Individual Characters

Discussion in 'Class Discussion' started by Kith, Aug 7, 2016.

  1. Kith
    • Development Team
    • Designer

    Kith NOTD Staff: Anti-Fun Wizard Skeleton

    Hello everyone. Been a while. Sorry about that - life and other things got in the way.

    What have you been up to?
    Learning the editor, mostly. Also, I recently took a bunch of developer buddies of mine on a run of NOTD and NOTD 2. They liked it "so far", but had some pretty harsh criticisms, to the tune of:

    • Early game, various classes didn't feel very different. While this lends itself to the survival gameplay, it doesn't lend itself to the arcadey, shoot-'em-up gameplay that NOTD also caters to.
    • The Two Tree system is not very intuitive, and only provides the illusion of variety (even with the differing level effects that I went for with NOTD 2 designs) rather than the actuality.
    • Even though hybrid builds are possible, only a handful of them actually work. Of those that actually work, they're normally just "put x amount of points into token Tier 1 skill and then go into the other tree".
    Having heard all this, I went back to the drawing board and took a long hard look at the character designs that I've done, what did and didn't work, what I liked and disliked.
    • The early game weakness is a double-edged sword. While the ramp-up in power works to make the players feel threatened by weaker enemies, at the same time it unnecessarily pads the early portions of the game with low effectiveness. Waiting until Point X to be truly effective bothers me.
    • The illusion of variety is very much a valid complaint. Take the Rifleman, for instance - Frags get bonus radius and extra charges as you level it, but you only have the option to take one and not the other if it's in the right order. Additionally, the two-tree system encourages players to sometimes skip tiers - why take Weapon Expert on the NOTD Commando when you can move right in to Heightened Senses?
    • The "hybrid trap" is also a really nasty double-edged sword. On one hand, if someone dies, you can potentially cover their role a bit by speccing into a different tree. On the other, very few hybrid builds are actually useful. Additionally, having two trees per character makes balancing kind of a nightmare, because I have to be extremely careful in what abilities are in what tiers and prevent too much cross-tree action. For example, a Pyro Flamethrower benefits massively from having access to Smite, and an Arms Assault can become concerningly durable by dropping points into Defensive Plating.

    What are you going to do about it?
    Ideally, the following:
    • Remove the Two Tree system and the Innate Abilities.
    • Split the trees into individual character classes (so the Rifleman's Combat and Security trees would become the Rifleman and the Guardsman, the Assault would become the Heavy Gunner and the Assault, the Recon would become the Spotter and the Recon, so on and so forth).
    • Give each class a set of four abilities that are available by default (so for example, the Rifleman would get Frags, Sticky Bombs, Combat Drugs, and Focus Fire) and the choice between two Ultimates once they hit the proper level.
    • Rework the Talent window into non-linear upgrades, and give each of the class's four abilities three possible upgrade choices.
    Now, this comes at a time when we've already been behind on development for a significant period. I know that, I recognize that, and I am sorry about it. However, we should be getting some additional help in the not too distant future, and I've gotten way less bad at the editor (by God, I can actually make functional units, what a time to be alive). We should be able to do this, and it will improve the quality of the gameplay by leaps and bounds for new and old players alike.

    How will this affect the game?
    Well, a couple ways.
    • It will make newbies MUCH better, as they'll be comparatively more powerful. Considering that the primary complaint about newbies is that they don't know how to gain or use abilities, this should help pubs significantly.
    • It will make builds much more fluid and customizable, as you no longer have to level things that you're not interested in.
    • It will give the classes a much more unified identity, which is good for the art department.
    • I don't have to tear my hair out over the possibility of X class getting access to Y ability and becoming insanely overpowered.
    • I have more freedom to do really cool stuff with abilities and upgrades because I don't have to worry about cross-contamination.

    When will we be seeing designs that support this?
    As time permits. Thankfully I don't have to do a whole bunch of fresh stuff, just conversions, so it shouldn't take too terribly long.

    Anyways, that's all I have for you folks for now. Stay tuned.
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2016
  2. Stereo
    • Development Team

    Stereo Paper Boy

    Outside of me personally not liking it, I have no objections. It'll still be interesting to see how it pans out.
  3. Kith
    • Development Team
    • Designer

    Kith NOTD Staff: Anti-Fun Wizard Skeleton

    To get things started (and also because it's relatively straightforward), the Rifleman thread has been posted.
  4. Blaqk
    • Development Team
    • Webmaster/Ops

    Blaqk NOTD Staff: Operations and Web

    I actually approve of the decision. While it breaks tradition, it does make for a more rewarding and variable experience. It also allows more flexibility in class choice, as the new system allows greater flexibility beyond simply how to build a class.
  5. squish

    squish Well-Known Member

    So, to clarify, you start with these abilities, as an IC, and as you level up you have the choice of which of the three upgrades to apply to each individual skill? Or can you apply eventually all upgrades?
  6. Kith
    • Development Team
    • Designer

    Kith NOTD Staff: Anti-Fun Wizard Skeleton

    The latter. It's unlikely that players will be able to get all talents through the course of a game because experience requirements are going to be adjusted to compensate for base characters being comparatively stronger, but there are no hard limitations on how many talents you can take or when you can take them.
  7. stanK

    stanK Member

    Hey guys, been bit busy for a while, but can finally play a few games here and there.

    Anonymous groups give feedback to Kith again... :D I have some "harsh" criticism too, on the priorities outlined by whoever told you to fix skill trees.

    Sure, double skill trees aren't super nice, but they do work in notd1. Maybe ability would have made them more unique if he had more time and money, but it doesn't matter. Though leaving much to be desired, it works as is in notd1.

    I cant say the same about notd2. The outlying lag and bugs is whats preventing it from coming alive. I don't see how reworking skills yet again is going to change anything.

    So is there any sign of light at the end of lag/bug tunnel?
  8. stanK

    stanK Member

    Hi blaqk, joined KR server recently, guys there said taunt/cloak still doesn't work.
    I promised I'd remind you guys whenever I see u, so there.
  9. Kith
    • Development Team
    • Designer

    Kith NOTD Staff: Anti-Fun Wizard Skeleton

    The feedback on talent trees is not the only feedback they had, it's just the only feedback I had not heard before. There is a reason I mentioned "so far".

    It's not going to magically fix everything - I have no illusions about that. It's just something that we can do better with in the long run. Considering the conversion from TT to IC is relatively straightforward and people like seeing character designs, I figured the T1 classes could be hammered out in a week before I move on to other things.

    Yes, actually. One of the biggest causes of lag is the current horde system, which I've got a fix for and will be posting in the not too distant future - either this week or next week.
  10. Yukitaka Oni

    Yukitaka Oni Member

    >)o.o)> clap clap clap clap clap
  11. Kith
    • Development Team
    • Designer

    Kith NOTD Staff: Anti-Fun Wizard Skeleton

    The second half of the original Rifleman and inheritor of the Survival/Security skills, the Guardsman, has been posted.
  12. Ability
    • Development Team
    • NOTD Creator

    Ability NOTD Creator

    No issues with the change, as long as it's implemented well. On the upside, it makes it easier for newbies to level up (less choices). Biggest challenge is how much more time (if any) this adds to development time. Given SC2's lifespan, the full game should be done latest by Christmas 2016.
  13. Kith
    • Development Team
    • Designer

    Kith NOTD Staff: Anti-Fun Wizard Skeleton

    Also, because it hasn't been made clear (which incidentally is my fault): with the IC Rework, teams will only be able to have one of each type of class in a game (except for Riflemen, which are unlimited).
  14. stanK

    stanK Member

    I support 2 class instead of 1 class limit:
    1) You have a backup. Its disgusting to watch as team rage quits when that single tank/dps dies and nobody wants to continue.
    2) You can get rid of classes that don't work, and keep those that do. You have more strategic options.

    Then again, you can completely ignore my criticism. Cos it makes sense only in hard modes. Right now we need a pub going, and forcing variety may be a better solution.
  15. Kith
    • Development Team
    • Designer

    Kith NOTD Staff: Anti-Fun Wizard Skeleton

    NOTD 2 gives the player a lot more individual strength through Jump, so tanking is not nearly as necessary as it once was.

    I'm not sure what you mean by this.

    I don't ignore your criticism and feedback, I value it. You do have a point, but I'd prefer to keep it at one-at-a-time for a lot of reasons (not least of which being that it makes it much easier to balance the classes).
  16. stanK

    stanK Member

    You have the option of building a team with more DPS classes, or you have an option of building a team with 2 identical tanks and spam some skill like spark.
    You can adapt class picks to your strategy better, like I asked more players to pick DPS classes when trying to beat NOTD2 pub, cos our problem was lack of DPS.

    This obviously creates more balancing work. So prolly best to keep 1 class limit for practicality.
  17. Kith
    • Development Team
    • Designer

    Kith NOTD Staff: Anti-Fun Wizard Skeleton

    One of the benefits of ranking up and unlocking additional class tiers will be being able to build more focused team compositions (aka trimming the Supports and Tanks out of the picture in favor of more DPS), so I'd rather not allow class-stacking because that would make higher ranks less useful.

    Although, there will be mono-team challenges where the entire team is constrained to a single class type, so that may interest you.

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