Apologies in advance for my slow responses as i'm a slow typer and I was knocked out cold for a while there.
If you call this a dissertation you're probably not a real doctor.
Now that I made the bad joke I came here for, I guess I have to answer to the topic in order not to get off topic. I'll probably come off as harsh, but I appreciate the effort you put into it.
- I agree on the visual stuff for the most part.
- What you describe in 2) with your disengagement limit is basically a form of aggro mechanic and for the most part completely nullifies the whole mechanic, making it rather pointless to begin with.
- What you describe in 3) seems rather pointless as well. Why is there a distinction between an ability that disengages and one that nullifies engagement at all? The only reason you want to nullify engagement is in order to disengage, so the ability may make you disengage as well. If it allows you to nullify engagement, its just a break free of jail card you can occasionally play in specific situations. The abilities that allow you to disengage at the moment have way more uses and it's not trivial to decide what to use them for as they can also be used for different tactics.
In conclusion, I think the changes you propose make the disengagement system not trigger for the most part while being heavily penalized even if it ocassionally does. If you want to go with this kind of setup, you're probably better off removing it alltogether.
My engagement limit section is indeed proposed in order to allow the player a little more freedom of movement to do things but it does not completely nullify the engagement system entirely. Both you the player and enemies mobs do not necessarily have to have an engagement limit of only 1. It might be a limit of 2 or 3 hell it might even be 4 but it does allow you to "tie up" and interact with a set of mobs. The neat thing is it gave would give the engagement limit system a little more "meat" to it. Things like Hold the Line might actually be a viable talent for your off tank (pardon the mmo expression) to pick up. Being able to hold off 5 units in melee between a fighter in defender mode and an off tank with Hold the line between the pair might be a good example to providing a safe or safer melee environment for otherwise squishy characters. Sometimes it might only hold off a total of 2 enemies it really depends. It does however, give the player more options. I might be alone here but talents being more useful and more player options is something I will always consider a good thing.
If you notice the 2 examples I gave involving null-engage were both hobble abilities. Currently, hobble abilities function as a relatively minor defense debuff, something that can proc a sneak attack and a movement penalty that doesn't matter after engagement. Null-engage would make hobble abilities movement penalty actually matter. If there was a big nasty spider all over your wizard eating his face off hitting it with a Crippling Strike would do the equivalent of almost nothing. I mean sure yea now it moves slower but the minute your wizard moved it would basically be over for him due to the incoming disengagement attack. So what then is the functional purpose of a hobble? Is it a debuff only useful during the alpha strike phase of combat? Even I consider that a little unforgiving and i'm certainly no casual player. As above, it would change some of the landscape of abilities and spells. For example, it would make the Wizard movement speed spell much better without adding a disengagement break on the spell itself.
Frankly, engagement itself has got a lot of undue attention from the wider issues of the UI being a complete cluster****, and a tanking Fighter being absolutely mandatory at this point.
UI issues aside (and why I have The Visuals as my first section) the fighter issue was something I was worried about 3 months back. For what it's worth I did have ideas on how to make monks feel a lot more "monkish" while being able to fill the fighters tanking role. To be honest the classes in PoE really fail to impress me for the most part. Obsidian could've taken the ball and ran with it but they didn't. They delivered the same stuff i've seen time and again. I would've posted said ideas but i didn't feel like they wouldn't restructure any of the classes 3 months ago and I certainly feel the same way if not more so now.
As for crackwise's idea it is sound but does not necessarily address what I believe Obsidian wanted to be addressed.
Ya I hear ya man. The Wizard changes (see nerfs) were about the last thing I ever wanted to see implemented in PoE. Wizards now have the same mundane, boring spells that every other game gives them. Different colored balls to do different colored damage. Doesn't help that anything a Wizard can do a Druid can do better and then some. But that's a fight for another time (that likely won't be won).
In regards to AI:
I originally had an AI section in that giant arse post of mine but considered it a bit too opinionated. The intention of the thread was to show players what engagement did and what it could do as well as to get feedback in those regards. The changes were proposed as an attempt to add robustness as well as allow it to be easily understood and (somewhat) manipulated by the player. I divorced AI from the contents of the original post thereafter. Truthfully, I think the AI utterly sucks in the backer beta. I've played C rank games with less "sticky" enemies. Thief enemies that would flat out ignore your tanks and take out your squishies and the like. I'd like similar dynamic AI in the games I play but apparently AI systems need to be built from the ground up so you get a "tricycle" level of AI vs. the "bike" level you hope is in the next installment. I am not particularly happy about the 15 years of "progress" that's been made in that regard.
Doppelschwert: In part, you misunderstand his idea. There will never be any cycling going on in any easy manner. Also, with such a system in this pretty quick RTwP-CRPG with a full party, all members doing their stuff (some may even be blocked out, knocked out or wiped out), good luck even trying to achieve such easy shifts. In fact, even pulling them off would be more or less fringe behaviour, worthy of an achievement, almost (perhaps on some boss, it could work).
I neither see why cycling through wouldn't be an easy manner in fights with less enemies than party members nor which part of the idea I misunderstood. Care to elaborate whats preventing me from doing this when I go all out with a party of 4 melee characters on a single enemy like the ogre?
Does the ogre have an engagement limit of 1? Does he have other abilities he can kill you with? Does he have friends? Is it bad that you can use 4 melee characters to do a damn good job of "holding a line"? I thought people wanted more reasons to use melee characters .
As a note here is what Obsidian has currently prioritized in regards to my post:
1) The Zone of Control - Needed clarity (Sensuki video special)
2) Engagement “Arrows” - Being addressed by Obsidian
3) Disengagement Animation - Being addressed by Obsidian
1) The Zone of Control - Needed fixes (Sensuki video special)
4) The Disengagement Attack - Needed fixes (Sensuki video special)
5) Targeting clauses - unaddressed so far
As a side note guys it looks like Sen is working on some (rather hilarious) but really exploitative videos in regards to melee disengagement (see engagement) attacks that should outline some of the reasons i've taken the time to address some of the things that I consider issues with the current system.
Edited by Razsius, 02 December 2014 - 12:16 PM.