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A compromise for friendly fire that should make EVERYONE happy


Pathfinder Online

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I'm a disturbed man. A man of extremes, really. When the topic of friendly fire came up, (usually because I brought it up) I scowled in dismay at those who wanted a no FF game. However, because Pathfinder Online is the one thing on planet earth that I have hope for, I feel that it is in my best interest to be a positive influence on the message boards. Rather than butting heads with those who disagree with me, I want to be productive.

And here is the fruit of my most recent mental labors:

Fact: Friendly fire from spells, explosions, etc. is important in keeping the game internally consistent as a simulation, both as a fantasy world and a game of PVP and PVE combat tactics.

Fact: There are those who despise friendly fire. For them, the "realism" of their endeavors is not quite as important as dying for what they see as no reason.

Idea Time: In the same sense that feats exist to increase spell DC's, feats could exist that would hamper the raw power of magic versus familiar/allied targets. Such feats could reduce spell DC's versus the caster and allies, even without the use of metamagic. I will never flinch from the notion that friendly fire is essential, but those who despise it should have options: Options for their own spell casting characters as well as options to ally with spell casters who put effort into ensuring that they don't accidentally kill their buddies. Even I would consider taking such feats as a caster, because they would represent an actual mental effort on behalf of the caster to mitigate damage to allies, and therefore make perfect sense as opposed to granting an inexplicable invulnerability to everyone.

I am by no means a game developer, and I apologize if I come off as shoving ideas down the dev team's throat, but I feel like this solution could settle the FF debate for all but the most hot headed of prospective players. I'd love to hear feedback from both sides of the argument, and see if something like this would keep the fan base together.

Goblin Squad Member

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I like the idea of forcing people to use tactics in their groups. Let the foolish end up with bounties on their heads from accidentally killed allies. The primary ability score for a wizard is intelligence: so let's consider it part of the immersion process having to use some to play one.

Osirion

DeathMetal4tw wrote:
Fact: Friendly fire from spells, explosions, etc. is important in keeping the game internally consistent as a simulation, both as a fantasy world and a game of PVP and PVE combat tactics.

Emphasis Mine.

Friendly fire may be realistic, but Pathfinder Online is not intended to be a simulation, nor is it required to be bound to the rules of the Tabletop RPG with which it shares its setting.

Pathfinder Online is a game, and as such it SHOULD sacrifice some elements of realism for fun, and it's this statement which puts your viewpoint in the minority. Yes, for some people, realism is enjoyable. It helps to make a more immersive world.

But, on that note, the difference between good wizard players and bad wizard players isn't going to be the shown by their skill, but rather, the fatality rate of their allies. When a warrior misses his swing, or looks the wrong way, the results are relatively minor, even in a Friendly Fire game. But what about a newbie wizard who is just getting the hang of things that chucks a fireball into the center of his allied Warriors? That can have catastrophic implications, especially in a game where death can mean losing your entire inventory.

The other thing is, putting in a feat that negates or lowers friendly fire damage is going to, essentially, be a required feat. Everyone will take it, because it's too good to pass up, and when a feat is so good that EVERY spellcaster takes it, you've created an imbalance in the game. It should either be an inherent spellcasting feature, or just not exist at all, in which case you still have the issue of friendly fire spells being essentially useless and simultaneously very dangerous.

If you REALLY wanted to do friendly fire, here's my suggestion: Give all wizards an abjuration spell which protects their allies (people grouped with them) from their AoE damage. That way you still have to worry about friendly fire from random guys, but those guys will get flagged as murderers and assailants anyways.

Personally, though, I'm all against friendly fire. Just one more thing to worry about, and I don't like worrying about things.


Davor wrote:


Friendly fire may be realistic, but Pathfinder Online is not intended to be a simulation

We can't argue on anything if we can't agree on some basic points. And this is so fundamental a point that your disagreement is noteworthy to say the least. Referring to Webster's Online Dictionary, simulation can be defined in the following ways:

1
: the act or process of simulating Okay, let's ignore this.
2
: a sham object : counterfeit Not really relevant.
3
a : the imitative representation of the functioning of one system or process by means of the functioning of another <a computer simulation of an industrial process> bingo

The system being simulated is a world called Galorion which is rife with conflict, adventure, complex kingdoms and economic, religious and social institutions. If you don't believe PFO (or many other computer/video games) are simulations, I'll tell you right now that you are incorrect.

That being said, Goblinworks seems to be creating a game where the spirit of simulation takes the forefront over theme park fun. Players are free to go on adventures, fight cool monsters and horde treasure (like in WoW) but unlike WoW, players are also going to be exposed to annoying death penalties, institutionalized murder/crime, other things that are potentially EXTREMELY IRRITATING. Goblinworks wouldn't have it any other way, and neither would I.

Computer game consumers typically aren't used to complex simulations like PFO, so it might be hard to wrap our collective head around the idea: By all accounts, in PFO people will be living and dying by their good (or terrible) decisions. Maybe, just maybe casting fireball at your feet isn't a good decision. Call me crazy, but casting fear on the BBEG and your front line warrior is a bad decision.

Goblin Squad Member

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When it comes to the debate of friendly fire (which for those fairly new to the forum we had quite a long discussion on back in the early days). The solution I liked the most of potential ideas, was elemental armor.

Say they make armors of different elements, in which some are immune to other elements, so if you are in a party with a wizard that primarally is going to be using fireball, your party can all wear fire armor, that is immune to fire damage, but takes extra damage from frost spells etc...

Now if your opposing armor happens to also be decked out in fire armor.. now neither of you will have effective fireballs, but your single target ice spells will be very effective etc...

What is kind of cool of that idea is it adds extra tactics and extra strategies for figuring hot which side has what, and in large scale battles planning of pooling the right party against the opponent that you would be most effective against.

As far as friendly fire on the whole, I'm kind of 50/50 on the whole concept, I like what it can add, I dislike what it can take. honestly I'm fine with either route.

Osirion

@DeathMetal4tw: By that logic, Hello Kitty Island Adventure is a simulation, and I have a feeling that, while technically correct, you are arguing semantics rather than the issue I presented.

If GoblinWorks was REALLY supporting the idea of creating a close simulation of reality, they would include things like permanent character death, one-hit kills (because, really, that's all it takes), bowel movements, crippling illness and, of course, a total lack of superheroic characters, because I don't care how magical your sword is, a Balor is gonna tear you apart if you try to screw with it.

GoblinWorks has already sacrificed realism for the sake of fun in ALL of these points (well, okay, we don't know that one-hit kills won't be in the game, and I suppose the BM thing could be in the works [yay, puns!]), yet somehow removing friendly fire would totally break immersion?

I keep hearing people saying "this isn't going to be like WoW," but I could just as easily argue that "this isn't going to be like a FPS." Just because a comparison can be made in support of ones ideas doesn't mean a comparison can't be made against it.

Goblin Squad Member

Davor wrote:
Personally, though, I'm all against friendly fire. Just one more thing to worry about, and I don't like worrying about things.

You and I differ on that :)

The word "wizard" etymologically speaking means a very intelligent person. I really like the idea of not so intelligent people struggling with it.

Having said that, I completely understand how unpopular that idea will be. Probably somewhere in the neighborhood of how unpopular it was for God to make such a large proportion of the human race so...well you get the point.

Osirion

Blaeringr wrote:
Davor wrote:
Personally, though, I'm all against friendly fire. Just one more thing to worry about, and I don't like worrying about things.

You and I differ on that :)

The word "wizard" etymologically speaking means a very intelligent person. I really like the idea of not so intelligent people struggling with it.

Having said that, I completely understand how unpopular that idea will be. Probably somewhere in the neighborhood of how unpopular it was for God to make such a large proportion of the human race so...well you get the point.

We apologize for the inconvenience.

It just seemed to fit.

Goblin Squad Member

I like in pnp ff it make the battle a puzzle I solve by Improved Initiative and going first or high as possible in the round Blast foes before partys close for melee buff party with Hast and start casting ranged touch spells as needed.
I can see doing that in a mmog.


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Davor wrote:

@DeathMetal4tw: If GoblinWorks was REALLY supporting the idea of creating a close simulation of reality, they would include things like permanent character death, one-hit kills (because, really, that's all it takes), bowel movements, crippling illness and, of course, a total lack of superheroic characters, because I don't care how magical your sword is, a Balor is gonna tear you apart if you try to screw with it.

This, at the end of the day, is true. Anything that calls itself a game is going to have to draw a line beyond which simulation and realism become a drag. The algorithm Catch Fish>Cook Fish>Eat Fish may be acceptable to players, but try pulling Dig for Bait>Fish>Catch Fish>Gut Fish>Scale Fish>Light Fire>Broil Fish>Wait for Fish to Cool>Eat Fish>Suffer from Scurvy Because You Forgot About Eating a Balanced Meal almost certainly won't be.

For most players, I strongly suspect Friendly Fire is going too far, particularly when it involves the certainty that you will be flagged as a murderer. Also, and this is an important point, while some or even many of us currently brainstorming may be in favour of FF, never forget that the ultimate consumer is bound to be a lot less hard-core than most of the people contributing to this debate. And after all, we do want this to be a success so that we can go on playing it...


While I'm not strongly for or against it as a default, I am having a hard time imagining any enjoyable impact this would have on the game for either the caster or the target & unintended target. What is it bringing to the table aside from more limitations for people that play casters and motive to avoid grouping with casters?

It's my understanding that we'll probably not be seeing an 'action' oriented combat system and instead a more traditional tab target + ability hotbar, so how would friendly fire work there as any time you're engaging enemies there will almost always be some melee in range that aren't enemies (unless everyone's a caster)? A % chance to always hit nearby allies hardcoded into all AE spells? Wouldn't that simply limit available options for casters? I just don't see the positive side of this. Are those spells then only for when they're soloing? If so, I doubt anyone soloing would be powerful enough to AE down groups of mobs according to what we've heard so far. So when would friendly fire spells ever even be used? Also, what about archers, is it your intention that they can just hit anyone aside their target as well? Where is the line drawn?

Choosing not to use an AE that will hit friends is hardly a complex riddle the intelligent wizard solves after a serious mental effort, in practice it's in all likely hood just another arbitrary limitation. So we'd end up with people that aren't intentionally playing a jerk having spells that are of little to no use considering the emphasis on grouping in this game, or people that are jerks and just attacking anyone. Sounds like no ones a winner.

I don't know, the more I think about it the less merit I see in cultivating this system for this setting. It all just sounds like a tedious headache that does nothing to meaningfully expand the dynamics of the game in a positive manner while at the same time bringing in arbitrary restrictions & limitations.

Goblin Squad Member

I'm not strongly for or against it, either. I expect it won't be in PFO, mostly because of the potential for griefing by sneaking into someone's AoE and then getting bounty rights on them.

But I do understand why some people think it would be a good thing. One of the most important things necessary to enjoy a good movie, or book, or game, is Suspension of Disbelief. For a lot of people, casting huge Fireballs that wreak havoc on all the enemies in an area but don't touch their allies is just a bit too much. I would imagine they would be quite happy to use AoE spells to soften up a group of enemies while the melee fighters were moving in, kind of like real world archer companies fired over the heads of their charging allies to weaken the enemy lines. I can also see the potential for setting up a game where Archers are extremely effective against distracted foes, so that they can afford to skirt around the edge of combat, looking for an opening, and then taking an unobstructed shot for extremely high damage.


Well, they can make it a dynamic mechanic.

At the beginning of your character, you get a free "feat" or skill which purpose is to give you "good aim" between your friends and foes, allowing you to not hit your friends with your damaging attacks, or heal your foes with your cure/heal effects.

And maybe down the illusion's wizard tree, or mischief rouge (Making up names just to point out the intent of the build) can use ability's to reduces this value, maybe trowing sand in your eyes or making you see more than one nonexistence enemy.

And with this effects in mind people can "miss" hit their foes and damage their friends.

Just balance the value so is rare to have skills or ability's that reduce or penalize your ability to have good aim, it will be a pain if every boss/character can make you miss and hit another target. This can make up amazing battle story's.

Sorry for the bad English.


This is a desperate plea. Ryan, or anyone on the dev team, won't someone in charge please chime in here? I want to know weather I'm interested in playing Pathfinder Online or not, and I want to know if friendly fire will exist. Thank you for any responses.


I suspect it is far too early in the design process for them to decide on this. It certainly CAN be done. And has been done. Eve Online allows for friendly fire, as did good old Rallos Zek free-for-all PVP server way back in EQ1.

The question will be is whether the benefits to this type of system outweigh the hindrances?

That will be answered by how they design the systems, particularly combat and spells. If a game is very heavily vested in AOE effects, it may prove onerous. If AOE effects are a sideline and not extremely common it can easily work.

But in all honesty, without understanding how the game will actually play/function, it is kind of premature to gauge whether this will be a "make or break" issue. And to DeathMetal4tw in particular, PO is YEARS away, so I wouldn't sweat it at this point.


I think if they can code it in that if you kill someone illegally, you get a bounty, I also think that they can check to see if the type of damage you took was directed, or indirect and therefore not a direct attack. I don't think an AoE should grant bounty status. Only a targeted attack should do this. Could this be abused, certainly, BUT, LOS should come into play, and an AoE is likely to miss if you are on the move. However this could be curtailed a lot if they follow the next sentence.

I prefer that the game adopt FF. Brains should be used, and nothing is more dumb than watching people use aoe attacks on a group of combatants made up of friendlies and enemies and not having everyone suffer from it. That is hand holding. That is baby sitting by the system. That is WoW and most other MMOs. PFO should differentiate itself by being a game that requires a brain. AoE spells should be used to soften up targets at range, and then the melee moves in to finish them off, with directed assists from spells. After all, if the game is going to have PvP, then FF makes sense for existing alongside.

That would also go a long way in preventing the spamming of spells that normally accompanies ranged spell casting in PvP games. No more AoE endlessly while your melee moves in for a safe and friendly fight.

Goblin Squad Member

Probitas wrote:

I think if they can code it in that if you kill someone illegally, you get a bounty, I also think that they can check to see if the type of damage you took was directed, or indirect and therefore not a direct attack. I don't think an AoE should grant bounty status. Only a targeted attack should do this. Could this be abused, certainly, BUT, LOS should come into play, and an AoE is likely to miss if you are on the move. However this could be curtailed a lot if they follow the next sentence.

I disagree there, That will just give griefers a loophole. I think a better solution would be if the new player experience were to warn you, that using AoEs in high security territory can have dire consequences. No AI or algorithm can distinguish between an actual accident, and an intentional griefing made to look like an accident. Eve has friendly fire AoEs, and in general people learn very quickly. Don't use them in high security territory.

Goblin Squad Member

I agree with Onishi...but I also would not place a bounty on a teammate or friend who accidentally killed me. Things happen in the heat of the moment. And...I would never be interested in teaming with someone who would.


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I think that role-playing should also come into account when considering ff. Say I wanted to be the Chaotic-Evil Wizard, without friendly fire I've got less to make me unique from the Lawful-Good Wizard. It's my allies fault if they happen to be in the range of my spell.


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Illiniath wrote:
I think that role-playing should also come into account when considering ff. Say I wanted to be the Chaotic-Evil Wizard, without friendly fire I've got less to make me unique from the Lawful-Good Wizard. It's my allies fault if they happen to be in the range of my spell.

This is a very important distinction to make. We've all seen movies and television where the guy attacking or defending gives the order to launch the catapults or fire the arrows into the fray, regardless of the consequences. Remember that scene from Braveheart when the King had his archers fire into his own men just because he could kill a few of his Scottish enemies? That lack of consideration for the welfare of his own men is what made him EVIL. You would never be able to adequately allow for that without it.

But I wouldn't stoop to putting a bounty on a guy for it. Just track how many times he attacks people. Use a reknown stat, and if it's negative, then you know what he's mostly been doing, naughty naughty lol. Whoever starts the fight gets the negative hit. To remove negative reknown, go visit a good aligned church. However, your alignment would control this to some extent, meaning evil types shouldn't care about negative reknown at all, and neutrals might have to visit the forest druid for a spell.

(If reknown is negative it is displayed as notoriety, if positive, then it displays as nobility). Not to be confused with nobles, who do not always suffer from an abundance of nobility. Reknown status should not be used to keep people out of towns, not grant guards a license to KOS. They should have to witness a crime for that, or the person in question should already have done so, which the bounty system for a directed illegal attack should be capable of handling. Which gives me an idea. If you have a bounty on your head, guards should be able to arrest you and put you in the clink for a time depending on your level, based in minutes (don't want to be too harsh). Or you pay a rather large fine, in gold, on the spot. This way, bounties can be collected by the town at large rather than directly by players all the time. So you trade jail time for being swatted around. Jail time would not lower reknown however. People know who your are and what you are capable of, unless you show an attempt to reform by visiting the church.


"I think that role-playing should also come into account when considering ff. Say I wanted to be the Chaotic-Evil Wizard, without friendly fire I've got less to make me unique from the Lawful-Good Wizard. It's my allies fault if they happen to be in the range of my spell."

Sorry for my lack of knowledge of how to quote two people in one response, but Illiniath hit the nail on the head.

Probitas wrote:
Illiniath wrote:
I think that role-playing should also come into account when considering ff. Say I wanted to be the Chaotic-Evil Wizard, without friendly fire I've got less to make me unique from the Lawful-Good Wizard. It's my allies fault if they happen to be in the range of my spell.

This is a very important distinction to make. We've all seen movies and television where the guy attacking or defending gives the order to launch the catapults or fire the arrows into the fray, regardless of the consequences. Remember that scene from Braveheart when the King had his archers fire into his own men just because he could kill a few of his Scottish enemies? That lack of consideration for the welfare of his own men is what made him EVIL. You would never be able to adequately allow for that without it.

But I wouldn't stoop to putting a bounty on a guy for it. Just track how many times he attacks people. Use a reknown stat, and if it's negative, then you know what he's mostly been doing, naughty naughty lol. Whoever starts the fight gets the negative hit. To remove negative reknown, go visit a good aligned church. However, your alignment would control this to some extent, meaning evil types shouldn't care about negative reknown at all, and neutrals might have to visit the forest druid for a spell.

(If reknown is negative it is displayed as notoriety, if positive, then it displays as nobility). Not to be confused with nobles, who do not always suffer from an abundance of nobility. Reknown status should not be used to keep people out of towns, not grant guards a license to KOS. They should have to witness a crime for that, or the person in question should already have done so, which the bounty system for a directed illegal attack should be capable of handling. Which gives me an idea. If you have a bounty on your head, guards should be able to arrest you and put you in the clink for a time depending on your level, based in minutes (don't want to be too harsh). Or you pay a rather large fine, in gold, on...

This guy also knows what this FF struggle is all about.

Goblin Squad Member

I've played sandbox games that have FF and it's a non issue. Regarding AOE just give mages an instant cast Mass Dispel to clear out an AOE if some tool tries to run in to it and flag you.

Players adapt to FF and in my experience it's a non issue.


Illiniath wrote:
I think that role-playing should also come into account when considering ff. Say I wanted to be the Chaotic-Evil Wizard, without friendly fire I've got less to make me unique from the Lawful-Good Wizard. It's my allies fault if they happen to be in the range of my spell.

To each his own, but I don't consider "I kill my allies" to necessarily be a good way to Roleplay Chaotic Evil, your mileage may vary.

I think you guys may be taking Alignment too seriously, like early 80s :-p

Goblin Squad Member

BollaertN wrote:
Illiniath wrote:
I think that role-playing should also come into account when considering ff. Say I wanted to be the Chaotic-Evil Wizard, without friendly fire I've got less to make me unique from the Lawful-Good Wizard. It's my allies fault if they happen to be in the range of my spell.

To each his own, but I don't consider "I kill my allies" to necessarily be a good way to Roleplay Chaotic Evil, your mileage may vary.

I think you guys may be taking Alignment too seriously, like early 80s :-p

I certainly agree that it is borderline on that depending on the situation, it may be plausible that a LG would consider burning their allies as a good enough idea (If they think their guys will survive it, but the foes won't, or if they think it will kill everyone, but they are on standby to res etc...), and times when it would be tactically unwise for an evil person to catch his team in a friendly AoE. There is an old saying "war dosn't prove who is right, it proves who is left". In the end once the battle begins and war is declared, alignment kind of needs to get out of the way.


I also think there is a skewed view of "friendly fire" here. FF typically means you didn't intend it, but it was an accident/unavoidable. This thread makes it more like "If I am Chaotic Evil I want to reserve the right to blow up the people I am grouped with on purpose."

Which is a totally legitimate desire, but a completely different concept :-p

Goblin Squad Member

@BollaertN, I think the discussion is more about the game mechanics, irrespective of the unknowable motivation of the players.

Goblin Squad Member

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The reason I support some sort of "Freindly Fire" mechanism is that it adds to the depth of tactics and strategy availble in game-play.

Rather then, turn-off brain, cast most damaging spell in my arsenal, repeat until no more enemy...style game-play.

Having some sort of Freindly-Fire mechanism changes that equation to...
I could cast the most damaging spell I have, but it also has some potential unintended consequences in this situation (like roasting my allies who are nearby)...is the extra damage potential worth the risk, or do I goto a lower damage spell that has fewer potential harmfull side effects.

I think that sort of game-play dynamic is ultimately more rewarding to the player and more in line with the type of game PFO wants to be.

Although I do enjoy a degree of "realism" in my games....my main concern here has nothing to do with "realism" and everything to do with making combat interesting and rich in terms of the game-play considerations availble to the player.

I really don't like the type of play where 1 or 2 or 3 spells/abilities (fireball is a prime example) ALWAYS becomes the type of attack you use in almost every situation because they do the most damage and they have no potential downsides. IMO that makes attack selection too much of a "no brainer". Combat should involve more thought process and strategy then that.

Goblin Squad Member

An additional Note....

FF doesn't actualy have to be an all or nothing effect. You don't have to have the ally get roasted by the spell every single time he's in the area of effect.

For example...you could make it so that Allies only took damage on a "crit fail/fumble" or something of the same effect when in radius of a FF spell...or you could make it so they only took partial damage...or you could even impose some other negative effect that wasn't directly harmfull but still hampered thier abilities like a debuff.

For example in WWII - Online....which features FPS style shooter combat. You don't take damage from Freindly Fire...which can make high-explosive style attacks (artillery/grenades, etc) rather powerfull. However one of the other effects of high explosives is that it shakes/darkens you screen, blurs/obscures your vision a bit and deafens you.....in other words it simulates some of the effects of "supression"....freindlies in burst radius ARE subject to THOSE effects...in a FPS style game which involves manual aiming and where good combat awareness is important...imposing those sort of effects on freindly infantry is enough of a drawback to disincentivize careless artillery fire.

Goblin Squad Member

@GrumpyMel, that's a fantastic idea. It really is the best of both worlds in that it creates an incentive for smarter game play by wizards, but in a way that isn't really so prone to griefing.

Excellent suggestion!


I disagree!

Goblin Squad Member

deathmetal4tw, how do you disagree?

If they're going to have friendly-fire on, then I'd agree with GrumpyMel. Punish something other than hitpoints if allies are caught in the blast. Mind you, since debuffing can be important (we don't know how important yet, but let's say "more important than in most theme parks" and leave it at that), then some debuff from an AoE could turn into lost hitpoints if you're not careful...


Onishi wrote:
BollaertN wrote:
Illiniath wrote:
I think that role-playing should also come into account when considering ff. Say I wanted to be the Chaotic-Evil Wizard, without friendly fire I've got less to make me unique from the Lawful-Good Wizard. It's my allies fault if they happen to be in the range of my spell.

To each his own, but I don't consider "I kill my allies" to necessarily be a good way to Roleplay Chaotic Evil, your mileage may vary.

I think you guys may be taking Alignment too seriously, like early 80s :-p

I certainly agree that it is borderline on that depending on the situation, it may be plausible that a LG would consider burning their allies as a good enough idea (If they think their guys will survive it, but the foes won't, or if they think it will kill everyone, but they are on standby to res etc...), and times when it would be tactically unwise for an evil person to catch his team in a friendly AoE. There is an old saying "war dosn't prove who is right, it proves who is left". In the end once the battle begins and war is declared, alignment kind of needs to get out of the way.

I strongly disagree. Alignment, or more to the point, morality, are not a set of clothes you should be able to swap when they become inconvenient. The whole difference mainly between good and evil is that good people shouldn't do bad things for the right reasons. Road to hell and all that. The alignment was added in as a control measure on character behavior for advanced players. If a player was incapable of playing to the alignment it was acceptable to allow that, but then it would be incumbent on the GM to ensure the player is not playing a character that requires a specific alignment. If you can't 'play the role' then don't bother trying.

If a Paladin in charge of the defense of a castle gives the order to fire on his own men as they engage the enemy, he's committing an evil act and should suffer for it. It does not matter his reasoning, what matters are the results, as he had to know what was going to happen. Some dead enemies sure, and some dead friendlies, by his own hand. That is not the act of a character that follows the LG alignment. If you think it is, you don't understand what it means. I could allow almost any alignments but good ones to do that. Killing out of hand is not a good thing, even if you think it's for the right reason. Punishment is another thing entirely.

Granted it's probably more serious a view on alignments than most players take, but then, most players don't really follow the rules properly on alignments anyway. They'd be better off ignoring them and sticking to more standard character classes. Those alignment restrictive classes have those restrictions for a reason, because those classes have some benefits others do not, and those benefits are balanced by the usage of those benefits according to those alignment restrictions.

That's why Paladins aren't supposed to hang out with evil characters, even if they are players, except in some very narrowly defined situations. In all likelihood, the Paladin that views an evil player committing an evil act is going to have to try and stop them, and if they must, kill them. That's why most groups don't have Paladins, or if they do, they are always making the Paladin out as a stupid imbecile that can't see what is happening around them as they keep trying to pull the wool over their eyes. This is people not playing the class properly. Most good GM's would prevent this farce from happening by simply suggesting to a player to play anything but a Paladin.

Nihimon wrote:

@GrumpyMel, that's a fantastic idea. It really is the best of both worlds in that it creates an incentive for smarter game play by wizards, but in a way that isn't really so prone to griefing.

Excellent suggestion!

The game already has this, it's called a save. Why have two levels of it, simply because people think something will be griefed? Honestly, a dedicated griefer can use the rules against you every time. The only way to avoid it then is to not play. Like I said before, aoe should not flag anyone. An illegal attack should be defined as a directed attack, because it's intentionally against that one player. If people walk into aoe then to try to flag someone, it won't work because an aoe can't flag anyone. If the caster didn't want those other people to die, he should be more careful. If the player didn't want the aoe to kill them, they should be more careful. Put the responsibility onto the players in charge of the characters, not onto other people. Moving on...

Goblin Squad Member

Probitas wrote:
"Nihimon wrote:

@GrumpyMel, that's a fantastic idea. It really is the best of both worlds in that it creates an incentive for smarter game play by wizards, but in a way that isn't really so prone to griefing.

Excellent suggestion!

The game already has this, it's called a save.

Really? The game already has this?

GrumpyMel wrote:
... some other negative effect that wasn't directly harmfull but still hampered thier abilities like a debuff.

Or did you think I was only referring to the first part of the post?

GrumpyMel wrote:
... you could make it so that Allies only took damage on a "crit fail/fumble" or something of the same effect when in radius of a FF spell.


What is the benefit of FF?

1. More realistic
2. Weakens AoE in large melees
3. Increases potential group tactics

What is the benefit of not having FF?

1. Makes the game easier
2. Makes characters with AoEs stronger
3. Reduces potential griefing

I personally lean towards FF. Hopefully the game has some large battles and if the melee is determined by which side casts the most fireballs. The main benefit I can see for not having FF is number 3. If the devs can find a way to stop griefers or at least reduce the opportunity, then I see no reason to not have it.

Goblin Squad Member

1 person marked this as a favorite.

A large factor in just how limiting Freindly Fire is on AOE type abilities will be the typical engagement ranges used by the game engine.

In historical ancient or medieval battles, engagement ranges were pretty significant. Longbowmen could start engaging enemies with indirect fire (long, high arching shots) out to about 400 yards. Siege equipment potential longer. Most battles involved a very significant phase where the forces were engaging in ranged fire as they manuvered and thier lines of battle closed upon one another.

Even at a dead run and not worried about breaking formation (and armies that wanted to win always worried about formation) a heavly armored footman is going to take a pretty significant time to cover a couple hundred yards over uneven ground...and that's assuming no defensive works.

By contrast, the way most MMO's depict combat (and DnD 4th Edition for that matter) the engagement ranges are insanely short and movement rates are absurdly fast. That ends up really minimizing the opportunity for ranged combat....and it's why MMO's come up with hacks like roots/stuns or slows to give ranged opponents some availability to engage at range.

If an MMO actualy had even semi-reasonable combat engagement ranges and semi-reasonable movement rates, there wouldn't be much need for such hacks nor much concern about the limiting effects of Freindly Fire....as absent something like an ambush, there would be a reasonable opportunity to engage the enemy at range as they approached.

If a caster has 2 seconds to respond with an AOE spell before freindlies are in the target radius...then Freindly Fire can big a big limitation on them (especialy combined with lag)... if it's more like 30 seconds, then not so much...as there is plenty of opportunity to get off a few AOE spells (absent getting caught by surprise) before the enemy gets too close to your melee lines...and then switch over to targeted attacks or switch targets to the enemies own rear echelon.

In that case Freindly Fire is only limiting for casters who are reckless or are executing poor judgement.

Goblin Squad Member

I wonder if the change in the function of Tanks will have an impact on AoE spells in general. Most MMOs use AoE spells to do damage to all the mobs that the Tank has pulled (or LOS'ed) into a tight area. I imagine PFO will actually have significantly more spread out fights.

Osirion

@Probitas: There is a classic example in the Pathfinder Adventure Path "Council of Thieves" of a Paladin and a Lawful Evil character who are expected to tolerate each other for the entirety of the quest. The entire notion of good people being directly punished for doing bad things is unrealistic. Everyone has flaws... Maybe that Paladin gives everything he owns towards feeding the sick and homeless. He probably treats most people with respect and courtesy, and has likely defended his people countless times against the forces of destruction and evil. He may, at one point, make a decision that results in the deaths of numerous allies, but that doesn't make him evil, it makes him human. Granted, as a Paladin, he should be punished for the death of allies directly caused by his actions, but that doesn't mean he should radically shift in alignment.

@exil3dbyrd: The pros/cons list seems a little off. While it is true that Friendly Fire makes the game more realistic and weakens AoE in large melees, I would argue that it is does not provide for more options for group tactics. It may increase the complexity involved in large-scale combat, but I can't see it defining battlefield tactics.

Additionally, I would argue that having Friendly Fire would not make the game more difficult (or rather, the lack of Friendly Fire would not make the game easier). Difficulty of a game is determined by the encounter design, which is something determined by both the players and the devs. Just as an example, most modern MMO's do not have friendly fire, but there are definitely scenarios that are extremely difficult.


Davor wrote:
Additionally, I would argue that having Friendly Fire would not make the game more difficult (or rather, the lack of Friendly Fire would not make the game easier). Difficulty of a game is determined by the encounter design, which is something determined by both the players and the devs. Just as an example, most modern MMO's do not have friendly fire, but there are definitely scenarios that are extremely difficult.

Really? I agree with the second part of your statement, that encounter design is what makes something difficult, but the elements of the encounter design is basically a list of things you can and cant do. You can't take a large charged up hit, you cant use fire element weapons, you cant stand in the green stuff, you have to deal with this ability, are all pieces that make up the difficulty of the encounter. If something is only hurt by cold iron weapons but is exactly the same as another creature without that restriction would generally be considered tougher. The more elements you add, the more difficult the encounter is. Adding you cant use AoEs while your allies are close to your adversaries may not make a fight much more difficult, but it is one more piece that has to fit into the puzzle. If the fight was against a large number of weaker creatures swarming around your party, the encounter would be much easier if you could just AoE them down with killing everyone else too.

On your other point, I was debating whether or not to add the increased tactics or not. I just got ideas for large scale battles where you may seperate your evasive melee from the rest of your melee and focus AoE damage on them while in melee with another group. Or possibly casting protection from elements on a fighter or cleric and using him as bait, with the AoE being a trap. You can of course do these things without FF, however it requires less planning and thus in my mind less tactics. But I can see where you are coming from as well.

Goblin Squad Member

@Davor: It depends on the type of difficulty you are talking about. Most modern MMO's are not very demanding in terms of making the player think or use strategy/tactics.... they can be very difficult though in terms of choreography. The player has to learn to execute the "correct" sequence of steps to do (and keys to press) and execute them in the proper timing in order to beat the encounter. The encounters tend to be entirely static and don't change from run to run...so it's merely a question of researching the correct choreography (usualy a simple google search) and then executing it. I look at as the difference between Chess and Dance, Dance Revolution.

Freindly Fire adds more depth of consideration in tactics because it adds another variable that one has to take into account during attack selection. If, for example, an attack does high damage to enemies but also will do high damage to freindlies (or some other strong negative) that are in range then the question of whether to use it or not is less straightforward and requires more judgement from the player.

For example, if you have 2 abilities that are otherwise equal and one does 20 points of damage to ALL targets within 10 ft and the other does 15 points of damage to a single target...

You have an ally engaged in melee with 3 opponents. Which ability do use? Without Freindly Fire it's a "no brainer"...there is no judgement required of the caster, you use the one that does 60 points of damage total over the one that does only 15 EVERY SINGLE TIME.

With Freindly Fire, it's not so straight forward. You have to start considering factors like how many hit points your ally has left, how many do each of the opponents have, how quickly is your ally taking damage from the opponents, what's your own ability to survive in melee against one or more of those opponents if your ally falls?

Those are all factors that are going to have to be taken into consideration to understand the best attack selection.

If your ally is able to hold those opponents without taking much damage from them each round, but a 20 point shot from you will bring him down and might not down all of the opponents... then the 15 point targeted attack might be the better choice. On the other hand, if your ally is taking alot of damage from those opponents each round but can survive a 20 point shot from you and none of the opponents can...then tossing the AOE attack may still be a better option even if means causing some damage to an ally.

Those sorts of considerations make for much greater depth in tactical consierations.

Osirion

But see, there's the issue... how you balance the abilities affects their usefulness in a given situation. Yes, if you make your AoE effects deal more damage than single target effects and have friendly fire, there is a tactical choice to be made.

But let's tweak those numbers a bit. In most MMO's AoE effects tend to deal noticably less damage per target than single target effects. In the same scenario, most MMO's would have the single target spell deal 20 damage, and the AoE spell do about 10, maybe 13, but don't have Friendly Fire. I STILL have a tactical decision to make. Do I try to take down the entire group first? Or do I focus on enemies one at a time and try to lower their damage over time? How will this impact the outcome of the fight? You still have the same fundamental decision to make, but it's influenced by your capability to deal damage, not by your ally's ability to take the damage you would deal.

Of course, we don't know how GoblinWorks will be handling AoE vs. Single Target damage, but I'd be willing to bet that the issue of friendly fire and the tactical ramifications will likely revolve around the relative strength of Single Target attacks to AoE attacks.

Goblin Squad Member

Davor wrote:

But see, there's the issue... how you balance the abilities affects their usefulness in a given situation. Yes, if you make your AoE effects deal more damage than single target effects and have friendly fire, there is a tactical choice to be made.

But let's tweak those numbers a bit. In most MMO's AoE effects tend to deal noticably less damage per target than single target effects. In the same scenario, most MMO's would have the single target spell deal 20 damage, and the AoE spell do about 10, maybe 13, but don't have Friendly Fire. I STILL have a tactical decision to make. Do I try to take down the entire group first? Or do I focus on enemies one at a time and try to lower their damage over time? How will this impact the outcome of the fight? You still have the same fundamental decision to make, but it's influenced by your capability to deal damage, not by your ally's ability to take the damage you would deal.

Of course, we don't know how GoblinWorks will be handling AoE vs. Single Target damage, but I'd be willing to bet that the issue of friendly fire and the tactical ramifications will likely revolve around the relative strength of Single Target attacks to AoE attacks.

Well I think we all agree there are huge variations to how/when AoEs can be implimented etc...

Huge variables include

1. Methods to resist, possible armors that offer resistances, possible buffs etc... Tactics you can use to lessen or even eliminate damage of friendly fire, assuming the one casting the AoEs sticks to the damage type you are braced for.

2. Damage of aoes vs single targets. Will an aoe do comperable damage to a single target, or will it be significantly less, but more total when you throw in 3+ enemies etc...

3. Depth of ally/enemy tracking. When you are talking PCs, random strangers you meet could be ally's, or they could be bandits etc... If the game doesn't distinguish someone as an enemy, taking time to set them as one may be critical, if the game doesn't distinguish someone as friendly, then the risk of killing an ungrouped friendly by accident is still high. Avoiding your party is easy enough for the game to figure out, but strangers outside the party could be just passing by, or about to attack you.

More or less, the concept behind friendly fire/AoEs requires a good amount of work, planning etc... TBH without details of at least one trait, it is hard to calculate what the others should be, and really all of those variables effect whether friendly fire should be in the game.


Davor wrote:

@Probitas: There is a classic example in the Pathfinder Adventure Path "Council of Thieves" of a Paladin and a Lawful Evil character who are expected to tolerate each other for the entirety of the quest. The entire notion of good people being directly punished for doing bad things is unrealistic. Everyone has flaws... Maybe that Paladin gives everything he owns towards feeding the sick and homeless. He probably treats most people with respect and courtesy, and has likely defended his people countless times against the forces of destruction and evil. He may, at one point, make a decision that results in the deaths of numerous allies, but that doesn't make him evil, it makes him human. Granted, as a Paladin, he should be punished for the death of allies directly caused by his actions, but that doesn't mean he should radically shift in alignment.

<snip>

Uhm, except in the case of the GAME, gods actually get off their high perches and perform....and the game or a GM shouldn't make his alignment evil UNLESS he didn't go visit a member of his religion and perform penance as proscribed by them, up to and including a quest for absolution depending on the severity. Mind you I think if he kept doing it, then the three strikes and your out rule comes into play. Constantly having to beg forgiveness means you aren't really following the alignment anyway, that much is obvious.

It sounds like a lot of people don't really utilize all the rules, and that's fine, but I don't expect to see alignment specific classes then, as those classes require those alignment rules to be followed.

Encounter design takes maneuvering room into account. A long narrow hallway as a battlefield should really limit AoE, and people that play games with no negatives for AoE are really just playing the game while wearing kid gloves. I'm sorry if that sounds blunt, but it is what it is. It is uniquely adolescent to expect no consequences for bad actions. I suppose in a siege environment, if the good guys launch a catapult barrage or arrow volley, they should limit damage to only the bad guys, regardless of how silly it would look? I can't accept that. Granted it's a game, but it should make sense in the context of the game, and AoE's not following the rules regarding AoE's as written should not happen. Same with a miss. The game should check to see where errant ranged attacks go. Is it harsh? I don't think so. I think it's realistic.

You know, if they remove enough of the negatives of combat in this game, while leaving only the positive, the game is going to be WoW.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

I don't see the parallel between archers not having to consider the backdrop for their target and making the world theme park content which is rapidly repeatable.

WoW is much more than how it handles combat, and more than how it handles equipment, and more than how it handles content, and more than all three of those put together. Not all of that is negative; in particular, WoW spent a lot of money on making the technology work well on mid-range systems.

Osirion

Probitas wrote:

Uhm, except in the case of the GAME, gods actually get off their high perches and perform....and the game or a GM shouldn't make his alignment evil UNLESS he didn't go visit a member of his religion and perform penance as proscribed by them, up to and including a quest for absolution depending on the severity. Mind you I think if he kept doing it, then the three strikes and your out rule comes into play. Constantly having to beg forgiveness means you aren't really following the alignment anyway, that much is obvious.

It sounds like a lot of people don't really utilize all the rules, and that's fine, but I don't expect to see alignment specific classes then, as those classes require those alignment rules to be followed.

Please, tell me the alignment rules. No, seriously. Considering that alignment is one of the most hotly debated topics in D&D PERIOD, I'm sure most people just "don't really utilize all the rules."

/snark

I actually think that one thing that could prove satisfying to the realism group (even though it isn't EXACTLY what they want) while providing further tactical options would be a really awesome collision system.

This would encourage spellcasters/bow users to take the high ground, and would reward them for using spells intelligently, while still negatively punishing them for making poor tactical decisions without punishing their allies.

Situation 1: Wizards sees enemies coming and hurls fireball. Much damage is dealt. Rejoice :D

Situation 2: Wizard waits until enemies are clumped up mixed in with friendly allies and hurls fireball. Allies block 1/2 the damage to enemies due to collision, or the fireball explodes early on an ally. Despair :(

Cheliax

//rant

I really, really don't see any problem with Friendly Fire apart from the possibility of griefing others.

Then again, I've played neverwinter nights a lot, on persistent worlds- I'm used to getting critted and loosing 2 levels (on a level range of 1-10). I'm used to getting confused/miscalculating/accidentally killing an ally, and then forking up that 2000gp to raise them (without even owning a single +1 weapon, that's kinda lot). If you're a wizard, you're either supposed to buff your allies with elemental resistance before blasting away, or using spells in such ways as to minimize the damage done to your own party. It takes planning in choosing what to prepare, it takes skill in timing and aiming the said spells, and it takes knowledge of tactics to position yourself/instruct your allies. All more teamwork, and one of the reasons why PF rpg is fun - it challenges you to think creatively and work your way through encounters with what you got.

Instead, I personally find wow style combat boring. Skill? Yeah, you need to know what spells you cast in what order.

//End rant


Davor wrote:
Probitas wrote:

Uhm, except in the case of the GAME, gods actually get off their high perches and perform....and the game or a GM shouldn't make his alignment evil UNLESS he didn't go visit a member of his religion and perform penance as proscribed by them, up to and including a quest for absolution depending on the severity. Mind you I think if he kept doing it, then the three strikes and your out rule comes into play. Constantly having to beg forgiveness means you aren't really following the alignment anyway, that much is obvious.

It sounds like a lot of people don't really utilize all the rules, and that's fine, but I don't expect to see alignment specific classes then, as those classes require those alignment rules to be followed.

Please, tell me the alignment rules. No, seriously. Considering that alignment is one of the most hotly debated topics in D&D PERIOD, I'm sure most people just "don't really utilize all the rules."

/snark

I actually think that one thing that could prove satisfying to the realism group (even though it isn't EXACTLY what they want) while providing further tactical options would be a really awesome collision system.

This would encourage spellcasters/bow users to take the high ground, and would reward them for using spells intelligently, while still negatively punishing them for making poor tactical decisions without punishing their allies.

Situation 1: Wizards sees enemies coming and hurls fireball. Much damage is dealt. Rejoice :D

Situation 2: Wizard waits until enemies are clumped up mixed in with friendly allies and hurls fireball. Allies block 1/2 the damage to enemies due to collision, or the fireball explodes early on an ally. Despair :(

I would love it if a game came along that allowed you to intelligently attack. If you have the sense to attack from high ground at range, and anyone coming close has to deal with your withering rate of fire and may not get to you, that should be fine. Sadly most developers listen to crybabies who complain that it's unfair, and they also do the same thing for NPC's, calling it an exploit when you maneuver yourself onto terrain using their own rules and attempt to fight mobs that may have difficulty reaching you. I really don't like it when that happens, it's essentially forcing you to game with half your brain being used. That's fine with games like WoW, when your target audience is under the age of 18. I think the rest of us can handle proper combat tactics. In fact, that would actually give gamers a level of RP they may not be used to, actually training how to fight properly as opposed to stupid button mashing never miss combat that doesn't even use LOS correctly. The thing I love about Skyrim is that the mobs don't run up to you and attack, they pepper you with arrows for as long as you are dumb enough to stand there and take them. I try to sneak around quite a bit now, so I don't get pinned to the ground. It makes the lead up to combat take a long time in planning, but once it starts, it's very fast. That is how it should be in an MMO too. Planning, then execution.

This is why NPC guards will get nerfed due to whining that they affect PvP negatively. Some people just don't seem to get it through their heads that most towns have guards that are supposed to keep the peace, and that means stepping in and stopping a fight, even if that means killing everyone involved. Having guards not do that removes a lot of realism in any game, but most particularly in a sandbox game.

One thing though I want to request does not get allowed. Firing bows on the run particularly crossbows which require you to stand still to reset, casting on the run except with magic items, and any sort of combat beyond melee under water or out of water. And make mobs capable of following you anywhere. Casting a spell though should be determined by it's components, so if you have to use body movements, doing it on the run is right out, though verbal or plain item components might be acceptable, depending on how they get used, though I'm sure they'll dumb that down in favor of click casting.

I am a bit tired of watching mobs lose interest in some jerk who runs into the water just to train the AI onto someone minding their own business, then run in and start taking advantage of that in a PvP contest. It's cheap bottom basement gamer behavior. If you grab the attention, it should not leave, unless someone damages the mob more than you do.

Goblin Squad Member

Davor wrote:

But see, there's the issue... how you balance the abilities affects their usefulness in a given situation. Yes, if you make your AoE effects deal more damage than single target effects and have friendly fire, there is a tactical choice to be made.

But let's tweak those numbers a bit. In most MMO's AoE effects tend to deal noticably less damage per target than single target effects. In the same scenario, most MMO's would have the single target spell deal 20 damage, and the AoE spell do about 10, maybe 13, but don't have Friendly Fire. I STILL have a tactical decision to make. Do I try to take down the entire group first? Or do I focus on enemies one at a time and try to lower their damage over time? How will this impact the outcome of the fight? You still have the same fundamental decision to make, but it's influenced by your capability to deal damage, not by your ally's ability to take the damage you would deal.

Of course, we don't know how GoblinWorks will be handling AoE vs. Single Target damage, but I'd be willing to bet that the issue of friendly fire and the tactical ramifications will likely revolve around the relative strength of Single Target attacks to AoE attacks.

However you slice it, it's one less variable you have to take into account, which REDUCES the depth of the tactical consideration, and simplifies the choice. Even if AOE spells do less damage to a single target then direct spells. Your balancing 2 factors then, total amount of damage done against speed of reducing the number of enemies... with Friendly Fire you add in a 3rd factor, the potential effect on your allies... balancing 3 factors is more involved then balancing 2.

Osirion

Actually, this is why I recommend a really rocking collision system.

Yes, the ability to damage allies with AoE abilities adds an extra layer of complexity, with the cost being the being the direct hindrance of your allies.

With a good collision system that causes allies and enemies to provide cover for other creatures in the area, you maintain the tactical aspect of positioning and using AoE abilities at the right time without adversely affecting your allies (beyond your reduced capabilities, of course). This would also allow for more unorthodox AoE effects to be more useful (for example, Call Lightning, which I personally would have target random enemies within the area of effect, but that's just me), as well as allowing for metamagic abilities which would allow you to slightly reduce the benefits of cover provided by allies.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
DeathMetal4tw wrote:
.... because Pathfinder Online is the one thing on planet earth that I have hope for....

If you mean that literally you do need to go out more.

While I don't write it off hand, the fact that the main guy on board is Ryan Dancey gives me sufficient reason to not have great expectations on this MMO, especially given the over-hyped expectation that people think that an MMO of any kind is going to replicate the paper and dice experience. That's simply not doable even by Lord British himself.

Goblin Squad Member

LazarX wrote:
DeathMetal4tw wrote:
.... because Pathfinder Online is the one thing on planet earth that I have hope for....

If you mean that literally you do need to go out more.

While I don't write it off hand, the fact that the main guy on board is Ryan Dancey gives me sufficient reason to not have great expectations on this MMO, especially given the over-hyped expectation that people think that an MMO of any kind is going to replicate the paper and dice experience. That's simply not doable even by Lord British himself.

I don't think anyone here is expecting PFO to replicate the experience of P&P, Also a large part of why this game isn't focused on being a rules purist or even closely resembeling the rules of the pathfinder tabletop game.

In my opinion from the blogs and posts, I do like the direction the game is headed, and I think it has much potential.

But yes if somehow it does turn out to not live up to expectations, my life will not be over, I still have hope in many other areas :P

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