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My opinion of what is wrong with PvP in a lot of games


Pathfinder Online

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Goblin Squad Member

A player character has, for instance, 10k hp. The attacker does 1200 damage per swing/spell/whatever skill you want. It only takes 8 of them to kill the first toon. Most fights are over in less than 10 secs. Wouldn't it make more sense to have the skills do a more realistic damage amount and have a longer time between hits?

Also, silence and fear seem to be rather unfair skills if they can be used very often. Stun I can see if hit in a critical spot and armor could possibly guard against that.

I can understand your run of the mill toon shouldn't be using full plate armor but why do some classes always have to wear cloth and others can wear the more protective leather and still others wear chain or plate?

I am hoping maybe we will see something with the pvp in PO besides the standard, overused, and tired sneak up from behind and kill in 2 second strafing runs we have now.

Goblin Squad Member

Ryan and the rest of the PFO community have talked a lot about balance between newbs and veterans. The basic theme I see coming from Ryan is that there will be rewards for advancing but they won't be overwhelming like they are in most Theme Parks.

He talked about PVP from the aspect of two guitar players facing off and the newb only can play a simple song, and the veteran can play a complex song, so the veteran can do better but if they fumble around with their complicated skills while the newb executes their simple skills well, they might still lose.

Personally think the industry standard for combat can't work for this game or battles will be decided by character level and numbers. Things have to change in order for battles to be decided by more than "Who has more people? How long have those people been playing?"

I really hope whatever they go with, that if I am insanely good, I can take on 5+ people with the same stats and gear that are total crap.

Goblin Squad Member

Misere wrote:

A player character has, for instance, 10k hp. The attacker does 1200 damage per swing/spell/whatever skill you want. It only takes 8 of them to kill the first toon. Most fights are over in less than 10 secs. Wouldn't it make more sense to have the skills do a more realistic damage amount and have a longer time between hits?

Also, silence and fear seem to be rather unfair skills if they can be used very often. Stun I can see if hit in a critical spot and armor could possibly guard against that.

I can understand your run of the mill toon shouldn't be using full plate armor but why do some classes always have to wear cloth and others can wear the more protective leather and still others wear chain or plate?

I am hoping maybe we will see something with the pvp in PO besides the standard, overused, and tired sneak up from behind and kill in 2 second strafing runs we have now.

Just want to point out. Realistic damage is X stabbing Y in the chest and Y falling down. That's what? 1 Second of damage, 4 of the corpse falling down? No fight I have ever seen between two capable combatants took 10 seconds because it always included stuns, fear, silence, polymorph, web, slow, etc, etc. Hell I don't even know what game you're using as a reference because even in WoW I never saw a Rogue 2 sec gank anyone of equal level. Global Cooldown alone prevents that.

I understand your point though, you don't want to die before normal human reaction time allows you to respond.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

Misere wrote:
A player character has, for instance, 10k hp. The attacker does 1200 damage per swing/spell/whatever skill you want. It only takes 8 of them to kill the first toon. Most fights are over in less than 10 secs. Wouldn't it make more sense to have the skills do a more realistic damage amount and have a longer time between hits?

You needn't take my word for this. Youtube yourself some fencing bouts, kendo bouts, iajutsu practice, and some medieval researchers that are piecing together the West's lost martial traditions. These bouts are incredibly quick and over in seconds, with lethal blows exchanged often before an untrained eye can detect it. A quick rapier thrust would hardly deliver a spectacular wound, but before modern medicine would be lethal due to the high probability of uncontrolled bleeding from a deep artery or lung puncture. Realism is a very bad thing to try to enforce.

That said, your point about gaming is absolutely valid.

As for why certain classes have always worn certain armor types, that you can firmly blame on Gygax. If you have to google that name...man a lot of this website must make no sense to you.

Goblin Squad Member

Like many things, systems have been adopted over time. 3.0 and 3.5 were adopted in large part because they were mechanically superior to the previous system, had the right backing, and thanks to Ryan, an ingenious licensing agreement that paved the way for third party content.

Armor, like Vancian magic, was something that was developed and stuck. Personally, I don't care for either. IMO armor should provide some DR instead of making an attack "miss". Magic doesn't have to be learned, it is something that is natural, not arcane or divine.

But yes, trying to emulate real life in an MMO is folly. It is fantasy for a reason. I would not have much fun playing McDonalds: The Burgercrafter or anything similar. :)

Goblin Squad Member

If I were to replace the word "realistic" with "moderate" maybe that would make my point better. You are right about some of the more technical stuff you guys talk about making little sense to me but I have learned a lot reading the forums. That doesn't change the fact that I feel that the fights should last a bit longer than they do in a lot of games.

Goblin Squad Member

The danger in long-lasting fights is that you start to feel like you're chopping wood, i.e. just working through your rotation over and over until the fight's finally decided.

I would love to see fights feel more like Street Fighter, where most lasted 30-45 seconds, and you really felt like you had to adapt to survive. I don't know if it's possible to achieve that in an MMO.

At any rate, I would like to see it take at least 5 seconds to kill a totally unresponsive opponent, and I would like a minimally skilled opponent to be able to survive a minimum of 15 seconds just by trying a little.

For the mythical "equally matched combatants", I would like to see a norm of 45 second matches in duels, with each additional opponent on one side reducing the life expectancy of the single combatant on the other side by 15 seconds. So, an "evenly matched" 2 on 1 should still allow the defender to tough it out for 30 seconds; 3 on 1 should last 15 seconds.

Goblin Squad Member

In FPS games if you "get the drop" on your target that usually is the key tactical battle as well as allowing the compromised target to rear-guard, bail-out type of tactics. The pace is a lot faster and te line of sight probably is conducive.

But this sort of action-reaction turning the screw on the player once an advantage is created would be good to see IMO.

What Is a game-breaker for me past mmorpg pvp is the insta-heal after I get the advantage on a player: All that work/gameplay completely written-off for another player clicking a button and filling a bar.

As said ideally Level, Gear and other 1v1 stat differences will be much closer; adding a small difference only; an emphasis more like in a direction. The whole twinking highlights that problem and how imo stupid level difference are for pvp in those terms.

Maybe in mmorpg pvp I'd like to see more context eg a ranger has advantages that come into effect in woods etc? Definitely dislike "taunt"/meat-shield idea: Maybe a dead corpse could be picked up and improved as a shield against arrows or thrown by a large char, but survivability should not be extreme difference imo.

The revive/drag a char out of a battle could a good addition to pvp eg GW2.

Most classes play similar eg fireball/arrow are equivalent or aoe vs dot dmg as players don't like long cool downs. But I think more differences in how a class skills act would be interesting and "balancing" be damned, as long as skills have variety of influence on pvp. Think could make the game more interesting/different play-styles. Just ensure whatever skill is effective ie "death is never far away" part of the game.

Goblin Squad Member

Misere wrote:
If I were to replace the word "realistic" with "moderate" maybe that would make my point better. You are right about some of the more technical stuff you guys talk about making little sense to me but I have learned a lot reading the forums. That doesn't change the fact that I feel that the fights should last a bit longer than they do in a lot of games.

I like a system where it can be over in the blink of an eye, or drag on for a staggering amount of time. That is one thing I loved about Freelancer. Sometimes you could destroy you opponent in a single pass. Sometimes you would end up circling and dodging and making passes on eachother's shields for 10+ minutes.

It made combat seem very intense without killing the ability for a long drawn out epic battle. It also really distinguished good players from bad players because a good player could draw out the battle until they could catch one of the opponent's off guard and quickly put an end to them, even if they were highly outnumbered.

I'm not sure how you could do that in a system not based on manually aim, but if it can be done it may be worth it.

The only thing that really comes to mind is Backfire in Guild Wars. It could kill your opponent incredibly quickly if they didn't notice that you had put it on them. Some super high damage abilities that are avoidable like that, would be very nice. As well as perhaps some super high healing or damage reduction abilities that take some skill to pull off.

Goblinworks Founder

Obakararuir wrote:


Armor, like Vancian magic, was something that was developed and stuck. Personally, I don't care for either. IMO armor should provide some DR instead of making an attack "miss". Magic doesn't have to be learned, it is something that is natural, not arcane or divine.

Robotech RPG used to have a good armor system, the armor provided DR and had its own durability much like hit points, this would soften the blow to the player but the protection would depreciate and eventually break iirc.

I'm in between on whether a quick fight/quick death would be better or worse. A 30 second fight sounds great for 1v1 but not for squad skirmishes or mass battles. I can't imagine how painful a battle would be if every player took longer than 20 seconds to kill. I think I would prefer a fight where players have a variety of defenses to avoid being hit, but die quickly if they are hit. A high weapon or spell skill would grant high accuracy/defense but the damage should remain fairly constant. A dagger can kill just as fast as a great sword or magic missile if one is skilled enough to know where to send it. Attack skill vs defense skill + weapon or spell skill modifier to hit, damage dealt vs player health determines whether they die in one hit or five.

Goblin Squad Member

Elth wrote:


I'm in between on whether a quick fight/quick death would be better or worse. A 30 second fight sounds great for 1v1 but not for squad skirmishes or mass battles. I can't imagine how painful a battle would be if every player took longer than 20 seconds to kill. I think I would prefer a fight where players have a variety of defenses to avoid being hit, but die quickly if they are hit. A high weapon or spell skill would grant high accuracy/defense but the damage should remain fairly constant. A dagger can kill just as fast as a great sword or magic missile if one is skilled enough to know where to send it. Attack skill vs defense skill + weapon or spell skill modifier to hit, damage dealt vs player health determines whether they die in one hit or five.

Well I would say that largely depends on how many skills target multiple targets. You factor in fireballs, chain lightning etc... Same for some melee attacks etc... whirlwinds etc... Balancing between doing hard damage to 1 target, light damage to many targets, Medium damage to many targets with a risk of hurting your own folks etc... Then also factoring in that in mass battles, the number of combatants doesn't necessarily increase the combat time with the number of combatants. If a 1v1 takes 2 minutes, a 10v10 doesn't necessarily take longer than 2 minutes either.

Goblin Squad Member

AvenaOats wrote:
Most classes play similar eg fireball/arrow are equivalent or aoe vs dot dmg as players don't like long cool downs. But I think more differences in how a class skills act would be interesting and "balancing" be damned, as long as skills have variety of influence on pvp.

I've been trying to make this point for months. "Balancing" is really only critical in arena-based PvP. In open-world PvP, where the whole thing can be terribly unbalanced because there are ten times as many characters on one side, it's just not as critical to ensure that each class is balanced with each other.

Goblin Squad Member

Balance is often confused with fairness. Think about nature. Nature is balanced. We are blessed with intellect enough to rule our world. Take a modern day human (with no equipment in their natural state if you will) and pit him against a lion or drop him a tank with a great white shark that balance is made strikingly clear. Are these odds fair? No. But overall, the situation is balanced. Man has the intellect to craft weapons to defeat his adversaries while other predators do not.

I'm actually in favor of a critical hit system similar to the one 2E had in Player's Option: Combat and Tactics. Every critical hit should have a chance to kill the opponent. Also, if any single attack (not turn) drops a character's HP down by half its total or more, they go into shock and can be coup de grace'd.

Just my thought's on MMO combat theory. How it actually plays out may change my opinion.

Goblin Squad Member

Obakararuir wrote:
Every critical hit should have a chance to kill the opponent. Also, if any single attack (not turn) drops a character's HP down by half its total or more, they go into shock and can be coup de grace'd.

With the stated premise that in PFO combat people will die, I could actually buy into this. Sometimes the arrow goes into the shield, sometimes into the flesh part of the arm, and sometimes right into the heart. So in game terms, sometimes the armor or shield block the damage, sometimes you take damage that can accumulate to kill you, and sometimes you just get killed outright.

Goblin Squad Member

I have no problem with lucky, or extremely well-planned, attacks killing someone instantly.

It should never be the case that a character can consistently do this under normal conditions. It should take a truly elaborate amount of planning in order to proactively cause this kind of instant kill, and it should only occur randomly in the 1:100,000 range.

Goblin Squad Member

Yes, but do those kind of statistics make the game fun? That's what is important. Realism is irrelevant except to the extent that it allows things in the game to work as expected.

If there's a 1 in 1000 chance an arrow will kill you, you can be darn sure that people will be firing thousands of arrows and you'll die with unpleasant frequency. Realistic? Sure, but it's also pointless. It takes control of the situation out of your hands.

I'm not saying you should be completely in control of the situation; this isn't solitaire. But neither should random events take you out of the game, and a rule like "a critical hit can result in instant death" IS a random event that can take you out of the game.

So, no, thumbs down to realism. It really doesn't help the game as a game.

Goblin Squad Member

gbonehead wrote:
But neither should random events take you out of the game...

I'm not 100% sure I agree with this, but my dad has a strong belief that there should be extremely rare, totally random events that do kill the character with nothing they can do about it. His example was a rock-slide/avalanche/meteorite falling down and killing the character before they knew what was happening.

I would like to see certain areas have environmental hazards like avalanches or rock slides that have the real possibility of killing characters. Something like a meteorite strike should be extremely rare, on the order of one incident per year. At that level of rarity, rather than being a frustration that the player has to put up with, it becomes a very cool story for them.

Shadow Lodge

Nihimon wrote:
Something like a meteorite strike should be extremely rare, on the order of one incident per year. At that level of rarity, rather than being a frustration that the player has to put up with, it becomes a very cool story for them.

I have to disagree very strongly. If this were to happen to my character, I'd be extremely unhappy at best.

I die to the luck of the dice? Fine. I die to poor choices? Fine. I die to overwhelming odds when retreat was a better option? Fine. Even okay with the landslide thing, as long as there are chances (skill checks, etc.) to evade the danger or survive the damage in some way, if you fail you fail, that's the luck of the dice. But this? No, not cool at all. Maybe funny to the rest of the players, but to the one it happens to I'd call it frustrating or annoying, and be heavily tempted to lay it at the feet of arbitrary culling on the DM's part.

Something that random, it practically serves as a plot point more than just a random chance occurrence, and I personally would only reserve that sort of ignoble death for NPCs as a way to kick off a story. I seem to recall something like that occurring in one of the old 3.5 splatbooks.

Goblin Squad Member

@ Orthos: When your number's up, your number IS up!

Avalanche increase in Winter would be a good eg. Setting off a rockslide/boulder on scree would be good too. In fact in traps should be elaborate and powerful eg pit of wooden spikes etc. Traps could be a whole skill path in itself. So a char would rely on a sort of trap-door spider approach to pvp to play to their strengths.

Shadow Lodge

Oh yeah I'm perfectly okay with those sort of things. There's methods, even if difficult, to evade them or avoid them, and if you choose to pass on those methods in favor of other specializations then that's a choice you have to live - and possibly die - with. It's things like "you get hit by a space rock you never saw coming and obliterated into dust" or "this rock cliff I never mentioned was fragile nor offered a skill check to even attempt for suddenly collapses, everyone dies" that I dislike.

Goblin Squad Member

Can’t say I agree with that totally off the wall chance that you just die. Sure, rock slides happen, people have been hit by lightning bolts. But I can’t remember the last time someone died from being hit by a meteorite.

Also, most of that stuff is from people being unwise. Climbing without the right gear or climbing in an unsafe area. Going out on the lake in a thunderstorm, you get the drift. There are very rare instances that is truly random, or ‘just because’. It’s usually due to cause (someone else/you causing) and effect (someone dying).

But besides all of that, do we really need that much realism? I really think it would piss more people off than them laughing and appreciating the realism.

And how does it work with people dying via PvE? Which these random deaths would be. Can you only loot dead bodies from doing the killing, yourself?

Sorry if that is in the blog, but I didn't see how that was clarified. I know I would be pretty livid if the hand of God decided to smack me down and some regular adventurer saw my corpse and decided to loot.

Goblin Squad Member

Nihimon wrote:
gbonehead wrote:
But neither should random events take you out of the game...

I'm not 100% sure I agree with this, but my dad has a strong belief that there should be extremely rare, totally random events that do kill the character with nothing they can do about it. His example was a rock-slide/avalanche/meteorite falling down and killing the character before they knew what was happening.

I would like to see certain areas have environmental hazards like avalanches or rock slides that have the real possibility of killing characters. Something like a meteorite strike should be extremely rare, on the order of one incident per year. At that level of rarity, rather than being a frustration that the player has to put up with, it becomes a very cool story for them.

True. Rule of cool trumps all!

The only rule with no exceptions is that all rules have exceptions :)

Goblin Squad Member

I remember eq's "you die to pain and suffereing" or something to that effect. Honestly, I would rather die to a meteor than someone that jumps out of hide and smacks me down in 2 swats. YOu can talk about contracts and revenge but in the end it doesn't really do much damage to them, does it?

Goblin Squad Member

I would like to see the ability for players to get away.

In Ultima Online I spent the first 6 months running my little butt off from RED's. At that point in the game I wasn't ready to PvP, I didn't understand combat well enough to ever win so I chose to run. I became very good at running away and avoiding PK's (player killers), i would only die maybe 50% of the time which in some regards balanced the playing field. The excitement of the cat and mouse was a lot of fun,sometimes I got away and sometimes I would take a deadly wrong turn.

I would like to see this in PFO, I would like to see a chance for non PvPers to get away, if they don't want to engage in PvP these players should have at least a 50/50 chance to escape.

The cat and mouse mechanic?

Goblinworks Founder

I don't think I could play a game where fights lasted too long. Any
Longer than thirty seconds would just lose my interest. Maybe I'm just growing out of games but I just don't find long drawn out fights interesting. When magical healing is added to the mix a 30 second fight becomes a 2minute fight and is compounded with more people and more clerics.

Goblin Squad Member

Obakararuir wrote:

Balance is often confused with fairness. Think about nature. Nature is balanced. We are blessed with intellect enough to rule our world. Take a modern day human (with no equipment in their natural state if you will) and pit him against a lion or drop him a tank with a great white shark that balance is made strikingly clear. Are these odds fair? No. But overall, the situation is balanced. Man has the intellect to craft weapons to defeat his adversaries while other predators do not.

Well actually I would say nature is very very unbalanced. There are very few humans that lose to lions, tigers bears or sharks. As a result there are more and more human players every day, and less and less lion, tigers etc... Last I heard the panda's were considering ragequitting, all of the dodo's gave up, and the humans are so OP if they kill off hundreds of the other races just by spilling things on accident.

OK well more to the side of seriousness though, that is one point of balance that many games do screw up. They think that because a character needs to have X to be stronger, that it is not a normal benefit, and of course the reason that fails is in game, if they need X to be twice as strong as others, they will always have X, whether they use their double power to massively speed up their money, whether they wind up instructing a guild or whatever to farm X or any reason. The end result is characters who need X to be more powerful, will pretty much always have X, and it will barely be an inconvinience to get it.

Goblin Squad Member

1 person marked this as a favorite.
BlackUhuru wrote:
I would like to see the ability for players to get away.

I agree. If "run away" is a meaningful option, we can train players to do so. Ideally there would be some aspect of the game mechanic that allowed you to execute a retreat within a narrow window of time, and if you did so, you'd almost always escape.

Obviously this shouldn't apply to ambushes, but rather to the situation where for example, a character is harvesting something and an unknown other character enters the area but before contact is made between the two.

Too many games with PvP end up with a situation where "running away" is never a viable option which breeds fatalism and defeatism.

RyanD

Goblin Squad Member

Ryan Dancey wrote:
BlackUhuru wrote:
I would like to see the ability for players to get away.

I agree. If "run away" is a meaningful option, we can train players to do so. Ideally there would be some aspect of the game mechanic that allowed you to execute a retreat within a narrow window of time, and if you did so, you'd almost always escape.

Obviously this shouldn't apply to ambushes, but rather to the situation where for example, a character is harvesting something and an unknown other character enters the area but before contact is made between the two.

Too many games with PvP end up with a situation where "running away" is never a viable option which breeds fatalism and defeatism.

RyanD

That sounds promising!

Valinar

Goblin Squad Member

Valinar wrote:
Ryan Dancey wrote:
BlackUhuru wrote:
I would like to see the ability for players to get away.

I agree. If "run away" is a meaningful option, we can train players to do so. Ideally there would be some aspect of the game mechanic that allowed you to execute a retreat within a narrow window of time, and if you did so, you'd almost always escape.

Obviously this shouldn't apply to ambushes, but rather to the situation where for example, a character is harvesting something and an unknown other character enters the area but before contact is made between the two.

Too many games with PvP end up with a situation where "running away" is never a viable option which breeds fatalism and defeatism.

RyanD

That sounds promising!

Valinar

I was agreeing with BlackUhuru's suggestion also. I think there should be a sort of combat zone where of the players are apart the outside distance of that critical zone one or other can "run away" (my favourite skill in WAR - speed boost).

In Nature animals go through elaborate means to size each other up, signal and run-away before a costly combat is finally decided by 2 equally matched ones. Also that scene with the six-fingered man: Classic!

Goblin Squad Member

Valinar wrote:
Ryan Dancey wrote:
BlackUhuru wrote:
I would like to see the ability for players to get away.

I agree. If "run away" is a meaningful option, we can train players to do so. Ideally there would be some aspect of the game mechanic that allowed you to execute a retreat within a narrow window of time, and if you did so, you'd almost always escape.

Obviously this shouldn't apply to ambushes, but rather to the situation where for example, a character is harvesting something and an unknown other character enters the area but before contact is made between the two.

Too many games with PvP end up with a situation where "running away" is never a viable option which breeds fatalism and defeatism.

RyanD

That sounds promising!

Valinar

Cool sounds like Ryan is open to the cat and mouse mechanic! I agree on the ambush, if you get the jump on your pray they should have to fight for their survival. But say your out killing mobs and you see a known PK'er, you should be able to get the jump on him by evading PvP.

I personally enjoy PvP and welcome it with open arms, but i have also experienced the other side of the fence.


The one thing I dislike about PvP in WoW more than any other thing is resilience. Someone can be in raid gear, but step into PvP and be ineffectual and get slaughtered due to resilience. Meanwhile someone in PvP gear can step into a raid and only be a tier behind. I have been in both of these situations.

I worry that segregating PvP and PvE in the skill system will yield a similar result.

Goblin Squad Member

@Hudax, are you worried that PFO will do that sort of segregation?

Goblin Squad Member

Hudax wrote:

The one thing I dislike about PvP in WoW more than any other thing is resilience. Someone can be in raid gear, but step into PvP and be ineffectual and get slaughtered due to resilience. Meanwhile someone in PvP gear can step into a raid and only be a tier behind. I have been in both of these situations.

I worry that segregating PvP and PvE in the skill system will yield a similar result.

This system is known as a 'Playstyle Time Sink', or in my language 'A gratuitous waste of the players money'.

This is used when a game has a crappy over-simplistic PvP system with a very limited number of scenarios or activities, so it is made more interesting with a gear progression, because having something to work for is motivation for a lot of people who don't do the math to predict the future.

SOE did a system like this in DCUO, luckely SOE is riddled with idiots(and apparently horrible security software) so the system had one glaring hole: stack pve dropped armor - get crazy damage - wreck faces with plants.

I don't see GW doing this, it is never used in an open pvp oriented game.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

Valkenr wrote:

This system is known as a 'Playstyle Time Sink', or in my language 'A gratuitous waste of the players money'.

This is used when a game has a crappy over-simplistic PvP system with a very limited number of scenarios or activities, so it is made more interesting with a gear progression, because having something to work for is motivation for a lot of people who don't do the math to predict the future.

A lack of strategic depth is hidden beneath hard-to-get power and an ever-increasing set of numbers? Yeah, definitely something to avoid.

It's old news by now, but I always felt EC's explanation was a great one for why this works despite ultimately not being terribly engaging.

---

On retreat, I hope it's always an option regardless of the point in a conflict, and that it takes skills and speed to pull off. In real conflict, withdrawing successfully in the face of attack is a mark of skill, as is successfully bringing an enemy to ground, yet for some reason the maneuver side of the house is the first one for folks to forget the importance of.

I do not know if the engines could handle it, but skill checks to climb to safety, leap obstacles, run despite heavy gear, swim, and otherwise evade or close with a hostile would add a massive strategic depth I haven't seen in many games. Usually, those factors only amount to sprint functions, debuff/mezz abilities which slow hostiles, and the occasional buff from an ally.


a few words on retreat.

since the game features partial looting (people get items from you once you are dead) it is important that you have a good chance to escape combat when you are prepared and you make the choice to leave in time.

i think it is also important that you have low chance to disengage once combat has started ( people jump on you but see they are losing and poof they vanish )

i am curious tho on how this will be implementing.How will the pray and the predator will be able to "track" each other down and decide in advance if they should engage and commit or not.Eve online does this in a strange way ,it has an "area" channel .if you see people at the channel that you are unfamiliar with ,it is time to start packing. In areas where this channel is non-existant you should manually track each other using some kind of tracking skill . the problem is you need to scan constantly
because the response window is very small .

Goblin Squad Member

There's nothing wrong with retreating after combat has already started. In fact, you'll find historically that most retreats happened after combat started.

One thing to keep in mind is that many of the battles in PFO will revolve around controlling territory, not killing characters. If you don't want that bandit horde to burn down your Inn, you're going to need to stand and fight. If you don't want that bandit group to steal your caravan goods, you're going to need to stand and fight. Retreating in these situations will be almost as bad as dying.

In situations where someone's true goal is your death, there's still a long and colorful history of people who ran away from a fight after it started. It doesn't always work, and it shouldn't always work in PFO, but if I can run faster than you I should probably be able to get away from you.

Which reminds me, can we please have Skill-based movement speed, rather than making everyone always run the exact same speed (unless they have special gear)?


Nihimon wrote:

There's nothing wrong with retreating after combat has already started. In fact, you'll find historically that most retreats happened after combat started.

One thing to keep in mind is that many of the battles in PFO will revolve around controlling territory, not killing characters. If you don't want that bandit horde to burn down your Inn, you're going to need to stand and fight. If you don't want that bandit group to steal your caravan goods, you're going to need to stand and fight. Retreating in these situations will be almost as bad as dying.

i would like to point 2 things. It is almost certain that battles that revolve around controlling territory will not be spontaneous .I expect a protocol/mechanic to be in place .so that you do not wake up and your tower is burnt.something like , setting up a siege camp or building warmachines etc ,that gives time(probably a day or two) to the defender to organize.defending the tower/city/fort/mine etc is a tactical decision and it is not exactly "combat rules"

I was actually concerned about small scale pvp ,skirmish fights .something like , you are trying to find the entrance of an instance as a scout while an enemy scout is in the region .once you know that he is around you have to decide to wait for an ambush , actively find him and fight him , or leave the area and report back .if you have eye contact you can always mount up and try to go back to safety .he could try to shoot at the horse to kill it ,or mount up himself while he alerts his team of your position etc

i do not think that beyond the "chase" phase, retreating would or even should be possible.resolving fights in my opinion should end with one side dead .my motives are tactical and do not revolve around " ganking " or petty pk for loot.

small scale combat should be lethal as a way to put pressure on the losing side of a war. having a tower in a region does not make it your region unless you have the man power to control the region , patrol the region etc. if you hold the tower but lose every single skirmish you cannot actively capitalize on your holdings .you cannot farm around the tower or mine at the nearby mine or kill the trolls for pve in the area etc

if you always have the option to retreat from skirmish then the war cannot be resolved since neither side suffers from attrition or asset destruction .border fights will revolve around who has more people at a certain time to "own" the region for half an hour .we will simply have rubber-band pvp . oh guys they are 10 and we are 5 retreat.oh guys we are 10 and they are 5 go get them , pff what a bunch of sissies ,they left .

Goblin Squad Member

@insorrow, to your first point, controlling territory doesn't just mean protecting buildings. It can also mean protecting the entrance to a dungeon, or protecting your traveling caravan. Both of those would qualify as "spontaneous" pvp.

It sounds like you're making a pretty big assumption that what I was talking about only applies to sieges.

I hear you loud and clear expressing your opinion that retreat should not be an option. I'm just expressing my opinion that it should.

insorrow wrote:
if you always have the option to retreat from skirmish then the war cannot be resolved since neither side suffers from attrition or asset destruction

If I retreat, leaving you free to destroy my assets, then how can you say that the option of retreat means neither side suffers from asset destruction? This makes no sense to me.


Nihimon wrote:

@Hudax, are you worried that PFO will do that sort of segregation?

I am, though it may not be warranted. Here is what Ryan said that brought it to mind (link):

Ryan Dancey wrote:
Likewise, a Fighter that has specialized in being awesome at killing aberrations might suck at killing humanoids - due to skills, gear, and player ability. A player who focuses on PvP might develop a character that sucks as an adventuring companion but be exactly the person you want guarding you when assassins appear.

I'm always thinking about the game in terms of what I will see when I log in for the first time. I open my skills window to start training my first skill--what do I see? How, through skills, does one fighter become awesome at killing abberations but terrible at PvP, and another becomes awesome at PvP but terrible at killing abberations?

It could be as simple as having a row of monster types and just checking the box next to the one you want to be good at killing. This would be subject to the initial big burst of power and long tail of refinement that the skills are advertised to be. This would probably be ok in my opinion since there aren't that many creature types and training them all at a basic level wouldn't take very long.

It could be that abberations have some quirk to their nature that one of the fighter's quirky skills happens to trump. Maybe he defends really well against natural weapons, or something else that's not creature specific. Maybe this fighter would also be really good against shapeshifters in PvP, but no one else. Odd skill synergies like this that translate over different aspects of the game would also be ok in my book. I'm a big fan of skills having wide applicability.

The scenario I don't want to see is fighter B is good at PvP because he's skilled up Damage Humanoids, Defense vs. Humanoids, Stun Humanoids, Resist Stun vs. Humanoids, etc. Basically someone who has superspecialized in PvP. Similarly, I don't want to see fighter A only be good at killing abberations because he superspecialized vs. abberations. This isn't just about PvP--I also don't want to see the abberation specialist suck at killing dragons. If being "good" at killing dragons means checking a box and waiting a day, no problem. But if it means needing several dragon specific skills, that might be an issue.

I hope what I'm trying to say is coming across. It's very difficult to talk about something that is totally abstract at this point.

Goblin Squad Member

Hudax wrote:
Ryan Dancey wrote:
Likewise, a Fighter that has specialized in being awesome at killing aberrations might suck at killing humanoids - due to skills, gear, and player ability. A player who focuses on PvP might develop a character that sucks as an adventuring companion but be exactly the person you want guarding you when assassins appear.
I'm always thinking about the game in terms of what I will see when I log in for the first time. I open my skills window to start training my first skill--what do I see? How, through skills, does one fighter become awesome at killing abberations but terrible at PvP, and another becomes awesome at PvP but terrible at killing abberations?

In Mortal Online there is a Zoology tree of skills. It represented your knowledge of those creature's anatomy's and stuff like that. Different creatures fell under several levels of different classifications and learning about those classifications raised your attack against those specific creature types as well as butchery yields.

That would be my best guess?

I'm somewhat a fan of this quote and somewhat not. It would be cool to see a character that specializes in killing dragons, or abberations, or lycanthropes. But I don't want to see people divided into PVP and PVE characters. The less separation there is between the two, the more immersive the game is, and the more a combat centered character can enjoy all aspects of combat.

Goblin Squad Member

Nihimon wrote:


Which reminds me, can we please have Skill-based movement speed, rather than making everyone always run the exact same speed (unless they have special gear)?

While a good concept, we also have to take into account that movement speed is a HUGE advantage in almost every situation, assuming tactical positioning is a huge factor, move speed is a huge factor

Delivering goods: blatently huge advantage
Searching for dungeons: Covering more ground = good

I can't think of a single situation where speed isn't a huge advantage. The end result, move speed is hands down the most desirable skill in every way, meaning it is a skill everyone will sacrifice whatever necessary to max as soon as possible, ending with a net end... of the same situation. everyone has maxed speed, thus everyone is the same speed.

It is similar to the same arguement I have against flying mounts that are extremely useful, but take a year to earn... people will just consider a character as good as non-existant until he puts in that year. (I am not arguing against flying mounts existing, I am saying up front cost is not a balance factor for anything, continual costs and drawbacks during use are legitimate balance factors.)

Of course I am in favor of more direct tradeoffs, heavier armor for better defense at the cost of movement speed, is logical, practical and it is imposible no matter how much time is invested to have the full advantage of heavy armor, and not the drawback of slower speed. (Dwarves of course half way being an exception in that they don't move slower in heavier armor than usual, being offset by the fact that they move slow even unarmored.

I am in favor of situations in which things that are advantagious to winning a fight, are disadvantageous to getting away from a fight. Of course things like group size etc... are obviously one that does that rather well, Obviously if you are carting a caravan, you can't exactly run very fast pulling a cart of oxen, meaning that is basically giving the ambushers the prize.

I actually like the idea of a universal fatigue, where exhaustion from fighting hard... pretty much negates your chances of escape, yet fighting extremely conservatively while your opponent goes all out, might actually increase your chances of escape (IE your opponent has burned himself out worse then you, so you can run longer).

Goblin Squad Member

Onishi wrote:
The end result, move speed is hands down the most desirable skill in every way, meaning it is a skill everyone will sacrifice whatever necessary to max as soon as possible, ending with a net end... of the same situation. everyone has maxed speed, thus everyone is the same speed.

I don't think this is true. I've been playing a little GURPS lately, which is extremely tactical, and movement speed makes a huge difference, yet there are wildly different Basic Moves for the player characters.

Likewise, I think a quickly increasing up-front cost, combined with the kinds of realistic on-going limits you mentioned (armor, etc.) will create a significant amount of variety.


Nihimon wrote:

@insorrow, to your first point, controlling territory doesn't just mean protecting buildings. It can also mean protecting the entrance to a dungeon, or protecting your traveling caravan. Both of those would qualify as "spontaneous" pvp.

It sounds like you're making a pretty big assumption that what I was talking about only applies to sieges.

I hear you loud and clear expressing your opinion that retreat should not be an option. I'm just expressing my opinion that it should.

insorrow wrote:
if you always have the option to retreat from skirmish then the war cannot be resolved since neither side suffers from attrition or asset destruction
If I retreat, leaving you free to destroy my assets, then how can you say that the option of retreat means neither side suffers from asset destruction? This makes no sense to me.

lets go back to game examples .

you own a tower in a region and you have a few people there farming the nearby trolls .some scouts try to find the troll caves aka instanced pve etc . an opposing group comes in the region to raid.your scouts sense them and alert in guild chat/ventrillo, most of your people regroup/retreat at the tower , but a party was slow to respond to the alert and they now engage in combat and face the raiders. should they have a good chance to "retreat" again?

what do the raiders gain if your group retreats to the tower safely, constantly? what "asset" can they destroy now that your groups are safe behind their walls? My guess is nothing.I actually wonder what is the asset destroyed in this scenario according to you? If the late group cannot retreat they lose gear , loot and morale.Try to stay in a border region when you know that anytime now the place will be full of raiders.It can break your nerves because you (the individual player) have something to lose .

The only thing that could be an asset as you mention it would be the caravan.lets give an example again.you own a region rich in minerals and you have a nearby outpost .people do mining operations and stockpile ore at the outpost.you have a refinery at the outpost as well and you can smelt ore into iron bars.once a month you need a caravan to move a months work of mining ,from the outpost to the city/headquarters of the guild.

I imagine this will be a guild event.most of the guild would take the time to guard this caravan throughout its journey .the precise time should be a secret.this is not spontaneous pvp either.it is something any competent guild master will plan ahead , spread scouts all over the place , make sure only 2-3 officers know the exact time and route of the caravan.If you cannot protect your caravans when you have the initiative and you "control" the region then i am out of words.this is not skirmish or random border action

Goblin Squad Member

Nihimon wrote:
Onishi wrote:
The end result, move speed is hands down the most desirable skill in every way, meaning it is a skill everyone will sacrifice whatever necessary to max as soon as possible, ending with a net end... of the same situation. everyone has maxed speed, thus everyone is the same speed.

I don't think this is true. I've been playing a little GURPS lately, which is extremely tactical, and movement speed makes a huge difference, yet there are wildly different Basic Moves for the player characters.

Likewise, I think a quickly increasing up-front cost, combined with the kinds of realistic on-going limits you mentioned (armor, etc.) will create a significant amount of variety.

Well the point overall is the up front costs even if they are substantial turn into negligable when you factor in long amounts of time that the game continues for.

Gurps I can't say I have actually played, most of my tabletop experience has bene pathfinder and D&D 3.5, but if GURPS has a cap on capabilities of any kind then that is a bit of a moot point. If maxing your move speed cuts into your potential attack etc... then that makes sense.

The other thing of PFO that at least to my knowledge isn't much of a factor in tabletop, is travel speed itself is a huge factor. IE cutting a 30 minute walk to a 20 minute walk, is a pretty darn big deal. The key reason why move speed is such a vital skill, is because it applies to virtually anything immaginable you are doing.

IE if you are harvesting but not being attacked, your swordsmanship skill isn't present at the moment, if you are in the front lines, in a war, your harvesting skills aren't being used. IE a well versed character may need a bit of everything, but walking speed, gives a noteworthy boost to virtually every task, every role, every function you can possibly be doing.

Even a pure crafter has to run back and forth between his storage and where he is selling.

Assuming they are present, off the top of my head skills that I know will be top priority maxed by 70% of people playing the game

Speed
Max HP
Max stamina (assuming a universal fatigue of some kind).
Those type skills fall into no brainers to max, because they are near top priority for any one role, but because they universally help EVERY role you might do in the game. For a character that never expects to perform more than a single function, I could see them as potentially 2nd or 3rd priority behind the main function, but when you factor in that most people will be dabbling in multiple functions (harvesting, PVP, dungeons etc...), skills that are useful in all of these functions are kind of no brainers to max early

Goblin Squad Member

@insorrow, stretch just a little bit and you'll see that I'm talking about retreating from towers/outposts, not retreating to them.

@Onishi, you're probably right. But I can dream :)

Goblin Squad Member

Hudax wrote:
The scenario I don't want to see is fighter B is good at PvP because he's skilled up Damage Humanoids, Defense vs. Humanoids, Stun Humanoids, Resist Stun vs. Humanoids, etc. Basically someone who has superspecialized in PvP. Similarly, I don't want to see fighter A only be good at killing abberations because he superspecialized vs. abberations. This isn't just about PvP--I also don't want to see the abberation specialist suck at killing dragons. If being "good" at killing dragons means checking a box and waiting a day, no problem. But if it means needing several dragon specific skills, that might be an issue.

This is exactly how the system will likely work. If you choose to specialize, you will benefit, but you narrow your range of action.

Of course, over time, you can specialize in many different ways...


@Ryan:

I would advocate something more along the lines that Andius described. Specialization that has a few different applications. I understand the desire to be able to specialize, and that if the specialization works against too many things problems arise (ie: tanks). But what if the specialization were approached a little more organically than a straight line to the goal?

For example, I want to be relatively good at PvE and PvP. Under the model I think you're describing, I would need a few separate skills to achieve each of those goals. But what if the means to those goals weren't so straightforward (Pve skills vs. PvP skills)?

What if I could choose to skill up Scimitar? Having some skill with that weapon could give me a bonus vs. humanoids in particular, and maybe montstrous humanoids, plant creatures, etc. Against dragons, trolls, and other scaley things, I could receive no benefit with my chosen weapon (beyond some base effectiveness, if any).

It could even give me a bonus against humanoids in certain types of armor (cloth, leather) and no benefit against others (mail, plate).

This would spread the benefit of the skill over different aspects of the game, while maintaining a semblance of specialization.

The scenario I described that you quoted seems, for lack of a better term, too cookie cutter. Skill up A,B,C for PvE and X,Y,Z for PvP. I would prefer a more organic approach, where you can't guarantee your skills will always pay off in a given situation. The net number of skills and their effects over time could be the same, but the effects would branch out in different directions rather than follow a straight line.

Goblin Squad Member

Think of it like this.

One character is an explorer. One character is a solider.

They both learn some things in common, although the level to which they master those things is probably different. To a limited degree they are interchangeable.

The difference between those characters are the things they don't have in common.

The solider is trained to do a specialized task - engage the enemies of his people as a part of a unit. Put him down a dark hole where he may be the only person able to stand toe to toe with the creatures he encounters and attack him with monsters that run along ceilings, phase in from another dimension, and attack him with fire, cold, acid and sonic energies and his military training doesn't help him much.

Likewise, take an explorer who has learned how to deal solo with zany things like breath weapons, tentacles, incorporeal entities, poison, etc. and put him on a battlefield where life and death is based on how well you integrate with a highly trained team that has multiple interdependencies, hold your position in the face of massed opponent force, and hear and obey orders from your commanders, and he's going to be a liability to whatever unit he's attached to.

Sure, over time, one character could become proficient in both roles. That's something to aspire to as a long term multi-year character arc. Just don't expect to be able to do it early, often, or well until you've spent that time in game.

Goblin Squad Member

Thinking about specialization, I'm thinking of Rangers having to choose a favored enemy. In PFO, this might be multiple skills (to hit bonus, damage bonus, various knowledge skills).

These bonuses must be trained, and merit badges earned, in addition to weapon training. Characters that are expected to focus on PvP will specialize to fight against humanoids. In PF, specializing against elves, dwarves, halflings, and humans would count as 4 different favored enemies. That could get expensive from a training standpoint. A character that spends all training on PvP related stuff is going to be at a disadvantage in other areas.

I am curious to see as the game develops - if favored enemy specialization is a Ranger skill in PF, will it be limited to Ranger archetype in PFO? If so, people who want to train favored enemies skills will either be Rangers or forgo capstones. Maybe that counts as narrowing options.


Nihimon wrote:

@insorrow, stretch just a little bit and you'll see that I'm talking about retreating from towers/outposts, not retreating to them.

so? if you retreat from the tower the raid party still cannot destroy it ,since in any serious game destroying a tower will not be possible by a raid group.

just give me a single example where retreating from combat after it has begun puts something to the table for the offender.

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