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Balance, Difficulty, Time-to-Kill


Fredelas
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Specced as DPS, facing a normal opponent of equal level:  

32 members have voted

  1. 1. When you're level 10, how long should it take to defeat a level 10 opponent?

    • 1 second
      1
    • 3 seconds
      3
    • 5 seconds
      13
    • 7 seconds
      5
    • 9 seconds
      10
  2. 2. When you're level 60, how long should it take to defeat a level 60 opponent?

    • 1 second
      1
    • 3 seconds
      0
    • 5 seconds
      9
    • 7 seconds
      9
    • 9 seconds
      13
  3. 3. When you're level 95, how long should it take to defeat a level 95 opponent?

    • 1 second
      1
    • 3 seconds
      0
    • 5 seconds
      7
    • 7 seconds
      8
    • 9 seconds
      16


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Interesting question. An appeal to realism might suggest that actually we should have only a 50:50 chance of winning in each case. But we like winning more than losing, and we're the customers. :-)

 

Down with oppression! Equal rights for orcs!

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1 second. Trash mobs aren't any more fun to kill over longer periods of time, it just becomes a grind. I want to one-shot them, hordes of them versus me. Only bigger, named mobs should be more fun and long to kill.

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To me difficulty balance is more about the other side's chance to bring me down to my knees.

 

This poll has more to do with the pace of the game, than it's difficulty. If my odds of winning the battle are Always 100%, the difficulty is 0, regardless of it taking 1 sec or 1 hour to kill.

 

Why do my Always' Always have capital A's? I blame Fredelas.

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To me difficulty balance is more about the other side's chance to bring me down to my knees.

 

This poll has more to do with the pace of the game, than it's difficulty. If my odds of winning the battle are Always 100%, the difficulty is 0, regardless of it taking 1 sec or 1 hour to kill.

 

Why do my Always' Always have capital A's? I blame Fredelas.

 

Don't worry. I have lots more questions. :)

 

I just didn't want to spam the forums by posting them all at once.

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All things being equal, fights should last long enough that it's not insta-kill, and should not be chopping down a regenerating tree either. For those who enjoy instant wins in an MMO, might I suggest the power cord, that always kills mobs. As I've discussed with those who play RPG's, if you think an on level mob should drop more or less after one hit, the reverse (you drop after a single hit from an on level mob) is also going to have to be true to keep the game honest.

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Good poll. Just quickly testing a few chars from other games. My 60 rogue in Rift in 61 Bladedancer with poor gear takes 5-7s per on-level trash mob, less if the crit luck is with me. Didn't test but 61 Assassin will probably shave 2s off that if I burn all my cooldowns. My 51 EQ2 coercer can get ridiculously lucky with multi attacks and proc buffs and one shot (technically not a one shot, but same result) trash mobs, but on average 3-5s I guess.

 

For heroics/named/elites etc then both games are in the region of 25s per encounter. The cloth wearing EQ2 gnome stands a good chance of dieing against named heroics, you rely on stuns and root 'n' shoot unless you have something good charmed and are happy taking minutes rather than seconds to kill something. I think EQ2 cloth armour feels much better in risk/reward while fighting these types of encounters (assuming you aren't using your ten year veteran ShadowKnight mercenary, in which case... faceroll time). Rogue is much more survivable in Rift. Tactician curative engine, Riftstalker boosted recovery etc... lots of self healing, some dodge... about 25s for the tougher level mobs and named.

 

There was certainly a huge difference moving from HD LOTRO to Rift, very noticeable increase in mob difficulty and time required to kill. Gear is of vital importance however, a very well geared Rogue in T2 set with BiS will easily double my dps output, perhaps triple it.

 

I answered 3, 5, 7 with the caveat that mob damage also needs to be sufficient that thought is required before charging into a group of more than 3 for most classes in average gear.

 

If the prospect of killing 300 trolls in Enedwaith on level at 5seconds each for a virtue is offputting then its time to overhaul that daft system completely.

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People Always have more questions.

 

Looking forward to participating in answering your other questions. The subject at hand is of considerable weight to LOTRO.

 

For some reason the quote button will not let me quote. I blame the mods of this forum for not letting me quote Fredelas and I do wonder if they're getting paid by some game developer I know for this. ;)

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BAD POOL.   It should not be about "how long to dps down something".  Simply increasing or decreasing mobs HitPoints or increasing / decreasing DPS is completly wrong way to achieve difficulty.

 

That is why automatic scaling of i.e. dungeons or "difficulty levels" in skirmis-like content is bollocks.

 

That's fundamental flaw in thinking and adjusting difficulty.  

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People Always have more questions.

 

Looking forward to participating in answering your other questions. The subject at hand is of considerable weight to LOTRO.

 

For some reason the quote button will not let me quote. I blame the mods of this forum for not letting me quote Fredelas and I do wonder if they're getting paid by some game developer I know for this. ;)

I have found the quote thing doesn't work very well for me when using IE, especially 11.

Try another browser Rainothon :)

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BAD POOL.   It should not be about "how long to dps down something".  Simply increasing or decreasing mobs HitPoints or increasing / decreasing DPS is completly wrong way to achieve difficulty.

 

That is why automatic scaling of i.e. dungeons or "difficulty levels" in skirmis-like content is bollocks.

 

That's fundamental flaw in thinking and adjusting difficulty.  

 

I'm talking strictly about same-level normal mobs on the landscape as players level up right now. I have lots more questions, such as what kind of abilities mobs should use, how often players should be defeated, and when they should ask for help.

 

But to begin, time-to-kill is an important psychological metric. There really are some players out there who prefer to one-shot everything while leveling on the landscape. I actually had a friend tell me how much fun he's having leveling alts now that he can breeze through the zones and enjoy the story without the stress of combat. (To be honest, I had a blast soloing a 3-player T3 skirmish and steamrolling right through it the other day. Sometimes it's fun to feel powerful, but probably not all the time.) There are at least a few players like that, and I wanted to gauge how many might be around here.

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I'm talking strictly about same-level normal mobs on the landscape as players level up right now. I have lots more questions, such as what kind of abilities mobs should use, how often players should be defeated, and when they should ask for help.

 

But to begin, time-to-kill is an important psychological metric. There really are some players out there who prefer to one-shot everything while leveling on the landscape. I actually had a friend tell me how much fun he's having leveling alts now that he can breeze through the zones and enjoy the story without the stress of combat. (To be honest, I had a blast soloing a 3-player T3 skirmish and steamrolling right through it the other day. Sometimes it's fun to feel powerful, but probably not all the time.) There are at least a few players like that, and I wanted to gauge how many might be around here.

I've commented it like that because topic name & OP link time-to-kill to difficulty. 

 

This post I am now responding to paint a tad diffrent picture that is partially diffrent from OP.

 

As for responses - they'll be propably varied - diffrent players will want diffrent things - things that are mutually exclusive.   Nothing new. I guess it might be midly interesting to see results on this forums, but ultimatelly imo because question is flawed from beggining - answers won't have much worth. Because from my player point of view - (based on my experience in HD beta only) it would not matter if mob will take 3s or 10 s to kill - it won't change difficulty much.

 

I can see how that can be valuable to developer / designer point of view - as their job is to optimize game experience to make it appeal to widest % of players - producing real difficulty is not target itself - difficulty can potentially be mean to achieve certain goal - althrough imo most remaining Lotro players don't care about game being challanging / really difficult so it won't happen. (+ producing really dificult content is EXPENSIVE).

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 (+ producing really dificult content is EXPENSIVE).

 

Well, complex fights are probably timeconsuming to create (and thus expensive) but simple fights with high morale, high damage and stun+root immunity can still be difficult/impossible without being more costly to make than making more of the easy content we got atm.

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Interesting question. This is one area where Trion was severely criticized about the Storm Legion expac for Rift. Mob health shot up significantly between the old level 50 cap and level 51, and it was taking people a LONG time to kill a single white on-level mob in the old-world gear, and still even after slowly acquiring quest gear upgrades (I had never seen such a disconnect between old/new cap content before, damn). Coupled with a lot of "kill # monsters" quests, that added up to significant "grind." The line between "grind" and "decent combat flow" is fuzzy indeed, but I think we can all agree that it's there. I think landscape mobs need to cover the gamut between fast and long to also address the diversity in player skill, gear, so on. Not sure what the best way is, though.

All things being equal, fights should last long enough that it's not insta-kill, and should not be chopping down a regenerating tree either. For those who enjoy instant wins in an MMO, might I suggest the power cord, that always kills mobs. As I've discussed with those who play RPG's, if you think an on level mob should drop more or less after one hit, the reverse (you drop after a single hit from an on level mob) is also going to have to be true to keep the game honest.
Ooh, I like that!
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Aside: I really wish players had the ability to create actual Poll threads on the OF. Its yet another thing I like about this community.

 

Done right they could provide valuable data to Turbine, they wouldnt be able to complain about needing to tabulate. They'd only have to worry about the question and the nature of the answers.

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Well, complex fights are probably timeconsuming to create (and thus expensive) but simple fights with high morale, high damage and stun+root immunity can still be difficult/impossible without being more costly to make than making more of the easy content we got atm.

 

Yeah, simply upping mobs morale / dps and giving them i.e. lot of CC or CC immunity would be easy, but would changing only that produce not only difficulty but also interesting content and experience at same time?  I don't think so.

 

I am of opinion that game difficulty, enjoyment and fun - is something that is a result of synergy of whole game and is dependant on overall design.   Changing few simple variables can made good game bad, but it can't make bad game good if you know what I mean.

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I like a challenging fight but I am the first one to say that simply giving the mobs more morale would be the worst thing to do. I have to whack thousands of them. There needs to be some thinking behind doing that.

Maybe a realistic fencing simulation would do :)

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Interesting question, but for me time to kill doesn't equal challenge. I voted for an increasing time per level, but the reason it takes longer should not be based on morale alone, but rather the need to think about what one is doing in the fight. Level 10s (assuming new to game) should be focusing on mastering the fundamental mechanics, and given the amount of content to grind through, success should be swift and sure at the lower levels if one pays attention to the basics of their class. Risk should increase as level increases, and that would add to time per kill, but again, not purely based on how much morale a mob has. Using the example of my now-shelved main hunters, I used to have a wide range of skills available that would allow me to think through a situation and respond with the appropriate mix of skills (speed, big red numbers, cc) to beat a particular mob type with a particular set of challenges. That's what I want to see, not a simple 'let's give mobs more morale' approach, but an actual risk involved in not knowing your options and how to use them. Sadly the trees have eliminated choice and dictate a single rotation for everything, so I'm doubtful that I will see the change that would get me excited about the game again.

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Yeah, simply upping mobs morale / dps and giving them i.e. lot of CC or CC immunity would be easy, but would changing only that produce not only difficulty but also interesting content and experience at same time?  I don't think so.

 

I am of opinion that game difficulty, enjoyment and fun - is something that is a result of synergy of whole game and is dependant on overall design.   Changing few simple variables can made good game bad, but it can't make bad game good if you know what I mean.

 

Indeed, but making the content and experience interesting is something you "have" to do regardless of whether the content is easy or difficult. I would imagine it's about as hard to make faceroll content interesting as it is to make difficult content interesting - though the methods of making it interesting may of course differ.

 

LotrO just seems to be going for the easy content without really making it interesting.

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isn't it kind of situational? I mean a rogue type class with good setup and a backstab move should take less than a second, for one. An AoE melee type should be able to make the same or similar time on two or three as on one. A ranged class might need an extra second to root or slow so they can snipe. And if it was a second mob just wandering up in the middle of cooldowns, what then?

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