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What kind of character do you want to play? How can augments help?

When playing an MMORPG, people have their preferred type of character and roles they feel most comfortable with or that appeal to them the most. Some may like to play a big heavy hitting 2-handed melee warrior while others may like to play a necromancer-type character that uses dark magic and summons undead. When it comes to customization, we are often only allowed to personalize our class within some confined space, this is true even in games where you can swap your class at a whim. For example you customize if your mage focuses on fire or frost in some games and which spells you want to empower/enhance most. The grid archetype system that ashes is planning on using operates on 'augments' where your skills, as determined by your primary archetype, may be modified by your secondary archetype. There have been so many questions surrounding this system like how unique will each class really be, is the goal to make primary archetypes more distinct or similar to one another etc and even after years of development we have don't have much clarity.

In fact, I'd argue that among the many game systems that ashes has, the archetype+augment system is the least transparent of them all. We still only have 2 (repeated) examples, one being the charge of a warrior and the other being the fireball of the mage. I understand the argument of waiting to see what they put out first before giving feedback, but I really do think that we should be given some more details to decide if this system can support how we want to create our characters before too much progress is made.

The grid system as it stands has a lot of names that are vague and elicit different images and expectations for players who read them. One of the reasons for this in my opinion, is that some of the classes themselves do not have a distinct 'feel' or conceptual identity (and I suspect these classes will be the least popular). For example how is a ranger-fighter class supposed to play? Is it a warrior that sometimes shoots stuff with a bow? What about a rogue-summoner? Is it a stealthy summoner or a summoner that summons stealthy minions? This is in contrast to names like knight, necromancer, hunter, shaman, sorcerer etc which elicit expectations that are likely to be common amongst players. The problem then becomes if the grid system is set up appropriately to support these expectations and 'feel' that the name promises. Will for example the necromancer and beastmaster (both summoner primary classes) live up to their expectations or play as just a summoner with slight deviation or skin? This is why it is important and I think overdue that we hear more conceptual details on this system.

Personally, I would argue that in general, there are only a handful of archetypes (in colloquial terms) that people want to play in high fantasy and I can add to this based on the responses to this post:
1. fast attacking melee (probably dual wield, includes monks)
2. big hitting 2h melee (can have a holy/unholy flavor like paladin or death knight)
3. knight (defensive; likely uses shield, can also have holy/unholy flavor)
4. stealthy (mostly) melee assassin
5. ranger/sniper (can have animal pets, can have stealthy component)
6. mage... uses offensive magic (elemental, holy, unholy/demonic or arcane flavor)
7. summoner... uses pets via magic (can have elemental or unholy/demonic flavor)
8. shaman/witchdoctor/druid... uses magic but with more of nature and tribal/ancestral feel (same as mage pretty much but may include shapeshifting and non-offensive magic too)
9. priest/healer/bard... uses non-offensive magic to support or heal

Now as mentioned in the parentheses, these 'archetypes' (colloquial) can come in different coats of paint which I think the augment system is super well suited to handle but not necessarily in a grid-like manner. As already mentioned, using this list of archetypes or the 8 archetypes we already have for augments in a grid-like manner doesn't really make sense... like if you are playing a barbarian (big hitting 2h melee), how does it fit thematically to augment it with stealth or other rogue/assassin themes/properties?

The number of augment options for each archetype is super high when the augments, as far as we know, are not that impactful anyways ("We're not really talking about 64 true classes, we're talking about eight classes with 64 variants" -Jeff Bard). I think the class system in AoC would benefit from having a more focused design where instead of creating 32 (4*8) augments, from the secondary-archetype alone, for each skill, a smaller number of thematic augments be designed to provide us with the classes and 'feel' we want. I think having a really good necromancer class for example is much more important to the game than having a strong oracle or shadow lord (guess the archetype combos on those and how they would play if you can...). Other games often provide a much more curated and 'restrictive' list of class options to play, but what these games gain by sacrificing the theoretical freedom of mixing and matching identities together like the grid system, is having strong conceptual backbone for their offered classes and a clear expectation of what fantasy or 'feel' they may satisfy.

So I am here to ask, what sort of archetype (in colloquial terms) do you want to play and critically, how do you think the augment system can best support this? Is the grid-system what can support your vision the best with the crazy freedom it can support? Or does a more focused use of augments feel more appropriate for the customization you would want? Personally, one of the archetypes I like to play is a tribal elemental caster. In a grid system, I would not really care for augments from the fighter, tank, rogue, ranger and even summoner archetypes, but would like heavy elemental focus (currently mage archetype), some healing/buffing (bard + cleric archetypes). I do think though, that a more focused augment system would be more appropriate for the type of character I want to play.

I think this is an important discussion to have now since there are only 3 archetypes available in the alpha and no augments from my understanding. If people look up the grid or are told there are 64 classes, which again we are told is more like 8 classes with 64 variants, then their expectations and imaginations will set them up for disappointment (especially with how vague some of the class names are). If IS can provide us with more information, people can have better and more realistic expectations of what classes and 'archetypes' (colloquial) they can play and IS can focus on delivering on what the player base wants. I understand that this is not the focus of the alpha testing but we don't need finalized details, just some conceptual clarity to prevent false expectations.
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Comments

  • George_BlackGeorge_Black Member, Intrepid Pack
    Aoc is the only video game that I cared to be a tester for. Without a thought I got the available pack at the time.

    However, I would appreciate people that dont white knight, and when the time comes to test the classes and weapon system, they give real feedback. No sugar coating.
    Also I would like people to think beyond themselves. Having the "freedom to build a bow wielding tank, wearing robes" is not a bonus to the game.

    Combat is such a large and important path of mmos. If people come at beta and launch, and find that the feeling of combat, the animations of combat, or the identity of the classes, it will be all because of lazy abd fluff feedback.
    Even if it takes the project back in timeline, combat must be good.
    Combat is reflected in classes and weapons.
  • AzheraeAzherae Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    edited July 2021
    I believe the Grid system is the best.

    I believe they can do it and I've often linked my post from somewhere in the depths of that Tank thread to explain why I have faith in it.

    I have complete faith that this is not only possible, but easy, and worth it.

    EDIT: Forgot to add, for my group, given the aims of this thread, all our usual limits/rules are lifted. Post away, just don't spam each other's posts with likes.
    Sorry, my native language is Erlang.
    
  • George_BlackGeorge_Black Member, Intrepid Pack
    edited July 2021
    I will play the typical fighter class. For the most efficient augments, I dont care if I have to pick assassin as a secondary or tank or double down on fighter.
    I dont care if I am called weaponmaster or assassinfightermaster.

    I dont care about magic-fighters or fighting archers.
    However, I would respect a unique class of a battlemage using either enchanted, magic melee weapons or staffs and wands.

    20 unique classes would be better than the 8x8 concept. Imo.

    I am also concerned about the animations of my dualswords.
    Every class equiping every weapon will lead to discounted quality of animations.
    Some classes should have 5 weapon options, others 2 and some 1. Whatever.
    But archers with greatswords and tanks with magic wands... come one.


  • George_BlackGeorge_Black Member, Intrepid Pack
    Aoc is ambitious, I hope they manage to do all they promished.
    It's hard to imagine how, with the weapons and classes.
  • AzheraeAzherae Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    For my own, my current plan is to play Shadow Disciple with Dual Wielded Daggers, no Wand.

    For now, here are my intended Augments from my expectations of:

    Rogue Augments:
    Misdirection - Debuffs enemy accuracy or drops hate/threat
    Nimbleness - Buffs evasion or increases certain attack range
    Seeking Eye - Crit bonuses, backstab damage, on-hit effect chance up, etc
    Shroud of Darkness - Shadow stuff. Lots of shadow stuff. Sometimes similar to others

    Castigation -> Debuff Enemy Accuracy (Black Whip)
    Regeneration -> Player Evasion Up, since I expect to heal alternates with this more than Tank, and my Tank is not Evasion tank type.
    Devotion -> No current plans to Augment since last I heard, Augments themselves cost Skill Points. If they are cheap or free, Seeking Eye to raise the chance of procs.
    Radiant Burst -> Shroud of Darkness, to lower hate/threat on all it hits, I'll plan on this helping draw attention to me temporarily. Probably will Regen myself right then depending on enemy strength.
    Divine Censure -> No Current plans to Augment, if cheap, more Enemy Accuracy Down unless I get a benefit from Seeking Eye (that'd be nice)
    Judgement -> No plans to unlock this skill
    Hallowed Ground -> Player Evasion Up if possible, for group content so we can hold the line better. Won't care if this buffs opposing Evasion too.
    A Vigori (a suggested 'overheal' skill) -> Shroud of Darkness, to coordinate with people so they can unleash big attacks, take a hit, and had less Threat beforehand, sending the enemy back to Tank. When used outside of battle, no negative effects, and I can just not use this on Tank often.
    Resurrection -> Undecided. Obviously only Shroud of Darkness and Evasion Up really matter here, but any situation where I am resurrecting someone, I am not planning to count on either of these things to help them much. Probably will just save it, doesn't seem like a Skill that a Shadow Disciple augments.
    Benediction - This is another hard call, but I think I'll put Shroud of Darkness on this too and rely on my Paladin to handle getting hate back if he ends up having to be healed by it. If I find myself making new allies with Nightshields or similar I may consider Evasion Up. Bonus if it has a different Shadow effect when applied to this skill.
    (Other Cleric Skills that I want or imagine are probably best left out of this for now)

    Dagger or Dagger skills -> Paralytic or slowing Ice augments from some non-class source, ofc, intent to unlock Bleed related Dagger Weapon Skills for added DoT and combos with other party members.

    This will be all that is required to make me happy within what I expect Ashes will do for Rogue Augments.

    This does not represent my personal preference for Rogue Augments entirely, but it covers what I expect, as detailed.
    Sorry, my native language is Erlang.
    
  • Having the "freedom to build a bow wielding tank, wearing robes" is not a bonus to the game.
    I tend to agree...
    Azherae wrote: »
    I believe the Grid system is the best.

    I believe they can do it and I've often linked my post from somewhere in the depths of that Tank thread to explain why I have faith in it.

    I have complete faith that this is not only possible, but easy, and worth it.

    EDIT: Forgot to add, for my group, given the aims of this thread, all our usual limits/rules are lifted. Post away, just don't spam each other's posts with likes.

    Well if you ever get a chance to find it, I'd love to read it. I've had a problem with the grid system since its inception but I'm trying to practice patience haha. I hope this post had some sense of impartiality, but I just realized people will be exposed to the game, with only 3 classes and people who don't follow the game super closely could still believe there will be 64 legit classes...

    Also what does 'for my group' mean? :P
  • AerlanaAerlana Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    edited July 2021
    i think that there will mainly be 8 classes and each with 8 specialisation
    the fact we can (hardly) change the secundary archetype comfort me this way. also the "8 class, 64 variants" (i think 64 variants are the 64 class)

    So we have
    Fighter = heavy melee damage dealer
    Tank = the tank
    Rogue = the sneaky thing everyone hates
    Ranger = range physical DD
    Mage = magical DD
    sumoner = pet class
    Cleric = healer
    bard = buffer (and debuffer?)

    With the secundary archetype we will see specialisation. with fighter + rogue probably dualwield. for example. But i dont think that there will be se big difference between the fighters or between the mages.
    Yes, we can think of fighter more tough with tank or cleric (so more sustain) while other far better for pure damage (with rogue or mage probably) but it will remain the "heavy melee DPS".


    Alpha-1 will be basis technical alpha. it is here to test the servers, some things like collisions, etc.
    Alpha-2 will be the time to see about archetype (will have all 8) and classes (capacity to take secundary archetype)

    I think it is fine to test the deep technic of the game before the classes, but... yes
    We have so to wait until Alpha-2 to see what we will really play. how much augments are impactfull. How much the weapon choices are impactfull.


    For now we can only speculate, and hope.

    I am also concerned about the animations of my dualswords.
    Every class equiping every weapon will lead to discounted quality of animations.
    Some classes should have 5 weapon options, others 2 and some 1. Whatever.
    But archers with greatswords and tanks with magic wands... come one.

    The animation is not really bind to class, but races. the matter stays the same, 4 or 8 races + tulnar, all getting 15 weapons.



    edit : also, what they aim around class is not so ambitious. FFXI did same thing : you take a main class and a subclass which does the role of "specialisation".
    For people who played dd3.5, those kind of thing is really common, and nwn1 / NwN2 even if a lot buggy allow to see that you can really do a lot of mixup even some "strange one"
    And even to get a good balance (here it is mainly "having all 64 spec used, not getting some stupidly useless) is not such big montain to climb.
    The game is really ambitious on many point (and it makes me fear the fall because too much ambition, aiming to high), but not this class system.
  • AzheraeAzherae Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    neuroguy wrote: »
    Having the "freedom to build a bow wielding tank, wearing robes" is not a bonus to the game.
    I tend to agree...
    Azherae wrote: »
    I believe the Grid system is the best.

    I believe they can do it and I've often linked my post from somewhere in the depths of that Tank thread to explain why I have faith in it.

    I have complete faith that this is not only possible, but easy, and worth it.

    EDIT: Forgot to add, for my group, given the aims of this thread, all our usual limits/rules are lifted. Post away, just don't spam each other's posts with likes.

    Well if you ever get a chance to find it, I'd love to read it. I've had a problem with the grid system since its inception but I'm trying to practice patience haha. I hope this post had some sense of impartiality, but I just realized people will be exposed to the game, with only 3 classes and people who don't follow the game super closely could still believe there will be 64 legit classes...

    Also what does 'for my group' mean? :P

    I'll pull it directly as a quote from the thread I put it in and see if that works, so that it's unaltered.
    Azherae wrote: »
    Here's an example of what I mean. This is not what I think the augments need to be or even should be. That can't be true because we don't know how most of the classes even work. I'm doing this from just reverse engineering the names of the classes, and using them to fill in the blanks. If a name exists, and there's no Augment that would allow that name to make sense, I made the appropriate thing. I think I hit them all (some names are not well defined in other media, obviously).

    Mage Augments:
    Meteoric Impact - Mostly makes skills AoE or increases AoE, even healing
    Dimension Slip - Movement skills, add teleport. Attack skills, increase range
    Lingering Element - Burn (or whatever)! Or put up an element shield, enemy takes damage on hit
    Mana Control - Draining enemy mana on attacks, transferring mana on buffs/heals

    Cleric Augments:
    Lifeforce Control - Attack skills, causes Castigate's effect. Def skill - Healing increased.
    Holy Ward - Attack skills lower enemy attack, buffs and such raise defense
    Life's Passing - Attack skills add DoT, much more special stuff like Necromancy
    Linked Fate - Causes health absorb on hit for attacks, mild healing for those around for buffs

    Bard Augments:
    Rhythm Emotion - Increases damage of combo attacks for a period after a skill.
    Enchanting Voice - Various smaller debuffs based on the ability attached
    Rallying Call - Various small buffs based on the ability attached.
    Tale Weaving - Weird custom stuff based on how long something is held or channeled

    Rogue Augments:
    Misdirection - Debuffs enemy accuracy or drops hate/threat
    Nimbleness - Buffs evasion or increases certain attack range
    Seeking Eye - Crit bonuses, backstab damage, on-hit effect chance up, etc
    Shroud of Darkness - Shadow stuff. Lots of shadow stuff. Sometimes similar to others

    Ranger Augments:
    Keenest Sight - Accuracy bonuses or range extensions
    Trap Master - light CC augments, usually slows, sometimes rooting
    Disruption - more light CC, moreso knockback, bleed, etc
    Flicker - Adds backward movement to certain skills while they are happening or similar

    Summoner Augments:
    Externalization - depending on class, summons a wisp/weapon or something for a bit after a skill
    Copy Form - sometimes 'shadow clones', sometimes summoned weapons for damage or lingering DPS
    Spirit Call - Depends on environment, still summons something short lived, might depend on area or class
    Soul Cage - Obstacles and containment, causing enemies to need to leave, or things like DoT Crystals

    Tank Augments:
    Mitigation - Lower enemy attack or raise own defense
    Threat Generation - it's on the tin
    Armor Boss - CC resistance usually during the augmented skill, a few others
    Repositioning - Yank or push the opponent depending on the skill

    Fighter Augments:
    Martial Master - Increases weapon proficiency or STR/relevant stat during skill use
    Charge! - Gap closing, some knockdown, some 'charge past/through' augments
    Critical Eye - Raised critrate on skills (yes this is probably the meta)
    Berserker - Sacrifice HP instead of/in addition to MP to empower skill

    From the programming side, I can tell you that only 8 of these, at maximum, have any obvious problems or conflicts with skills. About 12, when combined with likely or obvious skills, are unbalanced (in the sense that they're the obvious meta choice for that skill). About 40 skill-augment combinations would be considered 'useless' by the community, guessing at obvious skills (having no use in nearly any form of content).

    The thing you have to ask though, is, if you're a Bard/Summoner and you have a 'performance' skill and you choose to put Spirit Call on it instead of Copy Form (duet!) what made you feel that was necessary? It's usually not that the player 'wants to do the thing that ends up happening'. Most of the time they're just 'suffering from a compulsion to be original', or they wish that the Augmented skill did something different, and if it's useless and no one cares, they can easily ask for a change to it.

    In all arrogance... this is easy. I'm sure that they have these already mostly blocked out, given those Class names, and if they don't, the great Intrepid team can have anything they want from the above list for 'free'. All ideas in this post are either already, or hereby transferred by me to be, the property of Intrepid Studios in perpetuity.

    Have faith. It's fine. You might have to wear some really 'interesting' gear, but most X/Tank will find different ways to 'tank'.

    As for the 'my group' thing, I have 8 other players in my group who could post in threads, but we don't want to just create an echo chamber, so normally we restrict ourselves to only one of us posting in a thread.

    Except when someone asks something that relates very directly to classes or stuff like this where 'getting the feedback of all 9' actually has a benefit to the poster, like this thread.
    Sorry, my native language is Erlang.
    
  • @Azherae that's so fascinating. So may I ask what do you envision your playstyle to be with a cleric-rogue class? Like what is the fantasy you're going for here? Is there another game (perhaps single player) who can give me a better picture of this archetype? Gameplay-wise I guess I could look up each skill again by name to figure out what you expect butttt if you just give me a tldr of how you want it to play, like melee dps with death magic sort of thing, real general is sufficient, that would be awesome.

    To me, with the little information that I have, it sounds like you want some magic melee character with focus on death, darkness, stealth. Which makes me wonder why not rogue-cleric?
  • SpaceWolfSpaceWolf Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    edited July 2021
    I intend to play a Spellsword (Fighter/Mage), and look forward to doing so; I want the movement abilities Steven implies in this quote:

    "What we want the Fighter warrior to do is to be able to cut through enemy lines, get to the support area of a raid perhaps and take out healers with some quick DPS burst damage. We want them to be masters of different weapons. We want them to be able to be versatile in whether or not they want to be a ranged fighter or melee one. It's going to be up to the player."

    I really like the idea of using movement abilities to close in, and then doing burst damage to take out enemies quickly, so per that description, Fighter main is pretty much a given. However, I ALSO want the ability to add AoE elemental damage to single-target abilities, and to couple lunging abilities with teleportation. Azherae conceptualized some Augments for various archetypes in another thread that I really liked, so I'll put them here:

    "Mage Augments:
    Meteoric Impact - Mostly makes skills AoE or increases AoE, even healing
    Dimension Slip - Movement skills, add teleport. Attack skills, increase range
    Lingering Element - Burn (or whatever)! Or put up an element shield, enemy takes damage on hit
    Mana Control - Draining enemy mana on attacks, transferring mana on buffs/heals"



    I like the idea of all of these, since to me the function of Mage in the Fighter/Mage combo should be burning extra MP to increase your damage, to improve your mobility, or to drain MP/health on weapon swings. Basically, I want the ability to get close quick and compensate for relatively low defense by dropping things quickly if I need to.

    Everything else I want, I'm simply trusting that weapon specializations can take care of eventually. For example, "stun the target by bashing them with a pommel/shield", stuff like that. I really like the proposed Grid system because I greatly favor versatility; it seems likely that individual styles from one Spellsword to another (let alone other classes) can potentially very widely, since a lot of this is going to come down to personal choices we make in our progression, rather than following a set path.

    I've long been a fan of Elder Scrolls games, which have no class-dependent gear restrictions whatsoever, and I'm really looking forward to seeing a more fleshed-out, balanced approach to that systemic in Ashes :)
  • GrilledCheeseMojitoGrilledCheeseMojito Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    I always want to play whatever ends up at that combination of "Tank with the ability to heal other members of the party", especially if there's strong threat management involved that means I can get a significant amount of threat generation by way of healing the rest. Even if the healing isn't significant, topping people off after a big AoE so that the healers can focus on me, or alternately to heal myself so that the healers have lower costs until the fight rhythm goes south, both work.

    Ashes makes figuring out how to go from that concept to an actual action really easy and ideal with the grid system, because I can just pick the two base archetypes that compose this (Tank and Cleric, so Templar), and I'm already there. I remember the first time I read the wiki page on classes it took me all of 45 seconds to figure out which class I would want, and I feel that a lot of people who have a clear concept of what they want out of the game would also have a similar experience. In terms of being able to choose weapons, that's also easy to read into as well, especially with all the nice sword and shield cosmetics to choose from. Maces work too, and I've quite liked how they have turned out so far.

    From the Augment side this works as well even with the ones we have. Linked Fate would let me boost my allies right after the big AoE attack so that the healers don't have to spread out too much, and Lifeforce Control would let me help the mage backline keep their rhythm going by having one additional layer of Castigate mana rejuvenation. Personally I really like the way Castigate is integrated in this game and it's a new feeling to me, to grant mana rejuvenation to the party, so I think having that specific ability or something similar to it as part of the Cleric Augments would be not only fun but also kind of predictable, if you think of Augments as "versions of the base class ability filtered through as a bonus".
    Grilled cheese always tastes better when you eat it together!
  • AzheraeAzherae Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    In FFXI, the other game that makes me beileve in this because they did more than Ashes is even offering as of now, I play either Ninja with a sub of White Mage, or White Mage with a sub of Ninja.

    My role in that game is to lower the enemy's accuracy enough to help protect the rest of the group, and the rest of my group tends to be 'middling survivability' instead of 'massive DPS' and 'strong specialization'. This means that everyone can take a hit, but no one can take many, except our Paladin.

    I then work to control the enemy as a whole, since threat is lost whenever those players take a hit, but they only take one or two and I just rotate Regen. The enemy is controlled by my misdirections combined with the Paladin's overt efforts, and Ninja in that game allows the player a lot of self-protection (though honestly I don't need it for that as much as I need it for certain guaranteed debuffs). I am primarily a healer. When I need to, I can build up all my defenses, and suddenly heal in a massive burst to draw the enemy to me and hold them for a while, particularly magical ones where I have much larger Damage Mitigation than even the Paladin does, long term.

    So my role is 'misdirection, debuff, healing, regeneration', in support of a group whose offensive potential is spread out over multiple people, with decent defenses which are empowered by my flows. Our effectiveness in more dangerous content is not up to me, but up to our Bard, who most likely won't get around to posting in this thread until tomorrow. Her intention at the moment is Bard/Rogue to double down on this group-plan, but may switch to Bard/Fighter if it turns out to be overkill, or possibly Bard/Cleric if Bards don't get weak Regen skills naturally, but I don't think she'd prefer to do the latter.
    Sorry, my native language is Erlang.
    
  • ZeshioZeshio Member
    I think it can be hard to visualize because we haven't really seen an example of a secondary class with its four skill trees to choose from. I think with a little bit of digging into the wiki we can probably have a rough idea of what some of those things look like. I generally expect a secondary class to potentially impact:
    • Movement skills (adding mage teleport, ranger trap, etc)
    • Enhanced damage (think elemental damage or additional damage sources like summoned blades)
    • Skill modifiers (more crit, better weapon use, etc)
    • Additional utility (low level sneak/pick locks?)
    • Buff/debuff mods (stun with skill, aura also heals, etc)
    • Theming summons (skeletons, a big tank, etc)
    • Added ranged/melee/spell (say a melee focused fighter gets a modifier allowing for a ranged attack)

    I'm sure there's a bunch more but that's just off the top of my head. The real pain on the dev side will be matching each archetype with all the secondary skills, that sounds like a boatload of work!
  • George_BlackGeorge_Black Member, Intrepid Pack
    edited July 2021
    Can u mix classes in ff14?
    I thought u could only swap.
    Aoc isnt the same as ff14.
  • AzheraeAzherae Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Can u mix classes in ff18?
    I thought u could only swap.
    Aoc isnt the samebc as ff14.

    We're talking about FFXI. A 20 year old game, at this point, and not only was it done, it did more than what we're talking about.
    Sorry, my native language is Erlang.
    
  • George_BlackGeorge_Black Member, Intrepid Pack
    Mb
  • McShaveMcShave Member
    edited July 2021
    First 3 paragraphs are asking what is augments, last paragraph is my augmention ideas to the fighter/ tank class.

    I feel a good augment system is very important to staying true to the 64 classes idea, and that Intrepid has made it difficult to understand what the idea is by what they have said so far. They've said that secondary archetypes gives 4 alterations to your spells, and that you can get augments by other means than the secondary archetype

    So what is an augment then? Do augments change your pre-existing spells into whole new spells, or are they something that can affect any spell with the same effect (give +5 damage and inflict burning).

    The best result would be that each spell that a primary archetype has gets 4+2 (+2 from social org and religion) unique possible alterations, plus more augment options from other possible sources. This way we can have truely unique characters with many many options, but it will be a lot of work to create all this and then try to balance it all too.

    A class I want to play is fighter/ tank that I can specialize in spear and shield (spear and shield specifically so I can rp an Aiel from The Winds of Time book series). I would like to be able to offtank and be disruptive in PvP, and have some damage, be somewhat tanky, and maybe have some cc type abilities for PvP combat. To whatever abilities I can, I would add threat augments, survivability augments, and stun or cc augments. And maybe an augment that works with another augment/ potion/ spell/ other, that gives my damage a boost.
  • GrandSerpentGrandSerpent Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    What I'm interested in playing

    The archetype of character I'm most interested in playing is something like an Arcane Berserker - a heavy-hitting powerhouse who can boost their single-target damage, and who has the mobility to get back out of range after inevitably pulling hate. This seems to match up pretty well with Spellsword (Fighter/Mage), at least within the concept of Mage augments @Azherae predicts Intrepid will use.

    I'd apply Lingering Element to whatever Fighter's big single-hit ability ends up being called, to boost my damage higher and enable me to quickly take out enemies that aggro, or land finishing blows on bosses.

    Mana Control would also suit my preferred playstyle well, as when applied to a more frequently-used DPS ability, this would give me better sustain in longer fights. I also like the implied lore concept of being able to absorb my enemy's life-force as I damage them.

    Dimension Slip would increase both my potential engagement range and my capacity to get back out of trouble, so it would allow for things like teleporting behind enemy lines to assassinate a target, then getting away safely before I get boxed in.

    In general my view is that the augment system, at least within the parameters discussed so far, gives players a lot of freedom to enhance the aspects of a class's playstyle that they personally enjoy, and gain capabilities which wouldn't otherwise be possible. So, it can result in a lot of diversity between classes, and a lot of room for specialization.

    How feasible is the augment system to develop?

    From the game development side, I think that the augment system would be pretty manageable to implement. Modifying the parameters of existing abilities, or creating variants of things like particle systems (e.g. tinting the slash effect that plays when a sword swings crimson, if something like Lingering Element is applied) probably results in less development work than creating outright new abilities.

    I coded a similar system in a personal project, in which certain passive abilities could alter the parameters of other attacks, or grant conditional secondary effects, and while the code was a bit awkward in places (a lot of getter functions and event handling), the logic itself was fairly manageable.

    The largest time-cost for content creation would probably be modifications to the visuals of abilities, based on which augments were applied to them. If Intrepid wanted to add completely new visual effects for certain combinations (e.g. if Summoner's Shadow Clones augment applied to movement ability left a shimmering ghost-copy of yourself at your starting position, or if Rogue's Shroud of Darkness replaced a melee attack's effect with a wave of seething shadows), it obviously requires more dev time and more resources. However, my view is that for such a crucial system in an MMO, this would probably be a reasonable investment.

    I'm therefore hopeful the final system will be similar in scope to what @Azherae discussed, and I have confidence that this is something Intrepid can execute.
  • DygzDygz Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    edited July 2021
    neuroguy wrote: »
    @Azherae that's so fascinating. So may I ask what do you envision your playstyle to be with a cleric-rogue class? Like what is the fantasy you're going for here? Is there another game (perhaps single player) who can give me a better picture of this archetype? Gameplay-wise I guess I could look up each skill again by name to figure out what you expect butttt if you just give me a tldr of how you want it to play, like melee dps with death magic sort of thing, real general is sufficient, that would be awesome.

    To me, with the little information that I have, it sounds like you want some magic melee character with focus on death, darkness, stealth. Which makes me wonder why not rogue-cleric?
    I have a longer answer, of course, but I'm stuck crunching at work before trying to dive into the Alpha.
    As a Cleric in the Alpha...I find myself wanting to place a Stealth augment on my Hallowed Ground that would render me Invisible after casting.
    I would probably have an alt pursuing max Religious progression at a Religious Node be a Cleric/Rogue or a Cleric Ranger, precisely so I could have Stealth augments on my Cleric abilities.

    You go Rogue/Cleric if you wish to use Cleric Augments on Rogue Abilities.
    In the Alpha, Azherae is a Cleric. Cleric/Rogue implies she wants to use Cleric abilities with Rogue augments.
  • SongRuneSongRune Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Dygz wrote: »
    neuroguy wrote: »
    @Azherae that's so fascinating. So may I ask what do you envision your playstyle to be with a cleric-rogue class? Like what is the fantasy you're going for here? Is there another game (perhaps single player) who can give me a better picture of this archetype? Gameplay-wise I guess I could look up each skill again by name to figure out what you expect butttt if you just give me a tldr of how you want it to play, like melee dps with death magic sort of thing, real general is sufficient, that would be awesome.

    To me, with the little information that I have, it sounds like you want some magic melee character with focus on death, darkness, stealth. Which makes me wonder why not rogue-cleric?
    I have a longer answer, of course, but I'm stuck crunching at work before trying to dive into the Alpha.
    As a Cleric in the Alpha...I find myself wanting to place a Stealth augment on my Hallowed Ground that would render me Invisible after casting.
    I would probably have an alt pursuing max Religious progression at a Religious Node be a Cleric/Rogue or a Cleric Ranger, precisely so I could have Stealth augments on my Cleric abilities.

    You go Rogue/Cleric if you wish to use Cleric Augments on Rogue Abilities.
    In the Alpha, Azherae is a Cleric. Cleric/Rogue implies he wants to use Cleric abilities with Rogue augments.

    She always heals in our group, and only plays THF/WHM when she is playing solo. Even in games where you don't generally think of it that way she's the healer most of the time. As for myself, I'm also in the work crunch, but as you can guess from my name, I'm the Bard in this case, and I have a lot more riding on how exactly Ashes does Augments, which I will get to later.
  • DygzDygz Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    McShave wrote: »
    I feel a good augment system is very important to staying true to the 64 classes idea, and that Intrepid has made it difficult to understand what the idea is by what they have said so far. They've said that secondary archetypes gives 4 alterations to your spells, and that you can get augments by other means than the secondary archetype.
    It really 8 Primary Archetypes - that's how combat is balanced.


    McShave wrote: »
    So what is an augment then? Do augments change your pre-existing spells into whole new spells, or are they something that can affect any spell with the same effect (give +5 damage and inflict burning).
    An augment is applied on top of a Primary Archetype active ability. An augment alters that ability somewhat to also do something from the Secondary Archetype.
    A Fighter/Mage could apply a Teleport augment to Charge which would cause the Fighter to teleport past obstacles in-between the Fighter and the target or could add an Elemental augment to the Charge and add Elemental damage to people/mobs Fighter in-between the target.
    McShave wrote: »
    The best result would be that each spell that a primary archetype has gets 4+2 (+2 from social org and religion) unique possible alterations, plus more augment options from other possible sources. This way we can have truly unique characters with many many options, but it will be a lot of work to create all this and then try to balance it all too.
    Mostly balanced via the 8 Archetypes. Truly subjective will be subjective.


    McShave wrote: »
    A class I want to play is fighter/ tank that I can specialize in spear and shield (spear and shield specifically so I can rp an Aiel from The Winds of Time book series). I would like to be able to offtank and be disruptive in PvP, and have some damage, be somewhat tanky, and maybe have some cc type abilities for PvP combat. To whatever abilities I can, I would add threat augments, survivability augments, and stun or cc augments. And maybe an augment that works with another augment/ potion/ spell/ other, that gives my damage a boost.
    Spear and Shield will mostly be Weapon Abilities. Any class can use use any weapon.
    Fighter/Tank should be a great off-tank. I would expect you to be able to augment Fighter abilities as you suggest. Yes.
  • I finally put aside some time to read the comments and reply, haha sorry for the delay.

    @Azherae
    So it sounds like your vision, based on FFIV I guess, is quite loaded with assumptions about what roles can be played and how PvE content can be managed. I also looked at your predictions of the augments and we already know the mage ones which look extremely different from what you propose. In general, your proposed augments seem to focus on either a particular stat modification (e.g. threat generation) which may be useless for many classes/playstyles, or some uniform mechanic (e.g. copy form) where it doesn't make sense or seem balanced for all skills to have this augment. Now, given what we do know of the mage augments:
    For example: A Mage offers Teleportation and elemental schools of augments. These augments will affect a Fighter's primary skills differently than a Cleric's
    they seem to be thematic (fire/ice/lightning/teleport) and apply variably to each primary archetype, probably to keep the identity of the primary archetype intact. So if they really are thematically applied, my original criticism stands that some combinations do not really provide a coherent conceptual theme/identity and since you can apply any of the 4 augment schools on a skill by skill basis, there either won't be any thematic coherence or the augment schools will be ~interchangeable in a lot of ways.
    Aerlana wrote: »
    edit : also, what they aim around class is not so ambitious. FFXI did same thing : you take a main class and a subclass which does the role of "specialisation".
    For people who played dd3.5, those kind of thing is really common, and nwn1 / NwN2 even if a lot buggy allow to see that you can really do a lot of mixup even some "strange one"
    And even to get a good balance (here it is mainly "having all 64 spec used, not getting some stupidly useless) is not such big montain to climb.
    The game is really ambitious on many point (and it makes me fear the fall because too much ambition, aiming to high), but not this class system.
    The difference here is that in AoC, you can't really curate and design each 'specialization' carefully. You just provide some pieces and let players pick and choose on a skill by skill basis what the augment is going to be.

    @GrilledCheeseMojito I think the current proposed augment system absolutely delivers for someone like you. You have a nice vision and I think will be happy no matter the details of how the templar actually functions. I do think the 'paladin' vision can be easily met without the current grid system too (it is a very common archetype in other games) but that doesn't take away from the grid system delivering here.

    @Zeshio Yeah so if what you think is indeed correct, then we really will have a lot of disappointed players since they may expect gameplay and stylistic changes to come with their augment choices. So based on what you say I think it really may be that a beastmaster and necromancer are just the same class with a different coat of paint applied which will be disappointing

    @McShave see my quote from the wiki above on some of your questions, but in general having ~6 augments per skill makes it impossible to have simultaneously both meaningful and viable options. Either the augments will be trivial like applies +X type of bonus damage and essentially be passive or be active with some of the 6 possible augments not being viable or catered for the role you want to play (this is just my opinion though, I just don't think it's possible to provide that many augments that are non-trivial and all be viable... and I'm not talking min/max meta stuff, I'm talking like relevant to your role and playstyle).

    @GrandSerpent Your vision seems well supported by augments, but given that they seem to be thematic and not stat-based as predicted by Azherae (based on the mage augment schools), I am not sure the grid system will be the best to cater to your vision. I do think your vision is generic enough that it should be fine in the grid system still but it may not be the optimal way to set up your fantasy class.

    @Dygz Your goals from the augment system may be the best supported. I may be wrong, but you seem to be thinking about the augments as how they can best modify individual skills to make you more effective at your role. You don't seem to want to deviate from the primary archetype, just have access to modifications to make you 'better' at doing the things you already do. I think that as valid as this is, I'm not really sure how good it feels for most players to just have the 8 classes in reality when they think they're promised 64. If you can't really have distinct identities, you're simply just buffing yourself in the way you think would be best instead of modifying your skills and class to be distinct.
  • AzheraeAzherae Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Did they promise 64 though? It specifically has been said that we shouldn't think of it as 64.

    There's a difference between 'this isn't what they seem to be doing' and 'this can't be done'.

    I understand the feeling, but, if Intrepid is so open to feedback, and we say 'we want the Mage Augments to be this way, not that way', what happens?

    My point is that the concept of Augments is possible and can work well. I make assumptions because of the same reason I always do.

    "Why make the game less functional unnecessarily?"

    The thing they're talking about isn't hard. It's not particularly hard to design, to implement, or even to balance. So why not do it?

    I can't really be concerned about things like that, because the only result of that path is going 'well Intrepid had ways to do things well, within their own vision and chose not to'.

    As I always say, I just have more faith than that.
    Sorry, my native language is Erlang.
    
  • neuroguyneuroguy Member
    edited July 2021
    Azherae wrote: »
    Did they promise 64 though? It specifically has been said that we shouldn't think of it as 64.
    Yes they have said that it is not really 64 classes:
    "We're not really talking about 64 true classes, we're talking about eight classes with 64 variants" -Jeff Bard
    but this was a single question in the Oct 2020 stream Q&A after many questions... I think it is absolutely likely that most people still believe there are 64 true classes since this has been what they said for at least 2 years now and still insist that augments will 'dramatically change skills'. This absolutely gives the impression that each class, with its distinct name will be indeed distinct, not many listen to every minute of every livestream.
    Azherae wrote: »
    There's a difference between 'this isn't what they seem to be doing' and 'this can't be done'.

    I understand the feeling, but, if Intrepid is so open to feedback, and we say 'we want the Mage Augments to be this way, not that way', what happens?
    I'm saying what you propose is not what they are doing, but I think they shouldn't do what they are doing either. The whole point of this post is to provide feedback that their current vision is not clear and frankly not appealing from the little details they have provided us and therefore we need more details, and sooner rather than later. The fact that we even have to speculate on the nature of augments is kind of crazy to me (with little consensus to boot), no other game system they are implementing is shrouded in so much mystery. To clarify I also don't like your proposed augment variants :P but you know, I'm definitely pro changing the current system (as we understand it).
    Azherae wrote: »
    My point is that the concept of Augments is possible and can work well. I make assumptions because of the same reason I always do.
    I absolutely think augments can work. I just hate the grid system personally haha. I think if they do it in a more curated way where they design the augments to better compliment the primary archetype without worrying about the thematic constrains of the other archetypes, it will turn out much better. I also think that having the freedom of having less augment options per skill will allow them to make each augment more impactful and interesting.
    Azherae wrote: »
    I can't really be concerned about things like that, because the only result of that path is going 'well Intrepid had ways to do things well, within their own vision and chose not to'.

    As I always say, I just have more faith than that.
    No idea what you mean by this part :P.
  • AzheraeAzherae Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    I really find myself struggling for words a little here, so bear with me, since I don't want to be insulting in any way.

    You say things like 'doing it in a curated way might be better' or 'having the freedom of less augment options per skill will allow them to make each more impactful'.

    This isn't often true in coding. I have been trying to avoid 'credential dropping' on this forum for a long time, since it's never received well, but I feel like you might be a person who understands it, so.

    I've run game communities before, and I've worked as the Technical Director for a large data aggregation company that builds enterprise level corporate search engines. This means I have to be able to see very large trends in data, aggregates, and systems, and at the time, I was in charge of over 50% of the development team (around 40 people total).

    It's common for customers to have concerns that are based on their gut feelings, which don't reflect a reality, especially when it comes to things like big data. It's easy to presume 'this thing seems like it will be hard' or 'that sounds impossible' for tasks that I could personally complete for a client in two days with no direct assistance other than QA.

    So when I 'look at what Intrepid is doing', 'what they say', 'what they plan', I'm seeing it from a possible 'mirror to the inside'. You might see 'something that requires lots of effort and limits freedom', whereas I see 'oh good we can use a few standard configuration files and distribute those and make this easier to patch using the version control system'.

    I have faith because they have some of the best in the industry, and they use terms that are extremely recognizable to me as indicators of various things. I work with others in my group on game projects literally for fun that are structurally more complex than this specific system.

    Honestly, I figure Intrepid chose the Augment system because it's much easier to balance, curate, and test, while still giving them easy options to offer specialized stuff.

    MMORPG design is very much a numbers game, and it's pretty constrained, too. I can break down 'why games are going to fail or change something about their systems' very far in advance usually, and I'm right often enough to make myself sad.

    It's not that I specifically want this system. just like I don't want the precise Augments I predict, just like I don't specifically want certain changes to combat personally, but I want Ashes to succeed, and I want others to enjoy it, and if Intrepid has a vision that can lead to that more cleanly than all the other things we've been seeing, then I want them to follow through on it as much as possible.

    The last thing I want to see is another studio, another game, that ignores the pitfalls of the ways this can go wrong, because they don't have the internal cohesion to foresee their own problems. But that's not what I see right now. So I have faith.

    And I'll continue to have faith until that sinking feeling of 'oh no... they can't see it' starts to creep back into my data.
    Sorry, my native language is Erlang.
    
  • At the moment, considering what I know about the different archetypes, I don't have enough to really make my mind on anything. I'm usually attracted to hybrids classes, jack-of-all-trades master of none, secondary healers/supports. I like both melee and range, magic and pets. I'll probably have a few alts...

    I haven't played an archer in a long time, so the ranger archetype is appealing at the moment.
    I like to explore and rogues often have tools that help in that regard.
    I'm tempted by the Charlatan for the name alone, but the rogue/bard combo could be interesting.

    *sigh*

    One thing I would like to try with augments, if it's even possible, is to put all my spec points into them for a character. Nothing in the main skills or weapons. Spec'less up to level 25 and then all-in in the augments. Not sure if it will be allowed, but that would be an unusual character. Trying to push as much as possible the secondary class aspect even at the expense of the main archetype. Good alt concept (patent pending...)
    Be bold. Be brave. Roll a Tulnar !
  • Not sure why you thought anything you said would be insulting haha, read fine to me. I feel like I am being misunderstood a bit here though. I am not saying the augment or the grid system is impossible to pull off practically, I don't see why it wouldn't be practically feasible. I think the grid system is bad game design.

    My biggest point is that we are given too little information on a major part of the game that might be worth looking at to see if it meets expectations and desires of the playerbase. My peripheral point (perhaps this is what you meant by gut feeling) of not being able to have impactful augments if there are that many augments is just due to the fact that I can't think of any game that has 32 augments that are impactful and viable. I think Diablo 3 has the most similar system to the proposed AoC augments that I can think of with their 'skill runes' (I only played D3 for a while early on so forgive me if the game changed a lot) and they only had like 6-8 skill runes if memory serves and even among those 1 or 2 were just trivial damage increases. If you can give me an example of game that had 20+ variations of a skill you could choose between that were all meaningful and relevant, I'd love to hear it.

    My other reason for thinking this grid augment system is bad is that I have had, and I know most people have had, a fulfilling experience playing classes and archetypes in a more classically designed class system with arbitrary specializations (like old WoW had). When classes have strong conceptual design and clear lore/identity, people are satisfied. Having a hodge-podge of identities mixed into one class, like for example a rogue-cleric in my opinion, does not have that clarity. Practically, you can make it work if you set up the augment schools in some way as you suggested, but the identity of the character as a whole is confused in my humble opinion.
  • neuroguyneuroguy Member
    edited July 2021
    Percimes wrote: »
    At the moment, considering what I know about the different archetypes, I don't have enough to really make my mind on anything. I'm usually attracted to hybrids classes, jack-of-all-trades master of none, secondary healers/supports. I like both melee and range, magic and pets. I'll probably have a few alts...

    I haven't played an archer in a long time, so the ranger archetype is appealing at the moment.
    I like to explore and rogues often have tools that help in that regard.
    I'm tempted by the Charlatan for the name alone, but the rogue/bard combo could be interesting.

    *sigh*

    One thing I would like to try with augments, if it's even possible, is to put all my spec points into them for a character. Nothing in the main skills or weapons. Spec'less up to level 25 and then all-in in the augments. Not sure if it will be allowed, but that would be an unusual character. Trying to push as much as possible the secondary class aspect even at the expense of the main archetype. Good alt concept (patent pending...)

    Cool! What does a 'Charlatan' class look like in your mind? How would it play?

    I don't believe you put skill points in 'augments'. I think the skill point system puts your points into 1. active 2. passive and 3. weapon skills, the augments apply on top of your active skills and change them permanently. I think your lack of clarity on this (or mine if I am wrong here) speaks a little to my point haha :P
  • AzheraeAzherae Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Ok, after rereading your other stuff along with this one, I can see the difference in context here.

    I agree that we don't have a lot of information. I obviously am in no position to say why that is. If it's that Intrepid wanted suggestions, well, great. I am absolutely bursting full to the brim of suggestions.

    I believe that part of the idea, though, would be that everyone who wants just a specific flavor archetype will be able to just pick one of something closer to 16. So to me, it's '16 strong designs', '14 other complicated niche designs', '12 similar to others designs that don't need to exist but don't hurt anything', and 24 'let's see what we can make work here, for the people who want to really push the limits'.

    I wouldn't expect anyone who wanted to play a strong, easily identifiable or understandable class, to have any problems choosing from the grid, just as GrilledCheeseMojito doesn't.

    And that's great. We can expect a lot more of those 16 than any others. But the ability to make things like what I want, viable, is also good. Because only the most freedom-loving games ever bother to give me what I want, and yet, in all those games, it's a blast to play it.

    If you want to play something with a strong identity that people can easily understand, do that. If you find it isn't working out for you, you can change secondary Archetype, and experiment with the other in your spare time.

    But Cleric/Mage won't be fulfilling for me, and neither will Cleric/Cleric.

    I want to do what I do in all the other games I enjoy playing, and I'm not going to ask Intrepid to build me a class that I can't even accurately describe to most people, which will be played by like 1% of all players, when they can 'just' slap some Augments on my skills and let me build it myself.

    And this is coming from a person who has designed a system in which there actually are functionally 64 classes (or more than that, technically, our Tabletop game is... complicated).

    If your concern is that Intrepid is not focusing enough, then just assume that the following classes will all be super cool and very thematic and practically 'premade'.

    Weapon Master, Dreadnought, Trickster, High Priest, Oracle, Strider, Scout, Assassin, Predator, Minstrel, Conjurer, Necromancer, Archwizard, Warlock, Hawkeye, Duelist, Paladin, Guardian.

    If you'd like them to focus on these, then just assume that they will tune the Augments to make these perfect.

    But don't take my 'confusing stealth blinding misdirection battle control healer' away from me, and don't ask Intrepid to design one that fits me precisely either. If they give me the tools, I can do it myself.
    Sorry, my native language is Erlang.
    
  • My lack of clarity is indeed due to the scarcity of info on the main and secondary archetypes and how they intertwine in more practical terms. The time will come when more is revealed and there will be a lot of theorycrafting then.

    If this was a pen and paper rpg, the charlatan would be a social rogue. One using his charisma more than his hands to achieve his goals. Using his charm to trick people. A bard/rogue (trickster) would use his tricks to charm and entertain his audience.

    In the context of a AoC, the charlatan could use the mobility of the rogue to position himself more easily to maximize the de/buffs from his bardic augments (as we know bards positioning will be an important aspect of its group fighting dynamic).
    Be bold. Be brave. Roll a Tulnar !
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