Thursday, June 30, 2011

Some Thoughts on Combat


This started as a brief explanation of what the new skills are and I’m afraid it’s sort of grown into more of a post-mortem of what was there and how we have addressed it. Now that you know the when the changes will be made, Sarah and I wanted to give you a bit of insight into our design philosophy, the how’s and whys.

Let’s start with the why.

We get feedback from a variety of different sources. No one source is any more legit or weighed more heavily than any other and no single play style has more sway with us. Combat is something we have been compiling data and feedback on for a very long time. We kept seeing the same concerns come up – no use for support characters, requests for damage-focused build options, and other well recognized build types, no variety in groups, not required or viable tactics. These were all very valid complaints and ones we needed to address while still keeping it possible for players who wanted to solo to be able to complete a large part of the game's content. We’ve always intended that players be able to do a variety of things in Fallen Earth, just not that they would be able to do a variety of things all at the same time and at the same skill level. We wanted your build choice to feel significant, and to do that we needed more distinct valid options.

The other complaint revealed a lot more about what we had implemented – too many redundant buttons. It wasn’t simply that players had a full hot bar. They had the full hot bar but only relied on 6 buttons. This isn’t as much of an issue as players gain familiarity with the system, but for new players it was overwhelming and prevented them from connecting with their character and the world. FE has a bit of a learning curve, we didn’t need to make it harder.

How:

In the new system, skill and mutation lines are each designed around filling a purpose. Each one has a different niche to fill, and we tried to include everything we feel needs to be there. To facilitate making more specialized build types (offensive, defensive, support) we assigned base statistics to those roles. For example, Endurance is defensive, and won't have a role in offensive skills - it will only increase maximums of defensive or mixed lines. A character with Endurance is either a defensive or a hybrid build.

It is possible to still build “jack of all trade” characters, it’s also possible to have other unique builds as well.

Following this is a complete breakdown of every skill line, its abilities and when each rank becomes available.

The Skills:

Armor Use provides a passive bonus to damage resistances, as well as:
• Dreadnaught – This is a stance ability that increases Primary armor and decreases speed.

Ranks at: 54, 69, 84, 99, 114, 129, 144, 159, 174, and 189 Armor Use.
• Soak Elements – This is a stance ability that increases Secondary/Tertiary armor and decreases Primary armor. Ranks at: 75, 90, 105, 120, 135, 150, 165, 180, and 195 Armor Use.

Dirty Tricks is a skill line for debuffing opponents. It offers:
• Dirty Steel – This is a prepared attack that reduces the target's armor and does damage over time. It will also stun NPCs. Ranks at: Training, 33, 63, 93, 123, 153, and 183 Dirty Tricks.
• Kneecap – This is a prepared attack that reduces the target's speed. Ranks at: 34, 75, 105, 135, 165, and 195 Dirty Tricks.

• Sabotage – This prepared attack reduces the target's armor. Ranks at: 70, 90, 130, 160, and 190 Dirty Tricks.

Dodge gives a passive bonus, opposing the extra damage provided by the Precision, Power and Weapon skill lines. It also offers:
• Duck And Weave – This stance ability converts a portion of damage taken into stamina damage. Ranks at: 57, 87, 117, 147, and 177 Dodge.

Escape Artist is a defensive skill line that affects your stealthiness on the radar map. It contains:
• Dash – A short speed increase. Ranks at: Training, 57, and 132 Escape Artist.
• Shake It Off – This ability removes negative status effects and snares. Ranks at: 12, 72, 102, 132, 162, and 192 Escape Artist.

• Lucky Break – This raises your save values for a short duration. Ranks at: 69, 99, 129, 159, and 189 Escape Artist.

• Misdirection – This increases your primary, secondary, and tertiary armor values for a short duration. Ranks at: 81, 111, 141, and 171 Escape Artist.

First Aid is a support set, with:
• Resuscitation – Resurrects your target. Ranks at: 39, 99, and 159 First Aid.
• Stanch Wound – This heals your target and increases their health regeneration for an hour. Ranks at: 1, 36, 66, 96, 126, 156, and 186 First Aid.
• Suck It Up – This ability will counter weak status effects and has a short cool-down. Multiple applications will remove stronger status effects. Ranks at: 12, 72, 102, 132, 162, and 192 First Aid.
• Renew – This ability will remove strong status effects and snares. Ranks at: 84, 114, 144, and 174 First Aid.

Group Tactics is also a support set, focused on auras:
• Give 'em Hell – This aura increases your team's Power. Ranks at: 60, 90, 120, 150, and 180 Group Tactics.
• Offensive Coordination – This aura increases your team's critical chance and stamina regeneration, but reduces their ranged and melee defense. Ranks at: Training, 30, 60, 90, 120, 150, and 180 Group Tactics.
• Combat Endurance – This aura increases your team's maximum stamina and gamma, as well as their stamina and gamma regeneration. Ranks at: 42, 72, 102, 132, 162, and 192 Group Tactics.
• Overwhelm – This lowers the target's armor, ranged defense and melee defense. Ranks at: 69, 99, 129, 159, and 189 Group Tactics.

Heavy Weapons offers the player the ability to use grenade and rocket launchers, as well as:

• Soften 'Em Up – This reduces the fire and piercing resistance of those in a small radius around your target. Ranks at: 150 and 180 Heavy Weapons.

• Caltrops – This ability slows those in a small radius around your target. Ranks at: 195 Heavy Weapons.

Melee, together with Precision and Power, determines your bonus critical chance and damage percentage when using Melee weapons and also offers:
• Charge – A short duration ability that gives a bonus to movement, speed and damage. Ranks at: 60, 90, 120, 150, and 180 Melee.
• Provoke – This ability will increase your threat and reduce your opponent's ranged/melee defense. Ranks at: 45, 60, 75, 90, 105, 120, 135, 150, 165, 180, and 195 Melee.

Pistol, together with Precision and Power, determines your bonus critical chance and damage percentage when using Pistol weapons and in addition contains:
• Incendiary Strike – This prepared attack adds a fire DoT onto your regular attack damage. Ranks at: 60, 90, 120, 150, and 180 Pistol.
• Concentration – This toggled ability increases your Precision and Weapon skills, but decreases your melee and ranged defense. Ranks at: 60, 105, 150, and 195 Pistol.

Power, together with the appropriate weapon skill, determines your bonus damage percentage and has:
• Attack Posture – This stance increases your damage. Ranks at: 63, 93, 123, 153, and 183 Power.
• Dent Armor – This prepared attack temporarily reduces your target's armor. It will also stun NPCs. Ranks at: 51, 81, 111, 141, and 171 Power.

Precision, together with the appropriate weapon skill, determines your chance for a critical hit and provides:
• Precise Hit – This is a prepared attack that does additional damage. It also reduces the speed of NPC targets. Ranks at: 51, 81, 111, 141, and 171 Precision.
• Perfect Timing – This is a short duration buff that increases your chance of a critical hit. Ranks at: 63, 93, 123, 153, and 183 Precision.

Rifle, together with Precision and Power, determines your bonus critical chance and damage percentage when using Rifle weapons, plus:
• Agonizing Wound – This prepared attack slows your target. Ranks at: 54, 84, 114, 144, and 174 Rifle.
• Bullseye – This prepared attack does additional damage. Ranks at: 60, 90, 120, 150, and 180 Rifle.

Social, in addition to its financial benefits, is a personal aggression control set and has:
• Flag Of Truce – This stance prevents faction NPCs from seeing you as an enemy. NPCs who have already begun to attack you will not be fooled. Only one rank, at 165 Social.
• Inconspicuous – This ability greatly lowers your threat from a targeted enemy. Ranks at: Training, 45, 75, 105, 135, 165, and 195 Social.
• Diplomatic Immunity – While this short-duration ability is active, you are unable to take other actions, but you have increased armor, melee defense and ranged defense. Ranks at: 60, 90, 120, 150, and 180 Social.

Alpha Mutations are intended for the early game, when players do not yet have a full skill bar. They will only increase up to rank 4. The available alpha mutations are:
• Disrupt – This targeted ability reduces your target's melee defense, ranged defense and save ratings for a short time. Ranks at: 9, 30, 51, and 72 Alpha.
• Patch – This is a healing ability that also cures status ailments. Ranks at: 9, 30, 51, and 72 Alpha.
• Gird – This toggled ability raises your maximum health. Ranks at: 9, 30, 51, and 72 Alpha.
• Bolster – This toggled ability raises your maximum stamina and your damage. Ranks at: 9, 30, 51, and 72 Alpha.

Empathy is a support set with:
• Share Life – This combat resurrect ability brings a friend back to life faster than other such abilities, but it does so by lowering your own health. Ranks at: 48, 66, 84, 102, 120, 138, 156, 174, and 192 Empathy.
• Benevolence – This is a direct healing ability which will restore health to you or a target, but the amount restored is greater when used on someone else. Ranks at: Training, 45, 63, 81, 99, 117, 135, 153, 171, and 189 Empathy.
• Restoration – This is a single target, short duration heal over time. Ranks at: 75, 93, 111, 129, 147, 165, and 183 Empathy.
• Preservation – This ability removes status effects from the target. Strong status ailments will require more than one application. Ranks at: 54, 72, 90, 108, 126, 144, 162, and 180 Empathy.

Enhancement is a support line with additional personal defense:
• Calibration – This aura increases your team's primary armor. Ranks at: Training, 48, 66, 84, 102, 120, 138, 156, 174, and 192 Enhancement.
• Ablate – This stance raises your armor. Ranks at: 72, 90, 108, 126, 144, 162, and 180 Enhancement.
• Resilience – This aura raises your team's saves. Ranks at: 60, 78, 96, 114, 132, 150, 168, and 186 Enhancement.


Illumination is a support line providing additional resources and regeneration:
• Endless Reserves – This toggle raises your maximum gamma and stamina, but lowers your maximum health. Ranks at: 60, 78, 96, 114, 132, 150, 168, and 186 Illumination.
• Meditation – This aura raises your team's stamina and gamma regeneration. Ranks at: Training, 51, 69, 87, 105, 123, 141, 159, 177, and 195 Illumination.


Nano-Manipulation is an teammate-focused support set:
• Reconstruction – This resurrects teammates in a cone-shaped area. Ranks at: 48, 66, 84, 102, 120, 138, 156, 174, and 192 Nano-Manipulation.
• Filtration – This ability requires you to aim at your target, but if you hit, it is a very strong status removal that also restores health. Ranks at: 57, 75, 93, 111, 129, 147, 164, and 183 Nano-Manipulation.
• Vital Osmosis – This is a team-only heal in a cone-shaped area. Ranks at: Training, 45, 63, 81, 99, 117, 135, 153, 171, and 189 Nano-Manipulation.
• Revitalize – This ability raises the health regeneration of all allies close to the caster. Ranks at: 72, 90, 108, 126, 144, 162, and 180 Nano-Manipulation.


Patho-Transmission is a support set that debuffs your opponents:
• Sapping Sickness – This is a small targeted area of effect ability that reduces the speed of those hit by it. Ranks at: 72, 90, 108, 126, 144, 162, and 180 Patho-Transmission.
• Wracking Pains – This ability lowers your target's regeneration. Ranks at: Training, 48, 66, 84, 102, 120, 138, 156, 174, and 192 Patho-Transmission.
• Debilitating Weakness – This causes those around you to suffer lowered Power and weapon skills, reducing their damage. Ranks at: 60, 78, 96, 114, 132, 150, 168, and 186 Patho-Transmission.

Primal is a very physical mutation with:
• Primal Vigor – This toggled ability lowers your maximum gamma to raise your maximum health. Ranks at: Training, 48, 66, 84, 102, 120, 138, 156, 174, and 192 Primal.
• Beast Might – This prepared attack costs health, but deals extra damage and has a short cool-down. Ranks at: 72, 90, 108, 126, 144, 162, and 180 Primal.
• Rampage – This ability raises your damage and health for a few seconds and then leaves you weakened. Ranks at: 60, 78, 96, 114, 132, 150, 168, and 186 Primal.

Sonic Influence is a damage-focused set with:
• Sonic Lance – This ability must be aimed at your target, but if you hit, it will cause sonic damage. Ranks at: Training, 48, 66, 84, 102, 120, 138, 156, 174, and 192 Sonic Influence.
• Rending Vibrations – This ability sends out sonic waves that cause damage over time in a cone-shaped area. Ranks at: 72, 90, 108, 126, 144, 162, and 180 Sonic Influence.
• Catastrophic Dissonance – This ability does damage to those nearby. Ranks at: 60, 78, 96, 114, 132, 150, 168, and 186 Sonic Influence.

Suppression is a redistribution support set containing:
• Denial – This lowers your target's maximum stamina and gamma. Ranks at: Training, 48, 66, 84, 102, 120, 138, 156, 174, and 192 Suppression.
• Sap Stamina – This steals some of your target's stamina and adds to your team's. Ranks at: 72, 90, 108, 126, 144, 162, and 180 Sap Stamina.
• Siphon Energy – This steals some of your target's gamma and adds to your team's. Ranks at: 60, 78, 96, 114, 132, 150, 168, and 186 Suppression.

Telekinesis is focused around aimed mutation attacks, with:
• Bend Metal – If you hit with this attack it will reduce your target's armor. Ranks at: 72, 90, 108, 126, 144, 162, and 180 Telekinesis.
• Propel – This has a long cool-down, but does high damage if it hits. Ranks at: 60, 78, 96, 114, 132, 150, 168, and 186 Telekinesis.
• Always Armed – This is a shorter cool-down attack that does lower damage when it hits. Ranks at: Training, 48, 66, 84, 102, 120, 138, 156, 174, and 192 Telekinesis.

Thermal Control is a damage skill set:
• Cold Snap – This will damage your target with cold. Ranks at: Training, 45, 63, 81, 99, 117, 135, 153, 171, and 189 Thermal Control.
• Hypothermia – This will cause your target to take cold damage every second for a duration. Ranks at: 48, 66, 84, 102, 120, 138, 156, 174, and 192 Thermal Control.
• Napalm – This will cause your target to take fire damage over time for a short duration. Ranks at: 57, 75, 93, 111, 129, 147, 165, and 183 Thermal Control.
• Molotov Cocktail – This will cause fire damage to your target, but has a long cool-down and requires standing still while activating. Ranks at: 72, 90, 108, 126, 144, 162, and 180 Thermal Control.

17 comments:

  1. Thanks for the ranks numbers, but what about effects?

    :-)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am very interested in all the things around the combat changes.
    Like: Will you still need the books for crafting, were the crafting receipes changed due to that.
    What happened to the mutagenics crafting talent.
    How will the AP be determined, will you keep the additional AP you gathered till now or will everyone have the same amount of AP each level?
    Are there still faction specific skills?
    Are there faction rewards for special skill combinations?
    I guess the high end skills from factions are gone?
    Does that mean that I can now easily get all the rifle skills as a traveler?
    Will the mutations be more common and more easy to access or are they still "limited" to the correct factions besides of the entry skill.
    Do attributes still determine the cap of the skills? What are the attributes of the new skills?

    Still tons of open questions for me.

    And I guess anyone should do a new character planning tool now...or not, depending on wether you want to support the players or Fallen Earths Item Shop ^^

    I will go for an excel Table for now :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. @Kordanor a new character planning tool has been released as of 2 days ago on the FE forums. Keep in mind it's not complete but still well made.

    http://forums.fallenearth.com/fallenearth/showthread.php?p=665049#post665049

    ReplyDelete
  4. "The server is too busy at the moment."
    But I'll check as soon as it works again, cheers! :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. https://spreadsheets.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Am9FjCSMXgLwdGVpVXFMSFJwN1RINXRqdHlTY216UlE&hl=en_US&authkey=COuB2p8B

    There is a direct link to my planner.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thanks, already experimenting.

    Another question I have is whether lower Ranks are still resisted easier than the higher ones. Making Skills with Resistable spells "all or nothing" decisions.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I am pretty sure that all ranks of abilities chance "to-hit" is based on character level vs level and resistances.

    Abilities seem to scale the effect with the rank.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Seriously Dusty WTF your planner is a direct copy of the one I made back in February when the first of the combat system went up on PTS. Same layout, same column/row heading set up, same table grouping, same exact order of skills/mutation layouts, same formulas, need I say more?

    http://forums.fallenearth.com/fallenearth/showthread.php?t=52477&highlight=character+planner

    ReplyDelete
  9. Nothing was copied from your planner. I input everything myself, so you obviously have not even looked at it.

    The order of skills and mutations is the alphabetical order and/or the order that the devs posted the original skills list.

    I copied kodans layout, your one does not even have health/stamina/gamma stats and the only idea I borrowed from you was the way the rank columns were set up.

    You even pointed out that your one has heavy weapons listed, IF I have copied yours then I obviously would have had heavy weapons.

    Why all the agro, I did this for people that wanted to start planning their characters BEFORE the patch. I also said I take no credit, what is your problem?

    ReplyDelete
  10. What about capstones? Are they being removed or replaced?

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi Marie

    There seems to be a rank missing from Shake It Off

    Ranks at: 12, 72, 102, 132, 162, and 192 Escape Artist.

    Should there not be a rank at 42AP? The jump from 12 to 72 does not seem right.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I found the same issue with Suck It Up.

    Is there really a jump from 12 to 72?

    ReplyDelete
  13. hey, that is a typo there is a rank at 42

    M

    ReplyDelete
  14. Got another question: Dodge says that it counters the extra damage of precision, power and weapon skill.
    Does this mean that it's a flat mitigation?
    Or is it directly deducted from the emenies skill?

    Lets say you got
    Rifle 30
    Power 30
    Precision 0

    And you got Dodge 30

    Does this mean the 60 of your enemy are deducted to 30? Or does this mean that both 30 skills are decreased to 0 in the calculation? This again would mean that dodge is more effective against enemies with all these skills and could mean on the other hand mean that capping dodge might be a waste of points and you should put them in armor use instead which seems to be a flad deduction.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I know this question is immensely out of place, but is FE F2P yet? I keep trying to log onto my old account to see what chars I still have, but it's telling me my account is expired.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I’m satisfied to find so much useful information here within the post. Thank you for sharing.
    http://www.surveytool.com/market-research/

    ReplyDelete