Forums » Suggestions

Direction and Vision of PvP Combat

May 24, 2006 LostCommander link
Probably the kind (at least somewhat like me) who doesn't have to time to invest to become good and STAY good. I happen to prefer PvE anyway, so this doesn't bother me much (though I do miss the game during grad school semesters). Also, the person may just be more into thinking than practice. I believe it is generally perceived as easier to get good in something like WoW or EVE because you can go read an immense amount of material and come up with a great many ideas without having so much as installed the game. VO has no library of statistics to crunch through and getting better involves more explicit practice, which is what I think Bryce Coulson was getting at. I think I will see what I can piece together for the wiki...
May 24, 2006 yllamana link
"I think one of the issues is that a lot of the players here have been playing for years. That's obviously going to create a gap. Once they start advertising the game, hopefully we will see a large increase in players. This should help out the "clay pidgeon" aspect."

It could do. I don't think that's really a solution, though, especially since the problem will recur after the post-advertising buzz dies down and we're back to this position again.

"My reccomendation to new players is to try everything..."

Sorry to snip a good quote. :) It's good advice, but ultimately it needs to be somewhere prominent instead of buried in an obscure thread in the suggestions forum.

"The easy to learn part is the same with any FPS. (I know, we need content). Point and shoot. The hard to master part comes with pointing and shooting while not getting shot yourself. PvP is something you need to stick with for a while. No two players fight exactly the same, so there's no one tactic that you can use against everyone. That's what makes it so difficult and so fun at the same time."

Hmm. I'm not so sure about your simplification of the mastery of FPS games. There's generally more to mastering them than just aiming and not getting hit, like map control and positioning. I guess a point you could make is that a newbie playing, say, Quake 3, is going to get obliterated by an expert player, but you'd at least expect them to land some hits.

In VO, a newbie against a good player won't land a single hit, because good (not even good - I abuse it too and I'm very new) players ruthlessly abuse the poor auto-aiming that the ships have.

"PvP is something you need to stick with for a while. No two players fight exactly the same, so there's no one tactic that you can use against everyone. That's what makes it so difficult and so fun at the same time."

Pretty difficult to learn if you're limited to fighting experienced players, though. One problem is that the AI doesn't seem to use similar tactics or loadout to PCs. The new update has improved them a lot, but they still don't seem to dodge as consistently as players, and they still tend to only mount various energy weapons. The problem being, when you go from that to PvP you don't really have a point of reference to draw on. You can't hit anything and you're mostly not familiar with tactics to counter their weaponry.

"Turning auto-aim off works great for energy weapons."

I've tried this and speaking personally it really doesn't. I'm aware that could change as my aim improves, but turning autoaim off makes me hit one time in a thousand instead of zero in a thousand. It's just not significant. The prevailing energy anti-backroll tactic that I've run into is just to use one of those spam cannon things, and that doesn't seem to work too well either.

Ultimately, my point is that as a new player I'm not really seeing how to play effectively, and not being presented with many opportunities to either.

"All in all, i'd say stick with it and never be afraid to ask for help. If you get schooled by someone, ask for some tips. The community is generally pretty friendly in this way. And most importantly, fly to have fun =)"

This brings up another issue - floating around the galaxy. What is with how long travel takes in this game? It's not giving me the impression of a huge universe, it just gives me the impression that traveling around it is slow and tedious (since apparently we haven't invented the autopilot yet even though we obviously have invented robot ships that can navigate through space, launch and dock on their own).

So we're at Ukari waiting for a convoy to launch and think hey, we could go do some BP, that might be fun. But then we think hmm, that would be a boring 20 minutes of babysitting the ship - why not just go to bed instead? So we went to bed.

Ultimately I'd guess I'm up there in the top twenty or so percentile of people who will actually "stick with it" and try the game, and I'm really having issues about wondering if it's worth the bother. I don't think it's going too far to say that if your game isn't accessible enough for me, it's not going to be accessible enough for the vast majority of computer game players. They just won't bother coming onto the forums and upsetting the "I SUFFERED THROUGH XYZ GAME MECHANIC SO EVERYONE ELSE SHOULD TOO" masochists who seem to float around here a bit.

I'll just respond to one sentence of moldyman's post, here:

"Seriously, what you're saying is that new players have to learn without trying."

No, what I'm saying is that learning for new players has to be *fun*. That's what games are about, and in the absence of that, most players will go elsewhere, even if you tell them that beyond the learning there's some kind of star-studded galactic PvP utopia. I don't see that it's unreasonable for people to expect a game to be fun.

The same applies to every other game mechanic. People *should* generally have to try to succeed at it, but they should enjoy the trying.
May 24, 2006 Ghost link
You bring up good points and a lot of the issues you mentioned are issues that need to be solved.

The other great thing about this game is that the devs are very tangible. If you have a good idea for how to improve the game, post it and it just may happen.

I imagine the fun aspect for new players must be somewhat difficult to get to if you're fighting experienced players a lot. Your best bet would be to find a guild that shares your interests and make some friends that you can spar with often for fun and to improve.

The hope we cling to with this game is that issues you mentioned, such as the galaxy travel issue, will be resolved in the future.
May 24, 2006 yllamana link
Thanks, Ghost. Your posts are encouraging. :)

I think one problem for us is coming from an MMO where all communication from the company is PR-speak that's designed to just keep people playing the game rather than give any actual info. After that, any developer communication is taken with a truckload of salt, I'm afraid. The proof is in the pudding, etc etc and I guess we'll see how the additions pan out over the next while.

I'll probably sit on Netherby and duel him a bit sometime later and see how we go.
May 24, 2006 LeberMac link
Shape said: The only thing that gets you killed in PvP in this game is the desire to kill the other person, or attempting to escape a situation too abruptly. That needs to be changed I think.

Ghost said: The hard to master part comes with pointing and shooting while not getting shot yourself.

Yep, if all you want to do is dodge, that's easy. Running away is pretty easy too. But if you want to fight your opponent, you have to put yourself n harm's way. No one wins PvP fights by backrolling and energy spamming. In order to win, you have to be aggressive.

In order to hit your opponent, you have to both be within range of each other. When you can hit your opponent, he can also hit you. The trick, as Shape & Ghost say, is hitting your opponent while avoiding being hit yourself. Once you can do that, you're golden.
May 25, 2006 Kuvagh link
Slowing the ships down is being contemplated? That's cool. Ships were a lot slower during much of the alpha and beta periods... in my opinion, it gave pilots a little more time to execute very deliberate, cool, fun and artistic combat maneuvers. I imagine that there are some pilots who really like intense speed and twitchiness, though, and I wonder how they'd feel about it.
May 25, 2006 Person link
Yeah, I've heard this mentioned twice and I like it. I doubt Inc will ever ACTUALLY slow things down, but it would be really nice if the speed of everything were just multiplied by 2/3. None of us, (excluding Shape,) have the reflexes of a cat, and I've always liked games better where strategy and application played a larger role than how quickly you can press certain buttons. You'd still have the intensity of combat without the hectic out-of-controlness of it.

May 25, 2006 Phaserlight link
"I imagine that there are some pilots who really like intense speed and twitchiness, though, and I wonder how they'd feel about it."

Why not include both modes of combat?

Bear in mind that player-controllable cap ships are on the way. Very deliberate, cool, fun and artistic combat maneuvers will most likely be a part of cap ship combat.
May 25, 2006 Lord Q link
the problem with slowing ships down is it affects long distance travel time as well as combat. plus a fairly common first sugestion from new players is to add realisam by removing maximum speeds all together.

i think on the whole ship speeds are likely to stay mostly the same with the p[osability of a small (5% or less) acrosse the board decrease.
May 25, 2006 incarnate link
I did slow things down a little, by introducing battery mass. That increased the mass of all ships by a small percentage, which made the most maneuverable ships (the Centurions, for instance) a bit less insane. The Prom and heavy-thrust ships were little affected by this, of course.

Actual "speeds", as in maximum achievable speeds and so on, have not changed much since Alpha. It's mostly all the masses and thrusts of the respective ships. In combat, it's all about the acceleration and momentum, the ability to change direction to avoid a shot quickly.

I can "slow" things down some more, and I'm not opposed to it.. I liked it better in Alpha as well. The problem is, we've introduced new ships and changed a lot of other things since then. Re-finding that balance may be non-trivial. But I'm open on suggestions on the subject.
May 26, 2006 Ghost link
IMO things have a good pace now. Slowing things down too much could take away some of the fun. But if speeds get changed again, then balance is going to have to be redone for pretty much everything. Flares, for example, will dominate if they are not adjusted and ship speed is.
May 26, 2006 Kuvagh link
I'd like to see wacky balance experiments on the test server.

Perhaps the IBG Centurion could be made rather like an old 'light' from alpha 3.1 or Vulture from early 3.2. Then, everything else could be pegged to that...

A variety of pilots could volunteer to fight eachother systematically in order to gather data. Based upon this data, ship specs could be slowly nudged (not like the drastic and sometimes arbitrary balance tweaks of 3.2.x) into place.
May 26, 2006 incarnate link
I'd have to ship people special clients to do that. And build new clients every single time something was changed. Unfortunately, that's a bit of a hassle.

However, putting this stuff back on the server-side and making it dynamic would probably be a good idea, so we can test this kind of thing more easily.
May 26, 2006 KixKizzle link
Yea get rid of auto aim.
May 27, 2006 bojansplash link
Not many ppl have your aming skills Kix.
You want to kill everyone easier then you do now?