Forums » Pantheon Classes

Field Effects/Basecamp In Battle/Beachhead

    • 185 posts
    February 26, 2017 3:03 AM PST

    ...Consecrated Earth/Holy Ground/Totem/Aura...

    ...by any other name...well:

    I've played ONE game that kind of did what I'm thinking about here.  A long time ago in WoW, the Shaman class could drop Totems.  They had a decent duration (they could recast them to keep them up if they wanted) and a set range.  The cool thing about it was that it let you kind of make/carve out an area to base out of.  You could put the campfire in the middle for the tiny +Spirit buff (4 WHOLE points of Spirit, guys!!), but the point is you had your little basecamp that you could pull enemies to and benefit from the buffs and the odd attacking totem.  Of course, you could also use them in battle with a boss in a raid, so it wasn't like building an out-of-combat-only camp.

    In FF14, a few classes have abilities like this, mainly healers (one has an ability that reduces damage taken by a percentage, the other has an ability that makes it a HoT field; both only last 10-15 seconds or so...but it's cool when the healers throw them both up right when there's a huge enemy attack so it's like the party bunkers in place to ride out the dragon's breath or whatever), but the durations are short and transient.

    I've also played a few FPS type games or RPGs that have (or nudge at) such effects, from FF15's "Regroup" command (the four party members move to the same spot, regenerating health, healing critical condition party members, and kind of bunker together momentarily) to Borderland's Commando character being able to drop a turret with a small energy shield the party can duck behind for cover.

    .

    Whether it's Totems or Holy Ground (or machine gun turrets with energy shields!), I like the idea of being able to set up advantageous ground for the party/raid to use to our advantage in combat.  While it's true that enemies would seek the best ground or ground that advantages them (and this is ALWAYS bloody true in FPS games - seriously, HALO, why does the damn Covenant ALWAYS get the high ground and all the best sniper positions?!), especially as we're generally invading their lairs in the form of dungeons or raids, it stands to reason that some powerful or high level class abilities for some would grant players the ability to set up or throw up our own.  A Paladin consecrating a portion of ground around their feet that their allies can rally to like a torch of light piercing the surrounding darkness, a Warrior using an ability that hoists his shield and shields party members standing immediately behind him from damage, etc.

    I mean, I always love in an Anime or something when there is this all encroaching darkness, but some character is able to make a holy field of some sort that holds it at bay and rally their team to that field from where they can then strike back at the enemy on their terms.  Something about that "light in the darkness" feel that I like.

    .

    Anyway, to the point at hand:

    Would it be cool to have abilities/skills that players can use to basically shape the battlefield somewhat to our advantage?  A place to hunker down to better survive the dragon's breath, to restore our health after?  A place that damages the undead if we fight on it while bolstering our resistance to shadow magics and unholy attacks?

    Though not in quite the same terms, Sun Tsu spent a good deal of time talking about ground, and it's an important part of military warfare, ancient and modern.  And shaping the battlefield to turn the ground you MUST fight on into a form of ground that is more beneficial to you is a big part of modern warfare.

    This is the kind of thing that could make tanking more interesting, but also apply to healing and damage dealing fields, or even controlers.  I would expect these to be mostly high level abilities with short durations and possibly reagent costs, but having lower level versions that have longer durations with far more modest effects would also be nice.  And such abilities would also be useful for camp/farm groups out in the field.  I also think this would be a pretty cool thing for Tanks to be given a measure in as sort of the tacticians of the group.

    But yeah...what do you guys think?

    Maybe the imagry of a party of good guys standing alone with courage against a dark tide on ground that they've purified and thrown up barriers and beneficial magics doesn't really appeal to anyone else and I'm the only one.  :)

    • 1852 posts
    February 26, 2017 6:31 AM PST

    I believe it's called the Pantheon Druid, but I could be wrong. The Druid is supposed to cause weather changes and other things that effect the battlefield for others.

    • 4398 posts
    February 26, 2017 7:19 AM PST

    Beefcake said:

    I believe it's called the Pantheon Druid, but I could be wrong. The Druid is supposed to cause weather changes and other things that effect the battlefield for others.

    Yup, definitely climate change druids. Clerics will also have a placeable pillar wall ability to "carve out" an area of the battlefield. Summoners will be able to summon similar blockades. Shamans will have a "Totem. We're not sure if it will have an AoE, but it's described as "a fount of primordial energies," so it might. In fact, I'm sure several classes will have some sort of auras, or longterm AoE's. Whether or not they will be placeable in the world or always centered on the character is a different question, but regardless I think the OP will be pleased with the abilities that can shape the battlefield. VR has said that's a big part of Pantheon.

    • 271 posts
    February 26, 2017 11:35 AM PST

    Bazgrim said:

    Shamans will have a "Totem.

    I'm personally convinced that this is a totem in the traditional sense; something of spiritual significancance adopted as an emblem.  Contrasted with a "totem pole" or something more akin to what WoW did with placable items.

    • 185 posts
    February 26, 2017 12:30 PM PST

    Cool!

    Well, as I was already strongly leaning towards Halfling Druid...  :)

    I just hope it's not limited to a simple weather change to help with acclimation.  I remember reading a story (a set of 5 books) called the Pendragon Cycle, I think.  The first one was Tallysin (don't remember the spelling), who, as it turns out (spoiler alert) ends up being the father of Merlin.  Tallysin's exact origin is never reaveled, though he was found as a baby and raised to be a Druid and a Bard.  One scene has him as a teenager aiding his clan's army by setting up a circle of stones and then standing up on top of his mount's saddle and basically summoning a windstorm that blows at his side's back and in the face of the enemy ("Our Druid fights with us!" is yelled by his side's commander), aiding them in winning the battle.  That one scene was always particularly cool to me.

    And I love in FF14 on my Scholar being able to drop Sacred Soil - an area that reduces damage party members within it take by 15% or so - whenever a boss is using their mega move since it just FEELS good when the barriers go up and people huddle together.  This is doubly true for when the White Mage drops her snacturary field or whatever there as well so people not only take less damage from my field, but get a HoT from standing in her field.  There's something about that in an MMO that just has this vicereal GOOD feeling to me, and for a game like Pantheon that VR wants to be big on social and grouping and partying, it goes double in my mind.  (EDIT: If you've never seen it, the cenematic trailer for ARR has one of the major NPCs shield the party from Bahamut's attack with what amounts to a massive barrier as well - though it shatters under his power, complete with a glass shattering sound...which was pretty cool, even if not really rendered in any in-game abilities... <_<)

    And, hopefully, the field effects aren't locked to party/raid group.  That is, if I drop a warding field, any PC who comes into it who isn't at war with me I would like to gain the benefit.  Throw down a shadow warding field in the middle of a Clan of Shadows controlled area and see lots of players rally to the spot and fight together?  That sort of emergent gameplay sounds awesome to me.

    EDIT2: It'd be even more awesome if players of a class could band together to make it stronger.  E.g. 1 Druid channels the ward to give a 5% resistance to shadow damage.  A second Druid joins in channeling his own ward overlapping the first and the benefit goes to +8%.  Then +10%, then +11% for a third and fourth.  Make it diminishing returns so that it's stupid to just get 500 Druids channeling together, but that there's a definite benefit to having two or three working in concert, perhaps with some other classes joining in to add additional effects (e.g. a Shaman joins in adding a light HoT tick to the field, a second Shaman makes the ticks a little bigger, a Cleric joins in adding an AC buff to player characters within the field, etc.)


    This post was edited by Renathras at February 26, 2017 12:35 PM PST
    • 105 posts
    February 27, 2017 2:02 AM PST

    Renathras said:

    EDIT2: It'd be even more awesome if players of a class could band together to make it stronger.  E.g. 1 Druid channels the ward to give a 5% resistance to shadow damage.  A second Druid joins in channeling his own ward overlapping the first and the benefit goes to +8%.  Then +10%, then +11% for a third and fourth.  Make it diminishing returns so that it's stupid to just get 500 Druids channeling together, but that there's a definite benefit to having two or three working in concert, perhaps with some other classes joining in to add additional effects (e.g. a Shaman joins in adding a light HoT tick to the field, a second Shaman makes the ticks a little bigger, a Cleric joins in adding an AC buff to player characters within the field, etc.)

     

    This to me is one of the coolest ideas I've seen. I'd love to see some ability or spell that... like several different classes get it, but get slightly different versions of it, that can be cast together to stack to create the spell's final form :P

     

    I just like the idea of stacking abilities together to create a base camp, but that idea you had of having one ward, and multiple casters just seemed too cool.

    • 4398 posts
    February 27, 2017 5:21 AM PST

    Shai said:

    Bazgrim said:

    Shamans will have a "Totem."

    I'm personally convinced that this is a totem in the traditional sense; something of spiritual significancance adopted as an emblem.  Contrasted with a "totem pole" or something more akin to what WoW did with placable items.

    I would tend to agree. I imagined it also being something that the Shaman holds, rather than something they place on the ground. It still could be, though, that while active, the totem creates an AoE aura that's centered on the Shaman. This could either be a buff that benefits all allies within that radius or a debuff that hurts all enemies within that radius.

    • 1237 posts
    February 28, 2017 7:15 AM PST

    A further exploration of this "Personal Environment" topic, as well as ally interactions, via theorycrafting, can be found here. (on these forums)

    • 185 posts
    March 1, 2017 6:11 PM PST

    Well, I'm less thinking auras (which is what you seem to be talking about) and more like a collective buff-zone/basecamp.  A place in the physical world.  Your idea seems to also go a lot into cost benefit and cracy depth in terms of decision making and when the auras are even harmful or costly.

    I'm more talking about casual or raid (more hardcore) friendly abilities players can use together to bring players together and to establish a base of operations (without needing physical structures like tents or the like that would drag game resources or require the addition of a bunch of code and such to the game).  A relatively simple way of making an area our "camp for the afternoon/evening".

    • 1237 posts
    March 2, 2017 12:13 PM PST

    What you're looking for would then just be a non-mobile temporarily persistent aura (Personal Environment, or PE) with a large radius, one per character, created and combined in such a way to provide the ideal debuffs/harm to your enemies, and the ideal buffs/bonuses to your allies.  Each character would sacrifice a portion of their resource pool (mana, endurance, health) to maintain the PE for as long as they wished.


    This post was edited by vjek at March 2, 2017 12:14 PM PST
    • 185 posts
    March 2, 2017 4:08 PM PST

    Other than the "sacrifice" bit, I suppose so.

    I believe in risk vs reward tradeoffs (among other games, I play EVE, after all!), but I also think that some people in the community here go too far with it to the point of "You give someone a pat on the back to boost their self-esteem!  THAT WILL COST YOU A KIDNEY!!"  "You want to open that door?  THAT WILL COST YOU YOUR FIRSTBORN CHILD!!"  "You want to strike that mining node for some rare ore?  YOU MUST SURRENDER FIVE YEARS FROM THE END OF YOUR LIFESPAN!!"

    It's to the point of idiocy in many cases.  Being an oldschool game is one thing - 1-2 hr CDs on some abilities, having to sit and drink to restore healer mana, having to bandage/eat food to not die from that lingering poison that an enemy scorpion put on you.  But people go to this weird point of "JON CIENA!!! AAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRR!!!!" about things which is just too much.  Not EVERYTHING in the game should require 120 hours of farming and a 3 month CD in order to use it.  There's NO oldschool MMORPG that does that.  The cost of things should be stuff like mana or long CDs.  In some cases, a channel effect is in order - I'm actually a fan of it and I'm not sure why more game's don't do it (most spells are either fire and forget or an aura that is a toggle).

    I'd rather see someone have to commit to an ability - to "sacrifice" - by upkeeping a channel action (not being able to move or use other abilities) than I would to see it as a resource "sacrifice".  Though I also think that this works better on a class by class basis, keeping in class flavor.  For example, a Necromancer making some kind of soul sacrifice makes sense.  On the other hand, a Cleric channeling a healing/defense field makes more sense than a Cleric sacrificing a portion of their health/soul/body/mind to do so.  So I freely admit class flavor in the matter makes a lot of sense with dark or pact based classes (DK/Necro/Summoner/Shaman) going with the damage/hurt themselves/their resources route, where as other classes, particularly ones that draw on holy powers (like a Paladin or Cleric) should not.

    Because when I think of a Paladin's diety consecrating the ground around them as holy, I don't have this mental image of the Paladin squatting like Goku trying to power up to Super Sayin, grunting and groaning and expending a large portion of his energy to do it, and then having to mentally/physically/magically continue to strain just to hold the ground consecrated.  I'm not sure ANYONE has that mental image.  So this "sacrifice a portion of their resource pool" doesn't make sense in that regard.  Rather, it would be something that has a semi-long cooldown which makes placement and location choice important.  It can have a long duration (like 10-30 mins) but the CD on par with the duration so that, once it's set, it's set.  It also would bring an interesting component to group/farm dynamics.  "Okay, we've got 5 more minutes on the field effects.  Let's go ahead and pull one more mob group.  No one refresh your field effect, we'll be moving on after we finish this pull."

    There can also be much more powerful versions of these effects, but which have very short durations and long CDs, such that a Paladin can flash consecrate an area to severely weaken the damage to party members in the field, but that this lasts 5-15 seconds and has a 10-60-120 minute CD, making it a powerful move in a boss fight, but not something you throw around all the time.  Similar to how Lay On Hands is normally treated (long CD) in most MMOs and particularly older school ones.  Whereas the less powerful, longer duration versions are used by people to make camps, farm, or whatever.

    I think of it more like synergistic effects between players in a sense similar to traditional buffs (+intellect from Mages, +AC from Clerics), but with a location component rather than a fire and forget buff that engages players with positioning and class lore (Paladin Consecration/Holy Ground being merely one such example, albeit a very obvious one to show the point) rather than "Who would give an intellegent buff?  One of the Mage/Wizard/Enchanter classes.  Who would give an AC/Stamina buff?  Healer class makes sense."  That's much less interesting and doesn't have the visual or vicereal umph as a Paladin slamming his foot or warhammer into the ground and a wave of golden holy light spreading from him across the ground and then lingering for the duration of the effect.  Or, alternatively, of a Shaman or the like slamming a Totem pole into the ground that pulses its effect out to their party.

    .

    It's that visual aspect, tied to a physical location in the world, that I would like to see.  The cost/maintenance/etc is up for discussion, and I think should be based on the class (e.g. Bards channel as they play a song, Paladins get an instant cast but long CD from their divinity, Necromancers get a -25% health penalty for the duration as their life force is used to channel/upkeep the effect, etc.)

    But the point/thing I'm really interested in seeing is that physical/visual component of these effects having a physical presence in the world.

    • 1237 posts
    March 3, 2017 7:41 AM PST

    Short use, long CD abilities are ok, but they're not particularly fun or innovative in my experience.  15 second use with even a 10 minute refresh is difficult to balance.  That's a 2.5% percent duty cycle..  You have to make it almost overpowered to have value, but inevitably it really isn't.  Many melee AA abilities in EQ1, for example, were of such short duration and long re-use and honestly, made such little difference, that they were quickly relegated to the status of gimmick.

    The value, from a designer perspective, in variable amounts of resource pool sacrifice is the effects can be powerful and persistent, because you're correllating risk with reward, and you can fine tune it.

    Having the resource pool sacrifice AND channeling to amplify it would seem to be better, from a feature point of view.  It adds depth to the mechanic.  Sure, you could do one or the other, but why not both? :)

    Each PE, either mobile or not, would have a physical presence in the world, in what I've outlined.