Gameplay Direction Post 1.4.4 [Sabering]

Discussion in 'Developer Diaries' started by Tempest, Dec 12, 2016.

  1. Tempest

    Tempest coding in Wonderland Movie Battles II Team

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    Thanks for your patience everyone. I know most have been/are eager to see where Saber vs Saber is heading in the future of MB2. I also know that not everyone has agreed nor will agree with all of the changes but consideration for all perspectives, opinions, and aspects of gameplay has been taken, I assure you. This thread isn't going to concern/go into plans for changes to Force powers. After the polished saber changes are released, that's when all of that stuff is going to start getting worked on/tuned up (and I'm very much looking forward to it).

    Starting out, I'd like to convey my personal thought process behind changing mechanics/features of the saber system. When I think back through the various systems I've played through, the one I enjoyed the most is probably v0. Aside from perfect blocking being mostly based on the orientation of both player's cameras (which did have its merits), that has felt like the most fluid/least clunky of what I can remember. However, I've also looked at the pros/cons of pretty much every build from the eyes of many players and have been trying to incorporate the best parts of each while addressing the main flaws as well. My goal in the long-term for sabering is to make attacking and defending be on even ground as far as incentive, effectiveness, and versatility in the options that are available, as well as having depth without being too complicated. Also having gameplay be tactical and enjoyable for all parties involved, of course.

    Current state of plans/changes
    1) Perks/Style flavor - I'm personally trying to move away from the mindset that all styles should have some innate perk by default (this doesn't mean completely removing them from all styles however). I want the stances to play according to their fundamental designs/baseline playstyles. I also want to keep what everyone has enjoyed about using them without making them unenjoyable to play against (i.e. Blue with Nudge is something most will agree is not fun to play against). That said, some styles may look like they've gotten more attention/care than others based on bullet points in changelogs. I'll say again that I've spent lots of time considering almost every angle in regards to possible adjustments to them and am confident they'll end up as intended.

    2) Nudge - I know this has been a controversial mechanic for as long as it has existed. I understand why people hate it. I understand why people want it. After experimenting and discussions, it's been decided to leave it off and see how the community feels during tests (will have it turned on or off for different playing sessions). Feedback from everyone will be important on this!

    3) Perfect Block, Semi-PB, and PB counter - Semi-PB and PB counter along with the currently removed PB combo break have been nearly as controversial as Nudge. I (and quite a few others) think that they do more detracting from dueling than adding skill (not saying there's no skill in PB countering but that's not the truly skillful part of the defensive mechanic it coincides with). I'm planning to completely remove Semi-PB as well as experiment with either trading PB counter for a modified PB combo break (range-based to reduce randomness/unintentional combo breaking) or just removing it and seeing what kind of feedback that gets.

    4) Adjustment to BP drains/regen - Alongside the drains in 1.4.4, I'm working on adjusting the rate of BP upkeep so that mindless swinging as well as things such as very specific timing windows relating to buggy hitboxes (getting full damage without going through actual animations is already annoying but I didn't want to completely destroy those who enjoy incorporating yawing into their play). Essentially, BP regen will kick in a frame or two later if you are not at least going through the very early stages of the swing animations (there's still some slight tweaking to do per style but it will basically go unnoticed by those who don't abuse/run into this specific aspect of sabering consistently). Also going to be trying out higher global BP damage multipliers to see how they pan out. BP regen will also be slightly increased so the higher damages with the recent drains on swings aren't completely overbearing.

    5) Combo Breaking - This has been an interesting mechanic that was introduced fairly recently (in the grand scheme of things). I think that having it incorporated into the first perfect block done would be fine if/when the PB zones get adjusted to not overlap and adjusted so that it's not triggered by accident on a regular basis. That said, all combo breaks will now be visually indicated by some form of flinch/stagger so that there's no guesswork on either end when someone can't swing anymore. A full list of what triggers these along with the length/duration of the stagger and whether you can block or not during them will be included/updated as we figure the numbers out.
    *I do plan to let people try out a range-based (to avoid the randomness factor as mentioned) PB combo break in open betas.

    6) Indicators - New indicators are going to be implemented that make it very clear how much damage you're dealing/negating.
    When attacking, you'll have the following:
    • Red (Max Damage) - This is the maximum amount of damage you dealt (enemy was running, you countered off a Pblock, was swingblocking and scored a body hit).
    • Orange (Half Damage) - You dealt around 50% your maximum possible damage on this swing.
    • Yellow (Zero Damage) - The enemy completely blocked your attack (Pblock).
    When defending, you'll have the following:
    • Bright Green (Prevented All) - You successfully prevent all of the enemies incoming damage (Pblock).
    • Dull Green (Prevented Half) - Non-PB, non-body hit contact (no more semi-PB stuff)
    • Aqua (Prevented None) - You took maximum damage from the enemy (Body hit).
    7) Adjustments to Defense/Attacking - As you may have noticed with the different indicators, there's going to be differences in how much damage you actually deal/take compared to the current state which is either you PB'd (0 damage), got backwacked (dead), or "body" hit (X damage depending on style, ACM, etc). More details on this once they're ironed out/polished.

    8) Animation/comboing adjustments - Addressing instant swinging was one of my original goals for changes to sabering. This has almost been finalized. Combo chaining will also be slower across the board (which is part of why the damage has been increased globally). Still have some tweaking to do for Staff on that though.

    9) Mblock adjustments -
    • Mblock vs Swingblocks
      • Dull Green:
        • Short stagger (can still block blasters during this flinch, which will reset it (just like normal flinch)).
        • Attacker takes normal BP damage during the flinch animation.
      • Bright Green:
        • Short stagger (can still block blasters during this flinch, which will reset it (just like normal flinch)).
        • Combo breaks attacker
        • Drains BP from attacker
    • Mblock vs Non-Swingblocks
      • Dull Green:
        • Full stagger (cannot block blasters)
        • Attacker takes increased BP damage during the stagger animation.
        • Does not disarm the attacker.
      • Bright Green:
        • Full stagger (cannot block blasters)
        • Attacker takes increased BP damage during the stagger animation.
        • Disarms the attacker
      *Stagger times for these are still being finalized (so close though!). The feel as far as how long you are prevented from starting a new swing should be very similar to how to it is currently once it's done.
    10) ACM adjustments - Given the higher damage, slowing the speed of ACM gain has been a fitting change. The total amount of ACM for styles has been doubled. This does not mean you will be able to get up to 4x damage, though.
    • Non-halfswings give +2 ACM (equivalent of +1 in current builds)
    • Half-swings give +1 ACM
    11) Style Changes - Note that these will likely be further detailed/clarified once the rest of the defense/body hit logic adjustments have been made.
    • Blue
      • Swing count of 2
      • AP: 7->5
      • BP: 60->62
      • Drains (9 base + 1 per ACM) BP on PB
      • 20% ACM bonus damage scaling on specials
      • Loses 2 ACM on body hit
    • Cyan
      • Swing count of 4
      • BP: 55->52
      • AP: 9
      • All swings can combo break on Perfect Parry
      • Reduces 33% of ACM bonus to parries from opponents
      • Deals 75% damage on consecutive swings (cause fast)
      • Loses 2 ACM on body hit
    • Yellow
      • AP: 12->11.
      • BP: 56
      • Swing count of 4
      • No BP drain for failing Mblock
      • Drains 2 ACM on a PB counter body hit
    • White
      • Swing count of 4
      • AP: 11
      • BP: 59
      • Successful Mblock no longer automatically counts as a PB by default
      • Mblock related staggers are buffed compared to other styles
      • Mblock Vs Swingblock
        • Dull green: -2 ACC for attacker
        • Bright green: -2 ACC for attacker, +1 ACC for defender
      • Mblock Vs Non-Swingblock
        • Dull green: Half ACC loss for attacker, +2 ACC gain for defender, disarms attacker
        • Bright green: All ACM lost for attacker, +2 ACC gain for defender
      • Large block radius.
    • Green
      • AP: 10->9
      • BP: 55
      • Swing count of 5
      • All swings 0.75x damage without ACM
      • Special moves have 50% of their ACM multiplier added into their damage
      • Lose 5 BP on Perfect Parry
      • Loses 2 ACM on body hit
    • Red
      • Swing count of 3
      • AP: 15->14
      • BP: 50
      • All non-halfswings cause a stagger on body hit
      • Being PB counter body hit is -1 ACM
      • Doesn't lose BP when Mblocked on swingblocks
    • Purple
      • Swing count of 3
      • AP: 13->11
      • BP: 52
      • Deals (6 + 1 per ACM) BP through PB
      • Being PB counter body hit is -2 ACM
    To avoid messing with the bullet points (post formatting is a huge pain -_-), I'll list the reasoning behind the adjustments to each style here:
    1) Blue - Most that have commented on possible changes to it have wanted it to be reverted to 1.3. Given I used to main Blue and enjoyed being able to beat people down with the 8 swing limit, I also wanted to make Blue actually have a defined baseline. Blue is supposed to be a defensive style that can also wear down the opponent with quick/precise strikes. Trying out a scaling BP drain on PB is the first option I wanted to try out. Having it gain short bursts of extra BP regen (this would require some re-tuning of the AP/BP values of course) is the other I had in mind since having a way to do damage without actually attacking is almost counterintuitive by nature.
    2) Cyan - Cyan has been a roller coaster of emotions for most since it got introduced into Open. Most who want something done about it either want it deleted or changed to be more parrying-oriented. I'm more inclined to go with the latter. With that, I've moved it more toward needing precision and control to get the most of the style.
    3) Yellow - As I mentioned already, Yellow is a bit difficult to balance. Giving it both offensive and defensive aspects while tuning down its numbers keeps it as the "all-rounder" style without making it too good at offense or defense.
    4) Staff - Given the changes to Mblock, it was difficult to figure out how to keep Staff as the Medium styles' defensive specialist. So instead of having all these extra things added alongside the potential to stagger/flinch on Mblock, I let it keep the ACC/ACM related things, have improved stagger durations with Mblock combo breaking, as well as kepping the ability to disarm on a less precise Mblock for itself. These are currently placeholder until something more fitting comes up (if something more fitting comes up..).
    5) Duals - Ah, Duals. The style that pretty much nobody likes/understands how to fight while looking pretty much terrible when involved in saber vs saber combat. The goal for Duals was to make it less effective with flailing and give more focus on its utility. The adjustments listed alongside the tweaks to animations will make fighting Duals a much less annoying experience.
    6) Red - So Red has been an interesting thing to experiment with. There's two different forms of stagger I'd like for people to try out. One is the non-halfswing stagger on body hits (more raw aggression but more prone to being interrupted since there's no Nudge and can't facehug with instant chained swings) and the other is a slightly expanded version of the current one (allowing feinted swings to stagger as well). I'm curious to see the reactions on this (it's not as OP as it sounds by default because of animation adjustments).
    7) Purple - I thought a lot about Purple. Probably more than any other style (well maybe just behind Staff) and there's not a lot of room for things to be changed (or really that could be changed without completely breaking it in some form or another). It's a heavy style that's a bit more suited for non-purely aggressive fighters. I personally think that its theme fits more to wearing an opponent down with tactical hits rather than raw aggression (that's Red's thing) so having it able to do some small damage through PB is a start.

    So much stuff, whew. None of this is finalized so don't freak out if you see anything you don't like.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2016
  2. Spaghetti

    Spaghetti overcooked pasta Movie Battles II Team Retired

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    Power bump.
     
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  3. CC-1119 "Appo'

    CC-1119 "Appo' EU Official Server Admin

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    Looks & sounds good. Admittedly, I don't play saberist but hey. Maybe when you lot give ARC a vibrosword for 0 points so I can fulfill my fantasies of being a gunner with ARC mobility and a saber-tier weapon to rape saberists at their own game.

    I shall be unstoppable.
     
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  4. AaronAaron

    AaronAaron Donator Internal Beta Team

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    Im glad you've decided to keep nudge off for the open beta. With most of the stuff you have said in this post, it "looks" like nudge wont be needed anyway.
     
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  5. Sammy

    Sammy Master of Whispers Donator

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    [​IMG]

    These are some great ideas, Tempest, and I can't wait to see them put into testing.
     
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  6. RG4

    RG4 US Official Server Admin

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    Purple Stab back pls.
     
  7. {Δ} Achilles

    {Δ} Achilles Nerd

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    - No more PB combo break.

    - Cyan should deal 100% damage on all swings, if that is overpowered/underpowered, then it should be tweaked, needlessly complicating Cyan. Either that, or make it so that Cyan doesn't do that much damage, but does bonus damage on perfect parries and hitting someone that is combo-broken (So that if you PP with Cyan, then hit them, it does all that would be expected of a cyan combo) But having swings suddenly deal less damage doesn't make sense to me.

    - I don't believe yellow should have an ACM related perk, or any major perk, honestly. Should just be the base style.

    - Staff's ACM perk is cancerous, and ridiculously over-complicated. Should be changed.

    - Not sure I like Green losing BP on PP, a bit of an over-complication, but I'd have to check again. Seems to me that it would either be pointless, or annoying.

    - I don't like the extra ACM loss on being counter swung on Red/Purple.

    Otherwise, seems fine.

    Though as a note for PB Counter, I'd rather you not be able to half-swing off of being hit, but instead PB counter is a normal half swing that causes higher damage.
     
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  8. SeV

    SeV EU Official Server Admin Internal Beta Team

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    tl:dr

    Don't nerf muh ez mode cyan.
    Nerf yellow fags.
    Don't uver cumplikait mai gehm.
     
  9. Rosh+

    Rosh+ Internal Beta Team US Official Server Admin

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    As long as there's change.
    [​IMG]
     
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  10. Sammy

    Sammy Master of Whispers Donator

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    @achilles

    I agree with your 3rd statement (about pb counter being a halfswing with more damage, but I believe regular countering (halfswings) should also remain. Pb counter just being the stronger variant.

    EDIT: and to clarify, the pb counter would be the same speed as the regular counter
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2016
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  11. SeV

    SeV EU Official Server Admin Internal Beta Team

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    Yeah I already suggested something like this to tempest. The old counters really were just ordinary swings with no benefits, just good timing. I would like to retain atleast some sort of PB+Counter, but the way it is in 1.4.4 is too strong. This PB+Counter fit best with 1.4 combo breaking and nudge. Without those two factors the PB+Counters start to dominate the field and overshadow all other saber gameplay.

    PB+counters -> halfswing speed, or ordinary swing speed, whatever speed isn't insta but not slow and useless either. Cannot be interrupted.
    Deals additional dmg on parry, gives +1 ACM through parry but not PB. Deals 1.2x dmg.

    This way, PB+Countering will still exist as a mechanic but it won't be crazy powerful instaswings and you can deal with it properly with PB reactions instead of random prediction based on your opponents habits. You might think it giving +1 ACM through parries is too strong, but you did hit a PB and then click attack in the counter timing window.

    ^ Modified 1.4 PB counter.

    Now, with Tempest adding the old saber collision PB back, why not add a secondary weaker version of countering based on saber block rather than aimed PBs.
    This one should simply deal a bit more dmg through parries and not give additional ACM. Would be like the normal old style counters that were really just normal swings begun with a timing.

    Deals 1.1x dmg. Additional BP drain on parries.
     
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  12. {Δ} Achilles

    {Δ} Achilles Nerd

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    Sev, that sounds overpowered. A counter that goes through parries/combos and builds more ACM? That would be giving defensive players a huge advantage.
     
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  13. Sammy

    Sammy Master of Whispers Donator

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    I agree. It's probably best it CAN be interrupted, but is still useful.
     
  14. Razer

    Razer

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    I like the green losing bp on pp, would be easier to make those spammable attacks less annoying.
     
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  15. Garth

    Garth

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    I couldn't imagine how much time and effort you put in all this stuff, I think i'm speaking for everyone when i give you a BIG HUGE THANKS for what you are doing to make sure the game is fun for us.
     
  16. SeV

    SeV EU Official Server Admin Internal Beta Team

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    Yeah maybe, but if its regular speed it can be easily PB'd like other swings. Didn't want to nerf it too much. I'm fine with it not giving ACM on parries too, but it should deal a bit of dmg through parries.
     
  17. {Δ} Achilles

    {Δ} Achilles Nerd

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    As someone who has beta tested a lot, it does not need the damage on PP to keep duals from spamming. You already can't spam on duals and live.

    I'm okay with it dealing more damage on parries, as it is a counter swing, it would make sense that it deals more damage than a regular swing, which in turn means more parry damage. But that should be its only function, dealing more damage, and being basically a half swing off of PB countering. The problem is, you can 'counter' swing off of bounces from just getting hit, which means missing PBs, the only thing making the PB counter distinct would be the damage. Which is why I suggested removing the ability to half-swing off of being hit.
     
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  18. Crusade010

    Crusade010

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    Looks pretty cool, I think the indicators might get a bit annoying but it depends on how they are done really.

    I would also say to make dfas and katas cost bp as there are some people who will spam them without any downside like the staff which makes them invunerable while jumping around everywhere, and duals kata that just eats bp bars in 2 seconds.
    (unless I missed reading about it up there)
     
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  19. Sammy

    Sammy Master of Whispers Donator

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    While they currently cost fp (especially staff's moves if done consecutively) I think it would be a great idea for the moves to also cost BP (they already do, but maybe increasing the amount would prevent spam.) Very nice idea.
     
  20. {Δ} Achilles

    {Δ} Achilles Nerd

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    The katas are fine now, they do way less damage.
     

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