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MMO Combat

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blacke4dawn
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Redlynne wrote:
Redlynne wrote:
blacke4dawn wrote:

That leads me to believe that we aren't really expected to move while attacking but that we do have the freedom to do so for the most part. Unlike CoH MWM doesn't see any good reason to automatically root us when activating any ability but rather saves it for the ones that has much more of a feel or visual impact if rooted than not.

Just as a matter of simplistic expectations, I'd assume that the "low" Tier attacks in any given powerset would tend to be the can be used on the move type, while some of the "high" Tier attacks (up to and including Nukes) would tend to be the must stop moving to use type, simply as a basic design philosophy. There would be exceptions, of course (there always are, after all), but that would be default assumption before getting into specifics for each powerset.

Isn't that effectively what I said?

Maybe it's just my brain but the wording "because you're expected to MOVE while attacking" reads to me like we are expected to essentially be constantly on the move during combat. Just because we can do it doesn't automatically mean that we should do it as much as possible.

Redlynne
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blacke4dawn wrote:
blacke4dawn wrote:

Maybe it's just my brain but the wording "because you're expected to MOVE while attacking" reads to me like we are expected to essentially be constantly on the move during combat. Just because we can do it doesn't automatically mean that we should do it as much as possible.

You're overly interpreting.

City of Heroes would "root" your avatar for ANY power animation, regardless of what it was. It was a limitation of the game engine. The engine "couldn't handle" animations of powers while the PC was moving because the animations for powers were done as "whole body" animations, rather than as "waist up" animations which would allow the lower body to keep up with continuous movement.

That particular limitation will not be in effect under UE4 and the Aesthetic Decoupling that MWM is designing for City of Titans. However, like you said, just because the design intent is to allow movement while animating attacks in City of Titans, that doesn't ipso facto mean that you are expected (or obligated) to keep moving while attacking. Continuing to move while attacking will be an OPTION, rather than a requirement ... but ... staff has already said that some powers (particularly the "powerful" types that require "grounding" to do properly) will require the PC to be immobile while animating the power. So there's going to be both types in City of Titans.


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Cinnder wrote:
Cinnder wrote:
Tannim222 wrote:

When designing support sets and protection powers I’ve plotted out the basic valises and how well sets improve etc...

You heard it here first: Luggage power set for support and protection! Briefcase Bash! Duffelbag Block! Samsonite Shield! Baggage Carousel Confusion!

(Sorry, I know it's your phone's autocorrect, but I couldn't resist.)

New tanker character: Samsonite. Can stand up to blows from mighty gorillias! But somehow every time they take a flight someplace, they always end up at the wrong destination....

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Redlynne
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Beamrider wrote:
Beamrider wrote:

New tanker character: Samsonite. Can stand up to blows from mighty gorillias! But somehow every time they take a flight someplace, they always end up at the wrong destination....

We already know who your villain nemesis (small n) will be:


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Beamrider wrote:
Beamrider wrote:
Cinnder wrote:
Tannim222 wrote:

When designing support sets and protection powers I’ve plotted out the basic valises and how well sets improve etc...

You heard it here first: Luggage power set for support and protection! Briefcase Bash! Duffelbag Block! Samsonite Shield! Baggage Carousel Confusion!

(Sorry, I know it's your phone's autocorrect, but I couldn't resist.)

New tanker character: Samsonite. Can stand up to blows from mighty gorillias! But somehow every time they take a flight someplace, they always end up at the wrong destination....

After a mission he can go back to his base to wait. His powers will be delivered there in a day or two.

Spurn all ye kindle.

Redlynne
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To drag this discussion back

To drag this discussion back to the topic of how to target enemies (via Tab Tab Tab, mouse click, mouse hover, center of the screen "boresight" to Tab for target lock, etc.) ... an interesting thread popped up in one of the private WoW server forums that I've been monitoring. It was basically this macro (simply replace SPELLNAME with the name of the spell you want to cast):

/run c=CastSpellByName s="SPELLNAME" if UnitExists("mouseover") then TargetUnit("mouseover") c(s) TargetLastTarget() else c(s) end

What this macro does (in vanilla WoW no less, which was contemporary to City of Heroes) is allow you to cast a spell/ability at whatever your mouse cursor is hovering over (so change target, cast, change target back) ... or ... if your cursor isn't hovering over anything, to cast the exact same spell at whatever you've already got selected as your target. It's basically a script that allows you to use your mouse cursor as a target designator IF your mouse cursor is hovering over something when using this macro, and the mouse cursor hovering "overrides" the already selected target for the purposes of using the macro. It's a very elegant solution to needing to target more than one thing in a chaotic environment, and is almost (but not quite) the mouse cursor equivalent of using your camera view to pick your targets.

Anyway, just another one of those "Huh ..." moments to toss onto the bonfire, especially since this script WORKS (I tested it this morning).


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Redlynne wrote:
Redlynne wrote:

To drag this discussion back to the topic of how to target enemies (via Tab Tab Tab, mouse click, mouse hover, center of the screen "boresight" to Tab for target lock, etc.) ... an interesting thread popped up in one of the private WoW server forums that I've been monitoring. It was basically this macro (simply replace SPELLNAME with the name of the spell you want to cast):

/run c=CastSpellByName s="SPELLNAME" if UnitExists("mouseover") then TargetUnit("mouseover") c(s) TargetLastTarget() else c(s) end

What this macro does (in vanilla WoW no less, which was contemporary to City of Heroes) is allow you to cast a spell/ability at whatever your mouse cursor is hovering over (so change target, cast, change target back) ... or ... if your cursor isn't hovering over anything, to cast the exact same spell at whatever you've already got selected as your target. It's basically a script that allows you to use your mouse cursor as a target designator IF your mouse cursor is hovering over something when using this macro, and the mouse cursor hovering "overrides" the already selected target for the purposes of using the macro. It's a very elegant solution to needing to target more than one thing in a chaotic environment, and is almost (but not quite) the mouse cursor equivalent of using your camera view to pick your targets.

Anyway, just another one of those "Huh ..." moments to toss onto the bonfire, especially since this script WORKS (I tested it this morning).

Yup, mouseover macros in WoW are pretty cool. :)

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Redlynne wrote:
Redlynne wrote:

To drag this discussion back to the topic of how to target enemies (via Tab Tab Tab, mouse click, mouse hover, center of the screen "boresight" to Tab for target lock, etc.) ... an interesting thread popped up in one of the private WoW server forums that I've been monitoring. It was basically this macro (simply replace SPELLNAME with the name of the spell you want to cast):

/run c=CastSpellByName s="SPELLNAME" if UnitExists("mouseover") then TargetUnit("mouseover") c(s) TargetLastTarget() else c(s) end

What this macro does (in vanilla WoW no less, which was contemporary to City of Heroes) is allow you to cast a spell/ability at whatever your mouse cursor is hovering over (so change target, cast, change target back) ... or ... if your cursor isn't hovering over anything, to cast the exact same spell at whatever you've already got selected as your target. It's basically a script that allows you to use your mouse cursor as a target designator IF your mouse cursor is hovering over something when using this macro, and the mouse cursor hovering "overrides" the already selected target for the purposes of using the macro. It's a very elegant solution to needing to target more than one thing in a chaotic environment, and is almost (but not quite) the mouse cursor equivalent of using your camera view to pick your targets.

Anyway, just another one of those "Huh ..." moments to toss onto the bonfire, especially since this script WORKS (I tested it this morning).

I did this in CoH, if not exactly in the same way, and several other things besides, and I've done them in other games. It gave me more options, but so what? I have no idea what you're driving at here, Redlynne.

While I'm on the subject... I liked how I had those options and I liked that you didn't need to use them. The game system gave you all the options you needed by default. I would like to be able to do the same kind of thing in CoT, but that doesn't preclude the game system supporting a variety of options 'off the shelf' that enable more types of play.

What I would actually like to see is:

  • (selected) target,
  • mouse over (target),
  • target of target, and
  • focus target (soft-lock? hard-lock? you could go either way or have something else entirely), and the basic macro/ config options that allow you to do the kind of thing outlined in the above macro.

of Phoenix Rising
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The more options the players

The more options the players get to customize stuff the better! The trick is working it into the interface and making it easy for the non tech savvy to use, otherwise only a tiny fraction of the playerbase will get anything out of it.

I love getting into the guts and gears and customizing things, it was a big part of why I loved playing a mastermind so much in CoX with all the options available there. Most players though just want to press a button that is intuitively obvious and have it work with relatively little learning curve involved. Comparatively few will bother to learn whatever macro or scripting syntax is required to set up that sort of customization, much less go and manually edit files outside the game's GUI.

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Any is fine now that I think

Any is fine now that I think about it. Out of all the combat within the superhero mmo universe, I liked Marvel's the best. CO the least

Imagine that game with character creation. I really wished one of these successors used a system like this, but oh well. It would have gotten the attention of Marvel Hero fans looking for a home and old school Blizzard fans. One one beef with the successors is they are all the same in regards to combat. It is like a city which only has three burger chains as their fast-food source. No pizza or Mexican. Only burgers. I really wish someone would have differentiated themselves from the pack.

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Meh - Diablo "clicky-action"

Meh - Diablo "clicky-action" combat is just fine for Diablo (and assorted clones) - I don't think it would really work for a proper MMORPG. At least that is not what I am looking for.

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Yeah, never thought that kind

Yeah, never thought that kind of gameplay would work well with an MMORPG. On the other hand, someone else besides Phararri seems to think it would. Take a look at the next generation Lineage:


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I was not really a fan of

I was not really a fan of Marvel Heroes at first to be perfectly honest, but it was refreshing and grew on me. I can't explain it, but Marvel Heroes stood out more than DCUO and CO.

That view count is pretty. Many eyes apparently like this kind of stuff. I like nostalgia as much as the next guy. I feel like too much of the same is fatiguing,will just draw the same people. Metroid going from third person to 1st person may have been the best thing to happen to the franchise. I believe Metroid Prime is the highest grossing Metroid title to date.

I think every combat style has its perks.

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Always wanted to check out

Always wanted to check out Marvel Heroes, but I refused to play it until they gave me a Spider-Woman option. AND THEY NEVER DID! :(

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I tried some DCUO and didn't

I tried some DCUO and didn't like the mechanical customization. The gameplay felt bland and I don't even remember if I found a solid plot. I think I broke into HIVE at some point but I don't remember why. I tried two characters, and they felt mostly the same. I suspect they differentiate more at higher levels, but with only the dip I tried it was just a matter of melee vs ranged. That might seem like a big deal, but I still wound up doing forward+attack for both.

Also tried some CO and while it was kind of hammily bad (about what I expected) I had some unexpected fun.

See, the free character track I grabbed was Unleashed: universal knowledge therefore swords. For my travel power I took teleportation. As a melee character with NO defensive options, I had to pick and choose my fights. Ranged enemies would mess me up pretty badly, so for every group I had to consider their positioning, teleport behind the ranged ones, and then start slashing. The melee enemies would close into blender range and the ranged enemies wouldn't flee. Later on I got a pull power, so if there were two enemies with ranged weapon (or one and a flexible enemy) I could approach a group with teleportation, pull the second ranger to me, and then start blending.

It wasn't really good gameplay design as much as it was some bad design playing off itself to result in some fun. I'd definitely call the power progression too slow and the upgrades often not worth it, but it DID give me a solid playstyle and required a little thought. I still eventually left and have felt no urge to return, but I feel it demonstrates what having a solid playstyle for your character can do for player fun.

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With MMOs I have a hard time

With MMOs I have a hard time looking back to the old school tab targetting; its not like I can not still enjoy it; but action combat just feels better when swinging swords & fists in all directions. An exception would be things like big ships (like the massive starships of Star Trek Online or EvE); there the slow tactical approach with x amount of click-able feats & CDs feels right.

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I'm playing Overwatch now and

I'm playing Overwatch now and I find the melee characters annoying to play and to play against. When playing, say Brigitte, I get this rapidly-shifting 1st person PoV that you can't switch to 3rd person except when she deploys her shield that happens automatically. It's dizzying to play and people who can play it well make it very hard to hit them with ranged attacks up close, which is also frustrating. I mean, those people are better than me at Overwatch and probably play twitchy characters like that better than I do, but I MISS tab targeting for this reason. Every time I play Genji, Brigitte, or Reinhardt I feel like I'm the driver in a carcrash and I have limited control over anything. I'm often swinging blindly hoping to hit something I don't even see.

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You'd just love Vermintide

You'd just love Vermintide then. Heh.

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Radiac wrote:
Radiac wrote:

...I MISS tab targeting...

+1

Luckily MWM seems to agree with us. :-)

Spurn all ye kindle.

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Cinnder wrote:
Cinnder wrote:
Radiac wrote:

...I MISS tab targeting...

+1

Luckily MWM seems to agree with us. :-)

Agreed.

I think the soft lock will be a nice option to give those who want it a more actiony feel, but I miss the tactical tab & cool down fighting in CoH where it was entertaining without being stressful or jumpy. It was somehow relaxing but exciting at the same time (I think partially due to how mobile combat was), and I really miss playing for hours without feeling strung out or tired, just relaxed and having fun.

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

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Does anyone have a link or a

Does anyone have a link or a short synopsis(what did it do differently, what was the name of it, etc) about the combat AI being too good and they had to dumb it down? Someone was asking me for some examples of how it was different than your average bot. I think I heard about it in one of MWMs videos or interviews but can't recall the specifics.

Reward tactics as well as damage dealing.

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I cannot recall if it was the

I cannot recall if it was the Doc or Warcabbit, but I think it was one of them that said something recently-ish to the effect of their initial AI was TOO smart. That every time they went against the shooter AI, it won every time. Another poster brought up the possibility that the AI simply learned where all of the boosts and such were, but the redname said it went beyond just learning the map - that the AI was learning their tactics. I am certain someone else will wind up posting the direct link.

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The rednames said some things

The rednames said some things that had little relevance in the context of an mmo and were simply not impressive to anyone that has seen a video game since 1999. Perhaps they have been secretly developing a combination of Skynet and WOPR but their communications regarding the AI in the game have been quite curious.

To be fair, game AI doesn't have to be deep blue. It just has to be engaging to the player. You really don't want an AI opponent that can perfectly outplay you in a strategy game, for example, since you surgically remove the fun for nearly all people looking to play the game. Players generally want to overcome a challenge. Losing sometimes to big beefy challenge feels fun, losing everytime to someone with no obvious advantages other than being strictly better at playing the game is discouraging on a level that will get players to uninstall post haste. This is part of the reason many video game bosses are physically larger than the player while having relatively slow telegraphed attacks.

edit: To get back on track to the discussion of MMO combat AI, the things that the devs have been quiet about are the sort of things that are more difficult for AI to be programmed to understand and are more relevant to MMO combat. Specifically things that change the entire flow and field of combat. The sort of thing that is commonplace in MMO fights, and indeed has been specifically mentioned as being included in CoT as launch powers. This includes stuff like movement abilities, lockdown abilities, abilities that change line of sight, abilities that change the ability to move.....and the ability to predict, react, counterplay, and use all this stuff. As a simple example, say you have an ability that summons a wall. A player could use that to really set up devastating traps or escapes or even use it to climb to new locations, and a player can combine it with other abilities in many ways. Getting a bot to play and counterplay with that on the same level (not just spamming it randomly on empty ground) is a big difference.

Getting AI to navigate a map and slaughter developers in an FPS is extremely easy compared to more on the fly tactical decisionmaking where the entire field of combat can change from moment to moment. Scripting an aimbot isn't a dramatic advancement in artificial intelligence. It also has next to zero bearing on mmo combat where aiming and efficient map routes to powerups are not big parts of gameplay.

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I like the AI in games like

I like the AI in games like Destiny and The Division, where enemies will take cover, flank you, try to create crossfire to remove your cover, etc. Very smart, almost like going up against trained, thinking combatants. Of course those specific tactics are meaningless outside a FPS game but you can do something similar, such as using a power that counters one of yours.

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It's discussed in a couple of

It's discussed in a couple of posts in this thread, starting about midway(?) through the first page.

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I knew someone would find it

I knew someone would find it - thanks dreamcatcher. So the synopsis that SavageFist is looking for would basically be this quote:

Tannim222 wrote:
TheInternetJanitor wrote:
Doctor Tyche wrote:

Remembers when we put our AI into the FPS template to test it... no humans survived

I keep seeing this mentioned but isn't this a really bad example of "good ai"?

Pixel perfect aim and perfect reflexes are basically assumed. Even the most rudimentary AI have a gigantic advantage in a pure action environment.

The AI learned where the health packs were, it could always find you, hunt you down. It learned to out flank you, corner you, put you in pincher between 2 flanks. It was relentless, adapting, was terminators on steroids.

It was too good, which made it bad, yes.

*Edit: changed my phone’s autocorrect where it had put in synapse instead of synopsis.

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The major relevance here was

The major relevance here was that the AI was not your typical mmo design with a command structure “if this, then that” for all behaviors.

The AI observes behavior of players and adapted through each play. Revolutionary? No. Heuristic AI has had limited uses in games. There are quite a few examples where devs made AI for single player and co-op games they were “too smart” and had to be “dumbed down”.

There are games that used heuristic AI that actually caused problems for programmers.

The importance here was that we, as an indie stufio, had let loose an AI that successfully learned behaviors based on engagement with players and adapted accordingly without additional input from the programmer. Our first AI ended up being too good which, in he end, wasn’t too fun.


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Have you tried the AI in the

Have you tried the AI in the RPG environment? I'm curious if it would have a similarly high effectiveness. Video maybe?

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Tannim222 wrote:
Tannim222 wrote:

The major relevance here was that the AI was not your typical mmo design with a command structure “if this, then that” for all behaviors.

The AI observes behavior of players and adapted through each play. Revolutionary? No. Heuristic AI has had limited uses in games. There are quite a few examples where devs made AI for single player and co-op games they were “too smart” and had to be “dumbed down”.

There are games that used heuristic AI that actually caused problems for programmers.

The importance here was that we, as an indie stufio, had let loose an AI that successfully learned behaviors based on engagement with players and adapted accordingly without additional input from the programmer. Our first AI ended up being too good which, in he end, wasn’t too fun.

I would love to see this AI in-game at various levels - I would like for the Nemesis/Rikti-level masterminds to have this AI ability, and be nearly impossible to defeat tactically, requiring overwhelming PC odds and good tactics from our side. I would much rather smarter bosses than just cheaty-mechanic or overwhelming-HP bosses. I'd like to see the street-level thugs have an extremely-limited version of this AI too, so they do more than just mindlessly close to melee for a bashing. Sure the mindless zombies could close, but the Hellions/Skulls could have a bit more self-preservation.

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Learning AI that is capable

Learning AI that is capable of perfect play and predicting/adjusting to changes is a far cry from AI that has only basic functions and reacts like it was lobotomized.

In most cases in video games having enemies with stat advantages that can be outmaneuvered and outsmarted is far preferable. When you successfully execute a clever combo/trap/strategy that beats the bad guys that you couldn't handle in a fair fight, the player feels a rush of triumph. When those same enemies are obviously weaker than the player they expect to be able to beat them easily, robbing them of that triumph. When those weak enemies are better at playing the game and actually beat the player reliably? You have surgically removed fun from the experience. The best possible outcome you have left is that the player is also capable of perfect play, and the outcome at that point comes down to whatever randomization is part of the game.

This is on top of smart AI being vastly harder to create than bumping up some stats, which is another issue.

What I'm saying is that you actually don't want super smart AI in many video game situations. You want it to provide a good challenge.

Self preservation was specifically mentioned. A smart AI that was programmed to care about self preservation would flee immediately upon engagement by a player able to beat them as it would already have predicted the outcome. That means any relatively easy fight would be you chasing down someone that really didn't want to play your game while they yelled for help from their friends. At best this is tedious gameplay. At worst, depending on how interesting the AI is, it might simply avoid high traffic areas and hide in areas where they could concentrate power without being AoE'd or sniped. This could go even further using weak enemies to lure players into ambushes near those areas. Imagine punching a lone hellion, chasing him around a corner, and eating gunfire from his 57 friends for an instant KO. Then watching those enemies regroup and pick new hiding spots to cover each other from, reacting to information seamlessly as any one of them encounters a new threat.

It is OK to have difficult encounters requiring some strategy and skilled execution. It isn't OK for a game that tries to include a wide audience to have every encounter be hunter-killer units out for human blood with no chance of player victory. Playing chess against skynet isn't a good time for most people.

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Another problem with

Another problem with heuristic AI is that when it does something that can end up being too difficult to players the AI Designer will most likely not be able to identify why it is taking those paroticlakr actions.

Which makes it hard to stop or correct those behaviors.

There was a developers conference last year where an AI developer spoke to this very issue.
When AI gets too goo at adapting and game play suffers as a result, you have failed at your job as a developer. The goal is to make the game fun and rewarding, not a slog because the AI did something no one has direct control over.


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The City of Titans team is

The City of Titans team is making one of my wishes come true: non-binary controls. I am ecstatic about that! I am not holding out with any expectations of making a non-binary AI (meaning "none" or "best"), however non-binary tuned AI is another one of my wishes.

A component of one of the original gaming "AIs" (using this term loosely), Deep Blue, was predicting and "pre-playing" a number of potential future chess moves ("brute force" pseudo AI as opposed to learning AI). I don't know whether this was done, however that AI could have been made dumber by limiting the number of future moves it played through for its predictions. I'm quite sure this is a valid AI tuning technique for any turn-based strategy game. I could see a similar way for a tactical AI, in that it could have a limited memory to draw upon for its learning, and some hard-coded preferred behaviors (range vs melee being the first obvious one).

TheInternetJanitor, it seems that you and I have polar opposites of how we derive fun from enemies in games, and I don't know if you're any better in tune with the general gaming population than I am. If I find a tactically superior AI game opponent, I like to learn from it and improve my game. I get a rush from defeating such AIs, especially by being unpredictable (perhaps this is my Star War ToS geek coming to the fore). I am bored by big bags of HPs. I am frustrated by bosses who use insta-kill pools of doom and other obviously lame mechanics in place of a challenging AI. If I'm fighting a "best" force of dimensional-travelling military (Rikti), or a world- and time-spanning supergenius (Nemesis), I'd rather such fights feel this way by their tactics than their HP/cheating.

Specifically, I think the challenges come down to this:
1. Development time/resources: Tannim, I definitely get that, and I'm not going to be a spoiled CoT fan by posting any further about my desire for AI inclusions - thank for taking the time to read and reply to my first post about this. I just hope that the CoT team will consider appropriate AI as time, money and interest allows.
2. Changing the mindset from "all or nothing player-doom AI" to AI inclusions which are tuned to the situation. I hope to help change attitudes from the former to the latter from these two posts.

Formerly wyldhunt of CoH; Guardianite since I2.

Project_Hero
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Not really related to MMO

Not really related to MMO enemy AI but some Super Smash Bros. Games had a learning AI that learns from the players. So the more you fight it the more it acts like you, and I think in later games it learns to counter you.

If you taunt after a KO eventually the AI will start doing the same back to you. The weirdness of it is you can use this AI to train the AI to be really dumb. I saw a video once where they trained the AI to do nothing but falcon punch as Capt. Falcon somehow.

The Amiibo fighters of the Wii U version also learned from players. The more you fight an Amiibo fighter the better it becomes at fighting you, some of the ones I have were pretty much unbeatable by me. One of mine fights a lot similar to how I fight with that character, but much better.

They grow up so fast.

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

The Fighting Ca...
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There are ALOT of comments.

There are ALOT of comments. It may have been mentioned, but the action combat style of Black Desert Online is fantastic. Imagine that but with super powers.

Brand X
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Made me have to go to YT to

Made me have to go to YT to check out Striker, and while I'm not fond of seeing the one stance used often (at least in the beginning of the vid), some of those martial art moves would have me happier than what we've seen so far.

ZeeHero
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Give us an option to "Soft

Give us an option to "Soft lock" onto targets like DCUO and fire off powers when NOT locked onto something but still be able to target things and we should be good. DCUO had the right feel as far as targeting went. CO did it poorly, but better than COH did it due to better mobility which is ULTRA important for a super hero game.

StellarAgent
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Soft locks are in the game.

Soft locks are in the game.

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