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Primary Power Sets for Commander Class?

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Huckleberry
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Primary Power Sets for Commander Class?

One of the things about the pet class that I just realized after all this time looking at it is that the original Classification/Specification chart lists the Primary Power as Offense/Mitigation, and no other options. And it gives us three choices for secondary powerset: Assault, Defense and Support.

I suppose that is not any different from how CoX did it. The primary power set options for Masterminds in CoX were all nearly identical also, with some exceptions at lvl 18 like Lash for demon summoning and Gang War for thugs. And in CoX, Masterminds got to choose their secondary power sets from the Defender and Controller sets as the choice how the Mastermind would support the pets. So, in the end CoT will be providing the addition of an Assault secondary, which is beyond what CoX did.

There has been no mention so far of any primary power set options for the Commander archetype. Will all our pets will be identical with only aesthetic differences? I predict that MWM will give us a choice of five (5) primary power sets for pets the same way we have power set choices for Stalwart, Guardian, Enforcer and Ranger. If this is so, I hope they take their time and get it done well in a way that will impress us.

Using the primary power sets of the other archetypes as a guide and for inspiration, what five (5) power sets options would you want for your pet class?


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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Swarm summoning

Swarm summoning

This set focuses on many weak pets, rather than a few stronger ones, what this set lacks in the strength of individual minions it makes up for in numbers, other powers also include ones that can clone already existing pets and special buffs that when applied to you minions can make them spawn more sweaker minions when they die.

Hulk Summoning

This set focuses on one Strong minion rather than a few weaker ones. Other powers tend to focus on special buffs and heals that you can only apply to your one minion.

Huckleberry
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Commanders will have an

Commanders will have an option the other archetypes won't I think. While the documentation so far says that pets will be offensive, it does not specify at which range. Therefore Commanders may have an option to focus on melee pets or ranged pets or a combination of both. This would be in addition to the option of damage type and defense type. Thus the combinations of range type with damage type would quickly exceed the 5 power sets we are limited to. While we could make all pets classes a mix of melee and ranged (Assault) I think the devs will want to give as at least one power set that focuses on melee pets and at least one power set that focuses on ranged pets.

Furthermore, many of the offensive powers for Melee and Ranged archetypes have mechanics for timing abilities that take advantage of momentum for knockdowns, big hits, ripostes, etc. Trying to use these power sets like kinetic melee, super strength or tactical combat would be a micromanagement nightmare for a pet class. So I think the damage types would be limited to something more generic such as Lethality (straight damage with a consistant defense debuff) vs. Atrophic (focusing on Damage over Time) vs. Super Strength (less damage but more knock downs and stuns).

I also would not expect to see a version of Massive Melee as a primary powerset for the Commander, since Massive Melee focuses on AoE effects and we all know that controlling which targets your pets attack is always the greatest challenge for a pet class. The last thing we would need is your pets nuking an entire room when you only wanted to focus on a couple opponents at a time. I'm not saying that pets hould not have any AoE attacks, but focusing on AoE would not be a good idea for a primary powerset. Besides, that's what masteries are for, right?

As a result, here's my first guess:

  1. Melee Lethality - this would primarily be your close range melee fighters like ninjas, schmoos, and zombies
  2. Ranged Lethality - this would be primarily be ranged attackers like drones, spellcasters, and mercenaries
  3. Assault Lethality - this would combine some melee fighters with some ranged fighters and would be a good fit for nearly any aesthetic choice, such as demons, gangsters and robots.
  4. Melee Atrophic Aura - this would be a damage-over-time set that wears down your opponents and would be good for fungus, insect and necromantic aesthetics. I chose melee because it would seem most appropriate to hijack the atrophic aura protection set and turn it into an offensive set for the pets.
  5. Assault Force - I think this would be a necessity as it would be a combination of super strength melee and force ranged power sets, focusing on knock downs and stuns over raw damage.

Then once we combine with the various secondary powersets (Assault, Defense, or Support) the combinations would be pretty expansive.


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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notears wrote:
notears wrote:

Swarm summoning
This set focuses on many weak pets, rather than a few stronger ones, what this set lacks in the strength of individual minions it makes up for in numbers, other powers also include ones that can clone already existing pets and special buffs that when applied to you minions can make them spawn more sweaker minions when they die.
Hulk Summoning
This set focuses on one Strong minion rather than a few weaker ones. Other powers tend to focus on special buffs and heals that you can only apply to your one minion.

That is a perspective I hadn't considered. I do like it. A lot.

I am thinking that a strong-minion master with a snake aesthetic could call up a giant poisonous viper or a boa constrictor depending on the opponent and situation: One to poison, the other to control.
And a swarm master with an insect aesthetic could also call up a swarm of biting insects for straight damage, stinging insects to poison, or a swarm of moths or lightning bugs to blind (accuracy debuff) or a swarm of ants to get into the pants (movement debuff)

Would a swarm have different capabilities than a strong boss would have? In other words, would the swarm take damage as a whole? If so, is it really any different than a single large monster besides aesthetically? Or would you consider that a swarm is a countable number of smaller summons like a pack of dogs?

Thus I think there could be enough abilities to fill an entire power set if you had options for only swarms or only boss summons.
But I wonder if maybe these wouldn't be better off as masteries for a more CoX-style pet master who has a more multiple low level summons and less numerous higher level summons... choosing one mastery allows you to focus on increasing the power of your lower level but more numerous summons, while choosing another mastery increases the power of your higher level boss summons.

There are a lot of directions MWM could take this.


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.
notears
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Huckleberry wrote:
Huckleberry wrote:

notears wrote:
Swarm summoning
This set focuses on many weak pets, rather than a few stronger ones, what this set lacks in the strength of individual minions it makes up for in numbers, other powers also include ones that can clone already existing pets and special buffs that when applied to you minions can make them spawn more sweaker minions when they die.
Hulk Summoning
This set focuses on one Strong minion rather than a few weaker ones. Other powers tend to focus on special buffs and heals that you can only apply to your one minion.
That is a perspective I hadn't considered. I do like it. A lot.
I am thinking that a strong-minion master with a snake aesthetic could call up a giant poisonous viper or a boa constrictor depending on the opponent and situation: One to poison, the other to control.
And a swarm master with an insect aesthetic could also call up a swarm of biting insects for straight damage, stinging insects to poison, or a swarm of moths or lightning bugs to blind (accuracy debuff) or a swarm of ants to get into the pants (movement debuff)
Would a swarm have different capabilities than a strong boss would have? In other words, would the swarm take damage as a whole? If so, is it really any different than a single large monster besides aesthetically? Or would you consider that a swarm is a countable number of smaller summons like a pack of dogs?
Thus I think there could be enough abilities to fill an entire power set if you had options for only swarms or only boss summons.
But I wonder if maybe these wouldn't be better off as masteries for a more CoX-style pet master who has a more multiple low level summons and less numerous higher level summons... choosing one mastery allows you to focus on increasing the power of your lower level but more numerous summons, while choosing another mastery increases the power of your higher level boss summons.
There are a lot of directions MWM could take this.

dog pack pretty much

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My current plans are along

My current plans are along those lines; 4 Focused Play Styles designed around the number of total pet summons in the set. Then variations of the pet modules (we use modules - think npc versions of power sets) for each set under each Focused Play Style set.


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Tannim222 wrote:
Tannim222 wrote:

My current plans are along those lines; 4 Focused Play Styles designed around the number of total pet summons in the set. Then variations of the pet modules (we use modules - think npc versions of power sets) for each set under each Focused Play Style set.

Yes finally some info on that, I'm gonna guess at 1, 2, 4, and 6 pets respectively. Also, do these pet modules include sets that are not primarily focused around damage? I mean, if we get single-pet sets will I be able to make the pet the equivalent of a Stalwart?

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blacke4dawn wrote:
blacke4dawn wrote:

Tannim222 wrote:
My current plans are along those lines; 4 Focused Play Styles designed around the number of total pet summons in the set. Then variations of the pet modules (we use modules - think npc versions of power sets) for each set under each Focused Play Style set.
Yes finally some info on that, I'm gonna guess at 1, 2, 4, and 6 pets respectively. Also, do these pet modules include sets that are not primarily focused around damage? I mean, if we get single-pet sets will I be able to make the pet the equivalent of a Stalwart?

I highly doubt you will see something of that sort where the majoritynof powers are for protection. The sustainability along with any support, or some of our planned Mastery powers could result in a pet that sticks around too well.

The pets won't have Mastery powers themselves so you won't see them playing like Stalwarts either. They won't have the tools to appropriately tank outside of their module powers.

You might be able to have some pretty tough pets, a single petat high levels of play would by necessity, require built better in sustain or it would be useless.

This comes down to the rest of the set design as well.


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Tannim222 wrote:
Tannim222 wrote:

My current plans are along those lines; 4 Focused Play Styles designed around the number of total pet summons in the set. Then variations of the pet modules (we use modules - think npc versions of power sets) for each set under each Focused Play Style set.

hmmm.... cool.

Do I have this right?:
4 playstyles times a number of modules per play style. So. lets say, for argument's sake, that we get three (3) modules per play style, and with four (4) play styles we would end up with twelve (12) total primary power set options for our Commander archetype instead of the usual 5 for every other archetype.
Then with five (5) power sets to choose from in each of the three (3) Secondaries we would end up with 150 combinations of mechanics to choose from. (up to 300 combinations if we get 5 modules per play style)

Would the modules focus on different damage types, like Physical, Energy or Exotic? I think that would make sense. Physical could have some of the debuff properties of lethality and force, while energy would have some of the DoT properties of Atrophic, and exotic would have some of the self-buffing properties of vampiric.

Meanwhile, the playstyles would range from many smaller pets that would debuff your target and specialize in DoT, to a single large pet that is survivable and capable of knockabouts, to two intermediate, more diversified combinations of the two that stress either more debuff/DoT or more damage without giving up the other.

BTW: I think a good combination that should not be ignored is the synergy of pets adding a control effect to the target while the pet master uses his or her secondary Psychic powers that "cause more damage on enemies under a control effect."


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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Tannim222 wrote:
Tannim222 wrote:

blacke4dawn wrote:
Tannim222 wrote:
My current plans are along those lines; 4 Focused Play Styles designed around the number of total pet summons in the set. Then variations of the pet modules (we use modules - think npc versions of power sets) for each set under each Focused Play Style set.
Yes finally some info on that, I'm gonna guess at 1, 2, 4, and 6 pets respectively. Also, do these pet modules include sets that are not primarily focused around damage? I mean, if we get single-pet sets will I be able to make the pet the equivalent of a Stalwart?
I highly doubt you will see something of that sort where the majoritynof powers are for protection. The sustainability along with any support, or some of our planned Mastery powers could result in a pet that sticks around too well.
The pets won't have Mastery powers themselves so you won't see them playing like Stalwarts either. They won't have the tools to appropriately tank outside of their module powers.
You might be able to have some pretty tough pets, a single petat high levels of play would by necessity, require built better in sustain or it would be useless.
This comes down to the rest of the set design as well.

Ok, so not "outright Stalwart" but how close do you think it would be able to come? I don't want pets to only be Ranger/Enforcer types.

And how about something closer to Guardian or even Operator types, are those kinds of directions on the table at all?

Tannim222
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Huckleberry wrote:
Huckleberry wrote:

Do I have this right?

blacke4dawn wrote:

Ok, so not "outright Stalwart" but how close do you think it would be able to come? I don't want pets to only be Ranger/Enforcer types.
And how about something closer to Guardian or even Operator types, are those kinds of directions on the table at all?

Too soon to even tell at this point. One thing we have to ensure is minimal viability of all possible primary and secondary combinations.

I would avoid equating npc modules directly with player character power sets. They aren't the same. Modules is a dev - side tool we use to quickly create balanced npcs at various levels of play. Players domnot choose modules, there are no primary / sexondary sets for npcs.

They dictate basic play style such as melee, ranged, snipe, or utility. They apply thr rank of the npc and then gives us the base stats of the npc and the number of powers at given level intervals.

I think it would be far safer to say that most pets will be offense related (again minimal viability), with sets having multiple pets having some variance with control and support powers mixed in.

The same will most likely apply toward damage type of summon sets, with a leaning toward one daage type adding variability with certain sets with more pets.

Keep in mind this is still early design and subject to change.


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What makes sense to me--and I

What makes sense to me--and I think what fits with Tannim222's response--is that Commander pets will be somewhat similar to City of Heroes' Mastermind minions in that they will primarily focus on damage, but some may have a different slant to them. Protector Bots (Robotics tier 2) for example had a heal, a defense buff and some weak AoE stun potential along with their blasts, making them similar to defenders. Bruisers (Thugs tier 3) were a lot like Super Strength brutes with their powers and fury. This is certainly the kind of thing I'd like to see as it provides a lot of interesting ways to differentiate the sets and interact with the Commander's secondary.

I'm hoping also that the AI will make them smarter about using situational powers...like not using their 120 second recharge AoE stun on the last minion of an enemy group with a sliver of health left. (Grrr, arrgh)

I think also that the Masteries of the Commander will have a big impact here. Masterminds could be very tanky thanks to bodyguard mode, so the existence of something similar could have a big impact on a Commander's role.

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The AI is one of the major

The AI is one of the major reasons why we are holding off on Commanders. Our AI dev specializes in neural networks and wants to literally teach pet AI to obey command imputs by players but within that command guideline to behave closer to how a player would behave.

This js where the "be smarter about doing X" comes in. The downside to neural networked AI is that it develops its own behaviors after initial learning as in is run through paces and if it does somethjng unintentional you can just dig through code to figure out which part(s) ofnthe code went wrong because the AI has its own self-learned behavior, it isn't a person's written code structure.

Hence the player input commands act as a guide )or gives some rails) to just how much thr AI can do.

Even without all this, developing all the pet AI by standard coding would take us more time than we have available for launch.

This is also why we won't have Operetor pets at launch due to the launch cap at 30. We need more time for even this basic AI which is modified off npc routines.


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I loved the COH thugs

I loved the COH thugs mastermind, I generally ignored my second power set and focused instead on guns for my MM. I would shoot right alongside my minions. Seeing my two pistols emptying into the target with the boys was wonderful!

I would like to be able to do that in COT as well.

and I will need a zoot suit and fedora to work with this as well.

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Pyromantic wrote:
Pyromantic wrote:

What makes sense to me--and I think what fits with Tannim222's response--is that Commander pets will be somewhat similar to City of Heroes' Mastermind minions in that they will primarily focus on damage, but some may have a different slant to them. Protector Bots (Robotics tier 2) for example had a heal, a defense buff and some weak AoE stun potential along with their blasts, making them similar to defenders. Bruisers (Thugs tier 3) were a lot like Super Strength brutes with their powers and fury. This is certainly the kind of thing I'd like to see as it provides a lot of interesting ways to differentiate the sets and interact with the Commander's secondary.
I'm hoping also that the AI will make them smarter about using situational powers...like not using their 120 second recharge AoE stun on the last minion of an enemy group with a sliver of health left. (Grrr, arrgh)
I think also that the Masteries of the Commander will have a big impact here. Masterminds could be very tanky thanks to bodyguard mode, so the existence of something similar could have a big impact on a Commander's role.

Yes, I know they are modeled after CoX "standards" but considering that we'll be getting an Assault secondary for Commanders (iirc) then having ALL Commander primary sets being 80-90% damage focused doesn't look good to me. I fully accept that we won't be getting to the same levels of Stalwart Guardian or even Operator in terms of damage vs. "utility" but we don't have to keep all of that at Ranger and Enforcer levels only. Personally I would want some of them go down to 50-60% damage focus so as to better compliment the Assault secondaries.

At least it's almost confirmed that we'll get more choices than just 6 pets total.

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Tannim222 wrote:
Tannim222 wrote:

The AI is one of the major reasons why we are holding off on Commanders. Our AI dev specializes in neural networks and wants to literally teach pet AI to obey command imputs by players but within that command guideline to behave closer to how a player would behave.
...
This is also why we won't have Operetor pets at launch due to the launch cap at 30. We need more time for even this basic AI which is modified off npc routines.

To be perfectly honest I always enjoyed the "pseudo-chaos" of Controller/Dominator pets as opposed to the "micro-management" of the Mastermind henchmen.

On paper one would think that being able to directly command your henchmen would be the better tactical alternative to pets that randomly did their own thing but I actually found the "fire and forget" nature of Controller/Dominator pets to be liberating because I knew they would always do something useful regardless if I was paying attention to them or not.

I realize the main criticism against the "uncontrollable" pets was that they could potentially run off and draw aggro that you did not intend to draw. But it was always easy enough to control them by paying attention to your own character's positioning. People who constantly let their pets draw too much aggro in CoH simply didn't have enough patience to play them correctly.

I understand this all probably comes down to a simple player preference thing - both "pets" and "henchman" have their pros and cons. I guess I'm just trying to say that I hope you don't try to make the Operator pet AI "too fancy" because they worked perfectly well enough in CoH.

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

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I agree with Lothic here.

I agree with Lothic here.

Masterminds stood out because of the micromanagement. Good masterminds enjoyed it because it was "more work" than the others. If Controllers could micromanage their pets, masterminds wouldn't have been played much at all.

Necro Mastermind.

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Nah, Good Controllers stood

Nah, Good Controllers stood out, because they didn't have to micromanage their pets. The managed Themselves in such a way that their pets were always 'under control'.

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Mastermind: manage the pets

Mastermind: manage the pets

Controllers: manage everything

Has anyone seen my mind? It was right here...

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Fireheart wrote:
Fireheart wrote:

Nah, Good Controllers stood out, because they didn't have to micromanage their pets. The managed Themselves in such a way that their pets were always 'under control'.
Be Well!
Fireheart

I meant more the class than the player. Good players stood out regardless of their class.

Necro Mastermind.

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I absolutely loved the

I absolutely loved the micromanagement.
I literally used to make macros to control different sets of my minions to go to different places and handle my separate mobs.

I also used to use /petcom and /petsay commands to make my ninja minions walk up to new players and ask them if they needed help....I'd have a whole conversation with them as the minion while standing nearby with the player completely unaware that ninja wasn't a player until it dismisses with a smoke bomb after they ask why my chat was only showing up as a chat bubble and not in the chat box. I was devious while being helpful....<.<

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I never micromanaged my thugs

I never micromanaged my thugs. I saw their tactics and adapted my style to that. and it worked! I solo'd my Mastermind 10 levels without a character death.

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Cyclops wrote:
Cyclops wrote:

I never micromanaged my thugs. I saw their tactics and adapted my style to that. and it worked! I solo'd my Mastermind 10 levels without a character death.

That was the joy of masterminds. You could micromanage or not, and still do well.

Necro Mastermind.

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I just let my minions do

I just let my minions do whatever but I made sure they had their coats on first (forcefields ftw)

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I was like cyclops; rather

I was like cyclops; rather than trying to manage the way my squad moved, I'd just move in a way that was conducive to keeping them active and strong. Funnily enough, it actually helps a lot to have that kind of experience when you're trying to her cats in a group of real players.

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I had some minor

I had some minor micromanagement for my pets but generally enjoyed the chaos my robots would create. Every pull started with telling them to take the priority target and generally things were good there, but larger battles I often called my robots back to me just to regroup as any of us spread to far out from the group was quite vulnerable. My secondary was poison so I would debuff the boss/elite boss to uselessness while they would sweep the minions. Then I got to watched the debuffed boss/elite boss ragdoll around from the big bot's knock back.

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I have to say the pet control

I have to say the pet control options in CoH were a big part of what made masterminds so much fun. You didn't have to fine tune and customize your little minions if you didn't want to spend the time and effort, but it was there if you wanted to. If CoT can offer that it would accomplish something no other game has really done since. It looks like it will possibly go above and beyond too if aesthetic decoupling will mean we can customize pets and pet powers as well!

I really miss being able to skillfully orchestrate ambushes and switch tactics mid-fight using the limited hotkey and scripting options CoH gave us, it really made a good mastermind feel like...well, a mastermind! The fun of having minions tell jokes or do dance routines or other silly things was a great bonus that came out of that too.

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Tannim222 wrote:
Tannim222 wrote:

The AI is one of the major reasons why we are holding off on Commanders. Our AI dev specializes in neural networks and wants to literally teach pet AI to obey command imputs by players but within that command guideline to behave closer to how a player would behave.

This js where the "be smarter about doing X" comes in. The downside to neural networked AI is that it develops its own behaviors after initial learning as in is run through paces and if it does somethjng unintentional you can just dig through code to figure out which part(s) ofnthe code went wrong because the AI has its own self-learned behavior, it isn't a person's written code structure.

Hence the player input commands act as a guide )or gives some rails) to just how much thr AI can do.

Even without all this, developing all the pet AI by standard coding would take us more time than we have available for launch.

This is also why we won't have Operetor pets at launch due to the launch cap at 30. We need more time for even this basic AI which is modified off npc routines.

OH HELL! If the pets have the AI from the shooter game they will wreck game! 8^o

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Redlynne
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Joined: 10/28/2013 - 21:15
Tiger wrote:
Tiger wrote:

OH HELL! If the pets have the AI from the shooter game they will wreck game! 8^o


Verbogeny is one of many pleasurettes afforded a creatific thinkerizer.