Forums » General Pantheon Discussion

Quick Switch for Gear –

    • 3405 posts
    September 15, 2017 3:35 PM PDT

    And what if the sleep mechanic isn't avoidable?  In the example I used from FFXI, it was a BCNM fight and there was no way to avoid it.  On another note, you demonstrated one of my points precisely:

    "The challenge less in the encounters and more in obtaining a vast amount of items over time."

    That's kind of how progression works.  I'm not saying I want super easy encounters or anything like that, but yes, I do want it to be balanced so that progression is very important.  Long term progression should reduce the difficulty of the encounters, and it should scale higher and higher the deeper you get into your progression.  At the highest end, impossible encounters become barely beatable with the perfect set-up.

    • 2915 posts
    September 15, 2017 4:52 PM PDT

    oneADseven said:

    And what if the sleep mechanic isn't avoidable?  In the example I used from FFXI, it was a BCNM fight and there was no way to avoid it.  On another note, you demonstrated one of my points precisely:

    "The challenge less in the encounters and more in obtaining a vast amount of items over time."

    That's kind of how progression works.  I'm not saying I want super easy encounters or anything like that, but yes, I do want it to be balanced so that progression is very important.  Long term progression should reduce the difficulty of the encounters, and it should scale higher and higher the deeper you get into your progression.  At the highest end, impossible encounters become barely beatable with the perfect set-up.

    If the sleep isn't avoidable then maybe the DPS take a ring to lessen one of the other threatening attacks, or maybe there is a ring that grants regeneration while under the effect of sleep, or they go with a ring to push their damage. Might be that they work it out with their group and only the healer uses the ring that applies a damage over time to himself and then wakes the rest of the party. It really depends on how the encounter is designed and what else the boss does.


    The challenge and need/desire to acquire all the situational items over time, the progression, is still there without the swapping. It's just that the entirety of the game doesn't have to be balanced around the idea that you (could) have access to all these items at any given time during combat. It makes tuning easier/more tight for the devs as a whole and it is easier on players to digest & work toward one path/goal/zone at a time, lessening the initial burden of gearing out many sets when nearing or at max level but still pushing players to dig in and find these rare gear sets to be able to conquer later or deeper dungeons. 

    • 3405 posts
    September 15, 2017 5:48 PM PDT

    Iksar said:

    oneADseven said:

    And what if the sleep mechanic isn't avoidable?  In the example I used from FFXI, it was a BCNM fight and there was no way to avoid it.  On another note, you demonstrated one of my points precisely:

    "The challenge less in the encounters and more in obtaining a vast amount of items over time."

    That's kind of how progression works.  I'm not saying I want super easy encounters or anything like that, but yes, I do want it to be balanced so that progression is very important.  Long term progression should reduce the difficulty of the encounters, and it should scale higher and higher the deeper you get into your progression.  At the highest end, impossible encounters become barely beatable with the perfect set-up.

    If the sleep isn't avoidable then maybe the DPS take a ring to lessen one of the other threatening attacks, or maybe there is a ring that grants regeneration while under the effect of sleep, or they go with a ring to push their damage. Might be that they work it out with their group and only the healer uses the ring that applies a damage over time to himself and then wakes the rest of the party. It really depends on how the encounter is designed and what else the boss does.


    The challenge and need/desire to acquire all the situational items over time, the progression, is still there without the swapping. It's just that the entirety of the game doesn't have to be balanced around the idea that you (could) have access to all these items at any given time during combat. It makes tuning easier/more tight for the devs as a whole and it is easier on players to digest & work toward one path/goal/zone at a time, lessening the initial burden of gearing out many sets when nearing or at max level but still pushing players to dig in and find these rare gear sets to be able to conquer later or deeper dungeons. 

    I don't like the idea of focusing on one path/goal/zone at a time.  I want the world to feel huge ... I want to go about my adventuring, and wherever it leads, know that I might find something that could either help me now based on my knowledge of the world, or be tucked away for the future.  Focusing on one thing at a time is more of a linear path and I would rather stray away from that.  No good thing comes easy.  I don't want my progression burden to be lessened in any way.  I want a raw, crazy world that isn't easy to systematically navigate.

    You mention "it really depends on how the encounter is designed" and that's a big part of my point ... the "ceiling" for encounter design is much higher when you add dynamic combat elements to it.  I'd like to quote Vjek from the last page as I feel he pretty much nailed my thoughts on this:

    "In my opinion, that severely limits the designers options when designing encounters or content.  If you have the options to change equiopment and/or spells IN-combat, then you have significantly greater options.  In other words, designers will always _want_ to change Environments mid-fight, but without the mechanics to support allowing the player to adapt to that mid-fight change, it's pure frustration for the customers.

    Put another way, I don't think having dynamic encounters without dynamic gear/spells is going to work.  This isn't really something that requires testing, it's a logical design issue.  You can trivially see the outcome before any content is even created.  As the developer, you need to set the design goal before you make the content.  Is it a design goal to have players change gear & spells in-combat or not?  Based on that, the rest falls into place."

    When you set the precedent for encounter design to be easier or tighter, you run out of options much sooner (Meet Enrage Timer for every Boss Fight).  This creates a sense of combat where "frustration" ends up being a major obstacle.  Elements are added to the fight that cannot possibly be countered and you just find a way to deal with them, the best you can, with all of the imposed restrictions.  We are already aware of spell restrictions.  There will most likely be group/raid restrictions.  Gear swapping restrictions are not a confirmed thing as this point and I really hope this angle is considered.  I appreciate your idealogy and am sure that it would work just fine for awhile ... but eventually, it gets boring.  That's what history tells me anyway.  This is just my opinion of course and I understand that everybody has their own preference on how they want encounter design/progression to feel.  I personally prefer open/broad/flexible/hardcore elements as the norm, with occassional closed/narrow/restrictive/non-hardcore elements sprinkled in.

    Anyway, it's been fun debating the issue a bit with you, and I appreciate you keeping everything civil.  As I once said on here ... most conversations end up being a debate over hardcore vs casual, forced vs optional, or whether or not something is immersive or immersion breaking.  There is no right or wrong answer, everybody has their own preference.  Hopefully team VR can deliver a game where both sides can thoroughly enjoy themselves.  On some issues though, there is no happy medium.  In this case ... maybe there is.  Restrict spells/groups/raids/specialization but maybe leave gear-swapping on the table.  I've seen it pulled off and it felt great. 


    This post was edited by oneADseven at September 15, 2017 6:14 PM PDT
    • 245 posts
    September 15, 2017 6:13 PM PDT

    I gave an example earlier in this thread, of how you could easily meet rapidly changing encounter dynamics with a tradeskill role the unmasks the artificially masked details of a tooltip, and uses that information to enhance the group or raid with an aura, or skill.  What if you could be a Strategist?

    You should give it a read.  It resolves, what seems to be, your conserns and costs nothing but the "illusion of knowing".  It is sort of an old idea.  But I am sure you could think of a new idea using other ways to move emphasis on "small active gains" to another system entirely, without hindering complex encounter mechanics.

    I am thinking of nearly a dozen different ways, for example, to manipulate encounter mechanics with stat checks, that would not only discourage changing gear, at all, during an encounter, but also achieve this in the face of small potential gains.  Just by manipulating the player's motivations.

    And I have also already spent a solid amount of time thinking about ways to make changing gear during an encounter, realisticly meaningful, without creating a macro script.  For instance, temporary equipment you can put on another player, but not yourself.  Say if the encounter has a water element to it, and you all brought a rain pancho, but you can only use it on someone else.  That sort of thing.

    The core thought process is, create a realistic sense of prep, and a socially dependant form of reaction mechanic that attempts to suspend disbelief.  Essentially to encourage the short gains of the person next to you, rather than yourself.  Which I think would also be amazing.

    I've read so much about what everyone believes is wrong.  I want to read about what you think "could" or "might" work.

     

    • 1202 posts
    September 15, 2017 6:16 PM PDT

    oneADseven said:

    Iksar said:

    oneADseven said:

    And what if the sleep mechanic isn't avoidable?  In the example I used from FFXI, it was a BCNM fight and there was no way to avoid it.  On another note, you demonstrated one of my points precisely:

    "The challenge less in the encounters and more in obtaining a vast amount of items over time."

    That's kind of how progression works.  I'm not saying I want super easy encounters or anything like that, but yes, I do want it to be balanced so that progression is very important.  Long term progression should reduce the difficulty of the encounters, and it should scale higher and higher the deeper you get into your progression.  At the highest end, impossible encounters become barely beatable with the perfect set-up.

    If the sleep isn't avoidable then maybe the DPS take a ring to lessen one of the other threatening attacks, or maybe there is a ring that grants regeneration while under the effect of sleep, or they go with a ring to push their damage. Might be that they work it out with their group and only the healer uses the ring that applies a damage over time to himself and then wakes the rest of the party. It really depends on how the encounter is designed and what else the boss does.


    The challenge and need/desire to acquire all the situational items over time, the progression, is still there without the swapping. It's just that the entirety of the game doesn't have to be balanced around the idea that you (could) have access to all these items at any given time during combat. It makes tuning easier/more tight for the devs as a whole and it is easier on players to digest & work toward one path/goal/zone at a time, lessening the initial burden of gearing out many sets when nearing or at max level but still pushing players to dig in and find these rare gear sets to be able to conquer later or deeper dungeons. 

    I don't like the idea of focusing on one path/goal/zone at a time.  I want the world to feel huge ... I want to go about my adventuring, and wherever it leads, know that I might find something that could either help me now based on my knowledge of the world, or be tucked away for the future.  Focusing on one thing at a time is more of a linear path and I would rather stray away from that.  No good thing comes easy.  I don't want my progression burden to be lessened in any way.  I want a raw, crazy world that isn't easy to systematically navigate.

    You mention "it really depends on how the encounter is designed" and that's a big part of my point ... the "ceiling" for encounter design is much higher when you add dynamic combat elements to it.  I'd like to quote Vjek from the last page as I feel he pretty much nailed my thoughts on this:

    "In my opinion, that severely limits the designers options when designing encounters or content.  If you have the options to change equiopment and/or spells IN-combat, then you have significantly greater options.  In other words, designers will always _want_ to change Environments mid-fight, but without the mechanics to support allowing the player to adapt to that mid-fight change, it's pure frustration for the customers.

    Put another way, I don't think having dynamic encounters without dynamic gear/spells is going to work.  This isn't really something that requires testing, it's a logical design issue.  You can trivially see the outcome before any content is even created.  As the developer, you need to set the design goal before you make the content.  Is it a design goal to have players change gear & spells in-combat or not?  Based on that, the rest falls into place."

    When you set the precedent for encounter design to be easier or tighter, you run out of options much sooner.  This creates a sense of combat where "frustration" ends up being a major obstacle.  Elements are added to the fight that cannot possibly be countered and you just find a way to deal with them, the best you can, with all of the imposed restrictions.  We are already aware of spell restrictions.  There will most likely be group/raid restrictions.  Gear swapping restrictions are not a confirmed thing as this point and I really hope this angle is considered.  I appreciate your idealogy and am sure that it would work just fine for awhile ... but eventually, it gets boring.  That's what history tells me anyway.  This is just my opinion of course and I understand that everybody has their own preference on how they want encounter design/progression to feel.  I personally prefer open/broad/flexible/hardcore elements as the norm, with occassional closed/narrow/restrictive/non-hardcore elements sprinkled in.

    Anyway, it's been fun debating the issue a bit with you, and I appreciate you keeping everything civil.  As I once said on here ... most conversations end up being a debate over hardcore vs casual, forced vs optional, or whether or not something is immersive or immersion breaking.  There is no right or wrong answer, everybody has their own preference.  Hopefully team VR can deliver a game where both sides can thoroughly enjoy themselves.  On some issues though, there is no happy medium.  In this case ... maybe there is.  Restrict spells/groups/raids/specialization but maybe leave gear-swapping on the table.  I've seen it pulled off and it felt great. 

    This is a silly debate. 

    Pick your gear before the fight.

    This argurment is about the mundain tasks of the player on having gear sets. In combat no gear switches should be allowed period.

    • 607 posts
    September 16, 2017 3:36 PM PDT

    Zeem said:

    oneADseven said:

    Iksar said:

    oneADseven said:

    And what if the sleep mechanic isn't avoidable?  In the example I used from FFXI, it was a BCNM fight and there was no way to avoid it.  On another note, you demonstrated one of my points precisely:

    "The challenge less in the encounters and more in obtaining a vast amount of items over time."

    That's kind of how progression works.  I'm not saying I want super easy encounters or anything like that, but yes, I do want it to be balanced so that progression is very important.  Long term progression should reduce the difficulty of the encounters, and it should scale higher and higher the deeper you get into your progression.  At the highest end, impossible encounters become barely beatable with the perfect set-up.

    If the sleep isn't avoidable then maybe the DPS take a ring to lessen one of the other threatening attacks, or maybe there is a ring that grants regeneration while under the effect of sleep, or they go with a ring to push their damage. Might be that they work it out with their group and only the healer uses the ring that applies a damage over time to himself and then wakes the rest of the party. It really depends on how the encounter is designed and what else the boss does.


    The challenge and need/desire to acquire all the situational items over time, the progression, is still there without the swapping. It's just that the entirety of the game doesn't have to be balanced around the idea that you (could) have access to all these items at any given time during combat. It makes tuning easier/more tight for the devs as a whole and it is easier on players to digest & work toward one path/goal/zone at a time, lessening the initial burden of gearing out many sets when nearing or at max level but still pushing players to dig in and find these rare gear sets to be able to conquer later or deeper dungeons. 

    I don't like the idea of focusing on one path/goal/zone at a time.  I want the world to feel huge ... I want to go about my adventuring, and wherever it leads, know that I might find something that could either help me now based on my knowledge of the world, or be tucked away for the future.  Focusing on one thing at a time is more of a linear path and I would rather stray away from that.  No good thing comes easy.  I don't want my progression burden to be lessened in any way.  I want a raw, crazy world that isn't easy to systematically navigate.

    You mention "it really depends on how the encounter is designed" and that's a big part of my point ... the "ceiling" for encounter design is much higher when you add dynamic combat elements to it.  I'd like to quote Vjek from the last page as I feel he pretty much nailed my thoughts on this:

    "In my opinion, that severely limits the designers options when designing encounters or content.  If you have the options to change equiopment and/or spells IN-combat, then you have significantly greater options.  In other words, designers will always _want_ to change Environments mid-fight, but without the mechanics to support allowing the player to adapt to that mid-fight change, it's pure frustration for the customers.

    Put another way, I don't think having dynamic encounters without dynamic gear/spells is going to work.  This isn't really something that requires testing, it's a logical design issue.  You can trivially see the outcome before any content is even created.  As the developer, you need to set the design goal before you make the content.  Is it a design goal to have players change gear & spells in-combat or not?  Based on that, the rest falls into place."

    When you set the precedent for encounter design to be easier or tighter, you run out of options much sooner.  This creates a sense of combat where "frustration" ends up being a major obstacle.  Elements are added to the fight that cannot possibly be countered and you just find a way to deal with them, the best you can, with all of the imposed restrictions.  We are already aware of spell restrictions.  There will most likely be group/raid restrictions.  Gear swapping restrictions are not a confirmed thing as this point and I really hope this angle is considered.  I appreciate your idealogy and am sure that it would work just fine for awhile ... but eventually, it gets boring.  That's what history tells me anyway.  This is just my opinion of course and I understand that everybody has their own preference on how they want encounter design/progression to feel.  I personally prefer open/broad/flexible/hardcore elements as the norm, with occassional closed/narrow/restrictive/non-hardcore elements sprinkled in.

    Anyway, it's been fun debating the issue a bit with you, and I appreciate you keeping everything civil.  As I once said on here ... most conversations end up being a debate over hardcore vs casual, forced vs optional, or whether or not something is immersive or immersion breaking.  There is no right or wrong answer, everybody has their own preference.  Hopefully team VR can deliver a game where both sides can thoroughly enjoy themselves.  On some issues though, there is no happy medium.  In this case ... maybe there is.  Restrict spells/groups/raids/specialization but maybe leave gear-swapping on the table.  I've seen it pulled off and it felt great. 

    This is a silly debate. 

    Pick your gear before the fight.

    This argurment is about the mundain tasks of the player on having gear sets. In combat no gear switches should be allowed period.

    I know where you're coming from, as well as the other side of the argument, but I'm wondering if we have to choose soley one or the other?

    You don't want complete outfit swapping because 1. it doesn't make sense -- you couldn't do that and remain in combat and 2. because we believe that perparation for a battle is almost as important as the execution of the actual plan during battle.

    “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”


    ― Sun TzuThe Art of War

    Obviously then if you know yourself and your allies, what makes you weak and what makes you strong, then you can prepare accordingly and this would include the gear you are wearing when the enemy is engaged.   Likewise if you know the strengths, weaknesses, and strategy of the enemy you can even better plan tactically.

    And of course I've said many times that we want who you are, what you have, where you are, who your allies are, and what you're going up against to all matter in Pantheon, especially or at least for special/boss mobs.  This extra depth isn't simply being pursued because it's more realistic or because I sleep with The Art of War under my pillow.  No, it's because generally depth means more to learn, allows for more variables to exist (and therefore less prediction), and a variety of experiences in general (to battle Groundhog Day, a battle MMOs/MUDs have been in from day one).  

    But I'm also on record as a big advocate of the rule that what's right, or workable, or even fun more often lies not on either side or extreme but rather in the center.

    Conclusion (for me anyway, at this time):  A subset of gear (and other configurable options) should be the exception to this rule and swappable even in battle.  Could your friend distract the ghast long enough for me to switch swords, or to retreat and switch from a melee weapon to a ranged one?  I think so, yes.  Too far beyond that, however, and we'd either simply not allow it, or perhaps make a way for you to have a chance to disengage.... While difficult, couldn't a skilled warrior taunt a mob so effectively that they, at least temporarily, forget about you?  How about if the mob you are fighting isn't that intelligent anyway... it's disposition and behavior could reflect that it's not smart but still quite dangerous, using effective tactics but tactics dissimilar from those you'd see a more intelligent entity employ.

    We'd have to be careful... it would be very easy to get into a situation where either 1. it's almost always beneficial for me to micromanage my equipment and change things and therefore we need a warrior to free me up or 2. it's so difficult to taunt a mob to that degree that I very rarely have the opportunity to make serious changes, so I just don't.  

    Lastly I also really like the idea of 'waves' for some of the more challenging battles... it wasn't too long ago that RL combat involved bringing in different units at different times... one general would perhaps use his archers to soften up the enemy, then send in the calvary to disorient and disrupt them, finally sending in the swordsmen to kill the enemy and win.   Something similar could also be implemented during more difficult encounters, both by players and NPCs.   I'm just riffing here, but perhaps the first wave against a particular boss mob is always hit be a massive fire AoE.  Why? Justin or someone could come up with something really cool, but for now I'll just say he loves fire.   But then once you've survived the firestorm (assuming you do), you learn that if you can keep him stunned the fire AoEs aren't cast and he goes crazy DPS, targeting perhaps the member of your group that appears least prepared to mitigate a ton of damage.  So in Wave 2 (who until now were in another room, or at least both far away and not within range of the AoE) you have a tank and off-tank engage and hope they can endure the fast DPS.

    Why did I riff a little?  Couple of reasons.  1. to encourage you guys to keep up doing the same.  2. I love coming up with examples as to why situational gear creates a deeper, more rewarding combat experience and makes planning ahead that much more important and 3. because I think we could achieve without undue difficulty rules that prevent both people swapping outfits in the middle of a nasty encounter but to still allow them to swap a few things, and even more things if they could somehow disengage.

    Definitely something to play with in alpha/beta.

    You guys also bring up dynamic encounters.  Unless I'm missing something I don't they are always part of situational gear -- they're two systems, rather distinct.  An encounter could have one, both, or neither.  Maybe additional examples of what you guys are thinking about when 'dynamic encounters' is mentioned.  Sometimes we hear and think very different things.

    Pretty sure I've said this before frequently, but it never hurts to bring up again:  While I've met designers and messed with games where a 'dynamic' experience is part of the core design I've never seen it employed successfully in an MMO.   Let me be more specific.  People want to learn about the game, the world, the environment, the mobs, etc.   Having that knowledge doesn't just feel good, but it could get you into a good group because you can help out with the navigation.  It's been a few years (thank God) since the buzzword was at it's peak but Procedural Content seems on the decline again.  I think every once in a while a really smart programmer comes up with some procedural algorythms that on the surface (and perhaps even deeper at times) looks really good, looks natural.  Then producers get really excited and imagine not needing very many world builders at all, saving all sorts of money.   Then the tech actually goes into use, the product is obviously procedural and therefore unusable in any game where the audience wants hand-crafted detail, and it's abandoned.  People go back to work doing the hard but rewarding job of handcrafting amazing places and then suddenly another advanced algorythm rears its head, rinse repeat.  

    The same holds true of a world that is too dynamic.  Like a procedurally generated world, the mind perceives patterns and the landscape just doesn't feel like real life.  Dynamic content done half-assedly isn't interesting, the patterns are still recognized in short order, and since RL appears designed by creativity and including beauty, scrambling data around in a 'dynamic' way also results in something we don't see in real life and therefore it bothers us in-game as well.

    When we talk dynamic it's really something pretty different.  First, what's ideal?  We're not going to have dynamic encounters all over the place for a variety of reasons.  First, again, RL isn't that way -- humans detect patterns, they recognize the product of design as different than a product of random forces.  Lastly, we mentioned above that learning ones world should be fun and make you more valuable.  If the environment, population, whatever is too dynamic, too frequently changing, it's also that much harder to learn about (to discern patterns) if it's doable at all.

    Just wanted to get that out of the way -- pretty sure NOBODY wants a procedurally generated world filled with truly dynamic and random content.

    Dynamic is also hard if you're really trying to hide its nature.... if you don't want people to see patterns, or something repeating, etc. then that's a lot more work than simply scrambling stuff around.   MMO players want emersion, they want visual rewards for exploring, etc.  And if content begins randomly but then has to be massaged so it's not obviously random down to the point that it feels handcrafted..... it IS handcrafted.   

    Anyway, enough of what I don't mean.   The whole 'dynamic' buzzword, and it's been a buzzword for as long as I can remember, way back to the MUDs, etc. means different things taken to different degrees.   The first goal is a general one:  the world is handcrafted, and much of the content, landmass, etc. are learnable. There, we've ruled out taking 'dynamic' too far pretty easily!

    The other extreme might be, oh, random atmospheric events, or birds and butterflies that cruise around (but aren't actual mobs), etc.  Well, that's already been achieved and it is pretty but after playing a few weeks, since it has zero impact on gameplay, fewer and fewer people care about it.   Again, because we want to bring the E back to PvE, we definitely want to take many of these 'only there to look cool' effects and, when it makes sense, put them into our world but with the rule that there is some sort of effect.  It matters somehow -- I'm sure some rare events could really change things while something that happens fairly regularly you wouldn't want to have major impacts on gameplay.

    Ok, finally to what we usually, mostly mean when we talk about dynamic this or event driven that:

    1. Believable variability.   Simple example: soldiers guarding Thronefast aren't always the same mob.... names change, hail text changes, even behvaiors could change.

    2. Same with a dungeon, although we need to be more careful, again not going so far as to invalidate learning an area.

    3. Basic chat all the way to quest text changing depending on weather, time of day, holidays, something about your character or something you did.

    We'll see if I'm right, but I see the game launching with some sweet dynamic content but until the tools really mature and we have a better idea of what dynamics make for a better game vs. those that don't, that the quantity (and quality) of dynamics slowly rises.

    The Event System is something different, which most of you know, but I have seen it confused or at least used in same sentence as other systems, usually unrelated.

    The Event System can actually be summarized pretty easily:  Things have a status.  Things listen for event triggers.  Event triggers can be anything and you could keep adding and adding them.   It could be a simple time of day.  The thing is a mob of a pretty woman, status non-aggro.  It listens for Time of Day triggers.  The change of the clock to midnight creates a trigger that the woman becomes aware of.  The Event is that when the midnight trigger occurs, the woman transforms into a vampire.    It's really a very open system that could be taken very far (and I hope it eventually is).

    The goal is Dynamics in a sense -- the content is not always the same and it can change.  And again anything that minimizes obvious repetition and the Groundhog Effect plague is generally a good thing.

    Smart use would be to start with simple triggers and events, nothing that truly impacts the game or the players, but something that is at least noticible when you are playing and makes exploring our world a little different and varied.

    The slightly more advanced example I've given before (although we've still only scratched the surface) is the Hill Giant/Storm Giant War.

    There is a Hill Giant camp in the world, and it is *nasty*.  Either even a raid couldn't break into the camp or perhaps we don't allow raids there.  

    But sometimes the Storm Giants come out of the heavens and attack the Hill Giants.  What triggers this?  It could be player driven, and could be obvious and simple or very complex, requiring you to have a guildmate on the other side of world who must ring an ancient bell that triggers earthquakes.  Sometimes the Hill Giants are forced into disarray because of the earthquake, their guards move inside the gates, the inhabitants are distracted and not watching as vigilantly for an attack.   The earthquake happens while you and your friends are watching, hiding from a distance.  Sure enough, a Storm Giant army dynamically spawns and heads towards the gates of the Hill Giant fortress.  You follow at a safe distance.   A huge battle breaks out, giants of both varieties are dying on all sides.   What would have been impossible normally (free movement in the Hill Giant region) is now possible.  The Hill Giant mobs could change to as they react to the invasion.  Certainly the Storm Giant mobs are interesting because they're not normally even spawned.   

    The adept and clever guild watches for events like this and opportunistically takes advantage of them.  In this example they let the two giant clans battle it out, occasionally coming out of hiding a picking off a few mobs that don't normally spawn.  Lo and behold, they also spawn with items that are only attainable during this Invasion Event.  The game's content changed, rare items were temporarily obtainable, and it made you and your friends pay attention to what was going on in the world.... if you don't have someone, for example, at least occasionally checking to see if the Storm Giants have attacked then you're going to miss it (and the players who pay better attention won't).  Or perhaps nobody paid attention, it was off-hours, and the invasion took place but there were no players around to do anything about it.

    Regions could be enterable in certain conditions but not in others.  NPCs could interact with each other with the result being meaningful to the player.  Items can be made very rare but appear more naturally... instead of the valued vambraces only dropping 1 out of 500 times, encouraging players to kill the mob over and over again (boring, repetative), you could have the trigger for the Storm Giant invasion be just as statistically rare, but since you're following an event and killing the mob that only spawns during the Invasion once, you not only got the desired item but obtaining it was hopefully much more entertaining.


    This post was edited by Aradune at September 16, 2017 4:44 PM PDT
    • 245 posts
    September 16, 2017 3:45 PM PDT

    What if that friend helped you get that new weapon out, while you distracted that ghast?


    This post was edited by ZennExile at September 16, 2017 4:07 PM PDT
    • 1202 posts
    September 16, 2017 4:31 PM PDT

    Aradune said:

     

    I know where you're coming from, as well as the other side of the argument, but I'm wondering if we have to choose soley one or the other?

    You don't want complete outfit swapping because 1. it doesn't make sense -- you couldn't do that and remain in combat and 2. because we believe that perparation for a battle is almost as important as the execution of the actual plan during battle.

    “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”


    ― Sun TzuThe Art of War

    Obviously then if you know yourself and your allies, what makes you weak and what makes you strong, then you can prepare accordingly and this would include the gear you are wearing when the enemy is engaged.   Likewise if you know the strengths, weaknesses, and strategy of the enemy you can even better plan tactically.

    And of course I've said many times that we want who you are, what you have, where you are, who your allies are, and what you're going up against to all matter in Pantheon, especially or at least for special/boss mobs.  This extra depth isn't simply being pursued because it's more realistic or because I sleep with The Art of War under my pillow.  No, it's because generally depth means more to learn, allows for more variables to exist (and therefore less prediction), and a variety of experiences in general (to battle Groundhog Day, a battle MMOs/MUDs have been in from day one).  

    But I'm also on record as a big advocate of the rule that what's right, or workable, or even fun more often lies not on either side or extreme but rather in the center.

    Conclusion (for me anyway, at this time):  A subset of gear (and other configurable options) should be the exception to this rule and swappable even in battle.  Could your friend distract the ghast long enough for me to switch swords, or to retreat and switch from a melee weapon to a ranged one?  I think so, yes.

    Definitely something to play with in alpha/beta.

    I guess I should clarify I meant gear as in bp, legging and that sort that typically takes some time to put on.

    I agree, having full sets of gear that can be swapped out fast before the fight is nice and of course changing weapons during a fight is something I'd liek to see as well, especially for the Monk class.

    But I just dont like the idea of fast swapping brestplates, leggings etc during combat because if you allow that you mind as well allow spell caster to hot swap spell bars. 

    I can see things like weapons, maybe you pull out a cloak or something or your cloak has two sides you can use that protect against different elements, those have logic

    I heard an agrurment that a warrior can magicaly pop on a new BP because its a make believe world and people are shooting fireballs, but they failed to realize a warrior dont use magic so it wont make sense for them to do so. Now what does makes sence is a summoner throws elemental armor on the tank or something like that. 

    I'm just against mechanics that woun't make sense in the traditional high fantasy, D&D setting/common rules that breaks immersion just to have more things to do during a raid.

    I'm glad you agree on entire gear change during combat is not something we want to see in Pantheon.


    This post was edited by Aich at September 16, 2017 4:42 PM PDT
    • 301 posts
    September 16, 2017 4:44 PM PDT

    Aradune said:

    I know where you're coming from, as well as the other side of the argument, but I'm wondering if we have to choose soley one or the other?

    You don't want complete outfit swapping because 1. it doesn't make sense -- you couldn't do that and remain in combat and 2. because we believe that perparation for a battle is almost as important as the execution of the actual plan during battle.

    “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”


    ― Sun TzuThe Art of War

    Obviously then if you know yourself and your allies, what makes you weak and what makes you strong, then you can prepare accordingly and this would include the gear you are wearing when the enemy is engaged.   Likewise if you know the strengths, weaknesses, and strategy of the enemy you can even better plan tactically.

    And of course I've said many times that we want who you are, what you have, where you are, who your allies are, and what you're going up against to all matter in Pantheon, especially or at least for special/boss mobs.  This extra depth isn't simply being pursued because it's more realistic or because I sleep with The Art of War under my pillow.  No, it's because generally depth means more to learn, allows for more variables to exist (and therefore less prediction), and a variety of experiences in general (to battle Groundhog Day, a battle MMOs/MUDs have been in from day one).  

    But I'm also on record as a big advocate of the rule that what's right, or workable, or even fun more often lies not on either side or extreme but rather in the center.

    Conclusion (for me anyway, at this time):  A subset of gear (and other configurable options) should be the exception to this rule and swappable even in battle.  Could your friend distract the ghast long enough for me to switch swords, or to retreat and switch from a melee weapon to a ranged one?  I think so, yes.

    Definitely something to play with in alpha/beta.

     

    I agree with this.

    As I said at some point earlier in this thread, ideal for me would be to have a Bandolier and a Wardrobe.  The Bandolier is quick change sets for weapons and they can be done in or out of combat.  If so desired, a slight delay when in combat, but perhaps not.  The Wardrobe are for the rest.  One can save armor sets and switch without the hassle, but the wardrobe can't be used in battle.  But, lastly, nothing is stopping someone from opening his bags and manually making changes to individual slots mid-battle.

    That would be a rather good middle ground that wouldn't result in having to carry 5 full sets of gear and the absurdity of a battlefield full of people changing their clothes like a locker room.  But one could switch a piece or two for specific purposes with the penality that it isn't macroed/instant mid battle.

    • 3405 posts
    September 16, 2017 8:45 PM PDT

    Aradune said:

    Zeem said:

    oneADseven said:

    Iksar said:

    oneADseven said:

    SNIP

    SNIP

    SNIP

    This is a silly debate. 

    Pick your gear before the fight.

    This argurment is about the mundain tasks of the player on having gear sets. In combat no gear switches should be allowed period.

    I know where you're coming from, as well as the other side of the argument, but I'm wondering if we have to choose soley one or the other?

    You don't want complete outfit swapping because 1. it doesn't make sense -- you couldn't do that and remain in combat and 2. because we believe that perparation for a battle is almost as important as the execution of the actual plan during battle.

    “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”


    ― Sun TzuThe Art of War

    Obviously then if you know yourself and your allies, what makes you weak and what makes you strong, then you can prepare accordingly and this would include the gear you are wearing when the enemy is engaged.   Likewise if you know the strengths, weaknesses, and strategy of the enemy you can even better plan tactically.

    And of course I've said many times that we want who you are, what you have, where you are, who your allies are, and what you're going up against to all matter in Pantheon, especially or at least for special/boss mobs.  This extra depth isn't simply being pursued because it's more realistic or because I sleep with The Art of War under my pillow.  No, it's because generally depth means more to learn, allows for more variables to exist (and therefore less prediction), and a variety of experiences in general (to battle Groundhog Day, a battle MMOs/MUDs have been in from day one).  

    But I'm also on record as a big advocate of the rule that what's right, or workable, or even fun more often lies not on either side or extreme but rather in the center.

    Conclusion (for me anyway, at this time):  A subset of gear (and other configurable options) should be the exception to this rule and swappable even in battle.  Could your friend distract the ghast long enough for me to switch swords, or to retreat and switch from a melee weapon to a ranged one?  I think so, yes.  Too far beyond that, however, and we'd either simply not allow it, or perhaps make a way for you to have a chance to disengage.... While difficult, couldn't a skilled warrior taunt a mob so effectively that they, at least temporarily, forget about you?  How about if the mob you are fighting isn't that intelligent anyway... it's disposition and behavior could reflect that it's not smart but still quite dangerous, using effective tactics but tactics dissimilar from those you'd see a more intelligent entity employ.

    We'd have to be careful... it would be very easy to get into a situation where either 1. it's almost always beneficial for me to micromanage my equipment and change things and therefore we need a warrior to free me up or 2. it's so difficult to taunt a mob to that degree that I very rarely have the opportunity to make serious changes, so I just don't.  

    Lastly I also really like the idea of 'waves' for some of the more challenging battles... it wasn't too long ago that RL combat involved bringing in different units at different times... one general would perhaps use his archers to soften up the enemy, then send in the calvary to disorient and disrupt them, finally sending in the swordsmen to kill the enemy and win.   Something similar could also be implemented during more difficult encounters, both by players and NPCs.   I'm just riffing here, but perhaps the first wave against a particular boss mob is always hit be a massive fire AoE.  Why? Justin or someone could come up with something really cool, but for now I'll just say he loves fire.   But then once you've survived the firestorm (assuming you do), you learn that if you can keep him stunned the fire AoEs aren't cast and he goes crazy DPS, targeting perhaps the member of your group that appears least prepared to mitigate a ton of damage.  So in Wave 2 (who until now were in another room, or at least both far away and not within range of the AoE) you have a tank and off-tank engage and hope they can endure the fast DPS.

    Why did I riff a little?  Couple of reasons.  1. to encourage you guys to keep up doing the same.  2. I love coming up with examples as to why situational gear creates a deeper, more rewarding combat experience and makes planning ahead that much more important and 3. because I think we could achieve without undue difficulty rules that prevent both people swapping outfits in the middle of a nasty encounter but to still allow them to swap a few things, and even more things if they could somehow disengage.

    Definitely something to play with in alpha/beta.

    You guys also bring up dynamic encounters.  Unless I'm missing something I don't they are always part of situational gear -- they're two systems, rather distinct.  An encounter could have one, both, or neither.  Maybe additional examples of what you guys are thinking about when 'dynamic encounters' is mentioned.  Sometimes we hear and think very different things.

    Pretty sure I've said this before frequently, but it never hurts to bring up again:  While I've met designers and messed with games where a 'dynamic' experience is part of the core design I've never seen it employed successfully in an MMO.   Let me be more specific.  People want to learn about the game, the world, the environment, the mobs, etc.   Having that knowledge doesn't just feel good, but it could get you into a good group because you can help out with the navigation.  It's been a few years (thank God) since the buzzword was at it's peak but Procedural Content seems on the decline again.  I think every once in a while a really smart programmer comes up with some procedural algorythms that on the surface (and perhaps even deeper at times) looks really good, looks natural.  Then producers get really excited and imagine not needing very many world builders at all, saving all sorts of money.   Then the tech actually goes into use, the product is obviously procedural and therefore unusable in any game where the audience wants hand-crafted detail, and it's abandoned.  People go back to work doing the hard but rewarding job of handcrafting amazing places and then suddenly another advanced algorythm rears its head, rinse repeat.  

    The same holds true of a world that is too dynamic.  Like a procedurally generated world, the mind perceives patterns and the landscape just doesn't feel like real life.  Dynamic content done half-assedly isn't interesting, the patterns are still recognized in short order, and since RL appears designed by creativity and including beauty, scrambling data around in a 'dynamic' way also results in something we don't see in real life and therefore it bothers us in-game as well.

    When we talk dynamic it's really something pretty different.  First, what's ideal?  We're not going to have dynamic encounters all over the place for a variety of reasons.  First, again, RL isn't that way -- humans detect patterns, they recognize the product of design as different than a product of random forces.  Lastly, we mentioned above that learning ones world should be fun and make you more valuable.  If the environment, population, whatever is too dynamic, too frequently changing, it's also that much harder to learn about (to discern patterns) if it's doable at all.

    Just wanted to get that out of the way -- pretty sure NOBODY wants a procedurally generated world filled with truly dynamic and random content.

    Dynamic is also hard if you're really trying to hide its nature.... if you don't want people to see patterns, or something repeating, etc. then that's a lot more work than simply scrambling stuff around.   MMO players want emersion, they want visual rewards for exploring, etc.  And if content begins randomly but then has to be massaged so it's not obviously random down to the point that it feels handcrafted..... it IS handcrafted.   

    Anyway, enough of what I don't mean.   The whole 'dynamic' buzzword, and it's been a buzzword for as long as I can remember, way back to the MUDs, etc. means different things taken to different degrees.   The first goal is a general one:  the world is handcrafted, and much of the content, landmass, etc. are learnable. There, we've ruled out taking 'dynamic' too far pretty easily!

    The other extreme might be, oh, random atmospheric events, or birds and butterflies that cruise around (but aren't actual mobs), etc.  Well, that's already been achieved and it is pretty but after playing a few weeks, since it has zero impact on gameplay, fewer and fewer people care about it.   Again, because we want to bring the E back to PvE, we definitely want to take many of these 'only there to look cool' effects and, when it makes sense, put them into our world but with the rule that there is some sort of effect.  It matters somehow -- I'm sure some rare events could really change things while something that happens fairly regularly you wouldn't want to have major impacts on gameplay.

    Ok, finally to what we usually, mostly mean when we talk about dynamic this or event driven that:

    1. Believable variability.   Simple example: soldiers guarding Thronefast aren't always the same mob.... names change, hail text changes, even behvaiors could change.

    2. Same with a dungeon, although we need to be more careful, again not going so far as to invalidate learning an area.

    3. Basic chat all the way to quest text changing depending on weather, time of day, holidays, something about your character or something you did.

    We'll see if I'm right, but I see the game launching with some sweet dynamic content but until the tools really mature and we have a better idea of what dynamics make for a better game vs. those that don't, that the quantity (and quality) of dynamics slowly rises.

    The Event System is something different, which most of you know, but I have seen it confused or at least used in same sentence as other systems, usually unrelated.

    The Event System can actually be summarized pretty easily:  Things have a status.  Things listen for event triggers.  Event triggers can be anything and you could keep adding and adding them.   It could be a simple time of day.  The thing is a mob of a pretty woman, status non-aggro.  It listens for Time of Day triggers.  The change of the clock to midnight creates a trigger that the woman becomes aware of.  The Event is that when the midnight trigger occurs, the woman transforms into a vampire.    It's really a very open system that could be taken very far (and I hope it eventually is).

    The goal is Dynamics in a sense -- the content is not always the same and it can change.  And again anything that minimizes obvious repetition and the Groundhog Effect plague is generally a good thing.

    Smart use would be to start with simple triggers and events, nothing that truly impacts the game or the players, but something that is at least noticible when you are playing and makes exploring our world a little different and varied.

    The slightly more advanced example I've given before (although we've still only scratched the surface) is the Hill Giant/Storm Giant War.

    There is a Hill Giant camp in the world, and it is *nasty*.  Either even a raid couldn't break into the camp or perhaps we don't allow raids there.  

    But sometimes the Storm Giants come out of the heavens and attack the Hill Giants.  What triggers this?  It could be player driven, and could be obvious and simple or very complex, requiring you to have a guildmate on the other side of world who must ring an ancient bell that triggers earthquakes.  Sometimes the Hill Giants are forced into disarray because of the earthquake, their guards move inside the gates, the inhabitants are distracted and not watching as vigilantly for an attack.   The earthquake happens while you and your friends are watching, hiding from a distance.  Sure enough, a Storm Giant army dynamically spawns and heads towards the gates of the Hill Giant fortress.  You follow at a safe distance.   A huge battle breaks out, giants of both varieties are dying on all sides.   What would have been impossible normally (free movement in the Hill Giant region) is now possible.  The Hill Giant mobs could change to as they react to the invasion.  Certainly the Storm Giant mobs are interesting because they're not normally even spawned.   

    The adept and clever guild watches for events like this and opportunistically takes advantage of them.  In this example they let the two giant clans battle it out, occasionally coming out of hiding a picking off a few mobs that don't normally spawn.  Lo and behold, they also spawn with items that are only attainable during this Invasion Event.  The game's content changed, rare items were temporarily obtainable, and it made you and your friends pay attention to what was going on in the world.... if you don't have someone, for example, at least occasionally checking to see if the Storm Giants have attacked then you're going to miss it (and the players who pay better attention won't).  Or perhaps nobody paid attention, it was off-hours, and the invasion took place but there were no players around to do anything about it.

    Regions could be enterable in certain conditions but not in others.  NPCs could interact with each other with the result being meaningful to the player.  Items can be made very rare but appear more naturally... instead of the valued vambraces only dropping 1 out of 500 times, encouraging players to kill the mob over and over again (boring, repetative), you could have the trigger for the Storm Giant invasion be just as statistically rare, but since you're following an event and killing the mob that only spawns during the Invasion once, you not only got the desired item but obtaining it was hopefully much more entertaining.

    Thank you sharing some insight on how combat might look, as well as your take on the "dynamic element" buzzword.  I can also appreciate the sense of familiarity, experience and wisdom that you want players to learn and offer to groups.  You mentioned waves and windows of disengagement opportunity that could both achieve a sense of dynamic gameplay so it seems like you have already thought this through in pretty good detail.  I think both offer plenty of potential with delivering a happy medium.  A question I would have about waves is whether or not there would be an out of combat gap in between them that would allow players to prepare?  If not, I think it would feel more like a "phase" where people start thinking about a long encounter of scripted waves that they prepare for in it's entirety rather than how to best tackle each individual phase.  I'm not sure just how limited our hotbars will be or what degree we'll be able to utilize our abilities/spells relative to our overall kit, but I am wondering how consistently we might find ourselves in situations where we won't be able to react or adapt to on-the-fly combat mechanics that would usually be solved with spells.

    An example would be a mob that can spawn a range of pets that provide different utility.  Some might heal where having a grievous wounds debuff (reduces healing on target) might be handy.  Others might use high-damage spells that are elemental/magical based where having corresponding wards or temporary buffs to those resistances would be useful.  Another might be a control type mob that casts various forms of control-impairing abilities on us where having a "steadfast" or "freedom of the mind" buff or cure might be useful.  Will the majority of fights be mostly predictable where proper planning can yield great results, with occassional encounters that offer surprises that can't be accounted for with limited pre-determined hotbars?  I understand it can be a slippery slope when it comes to surprises as we want encounter experience, familiarity and wisdom to be important, but just how much of a "reactionary" vibe will we see with combat?  I see tremendous value in the idea of situational gear and feel that it can do wonderful things for the quality/relevance of content.  I'm wondering if it can be tied into progression and "dynamic combat" but am also going off the assumption that there would be encounters that can't be "fully" prepared for with our spell kits.

    Another example would be a mob that can summon lessers/underlings that can have a random disposition.  Will this kind of mechanic exist?  Will we have to prepare for fights, knowing in advance that there are a range of possible encounter twists that we can't fully prepare for?  Will a warrior ever have to choose between putting a grievous wounds ability on his hotbar rather than an interrupt, knowing they might fight something where either one may or may not be useful?  Will there be bosses that can change the atmosphere mid-fight to the point where a high acclimation level to multiple random resists could be necessary, but they change throughout the fight?  If so, do we have to make a preparation decision (gear wise) that would be ideal for the entirety of the fight, where choosing the optimal set-up might be a balanced approach that can be supplemented with consumables to help cover surprises that we might not have the right spell solution for on our hotbars due to RNG?  I don't really expect definitive responses on any of this because I know it's so early, but I'm just wondering what the expectation is regarding whether or not there will be combat elements that can't be fully prepared/accounted for with spells alone.

    The storm giant / hill giant concept sounds really refreshing/entertaining compared to camping mobs with a 1% drop rate.  It's definitely a great example of how VR will be evolving the genre and I appreciate you elaborating on it for us.


    This post was edited by oneADseven at September 16, 2017 8:53 PM PDT
    • 232 posts
    September 16, 2017 10:24 PM PDT

    So, I like the idea of having ways to manage sets of gear, weapons or spells. 

    At the same time, I dislike having difference in gameplay just because you are in or out of combat.

    It’s somewhat interesting, and I'll bring up EQ1 here, how the shortcomings of its UI actually added to the tactics in a somewhat meaningful way.  

    Let me explain.

    EQ1 did allow swapping of spells or gear during combat, but there were no quick swap keys.

    Because its UI was somewhat more cumbersome, the player that organized well, knew where each item is stored or spell scribed, was generally going to be more successful when unexpected things happen than those that are unorganized simply due to the added time to find that spell or item to swap it out in the first place.


    Swapping items during combat would take your focus off the battle somewhat, if your tanking it may be enough to lose agro thus making you think twice about going for that better weapon.


    Swapping spells during combat would require you to sit, making yourself more vulnerable and more likely to be attacked. A healer that was outfitted for buffing when a train of mobs came into camp would be rewarded by leaving that one slot filled with a heal and knowing where the rest of their heals are in the book to swap them out and get to work quicker.


    The point is though, just because you are unprepared for a fight doesn't mean you have to lose it, only that its more likely if you don't have your stuff organized.

    After all, organization is a part of preparation. 

    In some sense this same concept goes for looting corpses at the wrong time. For example, if having been rezed into a combat situation you need your allies to protect you while you get your items off your corpse. An instant loot corpse simply takes that challenge away.

    In EQ1, it was under no conditions more or less diffucult to swap in or out of combat, it was simply that being in combat while trying to manipulate the UI was the challenge. When resting out of combat it took the same amount of time to swap things out, it just feels faster because your not under presure at the time.

    So, while we all want more convenience, and I'm not advocating for having the same UI issues EQ1 did, because of that inconvenience it forced us to think more about what we were doing.

    If we add convenience, then to keep the organized players win more old school feel of the game, we must implement some sort of penalty. Either as delays when in combat or not allowing it all, but really that is a different feel to the game then.

    So perhaps a happy medium where hot swap keys work (I hate this), out of combat, but in combat you must manipulate the UI. That could perhaps satisfy both sides of this issue.
    Convenience vs "hard to put your finger on mechanics" - that give gameplay a better overall feel.


    -Az

    • 495 posts
    September 16, 2017 10:38 PM PDT

    @Aradune

    Awesome post Brad, it’s great to have some more info on what’s planned for the game.

    I’m going to give my take on switching gear during combat, and some suggestions on how this could be handled.

    Allowing for full sets of gear to be switched in a second with 0 delay during combat, will most likely lead to armour switching before every ability or attack to min/max it’s power or mitigation, that’s no fun, and the majority of the players agree that something like that would be an awful way to min/max combat effectiveness. My suggestion to this problem is putting a “cast-time” while equipping pieces of gear in combat, and making so it raises aggro (like meditation) and makes the character more vulnerable to damage when equipping items, this would tie in with your idea of a window of opportunity. Weapon switching is another situation where allowing constant switching of weapon with no repercussion ( not losing and auto-attack, not having any delay) could create a scenario where players feel the need to switch up their weapon every time they use an ability, to min/max, i.e: a rogue has 2 skills one that requires daggers (backstab) and another that requires blunt weapons (head bash), if there’s no downside to switching weapon in the middle of combat, then he could use daggers for the backstab ability and switch to the blunt weapon whenever he has to use the head bash ability, now imagine if all the abilities deal different types of damage depending on the weapon, he would be switching weapons all the time to get the most out of the character. I know that this only affects a small portion of the player base (the min/maxers) but it’s an easy fix that has no effect on the way that other players play.

    Situational gear is great, and being able to change it in combat is a really useful addition, especially in a group where there’s only 1 tank, so he needs to be ready for multiple situations inside the same fight, But giving the players the ability to modify their gear set-up, resistances and offensive options inside the fight takes the emphasis way from the preparation, because players can adapt on the fly. If switching the entire group setup while is combat is a harder task then players will need to distribute their responsibilities more evenly, and balance out their weaknesses and strengths through the whole group, as opposed to simply switching on the fly when the encounter demands it.

    I will give some examples to make it clearer. Let’s say a group of 6 is fighting a camp of 3

    1 giant skeleton (Deals shadow/physical dmg, resists shadow/arcane/water dmg, strong against piercing/slashing, weak crushing),

    1 fire elemental (Deals fire dmg, resists fire, strong against crushing/slashing/piercing, weak again water)

    1 Wild Bear Deals physical dmg, strong against water, strong against crushing, weak against slashing/piercing, weak against fire)

    Let’s supposed they have a chanter or any other type of CC and they’re fighting 1 at a time with 2 mobs always CC’ed (these are hard mobs whit loads of HP), if switching gear during combat is easy the group would just change equipment to whatever was more effective while killing the non CC’ed mob, the tank would switch his resistances, the casters would switching their gear based on the school of spells they’d need to cast and melees would switching their weapons based on the enemy (I don’t mind melee switching weapons, but has I said above, make it have a down side, aka loose DPS and some auto attack swings). Now imagine that switching armour is a dangerous thing, while switching armour the character is susceptible to dmg, needs to wait 3-5 secs while equipping a single big piece, gets increased threat values and breaks all CC by drawing to much attention. If this was the case the group would need to balance out their strengths and weaknesses, assign different types of dmg to the group members, the tank would have a set of mixed gear with resistances for all the different types of dmg, instead of simply switching items in the middle of the fight an adapting in a matter of seconds. Now imagine this system extended to a big raid, groups would need to be divided into different tasks, like the Fire group, frost group, piercing/slashing group, thrusting/bludgeoning group, the fire tank, the physical tank, the frost tank, the shadow tank, and players would need to balance out their resistances as opposed to switching to whatever dmg type is coming next.

    Very interesting insight on what Brad sees “Dynamic encounters”, what he described to me, is a world event, when I hear dynamic encounters I instantly think about a boss encounter with many different phases, or completely different encounters inside a dungeon. None the less it’s only the name that differs, because what was described, to me, is exactly what a world event should be, it’s huge, it has impact (items only available for a certain period of time), it involves different parts of the world, and it creates a completely new scenario to explore or adventure.

    • 3405 posts
    September 17, 2017 1:31 AM PDT

    I also wanted to touch on the notion that swapping gear sets while in combat is immersion breaking.  I have seen the argument that you shouldn't be able to switch gear with a macro while in combat, but that you can do it while out of combat.  To me, that is the definition of immersion breaking.  In one sense my character is free to roam around and swap their gear, but as soon as I engage a mob, it now becomes "artificially" more tedious.  The freedom of choice becomes restricted because myself or a group/raid member whacked something, and I won't regain that freedom until myself and every other person in the group/raid has completely left combat.  I understand how this restriction can add a bunch of value to the preparation phase of combat, but we already get that with a bunch of other features/mechanics/strategies such as group/raid composition, spell/ability hotbars, buff management, consumables, timing, coordination, positioning, with the latter half also having reactive flavors.  I am not so much concerned about the idea of actually swapping gear during a fight as I am interested in the benefits that such a mechanic could provide.  It could allow characters to leverage a form of long term progression, dynamically, in combat.  It can be a form of reactive min/maxing that is directly related to your overall progression.

    It's also been mentioned, a bunch, that allowing in-combat gear swapping would also lead into armor switching before each and every ability.  We're talking about Pantheon, a game that is going to evolve the genre.  Combat isn't going to be so mindless that as long as you are standing in the right spot, it makes the most sense to spend time thinking about what gear macro you should be preparing/using rather than dealing with other engaging mechanics.  Swapping gear should be situational, just like most other aspects of combat.  As far as macros are concerned, they are more tedious to make than actually use.  You can make a "swap to +fire damage set, then cast Fire 3" button with 1 macro and assign the graphic for the macro to be the same graphic for the spell you are using.  For spells with other properties that might not benefit from that set as much as other potential sets you can make, you create some macros for them as well.  Beyond that you have a general set that is used for most of your spell rotation.  Again, not so much interested in making macros as I am the idea of acquiring an item that can permanently boost my +fire damage skill.  It's a piece of situational gear in the sense that you only want to use it while you are casting fire spells ... but when you are using them, it really shines!  The "Art of Meaningful Loot Acquisition" is reinforced and a broader spectrum of items have situational (and retainable, in combat) value.  I don't think anybody actually enjoyed making macros, but what they did enjoy was acquiring gear that was worthy of their implementation/maintenance.  I spent plenty of time making macros but I don't remember any of it ... and it was very easily justified due to the long term progression implications.

    Who we are, what we have, where we are, who our allies are, and what we're fighting should all be important.  So too, should be who we've been, what we have earned, where we got it, and how we can utilize all of it to maximum effect.  I don't think being in or out of combat should make that matter any more or less.


    This post was edited by oneADseven at September 17, 2017 2:16 AM PDT
    • 331 posts
    September 17, 2017 4:35 AM PDT

    oneADseven said:

    I also wanted to touch on the notion that swapping gear sets while in combat is immersion breaking.  I have seen the argument that you shouldn't be able to switch gear with a macro while in combat, but that you can do it while out of combat.  To me, that is the definition of immersion breaking.  In one sense my character is free to roam around and swap their gear, but as soon as I engage a mob, it now becomes "artificially" more tedious.  The freedom of choice becomes restricted because myself or a group/raid member whacked something, and I won't regain that freedom until myself and every other person in the group/raid has completely left combat.  I understand how this restriction can add a bunch of value to the preparation phase of combat, but we already get that with a bunch of other features/mechanics/strategies such as group/raid composition, spell/ability hotbars, buff management, consumables, timing, coordination, positioning, with the latter half also having reactive flavors.  I am not so much concerned about the idea of actually swapping gear during a fight as I am interested in the benefits that such a mechanic could provide.  It could allow characters to leverage a form of long term progression, dynamically, in combat.  It can be a form of reactive min/maxing that is directly related to your overall progression.

    I think you've created a bit of a straw man here.  You assume that everyone who finds in-combat gear swapping "immersion breaking" also believes that fast gear swapping should be allowed outside of combat.  So you've ignored the argument that fast gear swapping should just not exist at all because it is not consistent with the other premises of the fantasy world that's being created.  We can have a wardrobe/outfitter system to define gear sets, but that doesn't mean the actual changing of a full set of gear should be immediate.  A time delay could be applied to the changing of gear, whether in or out of combat, and that would be much more realistic within the premises of the virtual world.  As I said earlier in this thread, it does not make sense that my warrior character can change his entire suit of armor in less time than it takes him to take a single swing of a sword. This is an argument based on internal consistency, not any reference to "real life." 

    It's also been mentioned, a bunch, that allowing in-combat gear swapping would also lead into armor switching before each and every ability.  We're talking about Pantheon, a game that is going to evolve the genre.  Combat isn't going to be so mindless that as long as you are standing in the right spot, it makes the most sense to spend time thinking about what gear macro you should be preparing/using rather than dealing with other engaging mechanics.  Swapping gear should be situational, just like most other aspects of combat.  As far as macros are concerned, they are more tedious to make than actually use.  You can make a "swap to +fire damage set, then cast Fire 3" button with 1 macro and assign the graphic for the macro to be the same graphic for the spell you are using.  For spells with other properties that might not benefit from that set as much as other potential sets you can make, you create some macros for them as well.  Beyond that you have a general set that is used for most of your spell rotation.  Again, not so much interested in making macros as I am the idea of acquiring an item that can permanently boost my +fire damage skill.  It's a piece of situational gear in the sense that you only want to use it while you are casting fire spells ... but when you are using them, it really shines!  The "Art of Meaningful Loot Acquisition" is reinforced and a broader spectrum of items have situational (and retainable, in combat) value.  I don't think anybody actually enjoyed making macros, but what they did enjoy was acquiring gear that was worthy of their implementation/maintenance.  I spent plenty of time making macros but I don't remember any of it ... and it was very easily justified due to the long term progression implications.

    Who we are, what we have, where we are, who our allies are, and what we're fighting should all be important.  So too, should be who we've been, what we have earned, where we got it, and how we can utilize all of it to maximum effect.  I don't think being in or out of combat should make that matter any more or less.

    I think you're understating the impact that instant gear-swapping will have on character power in the game.  If we can switch gear instantly, to perform certain abilities, then gear-switching will become part of the mechanic for any fight that involves resistance checks.  Instead of deciding what balance of resist gear and non-resist gear to use for the fight (which itself would depend on the group/raid size and composition), we would just have our gear-swap macros prepared and use the resist gear for parts of the fight and non-resist gear for other parts.  The tradeoffs that normally would be associated with using a set of resistance gear would be greatly eliminated. 

    Fundamentally, you are advocating for a system that will give greater rewards to hardcore players--those who have time to acquire the best items for each relevant set of situational gear--than a system that does not allow, or at least limits, instant gear swapping.  The power of a single character, or a small group of characters with all the best situational gear, would be greater under a system that allows instant gear-swapping than a system that does not.  The implications for this are pretty significant.  Why should Pantheon go in that direction? 

    Edit:  I forgot to mention, I think a hard rule that prevents gear-swapping when "in combat" is also artificial, for many of the reasons Brad described above.  So I'm not saying there should be no gear swapping in combat, I'm just saying it shouldn't be immediate.  As (I think) Dullahan said earlier in the thread (probably like 2 years ago), there's nothing inconsistent about gear-swapping macros, like an outfitter/wardrobe system, and having some delay built into the gear-swap.  You click on your outfitter/wardrobe macro (e.g., "Fire Set") and then your gear begins to swap, one piece at a time, maybe one second per swap.  By the way, this delay actually adds a layer to the decision-making process about what gear sets to define and when to swap them, because you have to consider the tradeoff of the delay associated with swapping gear.  


    This post was edited by Gnog at September 17, 2017 6:34 AM PDT
    • 3405 posts
    September 17, 2017 9:03 AM PDT

    Gnog said:

    oneADseven said:

    I also wanted to touch on the notion that swapping gear sets while in combat is immersion breaking.  I have seen the argument that you shouldn't be able to switch gear with a macro while in combat, but that you can do it while out of combat.  To me, that is the definition of immersion breaking.  In one sense my character is free to roam around and swap their gear, but as soon as I engage a mob, it now becomes "artificially" more tedious.  The freedom of choice becomes restricted because myself or a group/raid member whacked something, and I won't regain that freedom until myself and every other person in the group/raid has completely left combat.  I understand how this restriction can add a bunch of value to the preparation phase of combat, but we already get that with a bunch of other features/mechanics/strategies such as group/raid composition, spell/ability hotbars, buff management, consumables, timing, coordination, positioning, with the latter half also having reactive flavors.  I am not so much concerned about the idea of actually swapping gear during a fight as I am interested in the benefits that such a mechanic could provide.  It could allow characters to leverage a form of long term progression, dynamically, in combat.  It can be a form of reactive min/maxing that is directly related to your overall progression.

    I think you've created a bit of a straw man here.  You assume that everyone who finds in-combat gear swapping "immersion breaking" also believes that fast gear swapping should be allowed outside of combat.  So you've ignored the argument that fast gear swapping should just not exist at all because it is not consistent with the other premises of the fantasy world that's being created.  We can have a wardrobe/outfitter system to define gear sets, but that doesn't mean the actual changing of a full set of gear should be immediate.  A time delay could be applied to the changing of gear, whether in or out of combat, and that would be much more realistic within the premises of the virtual world.  As I said earlier in this thread, it does not make sense that my warrior character can change his entire suit of armor in less time than it takes him to take a single swing of a sword. This is an argument based on internal consistency, not any reference to "real life." 

    It's also been mentioned, a bunch, that allowing in-combat gear swapping would also lead into armor switching before each and every ability.  We're talking about Pantheon, a game that is going to evolve the genre.  Combat isn't going to be so mindless that as long as you are standing in the right spot, it makes the most sense to spend time thinking about what gear macro you should be preparing/using rather than dealing with other engaging mechanics.  Swapping gear should be situational, just like most other aspects of combat.  As far as macros are concerned, they are more tedious to make than actually use.  You can make a "swap to +fire damage set, then cast Fire 3" button with 1 macro and assign the graphic for the macro to be the same graphic for the spell you are using.  For spells with other properties that might not benefit from that set as much as other potential sets you can make, you create some macros for them as well.  Beyond that you have a general set that is used for most of your spell rotation.  Again, not so much interested in making macros as I am the idea of acquiring an item that can permanently boost my +fire damage skill.  It's a piece of situational gear in the sense that you only want to use it while you are casting fire spells ... but when you are using them, it really shines!  The "Art of Meaningful Loot Acquisition" is reinforced and a broader spectrum of items have situational (and retainable, in combat) value.  I don't think anybody actually enjoyed making macros, but what they did enjoy was acquiring gear that was worthy of their implementation/maintenance.  I spent plenty of time making macros but I don't remember any of it ... and it was very easily justified due to the long term progression implications.

    Who we are, what we have, where we are, who our allies are, and what we're fighting should all be important.  So too, should be who we've been, what we have earned, where we got it, and how we can utilize all of it to maximum effect.  I don't think being in or out of combat should make that matter any more or less.

    I think you're understating the impact that instant gear-swapping will have on character power in the game.  If we can switch gear instantly, to perform certain abilities, then gear-switching will become part of the mechanic for any fight that involves resistance checks.  Instead of deciding what balance of resist gear and non-resist gear to use for the fight (which itself would depend on the group/raid size and composition), we would just have our gear-swap macros prepared and use the resist gear for parts of the fight and non-resist gear for other parts.  The tradeoffs that normally would be associated with using a set of resistance gear would be greatly eliminated. 

    Fundamentally, you are advocating for a system that will give greater rewards to hardcore players--those who have time to acquire the best items for each relevant set of situational gear--than a system that does not allow, or at least limits, instant gear swapping.  The power of a single character, or a small group of characters with all the best situational gear, would be greater under a system that allows instant gear-swapping than a system that does not.  The implications for this are pretty significant.  Why should Pantheon go in that direction? 

    Edit:  I forgot to mention, I think a hard rule that prevents gear-swapping when "in combat" is also artificial, for many of the reasons Brad described above.  So I'm not saying there should be no gear swapping in combat, I'm just saying it shouldn't be immediate.  As (I think) Dullahan said earlier in the thread (probably like 2 years ago), there's nothing inconsistent about gear-swapping macros, like an outfitter/wardrobe system, and having some delay built into the gear-swap.  You click on your outfitter/wardrobe macro (e.g., "Fire Set") and then your gear begins to swap, one piece at a time, maybe one second per swap.  By the way, this delay actually adds a layer to the decision-making process about what gear sets to define and when to swap them, because you have to consider the tradeoff of the delay associated with swapping gear.  

    You took my statement out of context.  I never "assumed" anything about "everyone."  I did ignore the argument that suggests fast swapping shouldn't exist at all because Brad mentioned a few pages ago that we're headed in the direction where it will.  Here is a quote:  "1. Players can define Outfits for their characters.  That means you can create a set of gear, name it and save it, and then put it on with 1-2 clicks.  I think being able to organize, sort, and take on and off Outfits is going to be essential."  Based on that, I don't think it's necessary to further engage the argument against quick-swapping.  While it's possible a delay could be built into that, I don't recall him touching on that specifically.  "1-2 clicks" is considered fast swapping in my book so the assumption I am making here is that it's something we'll likely see, regardless of how "immersion breaking it is."  At the same time, Brad also mentioned "it doesen't make sense -- you couldn't do that and remain in combat" when speaking on in-combat outfit swapping.  That is the mentality that I am challenging.

    How does it make sense that my character can do a full gear swap while I'm out of combat, but if one of my friends in group whack something across the zone, it suddenly becomes farfetched that I can continue to do it?  How does "being in combat" make it any more or less "realistic" or "immersive" as it pertains to swapping a full set of gear in 1-2 clicks.  I understand, that in real life, if you're fighting something it's going to be more difficult to change out your gear.  But this isn't real life ... you can't "swap an outfit in 1-2 clicks" in real life.  Why is there a line being drawn between in-combat and out of combat?  It would be more difficult IRL to change your clothes while running as well ... should we also impose a delay on swapping if our characters are moving?  Everybody has their own perogative as far as what value they place on immersion in a video game.  Saying that gear swapping "doesen't make sense" in combat because of realism goes right over my head but I have seen that argument made many times.  In real life it's just as impossible to swap a full outfit while you are standing still as it is while you are moving, fighting, sleeping, whatever.  If you impose an artificial restriction on being able to gear swap based on being in or out of combat, and then also reference realism as possible justification, it just doesen't make sense.

    To be fair, Brad also said "because we believe that preparation for a battle is almost as important as the execution of the actual plan during battle."  The key word I take out of that is "almost."  I have championed the idea of placing a high value on the preparation phase of combat many times ... I totally understand the value of it.  But I also understand the value in "dynamic combat" and have pointed out several times that the design ceiling for dynamic combat is lowered incredibly if you put too much emphasis on preparation.  I already have the expectation that we won't be able to swap our spells out during combat.  I have the same expectation with group/raid structure.  Since gear swapping in combat hasn't been officially ruled out, and it's something that we'll likely test, I am just pointing out some of the benefits that I have experienced with such a system and further explaining how they are directly tied into progression and reactive (or dynamic) combat.

    Fundamentally speaking, you are 100% correct that I am advocating for a system that will give greater rewards to hardcore players.  I believe that those who take the time to acquire the best items for each relevant set of gear should be more powerful.  I understand that I am biased, I will never argue that.  I want an oldschool, hardcore MMO that rewards people for their time.  As Amsai pointed out in a couple of his posts, he spent 10+ years collecting his different sets of situational gear.  There was a lot of time, blood sweat and tears that went into all of that.  It's an amazing degree of loyalty and dedication and he was properly awarded for it.  In so many other games you see crap where you can pick up the game brand new at an expansion, and within a few weeks, be nearly as powerful as someone who has been playing the game for several years.  It's insanity, and I hate it.  It takes all of your experience and dedication over the years and flushes it down the toilet so that the new guy doesen't feel inadequate.  Maybe he should feel somewhat inadequate.  Maybe when he sees a guy who can pull of magnificent things in the game, due to his 10 years of dedication, he might try to learn from him.

    I don't like seeing a "new content patch" come out that then invalidates a large portion of content that came out before it.  I like seeing small, incremental power upgrades to our gear repertoire.  FFXI was the best game I have ever played in regards to keeping "all content relevant" and I truly feel it's because of how they implemented situational gear and their subclass system.  We won't have a subclass system in Pantheon but we will have Progeny, and the rationale behind having the system has been explained many times.  It's the exact same reasons (benefits) that made the subclass system feel so awesome in FFXI.  There is a direct correlation between situational gear and the long term value of the content where it's acquired, and where it can be utilized.

    I didn't play FFXI for 10 years.  I don't think I even played it for 2 years ... but I never felt inadequate.  I never felt irrelevant.  I tanked every mob in the game despite being a relatively fresh player (maybe 6-9 months of hardcore playing/progression) and not being able to communicate (without a translator) with my raid team.  It took a lot of work but I sought out the correct pieces that would help me and it got to the point where I could start doing really cool things.  But once I started killing the high-end raid bosses, that never thwarted my desire to continue with my progression.  I still wanted to travel the world, in all it's tiers, and acquire situational gear that might serve a purpose in specific combat situations.  There was always something to do because of how deep the progression tree was for absolute min/maxers.  Mastering this craft wasn't "required" as much as it was "circumstantially rewarding."  As Lentik pointed out ... a player could truly become "Legendary."  My character wasn't legendary in that game ... but I still had more fun playing it compared to other games where my character was indeed legendary.  The biggest difference was how the legendary status was earned.  I never got there in FFXI but climbing the ladder felt infinitely more gratifying.

    To be clear, I'm not advocating that instant gear swapping in combat is 100% ideal.  I think, like with most things, that arriving at a healthy middle ground would be ideal.  If immersion is causing the needle to teeter on one side of the middle ground more than the other, though ... I start to have thoughts on why and would like to better understand the justification behind it.  I like the idea of windows of opportunity that can be accomplished by implementing wave mechanics or allowing group members to temporarily disengage and by-pass the "in or out of combat" criteria that seems to heavily favor preparation over reaction.


    This post was edited by oneADseven at September 17, 2017 4:07 PM PDT
    • 331 posts
    September 17, 2017 4:26 PM PDT

    187, I don't think we're really that far apart. Regarding the immersion argument, I'm just asking for internal consistency whenever possible. So, yes, I would expect it to take a small amount of time to change gear, whether in or out of combat. As I think more about this, I think what I'd like to see is changing gear in combat so long as there is a delay and the character suffers a combat detriment during the gear change (maybe equivalent to sitting down, except for weapons which can be swapped more quickly). To me that strikes a good middle ground.  It is basically the same rule as I'm familiar with in EQ1 for spells. You can unmem and mem during combat but you need to sit down to mem and can be interrupted when trying to mem a spell. 

     

    I don't disagree that players who invest heavily in their character should gain an advantage. I guess I'm just concerned that truly instant swapping of gear will make the gap between a new max-level player and a hardcore player too big. I suppose it's too early to say. 

     

    One more thought. If we can instantly swap gear, that would lower the stakes of the gear decisions we make. Each class would presumably seek to attain a separate BiS set for each ability/rotation. Then add a few macros and you never really have to make hard decisions about what gear to wear. Gear just becomes an amplifier of class skills. I would prefer the tradeoffs of gear selection be significant, subject to changing in combat with the tradeoffs of delay and a combat detriment. 

    • 3405 posts
    September 17, 2017 4:50 PM PDT

    Gnog said:

    187, I don't think we're really that far apart. Regarding the immersion argument, I'm just asking for internal consistency whenever possible. So, yes, I would expect it to take a small amount of time to change gear, whether in or out of combat. As I think more about this, I think what I'd like to see is changing gear in combat so long as there is a delay and the character suffers a combat detriment during the gear change (maybe equivalent to sitting down, except for weapons which can be swapped more quickly). To me that strikes a good middle ground.  It is basically the same rule as I'm familiar with in EQ1 for spells. You can unmem and mem during combat but you need to sit down to mem and can be interrupted when trying to mem a spell. 

     

    I don't disagree that players who invest heavily in their character should gain an advantage. I guess I'm just concerned that truly instant swapping of gear will make the gap between a new max-level player and a hardcore player too big. I suppose it's too early to say. 

     

    One more thought. If we can instantly swap gear, that would lower the stakes of the gear decisions we make. Each class would presumably seek to attain a separate BiS set for each ability/rotation. Then add a few macros and you never really have to make hard decisions about what gear to wear. Gear just becomes an amplifier of class skills. I would prefer the tradeoffs of gear selection be significant, subject to changing in combat with the tradeoffs of delay and a combat detriment. 

    I totally understand what you are saying Gnog.   I would like to ask, how many active spells/abilities can you mem to your hotbar in EQ?  I have heard "10 abilities" come up a few times randomly but I have no idea how accurate that number is.  If our hotbars can only utilize 10 (or 15, or 20) abilities at any given time, there is already a massive "tradeoff" that needs to be considered prior to engaging.  I'm not sure how many abilities/spells will be in our overall kit but when you consider colored mana, rare spells, the living codex, progeny, etc ... I would imagine at least 30+, maybe 50+.  Either way, it appears that managing hotbars will be very important prior to any major battle.

    Since we'll already have to spend time managing our hotbars/buffs trade-offs prior to engaging a special/boss mob, maybe it would be a good thing if armor was something you could manipulate on the fly.  I'm hoping that there will be "traps" or "surprises" that can't necessarily be "prepared" for, and that our characters still have enough flexibility and leverage of their progression that they can properly respond to these threats, all while still being challenged in the process.


    This post was edited by oneADseven at September 17, 2017 5:15 PM PDT
    • 331 posts
    September 17, 2017 5:06 PM PDT

    The original spellbar in EQ had 8 gems. Non-caster classes had non-spell abilities, like bash, kick, and taunt, and there was no limit to the number that could be on the hot bar, although the total number of such abilities was very low. Hybrid classes got both a spellbar and abilities, so rangers, for example, had a full spellbar of 8 gems and also had abilities like Taunt that could be hotkeyed and were not subject to the 8-gem limit. When AA entered the game, all classes got AA abilities, like wizards got mana burn, and Clerics got a bunch of AA healing abilities, and those AA abilities could also be hotkeyed and were not subject to the 8-gem limit. So a few expansions into EQ, the number of spells was still limited at 8, but with class abilities, AA abilities, and clicky items, most classes had many more than 8 abilities on their hot bar. I remember using about 24 or so keys regularly in combat. So many more than 8. 

     

    Also, in EQ, at least at all times I played it, you definitely could change your spells during combat. I vividly remember frantically memming evac in the middle of a number of fights in Kunark zones. (Oops.) Also had to mem gate mid-fight a bunch of times. And it was common to mem buffs in the middle of a fight too, as a chanter or shaman for example. You just had to sit down to do it, which came with sitting agro and combat detriments. I certainly hope there will be similar flexibility in Pantheon. 

    • 245 posts
    September 17, 2017 5:31 PM PDT

    There is no position to defend that is not steeped in imagination.  If you can imagine this argument, you should be able to imagine how this argument could be made meaningless with game mechanics.  Right? 

    • 179 posts
    September 17, 2017 5:42 PM PDT

    Have not read the entire thread so this may have been mentioned already...

    I liked EQ's spell memming. While in combat you sat while memming a spell as mentioned above and this created a higher agro. If I remember right your memming got interupted quite a bit especially on the longer spells like evacs.

    For gear change it would be cool while out of combat to just have a one click option to change your entire set to reduce the monotony. In combat however it would be interesting if you had to change it piece by piece with BP, Gaunts, and Helm all taking 2 seconds each and all other pieces 1 second each. and an additional 1 second delay on each item before the stats kick in. Also, while changing gear your agro goes up. So if hit by a hard shot with your BP removed there is a good chance you would be one-shotted and dead.

    This could make for interesting group mechanics where an off tank might take over to hold agro while the main tank switches gear. Or the group does whatever needs to be done to hold agro off another group member while they change gear.

    Just a thought.


    This post was edited by Aatu at September 17, 2017 5:52 PM PDT
    • 2915 posts
    September 18, 2017 10:36 AM PDT

    oneADseven said:

    How does it make sense that my character can do a full gear swap while I'm out of combat, but if one of my friends in group whack something across the zone, it suddenly becomes farfetched that I can continue to do it?  How does "being in combat" make it any more or less "realistic" or "immersive" as it pertains to swapping a full set of gear in 1-2 clicks.  I understand, that in real life, if you're fighting something it's going to be more difficult to change out your gear.  But this isn't real life ... you can't "swap an outfit in 1-2 clicks" in real life.  Why is there a line being drawn between in-combat and out of combat?  It would be more difficult IRL to change your clothes while running as well ... should we also impose a delay on swapping if our characters are moving?  Everybody has their own perogative as far as what value they place on immersion in a video game.  Saying that gear swapping "doesen't make sense" in combat because of realism goes right over my head but I have seen that argument made many times.  In real life it's just as impossible to swap a full outfit while you are standing still as it is while you are moving, fighting, sleeping, whatever.  If you impose an artificial restriction on being able to gear swap based on being in or out of combat, and then also reference realism as possible justification, it just doesen't make sense.

    To be fair, Brad also said "because we believe that preparation for a battle is almost as important as the execution of the actual plan during battle."  The key word I take out of that is "almost."  I have championed the idea of placing a high value on the preparation phase of combat many times ... I totally understand the value of it.  But I also understand the value in "dynamic combat" and have pointed out several times that the design ceiling for dynamic combat is lowered incredibly if you put too much emphasis on preparation.  I already have the expectation that we won't be able to swap our spells out during combat.  I have the same expectation with group/raid structure.  Since gear swapping in combat hasn't been officially ruled out, and it's something that we'll likely test, I am just pointing out some of the benefits that I have experienced with such a system and further explaining how they are directly tied into progression and reactive (or dynamic) combat.

    I don't know about the realism aspect because otherwise it would certainly take time out of combat to change gear. For me it has always been a pen & paper thing, or a cRPG thing. The idea behind it is that out of combat you aren't doing anything and when you go into your inventory to change out equipment it's figured that your character is only doing that as there are no pressing issues or other people/creatures at the time to stop you, no other motives to solve for, so it's (often) made instant just as a quality of life thing to save time (occationally a DM will mess with you at that moment and you fight without boots or something). Once in combat it takes quite a bit of time on grounds that your character is now engaged in battle and each second/round of combat matters, almost as if time slows down and all actions taken now have a cost to them. In many RPGs this is represented with "action points" or otherwise just "turns" in which things that you could do freely before now have a measured cost of time against another entity's actions.

     

    As for the second, I think that's more just an issue of how an encounter is designed and they can be just as "dynamic" as if you could swap. They could design an encounter that changes elements all throughout the fight, with swapping you'd get all the sets or as close to as you can then swap accordingly to survive. Without swapping it's designed in such a way that one mixed set of elemental resist gear is what you want before the fight (or maybe just one resist type and while the boss does everything, his fire is exceptionally strong so you do 70% fire resist and 30% spread resist). With swapping they tune the fight one the idea everyone is swapping resists accordingly, so those who don't mostly get wiped as the spells are designed to do damage accordingly. Without swapping the fight is designed to where if you don't have an appropriate set of resists (mixed or otherwise) then you will likely also be wiped as the spells are designed to do damage according to x resists. I don't think it's so much an issue with combat dynamics/mechanics being different one way or the other as it is just a gear requirement difference. 

    • 245 posts
    September 18, 2017 6:54 PM PDT

    Iksar said:

    I don't know about the realism aspect because otherwise it would certainly take time out of combat to change gear...

    ...I think that's more just an issue of how an encounter is designed and they can be just as "dynamic" as if you could swap. They could design an encounter that changes elements all throughout the fight, with swapping you'd get all the sets or as close to as you can then swap accordingly to survive...

    Or you could ignore all of the imaginary obstacles, and just force a mechanic where, in order to change equipment rapidly in combat, a group member has to help you, by first opening your pack for you.

    Which would neatly fit the narrative Brad presented earlier in this thread.

    Can you think of another way to meet the goals Brad put forth while also eliminating this meaningless conflict from the conversation?  I bet you can.  Yer a Leezard.


    This post was edited by ZennExile at September 18, 2017 6:55 PM PDT
    • 172 posts
    September 18, 2017 8:01 PM PDT

    I remember playing a MMORPG that actually had delay timers built in to equipping gear. Some were really quick and others you could watch the timer bar. I forget what game it was. It would simply be another ruleset of the game along the lines of how long it takes to cast a spell or how long it takes between melee swings. A similar construct - nothing more, nothing less.

    • 989 posts
    September 21, 2017 11:45 AM PDT

    Aradune said:

    The slightly more advanced example I've given before (although we've still only scratched the surface) is the Hill Giant/Storm Giant War.

    There is a Hill Giant camp in the world, and it is *nasty*.  Either even a raid couldn't break into the camp or perhaps we don't allow raids there.  

    But sometimes the Storm Giants come out of the heavens and attack the Hill Giants.  What triggers this?  It could be player driven, and could be obvious and simple or very complex, requiring you to have a guildmate on the other side of world who must ring an ancient bell that triggers earthquakes.  Sometimes the Hill Giants are forced into disarray because of the earthquake, their guards move inside the gates, the inhabitants are distracted and not watching as vigilantly for an attack.   The earthquake happens while you and your friends are watching, hiding from a distance.  Sure enough, a Storm Giant army dynamically spawns and heads towards the gates of the Hill Giant fortress.  You follow at a safe distance.   A huge battle breaks out, giants of both varieties are dying on all sides.   What would have been impossible normally (free movement in the Hill Giant region) is now possible.  The Hill Giant mobs could change to as they react to the invasion.  Certainly the Storm Giant mobs are interesting because they're not normally even spawned.   

    The adept and clever guild watches for events like this and opportunistically takes advantage of them.  In this example they let the two giant clans battle it out, occasionally coming out of hiding a picking off a few mobs that don't normally spawn.  Lo and behold, they also spawn with items that are only attainable during this Invasion Event.  The game's content changed, rare items were temporarily obtainable, and it made you and your friends pay attention to what was going on in the world.... if you don't have someone, for example, at least occasionally checking to see if the Storm Giants have attacked then you're going to miss it (and the players who pay better attention won't).  Or perhaps nobody paid attention, it was off-hours, and the invasion took place but there were no players around to do anything about it.

    Regions could be enterable in certain conditions but not in others.  NPCs could interact with each other with the result being meaningful to the player.  Items can be made very rare but appear more naturally... instead of the valued vambraces only dropping 1 out of 500 times, encouraging players to kill the mob over and over again (boring, repetative), you could have the trigger for the Storm Giant invasion be just as statistically rare, but since you're following an event and killing the mob that only spawns during the Invasion once, you not only got the desired item but obtaining it was hopefully much more entertaining.

     

    Really excited when reading this. I just want to add... I would actaully like to see it were the person who rings that bell doesn't know or see anything happen. Meaning an event could be started once and someone notice it, but not understand how it was started. This would lead into a search and find game of what triggers that event, and require teams of people to go explore for triggers as someone sits back watching for the event to start. In my mind this sounds so fun! No text to guide me or flashing symbols to alert me of it, but I would love to see something like this...

     

    Idea: A alter in a dungeon that you can pour some type of blood into. Pouring the right type of blood on it will trigger an event across the world, however you won't know which type of blood to use nor where the even takes place. This means you have to test different types and type to place people around the world to see what it does, and maybe different types of blood do different things. 

    • 436 posts
    September 24, 2017 4:03 AM PDT

    From my personal point of view and the feeling I get from all of the guildies I regularly played MMOs with, changing mid fight to counter an effect or boost an attack was very rarely a consideration.

    I get where the min/max perfectionists are coming from, but the majority of players I have played with in a wide-ranging variety of MMOs were more concerned with setup and tactics and wanting to enjoy the encounter and not worried about an extra 3 hit points a change of a ring could give after the mob cast a certain spell mid fight. Yes, with the "elite" raiders this can make a difference, but for the average, good or even very good player, for the majority of the time this boost is almost meaningless.

    I do get that it can add to tactics required to take a mob down, but if overdone then I think it would be more harmful to gameplay than not having it at all.

    One-click changes, fine. If there is a "casting time" associated then I can live with. But I would go further and say that the stats provided by the change of gear should take more time to "override" the stats obtained by the old gear.

    Imagine a dampened effect on stats released over time.

    So, if a player had str/dex of 12/14 and a ring of dex with +4 dex at the start of a fight, the player have 12/18. Part way through, the player is required to go to a more str based style and switches the ring to a +4 str. A second or two for the swap, but then a few more second are required for that players stats to move from the 12/18 to the 16/14 with the new ring. There is no instant change to the stats; they increase and decrease over time to the new max values. I would also suggest that the the greater the difference in stat values, the longer the new equipment should take to apply their total effect.

    Because it now takes time for the stats to reach their full potential, players would be required to take this time into account in any fight and even ask if the switch is even worth it. I think that this would cause players to only make gear swapping happen when there is a real tactical advantage to be had and and not just to boost the next ability or spell.


    To be honest, anything to make it less appealing to swap mid fight to boost stats would be welcomed by me.