Really dislike the combat system

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Re: Really dislike the combat system

Post by Morandir » October 3rd, 2018, 11:09 am

Spectralshade wrote: ↑
October 2nd, 2018, 3:42 pm
i read somewhere there is rogue ability that lets you prep for a round or so, giving you the mana you want for unloading death

edit: just to be clear: I'm not trying tod efend the combat system, because I think it is one of the major problems with the game. I was merely trying to help you under the circumstances that we do find us in.
Oh yeah I know :D I'm working towards it currently with my Rogue, but unfortunately you still waste a couple of rounds building up prior to actually being able to unleash the powerful spells you've spent lots of points on to get to ArchMage, for example.

Right now the magic system in the game seems pretty pointless past putting three points into the tree that allows you to get mana back on a crit, then crit more often. After that it's pretty much spam Arcane Barrage for a couple of rounds and collect the loot.

Mangar's Mallet is a great spell but I can't cast it usually until round three. By that point the fight would be over if I'd just had both casters spam Arcane Barrage. It's sad. I hope that the dev team puts some brain cycles towards tweaking the combat system to make higher level spells easier to cast in combat and worth slotting out.

Actually, add a #7 (or #8) to my list of improvements: Characters should be able to always access ANY powers they've spent points to acquire. It's ridiculous to hide those behind some dumb gating mechanism for no reason. Your gating mechanism right now is limited mana and/or opportunity. Why do I have to choose 3 or 4 abilities I can access at one time?

EDIT: Just want to point out - I love the game, especially the locales and puzzles. Just think the combat system needs some tender loving care to truly shine like it should.

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Re: Really dislike the combat system

Post by rmcoen » October 4th, 2018, 7:11 am

I have to agree with this last post. After 18 levels or more, finally getting some powerful spells... that I can't cast because I don't have mana. which is irrelevant anyway, because I don't have access to the spells due to filled mastery slots. And the vampiric dagger I could use to maybe get enough mana... takes up one of those Mastery slots! Conjuror's Mark and a half dozen Arcane Barrages is pretty much always better (so far) to one powerful spell - especially since the "Critical! +1 Spell Point" will trigger off at least a couple times in that cycle.

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Re: Really dislike the combat system

Post by Loswaith » October 14th, 2018, 8:27 pm

This is likely where having each of the 4 slots as 'folder' types would have been better (kind of like how drinking and summoning a specter have options after you click the first).
The 4 "folders" for each character could vary based on class, along with the specific trinket ones
Fighters could have Attack, Defense (protective skills), Command (taunts, banners and so forth) and Gear
Bards could have Attack, Music, Drink (so they can make use of trinkets) and Gear
Rogues could have Attack (direct attacks), Agility (attacks with moves/specials), Subterfuge (poisons and stealth) and Gear
Practitioners could have Physical (melee and physical spells), Mental spell, Support spell (summons and conditions) and Gear
The Gear one would be used for abilities on whatever hand held items the character has equipped, like the fire attack on the fire horn or other items with special skills/attacks on weapons. As it is now these eat up mastery slots without the ability to change the ability (to one of the masteries) but keep the item for it's stats.

As it is currently spell points and opportunity cost tend to be the major limitations on what a character can do, often to the point that it is not that worth while to have channeling or high opportunity cost skills.

Opportunity could have been on a per character option (though Id not do the above and this) in that a fighter and rogue could have 1-3 opportunity a turn, a bard 1-2 (with their spell points), while practitioners would only ever have just one (with their spell points).
large groups of enemies would be dangerous this way as they too would each get their own opportunity, with more elite or bosses even having a few.

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Re: Really dislike the combat system

Post by thebruce » October 15th, 2018, 6:39 am

Yep having the opportunity 'slots' be a sort of menu of different action categories was suggested some time back. That at least would open up a few more options while still limiting certain types of actions; rather than a 1-action-to-1-opportunity point entirely.
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Re: Really dislike the combat system

Post by rmcoen » October 15th, 2018, 8:28 am

Now that would be a major change -- if the spellcaster only gets one action, I'm more inclined to make it a big spell -- but Arcane Barrage is still "Rapid-fire", so that wouldn't work as currently designed. But if the Commander Fighter get two actions, and mybe the Rogue got an action and free move... that would make for more interesting combat.

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Re: Really dislike the combat system

Post by Themadcow » October 19th, 2018, 1:43 am

I've finally played the release game enough to have a bit of an opinion, and fwiw I've found the combat to be a fun concept clumsily executed. The root cause of the problems are the opportunity point dynamics, channeling and mastery slots... so MOST of it. However, I do feel that the grid layout is a good idea (as evidenced in many Japanese games over the last two decades - it's not 'new'). One of the key weaknesses is not the combat idea itself but the lack of interesting encounter/monster design. Monsters are very limited in their 'quirks' and entirely predictable in terms of behaviour - this, combined with limited mastery slots, leads to extremely repetitive encounters.

Having repetitive encounters is not always the worst thing in the world, but only if you design the rest of your game around encounters as a stamina and exploration challenge (e.g. BT1, Etrian Odyssey) but BT4 hasn't been designed that way. Frequent save/heal points, opportunity and mana systems are entirely counter to having repetitive encounter design. Sometimes it feels like combat is almost 1:1 with puzzle frequency, which means that combat should be interesting in itself.

For a game with the budget and history of BT4, there should be no excuses for the piss poor job done on class and skill design. It's a mess and all you need to do is look at lower budget 'basic' dungeon crawlers made in the last few years to see how embarassingly basic BT4 is in this regard. Exhibit A, Dungeon Travellers 2 on the bloody PS Vita: ... faqs/72905

Just look at the class sections! Loads and loads of interesting class choices, skills and abilities that AREN'T limited by bloody mastery slots. They've even got Bards ^^.
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