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The General Combat Thread

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Please discuss your thoughts, ideas, complaints, suggestions etc. on combat in Pillars of Eternity here.


Fortune favors the bald.

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The ranger companion needs some kind of icon/picture. Maybe a smaller portrait next to the ranger? The reason I mention this is that sometimes I lose track of it in combat and without a "clickable" icon it can be quite annoying finding him in the thick of combat. Also, the companion (wolf) just sits there in combat if I don't give it an action. Not sure if that's intended.

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Repeat from a previous thread:

 

The fact that you can't "disengaged" from a combat (except for the Rogue) is a nice and logical innovation.

However, during a full 4 on 4 melee, it's very hard to see who is engaged to whom and who can change target.

 

If I remember correctly, if the IE when a character was chosen, during a pause, his/her current target was highlighted somehow (the circle underneath it was indented). I think that would be a nice addition to the current combat engine, which often bring a bit of confusion "as is" right now as to who is battling whom.

 

+ combat is a bit too fast to my taste (and the "slow" mode is way too slow..)

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Right now, combat is unrewarding and not that much fun. Before playing the beta, I thought that giving no xp for combat made some sense. Now, having played it, I realize that the carrot is pretty important. Gaining no reward from spending time and effort on combat is pretty demoralizing. It makes me not want to play.

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I think combat is possibly slightly too fast, and very difficult to follow. I'd very much like to see some improved VFX and animations (such as hit reactions, more obvious casting effects) as well as ease of use features like target indicators for enqueued actions (even the old IE games at least changed the targets selection circle if you had a pending spell/action).

 

The big issue I see is that the exterior maps are very difficult to differentiate with the characters, and that, combined with the overlays, close positioning, and unpolished VFX/SFX make combat just seem frenetic and very non-obvious. It's much better in the interior levels, but it still lacks a lot of weight and polish.

 

Also I think you should look at changing your VFX blending from being primarily additive to premultiplied alpha, where you can use the alpha channel to mark out regions which are non-additive (leave the RGB channels the same), which will help readability (it came up in a Blizzard talk at GDC13).

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Since combat doesn't give XP I believe instead it should tie on closer with the cycopedia and unlock buffs/benefits from enemies.

E.g. After killing X number of wood beetles you now have a 5% bonus damage buff or increased chance of getting a rare crafting material/recipe from kills.

 

This way you level up via quests but combat still feels rewarding.

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Regarding combat mechanics I wish there was some form of "Combat Mode" which activates when enemies turn agro or you land first hit. In this mode the game slows down to a more deliberate pace allowing time to assess troop positioning and gives a chance to use active skills. When combat is finished "Combat Mode" ends and the game pace goes back to explore mode.

 

To be honest best option would be turn based like D: OS or Wasteland 2 but I also like RTWP so trying to figure out how to allow players time to take deliberate actions without a mad scrum of auto attacks or rapid pausing all the time.

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Combat should be a little slower. Slow mode is great when I need to react quickly, but normal speed should be reduced a bit.

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“By striving to do the impossible, man has always achieved what is possible. Those who have cautiously done no more than they believed possible have never taken a single step forward.” ― Mikhail Bakunin

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Hard to say much at this point, before the AI and pathing bugs that ruin things are addressed. I have a hunch it'll be pretty sweet once they are though. However:

 

1. Weapons need rebalancing. Haven't done any math, but heavy weapons just seem all-around much more effective than light ones, probably because so many enemies have DT's which reduce the light ones to grazing. Firearms seem too strong for the same reason.

 

2. Combat movement speed needs to be slowed down. As it is it's too frantic; I'm playing in slo-mo all the time (which feels a little too slow for most things).

 

3. The Health/Endurance damage ratio needs to be adjusted. Difficulty for individual combats is fine -- or would be if the combat worked as intended -- but I need to rest too often.

Edited by PrimeJunta
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I have a project. It's a tabletop RPG. It's free. It's a work in progress. Find it here: www.brikoleur.com

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Not sure if this belongs here or in the General Suggestions thread, but it is combat-related so...

 

Stealth. I've been trying to use the "standard" rogue tactic of stealthing the rogue to the enemy's flank, then marching forward with the rest of the party to engage, then hitting them in the back with the rogue. This doesn't really work because it appears that stealth is for the whole party: when combat starts, everybody un-stealths, and unless I've positioned my rogue very far, one of the enemy group breaks formation and attacks her.

 

I.e. we really need individual stealth, and the related visual indications of who is stealthed -- just like in the IE games.

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I have a project. It's a tabletop RPG. It's free. It's a work in progress. Find it here: www.brikoleur.com

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I've had some epic fights that have been all "Woooo!" and some fights that have been all "Nooo... ooh..." and "Overpowered but awesome!!!".

Woo! = Tactic works, positioning is flawless, I feel like a pro. I often feel I have lots of time to set up an attack, the vision range is really big so I can set up my entire party and then iniate combat. It kind of feels a little MMO-ish to be honest, "Pulling" enemies. Followed up with "Hold the Line". I would want enemies to aggro a bit sooner to create some more tension (to affect exploration as well as pre-combat preparation).

Noo! = When characters bug out and they twitch trying to place themselves on someone else's place. Switching weapons can bug out and an animation loop starts taking the character out of combat. This is mostly how my party wipes begin. I've also made some bad calls, bad strategy and bad tactics and been wiped out because of carelessness.

OP!! = Chanter Spells, Priest Buffs, Guns. There's probably more, but right now these are the strongest aspects of combat at the moment, in my opinion. It is awesome to have an even larger group than intended, and it feels nice too. It is my Strategy RTS gene talking, but I'm getting visions of a future Pillars of Eternity RTS game :p Guns feels extremely nice, and the sound effect is also really nice. 

I find combat easy to understand after some playing and learning, and that it is accessible (Note that I've been a part of the forums and the information flow for approx 2 years, so I have some meta-knowledge). I'm looking through fingers now though, excluding bugs and balancing in my analysis, the general feel of combat (envisioned without bugs) is nice.

I can deploy tactics, strategies. There's a large arsenal of options to play a bit like you want, which I like too.

With Auto-Pause options it becomes much easier to comprehend the combat at its current state.

EDIT: Should this thread be pinned?

Edited by Osvir
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The Interrupt mechanic feels obscure and, at this point, somewhat useless. What exactly do I interrupt? The enemy's attack? Only spellcasting? Something else? It feels like it's at most useful in particular situations, and for those situations you wouldn't necessarily need a high-Interrupt character, but only some per-encounter or per-rest high-Interrupt abilities; I also have a hunch such situations can be worked around with suitable counters, buffs, or debuffs.

 

Either make it more useful or drop it altogether in favor of something else tied to abilities.

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I have a project. It's a tabletop RPG. It's free. It's a work in progress. Find it here: www.brikoleur.com

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@PrimeJunta: I think "Interruption" is somewhat Grandia-ish.

The ATB (Active Time Battle) bar you see on top of the characters before they attack (Cooldown/Attack Speed/Attack Frequency~): If you are doing an ability or just an attack you can see the bar going down (from right to left) and if you get attacked during this time you should see that bar "bumping" (taking more time).

So yeah, Grandia.

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It kind of feels a little MMO-ish to be honest, "Pulling" enemies. Followed up with "Hold the Line". I would want enemies to aggro a bit sooner to create some more tension (to affect exploration as well as pre-combat preparation).

It really does feel like this. Every battle is me getting "set up" and carefully pulling back/CC to my tanks while my ranged to their thing. And then my other melee go in when its safe. 

 

I kind of wish I could play more aggressively (ie charge in)especially with my melee but I would take so much damage. 

 

 

The Interrupt mechanic feels obscure and, at this point, somewhat useless. 

Yep, and therefore also concentration. Especially for ranged. 

 

 

This doesn't really work because it appears that stealth is for the whole party: when combat starts, everybody un-stealths, and unless I've positioned my rogue very far, one of the enemy group breaks formation and attacks her.

Agreed, but also think this is a problem with the AI behavior to attack whatever is closest no matter what and never switch targets (unless engaged in melee).

Edited by Bazy
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I didn't think I would like "per encounter" abilities. But I am really enjoying them. I *think* having more per encounter abilities instead of per rest would be cool. I like being able to use my abilities and not feel like I have to "save them" 

 

Per encounter feel like a cooldown. Per rest feel like a consumable. 

Edited by Bazy
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I didn't think I would like "per encounter" abilities. But I am really enjoying them. I *think* having more per encounter abilities instead of per rest would be cool. I like being able to use my abilities and not feel like I have to "save them" 

 

Per encounter feel like a cooldown. Per rest feel like a consumable. 

 

Yeah me too. At first it felt limiting but it gives you way more freedom because you dont have to "rest scum" throught the game. Beeing forced to rest after almost every encounter in BG was one of the biggest QOF problems in the whole game.

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Per encounter abilities was a really nice surprise. The very first second or two that I noticed it in the description I was a bit "?" and then it dawned on me. Tried it out a couple of fights, loving it. Makes each fight feel different... for now. 

I think some "Abilities" should be "Skills". Some general passives/abilities/talents as well as, potentially, Class speific passives/abilities/talents that can fit or help any Class. It adds class diversity on a whole new level and opens up more doors to "build whatever you want".

 

Example:

[- Hold the Line

[-- Every level improves chances of engaging 1 more enemy (Level 2-3 could be "Engage 1 more enemy" Level 4-5 "Engage 1 more enemy")

[- Weapon Proficency (Like the Infinity Engine gams)

[-- Every level improves proficiency with weapon.

These could be added to the Skill System. Have their Balanced Max Value (What is the max level cap on Skills? "Athletics", "Survival", "Lore", etc.) be Max Level. Different Skills can have Max different Levels (e.g. Weapon Styles = 3-4 Levels. Athletics = 10 levels, etc.).

Scenario: (Ex. Max Knight gives +10 Damage total, has 5 Levels)
[ Knight Level 1 (3/3)
[ +2 Damage
[ Knight Level 2 (6/6)
[ +4 Damage
[ Knight Level 3 (12/12)
[ +6 Damage
etc. etc.

Also, many are experienced with Wasteland 2 and Divinity: OS now, with big Skill arsenals. I think I will get used to Pillars of Eternity's Skill System, but it is probably what I think is the weakest aspect right now.

Pillars of Eternity Skills (including my suggestion/idea that some* Abilities/Passives/Talents could be skills), could be this:
bgbg_04.jpg

 

* Perhaps not abundantly, but generously and reasonably (those abilities/passives that make sense).

Edited by Osvir

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Yeah me too. At first it felt limiting but it gives you way more freedom because you dont have to "rest scum" throught the game. Beeing forced to rest after almost every encounter in BG was one of the biggest QOF problems in the whole game.

I think it's very psychological. It's okay to use my per encounter abilities because I will get them right back. It's not ok for my per rest because I might need them for a harder fight.  

 

Another reason why chanters are amazing. You don't have to worry about that 

 

 

These could be added to the Skill System.

There was a big discussion a long time ago where it was decided that "skills" would be "non-combat" 

Edited by Bazy

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"Skills" are already "non-combat", and it would be your choice to spend points on it or not. Do you put points into Athletics.... or Hold the Line as a Fighter? What type of Fighter do you want to create? Athletics is an important skill in Pillars of Eternity after all, it has great significance and value.

A list like "Proficiency" in Baldur's Gate, also makes the system more comprehensive and easier to manage/administer through as a Player/Gamer. Both in Character Creation and in Level-Up.

The "Skills" Level Up & Creation screen is great! Some box scaling would be nice though, and some more skills too.
The "Abilities" Level Up screen is horrible, and some of the abilities could fit in into the Skills screen like I mentioned and explained above.

The UI Screen and Leveling Up "clicking", mechanics and presentation in the "Skills" screen is really well made. It just feels lacking and empty.

EDIT: This benefits the "Abilities" UI screen planning at level up as well. Example in attachment.

Less Abilities, bigger buttons, better focus. Spells can be "Spell Schools" and the sub-groups the spells.

post-44542-0-71504800-1408611836_thumb.jpg

Edited by Osvir

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More feedback from the battles. Sometimes I don't know wtf it happens.

I think it's very important to add different animations for different races and weapons that are being use. I mean... The game needs more feeling of diversity.

Right now everything is so flat, sometimes I can't identify my characters in battle or wtf are they doing. It doesn't feel strategy... Looks more like a mess.

On the other hand, I don't like the mechanics of chanters, looks confusing and useless out of combat. I think his skills would have to be more dynamic and adaptive. Too monotone at all ...

Edited by Kharador
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It's a bit early but I'm starting to get the hang of it. The first couple of fights was 'WTF is going on??', I found it quite overwhelming really, I couldn't see what was going on and found it confusing.

 

I've been using pause more to slow things down and move around and use abilities, but I never really feel confident that my party is powerful enough to win a combat.

 

I'm playing as a ranger, I agree with the need for a companion portrait. Also, are they supposed to have or will have any abilities? Or just attack?

 

I'm finding the wizard and priest not that useful so far, I keep looking at all the spells and don't really see anything that I want to use all the time. 

 

It also looks more boring than I thought it would be, in Knights of the Old Republic the characters had animations that looked like 2 people were actually fighting each other, not 2 people that are just swinging at air which happens to be filled with someone. Is something like that possible in this game?

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It's a bit early but I'm starting to get the hang of it. The first couple of fights was 'WTF is going on??', I found it quite overwhelming really, I couldn't see what was going on and found it confusing.

 

I've been using pause more to slow things down and move around and use abilities, but I never really feel confident that my party is powerful enough to win a combat.

 

I'm playing as a ranger, I agree with the need for a companion portrait. Also, are they supposed to have or will have any abilities? Or just attack?

 

I'm finding the wizard and priest not that useful so far, I keep looking at all the spells and don't really see anything that I want to use all the time. 

 

It also looks more boring than I thought it would be, in Knights of the Old Republic the characters had animations that looked like 2 people were actually fighting each other, not 2 people that are just swinging at air which happens to be filled with someone. Is something like that possible in this game?

 

Totally agree with this one!

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As I wrote in the game di

 

It's a bit early but I'm starting to get the hang of it. The first couple of fights was 'WTF is going on??', I found it quite overwhelming really, I couldn't see what was going on and found it confusing.

 

I've been using pause more to slow things down and move around and use abilities, but I never really feel confident that my party is powerful enough to win a combat.

 

I'm playing as a ranger, I agree with the need for a companion portrait. Also, are they supposed to have or will have any abilities? Or just attack?

 

I'm finding the wizard and priest not that useful so far, I keep looking at all the spells and don't really see anything that I want to use all the time. 

 

It also looks more boring than I thought it would be, in Knights of the Old Republic the characters had animations that looked like 2 people were actually fighting each other, not 2 people that are just swinging at air which happens to be filled with someone. Is something like that possible in this game?

 

Read the spells and after some fights you will find out that you can stomp through any encounter in the beta with a fighter + priest. Or a tank + buffer in general. The game is super easy right now. 

Edited by Mayama
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As I wrote in the game di

 

It's a bit early but I'm starting to get the hang of it. The first couple of fights was 'WTF is going on??', I found it quite overwhelming really, I couldn't see what was going on and found it confusing.

 

I've been using pause more to slow things down and move around and use abilities, but I never really feel confident that my party is powerful enough to win a combat.

 

I'm playing as a ranger, I agree with the need for a companion portrait. Also, are they supposed to have or will have any abilities? Or just attack?

 

I'm finding the wizard and priest not that useful so far, I keep looking at all the spells and don't really see anything that I want to use all the time. 

 

It also looks more boring than I thought it would be, in Knights of the Old Republic the characters had animations that looked like 2 people were actually fighting each other, not 2 people that are just swinging at air which happens to be filled with someone. Is something like that possible in this game?

 

Read the spells and after some fights you will find out that you can stomp through any encounter in the beta with a fighter + priest. Or a tank + buffer in general. The game is super easy right now. 

 

Some of the mage ones do look reasonably powerful, but they all say things like 'will incinerate anyone in it's path', with everyone mashed up together in undecipherable melees I don't want to rely on AoE attacks that hurt my guys too!

 

I'll look into them more deeply, but I kinda just want 'heal 1 party member', 'heal group of party members' and 'increase attack etc' from my priest, not a whole bunch that do super specific things that I don't know how will help. 

 

I will have more attempts to get into it but my early impressions are that I'm not quite enjoying it as perhaps I could have. I admit it might be partly to me not perhaps committing to learning how everything works, but I feel like I have to try harder as a player to work out what is going on more than what I'm used to :)

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