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Dev Discussion #35 - Character Inspection

VaknarVaknar Moderator, Member, Staff
edited November 11 in General Discussion
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Glorious Ashes community - it's time for another Dev Discussion! Dev Discussion topics are kind of like a "reverse Q&A" - rather than you asking us questions about Ashes of Creation, we want to ask YOU what your thoughts are.

Our design team has compiled a list of burning questions we'd love to get your feedback on regarding gameplay, your past MMO experiences, and more. Join in on the Dev Discussion and share what makes gaming special to you!

Dev Discussion - Character Inspection
What are your thoughts around character and gear inspection, particularly as it relates to settings and options? Should you have the option to allow or disallow others from inspecting your character? Why or why not?

Keep an eye out for our next Dev Discussion topic regarding User Interface!


UPDATE: Greetings friends - thank you all again for taking the time to join in on this discussion! After putting together a recap for our team, check out some of the top notes you shared with us below:

  • Many players feel that should inspecting be added, they would like the ability to toggle it off and on or have a ‘request to inspect’ system with the option of automatic denial and acceptance.
  • There are players who do not want their gear to be inspected for many reasons, such as concerns for inclusivity and PvP advantages.
  • While some players do not want their gear to be inspected, many would like to see it implemented in a completely open, totally free inspection based system.
  • A few players backed the idea of making inspection a skill that can be leveled up, unlocking additional inspection features through progression.
  • Some players desire a proximity based inspection system that notifies the individual upon inspection.

While many people shared many wonderful ideas, there was one that stood out in particular:
Neurath wrote: »
The game is not a FPS Shooter with a kill cam thank the sandal god
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Comments

  • As a PvP mechanic, it would be somewhat useless at low levels and potentially game-changing at higher levels, as something as simple as the ability to see equipment can very easily be a tell for a particular play style, stat balance, and various things that are otherwise not possible to see. As a PvE mechanic, I don't see any reason to not have it, as it can both be a way to coordinate team roles as well as a way to prevent spoilers for new, curious players.

    Tl;dr: I think it's a good option to have regardless, since more customization is hard to go wrong in, unless it's done poorly.
  • Sorry, I do not know how this game works or will work so some of my ideas may not make sense. But I think it could be fun if inspecting a character was skill and proximity-based.
    I could look at someone from afar and get a general idea they have plate armor and a short sword with a wooden shield. If I were to move closer maybe more details of that would be revealed, and smaller items like rings or something would become known to me as well. If there is a perception type stat, make that increase the range and detail of what we see when we're checking them out.
  • Nova OrdemNova Ordem Member, Royalty, Alpha One
    Definitely! a simple way to do it is a request to inspect, same as duels, but also have the option to automatically reject inspection requests or a simple checkbox, I think this is a must-have feature because often when trying to help someone with a build or when dueling we want to be able to inspect people when they allow it - at the same time we don't want unknown players to inspect us and think if they can or can not kill us or even our friends that we rival to check us out before a duel... this takes away a lot from open-world PvP and risk vs reward.

    Also, something I'd like to see is for a guild leader and guild officers (that the GM allows) - to be able to inspect their fellow guild members without having to request, this is important as it saves time and would be another perk of having a higher rank within a guild, since often in games the only thing an officer and a GM can do is kick/ban members... I want to see actual mechanics that display a meaningful hierarchy within a Guild
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  • latisullivanlatisullivan Member
    edited October 14
    Nova Ordem wrote: »
    Definitely! a simple way to do it is a request to inspect, same as duels, but also have the option to automatically reject inspection requests or a simple checkbox, I think this is a must-have feature because often when trying to help someone with a build or when dueling we want to be able to inspect people when they allow it - at the same time we don't want unknown players to inspect us and think if they can or can not kill us or even our friends that we rival to check us out before a duel... this takes away a lot from open-world PvP and risk vs reward.

    Also, something I'd like to see is for a guild leader and guild officers (that the GM allows) - to be able to inspect their fellow guild members without having to request, this is important as it saves time and would be another perk of having a higher rank within a guild, since often in games the only thing an officer and a GM can do is kick/ban members... I want to see actual mechanics that display a meaningful hierarchy within a Guild

    I second Nova, making them a Supernova. The "request to inspect" is something I've never thought about and it's actually a cool idea. If it's for PvP you may not want the other person to know beforehand what you're wearing, but if you beat them say in a duel, maybe they would want to know and you can show them if you choose to.
    On a PvE setting, there could be a guild ruling for it, or if it isn't, and you don't want to show your gear, the party/raid leader may or may not quick you from it if you don't show your gear and they think you're the reason (or one of the reasons) why they're on the 14th wipe.

    At the same time, as a whole, the option is there basically, but without any "obstacle" it could be used to prejudge or exploit a mechanic, say in PvP (although who is going to stop, right click, menu scroll, inspect player, check everything, etc. in the middle of a duel/huge siege...)

    Edit: I forgot to say, I usually don't care, except someone who is dealing insane amounts of damage/holding insane aggro/etc. or when someone is teaching you, so you inspect to learn-
    When I do care, is when it comes to cosmetics. We NEED to be able to inspect costumes/skins/transmogs/glamour/garnments or whatever the name for it you'll choose :blush:
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  • The option to inspect Gear should be in the game, but we should have it be a toggle/request system so that we can withhold information from others. I am against Skills and their effects being a Inspect and should instead be learned as you play with and against people.

    This will really help prevent PVP scouting where you find people with low end gear and clap them after making sure you can win against them. The Class Rogue should have the option to be in stealth + Combatant Flagged and inspect the players gear to get those stats and can be interrupted by attacking/increasingly easier to be seen by other players as they inspect.

    Info gathering in the game will have to be the main goal of any information chain, Allowing this information to be hidden is a good idea for Late Game once people become settled and during the chaotic middle game.

    This should also be a factor when looking at a caravan, and players should be able to spend more or have items to craft a special caravans that hides what is inside possible with boats as well.

    Either way I hope to see how you look over Inspection and its implications for gameplay.
  • NeurathNeurath Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    I liked Jeff and Steven's earlier ideas of no character inspections. I don't want my builds to be leaked. I don't want my items to be clarified by raid leaders. I don't want my gear to be seen by pvp foes. I don't want my gear to be the focus of my skills or progress. I don't want the crafter of my items to be betrayed by gear inspections. I don't want my crafting abilities to be revealed by my gear being inspected. I won't mind if I can decline requests to inspect but I certainly don't want a free for all ability to inspect my gear.
  • BlancoBlanco Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    edited October 14
    Inspect available by default allowing to hide gear or pasive trees separatly.
  • Neurath wrote: »
    I liked Jeff and Steven's earlier ideas of no character inspections. I don't want my builds to be leaked. I don't want my items to be clarified by raid leaders. I don't want my gear to be seen by pvp foes. I don't want my gear to be the focus of my skills or progress. I don't want the crafter of my items to be betrayed by gear inspections. I don't want my crafting abilities to be revealed by my gear being inspected. I won't mind if I can decline requests to inspect but I certainly don't want a free for all ability to inspect my gear.

    I agree with your perspective but disagree with having no inspection. I suggest, you make it a toggle one, if someone likes to turn it on, then you can show off your gear to everyone, if not toggled on, then it will be hidden. Inspection of some cool geared guy in a random place to see what he is wearing is so fun. :D
  • Neurath wrote: »
    I liked Jeff and Steven's earlier ideas of no character inspections. I don't want my builds to be leaked. I don't want my items to be clarified by raid leaders. I don't want my gear to be seen by PVP foes. I don't want my gear to be the focus of my skills or progress. I don't want the crafter of my items to be betrayed by gear inspections. I don't want my crafting abilities to be revealed by my gear being inspected. I won't mind if I can decline requests to inspect but I certainly don't want a free for all ability to inspect my gear.

    I guess I never expected that inspecting COULD be avoided altogether. I would rather we have no inspections if possible. But I would also like to have a common-sense system for being able to share what gear you have with friends. Either sharing all your gear or even piece by piece.

    Thinking about it more, if crafting will actually add value to this game (unlike most/all current MMO's) then having an inspect menu with general info and the craftsperson would be nice.
  • MazterrooMazterroo Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    I think not having character inspection is a bad idea for an MMO, one of the best things about having awesome high level gear for me is that I worked really hard to earn it and that I then get to show it off, the stats on it are an important aspect of show that off. And on the other side when I see people that have really good gear I will approach them and talk about thier gear and ask them how they got it. It's a social part of the game and a chance to show off your hard work. In regards to the PVP thing I think it should be a simple toggle option or a "grant request" option when people try and inspect. Or you can toggle "inspection from friends only". Not an always this way or and only that why type thing.
  • NeurathNeurath Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    I guess I never expected that inspecting COULD be avoided altogether. I would rather we have no inspections if possible. But I would also like to have a common-sense system for being able to share what gear you have with friends. Either sharing all your gear or even piece by piece.

    Thinking about it more, if crafting will actually add value to this game (unlike most/all current MMO's) then having an inspect menu with general info and the craftsperson would be nice.

    The escrow system and the blueprints will provide the crafters with a platform. Crafted gear will be on par with the best gear (all being legendary), and, you should be able to opt out of blueprints and inspected if you are not willing to let metas form and secrets to escape. I would also hate to have the opt in or acceptance of inspection requests like the duel requests in BDO - People can sneak up and force a duel when you are selling items at an NPC. I do not want to accidentally accept an inspection during markets or fights.
  • snakzsnakz Member
    Coming from a PvPer perspective I'd very much appreciate for full gear and build inspection to just be always on. On top of that it would be amazing that, when you are killed by a player, their gear/build inspection window would come up.

    There is no worse feeling than dying to someone and not being able to understand why is it that your fireball is doing absolutely no damage to an opponent or why they just crit you for over 9000 damage.
  • I'd go with request to inspect, but have it only show what gear you have, have options to only show gear or show both gear and talent points/ religion/ augements
  • Sorry, I do not know how this game works or will work so some of my ideas may not make sense. But I think it could be fun if inspecting a character was skill and proximity-based.
    I could look at someone from afar and get a general idea they have plate armor and a short sword with a wooden shield. If I were to move closer maybe more details of that would be revealed, and smaller items like rings or something would become known to me as well. If there is a perception type stat, make that increase the range and detail of what we see when we're checking them out.

    I actually REALLY like this answer. Seems to make the most sense from a RP/realism sense.

    Not everyone will be able to inspect gear if you base it off a stat. So you’ll have dedicated weapons/armor experts or even scout/recon type players who can provide info to leaders and commanders in fights.

    Think about Legolas at Helm’s Deep: “Their armor is weak at the neck, and below the arms.” Not everyone could do that. Only an Elf with enhanced sight and senses.

    Imagine the possibilities.
  • George BlackGeorge Black Member, Intrepid Pack
    Not a fan. Why reveal what your build is?
    Also, it could be used to prevent players from joining a group, despite how able the player might be.
  • ankhankh Member, Founder
    edited October 14
    snakz wrote: »
    Coming from a PvPer perspective I'd very much appreciate for full gear and build inspection to just be always on. On top of that it would be amazing that, when you are killed by a player, their gear/build inspection window would come up.

    There is no worse feeling than dying to someone and not being able to understand why is it that your fireball is doing absolutely no damage to an opponent or why they just crit you for over 9000 damage.

    I'm definitely in the "toggle" camp, but it would be pretty awesome to have a sort of card popup on being killed by a player. What it shows could be up for debate, but knowing whether you had a chance in the first place (or getting the name of the jerk who just ganked you) would be pretty fantastic. Maybe just the highest couple stats and the specific skill that killed you? That would leave some mystery but give a bit of useful information to extrapolate from.

    Edit: It would also be interesting to combine this idea with the "investigation" stat @TomTrustworthy mentioned. Whether the card pops up and how much info it divulges, for example.
    “Most persons are so absorbed in the contemplation of the outside world that they are wholly oblivious to what is passing on within themselves.” ― Nikola Tesla
  • NeurathNeurath Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    ankh wrote: »
    I'm definitely in the "toggle" camp, but it would be pretty awesome to have a sort of card popup on being killed by a player. What it shows could be up for debate, but knowing whether you had a chance in the first place (or getting the name of the jerk who just ganked you) would be pretty fantastic. Maybe just the highest couple stats and the specific skill that killed you? That would leave some mystery but give a bit of useful information to extrapolate from

    The game is not a FPS Shooter with a kill cam thank the sandal god.
  • I like the toggle idea or request permission idea. We put too much emphasis on gear score for PvE content but it also nice when people ask for help to be able to see what is going on. For PvP I don't often share my builds outside my Clan/Guild/Company/Outfit - pick a PA title as that is tipping my hand.

    It should be in-game as an option to share. imo.
  • ZythtyzZythtyz Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Ideally, a person would be able to "inspect" the large armor pieces any player is wearing, i.e., Chest piece, legs, helmet, gloves, you know, the easily visibly items! All of this would be visible to any player that wishes to view these details. For the smaller items, such as rings, trinkets, neck pieces, (potentially sheathed weapons?), waist piece, you have to request to view from the player.
    Reasoning: In everyday, you can plainly see certain articles people/players are wearing, but to see personal items you would have to get permission (FOR IT TO BE LEGAL) prior to inspecting them.
    Implications: You could then tell the general armor type of a player with just a glance, and get a hint of their playstyle, but no outright tell. Players wishing to share their builds could still do so, but it still provides that edge in PvP or even PvE when comparing performance to other groups.
  • Lots of good thoughts in this thread. I stand with the position of implementing character inspection, but behind a request/accept/reject feature with the option to toggle "always accept" or "always reject" to take the annoyance away from those who don't care, but also to prevent abuse through causing a request window/prompt to come up, potentially distracting a player you're about to backstab.

    If there is no inspection system, players will be forced to create a profile on a third party site for cutting-edge groups to confirm minimum gear or achievement requirements.

    I certainly understand the wariness by some, for fear that a gear-score like mindset may infect the playerbase. This is not desirable, but if inspection can be implemented in a manner that strongly discourages or prevents this, I fully support it. I would not support the conditions that bring about constant and strict gear requirements in regular groups where it is not necessary.
  • Happymeal2415Happymeal2415 Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    I liked whoevers idea it was to have it proximity based. However if that cant happen then id prefer no inspection.
  • NoaaniNoaani Member, Intrepid Pack
    I think inspection should be proximity based, and the player being inspected should get a notification.

    That way, if you are against someone inspecting you, you can just kill them.

    This gives people the ability to inspect those they really want to inspect (which should be a given, imo), but means these with something to hide from random people have a means of doing so - that means just has a cost associated with it.
  • NeurathNeurath Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    What a nice way to turn someone corrupt. I shouldn't have to kill someone for an uninvited snoop on my gear. If I am killing someone in reaction the damage has already been done because information is power. Player agency is difficult to balance but privacy options should also be present.
  • I guess it's a personal preference. If you don’t want people knowing what you have then turn it off. I personally have always found it useful to be able to inspect what other people are wearing to compare my gear to make sure I was up to par; or, if I really liked the way their character looked, I’d check them out to see what it was. Depends on how you feel about it, if you spent hours grooming your character for the best gear or looks and you want to show it off you could either allow them to replicate it easily or make them work for it.

    One downside of it is that if a person's gear isn’t up to par, groups might use that as a reason to remove them from their PVE group content because they aren't "good enough". But for PVP situations, the option should be allowed for others to inspect gear.
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  • The thought of making your gear "private" has never once occurred to me, in any previous game.

    *IF* we get a "private" mode implemented, we should still be able to inspect a player to see what their appearance gear is; I want to know what to look for/to look up, when trying to put together appearance suits.

    Otherwise, 'no' for at least PvP settings, like areans and while engaged in owPvP.




  • NeurathNeurath Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    edited October 14
    The thought of making your gear "private" has never once occurred to me, in any previous game.

    *IF* we get a "private" mode implemented, we should still be able to inspect a player to see what their appearance gear is; I want to know what to look for/to look up, when trying to put together appearance suits.

    Otherwise, 'no' for at least PvP settings, like areans and while engaged in owPvP.

    It won't matter if you see a cosmetic and inspect it, you can't get them again once the fomo hits. We will have armour buffs as indicators in pvp which is not my preferred playstyle either. You could argue inspection will be useful for transmogs and normal armour but the top militaries in the world don't understand each others weaponry unless that weaponry is captured and reverse engineered.

    Sometimes I wonder what the point of theory crafting is when I could just let someone else theory craft and just copy them. I don't like the idea of putting 100% in and having it all on view. I thought the stance was no inspections and I'm not sure how the topic has come about.
  • NiKrNiKr Member
    edited October 14
    Considering that transmog exists, I'd like for everyone to be able to inspect gear. Back in my day we just saw gear and knew if the person was strong or not. Transmog shouldn't stand in the way of that, it should only be a cosmetic thing.

    Obviously some assholes will be judging others by their gear, but that would've happened either way just because they're assholes. But I want to know how strong my enemy is so I can judge whether I want to fight them or not. Transmog took that ability from us, so at least let us have this.

    Also, I'd love for the gear set (or score or whatever) icon to be easy to read at a glance once I target a player. Pvp judgement usually happens in splitseconds and by just sightreading the enemy, but with transmogs I want to be able to see how powerful the person is as soon as I click on them. Ideally make the icon color-coded (green - weaker, yellow - same power, red - spoopy boi) and let us set those colors and the icon's size in the UI. Imo that would be the perfect gear indicator for Ashes.
  • Gear inspection should definitely be a toggle option. Some players love to show off their goodies they worked hard for, or their kickstarter supporter outfit, whatever it may be. Some other types of players, in my experience the more hardcore ones, like to hide their gear so that other players cannot chose an open world fight based entirely on gear alone.
    It would bring that surprise factor, instead of choosing a fight because you inspected this guys gear and he is too powerful, or his build is better than yours, whatever, you would have to commit to the fight first before making that realization.
  • botbot Member
    I don't see any reason why gear should ever be private. It allows people to get an idea of what type of gear to aim for, what their opponent has so they can better understand the difference in their characters powers, and even for aesthetic reasons if you see an armor piece or something you think looks cool. The only argument I see for private gear is if you have a unique build you want to keep private.
  • I have to say that back in the old days of vanilla WoW I loved being able to inspect players and see what cool gear they had and what enchantments they were using. That was before transmog though and back then you were never inspecting an enemy (unless you were dueling, but that holds no consequence). I personally like having it on and if given the option would just leave it on as default, but I understand those that don't want to be inspected. I don't like the idea of a request system and having to be prompted to allow or disallow or feel like I'm bothering the person just to inspect their gear. I'd much rather a toggle on/off system, it's much simpler and cleaner and I think people can probably know well enough whether they'd rather have that turned on or off. I just don't see the need to be able to specify select individuals to be allowed/refused to inspect your gear.
    On a side note, I am incredibly hyped for this game and appreciate the way it's being developed, and the transparency throughout. I hope to be exploring Verra with you all soon :)
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