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What will action combat be like in AoC?

For me the main characteristics of action combat in mmos is active blocking, active roll dodging, player collision, real contact between attack and target.
A1 had a focus on technical tests rather than gameplay. We don't know how far the gameplay development has gone but we are here to provide our suggestions on designing and feedback on what we see.

So we saw that we will have split body animations and a tab+action combo combat. We have also heard from Steven and Jeff that we may not get active blocking and so my question is this

What will action combat offer in order for sacrifices to be made to the aesthetic of the character movements. We faced issues with blocking, we faced issues with lock motion attacks. We do we still need action combat to be in the game.

Tera Online is a 2011 mmo with action combat. I remembered how fluid the motion of the characters was WITHOUT split body animations and WITH active blocking and dodging. I youtubed the warrior class just now to make sure that I remembered it correctly. My eyes hurt because to me now the game looks like an iphone videogame. But the movements are still so well coded, so pleasing to the eye. Solid action combat.

AoC is all I want from an mmorpg but the combat is still a concern to me. For two reasons. Firstly I enjoy combat more than anything in games. Secondly combat is the main thing that the vast majority of people will judge the game based on, since they may not be familiar with all the exciting things that will hold Verra together.

I prefer action combat to tab, but I don't prefer a bad action combat to a good tab target, good ol' mmo style combat.

Comments

  • DygzDygz Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    For me, the main characteristics of action combat in MMORPGs are active blocking, active roll/dodging...
    + "free aim"/"reticle targeting".


    I prefer action combat to tab, but I don't prefer a bad action combat to a good tab target, good ol' mmo style combat.
    Exactly!
  • Combat is probably the biggest concern for me with Ashes. I like almost all the systems that Ashes proposes, but it's crucial to balance the combat to work within all of those systems.

    I predict that this game will end up being a zerg fest if we get a low skill cap combat system. If this is the case, combat will consist of spamming auto-aim attacks, and the larger group will basically win most engagements. Groups simply being able to spam these attacks at the nearest enemy will play right into the hands of mindless zergs. Think about Steven with dev cheats on in one of the livestreams, everyone just locks on to him and mindlessly spam buttons to bring him down. I am not a fan of this style of gameplay.

    The only counter to this that I'm aware of is having friendly fire on and aimed attacks. I just don't think there is any other way to effectively neutralize zergs. There's going to be a lot of open world engagements between groups, and the combat system needs to account for this and balance around this. With friendly fire on, tactics such as utilizing terrain and positioning of your group become more important. I don't think strictly tab target will work in these scenarios unless they are able to innovate, but I guess we'll see how it turns out.
  • Song_WardenSong_Warden Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    bigepeen wrote: »
    The only counter to this that I'm aware of is having friendly fire on and aimed attacks. I just don't think there is any other way to effectively neutralize zergs. There's going to be a lot of open world engagements between groups, and the combat system needs to account for this and balance around this. With friendly fire on, tactics such as utilizing terrain and positioning of your group become more important. I don't think strictly tab target will work in these scenarios unless they are able to innovate, but I guess we'll see how it turns out.

    The current heals for Cleric Damage and Heal, if friendly fire was on the whole concept would be reversed. A cleric would damage everyone in the current iteration.
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  • AzheraeAzherae Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    The more skill points that are allocated to the combat skill tree, the greater a player's weapon familiarity. This in turn unlocks various proc effects on weapon use that can offer synergy with other active skills.[21][20] This synergy also applies to active skills from other characters.[24]
    Let's say a dagger has some slashing effects that bleed the target or that cripple the target... Every time you attack you have a chance to proc that effect. That effect then can synergize with what your active skills tree has available to it. So let's say your backstab deals 30 additional damage to a bleeding target. If you attack with your main weapon first and the target gets the bleed proc off and you do your backstab skill then you're synergizing your effects.[21] – Steven Sharif

    and of course

    These procs may reduce or reset cooldowns on other skills on the player's hotbar.[25]
    Using a skill/ability will in general reset the combo.[25]
    The developers are considering specific abilities might be able to be used without resetting the combo system.


    So I figure these will have a lot of impact on it and the weapon choice meta and combat as a generality.

    I'm looking forward for how they intend to balance the weapon choice 'mastery' for Wands and Bows vs melee weapons, since Bows weren't in Alpha-1 and Wands didn't appear to have a special 'combo attack'. (Though the meaning of the word 'combo' used by Intrepid could mean 'the synergy between the procs and the actives' rather than 'the sequence of attacks used by the weapon, which is something I'll ask for the next Dev Stream), I feel like I'll have a much clearer 'idea of what Action Combat will be like' with an answer to that question.
    Sorry, my native language is Erlang.
    
  • Neurath wrote: »
    bigepeen wrote: »
    The only counter to this that I'm aware of is having friendly fire on and aimed attacks. I just don't think there is any other way to effectively neutralize zergs. There's going to be a lot of open world engagements between groups, and the combat system needs to account for this and balance around this. With friendly fire on, tactics such as utilizing terrain and positioning of your group become more important. I don't think strictly tab target will work in these scenarios unless they are able to innovate, but I guess we'll see how it turns out.

    The current heals for Cleric Damage and Heal, if friendly fire was on the whole concept would be reversed. A cleric would damage everyone in the current iteration.

    Yeah it wouldn't work with the current healing system. For healing in a friendly fire system, healing abilities should heal regardless of whether the target is an enemy or not.
  • mcstackersonmcstackerson Member, Phoenix Initiative, Royalty, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    Yes, i'd also would prefer good combat over bad combat.

    Just because they go tab, doesn't mean it will be good. I consider the combat right to be heavily tab so if you are worried about the combat, I'm not sure why would wouldn't be worried about them going tab.

    Are there certain skills that you think need to be changed to tab to make it better?

    If not, I'm not sure why making claims that more tab would magically fix the game. I'm pretty sure the biggest issue people are having with combat right now isn't the core mechanics and instead the class skills. Most of them are basic and lack synergy.
  • Song_WardenSong_Warden Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    If not, I'm not sure why making claims that more tab would magically fix the game. I'm pretty sure the biggest issue people are having with combat right now isn't the core mechanics and instead the class skills. Most of them are basic and lack synergy.

    I think the issue has translated from the old quick time combat, the quick time had the synergies for the ability effects in essence, then, quick time events were removed and the abilities lost the internal synergy, and, never gained synergies with other abilities. Everything seems to be developed in isolation. Which isn't surprising given the events over the past year or more.
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  • mcstackersonmcstackerson Member, Phoenix Initiative, Royalty, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    Neurath wrote: »
    If not, I'm not sure why making claims that more tab would magically fix the game. I'm pretty sure the biggest issue people are having with combat right now isn't the core mechanics and instead the class skills. Most of them are basic and lack synergy.

    I think the issue has translated from the old quick time combat, the quick time had the synergies for the ability effects in essence, then, quick time events were removed and the abilities lost the internal synergy, and, never gained synergies with other abilities. Everything seems to be developed in isolation. Which isn't surprising given the events over the past year or more.

    I think it's more that these abilities were designed to test basic mechanics. I don't think any of the current abilities ever used focus.

    Even without the qte, we still had versions of the game that used focus. It was still generated off auto attacks, the only change was the game didn't force you to do a qte to continue your attack combo. We even saw it expanded upon later with some abilities using smaller amounts of focus. We haven't seen a decent chunk of the orignal abilities we saw in a0.
  • Song_WardenSong_Warden Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    No, the current iteration hasn't used focus. You're correct. I am hopeful that the class skills will have synergies with weapon skills. I would also hope for synergies between class skills - either synergies with other classes (Bard is most likely to do this with buffs atm) or synergies between the class skills internally.

    I have asked for interrupts, silences and escapes from CC. I think the current iteration is very limited, simplistic and too constrictive. I'm not sure how much the combat will change though. I don't expect my requests to be implemented but it would be nice if they are.

    I'm not sure how many passes over combat IS will do. We will hopefully see synergies in the higher level skills after augmentation. For all I know, the augments will synergise the abilities. We've only seen to level 15 on 3 classes right now.

    I've had concerns about the combat before I saw Steven in stun lock, Steven in grapple locks and Steven being invincible. It was a nice change to test the game for myself. At some point, the combat will be perfected but what the combat will look like I'm not sure.
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  • DygzDygz Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    The quick-time abilities were supposed to emulate Weapon Skills.
    At the time, the plan was that Advanced Weapons would have up to 5 Weapon Abilities.
    And you could proc those effects through proper weapon usage.
    We'll have to see how that translates to the current Weapon Skills tree.
  • I hope they get rid of the jumpy-type weapon attacks. Even if done well, like Tera or BDO, I would still prefer to stay with the split body animation we have now (just tuned up a bit). They action part of Ashes' combat, in my interpretation, will be the skillshot type abilities, like prismatic beam and other placeable aoes. The weapon attacks are very much action-type as well, they hit enemies in the path of the swing, not just hitting the enemy you have targeted. An active block would be great too, blocking or reducing damage taken from in front of you for a moment.
  • AzheraeAzherae Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Yes, i'd also would prefer good combat over bad combat.

    Just because they go tab, doesn't mean it will be good. I consider the combat right to be heavily tab so if you are worried about the combat, I'm not sure why would wouldn't be worried about them going tab.

    Are there certain skills that you think need to be changed to tab to make it better?

    If not, I'm not sure why making claims that more tab would magically fix the game. I'm pretty sure the biggest issue people are having with combat right now isn't the core mechanics and instead the class skills. Most of them are basic and lack synergy.

    The confusing thing is the current lack of clarity about if Intrepid hit any mark relative to something yet. They said before Alpha-1 that they would try a lot of things. It wasn't clear (I guess) if they meant they were going to try a lot of things within Alpha-1 but given what the purpose of Alpha-1 was, it definitely was not solidly implied.

    Someone asked if they were moving forward in a particular way, the answer was yes. Does that mean 'yes, we believe we need more data on this thing before we test a different thing' or was that "We have made the choice to be made at this iterative level and are now moving on to a new level, so focus your feedback on the assumption that the current change is somewhat committed to.

    The implication from a video from 1y ago is that they were working on the class skills and refining all that, back then. It's probably wrong to do so, but one might assume that they had them 'finished', at least the ones we saw in Alpha, explicitly because of the language used.

    - 10:00 mark

    Obviously the pandemic and working from home impacted them quite a bit, but I'd figure the abilities we saw were intended, so we're waiting on weapon skills to see synergy.

    My concern is actually about some current underlying implementation, but as noted before, I don't mean to call out anyone or speculate on why a certain thing is the way it is. I can describe it again though, for those who weren't following the thread at the end of that. This is just a description, I have no intention of discussing with anyone what exactly it means, it's only here to explain why I am unclear what exactly they mean by "Weapon Skills/Perks".

    For some reason, the Alpha-1 implementation of melee combat combos stored a value that said 'you used an ability, your combo is forced to reset to the first strike'.

    If you cast an ability and swung your weapon, it would be on 'first strike'. For some reason it also caused you to do the first strike twice.

    This was stored server side and did not time out. At all.

    Used ability, waited some time, same thing.
    Used ability, interacted with something else, same thing.
    Used ability, switched weapon, same thing.
    Used ability, changed SW (shard), same thing.
    Used ability, ran halfway across map to interact with NPC, same thing
    Used ability, mount or swim, same thing.
    Used ability, use CTRL+T to teleport-reset, same thing.
    Used ability, logged out, waited awhile, logged back in, same thing.

    Making sure a combo reset after an ability use was so important (even though Combos have a natural timeout) as to get someone to store a server-side value to force it.

    To me this implied that 'last hit of combo' was going to be a really important game mechanic, because it's implemented as a backend thing, before the Weapon Skills, i.e. it was part of the backend revamp and wasn't 'there just for testing the iteration combat system we had in Alpha-1'.

    Based on that implication I have concerns about the core combat. I'm 'lucky' to have found it, because if the 'force 1st attack twice' hadn't been visible, there would have been no way to see the underlying implementation (where by that I mean only that block of test results above).

    So now, I personally, as a programmer, can speculate a lot of things, and even if it is removed, I know what to look for in other things, and I have 'different perspectives' on what it means when Steven mentions 'having a combat bug' or 'uses a Wand in a demo clip despite having just implemented and showed off Split Body'.

    And my opinion of Split Body (not how it feels, what it implies about the build direction) is known. I have issues with it and poor expectations of it, and I had those before my new speculative theories on the above. So at least for me, concerns are squarely about 'core combat' in the case where the current 'we are proceeding' means 'we have concluded our decision making process on this choice we asked for feedback on'.

    If it doesn't mean that, of course, then nothing to do but wait for the next spot test, or news from the next Livestream.

    Hopefully they'll have ironed out any combat bugs.
    Sorry, my native language is Erlang.
    
  • KhronusKhronus Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    McShave wrote: »
    I hope they get rid of the jumpy-type weapon attacks. Even if done well, like Tera or BDO, I would still prefer to stay with the split body animation we have now (just tuned up a bit). They action part of Ashes' combat, in my interpretation, will be the skillshot type abilities, like prismatic beam and other placeable aoes. The weapon attacks are very much action-type as well, they hit enemies in the path of the swing, not just hitting the enemy you have targeted. An active block would be great too, blocking or reducing damage taken from in front of you for a moment.

    In the last livestream Steven answered my question on combat and it seems their direction 100% will be with split body combat and not rooted animation. This made me fall in love with the game all over again.

    I agree that the action type should be with skill shots and as a melee tank I am completely ok with this. My harpoon should ONLY be a skill shot. Charge should be a tab target ability. An active block would be nice but I would not be too excited for it. The dodge is where it's at IMO. A really well built dodge mechanic that all players can use would be fantastic but it has to feel right and not just be 250vs250 of just people rolling around haha.
  • I asked that question like a year ago or so...The answer was that the action side of things would feel close to APOC.

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