Forums » Pantheon Classes

Damage dealer's threat management

    • 408 posts
    April 25, 2017 12:51 PM PDT

    I believe there is a better to solution to threat management than "just stop attacking". In many games as a damage dealer you have a binary decision when it comes to threat management and this on/off type of gameplay does not seem fun to me. Being able to back off on the damage is a good approach to threat management, but it shouldn't be the only available option. I want to say up front that I do not advocate for being able to deal damage indescriminantly and have your tank always out-aggro you. That type of gameplay leads to players who are singularly focused on their dps-meter (occasionally appealing, but overall shallow gameplay).

    Do you have any thoughts as to what damage dealing classes could do in the case where they are playing on the edge of the threat meter? Would you like the answer to be to stop attacking and just regenerate health/mana? Perhaps you would prefer alternative non-damaging abilities that one could use? Maybe each class should have an arsenal of low-threat damaging abilities? Other suggestions? I would like to hear your opinion.

     

    I will lay out one potential answer:

    Stances have been used in MMOs, but they often allow players to swap between styles of combat or even between combat roles. A "tank stance" is often used to allow the warrior types to swap between damage dealing and tanking roles. This is not necessarily bad, but I think this mechanic could be extended to primary damage dealers in order to provide a real choice while staying within their primarily role of dealing damage. Take the following 3 simple stances as an example.

    1. Hidden stance: Damage output is reduced to 70% of normal. Threat generation is 50% of normal.
    2. Balanced stance: Damage output is unmodified. Threat generation is unmodified.
    3. Overt stance: Damage output is 130% of normal. Threat generation is 200% of normal.

    If you have a huge mana regeneration buff and have resources to burn, then you can enter hidden stance and deal 2x the damage of someone in a balanced stance before stripping aggro. The hidden stance would be used when you are limited by the tank's ability to generate threat. On the other hand, if you need to burn a low health enemy down and don't care about aggro or if you want to intentionally strip aggro, then the overt stance would allow you to output increased damage at the cost of significantly increased threat.

    If the damage output is deemed to be an undesirable metric, then that could instead be switched to resource cost. Hidden stance could require extra mana/stamina/etc. in order to pay for the threat reduction, while overt stance would decrease the resource cost of abilities.

    • 1666 posts
    April 25, 2017 5:53 PM PDT

    Since there are offensive and defensive targets in the game, there could be an ability that allows you to apply a certain % of the agro you generate on your offensive target to your defensive target instead of yourself.  Obviously you would generally want to have the tank as the defensive target to help build their agro.  I could see rogue types or enchanter types using this type of ability, possibly even rangers.

    • 4416 posts
    April 25, 2017 6:34 PM PDT

    kelenin said:

    Since there are offensive and defensive targets in the game, there could be an ability that allows you to apply a certain % of the agro you generate on your offensive target to your defensive target instead of yourself.  Obviously you would generally want to have the tank as the defensive target to help build their agro.  I could see rogue types or enchanter types using this type of ability, possibly even rangers.

    This is an excellent idea. I could maybe even see an Enchanter being able to do this. Such as tricking the mind into believing that someone other than yourself is actually the one dealing damage.

    • 2013 posts
    April 25, 2017 10:53 PM PDT

    FFXI had a form of this. Thief could use not just sneak attack for massive damage but use it in conjunction with Trick Attack when lined up behind the tank to help the Tank get back or start with a massive threat spike. By making the mob think that massive critical attack came from the tank. Was a very fun mechanic.

    • 25 posts
    April 26, 2017 1:40 AM PDT

     

    The wow hunter had a shot that would generate a lot of hate towards the person you put the buff up.

    It was helpful by pulling and have the mob go straight to the tank, but also whena dps had too much aggro and deflecting some of that away to the tank. 

    • 1571 posts
    April 26, 2017 5:51 AM PDT

    There's so may options on how you can manage this i liked what Kelenin said, its is definately a fun way of managing aggro and helping the tank keep it, the only time in EQ i've seen where you actually stop attacking a target is if the first tank goes down and the 2nd one is trying to pick it back up and is failing to do so either by failed taunts and such.  I would love to hear more ideas But I'd say most of the kit belongs to the tank himself there could maybe be 1-2 classes that could help the tank maybe keep his aggro a little bit, but nothing to where he never has to worry about keeping it for himself, simply just dont want a bunch of misdirection abilities towards the tank to where tank doesn't need to try to keep aggro becuase the other classes are making it simply to see for him.

    • 2013 posts
    April 26, 2017 7:29 AM PDT

    Well It could also be done in reverse if you want to keep most tanking with the tank. Such as maybe a limited use (long cooldown) ability for a tank to absorb threat from a party member that goes overboard? Of course this would need to be an emergency measure and not something to use all the time! (Watch that threat DPS!!!)

    • 29 posts
    April 26, 2017 7:50 AM PDT

    Amsai said:

    FFXI had a form of this. Thief could use not just sneak attack for massive damage but use it in conjunction with Trick Attack when lined up behind the tank to help the Tank get back or start with a massive threat spike. By making the mob think that massive critical attack came from the tank. Was a very fun mechanic.

     

    That was one of my favorite parts of the Theif in FFXI.  Man that multi classing system was fantastic as well, miss that a bit 

    • 408 posts
    April 26, 2017 7:59 AM PDT

    @kelenin - The idea of having abilities that actively control threat generation is definitely a good one! Given that there are defensive targets, it would be great to see the damage dealing classes make good use of them in interesting ways like you said. As long as it doesn't turn into a "use every time it's off cooldown" ability or allow players not to have to be cautious about their threat generation, then it seems good. I always felt that keeping enemies from attacking the squishies should be a difficult and involved task. If you were the mobs, wouldn't it take a lot to keep you from smashing the clothies?

    @Amsai - your take on the reversal of the ability is even cooler to me. If you could provide a short window where all threat is siphoned to the tank, then that would be awesome. It would work best when the tank coordinated the ability with damage dealer's big burn attacks, leading to interesting and coordinated gameplay for both the tanks and the damage dealers. I wonder if that would create an issue of scale though, where 40 members of a raid all providing a threat bump for the tank would be crazy big. Perhaps instead of threat siphoning to the tank, the mob is "singularly focused on the tank" for a moderate time window and ignores all other source of threat production? That would still give the tank a head start on threat and would be better when used in coordination with the damage dealers, but not scale based on group size. Just a thought.

    @Riahuf22 - I was not aware of much of the theory behind EQ combat at the time, but I was under the impression that the damage dealers could quite easily strip aggro from tanks if they weren't careful. If that's not the case, then that's kinda sad IMO. You do address an important issue though, that the damage dealer's control of their threat should work hand in hand with the tank trying to keep threat, rather than one ever negating the other.

    Thanks for bringing your ideas to the table.

    • 2013 posts
    April 26, 2017 9:22 AM PDT

    @Ainadak

     

    Its important to have not only fun but challenging gameplay. Of course my idea would need to be tweaked so it cant be abused. But I think no class role shouls be "easy mode" and besides what fun would it be if the tanks just hit 1,2,3,4 in rotation for complete threat loackdown. Am I right?

     

    While I dont plan to play a Tank class in Pantheon (that could change). It was my main in FFXI. But some tanks are better mechanically than others. Warriors in XI were supposed to be able to tank but didnt really do that well so they were pretty much DPS. Paladins were straight forward and boring as hell but functional. Mean while Ninja (the Tank I played and a class that was made so through emergent gameplay not design) was fun as hell and had very interesting mechanics that were very much focussed on risk vs reward and skill. In XI a good Ninja was the best tank to have, but if the Ninja was not both well geared and skilled they would be the worst tank in the game to such a degree an off tank might be better.

    • 474 posts
    April 26, 2017 10:41 AM PDT

    Ainadak said:

    @Riahuf22 - I was not aware of much of the theory behind EQ combat at the time, but I was under the impression that the damage dealers could quite easily strip aggro from tanks if they weren't careful. If that's not the case, then that's kinda sad IMO. You do address an important issue though, that the damage dealer's control of their threat should work hand in hand with the tank trying to keep threat, rather than one ever negating the other.

     

    This mostly depended on the class and what era you were in. Rangers at first had no way to dump agro and being a long time ranger myself i would often have to stop attacking to drop agro. Sometimes for a very long time. Rogues and Monks had agro drop abilities and if they used them correctly it was fairly hard to pull agro from the tank.

     

    I love some of the ideas people have shared here. The one thing I would really hate to see though is a single mechanic that is basically cut/pasted across all classes. I really would like to see unique ways to manage agro for each class. I like how EQ did it, eventually, Rogues had evade, Monks had feign death, Rangers eventually got Jolting Kick. Each ability made sense for the lore and feel of the class.

    • 408 posts
    April 27, 2017 4:40 AM PDT

    @kellindil - The need to have each class be unique in its playstyle is likely more important than the concept of threat management overall. It would be great to see each class have their own unique take on threat management as long as it's not "click this button to drop aggro". Also, thank you for the clarification with EQ aggro.

    • 55 posts
    April 27, 2017 5:59 AM PDT
    What about monster AI? Artificial Intelligence for monsters has come a long way. A whole host of if statements could drive monster reactions. If the caster is using spells that are the bane of your species of monster, then you have a chance to hate them a little more. I think having to slow your DPS or get your face punched in is acceptable. I would love to see smart monsters, argo changing tanks and crowd control classes and everyone else having to deal with having to make smart choices.
    • 1666 posts
    April 27, 2017 6:10 AM PDT

    Armyguy0 said: What about monster AI? Artificial Intelligence for monsters has come a long way. A whole host of if statements could drive monster reactions. If the caster is using spells that are the bane of your species of monster, then you have a chance to hate them a little more. I think having to slow your DPS or get your face punched in is acceptable. I would love to see smart monsters, argo changing tanks and crowd control classes and everyone else having to deal with having to make smart choices.

    I do agree with the statement about having to occasionally slow your DPS to avoid getting agro.  Just because you have super awesome dps doesn't mean you should go full-bore with it all of the time.  Part of knowing how to play your character well should involve agro management.

    • 103 posts
    April 27, 2017 6:52 AM PDT

    kelenin said:

     Part of knowing how to play your character well should involve agro management.

     

    Agree! I am really excited how the DDs, they never learned doing DPS without an aggrometer, how they will handle their gameplay :)

    • 2575 posts
    April 27, 2017 9:32 AM PDT

    I'd prefer if the DPS classes had next to zero aggro management tools and that any of those options come from CC/Utility classes, in an attempt to further make all the classes rely on one another. I want to see a game where the DPS has to worry they are doing too much DPS more than doing too little. 

     

    Every other role tends to have pretty concrete concerns: Tanks with trying to keep aggro (in a well balanced game where tanks aren't glue traps), Healers for keeping everyone alive and cleansed etc, and CC/Utility with controlling adds. DPS generally doesn't have any pressing concerns that might get someone or the group wiped, they just roll their faces across the keyboard and try to get the biggest number. 

    • 474 posts
    April 27, 2017 10:02 AM PDT

    Iksar said:

    I'd prefer if the DPS classes had next to zero aggro management tools and that any of those options come from CC/Utility classes, in an attempt to further make all the classes rely on one another. I want to see a game where the DPS has to worry they are doing too much DPS more than doing too little. 

     

    Every other role tends to have pretty concrete concerns: Tanks with trying to keep aggro (in a well balanced game where tanks aren't glue traps), Healers for keeping everyone alive and cleansed etc, and CC/Utility with controlling adds. DPS generally doesn't have any pressing concerns that might get someone or the group wiped, they just roll their faces across the keyboard and try to get the biggest number. 

    Isn't that what agro management is? You are doing too much DPS so you need to slow down or reduce agro in some way. Agro management is a resource game. Like mana or endurance it is something you have to keep track of or risk dying. In games like WoW a DPS can die and its no big deal. In past games like EQ where there was much more interdependance losing a DPS could be a big issue. 

    First, less DPS means the kill takes longer. If the kill takes longer then the healer has to heal for a longer time and CC has to keep things locked down longer. If the CC and heals have to work longer then down time becomes longer. Not to mention that some groups will have their DPS running a duel role. In EQ Rangers were a great support/DPS class. Rangers would play DPS, off tank, CC, heals. If the Ranger died in a group where they were the CC then things would go really bad really fast.

    In a perfect group situation where everyone is playing a single role and only the most efficient classes are in those roles then maybe a DPS dying wouldn't be a big deal. 

    Agro management needs to be something that interrupts your normal DPS flow. It should lessen your DPS, but not as much as dying would.

    • 1666 posts
    April 27, 2017 10:35 AM PDT

    kellindil said:

    Iksar said:

    I'd prefer if the DPS classes had next to zero aggro management tools and that any of those options come from CC/Utility classes, in an attempt to further make all the classes rely on one another. I want to see a game where the DPS has to worry they are doing too much DPS more than doing too little. 

     

    Every other role tends to have pretty concrete concerns: Tanks with trying to keep aggro (in a well balanced game where tanks aren't glue traps), Healers for keeping everyone alive and cleansed etc, and CC/Utility with controlling adds. DPS generally doesn't have any pressing concerns that might get someone or the group wiped, they just roll their faces across the keyboard and try to get the biggest number. 

    Isn't that what agro management is? You are doing too much DPS so you need to slow down or reduce agro in some way. Agro management is a resource game. Like mana or endurance it is something you have to keep track of or risk dying. In games like WoW a DPS can die and its no big deal. In past games like EQ where there was much more interdependance losing a DPS could be a big issue. 

    First, less DPS means the kill takes longer. If the kill takes longer then the healer has to heal for a longer time and CC has to keep things locked down longer. If the CC and heals have to work longer then down time becomes longer. Not to mention that some groups will have their DPS running a duel role. In EQ Rangers were a great support/DPS class. Rangers would play DPS, off tank, CC, heals. If the Ranger died in a group where they were the CC then things would go really bad really fast.

    In a perfect group situation where everyone is playing a single role and only the most efficient classes are in those roles then maybe a DPS dying wouldn't be a big deal. 

    Agro management needs to be something that interrupts your normal DPS flow. It should lessen your DPS, but not as much as dying would.

    I believe you're making the exact point that Iksar was making.  He's saying every other class has concerns, so having DPS classes control their own agro would be their concern.

    • 474 posts
    April 27, 2017 10:40 AM PDT

    Maybe I am reading it backwards but it seemed the reverse.

    DPS need to be able to manage their aggro using aggro dropping abilities AND plain old stopping DPS.

    If this is what Iksar was getting at then, agree 100%. 

    • 408 posts
    April 27, 2017 1:10 PM PDT

    @Iksar and kellindil - I think you guys are indeed on the same page. It took me a second to process the meaning of some of what you said Iksar, but it is indeed true that in most games the only thing better than dps is more dps. It would be nice to see less dps be a desirable approach.

    I actually kinda love the notion of offloading aggro management tasks to other players. Tanks can work to build threat, damage dealers can work (even if just by inaction) to reduce theirs, and support classes can obscure targets as necessary.

    Trying to run with the idea a bit further - I could see this being included in the workload of a player that doesn't produce much threat of their own. Perhaps an enchanter or summoner could cast an illusion on a damage dealer, and as a result funneling some percentage of the damage dealer's threat to themself or negate it entirely. This would make interesting use of the defensive targets as with a previous suggestion in the thread.


    This post was edited by Ainadak at April 27, 2017 1:12 PM PDT
    • 2575 posts
    April 28, 2017 11:43 AM PDT

    kellindil said:

    Maybe I am reading it backwards but it seemed the reverse.

    DPS need to be able to manage their aggro using aggro dropping abilities AND plain old stopping DPS.

    If this is what Iksar was getting at then, agree 100%. 

     

    Yes, that is mostly what I was saying. But the key point is in DPS not having their own aggro reduction/dropping abilities so much as having lower aggro generating lower damage attacks/spells that they buffer into their flow as needed. For the **** hitting the fan/over aggro is where I want to see the other classes (CC most likely) have to step in to help the group out with some form of aggro lessening or aggro redirection ability.

     

     

    • 474 posts
    April 28, 2017 12:02 PM PDT

    Iksar said:

    Yes, that is mostly what I was saying. But the key point is in DPS not having their own aggro reduction/dropping abilities so much as having lower aggro generating lower damage attacks/spells that they buffer into their flow as needed. For the **** hitting the fan/over aggro is where I want to see the other classes (CC most likely) have to step in to help the group out with some form of aggro lessening or aggro redirection ability.

     

     

    The issue there though is that you may not always have that class available. Making a whole sub set of classes completely dependant on one other class is a bad idea. Interdependance is great, but there are limits to that as well. People really do need their own aggro dropping abilities. It shouldn't be a complete get out of jail free card, but you can't basically set it up so that a class MUST have another specific class available to perform their role at least decently.

    • 408 posts
    April 28, 2017 12:14 PM PDT

    @Iksar - Agreed man. Having a simple aggro reduction/drop ability has the chance to make the whole situation quite simple. Aggro issues? Click the button. The notion that a monk can simply feign death to zero out their threat, then just pop back up and jump into the fray is a bit silly to me. After a while I envision the mobs saying to each other "where do all these monks keep coming from?" Having a varied ability set to choose from including a range of threat generating modifiers as you mentioned might allow us to actually have to assess the scale of your threat management issue and address it situationally. I guess what I mean is that I want threat management to be an informed decision that you make on the fly to avoid getting aggro, rather than a known action-reaction (get aggro - use threat reduction ability), or worse yet, an ability you use any time it's off cooldown to prevent threat issues.

    @kellindil - It is true that no class should be crippled for the lack of another counterpart class. Threat management is not the 5th pillar of Pantheon combat, and only in extreme cases or as a result of mistakes should threat "cripple" one's ability to play out their role. However, giving support classes threat management abilities can be balanced if they are seen as enabling additional damage output, without ever leaving a damage dealer stranded without it.


    This post was edited by Ainadak at April 28, 2017 12:33 PM PDT
    • 62 posts
    April 28, 2017 8:08 PM PDT

    In Vanguard, Disciples, Monks, Rogues and Enchanters could all "push hate" to their defensive target, perhaps others I am forgetting too. Most of the abilities were a flat amount like 5000 or whatever the case may be, but some were percentage based amounts of hate. Percentage based hate pushing is not something that should exist in my opinion or if it does, in a very limited scope.

    I agree with most of what is said here about a desire to make threat management more important than it has been in many recent titles. Limited amounts of raw hate pushing or decreasing by certain other classes is ok to me as long as they are balanced in a way to be more of a helpful boost on occasions rather than a necessity.

    • 38 posts
    April 28, 2017 10:59 PM PDT

    I think the issue is that we've become accustomed to DPS classes being nukers - having fast, busy rotations and being required to dump as much damage on an enemy as fast as possible. I really hope that this game steps away from that and makes fights less about doing damage and standing in circles and more about knowledge and mechanics, and I know the devs agree. Attacking enemies and taking into consideration the attacks you're using and the threat you're generating was, at one point, just part of being DPS.
    Obviously it should never be a HUGE issue. Classes should never have to take prolonged breaks from attacking an enemy just because of threat, but I think that the old style of more difficult threat management makes the game way more interesting than just knowing you'll never really have to worry about it. Both DPSing and Tanking in MMOs is so boring to me because of that. I think that this is one of the biggest reasons that MMOs have fallen so far when it comes to combat.