COMMUNITY - FORUMS - GENERAL DISCUSSION
A conversation needs to be had...
-18

About combat and the whole death dynamic. Put simply, it's bad.

I've had reservations for awhile now, but it's taken some time after they announced the bloodlust stuff for me to crystallize in my head why it's so bad.

Here are the problems as I see them:

  • PC respawns and NPC lack thereof create a fundamental imbalance due to their equal emphasis in large scale (and perhaps small scale) PVP.
  • These imbalances create terrible gameplay loops and eliminate incentives for certain types of PVP.

To describe the first problem best, imagine the course of a pitched battle: two sides face off, start killing each other and one side or the other starts to gain the upper hand due to attrition. Except, some of the previously slain players start to get back up, zombie-like, to keep fighting. The essence of the problem is that this ability to keep coming back into the fight means that the side with the more PCs has a huge advantage. If numbers of PCs are relatively even, then maybe it's not a huge deal, but if an army is made up of majority PCs, or even just substantially more PCs than an opposing side, it can completely skew the normal effects of a battle. Imagine fighting your opponent to a stalemate, only to have more and more of their soldiers keep getting up. If you have a situation where two sides fight each other to a standstill, that's still effectively a loss for the side with fewer PCs.

Which brings us to the second problem. There are three options at this point: leave the mechanics as is, have dead players respawn at a safe place, or simply do away with soul-walking and make all deaths permadeaths.

Leaving the mechanics as they are means that once you lose an open field fight, you are done as far as your character is concerned. Any group with a brain in their heads will simply camp your bodies with OPCs/NPCs until you permadie. You could say that this is simply the consequence of losing, but this is a crappy game mechanic for all involved. It sucks for the people who lost because they have to deal with endless spawn camping. And it sucks for the victors, because they have to waste time and/or characters to keep killing you. But people will still do it because the benefits far outweigh the downsides at a strategic level.

Creating safe respawns keeps the above terrible gameplay loop from developing, but it locks in the advantage of larger groups that I talked about at the beginning. If your group is large enough, you can simply launch your warm bodies at another side, and as long as you aren't sub-humanly terrible, you can grind them down until they lose through sheer force of numbers. It just seems too much of an advantage to me that one PC is worth 10 or so NPCs in terms of longevity. At that point, why even have NPCs in combat at all? It makes it too easy for larger groups to come in and dominate.

Finally, there is one-time permadeath. This solves the problems of both of the previous solutions by putting PCs on par with NPCs in terms of longevity, without eliminating the inherent advantage PCs have (they aren't controlled by terrible AI). The biggest issue here is not in the gameplay, but rather getting players to accept it as a solution. Permadeath is scary, but to be honest, the consequences aren't all that different from any other full loot game. You have ways of passing your property to heirs, and the reincarnation system means you can get a leg up on reskilling new characters. In EVE, the mantra is "don't fly what you can't afford to lose," or in other words, be prepared because you know that you will die eventually. It functions fine there (they have ship insurance and what not but you still ultimately take a loss with each destroyed ship that you have to make up for), and it is (was, but that's another story for another time) a very successful niche MMO. People will play with these mechanics if you give them plenty of warning ahead of time. And frankly, the higher stakes make for more thrilling gameplay. Adventures really mean something when you could lose it all with a mistake. Trading becomes more profitable. I think it would honestly improve just about every aspect of the game. Change sparks of life to give you a certain amount of characters per use, instead of the life of one character with multiple respawns, and you will have a game with much more robust and fun game mechanics.

TLDR: get rid of spirit-walking and introduce one-time permadeath to solve fundamental PVP imbalances.


...
3/19/2019 6:55:32 AM #1
+26

Or we could just wait until we test out the mechanics, to see how it all really plays out. If it does need to be changed, then it will.

Unless I have missed it somewhere, we don't even know how long this spirit walking will take. Basically until we have all the details down, it's really hard to say what is a bad idea and what we should change it to.


3/19/2019 7:00:51 AM #2
+5

"Bloodlust is bad" added to the list of things we're always going to fight about. Should I list it after "PvP is griefing" or after " Waerd's mechanics enable stealing"?

3/19/2019 7:23:07 AM #3
+5

The Devs have said that there is an “increasing respawn timer and other balancing Astral Plane mechanics to prevent perpetual battles.” Doesn’t that address your concern?


The above opinions are mine alone and do not reflect those of my Kingdom or Duchy.

Count of Arden, in the Duchy of Fioralba, in the Kingdom of Ashland, by the Grace of Haven.

https://chroniclesofelyria.com/forum/topic/17117/naw-the-duchy-of-fioralba

https://chroniclesofelyria.com/forum/topic/14124/naw-kingdom-of-ashland

3/19/2019 3:15:21 PM #4
+3

Let's wait and see what they do before requesting a wholesale sell-off of the concept. Right now all we have to go with are design write-ups.


3/19/2019 3:37:34 PM #5
-5

No, because if you can use a number of NPCs/OPCs to camp someone's body and kill a downed opponent, no amount of time on the respawn will matter.

My objection isn't the amount of time for battles, the objection is that it either screws up strategic incentives, or it simply takes a longer, more tedious, and less enjoyable path to get to the same place. Either you get camped til you permadie anyway, or big groups get an outsized advantage over competitors due to spirit-walking.

This isn't a complaint about bloodlust, bloodlust is incidental to the real issue. The real issue is that NPCs, while being a huge part of the proposed game ecosystem (for lack of a better word), have permadeath, but players don't. It doesn't take extensive mechanics testing to realize this doesn't even work in theory.


3/19/2019 4:05:38 PM #6
+6

Posted By Deftly at 02:00 AM - Tue Mar 19 2019

"Bloodlust is bad" added to the list of things we're always going to fight about. Should I list it after "PvP is griefing" or after " Waerd's mechanics enable stealing"?

Between “Waerd are communists” and “Ships are floating permadeath coffins”.


Count Wulfberht of Leîj'rez county, VII of the order of the IX.

Order of IX

3/19/2019 4:23:41 PM #7
+4

Posted By Julius Foederatus at 08:37 AM - Tue Mar 19 2019

No, because if you can use a number of NPCs/OPCs to camp someone's body and kill a downed opponent, no amount of time on the respawn will matter.

My objection isn't the amount of time for battles, the objection is that it either screws up strategic incentives, or it simply takes a longer, more tedious, and less enjoyable path to get to the same place. Either you get camped til you permadie anyway, or big groups get an outsized advantage over competitors due to spirit-walking.

This isn't a complaint about bloodlust, bloodlust is incidental to the real issue. The real issue is that NPCs, while being a huge part of the proposed game ecosystem (for lack of a better word), have permadeath, but players don't. It doesn't take extensive mechanics testing to realize this doesn't even work in theory.

So you want NPCs to not have permadeath, but to spirit walk like PCs? I see a bigger problem with that. That allows someone to essentially buy massive army of unkillable NPCs. If the rare case of a massive player army is a problem -- the case of a massive NPC army is a worse one.

Having NPCs be fragile makes using an NPC army very tricky and difficult. Your soldiers can actually die -- and replacing those losses could be a serious logistical problem. That seems like a feature, not a bug.

If there is a bug, it is that PCs don't die -- but I think that issue is handled by respawn delay and the spirit walk. I see corpse camping could be a problem, but there are solutions to it short of completely revamping the entire proposed game mechanics.


The above opinions are mine alone and do not reflect those of my Kingdom or Duchy.

Count of Arden, in the Duchy of Fioralba, in the Kingdom of Ashland, by the Grace of Haven.

https://chroniclesofelyria.com/forum/topic/17117/naw-the-duchy-of-fioralba

https://chroniclesofelyria.com/forum/topic/14124/naw-kingdom-of-ashland

3/19/2019 4:33:37 PM #8
-9

...No I want the opposite. For players to die like NPCs without spiritwalking.


3/19/2019 4:48:23 PM #9
+4

Posted By Julius Foederatus at 09:33 AM - Tue Mar 19 2019

...No I want the opposite. For players to die like NPCs without spiritwalking.

OK -- but if there is a long enough death timer, how is that not accomplished as a practical matter. I think very few people could afford a $25 spark every time they die in a game. Granted, having that would make people very cautious and very reluctant to fight with each other -- but I don't think most people who play games like that want that game experience.


The above opinions are mine alone and do not reflect those of my Kingdom or Duchy.

Count of Arden, in the Duchy of Fioralba, in the Kingdom of Ashland, by the Grace of Haven.

https://chroniclesofelyria.com/forum/topic/17117/naw-the-duchy-of-fioralba

https://chroniclesofelyria.com/forum/topic/14124/naw-kingdom-of-ashland

3/19/2019 4:51:08 PM #10
+8

When you walk back to your body, from what has been said, you don't just "get up" from where you were laying all corpsified. You get back to the area and then either have some sort of view to see what the situation is around your body, or spawn a bit of a distance away, or some similar mechanic.

If someone is just sitting there camping your corpse then they aren't contributing to the battle anymore, and won't know when that person is coming back. Plus if the person that was killed decided to they could log off for a while to preserve their spiritwalk timer and therefore keep the other side guessing if the person they are camping is coming back any time soon.

All this should be fine tuned during Alpha and Beta, and until we see it in action we won't have a great idea how it will all play out. Would you want to be put on "corpse patrol" in a pitched battle? Another question would be, will an NPC want to be put on it? You don't get full control of your NPC's they are going to have some minds of their own.


3/19/2019 4:55:57 PM #11
-4

You wouldn't have to. You could just write a script for your OPC and log off. People will have alts for exactly this purpose if this iteration of mechanics goes through.

Edit: I played EVE for about 10 years. People would camp systems for weeks (literally) in the hopes of getting a supercapital kill. Do not doubt for a second that people would willingly camp your corpse for as long as it gives them an advantage.


3/19/2019 5:08:38 PM #12
+7

I'm confused why there is any mention of corpse camping, did I hallucinate when we were told many times you don't respawn at the place where you died?


3/19/2019 5:10:03 PM #13
+2

Posted By Julius Foederatus at 09:55 AM - Tue Mar 19 2019

You wouldn't have to. You could just write a script for your OPC and log off. People will have alts for exactly this purpose if this iteration of mechanics goes through.

Edit: I played EVE for about 10 years. People would camp systems for weeks (literally) in the hopes of getting a supercapital kill. Do not doubt for a second that people would willingly camp your corpse for as long as it gives them an advantage.

OK -- best have friends you can communicate with offline, so you can ask them to "come and clear the OPC camp." Further, that kind of thing sounds like it could and should be specifically addressed in local law. A law against "desecrating a corpse" for instance.

With regard to the "respawn is not at the exact spot so there can be no corpse camping" -- I'm not sure we can say that. An OPC script might allow for an attack range large enough to include any nearby respawn area. Even if not, a team could spread out in an overlapping grid to cover the entire possible respawn area. However, all this means is that is concern is premature because it really get in the weed of how gameplay will work -- and we just don't know any of that in any detail.


The above opinions are mine alone and do not reflect those of my Kingdom or Duchy.

Count of Arden, in the Duchy of Fioralba, in the Kingdom of Ashland, by the Grace of Haven.

https://chroniclesofelyria.com/forum/topic/17117/naw-the-duchy-of-fioralba

https://chroniclesofelyria.com/forum/topic/14124/naw-kingdom-of-ashland

3/19/2019 5:12:32 PM #14
+5

Posted By Julius Foederatus at 09:55 AM - Tue Mar 19 2019

You wouldn't have to. You could just write a script for your OPC and log off. People will have alts for exactly this purpose if this iteration of mechanics goes through.

Edit: I played EVE for about 10 years. People would camp systems for weeks (literally) in the hopes of getting a supercapital kill. Do not doubt for a second that people would willingly camp your corpse for as long as it gives them an advantage.

From the last I heard, you don't even respawn precisely where your body dropped specifically for this issue. As I understand it, you respawn some as-yet unspecified distance away (maybe a quarter mile for all we know).

Furthermore, you don't lose more spirit for dying multiple times in a row. There is a timer involved before more spirit loss is involved.

Corpse camping just doesn't sound as feasible in this game from what I have read. Then again, information changes and its not all in one place to read...

3/19/2019 5:14:13 PM #15
+8

Posted By Julius Foederatus at 03:33 AM - Wed Mar 20 2019

...No I want the opposite. For players to die like NPCs without spiritwalking.

What? Instant perma death? Again.. what? CoE is already planning to be somewhat hardcore survival game. But this would go next level insane. I didn't even think the people that play games with this setting on, is even very high. Want to make the game even more niche?

Maybe this is the wrong game for you, if you want that level of hardcore mode.


...
Log in to post