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Sensuki's Suggestions #024: Recovery Time should not pause while moving [Mod & Video]


Sensuki

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In pretty much every RTS game, units either attack instantly after each animation or they have a short cooldown between attacks. Unit movement is considered a separate action from attacking, and the attack cooldown works when units are moving.

There are some exceptions to this, most notably for units that require 'planting', which is either automatic or toggled - such as Mortar Teams and Machine Gunners in Company of Heroes, Siege Tanks in Siege Mode in Starcraft and Trebuchets in Age of Empires 2.

 

The Infinity Engine games had RTS style combat, units could move and their personal round timer ticked down all the same. In Pillars of Eternity however, the designers have chosen to pause recovery time while moving under the motive for making movement an opportunity cost in combat, which gives more of a turn-based feel and also to prevent kiting with bows, as they seem to be very effected by the strength of bows in Baldur's Gate 1 and Icewind Dale 1 (Bows have also been nerfed to crap  :no:).

 

The thing is though, moving in combat generally is already an opportunity cost itself when action cooldowns are short, you can miss an attack or two when re-positioning in combat. Paused recovery time while moving magnifies this exponentially. This creates extreme cases where a stationary target that is supposed to be 'sticky' like the Fighter is useless once an enemy has gotten past him, because he has to chase and he is not able to act for the X seconds it takes for him to reach his target once it has stopped moving, plus his full recovery time.

These things make combat feel unresponsive, and do not have a fluid feeling. It also does not feel as much like an RTS style game, but more like one of the mid-00s RPGs like Neverwinter Nights 2 or something, which did not have good combat in general.

 

I am not very surprised by this decision because isometric RTS games (and RTS games) in general are not very popular anymore and basically nobody makes them, so it is easy for people to forget what that combat style feels like.

So, I have made a mod that removes recovery time in Pillars of Eternity. It was very easy to do, considering that crossbows, arbalests and guns have to play their reload animations regardless of recovery time, although that makes me wonder whether reduced recovery time actually effects firearm animations or not ?

Here is a video I recorded of me playing the Dyrford Crossing Exterior with this mod

 

 

This is not a very good demonstration, and I was also planning to do a comparison video, but the new party AI is making it _VERY_FRUSTRATING_ to record anything because characters are not obeying my commands properly. However you should be able to see that combat feels more fluid and natural compared to how it feels in v301.

http://www.upload.ee/files/4288442/PE_FreeRecovery.rar.html

 

Instructions:

 

  • BACKUP THIS FILE: X:\Steam\steamapps\common\Pillars of Eternity - Public Beta\PillarsOfEternity_Data\Managed\Assembly-CSharp.dll
  • COPY THE CONTENTS OF "PE_FreeRecovery" into your "X:\Steam\steamapps\common\Pillars of Eternity - Public Beta\PillarsOfEternity_Data" directory
  • Click yes to Overwrite.
  • Enjoy!
  • DO NOT submit bug reports with this installed, revert to default when testing

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One of the issues the developers are concerned about is being able to kite enemies with bows. Gromnir has noted that this "fear" goes all the way back to the Black Isle boards where the BIS community hated the overpowered bows in Baldur's Gate.

So I'd like people to try and do it - kite people with bows if you can. However at the moment I don't think it will be an issue because #1: Enemies are very fast and #2: Bows (and implements) are _terrrrrrrrriiiible_ weapons in Pillars of Eternity at the moment due to the whacked weapon balance. Obviously these two things need to be improved, slower movement speed would be nice as would more balanced weapons - but at the moment you can exploit the enemy AI in so many ways other than kiting with ranged weapons, why should this be considered any differently?

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From what I can tell by your video this is actually a pretty big improvement to the game. It removes one big frustrating about combat in the game, and that is moving while keeping your recovery status paused, which makes movement during encounters very frustrating.

 

Great thinking! As things are now, PoE would benefit from removing this and then better balance ranged weapons, its damage and firing rate.

 

 

Dare I say, limit the ammo?

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

 

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Better AI, Encounter design and placement can take care of stuff like that. There's not many ranged units in the beta, so it's real easy to just kite melee opponents anyway (lure away with tank, focus fire with rest).

Edited by Sensuki
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You've got good music taste.

 

This looks like a huge improvement to me, the pace of the combat looks a lot better. It's actually starting to look good, but I still don't like per encounter abilities and a lot of the spells.

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You've got good music taste.

 

This looks like a huge improvement to me, the pace of the combat looks a lot better. It's actually starting to look good, but I still don't like per encounter abilities and a lot of the spells.

 

PM if you want some more, I listen to quite a bit of similar stuff to that  :biggrin:

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On the spells: Is it just me, or aren't most spells AoE? And when they are AoE, those areas are overly wide. Is this all in order to accommodate for the fact that we are handling an entire party in real time? So, easier to aim and apply? I do miss those large amounts of single target spells in the IE games - they were very varied and fun.

Per encounter could also be chalked up to easy-of-use reasons.

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

 

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Yeah most spells seem to be AoE in PE for some reason, although they've nerfed the AoE of spells by quite a lot since the last patch. Many of them now feel too small even with 18 INT.

Attributes as a whole now are pretty lulz due to the 10 is 0 thing, it doesn't really matter what array you use as long as you don't dump anything critical to your class. Doesn't really make any difference to your play style. It was a little bit like that in v278, but it wouldn't have been if Per and Res weren't terrible. 

To be honest I preferred the positive only system, but higher per point bonuses would be another way of improving this issue - but these things are for another thread/suggestion later :)

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---------------------

One of the issues the developers are concerned about is being able to kite enemies with bows. Gromnir has noted that this "fear" goes all the way back to the Black Isle boards where the BIS community hated the overpowered bows in Baldur's Gate.

 

 

 

This explains the ubiquity of bow wielding enemies in IWD. Obsidian didn't like players kiting in BG so every encounter in IWD has you approaching (as of course you must to continue the story) groups of shadowed goblin and snake archers with +1 arrows hiding behind their tanks and other obstacles. Such encounter design, much tactics.

 

If I have to walk into every enemy group who can sit in a stationary position until the heat death of the universe, giving them positional advantage every single time(no you can't stealth because then you can't detect traps which is another obnoxious, omnipresent enemy advantage), let me kite a motherf*****, if I so choose. That's not degenerative, it's actually more balanced.

 

I'm legit starting to worry about PoEs combat based on what they tried to do with IWD and things that self evidently should be in PoE (targeting reticles etc) but are not.

Aside from how they decided to address bow superiority in IWD there are a lot of other things that smack of design philosophies similar to those being used for PoE and the reason something like movement pausing recovery are in.

 

Design approaches that result in thinking that because people abuse resting in BG let's spawn a group of six orc archers right behind the party where the mage is standing so even though she has shield, blur and mage armour she's dead as disco as soon as you unpause. Cool now track back and pay 1400! coin to revive. Why? because I wanted to rest once and that would be unbalanced? it doesn't even solve any perceived problem unless you're going to enforce a single rolling save that gets deleted on party death because I'll just re-load and hope the RNG doesn't screw me again.

 

Spellcasters start to become overpowered mid to late game? OK fine I agree with that and enemies should definitely get mages with good spells because those fights own. What doesn't own though is some half invisible guy who can cast  3 fireballs before I've even seen the bastard and has subsequently wiped half my party because every time I try to get my vita mortis carrion on he drops another fireball on my priest and my goddamned dwarf tank is stuck on geometry again because thanks to IE pathfinding he couldn't find his own arse if it had a bell on it.

 

Traps not very scary in BG? Lets make the suckers poison and confuse the hapless sod who triggers it because you literally just took the thief off trap scouting duties because my god that is tedious and now the fighter is shooting arrows into the druids face and interrupting her every time she tries to cure the poison that's killing him where he stands. I mean I was laughing but c'mon.

 

Anyway my point is this: I think the reason that  movement pausing recovery is in PoE is that on paper, divorced from the reality of playing a RTwP game with pathing so bad that characters cant take two steps to the left without making a Broadway show out of it, It looks like a cool and good thing that challenges degeneracy. But It's not and players should be able to kite because who cares if they want a massive slice of Gorgonzola with their Pillars? does somebody at Obsidian HQ shed a single tear every time I stand offscreen and drop enough Cloudkills to kill God on Sarevoks unmoving, idiot head? Why does it matter in a single player RPG?

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Pretty much yeah - I see the idea on paper but as a person who has played a fair bit of RTS games (Warcraft 2 was the one I played the most as a kid), it's a kick in the nads and feels awful and also is detrimental to the feel of combat in the game.

 

I've brought it up to the developers before, and haven't really got a response about it other than "we might look into recovery time in the future", so I thought I'd advance the issue.

 

I also agree with a lot of your points :)

 

I do want more challenging and more interesting gameplay and although I did not struggle against archers in the IE games, I think you're right in many cases.

Edited by Sensuki
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Another video that shows me how hard it is too see creatures on the map, especially enemies.

Also they really need to implement current action of party members to be shown on portrait like in BGEE. It is hard to play this kind of a game without such a feature anymore.

Edited by archangel979
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Design approaches that result in thinking that because people abuse resting in BG let's spawn a group of six orc archers right behind the party where the mage is standing so even though she has shield, blur and mage armour she's dead as disco as soon as you unpause. Cool now track back and pay 1400! coin to revive. Why? because I wanted to rest once and that would be unbalanced? it doesn't even solve any perceived problem unless you're going to enforce a single rolling save that gets deleted on party death because I'll just re-load and hope the RNG doesn't screw me again.

 

Spellcasters start to become overpowered mid to late game? OK fine I agree with that and enemies should definitely get mages with good spells because those fights own. What doesn't own though is some half invisible guy who can cast  3 fireballs before I've even seen the bastard and has subsequently wiped half my party because every time I try to get my vita mortis carrion on he drops another fireball on my priest and my goddamned dwarf tank is stuck on geometry again because thanks to IE pathfinding he couldn't find his own arse if it had a bell on it.

 

Traps not very scary in BG? Lets make the suckers poison and confuse the hapless sod who triggers it because you literally just took the thief off trap scouting duties because my god that is tedious and now the fighter is shooting arrows into the druids face and interrupting her every time she tries to cure the poison that's killing him where he stands. I mean I was laughing but c'mon.

 

 

That's one hell of an anti-Icewind Dale rant, but I have no idea what it has to do with Pillars of Eternity. Followed by a...plea for kiting? Really? O_o

 

(and once again, Sensuki can't restrain himself from liking your post - yeah, that's not gonna help you get your ideas across bro)

Edited by Infinitron
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How about a reduced recovery time while moving?

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Arbalests and guns are interrupted and if you stop them they start from the beginning. Not sure if that's intended but that's how it works currently. Crossbows also have a reload animation that is required to play before shooting.

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Enemy AI is very simple, simpler than the IE games at the moment due to being unfinished. Pathfinding is also not very good at the moment either.

 

They do make use of it, particularly if they land an attack on you and you run away, they'll chase and be able to hit you instantly when you stop.

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