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First Look: Knight powers and UI - Official discussion thread

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Yeah it should be clear by now that Crowfall IS going for a more rock, paper, scissors style of balance, they have made many statements to that effect and it should be common knowledge by now IMO. No one archetype is going to be able to be the end all be all, you'll have to adapt to each situation and then rely on team mates and allies to fill in the gaps where you are weak. They want a team based game not a 1v1 arena.

 

Just not going to convince me that having a class that can do everything and that has every single ability available all the time equals higher skill. To me I see it as reducing the skill needed because then you just basically have a system where you just faceroll the keyboard with your bloated action bars and you'll win 99.9% of the time. For PvE themeparks that might be ok but for this type of game action combat based is better IMO.

 

Fortunately seems as though ACE is making a system where skill during combat is one of several factors that play into it. You'll need to plan ahead ie make choices on your class build, use tactics and strategy and adapt to the situation.

Fairly certain they said they were doing neither 1v1 balance nor rock-paper-scissors because of the class -> promotion-> 3 discipline combos would make both of those tasks fairly impossible task at 13 archetypes @ 3 promotions x (even at just 20 disciplines in 3 slots) = 266,760 combinations (39*20*19*18).  THAT is a huge rock-paper-scissors web

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That's a crazy update we got there. UI and action bars look perfect to me, really love the power concepts too. Makes me love the knight even more!

 

 

There will probably just be a keybind to hold/toggle a freecam like TERA.

 

Yea, I'm pretty sure ACE said that during an interview, being able to unlock the mouse from the reticle to perform actions.

 

 

@macavity

In a standard game like wow you need extra abilities to create more gameplay because they have cool downs and it's, stand around, tab target.

In crowfall you're substituting extra abilities with action combat, positioning, aiming, collision detection, mass/force, resource management and low to no cooldowns, etc etc.

All of which add to the skill cap immensly even tho they aren't abilities on your bar... Like an FPS or a moba. Unless you think pro teams are just barely better than noobs because they only have a few buttons ;) lol

 

I agree with you : with no cooldown and a variety of factors that influence the outcome of the combats, I also think that having 5, 10 or 50 additional abilities would be superfluous and would not add much more depth or fun, nor increase significantly the skill ceiling.

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Fairly certain they said they were doing neither 1v1 balance nor rock-paper-scissors because of the class -> promotion-> 3 discipline combos would make both of those tasks fairly impossible task at 13 archetypes @ 3 promotions x (even at just 20 disciplines in 3 slots) = 266,760 combinations (39*20*19*18).  THAT is a huge rock-paper-scissors web

That's kind of the point, with a deep system like that you won't be able to make a class that is strong against everything, there will be archetypes that you are weak to based on your build choices. So while not sure if they have actually said the words "rock, paper, scissors', they have talked about archetypes having weakness to other archetypes. Which is the basis for that type of balance system.

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That's kind of the point, with a deep system like that you won't be able to make a class that is strong against everything, there will be archetypes that you are weak to based on your build choices. So while not sure if they have actually said the words "rock, paper, scissors', they have talked about archetypes having weakness to other archetypes. Which is the basis for that type of balance system.

Then we just have an interpretation error/disagreement here.  Normally rock ->paper-> scissors is a specific balancing technique meaning things like rogue always beats mage always beats fighter always beats rogue.  With all the combos, that really cannot be the case though I see your point, but I think it will be more at an ability level than an archetype/promotion one.

Edited by Savevsdeathmagic

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Then we just have an interpretation error/disagreement here.  Normally rock ->paper-> scissors is a specific balancing technique meaning things like rogue always beats mage always beats fighter always beats rogue.  With all the combos, that really cannot be the case though I see your point, but I think it will be more at an ability level than an archetype/promotion one.

Yeah I meant its more based on how you build your class and not just the exact role. But no matter how you build you will have certain weakness's to others.

 

This FAQ entry sort of covers it I think:

http://crowfall.com/#/faq/54ca4668bffce6644cb33809
How can you allow for so much character customization, and still claim that every character is balanced?

 

We don’t claim that!  The idea that “all characters should be equally balanced in all situations” is not one of our design goals.  We’re giving you the control to be able to customize your character.  The natural result is that some character builds will inevitably be better than others. 

Instead, our goal is to create a deep, complex simulation – filled with tactical and environmental considerations and emergent gameplay.  Our design goal is that no single character is better than others in every situation

This approach means that mastery of the game relies on skill: knowing how to build your character in a way that suits your playstyle, and then seeking out situations in the game that will be to your advantage.  It also means that adventuring parties will be less cookie cutter, as the roles are not as clearly defined.

 

 

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Yeah I meant its more based on how you build your class and not just the exact role. But no matter how you build you will have certain weakness's to others.

 

This FAQ entry sort of covers it I think:

http://crowfall.com/#/faq/54ca4668bffce6644cb33809

 

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:

 

Knight-Shieldmaster:

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.

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My response to those who want 1 vs 1 skill balance is a NO.  

 

You can never balance a game for both 1 v 1 and group PVP without falling into endless traps, super overpowered character types, etc.  If you design for 1 vs 1 you need to try to balance a ton of skills, and you need a ton of skill bars to do it.  10 skill bar slots, that change as the next tier ability activates, along with a few passives is plenty.  

 

Also remember that the proposed armor system is going to create a whole new gear meta game.  Are you the guy who put on his elemental resist gear today, and then ran into a holy warrior dealing divine damage? If you did, that sucks for you!  People will be more or less effective due to combat abilities, passives, defense, and their gear configuration. 

 

Being able to customize your character to adapt to several situations, ability and gear wise, is more important than adding a billion skillbar hotkey slots. 


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i really like that u dont have that many active skills, meaning that a regular swing will be used quite a lot too!

 

ofc we will have some other skills from disciplines, promotions but thats fine for me.

 

u said no cooldowns. i think thats fine, atleast for the warrior which needs to swing with LMB a lot to build up "mana" to use his abilities so he doesnt just spam the hook or w/e. i just hope that no cooldowns will work out with other classes aswell, not that one class can stunlock or smth ;>


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Ok.. so it might not come to your ideal number.. but just to put into perspective

 

if you have 10 hotkeys.. we could potentially see 6 hotkeys that are defense/counter skills and 4 hotkeys that are attack combo skills adding up to 20 attack skills, not to mention the mouse defense and attack that I wont even multiply by combo possibility

 

In this case you have a total of

 

7 defenses/block/counter

21 attacks

 

28 skills....

 

ps. I often play 1-0, F1-F12, so yeah.. I`d rather see more keybinds aswell.. 

 

I am quite aware of the number of possible permutations and skills. The total number is not the issue. The concern is that the number of available, meaningful options will be too limited.

 

Combat is the very heart of Crowfall. It should be diverse and interesting, and deep enough to keep people coming back for years. It should also be bigger than some of the counter-examples I've seen thrown around, most of which are MOBAs. I love MOBAs, and I love playing them, but they are apples and bicycles to what Crowfall is trying to accomplish. 

 

We want characters with more than one killer combination. We want to have more than one effective way to approach any given battle. And we want enough tools to deal with the wide variety of situations, dangers, and battlefields we should find in a game that bills itself as a simulation for grand, sweeping wars. Every archetype should have weaknesses, but it would rather suck if most archetypes have multiple large, gaping holes. That would not be fun to play. Which means that if the UI and ability design greatly limits the number of available character options, then as a logical consequence the game play they are built around must be equally shallow or the experience will suck from brokenness (IE, the inability to deal with many things because one's character lacks the tools).

 

Again, there is a vast difference in game play between having 15-25 abilities "on call" and having 10 abilities ready with another 5-15 nested within them. In the first case you have all of your options ready at any given time, and game play can be equivalently more complex because it is based on that expectation. In the second case the game play must necessarily account for the fact that roughly half of your total choices are locked behind ability trees, and some combinations of those abilities are now entirely impossible.

 

TL;DR - having too few available abilities and too many hidden behind combo chains leads to a sparsity of strategic options at any given point in time. This in turn requires the combat model to be calibrated for simpler play styles and greatly reduces the depth of play and the skill ceiling for players.

 

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15-20 would be a sweet spot that I think almost everyone can agree on(atleast from what I've gathered from previous discussions). It's not too little, but it's not too much either. 15-20 also allows for a good variety of cooldowns and buffs.

 

Here's a quick mock-up I made in MSPaint of what I had in mind for what I think would be perfect:

 

tOuTe89.png

 

 

 

Having 20+ abilities in an action combat game sounds absolutely horrendous. I am very much so hoping for a limited toolset akin to GW1/ESO/DragonNest, etc. It fosters build variety, forces choices, strengths and weaknesses and makes the game easier to get into.

 

Even 10+ x core abilities is quite a lot, but absolutely manageable. Ability bloat is not good for action combat, build variety or "character/role uniqueness", and it's especially awful for a game that wants extremely thematic roles, feelings and abilities for its archetypes.

 

There should be a lot of meaningful (read; not ultra, ultra niche low impact skills)  abilities, and a large number to choose from. The restriction and choice should be your combination of those abilities, not free access to all of them at once.

 

Freeform toolbars with a restricted number of slots are the way to go, so players can make meaningful choices from a large pool of abilities, deciding on which they'd like at any one time, based on their decision on archetype, discipline & promotion class. In your example, you have designed and forced choice for players by saying every person will have 6 Buffs/Utility powers. What about the archetype roles that shouldn't have any? What about those that will have their entire kit based on those powers?

 

Freeform, limited-number toolbars with ability pool based on your previous decisions (disc, promotion, archetype) leads to the greatest build variety, most impactful player choice, ease of use, slick, minimal UI (concentrate on gameplay, not ability bloat) and enforces a strength/weakness balance for builds.

 

 

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.

Edited by taroskin

Crazy Talk co-co-co-gl

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Maybe we should talk about setup ,rather than balance..

at least i'd prefer archetypes that differ a lot from each other.

I played games like elderscrolls online where they focused a lot on balancing 1v the other class

And in the end it felt to me like basically all classes were the same with different particle effects.

I fear if they'd really start to focus on balance 1v1,the archetypes might lose authenticity & end up being copies of each other's strengths,just with a little different mechanic about it.

I think i once compared it with a racing game where all cars would have the same interior setup,just the exteriors being different.

Wouldn't that be dull?

 

It becomes more interesting if we start to focus on setup;

weight class,speed,acceleration,drag,grip(handeling) traction,...

Ofcourse constant evaluation would be needed if nothing is too OP

But they have the power to play with numbers anyway.

So lets focus on setup rather than balance,so each archetype feels very different and unique.

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Maybe we should talk about setup ,rather than balance..
at least i'd prefer archetypes that differ a lot from each other.
I played games like elderscrolls online where they focused a lot on balancing 1v the other class
And in the end it felt to me like basically all classes were the same with different particle effects.
I fear if they'd really start to focus on balance 1v1,the archetypes might lose authenticity & end up being copies of each other's strengths,just with a little different mechanic about it.
I think i once compared it with a racing game where all cars would have the same interior setup,just the exteriors being different.
Wouldn't that be dull?
 
It becomes more interesting if we start to focus on setup;
weight class,speed,acceleration,drag,grip(handeling) traction,...
Ofcourse constant evaluation would be needed if nothing is too OP
But they have the power to play with numbers anyway.
So lets focus on setup rather than balance,so each archetype feels very different and unique.

 

 

Devs stated they wont try to balance the classes, rather.. they will try to find a meaningful role for each archetype within the group.


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Pingu - Member

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Having 20+ abilities in an action combat game sounds absolutely horrendous. I am very much so hoping for a limited toolset akin to GW1/ESO/DragonNest, etc. It fosters build variety, forces choices, strengths and weaknesses and makes the game easier to get into.

 

 

A lot of pretty words to decorate the dumbing down of a game.

There are a lot more elegant solutions to diversity than limited toolsets. And ACE already presented those to us. We have lots of dicsiplines, advantages & disadvantages to chose from, let alone 3 promotion classes for each archetype.

We have different armor sets for different situations that allow for a great deal of variety.

 

 

All limited skillsets do is promote fotm builds, cookie cutter nonsense, people following guides instead of thinking of their own, because it has been hammered into their head that there always is 1 combination that just flatout outperforms the rest.

 

Please don't use that fail logic anymore, thank you.

 

 

 

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.

 

been asking that since January

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TL;DR - having too few available abilities and too many hidden behind combo chains leads to a sparsity of strategic options at any given point in time. This in turn requires the combat model to be calibrated for simpler play styles and greatly reduces the depth of play and the skill ceiling for players.

 

But combos add more skill because then it adds the decision of, do you go down chain a or b, do I stop my chain to interrupt or try to finish the chain first and hope the damage boost on the last attack is enough to finish them... Do I interrupt their chain with a stun or save my stun for a diffident ability etc etc etc

 

All because of chains instead of simple 1 button 1 ability

Edited by Ziz

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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 found an interesting article on ability bloat over at Ten Ton Hammer.  Notable is the quote by Bashiok the WoW community manager:

 

 

Having tons of different buttons to push doesn't make you smart or good at the game. Having fewer buttons doesn't make you dumb or worse at the game. A literal comparison of # of abilities to # of abilities is not a valid comparison for depth of play or complexity that a skillful player can use.

 

If you have 30 buttons and your rotation is to push each button in order from 1->30, is that a smart game? Can you as a skillful and smart player press those buttons from 1->30 better than a worse player? Now what about if you have 5 buttons that require situational awareness, combo off each other, and a skilled player can achieve let's say a ~10% DPS gain over someone else using those same 5 buttons just by making smart decisions of when to press them.

 

What's your opinion now on what number of abilities means to making combat complex, smart, or skillful? Do fewer skills actually mean a "dumber" game? Does more of something just seem better? Is context of mechanics/gameplay/skill trumped by counting how many of something there is?

 

WoW has been stuck with their combat powers designed in 2004 - sounds like if they could do a reboot they might go with more of a modern limited action bar approach.  GW2 has 10 slots defined by your weapon choice, but for me personally I always found the individual game play not very engaging.

 

So, really shouldn't this be less about the NUMBER of abilities and more about the depth available with each option, or interplay between options?  For me, this is where Blocking is an example of a multi-faceted mechanic with a very complex set of considerations - all on ONE BUTTON!  I think the Knight is going to be a winner in regards to deep gameplay requiring a skillful hand.

 

Will other non-blocking Archetypes have similar considerations leading to depth of play?  That might be a bigger concern / conversation than how many ability slots are currently shown in the UI interface.


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I am quite aware of the number of possible permutations and skills. The total number is not the issue. The concern is that the number of available, meaningful options will be too limited.

 

 

In my example I suggested 7 defenses or block skills, and 21 attacks.

Thats not enough in your opinion?

 

It`s ok if it`s not.. it`s your opinion after all and you are entitled to it.. 

 

BUT.. seriously man.. do we REALLY need more than 7 defense / block skills? I mean.. 7 to meet already covers a wide range of situations.. and you need to select the best skill for that situation on a split second while moving around, watching for environment, watching out for group behavior, thinking about physics.. etc.. 7 might even be too much.. especially when TIMING seems to be a factor here.. 

 

And then.. 21 attack skills.. (could be 25 if I comboed the left mouse button)

 

That`s 5 openings and then a split second decision of going path A or path B or triggering a new opener.. or perhaps moving out of the way.. or blocking.. 

 

There will be enough to choose from when deciding what to do next.. 

 

They said they didnt want to have bloated skill bars.. and its a design choice.. soon in Alpha.. we will find out

But I have a feeling we will be fine..


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Pingu - Member

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Wow, so much passion about the interface of a game none of us have played yet.

 

Maybe we let ACE get a playable client to the first phase testers before we start gathering pitchforks and torches.

 

Yea, that would be great. We'll have plenty of time to test the interface and the abilities.

 

If ACE and the testers feel like something has to be modified, I'm pretty sure they will not hesitate to do so.

 

They already played with (part of) the recent combat build and, considering that they're showing us all of this, it's likely satisfying enough for now.

Edited by courant101

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A lot of pretty words to decorate the dumbing down of a game.

There are a lot more elegant solutions to diversity than limited toolsets. And ACE already presented those to us. We have lots of dicsiplines, advantages & disadvantages to chose from, let alone 3 promotion classes for each archetype.

We have different armor sets for different situations that allow for a great deal of variety.

 

 

All limited skillsets do is promote fotm builds, cookie cutter nonsense, people following guides instead of thinking of their own, because it has been hammered into their head that there always is 1 combination that just flatout outperforms the rest.

 

Please don't use that fail logic anymore, thank you.

Sorry but none of that is inherent to action based with limited tool bars. You'll also have cookie cutter and handholdy with action bar bloat games. Its actually even worse in bloat style because you have rotations and if you don't follow those rotations you'll suck. So you have to follow the guide and do those rotations exactly like the fotm tells you to.  At least in action based you have to think in real time and there isn't any set rotation.

 

Can be argued like I have already that having a ton of buttons reduces skill because then you don't have to think as much you just faceroll the keyboard until you win. With limited you not only have to be skilled in combat but also in building your toon and pre-planning and adapt to the situation with what you have. That is way more skill based then simply having a screen full of buttons to use, IMO.

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In your example, you have designed and forced choice for players by saying every person will have 6 Buffs/Utility powers. What about the archetype roles that shouldn't have any? What about those that will have their entire kit based on those powers?

My picture was just an example of what it COULD look like. Of course it wouldn't look like that for all archetypes/disciplines/promotions. It was just an example of what kind of arsenal you'd have available with 15-20 hotkeys instead of just 10.

 

My point was that with only 10 hotkeys and already having 6 of them filled by your archetype, it's probably gonna be pretty boring to play a Knight for example since there's not much room for varied play and everyone will play the same. Combat priority will typically be something like this:

 

1) Shield Lunge to get to target

2) Of Noble Blood to debuff target/buff yourself

 

3) Shield Spin -> Shield Spin to stun

4) Shield Slam

 

5) Onslaught combos

 

6) Block whenever necessary

7) Shield Spin -> Shield Spin to interrupt, if it's a caster

8) Chain Attack whenever target runs away and Shield Lunge is on CD

 

9) Basic Attack combos to get mana back

 

It would be pretty boring to do that over and over again without any change ever because there's no room for individual tactics/strategy when it comes to spell/ability usage.


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Sorry but none of that is inherent to action based with limited tool bars. You'll also have cookie cutter and handholdy with action bar bloat games. Its actually even worse in bloat style because you have rotations and if you don't follow those rotations you'll suck. So you have to follow the guide and do those rotations exactly like the fotm tells you to.  At least in action based you have to think in real time and there isn't any set rotation.

 

Can be argued like I have already that having a ton of buttons reduces skill because then you don't have to think as much you just faceroll the keyboard until you win. With limited you not only have to be skilled in combat but also in building your toon and pre-planning and adapt to the situation with what you have. That is way more skill based then simply having a screen full of buttons to use, IMO.

These kinds of topics can't be resolved until people actually play the game and understand how the implementation works... ACE has already told us they don't want too many abilities, and they also don't want too few, 15-20 before disciplines was a subject to change number that was thrown around.

 

Once people get into game, and have to sit there fighting, picking the right abilities, managing their different resource bars, etc... they may realize that you don't need 40 abilities to create depth..


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