Q&A with Consultant

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Nephthys
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Q&A with Consultant

Postby Nephthys » Tue Apr 18, 2017 8:14 pm

Consultant was kind enough to sit down with me for a talk about the current state of the game, and progress toward the future. It was a great talk, thanks Consultant! :)

http://2p.com/48065119_1/Exclusive-Ship ... =page-prev

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GladDog
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Re: Q&A with Consultant

Postby GladDog » Tue Apr 18, 2017 8:56 pm

Great interview! Thanks for getting so many things out in the open. I love that you have advanced a ways in the Character Creator, and I LOVE that you developed a system so you can put together powersets quickly! But I have a few more questions...

1 - We have not seen a lot about powers and powersets. I realize all of that is in flux. My main question is; Will there be primary and secondary powersets, or will it be more like CO and DCUO, single powersets with primary and secondary abilities? I am fine with either, btw. Both ways have their pluses and minuses.

2 - The enhancement system is likely not yet written in stone either. My question is how will the enhancement system work with your gear system?

3 - How many powersets can we expect for each AT? I realize that this isn't written in stone either. At release are you aiming for 4 powersets for each AT, or 6, or 3? Once again I am fine with any number as long as it is a finished product we get at release. Any 'fer sher' powers going to be included?

4 - This isn't a question, just a plaudit. I am very thankful you are listening to your fans and your community. I wish more people were on these forums throwing in their 2 dust motes!
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Dakosan
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Re: Q&A with Consultant

Postby Dakosan » Tue Apr 18, 2017 11:32 pm

here is an important note...

"website donations, when we activate that option in May"

...

Can't wait....

Consultant
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Re: Q&A with Consultant

Postby Consultant » Wed Apr 19, 2017 6:05 am

First, thank you Nephthys for the interview. That was fun. :)

GladDog, some answers to your questions:

1. There will be primary and secondary powersets. So, for example, Ambassador has a primary (as a tank) of Determination, and a secondary of Street Sweeping. Determination provides defense and resistance. Street Sweeping relates to his 25th century equivalent of a shotgun, which gives him some cool offensive powers.

2. There will be an enhancement system in that there will be ways to enhance the powers you select, and as a player designing a character, you'll get to make choices about which powers should be upgraded by assigning additional upgrade slots to those powers, and not to others. We won't have gear in the SWTOR sense, in that there is no armor that you capture and put on, changing your look. The gear you can buy or craft, receive as a mission reward, or which may drop occasionally is more likely to be temp powers, something akin to inspirations, and temporary boosts to abilities.

3. We are planning for a minimum of 4 primary and secondary powersets per AT at launch, with approximately 8-10 powers per powerset. But remembering that primaries for a tank can be secondaries for a brawler, there will be some overlap in names. But a powerset gives the "strong version" when it is a primary power, and the "regular version" when it is a secondary. We also want to provide a selection of pool powers at launch.

4. Thank you. We think more people will post over time. We have well over 10,000 unique visitors to these forums every month. Most just read, at least for now. But over time...

Dakosan, thank you for highlighting the May date. :)

Consultant.

Pyrion
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Re: Q&A with Consultant

Postby Pyrion » Wed Apr 19, 2017 10:28 am

Hello Consultant,

One thing that isn't clear to me from your response is the way you envision enhancements. You say that you assign additional slots to powers (that's like CoH did it) but are not talking about CoH-like enhancements. Well, if there are slots, you should be able to put something in. So can i infer that you will have an enhancement system similar to CoH with enhancement coming from "loot"?

Consultant
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Re: Q&A with Consultant

Postby Consultant » Wed Apr 19, 2017 1:13 pm

Yes, upgrades (rather than enhancements) will go into the slots. You'll be able to buy some, craft some, or acquire some as drops. These will have the effect of improving stats for your character. However, we do not intend to be bound by enhancement diversification, which we think was a mistake within COH, so we are going down a different path. Also, we don't think six is the best number -- some players would like to make a particular power really stellar, and are willing to live with less in other powers, to enable their playstyle? OK.

Codex
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Re: Q&A with Consultant

Postby Codex » Wed Apr 19, 2017 3:57 pm

This sounds like the original CoH enhancement system, which I loved. I can't wait to start playing and building up my hero.
aka Backer 68

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broxen
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Re: Q&A with Consultant

Postby broxen » Wed Apr 19, 2017 4:40 pm

Yes, upgrades (rather than enhancements) will go into the slots. You'll be able to buy some, craft some, or acquire some as drops. These will have the effect of improving stats for your character. However, we do not intend to be bound by enhancement diversification, which we think was a mistake within COH, so we are going down a different path. Also, we don't think six is the best number -- some players would like to make a particular power really stellar, and are willing to live with less in other powers, to enable their playstyle? OK.
This sounds interesting, but I wonder if it won't suffer from the same balancing and design issues that plagued the original CoH enhancement system. Everyone 6 slots dmg, everyone 6 slots flight speed, etc. There are no real decision points there, you're just grinding for the next dmg enhancement to fill every slot. E.D. gave CoH players more decision points with their builds.

In my opinion, the key here will be managing your proposed upgrade slots as a resource. Does the penalty for boosting one power with multiple upgrades increase proportional to it's increased potential? An example of that would be as follows: 1st slot costs 1 "slot upgrade", the 2nd maybe 1 slot upgrade, 3rd 2 slot upgrades, 4th, 3 slot upgrades, etc.. The rate of increase would be tweaked to be reasonable, but this may prevent characters that have 10-slotted invulnerability from taking on Archvillains without any real compromise in their other powers. Yes you can be super invulnerable man, but it should compromise your damage output, and your ability to maintain threat with mobs. Especially when you plan to have some kind of inherit combat power available to every AT.

A lot of players didn't care for Enhancement Disversification, but let's not overlook the reasons for it's implementation. I'm not saying it was a perfect solution, but run-amok power enhancement had it's problems.
-Broxen

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JestersGhost
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Re: Q&A with Consultant

Postby JestersGhost » Wed Apr 19, 2017 6:06 pm

ED was implemented because the way enhancements scaled their effects was broken, not because enhancements were broken.

I know I sound like a broken record at this point, but if the maths behind the mechanics isn't absolutely rock-solid to start with, players will break it very quickly.
[ quantum sufficit / casual-tempest.net / My Combat Mechanics Thread ]

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broxen
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Re: Q&A with Consultant

Postby broxen » Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:47 pm

ED was implemented because the way enhancements scaled their effects was broken, not because enhancements were broken.

I know I sound like a broken record at this point, but if the maths behind the mechanics isn't absolutely rock-solid to start with, players will break it very quickly.
I'm agreeing with you.
-Broxen

Consultant
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Re: Q&A with Consultant

Postby Consultant » Thu Apr 20, 2017 7:01 am

We have math set in place now. The real question for any complex system like SoH is how does it play when the characters are actually fighting, so we have to wait and see. Also, as you guys noticed, just because we as devs play one way and do certain things, does not mean that someone won't be able to find an exploit, or do something broken. ED had positives. That's true, but it also had negatives. Would someone six slot damage if their accuracy only allows every third hit to land? I hope not. Would they six slot damage if they only have the energy to fire eleven times before becoming exhausted? I hope not.

There's a certain amount of trial and error that is required to settle this sort of stuff.

Hopefully everyone understands that we are committed to making a game that's fun to play, but it is also inevitable that some things that we think are going to work, well, they won't work the way we think they will. We just have to be transparent about it.

Another element we've considered is to have the game warn players when they are doing something that is considered sub-optimal in the design of a character (like six-slotting damage upgrades). We've discovered that this would be hard to do, particularly at start.

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Galactus55
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Re: Q&A with Consultant

Postby Galactus55 » Thu Apr 20, 2017 7:38 am

We have math set in place now. The real question for any complex system like SoH is how does it play when the characters are actually fighting, so we have to wait and see. Also, as you guys noticed, just because we as devs play one way and do certain things, does not mean that someone won't be able to find an exploit, or do something broken. ED had positives. That's true, but it also had negatives. Would someone six slot damage if their accuracy only allows every third hit to land? I hope not. Would they six slot damage if they only have the energy to fire eleven times before becoming exhausted? I hope not.

There's a certain amount of trial and error that is required to settle this sort of stuff.

Hopefully everyone understands that we are committed to making a game that's fun to play, but it is also inevitable that some things that we think are going to work, well, they won't work the way we think they will. We just have to be transparent about it.

Another element we've considered is to have the game warn players when they are doing something that is considered sub-optimal in the design of a character (like six-slotting damage upgrades). We've discovered that this would be hard to do, particularly at start.
Hello Consultant
I thank you for being transparent and I understand especially during the game development. I would like to request after the game has passed alpha beta & the omega tests. Please, please can we keep nurffing off the table.
That is the one and only time I ever felt like quitting COH. It's so frustrating developing a Char. just have it gutted :|.
Ok there I said it. I'm ok now.. ;)
May your frame rate be HIGH
And your Temperature LOW

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JestersGhost
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Re: Q&A with Consultant

Postby JestersGhost » Thu Apr 20, 2017 7:56 am

We have math set in place now. The real question for any complex system like SoH is how does it play when the characters are actually fighting, so we have to wait and see. Also, as you guys noticed, just because we as devs play one way and do certain things, does not mean that someone won't be able to find an exploit, or do something broken. ED had positives. That's true, but it also had negatives. Would someone six slot damage if their accuracy only allows every third hit to land? I hope not. Would they six slot damage if they only have the energy to fire eleven times before becoming exhausted? I hope not.
“Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that.” - George Carlin

Yeah, they will - and then complain that power costs are too high and accuracy has been nerfed again :P

In all seriousness, those cases aren't the problem. The problem is where one-accuracy in a power is "good-enough" for almost every case (and for the times it isn't you pop an inspiration) and so there's *no reason* to slot any other way. If adding one accuracy increases hit rate by 10%, but a damage enhancement adds 25%, then obviously slot the damage. If not slotting for endurance means you'd have to wait 10 seconds every minute to recover, the damage is still better.

Yes, with all the moving parts a lot of the fine-tweaking will come down to collecting data from a lot of playtesting - but it should only be the fine-tweaking. All of the core mechanics can and should be balanced easily beforehand. The CoH devs no doubt were pretty happy with their combat mechanics for years, until work by Arcanaville and others demonstrated there was a massive imbalance against defense as a stat in the core to-hit calculation. That kind of thing can and should be caught at this stage in the game's development.
Hopefully everyone understands that we are committed to making a game that's fun to play, but it is also inevitable that some things that we think are going to work, well, they won't work the way we think they will. We just have to be transparent about it.
Transparency is all I'm asking for :)
Another element we've considered is to have the game warn players when they are doing something that is considered sub-optimal in the design of a character (like six-slotting damage upgrades). We've discovered that this would be hard to do, particularly at start.
Whether it's sub-optimal or not is for the player to decide. What the player needs to know is the average chance to hit, damage dealt, resistance pierced, crowd-control duration, etc. I know I denigrated the intelligence of at least half of the population above, but at the end of the day they need to be able to play the game how they want to play (within reason). If they're happy role-playing a big lunk that can barely hit the broadside of a Rikti dropship, but really really hurts on the times they do hit? *shrug* Sure, go ahead. As long as they know that's what they're creating, let 'em make it.
[ quantum sufficit / casual-tempest.net / My Combat Mechanics Thread ]

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Galactus55
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Re: Q&A with Consultant

Postby Galactus55 » Thu Apr 20, 2017 11:41 am

Do you mean like putting 6 slots of Damage in BRAWL. lol
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Lazarus
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Re: Q&A with Consultant

Postby Lazarus » Thu Apr 20, 2017 11:47 am

I always wondered, could we have the option to choose at each level up whether we want another power or more enhancement slots instead of having the choice made for us? I hated how I *had* to take yet another attack power which I wouldn't use on my Blaster character instead of getting more slots to make the powers I actually used more effective. Maybe it would break the game mechanics to implement that, but it would be more fun to play IMO.


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