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Overused – Sticky Targeting

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pizzini3000 said...
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(Overused is a new column where I will point out a device that has been overused in MMOs. These mechanics and gameplay features may be used as a crutch, the status quo, or just plain too much. Overall, they’re used when they don’t have to be, and often shouldn’t be.)

Don’t bother trying to dodge that arrow. Zig-Zag all you want, you can’t avoid it. Taking cover from that fireball flying through the air won’t do anything. You’ve been targeted.

Read the rest at http://alexpizzini.com/2010/01/17/overused-sticky-targeting/
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Comments
Tired of getting shot from around corners?
@LordXenophon You should read the whole article and get a better picture of what I'm trying to say. Thanks for the comment.
It depends on when the hit/miss is calculated. If it's calculated at the time the shot is fired, it'll look like "sticky targeting."
its Rand. And Sticky targeting IS GOOD... Who the heck would play mages or hunters in PVP? come on.
I never said sticky targeting was bad.
Nice column :D Keep on posting. I was wondering about another commonly acceptet concept in (RPG)MMOs myself: "Keep the player as long as possible ingame at a stretch, but don't award regular playing" - vs the concept of small but REGULAR pieces of playing time (like Eve or a lot of Facebook games).
Hmmm.... When I play as an archer, I've allocated a certain amount of skill points to marksmanship, that combined with weather or not the target is moving, and the type of bow I am using calculates whether or not I hit the target. If it is a critical hit or not, and then of course I maybe using a skill that changes my odds. Also my target may be using a skill that changes his odds for blocking my shot as well. In a MMO I don't have to be a twitch master like in a first person shooter, also I'm playing from a 3rd person perspective. Having done some archery in real life, I can tell you you won't have as much time to dodge an arrow as in the games I've played. So far i don't really have a problem with the "sticky" targeting in Guild Wars, but i can't comment on other games.
I think that sticky targeting, as it is used everywhere now, is over used. Developers should reevaluate it before they implement it. I think alternate hit detection/calculation options are feasible for twitch and non-twitch players alike. I don't think changes should or could be made retroactively. Something like this requires forward planning.
I don't know, In a RPG, I think my character should be capable of doing things that I'm not capable of. Like shoot an incredibly hard shot with a bow and arrow that I could never make, also since in GW I choose the target & my toon just keeps shooting I don't think i need to aim. I agree that the idea of arrows flying through a brick wall is kinda silly. there is a preparation called seeking arrows, which does what it says, makes your arrows unblockale, and with magic in an RPG I don't see why arrows couldn't go around a corner etc... I guess it depends on what the devs are going for. Given that games are usually fantasy type things, it's really up to them to decide the physics. In GW (I know, but it & Borderlands are the only games i actively play right now), There are skills that can miss if there's an obstruction, and skills that hit no matter what. I think there's a place for both. But the thought that you would have time to zig zag to avoid an arrow is not anymore realistic than it flying around a corner. Of course so far, in Borderlands, I have to aim, have a clear shot etc, also there's recoil & stuff to take into account. I'm sure games will continue to improve as far as physics, etc. As long as its fun I don't care how realistic it is. I have played some racing games where the physics where too realistic, and it ceased to be fun. I prefer to be able to do things I can't do in real life. I know in real life if I jump my car, I'll destroy the frame & suspension,(take a look at the 67 Camaro that Hetfield jumps in that video, it's massivly reinforced to do that...), but in a game I want to be able to jump my car!
I think sticky targeting is just fine, but refine it a bit more. Lose sight of your target, lose your sticky targeting. In a PVP arena if you are playing a mage and your target ducks behind a wall, your targeting should drop completely. I'd Rather not turn MMO's into First person shooters for mages and hunters, I'd rather target an enemy and click my spell to cast. Personaly, I could care less if something is overused, if it works, use it, try something new, and you run the risk of huge failure (Tabula Rasa, MMOFPS, bombed in a year or two, forget how long.) Try something new but make it work, then good for you. Why fix what works?
@TamaraLane That "it doesn't have to make sense cause their is magic" excuse is absolute bullshit. The game is, at it's core, mirroring real life. You can't expect non-magical stuff to act any differently that its real life counterpart. Additionally, magic is almost always shown to follow certain predefined rules. Even a fireball shouldn't go through a wall just "because its magic."
Once again, most games use LoS targeting at the point the ranged attack is unleashed. If targeting is wiped/fouled by simply dropping LoS at any time along the cast/throw/shot ... then you might as well remove ranged classes as you would have to be seriously "slow" to be hit then.
@pizzini3000 I Don't agree at all. It depends on the spell. Does a witch need to see you to curse you? Of course not. I have an Elementalist in GW, She has A few skills on her bar that cannot go through a wall, i.e. she needs line of sight for them. So if i want to throw a Fireball at you i need line of sight, but If I want to Hex you with Incendiary Bonds, I don't really need to see you.

I think for my Necro this is even more true. Why should she need line of sight to curse you? Again tough there are skills that she actually needs to touch you to use. I tend not to use those as much because, SURPRISE!, she's a caster and her armor is crap!

I guess you could even it up by making projectiles fly faster, so that when you see someone shoot you, you don't have time to duck behind a wall. Thats really up to the game developers to balance things.

Get a pal to shoot arrows at you & see how easy it is to dodge the real life counterpart. Oh be sure he's an expert marksman, since my ranger is maxed in that area. Better yet hide behind a wall & have a pal fire a rocket launcher at you. Maybe equivalent to a Ele throwing a fireball at you. Oh maybe you can dodge it... Don't worry if you get hurt there's a med pack nearby, you'll be back to full health in just a few seconds. Let me know when in real life I can put on a metal bikini & go out an a battle field and fight! ""it doesn't have to make sense cause their is magic" excuse is absolute bullshit." indeed!

"Even a fireball shouldn't go through a wall just "because its magic."" Yes the fireball should probably destroy the wall, pinning you in a flaming pile of debris. =D
@Daas If I were suggesting that existing games just switch to a collision-based system and not change anything else, I would agree with you, but I never even implied that. Certainly you know people in FPS games get hit by relatively slow moving projectiles. Rockets and grenades being a prime examples. Yes, I realize those are area effects. Other projectiles should just go realistically faster. Not to say anything else about the game, but Darkfall's magic is entirely projectile based, and people get hit by those slow projectiles all the time.
@TamaraLane I think we agree more than you realize. Excuse me for not being explicit about saying that it depends on what you're doing. If you use an ability that is specifically capable of ignore line of sight, than by all means, allow it to do so.

I think one of the wonderful differences between conventional ranged weaponry and magic would be magic's ability to selectively defy laws of physics. All I'm saying is that magic as a whole doesn't implicitly mean that all PROJECTILES selectively pass through objects.

You describe game elements that are designed the way they are to facilitate an enjoyable experience. Med-packs exist as they do so you can keep playing instead of waiting a few months as your character sits in a hospital. The model for the armor might be a metal bikini, but it's still understood that it's armor and it helps defend the character.

I'm describing a technical flaw that is the result of a simple and game mechanic. Would you rationalize a graphical glitch, such as your character not being visible, as in-game magic?
@pizzini3000 Maybe we are just arguing semantics here. I have seen where there are game errors, such as a monster standing in plain view of my character, yet I can't hit it because the game engine detects a collision. Very frustrating... If the opposite of the previously mentioned happens... Its clearly behind a wall, but I can shoot it with a projectile that's a problem too (although not so frustrating for me, unless I'm the one hiding) Both of these situations are glitches, errors in the game.

On the other hand if an enemy is behind a wall, and I can target it, I don't really have a problem with that. I have ears, a nose, maybe even some psychic powers that make that seem OK. I've got a little overhead map that lets me see little red dots where all the enemies are, I'm one of the chosen, I'm special and have special abilities. So I can choose an enemy as a target before he steps out from behind the wall... no problem.
Ps, one thing I do find irritating & kind of related, Is that I have an agro bubble, I i get close to an enemy, say I'm in a hallway, & he's in the next room, I can't sneak past, because my agro bubble alerts the enemy that I'm there. I accept this as being that, well, they are maybe a little psychic too or maybe hear good. It is frustrating though.
@TamaraLane I think we're seeing eye to eye now. Final Fantasy XI had a lot of greatness in it. One of which was the detection system. There were 3 ways a mob could detect you, sight, sound, and smell. Sight was a cone in front of them, smell and sound were a radius around them. There were spells to mask each one, and different monsters used different senses. some only used one or two. The visual range was very long, but sound wasn't. This let you sneak around more realistically. I think scent was a big range, but wasn't THAT common. It's been ages.
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