Forums » The Dire Lord

Essence resource feedback

    • 373 posts
    August 9, 2018 8:09 AM PDT

    After watching Cohh's stream, I'm not sure what the point of essence is.  All of your skills seem to be gated by their cooldowns.  In the stream, it seemed like essence was more or less irrelevant to the way the DL played.   Sure, you could tune the amount of essence generated or increase the amount spent to make it more relevant, but it just seems like a questionable/useless mechanic to have long cooldowns + a quikly regenerating resource.  

     

    Here is the alternative system I came up with that makes essence feel much more impactful:  

    The basic idea is that essence builds up and then is dumped into a number of defensive abilities, the primary one being Abyssal Strike due to it's negligible cooldown. If you have a lot of essence, you will feel empowered, and if you're low on essence, filling it back up will be a primary concern.

    Abyssal Strike - consume all essence to deliver a vicious attack that ignores all enemy armor and heals for up to 25% of the Dire Lord's maximum health. The damage and healing scale based on the amount of essence used. 5 second cooldown (prevents cheesing).

    Essence would come from a couple of sources (with limited scaling opportunity so that a geared DL isn't overflowing with essence):

      1. A capped amount of essence would be gained based on incoming damage.  Basically 5 essence/sec regen as long as you lose 50% of your life every 10 seconds.  [details: every 2 seconds you gain 1 essence per 5% of your HP lost recently (i.e. in last 10s) up to a maximum of 10 essence].   
      2. Auto attacks add a small flat amount of essence per attack (double for 2 handed weapons).  
      3. Most attacks (including many that currently use essence) would add a flat amount of essence, some giving a bonus if they crit.  
      4. 1 or 2 cooldown abilities would grant a moderate to large amount of essence.  
      5. Thresh (4 second DOT/self heal) would cost 24 essence, but regenerates that essence as part of the heal.

    Essence steadily trickles in from taking damage and auto attacking. You get small spurts every now and then from attacks skills. And you have 1 or 2 cooldowns for large bursts of essence when you really need it.  When you collect a bunch of essence you can either use abyssal strike or some other defensive cooldowns to consume the essence. Here's a couple of optional ideas to go with this essence mechanic:

    1. New skill: Essence Infused Blade- 5 minute cooldown.  Infuse your weapon(s) with essence, increasing your critical strike chance and damage by 15% and your parry chance by 50%.  Costs 25 essence initially, 4 additional essence each time you deliver a critical strike (2 for dual wield) and 2 essence for every 3% of your max HP (as damage) that you parry.  Lasts up to 10 seconds or until you run out of essence.
    2. Provoking phantoms drains an increasing amount of essence over time.  This makes the ability much more interesting because you have to manage how long you want to let it stay on.  Eventually the essence drain becomes quite large.  It would be balanced so that you can still use it to get a nice threat lead, but you don't want to just leave it on indefinitely and guarantee that nobody will ever pull agro on you. 

    Changes to Stances:

    • Nightmare Blood- in addition to bonus hate, provides essence based on the healing you receive from other players. This will help the DL scale up their self-healing in a raid situation where their lower mitigation become harder to balance.

    • Torrential Veins- Using abyssal strike increases the bonus health regeneration by 100% for 4 seconds.

     


    This post was edited by zoltar at August 13, 2018 8:47 AM PDT
    • 1659 posts
    August 9, 2018 9:09 AM PDT

    Well, I'm sorry to jump on you "again" on a similar subject :

     

    I don't have a C/P from anyone but I think I heard during the stream that the essence generation was not final and going to change, as you pointed out it is irrelevant now as a ressource as it is never empty, making the second stance of the DL useless (as it's main purpose is to generate more essence and life regen).

     

    I think it will mostly work like the rogue, where you can only afford a limited amount of active abilities used on cooldown, which might be more into the 4-5 active skills, unless you get some increased essence and/or switch stance.

    Non cooldown skills as a basic filler might bring as much trouble as they solve, but I'm not a game designer myself so maybe the big picture is different.

    • 373 posts
    August 9, 2018 9:13 AM PDT

    MauvaisOeil said:

    Non cooldown skills as a basic filler might bring as much trouble as they solve, but I'm not a game designer myself so maybe the big picture is different.

    The idea is that the essence cost is a substitute for the cooldown.  If you don't want a skill to be used as often, give it a higher essence cost.  It just doesn't make much sense to use two separate gating mechanics.  If you're going to design the skills around a cooldown, why is there a need for essence?  It would be one thing if essence worked like mana, where it was a long-term resource that needs to be managed.  


    This post was edited by zoltar at August 9, 2018 9:19 AM PDT
    • 1659 posts
    August 9, 2018 9:17 AM PDT

    I get the picture, as it has been used in many other games, but it can lead to some loops including an exponential gear scaling as more gear = more damage + more essence which translate into more skill usage (for some), which is again more damage.

     

    That's what happened for the Fury warrior in Wow vanilla/BC/TLK, or the rogue combat from BC to Mists of pandaria, their gear increasing both damage and ressource generation made them follow a non linear curve with gear gain, and outmatch every other class at great gear. While at first it was satisfying or felt like "justice" for  beeing ressource starved at entry gear, it also made the developpers "fix" every classes DPS at every patch of content to be more or less the same for the current gear level, instead of having a long term control over their DPS.

    • 373 posts
    August 9, 2018 12:43 PM PDT

    OK but then what's the point of essence?  If you're so worried about essence generating too fast that you have to put cooldowns on the abilites, then that's basically accepting that essence will become completely irrelevant, leaving cooldowns as the sole limit on the DL's ability usage.  

     

    The obvious solution is to normalize/cap the amount of essence gained so that it doesn't scale (or scales at an acceptable rate) and balance the frequency the DL can use their abilities based on essence and not cooldowns.  


    This post was edited by zoltar at August 9, 2018 12:46 PM PDT
    • 1659 posts
    August 9, 2018 2:29 PM PDT

    The point of essence is to control how much active skills you can use at the same time on cooldown. It's working pretty much like the rogue's energy but with an active only generation. If you get 10 essence per second that means you can use, as an example, an essence skill with a 5s cooldown costing 25 and a 12s cooldown costing 60 with a neutral balance.

     

    Or you can use a 5s 25 cost and a 12s 50 with an additionnal 0.83 essence per second generated, meaning every 30 s you get a spare 25 essence for another skill that would not be as crucial as it is, but can add some functionnality / DPS.

    • 373 posts
    August 9, 2018 2:55 PM PDT

    MauvaisOeil said:

    The point of essence is to control how much active skills you can use at the same time on cooldown. It's working pretty much like the rogue's energy but with an active only generation. If you get 10 essence per second that means you can use, as an example, an essence skill with a 5s cooldown costing 25 and a 12s cooldown costing 60 with a neutral balance.

     

    Or you can use a 5s 25 cost and a 12s 50 with an additionnal 0.83 essence per second generated, meaning every 30 s you get a spare 25 essence for another skill that would not be as crucial as it is, but can add some functionnality / DPS.

     

    But lets say you remove the cooldowns... it's not going to change how often you can use those skills, because you're going to be running out of essence.  

     

    If what you're saying is that essence prevents you from using a lot of abiliites very quickly (because even if the CD is up, you'd have to regen essence) that seems like a very trivial justification for something as huge as a unique class resource.  You rightly, bring up the Rogue, but I would make the same exact point with them.  Having cooldowns on all of their skills that use energy is likewise redundant.  

    • 1659 posts
    August 9, 2018 3:18 PM PDT

    Of course it does. Because every skill won't have the same essence ratio to damage / healing / utility.

     

    The idea is not to make a fast paced action game, but a strategic one. The rogue as an example, cannot multidot with his best Energy => damage because his dots all have cooldowns. If you use your dot on a low HP mob and he dies, well you just lost wasted energy and will have to wait for the next mob to be dotted as well.

    For you it feel like a redundancy, for me (and maybe who knows, for the lead Game designer) it is a second layer of strategy. With a no cooldown/lowcooldown/charge system you are allways free to delay skills and pool ressources at little to no cost. Here you're not, because a CD sitting is a DPS loss, but a CD used in a bad situation is a DPS loss too, meaning you have to think twice before just blowing ressources and cooldowns.

     

    Sitting your abyssal strike on CD is a DPS loss, but getting town to 75%hp instead of 90% will allow you to benefit from all it's healing, meaning you have to choose between best DPS with a mediocre self healing, and lower DPS with a best self healing.

    The same goes if you put too much costy skills with a relevant essence generation and end up Starving when your best offensive/sustain comes off CD and you could use them.

    • 373 posts
    August 9, 2018 4:42 PM PDT

    My point wasn't that no skill should have a cooldown and a resource cost.  It was that theres no explicit reason for bread and butter skills to be on a CD and use a resource.  If there are legitimate reasons for a CD, you can keep the CD.  If you feel like preventing multi-dotting is important (I don't agree, but it's subjective), then you can keep dot's on a CD.  Smoke and Mirrors probably needs a CD just because you don't want the rogue to be forced to sit there and do nothing but mez targets.  But there's still no reason for backstab, waylay, Blackjack kick, and veiled strike to be on cooldowns.  

     

    Keep in mind tha tif these DL skills didn't have a cooldown, the essence generation and essence cost/gain on skills would be retuned.  Thresh/Sanguine Blade  wouldn't give you essence, they would cost it.  Abyssal Strike would probably cost more (~50-60 essence).  Using abyssal strike would still would involve the same considerations as in your example because you can't just go blowing your essence and expect to get it back super quick, especially with the other skills that you need to use.  You need to get provoking phantoms on the target for hate generation.  Thresh is going to give you damage/healing as well, probably at a lower essence/(healing+damage) ratio.  Harm Shield will be draining your essence as well.  

     

    With cooldowns being the focus of Dire Lord management, it also makes the essence-regen stance pretty useless.  


    This post was edited by zoltar at August 9, 2018 4:43 PM PDT
    • 1659 posts
    August 9, 2018 5:52 PM PDT

    I gave you reasons from my pov. You don't like them, fine. But still, DL skills currently have both a recast time and a cost.

    • 373 posts
    August 9, 2018 6:24 PM PDT

    You make some good points, we have different views.  Good to debate.  Cooldowns could be in there as placeholders because the resource generation tuning isn't anywhere close to balanced.  cooldowns are easier to do.  Maybe not, but it's plausible.

    • 1659 posts
    August 9, 2018 11:32 PM PDT

    I simply don't think it's due to hazard or to a random semi thought decision. Cooldowns + cost are here for a reason and I can't yet think others than thoses I exposed :

     

    -Optimisation : Cost vs effects/damage, priority.

    -Strategic : How much abilities can I sustain with my essence generation, how many offensive abilities can I slot on my bar with my essence generation

    -Decision making : Should I use it now or wait a bit with the cooldown avaliable to benefit it's effects to the fullest.

     

    Of course it's open to debate, but theses aren't "bad gameplay decisions", they are simply different to the bread and butter of what we have been accustomed. They might be more evident once essence is fixed to a more balanced generation rate, as for now it seems endless.

     

    I'l take FFXIV as an example because some flaws of design make the game extremely simplistic and rigid in design :

     

    In FFXIV every skills on the GCD is cooldownless, for casters they are cast + potential effects, for melee they are weaponskills with chains (meaning you start with skill 1, then skill 2, then 3, then 1, then 4, then 5, etc... it can fork with different paths depending of the class). That would seem a good design somehow, but here is the problem : As long as a spell or a combo chain is your best damaging one, how can you justify using a skill over another ?

    They only had two answers to this : Dot and Buff/debuff.

    That means they designed the whole gameplay of almost everyclass about maintaining one or more buff/debuff and two or more dots, for about 4 or 5 years. That created a feeling that most classes were the same in overall design, and that they almost all had a long ramp-up/setup and very limited burst due to the overwhelming presence of buffs/debuffs and dot.

    Now they got rid from one to two dot per class and designed a system with secondary or tertiary ressources that "sometimes" allows them to be less redundant. Not all the time however (Dark Knight as an example, have little to no choices of combo paths).

    The same goes for spells, as there are no cooldowns they are forced to use buffs to emulate a benefit of using a lesser damage/cast time spell because if not, only one or two spells would be used, or rely on dots to hide a high damage spell behind a virtual cooldown.

     

    Of course, overall, this design is fairly different from pantheon or even any fast paced game (FFXIV is a GCD-lock game where you must employ every GCD to attack or cast, as ressources don't really matter), but the idea was to show some extreme non cooldown game over at least a major part of the gameplat. FFXIV features cooldown on non GCD abilities but they are, thus, less used than GCD abilities.

    I understand you appreciate the charge system, or ressources spend with ressource beeing the only limiting factor, however I do not think it would really fit the decision making gameplay they want for pantheon.

    To me the Dire lord looks like the warrior at it's time during the first years of Wow : A ressource generation based on some damage part, locked in spending behind a few abilities with a cooldown you have to manage by keeping ressources avaliable as soon as they came off. However the warrior had an ultimate ressource spender while he was flowing, Heroic strike, a non GCD ability affecting the next autoattack once pushed (Then, Weapon swing based and not GCD based), but that ability itself is one of the reasons the warrior had an exponential gear based DPS that could be completely out of control in higher tiers of gear, as it allowed them to increase not only they damage, but their ability to spend rage that itself depended on damage, making them stuck in a neverending loop as much as their gear increased.

    • 47 posts
    August 10, 2018 6:30 AM PDT

    It hasn't been tuned yet I'm sure, because the strategy etc that you mention just isn't there.  At no time in the stream was he limited by essence, and was largely full essence with everything on cooldown (with the exception of the longer term damage reduction cooldowns).  I'm sure it will be tweaked to create the decisions you mentioned, but as-is the resource isn't producing meaningful gameplay.

    • 1659 posts
    August 10, 2018 7:25 AM PDT

    xilith said:

    It hasn't been tuned yet I'm sure, because the strategy etc that you mention just isn't there.  At no time in the stream was he limited by essence, and was largely full essence with everything on cooldown (with the exception of the longer term damage reduction cooldowns).  I'm sure it will be tweaked to create the decisions you mentioned, but as-is the resource isn't producing meaningful gameplay.

     

    I know, I'm just theorizing about the mechanics, but for now essence generation is over the roof.

    • 373 posts
    August 10, 2018 10:45 AM PDT

    When you look at how the rogue works with their endurance, it makes a lot more sense than the dire lord & essence.  Their endurance regeneartes at a fixed rate, and there aren't skills that give them endurance.  They have skills that require almost an entire bar of endurance, so if they want to use a powerful skill, they have to plan for it and it takes time to recover. 

    Essence just seems like a haphazardly designed mechanic, regardless of the numbers.  It doesn't know what it wants to do.  The dire lord's skills don't seem to require that much essence.  For example, our most impactful skill, Dampen Harm- 2 minute CD damage reduction, only costs 50 essence.  While the generation (both natrually and by skills) is super fast.  In addition to essence regeneration scaling with incoming/outgoing damage, the DL also has skills that return anywhere from modest amounts of essence to the entire essence bar.  Either the DL is going to be super-starved for essence early on or the DL is going to be overflowing with essence eventually. Compare the DL to the blood Death Knight in wow (essentially the same archetype):

    1) main self-heal is Death Strike which costs runic power. 

    2)Runic power is generated from other abilities when they use charges(runes) that slowly regenerate. 

    It's a solid design.  You have one resource with a fixed recharge rate that gets converted into a separate resource that the "main" skill uses.  

     

    I'm not saying copy that mechanic directly, but I do think essence could be a much better designed resource.  What if Abyssal strike used your entire bar of essence, and the healing/damage was based on the amount of essence consumed*.  You could give it a low CD (5 seconds) to prevent cheesing (such as with enchanter ability that removes resource costs). 

     

    edit:  tweaked the design a bit.  posted in the OP.


    This post was edited by zoltar at August 13, 2018 8:45 AM PDT
    • 491 posts
    August 13, 2018 7:37 AM PDT

    Resource cost (in this case Essense) is usually used to balance the dps aspect of abilities. So as you gain gear that helps you increase your resource generation, you in turn raise your potential dps as you can use your abilities more often.

    Cooldowns on abilities are used to balance the non-damage related effects of those abilities. For example a strike that stuns or inturrupts spell casting. This means that the player won't be able to sacrifice their dps to horde their resource so that they can always inturrupt every spell cast. Since this ability will have a cooldown to prevent every single spell being inturrupted (at least by that 1 player).

    Sometimes abilities use cooldowns to prevent their use on multiple targets. In the example of the Rogue in WoW, their Rupture DoT ability had a cooldown because it would overpower the class if they were able to use Rupture on several targets at once. Warlocks and Shadow Priests were designed to be multi-enemy-DoT'ers and their DoT spells were balanced with this in mind. Rupture though was a huge DoT and so was balanced with both the combo point cost as well as a cooldown so that it couldn't be put on more than the 1 target at a time.

    As for Cohh's stream... I did notice that the essense generation needed to be toned down as he never ever was low on essense and couldn't use an ability until he got more. I'm sure the cooldown's might be adjusted as well to make sure they matter, but at the same time are not too long to make the ability rarely used.

    But I do believe that cooldowns still do need to exist on some abilities even if they also have essense cost. But there shouldn't be cooldowns on Every ability, only the ones that actually need it :-)

    • 1659 posts
    August 13, 2018 7:45 AM PDT

    GoofyWarriorGuy said:

    Resource cost (in this case Essense) is usually used to balance the dps aspect of abilities. So as you gain gear that helps you increase your resource generation, you in turn raise your potential dps as you can use your abilities more often.

    Cooldowns on abilities are used to balance the non-damage related effects of those abilities. For example a strike that stuns or inturrupts spell casting. This means that the player won't be able to sacrifice their dps to horde their resource so that they can always inturrupt every spell cast. Since this ability will have a cooldown to prevent every single spell being inturrupted (at least by that 1 player).

    Sometimes abilities use cooldowns to prevent their use on multiple targets. In the example of the Rogue in WoW, their Rupture DoT ability had a cooldown because it would overpower the class if they were able to use Rupture on several targets at once. Warlocks and Shadow Priests were designed to be multi-enemy-DoT'ers and their DoT spells were balanced with this in mind. Rupture though was a huge DoT and so was balanced with both the combo point cost as well as a cooldown so that it couldn't be put on more than the 1 target at a time.

    As for Cohh's stream... I did notice that the essense generation needed to be toned down as he never ever was low on essense and couldn't use an ability until he got more. I'm sure the cooldown's might be adjusted as well to make sure they matter, but at the same time are not too long to make the ability rarely used.

    But I do believe that cooldowns still do need to exist on some abilities even if they also have essense cost. But there shouldn't be cooldowns on Every ability, only the ones that actually need it :-)

     

    Uhm. Rupture never had a cooldown in wow...

    The way to manage costs really depends of the game, but in early wow the rogue was the only melee with primary / secondary ressources and litteraly only one attack with a cooldown (ghostly strike). But their gameplay revolved around high cost attacks generating combos and low costs attacks consuming combos.

    Direlord is closer to the warrior in early wow : a ressource to generate while fighting, and spend on cooldown while minding a priority on them. Heroic strike aside.

    • 373 posts
    August 13, 2018 9:14 AM PDT

    GoofyWarriorGuy said:

    But I do believe that cooldowns still do need to exist on some abilities even if they also have essense cost. But there shouldn't be cooldowns on Every ability, only the ones that actually need it :-)

     

    I agree.  The system that I proposed (effectively) removes the cooldown on abyssal strike and makes it's use purely dependent on generating essence.  The vast majority of your other skills would be entirely gated by cooldowns.  Then you can tinker with making a limited number of other skills also use essence for more depth to the gameplay (ex:  Thresh uses essence, then gives it back over time).  But the basic gameplay loop is generate essence (using skills, taking damage, and doing damage), then dump your full essence bar into an abyssal strike.  To me, this is much more exciting than a playstyle that's essentially like treading water... where you're just waiting for the cooldowns on your high priority skills like Abyssal Strike to come off cooldown and using your leftover essence on whatever.  

    The great thing about this is that it makes tuning the DL very easy because it's all about tuning the generation of essence, and the devs have multiple knobs to turn essence generation up or down.  Furthermore, essence generation is designed to allow for some scaling while preventing it from scaling out of control.  Your skills generate a fixed amount of essence over time based on their cooldowns and essence generated per use.  Taking damage is a scalable source of essence, but you can place a hard cap (or soft cap) on it.  The essence you gain from dealing damage only scales with attack speed because it's a flat amount per attack.  

     

    edit:  It might also be worth considering making essence generated from taking damage uncapped.  Reason being that the disadvantage of having lower mitigation versus other tanks scales with the amount of damage taken.  Obviously it would be be based on your % of max HP that the damage did rather than flat damage.  So X% of your life as damage = Y essence.  The original idea I had was to have an essence regeneration factor that scales up based on the damage as a % of max hp taken over the last 10 seconds, up to a certain cap of X essence/second.


    This post was edited by zoltar at August 13, 2018 9:30 AM PDT
    • 491 posts
    August 15, 2018 8:52 AM PDT

    MauviasOeil said: Uhm. Rupture never had a cooldown in wow...

    Ah yes... you are correct. I think I confused this with Kindey Shot. Which would make more sense since this was the 'Stun' which like my explaination is the type of spell that needs to have a cooldown so you can't just keep a target constantly stunned.

    I'd go back and rework my explaination using Kidney Shot, but you already quoted my origional and so the proof is out there that I get things wrong every now and then :-)

    The origional point though is still valid... there are some abilities that need a cooldown even if they use a resource so that their effect can't be maintained indefinately (such as stun).

    • 1659 posts
    August 15, 2018 10:42 AM PDT

    GoofyWarriorGuy said:

    MauviasOeil said: Uhm. Rupture never had a cooldown in wow...

    Ah yes... you are correct. I think I confused this with Kindey Shot. Which would make more sense since this was the 'Stun' which like my explaination is the type of spell that needs to have a cooldown so you can't just keep a target constantly stunned.

    I'd go back and rework my explaination using Kidney Shot, but you already quoted my origional and so the proof is out there that I get things wrong every now and then :-)

    The origional point though is still valid... there are some abilities that need a cooldown even if they use a resource so that their effect can't be maintained indefinately (such as stun).

     

    Don't worry I'm not backtracking and blackmailing people for mistakes :D .

     

    I'm just advocating for different classes, need and feels. The rogue's pace beeing tied to primary and secondary ressource, primary and secondary moves, was a specific one. That's why I'm comparing the DL to the vanilla-TBC warrior of wow. A mix of ressource gen, cooldowns, and choices to make in spending !

    • 699 posts
    August 15, 2018 5:30 PM PDT

    zoltar said:

    GoofyWarriorGuy said:

    But I do believe that cooldowns still do need to exist on some abilities even if they also have essense cost. But there shouldn't be cooldowns on Every ability, only the ones that actually need it :-)

     

    I agree.  The system that I proposed (effectively) removes the cooldown on abyssal strike and makes it's use purely dependent on generating essence.  The vast majority of your other skills would be entirely gated by cooldowns.  Then you can tinker with making a limited number of other skills also use essence for more depth to the gameplay (ex:  Thresh uses essence, then gives it back over time).  But the basic gameplay loop is generate essence (using skills, taking damage, and doing damage), then dump your full essence bar into an abyssal strike.  To me, this is much more exciting than a playstyle that's essentially like treading water... where you're just waiting for the cooldowns on your high priority skills like Abyssal Strike to come off cooldown and using your leftover essence on whatever.  

    The great thing about this is that it makes tuning the DL very easy because it's all about tuning the generation of essence, and the devs have multiple knobs to turn essence generation up or down.  Furthermore, essence generation is designed to allow for some scaling while preventing it from scaling out of control.  Your skills generate a fixed amount of essence over time based on their cooldowns and essence generated per use.  Taking damage is a scalable source of essence, but you can place a hard cap (or soft cap) on it.  The essence you gain from dealing damage only scales with attack speed because it's a flat amount per attack.  

     

    edit:  It might also be worth considering making essence generated from taking damage uncapped.  Reason being that the disadvantage of having lower mitigation versus other tanks scales with the amount of damage taken.  Obviously it would be be based on your % of max HP that the damage did rather than flat damage.  So X% of your life as damage = Y essence.  The original idea I had was to have an essence regeneration factor that scales up based on the damage as a % of max hp taken over the last 10 seconds, up to a certain cap of X essence/second.


    I think somethng like this will be necassary to make the DL a "competitive" end game tank... and removing the cooldown after the game has been released for over a year will inevitably break the class and flip a lot of the game content on its head... instead of just regulating this **** right now before they inevitably have to make changes after people spend countless hours.  There's still time!  =)