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AOE spells and effects

Targeting Friendly fire

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17 replies to this topic

#1
6ttermayn

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My only real gripe with the IE was that it was extremely difficult to tell which characters and enemies would be affected by, say, a fireball. "Can I hit this guy without frying party members?"I do hope that there willbe a system that shows(highlights) which things will be hit by a given effect so you can make better tactical decisions instead of click-and-pray.

#2
Prometheus

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aoe spells will show the area they affect (see quote below) . source

 

Speaking of targeting actions... For spells and abilities with AoE will you get a targeting reticle or just your normal cursor?
Ie. Infinity engine vs. Dragon Age (for a recent example)

The targeting cursor shows the radius of the effect.

 

 



#3
agris

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Has there been any word regarding "affects all" (friendly fire) vs. "affects enemies" AOE? One of the great things about the spells in BG/IWD/BG2 was that friendly fire existed, and often a higher level version of an AOE spell would target enemies only. It setup a nice progression curve, and made you really pay attention to combatant positions when picking an 'affects all' or 'affects enemies' AOE spell.



#4
rjshae

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My only real gripe with the IE was that it was extremely difficult to tell which characters and enemies would be affected by, say, a fireball. "Can I hit this guy without frying party members?"I do hope that there willbe a system that shows(highlights) which things will be hit by a given effect so you can make better tactical decisions instead of click-and-pray.

 

The ToEE PC game showed the impact area via an overlay that moved around with the cursor. It was fairly effective and allowed precise placement. However, the game engine was implemented so as to still allow some friendly fire to characters adjacent to the selected area, which I thought was a pretty nice touch.

 

It might be interesting if they gave us a locatable target areas with fuzzy borders, thereby indicating some likelihood of friendly fire.


Edited by rjshae, 07 August 2013 - 09:16 AM.

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#5
forgottenlor

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If there is casting time like in the IE games, than friendly fire is still quite possible. For example if your characters kill an opponent and than move on to the next one, they could wander into the area effect (unless you turn off the AI).



#6
mstark

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I liked how, in BG2, you had to use your intuition, and learn which spells would result in a complete wipe if you cast it while your own party members were intermingled with the enemy.

While I'd rather be without one, I wouldn't mind an approximation of the AOE attack to show up underneath the mouse pointer.
 

It might be interesting if they gave us a locatable target areas with fuzzy borders, thereby indicating some likelihood of friendly fire.

I agree with this, I wouldn't like the target area to be an absolute, but rather an approximation of where the AOE will spread to. Maybe one circle shows where the spell will definitely hit, and a less opaque, larger circle to show where the spell might hit.
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#7
rjshae

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It might be interesting if they gave us a locatable target areas with fuzzy borders, thereby indicating some likelihood of friendly fire.

I agree with this, I wouldn't like the target area to be an absolute, but rather an approximation of where the AOE will spread to. Maybe one circle shows where the spell will definitely hit, and a less opaque, larger circle to show where the spell might hit.

 

A nice touch would be to create monochrome targeting circles with borders that ripple and shift based upon the type of spell. For example, a fireball spell might have edges that resemble shifting flames, while a fog cloud could show tendrils of mist flowing out from the core. A constantly shifting edge would make targeting more problematic and interesting.


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#8
Lephys

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If there is casting time like in the IE games, than friendly fire is still quite possible. For example if your characters kill an opponent and than move on to the next one, they could wander into the area effect (unless you turn off the AI).


On this note, what if you could hold a spell in the event that you fully cast it, but your target died before you finished? I don't mean "I shot a fireball, but it was still 10 feet away from this orc when it dropped dead from another source." I mean that whole "the orc dies, but your mage is mid-cast, so he keeps chanting for 2 more seconds, then hurls a fireball at nothing" deal. It's a bit annoying.

Fireball was a bad example, because this probably wouldn't apply to ground-targeted spells. Although, it COULD. There could be a manual "hold spell" button/option. Basically, as long as a spell was held, you'd get the advantage of, from that point onward, casting it instantly (avoiding cast time). BUT, until you fired off that spell, you couldn't cast any other spell without "losing" the held spell (as if you had cast it, because you did fully cast it, but you just "drop" the spell's energy/weave, so it doesn't really serve you to any effect at all).

Really, at the very least, I was just thinking of specifically target-based spells, like Magic Missile, ESPECIALLY in the round-based IE games (like BG). Many times, I've told my Mage to cast something at a tough enemy I want to take down as quickly as possible, only to have the next round begin, and my Mage begin casting a 5-second-cast spell, and my Rogue to stabbity-kill the enemy in .2 seconds. And my Mage just-a keeps on casting, firing Magic Missiles at nothing. At the very least, I think we should be able to cancel the spell. And, I just thought that some sort of hold mechanic might be interesting, actually.

I liked how, in BG2, you had to use your intuition, and learn which spells would result in a complete wipe if you cast it while your own party members were intermingled with the enemy.

While I'd rather be without one, I wouldn't mind an approximation of the AOE attack to show up underneath the mouse pointer.
 

It might be interesting if they gave us a locatable target areas with fuzzy borders, thereby indicating some likelihood of friendly fire.

I agree with this, I wouldn't like the target area to be an absolute, but rather an approximation of where the AOE will spread to. Maybe one circle shows where the spell will definitely hit, and a less opaque, larger circle to show where the spell might hit.


What if, as you progressed in power/prowess/experience (whathaveyou), you gained control? So, If you can just now cast Level 3 spells (for example), then a Level 3 AOE spell will have about a 25% "maybe" section of radius, whereas a Level 1 AOE spell might, at this point, show you an exact edge (because you're able to control the spell to a greater degree). That might be kind of splendid.
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#9
J.E. Sawyer

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We currently show the spell radius but do not yet highlight characters who will be affected.  Many AoE damage spells are friend or foe.  Fireball and Crackling Bolt, in particular, can blow up your party easily.


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#10
Jarmo

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I'm not at all sure which AOE method I like the best. 

 

On one hand, I enjoy spamming fire in NWN or DA with friendly fire turned off (and the way everybody bolts around like crazy, it's better be off).

ToEE's precise damage radius was also excellent and had a load of fun with that as well.

 

But then.. if you compare AOE effect with something like real world hand grenade...

is it reasonable to know you need to be exactly 2,5 meters away to be completely safe?

 

Could some AOE effects have some randomness to their radius? Or shape even?

So you don't know precisely how far you need to be to be safe?



#11
mstark

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What if, as you progressed in power/prowess/experience (whathaveyou), you gained control? So, If you can just now cast Level 3 spells (for example), then a Level 3 AOE spell will have about a 25% "maybe" section of radius, whereas a Level 1 AOE spell might, at this point, show you an exact edge (because you're able to control the spell to a greater degree). That might be kind of splendid.

While that would be neat, I'm still more inclined to let the "targeting skill" be entirely based off of my own skill and judgement! After having thrown fireball a number of times, I'll be able to judge, from personal experience, what sort of area it'd cover. If I make a mistake, my real life "experience" with the skill simply isn't high enough, and I'll either need to practice or be more careful. I see no need for it to be represented in game by a circle, wobbly circle, diffuse circle, or otherwise.

It's nice to level up your party and attain helpful skills, it's also nice to "level up" yourself by learning how to aim, and dealing with the consequences of a mistake (if the game helps you so much that you'll never make a mistake, you'll get into very few interesting situations!).

Since I can see it's a very helpful feature for casual players I'm guessing targeting circles will be included. Will it be disabled in Expert Mode?

I'm very happy that there's friendly fire in game.

(/random I strongly believe BG/2 lives so fondly in peoples memories because it developed you as a person. Make a game hard, with a compelling story that makes you want to complete it regardless, and it'll force people to adapt to complete it. It builds character ;) )

Edited by mstark, 14 August 2013 - 01:52 PM.


#12
Lephys

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While that would be neat, I'm still more inclined to let the "targeting skill" be entirely based off of my own skill and judgement! After having thrown fireball a number of times, I'll be able to judge, from personal experience, what sort of area it'd cover. If I make a mistake, my real life "experience" with the skill simply isn't high enough, and I'll either need to practice or be more careful. I see no need for it to be represented in game by a circle, wobbly circle, diffuse circle, or otherwise.


Hmm... well, what if the "maybe" area still existed, but wasn't shown to you? In other words, your character knows that his fireball will explode in approximately this radius, so that's indicated to you in your tactical overhead targeting. However, it's not entirely accurate. But, as your character progresses in prowess, it becomes more accurate, but you still only ever see a single approximation circle, even if that can eventually become 100% accurate (or if it caps at less than that... whichever). In this way, you, the player, can still employ your own awareness and skill in determining just how much care you need to take regarding the radii of your AOE spells in relation to friendly fire.

The problem I have with "I'd rather just always have to figure it out" is that this steps all over the idea of character capability and player capability working in tandem. It would be a bit like saying "I don't want a perception check from my character to reveal a hidden enemy to my sight. I'd rather just rely on my own eyesight to pick enemies out of extremely camouflaged backdrops, and manually aim spells thusly, with no indication of whether or not there's actually a target there." Does that make sense?

I understand and share the desire to have my skills as a player matter, but I don't ever think they need to completely override my character's capabilities. In other words, the game should never fail to communicate to you something that your character intuitively knows, just so you can treat it as your own personal challenge.
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#13
oaktownbrown

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The problem I have with "I'd rather just always have to figure it out" is that this steps all over the idea of character capability and player capability working in tandem. It would be a bit like saying "I don't want a perception check from my character to reveal a hidden enemy to my sight. I'd rather just rely on my own eyesight to pick enemies out of extremely camouflaged backdrops, and manually aim spells thusly, with no indication of whether or not there's actually a target there." Does that make sense?

I understand and share the desire to have my skills as a player matter, but I don't ever think they need to completely override my character's capabilities. In other words, the game should never fail to communicate to you something that your character intuitively knows, just so you can treat it as your own personal challenge.

 

 

i mostly agree. i very much want friendly fire but i strongly prefer character skills to matter much more than player skills. to me, that's the essence of an RPG. 


Edited by oaktownbrown, 14 August 2013 - 04:08 PM.


#14
mexrage

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I suppose it may be for the better with the friendly fire, no friendly fire on spells made casters too overpowered on NWN2....and casters were already too overpowered on 3.X already, thought it would be nice if the AI is made to avoid the area of effect when posible, or the friendly AI avoiding doing AoE where you are, or also showing where the effect will hit before it finish casting



#15
Lephys

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i mostly agree. i very much want friendly fire but i strongly prefer character skills to matter much more than player skills. to me, that's the essence of an RPG.


Agreed. Look at how combat works. You basically function as the judgement for your character. "Aim your bow at this guy and try to take a shot." You can't aim the bow better or worse than your character. You simply direct him which move to make. His chances of hitting from a given distance, or the abilities you can choose from, are his and his alone. Thusly, your skill in determining what's a good move and what isn't and his skill in making the moves with varying degrees of prowess work in tandem.

Another thought I just had is that you could actually have the exact radius of an AOE spell fluctuate by, say, 10-20%. That way, one time you cast a fireball, its explosion may affect things 10% further out than edge of the targeting indicator, while another time it might affect things 10% further in than the indicator. (Again, I'm still for the idea of this becoming more precise and less variable as the character progresses in skill, relative to the difficulty/level of the ability in question.)

However that's handled, though, the "I'm not sure" portion of the spell's effect still holds true as a direct conveyance of your character's knowledge. The indicator is his estimation, so he's got to deal with that amount of uncertainty, and that is beamed straight to the player. So, your use of judgement in how careful to be around that indicator ring (regarding friendly fire and the like) can almost be seen as a direct representation of the character's resorting to judgement regarding his own imprecise knowledge of the spell's exact results.

Annnnywho, I'm getting a bit technical. Another interesting factor, though, is the variation in the placement of characters (both friendly and hostile) between when you target a spell and when it actually gets cast/strikes the target. I don't know how much an EXACT targeting indicator (complete with highlighted "here's who's going to be caught in the blast" action) really helps when the fireball isn't going to hit that spot until 2.3 seconds later, during which time no one's been forcibly held in-place.

With that in mind, something like fluctuation in spell effect radius isn't really a big deal to me, in terms of "No, I need to know EXACTLY which pixels will be affected by the spell, and which ones won't!" Especially if we don't get that sometimes-how-grenades-work-in-FPS's implementation of an area effect, where position A takes no damage, but position B -- 3 inches to the right -- takes 10 points of damage (even if things closer to the center take more than 10 damage, so you do have SOME gradation). There shouldn't be that much difference between a babystep of space. I'm inclined to favor the dwindling of AOE damage from something like a fireball all the way down to about 1 or 2 points of damage, at the edge of the radius.

Of course, all of this only really applies to radial areas in which the effect explodes outward from the center. If you cast a spell that is just a perfect cylinder of holy light/lasers/fire or something, either erupting straight up from the floor or straight down from above, then obviously you could have some rather precise edges. Then again, it could still be interesting to have something like a magically-precise column of fire still have some fuzzy "you might get a little burned from standing so close" edges skirting its exact radius. Or, maybe a precise circle of ice gets you damaged and frozen, but standing within a foot or two of it slows your movement temporarily. *shrug*

Sorry. I kinda went idea shotgun there. Lots of tiny pellets.
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#16
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Another thought I just had is that you could actually have the exact radius of an AOE spell fluctuate by, say, 10-20%. That way, one time you cast a fireball, its explosion may affect things 10% further out than edge of the targeting indicator, while another time it might affect things 10% further in than the indicator. (Again, I'm still for the idea of this becoming more precise and less variable as the character progresses in skill, relative to the difficulty/level of the ability in question.)

. . . .

 Especially if we don't get that sometimes-how-grenades-work-in-FPS's implementation of an area effect, where position A takes no damage, but position B -- 3 inches to the right -- takes 10 points of damage (even if things closer to the center take more than 10 damage, so you do have SOME gradation). There shouldn't be that much difference between a babystep of space. I'm inclined to favor the dwindling of AOE damage from something like a fireball all the way down to about 1 or 2 points of damage, at the edge of the radius.

. . . .

 

Then again, it could still be interesting to have something like a magically-precise column of fire still have some fuzzy "you might get a little burned from standing so close" edges skirting its exact radius. Or, maybe a precise circle of ice gets you damaged and frozen, but standing within a foot or two of it slows your movement temporarily. *shrug*
 

 

i like the idea of a spell's radius/AoE fluctuating and its precision increasing with the character's relevant skill, abilities, etc. (i'm not sure how difficult it would be to implement, though. i realize PE can't have everything i'd like.)  ideally for me, anyone too close to any elemental damage would get at least some damage and maybe some other effects (e.g., slowed, knocked down). i agree that spell damage (at least for elemental spells but probably in general) should vary based on how close one is to to the center of the spell. 

 

IIRC, i thought Betrayal at Krondor did a good job with that. i also like how your low level mage often missed his target (and sometimes hit his own party) in BaK. it made sense to me that when you were first learning to cast a fireball, your aim might be quite inconsistent. one time, you'd hit your target squarely and maybe do high damage to two or three enemies who were standing near the center of the blast. another time, you'd only hit one who was somewhat near where the fireball hit (and who, therefore took less damage than if he'd been at the center of the fireball). another time, you might accidentally hit the other members your own party directly (so they took high damage), with only those enemies who were near your party taking some damage (which varied with how close they were to the center). or you might miss everyone so no one took damage; you wasted your turn and your stamina. 

 

they probably did that in other games as well but that's the one i remember now. in any event, i'd like something like that in PE. 


Edited by oaktownbrown, 14 August 2013 - 05:34 PM.

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#17
Lephys

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^ Yes!

A) I love Betrayal at Krondor.

B) Shadowrun: Returns did a similar thing with AOE spells and grenades, even. They were ground-targeted, and they had an AOE radius, but you had a percentage chance of actually striking the spot you were aiming for. So, much like Betrayal at Krondor, even if you "missed," you still hit nearby. So, as long as you struck something, the spell still detonated out into its AOE radius.

Of course, in Betrayal at Krondor, something like a Fireball could simply miss (as a forward moving projectile) and never strike anything. Whereas, in Shadowrun, the stuff was, as I said, ground-targeted, but still had a chance to strike the ground inaccurately, basically. It was pretty neat. Simple, but I haven't seen a lot of games do that.
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#18
Protection

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Dragon Age 1 solved this with a template system for casting.  Surely that would be an option.







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