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Sensuki

Combat feels: Activeness, Speed and Pace.

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I assume the final product will have a tutorial, but I can't imagine any level of information having made this any better.  The combat just feels terrible.  If we need to micromanage people, just make the game engine turn-based in the first place.  Real-time with pause is an awful system, and the only way it's ever passable is with heavy levels of automation and making Easy ACTUALLY easy.

 

Okay I don't get this because real-time combat with pausing is fundamentally part of IE games

It's actually kind of not, you were just fooled into thinking it was. The IE games were all turn-based under the hood; the turns just advanced automatically and rapidly.  This system isn't that, and is worse for it.

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The IE games were not turn-based under the hood. It was real-time with pause with a similar system that had character-based timers just like this one does, except they followed discrete values and were not interrupted by movement, like this system.

 

Turn-based is where one character acts at a time.

Edited by Sensuki
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Yeah. Rolling for inititative, and the speed factors for weapons, they weren't really implemented in the IE games. You can actually perceive the difference between a dagger and a polearm, but the difference is minute and pretty inconsequential.


*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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One thing I want to add is that its cool to have really challenging encounters often having ALL the encounters be challenging can cause the worst type of gamer burn out.

I encountered this myself with divinity: original sin, every enemy is 2-3 levels higher than you and you have to use every action intelligently to win a fight.

Games need to give you an easy win every now and again to show you that you are getting stronger and to feel really successful, not a lot, but a little goes a long way.

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Aarklash Legacy has that issue as well. They're all waaaaay too sloggy.

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Thanks, Sensuki. Excellent thread, I agree with you so much ...  :yes:


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Okay I don't get this because real-time combat with pausing is fundamentally part of IE games and that level of tactical involvement and decision-making in who to target or what spell to cast is what I always liked about BG, BG2 and IWD. I've never run any auto-scripts ever in IE games. I'm hoping there's a way to turn scripted responses off for combat (though I haven't looked very hard through the interface so far). 

 

 

I am not OP. But the fundamental difference to me, between IE combat with pause and PoE is this in my opinion: If you set the IE game to auto-pause in the start of a round, you can then just give orders to all your characters at that time and not worry too much about anything until next auto-pause at start of next round. Since all characters are synched to that cycle.

 

I think I heard Josh mention that to achieve the same thing in PoE one just needed to set an auto-pause every 6 (or was it 10s?). That is not really the same, since each character does their thing asynchronously. If you auto-pause every X seconds, some might have been idling for the last X-1s some might still be in the middle of their casting, etc...

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Most of this morning I dedicated my time to looking for bugs / glitches / performance issues, and I'm starting to play through the game now.

 

Playing on Hard difficulty, since I noticed that PoD enemies have +50% stats (no thanks, with the sub-par BB party).

 

So far here are some basic points about combat:

The combat is more active than the Infinity Engine games due to the amount of ability use required. This was one of Josh Sawyer's aims for combat and I believe that the goal has been achieved.

 

The party doesn't do so good when split up, unlike the IE games where you could take your best couple of characters and aside from a support spell or two, plow through the majority of areas with your main damage dealers. The party composition in PE required teamwork from the party members to overcome the encounters. I think this makes sense.

 

The speed of actions in combat is actually way slower than I am used to, because I played the IE games on 40 FPS. Characters wearing heavier armors have a really long recovery time. Currently I don't think the values are balanced properly, and I think an attribute that reduces recovery time would be very fitting here. My unarmored / unarmed Monk was faring a lot better than my Fighter was, due to being able to hit more often and get rid of his wounds.

 

I think for some people combat feels "too fast" because you are required to micro manage your characters a lot more. The actions the characters take are actually slower than the IE games (barring the spell casters), but pretty much every character has active abilities that you kinda need to use every encounter, so you are doing more, even though the pace is slower.

 

And lastly, the adventuring days are way too short. I survived all of the beetles in the Dyrford Crossing exterior, but by that time, I needed to rest. In the Infinity Engine games, adventuring days were way longer due to strategical healing resources - Priest healing spells, scrolls and healing/regen potions.

 

Currently in PE, you can do one small wilderness area before you need to rest. In my opinion this an incorrect adventuring day pace. Combat encounters have a pretty good feel, they're lethal and you have to pay attention - but you can only do a few of them before you have to end an adventuring day, and you still have a crap load of other resources left. I used up hardly any encounter or daily spells during my encounters, because there was simply not enough time to use them. Due to the long recovery times of characters, piled with the lethality of the trash mob encounters with the beetles, I was left with not much Health left on a few characters, but plenty of daily resources remaining.

 

I think the problem here is the Stamina to Health ratio. I think in order to make the length of the adventuring day "feel" more IE, the amount of stamina damage converted to health damage needs to be decreased - so that while encounters can be lethal, you can last a lot more of them throughout the adventuring day, and take on a lot more encounters and actually feel like you're getting to use all of your class abilities/dailies so you can actually get the feeling of being low on other strategical resources, as well as Health.

 

I think the direction here would be to reduce the stamina damage to health ratios, and reduce the amount of camping supplies you get. So you can survive a longer adventuring day, but get fewer resting resources. That way the pace isn't broken up so much.

 

On top of that, enemy units (and player units) move very fast in combat, whereas only hasted units moved quickly in the IE games. Due to this "run" feature, positioning is all over the place. Especially considering how small some of the maps are.

 

 

I disagree with some stuff:

 

Combat is more active:

 

You dont need to use alot of skills in combat, activate constant recovery and defender on your fighter to turn him into a tank. You do that once than its set forever. Than let your tank rush into the enemys so he draws all the attention. Cast the priest spell consecrated ground on top of your fighter to constantly heal him and focus one target after another with your whole group. I did that in almost every encounter in the game, basicaly using one skill nothing more.

 

Party doesnt do so good when split up:

 

You can do most enemy groups with fighter / priest only using the tactic I descriped above.

 

Adventuring days are way to short:

 

If you use stamina regeneration spells like I did in that example you last very long without needing to rest.

Edited by Mayama

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@Lioness I don't think rounds in the IE games were synced. They were all the same lengths, yes, but could start at different times. That's one of the things that made them feel so responsive -- characters reacted to commands immediately instead of in a few seconds.


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If you use stamina regeneration spells like I did in that example you last very long without needing to rest.

 

That can't be. You're still bleeding off Health when getting hit. This tactic ought to whittle down your fighter's Health plenty quick. If it's not then something weird must be going on.

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If you use stamina regeneration spells like I did in that example you last very long without needing to rest.

 

That can't be. You're still bleeding off Health when getting hit. This tactic ought to whittle down your fighter's Health plenty quick. If it's not then something weird must be going on.

 

 

Imo its more about priest spells beeing completly OP.

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If you use stamina regeneration spells like I did in that example you last very long without needing to rest.

 

That can't be. You're still bleeding off Health when getting hit. This tactic ought to whittle down your fighter's Health plenty quick. If it's not then something weird must be going on.

 

 

Imo its more about priest spells beeing completly OP.

 

No, they don't have any ability to regenerate health, or prevent health loss. The total amount of health damage you've taken, so far as I understand it anyway, is a fixed ratio of how much stamina damage you've taken, regardless of how much stamina has been regenerated.

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Waywocket: That is my understanding as well, which is a pretty exciting, although new, mechanic for me in a CRPG. I've started to warm up to it - but it needs better displaying.


*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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As far as difficulty goes--you are playing on hard mode. But having said that, hard mode should still be fun. And running back to the inn every time you nearly get killed by trash is not much fun.

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And lastly, the adventuring days are way too short. [...]

I think the direction here would be to reduce the stamina damage to health ratios, and reduce the amount of camping supplies you get. So you can survive a longer adventuring day, but get fewer resting resources. That way the pace isn't broken up so much.

+1

 

I like how stamina works in the beta, but health runs out too quickly considering that there is absolutely no way to regain it in between rests.


"Some ideas are so stupid that only an intellectual could believe them." -- attributed to George Orwell

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I think the IE games did a good job of abstracting movement speed to make it tactical, whereas so far PE doesn't do a very good job at that, it verges more on simulation.

I agree with you so much that the movement speed should have its throttle turned down and it should all be made more tactical. But I don't think running in a melee verges on simulation, that stuff will get you killed! concluding that turning down characters movement speed in combat would even be more realistic! -whatever that means... Anyways keep up the good work!

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As far as difficulty goes--you are playing on hard mode. But having said that, hard mode should still be fun. And running back to the inn every time you nearly get killed by trash is not much fun.

 

I've always associated difficulty setting with bragging rights myself.  I'd expect hard mode to force you to play particularly cautiously like that. I also agree that the trash mobs aren't terribly interesting to have to fight off.

 

I'd float the idea that we should have an easy-medium hybrid difficulty where trash has easy spawnrates but meaningful fights have the 'normal' spawn.  That would go with a normal-hard hybrid where again, trash mobs have normal spawns and meaningful encounters have the hard spawns.  This kind of setup can't be accomplished with the current slider bar implementation since spawn sizes are determined on zoning.

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Well.. I tried the beta first time today.

 

Set the difficulty to easy as this was my first time in a new game with a new system.

Did some wandering around and got myself into 2 fights.

 

First fight was at the bridge you start with, against the people there.

I had zero idea what I was doing, and suceeded only by blasting the entre combat zone with AoE spells (both positive and negative).

The spell that 'creates blights' for a wizard I had zero understanding of at this time as it felt like it did nothing when I tried using it. (although I got afterwards that it appearantly swapped out my weapon with a magically created one).

 

Second fight was against some bettles in a second area.

I got decimated. Truly and utterly decimated.

I didn't manage to down a single beetle, and half the time I felt like my people did jack all. Either because I had no idea what they were doing, or because I got a message telling me that the DT of the target was too high...

 

I played all the old games of the baldurs series, icewind dales, planescape:; torment, never winter nights, Dragon age (only the first one in that series, though) and so on.

Never did I feel combat was as unresponsive as in this beta. When I tried setting it to "pause on all", it was a frustrating mess of not feeling like anything happened at all between each pause. Trying to activate/deactivate different pauses didn't help me much in getting a clear picture of what was actually happening on screen, and I never felt like I was actually in control of what happened.

 

The interface needs a hefty upgrade to tell the user about what goes on, cause right now I feel lost during combat as to what is happening or when I can do something.

 

The gamemaps looks pretty, but that means nothing when the combat feels as unsatisfying to me as it does right now.

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Just spend some more time on it, dma. The combat will get much better with just a little experience, even with the bugs and non-implemented features that kind of cripple combat at the moment. Or just wait for an update, because there are some extremely frustrating bugs in the current build.

 

Pathfinding is priority. Feedback, visually and audibly, is being worked on(They have a not yet implemented feedback system they're touching up). Game breaking bugs like the load bug are also priority. Balancing is ongoing. They've said they hope to push out beta updates every few weeks, so I'd suspect an update is coming within a week.

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Yeah, Personally I would love if they to add a queue to so I can place some commands so I don’t need to pause every 3 seconds. Like the one in Kotor 2.

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Yes, a queue would be damned useful. Sometimes you just want your mage to do nothing but spam magic missile while you manage someone else's abilities.

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If you use stamina regeneration spells like I did in that example you last very long without needing to rest.

That can't be. You're still bleeding off Health when getting hit. This tactic ought to whittle down your fighter's Health plenty quick. If it's not then something weird must be going on.

Yeah, I'm not sure if you're talking about the same thing as everyone else, Mayama. Stamina isn't the problem - health is. And there is currently no spell or item to recover health other than resting.

 

That is what seems counterintuitive to me, tbh. I would much rather see divine healing spells heal health instead of stamina. Or a mix. I dunno. The whole "I can heal you temporarily with divine power, but only a good night's sleep will really do you any good" shtick just seems absurd when you really think about it.

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Not action queues again, they really aren't necessary.

 

Yes, a queue would be damned useful. Sometimes you just want your mage to do nothing but spam magic missile while you manage someone else's abilities.

 

You can do that, once you've set their action during their recovery period, you micro another character.

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Well.. I tried the beta first time today.

 

Set the difficulty to easy as this was my first time in a new game with a new system.

Did some wandering around and got myself into 2 fights.

 

First fight was at the bridge you start with, against the people there.

I had zero idea what I was doing, and suceeded only by blasting the entre combat zone with AoE spells (both positive and negative).

The spell that 'creates blights' for a wizard I had zero understanding of at this time as it felt like it did nothing when I tried using it. (although I got afterwards that it appearantly swapped out my weapon with a magically created one).

 

Second fight was against some bettles in a second area.

I got decimated. Truly and utterly decimated.

I didn't manage to down a single beetle, and half the time I felt like my people did jack all. Either because I had no idea what they were doing, or because I got a message telling me that the DT of the target was too high...

 

I played all the old games of the baldurs series, icewind dales, planescape:; torment, never winter nights, Dragon age (only the first one in that series, though) and so on.

Never did I feel combat was as unresponsive as in this beta. When I tried setting it to "pause on all", it was a frustrating mess of not feeling like anything happened at all between each pause. Trying to activate/deactivate different pauses didn't help me much in getting a clear picture of what was actually happening on screen, and I never felt like I was actually in control of what happened.

 

The interface needs a hefty upgrade to tell the user about what goes on, cause right now I feel lost during combat as to what is happening or when I can do something.

 

The gamemaps looks pretty, but that means nothing when the combat feels as unsatisfying to me as it does right now.

 

It seems that the biggest issue with combat right now is feedback.  I agree with Sensuki's OP, but it's really difficult to even evaluate combat because it's such a mess between poor feedback, muddy graphics, and a less than stellar UI / combat log.

 

That said, I think you need to get familiar with the mechanics a bit before getting too frustrated with combat.  I've been following the game pretty closely, and on normal difficulty, have taken taken virtually no damage (Medreth, beetles, wolves, spiders).  I think a lot of that is understanding design intent going into the beta.  

 

One note about feedback and game log...If there is an option to maximize the size of the combat log, I wish someone would tell me how to do it.  Right now, it's ridiculous.

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Drag it up with the button in the top left of the log. Left clicking that button resets it.

 

I don't like the position of the combat log, it's really useless for on the fly reading due to it's position.

 

In the IE games, I used to read the log while combat was going to get the feedback from to hit rolls and damage.

 

This game has been designed for floating numbers, if you play with those off, well you're at a bit of a loss.

Edited by Sensuki

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