Combat System Brainstorm

Thoughts on the further development of Haven & Hearth? Feel free to opine!

Re: Combat System Brainstorm

Postby Thedrah » Mon Mar 12, 2018 3:13 am

imo one defense thing 'guard up' sucks compared to the 4 colors defense system. dizzy is an odd mechanic and it should be broadened some

no target system is difficult in hafen because of the controls, lag, aiming, and the bot aspect that some high end village will make and control pvp

the only bad thing of the former 4 color combat system was targeting, it needed to be able to switch quickly and not so clunky when fighting a group such as slimes. such as a simple button to target closest enemy which the current combat system still has this flaw
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Re: Combat System Brainstorm

Postby Adata » Mon Mar 12, 2018 3:33 pm

I only do pve and fight animals like once a week or once a month. As for now I love new combat, it makes everyone else hate it so much, but I have no discomfort.
I would love you to make combat easier, like so I could spam one button, because in this update im forced to use 3 to four moves unlike before when I spammed sidesweep.
The upside to that would be that obviously people can do one button pressing as well as bots and you wouldnt have to worry about people botting.
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Re: Combat System Brainstorm

Postby Keiriku » Tue Mar 13, 2018 12:19 am

Disclaimer: This text creation was started before Game Development: Combat Revert. I reference to the "Current combat" as to the combat prior to that update. There are some missing numbers in the calculations because I wanted to do them after finishing the text, but new combat updated was rolled out right before the finish. I'll add general explanation to such places with missing calculations in the brackets after them. Calculations are replaced with (?). Some of the proposed ideas can still be applied to the new combat.

Hi, this is my personal feedback on current combat, feedback on some of previous combat mechanics, their pros and cons, personal opinion on ways to improve current combat state and also few ideas on what can be added/changed to make dying combat fun again.
I am not a hardcore nor a super experienced PvP'er who is playing/seeking only for some combat action in my free time, tho I do have some PvP experience which includes probably most of the biggest world 10 fights, hardcore sieges as attacker and as defender, common fights etc.
This is the view of the mostly "Unarmed Combat" (UA) player.

Current combat:
A lot has been said already about current combat and opinions tend to be negative in this case, and I am one of those who think that it's bad. I would like to jump straight to why I think so:

Cons of current combat:
    - It's boring. Really. Just some simple calculations:
      1) I have a mid combat char with combat base attributes above few thousands.
      2) I am in a spar with a character which outstat mine in 4-5 times in all combat stats. This char has way more than 10.000 combat base attributes.
      3) This character starts punching me, which rises my opening on (?) without Oak Stance (which decreases current highest opening on 5% on each attack and has increased defense weight) and (?) with it. It takes him (?) seconds and it deals me (?) amount of damage. "Artful Evasion" reduces my opening on (?) and has (?) cd. "Regain Composure" reduces my opening on (?) and has (?) cd. Throwing in the "Dash" move which removes closest local cooldown and "Zig-Zag Ruse" which increases my oponent's cooldowns, it will take approximately (?) minutes for a titan to KO my character if I won't move at all. (See "Disclaimer". Overall I just wanted to show, that in current combat it took approximately eternity (which is more than 15 minutes) to inflict some damage to a character with 4-5 times smaller stats. In previous combat it would take less than one minute.)

    - Example seen above shows one of the best current combat tactics which is just queuing Punch. You can throw in some occasional KITOs ("Knock Its Teeth Out"), Cleaves and Opportunity Knocks, but even using Dash it won't change anything at all. Your opponent needs to be in a deep sleep in order to be KO'ed or you need to outstat him in at least 100 times. Otherwise you can queue Punch and go make some tea. You can play with different moves, but overall they are not as effective as simple Punch.

    - Summarizing everything said above, group combat isn't fun too. You will need to have multiple people coordinately attacking one target in order to do some significant damage, and less people you will have, more time it will take to do said damage. Throwing into the fact that your target won't stand still, it brings us back to the meaningless and long running without any real possible outcome which makes combat fun, i.e. adrenaline rush from possibility to kill/KO someone or be killed/KO'ed, fun of winning vs your opponents which allows you to tell and show everyone what losers they are, strategic remove of opponents' characters from the game for some time, making wealth of stolen goods, etc.

Pros of current combat:
    - In my opinion it's simplified in comparison to previous iterations which is good. One opening "Guard Down" (not counting "Opportunity Knock" which seems right now as a separate mechanic because it depends only on one move and can't be decreased by defense moves) and in result we got clearer description of moves, i.e. they mostly affect that one said opening. I think this is good, because mostly in other games we deal only with HP (Health Points) straight. Having tons of different defenses that prevent HP damage becomes complicated with more various defenses indicators in game.

    - Local cooldowns. It's a common thing in most well known MMOs and other genres of games, which brings understandable variety to the gameplay. I think this idea can be further developed in a fun-rich system.

P.S.: A lot of people seem to talk about armor breaking faster etc. Tested it in Valhalla and it took more than 6 KOs in order to completely break q100 armor. Character wasn't using defense moves which means higher damage to armor on higher openings. Right now we are dealing with x8-10 higher quality armor which has way more wear and in real fights you would use defenses. So current armor damage values seems reasonable to me, i.e. character was nearly killed with 6 KOs and tons of Cleave attacks, how would anyone see their armor in a good condition after that. Anyway armor repairing mechanic which was raised before would seem reasonable and would fit in game, as well as old armor salvaging into metal bars (speaking about steel armor mostly, can be applied to any of the existing armor types).


Previous iterations of combat mechanics:
I would like to mention previous combat mechanics and share my opinion on them. More precisely I would like to speak about world 10 start combat mechanic (-2) and the one that came after it (previous from current combat, let's call it -1).

-2 combat was fun. In the begging of world 10, when everyone's combat stats were nearly equal, combat felt really skill based. Even tho people were using mostly one deck, combat experience could lead you to a fast and solid fight win (or lose in case of lack of a proper experience). Move timings matter a lot, coins management, holding on attack to gain more stance charge. Fights were fast, group combat with equal fighters numbers was fun and depended on a leader experience and voice skills a lot. Overall it felt really great and I'm not the only one who think so. But it had it's own problems.

Pros of -2 combat:
    - See above

Cons of -2 combat:
    - I will just throw in a line about UI complicity, since I said that having one opening is simpler. It's not a real con since combat didn't had any alternatives and it didn't bother anyone since it was fun.

    - Coin stack in spars. People were able to use coins accumulated on other players via spars. It allowed to skip coins gain needed to inflict defense moves and focus straight on attack. People who stacked coins before fight had HUGE advantage on those who didn't do it in time. Throw in custom combat clients which automate coin gain and defense moves use and it becomes clear how unfair it was. It couldn't be fixed by removing spars in actual combat, since you can just agro friendly alt and etc.

    - Opportunity Knock didn't depend on UA difference. It means that freshly spawned characters with 5 points in Opportunity Knock could open as much openings with it as an average combat character. Groups who had more players of all kinds could get a decent group combat advantage by having people without actual combat character using such alts. Doesn't seem fair to me and some other people.

-1 combat has fixed coin stack problem. That's really all. It didn't feel that fun since great portion of coins management was removed, but nothing could beat spar coin stacking in fun ruining. Defense moves could be spammed with some kind of penalty in a form of granting coins to the opponent. It brought defense use management, since you don't want to give your enemies free coins, but wasn't something that big since you can't just run around with high openings and you had to use defenses after all. Red opening didn't had a reasonable defense move which didn't give coins to your opponents and it was used in group combat a lot due to high damage of KITO and Cleave. Mostly two types of decks were used for group and solo combat, fights were fun, but it felt more stats based now. Can't really tell if it's due to combat changes or world progress, both in their own way I think. Opportunity Knock alts didn't feel as a thing probably because of world progress. Those players who wanted to participate in PvP got at least mid-tier characters, others are not playing/participating in combat anymore.

Pros and cons of -1 combat:
    - I think what is said above is pretty much summarizing it


Ways of improving combat:
There are different ways to improve combat right now as I think and which I would like to see personally. They vary in time/work investment and overall changes:

    1) Revert current combat to the previous state. What we had before was more playable than what we have right now. Main feeling in combat right now is that right now you just sit in front of your screen for hours to get nothing. Fast and temporary solution since I don't think we want to completely stuck in past. PvP-oriented player base will be happier, devs will have time to think and work on their next step in order to change combat mechanics.

    2) Work on something completely new, i.e. going away from deck-type combat. Will take a lot of time and work investments and in the end it's not guaranteed that result will be successful. Really just a cat in the bag.

    3) Revert current combat to what I've previously called -2 combat but with making Opportunity Knock dependent on UA difference and think of a better way of dealing with spar coins stacking. Last thing is the main problem and needs a good brainstorm and different opinions and ideas proposals.
    I think this is the best of my ideas on that problem:
      - Openings are shared only withing party. So group of players in enemy party will see one openings on you, while your party members will see their own openings if they agro you. Clearly it's unlikely that you will have a friend in your opponents party who will let you stack coins before fight. Same rule applies to stance charges. If you engage in combat and make a party on a fly, you see the highest current openings of one of your party members. While you are not in party, you see your personal openings on a target.
      Combat without some members in party happens from time to time when you have new players or rarely playing players or players on characters after death and it can be messy, but I see it as a problem of leadership and combat preparations, not a game mechanic itself. Party inviting UI can be improved to help with that, i.e. new option "Request to join party" if your kin is already in party and have permissions to give party invites. Color permissions for a party that allow you to manage what kin colors can invite/accept requests/kick players from party if you are the party leader. This feature will also be useful anytime for different game situations, not only for reverted combat.

    4) Balance current combat. It can be done by picking or combining some of the points below:
      - Decreasing cooldowns on defense abilities, such as "Arful Evasion" and "Regain Composure". Greatly decreasing amount of openings they reduce.
      - Increase damage. In example one character dealt more than 1000 damage with KITO in 100% Red opening. Now it's ~250. If target wasn't using defenses, that character could raise Red to 100%
      in few KITOs. Now it will take 10x more punches to raise current opening to 100%. Quick math.
      - Increase amount of openings you open with moves. It will speed up fights.
      - Add local cooldown on Punch and such moves and make it bigger than global cooldown. People will have to use few attack moves. It's not fun to press one button once per eternity.
      - I don't have anything vs queuing, but some people complain about it, i.e. it ruins their actions. With adding local cooldowns to Punch and other moves, there is no reason in queuing.
      - If local cooldowns will be added to Punch, it may be reasonable to increase deck size.
      - Revise all moves, because some of them just feel as a copies of other moves right now. Maybe variety in local/global cooldowns and effects would help.
      - Revise Opportunity Knock. It was overpowered at the start, but now it's nerfed too much. It was overpowered because it raised openings too fast and too much without any way of reducing it.
      Open value can be buffed, it's cooldown should be unable to be removed by Dash, defense moves should reduce it's opening, i.e. instead of reducing 40% of the "Guard Down", defense move would reduce 20% of "Guard Down" and 20% of Opportunity Knock's opening. To prevent group gang bangs which was one of the main things in previous combat, each received Opportunity Knock in a short amount of time will reduce next Opportunity Knock's opening, this buff should stack. Thus each next Opportunity Knock will add some value to the current opening, but it wont be that significant to down a character in a coordinated second (which was a common thing in previous combat).


Ideas that can add fresh feelings to the current or previous mechanics of combat without much work and opinions on some of the existing mechanics:

    - Speedbuffs are cancer. I don't think they fit in game at all, only dumb people or people with high ping/low fps wouldn't pick them up. In most chases those who run away will have big speed advantage due to the fact that they are ahead of their enemies and they can choose directions and/or pick ALL buffs before anyone else. Speedbuffs can spawn close to each other which grants multiplied speed bonus. This mechanic just makes chases longer and in most cases it doesn't matter how much people you have, your prey will get away (by running to the walled friendly zone or just porting away). It's not skillful at all. My opinion they should be removed from the game completely as was done to other things introduced in the same game update.
    Instead new cards can be added in the game and they can be used in the deck:
      - Card that grants temporary (short) speed boost.
      - Card that grants reduces or removed stamina drain for a short duration
      - Card that let you jump few tiles in the direction of your target. If by using it you will get to the next-to-your-opponent-tile, deals some damage to the target. Not sure how to deal with water tiles, map/house edges, cliffs and walls. In the perfect world character shouldn't be able to get over those by using this move and should stop before any obstacle.
    Those cards and other cards with such effects can bring more skillful plays in game, because timings always matter. Unexperienced player would use them right away, when more skillful player would wait for a better moment to catch up, get away.

    - Bard cards. New type of moves that depend on various stats like strength, charisma, lore, survival, will. They require appropriate musical instrument to be equipped. Equipping other item will start a global cooldown as any other weapon do. Those cards should grant very short buffs and should have long global/local cooldowns. Current buffs should be shown to everyone as openings do. Bard's stats and card points can increase effect/duration or decrease card's cooldown. This idea can also be developed into de-buff mechanic.

    Charisma cards - Possible instruments: All except "Drum & Sticks". Possible effects: increase damage dealt by small amount, increase one of the combat stats. There can be a card for each combat stat.

    Survival cards - Possible instruments: All. Possible effects: Increased speed.

    Strength cards - Possible instruments: All. Possible effects: Increase one of the combat stats. There can be a card for each combat stat.

    Lore cards - Possible instruments: All except "Drum & Sticks". Possible effects: Increased damage vs animals.

    Will cards - Possible instruments: All. Possible effects: Decreased stamina drain.

    Those buffs should work only on party members and only in a limited range, like character vision.
    Such cards will add brand new mechanic to the game, adding new support classes, increasing value of all attributes, bringing new ways of exploring the game. I see all parts of such mechanic already fully or partially implemented, so I think it's a profitable value vs time investment thing.

P.S.: I spent a good amount of time on this text and wanted also include my opinion on stat caps, but I don't have any energy right now to give a comprehensive feedback. I just think that not having stat caps is better than having them. A lot of people still keep playing in this world and didn't drop in few months like it was in world 9, since there is always something to do in game. I don't get players who say "We can't catch up", since there is a lot of different ways to actually catch up and be competitive at this point and there are some real examples. With some time investment you can get second tier tools and resources if you are not in the best factions, and current quality values allows you to progress much faster than in the beginning of the world, which can make you competitive more than enough, especially if you have friends with you.
Last edited by Keiriku on Tue Mar 13, 2018 12:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Combat System Brainstorm

Postby Keiriku » Tue Mar 13, 2018 12:37 am

For those who don't want to read all that wall of text, I would like to separate few new mechanics/ideas that can be applied to the current combat.

Keiriku wrote:Party inviting UI can be improved to help with that, i.e. new option "Request to join party" if your kin is already in party and have permissions to give party invites. Color permissions for a party that allow you to manage what kin colors can invite/accept requests/kick players from party if you are the party leader. This feature will also be useful anytime for different game situations, not only for reverted combat.



Keiriku wrote:
    - Speedbuffs are cancer. I don't think they fit in game at all, only dumb people or people with high ping/low fps wouldn't pick them up. In most chases those who run away will have big speed advantage due to the fact that they are ahead of their enemies and they can choose directions and/or pick ALL buffs before anyone else. Speedbuffs can spawn close to each other which grants multiplied speed bonus. This mechanic just makes chases longer and in most cases it doesn't matter how much people you have, your prey will get away (by running to the walled friendly zone or just porting away). It's not skillful at all. My opinion they should be removed from the game completely as was done to other things introduced in the same game update.
    Instead new cards can be added in the game and they can be used in the deck:
      - Card that grants temporary (short) speed boost.
      - Card that grants reduces or removed stamina drain for a short duration
      - Card that let you jump few tiles in the direction of your target. If by using it you will get to the next-to-your-opponent-tile, deals some damage to the target. Not sure how to deal with water tiles, map/house edges, cliffs and walls. In the perfect world character shouldn't be able to get over those by using this move and should stop before any obstacle.
    Those cards and other cards with such effects can bring more skillful plays in game, because timings always matter. Unexperienced player would use them right away, when more skillful player would wait for a better moment to catch up, get away.


Keiriku wrote:
    - Bard cards. New type of moves that depend on various stats like strength, charisma, lore, survival, will. They require appropriate musical instrument to be equipped. Equipping other item will start a global cooldown as any other weapon do. Those cards should grant very short buffs and should have long global/local cooldowns. Current buffs should be shown to everyone as openings do. Bard's stats and card points can increase effect/duration or decrease card's cooldown. This idea can also be developed into de-buff mechanic.

    Charisma cards - Possible instruments: All except "Drum & Sticks". Possible effects: increase damage dealt by small amount, increase one of the combat stats. There can be a card for each combat stat.

    Survival cards - Possible instruments: All. Possible effects: Increased speed.

    Strength cards - Possible instruments: All. Possible effects: Increase one of the combat stats. There can be a card for each combat stat.

    Lore cards - Possible instruments: All except "Drum & Sticks". Possible effects: Increased damage vs animals.

    Will cards - Possible instruments: All. Possible effects: Decreased stamina drain.

    Those buffs should work only on party members and only in a limited range, like character vision.
    Such cards will add brand new mechanic to the game, adding new support classes, increasing value of all attributes, bringing new ways of exploring the game. I see all parts of such mechanic already fully or partially implemented, so I think it's a profitable value vs time investment thing.
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Re: Combat System Brainstorm

Postby Scaramouche » Thu Mar 15, 2018 12:49 pm

sinko wrote:
Ozzy123 wrote:
AntiBlitz wrote:goodness sake, the constant gripes about, "well, i think a bot could do this" or "might be bottable" is taken to such extremes that its hard to develop anything meaningful sometimes without having a portion of the community foaming at the mouth.


simple solution for that would be if devs banned/nuked a few bots from time to time or choose some mods to do it for them and 90% of botters would stop botting instantly cuz they'd be afraid to lose their villages n shit hehhh

scaramouched would still bot
tbh


what're you even talking about smh
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Re: Combat System Brainstorm

Postby jorb » Thu Mar 15, 2018 2:37 pm

This was exactly the direction we were heading in, but the problem we found with it was that auto-targeting became a very big deal.
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