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View Full Version : Lore based design out of the windows



harniq
30-04-2012, 11:23
In other mmo's and rpg's in general, there are some lore based design choices that make perfect sense in pen and paper tabletop gaming. Some of these have very stretching consequences in video games, and I'm happy to see them gone. Let's list them up, and pull some conclusions. This is by no means limited to WoW but actually almost every RPG I played had this problem:

- stand still while casting
- face target while casting
- casters "should" do high damage and aoe
- melee attacks by default, these attacks are good
- melee has high armor, casters wear bikini's
- casters have a limited mana pool while melee can generate rage/points/combo's to fight indefinitely

This leads to a playstyle that's not fun for either. A warrior/thief/melee type of character doesn't have many skills. On the other hand they do high damage with auto attacks, which makes sense in a lore-based way. This leads to extremely bland gameplay for melee characters. So they focus their button mashing into circle strafing and jumping, if only to break boredom.

This conflicts with the lore based design of casters. who have to stand still and take a pounding, while looking at their target. On paper, this immediately makes any melee by default the rock-paper-scissors counter to any caster, simply because melee does more damage to casters. Since a good melee player can avoid any and all lore designed caster damage, this problem grows.

This forces casters to become better classes on paper to defeat the better classes by lore design. Caster spells are higher damage, more sure to hit and have less ways of avoidance by stats. This all compensates for the avoidance of a good melee player. So if a caster gets better he actually starts crushing melee because spells by default have to be overpowered to be balanced...

skilled caster >>> skilled melee >>> noob melee >>> noob caster

This flip flopped of character power based on personal skill and lore based design makes balancing most RPG games next to impossible. Will you balance skilled players => you nerf noob casters. Balance around noobs? Skilled casters become insanely overpowered.

These things make perfect sense in the Lord of the Rings books. They make perfect sense in AD&D. They don't make any sense in an mmo. I'm happy to see that running, dodging and jumping while casting is possible in gw2. This took a while to get used to ! But it's a very nice change of pace to the oldskool combat system where melee by default wins against casters.

shadowhand
30-04-2012, 22:32
Yes. That was awesome. Just being able to do a double-tap dodge away from a nasty boss, activate my kite skill and then cast a couple of attack spells to wear the mob down as my minions and other players filled the gap made playing a necromancer a lot more interesting. And fun.

raspberry jam
01-05-2012, 01:20
- stand still while casting
- face target while casting
- casters "should" do high damage and aoe
- melee attacks by default, these attacks are good
- melee has high armor, casters wear bikini's
- casters have a limited mana pool while melee can generate rage/points/combo's to fight indefinitely

(...)

skilled caster >>> skilled melee >>> noob melee >>> noob casterGW1 was really cool because while it did have some of the stuff on your list, it also managed to turn the >>> list inside out. Skilled melee was invaluable, while noob melee was useless. Caster came in the middle.

Alaris
01-05-2012, 01:27
GW1 was really cool because while it did have some of the stuff on your list, it also managed to turn the >>> list inside out. Skilled melee was invaluable, while noob melee was useless. Caster came in the middle.

I think it really matters on which areas and what professions. WvW for example, casters are in the middle. But I can see in 5v5 that casters might be on the outside.

raspberry jam
01-05-2012, 01:34
I think it really matters on which areas and what professions. WvW for example, casters are in the middle. But I can see in 5v5 that casters might be on the outside.I was talking about GW1. Haven't tried GW2 PvP yet, that's for the next BWE! :smiley:

Alaris
01-05-2012, 02:07
I was talking about GW1. Haven't tried GW2 PvP yet, that's for the next BWE! :smiley:

I wasn't sure what you were comparing to.

What I like is that the range of noob to skill seems pretty large, and yet noobs are still useful. Unlike say the GW1 mesmer where the noob mesmer (me) was completely useless most of the time it was frustrating.

Смерть
01-05-2012, 03:32
Besides the point of actual character control based on lore--just reminded me of movement in general--there is one thing that I haven't seen in GW2 which is using skills while jumping. Unless I did use skills while jumping, and totally forgot about it.

Alaris
01-05-2012, 04:02
I tried skills while jumping, I was not able to do it. There may be exceptions, but most skills required you to be grounded.

RD
01-05-2012, 04:06
I tried skills while jumping, I was not able to do it. There may be exceptions, but most skills required you to be grounded.

I didn't even think of this. Wasn't this one of the original design ideas? That each skill would function differently based on how you used it (jumping, moving, standing still)? Kind of glad they scrapped that...

Смерть
01-05-2012, 04:44
Was it possible to jump over a warrior smashing the ground--to vertically avoid damage? I remember ANet talking about climbing trees and such in the first PC Gamer issue about GW2--can only see now how this would have made GW2 pretty crazy.

Alaris
01-05-2012, 04:57
I would have liked different skills while jumping (or at least, some differences even if most skills were the same) but I also kinda like people being forced to not jump all the time. /undecided

It was planned in the early stages and scrapped at some point apparently.