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Combat Criticisms (constructive feedback only please)

I want to preface this by saying I have not played the alpha, so all my feedback is based on the streams. The main I have criticisms are, the animations locking in place, which they plan to fix apparently. There's too much idle time, maybe that's just Steven trying to show the game, but he seems to run out of mana a lot. If you want mana management to be a gameplay feature, you either need a fun way to manage mana and have that be a strategic gameplay feature figuring out what abilities to do, to do the most damage without running out of mana, or make something to do while your out of mana to regen it. Lastly, make the abilities have some synergy, rather then just doing everything when its off cooldown, I know he mentioned a proc bleed effect or something, that would improve other abilities when in effect, in the future, but there needs to be different gameplay for each class, and only one synergetic ability across the board can get boring.
I welcome anyone else to give your feedback, try to keep it more specific though, on what's wrong with it and how it could improve.
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Comments

  • Song_WardenSong_Warden Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    I want to start by saying, in most MMOs you run out of resources in early levels. The Devs and testers are all 15 level in the recent gameplay video, the Mages are also level 15 (With Mana Tap and Mana Gifts). This means they are typically not at maximum efficiency for the combat. Also, mana costs have not been nailed down yet, the whole of combat will be tested when the next iteration comes and feedback will be gleaned. I believe synergy will come between the Weapon Skills and Class Skills rather than between Class Skills alone. It would be nice if more Class Skills did have synergies - Tank's Lacerate does have some synergy when upgraded. We want the Apoc Combat System but the Hybrid Targeting systems. It appears the Devs will try the iteration out when the combat revamp has been done.
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  • George_BlackGeorge_Black Member, Intrepid Pack
    Let's wait till combat revamp
  • akatoshakatosh Member
    Yeah, I know its still alpha, and these problems may just be because its still early in development. Although I think its important to give feedback early so it can be easily changed or improved upon before they finish and have to re do something.
  • Song_WardenSong_Warden Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Sometimes I feel the Devs would rather cheat than play the mechanics. Not sure how much they glean when they play, cheats can screw the game mechanics. Fortunately, the Devs listen to player feedback.
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  • George_BlackGeorge_Black Member, Intrepid Pack
    edited May 2021
    akatosh wrote: »
    Yeah, I know its still alpha, and these problems may just be because its still early in development. Although I think its important to give feedback early so it can be easily changed or improved upon before they finish and have to re do something.

    I agree. But they said they reworked the combat. So what you see now is no longer valid for feedback
  • Song_WardenSong_Warden Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Whack on some Laura Brehm and sink into relaxation :)
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  • akatoshakatosh Member
    Well they haven't yet, their still working on it, and they said it will be a long process that will happen over time, not something that they will implement all at once.
  • Song_WardenSong_Warden Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    akatosh wrote: »
    Well they haven't yet, their still working on it, and they said it will be a long process that will happen over time, not something that they will implement all at once.

    You're correct. They have already started though, they replaced Q Spam (or LMB Spam) and made it auto attack when you hold the button down. They decreased the time between attacks, they reduced the particle effects on the basic attacks. They have tweaked the combat edges, major overhauls take a while longer. In the latest Dev stream they stated the current end goal for Combat. We await the first iterations of the new combat mechanics so we can test them.
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  • neuroguyneuroguy Member
    edited May 2021
    I think the combat animations need a lot of work.
    1. They are very over the top and what that means is that it's distracting and too long. Animations from your spells should not distract you, you should be busy watching your opponents and making decisions on animation cancelling, your cooldowns etc, when you float up and get covered in flames for a spam-able spell, it is very distracting and takes up too much of the screen with movement and effects. You know you're casting fireball, you just pressed the damn button, you should not be distracted by this whole long animation. The mage laser is a great example, the laser spell effect is huge on top of the mage who casts it and thins out... Instead it should be modest at the point the mage casts it, thin out as it goes farther and show a mini explosion on hit targets every 0.5s to show you are doing damage to the target. In general spell effects should be maximal at the location where the spell takes effect, not where it is cast. Animations will be less of a problem in general the more you get used to it but for players seeing this for the first hundred times (aka everyone at the moment) it's way too much.
    The usual counter-argument is that your opponents need to see what you cast in a recognizable way to respond to it. Yes that's true and other MMOs solve it with cast bars that you can read and clear animations. But clear does not need to be theatrical. Clear color cues, audio, and subtle visual effects are sufficient. Yes clarity is important but a part of playing any game is getting better and mastery and learning subtle animations and what spells they correspond to is a part of that.

    Summary of point 1: reduce visual clutter by A. reducing your character's movement and spell effects on top of your character B. make animations more subtle (use color and audio well) and trust players will learn them through play

    2. Cast times seem good honestly but with the animations they feel really long and over the top. Having more subtlety in the animations and having them be more stable/stationary will help with how combat feels. Casting a fireball in WoW has the same animation for the duration of the cast, a focused arrow shot doesn't require a backflip and floating with green fairies doing cartwheels around you, it requires a maintained notched arrow. The god damn kamehameha is stationary. I think being able to predict when the impact of your spell occurs with some stable build up "feels good". When people listen to music, they want to predict the crescendo to head bang to. Players want to say BOOM as their big spell hits and see a big number pop up. A stable animation build up will make cast times feel better.

    Summary of point 2: make cast animations stable (same animation for the duration of the cast) and give players a cast bar (opponents don't need to see it) to make the impact predictable and allow for decisions about cancelling your cast.

    3. Completely agree with the OP on spell synergies. MOBAs and RPGs do this well where they create interactions between a very small number of spells to create more depth in the combat. Games like BDO are similar, you fall in rhythmic combat with a relatively small number of spells. This is why I don't like the idea of the augment system very much because it creates a very very large number of spells/skills which means there is little control developers have over providing us with synergies and interesting interactions. Now this can be taken too far where developers can force a "intended playstyle" on players so there must be some balance between freedom and synergistic design. I think on one hand, we are given a lot of skills to choose from and the interesting part will be choosing what spells to use and keep on the hotbar for a given encounter OR the interesting part will be optimizing the use of synergies and interactions of our spells given the context. The former requires a lot of spells with the limiting factor being cooldowns of the few spells you choose to cast while the latter requires trade-offs between optimal damage and utility where the limiting factor is commitment to some sequence of skills/spells for maximal output vs mobility, survival, mana-regen etc.

    Summary of point 3: currently the game provides a bunch of skills with only some thematic connection but no clear or explicit synergies. Introduce some combos and explicit interactions between spells. Provide some interesting decision/trade-off for players in combat.

    4. Again, agree with the use of mana being underwhelming in the game. I do get it's early lvls and mana numbers are probably not even on their radar for balance but my point is that the resource a class 'uses' is such a fundamental part of how the class plays which allows for creativity in design. I think a very easy way to make the 8 archetypes feel different from each other is to be creative in how their resource management works. I've never played lost ark but looking at videos, it looks like most classes use mana but still have some secondary resource system (visible between health and mana) that gives them some uniqueness (I assume haha).

    Summary of point 4: we've yet to see the other archetypes but hopefully the resource used by each archetype will add to the identity of that archetype and not just act as some stale limitation on how long before you run out of juice.
  • SathragoSathrago Member
    edited May 2021
    I'll personally start scrutinizing things when they start saying things are were they want them to be.
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  • neuroguyneuroguy Member
    edited May 2021
    Sathrago wrote: »
    I'll personally start scrutinizing things when they start saying things are were they want them to be.

    So once they are less susceptible to feedback? Steven said they changed animations because of initial feedback and now based on current feedback thinks they may have overdone it with their initial change. Sounds like rn is the best time for combat feedback no?
  • akatoshakatosh Member
    edited May 2021
    I think they could still have synergies even with the augment system. Given that it is still essentially the same spell, just hoping the result of the spell augment discrepancy is that it synergizes in a different way with the other abilities having a slightly different effect.
  • Song_WardenSong_Warden Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    We used to have quick time events in combat which add synergies to each skill. The skills also boosted Focus. Focus has been removed and so have the quick time events. I would imagine the team will add synergies into the mix at a later point. You must remember the abilities are all up to level 10 and you wouldn't normally find too many synergies at level 10 or below.

    I agree about the spell animations and the penchant for weird lifts and rise throughout the current skills. I also dislike the forward momentum on the standard (Q Ability) attacks. I believe we should have full control over our characters which will enable us to strafe, circle and battle for pole position against foes. Right now, the Spells cover the whole battlefield and you can't tell who has fired which spells which is bad for sieges and massed PvP. You also struggle to discern who is an attacker and who is a defender. Defenders should have green names and attackers should have red names in my opinion.

    I would also appreciate some method of mana control for all classes. In other MMOs heavy and light attacks have had mana regeneration associated with them. It will cause complications when the Mage has to siphon mana and gift mana in between their damage rotations. At present, the mana tap is minimal (2 per second). I believe it should be a mana dump and not a Mana over Time ability.
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  • Neurath wrote: »
    You also struggle to discern who is an attacker and who is a defender. Defenders should have green names and attackers should have red names in my opinion.

    Somebody (on some video) said the nameplates are too distracting and prevent 'stealth' operations where a group may be waiting behind a hill to attack. I think you should see nameplates if you click on someone (with color coding as you suggest) but actually I do think don't have nameplates by default to allow for the tactical play and hidden movements. Maybe we can have some forced tabard with red vs green to distinguish friend from foe in the heat of battle in sieges? Not nameplates though unless you click.
  • akatoshakatosh Member
    Yeah those quick time events weren't received very well, and I think for good reason. Now the new thing he mentioned, auto attacks applying a bleed, and then another ability doing more damage is that bleed was in effect, isn't bad. I just think, as with the quick time event, these things are too much, across the board with all classes, and not complex or interesting enough to warrant an the entire playstyle being built around this. Maybe for one class, and having many different other things this effects, but not having that as the only feature. Whereas I think each class should play differently and have different synergies and playstyles.
  • Song_WardenSong_Warden Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Well if you don't have name plates how will you see the health? I understand the health is meant to be obscured but you need some indication of health or you can't make tactical decisions in the heat of battle. It worked okay for Apoc but Apoc was a Free for all battle royale. One of the Rogue abilities used to stealth the team, if you are in stealth you shouldn't have a name plate which I agree with. If the Devs read this thread they could also add a 'sneak function' for all classes. Not as complex or dense as Rogue Stealth but a viable option for ambushes. I can't remember which MMO had a sneak function, it slowed the movement speed and couldn't be entered in combat.
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  • The bleeding is a weapon related proc though. Not sure if procs are an interesting combat mechanic. They could be interesting decisions for building up your character but not in-combat.
  • Song_WardenSong_Warden Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    It will depend how you build your toon. A proc can be percentage based but a proc can also be a guaranteed proc. Lacerate will explode if a lacerate is already on the target (with the skill points added). The lacerate proc is a guaranteed proc. I'm not convinced back stabs should be Critical Hits, I believe there should be separate damage modifiers for a back attack.
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  • Neurath wrote: »
    Well if you don't have name plates how will you see the health? I understand the health is meant to be obscured but you need some indication of health or you can't make tactical decisions in the heat of battle. It worked okay for Apoc but Apoc was a Free for all battle royale. One of the Rogue abilities used to stealth the team, if you are in stealth you shouldn't have a name plate which I agree with. If the Devs read this thread they could also add a 'sneak function' for all classes. Not as complex or dense as Rogue Stealth but a viable option for ambushes. I can't remember which MMO had a sneak function, it slowed the movement speed and couldn't be entered in combat.

    Hmm, good point. I think an easier solution is just to make health bars pop up at a smaller radius around your character so players far away can still 'sneak' without being a rouge of having some active skill to use. I do like not seeing health bars while on siege weapons though.
    Neurath wrote: »
    It will depend how you build your toon. A proc can be percentage based but a proc can also be a guaranteed proc. Lacerate will explode if a lacerate is already on the target (with the skill points added). The lacerate proc is a guaranteed proc. I'm not convinced back stabs should be Critical Hits, I believe there should be separate damage modifiers for a back attack.

    The example Steven gave was a % proc I think.
  • Song_WardenSong_Warden Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    I don't think I can give feedback on the siege mechanics until the month long test. I will test the sieges out a lot during that period. We may see small combat changes prior to the month long test too. I would hope we can give feedback on a range of issues other than the stability issues in the month long test. The Devs do get feedback from the forum but direct feedback on the dev threads are the quickest route to change if change is deemed appropriate.

    I wouldn't mind health bars only being visible in a personal vicinity, it would be a quicker solution than adding a whole new skill to all classes. Though you'd only have to modify the rogue stealth mechanic and tweak it, paste it and perfect it. I often theory craft from my previous experiences. Sometimes, a proc can be overpowered if the proc is guaranteed. I do agree not all procs should be guaranteed procs.
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  • Hm. My main concern atm would be hard CC's being tab like the tank pull ability (Steven said it's a soft cc hence tab but it really doesn't look like one). Other than that I know they'll revamp many things including the speed of combat soo I'm just eagerly waiting to see what they'll come up with.
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  • maouwmaouw Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    edited May 2021
    Magic Man wrote: »
    Hm. My main concern atm would be hard CC's being tab like the tank pull ability (Steven said it's a soft cc hence tab but it really doesn't look like one). Other than that I know they'll revamp many things including the speed of combat soo I'm just eagerly waiting to see what they'll come up with.

    Yep, if pulling other people is a tab ability, that's broken.

    pulling is one of the hardest forms of cc:
    >you cannot respond to it (like a stun)
    >you are forced into a misposition (not just rooted)

    It needs to have serious costs if it's also going to be a homing ability.

    I'm curious what counter-cc options the devs are exploring?
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  • DygzDygz Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    akatosh wrote: »
    I want to preface this by saying I have not played the alpha, so all my feedback is based on the streams. The main I have criticisms are, the animations locking in place, which they plan to fix apparently. There's too much idle time, maybe that's just Steven trying to show the game, but he seems to run out of mana a lot. If you want mana management to be a gameplay feature, you either need a fun way to manage mana and have that be a strategic gameplay feature figuring out what abilities to do, to do the most damage without running out of mana, or make something to do while your out of mana to regen it. Lastly, make the abilities have some synergy, rather then just doing everything when its off cooldown, I know he mentioned a proc bleed effect or something, that would improve other abilities when in effect, in the future, but there needs to be different gameplay for each class, and only one synergetic ability across the board can get boring.
    I welcome anyone else to give your feedback, try to keep it more specific though, on what's wrong with it and how it could improve.
    I mean - it's Alpha One Preview and the devs are focused on logins, network stability and population density.
    Combat is not at all balanced right now.

    Solo, I rarely have to worry about Mana depletion...as a Cleric.
    Duoing with a Tank, my Mana depleted around every third mob killed by the Tank while I just healed him. And, we were Level 4 killing Level 10 mobs.

    In the raid I was in with Steven, he mostly watched and directed.
    Steven boosts everyone to 15 for the raids. There is not really enough time to figure out ability synergies.
    Plus, we probably don't have all of our class abilities yet. We don't have any of our Weapon Abilities yet.

    At the moment, combat is just bare bones so we can have a little bit of fun while we test. We will have to wait a bit before the complexities are implemented.
  • BlackfordBlackford Member
    edited May 2021
    It was interesting that in the siege video the attacking forces were able to chain CC stephen for so very long to counter his god-mode dev buffs.

    I wonder if there's going to be some sort of diminishing returns system put into practice.
    Otherwise it looks like CC will be king.
  • Blackford wrote: »
    It was interesting that in the siege video the attacking forces were able to chain CC stephen for so very long to counter his god-mode dev buffs.

    I wonder if there's going to be some sort of diminishing returns system put into practice.
    Otherwise it looks like CC will be king.

    If you watch the live stream video, Steven says there will be diminishing returns.
  • neuroguy wrote: »
    Sathrago wrote: »
    I'll personally start scrutinizing things when they start saying things are were they want them to be.

    So once they are less susceptible to feedback? Steven said they changed animations because of initial feedback and now based on current feedback thinks they may have overdone it with their initial change. Sounds like rn is the best time for combat feedback no?

    My point is that they already know that this needs to be improved upon. The whole idea is to trust in their ability to provide a good quality experience and they are working towards that. I see this early video content as more of a "See guys, We aren't idiots or scammers so give us a chance?" Steven said it himself, this is about getting the core functions working and not about balance. He also spoke about split body animations to allow for more fluid combat and to be honest I see that as quality control and something that can be dealt with later or at least not as important to deal with when the core functionality of the game is still being revised and improved.
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  • DygzDygz Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    If we don't complain during Alpha One Preview nothing will ever change.
  • Dygz wrote: »
    If we don't complain during Alpha One Preview nothing will ever change.

    im not talking about anything outside of what is being discussed in this thread. combat's going to be revamped soon. let them do that.
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  • DygzDygz Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    There is nothing we can do to stop them from doing that.
  • akatoshakatosh Member
    edited May 2021
    Dygz wrote: »
    There is nothing we can do to stop them from doing that.

    Well you want to let them know whats wrong with something and how you could improve it, before they revamp something, or at least during, so that they know what to improve upon. Otherwise they may have to waste more man hours doing it again if it isnt good afterwards. We're not critiquing the game so that we can recommend if people buy it or not, were saying the things that need improved upon.
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