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Engagement Mechanics- Problems and Solutions

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I see abuse if you use your tank to attract enemies and they will never attack mage

Since when am I promoting this?

 

Look up my post history, you'll see me frequently requesting and advocating for better AI targeting and robust target re-acquisition. Melee Engagement removes the need for a lot of it, which is one of the (many) reasons why I want it removed.

 

OK so finally we are getting somewhere where we can state precisely on what we are not agreeing.

 

I think that melee engagement doesnt remove it, just add another tactical level to consider doing it instead of just doing it without consequences


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The point of all of this shouldn't be that they will get there someday at some point with enough AI fiddling or UI doodles, it should be that its the most ineffective and inefficient way of doing this!

 

Look: developer time, money, and resources are limited. There are a billion other things to do. Instead of farting around with a gimmicky mechanic that doesn't add anything interesting to the tactical aspect of combat, they need to look at other solutions NOW (look at DOTA2's turn rate as a solution to kiting, Age of Empires 2, Warcraft3, StarCraft for how to balance between ranged and melee units - these are REAL-TIME games dealing with a REAL-TIME problem for decades now. Consider using CC abilities to stun or lock players down and get enemy AI to utilize these abilities. Give melee units enough of these abilities. Give some creatures innate stunning/stickiness abilities) and find a simpler more elegant way of solving those same problems.

 

Going back and forth between QA and programming and combat design is NOT the way to do this efficiently.

 

Ultimately their solution to the problem is that "if you get 'tagged' by a melee opponent, you gotta stick in your spot or use one of a few (broken and bugged and generally not very effective) abilities to get 'untagged'." Start messing with the engagement mechanic too much and it all falls down in shambles. This is NOT tactical or interesting. It's just a game of tag.  

 

Here are a list of solutions I've found doing a quick rudimentary search of the Real-time games that I knew that had to "balance" their combatants to make the game tactically interesting.

 

 

 

 In Age of Empires II, projectiles could be avoided by moving units out of range before the projectile landed. This is before the "ballistics" upgrade which makes projectiles ore accurate. Thus, a character (or an enemy) can consider that it is being attacked by a ranged unit and try its best to avoid projectiles while getting within melee range. Ballistics (pistols, heavy crossbows arbalests) would not be as "in-accurate" but would have longer recovery times as they did in AoE2.

Some games utilize a bonus to hit when a melee character is faced against a ranged character (allowing a melee character to easily hit a ranged character when they catch up to them). So for example, if a ranged archer is caught by a melee fighter, the archer could get -10 to Defense, the melee character would get +10 to accuracy.

DoTA2 has what is called "turn rate", which is is the speed at which a unit can turn, measured in radians/sec and normalized between a decimal from 0 - 1. Every unit has a base turn rate, which can be lowered by some abilities. The vast majority of heroes have a turn rate between 0.4 and 0.6. Ranged heroes generally have a lower turn rate to minimize kiting (but not to completely counter it). In this way, melee characters have a chance to catch up to ranged characters and land a few attacks. http://dota2.gamepedia.com/Turn_rate

Furthermore, in DoTA2 ranged heroes have lower base damage, health, gain less experience for killing mook creatures (creep), have some items give better bonuses to melee heroes, and have longer animation times before an attack is completed (dealing damage) as compared to melee heroes.

League of Legends was not mentioned because they re currently going through an overhaul of how to fix their melee/ranged heroes and have not found a great solution to their problem. As such, more players play ranged heroes than melee ones. I was not able to find enough information to give this a fair explanation.

In Starcraft, melee heroes generally have more health than ranged ones (25-30%). Slower units hit harder than fast ones.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TacticalRockPaperScissors

http://forums.amplitude-studios.com/showthread.php?41026-Best-Way-to-Balance-Ranged-and-Melee-Units/page2

 

 

Edited by Hormalakh
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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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And before someone says "just make the disengagement hits not hit as hard," that really takes the whole effectiveness of the mechanic away, doesn't it? It doesn't incentivize players from sticking around and is just a step closer to getting rid of the whole thing. It also doesn't address the unintuitiveness of the system. As the saying goes, "All I needed to know about engagement mechanics, I learned when Jesse Cox fumbled around as Josh Sawyer told him time and again that he couldn't move because he was engaged. ('What? Engaged? No I'll just move away.')"

 

Just use effective methods that have been proven time and again, to make the game tactically interesting, intuitive to use, and effective in a real-time setting, without blowing the budget.

Edited by Hormalakh
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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 see abuse if you use your tank to attract enemies and they will never attack mage

Since when am I promoting this?

 

Look up my post history, you'll see me frequently requesting and advocating for better AI targeting and robust target re-acquisition. Melee Engagement removes the need for a lot of it, which is one of the (many) reasons why I want it removed.

 

OK so finally we are getting somewhere where we can state precisely on what we are not agreeing.

 

I think that melee engagement doesnt remove it, just add another tactical level to consider doing it instead of just doing it without consequences

 

All it does it force OE to make a much, much more complicated AI so this new tactical level makes sense. In addition to all Sensuki question they need to put in if it is worth breaking engagement to do anything and if it is worth entering and exiting engagement to get at a wizard.

This AI will need to be better than one in IE games or players will be abusing engagement like crazy. Players will know how to block enemy melee from getting to the mage but AI will not.

 

If AI stays simple (but better than current one) it will know to switch target so it does not provoke engagement attacks. It will switch target to closest guy that threatens him but how is that different than what we had in IE games that didn't have engagement except now you cannot pull your melee from front line once his health is <25%?

Edited by archangel979
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Considering engagement main purpose is to prevent kiting and moving easily to back lines best way would be to make it so its penalty is not bonus attacks but slowed movement.

Try to run through melee? You move so slow enemy melee kicks your ass while you waste time just moving.

Try to kite someone that engaged you? You move slow and they can still attack you easily as their attacks are not slow.

 

Considering in PoE everyone does lots of damage and attacks fast, just slowing movement should be enough as enemies will get enough extra attacks on you while you move away/through but a good defensive character can still move away when badly damaged so to have someone else take his place without suffering mortal blows that make moving away pointless in the first place.

 

I really think OE should experiment with this instead of engagement attacks doing crazy damage.

Edited by archangel979
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I don't think the game should have turn rates. And I don't know why you keep mentioning Dota, it's a completely different style of game and any lessons from it are not likely to be useful for a bunch of reasons.

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Being silent about it is not going to produce results.

Neither is shouting at a deaf man.

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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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Still, even at the current state of the game I'm sure if one does not seek to exploit combat and accept things as they are, they are going to enjoy it.

 

Of course this does not negate the fact that engagement exploits must be dealt with.

 

As for removing the mechanic altogether, this is unlikely to happen. As far as I am concerned, I have the good will to play the game as the devs intend to, even if that means intentionally 'hampering' myself to do so (a thing I've always done in the IE games also, since I try to role-play combat too, and this has added to the play experience of those games for me)


Matilda is a Natlan woman born and raised in Old Vailia. She managed to earn status as a mercenary for being a professional who gets the job done, more so when the job involves putting her excellent fighting abilities to good use.

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But my personal preference is to remove the mechanic and all talents- class abilities associated with it.


Matilda is a Natlan woman born and raised in Old Vailia. She managed to earn status as a mercenary for being a professional who gets the job done, more so when the job involves putting her excellent fighting abilities to good use.

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Considering engagement main purpose is to prevent kiting and moving easily to back lines best way would be to make it so its penalty is not bonus attacks but slowed movement.

Try to run through melee? You move so slow enemy melee kicks your ass while you waste time just moving.

Try to kite someone that engaged you? You move slow and they can still attack you easily as their attacks are not slow.

 

Considering in PoE everyone does lots of damage and attacks fast, just slowing movement should be enough as enemies will get enough extra attacks on you while you move away/through but a good defensive character can still move away when badly damaged so to have someone else take his place without suffering mortal blows that make moving away pointless in the first place.

 

I really think OE should experiment with this instead of engagement attacks doing crazy damage.

 

I think that could work, and I would be interested in trying it out (maybe in combination with bonuses on attacks against enemies facing away from you).

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I have been pushing for engagement snares and nerfing engagement attacks a bit (making them grazes and/or putting in a very short cooldown - I wouldnt get rid of them) for a while. Its a minor change that should increase the player's ability to react to engagement and break free with some effort (knockdowns, stuns, etc). Facing and what not could get messy in a RT game though.

Edited by Shevek

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When "Scouting"/"Sneaking" I've noticed that the circle is filled with red, and starts to go counter-clockwise to visualize how "spotted" the player is.

If one were to take that filling, but have it fill "50%" of the circle and be static, 1/2 half of it covered, and would represent which way the character is facing (right-click and drag positioning would be more important). That is probably the easiest part, then to take into consideration 1'000 other things. Some sort of facing system could be helpful, but also difficult to implement and a bit too late, probably.

EDIT: Pretty much this (if the link doesn't work, 2:14)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dhIP_1CvrSk#t=134

 

Haha, it's a vacuum cleaner, but consider the "circle" on top of it, and imagine that a uhm... Fighter is standing on top of it.

Edited by Osvir

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On further thought, I think bonuses for attacks from behind are actually not great either conceptually or practically. On a conceptual level, presumably you move more slowly near melee characters because you're being forced to be concerned more with your personal safety than moving as quickly as possible. If that's the case, it doesn't make that much sense to both be moving slowly, and suffer defense penalties (i.e., moving slowly is the cost you're paying to not be extra vulnerable to attacks). Practically, it's probably best to only have one type penalty, instead of just stacking on more and more different penalties arbitrarily. With just slowed movement you already have two different tuning nobs to tweak (radius of the effect, and how much it slows your movement) adding on more is only going to make balance more difficult.

 

Not that slowed movement near melee characters is likely to be implemented at this point, but it is certainly an interesting idea.

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http://jesawyer.tumblr.com/post/104340673716/youre-against-no-brainer-rpg-activities-like

 

 

melnorme asked: You're against "no brainer" RPG activities like prebuffing, etc. But doesn't an overly punitive engagement mechanic make tactical positioning a "no brainer" by ensuring that the absolutely correct tactic is to never disengage from melee? Shouldn't disengaging from melee be a viable option that players can be expected to choose at least, say, 33% of the time?

That’s not always the absolutely correct tactic.  Even in our internal play week people voluntarily broke Engagement a lot.  Characters with high Deflection voluntarily broke Engagement, especially if they had taken Graceful Retreat specifically for that purpose.  If they didn’t have the Deflection to do it, they would use abilities on their engaging foes specifically to remove the Engagement effect.  Stun, Prone, Paralyzed, and several other afflictions cancel any Engagements held by the targeted character.

As with many other aspects of the game, there are elements of Engagement that don’t work well.  Communication of the Engagement state is overly noisy (that’s been addressed in our local build).  Extended Engagement distances result in chain Disengagement attacks (not intended and we’re talking about how it should be handled).  If, after addressing those issues, Disengagement attacks still feel too powerful, adjusting the practical effects of the attack is pretty simple.

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Wasting advancement points just so you can disengage = icon_lol.gif

Running away prone/paralyzed/stunned units in melee = icon_lol.gif

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That's right, you can. However since prone, stunned and paralyzed units can't fight back and get huge penalties to defenses ... why on earth would you stop attacking them?

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Wasting advancement points just so you can disengage = icon_lol.gif

 

Perfectly reasonable use of an advancement point if you think engagement has a place in the game. I think we're aware where you stand on that issue. 8)

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Why would you pick Graceful Retreat which only gives you a bonus against disengagement attacks, when you could pick a talent that gives you a Deflection bonus always (such as Superior Deflection), rather than on disengagement attacks? Or even better, choose the Cautious Attack modal which gives +15 Deflection. The Graceful Retreat talent just makes me laugh icon_lol.gif.

 

Wild Sprint gives you -20 Deflection so you'll probably get critted when disengaging

 

Escape is okay, but since they nerfed the distance it's almost not worth investing in either.

 

Unless you're roleplaying, just invest in actual useful talents and abilities that give you a bonus where you don't have to make a plausible/suboptimal play in combat to actually qualify for the bonus.

 

EDIT: You can abuse the Cautious Attack modal a bit, pause and toggle it on when you see an enemy making an attack animation against you, and toggle it off when the attack ends  :devil:

Edited by Sensuki
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"That's right, you can. However since prone, stunned and paralyzed units can't fight back and get huge penalties to defenses ... why on earth would you stop attacking them?"

 

To not die when they get up.

 

"Why would you pick Graceful Retreat which only gives you a bonus against disengagement attacks, when you could pick a talent that gives you a Deflection bonus always (such as Superior Deflection), rather than on disengagement attacks?"

 

Then they make Graceful Retreat better. Thats an issue of talent balance and its a rather easy issue to address.

Edited by Shevek
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If, after addressing those issues, Disengagement attacks still feel too powerful, adjusting the practical effects of the attack is pretty simple.

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To not die when they get up.

 

Heal yourself. Stuff dies quickly in Pillars of Eternity, if something is disabled, chances are they will be dead by the time the effect ends.

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Thats not always the case and not always worth the risk. Also, I also find aoe push backs (and the Chanter disengage song) to be useful when I want to move a guy away from a group. The issue is one of ensuring the player has enough time to react to employ these tactics. This has been improved significantly in this last patch but could be better.

Edited by Shevek

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