The Purge

PvP for People Who Aren't Asshats
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2014 4:21 pm 
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Consider the following:
Player skill results from having a greater number of interesting, viable choices. I can charge you straight on, or I can wait for you on this hill, or I can flank you, or I can throw fireballs at you from a distance, etc. The more options I have, the more that player skill, which is to say, picking the best option, comes into play.

I want you to re-read that and think about if you agree or not, just as a stand-alone statement.


Adding a crowd control measure, such as a stun, seems to give us one more option. I can fireball you or I can stun you. Another option! Clearly, we have increased the importance of player skill by adding another option.

Or did we?

From your perspective, your options increased by +1. By stunning the enemy, however, you have decreased his options to somewhere around 0 or 1. Instead of having a huge array of things to choose from, he now possibly has no option at all or maybe a stun-breaker as his only option.

There was a tremendous net loss in battlefield options because you had a stun.

Even lesser effects like snares can do this too. I used to have a wide field of choices and now, because I am snared, my options are considerably reduced. My game now involves fewer skillful choices because I can't move very fast.

In fact, Crowd Control is meant to reduce your options -- it's what the term "crowd control" is defining! You are, to some extent, controlled by the enemy. They have reduced your options. By reducing options, we have decreased the amount of player skill involved in the game (revisit the bold sentence up top).

We SAY things like, "Well I don't want the enemy to just be able to escape" but what we're really saying is, "I want to reduce the number of skillful battlefield options so that we can wrap this up and get to the inevitable part where I win".


Do debilitating crowd control effects really increase a game's depth by adding skillful options?
Or do they, overall, actually make the game less complex, removing more options than they add?

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2014 6:04 pm 
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sometimes a reduction in options is a good thing. it can turn an endless dance of feints and counter-feints into a fight, by forcing one side or the other to commit to a particular path, and things can unfold from there. "form is liberating", as they say.

so the question is, are endless feints and counter-feints such a bad thing? think about PotBS -- is it a bad thing to spend 45 minutes sailing around, jockeying for position, looking for an opening but never fully engaging? or was that actually part of the fun?

-ken

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2014 6:08 pm 
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Any game that removes a players ability to play optimally until death at anytime is bad in every sense.

Stun's, Mezzing, Snares and debuffs are all bad for pvp.

The obvious skill check is two people with the same sword and same hit points are put in the world and have to fight it out until one is dead. The further you get away from the that the further you get away from individual skill.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2014 10:04 am 
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Due to the nature of mmo's and latency, there are problems with challenging the player with being able to block individual attacks etc. Without CC, this becomes an almost mindless slash at each other until someone falls over, or until someone turns and runs out of boredom.

CC is a necessity due to latency.

Still though, CC used tactically can be fun. Anti CC can also be fun. And timing one's actions and abilities based on situational awareness is still a skill-based scenario. But too much CC is really, really bad (too many options of CC and/or too effective forms of CC).

The 30 second mezzes of EQ: ridiculous.
A spell interrupt: 100% needed

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2014 10:59 am 
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OrsunVZ wrote:
Due to the nature of mmo's and latency, there are problems with challenging the player with being able to block individual attacks etc. Without CC, this becomes an almost mindless slash at each other until someone falls over, or until someone turns and runs out of boredom.

CC is a necessity due to latency.



The most strategically based PVP games I have played have proven this to be wrong.

CRPG, Planetside and Shattered Galaxy had no CC and POBS had almost no CC.

Latency has no more impact to defense than it does offense. In CRPG you lifted your shield or parried with your weopon. It was't anymore complicated than that.

You don't need CC to have complex hack n slash. Once you remove CC you then require only skill to fight. in CRPG you block or parry to counter different attacks and then try to optimize your attacks based on the weopons you carry. CRPG has the best single combat model I have ever played.
No auto targeting, no bullshit CC, no get out of jail free skills and the zero need for classes.

You only get mindless hack n slash and people running from boredom in bad PVP games.

I don't know what games you have played O but you can't use Guild Wars, Warhammer, Rift or even EQ as quality samples of PVP models. They are all deeply flawed class games. Play some Mount and Blade if you want an idea of a quality based combat engine that works exceptionally well for PVP.

Ultimately the point of this thread is, does CC remove skill and do harm to PVP. The simple answer is yes. In the end it always comes down to one thing. CC has always been a implemented and a model of class based games. So in the end class based games are the ultimate enemy of quality PVP models.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2014 11:28 am 
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I think the roots of CC as we know it all come from PvE. Games that were developed purely for PvP, like Planetside, have much less (or no) CC.

I think the best "crowd control" is simply AE damage. Civil War style. Cannons are crowd control.

I think these debilitating effects, especially what we call "hard CC" like stun and mez, may actually be dumbing PvP games down overall and could be part of why MMORPG PvP ultimately always seems to fail: it's just not fun enough or interesting enough. You spend too much time with too few options.


I also think that we have to get away from MMORPG style targeting. Select target. Mash button. Spell flies to target. This removes so much skill from the game that I think they struggle to invent new abilities (like CC) just to make the combat more interesting, but I'm now speculating that CC backfires on this goal. The net result is that combat is less interesting because of all the CC.

I think the ideal would be to remove targeting, move to Smite-style manually aimed abilities and remove or greatly reduce the amount of CC in the game, particularly "hard CC".

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2014 12:32 pm 
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I agree that CC can ruin things but I think its deeper than that. Skills, stats, etc push players into play styles so in effect limiting their options. This turns into FotM builds and min/maxing. It doesnt matter if you are on a hill, behind a wall with a rocketlauncher because my passive defense of 200 allows me 9/10 times to run up to you and kill you.

The key is making those things balanced with optional variables but still allow for tactical flexibility. Targeting can be good and bad. Having your shots auto aim at you target is a bit mindless but is viable if you are firing homing missiles or if the gameplay is chaotic.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2014 2:47 pm 
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Slamz wrote:
I think the roots of CC as we know it all come from PvE.



In general you are right but primarily because all PVE games are generally class based games.

Their have been maybe 2 skill based games that had PVE and PVP (UO and Shadowbane) so it is not like we have a big enough sample to say it is primarily a PVE problem.

CC going back to EQ was built to make classes useful and make them unique. Classes were used to promote things like the "holy trinity" (Tank, Healer, Mezzer) in order support multiplayer functions of PVE. Raiding, dungeon stomping etc.

PVE games are designed to put to use the classes they build. They don't design the PVE around putting a group together of 6 defensive tanks to go PVEing.

Their is no reason the PVE can't be designed that way but then what would be the point of classes?


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2014 3:49 pm 
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Part of the question needs to set the context....since two things impact the question.

1) Duration...how long does the CC effect last compared to how many downstream decisions the other player has?
2) Scale and effect stacking....are we talking in a 1v1 scenario or group setting in which case how do these effects stack with other effects. This is in addition to the compounding affect of the stun on the "decision" balance. In the previous point, if the duration is that I can only get off 1 incremental decision before it wears off that may not be game breaking and skill might still come into play...but if there are 3 other people, then you have +4 decision imbalance which may very well be game breaking and removing any skill.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2014 6:19 pm 
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Yeah I don't feel like CC is ruinous in Smite, probably because it's so very short lived (and, being 5v5, can't be piled up on you....and since nobody can take the same class twice, you can't get hit by the same CC twice in a row).

I think MMORPGs have more problems if they try to implement ANY type of hard CC. It's kind of like in Smite, 1 Athena can be annoying with her taunt. In an MMORPG, you could have 80 of her, all ready to do their taunts. There are no limits on the number of players or on the number of players with the same skill so ANY hard CC can turn into a ton of CC just because there are a ton of players who have it.

You could have immunities but I don't particularly like the immunity (or diminishing returns) solution. I would rather just remove any effect that's considered so un-fun that it must be limited by immunities.


The very concept of immunities is almost like a concession that "Okay, hard CC really isn't fun" but it's figured that it could be acceptable to make your game un-fun for limited amounts of time.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2014 10:00 pm 
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D&D and most desktop RPG's handle resists better, typically breaking them down into Reflex, fortitude & willpower. Its going to be ALOT harder to charm/sleep an intelligent wizard or wise cleric than it would be a dumb fighter. A quick and nimble rogue is more easily able to dodge projectile spells and the fighter with high constitution can resist poison/disease type spells easier.

If CC was broken down better like this it wouldnt be as big a deal. The magic/spell systems are typically oversimplified

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