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As a combat player combat is God Awful please overhaul suggestions included.


Prince
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[Pre-header]

Alright so ive been playing as blackguard player single player and in servers for a wile now  i have a lot of hours fighting nightmare drifters hunting for rifts to spawn more nightmares and going deep underground not to mine but to fight drifters and a lot of grievances to air with the gams combat system so potent in my recent playthrough i took an oath of pacifism and to never hit anything. i can  suggest on how to make it not so bad so please hear me out. 

[Issues with combat]

In this section ill write down what stopped me from combat all together and name the most major and frustrating problems i have encountered. 

. Combat Latency: This is the highest order of sin, both in single player and multiplayer i have experienced Drifter nightmares teleport  behind me and be like Nothing personal kiddo  after i was multiple blocks away from them,  i have experienced Nightmare blades hitting from 3 blocks away after i had clearly dogged them. And i have experienced multiple of rocks  flying at me instantly through the air  rocks ive never seen thrown.

I have seen thrown rocks and shot arrows that hit the target but instead bounce off with the hit never connecting, and it was not a graze issues it was center of mass or head. 

Animals can be really easy to fight when latency is generous  and impossible when its bad Bears and wolfs become practically undogable. 

. Hitbox tracking: Hit boxes seem a bit inconsistent, wile the weapons feel like they have the appropriate reach a lot of the time i feel like hits connect both from the enemy and me that shouldn't have connected.  I have in multiple instances dogged a nightmares blade wile standing a block away  and in multiple instances  been hit 2-3 blocks away from a nightmare. I have also noticed that some times when i hit above the drifters head or under their legs or pass through them and hit a little bit after i still get the hit.`

The is a bell type locust that is virtually impossible to hit we have been fighting it with a friend among drifters and we were taking turns trying to hit its head with 10 hits wile the other person fought the drifters off   1-2 out of 10 hits connected wile we were right next it beating it down. 

As mentioned previously throwing rocks and arrows can just gel off of mobs even if they hit center of mass doing no damage. 

. Rock Throwing Drifters:  So i don't know who's bright idea this was but  i hope your pet wolf dies and your pie burns.  ill put it simply  EVERY DRIFTER THROWS ROCKS.

The is really bad when fighting 20 of them  perfectly aimed   rocks falling from all directions and being practically undoggable  not fun, no one likes this change, the animation is too short  and they keep throwing them.   In bad latency is equivalent to torture.  If you want to do this JUST MAKE A RANGED TYPE DRIFTER  for the love of god  and oh god stop it from having knockback.   Suggestions for this will be mentioned on the next section.

. No body collision:  So if latency decides to be nice you can practically run through drifters unpunished  making you never have to hold your ground or have to make a stand anywhere, in fact when latency is good this is the most effective way to combat, i have managed to fight a heavy storm with a stone knife this way just running around or through them delivering hits. Even in late game this is the only potent way for combat ive tried shields but they are useless when i can indefinitely move and doge. Suggestions for this will be mentioned on the next section.

. Infinite Stamina:  This in combination with the previous issue encourages only one type of combat run forward hit run back or side ways and repeat.  this is by far the most efficient way to fight and wile it can be fun some times it really limits combat to this one tactic and it gets old and boring fast   combat feels more like a grind for gears to me then an engaging experience of immersion or story telling. Suggestions for this will be mentioned on the next section.

. Boring Combat: So ill prefix this by giving the game some credit for being kind of better then Minecraft on this by giving us spears and letting us throw them but generally the weapons never feel unique they don't give you any special abilities they only preform 1 move  two for the ones that can be thrown.   Suggestions for this will be mentioned on the next section.

. Lack of enemy variety:  If you have fought a drifter you have fought them all  the differences can be slightly longer hitboxes and more damage  thematically it doesn't make sense with the lore and in gameplay it makes them very boring. Suggestions for this will be mentioned on the next section.

. Early game gatekeep: So to get copper iron and generally progress you need to go mining and fight drifters there is almost no way around it,  wile i agree risk and reward should go together  it gatekeeps many players from accessing things they truly want like pottery or homesteading with out making them have to experience combat first and well combat has many issues for the reasons mentioned above. Suggestions for this will be mentioned on the next section.

[Suggestions]

. Slower combat: So latency issues are hard to deal with and making good hitboxes can be actually hell  so let me give you an alternative.    Separate enemy hits to generic and special attacks.  Generic hits are the hits every drifter can do they are fast as the hits are now but deal  1/6th of the damage they do now. in gameplay they are mostly used so you don't encroach on them too hard unpunished. 

Drifter specific attack's those will be slower and more telegraphed and animated attacks depending on the type of drifter (As mentioned on drifter variants bellow) a drifter can have up 2 three of those. 

. Body Collison: You can no longer pass through drifters like they are ethereal  you now collide with their bodies and have to push them by sprinting on them wile taking damage.  Sprinting at drifters or other players also delivers damage to them depending on what armor your are wearing and generates knockback based on speed and armor. 

. Advanced combat control and abilities:   Now you can choose the type of swing you do with your weapon by swinging your mouse and camera left right up and down to control the direction of your swing and animation,   you can press the mouse wheel to stab which has the best reach.  and you can kick  F.   All weapons will have a special ability activated with R  which is a big slow animated move with high damage. 

. Advanced Weapons and Armors: Now you can find advanced weapons and armors are really rare and or really hard to craft  advanced weapons give you different R move special abilities and maybe effects like setting up enemies on fire  Advanced armor  gives you various passive abilities  things like double jump, slow fall, special fire resistance, Faster Healing, Etc.

. Enemy variety:  So drifters are a fungal species of a hivemind colony.   Hiveminds tend to have specialized members used as parts i think that concept has a lot of potential, some drifters can be ranged  (Instead of making them all throw rocks)   Some can spit acid limiting the environment you can walk on,  some can be more physically hardy,  some can move fast,  some can have longer reach, some can set you on fire.  all drifters have a generic attack and at least one special attack based on their type.    Be creative and i don't think you can go wrong  it will do a massive service to the lore and gameplay.

. Enemy bosses:  So those are limited to temporal storms or hugging rifts or interacting with rifts in special ways.   think of like uncle two heads.   The bosses look much more distinct being bigger size and or built from their normal counterparts. they only have slow telegraphed animated moves and have a big health pool  as do a lot of damage.   Killing them gives you a lot of gears and or TG as well as special trophies you can use to make special armors and weapons shown above. 

. Stamina:  Players can no longer run endlessly and can't spam special abilities or keep fighting for hours  Running takes stamina, Using special abilities takes a lot of  stamina and attacks take slightly slivers of stamina.    Stamina also goes for mobs.   When out of stamina you can't run your attacks are slower and can't preform special abilities.    Recover stamina by moving slow, even faster by staying idle, and fastest by sitting down for a bit.

. No Gatekeep: This game has a lot better things to offer then combat especially at its current state  and i don't think all players should be forced to engage with it,  it would be nice if there were less efficient but not extremely hard ways to obtain mineral resources with out having to deal with drifters. wile providing much harder ways to make it big for players that are willing to engage in combat. 

. Only specific Ranged drifters throw rocks Nothing more to add here. 

[Summary]

I have written this long post out of love for the game  as someone who likes to play combat but has many problems with it.

I have offered my contention with combat system now  as well as my suggestions on how to make it better,    I understand this is no easy fix and we are talking at least 6 months of work if not more but i feel like its a big part of the game that stays overlooked.   I feel like it either needs to get the love it needs or be pushed aside and made optional if not removed cause this is a very good game but it forces players to engage with its most unworked aspect. 

Thank you for your time and reading this.

If you are a developer i want to thank you for making this game and the work you put in so far,   unless you are the one that gave drifters stones. 

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9 hours ago, Prince said:

If you are a developer i want to thank you for making this game and the work you put in so far,   unless you are the one that gave drifters stones. 

Well, there's just the one developer coding and a part-time assistant coder.  Hopefully, the 1.18 story and lore update will have some help on combat as there is rumor that the game's first boss will be introduced.

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Of everything said here, I definitely agree about the rock throwing. 100%. It's so unfun trying to dodge sniper elite drifters when they never miss and dodging is completely unreliable for some reason. I suspect combat is not at a stage where its final though, so I'm waiting to see what they do. I don't know how I would suggest improvements myself, but hopefully enough feedback can help the devs out.

However, I do want to say: please no stamina cost. It's never implemented well and just turns into this annoying "feature" that makes me want to quit. 😅

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I agree with almost all of the mentioned things here.

Currently there is not much need for advanced combat mechanics, but i would love to have it implemented as new enemy types get released. Maybe stamina could be used to perform special or heavy attacks or to parry or block or dodge. Kinda disagree with stamina usage outside of combat tho. Maybe at higher difficulties sleeping or siting could restore maximum stamina which is lost while using too much stamina. Just my thoughts i had while reading this.

 

Sorry for my bad english.

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The biggest problem with a complete combat overhaul is: there are not only combat players and the game has to stay fun for those not enjoying combat too (but other than most I read from that wish for more and more complex combat you seem to acknowledge that). As long as there are resources only available through farming hostile mobs, resources you'll need for progression, disabling monster spawning is no option either for those and slaughtering hostile mobs which won't fight back isn't fun at all.

Another problem could be lore, several issues with fighting monsters can be explained with possible lore and them being in seraph's heads only (not the rock throwing issue though). Of course at this point drifters and other monsters only being delusions formed in seraph's heads by some traumatic experience before entering the world is only a theory, but imo one of the more promising ones.

Though your gatekeeping argument that I don't get, mining requires very little combat prowess, as long as you won't go caving at least, just go find a few ore pieces above ground, dig down get those surface ores, prospect for possible ores further down, dig down, with a chisel you'd be able to spawnproof your mines easily too (for drifters, or rather everything not spawning from locust nests, to spawn they need the top layer of a block to be complete), leaving only low temporal stability as a possible source for sudden drifter spawns (as with empty stability they spawn the same way as in a temporal storm: in midair).

 

On 10/15/2022 at 4:59 PM, Ruyeex said:

The reason for drifters can throw rocks is because of players cheesing the system and the larger damage hotbox is for players to stop building afk farms.

That's not "cheesing the system" that's technical play or metagaming, a playstyle enjoyed by quite a number of gamers, a playstyle requiring to learn the technical parts of a game and not only the simplest game mechanics, a playstyle that can be enjoyed even without being able to compete with other player's reaction speeds.
Coming up with working afkable farms usually is quite some work, sure copying a working design isn't that much (bug fixing a design that got broken by a game update is again though), but that's often the first step into understanding mob behaviour and ingame engineering and is often the first step into becoming a technical player.

Instead of every drifter throwing rocks (which atm seems to be rather broken, according to the opening post, haven't played any new version since its introduction yet myself) giving them variation in size and hence in range (maybe even in damage) might be preferable, if you have drifters that can have the same (or greater) reach as a seraph with a weapon and others you can't reach from the usual safe distance and that can fit through smaller gabs you'd have to adjust tactics and farms. maybe all drifters could come in sizes between 0.6 and over 2 blocks tall? damage, range, jump height/width could scale with size, just pillaring up inside a tiny trench wouldn't be sufficient to farm drifters anymore, but still enough for getting to safety if going high enough. And the best: it comes with nearly no changes to drifter AI, no need for balancing the ranged combat AI for them. Though additionally instead of all being able to throw rocks, maybe there'd only be a chance that a spawned drifter is one capable of ranged attacks? That way the existing rock throwing mechanic could be implemented without feeling annoyed by too big barages of thrown and about undodgeable rocks coming at the player at once. That too could scale with size, maybe smaller drifters are more likely ranged types but only bigger than medium sized ones have knockback when using projectiles?

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9 hours ago, Hal13 said:

The biggest problem with a complete combat overhaul is: there are not only combat players and the game has to stay fun for those not enjoying combat too (but other than most I read from that wish for more and more complex combat you seem to acknowledge that). As long as there are resources only available through farming hostile mobs, resources you'll need for progression, disabling monster spawning is no option either for those and slaughtering hostile mobs which won't fight back isn't fun at all.

Another problem could be lore, several issues with fighting monsters can be explained with possible lore and them being in seraph's heads only (not the rock throwing issue though). Of course at this point drifters and other monsters only being delusions formed in seraph's heads by some traumatic experience before entering the world is only a theory, but imo one of the more promising ones.

Though your gatekeeping argument that I don't get, mining requires very little combat prowess, as long as you won't go caving at least, just go find a few ore pieces above ground, dig down get those surface ores, prospect for possible ores further down, dig down, with a chisel you'd be able to spawnproof your mines easily too (for drifters, or rather everything not spawning from locust nests, to spawn they need the top layer of a block to be complete), leaving only low temporal stability as a possible source for sudden drifter spawns (as with empty stability they spawn the same way as in a temporal storm: in midair).

 

That's not "cheesing the system" that's technical play or metagaming, a playstyle enjoyed by quite a number of gamers, a playstyle requiring to learn the technical parts of a game and not only the simplest game mechanics, a playstyle that can be enjoyed even without being able to compete with other player's reaction speeds.
Coming up with working afkable farms usually is quite some work, sure copying a working design isn't that much (bug fixing a design that got broken by a game update is again though), but that's often the first step into understanding mob behaviour and ingame engineering and is often the first step into becoming a technical player.

Instead of every drifter throwing rocks (which atm seems to be rather broken, according to the opening post, haven't played any new version since its introduction yet myself) giving them variation in size and hence in range (maybe even in damage) might be preferable, if you have drifters that can have the same (or greater) reach as a seraph with a weapon and others you can't reach from the usual safe distance and that can fit through smaller gabs you'd have to adjust tactics and farms. maybe all drifters could come in sizes between 0.6 and over 2 blocks tall? damage, range, jump height/width could scale with size, just pillaring up inside a tiny trench wouldn't be sufficient to farm drifters anymore, but still enough for getting to safety if going high enough. And the best: it comes with nearly no changes to drifter AI, no need for balancing the ranged combat AI for them. Though additionally instead of all being able to throw rocks, maybe there'd only be a chance that a spawned drifter is one capable of ranged attacks? That way the existing rock throwing mechanic could be implemented without feeling annoyed by too big barages of thrown and about undodgeable rocks coming at the player at once. That too could scale with size, maybe smaller drifters are more likely ranged types but only bigger than medium sized ones have knockback when using projectiles?

So pretty good reply. let me address it. 

I feel like there not being many combat players is somewhat related to combat not being fun. I feel like you would see an influx of combat players if there was engaging combat.

Now i will admit in servers being a combat player is pretty profitable which is what made me stay as a combat player in combination with helping people who just can't handle combat but i want it to be more enjoyable and late game more profitable so i can do that as the only thing and buy items from traders instead of producing anything. 

Again as stated i don't want it to be gatekeepy  the stuff you get from bosses will be goods mostly if not only to serve you in combat and maybe decorations other then that this game ideally would let players not engage with its combat mechanics at all if they didn't want to. 

Early game i usually have to fight a few nightmares before i ever see iron. and that is with primal weapons. 

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34 minutes ago, Prince said:

I feel like there not being many combat players is somewhat related to combat not being fun. I feel like you would see an influx of combat players if there was engaging combat.

I'm not sure about that, many combat players are somewhat pvp enthusiasts and the game isn't promoting pvp, most servers do seem to be pve only too, as such combat players might not suddenly multiply by adding more engaging pve combat mechanics. Though some changes seem really necessary even to me, mobs just using hotboxes (which on themselves are somewhat okay) and always hitting the player when attacking on range is a very frustrating mechanic. Though the latter could just be changed into giving those projectiles some additional random momentum perpendicular to the direction they got thrown in.

34 minutes ago, Prince said:

Early game i usually have to fight a few nightmares before i ever see iron. and that is with primal weapons.

I usually encounter those only around lava lakes, but as i usually drive vertical shafts through the rock when mining and close them off to caves, I usually fight deep drifters at most, there's just not enough reward for the risks of higher tier monsters. I don't go caving much before iron age armor and weapons

Edited by Hal13
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I have to agree with the no stamina comments. There's nothing I hate more than constantly waiting for a bar to refill. I want combat to be fun and quick. Waiting after an artificial constrain is terribly bad gameplay and turns combats into long boring slogs.

Edited by Drakker
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Or just that the drifters could just throw one rock per minute.

Or make their aim more easy do dodge

+The wolfes and maybe bears are easy with cheese mechanics like on water or pillar yourself up or just a contraption.

++I kinda like the stone throwing bcs it triggers other drifters to kill themselfes.

Edited by Ruyeex
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On 10/15/2022 at 9:59 AM, Ruyeex said:

The reason for drifters can throw rocks is because of players cheesing the system and the larger damage hotbox is for players to stop building afk farms.

I cheesed them once first night without meaning to. I built a pit kiln on the ground, put a small roof over it, then built my first night's shelter on the roof, mostly doing clayforming. The drifters would run up, get too close to the fire, and eventually die.

It's still do-able. And you can make other things (usually discovered accidentally) to get drifters to kill each other.

The rocks do have an insane range, though.

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19 hours ago, Thorfinn said:

The rocks do have an insane range, though.

A drifter's melee attack being able to kill in just two or three hits indicates they are quite strong.  The local zoo has 2 inch think tempered glass for the outdoor gorilla exhibit. There's a hole that almost entirely penetrates that hardened glass from a gorilla throwing a rock at the glass.  I bet a gorilla could also kill a human in just two or three punches should it choose to do so.

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Oh, I'm not saying it's unrealistic, not that a Cthulhu-inspired game need be constrained by realism. I'm just speaking from a game balance and fun POV. I'm much more of a "technical player" using @Hal13 jargon. Seems no matter how much I bob and weave, they are able to figure out where I'll be when their rock hits. So I just ignore them anymore. They definitely aren't worth hunting. Temporal gears are rare enough, but metal parts are just short of unobtanium. Maybe it's just poor luck with RNG, but I can rarely get any translocators running before late winter or spring, at which point I'm restarting to get to the part of the game I think the most fun.

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