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Infynis

How Long Do We Want Combat to Take?

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I don't think anyone would argue that we should have PVP battles that end in 30 seconds, but this raises the question, "How long should we be in combat?"

 

Crowfall is based around its PVP, and so PVP should be something that we spend time doing. A 1v1 battle shouldn't just be something where you run in, light up some knight with a few high weight attacks, and then run away with his stuff; a battle should be a game within itself. To illustrate my point, I will look at table tennis. Why do we find games like that to be fun? It is because they are fast paced, but they still take long enough that the winner won't always be the person that is winning in the beginning. In table tennis, both sides have the time to make mistakes and recover.

 

A PVP battle between two players should not be decided in a 45 seconds to a minute. I'm not saying it should take as long as a match of table tennis to smash a centaur, but losing should not be the same as lost. I want to feel stressed as I try to bring back a battle that I'm not doing well in, and feel an actual competition between myself and my opponent. In a game where you can lose everything in one battle, that battle should at least be fun.

 

What do you guys think? Will this work, or am I just dreaming?

Edited by Infynis

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You act like 30 seconds is short, but that's actually a very long time.

 

There's too many combat related mechanics that we don't know absolutes on to make a suggestion for how long TTK should be. Is there resurrection within combat? If not, how far do you spawn? If I have to walk 20min to get back to my original location TTK should be a bit longer than if I can get mid combat rezzed or respawn a few minutes away.

 

If they make active block/parry/dodge feel intuitive, there will also be a huge gap in the survivability between someone who uses it well and [of course] someone who doesn't on top of who picked the better skill wheel. These are just examples off the top of my head, right now everything is 100% theory-crafting.


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Like almost everything that gets brought up, I think this is being oversimplified.

 

If it takes 30 seconds to kill someone who isn't fighting back, that's an eternity.

 

If it takes 30 seconds to kill someone who is actively disrupting your attacks, defending himself, and successfully putting distance between you, that's way too short.

 

Like every other game it's probably going to depend on a lot of factors, but raw TTK should definitely be kept short to ensure that larger scale combat isn't drawn out or excessively favors numbers. Defending yourself from multiple players should also be very difficult unless you're a tank and you're good at what you do. But in general, I agree that if you aren't caught terribly off guard and 1v1ing somebody, you should absolutely be able to draw it out if you know what you're doing and are emphasizing self preservation.

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30 seconds to kill an inactive player actually sounds pretty good. in an open PvP server, you want to have enough time to respond to a surprise attack, you may be reading a manual, or crunching some statistics in your head, and boom, someone uses some BS stealth and chucks you. That's bad enough, but if the TTK is 10 seconds, than players could answer the phone and be dead before they can even put it down and respond.

 

Against a fighting foe, something like 1-3 minutes sounds about right, it really depends on the way combat progresses and how you want interaction to be. The specific amount of time will be completely contextual, but the main thing I think needs to exist, is time for all participants to assess the situation and respond, that doesn't simply mean that the specific player involved in combat has time to respond to his situation, but that others have time to respond as well, Either being able to aid or rescue an ally, coordinate or focus on an objective, or so on, Given that healing is expected to be limited, it's more practical to have significantly more personal longevity than you typically have in most games, because your not going to see players health bars refilling when they fall in jeopardy. Players will still die faster than they do in similar games anyway, but with less recovery, they should be a lot sturdier, not just because of the lack of healing, but because the battles are expected to scale into large engagements, and getting pummeled by focus fire shouldn't erase units one by one without any room for each unit to attempt something before they die.

 

I think a good time to shoot for with regular skirmishes is about 1-5 minutes, small scale PvP around 5-10 minutes, and large PvP battles about 20 minutes, with Sieges taking the longest at between 30 minutes to 2 hours.

 

Given unique circumstances, all of these could be completely altered, a battle between two glass cannons could be over in 15 seconds, and a battle between two teams of 20 tanks could last until they decide to quit because both sides won't let any damage land. I think it's important that different classes have unique experiences with themselves and various other classes, and that scenarios don't have to always result in one side annihilating the other, if all battles come to one simple conclusion, than the game lacks a great deal of opportunity for rich experiences. For a Defender, simply staying alive and keeping foes at bay is a success, for an Attacker, simply killing more foes than you lost can still be a failure, a group of players could face off in a field and realize they are both gonna suffer so much that they should just call a truce so they both don't suffer a loss, maybe they form an alliance since they can't safely contest each other, maybe they scheme to betray each other when the opportunity arises... but it can't be that interesting if combat revolves around one side always annihilating the other.


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Considering healing in Crowfall is said to be fairly anemic when judged against common MMO standards, I'd assume that raw TTK is pretty lengthy, or that active defenses are plentiful and extremely effective.

 

Looking forward to complaining about it when we have something closer to the final combat model available to play.


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I couldn't care less about how long a 1v1 fight lasts.  How long will a 10v10 last is more of a question I'm interested in.  I've played games where the average fight was over in 30 seconds or less and games that have lasted ten minutes.  I can honestly say that I couldn't pin one as being better then the other.  It's more about what happens in that amount of time. 

 

I did like what you said about the opportunity to make a comeback.  That's something you rarely see in games like this, once the fight starts to tip in the favor of one side its pretty easy to tell whos going to win. 


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That's a really good question. Of late, I've been really turned off by the high TTK in most MMO combat. Having spent most of my time lately in games like DOTA and Planetside 2, I really appreciate short decisive battles. Having read you guys' comments I mostly agree with what you're getting at. I'm going to argue the other side, but I want to state that everything here is my opinion and I do agree mostly with what everyone is saying. I just wanted to add the opposite end of the spectrum and see if there's a happy medium to come to. (also, I really liked bahamutkaiser's time tables.) 

I think a lot of my distaste from MMO PVP comes from firehose healing. I also think that TTK comes a lot into play when you consider zerg warfare. If people drop quickly, then the smaller more skilled force has more of a chance in certain situations (AOE mezes and AOE spells on clumped zergs) So I think there's a happy medium to be found here.

 

Another thing I had about long TTKs is sieges. I've yet to find an MMO with siege warfare that I remember fondly and that's mostly been because it's a long drawn out stand off than eventually changes into a steamroll once one side gets a bigger zerg or more healers. If you're able to drop enemies quickly, stakes would rise and decisions would be weighed more. For instance, you've got 10 people defending a keep against 50. Your 10 are in cover and able to take pot shots at the attackers while ducking in and out. With large health pools compared to damage, you're basically just doing your best to hold off the inevitable. However, if you're dropping attackers with those shots then you're dwindling their forces and making them think twice about mindlessly charging your walls.

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I think time to kill an individual should be pretty short. And while you should have time to react to getting jumped, if someone takes you by surprise, I don't have a problem with that being a pretty huge advantage.

 

If you are alone and get ambushed, your choice should probably be limited to trying to escape, unless you are greatly more powerful and/or skilled than your attackers.

 

I'm happy and excited to see how their take on action oriented combat turns out, but I don't want each fight with somebody to turn into playing Tekken

Edited by ColdSlither

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Time to kill in 1v1s should be between 20-40 seconds... that is a very long time while actually engaged in combat.  Once you start adding in other players it should function like moba fights... some compositions are meant to burst people down, some are meant to mitigate the burst. 

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Something else to consider:  In a game where full loot is a common outcome, I think it's worth suggesting that "TTK" isn't the only standard by which we measure fights.

 

I say, fights don't always end in deaths.  Retreats should be an option.  Obviously, fights shouldn't just constantly end in people running away from you, but I think if you want people to give a crap about dying, you should also make dying not the only outcome once a fight is started.

 

This changes the question from one of TTK to one of "How long can a fight go on before it's clearly decided?  How much time is there for a person to react to the fact that they've lost? And at what point do we allow someone who is clearly better to wreck someone without any chance of retreat?"

 

Of course, thinking of it this way makes it a much more complex problem to solve.  I would argue that 30s might be alright for a 1 on 1 fight if there's no chance of retreat and I'm going to just use abilities til one of us is dead.  But if I want a potential outcome to be "I've been hurt so badly I limp away and wander the battlefield until I die of my wounds/exposure, or else find somewhere to rest and recoup," then that's probably going to feel pretty cramped into a 30s window of action.

 

And to pre-counter those who say somehow retreating is for carebears, I think there's something really immersive and kinda dark imagining a situation where even as the stronger player, I might not try to gib someone but rather bring them within an inch of their life and let them limp away with a false hope of survival.  Where someone without gear may be more punished by being stuck at low health than being killed and allowed to respawn elsewhere.

 

(PS.  My theory on this relies on an expectation that unlike traditional MMOs, Crowfall health loss is more permanent and weighty.  From what we've heard, and what I imagine to be effective, I see Crowfall hp being extremely slow to regenerate, and providing defensiveness through mitigation and max HP rather than regeneration, so that when I get down to 20% hp, I'm going to really be scared rather than just waiting to be back at full, and regenerating means hiding somewhere safe and actually expending resources.

 

I also think the concept of being able to harass someone through slowly whittling away would be really cool, which also relates to this concept of hp permanence.  Imagine if a stealth character, instead of being designed to stun/crit as soon as they pop out of stealth in order to 1hKO everyone, was designed to pop out of stealth, do 10-15% damage to someone before being able to take damage, and then disappear again, only to prep again and reappear a minute later...you could actually stalk and harass caravans and get them closer and closer to a critical hp level...anyways, done with my PS now.)

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I couldn't care less about how long a 1v1 fight lasts.  How long will a 10v10 last is more of a question I'm interested in.  I've played games where the average fight was over in 30 seconds or less and games that have lasted ten minutes.  I can honestly say that I couldn't pin one as being better then the other.  It's more about what happens in that amount of time. 

 

I did like what you said about the opportunity to make a comeback.  That's something you rarely see in games like this, once the fight starts to tip in the favor of one side its pretty easy to tell whos going to win. 

 

Ehhhh, I know in ArcheAge the 10v10 was decently balanced, but the 1v1 was over in seconds.

 

I understand Crowfall is supposed to revolve around larger scale battles, but it's extremely frustrating to be out gathering/farming and be killed in less than 2 seconds by someone that gets the drop on you. It's really not that satisfying to be the guy that got the drop on someone else and kill THEM in less than 2 seconds either.

 

I'm hoping Crowfall can find a balance.


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Whatever they do they shouldn't balance around 1on1.

Maybe they shouldn't balance around it, but they should definitely take it into consideration. Large battles will likely happen less frequently as having a good group all the time isn't always possible. If the players get better organised in this game than we have in others, then maybe that won't be the case, but I still imagine 1v1 will be a prominent portion of battles.

Edited by Infynis

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30 seconds against an active and engaged opponent is fine with me. If you have the better strategy, the better skill, you win. Why drag it out?


I'm in this for the Experience, not the XP.

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I want it to take, two vanilla WoW paladins long!

Oh man, you just used a unity of time measurement bigger than a century!

 

30 seconds to kill someone afk seems long, survivability in combat should not depend on passive damage reduction or low damage compared to big health bars. It should mostly be a balance of reduction and active mitigation. A player blocking, dodging, healing himself, hitting back etc. That should be hard to kill, maybe a minute or more. Someone sitting afk should die in 15 secs tops. They are taking full hits, not healing, not blocking, not dodging, not... anything. If it takes 30 seconds to destroy someone through their passive mitigation imagine when they are actually protecting themselves and avoiding damage? Passive mitigation is not skill, it is an artificial inflation of combat length that gives chances of recovery to bad people. It should be there for some archetypes with heavy armor and defenses, but it should be secondary.

Edited by LGAllastair

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