Tracking Overhaul - Ideas welcome!

edited February 2020 in Common Grounds
Problem: Tracking has long been silly, and needs to be fixed. In my opinion, pits add precisely zero to the game in any meaningful way. It's just not fun. Having pre-pit wars for events and other competitions sucks. On top of that, being obligated to be a tracker is not fun either.

Overall thematic change: The only way to give room for more dynamic and exciting abilities is to delete pits entirely, as simply adding would make the skillset perhaps too strong. Pit/spikepit/snakepit- 99% of tracking in combat is pits, so deleting them opens up a whole new world of possibility. Now, there are two obvious ways to go about replacing pits, either make the bond (dog/wolf) stronger, or make new trap abilities with actually good effects.

My thoughts are that making the bond stronger encroaches on guardian/wiccan territory, and as such do not want to make the dog/wolf -too- strong by itself. As such, remove pits and add traps that are not useless, and also tweak the bond skills to be more less awkward. The theme of traps are that they fire on entry. That has to change. On-entry gives no control to the tracker, and limits clever, engaging, or skillful play.

The new skills would all use balance/power to setup, but would NOT use balance/power on activation (free action), so you can combo with it dynamically.

Current ability list:

Keep/minor tweak
TreeHunter	  Fine
HuntingCompanion  Good
Traps 	          Fine
StinkTrap 	  Not particularly useful, but fine
DeepseaHunter 	  Swiftswim is useless due to very few underwater rooms in a straight line, but the rest is fine
Track     	  Good
Cloak      	  Good
Trip      	  Fine, but needs to be fixed to not trigger on the person disarming, that makes no sense
MountainHunter    Good
Retriever     	  Good
SpringTrap  	  Good
Trophy	          Fine
Deliver	          Good
Bell  	          Fine
Conceal     	  Fine
Clamp      	  Good
ForgePath	  Good
Unite	          Good
PoisonExpert 	  It's a pre-buff, should not be 10p, but fine generally.

Needs replacement/notes	
LegSnare     	  Decent, could use buff on # of uses or something, not a major impact
Bloodthirst   	  Horrible, also reduces clamp chance I believe
Deadfall	  Gives concussion. If concussion is nerfed via REPORT 98, can leave as is.
Mark	          Useless
Armour	          Annoying, just make bond this hard to kill as default. They die in like one or two hits without
Darts    	  Not horrible, but no control over it
Pit  	          Delete pits
Spikepit 	  Delete pits
Snakepit	  Delete pits

FootHold - Activate to extends tumble effects (tumble/roll/somersault/wind/etc.) by 2 seconds.
LegSnare - 5p setup, Activate trap to ignore parry and double wounding on gut/legs for next 3 attacks (6 for 1-handers) only for this tracker
BodySnare - 5p setup, Activate trap to ignore parry and double wounding on chest/head/arms for next 3 attacks (6 for 1-handers) only for this tracker
BloodthirstWoundDoggo - Replaces regular attack with a wound hit (no damage), can choose limb. Clamp chance removed.
BloodthirstHypnoticDoggo - Replaces regular attack with hypnoticgaze (like beast spellcasting). Clamp chance removed.
BloodthirstClampyDoggo - All attacks are now clamps, can attack only once every 15s rather than 10s.
Darts - Same setup as current darts (you envenom each one beforehand), but activates automatically with each with knighthood attack only for this tracker (on left-hand hits only, aka every hit for 2h, every left hand hit for 1h so it's fair).
IronMaiden - 7p setup, Encapsulate enemy, removing them from combat for 5 seconds (think like phase/maze, but very short term).
SavageDefense - 5p setup - Designate a bond/ent, will nullify the next attack from that entity on the tracker only. (i.e. a demon tries to hit you, blocks that hit on you. He attac, but he also protec). Tracker bond is left to recover, and may not attack for 30 seconds.

One trap per room, traps decay in 5 minutes. Tracking is now conscious and deliberate.




  • I'm not super combat savvy, but would it be better to have lower/no power costs for prepping the traps ahead of time with a longer balance time, but then being able to set them up with like a FAST modifier or something for a higher power cost?
  • edited November 2019
    The power requirement makes spamming an entire area with traps cost prohibitive and impossible in the short term for those traps, anyway. The new concept of tracking is proactive and strategic, rather than reactive and no-brain set it and forget it type. It could have low/no power cost as you suggest but then would need a huge balance recovery time to achieve the same effect, but that seems too restrictive.

    A little background here of why the theme has to change: Tracking has long been a mini-game that detracted from warrior kill methods (I say that loosely, they need to be fixed for sure) and damage/hindering attacks. A warrior tertiary should not completely negate your kill methods and buildup. For example, right now if you're resetting pits constantly, you're not spending your balances on warrior attacks, wounding, whatever else. Under the new style, it takes preparation and a little planning, but once set they would be directly enhancing your combat advantage, whether that is more wounds, removing an ent's hindering on you so you can press the offense more, and so forth.

  • So, I know next to nothing about tracking - but the core idea of changing pit functionality to be a setup/activate function sounds like a clever one to me, and seems to give a lot more agency in how they are used effectively.

    While I can't really comment on the PK combat balance side, I also like the various bond 'specialisation' abilities you've suggested, that allows you to focus your loyal companion on a particular task. I just think thematically that's pretty nifty. :smile:

    Hopefully you get more useful feedback about this!
  • Just commenting to say that I like these ideas - they need further hashing out and analysis, but as a start point this appeals greatly.

    Only complaint is that deleting pits entirely would be a problem for solstice coal-shovel owners, many of whom went for it solely for pits I imagine. Luckily, it has a pretty easy solution, and one you suggested.

    Take IronMaiden and make it into the new Pit. Setup the pit for power, activate it to drop a target into a pit. Too deep to be attacked in, but takes 5 seconds to climb out of. Maybe make it longer (and have Rockclimbing bring it back to 5s for power) in exchange for being able to cure down there.

    There's probably additional issues that'd need tweaking but it seems like it'd work well enough?

    Another idea is instead of free active control over pits, let trackers define things that set off their traps, with only one trap per trigger-category and vice versa. For instance, setup a dart trap that fires on your every attack, or instead set it to fire on every ice cure, or when a (specific) enemy attacks the tracker. A spring trap that fires on target movement, or a stun trap that fires on your own. Sacrifices a little bit of agency, but allows for multiple trap setups at the cost of more power and a little less reliability, and retains a little of the 'don't let them set up or they're scary' flavour without having area denial battles.

    Categories I can think of:
    On attack (Tracker or target's)
    On movement (Tracker or target's, entry or exit for target, exit only for tracker)
    On cure (Target's, pick one, 3s cooldown between triggers)
    On sip/sparkle/scroll read (Target's)
    On bond-attack
  • Provided the one trap per room is universal, I'm pretty much a very big fan of this.

    Savage defence is super strong, but also super weak at the same time. I like the thematic of it but it probably needs adjusting for better use cases without being obnoxious to the guardian. It's also hugely disparate between using it on, say, a demon vs a pooka (entire ent vs a small fraction).

    Also, for disambiguation: How does current hound/wolf react to disloyalty? How does that play into the new tracking attacks? Also does paranoia/another affliction cause the traps to blow back on the caster or not fire? Otherwise I absolutely love the direction. 

    Being pitslave seems like the worst and doesn't really look like anything I'd ever enjoy.
  • Hound/wolf starts attacking you on disloyalty, as if you ordered an attack on yourself. Pretty sure paranoia causes you to treat everyone as enemied, so you no longer control who traps fire on until cured effectively? Not sure if they'll fire on yourself, never tried it.
  • Paranoia counts yourself as an enemy, yes, so your traps will hit you too
  • Old post, worth bumping given the latest discussions.

    Tracking is over-strong right now to the point of a given Warrior, already crippled by class mechanics not suited to the meta combat in the game adheres to, to be stuck with this tertiary over their orgs specific chosen tert used for flavour. Why? Because of Pits, and Pits alone. There are a smattering of useful skills within this overall skillset, but that one trap all on its own is too strong to not be utilized. And if one side has them and the other lacks a Tracker to counter, or even that one side has more Trackers than the other, things get imbalanced real quick and no one really has fun. Trackers have to focus on traps to maintain edge, tripping and resetting traps back and forth, akin to the meld-wars Mages had to contend with before the new design with Nodes. Whole reason THAT was changed was due to the lack of enjoyment had by all involved, and just because fewer go Warrior at all these days is hardly an excuse to abandon them to deal with the headache still. Even those capitalizing on the traps aren't REALLY enjoying themselves, as the target won't be putting up a decent fight. Fall in, need to climb out, usually having to exert power to CLIMB ROCKS if they have the skill, else risk being stunned/hindered from escaping, and on a different elevation level unable to target those above them, yet targetable by those above. Leaving the matter entirely one sided. There are those that enjoy such mechanics, but the vast majority do not no matter which end of it they happen to fall.

    Cheap tactics as going for the Pureblade timed Instant-kill of Decapitate is all well and good, but a trick older than even new-Warriors, does little to dissuade the annoyance dealing with Pits in general. Actually just argues in favor of their removal as the attack becomes entirely one-sided, and the target cannot even target the one decapping till it's too late due to time to climb out, likely with the Pureblade's allies stunning and disabling for added time.

    If Pits were removed, then literally all of Tracking could be altered, fixed, updated...either in an eventual Overhaul or item by item over time, starting with boosting the companion hounds health so they're not getting dropped almost instantly in battle. Absolutely true they should be targeted due to the value of Clamp, but unlike classes with summonable mobs, there's only one charge on Hounds, you don't get to even spend Power mid-combat to summon another if slain but have to go ALL the way back to your nation to get a new one then back to battle. The only Class that has to deal with that particular aspect of a loyal mob are Trackers.
  • Make pits more akin to perfect fifth. Basically, same pit mechanics as now but it doesn't cost balance to climb, it just starts a delayed timer (being knocked down/disabled can reset it) and you can't leave the room.

    Most critically: You can fight back from the pit. You can be gusted/carried out of the room by your allies.
    Take great care of yourselves and each other.
  • edited February 2020
    After reading both this thread and the other one, what would people think about a skill along the following lines with the purpose of maintaining some of the counterplay to carry while not leaving people completely unable to escape from rooms?

    Tracking - Harrier
    You order your hunting companion to guard against intrusions from a certain direction. Should an enemy approach from that direction while it is on guard, it will harry their movement, slowing them and leaving them unable to turn their attention to you until they have dealt with it.

    BOND HARRY <direction> [<target>]

        2 (targeted)
        0 (untargeted)

    Effect: When an enemy (or the specified target if one is provided) attempts to move into your room from the direction specified, they are instead prevented from doing so for 1.5 balances. During this time, they may cancel their movement by taking any action other than curing. You will be informed when this timer starts. Then, if they do enter the room, they are prevented from taking aggressive actions for a further 2 seconds. After successfully harrying an enemy (i.e they did enter the room), your hunting companion will require <time, not sure what would be reasonable> to recover before it can harry again. Furthermore, only one companion can harry any given player as they enter a room. If untargeted, the companion will harry a random enemy who is attempting the room (i.e. in the person moving's entourage).If an enemy does not attempt to move into the room, a companion can only remain on guard for <time> before it will need to be given the order again. Finally, it is possible to see any harrying companions when observing one's surroundings.

    The balance is very rough. While comments on the specific numbers are welcome, I am mostly interested in what people think of the general idea.
  • Here are some suggestions I can think of for tracking/hunting and the eventual removal of pits.

    1. Improve and diversify your hunting companion.
    - As it stands, we only get one companion, which is hounds or wolves. I would suggest that trackers have the ability to hunt some new companions, aka pokemon style. And each new companion has its own sub skills, a normal attack, activated attack and passive. For example, we start with out hounds that has its normal attack, an active skill which is to clamp on someone and an improved scent ability (able to seek out targets faster than other companions), then we have a bear that does a slightly better attack (more damage than the hounds, albeit slow balance recovery), a roar ability (fears personal enemies), and a passive that has more health and sturdy than other companions.
    - Companions cannot be killed but once their health reaches 0, they cannot help you during battle and are considered in a DOWNED state.
    - You can swap companions during battle for a power cost of 2 or 3, but swapping downed companions costs 5 and a cd for 1 minute before you can summon them again.
    - You can only have 2 companions active, but you can change them everytime out of combat to your preferred playstyle.

    2. Add more skills related to BOND
    - Other than Seek, Unite, Look, Listen, Move, Attack, Passive and Recall, we unlock more commands we can give to our companions, like "Sic' Em" which gives your companions more damage for 10 seconds at the cost of power and mana, "Protect Me!" which makes your companion go more s defensive and they'll take hits from your enemy occassionally and "Strength of the Pack." a 10 power buff that lasts perhaps a minute and you and your companion deal more damage, attack slightly faster and have a bit of resistance buff.

    3. Retain traps except pits but improve some of them.

    I also believe tracking/hunting be merged with some of the basic skills like cluck, snakecharm, rustles and prints be merged into one skill while the rest like ambush, tent, pathfinding fall under environment skills. That said, since we're going to merge the skills, I suggest a new tracking specialization called Soulbeast.

    Soulbeasts are those who can merge with their hunting companions, retaining their active skill, a slight buff depending the companion they merged with (more health when merged with bear, more critical chance/wounding while merged with the wolf/hound, etc.) and gaining buffs when using bond commands.

    Soulbeasts, however, cannot swap companions and can only have 1 active at a time during battle. So make sure you chose the right hunting companion before a big fight comes.

    Most of the Soulbeast skills will be passive with a few exceptions that costs power. One power will allow the warrior to strike twice per swing (2nd strike will be 50% of damage dealt), a passive or power skill that removes afflictions every 10 seconds (skill duration is 1 minute), unable to be knocked down, gusted, etc.

    I hope this helps improve the tracking/hunting skill. 

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