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Combat

Discussion in 'Game Design Discussion' started by Volfen, Sep 11, 2018.

  1. Volfen

    Volfen Fire Elemental
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    In the recent Discord meeting that a lot of us were part of, it was mostly agreed that combat is not in a good spot right now. It'd be nice to get some news from BPG regarding this matter (are you considering rolling back combat? patching it up? is it being discussed at all?).

    Why I believe this is an important aspect to look into:
    Combat is (was?) the strongest feature in the game. Very few people would say that it was perfect, but it was pretty damn good. It's what kept a lot of us coming back.
    Some may argue that there are more urgent things to deal with (NPE, content, you name it). We need those things, and the game can't survive on just the old hardcore playerbase; that's a fact we are all aware of. However, it's hard enough to retain population in a game of this nature as it is, and the current state of combat has drove some very hardcore fans away, and is frankly reducing motivation to log in for some of us still around. I don't think anyone needs explained to them how this is a vicious circle, that not only slowly kills the remaining population, but also discourages newer players: people aren't as likely to stick around if there's no one else left to play with in the first place.
    I'm not going to pretend I know the game under the hood and say this or that change is an easy to implement hotfix, nor that reverting combat would instantly bring people back, or that no one asked for any of the changes that you've made (people who say this all the time are just plain blind). However -and don't get me wrong, this is as someone who for the most part supports all the great work you guys have done- I honestly believe that if combat isn't reverted or brought to a better spot soon, it'll be too late.
    I'll just go ahead and list the things I think are wrong and throw some ideas as to how to fix them; however, I'm more strongly in favor of going back to an older patch combat and leaving the combat overhaul in the backlog for a while.

    R90s:
    Splash damage is way too high! A near miss can hit for 50 damage, even to someone who's parrying.
    In my humble opinion, they should deal at most ~60% damage if it's not a direct hit. Maybe even just give it a hard cap? Also, revert the cooldown buff/100% gcd change or nerf their cd/damage slightly. Before you had 1 great 90 (exploding charge) and 1 ok 90 to cycle, now you just spam the same strongest one over and over.

    TTK:
    Spell damage is too high for high end staves. You can be hit for 45s in full infernal to the front, even with the recently buffed armor protections. Melee TTK on the other hand is higher due to removal of haste, back damage nerf, removal of fast weapons, and increased heavy armor protections (if you're a heavy player), though you could argue that there's no ironskin in teamfights anymore. I think it's good that a non destroyer can't .5 people as easily as before (too many years of meleefall, but maybe that's just me being a high ping player).
    Staff damage formula made expensive staves overly cost inefficient in the past, but we're now on the other extreme of the spectrum. I think a 50% nerf to magnitude enchants, and an overall damage reduction for R60+ staves would be a good start.

    Destroyer/heavy/archery:
    Playing heavy isn't nearly as fun as it used to be, at least for me. The game shifted towards slightly tankier heavies (a mix of back damage nerf and armor buffs), with much lower damage output. Destroyer melee hits were a game changer in a 1v1/small group fight and they were hard to achieve against good players, even if they were deadly in a big chaotic fight. The way the mechanic worked made transitioning and awareness key when fighting a destroyer. Since you could avoid taking destroyer hits, it didn't drastically reduce ttk unless you screwed up, while still making exchanges exciting.
    As for archery, it wasn't uncommon to hit people for 60s in the back with mage killer. Damage in full heavy is too weak right now, and replacing even just your chestpiece for bone takes away more protections than you gain in damage, and you just get blown up too easily.
    If bringing back hard specs is off the table, perhaps add a weaker damage bonus against staff wielding people based on encumbrance. For example, +5% damage at 50 base encumbrance, 10% at 75, 15% at 100, 20% at 120. Similarly, going over 60 base encumbrance (enough to have -3 spell levels while still being at 0 archery encumbrance) would enable a weaker version of mage killer/mage hunter, such as a flat +10% damage vs staves and +3 ranged protections while wielding a bow.

    WoF/field aoes:
    Fine as they are now I think. Having to choose between spamming WoF or spamming field aoes makes for more fun fights.

    Eye rot:
    Blind spam wasn't fun before, but I think current cooldown is extreme.
    Reduce cooldown by 20%.

    Come hither:
    This spell is way too strong. Fights often revolve around trying to come hither someone out of position and blowing them up, and it's only a matter of time until someone gets caught.
    Reduce range by 50%: make it a higher risk play.

    Screen shake:
    In the past I've defended screen shake from a lot of spells as being part of the feedback that gives the game its feel. However, the more I pay attention to it, the more obvious it becomes I was wrong. The amount of screen shaking in a big fight makes it really hard to actually target people sometimes.
    Remove screen shake from every player cast spell.

    Encumbrance:
    going above 0 magic encumbrance means you lose a significant amount of damage, including 1 level in all your major school spells. Therefore, the meta has shifted to only wearing 2 pieces of heavy armor plus scale pants or a leather filled, or full Q5 enchant so you can wear 3 infernal pieces, or Q6 for dragon. This combined with high spell damage is making TTK low in mage vs mage fights.
    Buff feather enchants (+2 per level?).

    Normalised stamina drain:
    Having all sources of damage deal 20% stamina drain is a good think in my opinion. Stamina seems to burn much quicker than it did in DFO, specially now that Unfazed is no longer in the game.

    Back damage:
    This may be an unpopular opinion, but I'm ok with back damage having been reduced. Running at someone with a slight health advantage and forcing them on the defensive is still the strongest tactic, even after the nerf, and ttk would be even more ridiculous without this change.

    Thank you for reading.
     
    #1 Volfen, Sep 11, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2018
    MWTaylor, Korag, Thrill Kill and 8 others like this.
  2. Sintan

    Sintan Frostjarl
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    A full revert of combat might get me to come back. Your changes are all solid and them implementing those would get me interested but not enough to re download the game.
     
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  3. sup

    sup Gravelord
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    Great post. On screen shake, it's also very off-putting when watching siege/pvp videos.
     
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  4. Squanto

    Squanto Celestial
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    good post, for the most part its what we have been yelling at the top of our lungs for the last 3 months....

    but hey, maybe this time it will stick?
     
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  5. HeganHatsumo

    HeganHatsumo Stormgraive

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    you realize how fucked combat would be if you reverted to old df and kept back damage debuffed lmfao, literally splashfall is all it would be.

    -wof needs to push out and be a cc only
    - they need to fix the jump parry double jump that allows you to double jump off movement abilities
    - blinds are fine the way they are
    - heavies should get stormblast and come hither
    - splash damage needs to be reduced by 50%
     
  6. kilrain

    kilrain Oak Lord
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    We truly appreciate the amount of time you took to write this out. This is the type of feedback we like to see rather than "REVERT EVERYTHING (except x,y,z)!". Take each aspect and pinpoint the areas you feel are out of place.

    With that I'll say that what you wrote resonates well with the ideas I've had spinning around, for the most part.
    r90s I feel should have an overall reduction in damage. While I understand why people want more damage for direct hits, I think that's what r50s, bolts and rays are for.

    The idea behind the staff formula change was to bring more meaning to magnitude, obviously, and make the choice between fast and slow more meaningful. I think having both is convoluted and maybe we need to bring staffs in-line with melee/archery weapons and remove the speed variable. Just a thought. I don't know the correct answer here. Reverting the magnitude change is an option, ofc, but we end up using the same 2-3 staves either way.

    On the subject of enchants it's pretty obvious that they are the most tedious aspect to crafting and creating gear bags at the moment and I think this stems from the same problem that has plagued much of DF since it's inception. There isn't much choice involved. If you don't get an enchant you are gimped, if you get the wrong enchant you are gimped. IMO the best solution is one that will allow players to forgo enchants all together and still be effective while allowing someone to fine tune their play style using specific enchants. Reduce their effectiveness and give them drawbacks. If you have a +magnitude stave, you lose melee damage. If you have +melee magnitude you lose magic or archery. That sort of thing. If we move weapons to the paperdoll it allows is this option.

    Eye rot, come hither and screen shake all fair options if there are no reasonable objections.

    After looking at staff mag changes and pushing in some better light armor we'll look at adjusting the encumbrance stuff. I don't particularly like the idea of buffing any enchants, it's the opposite of what I would want to do. Even if we didn't add better mage gear I think it's best to make the staff changes prior to adjusting encumbrance penalties.
     
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  7. Scrapnotcrap

    Scrapnotcrap Black Knight
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    @kilrain

    I don't mind enchanting as in: ''i need feather, mag, keen''. I hate enchanting because it's tedious to craft or to find somebody to enchant all of your stuff. It's fine if you chose to make them become less of a must have, but don't add draw-backs or anything; we don't have to waste more time on combat changes and balance with enchants.

    I always wanted the whole variation of enchanting mats to be replaced with gems that mobs can drop. That will save-up a lot of time for making bags. Nobody will have to go on website again with this change or to even worry about finding a ring.

    As for speed variation, i always wanted that to be completely removed. Baseline, all staves should be as fast as a blackbolt.
     
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  8. Quin Tessence

    Quin Tessence Black Knight
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    Fast and slow attacks in magic are kind of like when you press T to change your swing style.

    Enchanting is tedious, but the only reason to farm 90% of the mobs in the game.
    Adding magic gems to villages and having magic enchantments fall off gear when it enters a tombstone might be the middle ground.

    Thank you for taking the time to read all the feedback you get!
     
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  9. Volfen

    Volfen Fire Elemental
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    First of all, thanks for your quick reply!

    The old formula wasn't perfect, but I think most people would agree it was good enough. Reverting only staff damage and nothing else would probably have other unforeseen side effects; continuing to tweak them (perhaps on a more regular basis) could work, but that might take more time than people have patience for right now. PTS to the rescue? :p

    I like to wear good gear, but I consider the folloing enchants baseline: Feather, stamina efficiency, keen (melee weapon), keen (bow), magnitude (staff), mana efficiency (staff, could be ignored if playing heavy). Also, with the removal of self buffs (which was a good thing in that fights and duels don't involve half hour of buffing every time), you have to choose between 3 of many protection enchants (4 physical, infliction, and all the elementals) and water breathing. You could argue this is customization, but I see it as "oh, that guy is using a greatclub and slashing prot and I'm using a GS with no bludgeoning enchant, I guess I can't allow the fight to turn into a melee exchange unless I'm way better or have a health advantage)".
    Grinding for enchants is part of the game's end game grind (the famous gear grind that affects those of us that are average players and/or aren't terrified of losing our pixels), and enchanting gives value to many different mobs in the game, so nerfing it as a whole could have a devastating effect on the economy.
    The idea you propose is interesting, but bear in mind that transitioning between melee and archery or magic is a huge part of what makes RoA PVP what it is, so something such as +melee -range damage won't necessarily be well received.

    Changing too much at once might make it hard to measure the impact of said changes, but if it happens in smaller steps please keep in mind that if months pass inbetween updates then more people might get bored and quit playing... even if we'll all need our fix eventually!
     
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  10. Mega

    Mega Ghost
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  11. TyteDaddyTite

    TyteDaddyTite Black Knight
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    Yeah...that or you could have just made elemental protections all 1 buff for someone to cast and fixed protection food to work with regular food, or just given protection food a nourishment bonus along with the protections... GG.
     
  12. Scrubby Bear

    Scrubby Bear Obsidian Golem
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    Please no, at least not that like.
    Keep the downsides within 'class'. As in a magic buff in one area is a magic nerf in another. Do not make them cross 'classes'. Example of a bad: more magic damage for less melee damage. This makes combat one dimensional and 'paper rock scissors' like which we all know isn't fun in a game like darkfall. You don't want game play dumbed down to be 'run from melee always' or 'run towards melee always'. Also they should still be a 'net gain' since they are increased cost (risk).
     
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  13. kilrain

    kilrain Oak Lord
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    That sounds fine too. Anything to help prevent a best in slot.
     
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