Tuesday, March 17, 2009

What if there was no AoE?

Area of Effect abilities are the new nerf of the month (NotM) on the forums. It got me to thinking, what if there were no AoE abilities? That would include Damage, Healing and Crowd Control. What kind of game world would it be?

BOOOM. Siege weapons would be the only AoE in the game. As a result, they would be moved off of the pads and be usable anywhere there was flat land. Also, their damage would be increased, but their accuracy would be lessened. We would now see them used on the battlefield, and not just in keeps. I think this is a good idea regardless of AoE.

Poor Healers. With no AoE heals at their disposal, many healers would start to suffer from repetitive stress disorder. As a result, Mythic starts to market Warhammer brand arm braces.

Tab DoT. Tab DoT'ing will become the poor mans AoE. This could be addressed by increasing action cost or cast time and increasing damage.

Choo Choo. The tank train will run wild as there is no AoE CC (Slow's, Knockdowns, Knockback). Directional attacks will become more important, if a tank tries to bypass your melee to get to your casters... they should have to pay a price.

Keeps being kept. Getting to the Lord's floor will be quite the challenge in this AoE free world. Without AoE knockbacks, knockdowns and T4 damage morale's, breaking up that tank wall will be difficult. This is where you would want to start knocking down walls and opening up other avenue's of attack.

Less is more or less. With all AoE abilities removed, your action bar will look pretty sparse. Some new abilities could be added, but there is really only so much you can do with single target attacks. Is less abilities a good thing or does it just make for boring characters?

So what do you think of a world without AoE?


Less AoE heal would mean that the healers would have to be more flexible and mobile.

That's the reason why my Runepriest is specced on hots.. I find it challenging and fun to watch how the battle evolves and try to catch up, so that I get a good line of sight.. AoE-heal-spamming is somewhat boring to me.

Same applies to AoE-damage. It's a no-brainer to just AoE-dps.

AoE CC for tanks is imo ok as they should be able to annoy many people as most of them won't dish out too much damage and they should have something to add to the fight other than standing around.
Otherwise they would be the nerdy and fat kid in the corner no one wants to play with ;)

Oops: TLDR version, AOEs are too powerful with no penalty compared to single target spells (heal/dmg)

There's nothing wrong with having AoE effects, BUT, since they by nature affect multiple targets they need some sort of penalty. That penalty is missing in the game right now.

As a BW the only penalty Rain of Fire has is that it is 80 feet and channeled, that's not a penalty in a static fight in a keep. With a tactic the cooldown is gone when channel is over and with burnout you have unlimited AP and with a healer(it's a team game) destro auras are nothing to worry about.

AoE healing (disclaimer, I dont have a WP, wardb.com numbers), Divine Aid heal+hot for WPs heals for 485 on one target for 55 righteous fury, 0.5s cast. TOTD group heal heals for 510 on the entire group, (6*510 ~3k) for 60 RF, 1s cast. Again no major penalty on a skill that is immensely powerful in a group situation.

On the following link(couldnt link) where Mythic's Adam acknowledging some AoE (GTAoE mainly) issues there is a reply that describes the power of spells in DAOC(they did some things right) which was generally - GTAE < Cast AE DOT < SingleTarget dot < cast ae < SingleTarget nuke < pbae.

In WAR the GTAE (RainOfFire/PitOfShades) considering it hits multiple targets is the most powerful spell available, hitting almost as hard as a single target nuke but on multiple targets.

And it's bloody boring to AoE the ram pad for 1h in a fortress defense. Give a 20% elevation bonus to range instead so it's possible to do single target damage from the walls without getting slaughtered the moment you look out.


Its alwyas interesting to see how changing some fundamental mechanic alters the game play completely huh?

With WoTLK, Blizzard made sure to give everyone an AoE talent or spell of some sort, or at least that was the complaint I heard from a friend of mine when I proudly displayed my new Divine Storm Talent that my Ret Paladin had finally acquired.

Course,when he said it, he seemed a bit annoyed at the fact, because I think his philosophy is that only certain classes should be allowed the privilege of an AoE. True, without AoE in games the battles would take forever and you almost always would need assistance of some sort, which would make Soloing in some situations impossible and with Blizzard making it readily available to all classes, it cuts down on the need for certain pairings when adventuring.

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