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Kill Priority and Tanking #518052
13/07/14 05:21 AM
13/07/14 05:21 AM
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Orange Offline OP
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How does the game determine who to attack?

Because every single fight has gone something like this: Melee warrior far and away the closest to the enemy, bottlenecking them if possible.

Enemies ignore the warrior completely and run passed her to hit my ranger and mage. Enemies can't see ranger and mage? Enemies run around a corner until they CAN see the ranger and mage, and then hit them. Enemies surrounded in a smokescreen with my warrior right beside them? Enemies run through the smokescreen to get at my ranger and mage.

I don't mean to sound like I'm venting, but this is incredibly frustrating when trying to devise anything remotely tactical that isn't comprised of dropping so much CC that the computer literally can't attack my ranger and mage.

I'm honestly drawing blanks as to how to prevent this.

Example: Begin fight with ranger and mage both stealthed and tucked far away. Two rounds into the fight I have my mage summon a skeleton. The following round has every single enemy unit in the battle run toward my mage, even though they can't get into view yet, even though for most of them they have to run around two corners to find him.


Last edited by Orange; 13/07/14 05:48 AM.
Re: Kill Priority and Tanking [Re: Orange] #518070
13/07/14 06:06 AM
13/07/14 06:06 AM
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Ice walls are very helpful to prevent enemies from getting to you.. but yeah, mages are always priority number 1 ;P And enemies seem to always know where you are once combat started...

Re: Kill Priority and Tanking [Re: Orange] #518075
13/07/14 06:15 AM
13/07/14 06:15 AM
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Orange Offline OP
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I just wish they'd take into some consideration that the warrior is not only closer, but right up in their face stabbing them. It defeats the purpose of having a tougher character like a warrior when nothing attacks them. (I beat that fight by reloading and soloing it with my warrior)

Ice Wall I've tried to use, but the wall you create is very small and easily broken besides.

Re: Kill Priority and Tanking [Re: Orange] #518120
13/07/14 08:27 AM
13/07/14 08:27 AM
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Daris Offline
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Enemy mages are my number 1 priority as well, so it makes sense. And I know where the enemies are from my minimap, it's only fair if they get their own. Having a warrior with the Attack of Opportunity talent in front seems to help keep keeping them away, or at least lets you do free damage.

Re: Kill Priority and Tanking [Re: Orange] #518159
13/07/14 10:02 AM
13/07/14 10:02 AM
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Dmnqwk Offline
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The game doesn't have tanks, so trying to tank is akin to using a chocolate teapot.

I can't say I'm finding Madora ignored like you find, the enemies I face go for the closest party member usually so either you're just unlucky, or you need to position your people in a different manner. Maybe you need to plant environmental debris in a better pattern because I can only assume you leave a straight path to your casters.

As for my priority target, I'm finding the enemy archers are more deadly than the mages after Cyseal. They often get to fire two CC arrows on the initial turn

Re: Kill Priority and Tanking [Re: Orange] #518202
13/07/14 11:15 AM
13/07/14 11:15 AM
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Ravenfeeder Offline
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The enemies seem to go for whoever is doing them damage, at least that's what it looks like to me. Spec your warrior to do damage and the enemies will target them. Attack of Opportunity is a must for any warrior, allowing you to control chokepoints.

Re: Kill Priority and Tanking [Re: Orange] #518245
13/07/14 12:32 PM
13/07/14 12:32 PM
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Peter Ebbesen Offline

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Having only one melee character significantly reduces the total area you can cover with attacks of opportunity, and you are incapable of arranging for double cover of anything. The first means that enemies will usually not have to spend many AP on getting around your AOO zone, the second means that even if they do choose to move through it, it is only going to be moderately painful.

The way to make the enemy focus on your front line is to make not doing so appear more costly to the enemy, and this can be accomplished through AOO, AP costing hazards, or damage causing hazards.

Well, that and take the Stench talent on characters you really want to dissuade the enemy from engaging in melee.

And if you don't want that, then you'll just have to work with ranged that are roughly as durable as melee characters against physical damage, which is thankfully trivial to accomplish by using Become as Air.

As for tanking, forget it. That's an MMO teamplay mechanic that has little place in role playing games.


When I said death before dishonour, I meant it alphabetically.
Re: Kill Priority and Tanking [Re: Orange] #518257
13/07/14 12:47 PM
13/07/14 12:47 PM
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I'm running a Cleric (Tank), Ranger (Bows), Warrior (DPS) and Mage. I hold back my ranger and mage and charge in with a cleric and warrior. But I've never seen any one of them get picked on like that. The front line and back line are attacked fairly evenly. In fact I've seen enemy mages attack the front line and then back line all in the same turn.

Re: Kill Priority and Tanking [Re: Orange] #518322
13/07/14 03:19 PM
13/07/14 03:19 PM
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The screenshot attached above is an example of how doing the most damage or being the closest has no effect whatsoever on what the computer does.

My warrior is the only one who did any damage. The mage was stealthed for a few turns, then cast a summon. The computer immediately ran away from my warrior and even passed the summon, although one or two of the demons did hit the summon once on their way to my mage (guess they had AP to spare).

The entire game, the only time my warrior ever takes a hit is when she's close enough to the rest of the party to be hit by AoEs, or the only party member close enough to be hit in that turn. It doesn't seem to matter if the warrior is closest, or if she's the first to engage combat/first character in sight.

I beat that fight very, very easily. I kept my mage and ranger in stealth, out of the fight, and let my warrior solo the entire group. Funnn.

Re: Kill Priority and Tanking [Re: Orange] #518440
13/07/14 06:46 PM
13/07/14 06:46 PM
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OneFiercePuppy Offline
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Originally Posted By: Orange
doing the most damage or being the closest has no effect whatsoever on what the computer does.


That seems a fair assessment to me, as well, though unlike your experience, I find that the computer AI *loves* killing my summoned creatures. If you keep the summons closer to you than to the enemy, they will provide a fairly large wedge of cover for your back-rank folks; this way the archers and mages, at least, while trying to kill your squishy folks, will often hit your summons instead.

Probably the nicest thing, in my opinion, about the man-at-arms tree with regards to battlefield control is that once you have attacks of opportunity and a weapon with a good knockdown/blind/stun chance, things will waste AP to run around you, only to be knocked out of the fight. Then you can use *your* AP to position yourself for your next attack of opportunity - and with charge, sweeping attacks, and ranged knockdown abilities, you'll often not have to spend many of those AP on anything but attacks.

Of course, if you're only asking about that one fight for which you've posted the screenshot, the ranged comments are useless to you ^_^

Last edited by OneFiercePuppy; 13/07/14 06:49 PM.
Re: Kill Priority and Tanking [Re: Peter Ebbesen] #518453
13/07/14 06:56 PM
13/07/14 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted By: Peter Ebbesen

As for tanking, forget it. That's an MMO teamplay mechanic that has little place in role playing games.


really? Ever played for example Dragon Age?
And whats the point in a shield skill?


He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster
Re: Kill Priority and Tanking [Re: Stalkingwolf] #518497
13/07/14 07:57 PM
13/07/14 07:57 PM
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Peter Ebbesen Offline

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Originally Posted By: Stalkingwolf
Originally Posted By: Peter Ebbesen

As for tanking, forget it. That's an MMO teamplay mechanic that has little place in role playing games.


really? Ever played for example Dragon Age?

Yep, one of the better CRPGs from the last few years. I don't like that they used taunting/threat/tanking mechanics there either.

It is something that originated with MMOs and I'd have loved for it to stay there - the tanking mechanism is based on AI opponents that act like idiots in any given situation rather than trying to perform as well as they can given their available abilities.

This results in extremely predictable behaviour from the AI, which is quite nice when the real challenge is coordinating different people performing the same encounter (or type of encounter) multiple times, and something I've had great fun with in MMOs...

...but is is the sort of simplified "I only have to protect these guys and not look out to protect the rest of the party, because the AI only attacks those I want it to" gameplay that provides little tactical challenge (and seems bloody difficult to justify unless the opposition is described as insane), which is why you'll not find it in traditional pen-and-paper or computer roleplaying games. (Where you'll find things such as defensive spells being important for personal survival and attacks of opportunity and obstacles important tactical tools for protecting weaker party members)


Quote:

And whats the point in a shield skill?

For the one using shields to be better protected when using a shield, something that a player may or may not find useful depending on how often the character in question comes under attack, which (in this game), will depend a lot on the players' tactical skills at setting up AOO zones and environmental hazards, and (in this game) on the 1H v 2H damageoutput.

Given the huge difference in damageoutput between 1H and 2H and how strong healing magic is, I find using a sword and board setup hard to justify in the current game-balance, but that's a balance discussion, not a "what is the point in the skill".


When I said death before dishonour, I meant it alphabetically.
Re: Kill Priority and Tanking [Re: Peter Ebbesen] #518502
13/07/14 08:07 PM
13/07/14 08:07 PM
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OneFiercePuppy Offline
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Originally Posted By: Peter Ebbesen

It is something that originated with MMOs


sad

Tanking, in the sense of misdirection and causing your enemy to focus on one thing at the expense of awareness of another, is an integral part of both tactics and strategy as taught by almost every military in the real world. Any time in history that a flanking attack has worked, ever, is because someone else (probably infantry of some sort) successfully "tanked" the enemy.

That nitpick aside, I get what you mean, but you really don't think blocking is valuable in D:OS? It doesn't seem that status effects can trigger on blocked attacks, which - at least until late game when you're just immune to everything - seems pretty handy to me.

Re: Kill Priority and Tanking [Re: Peter Ebbesen] #518546
13/07/14 09:33 PM
13/07/14 09:33 PM
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Orange Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: Peter Ebbesen
...but is is the sort of simplified "I only have to protect these guys and not look out to protect the rest of the party, because the AI only attacks those I want it to" gameplay that provides little tactical challenge (and seems bloody difficult to justify unless the opposition is described as insane), which is why you'll not find it in traditional pen-and-paper or computer roleplaying games.


I couldn't disagree more. The concept of tanking doesn't suggest the AI will ignore everyone but the tank. The tank should be somewhat capable of drawing attention, however, and that just is not true in this game. The AI will hang back and attack the ranged characters from afar. Drop smokescreen - well, most of the time it bugs out and they continue to fire regardless. When smokescreen does work, the AI just walks through it until it can continue attacking the ranged characters. You can place fire or ooze in the way to prevent them from marching through it, but short of smokescreen and surrounding them in fire to keep them blind and unable to move, they will circumvent every environment you place to get at your ranged characters.

This is where games with grid-based movement shine. Everything squeezes through the smallest nook and cranny if it'll bring it to the weaker targets. With a grid, the tank character can effectively bottleneck them, preventing the entire AI team from piling on the weaker characters.

I'm not asking for a means to force all the AI to do nothing but mindlessly focus my warrior, and the idea that a tank does just that exclusively is almost entirely a false concept erected solely around modern MMOs.

There are tanks in Pen and Paper games. There are tanks in virtually everything. You can set up a tank in Baldur's Gate, for example. You can even designate a tank in old school JRPGs like Final Fantasy, albeit simply by placing ranged characters in the back of the party where they take reduced damage from melee attacks.

Saying that it's insane for the AI to attack the target that's closest to them, doing the most damage to them, and giving them hell in close quarters is, well... insane in itself. It's absolutely insane of them to engage something in melee combat - only because they couldn't get closer to the mage in that turn - and then immediately break out of melee to go after the mage. The Man-at-Arms skills should have some way of guarding its allies, plain and simple. They don't need to be the sole target of every attack, they just need the most minute asset in party protection, and they're utterly lacking in this department in every way.

Last edited by Orange; 13/07/14 09:33 PM.
Re: Kill Priority and Tanking [Re: OneFiercePuppy] #518557
13/07/14 09:48 PM
13/07/14 09:48 PM
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Peter Ebbesen Offline

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Originally Posted By: OneFiercePuppy
Originally Posted By: Peter Ebbesen

It is something that originated with MMOs


sad

Tanking, in the sense of misdirection and causing your enemy to focus on one thing at the expense of awareness of another, is an integral part of both tactics and strategy as taught by almost every military in the real world.

If you redefine tanking, by taking another sense than how the gameplay mechanics of what is called tanking in games deal with it, which is the meaning of tanking that people discuss when they discuss tanking in games, then sure, you can find it to have been relevant throughout history.

But why on earth would you do that? hahaha

If one were to argue that way, then I could easily claim that the game already has perfect tanking, on the grounds that enemies do not like to leave attack of opportunity zones (you are causing the enemy to focus on one thing, namely the danger of attacks of opportunity) over others, and that melee enemies don't like to attack characters with stench (thus providing olfactory misdirection).

Of course, making such a claim would have roughly nothing in common with either misdirection or causing enemies to focus on one thing over another, in the tactical and strategic sense you know from real-world military examples, or with tanking in the classic MMO sense of "get all the mobs to concentrate on attacking the least dangerous rather than more dangerous enemies in plain sight, even when the more dangerous enemies are clearly demonstrating that they are more dangerous by killing the mobs such that you'd have to be a moron not to switch target" - and hence I won't make that claim, because that would be terribly silly. :p


Quote:

That nitpick aside, I get what you mean, but you really don't think blocking is valuable in D:OS? It doesn't seem that status effects can trigger on blocked attacks, which - at least until late game when you're just immune to everything - seems pretty handy to me.

Tradeoff: More combat turns with lesser chance of status effects vs. fewer combat turns with greater chance.

I think it is valuable - I first started the game with a sword and board warrior and liked what I saw. It is just that when I compared the performance of my sword & board with Madora as 2H warrior, I was very unimpressed, so when for other reasons I restarted on hard difficulty around level 10, I decided to go with 2x2H rather than 1H/S+2H, and I haven't regretted it yet. Sure, there's only one Whirlwind in the game, which makes me sad, but with two buffed 2H warriors as primary damagedealers with mage backup for healing, wildfire, oath of desecration, and battlefield control + damage spells to spend on AP not dedicated to the primary melee buffing, fights are generally very, very, short.

If healing spells were weaker or healing potions only available in severely limited quantities rather than being trivial to acquire large numbers of, then I'd consider 1H/S much more worthwhile in the game. 1H/S isn't bad - it is just that the circumstances under which it is more useful than 2H don't arise often, and everybody can (and WILL if they are CRPG veterans) pick up extra gear so they can switch to 1H/S (with +shield buffs for gear) if the situation seems to warrant it.


When I said death before dishonour, I meant it alphabetically.
Re: Kill Priority and Tanking [Re: Orange] #518616
13/07/14 11:09 PM
13/07/14 11:09 PM
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Peter Ebbesen Offline

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Originally Posted By: Orange

I couldn't disagree more. The concept of tanking doesn't suggest the AI will ignore everyone but the tank. The tank should be somewhat capable of drawing attention, however, and that just is not true in this game.

I disagree that this should be possible except by actually being a greater threat than other opponents the AI is fighting on the battlefield.

(It actually is possible in the game right now via the stench talent, but I hope we can all agree that the stench talent, however useful, is pretty silly. If nothing else, then when we start considering just which sort of stench it is that is so powerful it affects not only all living and undead creatures, but also creatures without a sense of smell.)

Quote:

The AI will hang back and attack the ranged characters from afar. Drop smokescreen - well, most of the time it bugs out and they continue to fire regardless. When smokescreen does work, the AI just walks through it until it can continue attacking the ranged characters. You can place fire or ooze in the way to prevent them from marching through it, but short of smokescreen and surrounding them in fire to keep them blind and unable to move, they will circumvent every environment you place to get at your ranged characters.

So will you. YOU are not going to NOT make use of your ranged characters sensibly just because of hazards - you are going to do your best to circumvent anything that hinders you, at least if you are a competent player. It may cost you AP and result in fewer shots, but you will do it.

That the AI does the same is great.

That smokescreen bugs out frequently is a cause for fixing whatever causes it to bug out.

Quote:

Saying that it's insane for the AI to attack the target that's closest to them, doing the most damage to them, and giving them hell in close quarters is, well... insane in itself.

It depends entirely on the tactical circumstances whether it is a good choice or not, and, as such, sanity should be judged on the individual example, not generalized.

As one extreme example, just about everybody playing any tactical game, ever, would agree that attacking or otherwise putting out of commission a strong healer capable of keeping somebody nasty in melee alive has a higher priority that staying in melee with that nasty somebody in an attempt to kill him off first, while the healer keeps healing him. Continuing trying to kill somebody made effectively immortal through healing just because he's closest and doing most damage to them would be - if not a sign of insanity - then at least extremely poor gameplay.

As a less extreme example, if you were fighting, say, two tough guys in melee that do a lot of damage and individually do more damage than anybody else on the field, as well as one guy that is ranged, does slightly less damage than the tough guys, can control much of the battlefield and inflict status effects including CC by using special arrows, and is much less tough than either of them, and one guy that is ranged, can heal moderately, does less damage than either the tough guys or the ranged damagedealer, and has CC spells that your party is vulnerable do... Well, who do you attack in that situation? Do you consider it insane to attack anybody but the two tough guys, that are very definitely in your face and giving you hell?

Or let's say you are fighting a boss and three minibosses, the boss being closest to your party, doing the most damage to your party, and giving them hell in close quarters is, while the three minibosses start at range and either have to move in to melee or fight at range... Are you insane if you don't concentrate on the boss until he's dead, accepting the attacks of the minibosses until then, and instead choose to kill the individually weaker minibosses first? (In case you miss the reference, the Braccus Rex fight can start out as this depending on party position).

Quote:

It's absolutely insane of them to engage something in melee combat - only because they couldn't get closer to the mage in that turn - and then immediately break out of melee to go after the mage.

This too depends entirely on the tactical circumstances. Players acting entirely rationally will occasionally do this, when their primary objective is to take out the mage but they - for whatever reason - are willing to accept taking damage on the way, so long as they also do damage.

The reasoning for doing so may well turn out to be poor in a given situation (and if it is an AI player, it probably is poor reasoning most of the time, to the degree it makes sense to talk about reasoning in that case), but the action itself is certainly not something reserved to the insane.


Quote:

The Man-at-Arms skills should have some way of guarding its allies, plain and simple. They don't need to be the sole target of every attack, they just need the most minute asset in party protection, and they're utterly lacking in this department in every way.

I disagree that this is needed.

Make good use of attacks of opportunity zones, CC, and environmental hazards and blockades to guide enemies into acting as you desire - or suffer damage or AP loss if they don't. You will not always succeed, nor should you, but the tools are available if you choose to use them.

- Just as the defensive tools are available to everybody to deal with being attacked in melee, when it does happen, whether they straight up increase defences, allow a rapid escape from melee, or impose CC of one type or another.


When I said death before dishonour, I meant it alphabetically.

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