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Discuss: How it Works - Control Mechanics

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Atama
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There can’t possibly be a

There can’t possibly be a stigma against hybrid classes if every class is some kind of hybrid.

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Atama wrote:
Atama wrote:

There can’t possibly be a stigma against hybrid classes if every class is some kind of hybrid.

Wasn't saying there would be a stigma against hybrid classes. I was saying that there's no way to play a Range DPS class that doesn't involve having a support set, and then choosing no to use it (effectively ignoring half of your powersets), which some* people WILL take issue with.

The stigma (if any develops) will in effect be against those trying to play a hybrid class as if it were a specialist class, because there is no specialist option for those who desire it (at launch).

Edit: Some* people

Edit again to try and explain myself better:

It's not about Role, it's about Player Expectation.

When someone sees that your character is a Partisan they expect Damage/Support. If you've taken your Partisan and instead opted to build a focused Damage character, you're not meeting their expectation and so they may react negatively (such as kicking you from the group), because they expected your character to perform is a manner that you've chosen not to built toward. This will be a possibility for anyone who tries to make a "Blaster" in CoT, at least until future Ranger archetypes are released.

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I was just thinking, in CoH,

I was just thinking, in CoH, more knock, if memory serves me correctly, turned knock up into knock back. I'd just like to see higher knock up :)

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Brand X wrote:
Brand X wrote:

I was just thinking, in CoH, more knock, if memory serves me correctly, turned knock up into knock back. I'd just like to see higher knock up :)

It was knock down into knock back. Essentially knock down was a low threshold value of knock back.

Our system has each knock effect:
Knock Up, Down, Back, and Reel-In as their own distinct effect.


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Tannim222 wrote:
Tannim222 wrote:
desviper wrote:

I'm a big fan of knockback (less so with knockup). It's just so fun to send baddies flying!!

But I don't really understand the system here. So the knockback is scaled with the damage?

So if the damage is minimal, will they be knocked down, or simply unaffected?

Knock effects have their own value which determines the strength of the knock. If the value is reduced by defense vs control effects or resistance to the knock damage type, then the result if he knock is reduced. Every knock effect has a threshold determined by a formula based off the knock value. If the knock value is reduced beyond that threshold, the knock has no effect.

For example if a Knockback has an 8 meter displacement and it is reduced to where it would be less than a meter (again example only), the knockback has no effect.

Nice!

This should help with the angst over a blaster style AT knocking the targets away from the melee AT’s. Less chasing the targets. Great idea!

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Tannim222 wrote:
Tannim222 wrote:
Brand X wrote:

I was just thinking, in CoH, more knock, if memory serves me correctly, turned knock up into knock back. I'd just like to see higher knock up :)

It was knock down into knock back. Essentially knock down was a low threshold value of knock back.

Our system has each knock effect:
Knock Up, Down, Back, and Reel-In as their own distinct effect.

Again very nice! Multiple ways to throw the targets around! Love how thought out all of this is!

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Tannim222 wrote:
Tannim222 wrote:
Brand X wrote:

I was just thinking, in CoH, more knock, if memory serves me correctly, turned knock up into knock back. I'd just like to see higher knock up :)

It was knock down into knock back. Essentially knock down was a low threshold value of knock back.

Our system has each knock effect:
Knock Up, Down, Back, and Reel-In as their own distinct effect.

Now I kind of want a powerful uppercut that has an obscene amount of Knock Up on defeat just so I can punch someone into the sky. Plus would be fun if you're flying through the city when suddenly some defeated enemy just flies past you.

As an aside, just to reduce the amount of juvenile sniggering, maybe Knock Up needs a rename? I'm thinking "Launch". As in "Launches the target 2 meters" for describing a power that sends the target 2 meters into the air.

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Tannim222 wrote:
Tannim222 wrote:
Brand X wrote:

I was just thinking, in CoH, more knock, if memory serves me correctly, turned knock up into knock back. I'd just like to see higher knock up :)

It was knock down into knock back. Essentially knock down was a low threshold value of knock back.

Our system has each knock effect:
Knock Up, Down, Back, and Reel-In as their own distinct effect.

Now that's a fun concept: Reel-in!

But yeah, I was on the right track: it scales with damage and there's a lower limit where knock is negated.


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Don't suppose the knock back

Don't suppose the knock back also generates some damage, does it? Something similar to the old HERO system vs the opponent toon only getting pushed back and falling down.

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Redlynne wrote:
Redlynne wrote:
Catherine America wrote:

Coming out of hiding like my pseudo-homonymous namesake...minus the existential, galactic threat, of course.

Quick digression here, but I'm seriously in awe of how awesome your forum handle and avatar are for you.

Thanks Redlynne. It just came to me as I was rolling my Street Justice/Shield scrapper on Issue 21 Day.
It was love at first sight, and she instantly became my new main for (what would turn out to be) the game's final year.

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Atama wrote:
Atama wrote:
Redlynne wrote:
Catherine America wrote:

Coming out of hiding like my pseudo-homonymous namesake...minus the existential, galactic threat, of course.

Quick digression here, but I'm seriously in awe of how awesome your forum handle and avatar are for you.

I’m a big Captain America fan and apparently a bit of a Catherine America fan too.

*big grin*

(Currently developing the Sapphire 7 Initiative)

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Tannim222 wrote:
Tannim222 wrote:
Brand X wrote:

I was just thinking, in CoH, more knock, if memory serves me correctly, turned knock up into knock back. I'd just like to see higher knock up :)

It was knock down into knock back. Essentially knock down was a low threshold value of knock back.

Our system has each knock effect:
Knock Up, Down, Back, and Reel-In as their own distinct effect.

Oh yay!

Is reel-in going to be "attached" to a future ranged attack, that maybe has...you know...a web effect?

(Currently developing the Sapphire 7 Initiative)

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ooglymoogly wrote:
ooglymoogly wrote:

Don't suppose the knock back also generates some damage, does it? Something similar to the old HERO system vs the opponent toon only getting pushed back and falling down.

Knock back does not generate additional damage.
We had considered it but ultimately decided that it may be best not to lest using our alternate activation to switch knock down effects to knock back end up causing issues where if you aren’t using knockback for the additional damage the perception would be you are doing it wrong.

Now if you happen to be on a roof top or ledge and knock back a target over the edge, they will take falling damage.


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Tossing baddies around

Tossing baddies around (especially off ledges) is half the fun of playing a superhero. I love it.

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TheInternetJanitor wrote:
TheInternetJanitor wrote:

Tossing baddies around (especially off ledges) is half the fun of playing a superhero. I love it.

My favorite thing ever in SW:TOR, was playing my Jedi Guardian and using the Force to lift someone off the ground, then fling them backward over a railing to their death. I could do that all day.

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desviper wrote:
desviper wrote:
Tannim222 wrote:
Brand X wrote:

I was just thinking, in CoH, more knock, if memory serves me correctly, turned knock up into knock back. I'd just like to see higher knock up :)

It was knock down into knock back. Essentially knock down was a low threshold value of knock back.

Our system has each knock effect:
Knock Up, Down, Back, and Reel-In as their own distinct effect.

Now that's a fun concept: Reel-in!

While most gap closers are usually of the charge variety having a reel-in (or knock to) presents some interesting choices.

Quote:

But yeah, I was on the right track: it scales with damage and there's a lower limit where knock is negated.

You make it sound like the damage number is part of the calculation for determining the actual knock distance which is not the case.

Knock effects gets worse with type-resistance (just plain resistance) since type-resistance seem to be reducing effectively everything about an offensive powers effectiveness on the target, same with style-resistance (called defense). Still not actually scaling with damage itself.

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Key question. How hard can

Key question. How hard can you KB a baddie? As I recall from punting Hellions in AP we could KB them 160yds without extensive KB slotting. Will there be something similar in COT?

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These mechanics are

These mechanics are definitely interesting. Hopefully we get to see them in action in the near future....

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The amount of money I spend

The amount of money I spend on this game is going to be directly proportional to the amount of hilarious physics I can apply to baddies. Booted off rooftops, launched into the air, ragdolled, all of the above at once...

A man can dream.

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And here I thought Knock Up

And here I thought Knock Up only affected minions

*hides*

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Cath? This is for you. https:

Cath? This is for you.

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warcabbit wrote:
warcabbit wrote:

Cath? This is for you.

Well lookit that! Swanky.

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Halae wrote:
Halae wrote:
warcabbit wrote:

Cath? This is for you.

Well lookit that! Swanky.

But can it be plaid?

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Project_Hero wrote:
Project_Hero wrote:
Halae wrote:
warcabbit wrote:

Cath? This is for you.

Well lookit that! Swanky.

But can it be plaid?

It's my understanding that you have to be going ridiculously fast to get to plaid.

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warcabbit wrote:
warcabbit wrote:

Cath? This is for you.

I'm sure I've seen something like that somewhere before...

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Hey! Look! It's not-Falcon ;)

Hey! Look! It's not-Falcon ;)


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StellarAgent wrote:
StellarAgent wrote:
Project_Hero wrote:
Halae wrote:
warcabbit wrote:

Cath? This is for you.

Well lookit that! Swanky.

But can it be plaid?

It's my understanding that you have to be going ridiculously fast to get to plaid.

Some say you have to be going ludicrously fast in order to go to plaid.

Name: Safehouse
Ranger: Gunner
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Secondary: Atrophic Aura
Tertiary: Kinetic Melee
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Status: Traveling. Following rumors of a huge city in Massachusetts that is teeming with supers.

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StellarAgent wrote:
StellarAgent wrote:
Project_Hero wrote:
Halae wrote:
warcabbit wrote:

Cath? This is for you.

Well lookit that! Swanky.

But can it be plaid?

It's my understanding that you have to be going ridiculously fast to get to plaid.

Some say you have to be going ludicrously fast in order to go to plaid.

Name: Safehouse
Ranger: Gunner
Primary: Force Blast
Secondary: Atrophic Aura
Tertiary: Kinetic Melee
Travel Power: Parkour
Status: Traveling. Following rumors of a huge city in Massachusetts that is teeming with supers.

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warcabbit wrote:
warcabbit wrote:

Cath? This is for you.

Cabbit? Look at me... yes...

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Safehouse wrote:
Safehouse wrote:
StellarAgent wrote:
Project_Hero wrote:
Halae wrote:
warcabbit wrote:

Cath? This is for you.

Well lookit that! Swanky.

But can it be plaid?

It's my understanding that you have to be going ridiculously fast to get to plaid.

Some say you have to be going ludicrously fast in order to go to plaid.

Beat me to it!

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warcabbit wrote:
warcabbit wrote:

Cath? This is for you.

Yes pleeeeease!!!

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Tannim222 wrote:
Tannim222 wrote:

Now if you happen to be on a roof top or ledge and knock back a target over the edge, they will take falling damage.

Trick question ... if you get enough "loft" on a KnockUP ... will the target also take falling damage when they "splat" onto the ground at the end of the fall ...?


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Redlynne wrote:
Redlynne wrote:
Tannim222 wrote:

Now if you happen to be on a roof top or ledge and knock back a target over the edge, they will take falling damage.

Trick question ... if you get enough "loft" on a KnockUP ... will the target also take falling damage when they "splat" onto the ground at the end of the fall ...?

I picture it like: dude's on a ledge, you knock him up 20 ft and back 5 ft, off the ledge. So it's the 5ft back not the 20ft up making the falling damage.


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Redlynne wrote:
Redlynne wrote:
Tannim222 wrote:

Now if you happen to be on a roof top or ledge and knock back a target over the edge, they will take falling damage.

Trick question ... if you get enough "loft" on a KnockUP ... will the target also take falling damage when they "splat" onto the ground at the end of the fall ...?

Depends on the state of the target at the time of impact with be ground. If the Knock Up effect is checked as active - nope no falling damage.

Chances are if the attack has any damage component with the knock up from a higher level attacker on a much lower level target - the target will be defeated by the level lens magnifying the damage. It will magnify the Knock Up too, which will launch the poor sucker too, perhaps high enough to take falling damage but it won’t matter by that point.


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As long as the baddies go

As long as the baddies go flying in a comical fashion everyone is happy.

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Tannim222 wrote:
Tannim222 wrote:
Redlynne wrote:
Tannim222 wrote:

Now if you happen to be on a roof top or ledge and knock back a target over the edge, they will take falling damage.

Trick question ... if you get enough "loft" on a KnockUP ... will the target also take falling damage when they "splat" onto the ground at the end of the fall ...?

Depends on the state of the target at the time of impact with be ground. If the Knock Up effect is checked as active - nope no falling damage.

Chances are if the attack has any damage component with the knock up from a higher level attacker on a much lower level target - the target will be defeated by the level lens magnifying the damage. It will magnify the Knock Up too, which will launch the poor sucker too, perhaps high enough to take falling damage but it won’t matter by that point.

I do so want to launch someone so high that he never comes back down. Preferably with a small twinkle in the sky.

I assume that there's no impact damage from a knock up if they hit a ceiling? I mean a 5 meter launch in a 3 meter room is 2 meters of ouch.

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McNum wrote:
McNum wrote:
Tannim222 wrote:
Redlynne wrote:
Tannim222 wrote:

Now if you happen to be on a roof top or ledge and knock back a target over the edge, they will take falling damage.

Trick question ... if you get enough "loft" on a KnockUP ... will the target also take falling damage when they "splat" onto the ground at the end of the fall ...?

Depends on the state of the target at the time of impact with be ground. If the Knock Up effect is checked as active - nope no falling damage.

Chances are if the attack has any damage component with the knock up from a higher level attacker on a much lower level target - the target will be defeated by the level lens magnifying the damage. It will magnify the Knock Up too, which will launch the poor sucker too, perhaps high enough to take falling damage but it won’t matter by that point.

I do so want to launch someone so high that he never comes back down. Preferably with a small twinkle in the sky.

I assume that there's no impact damage from a knock up if they hit a ceiling? I mean a 5 meter launch in a 3 meter room is 2 meters of ouch.

If they won't do fall damage from a high enough KU itself then I seriously doubt they will implement a new system for calculating those impacts.

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Geveo wrote:
Geveo wrote:

It disappoints me when PVP concerns cause a PVE element that I really liked to be watered down.

I cannot express how important it is that anything done in PvP effecting PvE ends up being a community killing act. For 6 years playing SWTOR I've seen classes nerfed into oblivion because they are "too powerful" in PvP (Sorcerers and Sages as an example). Recently, they just nerfed all tank classes' DPS from 15% to as much as 60% all because of Skank Tanks (Tank disciplines using DPS mods and enhancement with no tank defensive mitigations). Both examples lead to classes becoming relegated to either no longer wanted on Ops/FPs for DPS only heals (until the other non-force user healing classes became more powerful due to PvP buffs) or becoming instantly rare in group finders (tanks).

If the game's developers are not careful in how these to areas are bridged, they will end up with US (PvE) vs THEM (PvP) that comes with a lot of animosity, hate, and elitism that polarizes the community turning it toxic along with those who rather quit than continue playing in this type of environment. This is exactly what is going on right now in SWTOR. I'm an avid PvP player as I am PvE; however, when one area causes another to suffer because "metrics" state something in one area and not the other, you end up with a major problem. PvP and PvE should be completely separate where one does not effect the other. IIRC GW2 got that right.

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TitansCity wrote:
TitansCity wrote:

I really like this news :D As the controller class was my favorite, i will probably enjoy the Operator :)
But i wonder :
1. are inspirations existing in the game so as to lower or erase the control effect like it was in CoH ?
2. Can a contro power untoggle a power from an ennemy (in PVP or PVE) ? (as it makes a power unusable, i think it untoglle a power. do you confirm that ?)

I did not see an answer to this. I am curious myself if this will be the case. This was one aspect I loved in CoH. Being able to pop an inspiration for a heal or becoming immune to control effects for a period of time as a Tank. Nothing is more maddening than being controlled for however long, not able to do one's job, and end up dying because control is...rampant. And seeing that control in this game can and will remove any and all defensive abilities will probably make me think twice about playing Tanks. Inspirations were a salvation from this in CoH and thus, should be present in CoT too.

Another issue is ending up with 'Flavor of the Month' classes. I've seen this in GW2, Blade & Soul, SWTOR, and Neverwinter. Where a certain class becomes the star class to play because it is the best at everything because of power creep from buffs while other classes are nerfed because 'metrics' say they exceed expectations by 1 - 2% percent of the benchmark set by the developers. Most notable FOTM class was the Marauder/Sentinel for their smash/sweep ability in the Rage/Concentration allowing them to do 50 to 60k damage to 5 players within 8' radius. That lasted for 3 years until SWTOR developers decided, after much rage, ranting, screaming, and unsubbing by players, they needed to 'tone' it down.

I fear that the control class can and will end up there if the developers are not careful. I've read through how this all works; however, that is theory and to some extent tested. However, when this hits live in CBT, theoretical rarely meets the application of said abilities eye to eye when it comes to players applying these powers. Nothing is more frustrating to see a majority of the enemy comprised of controllers or nothing but controllers on both sides. No one wants to participate in that scenario where Tanks and certain DPS classes are easily manipulated by control powers rendered impotent and eliminated because "will power" is overcome by a power that stun locks their abilities to defend themselves. I believe and it is true in SWTOR, that some high tiered defensive powers can be used while "controlled" that aids in their defense. This should be the same here. Taking away defenses, even for a few moments, through control abilities in PvP will see said individuals defeated during that time period without so much as a chance to act. That. Is. Not. Fun.

What I hope is that with control powers is that if said controller has control over one and/or decides to control another that the former controlled is able to break the control because they are no longer the focus of the controller and able to activate a defensive ability to make them immune to said control effects (or resistant to said effects) and act. This should be intrinsically true when it comes to PvP and to a lesser extent in PvE. However, I get the impression that the Controller is being moved from the support role to main line of the battle. This may not be what you're saying, but from my perspective, it sure looks like it.

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Ghost-Spectre wrote:
Ghost-Spectre wrote:
TitansCity wrote:

I really like this news :D As the controller class was my favorite, i will probably enjoy the Operator :)
But i wonder :
[b]1. are inspirations existing in the game so as to lower or erase the control effect like it was in CoH ?[b]
2. Can a contro power untoggle a power from an ennemy (in PVP or PVE) ? (as it makes a power unusable, i think it untoglle a power. do you confirm that ?)

I did not see an answer to this. I am curious myself if this will be the case. This was one aspect I loved in CoH. Being able to pop an inspiration for a heal or becoming immune to control effects for a period of time as a Tank. Nothing is more maddening than being controlled for however long, not able to do one's job, and end up dying because control is...rampant. And seeing that control in this game can and will remove any and all defensive abilities will probably make me think twice about playing Tanks. Inspirations were a salvation from this in CoH and thus, should be present in CoT too.

Another issue is ending up with 'Flavor of the Month' classes. I've seen this in GW2, Blade & Soul, SWTOR, and Neverwinter. Where a certain class becomes the star class to play because it is the best at everything because of power creep from buffs while other classes are nerfed because 'metrics' say they exceed expectations by 1 - 2% percent of the benchmark set by the developers. Most notable FOTM class was the Marauder/Sentinel for their smash/sweep ability in the Rage/Concentration allowing them to do 50 to 60k damage to 5 players within 8' radius. That lasted for 3 years until SWTOR developers decided, after much rage, ranting, screaming, and unsubbing by players, they needed to 'tone' it down.

I fear that the control class can and will end up there if the developers are not careful. I've read through how this all works; however, that is theory and to some extent tested. However, when this hits live in CBT, theoretical rarely meets the application of said abilities eye to eye when it comes to players applying these powers. Nothing is more frustrating to see a majority of the enemy comprised of controllers or nothing but controllers on both sides. No one wants to participate in that scenario where Tanks and certain DPS classes are easily manipulated by control powers rendered impotent and eliminated because "will power" is overcome by a power that stun locks their abilities to defend themselves. I believe and it is true in SWTOR, that some high tiered defensive powers can be used while "controlled" that aids in their defense. This should be the same here. Taking away defenses, even for a few moments, through control abilities in PvP will see said individuals defeated during that time period without so much as a chance to act. That. Is. Not. Fun.

What I hope is that with control powers is that if said controller has control over one and/or decides to control another that the former controlled is able to break the control because they are no longer the focus of the controller and able to activate a defensive ability to make them immune to said control effects (or resistant to said effects) and act. This should be intrinsically true when it comes to PvP and to a lesser extent in PvE. However, I get the impression that the Controller is being moved from the support role to main line of the battle. This may not be what you're saying, but from my perspective, it sure looks like it.

I did address these questions and additional concerns throughout this thread.

There will be Reserves that help deal with being controlled and removing control effects.
Toggles and Ssitched are suppressed if the powers’ Willpower threshold is met, They don’t work but you don’t have to reactivate them.

Key powers in Protection Sets have a modifier to their Willpower rating so they end up being one of the last (most difficult) powers to control:

As far as pve and PvP metrics are concerned: we actually use PvP metrics ice in our pve design. We even have a npc pawn rank that simulates pc performance. That being said if something doesn’t work in one type of play (in either direction) we can use the appropriate flag (PvP or PvE) to make adjustments that won’t affect the other type of play.

Players ever like it when nerds come through unless the nerf benefits their personal way to play. Adjustments will happen, All game design revolves around metrics of some sort. In an MMO with build complexity such as ours, we know players will find ways to do stuff we didn’t plan for. And yet we must adhere to the system we designed when it comes to certain areas of performance.

Note ai bever usednthe word balance. It is often misunderstood. When players typically talk balance they think in terms of equality or parity in certain respects. When devs use the term it is best understood as the bounds (upper and lower) of performance. If there ends up being ways that under or over perform, adjustments are necessary for the over all health of the geme. Not everyone gets it right either and I don’t presume we will be perfect. But we will do our best to make this game fun to play and keep it that way with an eye on the big picture of it the game that most players don’t often grasp.


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Tannim222 wrote:
Tannim222 wrote:

Players ever like it when nerds come through

I'm getting closer and closer to starting a thread that consists of only Tannim's best autocorrect quotes. :-)

Spurn all ye kindle.

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Tannim222 wrote:
Tannim222 wrote:

Note ai bever usednthe word balance. It is often misunderstood. When players typically talk balance they think in terms of equality or parity in certain respects. When devs use the term it is best understood as the bounds (upper and lower) of performance. If there ends up being ways that under or over perform, adjustments are necessary for the over all health of the geme. Not everyone gets it right either and I don’t presume we will be perfect. But we will do our best to make this game fun to play and keep it that way with an eye on the big picture of it the game that most players don’t often grasp.

Balance is the expectation of the player. When they do not perceive balance they see either overpowered or under-powered. Achieving parity regarding powers allows for player skill to come to the forefront. Using a baseline that has high and low specifications that allows powers to work within these perimeter of these specifications is the reason for 'constant and necessary adjustments.' If these upper and lower specifications are never changed, one will continue to make adjustments becoming a perpetual problem of chasing the rabbit. The goal should be to close these benchmarks where the distance between them is ever tightening so that those fluctuations and variations are reduced and eventually limited. While there will be spikes; however, the predictability of these can be identified and proactively addressed without adjustments that can change the scope of the class in question. This is how balance/quality is achieved, through constant monitoring and improvement of the process to close the gap where variations are clipped where they consistently fall within the performance benchmarks.

The way the current 'adjustments for buffing or nerfing' go in the MMO world it is either nerfed into the ground or over buffed. Taking into account of how players use these abilities should be part of the process and added into the paradigm for improving the process. I have always said that the reason we see how developers react to the metric information, they do not take into account of the player's skill. If one or two classes are 'over-performing' they base it on the powers and do not take into account the skill being used to employ said ability. SWTOR = Stun Wars. Why? They cannot adapt the game to the players after they've learned the mechanics and know how to use them to get the most out of a class. So what is their answer? Stuns and Mezzes. Slow down the player's toon. I've seen this in every MMO I've played except one. Care to guess which one?

You really need to apply a quality control system that is built around improving the process that takes into account all the factors currently utilized and including player skill which can be mapped using data that shows how a class functions looking at the high performance through the low performance. Then you can produce a median performance specification that should line up with the median specification of expected performance. Fine tuning will allow for minor adjustments where needed. This is done in any production/manufacturing environment where quality control is essential for producing a quality product on a consistent bases. Players are no different from buyers seeking quality products. Player's quality is balance. Parity should always be the goal not a buzzword. It is achievable with the properly designed process improvement controls. Believe it or not, a game design company really should have an Operations Manager/Team that can do that producing graphs, charts, and predictions of outcomes based on the refined data. Well qualified OM skilled individuals who are production/manufacturing oriented are qualified to work to improve the process no matter whom they work for.

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The process is called

The process is called Analytics. In an MMO you will find that there is more then one metric and many metrics interact with other metrics. If a dev changes a process to tighten one metric it can have an adverse affect on another. There are times when this becomes necessary but they should be few and far between.

Most of the time what you can adjust to meet the standard of the metrics is what characters are capable of and sometimes that does take into account skill floors and ceilings.

MMOs use charts and graphs in analytics all the time. Some big companies have their own game data analysts. Some have to do it as part of their job while also working on other areas of development.


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Ghost-Spectre, when you talk

Ghost-Spectre, when you talk about balance and parity are talking about tuning for a 50/50 chance between every different class, just builds within a class, or every individual class and build combo?

Considering the extremely diverse classes and builds within those classes that will be in CoT it would become nearly impossible to make a 50/50 chance in any of the three above scenarios unless you make everything but damage barely a token nod.

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Different character builds

Different character builds don't need to be equally good at everything. That's PvP thinking, and even in that context it doesn't need to be the case. In my opinion, having played Overwatch for like a month now, PvP equality like that, even in a game where you only have like 3 powers you can do, is still unachievable.

For one thing, no character in PvP exists in a vacuum. Your powers might be a hard counter to one opponent, but you might also get shut down by another. It's the rock-paper-scissors-lizard-spock effect. And even in that context, Winston is strictly worse than D.Va, if you ask me. I could go into details about that if you want later.

In the context of a game that's primarily supposed to be an MMORPG, I personally say that the classes can have a range of overall powerfulness that goes from "not terribly powerful, maybe the weakest in the game, but still able to contribute on teams" to "the most powerful easy-mode build in the game" and people can still have fun. Some builds are more fun top play because they're less powerful. When you're soloing or whatever, you might want to do that for fun.

PvP and PvE are two very different beasts when it comes to class, level, powers, etc. I personally would tell the devs not to worry about PvP imbalances too much, because the perceived "Best" build is what all the competitive PvPers will play anyway, even if it's only 0.001% more effective on paper.

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As long as every build has

As long as every build has two things, you should be fine.

1) Be viable (able to participate in all content successfully if played correctly).

2) Be unique (either allow you to do something other builds can’t, or provide a gameplay experience other builds can’t).

As long as those criteria are satisfied it doesn’t matter if they’re equally “good”. Because people will still play those builds anyway.

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Ghost-Spectre wrote:
Ghost-Spectre wrote:
Tannim222 wrote:

Note ai bever usednthe word balance. It is often misunderstood. When players typically talk balance they think in terms of equality or parity in certain respects. When devs use the term it is best understood as the bounds (upper and lower) of performance. If there ends up being ways that under or over perform, adjustments are necessary for the over all health of the geme. Not everyone gets it right either and I don’t presume we will be perfect. But we will do our best to make this game fun to play and keep it that way with an eye on the big picture of it the game that most players don’t often grasp.

Balance is the expectation of the player. When they do not perceive balance they see either overpowered or under-powered. Achieving parity regarding powers allows for player skill to come to the forefront. Using a baseline that has high and low specifications that allows powers to work within these perimeter of these specifications is the reason for 'constant and necessary adjustments.' If these upper and lower specifications are never changed, one will continue to make adjustments becoming a perpetual problem of chasing the rabbit. The goal should be to close these benchmarks where the distance between them is ever tightening so that those fluctuations and variations are reduced and eventually limited. While there will be spikes; however, the predictability of these can be identified and proactively addressed without adjustments that can change the scope of the class in question. This is how balance/quality is achieved, through constant monitoring and improvement of the process to close the gap where variations are clipped where they consistently fall within the performance benchmarks.

The way the current 'adjustments for buffing or nerfing' go in the MMO world it is either nerfed into the ground or over buffed. Taking into account of how players use these abilities should be part of the process and added into the paradigm for improving the process. I have always said that the reason we see how developers react to the metric information, they do not take into account of the player's skill. If one or two classes are 'over-performing' they base it on the powers and do not take into account the skill being used to employ said ability. SWTOR = Stun Wars. Why? They cannot adapt the game to the players after they've learned the mechanics and know how to use them to get the most out of a class. So what is their answer? Stuns and Mezzes. Slow down the player's toon. I've seen this in every MMO I've played except one. Care to guess which one?

You really need to apply a quality control system that is built around improving the process that takes into account all the factors currently utilized and including player skill which can be mapped using data that shows how a class functions looking at the high performance through the low performance. Then you can produce a median performance specification that should line up with the median specification of expected performance. Fine tuning will allow for minor adjustments where needed. This is done in any production/manufacturing environment where quality control is essential for producing a quality product on a consistent bases. Players are no different from buyers seeking quality products. Player's quality is balance. Parity should always be the goal not a buzzword. It is achievable with the properly designed process improvement controls. Believe it or not, a game design company really should have an Operations Manager/Team that can do that producing graphs, charts, and predictions of outcomes based on the refined data. Well qualified OM skilled individuals who are production/manufacturing oriented are qualified to work to improve the process no matter whom they work for.

Those who want balance, don't generally get the idea of an MMO or talk of balance but what they really mean is, "Make me more unbeatable compared to everyone else!"

While not CoT related, as we don't have enough to go on, so I'm just showing examples of balance arguments often seen.

"My melee non flier can't beat the ranged flyer, because I can't reach them!" Duh.

"My Fire Melee/Fire Armor who has no cold resist is getting beat by every Ice Melee/Fire Armor!" Duh again!

"Sure, my Fire Armor has max fire and cold resist, but that Regen heals all damage equally! That's unfair!"

"My Lethal Scrapper can't kill that max lethal resist tanker!"

"I can beat anyone! Why do you all run away from a one on one match? HAHA I'M THE BEST! I can't be beat!" "I'll go up against you!" "Okay! Wait a minute, you're an Elec/Thermal, I don't fight those."

"Haha! I'm the best there is at PvP! No one can beat me!" "Okay I'll take you on." "Hold on, let me alt, this character isn't as good against your build as my other one."

Want balanced one on one PvP? Then you need identical characters.

For team play, you should be able to get a more balanced set up, if people aren't all going the route of all DPS Melee versus a team of Tank/Healer/DPS :p

Then there's such things as better bonuses and such. Which, hey, it's an MMO, people should have the option to build for better stats and everyone is equal in that department to doing as such, there's just a lot who think "If I'm not willing to do such and such content, it's not fair." or "It takes me much longer to get that gear in this way easier path!"

"That Support character is buffing their team to be more awesome! I don't have a support character on my team to buff me! This is unfair! Where's my parity! My scrapper should be equal to that Support character in terms of team buffing, if that support character can survive and dish out the same damage I do!"

That's parity you speak of, and it makes no sense. It's people wanting their character to be the best with the easier time of it. "But I like playing support! I just hate being the weakest, because they target me for easy kills!"

Yup. Go play pong :) There's some equal pvp :)

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Ghost-Spectre wrote:
Ghost-Spectre wrote:

I've seen this in every MMO I've played except one. Care to guess which one?

I guess you missed the Energy Melee nerf, where, to slow the characters down, they changed all of the animations. Amimation-time is one aspect of character performance that we players could not compensate for.
My fast-punching high-energy 'Boxer' became Mister ka Meh ha Meh ha...

Be Well!
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Fireheart wrote:
Fireheart wrote:
Ghost-Spectre wrote:

I've seen this in every MMO I've played except one. Care to guess which one?

I guess you missed the Energy Melee nerf, where, to slow the characters down, they changed all of the animations. Amimation-time is one aspect of character performance that we players could not compensate for.
My fast-punching high-energy 'Boxer' became Mister ka Meh ha Meh ha...

Be Well!
Fireheart

I put away my Energy Melee at that point. I'd have rather had a damage nerf than that animation change they gave us and I LOVED LOVED LOVED MY PINK ENERGY FISTS!

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blacke4dawn wrote:
blacke4dawn wrote:

If they won't do fall damage from a high enough KU itself then I seriously doubt they will implement a new system for calculating those impacts.

Team Rocket's blasting off againnnn......

I imagine if the enemy can with stand a super punch to the face, a splat from 20ft or whatever isn't going to do much damage either

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Brand X wrote:
Brand X wrote:
Ghost-Spectre wrote:
Tannim222 wrote:

Note ai bever usednthe word balance. It is often misunderstood. When players typically talk balance they think in terms of equality or parity in certain respects. When devs use the term it is best understood as the bounds (upper and lower) of performance. If there ends up being ways that under or over perform, adjustments are necessary for the over all health of the geme. Not everyone gets it right either and I don’t presume we will be perfect. But we will do our best to make this game fun to play and keep it that way with an eye on the big picture of it the game that most players don’t often grasp.

Balance is the expectation of the player. When they do not perceive balance they see either overpowered or under-powered. Achieving parity regarding powers allows for player skill to come to the forefront. Using a baseline that has high and low specifications that allows powers to work within these perimeter of these specifications is the reason for 'constant and necessary adjustments.' If these upper and lower specifications are never changed, one will continue to make adjustments becoming a perpetual problem of chasing the rabbit. The goal should be to close these benchmarks where the distance between them is ever tightening so that those fluctuations and variations are reduced and eventually limited. While there will be spikes; however, the predictability of these can be identified and proactively addressed without adjustments that can change the scope of the class in question. This is how balance/quality is achieved, through constant monitoring and improvement of the process to close the gap where variations are clipped where they consistently fall within the performance benchmarks.

The way the current 'adjustments for buffing or nerfing' go in the MMO world it is either nerfed into the ground or over buffed. Taking into account of how players use these abilities should be part of the process and added into the paradigm for improving the process. I have always said that the reason we see how developers react to the metric information, they do not take into account of the player's skill. If one or two classes are 'over-performing' they base it on the powers and do not take into account the skill being used to employ said ability. SWTOR = Stun Wars. Why? They cannot adapt the game to the players after they've learned the mechanics and know how to use them to get the most out of a class. So what is their answer? Stuns and Mezzes. Slow down the player's toon. I've seen this in every MMO I've played except one. Care to guess which one?

You really need to apply a quality control system that is built around improving the process that takes into account all the factors currently utilized and including player skill which can be mapped using data that shows how a class functions looking at the high performance through the low performance. Then you can produce a median performance specification that should line up with the median specification of expected performance. Fine tuning will allow for minor adjustments where needed. This is done in any production/manufacturing environment where quality control is essential for producing a quality product on a consistent bases. Players are no different from buyers seeking quality products. Player's quality is balance. Parity should always be the goal not a buzzword. It is achievable with the properly designed process improvement controls. Believe it or not, a game design company really should have an Operations Manager/Team that can do that producing graphs, charts, and predictions of outcomes based on the refined data. Well qualified OM skilled individuals who are production/manufacturing oriented are qualified to work to improve the process no matter whom they work for.

Those who want balance, don't generally get the idea of an MMO or talk of balance but what they really mean is, "Make me more unbeatable compared to everyone else!"

While not CoT related, as we don't have enough to go on, so I'm just showing examples of balance arguments often seen.

"My melee non flier can't beat the ranged flyer, because I can't reach them!" Duh.

"My Fire Melee/Fire Armor who has no cold resist is getting beat by every Ice Melee/Fire Armor!" Duh again!

"Sure, my Fire Armor has max fire and cold resist, but that Regen heals all damage equally! That's unfair!"

"My Lethal Scrapper can't kill that max lethal resist tanker!"

"I can beat anyone! Why do you all run away from a one on one match? HAHA I'M THE BEST! I can't be beat!" "I'll go up against you!" "Okay! Wait a minute, you're an Elec/Thermal, I don't fight those."

"Haha! I'm the best there is at PvP! No one can beat me!" "Okay I'll take you on." "Hold on, let me alt, this character isn't as good against your build as my other one."

Want balanced one on one PvP? Then you need identical characters.

For team play, you should be able to get a more balanced set up, if people aren't all going the route of all DPS Melee versus a team of Tank/Healer/DPS :p

Then there's such things as better bonuses and such. Which, hey, it's an MMO, people should have the option to build for better stats and everyone is equal in that department to doing as such, there's just a lot who think "If I'm not willing to do such and such content, it's not fair." or "It takes me much longer to get that gear in this way easier path!"

"That Support character is buffing their team to be more awesome! I don't have a support character on my team to buff me! This is unfair! Where's my parity! My scrapper should be equal to that Support character in terms of team buffing, if that support character can survive and dish out the same damage I do!"

That's parity you speak of, and it makes no sense. It's people wanting their character to be the best with the easier time of it. "But I like playing support! I just hate being the weakest, because they target me for easy kills!"

Yup. Go play pong :) There's some equal pvp :)

How very dismissive of you. You obviously do not understand "process of continual improvement." Which, I might add, was the point of my post. Please, start reading on W. Edward Deming and his 14 points of quality control. Afterwards, delve deeper into process improvement and the methods to achieve it. It is what I instruct all my business students to do at the college I teach at. Then you might be so dismissive as to the context of what I wrote.

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Ghost-Spectre wrote:
Ghost-Spectre wrote:

How very dismissive of you. You obviously do not understand "process of continual improvement." Which, I might add, was the point of my post. Please, start reading on W. Edward Deming and his 14 points of quality control. Afterwards, delve deeper into process improvement and the methods to achieve it. It is what I instruct all my business students to do at the college I teach at. Then you might be so dismissive as to the context of what I wrote.

Very likely dismissive. You didn't offer anything as to how to balance and wrote just like every other PvP Balance poster.

Your quality control will show the same thing. You can't make the team buffer equal in DPS to the DPSers, and then expect the DPSers to go "Well, what about us? Why do we do the same DPS, but don't buff the team to make them better?"

Maybe my way of continued improvement is teaching the players they can't have it equal and still be totally different. Tanks take less damage than others. Support toons will do less damage than those who's only job is to DPS.

However, please enlighten me to how you would make it so the Support Characters can go "You know, in a 1 on 1 fight, I now feel like I do as much damage as a DPSer and just as tough as a tank, while being able to debuff the others to being way weaker than me, just like I kept asking for." and everyone else be "YAY! BALANCED!"

You offered nothing except quality control. I wouldn't call that quality, unless you think making some players happy and then changing it every patch is good quality, so maybe the next patch, the DPS are like "YAY! Now I'm top DPS and tougher than a TANK!"

Mind you, I'm not even against these classes being able to build to such points with their augments and refinements and proper power choices, but I remember the CoH forums. I remember the CoH pvpers. Most of them whined and whined and whined. Hell, they were dumb enough they couldn't even figure out, "I can keep my one on one fight from being interrupted by going to arena instead of an open pvp zone, and just expect people coming into the zone to know what's happening."

That's the player base mentality.

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Brand X wrote:
Brand X wrote:

Very likely dismissive. You didn't offer anything as to how to balance and wrote just like every other PvP Balance poster.

No, I did not. I offered; however, a tool to use and a methodology in how to achieve it. I'm not going to assume I know the extent or details of said abilities when I've not seen them, have access to them, or the data that they deliver. Using the prescribed method of process improvement through statistical controls through verifying the data, working in the known parameters (high/low and median performance values) the ability to properly adjust these abilities where they are consistently at the median value with very low spikes or peaks above or below the median performance value is achievable through the process of improvement. Process improvement is an every changing and on going method that works to refine the output of said product's quality (in this instance, said ability's performances). It isn't one time effort and let it run for months. It is one right after another until you have reached and maintained the goal of consistency of output.

Brand X wrote:

Your quality control will show the same thing. You can't make the team buffer equal in DPS to the DPSers, and then expect the DPSers to go "Well, what about us? Why do we do the same DPS, but don't buff the team to make them better?"

Wrong. The balance of powers takes into count the various classes and how the interact with and against one another. That must be part of the statistical controls and analysis. Again, through the process of improvement you can predict how each class will work within the team function. Each class has its place. The Triad (Tank, DPS, Support) are integral to one another, even more so when you involve PvP. How these abilities compliment and should enhance one another. And to achieve that is through statistical analysis as prescribed by process improvement controls. The analysis can show which class is under-performing in a team setting and you can adjust to improve that based on the statistical analysis.

Brand X wrote:

Maybe my way of continued improvement is teaching the players they can't have it equal and still be totally different. Tanks take less damage than others. Support toons will do less damage than those who's only job is to DPS.

You are assuming I'm talking about "All classes being equal." I'm not talking about that. I'm talking about balance of classes in respect to one another. Will a Tank do high alpha damage compared to a Glass Cannon class? No. Should one expect that? No. However, can said Glass Cannon sustain the type of damage a tank can? Absolutely not. Where these two meet, along with support is the sustained damage, controls, and damage handling. The balance is there between them in their performance. When one holds more of that, then there is an issue that must be addressed. I made mention in my original post concerning what SWTOR's Marauders/Sentinels did with their AoE attacks (Smash/Sweep). Each doing an accumulative amount damage between 50 to 60k in an instance applied to 5 toons in an 8m circle. That far exceeded the ability of healing support class to overcome. That meant instant death to those involved. Over half the team gone with the rest following shortly there after. It took the developers 3 years from launch to figure out this was a problem. Thus FOTM was born as all PvP players jumped on the ban wagon for these classes.

Now SWTOR developers "figured out" that Tank's shielding wasn't working against critical damage. Now they are fixing that. Really? Almost 7 years later? After launch...1.2 hit the ground and Sage & Sorcerers were nerfed into oblivion relegating them to healing and nothing else because their damage capabilities were so reduced they were almost unable to solo PvE content for leveling. Why? Because people cried, whined, and complained about them being OP. When the real issue was players did not know what their interrupt was for and did not know how to handling them. For the most part, they left them alone "because" they were light armor wearing DPS, how much damage could the do? They found out and cried. This is the track record of every MMO I've played from CoH through D&D.

All of this could and can be avoided with the proper process and statistical analysis controls for process improvement. I wish I could use draw to show you what I mean by "balance between them." Basically, have a triangle, each point: DPS, Tank, and support. Draw an oval around one another with each one meeting equally in the middle. When these are equal in scope and size, you have balance. When one is greater than the other, you have imbalance. Statistical analysis can show you this and through that analysis you can see what ability(s) are under-performing and over-performing based on the median performance value (the median benchmark/specification). This is irrefutable in terms of quantitative analysis methods. Qualitative analysis should never be part of this process because it is based on subjective data; whereas quantitative analysis is based on objective data.

Brand X wrote:

However, please enlighten me to how you would make it so the Support Characters can go "You know, in a 1 on 1 fight, I now feel like I do as much damage as a DPSer and just as tough as a tank, while being able to debuff the others to being way weaker than me, just like I kept asking for." and everyone else be "YAY! BALANCED!"

As a primary tank player, the toughest opponent is and should always be a tank. A good tank player that knows their defenses and abilities should be able to take on 2 to 3 DPSs/Support before succumbing to their damage. That's not over-powered or over-performing, that is the job. 1 DPS/Support player trying to defeat a Tank should find itself in a long drawn out fight that will end up with their defeat IF they are both equally skilled in play and there is balance between them. Again, this balance is that both perform optimally at the median performance value of their class. The tank's ability to deflect, absorb, or stop damage will allow them to defeat a single DPS/Support in a melee fight because the DPS/Support does not have the ability to shrug off the damage over a period of time. Why? Because a tank is built for that, standing toe to toe with mobs/veterans/elites/champions/bosses. DPSer is not as tough as a tank even implying one is subjective reasoning. In PvP in SWTOR my Jugg was able to handling 3 to 4 DPS pounding on me while I kept them busy for my teammates to kill them. In team play this is essential. A DPSer or Support cannot, in truth, fulfill the role of a tank. A tank has damage mitigation that far exceeds any DPS or Support class' ability. A tank with a pocket healer is nigh impossible to kill in PvP, most certainly in PvE (at least in SWTOR, Neverwinter, GW2, and DDO, and most certainly was the case in CoH.)

Brand X wrote:

You offered nothing except quality control. I wouldn't call that quality, unless you think making some players happy and then changing it every patch is good quality, so maybe the next patch, the DPS are like "YAY! Now I'm top DPS and tougher than a TANK!"

Your being dismissive here and you're basing your opinion on not reading in context of what I stated. I suggest you go back and read exactly what I stated earlier and what I just stated here. And...you're trolling.

Brand X wrote:

Mind you, I'm not even against these classes being able to build to such points with their augments and refinements and proper power choices, but I remember the CoH forums. I remember the CoH pvpers. Most of them whined and whined and whined. Hell, they were dumb enough they couldn't even figure out, "I can keep my one on one fight from being interrupted by going to arena instead of an open pvp zone, and just expect people coming into the zone to know what's happening."

I addressed the issue between PvP/PvE and gave examples of what happens. This is why I stated and will never change my opinion on, PvP and PvE should always be separated and never should the two cross in terms of abilities and powers. COH had enhancement sets that had 2 functions, one for PvE and one for PvP. If they were able to do that here, the developers should do the same. PvP abilities that work in PvP that will not work in PvE and vice versa. Then, you'll never have any issues with PvE turning on PvP players because abilities were nerfed causing severe problems in PvE because PvP players cried, whined, and moaned about certain classes being over-powered and the developers agreed, thus nerfing into the dirt said classes. This is a never ending cycle that no game, except GW2, did something to remedy. The failure to do so is inexcusable in my book.

Brand X wrote:

That's the player base mentality.

No, that is yours and yours alone. Your qualitative approach here is nothing more than a subjective opinion. It is an opinion based on your personal experiences. You cannot and do not speak for the whole.

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Fireheart wrote:
Fireheart wrote:
Ghost-Spectre wrote:

I've seen this in every MMO I've played except one. Care to guess which one?

I guess you missed the Energy Melee nerf, where, to slow the characters down, they changed all of the animations. Amimation-time is one aspect of character performance that we players could not compensate for.
My fast-punching high-energy 'Boxer' became Mister ka Meh ha Meh ha...

Be Well!
Fireheart

Nope, it did not effect my Power/Electric tank all that much. CoH balancing was far more restrained than the other games I've played in. Paragon Studio developers, were, in my opinion, pretty damned good at what they were doing and they did, in fact, listen to the opinions of the players. When they did a nerf and it was too much, they didn't sit on it for 2 weeks (SWTOR) before begrudgingly changing it. I remember one nerf (not the specifics of it) that they did and the next day it was changed to where it was far far less than original made. As CoH was my very first MMO, I use them as my benchmark for developers. So far, in my opinion, the other MMO developers teams fall short in terms of working for improvement of classes and listening to their player/customers who spend countless hours playing the game. Again, this my opinion.

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Ghost-Spectre wrote:
Ghost-Spectre wrote:

How very dismissive of you. You obviously do not understand "process of continual improvement." Which, I might add, was the point of my post. Please, start reading on W. Edward Deming and his 14 points of quality control. Afterwards, delve deeper into process improvement and the methods to achieve it. It is what I instruct all my business students to do at the college I teach at. Then you might be so dismissive as to the context of what I wrote.

So what exactly where you trying to argue, if they have one? How they actually do it?

It seems to me like you are trying to tell MWM how they should do it, rather then just trying to find out how they will do this and then try to adress any faults you find.

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blacke4dawn wrote:
blacke4dawn wrote:
Ghost-Spectre wrote:

How very dismissive of you. You obviously do not understand "process of continual improvement." Which, I might add, was the point of my post. Please, start reading on W. Edward Deming and his 14 points of quality control. Afterwards, delve deeper into process improvement and the methods to achieve it. It is what I instruct all my business students to do at the college I teach at. Then you might be so dismissive as to the context of what I wrote.

So what exactly where you trying to argue, if they have one? How they actually do it?

It seems to me like you are trying to tell MWM how they should do it, rather then just trying to find out how they will do this and then try to adress any faults you find.

Wait, you cannot tell? I'm not telling MWM how to do anything. I am telling them what this can do for them in helping them with the issue Tannim222 brought up:

Tannim222 wrote:

TNote ai bever usednthe word balance. It is often misunderstood. When players typically talk balance they think in terms of equality or parity in certain respects. When devs use the term it is best understood as the bounds (upper and lower) of performance. If there ends up being ways that under or over perform, adjustments are necessary for the over all health of the geme.

I have personal experience with game development, production, and writing. I understand how balance works in a game. I also know, based solely on the actions of game developers of games I've played that indicated they, in fact, did not have process controls in place to address what I'm advocating. Here's an example, again, I use SWTOR. After 5.0 came out, our companions were way over powered. They could fight better than the PCs in some cases. So, what was BW's developer's answer? They nerfed all the abilities of the companions by nearly 80%! Eight percent! That was a ludicrous act. So much so, it cost them 10s of thousands of subscribers, including myself. The answer was a small ability reduction, 25% at the most. 2 weeks later, they buffed the companions that netted out to a 25% nerf from their original configuration. I've seen this kind of action from Neverwinter, DDO, World of Warships (Shimakazi), and others. This can be avoided with the proper process in-place that monitors the metrics using statistical analysis that allowed them to improve their process for making minor adjustments to improve the output (performance).

This is what I'm advocating and talking about. They (MWM) may have metrics in place; however, how they use it, how the analyze it, and how the refine the data is a whole different story. Looking at something and saying, oh that's too much we need to adjust...15% reduction may work. Let's try that! That's not a proper analyzation of empirical data. TQM/TQC are tools designed to mitigate abrupt changes can bring some serious issues. These tools allow for predicting outcomes based on the data and allow decision makers to make changes based on refined data. Where one "believes" a change of 15% is warranted, the refined and analyzed data indicates a 1.5% change is need to bring the performance into the median performance level. The answer is not to "stay within the upper and lower performance levels, the answer and goal is to reach the median performance level consistently. Consistency of performance promotes quality, in this case, performance. It is an ongoing process of improvement.

I'm not telling them to do anything. I'm informing them there is a superior way of 'adjusting' through the use of process controls I've mentioned. I'm not telling them have to do this. I'm suggesting that these tools will help them enhance and improve their developing and production outcomes. I mean, if I were wrong, why then would a large number of corporations through out the world employ such tools to produce quality products? Frito Lay and Arnold Palmer Hospital do. As does Toyota and Nissan. It all starts with a Operations Management team who have 16 different areas that help them achieve the company's goals of quality production of products through the tools of TQM/TQC and other quality control measures based on Deming's original quality improvement process. It can work for any company, including MWM, who produce a product where quality is measured by the data and, most importantly, the consumer.

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Ghost-Spectre wrote:
Ghost-Spectre wrote:

The answer is not to "stay within the upper and lower performance levels, the answer and goal is to reach the median performance level consistently. Consistency of performance promotes quality, in this case, performance. It is an ongoing process of improvement.

While I agree with the quality improvement methodology and proper use of analytics to drive appropriate corrections. I do not think you are applying it to game theory or human systems behavior correctly.

No game like this should ever want or drive towards consistency of performance. Because players will be able to build their characters how they want, that is the antithesis of consistency. And in PvP, there are skills involved based upon knowing your enemy, and choosing the correct powers at the correct times that goes above and beyond the builds of the respective characters.

Accordingly, I think Tannim's definition of balance as keeping performance between upper and lower bands is far more appropriate because it takes into account the variations of the human element; which are not only far more important than in a manufacturing environment, but are far more desireable than in a manufactuing environment as well. Conversely, in a manufacturing environment (since you introduced Deming into this discussion), the impact of human variation is one of the things you actually try to drive out of the system.


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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Huckleberry wrote:
Huckleberry wrote:
Ghost-Spectre wrote:

The answer is not to "stay within the upper and lower performance levels, the answer and goal is to reach the median performance level consistently. Consistency of performance promotes quality, in this case, performance. It is an ongoing process of improvement.

While I agree with the quality improvement methodology and proper use of analytics to drive appropriate corrections. I do not think you are applying it to game theory or human systems behavior correctly.

No game like this should ever want or drive towards consistency of performance. Because players will be able to build their characters how they want, that is the antithesis of consistency. And in PvP, there are skills involved based upon knowing your enemy, and choosing the correct powers at the correct times that goes above and beyond the builds of the respective characters.

Accordingly, I think Tannim's definition of balance as keeping performance between upper and lower bands is far more appropriate because it takes into account the variations of the human element; which are not only far more important than in a manufacturing environment, but are far more desireable than in a manufactuing environment as well. Conversely, in a manufacturing environment (since you introduced Deming into this discussion), the impact of human variation is one of the things you actually try to drive out of the system.

Actually, human involvement at all levels is an important aspect of the process. Process improvement cannot work properly if only part of those involved work at it. It takes commitment from everyone. Analytics will show you the different variations that players use in creating and playing the respective characters. It is imperative that gathering data covers everything that is involved in data output. Conversely, the human element regarding playing cannot be fully realized until after sufficient time has happened to give a good solid data point for each class and mix of powers used.

Process improvement takes all data gathered, including looking at all influences involved. Once sufficient time and data accumulation has occurred, it can then be tracked and properly refined and analyzed. Human element is part of the process from the beginning to the end. Since this is all about empirical data and quantitative analysis, the reasoning or qualitative data can be left out since it is subjective. Human influence on output for this game is how they create, design, and play their chosen classes.

There is so much information and data available and involved, I can't even begin address. I'd end up with a post that will look like a major research paper. Suffice to say, the developers know what they are looking for, which has to include who, what, when, and how players use their toon's abilities. Analyzing said information using statistical control analysis for process improvement will yield the necessary information to make appropriate changes suggest by the result.

However, I will say this, not including human variance and/or influence in the analysis is a monumental mistake. Because these abilities are used in accordance to developers' expectations or they are used in a manner they did not account for. It is this element that affords important information that the developers can now use in part of their analysis. I cannot tell you the number of times I've read developers stating on the forums when discussing nerfing abilities, "We didn't dream that players would be able to do this or that." Well, we're about to Close Beta Trials. Guess what, they're about to get information they'll need to see exactly what their work has brought to them. Human variance and performance output of their toons.

Not to get off topic here, but as I'm typing this, we just had a sizeable rumble (earthquake...4.0 or so) second time today. Hm...I wonder if we're about to get a big one. Nothing like rocking and rolling in your chair not designed to do that. LOL

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Ghost-Spectre wrote:
Ghost-Spectre wrote:

However, I will say this, not including human variance and/or influence in the analysis is a monumental mistake. Because these abilities are used in accordance to developers' expectations or they are used in a manner they did not account for. It is this element that affords important information that the developers can now use in part of their analysis. I cannot tell you the number of times I've read developers stating on the forums when discussing nerfing abilities, "We didn't dream that players would be able to do this or that." Well, we're about to Close Beta Trials. Guess what, they're about to get information they'll need to see exactly what their work has brought to them. Human variance and performance output of their toons.

Not to get off topic here, but as I'm typing this, we just had a sizeable rumble (earthquake...4.0 or so) second time today. Hm...I wonder if we're about to get a big one. Nothing like rocking and rolling in your chair not designed to do that. LOL

I hope the big one never comes!! and these lesser rumbles release all the pressure they need to. Talk about putting things into perspective.

But back to the discussion. I'm not saying that human effort isn't required for quality assurance. I'm saying that your application is inappropriate to the medium we are discussing because of the following postulate:

"In a system in which humans are components, the performance of the system is determined by the motivations of the humans in the system" So no matter what processes are in place, the motivations of the humans determine the performance regardless.

Thus, in a QA environment, you are counting on your humans to want to increase quality, reduce deviation and improve consistency. So empowering and motivating them to do so results in better performance naturally.
However, in an MMO, your human components are competing against each other and against the world you have designed. Human skill, competitive drive, desire to roleplay and subject-matter zealotry will all be the driving factors towards the balance between characters, no matter what the develop[rs do to balance the builds. The only way to create consistency in such an environment is to make all the builds identical and remove player choice in how they are played. But that would be a failure of an MMO if it did that.


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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Ghost-Spectre wrote:
Ghost-Spectre wrote:
blacke4dawn wrote:
Ghost-Spectre wrote:

How very dismissive of you. You obviously do not understand "process of continual improvement." Which, I might add, was the point of my post. Please, start reading on W. Edward Deming and his 14 points of quality control. Afterwards, delve deeper into process improvement and the methods to achieve it. It is what I instruct all my business students to do at the college I teach at. Then you might be so dismissive as to the context of what I wrote.

So what exactly where you trying to argue, if they have one? How they actually do it?

It seems to me like you are trying to tell MWM how they should do it, rather then just trying to find out how they will do this and then try to adress any faults you find.

Wait, you cannot tell? I'm not telling MWM how to do anything. I am telling them what this can do for them in helping them with the issue Tannim222 brought up:

Tannim222 wrote:

TNote ai bever usednthe word balance. It is often misunderstood. When players typically talk balance they think in terms of equality or parity in certain respects. When devs use the term it is best understood as the bounds (upper and lower) of performance. If there ends up being ways that under or over perform, adjustments are necessary for the over all health of the geme.

I have personal experience with game development, production, and writing. I understand how balance works in a game. I also know, based solely on the actions of game developers of games I've played that indicated they, in fact, did not have process controls in place to address what I'm advocating. Here's an example, again, I use SWTOR. After 5.0 came out, our companions were way over powered. They could fight better than the PCs in some cases. So, what was BW's developer's answer? They nerfed all the abilities of the companions by nearly 80%! Eight percent! That was a ludicrous act. So much so, it cost them 10s of thousands of subscribers, including myself. The answer was a small ability reduction, 25% at the most. 2 weeks later, they buffed the companions that netted out to a 25% nerf from their original configuration. I've seen this kind of action from Neverwinter, DDO, World of Warships (Shimakazi), and others. This can be avoided with the proper process in-place that monitors the metrics using statistical analysis that allowed them to improve their process for making minor adjustments to improve the output (performance).

This is what I'm advocating and talking about. They (MWM) may have metrics in place; however, how they use it, how the analyze it, and how the refine the data is a whole different story. Looking at something and saying, oh that's too much we need to adjust...15% reduction may work. Let's try that! That's not a proper analyzation of empirical data. TQM/TQC are tools designed to mitigate abrupt changes can bring some serious issues. These tools allow for predicting outcomes based on the data and allow decision makers to make changes based on refined data. Where one "believes" a change of 15% is warranted, the refined and analyzed data indicates a 1.5% change is need to bring the performance into the median performance level. The answer is not to "stay within the upper and lower performance levels, the answer and goal is to reach the median performance level consistently. Consistency of performance promotes quality, in this case, performance. It is an ongoing process of improvement.

I'm not telling them to do anything. I'm informing them there is a superior way of 'adjusting' through the use of process controls I've mentioned. I'm not telling them have to do this. I'm suggesting that these tools will help them enhance and improve their developing and production outcomes. I mean, if I were wrong, why then would a large number of corporations through out the world employ such tools to produce quality products? Frito Lay and Arnold Palmer Hospital do. As does Toyota and Nissan. It all starts with a Operations Management team who have 16 different areas that help them achieve the company's goals of quality production of products through the tools of TQM/TQC and other quality control measures based on Deming's original quality improvement process. It can work for any company, including MWM, who produce a product where quality is measured by the data and, most importantly, the consumer.

You're not wrong in regards to the goal you want MWM to reach, but I think you are wrong in how you present it. You presented it as that you thought that MWM had no routines in place to analyze this (outside of catching over/under performance) and would just guess at changes needed. The vibe I get from how you write is that you have been "hurt" so much from previous games you've played and thus feel the need to preemptively "scold" them into to doing it right.

Also I am pretty sure that the upper and lower bounds Tannim was referring to are the performance levels for the "highest" and "lowest" performing builds possible respectively, and I'm sure those bounds are set per AT (primary and secondary combo) and not on the game as a whole. Due to the different enhancement potential of augments and refinements there essentially has to be span between them. Tuning so that any AT specific build (possibly including tertiaries) can (ideally) never go above or below a certain performance level sounds to me as slightly better then trying to make all those builds perform effectively the same regardless of power combinations and enhancements used. Besides, even if they strive to get every build to a median they still have to decide how far from it is acceptable so that augments and refinements are still something worthy of using.

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Ghost-Spectre wrote:
Ghost-Spectre wrote:

No, that is yours and yours alone. Your qualitative approach here is nothing more than a subjective opinion. It is an opinion based on your personal experiences. You cannot and do not speak for the whole.

See, again. It's not about the whole. It's about the majority. Tell me of one MMO with PvP in it, that the forums and player base in game didn't go on and on about how the PvP was balanced and fair.

I can't even find that in B&S and the game was made around PvP.

Hell, give me one MMO that just the majority of the players, not all, just the majority, went on and on about the balance and fairness of the MMOs PvP.

I've never played in one, but I haven't played all MMOs, so maybe it's out there. Maybe it exists. It's not GW2 though, as going to their forum shows, people complaining. So, what's this MMO that the player base is actually fair in their critique of PvP and don't blame the mechanics when they lose?

If you believe one can balance PvP, then there is no reason one can't balance PvE and PvP stats and keep it simple, instead of requiring people to have multiple builds.

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Very interesting I like that

Very interesting I like that bricky-ness reduces knockback

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Could someone explain again

Could someone explain again why MWM is spending resources on implementing PvP when there are loads of MOBAs out there with their cookie-cutter (i.e. "balanced") characters?

Ah, it's nice to dream of PvE crowd control untrammeled by the demands of the impossible-to-please PvPers...

Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum viditur.

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CallmeBlue wrote:
CallmeBlue wrote:

Ah, it's nice to dream of PvE crowd control untrammeled by the demands of the impossible-to-please PvPers...

As a suggestion you might want to actually read (or re-read it if you just glanced over it) MWM's write-up for how control powers will work in CoT. It genuinely sounds like it'll be well balanced for both PvE and PvP and I say that as someone who enjoyed how control worked in CoH but realized its "binary" nature was a fundamental flaw in its design.

CoH player from April 25, 2004 to November 30, 2012

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CallmeBlue wrote:
CallmeBlue wrote:

Could someone explain again why MWM is spending resources on implementing PvP when there are loads of MOBAs out there with their cookie-cutter (i.e. "balanced") characters?

Ah, it's nice to dream of PvE crowd control untrammeled by the demands of the impossible-to-please PvPers...

If by resources you mean dev time, yeah we spend it on systems and mechanics design keeping PvP and pve in mind.

We have actually incorporated PvP metrics in our pve design including an npc pawn rank that simulates what a player character is capable of performing metrics-wise. Once that was out in place, it drove all other metrics. So the there isn’t any additional time “lost” in spending making separate systems or mechanics for pvp.

Eventually we will have to have some special stuff in place for pvp yes. We have some separate systems for rewards and such we can implement, ways to provide a fair combat environment (as fair as PvP can be anyway) for an open world pvp phase of the game.

The question of why we are doing this...well there are a couple of reasons.

We know from past experience that a decent segment of the player population will want pvp. Adding it later will only result in a bad pvp game.

Making it arena-only ends up a large mistake as well. The game isn’t designed around arena combat. As said, there are better games for that out there. And trying to take a game designed differently and trying to make it work in like an arena combat game makes for bad design.

PvP was promised in an early interview and to early supporters of the game. We try very, very hard to avoid walking back on a promise.

Taking the game world map, making a copy of it is a trivial task and something we have to do for many pve systems. Adding a code that flags player characters to attack one another is trivial. Which means providing s copy of the game world where pvp is enabled isn’t difficult and not a drain on our resources.

The other types of pvp games mentioned can’t do something that we can do, provide the massive-multiplayer part of MMO to pvp.

And there are MMO players who enjoy that type of game.

In the future we will need to devote more resources to pvp. This is true of any aspect of the game. We will have to trwcknand gauge metrics which are unique to pvp that we won’t have any analog for in pve. We will have to create methods of taking portions of those metrics and seeing where they do overlap with pve metrics.

We will have to gauge the player experiences and responses to both pve and PvP. And again develop ways to see how they over lap.

And then we have to rebalance when necessary. And yes, it Requires additional resources to do this.

As I said earlier, it is something we would end up having to do eventually anyway. We might as well at least set the foundation right for us to be successful at this in the future.

And in that future, considering the successful aspect, men’s we will have funding to actually pay devs for outing in their time and hiring more devs to put in that time.


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Lothic wrote:
Lothic wrote:
CallmeBlue wrote:

Ah, it's nice to dream of PvE crowd control untrammeled by the demands of the impossible-to-please PvPers...

As a suggestion you might want to actually read (or re-read it if you just glanced over it) MWM's write-up for how control powers will work in CoT. It genuinely sounds like it'll be well balanced for both PvE and PvP and I say that as someone who enjoyed how control worked in CoH but realized its "binary" nature was a fundamental flaw in its design.

What makes you think I haven't done both, and thought about the problem to boot?

The framework *sounds* broad enough to cover a variety of gameplay experiences, but how it works in practice will depend entirely on the numbers that are used to power it. Like others in this thread, I am inclined to believe that the result will be mushy crowd control, but of course that's just a guess.

MWM could assign numbers to make crowd control just like in CoH, or they could make it useless like in most MMOs. They really can't do both at once. Intermediate solutions will end up with some variety of "mushiness;" if people's comments are any guide, this approach will please nobody.

Crowd control with teeth was one of standout features of CoH. It's a feature that isn't available anywhere else right now. Why sacrifice that to please a tiny fraction of the player base that can go to 100 different games for its outlet?

Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum viditur.

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While I have little interest

While I have little interest in PvP and would, in a world that catered only to my preferences, prefer a PvE experience unburdened by PvP considerations, I think the following two reasons are the best justifications for MWM's approach to this:

Tannim222 wrote:

We know from past experience that a decent segment of the player population will want pvp. Adding it later will only result in a bad pvp game.

PvP was promised in an early interview and to early supporters of the game. We try very, very hard to avoid walking back on a promise.

I think that highlights two principles that make me trust MWM's philosophy on most topics.

Spurn all ye kindle.

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CallmeBlue wrote:
CallmeBlue wrote:

Could someone explain again why MWM is spending resources on implementing PvP when there are loads of MOBAs out there with their cookie-cutter (i.e. "balanced") characters?

Ah, it's nice to dream of PvE crowd control untrammeled by the demands of the impossible-to-please PvPers...

Well, let me ask. What's the super hero MOBA out there that lets you create your own character?

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CallmeBlue wrote:
CallmeBlue wrote:
Lothic wrote:
CallmeBlue wrote:

Ah, it's nice to dream of PvE crowd control untrammeled by the demands of the impossible-to-please PvPers...

As a suggestion you might want to actually read (or re-read it if you just glanced over it) MWM's write-up for how control powers will work in CoT. It genuinely sounds like it'll be well balanced for both PvE and PvP and I say that as someone who enjoyed how control worked in CoH but realized its "binary" nature was a fundamental flaw in its design.

What makes you think I haven't done both, and thought about the problem to boot?

The framework *sounds* broad enough to cover a variety of gameplay experiences, but how it works in practice will depend entirely on the numbers that are used to power it. Like others in this thread, I am inclined to believe that the result will be mushy crowd control, but of course that's just a guess.

MWM could assign numbers to make crowd control just like in CoH, or they could make it useless like in most MMOs. They really can't do both at once. Intermediate solutions will end up with some variety of "mushiness;" if people's comments are any guide, this approach will please nobody.

Crowd control with teeth was one of standout features of CoH. It's a feature that isn't available anywhere else right now. Why sacrifice that to please a tiny fraction of the player base that can go to 100 different games for its outlet?

I am not overly concerned over the fear that controls will “feel mushy”.

In PvE against the most common enemies they will have virtually the same impactr. Just less total duration but still more than most games provide to crowd controls.

Against more difficult targets, which includes player characters, I believe crowd control effects will have a greater impact than the old game did. The secondary effects were largely mitigated by tougher tagets and you had to surpass the magnitude threshold to have any effect at all.

Now you have more impact while stacking control effects and still have that sense of satisfactikn when targets are fully controlled.


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One point for the strategy

One point for the strategy the devs are using that I haven't seen brought up (perhaps I missed it) is simply that if you are making a game where AI controlled NPCs are playing by similar rules to players, using similar abilities, and the AI scripting controlling their decision making is on par with reasonable choices and response times for a player in the same situation, there is little difference between that NPC and a player from the perspective of balancing.

That is a significant advantage for the devs when they are testing out abilities since they don't have to worry about it functioning in a completely different manner in different situations. Not only because they don't have to consider multiple situations with varying rules to design for (pve and pvp, since they are the same for this purpose) but they can run a lot of simulations very quickly to get data.

This doesn't mean they can't or won't tweak things based on player feedback, but it is a useful advantage.

One thing players often forget in games is that the goal of most games with AI opponents is for those opponents to play the part of a human opponent. Because of shortcuts and realistic limitations in development, these are often relatively stupid AI and can be tricked and gamed. To counter this and offer increased difficulty games usually just inflate the stats and numeric advantages of these AI opponents. This leads to players thinking there is a fundamental difference between "pve" and "pvp" since they associate pve as beating on giant sacks of hitpoints, huge hordes of enemies, abusing poor pathing and AI decision making, and similar gameplay experiences. The truth is these are usually side effects. Theoretically, in most games, PVP and PVE would be identical if developers could reliably produce an AI that was good at mimicking human behavior. This of course applies only to symmetric games. Something like the tower defense genre does not have two equivalent players using the same rules.

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I am along time fab of

I am along time fab of masterminds and controllers but one
thing that bugs me is that auto powers can be turned off completely they should provide some sort of benefit even suppressed completely. I have 2 step- nephews, one nephew and one grand nephew who have physical problems and playing the game may be at least a little extra challenging.
Things like fire and forget defenses and masterminds help those of us with physical difficulties to keep up. Me I use 36" TV as a monitor as my keep up item with my glaucoma.

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All of this is awesome and

All of this is awesome and all....

But I really need more details on Force Control, and the created objected interactions. =P

My Kingdom for an in-process skill list Tannim. ;)

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Super M. wrote:
Super M. wrote:

All of this is awesome and all....

But I really need more details on Force Control, and the created objected interactions. =P

My Kingdom for an in-process skill list Tannim. ;)

All in due time. Actually finishing out a tag-line description of all launch powers is on my to do list.


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Tannim222 wrote:
Tannim222 wrote:
Super M. wrote:

All of this is awesome and all....

But I really need more details on Force Control, and the created objected interactions. =P

My Kingdom for an in-process skill list Tannim. ;)

All in due time. Actually finishing out a tag-line description of all launch powers is on my to do list.

"I'm in Lesbians with you"
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Thank you. Im currently vibrating so hard, I assumed Im gaining super speed. That or I've had too many Starbucks frapps in a 24hr period....

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Super M. wrote:
Super M. wrote:

Im currently vibrating so hard, I assumed Im gaining super speed. That or I've had too many Starbucks frapps in a 24hr period....

CoH player from April 25, 2004 to November 30, 2012

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Tannim222 wrote:
Tannim222 wrote:
Super M. wrote:

All of this is awesome and all....

But I really need more details on Force Control, and the created objected interactions. =P

My Kingdom for an in-process skill list Tannim. ;)

All in due time. Actually finishing out a tag-line description of all launch powers is on my to do list.

Does that by chance include Tertiaries?

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@Lothic - Yes. Yes that

@Lothic - Yes. Yes that exactly.

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Super M. wrote:
Super M. wrote:
Tannim222 wrote:
Super M. wrote:

All of this is awesome and all....

But I really need more details on Force Control, and the created objected interactions. =P

My Kingdom for an in-process skill list Tannim. ;)

All in due time. Actually finishing out a tag-line description of all launch powers is on my to do list.

Does that by chance include Tertiaries?

Right now the only launch Tertiaries are those that are made from the launch sets. I’m trying to get approval for 2 separate ones which have nothing to do with whole sets.

And please note that even though I’m getting tag-line descriptions of all launch powers, it may not be used for any updates to info - that is out of my hands. It is something I have coming up on my extensive to do list.


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Tannim222 wrote:
Tannim222 wrote:
Super M. wrote:
Tannim222 wrote:
Super M. wrote:

All of this is awesome and all....

But I really need more details on Force Control, and the created objected interactions. =P

My Kingdom for an in-process skill list Tannim. ;)

All in due time. Actually finishing out a tag-line description of all launch powers is on my to do list.

Does that by chance include Tertiaries?

Right now the only launch Tertiaries are those that are made from the launch sets. I’m trying to get approval for 2 separate ones which have nothing to do with whole sets.

And please note that even though I’m getting tag-line descriptions of all launch powers, it may not be used for any updates to info - that is out of my hands. It is something I have coming up on my extensive to do list.

Thats understandable, but whoevers hands that call IS IN....Just give'em some big 'ole puppy dog eyes on behalf of the public, would ya? ;)

(Thanks again for your great communication and hard work)

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These sound like amazing

These sound like amazing control mechanics. I was primarily a control AT in CoX and no other MMO did it as well. I'm looking forward to getting into this world (and especially the customization of abilities). The variation in levels and types of control will really make selecting my primary set feel much more important, as I'm deciding what type of control I want to specialize in, as well as an associated mastery.

I'm not sure why there is so much toxicity around the charm mechanic. It sounds awesome. I didn't read anything that suggested enemies with this ability would be common, so I'm not sure why people are acting like they'll be in every instance.
I wouldn't mind being charmed with no indicators, but even with just an indicator informing you that you're charmed should be enough for players to realize they should stick to their simple attacks until it wears off to avoid blowing your allies away. To further develop it it would actually be interesting "fully charmed" players just lost control of their actions and auto used abilities on random ally targets.

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.Foresight wrote:
.Foresight wrote:

I'm not sure why there is so much toxicity around the charm mechanic. It sounds awesome. I didn't read anything that suggested enemies with this ability would be common, so I'm not sure why people are acting like they'll be in every instance.
I wouldn't mind being charmed with no indicators, but even with just an indicator informing you that you're charmed should be enough for players to realize they should stick to their simple attacks until it wears off to avoid blowing your allies away. To further develop it it would actually be interesting "fully charmed" players just lost control of their actions and auto used abilities on random ally targets.

Yeah I never really got the idea that "PCs getting routinely Charmed by NPCs" was going to be a thing in CoT. If it happens roughly as much as it did in CoH (which was virtually once in a blue moon) then that'll be perfectly fine.

Honestly I played CoH for thousands of hours over 8.5 years and I think the total amount of time any of my characters were ever Charmed by NPCs could be counted by a handful of minutes tops.

CoH player from April 25, 2004 to November 30, 2012

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WoW has “charm” mechanics

WoW has “charm” mechanics even, where you temporarily lose control of your character. It’s just an extra challenge in a few encounters and not a game-ruining mechanic at all.

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I don't think people are made

I don't think people are angry at the concept of charm mechanics but the proposed implementation and feedback given to the player. WoW's charm mechanics tend to be relatively immediate and obvious: the player no longer has control of their character, you may have a noticeable graphic effect showing that you've been mind controlled (that may lead back to the mind controller) and there may be a screen effect for the player being controlled among other things.

The proposed implementation for CoT was basically the opposite of that, giving less or no feedback to the player other than their powers hitting targets they did not intend. On top of this the proposed mechanics would give an illusion of control over their character since they can still press buttons and see expected responses in many situations due to the attempt at non binary control powers (they could talk, move around, perhaps even some of their abilities perform as expected). This can easily be very confusing to the player. This in turn can easily lead to players feeling cheated. Even when a player understands and is expecting this to happen not having good feedback and cues can make it hard to know when they are in control. The more powerful an ability is, the more important it is to effectively communicate it to the player, and charm is easily the most powerful ability anyone can have (charming an enemy is more powerful than even killing them outright).

Even though the end result of mind control is similar between games the way it is presented and communicated to players is tremendously important.

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Thinking about this, it

Thinking about this, it really does make sense to give little to no sign when you become charmed until you see that you are attacking an ally. My reasoning for this is that the enemy that charmed you used an action to charm you; if you know right away and just don't do anything that negates the purpose of that 'attack', making the charm useless. Might as well be a hold effect instead. The purpose of the charm is to somehow help your 'new ally'. Now, obviously you can argue that the few seconds that you stop attacking are 'helping' your new ally, and I concede that point. I just think for the ability to have its intended results, (and since this won't work like WoW where you lose control of your character) you can't know when you are charmed until you see it through attacking an ally. Just my 2 cents.

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Dark Cleric wrote:
Dark Cleric wrote:

Thinking about this, it really does make sense to give little to no sign when you become charmed until you see that you are attacking an ally. My reasoning for this is that the enemy that charmed you used an action to charm you; if you know right away and just don't do anything that negates the purpose of that 'attack', making the charm useless. Might as well be a hold effect instead. The purpose of the charm is to somehow help your 'new ally'. Now, obviously you can argue that the few seconds that you stop attacking are 'helping' your new ally, and I concede that point. I just think for the ability to have its intended results, (and since this won't work like WoW where you lose control of your character) you can't know when you are charmed until you see it through attacking an ally. Just my 2 cents.

This is a pretty spot on assessment. The control effect is supposed to affect the behavior of the player through learned response. Otherwise players would immediately simply avoid the charmed powers - essentially on a user level acting like a hold effect. There will be an indicator (icon on your screen, hit effect on your character) which indicate a charm effect, it is the determining which powers are affected which aren’t directly given to the player.

This is intentional to drive behavior. You’ll figure your lower tier powers may work but exactly which ones above them becomes risky. Perhaps it may help if you consider charm to be akin to “being confused”.


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TheInternetJanitor wrote:

{EDIT: Looks like Dark Cleric and Tannim basically beat me to this but at least the following post more or less mirrors their ideas about it]

TheInternetJanitor wrote:

Even though the end result of mind control is similar between games the way it is presented and communicated to players is tremendously important.

I understand your point but one could make the argument that if it's "instantly absolutely obvious" (via whatever means) that your character has been Charmed that you, as the player, could also instantly take steps to mitigate that effect. For instance knowing that activating your powers might have a decent chance of unintentionally hurting your teammates while Charmed you could simply stop pushing your power buttons until you are no longer Charmed. By "knowing" that you are Charmed you have effectively reduced its overall impact on you and your team by not doing the things that actually makes the Charming a "bad thing" to begin with.

So what I would suggest is perhaps based on the situation that some kinds of Charms might be of a type that the player would be made instantly aware of but that other kinds of Charms be left completely mysterious to the player.

For instance if the source of the Charm is like some kind of telepathic body/mind control then perhaps the victim can be made "aware" of it and allowed to react accordingly. This could simulate the character's attempt to "fight against" the mind control by doing their best to avoid hurting their teammates. On the other hand if the Charm is based on some kind of terror/fear effect (i.e. The Scarecrow) then I would actually argue that the player should NOT be made aware of the effect because they would legitimately be completely Confused into thinking their friends are their foes. At that point there's really no "excuse" for why the player should stop wildly attacking their friends.

CoH player from April 25, 2004 to November 30, 2012

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Lothic wrote:
Lothic wrote:

{EDIT: Looks like Dark Cleric and Tannim basically beat me to this but at least the following post more or less mirrors their ideas about it]

TheInternetJanitor wrote:

Even though the end result of mind control is similar between games the way it is presented and communicated to players is tremendously important.

I understand your point but one could make the argument that if it's "instantly absolutely obvious" (via whatever means) that your character has been Charmed that you, as the player, could also instantly take steps to mitigate that effect. For instance knowing that activating your powers might have a decent chance of unintentionally hurting your teammates while Charmed you could simply stop pushing your power buttons until you are no longer Charmed. By "knowing" that you are Charmed you have effectively reduced its overall impact on you and your team by not doing the things that actually makes the Charming a "bad thing" to begin with.

So what I would suggest is perhaps based on the situation that some kinds of Charms might be of a type that the player would be made instantly aware of but that other kinds of Charms be left completely mysterious to the player.

For instance if the source of the Charm is like some kind of telepathic body/mind control then perhaps the victim can be made "aware" of it and allowed to react accordingly. This could simulate the character's attempt to "fight against" the mind control by doing their best to avoid hurting their teammates. On the other hand if the Charm is based on some kind of terror/fear effect (i.e. The Scarecrow) then I would actually argue that the player should NOT be made aware of the effect because they would legitimately be completely Confused into thinking their friends are their foes. At that point there's really no "excuse" for why the player should stop wildly attacking their friends.

The issue here Lothic is those descriptions are aesthetic. You can have all manners of visual options to apply to your control powers. Two players can have the same charm power and have them look completely differently.

Once you begin to think of charm power are meant to “confuse the target” the behavioral play becomes more understandable.


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Tannim222 wrote:
Tannim222 wrote:
Lothic wrote:

{EDIT: Looks like Dark Cleric and Tannim basically beat me to this but at least the following post more or less mirrors their ideas about it]

TheInternetJanitor wrote:

Even though the end result of mind control is similar between games the way it is presented and communicated to players is tremendously important.

I understand your point but one could make the argument that if it's "instantly absolutely obvious" (via whatever means) that your character has been Charmed that you, as the player, could also instantly take steps to mitigate that effect. For instance knowing that activating your powers might have a decent chance of unintentionally hurting your teammates while Charmed you could simply stop pushing your power buttons until you are no longer Charmed. By "knowing" that you are Charmed you have effectively reduced its overall impact on you and your team by not doing the things that actually makes the Charming a "bad thing" to begin with.

So what I would suggest is perhaps based on the situation that some kinds of Charms might be of a type that the player would be made instantly aware of but that other kinds of Charms be left completely mysterious to the player.

For instance if the source of the Charm is like some kind of telepathic body/mind control then perhaps the victim can be made "aware" of it and allowed to react accordingly. This could simulate the character's attempt to "fight against" the mind control by doing their best to avoid hurting their teammates. On the other hand if the Charm is based on some kind of terror/fear effect (i.e. The Scarecrow) then I would actually argue that the player should NOT be made aware of the effect because they would legitimately be completely Confused into thinking their friends are their foes. At that point there's really no "excuse" for why the player should stop wildly attacking their friends.

The issue here Lothic is those descriptions are aesthetic. You can have all manners of visual options to apply to your control powers. Two players can have the same charm power and have them look completely differently.

Once you begin to think of charm power are meant to “confuse the target” the behavioral play becomes more understandable.

I'm talking about whether a player's GUI pops up all sorts of arbitrary "You have been Charmed!!!" alerts on your screen or not. I don't really care how the customized "Charm power effect" might look in the game itself because as you indirectly imply you can't really "tell" anything about whether that "yellowish looking fog" is anything like my "green lightning" effect.

CoH player from April 25, 2004 to November 30, 2012

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Any time you base design on

Any time you base design on obfuscating information you are at best ending up with a player acting like a child at an old arcade machine running a demo reel, mashing buttons excitedly with no idea what is going on.

At worse you are just irritating people by making it harder for them to play the game.

A design goal based on this idea with the goal of modifying player behavior to compensate for this has the end result that the players managed to get the information you tried (and failed) to hide from them, and react accordingly (which tannim just seemed to state was the intended result) which ends up exactly the same as if you had just communicated that information in a reasonable manner but with a bunch of irritation from the player. Or they can not (or choose not to) figure that out due to it not being very fun and requiring extra effort. Which ends up with exactly the result tannim just said they are trying to avoid: players take their hands off the controls.

Or they uninstall.

Obfuscation is never a good design principle. Dedicated players will always get around it with youtube videos, forum posts, mods, datamining, etc. Less dedicated (read: nearly all) players will not put in the effort to understand obfuscated mechanics.

Communication with the player is important in every detail of a game and being able to effectively give players intuitive feedback and teach through examples that are immediately understandable is a hallmark of quality craftsmanship.

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TheInternetJanitor wrote:
TheInternetJanitor wrote:

Any time you base design on obfuscating information you are at best ending up with a player acting like a child at an old arcade machine running a demo reel, mashing buttons excitedly with no idea what is going on.

At worse you are just irritating people by making it harder for them to play the game.

A design goal based on this idea with the goal of modifying player behavior to compensate for this has the end result that the players managed to get the information you tried (and failed) to hide from them, and react accordingly (which tannim just seemed to state was the intended result) which ends up exactly the same as if you had just communicated that information in a reasonable manner but with a bunch of irritation from the player. Or they can not (or choose not to) figure that out due to it not being very fun and requiring extra effort. Which ends up with exactly the result tannim just said they are trying to avoid: players take their hands off the controls.

Or they uninstall.

Obfuscation is never a good design principle. Dedicated players will always get around it with youtube videos, forum posts, mods, datamining, etc. Less dedicated (read: nearly all) players will not put in the effort to understand obfuscated mechanics.

Communication with the player is important in every detail of a game and being able to effectively give players intuitive feedback and teach through examples that are immediately understandable is a hallmark of quality craftsmanship.

Again I'll state clearly that I'm honestly NOT worried about this regardless as long as it's as rare as it actually was in CoH. Like I said I recall being "Confused" (via a power effect) maybe 0.0001% of my total time playing CoH.

But even if the CoT keeps the fact that your character has been Charmed/Confused relatively "non-obvious" I don't really see that as being as catastrophic as you imply. Sure it might be tad "confusing/annoying" (IRL) but when it becomes common knowledge that "NPC critter type XYZ is dangerous because it can Charm you" I think most people will be able to overcome the "shock" of the experience and learn to react accordingly whenever they fight XYZs again.

CoH player from April 25, 2004 to November 30, 2012

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