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Thread: Discussion: Removing Math from the game and Exposing Enemy HP values/ Atk Ranges/ Catalysts would be good for the game

  1. #1

    Lightbulb Discussion: Removing Math from the game and Exposing Enemy HP values/ Atk Ranges/ Catalysts would be good for the game

    This thread kind of goes hand in hand with the discussion going on in http://forums.atlasreactorgame.com/s...nd-Brain-Juice , especially with regards to Naidai's comment and my response to it, so I'd encourage you to read that thread too.

    Anyway, in previous patches Trion has already shown us that they want the game to go in the direction of having more information available to the player to make strategic decisions without having to worry about things the game shouldn't be about, like excessive memorization or luck which are things that make the game more inaccessible for newer players especially.

    Specifically, a while back, a patch added the ability to hold down ALT to see enemy cooldowns, or to push TAB to see enemy mod choices and cooldowns even if those freelancers are not visible to your team.

    Those changes were GOOD imo, since it allows you to focus on how to outplay opponents and their specific mod choices and current abilities, rather than having the game revolving around your memorization skills about who has what ability currently on cooldown or a guessing game about what mods your opponents have, which comes down to pure luck.

    Since Trion has already taken the game in that beneficial direction, why not go all the way in that direction?

    Here is a list of things about the game currently that are unnecessarily hidden, require luck to counter in some situations, or require memorization or math rather than strategy:
    1. Summing up how much damage your team is doing on that turn to a target - This is just math skill not strategy
    2. Summing up how much healing your team is doing on a turn to a target - This is just math skill not strategy
    3. HP values of enemy freelancers that JUST left your vision (basically if you had paid attention and memorized it for a second earlier you'd know what it was) - This is just memorization not strategy
    4. Previous starting position of enemy freelancers that JUST left your vision (so you can count 4 spaces of movement) (basically if you had paid attention and memorized it for a second earlier you'd know what it was) - This is just memorization not strategy
    5. Previous buffs of enemy freelancers that JUST left your vision (so you can know if they had haste or not for example) (basically if you had paid attention and memorized it for a second earlier you'd know what it was) - This is just memorization not strategy
    6. Enemy/allied ability ranges - This is pure memorization from playing hundreds of games, giving an insurmountable advantage to veterans of the game for no reason
    7. Enemy/allied movement ranges - More memorization not strategy
    8. Enemy/allied catalyst ranges - More memorization not strategy
    9. Enemy/allied catalyst loadouts - This is technically pure luck in guessing what your enemy is running, although because the meta is stale currently Turtle Tech/Shift/Second WInd is usually assumed and therefore this isn't currently relevant but it could be in future patches.
    10. probably a few others that I'm forgetting about

    All of the above things IMO do not increase strategy in the game but serve only to make the game more inaccessible to newer players, and more luck/memorization based for everyone. I'll go through fixing each point 1 by 1:
    1. Remove math from the game, make the cumulative sum of damage/healing your team is doing to specific targets visible information during decision phase
    2. Add LAST KNOWN enemy HP and buffs values to the current last known markers.
    3. Add another marker for last starting position of enemies that just left vision to help count movement spaces
    4. Add ability to mouse over enemy freelancers to see their maximum movement circles
    5. Add ability to hold alt and mouse over abilities to see ability range circles highlighting all squares the ability can hit for each ability.
    6. Add Enemy/allied catalyst loadouts to the alt/tab UI

    Okay so I know at this point a lot of veterans are probably foaming at the lips and are ready to rage about how their lifetime spent practicing Kumon mental math as a kid and playing the Match 2 Memory game must be rewarded in Atlas Reactor, but while these would be big changes I urge you to consider the fact that all this math and memory stuff really takes away from the core experience of Atlas Reactor which is strategic decision making and gameplay, and makes the game way more difficult to pick up and enjoy for new players who haven't spent hundreds of games memorizing ability ranges for every freelancer and can't do math to know if they are going to kill a target or not for example

    The only real point of contention imo is my suggestion of revealing enemy/allied catalyst loadouts, which currently WOULD have strategic impact, but if you follow the discussion at my link at the start of the post, if Trion eventually adds more varied catalyst choices that are varied and hard to counter, then having them revealed would be beneficial for strategic play and less luck-based.

    TL;DR Hiding so much information in the game makes the game too math/memory/luck driven and Trion should make a lot more of it visible which would help newer players especially and focus the game more around the core which is strategic decision making.

  2. #2
    accessibility has to draw a line somewhere. quick thinking, memorisation, freelancer savvy and spot maths are what separates good players from bad ones. also, all of those are skills you can learn and prectise as you become more experienced at the game.

    on another note, preemptively insulting people you expect to disagree with you is neither good discourse nor good manners.
    The one thing that could cause cowboys and Indians to join forces is their mutual enemy: dinosaurs.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by inflatable fish View Post
    accessibility has to draw a line somewhere. quick thinking, memorisation, freelancer savvy and spot maths are what separates good players from bad ones. also, all of those are skills you can learn and prectise as you become more experienced at the game.
    Very true and a good point. As someone that plays competitively these changes would actually impact someone like me negatively the most, since it would put newer players on an equal footing as myself much more quickly, but I still think it would be for the best in terms of increasing accessibility for new players picking up the game and focus the game around core decision making instead of memorization/math/etc. So I guess we disagree.

    Quote Originally Posted by inflatable fish View Post
    preemptively insulting people you expect to disagree with you is neither good discourse nor good manners.
    fair enough, wasn't really an insult since I respect the opposing opinions, just was trying to add a tad of humor which appears lost on you.

  4. #4
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    1 to 7 I agree with.
    8 (catalyst range) has the same issue as 9 (catalyst loadout) - if you know the teleport catalyst's range, then you know which catalyst they're running (since they all have different ranges).
    9 I disagree, for example the only advantage of the invisibility catalyst is that other players do not expect it - causing them to fire at empty camo squares.

    I also disagree when you say these changes would favor the new players. New players do not have enough time to take these things into account, even if you show them more clearly. "Hold alt and move mouse over abilities to see their range"? Only an experienced or semi-experienced player could take the time to do that, no? On the other hand, competitive players like yourself can already do these things without help from the interface. So these changes would mostly help semi-experienced players who already know these mechanics and can take the time to check them.

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    I agree Poky. The top competitive players will always do the math regardless. No need to waste more of our 20 seconds with it.

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    Smile Know the Line

    I think I agree with inflatible fish in that "accessibility" needs to have a line drawn somewhere. There is something to be said for highly skilled players' ability to figure things out that newer players can't.

    Newer Players :
    I don't believe that a lot of the things poky has called for are things that newer players need to know nor care to know when they are starting the game. When I was new I didn't understand the pace and strategic decisions behind the gameplay, I just want to stand somewhere that would let me shoot as many people as possible as Zuki to see the big numbers I could make, and I know a lot of other new players are the same. I thought lancers had different movement ranges because that was just an RPG-ish design choice that I assumed, so I wouldn't have know to count the four squares anyway.

    I think throwing too much information at new players would be detrimental. If you've just started playing Atlas Reactor and have been playing two or three lancers because they looked cool or sexy or scary or whatever and you see that the enemy Blackburn (whom you haven't played yet) is running the perpendicular mod on his Scorched Earth, are you even going to know what that means? I think this game tells new players enough for them to learn without being overwhelmed.

    Veteran Players :
    Another important thing is just having a skill gap. If all information is available to everybody all the time, this becomes a perfect information game and would just devolve into a weird multiplayer version of chess. Hidden information makes the game more gripping and "edge-of-the-seat" to both watch and play. Like poky said, a lot of the things he listed are things the pro players already know/can figure out, but more importantly they are also things that only experienced players know that they're supposed to know/figure out. That being said, I do think a couple of the things he's called for would be very good for the game.

    GOOD IDEAS :

    1. Total damage dealt by team. This would reduce the menial number crunching high level players have to do, and also help new players in that respect, as well as another--target picking. New players are usually not playing with a premade 4-man group on voice comms, and having a total team damage number can help nooblets figure out who their teammates are focusing. "Oh look, my team is dealing 50 damage to that Orion with 55 health? Mayhaps I should put the final hit on him instead of dealing 34 damage to this other guy that's pretty low but not enough for me to kill them," or "Oh, my team is doing 50 damage to that Orion with 2 health? Mayhaps I should shoot someone else then."

    2. Total healing done by team. This would just be a quality of life improvement and mirror the above change nicely, as well as help new players figure out when they can hold their dash because they are receiving heals.

    3. Enemy (and ally) catalyst loadouts. I'm actually confused why this information isn't already available when ability cooldowns, mods, and catalyst availability are al already there. Especially with the upcoming patch that is significantly changing the catalysts players have available and overall adding four to the mix, this should just be something players can see. And for real, being able to know if somebody is running Fade as opposed to any of the other dash catalysts is super relevant and would take away a ridiculous guessing game that shouldn't exist. It's already enough to have to figure out what vent they could have shifted into or where in this 7x7 area they could have faded to. We shouldn't also have to guess the 50/50 of which catalyst they're running in the first place.

    That's the line :
    The other proposed changes, I feel, would take too much individual skill and attentiveness out of the game. The fact that an enemy's last known HP is something you would know anyway if you were paying attention doesn't mean it should just be told to you. Pay attention. Especially at competitive levels, that's something that players would be keeping track of, and new players usually pay attention to health bars above everything else anyway. Expecting players to pay attention is not a bad design choice. You can't not afford to pay attention in other moba games, so why let players get away with it in Atlas Reactor simply because it's turn-based? Showing ability ranges would be a bad idea simply because it would just clutter the hell out of the UI. And how would that even work for lancers like Zuki or Orion, who have both an attack range and aoe? The fact that this indicator not existing gives veterans an advantage, as poky said, is not even a bad thing. It leaves a skill gap, rewards skilled, attentive, and/or seasoned players, and also allows for noticeable personal improvement. One of my favorite moments in Atlas Reactor was when I knew I didn't have to Shift to dodge the enemy Zuki ult because I knew from playing her that I was out of range.

    I think that there needs to be a line between making the game accessible for new players and holding their hands. Also, this cannot be understated enough, the information overload can be very intimidating. Keep in mind that not all new players are looking to be able to compete at a Diamond level. Some people just want to play a simple, fun game on the weekend to blow off steam and don't really care about being able to know and read all the information that pro players care about.

    That's all

  7. #7
    great feedback everyone, especially PrayWaits, thanks guys!

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    <3

  9. #9
    I aggree with the sums of heal and damage. Also agree with the catalyst loadouts. Not really for the rest. Staying out of vision should not be punished. Memorization is part of experience, teamplay and attention. Also afraid of a too much of information on the screen.

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    I'm with PrayWaits and LetoGT. I agree that showing totals for damage and healing in the decision phase is just an improvement for everyone. I also think showing catalyst loadouts takes guesswork out of things, and rewards strategy over luck. The other things, however, I think I disagree with you on. Saying "this is just paying attention and not strategy" seems silly to me, as ability to pay attention, to notice those facts and details, is a good thing in my mind. I don't think adding in tracking these things will help new players, since they won't even think to look for them. What I think this would do is bring up the mid level player to better compete with the top tier players, a change that I don't necessarily think is for the better. There are turn timers for a reason. It is a measure of skill how many permutations of how the turn will play out you can run through, and how accurately you can predict which of those permutations is the most likely and optimal, and play that out. If you like these changes, do you like upping the turn timer to 30 seconds? A minute? Why even have a turn timer, as the argument would follow "this is just quick thinking, not strategy" (which is a paraphrasing of paying attention, as I think paying attention and number of facts you can keep in your head are factors of quick thinking.)

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