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The tactical aspect of having to pick your skills

Dirili

New Member
So I wander around and meet a wild boar. What might it do? Boars are usually pretty tanky, tend to berserk and gore. So I fortify my health, lower chances for bleeding, stack DoTs myself to overcome its damage mitigation.
Turns out it was a good choice. It also blinds me and kicks up small dust clouds, and then there are knockbacks from its charge. I adjust my load-out.

...and from there on, whenever I meet another one of these mobs, all tactical choice is gone and all that's left is a bunch of additional clicks before I can engage at the height of my capabilities. Can't just pull it, have to replace my ice resistance with physical resistance first, and my cleave with a bleeding DoT. Why? Because having my skills on hotbars is boring, clicking them onto the bar first is entertaining.

Just something I had to think of reading some bloke's on global why he ran out of slots for his skills. I told him it's one of these "gotta have a bunch of extra clicks before different encounters" games.

I always wondered why, instead of restricting player capabilities, developers never broadened mob abilities. Randomize it a bit, have one boar charge and the other bleed you. Have have me react and adapt, have me use different skills each fight instead of less but the same. Would it truly be so much more work to give a mob group five skills instead of three and have them use them in different combinations based on spawn RNG?

Ah well, seems like I added a grasshopper and can't change my boar slaying ability to my grasshopper wing-clipping ability. Better run away and change my skills around.
 

AdricLives

Administrator
Stormhaven Studios
I always wondered why

Personal preference. Grouping with similar specced characters. Character identity.

We aren't looking to make one loadout useless against a boar and another a no brainer choice like a pokemon game. Things are a lot more nuanced and yea, maybe you kill stuff a bit faster if you focus on bleeds against certain enemies or can attack their armor first etc. But there's no intent for any abilities which would be useless in an encounter as you have described. You will remain capable against grasshoppers and boars. Maybe you have a special dagger you like, and some abilities work better with its faster attack speed, or you join a group and you and another of the same spec can divvy up debuffs and be more efficient together.
 

GeneralK

Member
I feel that there is something to be said about mob identity as well. Learning the best skills to use for encounters has it's own satisfaction and player skill prominence that is lost if they go the way you're describing. Instead of say 100 mobs with unique traits now you have 10 mobs with 100 mobs worth of skills and they are less unique Feeling overall.

If one has all available strategies available at all times then one doesn't need to think about a situation in advance and can counter any surprises (within their power) at all times. It removes the planning and strategy phases out of encounters and the social interaction that may go along with them. ("These are tough, let's talk about how the pulls will go and what we each should use for this dungeon")
 

gamealot

New Member
I think there is a great idea here that to me seems right in line with the core tenents of the game (challenging, unpredictable) but it seems to be getting missed. The dev response comes across as a bit defensive. Here we have a hard core MMO player (ie your core audience) already finding things predictable and somewhat tedious, so they post an idea on how to liven things up (ie what your game claims to be all about). I hope you consider the points here and run with this idea a bit.

As this game matures you can expect that harder core players such as the OP will start posting their preferred load-outs for mobs (ie a hunting guide). It will start with the most important mobs and keep going from there. Players in the forums will read these and since your entire game is set up to encourage group based play it won't be long before the right loadouts and tactics for each significant mob become common knowledge to most of the server. And your game will have just devolved to every other MMO on the market - read the forums, get the walkthrough, conquer the mobs, rinse and repeat. Ho hum.....

As a software developer (going on 30 years now) I appreciate that the more AI you pack into your mobs the more problems you are going to have with server load and performance, and maybe it's ok if your normal run of the mill mobs walking all over the zone stay the way they are...at least for now. But where this idea really shines is with your group mobs - in particular the three carrot you should have a well balanced group to fight these mobs (ie your boss mobs). I hope you absolutely consider making these mobs completely unpredictable - do not let the player base develop a script on how to beat them that works every time. That just devolves into boring loot farming with no real challenge once you figure out the process and proper gear/loadout. Instead run with this idea so that you need to react to what they do and it won't be the same every time - ie make them really challenging and require group coordination and reactiveness to the unexpected. ie what your game claims to be all about :)
 

MrDDT

Active Member
So I wander around and meet a wild boar. What might it do? Boars are usually pretty tanky, tend to berserk and gore. So I fortify my health, lower chances for bleeding, stack DoTs myself to overcome its damage mitigation.
Turns out it was a good choice. It also blinds me and kicks up small dust clouds, and then there are knockbacks from its charge. I adjust my load-out.

...and from there on, whenever I meet another one of these mobs, all tactical choice is gone and all that's left is a bunch of additional clicks before I can engage at the height of my capabilities. Can't just pull it, have to replace my ice resistance with physical resistance first, and my cleave with a bleeding DoT. Why? Because having my skills on hotbars is boring, clicking them onto the bar first is entertaining.

Just something I had to think of reading some bloke's on global why he ran out of slots for his skills. I told him it's one of these "gotta have a bunch of extra clicks before different encounters" games.

I always wondered why, instead of restricting player capabilities, developers never broadened mob abilities. Randomize it a bit, have one boar charge and the other bleed you. Have have me react and adapt, have me use different skills each fight instead of less but the same. Would it truly be so much more work to give a mob group five skills instead of three and have them use them in different combinations based on spawn RNG?

Ah well, seems like I added a grasshopper and can't change my boar slaying ability to my grasshopper wing-clipping ability. Better run away and change my skills around.

I really think it should go the other way. Leave the mobs and get to pick the skills IN COMBAT you want to use for the situation. Using the example above.
You have say 20 skills you can choose, and you run into a boar. You going to use your non dot? No you should pick at that time to use a dot attack, as it will be the best choice IN THE MIDDLE OF THE FIGHT!

I think this is the best way to go about it, yes if you farming boars for hours and hours you going to get boared (pun intended) of using the same optimal skills. But this is a choice the players made in wanting to hunt them for hours.
However, in other camps you might have to mix and match, like you see get a tanky pull you switch to dots, if you get a high DPS pull use your burst DPS attacks and debuff them or whatever.
Limiting us to having to choose BEFORE the fight means that you will always NOT have a real choice in combat, and you are likely going to go with the "best" loadout.


So IMO give us the freedom and choice in combat and not limit us to a few skills and having to pick them before combat, we are already highly limited in STA use, why limit our choices in combat?

(Not to be confused with choices of picking a class/subclass ahead of time, I'm 100% for roles for combat/group)