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The case against Interrupt.

Interrupt Combat Perception PER Concentration Resolve RES

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#1
Matt516

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Ok... here's the thing.... I really, really do not like the interrupt mechanic as currently implemented. Not as something that can happen from any attack. Interrupting spells in the process of casting - fine. Interrupting attacks, but using a spell or ability - fine. But this whole "any attack can interrupt any action" mechanic? Nuh-uh. Nope. Bad mechanic.

 

And here's why, from a game design standpoint. Interrupt, as currently implemented adds RNG to battle, but in a really unpredictable way that is hard to anticipate. Good, rewarding mechanics are all about giving the player various tools to make intelligent decisions with. Making an intelligent decision about interrupt is extremely, extremely difficult. As I've gone into more detail about here: (http://forums.obsidi...njoy/?p=1493755), actually figuring out how interrupt affects your effectiveness in combat is highly nontrivial. Interrupt (and by extension the current version of RES/PER) is extremely difficult for a player to place a value on, which means that any build choices regarding interrupt aren't because the player knows what they're trading off, but more based on a qualitative "feel" for which they like better.

 

And don't get me wrong - I'm not knocking qualitative feels. Despite what my math-focused posts may lead you to believe, I am not a powergamer or a min/maxer. I like doing the math and knowing what my choices are, but I rarely derive any enjoyment from simply choosing the most optimal thing. I like to RP in CRPGs, and my choices about stats and abilities and weapons and armor are often affected by that. So don't misinterpret me here - I'm a fan of qualitative choices. And many players are.

 

But that's no excuse for bad design. Even if a player wants to make a choice based on what they qualitatively prefer or find more fun, that doesn't mean they shouldn't also have the tools to know what the implications of their decisions are. So to summarize - I think interrupt (as currently implemented with anything able to interrupt anything) is a bad mechanic. I think the game would be better without it. What do you think?

 

And to round off my argument with the final nail in my web of logic and reasoning... Boo interrupt.  :p

 

PS - Remember that it's still early enough to potentially make large changes to the mechanics. And while I don't think interrupt ruins the game or anything, I think it would be undeniably better without it (at least without the current implementation.) If people agree with me, maybe OE will see it and think about improving it. If not, then OE doesn't need to change anything because the majority of their testers don't care.

 

 

 

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#2
CatatonicMan

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Is it a bad mechanic because it's hard to understand, or is it a bad mechanic because it induces bad gameplay?

 

The first just requires a better explanation on how it works in practice.



#3
Matt516

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Is it a bad mechanic because it's hard to understand, or is it a bad mechanic because it induces bad gameplay?

 

The first just requires a better explanation on how it works in practice.

 

It's a bad mechanic because it's hard to understand how valuable it is overall in combat to increase the two interrupt stats. It's not really difficult to understand how it happens on any given attack (though we still don't actually know the specifics) - but it is difficult to understand the long-term/average effect of it. Which means that it's difficult to make intelligent decisions about it and to weigh tradeoffs from a strategic standpoint. Which is also bad gameplay (making uninformed decisions).


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#4
Valorian

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Interrupt/concentration is a nifty mechanic that deviates from standard +damage/to hit/duration attribute effects. A breath of fresh air.



#5
Fluffle

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If only I succeeded in making attack-interrupts work -.-

 

I know PrimeJunta has and he says it does make a difference.

 

Before I can evaluate the interrupt mechanism I need more explanation and especially

feedback in the combat log when exactly interrupts and concentration rolls take place and when they work or fail.

 

Other than that in theory I would like the idea of a ranger specialised in interrupt -

a so called "interrupter"


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#6
Sensuki

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This system would be better if it was automatic, rather than being based on attributes.

The lead designer was struggling to find combat stats for six attributes after he took out defenses from the mix.
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#7
Shevek

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The interrupt thing seems cool to me because you can make a dude that isn't all about damage. It also gives speedy weapons added value even against dudes with high DT. I can see a ranger with a speedy short bow being very valuable - so much so, that I might opt for that instead of a might heavy ranger with a gun. This opens up more viable builds and thats a good thing.


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#8
Matt516

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Good to see counterarguments... I still think interrupt has a long way to go before it's a genuinely beneficial mechanic to the combat, but y'all certainly have some good points.


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#9
Caladian

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I have generally had that stat really high, I've seen it in practice many times, mainly because I always focus fire, so given that all of the people attacking and with my main char with the stat high, opposing casting time based abilities have always failed as long as I am focus firing them.  I like the mechanic and it seems to work very well, and reliably for me.



#10
Sensuki

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one interrupt only pauses the enemy for a short time, I think it's less than 500ms

#11
Mayama

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Text from OP

Sorry to interrupt you but I interrupted my breakfast so I can interrupt you and say you might be right. (couldnt resist)


Edited by Mayama, 25 August 2014 - 08:54 PM.

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#12
Matt516

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People are making good points - though I'm noticing most people saying "I've seen it work pretty well for me."

 

My complaint isn't so much that interrupt does nothing - I know it does work, and can be quite helpful. The problem is that evaluating exactly how much it helps you relative to MIG and Accuracy is really difficult to do. :/


Edited by Matt516, 25 August 2014 - 08:58 PM.

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#13
Fluffle

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one interrupt only pauses the enemy for a short time, I think it's less than 500ms

 

I vote for an increase then :o



#14
PrimeJunta

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I'm still reserving judgment on this one. It does make a difference even in melee, mostly if you're at the receiving end (slow weapons, heavy armor), but also if you're doing the interrupting (fast weapons, light armor). It is not a very efficient way of hampering melee opponents though, AFAICT, and will only really make a difference when dealing with casters (slow action, big impact). As it is IMO RES is much more useful than PER, because even low-PER characters can interrupt strategically with special abilities (Thrust of the Tattered Veils... that sounds pretty Freudian by the way. Haven't used it though, so don't know if the casting time is fast enough). 

 

Put another way, a frontline caster needs high RES or he won't be able to cast, ergo, Interrupt matters.

 

IMO the main problem with the mechanic right now is the virtually nonexistent feedback. If there was an associated bark and e.g. the portrait/selection circle flashed yellow when you got interrupted or interrupted someone, it'd be much easier to get a sense of what it really means.

 

It might  be better to remove Interrupt from regular combat and make it affect spellcasting only, and then add special abilities/spells you can use tactically (low-damage, high-Interrupt per-encounter attacks). It'd be even more important to put something genuinely valuable on PER then though. However I'd prefer they added good feedback first, to get a better idea of what it really means.

 

Not sure if increasing the interrupt time would be a good idea; doubling it to a second would make melee more like wrestling where everybody's stunlocked a lot of the time. I think.


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#15
Fluffle

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I'm still reserving judgment on this one. It does make a difference even in melee, mostly if you're at the receiving end (slow weapons, heavy armor), but also if you're doing the interrupting (fast weapons, light armor). It is not a very efficient way of hampering melee opponents though, AFAICT, and will only really make a difference when dealing with casters (slow action, big impact). As it is IMO RES is much more useful than PER, because even low-PER characters can interrupt strategically with special abilities (Thrust of the Tattered Veils... that sounds pretty Freudian by the way. Haven't used it though, so don't know if the casting time is fast enough). 

 

Put another way, a frontline caster needs high RES or he won't be able to cast, ergo, Interrupt matters.

 

IMO the main problem with the mechanic right now is the virtually nonexistent feedback. If there was an associated bark and e.g. the portrait/selection circle flashed yellow when you got interrupted or interrupted someone, it'd be much easier to get a sense of what it really means.

 

It might  be better to remove Interrupt from regular combat and make it affect spellcasting only, and then add special abilities/spells you can use tactically (low-damage, high-Interrupt per-encounter attacks). It'd be even more important to put something genuinely valuable on PER then though. However I'd prefer they added good feedback first, to get a better idea of what it really means.

 

Not sure if increasing the interrupt time would be a good idea; doubling it to a second would make melee more like wrestling where everybody's stunlocked a lot of the time. I think.

 

I only vote for a small amount of increase then ^^

You're right, doubling would be too much, I agree.

 

Uhm could you elaborate on how weapons and armor effect the interrupt/concentration mechanism?



#16
Matt516

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Increasing the interrupt length at all would be silly. The point isn't to stun, there are stun effects for that. The point is to interrupt. :p

 

To elaborate - interrupt exists to allow you to, well, interrupt actions that are in progress. It isn't for stunlocking, and you wouldn't want it to be. Once you've stopped an action in progress, you've accomplished the point of the interrupt. It's more like a stutter than a stun, screwing up the enemy's flow and forcing them to start their action over. But if there was any significant duration attached, the dynamic would be changed completely. It would be incredibly OP.


Edited by Matt516, 25 August 2014 - 09:39 PM.

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#17
Sensuki

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IMO remove it from attributes or just make it a minor thing as a secondary effect of an attribute rather than the sole combat stat assigned to an attribute.
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#18
PrimeJunta

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Uhm could you elaborate on how weapons and armor effect the interrupt/concentration mechanism?

 

They slow down your attacks. Heavy armor doubles the attack time, and heavy weapons are much slower than light ones.

 

So if you've got a fast guy fighting a slow guy, and the fast guy hits at half-second intervals while the slow guy hits at two-second intervals, the fast guy will get four opportunities to interrupt the slow guy for every opportunity the slow guy has to interrupt the fast guy. If even one of those interrupts goes through, the slow guy has to start his attack again. If the fast guy has high PER and the slow guy low RES, he's effectively stunlocked.

 

The converse is not true. If both have the same Concentration, but the slow guy's Interrupt is twice as good as the fast guy's, the fast guy still has the advantage: twice as many of his Interrupts will fail, but he's still interrupting twice as often because he attacks four times faster.

 

This is why interrupts are most effective against casters--a cast is effectively an attack that takes six seconds to make. Lots of opportunities to interrupt that.


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#19
IndiraLightfoot

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How about this? Sensuki had a good point when he said it ought to be automatic. Imagine, if all this stuff just happened, and no individual action bars were ticking in the open either. All that would be hidden in the engine. Instead, what we get to see is just our fellows in our party + your enemies during combat taking turns to hit. It would all feel a bit like initiative in PnP D&D, which I think in this case would be more intuitive. In short, let a hidden system calculate who gets to attack first all the way down to the last attacker, and then repeat - almost like hidden rounds without time-set turns. :)



#20
Mayama

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IMO remove it from attributes or just make it a minor thing as a secondary effect of an attribute rather than the sole combat stat assigned to an attribute.

I agree because its such a hard stat to balance. It needs to be strong because its the only stat on that attribute. That leads to the problem that a very very high interrupt skill could let you cheese through the game permalocking enemies.


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Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Interrupt, Combat, Perception, PER, Concentration, Resolve, RES

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