Test Discussion Episode 33: Silent School (Alert)

Discussion in 'Testing Feedback' started by Charon, Oct 24, 2018.

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  1. Charon Developer

    Hey Villains and Heroes!

    Welcome to the Silent School, the Alert for Atlantis. Dive into the mysterious depths of the Silent School, the seat of magical power in the City of Atlantis. Those who enter must face a random array of challenges and puzzles along one of four randomly assigned paths before the Outer and Inner Sanctums can be accessed.

    Please leave feedback and bugs here as the pertain to the playable content in this map. Narrative/Cinematics and Itemization have their own threads for feedback specifically related to those topics.

    • Like x 1
  2. Penryn Loyal Player

    Welcome back Charon! It is good to see you working on another alert.

    The way the portals work can be very confusing for certain players. The portals for a given room don't show up on the radar. Instead, you have to locate them visually.

    It isn't immediately apparent what the blue and orange stand for. Maybe having something like "Advance to Next Room" or "Return to Previous Room" instead of "Portal" would help some.
  3. Charon Developer


    Yeah, the internally this has gone through some iterations and I was curious how the general public would perceive them. I'm adding an FX as well today, one that won't cull out (the old ones did so we made the whole wall the portals glow) that will help draw the eye more.

    I could change the names from 'Portal' for sure and add icons to the mini map but they would look like green NPC dots or white dots associated with objects, not the type of teleporter icons you're used to seeing since they're a different method of transportation. I could add quest markers (X) or another type of icon we have access to but that one is only visible on the map, not the mini map.

    Will try a few options, thanks!
  4. Penryn Loyal Player

    The last fight is extremely confusing from a messaging standpoint. Would it be ok to ask questions about the fight mechanics?
  5. Charon Developer

    Yep! There's a lot going on in it and messaging has gone through some iterations. Definitely open to suggestions on improving it for you all. Ask away!
  6. 9001BPM Devoted Player

    Please make the messages as precise and clear as possible. This game’s playerbase is a bit... precious. :D I legit had to explain to people yesterday that electricity arcs are ouchy and should not be stood in (The Machine, mini bee-bot mobs with their electro-net attack if you’re curious about the context) :D
    • Like x 1
  7. Penryn Loyal Player

    As far as I can tell, there are four phases to the Faceless One fight in the normal version:

    1. Dead King's Sword
    I think someone has to commit suicide by interacting with the sword. It appears it might be possible to live with a group shield. What happens if you don't deactivate the sword? All of the screen messaging flies by so quickly that is hard to process what is happening.

    It is also confusing because you are trying to interact with this giant sword while a "Sword of the Dead King" is attacking you. Which one is the on screen messaging referring to?

    2. Skull of Triton
    I think this supposed to be a mind control mechanic and you are supposed to destroy the skull. What exactly are the mechanics for this phase though? Does the mind-control last for the duration of the phase or is there a timer? What are you supposed to do if you are in a full role group and your dps is mind-controlled. That's a problem if you don't have enough dps to destroy the skull.

    I saw multiple on screen messages for this phase. One was a bullet for "Remove Mind Control with Sigil of Protection". There was another message for it being broken by a "strong will". Is that a reference to the Dominance stat? Then there was another message saying "Those afflicted by the Curse can banish it with a sigil". Does that mean the mind controlled player can manually run to a sigil/activate it or does another player have to activate it?

    All while that is going on, there was a message about binding guardians to your control.

    What the heck is going on?

    3. Shield of Life
    I have no idea how this works. There are a couple of sigils on the floor. There is another sigil with a skull on it. What is the team supposed to be doing here? There is a message about the shield requiring "willing supplicants", but that doesn't say anything about what you're supposed to do. There was another message about "Vieiled Shades" and a "Sigil of Sight". What is what?

    It looked like the skull sigil could one-shot your own teammates if you didn't do the mechanic correctly.

    4. Summoning Adds
    In the final phase, the boss just keeps summoning adds at a fairly rapid pace.
  8. Penryn Loyal Player

    Bug Report
    When the team spawned into the Eyes of Gemini room, the pets spawned in the center and not with the players:
  9. Penryn Loyal Player

    What is this Green Aura?

    I also saw some other color variations. It is hard to tell what the auras were doing.
  10. Penryn Loyal Player

    Bug Report
    Defeating the Thrown of Crowns Golem does not despawn the "Thorn Magus" NPCs. They will continue to attack the group through and after the matinee scene.
  11. Charon Developer

    Fixed this and changed the names of the portals to be more clear.
  12. Charon Developer

    I'm swapping the auras between attacks. The large one will go to what happens if you secure a flame not associated with your current role. The one on you in this screen shot is from the Eyes debuffing you when they hit you. It's a short lived debuff that varies per color per role it's tied to.

    Blue = controller = power gain debuff
    Red = dps = damage debuff (and does more damage in general to you)
    Green = healer = healing debuff
    Yellow = tank = defense debuff

    Red eyes do more damage, blue are harder to control, green have more health, yellow has more defense. This is for smaller and larger variants.

    There are more messages coming in soon when someone who is not a specific role interacts with a flame they will get text feedback as to why they are burning. So someone in a controller role will not take damage shutting down the blue flame and freeing the large eye to destroy (and shutting off the respawns from the portals).

    Anyone can shut any flame down. If they are not of a matching role they will take damage from the flame but the flame alone will not outright kill you so anyone can turn it off. There will be feats for doing it both ways - burning and not burning.

  13. Charon Developer

    Pull up a chair.

    So when Art gives Design a bunch of cool things, we like to use them. In this case I have 3 artifacts and 4 sigils. 2 of the artifacts have corresponding sigils that help aleviate the effects of the artifacts. The other artifact does not.

    Then 2 of the sigils have other mechanics that get triggered during health thresholds from the master. These can, and will, overlap with other artifacts/sigils if they aren't deactivated before those thresholds are crossed.

    I am thinking about separating them out to 2 specific phases which will help with the confusion. There are other ways of tackling it too but the end result is there are too many things that can happen while other things are happening. Internal play testing had mixed responses to figuring it out so I wanted to see what the playerbase thought before making more drastic changes and will gather feedback this weekend on it.

    The Artifacts:

    Dead King's Sword has no sigil interaction. It summons adds until someone sacrifices themselves on the blade and summons a Sword of Damacles effect. Currently it's set up to reduce you to 1 percent so it's possible to not die with the right support. This despawns the sword adds.

    Skull of Triton has one sigil that corresponds. This does a mind control effect combined with a Skill Check (button mashing). This can remove the mind control in half the time it'd run on its own. So 15 seconds instead of 30 if you succeed. You can also be pulled over to the lit up Sigil of Protection. This will break the mind control if you cross the sigil threshold. This puts it on your teammates to help drag you over if you get controlled. The effect is cast in a set time so if one DPS gets hit with it, they can reduce the time by half on their own and start attacking again or can be lured to the sigil and start attacking again. The Skull does not regain hitpoints when not activated so you can whittle it down if needed.

    Shield of Life has one sigil that corresponds. This summons hidden spirits of the Silent School that can be destroyed without revealing them but they can also be revealed if someone uses the Sigil of Sight. This unhides currently spawned ghosts and unhides any others that spawn while this phase is active (it resets when it comes around to its turn again). The Shield can be deactivated if 4 people give up a portion of their health or if 1 or more just do it multiple times until a total of 4 times has been accomplished. The first time someone does it, they can't do it again for a short time but someone else can, to encourage teamwork so it can be achieved faster if multiple people pony up. Currently.

    That's the artifact portion! They also heal the Master every 10 seconds, with the heal value being dependent on how many are still available (they are taken out of the equation when deactivated). There are feats for deactivating them all and for not deactivating any.

    Then there are the two remaining sigils that have nothing to do with the artifacts.

    Sigil of Banishment - this purges anyone who is tagged with the Dead King's Curse. A cooties effect that spreads to other players. Optional to use it to get rid of it early. Shows up to only the person who is affected.

    Sigil of Summoning - this triggers at some point for players to summon guardians of the School and turn them on the Master. A feat for summoning one of each type in a single run is coming in soon.

    So one idea is to make the artifact portion happen in the first or second half of the fight and the other half being the 2 sigils and adds. That way there is no overlap with the sigils not associated with the Artifacts so the correlation between artifacts and sigils will (hopefully) be more clear.

    The adds spawning that frequently is probably a bug so will look at it. Basically any Zodiac Magus you faced in that run of the Alert will be called back to finish the job since they failed in defeating you in the Challenges. It should only happen twice (1 per challenge room, 2 total per run).

    Like i said, there are other ideas but the above one is probably the lowest impact of change, behind the scenes.
    • Like x 3
  14. Penryn Loyal Player

    Thanks for the explanations Charon. There are more mechanics going on in this final alert fight than what you see in any Elite raid fight. It certainly makes for a lot of chaos. A lot of this isn't messaged very well though. Some of the mechanic descriptions and icons are misleading at best.

    I'm still not quite sure what the "skull" sigil on the Shield of Life phase actually does. Is that the sigil where you give up a portion of your life? The skull icon makes it look like it is a mechanic used in taking down the boss.

    On the Shield portion, what happens if you leave the spirits hidden?

    It is quite easy to mix up the curse banishing sigils with the ones related to the central boss mechanics.

    I've played through this a couple of times and managed to complete it in spite of not being sure about the mechanics. I've seen several groups in server chat disband though because they couldn't finish the last boss.
  15. Iconic Simulation Dedicated Player

    Btw thanks for you hard work on this alert. I do have to admit that the last boss does need more messaging with the different sigils and artifacts. Oh, and the alert atm is awarding an option to choose Solid Cybernetic Exobytes for loot.
  16. Jade Rebel Dedicated Player

    The last boss seems to be glitchy. Both times I ran the alert, the three artifacts were already activate and constantly healing him and completely ignoring any mechanics when we engaged him in combat for the first time. After a few wipes, the last boss engaged in his mechanics
    Also to add out from curiosity, in the room with Barnunculous, is it intended for barnunculous to constantly interrupt after the Crystal is destroyed? Tanking him is almost nightmare as atomic, since Barnunculous kept doing another interruption attack after interruption attack. I was only able to get the 1st part of the combo before constantly getting interrupted, barely enough to keep my aura up(at least felt like it was barely enough).

    Can it be possible to give some few secs between his constant interruption moves? (Assuming he constantly interrupts every time you fight him)

    Only had him once so far in my runs, hope to see Barnunculous again to see if he constantly interrupts like he did when I was taking it the first time. It was just interruption after interruption after interruption lol
    • Like x 1
  17. PunkGeekFuse New Player

    Firstly I want to say good job on the alert. I had a lot of fun with it, and the feats definitely seem interesting.

    I ran it 4 times, only had the bug with the artifacts happen once, don't know what set the bug off. Only difference in the bug run and the other runs is we had a person disconnect and another leave the alert early.

    I do agree though, that a bit more clarification on the sigils in the last boss fight would be helpful, as they are vague right now. The artifacts I feel can be understood easily, save the strong will/determination on the mind control along with the pulling the mind controlled ally to a protection sigil could be better shown, or explained, however I do find it easy just to button mash to get out of it.
  18. Penryn Loyal Player

    I predict the most common way the last fight is going to play out is that everyone will mostly ignore the mechanics and focus on killing the Nameless One. I tried that approach in the video below. The fight took about 2 minutes.

    The Nameless One by himself doesn't seem very dangerous. As long as you have enough dps, you can just burn through his health regeneration. Does the boss himself have any skull mechanics?

    Note the overlapping audio at the very end of the clip.
  19. Penryn Loyal Player

    Does a Controller's healing debuff inhibit the Nameless One's health regeneration in the last fight?
  20. Charon Developer

    Thanks for the feedback, y'all. I take it the last boss might need better messaging. ;)

    I'm going to investigate separating the artifact/sigil portions from the other sigils that don't have corresponding artifact mechanics and some pros and cons for taking out the artifacts vs not taking them out before the next phase begins (the other sigils, cooties, adds, etc.).

    To answer some questions:

    1. Barnunculous doesn't have any other abilities or behavior intentionally added after his shield goes down so not sure what's causing that, I'll give him a look over.
    2. The Skull was me trying to be cute for an interact icon instead of a gear, etc. to use the shield to give up a portion of your life. Skull - Death - Ghost - no more life, etc. I'll change it to a more sparkly, common place magical interact icon instead, as to not to confuse people.
    3. I'll look at the controller healing debuff thing when in the office to see how it is and how I want it to be.
    4. The Master only has placeholder abilities (other than the cooties) from the other mundane students. Per the known issues, he'll be getting an ability pass. The goal is to give him a special ability from each focus in the School (aquamancy, coralmancy, war magic, etc.) but we'll see! The ghosts and adds also have an ability pass coming. The heal values/timing can also change based on testing and desired difficulty targeting so if he's going down in 2 minutes while he's healing, that's probably too week - in Normal mode.
    5. I'll spell the messaging with the skill test and dragging people over the sigil thing more and be less vague/IC about it.
    6. Currently the ghosts have tiers and the 2nd tier has tier 1 abilities (they're matches vs minions) and nothing happens if you don't unveil them, it just makes them harder to navigate. The thought was to add a more tangible disadvantage if you don't unveil them. Such as a damage increase while hidden.
    7. Not sure why the artifacts got glitchy. I'll have to look into it. Did someone start the matinee before you got there and saw the glitch? Were they all active in terms of spawning adds or just active in terms of healing him?
    8. I'll ping Systems about the Exobyte but bring it up in their rewards thread to make sure it doesn't get lost in the seaweed.

    I'll also look at the times between artifact activations. I changed it to 2 minutes which is pretty long, to see if the messaging would be easier to grok if they were up for longer. They were at 60 seconds previously before PCTest.

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