Combat Improvements: An Introduction to Techniques
The goal for combat in Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen has always been about making tactical, meaningful decisions unconstrained by rotations. Our game employs a variety of layers to achieve this: traits and dispositions, class interdependency, resource management, and more. Central to the player experience in combat are the abilities available to them: abilities that must be prioritized not only in the heat of battle, but through preparation as well in our Limited Action Set (LAS) system as well.
In February, we glimpsed the early experience for the Wizard class. While we’re excited to share more about our remaining classes, before we dive back in we wanted to take this month to share one of the new fundamental systems being introduced as part of our broader improvements to combat in Pantheon: the introduction of Techniques.
What is a Technique?
Techniques are a new addition to Pantheon’s ability structure. Where previously the majority of attacks available to a class were the same regardless of the weapon they had equipped, we are now distinguishing between ‘core’ class abilities and weapon-based attacks. What this means is that while each class still has its core suite of abilities to add to the LAS regardless of the weapon they have equipped, the majority of weapon-centric abilities available for the LAS will differ based on the type of weapon the player is wielding.
Additionally, unlike core abilities learned by increasing your class level, new Techniques are acquired by improving your skill with their corresponding weapon type, creating additional avenues and milestones for player progression.
To complement the addition of Techniques and to further differentiate stamina as a dedicated resource for adventuring skills such as climbing and sprinting, we are introducing a new resource for all classes which we call ‘Readiness’.
All Techniques utilize Readiness as a resource, which accrues slowly over time and can be further accelerated by dealing damage through auto-attacks as well as receiving damage. Readiness can be stored to unleash more powerful Techniques, or to execute lower-cost Techniques in devastating combos either alone or with teammates.
With the introduction of Readiness there is now a clearer distinction between the resource type used to execute Techniques and unique class resources used to execute core abilities, providing players even more choices in how to respond to situations in combat, and how to coordinate their assaults.
Animation concepts for Monk staff Techniques
Class Identity Meets Weapon Identity
As fans and followers of Pantheon are likely well aware, class identity is a core tenet of our game. While some standard Techniques will be shared by all classes capable of wielding the appropriate weapon, or classes within a similar archetype, many more advanced abilities remain class-specific. This allows players of the same class to further differentiate themselves, their role, and their playstyle.
For example, while a Rogue may still favor daggers as their most proficient and potent weapon for burst damage, they may find themselves preferring another weapon depending on the specific demands of an encounter, or even their group composition. Crushing weapons such as maces and hammers which can stun and disorient targets can be a powerful tool in the hands of a Rogue seeking to flex into a more crowd-control oriented role.
While this primarily affects melee characters, casters and healers will benefit from Techniques as well, both through basic attacks that allow them to supplement their limited mana pools, as well as unique magical applications of their weapons to buff, debuff, and affect the tide of battle.
The addition of Techniques allows us to create richer, more diverse, and more focused class kits than ever before. We want players in Pantheon to be excited at the prospect of acquiring a new weapon not only for its damage and stats, but for the ways that weapon intersects with their playstyle. Some weapons may even allow players to wield special Techniques only available through that specific item!
We’re excited to share this early glimpse at our improved combat experience, and look forward to the myriad builds and loadouts players come up with to tackle the many challenges Pantheon will put before them.
Stay tuned for our next class feature in May when we take a look at the early Monk experience, and how the addition of Techniques affects them.
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