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Combat and difficulty

Currently I have 2 major concerns. 

Combat
I am a bit fearful about the combat system. I would personally prefer a free targeting action format. However I do understand that some people might not prefer it. And in addition to that with latency and all the yadda it might create issues in pvp. 

However, if you go too much in the direction of tab targeting you end up, with a shin kicking contest where the winner is determined by the size of their boots. 

I would be completely fine with a mix of action and tab targeting similar, to Guild wars 2. 
In my opinion combat should promote skillful, positioning, strategy, movement. 
I think the addition of skillshots would spice up, where users get the feeling of "I failed because I did not hit that skill" 

Difficulty
current mmo's  have the problem where large amounts of content is faceroll easy especially leveling. This results in a diminished feeling of adventure, where enemies die the moment you look at them at your guided quest tour. 

I know that there a different player types and you cant focus exclusively on the more hardcore player types.however I am going to quote a developer from an article on gamasutra : 

" However, it's reached the point where "adventuring" in an RPG rarely feels risky. Gaining experience is supposed to carry the risk of harm and failure. Without that risk, gaining power becomes a foregone conclusion.

It has reached the point where the mere act of spending time playing the game appears to give players the right to have their characters become more powerful. The obstacles that provide experience become simply an arbitrary wall to scale before more power is granted; this, in a nutshell, is the type of play that has brought us grind, where the journey is simple and boring and the destination is something to be raced to."

I don't need the difficulty to be on ridiculous levels. However in my opinion there needs to be a threat of death when traveling in the open world, where a user has to pay attention. Basically there needs to be a risk of failure. 

A good example of this problem is seen in The Elder Scrolls Online, where questing difficulty is so arbitrary, that any sense of adventure is lost. The quests turn into "run there talk to that NPC, and faceroll through any enemy that you encounter". This turns quests into a boring chore, not to mention it will severely diminish the immersion for a certain group of players. 

The question is how to please both groups? 
Personally I would prefer just to have hard mode servers, even if it are just 1 or 2. 

I would like to have an open discussion on what a possible solution for this would be. 
I think this is quite a tough challenge, as if the devs make it too easy players will get bored. Make it too hard and you will scare of the casual players. And I think all players would like to see both the casual orientated players enjoy the game.  

So lets discuss this and maybe we can give the developers some ideas and insights. 
  
«13

Comments

  • ArchivedUserArchivedUser Guest
    edited March 2018
    The question is how to please both groups? 
    Personally I would prefer just to have hard mode servers, even if it are just 1 or 2.

    1-2 man
    2-4 man
    4-8 man
    8-16 man
    16-32 man
    You want it super hard you minimal man the content.
    You want it standard you maximal man the content.
    You want it between, you go somewhere between min and max players.
    The range is 1x to 2x difficulty....but if you want more than that, you can do bigger group content if there is no class requirements that lock you out.

    Alas, openworld means you cant have any such restrictions on factors such as group size. So I cam up with the concept of paths of destiny. Where you have criss crossing path for group size content.
    Where they cross you have open world content.
    Where they dont cross you have instanced group size content.
    In the no mans islands between you put harder and harder group scaled content where the grinders can keep out of the way of the questers.

    Basically the further off the beaten path you go, the bigger the group size content you face. Because at the edge of the map.....here be monsters
  • Well if the game feels too easy you can always run around without armor trying to beat it :3

    Honestly there isn't many ways to satisfy both hardcore and easy going players, IS did say that they plan to make the world of AoC dangerous and make exploration a big part of it, even erasing the mini map would be enough to make the game more 'adventurous'
  • If a mob is to tough I figure out how to pull a bit of it at a time or find others to pull it with. When WoW removed "crushing blow" (mobs 4 lev above character lev had % to devastate) it ended the challenge of solo world play. It's a game! no chance to lose= winning is meaningless. ALL HARD MODE servers.
  • Well if the game feels too easy you can always run around without armor trying to beat it :3

    I have seen this suggestion being given on different forums and games. However while it will work to a certain degree, it has huge issues. 

    1. you remove the whole gearing and character building, which is a huge part of an RPG. 

    2. running around without armor might ruin the immersion for certain players

    3. a self imposed is not really a challenge. a user is gimping himself to make things more challenging. I think most player who desire challenge prefer that the game itself challenges them. 

    @Rune_Relic
    interesting idea!, however unfortunately I do not think the visions of AoC will fit that :/
    at least I don't think the devs would go for something like that. 

    @Fyziks
    I agree with you, I have the most pleasant player interactions because I could not beat a certain mob or boss. 
    And don't get me wrong I would love it if they made everything as challenging as possible. However you cannot deny that casual player make up for a majority. So balance is important to keep both parties happy. 
  • Make All Grouplay Again! 
          had to do it
  • Difficulty is subjective, so I am not sure how you could ask for a certain difficulty level. I also prefer a challenge, but when I say make it an 8/10 difficulty, what does that mean to you?

    Tab-targeting and action combat options will be available for all classes so players can spec to the ones their prefer.
  • Zartas said:
    Well if the game feels too easy you can always run around without armor trying to beat it :3

    I have seen this suggestion being given on different forums and games. However while it will work to a certain degree, it has huge issues. 

    1. you remove the whole gearing and character building, which is a huge part of an RPG. 

    2. running around without armor might ruin the immersion for certain players

    3. a self imposed is not really a challenge. a user is gimping himself to make things more challenging. I think most player who desire challenge prefer that the game itself challenges them. 

    @Rune_Relic
    interesting idea!, however unfortunately I do not think the visions of AoC will fit that :/
    at least I don't think the devs would go for something like that. 

    @Fyziks
    I agree with you, I have the most pleasant player interactions because I could not beat a certain mob or boss. 
    And don't get me wrong I would love it if they made everything as challenging as possible. However you cannot deny that casual player make up for a majority. So balance is important to keep both parties happy. 
    You do realize that was purely in the form of a joke :3 don't take it too seriously, balancing the difficulty to fit it for all types of players as I said there IS have stated that they are planning to make the world of AoC feel 'dangerous' so i highly doubt it will be as casual as most mmo's are right now but not something that will discourage new players to the genre or casual players :3
  • Many MMORPGs seem to go the route of making solo and small group content very easy, keeping all the "difficulty" for raids for bigger group sizes. I put "difficulty" in quotation marks here, because, far too often, the perceived "difficulty" of such raids comes from the fact that they are simply entirely unforgiving of mistakes, even if they are not your own. One person making a mistake will screw the whole group over, without the tiniest chance to work around it. It is very frustrating and leads to a low chance of success - that is "difficult", as some people would call it.
    Personally, I disagree. If you executed your own job well and still fail because somebody else messed up, you did not fail because it was "difficult". You failed because the system punished you for other people's mistakes, instead of allowing you to attempt to make up for them by playing better.
    I hope that boss battles in this game are not going to revolve around one-shot mechanics like that. Just because player 1 made a mistake, players 2-8 or 2-16 and so on should not be doomed to failure without any chance to recover.
  • Riepah said:
    Many MMORPGs seem to go the route of making solo and small group content very easy, keeping all the "difficulty" for raids for bigger group sizes. I put "difficulty" in quotation marks here, because, far too often, the perceived "difficulty" of such raids comes from the fact that they are simply entirely unforgiving of mistakes, even if they are not your own. One person making a mistake will screw the whole group over, without the tiniest chance to work around it. It is very frustrating and leads to a low chance of success - that is "difficult", as some people would call it.
    Personally, I disagree. If you executed your own job well and still fail because somebody else messed up, you did not fail because it was "difficult". You failed because the system punished you for other people's mistakes, instead of allowing you to attempt to make up for them by playing better.
    I hope that boss battles in this game are not going to revolve around one-shot mechanics like that. Just because player 1 made a mistake, players 2-8 or 2-16 and so on should not be doomed to failure without any chance to 
    I disagree.

    Some encounters are a challenge of the group as a whole - which almost always ends up being little more than a DPS check.

    Some encounters challenge specific members of the group - encounters that require crowd control are an example.

    Some encounters challenge every member of the group individually - these are the encounters you are talking about.

    They all have their place.
  • ArchivedUserArchivedUser Guest
    edited March 2018
    I would have to go with @Namai
    Group content stands or falls on a 'groups' performance.

    Difficulty is subjective in other ways too.
    If contents is tailor made to classes but is random and dynamic, then the players must adapt on the fly and know their skills inside out and to survive must act in concert with their team mates.
    If content is scripted, all thats required is a video, practice and a good memory. This isnt really a skill challenge.....its a memory challenge (Peter says ...do this ...now). Granted that memory challenge can be difficult if the script to follow is complex.

    Typically all modern MMOs adopt option 2. It only remains difficult for as long as it remains unknown. Then it becomes a boring walk in the park when you know it like the back of your hand. That show you have seen in the theme park gets mind numbingly tedious after the 100th time. More so if you have to do it 100s of times to gather required goods.

    Option 1 ensures the difficulty never gets easier nor predictable and boring. It also demands you know your class. It also demands your team know each others strengths and weaknesses which will require long time exposure to gel properly in this game with the class variety potential.
  • ArchivedUserArchivedUser Guest
    edited March 2018
    @AutumnLeaf
    Hah sorry, Its kind of second nature by now to react with that, the moment someone mentions "hurr durr take of your gear"  :P. 

    @namai, @Rune_Relic
    I agree with you, I have seen a lot of scripted content in dungeons and raids. And its basically a dance, once you know the steps becomes easier and easier. Personally I am not really a fan of "mechanics" in dungeons because like you said it turns into a game of simon says.

    I would be all up for dynamic challenges, but how would you see that being incorporated? different ads spawn? rotation of boss attacks are randomized?

    IS has stated that the game will include Adaptive AI, I am hoping that enemies will be a bit more reactive to player actions. 

    @Azathoth
    Yes challenge is subjective, however we can use other games as rough benchmarks. 
    So I do not think anyone wants the level of challenge like in WOW/ESO, where everything  in the open world melts within seconds. 

    However I also do not think it would be a good idea to make it Dark Souls hard, where on bad dodge or badly times block means death. 

    Of course the difficulty level would need to be adjusted through multiple iterations in the alpha phase. However a rough guideline can be provided, as to where difficulty/challenge should be. 

    An option could be to take combat footage from the game, analyze it and say for example : "the player took these and these actions, and he should have died because of those, he didn't so the difficulty  needs tweaking" 
    But I don't know if the pve and combat is developed enough to warrant such an approach.  





  • I guess I'm wondering why adventuring has to be so focused on people dying.
    I'm way more interested in the world-building aspects.
    Hopefully, the Religion and Thieves Guild and Scholar Academy quests and tasks won't be heavily focused on killing stuff.
  • Dygz said:
    I guess I'm wondering why adventuring has to be so focused on people dying.
    I'm way more interested in the world-building aspects.
    Hopefully, the Religion and Thieves Guild and Scholar Academy quests and tasks won't be heavily focused on killing stuff.
    ehm, I don't think anyone here has implied that adventuring is focused on people dying. The focus of this topic is on the combat and the difficulty of it in the open world.
    Additionally I do not think anyone in here would devalue other activities such as crafting and building. 
    However combat will still be a big part of the game so yeah.  


  • ArchivedUserArchivedUser Guest
    edited March 2018
    Zartas said:

    Difficulty
    current mmo's  have the problem where large amounts of content is faceroll easy especially leveling. This results in a diminished feeling of adventure, where enemies die the moment you look at them at your guided quest tour. 
    Crafting and building don't really count as "adventure".
    But, adventure needs to be more than just combat.
    Combat should just be one type of adventure challenge... among many types.
  • @Dygz

    and what do you classify as an adventure? Because I'm sure there will be some non combat activities + quests. However combat will always be present, probably even when just traveling from 1 place to another + don't forget PvP. 

    And trading and crafting are still big parts, why don't they classify as an adventure? 
    getting a shipment of much needed goods to a settlement doesn't count as an adventure? 
  • ArchivedUserArchivedUser Guest
    edited March 2018
    Adventure could be exploring, tracking and stealing while avoiding combat.
    Adventurer skills aren't all about combat. And Adventurer challenges shouldn't always be about combat or people dying.
    There should be adventurer skills that help people avoid combat while traveling... even PvP combat.
    And PvP shouldn't always be about combat and people dying, either.

    Plenty of people took the carebear challenge of leveling without killing anything in WoW.
    But, in Ashes we should be able to have adventures that are focused on our utility skills - like removing corruption and diseases from areas or deciphering codes, disarming traps and detecting hidden areas.
    Since Summoners will be able to pool their skills to group summon a giant golem - we should also have challenges that require us to pool our utility skills.

    Trading and crafting are trading and crafting; not adventuring.
    Escorting trade goods will be an adventure, but trade skills and crafting skills won't be used for that. Adventuring skills will be used for that.
  • Agree I personally hope the game is challenging at the quest level,  not only through its combat but also through means of exploration and using ones brain to solve matters.
  • @Dygz ;

    I mean sure if you want to play that way, I don't see the problem. 
    I don't know what other plans the devs have for non combat activities. I would be interested in hearing that. I don't want to go further off topic, but a non combat activities thread might definitely yield a useful discussion. 

    additionally down time activities can be an significant factor in increasing immersion. 
  • ArchivedUserArchivedUser Guest
    edited April 2018
    A non-combat thread isn't necessary.
    I'm just making the point the measure of difficulty and challenge for Adventurers should not just be how quickly or whether people die.

  • ArchivedUserArchivedUser Guest
    edited April 2018
    However once again the focus of this thread is specifically aimed at discussing difficulty in relation to combat. As, like it or not, a player venturing out in the open world will eventually encounter combat : by fighting mobs along his way, encountering  other players, or venturing into dungeons or other places of interest. To put it even better the focus is on the difficulty in PvE.  

    And it is not a point of "how quickly or whether people die", it's about providing a satisfying experience where the risk of failure is present. And that risk of failure should naturally be present in most major activities be it combat or non-combat. 

    So I do not really see the problem here. 

  • Zartas said:
    Dygz said:
    I guess I'm wondering why adventuring has to be so focused on people dying.
    I'm way more interested in the world-building aspects.
    Hopefully, the Religion and Thieves Guild and Scholar Academy quests and tasks won't be heavily focused on killing stuff.
    ehm, I don't think anyone here has implied that adventuring is focused on people dying. The focus of this topic is on the combat and the difficulty of it in the open world.
    Additionally I do not think anyone in here would devalue other activities such as crafting and building. 
    However combat will still be a big part of the game so yeah.  


    But, what you write in the quote above states that this thread is about difficulty in the open world as separate from combat; rather than just the difficulty of combat.

    I don't think I said there was a problem. Rather I pointed out that, in Ashes, difficulty for Adventurers in the open world shouldn't just be about combat and dying.
    Which you seem to agree with. So, I don't know why act as though there is some debate.

  • ArchivedUserArchivedUser Guest
    edited April 2018


    Zartas said:
    The focus of this topic is on the combat and the difficulty of it in the open world.

    I think you might have read over that, but that quote still states that its specifically about the combat in the open world :smile:

    back on topic : 
    Another thing, that came up to me was the aspect of Death penalties. Personally in my experience the death penalty should hurt the player in a certain, so that dying just isn't a minor inconvenience of a corpse run. 
    However with the addition of open world pvp, this might create issues. As a player is highly more likely to die in a pvp scenario. 

    I would advocate for a gold loss/repair cost penalty upon death (pretty standard method, I am wondering though if there are more interesting way to deal with it?), and splitting death penalties, between pvp and pve. 
  • Well, don't despair then, as they have already addressed death penalties and how they will be applied in both pvp and pve. There is also a decay/repair/item destruction system in place to act as a gold sink. I will give you a couple Discord quotes to start you on your journey of diving into all that feel good information you may have missed.



  • @UnknownSystemError

    that is great to hear!, thank you for the info. 

    Is there any direct quotes from the devs concerning the pve difficulty in the open world as well somewhere? I would be interested on what their vision on that is.   
  • ArchivedUserArchivedUser Guest
    edited April 2018
    @lexmax may have some links to specific quotes I am missing in my pool. Imagine open world to be a bit like the Witcher 3. You may just be owning a group of goblins in that area, run around a bend in the road right into a cyclops that just starts owning you even at "max" level. Spawns, pathing, number, and frequency are all tied to the node system. Nodes will have various levels of mobs in them. Beyond the initial "portal/spawn" areas there is no "set" level to an area. What you find lackluster and boring one week may have totally changed some time down the line. There will be various levels of mobs in every node, not uniform. There are hours upon hours of livestreams and video interviews to go through. I suggest starting with the various wikis and falling down the rabbit hole. Before you know it you will have a rough idea of the "vision"

    "As you progress through the world, leveling up your node base, building your alliance numbers and completing the different quests allocated to you at the time, you will begin to unlock new events and reveal dark mysteries unique to that zone and node. But be careful, some things are better left alone and untouched. Unlike other mmorpgs, the monster spawn rate and location change as you level up your node[5], increasing the difficulty, amount, variety and level. This will come into play as rare monsters and world bosses are introduced and fought over[6]. Rare monster and world boss kills will yield precious items and gear that will be vital to gearing up and showing off."
    http://aocwiki.net/The_World

    https://ashesofcreation.wiki/

  • You're going to see in the world naturally there will be locations that are going to have a mix of different levels of monsters and difficulty levels; and then those spawn tables relate to the development of nearby nodes so as nodes develop they'll be changing the spawn tables around them to reflect their further development in the world, presenting new and more difficult dangers that the players can can participate in.

    https://ashesofcreation.wiki/Mobs
  • @lexmax ; & @UnknownSystemError
    Ok this is very interesting, info thank you. 

    I am wondering though, do mobs increase from general node leveling? or from specific PvE node leveling (killing mobs)?

    Because would be interesting to see that trade focused nodes would have a less threatening environment, while other nodes and areas would be highly difficult. That is if it works that way?  
  • If it is too easy, the solution should be to go and do harder content, not make the easy content harder. There should be a spectrum of difficulty. Remember that there is risk of PvP while leveling, something that makes it harder. If there is no hard content to do, that would be a big problem. But I doubt that will happen.
  • ArchivedUserArchivedUser Guest
    edited April 2018
    Again... 
    I dunno why Economic nodes should have less threatening environments than, say, Military nodes. You can't trade your way out of a earthquake or volcanic eruption and a Corrupt Sladeborne is probably not going to be willing to trade instead of rampage.
    But, yeah, mob levels will increase as nodes level. And nodes will level partially from killing mobs.

    We've got sieges and caravans and monster coin events - there should be plenty of difficult combat fighting other players if that's what people wish to focus on.
  • I want the game so hard man you cant pull a raid boss with 40 people
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