Friday Update #248

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Friday Update #248

Unread postby Golden Girl » Fri Sep 01, 2017 11:57 pm

This week, we’ve been doing some more planning work on the layout for some of the basic combat AI for enemy NPCs, with a focus on trying to make sure that there’s a major difference between those with ranged attacks and those with melee attacks, which was something that ‘City of Heroes’ didn’t do well at all.

For example, no matter what the ranged attack that they had was, the CoH enemy NPCs would only ever discharge one or two shots before charging into close combat, which made no tactical sense, especially if the player was melee based, as they were completely throwing away their advantage.
This major AI fault was even worse in the case of groups that were presented as highly trained paramilitaries, rather than just gang members, such as the Council, 5th Column and Malta.

Making a clear distinction between ranged and melee AI behaviors for enemies is one of the key parts of our goal to make our combat much more diverse than in CoH, so that there’s a wider variety of tactics that players might need to use, as well as letting us present the various enemy groups in ways that help them stand out from each other.


Have a heroic/villainous weekend!

The Heroes and Villains team
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Re: Friday Update #248

Unread postby Blaze Rocker » Sat Sep 02, 2017 6:01 pm

I'm glad to hear this. There shouldn't be an overall tendency to prefer one type of combat over another. It should be done on a individual character basis where survivability and damage output are factors. If a sniper's greatest strength is their long range attack and their survivability is low when in melee range then they should naturally tend to run from short range confrontation. Of course doing things this way also makes you think that snipers would have a High to Very High resistance to Taunt effects based on their training and conditioning.

Definitely something to think about if you haven't considered it already.
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Re: Friday Update #248

Unread postby American Gargoyle » Sat Sep 02, 2017 7:38 pm

Not sure if adding a resistance to taunt is a good idea. Imagine playing a melee character that has to chase an enemy over an entire map in order to defeat them. Make taunt relatively short ranged, well under a sniper's range, but make no body highly resistant to it is how I'd do it.
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Re: Friday Update #248

Unread postby Blaze Rocker » Sat Sep 02, 2017 11:20 pm

American Gargoyle wrote:Not sure if adding a resistance to taunt is a good idea. Imagine playing a melee character that has to chase an enemy over an entire map in order to defeat them. Make taunt relatively short ranged, well under a sniper's range, but make no body highly resistant to it is how I'd do it.

In H&V there is almost certain to be some enemies that will be resistant to taunt effects as well as others that are totally immune to direct taunting. CoH did it and I'm sure H&V will too.
I'm hoping this issue can at least be partially counter-balanced by the type of Taunt power/s I've created for the melee power sets I've been building for H&V. Although I haven't gotten acceptance from the primary dev team I think it has a good chance of making it into H&V.

My reimagined Taunt will give you two options from the same power + button slot.
Using CoH's circular button as an example:
Selecting a Taunt power upon leveling-up would give you two half-buttons within the same slot on your button tray. One button would work like the old Area of Effect Taunt power with the notable differences being that the taunt magnitude and the maximum target area of effect distance is reduced slightly while the recharge time is shortened.
The second button would be a single-target Taunt for use against tougher targets like elite bosses, arch-villains and giant monsters. The range would be longer and the recharge time would slower but the Taunt magnitude would be much greater. Taunt durations, regardless of magnitude, would be the same for both types as well as endurance costs if there were to be any. To prevent rapid stacking both buttons would shrink or gray-out until the recharge of the last taunt used was complete.

I figured that giving a melee archetype the ability to choose just how much artificial threat that they wanted to present to their foes would be a nice option for players while still keeping things somewhat even. With two types of Taunting available this might also enable all melee sets to be available to all or most melee archetypes without a need for restriction into classes such as Tank-Only or Scrapper-Only damage sets.

As I mentioned in my previous post foes with great training, conditioning or experience such as Snipers or battle-hardened villains would be expected to be resistant to a more general level (magnitude) of taunting that would be expected to be used on a group. A single focused taunt is expected to be needed to generate the proper level of aggro against tougher foes.
Group and single-target aggro powers can also have their uses in side-kicking. If two melee characters were teaming together the players could decide up-front how to handle groups and bosses based on survivability and damage output. A lower level tanker might stick to taunting bosses until the scrapper clears enough lower class foes to then equally share boss aggro with the tanker.
Having two types of taunting available also allows for better aggro management in sensitive situations. If one player has just been taking too much damage or lost too much endurance trying to fight off a large mob of foes yet they still have enough energy to fight one or two enemies they can stick to single-target taunting and give others a chance to hold the greater aggro if they choose not to exit combat and engage Rest.

This is my new take on taunting. I'm just trying to change things up a little bit and give the players greater control of their combat experience. If the main dev team doesn't want to implement it this way they are free to ignore it and either go back to using the CoH method or make their own Taunt system to suit their desires. Using the old method will not affect my work to any significant degree as it is just a tiny change.
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