Utility Powers

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WarBird
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Utility Powers

So, I'd like to get from the devs maybe a short list of some of what you might be considering as "Utility Powers" and what they might give us in game terms. I'm not expecting anything carved in stone or a complete list or anything. Just an idea of what kind of stuff has been kicking around the office. So that folks have something to talk about, here's a few ideas of my own:

Acute Senses- allows advanced location of enemies on maps, within a limited range, before that area is discovered.

Tech/Magic/Chemistry Affinity- bonus to crafting specific types of boosts.

Scavenging- small bonus to loot finds/increase chance of better loot

Acrobatics- less damage from falls/bonus to "dodge" type abilities

This kind of thing?

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WarBird wrote:
WarBird wrote:

Tech/Magic/Chemistry Affinity- bonus to crafting specific types of boosts.

I just proposed something like these over on the "Races" thread a few days ago as a viable ALTERNATIVE to hardwired races/origins and was shot down by Tannim. Go figure. Maybe you'll have better luck with these here.

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I think the main reason they

I think the main reason they were "shot down" was that their mechanics were too closely coupled with aesthetics and/or backgrounds (for a lack of a better term). Sure, I'll say that some of MWM's naming choices stray too far in this direction as well (mainly Psychic Blast set) and hopefully that can change before launch.

Second, one has to also consider the tertiary sets that are directly derived from secondary sets so as to not create duplicates through these "utility sets".

Third, not so sure that we should include things/stats that can't be applied directly to combat. So if are going to get crafting and "magic find" bonuses then I think it should come in a separate system.

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blacke4dawn wrote:
blacke4dawn wrote:

I think the main reason they were "shot down" was that their mechanics were too closely coupled with aesthetics and/or backgrounds (for a lack of a better term). Sure, I'll say that some of MWM's naming choices stray too far in this direction as well (mainly Psychic Blast set) and hopefully that can change before launch.
Second, one has to also consider the tertiary sets that are directly derived from secondary sets so as to not create duplicates through these "utility sets".
Third, not so sure that we should include things/stats that can't be applied directly to combat. So if are going to get crafting and "magic find" bonuses then I think it should come in a separate system.

Black4Dawn basically has it right.


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Tannim222 wrote:
Tannim222 wrote:

blacke4dawn wrote:
I think the main reason they were "shot down" was that their mechanics were too closely coupled with aesthetics and/or backgrounds (for a lack of a better term). Sure, I'll say that some of MWM's naming choices stray too far in this direction as well (mainly Psychic Blast set) and hopefully that can change before launch.
Second, one has to also consider the tertiary sets that are directly derived from secondary sets so as to not create duplicates through these "utility sets".
Third, not so sure that we should include things/stats that can't be applied directly to combat. So if are going to get crafting and "magic find" bonuses then I think it should come in a separate system.
Black4Dawn basically has it right.

blacke4dawn has your incorrect assumption about what I was talking about right on the money. But at this point I don't even feel like correcting either of you since you guys seem pretty adamant regardless. *shrugs*

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Lothic wrote:
Lothic wrote:

Tannim222 wrote:
blacke4dawn wrote:
I think the main reason they were "shot down" was that their mechanics were too closely coupled with aesthetics and/or backgrounds (for a lack of a better term). Sure, I'll say that some of MWM's naming choices stray too far in this direction as well (mainly Psychic Blast set) and hopefully that can change before launch.
Second, one has to also consider the tertiary sets that are directly derived from secondary sets so as to not create duplicates through these "utility sets".
Third, not so sure that we should include things/stats that can't be applied directly to combat. So if are going to get crafting and "magic find" bonuses then I think it should come in a separate system.
Black4Dawn basically has it right.
blacke4dawn has your incorrect assumption about what I was talking about right on the money. But at this point I don't even feel like correcting either of you since you guys seem pretty adamant regardless. *shrugs*

Having just read this entire thread, as far as I can tell, everyone except Lothic is talking about one topic (what kinds of powers we might get as Utility Powers), and Lothic is talking about a different thread wherein Lothic said some similar stuff. And then Lothic seems to be under the impression that other people are incorrectly representing Lothic's position in that other thread, when in fact nobody except Lothic has mentioned or responded Lothic's thoughts from that other thread here in this one, except for Lothic.

Is that about the long and short of it? Because given that Tannim222 is a dev, it seems that he would be the best arbiter of whether or not the devs' position (and/or his personal position) on the subject of Utility Powers is accurate. I don' see how any dev can have their assumptions called inaccurate when those assumptions are something that only the devs themselves would actually know. What I mean is, if Lothic is calling Tannim222's assumptions, as expressed in this thread, inaccurate, then they must be the assumptions Tannim222 is making about Lothic, not the assumptions Tannim222 is making about Utility Powers. As such, I don't think Tannim222 is commenting on Lothic's position from another thread at all, nor is blacke4dawn, I think the only person actually giving any opinion about Lothic's posts in another thread here is Lothic.

So I think you all are talking past each other. That's all I wanted to say.

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blacke4dawn wrote:
blacke4dawn wrote:

I think the main reason they were "shot down" was that their mechanics were too closely coupled with aesthetics and/or backgrounds (for a lack of a better term). Sure, I'll say that some of MWM's naming choices stray too far in this direction as well (mainly Psychic Blast set) and hopefully that can change before launch.
Second, one has to also consider the tertiary sets that are directly derived from secondary sets so as to not create duplicates through these "utility sets".
Third, not so sure that we should include things/stats that can't be applied directly to combat. So if are going to get crafting and "magic find" bonuses then I think it should come in a separate system.

I don't see any reason NOT to have something that only 'indirectly' affects combat. (Like my examples) Otherwise, what do 'utility' powers mean? I think there are plenty of us that would be happy to have a power or two that are generally useful and help us fill out our character concept but don't necessarily increase our DPS or what-have-you.

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WarBird wrote:
WarBird wrote:

blacke4dawn wrote:
I think the main reason they were "shot down" was that their mechanics were too closely coupled with aesthetics and/or backgrounds (for a lack of a better term). Sure, I'll say that some of MWM's naming choices stray too far in this direction as well (mainly Psychic Blast set) and hopefully that can change before launch.
Second, one has to also consider the tertiary sets that are directly derived from secondary sets so as to not create duplicates through these "utility sets".
Third, not so sure that we should include things/stats that can't be applied directly to combat. So if are going to get crafting and "magic find" bonuses then I think it should come in a separate system.
I don't see any reason NOT to have something that only 'indirectly' affects combat. (Like my examples) Otherwise, what do 'utility' powers mean? I think there are plenty of us that would be happy to have a power or two that are generally useful and help us fill out our character concept but don't necessarily increase our DPS or what-have-you.

Not sure if I just explained badly but it was more that those kinds of "powers" should not be among combat powers. I'm not against those powers as a whole it's just that I think it's better if they have their own system separate from combat powers.

The same way that we won't have to choose between a travel power and a combat power (separate "systems") I don't think we should have to choose between a combat power and these kind of utility powers that don't apply to combat.

The big problem with using combat slots for crafting or "magic find" kinda utility is that sooner or later others will catch so they won't even have an indirect benefit from them anymore, thus why I say it's better for them to be in their own system (if they are going to be included at all).

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I'm not to sure of this,

I'm not to sure of this, might not even really be a thing, hopefully a dev can either confirm or deny this but... I think I read somewhere that utility powers like this where planned to be in the game after launch, and that they where going to be on a separate leveling tree than your combat powers, like how travel powers are going to be from the start. Maybe even a civilian identity system that supposed to be apart of it. Again could be wrong, hopefully a dev can either confirm or deny this.

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I'm not sure if this is what

I'm not sure if this is what you are considering. But it might be nice to know the various ways missions can be accessed and completed to find a helpful utility power design to compliment them. Or at least this might be a class of utilities that might be useful.
Example: A Cat Burglar utility might offer additional mission entry points, clues/objectives, and completion options.
A Mind Reader utility might provide similar options but under different circumstances. As would the Dramatic Entry/Exit, Magic Sensitive, Engineer, Alien Tech, Psychic Control, Computer Skills, Endless Babbler, I Know a Guy, Friend/Enemy of [Faction X], Telekinetic, Seducer, Blackmailer, Trivia Master, Hulk Smash!!, Ventriloquist, Reporter, Cryptographer, and Bumbling but Lucky Fool utilities.
Sadly, the more I think about this the more cumbersome the story design might become. But CoT seems to have an efficient story creation approach which might accomdate this in some fashion. Perhaps a more general list might accomodate.
Still it would be cool if the game recognized your toon's talents outside of direct combat. Even better if you acquired them through non-combat xp (except maybe the Hulk Smash!! utility). Broadening your sense of development.

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I can be more direct:

I can be more direct:

Acute Senses - this could be something provided through one of the Super Sense Tertiary Sets.

Crafting Bonsuses could be provided, they won’t be themed by aesthetic choices, but insteqd by types of crafting category; for example damage augments

You won’t find a power to increase drop rates. Loot is not standard to what you might think it is.

Acrobatics is actually a travel power. Travel powers don’t give combat bonuses.

If the desire is to have a power with some ability to “dodge more”, you would want to pick a Tertiary Super Agility.

We did have a system for for non-combat powers which included super senses originally, we’ve since spun them off to their own Tertiary.

We have other non-combat powers from that system which may make it back to the game in their original or different system.


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Maybe a super luck tertiary?

Maybe a super luck tertiary? Adds bonus dodge and Crit chances? Maybe with some other additional proc effects? Like on Crit add DoT effect or something? Has a little overlap with super agility but then adds some other stuff.

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For me, I remember 'Utility'

For me, I remember 'Utility' powers as simply making things easier.

In that way, 'Super Senses' or the old 'Fitness' pool would be, 'not quite Super' powers, but having them might make a difference. The old 'Combat Jumping' was a great example, too. In battle, it was just enough +jump to make getting around easier, and folks liked the +defense, but I enjoyed the 'stabilizing' effect, as it made jumps more controllable and precise. It did the same for Fliers, damping out the 'drift', and I swear it seemed to make the Server pay closer attention, so it didn't lose track of exactly where you were.

Or, the way that 'Steamy Mist' and similar powers from 'Support' powersets gave a little protection from some sorts of damage, but they also gave
+Stealth. That made it a bit easier to move around, without pulling aggro, so one could scout about and plan the approach, before unleashing the woopass. One of my characters even made it a cornerstone of her powers and background, saying that she 'wasn't all there', 'wasn't quite real'.

I really Like this type of subtle power!

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I was about to mention the

I was about to mention the Concealment, Leadership, Medicine and Presence Pools as examples of "utility" Powers that weren't direct combat abilities of the damage varieties. Super Senses would essentially be the "countermeasure" to Concealment, for example. Demotivation (or Demoralizing) would be the "countermeasure" to Leadership. Resolve would be the "countermeasure" to Fear effects in a Presence Pool analog ... and so on and so forth.

Ideally speaking, for each Measure you want to offer an equal and opposing Countermeasure, so as to push the game balance to widen to encompass more than what just a single individual can provide to an entire group.


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Could be fun to have some

Could be fun to have some tertiaries that are made up entirely of auto powers like Fitness was. Myabe we should have a tertiary power set suggestion thread?

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On the subject of Acute

On the subject of Acute Senses. Is there going to be a reason to get this in PvE? Will there be enemies we fight who can backstab from stealth for high damage? Will there be mission triggers that are hidden and would be easier to find by someone with Acute Senses?

...or is it really just a set for dealing with players who have stealth in PvP?


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Huckleberry wrote:
Huckleberry wrote:

On the subject of Acute Senses. Is there going to be a reason to get this in PvE? Will there be enemies we fight who can backstab from stealth for high damage? Will there be mission triggers that are hidden and would be easier to find by someone with Acute Senses?
...or is it really just a set for dealing with players who have stealth in PvP?

To be clear there aren’t any super senses designed as of yet. They may end up a post launch goal.

Acute Senses isn’t itself an actual “thing” but it certainly may be a power within a Super Sense set (i have the bare bone frame work for them).

And it is possible to have stealthy npcs and hidden traps though I can’t guaranty either as definitive at this point. Only know that there are possibilities.

If power is going to be made, it should have uses in pve. Thus far, I have not designed pvp specific powers.


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Well we've confirmed stealth

Well we've confirmed stealth powers, right? Therefore we need anti-stealth powers for balance.

Persuiation/ Speechcraft/Charisma - There will be dialog options for door guards and such, maybe there could be options only available with charisma powers. Other benefits might include resistance to Exotic damage or confusion. Maybe increase the window of for NPCs of "I'm obviously too weak to me messing with this guy" OR "this guy is obviously not worth my time" ;)

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desviper wrote:
desviper wrote:

Well we've confirmed stealth powers, right? Therefore we need anti-stealth powers for balance.
Persuiation/ Speechcraft/Charisma - There will be dialog options for door guards and such, maybe there could be options only available with charisma powers. Other benefits might include resistance to Exotic damage or confusion. Maybe increase the window of for NPCs of "I'm obviously too weak to me messing with this guy" OR "this guy is obviously not worth my time" ;)

There were some noncombat powers that could let players manipualte the rep system to simulate stuff like this. As I said, it has been shelved. Most likely not to return as most of the nockmbat powers have been removed to make into Tertiary Sets at some point.

There is another possible system, but it is more limited in scope and wouldn’t accomodate these type of powers.

It does open up other interesting options which can be useful both play side and cash shop wise which may end up better than the original concept even considering the trade offs.


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Huckleberry wrote:
Huckleberry wrote:

On the subject of Acute Senses. Is there going to be a reason to get this in PvE? Will there be enemies we fight who can backstab from stealth for high damage? Will there be mission triggers that are hidden and would be easier to find by someone with Acute Senses?
...or is it really just a set for dealing with players who have stealth in PvP?

desviper wrote:

Well we've confirmed stealth powers, right? Therefore we need anti-stealth powers for balance.

Consider this possibility. No, I'm not saying that this is where MWM will be going (or would have to be going), merely that it's a precedent for what they COULD do if they wanted to.

Seeing through walls.

Now usually, this gets associated with "superpowers" of some sort (typically classified as N-Ray Vision in the Champions tabletop RPG system) which allows you to "see" through almost anything EXCEPT one common substance (like lead, for example). The way it gets depicted in movies and comic books is as being able to "see through walls" and the like.

Except ... we've got real world equivalents to that thanks to the "magic" of sufficiently advanced technology. We call them Infrared Goggles nowadays. You can use "thermal scans" and heat signatures to be able to "see" through walls using what is (now) relatively conventional technology, but which was still mildly futuristic in the 1980s.

Now in the context of a game like City of Titans, being "able to see through world geometry" like that would basically only be possible thanks to use of a Power of some sort as far as the game mechanics are concerned (ignore whether the "excuse" for HOW it's done is via Tech (sensors), Magic (scrying), Natural (mysticism), Science (N-Ray Vision), or whatever, since that's really the realm of aesthetics like costuming and FX). Such a power would essentially "alter" what could be considered within Line of Sight ... meaning you'd be able to $Target something that would ordinarily be obscured by world geometry that would typically block Line of Sight.

Take this to sort of thing to extremes and you enable what amounts to "spooky action at a distance" via stuff like the TR-116 sniper rifle from Deep Space 9 where you use a micro-transporter to "teleport the bullet from here to there" skipping over everything in between (walls, etc.), in effect bypassing any limitations on Line of Sight. But in order to use the weapon accurately, you need an ability to "see through walls" ... like that conferred by the Exographic targeting sensor which allows you to "dial in" the distance at which you want to be viewing, and then passing that ranging information to the TR-116 so as to be able to shoot a projectile into a "sealed room" environment without punching holes in the walls in order to get into the room.

Now, in the context of a game like City of Heroes, doing that kind of modification to an already existing Power would require synergizing something like a Snipe with another Power ... an Acute Senses type Power ... that not only allows the PC/Player to "see through walls" in order to select a $Target, but also "waive" the requirement of having Line of Sight on the $Target in order to be able to use a Line of Sight attack when the Line of Sight is blocked.

I'm not saying that MWM is going to do this ... I'm just saying that if you were going to do this kind of thing, this is the route that you would need to be taking in order to implement such a feature.

On their own, the Acute Senses aren't going to ACTIVELY "do" anything aside from improve the Player's situational awareness of their surroundings, but the very availability of that additional information in and of itself can change HOW a Player interacts with their environment. If you KNOW that there's a pile of mobs in the next room just waiting for you to enter, you're less likely to just waltz in and be surprised when they attack you. Knowing that there's nothing around the next corner or over that hill or behind that tree/crate/van/whatever that will be a threat to you allows you to move through the environment with a level of confidence that wouldn't be present if you DIDN'T know those things are were needing to be cautious.

And that's not even including things like Acute Senses being able to penetrate Stealth/Invisibility type Powers, whether via good eyesight, hearing, tactile vibrations, smell and/or taste (let alone outright ESP). If you're going enable ANY possibility for "spooky action at a distance" which can functionally amount to "doing stuff around corners" that block Line of Sight, well ... in a game like City of Titans you're going to need to be using a Power (or Powers) that grant the ability to "do stuff" without needing Line of Sight ... and the first step towards getting that functionality is having "beyond normal senses" which can let you "see through stuff" (effectively) in order to be able to $Target things that you can't otherwise target because "stuff" is in the way. So you want to think of Acute Senses as (possibly) being a sort of synergistic "stepping stone" to augmenting/modifying the capabilities of OTHER POWERS by combining them, as opposed to just merely thinking of them as being just "anti-stealth" type stuff.


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Be neat to have something

Be neat to have something like Spidey sense to detect aggro (if it's not already clear to the player) or to get a heads up when a big attack is coming, or new enemies coming in and the like.

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Duh, forgot to mention

Duh, forgot to mention "Danger Sense" something put under the umbrella of Acute Senses.


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Redlynne wrote:
Redlynne wrote:
Huckleberry wrote:

On the subject of Acute Senses. Is there going to be a reason to get this in PvE? Will there be enemies we fight who can backstab from stealth for high damage? Will there be mission triggers that are hidden and would be easier to find by someone with Acute Senses?
...or is it really just a set for dealing with players who have stealth in PvP?

Consider this possibility. No, I'm not saying that this is where MWM will be going (or would have to be going), merely that it's a precedent for what they COULD do if they wanted to.
Seeing through walls.
Now usually, this gets associated with "superpowers" of some sort (typically classified as N-Ray Vision in the Champions tabletop RPG system) which allows you to "see" through almost anything EXCEPT one common substance (like lead, for example). The way it gets depicted in movies and comic books is as being able to "see through walls" and the like.
Except ... we've got real world equivalents to that thanks to the "magic" of sufficiently advanced technology. We call them Infrared Goggles nowadays. You can use "thermal scans" and heat signatures to be able to "see" through walls using what is (now) relatively conventional technology, but which was still mildly futuristic in the 1980s.
Now in the context of a game like City of Titans, being "able to see through world geometry" like that would basically only be possible thanks to use of a Power of some sort as far as the game mechanics are concerned (ignore whether the "excuse" for HOW it's done is via Tech (sensors), Magic (scrying), Natural (mysticism), Science (N-Ray Vision), or whatever, since that's really the realm of aesthetics like costuming and FX). Such a power would essentially "alter" what could be considered within Line of Sight ... meaning you'd be able to $Target something that would ordinarily be obscured by world geometry that would typically block Line of Sight.
Take this to sort of thing to extremes and you enable what amounts to "spooky action at a distance" via stuff like the TR-116 sniper rifle from Deep Space 9 where you use a micro-transporter to "teleport the bullet from here to there" skipping over everything in between (walls, etc.), in effect bypassing any limitations on Line of Sight. But in order to use the weapon accurately, you need an ability to "see through walls" ... like that conferred by the Exographic targeting sensor which allows you to "dial in" the distance at which you want to be viewing, and then passing that ranging information to the TR-116 so as to be able to shoot a projectile into a "sealed room" environment without punching holes in the walls in order to get into the room.
Now, in the context of a game like City of Heroes, doing that kind of modification to an already existing Power would require synergizing something like a Snipe with another Power ... an Acute Senses type Power ... that not only allows the PC/Player to "see through walls" in order to select a $Target, but also "waive" the requirement of having Line of Sight on the $Target in order to be able to use a Line of Sight attack when the Line of Sight is blocked.
I'm not saying that MWM is going to do this ... I'm just saying that if you were going to do this kind of thing, this is the route that you would need to be taking in order to implement such a feature.
On their own, the Acute Senses aren't going to ACTIVELY "do" anything aside from improve the Player's situational awareness of their surroundings, but the very availability of that additional information in and of itself can change HOW a Player interacts with their environment. If you KNOW that there's a pile of mobs in the next room just waiting for you to enter, you're less likely to just waltz in and be surprised when they attack you. Knowing that there's nothing around the next corner or over that hill or behind that tree/crate/van/whatever that will be a threat to you allows you to move through the environment with a level of confidence that wouldn't be present if you DIDN'T know those things are were needing to be cautious.
And that's not even including things like Acute Senses being able to penetrate Stealth/Invisibility type Powers, whether via good eyesight, hearing, tactile vibrations, smell and/or taste (let alone outright ESP). If you're going enable ANY possibility for "spooky action at a distance" which can functionally amount to "doing stuff around corners" that block Line of Sight, well ... in a game like City of Titans you're going to need to be using a Power (or Powers) that grant the ability to "do stuff" without needing Line of Sight ... and the first step towards getting that functionality is having "beyond normal senses" which can let you "see through stuff" (effectively) in order to be able to $Target things that you can't otherwise target because "stuff" is in the way. So you want to think of Acute Senses as (possibly) being a sort of synergistic "stepping stone" to augmenting/modifying the capabilities of OTHER POWERS by combining them, as opposed to just merely thinking of them as being just "anti-stealth" type stuff.

This is a good point. I believe we discussed something like this at least once before. But in light of the discussion in this thread, it bears another look.


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The seeing through walls part

The seeing through walls part can be difficult to pull off. It may actually no be good inncertain instances because it could let people see gaps in maps that they shouldn’t see.

He didnearly testing on phasing through walls and...yeah turns out it is problematic. We have to make specific walls (read door ways) that you can ohase through and not ohers. The seeing through walls thing is similar in that regard.

Danger Sense which provides an indicator of directional threat is something I want to do and is one of the Super Senses I had preplanned on my white board.


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Tannim222 wrote:
Tannim222 wrote:

The seeing through walls part can be difficult to pull off. It may actually no be good inncertain instances because it could let people see gaps in maps that they shouldn’t see.
He didnearly testing on phasing through walls and...yeah turns out it is problematic. We have to make specific walls (read door ways) that you can ohase through and not ohers. The seeing through walls thing is similar in that regard.
Danger Sense which provides an indicator of directional threat is something I want to do and is one of the Super Senses I had preplanned on my white board.

Okay, actually "seeing" through walls may be problematic to visually depict. But registering the existence of a target; or heck, actually targeting something that is on the other side of a wall, would be significantly less problematic, right?

Here is how I think the game is already set to work:

  1. The game uses line of sight to determine which targets we see or don't see.
  2. we can only select targets the game tells us we can see
  3. we can only attack targets we can select
  4. the game will ignore line of sight to determine if attacks hit their targets or not (at last word from the devs), allowing attacks to go around corners to chase running targets

So since the game already considers line of sight to see targets, why not allow a tertiary to expand what is or is not line of sight for the 'seeable' check. Then the game would still be able to apply the non-acute-senses line of sight filter to determine if the target is selectable, thereby keeping us from attacking through walls, caves or into other rooms.

Seems simple enough.

In game terms, it would be an excellent tertiary. Because it would be a trade-off between getting more combat ability or gaining better situational awareness. Do I want to know which enemies are in the next room, or do I want to be better equipped to handle the unknown? Perfect trade-space for tertiaries.
And it also gives us impetus to group up because one character could have an acute senses tertiary and thereby act as the scout for the group.


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Yeah, seeing through walls is

Yeah, seeing through walls is one of those things that, like phasing through walls, has to be designed into the game from the ground up. Anything involving being able to either "move" through and/or "see" through what ought to otherwise be solid/opaque objects (like world terrain geometry) requires making a special exception to permit the alternative case to happen. It's broadly similar to stuff like making it so you can run faster on pavement than you can on unpaved surfaces, so as to an on-road/off-road differentiation. You have to build that factor in from the get go as a part of one of the "basic" things about how the world works.

So yeah, anything involving phasing through SOME solid objects but not anything and everything requires placement of "special" walls/doors which can be passed through only if certain conditions are met (is Phase Power toggled on, for example).

With respect to "seeing through walls" ... one of the first things that I, as a wannabe designer, would want to reach for (I'm talking pure Blue Sky™ stuff here) would be to implement ways to limit how "wide" the see through patch on the screen is allowed to be (soda straw versus full screen) and put limits on how "far" the reach of the see through effect can be (basically a range limit). At that point, you've basically got a Cone of Effect Power that has parameters that can be tweaked (via Augments/Refinements) and is something that you'd want to set up in such a way that it isn't something Players would just toggle on and leave running forever, permanently altering the look and feel of the game. Instead, you'd want to set things up in such a way that use of any sort of see through walls effect would be something only done occasionally as a sort of on demand spot check, rather than as a toggle you just leave running permanently.

If you can do THAT ... create a limited field of view for seeing through walls as the intended effect, then certain interesting possibilities begin to suggest themselves, since what you're enabling winds up being a sort of quirky version of Remote Viewing that allows you to "see what you shouldn't be able to see" (in effect).

For example ...

We already know that Unreal Engine 4 is perfectly capable of doing seemingly mundane things like "live security camera" footage on video screens. This is about as simple and bare bones "mundane" a form of Remote Viewing that you can get. It's also a kind of Remote Viewing that is intuitively "obvious" to us how it ought to work. Camera over THERE shows us pictures over HERE ... typically with no useful Line of Sight between them (because there's "stuff" in the way, like walls and different floors of buildings, or whatever). So a closed circuit TV camera and screen setup is a very bare bones simple way of being able to (in effect) "see through walls" to be able to view stuff you otherwise wouldn't be able to view from your current location.

Alright, everyone with me so far? I'm talking about having an alternative camera position that ISN'T where your PC is, and displaying that camera information somewhere that your PC can see it (in this case, a monitor screen), and using THAT as a way to "see through walls" (in effect). Very simple, very basic, totally believable. It can even be done (presumably) as a live feed, such that if someone walks in front of a camera in another room, you'll see that happening in real time on the monitor in this room, even though there's no Line of Sight between the two rooms.

Okay ... so if Unreal Engine 4 can do THAT ... what's to stop a clever developer from "borrowing" that idea to create a sort of "see through walls" type of Power? Essentially what you'd do is rather than placing the "display" of what the remote camera is seeing into/on some fixed object like a monitor or whatever, you simply put the "live feed" from the remote camera into the center of the Player's field of view on the screen beyond the character avatar so you have this sort of Hovering Display -> Avatar -> PC Camera lineup. This hovering display then "blocks" (or mostly blocks if you want to do a partial transparency) whatever would ordinarily be seen in that direction. So for a view like this ...

If you turn on the "see through walls" Power, you have a "remote viewing" window pop up in your camera view that looks roughly like this ...

... which is showing you what a "second camera" pointed in that direction would be showing you if it was placed on the far side of the wall in that direction. This would be a little bit of a "cheat" in that you wouldn't be (technically) seeing THROUGH the wall, from this side through to that side from your original camera position, but instead seeing in a "visual patch" on your screen what you'd be able to see if you had a second camera BEYOND the wall showing you what was on the other side in only a portion of the viewable area you can normally see.

Hmmm ... this might get easier to explain and visualize if I used some reference pics out of the City of Heroes Base Editor. So let's start with a screenshot of someone's Base.

And let's suppose that my PC is in the Entry room ... HERE ... beside the entry portal (the yellow star) ...

Now if I direct my view to the SE, I see nothing but wall in that direction (yellow arrow) ...

... but if I had a Power that allowed me to see things on the other side of walls it would place a "Remote Camera" in the direction that I'm viewing at past the wall that is blocking my view ... and that camera would be pointing in the same direction as my original camera view, so parallel linear all the way (orange arrow) ...

... with the position of the "Remote Camera" allowing me to see things past the obstruction of the "first" wall blocking my line of sight located at the position (of the orange star) just past the wall on the other side ...

All of this would technically be something of a "cheat" to be able to see beyond an object that obstructs line of sight via use of more than one camera position, and would work a little bit like a "picture in picture display" sort of deal (except placed in the center of the screen rather than off in a corner) in order to "fake" an ability to see through world geometry. The whole thing would be rigged to work in a linear/cone fashion so as to allow "scanning of the rooms/space beyond" an obstruction to Line of Sight in a way that simply requires the Player to manipulate the angle of their own (normal) camera view to be able "pan and scan" the world around them. This is where the "soda straw" limitation would come in like I was referencing above, since the view of what you could see wouldn't become your ENTIRE screen's perspective, so there'd be a little bit of "work" involved on the Player's part to be able to orient their view in a way that lets them see what they're wanting to see.

The functionality would be that you basically draw an invisible (reference) line from the camera viewpoint through the "center" of the screen (which I know can be offset, but I'm trying not to be too confusing here). This reference line will intersect with solid objects that block Line of Sight. The "see through walls" Power's function is to then CONTINUE extending that reference line in the same direction until emerging out the other side of obstructing geometry and then put a SECONDARY viewing camera at that location pointed in that same reference line direction (to keep all the angles parallel) which then displays what the secondary camera can view within a definite "picture in picture" area in the center of the Player's view when looking at the world through the "original" camera position behind (or inside, if in 1st person view) the PC avatar. Such that now THIS ...

... looks more like THIS ...

... when viewed by the Player (please excuse the crudity of the Not Really Photoshop™ tools I have to make this kind of thing visually accessible).

Now you could do all kinds of nifty extra things to make it more obvious/apparent that what you're seeing through the "soda straw" picture in picture view is your character doing a Sword of Omens, Give Me Sight Beyond Sight sort of deal in a way that the game engine can handle in a relatively simplistic manner (so the User Interface doesn't go beyond weird) where the edges of the "Remote Camera" view blur and fade out around the edges, the view of what the "Remote Camera" is showing you is partially transparent (so it doesn't block your view of what is within Line of Sight or otherwise looks a bit "see through holographic" to the Player), to say nothing of having swirling rings of mystical energies or dripping fog or other relatively common visual/particle FX added around the border to "cue" the Player that what they're looking at within the soda straw in not their "normal" view of what is directly within their Line of Sight.

So the limitation would be that the Power can only penetrate 1 "layer" of Line of Sight blocking, since it just puts the "Remote Camera" on the far side of that obstruction, and then shows you what you can see in that (same!) direction from that secondary vantage point. There are some additional refinements and polishing that could be put onto it to make things even cooler looking (and feeling) to play with ... but if that's how I was going to do try and program it as a developer, those are tools I'd want to be using to create that functionality.

Once you get THAT functionality working, the next step is to allow Players to $Target things visible within EITHER camera view ... and then at the extreme end, to allow the views from BOTH cameras to "count" as having Line of Sight for (presumably ranged only) attacks, even if there isn't an "actual" Line of Sight between the PC and the $Target (just make the Range to $Target use the ACTUAL distance between PC and $Target regardless of which "camera view" is giving them Line of Sight to that $Target).

Okay Tannim222 ... now it's your turn to say why NONE of that could ever possibly work. ^_~


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Phew that was a long read.

Phew that was a long read.

I’ll try to tackle this...

First up is the cone range of limited vision.

This is easy enough to handle, we can set perception ranges and in fact do so connected to a parameter called Awareness. No problem there.

The harder part is the remote viewing camera, well it is simple enough but there are issues to resolve.

First we would have to let the player see the nearby map even such as in the pictures you posted. The player would need to select the location, or wr would have to have a range-limited character-based-directionally located auto-spawning system (that will need to avoid spawning accidentllynin geometry).

What is spawned is an object that is both intagible and untargetable. And it would provide a viewable angle of perception at its location.

Now we can let this object be the new possession of the player - allowing a sort of claryvoiance ability. Which means the original character avatar is now unused and cannot move or do anything.

Or we could provide another object within close to the player character conmected to the spawned camera showing what it sees. Easy enough done. Harder is setting thst so only the player using the power can see the viewing object. Not imposssible, just lots of code.

There are simple and complex portions of the idea. Some of it would be very clunky to use and not provide a lot of pay off for the ROI involved. I wouldn’t rule it out, but also don’t cling to hope for it either.

All of the planned super sense sets are much easier to use than this would be, not that is a sole reason to not do it, but is one of the strikes against it. KISS rule and all that not withstanding, we want to keep things using similar designs to other systems that both pcs and npcs would use. This goes a bit too toward requiring specific requirements of design that would have limited use. Again lookkng at ROI.


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When I read all of this it

When I read all of this it reminds me of power colorization in CoH, which we were repeatedly told was NEVER (tm) coming.

While we won't see any of this at launch or any time soon after, if CoT has a long and illustrious career as an MMORPG... who can say :)?

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I think Tannim's comments on

I think Tannim's comments on ROI are the most important here. Seems like a lot of work for something that has a significantly 'meh' effect in a game like this.

Spurn all ye kindle.

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FWIW, hunters in World of

FWIW, hunters in World of Warcraft had/have a roughly analogous ability, "track", that allowed them to be aware of beings (e.g. humanoids) around them by having them show up on the minimap. Certainly not as sexy as being able to see through walls, but out does sound like out would need to be a feature that's quite integral to the game to justify that amount of work.

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Tannim222 wrote:
Tannim222 wrote:

Phew that was a long read.

Yeah, but I was trying to be extremely clear about the intent, purpose and desired functionality ... all of which takes both pictures AND "a thousand words" (or few) in order to convey in such a way as to limit misinterpretation.

Tannim222 wrote:

The harder part is the remote viewing camera, well it is simple enough but there are issues to resolve.

First we would have to let the player see the nearby map even such as in the pictures you posted. The player would need to select the location, or wr would have to have a range-limited character-based-directionally located auto-spawning system (that will need to avoid spawning accidentllynin geometry).

Uh ... why? Not trying to be snarky here, but this really is a case of ... uh, why?

First of all, unless you're going Elder Scrolls Online with your UI (which doesn't have a minimap), there's going to be a minimap. This will give access to the "nearby map" areas like you're suggesting.

Secondly, the idea is that the secondary camera "moves freely" in line with the direction of the camera view from the PC's location, and simply "hugs the near side" of whatever is on the other side of an obstruction in that particular direction. So if you look in the 8 cardinal directions, the yellow/orange lines show where the sight lines go, with the orange stars showing where the secondary camera would be located on the far side of the wall looking into the open space beyond.

And then this image would describe as you turn your point of view without moving your PC, how the locations of the secondary cameras would "slide" along their respective walls.

And then this image shows how limiting the secondary camera to only skipping over the "nearest" obstruction and placing the secondary camera on the far side of that, it's still possible to have areas which remain "not visible" beyond that depending on the positioning, angles and orientation, where the continuation of the yellow arrow beyond the "reach" of the orange arrow would be "blocked" to the Line of Sight of the secondary camera.

So all you really need to do is program the camera to "hug the wall" (or object) on the far side of the obstruction to determine where the secondary camera is to be located (and oriented, since everything is pointing in a congruent line) and you just make the main camera (behind the avatar) and the secondary camera (wherever it is) move in sync together according to camera control inputs from the Player via mouse/keyboard controls so as to keep them aligned. The most complicated part of it would be working out an algorithm that figures out how to put the secondary camera at a point "beyond the obstruction" in ... THAT ... direction, in a way that is being continuously updated as the Player moves their camera view around so as to keep everything lined up and aligned when looking "thataway" through stuff.

For doing THAT, I see no need for why the Player would need to have advance knowledge of the map's geometry in order to do this. The game engine will need to know this information (and if it doesn't you've got bigger problems!), but the Player doesn't need to know anything about this ... the Player just LOOKS in different directions and sees what they can see. That's why I was going for a "picture in picture of THAT WAY" function where everything is kept aligned to the current main camera orientation from the PC's location (which now that you've mentioned it WOULD be useful for clairvoyance and other "scrying" types of Powers involving a mobile "remote" perspective using an "out of body experience" type of perspective shifting).

Tannim222 wrote:

What is spawned is an object that is both intagible and untargetable. And it would provide a viewable angle of perception at its location.
Now we can let this object be the new possession of the player - allowing a sort of claryvoiance ability. Which means the original character avatar is now unused and cannot move or do anything.

That's not the functionality I was angling for. What you're talking about sounds more like the Eye of the Kilrogg ability given to Warlocks, or the Eyes of the Beast given to Hunters, in World of Warcraft. In these cases, the Player's perception (and movement controls) are switched to another avatar which the Player can then move around and look at things from the Pet's location while their PC stays put.

I'm talking about a real time, on the fly, continuously updated placement of a secondary camera beyond the first (and only the first) obstruction to Line of Sight in whatever direction the main camera is pointing, showing a "live view" of what the Player would see if their PC was there instead of here. Functionally is would be a case of determining the main camera's location/orientation (which the game engine SHOULD KNOW already), tracing a straight line in that direction until reaching something that blocks line of sight (so empty air up until this point), then continuing onwards past the obstruction until reaching empty air AGAIN ... and then putting a secondary camera point where the empty air is and copying the orientation of the main camera to the secondary ... and then displaying the viewpoint of that secondary camera as a picture-in-picture feature to the Player of the PC "in front of" their character (presumably in a way that only their character can see the view from the secondary camera). So the algorithm for placing the secondary camera is basically computing "space/block/space" (where space in this case is a volume the PC can freely move and see through normally) and then putting the secondary camera wherever the "second space" happens to be in whatever direction the main camera is looking. That way, the PC is still controllable and moveable while the secondary camera view is active, and if the PC slews their view around, the location of the secondary camera will "slew" and move with it.

Note that such a formulation would leave open the possibility of using specialized Augments/Refinements to make the view from the secondary camera something that is ALSO viewable by other Team members as a "projection" that others can also see.

Oh and just to cover the edge case, if a PC is on the edge of a map and uses this Power to see "beyond the edge" then the secondary camera will basically show "nothing useful" in terms of view. Stuff like fog or black "void"/nothing or the "view" from the secondary camera simply doesn't appear (at all) would be the easy go to substitution if the PC is using the Power to look in a direction where "there's nothing to see" beyond this point because there's no playable area beyond the (visible) obstruction.

Tannim222 wrote:

Or we could provide another object within close to the player character conmected to the spawned camera showing what it sees. Easy enough done. Harder is setting thst so only the player using the power can see the viewing object. Not imposssible, just lots of code.

Yeah, that's something I wouldn't be able to say is difficult or not. I'm sure there would be various ways to do it, but they would have to be researched.

Tannim222 wrote:

There are simple and complex portions of the idea. Some of it would be very clunky to use and not provide a lot of pay off for the ROI involved. I wouldn’t rule it out, but also don’t cling to hope for it either.

Well, all the Demonic Influence™ would be contained within the details of the implementation, which would then determine how versatile (and hence, useful) such a Power would be in actual practice. I'm just theorycrafting in Blue Sky™ here to come to grips with the notion of "if you were going to do this, how might it work?"

Tannim222 wrote:

All of the planned super sense sets are much easier to use than this would be, not that is a sole reason to not do it, but is one of the strikes against it. KISS rule and all that not withstanding, we want to keep things using similar designs to other systems that both pcs and npcs would use. This goes a bit too toward requiring specific requirements of design that would have limited use. Again looking at ROI.

To be honest, I'm amused that you haven't said that there's something technically impossible to do. Oh I know that aspects of it would be challenging/difficult to do, but that's not the same as saying there's NO WAY it could be done at all. Everything after that is a matter of Time, Tools and Tech Manuals ... with the Return On Investment evaluation being the determining factor, as opposed to it being a case of Possible vs Impossible.

Oh and don't discount the possibility that being able to create the sort of functionality that I'm talking about having some potential RESALE value in the UE4 marketplace if you can get it working so as to recoup the investment in development, particularly if you can "modularize" the programming needed in such a way as to make it something that anyone else can plug into THEIR game and make use of it. After all, MWM is already doing stuff that cross-pollinates with the UE4 developer efforts at creating features and functions in a relationship that works both ways ... and we're not the only ones using UE4 for our game.


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Look, there is lots of stuff

Look, there is lots of stuff we could do that is technically possible that we aren't doing even if its possible to resell on the marketplace because that is not our primary focus. Our primary focus are systems and mechanics we will regularly use in this game at this time. If we have to develop a complex system to accommodate 1 or even a couple of powers out of the hundreds we need to develop for the game, the ROI isn't worth much for us.

As to the access of the "nearby map", and spawning a player-controlled pawn controlled by the directional movement of the player avatar, that also affords appropriate collision detection to the geometry AND appropriate movement which can cause issues such as getting stuck since there is no way to control Y axis movement of the camera pawn at all times. Can detection help is slide up / down as it moves left/ right? Yes. That doesn't mean it will always do so in a SANE way that guarantees it will move appropriately and never get stuck. Leading to frustration. What you propose is not a matter of simplicity. I can make a quick and dirty prototype of this sans some of the player-avatar-facing direcitonal control which is one of the much more difficult to do issues here, but refining it so it all works together seamlessly would take a lot of time, testing and again, have extremely limited use within the game.

In that same time it would take to make an entire system for this one power, I could make multiple powers that both PCs and NPCs can use. That is the kind of ROI that is worth it.

In the future, who knows, again don't hold onto something because it is possible. Possibility does not equal probability.


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Tannim222 wrote:
Tannim222 wrote:

... Possibility does not equal probability.

Tannim, Redlynn apparently was typing her post at the same time I was typing mine, and so mine has since been surpassed by your responses to hers. But could you please read my post #25 in which I suggest a way for our characters to detect, but not actually view targets that are otherwise out of our line of sight. This would be simulating the same thing as viewing them, without actually viewing them; and I think it would be far more manageable.


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Huckleberry wrote:
Huckleberry wrote:

I suggest a way for our characters to detect, but not actually view targets that are otherwise out of our line of sight.

In a lot of ways, that feels like the sort of thing that would get folded into a Danger Sense sort of Power, or at least be a component of it, in the sense of "knowing when you're already surrounded" and so on.


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How about a super sense power

How about a super sense power where you activate it and it reveals all enemies around you in a certain radius, or an auto power that points a direction whenever it sees an enemy that your camera isn't pointing at.

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Huckleberry wrote:
Huckleberry wrote:

Tannim222 wrote:
... Possibility does not equal probability.
Tannim, Redlynn apparently was typing her post at the same time I was typing mine, and so mine has since been surpassed by your responses to hers. But could you please read my post #25 in which I suggest a way for our characters to detect, but not actually view targets that are otherwise out of our line of sight. This would be simulating the same thing as viewing them, without actually viewing them; and I think it would be far more manageable.

It is close to a concept I have for a Radar Sense / X-Ray Vision. It can be possible to highlight avatars through terrain geometry.
The geomotry still prevents LoS for actual attacks.
Far more likely to happen than remote viewing (we even did an early prototype a ling while back).


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I think these were in a movie once ... ^_~


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Knock it off, Hudson.

Knock it off, Hudson.

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I'm Hicks, he's Hudson sir

I'm Hicks, he's Hudson sir

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Game over man. Game over!

Game over man. Game over!

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Nuke them from orbit.

Nuke them from orbit.

(It's the only way to be sure.)

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Redlynne wrote:
Redlynne wrote:

I think these were in a movie once ... ^_~

I think movies were awesome once.

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In all seriousness COH would

In all seriousness COH would allow enemies in line of sight to be targeted and would continue to show them or an outline or targeting brackets through walls up to a distance. I think it makes sense for some powers to allow similar targeting initiated outside of line of sight. Perhaps some powers could even allow attacks outside of line of sight like magic missles.

Hopefully the ROI is there in the context of a post release expansion perhaps packaged and branded as something like "stealth systems". Bundle it with ninja run and I'm one happy camper.

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I could understand targeting

I could understand targeting initiated from beyond LoS, particularly with some form of unusual sensory perception, but not actual attacks. Oh, except for TP Foe, for that, yanking the enemy through a wall was proper tactics.

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Fireheart wrote:
Fireheart wrote:

I could understand targeting initiated from beyond LoS, particularly with some form of unusual sensory perception, but not actual attacks. Oh, except for TP Foe, for that, yanking the enemy through a wall was proper tactics.

Teleport Foe did not require Line of Sight.
Oddly enough ... Teleport ... did require a Line of Sight, so you couldn't Teleport around corners (for example).

Being able to Teleport yourself to any "remotely viewed" location or "through walls" simply by being able to "see through walls" in order to do so would seem to be one of the easier to reach lower hanging fruits in this regard for taking gameplay to the next level.

Heck, simply being able to "see through walls" to select an opponent and use non-damaging status effect/debuff Powers on them before they can see you would seem to have certain "well duh!" appeal to it. It's one of those things where once you make the tools available, all kinds of tricksy synergies begin to suggest themselves for being able to take advantage of increased/enhanced situational awareness.


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Tannim222
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Redlynne wrote:
Redlynne wrote:

Fireheart wrote:
I could understand targeting initiated from beyond LoS, particularly with some form of unusual sensory perception, but not actual attacks. Oh, except for TP Foe, for that, yanking the enemy through a wall was proper tactics.
Teleport Foe did not require Line of Sight.
Oddly enough ... Teleport ... did require a Line of Sight, so you couldn't Teleport around corners (for example).
Being able to Teleport yourself to any "remotely viewed" location or "through walls" simply by being able to "see through walls" in order to do so would seem to be one of the easier to reach lower hanging fruits in this regard for taking gameplay to the next level.
Heck, simply being able to "see through walls" to select an opponent and use non-damaging status effect/debuff Powers on them before they can see you would seem to have certain "well duh!" appeal to it. It's one of those things where once you make the tools available, all kinds of tricksy synergies begin to suggest themselves for being able to take advantage of increased/enhanced situational awareness.

The issue with tthat is the way our combat system is designed. All powers that affect a hostile target is considered an attack. Attack powers require line of sight to select the target.

Percieving a target location is not necessarily providing line of sight, geometry still exists, the ability to perceive does not necessarily grant the ability to attack through obstruction.

And teleport foe is not just “teleport”. The mechanic is displacing a hostile target to your location. Teleport would be one possible aeshetic of that attack. It could also be a grapnel line to pull them, a lasso, a tornado, rolling earth, and so on.

So the trade off here is that this type of attack requires a LoS chrck, but you can apply many aesthetics to work with a number of conceptual themes.

Now, interestingly, we can have attacks that can pass through geomtry if we can have that geometry passable by a phase state. If you have both the ability to perceive a target, and an ability to phase an attack...


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GRAPPLE ATTACKS CONFIRMED ;)

GRAPPLE ATTACKS CONFIRMED ;)

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Tannim222 wrote:
Tannim222 wrote:

Now, interestingly, we can have attacks that can pass through geomtry if we can have that geometry passable by a phase state. If you have both the ability to perceive a target, and an ability to phase an attack...

This is one concept I did not have the courage to ask for, and yet here it seems you are delivering. Thank you, MWM.


I like to take your ideas and supersize them. This isn't criticism, it is flattery. I come with nothing but good will and a spirit of team-building. If you take what I write any other way, that is probably just because I wasn't very clear.
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Be neat if you could make two

Be neat if you could make two portals linking an area, essentially counting the space in between as phased or non existent.

Glad for all the news and the hard work that's being put in, by the by. I'm just throwing ideas around. Not trying to be a "get given an inch take a mile" kinda peep.

"Let the past die. Kill it if you have to."

Tannim222
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Project_Hero wrote:
Project_Hero wrote:

Be neat if you could make two portals linking an area, essentially counting the space in between as phased or non existent.
Glad for all the news and the hard work that's being put in, by the by. I'm just throwing ideas around. Not trying to be a "get given an inch take a mile" kinda peep.

Creating two portals where you can move through one and exit the other is rather simple. Keeping momentum through them is difficult and probably wouldn’t happen.


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Project_Hero
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That'd be a cool teleport

That'd be a cool teleport power.

"Let the past die. Kill it if you have to."

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Aperture Science. We do what

Aperture Science. We do what we want, because we can.

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Verbogeny is one of many pleasurettes afforded a creatific thinkerizer.