Idea - Add extra layers to PvE bashing mechanics

ElrynGreythaneElrynGreythane Member Posts: 114 Apprentice
Yes, me again. :D

I'd like to throw some ideas out there for maybe making PvE combat a little bit more interesting. I'm sure there are better ones that the community of active players could come up with, but I'd like to make a start with some thoughts and see what you all think on whether this would add something to Lusternia (and maybe it doesn't!).

Note that I'm not intending for this to have any impact on PK balance generally, so I'm imagining that any loyal summons, nation super-mobs, etc would be excluded from these changes. Also, I'm not suggesting that ALL of these necessarily need to be implemented, I'm just throwing out possible ideas - maybe only one is suitable!

First, to address the incentive side of the equation, I'd love some more interesting loot/reward options from PvE. I know this time last year I made a proposal for replacing gold with loot drops (Loot Drops Instead of Gold Generation), but really I'm open to anything that offers some engaging rewards from bashing/etc that can tie in with Lusternia's other systems. More than anything I'd love these PvE activities to more closely tie in with the game's main economy moreso than just currency generation, but I know the economy conversation is a hard one, and maybe that is being handled elsewhere.

Anyway, on the bashing mechanics specifically, I'd like to suggest some improved player vs mob system changes, around two central themes (and note all of the effects/numbers/descriptions can be replaced as needed).

A. Allow most of a player's offensive afflicting abilities to target mobs.

  1. Adds (hopefully) interesting complexity to bashing.
  2. Allows more class flavour skills to be used outside of PK.
  3. Allows for more challenging mobs to be created (ie, a team might need to afflict to survive)

  1. Allow most single-target skills that cause afflictions to players to also target mobs
  2. Every mob can accrue counters against five types of afflictions (mental/spiritual/internal/physical/entanglement)
  3. The actual affliction itself is irrelevant, it's only the count of the same type that matters (perhaps limited to 3 max of any type, except entanglement)
  4. One affliction of each type can be removed on an automatic timer (might be slightly different timers for each type)
  5. Mental afflictions:
    • While at least 1 affliction remains, causes damage from attacks to be reduced by 50%.
    • example effect message: Hesitation and confusion reduces the effectiveness of <mob>'s strike.
    • example humanoid cure message: <mob> takes a drink from a glass vial containing lucidity slush, looking immediately more focused upon <his/her/its> opponent.
    • example other cure message: A sudden feral intensity radiates from <mob>, as <he/she/it> focuses more sharply upon the immediate threat.
  6. Spiritual afflictions:
    • While at least 1 affliction remains, causes afflictions from attacks to have a 50% chance of failing (not applied to player and causes a slight amount of rebound damage back on the mob itself) - any damage component of attack is unaffected. (If this is problematic, an alternative effect might be to increase damage taken by the mob by 25%)
    • example effect message: <mob>'s cursed luck causes the malady to be rebounded upon <him/her/it>self.
    • example humanoid cure message: <mob> takes a puff from a wooden pipe and visibly straightens as the debilitating curse is lifted.
    • example other cure message: With a powerful roar of defiance, <mob> shakes off the curse that plagued <him/her/it>.
  7. Internal afflictions:
    • While at least 1 affliction remains, extends times between attacks by 30%.
    • example effect message: <mob> slows as <his/her/its> wounds threaten to get the better of <him/her/it>.
    • example humanoid cure message: <mob> eats a wafer of dust, causing some of <his/her/its> internal injuries to mend.
    • example other cure message: A sudden gleam of vitality reveals that <mob>'s internal injuries are mending on their own.
  8. Physical afflictions:
    • While at least 1 affliction remains, causes periodic ticks of moderate damage to the mob.
    • example effect message: <mob> yelps in pain as <he/her/it> suffers from <his/her/its> afflictions.
    • example humanoid cure message: <mob> applies some balm from a glass vial to <his/her/its> skin, the ice boiling away as it clears <his/her/its> painful affliction.
    • example other cure message: Through sheer force of will, <mob> wreathes <him/her/it>self in restorative energies that clears <his/her/its> painful affliction.
  9. Entanglements:
    • Cannot be stacked
    • Causes the mob to stop attacking for a certain period. They will immediately attack upon writhing out, and have a brief immunity to further entanglements (so it is not possible to permanently entangle a mob to avoid all attacks).
    • example start message: <mob> starts writhing to free <him/her/it>self from <his/her/its> bonds.
    • example end message: <mob> has writhed free of <his/her/its> entanglements.

B. Add mob resistance and stancing defenses.

  1. Adds (hopefully) interesting complexity to bashing.
  2. Reward players for figuring out optimal strategies.
  3. Try to avoid making bashing TOO complicated so that simple approaches still work fine, but there is an advantage to playing the minigame.

Proposal - Resistances:
  1. Mobs would accrue increasing resistance (anticipation) to certain damage types every time they are hit by an attack of that type.
  2. Anticipation would fade completely when the mob goes to sleep or has healed to full health.
  3. Anticipation can only build by one increment of a certain damage type per tick, so monks for example are not penalised just because they have multiple hits per attack.
  4. The first damage type received in that tick will determine what anticipation builds.
  5. A mob can only anticipate two damage types - if a third is delivered on a new tick then the lowest will be replaced.
  6. Anticipation can only reach a maximum of, say, 25% damage reduction.
  7. Some mobs could have different inherent levels of anticipation - either building it faster or not at all.
  8. Maybe expand the system so that anticipation to certain damage types also greatly weakens the mob's resistances to all other types, so the goal is to build up a bit of expectation and then hit hard with an alternate attack type.
Proposal - Targetting:
  1. Mobs would be targettable using certain keywords (mirroring stances) - TARGET [VITALS|UPPER|LOWER|LEFT|RIGHT|NONE] - requiring all balances but consuming none to switch.
  2. Targetting none (default) will deliver normal damage with no penalties or bonuses
  3. Targetting any other area will modify the damage delivered by a certain percentage, however the player won't know which area gives which modifier until that area is hit.
  4. Each mob will have the following options randomly assigned amongst their five areas while in combat:
    • Guarded (-40% damage modifier)
    • Open (no damage modifer)
    • Exposed (+5% damage modifier)
    • Vulnerable (+10% damage modifier)
    • Exploitable (+20% damage modifier)
  5. Hitting the exploitable area will also reward a player by causing any anticipation on the mob to reduce with every strike.
  6. Potentially, hitting the exploitable area a certain number of times could also increase the chance of certain loot being rewarded at the end of combat
  7. After a certain amount of time (or perhaps x hits in an exploitable area), the mob could adjust their position/stance with a room-wide message, causing the areas to be re-randomized again.

Anyway, any thoughts on whether something like this would be interesting?


  • ElrynGreythaneElrynGreythane Member Posts: 114 Apprentice
    One more potential thing I'll add to this suggestion is expanding on what was mentioned during the townhall, in that I'd really like to see more world-level mechanics that newbies/lowbies/non--combatants can get involved in meaningfully. While I absolutely agree that being friendly to newer players plays a huge role in retention, I think feeling part of an engaging world does too - and I think the more opportunities to really engage people of all different abilities and playstyle preferences the better!

    So, here's a suggestion for expanding the timequake system in a way that might involve both lowbies and non-combatants:

    1. A pre-quake world event starts throughout Lusternia
      • eg. our reality is being destabilised by temporal aftershocks rippling backwards or forwards from the quake itself.

    2. Mobs spawn at random locations (including newbie areas) throughout the basin, and they are just copies of existing mobs with their same abilities/difficulty/etc. Maybe just with one extra line on the description (to cut down on design time).
      • eg. a warped temporal echo of <normal area mob> (bashable) or a temporal ghost mentality of <normal area mob> (influenceable)
      • It should be obvious that these things are bad to leave in an area - maybe their room description can be coloured differently and warn about reality destabilising, or whatever.

    3. To make these slightly easier to find, nations could acquire powers that give all their citizens simple commands to summon any of these mobs in the local area after a certain amount of time (assuming they are not yet engaged in combat/influence).

    4. Every mob has a certain level/power range that they are vulnerable to - 1-40, 40-70, 70-90, 90+, which is visible when you PROBE or CON them.
      • Attempting to attack/influence a mob that is below your level range will stun you for a considerable length of time and cause it to go into a panic, running away.
      • The intent is that you would need to encourage characters of the appropriate level ranges to go after the ones they can - maybe below your level range they just ignore you completely.

    5. Successfully killing or influencing a mob will reward an item that can be deposited in a nation's 'quake-detection machine'. (Should this have a chance of giving a little bit of archpower? I don't know if that's appropriate or not)

    6. The first nation to collect sufficient items (requiring a certain number from each level range) will then:
      • Initiate the timequake event itself destroying the remaining echo/ghost mobs
      • Gain a limited-time portal to the room containing the timequake entry portal
      • Have a certain amount of time (20 seconds? 60 seconds?) 'headstart', where only their citizens can enter the timequake portal (after which it is open to everyone)

    7. If no nation is able to collect sufficient items after a fairly long period of time (whatever that is), then the timequake starts by itself anyway as normal. This pre-quake event is only a way of hastening the timequake and giving your nation a bit of a starting boost, it doesn't prevent or lock out the main phase.

    8. Optionally, some temporal manifestations may also spawn in aetherspace, which can be detected/hunted by crews and will reward items that can count for any level-range (given finding a crew and heading out in a ship is probably harder than just having someone online from every level bracket)
    The idea here is that if I'm a newbie/lowbie I can immediately join in and be part of what my city or commune is fighting against, and it's not shunting me off into a different part of the game because I'm too low to be in the 'real' effort - I'm actually needed and helpful to the conflict. It's also not supposed to replace the main part which is the timequake itself, and who knows, maybe having that headstart portal might lower the barrier of entry to giving it a go before it becomes a true bloodbath in there.

  • EnyaEnya Member Posts: 502 Expert
    A seems impossible to balance or otherwise accomplish: some classes like monks and bards deal damage alongside afflictions and so would get a big free boost. You'd have to fold in passives as well as active single target skills and *that* would be impossible to make fair. If you then pump up the rewards, that makes it worse.

    B would also require refactoring the resistance system overall and mean adjusting every classes unequal access to damage types. Wildewoods for instance *must* deal blunt type damage with their class bashing attacks, or use a weaker base attack to deal just magic damage. Physical classes only can deal one type with a set percentage changed to one-two types by weapon effects/enhancements.

    C seems doable, though I'm not sure what exactly the point is. It might be neat to do h version for boss mob fights and possibly fold in different zones having different effects a la A/B - sort of like aetherships targeting different modules. However, I don't know it would be helpful for regular bashing. I'd just code around it.
  • ElrynGreythaneElrynGreythane Member Posts: 114 Apprentice
    edited September 2019
    @Enya thanks for the feedback!

    I don't think including passives is a great idea, I'd suggest selecting active, targetted abilities only (or making active mob versions of skills to activate passives, like FORESTCAST FOCUS <mob> to hit them with a couple of demesne effects on balance). And I think that it is possible to tweak which abilities become mob-targettable and how damage + affliction abilities effect mobs if that is a big concern (perhaps at reduced effectiveness).

    On damage types, again I think this could be tweaked to work - though to be honest, i actually don't really understand why we don't already have more ways of switching damage type as it is, given surely the existing mob resistances aren't perfectly distributed across all class options. It seems to me like that is an unfairness that already exists, and wouldn't take much to address anyway.

    I'm also open to completely different ideas of how to make the pve side more interesting and engaging, if these aren't ideal. I think Lusternia has these amazingly unique and well-crafted character designs that end up being a bit disappointing when you realise how much of your skillsets and system complexity is restricted only to PK interactions... If we can make the other parts of the game take on a little more of that intricacy and flavour, I think it would be brilliant!
    Post edited by ElrynGreythane on
  • SaranSaran Member Posts: 2,326 Transcendent
    edited September 2019
    I think you could merge some of the concepts you've put up potentially and hit a few things at once.

     The loot drop idea for example, you could take the "families" and merge that with denizen resistances so that the labels define resistances. This could then lead to classes having groups of denizens that they're good at fighting against, like maybe Moondancers are good at fighting Abberations, Warriors, etc.
    Which could help with the uneven distribution of resistances cause you'd just make sure all classes have an even amount of things they're good against and that denizens have an even distribution of families.

     Then you could enhance the importance of those families, maybe you take the affliction idea and base it on damage dealt? So like... cutting damage to certain families has a bleeding proc, maybe the warrior label gives a lot of defence but there are damage types that have a chance to sunder that armour and lower that defence.
    Stripping defenses is kinda the other direction from the resistances idea, mobs start out tough and get weaker as things go on if you do things right, potentially opening up the opportunity to use different attacks.
    Post edited by Saran on
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