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Combat Priorities - Staves Tweaks, Traits, and Stats

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  • Combat Priorities - Staves Tweaks, Traits, and Stats

    Many players, particularly combat-oriented folks, have given a lot of input over the years (and years) about what changes to combat are considered "priorities." This is my list from five years of observing and participating on a daily basis in that conversation - here, in @reports, in Discord, and by role play in game.

    My belief is that our feelings can be summarized as this: combat balance will always be a work in progress. Yes, tweaks to every weapon style is the ideal approach, so to make every weapon style competitive, in a unique way, to others. The weapon system should ideally be modeled on a "rock paper scissors" scheme - for example, whips should be weak to spears should be weak to pank, which is weak to whips, due to unique variations in each style. (An entirely made up example.)

    However, there are -immediate- changes that are necessary to fix glaring imbalances that are present right now. These imbalances have created a one-stop-top-type that dominates everything else, to the detriment of the game.

    These are the changes I feel are necessary, now:

    1. Dsweep/Sspin need one second added to the roundtimes, even to max stat speed characters. This combination is imbalanced because it fits in three attacks (and accompanying effects) between most opponents' roundtimes, in an extremely unfair way. Even if all weapons were "brought up to the level of staves," this is still an oddity of a combination that has massively overpowered effects. I'm going to point to a previous post: http://forum.skotos.net/forum/our-ga...37#post1774437

    To iteratire: sspin/dsweep. It is too fast. This happens:

    ------------------------------------

    # = time in seconds

    0: Gladiator uses any attack (most weapon attacks are MOS+2 at top end)
    0: Staver SSPINs (MOS+1). Gets the more aggressive RB to do it, too.
    1:
    2: Staver DSWEEP (MOS+1). Also gets the more aggressive RB to do it.
    3: Gladiator would be out of his original RT. Meaning, gladiator did not have time to respond to the original SSPIN before the DSWEEP occurs. Gladiator now is swept, and the rise failure is very high. Gladiator now has additional RT from being swept, or has left openings.
    4: Staver triplebashes, or spinstrikes, or pivots.

    Staver does a couple moves to cycle. Repeats.

    ------------------------------------

    The damage stuff with staves is a separate issue (triplehitting moves in the competitively fastest skillset...), and can be looked at later. Whenever that later is appears to be a long ways away. Meanwhile, please change the RT to sspin/dsweep. This is not balanced regardless of what else is done to any weapon.
    2. Dex is overpowered. Without a tweak to Dex, Dex builds will dominate, regardless of what new traits are introduced to compete with Dex-oriented traits. Even if Strength, Agility, or other stat-based traits were introduced, they don't make a competitive PVP combat character when Dex dominates. I suggest a diminishing return for Dex effects on +hit after 200. I suggest an increased bonus to Strength's effect on damage. I suggest an increased bonus to the effects of other stats as well.

    3. Traits should not be the repository for combat imbalance band-aids. Things like "wrestler" eliminating a prone penalty seems like a bandaid to the dominance of staves' ability to make people fail rolling rise (that failure is astronomically high) and being able to pull off dsweep/sspin combos serially. Things like "mobile skirmisher" giving a bonus to light loads is out of place as a trait, and should be implemented across the board to all characters.

    4. About 80 years (or something) have gone by IG. At this point, for there to NOT be new variations of armor seems extremely weird. This is an excellent opportunity for areas of the game to offer rep-based new variations of existing armor (they don't even need to be new, just new metals: armored harnesses, iron greaves, alanti phylax, iron waistguards, bronze and iron bracers, new gear such as a baltaeus.) New variations on existing armor doesn't take too much liberty with Roman lore, and doesn't change combat balance that much either - no one can wear boison everything - characters will ahve to pick and choose what areas of their body to reinforce, and what sorts of traits to pick to facilitate that. Spread the items out around the gameworld and make it so characters have to work at different challenges to earn them - rep in all sorts of places, tokens, boss loot, rare shops, rps purchases, and so forth.

    I'm sure I have more thoughts, but my fingers hurt. :P

    Senses, per our WA discussion that's happening right now - plz impart your thoughts.

  • #2
    There's a lot of balances that need to happen. This would be a quick fix that would make a major impact. Gladiating has all but stopped in large part because of this combo.

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    • #3
      Easier solution: We all just give in and all learn Staves.
      A woman in a shiny boison helmet with an absurdly tall dome says to a ram in Cineran, "Oh yes, hit me now, you bad bad bad sheep."
      A woman in a shiny boison helmet with an absurdly tall dome is stunned.
      A ram bumps roughly into a woman in a shiny boison helmet with an absurdly tall dome with its head!.


      “Everybody in this country should learn how to program a computer... because it teaches you how to think.” - Steve Jobs

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      • #4
        At least add ONE SECOND to the RT of JUST SSPIN. Then the combo can't be spammed at every rotation. The combo will need opportune moments to execute. JUST this tweak.

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        • #5
          I would, as I have several times in the past, agree with Elowynn on this point. The actual raw data shows that this combination is utterly broken. I have been subjected to the same imbalance. My toon, who has out ranked considerably multiple stave users has been bested or nearly bested based of just this specific exploit. The use of aggressive RB in both the step forward and the step back with Dsweep makes it supremely overpowered.

          And it seems that whenever something seems to chip away at the armor of the Stave skillset, that is addressed in turn.Pardelian, while unable to deal even the most remote amount of raw damage compared to all other skillsets with multi hitting moves, sometimes gets ankle thrust pointed out as the counter to the ability to staves. Even though, you are required to actually be able to land the attack [which is all about timing your stance shifts since OHS has no stepping move], Hope you get a good enough crit [And if you have trash Dex, good luck at getting consistent dependable crippling crits], And hope that this critical hit actually causes stumbles or falls. Even then, it is all up to the RNG gods to be successful. You are constantly in the long wait game compared to Staves which can literally throw approximately 7-10 blows [SSPin 3, Dsweep 1 [With an insanely high rate of being unrisable], First TB while in RT 3, Possibly second TB or SS prior to stand 3].

          And what change was given

          And I've heard the war cries that Pard is OP because Ankle Thrust aims low automatically and crits hard. By this same logic, top end knee break would be considered OP since even at 95 success, 96 roll I have landed a knee break which auto prone my target and put them into stun, locking them up for more unblockable top end damage. That seems more of a cause than Ankle thrust. But even Knee break I feel was a great addition to the game work to allow all weapons the ability to have a proning, unrisable, stun attack.

          The Imbalance is obvious. Staves have superior defense, comparable to Swords [which is the claim that everyone against swords having some type of bump "They got the best defense!"} but Staves have the hands down, without question, best damage input in the game. It isn't even close.

          There is a reason that almost every top tiered combat character made the switch to staves, with a few of us holding out due to RP or spite. The answer of 'staves are fine, we want to bring up everything else' is unsatisfactory. Especially when the noted above changes in Elowynn's post would at least give some resemblance to balance again.

          Variety helps bring the game further along. Not being forced to waste countless hours in skill sets that could be undone by 3 months of training staves is insane.

          There is a reason why there is a statistical anomaly between the number of stave users, the number of spear users, the number of OHS users, and everything else in the game. This change would be the -start- in the direction of combat balancing and variety as opposed to making this game become TEC: The war of stavers.
          Last edited by Siddhe; 09-21-2019, 08:46 AM.

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          • #6
            Also, of note:

            The further evidence that Staves are treated as some noted piece of fantastic weaponary that can never be beaten is the changes made by the GMs in order to cover up any resemblance of weakness. Whirling block [a custom move] is literally a blanket against every type of attacks that is not normally blocked by cross block, overhead block, and simple block. 4 layers and not a single opening. Whirling block now defends against Shield Charge, Lion's Gambit, Ankle thrust. How exactly does that make any sense?

            And just tested it again. Even when I far out ranked the opponent, I was hit nearly effortlessly with multiple hitting maneuvers while still facing against full layers of defense.

            This needs to change.

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            • #7
              I think discussion of who plays who is not appropriate when that player hasnít made that indication or disclosure themselves, and ask you to edit that so that this thread doesnít get deleted like so many others. If a ninja delete is made, I would ask that not the entire thing be wiped.

              I agree with most of what Ilkilynís gist is, though. Change the roundtimes of Sspin and Dsweep. regardless of what other changes are necessary for full balancing, that is an absolute must step one that has just been delayed for no purpose.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Elowynn View Post
                3. Traits should not be the repository for combat imbalance band-aids. Things like "wrestler" eliminating a prone penalty seems like a bandaid to the dominance of staves' ability to make people fail rolling rise (that failure is astronomically high) and being able to pull off dsweep/sspin combos serially.
                I strongly agree with this point. Traits such as this would be a woefully inadequate "balance" to staves or other similar severe combat disparities. Structural changes to the skillset are needed to address the issue.

                Originally posted by VBaehr View Post
                Whirling block now defends against Shield Charge, Lion's Gambit, Ankle thrust. How exactly does that make any sense?
                ... and multiple whip traps, which cannot be blocked by any other weapon. (As I've mentioned elsewhere, I think that whirling block would actually be fine if staves were re-balanced to be a more "defensive" weapon, which is what they were originally intended to be. But when staves also have unparalleled offensive power, this is kind of a kick in the pants.)


                As a casual observer who hasn't played much in a while, it leaves a bit of a bad taste in the mouth to see that, still, nothing has been done about staves. I know I saw a GM response in some other thread a month or two ago stating that "combat tweaks" would potentially be looked into after the traits are finished, but that response feels like it fails to acknowledge the priority & importance of the issue in the eyes of players, and it also raises concerns that something like what Elowynn hinted at might be the next unconvincing response coming down the pipeline to players in this never-ending saga. When the feedback is this strong and long-maintained, one would think a meaningful response would be a simple matter of customer service.
                [Success: 95, Roll: 5] Pharse swings a cestus-covered fist sideways, lashing out at you with the blades of his weapon, but misses. You use the broad head of your short whip to knock aside the attack with a brute-force swat.

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                • #9
                  The fact that all top tier fighters use staves and explain monthly they are broken and hereís why. Kinda dead horse, get a gm to spend an hour with any of them testing and itís blatant. We know itís an issue.
                  "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

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                  • #10
                    I'm just chiming in to say I agree as well. There is no point to having the discussion about combat balance when you have staves standing so far above everything else. I watched an arena games fairly recently and it was boring because the entire time was one top tier level fighter get rolled like they were in a washing machine, constantly up then down then nasty crit. It wasn't even a fight and the person I'm talking about is a good fighter. It's sad that the community has pointed this out so many times that we've gotten exhausted with this topic and aren't really chiming in anymore because they don't think it will change.

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                    • #11
                      Extremely disheartening to have this conversation over and over again.

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                      • #12
                        This has progressed from a combat issue to an administrative issue.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Elowynn View Post
                          1. Dsweep/Sspin need one second added to the roundtimes, even to max stat speed characters. This combination is imbalanced because it fits in three attacks (and accompanying effects) between most opponents' roundtimes, in an extremely unfair way. Even if all weapons were "brought up to the level of staves," this is still an oddity of a combination that has massively overpowered effects. I'm going to point to a previous post: http://forum.skotos.net/forum/our-ga...37#post1774437
                          What weapon and speed are you getting 1 + MOS with for these two attack? I have maxed out speed and do not get these results. I don't even get these results when high on speed drugs.

                          It's possible I don't have the fastest fangstave or highest possible speed. I don't have nimble feet.

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                          • #14
                            Siddhe says to Philippecp, "Not going to address which sets are great, and not great, right now. But in general - all skill sets will be looked at, eventually. If you have things about the set you'd like looked at or considered, @request - question is a great place for that."

                            I am not going to sit here and debate your forum posts- but you already have another thread open on this. Which you directly link to....

                            I have done limited testing with another staver- there is also a command called fall back and whatever characters chosen stance plays a part too.

                            Oh and yes there is a rank bonus associated with stepping spin- Your going from one stance to a more aggressive stance and you have to be engraged with a person- if said person is aware of their surroundings and able to switch stances or push back- or whatever other move you want to do it's there.
                            blank kills you with blank's bare hands.
                            You are slain.

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                            • #15
                              2. Dex is overpowered. Without a tweak to Dex, Dex builds will dominate, regardless of what new traits are introduced to compete with Dex-oriented traits. Even if Strength, Agility, or other stat-based traits were introduced, they don't make a competitive PVP combat character when Dex dominates. I suggest a diminishing return for Dex effects on +hit after 200. I suggest an increased bonus to Strength's effect on damage. I suggest an increased bonus to the effects of other stats as well.
                              Agree on symptoms, not on cures. I see A few potential solutions here I'd like to toss out for discussion.

                              1. Give all stats strengths that compete with the power of bonus to hit dexterity provides.
                              1. same as 1, but you cap all stats at 200. Remove all trait bonuses that push stats beyond this.
                              2. Same as 2, but you also limit people's ability to max all stats. Ex: If you max dex, you can't max agility or speed. If you max agility, you can't max dex or percep.
                              3. Remove stats entirely, and move mechanics bonus's stats provide over to traits.

                              I personally like the third option, because it increases the potential for unique character builds by the largest margin. Also, I think it's the simplest solution, as it eliminates the need to balance traits that effect stats from the traits equation. IMO, that creates room to breathe for roleplay choices in traits, rather than must have combat advantages. Just food for thought.

                              On staves. I don't think nerfing dsweep/sspin will have any effect on the current state of combat. I've said it on the discord before, but to reiterate here, I personally would much rather the GM's bring weapons up to a staves level, than bring staves down to a worse level. That being said, staves do way too much damage for the defensive capabilities they have, and are also laughably fast. A knivesman with 200 speed and a tin knife has a 3+mos triplecut. A stavesman with stat skill speed has a 1+mos spinstrike. There lots of consistency issues like this that could be addressed that would create a healthier combat environment overall.

                              Ultimately, whichever GM(s) are working on this should hop over to the discord and engage us in live conversation so we can find solutions to difficult problems within the subject in real time. There's a lot of big ideas being tossed around, and it would be nice to know what kind of framework we're building within.



                              Originally posted by MrSelfDestruct
                              I thought it was just a rumor that it was all number-crunching and competitive training in a game with no logical endpoint since characters are ostensibly immortal and can always get better.

                              You mean it's true?
                              Originally posted by Phwoar
                              Maybe I'm just becoming some tea-sipping hippy, or maybe I'm sour because my main uses cesti, but, why sacrifice a character idea for the sake of some hypothetical edge in some imagined combat situation in the distant future?
                              Originally posted by Elowynn
                              Rupert is like the Snowden champion of TEC.

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