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First Look: Knight powers and UI - Official discussion thread

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I agree, I hated this in Archeage




Crowfall has more specialized archtypes with meaningful decisions. If you're playing a ranged seige and scout specialist expect to lose to an assassin. If you give every archtype options to deal with every situation you remove the meaningful decisions making archetypes and choices feel meaningless (like most games)


So far I must agree with all your post on this subject. 


Right now there are 13 archetypes with 10 different skills each, which puts 130 skills on the field at any one time, plus combo's. That is a ton of calculations and animations that have to be accounted for.


The Devs already stated they would not balance for 1v1, and I am looking forward to team play where specific careers are integral to the team at large.  

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Example 2

MOBA's are also a decent example of how YOMI is applied effectively, thou differently.

While again there is a common kit, in this case of items, map layout and spawn position, goals, animations and general move speed.

However it achieves a lot of it's readability from set characters.  Each having it's own unique, but set in stone kit.  

So by looking at any given character, you can tell exactly what is can and cannot do, even with cosmetics since you can tell on silhouette alone who they are.


You can get a general idea of what a character can do, which is a far cry from mastering how to play with or against such a character... understanding a kit and playing correctly with regards to it are two entirely different things. 


And even if you are not familiar with a given characters kit, because the kits are only about 4 skills, with only 3 being used with any regularity when compared to the duration of the match, you can easily figure out operational limits to that character relatively easily.


The better you are at the game, the quicker you learn the limits of a character, but most people take hundreds or thousands of games on a champ to become decent at it, let alone good or great. 


And while these games have a large number of characters and kits as a result, your only ever going up against at most 5 at a time.  


So there is never too much going on at once for you to not be able to figure out what is happening.


League of Legends is the most watched esport/game in the world, even in slow motion replay with casters explaining the most important aspects of a teamfight (they don't have time to cover it all) most of the people barely understand what happened... let alone in realtime, and furthermore while actually playing.  5v5's are chaos, if they were easy to understand you would see more people excelling at those games... but that's part of the skill involved, being able to read and factor in more variables as they happen in real time, more than the opponent. 



In short, if you want readability, keep it simple.

People need to know what their opponent can do at a glance, and as long as they have a basic common kit to work with, they should be able to react accordingly, even if victory is not an option.


Experienced players should be able to read what an opponent can do much better than a newer player, if the majority of new players could easily understand what others can do, then the game would most likely be too easy. 



Also to add, keep the under the hood, passive and thus unperceptivable stuff to a minimum.

If your immune to poison, I'd really like to know that before engaging you with a poison build.  And if it's an elective passive that anybody can use, then it's a problem.


Shouldn't you have to figure that out on your own?  Learn through experience, and figure out your own system for reading enemies?  The game should not gift you with all the answers. 


If however you have an Archtype that is straight up immune to poison, then that's fine, as you can know that in advance and work around it.


Readability requires you to be able to quickly understand what somebody can and cannot do either by sight, or in advance.


No, it requires there be a way to learn to read people, it doesn't require that it be easy. 


And you can't really do that when all the important stuff is hidden under the hood.


Of course experience is going to play a large factor in to ones ability to read an opponent, and somethings are easier to read then others.

And in the case of MOBA's pacing is also a factor, as it can be very very fast paced at times, which makes it more difficult and require more experience (and twitch reflexes) to read and react to.

But two players of relatively similar skill levels can still read each other, even if not to full effect.


My point wasn't about making it easy, it was making it possible.

But on your point, why shouldn't it be easy?  Why shouldn't you be able to look at a character and have a decent idea of what they are going to do even if your relatively inexperienced?

That's called being Approachable.  And it's a very good thing for game design.


You don't want a cryptic arcanic mess that only the super hardcore elite can understand and recognize.

Otherwise you will very likely find that your population is small and unable to grow, because it requires too much of a learning curve to understand what the heck is going on.  Although this is not always the case, as GW2 acquired mass appeal by sacrificing depth, via being bland enough for anyone to accept.


And being able to read your opponent, and having the experience, skills, build, whatever to react accordingly are not the same thing.



In short, bad readability is just bad design.

To have depth you have to be able to make a number of viable decision to any given problem, and you can't make good decisions when you either lack or are given bad information.


Approachable depth is what we should strive for, and good readability is essential to that.

Edited by yoh

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I hope this more boils down to equipment choice, environment and so on, rather than "class" choice.


Stuff I can change quickly or avoid, instead of always having the short end of the stick, just because someone had the dumb luck of picking the "counter"


But ya, who knows... maybe they'll actually go that route. But I hope they're not :)


Most likely, doubt it.  When you build your character, the decisions you make will matter.  You're not just going to be able to change your equipment and change how your character plays.  I mean sure, if you're going from an ax to a bow you'll see a bit of a difference.  Most likely you'll build your character to fit how you like to play and you're not going to be able to just change that on the fly.



I think what we will want to see is archetypes/promotion beign able to be looked at from a higher level so people can judge creation options.  Example (and just an example not tryign to argue the specifics) would be:



Melee Offense - high

Melee Defense - very high

Ranged Offense - low

Ranged Defense - medium

Magic Offensive - low

Magic Defensive - high

Offensive Support - medium

Defensive Support - medium

Health - high

Movement - medium


Just spit-balling here, but something like the above done out per promotion.  Disciplines then could be chosen to augment or supplement as needed.


It may not be that simple.  It really depends on how much freedom we have with the character building.  Using Shadowbane as an example, depending on how you built your character, you could adjust those ratings.  In SB if you wanted to have high defense you'd make your character be a high dex based character and you'd pump a bunch of skill points into defensive skills.  You want High offense, you have a character and whatever stat attribute benefits your attacking, you make that high and you pump points into offensive skills.  One thing you could do is pump points into the skill categories (ie. Restoration, Hammer, Benediction..) and you could also pump points into the individual abilities.  The skill category makes all abilities within that group stronger.  So, basically not everyone's fireball would hit the same.


Anyways.. the point is there's so many ways to build your character that could have a significant impact on the end results.  You can't really just say this archetype is this way and that one is that way.



I'd love an answer from staff on which they'll be enacting: the WoW/old MMO multi-toolbar route, or the GW1/ESO/etc toolbar with limited number of slots.


I could be wrong but I swear I remember them (devs) saying they weren't going have a limited skill bar and make you choose which you wanted available to you. My understanding is they wanted to just keep the total number of abilities down..


I'm still not sure how so many are jumping to the conclusion that we're only going to be allowed one toolbar and only whats on that toolbar will you be allowed to use.  I personally think it's way too early in development to take anything like that away from what they gave us unless they specifically said that's how it's going to be.  And they definitely didn't say that.


Now, I doubt this will happen, but I'm kind of hoping some form of it is a thing.  In SB we were allowed to drag the individual ability icons onto our screen and put them where ever we wanted on the screen.  No need for a stinking toolbar.  You could right click the ability and then set a key binding for it.  Anyways, my point is that I'm hopeful that you can keybind abilities that aren't on a toolbar.  Therefore... who cares how many slots are on the toolbar.



That's because of lazy ability design.


If you have 40 spells basically all doing the same, then yes you can faceroll. But noone is advocating for that.

Or do you see anyone who is proposing that?


I see people suggesting unique abilities, that might not be used every fight, but will have their use and when utilized correctly will give you an advantage.


This is simply not possible with limited ability sets, no matter what you guys say. It will stay a simplified (dumbed down) version.


I'm pretty sure what you're wanting is just not this game.  I'm pretty torn on this to be honest.  I like variety and choice.  So I'm all for having a decent selection of abilities.  But I don't think there's any chance of it coming close to 40.  I'd imagine most archetypes won't even hit 20.  But I'm actually OK with 15-20.  I understand why people want a ton of abilities but to me, when you start getting that many abilities you're really getting more into the 1v1 game.  What I mean by that is you're basically getting a lot of situational abilities to help you against certain classes to try and make the 1v1 balanced.  Also, when there's that many abilities, it seems like there's less diversity between classes because they all have abilities that do similar things.


Also, I would expect that the abilities and the amount of them you have available to you will depend a lot on how you build your character.



It's interesting to me how many players want to limit their choices to just barely enough to fill 6 buttons. Imo drown us with powers to choose from. Those that only want a select few can just shorten their hotbar and pick the best ones for them but to say "don't give me a lot of powers because I don't use them all" is to limit everyone to that choice. Many people like myself love having a plethora of options to fiddle with.


I don't think anyone is advocating for "barely enough to fill 6 buttons".  Considering the toolbar has 10 slots and there is the C key plus the 2 mouse buttons.. that's 13 right there.. which really isn't that bad.


What I think some people are going to have to accept is that a lot of your choice and options are really going to be made in character creation / build as opposed to having a giant selection of abilities to choose from. 



What happens when you read your enemy, but you don't have the right tool set to react to your opponent?


I would say hope that your teammate does.

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I fully support the idea of having a decent amount of skills (20-30ish) but a limited action bar. ESO did this and I thought it was a great implementation. Don't get me wrong, there was plenty wrong with ESO pvp, but the action bar system was not one of them.


For those unfamiliar, you had two weapon sets (you could switch between them at any time, even during combat - and you could also use the same weapon type for both sets if you wanted), and your action bar for each weapon set allowed for 6 slotted abilities (the abilities could be different for each weapon set). This only allowed for a total of 12 abilities, though you also had the ability to do light attacks, heavy attacks, active block, dodge roll, sprint, CC break, skill interrupt, and a consumable slot at all times (i.e. none of these actions take slots on your action bar).


As evidenced in this thread, most people balk at the idea of just 12 abilities (and please note I'm not advocating that Crowfall only allows for 12 active abilities, I'm just using this as an example). But each class had access to a minimum of 18 class abilities, and depending on your weapon choices and how much time you invested in pvp and getting some of the guild skill lines, another 10-20 minimum on top of that. So it forces you to make choices, to specialize. Each class had certain things it naturally excels at - do you want to reinforce those strengths even further, or diversify a bit to shore up some of your weaknesses? How many of those precious few slots will you devote to stuns? Slows? Heals? Damage mitigation? Escapes? Gap closers? Single target dps? Aoe dps? Burst dps? DoT/sustained dps? Buffs? Debuffs? Resource regeneration? Party support? Utility? Situational abilities?


The great thing about this is that there is no right answer when every class has a decent variety of skills to choose from and skills are well balanced (and by balanced I simply mean they are all useful to some degree, and there aren't many skills that are flat out better than anything else available). Give players a wide array of skills to choose from, make them all viable, but make them have to make decisions about which ones they are going to take. This is what promotes diversity in builds and play style, and allows people to create really unique characters.


To some extent this is what Shadowbane did as well. In Shadowbane though it was accomplished by limiting your training points. You had X number of training points to invest in your skill lines and powers, and once you had used them all up then that was your build and you were stuck with it (outside of retraining, which was time consuming and expensive). With very few exceptions, pretty much every single build ever made in Shadowbane had to make hard decisions about where to allocate their training points. In order to make an effective build you had to specialize in certain areas, which almost always meant giving up something extremely useful. This really isn't all that different from having limited slots on your action bar, though I do prefer the Shadowbane method as it allows for different archetypes/builds to have more/less active abilities and still be just as effective.


If every character has access to every ability that is available to its archetype + promotion + disciplines at any time it really kills build diversity and variety. Yes I understand that promotion classes and disciplines will create some variety on their own, but Shadowbane had those too, and I believe it would have been a much worse game if it did not have the training point limitations. I suppose that if each archetype/promotion/discipline has a more limited but more impactful set of skills associated with them then it would sort of accomplish the same thing. In Shadowbane your race + base class + promotion class determined like 90% of your build options, and disciplines were largely added flavor (there were certainly builds out there that were heavily dependent on certain discs, its just that even in those builds the vast majority of your training points, and therefore your set of active skills, were still not spent on the disciplines). So I could see a system where you do actually get access to every skill available to your combination of archetype + promotion + disciplines, so long as the choices you make in choosing your promotion and disciplines are extremely character defining.


Bottom line I guess is that whatever system ArtCraft ends up using (and the two examples in this post, ESO/Shadowbane, obviously do not cover the entirety of their options), I hope that it has some kind of mechanic that forces people to make tough choices about what skills they want to take, and what skills they are willing to give up in order to specialize in certain areas.


Also I simply prefer a smaller set of useful/powerful abilities over a large number of weaker situational abilities. You don't need 30 active abilities to be able to respond to a large number of scenarios, and not every character should be able to handle every possible situation anyways.

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This is not a troll. But,

  • There WILL be unbalance between the archetypes, promotion classes, and disciplines.
  • You WILL cry. I WILL love the tears.
  • They WILL patch it.
  • I WILL cry. Enjoy.

Hopefully after all is said and done the balance needle will land on slightly imbalanced to allow for smart choices and smart gameplay to tip the scale.

I don't see them patching anything like that. Can see in the FAQ that they don't intend for Archetypes to be balanced, ie the whole choices matter bit and being weaker to certain things and stronger to others. Sure people can cry all they want but I just have more faith that ACE will stick to their vision and not cave to the whiners.

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I think the "tool" to react should not always be with the player.
Sometimes the best reaction to a situation might be seeking out renforcement(s).After all,if it is a game to play together,its ok if we cant always react alone..its even desirable perhaps..
In severe situations where you are outnumbered by an army of the other faction,you could try to cause a snowslide in the winter to bury the enemy army in.
When you don't have the strength alone,the environment could be your friend..
And the tools we get to react to an opponent could have different outcomes according to season for example.
I think the harder it is to read into the enemy ,the more exciting it becomes.
Predictability is boring after all.



That's some Mulan level poorly made socks right there.


That said, I agree.

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Ok.. I cant take it anymore..

What the HELL is a YOMI?????


This is an article about one of his games called Yomi. It goes into detail about the concept. He has another old one that is solely based on the concept but isn't specifically focused on his game, but I can't find it :(



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When you decide to use a raycast to check for line of sight on the chain attack, in this instance, and others is the ray cast from the character model to the crosshairs or from the camera to the crosshairs. Being that it's a third person camera I could see many scenarios where the camera has a clear line of sight but the character wouldn't.  Would we then need to play with the camera low over the shoulder to get an accurate picture of what our character can and can't see?

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

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Cast would have to be from model to model: camera to model would make no sense at all. (Would the target then be pulled toward the camera rather than the knight?)


Yes, using ranged attacks would probably be more precise from a tight OTS view or a first person view.

Official "Bad Person" of Crowfall

"I think 1/3rd of my postcount is telling people that we aren't turning into a PvE / casual / broad audience game." -


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They've already stated that every class isn't going to be balanced vs. every other class. This is good. I am fine with finding myself in situations that are too tough for me to tackle, regardless of how hypothetically "good" the player on the other end of the keyboard is compared to me.


This is an MMORPG. Not Street Fighter. Not a MOBA. Big parts of the game include things like planning, scouting, preparation, exploration, & world building.


It sounds like some people want to be able to wander obliviously around the gameworld and think if they are "good" enough, they should have little to fear and be prepared for any situation that comes up. That should not be the case.


If you wander somewhere uncharted, without any idea of what's ahead of you, without a diverse group around you, you should be aware that you may find yourself in a (relatively) impossible situation at any moment. That's what makes the game an MMORPG in the old-school style they are harkening back to, like early UO.


That's what differentiates it from a MOBA or a Shooter or a Fighting Game. A big part of the draw is the uncertainty and the risk/reward choices you need to make in regard to exploration. You may go out on your own and find a treasure trove of valuable resources you don't need to share with anyone. Or you may get blindsided and destroyed before you know what hit you. That's what makes it an open and dangerous and dynamic (and emergent) world. That's what separates it and makes it the genre that it is.


The less balance the better IMO (comparatively to modern MMOs, which have gone too far in appeasing the complaints of the "Overpowered/underpowerd/nerf this/why can't I have everything" crowd) .

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To steal a page from David Sirlin (one of the game designers that I respect the most), the key to mastering a system isn't just optimizing your character and play style.  The real mastery is in YOMI, which is a japanese word for "reading" -- being able to read into the mind of your opponent and predict his move, ideally before he has even decided what move he will make.  You can design a Level-3 YOMI system in as little as 4 moves.


Thanks to this reference I found an amazing set of articles on strategy game design at http://www.sirlin.net/articles . Fascinating stuff, and I'm very pleased that his concepts are informing Crowfall's design.

Official "Bad Person" of Crowfall

"I think 1/3rd of my postcount is telling people that we aren't turning into a PvE / casual / broad audience game." -


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When you decide to use a raycast to check for line of sight on the chain attack, in this instance, and others is the ray cast from the character model to the crosshairs or from the camera to the crosshairs. Being that it's a third person camera I could see many scenarios where the camera has a clear line of sight but the character wouldn't.  Would we then need to play with the camera low over the shoulder to get an accurate picture of what our character can and can't see?

interesting indeed, im all up for first person ;)


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I think I'd be a little disappointed if buffing and debuffing were considered the exclusive territory of the support classes. Even the purest of dps characters should be able to offer some kind of utility or other.

Official "Bad Person" of Crowfall

"I think 1/3rd of my postcount is telling people that we aren't turning into a PvE / casual / broad audience game." -


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You guys are defenitely going in the right direction!!! Keep it up!!!


I was wondering 2 things:

- Since you guys mentioned the Physx technology, does that mean AMD graphic cards won't perform well in this game?

- Are you planning to use destructible environment in your first external test?



For more info about my channel check my Twitter out :)

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Since right-mouse seems to be function defined to a mechanic, what provisions will there be for mouse-look functionality?

Well the game is action combat with Aiming/reticle. So mouselook will likely be locked to mouse movement. Also like other games with this combat system you'll be able to unlock mouselook to click on menu options and such.

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