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Combat Balance Philosophy

NaisarNaisar Member Posts: 255 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
I want to hear from combatants & those involved in balance on what they believe the philosophy for Achaean combat balance is and how close the current state of things is to achieving it.

I've always thought that Achaea was balanced around the idea that if you played perfectly (with a respectable health pool) you would never die.  It's the sheer complexity of combat that keeps us from reaching the point where all duels are decided by willpower, endurance, or supplies.  That still happens, no doubt about it, but for the most part someone messes up and duels finish in a timely manner.  The way that combat is constructed gives the defender a huge amount of options to escape death, right up until the very last couple seconds when their avenues of life disappear.  We're all familiar with this holding true for momentum strategies: hinder your opponent or flee (neither difficult) and you'll survive.  For the most part, this also seems to be true even should the aggressor perfectly prepare and execute their finisher.  Speedy tumbles, well placed restores, even a mundane shield tattoo - use them well and you'll wriggle out of almost everything.

For the most part I think Achaea's close to the goal I stated above - there are very few situations in which you don't have any options at all.  There are setups that are brutally strong however, and a couple I think might actually be inescapable; Jester concussionbomb shenanigans, full Blademaster prep, Monk... a whole lot of stuff, really.  These are the ones that I would look at toning down to bring into line with the rest of the classes.  Or, failing that, bring the rest of the classes up to the same level.  But anyway, those were just examples, the main point is more important.

Is my characterization correct?  Is this the idea of balance you think Achaea is going for? How close do you think we are to it? Do you think there's some other high-level goal that would serve Achaea better?  The question also arises regarding exactly how much leeway should we give when avoiding setups - is a tumble delayed by half a second okay?  Two seconds?

*Note that this is all about 1v1, not group combat.
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Comments

  • CooperCooper Member Posts: 5,529 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    For most of Achaea's life, combat has revolved around the 'If I perfectly play defense you will never, ever kill me' idea.

    Since Tecton took over, things have been (slowly, very slowly) shifting towards the 'even if I play defensive, you might still kill me' idea. Things like blademasters, torso damage increasing bbt damage, new afflictions being added, etc.

    It's extremely difficult to balance those things, though. If one class has a 100% guaranteed way to kill someone no matter what they do, that becomes overpowered. If everyone has a similiar setup, only the class that can do it the fastest is the best.

    That's why I like Achaea's classes. Each one has a set of pros and cons that make it useful or bad in certain situations and vs. certain classes. It might be frustrating for a monk to fight a bard or an apostate, or for a serpent to try to kill a priest, but I'm glad those checks and balances exists. I'm also glad that some classes are geared towards melee raids, 1v1, group ranged combat, group defense, group offense, hindering, or damage. It adds flavor and variety.

    I will suggest that Achaea combat is going to become more dangerous in the coming months/years - you're probably going to have to choose how to be defensive more carefully, and choose when to go on the offense better too. 

    :)

    SylvanceSherazadCesarina
  • NimNim Member Posts: 2,015 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    edited July 2013
    Naisar said:
    The question also arises regarding exactly how much leeway should we give when avoiding setups - is a tumble delayed by half a second okay?  Two seconds?

    I hate that Achaea tries to be an action game.

    First of all, it's a text game. It should be accessible to low-tech players, so it's absurd that ping time can matter as much as it does.

    Second of all, it's not even very precise. If half a second can matter, I expect engine-side precision to never enter the equation - only latency. Achaea does not deliver. Game events seem to vary by even more than a tenth of a second!

    Third, it's very spammy playing a text action game. Action games are often audio-visual-based, and for a good reason - there's a very delicate balance to maintaining screen usage. Right now, the game forces players to deal with this balance themselves via client-side gagging/highlighting/text replacement/UI features/etc.

    (On the last issue, I eventually planned on posting a grand suggestion thread about reducing combat spam with minimal effect on combat balance, but then IRL stuff sidetracked me, and now it's about half a year overdue!)

    Korben
  • NaisarNaisar Member Posts: 255 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    @Cooper I look forward to that.  My main concern is about those guaranteed kills that will crop up because of being a mite too overzealous about increasing offensive power.  That's just something that's going to have be dealt with on a case by case basis, though, it's not an argument against the policy itself.  But given the glacial speed of Achaean combat adjustments, I get worried.  For example, there's currently a Monk setup that gets two bbt's with a broken torso, and the only escape is either through a low chance RNG effect or prone hindering, which very few classes have (cough monk again).  It's something that's been around a significant time, and given that classleads have been abandoned and the current walkthrough just passed them by, I don't know when it will be addressed.  Anyway, that's just an edge case.  I do look forward to a less defensive Achaea.
  • MishgulMishgul ROTHERHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAMMember Posts: 5,378 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    While I like the way Achaean combat is going, dragons are really annoying to have to put up with.They are defensively really powerful and their offense is far too simple. At one point this was probably fair does, but so many people are getting dragon so easily these days.

    -

    One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one's work is terribly important

    As drawn by Shayde
    hic locus est ubi mors gaudet succurrere vitae
    SylvanceJovolo
  • DaeirDaeir AustraliaMember Posts: 6,296 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Achaea feels more like a mudlib backend driver for a 3d game than an actual MUD sometimes, given how complex and spammy things get.
    Nim
  • AntoniusAntonius Member Posts: 4,991 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Mishgul said:
    While I like the way Achaean combat is going, dragons are really annoying to have to put up with.They are defensively really powerful and their offense is far too simple. At one point this was probably fair does, but so many people are getting dragon so easily these days.

    I think Dragon is balanced out by the fact fighting as one is so boring that it puts you to sleep, at which point you're probably going to die.
    EldDartega
  • SylvanceSylvance Member Posts: 1,477 ✭✭✭✭✭ - Grand Achaean
    Antonius said:
    Mishgul said:
    While I like the way Achaean combat is going, dragons are really annoying to have to put up with.They are defensively really powerful and their offense is far too simple. At one point this was probably fair does, but so many people are getting dragon so easily these days.

    I think Dragon is balanced out by the fact fighting as one is so boring that it puts you to sleep, at which point you're probably going to die.
    But easy enough that you'll probably wake up, having found that your system won you the fight. 
    Tvistor: If that was a troll, it was masterful.
    I take my hat off to you.
  • SeftinSeftin Member Posts: 923 @ - Epic Achaean
    Or you gared without realising and are on fluffy-cloud dragon-island
    Sylvance
  • CooperCooper Member Posts: 5,529 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Naisar said:
    @Cooper I look forward to that.  My main concern is about those guaranteed kills that will crop up because of being a mite too overzealous about increasing offensive power.  That's just something that's going to have be dealt with on a case by case basis, though, it's not an argument against the policy itself.  But given the glacial speed of Achaean combat adjustments, I get worried.  For example, there's currently a Monk setup that gets two bbt's with a broken torso, and the only escape is either through a low chance RNG effect or prone hindering, which very few classes have (cough monk again).  It's something that's been around a significant time, and given that classleads have been abandoned and the current walkthrough just passed them by, I don't know when it will be addressed.  Anyway, that's just an edge case.  I do look forward to a less defensive Achaea.
    Well, it's a teeter totter that you have to play on. There's basically no room between 'if I play perfect defense I'll never die' and 'if I execute my offense perfectly this person will always die'.

    That's why we need ideas like cooldown on tattoos, healing abilities, defensive things, etc.

    I also think cooldown or heavy costing offensive abilities a la frenzy are great too (haven't played in a while, but frenzy was ridic. overpowered back when I was active).

    I also personally want abilities to have negative effects too. For example, if a monk uses kai heal, they take 20% extra damage for the next 5 seconds or something.

    Anyway, just random ideas that I thought of, no real thought behind them other than to give strange examples for people to build on.

    Sidonia
  • JovoloJovolo EnglandMember Posts: 3,270 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    edited July 2013
    Frenzy is only overpowered if it dsl's <1.35 seconds, which requires a base speed of 1.9 seconds considering no runes as Infernal, the base dsl speed is what needed adjusting, not really frenzy (which is a fantastic example of a great ability imo). With those conditions it's impossible to prevent the vivisect no matter how optimal your curing is (Which is a fantastic example of a terrible ability/mechanic). 

    I agree with Cooper generally though. Cooldown on abilities such as tree tattoo, and restore, etcetera, really force you into making intelligent decisions with the way you behave defensively. Unlike having access to defensive abilities like dragonheal, which really needs a much more significant drawback or cooldown to use. I hope Achaea continues to move in that direction. 

    I don't really like classes like Alchemist, or Blademaster, who are examples of classes that are just a ticking timebomb in regards to strategies and reasonable preventability. Ala old Jester. I adore fighting as or against an Apostate, Infernal, Monk to an extent considering its current issues, Bard, Sylvan, Druid, and well you get the point. 

    I am of the opinion that if you perform 98 to 100% perfectly defensively (intelligently, not artefact tanking ability) that no class on its own should be able to kill you 1v1. It should take a mistake on your part at the top of the game for a kill to be secured against you in 1v1. Of course, classes should be able overall to place more pressure on the opponent and reduce the ease of being able to perform 90%+ effectively in a defensive capacity.

    This is a much more fun way to fight imo, and much more rewarding for both parties
    TvistorDaeirTerra
  • TerraTerra Member Posts: 676 ✭✭✭✭✭ - Grand Achaean

    I agree with Jovolo on the basics. You should be able to cure everything if you do everything perfectly.

    Though, I also think that setups that take longer to prep should be stronger/more difficult to stop than setups that take very little time to prep. Achaea is backwards in that regard in some cases currently, in my opinion. With AXK, artied monks can kill a lot of people nearly unstoppably with very little prep. Knights, on the other hand, are far easier to stop, yet take much longer to prep.

    Torso bbt kills are fine. AXK kills as they currently are, are not. BM might be over the top too; though, it's not as bad as monk.

    It's hard to say where exactly momentum classes like serpent and apostate should be since they should be easier to stop than classes that require much more prep but at the same time, shouldn't be so easy to stop that you can easily survive one indefinitely while prepping with no chance of dying.

    SylvanceWessuxTvistorMilitis
  • NaisarNaisar Member Posts: 255 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    @Terra Most torso bbt kills are fine.  There's one very specific one that is not.
  • ExelethrilExelethril Member Posts: 3,360 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    edited July 2013
    Tvistor said:
    You know, whenever someone drops a hint that something is unbalanced but doesn't bother to state exactly what it is (serpents super guilty of this, presumably because some of the moves can't be used once systems account for them), I wonder why they bothered to post. I would love it if politicians would join debates and go "Well, my opponent has accounted for nearly everything in his plan. Nearly everything."

    "Would you care to elaborate?"

    "No, but I still win the debate, right?"

    (this isn't directed at Naisar, it just sprung to mind)

    He was probably polite or non-confrontational in his intent, since I think the general mindset regarding the almost unhinderable(web,prone,paralyzed) in melee 40+% kai chokes along with 70+% axekicks from the populous artied Ashuran monks are understood to be OP.

    There!

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    WessuxSherazad
  • DaslinDaslin The place with the oxygenMember Posts: 2,492 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    @Naisar stop being batman, and you won't get stomped.
    image
    MordricTvistor
  • MakoMako Member Posts: 150 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    every class is different and better against other classes than others.
    Daslin
  • MilitisMilitis Member Posts: 56 ✭✭ - Stalwart
    SWK/arm/leg, SDK/arm/leg is pretty sick but it requires time and effort to prep all 4 limbs plus torso and should be rewarded as such. SWK has a good chance of missing so all that prep could turn out to be for naught and you die to Nexas because you hit guarding and happened to be prepped yourself(thank you guarding changes)
    The same, possibly even more boss is as a BM quad prepping and going hamstring/armslash, knees/legslash. Both are difficult to survive but require patience and a decent skill level to achieve.
    On the other side, Magi can easily waste you by having full vibes in retardation and it requires little prep(just a loldagger)kidding, but it is somewhat easier to escape(not really)

    So its sort of checked and balanced and only getting better by the looks of things. I definitely liked most of the new changes/balances, seemed to be the best round yet. Either that or my understanding of Achaean combat has expanded since I started(not likely right?) and I'm itching to get back into it nice and deep
  • JovoloJovolo EnglandMember Posts: 3,270 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Monk prepping isn't hard anymore. RHK like, never misses and also afflicts with paralysis. Let's say it's 7 punches at the most, generally, to prep a limb in DRS. That's 7 combo's to prep legs. 7 combo's to prep arms. 14 x 2.5 = 35 seconds to quad prep. Let's say they get a little hindered or have clumsiness stuck or whatever, and round it up to a minute (Which is generous). 

    This doesn't take skill to do.

    Now, that's a minute-long prep and a kai banish, for something that is nigh unavoidable. If your opponent isn't mounted, it's a combo, a sweepkick combo, and then you're basically dead. If you're Ashuran, you can easily prep a Magi before they've put down "full vibes" and kill them with little effort. It's just not balanced.
    CooperTerraKaie
  • EldEld Member Posts: 3,946 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Jovolo said:
    Monk prepping isn't hard anymore. RHK like, never misses and also afflicts with paralysis. Let's say it's 7 punches at the most, generally, to prep a limb in DRS. That's 7 combo's to prep legs. 7 combo's to prep arms. 14 x 2.5 = 35 seconds to quad prep. Let's say they get a little hindered or have clumsiness stuck or whatever, and round it up to a minute (Which is generous). 

    This doesn't take skill to do.

    Now, that's a minute-long prep and a kai banish, for something that is nigh unavoidable. If your opponent isn't mounted, it's a combo, a sweepkick combo, and then you're basically dead. If you're Ashuran, you can easily prep a Magi before they've put down "full vibes" and kill them with little effort. It's just not balanced.
    Blunt icon doesn't affect limb damage, does it?
  • JovoloJovolo EnglandMember Posts: 3,270 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    edited July 2013
    It doesn't, no. (I meant the kill them with little effort part)
  • EldEld Member Posts: 3,946 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Gotcha.
  • MilitisMilitis Member Posts: 56 ✭✭ - Stalwart
    edited July 2013
    Jovolo said:

    Monk prepping isn't hard anymore. RHK like, never misses and also afflicts with paralysis. Let's say it's 7 punches at the most, generally, to prep a limb in DRS. That's 7 combo's to prep legs. 7 combo's to prep arms. 14 x 2.5 = 35 seconds to quad prep. Let's say they get a little hindered or have clumsiness stuck or whatever, and round it up to a minute (Which is generous). 


    This doesn't take skill to do.

    Now, that's a minute-long prep and a kai banish, for something that is nigh unavoidable. If your opponent isn't mounted, it's a combo, a sweepkick combo, and then you're basically dead. If you're Ashuran, you can easily prep a Magi before they've put down "full vibes" and kill them with little effort. It's just not balanced.
    What. 35 seconds to quad prep? I must be doing something wrong.
    Too much paper Achaea to fit into one post sir.

    Also I love this Ashuran term haha. Even funnier is how stupidly hard it was to kill, as an unartied Monk, anyone tanky or a knight with good fullplate(combination of both was an absolute nightmare) before we went operation Icon BluntDamage, even with my best setups that allowed for 3 bbts. It's actually doable now, all praise AD Mizik.

    I still use axes, get at me.
  • JarrodJarrod Member, Seafaring Liason, Secret Squirrel Posts: 3,060 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    RHK misses me all the time...
    image
    Cascades of quicksilver light streak across the firmament as the celestial voice of Ourania intones, "Oh Jarrod..."

    SimolnJhuiMizik
  • JovoloJovolo EnglandMember Posts: 3,270 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    edited July 2013
    For @Militis: read bolded.
    Jovolo said:
    Monk prepping isn't hard anymore. RHK like, never misses and also afflicts with paralysis. Let's say it's 7 punches at the most, generally, to prep a limb in DRS. That's 7 combo's to prep legs. 7 combo's to prep arms. 14 x 2.5 = 35 seconds to quad prep. Let's say they get a little hindered or have clumsiness stuck or whatever, and round it up to a minute (Which is generous). 

    This doesn't take skill to do.

    Now, that's a minute-long prep and a kai banish, for something that is nigh unavoidable. If your opponent isn't mounted, it's a combo, a sweepkick combo, and then you're basically dead. If you're Ashuran, you can easily prep a Magi before they've put down "full vibes" and kill them with little effort. It's just not balanced.
    Of course it's going to miss sometimes against dexterity spec'd serpent's (Any dex arties? No idea). Even if it misses, that's no guarantee that every punch following it is going to miss. Its accuracy also kind of recently got increased significantly, apparently. Your experience may've been prior to the change? Don't know. 
  • JarrodJarrod Member, Seafaring Liason, Secret Squirrel Posts: 3,060 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    I have no dex arties and RHK misses me significantly over 50% of the time in rat stance.
    image
    Cascades of quicksilver light streak across the firmament as the celestial voice of Ourania intones, "Oh Jarrod..."

  • MishgulMishgul ROTHERHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAMMember Posts: 5,378 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    lol skills. Achaean combat is slowly being taken over by AI. Defensively it's already done, offensively it is almost there

    !!

    -

    One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one's work is terribly important

    As drawn by Shayde
    hic locus est ubi mors gaudet succurrere vitae
    Kaie
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