Monday, March 23, 2009

Fixing AoE

It is true, Area of Effect attacks are a bit out of balance since the 1.2 patch. Mythic has pretty much confirmed it in their forum posts. The 2 main culprits are Rain of Fire and Pit of Shades. Back before 1.1 (I think), they were in this same situation. 1.1 increased resistances, which went too far and reduced their damage by a lot. 1.2 dialed back resistances, now they are too powerful again. There are two main issues:

Stacking. Both abilities stack without limit. If 5 Bright Wizards use Rain of Fire on the same location, the poor folks get hit with all 5. This can add up to a lot of damage. The Engineers Napalm (and the Magus equivalent) do not stack. Napalm is also less powerful, but not a channeled attack.

These abilities should not stack, or have a stack limit. This would be a boon for tanks and melee dps in keep sieges. Healers will likely be able to heal the damage easily, possibly tipping the balance too far. It is not a simple problem, but one that needs to be addressed.

Targeting. RoF/PoS/Napalm/Mist are all ground targeted. This lets the player place the attack anywhere their camera can see. So if you are standing in the back of the Lords room, getting hit for damage, this may be the culprit. In the case of channelled spells, it allows the caster to stand in relative safety while casting.

Fixing this could be pretty complicated as it is based on camera mechanics. I wonder if they could only use a portion of the camera ( calculate the camera 10% smaller and use that for the check), which may limit the range of the crazy placements. This would probably cause some strange bugs in legitimate situations though. If they end up getting rid of stacking, this issue may not be that big of a deal.

Changes are almost certainly coming to these AoE abilities. I just hope they are slight, and not too drastic. Balance is getting better, just have to keep tweaking.


AOE attacks in DAOC did not seem to be as powerful as they are in Warhammer. However I don't believe they shouldn't stack, they just need to dial back the damage.

I think this suck it and see attitude that Mythic use, can be a bit annoying. It's all about resistances. So to reduce the resistance effect, would obviously have had an effect on damage amounts, it's not rocket science.

When Mythic did Thorn Weed Field originally in DAOC, they stacked them, they found it was to powerful. They didn't allow them to stack.

Why are they having to relearn the same things over and over again. If they need to consultancy then hire some ex DAOC players and we can walk them back through all the decisions they made and why some worked and some didn't, since they obviously can't remember.

I personally don't think there's much of a problem overall. I think MDPS might need to have the resist cap bumped up a little. Other than that, groups need to have healers set up right and have their tanks use HTL to avoid much of the damage. The only change I think needs to be done is maybe to change the BW's wildfire tactic to something else.

If they nerf AoE, they need to seriously bump up the single target damage. If not, casters are going to become worthless again. People would cry nerf over that level of single target damage though.

I think playing with resists affects too much of the game. All classes will be hurt damage wise by resists, even ones that are actually ok.

I am personally on the fence about the current AoE problems.

On one hand, I feel as if the AoE damage is fine. The problem lies with the fact that you can be pulled in, then proceeded to be disabled / knocked down for at least 6 seconds. With that being the case there is no feasible way to live through a couple stacks of PoS / RoF.

On the other hand, the fact that 5 PoS can hit me at one time pretty much equals insta gib regardless.

I do agree with you that tweaking resists should not be the option. We've seen how much of an affect that can have on the game currently.

This has been an issue for how long now? How much longer must we wait before they figure this out?

Mythic may have been too quick to nerf-buff-nerf without properly evaluating things in DAOC, but with WAR, they are being glacially slow to fix stuff that NEEDS fixing ASAP or people will continue to get fed up and move on to better alternatives (or no alternatives at all).

Current keep and fortress design encourages AoE greatly. If there is a single chokepoint which a large number of enemy players must run through (inner door, ramp, etc), then its logical that those places are going to be best defended with lots of AoE. Removing stacking will prevent insta gibs and give attackers some chance of actually succeeding. Players will also be less likely to abandon attacks on defended keeps.

The camera system for ground target attacks also needs to be fixed. If a player is affected by a channeled AoE attack, then they should be able to used ranged attacks against their attacker.

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