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Aesthetic Decoupling

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Little Red Ragnarok
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Aesthetic Decoupling

I've been thinking about the concept of 'Aesthetic Decoupling'. As I understand, in terms of CoT, it means that a character's power selection is divorced from it's animations. Meaning a 'Burning Blast' power set can involve shooting fire, summoning blistering sand, tossing acid bombs, or firing a heat ray.

Has that ever been done in another RPG or video game that you can think of?

EDIT: Fixed typo from Ascetic for Aesthetic.Yeah, I got the two words confused.

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Err, I think you must mean

Err, I think you must mean 'aesthetic' which is 'the idea of beauty', or 'how things look'. 'Ascetic' is stoic, or severe self-discipline, such as a holy-person might practice.

In the City, 'aesthetic decoupling' means that the shape or color or design of your Appearance or costume has no effect on your powers. Further, the Appearance of your powers and the animations that accompany their use, have no effect on the Effects of your powers. The look does not affect the effect.

Power customization will allow us to choose a power-effect, assign a power-animation to it, and probably customize the colors, as well.

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Not that you'd be the first

Not that you'd be the first to confuse the two. Early editions of AD&D described Monks as "monastic aesthetics". The Murphy's Rules entry was headlined "Grand Master of Flower Arranging". ^_^

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But to answer that last

But to answer that last question, the closest I can think of was only two choices per power, and all were linked to the character's faction. So if you wanted the lightning-from-your-hands animation, you had to choose the Empire.

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Little Red Ragnarok
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Foradain wrote:
Foradain wrote:

Not that you'd be the first to confuse the two. Early editions of AD&D described Monks as "monastic aesthetics". The Murphy's Rules entry was headlined "Grand Master of Flower Arranging". ^_^

LOL.

Yeah, my bad for the mis-type, it's not a word I'm used to writing out, so I got with confused. I've corrected it.

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When you consider the system

When you consider the system as a whole, from being able to select emanation points, the type of partical effect, the color of the particles (or multiple colors in some cases), the animations, having one (or possibly multiple weapons at some point down the road), and colors of those weapons. Along with the number of powers a character can have which opens up the possibility of any combination of the previous categories all on one character. Then provide a pet class where players can customize their pets' appearance and powers in a similar manner to that of PCs. And what you have is truly unprecedented.

On a side note, I keep a list of "first time...", we have a surprising number of them from how we formed, the type of company we are, to things we've done or plan to implement in the game.


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The more you say stuff like

The more you say stuff like this, the more I really want to play the game.

I remember when Star Wars was cool...a long, long time ago...

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Will each animation set come

Will each animation set come with its own names for the various animations/powers or will the game allow for customized names for powers, to avoid dissonance? Otherwise people will have a "Fire Blast" that has no relation to fire or powers will require very generic names. I expect something relatively generic like "Burn Blast" will be necessary so that there will be a common terminology to discuss the various powers, but it would be very cool if it showed as "Acid Belch" on the power tray (and perhaps even in the combat log). Rather like a global and personal name for each power.

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Darth Fez wrote:
Darth Fez wrote:

Will each animation set come with its own names for the various animations/powers or will the game allow for customized names for powers, to avoid dissonance? Otherwise people will have a "Fire Blast" that has no relation to fire or powers will require very generic names. I expect something relatively generic like "Burn Blast" will be necessary so that there will be a common terminology to discuss the various powers, but it would be very cool if it showed as "Acid Belch" on the power tray (and perhaps even in the combat log). Rather like a global and personal name for each power.

Intriguing proposal for an already good idea. I like it although I am not sure what the devs could do about it

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I think being able to

I think being able to customize the name of a power if, say, hovering over it with the mouse produces a popup, would be a great idea but having standardized nomenclature would be necessary when discussing powers in the forums.
I don't PvP but it seems it might be necessary there as well. I don't know how much telegraphing is expected in a PvP scenario. I seem to remember, in CoH, certain power customizations were disabled in PvP, presumably so your opponent has the right visual cues to have a fair chance at countering what you're doing..

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Darth Fez wrote:
Darth Fez wrote:

Will each animation set come with its own names for the various animations/powers or will the game allow for customized names for powers, to avoid dissonance? Otherwise people will have a "Fire Blast" that has no relation to fire or powers will require very generic names. I expect something relatively generic like "Burn Blast" will be necessary so that there will be a common terminology to discuss the various powers, but it would be very cool if it showed as "Acid Belch" on the power tray (and perhaps even in the combat log). Rather like a global and personal name for each power.

There are good reasons why it wouldn't work that way. All the power names run off the power library, so anything meant to provide information would run the library name. I will get back to naming in a moment and move to the next part.

Selecting particle effects may be by name, but it won't change the power information itself. Aesthetic decoupling is true in every sense, what a power looks like does not affect the mechanics, including the name. Taking the "burning blast" power and choosing a fire fx particle fx or a liquid fx won't affect the name of the power. Selecting the emanation point doesn't affect the name of the power either.

So what does this mean for names? Well, there are certain limitations to what can be used for a name, but that doesn't prevent either "generic" or creative names either. Going back to my first point, the power library and name, in order for the name to change with every animation a power would need to have both a Power Name and Power Display Name.
The natural question to ask then is : "If you can do that, then way aren't you?"

The reason is rather simple: so many names such little time.

I will give an example. Let's take a very basic power name like burning blast. Now the following is something that may not be at launch but something possible over time, let's start with emanation points: hands, feet, wrists, shoulders, mouth, eyes, forehead.

Then there are objects: every possible type of hand held weapon from melee to ranged types. Just labeling all these categories would take a couple of paragraphs. Each of these may have their own emanation point. Next objects could be those not held by the character, such as something nearby the character at various heights; like a bird, or a cat; plenty of categories, each with at least one emanation point.

Each location from no weapon to weapons then may call for a different physical animation, and indeed themselves have multiple selections. Take the hand emanation point: open hand, fist, various fighting styles (multiple categories here), and then various poses that may not fall into a fighting style.

Next, particle effects, burning. Blast can have multiple. Examples include but not necessarily limited to: Fire, wind, acid, electricity, lasers, mystic runes that explode, catch fire, electrify, etc...

This one power therefore has multiple categories from which to derive a display name from. Each category, and each subcategory thereof, would require we provide a name so players know what they are looking at, but with so many combinations it wouldn't be feasible to create a massive library of every possible combination and provide a unique, applicable name so each has a distinct power display name for just a single power.

The question has come up in the past about the possibility of the player being able to customize the name of their power set and even power names to both provide a way around the issues surrounding having one power with so many possible power names due to the multitude of options and providing fulfillment of player concepts. Again, while possible, not feasible as it requires a robust filtering system (even beyond character name filters), and opens up the potential of a customer service nightmare in resolving any player reporting issues. Our cs dept will already have to deal with coatume and character name violations, customized power names is more of a complication worth devoting time towards at this juncture.


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This is where macros come in.

This is where macros come in.

Just program macros for all your attack powers that will execute the power and /say the name of whatever you imagine that power to be in local chat. You will now have a very annoying chat spambot fighter that hardly anyone will want to team up with, because you are more Sentai than a Giant Robot.

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Ah yes, that perennial

Ah yes, that perennial problem with custom names should have occurred to me. The easy approach to dealing with that is to limit such customization to the client side, so that everyone else still sees the default "Burning Blast". Not as satisfying* but definitely a step in the right direction.



* Nor as potentially annoying or irritating, if someone else uses the same for what appears to be a completely different power.

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Tannim222 wrote:
Tannim222 wrote:

Again, while possible, not feasible as it requires a robust filtering system (even beyond character name filters), and opens up the potential of a customer service nightmare in resolving any player reporting issues. Our cs dept will already have to deal with coatume and character name violations, customized power names is more of a complication worth devoting time towards at this juncture.

It should be relatively straightforward to let players name their powers on their own 'character sheets' but keep the game's labeling nomenclature for the purpose of interacting with cs. For instance, if the player names their energy blast 'god's smiting fist of doom' only they would see it on their character sheet (using 'character sheet' as a proxy for whatever you're calling the characteristics/statistics/powers/gear screen). The power's underlying naming convention will remain energy blast regardless of the title the player inserted. The primary issue would be worries about screen shots of character sheets with offensive naming conventions being shared in the public domain, but a simple language filter would disallow the vast majority of offensive language.

Regardless of how they name their power, a 'show points' button a la marvel heroes would allow players to see the game's nomenclature if they're on call with cs or in other contexts. During in-game activity, such as combat logging, there's no need for other players to know little billy bumblebee has named his energy blast 'the bees knees', just that his energy blast did x points of damage. Also, MWM certainly doesn't need to allow characters to label emanation points or particle effects, just the power itself would be plenty.

Have a character (letters/numbers) cap for naming, use a language filter, and limit it to just the character sheets - this gives the player more customization/immersion with their toons and shouldn't tax the servers to any significant extent.

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What will be possible for

What will be possible for client-side modifications is outside the current scope of design. We are, after all, only at the prototype stage. It would also probably be very limited in what would actually change for the client and what wouldn't because of what is not handed off to the client. Say if a client could change their power tray, but not their Augmentation screen, or new power selection screen, or combat logs and so on.

If the point of the customization is so they player can customize their experience to improve their immersion, but that customization is limited to where they cannot avoid the non-customizable portions, the option has rather failed to achieve the stated goal.


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Steamy Mist + Brownish Color

Steamy Mist + Brownish Color Tint = Smelly Poop Cloud! :D

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fair points. I should think

fair points. I should think this was pretty far down the list of launch day deliverables anyway ;-)

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Izzy wrote:
Izzy wrote:

Steamy Mist + Brownish Color Tint = Smelly Poop Cloud! :D

Thank you for not detailing the location the power manifests from ...


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Redlynne wrote:
Redlynne wrote:

Izzy wrote:
Steamy Mist + Brownish Color Tint = Smelly Poop Cloud! :D

Thank you for not detailing the location the power manifests from ...

Actually I won a "worst random character ever" because it had the gears aura (dropping aura) which was coloured brown. He was also spindly purple and green with horns and hunched over at the same time.

Yes, it did look like he was pooping everywhere

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would we eventually be able

would we eventually be able to add firing points to our charcters? Like a turret on your shoulder?

not my video just one I lke ===> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6-SdIN0hsM

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Yes.

Yes.

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Darth Fez wrote: Yes.
Darth Fez wrote:

Yes.

not my video just one I lke ===> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6-SdIN0hsM