View Full Version : The Book of Oloh
11-05-2005, 11:24 PM
Welcome to The Book of Oloh, an ever-expanding compilation of information revealed from Beta 0 and 1. Sit back, relax, and take a peek into the world of Vanguard beta...
We've currently found beta comments on the following subjects:
Overall Impression of the Game (http://www.silkyvenom.com/forums/showthread.php?p=14286#post14286)
The Mechanics of Reactive Combat (http://www.silkyvenom.com/forums/showthread.php?p=14287#post14287)
Is it twitch combat? Is it too fast? Too slow? Too complicated? (http://www.silkyvenom.com/forums/showthread.php?p=14288#post14288)
Skills, Stances, Chains (http://www.silkyvenom.com/forums/showthread.php?p=14289#post14289)
How weapons and armor affect combat (http://www.silkyvenom.com/forums/showthread.php?p=14290#post14290)
Speed of Levelling and Learning Curve in Combat (http://www.silkyvenom.com/forums/showthread.php?p=14291#post14291)
Group Interaction (http://www.silkyvenom.com/forums/showthread.php?p=14292#post14292)
Differences in Classes (http://www.silkyvenom.com/forums/showthread.php?p=14293#post14293)
Stats and their Effects (http://www.silkyvenom.com/forums/showthread.php?p=14294#post14294)
Fear, Excitement and Death (http://www.silkyvenom.com/forums/showthread.php?p=14295#post14295)
Length of Play Sessions (http://www.silkyvenom.com/forums/showthread.php?p=14296#post14296)
PVP and PVE (http://www.silkyvenom.com/forums/showthread.php?p=14299#post14299)
First Person v Third Person (http://www.silkyvenom.com/forums/showthread.php?p=14300#post14300)
GMs in Beta (http://www.silkyvenom.com/forums/showthread.php?p=14301#post14301)
Armor and Appearance (http://www.silkyvenom.com/forums/showthread.php?p=14302#post14302)
Travel, Boats, Horses (http://www.silkyvenom.com/forums/showthread.php?p=14303#post14303)
As we find new beta posts, we'll add them to the compilation. Enjoy!
11-05-2005, 11:25 PM
OMG BETA INFOZ, CALL THE COPS11!!
I have been playing Vanguard since the first hour of beta 0. I play pretty much every night, and have been working my way up in levels. Brad has allowed me to begin posting my thoughts and observations from beta to provide everyone with a player's perspective on how the game is going.
I feel it is fitting to elaborate on some of the posts that Brad made yesterday. The first topic, then, is Vanguard's game play.
But first, I want to offer a mini-disclaimer. I do not have a mandate on what I can say, nor is anything I say pre-approved by anyone at Sigil. The team is confident in their product, and they were looking for a way to get information to the community in a responsible way (i.e. a way that doesn't spoil every aspect of the game and that will respect features that are being witheld to protect competitive advantage).
I will be the first to admit that I am baised. But my bias is the type of bias typical of players that love a game. I love Vanguard and have been having some of the most fun in any MMOG since Velious era of EQ.
In the interest of full disclosure, I work for Sigil as an attorney, but do not work in house for them. I was playing MMOGs long before I practiced law though, so I like to consider myself a fan first, and a lawyer second. My goal is to provide real information that I, as a player, would like to hear. Tell me how I do.
I welcome fellow players to tell me what they want to hear.
With comments from the peanut gallery raging from "its too brown" to the "character models suck compared to Unreal 2008," I want to start off talking about something important…gameplay.
Rather than provide "puff" about how great it is, I think the best thing to do is just describe it. Res Ipsa Loquitur.
I am a player, not a developer. The description that I provide is from my experience playing almost every night of beta0 and the budding stages of beta1. It is slanted to the role I am most familiar with, warrior tanking. I am a level 34 warrior, and this is the system as it is in the game right now.
General Statement: If EQ's gameplay is considered a leisurely stroll, and WoW's is a healthy jog, Vanguard's gameplay feels like ice skating. It is smooth.
Let's start with the whole notion of autoattack. Prior games used autoattack to both remove twitchy skill from the game, and spread melee's damage over the course of an encounter. In Vanguard, autoattack works differently.
Harking back to pen and paper games, autoattack is essentially your "combat round timer" to plan the encounter before your next move, or series of moves. If the player does nothing, the character will execute a very basic attack for his next round. But, just like a pen and paper campaign, players will do something every "turn" of combat.
Your "turn speed" is variable, with different types of weapons having different turn speeds. A newbie two hander would be, as stated elsewhere, about a six second swing time. This is as slow as it gets. Faster two handers drop turn speed down considerably, and one handers are generally a lot faster. Because a decision to do "something" must be made every turn, combat appears somewhat slower than what players may be used to. I would be the first to complain if it was a real problem when you are playing. It isn't. Even when using the slowest two hander, I find myself missing openings and opportunities, rather than waiting for it to go off. In fact, I sometimes use slower weapons in some situations to have more time to react, when it is important.
So what can you do in combat? Let's start with the most basic form of an attack in Vanguard, (and in most other games), the special attack. Special attacks are melee attacks that do more damage than autoattack, or create some form of special effect, such as a debuff, or a cone shaped area of effect melee attack. Pretty staple stuff here, and a well-versed mmoger will pick up using specials very quickly. Except for the fact that there are also defensive specials, which leads to a tank, and other classes, having to pay attention (oh noes!).
Some Special Attacks are defensive, rather than offensive, in nature. The best way to describe this is by a reference to the old pen and paper ability of "set to receive charge." For example, if a warrior perceives that the next attack is a hugely damaging attack (see below how this is done), the warrior may choose to use a defensive special where he doesn’t do any damage, but instead sets himself to receive the blow and, in turn, mitigates a large chunk of its damage. A sharp armchair designer out there may say "oh great, so we will just be spamming defensive specials," but that is not the case either…because of special ability cool-downs and the timing of autoattack, if you simply spam your defensive specials, you will not have them available for use when "the big one" occurs, because you may have "wasted" it on a lesser attack used to fake out the warrior. A good example from actual gameplay is wasting a defensive special mitigating a claw attack of 100 down to 10, but then not having the ability to mitigate the 500 devour attack that the mob does the following turn.
You may notice in the screenshots floating around that you will see icons appear to pop up on the screen. Many people have mislabeled these icons as a complex game of whack-a-mole. In fact, the some of the icons on the screen are actually forthcoming attacks by your enemy. Intelligent tanks (or other players such as sorcerer waiting to counterspell) can "see" the attacks that the enemy has currently executed, and more importantly, the attacks the enemy is setting up to use on the next turn. This is a fundamental part of the game play of Vanguard, and experienced MMOGers should immediately be frothing at the mouth when they read these words:
Important Part 1: You have chance to see mobs attacks BEFORE they actually land. Think about that, and what that can do to boss encounters, raids, etc., not only from a tank perspective, but from other classes as well.
Here is the important part, obviously. Not all mobs attacks are the same. Just like PCs, the critters have various attacks. Some of the attacks are devastating blows that can cripple even the most studly tank in a couple hits. Others are minor attacks used to throw off the warrior's timing, and still others are used to debuff the warrior, or snare him, or otherwise cause some parade of horribles upon him. Still others are huge AEs that, if they land, can seriously change the encounter.
Important Part 2: Players have abilities to proactively counter some NPC abilities, and will need to do so or else they will get owned.
Extrapolate the idea. A warrior sees the critter's attacks about a round in advance, and has time to react, and is, in turn, given abilities to react, and you start to see how Vanguard's gameplay begins to take on a whole new light.
There will be time later to get into more complex things. These are just the basics. Other aspects of gameplay are stances (that have only some attacks available, so switching between them is a must…at a penalty), chains (attacks that lead to other attacks), reactions (mob attacks and defensives have a chance to be flawed, and give certain classes an ability to take advantage of the flaws), symbiotics (which will, in the near future, be chains between classes), weapon choices, techniques (single encounter buffs), and varied monster states.
Take a minute and think only about the gameplay elements mentioned. If you do, you can see how combat in Vanguard will redefine the complexity of encounters:
You have chance to see mobs attacks BEFORE they actually land.
Players have abilities to proactively counter some NPC abilities.
Simply put, the tradeoff is that VG has exchanged seeing multiple, lower value hits fly across chat, for slower, more powerful hits, that require players actions both to and in response of mobs. You are not unilaterally hammering away at a HP bar with a 3d model attached. You are interacting with the enemy. This is one of the many reasons why Vanguard lives up to the hype with respect to its third generation gameplay.
Like EverQuest turned MUDS 3D, Vanguard has made MMOG combat 3D.
I would just like to point out that the above is not theory. It is not sitting in some design document heaven buried right behind player housing in original EQ and permadeath Jedi in SWG. It is in the game, working, and it is freaking sweet. Oloh ~ Silky Venom Forums
Originally Posted by Ominous
Does it kick absolute ass? Does any other MMORPG come close?
I give facts, not opinions. That being said, the facts are that I have logged in every single day that I had my account active, and completely re-arranged my real life sleep schedule (as in, I don't) to play. Oloh ~ Vanguard: Saga of Heroes Official Forums
As a player, there are a few things that excite me about Vanguard, more so than any other game:
1. The Past. Many of the members on this team contributed, significantly, to EverQuest. I consider EverQuest to be the greatest video game in any genre of all time. If this team can capture a portion of EverQuest's magic, adventure and community, then Vanguard will be a huge success. So, if you don't have anything else to base your opinion upon, basing it upon a proven core of talented individuals that truly love what they are doing is a safe bet.
2. The Present. I play Vanguard nightly. I absolutely love it. If I have to miss a night because of work or family, I cant stop thinking about it. You know that feeling that you used to get when you were sitting in the classroom or in the office and you were wondering what was going on in that "other world"? Do you remember how every second that you were on your computer, you had to fight back the temptation to click on your favorite fan site or guild site to see what was going on? Or do you know how you kept thinking how sweet it would be when your character finally got that one rare item that made everyone else say "wow!" I am living those times again...right now. The game is fun. The game play is unrivaled. At some point, I may be able to tell you exactly why its fun and why, as a player, you should be excited too, but for now you will just have to take the word of a player that has actually played the game (and played a lot). Yes, there is a lot to work to do, and the game is not finished, but the bottom line is, even now, playing it makes me want to run home like a kindergarten kid that just got his first "A."
3. The Future. Vanguard is built for the long haul. When I look around at the steps Sigil is taking to establish the community, it makes me excited. It should make you excited too, because the community that you play with means more to these games than anything else. Sigil recognizes that, and every aspect of Vanguard is designed to promote community and establish friendships. You can see it already, in /ooc. "Group forming for Ant's Nest" might be one of the most common phrases in beta chat. Already, I know the names of the players, and their levels, and how good or bad they are. As a player, that's something that I haven't experienced this early since EverQuest. It is exciting.
Anyway, that is why I am excited. I hope maybe my excitment is enough to hold you over until the time is right, so that you can experience what I am talking about and be excited for yourselves. Oloh ~ Vanguard: Saga of Heroes Official Forums
11-05-2005, 11:26 PM
Originally Posted by Ennya Dragonslayer
I'm betting the system is designed to emulate the perfect D&D game with a great DM where they try to explain the combat based on reality to allow prediction and reaction. Counterspell comes to mind as a caster example. If this is the case, and I think it is, then it only makes sense that whomever you're currently targeting is who you'll get information from.
Good guess. Makes the term "offtanking" have a whole different meaning, eh? Oloh ~ Fires of Heaven Forums
Originally Posted by frott
I'm looking forward to something that removes the ADD out of the game, but two of the statements of this piece seem conflicting to me:
1) its a misconception that the combat is whack-a-mole
2) the person misses "opportunities" frequently, even with a slower weapon.
Good catch. I should have provided more explanations. Here, I mixed over and I was really talking about a completely different part of the system. The part I explained is only one aspect of VG's gameplay. There are a bunch of different mini systems.
Basically, I was talking about the part of the system where can essentially see the mob's attack queue. This gives you time to react...but thats not the reaction system. The reaction system is a little differnet.
So, in addition to seeing the "move" that the mob is going to do next, you also can make checks based on perception to "notice" errors in the mob's attack. If you detect certain types of errors, a "reaction" ability opens up in response to that type of error. Different classes can take advantage of different errors. I think, but am not sure, that a mob may make several errors on each attack or may make none.
So, in the time betwen the mob's attack, and your timer going off, you may get a reaction activated. Obviously, if you use a slower weapon, it gives you more time to take advantage of a reaction opening up, because you dont hae to queue up your next attack at the beginning of a round.
This is what I was referring to. If I want to start being more reaction based, id use a slower weapon so I have more time to see them opening up...even then though, you still miss some because the temptation is to just spam what ever next attack you are going to do, and with faster weapons you wont have tiem to requeue the reaction.
So, here is an example real quick. I am fighting a Giant Frog. They have bite attack that does 100 damage. They have a devour attack that does 500 damage. I am watching the mobs queue to see what he is planning. If its just a bite, I just do a dps or a taunt special and suck up the hit normally. If he is queueing up devour, then I may use a defensive attack to mitigate the damage so i dont run the cleric oom. So, I see the the bite attack and think, ok, pwn time, and I mash my next dps attack as soon as my previous attack lands. So now im waiting for 4 seconds, but 3 seconds in, a reaction opens up that, if i would have waited for to queue up next attack, I would have been able to take advantage of. Slower weapons give you more time to think through it, although they still dont solve the ADD part of me that wants to button mash.
So thats how two aspects of the system sorta work together and play off each other. I know I read somewhere here later in the thread about the "oh man, paying attention all the time sucks" aspect of the system. As my group members can tell you, I am member of sometimes im just lazy and dont do shiz but autoattack crowd, so it's not that bad. I'll try to pick up why in that answer to that thread. Oloh ~ Fires of Heaven Forums
Originally Posted by Faille
So attacks are not instant? From when a person presses kick, there is a delay before the actual kick goes through, during which it will appear on his list that someone targetting can see?
Correct, your specials, at least for the warrior and for the other melees that I have played, are tied to your weapon delay.
So, here is an example combat round.
1. I walk up to a critter, and lead off with a damage chain opener (part of a chain), the attack is immediate, hits the mob, and now I start planning for my next round of combat. If I have a 4 second weapon, then I have 4 seconds to plan.
2. I glance at the mobs queue, and see that he is doing a claw attack, his normal attack. No worries, so I click the bridge to my damage chain to advance the chain. I click this one second in. Bridge lands at the end of 4 seconds, the bridge lands, next round.
3. I absently mindedly click the finisher to the chain, and then glance at the mobs queue, oh shit, he is doing devour. The finisher is queued up to finish at the end of my round. So I quickly break off my chain and I queue up a defensive special. Luckilly, my defensive special landed first, then his devour attack landed, so i mitigated most of its damage. Next round.
4. Because I have fought frogs before, I know they generally dont do devour for a few rounds after doing one, so I dont have to worry about that for a while, so I start a chain that will allow me to do more damaging attacks for a few rounds. I load up an opener in second 2, and in second 4, it lands.
This is why i used the term ice skating in my original review. Its not button mashing as much as its gliding along making decisions. Make more sense? Again, this isnt all of combat, this just establishes the framework of the melee system. Oloh ~ Fires of Heaven Forums
Originally Posted by Zehn_Druidbane
Vanguard combat is just WoW combat with the moronic EQ2 tradeskill system overlapped.
Ok, stick with me here, because I am trying to put to words a lot of moving parts. It is harder than you would think. For now, let's just focus on three aspects of the combat system (there are more), to give you an idea what I am talking about.
1. players unilaterally imposing their will on the mob
Remember that players execute attacks, and they are resolved at the end of the round.
Chains are one aspect of the system, and I haven't even mentioned anything about them because they are simple to grasp. Nothing crazy new with them, although the implimentation is very nicely done.
You use a special, which may or may not open a bridge or bridges, which may or may not open a finisher or finishers. By having prerequisites (namely the openers and bridges) to other abilities (finishers), you require a natural "lead time" which allows designers to make attacks with crazy abilities and still keep them in balance. Such attacks can't be spammed because they are tucked behind an opener and a bridge. Other games handle this by slapping on a cooldown timer, but Vanguard's method is much more subtle for a lot of abilities.
In Vanguard, at least for the classes I have played, bridges and finishers are not just seperate abilities...they require the opener be executed first. If you interrupt your chain halfway through, you have to start it over. Because the the most powerful effect is usually at the finisher level, the player is therefore penalized for breaking chains.
(Not every special attack or spell is part of a chain, some are designed to be stand alone, of course.)
2. players subtely reacting to the mob
Remember, mobs are not streaming autoattack while using specials every so often. Every attack is put in a queue and then executed at the end of the mob's round. The mobs round and the PCs round do not match up because they have different delays. So its not "hits you," "hits you," "executes a claw attack," "hits you." It is more round-based. Think pen and paper more than MMOG combat. Each attack, not just "specials" are subject to the system.
You can see your target's queue, so at any time, you may have to break off a chain to react to the "healing mob" in your example. Again, this isn't all that new in concept, although Vangaurd relies on it a lot more than other games. So the quantity of reaction is different. For, bears have maul that does crazy dot. Healers heal. Trolls stomp, which stuns you. Casters silence. Spiders snare. Some classes are worried more about different abities than others.
Also your ability to counter the stuff in this part 2 is a bit more complicated because the "counters" (shield bash type abilities) may be buried in a chain. For example, a warrior gets a stun attack similar to shield bash, but its at the end of a chain. So if I want to stun a mob, I have to start thinking about it earlier. Its not just click the stun and carry on. You arent just holding your finger over shield bash waiting for the heal, you may have to execute a move in advance to set up for the heal if you know a heal is likely to be coming.
3. players explicitly reacting to a mob
Certain events can come up in combat that open up explicit "reactions." Melees can notice a weakness in a mobs attack, which opens up a few abilities that are not available at all, unless such weakness are detected. This is new and isn't in any other game.
So, for example, let's say that the an Arcane Caster does nothing. He doesn't cast, doesn't start chains, doesn't melee, doesn't do anything. Instead, he just targets the mob and watches. The Arcane Caster will detect certain triggers from the mob. Maybe the mob casts a DD spell and the Arcane Caster makes a check recognizing it. The Arcane Caster may get a reaction opportunity. Let's say that the particular NPC spell in question opens up a counterspell reaction, a transmuation reaction, and a silence reaction. The Arcane Caster can choose which one to do.
The slience reaction may stop NPC casting for X rounds. The counter spell reation may turn the DD back on the NPC. The Transmutation reaction may take the DD, absorb it and cause a AE mana heal.
These reactions are tied to the NPC's use of abities, unlike the chains, which are tied to the PC's use of abilitis. In addition, unlike the part 2 reactions, these are not 100% available. Shield bash in other mmogs was always available, you just had to "react" when to use it. VG has abilities that do this, but they are in what I am calling the part 2 reaction. The part 3 reactions are different.
(Note that part 3 reactions can lead to their own chains, with the first reaction simultaneously acting as an opener for a chain that is only available based on that reaction).
So, lets try to put together some moving parts.
Typically, you will start off combat with a chain, which is part 1 stuff above. This is pretty much what you describe, Zehn. Start with one spell, move to next, move to next etc. You see a heal, so you can stun, or try to finish. Pretty standard MMOG gameplay here.
It is a little different from other games because your abilities tie together more, so "restarting" is a problem:
is very different than
In Vanguard, the first scenerio is very different than the second scenerio, because you just cant pick up where you left off, and the biggest bang is on the final hit. So decisions when to use a reaction (either part 2 or part 3) becomes much more vital. A subtle difference, but very important, and leads to tactical play.
As for part 2 above, in other mmogs, you have very few abilities that you would ever way to react to. Mainly just heals, in my experience. I know playing a shaman and mage in WoW, I pretty much what you describe, on every mob. Very, rarely did I really have to react to anything like I described in part 2 above. In VG, it is beneficial (sometimes required, sometimes just beneficial) to react to many more mobs. See the list above for some examples.
Finally, the part 3 reactions above are the wildcards. Since they can't be planned for, you have to constantly make the determination as to whether to carry on with your "script" Cast 1, Cast 2, Cast 3, or do a mini cost-benefit analysis to determine if you take advantage of a reaction. Sometimes you may want to, other times you may not, but its a decision that you have to make. Better players will know when to take advantage.
When you add in the other stuff, the decisions get more complicated. At the stage of the game I am in, it is really a product of efficiency and not of success or failure. The margin of error isn't so great that you have to make every right decision or die. You may have more downtime, maybe the fight is closer than it needed to be, or maybe it just took longer. The margin of error has been slowly but surely shrinking, so we will see what the future holds.
So, I think some of you guys are generally right but you have to take the whole picture into consideration. Most games have the part 1 and part 2 dynamic, although Vanguard does it in a way that, even if they look the same on paper, is a more meaninful implimentation in both quantity and style.
The part 3 above hasn't been done in a mmog that I have seen. Basically, powerful attacks that become usable only under certain situations (there are a lot of variations in the sitations that activate them as well...positional, surrounding a mob, taking damage, mobs doing a special, having a special done to you, etc). They are fairly randomized so they cannot always be counted on/invoked 100%. That is, a group of warriors cant do X, Y, Z every time and get the same reaction each time, at least not that I have seen.
Even just considering the three parts above (and remember, there are more), you should get a feel for how combat works. I've played all the games you are mentioning, and I can recognize "smoke and mirrors" vs "different system."
You guys might be the most educated audience for this type of stuff out there. Take a second, try to look objectively, and consider how it would play out when designing encounters. I could probably do Vanguard's combat a lot more justice by just giving you actual examples of abilities, but I think that is a bad idea and don't want to start down that path.
Am I clarifying anything here, or just confusing matters more? Oloh ~ Fires of Heaven Forums
11-05-2005, 11:27 PM
Originally Posted by Spirit
I was worried about the round time in VG (I thought it too slow) but now I can see there's tactical choices to make...nice.
Yeah, the round time was a concern of mine going in too, having played the game a few times at the offices, etc. But once I really dove in and figured out what the stuff on the screen meant, it pretty much faded away.
I still sometimes think that the slowest 2 handers are a little too slow for my taste, mainly if I am soloing. They have a big hit at the end, but are subject to more randomness (ie a few low hits or a weapon fumble and I may have to run). Using a faster 1 hander, even if lower dps, takes more of the chance out of the equasion, so i usually go with that when I am soloing (which is very rare, mainly when I am trying to ninja catch up to the guy that is ahead of me by a half level...curse you Dantrin). Some other testers like the slower weapons because it gives more time to react.
I find myself mixing it up between 1 hander and a shield and 2 handers, so I guess its working out pretty well. Oloh ~ Silky Venom Forums
Originally Posted by Valorion
Your article mentioned at times feeling you needed to switch to a slower weapon to be more effective in combat. Is combat indeed tactical and very group heavy or does it boil down to button mashing?
Very tactical...in fact...the most tactical I have seen in any rpg, mmog or not, by a longshot. The beauty of it that it is not button mashing at all. It is like ice skating compared to sprinting. You dont pound up and down on the keys, you really get more into a rhythm if that makes any sense. It is less "fast-paced," and more "slick." Oloh ~ Vanguard: Saga of Heroes Official Forums
Originally Posted by Xaen
But, I think for killing normal mobs, this may run the chance of being complete overkill and burn people out entirely. From what we know, there will be a grind, and while I dont mind grinds, the fact that you have to play Tetris through it all might just kill it. It's going to take a lot of balancing out. Looking forward to giving it a shot, though.
This was my concern as well when I first started. When I first started playing, I thought "this is standard mmog fare." As I leveled a bit and started getting more abilities, I started to think "wow this is complicated" and got a little worried.
As it stands now, it is a pretty good mix. Every mob in every dungeon doesn't have specials that completely crush you. The difference between autoattack is and specials is substantial for most classes, but its not absolutely vital. This is just out of thin air, but my gut number would be that players, by just playing "EQ style" would get about 70% of dps/functionality. The real genious comes in getting that next 30%. Obviously, boss encounters and raid encoutners you need to be better than 70% to "pass" but for normal mobs and simple stuff, 70% can get it done, albeit slower and less efficient.
If you ever were raiding, and then announced "RUNNING A DPS PARSER NOW, AND IF YOU AREN'T PLAYING YOU'RE DONE" in guild and then noticed the before and after, you know what I am talking about.
So if you are just cruising along, grinding or camping or whatever, you can chat or teamspeak or whatever and not be sweating at the keyboard. For big mobs, bring your A game, though. Oloh ~ Fires of Heaven Forums
Originally Posted by Cad
I don't mind the combat being slower, longer, and more involved, as long as you don't have to kill 470 thousand mobs to level up the way you do in alot of faster, more mindless games. In fact it'd even be preferable since you're not just zoned out mashing MS or whatever the whole time. If they keep the same xp curve and slower leveling with the slower and more involved combat though... ouch.
Combat currently isn't really any longer than other MMOGs.
In another MMOG, you may attack every 2 seconds, so if the fight lasts 30 seconds you will see a hit every 2 seconds that does X damage. In Vanguard, you may hit every 4 seconds, but that hit does 2X.
So the fights last about the same time. It's just in Vanguard, there is more play in the numbers. Oloh ~ Fires of Heaven Forums
Originally Posted by Fammaden
I also worry that it could end up like a 5 year old owning at Mortal Kombat just from mashing buttons as fast as possible.
Remember, its not like current mmogs, you execute abilities, specials and they are reconciled at the end of the round. The round varies by weapon delay (immediate attack then weapon delay) or casting time (casting time then attack). Like I said, its not sprinting, its iceskating...its smooth, rhythmic gameplay, not Tekken style combinations. Oloh ~ Fires of Heaven Forums
11-05-2005, 11:28 PM
Originally Posted by Zenya
Do the different stances have entirely different sets of attacks or do the stances share some of them? If they are completely different, I'm supposing it means that the available openers, bridges and finishes differ from stance to stance.
Stances work differently for all classes that have them. For some, like the warriors, they are fairly basic and give modifiers here and there as well as gate certain abilities. For others, like the shaman, they fundamentally change gameplay. I wont get into many specifics with class abilities because I dont want to spoil the fun of playing, but just to illustrate the point about stances playing differently, shaman have a stance that slowly drains their mana over time, but allows unlimited casting while in it. Basically, it changes the whole gameplay for the shaman when in that stance. There are some crazy things they have done and are going to do with stances.
So, in the case of warriors, yes, it means that some openers and other stuff are only available in some stances. Most of our (warriors) core abilities, are in all stances though, so you arent forced into one all the time. I switch between them a ton over the course of a night, often mid battle. They have adjusted some of the abilites in the stances throughout beta to make sure its a real tactical decision as to switching. I suspect they will keep monitoring it based on tester feedback. Oloh ~ Silky Venom Forums
Originally Posted by Zenya
Actually, you don't mention openers and all that, so does that mean that the openers, bridges etc. have been replaced by chains, reactions and future symbiotics?
They are all different systems. Opensers, Bridges, Finishers are the chains. Reactions, symbiotics and the other things I mentioned are all seperate systems of things you can do in a round. Oloh ~ Silky Venom Forums
Originally Posted by Zenya
Also, can you both swtich a stance and queue an attack during one single turn or would that be spread out over two turns? Lol, sorry to be hammering you with all these questions, but I can't help it! Your write-up has seriously piqued my interest!
There is a time penalty to switching from a stance, at least for a warrior. I know can have no penalty switches because warriors used to be able to switch for free. They changed it to make the choice more tactical. So I guess that the switching penalty can be adjusted class to class and stance to stance as appropriate. Oloh ~ Silky Venom Forums
11-05-2005, 11:29 PM
Originally Posted by Creediki
If you are using a quicker weapon, does that mean you have more opportunities to get in special attacks? Do they scale with weapon delay or...
Yep. I know damage stuff scales for sure, so that should avoid some of the problems that exist in other mmogs about high damage weapons or low delay weapons being too desirable.
Not sure about effects, taunts and other stuff because it doesn't show up like damage does. I would have to run tests to see exactly how it works. I have been purposefully not parsing this time through because I want to just get a "feel" for progression. Other testers have been parsing more than I do to make sure things are lining up...it's just not a role that I have taken, so I really cant say for sure. Oloh ~ Fires of Heaven Forums
Originally Posted by GuyJantica
Basically I want to know how essential armor is to the melee class? Is it possible to escape damage largely in combat by coordinating the right moves at the right time or is it more like you still get beat on pretty much blow-for-blow so you need to have healing and armor to soak it up? Is there a flat-out "evade" skill that you can learn at the sacrifice of, say, damage or opportunity or perhaps footing? How defensive are defensive moves? Things like that.
I am not going to get into a lot of the specific skills because that is spoiler information and its not appropriate right now. I am pretty much going to concentrate on broad gameplay mechanics rather than the specific things that classes do. I think that gives you the best feel for the game. Oloh ~ Silky Venom Forums
11-05-2005, 11:31 PM
Originally Posted by Arctic_Slicer
What is the level cap in the current stage of beta? Is level 34 a high level, a mid level, or a low level?
I would say that I am mid level in the grand scheme of things. Edit: Just for clarity (so as to preemptively quell the it's too easy to level threads), I am tied with one other person for the highest level in beta. Oloh ~ Vanguard: Saga of Heroes Official Forums
Originally Posted by Gardomyn
At level 34, are you still learning things while fighting?
I mean is there not too much repetitive tasks, chains, combos while fighting ? I suppose not while in a group as all depends on the mob reactions and as well the party members choices. I just want to reassured
Yes, I learn stuff all the time. Remember, there arent spoilers or anything around. I have recently found out that skills I got at level 10 are unbelieveable in certain situations. Now that I think about it, its pretty common sense, but /shrug..there is a lot going one.
The biggest thing that I am learning is how to keep aggro. It's hard to keep aggro and you have a lot of tools to do it, but they are almost all situational. They did away with the magic "taunt" button and instead various effects are buried in chains, subtle abilities and the like. Oloh ~ Vanguard: Saga of Heroes Official Forums
11-05-2005, 11:31 PM
Originally Posted by Droigan
That said. It's a very group centric game (good thing), how much interaction is there in the group as combat sounds so... intricate and fast paced?
It is very interesting to see the shift on this board and on FoH on this issue. Prior to my posts, folks were hearing things like 3-6 second combat swings and thinking "oh man, that is soooooo slow." After hearing all of the decisions that you have to make in that time, folks are now beginning to wonder if its too fast of a pace.
Remember, a lot of the courses of action that I am describing end up, in practice being one button click. Much like a game of chess (hint to the poster above) ultimately boils down to picking up a piece and moving it on board over.
The click time and strategy are not related. No one would say chess is "twitch" but everyone will say it involves a ton of strategy.
The above is a very long answer to the question. The short answer is Yes, you will be able to talk to your friends in chat...just like you did in EverQuest 8). I do it nightly. I am not a big voice guy, although sometimes I get forced into it by the less typing proficient among us. ;) Oloh ~ Vanguard: Saga of Heroes Official Forums
11-05-2005, 11:31 PM
Originally Posted by Ulf Ryzar
Of the classes you have played, is there a distinct feel to each class?
Yes, for sure, but I have mainly played Psion, Warrior and Sorc. They are each very different than the other. Even when grouping with the other classes, you can tell they are different b/c your gameplay changes. Oloh ~ Vanguard: Saga of Heroes Official Forums
Originally Posted by Trystram
It seems that you are skipping the questions asking about different classes like monk, rogue, ranger and so forth. Is this because you are not grouped with them, not in the game yet or just don't know enough to give a factual answer?
Yeah, a little bit of both. I dont want to get into spoiler information and I wont answer questions about the stages of the game or classes. The latter is information for a developer to answer in my opinion. I try to answer the question "How does it play" because playing it is what I do most.
Also, if I dont know, I wont answer because.../shrug...I dont know! Oloh ~ Vanguard: Saga of Heroes Official Forums
11-05-2005, 11:32 PM
Originally Posted by Ulf Ryzar
How much do stats affect/effect skills such as perception and the ability to do damage IE weapon skills? Is min maxing possible and likely to occur with the system now in place? Is is better to be an intelligent warrior that is weak or a strong warrior that is dumb in your opinion is this even a factor?)
It is 100% a factor. They just added in stat migration, so I have been tinkering with my stats a lot to get the best feel for tanking / aggro generation / perception. The difference from min to max in any ability is huge. Every single stat is important, and I can see guilds and groups having different tanks keep their stats set differently so that they can do all of the critters in the game. Here is a hint, an intelligent warrior will not only have better perception, he may, in fact, actually tank better in certain situations. Oloh ~ Vanguard: Saga of Heroes Official Forums
Originally Posted by Cyggy
Is there endurance?
Yes. Oloh ~ Vanguard: Saga of Heroes Official Forums
Originally Posted by Cyggy
Does endurance, or its cost I should say, sway your decision as to which move you will choose next? As in, you have to keep an eye on it so you don't run out too soon?
Does endurance, or the lack of it, limit what moves you can make?
Can endurance be increased with items/spells?
Can healers or other caster classes refresh it?
Does this refreshing make it trivial?
It is not EQ style stamina. It is more akin to more modern games that restrict melee specials via "power" or "endurance." Pretty standard stuff here. It is very important. Oloh ~ Vanguard: Saga of Heroes Official Forums
Originally Posted by Arctic_Slicer
Do your attributes increase with levels and do you choose which attributes to increase?
Yes. Attributes increase with level, and you can assign some of them how you see fit. The idea is that you get enough to not gimp yourself assigned, but then you get other to steer your character in the direction you want to go.
Originally Posted by Arctic_Slicer
If yes then can say a caster class use attribute distribution to increase their survivability versus melee attacks or even increase their effectiveness in melee combat in general. Likewise can a more melee oriented class increase their surivability versus magicial attacks and for those with spells increase their effectiveness with magic? Does the attribute system allow this kind of flexibility or is it a more standard system that we see in most games?
Absolutely. Attributes mean a lot, and by a lot, I mean a LOT. Every single attribute means something to your class, and I have tinkered back and forth with my attributes incessantly since I started playing. All of the things you describe above are in game, working and vital. Oloh ~ Vanguard: Saga of Heroes Official Forums
11-05-2005, 11:33 PM
Originally Posted by Tale
What do you most fear happening to your Vanguard character in gameplay and why?
Dieing. Period. I felt something that I haven't felt a long time in a MMOG. The other day, Dantrin (sorcerer) got me killed and I wanted to strangle him. Oloh ~ Vanguard: Saga of Heroes Official Forums
11-05-2005, 11:33 PM
Originally Posted by Astill
Assuming the dungeons are BIG, whats the longest play session you had in one. 1-2 hours, 2-4 hours or 4+ hours.
Oh man, over 4 hours in almost all of them after the first newbie cave. Oloh ~ Vanguard: Saga of Heroes Official Forums
Originally Posted by Redeemer
If a player can't play 4Hours in one session he can't finish a Dungeon? Or He can loggout in dungeon and restart where he has stopped?
I was not clear before sorry. We have spent over 4 hours in every dungeon...but some take less to "work through." Meaning we did it over a couple of play session, or did it a couple of times because we wanted to outfit our characters with something l33t before we moved on.
Sorry, I thought the poster was trying to get a judge on how much time we spend doing dungeons vs. other things. That number is nearly 100% dungeons. Now that I see what the question was really hinting at, there are two types of dungeons. You will see some of the developers reference them offhandedly. There are mini dungeons and major dungeons.
The Minis are about the size of most dungeons in other games, and are intended to be played through over a single night...I'd guess 3-5 hours. The Major dungeons are much, much larger and are meant for either longer play sessions or for divying up exploration over a few days. Oloh ~ Vanguard: Saga of Heroes Official Forums
11-05-2005, 11:34 PM
Originally Posted by Valderen
How's the downtime? Using let's say even con or so...do you need to rest between each fight, every few fights...how is downtime vs time spent fighting?
In groups, almost nil, unless we mess up or have a real tough fight. I dont solo at all really, and didnt in other games, so I really cant give a relative opinion. Oloh ~ Vanguard: Saga of Heroes Official Forums
11-05-2005, 11:35 PM
Originally Posted by Qhue
Do casters have openings other than timing to avoid enemy counterspells? If the enemy doesnt have any counterspell abilities do the casters just go hog wild and unload?
Do healers have an active role in this process? Do they just recognize and incoming BIG hit and proactively accompany it by a big heal or some sort of Power Word Shield like defense to mitigate it before hand? I would hope that active defense would be more worthwhile than just letting the tank get hit and healing it later. Is there some way you can have offensive healing?
I am fixing up a general caster write-up about how the game generally plays with them. It is similar but there are subtle differences that change things a lot. Rather than weapon speed affecting the lenght of a "round," its casting time. That is, caster delay is front loaded, rather than back loaded like melee, if that makes any sense.
I dont know a lot about healers right now, so I cant offer a heck of a lot on them. I do know how their healing affects me (like the style of play for them), but not really how healer combat "flows." Oloh ~ Fires of Heaven Forums
Originally Posted by Fammaden
This all leaves me as curious as ever about how exactly skills and spells are trained.
I will wait till this is pushed live to comment, because my policy is to keep crisp the line of what is in and what will be in. But there is something there... Oloh ~ Fires of Heaven Forums
Originally Posted by Fammaden
In other words, "more on this later" and "we think you will like our spell trainers"?
Something like that. heh. I think the biggest benefit from getting a player perspective is that I dont know the grand design of things. I only know about what is in game. So, I dont "fill in the gap" with "maybe."
That being said, these guys are my buddies, so when something cool is coming down the pike, they sometimes tell me about it. They just mentioned stuff about that a week or so ago, but until I see it first hand to see if its cool, I'm not going to talk about it. Oloh ~ Fires of Heaven Forums
Just to try to put some context to the system, I will annotate this [Qhue's post] to show how it relates to what I have posted about combat.
Originally Posted by Qhue
Sorceror faces off against Priest mob
Sorc spellbank says he can use Gather Fire, Twilight's Chill, Grounding, or Aqueous Embrace to Open Each of these would likely be different channels...the sorcerer can channel elements, so if he is channeling fire (think stances), he would have Gather Fire. Because combat hasnt started though, switching stances wouldnt be much of a penalty.
He chooses Gather Fire and gains a fire nimbus around him that acts as a low level damage shield and increases his resistance to flame attacks. This would probably be a channel in the way you described.
Sorc spellbank says he can now use Flame Burst, Belching cinders, or Fireball to bridge. opener
He choose Fireball and launches a ball of flame at the Priest.
Sorc spellbank says now that he has bridged with Fireball he can now use Ignition and so he chooses that. bridge
Ignition sets the priest on fire and applies DoT damage
The Sorceror's perception goes off! The Priest is trying to Douse himself to dispel the Ignition effect.Depending on the type of reaction this is, it could either just have to be noticed in the mobs attack queue, or it could activate an explicit reaction
The Sorceror doesn't want that to take place and so uses his own Counterspell to stop the Priest's Douse effect. right, and this would take a round
Now since the Ingition has been active for a full round the Sorceror's spellbank gives him the option of Immolation as a finishing move that deals massive damage to a target which is already actively burning.you broke off your chain to do the reaction, so a finisher wouldnt be open, but I will use this to describe another aspect of the system that I havent mentioned...mob states. Since the mob is in the state of "burning" it can open up additional attacks (by that character or by others)
His perception goes off and he sees the Priest is trying to cast a heal! He would try and counterspell that heal only he's currently embracing fire which has no counters for the priest's heal AND he already used his generic counter last round and it hasn't refreshed yet. He continues with the Immolation and winces as he waits to see if it finishes the Priest off before his heal activates....Perfect example of what I mean by making a tactical decision because you know what is going on via what I called the part 2 reactions above.
The priest falls over in a lump of burning cloth as the Immolation consumes him. It worked! The death scream of the priest has alerted the nearby watchmen and they now come running for our Sorceror.
The Sorc, knowing his spell selection in Fire is limited in CC abilities and wary of breaking the Balance by using Fire too much releases Fire and re-opens with Grounding. This would be switching channels, which opens up new openers, etc.
The flame nimbus around him fades and he gains AC and some interupt immunity as he becomes one with the earth he stands on.correct, schannels have "passives"
As the two watchmen charge the Sorceror he looks at his Sorceror spellbank: Grasping Earth, Sling Shot, and Stoneskin are listed as bridges. depending on how it worked, these would probably be openers and what you called an opener last round would be switching to a new channelHe chooses Grasping Earth and chuckles as hands of soil and stone reach up to grab the ankles of one of the startled watchmen.
His Spellbank now also lists Enveloping Earth, which would normally be a good DoT to use on the rooted watchman were it not for his buddy who has murder in his eyes. He chooses to cast Stoneskin on himself and braces for the impact of the sword. could be a reaction, or what is called a "technique" in the warrior tree, powerful buffs that only last for one fight and take a round to use
With the Stoneskin providing some measure of protection the Sorceror chooses to use Grasping Earth on the second watchman and then back away to consider his options...it'll be slow but maybe he can root and DoT these two before his magic runs out.
Suddenly the Sorceror notices that the alarm that the watchmen raised has attracted the attention of the garrison and a whole mess of soldiers start heading his way.
Desperately he chooses to cast Aqueous Embrace without first releasing Grounding. Embracing two elements at once is not easy but a Sorceror of his caliber can do it when the need is great. At least they arent diametrically opposed elements! hehe, combination forms everything is not earth, air, fire, water
A new option becomes available to him as he is now channeling Earth and Water : Rock to Mud. Just for fun, lets say that this isnt an opener at all, its just a special that is used availabe when channeling Mud.He quickly casts the enchantment over the battlefield and watches with some satisfaction as the terrain between him and his foes turns into a slippery sinking morass. He takes some Strain from the casting but no where near the hurt that would have happened had the soldiers gotten to him.
Knowing that discretion is the better part of Valor the Sorceror turns and flees the scene of the battle before the soldiers can make it across the field of mud. Looks like he's going to need help.
Someday, we will have to get into the other aspects of combat (group stuff, different roles, ect.), to really complicate and make things interesting. This is a good description of "vanilla" stuff that is available, though. Oloh ~ Fires of Heaven Forums
Originally Posted by Qhue
I would hope, however, that Vanguard will have significantly more spells and different KINDS of spells than WoW does for the simple fact that WoW spells are pretty damn insipid.
Almost every single thing Qhue described is not only possible under the combat system, but is also in the game currently in one form or another. Oloh ~ Fires of Heaven Forums
11-05-2005, 11:35 PM
Originally Posted by Qhue
I dont think they intend to have PvP in Vanguard. If they do then it wont be like the PvE dynamic because you wont have any pre-announced openings to react to..you would just have to predict your real-life opponents actions and see what results.
I cant really comment on the PvP aspect because it's not in and I have made a decision to not talk about anything but the stuff that is in the game and working. The main reason I did this is because of you guys...too often the line between a developer's view of the game and what is in the game is somewhat blurred becuase they know about things that aren't in yet. If those things dont make it, then the game is very different. I want to focus on what is in and playable, and only on that...this helps to eliminate some of my bias, and also gives you a better picture on the game. Its really the biggest thing that having a player posting has to offer, imo.
More importantly, based on the comments about PvP, I think I haven't explained the whole combat round thing clearly for PvE. You get advance warning of attacks. The system that I described basically lets you see the mobs combat queue for his next attack. (Remember, this isnt the be all and end all system...this is one aspect...other classes use that particular system more or less depending on their role).
Players have a combat queue. Its not a queue in the sense that you can load up a few preplanned attacks, but rather your weapon speed is your decision time...at any time, you can load your next attack. If you load it early, you can clear it the attack and reload it. At the end of your combat round, the attack is effected.
The mob round is different. It has a delay time, and a queue as well, but it seems that the mob's next attack is always loaded at the beginning of the round, so that the player can see it and have time to react.
I love PvP, so I am interested in how VG will take the above and make it into the PvP game. At least in theory, I can see the situation where a PvPer can, particuarly with a slower weapon, load up some attacks to throw the player off, then unload them, and reload something at the last minute to sorta "feint." Alternatively, he can just wait until the last minute to queue up a special, so you would never know if you were getting autoattack or a special. Again, this last part about PvP is pure speculation, and lag/other issues may make it impossible, but /shrug. Oloh ~ Fires of Heaven Forums
Originally Posted by Qhue
Simply not having ANY idea what the other person is planning sounds much more reasonable.
Yep, I agree. Main point was that I realized from people's PvP questions that I didnt explain the attack system well enough. Oloh ~ Fires of Heaven Forums
11-05-2005, 11:36 PM
Originally Posted by Ayana
I hope 1st person will be well done. A lot of (MMO)RPGs implement it very poorly and it ends up feeling very unnatural in the way the view handles. And it's not just about the handling but also about how visible things are. If the mob you're fighting has to be so close that it fills your whole screen with its fur/feathers/armor then 1stPV isn't really usable.
In Vanguard, First person is done really well, as is third person (both fixed and behind). They blend pretty seemlessly together through standard controls.
I hate playing games where one of the perspectives feels just lumped on as an afterthought, like first person did in Lineage 2. The current first person view Vanguard feels as good as EQ and the FPS's out there. The third person view feels as natural as WoW and tomb raider, and you can switch between each seemlessly with mousewheel.
I constantly switch back and forth between them during the course of a nights play, so I wouldn't worry about this aspect at all. It's covered. Oloh ~ Vanguard: Saga of Heroes Official Forums
11-05-2005, 11:36 PM
Originally Posted by p00ka
Will we ever see this kind of attention by GM staff again? Will Vanguard servers be under the watchful eye of some kind of GM - like EQ was so long ago?
Its better than "will be." The beta server is currently under supervision by GM for character names. From what I can see as a player, they are ironing out the process as we speak.
I wouldn't worry about this. My sweet name Oloh SGOFanboy, which I feel was very roleplay oriented as recently nerfed by the GMs! Oloh ~ Vanguard: Saga of Heroes Official Forums
11-05-2005, 11:36 PM
Originally Posted by Seiji
how does the noob armor look? and is there a progression or noticeble change in the armor styles as you get higher in level?
Noob armor looks good, but it looks like noob armor. Not much color or ornamentation. Most of the "gameply" screenshots that you see out there have various stages of what I would consider newb armor.
I am starting to look pretty sweet now, though, getting a few pieces of matching gear and overall finding myself scrolling out to look at my character. I really like the look of the armors that we have been getting recently. Absolutely a ton of armor style changes as you level up.
Probably the best way to answer your question is to say that I walked into Brennan's Stead the other day, and I was getting tells asking where I got my gear...so I guess they thought it looked pretty cool. Oloh ~ Vanguard: Saga of Heroes Official Forums
11-05-2005, 11:37 PM
Originally Posted by Dillgaar
Have you had a chance to experience boats and/or the craftig thereof? What are your observations to that extent?
I rode around in a boat for a little bit and they were pretty neat. Much more detailed than I thought they would be.
I havent crafted anything really. I am just not much of a crafting type, unfortunately, so I probably wont be hard core testing that until I max the adventuring stuff.
Sorry, I mostly just kill stuff and die. Oloh ~ Vanguard: Saga of Heroes Official Forums
Originally Posted by Zenthor Brellian
I was wondering about travel and exploration. Have mount/pack mules been implemented and are they a hassle or a god send?
Mounts are in. I have a horse!! Oloh ~ Vanguard: Saga of Heroes Official Forums
11-05-2005, 11:37 PM
Originally Posted by Ominous
Have you experienced any of the diplomacy sphere, and, if so, what's it like?
Well, hehe, the funny thing about beta is that sometimes a bug happens. There was a time when we were pretty high level relative to areas that were in. I was trying to do diplomacy then, but because I made my character so early, my diplomacy stats were all at 0, so I couldn't do anything. They have since fixed my character, but they also added in a ton of new areas and dungeons. I just can't pull myself away from phat lewt and exp in adventuring to do diplomacy. It's just how I am built, hehe. I will try it out though, for sure because it seems really cool.
I do like to think that slaughtering scores of monsters is its own form of diplomacy, though. Oloh ~ Vanguard: Saga of Heroes Official Forums
Originally Posted by FeydMourden
Many thanks. After all the waiting and speculation on crafting and diplomacy, would they really let you tell us how it is going?
Just to be clear, I wasn't told I have to keep quiet about Diplomacy and Crafting. I am just the type of player that spends every waking moment slaughtering hoards of evil beasts and wearing their clothes, so I don't do it very much at all.
Also, I have committed to only talk about things that I have experienced first hands, and to avoid "opinions" in general. I love the game...really love everything about it, so my opinion will be biased. Relating facts, however, is less biased. I feel its my duty as the "player perspective" to tell you how the game plays, not whether or not you will enjoy it. That is for each player to decide.
That makes for me being a poor choice for those areas. That being said, I may dive into to it sometime, but right now, there is too much adventure to be had for me to stop. Oloh ~ Vanguard: Saga of Heroes Official Forums
11-05-2005, 11:37 PM
Originally Posted by Raxxer
I saw a dev statement saying that "All three spheres will require the same amount of time to reach max level". Whether harvesting was considered as part of the crafting sphere as regards this statement was not specified.
Unfortunately, I am not much of a crafting type. I doubt that I will have much to offer on the crafting side of things for a while. Sorry, but just want to be honest. Oloh ~ Vanguard: Saga of Heroes Official Forums
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