PTR Thoughts - Is AGS "Over-Engineering" Dodge?

After playing dozens of arena matches, testing out these new changes, I was describing them all to a friend who stopped playing about 2 months ago. A thought popped into my head…

Is AGS over-engineering dodge roll and combat with too many variables making it impossible to balance?

What I mean is take armor WEIGHT for example. At a very high level, I think conceptually we all agree

  • Light armor - less tanky, more mobility (and/or damage)
  • Heavy armor - tanky, less mobility (and/or damage)
  • Medium armor - mix of the two. Middle ground.

In New World, it seems we are starting to go down a rabbit hole of more adjustments, more variables to balance these weights out. I am worried its going to make this even harder to balance in the future.

Armor Weight in New World impacts:

  • Type of Dodge
  • Distance of Dodge (dictated by type)
  • I-Frames from dodge (dictated by type)
  • Stamina cost of dodge (dictated by type)
  • Outgoing Damage
  • Incoming Damage
  • Outgoing Healing
  • CC duration
  • Block Bonus

We all (I believe) can agree Light Armor Dodge spam was troublesome on LIVE. So now on PTR, rather than modifying some of the above, we start playing with MORE variables.

Things such as:

  • Slows now impact speed of dodge roll
  • Can dodge (i-frame) during CC like Roots, but you don’t go anywhere!
  • Dodge DISTANCES seem changed
  • Stamina Regen Delay.
  • I’m sure something else I am forgetting to mention.

Where this starts creating problems is the more variables we add, the harder it will be to balance.

This reminds me of a recent GDC talk by Mark Rosewater: Magic: the Gathering: Twenty Years, Twenty Lessons Learned

Lesson #17: You don’t have to change much to change everything

“I think many game designers treat new game components like I treat peas. You’re never sure if there’s enough, so you keep sticking more in. Then, in the end, you have too much and it causes problems. You create extra complexity for your players. You muddy the message of your game. You waste resources you could use later.”

“So I’ve begun to approach game design with a slight change in perspective. Instead of asking “How much do I need to add?” I ask “How little do I need to add?” The change in perspective is important because the goal of any game designer (any artist really) is to remove everything they can from their game until nothing more can be removed, until the game only has the elements essential to making it work. In short, you want the right number of peas”

What if the the SIMPLE solution, was the best solution?

Rather than trying to re-engineer everything to balance. Revisit the overall, higher up level of design around Dodge Roll…

Would it make sense just to give ALL armor classes the same Dodge Roll, with I-frames. Having the COST be the only thing that separates them? This would remove quite a bit of balance concerns as you go back to fine tuning numbers on a spread sheet (cost of stamina vs how much armor %) its a 2 variable equation to balance, not a multi-variable, conditional, equation.

EXAMPLE:

What if all classes had dodge roll but the cost was something:

  • Light Armor Dodge Roll - 30 Stamina
  • Medium Armor Dodge Roll - 40 stamina
  • Heavy Armor Dodge Roll - 50 stamina.

“Remove everything they can from their game until nothing more can be removed” - Making it easier to balance.

I know the immediately reaction is going to be “This will maybe XYZ OP!” "You want Heavy Armor to have i-frames and Dodge roll too!"

Again the goal with this is to REMOVE variables for the sake of balance. If Heavy Armor is overperforming (I dont think it would) increase the stamina cost to 55. If Medium armor is over-performing, increase the cost to 45 stamina.

I am probably in the minority when I say this, but…

I DONT think CC should control dodge roll speed, distance, or anything.

I think dodge roll should be as universal as using any other “ability”. Your cast/animation speed isnt impacted by slow. Your light or heavy attack speed isnt impact by slows or CC. I view Dodge Roll the same way.

It never feels good having control removed, and having abilities not work as expecting. It isnt immediately obvious that if I can dodge roll, its going to not work normally just because I have a slow on my character, so dodge doesnt go as far. It isnt obvious that when I am chain Staggered I can get a FREE Dodge Roll! There is no visual indication to tell me this…

TLDR: REMOVE variables, don’t add more variables.

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Hahaha nice. Yes, this is what reading the patch notes sometimes feels like.

PATCH NOTES: Dodges/Roots/Slows

  • Dodging is now allowed while rooted, the player will not move while rooted but they will have invulnerability frames.
  • Being slowed will now affect the movement of your dodge, if you are slowed and you dodge, you will now move less distance based on the power of the slow.
  • Ice Shower, Ice Storm, and Gravity Well no longer disable dodging.

MY Reaction:

When I read this Im thinking Oh cool, dodge while rooted… Wait… " the player will not move while rooted" Huh?

“Being slowed will now affect the movement of your dodge, if you are slowed and you dodge, you will now move less distance based on the power of the slow.”

Wait what?

PATCH NOTES: Combat Tuning

In this PTR cycle we’ll be trying out a handful of combat changes in a few different areas. We’re adding a small delay to stamina regen after a dodge

MY REACTION:

Ok, so… this is to combat constant dodge spamming? Which is to balance out the above fact Roots “no longer disable dodging., but now being slowed will now affect the movement of your dodge”… This just seems… like too much?

So the TLDR here is:

We know light armor spam made light armor too OP, but we also know Roots were too OP, so lets add even more variables!

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Before I go into a rant, does anyone tested if the CC diminishing is already working, or at least, close to as what is expected/explained?

Because on-spot iframes+CC diminishing seems weird. Never thought of it before, thanks for pointing this out mate.

I have NOT directly tested diminishing returns, I have noticed (on live too) the stagger → “free dodge roll” thing happen several times in arena. Ill use a Shockwave to proc Sundershockwave, and a teammate then uses a CC, and triggers a free dodge roll. Finding it nearly impossible to play solo.

This is another example of “over-engineering” again. We already have a mechanic where with each CC (might be stagger only) there is some value and once passing that value, it allows the CC’d person a free dodge roll. Though there is NO “visual” to let you know this. They just randomly dodge roll, or YOU will randomly dodge roll if you know to spam dodge.

So we have i-frames from dodging in some CC but not moving. We have diminishing returns on some CC. We have free dodge roll where we DO get out of it on other CC. We have different dodge-ability with various slows.

Its just too many variables, caveats, conditions, none of which feel INTUITIVE to new players, let alone veteran players unless you are really nuanced with learning all these things.

I just dont think we need all this personally. Im all for higher skill ceilings. Im all for engaging combat, but I am also all for INTUITIVE combat.

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I’ve suggested something similar before.

I hope they listen to you.

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I bet they never played the game enough to know that there was already a free roll after a hard CC, and you could not trigger it intuitively, that’s also true.

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Thanks, I assume you mean:

This idea? Otherwise please clarify?

IDK, I know the DEVs know about this. Honestly if they are adding diminishing returns, and the ability to dodge roll (i-frame) in CC, they should probably REMOVE the “free dodge roll” aspect of combat.

Ive seen so many forum and reddit posts asking “hey guys I was fighting this player in HEAVY armor and he dodge rolled like a light armor user, is he hacking” because nobody knows about it. Its NOT intuitive. I think thats the bottom line.

I can understand, and its intuitive, if I am PRONE, I am CC’d. When I am rooted though, it just feels weird. Now I can dodge roll while rooted, players will be confused “why didnt I go anywhere”.

Players will get slowed and dodge roll slower “wait, am I lagging?”

People have been suggesting they need to revisit CONTROL in this game. The problem has always been Light Armor Dodge spam. You kill/nerf control, its impossible to catch Light Armor players.

I saw this in another thread and wanted to quote here:

I agree, its just “too many changes”

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I think cost and distance should be effected if we go down this route.

Light roll would naturally go further and cost less,
while heavy roll would go about half the distance but cost more because of all the armor.

Throw medium in the middle of those and boom.

Yeah we could try that out as well. Frankly im not a huge fan of also doing the distance thing. I think Light vs Heavy can be balanced around the OTHER perks of armor. Like bonus damage you get from light armor.

The fact it costs significantly less stamina, this fact ALONE will make light armors much more nimble, quick, harder to catch than Heavy armor wearers with the same dodge.

The point here was to remove variables, not add more (distance).

If Light @ 30 stam, and Heavy a@ 50 stam cost isnt enough. What if Light armor is 25 stam and Heavy is 55?

At SOME point, you will have to admit its balanced. We could go to extremes right? If Heavy costs 100 stam to dodge, and Light Armor costs 10 stam to dodge. We would all agree Light Armor is superior to Heavy no matter how much damage % Heavy mitigates. An i-frame dodge is 100% mitigation.

So the question is where is the balance?

I think 30/40/50 is a good place to START. If it ends up at say:
Light - 25 stam
Medium - 40 stam
Heavy - 55 stam

Fine by me. This would force even heavy players WITH hearty to wait a small delay before doing a second dodge roll, while a Light user could spam 4 in a row (with Hearty) without consequence.

See what I mean?

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Ive also gone down this road a couple times but I don’t think any of it has gotten through to anyone making decisions, based on the complete 180 degree other direction that every single recent patch has represented. Simple mechanics are preferable to overly complicated ones and they make the game more approachable to a greater segment of the gaming market.

1: They need to be simplifying things, not adding 20 caveats to every rule of the game that casuals can’t be bothered to go look up and learn about.

2: Things that are happening that are not intuitive, NEED A VISUAL INDICATION ON SCREEN EVERY TIME.

I’m less concerned about screen clutter than I am about not being able to know what is actually going on in the game, and this makes it almost impossible to troubleshoot in a game that has so many issues every patch.

Because you don’t see it on your screen, IFRAMES look like shitty netcode and desync to anyone who doesn’t know about the game mechanics that are NOT EXPLAINED ANYWHERE.

When you shoot someone with an arrow, aiming perfectly and the arrow sails right through their person on your screen with no damage or hit indication, it looks like bad hit detection instead of them skillfully avoiding it by using a timed dodge.

A simple shimmering effect around the player (like grit has) when they are iframing would be a great visual indication of why your hits are not landing. It would also make it dreadfully obvious how much people spam dodge in this game as everyone would be glowing all the time.

Just like with grit, and how people incorrectly think it has 100% uptime, some people might not notice the effect, but for those of us looking for it, we would at least have a chance of figuring things out.

This same idea goes hand in hand with how we’ve been crying for months to have friendly heals and spells be one color, while enemy ones are an obviously OTHER color so we can know what we’re doing BEFORE we run into that void pool or sacred ground circle or ice storm.

Give us more information on the screen and we will play better and know whats happening better and be able to give better feedback when things are invariably broken.

As it is, Im surprised we dont see more musket player threads saying “hit detection is terrible in this game” just because half of their shots pass right through players.

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I think it was fine before lol, but Im 100% for increasing the skillcap if this is what they are doing.

Maybe even just reducing the 1s wait to .5 would still be significant and maybe not as overwhelming.

Just not sure thats what they are doing :thinking: :rofl:

I have some amusing images in my head of a guy in full plate attempting a dodge roll, and not…quite… making it all the way around.

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Agree with the OP. There needs to be a fix to the endless dodge rolling but there is no need to make dodging more complicated. All this does is open the door to more bugs and exploits.

When I read the patch notes my initial thought was this patch is going to riddled in bugs/exploits.

A breakout rule in visual bar form that will tell us, if I’m stunned again, I can break out

Yes working. Go test for yourself. I had two players hit me and it reduced the duration of the 2nd stun by 50% and break out rule procs easier

Interesting idea. The movement distance traveled is rather important and not considered with what you’re suggesting or on PTR.

As a light melee, iFrames are extremely important but so is repositioning. E.g. to be slightly outside of X ability

Derv,

This is great feedback and one I 100% agree with. A perfect example is when people DO trigger the “Free Dodge Roll” there should be a visual indication of this. To let you know you CAN dodge. Without that, you are left just guessing.

I liked your example:

It just feels like a miss, and people blame the game, lag, desync, etc. When in reality the guy could have done a quick dodge and avoided your hit entirely. The shooter would never know!

This really hits the nail on the head 100%. If its not intuitive, obvious, etc players will not know it exists.

A perfect example is a recent New World Review video made by LazyPeon. I am sure many know who this is. He recently “came back” to check out New World and was pretty upset you “still cant search for gear based on attribute”. Well he doesnt know you CAN, you just need to know the name of the perk. But guess what… Its not OBVIOUS. He would have to scroll through hundreds(?) of perks to find the attribute he was looking for.

Just simple stuff like that. If its not intuitive. If its not obvious. Players will not understand it, and will likely thing the problem (caused by their lack of understanding) is the GAME, not them.

Just like Dodge Roll. Imagine a NEW PLAYER getting Rooted, and hitting dodge, not moving anywhere.

What do you think they are going to THINK happened? Lag. Desync. They will not understand “well you were rooted, so you cant dodge anywhere, but you still get the i-frame if you time it right!”

What do you think they are going to THINK happens when they stagger a guy 2x in a row, and he dodge rolls away in Heavy Amor? Hacks, cheating. Must be, he is in heavy, how did he dodge?!

Or when a player dodge rolls, slowed, and it doesnt work as well. “Must be Desync, Lag!”

Precisely.

AGS always makes knee jerk reactions and uses liberal application of convoluted band-aids to try and fix things instead of easy and elegant solutions.

As the old adage goes, “Keep it simple, stupid.”

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LOL I almost posted KISS, but didnt want the post to get flagged by using the word “Stupid” in there, so I left it all out.

Precisely!

This reminds me of a recent GDC talk by Mark Rosewater.

His title: Magic: the Gathering: Twenty Years, Twenty Lessons Learned

Lesson #17: You don’t have to change much to change everything

“I think many game designers treat new game components like I treat peas. You’re never sure if there’s enough, so you keep sticking more in. Then, in the end, you have too much and it causes problems. You create extra complexity for your players. You muddy the message of your game. You waste resources you could use later”

This literally feels like Dodge Roll and hits the nail on the head.

His solution?

“Instead of asking “How much do I need to add?” I ask “How little do I need to add?” The change in perspective is important because the goal of any game designer (any artist really) is to remove everything they can from their game until nothing more can be removed, until the game only has the elements essential to making it work.”

So this should be the approach to Dodge Roll…

Specifically REMOVE as much as you can, until you cannot remove more.

This is the heart of my suggestion here. We don’t need 3 different dodges. Just use ONE. You can balance the ONE dodge (Dodge Roll) with many other variables. Stamina Cost is the easiest, most obvious one.

We don’t need different distances, I-frames, conditions, etc.

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