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Resource management in combat

As some of you might know, the Classic WoW Closed Beta is in progress and I've been watching quite a few videos and streams on it. One of the biggest differences between Classic WoW compared to Modern WoW is in resource management. In Classic you can run out of mana, energy or rage very very quickly which forces you to think very carefully about which abilities you use and on what target. A mistake here can easily get you killed. On the flipside, in Modern WoW you have to work very hard to run out of mana, and rage and energy generation means you can spam your abilities as much as you want.

Seeing this has got me thinking about the flow of combat in Ashes. From what we have seen so far, all classes will have both a mana bar and focus bar. The mana bar is for your regular abilities and the focus bar is for your ultimate ability. That's all well and good but we don't know how these resources work. How much mana will we be given? How fast will it regenerate (if at all)? How much mana will our abilities cost? How quickly can we fill our focus meter to use our ultimate ability?

These are all key questions that have a huge impact on the flow of the combat system. My question to you though is, what do you prefer? A system that lets you spam your abilities as much as you like, or a system where you have more limited resources and have to think carefully about each ability you use?
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Comments

  • WololoWololo Member, Leader of Men
    Limited resources all the way :p i think the older a game becomes, the easyer devs make managing these core features wich is a shame
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  • AzathothAzathoth Member, Braver of Worlds
    Limited resources. Although I think the mana bar, in your example, would have to regenerate. I don't see Ashes as being the type of game where after a few combats everyone is going to meditate/sleep. If it required potions there would have to be enough resources generated during a mana expenditure to afford said potions and they would have to be plentiful.

    A system that lets you use all of your abilities constantly shouldn't have 'bars' and instead stick to cool downs. If you can't exhaust your supplies, why have them.
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  • JjampongJjampong Member
    I agree with @azathoth . I really hope there will be resource management necessary in AoC. But I also hope that unlike WoW you don't have to sit and do nothing for 16 secs every so often while your bars regenerate. It's a bit stale in my opinion.
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  • Wandering MistWandering Mist Member, Founder
    @azathoth that is my thought process too. However, the opposite extreme can also be bad. One of the problems with Classic WoW's gameplay is that there are certain abilities that are too draining on resources for you to use. As I've been playing through Guildwars again, I've noticed similar issues. If I only have 25 mana, and one of my spells costs 15 mana, I will probably never get a chance to use it, no matter how strong it is. In the case of Guildwars chances are I won't even bother taking abilities that cost that much mana.

    If you can't use your abilities without immediately exhausting your supplies, why have them?
  • Mana bar for abilities
    Normal hits should restore mana
    Stamina bar for blocking and dodging.

    Shield should offer reduced cost of blocking
    Medium armor should offer reduced cost of dodging.

    No sprint
    Different classes should have different movement speed.

    All classes should have a couple of abilities that would include some HP heal but not a strong heal excelt if it is the class playstyle.

    No endless resourcess. No quick resource drain
  • T ElfT Elf Member, Braver of Worlds
    edited May 22
    @georgeblack I think the reason the different classes do not have different movement speeds is so groups can stay together. I know in certain games they allow rogues to have speed bursts, mounts can have differing speeds, and some classes like druids/bards offer group speed. But mostly games are designed that on foot the group will keep together.
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  • Wandering MistWandering Mist Member, Founder
    edited May 22
    @georgeblack Interesting ideas. Having normal hits restoring mana will put a higher emphasis on getting in enough auto attacks to keep your mana supply up. Players will be looking to land as many auto attacks as possible whilst dodging as many as possible. This will force players to keep moving rather than just standing still throwing out spells, as even getting hit by enough auto attacks will cause you to lose the fight.

    I'm not sure why you would want different classes to have different movement speeds. Remember that the more variables you put into class design, the harder it is to balance.
  • ArzosahArzosah Member, Leader of Men
    I would like to see limit resources as it requires you to keep the whole fight in perspective when using abilities. and from a PvP standpoint I would like to see mana drains and debuffs that slow resource generation.
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  • DamoklesDamokles Member
    edited May 22
    I am for limited resourcey all the way.
    I love the idea of using creatable resources that are used for casting or attacks. IS could give Hunters the ability to craft simple ammunition, while other types could be craftable.
    The Soulshards were also always something of a favourite of mine, if they could just have made it that you were able to obtain them inside the raids etc xD (the reason for that was that only ads that gave exp or honor could give soulshards, and all ads in raids were patched to give neither of that xD)
    Mana management is a must for me too tbh!


    Summarization:
    Please IS give us consumables like ammunition for arrows, limited battle resources (mana etc) and casting reagents that the caster themself can creat.
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  • ArzosahArzosah Member, Leader of Men
    @damokles I believe it has already been stated that rangers will not need to manage ammo.
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  • DamoklesDamokles Member
    @arzosah
    LET ME DREAM! Q.Q

    But to be serious here with you, if they decide to leave ammunition out of it, then i hope that normal shots etc will use mana (like they do in apoc). Yes i know that they only did that because they needed to somehow limit ranged weapons in the battle royale, but it can be really interesting idea for the actual mmorpg!

    Also: Potion Launchers should require actual ammunition tbh! XD
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  • My opinion is to find a medium point between endless battle resources and limited battle actions, for example, yes the mana should regenerate but at a lower rate when you enter the battle, this as logic depending of the pint of view because when in the middle of a combat a mage cannot focus in mana regeneration, of course there would be buffs that increase the mana regeneration in battle or maybe certain items but not at the same amount of the out of battle regeneration, also there could be abilities that have greater resource cost, deals tons of damage but with the highest cool down, i agree with @damokles , there should be limited ammo for the ranged classes that can's use magic, and this ammo should give them certain bonuses, ATK, ATK SP, ELEMENTAL DAMAGE, etc etc

    BTW, i don't see why the run option should be limited, there should be greater movement speed for dexterity based clases, like the rogue
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  • ArzosahArzosah Member, Leader of Men
    edited May 22
    Damokles wrote: »
    Also: Potion Launchers should require actual ammunition tbh! XD

    I agree the player should have potions on hand in order to use the potion launcher, and I think it should work with any potions, not just explosives like it is in APOC, you should be able to buff other players using potion launchers and even pseudo heal.
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  • DamoklesDamokles Member
    @arzosah
    The potion launcher would be the healers best friend xD
    Imagine it: heal goes oom and pulls out his little friend. He starts spraying into the crowd laughing manically while everyone just stares at him. :D
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  • argentdawnargentdawn Member, Braver of Worlds
    @georgeblack Interesting ideas. Having normal hits restoring mana will put a higher emphasis on getting in enough auto attacks to keep your mana supply up. Players will be looking to land as many auto attacks as possible whilst dodging as many as possible. This will force players to keep moving rather than just standing still throwing out spells, as even getting hit by enough auto attacks will cause you to lose the fight.

    I'm not sure why you would want different classes to have different movement speeds. Remember that the more variables you put into class design, the harder it is to balance.



    There are no auto attacks that we know of right now. Personally I think a passive Mana Regen and certain abilities that restore Mana should be viable. It would be nice to have a game again that you actually have to actively manage resources to stay in the fight.
    Arzosah wrote: »
    I would like to see limit resources as it requires you to keep the whole fight in perspective when using abilities. and from a PvP standpoint I would like to see mana drains and debuffs that slow resource generation.

    I love this because I'm not a huge fan of the way games like wow handle pvp... Many fights are lost because of team comp being able to keep a player incapacitated for 20+ seconds. Being able to out smart a pvp opponent and Outlasting them would be a nice change of pace.
    Arzosah wrote: »
    @damokles I believe it has already been stated that rangers will not need to manage ammo.

    I believe you are right though I can't find it right now. Which is a shame, having a quiver for ammo storage or being able to craft basic ammo on the fly is a nice touch but I realize people aren't responsible enough to make sure they have enough of a finite item before going into a dungeon or event. I like the "realism" it adds but I could guarantee you someone's gonna get to a dungeon fight for 5 mins and run out of arrows.
  • In games that resources are endless the class with the biggest burst and fastest turtle mode is beyont the rest.
    That is why most of us believe that resources should be limited in order for combat to work around abilities with higher costs and cooldowns depending on the impact of the abilities plus situational usage of abilities depending on the enemy:
    1)this rogue deals a lot of dmg but receives a lot. Better stun and burst him
    2)this tank does not deal too much dmg but doesnt take much. Better use bleed and poison on him.
  • Magic ManMagic Man Member
    As some of you might know, the Classic WoW Closed Beta is in progress and I've been watching quite a few videos and streams on it. One of the biggest differences between Classic WoW compared to Modern WoW is in resource management. In Classic you can run out of mana, energy or rage very very quickly which forces you to think very carefully about which abilities you use and on what target. A mistake here can easily get you killed. On the flipside, in Modern WoW you have to work very hard to run out of mana, and rage and energy generation means you can spam your abilities as much as you want.

    Seeing this has got me thinking about the flow of combat in Ashes. From what we have seen so far, all classes will have both a mana bar and focus bar. The mana bar is for your regular abilities and the focus bar is for your ultimate ability. That's all well and good but we don't know how these resources work. How much mana will we be given? How fast will it regenerate (if at all)? How much mana will our abilities cost? How quickly can we fill our focus meter to use our ultimate ability?

    These are all key questions that have a huge impact on the flow of the combat system. My question to you though is, what do you prefer? A system that lets you spam your abilities as much as you like, or a system where you have more limited resources and have to think carefully about each ability you use?

    I prefer limited resources (can be mana, stamina etc). It makes combat more strategic and less spammy. As for the focus bar, they trashed that idea but we might still see it used somehow (e.g gathering, fishing etc)
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  • rohkairohkai Member, Braver of Worlds
    I am all for limited resources with a regen mechanic. We have weapons for a reason. Swing that sword! Bash with that shield! Club some son of a gun with your staff when it's out of fireball fluid.
  • leonerdoleonerdo Member, Settler
    edited May 23
    To me, there's only three potential benefits to having limited resources (I'm just going to call it mana, but it can be anything):

    1) It can create a difference between short and long encounters, because in short encounters mana is never a problem, but in longer encounters you may need to change your skill priorities to keep from running yourself dry. I think this aspect is a bit more important/interesting in PvP where "outlast your opponent" can be a compelling strategic option.

    2) Limited mana means the devs can add mechanics/skills (hopefully fun ones) that restore mana. This has an additional benefit of providing some differences-in-kind to combat pacing. In other words, it makes it so every combat has separate burn phases and preparation phases. This can take the form of mana orbs you gotta pick up, or class mechanics that need to be utilized to get mana back, or support skills that allow you to recharge your allies. Basically, if mana matters at all, then the devs can make more gameplay around it. Seems kinda obvious when I put it like that... why is this paragraph so long? Anyways... (Edit: Forgot to mention that I think auto attacks are the second least interesting way to get mana back, only slightly better than passive regen.)

    3) Different classes can have entirely different resource systems. This was one of the strengths of ye old classic World of Warcraft. Even with it's rather basic combat, every class felt very different, and I think it's partially because of the different resource systems. I think this is also a big improvement made to FFXIV (which I'm more familiar with anyways) in its expansions. Most classes got a secondary resource gauge or some kind of persistent mechanic to keep track of. Despite of it's simplicity, I think my favorite was actually Dark Knight's, which was basically just a rage meter (for extra powerful skills) in addition to it's MP bar.

    So in short, yes, resources should be limited, because it means the game can involves more abilities, mechanics, or strategy built around those resources. It's one of many good tools in a game designer's arsenal, and I think it's especially well-suited for MMOs (which tend to be a bit slower, and more complex).
  • grisugrisu Member
    To the ressource management thing:

    Whatever the ressource management looks like, it should be in tune with the combat itself, beyond that I don't see myself caring.

    Slow regeneration but a need for 500 skill attacks on a mob is crap.
    Slow regeneration and mobs die in one skill, what's the point?
    Fast regeneration and 500 skill attacks oh yeah apm smashing........ no thanks
    Fast regeneration and and mobs die in one skill, happy grind feast feeling..... heck no.

    @argentdawn I think in context it's relatively save to assume that he means the weapon attack itself. It's not autoattack per say but what do you call it? weapon skill attack? it's all somewhat missleading even standart attack isn't really hitting it for me. Ashes is weird ^^
    And no you seldom run out of ammo because you have hours upon hours already behind you until you get to the point where you really have to have a maxed out ammo stash before you go somewhere. The game slowly accustums you too it, especially since you usually have very limited space in the beginning, so you constantly buy it whenever you are close to a town. Sure you can forget, but thats true for ANY consumable, like foodbuffs, healthpotions, buffpotions, special ingredients for spells and so on. Ammo isn't special, but definitly more devastating when you do happen to forget. (Hello broken weapon that I forgot to repair)
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  • I wouldn't mind seeing it going both ways. Maybe certain classes or combinations down the line give you different ways that you can spec to make your character more you. For example, maybe you choose a direction that gives you large amounts of regeneration to your resources so you don't have to manage as hard but as a trade-off, your abilities deal less damage than the baseline ability. Whereas you could choose to make your abilities cost more resources making resource management even harder but in turn, your abilities do more damage than the baseline. Maybe even some classes don't necessarily use resources like you still need the stamina to use your rogue style abilities but you have a high regeneration in order to place more importance on the combo style of abilities. I think that would all be pretty cool :3
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  • Wandering MistWandering Mist Member, Founder
    @leonerdo I like the idea of putting mana gaining mechanics into the classes. It reminds me of how Arcane mages worked in WoW Legion. They had very powerful spells that used a lot of mana, combined with lots of ways of gaining back the mana they used. The result was you would alternate between a strong burn phase and a recovery phase. The skill came in knowing when to activate your burn phase for maximum efficiency.

    I also like mechanics that can steal mana. This was my favourite way to play Mesmers in guildwars. You could effectively shut an opponent down by draining their mana so they couldn't cast anything.
  • megsmegs Member, Royalty
    I keep on wondering why people are so black and white sometimes.

    I personally prefer resources to be limited, it just makes that panic so much more real,

    "ah sht sht I want to heal you, but I've can't because you keep on drawing meaningless aggro and I need to keep the tankies alive"

    However, there should also be a bog standard 'free' skill that fits the description of the archetypes.

    So every archer can keep on flinging unlimited basic arrows, but you want to use that awesome arrow?
    Well, sorry, you should have made sure that the hUUUuuGGGe bag they gave you archers just for ammo was reasonably stocked.

    Not black and white, one way or the other, both are valid, but resource management gets you better results.
  • Wandering MistWandering Mist Member, Founder
    genna wrote: »
    I keep on wondering why people are so black and white sometimes.

    I personally prefer resources to be limited, it just makes that panic so much more real,

    "ah sht sht I want to heal you, but I've can't because you keep on drawing meaningless aggro and I need to keep the tankies alive"

    However, there should also be a bog standard 'free' skill that fits the description of the archetypes.

    So every archer can keep on flinging unlimited basic arrows, but you want to use that awesome arrow?
    Well, sorry, you should have made sure that the hUUUuuGGGe bag they gave you archers just for ammo was reasonably stocked.

    Not black and white, one way or the other, both are valid, but resource management gets you better results.

    I understand what you are saying, although in the case of the healer having to prioritise healing the tank, that can be achieved without restricting their mana. After all, if you can only heal one person at a time and the tank is taking a lot of damage, you can't afford to heal anyone else regardless of how much mana you have.

    Anyway, back to the point of "free" skills that require no resources to cast. I....need to think about it more before I form an opinion. I'll get back to it.
  • AzathothAzathoth Member, Braver of Worlds
    I like the concept of a free skill specific to each archetype. When you first select your secondary aspect you could gain whatever the skill would be at base, and then have the option of leveling that skill or not. Being a free skill the effect should, imo, be very specific and not as effective as other skills you could focus on. However, if you wanted to be the most Bard-like Bard possible, you would want to keep your archetype specific skill on par with your others.

    I have not given much thought to skill types, but I can see an archetype specific free skill as being a fun utility.
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  • Wandering MistWandering Mist Member, Founder
    @genna and @azathoth I've thought quite a bit about offering a free skill from a healing perspective (my chosen party role), and in my opinion it just doesn't make sense in terms of gameplay. Let's say they gave you a very weak heal that costs no mana, to use when you run out of mana. Depending on how much healing a fight requires, that skill will either be worthless or too OP. If the amount of healing required is less than the healing output of the no-cost heal, then players would just use the no-cost heal all the time. Why waste mana when you don't have to?

    On the other hand, if the amount of healing required is more than the healing output of the no-cost heal, the no-cost heal becomes worthless. From a healing standpoint a no-cost healing spell makes no sense. As for dps and tanking roles, why have a no-cost attack when not just use basic auto attacks that follow the same principle? Back in Vanilla and TBC WoW, if a caster ran out of mana they would switch to their wand and use that instead.

    I do like the idea of having reagents as a separate resource though. Different ammo types, or certain items needed to cast powerful spells. One of the things I love about Runescape is how they handle magic. Magic spells in Runescape are powered by Runes that come in all different varieties. Every spell consumes some Runes to activate, with more powerful spells needing runes that are harder to get compared to the less powerful spells. This meant you had to pick your spells carefully based on what you were fighting and what runes you had access to. Not only this but you had elemental staffs that substituted for a particular rune. For example, an Air staff would allow you to use Air-type spells without using up any Air runes.

    I haven't seen another game that uses a system like it, which is a shame because it has such a lot of potential.
  • DamoklesDamokles Member
    @wanderingmist
    They could implement the no-cost healing spell if they made the cast time too high to use in normal circumstances.
    No one would use a overly long spell with low healing when they could use a normal healing spell ;D
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  • AzathothAzathoth Member, Braver of Worlds
    But it doesn't have to be healing, and we know that clerics will have some form of Anti-corruption ability too. I think you have good points, I just don't think the healers free-skill would have to be a heal. I would prefer a utility to be honest.
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  • noaaninoaani Member
    I don't see how a game with this many classes could possibly do combat without limiting resources.

    I'm fairly sure we'll find that there are a number of classes that are somewhat focused on restoring group member resources in combat, as well as some focused on depleting enemy resources (likely useful in PvP).

    To me, the key is in giving players enough tools to counter resource depletion. Resource management can in itself be fun during combat, but only with tools with which to manage it. Without these tools, resource management becomes resource rationing, and that is never fun.
  • Wandering MistWandering Mist Member, Founder
    @noaani None of the class abilities we've been told about so far have resource-restoring properties. In fact, we know practically nothing about resource management apart from the fact that all classes will have a focus meter that is tied into the weapon attacks, and when the focus meter is at 80% you can use your class' ultimate ability.
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