#51  
Old 01-29-2010, 02:48 PM
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LOL this was great; I had hoped you would put up a link to that, Jiaco. Or I was.
  #52  
Old 01-29-2010, 04:42 PM
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This also totally defeats the purpose of potions, which is to save your ass when you're getting overwhelmed. If you can't drink potions during combat why not just get rid of them altogether and have fast health regen kick in after you haven't been hit for X seconds (not that I'm recommending that).
Hmm, I guess we have differing views of the purpose of health potions than. While the out-of-battle regen would work, the problem with that is that a straggler may lag behind, hitting you for 1 damage so you can't heal or something silly. Putting the control in the player's hands allows him to overcome such obstacles and make it feel more real (unlike shooters where you hid behind a crate and everything heals automagically).

I see health potions as a mechanic to keep the game pace up; not as a panic button (I'd prefer each mastery has at least 1 panic button).
The problem with health potions I have experienced and see is that players will use them as part of the battle; which means the game has to be designed for such usage; which means enemies must become stronger in order to account for that; designing the balance so that gulping down health potions during battle becomes necessary.
Since health potions stimulate the use of serving as permanent health regen boosts, they defeat their purpose as panic buttons and heavily influence the balance (I noticed that it works this way, at least for me (and players aren't using the Defiler mod to run around with unlimited potions because they don't use them) in both TQ and Diablo).
The only challenging enemies are those doing tons of damage, so they can overcome the permanently boosted health regeneration of the hero. Cooldown alleviates some of the problems, but brings in other difficulties and the player only needs to bridge the gap between the cooldowns (which can be done with a big enough healthbar).

Mana potions are much worse, as they completely remove the element of even having 'mana' from the game.
  #53  
Old 01-29-2010, 05:38 PM
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It looks like there is a discrepancy here of how different players handle combat and potion use. Some will bull through and pound back the potions as fast as they can others feel that potions are a last resort and they should regen after the fight is over. The problem I see for a game designer is it will be imposable to completely please both ends of the spectrum, so they have to compromise with some sort of middle of the road solution, which may not be totally satisfying to either side.
  #54  
Old 01-30-2010, 01:16 PM
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In my rather brief playing time of TQ so far, I'd suggest that the potion cooldowns feel too long!

I am used to D2, where I used to get through some tough battles by drinking rather a lot of potions, so I agree that a cooldown would help avoid that. However, if you are not in a position to run away (and live to fight another day) you can reach a position where you are surrounded and desperate for a potion but have to wait a couple of seconds (time you don't necessarily have).

I do detest dying in such games, even if death is a bit cheaper than other types of games (where you are relying on a save/load rather than respawn). I try and get through without dying, but that can be tough (as it should be).
  #55  
Old 01-30-2010, 07:02 PM
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When potions in these games really start getting under my skin is when you are constantly, constantly using them. It's a hassle to have a "press X every 5 seconds to not die" button, it's a hassle to restock it, and battles feel less intense when it's about "floating" your potion regen versus enemy dps.

I've played games that worked like this and they actually let you automate potions. You had a slider of the hp treshold where you wanted it to use them, and chose which type it would use. It just starts feeling really dumb.
  #56  
Old 01-30-2010, 07:27 PM
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One thing also to keep in mind is that in D2 you could be blocked by enemies and cornered so you couldn't escape. TQ didn't have this, so having no cooldown on pots in D2 was more practical, if not required.
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Old 01-30-2010, 07:53 PM
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Arguably, one could say that the mobs in D2 were balanced around the potions, which in turn makes it necessary for the potions to work the way they did.

Once you figured out how to craft rejuvenation potions from scratch and get to a stage where you can make them without denting your wallet, there is nothing in the game that poses a threat to you regardless of your build or gear - save being oneshot.
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Old 01-30-2010, 07:56 PM
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I still want a far longer cooldown on potions than in TQ. They should be a limited "I'm in over my head" button, not "every fight I must consume at least one, if not many more."
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Old 01-30-2010, 08:05 PM
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I'm guessing that cooldowns will be in as Medierra would rather "stab himself in the eye" than have drinking anims. The cooldown should still emulate the time it would take to get the pot out, pop the cap and drink.
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  Click here to go to the next staff post in this thread.   #60  
Old 01-30-2010, 09:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yerkyerk View Post
I see health potions as a mechanic to keep the game pace up; not as a panic button (I'd prefer each mastery has at least 1 panic button).
Having to stop and wait while you're character is immobilized by a potion drinking animation achieves a very different result from keeping the game pace up. I think we could come up with a more elegant solution here that better achieves that goal if, indeed, this is the role that we believe potions should play.

Quote:
The problem with health potions I have experienced and see is that players will use them as part of the battle; which means the game has to be designed for such usage; which means enemies must become stronger in order to account for that; designing the balance so that gulping down health potions during battle becomes necessary.
The underlying problem has to do with combat mechanics. How do you create a high perceived danger while minimizing actual player deaths? To create any sense of danger during an encounter the player must feel like it is possible for them to die. To have a heightened sense of danger, the player must feel like death is potentially imminent and they are constantly doing things to avoid it. To reduce actual player deaths the player needs some recourse that allows them to avoid dying during these situations.

ARPGs tend to have looser combat mechanics then say MMORPGs. To some extent this is because of the established gameplay model that players expect but also it is partially designed this way to accommodate the indirect and somewhat imprecise method of character control. One of the most significant factors that influences combat mechanics in virtually all ARPGs is that you can easily outrun your enemies. If you are running in an ARPG, typically enemies cannot run fast enough to catch up to you and keep hitting you. This is perhaps the most distinctive factor separating ARPG and MMORPG combat.

In most MMORPG encounters against similarly leveled enemies, you have to make a decision early on in an encounter, when you still have enough health, to whether to commit or try to run. After a certain point, you will no longer have the health necessary to run far enough that your enemies give up pursuit and you'll die (although if you have health potions, this is often a good situation to use them in). So midway through the encounter you are typically locked into a life or death battle. There is also the additional danger even during less challenging encounters that a roaming enemy will patrol close enough to aggro on you and join the fight, so you also have to remember to look around and maintain situational awareness. This is a pretty tightly balanced system where even the addition of one more enemy can throw the battle for you. The threat in most common encounters is paced out over the course of the battle and comes down to a "who will die first" moment at the end.

In an ARPG by contrast, you're fighting hoards of enemies and the addition of more enemies doesn't really matter much unless you're pinned in a corner or something - which sadly can't happen in TQ. In ARPG the sense of danger comes more in bursts where you're suddenly threatened to be overwhelmed by the amount of damage you're taking vs. the amount of damage you can quickly regenerate. The immediate threat could also come from enemy skills that could quickly kill a player if they landed in succession or while your health was already low. When health does run low and you can't regenerate it quickly enough, you may need to run and try to avoid ranged enemy spells or hits from outlying enemies before you clear the hoard.

Since you can outrun enemies and can't be trapped, to be a real threat enemies must be able to quickly inflict enough damage to bring you to the point of death or, if you don't react quickly enough, kill you. If enemies can bring you to the brink of death multiple times over the course of an encounter, than you need a way to recover health multiple times over the course of that encounter. Potions exist to facilitate this dynamic of ARPG combat.

So potions are not the reason combat in ARPGs is designed the way it is, they're only a product of it.


Quote:
Since health potions stimulate the use of serving as permanent health regen boosts, they defeat their purpose as panic buttons and heavily influence the balance.
The reason they tend to provide more regen than instant health is to limit the effectiveness of drinking one potion after another. Since we already have a cooldown perhaps it would be better to eliminate the regen and just have an instant-healing effect. Although I think drinking a potion before you go into battle is strategy that adds to the anticipation of combat and probably gives a small amount of satisfaction to new players once they figure out how to take advantage of it. So I wonder, is this really a bad thing?

Quote:
The only challenging enemies are those doing tons of damage, so they can overcome the permanently boosted health regeneration of the hero. Cooldown alleviates some of the problems, but brings in other difficulties and the player only needs to bridge the gap between the cooldowns (which can be done with a big enough healthbar).
This is pretty much how the game is designed to work. If encounters with fodder enemies were near-death experiences then how you would survive an encounter once champions and heroes were thrown into the mix? If players weren't able to bridge the game between cooldowns then wouldn't that mean they'd be dead? In an MMO the way you handle encounters with a difficulty above what you can normally handle (which is usually 2-3 enemies your own level) is by joining up with other players. We obviously can't have main content in this game that is impossible to survive in single-player. We intend to make encounters like this in "off the beaten path" challenge areas but the average player has to be able to play through the main content in single-player.

I think potion chugging can get excessive and there are places in TQ where it gets to this level. However, I don't think the mechanic itself or the type of combat encounters it supports are something that most people would want to see dramatically changed. The type of combat I think you're looking for wouldn't be possible without major changes to the fundamental mechanics of combat and encounters themselves. I think the changes we'd have to make would dramatically slow down gameplay and culminate in an experience that wasn't much fun for the single-player gamer.

Quote:
Mana potions are much worse, as they completely remove the element of even having 'mana' from the game.
I don't particularly like mana potions either and the purist designer in me longs for more tightly balanced encounters such as you see in MMORPGs but ARPG gameplay mechanics and the expectations of players don't really support this. The big problem here is that you have some classes built to be almost constantly firing off spells. If they run out of mana, they have to just sit there regenerating. This is tedious for many players in MMORPG but at least there you are typically in groups and can try to conserve / regenerate mana while you're less manage dependent group members continue to do damage. While you're regening you can watch the fight or chat with your buddies. Most ARPG players play by themselves and wouldn't tolerate a mechanic that forced them to spend a protracted amount of time sitting around regenerating after every major battle.
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