Melee Feedback
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Joined: 10th Oct
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Likes 13
17th Nov

I want to break my mele review down into four easy to follow sections: Damage out, damage in, equipment, and skills. Some of these will overlap, but I will try to keep some sense to it.

Damage Out

I have only thoroughly tested damage out from a macer, while teamed with a swords character. I have seen a bit of fencing, but would like someone with first hand experience to provide feedback on that, and archery. I can update archery soon as I will be leveling the skill this weekend.

My damage out feels fantastic although my swing speed is utterly abysmal; however, the swords character was hitting for slightly less than myself, but hitting twice as often. Anyone who has ever done any basic DPS calculations means that he was doing a lot more damage than myself. There needs to be a balance between the weapon skills and damage out. I'm not saying that mace needs to have increased swing speed, but if the swing speed is going to be slower, it should hit harder. We were using comparable weapons: vanq supremely, and mine had an of blasting tag, so you would think my weapon would be doing significantly more damage, but it wasn't.

Other than that one major discrepancy I have one thing that ties damage out and damage in together. Stamina. On the damage out side, once you hit 50% stamina and below, your swing speed is reduced dramatically. I understand why this happens, and the system works well as implemented in my opinion. What I would like to suggest is a change to how easily our characters lose stamina. Instead of point for point with damage taken, as it seems to be now, perhaps 10% of that number with an obvious increase for maces to 20-25% as that is one of the benefits to using a mace.

Damage In

Parry is now mandatory for survivability. To use a two handed weapon, or a skill like lumberjacking, you are trading survivability for damage. I think this is a good trade off. Maybe we could add something like lumberjacking for other skills, perhaps arms lore for increased damage with two-handed maces, detect hidden for fencing weapons, and tracking for bows.

Resisting spells is a very difficult skill to raise, especially for a new player. I do like the changes that were added to incorporate resisting spells with parry, anatomy, and archery. I think they should absolutely stay, but maybe a slight rework is in order. I would suggest using a formula to check to see if the poison is resisted, or the spell is blocked. 
(Resisting Spells[MAX100] + Parrying) / 2 * 0.8 
So at 120 parry and 100 resist you would have an 88% chance to parry a spell. This is just an example and could obviously be adjusted easily by changing the multiplier. NOTE: Please keep in mind when you parry a spell you do not completely avoid damage from it.
Another formula that would simplify things even further would be:
(Resisting Spells + Parrying) * 0.25
Either of these would give players with lower levels of the skills a chance to benefit from the changes without having to have the resources or currency to grind to 100 resist.

Caster AI feels wonky, and having multiple insta-cast flamestrikes dropped on your from liches feels really bad. I mentioned this in Discord and Abra said he would look at it, but I wanted to document it here. Spell parry helps with this, but it does not help newer players. I think something that could also help address this issue is spawn. The spawn outside of Shame, around the ancient lich in Deceit, the blood elemental spawn in Shame, the Lich Lord room in Deceit, and the Lich pentagram room in Deceit are just a few examples of where spawn is too heavy for melee characters to really have a chance at survival. I know strategic pulling, etc. I'm not here to argue. You can strategically pull all you want, but if the only place to run is in to another over-spawned room, then there is no winning, only a grey screen ahead of you.

Equipment

Equipment loses durability too quickly. The amount of protection and damage that equipment provides decreases too quickly with durability loss.

GM crafted weapons durability is all over the place. I have documented this in another thread.

GM crafted weapons are not being marked properly. This has been documented in another thread.

GM crafted weapons, and spellbooks, should have a small chance to gain an on hit spell effect, and a smaller chance to gain a slayer. This will place selling power in the hands of crafters, and would make lower end runics worth burning through for the chance of a slayer. This has a better place in a crafting discussion, but I felt it necessary to mention here because I would like to see it while playing a melee character.

Skills

Skills and skill gain in general seem to be in a good place for melee characters.

I noticed that compared to the swords character that I played with, my mace character misses hit significantly more often. This coupled with a much slower swing speed is very frustrating. I don't think that hit chance should be 100% at 120 skill, but it should be damn close. Think about swinging a hammer at a dragon, how often do you really think you're going to miss?

Resisting spells, as always, is a complete PITA to level. Maybe a check to increase skill gain if the spell is being cast by a hostile mob would help alleviate the struggle that is resist for newer players and those that prefer to gain by playing. This would let us power gamers still continue to gain at our current rate macroing the skill, but also help facilitate people who want to just play play and level it that way.

Wrap-up

I like and agree with the direction that melee is headed on this server, but I think the journey has just begun. Melee was never truly balanced in PvE in old UO. It was balanced around PvP. If you're going to argue PvP balance here, just don't. There has only been one PvP fight I have seen on this server in the month+ that I have played here and it was a GM event. This is a PvE server. Yes, I know that there is a slight interest in PvP, and a PvP area on the server, but there are other servers that are completely centered around PvP that most of us even have accounts on that we can all go get our fill from.

Please reply with your own experiences, comments, and feedback.

EDIT: Formatting
Last Edit: 17th Nov by PacketLoss
Joined: 19th Jun
Rank: --
Likes 8
17th Nov

On the Lumberjacking, I ran numbers a few months ago and did 100 swings on all ax types with 0 lumber and with gm. The average increase was just under 10%. I think this needs to be a bit higher if we are using 100 skill points for more damage. I also feel durability needs to be adjusted.

I can clear out the entire deceit dungeon solo with my parry fencer easily. He's hitting for 300 plus damage on some hits with vanq silver war fork.

Last Edit: 17th Nov by Raelan
Joined: 10th Jul
Rank: --
Likes 4
17th Nov

This is good stuff PL. I haven't dived into melee just yet, but I agree with your points... especially the durability on items.
Joined: 5th Jun
Rank: --
Likes 18
17th Nov

I have a notepad next to my at my desk that I keep "musings" on and periodically will post them on the forum if I think they're merited. I know I share a lot of opinions about this server and rarely do they amount to anything more than just that- one persons opinion. However I have always felt that staff do actually read and consider my thoughts, although they may not directly respond to them.

So this post is yet again, just that. My thoughts on different areas of gameplay based on HOW I LIKE TO PLAY. Things I'd like seen done, or adjusted, to fit what I consider fun.

Much of what I have mirrors what packet said above, or others have said in various forum posts elsewhere, or in discord chat. But for the sake of helping to "paint a picture"...I'll put it all down again.

One thing I'd like to say is this. If we balance melee to be able to solo champs- then they'll be much too overpowered in other areas of gameplay. However melee does need to be viable in assisting with champion spawns- and have a fair shot of earning the rewards. I also think champion spawns shouldn't be solo-able (even dual-cliented); either by virtue of mob difficulty, or by admin intervention in devices needed to spawn a champion. Champion spawns should be the thing that brings the server together to complete. Perhaps the fix for this is to remove the static spawns all together and just rely on MORE FREQUENT randomly generated town invasions? But that's a topic for another debate.


Melee
I think this area has had the single most steady and fantastic improvement over any other template or archetype out there. Going as far back as January of 2017 when I joined melee was a "hot-topic". Everyone wanted to play it, no one thought it was viable. I can tell you folks we've come leaps and bounds from that. I def feel we're close....so very close.


My characters are swordsman with 115's swords/tactics/parry/GM Resist and 100/90/35 stats. A fencer with 115 fencing/tactics/parry/GM Resist and 105/100/35 (+15 stat scroll from harrower).

  • Damage output is excellent on both.....WHEN YOU HIT. I love the concept of the "you fumble your weapon" or "excellent strike". However right now it feels like missing and fumbling define melee. Instead of being a cheeky "are you paying attention" occurrence.....it's more like *miss* *miss* *miss* *fumble hit* *HIT*.
  • The concepts of spell block and resisting poison seem fantastic. Havent played enough to have an opinion though.
  • Although OSI standard- healing feels incredibly slow. Improvements have def been made with less finger slipping though. One area that certainly needs to be addressed is the "1 tile rule". Cross healing feels pointless because the 1 person you're all trying to heal pretty much has to "Stay still even if you're dying, or else you'll die". I really feel like this should be expanded to reach 2 or even 3 tiles (OSI Standard?). Having this wiggle room would let the "tank" dip out momentarily to avoid a strike without giving up the heals coming in.
  • Durability of armor and weapons degrades too quickly with too many negative consequences. Losing your AR and Damage so steadily and quickly in fights makes it to where melee cant hang in there....or they need to carry around a bunch of repair deeds. This doesn't add complexity to the game in any way......it just adds housekeeping to an already needy template. Absolutely armor/weps need to have durability...and that durability should be depleted. However perhaps that shouldnt negatively impact my AR rating or damage.....or if it is going to....that impact needs to be reduced greatly.
  • Stamina drains too fast. Packet said it more eloquently than I could above already, so I wont expound.


Archer
My character is a tamer/archer with 110 archery/110 tactics and 95/100/50 (+20 stat scroll from harrower).

If I could use only one word here, it would be SLOW. I understand that for balance, someone at ranged doesnt need to hit with the speed of someone that's up close. However this slowness coupled with the misses and "fumbled hits" absolutely cripples archery. I can fight a harpy for what feels like 10 mins. Some of this is because you have to move as an archer to avoid being hit.....but if you move you cant shoot?!?! So you have a slow weapon, that barely connects, and barely does damage when it connects because you fumbled the hit. Disastrous. It works on my tamer as a roleplay mechanic.....bu I'd be much better off doing mage/med/eval and dropping BOMBS from behind my pet. I know archery buffs are on the way and maybe that will address some of this.
  • All the items from above apply to my archer as well. misses, fumbles, durability, stamina- all work against the effectiveness of this template. 


Mage
A close contender here for most improved. I love the class and the style. You *feel* powerful as a mage. A true glass cannon. Awesome.

My characters are a 115 mage/115 eval/100 scribe/100 med nox mage and a 115 Mage/eval/peace/provoke bard both with 100/15/110.
  • My only desire here is to replace the requirement of 100 scribe needed to get mana reduction, make it meditation. It fits better in theology...and will also open the benefit up to bardic templates. I know bards can crowd control and are not 100% reliant on mana for offense/defense....but it is still their primary need.  Scribing already gives you bonus damage so people that pick it up have that benefit. This probably complicates it but tamers should be excluded from mana reduction from having mage/eval/med I think.


Thief
This poor template mainly sits there and collects dust. There are some neat dungeon lootables and stealables out there....but I think they need some more love.

My template is a "dungeon crawler" type with GM hiding/stealth/lockpick/Remove trap/Detect Hidden. My desire for this toon would be to stealth around a dungeon completely unnoticed picking chests, stealing from mobs, gathering loot and getting out!
  • Expand the loot table for dungeon chests (only). Perhaps add in a chance for 105-110 powerscrolls and 1-3 use runic tools. Perhaps add in the loot drops from paragons (quivers, gloves of rage, etc) to the chest tables. That would bring in some incentive to spend your time crawling instead of crafting/taming/fighting.
  • A cool idea I think would be to have custom named clothing sets that you can get in pieces that when combined/worn together gives your toon a skill buff. Wear all 5 pieces of nightcrawler gear and receive +10 stealth! (or something). Could have it for hiding/stealth/stealing/detect/remove. Again exclusively from dungeon chests.
  • Right now you can steal from mobs...but using the stealing skill reveals you! Not a good idea for a defenseless thief in a dungeon. I think it'd be neat to be able to steal from a mob w/o a 100% chance to reveal. It should be 100% reveal when stealing from a player though....not sure if the two could be separated or not.
  • I'm not certain, but I dont think you can loot from dungeon chests or t-maps for that matter without the pull from the chest revealing you. I think this should be changed. Sure have a % chance on pull that you get revealed, but not 100%. Maybe 10 so you have to stay on your toes to try and use hiding again quickly?


Tamer
  • Vetting needs the same fix as healing. The 1 tile requirement is very annoying.
  • ...........more pet slots? (joking, joking, I swear, joking).


So that's it! My unsolicited opinions for the state of various templates. Maybe we could throw in some of these changes and just see if it "breaks" things. If so- we remove them. No harm no foul right?
Last Edit: 17th Nov by HibbiGibbi
Joined: 19th Jun
Rank: --
Likes 8
17th Nov

it would be nice to not have item durability affect the damage output or AR rating. You would still have to repair the item or risk loosing it,.
Joined: 22nd Jul 2014
Rank: Moderator
Likes 157
17th Nov

Alright first response is for Packetloss since there's another wall of text from Hibbi I still need to get to. So bear in mind that these comments are directed solely at PL's post.

Damage Out
There needs to be a balance between the weapon skills and damage out.
  • ·         I disagree – first there are multiple factors you didn’t mention (such as armor, dex, etc) that could have played a factor here. Beyond that, weapons have different purposes and are not merely an aesthetic choice. Maces swing slower but hit harder and destroy durability and stamina. It’s a tradeoff and a choice everyone needs to make for themselves and what best fits their play style.

What I would like to suggest is a change to how easily our characters lose stamina.
  • ·         I can look at this, but not as you’ve suggested. Remember there are potions and food for this. I have to consider the effects these changes would have on PVP as well. Still the point is understood.

 
Damage In
Maybe we could add something like lumberjacking for other skills…
  • ·         I could see arms lore for two handed weapons such as staves and fencing. Archery we’ll deal with separately as it’s not melee, it’s ranged.

Resisting spells is a very difficult skill to raise, especially for a new player. I do like the changes that were added to incorporate resisting spells with parry, anatomy, and archery. I think they should absolutely stay, but maybe a slight rework is in order.
  • ·         Fair point – so scale the benefit of parrying spells and resisting poison, rather than all or nothing.

 
Caster AI feels wonky, and having multiple insta-cast flamestrikes dropped on your from liches feels really bad.
  • ·         We’re going to be reducing the detection range of casters so that strategic pulling should become easier. By doing this you’re limiting the chance of aggroing too many casters at once and being attacked simultaneously. However, you should understand that will not stop multiple casters who all happen to be standing near each other from targeting you and casting at the same time. They’re not going to take turns…they’re monsters!
  • ·         Let’s see how well this works and go from there. There are some other ideas we had but they would require writing a new AI and we just didn’t have time for that right away.


I think something that could also help address this issue is spawn.
  • ·         Noted

 
 
Equipment
 
Equipment loses durability too quickly. The amount of protection and damage that equipment provides decreases too quickly with durability loss.
  • ·         K I’ll look at the formula on this and see what can be done

 
GM crafted weapons durability is all over the place. I have documented this in another thread.
  • ·         I looked at the math on this one and it looks to me like a variance is intended. Math not really being my strong suit I’ve asked Ravenwolfe to confirm when he has time. He is traveling for work though so please be patient.

 
GM crafted weapons are not being marked properly. This has been documented in another thread.
  • ·         Needs testing but I think we could have a fix for this shortly.

 
GM crafted weapons, and spellbooks, should have a small chance to gain an on hit spell effect, and a smaller chance to gain a slayer.
  • ·         Sounds a little to AOSish for me and there’s already a method for adding slayers to spellbooks

 
Skills
Think about swinging a hammer at a dragon, how often do you really think you're going to miss?
  • ·         Again maces are not equal to swords are not equal to fencing. There are pros/cons for each weapon. As I write this I can’t think of a way to only increase the swing speed of one type of weapon and not affect others.

Resisting spells, as always, is a complete PITA to level. Maybe a check to increase skill gain if the spell is being cast by a hostile mob would help alleviate the struggle that is resist for newer players and those that prefer to gain by playing.
  • ·         Adjustments to skill gain affects all skills, not just one. There are, however, other ways for me to address this. Let me give it some thought.

 
Melee was never truly balanced in PvE in old UO. It was balanced around PvP. If you're going to argue PvP balance here, just don't. There has only been one PvP fight I have seen on this server in the month+ that I have played here and it was a GM event.
  • ·         Unfortunately, I do not have the luxury of ignoring PVP when it comes to the adjustments I make to melee. If we are to discard PVP altogether, we might as well be just another tram server. The ability to opt into PVP when you want to is what sets us apart and is at the very core of UO Phoenix design. Besides, there is planned content which will hopefully help players enjoy PVP more.
Joined: 22nd Jul 2014
Rank: Moderator
Likes 157
17th Nov

These comments are directed at Hibbi's post and should be considered in that context. Where suggestions/answers directly overlapped with Packet's post I skipped them.

I also think champion spawns shouldn't be solo-able (even dual-cliented); either by virtue of mob difficulty, or by admin intervention in devices needed to spawn a champion. Champion spawns should be the thing that brings the server together to complete.
  • ·         Although I highly encourage group play, this isn’t very realistic. There will always be someone left out in the cold because of their time zone or play hours which prevent them from participating in the content which has been locked away for groups only.
  • ·         As an alternative I’d like to recommend that we look at making the barracoon champ a PVP area, which would introduce risk in over farming and soloing this champ.


 
One area that certainly needs to be addressed is the "1 tile rule". Cross healing feels pointless because the 1 person you're all trying to heal pretty much has to "Stay still even if you're dying, or else you'll die".
  • ·         This is being addressed in an upcoming update. Stay tuned

 
Archer
·         All issues mentioned here is why I’ve tried to make it clear that there’s still work to be done for Archers. But it’s good that we have this itemized out somewhere.
  • ·         I worry about the concept of allowing firing while moving. I think there are better ways to address the concerns, and doing just that wouldn’t be enough, and doing both could be too much (depending on where we land). Not saying no, just expressing concern.

 
My only desire here is to replace the requirement of 100 scribe needed to get mana reduction, make it meditation.
  • ·         I gotta be honest I had a super hard time following your train of thought on this one. Could just be tired but what does mana have to do with bards? Super confused here but at the end of the day inscription was chosen over meditation intentionally. The idea here is that you need to commit to being a mage by investing the skill points to achieve the bonus, instead of just getting it from a skill you would have had anyway.

Thief
  • ·         Bullet one – respectfully, no. The risk/reward ratio is waaay off.
  • ·         Bullet two – neat idea. I’ll consider this
  • ·         Bullet three – agreed, I’ll look at this.
  • ·         Bullet four – when objects move around people and animals tend to notice it. T-hunters are really a different animal than thief and I don’t see this being the same thing.


 
Tamer
Vetting needs the same fix as healing.
 
·         Right now I’m considering this but not convinced. Frankly it’s not the same issue as it is for melee and could be viewed as a risk element needed for tamers.

 
Like (1) · Comments (0)
Joined: 22nd Jul 2014
Rank: Moderator
Likes 157
17th Nov

This response is for Raelan - realistically it should affect the damage output and protection provided. I mean it's damaged...

That being said see my response to PL's post where I agree with the durability assessment and will be looking into it.
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