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How Powers will work (?)

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BigWig
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How Powers will work (?)

Just to make sure I understand because reading the forums and kickstarter updates can create some confusion. I think in part because the systems being created are new, but we are still using 'old' terminology to relate to it. Or we are at least stretching what is traditionally meant by certain terms. (I use 'we' generically, i know some of you get it).
I have been following CoT for a while but only recently started getting into how it will actually 'be' so there is a lot of info out there, and in the context of a thread something might make sense or seem true that is not entirely so. (edit: it is even hard for me to describe things below without using what I think are 'old' terms. ) So here I go:

__Archetypes. This seems standard, what your general play style, combat style will be. Provide initial limiting on what your powers will be. Also called classification in some spots?

__Specification. Still standard, further refining under archetype. It is more specifically what your group/solo role will be and the effects you will wield. Effects, don't I mean powers? read on...

__Powers (1). There are none! (in traditional terms). NO, fire, electricity, invulnerability or healing for example. There are only effects such as damage, slow, DoT, debuffs and buffs and holds. (This is where I had to rewire my brain a bit)

__Power Sets (1). So since there are no traditional powers, Power Sets are 'logical' groupings of damage type and effects differing in magnitude and variety (i.e. cone, AoE) as you go higher up in level. So if you wanted a melee character that did physical damage and provides buffs to you, you'd pick Tactical Combat.

__Power Sets (2). Choosing a power set locks you into a specific damage type and a few possible effects. The 'lock' will possibly NOT apply to Mastery Sets since they are archetype based which are higher in the hierarchy.

__Mastery Power Sets. Based on archetype, will provide additional opportunity to enhance an effect (power) you have or even add new effects (powers), maybe even outside what is traditionally found in the archetype. .

__Powers (2). Choosing a 'power' in game determines the specific effects you have access to. So if you choose Vortex of Pain you'd do specifically low physical DoT, +DEF and do (unmitigated) 100% damage. A power is specifically single target, cone, AoE, etc... and cannot be changed.

__Powers (3). Choosing a power in game will give you a default execution and visualization for it, which you can alter with AD.

__Damage. There are only 3 kinds: physical, energy and exotic. The kind you wield is determined by your powerset selection. If 3 is to little, or X amount is just right is irrelevant at this point. It can make sense to go with 3 if you consider how much more coding, art and writing work would need to be done to make each damage type, icons, linking to individuals or groups of people, buffs, debuffs, etc... vs the resources they have. Also, logically, can't the 3 types work fine to encompass/represent all the other types of damage?

___Powers vs Effects vs Visuals supplemental (1). The fine line is that the term POWERS was an overarching description of an action that had a defined visual appearance and associated effects. Now POWERS just means the mechanical in-game effects. The visual portion is no longer related to what a POWER is.

__Powers vs Effects vs Visuals supplemental (2). In the other game, if you wanted to have holds, fire damage and fire visuals, you'd pick a fire controller. In CoT, you'd pick a power set with holds, energy damage and a DoT effect. And then use the aesthetic decoupling to make it look like fire. On the surface it sounds like a fine line perhaps not worth mentioning, but it helps me understand what is happening especially in relation to AD.

__Power Sets and Powers supplemental. While the definition is different now, they have to be given names you will understand and make connections to the nature of what they do. So "Barrier Generation" sounds better than "+DEF, +RES Set"

__Aesthetic Decoupling (1). The visuals of your effects (powers). Totally unrelated to what your effects (powers) are. The official definition: "detaching what your powers look like from the game mechanics of the powers themselves."

__Aesthetic Decoupling (2). In the AD portion of powers customization, you can choose not only the visuals of color and auras and such, but the basic animation you will execute. From KS update 12, " You can also go beyond and choose how you throw the flames, from a “set” of animations"

So am i close?

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Archetype/Class/Primary - The

Archetype/Class/Primary - The central function of the character
Specialization/Secondary - playstyle variations to the primary
Tertiary - watered down versions of some of the above powers across most/all classes
Mastery - enhanced primary-focused powers
Travel - movement

Powers are still powers, for now you just have to conceptualize them at a base level and separate the effects & visuals from what we know in the physical world. Apply a comic book lens to how powers function and you can have a fire blast that does not burn (aka, apply a DoT), a gun that fires kryptonian rounds that debuffs, etc. There isn't a whole lot of comprehensive information about powersets and what damage types they support yet.

Powers can be changed, you will have to augment it.

MWM is going to have to do a lot of thorough explanations of what this game is and how it functions so people do not get lost in grasping how to create their characters.

"Just, well, update your kickstarter email addresses, okay? Make sure they're current?" - warcabbit

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It is just a new concept so

It is just a new concept so it'll take hold in it's due time. I like to understand things, writing it down helps the process for me. Some people I'm sure won't care (or more likely grasp it quicker than me) and will just play. And since you don't have to customize anything, all the powers come with defaults, there won't be any learning curve beyond learning a new game.

I mentioned sort of redefining terms, I also think when people describe what you can do it'll take time to sink in. Like you say

Quote:

have a fire blast that does not burn

Coming from the other game, and maybe EVERY other game, the thought will be "what do you mean fire that doesn't burn" and confusion sets in. You can say:
-you can do the same thing as what you believe fire does, cause DoT
-but there aren't fire powers in a superhero game?
-you can make it look like fire.
-but I want to burn things.

"Don't try and make fire blasts, that's impossible. Instead, only try and realize the truth."
"What truth?"
"There is no fire blast."

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It may help to think of

It may help to think of things along those lines:

Archetype - the prmiary function of your character
Specification - the secondary function of your character

Under each is Power Sets which have their basic playbstyle, then focused play style. Power Sets are designed around their mechanic themes: the main damage type and the mechanics which the set leveraged to function. Refer to this update and the linked discussion for additional details in case you haven’t.

Mastery Sets - provide variations to the functions of your character and how they play.

And you correct, what a set looks like is irrelevant to what it can do.


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Thanks for that. I was

Thanks for that. I was calling it effects instead of mechanics. Didn't know there were tertiary powers. I'll keep reading...

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BigWig wrote:
BigWig wrote:

Thanks for that. I was calling it effects instead of mechanics. Didn't know there were tertiary powers. I'll keep reading...

You can have a summary here http://titanscity.com/archetypes-classes-sets-pouvoirs-city-of-titans-sortie-mmo/ but i think the google translator (the flag on the top of the article) is not really efficient :/
It probably may help a little ^^

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BigWig wrote:
BigWig wrote:

It is just a new concept so it'll take hold in it's due time.

Yeah the folks of MWM are definitely attempting a major paradigm shift with how they visualize powers working in CoT. I've been studying every little tidbit of info they've released over the years and I still doubt I understand it all. Things like this really take the "hands on experience" of actually playing the game which of course most of us haven't been able to do yet. I'm not going to sweat the fine details until that happens.

But like your "Fire Blast" example I've begun to try to "translate" the way powersets worked in CoH into CoT terms. For instance one of my favorite characters in CoH was a Fire Controller so I've been looking at the CoT Control powersets to figure out which one of them is the closest in its core functionality to what "Fire Control" used to be. I've pretty much settled on CoT's Psychic Control because it seems to be the powerset most associated with combining mezzing with damage output. In CoH Fire Control was the most "damaging" Control powerset so they seem to correlate with each other the best. As long as I can effectively make CoT's Psychic Control "look" fiery (with both its power emanations and effect animations) I should be set with that.

I guess the real trick is whether you want to try to get CoT to "look and feel" exactly like CoH used to work or if you want to do something new that wasn't quite possible with the way CoH was defined. It'll probably be fun to try to do a little bit of both. :)

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Tertiary powers are going to

Tertiary powers are going to be the big thing to really define what utility you want to bring.

The rule of thumb being, if the power set is somehow available as a secondary, it's game to appear as a tertiary.

So if you take an Operator that's Control/Support, you can choose tertiary powers from Defence or Melee Offence for example. These won't be the entire power set available, and they aren't to be as powerful as an actual secondary but a great way to 'flesh out' the character. It has been confirmed that Stealth will be a tertiary to avoid it being tied to any specific archetype or specification.

Another good way to look at specification by the way... CoH had Blasters (Ranged/ Manipulation) and Corrupters (Ranged/ Support) as separate archetypes. In CoT (eventually), you'll pick Ranger to cement yourself as Ranged, but then be free to choose between the Manipulation or Support for a Blaster or Corrupter play style. Specification will also be changeable through respec, so you could have BOTH a Blaster type and Corrupter type build. At launch each Archetype will only have the 1 specification (For Rangers, this will be the Corrupter style), but each Archetype has 3 planned.

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Latecomer to the forums,

Latecomer to the forums, early adopter in the Kickstarter, and secret advisor to certain Important Names.

Reading through this thread has been helpful, and satisfying. I accept that from a Developer standpoint, defined roles are needed to produce group content that works. What brings me joy is the utter separation of Mechanics and Special Effects. This is the MMO equivalent of the Hero system, where a ranged attack could be fire, bullets, lasers, or a jet of baby snapping turtles. They all look different, but under the hood, the numbers are the same. You the player define what you want it to do, and then assign the visuals. This is what I desperately wanted Champions Online to be eight years ago, and was horribly disappointed with the results we were given.

(Extra credit assignment: which it the more disturbing lingering DoT: fire, or being covered in baby snapping turtles?)

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Seschat wrote:
Seschat wrote:

(Extra credit assignment: which it the more disturbing lingering DoT: fire, or being covered in baby snapping turtles?)

Flaming baby snapping turtles.

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

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McJigg wrote:
McJigg wrote:

Tertiary powers are going to be the big thing to really define what utility you want to bring.

The rule of thumb being, if the power set is somehow available as a secondary, it's game to appear as a tertiary.

So if you take an Operator that's Control/Support, you can choose tertiary powers from Defence or Melee Offence for example. These won't be the entire power set available, and they aren't to be as powerful as an actual secondary but a great way to 'flesh out' the character. It has been confirmed that Stealth will be a tertiary to avoid it being tied to any specific archetype or specification.

Another good way to look at specification by the way... CoH had Blasters (Ranged/ Manipulation) and Corrupters (Ranged/ Support) as separate archetypes. In CoT (eventually), you'll pick Ranger to cement yourself as Ranged, but then be free to choose between the Manipulation or Support for a Blaster or Corrupter play style. Specification will also be changeable through respec, so you could have BOTH a Blaster type and Corrupter type build. At launch each Archetype will only have the 1 specification (For Rangers, this will be the Corrupter style), but each Archetype has 3 planned.

Now the question is, are they going to release the other Archetypes only when they can do them all at once or as they're completed?

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Seschat wrote:
Seschat wrote:

Latecomer to the forums, early adopter in the Kickstarter, and secret advisor to certain Important Names.

Reading through this thread has been helpful, and satisfying. I accept that from a Developer standpoint, defined roles are needed to produce group content that works. What brings me joy is the utter separation of Mechanics and Special Effects. This is the MMO equivalent of the Hero system, where a ranged attack could be fire, bullets, lasers, or a jet of baby snapping turtles. They all look different, but under the hood, the numbers are the same. You the player define what you want it to do, and then assign the visuals. This is what I desperately wanted Champions Online to be eight years ago, and was horribly disappointed with the results we were given.

(Extra credit assignment: which it the more disturbing lingering DoT: fire, or being covered in baby snapping turtles?)

We actually used the Hero system as a reference to draw inspiration from and even play tested some basic mechanics with it. I recall explaining to my wife that I was working when rolling dice at my desk.

Obviously we aren’t using their system in any meaningful way, but the concept of design your hero fromt the costume to Powers, the numbers are all the same was the inspiration.

BrandX wrote:

Now the question is, are they going to release the other Archetypes only when they can do them all at once or as they're completed?

We only have 1 Archetype left to release: the Commander.
I believe you meant Speficiations. In which case they will most likely be released in batches as we complete them.

There will be so much to test with each new specification, and time required to make adjustments, that trying to make all of them would require a huge amount of resources.


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That is what I meant, and now

That is what I meant, and now a little sad, only because I'd rather them be released as soon as complete rather than waiting until there was a batch of them to be released.

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Brand X wrote:
Brand X wrote:

That is what I meant, and now a little sad, only because I'd rather them be released as soon as complete rather than waiting until there was a batch of them to be released.

That would cause an imbalance in role capability and not entirely healthy for the game in between releases of Specifications.


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As much as I wanted a

As much as I wanted a traditional Blaster at launch, the more Tannim explains the thought, planning, and testing that is going into the non-launch specifications, the more I understand the decision and realise why it makes sense.

Spurn all ye kindle.

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Cinnder wrote:
Cinnder wrote:

As much as I wanted a traditional Blaster at launch, the more Tannim explains the thought, planning, and testing that is going into the non-launch specifications, the more I understand the decision and realise why it makes sense.

Word.

FIGHT EVIL! (or go cause trouble so the Heroes have something to do.)

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Lothic wrote:
Lothic wrote:

I've begun to try to "translate" the way powersets worked in CoH into CoT terms.

Yeah, same. I had a rad defender, maybe it sounds like what Strategy will be. And I can remake my kinetic defender with Vampiric Emanation?
I'm sure someone will eventually create a Rosetta Stone for CoH and CoT power relationships so you can approximate your favorite characters. And an approximation is fine, since we haven't seen our heroes for years, I'm sure they have developed and changed :)

Are the villains basically going to have our powersets? As new Specifications are released, will particular villains also get access to these powers?

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BigWig wrote:
BigWig wrote:
Lothic wrote:

I've begun to try to "translate" the way powersets worked in CoH into CoT terms.

Yeah, same. I had a rad defender, maybe it sounds like what Strategy will be. And I can remake my kinetic defender with Vampiric Emanation?
I'm sure someone will eventually create a Rosetta Stone for CoH and CoT power relationships so you can approximate your favorite characters. And an approximation is fine, since we haven't seen our heroes for years, I'm sure they have developed and changed :)

I think the important part is to not let the new names cloud our judgment about how the CoT powersets will work. For instance you can't let yourself think that Vampiric Emanation is something that only a "vampire" character would use. In my case I'm not really going to think of my recreated Fire Controller as using Psychic Control in the literal sense. The "psychic" part is just a name - by the time I'm done with it it'll hopefully be obvious my character is actually "fire oriented".

BigWig wrote:

Are the villains basically going to have our powersets? As new Specifications are released, will particular villains also get access to these powers?

Unlike the way CoH evolved by adding CoV to the basic game my understanding of CoT is that there really won't be anything like "hero powersets" and "villain powersets". Basically the game will offer a collection of powers and it's up to you to decide if you want your character to be a hero or villain.

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

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Clarification, I meant

Clarification, I meant villains as in the enemies we fight in a PvE setting. Mobs, if you will.

And yeah I get it. I was thinking how do I recreate that target debuff in damage and accuracy while buffing my own. Strategy seems the avenue for that type of mechanic. Then I can make it green and glowy.

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BigWig wrote:
BigWig wrote:

Clarification, I meant villains as in the enemies we fight in a PvE setting. Mobs, if you will.

And yeah I get it. I was thinking how do I recreate that target debuff in damage and accuracy while buffing my own. Strategy seems the avenue for that type of mechanic. Then I can make it green and glowy.

NPCs don’t have power sets. They have modules that directs the type of behaviors we want in their powers. It is possible some may have similar effects to some PC powers, Inhave taken some PC powers and stripped them down (in a manner of speaking), but that was because they essential mechanics were the same, but unique power behaviors differ.

One of the things we are throng to do is avoid making multiple AIs. To achieve this we use functions placed in powers to dictate behaviors of how / when the AI uses the power.

Then when we identify unique behaviors that aren’t governed by powers, we can add those routines to the AI.


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BigWig wrote:
BigWig wrote:

Clarification, I meant villains as in the enemies we fight in a PvE setting. Mobs, if you will.

Ah, those "villains". I figure like CoH the MOBs will mostly use many of the same individual powers we have but they'll probably mix them up by not "locking" them into the same kinds of powersets we'll use. I also wouldn't mind if they come up with a few "NPC only" powers (especially for big bosses) just to keep things interesting. ;)

[EDIT]Tannim posted while I was typing so take what I just said in that light... [/EDIT]

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Tannim222 wrote:
Tannim222 wrote:

There will be so much to test with each new specification, and time required to make adjustments, that trying to make all of them would require a huge amount of resources.

Then, use a RRBT matrix to choose what to test :)
You can't test everything, too much time, too much costs, too much detailled things to test. A RRBT matrix could help you choosing what to test so as to cover as much as it need to give your system the best required quality you decide to set regarding your criterions.
All the (critical and blocking) issues which will go throught out those tests will be fix during the beta with the monkey tests made by the testers... the others could be planned.

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TitansCity wrote:
TitansCity wrote:
Tannim222 wrote:

There will be so much to test with each new specification, and time required to make adjustments, that trying to make all of them would require a huge amount of resources.

Then, use a RRBT matrix to choose what to test :)
You can't test everything, too much time, too much costs, too much detailled things to test. A RRBT matrix could help you choosing what to test so as to cover as much as it need to give your system the best required quality you decide to set regarding your criterions.
All the (critical and blocking) issues which will go throught out those tests will be fix during the beta with the monkey tests made by the testers... the others could be planned.

We do protest with simulations and have calculators to estimate performance.

However, you have to test through actual play to obtain more accurate data. Particularly through human interaction with systems and particularly with other people where human behavior can lead to using or doing things in unexpected ways. Then there is PvP testing.

And that is just for Powers / characters. When it comes to pets and other AI testingrequires even more work.


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I guess the test methods for

I guess the test methods for a software can't really be applied to a game :/
But, what you describe, i'm probably about to say something wrong, is 'only' a quality test campain.
What about the functionalities/features ? are they just tested throught unit tests ?

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TitansCity wrote:
TitansCity wrote:

I guess the test methods for a software can't really be applied to a game :/
But, what you describe, i'm probably about to say something wrong, is 'only' a quality test campain.
What about the functionalities/features ? are they just tested throught unit tests ?

After calculating and simulating, you build the prototype to test for functionality.


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Tannim222 wrote:
Tannim222 wrote:
BigWig wrote:

Clarification, I meant villains as in the enemies we fight in a PvE setting. Mobs, if you will.

And yeah I get it. I was thinking how do I recreate that target debuff in damage and accuracy while buffing my own. Strategy seems the avenue for that type of mechanic. Then I can make it green and glowy.

NPCs don’t have power sets. They have modules that directs the type of behaviors we want in their powers. It is possible some may have similar effects to some PC powers, Inhave taken some PC powers and stripped them down (in a manner of speaking), but that was because they essential mechanics were the same, but unique power behaviors differ.

One of the things we are throng to do is avoid making multiple AIs. To achieve this we use functions placed in powers to dictate behaviors of how / when the AI uses the power.

Then when we identify unique behaviors that aren’t governed by powers, we can add those routines to the AI.

Ohh, that sounds interesting. So far I've thought that these NPC power "modules" were essentially a set of powers fairly equal to PC ones, but instead of being a single a "type" (ranged, melee, protection, control, support, or summon) they were mixed and matched for a specific role or purpose. It didn't really make sense why it was a different system, but knowing now that behaviour for when, where, and how to use said powers it makes much more sense. Now the question for me is if these modules are groups of powers or individual ones?

My understanding is also that summons (both controlled and uncontrolled ones) will use the same system (not necessarily the same modules) for their powers. Given what I know in how you want the AI to behave this really sounds interesting, and sounds like there is a high potential in actually "training" my summons.

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blacke4dawn wrote:
blacke4dawn wrote:
Tannim222 wrote:
BigWig wrote:

Clarification, I meant villains as in the enemies we fight in a PvE setting. Mobs, if you will.

And yeah I get it. I was thinking how do I recreate that target debuff in damage and accuracy while buffing my own. Strategy seems the avenue for that type of mechanic. Then I can make it green and glowy.

NPCs don’t have power sets. They have modules that directs the type of behaviors we want in their powers. It is possible some may have similar effects to some PC powers, Inhave taken some PC powers and stripped them down (in a manner of speaking), but that was because they essential mechanics were the same, but unique power behaviors differ.

One of the things we are throng to do is avoid making multiple AIs. To achieve this we use functions placed in powers to dictate behaviors of how / when the AI uses the power.

Then when we identify unique behaviors that aren’t governed by powers, we can add those routines to the AI.

Ohh, that sounds interesting. So far I've thought that these NPC power "modules" were essentially a set of powers fairly equal to PC ones, but instead of being a single a "type" (ranged, melee, protection, control, support, or summon) they were mixed and matched for a specific role or purpose. It didn't really make sense why it was a different system, but knowing now that behaviour for when, where, and how to use said powers it makes much more sense. Now the question for me is if these modules are groups of powers or individual ones?

My understanding is also that summons (both controlled and uncontrolled ones) will use the same system (not necessarily the same modules) for their powers. Given what I know in how you want the AI to behave this really sounds interesting, and sounds like there is a high potential in actually "training" my summons.

A module can have one ore more powers and can be of different types. Typically a module will have a general theme to govern it. We can have a sniper module but that doesn’t mean there is only a snipe power. We can have a melee module with more than one Melee power but that doesn’t mean there are only melee attacks. There can be other powers - just the main options will be Melee attacks.


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Tannim222 wrote:
Tannim222 wrote:

After calculating and simulating, you build the prototype to test for functionality.

and then, why not prioritize the tests with an RRBT matrix? This would have the advantage of allowing you to plan the most critical and urgent of the things to be tested to have at least the expected quality.
Reducing the number of tests does not prevent you from having good test coverage:)

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TitansCity wrote:
TitansCity wrote:
Tannim222 wrote:

After calculating and simulating, you build the prototype to test for functionality.

and then, why not prioritize the tests with an RRBT matrix? This would have the advantage of allowing you to plan the most critical and urgent of the things to be tested to have at least the expected quality.
Reducing the number of tests does not prevent you from having good test coverage:)

Critical and urgent would be related to bugs. Which are only found through general testing annreplication. You prioritize those based on their effect on the game as a whlole.

What we are looking for when it comes to Powers is making sure they are all within the bounds of performance we have set through running calculations and simulations. Those should eliminate variables. However, when it comes to the combinations of powers, the combinations ways to improve and debuff powers, to how controls affect performance, the number of interactions between powers of one character to the powers of multiple characters, many of which are dictated by the actions of people - your best way to get to testing is through play once you have your set bounds.

People can and will do the unexpected. They will find try’s of doing something you as a designer did not intend, nor anticipate. Unless you have some of the best AI in the world, a dev team is t going to outthink a player base.

And before we get tot he player base you do run small scale tests internally, QA, and then increase test size. During which time you can, with the proper tools, test multiple mechanics and systems at the same time. Sometimes you have to test them at the same time and can’t priortize one over the other. Singling then putt probably already happened at the calculation stage anyway.


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Software testing is

Software testing is definitely not like game testing xD
Thanks for your explanations !

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TitansCity wrote:
TitansCity wrote:

Software testing is definitely not like game testing xD

A lot of what you are alluding to are tests that can happen at the unit level. Then as more complexity is added, you can reference that performance against other elements to balance or tweak things.

Another factor that needs to be tested is: Does [insert game element] feel right, is it fun?
That is something that does not have a quantifiable number value associated with it. All of the hard math has to be in place, but it also needs to translate into an experience that feels good in some way.

"Just, well, update your kickstarter email addresses, okay? Make sure they're current?" - warcabbit