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Update #44: The Rules of (Melee) Engagement

project eternity josh sawyer combat engagement

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#141
Wombat

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I think you are right about the purpose of the ability but it seems like the damage is a factor which decides if the victim is knocked back.  So, even in a limited way, the damage seems to be important to disengage successfully.  Then again, despite following the same rule as other melee attacks, it's not about offense at all as you pointed out.



#142
JFSOCC

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If grimoires are the spell focus for wizards, will it be possible for rogues to attempt to steal a grimoire and thusly gank opposing casters?

#143
ddillon

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J.E. Sawyer, on 28 Feb 2013 - 19:31, said:

Eleneithel, on 27 Feb 2013 - 20:22, said:
1) I also find rather... inadequate the Book Slam Technique of the wizards. I do not find logical or realistic for a wizard to wield (and read) a book in combat, even if he fights away from the melee, because of his need to remain aware of his surroundings and of his ennemies in an chaotic situation. An adventurer wizard would more likely hold a staff or a melee weapon (like a sword) when casting at a range and use it in close quarters to defend himself.

Wizards in PE always have their grimoires out and in-hand when they cast spells. They draw in soul energy through the grimoire before releasing it.


That sounds terrible. Aside from the concept itself being awful, consider: What happens when a fighter bats the grimoire out of the mage's grasp? What happens when a rogue outright swipes the grimoire from the mage? Or are these maneuvers conveniently not possible? Going from bad to worse if so...

Edit: Haha, JFSOCC ninja'd me asking about rogues stealing grimoires whilst I was typing & juggling some other tasks.

---

About Engagement:

This needs to be an active ability that prevents the fighter from making normal attacks or at least halves the number of normal attacks that the fighter can attempt (rounded up, so 1 becomes 1, 2 becomes 1, 3 becomes 2, 4 becomes 2, 5 becomes 3, etc). Or something.

If not, zones of engagement should be *very* small, perhaps about one character width (or one 'square'). Just enough to prevent kiting exploits and block narrow passages.

Also, I don't like the assumption inherent in the system: That mobility and defense are mutually exclusive. Iirc, in DA:O, moving around or backing a short distance away from a targeted enemy could be performed *without* turning away from that enemy and thus without exposing the character to backstab/flanking attacks from that enemy. I liked that a lot.

---

Apologies if the post seems negative. Just looking to provide honest feedback on these particular aspects. Overall, I like much of what y'all have revealed. ;)

Edited by ddillon, 01 March 2013 - 02:12 AM.


#144
Acre

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Can rogues steal the arrows off a ranger's back? Can a warrior beat a sword out of the opponent's hand? Can ciphers psychically turn their enemies upside down and shake them until all the cash falls out their pockets? I need to know this.


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#145
Eleneithel

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J.E. Sawyer, on 28 Feb 2013 - 19:31, said:
 

Eleneithel, on 27 Feb 2013 - 20:22, said:
1) I also find rather... inadequate the Book Slam Technique of the wizards. I do not find logical or realistic for a wizard to wield (and read) a book in combat, even if he fights away from the melee, because of his need to remain aware of his surroundings and of his ennemies in an chaotic situation. An adventurer wizard would more likely hold a staff or a melee weapon (like a sword) when casting at a range and use it in close quarters to defend himself.

Wizards in PE always have their grimoires out and in-hand when they cast spells. They draw in soul energy through the grimoire before releasing it.

 

That sounds terrible. Aside from the concept itself being awful, consider: What happens when a fighter bats the grimoire out of the mage's grasp? What happens when a rogue outright swipes the grimoire from the mage? Or are these maneuvers conveniently not possible? Going from bad to worse if so...

Edit: Haha, JFSOCC ninja'd me asking about rogues stealing grimoires whilst I was typing & juggling some other tasks.

 

Firstly, thanks to J.E. Sawyer for correcting me. Secondly, I must say this concept is rather original, even if I find it rather odd and strange for differents reasons. But my own vision of magic isn't the concern here.

 

Gameplay-wise, I think this concept of Grimoire may be very interesting for the players, but only if it serves also as a mean of bringing balance to the classes. Such magical grimoire would make the wizard a formidable ranged opponent and support character if he has the ability to cast spells at will, even only minor spells. In return, fighters with their disarming abilities and thiefs with their their pickpocket abilities should be able to weaken, if not completely paralyse, the wizard's  abilist to cast magic. It would be an interesting way to prevent powerful casters to become immune to classes like the fighter, like it was the case in Baldur's Gate II where Minsc and others warriors were often powerless against high level wizards as the Cowled Mages or Liches and where the player was left with the hope of having too a high level caster or waiting for the spells to disapear and the foe running out of spells... wich meant often the death of several companions before having the opportuny to strike back at last.

 

In fact, the problems with the D&D wizard /sorcerer were that he was rather ineffective in low levels as his number of spells were very limited and that he becomes very difficult to kill once he is able to use powerfull offensive and defensive spells wich immune him to melee weapons while casting Fireball and Finger of Death... So, I think Project Eternity should look at others systems than D&D to conceive the wizard class, like Warhammer FRP II who was interesting in this regard.


Edited by Eleneithel, 01 March 2013 - 04:48 AM.


#146
Gumbercules

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Can rogues steal the arrows off a ranger's back? Can a warrior beat a sword out of the opponent's hand? Can ciphers psychically turn their enemies upside down and shake them until all the cash falls out their pockets? I need to know this.

 

I agree with the sarcasm in this post. If people are going to nitpick grimoires, there's a host of other, already existing things in crpgs that can be nitpicked as well, not to mention the fact that a traditional wizard's staff or wand would have the same problem of getting knocked away or destroyed or stolen.

 

As for Grimoire Slam, it sounds like the kind of ability that would be used in a life-or-death situation. "OMG, why is that wizard using that valuable book to help him escape that ravenous horde?! He should just get killed instead, doesn't he understand how priceless it is, unlike his worthless life?"


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#147
Elerond

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6858531_book_ball_chain_sculpture_jesus_

picture from http://www.reggie.ne...ball-and-chain/

 

In my opinion grimoires have enchanted with theft preventing system which will stop rogues or anyone else to stealing them. And what comes to fighter to hit grimoire down, I would say that this is probably same as wizard failing in his/her grimoire slam.



#148
redneckdevil

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I would like to second the disarm/pickpocket of the grimoires, BUT only if its temporary. Like if a warrior or rogue disarms the grimoire its only for 1 turn before the grimoire magically goes back to its owner. And maybe a cd on how often the grimoire can be taken away as well.

#149
maggotheart

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I like Grimoires, and I like the idea of the Grimoire Slam attack.

 

If Grimoires are conduits of energy that can send out a shockwave on contact, how could anyone disarm or steal them? As soon as they touched it wouldn't it slam them back? Following that, could a mage use the Grimoire as some sort of shield to block a sword blow lets say, sending the attacker tumbling back if he successfully blocked with it? What would happen if someone tried to pick up a Grimoire that was on a wizards table, would that set off the shockwave or does it have to be physically touching the mage to do that?



#150
J.E. Sawyer

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J.E. Sawyer, on 28 Feb 2013 - 19:31, said:
 

Eleneithel, on 27 Feb 2013 - 20:22, said:
1) I also find rather... inadequate the Book Slam Technique of the wizards. I do not find logical or realistic for a wizard to wield (and read) a book in combat, even if he fights away from the melee, because of his need to remain aware of his surroundings and of his ennemies in an chaotic situation. An adventurer wizard would more likely hold a staff or a melee weapon (like a sword) when casting at a range and use it in close quarters to defend himself.

Wizards in PE always have their grimoires out and in-hand when they cast spells. They draw in soul energy through the grimoire before releasing it.

 

That sounds terrible. Aside from the concept itself being awful, consider: What happens when a fighter bats the grimoire out of the mage's grasp? What happens when a rogue outright swipes the grimoire from the mage? Or are these maneuvers conveniently not possible? Going from bad to worse if so...

Edit: Haha, JFSOCC ninja'd me asking about rogues stealing grimoires whilst I was typing & juggling some other tasks.

---

About Engagement:

This needs to be an active ability that prevents the fighter from making normal attacks or at least halves the number of normal attacks that the fighter can attempt (rounded up, so 1 becomes 1, 2 becomes 1, 3 becomes 2, 4 becomes 2, 5 becomes 3, etc). Or something.

If not, zones of engagement should be *very* small, perhaps about one character width (or one 'square'). Just enough to prevent kiting exploits and block narrow passages.

Also, I don't like the assumption inherent in the system: That mobility and defense are mutually exclusive. Iirc, in DA:O, moving around or backing a short distance away from a targeted enemy could be performed *without* turning away from that enemy and thus without exposing the character to backstab/flanking attacks from that enemy. I liked that a lot.

---

Apologies if the post seems negative. Just looking to provide honest feedback on these particular aspects. Overall, I like much of what y'all have revealed. ;)

 

Batting away grimoires isn't something we're implementing just as batting away swords, bows, etc. are also not being implemented.  Wizards aren't unique in this regard.

 

Engagement range is only a little more than a character width (barring special circumstances).  When a fighter activates his or her Defensive mode, his or her attack speed goes down.  Pretty much all modal abilities that characters get will have an inherent trade-off, though the tactical application of the mode logically will grant an advantage in the appropriate circumstance.


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#151
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I imagine there will be abilities that can be learned both to bolster or bypass the engagement zones, correct?  We already know about the aforementioned wind sprint, will there be something like tumbling to give you a chance to avoid disengagement attacks?  How about abilities to enlarge the engagement zone or make disengagement attacks that much more punishing?  Then of course there are any number of potential spells to bypass engagement zones like teleport, invisibility, etherealness, who knows maybe there would be spells to enhance the engagement zones somehow too?



#152
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I imagine there will be abilities that can be learned both to bolster or bypass the engagement zones, correct?  We already know about the aforementioned wind sprint, will there be something like tumbling to give you a chance to avoid disengagement attacks?  How about abilities to enlarge the engagement zone or make disengagement attacks that much more punishing?  Then of course there are any number of potential spells to bypass engagement zones like teleport, invisibility, etherealness, who knows maybe there would be spells to enhance the engagement zones somehow too?

We want Engagement to be a mechanic that players and enemies can mess with using a variety of class Abilities and general Talents, so we will be experimenting with a variety of elements to that end:

  • Fighters' Defender mode allows them to engage two additional targets and increases the range at which they engage targets. This gives fighters much greater capability to control the area around them.
  • The limited-use Escape ability lets rogues break Engagement without provoking a Disengagement Attack. It is generally best used when the rogue's enemy is preoccupied with another target.
  • Barbarians can use Wild Rush to temporarily ignore the movement stop and hit reactions from Engagement and Disengagement Attacks, respectively -- though they can still suffer massive damage while powering through.
  • The wizards' Grimoire Slam allows them to attack an enemy in melee with their magically-charged grimoires, unleashing a concussive wave of energy on contact. If it hits, the attack knocks the target back, usually far enough to break Engagement in the process.
Additionally, creatures may have their own special abilities related to Engagement and Disengagement Attacks. We hope that the system itself is easy to understand but allows for increasingly complex tactical considerations over the course of the game.


#153
morrow1nd

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-KRAAAAAAA

 

-Welcome to the dungeon!

 

-Ha ha whatever sucker

 

I dont remember how many times i wathced this but i'm still laughin ^^

 

Thanks for the great update Mr.Josh

 

Well i cant say anyhthing about others but i'll accept any mechanic without questioning if you are going to present it this way :)

 

After a tiresome week this felt good ^^


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#154
rjshae

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But the grimoire slam thing ... I don't like this much at all. If you want to give wizards a "push" cantrip or some other low level spell that can buffet an opponent to break engagement, then that's fine, but the idea of slamming an unwieldy tome of magic around the battlefield -- a rare and precious item in a world without a printing press -- just seems kind of "derpy" to me.


Yes I agree it is a little odd, but I get the sense that the effect comes from the energy release rather than from the impact. In other words, it may function like a melee "touch" attack with the book acting as the focus. Just having a wimpy wizard whack somebody with a dusty great tome probably isn't going to result in quite the same transfer of momentum.

Edited by rjshae, 01 March 2013 - 02:48 PM.


#155
olban

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We're not making a single-character MMO.  We're making a party-based RPG.  We're making it to appeal to the general tastes of audiences that have played D&D-based tactical party RPGs in the past.  Yes, when you play a single character, having that single character be locked down is annoying because your only character is prevented from moving.  You have a whole party to use.

 

We're also making this game for an audience that we believe wants increased challenge and will not react negatively to mechanics that require increased attention and player input.  There are clearly limits to this, but we are willing to try this mechanic because we believe it is more appropriate for our audience.

I agree and I also think that even if the pathing would be flawed (not saying it will be) it would still be better than agro tanking, wow mecanics etc. because I´ve seen it in almost every rpg-game for years and I don´t like it. I think it streamlines gameplay and kills diversity. I like the engagement rules because it opens up new possibilities instead of just making you run around and make big monsters angry. I like these types of rules because it works in conjunction with spells and other types of abilities and make them more than they where before the implementation of the rules. It gives spellcasting and other abilitys a new depht because you can for example use them to force opponents to leave the zone of engagement. You can engagelock enemy fighters and throw fearlike spells for higher damage or mayby throw confusion spells to have the enemy engagelock their own troops. This kind of tactics could not be used to the same extent with agro tanking and similar less tactic-friendly rules.  



#156
ddillon

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snip

Batting away grimoires isn't something we're implementing just as batting away swords, bows, etc. are also not being implemented. Wizards aren't unique in this regard.

Not a good comparison. Disarming a trained swordsman significantly differs from batting away the grimoire of a wizard focused on spellcasting (reading or using the grimoire as a focus to channel magical energy or whatever). Also, in the case of the wizard as you've outlined the class (dependent on a grimoire), it is simply the most obvious tactic... meaning that you'd best have some explanation for its absence as an option to avoid the barrage of inevitable questions about it. Best bet is probably some kind of in-universe mumbo-jumbo about the grimoire being mystically linked to the wizard to the extent that it'd simply float back to him, I suppose. Or something.

Also: No disarming abilities/feats/talents, then?

Engagement range is only a little more than a character width (barring special circumstances). When a fighter activates his or her Defensive mode, his or her attack speed goes down. Pretty much all modal abilities that characters get will have an inherent trade-off, though the tactical application of the mode logically will grant an advantage in the appropriate circumstance.

That's good to know. I hope for the best... but I'm playing NWN2 now (awful combat/control/etc), so I naturally fear the worst. I hesitate to outright say it, but all of this (engagement and grimoires) seems to me to be a convoluted attempt at solving problems already solved in DA:O with threat/aggro mechanics, cooldowns, mana, etc. But whatever: I suppose I'm in the minority in my preferences. Here's hoping you pull off the near-impossible and make it all work somehow. I certainly want you to succeed: DA2 ruined that series, after all, so you seem to be our only hope for a decent party-based CRPG at present. ;)

Edited by ddillon, 01 March 2013 - 06:29 PM.


#157
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Also: No disarming abilities/feats/talents, then?

 

Funny thing about disarming: in NWN2, Disarm was a creature blueprint setting that was set to off by default. Thus it only worked if the builders remember to turn it on. Boy, that was sure a waste of a feat. But I guess they had to make it a toggle-able setting since monster attacks were modeled as equipped items.



#158
Lephys

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Not a good comparison. Disarming a trained swordsman significantly differs from batting away the grimoire of a wizard focused on spellcasting (reading or using the grimoire as a focus to channel magical energy or whatever). Also, in the case of the wizard as you've outlined the class (dependent on a grimoire), it is simply the most obvious tactic... meaning that you'd best have some explanation for its absence as an option to avoid the barrage of inevitable questions about it. Best bet is probably some kind of in-universe mumbo-jumbo about the grimoire being mystically linked to the wizard to the extent that it'd simply float back to him, I suppose. Or something.

How about the fact that it would probably be about as good of an idea as trying to slap the electrode stick off an active arc-welder, or the lightning rod off the roof of a skyscraper in the middle of an electrical storm?

"That magical tome seems to be a conduit through which that Wizard is channeling fiery black liquid death... QUICK! GO TOUCH IT!"

Also, even easier than knocking a Wizard's grimoire from his hand would be for a Wizard to disarm all melee opponents wielding metal weapons in the vicinity by super-heating them all. Hell, that's probably as easy as boiling water for his morning tea.
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#159
ddillon

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snip

How about the fact that it would probably be about as good of an idea as trying to slap the electrode stick off an active arc-welder, or the lightning rod off the roof of a skyscraper in the middle of an electrical storm?

"That magical tome seems to be a conduit through which that Wizard is channeling fiery black liquid death... QUICK! GO TOUCH IT!"


Not bad (made me smile), but...

Do I take the fiery black liquid death to the face or risk knocking that grimoire away? Hmm... Risking it! :p

Actually, I'd prefer cleaving the hand holding the grimoire... but game limitations & all that, you know? haha

Also, even easier than knocking a Wizard's grimoire from his hand would be for a Wizard to disarm all melee opponents wielding metal weapons in the vicinity by super-heating them all. Hell, that's probably as easy as boiling water for his morning tea.

I like it! How about:

Hot Potato
Evocation [Fire]
Level: Fire 3, Sor/Wiz 3
Components: V, S
Casting time: 1 standard action
Range: Sight of caster
Area/Targets: One creature/level
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: Fortitude negates

Affected creatures that fail their fortitude saves drop any currently equipped weapons. It requires one full round to pick up and ready weapons dropped as a result of this spell. Additionally, creatures having dropped their weapons must make an additional reflex save or suffer an attack of opportunity from all enemies within range.

Yes? ;)
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#160
Elerond

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snip

Batting away grimoires isn't something we're implementing just as batting away swords, bows, etc. are also not being implemented. Wizards aren't unique in this regard.
 
Not a good comparison. Disarming a trained swordsman significantly differs from batting away the grimoire of a wizard focused on spellcasting (reading or using the grimoire as a focus to channel magical energy or whatever). Also, in the case of the wizard as you've outlined the class (dependent on a grimoire), it is simply the most obvious tactic... meaning that you'd best have some explanation for its absence as an option to avoid the barrage of inevitable questions about it. Best bet is probably some kind of in-universe mumbo-jumbo about the grimoire being mystically linked to the wizard to the extent that it'd simply float back to him, I suppose. Or something.

 

I think that if wizard's soul energy which she or he has stored in grimoire is unleashed when it touches someone other than wizard her-/himself, then it is probably bad tactic to hit it as that will only cause magical backslash against hitter him-/herself.

 

And of course grimoires are probably warded so that only their owners can touch them and others will get previously mentioned magical backslash.


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