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Upcoming revisions to PvE combat

SarapisSarapis Member, Administrator Posts: 3,398 Achaean staff
edited August 2014 in North of Thera

We sat down recently and really hammered on what we think is wrong with PvE combat and is reasonably fixable. The former category is a lot bigger than the latter category, obviously. When I first built Achaea, I explicitly didn't give a crap about PvE combat beyond needing it because it's what people expect in an RPG, and because leveling up is a popular and proven mechanic. Everybody does PvE, so I focused on PvP. 

However, there's no reason it can't suck less than it does now. It's never going to be in the same league, or even close, to our PvP, but that's no reason not to make it at least somewhat better than it is.

On tap:

  • Longer denizen fights. When many people one-shot so many denizens, it leaves no opportunity whatsoever for any kind of additional tactics. Of course, along with longer denizen fights will be proportionately increased gold and xp for killing denizens.
  • More abilities to use in PvE. In particular, abilities that will make group bashing more efficient than solo bashing, though every class is also going to get at least one other bashing ability that's useful solo. The goal here is that while bashing may be f1 f1 f1 f1 f1 right now, it'd be slightly better if it was f1 f1 f1 f2 f1 f1 f3, if you see what I mean.
  • More intelligent targeting AI for denizens. When we're done, they won't just attack the last person to hit them. They'll try to assess who poses the greatest risk, whether via direct damage or granting group buffs, or casting debuffs on the denizen or whatever - the idea is that managing aggro is going to become a thing, at least for bigger mobs that people won't be able to one-shot anymore. 
  • Abilities that work more effectively against certain kinds of denizens. For instance, purely hypothetically, a knight's bashing attacks might be more effective against humanoid than magical creatures. I'm currently going through every single individual type of denizen in the game (more than 5000) and categorizing them into one of a few categories so that we can do that.

Anyway, that's the general plan. It's a fair amount of work, but it's one of the priorities currently and will likely be done in a few weeks. It's also only step 2 in working on bashing. Step 1 was the balancing. Step 2 is about capabilities, and then step 3 is going to be about content - more varied, interesting boss fights in particular.

Post edited by Sarapis on
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Comments

  • DaslinDaslin The place with the oxygenMember Posts: 2,492 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    I'll be first to admit, some of these changes make me sadface.

    ShirszaeKayeilKeiCronoTraelorUreel
  • VerruchtVerrucht Member Posts: 269 ✭✭✭✭✭ - Grand Achaean

    Enh, if it makes hunting more interesting that's cool.  If it's just about "I am hunting this area so I hit f2 instead of f1" then it's kind of whatever.

    LucinePraxidesTharvisPhillias
  • MelodieMelodie Port Saint Lucie, FloridaMember Posts: 5,008 @@ - Legendary Achaean

    Super, super excited for these. Better PvE content is going to make for a better Achaea overall, better newbie retention, and more interesting things even for us Dragons to do. I might start bashing again eventually!

    Really looking forward to this and step three being completed.

    "You have had an extraordinary adventure, my dear. Extraordinary! One that few people could ever imagine. Treasure it. Keep it safe and secure, tucked away in some special place in your heart. 

    But... don't spend the rest of your days chasing a ghost."
    ShirszaeTrayuTrilliana
  • SarapisSarapis Member, Administrator Posts: 3,398 Achaean staff
    edited July 2014
    Melodie said:

    Super, super excited for these. Better PvE content is going to make for a better Achaea overall, better newbie retention, and more interesting things even for us Dragons to do. I might start bashing again eventually!

    Really looking forward to this and step three being completed.

    Step 3 is really not about completion. It's a perpetual thing, in practice. We could spend forever improving content. It's about finding the balance of cost vs. reward for us.

    MelodieAlrenaPraxidesJhaeli
  • DraekarDraekar Member Posts: 290 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent

    As a concept this sounds pretty awesome, I can't wait to see some specifics.

    Yae
  • MelodieMelodie Port Saint Lucie, FloridaMember Posts: 5,008 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    edited July 2014
    An "initially completed for now" for stage three might be more accurate on what I was hoping for. Obviously ongoing new releases is going to be a thing - and a good thing at that. I can't remember the last time we had a really cool area addition. Probably the latest chunk of Meropis? There's been a few small things since then, just nothing "amazing".

    How complex do you see this becoming? Obviously some things (especially for the lower levels) will still be relatively simple, but will upper-tier bashing (perhaps 80+ for medium complexity, 90+ for intricate complexity, and Dragon onwards for "oh crap this is hard but amaaaazing") become a more complex thing that people don't just mindlessly press buttons though, whether solo or in groups? Are you going to have to notice what's happening and respond accordingly, weaken "boss" mobs, that kind of thing?

    I suppose I'm wondering just how complex this system might become, and also worried about risk vs. reward for both solo and group hunting. Are there going to be areas just for groups, for instance? How are they are going to be different from areas meant for solo hunters? I'm assuming people will roughly need to be within 5 or so levels of each other to make it work well (aka taking someone much smaller than you to hunt an area might just end up with them killed)? What sort of things will gain threat/aggression? How widespread do you think threat/aggression will become, and do you think it will become reasonably trackable, or will we kind of have to guess on our own?

    Suddenly, World of Warcraft flashes.

    "You have had an extraordinary adventure, my dear. Extraordinary! One that few people could ever imagine. Treasure it. Keep it safe and secure, tucked away in some special place in your heart. 

    But... don't spend the rest of your days chasing a ghost."
    Trilliana
  • KlendathuKlendathu Eye of the StormMember Posts: 3,178 @@ - Legendary Achaean

    Thank you, some more PvE love. With PvP being so rich, it did seem a real shame that PvE was pretty one dimensional.


    Tharos, the Announcer of Delos shouts, "It's near the end of the egghunt and I still haven't figured out how to pronounce Clean-dat-hoo."
    Trilliana
  • SarapisSarapis Member, Administrator Posts: 3,398 Achaean staff
    Melodie said:
    An "initially completed for now" for stage three might be more accurate on what I was hoping for. Obviously ongoing new releases is going to be a thing - and a good thing at that. I can't remember the last time we had a really cool area addition. Probably the latest chunk of Meropis? There's been a few small things since then, just nothing "amazing".

    How complex do you see this becoming? Obviously some things (especially for the lower levels) will still be relatively simple, but will upper-tier bashing (perhaps 80+ for medium complexity, 90+ for intricate complexity, and Dragon onwards for "oh crap this is hard but amaaaazing") become a more complex thing that people don't just mindlessly press buttons though, whether solo or in groups? Are you going to have to notice what's happening and respond accordingly, weaken "boss" mobs, that kind of thing?

    I suppose I'm wondering just how complex this system might become, and also worried about risk vs. reward for both solo and group hunting. Are there going to be areas just for groups, for instance? How complex can these become? I'm assuming people will roughly need to be within 5 or so levels of each other to make it work well (aka taking someone much smaller than you to hunt an area might just end up with them killed)? What sort of things will gain threat/aggression? How widespread do you think threat/aggression will become, and do you think it will become reasonably trackable, or will we kind of have to guess on our own?

    Suddenly, World of Warcraft flashes.

    All the details I'm going to give right now are in the initial post, but you sound like you might be overestimating our ability to create content. We're talking a handful of high-level mobs most likely, at first. World of Warcraft is definitely not what you should have in mind - our PvE will never even approach coming close to theirs. 

    Btw, I think maybe you've not explored the Den of the Quisalis if you think no cool PvE areas have gone in recently! The Grandmaster of the Quisalis is one of toughest denizens in Achaea, with only 5 people having managed to earn the honours line thus far.

  • MelodieMelodie Port Saint Lucie, FloridaMember Posts: 5,008 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Oh yeah, I forgot about that expansion. I haven't really been down in a while. All I know is that Grandmaster makes Jhui cry, and that's a bad sign.

    I'm trying -not- to overestimate, just gauging. Obviously I never expect Achaea to reach World of Warcaft's complexity level, that's just not possible without several years of complete revamping, and I don't expect that to happen (at least not for a long time, if ever). I'm just comparing to experiences I do know and understand, and wondering how far Achaea will (given time and work) be able to take things.

    Shame on the lack of details, but understandable!

    "You have had an extraordinary adventure, my dear. Extraordinary! One that few people could ever imagine. Treasure it. Keep it safe and secure, tucked away in some special place in your heart. 

    But... don't spend the rest of your days chasing a ghost."
  • VerruchtVerrucht Member Posts: 269 ✭✭✭✭✭ - Grand Achaean
    Melodie said:
    Obviously I never expect Achaea to reach World of Warcaft's complexity level, that's just not possible without several years of complete revamping, and I don't expect that to happen (at least not for a long time, if ever).

    Since we're talking mostly about PvE grinding that means you'd hit somewhere around 3 buttons. That's very achievable complexity. Something like a boss-fight however would be more what you're talking about.

  • SarapisSarapis Member, Administrator Posts: 3,398 Achaean staff

    Yeah, correct @Verrucht. It's the dungeon raids/boss fights we're never going to come close to equaling. Our inability to do granular relative positioning between players/denizens in a room alone ensures that, and doing that in text would be a total nightmare for usability anyway.

    Praxides
  • BlujixapugBlujixapug Member Posts: 1,833 @@ - Legendary Achaean

    This sounds interesting.

    I am apprehensive that after the novelty fades, most bashing will still boil down to repetition, even if it's repetition of something new. I look forward to seeing how you tackle that. Presumably you have something more in mind than allowing people to alternate thornrend with firelash for no tangible benefit beyond variety for variety's sake; reflection and razeslash stand out as existing bashing abilities that provide some tactical depth.

    NPC AI targeting, and specifically the implication of juggling aggro in group bashing, seems interesting because it allows players to make bashing interesting for each other in ways NPCs cannot. "You messed up and I died!" "lol sorry (not sorry)" is more interesting than solo bashing mishaps like "the mhun mage RNGed her strong attack three times in a row and I died" or "a third vertani walked in and I died".

    I am excited to see what you do with boss fights, and how widespread they become, especially after seeing what you did in the Conclave event.



    image
    PraxidesTharvisJhaeli
  • VerruchtVerrucht Member Posts: 269 ✭✭✭✭✭ - Grand Achaean
    Sarapis said:

    Yeah, correct @Verrucht. It's the dungeon raids/boss fights we're never going to come close to equaling. Our inability to do granular relative positioning between players/denizens in a room alone ensures that, and doing that in text would be a total nightmare for usability anyway.

    An interesting bit would be if you could work in the concept of interrupts to keep the fights more dynamic.  Even if you just gave each class a generic-ish interrupt to hit, and it was something that could be done without balance/equilibrium.  It would still end up being scripted, but it would be a novel addition.

  • AktillumAktillum PhilippinesMember Posts: 1,368 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    edited July 2014
    @Sarapis If I can throw out a few ideas, I'd like to see:

    *Charge-up type abilities, ie a Knights first 3 DSLs are normal, but his 4th DSL is rage-enhanced.

    *Some type of "elemental damage" enhancements for normal weapons, since you mentioned messing around with mob types. Typical RPG stuff, fire enhancement = burning-over-time damage, poison enhancement = poison-over-time...etc

    *Mob "pulling" (shooting/firelashing a mob from another room so he enters your room)

    *Hunting "pets" / denizen on denizen combat

    *Charm spells to make a single mob fight for you for a duration

    *More abilities that hit multiple mobs, like stormhammer, to control aggro

    Praxides
  • KryptonKrypton shi-KhurenaMember Posts: 2,377 @@ - Legendary Achaean

    Can we hourglass and web denizens?
    (Mhaldor): Herenicus says, "Apologies, I am in-and-out of hold with Verizon wireless customer service."
  • DaeirDaeir AustraliaMember Posts: 6,276 @@ - Legendary Achaean

    I think you could very easily reach raid-boss levels of complexity, even in Achaea's current PvE system. Oughlor's pillars, for instance, were an example of that. Splitting fights up into phases based on the mob's max health and having other roving groups split off to fight smaller "pillar" groups is a fairly standard add-centric boss fight, and is well within Achaea's current means to pull off.

    Besides, you've got Makarios and Mortori now. Everything is possible.

    I like where this is going, but please do not neuter solo-bashing. High potential of doing this if the xp-time relationship is disrupted.

    ShirszaeErnamVeldrinJhaeli
  • SultaniSultani Member Posts: 185 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished

    I think it will definitely help with newbie retention. I remember how excited I was looking at all these amazing skills I'm learning and then being quite disappointed I could only really use one or two. I realize you may only be adding one or two more to hunting but it's still good for a bit of variety. Looking forward to this!

    SarapisGawi
  • QwindorQwindor Fort RileyMember Posts: 138 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    This sounds like it will be a nice added improvement though I know there will be people like myself who sometimes enjoy bashing alone because of the effort you have to put into it alone or the sometimes needed break from rp and others or just the exploring factor and figuring out mobs on your own. But I will say I hope the main focus at this moment is to finish reshaping the houses and get multiclass finished but again I am sure that has already been thought out and being worked on as best as possible. Great job to all the admin that do a great job in what needs to be done in game and behind the scenes.

    image
    Rangor
  • SynbiosSynbios Member Posts: 4,561 @@ - Legendary Achaean

    Yes, yes it is. 

    ShirszaeValariaValus
  • StrataStrata United States of DerpMember Posts: 1,753 @ - Epic Achaean

    Hell yes to these changes! (As long as they make dragon harder to achieve)

    image
  • SantarSantar Member Posts: 2,382 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    edited July 2014
    Santar said:

    Wouldn't really make sense to keep 50 sidhe in Annwyn if they all take much longer to fight/drop more reward.

    Wouldn't it? Bashing areas would conceivably be able to support more people per spawn, rather than one single dragon being able to monopolise a high-level area (the "oh Penwize is here, nvm" effect).

    Then there would be an infinite amount of things to bash, which is a huge contrast from the way things are now. Grinding one area would take much longer and reap much higher rewards. Things wouldn't get bashed out and people wouldn't have to change areas nearly as often. Being able to just stay in one area grinding one denizen type for so long would make bashing much more efficient than having to wander around and find new things. Right now, bashing areas are a bit of a 'resource' that a person has to go around looking for/planning out. If changed like this idea proposes(without any compensating changes), then there would always be tons of high level denizens for anyone to bash, with no such thing as competition or resource management(with their being virtually unlimited resources, in this case). The sheer availability of high level denizens and the rewards involved would drastically change the landscape of the game.

    image

    Blujixapug
  • GabryleGabryle Member Posts: 6
    @Sarapis, should make it automatically target the weakest member in the party to make it more realistic and amusing.

    Draekar
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