Some feedback & thoughts based on PAX footage

First off – its looking great! I'm still super excited for this game.

Disclaimer: I'm aware of pre-alpha stage, which is why I think its worth discussing.

I went back to WoW for a month or two recently and I came to a realization. The gameplay in combat sucks. I'm always looking at cooldowns. I have too many buttons to press and yet all abilities end up feeling very similar across all classes. Also - the screen is a constant mess. Too much is happening. I didn't have fun.

I bring this up because I felt like there was a certain amount of bloat in the AoC combat gameplay that we saw. I think it would benefit the game to slow down the combat and make it less "flashy". I'm afraid that the value of incredible feats will go down very quickly since everything is a constant explosion. I think back to certain games that have less going on during combat gameplay and it allows for something like a fireball to be this super awesome moment because there isn't as much going on ALL THE TIME. Having less "combat" abilities in your main rotation I think would also allow the players to be more strategic and keep their eyes on the action rather than the action bar. I'm hoping to see AoC take a direction more akin to something like Dark Souls combat where the simplicity shines through. Us players can clearly see what is happening in front of us and we can be focused on our environment rather than our modal menus/action bars/cooldowns/Interface. 

Conclusion: 2 - I'd love to see combat be less flashy reserving the opportunity to be amazed when something cool happens. 1 - A simplified combat system that puts our eyes on the action and not the action bar. 

P.S. I'm not saying we shouldn't have lots of cool abilities - I'm all for class diversity but when it comes to our bread and butter in combat I think less is more.

Comments

  • ArgentdawnArgentdawn Member alpha-stress-tester
    UE4 has a lot of graphic adjusting abilities I'm sure you'll be able to turn down spell effects from others. As for the cool downs / buttons this isn't a moba. We should have a pool of situational abilities that should make or break a fight. To few abilities is just as bad as to many. Currently in 2 of the games I play I have over 30 active keybinds and some times that feels underwhelming.

  • BerhaneBerhane Member
    Situational abilities as you said, I'm with you. I'm all about diversity and flavor. I play tabletop rpgs and I love the random ass abilities you use once in a campaign lol. 

    I'm talking about what you are spamming in every single battle. I think we can have higher skill ceilings and challenge if the our action bar isn't asking for our attention all the time.
  • UnknownSystemErrorUnknownSystemError Member alpha-stress-tester
    Please watch the two Q&A sessions from day 4 at PAX. Steven says that they are aware of all these issues and have not even given combat its own development cycle beyond Akil working on abilities. They have concentrated on getting all the backbone stuff that needs to be in place first from a systems and world standpoint. Expect combat to change, and change radically over the next few months.
  • NoaaniNoaani Member alpha-0-rank
    UE4 has a lot of graphic adjusting abilities I'm sure you'll be able to turn down spell effects from others. As for the cool downs / buttons this isn't a moba. We should have a pool of situational abilities that should make or break a fight. To few abilities is just as bad as to many. Currently in 2 of the games I play I have over 30 active keybinds and some times that feels underwhelming.
    I totally agree.

    One of the things I dislike most about some games is the repetitiveness of combat. Pressing 1, 1, 1, 2, 1, 1, 1, 2 and repeating that until the mob is dead is neither fun nor engaging. It is an issue I found in ESO, in PoE, in WoW (especially), and in Archeage.

    My first MMO was EQ2. As a Wizard, I had 7 hotbars active, each with 12 buttons. Every button had a spell, usable item, gear change macro or other command that were all used to make me more effective at what I did. Even after filling up those 84 buttons, I still occasionally wished for one or two more for encounter specific things.

    I only needed two of the bars for actual spells that I used during combat, and so only 2 of the 7 bars were visible all the time. The remaining were only visible when moused over which means I didn't waste much screen space with them all.


    Berhane said:

    I'm talking about what you are spamming in every single battle. I think we can have higher skill ceilings and challenge if the our action bar isn't asking for our attention all the time.
    I don't see how this could be achieved without the use of mechanics like mouse targeting. The "skill" that comes from most tab targeting games (I know AoC will be a mix) comes from building your character (skill options and gear), and from knowing when to use your spells and abilities.

    If a player only has 5 spells to cast, when to use each one becomes blindingly obvious, and so skill is non-existent past character building. The more skills you have, the more room there is for players to differentiate themselves with their ability to use the right skill at the right time.

    Also, if a player is more than glancing at their hotbar during combat, they are doing something wrong. With time, even glancing at a hotbar becomes unnecessary, unless there are changing variables to recast timers (such as EQ2 had with Troubadors).
  • MADEMADE Member ✭✭
    Berhane said:
    I have too many buttons to press
    You maybe should search for a more casual game then, although It wouldn't be that easy as the current wow is already a casual fest....
  • BerhaneBerhane Member
    Please watch the two Q&A sessions from day 4 at PAX. Steven says that they are aware of all these issues and have not even given combat its own development cycle beyond Akil working on abilities. They have concentrated on getting all the backbone stuff that needs to be in place first from a systems and world standpoint. Expect combat to change, and change radically over the next few months.
    Awesome I missed that one. Excited to see what's next. If there is any Dev team I trust its this one.

    MADE said:
    Berhane said:
    I have too many buttons to press
    You maybe should search for a more casual game then, although It wouldn't be that easy as the current wow is already a casual fest....
    Check out Pantheon – They are trying to appeal to old school MMORPGs with this concept in mind. Simplicity doesn't equal casual. Its actually the opposite in my opinion. Also complexity definitely doesn't equal hard. It generally just means headaches and a really long learning curve. 

    Noaani said:
    If a player only has 5 spells to cast, when to use each one becomes blindingly obvious, and so skill is non-existent past character building. The more skills you have, the more room there is for players to differentiate themselves with their ability to use the right skill at the right time.

    Also, if a player is more than glancing at their hotbar during combat, they are doing something wrong. With time, even glancing at a hotbar becomes unnecessary, unless there are changing variables to recast timers (such as EQ2 had with Troubadors).
    This is a great point. Skills are blindingly obvious, you click and its over. But what if the skill is more about the group? They are trying to put the MMO back in MMORPG after all. If character building gives us the tools to change and adapt and finding the right strategy in a given encounter creates challenge why do you feel the need to use 20 abilities in every fight? What if finding the right 5 abilities in your arsenal of 50 is the challenge?

    Maybe I'm not making any sense but I'm just posing questions. :D Thanks for the discussion everyone.
  • TrinksTrinks Member

    Hi Everyone!

    I come from an EQ starting point and for those who have played the original, you were allowed I think 8 spells on your 1 hotkey bar and that is it.  I played a mage and even though I had a book for 50+ spells, I only had 8 I could use at a time which I liked.  For me to switch spells I had to "meditate" and go into my spell book and change them which took a small amount of time.  I think this adds the situational aspect nicely not to say it was always good, I liked it.  You could be set up wrongly for a situation (PvP) and not be able to do much except maybe you have that one spell that can get you out of danger as your "oh S***" spell.  Just my two cents. 

    Thoughts?


    Thanks,

    Trinks

  • Marzzo1337Marzzo1337 Member alpha-stress-tester
    Dark Souls is a bit too simple in my head. I think a good balance between complexity in abilities is required. Some players like high skill ceiling.
  • NoaaniNoaani Member alpha-0-rank
    Berhane said:

    Noaani said:
    If a player only has 5 spells to cast, when to use each one becomes blindingly obvious, and so skill is non-existent past character building. The more skills you have, the more room there is for players to differentiate themselves with their ability to use the right skill at the right time.

    Also, if a player is more than glancing at their hotbar during combat, they are doing something wrong. With time, even glancing at a hotbar becomes unnecessary, unless there are changing variables to recast timers (such as EQ2 had with Troubadors).
    This is a great point. Skills are blindingly obvious, you click and its over. But what if the skill is more about the group? They are trying to put the MMO back in MMORPG after all. If character building gives us the tools to change and adapt and finding the right strategy in a given encounter creates challenge why do you feel the need to use 20 abilities in every fight? What if finding the right 5 abilities in your arsenal of 50 is the challenge?

    Maybe I'm not making any sense but I'm just posing questions. :D Thanks for the discussion everyone.
    As said, if we  only have 5 abilities to use at any given time, when to use them is obvious and there is no challenge. I mean, sure, maybe there is some "skill" in selecting the right abilities to start with (part of character building anyway), but what that does is it means all the "skill" in the game takes place in a village where you talk to an NPC to select your abilities - not out in the world where you are facing enemies.

    If we only had 5 skills, by the time we get to the enemies, there is only one way the fight can go as there is no real variation in what we can do. If the fight goes poorly, our only option is to all go back to town, talk to that NPC, be challenged with selecting our next 5 skills, and then going out to the real content to try it again to see if we succeeded in our challenge of picking the right 5 skills.

    5 Skills means we can't be versatile or adapt to a situation. If you are out soloing and people near you want a group, the first thing you would have to do is run back to town to get your "group" abilities instead of your solo abilities.

    The more group focused and interactivity between characters and classes the developers want, the better it is to have more skills, as obviously, the more skills, the more interaction.
  • FalminFalmin Member alpha-stress-tester
    For me the best combat system was in Age of Conan, I know not every one liked that system but as a melee mage it was awesome and if you had the skill you could own even the best PvP characters.
    It didn't have a lot of buttons to press I often find my self lacking for more buttons but it was fun.
  • MADEMADE Member ✭✭
    Berhane said:

    MADE said:
    Berhane said:
    I have too many buttons to press
    You maybe should search for a more casual game then, although It wouldn't be that easy as the current wow is already a casual fest....
    Check out Pantheon – They are trying to appeal to old school MMORPGs with this concept in mind. Simplicity doesn't equal casual. Its actually the opposite in my opinion. Also complexity definitely doesn't equal hard. It generally just means headaches and a really long learning curve. 

    You actualy used the casual player's definition as a argument to why that's not casual...

    Let me help: someone is casual cause the fact that he doesn't want to spend much time on the game. If it have long learning curve, then you need to spend loots of time on the game, which is the exact oppoisite what a casual player want to do.

    A casual player just wants to sit down and play a few hours a week without spending effort on learning, gearing, or any complex stuff. (or face the fact that he's noob and so weak)
    Simple game is the first requriment for it. With it you doesn't need to learn what your character or your opponent can do, since there aren't even many things to learn. You just grab a gun, and run around and shot, just like in those casual fest battle royales.


  • BerhaneBerhane Member
    Trinks said:

    Hi Everyone!

    I come from an EQ starting point and for those who have played the original, you were allowed I think 8 spells on your 1 hotkey bar and that is it.  I played a mage and even though I had a book for 50+ spells, I only had 8 I could use at a time which I liked.  For me to switch spells I had to "meditate" and go into my spell book and change them which took a small amount of time.  I think this adds the situational aspect nicely not to say it was always good, I liked it.  You could be set up wrongly for a situation (PvP) and not be able to do much except maybe you have that one spell that can get you out of danger as your "oh S***" spell.  Just my two cents. 

    Thoughts?


    Thanks,

    Drinks

    Totally Agree :smile:

    MADE said:

    You actualy used the casual player's definition as a argument to why that's not casual...

    Let me help: someone is casual cause the fact that he doesn't want to spend much time on the game. If it have long learning curve, then you need to spend loots of time on the game, which is the exact oppoisite what a casual player want to do.

    A casual player just wants to sit down and play a few hours a week without spending effort on learning, gearing, or any complex stuff. (or face the fact that he's noob and so weak)
    Simple game is the first requriment for it. With it you doesn't need to learn what your character or your opponent can do, since there aren't even many things to learn. You just grab a gun, and run around and shot, just like in those casual fest battle royales.


    Keep in mind I'm just talking about combat. MMORPGs have a lot to them and I love that. The crafting, character progression, pvp, dungeons, raiding, housing etc... I'm just discussing combat. I understand what casual is, though I disagree that a game is casual when its easy to pick up and get started. I find that to be an odd way to describe casual. Especially when it comes to MMOs. Just because its easy to pick up doesn't mean you don't have to put many hours into it to beat it and be good at it.

    Also - casual is generally a type of player not a type of game. You can be a hardcore AoC player or a casual AoC player. Thats player based choice. 

    You are describing a desire for a game with a very deep and complex system. And that's fine. But that doesn't make you hardcore lol. I think League of Legends is proof of that. Its a super complex game for someone new and yet you find all kinds of players.

    Let me reiterate... Simplicity doesn't mean basic. It also doesn't mean that it lacks depth. A combat system can be simple and have a lot of depth to it.
  • MADEMADE Member ✭✭

    Berhane said:
    I understand what casual is, though I disagree that a game is casual when its easy to pick up and get started. I find that to be an odd way to describe casual. Especially when it comes to MMOs. Just because its easy to pick up doesn't mean you don't have to put many hours into it to beat it and be good at it.
    No you don't understand what is casual.
    A casual player is simply someone who doesn't want to put much effort into the game, and so doesn't play much. A casual friendly game's first requirement is the fact that it's easy to start with.

    You don't see many casuals in eve online. Why? Cause they leave fast as it's so hard to even start it.
    But in a mainstream fps or moba, you just join in and PvP at middle, while ignoring the objectives and lose. That's what a casual do. Brainlessly goes in, brainlessly play, and then leave fast.

    The last part of your text is true, but meaningless here as I ain't said that every game with easy start is a casual game.


    Berhane said:
    Also - casual is generally a type of player not a type of game. You can be a hardcore AoC player or a casual AoC player. Thats player based choice.
    Do you know how does studios nowadays create a game? They pick a audience, and they design a game for them. So despite it's not a type of the game, it's a (main) design goal, as they want's to please their main buying force after all....


    Berhane said:
    You are describing a desire for a game with a very deep and complex system. And that's fine. But that doesn't make you hardcore lol. I think League of Legends is proof of that. Its a super complex game for someone new and yet you find all kinds of players.

    Let me reiterate... Simplicity doesn't mean basic. It also doesn't mean that it lacks depth. A combat system can be simple and have a lot of depth to it.
    1, lol's combat is very very very far from a complex or deep game.
    There's a joke saying that "lol has more complex combat system than the current wow" which is a sad half-fact, and it ain't want to praise lol... It's the exact opposite, it harasses wow, that even a moba (which know to be simple) have more complex combat than the current wow, as it's so shit.

    2, Even if it would be, where is your point in the first place? Ofc sucking playing in a hardcore game will not make you into a hardcore player, and?

    3, Simplicity literately means that it's lacking in depth. The two word are each's exact opposite...




  • Rune_RelicRune_Relic Member ✭✭✭✭
    So can you be a hardcore player in a simple game ?
  • BerhaneBerhane Member
    So can you be a hardcore player in a simple game ?
    Yeah totally. A lot esports are simple games with very dedicated 

    1, lol's combat is very very very far from a complex or deep game.
    There's a joke saying that "lol has more complex combat system than the current wow" which is a sad half-fact, and it ain't want to praise lol... It's the exact opposite, it harasses wow, that even a moba (which know to be simple) have more complex combat than the current wow, as it's so shit.

    2, Even if it would be, where is your point in the first place? Ofc sucking playing in a hardcore game will not make you into a hardcore player, and?

    3, Simplicity literately means that it's lacking in depth. The two word are each's exact opposite...

    Hey man this is getting off topic from the point of the post. So I'd like to know, what do you think the combat should be like in AoC? :)

    I'm aware of the design process. Im a designer and advertiser. I understand target audiences and building around that. I understand that part of making a game casual is making it for a very large audience. I dont want AoC to take that route either. This is a game for people who want a challenging yet social MMORPG experience. Im with you on that. Im literally just discussing combat. Not the entire game. 
  • TraubsterTraubster Member, Alpha 1 Stress Test alpha-stress-tester
    edited April 14
    I think a LOT of what you are bringing is VERY valid, but can be solved in pretty simple ways. I loath to bring up Black Desert Online (I'm still salty about how P2W that game has become), but its a great example of how to properly manage these issues.

    Being able to adjust "spell transparency", as well as turn off spell effects from other players is a boon for activities involving dozens and dozens of players, as well as people who may be playing on lower end systems. Being able to completely customize the location and size of the hot-bars negated a lot of the issue of constantly having to stare at the bottom of your screen.
  • Nibiru79Nibiru79 Member
    ATM, Pantheon is alot like EQ, and has difficult encounters but the combat in it is really simple and basic.  I have to agree with others, having less options means everyone is just pushing the same few abilities over and over.  Making the game more repetitive and lowering the skill lvl just so you can watch the action doesn't make the game harder.  They can make encounters difficult without simplifying the mechanics.  It just means you need to be even more skillful, and people should be paying attention to the action while they are paying attention to their skills.  If people are paying attention to their action bar over the action, then they are either not a good player or the encounter needs to be fixed to be more difficult.
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