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Taunt, or the lack thereof

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Fireheart
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Tannim222 wrote:
Tannim222 wrote:

Taunt is not a power, it is a control effect. Stalwarts controlling targets with Taunt effects is just one style (or method) of "tanking". It is therefore not a requirement to effectively tank. It is probably the easier method as far as application and effort, but it isn't the sole method. It will not be forced upon a player.

That's clearly stated. So, Taunt is a power-choice that takes a powerslot and can be augmented?

Or, is there a 'Taunt' slot in each power, which can be turned on by applying an augmentation?

Or maybe Taunt is a toggle that applies that effect to a Stalwart's powers?

Are you allowed to describe how Taunt might be activated in the game?

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Tannim222
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As I already stated, Taunt

As I already stated, Taunt isn't a "power" it is a type of control effect. As such you won't see a power named "taunt", you could see a power with an effect called Taunt. It could, in theory be applied in any type of power that has a taunt effect, be it toggle or click. Just like a power can have a hold effect be it a click or a toggle with hold procs over time.

However, "taunt" isn't a requirement in order to effectively "tank". There are multiple methods for tanking, even for non-tanky-classifications. But speaking specifically for Stalwarts, having a power with a taunt effect isn't a requirement in order to fulfill the class role. I recommend referencing the update on Mastery powers.


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Tannim222 wrote:
Tannim222 wrote:

However, "taunt" isn't a requirement in order to effectively "tank".

Convenience: yes.
Useful: yes.
REQUIRED: no.


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No one single power is ever

No one single power is ever really required, in the design sense, is it?

Despite that fact, CoX forced you to take a specific power (sometimes one you didn't want) as part of the start-up package that you got with your chosen secondary set. If you were a defender, you had to take the first blast attack in your chosen secondary set. That particular attack wasn't per se necessary to a lot of builds, but you had to take it anyway. That was the way that game was set up. People didn't like that, and if that's not going to be a thing in CoT, so be it.

If it is, then the proposed "replacement for taunt" power is only one example of a power you'd have to live with when making your choice of secondary. So the suggestion of making the forced level 1 power the "taunt substitute power" carries two issues: 1. it's not just pure taunt anymore, it's a ranged, large area debuff with extra aggro AND maybe some reasonable damage at low levels and 2. in a world where there will ALWAYS be a required secondary set power, this could be it for some secondary sets. If this isn't that power, then something else would be, assuming the game is designed as such.

So, I ask Red, are you against the idea of required powers in general (like the CoX version, being forced into taking the first power in the secondary upon character creation) or is it the specific placement of the "next generation taunt" in that slot that's the problem? If you're against forced level 1 powers in general, then the new taunt isn't the culprit, if it's the specific placement of a new taunt power like I'ver been describing in that slot that bothers you, then how is that any more onerous or bad than any other power you might be forced to take at that build slot?

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I think I like what Tannim is

I think I like what Tannim is implying--if I'm getting his meaning correctly.

Taunt is a control effect that could be the primary purpose of a control power or a secondary control effect of a damage power.

I did love innates in CoH, though. While I mostly solo scranked, I also team-tanked quite a bit and did fine with Gauntlet using LOTS of AOE and DoT to keep their attention. Felt more like I was fighting than just aggro-managing, and worked!

Will there be something like innates? Or maybe Mastery's will somewhat fill that role?

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Empyrean wrote:
Empyrean wrote:

I think I like what Tannim is implying--if I'm getting his meaning correctly.
Taunt is a control effect that could be the primary purpose of a control power or a secondary control effect of a damage power.
I did love innates in CoH, though. While I mostly solo scranked, I also team-tanked quite a bit and did fine with Gauntlet using LOTS of AOE and DoT to keep their attention. Felt more like I was fighting than just aggro-managing, and worked!
Will there be something like innates? Or maybe Mastery's will somewhat fill that role?

What you're referring to were called Inherent Powers, such as Gauntlet. Our Mastery Powers are this game's version, except each class gets to choose from a specific list of Mastery Powers. There are 3 branches with 3 Tiers each. Each Mastery tier requires the previous tier. You can take A1, B1, C1, but not A1, B2, C3.


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Spectacular.

Spectacular.

The only thing better than a good Inherent is being able to choose your inherent AND dial it in three tiers deep.

That is just... beautiful.

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Radiac wrote:
Radiac wrote:

So, I ask Red, are you against the idea of required powers in general (like the CoX version, being forced into taking the first power in the secondary upon character creation) or is it the specific placement of the "next generation taunt" in that slot that's the problem? If you're against forced level 1 powers in general, then the new taunt isn't the culprit, if it's the specific placement of a new taunt power like I'ver been describing in that slot that bothers you, then how is that any more onerous or bad than any other power you might be forced to take at that build slot?

For clarity, I had no problem with the City of Heroes setup of "forcing" the Tier 1 Secondary Power to be taken. In context, it made sense. So THAT is not my objection.

What I'm objecting to was your notion of making THAT forced choice be a Taunt styled Power for a particular archetype.

So it wasn't an objection against "you have to take Tier 1" so much as it was an objection against what YOU wanted (or at least were advocating for) to put into THAT Tier 1 slot, in this instance. Thus, I deemed the recommendation as being foolhardy, rather than objecting to the game mechanical structuring that would have made it a possibility. My objection was to the INTENT of such an arrangement, rather than to the DESIGN of such an arrangement.


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Okay, so with that clarified,

Okay, so with that clarified, now, hypothetically, the Ice Melee set that tankers get access to as a secondary will definitely have a "required first power" and, whatever that power is, it's going to be mandatory to all tankers using Ice Melee. That established, how is it any worse to make that power the "Frost Breath" ranged cone power that does -movement, light damage, and has lots of added aggro, opposed to say, Icy Jab, a quick, low damage, short recharge punch?

Assuming both powers are going to be in the set anyway, and assuming that the first power in each tanker secondary set is similar across sets, then either way you're getting that part of your build dictated to you by the designers based on the designer's desire to have that class's toons all work a certain way as a common design characteristic that is part of what defines the tanker as a tanker. I mean, whether that first power is always the "taunt" or always the "quick jab", it's still a situation where you're being forced into a particular power without a choice there, isn't it?

As I see it, you could probably differentiate tankers from other classes better by doing stuff like this. Maybe the Scrapper version of Frost Breath isn't as aggro-loaded, or maybe it isn't a mandatory first power, either way the scrapper and tanker operate differently from each other, and those differences make for interesting character builds. Making each class have it's own feel and somewhat defined style gives people a better idea what to expect and how to play that class. I mean there will certainly be a lot of wiggle room for different builds and individual creativity, but offering people at least some kind of baked-in difference between different class options is a good thing, I think. People ignored their "secondary set mandatory power" in CoX anyway, in a lot of cases, so you can still not use it, not slot it and move on, you're just probably better off making a scrapper instead of that's the way you're going to go. That first power is then a "strong suggestion" that the devs are giving you for how they think that class is intended to work. you can take that suggestion seriously or ignore it at your discretion.

In the most general sense, I don't believe that more build freedom always means better design, in fact, it's really a lack of design to just let everyone do everything. I like having choices, but choosing a class ought to be a choice that actually means something, given how fundamental a decision it is. I think there ought to be advantages and limitations built into the tanker class (and all classes) that set it apart form the others in obvious ways, and I think the level 1 secondary "not taunt, but like it" power does that.

On a separate note, I suppose you COULD make this taunt-like first secondary set power a legitimate attack in it's own right, too. So like, when a tanker get's a big group on him, he uses it to keep aggro and to wither the HP of the minions down in batches in addition to punching them all repeatedly one at a time for hours. Or you could use your best melee attacks on the boss and just bust Frost Breath on the minion mob around him and let that alone hold their aggro and take down the HP to zero over a long fight.

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Radiac wrote:
Radiac wrote:

No one single power is ever really required, in the design sense, is it?
Despite that fact, CoX forced you to take a specific power (sometimes one you didn't want) as part of the start-up package that you got with your chosen secondary set. If you were a defender, you had to take the first blast attack in your chosen secondary set. That particular attack wasn't per se necessary to a lot of builds, but you had to take it anyway. That was the way that game was set up. People didn't like that, and if that's not going to be a thing in CoT, so be it.
If it is, then the proposed "replacement for taunt" power is only one example of a power you'd have to live with when making your choice of secondary. So the suggestion of making the forced level 1 power the "taunt substitute power" carries two issues: 1. it's not just pure taunt anymore, it's a ranged, large area debuff with extra aggro AND maybe some reasonable damage at low levels and 2. in a world where there will ALWAYS be a required secondary set power, this could be it for some secondary sets. If this isn't that power, then something else would be, assuming the game is designed as such.
So, I ask Red, are you against the idea of required powers in general (like the CoX version, being forced into taking the first power in the secondary upon character creation) or is it the specific placement of the "next generation taunt" in that slot that's the problem? If you're against forced level 1 powers in general, then the new taunt isn't the culprit, if it's the specific placement of a new taunt power like I'ver been describing in that slot that bothers you, then how is that any more onerous or bad than any other power you might be forced to take at that build slot?

Outside of what Tannim said about the taunt mechanic (not just powers but actual mechanic) not being required for being an effective tank there is one other major reason for not having the first power of Stalwart's secondary sets being a ranged AoE Taunt with some minor damage and that is that it would thematically break some sets. Personally I see no rationale for a melee set starting of with a ranged power, and making it melee range is not a solution imo since the purpose of taunts is to get enemies away from allies and/or draw enemies into your range.

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Radiac wrote:
Radiac wrote:

Okay, so with that clarified, now, hypothetically, the Ice Melee set that tankers get access to as a secondary will definitely have a "required first power" and, whatever that power is, it's going to be mandatory to all tankers using Ice Melee. That established, how is it any worse to make that power the "Frost Breath" ranged cone power that does -movement, light damage, and has lots of added aggro, opposed to say, Icy Jab, a quick, low damage, short recharge punch?

Confliction of terms, hypotethetically and definitely...I'm unsure if the hypothetical portion is being applied to the concept of a Ice Melee set or the hypothetical portion is applicable to the entire statement, which conficts with the use of 'definitely'.

There is no 'definitely' in regards to power selection and that a secondary set will require the first power to be taken. It is an assumption and therefore, also hypothetical so far as the discussion is concerned.

As to having a cone attack as the first power in a melee attack set, there is precedent in Titan Weapons. Although, the set leveraged this by having a higher than standard possible single target attack output due to its mechanic.

Radiac wrote:

Assuming both powers are going to be in the set anyway, and assuming that the first power in each tanker secondary set is similar across sets, then either way you're getting that part of your build dictated to you by the designers based on the designer's desire to have that class's toons all work a certain way as a common design characteristic that is part of what defines the tanker as a tanker. I mean, whether that first power is always the "taunt" or always the "quick jab", it's still a situation where you're being forced into a particular power without a choice there, isn't it?

That's the tough part about making assumptions, sometimes they can be completely wrong. Assuming that there is forced power selection, assuming a Stalwart must have a taunt power, all can lead you down the wrong rabbit hole only to find a spider's nest.

Radiac wrote:

As I see it, you could probably differentiate tankers from other classes better by doing stuff like this. Maybe the Scrapper version of Frost Breath isn't as aggro-loaded, or maybe it isn't a mandatory first power, either way the scrapper and tanker operate differently from each other, and those differences make for interesting character builds. Making each class have it's own feel and somewhat defined style gives people a better idea what to expect and how to play that class. I mean there will certainly be a lot of wiggle room for different builds and individual creativity, but offering people at least some kind of baked-in difference between different class options is a good thing, I think. People ignored their "secondary set mandatory power" in CoX anyway, in a lot of cases, so you can still not use it, not slot it and move on, you're just probably better off making a scrapper instead of that's the way you're going to go. That first power is then a "strong suggestion" that the devs are giving you for how they think that class is intended to work. you can take that suggestion seriously or ignore it at your discretion.

FYI, most games with class roles that share similar attacks already do this by leveraging a thread modifier on the classes' attacks. If there is say a tanky class let's call it Knight and a high melee dps class, let's call it Barbarian and both can have a Sword attack, the Knight will have a higher threat mod even if it does less damage, while the Barbarian would do more damage with a lesser threat mod.


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In response to Tannim222's

In response to Tannim222's comments,

Definitely maybe. :)

I meant that the whole situation vis a vis tanker secondaries as an hypothetical situation wherein we expect players will definitely have secondary power set, and furthermore that secondary set will definitely force the user to accept the first power on the list (a la CoX). I am further assuming that, like CoX, all tanker secondary sets will have some wide-area attack that is used mostly to draw aggro, but with the added benefit of my original post, namely that such "Taunt" powers would have a debuff and maybe some low damage or DoT component and be more on theme with the set itself, not just a generic Taunt jammed into an otherwise Ice themed set. Here, the only arguing point remaining is whether or not the "new improved and more flavorful taunt" would make a good candidate for the "mandatory first power in the secondary set" which we know is a slot that will have to be filled by something, in this hypothetical example.

From what I gather, there will in fact be some choice of what to take and when to take it from the sets and CoT as envisioned right now, so this whole discussion is probably not terribly relevant to actual CoT game play, ultimately, but if we can learn anything from the discussion, so much the better.

Edit: In the example of Knight versus Barbarian, there are still other obvious visual cues and rules pertaining to those classes that define them visually and on the "character sheet" level etc beyond JUST having the threat level modifiers, which are invisible to the players anyway and often not well understood or even ignored. I mean, you still want to have the Knight advertize itself as being tankier in various ways, by design, I think. Things like more armor, etc do that in that context. In a hero game, you might put in things a like a power that draws more aggro somehow, while still being on theme with the set it's in, and if that power has relatively low damage output compared to the punches etc in the set, you might make it the mandatory power in the set, if there is in fact going to be one anyway.

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But what if this 'forced'

But what if this 'forced' selection from the secondary doesn't happen? What if there is a pool of power-choices that gets expanded at each level? What if there are three at first level, each one slightly different, and another 1-2 powers at each subsequent level? What if all of these powers scale with the character's level?

What if the limitations you're envisioning are not there? Why impose any limits on what the Devs do? In fact, why argue about limits that we know nothing about, when we can discuss more open options?

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designing a class in a game

designing a class in a game like this is going to require that the class have properties that make it different from other classes. Otherwise, it's all just "take whatever powers you want, there are no classes". and people don't like that, apparently, from what I've read about CO.

And my suggestion does not limit the devs choices at all, it would limit the choices of the PLAYERS making their character builds, but that's a different story.

The devs are free to design CoT any way they want, but it is meant to be a spiritual successor to CoX. In my hypothetical, which is only a hypothetical, you have to remember that CoX actually HAD secondary sets and forced first power selection and a Taunt power called "Taunt" included in every tanker secondary. In THAT context, I believe that replacing generic Taunt with the "New Taunt" powers I've described, and further making them the mandatory power of the secondary set for all tanker secondary sets, would have been a good thing in terms of defining the role and class of tanker more clearly to the players trying to decide on a class, and as such might have been a good idea. In that world, I believe people who really just wanted a really supertough solo toon would make a scrapper and try to maximize it's defenses and resistances via gear, whereas people with a more group-centered play style might make the tanker so as to be able to tank for the group better by managing aggro.

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Radiac wrote:
Radiac wrote:

In response to Tannim222's comments,

Edit: In the example of Knight versus Barbarian, there are still other obvious visual cues and rules pertaining to those classes that define them visually and on the "character sheet" level etc beyond JUST having the threat level modifiers, which are invisible to the players anyway and often not well understood or even ignored. I mean, you still want to have the Knight advertize itself as being tankier in various ways, by design, I think. Things like more armor, etc do that in that context. In a hero game, you might put in things a like a power that draws more aggro somehow, while still being on theme with the set it's in, and if that power has relatively low damage output compared to the punches etc in the set, you might make it the mandatory power in the set, if there is in fact going to be one anyway.

Hence why I mentioned earlier to reference Mastery powers. Given that Enforcers and Stalwarts will both have Protection sets and Melee Offense sets that are (mostly if not always at some point in time) shared amongst them, the noticeable (or obvious) differences in play will be presented through Mastery powers. The subtle differences will be in their class mods.


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That sounds good. On the

That sounds good. On the subject of different classes and the powers and so forth that they get, IO remember in CoX some things that separated Tankers from Scrappers were basically invisible to the player (like hard caps on Resistance). I mean, the tanker had a highter cap, but there was no obvious power or anything that did that, it was just hard-wired into the Tanker class.

Is CoT going to have this sort of stuff too, or will there be inherent powers that, per their description, actually tell you that your resistance cap is higher etc? In other words, will there be an inherent power that you count as having from level 1 onward (like Cosmic Balance that Peacebringers had in CoX, or any of the powers like it) which power has a description you can read where it tells you all about the hard-wired stuff and explains it away by saying "You have a higher maximum resistance compared to other classes because you have this inherent power called Tankyness that non-Tankers don't get."

It might be a good thing to explain what the hard-wired class differences are in that sense, I don't know.

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There are no inherent powers

There are no inherent powers at level 1. The inherents of this game are literally the Mastery Powers. The most intuitive method for understanding class differences will be their design: primary vs secondary. Stalwarts that are Protection / Melee will be better at Protection and able to improve their Protection powers easier than an Enforcer that is Melee / Protection. How that works is handled with class mods. I won't go into more detail than that as this time as we are keeping the nitty-gritty of combat mechanics under wraps until people being playing the game, There is some stuff we rather need to hold back on due to necessity.


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I appreciate the need for

I appreciate the need for information security and thank you for the info you've provided so far. From what I'm hearing there will be inherent, baked-in parameters that might be different for one class than another, is that right? Since those differences in "class framework" or whatever you might call it would be invisible to the players, will there be anything in the description of the classes that gives players a quantitative description of exactly what the various parameters for the class are?

I mean, it's one thing to say "Scrappers get more hitpoints than Blasters" but actually providing the numbers is a different story. And to be clear, I'm not asking you to quote me any actual numbers, just an answer to the question of whether or not we'll probably have them available when we go to make characters.

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We do plan to provide a way

We do plan to provide a way for players to view combat numbers and so on, as to the actual classification mods, well, on their own they wouldn't make complete sense without knowing the entire formula for how those mods work which isn't necessarily a good thing to go and bog players down in what could amount to massive amounts of math formulas to figure out how every mod works. The numbers for how well something is improved and how it performs will help those math savvy players to figure out the formulas I'm certain, but for the average player all that is really needed is the actual final results.


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Fair enough.

Fair enough.

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And, as I keep saying (read:

And, as I keep saying (read: lobbying for), you could always just dump some XML files with the important bits and let the fans or other third parties make the character builders.

Has anyone seen my mind? It was right here...

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Or just have the Character

Or just have the Character Builder (aka Mids) built into the game.

So when the AB comes out, we can not only play with the way our characters will look, but also see how it might perform in the game itself.

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