°°°

Tier3:you truly unfolded and wield your powers at will(for some this is a special channeling archetype skill)& you can activate magical objects

 

 

Armor (+- movement depending on type of armor)

°°°°

Tier1:you've gotten used to your armor -> bonuses of T1

°°°°°

Tier2:heavy armor :block /medium :Evade/ Light:focus increasing either intellect or spirit

°°°°°°°°

Tier3: You're able to repair your own armor <or insert other here that affects the duration of certain abilities>

 

 

Dexterity (- strenght)

°°°°

Tier1:you are very good with your hands ;)

°°°°°°

Tier2:Everything you do is done with greater care & you are a true professional

°°°°°°°

Tier3:Even lenghty tasks that require great precision of execution are now childsplay to you

 

 

Intellect (- spirit)

°°°°

Tier 1:all of your studies have paid off and you are able to find quick solutions,identify lore objects,..

°°°°°°

Tier 2:your intellect allows you to fool & outsmart the enemy(special archetype related skills like blink for a wizard,shadowstep assassin,...)

°°°°°°°°

Tier 3:you enjoy doing lengthy tasks that require a briliiant mind(or many brilliant minds together)

 

 

Movement (- armor)

°°°°

Tier1:you are in very good shape which allows your to sprint longer,dodge more

°°°°°°

Tier2:Your reflexes have improved giving bonus to block,evade,..

°°°°°°°°

Tier3:The penalty for carrying an artifact tandem with other player is reduced 

Edited by Tipsy

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Tipsy,

 

I really appreciate the thought you put into that and it fits really well.  I left the tiers as blank slates, with only examples of the types of abilities that could fill each tier for this reason.  The tiers would have to be customized with abilities based on archetype, weapon proficiency, stats, disciplines, and pet combat.   My goal would be to have abilities that are tied to each of those in each tier so you'll have Tier 1, 2, an 3 archetype abilities, Tier 1, 2, and 3 weapon abilities, etc,.  

 

Hopefully even two players with the same archetype, might end up with some different abilities in each tier if they have different weapons or wield-styles chosen during promotion, different disciplines, and different pets.  Pets could be directed in much the same way you'd use your own abilities, so that their use is situational and broadens the options at your disposal but at the trade off you choosing between one of your Tier 1, 2, 3 abilities and one of theirs, but never both at the same time.  They would inevitably share archetype abilities and I know you only have a little influence over stats by picking advantages/disadvantages; I am not sure if that would be enough to base abilities off.  After reading the following it might be possible to have higher tiered abilities tied to stats unlock as you gain points in a stat, though how you handle this would be tricky, because if gear, disciplines, and buffs are the primary method of stat gain and none of those are permanent would you strip skills away if player's stats went down.

 

Q: Can attributes (Str, Int, etc.) be trained after the advantages/disadvantages selection? Will there be any cross-promotion classes (like Shadowbane hybrids, i.e., fighter lock vs mage lock)? Looks amazing guys! Power on to 1.7 Mill!

A: They can be increased through: disciplines, equipment, and buffs. We elected not to do the "level based" increases at the same time we elected not to do levels.


Luke I am your Uncle... Bob.  What, my sister Padmè never mentioned me?

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