Work In Progress Work In Progress: Weapon Mastery

Discussion in 'Concluded' started by Spytle, Feb 24, 2014.

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  1. Spytle Executive Creative Director

    Hello everyone,

    I am so happy to finally reveal some details about our new system coming with DLC 10 – Amazon Fury. It’s called Weapon Mastery, and it is really exciting!

    Weapon Mastery is a new feature that allows you to spend skill points in a weapon tree and unlock new weapon mastery combos for that weapon. Once you have done this, your character will be able to flow from one weapon to the other in a combo. All you have to do is spend the points in the necessary trees, master the combo, and you are pulling off new hybrid weapon combos in combat.

    Our goal with the system was multi-faceted:

    First, for a long time, many of you have been asking to be able to make characters with a multi-weapon theme. We wanted to let you take inspiration from characters like Deathstroke, Huntress, or Arsenal, and realize that in DCUO with your own hero or villain. This system is going to let you do just that.

    Second, we wanted to give you a more robust way to use your skill points. Players with lots of skill points really spec in other weapons simply to get the passive buffs found in the central column of the skill trees. Weapon Mastery makes your character more dynamic and powerful in a very meaningful and active way. In short, the game becomes more fun in the moment to moment, not hidden behind some wall of stats.

    Third, we wanted to have a system that added something fun and challenging to the combat in the game. The name is Weapon Mastery for a reason. It takes skill to master the new combos and their many uses. We also wanted to make sure this system was something that you would be able to enjoy no matter what your current character concept was (power/weapon/movement combination). In short, we wanted it to layer on top and add to your character, not force you to change it.

    Fourth, we wanted to do something that would give another option to people that didn't like the clipping mechanics. Prior to weapon mastery, clipping was the only real way to get your scorecard numbers “competitive.” But many of you don’t want to clip. You like seeing the beautiful animations of your weapon and character in action. Weapon Mastery encourages timing and playing through all the animations to maximize the damage output. As a side benefit, it also brings the non clippy superpowers on par with the clippy ones through the use of weapon mastery (you can’t clip and benefit from weapon mastery at the same time, it is either or).

    And last, we wanted something that would look and feel bad-*** to play. This shaped our decisions on how we put the weapon combinations together. How things blended and what weapons worked well with other weapon combos were a big influence on the system. DCUO looks great in combat and we wanted to make sure Weapon Mastery continued that tradition.

    Before I turn it over to Tunso to give you some details on the nuts and bolts, let me go into a few reasons why weapon master isn't one of the following:

    Q- Why can’t I just load out two weapons and switch between them?
    A - Because it is kind of boring. Plus, you could always do this anyway, and now with armories in the mix, it is even easier. Also, it doesn't make skill points more relevant or offer new ways to spec a character. A weapon would still be a weapon, how you equipped it wasn't going to be bring much to the table.

    Q – Why don’t you allow me to wield two existing weapons of my choice simultaneously?
    A - Because this just isn't feasible with our system. Shield and one handed are held in the same hand. So to implement a sword and shield we would simply be making a set of new weapon animations. You can imagine the amount of work and memory that would go into trying to support a system like that. It simply isn't sustainable.

    Without further ado, keep reading for the details from Tunso!
    • Like x 68
  2. Tunso Developer

    Hi everyone, I'm Mark Halash (aka Tunso) the Lead Systems Designer on DCUO. Jens covered the basics, so I'll go into some depth about Weapon Mastery and how it works.

    Standard disclaimer: Specific numbers and other details may change based on testing and feedback!

    Earning a Single Weapon Mastery

    Unlocking mastery for a weapon requires spending a minimum number of skill points in that weapon tree. Currently when you spend 20 skill points in a single weapon tree, a new box in the upper right hand corner of that tree becomes purchasable. This is the Weapon Mastery box.

    Buying this box earns you mastery in that weapon. This does a number of things. Firstly, certain attacks will begin causing more damage. And beyond this damage increase, these attacks will cause even more damage if they are not clipped before the attack hits your target. But the most important detail about these attacks is that they will become links allowing you to use cross-over attacks from other weapons you have mastered! More on that later.

    There are also improved passive effects while wielding a mastered weapon. Whether the weapon is ranged or melee, you will gain enhanced Movement Resistance and Weapon Critical Attack Damage. Finally you gain access to a new row of stat boxes. These new stat boxes are tuned to last you through tiers 6 and 7 so you'll find them tasty for some time to come. But read on to learn about even better ways to spend your skill points than plain old stat boxes!

    Multiple Mastery

    The real fun begins when you gain mastery in more than one weapon. Each weapon has synergy with two other weapons. For example, Brawling has synergy with Two-Handed and Martial Arts. If you've mastered one or the other (or both!) of those you will be able to purchase cross-weapon combos from the Brawling tree that will allow you to chain Brawling attacks into specific Two-handed or Martial Arts attacks! You do NOT actually need to have a Two-handed or Martial Arts weapon to use the Brawling cross-weapon attacks. We figured that would be annoying.

    Multiple Mastery is like gaining a totally new weapon attack style! We've tried filling any holes a weapon may have had in terms of gameplay options. You may have never considered using a Two Handed weapon before. Your opinion may change once it has great ranged AOE options and new devastating melee attacks that aren't as predictable and vulnerable as multiple holds in a row.

    The damage potential of cross-weapon combos is tuned to compete with top-end combo-based power sets such as Celestial, Light, and Rage. These attacks have a progress bar so if you clip them too early you lose out. But don't get me wrong. Your super powers are a vitally important part of this equation!

    Rather than clipping these attacks fast as you can, you'll want to time your super powers and launch them right at the moment of impact for a devastating one-two punch! During that brief window your Ability Critical Chance is tripled. Yes, this means you can achieve a 100% chance to crit your super power IF you hit the timing window correctly! Not only that, but your Ability Critical Damage may also dramatically increase. This varies based on the length of the combo, but you could see your super powers critting for over quadruple damage in some cases. Of course, this assumes your unleashing your super powers with correct timing!

    Odds, Ends, and Housekeeping

    There are a number of housekeeping issues we're addressing in order to bring you Weapon Mastery. We've done some re-arranging of the stat boxes in the weapon trees to ensure that every tree has percentage based crit boxes. This goes for damage, healing, and power healing critical stats. Skill points are about to become tight commodities again and we didn't want weapons that lacked percentage based boxes to become “bad” by default. Another side effect of this is that there is 2% more crit chance and 12% more crit damage available in the skill trees overall.

    Early in DCUO's development, we set some design parameters about how animations should be timed. These unfortunately fell to the wayside in a few cases. Incorrect timing results in balance issues. In the case of powers and consumable items, long animations are bad as that makes them worse for clipping. For weapons, long animations are awesome as you'll just clip them with powers anyway, so the long animation time just means higher damage without any real penalty.

    So with those facts in mind, we'll be doing a pass on all animation timings. We'll be looking at power animations and trying to bring these closer to the 1 to 1.2 second range. We'll also be enforcing a minimum animation time when jump-canceling so that powers with duration remain in the same acceptable range as other powers. We'll also look at weapon animations and adjust any remaining outliers, although most of these have already been taken care of already.

    Finally, ranged Charge Up Attacks are being removed from the game. Just like when you weaponize a barrel or a box, Charge Up Attacks require a hand-shake from the server before they actually fire. Unlike most other attacks, this requirement introduces a lag hitch that varies based on your connection speed. They don't feel great to use and their unpredictability runs counter to the design goals of weapon mastery. So you'll see Charge Up Attacks replaced by regular “hold” attacks that don't require charging.

    Anyway, that's a lot to digest! We're really looking forward to your questions and comments. Let us know what you think!
    • Like x 59
  3. Mepps Sr. Community Manager

    Work In Progress: Weapon Mastery livestream will be uploaded here after the show.
    • Like x 24
  4. Cannondade Level 30

    This sounds alot like Injustice move combos. If you time it right, and your fast, then you can use deathstroke's sword flip attack, slash the guy in the head, then he takes out his dual wield guns and rapid fire shoots you. Is it a bit like that? So, its a weapon combo, with switching back between weapons... Interesting, this could possess a few problems and my mind though...
    • Like x 3
  5. Nemisor Committed Player

    all sounds very good to me.

    a few questions.

    style. how are we going to be able to chose the style of the combod weapons? will it default to the style of the primary that we use or......not that far into it yet?

    crits etc are getting changed to % but what about dom and health?
    • Like x 3
  6. Radium Devoted Player

    Well I figured it was coming eventually. Weapon and power animations have been too varied to make a nice balance pass for them.

    I think for balance we need more details, and probably lay out a set of rules. Base damage being the same across the board for certain types of moves like taps and holds where possible, then damage split evenly between amounts of enemies. Get rid of split after 2 or 3 or 4. Make every AOE split the same across all weapons. This will make single and multi target moves viable and have them be down to prefrence compared to what it is now.
    • Like x 8
  7. Dread Active Player

    Looks interesting!

    How will something like Mass Detonation work as the combo finisher?

    ... I miss Mass Det... :)

    [edit to clarify]
    Will mass det hit as an aoe with all the damage and crit bonus, along with burning power interactions (pi))?

    Will pi powers have extended times (maybe through some combo clicks or skill unlocks) to account for the extra time weapon combos take?

    [edit to add]
    Any thoughts on crossing powers? I'd love to combo into a fire attack with a Rage combo.
    • Like x 1
  8. Radium Devoted Player

    Also, if you guys are look at us for feedback on balance then it really needs its own thread. Theres going to be a lot of feedback for this.
    • Like x 2
  9. Circe New Player

    Please do not put a new row of innates.

    Can you change that row to more weapon combos instead?
    • Like x 6
  10. Drifting Dreamer Steadfast Player

    Love the Weapon Mastery guys!! Good work ... I think :D
    • Like x 7
  11. DaKrushmor Loyal Player

    Hello! Cool! But how could it be SP hole to spend 60+ of'em?
  12. MysticRedStone New Player

    How do u select the styles of weapons that appear when you do mastery weapon combos?
    • Like x 5
  13. Ice Knight Well-Known Player

    Can you Post the Excel Sheet of Combo in this thread
    • Like x 5
  14. TMadness Well-Known Player

    Awesome! I love this and think this new mechanic is a + for the game. Can't wait to see more
    • Like x 3
  15. holyking Well-Known Player

    wht about the roles tht re only suppose to use range to stay safe?
    • Like x 2
  16. Kryptonian Being Committed Player

    I had a question that I was unable to type down. Some powers allow you to transform yourself into monsters I.e Ice a Elemental, Wolf, Gorilla, and mental judge looking reaper dude lol. Anyway, will the new mechanics effect them since Ice Elemental has brawling as well as gorilla while wolf has martial arts
    • Like x 3
  17. Lights Derp Loyal Player

    How will this effect weapon combo meters? For instance on the live stream it showed that Two-Handed could combo Tap>Arrowstorm, will the combo meter be based off of the equiped weapon or off of the combo'd weapon?

    • Like x 5
  18. eanur Well-Known Player

    This seems like a great addition to dcuo for dps players but it needs a reason to be used for healers, trolls and tanks. Healers should get like a 3x chance to crit heal if they clip with a heal power when they clip using weapon mastery, trolls should get something similar but 3x chance to crit if they clip it with instant power and tanks should get like 3x chance to activate def buff or something like that when they next get hit cause atm tanks wont be using this much cause they are blocking and similar stuff with their other rolls as well
    • Like x 24
  19. RageOfHeaven1990 New Player

    Is this going to modify the innate bonuses that melee weapons get over ranged weapons (i.e. the 15% crit damage bonus)? Since the melee weapons are getting a fair option in ranged capabilities.
    • Like x 1
  20. Gargamond Dedicated Player

    How does this new system affect the addition of more weapons in the future? Doesn't this system make it difficult to add new weapons to the game?
    • Like x 14
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