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How many wizards have you seen in any story or movie who has a preemptive opportunity at attack but first must run up beside the enemy dragon and bop it on the head with his staff before he's allowed to start his incantation of a ranged fireball? Absurd, you say, as in PoE you'd clearly start with a time consuming wand or bow attack!

 

Just curious on everyone's opinion here as I feel spellcasters are severely restricted in this current combat declaration style because they do not gain any real benefit from how they are forced to start combat. Especially the solo spellcaster.

 

I would like to get a feel for any alternative ideas the community may have on how the combat state could be declared without action. I'll start.

 

I'd like to see a combat start button functionality that requires the enemy target to be within line-of-sight, highlighted, and around 10m away as on average most ranged weapons adhere to that restriction. From an immersion sense this combat button could signify a verbal declaration of combat or a visual queue such as readying a weapon against someone now seen as an enemy. It needn't be explained in-game so much as understood as an underlying concept behind the functionality. Combat would immediately be started as though the enemy had been hit with a physical blow but without the hindering wait time associated with an illogical physical opening move.

 

If you've an ear for details or reasoning then I've presented it below. If you do not care for the why of things then you can end your reading adventure with this line.

 

If you engage in conversation, and say something aggressive/wrong, enemies are able to declare "combat" against you and you will become immediately engaged in battle (and if your settings allow you will automatically become auto-paused). The enemy characters are not required to take action first. As far as immersion this declaration of combat could be from verbal announcement (dialogue) or from a noticible shift in posture and intent. Logical.

 

If you want to declare combat on someone, however, as the player you are required to first take an aggressive action against that character. If the target is already hostile then you must get within their range to alert them or you must, again, take aggressive action against them in the form of an attack to get their attention. Depending on your dexterity and general weapon this becomes highly restrictive as your character is now locked in unnecessary action until it's resolution and recovery phase. This sounds trivial at best but for characters who are enjoying the solo-experience, especially as a spellcaster, this can quickly become a burden. Without a specific spoiler think for a second of any small room where you know that you will be initiating combat against a currently "friendly" npc or group of npcs but instead of starting combat with a casting of your choice you've instead had to first run to a corner and shoot a bow, hoping you have time to actually cast your spell after your current action resolves all before the archers have peppered you with arrows, before the rogues have teleported beside you (twice even), and before those gnarly looking brute's get close enough to swing their melee weapon repeatedly at anything resembling the soft meatiness of mage flesh.

 

The nature of the beast is that combat is not an allowed state to shift to at-will without enemy alert because of many in-game mechanics revolving around abilities deemed appropriate only for combat. A Chanter, for instance, must first recite a minimum of three phrases before gaining access to his active spells. It would break the mechanics of the game to be able to passively declare combat, chant a few phrases, and open "actual" combat with a highly destructive ability. Allowing combat to be declared as if a physical aggression had been completed, however, does not break functionality in the least.

 

Think though about this scenario and judge for yourself any issues of fairness even with the current infavorable mechanics. A full party of 6 wizards initiates combat against an enemy group of 6. Your lead wizard starts with a wand attack and your 5 pocket wizards, now in "combat" have access to their spells and unleash all at once, as soon as that first wand bolt hits. Now also consider a solo wizard vs a solo enemy. The mage must first initiate combat with his wand attack, but once combat has been started with that attack he must now wait through the resolution of that action before he can even begin to cast an actual combat skill. In battles that are measured by seconds and with a heavy emphasis on time-management this is an alarming loss of effectiveness for a solo spellcaster. An archer, though, is reliant on his ranged attack and has a constantly active companion. If he chooses the archer is able to lead into combat with a strong ranged attack or by managing agro (as it were) with his pet companion. A spellcaster is forced to start combat with a weak and time-consuming attack that doesn't even appeal to the immersive nature of the game at all nor benefit the spellcaster in any form.

Edited by XxDarkonxX
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I was so distracted by your inexplicably bolded and underlined text that I didn't even read your post.  I apologize for that.  I'm sure your comment or question deserves more attention than I was able to give it while trying to recover from your assuredly accidental full fontal attack.   >_<

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I initially formatted it that way thinking it'd be easier to pick out the important parts and then allow the reader to bypass the unbolded additional details/reasoning lol I didn't even see the update as I formatted it then left the thread =/ I'd edit the formatting if I could but at this point it will no longer allow me to. If a blue would be so kind as to save our eyes I'd be thankful as I'd really like some input around this functionality. Thanks!

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Uhm... you can already open combat with a fireball. Or two. Or three. Or set three Slicken spells and 2 priest trap spells and -then- open up with a fireball.

 

Only a few spells cannot be cast before combat is initiated, typically ones that charm or dominate enemies. Annoying, sometimes, but I generally see why they did this balance-wise.

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Uhm... you can already open combat with a fireball. Or two. Or three. Or set three Slicken spells and 2 priest trap spells and -then- open up with a fireball.

 

Only a few spells cannot be cast before combat is initiated, typically ones that charm or dominate enemies. Annoying, sometimes, but I generally see why they did this balance-wise.

 

tl;dr- I play a triple crown chanter with zero rests. Every. Second. Counts.

 

Fireball as an example may have been jumping the gun lol My apologies there. My main concern is, in place of the spell or ability you actually want to cast, you have to select a different ability or open with a physical attack because there isn't an option present to just instead initiate combat.

 

It's not a matter of being able to cast certain spells before combat it's a matter of having to initiate combat and waste time locked in recovery in what's often a senseless and needless action.

 

Take your example even of using an ability to charm. Suppose you do want to charm them. Suppose also that you have a party of 2 or more. Easy. One party member initiates combat however they want like your archer shoots. That arrow lands, combat is started and auto paused. Your caster, at the very second combat is started, has access to start casting his charm ability. Now suppose you are the solo spellcaster. You open combat with an action like shooting an arrow and the enemy is halfway to you before you can even recover to start casting your charm spell. Big difference. Congratulations you've now experienced every single engagement I've ever been in lol Both scenarios involve the same spell being cast and the same actions being performed. On a solo spellcaster does it really make sense to have to open with an attack that you know will render you useless? I can't even get a summon out by a quickslot item in half the close-quarters engagements before I've been hit because of that recovery time I have to deal with from opening in such an illogical way. It makes zero sense to force me to shoot an arrow or use a wand fully knowing that I need to get a distraction out on to the field for this battle instead of letting me just declare combat and have free choice of the first action I take. It's already been proven fair when dialogue results in immediate combat that both parties can become engaged without either taking an action first. Why should you have to suffer the recovery of an attack that you don't want to make just so that you can be in combat status so that you can cast that ability later? Announce combat with an initiate combat button, auto-pause kicks in, both parties are now engaged in combat, both parties have time to take their first action without having to first recover from an unwanted action.

 

It may sound absurd but I keep asking myself "If this were real life, would that even make sense?" If you point a gun at someone, they know you mean business. Combat has started without dealing damage. Why does the game essentially make you shoot and put the gun away just to initiate combat? I am already very disappointed that combat cannot cross maps. No spoilers but, hey, there are caves. Every game has them. You sneak in the cave, you see something that looks like it'd wreck your face, you step out of the cave. Okay, you can do this. It's already dismal that unlike real life you can't draw the enemy out. So you go back in. And that massive cave opening behind you once you're in the cave and engaged? Nope. Must be an invisible wall, suddenly you find you can't just walk out the way you came in. To add insult to injury you must initiate combat in that cave by shooting an arrow because every spell and item that you have that's favorable to the situation requires that they see you first (and are then too close to safely cast or use in time). Want to use a scroll to cast a pre-combat buff to prepare for the upcoming battle you know is about to go down? Can't do that without shooting the enemy first and they are teleported on you before your bow is lowered. Want to use your scroll to increase your stealth ability? Nope, you have to.. wait, what? You have to be in combat to use a scroll to increase your stealth? Okay... well. Sad but true. Oh! Wait! I need to buy time, that's the problem, since I can't just leave the way I came once combat has started so... so... I'll cause a distraction! I'll use an item to summon something, the enemies will fight it, and should give me enough time to position myself and cast my spell! Oh. Yeah. To buy myself that time first requires that I initiate combat. Again by either shooting them and giving them enough time to rip me in two before I can recover or by standing close enough to them that they can just teleport to me and kill me before the casting is completed. Or maybe I could shoot them to initiate combat, use the item to summon, then try to position and make a logical casting? Oh... yeah.. again... if I initiate by shooting them then I'm stuck in recovery frames that will give them enough time to kill me. Why do you have to take an action to start combat? Why can't you just initiate combat as dialogue does? Why can't you start combat against an enemy the same way that they start combat against you, by an immediate mutual agreement followed by an auto-pause? They see you? Combat without them having taken an action. You see them? Best get to shooting because you don't have a button that just starts combat like they do.

Edited by XxDarkonxX
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Actually, you can get combat to start without taking an action first. You just need to walk closer to the enemy.

 

Which, admittedly, is far from ideal either since then the enemy will be all over your chanter more quickly. But it's possible.

Yeah I mentioned that a couple times too =P You can either be close enough that they see you and suddenly you don't have time to cast your spell since they are too close or you can pull with a ranged attack and suffer the recovery frames which will also result in not having enough time to cast the spell you wanted to open with.

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My qualm isn't with chanter being a challenge. I love the class. And I'm not complaining at having undertaken a difficulty like this. I'm complaining at the senselessness of having to declare combat by either A) being too close to the enemy so that they initiate or B) having to take a wasted action and suffer the recovery frames to declare combat and give up any advantage you would have had in range. I'm suggesting the functionality of a means to initiate combat outside of those two options as they are currently our only two options. And being thusly restricted does not make sense for solo spellcasters at all. Your options are to get too close or take an unwanted action, both unfavorable, and both avoidable with allowing the ability to declare combat. Again to keep with immersion it could be seen as raising your weapon against an enemy, a shout, a shift in body language that appears offensive, whatever.

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You need to work on your formatting. I didn't read much more than the first few lines before I was tired of it. But I didn't need to, to get the gist.

The "Combat Only" restriction on spells and abilities is rubbish.

It is known.

Edited by Luckmann

t50aJUd.jpg

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Yeah the formatting could use a change. Because my post isn't about the absurdity of "Combat Only" spells and abilities. I'm okay with the restriction on a lot of them aside from active boosts to Stealth, Lore, etc. Those should assuredly be allowable outside of combat. My complaint is that a character is forced to either take an action or be too close to an enemy to start combat. You do not have a button to press to simply initiate combat with the same functionality as how an aggressive dialogue choice inititates combat. I get that I shouldn't be able to (as in an example above) charm an enemy to start combat. Cool, agreed. I should, however, be allowed to initiate combat with an Initiate/Declare Combat button (enemies and I are now made aware of each other and auto-paused into combat) and then cast charm as my first action. I shouldn't be forced to walk too closely to them or make a ranged attack and suffer recovery frames, both placing the solo spellcaster at disadvantage born of combat mechanics, not of their role.

 

Pretend you see an enemy spellcaster from the edge of the fog. You get close enough for them to see you.

 

What happens?

 

Does the enemy spellcaster first have to cast an unwanted ability or make a wand attack to initiate combat with you?

 

No. The enemy spellcaster starts combat the same way as any other enemy- with a combat declaration that places both the party and the enemy in an "in combat" state. As their first action they will surely start casting some favorable spell.

 

Why is it that as a player spellcaster who sees an enemy you must instead get too close and let the enemy make the declaration for you or start combat with a wand/bow attack to get their attention and waste your first action in recovery? Why can't we just declare combat with a button press the same way the enemy can?

 

Again this makes little difference to parties. Minimal at best. To a solo spellcaster this makes a world of difference.

 

I will likely let this thread die and recommunicate my concerns in a new thread at a later point with formatting in mind. I may link to this thread as an example of how an amazing idea with proof-of-concept in fairness and utility can be snuffed before even being considered due to poor formatting choices.

Edited by XxDarkonxX
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