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Dev Discussion #51 - Let’s Discuss the Mage

VaknarVaknar Moderator, Member, Staff
edited June 2023 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 - Let's Discuss the Mage
  • Would you prefer to have some spells that can be cast back-to-back without a cooldown, or would you want all of your abilities on a cooldown rotation?
  • Is mana management important to you? Should mana be a contributing factor to a Mage's total output over longer encounters? Do you think a Mage should be required to stop and rest, or should a skilled Mage have the means of sustaining themselves infinitely?

Keep an eye out for our next Dev Discussion on the Boss Mechanics
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    SongcallerSongcaller Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    edited May 2023
    Would you prefer to have some spells that can be cast back-to-back without a cooldown, or would you want all of your abilities on a cooldown rotation?

    I feel smaller damage skills should be able to be cast back to back. I still feel channelled spells should not have a cooldown and large hitting spells should have a cooldown.

    Is mana management important to you? Should mana be a contributing factor to a Mage's total output over longer encounters? Do you think a Mage should be required to stop and rest, or should a skilled Mage have the means of sustaining themselves infinitely?

    I don't think infinite mana is good for any class, however, I think Gift of the Magi should return. Mana management should be important for all classes and longer encounters should have a way of sustain. The sustain should not be inherent per say, but, through the use of skills and abilities.

    edit: a mage could have infinite sustained mana if gift of the magi returns. I feel a mage could be the heart of the mana regen for any group the mage is in. It won't be fun for a mage if they have to wait for others to sit/eat etc and the mage just standing still though. I think rest/eating is a communal effort. So, infinite sustain would be good with gift of magi but a mage should still be able to blow through their mana pool.
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    GodGod Member, Phoenix Initiative, Royalty, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    Holding
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    SonicXplosionSonicXplosion Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Mana management should exist, otherwise why have mana at all, just have abilities balanced around CDs instead. I think skills could exist to help with that mana management, like for example, the "Shell" ability could turn magical damage taken into mana.
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    SweatycupSweatycup Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    edited May 2023
    Would you prefer to have some spells that can be cast back-to-back without a cooldown, or would you want all of your abilities on a cooldown rotation?
    • I think it depends on ability, of course if sleep has no cooldown it would be abused. I think however some abilities or if they use heavy mana costs could be instant with the understanding if you cast it 3+ more times in a row your going to be out of mana. I'd hope to see some sort of cooldown whether a debuff on target not allowing it to be cast again for a certain time or a cooldown on the ability itself even if .50s cast animation. It would be nice also if ways to stat speed to increase cast speed as well.

    Is mana management important to you? Should mana be a contributing factor to a Mage's total output over longer encounters? Do you think a Mage should be required to stop and rest, or should a skilled Mage have the means of sustaining themselves infinitely?
    • Yes and no. It's a control often i feel so abilities cant be abused. I'm impartial look at my debuffs. If a mage wants to try to fling everything its got at someone go for it. Even if the instant cast spells (Not including animations inbetween to cast) have no cooldown it's does not increase the dps anymore than a cooldown, it is just two different playstyles. One fast and ferocious and one slow heavy damage per and methodical. Would be cool to seek both mage play-style options viable even if the animation is sped up depending on stats or class variation. I would not consider full tilt no animations instant casts a thing in ashes... who needs animations to transition the ability at that point, right?
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    RoarriorRoarrior Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Would you prefer to have some spells that can be cast back-to-back without a cooldown, or would you want all of your abilities on a cooldown rotation?

    I don't feel like you need to reinvent the wheel here. General rotation spells should be low to no cooldown. Then you should have spells you can cast while on the move for mechanics and such with moderate to low cooldown. Then your heavy hitters, and offensive/defensive style spells should be long to moderate cooldown. I definitely feel like there should be a global cooldown though. Because ping.

    Is mana management important to you? Should mana be a contributing factor to a Mage's total output over longer encounters? Do you think a Mage should be required to stop and rest, or should a skilled Mage have the means of sustaining themselves infinitely?

    Mana management is always important. Especially for a caster class. Skilled mages with proper loadouts should obviously have a better time with sustainability. But having to stop mid fight to replenish mana just feels bad in 2023, or 2020 whatever when the game launches. EQ had that. Mages and healers would cast a handful of spells and then sit down and meditate while the melee battled on. But in ashes with open world dungeons and boss fights where another guild can show up any time it feels bad to be not attacking due to mana issues. Especially with mob tagging. Whoever does more dmg wins the loot. If your raid has 20 mage archetypes and they all have to sit down and meditate while the other raid has 3 mage archetypes they would win the loot everytime. Of course balancing needs to happen. If this was instanced raids and your raids won't have enrage timers and no other group could interrupt you then sure it makes sense to sit and med. But there should be no downtime in open world encounters imo.
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    nonameftwnonameftw Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    Would you prefer to have some spells that can be cast back-to-back without a cooldown, or would you want all of your abilities on a cooldown rotation?

    A short GCD can prevent hacks to be to effective. Humans are somewhat limited in how fast they can press buttons. So a short GCD of like 0,5 seconds seems reasonable just to keep the playingfield somewhat even.
    Personally, I think that cooldowns in of itself (while not a bad mechanic persé) are less interesting than proper movement and using the right spell at the right time. Both in PVP and in PVE. Since AoC will likely have generalized Status Effects this can be combined with the right counter-abilities.

    Very long cooldowns on the other hand can incentivize the risk vs reward effect. ProTip: CD's could actually be dynamic and vary on what target they are cast on. This would help to make players use all their abilities in normal questing but consider it more carefully when to use it in a boss fight. Being in a group or solo could also have an influence on the CD.

    What's most interesting to me in general are interesting spells that differentiate the classes. I mained a mage with the engineer profession in WoW because I could be everywhere in the 10x faster than anyone else. Even to the most remote corners of the world. Having slow fall was also neat.
    For me, tool spells are the most interesting one. Being able to do something that other classes can't do.
    Is mana management important to you? Should mana be a contributing factor to a Mage's total output over longer encounters? Do you think a Mage should be required to stop and rest, or should a skilled Mage have the means of sustaining themselves infinitely?

    Mana management in of itself is a boring and hindering tactic BUT can be made a good gameplay mechanic with the right twist. Not having enough mana should be a punishment for taking to much risk or playing the game badly.
    Defence spells that can save someone out of a tricky situation should be costly while normal rotation spells should not.
    Additionally there should be a sub-mechanic that reduces the amount of mana you spent. The better you play the longer it will take until you burn through it.
    So if you are bad at movement and have to use your defense spells constantly then you will burn through your mana in a short time.
    Or if you do not use the perks of your class that reduce mana usage effectivly then you will burn through it too.

    Also preparation should be a MASSIVE Boon. If you go into any fight prepared with items, weapons and buffs it should like 5x easier than without. Gotta make the economy important!

    tl;dr: Any player that is prepared, doesn't make to risky moves, has good movement and uses their class efficiently should have absolutely !!0!! problems with mana and should come out with basically full mana even after a 10 Minute Boss fight. Having no mana is a punishment, not the norm.
    “Imagination is the only weapon in the war with reality.”
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    YukineYukine Member, Intrepid Pack
    Would you prefer to have some spells that can be cast back-to-back without a cooldown, or would you want all of your abilities on a cooldown rotation?
    I believe it depends on the abilities. In DnD for instance, mages have cantrips that they can spam but are very small damaging abilities while their big spells have a number of uses. I believe big hard-hitting spells should have a cooldown whereas there can be a couple of small filler spells to use in case everything else is on cooldown.

    Is mana management important to you? Should mana be a contributing factor to a Mage's total output over longer encounters? Do you think a Mage should be required to stop and rest, or should a skilled Mage have the means of sustaining themselves infinitely?
    Mana-Management is very important in a game because if a mage can just keep going infinitely than there is no down-side to spamming your strongest spells with little to no worry that you would go OOM, especially when it comes to bigger pulls in dungeons and raids. I am also a huge fan of the Classic WoW system of Mages being able to create their own food/drink that allows them to utilize the items to refill each outside of combat as that was a nice touch and offers some support outside of the realm of buffs in a party.
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    ZettrexZettrex Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Mana managment should exist, but you should never be forced into not use abilities for minutes to have mana enough for spells.

    The orb NEED rework it looked horrid, remove the hard light lines, and try something less hard circular, maybe just have a lightning core.

    I hope we will have a good mix of action,tab,graphed abilities on the class.
    I think it was a much better showcase this time arround, being able to see the class be actually played was nice.

    I liked the idea or elemental efficiency, where we can combine our elemental damage types to do combo's.

    Just remember K.I.S.S. don't over engineer something for the sake of over engineering.
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    VissoxVissox Member
    Vaknar wrote: »

    [*] Would you prefer to have some spells that can be cast back-to-back without a cooldown, or would you want all of your abilities on a cooldown rotation?
    [*] Is mana management important to you? Should mana be a contributing factor to a Mage's total output over longer encounters? Do you think a Mage should be required to stop and rest, or should a skilled Mage have the means of sustaining themselves infinitely?
    [/list]

    Sometimes in other games, augmenting/talenting 1 ability to be very strong and spamming it can be fun. As a warlock in wow I never got tired of spamming juicy shadowbolts. Although a lot of people might argue with a point that it isn't very engaging.

    Mana management is extremely important to me. If you aren't required to manage mana you might as well not have a mana bar. That being said, perhaps when combined with another class it could be made easier, with abilities that let you sacrifice life for mana, or a long CD in combat mana Regen spell. The skilled mage should not infinitely sustain themselves, but if they manage mana right they should be able to have more uptime for sure.
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    I would like to see the mechanics of the game for a magician, the same as in World of Warcraft, this is a classic magician, whose every ability is felt, the magician should be weak in defense, but strong in dealing damage, while he should not have much mobility, the magician is a wise character, he catches the enemy on makes a mistake and strikes the decisive blow at the right time.

    Infinite mana is a bad decision, mana must be a resource that the magician controls in order to win/survive. This is a classic of any game, I will add that the characteristics / passive skills / alchemical banks for mana regeneration are needed for the mechanics of the game for a magician (and not only for a magician, for any class that will use mana) Buying potions will affect the economy of the market, people will willingly study professions and trade (this is one from aspects of the game)
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    RoofianRoofian Member
    mana shouldn't be infinite, it should be a limitation for mages in order to make the gamplay not being a keyboard headsmashing, same for cooldowns
    basic attacks shouldn't be useful imo, a skilled mage should know how to manage its skills to reduce the dead time to the minimum possible, if you give a mage sustained damage + burst and utility on skills it will be just broken specially if you compare it with ranger, which leads me to the next point
    skills shouldn't curve their trajectory to avoid trees or whatever, it totally senseful that arrows doesn't traspass obstacles but mage skills doing just make the mage superior and it can feel unfair for ranger players
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    Having the mage be able to execute a combo of spells with little to no cooldown that then leads to a sort of "Finisher" of the combo that the mage themselves can choose would be great in my opinion.

    As an example rotation that would consume more and more mana as it goes on but has little to no cooldowns inbetween spells (These are just made up names for spells):

    Magic Pebble > Magic Missile > Electric Charge > Detonate

    So the combo would start with a petty little spell, not too much damage but essentially a harassing cantrip, something quick to cast in a pinch. Then leads into bigger more damaging spells, in fact you could even have it so the first few spells of the rotation allow the mage to actually move around while casting, while the last few which are the big damage hitters or debuffers require the mage to stop and cast for a time, maybe like 3 seconds or longer. Obviously the mage could choose what type of magic their rotation uses, Frost, Fire, Lightning? Or maybe a mix of all. The point is the mage could choose what exactly to use and how to.
    Perhaps they prefer spells with small cooldowns or none, so they can harass and dash around flinging a bunch of debuffs around. OR maybe they go for a big damage type, where they can potentially annihilate their foe, but have to sit still for a while in order to cast their big damage spell.

    I think this would add some good flexibility into a mages gameplay style. Both having to juggle mana, but also having to think about what type of rotation is best suited for the situation and if they can even pull it off. Because its a high risk high reward type of situation.


    In regards to whether or not I personally believe mana should play a role in a mages total output of spells?

    Yes, absolutely! I think a mage should have to think about what spells they use, as they can only cast so many before having to drink a potion, or resting. At the end of the day the mage seems to be able to cast some pretty big damaging spells, especially around corners. I believe that someone should be forced by their mana pool to choose what spell to pick. And that potions and a mana regen ability should only be a quick "Pick me up" for a moment so they can emergency cast Blink, or Fireball in order to escape, or secure a kill.
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    Neurath wrote: »
    Would you prefer to have some spells that can be cast back-to-back without a cooldown, or would you want all of your abilities on a cooldown rotation?

    I feel smaller damage skills should be able to be cast back to back. I still feel channelled spells should not have a cooldown and large hitting spells should have a cooldown.

    Is mana management important to you? Should mana be a contributing factor to a Mage's total output over longer encounters? Do you think a Mage should be required to stop and rest, or should a skilled Mage have the means of sustaining themselves infinitely?

    I don't think infinite mana is good for any class, however, I think Gift of the Magi should return. Mana management should be important for all classes and longer encounters should have a way of sustain. The sustain should not be inherent per say, but, through the use of skills and abilities.

    I agree with this guy but I feel like a archwizard should have more mana or something
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    DebaDeba Member
    Would you prefer to have some spells that can be cast back-to-back without a cooldown, or would you want all of your abilities on a cooldown rotation?

    -Would be cool to have a few back-to-back spells, I think, It would add a bit more variety, like how it is in WoW

    Is mana management important to you? Should mana be a contributing factor to a Mage's total output over longer encounters? Do you think a Mage should be required to stop and rest, or should a skilled Mage have the means of sustaining themselves infinitely?

    -Mana management is pretty important, it makes building up stats like mana, mana reduction, mana Regen important, and also if someone wants fast cooldowns and big haste, they also will eventually have to deal with mana management. I'm not sure about whether Mages should stop and rest or with enough skill, be able to sustain themselves infinitely. An in between could be an option too, with skill, a mage could sustain themselves in combat a longer time, but could eventually need to stop and rest and eat some mana cookies.
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    EmberstoneEmberstone Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Q) Would you prefer to have some spells that can be cast back-to-back without a cooldown, or would you want all of your abilities on a cooldown rotation?
    A) I would prefer a mix. But the no-cd spells should never have CC attributes. Either plain small damage you can throw out there to pepper the enemy whilst waiting for higher cd spells to come back, or spells that apply single stacks of an element.

    Q) Is mana management important to you? Should mana be a contributing factor to a Mage's total output over longer encounters? Do you think a Mage should be required to stop and rest, or should a skilled Mage have the means of sustaining themselves infinitely?
    A) Once again a mix of both. Reintroduce gift of the magi or something akin to the spell so that you can prolong a fight by a substantial amount - but never infinite - when you weave in the sustain spell(s). The spell in and of itself however should not "out regen" someone dedicating time to sit/rest.
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    AzheraeAzherae Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Would you prefer to have some spells that can be cast back-to-back without a cooldown, or would you want all of your abilities on a cooldown rotation?

    There are some spells that are 'weak' enough that their animation time might as well be their cooldown, that's how I design this, that's how I hope Intrepid designs this. Anything that basically acts like a 'basic attack', so that a Mage can steadily attack consistently from range while occasionally repositioning (during cast or after, no real difference to me) while using any melee weapon.

    I don't enjoy noticeable GCD in games in general, I think, if that matters to this question.

    Is mana management important to you? Should mana be a contributing factor to a Mage's total output over longer encounters? Do you think a Mage should be required to stop and rest, or should a skilled Mage have the means of sustaining themselves infinitely?

    I don't enjoy the balance of games where mages can sustain indefinitely by themselves at basically any level of skill (but obviously there's always that one person), but I don't mind if they can use mana drain abilities to get close to this with the right Augments (i.e. ArchWizards).

    I don't enjoy games where mana management isn't part of 'standard combat' in a group. I don't care if Mages have to explicitly rest or not, but they should need another different party member to keep it up, I'm not looking forward to any design outcome where 'Tank, Healer, 6 ArchWizards' is among the better tactics generally available, and I personally perceive 'easy Mana management' as a contributing factor to this outcome.
    Sorry, my native language is Erlang.
    
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    SaraphitaSaraphita Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    edited May 2023
    Question 1: Would you prefer to have some spells that can be cast back-to-back without a cooldown, or would you want all of your abilities on a cooldown rotation?

    I don’t like the idea of all abilities having a cooldown, especially with a limited action bar where your loadout might not work due to everything having a cooldown and those cooldowns not lining up into anything usable. It seems like that might overly limit class customization/build options.

    I would probably prefer a more balanced approach where the cooldown is associated with the impact/effectiveness…. So spammable base spells and then small, medium, large cooldowns for different abilities depending on what they do. If you were to do this, then who knows… maybe having some game interactions that reduce cooldowns in realtime could be interesting.

    Question 2: Is mana management important to you? Should mana be a contributing factor to a Mage's total output over longer encounters? Do you think a Mage should be required to stop and rest, or should a skilled Mage have the means of sustaining themselves infinitely?

    My response to game systems in general is that either the system has meaning or it should be removed from the game.

    To directly answer the questions:
    • Yes, I think management should be a thing. It should be able to be improved as your character grows in power, through player skill, through buffs/potions, through party/raid interactions, etc.
    • Mana should be a contributing factor to total output, but only to a minor degree or else the class won’t be very enjoyable to play.
    • I don’t like the idea of indefinite mana sustainment. Resting is fine, but the question will be how often and how long it takes when you do rest to restore your mana to full. The mechanic should be noticeable, but not punishing.

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    You should have to take care of your Mana Managment on low level and on Long encounters / fights. and Gift of the Magi to regain Mana would be really important like that.
    With better Equip i think it would feel very good if the Mana Managment gets less so you hold out longer during a fight without watching the Mana bar.
    uwu
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    1. I don't mind CDs as long as there's nothing insanely long. I don't like running into the problem of wanting to save that one skill with a long cool down for the right moment, but never feeling it's the right moment for fear that it'll be on CD when you need it. I also like interactions with CDs. Like CDR stats. Or skills that speed up CDs. Maybe a skill that says when you stun an enemy, you drop 1s CD. Things like that. A Mage Mode where CDs are near 0 for a short period of time. Some skills don't need CDs. I like when I have the ability to have a Skill as my main attack instead of an auto attack cast (though I did like how the auto attack takes on the element of the last skill used, super cool synergy to be had). But being able to have a skill as my main attack because it has no CD and little mana usage is fun too. So some skills definitely don't need CD. It's all about favor. A classic small fireball skill probably could be spammed. Skills with charges are fun too. Maybe that fireball has 5 charges. Then 5 second CD per charge or something. So there's a CD but you can also use it before it's finished.

    2. I think there should be a curve with mana. At the beginning sure you should really have to pick and choose your skills and plan your battles. But you should definitely be able to spec your stats, equipment and skills and achieve near infinite mana/regen by the end. This will likely come at the sacrifice of not selecting just the highest damaging skills or selecting pure DPS stats. Sure, I might have to not worry about mana management with my build but my DPS might not be the highest either. I think there's a fun balance to be had there and allows someone who doesn't want to bother with the management still have the immersion and fantasy of a mage.

    Both of these things too are dependant on your subclass choice. One subclass might offer more Mana Regen while another subclass offers better CDR synergy.

    Lastly as I was writing this, I though a cool mechanic would be a skill that needs to charge as it's CD. So maybe it takes 10s to charge. You can use it before it's charged but it'll be weaker or have less AoE or something. Honestly a system like that could replace both CDs and Mana. As you could spam a skill but it'd be weak. Or you wait for it to charge. Not that I'm saying you should do that. Just a "while Im writing" thought.
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    SunScriptSunScript Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Azherae wrote: »
    Would you prefer to have some spells that can be cast back-to-back without a cooldown, or would you want all of your abilities on a cooldown rotation?

    There are some spells that are 'weak' enough that their animation time might as well be their cooldown, that's how I design this, that's how I hope Intrepid designs this. Anything that basically acts like a 'basic attack', so that a Mage can steadily attack consistently from range while occasionally repositioning (during cast or after, no real difference to me) while using any melee weapon.

    I don't enjoy noticeable GCD in games in general, I think, if that matters to this question.

    Is mana management important to you? Should mana be a contributing factor to a Mage's total output over longer encounters? Do you think a Mage should be required to stop and rest, or should a skilled Mage have the means of sustaining themselves infinitely?

    I don't enjoy the balance of games where mages can sustain indefinitely by themselves at basically any level of skill (but obviously there's always that one person), but I don't mind if they can use mana drain abilities to get close to this with the right Augments (i.e. ArchWizards).

    I don't enjoy games where mana management isn't part of 'standard combat' in a group. I don't care if Mages have to explicitly rest or not, but they should need another different party member to keep it up, I'm not looking forward to any design outcome where 'Tank, Healer, 6 ArchWizards' is among the better tactics generally available, and I personally perceive 'easy Mana management' as a contributing factor to this outcome.

    She speaks for me today, that's all.
    Bow before the Emperor and your lives shall be spared. Refuse to bow and your lives shall be speared.
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    uncounteduncounted Member
    edited May 2023
    Would you prefer to have some spells that can be cast back-to-back without a cooldown, or would you want all of your abilities on a cooldown rotation?
    No global cooldowns please. Most abilities should have casting time and/or channeling time some exceptions should exist.
    Is mana management important to you? Should mana be a contributing factor to a Mage's total output over longer encounters? Do you think a Mage should be required to stop and rest, or should a skilled Mage have the means of sustaining themselves infinitely?
    Resource management should be present for all classes.
    Primary mages should should not be able to sustain themselves infinitely but they should neither have to sit down and regen every other encounter. Imo a better way would be to have multiple possible builds for mages some of which will be for long sustain some will have short sustain and some others will be more balanced that way the mage archetype can support a wider range of play-styles.
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    nanfoodlenanfoodle Member, Founder, Kickstarter
    I think what we saw was a good start. I do feel the current design looks great for PvE and also looks awesome for 1v1. My focus for a class like this is large scale battles.

    Sleep is a long cast time and IMO should be shorter or insta cast. This could be done by subclasses and other means of corse like skill trees.

    Spells like Shield could have a proc that does damage when melee happens to them, or a proc that adds a short snare or root, maybe 1-2 seconds.

    Would love to see DD's with random procs that also add 1-2 seconds of snare or root.

    The line of site thing is awesome but pls add things like invisible spell that breaks on action or damage. So you can do ambush tactics.

    IMO for large scale battles, the Mage will need more skills that help them keep distance, as this will be more then just 1 skill that deals with one player. Ashes classes need to be looked at on how they will fight on large scale, not just 1v1. Great start IMO.
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    Yokai TheaterYokai Theater Member, Phoenix Initiative, Royalty, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    edited May 2023
    Thematically cooldowns have never really made much sense to me, you don’t have some odd wait time you need to abide by to perform an action. Generally in fantasy stories you would just spend a resource like mana, stamina, ki, faith, rage, etc. And mechanically speaking I don’t think anyone is a super big fan of high cooldowns and nailing down a time that feels good and balanced can be extremely hard.

    Personally I am a big proponent of resource management, and resources such as mana having meaning. Far too many games does mana lose its meaning in the late game and you are basically free to cast spells off of cooldown. I think there is far more skill and immersion involved in having to manage your resource and timing out attacks over waiting on skills to come off of a cooldown. I also am big on each class having its own unique resource like mana, stamina, ki, faith, rage, etc.

    Now this being said I do think that high damage skills (your big dick abilities) should potentially have a channel time along with high resource cost. Maybe not something that stops you from moving (because being stuck in place never feels good) but it can slow your movement, potentially be interruptible, and in doing so give melee classes an opening to close the gap and help promote group gameplay where your team needs to cover you.

    Resource management should never take you out of the fight in an MMO, it just doesn't feel good. In CRPGs and tabletop games it makes sense from a balance and gameplay perspective but in ARPGs and MMOs you need/want to be always on the move (especially with modern gamer mentality), so having to stop and take a rest can be iffy. I’m sure it may have its place (Blue Protocol is trying something like this) and I wouldn’t mind seeing a more hardcore game try this but for the most part I think having other ways to gain your resource back. Passive regen, potion (and other consumables), abilities to channel your resource faster, etc.

    I also would not mind maybe seeing something like when you are out of mana you start to use your HP life force, this could make it to where people that mindlessly/blindly spam their skills without paying attention and managing their resource are penalized, or add a risk vs reward aspect to skill use for more skilled players. This also potentially opens up some build diversity in going a more tanky life build and being more like a blood mage instead of building a higher mana pool.

    Ultimately, game balance, player satisfaction, and fun should be the primary considerations when designing game mechanics, whether it be through cooldowns or resource management.
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    ZyllosZyllos Member
    edited May 2023
    Would you prefer to have some spells that can be cast back-to-back without a cooldown, or would you want all of your abilities on a cooldown rotation?

    I think it makes sense for some skills/spells to have no cooldown. These types of abilities add unique rotations and variations/flexibility during situations.

    Some of these abilities can easily have charges (so limited casts at a time frame) or high mana cost, it just depends on what the expected outcome and story/use case of said ability/spell.

    So, I think, don't be afraid of adding some abilities that can do this. But, don't make majority/all skills like this. You only need to make some spells/abilities like this.

    Is mana management important to you? Should mana be a contributing factor to a Mage's total output over longer encounters? Do you think a Mage should be required to stop and rest, or should a skilled Mage have the means of sustaining themselves infinitely?

    I think, yes, mana management should be important. It's part of the fantasy. It also adds another layer of spell/ability balance. It does make it harder when you add another layer for balance, but it also adds more areas to balance from. And I think the Mage should be required to stop and rest, but it doesn't mean ALL combination of Mage archetypes should be required to stop and rest at the same speed.

    This also allows the old mechanics from EQ (Everquest) of the Enchanter/Necromancer that can add mana regeneration or other classes that allows for mana taps/mana transfers/mana drains/mana burns. If mana is not important, these types of abilities/spells have no impact or way to control various spell casting classes. It can also help with archetype combinations like Spellhunter (Mage/Ranger) who might be able to burn some mana per hit.

    But, I would say, and this is VERY VERY key, don't just make ALL archetypes/classes use mana. A fighter should have stamina or rage, rogues should also have stamina and combo/technique points, but clerics and mages should use mana. And if you have a Mage/Fighter archetype, it's okay to have both pools to manage.
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    zeeteszeetes Member
    "Would you prefer to have some spells that can be cast back-to-back without a cooldown, or would you want all of your abilities on a cooldown rotation?"

    My opinion will probably just be parroting what many others have already said, but I think that abilities should have a cooldown based on how strong the ability is. Personally, I like the idea of having at least a handful of low mana cost super short to non-existent cooldown abilities (like cantrips), then maybe having a longer cooldown for some of the mage's more powerful abilities.

    "Is mana management important to you? Should mana be a contributing factor to a Mage's total output over longer encounters? Do you think a Mage should be required to stop and rest, or should a skilled Mage have the means of sustaining themselves infinitely?"

    Mana management in my opinion should be very important and anytime a mage is thinking about what abilities to choose or items to get it should be one of their first considerations. This doesn't mean that it should be something that forces a mage to leave combat. I think that the best approach is a system where every mage has to consider and approach mana management but if you properly picked your abilities or gear it should stay high most of if not the whole fight, without any major sacrifices to damage. How people keep their mana high could vary from mage to mage maybe some use potions, others just stacked a lot of mana regen, and maybe a third is doing some sort of mana steal build but there should definitely be options to keep it up over the course of a fight.
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    KesarakkKesarakk Member, Braver of Worlds, Alpha One
    Would you prefer to have some spells that can be cast back-to-back without a cooldown, or would you want all of your abilities on a cooldown rotation?
    Is mana management important to you? Should mana be a contributing factor to a Mage's total output over longer encounters? Do you think a Mage should be required to stop and rest, or should a skilled Mage have the means of sustaining themselves infinitely?

    First off, the mage reveal was amazing. I can already see some epic gameplay from what is happening here!

    I want this to be a true Risk vs Reward when it comes to cooldowns and rotations. You can toggle almost all of your spells without CDs, or instant, at the risk of doing less damage upfront but can sustain for longer. Likewise, you can go full-on CD and do max damage possible but you risk having periods where you're either out of mana or have nothing to push except basic attacks until your CDs are done.

    Example: You have two fire mages in your group. One is your traditional fire mage who has a "FLAME ON!" macro to big spells. The second is a more modern "Spell-Shooter" where they overwhelm enemies with spell after spell. They're the same class but the playstyles are so different it feels more personal to the player and not a cookie-cutter build they pulled off third-party websites like icy-veins. If balanced correctly (The big ominous phrase here) both would do roughly the same output but feel individual to the player.

    Mana has been a running joke for a lot of MMOs for the last ten years or so. Some games that punish players for playing their class don't feel good while other games make mana cost so low it feels just like a useless resource because you're never going to run out or can regain it so fast it's a moot point.

    Skill should be the deciding factor in Ashes when it comes to playing your chosen class. That said, it would be very important for a mage to manage their mana usage properly. A great way to accomplish this would be to apply mana regen augments to weapon skills.

    Using weapon skills in this manner will also help an old dilemma in MMOs when it comes to weapons. These days, people only look at the stats of their weapons to see if it's an upgrade or not. Instead, stats and the type of weapon should be considered. If you're ranged, do you use the wand with its fast attack speed or do you use the staff that might have a risky channeled ability with its combo but restores more mana or do you master another weapon, like the bow where the combo takes longer to set up but looks and feels amazing when you pull it off? These are choices players should be thinking about when they are looking for upgrades to better their class.
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    NerrorNerror Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Would you prefer to have some spells that can be cast back-to-back without a cooldown, or would you want all of your abilities on a cooldown rotation?
    Maybe one or two per school is ok. Not high damage, but something that can add stacks perhaps. But really, I think the elemental mastery and using the basic attacks can fill that role too. It's ok to force people to switch it up a little.

    Is mana management important to you?
    To a point. There is no reason to even have mana as a resource if it's endless in all circumstances.

    Should mana be a contributing factor to a Mage's total output over longer encounters?
    Do you mean should mana management be a contributing factor? If so, yes. Obviously mana itself is already a contributing factor.

    Do you think a Mage should be required to stop and rest, or should a skilled Mage have the means of sustaining themselves infinitely?
    Both. And I think the following should apply to every single class in the game, not just mages.

    I think a mage should be able to basically keep going indefinitely with a set of spells that do ok damage, but not close to 100% damage output. Something that keeps them moving and going when grinding mobs for XP for example, without mandatory downtime.

    For 100% DPS or burst damage, a mage should only be able to do it for a short while before downtime is required, or at the very least keeping damage low while they regain mana through their own means or with help.

    I don't like extended periods of rest. I really don't like when characters are forced to sit down to rest. Being out of active combat should be enough for maximum mana regeneration, even if running around.
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    SongcallerSongcaller Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    blink is a no damage ability like shell and sleep. All should keep the cooldowns.

    Blizzard is a channelled spell which should also keep a cooldown.

    Elemental empowerment should have no cooldown.

    Other classes should also follow the small attacks with no cooldown, channelled effects with no cooldown and heavy attacks with cooldowns to get good combat flow and counter play.
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    VlhadusVlhadus Member
    - Would you prefer to have some spells that can be cast back-to-back without a cooldown, or would you want all of your abilities on a cooldown rotation?

    I would hope its not an either or. I prefer both to be honest. It really depends on the spell and what its function is. Frost Bolt as an example is perfect to be cast back-to-back which is usually known as a filler spell. Personally, I wish filler spells did more than just fill in the empty space in the rotation with some kind of passive ability attached to the filler. I don't think it would be a good idea to have CDs on every single spell. Then it just becomes priority whack-a-mole gameplay which is boring. You need a proper mixture of spells that go on CD and some you fill in. Spells with active procs of other spells in the kit to provide nice change-ups in rotation and added flavor and excitement. That was the biggest thing I saw missing from the Mage showcase was there wasn't anything exciting happening from a rotational point of view. I did like the interactions with using different schools of spells but it isn't enough. I think on the surface, its very bland. I want to use Chain Lightning as an example for exciting rotational gameplay. Imagine casting Chain Lightning and a condition on the spell is if you critically strike at least two targets, your next cast is reduced by .5 seconds and 10% stronger. If you critically strike at least two targets again, your next chain lightning is free and will critically strike all targets hit. That is exciting gameplay in just one spell. By adding some conditions to spells will greatly make them more exciting to use. The Electrified debuff is a great start and simple to use and understand but there needs to be more exciting interactions with using the other lightning spells in the mage kit. Like critical strikes may give the player a instant cast of Lightning Strike. You get where I'm going with this so I'll move on. And again, I don't think all of the mage abilities should have CDs. There needs to be a mixture of instant cast, cast, channel and cool down based spells.

    - Is mana management important to you? Should mana be a contributing factor to a Mage's total output over longer encounters?

    Mana management is very important to me as a DPS caster, healing caster is a totally different story. As an MMO player of over 16 years, I've seen gameplay where you run out of mana in a raid boss encounter playing efficiently (which is not fun at all) and mana wasn't an issue at all during the raid encounter. I'll speak from a PvE perspective on mana management since that's what I know the most. Been playing Classic Hardcore WoW recently and being reminded of how boring combat is while your questing in the early levels. One of the reasons being you have to drink almost after every other mob. This kind of downtime is not fun or engaging to me as a player. I want there to be spells where I can choose to dump all my mana to kill something hard and me drinking after that doesn't bother me. But when I use just one spell over and over, and its my most mana efficient spell and I STILL run out of mana, that's where my problem is. I don't find that kind of gameplay in the early levels to be fun or interesting. Especially if I am just killing one mob at a time. When it comes to the question, should mana be a contributing factor to a Mage's total output over longer encounters? I dont' know what you mean by that. Do you mean that your mana should go up and down during the entire encounter and by the end you should be completely empty? I don't think you should be able to run out of mana during an encounter IF you are playing conservatively and efficiently. An example I want to mention is Arcane Mage from WoW. There is a spell called Arcane Blast. Arcane Blast's tooltip reads (Blasts the target with arcane energy, dealing (X% of Spell power) Arcane damage. Each Arcane Charge increases damage by 60% and mana cost by 100%, and reduces cast time by 8%.) This spell if you use it over and over will completely drain you of all your mana. I am okay with a spell like this. This is a risk vs. reward kind of spell. You would just need some kind of filler to give you back mana to compensate you using mana. Then it becomes a balancing act and how greedy you want to get with it.

    - Do you think a Mage should be required to stop and rest, or should a skilled Mage have the means of sustaining themselves infinitely?

    I answered this a little bit in the previous paragraph but the answer is... it depends. If you play well and efficient then you should be able to sustain yourself infinitely but if you play greedy and pump out your hardest hitting spell over and over then you should run out of mana pretty quickly. The only class that should have to stop and rest more than most is the Cleric class but even that has some stipulations with it.

    I just want to mention that I am so excited for this MMO and really want it to succeed in the MMO industry. I really want classes to feel fleshed out and fun by alpha 2. I hope this feedback helps you devs out and I wish you guys the absolute best!

    -Vlhadus
    www.youtube.com/vlhadusgaming
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    LaetitianLaetitian Member
    edited May 2023
    Would you prefer to have some spells that can be cast back-to-back without a cooldown
    As far as I am concerned, no classes need to have any viable abilities that function as basic attacks. They have their weapons for that, and I already get bored from archers and melees spamming basic attacks with those, so why add even more unexciting filler fluff? "Bread-and-butter" abilities, sure, but that shouldn't mean mindless filler casts that don't cost resources.

    All the MMOs I enjoyed only had abilities that function as basic attacks at the lowest levels. After that they quickly became inefficient compared to high-cooldown & high-cost alternatives that force you to make actual decisions about what to commit your skillpoints into, and how to approach an enemy.
    Should mana be a contributing factor to a Mage's total output over longer encounters? Do you think a Mage should be required to stop and rest, or should a skilled Mage have the means of sustaining themselves infinitely?
    Cooldown & mana management is way more fun than being able to "respond" to everything, as others have suggested in this thread. If I only want to challenge my reflexes and play by a predefined attack-versus-counter-response script to test my skill-level, I can go play League of Legends. No, thank you. I'd much rather make fun, impactful, risky decisions about who gets my strongest healer defence buff, who needs my high-cost mana transfusion, or who I defend with my melee barbarian while they're pumping out their high cooldown channels. (None of which requires overpowered 3-hit-kill damage bursts or complete protection either, only because you "committed" a high-cooldown ability in the right general area, just to be clear.)

    As a general rule, this works best if aggressively skilled classes have substantially less sustain than a group with support classes. Shouldn't mean that every group needs a healer or bard to have any resource sustain, but it should mean that the sustain that burst damagers have without support classes should only prolong their upkeep slightly, even if they play medium-conservatively. (For something like mana-draining warlocks for example, this could mean that it's easy to dispell/react to their effects for most classes, so it only recovers mana for the duration of it that they time it along with other CC, or if the enemy misplays, or something.)

    I'm a little biased because I main healer, but I feel the same way when I'm on offensive classes or tank duty.
    I get super bored if players aren't forced to think about their resources in the context of the larger battlefield at all, and only obsess about "outplaying" their immediate individual opponents with instant counters, high reflexes, and perfected, flavourless damage rotations. ESO was extremely guilty of encouraging this type of PvE gameplay on the PvP battlefield, and the main culprit were easy mana sustain and low-cooldowns, as well as low-impact abilities that mainly exist to chain stackable damage procs. I have to yawn just thinking about it.

    TL;DR:
    • No filler skills - we have basic weapon attacks for that.
    • Low sustain on most classes; leave the most impactful sustain to support classes, to give them another way to matter and synergise with their party.
    • High cooldowns, high mana costs, many skill choices to decide between for every encounter (2-3+ full 10-field skill bars tend to be a decent endgame amount.)
      [That said, just because full skill bars should offer strategic options doesn't mean all players should have simultaneous access to everything strong that their class can do, so make sure skill branches matter.]
    The only one who can validate you for all the posts you didn't write is you.
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