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  1. #1

    Changes to Trait System

    Following on from comments about the dev. chat responses to trait tree skills. I'l like to make a suggestion that straight up trait trees are *not* how any changes to the trait system will be implemented. Normally I don't get overly involved on commentary on changes but I feel strongly enough to do so here. (I thought there'd already be a thread on it but I couldn't find one.)


    "I'm particularly fond of our current 'buffet' method of selecting class traits..."

    I agree with all the points expressing concern regarding the skill trees. It feels like a vision that devs are more intent on adding than players have asked for. If MC was a trial, I think that whilst it was not inherently bad, it didn't necessarily add anything - it wasn't an improvement on what we had. I think this is a case of don't fix what isn't broken; or even, don't unfix something which has worked well thus far in the game. I like the way in which LOTRO didn't have this sort of tree and other ways in which LOTRO didn't follow other RPGs.

    That said, we've had the limit of traits that we have ever since 65, and I think that by 85 we should be getting some more options, so hopefully some sort of compromise can be reached. I've always felt that the simple tree implementation wasn't conducive to the full customisation that we've been offered with the current system, as inevitably you miss something you wanted elsewhere. By its nature a tree puts limitations into choices straight away. Though, I am willing to accept that "No keep it how it is and always has been!" isn't a necessarily a beneficial voice either. So, can we have some more options for traits but not a limitation?

    In game, a kinsmen and I wondered about the small change of two more class trait slots and one more legendary class slot. As he pointed out, this allows players to up their game a bit more - after all there've been a lot of changes since 65 - but you wouldn't end up with 10 class traits so you won't have two legendaries with 5 class traits needed. Yet, our traits haven't changed, for all the game and challenges have.

    My worry is that no matter how balanced to different play styles a tree is designed to be, it takes freedom out of what you can choose and gives you a pre-defined path. Were the changes to things like Hytbold Armour sets not to create *more* customisation and mixing up? Is LOTRO not about finding your own paths?

    People have said that there's no point in writing this as it will not be taken notice of, which is highly defeatist. I'm sure there's room for intelligent dialogue, and that's what the suggestions forum is for, is it not?
    Last edited by RSmuppet; Mar 21 2013 at 09:36 PM.

  2. #2
    In terms of sheer mechanics, I also dislike tree implementations. They present an illusion of choice, when in fact they simply specify a destination and prescribe the routes we can take to get there.

    When I look at my mounted combat traits, there are no interesting decisions to be made, only a goal to be reached. If additional traits are added (for example, if war-steeds can level to 55 or 60 in an upcoming expansion), the goal either has to be extended, setting players back from where they already are, or new and better goals have to be imagined. Eventually, designers will run out of new and better goals.

    When it comes to class traits, as a minstrel, I feel I already have interesting decisions to make. The debate between 5y/2b and 4y/3b and 4b/3y for healing has been going on for years in the minstrel community, and never gets any less interesting. (I have even been known to trait 5b/2y at times, which is sacrilege to most minstrels!) Yes, there are some class traits which don't even provide situational utility, but those could be revised to make our decisions even more interesting.

    My biggest fear is that the designers simply want to reuse the existing mounted combat trait technology for class traits because it's cheap. All the logic and UI work is already done; all that remains is to shape class traits into a similar arrangement and plug them in.

    If there is some sort of real imperative to change the way class traits are chosen, I just hope it isn't implemented as a tree. If it must be changed, consider allowing players to choose from a menu of options, instead. This way, instead of being able to cherry-pick only the best traits, they'd have to choose separately between the best traits, and also choose between the "worst" (or most situational) traits.


    If additional complexity were required, some traits could have a synergistic effect with each other. Or choosing a certain number of traits from a particular column could add trait set bonuses, the same way they do today.


    The designers could even mix things up by occasionally putting a damage trait in the healing column, or a support trait in the damage column. (This would be harder to mix up for some classes than others.)


    I would even support moving some more existing baseline skills away from class trainers and making them unlocked by class trait choices. Some baseline skills could even be removed entirely and reserved for re-release in a future expansion.


    I'm totally making these up off the top of my head, but I just wanted to illustrate the idea. Players could choose one trait from each row, maybe after completing a deed to unlock it. Here's an example of what I might consider interesting choices for a minstrel:

    (Blue) (Red) (Yellow)
    Level 15 Improved Baseline Healing Skill Improved Baseline Damage Skill Improved Baseline Anthem Skill
    Level 25 Unlock Situational Survival Skill Unlock Situational Mobility Skill Unlock Situational Crowd Control Skill
    Level 35 Unlock Wound Removal Skill Unlock Fear Removal Skill Unlock Poison Removal Skill
    Level 45 Improved Baseline Heal-over-time Skill Improved Baseline Damage-over-time Skill Improved Baseline Group Power Restoration Skill
    Level 55 Improved Blue Fellowship Maneuver Improved Green Fellowship Maneuver Improved Yellow Fellowship Maneuver
    Level 65 ... ... ...
    Level 75 ... ... ...
    Level 85 Unlock Big Group Healing Skill with Cooldown Unlock Big AoE Damage Skill with Cooldown Unlock Big Group Buff Skill with Cooldown
    Last edited by Fredelas; Mar 21 2013 at 10:24 PM.

  3. #3

    Trees

    3 Trees are a bad idea, they will only rip one of the class roles in two. Make it two or just one ... more Everquest 1/2 AA style.
    "I swear to God, if this thing turns into a zombie attack, I am quitting." - Jack Carter

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by warriorpoetex View Post
    3 Trees are a bad idea, they will only rip one of the class roles in two. Make it two or just one ... more Everquest 1/2 AA style.
    This is something I had never considered before. Could we condense each class into two roles, and simultaneously simplify and expand trait choices?

    Edit: I think a single role would be pushing things too far. I remember the despair of trying to level in the days before minstrels had war-speech and guardians had overpower. I think each class already has one role that's prominent for grouping, and continuing to have at least a second role is immensely useful for soloing.
    Last edited by Fredelas; Mar 21 2013 at 10:56 PM.

  5. #5

    Ideas

    Quote Originally Posted by Fredelas View Post
    This is something I had never considered before. Could we condense each class into two roles, and simultaneously simplify and expand trait choices?

    Edit: I think a single role would be pushing things too far. I remember the despair of trying to level in the days before minstrels had war-speech and guardians had overpower. I think each class already has one role that's prominent for grouping, and continuing to have at least a second role is immensely useful for soloing.
    These are just examples of classes two roles. 1|2 (Forgive anything I may leave out)

    Guardians: Tank (Block+Mit Tank)+Basic DPS+Basic AoE DPS | High ST DPS+Decent AoE DPS
    Wardens: Tank (Evade+Self-Heal Tank)+Basic DPS+Basic AoE DPS | High Ranged DPS+Decent ST DPS+Basic AoE DPS
    Hunters: Highest Ranged DPS+Basic CC | High Ranged DPS+Advanced CC
    RKs: High Ranged DPS | High Healing+Basic CC (I think RKs in Healing Traits should have some stuns, maybe staggering electrocutions)
    Burglars: Decent ST DPS+High CC+Debuff+Stealth+Survivabilit y | High ST DPS+Basic CC+Basic Stealth+Basic AoE DPS
    Minstrels: High Healing+Buffs+Basic ST DPS | Self-Healing+High ST DPS+Basic AoE DPS+Self Buffs
    Captain: Decent ST DPS+Basic Buffs+Basic Healing+Basic AoE DPS+Herald | Superior Herald+Superior Buffs+Basic DPS+Survivability
    Champion: High ST DPS+Very High AoE DPS+Horn Abilities for minor CC/Fears/DPS | Tank (Parry+Bubble Tank)+Decent DPS
    Lore-Master: Superior Pets+Debuff+Self/Pet Heals+Buffs+Decent ST DPS+Superior CC | High AoE DPS+Basic Pets+Basic CC and Debuffs+Decent ST DPS
    Last edited by warriorpoetex; Mar 22 2013 at 01:42 AM.
    "I swear to God, if this thing turns into a zombie attack, I am quitting." - Jack Carter

  6. #6
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    As of now, we know too little about this change to actually know what we're dealing with.

    But I really don't see why, yet again, they're attempting to fix something that is not broken. All that dev time and resources put into something highly unnecessary when they could be devoted to other things that players have actually been asking for.

    For the record, I am 100% against trait trees if it's going to be anything like the war steed.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Elemiire View Post
    As of now, we know too little about this change to actually know what we're dealing with.

    But I really don't see why, yet again, they're attempting to fix something that is not broken. All that dev time and resources put into something highly unnecessary when they could be devoted to other things that players have actually been asking for.

    For the record, I am 100% against trait trees if it's going to be anything like the war steed.
    Granted, it's not clear what they mean by trait trees. It's plausible they could give us something that works, but, given the MC tree and the sentiments expressed here, the implementation is giving us cause for concern already.

    Indeed, it's been demonstrated even in a few posts that there are a number of alternatives which could certainly have been suggested by dev members, but it'd probably be cheaper to use the MC model as it already exists, and this scares us.

    Why should we have to run around with every class pigeonholed? It's easily possible for everyone to do perform their role in a slightly different way yet come out with the results at the end. We only lose out, as I recall a bit bitterly with the Guard's MC lines. I also ended up just going after the "pie at the end" of the light war steed because heavy ran me out of power faster than old OP did and had not enough armour over the others to make up for how slow it was. Trample was great but it took ages to cooldown and it was *much* faster to go toe to toe with unmounted. Medium was a bit of a nothing and light was the only thing with a dismount and power restore. The devs make a number of choices for us before we even get a tree and this is, I feel, is part of the reason MC wasn't as glorious as it could've been. (I know it's not an MC thread but I'm trying to demonstrate!)

    I think again to changes to kit which wanted to encourage us to mix things up more. How does that mindset fit with a tree? The trees are defined and give us less choice of implementation. Can you imagine LIs with trees geared towards a certain line for each class? *ugh* I have to say I've never *really* liked trees at all and was really pleased when I found LOTRO didn't have a trait one. Something else which would be nice is a clear reason for doing it, and a clear, valid and acceptable list of why they can't do something else.

    Something else I'd like to see would be perhaps a new type of trait added which takes over our current legendary traits, rename that, and provide us with one proper legendary trait which feels like it really is a game changer: a version of one of the current legendaries which is powered up, because we've had these things for a while and they don't feel legendary anymore...

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Fredelas View Post
    Edit: I think a single role would be pushing things too far. I remember the despair of trying to level in the days before minstrels had war-speech and guardians had overpower. I think each class already has one role that's prominent for grouping, and continuing to have at least a second role is immensely useful for soloing.
    Seconded.

  9. #9
    Hi,
    my main is a champ, and I've been thinking about what I would like to see in terms of Traits and skills for us. Bit of a read and champ specific but will get to trees at the end, for what I hope is a different take on it.

    We currently have 3 stances (I think these need to be considered along side traits as for us there is a perception Fervour = Berserker, Glory = Martial and Ardour = Blue).

    In reality, given how we play I believe champs only need two stances Damage (Fervour) and Tank (Glory).

    I have no problem with three trait lines, but they should all offer something different, and I don't see a 1h and a separate 2h trait line as being much different, or indeed a Single Target and separate AoE traitline offering much of value either.

    So I actually advocate a fairly heavy rethink for my class as follows: -
    increase trait slots by 2 and legendary by 1
    Roll any relevant current blue traits into Red and Yellow and have a new trait line, the trait lines can be describd as follows: -
    Red (Berserker) = hit the mobs harder, faster and deeper
    Yellow (Martial) = get hit often and focus mob attention on you
    Blue (Bladestorm) = confuse/disrupt the enemy on the battlefield.

    Red/Yellow pretty much as they are at the mo, Blue however, is quite different, it is based on movement, speed and hitting the mobs with debuffs such as (language is to make it clear its champ type impact not others): -
    Remove Finger (disarm)
    Blood in the eye (from forehead cut, slows)
    Knee to the groin (stun!!)

    As a result of all of this, it will draw mob attention like a pint of beer in the desert, and so is a mobile tanking type trait line, focussed on destablising groups of mobs, where stance is either for more damage to mobs (Fervour) or to take more damage from mobs (Glory).

    It should also work to make pulling mobs off squishies easier if champ is tanking this way as we can get their easier due to the mobility the trait line permits.

    Finally trees, well, by this point we will have a bunch of red, yellow, blue and legendary traits all slotted, maybe the trait tree looks at what has been slotted and applies benefits based on the various combinations - not just pure Red/Blue/Yellow. This would also permit more legendaries some of which may become available with 4b/3r/2y for e.g.

    The tree therefore is the unlocking of bonus' based on specific combinations of traits, rather than a total overhaul of the skills/traits and creation of a tree (or three) per class with all the balancing implications of that, this proposal I think/hopem would give some of the dev's stated intent for trees, while preserving what I think is an overall good system.

    So in summary: -
    Stances need to be considered aswell
    Bin useless stances
    Increase trait and legendary slots
    Increase number of possible legendary traits
    The tree becomes the benefits you can realise based on all slotted traits not just based on how many in a single line you've slotted.

    What do you all think - (bit rushed very tight for time may have to come back and edit for clarity & typos).

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    - Please don't let me accidentally exclude traits when I am a low level that I will regret not having at a high level. I would have made some bad decisions.
    - Perhaps grinding deeds could add more points to spend so that I get a base (adequate) amount as I level and can then increase it as I see fit - so that, for instance, killing x beasties in a zone would give me another point to spend, that way the more work I put in, the 'better' my character is.
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