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Engagement Mechanics- Problems and Solutions

Engagement

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#41
Sensuki

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It does feel that way doesn't it.

#42
archangel979

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Another solution would be to copy how D&D 4e did it with some classes being able to mark enemies. Then those enemies could choose to ignore that mark but would suffer serious penalties when doing so like attack penalty or damage over time. Movement would still be free and a choice of players (and AI) to deal with the one doing marking or move around because of needing to do other stuff.


Edited by archangel979, 22 October 2014 - 11:48 AM.


#43
Cubiq

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Well obviously i still prefer the one i proposed in the other thread i made. :p

The mobile sticky mechanic. Everyone is still glued together and still requires escape abilities to run away, except you can move around the battlefield a bit. (Well at least 1 class can)

 

I'm not too keen on just lowering the damage of disengagement attacks, because the damage still adds up if you keep moving. So how do you balance the overall damage? The developers would then have to balance it around their prediction on how many times are you going to move during combat?

So if they do that, what happens when you manage to position nicely so that you won't have to move at all? The battle will be cakewalk because you will barely be taking damage?


Edited by Cubiq, 22 October 2014 - 12:24 PM.


#44
Lephys

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All this about making up for ranged attacks, etc....

The way I see it, it's quite simple: The purpose of engagement is to make sure that things can't just "Ha-HAH!" at your front line of fighters and slip past to murder your Mages and archers. I think that's valid, since, if the game just makes it a game of chance whether or not your "Front" line ever gets to actually be in the front, then that's no fun for anyone. When you put your mage 73-feet behind everyone else, what more can you possibly do to keep him safe? Running straight past another person standing there with a sword and shield, trained to fight, and ready to murder you, SHOULD be a significant choice. Not just a dice roll of "Oh no, might I get a little hit, maybe?"

So, what is the purpose of engagement? To represent the fact that melee combatants can't simply be shirked (doesn't mean they can't be shirked. Just not simply). What that means is, however it's achieved, being engaged by a foe in melee combat should not be easily ignored, and it should be quite difficult to simply charge the rear line of your enemy purely with simple movement commands.

That's exactly why I've said I think AoO's should be guaranteed crits. That's just one example of the idea, not the only way to do it. But, if you could move freely past melee combatants, then you should take a free hit for doing so. That's not counting stopping to daze them or knock them down, etc. Limited-use tactical options are going to be present, no matter what. Otherwise, you could just make a party of 4 Fighters and 2 Mages, and no one would ever, ever get to your Mages. Which would be silly.

As for the "why the sticky mechanic?!" question, the sticky mechanic is a method of managing the actual act of ignoring that melee combatant or not. You're "stuck" to that person, unless you wish to say "ahh, screw this" and just turn your back on them without trying to defend yourself or anything. So, the thing that seems to make the most sense is a guaranteed hit if you voluntarily disengage via non-evasive means. The more other effects you involve with engagement, the less important the AoO disengagement attack is. Hence my example of slowed movement speed while engaged. If you move extra slow while engaged, then it's not as bad if you still can dodge the AoO, because, at the very least, you're slowed significantly when trying to simply jog past a Fighter to beat a Mage or archer to a pulp.

What we need to do is start with the goal, there, and work our way up. What factors can we play with (move speed, AoO damage, etc.), and how can we best make melee combatants scary yet not inescapable fortresses?

If parts of the current system are useful, then so be it. If not, then we could always come up with something entirely different. But, I really don't understand how the significance of melee combatants actively engaging you (hence the name of the mechanic) whilst you passively just jog past them is puzzling to anyone, and would spark "Hmmm? Why on earth would that even make any sense to try to implement in any way, shape or fashion?".

Edited by Lephys, 22 October 2014 - 04:13 PM.

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#45
Namutree

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All this about making up for ranged attacks, etc....

The way I see it, it's quite simple: The purpose of engagement is to make sure that things can't just "Ha-HAH!" at your front line of fighters and slip past to murder your Mages and archers. I think that's valid, since, if the game just makes it a game of chance whether or not your "Front" line ever gets to actually be in the front, then that's no fun for anyone. When you put your mage 73-feet behind everyone else, what more can you possibly do to keep him safe? Running straight past another person standing there with a sword and shield, trained to fight, and ready to murder you, SHOULD be a significant choice. Not just a dice roll of "Oh no, might I get a little hit, maybe?"

So, what is the purpose of engagement? To represent the fact that melee combatants can't simply be shirked (doesn't mean they can't be shirked. Just not simply). What that means is, however it's achieved, being engaged by a foe in melee combat should not be easily ignored, and it should be quite difficult to simply charge the rear line of your enemy purely with simple movement commands.

That's exactly why I've said I think AoO's should be guaranteed crits. That's just one example of the idea, not the only way to do it. But, if you could move freely past melee combatants, then you should take a free hit for doing so. That's not counting stopping to daze them or knock them down, etc. Limited-use tactical options are going to be present, no matter what. Otherwise, you could just make a party of 4 Fighters and 2 Mages, and no one would ever, ever get to your Mages. Which would be silly.

As for the "why the sticky mechanic?!" question, the sticky mechanic is a method of managing the actual act of ignoring that melee combatant or not. You're "stuck" to that person, unless you wish to say "ahh, screw this" and just turn your back on them without trying to defend yourself or anything. So, the thing that seems to make the most sense is a guaranteed hit if you voluntarily disengage via non-evasive means. The more other effects you involve with engagement, the less important the AoO disengagement attack is. Hence my example of slowed movement speed while engaged. If you move extra slow while engaged, then it's not as bad if you still can dodge the AoO, because, at the very least, you're slowed significantly when trying to simply jog past a Fighter to beat a Mage or archer to a pulp.

What we need to do is start with the goal, there, and work our way up. What factors can we play with (move speed, AoO damage, etc.), and how can we best make melee combatants scary yet not inescapable fortresses?

If parts of the current system are useful, then so be it. If not, then we could always come up with something entirely different. But, I really don't understand how the significance of melee combatants actively engaging you (hence the name of the mechanic) whilst you passively just jog past them is puzzling to anyone, and would spark "Hmmm? Why on earth would that even make any sense to try to implement in any way, shape or fashion?".

No one is confused on what the engagement mechanic is trying to convey, but there is confusion as to what the designers were going for from a game play point of view.



#46
Lephys

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Where they were going and whether or not they got there are two different things. What the mechanic is "trying" to convey is where they were going, so to speak.

So, forgive me, but when multiple people say "I don't even understand why engagement is even a thing, or how it was even thought up in the first place, or why," an scratch their heads at all the discussion about how to get the current mechanic to its actual goal, I can't help but figure people are failing to see the very reason it's even an idea in the first place.

#47
Sensuki

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I believe I was one of the people who made that very statement and you can clearly surmise in my post(s) that I think Engagement was created to solve a non-existent problem. I have also in the same post(s) corrected other people as to the true reason as to why the devs included it. 

 

Your coming in and repeating what I said in a less concise manner doesn't really add anything to the discussion IMO. Btw, are you in the beta ? Because you seem to argue an awful lot with people about beta topics, but I haven't actually seen you say that you've played the game.

 

Most of us are arguing about Engagement in it's ideal form, but the truth is it isn't even close to it's ideal form. It has many, many bugs and isn't even close to working properly yet. I think that even in it's ideal form, it will not attribute anything fun to the gameplay.


Edited by Sensuki, 22 October 2014 - 10:24 PM.


#48
Lephys

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Yes, I can surmise that, and I think you're way too focused on something being specifically a "problem" or not when deciding whether or not there's a reason to implement something or try a new design.

Even then, I don't see how, in the context of PoE's combat design goals, everyone simply whiffing past your frontliners to murder the crap out of your "squishies" with absolute ease isn't something you'd want to exist.

Yes, I'm in the beta. No, I'm not as experienced with the actual beta as others. I've stated both those things, many times. Which is why I don't go around citing very specific things from the current beta build, and telling everyone how things are. I have no intention of misrepresenting my knowledge of the beta, nor of arguing about things I don't know about.

And who cares if it's not close to its ideal form or not? The closer an execution is to its ideal design, the less significant analysis and discussion of that actually is. If it's nowhere near its ideal design, then it obviously needs a lot of emphasis.

That's all everything is: design and execution. We can't affect execution, because we aren't the dev team, so the only thing we can truly affect is the design. If there's no solid design, then no amount of flawless execution is going to result in anything even close to ideal. Also, I dare say that a mechanic's "ideal" form IS the form that will result in fun. Now, if it turns out that that mechanic can in no way do that (or, the necessary design cannot be executed), then you scrap it and go without. But I don't understand being defeatist about something just because it currently isn't perfect, and you don't think the current design, even with perfect execution, isn't the best. I'm pretty sure discussion was invented for this very scenario. "Hey, I think we could improve that design. Let's find out if that's true."

I sincerely apologize if I'm not a master of concision, but I don't understand why I'm met with so much apparent resentment. I don't claim to be awesome, or better than anyone. I just have a brain, and I use it to the best of my ability in order to contribute to constructive analysis towards honing this game into the best thing it can be. If the best of my ability sucks, then so be it. But it's not like I'm here to tell people I'm better than they are, or am in any way assuming I know more than everyone else. I'm just here to discuss. Even if I'm bad at it, that doesn't mean I must have some other motive. It's not like only masters of discussion are interested in discussion.

#49
Hiro Protagonist II

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Yes, I'm in the beta. No, I'm not as experienced with the actual beta as others. I've stated both those things, many times. Which is why I don't go around citing very specific things from the current beta build, and telling everyone how things are. I have no intention of misrepresenting my knowledge of the beta, nor of arguing about things I don't know about.

I use it to the best of my ability in order to contribute to constructive analysis towards honing this game into the best thing it can be.

 

I don't understand what you mean by 'experienced with the actual beta as others'. Playing the beta for a few hours would highlight some glaring problems with the gameplay. Playing it for any length of time when there's a new update, say 10-20 hours total which I don't see as particularly long would highlight those problems even more. You don't even need to play 10 or 20 hours. You made a comment not long ago thinking you can transition anywhere along the side of a map which even at a cursory glance playing the beta would tell you this is not the case and never has been when the beta went live.

 

To be honest, I've never seen you make any comments about actual gameplay, give specific examples from the beta or even report a bug, even though you've asked many times to the dev's in other threads with how to report or give feedback on bugs. And now you make a comment with not giving any specific feedback from the beta. lol wut? What I've bolded and underlined is a big WTF for me. Seriously, you're not going to cite any specific feedback on actual gameplay? LOL.


Edited by Hiro Protagonist II, 23 October 2014 - 02:32 PM.

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#50
Lephys

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I don't understand what you mean by 'experienced with the actual beta as others'.


I mean that I literally have a lesser quantity of empirical experience playing the beta build than many others here. Apologies, as I didn't realize that was unclear.

If it'll make you feel any better, Hiro, the next time I want to talk about something that someone else has already pointed out that happens in a specific situation in the beta build, I'll go test that situation myself, before saying "that shouldn't happen."

Edited by Lephys, 23 October 2014 - 02:59 PM.


#51
Hiro Protagonist II

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I mean that I literally have a lesser quantity of empirical experience playing the beta build than many others here. Apologies, as I didn't realize that was unclear.

If it'll make you feel any better, Hiro, the next time I want to talk about something that someone else has already pointed out that happens in a specific situation in the beta build, I'll go test that situation myself, before saying "that shouldn't happen."

 

Again, what's with this 'lesser quantity of empirical experience' business? If you experience problems, anomalies or just things that can be improved by citing actual gameplay, then the argument with 'lesser experience' doesn't stand. And citing specific gameplay is a good thing for the dev's. Otherwise a lot of your posts are just noise. You can play the beta for 10 minutes and notice things that are different to the IE games and not for the better.

 

The fact that you refuse to cite any specific actual gameplay is what's laughable. That's one thing the dev's want and it's something you refuse to do. As I said, it's a big WTF for me. It's not a case of beta testers not giving feedback, it's more that you categorically refuse to cite any specific actual gameplay at all and haven't done so since the beta went live and you now have confirmed you won't.


Edited by Hiro Protagonist II, 23 October 2014 - 03:41 PM.

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#52
Lephys

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I do cite actual gameplay, where applicable. But, citing design that gameplay doesn't match is a different thing, entirely. I can't cite gameplay when I say "here's what should happen," or there wouldn't even be anything to suggest in the first place, because I'd just be citing what's already happening, and that would be already meeting design goals/ideals.

My entire existence is a big WTF for you, for some reason. What else is new?

#53
Tsuga C

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My entire existence is a big WTF for you, for some reason. What else is new?


It's good to have a dedicated following.
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#54
Hiro Protagonist II

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I do cite actual gameplay, where applicable. But, citing design that gameplay doesn't match is a different thing, entirely. I can't cite gameplay when I say "here's what should happen," or there wouldn't even be anything to suggest in the first place, because I'd just be citing what's already happening, and that would be already meeting design goals/ideals.

My entire existence is a big WTF for you, for some reason. What else is new?

 

Never seen you cite actual gameplay from the beta. It's usually been conjecture, hypothesising and a lot of 7 paragraph posts taking a counterpoint to anything negative with the game from certain posters. Even other people have asked whether you've played the beta because a lot of what you say is conjecture.

 

Never said your entire existence is a big WTF for me. But nice try to make it out that it was. I said being a beta participant and categorically refusing to cite any specific actual gameplay and not telling anyone about it including the dev's which this beta is for is a big WTF for me. Even refusing to cite specific examples with the bug forum. Citing specific gameplay examples on this forum is a good thing for the dev's. It's a way to improve the game. Not the usual conjecture you go on about.


Edited by Hiro Protagonist II, 23 October 2014 - 04:17 PM.

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#55
Sensuki

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Pretty much, he seems to talk about things from their theoretical perspective an awful lot, rather than their actual application in the gameplay. 

 


I think you're way too focused on something being specifically a "problem" or not when deciding whether or not there's a reason to implement something or try a new design.

 

And that is because the developers cited that Melee Engagement was added to solve a "problem", refer yourself to Kickstarter Update 44: Melee Engagement. It was not added just to "try a new mechanic".

 

If the backers did not complain about Aggro mechanics in MMOs, then I think we would have one of those systems instead. I'm glad we don't though.


Edited by Sensuki, 23 October 2014 - 09:23 PM.

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#56
Seari

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I'm probably one of the few people that actually didn't mind AoO in NwN2, after I turned off the party AI that is. It's the beyond horrible AI and pathfinding that made them annoying as they were.

 

As I understand engagement has the same function as AoO - characters can't run away from attacking melee pursuers indefinitely and without any downside, and that attacking characters can't run past your "wall of defense". The second problem I definitely do see in BG2, playing with the SCS mod, and I could see why they would try to fix it.


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#57
4ward

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i’d rather have enemies with stun/confusion/paralyze/level drain (mind flayers, vampires, beholder, vampiric shadows, or even your regular group of hobgoblins) where constant moving, repositioning is necessary and tactic like kiting is valid than a mechanic.


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#58
Doppelschwert

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I still think this discussion is somehow meaningless, given that the mechanic is not properly implemented. Yeah it sucks, but it's also not working and mostly everything in the game is not balanced. 

As for the gameplay, I think it boils down to whether you think its more fun to have micromanagement or if you think it's fun to have a bigger emphasis on how you initiate a fight.

I also think that the potential AI will overall act worse if the mechanic is removed and that this will be critized by many people that are for removing the mechanic at the moment (this game is too easy because enemies can be too easily kited, stupid AI, etc).

 

My suggestion would be to have the mechanic as it is, but with less accuracy bonus on the disengagement attacks and with the ability to get away (no reengagement) if the disengagement attack graces or misses. Then there should be some optional talents that basically allow you to play like the mechanic is not in the game by increasing the defenses for disengagement attacks. This way, people can have both with minor accomodation, and it's closer to the vision the devs had for the game. This is similiar to the way attacks of opportunity where handled in the NWN games, which really was not a problem if you slightly went out of your way to get some feats or ranks in tumble if they bothered you too much.



#59
Lephys

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And that is because the developers cited that Melee Engagement was added to solve a "problem", refer yourself to Kickstarter Update 44: Melee Engagement. It was not added just to "try a new mechanic".


That they did, but it's only a contextual/relevance problem. It's not a problem like "I need to get this desk home, but it won't fit in my car," or a memory leak. I mean, the very essence of this Kickstarter campaign was to fix the "problem" of there not being any good isometric RPGs made for a while.

In other words, they're "fixing" something that would otherwise conflict with their design goals. I don't think it's so much that it was just flat-out a game-stopping issue in the IE games, as much as it's "with all the stuff we're doing with this game, carrying that aspect straight over would be a bit of a problem."

Anywho, that's just what I gather from it. You're absolutely right that the game isn't broken if there's no sticky engagement. But, in the context of the rest of the combat system, it's a bit detrimental if a melee-er's role is simply "chase that guy down and try to kill him before he gets your Mage."

At the very least, melee engagement is something that goes highly unrepresented in games like this. Like I said, at the very least, even if it doesn't slow you down any, some form of "if you choose to completely ignore me and run right past my sword arm, prepare to have your knees clotheslined by a blade" should probably be represented, if only because of the scope of representation throughout the rest of combat, and because it makes melee-er roles more interesting than "I sure hope you don't constantly flee from me and attack someone else."

*shrug*. Maybe I'm crazy.

#60
Namutree

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I am reviving this thread! Now that's it's pretty clear that engagement isn't going away I think this thread will more helpful than before!

 

Remember: This thread is not to discuss the merits of whether there should or should not be engagement in poe. It is meant to identify problems with engagement, and how they can be solved.

 

Right now my biggest concern regarding engagement is the way it can be abused for uber kiting as seen in Senuki's videos. In the unlikely event that Obsidian is not aware of this issue I wish to bring it up one more time.


Edited by Namutree, 27 November 2014 - 07:00 PM.

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