Jump to content

Friendly Fire Toggle


Recommended Posts

I would like to suggest that a friendly fire toggle be added to the game. Currently combat isn't enjoyable for me, but I think a toggle would help improve things.

 

Now there are some of you who are leery about adding a toggle. The main concern being balancing issues. You don't want the game balanced around the assumption that there is no friendly fire. I agree. The encounters in the game should be tuned for friendly fire. That's probably what the majority wants. Yes, combat would be unbalanced with the toggle on, but that's acceptable to me.

 

What I wouldn't like though is friendly fire and the difficulty slider being coupled together.

 

I don't like friendly fire in RTwP games. But wanting its removal isn't equivalent to wanting all aspects of combat (number of enemies, the types of enemies, the strength of attacks, etc.) to be easier and vice versa. This is why a simple toggle would be the best option.

 

There have been a couple of other threads about friendly fire, so I know that there are others who agree with me. Maybe if we all express ourselves, we can persuade the developers to add the feature.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't really have a strong preference either way, I wouldn't mind a toggle personally though I wouldn't use it. But I'm doubtful if it will be added, I seem to recall Josh speaking out against it at one point or another.

 

But yeah, I certainly wouldn't mind a toggle.

Listen to my home-made recordings (some original songs, some not): http://www.youtube.c...low=grid&view=0

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As long as you have an awful lot of control over when and where friendly-fire effects are going off, it's fine.

 

In DA:I, I had to toggle friendly-fire off after about 30 hours, simply because the majority of the difficulty was becoming "How do I simultaneously use effective abilities against the enemy AND not-kill all my own people?"

 

I mean, Iron Bull would use his Charge, and it would like 2-hit kill 2 of my allies. So I had to "turn it off" in his AI tactics, then try to fire it off manually. But, something like that's really awkward to try to fire-off manually. *shrug*. It's just kind of a chore in that game to play it the tactically-choose-every-single-thing-everyone-does way. And there are too many abilities that hurt your friends. REALLY badly.

 

I swear Chain Lightning in that game has some kind of coded preference to seek allies. I was casting it on groups of like 3 enemies, 30 feet away from me (all within about 10 feet of one another), and 99% of the time, after the first hit/strike, it would jump straight to me, then bounce throughout my party. Weird...

 

Anywho, I haven't had that problem thus far in PoE, but I've mainly focused on the cone/linear wizard spells.

Edited by Lephys
  • Like 3

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I believe this has been discussed before, and has been ruled out.

 

IMO it doesn't need a FF toggle. The AoE spells are highly controllable due to the targeting circle, "green fringes," and perspective. Pay a bit of attention where you slap them and you'll be fine. It's certainly a great deal more forgiving than many of the IE games in this respect.

 

The combat in this game is genuinely tactical though -- it matters how you play. It's not super-hard or rocket science (or I wouldn't be able to play it), but brute-force tactics like "select all and attack" or "fireball the melee" will, generally speaking, not work. You do have to read the spell descriptions, try them out, and use them somewhat intelligently, as well as use engagement and other character abilities to your advantage. Figuring it out is half the fun of it. Removing FF would remove most of the incentive to play intelligently. (Hint: look for combos: if an AoE spell targets Reflex, look for a way to debuff that on the enemy... and/or buff it on your party.)

  • Like 1

I have a project. It's a tabletop RPG. It's free. It's a work in progress. Find it here: www.brikoleur.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've never seen a satisfactory solution to this in a Real Time with Pause game. On the one hand, it's true that being able to toss fireballs into the crowd is not very conducive to tactical play, but on the other, the hassle of using these spells in a rule system where the intended targets can be somewhere else entirely by the time the spells hit is such that I simply don't bother except in very specific situations (e.g. as "the opener" or by using immune characters as bait or when the game hands you a "fish in a barrel" environment). My most used AoE spells in BG2 were Horrid Wilting and Dragon's Breath precisely because they could be cast without taking half a minute to predict where everything will be 4 seconds from now and figure out whether it is worth casting. In NWN, the same was true of Firebrand and the Missile Storm spells.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

^ What if you could "cast" spells without actually "releasing" them? You have your Wizard spend X seconds casting Fireball, but only when it's ready to throw do you actually throw it where you want. That could prove a useful design, regarding such things.

  • Like 3

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I believe this has been discussed before, and has been ruled out.

 

IMO it doesn't need a FF toggle. The AoE spells are highly controllable due to the targeting circle, "green fringes," and perspective. Pay a bit of attention where you slap them and you'll be fine. It's certainly a great deal more forgiving than many of the IE games in this respect.

 

The combat in this game is genuinely tactical though -- it matters how you play. It's not super-hard or rocket science (or I wouldn't be able to play it), but brute-force tactics like "select all and attack" or "fireball the melee" will, generally speaking, not work. You do have to read the spell descriptions, try them out, and use them somewhat intelligently, as well as use engagement and other character abilities to your advantage. Figuring it out is half the fun of it. Removing FF would remove most of the incentive to play intelligently. (Hint: look for combos: if an AoE spell targets Reflex, look for a way to debuff that on the enemy... and/or buff it on your party.)

 

It's great that you like friendly fire, but there are people that don't. Why not let everyone get what they want?

 

I've never seen a satisfactory solution to this in a Real Time with Pause game. On the one hand, it's true that being able to toss fireballs into the crowd is not very conducive to tactical play, but on the other, the hassle of using these spells in a rule system where the intended targets can be somewhere else entirely by the time the spells hit is such that I simply don't bother except in very specific situations (e.g. as "the opener" or by using immune characters as bait or when the game hands you a "fish in a barrel" environment). My most used AoE spells in BG2 were Horrid Wilting and Dragon's Breath precisely because they could be cast without taking half a minute to predict where everything will be 4 seconds from now and figure out whether it is worth casting. In NWN, the same was true of Firebrand and the Missile Storm spells.

 

This is one of my problems as well. You cast a FF spell thinking that your allies are safe and that it hits a lot of enemies, but by the time it goes off, the enemies have moved out of range and your companions have moved into range.

Edited by Re-Volt
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's great that you like friendly fire, but there are people that don't. Why not let everyone get what they want?

Because it changes design assumptions, which can have far-reaching consequences. Look at DA:I, for example, clearly designed around the absence of Friendly Fire. Similarly, designing around Friendly Fire and then removing it could result in insanely simplified combat, trivializing encounters.

 

Friendly Fire isn't something cosmetic.

 

This is one of my problems as well. You cast a FF spell thinking that your allies are safe and that it hits a lot of enemies, but by the time it goes off, the enemies have moved out of range and your companions have moved into range.

Judging movement, controlling combat and effective use of AoE are all tactical decisions. If your companions have moved into range of your own AoE, you're doing something wrong. If enemies have moved out of range, you timed it terribly.

 

BG2 didn't even have targeting reticles, and this was practically never an issue for me. Get a sense of the range of your AoE:s and their cast time.

 

^ What if you could "cast" spells without actually "releasing" them? You have your Wizard spend X seconds casting Fireball, but only when it's ready to throw do you actually throw it where you want. That could prove a useful design, regarding such things.

It sounds pretty cool, but I have the feeling it'd end up with wasting more spells than it'd save. You'd cast the spell and be like "Waiting.. waiting... oh shoot, now I missed the opportunity". I'm not sure how it'd work in practice or how it'd be worked in, but it could be neat.
  • Like 2

t50aJUd.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am very happy with the PoE spell system.  I think it much better than the D&D system.  I am still learning the Timing and targeting but my Wizard is, the BB wizard others complain about, is doing a great job this play through. I give him a range weapon and try to keep him back and movable.

 I have but one enemy: myself  - Drow saying


nakia_banner.jpg


 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've never seen a satisfactory solution to this in a Real Time with Pause game. On the one hand, it's true that being able to toss fireballs into the crowd is not very conducive to tactical play, but on the other, the hassle of using these spells in a rule system where the intended targets can be somewhere else entirely by the time the spells hit is such that I simply don't bother except in very specific situations (e.g. as "the opener" or by using immune characters as bait or when the game hands you a "fish in a barrel" environment). My most used AoE spells in BG2 were Horrid Wilting and Dragon's Breath precisely because they could be cast without taking half a minute to predict where everything will be 4 seconds from now and figure out whether it is worth casting. In NWN, the same was true of Firebrand and the Missile Storm spells.

 

In P:E, the battlefield stabilizes fairly quickly (unless you screw up). Your front line blocks the enemy so they can't get past you. It's pretty easy to drop AoE's in front of them, especially with the no-FF "green fringes" you get if you've pumped Int. You just have to hit the Cancel button if your toons start to rush forward when they're not supposed to.

 

It's great that you like friendly fire, but there are people that don't. Why not let everyone get what they want?

 

Because the whole point of a game is that it puts obstacles between you and what you want. A game that gives you what you want immediately when you want it is not fun.

 

More specifically re FF, removing it would give you tons of easy "win" buttons. Consider Slicken, which causes creatures in the AoE to slip and fall. If there was no FF, all you'd have to do to win a fight is cast it, then beat the poor things to death as they flail helplessly on their backs. That's pure cheese. And Slicken is just one among many AoE crowd control spells in the game. 

 

P:E has an Easy mode which you can beat with relatively simple tactics, but you do still need to use them -- and then perhaps graduate to Normal once you've got the hang of it.

 

OTOH if you don't like tactical combat at all, then you probably shouldn't be playing a game where it is one of the fundamental design goals.

  • Like 3

I have a project. It's a tabletop RPG. It's free. It's a work in progress. Find it here: www.brikoleur.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Because the whole point of a game is that it puts obstacles between you and what you want. A game that gives you what you want immediately when you want it is not fun.

 

More specifically re FF, removing it would give you tons of easy "win" buttons. Consider Slicken, which causes creatures in the AoE to slip and fall. If there was no FF, all you'd have to do to win a fight is cast it, then beat the poor things to death as they flail helplessly on their backs. That's pure cheese. And Slicken is just one among many AoE crowd control spells in the game. 

 

P:E has an Easy mode which you can beat with relatively simple tactics, but you do still need to use them -- and then perhaps graduate to Normal once you've got the hang of it.

 

OTOH if you don't like tactical combat at all, then you probably shouldn't be playing a game where it is one of the fundamental design goals.

This.

 

The inclusion of optional Friendly Fire would essentially mean that the player would choose between playing the intended game, or play the game as it was never intended to be played (and therefore, since the base assumptions have changed for which the game was built, likely a more boring game).

 

The option would be to build for both systems and try to find a middle ground, but as with everything in gaming, this would reduce both playstyles to the lowest common denominator - which is the exact opposite trend anyone interested in niche markets wants to (or should) go.

 

Imagine a situation in which the game gets reviewed, and the reviewer says to himself that usually, he doesn't appreciate Friendly Fire, so he turns it off. The result being that it completely trivializes combat, and the review suffers as a result.

 

There's no way Friendly Fire can be turned off without compromising core gameplay, and that's why even the option is a bad idea.

 

I'm not opposed to having, say, a hidden option in an .ini-file for turning off Friendly Fire, because by then it is basically a mod or a cheat function, and it's made clear that - because it is not part of the actual Options - it could adversely affect core gameplay. Maybe that would be a fair compromise for those that for whatever reason feel that they just cannot play the game with the intended rules. It's ultimately no different than to change how many Talents you get, Ability Scores, or Skills, which in many games is very easy to do, but you'd never expect to see in in the in-game Options.

 

All in-game Options offered should work with how the game is intended to be played. Again, look at DA:I for a horror-example of how things work (or rather does not work) when you build a game around one mechanic, and then let's you switch it off. It's basically a cop-out so the devs can say "Hey, you can turn Friendly Fire on!"; but that's never what the game was built for, and the option actually makes the game quantifiably worse. It's like the people saying you can turn Quest Markers off in Oblivion or Skyrim, even though the entire system is built around the assumption that they're there.

t50aJUd.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Funny that about DA:I. 

 

I'm actually enjoying it a quite a lot, much to my surprise, because I dislike almost every individual thing about it. The combat in particular is dull, grindy, repetitive spamming of abilities to whittle down mountains of hit points or swarms of respawning enemies. Yet somehow despite it all it manages to keep me engaged. 

 

I think the main reason is that pretty much everything in it has some kind of tie-in to the lore: the characters, the books and notes found in the world, and the look and feel of various places and things in the world itself. The kick I'm getting is from exploration and discovery, of the physical world and its lore -- history, politics, religion, the various companion stories, what have you. Also, even though in true BioWarean fashion the writing is mostly cringeworthy, there are just enough islands of brilliance in it to keep things going. Some of the companions are quite engagingly written. And despite being insanely cliché, the story makes some kind of sense.

 

I did play it with FF on for a while, until it wore me down and I switched it off. The abilities are clearly designed to be played with FF off -- e.g. it's extremely hard to tell what the AoE effect for many of them is, the AI makes no allowances whatsoever for it, so switching it on changed their relative worth so much there wasn't any point. If I ever start a new playthrough -- which is unlikely, since it appears to be possible to discover most of what's there to discover in just one -- I might switch it on again and just pick defensive or single-target abilities. 

 

But... if DA:O could pretend, in some sense, to being a BG spiritual successor, DA:I clearly isn't. It's drifted far away from that, deep into MMO-esque A-RPG territory. I don't really know how relevant discussing it in context of P:E even is.

I have a project. It's a tabletop RPG. It's free. It's a work in progress. Find it here: www.brikoleur.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It sounds pretty cool, but I have the feeling it'd end up with wasting more spells than it'd save. You'd cast the spell and be like "Waiting.. waiting... oh shoot, now I missed the opportunity". I'm not sure how it'd work in practice or how it'd be worked in, but it could be neat.

*shrug*. I guess I just don't see an obvious difference between the potential for that and the potential for "Yes, I'll just hit them with a Fire- OH NO, EVERYONE SCATTERED BUT I'M STILL CASTING IT!". Either effectively "missing" with your spells, or just refraining from casting them in most situations until you're absolutely sure you can hit stuff with them.

 

That's one of my biggest pet peeves in these types of games -- when pretty much the only prudent option for AOE targeting and such becomes "immobilize everyone first with some other spell, THEN shoot a fireball at them!"

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's one of my biggest pet peeves in these types of games -- when pretty much the only prudent option for AOE targeting and such becomes "immobilize everyone first with some other spell, THEN shoot a fireball at them!"

 

Heh, immobilizing them makes fireballs way more effective here too. That's because immobilizing them debuffs their Reflex, and fireballs attack Reflex...

I have a project. It's a tabletop RPG. It's free. It's a work in progress. Find it here: www.brikoleur.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

This is one of my problems as well. You cast a FF spell thinking that your allies are safe and that it hits a lot of enemies, but by the time it goes off, the enemies have moved out of range and your companions have moved into range.

Judging movement, controlling combat and effective use of AoE are all tactical decisions. If your companions have moved into range of your own AoE, you're doing something wrong. If enemies have moved out of range, you timed it terribly.

 

I am not sure why you are attributing Re-Volt's statement to me. I agree with you that it's a tactical effort to make AoE spells work properly. My point was that except for certain specific situations (albeit not necessarily uncommon ones), this was generally not worth the hassle.

 

In P:E, the battlefield stabilizes fairly quickly (unless you screw up). Your front line blocks the enemy so they can't get past you. It's pretty easy to drop AoE's in front of them, especially with the no-FF "green fringes" you get if you've pumped Int. You just have to hit the Cancel button if your toons start to rush forward when they're not supposed to.

That's good. I haven't seen the "green fringes" yet and the ability to cancel is useful. Does the spell count as cast for the purpose of casting limits when you do that?
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you cancel the action before the spell is cast, it doesn't count. -- I was thinking of Canceling the rush-forward though, not the casting; most of the time the problem is that they want to rush into an existing spell effect anyway.

I have a project. It's a tabletop RPG. It's free. It's a work in progress. Find it here: www.brikoleur.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am not sure why you are attributing Re-Volt's statement to me. I agree with you that it's a tactical effort to make AoE spells work properly. My point was that except for certain specific situations (albeit not necessarily uncommon ones), this was generally not worth the hassle.

Aah, sorry, I must've just messed up the quotes somehow. Sorry 'bout that.

t50aJUd.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As mentioned in the opening post, I understand that if the game is tuned around friendly fire, that turning it off would affect game balance. I said that would be acceptable for me. But is the objection that others wouldn't be as informed and so could unintentionally make the game "worse" by choosing to turn it off?

 

If so, then this just a presentation issue, correct?

 

If it were clearly labeled that the game was designed with friendly fire in mind, or a hidden option, as Luckmann suggested, then would that be a problem?

 

I don't really mind how it's implemented just as long as you don't have to go into heavy modding to achieve it

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Heh, immobilizing them makes fireballs way more effective here too. That's because immobilizing them debuffs their Reflex, and fireballs attack Reflex...

I don't mind it boosting Fireball's effectiveness. That's not my issue. My issue is with your option list basically being reduced to spell pairings. "Want to cast fireball without immobilizing people first? That's only going to be effective like 10% of the time."

 

It would really be great if the player had more control over enemy relocation. Either via melee engagement (aggressively push a foe back in a given direction as you fight them), or via active abilities (kicks, telekinetic throws, etc.). Two foes are already somewhat clustered? Get companion A to push enemy A towards those other two, and get companion B to push another foe towards those two, WHILE casting fireball at the already-clustered 2. Boom. You get to hit four of them. Through your own orchestration.

 

There really are missed opportunities, I think, with relocation spells. Oftentimes, games give your party the ability to self-relocate (Blink, dash, etc.), but you can hardly ever move the enemies around in a controlled fashion. You either have to figure out how AI pathing works, and lead them all into a cluster, or catch them already-clustered when battle starts, hold them there, and hit them with AoEs and such before they spread out.

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't mind it boosting Fireball's effectiveness. That's not my issue. My issue is with your option list basically being reduced to spell pairings. "Want to cast fireball without immobilizing people first? That's only going to be effective like 10% of the time."

Any debuff of Reflex or buff of Accuracy will have the same effect. Immobilization was just one example. You can also build a wizard with high Perception to start with.

 

I.e., it's hard not to read what you said here as a straight-out demand for dumbing down, i.e., making intelligent use of your abilities less important.

 

It would really be great if the player had more control over enemy relocation. Either via melee engagement (aggressively push a foe back in a given direction as you fight them), or via active abilities (kicks, telekinetic throws, etc.). Two foes are already somewhat clustered? Get companion A to push enemy A towards those other two, and get companion B to push another foe towards those two, WHILE casting fireball at the already-clustered 2. Boom. You get to hit four of them. Through your own orchestration.

Good luck coordinating that in real time.

 

There are spells and abilities that push enemies around by the way, and they're highly useful. (The ones that work as intended anyway.)

 

There really are missed opportunities, I think, with relocation spells. Oftentimes, games give your party the ability to self-relocate (Blink, dash, etc.), but you can hardly ever move the enemies around in a controlled fashion. You either have to figure out how AI pathing works, and lead them all into a cluster, or catch them already-clustered when battle starts, hold them there, and hit them with AoEs and such before they spread out.

Have you checked out the spells/abilities in the BB that do exactly that? If they're not working for you, why not?

I have a project. It's a tabletop RPG. It's free. It's a work in progress. Find it here: www.brikoleur.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Any debuff of Reflex or buff of Accuracy will have the same effect. Immobilization was just one example. You can also build a wizard with high Perception to start with.

 

I.e., it's hard not to read what you said here as a straight-out demand for dumbing down, i.e., making intelligent use of your abilities less important.

I understand that, but I can't help that some things, when the specifics are largely ignored, seem to be such a demand.

 

My qualms are basically with the extremity of the relative difference in effectiveness between not-using TWO spells to enhance an AoE spell, and just using the AoE spell. From that one caster, I mean. I'm not talking about other party members just standing around doing nothing. And I'm not saying that effort shouldn't be involved in order to make something like a Fireball not just hit 1 person for a huge waste of spell ammo.

 

Also, for what it's worth, in the event that you statistically need to debuff/immobilize/otherwise-hinder foes with a spell before using your AoE spell just to get it into acceptable-levels of effectiveness, I'd say the situation's pretty dumbed down as it is. "Use fireball? Use Root first. Now Fireball hit all foes. Don't use Root? Fireball probably not hit many foes."

 

So, it's easy for me to see how what I'm asking for is the complete opposite of dumbing down the system, in a way. Deciding to use a second spell to pretty-much-guarantee your AoE spell's effectiveness isn't really an in-the-fray adaptive tactical decision, as much as it's basically just a strategic cost. You just spent 2 spell "points" instead of one to achieve the desired effect. It's really that simple.

 

Not that there's anything wrong with that, but, again, what I'm getting at is that, when that becomes largely your only option, it gets a little ridiculous.

 

Good luck coordinating that in real time.

Well, that's... kind of what pause is for.

 

There are spells and abilities that push enemies around by the way, and they're highly useful. (The ones that work as intended anyway.)

Yeah, I'm aware of that. I'm not trying to say that PoE, specifically, provides you with absolutely no way to move enemies about. I just think it's a rather neglected area of combat capabilities, less-so in PoE, but still to some degree.

 

I've been very busy lately, and haven't gotten to hop back into the beta to explore all the available abilities in detail and sort of "test" all the capabilities available to a party. That's why I'm more commenting on the way you usually see these games do it. That isn't to say that my point is "and therefore, PoE obviously doesn't do it right, because of what other games did, u_u..."

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So, it's easy for me to see how what I'm asking for is the complete opposite of dumbing down the system, in a way. Deciding to use a second spell to pretty-much-guarantee your AoE spell's effectiveness isn't really an in-the-fray adaptive tactical decision, as much as it's basically just a strategic cost. You just spent 2 spell "points" instead of one to achieve the desired effect. It's really that simple.

 

Not that there's anything wrong with that, but, again, what I'm getting at is that, when that becomes largely your only option, it gets a little ridiculous.

So you want fireballs to be more or less equally effective, regardless of the defenses of the foes targeting. And that's the opposite of dumbing down. Oh-kay.

 

 

Good luck coordinating that in real time.

Well, that's... kind of what pause is for.

 

You won't be able to do it, even with pause. Because of differences in action and recovery times, you won't be able to get your desired shoves to fire at the same time. It would work in a turn-based game, or one that's turn-based under the hood so all turns run in the same rhythm, but not true real-time. Not even in the IE games where each toon has its own turn timer.

 

(Or, if you want to get technical about it, to coordinate your pushes you'd have to get your pushers in position, wait for all of their recovery timers to run out, pause, and issue commands. Only, by then the foes will have moved or done something different which means the situation won't be the same anymore. Can't be done in a RT game, with or without pause.)

I have a project. It's a tabletop RPG. It's free. It's a work in progress. Find it here: www.brikoleur.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...