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AOE Immunities

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warlocc
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AOE Immunities

So, I'm currently playing a couple other MMO's with pets. And mechanics. Big AOEs you have to either avoid or block.

Well, pets neither avoid or block.

So I'm spending the entire battle resummoning after each AOE. Every 15 seconds.

Devs of said game have no intention of making pets immune.

Is that something we're likely to run into with CoT?

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Well, MWM has said there won

Well, MWM has said there won't be blocking in CoT, so we're safe on that one.

As for big AoEs that require avoidance, I *think* (anyone correct me if I'm wrong) they said if such things are used they'd be rare and well-telegraphed. I would hope that 'rare' in this case means only in one or two taskforces and that's all. If CoT follows the old game, the Commander class will hopefully be able to direct pets to go to a location, but that doesn't solve the problem if any classes get non-controllable pets as the old Controller did. Huh, I just spotted the irony there.

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I've actually heard the

I've actually heard the opposite, Cinnder - that boss fights that involve some scripted AoE segments that you have the manage positioning on will be common enough to be a big deal.

I went into it in This Thread and Tyche himself responded in the affirmative that, yes, things will be a lot like how FF14 handles them. which means large, telegraphed AoEs that you need to learn to avoid properly.

The way most games handle the issue of pets getting mulched by avoidance AoEs is simply to give them a flat damage resistance versus AoE strikes. World of Warcraft and Guild Wars 2 went for an 80% damage reduction, I think - enough that the pet is still notably hurt, but it'll take five times as many hits to kill the pet as to kill the player.

An infinite number of tries doesn't mean that any one of those tries will succeed. I could flip an infinite number of pennies an infinite number of times and, barring genuine randomness, they will never come up "Waffles".

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There were definitely fights

There were definitely fights in CoH in which the low tier mastermind pets got mulched quite quickly, to the point that it could be pointless to try to re-summon them. I'm sure there will be some enemies in CoT against which a commander will be at a disadvantage. Mind you, these were typically boss-level or tougher opponents. So, yeah, even though CoH handled it better than most games it could be frustrating being a pet-based AT during boss fights. (It feels like in most games I've experienced pets tend to under-perform against bosses, anyway.)

Still, I'd be surprised if MWM provides pets with massive resistances just so players don't have to re-summon them if they get careless or unlucky. However, something functionally similar might be available through Momentum.

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AoE should be the Mastermind

AoE should be the Mastermind's weakness. If not, what else would they be weak to?

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Halae wrote:
Halae wrote:

I've actually heard the opposite, Cinnder - that boss fights that involve some scripted AoE segments that you have the manage positioning on will be common enough to be a big deal.

I went into it in This Thread and Tyche himself responded in the affirmative that, yes, things will be a lot like how FF14 handles them. which means large, telegraphed AoEs that you need to learn to avoid properly.

I took Doc's comment to mean they were looking to the other games for ideas of how to keep team-oriented content interesting and varied, but your understanding makes sense also. I find Doc's posts tend to leave a wide range available for interpretations (perhaps intentionally?), so I'm not surprised we read this differently. The question is whether MWM might clear the issue up -- or will Doc post a reply* that just further confuses us? :-) Either way, I certainly hope that we don't see one particular mechanic in the majority of TF-like content; I expect that would get old pretty quickly.

* My money is on a post that simply reads, 'Both!'

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Masterminds aren't inherently

Masterminds aren't inherently stronger against anything than any other class (assuming classes are relatively balanced), so why should they be inherently weaker?

The real answer is having solid enough pet controls that a mastermind player can effectively move themselves and their pets. The archetype naturally requires more attention and micromanagement from a player than other archetypes to reach full potential by the nature of the class. All the things that are important for playing the archetype such as good pet AI, controls, UI, ability to use macros and scripted automatic behaviors - these are what make playing a mastermind a good experience. These same features go a long way in solving the issue of AoEs vs pets.

Giving pets a blanket AoE resistance is a lazy but functional fix to the issue that some games use. Another solution could be a "boss fight" toggle in the mastermind's pet control options to go along with the usual behavior controls like "aggressive" and "passive". It tells pets to prioritize avoiding template attacks above all else while the toggle is on. If they're standing in a red circle, they stop whatever they are doing and run out of it. Then they return to their otherwise normal behavior. A feature such as this could alleviate the issue without requiring the player to spend the whole fight merely keeping their pets alive instead of fighting.

Such a feature would be icing on the cake, though. Players need robust command and control options.

Really, the issue of AoE is an issue of "does this game have sufficient pet control options".

In all likelihood mastermind won't be the only class with pets and there will very likely be pet summons available as temporary or tertiary powers if the game ends up like CoX. I think CoX even had summon powers in endgame incarnate abilities that anyone could take. So while this affects masterminds the most, it is not a minor issue nor will it be limited to affecting one archetype.

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TheInternetJanitor wrote:
TheInternetJanitor wrote:

In all likelihood mastermind won't be the only class with pets and there will very likely be pet summons available as temporary or tertiary powers if the game ends up like CoX. I think CoX even had summon powers in endgame incarnate abilities that anyone could take. So while this affects masterminds the most, it is not a minor issue nor will it be limited to affecting one archetype.

Well we know at the very least CoT will have Operators which presumably will have pets like CoH Controllers/Dominators did. Of course Controller/Dominators pets worked under a completely different paradigm than Mastermind henchmen - Masterminds relied primarily on their pets via micromanagement whereas Controllers/Dominators used pets more in a "fire and forget" secondary effect manner.

Still your point that "anything that affects pets" could end up affecting a lot of players in some fashion in the long run.

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alltrueist wrote:
alltrueist wrote:

AoE should be the Mastermind's weakness. If not, what else would they be weak to?

Answer here:

TheInternetJanitor wrote:

Masterminds aren't inherently stronger against anything than any other class (assuming classes are relatively balanced), so why should they be inherently weaker?

My concern is, like in the game I'm playing, a summoner is worthless in AOE heavy fights and might as well AFK through it. Gonna watch YouTube, let me know when my loot is ready.

Lothic wrote:

Masterminds relied primarily on their pets via micromanagement whereas Controllers used pets more in a "fire and forget" secondary manner.

Still your point that "anything that affects pets" could end up affecting a lot of players in some fashion in the long run.

Really, it is important for everyone, but doubly so for Commanders. An AI scheme, easy controls, or some kind of immunity, or Commanders will be rejected for that content.

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I wouldn't want them to be

I wouldn't want them to be immune, but damage resistance would definitely be nice. Ideally, I'd actually prefer the option to be built into their pet AI. Like "Aggressive" vs. "Defensive" stances.

In Defensive stance pets would actively try to avoid telegraphed area attacks in between their own attacks, along with their normal Defensive AI.

Aggressive stance would make them stand their ground, so to speak, and push through it to take down the opponent potentially at the expense of their own life.

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This goes back to a pretty

This goes back to a pretty classic DnD issue of "Do I summon one big creature or like 8 little ones?"

In a vacuum, you take the little ones, because unless you KNOW your opponent has Fireball, that's better. If they DO have massive AoE damage, you take the one big one, obviously. As such, this is more a question of strategy than of balance. No single class or build should be totally strong against like EVERY possible opponent. I think it's fine if the "large number of relatively small pets" strategy meets its doom against one or more individual giant monsters/arch-villains, etc, because hey, you can't win them all. The single Defender in CoX had a hard time against some stuff too. The lone Tanker had fights where they could get exhausted (out of endo) before they could finish off a boss. These things happen. I think they SHOULD happen, in fact.

For one thing, you can always just do content that your toon is strong against, and for another this gives people areason to want to team up soometimes. Also, CoX has adjustable difficulty settings which helped that.

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warlocc
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Radiac wrote:
Radiac wrote:

This goes back to a pretty classic DnD issue of "Do I summon one big creature or like 8 little ones?"

In a vacuum, you take the little ones, because unless you KNOW your opponent has Fireball, that's better. If they DO have massive AoE damage, you take the one big one, obviously. As such, this is more a question of strategy than of balance. No single class or build should be totally strong against like EVERY possible opponent. I think it's fine if the "large number of relatively small pets" strategy meets its doom against one or more individual giant monsters/arch-villains, etc, because hey, you can't win them all. The single Defender in CoX had a hard time against some stuff too. The lone Tanker had fights where they could get exhausted (out of endo) before they could finish off a boss. These things happen. I think they SHOULD happen, in fact.

Sure, if the Tanker can't avoid it, neither should the Commander pet. But if the Tanker can avoid the mechanic, the Commander should be able too.

Radiac wrote:

For one thing, you can always just do content that your toon is strong against, and for another this gives people areason to want to team up soometimes. Also, CoX has adjustable difficulty settings which helped that.

So you're saying Commanders should just get people to carry them through fights with mechanics?

The problem isn't the DnD example of which pet to choose, it's a question of how will that 1 or those 8 deal with ground/telegraphed mechanics?

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The Commander's "inherent

The Commander's "inherent advantage" is having powers that effectively are "always on DoTs". So having their weakness being AoE damage seems to me pretty natural, but it needs to be a normal weakness and not a crippling one. Of course this has to be put in relation to all the other AT's strengths and weaknesses.

@Warlocc
AoE is not the only mechanic they can use in fights, it's just the most noticeable and easiest to use. Even in fights with lots of AoE's they still have their secondary set and can be useful.

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blacke4dawn wrote:
blacke4dawn wrote:

The Commander's "inherent advantage" is having powers that effectively are "always on DoTs". So having their weakness being AoE damage seems to me pretty natural, but it needs to be a normal weakness and not a crippling one. Of course this has to be put in relation to all the other AT's strengths and weaknesses.

@Warlocc
AoE is not the only mechanic they can use in fights, it's just the most noticeable and easiest to use. Even in fights with lots of AoE's they still have their secondary set and can be useful.

Why would you invite someone to your raid with no primary abilities over someone that does have primary and secondary, perhaps even the same secondary?

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Let me be clear. I'm not

Let me be clear. I'm not talking about PvP or your average fireball that might kill a pet, or might just need to be healed from.

I'm talking about the big telegraphed raid boss abilities that require everyone to move to specific positions or be instakilled, and are generally spammed on a timer.

Without a counter of some kind, you'd always choose a different class or player for those fights or risk not having enough DPS to get it done.

The question this thread is asking is, what's the plan to keep Commanders useful for those fights?

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The game isn't launching with

The game isn't launching with a MM archetype, so hopefully MWM works out the additional elements in the time they have given themselves. There are plenty of people that are interested in CoT specifically because CoX had such a great mastermind class experience that other games have been unable to live up to.

Design and balance are key aspects but a good UI and control options are easily as important to the experience of the class. If we can control our pets easily and naturally the issue of avoiding AoEs becomes much less problematic. In an ideal world we'd want solid manual controls such as a decent interface combined with decent passive controls that specify automatic pet behavior.

At the end of the day pets may also need some inherent AoE damage resistance even with decent controls since not all AoE effects are likely to be dodgeable. Sometimes you have to fight in a burning building or pool of toxic sludge, or fight baddies that constantly smack things in an area around them. Not all AoE effects are giant telegraphed boss autokill moves, but they do all disproportionately affect multiple weak targets like pets.

I just hope that MWM takes the full picture into account and makes a really enjoyable experience for the archetype. I know it is a big draw for me personally. Stat changes to alleviate design challenges can work to some degree and other games have certainly followed this road. Still, good controls are of paramount importance for the class and will make or break the experience with the archtype.

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warlocc wrote:
warlocc wrote:
blacke4dawn wrote:

The Commander's "inherent advantage" is having powers that effectively are "always on DoTs". So having their weakness being AoE damage seems to me pretty natural, but it needs to be a normal weakness and not a crippling one. Of course this has to be put in relation to all the other AT's strengths and weaknesses.

@Warlocc
AoE is not the only mechanic they can use in fights, it's just the most noticeable and easiest to use. Even in fights with lots of AoE's they still have their secondary set and can be useful.

Why would you invite someone to your raid with no primary abilities over someone that does have primary and secondary, perhaps even the same secondary?

Maybe it's just a single boss that is AoE heavy? Maybe it's just intermittent phases? Maybe they are just good friends? Or maybe they don't care that much. Not everyone optimizes to such a degree and we don't know if it will actually even be needed outside of specific achievements, or ever at all.

I remember that they have said that the different "styles" for summoning sets will be based around the amount of summons (I'm guessing 1, 2, 4, 6 summons) so not every commander will have the same "amount" of this kind of weakness, and as I said it has to be placed in relation to the other AT's.

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TheInternetJanitor wrote:
TheInternetJanitor wrote:

At the end of the day pets may also need some inherent AoE damage resistance even with decent controls since not all AoE effects are likely to be dodgeable. Sometimes you have to fight in a burning building or pool of toxic sludge, or fight baddies that constantly smack things in an area around them. Not all AoE effects are giant telegraphed boss autokill moves, but they do all disproportionately affect multiple weak targets like pets.

Right.

In CoH I didn't mind losing my weak pets to that sort of thing, since the stronger ones generally survived and stayed viable.

TheInternetJanitor wrote:

I just hope that MWM takes the full picture into account and makes a really enjoyable experience for the archetype. I know it is a big draw for me personally. Stat changes to alleviate design challenges can work to some degree and other games have certainly followed this road. Still, good controls are of paramount importance for the class and will make or break the experience with the archtype.

Exactly. Doesn't matter if it's resists, immunity, special stats or AI, a good UI, or something else. We just need some way to make sure Commanders are as viable for a given fight as anyone else.

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warlocc wrote:
warlocc wrote:

Why would you invite someone to your raid with no primary abilities over someone that does have primary and secondary, perhaps even the same secondary?

I certainly hope that CoT is enough like the old game that such things are rarely an issue because any team mix will be viable, even a team of all the same archetype.

Spurn all ye kindle.

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blacke4dawn wrote:
blacke4dawn wrote:
warlocc wrote:
blacke4dawn wrote:

The Commander's "inherent advantage" is having powers that effectively are "always on DoTs". So having their weakness being AoE damage seems to me pretty natural, but it needs to be a normal weakness and not a crippling one. Of course this has to be put in relation to all the other AT's strengths and weaknesses.

@Warlocc
AoE is not the only mechanic they can use in fights, it's just the most noticeable and easiest to use. Even in fights with lots of AoE's they still have their secondary set and can be useful.

Why would you invite someone to your raid with no primary abilities over someone that does have primary and secondary, perhaps even the same secondary?

Maybe it's just a single boss that is AoE heavy? Maybe it's just intermittent phases? Maybe they are just good friends? Or maybe they don't care that much. Not everyone optimizes to such a degree and we don't know if it will actually even be needed outside of specific achievements, or ever at all.

I remember that they have said that the different "styles" for summoning sets will be based around the amount of summons (I'm guessing 1, 2, 4, 6 summons) so not every commander will have the same "amount" of this kind of weakness, and as I said it has to be placed in relation to the other AT's.

1 dead pet or 6 dead pets both do 0 damage.
If all raids are casual and can be completed with gimped characters, then yes. This isn't a big deal.

If there's actually going to be challenging encounters that include this mechanic though, Commanders (and anyone else that summons) will need some way to handle it.

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warlocc
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Cinnder wrote:
Cinnder wrote:
warlocc wrote:

Why would you invite someone to your raid with no primary abilities over someone that does have primary and secondary, perhaps even the same secondary?

I certainly hope that CoT is enough like the old game that such things are rarely an issue because any team mix will be viable, even a team of all the same archetype.

Honestly, I agree. CoH never had the big telegraphed boss abilities like that, that I remember. That's a relatively new thing in MMOs.
Thing is, we know this game will have them. If they're anything like other MMOs, summoned creatures will need some way to survive.

It makes for terrible gameplay otherwise.
In the other game I'm playing, I literally can't play summon classes in the current content due to this problem. The answer over there was "play a different class, sucks to be you if you like pets".

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Remember that there's no law

Remember that there's no law that says every raid has to be "fair" to every class archetype. Conversely it's reasonable enough to assume that there should not be a class archetype that fundamentally "sucks" at ALL raids.

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Lothic wrote:
Lothic wrote:

Remember that there's no law that says every raid has to be "fair" to every class archetype. Conversely it's reasonable enough to assume that there should not be a class archetype that fundamentally "sucks" at ALL raids.

Yeah, it'd be boring if all classes were always equal all the time.
I'm talking about one particular class being locked out of their primary abilities for an entire fight, when everyone else can stay in it just by pressing W every 15 seconds or whatever.

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warlocc wrote:
warlocc wrote:
Lothic wrote:

Remember that there's no law that says every raid has to be "fair" to every class archetype. Conversely it's reasonable enough to assume that there should not be a class archetype that fundamentally "sucks" at ALL raids.

Yeah, it'd be boring if all classes were always equal all the time.
I'm talking about one particular class being locked out of their primary abilities for an entire fight, when everyone else can stay in it just by pressing W every 15 seconds or whatever.

Well sure the game ought to make it so that -any- class can at least "contribute" to a boss fight even if they aren't exceptionally well suited for it other wise. I remember plenty of boss fights where depending on the character archetype I was playing I only had a few powers available that could contribute positively to the overall effort.

Again there's no law that says every class needs to be able to be "fully effective" against every boss. Just like that famous scene from "Saving Private Ryan" when Captain Miller (Tom Hanks) is reduced to shooting his .45 pistol at the oncoming German tank. Sure he wasn't going to be able to stop the tank just with that pistol but at least he didn't give up trying.

Some fights are just not going to be "well suited" for everyone. If a Mastermind can be a god 95% of the time and suck ass the other 5% that seems like a reasonable trade-off to me. This reminds me of the whining I often heard from Scrappers who could normally cut through almost anything like butter then get upset when there was one type of critter or one type of scenario that actually gave them trouble. *shrugs*

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There is a pretty big

There is a pretty big difference between having a slight advantage or disadvantage in a fight as opposed to not being able to do the fight at all or needing someone else to carry you. Warlocc hit it on the head there in that big boss autokill moves are generally a pretty minor problem for non pet classes.

I think the main reason this thread exists is that historically this specific problem (AoE vs pets) has been overlooked and neglected by game developers, and when it is addressed it is done with a lazy "eh just give them immunity" handwave that is patched in much later (a la WoW). The idea that this might be something that would be neglected is a legit concern based on documented history. Players that are extremely excited about CoT's potential to bring back the fun of the mastermind experience are focused on issues that are specific to that experience. The fact that MWM is pushing the archetype back from release is both a pro and a con here. Pro in that it gives them more time to get it right, but there is also a very real possibility that many fights and mechanics will be set up without taking into consideration how they will play out with pets in the mix.

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CoX did have telegraphed AoE

CoX did have telegraphed AoE damage that could party wipe you. Some versions of the Hamidon Raid had that (I believe) as did several Incarnate Trials I can remember of the top of my head (Avoid the Green Stuff in the Keyes Trial, and then there was something similar in the Penelope Yin trial, right?). There might have been more I'm not remembering even.

Either way, if there's an AoE mechanic that a superduper arch boss has that one-shot's EVERYONE (with the possible exception of some of the tougher tank builds) then it's not strictly only a problem for pet-focused classes per se. Defenders and Scrappers and Blasters still die to it too, if they get hit. If you're a pet class, and you JUST lose the pets, they can be re-summoned from a safe distance. The Scrappers etc have to die and respawn.

Also, I don't think there needs to be a rule that every class has to be able to solo every fight with relative straightforward application of their base powers. There seems to be some room for cross-class synergy here. I mean, every tank will benefit from having a more damage-focused type on the team, the two will likely cut through missions faster together than they would solo. That implies they can do that, or they can up their difficulty and do more and tougher fights in the same amount of time. Either way, there's something to be gained there, presumably, as longer tought fights probably mean better or more swag. Similarly, those with "heal/buff others" powers will always want someone to buff/heal.

Frankly I think it would be better and more realistic if every class had a weakness in some area that makes it not 100% independently super combat effective at all times. I think they SHOULD put in encounters in the PVE part of the game that are designed to out-endurance most tankers, out AoE most pet summoners, out toughness most blasters, etc. There's nothing stopping you from skipping those fights, getting help, or using unorthodox builds/tactics to win them solo.

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warlocc wrote:
warlocc wrote:
Cinnder wrote:
warlocc wrote:

Why would you invite someone to your raid with no primary abilities over someone that does have primary and secondary, perhaps even the same secondary?

I certainly hope that CoT is enough like the old game that such things are rarely an issue because any team mix will be viable, even a team of all the same archetype.

Honestly, I agree. CoH never had the big telegraphed boss abilities like that, that I remember. That's a relatively new thing in MMOs.
Thing is, we know this game will have them. If they're anything like other MMOs, summoned creatures will need some way to survive.

It makes for terrible gameplay otherwise.
In the other game I'm playing, I literally can't play summon classes in the current content due to this problem. The answer over there was "play a different class, sucks to be you if you like pets".

Yep, I am with you.

I certainly hope MWM is wise enough not to use the same mechanic in all or even most of their boss fights. That just sounds boring. Besides, I remember that a sizeable portion of players of the old game didn't like the telegraphed Circles of Doom, so the old devs wisely used them sparingly.

Spurn all ye kindle.

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Lothic wrote:
Lothic wrote:
warlocc wrote:
Lothic wrote:

Remember that there's no law that says every raid has to be "fair" to every class archetype. Conversely it's reasonable enough to assume that there should not be a class archetype that fundamentally "sucks" at ALL raids.

Yeah, it'd be boring if all classes were always equal all the time.
I'm talking about one particular class being locked out of their primary abilities for an entire fight, when everyone else can stay in it just by pressing W every 15 seconds or whatever.

Well sure the game ought to make it so that -any- class can at least "contribute" to a boss fight even if they aren't exceptionally well suited for it other wise. I remember plenty of boss fights where depending on the character archetype I was playing I only had a few powers available that could contribute positively to the overall effort.

Again there's no law that says every class needs to be able to be "fully effective" against every boss. Just like that famous scene from "Saving Private Ryan" when Captain Miller (Tom Hanks) is reduced to shooting his .45 pistol at the oncoming German tank. Sure he wasn't going to be able to stop the tank just with that pistol but at least he didn't give up trying.

Some fights are just not going to be "well suited" for everyone. If a Mastermind can be a god 95% of the time and suck ass the other 5% that seems like a reasonable trade-off to me. *shrugs*

There's a huge difference between "not fully effective" and "renders one class virtually useless while the others aren't affected at all".

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warlocc wrote:
warlocc wrote:
Lothic wrote:
warlocc wrote:
Lothic wrote:

Remember that there's no law that says every raid has to be "fair" to every class archetype. Conversely it's reasonable enough to assume that there should not be a class archetype that fundamentally "sucks" at ALL raids.

Yeah, it'd be boring if all classes were always equal all the time.
I'm talking about one particular class being locked out of their primary abilities for an entire fight, when everyone else can stay in it just by pressing W every 15 seconds or whatever.

Well sure the game ought to make it so that -any- class can at least "contribute" to a boss fight even if they aren't exceptionally well suited for it other wise. I remember plenty of boss fights where depending on the character archetype I was playing I only had a few powers available that could contribute positively to the overall effort.

Again there's no law that says every class needs to be able to be "fully effective" against every boss. Just like that famous scene from "Saving Private Ryan" when Captain Miller (Tom Hanks) is reduced to shooting his .45 pistol at the oncoming German tank. Sure he wasn't going to be able to stop the tank just with that pistol but at least he didn't give up trying.

Some fights are just not going to be "well suited" for everyone. If a Mastermind can be a god 95% of the time and suck ass the other 5% that seems like a reasonable trade-off to me. *shrugs*

There's a huge difference between "not fully effective" and "renders one class virtually useless while the others aren't affected at all".

Sure. But I would simply argue that you're being too hyperbolic here. I never encountered a situation where I considered myself "100% totally useless" and I played my fair share of Masterminds. *shrugs*

Besides even if I accept your total binary view of this (where in a given single unique situation one class is made to be almost completely ineffective while other classes are not touched) I don't have -that- much trouble with that considering that the class in question is usually a "steamroller" in just about every other situation imaginable.

As the say about religion Kryptonite works in mysterious ways...

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Radiac wrote:
Radiac wrote:

CoX did have telegraphed AoE damage that could party wipe you. Some versions of the Hamidon Raid had that (I believe) as did several Incarnate Trials I can remember of the top of my head (Avoid the Green Stuff in the Keyes Trial, and then there was something similar in the Penelope Yin trial, right?). There might have been more I'm not remembering even.

Either way, if there's an AoE mechanic that a superduper arch boss has that one-shot's EVERYONE (with the possible exception of some of the tougher tank builds) then it's not strictly only a problem for pet-focused classes per se. Defenders and Scrappers and Blasters still die to it too, if they get hit. If you're a pet class, and you JUST lose the pets, they can be re-summoned from a safe distance. The Scrappers etc have to die and respawn.

Also, I don't think there needs to be a rule that every class has to be able to solo every fight with relative straightforward application of their base powers. There seems to be some room for cross-class synergy here. I mean, every tank will benefit from having a more damage-focused type on the team, the two will likely cut through missions faster together than they would solo. That implies they can do that, or they can up their difficulty and do more and tougher fights in the same amount of time. Either way, there's something to be gained there, presumably, as longer tought fights probably mean better or more swag. Similarly, those with "heal/buff others" powers will always want someone to buff/heal.

Frankly I think it would be better and more realistic if every class had a weakness in some area that makes it not 100% independently super combat effective at all times. I think they SHOULD put in encounters in the PVE part of the game that are designed to out-endurance most tankers, out AoE most pet summoners, out toughness most blasters, etc. There's nothing stopping you from skipping those fights, getting help, or using unorthodox builds/tactics to win them solo.

You're really not getting it.

Nobody's talking about solo.

We're talking about "replace the Commander, he's just standing over there summoning his pets every 10 seconds while the rest of us DPS" or "replace the Commander, he's not doing nearly enough DPS 'cause his pets are dead all the time".

WoW had to change pets for exactly that reason.

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Lothic wrote:
Lothic wrote:
warlocc wrote:
Lothic wrote:
warlocc wrote:
Lothic wrote:

Remember that there's no law that says every raid has to be "fair" to every class archetype. Conversely it's reasonable enough to assume that there should not be a class archetype that fundamentally "sucks" at ALL raids.

Yeah, it'd be boring if all classes were always equal all the time.
I'm talking about one particular class being locked out of their primary abilities for an entire fight, when everyone else can stay in it just by pressing W every 15 seconds or whatever.

Well sure the game ought to make it so that -any- class can at least "contribute" to a boss fight even if they aren't exceptionally well suited for it other wise. I remember plenty of boss fights where depending on the character archetype I was playing I only had a few powers available that could contribute positively to the overall effort.

Again there's no law that says every class needs to be able to be "fully effective" against every boss. Just like that famous scene from "Saving Private Ryan" when Captain Miller (Tom Hanks) is reduced to shooting his .45 pistol at the oncoming German tank. Sure he wasn't going to be able to stop the tank just with that pistol but at least he didn't give up trying.

Some fights are just not going to be "well suited" for everyone. If a Mastermind can be a god 95% of the time and suck ass the other 5% that seems like a reasonable trade-off to me. *shrugs*

There's a huge difference between "not fully effective" and "renders one class virtually useless while the others aren't affected at all".

Sure. But I would simply argue that you're being too hyperbolic here. I never encountered a situation where I considered myself "100% totally useless" and I played my fair share of Masterminds. *shrugs*

Besides even if I accept your total binary view of this (where in a given single unique situation one class is made to be almost completely ineffective while other classes are not touched) I don't have -that- much trouble with that considering that class in question is usually a "steamroller" in just about every other situation imaginable.

CoX is the only MMO you've ever played, huh?

Yes, masterminds never had that problem.

Other pet classes in other games do, though. WoW had to give pets absurdly high resists, as a perfect example.

This thread isn't talking about masterminds, it's talking about making sure we don't make the same mistakes as other devs.

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warlocc wrote:
warlocc wrote:

CoX is the only MMO you've ever played, huh?

For what it's worth (and not that it actually matters) I've played plenty of other MMOs besides CoH. The real question is why would you automatically assume a game based on CoH would suffer from the problems of other games?

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Lothic wrote:
Lothic wrote:
warlocc wrote:

CoX is the only MMO you've ever played, huh?

For what it's worth (and not that it actually matters) I've played plenty of other MMOs besides CoH. The real question is why would you automatically assume a game based on CoH would suffer from the problems of other games?

It might not. The MWM devs might nail it and this might be a non-issue. I absolutely concede that.

Then again, they might not. They might use that big telegraphed instakill mechanic sometimes. They might not use it enough for this to matter, or they might use it often.

I know they've talked about it, and at this point we see it in every other MMO out there.
I'd rather it be discussed just in case, than "Oops, we have to patch pets because we didn't think of this" like WoW did.

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I think Warlocc is concerned

I think Warlocc is worried because this is an issue many games have struggled with, or utterly failed to deal with at all with the company line being "don't play that class".

For someone that is excited specifically at the idea of having another chance to play a mastermind, surely you can see how that is a significant concern.

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TheInternetJanitor wrote:
TheInternetJanitor wrote:

I think Warlocc is worried because this is an issue many games have struggled with, or utterly failed to deal with at all with the company line being "don't play that class".

For someone that is excited specifically at the idea of having another chance to play a mastermind, surely you can see how that is a significant concern.

Exactly.

If this were CoH revived, and I knew Incarnate Trials were what to expect, it wouldn't be a concern.

But it's a new studio, a new game, using new code, with new mechanics planned. I'm not taking anything for granted.

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warlocc wrote:
warlocc wrote:
TheInternetJanitor wrote:

I think Warlocc is worried because this is an issue many games have struggled with, or utterly failed to deal with at all with the company line being "don't play that class".

For someone that is excited specifically at the idea of having another chance to play a mastermind, surely you can see how that is a significant concern.

Exactly.

If this were CoH revived, and I knew Incarnate Trials were what to expect, it wouldn't be a concern.

But it's a new studio, a new game, using new code, with new mechanics planned. I'm not taking anything for granted.

That seems perfectly fair to me.

Spurn all ye kindle.

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I understand the concern of

I understand the concern of an Archetype (in this case Commanders) being considered a detriment in certain encounters due to certain mechanics.

There are a couple of things to take into consideration, some of have been mentioned, some have not.

We do plan to provide several different numbers of pets summons for Commanders. The breadth of which can range from 1 - 12 though I doubt we’ll hitnthise extremes. 1 pet may be more possible than 12amd let’s leave it at that.

Regardless of the numbers of pets, eventually the Commander’s pet(s) will end up at a base line that is roughly equivalent to that of a player character (not exactly equivalent in all areas capability but close in some degree). This of course is based off some early metrics used for NPC design.

Having that extra “pc worth” in a battle is actually quite potent because the Commander will still have some powers from their primary and their entire secondary. The pet(s) have to carry a certain degree of potency because of the number of powers in the Commander primary used summon and improve them.

In consideration toward the concern of certain game mechanics being detrimental toward Commander pets - no one wants to lose most of their potency of course - there are a couple of additional aspects to note.

Certain Arxhetypes may require more effort in certain encounters.

An example given here is the telegraphed AoE.
Many games use these in such a way that Melee classes often must disengage combat while other classes may be able to move and consintue to attack from range. Certainly a pet-based archetype with multiple pets may have to be more aware of their pets’ location and use commands to move them to a safe location. Some sets with multiple pets maybe harder to track and maintain. But not every encounter needs to leverage this singular mechanic. Certainly there may be such cases.

Even then there are a couple of things to note about Protection Powers.

Generally there are 3 main ways to deal with AoE Powers in the game:

AoE Evasion
AoE Defense
Resistance to a Damage type.

One thing we have done is limited AoE based Protections compared to Melee and Ranged.

This means that AoEs are generally more of a threat or harder to avoid for everyone.

We can, if we choose, make telegraphed AoEs auto-hit anyone caught in the area completely negating Evasion.

We can apply a special damage type hat if you don’t have the special temp power or special reserve, you won’t be able to Defend or Resist.

We can apply pressure to everyone with these possibilities. So the Commander isn’t worse off than anyone else innthese cases.

For ranged based pets, manynpowwrs wont automatically roott when using an attack, so commanding them to move from a location based AoE won’t automatically make them stop attacking.

All pets will be given a base-set if Protection Powers, some may have additional matching or different layer d Protections based on their design theme.

Mastery Powers is the Commander may have an impact on their pets’ sustainability as well.

Another key aspect of how I plan to diverge from the old game’s model for this Archetype is to make the upgrade powers all permanent unless the upgrade will require an up and down time. Which will allow for quicker deployment instead of having to summon and then upgrade to really get going.

Finally, and this is a far off possibility (read no promise) but our AI dev wants to (eventually, hopefully?) apply a heuristic neural network AI that will be taught how to follow commands and also how to behave based on those commands. One of those taught / learned behaviors could very well be - move out of the telegraphed area before you get walloped.

I hope all this helps.


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Having a "defensive scramble"

Having a "defensive scramble" or "boss fight" option in a commander's control UI to move out of telegraphs would be fantastic. It doesn't need to be learned behavior per se. It could even be the default behavior.

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Tannim222 wrote:
Tannim222 wrote:

I hope all this helps.

That was a bigger, better answer than I hoped for, yes. Hell, "We're already thinking about this, relax" would have been enough to shut me up.

TheInternetJanitor wrote:

Having a "defensive scramble" or "boss fight" option in a commander's control UI to move out of telegraphs would be fantastic. It doesn't need to be learned behavior per se. It could even be the default behavior.

The first two Dragon Age games actually had that option in their "stance" setting, how to react to AoE. You could tell the tanky AI to ignore it, and squishy characters to avoid it.

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If pets are smart enough to

If pets are smart enough to Not Stand in the Lava, then I'm reassured.

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Aye, this is good info.

Aye, this is good info. Thanks, Tannim. And thanks for asking, warlocc.

Now if MWM can confirm we won't have Circles of Doom in every TF, I can go to sleep happy.

Spurn all ye kindle.

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warlocc wrote:
warlocc wrote:

The first two Dragon Age games actually had that option in their "stance" setting, how to react to AoE. You could tell the tanky AI to ignore it, and squishy characters to avoid it.

I was just thinking how much i loved the ability to teach the AI in Dragon Age, and prioritize actions in given scenarios. I would love if we had even half that capability in this game with pets. At this point I just wish we had Commanders at launch. Lol

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Darth Fez wrote:
Darth Fez wrote:

There were definitely fights in CoH in which the low tier mastermind pets got mulched quite quickly, to the point that it could be pointless to try to re-summon them.

Every single fight ever, in fact, but I did play ninjas. Quite what was going through the head of whatever designer thought 5% defence on the Genin was sufficient for a (mostly melee) pet where that was its sole form of protection, I'm not sure. I think it was an overwhelming desire to adhere to the law of conservation of ninjutsu. 'There's three of them, they have to suck!'. Genin were swiftly relegated to the role of ablative armour and kept clustered close around my mastermind to soak incoming damage with the bodyguard mechanic.

I'm really looking forward to eventually seeing the implementation of Commanders in CoT because I have high hopes that aesthetic decoupling is going to make balancing them a lot easier, and if a set is a total turkey you can still get the look you want with a bit of creativity, using something else.

As for the actual subject of the thread, yet again I'm cheered by the amount of thought that appears to be going into mechanics design.

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.Foresight wrote:
.Foresight wrote:
warlocc wrote:

The first two Dragon Age games actually had that option in their "stance" setting, how to react to AoE. You could tell the tanky AI to ignore it, and squishy characters to avoid it.

I was just thinking how much i loved the ability to teach the AI in Dragon Age, and prioritize actions in given scenarios. I would love if we had even half that capability in this game with pets. At this point I just wish we had Commanders at launch. Lol

Oh yes, this would be outstanding. I suggested it quite a while ago, but MWM never responded either yay or nay.

Spurn all ye kindle.

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Would it not help if we could

Would it not help if we could direct our pets to attack certain "levels" of opponents? By this I mean, tell the low level pets to attack only "mook" level adds in a fight, the Lt's to defend yourself and a top tier pet to attack the boss.

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StellarAgent wrote:
StellarAgent wrote:

Would it not help if we could direct our pets to attack certain "levels" of opponents? By this I mean, tell the low level pets to attack only "mook" level adds in a fight, the Lt's to defend yourself and a top tier pet to attack the boss.

Provided we can macro and keybind like CoH, that sort of precision control is easy.

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I didn’t keep my Logitech

I didn’t keep my Logitech gaming keyboard with its 12 macro buttons (with 3 way switch) for a total of 36 possible additional macro keys for nothing.


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Tannim222 wrote:
Tannim222 wrote:

I didn’t keep my Logitech gaming keyboard with its 12 macro buttons (with 3 way switch) for a total of 36 possible additional macro keys for nothing.

Personally I can't live without a mouse that doesn't have at least 4 extra buttons.

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Macros are great but scripts

Macros are great but scripts (for passive control) and nested menus (for manual commands) are much better. Similar functionality streamlined with less buttons required. 4 keys with 4 layers of menus attached can give you 256 different macros using 4 keys instead of 256, as one example. Scripting means being able to set some level of AI behavior ahead of time so you have to press less buttons in the heat of battle. Games already do this with behavior controls like "aggressive" or "defensive" or "guard me" but some further options or ability to write our own scripting would go a long way towards reducing the barrier to entry for playing the class. Well, having premade behavior would lower barrier to entry, being able to add our own would raise the skill ceiling instead of the floor. It would still be a nice benefit to playing the class.

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Writing our own scripts would

Writing our own scripts would be absolutely wonderful.
And theoretically could be easier on MWM for us to be writing our own routines so they don't have to.

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I totally agree warlocc.

I totally agree warlocc.

MWM has said they want the game to be enjoyable by anyone regardless of age, knowledge, or ability though, so custom scripts can't be the only option. There will have to be some premade options. Of course, those premade options don't have to be super complex to be sufficient for basic play. If players are interested in taking performance to the next level and players are able to write our own scripting then it should be easy enough for players to share their work as well, and if some of it is extremely well made and popular MWM could just incorporate it as an official feature.

MWM is already basically making the whole game via community volunteers so it would make sense for them to be open to engaging with the community to help with just about any facet of the game.

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I've been thinking that AoE

I've been thinking that AoE attacks take a set fraction of the pets' remaining hit points. So, let's say 1/2. This way it hurts them, but isn't a wipe either. If a pet is already down to 1hp (or some other minimum threshhold appropriate to the level of the Commander), then it kills the pet.


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I would be tickled if the AI

I would be tickled if the AI were developed enough for them to move of their own accord to avoid AoE's (especially telegraphed ones like when the floor flickers in the circle where it will appear.

I appreciate the micromanagement for a pet class. But I REALLY don't want to be Bill Lumbergh and making them dance specific dances. I want to be free to watch. Maybe do supportive things (occasionally heal, break holds, etc) but otherwise I just want to watch the spectacle.

Lazy? Perhaps.

But tell me how that didn't work for Blofeld. Until 007 showed up, obviously...

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Captain_Simian wrote:
Captain_Simian wrote:

I would be tickled if the AI were developed enough for them to move of their own accord to avoid AoE's (especially telegraphed ones like when the floor flickers in the circle where it will appear.

I appreciate the micromanagement for a pet class. But I REALLY don't want to be Bill Lumbergh and making them dance specific dances. I want to be free to watch. Maybe do supportive things (occasionally heal, break holds, etc) but otherwise I just want to watch the spectacle.

Lazy? Perhaps.

But tell me how that didn't work for Blofeld. Until 007 showed up, obviously...

That's another of the appeals of being able to macro and script our own stuff.

Ideally guys like InternetJanitor and I would be sharing examples here on the forums and you could just copy-paste an AutoAvoid routine or something.

It's a way for MWM to offer cool stuff while letting us do the work.

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Oh yeah, having a section of

Oh yeah, having a section of the mastermind forum available just to share scripts and macros would be a dream. We could use github or just a google drive to swap files or just cut and paste them into posts if they aren't too long.

The people that do this kind of stuff for funsies would get a kick out of talking shop and improving their work, while any other players would be able to benefit (and learn if they chose) from it with a vastly lower barrier to entry. Everyone wins!

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We did that in CoX. Took a

We did that in CoX. Took a while to get the dev's to understand that it had to be stickied, but it got done and there were a lot of scripts available to copy/paste.

No reason why the same thing won't happen here.

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StellarAgent wrote:
StellarAgent wrote:

We did that in CoX. Took a while to get the dev's to understand that it had to be stickied, but it got done and there were a lot of scripts available to copy/paste.

No reason why the same thing won't happen here.

CoX had macros, not scripts or routines or behaviors. Very different.

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I don't personally require

I don't personally require all that much extra input to my minions. The come back, attack this target and move here always worked well enough for me. That's not to say I didn't use them, but both fully automated AI or complete micromanagement don't appeal to me. With the AI coming in, I wouldn't mind having some 'stances' or 'tactics' to set some basic standards to how I want my minions to act.

1) Assault: Full aggressive tactic, ignore protection, AoEs or personal health to completely focus on attacks.
2) Protect: Minions activate defenses, avoid most AoEs, run back when HP is low and try to gain aggro from each other to protect those close to death. This includes added priority keeping aggro off you, the player.
3) Evasive: Minions prioritize avoiding AoEs over anything else and activate defensive. They don't cover for each other.
4) Support: If the minions have it, they'll prioritize any support abilities they have. Heals, crowd controls, buffs.

With the wider array of boss fights coming our way, with FFXIV style AoE ground indicators, this gives cause to actually change tactics as things progress. If the fight is entering a burst phase or you need to try and beat a timer, call for full assault. If the fight enters a more passive movement phase where you can't cause much damage but there's AoE everywhere, call for Evasive. If the health of the group is getting low, call support. If your having a rough go, call Protect. Some will set 1 tactic and never change, some will swap tactics constantly to really feel like they're coordinating the team.

The neural AI being worked in sounds great, but it would be unsatisfying to have it be fully automatic. Even just small amounts of control like this, where I've given them some direction would serve the fantasy.

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McJigg wrote:
McJigg wrote:

I don't personally require all that much extra input to my minions. The come back, attack this target and move here always worked well enough for me. That's not to say I didn't use them, but both fully automated AI or complete micromanagement don't appeal to me. With the AI coming in, I wouldn't mind having some 'stances' or 'tactics' to set some basic standards to how I want my minions to act.

1) Assault: Full aggressive tactic, ignore protection, AoEs or personal health to completely focus on attacks.
2) Protect: Minions activate defenses, avoid most AoEs, run back when HP is low and try to gain aggro from each other to protect those close to death. This includes added priority keeping aggro off you, the player.
3) Evasive: Minions prioritize avoiding AoEs over anything else and activate defensive. They don't cover for each other.
4) Support: If the minions have it, they'll prioritize any support abilities they have. Heals, crowd controls, buffs.

With the wider array of boss fights coming our way, with FFXIV style AoE ground indicators, this gives cause to actually change tactics as things progress. If the fight is entering a burst phase or you need to try and beat a timer, call for full assault. If the fight enters a more passive movement phase where you can't cause much damage but there's AoE everywhere, call for Evasive. If the health of the group is getting low, call support. If your having a rough go, call Protect. Some will set 1 tactic and never change, some will swap tactics constantly to really feel like they're coordinating the team.

The neural AI being worked in sounds great, but it would be unsatisfying to have it be fully automatic. Even just small amounts of control like this, where I've given them some direction would serve the fantasy.

I like this idea. I know we'll probably have to wait a while for the pet class to launch but I always loved being able to control my Mastermind pets. I'm looking forward to trying to make a Puppet Master character (Naruto style) once I know how it will work in this game.

Victory/Freedom

Heroes:
.Foresight (Mind/Time Controller)
.Avalanche (Earth/Storm Controller)

Villains:
.Foresight (Night Widow)
Seiji Amida (Ninja/Poison MM)

TheInternetJanitor
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Maybe have two behavior

Maybe have two behavior control settings in the UI, one to control targeting/agro and one to prioritize behaviors.

The first would be the usual "kill everything you see, assist me, don't attack unless something hits us, don't attack at all just use friendly targeting support skills" style options. The second would be closer to some of what McJigg described, changing the behavior they use once they get into combat for various roles.

This would be even better if you could set these two settings globally AND override it on a per-minion basis (or even on a per minion TYPE basis). This would be most important for pet sets that have very different kinds of pets in them, some to tank and some to support etc.

StellarAgent
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I just want the pets to be a

I just want the pets to be a bit more intelligent than the ones in CoX.

In some of the all Mastermind teams that I was on, the pets were all but stacked on top of each other trying to get to their targets. If we all told them to attack the same target they would try to be directly in front of said target and tripping/shoving each other.

I would like to see them spread out and surround said target instead. And, PLEASE, Please, please, give them a well developed sense of self-preservation!

Tannim222
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StellarAgent wrote:
StellarAgent wrote:

I just want the pets to be a bit more intelligent than the ones in CoX.

In some of the all Mastermind teams that I was on, the pets were all but stacked on top of each other trying to get to their targets. If we all told them to attack the same target they would try to be directly in front of said target and tripping/shoving each other.

I would like to see them spread out and surround said target instead. And, PLEASE, Please, please, give them a well developed sense of self-preservation!

That still could happen. Even if we wanted to provide a collision AI routine, they still might stack if there didn’t enough room to get close enough to attack. This is why a pet script to command them to “stand there” works so wel. More advanced play comes with player involvement and coordination.

I hardly ran into this issue in one of the MM SGs I was in for example.


I don't use a nerf bat, I have a magic crowbar!
- Combat Mechanic -
Tech Team.
SavageFist
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I keep thinking back to

I keep thinking back to Baldur's Gate where you could set the pattern of your party. Can we do something similar with pets? Choose 1 column, 2 columns, a star formation, etc? I was also thinking that formation could include your character so maybe you could choose the formation surrounds you or is in front or the back of you. I always wished in CoH I could have my pets travel in front of me so they took the brunt of any surprises around a corner, not that after playing so long I really needed that since I knew the locations of mobs but CoT sounds like it will now be more random.

Reward tactics as well as damage dealing.