Forums » General Pantheon Discussion

PantheonPlus Joppa Interview Stream

    • 1707 posts
    March 15, 2020 4:42 PM PDT

    Joppa said:

    Fragile said: Uhh you do realize that you could pretty much perform everything in your toolkit with 8 spells. That's how simplistic EQ was, even then you could still swap (especially when you understood sit aggro) spells. When they started adding complexity to the game (and encounters) that's when you had AA's, Item clickies, and even more spell slots. EQ's magic was mainly due to the timing of when it was released: no Twitter, YouTube, wowhead, etc. As well as it's mechanics; from combat to leveling up. The main restriction that bothers me the most about the LAS, is that it takes a lot of the potential player skill out of the players hands when in combat. You lose a lot of those, "can't believe you did that" or "wow, quick thinking".

    Totally, which is why I'm loud about the caveat: things may change as we test. Adding the 6 Utility slots is in recognition of the amount of abilities available to Pantheon's Classes, as well as the ability to increase the numbers available in each bar to 10/8, 12/10, etc. if we decide.

    But as I've also said, I see things more clearly when starting more constrained and opening from there, which is why we have 8/6 as the starting point.

    Gratification from player skill is one of the most important things to me personally and the dampening of that would be a compelling reason to open the LAS allotment as we test.

    Btw, Twitter's got nothing on the tension that EQ's death penalty causes. You'll find a lot of EQ's magic right there.

    Thanks Joppa for getting involved here. Great to hear your clarifications. I heard loud and clear your "it is not a hill to die on" comment when recently talking about LAS and I know that these things are flexible intentionally (I believe Jimmy even explained the hotbar UI was tooled to be easily expandable in the previous roundtable?).

    BUT I do hope we end up with a lot more than 8 primary abilities to chose from. I know EQ Classic had that, but it was way more frustrating than enhancing, in my experience and opinion. Also, there was the option to re-mem in combat, as annoying and painfully tricky as that was.

    Yes, my druid's group might come out of a combat having struggled because I hadn't memmed Charm Animal and we got a lion add in the middle of the fight, but it didn't much feel like if I memmed Charm Animal it would be a great tactical plan, just a grudgingly taken frustrating one because, just in case an animal add occured, I wouldn't be able to mem something that would get much more regular usage. I would be effectively limiting myself to 7 spells in 99% of fights. If I added other useful, but rarely used abilities, I might end up only having 4 or so spells to choose from in most encounters. People simply did not assess and tailor their hotbar for every encounter. Can you imagine how much time and clicking that would be? You just ended up with a regular set and being frustrated by having some unavailable or with an irregular set and being frustrated by feeling you constantly had slots 'wasted'. You accepted that for almost all encounters your hotbar would probably be sub-optimal.

    I also know I found it frustrating almost every level getting new spells because it didn't so much mean "Great! A new spell!" it meant "Right... now I have to try and decide which spell to not use much anymore, or I have to resign myself to not really using the new one much".

    I just don't enjoy that up-front planning choice over the more interesting challenge of what spell is best to use from moment to moment and having the option to throw an unfamiliar one if it, for some rare reason, would be useful. I know that LAS doesn't eliminate choice, but it sure does reduce it in order to weight planning.

    I also don't really like LAS from a role-playing or 'fun' standpoint. It just feels weird and off to be in a combat and not be able to do something that I *know how* to do and I *really need* to do until I've finished the combat.

    Also, it was extremely rare to have a combat completely fail because we didn't have a particular spell, but I do remember regularly being frustrated that I couldn't do something that I knew was in my repertoire. It wasn't really a very positive or impactful planning choice.

    Now, I'm talking from an EQ point-of-view and I know that can be problematic. I hear what you're saying about the out-of-combat hotbars perhaps being available more than we might think and that's interesting. If we have reasonably regular aggro breakers or pausers, then that might address the negatives of LAS quite a lot. It even makes sense that you can't swig a potion or read a scroll when in the midst of combat and you need to catch a break to do so.

    Another idea would be to allow casting direct from the Codex (or from the out-of-combat hotbars?), with perhaps greater mana use or a delayed or longer casting time, so it gives similar flexibility to EQ re-memming, but with less of the UI-clicking pain? Skill use is still 'limited' but by choice over what to use available resource on, not so artificially and completely.

    Honestly though, from what we know about the number of skills per class, I'd kinda like the LAS to start with something like 12+12 because I prefer the challenge of the mental dexterity and timing and the fun of choice to the challenge of the planning and frustration of limitation.

    I get your reasoning to start at 8+6. I worry that where one starts tends to stick without good reason, but *shrug* I'm heartened by your comment "Gratification from player skill is one of the most important things to me personally and the dampening of that would be a compelling reason to open the LAS allotment as we test"

    I would finally like to add that, for me, it's not just the player skill ceiling I'm worried about being dampened, but the fun.

    P.S. Please do more stuff like the PantheonPlus stream/interview. It was (and always is) really great to hear you talk about Pantheon. You (and all the team) have such obvious enthusiasm and passion and, of course, it's great to catch them spilled beans!


    This post was edited by disposalist at March 15, 2020 5:22 PM PDT
    • 762 posts
    March 15, 2020 6:07 PM PDT

    oneADseven said:

    Huge wall of text incoming

    1AD,  I struggle to understand how LAS12 would iron out any of those objections.  It adds a 1/3 chance to have the spell on your bar, but it doesnt mean you have access to all your spells.  I wonder if you prefer the unlimited slot option? (or to not use the word unlimited, you prefer as many slots as required to use any spell at any time within your toolkit).

    I support a LAS, i further support the addition of a slow and dangerous spell swap out in combat, I know thats not in and I am completely happy and excited to test without the swapout and see how it goes and continue to give feedback when i have actually felt it.  Lets see how it works in this game, with this particular games dynamic content, with this particular games class interdependency, with this particular games vision of tension, fear and lack of ULTIMATE SOLO POWER! Whether you have 8 or 12 LAS is not all that important to me where it ends up after alpha, as long as it is LAS.  But i support the designers current decision based on their  deep understanding of their own mechanics they are building for the encounters they are building to go with it and I want to see what they have designed for us, it is built with purpose and lets at least see what it is all about before saying we know exactly howw this is going to turn out.   

    I can definitely see the virtue in starting with effectively the hardest iteration in testing being 8 and then maybe we are all there saying, "wow this is WAY to limiting!" so we try 10 etc etc.  If we go up to the top end of the slot capacity right off the bat and everyone is comfortable, we may miss out on testing the game in a much more challenging setup.  

    • 1347 posts
    March 15, 2020 6:41 PM PDT

    Joppa said:

    To get an important point out of the way first, we are setting up the in/out of combat mechanic to be dependent on your individual actions and related directly to threat. If you have a single point of threat on a target, you are in combat w/ that target. Have a way to erase your threat? You are now out of combat, unless you have threat on a remaining target(s). ...

    Glad to hear the details about in/out of combat. I think your response is worded in such a way that it won't be as elegant or simple as you're implying, but I appreciate the detail all the same.
    --
    I can assure you, even with LAS, you will have many things thrown at you that you don't expect and may not immediately know how to respond to in the moment.
    ...
    If you look deeply at the Class abilities, how they synergize with themselves and the abilities of other Classes, you will begin to see how 8 abilities are capable of much, much more.
    ...
    Lastly, emergent gameplay is often predicated on not having a direct way to deal with a problem. I look forward to seeing all of the creative ways players come up with to deal with Pantheon's dynamic world and inhabitants.
    --
    How will they "deal with it" emergently when they are stuck in combat and don't have the ability to change to, obtain, use or cast what they need? 
    You're going to intentionally "throw things" at the players that they can't respond to, by design?
    Because that's it.  That's the reality.  There is no public information about any other in-game system that addresses this reality. 
    If you have another layer of the combat system to share that will permit something beyond 8 active abilities through "synergy" ?  Now is the time, please share it. 
    Otherwise, Pantheon LAS guarantees failure and EQ1 UAS permits "Everquest tension" moments, full stop.  We're simply discussing history.

    I'm not sure what you're expecting people to see in the current class pages that isn't there to read directly.  There's no synergy that would allow a group to dynamically generate an evac spell, for example, or provide any other class-specific role, spell, skill, ability, action, or effect, on demand, through "synergy", via whatever definition is currently popular.  The extremely crude and limited condition or status effect exploitation (as described, to date, not even as good as what Vanguard has) offers nothing even close to "Everquest tension" moments of gameplay when restricted by the 8+6 LAS.

    Otherwise, I mostly agree with oneADseven's post on page 1, and I rarely if ever talk about the solo player.  All of my responses presume grouping 99% of the time.

    • 3380 posts
    March 15, 2020 6:55 PM PDT

    Hokanu said:

    But I support the designers current decision based on their deep understanding of their own mechanics they are building for the encounters they are building to go with it and I want to see what they have designed for us, it is built with purpose and lets at least see what it is all about before saying we know exactly how this is going to turn out.

    The most important takeaway for me is this comment from Joppa:

    Joppa said:

    Gratification from player skill is one of the most important things to me personally and the dampening of that would be a compelling reason to open the LAS allotment as we test.

    Gratification from player skill is one of the most important things to me as well and I feel that the UAS is much more conducive to having that realized as much as possible.  If having the right hotbar loaded is considered a form of "player skill" then skilled players will be a dime a dozen thanks to the world wide web.  Unfortunately, this cannot be properly "tested" during pre-alpha due to NDA.  Again ... there is a huge difference between safely imitating a hotbar loadout observed from a spoiler site and imitating combat-related gameplay.  The second is more difficult to do with all things considered, but when it comes to the UAS/LAS specifically, the LAS makes that easier to do as well.  Is it harder to imitate 8 active abilities over the course of an extended battle or 20?  My daughter just learned how to play "Mary had a little lamb" on her recorder.  There is a reason that a song like that is used for beginners ... there are very few different notes involved and the timing is mostly consistent throughout the song.  A song like that can be learned in a matter of minutes.  Compare that to a complicated symphony on a piano and consider which one is more difficult to reproduce.  That probably isn't the best analogy because it may seem like I want insanely high APM button-smashing.  That isn't the case at all.  I'm not concerned with how many keypresses I am making per minute, I am concerned about how many functional choices I have, during combat.  The UAS system could reduce APM and emphasize macro-awareness / mental acuity.

    Players have been asking for dynamic MMO combat for years and while dispositions seem like something that could be a great stepping stone toward that being achieved, the LAS dampens our ability to respond in real-time.  Player agency should be emphasized when it comes to skillful play.  Divergent thinking is more fun than convergent thinking, for me.  I am all about the fun-factor and being challenged is a big part of that.  I want more responsibilities, more tension, more decision-making, more mental stimulation ... and this is important ... all of that during combat.  I want surprises and curveballs.  I do not want to get hit in the face with a 100 MPH fastball because "dodge" isn't on my bar.  Is that supposed to be satisfying?  Should I find solace in knowing that during my next attempt I overcame an obstacle by putting "dodge" on my bar?  Or maybe with the LAS construct I just have to settle that I'm going to get hit ... I know I can't dodge, but I can emergently let the ball hit my hand instead of my face, because that is the best-case scenario considering my restrictions.  That emergent construct isn't going to be a thing the next time I'm batting vs that pitcher.  I will adhere to the script and do what the rail-monster tells me to do because getting hit by a fastball sucks, even if it's just my hand.


    This post was edited by oneADseven at March 15, 2020 7:29 PM PDT
    • 152 posts
    March 15, 2020 7:32 PM PDT

    Ugh, I've been trying to figure out what "LAS" means. In reading these forums I just took it to mean "Lame A** S**." But the discussion here is definitely not what I thought it meant and that it is actually something that seems to be "something." Limited Ability Slots?

    Up until now my definition seemed to make sense with those who were not a fan of what was being implemented. Now, it doesn't make as much sense.

    I'm not new at this, but I am certainly new to this acronym.

    • 487 posts
    March 15, 2020 7:37 PM PDT

    muscoby said:

    Ugh, I've been trying to figure out what "LAS" means. In reading these forums I just took it to mean "Lame A** S**." But the discussion here is definitely not what I thought it meant and that it is actually something that seems to be "something." Limited Ability Slots?

    Up until now my definition seemed to make sense with those who were not a fan of what was being implemented. Now, it doesn't make as much sense.

    I'm not new at this, but I am certainly new to this acronym.

    Limited Action Set. Your spells/abilites "lock" when in combat, and can't be changed until out of combat.

    • 15 posts
    March 15, 2020 7:47 PM PDT

    Playing and abiding by the rules of any game is what gives the game it's flexibility and stategy. Only by limiting the player can the player creatively puzzle solve. This goes for for simple games like Chess as well. (which we still haven't optimized by the way). I can guarantee that the development team has thought about how to make combat more engaging than anyone else here and they're open to better ideas. An LAS system with give the game more flexibility in combat and a narrow focus in combat, the more experience you gain fighting the mobs the more you can optimize your build to suit your group's needs as well. In theory of course. It'll need a lot of experienced player feedback to see how good or bad it is. I look forward to it personally.

    • 3380 posts
    March 15, 2020 7:52 PM PDT

    Chess is certainly more interesting than checkers, to me, but I guess an argument can be made that checkers is more "challenging."

    http://historyofdraughts.blogspot.com/2016/09/draughts-is-more-difficult-than-chess.html

    These quotes really capture how I feel about the topic:

    "In a full position on the checkerboard there are usually three or four reasonable possible moves, on the chessboard the number of free moves can be even greater.  It is a question of the theoretical liberty of choice, as the possibilities in chess are very broad and can reach up to 20 or 30 moves, but it is the question of the practical choice that is somewhat wider in chess than in checkers."

    "With checkers I must already be very careful at the third or fourth move that I do not do anything wrong, I have to calculate deeply, because one mistake can have fatal consequences.  However, when I play chess, I can get away with making a less good move in the opening.  I can correct the disadvantage later."

    "Chess is played with different pieces, has more variety. It's harder to learn and combining demands richer imagination.  Conversely checkers is strictly logical and can be scientifically explained."

    "How do Banks’s thoughts about chess compare to checkers?  In one of Banks’s remarks in the Chess Omnibus magazine he declared that draughts (checkers) is 80% memory and 20% intuition, while in chess it is the opposite."


    This post was edited by oneADseven at March 15, 2020 8:05 PM PDT
    • 420 posts
    March 15, 2020 8:32 PM PDT

    Honestly, I feel as though discussions around LAS numbers and whether or not we have LAS is something that will be altered up until Beta as mid to late Alpha and Beta is likely to be and can be where that aspect of testing is conducted. Where NPC to player or encounter to player balance is the variable, as has been done in numerous other MMORPGs, the balance is a metric balance when considering something like how many abilities are available to you. This means the modifications in rebalancing are relatively straight forward.

    Although I do understand the criticism, this is one area I can generally put off into the Alpha phase. Before all else, I want all classes implemented and the basics of each zone and the mechanics in place to include quests, dialogue, vendors, AI, environmental and even character mechanics and dynamics between the player and the world. Another area that can be put off until much later is UI, although that's considerably less important than LAS dynamics.


    This post was edited by Janus at March 15, 2020 8:33 PM PDT
    • 3380 posts
    March 15, 2020 10:40 PM PDT

    Fragile shared a document on page 1 that has a lot of relevance to this discussion.  BOGUSBOOTY brought up rules and strategy and said "Only by limiting the player can the player creatively puzzle solve."  This leads me back to this comment from Joppa:

    Joppa said:

    This flows into another important point which is woven all throughout Pantheon's tenets: this is a group-centric game. To me, the "dynamic content is incompatible with LAS" argument seems overly focused on what the solo player is capable of. If you look deeply at the Class abilities, how they synergize with themselves and the abilities of other Classes, you will begin to see how 8 abilities are capable of much, much more.

    Lastly, emergent gameplay is often predicated on not having a direct way to deal with a problem.  I look forward to seeing all of the creative ways players come up with to deal with Pantheon's dynamic world and inhabitants.

    Here is the last line of the document that Fragile shared:

    "Additionally, there seems to be a major design conflict in saying that players will be individually limited with regards to how many abilities they can contribute toward a specific non-raid encounter (in the name of strategy) while maintaining a position that there is no limit on how many players can simultaneously engage that same encounter.  An LAS without encounter-locking is self-defeating if the goal is to create difficulty through constraint.  If that is not the goal, then what is?"

    As it stands, zerging is the king of emergent gameplay for group-based content.  It's not very creative but it definitely allows players to ignore the "rules" and create a "direct way to deal with a problem."  There is no need to synergize abilities with your group or make important this/that choices.  Just bring a bunch of people and steamroll.  What am I missing?  This type of emergent gameplay has already been demonstrated on stream, as can be seen here:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qnQD5xoQADE&feature=youtu.be&t=8345

    After dying to Gnasshura with a single group, it was determined that multiple groups would be more effective at clearing him out.  Will this be considered an emergent/legitimate/creative way of dealing with Pantheon's world and inhabitants, specifically when it comes to single-group content?  (It is worth noting that raid-content will be locked to a maximum number of players, thus preventing this type of tactic from emerging as the reliable ace in the hole.)

    A similar situation happens exactly 4 months later, here:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=km4NruH3m0E&feature=youtu.be&t=3492

    Prior to that timestamp, the group died to Vice Baron Scion.  They made their way back up to the boss and multiple groups engaged him at the same time.  Even though this doesn't appear to be coordinated between the groups, this still highlights why "DPS-Racing = Zerging"  --  I am of the mindset that we all lose with this model.  Instead of having the burden of defeating content from 100-0 (while operating within the intended ability restrictions/limits of a single group) the boss was trivialized by multiple groups.  This circles back to another point from Joppa that is extremely important in this context:

    Joppa said:

    Gratification from player skill is one of the most important things to me personally and the dampening of that would be a compelling reason to open the LAS allotment as we test.


    This post was edited by oneADseven at March 15, 2020 11:53 PM PDT
    • 169 posts
    March 15, 2020 11:00 PM PDT

    i think both gentalmen did a good job at answering and asking questions.

    • 1605 posts
    March 15, 2020 11:24 PM PDT

    For me personally, I'm willing to try the LAS experiment during testing and see how it feels.  If it feels bad, you can bet I'll provide strong feedback at that time.  I can see the arguments on both sides, and there are compelling enough points being made by everyone that I think it's better to base my opinion on actual experience rather than theory-crafting.

    With that said, one of the things I appreciated that Vanguard attempted to do was it's group synergies through combat states, even if the implementation was uneven.  Regardless of whether we have limited action sets or not, I think Pantheon needs to try to do that same thing or something very similar in order to make group synergy a real thing.  Classes need to be able to work together in more nuanced ways than basic utility if we want group synergy to really mean anything in the end.

    • 1738 posts
    March 16, 2020 1:37 AM PDT

    Joppa said:

    vjek said:

    https://www.pantheonmmo.com/game/pantheon_difference/

    Dynamic NPC Encounter Groups
    NPC Dispositions and Behaviors
    -
    Both of which require exactly the opposite of what the LAS provides, namely:  The ability to dynamically react, especially to multi-disposition bosses, but also to variable disposition respawns.

     

    I keep hearing the argument you share above: if you have LAS, you cannot have dynamic combat of any kind.

    Come on, this is a logical fallacy that avoids the actual question. Nobody is saying it can't be dynamic in any way, they are logically questioning how limiting the players' available options promotes dynamic gameplay. And not only does it limit what a player can do, it thereby limits what you as a designer are able to create. It seems like an artificial constraint. 

    Joppa said:

    I guess that's true if your goal in content design is to make sure every player always has specific answers available for anything thrown at them. In my opinion, that's an incredibly boring approach.

    Another logical fallacy, nobody is saying that. Nobody is suggesting that all players have all answers at all times. 

    You said that a "pro" of EQ's system was the fine motor skills required to swap spells in combat, and yet not having a LAS is boring? This is a logical contradiction. Quickly swapping a spell in and out in EQ is good, but quickly choosing from an available ability without a LAS is bad? 

    Joppa said:

    This flows into another important point which is woven all throughout Pantheon's tenets: this is a group-centric game. To me, the "dynamic content is incompatible with LAS" argument seems overly focused on what the solo player is capable of. If you look deeply at the Class abilities, how they synergize with themselves and the abilities of other Classes, you will begin to see how 8 abilities are capable of much, much more.

    Much more than what? This seems like the tired old argument that somehow fewer options promotes more difficult decision making and more group centric gameplay. If there are 6 people in the group, and one has FD, one has mez, one has root, one has stun, one has snare, and one has fear, there's ZERO dynamic between the players when any of them are required to use their unique ability, they just do it. They communicate one time before combat, compared to people actually having to react and communicate on the fly. If there are 3 people in the group who can all root, and a mobs takes off and they all root it at the same time, they just tripled the cost of that spell, if they didn't communicate. If 2 mobs take off running and all 3 root the same mob, they might wipe, if they didn't communicate. The argument that an LAS promotes communication more than no LAS is nonsense. 

    Joppa said:

    Lastly, emergent gameplay is often predicated on not having a direct way to deal with a problem. I look forward to seeing all of the creative ways players come up with to deal with Pantheon's dynamic world and inhabitants.

    Again, the argument that people will have more room to be creative with fewer options. 

    Joppa said:Gratification from player skill is one of the most important things to me personally and the dampening of that would be a compelling reason to open the LAS allotment as we test.

     

    You know what isn't gratifying? Swapping resist fire and cold out every other pull because your group is swapping from mage to shaman mobs over and over. You know what isn't gratifying? Having an ability but not being able to use it. You know what isn't gratifying? Having an ability on a 3 minute cooldown that you never use because it wastes an ability slot 99% of the time. You know what isn't gratifying? Dying to RNG because a mob with a random disposition spawned that you had no way of preparing for. 

    If the argument is risk vs reward, or challenge, imagine how much riskier and more challenging an encounter could be designed if the players had their full arsenal of abilities at their disposal. If the argument is tactics and communication, how is it more fun to mem a spell out of combat at no risk, that you know you're going to need, than actually having to react and communicate with your lives actually on the line? The argument that an LAS promotes meaningful decision making more than no LAS, is nonsense. It is not more meaningful to decide before hand what you are going to do in an encounter that you already know the ins and outs of, than it is to be able to make split second decisions from a wider variety of solutions to your problem when it hits the fan. 

    How is the game *actually* being designed to be *more fun* because there is an LAS? What are the actual design concepts that are being implemented to take advantage of the system, instead of it simply being an arbitrary shackle on your character? 

     


    This post was edited by Keno Monster at March 16, 2020 2:25 AM PDT
    • 406 posts
    March 16, 2020 2:20 AM PDT

    Joppa said:

     

    Great question. I'll expound a bit on my example from the PantheonPlus interview.

    Ultimately, I would describe EverQuest as being a hybrid: it is fundamentally a UAS (unlimited action set) that leans towards an LAS under specific conditions, with an incredibly clunky way of accessing your abilities. 

    It is fundamentally a UAS because technically you have access to all of your abilities at your choosing, in and out of combat. It leans towards an LAS because you could only have 8 usable at a time and the fine motor skills required to quickly exchange one ability for another in critical situations was actually difficult to do.

    The other ingredient that caused it to lean towards an LAS in feel was the memorization time + the initial refresh time. Take an ability like Divine Aura - a Cleric would have to wait 15-20 seconds after memorizing that ability before they could use it. For this reason, choosing to memorize Divine Aura was often a decision made before combat began (!). And while an extreme case because of its uniquely long initial refresh time, similar consideration was given to other abilities that had delays before being usable after memorizing.

    All of that being said, the inspiration behind pushing Pantheon fully into the LAS approach is born from the presence of that tension in EQ and the enjoyment of it. How would I have played differently in EQ had I known those 8 abilities were all I had access to until combat ended? In that regard, a death penalty produces a very similar type of consideration/question. How do I approach every encounter differently in games where there is a death penalty vs. games without?

    In the scenarios you listed above, how would those memories be different if you or your friends hadn't been able to change abilities? For some, there is only one answer to that question: you would have invariably failed, end of story.

    In EverQuest, with the very simplistic ability design and lack of cross-ability/cross-Class synergies, that very well may have been the case. But not in Pantheon.

     

     

    Thanks for the response Joppa.  This is a tricky design choice between the seemingly three options of LAS, No LAS, or some type of EQ style mid-combat spell swap option.  I'm still in favor of the last one, and I bet if you do decide to compromise in this area, you guys at VR could come up with a really fun and neat way to allow mid-combat ability swapping with all sorts of pros/cons in attempting to do so.

    In response to your question about how would a true LAS change my EQ strategies, it would have done two things.  If I was solo, I would always error on the side of caution and have most of my survivability options up.  I also probably would not have attempted certain challenges at all.  If I was in a group, I would plan ahead with the group about who has which abilities, and then adjust to again erring on the side of caution and surviveability with any unique abilities my class possessed.  It's clear to me that the LAS does promote group strategy and planning.  It's also clear it has a negative impact on playing solo.  I'm honestly fine trying it out during the beta process and seeing what is what.

    As for the other folks, everyone is making compelling arguments about why an LAS might be bad.  But what I know for sure is that in EQ2 having unlimited abilities on your bar was the worst thing I've experienced.  I *KNOW* that sucks.

    I think in the end, my suspicion is that we might meet in the middle on this.  And if so, we just need to come up with a challenging and strategic way of changing out abilities while in combat, complete with Pros and Cons.  Joppa talked about the long cooldown when memorizing certain powerful spells in EQ1 as a frustration, but I thought that just added to the tension and strategy of the encounter.  Can you survive for 3 minutes while your recently mem'd spell or ability refreshes?  Do you even have the time and ability to sit down, go through your book (or whatever), and get it swapped without all the mobs turning and clobbering you?  I feel like there's a 2020 way of taking the EQ1 approach and making it modern.  Seems like it could potentially make everyone happy enough due to being both restrictive, flexible, and requiring strategy and timing for player skill purposes, all while certainly adding some tense moments in regards to pulling it off.  Just my two cents.

    • 762 posts
    March 16, 2020 2:24 AM PDT

    Lol Keno

    They want people to rely on each other more, you can join the dots on why they want to try this system to get that result, its not rocket science.  

    and well said Mathir

     

    • 1738 posts
    March 16, 2020 2:30 AM PDT

    Hokanu said:

    Lol Keno

    They want people to rely on each other more, you can join the dots on why they want to try this system to get that result, its not rocket science.  

    and well said Mathir

     

    Explain exactly how not having an LAS means people will rely on each other less? Nobody, NOBODY is suggesting that all players have all solutions to all problems, or even more solutions to more problems than they already have. People want to be able to use the tools in their toolbelt because it is extremely dissatisfying to be arbitrarily handicapped for no logical reason other than that the combat actually IS boring and therefore the players need some type of handicap to make it more difficult. The LAS has little to nothing to do with class interdependence. Class design is how you weave the fabric of shared reliance. If it isn't rocket science, it should be easy to rebut what I had to say without condescending. 


    This post was edited by Keno Monster at March 16, 2020 2:44 AM PDT
    • 1738 posts
    March 16, 2020 2:35 AM PDT

    Mathir said:

    As for the other folks, everyone is making compelling arguments about why an LAS might be bad.  But what I know for sure is that in EQ2 having unlimited abilities on your bar was the worst thing I've experienced.  I *KNOW* that sucks.

    This is because abilities were spammed at the player and immediately became watered down. VR is in charge of this, they can decide to not spam a bloated catalog of skills, spells and abilities at players. Not having a limited action set does not mean players will have 80 hotkeys unless VR designs the game that way, and if they do, they are to blame, not the lack of a limited action set. 

    • 487 posts
    March 16, 2020 2:37 AM PDT

    Hokanu said:

    Lol Keno

    They want people to rely on each other more, you can join the dots on why they want to try this system to get that result, its not rocket science. 

     

    What takes more communication: 6 wizards all with root on their bar and available OR 6 wizards & only 1 of them with root on their bar available?

    • 762 posts
    March 16, 2020 2:51 AM PDT

    Fragile said:

    Hokanu said:

    Lol Keno

    They want people to rely on each other more, you can join the dots on why they want to try this system to get that result, its not rocket science. 

     

    What takes more communication: 6 wizards all with root on their bar and available OR 6 wizards & only 1 of them with root on their bar available?

    6 wizards deciding who has root on their bar, probably.

    err and btw "rely on each other", not to have a chat. Rely on each other to make up for their shortfalls based on their current bar setup, i think thats what you will find i mean.

     


    This post was edited by Hokanu at March 16, 2020 2:52 AM PDT
    • 1738 posts
    March 16, 2020 3:04 AM PDT

    Hokanu said:

    Fragile said:

    Hokanu said:

    Lol Keno

    They want people to rely on each other more, you can join the dots on why they want to try this system to get that result, its not rocket science. 

     

    What takes more communication: 6 wizards all with root on their bar and available OR 6 wizards & only 1 of them with root on their bar available?

    6 wizards deciding who has root on their bar, probably.

    err and btw "rely on each other", not to have a chat. Rely on each other to make up for their shortfalls based on their current bar setup, i think thats what you will find i mean.

     

    Imagine a game where players were able to utilize their full power instead of some subset, and still had to rely on each other. VR is basically saying they can't make that game, and that's okay, but the arguments are so hollow. 

    • 1707 posts
    March 16, 2020 4:01 AM PDT

    Some points that are really jumping out: -

    Challenge and fun

    The Checkers and Chess example is a good one. Checkers is more limited. Checkers may well actually be less forgiving and more challenging to consistently execute a win. It's also simply less interesting and less fun. Sorry checkers fans. I don't want difficulty and challenge to be defined by limited choices and avoiding the slightest mistake.

    Boxing would be more challenging and difficult one-handed. It would introduce new tactics. It would remove more. It still would not be as interesting or fun as normal boxing. (I'm not a boxing fan. Just an example hehe)

    Challenge and balance

    If you balance (potentially somewhat dynamic) encounters assuming players have non-optimal LAS choices, then if players use optimal choices, the encounters may be trivialised.
    If you balance assuming optimal LAS players will frequently be defeated by RNG and need to be extremely cautious of the unfamiliar.
    If you balance for UAS then surely it's much easier to design consistently challenging encounters?

    Preparedness vs Dynamism

    Yes, the preparedness of LAS adds an *aspect* of strategy, but is it better than the dynamism you lose?

    This is hugely subjective, so perhaps just look at some practicalities like: -

    Do we really want players feeling they need to change their hotbars just before every single encounter in order to be best prepared? (assuming encounters have been balanced for optimal LAS choices).
    Do we want players feelings their choices don't matter? (assuming encounters are balanced for non-optimal LAS choices).
    Do we want to *require* players to communicate constantly about which skills are loaded and who needs to make up for what shortcoming or do we want players to be able to learn the pros and cons of other classes' skills and be able to communicate about more interesting things like tactics?


    Now, I realise that Joppa is saying that LAS 8+6 won't be as restrictive as we think given the differences between EQ and Pantheon. Cool. I'd love more detail on why and how, but I'll trust that it will all come out in testing and that LAS can change, because that's what he has said.

    What worries me is when he says LAS delivers tension and excitement that UAS loses. I just don't agree, or at least, I really believe LAS is not the best way to do it. Resource usage. Cooldowns. Timed abilities. Even *have* 'prepared' skills, but allow 'un-prepared' at higher cost. Etc. These are much more interesting and dynamic ways to 'limit' UAS chaos.
    There are many good arguments re. skill ceilings and lack of dynamism, but for me, it's just as much about interest and fun. LAS is just less interesting and fun. It feels artificial and wrong. There's got to be a better way.

    But, hey, I don't expect to agree with the devs on everything. There have been a few things over the years, but none of them, including this, are really a departure from the vision or are anything that should destroy the game.


    This post was edited by disposalist at March 16, 2020 4:54 AM PDT
    • 762 posts
    March 16, 2020 4:21 AM PDT
    Definitely not saying it's the only way to do it Keno, but it is part of their objective to promote it. Might work, might not, testing will tell us and solve our differences
    • 1605 posts
    March 16, 2020 7:27 AM PDT

    Joppa said:

    Mathir said:

     

    In the scenarios you listed above, how would those memories be different if you or your friends hadn't been able to change abilities? For some, there is only one answer to that question: you would have invariably failed, end of story.

    In EverQuest, with the very simplistic ability design and lack of cross-ability/cross-Class synergies, that very well may have been the case. But not in Pantheon.

     

     

    I think this keeps getting missed when critical assesments are being done. The assesment is taken from a solo-centric P.O.V. instead of a group-centric P.O.V.

    With a group centric P.O.V you don't know what the other members capabilities are, or how the other 5 group members will react/change when the NPC changes.

    Theoretically, for one dynamic NPC change you have 5 dynamic counter changes in the group if 1 group member (you) can only handle 1 specific dynamic NPC change. Whereas the 5 others, each, have 8 choices to make in response. 

    In a group, even with LAS, the other members have abilities that you may not be aware of, nor be expected to be aware of, but you must trust they can play their own class. Thats part of the fun and discovery. 

    Also part of the discernment that comes with play, not only of the game of of the people behind the characters. You may not like all rogues. Although all rogues can do the same things, only Kilsin can jump off the Tower of the Reckless magician and live- at the wrong time- but he lived! so you may be inclined to want to group with Kilsin, or rogues like him.

     *edit* even with dynamic NPC encounters, your group mates may not react in the way you expect them to, even with a LAS of 6 times 8, but even so the group will still overcome and that is what makes it thrilling. 


    This post was edited by Manouk at March 16, 2020 8:59 AM PDT
  • March 16, 2020 8:55 AM PDT

    The thing this reminds me of is LoL, plain and simple. If I wanted to play a game with an LAS that can't change until after a fight, then that's what I would go and play. League also has a set of skills that are best for playing and that's all anyone uses, and people will argue, vehemently about which loadout is good and which isn't, and if you pick the wrong one and you lose; then ok, sure you can change your skill choice for the next game, but you have already lost the fight (or in Pantheon's case wiped) and people are pissed that they lost or you "were feeding" or whatever (Can you tell how long it's been since I played the stupid game.) Having that limited toolbar and having it be so critical that you pick the right stuff, has made that game the toxic environment that it was. If you are new, good luck, if you want to test out all the abilities available, you better not; least you get chewed out and essentially blacklisted by anyone that comes into contact with you. They don't appreciate ANYONE that diverges from the norm or what they all have collectively agreed to be the optimal loadout for the game, and if you do, you are left to play with no one and shunned essentially. If everyone goes for optimal as per to a website or what is collectively agreed upon, then I ask where is the uniqueness of characters supposed to come into play here? Why offer so many spells if people are only ever going to pick what is the best choice is for everything that sites like WoWHead, will offer them. This leads every cleric, rogue, ranger, and warrior to being the same cut-and paste as every other of their class.

    Another thing that I find odd about the limiting LAS is that, if the bosses in Pantheon are going to have phases...then with a limited hotbar how in the world are you going to have all the skills you need for it? If you have a boss that requires a certain loadout for two phases, but in the last phase it needs a completely different loadout or two slightly different skills, how do you expect the group to succeed if they can't get to it? Do you expect them to just wipe after an hour of work, all to have to take another 30 minutes to recover and then start the fight all over again? With the harsh death penalty this game is wanting to have, no one is going to want to do all that again, nor is anyone going to want to play with said person again. Why should I or anyone take a death that could have been prevented if I had access to AT LEAST being able to switch out spells/skills during combat to try and mitigate the loss? Now I know that I will get people telling me, "Oh no one will just stop playing with a person because of a wipe" "no one will just blacklist a person for a mistake" and that might not be the case for the person answering here, but there are hardcore players that will ironically claim they have no time for things like that, blacklist the person and move on, or they will deny a person a place in their group because they don't have what is optimal for whatever reason.

    • 1605 posts
    March 16, 2020 9:00 AM PDT

    *edit* duped


    This post was edited by Manouk at March 16, 2020 9:00 AM PDT