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Splinter Topic: Is 20-30 Active Skills Enough?

AzheraeAzherae Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
edited November 19 in General Discussion
A convergence of multiple factors in understanding of Ashes inspiration (thank you @JamesSunderland, for the answer in the topic that I am 'splintering' this from) has made me wonder if this is enough for players to feel like they are playing a proper MMO.

Steven has said that they will probably have about 30-45 possible skills in total, and at least two Hotbars. I will assume that in a game of ArcheAge's speed, you needed to be able to hit any of these quite quickly with mechanical skill, whereas L2 might be less like this.

Action or Action-y MMOs can feel like they have less of these skills due to many of them being tied to things that are only needed in Action-y games, but in many ways, they do not. Slower Tab Targety games can have lots more, but you often don't use them all, and Steven has also said that they want to avoid that ability bloat of 'stuff you just level out of using and never touch again but is still in your ability list'.

Then there's things like the control schema that limits things. The 12-20-button MMO mouse + Keyboard setup works fine for some, and for others its cumbersome, controllers work equivalently for those used to them, and are equally if not more cumbersome to others.

But in both cases, keybind overlap limits the mechanically less skilled, so I can see why they would go lower on this.

Unfortunately the CURRENT direction seems to imply that Ashes is fast. And has two hotbars. And it's made me wonder if, when people complain or criticize the concept of an MMO that is also built to work on console, for example, which is also likely to have such limitations unless it's slower...

Which aspect of it are they complaining about? I can only perceive the difference between console and PC MMOs to be 'console is supposed to be played on Controller', but I feel like I'm missing something maybe, because once a game adds a reticle (or just uses FFXI's 'target entity closest to center of screen if untargeted' default) I no longer know what the difference is, due to my own bias in experiences, given below:
  • Elite Dangerous is basically unchanged for controller play, one of the only games where I actually nearly run out of possible controller keybinds due to the movement mechanics
  • Final Fantasy XI (Playstation 2 on release, for those who don't know) is slow enough that they've just used the trigger buttons as 'Macro/Hotbar modifiers' for 20 years and just kept increasing the Macros you got instead. Basically 'make your own hotbars'.
  • BDO doesn't use all its sane keybinds, far less 'possible' ones, and like most modern action games has a separate 'Ring Menu' system for stuff that you wouldn't need to activate often.
  • Neverwinter uses the standard schema and then goes even further than that, so I actually have a better time with it than BDO.

Note that this isn't really a question about Controllers, vs Multi-button mouse, vs whatever else, so I'll try to dial it down:

I can see how Lineage doesn't work because Click-to-Move. What I'm missing is the information on what makes things like Neverwinter, ESO, etc, lower in complexity than Ashes is intended to be, or if it is the opposite and people are really concerned that Ashes will not live up to a standard of play they are used to because it has this lower number of active abilities.

And as usual, 'bonus' poke for Intrepid, y'all got Neverwinter combat people, right? Can I get the usual schema if we're only getting the 'standard' ability amounts? Much love.

EDIT: To clarify, when I say 'Neverwinter goes further than that' I mean on trimming down and simplifying relative to BDO or Ashes, not that they utilize more/better keybinds, if anything they're on the 'oversimplified' part of the spectrum.
Sorry, my native language is Erlang.
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Comments

  • NiKrNiKr Member
    Imo L2 could go faster than action games with its ability spam (and quantity) exactly because it was click-to-move. While quite a few classes mainly used 5-7 abilities (if that) just because they were "enough" to kill others, the variety of tools and damaging skills was quite high, especially in later updates.

    I used ~20 abilities in 80% of my fights, with ~10 more additional ones when needed. Cast speeds were high so you could shoot out 2-3 abilities a second.

    I'd imagine that action games have to go a bit lower purely because you gotta have at least 2 fingers on the directional buttons. And I'm sure that BDO can go higher exactly because it uses those directional buttons in its abilities.

    Considering that Ashes doesn't seem to go down the "a direction + a button = a move" path, I personally think that ~20 active abilities, or at least bar slots, would be just enough. And it'd let the game get more complex with time, if Intrepid decide to take it there.
  • AzheraeAzherae Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    NiKr wrote: »
    Imo L2 could go faster than action games with its ability spam (and quantity) exactly because it was click-to-move. While quite a few classes mainly used 5-7 abilities (if that) just because they were "enough" to kill others, the variety of tools and damaging skills was quite high, especially in later updates.

    I used ~20 abilities in 80% of my fights, with ~10 more additional ones when needed. Cast speeds were high so you could shoot out 2-3 abilities a second.

    I'd imagine that action games have to go a bit lower purely because you gotta have at least 2 fingers on the directional buttons. And I'm sure that BDO can go higher exactly because it uses those directional buttons in its abilities.

    Considering that Ashes doesn't seem to go down the "a direction + a button = a move" path, I personally think that ~20 active abilities, or at least bar slots, would be just enough. And it'd let the game get more complex with time, if Intrepid decide to take it there.

    Short version, no. For controller users this is how this works:

    At least 2 shoulder buttons are 'dead buttons', and often the other two are also 'dead' in a specific way (Action-y games have additional trickery they can do with anything used to block or trigger a high speed movement)

    Each of these buttons is then available to be a modifier for the face buttons functions, giving you 16. This is before you even start adding directions or requiring people to be able to hit the laterals (A+B on XBox controllers, for example)

    Two of these can easily combine with the two on the other side in many games. Now you've got 20. The problem with no controller support is that they don't make enough ways to access SLOWER functions like the map or similar through 'Ring menus' or 'DPad modifications', and often force players to accept 'pressing X by itself is a way to access a menu or game function.

    (I'm trying not to have this topic turn into 'nuh uh, controllers work fine/better!', but your third paragraph's point basically is moreso saying that it's (standard)Mouse and Keyboard that is holding back Action Games, not consoles/controllers, would that be fair to say?)
    Sorry, my native language is Erlang.
    
  • NiKrNiKr Member
    Azherae wrote: »
    (I'm trying not to have this topic turn into 'nuh uh, controllers work fine/better!', but your third paragraph's point basically is moreso saying that it's (standard)Mouse and Keyboard that is holding back Action Games, not consoles/controllers, would that be fair to say?)
    Yeah, I'd imagine that controllers let you do more stuff more easily, especially when you go the BDO way. Though I'm not sure how many people can go for hours and hours of playing a high intensity "press several buttons at the same time and keep doing it at super high speeds w/o stopping" gameplay.

    I'm sure there's quite a few who can w/o a problem, but from what I've heard/seen from console players, the whole point of playing on a console is to just chill on a couch and not be a super sweaty player. And even when you are super sweaty, it's usually more about the intensity of the game itself rather than mechanical actions that the player has to do for prolonged periods of time.

    Like I said, I used ~20 abilities in most fights. That's "1 to +" buttons and F1-F12 ones (not all used, but just the scheme) and I had the Num buttons as the optionals. And I was mashing space all the time in pvp because it was bound to a quick pot. How many people, do you think, would be willing to dance around their controller to do the same? And how many would be even physically able to. Well, again, in the context of non-BDO ability design. BDO was definitely kinda genius with their combat design, even if they didn't do all too well with all the other parts of the game.
  • bloodprophetbloodprophet Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    Interesting topic.
    When I was still playing Rift I had three bars of skills on the bottom. A lot of them I used regularly several were just o shit buttons for one off things or potion/item abilities.
    20-30 skills seems about right before adding in consumables and item abilities.

    Never tried playing with a controller. Is it standard practice to add the other menus(maps ect) in a ring forcing players to scroll through them?
    Most people never listen. They are just waiting on you to quit making noise so they can.
  • AzheraeAzherae Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    NiKr wrote: »
    Azherae wrote: »
    (I'm trying not to have this topic turn into 'nuh uh, controllers work fine/better!', but your third paragraph's point basically is moreso saying that it's (standard)Mouse and Keyboard that is holding back Action Games, not consoles/controllers, would that be fair to say?)
    Yeah, I'd imagine that controllers let you do more stuff more easily, especially when you go the BDO way. Though I'm not sure how many people can go for hours and hours of playing a high intensity "press several buttons at the same time and keep doing it at super high speeds w/o stopping" gameplay.

    I'm sure there's quite a few who can w/o a problem, but from what I've heard/seen from console players, the whole point of playing on a console is to just chill on a couch and not be a super sweaty player. And even when you are super sweaty, it's usually more about the intensity of the game itself rather than mechanical actions that the player has to do for prolonged periods of time.

    Like I said, I used ~20 abilities in most fights. That's "1 to +" buttons and F1-F12 ones (not all used, but just the scheme) and I had the Num buttons as the optionals. And I was mashing space all the time in pvp because it was bound to a quick pot. How many people, do you think, would be willing to dance around their controller to do the same? And how many would be even physically able to. Well, again, in the context of non-BDO ability design. BDO was definitely kinda genius with their combat design, even if they didn't do all too well with all the other parts of the game.

    This line of discussion would cause us to get into the weeds on this topic, in a way that might not be productive for general discussion flow.

    Controller schemas are very complicated to perfect since the point of doing them well is that the player literally forgets what their own keybinds are, it's THAT intuitive after a short time on a good schema. However, I don't want to explain a whole one for a game you don't play/immediately understand, and unfortunately that includes Ashes itself.

    For now, if you don't mind, trust that you'll get answers from me talking with others. I don't really want to address the divisive aspects of this topic such as 'player skill' or 'willingness to use controllers' except as specifics relative to games that they enjoy, because then we can ask those players directly.
    Sorry, my native language is Erlang.
    
  • AzheraeAzherae Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    edited November 19
    Interesting topic.
    When I was still playing Rift I had three bars of skills on the bottom. A lot of them I used regularly several were just o shit buttons for one off things or potion/item abilities.
    20-30 skills seems about right before adding in consumables and item abilities.

    Never tried playing with a controller. Is it standard practice to add the other menus(maps ect) in a ring forcing players to scroll through them?

    I believe it is fair to say that 'standard practice' is pretty close to that. There's a whole 'language' of controller stuff that you can just copy outright from nearly any game that does it. Here's the basics of it across most games of this type, to the point where I have effectively the same keybinds for Onigiri, Neverwinter (when it lets me), Monster Hunter, and a few more.

    Things you need only in downtimes don't have VERY quick access options, they are in a menu.

    Things you need consistently on longer cooldowns but not 'I need this and I need to be able to input the command for using it in less than 10 frames' go in 'Ring menus', which are accessed by holding a Shoulder button and flicking the Right Analog stick in one of approximately 8 directions.

    Most games will let you set anything you want to any position in those menus so you can customize. BDO takes advantage of this even for skills (which works okay if you know what you're doing but isn't optimal, they are in the process of moving some from that setup to the buttons for a few classes).

    Anything that 'almost certainly doesn't involve your character moving while you do it' goes on DPad so you can just take hand off Left Analog Stick and tap it. Usually these are also customizable so that different 'classes' with different needs can bind them however they like.

    Some games use additional Ring Menus (BDO has EIGHT, for reference... not a fan exactly, but all fully customized so I use them for menu shortcuts)

    I hope that clarifies without going too much into detail. 30 skills is getting rough for some but as noted, FFXI does the 'opposite'. It uses 'hold Alt to bring up a menu with 10 abilities and then hit a number'. Controller players get 'hold L2/LT to bring up a menu and use DPad to move to the option you want and confirm' which is old design but works well enough for a slow Tab Targeted game. It COULD add more options by using L1/LB and R1/RB but they went with just 'hey while you are holding the button press Down on pad to go down to a separate hotbar'. Only works in a slow game, I think, and limits you to 20 rather than 30 otherwise.

    @NiKr some of your answer is contained in here. Monster Hunter requires all this and you have to do it at 'Action Game' speed, yes. However, half the people who bought that game didn't beat the third monster until the expansion that encouraged skilled players to team up with them for a bonus. This is the 'shorthand' I use when discussing 'casuals' as a demographic because it's a very clear datapoint that I think I could still find references for.

    500,000 players are used to this and manage, 500,000 don't.

    EDIT: I didn't find the reference for the precise thing, but here's an article!
    Sorry, my native language is Erlang.
    
  • bloodprophetbloodprophet Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    Thank you.
    I don't want to derail the topic. But because I know you like data. I personally use a Belkin N52 game pad. I use it for everything from MMO's to Conan Exiles and Cyberpunk 2077. I have found that as long as I can rebind keys all is well. 20-30 skills works well between M+KB+controller for me.
    I do prefer many skills over to few.
    One of the concerns I have with games like GW2 is having to few skills. But the other side of that coin is having to choose 8 from the many you have access to to set off on your adventures and I can see the upside of choices having consequences.
    Most people never listen. They are just waiting on you to quit making noise so they can.
  • NerrorNerror Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    edited November 19
    Personally I prefer when the game limits the amount of active skills a player has access to at any given point in time. I am fine with having many skills to make a build from, but limited skill points to allocate into them. In A1 the active skills had 3 levels, meaning we could choose to either get all the active skills at lower levels, or fewer skills at max level.

    I would be ok with 10 max level skills or 30 lvl 1 skills, for example. But with the same points also being used for passive skills, I guess the limit would have to be done differently. Perhaps a different skill point pool for passive and active skills? I kind of prefer it being all one skill point pool though, for more variety in builds.

    Bottom line for me is, I tend to prefer fewer skills over many skills, and with more focus on using augments to differentiate them.
  • NiKrNiKr Member
    I think the number of skills is also more about what they represent than purely button availability. If the game's design lets you do whatever you need to do and gives you tools for it and all of that fits into 20-30 abilities - you wouldn't really need more.

    But if you have 60 learned abilities and several of them are very precise tools that you only need rarely so they are not really worthy enough of a slot on your active bar - then I'd just prefer the "several bars" design and afaik that is already the case in Ashes, so as long as we can switch through these bars really easily and quickly - there's no real problem with whatever control scheme they go for. Or at least I don't really see one.
  • akabearakabear Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    Perhaps not the quantity that matters but what they can do with them!
  • AzheraeAzherae Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    NiKr wrote: »
    I think the number of skills is also more about what they represent than purely button availability. If the game's design lets you do whatever you need to do and gives you tools for it and all of that fits into 20-30 abilities - you wouldn't really need more.

    But if you have 60 learned abilities and several of them are very precise tools that you only need rarely so they are not really worthy enough of a slot on your active bar - then I'd just prefer the "several bars" design and afaik that is already the case in Ashes, so as long as we can switch through these bars really easily and quickly - there's no real problem with whatever control scheme they go for. Or at least I don't really see one.

    True, but I definitely can see the concerns people would have over 'Ashes dumbing down the game to less abilities than they consider enough' (which ties back into other topic). On the other hand, Ashes has a meaningful reliance on Weapon Attacks for at least some Archetypes (I'd honestly expect all of them since probably Ranged Staves and Wands will be available among other things).

    It's actually a matter of ratios in all three of the control types I know (mouse and keyboard with standard mouse, mouse and keyboard with special mouse/things like this and controller). That factors in as well. If everything is used more or less evenly and mobility control is a high requirement, you're automatically limited or you end up like Elite, which would automatically make Action-y games limited.

    I know EXACTLY what my build in Ashes is IF we assume Convergent Design, already, and I already 'planned out how to map all my keybinds' assuming they have a good Menu/Ring Menu. I'm just waiting on Cleric showcase to update my priors.

    But I can also see some design directions that would make the keybinds frustrating or at least on the Elite Dangerous level (where I have to use things like 'hold Circle press left DPad' quite often). And in these, if the game is fast, you'd be limited no matter what system of control you use.

    Healers are particularly susceptible to this because we're reactive. Sometimes you need the 'really big sudden recovery effect that you only use once every 10 minutes' but when you need it, you need it RIGHT THEN.
    Sorry, my native language is Erlang.
    
  • NiKrNiKr Member
    Azherae wrote: »
    It's actually a matter of ratios in all three of the control types I know (mouse and keyboard with standard mouse, mouse and keyboard with special mouse/things like this and controller). That factors in as well. If everything is used more or less evenly and mobility control is a high requirement, you're automatically limited or you end up like Elite, which would automatically make Action-y games limited.
    I think Intrepid avoid this by stating that they're not planning for controller support. Obviously people can and will use those to control the game, but by saying "we don't support it" Intrepid at least distance themselves from potential control issues of that method.

    And as for any other custom control method - those are always on the player rather than on the developer (well, at least imo). And if some super cyber coolhacker player is complaining that the game doesn't have 100 buttons for him to press on his 200 button apparatuses - the only thing I can tell him is the good ol' "not for you" meme.

    And while I could come up with dozens of situations that would require very particular ability tools which would lead to 60++ skillsets - I'd rather wait and see what Intrepid have in mind for tool requirements. And I would definitely prefer the game start off with a smaller amount of abilities and have some space to bloat up to, rather than getting a shitton of abilities right away and then dread the balancing issues of future expansions because Intrepid would now have to decide whether to add even more shit or try and rearrange already preestablished tools.
  • AzheraeAzherae Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    NiKr wrote: »
    Azherae wrote: »
    It's actually a matter of ratios in all three of the control types I know (mouse and keyboard with standard mouse, mouse and keyboard with special mouse/things like this and controller). That factors in as well. If everything is used more or less evenly and mobility control is a high requirement, you're automatically limited or you end up like Elite, which would automatically make Action-y games limited.
    I think Intrepid avoid this by stating that they're not planning for controller support. Obviously people can and will use those to control the game, but by saying "we don't support it" Intrepid at least distance themselves from potential control issues of that method.

    And as for any other custom control method - those are always on the player rather than on the developer (well, at least imo). And if some super cyber coolhacker player is complaining that the game doesn't have 100 buttons for him to press on his 200 button apparatuses - the only thing I can tell him is the good ol' "not for you" meme.

    And while I could come up with dozens of situations that would require very particular ability tools which would lead to 60++ skillsets - I'd rather wait and see what Intrepid have in mind for tool requirements. And I would definitely prefer the game start off with a smaller amount of abilities and have some space to bloat up to, rather than getting a shitton of abilities right away and then dread the balancing issues of future expansions because Intrepid would now have to decide whether to add even more shit or try and rearrange already preestablished tools.

    Well, I'll just remind again that I truly believe that Controller is ALWAYS easier for Action and Action-lite games. This is one of those cases where I'm confident enough to tell you 'trust my experience on that, outright'.

    It's Standard Mouse and Keyboard that is limiting. Controller support addition might as well be an afterthought.

    The reason for the question is mostly that Intrepid has already specifically said we will probably manage to get most 'in-combat' stuff onto two hotbars. And '2 hotbars' isn't even remotely restrictive/difficult to do on the Controller side, so you can ignore that aspect of it.

    I wanted to know if people felt 'This is actually kinda dumbed down' because of the topic I splintered this from. I couldn't understand the reasoning why someone would think 'AA2 and TL will be dumbed down due to Console release', and I needed to understand if '20-30 skills counts as dumbed down' and if so, why.
    Sorry, my native language is Erlang.
    
  • NiKrNiKr Member
    Azherae wrote: »
    I wanted to know if people felt 'This is actually kinda dumbed down' because of the topic I splintered this from. I couldn't understand the reasoning why someone would think 'AA2 and TL will be dumbed down due to Console release', and I needed to understand if '20-30 skills counts as dumbed down' and if so, why.
    Well then I hope those same people explain themselves, but imo they just see themselves as PC master race while the console players are peasants. And that's they only reason for their opinion.

    And while I definitely agree that kbm has waaaaay more button combinations, I don't think any sane player would want an mmo where you have to press 3 different keys at the same time just to use a single ability, of which there'd be hundreds. There was a reason why, even though L2's classes had upwards of 40 abilities, most people barely used 10. Simplicity will always win out in the eyes of the masses.
  • NerrorNerror Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    edited November 19
    Azherae wrote: »
    Well, I'll just remind again that I truly believe that Controller is ALWAYS easier for Action and Action-lite games. This is one of those cases where I'm confident enough to tell you 'trust my experience on that, outright'.

    Do you mean ONLY in terms of firing off abilities?

    I personally suck at controllers, so for me keyboard and mouse is the only way to go. Well, I use a Belkin n52te in my left hand for ergonomic reasons. I have a friend who is really good at both controllers and keyboard and mouse, and she swears that for action related stuff, especially when it comes to action paced precise movement and precise aiming, keyboard and mouse is vastly superiour. For firing off many abilities I can see where the controller is a decent option though.
  • AzheraeAzherae Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    edited November 19
    Azherae wrote: »
    NiKr wrote: »
    Azherae wrote: »
    It's actually a matter of ratios in all three of the control types I know (mouse and keyboard with standard mouse, mouse and keyboard with special mouse/things like this and controller). That factors in as well. If everything is used more or less evenly and mobility control is a high requirement, you're automatically limited or you end up like Elite, which would automatically make Action-y games limited.
    I think Intrepid avoid this by stating that they're not planning for controller support. Obviously people can and will use those to control the game, but by saying "we don't support it" Intrepid at least distance themselves from potential control issues of that method.

    And as for any other custom control method - those are always on the player rather than on the developer (well, at least imo). And if some super cyber coolhacker player is complaining that the game doesn't have 100 buttons for him to press on his 200 button apparatuses - the only thing I can tell him is the good ol' "not for you" meme.

    And while I could come up with dozens of situations that would require very particular ability tools which would lead to 60++ skillsets - I'd rather wait and see what Intrepid have in mind for tool requirements. And I would definitely prefer the game start off with a smaller amount of abilities and have some space to bloat up to, rather than getting a shitton of abilities right away and then dread the balancing issues of future expansions because Intrepid would now have to decide whether to add even more shit or try and rearrange already preestablished tools.

    Well, I'll just remind again that I truly believe that Controller is ALWAYS easier for Action and Action-lite games. This is one of those cases where I'm confident enough to tell you 'trust my experience on that, outright'.

    It's Standard Mouse and Keyboard that is limiting. Controller support addition might as well be an afterthought.

    The reason for the question is mostly that Intrepid has already specifically said we will probably manage to get most 'in-combat' stuff onto two hotbars. And '2 hotbars' isn't even remotely restrictive/difficult to do on the Controller side, so you can ignore that aspect of it.

    I wanted to know if people felt 'This is actually kinda dumbed down' because of the topic I splintered this from. I couldn't understand the reasoning why someone would think 'AA2 and TL will be dumbed down due to Console release', and I needed to understand if '20-30 skills counts as dumbed down' and if so, why.

    EDIT: And just to clarify, to avoid any actual derail (I don't count your point as derail, NiKr). I am NOT asking for Controller Support, I am not advocating for it directly other than 'it's easier to make sure no one is cheating if you add it yourself' and has more inclusivity for some people.

    It would be nice to get TWO small things that would make it easier to BIND for Controller players (one button that opens a menu that then goes into other menus, instead of a different keypress for Inventory, Skill Learning, Hotbar Management, Chat settings, etc, and a general 'hey if you hold down certain buttons they don't always immediately do their function and only do it onKeyUp instead of onKeyDown')

    EDIT2: Why do I keep hitting Quote instead of Edit lately? Clearly I should map them to separate keybinds.
    Sorry, my native language is Erlang.
    
  • AzheraeAzherae Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Nerror wrote: »
    Azherae wrote: »
    Well, I'll just remind again that I truly believe that Controller is ALWAYS easier for Action and Action-lite games. This is one of those cases where I'm confident enough to tell you 'trust my experience on that, outright'.

    Do you mean ONLY in terms of firing off abilities?

    I personally suck at controllers, so for me keyboard and mouse is the only way to go. Well, I use a Belkin n52te in my left hand for ergonomic reasons. I have a friend who is really good at both controllers and keyboard and mouse, and she swears that for action related stuff, especially when it comes to action paced precise movement and precise aiming, keyboard and mouse is vastly superiour. For firing off many abilities I can see where the controller is a decent option though.

    I've been explicitly told multiple times that 'Action' does not refer to precise aiming or movement and that would be 'closer to an FPS'.

    I'm aware that for FPS games, mouse and keyboard works better for MOST people due to turning speed things. If we are expecting Ashes to have such precise aiming, and that itself is part of the thing that would make another game 'dumbed down' for lacking it, then I do need to revisit my priors again, but so far, I have been explicitly NOT expecting that.

    (for me, this is relative to precise AIM only in VERY fast games, movement and 'generally facing the correct direction', it's about equal once the Right Analog stick is tuned to the player at start, and then proceeds to 'whatever the player is most comfortable with', but I'm also from a genre where some people play most comfortably with their input device as anything they are comfortable with already)
    Sorry, my native language is Erlang.
    
  • AzheraeAzherae Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    akabear wrote: »
    Perhaps not the quantity that matters but what they can do with them!

    This is true to a point, but in FFXI I have:

    5 Cure spells, 4 Regen spells, at least one Protect and Shell for each tier of Content, 8 Debuffs, 16 Debuff Wards, 7 buffs, 17 Ninjutsu, 8 base abilities, 10 Weapon Skills, and about 20 other miscellaneous things that would get cast from a sub-menu.

    The depth of the game relies somewhat on me having all of these, and actually, 90% of them actually ARE in 'Hotbars'. Some friends have Hotbars whose main job is to automove them to other Hotbars.

    This is because the game is slow enough that I don't need to be focusing on movement, just planning, so I have time to switch my hotbars.

    My point is that I come from a baseline of 100 Abilities, so to me, ANYTHING below 70 is a significant reduction. I also 'would tend to assume that other games had similar numbers', so it isn't weird to me for someone to say 'yeah this game is too simple it only has 30 abilities, I'm used to 70, but I can't use all 70 if I have to devote time/control schema to moving around too, and I consider that to be dumbed down'.

    Just clarifying context in case you have any specific opinions or experiences to add based on that, and as promised, to 'add more answers'.
    Sorry, my native language is Erlang.
    
  • insomniainsomnia Member
    edited November 19
    "The maximum number of skills a player can have on their action bar will be around 15-20.
    Each archetype will have roughly 35-40 skills to choose from on average."

    https://ashesofcreation.wiki/Active_skills

    I don't like it when i have to many skill. The screen just gets cluttered, and are spread out to much. Plus some you mighty not use on a regular basis, so i forget about them. I have tried to get better at it though
  • AzheraeAzherae Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    insomnia wrote: »
    "The maximum number of skills a player can have on their action bar will be around 15-20.
    Each archetype will have roughly 35-40 skills to choose from on average."

    https://ashesofcreation.wiki/Active_skills

    Yes, thank you. Do you have any... opinion, perhaps?
    Sorry, my native language is Erlang.
    
  • There are many challenges when it comes to the number of skills, key binding, class role and mobility requirement.

    For class/role with many buffs that are to be cast out of combat, having situational ones isn't really a problem since they're part of the preparation process. If they are to be cast during combat as a reaction to something it becomes much more of a challenge.

    A melee dps with most skills instant cast but requiring to always be moving plays differently than a range dps who has to stay stationary to cast spells. That's reflected in how you bind your skills: one should have them near WASD, the other can put them from 1 to = and be fine.

    The biggest challenge I've had with key binding was for my WoW shaman. I was a melee dps, as far as spec goes, but I still had buffs, heals, offensive spells and a ton of totems (some buff, some reactive protection, some acting as turrets, ...) to juggle with. Adding consumables, mount and other odd activable items...

    As far as key binding went... I used 1-5, q, e, r, t, f, g, z, x, c and b for my important instant/reactive skills. 6 to = for the ones that needed me to stay immobile for casting. The two side buttons of my mouse were macro'd for 'shift' and 'l-ctrl', basically tripling the available keys. So more or less 45 skills bound near the WASP and a 20ish more if I didn't need to move. Never used them all, some thing were so rarely used or never in a hurry that I clicked on them. Alternatively, I might have had 'l-alt' bound on the mouse and use my pinky to press either shift or l-ctrl.
    Be bold. Be brave. Roll a Tulnar !
  • George_BlackGeorge_Black Member, Intrepid Pack
    edited November 19
    Most mmos rely on passive stat trees for playstyle building, invisible combat of you will, with tiny hotbars of around 10 abilities or even worse in esos case, 6+6.

    The theory is that by allocating points on passive, invisible stats, you can cover your classes weaknesses, pile on it's strengths, making you able to respond to any time of enemy (brawler, nuker, ganger, smallscale, largescale). Fact remains that due to the small hotbar, your visible playstyle remains the same. Your skills look the same.

    I am for large hotbars that can slot 70-80% of a classes active skills, with individual cooldowns.
    That way you have visible tools with which you respond to a variety type of enemies.

    If your enemy a slippery ganger? You got Fell Swoop, which deals dmg and stuns, snd other slotted abilities that prevent the ganger from slipping away.

    If your enemy is a nuker you got Rushing Blow, which is a gap closer and deals dmg. Use a "slow" and then use your hard hitting abilities to end the fight quickly

    If your enemy is a sturdy, fairly strong brawler, stick to your strong hitting abilities as well as your defensive abilities.

    If your enemy is a tank make sure to apply your dots while you also apply strong dmg and manage your mp/hp.

    Many more types of enemies. Summoners, aoe, situational abilities like knocking ppl off high ground, aoe abilities for some melee classes abilities etc etc etc. We need large hotbars.

    Large hotbars are needed so that player can slot a fair bit of their active skills collection, which all have individual cooldown and mp cost, for VISIBLE gameplay.


    Small horbars make for repetitive rotations, no strategy.
  • 30 skills? Where is the space on my screen for the actual game?
    30 skills and then I use 10. I'd rather have 10 and be always using them, that having that 1 skill I use every 10 years.
    Also, I'm against buffs. They should all be auras, not buffs. Otherwise if they're too good you have people asking for tthem. Or selling them
  • @Azherae you're welcome

    Lineage 2 starts being very slow(~1,5+ sec skill casts) with very few skills and reachs end game being hella fast(~0.4 sec skill casts) with alot of skills, some classes requires less skills(~6-10) and others more skills(~20-25).

    I Believe 16-20-24 skills to be excelent numbers, it even works matematically for the 75% action or tab skill division limits, i don't think over 24 is necessary.

    I believe many players correlate the MMOs "Also designed for console" with fewer skills per classes and possible oversimplification of combat systems(also related to the fewer number of skills) ESO and Neverwinter are possible culprits for that notion, BDO breaks away from the oversimplified notion with way more skills/combos than ESO and Neverwinter, but it wasn't originaly designed for console even tho it kinda seems to work very well on them due to it's combat nature.
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    Aren't we all sinners?
  • I think anything less than 15~ total tends to feel very bland even if you are using them all the time (short CDs) as your rotation ends up being very simple and repetitive. But I think with consumables and additional items being used somewhere around roughly 30-50~ seems slim enough that you can find nuance while not being a logistic nightmare. I feel that once you start pushing upward of 50~ you start to run into severe bloat or at least in my opinion poor game design depending on the game.

    Obviously this entire conversation is a large preference based argument as people look for different things in an MMO but when it comes to controller vs. KBM it's seriously just what you have spent more time on. I know some of my friends will never use KBM even though I think it is at least a more "intuitive system" where a lot of games don't feel like they cater to controller and it feels more like an afterthought unless we are talking about FPS then it's kind of a toss up. @Azherae However, I know you will disagree as someone who sounds like you come from controller for the last 15 years so it's all subjective however as I am a KBM warrior of 20+ years so it will always come naturally to me at this point.

    I can definitely say that if I am struggling to fill out two hotbars of abilities this will definitely feel hollow (again preference). I usually end up sitting at 3 solid hotbars of "high use" bars and then 1-2 of low use in the games I have touched.
  • AzheraeAzherae Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Nova_terra wrote: »
    I think anything less than 15~ total tends to feel very bland even if you are using them all the time (short CDs) as your rotation ends up being very simple and repetitive. But I think with consumables and additional items being used somewhere around roughly 30-50~ seems slim enough that you can find nuance while not being a logistic nightmare. I feel that once you start pushing upward of 50~ you start to run into severe bloat or at least in my opinion poor game design depending on the game.

    Obviously this entire conversation is a large preference based argument as people look for different things in an MMO but when it comes to controller vs. KBM it's seriously just what you have spent more time on. I know some of my friends will never use KBM even though I think it is at least a more "intuitive system" where a lot of games don't feel like they cater to controller and it feels more like an afterthought unless we are talking about FPS then it's kind of a toss up. @Azherae However, I know you will disagree as someone who sounds like you come from controller for the last 15 years so it's all subjective however as I am a KBM warrior of 20+ years so it will always come naturally to me at this point.

    I can definitely say that if I am struggling to fill out two hotbars of abilities this will definitely feel hollow (again preference). I usually end up sitting at 3 solid hotbars of "high use" bars and then 1-2 of low use in the games I have touched.

    I have no opinion on this because, again, this isn't about KBM vs controller to me at all.

    It depends on the game, but I do think it depends somewhat by genre.

    If anything, I think that people exaggerate the difference/effect of it until you have over 50 skills to worry about.

    But as example, I would NEVER try to play Lineage with a Controller, even 'half and half' with the controller. Click to move isn't worth it in that situation. Even if it didn't have click-to-move, I have learned from others that click-targeting is far superior in that game.

    I am actually also better at FFXI with keyboard (but the game can be played ENTIRELY without mouse, if you're determined) or half-and-half, but the difference is so negligible under most circumstances (because I can customize my own Macros/hotbar) that I just use whatever's convenient.

    I have played other games that are 'like FFXI but faster and more mobile' and I could play those on KBM as well but would not LIKE it, so I don't. That's what I wish for everyone. I don't know what I'll do in Ashes yet. I used both, I will practice both.

    But I can see how 'this game is mobile and has 40 skills' reaches 'KBM' territory for ANYONE who hasn't been using a controller for a long time. KBM is always more versatile OR easier at around that point, particularly for very tactical or click-to-move games. Basically if you care more about the position of your reticle than how quickly you can DO the ability or how 'physically intuitive it feels', I'm sure KBM is better.

    But Ashes does not have 40 skills, and having researched it more, ArcheAge uses a similar 'press this to change hotbar entirely' method as FFXI does, which means I could in fact map it to Controller easily. So back to 'preference based argument' now that I've hopefully addressed that...

    It sounds like 20-30 is actually moreso 'a sweet spot' for you. Is that correct? At that point, it is not a question of Controller vs KBM at all, to me, so there would be no concerns there honestly EVEN if reticle positioning was important (you have to reach 40 skills before there's overlap between Ring Menu requirements and reticle movement even in a SoftLock-Tab game)
    Sorry, my native language is Erlang.
    
  • I very much dislike games like wow with massive amounts of abilities and filled hotbars. I think 20 active abilities on your hotbars is more than enough.
  • AzheraeAzherae Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Hartassen wrote: »
    I very much dislike games like wow with massive amounts of abilities and filled hotbars. I think 20 active abilities on your hotbars is more than enough.

    Grati pur data.
    BDO breaks away from the oversimplified notion with way more skills/combos than ESO and Neverwinter, but it wasn't originaly designed for console even tho it kinda seems to work very well on them due to it's combat nature.

    Addressing this briefly now that we're probably far enough into the thread that most people won't be bothering to read these bits.

    BDO works on Console because 'most things do', but this requires an understanding of 'how controller players who play these games expect to experience things'.

    I'll try not to go into too much detail... (as if that ever actually happens).

    Action Games have convergently evolved toward the following:

    Primary Attack, Secondary Attack, Special Attack, Block, Jump/roll (Jump buttons suck btw), Dodge/quickdash (often sprints if the game has a Combat on/off toggle), Modifier button A, Modifier button B, Targeting/interaction button(extra attack option when the game has a Combat on/off toggle).

    Let's work ONLY with this for now:
    P, Se, Sp, BL, R, QD, MA, MB, T.

    Since none of those overlap with WASD directly, I can use the 'keyboard movement commands' for the KBM familiar players, right?

    Depending on the game you can't combine WASD with P for DIFFERENT attacks/abilities, but imagine a game where you can.

    Rogue's S+P might do any number of things since Rogue's Neutral P probably just slashed in front of them.
    Mage's S+P might do a Fire Wave if their Neutral P just did a launched Fireball. It's hard to explain EXACTLY why, but I believe that for many controller players, 'seeing a standing neutral P throw a fireball, and then S+P do a Fire Wave' in a game where you couldn't move while doing the Fireball, would be intuitive enough after the first time even if they didn't expect it. This is what BDO and games like it rely on. Most semi-experienced controller players do not 'accidentally do Fire Wave when they meant to just do Fireball'.

    So, in the interest of trying to keep this short, there are about 23 'intuitive after the first time' inputs of this type if you start from the 9 'buttons' I mention (technically 8 because most games don't have jump AND dodge and this lets them have both MA and MB, but since I brought up BDO, I am obligated to mention it since they have both).

    That game DOES have some control flaws and unintuitive/annoying parts when put on controller because it is a PC game, but it's really tiny things like 'still having some classes with no QD button who need to use doubletaps of WASD which is harder on Analog stick'. A thing that, again, only happens because they 'want to keep the Jump Button active during combat mode' (I actually don't know why this is because it doesn't help you dodge in BDO, it takes long to actually DO, and there are better ways to solve mantling and climbing, plus, you can do what I did in Ashes and just make MA+QD jump instead, since Jumping is usually deliberate anyway)

    The only purpose of this post is to clarify what the limits of Controller schema are in such design spaces so that it can be factored into any perceptions of 'numbers of skills'. If anything, I am indirectly requesting ideas of 'abilities that you wouldn't think have a natural keybind', or technically 'abilities that you needed a fourth hotbar for in other games'.

    I am NOT trying to suggest in any way that games should not have hotbars, nor that they should require people to memorize 16-30 Keybinds just to play the game, moreso 'BDO works on console because Controller players already have this mental structure, but most other games also work for the same reason'.
    Sorry, my native language is Erlang.
    
  • Azherae wrote: »
    Nova_terra wrote: »
    I think anything less than 15~ total tends to feel very bland even if you are using them all the time (short CDs) as your rotation ends up being very simple and repetitive. But I think with consumables and additional items being used somewhere around roughly 30-50~ seems slim enough that you can find nuance while not being a logistic nightmare. I feel that once you start pushing upward of 50~ you start to run into severe bloat or at least in my opinion poor game design depending on the game.

    Obviously this entire conversation is a large preference based argument as people look for different things in an MMO but when it comes to controller vs. KBM it's seriously just what you have spent more time on. I know some of my friends will never use KBM even though I think it is at least a more "intuitive system" where a lot of games don't feel like they cater to controller and it feels more like an afterthought unless we are talking about FPS then it's kind of a toss up. @Azherae However, I know you will disagree as someone who sounds like you come from controller for the last 15 years so it's all subjective however as I am a KBM warrior of 20+ years so it will always come naturally to me at this point.

    I can definitely say that if I am struggling to fill out two hotbars of abilities this will definitely feel hollow (again preference). I usually end up sitting at 3 solid hotbars of "high use" bars and then 1-2 of low use in the games I have touched.

    I have no opinion on this because, again, this isn't about KBM vs controller to me at all.

    It depends on the game, but I do think it depends somewhat by genre.

    If anything, I think that people exaggerate the difference/effect of it until you have over 50 skills to worry about.

    But as example, I would NEVER try to play Lineage with a Controller, even 'half and half' with the controller. Click to move isn't worth it in that situation. Even if it didn't have click-to-move, I have learned from others that click-targeting is far superior in that game.

    I am actually also better at FFXI with keyboard (but the game can be played ENTIRELY without mouse, if you're determined) or half-and-half, but the difference is so negligible under most circumstances (because I can customize my own Macros/hotbar) that I just use whatever's convenient.

    I have played other games that are 'like FFXI but faster and more mobile' and I could play those on KBM as well but would not LIKE it, so I don't. That's what I wish for everyone. I don't know what I'll do in Ashes yet. I used both, I will practice both.

    But I can see how 'this game is mobile and has 40 skills' reaches 'KBM' territory for ANYONE who hasn't been using a controller for a long time. KBM is always more versatile OR easier at around that point, particularly for very tactical or click-to-move games. Basically if you care more about the position of your reticle than how quickly you can DO the ability or how 'physically intuitive it feels', I'm sure KBM is better.

    But Ashes does not have 40 skills, and having researched it more, ArcheAge uses a similar 'press this to change hotbar entirely' method as FFXI does, which means I could in fact map it to Controller easily. So back to 'preference based argument' now that I've hopefully addressed that...

    It sounds like 20-30 is actually moreso 'a sweet spot' for you. Is that correct? At that point, it is not a question of Controller vs KBM at all, to me, so there would be no concerns there honestly EVEN if reticle positioning was important (you have to reach 40 skills before there's overlap between Ring Menu requirements and reticle movement even in a SoftLock-Tab game)

    I'd say so. 20-40 active skills is where I am most happy because while I definitely appreciate your love for FFXI and the (I believe you said 100+ in this thread) large amount of skills. I find that we are probably on moderately different sides of the scale on this because while 100+ skills is a lot to juggle, FFXI looks to me like an algorithm game. all the videos shown in all the threads I have seen is mostly everyone standing at X range and going through their skills which is it's own kind of difficult and logic puzzle fun but it just turns into parsing with an infinite amount of if(x) statements. I am happy sitting at 20-40 because to me 40 is the upper end of meaningful skills when applying it to PvP or mechanics that are movement/reactive based. I am at my root a PvP player and there is fun/difficulty in the non-algorithmic nature of PvP (again, I don't want to derail into a PvE or difficulty or "99% of players will respond with Y when presented with X" it's just more a scaling issue for me where if there are more than 20 active skills (used in sub 20 seconds) it's just an overload and trending toward Starcraft and in that case.. I'll just play Starcraft.
  • AzheraeAzherae Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Nova_terra wrote: »
    Azherae wrote: »
    Nova_terra wrote: »
    I think anything less than 15~ total tends to feel very bland even if you are using them all the time (short CDs) as your rotation ends up being very simple and repetitive. But I think with consumables and additional items being used somewhere around roughly 30-50~ seems slim enough that you can find nuance while not being a logistic nightmare. I feel that once you start pushing upward of 50~ you start to run into severe bloat or at least in my opinion poor game design depending on the game.

    Obviously this entire conversation is a large preference based argument as people look for different things in an MMO but when it comes to controller vs. KBM it's seriously just what you have spent more time on. I know some of my friends will never use KBM even though I think it is at least a more "intuitive system" where a lot of games don't feel like they cater to controller and it feels more like an afterthought unless we are talking about FPS then it's kind of a toss up. @Azherae However, I know you will disagree as someone who sounds like you come from controller for the last 15 years so it's all subjective however as I am a KBM warrior of 20+ years so it will always come naturally to me at this point.

    I can definitely say that if I am struggling to fill out two hotbars of abilities this will definitely feel hollow (again preference). I usually end up sitting at 3 solid hotbars of "high use" bars and then 1-2 of low use in the games I have touched.

    I have no opinion on this because, again, this isn't about KBM vs controller to me at all.

    It depends on the game, but I do think it depends somewhat by genre.

    If anything, I think that people exaggerate the difference/effect of it until you have over 50 skills to worry about.

    But as example, I would NEVER try to play Lineage with a Controller, even 'half and half' with the controller. Click to move isn't worth it in that situation. Even if it didn't have click-to-move, I have learned from others that click-targeting is far superior in that game.

    I am actually also better at FFXI with keyboard (but the game can be played ENTIRELY without mouse, if you're determined) or half-and-half, but the difference is so negligible under most circumstances (because I can customize my own Macros/hotbar) that I just use whatever's convenient.

    I have played other games that are 'like FFXI but faster and more mobile' and I could play those on KBM as well but would not LIKE it, so I don't. That's what I wish for everyone. I don't know what I'll do in Ashes yet. I used both, I will practice both.

    But I can see how 'this game is mobile and has 40 skills' reaches 'KBM' territory for ANYONE who hasn't been using a controller for a long time. KBM is always more versatile OR easier at around that point, particularly for very tactical or click-to-move games. Basically if you care more about the position of your reticle than how quickly you can DO the ability or how 'physically intuitive it feels', I'm sure KBM is better.

    But Ashes does not have 40 skills, and having researched it more, ArcheAge uses a similar 'press this to change hotbar entirely' method as FFXI does, which means I could in fact map it to Controller easily. So back to 'preference based argument' now that I've hopefully addressed that...

    It sounds like 20-30 is actually moreso 'a sweet spot' for you. Is that correct? At that point, it is not a question of Controller vs KBM at all, to me, so there would be no concerns there honestly EVEN if reticle positioning was important (you have to reach 40 skills before there's overlap between Ring Menu requirements and reticle movement even in a SoftLock-Tab game)

    I'd say so. 20-40 active skills is where I am most happy because while I definitely appreciate your love for FFXI and the (I believe you said 100+ in this thread) large amount of skills. I find that we are probably on moderately different sides of the scale on this because while 100+ skills is a lot to juggle, FFXI looks to me like an algorithm game. all the videos shown in all the threads I have seen is mostly everyone standing at X range and going through their skills which is it's own kind of difficult and logic puzzle fun but it just turns into parsing with an infinite amount of if(x) statements. I am happy sitting at 20-40 because to me 40 is the upper end of meaningful skills when applying it to PvP or mechanics that are movement/reactive based. I am at my root a PvP player and there is fun/difficulty in the non-algorithmic nature of PvP (again, I don't want to derail into a PvE or difficulty or "99% of players will respond with Y when presented with X" it's just more a scaling issue for me where if there are more than 20 active skills (used in sub 20 seconds) it's just an overload and trending toward Starcraft and in that case.. I'll just play Starcraft.

    I agree completely.

    I love FFXI but it has a lot of things it could do better and a lot of strain points for most players, many of which are completely unnecessary.

    I would never want them to rebuild it the same way it is now, it was a product of its time, and I am happy with the number Ashes has.

    So to quickly reiterate my initial confusion:
    1. Some people were SORTA acting like console dumbs down MMOs, even Action ones (especially Action ones?)
    2. I come from a game with 100 abilities that I used to play on Console so I didn't know what they meant so I asked about the ability number and James helped educate me
    3. I believe that 40 skills or less is possible on Console because Controllers can handle 40 skills
    4. I wanted to understand what 'dumbing down' people were referring to, and to figure out if those people were also talking about games with 70+ skills that also had quick difficult positioning (ArcheAge for example has relatively mechanical combat)

    I genuinely thank you for your answers, therefore. Seems that WE all, at least, can hope that TL, AA2, and ESPECIALLY Ashes, just keep going the way they are going, and I can PROBABLY ignore the 'console dumbs down MMOs!' people for now. They could easily be right, after all, but their perspectives don't seem to be BASED on anything that anyone has noted so far.
    Sorry, my native language is Erlang.
    
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