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Goblinworks Blog: A Three-Headed Hydra


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Nihimon wrote:
Landon Winkler wrote:
Is there any reason spellbooks aren't just treated as another weapon? It seems like they should work in a way more analogous to holy symbols.

Because of the design decision to limit us to 6 active abilities and 3 weapon sets, treating spellbooks as weapons would severely limit the ability of spellcasters to have a wide variety of spells.

The current design (if I'm right) allows for up to 24 spells, in addition to up to 18 other weapon-based abilities off of Staves and Wands.

If they treated spellbooks as weapons, that would leave only the 18 spells & abilities.

I actually have grave concerns about this design choice since it relies on the UI, rather than the design of skills and abilities, to constrain our choices.

oh so they are going the rout of GW2 where they have a weapon that gives you abilities, opposed to having abilities then choosing your weapon

Goblinworks Executive Founder

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I will withhold final judgement until I have more knowledge about how difficult changing weapons will be, and what kinds of refresh abilities will exist.

But assigning types of action to specific slots is not encouraging.

Goblin Squad Member

On first read, I REALLY like the combat system as described. It really seems to address alot of the issues that are inherint with the overall design goals and type of game being made while still keeping the flavor of the Pathfinder ruleset. Well done.

I have 2 basic questions/observations...

1) I like the high level concept of the Stamina system and the idea that the tactical character who plans out thier moves will be more efficient in combat. However, I'm unclear as to exactly how that is achieved given the description. From what was described, you get Stamina points every 6 seconds.... unless I'm missing something, I don't see how that will actualy result in the "spammer" having unused points left over... say the "planner" fires off 3 abilities in the 6 seconds, the spammer fires off 8, how does that result in the "spammer" using less Stamina and therefore having wasted points? I'm not quite getting the mechanics of how that would actualy work out? Note, not a criticism against the concept/goal...I think that's awesome...just difficulty in understanding how it's achieved given the mechanism described.

Edit: From the way the mechanism was described, what one would think would be that the "spammer" uses up all thier stamina points in the first 3 seconds on the round and then has nothing left to power actions for the last half of the round, while the planner can act/react to situations for the the entire 6 second round. Still a good advantage for the "planner" but not the conclusion that was presented. Of course, I'm probably missing something important about how the mechanism is implimented.

2) One big thing I didn't see addressed in the combat portion of the blog but that tends to be a big problem in PvP. How do you deal with PvP opponents always selecting the most vulnerable/high priorty target first....or concentrating all attacks/damage on a single target to take them out in 1 round (e.g. ignore the fighters, kill the guy in the robes first.... everbody kill the healer first)? It's a pretty cheap tactic that really detracts from the PvP experience, makes positioning pretty meaningless and eliminates one of the primary function of melee fighters in the Pathfinder game...that of acting as a front line of defence. In PvE, most MMO's use the "aggro" system...inelegant solution but at least it works. In PvP, players have free target selection, so what tends to happen is that attackers run right through/past the front line fighters to take down the mages/healers first and then mop-up the fighters....same tactic employed in every fight.

Even if we accept that there won't be a "tank" per se, there are always going to be more vulnerable/higher priorty targets. It really weakens enjoyment of the combat system significantly (IMO) if there is ALWAYS one tactic employed in every single PvP fight and there really is no counter to be employed against it. The PnP ruleset works great in that regard in that there is real world physics (i.e. collision detection) and threatened zones and AoO's which means positioning and picking your ground to fight in becomes very important and if you make good game-play decisions you can keep the enemy from targeting your highest value/most vulnerable targets (in melee at least) first. That adds alot of depth and tactics to combat and rewards teamwork and good game-play decisions. I would love to see if there is intent or plans to address that aspect of combat in PFO?

Goblin Squad Member

Also, I have a bit of concern about this...

"Reconfiguring the action bar is something that your character will typically do when not in combat, and potentially may require being at a location suitable for making major changes (like changing armor types, for example)."

I agree that you shouldn't be able to change the action bar in a combat situation... but I hope that you CAN make changes to it (like switching armor or swapping out which weapons you have in your weapon slots) out in the field while not in combat. I really hope we don't have something like a "return to base" function in order to switch from assigning a spear to a warhammer in weapon slot 3...or even switching out armor....I don't think that would fit the game setting well. Forcing the player to be out of combat is fine....and even putting them on a 2 minute timer to complete the change which if attacked or otherwise interrupted will nullify the change is fine (IMO)....... making them go back to town or something like that would be going overboard. You certainly CAN/SHOULD impliment an encumberance system or the equivalent to make sure the character isn't carrying an insane amount of gear with them (although the death mechanics will probably discourage people from doing that anyway) but forcing trips back just to adjust the action bar would be going overboard (IMO).

Goblin Squad Member

Uninvited Ghost wrote:
Is the email from Paizo or Goblinworks? Either way, I'm not seeing it... what date was it sent?

I have not gotten a email either. Has anyone received the email for the "Pledge Drive management tool" yet?

Goblin Squad Member

GrumpyMel wrote:
... I don't see how that will actualy result in the "spammer" having unused points left over...

I believe the idea is that the Spammer will be spamming the same ability, which will not be an efficient use of points. Basically, this looks like a fairly straight-forward system. It's similar to the Rogue in WoW, in a way, although I expect this will be much slower-paced.

GrumpyMel wrote:
One big thing I didn't see addressed... How do you deal with PvP opponents always selecting the most vulnerable/high priorty target first...?

First, I hope they don't make "high priority" equal "more vulnerable".

Second, I hope that relative position actually matters. Attacking the Cleric from range should be a dicey proposition if the Cleric is engaged in close combat. Attacking the Cleric in close combat - while ignoring the Fighter standing right next to them - should also be a dicey proposition.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

I would duplicate the "cover" ability from the old-school Fonal Fantasy.
"no, you hit ME, for reduced damage. "

Goblin Squad Member

GrumpyMel wrote:

I'm unclear as to exactly how that is achieved given the description. From what was described, you get Stamina points every 6 seconds.... unless I'm missing something, I don't see how that will actualy result in the "spammer" having unused points left over

My understanding was that they's be allotting different abilities different point values. So maybe a basic swing is worth one, while a backstab is worth three and a riposte attack is worth four. Now normally you'd already have to time the backstab for when you're behind the target and use the riposte as they attack. With the addition of point values, you're also having to weigh the individual costs. So I could blow most of my points on basic swings only to find myself in a position to use something more powerful but lacking the points to do so. This may not make a huge difference in a single round, but after several, there will be a clear advantage to the person managing his points with the best attack option for the scenario.

Just my understanding anyway. Also don't forget the info they've given us on unit fighting. This sounds tailor made to facilitate that.

GrumpyMel wrote:


2) One big thing I didn't see addressed in the combat portion of the blog but that tends to be a big problem in PvP. How do you deal with PvP opponents always selecting the most vulnerable/high priorty target first....or concentrating all attacks/damage on a single target to take them out in 1 round (e.g. ignore the fighters, kill the guy in the robes first.... everbody kill the healer first)? It's a pretty...

Again I'd remind you of the "You're in the army now!" blog post regarding unit combat. By maintaining formation and moving as a whole, a group will have distinct, unique advantages over guys who are simply trying to bum rush the squishies. They haven't gone into significant detail yet, but I think the article indicates they are at least aware of the issue.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Whitelock wrote:
Uninvited Ghost wrote:
Is the email from Paizo or Goblinworks? Either way, I'm not seeing it... what date was it sent?
I have not gotten a email either. Has anyone received the email for the "Pledge Drive management tool" yet?

The email to Kickstarter backers was from customer.service@paizo.com to the email address associated with your Kickstarter account.

Goblin Squad Member

Nihimon wrote:
GrumpyMel wrote:
... I don't see how that will actualy result in the "spammer" having unused points left over...

I believe the idea is that the Spammer will be spamming the same ability, which will not be an efficient use of points. Basically, this looks like a fairly straight-forward system. It's similar to the Rogue in WoW, in a way, although I expect this will be much slower-paced.

This was also my impression, and frankly i find it somewhat worrying in regard to the pacing. I think the impression is of a slower than 1 second 'heartbeat" of the combat system is what turns me off. To me, with the immediacy that comes with PvP and the Humanoid modeling might be severely impacted by a slow heartbeat. Granted without detailed specifics regarding the time/stam/action cost of various abilities we can't really make a lot of judgement calls on that sort of thing, but it was an immediate concern.

If at the fastest we have daggers (or wands or other light small weapons) that can push right up against the heartbeat, and great axes (greatswords, big spells, etc) eat a larger chunk of stamina (thusly less frequent) I think that offers significant choices for flavor as well as mechanical differences. Harder to balance across all scales/methods of doing damage but still a great way to go. The logical conclusion of this is slower = larger, but I'm not sure that's really a concern, or even a paradigm that needs to be adhered to. What I would very much NOT want to see is someone with a dagger limited to the same frequency of attacks as a dude with a maul. While that more closely adheres to the PnP, its a part of that abstraction that i think won't translate very well at all to a MMO.

I feel compelled to point out (as per my reading anyway) that this is still a simultaneous real time system, and any allusions to the PnP are for reference only. The 6 second stamina timeline is a somewhat arbitrary but necessary time frame for such a mechanic. Its not indicative of any sort of "turn-based" tactical system from the PnP.

Osirion

Uninvited Ghost wrote:
Is the email from Paizo or Goblinworks? Either way, I'm not seeing it... what date was it sent?

I'm with Ghost on this one. I got invoice emails confirming a "puchase" of $0.00 ... and it asked me to update my delivery address at Paizo.com

But, there wasn't any kind of link to "Paizo's new Pledge Drive management tool". Hm. I'm thrilled that it's getting ready to come out, but, I really would like to get my t-shirt in the right size. :(

Goblin Squad Member

Nihimon wrote:

Because of the design decision to limit us to 6 active abilities and 3 weapon sets, treating spellbooks as weapons would severely limit the ability of spellcasters to have a wide variety of spells.

The current design (if I'm right) allows for up to 24 spells, in addition to up to 18 other weapon-based abilities off of Staves and Wands.

If they treated spellbooks as weapons, that would leave only the 18 spells & abilities.

I guess I just don't see having 42 options in combat as a feature. There's a certain point where people's eyes just glaze over.

Personally, I don't even want 42 options in combat. Eighteen is more than enough, especially with the non-weapon stuff on top of it.

But obviously, it ends up being a question of how it's implemented, so we shall see. It's entirely possible you won't be expected to mess around with spellbooks mid-combat.

Nihimon wrote:
I actually have grave concerns about this design choice since it relies on the UI, rather than the design of skills and abilities, to constrain our choices.

It's probably better to think of it as "designing the UI around the choices available." Mapping abilities to weapon traits is obviously a purposeful design decision as is the ability to switch between weapons. The UI's just sculpted around them, as it should be.

So that, at least, I wouldn't worry about :)

Cheers!
Landon

Goblin Squad Member

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Hey guys, I'm Lee Hammock, the lead designer on Pathfinder Online (and who wrote the combat portion of the dev blog). I'm going to start replying to questions on here as I can, but honestly can't spend too much time on that as it's time I could be making the game. So sorry if I don't get to yours, I'll do what I can. Also my colleague Stephen Cheney may be jumping on here as well, again as time allows.

I'm betting my forum account won't have all the bells and whistles to signify that I am in fact a member of Goblinworks, but we'll get that settled soon.

Gayel Nord wrote:

After a first read, i have a little fear about the combat system. If you are a spellcaster, you may have to wait before playing again. (because of the limit use of the refresh) I wonder the reason. But, the balance (more for news players) is a excellent idea.

The starmina system. Maybe, it too like the RPG. Does the monster will have the same system? It will sure have more tactic than hack and slash. (or the attack action will not cost points)Does moving will cost points? With reflexion, The best fighter (not the class) will not be the one who have the best real-life dexterity but, the one who think.

The weapon trait is a good idea because of the simplicity, but it mean that a high weapon will have a lot of trait to not overpowering a low level. It seem a overspecialisation of a weapon. (Exemple: You need to be 6 monk and 12 sorcerer for having this weapon with this 10 precises skill)

Now, we have the hotkeys. I think there too many. 14 keys! When I am playing with 10 hotkey action i use 7 keys and don't forget that you need to navigate.

Generally speaking the goal is not to prevent spellcasters from having any spells, but from always having their bests spells. At lower levels spellcasters will be able to refresh fast enough that they'll have most of their spells most of the time, but at higher levels players will have to worry about conserving their most effective spells for the most dangerous situations. Also spellcasters, particularly arcane casters, will rely a decent amount on wands and staves so they won't be just throwing spells in combat.

Monsters will operate on a system that will produce similar events, though likely through a simpler system so we don't unnecessarily tax the AI system too much.

The goal for the action keys is players will usually remain the area of buttons 1-6 and F1-4, using anything in the 7-10 will be happening less often.

Goblin Squad Member

Cryptorus wrote:

Nice! The Goblinworks team is taking this in a very interesting direction, keep it up!

Just a question though: Was the idea on weapon usage and the abilities and gaining it as you become more proficient in some ways inspired from the system used in Guild Wars 2? Reminded me of it somewhat from the way you were describing it, except using character level and 'weapon proficiency' as a wall to prevent lower level players from using high level abilities.

Of course, I'm going to have to go on and say my approval is based upon speculation of my possible experience in the game, so until I get my hands on a build down the road this should be taken with a grain of salt.

It was an game we looked at, but we looked at a lot of other games too. Like all the best ideas, some parts are original and some are inspired by existing ideas. I think once you see the final version it'll be distinct from Guild Wars 2.

Goblin Squad Member

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Gayel Nord wrote:

After a second read, I have a question. If my deity is a neutral one,

and suppose that I will take positve energy, what will be the effect if I take the same religeous symbol from a cleric in the same religion and alignement who choose negative? Does the symbol will give me the power to use channel negative enegy or only the positive energy or I can't use it because the symbol can only channel negative energy?

Also, does symbols will have weapon traits that use positive and negative?

The positive vs negative channel energy choice is baked into the holy symbol so the choice is made by what you equip. Our goal is for each god to have multiple version of holy symbols for different domains and different focuses, and those of a neutral god may have different channel options.

Goblin Squad Member

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Charles Herrison wrote:
Blog wrote:
Each weapon has certain traits associated with it, such as Sharp, Blunt, Rogue, or even Vorpal. Some abilities players can learn are only useable with weapons that have specific traits, such as Sneak Attack working only with weapons that have the Rogue Weapon trait.
Awe, man! I wanted to sneak attack with a Great Axe :( At least it sounds like a Great Axe wouldn't have the Rogue trait. Then again, it's pretty redunculous.

Sneaking attacking with a great axe isn't impossible, it just may require special training or a very special great axe.

Goblin Squad Member

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Nihimon wrote:
Quote:

I also have a question related to weapon sets. Will it be possible for a Fighter/Cleric to switch between Short Sword for Fighter abilities and Holy Symbol for Cleric abilities? If so, will that switch eat up most or all of the action points for a 6-second interval, or will it be more akin to switching hotbars in other games? Or will all of our "ready" weapon sets have to be in the same Role?

Switching weapons between weapon sets will be a 1-2 second action with proportionate stamina cost so players will be able to switch mid fight and still be effective.

Goblin Squad Member

GrumpyMel wrote:

Also, I have a bit of concern about this...

"Reconfiguring the action bar is something that your character will typically do when not in combat, and potentially may require being at a location suitable for making major changes (like changing armor types, for example)."

I agree that you shouldn't be able to change the action bar in a combat situation... but I hope that you CAN make changes to it (like switching armor or swapping out which weapons you have in your weapon slots) out in the field while not in combat. I really hope we don't have something like a "return to base" function in order to switch from assigning a spear to a warhammer in weapon slot 3...or even switching out armor....I don't think that would fit the game setting well. Forcing the player to be out of combat is fine....and even putting them on a 2 minute timer to complete the change which if attacked or otherwise interrupted will nullify the change is fine (IMO)....... making them go back to town or something like that would be going overboard. You certainly CAN/SHOULD impliment an encumberance system or the equivalent to make sure the character isn't carrying an insane amount of gear with them (although the death mechanics will probably discourage people from doing that anyway) but forcing trips back just to adjust the action bar would be going overboard (IMO).

My concern for making us able to swap armor in the field is this. You are in a dungeon. For most of the fight you are are a cleric focused on fighting undead because this dungeon is filled with skeleton's and zombies. The rouge scouts ahead and determines there is a room filled with powerful LIVING necromancers. You then switch from an anti-undead build to an anti spellcaster build right on the spot. Once you leave the dungeon you switch to your PVP build incase you get attacked on the way home. Until you see a dragon. Then you switch to your anti-dragon build and go fight it.

The point is I just don't think switching should be so easy as to allow players to casually do it every time they think of it.

However... they have already described a mechanic that could be used to limit this without requiring you to return to town. The Refresh mechanic. If people can only change roles with they use their refresh mechanic they aren't going to just be changing it so casually as described above or else they won't have their refreshes when they need them for their real purpose. It will likely be more along the lines of deciding an ability isn't doing them as much good as they would hope, and editing their build to make it more effective. But still running a more well rounded build most likely.

Goblin Squad Member

Nihimon wrote:
I also have a question related to weapon sets. Will it be possible for a Fighter/Cleric to switch between Short Sword for Fighter abilities and Holy Symbol for Cleric abilities? If so, will that switch eat up most or all of the action points for a 6-second interval, or will it be more akin to switching hotbars in other games? Or will all of our "ready" weapon sets have to be in the same Role?

I put some thought into this question yesterday and this made me REALLY like this system even more. Because you can switch weapons but not armor, refresh slots, utility slots, consumable slots, or passive slots. And you are limited to 3 weapons max.

So if you are a cleric, as well as a max level fighter, and you use some of those fighter abilities to make your character pretty awesome with a sword. It will probably make him a bit better BUT...

A pure melee specialized fighter is likely going to have their refresh slots, utility slots, consumable slots, passive slots, and armor all geared around the fact that they are specialized in melee. Making them a far more effective sword fighter than your cleric unless you do the same.

And a pure cleric is going to have all those things focused around the fact that they are a cleric, which probably means a heavy focus on casting divine spells with little to enhance their melee abilities, making them far more effective at being a cleric if you do focus all those things on being effective in melee combat.

So you can be the awesome fighter with some mediocre spells for backup, or you can be the awesome caster with some mediocre sword abilities, or you can be fairly effective at both, but you cannot be completely awesome at both.

And thinking about that makes it easy to realize how in PFO, maxing every single archetype would be useful, but it won't make you godlike in battle, or much more competitive than anyone with a capstone in a single archetype. It just gives you more options. Especially when you go somewhere that you can change your gear and skills.

Osirion

Hm. I just realized that what we got is to be ...

Pathfinder Online Kickstarter wrote:
... a member of the Goblin Squad, with a special icon on the Goblinworks messageboards.

I wish I had realized that it was only on that section of the Paizo boards that deal with Goblinworks. I know it's right there, but, for some reason, I equated "Goblinworks messageboards" with "Paizo messageboards".

Goblin Squad Member

Gruffling wrote:
What I would very much NOT want to see is someone with a dagger limited to the same frequency of attacks as a dude with a maul.

I don't think this is where they're going. Granted, they haven't laid it out, but my impression is that a Rogue with a Dagger will be able to perform several actions during that 6-second window, at the end of which the Server syncs with the Client to ensure everything has been properly accounted for. So, if we get 6 Action Points every 6 seconds, and a Dagger Thrust takes up 2 APs, then the Rogue will get off 3 attacks during that 6-second round, and the Barbarian might get off one 5 AP attack with his Great Axe.

Landon Winkler wrote:
Nihimon wrote:
I actually have grave concerns about this design choice since it relies on the UI, rather than the design of skills and abilities, to constrain our choices.
It's probably better to think of it as "designing the UI around the choices available."

My concern is that, by using the UI to constrain the players this way, they're going to end up with some Roles that seem like they don't have enough abilities to capture the feel they should have, and others with filler abilities because they really only need 4 or 5.

Lee Hammock wrote:
Switching weapons between weapon sets will be a 1-2 second action with proportionate stamina cost...

Well met! And thanks very much for taking some time to answer our questions.

Any chance you can verify whether we'll be able to actually switch "Roles" by switching weapons? For example, will I be able to switch from my Cleric Holy Symbol to my Wizard Wand?

Andius wrote:
Because you can switch weapons but not armor...

I'm extremely happy with this part of the design. I like the fact that you won't see a Robe-clad Wizard suddenly changing into Heavy Mail and a Great Sword in the midst of combat, even though that Wizard might whip out a Dagger and go all nasty-Rogue on you...

Goblinworks Executive Founder

Might? It is likely that a rogue that want you to misunderestimate him will start out wielding a wand, and pull the knife as you enter knife range.

Goblin Squad Member

Nihimon wrote:
I actually have grave concerns about this design choice since it relies on the UI, rather than the design of skills and abilities, to constrain our choices.

The idea of a UI constraint on abilities is something I have never been a fan of. The best element of true roleplaying games is character progression allows for a greater wealth of options in any given situation.

Goblin Squad Member

Nihimon wrote:
...great stuff as always...

we seem to be on the same page for action(read: stamina/refresh/weapon speed) economy, but i think a 6 second server sync isn't an accurate way to look at it. the server should be syncing much more rapidly, but then that's a technical question best left off the boards for the moment, imo.

I believe the "Role-switching" that goes with swapping a sword and shield for a greatsword or a long bow should cost the same (in terms of action econ) as a swap to a magic staff or wand, however the end result may be quite different. If one is wearing heavy plate mail (assumed to have high damage reduction, purely for theoretical purposes here) then magic of an arcane variety might have a much more dramatic stam/refresh cost, or simply fail outright (perhaps % based, much like the PnP, perhaps just disallowed). The downside, a complex system is more difficult to master, and "low level" (read: new, little to no skill time spent) characters that go off-archetype might get mired in sub-optimal traps of mismatching gear and intention, and the upside is a "high level" character will be able to access a wider variety of their earned skills.

Obviously the devil is always in the actual details, and amusingly enough as we get a peek into basic architecture of the system, we immediately start asking if we can get nice carpets and gold inlay and filigree on the furniture. Suffice to say, we're still pretty ravenous for details!

Thanks to Ryan and now Lee to taking the moments out of hard development to drop us a dime of detail every now and then :D

Goblin Squad Member

DeciusBrutus wrote:
Might? It is likely that a rogue that want you to misunderestimate him will start out wielding a wand, and pull the knife as you enter knife range.

The real question is whether there will ever be a full-body cloak that looks like Wizard Robes but conceals Leather Armor beneath...

CEO, Goblinworks

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Lee Hammock wrote:
Hey guys, I'm Lee Hammock, the lead designer on Pathfinder Online (and who wrote the combat portion of the dev blog). I'm going to start replying to questions on here as I can

That big sigh you just heard was relief at the load changing shoulders.

:)

RyanD

Goblinworks Executive Founder

One option would be for everything to have exactly six abilities associated with it. The expected result is that things that should be usable by a lot of different roles (like rapiers) would be useful only to a very specific combination (dual weapon/shield bearing finesse rogues with martial weapon training)

A better option is to have weapons with extra beneficial keywords also have detrimental effects; exotic weapon training required might be one of those, depending on how the exotic weapon handling ability and skill is implemented. "heavy" might be a flerit all its own, giving parry and damage bonuses but a stamina cost penalty, as well as allowing power based abilitities to be used through it.

Goblin Squad Member

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Coldman wrote:
Nihimon wrote:
I actually have grave concerns about this design choice since it relies on the UI, rather than the design of skills and abilities, to constrain our choices.
The idea of a UI constraint on abilities is something I have never been a fan of. The best element of true roleplaying games is character progression allows for a greater wealth of options in any given situation.

And the nightmarish reality of what that means for combat is pressed home by the current version of Darkfall. I sprung for a Razor Naga purely because the macros I was running with Auto Hotkey were not enough to manage all of that game's abilities.

That gave me enough to be competitive in PVP (as everyone else was using similar hardware and macros) though I still considered getting a nostromo or some other gaming keyboard to give me the edge I needed to get into the top tier of PVPers after I tightened down my macros and adjusted to them.

Basically, if you aren't catching my drift, allowing too many abilities at once turns the game into a competition between people's hardware and macros. With only 20 abilities, my razor naga is going to give me an edge, but only a slight one, it won't be a requirement to play the game. And I doubt I will have to bother with autohotkey at all.

Maybe all your abilities you get as a paladin are manageable without specialized programs and hardware. But what happens when you add rogue, ranger, and bard into the mix?

It's also going to allow me to really customize my character the way I want to. One of my favorite parts of Guild Wars was sorting through my dozens upon dozens of abilities to decide which 8 I really wanted for my setup. It's a very gratifying experience that I feel MMO's that allow you all your abilities at once are really missing out on.

Goblin Squad Member

I'm going to play this so hard. I'm really hoping for a very authentic Pathfinder experience, and I like how this sounds so far :) Can't wait for the tech demo!

Goblin Squad Member

Andius wrote:
And the nightmarish reality of what that means for combat is pressed home by the current version of Darkfall. I sprung for a Razor Naga purely because the macros I was running with Auto Hotkey were not enough to manage all of that game's abilities.

I'm not asking them to design a game where you need to manage 20+ abilities to be effective. I'm asking them to allow me to work toward a build where I have access to 20+ abilities, even if that ends up making me less effective.

Again, I am most worried about the design choices they're going to force upon themselves by having to hammer each and every role into the same mechanic.

Goblin Squad Member

Lee Hammock wrote:
Gayel Nord wrote:

After a second read, I have a question. If my deity is a neutral one,

and suppose that I will take positve energy, what will be the effect if I take the same religeous symbol from a cleric in the same religion and alignement who choose negative? Does the symbol will give me the power to use channel negative enegy or only the positive energy or I can't use it because the symbol can only channel negative energy?

Also, does symbols will have weapon traits that use positive and negative?

The positive vs negative channel energy choice is baked into the holy symbol so the choice is made by what you equip. Our goal is for each god to have multiple version of holy symbols for different domains and different focuses, and those of a neutral god may have different channel options.

Thank you, Lee.

Goblin Squad Member

Andius wrote:
Basically, if you aren't catching my drift, allowing too many abilities at once turns the game into a competition between people's hardware and macros.

World of Warcraft utilises a wealth of keys and key combinations on my keyboard; I wouldn't call it a war of macros.

Darkfall is an exception to the rule. It had a pre-alpha UI which allowed for and almost required 3rd party macros for effective gameplay. I wouldn't call it a fair example given I can't think of another game with a large number of abilities which required difficult macros and a naga. I know enough people competitive in high end WoW arenas without a bloody naga. I pretty much utilised my whole keyboard for UO hotkeys with ease; the important thing was the wealth of options at my fingertips, not that I generally only used a handful of spells 90% of the time.

I guess in hindsight I've just never seen a limited UI bar work for me before (not a fan of Guild Wars) but I'd be happy to give it a chance.

Goblin Squad Member

Nihimon wrote:
Andius wrote:
And the nightmarish reality of what that means for combat is pressed home by the current version of Darkfall. I sprung for a Razor Naga purely because the macros I was running with Auto Hotkey were not enough to manage all of that game's abilities.

I'm not asking them to design a game where you need to manage 20+ abilities to be effective. I'm asking them to allow me to work toward a build where I have access to 20+ abilities, even if that ends up making me less effective.

Again, I am most worried about the design choices they're going to force upon themselves by having to hammer each and every role into the same mechanic.

I guess I'll really have to wait and see what they come up with before I can agree or disagree with you on this.

I think that going with a system that caps the number of abilities you can use at once is a solid decision. I am open to a system where the numbers are adjusted around to accommodate different archetypes and archetype mixtures though.

Coldman wrote:
Andius wrote:
Basically, if you aren't catching my drift, allowing too many abilities at once turns the game into a competition between people's hardware and macros.
World of Warcraft utilises a wealth of keys and key combinations on my keyboard; I wouldn't call it a war of macros.

World of Warcraft also limited you to a single class/role. PFO and Darkfall do not. I think my comparison is a lot more fair than a comparison of PFO and WoW.

Don't think in terms of playing a paladin. Think in terms of playing a paladin/shaman/warrior/druid.

Goblin Squad Member

Andius wrote:
World of Warcraft also limited you to a single class/role. PFO and Darkfall do not. I think my comparison is a lot more fair than a comparison of PFO and WoW.

Darkfall also limited you to being every single role and utilising every competitive spell, ability and skill in the game simultaneously in order to be competitive (i.e warrior/mage/thief/sorcerer/wizard/barbarian/paladin/bard).

Just saying :D

Goblin Squad Member

Lee Hammock wrote:
The goal for the action keys is players will usually remain the area of buttons 1-6 and F1-4, using anything in the 7-10 will be happening less often.

I was following a little discussion on this, probably by people with far more extensive experience with mmorpgs than me.

Is there a sort of science to "keyboard use + mmorpg action bar"? I mean one good reason our culture has chosen base 10 (decimal) counting system is in part due to having 5 digits on each hand; so in the above expectation x2 buttons per digit with the odd +3 for that keyboard hand. And maybe there is an average number of keys pressed per 6 seconds that decent range of human reaction speeds is comfortable in?

This was one reason I was thinking slowing combat down might make it more interesting, so players have more time to think and reaction and counteract etc.

Landon Winkler wrote:
It's probably better to think of it as "designing the UI around the choices available." Mapping abilities to weapon traits is obviously a purposeful design decision as is the ability to switch between weapons. The UI's just sculpted around them, as it should be.

As Landon says above, slotting skills to a weapon does feel intuitive anyway (eg GW2 sort did that). But with the addition of having an armoury stashed at HQ for adding weapons to your character when available. :)

Goblin Squad Member

I'm liking what I'm hearing about utility and passive abilities. These could lead to a more refined, subtle form of multi classing. My fighter might still rely primarily on his fighter attacks, but his movement, buffs and debuffs, and various other factors might be a result of multi classing as a ranger.

With regard to the interface discussion, I'm personally hoping it won't be necessary to master 18 or more skills at once to be competitive (though I can certainly appreciate someone with a different play style wanting the option, Nihimon) Since I'm leaning towards a fairly straight forward fighter, I'm hoping for a simpler, solid feel. Enough abilities to be challenging, but not requiring macros or a gaming keyboard.

In a perfect world, there would be a way to do both. In reality, I'm hoping for at least a decent compromise.

Goblin Squad Member

AvenaOats wrote:
... slotting skills to a weapon does feel intuitive...

I have absolutely no objection to that part. In fact, I think it's a great choice.

My objection is to the hard limit of 6 abilities. It's not that I think 6 is the wrong number, it's that I think having to force all the different Roles to use the same number is going to create some really unfortunate design pressures.

Goblin Squad Member

4 people marked this as a favorite.

So in the hopes of getting more information into play, without going question by question (and killing my productivity for the rest of the day), some big picture answers to the questions thus far.

* Swapping weapon sets can be done quickly, and effectively let you change your "class combat focus." So if you go from sword and shield filled with fighter skills to a wand filled with wizard skills, you've effectively changed your class in terms of offensive abilities and that's totally cool (though doing that in heavy armor will be a bad idea as we are keeping the concept of arcane spell failure with armor, in a modified form).

* Changing what weapons are in your weapon sets or your armor cannot be done in combat. I don't think we'll need the player to go to a safe location to do it ,just be out of combat. Switching out items from your inventory will take time though (10-15 seconds, undecided, damage interrupts). Looting items from inventory is possible in PvP, so we don't want people speed changing weapons and armor from inventory so people can't loot specific items.

* A wizard losing a spell book and a fighter losing a sword is roughly comparable, especially at high level when the fighter has an enchanted sword and the wizard has a custom spell book.

* Spell books come in flavors, such as a fire focused spell book that has fireball, fire shield, etc vs a necromantic or enchantment spell book. Each will have a different selection of spells, and you can carry more around in your inventory if you want to switch out (though those may be lootable). A wizard will only have access to a limited number in a given combat, but the strength of the wizard is he can change spell books from encounter to encounter to take advantage of his opponent's weaknesses or the general situation, while a sorcerer is sort of stuck with what he's got. So while a wizard may only have 1-3 spells per level available in a given fight, he can have far more than that if he wants to carry around some extras. The wizard is designed to be the multitool caster who uses his wands or staves a lot of the time and pulls out his spell book for the big guns.

* One of the core mechanics we are working on for the fighter is a version of attacks of opportunity. The idea is that certain actions, such as running, casting spells, ranged attacks, etc put a debuff on the target called Opportunity. This debuff has no effect other than when certain attacks (particularly fighter attacks, and to a lesser extent Rogue) are used against a target suffering from Opportunity they do a lot more damage and can stun/slow/etc the target. So a fighter standing in front of a wizard is someone you want to run around in a wide circle (or better yet hit from range), not run through as he will hit you real hard and then stun you. This is more technically complicated so it may not work out being fun/feasible, but it gives you an idea as to the direction we are thinking. Collision is a whole other kettle of fish we have to hash out, but that's extremely tech determined.

* As some people have mentioned, one of our goals is to create a system where no one player can be master of everything. One the things we want to maintain is a relatively steady power curve so lower level characters are always useful, or a threat depending on how you look at it. One of the main ways we're doing this is with how skills costs and XP scale, so a character who has been playing for a year is likely to be an X level fighter, but also an X-5 level cleric, rogue, etc because he wanted utility abilities, his settlement needed someone to learn a skill, etc. A player who played for 6 months may be an X level fighter as well and can compete with the more experienced player in terms of raw power, but not in terms of variety.

Lee

Goblin Squad Member

Nihimon wrote:
AvenaOats wrote:
... slotting skills to a weapon does feel intuitive...

I have absolutely no objection to that part. In fact, I think it's a great choice.

My objection is to the hard limit of 6 abilities. It's not that I think 6 is the wrong number, it's that I think having to force all the different Roles to use the same number is going to create some really unfortunate design pressures.

Again back to GW2, I know they really went out there to make different classes feel different despite using same weapon slot system; by adding a unique class mechanic on top. But maybe there could be some exceptions with some weapons or 'roles' having a wider range of possible skills? Why not, a few anomalies to add variation.

That does raise the important (related) question that if the skills are too narrow for a weapons and a "role" eg fighter, the animations if they are usually skills 1-3 might get a bit "samey" after a while, which is one good thing about having a wider range of skills vs balance issue?

Goblin Squad Member

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Lee Hammock wrote:
The idea is that certain actions, such as running, casting spells, ranged attacks, etc put a debuff on the target called Opportunity.

Fantastic! Very glad to hear it :)

I know a lot of us were really hoping there would be something like Attacks of Opportunity. I, for one, am extremely pleased that there won't be the silly running around and jumping you see in WoW.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Lee, I appreciate your taking the time to discuss your decisions with us, especially since many of us seriously disagree about specific points.

Goblin Squad Member

DeciusBrutus wrote:

Lee, I appreciate your taking the time to discuss your decisions with us, especially since many of us seriously disagree about specific points.

Indeed, it gives me great hope for the game as a whole, with

1. Developers who listen, share relatively openly, and actively explain what the goals etc... are for the game

2. Players, who even in disagreement, for the most part remain fairly civil, show their views etc... and the developers work with it, or give good reasons for why such would contradict the current goals of the game.

as a whole, both the current view of what our starting community will be like, as well as how the developers communicate, gives me great hope for a very positive start of the game.

Goblin Squad Member

Nihimon wrote:
Lee Hammock wrote:
The idea is that certain actions, such as running, casting spells, ranged attacks, etc put a debuff on the target called Opportunity.

Fantastic! Very glad to hear it :)

I know a lot of us were really hoping there would be something like Attacks of Opportunity. I, for one, am extremely pleased that there won't be the silly running around and jumping you see in WoW.

Me, too! Especially since that is not something I am very good at. =)

Goblin Squad Member

I still play a fair bit of WoW, and have been thinking about how many useful skills/spells/abilities are "fun". I realize we're looking at an inherently different animal with PFO, but at the same time I think I've got a couple good points to dredge out of my gameplay. Yes, WoW is a dinosaur with wings and steampowered bionic tentacles (old, and bloated with spells and balance issues), but I still find it as fun as a theme park can be.

While I initially held a similar opinion as Nihimon, allow me as much or as little abilities as can fit on as many bars as i like. But then I really started concentrating on what I was actually doing, how many meaningful choices my spells gave me, and how many were actually lesser utility spells, that saw minimal use in any given combat, and how many spells fit into the pure utility, non-combat, or generally calm usage. One of the things that began to frustrate me almost immediately was how many spells begun to compete with each other for my attention in order to fully maximize my efficacy. Then, the 2nd tier of abilities needed to be maintained, rather than providing me with a lot fun options, it was like changing the oil once a minute; maintenance, necessary but kind of excessive. And then i also realized, most of the other spells either had no value to my gameplay, or really didn't "need" a spot on a hotbar (could just as easily be referenced in a menu, etc). It basically boiled down to 3-6 abilities that were prime, and a few more that were also essential but lower priority. All of this was in raiding level PvE, and with many of the other hoops to jump through, over and around, at the end of the day, this all seemed like just about 1-2 things too much, and lots of things too similar.

Now I also enjoy PvP, but in this regard, the equation boils down even further. At most i find i manage to work through only a couple of attacks, and a few utility spells or survival abilities, and most spend the time running around after away or in circles through my allies and foes alike. There simply isn't a lot of time based on the heartbeat of the game, and the wide variety of potential types of tactics that could be used against me, there is a natural streamlining of choices. Somethings are just not going to apply.

As I read over the discussion, I think having a hard 6 (or as many as 9, i like to use my numpad) "weapon" based abilities will be fine, as long as these abilities are distinct from each other and don't "compete" for my attention. What I mean by that is (just by example, clearly not hard set choices here), If i've got 3 damage based abilities, 1 should do some damage, 1 would do less, but apply some debuff, and 1 should cost a lot of stamina/time and drop a hunk of damage on my foes. 2 shouldn't do comparable amounts of damage, for no relavent difference in costs.

TL;DR
streamlining the number abilities are fine, as long as the choices are still important, and fun.

Goblin Squad Member

Thrilled to hear about the opportunity attack system. I'd been hoping there would be something like this but I'd never considered that it could be a condition with vulnerability to certain types of attack. I realize it may change before launch, though personally I hope it doesn't. I think this would allow for a character to help defend his allies, without forcing specific roles on classes. Should definitely add a new layer of complexity to combat.

So given the current info, when choosing which ability to use, one will have to consider:

A: Number of points it costs, and the length of time before they refresh.

B: Whether it will put them in an opportunity condition and who might be near enough to take advantage of that.

These are just two more considerations in addition to the expected factors like cooldowns, environmental issues, and range. Sounds like this is shaping up to be a very tactical game.

@Gruffing
I tend to agree. Especially with regard to pvp, I've found in many games I tend to find a handful of abilities and rarely need to branch out. There might be several different ways of combining them depending on the circumstances, but in the middle of combat, I tend to favor the abilities I'm most comfortable with and that work well together.

While I'm not opposed to other characters having more options (provided it's balanced) I'd be happy with 4-8 solid attacks and the occasional utility. As someone who's leaning towards Fighter, there is an appeal in the pureness of it. Less flash, more substance.

Goblin Squad Member

I like the idea of limited skill space as I hate the ability bloat of most games at max level where you need to have a highly customized UI and pay more attantion to your abilties than to the actual game (although that may not seem that much of a loss if you have killed that boss 50+ times already...).

I also like "opportunity" as I hate the careless nature of most games spell casting using mostly instant or almost interrupt free casting as I come from DAoC where you couldn't cast at all if someone hit you - made for VERY tactical combats and teamplay.

Also like how the description of combat is true to the vision given at earlier presentations.

So, carry on making the game that will likely be the last MMO-game that I will play.

Goblin Squad Member

Coldman wrote:
Andius wrote:
World of Warcraft also limited you to a single class/role. PFO and Darkfall do not. I think my comparison is a lot more fair than a comparison of PFO and WoW.

Darkfall also limited you to being every single role and utilising every competitive spell, ability and skill in the game simultaneously in order to be competitive (i.e warrior/mage/thief/sorcerer/wizard/barbarian/paladin/bard).

Just saying :D

And PFO will be different if they don't place limitations on multiclassing such as the 20 ability cap? People won't just mix all the classes to make uber hybrids that can adapt to any situation???

I think the 20 ability cap with weapon switching is a nice natural feeling limitation on multiclassing. It seems like it will feel far less limiting than a system that limits you to only using one class's skills at a time and is more in keeping with the Pathfinder model that actually allows multiclassing.

It allows it to be viable and effective choice for your character without being unbalancing or godlike. That to me is a huge plus.

Goblin Squad Member

Nihimon wrote:
My objection is to the hard limit of 6 abilities. It's not that I think 6 is the wrong number, it's that I think having to force all the different Roles to use the same number is going to create some really unfortunate design pressures.

For the record, I was wrong. Limiting players to 6 "active" abilities isn't going to create any significant design pressures. The designers will be able to create a large number of abilities to capture the feel of the classes. It's the players who will feel the pressure to make their build work with 6. I'm not thrilled with the decision, but it's not my fame and fortune on the line, and I recognize that my own preferences in this area are not based on solid research and game-design experience.

I trust you guys to make it work, and I'll quit harping about a boat that's already sailed.


When I initially heard about multiclassing, I thought it would be a bit more traditional. The idea of being a fighter who switches up his abilities and turns into a wizard is fun, but will true hybrids be viable? Like a guy who wants to be a fighter and a wizard at the same time?

Goblin Squad Member

Sounds nice.

A few abilities that matter, some specialized utility, keywords on weapons... Good stuff.

I want to see more, of course, but it did make for an interesting read.

Thanks for the updates and the clarifications.

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