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One more vote for getting rid of rounds


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#1
countblah2

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I tried to review the four pages of feedback so apologies if I'm not adding anything new here.

 

I suspect a lot of the (non-bug) issues I'm experiencing with TB is because somehow Turn Based, with each character taking turns performing combat actions, got conflated with having DnD-like "combat turns" (or rounds), which just like in a lot of incarnations of DnD, last 6 seconds in PoE2.  I suggest keeping the first part of turn based and getting rid of the notion of having turns/rounds, since this second aspect, more than anything else, changes the way stats and abilities work in such a dramatic way that the only thing that could be done is re-balance each stat or ability with this very artificial 6 second turn in mind.

 

Much has already been discussed about Dex/action speed, guns, AE-spell problems, shipmate AI issues, etc.  But from what I can tell virtually every ability needs review to make sure they're still relevant in this new mode.  For example, last night I looked at consecrated ground, a third level cleric spell.  It recovers something like 5 health per round for 4 rounds.  That's an incredibly mediocre heal for a third level spell, as it gets outclassed by the first level heal spell (heals base 30) and almost a second level spell that also does damage and has a longer AE range.  Even with a super high intellect to extend duration, it still under-performs.  In the regular mode, I recall it being a useful long term heal you can plonk on the ground and heal a decent amount of damage over time, partly because it ticks every 3 seconds rather than every 6 (per round).  But in this new TB mode, there's basically no reason you would even select the spell, nevermind use it.  That's just an example; there are lots of abilities that could use re-balancing to account for the dramatic changes that TB have brought.

 

Moving away from turns/rounds liberates you from having to arbitrarily decide something lasts 20 seconds -> 4 rounds (and thus re-balance everything radically).  Instead, abilities last whatever they're balanced to last for, so Consecrated Ground could return to ticking every 3 seconds.  Rather than listing character turn orders, you might additionally list when abilities are scheduled to be cast, activate, or expire (like those consecrated ground ticks).  It would also help address the action speed issue, as a fast character would just go sooner/more often in the turn order than a slower, more heavily armored character.  You could still keep initiative, as a factor for who goes first initially, but after that everything comes down to action speed which is modified by weapons, stats, abilities, etc.  The fast rogue with a dagger might get 3 or 4 turns with regular attacks in the same time frame that a slower 2-hander character goes.  This would provide a lot more strategic depth to weapon choice, stats, and abilities that is currently lacking in TB mode, which presently favors formerly slower, high damage weapons and heavy armor, and abilities that now are free actions.  Instead, a free action ability--like an often used defensive spell like mirrored image--would return to taking .3 seconds to cast, then that character is back up for taking an action/turn provided no one else is scheduled to act sooner.  If two characters are "tied" in the turn order based on them selecting actions that result in them being active at the same time, they can use initiative to break the tie.

 

TLDR: Ditch turns to avoid having to majorly rebalance all abilities and solve the current issues with stats and weapon balance.  De-emphasize initiative except for initial turn orders and "ties".  There's really no good reason I can come up with to impose artificial 6 second rounds for a computer game with mechanics where abilities, stats, and weapon speeds vary (for healthy strategic reasons!) in fractions of a second.


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#2
Elric Galad

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I'm voting for your vote cause I'm an antiroundist activist.



#3
Franknstein

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One good thing came out of this turns system: super clumsy dudes in the heaviest armors and armed with slowest weapons became viable.

In TB anything that gives extra actions is a must have, to a point of being a non-option. There won't be no strategic depth in build and equip at all. Dex 20, Deadfire origin, fastest weapon, all bonuses to recovery and Dex. Some retaliation builds the only alternative.

To stay relevant the slugs will have to be able to shrug off falling moons and one-shot mega-bosses.

I say, let the turns be.
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#4
arkteryx

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I agree that forcing turn-based into discrete rounds is super clunky and that moving to an initiative based system seems like it would solve many of the current complaints with TB. Historical reasons aside, DnD used rounds because it was pencil and paper, anything else would have required too much bookkeeping, but let's use the new medium of computers to the fullest and make things smoother.



#5
beshoren

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I hope the developers listen to this feedback. The current initiative-based system is utterly flawed.

 

there is no need to re-work all balance if you can base the interval of the actions as in the base game. one second to recover means that in one second of in-game combat you may act and take your turn again! the initiative can really be just a minor thing that will affect the first round of combat and that's it!


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#6
ABearIsHere

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While I do agree that there are problems with the current Initiative system, a lot of this feedback IMO fails to take into account the downsides of having full new turns available to a character. Getting a new chance to act would be far more powerful than in RTwP, as you get effectively more Stride, more Cast or Standard Actions (you technically get a lot of those in RTwP, but it's very hard to micro them effectively so the action economy isn't as lopsided in practice), etc.

I still agree that this is at least something worth considering for the devs, but I expect that it would be toned down in some form from RTwP. Bit surprised that Dexterity doesn't give additional standard attacks during a turn tho'.


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#7
grasida

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One good thing came out of this turns system: super clumsy dudes in the heaviest armors and armed with slowest weapons became viable.

In TB anything that gives extra actions is a must have, to a point of being a non-option. There won't be no strategic depth in build and equip at all. Dex 20, Deadfire origin, fastest weapon, all bonuses to recovery and Dex. Some retaliation builds the only alternative.

To stay relevant the slugs will have to be able to shrug off falling moons and one-shot mega-bosses.

I say, let the turns be.

Those didn't "become viable". They were already viable. Look at the builds forum. There are lots of builds using heavy armor and two-handed weapons in there. There are tons of really amazing two-handed uniques, and mechanically two-handers are very strong. Probably lots of people would say that the morning star is overall the best weapon type in the game, with high penetration, dual damage types and a fantastic modal. Heavy armor does require a trade-off, yes, but that's the whole point. The only way heavy armor has "become viable" in turn based is that it now allows characters that wear it to deal the same damage as characters in light armor, but it prevents far more damage as well.

 

That said, I agree with people saying that a direct translation of the RTwP action economy to turn-based would also be awful. Even super efficient players in RTwP are going to waste some actions, but every action can be carefully considered in turn-based, meaning action economy advantages would be far more pronounced. Just look at how people are mentioning things like weapon swapping and free actions, actually not very meaningfully different from their RTwP implementations, as being problematic.

 

But that doesn't mean that discrete rounds with initiative is okay either. Who is ever going to choose to use a rapier and dagger under this system? Some way to get extra actions in exchange for investing in speed is something a huge amount of the game is built on.


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#8
countblah2

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While I do agree that there are problems with the current Initiative system, a lot of this feedback IMO fails to take into account the downsides of having full new turns available to a character. Getting a new chance to act would be far more powerful than in RTwP, as you get effectively more Stride, more Cast or Standard Actions (you technically get a lot of those in RTwP, but it's very hard to micro them effectively so the action economy isn't as lopsided in practice), etc.

I still agree that this is at least something worth considering for the devs, but I expect that it would be toned down in some form from RTwP. Bit surprised that Dexterity doesn't give additional standard attacks during a turn tho'.

 

This is a great point--there are some things that would have to be tweaked in removing turns/rounds, like adjusting for stride for short delay actions.  Having a wizard move plus cast a short delay spell like mirrored image, then have another full stride available .4 seconds later, could be abused (since they could theoretically dance around the battlefield using short delay actions with zero recovery time).  I don't think coming up with a solution is insurmountable; you could just have a stride meter for each unit based on their stride/stats/effects.  As you move, it is exhausted, and replenished at a certain rate (stride per seconds).  In the example above, a wizard moves and uses most of his stride, casts mirrored image, gets a new turn .4 seconds later, and at that point he has whatever his ending stride/move was from the prior action + replenished whatever .4 seconds of stride is (not a lot, presumably).   When a unit's turn comes up, it has whatever his current stride is available to move (all, if he's been stationary for awhile, or very little in the case of the wizard who pranced around recently).  

 

Even though I'm just spitballing a solution, now that I think this through, I actually kind of like this tactically because the devs could visually show a) the stride meter for a character and/or b) the move distance a character is capable of moving to on a given action, like a radius (you wouldn't have to move your cursor and see white/red dots, it would be available to see automatically as a radius).   It would also help delineate between fast and slowing moving characters/enemies ("oh, that bat has a huge stride meter and is really fast").  I guess I'm suggesting that they separate stride from action completely, so unlike the current implementation, you could in theory take your full stride plus your action.  This would be balanced by re-introducing action speed, recovery time, and stride that replenishes over time, so if you did take your full stride+action, you wouldn't be able to take your full action+stride for some time.  Or maybe certain actions "consume" stride?  Anyway, it'd be more complex than the current implementation, but probably more strategic.

 

TLDR: Yea, some stuff would have to be changed to get rid of turns, but I think those things are a) solvable and b) if thoughtfully implemented could actually improve the interface and mechanics/strategic depth.


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#9
Jon of the Wired

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While I do agree that there are problems with the current Initiative system, a lot of this feedback IMO fails to take into account the downsides of having full new turns available to a character. Getting a new chance to act would be far more powerful than in RTwP, as you get effectively more Stride, more Cast or Standard Actions (you technically get a lot of those in RTwP, but it's very hard to micro them effectively so the action economy isn't as lopsided in practice), etc.

I still agree that this is at least something worth considering for the devs, but I expect that it would be toned down in some form from RTwP. Bit surprised that Dexterity doesn't give additional standard attacks during a turn tho'.

 

Dexterity granting additional standard attacks would violate one of the design goals for Attributes in PoE, which is to avoid hard breakpoints. If Dexterity granted additional attacks there would only be a few values of Dex where your number of attacks actually changed, and setting Dex to any other value would be a newb-trap.


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#10
Jon of the Wired

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That said, I agree with people saying that a direct translation of the RTwP action economy to turn-based would also be awful. Even super efficient players in RTwP are going to waste some actions, but every action can be carefully considered in turn-based, meaning action economy advantages would be far more pronounced. Just look at how people are mentioning things like weapon swapping and free actions, actually not very meaningfully different from their RTwP implementations, as being problematic.

 

But that doesn't mean that discrete rounds with initiative is okay either. Who is ever going to choose to use a rapier and dagger under this system? Some way to get extra actions in exchange for investing in speed is something a huge amount of the game is built on.

 

 

Once you get rid of rounds, balancing the action economy is just a matter of tuning action speed bonuses, possibly at a global level. As long as there's one action per round action speed is too weak to be a useful balancing factor, so you need to start messing with damage values and who knows what else.



#11
ABearIsHere

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Dexterity granting additional standard attacks would violate one of the design goals for Attributes in PoE, which is to avoid hard breakpoints. If Dexterity granted additional attacks there would only be a few values of Dex where your number of attacks actually changed, and setting Dex to any other value would be a newb-trap.

 

You are completely correct here and I agree that, ideally, breakpoints should be avoided. However, in practice, they already exist in turn-based mode, so I guess it wouldn't be that big of a deal for me personally. A solution that removes this "quirk" of turn-based mode would be best, but I also understand that to some degree certain elements of the design of the game won't be translated perfectly to a late addition to the game core gameplay like this.

Now, if the game was designed from the beginning with the idea of supporting the two modes of play concurrently, I'd be more critical, but it is what it is and I'm already surprised turn-based works as well as it does.



#12
Xenavire

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One good thing came out of this turns system: super clumsy dudes in the heaviest armors and armed with slowest weapons became viable.

In TB anything that gives extra actions is a must have, to a point of being a non-option. There won't be no strategic depth in build and equip at all. Dex 20, Deadfire origin, fastest weapon, all bonuses to recovery and Dex. Some retaliation builds the only alternative.

To stay relevant the slugs will have to be able to shrug off falling moons and one-shot mega-bosses.

I say, let the turns be.

 

I think having combat divided into turns is a little rough considering how poorly everything scales, and that having discrete character rounds makes more sense, but this is a good point.

 

I'd like to offer a middle ground - that regardless of how much dex they have, they have a hard limit to how often they would be able to move/act in a turn. Particularly fast characters might be able to get a second full round action or free action, but no or half move actions (abilities could allow for movement, but dex shouldn't turn a character into the flash.)

 

So maybe we could keep the concept of a turn, but allow some additional actions by the very fast, up to a point, giving us the illusion of a turnless game. It would need to have extremely well balanced restrictions, but I think it would give players a bit more freedom (and make speedy casters much more viable, letting them start and finish a "full turn cast" at the end of the turn they started, rather than losing their next turn.) 


Edited by Xenavire, 10 February 2019 - 10:00 AM.


#13
SChin

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Hey everyone!

 

Thank you for all the feedback!  I put it into a report and sent it to the team for review.  Feel free to continue this conversation as I have linked the thread to the report as a reference for the team.

 

Thanks again for all the help everyone!


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#14
supahmikey

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I think the round system is there to keep tab on the 6 second mark of the real time game. If it was to be extracted out, the heal or damage per turn will greatly favor the character who gets to act as twice as others. 
 
Imagine controlling a high dex chanter, this would make that character broken since the ticks of his damage and heals from chants happens when their turn starts. Hitting chants twice or even three times before enemy turn is game breaking.
 
All I'm saying is the suggestion to remove the round based system is gonna make the game more imbalanced.
What I can think of is a way to integrate these together with the linear player turns and with the rounds to act as an upkeep.
 
 
Let me make a rough example:
 
Characters in battle
Eder
Xoti
vs
Enemy1
Enemy2
 
In this example lets say Eder is an exceptionally fast character among the 4.
 
 
(ROUND 1)
Eder---------
Enemy1
Enemy2
Xoti
 
(ROUND 2)
Eder---------
Enemy1
Enemy2
Xoti
Eder--------
 
(ROUND 3)
Enemy1
Enemy2
Eder---------
Xoti
 
 
 
In the span of 3 rounds he acts 4 times (basically means he can act 4 times in 18 seconds real time) and could possible do a back-to-back turn in the later rounds due to math.
 
Per round means per 6 seconds.
Meaning the faster character can act more than once in 6 seconds.
Making rounds and turns distinct from each other.
 
 
The combat is still linear and not divided into rounds but the rounds take account of the upkeep phases of the game.
 
So as the tick of the damage/heal per turn happens per ROUND (the 6 second time frame) instead of happening in the player turn.
 
Status effects should not be the same implementation though and be kept per character turn because lets say if on my sample (ROUND 2) Enemy1 is knockdowned for some reason (not using Eder nor Xoti to control the variables), but then gets up to act next turn because of the upkeep phase on round 3, the knockdown would be useless.
 
Instead (ROUND 3) would look like this after interrupting Enemy1's turn:
 
 
(ROUND 2)
Eder---------
Enemy1
Enemy2
Xoti
Eder--------
 
(ROUND 3)
Enemy2
Eder---------
Xoti
Enemy1 (Knocked to a later turn)
 
 
This is a rather complex game mechanic change for the developers but it is the way I can see what will happen when rounds are removed from turn based system. Which will then lead to further patches and changes to balance.
 
As of its state right now, the game is imbalanced since I made a character revolving around Form of the Fearsome Brute with the frenzy buff from Berserker class.
Even if he is as slow character who always acts at the near end of the round, he can attack with his fist twice in a turn (6 real seconds time) which would be impossible in the classic mode.
The dex impairment does not really matter compared to the bonuses you get from min-maxing stats.
 
If the developers made this with the intent to differ the playstyle of turnbased mode to make the game fresh then it's all good.
But if the turnbased mode was intended to slow the pace of the game to make more tactical decision whilst not  verging away from the classic mode's real time mechanics, changes are necessary.
 
Sorry for the long post but it is what it is.


#15
countblah2

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I think the round system is there to keep tab on the 6 second mark of the real time game. If it was to be extracted out, the heal or damage per turn will greatly favor the character who gets to act as twice as others. 
 
Imagine controlling a high dex chanter, this would make that character broken since the ticks of his damage and heals from chants happens when their turn starts. Hitting chants twice or even three times before enemy turn is game breaking.
 
All I'm saying is the suggestion to remove the round based system is gonna make the game more imbalanced.
What I can think of is a way to integrate these together with the linear player turns and with the rounds to act as an upkeep.

 

We already had a fairly balanced system that didn't include arbitrary "rounds" (whatever they are--in this case, 6 seconds) called RTwP.  We can debate whether it's entirely balanced but I don't think most players would consider a high dex chanter very broken, to use your example.  Maybe the difference is that you assume that the chanter abilities are tied to when the character acts (chanter acts so his next chant takes effect) vs tied to how they behaved in RTwP, which was according to the ability specifics itself (this chant plays for X seconds and lasts for Y seconds, next chant starts in Z seconds and plays for...).  I think when most people suggest getting rid of rounds, they are suggesting devs get rid of rounds so they can just revert most abilities back to how they were initially balanced.  Essentially, an ability would act on its own schedule again; if you drop a Consecrated ground, it would tick every 3 seconds from when it was cast to heal the people who happen to be standing in its area of effect at that tick time, completely independent of the cleric's turns.  Chants are a little more complicated than a spell because of the timing of chants, but you'd have chants that would tick or expire between chanter actions, similar to how they behave in RTwP.

 

I think it comes down to "is it more interesting to play in a world where everyone moves at the same speed and gets a single action (ignoring free actions and other stuff) per every six arbitrary second round and the only difference is who acts earlier in any given round, or is it more interesting to play in a world where some people could be faster or slower, with advantages and disadvantages, to those playstyles?"   As many others have noted, characters have too much health for initiative to usually make that much of a difference, so Turn Based overwhelmingly favors heavy armor and slow but high damage weapons since the disadvantages to these choices are now minimal because they've been shoehorned into six second actions--and that doesn't feel very interesting to me.



#16
Xenavire

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I think the round system is there to keep tab on the 6 second mark of the real time game. If it was to be extracted out, the heal or damage per turn will greatly favor the character who gets to act as twice as others. 
 
Imagine controlling a high dex chanter, this would make that character broken since the ticks of his damage and heals from chants happens when their turn starts. Hitting chants twice or even three times before enemy turn is game breaking.
 
All I'm saying is the suggestion to remove the round based system is gonna make the game more imbalanced.
What I can think of is a way to integrate these together with the linear player turns and with the rounds to act as an upkeep.
 
 
Let me make a rough example:
 
Characters in battle
Eder
Xoti
vs
Enemy1
Enemy2
 
In this example lets say Eder is an exceptionally fast character among the 4.
 
 
(ROUND 1)
Eder---------
Enemy1
Enemy2
Xoti
 
(ROUND 2)
Eder---------
Enemy1
Enemy2
Xoti
Eder--------
 
(ROUND 3)
Enemy1
Enemy2
Eder---------
Xoti
 
 
 
In the span of 3 rounds he acts 4 times (basically means he can act 4 times in 18 seconds real time) and could possible do a back-to-back turn in the later rounds due to math.
 
Per round means per 6 seconds.
Meaning the faster character can act more than once in 6 seconds.
Making rounds and turns distinct from each other.
 
 
The combat is still linear and not divided into rounds but the rounds take account of the upkeep phases of the game.
 
So as the tick of the damage/heal per turn happens per ROUND (the 6 second time frame) instead of happening in the player turn.
 
Status effects should not be the same implementation though and be kept per character turn because lets say if on my sample (ROUND 2) Enemy1 is knockdowned for some reason (not using Eder nor Xoti to control the variables), but then gets up to act next turn because of the upkeep phase on round 3, the knockdown would be useless.
 
Instead (ROUND 3) would look like this after interrupting Enemy1's turn:
 
 
(ROUND 2)
Eder---------
Enemy1
Enemy2
Xoti
Eder--------
 
(ROUND 3)
Enemy2
Eder---------
Xoti
Enemy1 (Knocked to a later turn)
 
 
This is a rather complex game mechanic change for the developers but it is the way I can see what will happen when rounds are removed from turn based system. Which will then lead to further patches and changes to balance.
 
As of its state right now, the game is imbalanced since I made a character revolving around Form of the Fearsome Brute with the frenzy buff from Berserker class.
Even if he is as slow character who always acts at the near end of the round, he can attack with his fist twice in a turn (6 real seconds time) which would be impossible in the classic mode.
The dex impairment does not really matter compared to the bonuses you get from min-maxing stats.
 
If the developers made this with the intent to differ the playstyle of turnbased mode to make the game fresh then it's all good.
But if the turnbased mode was intended to slow the pace of the game to make more tactical decision whilst not  verging away from the classic mode's real time mechanics, changes are necessary.
 
Sorry for the long post but it is what it is.

 

One answer to ticks is to give those kinds of s0ell effects their own initiative, and they fire at the time their initiative dictates (I'm not sure how difficult that would be to balance, however.) 



#17
Jon of the Wired

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Yeah, as others have said, the assumption is that once you get rid of rounds, everything to do with time is now measured in Initiative ticks. That includes effect durations (which means Intellect now works properly again) and also when DoTs go off (so they would be on their own Initiative, not bound to when the character takes actions, just like in RTwP).

 

This shouldn't cause any balance problems (again, because it's really just exactly how things worked in RTwP) but it may be a bit of a challenge communicate what's happening to the player.


Edited by Jon of the Wired, 15 February 2019 - 05:36 PM.





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