Forums » The Summoner

Pet class design and their pitfalls

    • 15 posts
    September 14, 2016 12:20 PM PDT

    Hello everyone!

    When it comes to pet classes and Summoners, I've seen incredibly fun stuff and horrible design in many MMOs I've played. Unfortunately, I have never played EQ, and while I know this game comes from EQ roots I hope my perspective will give you something to think about, even if I don't have a proper mental picture of EQ "mages". But here is my experience of what is fun and flavorful, or really jarring, about "magical pet classes", taken from a good deal of FFXI, WoW and FFXIV. Take from it what you will:

     

    A Summoner shines and is a joy to play because :

    I can choose an appropriate summoned monster for my group composition and the opposition I'm fighting. Does the group need a little extra support? A little more CC? A certain damage type the monsters are weak against? I am at my best when I complete the group's needs on the fly, a mutable support fighter.

    In order to do the above, I traveled the lands and had to prove myself to obtain those various summoned monsters. I started out as a knife, and slowly became a swiss knife!

    In combat, my time is spent giving specific orders to my summoned creature, or sending it away to summon one better-suited to a new situation. My summoned creature is the expression of my power, and a large part of my damage output. I am vulnerable without a summoned creature at my side, should the monster turn its attention to me.

     

    Please Avoid :

    Summoned monsters as auto-attacking DoTs. In Final Fantasy XIV, summoned pets could as well be another DoT you cast on your enemies. You can milk some damage out of using one ability of theirs at the right time, but that's it. With the Heavensward expension, they seemingly gave up on giving the class new pets, and gave the class a "trance" instead. Now overall the class feels like a "Channeler", not a "Summoner". Too much damage output comes from the Summoner's DoTs and too little comes from the pet. The pet is a sad leftover from a disfuntionnal system they abandonned.

    When I give an order to my creature, it want it to do what I ask -now-. I don't want to have to mash the button angrily and hope for a result before it is too late. FFXI and WoW did this right with very responsive commands and player feedback, and once again, FFXIV dropped the ball. Ifrit is on its smoking break and will Enkindle when it feels like it, okay?

     

    Please consider Summoner mechanics carefully :

    MP Upkeep: FFXI required you to pay MP every 3 seconds to keep a summoned creature out. Creatures with stronger functions cost a fortune to maintain, so you'd just call it, pay a high fixed MP cost for its ability and then send it away to stop the MP drain. While this is debatably cool and "hardcore", it has the consequence that you ran around without a summoned monster until you needed one, and you can't sustain any prolonged fighting unless you have advanced equipment/MP refresh from a party member that negates the cost. It may be something you want in a game that encourages group play... but keep in mind your Summoner players could spend an amount of time sitting down that may surpass even your clerics.

    Hybrid issues: Because FFXI Summoners can do many things but can't be relied on to perform a "pure" role for long (even their DPS is very bursty), they suffer from the usual hybrid issues: people have a hard time figuring out why they should invite one in their group. Summoners have to bring something mostly unique, a staple to the table. Maybe one of the other, non-creature summonings spells, can do that?

    Summoned item issues: From the official class description, pantheon Summoners will be able to summon food and weapons too. That's very cool! But how will the territory be split between crafters who make food for cash and summoners? Do you intend Summoners to be able to sell their summoned consummables too? Are the summoned weapons intended only for people who are undergeared for their level, or do they bring special abilities that may help against certain foes, like a fire sword or a poisonned dagger? Do they despawn when the Summoner leaves the group? How cumbersome is it to distribute summoned items, can you drop them on the ground rather than open trade windows with everybody?


    This post was edited by piellar at September 14, 2016 9:34 PM PDT
    • 234 posts
    September 15, 2016 9:43 AM PDT

    EQ's version (The Mage) was a bit different.

    Pets are spells you aquire through various means and have different melee roles depending on which pet you summoned: 

    • - Earth - Roots 
    • - Air - Stuns
    • - Water - back stabs
    • - Fire - nukes (maybe it was a proc)

    Anyway, so about half of your DPS would come from the pet itself and the other half from the Mage (you)

    Summoned items were all marked as no-rent which in EQ speak means it goes away when you log out for an extended period of time.

    The summoned items could vary in function:

    • - Armor 
      • -- Pet Specific - status to improve pet performance (Haste, AC etc)
      • -- Usable by player - useful for those naked corpse runs
    • - Weapons
      • -- Could be given to pets / BTW - items dropped by mobs could also be given to pets
      • -- Could be used by players
      • -- Arrows were often asked for
    • - Misc Items
      • -- Ring of Flight - allows up to 3 charges of levitation on a target
      • -- Ring of Water - allows up to 3 charges of water breathing on target
      • -- Food/Water
      • -- Magic bag - 100% weight reduction and 10 slots
        • --- Was useful but if you forgot to remove items from it when you logged out they would poof along with the bag
      • - Modulating Rod - allows player to convert some HP to Mana - very useful to healers in long fights for example

    And many more I'm sure I didn't mention.

    I know as an enchanter I would often seek out a set of pet toys from a mage to give to my charmed pets, which made them pretty powerful and scary to manage but well worth the risk. 

    We used to call the Mage a vending machine.

     

    So, that is the essence of the EQ version - maybe it will give you some insight into how Pantheon may implement this class.

     

    -Az

     


    This post was edited by azaya at September 15, 2016 9:44 AM PDT
    • 15 posts
    September 15, 2016 1:19 PM PDT

    Thank you for your great explanation Azaya! It briefs me on what I've missed, and from what I see EQ Mage must have been quite interesting!

    • 697 posts
    September 15, 2016 11:36 PM PDT

    Of course much depends on the role that the Summoner will have. Will it be more towards DPS, or more towards support (CC, ...)? If DPS, I hope that the pets will be a huge part of the overall damage output (with appropriate summoner gear and buff support).

    Some things azaya didn't mention: EQ mage pets had no mana cost upkeep once summoned. You couldn't directly operate them, they used all their abilities on their own (they were in fact just permanent DOTs). In early EQ, mages had limited control over their pets, only later were further pet commands added (in particular, "/pet hold" which told the pet to ignore attacks on it).

    Other important spell lines of mages were the damage shields, and resist debuffs. They had very little other support spells (for combat). Their role was clearly focused on DPS.

    • 57 posts
    September 24, 2016 8:53 PM PDT

    The most required things for a pet class (in combat) always involved three things: 1. Make my pet attack, 2. Make my pet back off, and 3. Have the pet be powerful. The loss in having a powerful pet would be: 1. The character has a strong vulnerability (can only control mobs using the pet, etc.), 2. Has abilities that can only support the pet or pets, and 3. Takes too much energy and time to resummon (at least, it should).

    Personally, the reason why someone would want to have a pet tank rather than be a tank is that one can play multiple roles at the same time. If one finds that they can never keep playing a tank, a dps, or a healer, but finds them equally interesting then a pet class could work. One thing I never liked about new pet classes is that no one outside of myself cared much about the pet. Tanks would go out into dangerous situations and pull mobs just to find themselves dying because someone debuffed or healed too late. In GW2 I would have my Ranger pet pull a mob outside of a dangerous location for my small group right outside and let it tank the adds that people were not concentrating on, because if my pet died then it could be returned later (everyone knows what happens when party members die).

    Let's say my pet is a fire pet, and we need a mob that stands far away in a lake of fire. If we sent a levitating warrior to tank it, the warrior could still take damage from being so close to the lave (although not in it, silly). The fire pet on the other hand would be made of fire and not have much of a problem dealing with mobs in lakes of fire, but since the mob would also be made of fire then the fire pet would deal less damage and yet be able to take more damage. The thing is that a pet should be a smart way to start battles in small groups as there is an additional person supporting the pet. If the main tank decides to do the tanking then the pet can be healed by me rather than wasting the healer's mana.

    Another thing people forget is that we are two individuals as a pet class. When someone is being attacked by a new mob the pet can immediately tank that mob while I work on burning down the tank's mob (if we disregard all the other spells the Summoner/Necromancer will have). If the group is on its last leg the pet would be the last resort to either finally get a mob down when the dps is still alive, or to keep a mob pinned so everyone can safely run or evac away.

    Pet classes have largely become either caster classes with a moving DoT and some rather redundant abilities that do not set it apart, or is a soloer. The character themself should be very vulnerable without others around that have [targeted] crowd control and offensive debuffs. The character should never be able to heal themself during a battle or there will be an obvious disconnect from the fact that the pet should be the most important thing on the caster's mind (I liked summoning bandages though). Moderate nuking is useful if one needs a mob to die fast as well as a damage shield (pets should be doing the sustained damage and damage shields are good "aoe" sustained damage).

    A more cosmetic detail is that a pet should not have an unattractive or annoying identity. A tanking rock pet should be fine with just a cryptic name and some mannerisms that make others not want to mess with it (but not overdone, simplicity can be intimidating) and a skeleton can leave anything to the imagination as to which dead person's skeleton is now helping you...animals are just animals as well and should act like we expect. The reason why I'd personally like it this way is that the group needs to like having the pet around, for if it is a boring human water anomaly with a face that cannot respond like a human then no one would really care about supporting it. We need to show the group that our bear or giant rock or armored zombie is something that just oozes "give me defensive buffs!", or that a pet cougar, fire elemental, or wraith is something that wants damage buffs or procs. Any "fun" spells a pet class gets should involve their pet.

    It always has to be that if you are all alone and your pet dies there is so little you can do to prevent your doom other than running away or summoning a wall to simplify running away. On another note it is a sacrifice to choose armor that strengthens your pet in expense of yourself instead of having one of our stats be the one that strengthens pets.

    • 72 posts
    October 7, 2016 9:57 AM PDT

    Great discussion so far, guys! I'm leaning towards being a summoner in Panth, but about 1/3 of me wants to roll wizard because I feel like I know what I'll get. If, during alpha or beta testing, I see the following factors pan out, I'll lock in summoner and never look back.

    Permanent pet summons. I dabbled in with an alt mage back in the EQ days and my favorite part of being a pet class was having an elemental by your side indefinitely. Summoning up gear for it to use and buffing/healing it as needed made the Mage class feel impressive and fulfilling; there was nothing better than watching your water elemental out-backstab the group's rogue or your air elemental land a critical stun on a healer mob. Also, having a pet by your side helps you dodge aggro like a boss; I can't count how many times I bolted when accidently pulling aggro, leaving Kabober to take one for the team while I ran to the zone. Permanent pets also provide a "solo-ability" factor, particularly at the lower levels. It would be great to see unique high-level summons that could set players apart and provide that "wow" factor for which everyone secretly strives.

    Scaling summoned gear/items. I had a big nostalgic chat with a buddy of mine last month; we were reliving the glorious EQ1 days and talking about what we wanted to see for Panth. Even though we both started around the time of the Kunark expansion, we had a pretty good feel for vanilla EQ. I'm talking about the days when a fine steel sword was a big deal and haste items made you godlike. If VR can make it so that summoned items stay in demand, for the most part, I feel like a good chunk of the classic Mage utility will be carried into Panth. I don't mind being a vending machine as long as I'm vending to more than just lowbies and necro pets, lol.

    Primary stat affecting pet power/abilities. I seriously hated that EQ1 pets were basically the same. My LVL 40 pet hits just as hard as yours, even if my primary class stat is 40% higher than yours. I'd like to see unique quest pets and pets hitting hard and scaling better based on your primary stat (like INT was for casters back in EQ). It's incredibly boring and stagnating to know that my pet is always going to hit for X regardless of my personal progression. I realize they would need to balance this carefully as it wouldn't make sense for a pet to be too powerful, but they need to give us DPS nerds something to parse.

    Wizards get a lot of love, right? They port, they succor groups to safety, they nuke in (almost) every flavor of damage, and they can quad kite (at least the highly talented ones can). Mages in EQ were mana rod vending machines, Call of the Hero slaves (mages could summon people to the group as long as they were in the zone, making this huge for late raid attendees), and didn't really get to use pets during major encounters for fear of pulling aggro or wiping the raid. If VR can "modernize" summoners so that they bring as much overall value to groups and raids as other classes, I'll never regret my choice of class.

    Talv~

    • 94 posts
    October 13, 2016 12:51 PM PDT

    I think the knowledge and tech has come far since the days of the EQ pet AI. Now I played a Mage and a BL so I am no stranger to having to have /petstay macroed and ready to spam at any moment as pets back then would randomly just take off after a mob for whatever reason. I remeber alpha testing a raid exspanion one time and a GM was with us and saw it happen (as I had been talking in tells with her about the behaviour of BL pet AI and sure enough my pet tore off on his own) she was like "Ok i see what you meant". I think VR will not let me down in the Pet AI area or the balance area and let Summoners be a viable party member for other reason then a vending machine.

    • 1736 posts
    October 19, 2016 8:52 AM PDT

    Just something that has come up recently in EQ, today. (October 19th, 2016) In particular on the Time Locked Progressions servers, where you play from classic era and there is a fixed amount of time between expansions, so you get the feel of the original game and then get to re-experience the impact of each expansion.

    https://forums.daybreakgames.com/eq/index.php?threads/motow-is-inappropriate-for-the-velious-luclin-era.235244/

    This thread above highlights some of the consequences of pet class design, expansions, and overall player power.

    More to the point, today, right now, you can go into a number of zones in EQ TLP and find three, four, five or six boxed mages absolutely destroying any and all content in a single zone, without risk and complete reward.  Of their same level.

    After seeing it in action, after such a long time, and so many attempts at balancing, my opinion on this is:

    No pet should ever be able to replace or perform the role of a player tank, in Pantheon, on any group/heroic/epic target that grants experience to the pet owner.

    There.  I said it. :)  Now I can refer back to this post in the future when/if pets ever becomes so overpowered they replace a tank in a group or can do what is now happening in EQ.

    It's bad enough now that I hope the Pantheon developers seriously consider removing pets altogether, or making them so they die if they take direct damage.  Just to avoid this inevitability in the future.

    • 94 posts
    October 19, 2016 5:58 PM PDT

    The way Pet are now on those servers is NOTHING like how they were at the start of EQ. I disagree that there shold not be a tank pet there should always be one of these. However I should have to activly be doing things to the mob as well I am fine if a tank pet doesnt do much dmg as long as it does what it is supposed to and keeps the mobs attention (long as I dont go nuts on the dmg of course)

    • 72 posts
    October 22, 2016 10:18 AM PDT

    vjek said:

    More to the point, today, right now, you can go into a number of zones in EQ TLP and find three, four, five or six boxed mages absolutely destroying any and all content in a single zone, without risk and complete reward.  Of their same level.

    To be fair, you can six-box pretty much any class and destroy things with minimal effort. I agree that pets shouldn't replace primary roles, but this edge-case that affects 0.5% of players shouldn't shape the class to impact the other 99.5% who won't be exploiting. Just my 2cp.

    Talv

    • 41 posts
    November 1, 2016 7:40 PM PDT

    The TLP servers are a poor comparison as they are strictly a nostaglic factor and even the original rulesets are not in place. At no point in EQ did mage pets out-tank or out-weigh the benefits of having a pure or hybrid tank leading the charge. Even as I play P99 these days, my pet is very strong but cannot compete with even the most undergeared of tanks. I loved the pet boosts we got late in EQ's life, but that was simply a mechanic to allow for cheap soloing and was not intended in any way to replace tanks. I desire extreme versatility with my pets and hopefully some decent solo tanking capabilities, but I won't hold out hope that our pets will be strong enough to replace a player. Our pets should strongly enhance and augment our abilities in a group (hopefully providing DPS or CC or vice versa) or should be a valuable but not overpowered asset if solo capability is in place.

    I miss the vanilla mages of EQ and even enjoyed the class while we suffered through our mediocre capibilities in middle EQ expansions.

    • 4530 posts
    November 7, 2016 1:35 PM PST

    I'm assuming raids in Pantheon will require more situational awareness than an AI pet can provide. For example, I presume bosses will have visual tells that the tank will have to react to immediately to avoid taking a lot of damage or losing aggro. I highly doubt the summoner will be able to micro-manage the pet to the degree. And then at which point, why not just say that the Summoner is a class that is capable of tanking? Anyway, I think it makes a lot more sense for summoners in raids to be primarily dps. And maybe pullers in some situations. Either way, it always seemed like Summoners were the primier soloing class. I know Pantheon is not big on soloing but the option is there. And if a Summoner wants to raid, I'm betting they'll have a vast arsenal of pets and no matter what type of enemy they're facing, they'll have at least one pet that can provide some serious dps for that situation.

    • 35 posts
    November 30, 2016 7:11 AM PST

    vjek said:

    It's bad enough now that I hope the Pantheon developers seriously consider removing pets altogether, or making them so they die if they take direct damage.  Just to avoid this inevitability in the future.

     

    Let me get this straight, you come into the Summoner forums to post about how there shouldn't be pets in the game.  The example as to why it won't work is a 20 year old game on its obviously unbalanced servers that was tossed off to a company that's notorious for not giving two..poops about their products outside of cashing in.  Are you a troll or do you really dislike pets that much?

    • 4530 posts
    November 30, 2016 8:02 AM PST

    Fwick said:

    vjek said:

    It's bad enough now that I hope the Pantheon developers seriously consider removing pets altogether, or making them so they die if they take direct damage.  Just to avoid this inevitability in the future.

     

    Let me get this straight, you come into the Summoner forums to post about how there shouldn't be pets in the game.  The example as to why it won't work is a 20 year old game on its obviously unbalanced servers that was tossed off to a company that's notorious for not giving two..poops about their products outside of cashing in.  Are you a troll or do you really dislike pets that much?

    And we have a winner! lol

    this is not the first time I have seen vjek strongly push opinions with little to no basis in reality. I guess that's the definition of a troll? haha

    • 41 posts
    November 30, 2016 4:12 PM PST

    It appears to be a poor trolling effort. If they were to remove pets from the game, you may as well just remove the Summoner class with it. MMOs have their flaws with pet design, but the Summoner's strength is clearly meant to be its pets, with the understanding that we will sacrifice utility or strength in other areas. I'm anxiously awaiting the class info reveal (whenever that may come) so we may have a bit of a better idea in terms of possible mechanics or pet types.

    • 30 posts
    December 22, 2016 4:33 PM PST

    EQ1 Magician's Fire pet has an incredible damage shield. You equip your Fire pet with the best armor that you can summon/craft/buy/find and it can take a beating. 

    • 1910 posts
    December 24, 2016 6:16 AM PST

    If I am right in my assumption of what "horizontal leveling" and "enviroment acclimation" means, Pantheon would be entirely different to the sumoner class.

    There would be value in summoned acclimated items(no rent), as there was for summoned armor during corpse runs.

    But also - summoners may not have only 4 types of pets to choose from, they may have variants on the monster summoning spell- depending on the environment. It would be cool if there was a quest to get that kind of acclimation per environment instead of per element. THis raises the types of summoned creatures available as it matches the environment. So, in the dessert if you quested a spell that is dry and heat acclimated (air and fire for the oldies?) you could summon a venom-biting snake to fight that- like other snakes in the dessert- is strong in the dessert. Or in a Lava mountain, if you quested a spell that is Heat and rock acclimated (fire and earth?) for a dangerous, drippy(watch out!), lava blob that burns the summoner or PC's in group if they get too close.

    Or, horizontally speaking, if you haven't been able to cross-acclimate (heat,dry/heat, rock) but only excel in one acclimation, like Ice for instance, then your "summoned" thing would be spell or DD like. As in summoning a glacier to drop on a monster- but only if there is snow around. In a half-snow place or place where seaons change, you could still cast  the glacier but it would be slightly weaker in spring, stronger in Fall, strongest in winter. for instance. ( or during a snowstorm to keep is simple).

    I am imagining in a hot enviroment as a summoner with a  druid, you would have to coordinate with the druid to have the druid create a snowstorm- which would manifest as a cool breeze in the hot environment, but would be enough for the summoner to cast a chunk of ice or slush spray to damage (snare?) the monster. If it didnt damage but creatded a snare effect that would be a neat "I-didn't-know-it-would-do-that" kind of thing. At least allow the players to back off while the monster slid around, no damage but bought time - same thing, right?

     

    • 1987 posts
    December 26, 2016 9:46 PM PST

    Talvaris said:

    Wizards get a lot of love, right? They port, they succor groups to safety, they nuke in (almost) every flavor of damage, and they can quad kite (at least the highly talented ones can). Mages in EQ were mana rod vending machines, Call of the Hero slaves (mages could summon people to the group as long as they were in the zone, making this huge for late raid attendees), and didn't really get to use pets during major encounters for fear of pulling aggro or wiping the raid. If VR can "modernize" summoners so that they bring as much overall value to groups and raids as other classes, I'll never regret my choice of class.

    Talv~

     

     Well said.  I bolded the most important part. 

    That being said, my doubts that the Bolded text will become a reality might make me play a wizard.  Summoners need more In combat utility...not just out of combat utility.


    This post was edited by philo at December 27, 2016 10:06 AM PST
    • 1915 posts
    December 27, 2016 3:15 PM PST

    I found this older forum topic. Take a look at Aradunes 6/3/2016 post on the first page. Looks good to me.

    https://www.pantheonmmo.com/content/forums/topic/3448/pets-and-pantheon

    • 1736 posts
    January 4, 2017 5:10 PM PST

    Speaknoevil said:

    It appears to be a poor trolling effort. If they were to remove pets from the game, you may as well just remove the Summoner class with it. MMOs have their flaws with pet design, but the Summoner's strength is clearly meant to be its pets, with the understanding that we will sacrifice utility or strength in other areas. I'm anxiously awaiting the class info reveal (whenever that may come) so we may have a bit of a better idea in terms of possible mechanics or pet types.

    Not a trolling effort.  Completely based in reality and personal experience seeing pets in MMO's since MMO's have existed.

    The only type of pet should be transient dumbfire pets.  Or a temporary mobile DoT with different graphics, if you prefer.  Mage pets are a plague in any game that has them.  They permit complete automation, unattended gameplay, 24x7 farming, and a variety of other very bad things.

    I have a magician in EQ1, played up to level 40, and it is the most powerful character I have ever played.  I am basically a wizard with a tank that taunts better than any normal tank player.  I can med through fights if I want to, heal my pet if I want to, and my pet kills faster than my monk or rogue.  Plus I can nuke 90% as well as a wizard.  As in, literally mathematically.  A wizard does 1000 dmg, I do 900.  PLUS A PET.

    It comes down to this:  If the pet types aren't grossly overpowered at launch, summoners will complain until they are.  This has happened in every game that has had controllable summonable pets.  You've all seen (or can see) the future of EQ1 magicians in P99 and TLP servers.  It is a PLAGUE on those games.  A devastating toxic plague.  There are literal mage armies in those games now that summoners/mages have got their way.

    I just don't want to see the same terrible fate befall Pantheon.  Don't do it VR.  Transient dumbfire pets ONLY.  This means either you cast them and they last until the Summoner is out of combat, and/or they drain mana constantly while alive, and/or they persistently cost a minimum of 50-75% of the mana pool to have a pet alive.  Pets that entirely, significantly, or even APPROACH replacing a players role in a group should not be a design goal, imo.

    • 1915 posts
    January 4, 2017 5:19 PM PST

    The pet is intended to be the main source of power for a summoner, not the player. The player controls the pet, heals it, and buffs it. The pet is the point to the summoner.

    In exchange, the summoner itself is pretty weak.


    This post was edited by Beefcake at January 4, 2017 5:25 PM PST
    • 1736 posts
    January 5, 2017 9:35 AM PST

    Beefcake said:

    The pet is intended to be the main source of power for a summoner, not the player. The player controls the pet, heals it, and buffs it. The pet is the point to the summoner.

    In exchange, the summoner itself is pretty weak.

    I agree with the theory, but I've never seen that be the implementation. In EQ1, there is no cost, downside, or negative to having a pet active for a Mage.  None.  Zero.

    If summoners were to occupy, inhabit, or have to directly control (as in, while the pet is alive, the summoner IS the pet..) and the summoners body is left in the world vulnerable, weak, and frail?  Sure, I could see that being a kind of balance.

    But the EQ1 implementation of mages, past or present, as the Pantheon Summoner?  No thanks.

    I'll put this another way.  Is it a design goal that the Pantheon Summoner is, in effect, two players worth of power in one account?  If not, then while a pet is active, the pet should be half the power of a player, and the summoner should be reduced to half the power of a player.  Then, together, they add up to one player.  Not two.  Every implementation I've seen it's more like the pet is 90-110% of one player, and the summoner/mage is 90% of one player, adding up to 180-200% of one "normal" player, per mage/summoner.  It's why a group of 6 mages can do content that requires 10-12 normal players, today.

    So, are Pantheon Summoners willing to accept a persistent reduction of half their mana pool when the pet is active?  Are they willing to accept a reduction to half their normal hit points when a pet is active?  Are they willing to accept a scaling down of all their spells and effects to half damage/power when a pet is out?  Will they accept a pet that has half the hit points of a similar level creature?  Will they accept a pet that does half the damage of a similar level creature?  I doubt it.  But really, all you summoners, would you actually accept those limitations, in Pantheon?

    Thus the entire problem with pet classes is likely to be repeated, again.

    • 4530 posts
    January 5, 2017 10:20 AM PST

    vjek said:

    Speaknoevil said:

    It appears to be a poor trolling effort. If they were to remove pets from the game, you may as well just remove the Summoner class with it. MMOs have their flaws with pet design, but the Summoner's strength is clearly meant to be its pets, with the understanding that we will sacrifice utility or strength in other areas. I'm anxiously awaiting the class info reveal (whenever that may come) so we may have a bit of a better idea in terms of possible mechanics or pet types.

    Not a trolling effort.  Completely based in reality and personal experience seeing pets in MMO's since MMO's have existed.

    The only type of pet should be transient dumbfire pets.  Or a temporary mobile DoT with different graphics, if you prefer.  Mage pets are a plague in any game that has them.  They permit complete automation, unattended gameplay, 24x7 farming, and a variety of other very bad things.

    I have a magician in EQ1, played up to level 40, and it is the most powerful character I have ever played.  I am basically a wizard with a tank that taunts better than any normal tank player.  I can med through fights if I want to, heal my pet if I want to, and my pet kills faster than my monk or rogue.  Plus I can nuke 90% as well as a wizard.  As in, literally mathematically.  A wizard does 1000 dmg, I do 900.  PLUS A PET.

    The nuking part I actually agree with - it doesn't make sense to me that summoners, magicians, etc. should have such powerful nukes. I guess summoners could "conjure" up some sort of fireball or something but I'd still say leave that to the wizards/sorcerers. I'd like summoner spells to be more unique. The power is in the pets.

    vjek said:

    It comes down to this:  If the pet types aren't grossly overpowered at launch, summoners will complain until they are. This has happened in every game that has had controllable summonable pets.

    Um.. ok? Tell me what else the future holds lol. The whole "it's always been like this so it's never going to change" thing is the lowest form of logic tbh. Nonsense.

    vjek said:

    You've all seen (or can see) the future of EQ1 magicians in P99 and TLP servers.  It is a PLAGUE on those games.  A devastating toxic plague.  There are literal mage armies in those games now that summoners/mages have got their way.

    I just don't want to see the same terrible fate befall Pantheon.  Don't do it VR.  Transient dumbfire pets ONLY.  This means either you cast them and they last until the Summoner is out of combat, and/or they drain mana constantly while alive, and/or they persistently cost a minimum of 50-75% of the mana pool to have a pet alive.  Pets that entirely, significantly, or even APPROACH replacing a players role in a group should not be a design goal, imo.

    The problem is that you seem to only see things in extremes. What you have described would be a useful class. Your solution to an often-overpowered class is to get revenge by suggesting a watered-down husk that would serve no purpose. There are plenty of other solutions. Pantheon is still FAR from EQ1 or P99. People compare the two so often but there's almost no reason to. In fact, it probably just prevents you from seeing Pantheon as what it really is. I appreciate your passion for the welfare of the game but please try to think in more than two dimensions.

     

    • 1736 posts
    January 5, 2017 11:03 AM PST

    Bazgrim said:

    There are plenty of other solutions.

    Sure, but no other balanced solutions (looking back through the threads on this forum) have been accepted, discussed, or enumerated by the summoner community on these forums.  What other solutions would be acceptable from a mathematical balance perspective, and remain fun, challenging, and ideally be innovative, beyond what I've outlined?  I'd genuinely like to hear what this community would accept as balanced, fun, and challenging beyond a carbon copy of EQ1/P99.  Those are used for comparisons by the community because the devs constantly use them as comparisons.  In other words, P99/EQ1 is being used as the baseline, and features and mechanics are being asked in addition to that baseline.

    Nor has there been any relevant information provided by the devs regarding design goals to prevent what has happened in every other game that has had similar mechanics. (summonable controllable pets that can be healed, can taunt, can ranged dps, melee dps, root, and stun)

    I appreciate the desire to ignore history, but it is there as a lesson.  Developers often say these two things at the same point in development.

    1) Everything is subject to change, nothing is set in stone.

    2) Our core design decisions are complete and not subject to change.

    The point of this seemingly contradictory stance is that core systems, once implemented, are only subject to SMALL changes.  As in, adjusting numbers on a spreadsheet slightly, and only after enormous amounts of data has been accumulated server side to justify such a change.  Once core design goals such as (hypothetically) "Summoner Pets will be as effective as another player in their role" are set, then every effort is made, in all related design, mechanics, and systems to accomplish that design goal. A good example would be:

    "A requirement that classes have identities. No single player should be able to do everything on their own."

    And yet, that's precisely what the summoner class will be able to do, with the community desires.  Tank.  Healer.  DPS. CC/Utiltity.  If you take the tenets literally, what summoners want is in direct opposition to the tenets.  Ask yourself, what role would summoners be willing to give up, of those four they can do, if EQ1/P99 is used as a model?  Or put another way, what SINGLE group role would summoners be willing to accept in Pantheon?  If the answer is DPS or CC, then would you give up pet taunt and pet heal?  Are summoners willing to?  Even something as simple as: Would summoners give up the ability to heal their pet in combat? But they could heal it out of combat only? Unlikely.

    It's also why Developers are so reticent to share design documents or design goals at any phase of development or testing, because they remove all the impressions.  It's just facts.  Tenets and philosophies are subject to speculation and interpretation, design goals are not. (or at least, far less so)  Once that's done, the target demographic is smaller.  Until then, the target demographic is larger.

    X

    • 1987 posts
    January 5, 2017 11:29 AM PST

    Are you basing your point of view off of emu servers?

    That's not how it was in EQ during its prime.    Anyone who thinks a mage could nuke 90% as good as a wizard, or that the pet could taunt better than any player, or that your pet can kill better than a monk or rogue...is simply wrong.

    Did you play back then?...and I don't mean play like a lot of people seem to mean "play" these days.  Some people played a little..maybe a few months or a year or 2 but they were very casual and never really experienced everything the game had to offer so they don't have a valid perspective on things.  They don't have all of the information/understanding they need to try to discuss a topic with any kind of credibility but they still try and it is very obvious to others, who are familiar with what is being discussed, that there is confusion.   I see this over and over...and over again, when referring to EQ both on this forum and others.  That could be why your perspective is how it is?  I am unsure... but some of your above statements are very incorrect.

     

     


    This post was edited by philo at January 5, 2017 11:32 AM PST