System Mechanics: Melee vs Range

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JayBezz
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System Mechanics: Melee vs Range

I really want action based combat. I really enjoyed many things about CoX when it was around but the combat was very "stand and cast" based IMO. While I liked CoX for what it offered, I did prefer the fast pace of Champions Online and DCUO. Is the static combat model outdated?

This is both a PvE and PvP question, but I know AI devs probably are non-existant while environment builders are pumping away creating a virtual world to interact with. I have yet to see a game that truly uses enemy AI that moves (much less REACTS) in combat. Likely because the AI pathing is often pretty static.. I really want action based combat. I really enjoyed many things about CoX when it was around but the combat was very "stand and cast" based. As a Crowd Control enthusiast this means that for the most part enemies were predictable and static even before I arrived.

There are some major pitfalls however to mobile, action based combat though too.. It tends to reward a certain kind of gamer (like those who play FPS games) and leaves a HUGE gap in player skill. This can leave casual gamers feeling left out and disenfranchised. Melee is also often left baffled by this .. "Kiting" is a tactic that exists but there NEEDS to be a way for Melee DPS (And to a lesser extent melee tanks) characters to overcome this tactic more often than not. Other games have a "lunge" mechanic.. it works sometimes but not all the time. The thought of playing a super-speed, melee character without using that speed in combat is a tough sell, I DO like the idea of players getting to increase their movement speed as it makes Crowd Control (especial slowing/rooting enemies) more valuable against these tactics.

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In action oriented games like Champions Online there was a general (but never defined) mobility for melee and a general root to cast ranged powers. They also used to have an automatic "slow" to enemies attacked by Melee DPS role characters.

From my tabletop days (Mutants & Masterminds and Champions) Melee players received a "grab" that allowed them to both combat enemy speed and keep the enemy in range. IF we have an action based combat I would love to see a grab-like mechanic so kiting melee doesn't happen (even on the Z axis .. yes you flyers!). This can be extremely hard to animate (as it effects two persons) so if a mechanic exists to keep two persons within melee range of each other I would see them working much like "hit combos" in capcom fighting games (but this version would not put the affected enemy into ragdoll mode):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9xWHKZQYD14

Are there any other popular mechanics used in games today that help Melee DPS with the ability to stay in range to use their attacks effectively?

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There will be no 'twitch'

There will be no 'twitch' combat, which I assume is synonymous with the action based combat you like, which MWM has stated here among a few other, scattered places. The feel of the combat will be similar to that of CoH.

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There's nothing wrong with

There's nothing wrong with having a tank class. It plays to the fact mods need that first hit on the tank instead of a weaker defensive toon. This has a variety of methods and schools of thought. In the early days it was tanks rounding up maps and guys just nuking everything in the hole. Then it became about defense caps which got adjusted down to 60%. Tanks fill in a special requirement in larger formations when tactics become fuzzy. There should always should be a guy that heads in head long and takes the hits first (normally tanks have the highest hp at the expense of overall damage output). There is value in that. Just cause 1 toon isn't the best at taking mobs down does not for a second feel like a failure to the other players. Tanks play a role if the devs give them instances and situations where enemy NPCs dish out high damage.

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Arcanaville's critique of CO

Arcanaville's critique of CO's melee will no doubt be lingering in the minds of our gameplay team. She notes that CO gives no practical benefit to being in melee range and using melee attacks, and so, no sane person looking to build a powerful character in CO ever makes a pure melee toon.

We'll certainly keep an eye on balancing the benefits and deficits of being in melee range or being at a distance.

As for rooting v. non-rooting... that final decision will have to withstand testing and QA. So, nothing can be said now.

Also, CoH tended to make melee ATs exclusively melee and giving them little to no opportunities to take ranged attacks. Currently, we're not wedded to the idea of forcing a melee class to take melee-only attacks. But, no promises there.

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Zombie Man wrote:
Zombie Man wrote:

Arcanaville's critique of CO's melee will no doubt be lingering in the minds of our gameplay team. She notes that CO gives no practical benefit to being in melee range and using melee attacks, and so, no sane person looking to build a powerful character in CO ever makes a pure melee toon.
We'll certainly keep an eye on balancing the benefits and deficits of being in melee range or being at a distance.
As for rooting v. non-rooting... that final decision will have to withstand testing and QA. So, nothing can be said now.
Also, CoH tended to make melee ATs exclusively melee and giving them little to no opportunities to take ranged attacks. Currently, we're not wedded to the idea of forcing a melee class to take melee-only attacks. But, no promises there.

I see no problem with melee-centric toons having 1-2 ranged attacks available (one sooner, one later?). If they want to be efficient and really effective they should close to melee but with 1-2 ranged attacks they can participate in any Pew Pew and not feel left out. Some Tanks and Brutes had this in the form of a Hurl Stone attack designed to bring down fliers.

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One or two ranged attacks in

One or two ranged attacks in some melee sets is quite usefull. Either as a pulling tool, against fliers, or to get a runner so you don't have to run after them. It's also quite handy incase someone knocks back a foe out of your melee range. I realise for some power sets a ranged attack wouldn't fit theme wise as such, which is where pool powers could come handy, adding flavour and extra options/variety where needed

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Zombie Man wrote:
Zombie Man wrote:

Arcanaville's critique of CO's melee will no doubt be lingering in the minds of our gameplay team. She notes that CO gives no practical benefit to being in melee range and using melee attacks, and so, no sane person looking to build a powerful character in CO ever makes a pure melee toon.

This has long struck me as a circular problem, at least in the presentations I've seen. Either just about every enemy has a ranged attack* or can close quickly to melee so that the advantage of range is fast neutralized**. Conversely, especially in a game that allows for flight, giving enemies no answer to a ranged attack obviously negates them as any kind of threat.

So, how does one allow a ranged character to keep their advantage without making them untouchable?

* Perhaps not as strong as their melee attack, but often significant enough that being at range was no real advantage.
** A double-whammy if NPCs also have the advantage of the 'benefit to being in melee range' philosophy.

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In CoH, being at range was a

In CoH, being at range was a defensive advantage because most foes, even if they had ranged attacks, did not have a ranged attack cycle that they could spam without any recharge wait time. This meant they stayed at a distance and paused at times, reducing their DPS, or, they tried to close in to get off a melee attack. The time it takes to close in is another pause in their attacks and lowers their DPS. And if the ranged PC has some movement debuffs, the NPC winds up with a large pause in attack attempting to close in and failing and thus not attacking at all.

Also in CoH, NPC ranged attacks usually did less damage. And being at range lowered your threat level. If a Blaster and a Stalker did the same amount of damage to a mob, the mob turned to the Stalker because they were nearer.

So, there are ways to make mobs dangerous even at a distance, but, maintaining that distance makes things less dangerous, and not completely safe.

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Also dont forget Taunt had a

Also dont forget Taunt had a -75% Range debuff.
This never worked as well as I hoped it would and even after a few applications of Taunt the enemy would still be out of Melee range.
If all Melee sets (Pri/Sec) had the Taunt like power and it also had a -Range component or even a Pull component (ie: Lasso, Tractor Beam, Gravity Pull, etc) then that can also remove the handicap of an enemy hovering our of Melee range all the time.
This also gives Stalwarts more reason to exist with Taunt being an AoE Taunt/Pull versus the Brawlers ST Taunt.

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In SWTOR, all melee class

In SWTOR, all melee class characters have a Leap-like ability to close range quickly. Its set at the same distance (30m) that most ranged characters attacks are set. On the same token, all ranged characters in that game get a single hit, aoe, long recharge (1 min), knockback attack. Think Force Explosion - everyone in melee range gets knocked out to like 20 meters. then one minute recharge to use again, same recharge on melee's leap attack btw.

This would allow you to still make mostly melee sets with just the one close-distance attack. This could also be attached to the tanks taunt.

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As any Final Fantasy (any of

As any Final Fantasy (any of them) can tell you ...

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To bad on them not going the

To bad on them not going the twitch combat route. I still consider TERA Online's combat to be one of the best of the MMOs I've played. And I wonder why people prefer the RNG method of combat, when they then complain about RNG hating them :p

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This is why I still think

This is why I still think that the "hybrid" combat system that Tabula Rasa used is the ideal to shoot for, because you had Active Player Engagement And Skill involved to be able to Target Foes, but then once you HAD Targeted them you could Tab in order to Target Lock onto them. So the INITIAL target acquisition was more of an Active Combat System kind of thing, but then you could "lock on" and continue to attack just like you would with every other Tab To Target game engine on the market, so that you weren't completely at the mercy of Lag and Latency at all times, because the game engine would act as an "aimbot" for you once the initial conditions got met. That then freed up the player to be more situationally aware than they otherwise might have been, which in turn meant that the focus of your attention didn't have to "narrow" down to a single point (the target you were engaging) for as long as it took to kill that target.

It was a "Better Of Both Worlds" system because it kept you actively engaged while playing it, and it had an ... immediacy ... to it which straight up Tab Targeting does not.


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I think the problem with a

I think the problem with a twitch system is that it doesnt translate to Keyboard and Mouse very well. I HATE gaming controllers. It takes all the complexity of combat and turns it into 6yr olds button-mashing. blech. This aint street fighter, and i dont want it to be. Im not interested in having all my firepower deflected by Block. And how is Block gonna help you against my bots anyways? No, Twitch is crap, its trying to shoehorn a console game into a PC environment. yuck.

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Gauntlet wrote:
Gauntlet wrote:

I think the problem with a twitch system is that it doesnt translate to Keyboard and Mouse very well. I HATE gaming controllers. It takes all the complexity of combat and turns it into 6yr olds button-mashing. blech. This aint street fighter, and i dont want it to be. Im not interested in having all my firepower deflected by Block. And how is Block gonna help you against my bots anyways? No, Twitch is crap, its trying to shoehorn a console game into a PC environment. yuck.

I beg to differ that twitch game play *doesnt* translate well to the keyboard and mouse...

Hell, I flick between keyboard and mouse/game controller depending on the game.

Beat em ups... controller. Hands down the *best* way to play it (in my mind).

3rd person shooter... I prefer the keyboard/mouse setup, especially if aiming accuracy is *highly* recommended.

1st person shooter... keyboard and mouse.

3rd person action: Depends to be fair.

The most important thing here to remember, is that it *isnt* always clear cut if twitch gameplay is going to work on a certain system UNTIL you actually play it.

*shrugs* some people I have seen playing CoX just mashed their power buttons about as much as they would have mashed their controller buttons...

And CoX wasn't exactly "fast paced combat" necessarily (depends on class/powersets they were playing).

Hell, I know people who played CoX pretty much exclusively on a controller....

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I always wished they had

I always wished they had expanded upon the Disorientation status effect, or maybe introduced stagger (although, you'd typically have to be careful not to allow stagger-locking). Still, it always made sense to me that if I'm shooting energy blasts/fire/bullets into people (Shivans, it would've been like shooting Jello, right?), they're gonna stumble. It doesn't seem that different to me than the rag doll effects of Mental or Gravity powers - just less extreme. And it does contribute to survivability if your foes are flopping around and lurching about, at least somewhat.

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Gauntlet wrote:
Gauntlet wrote:

I think the problem with a twitch system is that it doesnt translate to Keyboard and Mouse very well. I HATE gaming controllers. It takes all the complexity of combat and turns it into 6yr olds button-mashing. blech. This aint street fighter, and i dont want it to be. Im not interested in having all my firepower deflected by Block. And how is Block gonna help you against my bots anyways? No, Twitch is crap, its trying to shoehorn a console game into a PC environment. yuck.

I played TERA with a keyboard just fine. Haven't played a single MMO with a controller.

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Same here ... I found TERA to

Same here ... I found TERA to be VERY playable with nothing more than a stock Apple Keyboard and a dirt cheap Logitech M100 Mouse.


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Im glad they are not going

Im glad they are not going twitch. Id rather my choices in rotation decide whether im going to survive or not, rather than how many times i hamfist my keyboard or mouse. With Twitch theres a block button. I Certainly dont want my enemies running me over cuz im not holding a block button. There are plenty of street fighter games out there, plase dont turn this into one of them.

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Gauntlet wrote:
Gauntlet wrote:

Im glad they are not going twitch. Id rather my choices in rotation decide whether im going to survive or not, rather than how many times i hamfist my keyboard or mouse. With Twitch theres a block button. I Certainly dont want my enemies running me over cuz im not holding a block button. There are plenty of street fighter games out there, plase dont turn this into one of them.

I don't know why people keep bringing up block. Even in other games that are considered "twitch" blocking is never popular (unless you're a tank).

I am all for the rotations model but the idea that twitch and block are a package deal is .. not smart.

I understand people's hesitation, and would like much of the game's mechanics to "Feel" like City of Heroes.. but that game was over 10 years old that wants to compete with games available today. To this I say keep the "feeling" but don't get caught in old practices that can be changed for good reason.

Servers in 2003/2004 and client CPUs have all come a long way. I don't want to feel like i'm Amish when the game launches.

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JayBezz wrote:
JayBezz wrote:

Gauntlet wrote:
Im glad they are not going twitch. Id rather my choices in rotation decide whether im going to survive or not, rather than how many times i hamfist my keyboard or mouse. With Twitch theres a block button. I Certainly dont want my enemies running me over cuz im not holding a block button. There are plenty of street fighter games out there, plase dont turn this into one of them.

I don't know why people keep bringing up block. Even in other games that are considered "twitch" blocking is never popular (unless you're a tank).
I am all for the rotations model but the idea that twitch and block are a package deal is .. not smart.
I understand people's hesitation, and would like much of the game's mechanics to "Feel" like City of Heroes.. but that game was over 10 years old that wants to compete with games available today. To this I say keep the "feeling" but don't get caught in old practices that can be changed for good reason.
Servers in 2003/2004 and client CPUs have all come a long way. I don't want to feel like i'm Amish when the game launches.

This is exactly what I think. Innovate from CoH. Spiritual Successor doesn't mean it shouldn't update. Especially to get in more players :)

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If you are going to implement

If you are going to implement Block...do it for everyone...its always the SHIFT key for example....however for most people, Blocking should be pointless. I am a Dual Pistol Blaster...my block effectively does nothing....I am a Shield Scrapper...my block is a key part of my abilities.

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Manual blocking happens to be

Manual blocking happens to be my least favorite feature of Champions combat. Having to squeeze in a perfectly-timed block in between my attack animations or be sent pinballing around the room is not my idea of fun. I *like* having the RNG doing the work for me.

An "innovation" that adds that horrible scrappy mechanic to CoT would only make me want to not even bother with the whole game. I want to play as Superman, deflecting bullets by just standing there, not as Arthur, covering his head while whining "Not in the face! Not in the face!"

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I personally, don't get why

I personally, don't get why you guys think having real time combat or "twitch" combat is bad, sure some games don't pull it off well.

First I'd like to address this whole block thing. You guys are forgetting, real time combat involves things like using a dodge mechanic, it's nice to be able to avoid a massive projectile, it's much more satisfying you dodged it with proper timing, not because you tanked it in the face, or because you stats made you auto dodge it.

See, this system was placed in mmo's because at the time they couldn't handle real time combat with actual physics. Now technology has improved, games can handle that sort of thing now, even on what would be considered a sub standard gaming pc by todays standards.

Lets say you WANT to make a character that can tank things in the face, fine build them like that, but you're probably gonna lack damage, since it's your job to soak up damage. Heck, lets say as a tank, you WANT to block ranged attacks to protect your allies, ever think of that? Take it further, as a support with shields, you can place down shields in front of your allies that can absorb a powerful attack, puts a whole new spin on playing a support blaster. Makes it feel MORE like your part of a team of super heroes. Lets say you want to be better at dodging instead, lets say you can only roll dodge so many times, a speedster could have mechanics that let them move faster and be able to have special types of sudden movements to dodge melee and ranged attacks or even aoe. With a system like this you can feel more like how a super speed character SHOULD feel, and not just a travel power where your speed means absolutely nothing in combat.

Or hey, you can do things like, well everyone can block, but I want to be able to do it better with a shield or something else that helps me block attacks.

I think the system would be fun if it was like this, you can opt for things like passive defenses at the cost of other things like damage potential, being resource efficient, etc etc. OR, get timing based defenses that are harder to survive with, but free up space in a players build for other things. Maybe even allow for a build that adjusts this.

Guild wars 2 is a good example of ranged combat too, it's tab targetting and you do auto attack, but it can be dodged and blocked.

Blocking should be more of a discretion thing too, can't just block or roll dodge all day, unless you center your whole build around it, which would in turn make you less viable outside of just being a nuisance.

Guild wars 2 by default, only allows you to dodge twice in rapid successions, and only certain weapons you could actually block with, unless you were a class that COULD dodge more and teleport behind an enemy to avoid things.

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TERA Combat = <3

TERA Combat = <3
GW2 Combat was just boring...but admittedly, that could be because I just didn't care for it's aesthetics or how it handed skills.

People very likely want the RNG over dodging themselves because doing it yourself means there's one reason you didn't dodge that attack (you) while RNG also means there was one reason you didn't dodge but it wasn't your fault.

And being a superhero mmo, I want to create a superhero. Not create the holy trinity of tanker/healer/dps. My scrapper, stalkers, could survive lots and put out more damage than a tanker. If someone wants to play the extremely tough but hits like a wet noodle concept, I keep suggesting, play a D&D style game. :p

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Uh, guild wars 2 is the only

Uh, guild wars 2 is the only mmo out there that did away with the holy trinity. Having a real time combat system or not has nothing what so ever to do with the holy trinity. Besides if they don't want to dodge, like I said you could optimize your character to not need to while sacrificing other strengths, it would be up to how each player chooses to build their character. One would argue, you shouldn't force feed dodge and block, but on the other hand others find it boring just stacking stats and letting your stats do the heavy lifting for you while you stand there spamming your rotation.

Tera had a holy trinity too I might not, priests and mystics supported and healed, lancers and warriors tanked, berserkers and slayers dps in melee, then sorcerers and archers did ranged dps, you had 2 classes for each category.... Oh and warriors could be more about dps too really, but yeah.

City of heroes used the holy trinity as well, scrappers were melee dps that could off tank to a mild extent, tanks, well, tanked! If you honestly think tankers were bad a class, then you must not have played a tank or did high level grouping, a tanks job is to keep mobs off you and the supports, your survival played largely in part to the tanks doing their job effectively. Of course you out damaged them, if you didn't you would have been utterly worthless, since your only job as a scrapper was to do just that, dps. Plus scrappers were the only class in the game besides stalkers that could crit.

I'm going to make another thread that will use some things discussed in here, since it has a lot to do with the subject. It's going to be discussing what ultimately made city of heroes fail, why is it not around and WoW is, even though WoW is outdated compared to other games. I had a hard time getting my WoW friends into coh. A lot of games are switching over to real time combat, if cot fails to innovate, people outside of the fan community, will see the game as outdated.

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FalconStriker wrote:
FalconStriker wrote:

I personally, don't get why you guys think having real time combat or "twitch" combat is bad, sure some games don't pull it off well.

Not sure about the others but I have a tough time seeing why you think twitch combat is good. You like red, I like blue. Sorry but no matter how tough you sell me I'm not buying a house that's red.

I remember when Star Wars was cool...a long, long time ago...

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Just for reference Comicsluvr

Just for reference Comicsluvr, have you actually played any "twitch combat" MMORPGs to base that decision on, such as say TERA with its Active Combat System or Tabula Rasa with its hybrid system 5-6 years back? Mainly what I'm interested in knowing is have you tried it and already determined you don't like it? Or is it that you tried it and found the implementation of it to be more cumbersome/demanding than fun/enjoyable? I only ask because I found the Active Combat System of TERA, and before it, Tabula Rasa to be an order of magnitude more engaging and "immersive" in terms of gameplay than the Tab Targeting method used by City of Heroes and Star Trek Online where I can make use of a "lazy" keybind to achieve TargetEnemyNear. I say that because the "twitch combat" systems required additional dimensions of skill, awareness and control from me as a Player, and I "grew" my skills in response to the challenge those games presented and took a lot of pride in my mastery of the skills needed to play those games effectively and efficiently since doing so what up to me, rather than reliant just on keybinds and clicks.


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Brand X wrote:
Brand X wrote:

To bad on them not going the twitch combat route. I still consider TERA Online's combat to be one of the best of the MMOs I've played. And I wonder why people prefer the RNG method of combat, when they then complain about RNG hating them :p

The RNG system, I didn't like too much. It felt like an outdated mechanic from the early MMO days that is there just because that is how early MMOs did it.

Especially in super hero mmo, a super hero should have no issues hitting targets and shouldn't be whiffing often if at all. Imagine watching a movie and in the final fight, the bad guy and the hero spends ten minutes whiffing at each other. It gets boring.

Not saying it has to be twitch straight up combat where ya need reflexes of a rabbit on crack, but something where basic combat is not like playing slot machines in a casino would be nice.

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Redlynne wrote:
Redlynne wrote:

Just for reference Comicsluvr, have you actually played any "twitch combat" MMORPGs to base that decision on, such as say TERA with its Active Combat System or Tabula Rasa with its hybrid system 5-6 years back? Mainly what I'm interested in knowing is have you tried it and already determined you don't like it? Or is it that you tried it and found the implementation of it to be more cumbersome/demanding than fun/enjoyable? I only ask because I found the Active Combat System of TERA, and before it, Tabula Rasa to be an order of magnitude more engaging and "immersive" in terms of gameplay than the Tab Targeting method used by City of Heroes and Star Trek Online where I can make use of a "lazy" keybind to achieve TargetEnemyNear. I say that because the "twitch combat" systems required additional dimensions of skill, awareness and control from me as a Player, and I "grew" my skills in response to the challenge those games presented and took a lot of pride in my mastery of the skills needed to play those games effectively and efficiently since doing so what up to me, rather than reliant just on keybinds and clicks.

Nope...CoH was my first MMO. I have never owned a Play Station, Xbox or any of those either. Please allow me to explain something: I have no desire to 'grow my skills' in order to play. I have bad hands...I'm an old fart set in my ways. The Block mechanic in CO annoys me and is more twitch mechanic than I desire. My idea of 'mastery' is I figure out how to most have fun without keeping anyone else from doing the same.

I've played plenty of games that required dexterity, quick-thinking and skill. I'm pretty good at the middle one, not so much the others. If CoT become a game where twitch reflexes are needed you'll lose me and a whole bunch of other players. Do a poll if you don't believe me.

New is not always better

I remember when Star Wars was cool...a long, long time ago...

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FalconStriker wrote:
FalconStriker wrote:

Uh, guild wars 2 is the only mmo out there that did away with the holy trinity. Having a real time combat system or not has nothing what so ever to do with the holy trinity. Besides if they don't want to dodge, like I said you could optimize your character to not need to while sacrificing other strengths, it would be up to how each player chooses to build their character. One would argue, you should force feed dodge and block, but on the other hand others find it hard just stacking stats and letting your stats do the heavy lifting for you while you stand there spamming your rotation.
Tera had a holy trinity too I might not, priests and mystics supported and healed, lancers and warriors tanked, berserkers and slayers dps in melee, then sorcerers and and archers did ranged dps, you had 2 classes for each category....
City of heroes used the holy trinity as well, scrappers were melee dps that could off tank to a mild extent, tanks, well, tanked! If you honestly think tankers were bad classes, then you must not have played a tank or did high level grouping, a tanks job is to keep mobs off you and the supports, your survival played largely in part to the tanks doing their job effectively. Of course you out damaged them, if you didn't you would have been utterly worthless, since your only job as a scrapper was to do just that, dps. Plus scrappers were the only class in the game besides stalkers that could crit.
I'm going to make another thread that will use some things discussed in here, since it has a lot to do with the subject. It's going to be discussing what ultimately made city of heroes fail, why is it not around and WoW is, even though WoW is outdated compared to other games. I had a hard time getting my WoW friends into coh. A lot of games are switching over to real time combat, if cot fails to innovate, people outside of the fan community, will see the game as outdated.

I did a lot of content in TERA with no holy trinity, but yes, TERA was setup to use it.

CoH's holy trinity wasn't much of a holy trinity other than, yes, you could play that route if you so desired. That's why such things as all scrapper incarnate TF happened. :) That's why I was able to solo the ITF with just a scrapper (and not die). I didn't need a tanker or defender.

They could do a mixture of both. Twitch dodge with defense/resistance. To slow to twitch dodge, maybe the RNG will be in your favor! Could make for some interesting PvP and PvE

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There isn't much of a point,

There isn't much of a point, in CO and DCUO, to use a melee toon for anything other then style and theme; with CO the melee attacks at least do more damage but that's about it; you're still in range for any melee attacks they have. In the DCUO forums there's talk about how melee based characters are under-performing as well.

That was always a non-issue in CoH because the melee classes (Tanker's even more so) have defense and resistance. None of the ranged classes (Barring HEATs and VEATs) would get defense sets as a default. Yes, Traps granted the user (And his team) defense, and I know a few other sets also got something; but not to the tune of a melee class.

Sure, you can softcap your Traps Defender... But your Shield Defense Scrapper does that too, with more resistance! And Super Reflex toons softcap so easy you laugh at the ones that don't.

That might be the best way to balance it all out. Melee = more defenses Ranged = Less attack options for the enemy (Until they close in or hit you with a -Fly attack.)

Also in CO there's lunge attacks, a variety for each melee class, in which the character lunges to the target to do damage.

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WestCoaster wrote:
WestCoaster wrote:

There isn't much of a point, in CO and DCUO, to use a melee toon for anything other then style and theme; with CO the melee attacks at least do more damage but that's about it; you're still in range for any melee attacks they have. In the DCUO forums there's talk about how melee based characters are under-performing as well.
That was always a non-issue in CoH because the melee classes (Tanker's even more so) have defense and resistance. None of the ranged classes (Barring HEATs and VEATs) would get defense sets as a default. Yes, Traps granted the user (And his team) defense, and I know a few other sets also got something; but not to the tune of a melee class.
Sure, you can softcap your Traps Defender... But your Shield Defense Scrapper does that too, with more resistance! And Super Reflex toons softcap so easy you laugh at the ones that don't.
That might be the best way to balance it all out. Melee = more defenses Ranged = Less attack options for the enemy (Until they close in or hit you with a -Fly attack.)
Also in CO there's lunge attacks, a variety for each melee class, in which the character lunges to the target to do damage.

Might make a difference if range was actually a defense in CoH :p It wasn't. Just ask the blasters. It took being Range then certain sets and/or IOs to get a defense that worked with range :p

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Comicsluvr wrote:
Comicsluvr wrote:

FalconStriker wrote:
I personally, don't get why you guys think having real time combat or "twitch" combat is bad, sure some games don't pull it off well.

Not sure about the others but I have a tough time seeing why you think twitch combat is good. You like red, I like blue. Sorry but no matter how tough you sell me I'm not buying a house that's red.

It's more like this man, hey, I want a brand new phone, you like a phone that's 8 years old, one has more features and works better and has less limitations, far FAR less. It's one thing for you to stick with an old system, it's another to force everyone to stay behind with you. It's simple man, look for, or start a COX pirated server and play an outdated game to your hearts content, for free, don't drag others down in the past when there's so much potential to be had and not lost because people like you want to be blindly stubborn.

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I'm one of those people who

I'm one of those people who fails to see the appeal of what TERA has done with combat. But then I also don't understand why people are so up in arms about changing the system MMOs have used so far. When a MMO adds elements from first person shooters, which have been around forever, to its combat and everyone is suddenly super excited, I'm all the more baffled. Different strokes for different folks, and all that, so more power to the people who enjoy it (bully for you, especially if you think aiming with the mouse is something new or improved). I do hope that it isn't something that will make or break a game for you.

I'm happy that MWM is not going for the MMO-FPS mash-up combat.

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Darth Fez wrote:
Darth Fez wrote:

I'm one of those people who fails to see the appeal of what TERA has done with combat. But then I also don't understand why people are so up in arms about changing the system MMOs have used so far. When a MMO adds elements from first person shooters, which have been around forever, to its combat and everyone is suddenly super excited, I'm all the more baffled. Different strokes for different folks, and all that, so more power to the people who enjoy it (bully for you, especially if you think aiming with the mouse is something new or improved). I do hope that it isn't something that will make or break a game for you.
I'm happy that MWM is not going for the MMO-FPS mash-up combat.

TERA did not feel like a FPS at all to me. So where you get that idea, no idea. Attacking in the direction you're aiming doesn't have to feel like a FPS.

Not to mention it was something asked for in CoH. The ability to attack with powers without an enemy targeted.

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I prefer slower paced

I prefer slower paced tactical RPG gameplay over a twitch action RPG gameplay any day.
I much preferred Dragon Age Origins over Dragon Age 2. I prefer NWN2 over the Neverwinter MMO.

When it comes to superhero games... the action gameplay in Champions online fell flat on its face, DCUO is a button and block spam fest with little use of superpowers.

Paragon Studios once agreed (joked) that the gameplay of City of Heroes was one step away from turn based and said it was intentional.

I'm glad with the choices made so far, and agree with the direction City of Titans is headed.

Every villain is a hero in their own mind.

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I don't know where the idea

I don't know where the idea for furn based combat came from but I very much dislike it.

Please give us action packed, mobile combat that does not require any twitch mechanics.

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Don't worry it's not actually

Don't worry it's not actually turn based, no one is considering that. That old joke came from all the people who used long cast time long cooldown powersets, animations would root you in place for up to 4 seconds to allow for more elaborate and accurate displays like jump attacks, spins, and flips. Which resulted in slow paced gameplay that was pleasing to the eye but felt "turnbased" and static.

To answer your original post: personally I think it is difficult to have mobile action packed combat in a game where there are CC powers that can lock down entire battlefields for about half a minute. There is also the problem of synchronizing lower bodies to upper bodies while attacking and moving so it doesn't look wildly inhuman.

From what I hear there will not be active blocking or aiming of powers apart from ground targeted AOEs and such. Sorry :(
I think they could make it more action'y without adding twitch elements by allowing powers to hit walls and objects in flight leading to an interception. Or pressing jump to get back up faster from a knockdown or maybe land a knockback on your feet.

AI is very... problematic, programming is just like that. Big budget companies can barely get realistic AI in their games. All I'm expecting is: spot, activate powers, attack, use powers, run towards target to get a better line of sight, run away from target when low on health, recalculate path if stuck. That is all I remember mobs doing in COH/V anyway and it worked out nicely. As long as the AI can find a way to get to me with a few well placed jumps or shortcut and not teleport to me or run through walls, I will be happy.

Every villain is a hero in their own mind.

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@Pyromancer:

@Pyromancer:

In response to your second paragraph. If the combat IS mobile then Soft Crowd control becomes much more important. It's not about keeping something in place for 20 seconds. It's about using a weighted scale of crowd control. -25% move speed for 250 Mez Points, -75% Movespeed for 750 Mez points.. anything over 1000 Mez points and the target is immobilized.

I can't find but a few people who enjoy binary crowd control wither it be for melee attacks or for debuff players. Debuffs should be weighted on a scale just as damage and heals and other combat mechanics are.

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Is there any realistic way to

Is there any realistic way to do both RNG centric and also twitch centric combat for those who want it

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Chance Jackson wrote:
Chance Jackson wrote:

Is there any realistic way to do both RNG centric and also twitch centric combat for those who want it

Yes/No.

I say this because it all depends as to your definition of "twitch".

If you are going for the "FPS" version of twitch game play, no it isnt, not when player accuracy/reflexes are 100% required to be able to avoid/hit attacks.

However, if you are looking at Wildstars version of "twitch", which is essentially WoW with a slight increase in mobility (most of the attacks do not root you, there are some that do though), and the notification of "DO NOT STAND HERE" for damaging attacks and "STAND HERE" for healing area's, as well as the traditional MMO standards of being able to increase resistances, dodge, deflect, block etc etc stats, so even if you DO get caught in a "bad spot" you are not necessarily going to get hurt (small change you know), then yes it is possible to do.

The thing is "how much do you want to go down one path or the other".

CoH without rooting for *every* single attacks (pretty much) would have been a totally different beast to what it was released as.

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As long as not all powers can

As long as not all powers can be used on the move and all melee sets get one or two CC, or a gap closer, I really wouldn't worry about it the melee vs ranged aspect.

Every villain is a hero in their own mind.

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Chance Jackson wrote:
Chance Jackson wrote:

Is there any realistic way to do both RNG centric and also twitch centric combat for those who want it

I would say so, kind of in the manner of Wildstar style. Twitch isnt only straight FPS manual targeting. There are many levels between that and the classic way that is oft overlooked.

In a way COX already sort of did it. Especially with Incarnate trial Mother of Mayhem and the pink rings. Stand too long in a spot, probably will die or be decently hurt. Thus one must move and attack at times and or move to avoid certain spots at certain times, while at the same time avoiding other environmental stuff, such as getting too close tot he AV powerful AOE as a squishy. If one couldnt move and shoot at the same time in that trial it was liable they found themselves face planting. Then again, that may be one of the reasons why that iTrial seemingly, to me, keyword, to me, seemed not so popularly sought after.

But it's possible to have elements of both. Me personally, between that RNG where my survival and damage all depended on casino gambling to twitch and skill, I would pick twitch and skill. To me luck is too unbalanced where it do alleviate skill to the point where it's not a matter of skill but more so whether or not it's the lucky day and that is the difference between killing the mob before it kills you or whiffing until you die which the player really having no say in the outcome of whether they hit or miss. But ideally I hope the reliance on the RNG for playing is severely toned down, and it doesnt have to be pure FPS twitch stuff. But hopefully they do add some more variety to the combat besides the feeling of standing at the craps table betting on whether you will connect with the attack or not.

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I enjoyed TERA's combat until

I enjoyed TERA's combat until we were fighting enemies whose attacks were larger than my healer could dodge, but did so much damage they'd one-shot me through blocking. Death by sync issues was always a problem, too. As much as I like the action, I think combat more (but not entirely) in the vein of CoH would be a better way to go.

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TSW tried to ad a bit of

TSW tried to ad a bit of twitch with dodge vs AOE mechanic and optional Reticle combat too--not to much success from what I've seen. DCUO is tab-target but dodge/block for a mix too.

I don't mind a little twitch--though I'm moving into my geezer years and that may change--but something I've really been wanting to say on these forums is that to me the feel of CoH combat was different because it felt like I was DECIDING what my Hero was going to do, not doing it all for him. I felt like the decision maker watching my awesome Hero that I made fight, rather than the tunnel vision of controlling every movement of his body.

And that ability to sit back and watch how awesome the action looked rather than be so focused on every movement that I missed the overall picture made the game simultaneously exciting AND relaxing and enjoyable, rather than something I needed a rest from after a while. It was like spontaneously choreographing and enjoying an awesome action scene rather than controlling a marionette's every move.

So, my one little vote would be to take the combat system started by CoH and develop it forward to the next logical step, rather than going in a totally new direction or backing away from it. Exactly what that means is subject to individual interpretation and will be decided by the Devs, but I wouldn't be for an exact copy of the old combat that doesn't move forward, or a fundamental departure either.

Happily for me, that seems to be the general idea the Devs are currently working under.

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

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Thanks, Empyrean: you've just

Thanks, Empyrean: you've just crystallised my thoughts on CoX-style combat perfectly, helping me realise precisely why I loved it so much. As you say, it was the perfect mix of exciting and relaxing at the same time.

Spurn all ye kindle.

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It's worth noting that FPS

It's worth noting that FPS gameplay elements are generally less enjoyable for those without consistently <100ms ping internet connections. I've played quite a bit of Neverwinter, CO, DCUO, and other MMOs with various "twitch" features. They become annoying at a ping of 500ms, and downright frustrating/impossible around 800ms. Those games are balanced around constant active player input to avoid enemies' charge-up attacks, which tend to do severe damage/stun/KB. CoH was more forgiving, or at least allowed the players to make their characters tough enough to survive lag (via serious RNG defenses, resistances, mez protection , and long-duration stackable mezzing of enemies). Only special (incarnate trial/final boss) situations were at risk of being completely ruined by connection lag in CoH.

I still support an optional active combat system that players could choose to turn on/off at will. Probably not reasonable until post-release, but this was one of the original design ideas to allow nearly anyone's gameplay preference from CoH to Neverwinter/Tera to be satisfied. STO has a sort of primitive version of this concept; a two-mode ground combat (semi-FPS mode activated by the "b" key, but tab targeting by default).

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I liked how much CoH combat

I liked how much CoH combat revolved around positioning enemies and yourself. Large amounts of knockback, movement speed controls in the form of slows and immobilizes, targeted area of effect volumes, radius based auras and attack powers, wasted enemy time moving and switching between range/melee attacks all added up to it being very significant where you were and where enemies were. I liked that a lot, especially combined with the effects of travel powers.

I am less of a fan of active combat, but it won't be a deal breaker for me either way. Some of my favorite games are tactical turn based, and while that is more extreme than CoH was, I liked having a bit of that feel to it, where the focus feels more on planning the flow of battle. Also, my wife steadfastly refuses to play anything that involves what she calls "video game skills" (aka, twitch skills), since she has never developed them, but liked CoH a lot. I'm never going to get her to play if it moves to overly twitch based controls, so I hope CoT doesn't go that route.

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Twitch or not Twitch has been

Twitch or not Twitch has been raised multiple times and as someone from an oversea's country that has less than stellar Internet speed (7.5 mbps down | 0.7 mbps up) having 1.5-2 seconds to dodge an attack can become a real PAIN. One of my mates I gamed with in CoH had <3mbps down and would suffer lag a lot (which is why he liked MM - "Set and Forget" attacks lol :))
I really liked how I could target an enemy and when I activated my power I would attack in that direction, even turning around to do so.
I don't mind having to get out of an area to avoid a massive AV strike (like the Blue Swords in the TinMage2 [?]) but that wasn't in EVERY fight.

I don't know if the game will be able to have an option for both Twitch and Non-Twitch and if it does could this result in griefing ("ITF lf1m - Non-Twitch only")?

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cybermitheral I really liked
cybermitheral wrote:

I really liked how I could target an enemy and when I activated my power I would attack in that direction, even turning around to do so.
I don't mind having to get out of an area to avoid a massive AV strike (like the Blue Swords in the TinMage2 [?]) but that wasn't in EVERY fight.

I'm with you on both those points.

For those who haven't seen it, you might find the linked interview below reassuring. Note Chris and Nate's answers to the question "What form will basic gameplay take?"

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/editorials/interviews/10706-Resurrecting-the-Superhero-MMO-City-of-Titans-Q-A#DKTvdY0lKEfPRYt5.99

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cybermitheral wrote:
cybermitheral wrote:

Twitch or not Twitch has been raised multiple times and as someone from an oversea's country that has less than stellar Internet speed (7.5 mbps down | 0.7 mbps up) having 1.5-2 seconds to dodge an attack can become a real PAIN. One of my mates I gamed with in CoH had <3mbps down and would suffer lag a lot (which is why he liked MM - "Set and Forget" attacks lol :))

Internet speed is not *directly* linked to the latency or ping of an attack. CoX was playable if you had a ping of around 500ms (1/2 second delay for you to get the information to the server)... anything more than that and no matter the game, it would suffer lag.

CoX *did* have problems in that with the more players that were taking part in an event (or the number of entities I should say) the worse it got. And in some circumstances, no matter the speed of connection, the area would still be laggy (Lag hill on the ITF for example)

Quote:

I really liked how I could target an enemy and when I activated my power I would attack in that direction, even turning around to do so.
I don't mind having to get out of an area to avoid a massive AV strike (like the Blue Swords in the TinMage2 [?]) but that wasn't in EVERY fight.
I don't know if the game will be able to have an option for both Twitch and Non-Twitch and if it does could this result in griefing ("ITF lf1m - Non-Twitch only")?

As an idea, in Wildstar a LOT of the events where you have to "get out of the area" it gives you a 2-4 second warning (red area marked on the floor).. and because the attack animation for a lot of abilities is lower than it was in CoX, it does make it possible (although in some cases it can be cutting it fine) to make the dodge.

Unlike CoX where in Keyes reactor the glowing areas for orbital strikes and the long animation time for some abilities made it hard (along with all the effects running around as well, which made it hard to tell where some stuff was or to easily differentiate between good and bad stuff)... I can see as to why it could be a problem.

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ESO has a sweet middlegroud

ESO has a sweet middlegroud imho. You can aim with a reticule, but there's also tab target. Positioning is important, and there's a dodge mechanic. Most importantly.. there's the option to zoom into FPS mode where one can se hands and weapons =D (many mmo's lets you zoom in, but not showing your characters body from a first person view). I can see this work for all kinds of players.

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If flight will be allowed in

If flight will be allowed in combat you must use tab targeting. Letting players target along the X and Y axis is one thing, but once you add the Z axis the whole system is out of waco

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Active Targeting, Tab

Active Targeting, Tab Targeting ... there are features I like in both systems, depending on what I’m doing.

As a Melee-role, I would prefer the Active Combat. It’s more twitch oriented. Since you are in the meat of the action, there is little time to react.
As a Ranged-role, I prefer the Tab Targeting. Since you are at distance, you have a greater view of the battle and can adjust accordingly since you have more time to react.

If it were possible to toggle between the two play-styles, or incorporate a fusion of the two to suit more play-styles, I would much appreciate that.

As for the original question:

Quote:

Are there any other popular mechanics used in games today that help Melee DPS with the ability to stay in range to use their attacks effectively?

Dragons Nest, although heavily action-based combat, had quite a few toys to help this. As someone who usually dislikes playing a Melee character, this game really made Melee combat interesting for me.

- All melee attacks move the character a step or two forward for every blow, thereby doing a lot of the “twitch” work for you automatically. Longer styles take more steps.
- All melee attacks were basically Area-Effect attacks, some with larger radiuses than others.
- Dodge: A swift movement in any direction (about .5 - 1second long), with a cool-down. Could be used both Defensively and Offensively.
- Lunge: Usually incorporated into an attack’s animation, you dart or jump directly toward your target from range.
- Anti-Effect: Basically you were able to cancel knock-back type animations while you were airborne to get back into fighting sooner rather than waiting to see your character “fall”.
- Charge: A burst of speed, you can maneuver the direction you run for the duration.
- “Cone” attacks: Just imagine swinging a sword and a “Gale” effect happens to knock your enemies down.
- “Throw Weapon”: Basically a ranged attack used to trip enemies into a knock-down state. Or stun them.

Other Mechanics:
- Crowd Control Effects: Such as Knockdown, Stun, Snare …
- Procs or Poisons that have Crowd Control effects added to them.
- “Solid” Characters: As in, you can’t run through another character’s body. This is to make “running out of your view” to avoid attacks more difficult.
- Travel-Powers or Mounts
- Anti-Travel Abilities: Usually a part of the Crowd-Control tier
- (Maps) Obstacles: So nobody can kite in one direction indefinitely. Having players required to make turns helps melee classes close in on targets faster. With the addition to being able to fly, that may also need to be addressed to have more enclosed buildings.

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Folly wrote:
Folly wrote:

Active Targeting, Tab Targeting ... there are features I like in both systems, depending on what I’m doing.
As a Melee-role, I would prefer the Active Combat. It’s more twitch oriented. Since you are in the meat of the action, there is little time to react.
As a Ranged-role, I prefer the Tab Targeting. Since you are at distance, you have a greater view of the battle and can adjust accordingly since you have more time to react.
If it were possible to toggle between the two play-styles, or incorporate a fusion of the two to suit more play-styles, I would much appreciate that.

It is doable... there is an MMO from a publisher that some people might not like, that actually does this. Some of the toggles are in an options menu, but you are able to customise it a bit better (for PvE play at least).

Tab Targetting? It's present if you want to use it (set to tab btw)
Auto Face target? Check, it is an option
Move to Target? Check, it is an option (if enabled, you will move into range for the attack to go off)
Disable Auto Targetting? Check (this is kinda handy to be fair... because when you attack a group of mobs... it will generally choose the *nearest* one to you
Auto-Self Cast? Present (so if the option is enabled, you *cannot* cast beneficial effects on the enemy... makes sense)

Lock to Target? Check (This needs "Auto Face target" to be enabled),
Double Tab to Dash? Check
Dash backward? Check

The last two are just a couple of options which affect how you can dash. Double tap a movment key to dash in that direction, or just press a modifier key an direction.

These choices *enable* a player to decide how much "twitch" they have to put up with.

Side note: There are pro's and con's for each ie the auto face target/lock to target combination might not necessarily give you the *optimal* positioning for your attacks, because they will be the *center* of it, whereas you might want it *slightly* off to one side for a better effect.

But that is a play style choice.

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I also love the combat in

I also love the combat in TERA and WildStar. The melee combat is fluid and interesting in a way that CoX wasn't. It's great, not for the twitchy aspect but for the increased tactical options.

If you played a lot of melee in CoX, you know about free cones. Certain powers were actually tiny cones that if you could position correctly, would give you tons of extra damage for no cost. It was a great little twist on the normal melee powers that was a completely optional thing to do for those powersets. But, it was free because plenty of times, trying to line up those cones and, heck, even knowing where their boundaries were, was a giant pain in the butt.

A more responsive and fluid combat system would go a long way towards adding interesting mechanics and tactical decisions. I wouldn't want something like that for the sole reason of making combat faster. I definitely like that they're going to stay close to the more RPG nature of combat that CoX had. But, if they can allow us to make more decisions about how we want to fight by tweaking it, that's cool and interesting.

Also, for those of you who have not played TERA, I suggest you give it a try. If you love melee combat, you will enjoy the feel of TERA's system.

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Zombie Man wrote:
Zombie Man wrote:

Arcanaville's critique of CO's melee will no doubt be lingering in the minds of our gameplay team. She notes that CO gives no practical benefit to being in melee range and using melee attacks, and so, no sane person looking to build a powerful character in CO ever makes a pure melee toon.
We'll certainly keep an eye on balancing the benefits and deficits of being in melee range or being at a distance.
As for rooting v. non-rooting... that final decision will have to withstand testing and QA. So, nothing can be said now.
Also, CoH tended to make melee ATs exclusively melee and giving them little to no opportunities to take ranged attacks. Currently, we're not wedded to the idea of forcing a melee class to take melee-only attacks. But, no promises there.

hopefuly 'non-damage' options will be considered.... the usual line is to make melee 'hurt more', to make it a valid option...

...but what if it worked better in other ways (like secondary effects or soft/hard control effects) instead (or in addition, if necessary...

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There's the "hurt more" angle

There's the "hurt more" angle, where melee just simply delivers more DPS than range, but there's also the alternative angle of making melee "more efficient" instead, which can have byproducts such as making melee deliver more DPS.

Just for the sake of argument, let's say that a melee attack and a comparable ranged attack do 100 damage (type unimportant for this illustration).

The ranged attack has a "reach" of greater than "melee" ... so the melee attack needs "something" in order to compensate for this disparity. This could be anything from a faster animation speed, allowing more attacks per second, to a shorter cooldown time, allowing more attacks per minute, to having a lower resource cost, allowing more attacks to be performed before draining resources. And that's just manipulating the straight up parameters of the attack power itself, it's not doing anything nifty like adding additional effects (often crowd control-ish) or other compensation.

In other words, it's possible to have equivalent Damage Per Attack numbers that yield different results in terms of Damage Per Second over time, as well as Damage Per Endurance and even Attacks Per Minute when factoring in cooldowns. In other words, don't confine yourself to thinking only in a single axis when making these sorts of comparisons. It's entirely possible to make melee and ranged comparable in terms of "immediate" performance, while still favoring one over the other (usually melee over range) in terms of sustainability and "quickness" to react to changing circumstances.


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What about a charge up

What about a charge up mechanic? Champions uses it pretty well I think.

If you tap a button, you get less damage and less cost but if you charge the attack for the full duration, you could get lots of extra damage and maybe status effects as well.

A haymaker that you tap would cause damage and have a low chance of a stun. But if you charge it up for 2 seconds, you get a guaranteed knockdown effect with 3-4 times the damage.

That could be fun.

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Charge up attacks only work

Charge up attacks only work if you have a good enough ping/latency/Internet connection which not everyone has.
Same for the Active Block/Dodge ideas.
Im playing FFXIV currently and there is a Trial with a Boss called the Titan. He does a long attack that if you are caught in will push you off the map - insta-death with no revive.
You get a few seconds notice before this goes off but even with my 6.5 Mbps download speed/0.75 Mbps upload speed here in Australia (on the JP servers) I still get hit by the attack even though Im more than a second outside the column attack when it goes off.

With Charge Up attacks there may be more than 2 tiers - 1/2/3/etc.
If Tier 2 is what I want with only a 1 sec window there is a strong chance that my bad lag will push me into the T3 block.

Just examples of why Charge Up/Active-Twitch Combat doesn't always work for everyone.

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I agree with cyber that's

I agree with cyber that's what made city of heroes way ahead of itself back in the day the click powers were just to awesome and having them blacked out with the little green circle on them waiting for the recharge was just perfect for me I miss that so much

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Yes being able to queue your

Yes being able to queue your next attack STRAIGHT AWAY was awesome.
No Global Cooldown.
Hit my T9 with a 3.5s activation time and immediately hit my next power and it waits until it can activate it.
No waiting for the first power to be 75-100% done.

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cybermitheral wrote:
cybermitheral wrote:

Charge up attacks only work if you have a good enough ping/latency/Internet connection which not everyone has.
Same for the Active Block/Dodge ideas.
Im playing FFXIV currently and there is a Trial with a Boss called the Titan. He does a long attack that if you are caught in will push you off the map - insta-death with no revive.
You get a few seconds notice before this goes off but even with my 6.5 Mbps download speed/0.75 Mbps upload speed here in Australia (on the JP servers) I still get hit by the attack even though Im more than a second outside the column attack when it goes off.
With Charge Up attacks there may be more than 2 tiers - 1/2/3/etc.
If Tier 2 is what I want with only a 1 sec window there is a strong chance that my bad lag will push me into the T3 block.
Just examples of why Charge Up/Active-Twitch Combat doesn't always work for everyone.

Charging attacks can also just be a case of "cast whilst holding" for a duration period of time, not necessarily "powering it up" style of charging.

Because right now, what it seems to be is that all of the combat in CoT will just be a case of "click button, receive bacon" style... which although is *fine* enough as it is, I am sure that some abilities could work off better like that.

This is *NOT* necessarily advocating for a "twitch" style of combat, but trying to get a *difference* in terms of how abilities works.

So instead of powers/abilities being of *fixed* duration per button press, how about one that has a *MAXIMUM* duration (if you keep the button held down) OR if you want to stop it early, you just release the button (possibly to use another ability that has come off cooldown)?

Does that make it "twitch" style?

Hell, how about abilties that can only be used in certain circumstances (ie after a critical hit/once per 6 seconds maximum for example). That doesn't necessarily mean that it is "twitch style", but all in all, it can *add* more options to the developers, instead of living inside a bubble.

And if latency is a serious problem, then I would say that the combat style should be accomodating for that in the first place.

Side note: The Titan Battle, I was in the UK playing on the EU servers (which are hosted in the US) and I was able to play that fairly well. Ironically, when the EU CoX servers were in Germany, it was not unusual for us EU players to have *crap* latency, which then produced excessive rubber banding.

Once they got shifted across the pond, over 5000 miles... our latency improved.

Strange that when you think about it. And for me, playing Wildstar with a ping of about 300ms is good enough. If it went too much above that, I had problems... but then again, with that ping, I had problems in City of Heroes... Hell, I remember in Mothership Raids where it was *NOT* unusual for powers to necessarily activate when you clicked them....

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We've talked about charging

We've talked about charging powers, both passively (to build up an effect) and actively (while using an effect) and the issues of latency could pose. There are some things on the technical end being explored when it comes to latency being a problem in general. We do plan on using charging of certain powers, some with the hope that we can pull off either a multi-staged build up, others with a default or 'base' effect, and the 'charged' effect. which would occur once the full animation time is completed. Multi-staged charging has been put off for a possibility later, not for release. If we can't make it work, it'll most likely result in the second example.


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If latency is going to be a

If latency is going to be a problem with something like this, then even movement will have problems as well.... because *game wise* what is the difference between you holding a button down to move, and you holding a button down to use an ability?

Sure, you could stutter whilst moving, you could end up firing/ending your ability early.

Hell, even *jumping* could be a problem, unless you made it so that each press of the space bar (for example) gave you a fixed height jump....

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The Elder Scrolls Online uses

The Elder Scrolls Online uses charging for the basic attacks that every character can make with any weapon. There's a Light Attack (click and release) and a Heavy Attack (click and hold). For most weapons (ie. all but Bow) the Heavy Attack "goes off" once the charging has completed. Indeed, if you click and hold (and hold and hold and hold) your character will just make continuous Heavy Attacks with most weapons that fire off when the charge up time is completed. The exception is the Bow, which will simply hold the arrow at maximum draw until you release the mouse button, allowing you to "ready" a Heavy Attack and release it with precision timing.

For a game like City of Titans, I figure that a binary charging mechanic would be ideal. Click and quick release for Light Attack ... click and hold for Heavy Attack. No intermediate stages (so no 1/2/3), just Light and Heavy.

Note that such a system could potentially be very useful for handling Knockback Control.
Light attack for Knockdown only.
Heavy attack for Knockback.

But then, I've made this argument before ...


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Gauntlet wrote:
Gauntlet wrote:

In SWTOR, all melee class characters have a Leap-like ability to close range quickly. Its set at the same distance (30m) that most ranged characters attacks are set. On the same token, all ranged characters in that game get a single hit, aoe, long recharge (1 min), knockback attack. Think Force Explosion - everyone in melee range gets knocked out to like 20 meters. then one minute recharge to use again, same recharge on melee's leap attack btw.
This would allow you to still make mostly melee sets with just the one close-distance attack. This could also be attached to the tanks taunt.

For all of its flaws, SW:TOR actually manged the Ranged/Melee relationship reasonably well. Melee characters were generally "tougher" than most ranged characters, and had Gap-Closers with a Charge and usually a Pull.

Including a Pull for most Stalwart sets and a Charge for the Enforcer sets (perhaps as an inherent ability to the classes?) would address a lot of the issues that come up between Melee and Ranged characters fighting.

That, and maybe instead of giving Melee DPS more damage, you get them more short-duration CC like knockdowns?

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Redlynne wrote:
Redlynne wrote:

For a game like City of Titans, I figure that a binary charging mechanic would be ideal. Click and quick release for Light Attack ... click and hold for Heavy Attack. No intermediate stages (so no 1/2/3), just Light and Heavy.
Note that such a system could potentially be very useful for handling Knockback Control.
Light attack for Knockdown only.
Heavy attack for Knockback.
But then, I've made this argument before ...

That actually sounds really cool and would really allow for everyone to customize how their set plays for them. Being about to choose constantly if you want to feel like you're throwing slow big attacks or light & fast attacks sounds awesome and great for really feeling that your character concept is being realized.

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Stupid Fanboy wrote:
Stupid Fanboy wrote:

Redlynne wrote:
For a game like City of Titans, I figure that a binary charging mechanic would be ideal. Click and quick release for Light Attack ... click and hold for Heavy Attack. No intermediate stages (so no 1/2/3), just Light and Heavy.
Note that such a system could potentially be very useful for handling Knockback Control.
Light attack for Knockdown only.
Heavy attack for Knockback.
But then, I've made this argument before ...

That actually sounds really cool and would really allow for everyone to customize how their set plays for them. Being about to choose constantly if you want to feel like you're throwing slow big attacks or light & fast attacks sounds awesome and great for really feeling that your character concept is being realized.

Unfortunately, it will annoy quite a few of the people here, because it will be "too twitch like" of a playstyle.

Redlynne and I tried to make this point a few months back, and there appeared to be a huge dislike of the idea, with some people going so far to say "well the player should learn to play better to cope with knockback", or stuff along that line.

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http://cityoftitans.com/forum

http://cityoftitans.com/forum/please-make-teleport-cool

Tannim states here that charge powers and the like are going to be available as tertiary sets

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Charging isn't restricted to

Charging isn't restricted to tertiary sets. It will not be used in every power, only where mechanically desired to provide a particular type of play or benefit to the player for holding down on a button for a little bit.


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I expect such charge powers

I expect such charge powers will preclude queuing up that attack, or perhaps even any attack, as was possible in CoH. Like cybermitheral, I was rather fond of this feature and would find it somewhat unfortunate if it did not make it into CoT. It made for a more relaxing playing experience than having to play the 'chase the global cooldown (and don't forget to adjust for lag)' mini-game.

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Without getting too into it,

Without getting too into it, queuing charged powers should be possible (at least word was that it should be achievable).


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Hmm! Actually, now that you

Hmm! Actually, now that you've said that, I imagine that it would not be particularly difficult to have the power 'stick' and queue up once the player has held (or clicked) the button long enough for it to charge. (So sayeth the layman.) Spiffy.

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Stupid Fanboy wrote:
Stupid Fanboy wrote:

That actually sounds really cool and would really allow for everyone to customize how their set plays for them. Being about to choose constantly if you want to feel like you're throwing slow big attacks or light & fast attacks sounds awesome and great for really feeling that your character concept is being realized.

Gangrel wrote:

Unfortunately, it will annoy quite a few of the people here, because it will be "too twitch like" of a playstyle.
Redlynne and I tried to make this point a few months back, and there appeared to be a huge dislike of the idea, with some people going so far to say "well the player should learn to play better to cope with knockback", or stuff along that line.

To be fair, Gangrel, that previous conversation was in the context of a game like TERA, where you have multi-stage charging (1/2/3/Overcharge that hurts you) where each stage charges up in 1 second (or less if you've got the skill glyphed to charge faster). Basic rule of thumb is that anything that needs to be inter(re)acted with in 1 second or less is going to fall towards the Twitch Mechanics side of the equation, particularly for players with high latency ping times (*cough*) Australia (*cough*).

All of that changes however if the charge time mechanic gets used in a more boolean fashion, and the charge "time" threshold gets set at 3+ seconds, so that there is a lot less "twichiness" in the (wo)man/machine interface through the keyboard/controller. The Elder Scrolls Online uses a charge to Heavy Attack that is closer 3 seconds (if not 4 seconds) making it a decidedly deliberate and "non-twitchy" control setup. It should be possible to incorporate something similar into City of Titans so as to allow some powers to have "alternate" effects produced ... such as KnockDOWN versus KnockBACK.

Because, let's face it ... anyone who claims that holding down a button for 3+ seconds is "twitchy" combat mechanics is probably going to get laughed off the forums. A 0-2 seconds charge mechanic could potentially be thought of as "twitchy" ... but not 3+ seconds.


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Redlynne wrote:
Redlynne wrote:

Stupid Fanboy wrote:
That actually sounds really cool and would really allow for everyone to customize how their set plays for them. Being about to choose constantly if you want to feel like you're throwing slow big attacks or light & fast attacks sounds awesome and great for really feeling that your character concept is being realized.
Gangrel wrote:
Unfortunately, it will annoy quite a few of the people here, because it will be "too twitch like" of a playstyle.
Redlynne and I tried to make this point a few months back, and there appeared to be a huge dislike of the idea, with some people going so far to say "well the player should learn to play better to cope with knockback", or stuff along that line.

To be fair, Gangrel, that previous conversation was in the context of a game like TERA, where you have multi-stage charging (1/2/3/Overcharge that hurts you) where each stage charges up in 1 second (or less if you've got the skill glyphed to charge faster). Basic rule of thumb is that anything that needs to be inter(re)acted with in 1 second or less is going to fall towards the Twitch Mechanics side of the equation, particularly for players with high latency ping times (*cough*) Australia (*cough*).
All of that changes however if the charge time mechanic gets used in a more boolean fashion, and the charge "time" threshold gets set at 3+ seconds, so that there is a lot less "twichiness" in the (wo)man/machine interface through the keyboard/controller. The Elder Scrolls Online uses a charge to Heavy Attack that is closer 3 seconds (if not 4 seconds) making it a decidedly deliberate and "non-twitchy" control setup. It should be possible to incorporate something similar into City of Titans so as to allow some powers to have "alternate" effects produced ... such as KnockDOWN versus KnockBACK.
Because, let's face it ... anyone who claims that holding down a button for 3+ seconds is "twitchy" combat mechanics is probably going to get laughed off the forums. A 0-2 seconds charge mechanic could potentially be thought of as "twitchy" ... but not 3+ seconds.

Oh agreed, but when you get down to it, I would say that anything above 1.5 seconds is "non twitch", but that is just me...

Maybe this is because I am someone who has a higher typing speed, or just plays a very very wide range of computer games... or follows the Apple point of view in that a tap is just a zero length "charge"... But then again, I would say that a charge would be *at least* at 4 ticks of "server time" (if the ticks are long enough apart) for it to be viewed as a charge.

But the thing is, is for those people who are saying "but latency would cause problems"... my thinking is that if latency *does* cause problems with this kind of thing, then movement would suffer problems as well

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Gangrel wrote:
Gangrel wrote:

Oh agreed, but when you get down to it, I would say that anything above 1.5 seconds is "non twitch", but that is just me...

This is one of those things where you have to be careful because things start getting decidedly "fuzzy" on the perceptions.

I'm of the opinion that anything below 1 second reaction speed is "twitchy."
Anything above 2 seconds of reaction speed is decidedly "NOT twitchy."
Everything in between 1-2 seconds can be perceived as twitchy depending on latency and the "processing speed" of the gamer playing the game, so you're dealing with a band gap of grey area here. For some it is "twitchy" while for others it isn't.

Gangrel wrote:

Maybe this is because I am someone who has a higher typing speed, or just plays a very very wide range of computer games... or follows the Apple point of view in that a tap is just a zero length "charge"... But then again, I would say that a charge would be *at least* at 4 ticks of "server time" (if the ticks are long enough apart) for it to be viewed as a charge.

Diablo II ran at 25 frames per second. 4 frames would thus be 0.16 seconds. As far as I'm concerned, that's decidedly "twitchy" as a time frame.

Heck, I wrote the Speedazon Guide that advocated for running a max speed gear setup that allowed for 8/2 performance ... where the 8 referred to the number of frames used in a Normal Attack. 8 frames in a 25 frames per second game meant an attack speed of 3.125 normal attacks PER SECOND on continuous fire. Somewhat "twitchy" you could say.

Nowadays, games like The Elder Scrolls Online, and I'm sure City of Titans also, will measure server time in milliseconds. So 4 frames would mean 0.004 seconds. You're "beyond twitchy" at that point if that's your benchmark of performance.

Gangrel wrote:

But the thing is, is for those people who are saying "but latency would cause problems"... my thinking is that if latency *does* cause problems with this kind of thing, then movement would suffer problems as well.

Latency makes a mess of timing things accurately and precisely in which split second timing is an imperative for success. Game mechanics such as charging ... depending on how they're implemented ... can magnify these control+timing issues.

A powers queuing system like City of Heroes had, in which you can play the game "one step ahead" of what is currently happening, greatly relaxed the pressure on the player to react as twitchily as possible in real time. Building a power charging mechanic in which there needs to be affirmative confirmation of continuous keypress to "charge" a power so as to yield an alternative (ie. augmented) set of effects (ie. KnockBACK vs KnockDOWN) creates a bias towards a "zero charge time" rather than towards the alternative in the event of choppy internet service (which, let's face it, yields abysmal game play performance no matter what).

Personally, I'd like to see powersets such as Super Strength and Titan Weapons designed from the ground up as "charge mechanic" powersets filled with Light and Heavy Attacks. That way you can get the "restrained" yet quick animations/effects (click, release, no charging) and the "devastating" haymaker sorts of wind up to unload animations/effects (click, hold until animation fires off) into the same powersets. That would then let the PLAYER decide what "speed" or momentum they want to use in combat for chaining powers together.

Click Power = 0 second charge (only)
Charge Power = 2-3 second charge (can still be used as a Click Power)

Just make the Charge Powers "unload" when maximum charge is reached, include a UI element of a Charge Bar so that you give players interactive feedback on their charge state, and you're good to go. Bias the system such that any charge below maximum counts as a "Click" use of the power and you're all set.


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So, you're suggesting that if

So, you're suggesting that if you hold an attack power for 2 seconds, it doesnt actually start any sort of animation, but instead waits for the 2 seconds and then starts the attack power animation? So lag or whatnot isnt an issue, since the 2 seconds charge now acts like pressing a totally different button just for that effect?

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i suppose MWM could change

i suppose MWM could change the color of the Queued up power this way???:

0 seconds charge: Green (border) Outline
1.5+ seconds charge: Yellowish (border) Outline

Side note: I like the border outline a bit more than what other MMO's use... but I'm open to innovations. ;)
See old post here about the powers border outline.

Using a shader (not too difficult to make in Unreal Editor) like the one described here, you can have that effect described in the old post referenced just above.

Plus, not only can a falloff (percent) value be used as a parameter to the shader, even a Color can be passed in.. so as the power get closer and closer to returning.. the border outline can also transition from maybe Grayish to a Greenish color too. And maybe we wont have to shrink and Grow the power icon at all. ;)

Well, come to think of it... thats most likely how CoH/V drew the circular XP bars. ;)

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Redlynne wrote:
Redlynne wrote:

Click Power = 0 second charge (only)
Charge Power = 2-3 second charge (can still be used as a Click Power)

Just to at least float the idea, would it be useful to time the charge powers based on how long an average attack takes to execute? Basically, from the time the power is activated (click) to the point the next power can be activated (click) is the time required to charge a power. I imagine this ought to put us in the 2 to 3 second window and I believe it should work to make the timing more intuitive.

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Darth Fez wrote:
Darth Fez wrote:

Redlynne wrote:
Click Power = 0 second charge (only)
Charge Power = 2-3 second charge (can still be used as a Click Power)

Just to at least float the idea, would it be useful to time the charge powers based on how long an average attack takes to execute? Basically, from the time the power is activated (click) to the point the next power can be activated (click) is the time required to charge a power. I imagine this ought to put us in the 2 to 3 second window and I believe it should work to make the timing more intuitive.

For me a charge power is not necessarily one where you have to release the button to *start* the effect, it is also one that continues casting *whilst* you hold the button down until you release it.

But here the problem arises with power queuing, where to get the most out of the ability you actually try *not* to use the power queue (as it were) and instead just hold the button down until the effect finishes/you release the button.

Right now, I play Wildstar with "hold to continue casting" (so for fast/zero recharge abilities, they effectively spam themselves until I release their activation button), and a 0.5 second ability queue.

Why the queue you ask with this set? So that whilst one power is animating, I can hold down the button for another and get it to fire off as *soon* as the first one finishes. It works really well know, whereas in closed/open beta, the "hold to continuous" cast sped was *slower* than just hammering the key as fast as possible.

So for me, the actual "button mashing" is minimal, sure there are one or two abilities that I have on my spellslinger, which you can interrupt by pressing another ability whilst they cast themselves, but that is just a learning curve to get around...

The problem with the "queuing with a charge" is that you have to remember to charge it up whilst your *current* ability is currently animating, and it doesn't really work with long animation times for abilities either... (ie Dual Pistols - Hail of bullets IIRC had something like a 4 second animation time.. so queuing up a 2 or 3 second ability makes it "hard" ish to gauge, especially if you have no visual queue for the status of what stage of charging it is in...)

But that is another matter....

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Gangrel wrote:
Gangrel wrote:

For me a charge power is not necessarily one where you have to release the button to *start* the effect, it is also one that continues casting *whilst* you hold the button down until you release it.

I am accustomed to a different terminology for those. 'Charge' means the button is pressed until the power is ready to go off, while 'channeled' (or 'maintained') means that so long as the button is pressed the power is active. Naturally both can have their wrinkles, such as a charge power not going off until the button is released or channeled powers having a maximum duration.

My previous post must have involved some rather fanciful thinking. It is true that charge/channel powers could not be queued up in the same manner as we were accustomed to doing in in CoH. If the power could be charged while another power is still animating/executing, it would negate the entire point of having the charge (and would essentially mean that two powers are active simultaneously). In practice it is not much different than having a power with a particularly long animation time (e.g. Shadow Maul or Hail of Bullets).

As Gangrel notes, that is just a learning curve to get around.

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Yeah, charge/channelled are

Yeah, charge/channelled are the "correct" ways to describe them, but not everyone is aware of the differences between them.

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2) Not to be used when upset... will void warranty
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Power 1 = Click (0 charge), 1

Power 1 = Click (0 charge), 1 second animation time.
Power 2 = Charge (to 2.5 seconds), 1.5 second animation time on Click effect.

0.0 sec: Click Power 1. Power 1 begins 1 second animation.
0.5 sec: Power 2 cued.
1.0 sec: Power 1 animation completes. Power 1 effect launched.
1.0 sec: Power 2 checks for continuous hotkey press.
1.0 sec: Power 2 hotkey is not pressed, therefore power is not being charged. Power 2 begins 1.5 second animation.
2.5 sec: Power 2 animation completes. Power 2 Click effect launched.

0.0 sec: Click Power 1. Power 1 begins 1 second animation.
0.5 sec: Power 2 cued.
1.0 sec: Power 1 animation completes. Power 1 effect launched.
1.0 sec: Power 2 checks for continuous hotkey press.
1.0 sec: Power 2 hotkey is pressed, therefore power is being charged. Power 2 begins 2.5 second charge animation. Charge Bar UI begins to fill.
3.5 sec: Power 2 charge animation completes. Charge Bar UI is filled. Power 2 Charged animation completes. Power 2 Charged effect launched.

0.0 sec: Click Power 1. Power 1 begins 1 second animation.
0.5 sec: Power 2 cued.
1.0 sec: Power 1 animation completes. Power 1 effect launched.
1.0 sec: Power 2 checks for continuous hotkey press.
1.0 sec: Power 2 hotkey is pressed, therefore power is being charged. Power 2 begins 2.5 second charge animation.
2.0 sec: Power 2 hotkey is released, therefore power charging is aborted before completion. Charge Bar UI is not yet filled. Power effect is aborted from Charge to Click.
2.0 sec: Power 2 aborts 2.5 second charge animation. Charge Bar UI remains frozen at partial charge. Power 2 begins 1.5 second Click animation.
3.5 sec: Power 2 Click animation completes. Charge Bar UI disappears. Power 2 Click effect launched.

In very simplistic terms, if the Charge Bar time is not completed, the Charge animation (and power effect) gets aborted and the power animation and effect reverts to doing a Click.

Charge to Full ... you get the Charged Animation to its completion and the Charged Effect.
Any Charge that does not reach Full Charge ... aborts the Charge Animation and replaces it with Click Animation and effect.

C'mon guys, this isn't that hard to conceptualize ...


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A suggestion, if the

A suggestion, if the programming team thinks it's doable: The Player pushes and holds the button for the chargeable or maintainable power; the client sends the "pushed but not released" signal to the server, and that goes into the queue. When the power reaches the front of the queue, the server starts counting time for the charge animation. When the player releases the button, the client sends the signal indicating the button was released, maybe with a duration attached to it that the button was held down. If the server doesn't get this signal before the maximum charge/maximum maintain/insufficient energy, it treats the button as if it was released at maximum. If it gets the "pushed but not released" or any other button pushed signal, it treats the button as being released then, and the next button goes into the queue. Late "button released" signals get ignored. Meanwhile, the client shows the player a timer, so the player knows how long to hold for maximum effect, and thus when to queue the next power.

Result: If the player's connection drops or delays the "button released" signal, the server treats is as maximum charge/duration. Worst case: the attack comes a bit later but does more, or is maintained a bit longer, and more energy is used. Otherwise, it should be as normal.

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Clarification, please, Red:

Clarification, please, Red: Is it the Server or the Client that keeps track of these times?

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Foradain wrote:
Foradain wrote:

Clarification, please, Red: Is it the Server or the Client that keeps track of these times?

Snarky answer: both.

More complete answer:
The client has to keep track of this, as does the server, otherwise you end up with "spoofing" going on where Villains hack the client to yield unintended performance. Things like getting the UI to perform properly has to be handled client-side in order to "inform" the Player of what the current state of things is. Other operations need to be tracked server-side.

The real question I believe you're getting at is which way to "bias" interpretation in the event of conflicting information (which can be produced by an intermittent or "choppy" internet connection). My inclination is to "bias" interpretation of data towards the Click side of things, such that an affirmative/positive must be maintained in order to "allow" a Charge to complete. In other words, a Click is the default assumption, whereas a Charge would be a sort of "override" condition that needs to be maintained to completion.

Now, there are various networking trickeries that can be employed in asynchronous data transfer, such as timestamping data packets and controlling for how long an affirmative signal can be "missing" before reverting from Charge to Click performance. That's all an optimization task that can be handled through programming to help combat network lag and/or intermittent connectivity ... but only up to a point. And these sorts of things can be tested through beta to "settle" upon a compromise point of acceptable performance parameters. But when you get right down to it, it's really the server-side of things that is "Controlling" the action, and the client-side is merely trying to "Mirror" that action in relatively real time. So if there's a conflict between Client and Server, the Server Wins is the answer you're looking for.


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Yeap, that answers my

Yeap, that answers my question. Thanks!

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As apparently this is some

As apparently this is some communication failures due to different, equally valid, definitions of the word "charge", I will clarify that when I was referring to "charge abilities" in reference to SWTOR, I meant a dash/approach type ability for a melee character to close the gap to a ranged target. I will in the future refer to these as "dash" abilities.

Sic Semper Tyrannis

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Sand_Trout wrote:
Sand_Trout wrote:

As apparently this is some communication failures due to different, equally valid, definitions of the word "charge", I will clarify that when I was referring to "charge abilities" in reference to SWTOR, I meant a dash/approach type ability for a melee character to close the gap to a ranged target. I will in the future refer to these as "dash" abilities.

Or "gap closer moves"... so either the move that forces the mob towards you, or you to them....

Quote:

1) I reject your reality.... and substitute my own
2) Not to be used when upset... will void warranty
3) Stoke me a clipper i will be back for dinner
4) I have seen more intelligence from an NPC AI in TR beta, than from most MMO players.

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