MMO Combat

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Doctor Tyche
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Brand X wrote:
Brand X wrote:

Trenggiling wrote:
I will be happy as long as we have basic attacks tied to the left mouse button, that can be used even when you don't have a target.
We didn't have that in CoH, so is that going to be one of the ideas to put into CoT?

Nope

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Whew! Thank you MWM.

Whew! Thank you MWM.

Spurn all ye kindle.

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Oh.

Oh.
So wait, does that mean that you have already decided what you are going to do as far as combat?

Well dang...
And I had just spent all this time making this god awful video too :C
https://youtu.be/cMt0EXHJDTM

Ah well

Am I the only one who thinks humans are freaky looking?

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Next question: will we be

Next question: will we be able to keybind a power of our choice (quickest recharge, shortest animation time, whatever criteria seems important to us) to a mouse button, and if we don't have a target selected have one selected for us (possibly with selectable criteria)?

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Very free and versitile

Very free and versatile mapping of both keys AND mouse is a topic near and dear to my heart. The controls that I have fallen in love with are very unconventional.

For movement I like to use all mouse, with strafe left on my left mouse button, strafe right on my right mouse button, forward to be left+right mouse, and back up to be middle mouse button or wheel. Then on the left side of the keyboard I use the keyboard keys to map out the exact layout of my power tray and activate powers with my left hand.

It's incredibly fun and intuitive for me, but not all games have good enough mapping to allow it. Plus, as sensitive as MWM is about accommodating those with various needs, very free and versatile key-mapping is essential.

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

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Trenggiling wrote:
Trenggiling wrote:

Oh.
So wait, does that mean that you have already decided what you are going to do as far as combat?
Well dang...
And I had just spent all this time making this god awful video too :Chttps://youtu.be/cMt0EXHJDTM
Ah well

'Tis a fine video, but yeah MWM have already pretty nailed down what they are doing regarding combat (because so many other things revolve around it I would imagine). From what I understand it's going to be much like CoH's "tab and stab" combat but with a little bit more mobility (i.e. somewhat less "rooting", at least for certain powers)

Doctor Tyche
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soft-focus options, less

soft-focus options, less rooting, more positional, telegraphs for AoE's, that kind of thing.

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Genius. Brilliant. Add open

Genius. Perfect. Add open key and mouse mapping to that and It'll be more than I dared hope and all I could wish for.

Wasn't there some talk about optional soft vs hard lock also?

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Doctor Tyche
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yes, hence "soft lock options

yes, hence "soft lock options"

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Hard lock is classic tab

Hard lock is classic tab targeting. Soft lock is the new option added to it.

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Sweet! Not to be pedantic,

Sweet! And not to be pedantic, but you actually wrote "soft-focus options", so I thought you were referring to something else. I'd never heard it called that before.

I really love all the decisions MWM is making about combat. I'm not sure I could be much more stoked.

A comment and a question. I like the idea of AOE telegraphing, but in most games I've played the telegraphing lines or effects look very busy and incongruous. I hope MWM can find a way to make telegraphing visually simple and... I want to say subtle, but obviously it can't be too subtle. Do I understand correctly that, unlike CoH, damage will not "chase" you if you were in the telegraphed area as long as you get out of it before the actual animation goes off?

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

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Empyrean wrote:
Empyrean wrote:

Sweet! ..in most games I've played the telegraphing lines or effects look very busy and incongruous. I hope MWM can find a way to make telegraphing visually simple and... I want to say subtle, but obviously it can't be too subtle.

For a perfect example of how *not* to do telegraphing, may I present Secret World Legends. Many minions have telegraphed AoEs; fight more than one at a time and it's visually spammy, a bunch of bright lines on the ground that ruined my immersion...and they didn't show up properly in water anyway. My own preference would be to make minion AoEs weak and short range, and make defensive powersets very strong against AoEs. Then we don't need to bother to move or be notified with screen clutter for anything less than a boss. Even bosses should probably only rarely use any AoE powerful enough to justify dodging...In CoH it was common to fight 3+ bosses at once, and under those conditions even boss AoE telegraphs could get spammy. Personally, I'd reserve telegraphed attacks for elite bosses and archvillians, use some code to restrict the AI from using more than one at a time in a group of EBs/AVs, and possibly limit them to raids. CoH had similar AI restriction code to stop certain enemy groups from overusing a powerful buff or debuff - only one enemy in a spawn group was allowed to have their mega buff/debuff power active at a time.

The ability to see the telegraphs will also be tough if our powers are as showy as they were in CoH. Not sure I could identify a great solution to handle that problem...a "powers of other players are semi-transparent" option would help, though.

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I'm not sure I understand

I'm not sure I understand what soft lock means in this particular application. If MWM has already described this somewhere, would someone point me to that please? If not, I'd be grateful if MWM would expand upon this point.

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Scott Jackson
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The soft target lock has been

The soft target lock has been demo'd a bit in the Twitch streams where they are playing on the museum map. As long as no target has already been hard-locked with tab or mouse selection, the game auto-targets (soft locks) the "next best" target - some mathematically-weighed combination of the nearest enemy to the character's body and a preference for enemies in the direction that the camera view is pointed. A targeting reticle of a special color (yellow for now) appears on this soft locked target, and the player can then fire powers to hit that target, without needing to hit tab. Basically, point (the camera) and shoot. It also has the advantage of giving you a hint of which target will be hard-locked by tab even before you hit tab. If tab is pressed, the soft locked target becomes hard locked, the reticle changes color (blue-white), and moving the camera no longer changes targets; in fact it seems to currently be set up to lock the camera view toward the target. In theory (I haven't seen it demo'd yet), defeating any target (whether it was hard or soft locked) will re-enable the soft lock system and point it to the "next best" target. Also in theory, if the mouse is used to select a target, that target is hard locked.

DCUO has a (IMO) wonky version of it as an alternative to purely hard lock tabbing (and their version of soft lock has no reticle - confusing at times). Vindictus and some more action-y MMOs use soft lock exclusively, which allows rapid re-targeting mid-fight, but loses precision when enemies pile up. Hopefully this will give us the best of both worlds.

Dr Tyche used the stationary enemies outside the museum to show what I think was a pretty good preliminary version; they'll work on tightening up its intelligence so it feels natural. I'd love to see an option or three for it, to control the width and range of its view-cone and weighting of its selection (a slider of priority given to nearness to character vs angle from view center), but I don't know if anything is planned like that.

Edit: Try the June 16th stream beginning at the 22 minute mark. It also appears as a bit more refined version (but with a visual bug) throughout July 7th's stream, starting past the 2-minute mark, with discussion at around 33 minutes.

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Scott: yes, Secret World was

Scott: yes, Secret World was the main game I was thinking of. And I agree with your point that spammy AOE on top of flashy powers could be a visual mess. BUT, I do hope CoT powers are flashy like CoH and I like the AoE telegraphing idea, i just hope CoT can find a visually better way to do it than TSW & CO.

Cinnder: Scott beat me to it, but first and most important, soft-lock is only an option, so those who like plain ol'e CoH style tab targeting are safe. IF I understand correctly, it is an option to have your target box sort of "auto tab" based on line of sight and distance unless you hit tab and hard lock on the target, thus giving a more actiony feel without being difficult or twitchy to use. Almost like a non-twitch invisible reticle, and so without the visual clutter and need to aim.

Like Scott says, could be darn close to best of both worlds.

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

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Thanks guys! Not only for

Thanks folks! Not only for the detailed explanation, but for the video reference as well. (Though to be honest, Scott, your description was so good that the video just served as a confirmation of the picture in my head.)

This soft lock might take some getting used to, but I bet after using it for a while I will be able to see how useful it can be in some cases. And, as you mentioned, Empy: it's only an option. Speaking of options, +1 to Scott's wish to be able to set parameters for the area.

This kind of helpful chat reminds me of the community in our old City, which of course this sort of is anyway. :-)

2 questions for MWM:

1) Will we be able to set these targeting options on a per-character basis? I can envision some power sets where soft targeting would be useful and others where it might be a hindrance.

2) Will the Target Nearest Enemy command target mobs behind our character? (Or will we at least have an option to make it do so?) I've been really frustrated in other MMOs when there's someone repeatedly stabbing me in the back and I can't target them without turning first.

Spurn all ye kindle.

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Didn't CoH automatically

Didn't CoH automatically target anyone that was attacking/targeting the character? It might be useful to have the Player Character be 'Aggro Aware', such that it targeted the enemy that was doing the most damage/debuff to it.

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Cinnder wrote:
Cinnder wrote:

Thanks folks! Not only for the detailed explanation, but for the video reference as well. (Though to be honest, Scott, your description was so good that the video just served as a confirmation of the picture in my head.)
This soft lock might take some getting used to, but I bet after using it for a while I will be able to see how useful it can be in some cases. And, as you mentioned, Empy: it's only an option. Speaking of options, +1 to Scott's wish to be able to set parameters for the area.
This kind of helpful chat reminds me of the community in our old City, which of course this sort of is anyway. :-)
2 questions for MWM:
1) Will we be able to set these targeting options on a per-character basis? I can envision some power sets where soft targeting would be useful and others where it might be a hindrance.
2) Will the Target Nearest Enemy command target mobs behind our character? (Or will we at least have an option to make it do so?) I've been really frustrated in other MMOs when there's someone repeatedly stabbing me in the back and I can't target them without turning first.

1) It is per-character, yes.
2) Yes, it does target behind you as well.

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Not as far as I recall, but

Not as far as I recall, but the memories are starting to fade. I do know when I pressed the Target Nearest key in the old game it would focus on the backstabber (assuming there wasn't someone closer stabbing me in the front, of course).

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Doctor Tyche wrote:
Doctor Tyche wrote:
Cinnder wrote:

1) Will we be able to set these targeting options on a per-character basis? I can envision some power sets where soft targeting would be useful and others where it might be a hindrance.
2) Will the Target Nearest Enemy command target mobs behind our character? (Or will we at least have an option to make it do so?) I've been really frustrated in other MMOs when there's someone repeatedly stabbing me in the back and I can't target them without turning first.

1) It is per-character, yes.
2) Yes, it does target behind you as well.

Thanks Doc! MWM continues to make me very happy with their vision.

Spurn all ye kindle.

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The way that TargetEnemyNear

The way that TargetEnemyNear worked in City of Heroes was that it would only target the nearest enemy within the camera's view, which was an incredibly important distinction. This meant that if you left your camera viewpoint at the default distance behind your character, the camera position was "too close" to your character to be able to view what was behind you very well, meaning that Target Nearest Enemy only worked on enemies in front of you, not on those behind you, because the ones behind you were out of camera view. In order to get a proper omni-drectional, rather than forward only, proper use of TargetEnemyNear pretty much required you to pull the camera position BACK away from your character a bit so as to be able to see all around your avatar, not just what was in front of you. Eventually, I had a keybind on all of my characters which would purge the graphics (for forcible garbage collection of old data) to help combat video lag, reset the camera position to default (in case something wonky had happened, for whatever reason) and then automatically reset the camera position to be 30 feet behind my character (where I could see all around my avatar but was still close enough to discern details in melee range).


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I would prefer it if we could

I would prefer it if we could not target enemies behind us or outside of the camera view unless we developed some sort of extra sensory ability for our character. Likewise we should not be able to attack someone outside of our field of view unless we developed some sort of ability that enable it as well. This would put more emphasis on the lateral progression of advancement and really make tertiary abilities, ability masteries and augments more impactful.

We actually already discussed this back in post #137 and post #139.


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Huckleberry wrote:
Huckleberry wrote:

I would prefer it if we could not target enemies behind us or outside of the camera view unless we developed some sort of extra sensory ability for our character. Likewise we should not be able to attack someone outside of our field of view unless we developed some sort of ability that enable it as well. This would put more emphasis on the lateral progression of advancement and really make tertiary abilities, ability masteries and augments more impactful.
We actually already discussed this back in post #137 and post #139.

I partially disagree, but mainly because I interpret it differently.

Most humans have other senses than vision. We can hear someone behind us, especially if they are moving to attack, and we would definitely tactilely (not tactically, that comes later) feel that they were there if they'd already attacked us. None of this necessitates more than typical sensory perception. It does not necessitate extra sensory, or additional senses, or even enhanced sensory perception to hear a gunshot that is outside your field of vision and have some sense of where it came from, or to feel a punch to the back of your head.

In CoH, you targeted someone behind you and then your character turned and attacked. You didn't do the "Bruce Leigh over-the-shoulder back-fist without looking" or the "Bruce Campbell over-the-shoulder shotgun without looking", you noticed them non-visually, then turned and made visual contact, and then attacked.

Like Cinnder, I loved this in CoH and I want it in CoT.

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Empyrean wrote:
Empyrean wrote:

In CoH, you targeted someone behind https://cityoftitans.com/forum/newyou and then your character turned and attacked. You didn't do the "Bruce Leigh over-the-shoulder back-fist without looking" or the "Bruce Campbell over-the-shoulder shotgun without looking", you noticed them non-visually, then turned and made visual contact, and then attacked.
Like Cinnder, I loved this in CoH and I want it in CoT.

Thirded.

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Empyrean wrote:
Empyrean wrote:

Huckleberry wrote:
I would prefer it if we could not target enemies behind us or outside of the camera view unless we developed some sort of extra sensory ability for our character. Likewise we should not be able to attack someone outside of our field of view unless we developed some sort of ability that enable it as well. This would put more emphasis on the lateral progression of advancement and really make tertiary abilities, ability masteries and augments more impactful.
We actually already discussed this back in post #137 and post #139.
I partially disagree, but mainly because I interpret it differently.
Most humans have other senses than vision. We can hear someone behind us, especially if they are moving to attack, and we would definitely tactilely (not tactically, that comes later) feel that they were there if they'd already attacked us. None of this necessitates more than typical sensory perception. It does not necessitate extra sensory, or additional senses, or even enhanced sensory perception to hear a gunshot that is outside your field of vision and have some sense of where it came from, or to feel a punch to the back of your head.
In CoH, you targeted someone behind you and then your character turned and attacked. You didn't do the "Bruce Leigh over-the-shoulder back-fist without looking" or the "Bruce Campbell over-the-shoulder shotgun without looking", you noticed them non-visually, then turned and made visual contact, and then attacked.
Like Cinnder, I loved this in CoH and I want it in CoT.

Noticing someone and being able to target them are two completely different things. And I would hope the game would be able to differentiate between the two.

And no one said that we shouldn't turn to face our attackers. In fact if you read all the posts leading up to this, including the post #139 I linked to, you will see that where the camera is facing and where the character are facing are two different hings. Likewise, regardless of your camera facing you should be able to attack what your character is facing if there is a line of sight to it (or not, depending on whether MWM will consider line of sight or not. At last mention, they were still uncommitted on that) I suppose I wasn't very clear on that this time around.

But in this game we will be able to control our character facing manually, just like we did in CoX and just about every other tab-targeting MMORPG ever made. If we take our hands off of the controls, I would want my character to turn to face my target if my target moves outside my character's field of view, regardless of my camera direction, but only if I am "in combat". If I am just standing there idling and I have someone targeted and they move out of my field of view, I would expect only that my head and torso follow the target as far as acceptable, but not move my character or change its direction on its own. In combat, I should face my target with my whole body.

However, if I have my right mouse-button depressed, thus slaving my character's facing to my camera, even in combat, then I should not be able to attack my selected target if it is behind me. Unless, of course, I have some ability that lets me do so. Such an ability would be handy for healers and controllers. By the way, this is pretty much the industry standard now and I am pretty sure it is also how CoX did it.

So, really, what I am suggesting is the inclusion of abilities that enable us to expand our targeting and attacking permissives to extend beyond our character's field of view (notice I didn't say camera field of view).


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Huckleberry wrote:
Huckleberry wrote:

Noticing someone and being able to target them are two completely different things. And I would hope the game would be able to differentiate between the two.
And no one said that we shouldn't turn to face our attackers. In fact if you read all the posts leading up to this, including the post #139 I linked to, you will see that where the camera is facing and where the character are facing are two different hings. Likewise, regardless of your camera facing you should be able to attack what your character is facing if there is a line of sight to it (or not, depending on whether MWM will consider line of sight or not. At last mention, they were still uncommitted on that) I suppose I wasn't very clear on that this time around.
But in this game we will be able to control our character facing manually, just like we did in CoX and just about every other tab-targeting MMORPG ever made. If we take our hands off of the controls, I would want my character to turn to face my target if my target moves outside my character's field of view, regardless of my camera direction, but only if I am "in combat". If I am just standing there idling and I have someone targeted and they move out of my field of view, I would expect only that my head and torso follow the target as far as acceptable, but not move my character or change its direction on its own. In combat, I should face my target with my whole body.
However, if I have my right mouse-button depressed, thus slaving my character's facing to my camera, even in combat, then I should not be able to attack my selected target if it is behind me. Unless, of course, I have some ability that lets me do so. Such an ability would be handy for healers and controllers. By the way, this is pretty much the industry standard now and I am pretty sure it is also how CoX did it.
So, really, what I am suggesting is the inclusion of abilities that enable us to expand our targeting and attacking permissives to extend beyond our character's field of view (notice I didn't say camera field of view).

You were very clear, and I did read all the posts leading up to this, including the ones you linked. I understood the arguments and positions. I know that noone said that we shouldn't turn to face our attacker, and I wasn't trying to insinuate that anyone insinuated it--that would be silly. I am aware that the directions that the character face and that the camera face are two distinct things. It would be virtually impossible to have played CoH, or most MMOs for that matter, without knowing that. And I think that the inclusion of abilities that enable us to expand our targeting and attacking permissives to extend beyond our character's normal abilities is a great idea.

It's not a lack of comprehension, I simply disagree on one point. I would like to be able to "notice" an attacker behind me and indicate to the game that I want my character to autoturn and attack without having to do the turning myself, like it was in CoH. You are correct that in game terms this plays out as targeting someone behind you, but I never had a problem with that because it felt to me more like giving a "turn and attack that guy" command.

So it's just IMHOYMMVIT'SYOURTHANG :P

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Empyrean wrote:
Empyrean wrote:

Huckleberry wrote:
Noticing someone and being able to target them are two completely different things. And I would hope the game would be able to differentiate between the two.
And no one said that we shouldn't turn to face our attackers. In fact if you read all the posts leading up to this, including the post #139 I linked to, you will see that where the camera is facing and where the character are facing are two different hings. Likewise, regardless of your camera facing you should be able to attack what your character is facing if there is a line of sight to it (or not, depending on whether MWM will consider line of sight or not. At last mention, they were still uncommitted on that) I suppose I wasn't very clear on that this time around.
But in this game we will be able to control our character facing manually, just like we did in CoX and just about every other tab-targeting MMORPG ever made. If we take our hands off of the controls, I would want my character to turn to face my target if my target moves outside my character's field of view, regardless of my camera direction, but only if I am "in combat". If I am just standing there idling and I have someone targeted and they move out of my field of view, I would expect only that my head and torso follow the target as far as acceptable, but not move my character or change its direction on its own. In combat, I should face my target with my whole body.
However, if I have my right mouse-button depressed, thus slaving my character's facing to my camera, even in combat, then I should not be able to attack my selected target if it is behind me. Unless, of course, I have some ability that lets me do so. Such an ability would be handy for healers and controllers. By the way, this is pretty much the industry standard now and I am pretty sure it is also how CoX did it.
So, really, what I am suggesting is the inclusion of abilities that enable us to expand our targeting and attacking permissives to extend beyond our character's field of view (notice I didn't say camera field of view).
You were very clear, and I did read all the posts leading up to this, including the ones you linked. I understood the arguments and positions. I know that noone said that we shouldn't turn to face our attacker, and I wasn't trying to insinuate that anyone insinuated it--that would be silly. I am aware that the directions that the character face and that the camera face are two distinct things. It would be virtually impossible to have played CoH, or most MMOs for that matter, without knowing that. And I think that the inclusion of abilities that enable us to expand our targeting and attacking permissives to extend beyond our character's normal abilities is a great idea.
It's not a lack of comprehension, I simply disagree on one point. I would like to be able to "notice" an attacker behind me and indicate to the game that I want my character to autoturn and attack without having to do the turning myself, like it was in CoH. You are correct that in game terms this plays out as targeting someone behind you, but I never had a problem with that because it felt to me more like giving a "turn and attack that guy" command.
So it's just IMHOYMMVIT'SYOURTHANG :P

I understand you. Thank you for your additional clarification as well.

So it seems that the discussion revolves around what is or is not included in what we would call normal sensory perception, and where the line is drawn between that and extrasensory perception. By this I mean some sort of sharpened senses that one would need to 'purchase' in game to obtain. When I say purchase I mean via boosters, augments, masteries, or tertiary powers.

I see this playing along the same lines as the stealth vs. perception mechanic that MWM will be using. Some perception abilities will naturally enhance your ability to target foes behind your character just as they would enable you to detect and target stealthed foes. And since MWM described different flavors of perception, such as heightened senses, expanded senses (eg. UV and IR vision, or ultrasonic and subsonic hearing), sixth senses (mental or magical), technological solutions like radar or sonar, or others, I see they could also affect the range, angle and fidelity of your ability to target foes who are behind you.


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Well, basic spacial awareness

Well, basic spacial awareness and noticing that guy behind you is not that unusual IRL It may not be 'eyes-in-the-back-of-your-head' acute, but we do all have it. People who are combat trained, like Martial Artists, do have enhanced awareness of 'there's somebody dangerous there'. That's more of a 'gestalt sensory perception'.

'Extra-sensory perception' would tell one that there's somebody dangerous behind that wall. I believe it's been discussed, having a 'super-senses' pool, which might give that sort of performance.

I remember tapping 'target next' and 'follow' in CoH combat and having my character spin in place to attack the enemy behind them. Meanwhile, my camera would lazily drift around to focus on the new action-plane. With AoEs and damage-auras, I had no cognitive dissonance at my hero being able to do that.

I agree, the way GW2 does it, targeting and shooting random non-combatants that are behind my character is Deeply annoying, especially when there's a perfectly legitimate, Angry Enemy target right there in front of me. That, I wouldn't want in CoT, but if some goon whacks me on the head with a pipewrench, I intend to turn and clean his clock!

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Fireheart wrote:
Fireheart wrote:

That, I wouldn't want in CoT, but if some goon whacks me on the head with a pipewrench, I intend to turn and clean his clock!

So true.

Although I would think that your character's ability to roll for a successful dodge or evasion of that pipewrench could also be a function of his or her ability to perceive the threat. So not just targeting, but defensive abilities could be affected by increased perception as well.


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:

Fireheart wrote:
That, I wouldn't want in CoT, but if some goon whacks me on the head with a pipewrench, I intend to turn and clean his clock!
So true.
Although I would think that your character's ability to roll for a successful dodge or evasion of that pipewrench could also be a function of his or her ability to perceive the threat. So not just targeting, but defensive abilities could be affected by increased perception as well.

The hit-roll system is is only affected by loss of actual perception (your perception is debuffed), in which case your Miss rate is increased.

It has nothing to do if the target is behind you, if the targrt area is selected behind a row of crates, etc...

A super-sense tertiary would not nevessarily provide protective abilities such as the ability to evade unless there is a power designed with that effect in it. Of course those would be thematic with the type of susper sense and work with the set. A Danger Sense Tertiary may provide a directional indicator of the possible attacker for one power and an evasion bonus power in another power within the set.

Meanwhile an Eagle Eye tertiary may increase Perception, and have powers which provide increased range to attacks in another power.

Mechanically, increased perception itself has no effect on evasion values.


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Tannim222 wrote:
Tannim222 wrote:

Mechanically, increased perception itself has no effect on evasion values.

Hmmm. Thematically, I'd think it should afford at least a token bonus.

If game-mechanics wise that is a bad idea, I'd understand, but as far as theme goes, I'd assume a perception bonus would give at least a minor evasion bonus. Even if nearly inconsequential, just to give a tip-of-the-hat to the heightened head's up.

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Empyrean wrote:
Empyrean wrote:

Tannim222 wrote:
Mechanically, increased perception itself has no effect on evasion values.
Hmmm. Thematically, I'd think it should afford at least a token bonus.
If game-mechanics wise that is a bad idea, I'd understand, but as far as theme goes, I'd assume a perception bonus would give at least a minor evasion bonus. Even if nearly inconsequential, just to give a tip-of-the-hat to the heightened head's up.

Hmm, not necessarily. I can see reduced perception affecting miss chance/accuracy - but being "more aware" of an attacker does not automatically mean you can dodge his/her attacks more effectively. That seems better suited to be under the purview of other powers the explicitly increase your dodge chance, or reduce an attacker's hit chance.

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Tannim222 wrote:
Tannim222 wrote:
Huckleberry wrote:

Although I would think that your character's ability to roll for a successful dodge or evasion of that pipewrench could also be a function of his or her ability to perceive the threat. So not just targeting, but defensive abilities could be affected by increased perception as well.

The hit-roll system is is only affected by loss of actual perception (your perception is debuffed), in which case your Miss rate is increased.
It has nothing to do if the target is behind you, if the targrt area is selected behind a row of crates, etc...
A super-sense tertiary would not nevessarily provide protective abilities such as the ability to evade unless there is a power designed with that effect in it. Of course those would be thematic with the type of susper sense and work with the set. A Danger Sense Tertiary may provide a directional indicator of the possible attacker for one power and an evasion bonus power in another power within the set.
Meanwhile an Eagle Eye tertiary may increase Perception, and have powers which provide increased range to attacks in another power.
Mechanically, increased perception itself has no effect on evasion values.

Fair enough, and understandable. However, if there are damage or hit bonuses associated with surprise attacks or attacks from behind, I would think that being detected by the target would decrease or eliminate such bonuses, yes?


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:

Tannim222 wrote:
Huckleberry wrote:
Although I would think that your character's ability to roll for a successful dodge or evasion of that pipewrench could also be a function of his or her ability to perceive the threat. So not just targeting, but defensive abilities could be affected by increased perception as well.
The hit-roll system is is only affected by loss of actual perception (your perception is debuffed), in which case your Miss rate is increased.
It has nothing to do if the target is behind you, if the targrt area is selected behind a row of crates, etc...
A super-sense tertiary would not nevessarily provide protective abilities such as the ability to evade unless there is a power designed with that effect in it. Of course those would be thematic with the type of susper sense and work with the set. A Danger Sense Tertiary may provide a directional indicator of the possible attacker for one power and an evasion bonus power in another power within the set.
Meanwhile an Eagle Eye tertiary may increase Perception, and have powers which provide increased range to attacks in another power.
Mechanically, increased perception itself has no effect on evasion values.
Fair enough, and understandable. However, if there are damage or hit bonuses associated with surprise attacks or attacks from behind, I would think that being detected by the target would decrease or eliminate such bonuses, yes?

Correct Huckleberry, and having improved perception can certainly help with that. As would certain sensory powers may counter certain forms of stealth (and certain forms of stealth countering sensory powers).


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Interdictor wrote:
Interdictor wrote:

Hmm, not necessarily. I can see reduced perception affecting miss chance/accuracy - but being "more aware" of an attacker does not automatically mean you can dodge his/her attacks more effectively. That seems better suited to be under the purview of other powers the explicitly increase your dodge chance, or reduce an attacker's hit chance.

Yeah, ok. I can see it either way as far as theme, but as far as game mechanics, that makes sense.

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Huckleberry wrote:
Huckleberry wrote:

However, if I have my right mouse-button depressed, thus slaving my character's facing to my camera, even in combat, then I should not be able to attack my selected target if it is behind me. Unless, of course, I have some ability that lets me do so. Such an ability would be handy for healers and controllers. By the way, this is pretty much the industry standard now and I am pretty sure it is also how CoX did it.

Iirc in CoX it was that when holding down RMB it would turn the character cast the ability then turn it back to align with the camera's heading, even if doing a 180.

Ime this kind of restriction has only been applied to offensive abilities and been set to the front half while defensive abilities (a.k.a heals and buffs) has not had it at all. Personally though unless the game mechanics is twitch and/or skills based then I don't really see a reason to have such a restriction on ability usage since to me needing a special ability to target someone who is shooting or even punching me in the back doesn't really make sense. In the vast majority of cases it's primarily down to "simple" spatial awareness.
I would fully agree that tab targeting (and the auto soft-targeting) should be limited to targets within camera view but if we get auto target by being hit then I think it would be best to not restrict it to only those within camera view.

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blacke4dawn wrote:
blacke4dawn wrote:

Personally though unless the game mechanics is twitch and/or skills based then I don't really see a reason to have such a restriction on ability usage since to me needing a special ability to target someone who is shooting or even punching me in the back doesn't really make sense. In the vast majority of cases it's primarily down to "simple" spatial awareness.
I would fully agree that tab targeting (and the auto soft-targeting) should be limited to targets within camera view but if we get auto target by being hit then I think it would be best to not restrict it to only those within camera view.

I think your example is a good point of compromise. If someone is within melee range and is attacking you, I don't think there should be any restrictions in your ability to target them even if they are behind you. This is especially important when server lag is taken into account.

A very common occurrence is thus:
Your opponent runs at you and you run at it. Your opponent's position in the world is generated by the server, but your position in the world is generated by your client and approved by the server. If your opponent is another player, then there is another layer of lag in addition to this. So if there is any kind of lag, your client thinks you are running forward but the server hasn't gotten the report yet and thinks you are a couple steps behind where you think you are. Likewise, the server has your opponent running to where it thinks you are, which is a couple steps behind you. When your client and the server finally synch up, your opponents end up being behind you. This happens commonly in every game out there, so it should not be treated as an exception, but rather as the rule we should design for. In such a case, the game needs to give you the ability to attack those targets that are just a step behind you as if they were right in front of you. So even AoE cones and forward facing attacks should be able to target foes that are right behind you.

This keeps it from being one of those twitch games where your opponent is always keeping position over your shoulder and punching you in the kidney and you can't do anything about it.

On the other hand, an opponent outside of melee range should still require you to face it to attack it, in my opinion; unless you had some ability or booster that let you attack outside your forward firing arc.


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Define ability or booster?

Define ability or booster? and face and attack. Do RP abilities count? Do you mean I rotate my camera to "see" and target that character? If my telekinetic has eye's in the back of her head, she can't lift that person off the ground and fling them into a wall? Or are you against tab-targetting any mob outside of the any possible view? I think you need to define what you are restricting a little more carefully. As written I'm not down with that opinion.

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Grimfox wrote:
Grimfox wrote:

Define ability or booster? and face and attack. Do RP abilities count? Do you mean I rotate my camera to "see" and target that character? If my telekinetic has eye's in the back of her head, she can't lift that person off the ground and fling them into a wall? Or are you against tab-targetting any mob outside of the any possible view? I think you need to define what you are restricting a little more carefully. As written I'm not down with that opinion.

I will answer your questions in the order you asked them:

Ability or booster was defined in post #238 as something I would need to "purchase" either by slotting an augment, developing a mastery, choosing a tertiary powerset or actually quaffing some sort of consumable. In other words, expanded targeting and firing outside of the character's field of view would not be something available with any base powerset but could be applied to any base powerset if the player wanted it. The exception to this would be a powerset in which it would actually be appropriate to the lore of the powerset itself, like the Mind Control powerset slated for launch.

face and attack was explained in post #206 as the game automatically turning your character to face your opponent if you are in combat. Since we can slave our character facing to the camera manually, however, the game would not automatically turn your character if you were manually controlling it that way. Outside of combat, it will only turn your eyes head and maybe your torso, but your character facing, for movement purposes, would be unaffected. This is all standard control behavior in MMORPG and should not come as a surprise to anyone.

RP abilities? If you are referring to abilities you give your character that exist only in your personal roleplaying universe, I suppose you could always hunt for some augment, mastery, tertiary or consumable that approximates what you want. Otherwise what would you be expecting here?

I rotate my camera to "see" and target that character? Yes. Since I propose that targeting should only happen within line of sight (as expanded by any applicable augments, masteries, tertiaries or boosters) then, yes, I do believe you should move your character's field of view to be able to see the target before you can attack it. While every game I've seen has rotate left and rotate right key controls, most people rotate their character by slaving it to their camera, and that is typically done by pressing and holding the the right mouse button. Some games also allow you to slave your eyes and head to the independent camera control, which is typically slaved to your left mousebutton press and hold, but that's only if you don't already have a target selected. If you do have a target selected your head should face your target and the left mousebutton controls the camera and only the camera. In other words, if you do not already have a target selected, you can continue to move in a straight line defined by your character's facing and move your character's targeting field of view left and right and up and down using the left mousebutton. Again, this is all pretty standard fare for MMO control schema. I am not proposing anything that isn't already standard. What I am proposing that makes CoT different is the ability to expand your field of view with augments, masteries tertiaries and boosters. So that you can actually play a character who has eyes in the back of her head, or something that approximates it, at least.
I like to think of MMO characters as battle tanks. Your lower body is the hull and your upper body is the turret. Your right mousebutton controls the hull and your left mousebutton controls the turret. You can target anything your turret is pointed at, regardless of which direction your hull faces. Usually, however, because of animation purposes, your whole body tyically needs to be facing the target to actually attack it. I know CoX had this restriction. Of course, the biggest flaws in this analogy are that battle tanks can't strafe and people's torsos can't turn 360 degrees, but those flaws are immaterial to the discussion at hand and I only mention them because I know some of the people in this forum try to pick apart arguments as a hobby.

In the above paragraph I use right mouse button and left mouse button because those are the industry standard for tab-targeting games. But I hope things like this can be keymapped to however the player wants them to be.

eye's in the back of her head I think this would be one of those RP abilities you were referring to? Personally, I want my character to have Daredevil's 360 degree super sonar, but alas I don't expect to see that as a power set option. The best I can hope for is to pick an augment, mastery, tertiary or booster that expands my perception zone to include the areas all around me. Who knows, maybe the agility powerset or the kinetic powersets or the mind control powerset actually will have expanded perception passive abilities that you can unlock. We won't know until we see them.


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:

Who knows, maybe the agility powerset or the kinetic powersets or the mind control powerset actually will have expanded perception passive abilities that you can unlock. We won't know until we see them.

Cool ideas.

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The main thing I'm looking

The main thing I'm looking for in CoT is a reproduction of the combat experience we could have in the old game, where my character could be in the middle of a crowd of enemies and I could have one hand on the Previous, Closest, and Next Target keys and the other on the mouse for clicking powers, resulting in my character whipping about automatically to attack whichever target I selected.

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Cinnder wrote:
Cinnder wrote:

The main thing I'm looking for in CoT is a reproduction of the combat experience we could have in the old game, where my character could be in the middle of a crowd of enemies and I could have one hand on the Previous, Closest, and Next Target keys and the other on the mouse for clicking powers, resulting in my character whipping about automatically to attack whichever target I selected.

.

^ This. Also, for badge-farming, I would like a target_custom_name command equivalent... World boss hunts and getting some badges like the DE emanator one were a real pain without it.

*edited for grammar

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I don't only use one method

I don't only use one method of controlling my character. I use the mouse to control my camera and let the character follow along, when I'm focused on going somewhere. However, I also use the keys to control the Character and let the camera follow along, when I want the character to be somewhere, like on a particular ledge, or in a particular position. The two schemes are both valuable, but not equally useful in all situations.

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Oh yeah, I forgot about that

Oh yeah, I forgot about that custom target command. I definitely hope to see that again!

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+1 all y'all

+1 all y'all, Cinnder, Dream & Fire

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it think a mix of tab

it think a mix of tab targeting and telegraphed targeting would be fun. Similar to guild wars 2 and wild star. That way you can keep the game optimized and not deal with the latency issues of action combat, but have it still feel like action combat some what.

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FalconStriker wrote:
FalconStriker wrote:

it think a mix of tab targeting and telegraphed targeting would be fun. Similar to guild wars 2 and wild star. That way you can keep the game optimized and not deal with the latency issues of action combat, but have it still feel like action combat some what.

Speaking of GW2, they actually proved you can have action combat along with the more standard fare of tab targeting in the same game, through the use of an action camera system. You can take a look at it here.

It doesn't give you any new character options, just changes view and camera movement settings, as well as using your #1 skill with right click. It can give this who like action MMOs the UI they desire without making it so that everybody has to deal with it, which is honestly really cool.

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Halae wrote:
Halae wrote:

FalconStriker wrote:
it think a mix of tab targeting and telegraphed targeting would be fun. Similar to guild wars 2 and wild star. That way you can keep the game optimized and not deal with the latency issues of action combat, but have it still feel like action combat some what.
Speaking of GW2, they actually proved you can have action combat along with the more standard fare of tab targeting in the same game, through the use of an action camera system. You can take a look at it here.
It doesn't give you any new character options, just changes view and camera movement settings, as well as using your #1 skill with right click. It can give this who like action MMOs the UI they desire without making it so that everybody has to deal with it, which is honestly really cool.

GW2 may be a good example of how to do super hero combat, as it could allow multiple attack patterns on one character. A string of different attack animations to choose from? YES PLEASE!

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Halae wrote:
Halae wrote:

Speaking of GW2, they actually proved you can have action combat along with the more standard fare of tab targeting in the same game, through the use of an action camera system. You can take a look at it here.

It doesn't give you any new character options, just changes view and camera movement settings, as well as using your #1 skill with right click. It can give this who like action MMOs the UI they desire without making it so that everybody has to deal with it, which is honestly really cool.

Compare this (best seen in full screen mode for the necessary details) ...

... with this ...

... where the only real difference (functionality wise) between the two is that the Tabula Rasa setup had a Tab To Lock On feature lacking in the Guild Wars 2 video, which in Tabula Rasa enabled the ability to attack targets off the center screen boresight (because they had been "designed" to be the Selected $Target while under the center screen boresight by use of the Tab key).

I will say that that the Camera Options demonstrated for the Guild Wars 2 setup do indeed look brilliant and with just a few tooltips to explain what the sliders actually DO (perhaps with some numeric values added to assist with understanding the options) would be exactly what you want (and need) to enable this alternative schema for controlling gameplay that is FAR MORE IMMERSIVE and interactive than just simply clicking Tab to cycle through options (next next next next).

This ought to conclusively demonstrate for any naysayers that it is perfectly possible to HAVE BOTH CONTROL SCHEMES in the same game ... you just need to extend the underlying game engine systems that handle identification of $Target in order to do so. Yes, it's a little extra work to do this ... but it's also a tremendous Value Added to a game.


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Doesn't matter to me what

Doesn't matter to me what type of combat you use. More important is the sensation, smoothness, and responsiveness.

Most important to me is the flow of combat and the build-up of suspense. Which I feel only 1 or 2 MMOs have done right (by my own sensation.) Quote my own rant from another discussion:

Quote:

I've tried dozens of MMOs, and still nothing comes close to capture the experience, spirit, and atmosphere of Asheron's Call 2. Open, seamless world, dropping items onto the environment, unique races and classes, etc.

But the crucial difference for me why those other games don't hook me: lack of suspense in combat. So many games' combat is based on trite, mindless, repetitive action. But action by itself doesn't connect deeply with the player.

What is missing from these games is suspense, which AC2 somehow was able to evoke. Kind of hard to explain--it has to be experienced personally: a real sense of dread, of impending failure, of "oh so close, please don't die!". It's an experience that cannot be emerged by endless action and quick reflexes. There has to be more than just action; memorable experience (in games, books, movies alike) has to bring about a sequence of strong emotions, like peril, fear, belief, celebration.

Alas, it's apparently almost impossible to find the same feelings in other MMOs (the many that I've tried) as I did in AC2. An essence of human experience that is absent, forgotten; something that cannot be implemented, replicated or replaced with better technology, skill, and flash.

Action is trivial to conceive and implement. Fast action gatekeeps a huge fraction of players, due to various reasons (lag, disability, age, etc.), and overall just feels like spamming as fast as possible whenever skills recover from cooldown. There's less time to think about your actions, and even less time to dwell in the moment.

But suspense, I don't think devs even deliberately consider that effect. And that's a shame. I don't know if it was designed on purpose, but even fighting trash mobs in AC2 felt very suspenseful. COH sort of had some suspense in some moments. Mostly when you're down on health and trying to escape. But otherwise not as abundantly as in AC2.

I can attempt to infer the factors as to why AC2 could provide that type of suspense consistently: skills cost vigor (ie energy or action points), low hit rate, and attrition. Combat slow enough to take in all the emotions (not just adrenaline, but also anticipation, dread, pleading, and yes, suspense), but still feels smooth and responsive (you can queue up the next skill while current one is executing; no global cooldown*, but skill execution speed is based on animation duration).

*Please no GCD in COT.

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In order for suspense to take

In order for suspense to take hold ... TIME MUST PASS ... such that the UNCERTAINTY of the outcome of events can remain in doubt. That means you can't have 1 hit kills (or at least, not doing so routinely), and that the "suspense of combat" needs to have a ... FLOW ... to it, which the Player can intuitively feel and be constantly evaluating the certainty of outcomes from moment to moment. That means that combat can't be "quick" and pretty much by definition it can't be "painless" (or risk free, if you prefer) since the lack of risk will likewise dampen the "suspense" factor of whether or not you character will be successful during each moment of the combat/contest. It's the difference (in sporting terms) between a "close game" versus a complete and utter "wipeout" in terms of whether the outcome is ever in doubt.


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K.I.S.S. Keep it simple,

K.I.S.S. Keep it simple, stupid.
Tab Targeting. end of argument.

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On the other hand making so

On the other hand making so that every encounters needs to be played almost perfectly or you're toast is not good either since not many would like that kind of difficulty. Sure there always needs to be some risk but there can be "too much" risk as well for the intended feel of the game.

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Cyclops wrote:
Cyclops wrote:

K.I.S.S. Keep it simple, stupid.
Tab Targeting. end of argument.

Well put, sir.

All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.

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I think what Champions online

I think what Champions online did was worth a look. Tab Targeting, but certain exceptions were able to just hit what ever was in reach, i.e. melee. ESO has a great set up though, with is reticle but a very forgiving reticle that really lends itself well to an fast action paced game. Maybe do a reticle but allow us to lock on to a main focus? But DCUO does that and it's meh.

Will there be controller support to worry about?

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Yes, we are keeping

Yes, we are keeping controllers in-mind.

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Never have I liked a

Never have I liked a targeting system more than CoX, it made it so easy and so fun

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TitansCity wrote:
TitansCity wrote:

To my mind, those three way of targeting fits for their own type of MMO... To my opinion, Reticule targeting is a FPS way of aiming. Not for RPG...

Perfect!!!! :)

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Kiyori Anoyui wrote:
Kiyori Anoyui wrote:

Never have I liked a targeting system more than CoX, it made it so easy and so fun

Bingo: no need to fix something that is working fine.

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Kiyori Anoyui wrote:
Kiyori Anoyui wrote:

Never have I liked a targeting system more than CoX, it made it so easy and so fun

Couldn't agree more. Just one of several systems that the old game perfected, yet no other game seems to be able to replicate. 'Tis a puzzlement!

Spurn all ye kindle.

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I do, however, really love

I do, however, really love the little tweaks like optional hard/soft lock that MWM is planning. Still tab targeting but with a slightly more action option that isn't more twitch. Genius! Can't wait play with it :).

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

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As I keep reminding people ..

As I keep reminding people ... Tab Targeting and Reticle Targeting don't have to be mutually exclusive. They're just different methodologies for saying "THAT ONE!" to the game engine.

The only meaningful difference between using Tab to cycle through $Targets in order to pick the one you want and using your mouse to hover a screen centered Reticle marker over a $Target in order to hit Tab to "lock on" to that target is ... keyboard versus mouse control schemes. That's it. Either you cue your targets from the keyboard (Tab-Tab-Tab-Tab-Gotcha!) or you cue your targets using your mouse (aim camera-Tab-Gotcha!). Note that in both cases, the "Gotcha!" is what is needed, and both methods yield that result.

In both schemes, you're still "locking on" to a particular target to interact with it (often for attacking, but not always) using the Tab key. The only difference is what the Tab key does to get you there. Does the Tab key "cycle" through targets on your screen, one at a time, or is just an On/Off button for target locks on whatever is in the center of your screen?

Both control schemes are valid.
Heck, you can even set up the game engine such that you can only interact with $Targets that have been Tab Locked onto already (so no "free fire" without locking onto a $Target).

It really is that simple. Six of one, half a dozen of the other ... both schemes get you to where you need to go, game mechanically speaking, of telling the game engine what you (the Player) are interested in affecting. The difference though is in how the game FEELS to play using the two schemes!

It's kind of like how for maps on screens, some people like to see static maps (where north is always "up") on which the arrow of your direction relative to the map turns, while other people like to see static arrows (so the arrow always points "up") and the map turns around underneath the arrow. Both schemes are valid, but different people process information differently, and because of that some prefer one scheme for reading maps on a screen over the alternative. When you can do both at barely any increased cost ... why wouldn't you offer both options?


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CoH had both. GW2 has both.

CoH had both. GW2 has both. Lots of games use both mouse and tab targeting.

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GW2's implementation is not

GW2's implementation is not very good. I think that has a lot to do with the system not auto-targetting the closest attacking enemy when no target is selected. I don't know how many times I've been attacked from the sides or behind with a melee attack and instead of attacking that target I'll shoot another target or a moose 30m out because it happened to be closer to my LOS.

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Having a TargetEnemyNearest

Having a TargetEnemyNearest function keybound to auto target whatever is the least amount of distance from your PC that is within your field of camera view would solve that problem.


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I'd rather have it prioritize

I'd rather have it prioritize the last enemy that Hit me, regardless if I'm looking at it.

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Redlynne wrote:
Redlynne wrote:

Having a TargetEnemyNearest function keybound to auto target whatever is the least amount of distance from your PC that is within your field of camera view would solve that problem.

I shouldn't have to patch a stupid implementation of their targeting system with a keybind. It should just work was my point.

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/keybind ` targetenemynear$

/keybind ` targetenemynear$$follow
/keybind ` targetenemynear

These were the STANDARD keybinds that I used on ALL of my City of Heroes characters. The first was for melee types, while the latter was for ranged types.

Please explain why you think this functionality has no business being in City of Titans.


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Could you please point out in

Could you please point out in my post where I said "this functionality [targeting keybinds] has no business being in City of Titans"

You are taking this completely the wrong direction. I am critiquing another game that is NOT COT. I think that in one particular case THEIR targeting system doesn't work very well. I'm pointing it out so that hopefully MWM can improve upon their system so that it doesn't have that flaw. I never said MWM shouldn't allow keybinds for targeting.

When you buy a knife you shouldn't HAVE to sharpen it to cut up an apple. But if you want to sharpen it, that is up to you.

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Grimfox wrote:
Grimfox wrote:

GW2's implementation is not very good. I think that has a lot to do with the system not auto-targetting the closest attacking enemy when no target is selected. I don't know how many times I've been attacked from the sides or behind with a melee attack and instead of attacking that target I'll shoot another target or a moose 30m out because it happened to be closer to my LOS.

Grimfox wrote:
Redlynne wrote:

Having a TargetEnemyNearest function keybound to auto target whatever is the least amount of distance from your PC that is within your field of camera view would solve that problem.

I shouldn't have to patch a stupid implementation of their targeting system with a keybind. It should just work was my point.

Interesting; because as a player I would not want that. The less thinking the game has to do for me, the better. So if I am facing one opponent and another attacks me from the side, I don't want the game to unilaterally decide that I should attack the one at my side while I am still facing the first, no matter the distance. The game should only make decisions based upon what I tell it to do. If I don't turn to the side to face the new attacker, why should the game think I want to attack anyone other than the one I am facing?

The way I want it, if I am facing one opponent, and another attacks me from the side, if I want to attack the one at my side I should either:

  • turn to face the attacking target
  • press TAB to select the attacking target, or
  • press the keybound "Target Nearest" or "Target Enemy Attacking Me"

to select the opponent to the side.


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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...Or ya know.. Click on the

...Or ya know.. Click on the right enemy. Like some of us geezers do.

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Lord Nightmare wrote:
Lord Nightmare wrote:

...Or ya know... Click on the right enemy. Like some of us geezers do.

Um, I usually don't use the mouse in combat but operate completely from the keyboard. Mouse-control can't strafe, or back up, or Dodge. When facing a crowd of zombies, the mouse can have trouble picking that one individual out of the pack. Key-press targeting can allow one to pick the nearest or farthest and quickly cycle through to the one you want to hit.

Redlynne's instructions are correct, but Grimfox is trying to point out that those commands Should be redundant, as they should be built into a tab-targeting system. And the issue is that GW2's tab targeting system can be schizophrenic, by targeting non-aggro'd targets that are well off-screen, instead of the raving monster that's coming to bite your face off, right there in front of you. When you're an archer with the longest range in the game, there can be quite a few innocent bystanders within reach of your glitchy targeting system. Worse, the game sometimes auto-targets and attacks the 'next target' when the one you're shooting at drops but your attack still has more damage to hand out. That can be hazardous for the little bunny hiding behind a bush!

Be Well!
Fireheart

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The way I always played MMOs

The way I always played MMOs was Mouse and Keyboard with the mouse controlling the camera, selecting key targets (enemy that heals, smaller adds that I couldn't hit with an AoE, enemies that need interrupting) and doing any interacting and the KB using the rest. Keybinds reflected it even more with Inspirations, toggles and long cooldowns being on the Numpad for easy access with minimal time away from the mouse while main attacks are on the NumRow. It's a system that's worked for me from CoH to WoW to CO to GW2. I just prefer a tactical style approach since I grew up on cRPGs and RTS games which many early MMOs used for inspiration when it came to design philosophy.

Since MWM already decided how things will go the point is moot but I quite liked how CoH did combat however the overall speed being noticeably increased (not dramatically) wouldn't be a bad thing.

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Doctor Tyche wrote:
Doctor Tyche wrote:

Something that has been a touchy subject for some has revolved around the type of combat which City of Titans will be going with. While some may try and claim that there are two main forms of MMO combat, I hold that there are, in fact, three.

The three as I see it are:

Tab Targeting - you classic MMO model, seen in City of Heroes, World of Warcraft, Everquest, all the way down to modern games like Star Wars The Old Republic. You click on, or use a keystroke, to designate your target.

Reticle Targeting - With Rectile targeting, sometimes called Action Combat, your targeting is based on a reticle in the middle of your screen, and is found in games like Tera, and the Elder Scrolls Online.

Telegraph Targeting - With Telegraph targeting, the aim is now based on patterns, typically placed on the ground, and is found in one game I am aware of - Wildstar.

There are, of course, hybrids. Games like DC Universe Online, and Guild Wars 2 we see a hybrid between Tab and Reticle targeting while in Final Fantasy XIV we find a hybrid between Tab and Telegraph Targeting.

What are your thoughts on the various forms of combat? What works, what doesn't work?

- Reticle targeting really works best, and is designed for, first person modes. For MMOs it is less than optimal in my opinion. As the video points out at the end the combat in MMOs tends towards the strategic side, not the action oriented one, and the ability to easily miss and attack by being a fraction of a second too slow or too fast does not work with other aspects of MMOs either. Like the DPS sponge nature that is always present to a smaller or larger (usually larger) degree in MMO opponents. If you need dozens or hundreds of hits to defeat an enemy missing them 90% of the time is not challenging but extremely frustrating. In most FPS games on the other hand a single hit is meant to be (near) fatal, so missing a lot of the time is a necessity to keep the game fun and challenging.

- telegraphed targeting works better in MMOs, but can become a bit clunky. Especially in crowded situations. It slows combat way down as you first need to manually set the target, which even for fast players can take up a noticeable fraction of a second (and much longer for inexperienced ones), and then you still have to activate the power. In CoH targeted AoE powers were not often popular because they really cut into the DPS, even when they were more powerful than the traditional tab or point blank powers. The game could not fully compensate for the loss of speed or those powers would have been instant kills for 90% of the minions. (not that a lot of powers weren't exactly that, to the general deteriment of the game). Telegraph targeting does work, and work well, in situations where you are either facing swarms of opponents (and the damage gets spread out over them) or the pacing is so slow that the strategic aspect of lining up a shot is possible and advantageous. In those situations (though the second more so than the first) telegraph targeting opens up a ton of possibilities regarding gameplay and encounter design that allow for a lot more strategic depth than any other targeting system allows. TSW in its dungeon boss battles shows this clearly (as do to a lesser extent the stealth missions in that game). Players have to pay attention to tells, telegraphed moves and environmental hazards left in the wake of such moves and often adjust their tactics on the fly because of them.. Dark Souls does the same though it doesn't do much in the way of providing visual clues to the player.

- Tab targeting (and its siblings that allow for more selective targeting) are simplest both for the designer and the players to deal with, and as such better suited for an MMO that does not want to push the required skill level too high. For people with a visual handicap, poor reflexes or coordination tab targeting really allows them to keep playing without burden or stress. It may be somewhat boring, slower paced and a little old fashioned, but this ease of access is no small thing for an MMO to have. CoH after all was as famous for its ease of getting involved into the game, even for old and very young players, as it was for its friendly community and fantastic range of character expression through the costume designer.

- There is a hybrid system that I think has been mentioned already, of sticky targeting. where the target does automatically lock on an enemy in front of the character but that lock is not fixed, only sticky. It will stay on the target until the player character moves or turns sufficiently aside. Then it comes loose and either snaps on a different target in front of the character or it snaps to the center of the screen until a target meets the conditions for a soft lock. The player can still use the tab key to fix that lock which has the advantage that moving around will not break the lock any longer, but has the disadvantage of forcing the player character to turn automatically to keep the locked target within the range where the soft lock can be maintained. This makes the player character a little less responsive at times (as it may be busy turning and running to bring the locked target back in soft lock) but significantly improves the ease of use and accessibility of the game

- There is also a lockless system, though that really only applies to games that predominantly put players in melee combat. There any attack is essentially a short range cone or linear pattern in front of the player character. Enemies that are inside the area of effect are hit. Elder scroll games (not the online one) use this a lot, along with a hidden reticle target for ranged attacks.

What you want to try to avoid as a designer (and what has been mentioned in the video) is what is historically called the 'dragon's diner scenario'. Situations where targeting and hit resolution are determined (long) in advance of the animation and where bullets, laser beams (or as the original scenario referred to: dragon's breath) have to gain guided missile qualities, can fly around corners and even teleport throuigh solid objects. City of Heroes had this quite a bit when long range sniper attacks had to deviate quite sharply from their straight line in order to hit a moving target, or to miss a stationary one, just because the server had decided three seconds prior, before the attack animation even started, if the attack was going to hit or miss. It looks really odd and immersion breaking, and it is quite frustrating to the players to see the game break the laws of physics that blatantly just to make them miss a shot.
A variant of this problem is found in xcom and similar games, where player characters can, and will, miss from a distance of five inches because a random chance is a random chance and if the virtual dice rolls 1 out of 20 the attack is going to miss even if there is no physical possibility of actually missing the attack.

These problems (as well as several others) are not exclusive to tab targeting systems, but they are certainly more prevalent and harder to avoid for such a system.

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Honestly, the homing shots,

Honestly, the homing shots, or wayward b oulder never really broke immersion for me. If my SS threw a boulder at the ground, I just roleplayed it slipping out of their hands. If it homed in on an opponent, and I didn't have a reason for it, I'd just ign ore it. I could see it being rattling for others, though. I do hope if we rol a 1, then we miss the enemy, but don't like, point a t the ground (*coughX-rayBeam*cough)

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Spitter wrote:
Spitter wrote:

But suspense, I don't think devs even deliberately consider that effect. And that's a shame. I don't know if it was designed on purpose, but even fighting trash mobs in AC2 felt very suspenseful. COH sort of had some suspense in some moments. Mostly when you're down on health and trying to escape. But otherwise not as abundantly as in AC2.

Oh, believe that game developers pay close attention to the suspense in the game (combat) mechanics. They play close attenion to the tension-release created by a single action within combat. First person shooters, the good ones anyway, design how different weapons fire a single bullet in order to create this sub-second mini story of 'bringing up and readying the weapon' (increasing tension), 'firing the bullet' (release some of the tension), 'waiting till the bullet reaches the target' (building up the tension even higher), 'seeiing the hit or miss' (final release of the tension).

Combat needs to have a flow to it with raising and releasing tension that increases as the combat reaches its ultimate conclusion. If it iesn't there the whole thing becomes an exercise in button mashing that grows stale very quickly. As a desginer you want the player to experience anxiety and exultation as he or she and theiir enemy switch places several times as the likely victor.

A lot of (single player) games even tweak player and enemy hitpoints and hit chances behind the scenes to ensure that any victory or defeat is closely contested, making the playing think 'Am I good or am I good?' or 'I could have won that with only a tiny bit of luck'

And that really is what suspens is if you think about it. The uncertainty that the hero the player is rooting for (which in games typically is him- or herself) is going to be victorious in the end.

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Nadira wrote:
Nadira wrote:

- Reticle targeting really works best, and is designed for, first person modes. For MMOs it is less than optimal in my opinion.

- telegraphed targeting works better in MMOs, but can become a bit clunky.

- Tab targeting (and its siblings that allow for more selective targeting) are simplest both for the designer and the players to deal with, and as such better suited for an MMO that does not want to push the required skill level too high.

- There is a hybrid system that I think has been mentioned already, of sticky targeting.

- There is also a lockless system, though that really only applies to games that predominantly put players in melee combat.

Reminder.

Watch the system in action (strongly advised to watch at higher resolutions for clarity) ...

Anyone who thinks that even a 4 year old can't "figure this out" doesn't understand 4 year olds and their capacity for learning. Granted, the 4 year old might have muscle control/precision issues, at least at first (just like ANYONE learning a new control scheme!), but with experience and practice they'll quickly learn and adapt and rise to the challenge. The system is incredibly intuitive and easy to LEARN but always a challenge to MASTER, which is ideally what you want in a game! Yes, there is "work" involved in using the interface, but it's the kind of work that keeps you engaged and immersed in the game world, rather than "busy work" that makes you jump through hoops for little to no reward.

And I would point out that this specific system was used in a game that was released (by NC$oft, as it turns out) which former staffers of City of Heroes praised as being superior and more exciting to play than the Tab Target method used by City of Heroes, so it's hardly an untested theory. It has more to do with using your "eyes" (or in this case, camera view) to designate your target than the alternative, and because of that fact the gameplay FEEL is more engaging and immersive. The system also works at all ranges ... from melee to long range sniper ... so long as draw distance isn't a factor (so you can "see" your target).


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Regarding those Tabula Rasa

Regarding those Tabula Rasa examples (gawd I miss that game), I took to calling the floating ring the "target reticle" and the upside-down-Y-shaped aim point in the middle of the screen the "boresight". Both the TR system and CoH system let you do the same thing: target something that your camera isn't pointed at.

They don't differ in any incompatible ways, and it's straightforward to make a superset of both of their functionality (e.g. pick one system and just add keybinds for the other) without resorting to STO's clunky "FPS Mode" and "MMO Mode" mechanics.

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Redlynne wrote:
Redlynne wrote:
Nadira wrote:

- Reticle targeting really works best, and is designed for, first person modes. For MMOs it is less than optimal in my opinion.

- telegraphed targeting works better in MMOs, but can become a bit clunky.

- Tab targeting (and its siblings that allow for more selective targeting) are simplest both for the designer and the players to deal with, and as such better suited for an MMO that does not want to push the required skill level too high.

- There is a hybrid system that I think has been mentioned already, of sticky targeting.

- There is also a lockless system, though that really only applies to games that predominantly put players in melee combat.

Anyone who thinks that even a 4 year old can't "figure this out" doesn't understand 4 year olds and their capacity for learning. Granted, the 4 year old might have muscle control/precision issues, at least at first (just like ANYONE learning a new control scheme!), but with experience and practice they'll quickly learn and adapt and rise to the challenge. The system is incredibly intuitive and easy to LEARN but always a challenge to MASTER, which is ideally what you want in a game! Yes, there is "work" involved in using the interface, but it's the kind of work that keeps you engaged and immersed in the game world, rather than "busy work" that makes you jump through hoops for little to no reward.

And I would point out that this specific system was used in a game that was released (by NC$oft, as it turns out) which former staffers of City of Heroes praised as being superior and more exciting to play than the Tab Target method used by City of Heroes, so it's hardly an untested theory. It has more to do with using your "eyes" (or in this case, camera view) to designate your target than the alternative, and because of that fact the gameplay FEEL is more engaging and immersive. The system also works at all ranges ... from melee to long range sniper ... so long as draw distance isn't a factor (so you can "see" your target).

To be clear, I did not mean to suggest that people can't figure out different ways of targeting in a game. Only that the more dynamic the targeting system is the more things players have to do simultaneously. Tab targeting completely seperates two tasks. First you select the target, then you start attacking. Hard to go wrong with that and this makes it easy to work with under any circumstance, even for players who for whatever reason prefer a slower pace and less physical challenge in their MMO combat.
At the other end, the system where attacks pass through a tiny hitbox that is centered on the screen in whatever direction the player is looking at, require players to move around and keep enemies in focus all at the same speed that these enemies move around themselves and on top of that also requires timing of attacks. This means two or three time critical actions simultaneously. This is certainly possible and a lot of games are highly successful with such a system, but there is no denying that it is more complex and requires a bit more physical skill to use compared to tab targeting.
There is no good or bad system here, only a difference in where the developers chose to place the focus of how they want the game to play. Tab targeting makes it a little easier to deal with crowds and allows more easily for things like anchored debuf auras. Reticle targeting on the other hand speeds up the pacing of the game and increases the feel of 'immediacy'.
Other targeting systems have their own strengths and weaknesses and affect gameplay in different ways.

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One of the things people have

One of the things people have forgotten in this discussion is that when using reticle targeting, you can't use your mouse to interact with the UI. You have to make a choice to toggle your mouse between navigating the word and navigating the UI. In other words, you have to have all your commands hotkeyed. For most people this will be too much of a hassle, but not all. I think the option should be there for those who are comfortable with it or who want to give it a try. To me, this is by far the biggest impact difference between the two control schema.


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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Aye, that's one of the main

Aye, that's one of the main reasons I'm not interested in reticle targeting (that, and agreeing with Tony Stark that having to manually turn to my target 'sounds exhausting'). However, I have no objection to a game that fully supports both systems as long as that dual design is carried forward in perpetuity. My one nagging fear about including reticle targeting in CoT alongside tab targeting is that it lays the groundwork for the possibility that some years down the line, maybe some new devs have joined the team or something and they decide they want to design elements of the game that rely on the reticle version of combat -- which for me would change the nature of the game in a fundamental way.

Spurn all ye kindle.

Scott Jackson
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Personally I've found reticle

Personally I've found reticle targeting (in soft-lock MMO form...I'm not at all in favor of the full-precision FPS type) to greatly simplify and speed up target switching without many downsides in 95% of combat. I seldom need to interact with the UI via mouse during combat, so long as there is adequate tray space (keybound), the option to bind hotkeys of my own choosing, or a system of combos built on a few (<10) hotkeys.

The 5% of the time where I prefer the ability to tab target or mouse select (switching to hard lock, as MWM is designing) tends to involve bosses too big to fit on the screen, bosses with big avoidable AoEs that require a lot of ground-watching, bosses with lots of adds, or long-duration fights with a boss who can be safely fought while chatting. I haven't yet found a reticle-only design that behaves reliably for those...and those are when you need a targeting system to behave the most.

I hope the mixed targeting system they're working on turns out to be a good match for what we all want.

Empyrean
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The "soft lock" option that

The "soft lock" option that Doc is talking about is a lot like the type of soft reticle targeting you like--but using the circular target marker on the mob instead of a floating reticle. It seems like middle ground or hybrid between reticle and tab, and it may just turn out to be absolutely genius. AND it has the option to change to a hard tabbing lock at will with a keystroke. A lot to love there.

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

Atama
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Fireheart wrote:
Fireheart wrote:

CoH had both. GW2 has both. Lots of games use both mouse and tab targeting.

Be Well!
Fireheart

I wanted to point out that even WoW has both. Using either add-ons or macros, you can assign a power/spell to be a "mouse-over". So that you move your mouse over a target (ally or enemy) then press the corresponding action key, and you effect whatever you were pointing at. Keep in mind, this isn't reticle targeting; you're not moving the camera around as you move your mouse, you just move your mouse over your target. You can even mouse over a person's name in your list of party/raid members if you're in a group. It's not something you need to do ever if you don't want to (and to be honest I don't bother most of the time) but many players (especially healers) rely on it. The advantage is that for someone with the proper reflexes it allows you to target things much quicker than using tab and it's very flexible. I think that if CoT supported something like that then you get some of the functionality of have a reticle/aim system without having to change anything about how the game works.

ZeeHero
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For a superhero game actiony

For a superhero game actiony combat is absolutely essential to maximize the heroic feel. DCUO got this almost right, the problem with that game is definitely NOT it's combat though.

jtpaull
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ZeeHero wrote:
ZeeHero wrote:

For a superhero game actiony combat is absolutely essential to maximize the heroic feel. DCUO got this almost right, the problem with that game is definitely NOT it's combat though.

I've never enjoyed games that don't give you a free action bar(s) to map your abilities, as many as you want. If I recall right, from the little amount of time I've spent in DCUO, you have a set number of abilities on a limited action bar. Personally, I much prefer CoH's (and WoW for that matter) free action bar(s) setup. I just don't like being limited in the number of abilities I can use/choose from. But now I'm not sure if this is even what you are talking about...

All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.

ZeeHero
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What I'm talking about is the

What I'm talking about is the feel of the combat itself. Although having to choose which abilities you have slotted can be a good thing. ESO for instance does this very well. the player gets 12 abilities slotted at any one time, but can eventually have almost every skill in the game on one character.

If ESO was a super hero game? I'd be playing that no questions asked. Their systems and combat would be well suited to one.

jtpaull
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ZeeHero wrote:
ZeeHero wrote:

What I'm talking about is the feel of the combat itself. Although having to choose which abilities you have slotted can be a good thing. ESO for instance does this very well. the player gets 12 abilities slotted at any one time, but can eventually have almost every skill in the game on one character.

If ESO was a super hero game? I'd be playing that no questions asked. Their systems and combat would be well suited to one.

Interesting. After playing Skyrim, ESO was absolutely terrible for me. But to each their own.

All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.

ZeeHero
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ESO had to make some

ESO had to make some sacrifices compared to Skyrim's system to be viable as an MMO, but its combat system is still vastly superior to something like say WoW.

Cinnder
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From what MWM has told us,

From what MWM has told us, combat should be a lot closer to that of WoW or our old superhero game than that of ESO. Not exactly the same (soft-lock option and less rooting), but definitely not the type of action combat seen in ESO. That has been noted by many players and devs as a crucial cornerstone in any 'spiritual successor' to the old game.

Also, I can't remember specific discussion of this aspect of power trays, but I am expecting it to be like the old game where we'll be able to slot all our regular and temp powers in a number of power bars that are user-configurable, including size, shape, and location.

Spurn all ye kindle.

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