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Dev Discussion #40 - Enemy Indicators

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  • NoaaniNoaani Member, Intrepid Pack
    Noaani wrote: »
    When answering this question, I don't think you should worry about it's application.

    You and I have both used the "the community as a whole said this" argument on these forums.

    If the community as a whole aren't considering how what they say will be applied specifically to Ashes, what does it matter what the community as a whole - or any individual within it - says?

    In this case, the designers are the ones who have considered how to apply it to the game. After considering the different approaches and how they could apply them, they have asked us which option we like. I picked the option i prefer.

    Oh, that isn't what these things here are about. Our answers here have no real impact on the games design - they just exist as a means of engagement.

    The only time one of these threads will have a direct impact on the game is if Steven is involved.

    From what I gather in discussing this with you, your primary concern is a clean looking game - an uncluttered UI. Would you say this is accurate?
  • GizmowGizmow Member
    Indicators as a whole, by default, should not be visible until clicking onto the target you wish to check.

    AoC seems like it will be the type of MMO that will have PLENTY of content to consume time, especially with the option to play multiple characters and all the in depth profession and crafting systems. I don't like the idea of having an overly simplified indicator system that gives me no information and causes me to be making a corpse run every 15 minutes. I want to be spending time playing the game, not dying to the game.

    In regards to player on player indicators, I don't think there should be any. If you want to attack a player, do it at your own risk.

    -If you had indicators in regards to player strength then stronger players would want to only attack weaker players because it would be safer. I understand there are systems in place to mitigate and prevent this, but people will still do it, because it is safe and profitable.

    -Another option could be a karma system (understanding the idea of karma systems is usually not popular) but if you have good karma (as in you don't attack a lot of players) then you see more information, as sort of a "trust" system. This could still be abused by having bad players make friends with good players to scout victims.

    -I thought about allowing inspecting of other players only inside of safe areas. I think this would lead to hunters using said areas to scout prey and then follow them out into the wilderness, or there would be a scout in the camp/city and they would relay information to ambushers outside the safe area about victims headed their way.

    -The safest and most logical option I can think of is having a 2 color system. 1 color could mean they are less than or greater than 3 levels outside of your range. Another color would mean they are 3 levels within your range. Now whether they are 3 levels lower or higher is your risk to take. Still I prefer no indicators, but I can understand there needs to be something to promote pvp in a pvp game.

    In regards to NPC's, I like the old school system. Mobs should always give loot.
    -Gray: too low and no xp.
    -Green: weak and minimal xp.
    -Blue: equal level or +/-1 level, gives xp.
    -Yellow: difficult enemy, gives xp.
    -Orange: challenging enemy, gives bonus xp.
    -Red: deadly threat, gives bonus xp.
    -Skull: zone, camp, or area boss.
    -Whatever other icon: rare spawn.
    -Another icon: World Boss

    This color coding system I should be customizable so that color blind people can set their own color options/indications.

    Whatever the icons are, they could surround the portrait, be an indicator before or after their name or status bar, or even above or below it. I have always like the customizable option of enabling or disabling status/health/name bars. Some people like to play with and some like without.

    Thus far, I have seen AoC add a creative spin or unique aspect to whatever systems are utilized or incorporated. Even with the submission of ideas, I think the worse thing AoC can do is replicate an over popularized system. I know this whole wonderful world is being created to reinfuse love back into the MMO community and attract new people. Using something that is safe and popular could remove some of that unique feeling, BUT worse than that would be creating a completely new system that could fail and people end up disliking. A new system that people love and feels natural and balanced would be very AoC.
  • SirReBusSirReBus Member
    Punch it and find out Coward
  • MoonlupMoonlup Member
    edited April 1
    The less the better.

    I agree that colours can be used to display the enemies lvl in comparison to the player. I dislike obstruction. I want to appreciate the model and animations of the enemies rather than just watching bars move around and names overlapping.

    Especially when pulling a pack of mobs. The environment, pc and enemies are impossible to see because i'm just watching red health bars fight for my attention - then big attacks and telegraphs get involved ontop of that.
  • ThulfThulf Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    edited April 1
    If we're talking AI, then when I target such an enemy, all I'd like to see is its level and % health bar. In an ideal world, everything should be indicated by visual cues and not the artificial ones.

    Artificial cues = less immersion. Visual cues = more immersion.

    However, replacing the health bar with visible damage on the enemy would be too much work, so the health bar is probably an inevitable artificial cue. Also, since "levels" are a thing to gauge overall power, replacing that would also be too much work, so it's another inevitable artificial cue. The hard way would be to make the AI power level logical. A mouse is weaker than a bigger mouse which is weaker than a rat which is weaker than a bigger rat which is weaker than... Creating a logical hierarchy. As you can see, possible, but way too much work. And it's like that with EVERYTHING.

    My hope is to have as much visual indication as possible.

    What would break my immersion would be the ability to kill a freaking dragon with ease, but when facing a little mouse I'd die in one hit because it's got a skull icon. That shit just doesn't fly with me. It would have to somehow make sense - like a crap ton of glowing crystals in a cave and the mouse deformed by it with a few crystals sticking out of it, a clear visual indication that this mouse, albeit small, is trouble. Not just a "skull icon" woo-waa scary mouse able to 1-hit you unless you form a raid. Why? Because. Oh...


    Ultimately though - hardcore no indicators at all.

    I'd want to fear the world I inhabit and then feel fulfilled when overcoming it. More memorable experience. More connected to the game world and my surroundings through exploration. Not just some willy-nilly haha happy go lucky me...


    When talking about targeting players, level and % health bar, too. There is no visual replacement to these because of "skins" and even if there were no illogical skins it would be too much work again. Inevitable artificial cues.
  • mcstackersonmcstackerson Member, Phoenix Initiative, Royalty, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    Noaani wrote: »
    Noaani wrote: »
    When answering this question, I don't think you should worry about it's application.

    You and I have both used the "the community as a whole said this" argument on these forums.

    If the community as a whole aren't considering how what they say will be applied specifically to Ashes, what does it matter what the community as a whole - or any individual within it - says?

    In this case, the designers are the ones who have considered how to apply it to the game. After considering the different approaches and how they could apply them, they have asked us which option we like. I picked the option i prefer.

    Oh, that isn't what these things here are about. Our answers here have no real impact on the games design - they just exist as a means of engagement.

    The only time one of these threads will have a direct impact on the game is if Steven is involved.

    From what I gather in discussing this with you, your primary concern is a clean looking game - an uncluttered UI. Would you say this is accurate?

    A minimal UI is part of it but I think a bigger part is a preference for the UI to playing less of a role in the game, especially when it comes to exploration and combat. More looking at in-game visuals then the UI.
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  • LinikerLiniker Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Less is more. TTRPG, less work for you, more immersion/challenges for us.
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  • BakalulaBakalula Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Personally i like Old school but a option where you can switch between these three would be rly nice so you satisfy all.
  • Idhalar AlBaieshIdhalar AlBaiesh Member, Settler, Kickstarter
    I think knowledge should reign supreme in any mmo and that the feeling of discovering new things as you play is unbeatable.

    If your character never faced a creature or gained intelligence from it by another means the game should show you nothing about it. Unlock the details as you experience them first hand and maybe even give some small mechanical bonuses for having them. It would probably be very interesting for most of the players and give the completionists a lot to do filling their Verran pokedex.

    I'd also go the same way with the life bar of the mobs. Don't show them, give clues with changes in the appearance and behavior of the mob.
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  • NoaaniNoaani Member, Intrepid Pack
    A minimal UI is part of it but I think a bigger part is a preference for the UI to playing less of a role in the game, especially when it comes to exploration and combat. More looking at in-game visuals then the UI.
    From previous discussions, I seem to remember you being somewhat keen on the notion of people being able to play the game in their own way.

    In this thread, you also seem somewhat keen on the idea of the information on a mob being made available to players, just via in game means and not UI.

    Now, since the system in question is about information and not necessarily about the UI, since you are fine with players have that information and since you are not one to want to tell others that they have to play the game the way you want to, it would seem to me (and correct me if I am wrong) that your actual preference here is that you don't care too much about what system is used, as long as the information is displayed in game as well as in the UI, and players that want a minimal UI are able to turn that aspect of the UI off and rely on the in game representation.

    Would that not be more accurate as a representation of your position?
  • ELRYNOELRYNO Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    I also would like to see a Dynamic / Hybrid system where indicators are unlocked through a beastiary, whether that be killing, taming or interaction with monsters that you've not come across before requiring you to take a little more caution when engaging or talking to other players to get information, community driven and all that! I also think that visual indications with clearly distinct armour / size differences between higher level mobs and lower level mobs in combination.

    Failing the above, I've played WoW for so many years now that a good old portrait banner suffices for the old age of MMO but we all know AOC is going to be a cut above.
  • Mike McQueenMike McQueen Member, Royalty, Kickstarter
    edited April 1
    I’d probably lean towards hardcore, but I don’t really care as long as name plates/health bars are hidden until targeted. I know in A1 the names were floating over the creatures heads and it broke immersion and made them easy to avoid. On a side note please make it easier for mobs to dismount/engage you to keep people using roadways vs. cutting through the wilderness with no reprecussions.
  • I like the idea of indicating Rare and Elite Status Visually, and I wouldn't mind an Auditory indicator, like rumbling or an intense drum battery, which could play into an exploratory adventure experience, like you aggro a rare elite and suddenly battle music plays or a rumbling occurs to signal a Moment.
  • SynkilSynkil Member
    Nerror wrote: »
    I would like a dynamic system.

    Start off with your character not knowing anything. Hard Core No Indicators style. The more you kill of that species of monster (I assume we are talking PvE only with the way the questions are worded), the more granular and detailed the shown information gets, including even specific strengths and weaknesses on mouse-over at the highest levels of knowledge.

    I am hoping we'll get a sort of bestiary in the game, where people can fill it out by interacting with all the creatures in Verra in some form. It doesn't always have to be from killing them.

    I know you write "enemy", which could include players, but I would prefer you differentiate the systems between enemy players and enemy NPCs.

    The only thing I disagree here is having more information on mouse-over. Level, HP and maybe Element are okay, but additional info only in the bestiary.
  • fabulafabula Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    If the game is going to have death penalties then an indicator is required. What is the point of having people die to an unknown mob to figure out if its solo, group or raid content?. The only outcome is that people will avoid encounters they could have done just because they didn't want to take the risk.

    This information will eventually be known so instead of just having an indicator you are requiring your players to either ask in chat or have a beastiary website open.



  • Happymeal2415Happymeal2415 Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    fabula wrote: »
    because they didn't want to take the risk.

    I mean a pillar of the game design is risk vs reward. If people do not want to risk stuff they cant expect to do much in this game.
  • NoaaniNoaani Member, Intrepid Pack
    fabula wrote: »
    because they didn't want to take the risk.

    I mean a pillar of the game design is risk vs reward. If people do not want to risk stuff they cant expect to do much in this game.

    Part of risk vs reward is understanding the risk you are putting yourself up for.

    If you don't know what the risk is, it isn't risk vs reward, it's roll-the-dice vs reward.
  • fubyodofubyodo Member
    No indicators, no need for easy reading on threat in the battle, that's why you should always observe your target's behavior to learn what you are getting into. If people are just charging in, face tanking everything, then it's just their fault for not respecting the world and the possible apex threats that lives in it.
  • Happymeal2415Happymeal2415 Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    edited April 2
    Noaani wrote: »
    fabula wrote: »
    because they didn't want to take the risk.

    I mean a pillar of the game design is risk vs reward. If people do not want to risk stuff they cant expect to do much in this game.

    Part of risk vs reward is understanding the risk you are putting yourself up for.

    If you don't know what the risk is, it isn't risk vs reward, it's roll-the-dice vs reward.

    I mean it's not dice roll either. You know your own stats. Your own gear. Your own capability as a player and whatever previous experience you have from the game. Then you try and solve the puzzle that is currently in front of you.
  • NoaaniNoaani Member, Intrepid Pack
    Noaani wrote: »
    fabula wrote: »
    because they didn't want to take the risk.

    I mean a pillar of the game design is risk vs reward. If people do not want to risk stuff they cant expect to do much in this game.

    Part of risk vs reward is understanding the risk you are putting yourself up for.

    If you don't know what the risk is, it isn't risk vs reward, it's roll-the-dice vs reward.

    I mean it's not dice roll either. You know your own stats. Your own gear. Your own capability as a player and whatever previous experience you have from the game. Then you try and solve the puzzle that is currently in front of you.

    Yeah, but if that puzzle is "is the mob in front of me level 10 or level 50", and you do not have information on it at all (that information is what this topic is about - you say you don't want players having it at all), then what even is this puzzle you speak of?
  • AmmaAmma Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Beeing able to decide in the game options which one of these you want may be the best but if i have to choose then it would be:
    Intended Audience Style: You see the level of the enemy, color indicators, and intended audience indicators for solo players, parties, or raids - stars, triangles, borders, skulls, etc.

    As an old wow player i like to see through some colors of the lifebar or special signs around the lifebar if the enemy is strong or weak in comparison to me. Why? Getting onehitted by an elite that you found somewhere at the beginning of the game and not even knowing what happened could kill a lot of the fun for some new players. For the others it is always interesting to know that i just entered a very deadly grouparea with lots of elites, and that i maybe should turn around. Thats about the NPCs and monsters.

    When seeing and fighting other players then the most important information for me was always the (class)archetype. The best way for me to display that is the color of the archetype, because thats the most important information when you have to decide how you attack and who do you attack in a big war with dozens of players in front of you.
    The level of other players gets unimportant after you reach max level, thats why this is not such a important thing for me to see.
  • NeurathNeurath Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    edited April 2
    It boggles my mind everyone is fine with indicators for players but don't want indicators for mobs.

    In my mind, I would love less indicators - namely, the ability to hide equipment with costumes rather than having the indication of what is beneath.

    Of course, I imagine old school does not cover this facet. Though, my choice is old school either way.

    Edit: Spelling mistakes.
  • truelytruely Member, Alpha One
    I like lots of information but conveyed in a subtle way as to not overly take away from immersion. Colours, small symbols etc
  • ObamanizerObamanizer Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Can't stress enough that enemy or friendly nameplates NEED to be like New World and only show up when you are directly looking at them. This IS subconsciously what Steven seems to actually want as he's always disabling UI in videos and talking about the silhouette of races being how you tell what they are at a distance.... without a directional nameplate system, you don't have any of that. No immersion into the world no matter how detailed and no sense of fear at who may be lurking behind a tree or hill.
  • From my perspective, the less "UI" indicators the better.

    If an enemy is intended for a larger group, it should be obvious from looking at it that it's threatening.

    You should be able to discern "elites" and bosses from regular enemies. I personally like when it's done through visual cues like auras, musical variations when in proximity, the big health bar that pops up with the boss name, or whatever.

    The most important part to me is that whatever text information (like level, name, etc...) associated with the enemy is only displayed on selection by default (Except for the big bosses). I do not like having nameplates on enemies.
  • EmberstoneEmberstone Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Though a TTRPG system sounds fun on paper to me, i'm pretty sure a lot of (casual) people will be put off when they get smacked around by an enemy that appeared weak but hits like a truck. Frustrated to figure out what they can and can not do and quit. And in the end, gamers do what gamers do. A third party site will be erected that displays all the enemies and their rough strength/level, negating the feature.

    A old school system would take my preference and probably be a better fit too.
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  • PercimesPercimes Member
    I'm more interested to know how aggressive a mob is toward me than its relative strength. If this can be achieved with a different animation or another visual cue all the better, but an icon or text could server as a basic notification. An indicator of if I've been noticed and what the mobs feel about this, sort of.

    If intelligent mobs could lie about their intents it would be fine, too. Bandits acting innocent until you're really close and then make their true motives known.
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  • DygzDygz Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    edited April 2
    I mean - as a Ranger or Rogue or Bard - no need to worry about aggression.

    There tend to be threat indicators out in the wild. Often, color-coded threat indicators.
  • I'm on the side of the more options the player has the better.

    Default: displayed level of enemy and some indication of an enemy being "elite" or intended for group play. Could be a colored dragon around nameplate or named enemy / named + titled enemies being that indicator.

    Option1: TTRPC mode to toggle all of that off.
    Option2: TTRPC mode when not in group.

    No need to color code level imo. If I'm level 10 and see a level 13 I already know to be careful, but I can probably take him. However if I see a level 30 I know to turn tail and run. That 30 being a different color, especially something as simple as green, white, yellow, red doesn't tell me anything I didn't already know.

    To your "intended audience" thing. I would be careful on the wording and implementation of this. Personally I don't want you to tell me who the intended audience is just some warning that this one mob is more difficult than the others around them.
  • A subtle indication, using lighting or a shimmer. Have to be looking and in the right light conditions to see
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