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Telegraph System: Improvements or Suggestions

Discussion in 'WildStar General' started by Pancreas, Apr 12, 2013.

  1. Pancreas

    Pancreas New Cupcake

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    I watched the video regarding the telegraph component of Wildstar's combat. I like the concept a lot. It takes the fight mechanics you normally only see in raid content in other games, and utilizes it in the entire game. I think that offers a more gradual transition for players when finally start raiding; as they will already be familiar with a lot of the base mechanics.

    Upon watching the video however, I noticed a potential issue: Screen clutter. Fighting a single creature, the areas to look out for should be fairly obvious. However increasing that number by only 1 and it appears possible to start covering very large portions of the screen with telegraphs. Get a whole mob of monsters angry and you could paint entire towns red, literally.

    So I was thinking that maybe there needs to be a sort of visual prioritization for the next attack that is about to go off. This lets players know that spot is the most dangerous to stand in, and should move out of it, even if they are moving into a different telegraph, that might be a few more seconds from completing.

    I think a simple color shift would do the trick. As the skill gets closer to execution, the telegraph changes color and maybe intensity. So right before a player gets hit, the telegraph is the brightest and reddest, and the first moment the telegraph lands on the ground it is faded and orange.

    This lets players weave in and out of attacks without having to entirely vacate the premises.

    I understand green is for healing or maybe just beneficial effects. I don't know what other mechanics or associated colors you might have, (buffs might be blue?, stuns are yellow?) so keeping dangerous telegraphs close to the red end of the spectrum would be good.

    Anyways, if you guys have any other suggestions for this system, I would be interested in hearing them.
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  2. moneda

    moneda Cupcake-About-Town

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    My only comments would be that:
    (a) Not every attack is telegraphed, meaning that I think the few moments when very large portions of the screen are covered in enemy attack telegraphs should probably stay that way. I'd personally like to know if multiple enemies are about to use abilities that will stun, slow or out-right kill me.
    (b) When we start using different shades of one color we may inadvertently inhibit some players' ability to get information. I'm thinking of color-blind/vision-impaired gamers specifically. In an older thread I noted that Carbine may want to enable gamers to choose which colors represent what kind of telegraph [friendly/enemy] and if they do maybe color/intensity changing may not have as much of an adverse effect as I imagine.
  3. Soylentgreen

    Soylentgreen Well-Known Cupcake

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    This is actually a really good point and something I think would be relatively easy and help a lot of people.
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  4. Glacius

    Glacius Cupcake-About-Town

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    I agree with you that too many telegraphs may clutter the screen and I am sure that Carbine already has some sort of solution; we've barely seen the combat system and I'm sure that if we actually knew more details then we wouldn't be so concerned.

    From what we've seen so far, I'm thinking that a good way to prioritize the telegraphs would be to have the one that is next to go off would be a blinking or flashing red, as opposed to the standard static red ground.

    What brings up another concern is the flow of combat. I personally enjoy fast-paced action, so I feel that telegraphed abilities should be very quick to cast as opposed to abilities taking too long and combat feeling dull. If combat is fast, then I would assume there wouldn't be much time to discern what telegraph is what or sort out several colors.

    It also makes me wonder how much attention telegraphs will consume as opposed to everything else. Part of the issue I feel with raiding in the past was how much focus was on your UI or some other detail as opposed to the actual combat which made it less enjoyable. No healer wants to just stare at bars of health all day and spam heals.
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  5. Kalmander

    Kalmander Well-Known Cupcake

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    I read somewhere that the harder hitting skills would be a brighter red, so you clearly know which ones to dodge. But I do agree that a lot of telegraphing could get confusing. Devs can control it in PVE, but what about PVP? I mean, 10 players casting AoE could paint the town red very easily...

    Still, it's a lot better than games where you have the same 10 players casting AoE, and you have no idea you are standing on it :S I guess it's just one of those things we'll have to wait and see how it works out...
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  6. Zapp Brannigan

    Zapp Brannigan Cupcake-About-Town

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    I'd like to see the option for something more subtle, personally. If vines are about to shoot from the ground, for example, small vines first start growing around my feet/the AoE.

    That said, it would take a considerable amount more dev time, and some abilities wouldn't be so easy to come up with a 'subtle' telegraph for, so this isn't something I'm expecting. Perfect world, though.
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  7. Trijity

    Trijity Cupcake

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    Something that surprises me a little is how much they act as though telegraphs are unique to MMO's. The Secret World incorporates telegraphs a lot, even with random mobs in the world. I liked the way their telegraphs were handled, but Carbine is just doing their telegraphs a different way which is fine to me. Personally I'm not worried about the red spam yet, but maybe I should be :confused:
  8. Lyas Tyrell

    Lyas Tyrell Cupcake-About-Town

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    The only thing I would like to see when it comes to telegraphed attacks is that the telegraphs be more transparent on the ground. Just make them a little harder to see, not big glaring red marks. I prefer subtlety to blatant.
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  9. Crow

    Crow Cupcake

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    One of my friends only sees the middle of the spectrum - no red or blue, only green/yellow. I am hoping the telegraphing system options will include different patterns along with selectable colors. That would be nice.
  10. Acidblood

    Acidblood Cupcake-About-Town

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    Excellent idea. I don't mind the default colours, and I'm not colour blind, but customisation like this is always welcome.

    As far as giving indicators in the telegraph as to when an attack will go off, or which attack will go off next, basically no. Telegraphs are there to tell you the area the attack will affect, it's up to the animations and player knowledge to give you the timing... you should be watching the whole world, not just the ground.

    That said, one thing I would add, and it may already be in (haven't watched the videos that closely), is that if telegraphs are stacked then they are visually added together. For example: Red on Red = darker (less transparent) Red. Green on Green = darker (less transparent) Green. Red on Green = Yellow.
  11. moneda

    moneda Cupcake-About-Town

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  12. Syberchip

    Syberchip Cupcake

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    I kind of like the telegraph idea, but I'm a little worried that it may make boss fights too easy. Curious as to what die-hard raiders think of this system?
  13. Caerth

    Caerth New Cupcake

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    Since they can be somewhat imersion breaking, I'd like to see a transparency slider for telegraphs. 0%(invisible) to 100%(solid)
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  14. Flawz

    Flawz Cupcake-About-Town

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    I love the telegraph function a lot. for ground clutter as you say.. maybe when the attack is 1 second away from casting it can Flash so you can jump in a red that is not flashing and jump back to other as it goes away creating a safe spot in a full room of red. I dont think you can see other players attack telegraphs from the video's so that will cut down on raid clutter. with the exception of heals which will be Green and very visible in the Red clutter.
  15. Flawz

    Flawz Cupcake-About-Town

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    very true. it is pretty noticeable if your paying attention :)
  16. Soylentgreen

    Soylentgreen Well-Known Cupcake

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    I'm sorry but 100% invisible at times would be a liability for anyone grouping with a person, this whole system is based around the telegraphs, you can't just turn them off without consequence.
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  17. Psistorm

    Psistorm Cupcake-About-Town

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    I think having the ability to color-change those telegraphs would be a great start for people with their vision being impaired, and should be put in.

    As for an indicator on when the attack hits, secret world actually had a neat solution for that. They only used white outline telegraphs, and they had a "progress line" traveling from inside to outside, or from enemy to far end of the telegraph. So if you had a semicircle, once the progress semicircle touches the outer rim, the attack hits. This made it pretty obvious how long you had to gtfo, and this might be something to put in here as well, if multiple creatures indeed do lead to screen clutter.
  18. MrBushido

    MrBushido Cupcake

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    I can see it still being difficult. Carbine can vary the cast times so a raid bosses attacks might only be visible for a few tenths of a second before the ability actually triggers. Then there's the fact that if you move away from every telegraph you will not be doing "optimum" damage, enrage timers and healer resources could make it so that players simply cannot avoid every telegraph and still make a kill.

    Imagine a boss has two attacks one for 5k damage and one for 20k, the 20k one is hard to avoid and will eat away healers mana, the 5k one is easily healed through but will cause there to be a significant loss of dps while trying to avoid it. It's still dangerous because most players don't have 25k hp so 5k + 20k = dead, but the 5k damage attack has a huge radius so if you try to get out of it you lose 1-2 seconds of dps. The important thing is for the people with the 20k damage attack to avoid the 5k damage, or come up with a strategy that means all the people that got hit by the 20k damage get healed.

    On the subject of telling attacks apart, I think this will mainly be done by the telegraphs shape. I.e. a raid encounter would look like:

    * Frontal AOE cone - Heavy Damage (only the tank should eat it)
    * Line - Boss charges towards a player doing medium damage to all in the way (meleee will have less time to react and get out of the way)
    * Large Circle (following a player) - Player is targeted for an air strike, they have to stay away from other players else they cause light aoe damage but if you are stood in the middle of the group it adds up.
    * Small Circles - Hard to dodge, snipers will do extremely high damage/instant kill to players not on full health.

    On the subject of ways to make it harder but fair. Carbine could also implement tells. A boss doesn't just instant cast their attack, they have another animation that plays first (raises gun to shoulder rather than firing from the hip). This is a trigger to the player that there is something extremely bad going to happen soon, get ready to dodge. Shortly after hard to dodge telegraphs appear. This would help alleviate the issue of dodging fast attacks (say 200-300ms), while on a laggy connection (200ms+).

    Another implementation of this could be that telegraphs do not appear as soon as a boss starts casting. I imagine this would be less effective than having a tell animation followed by the actual attack, since players could start pre-emptively moving to avoid the invisible telegraph. An interesting effect of this however is how it could tie in to player itemization, in that players could sacrifice item stats for the ability to see telegraphs sooner. Perhaps "dodge" doesn't just give you a chance to avoid damage indirectly, but also allows you to see telegraphs slightly sooner. Or perhaps there's an item like the "H.U.D." that allows players who are bad at dodging to get an extra 0.1s of telegraph vision but at a sacrifice of using a more "useful" circuit board that slightly increases their damage/range/whatever.

    I'm sure there are more ways to make encounters more difficult, it's just we need to see to believe. I'm still a skeptic myself, I remember watching the SWTOR "live raid" they had to show off how difficult their raids would be and thinking "awesome, they have good raids", then I actually got to play them. :<
  19. Deloim

    Deloim Cupcake

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    Well its not like you are suposed to or be able to dodge every tele that comes at you.
    And while playing you see which ones drop to the ground first and from where. If you have 15 mobs hitting you I think its unreasonable to think the character would be able to react to everything in perfect timing. Its the players responsibility how you manage that info available to you, not everything should be shown clearly and spoonfed to you.
  20. LJJ1991

    LJJ1991 New Cupcake

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    I highly disagree. This game is built around telegraphs and, without them, the player will likely not be able to function very well. A lot of telegraphs will probably be one-hit KOs for later content, especially raids, and if some people don't want the telegraphs, they're going to be a huge liability. Frankly, even if the player could disable them, they probably wouldn't be able to keep it disabled for very long, especially in earlier levels when they're still learning the game.

    From an immersion standpoint, I think of telegraphs as "character's intuition."

    On the other hand, it could be interesting if they incorporated certain achievements to functioning without a telegraph. In fact, it very much sounds like a "hard mode," for lack of a better term. It doesn't need to be solely in raids, it could be anywhere.

    I don't. I think it allows Carbine to create much more difficult boss fights without having to worry about players not being able to figure the details out. For example, consider a boss fight from WoW. There are usually powerful AoE attacks that are not telegraphed accurately. This requires the raid to wipe over and over not because they need to execute it perfectly, but because they need to figure where they can and can't move by trial and error (this is referring more to earlier boss fights in Vanilla, TBC, and some of Wrath). Even then, addons usually take care of that stuff for them anyways. Having these forms of telegraphs will allow Carbine to make execution demanding without making trial and error as much of a factor. That's not to say there won't be things to figure out during boss fights, but it'll make that boss' attacks predictable, giving way to attacks that are more difficult to avoid.

    TL;DR The telegraph system will probably sacrifice trial and error for difficulty of execution. That's how it should be (and if you've paid any attention to recent boss fights in WoW, you'll see that's what has been happening).
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