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Engagement Mechanics- Problems and Solutions

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What prevents them now? Movespeed and allies.

Huh? You mean in PoE? Enemy's movement speed doesn't prevent them from re-engaging you now.

And who's allies, enemies or yours?

yes in poe. If you are faster once you exit they cannot engage until you stop if they keep following. Just like in my example.

And of course I mean your allies. You disengage and move to back lines and your allies engage those that follow just like in my example based on dnd AoO.

 

both systems work same once you disengage, difference is that my suggestion lets you disengage without special class abilities in exchange for only being able to move and not attack right after which prevents ranged characters from abusing this to kite.

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I don't understand your question:

 

Engagement was a mechanic in response solely to ranged attacks being OP. 

Wouldn't it have been easier to just make a lot of enemies resistant to ranged attacks?

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"Good thing I don't heal my characters or they'd be really hurt." Is not something I should ever be thinking.

 

I use blue text when I'm being sarcastic.

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I don't understand your question:

 

Engagement was a mechanic in response solely to ranged attacks being OP. 

Wouldn't it have been easier to just make a lot of enemies resistant to ranged attacks?

 

 

Like I said, "poor hack-job answer to that." But the mechanic can be interesting in combat.


My blog is where I'm keeping a record of all of my suggestions and bug mentions.

http://hormalakh.blogspot.com/  UPDATED 9/26/2014

My DXdiag:

http://hormalakh.blogspot.com/2014/08/beta-begins-v257.html

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I don't understand your question:

 

Engagement was a mechanic in response solely to ranged attacks being OP.

No it was put in to give units (most principally the AI) an easy way of stopping people running past the front line to get to the backline characters. This is not as much of a problem for players because you can use positioning and movement combined with knowledge of what breaks AI clauses to stop this (in the IE games anyway), player characters can bumrush AI backline characters, force ranged characters to switch to melee weapons so they deal less damage, get right up in the face of the squishy Wizard etc.

 

I don't think this is a problem, and rushing to the backline is not always the ideal thing to do depending on what game you're playing/what encounter it is. Smart encounter design and AI Spellcasting/Ability use should alleviate most of these issues, tbh.

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I think the reason that kiting worked so well in IE games is mainly because the weapon speed was bugged.

You usually need to run in circles for kiting to work and since the enemy literally cuts corners they eventually do catch up. However it was made so that even if they reach you, they usually wouldn't swing immediately. And even if the did manage to perform a swing animation, if your character was already running away again it would instantly miss.

I think that if they fixed that and made it so the moment enemy reached you, they would be able to score a hit, you wouldn't be able to get away with so much.

Edited by Cubiq

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This shouldn't be as big of a problem in Pillars of Eternity because the game does not have weapon speed factors/any kind of initiative system. Characters do play attack animations automatically as soon as they are in range. That said I did not mind the IE style where there was a delay before swings, even if it made kiting possible, it had a nice feel to it.

Edited by Sensuki

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No no, I mean with the weapon attacks. PE should have a random short delay in movement, for the purposes of de-syncing the droid army walk.

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This shouldn't be as big of a problem in Pillars of Eternity because the game does not have weapon speed factors/any kind of initiative system. Characters do play attack animations automatically as soon as they are in range. That said I did not mind the IE style where there was a delay before swings, even if it made kiting possible, it had a nice feel to it.

Not to mention that adding a longer delay before you can move after attacking to projectiles could easily solve the problem.


"Good thing I don't heal my characters or they'd be really hurt." Is not something I should ever be thinking.

 

I use blue text when I'm being sarcastic.

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Kiting with bows is not an issue though, who on earth does that? You generally kite enemies around with melee characters while ranged units stand still and apply a pounding.

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Do you guys have any ideas beyond feedback to fix the engagement system? I agree that it's very flawed and wasn't really needed, but I don't want this to be a thread where we all just repeat that it was a bad idea. I can't really think of any ideas to fix it, but maybe you guys can.

 

So, what now?


"Good thing I don't heal my characters or they'd be really hurt." Is not something I should ever be thinking.

 

I use blue text when I'm being sarcastic.

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I have one, but I want to work on it first, including the pseudocode before I say anything.

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Do you guys have any ideas beyond feedback to fix the engagement system? I agree that it's very flawed and wasn't really needed, but I don't want this to be a thread where we all just repeat that it was a bad idea. I can't really think of any ideas to fix it, but maybe you guys can.

 

So, what now?

I presented my solutions. It keeps a penalty for those disengaging forcefully but also lets everyone leave if they use more careful options.

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I have one, but I want to work on it first, including the pseudocode before I say anything.

 

Although i don't think Sawyer said it personally it really does feel like kiting is the bane of his life.

Engagement mechanic + no attack recovery while movement + a lot of the enemies being faster than you

I think that if we ignore the kiting "problem" they won't even consider it.

(hopefully not)

Edited by Cubiq
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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

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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

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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
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Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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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.


"Good thing I don't heal my characters or they'd be really hurt." Is not something I should ever be thinking.

 

I use blue text when I'm being sarcastic.

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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.


Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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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

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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.


Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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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
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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

Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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