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Victor

Steam Launch and combat

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I see that you are launching on Steam in hopes to find new players. That's a good idea. Problem is, as a long time player (and one not playing right now), Wurm will never appeal to more than it does now if you don't change the way combat works. It doesn't matter how much you focus on the UI or graphics. Those are all fine and dandy if you don't make at least combat more engaging. This is too niche of a game to retain anyone with "sit and watch your character's text scroll" combat. It also doesn't matter if combat is a little more detailed at higher skill, no player is going to stick around after the first few months to find out it gets a touch better.

 

Combat is a huge deciding factor in what players enjoy in a game, and right now, combat in Wurm is terribly dull. You mostly have a crafting game with "watch my character fight" combat thrown in.

 

Fix combat and you'll get a much better player retention. Older players who like it the way it is are a minority in the gaming world, and if you want to be successful, and even have pvp be something attractive to new players you really need to fix combat. Like now.

 

Just my two coppers.

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When you say fix, what sort of combat do you envision? 

 

There's a lot of things around from making it more easily understood to adding twitch "click to swing" mechanics suggested, which wouldnt work. 

 

We are working on addressing some issues and making it more intuitive so if you have some ideas feel free to share

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For me personally i think away with "deadly hards" and show actual numbers of damage hits will help a bit as yes a total combat rework is not possible wurm's style of play doesnt allow for fast paced combat even though people would love to have it because most other games do have it now but with the way wurm is

Ideally a fast paced combat where auto attacks happen and special moves and stance changes are done via keybinds(by default vs ui clicks) and positioning means a miss of the mob if you time the moving of your character right after a mob hits and such would make people love it more but that would be a major change and really hard to pull off but parts of it for example stance changes and keybinds being setup by default that when you enter combat all keys you have mapped are remapped to combat keys could help maybe
For example 1 to 0 are currently used for toolbinds but when in combat having them bound to stance changes where 1-5 keys are used and then shift 1-5 and ctrl 1-5 and then when you pop out of combat it goes back to toolbelt could help when combined with showing numbers vs walls of text upon landing a hit or taking a hit it might be a good change

But end of the day no matter what combat in wurm will never truly be fast paced like in games like albion or old wow as the game itself just isnt that kind of game to support that

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Okay, fair enough. Take this from a theme-park MMO player. I'm the type of player you probably want to try an attract as there are a LOT of us. We enjoy engagement, even if it's button mashing and waiting for cool-downs. I know Wurm has a lag issue to deal with, so a tab-targeted system would work fine. Let us auto-attack like usual, but have specials we can do (at least 1 at 1 fight skill, more to get as we skill up) that are on a global cool-down. Let me feel like I am making decisions for my character, not just watching him fight. Players like to feel like they are fighting using their characters, not just watching.

 

I'm wary of bringing up WoW combat but look at how well that game has done, it still has millions of players 16 years later, they're doing a lot right. Combat is the main aspect.

 

Fighting skill could give base options such as a power attack for extra damage but at a reduced hit chance, or Off-Hand Strike where a dual-wielding character makes an off-hand attack that maybe hinders the opponent for a few seconds.

 

Weapon skills could unlock moves we could drag to our quickbar as well, abilities unique to each class of weapon.

 

All abilities could cost some bit of Stamina, so players would have to manage their energy. Perhaps add in some stamina potions or something so resource management becomes a skill.

 

These are just a few suggestions. I'd be more than happy to help you work on more ideas.

Edited by Victor
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1 hour ago, Victor said:

All abilities could cost some bit of Stamina, so players would have to manage their energy. Perhaps add in some stamina potions or something so resource management becomes a skill.

https://www.wurmpedia.com/index.php/Endurance_sandwich

Already have them in the form of sandwiches ;)

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2 hours ago, Victor said:

I'd be more than happy to help you work on more ideas.

 

thanks, but perhaps you dont work on more ideas please. "button mashing" fighting is going history now as all those games who had it used intensively are now implementing macros for auto combat to ease on players if you didnt know. 

 

While i do agree that combat interface needs reworking, its defo not the way you suggesting. the main thing its missing is the visual combat interface instead of a text based combat tab you have to keep tracking extensively  all the time in important fights. 

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3 hours ago, Victor said:

Okay, fair enough. Take this from a theme-park MMO player. I'm the type of player you probably want to try an attract as there are a LOT of us. We enjoy engagement, even if it's button mashing and waiting for cool-downs. I know Wurm has a lag issue to deal with, so a tab-targeted system would work fine. Let us auto-attack like usual, but have specials we can do (at least 1 at 1 fight skill, more to get as we skill up) that are on a global cool-down. Let me feel like I am making decisions for my character, not just watching him fight. Players like to feel like they are fighting using their characters, not just watching.

 

I'm wary of bringing up WoW combat but look at how well that game has done, it still has millions of players 16 years later, they're doing a lot right. Combat is the main aspect.

 

Fighting skill could give base options such as a power attack for extra damage but at a reduced hit chance, or Off-Hand Strike where a dual-wielding character makes an off-hand attack that maybe hinders the opponent for a few seconds.

 

Weapon skills could unlock moves we could drag to our quickbar as well, abilities unique to each class of weapon.

 

All abilities could cost some bit of Stamina, so players would have to manage their energy. Perhaps add in some stamina potions or something so resource management becomes a skill.

 

These are just a few suggestions. I'd be more than happy to help you work on more ideas.

Ultimately we aren't really looking to shift wurm towards themeparks, Wurm is in its very core a sandbox, and a lot of the world is built around MUD styles (thus the event bar being needed for everything)

 

Some interesting parts, I think you might not be aware there are special attacks already that unlock with higher fight skill maybe? 

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9 minutes ago, Retrograde said:

Ultimately we aren't really looking to shift wurm towards themeparks, Wurm is in its very core a sandbox, and a lot of the world is built around MUD styles (thus the event bar being needed for everything)

 

Some interesting parts, I think you might not be aware there are special attacks already that unlock with higher fight skill maybe? 

 

I'd like animations for all the effects, like a mob grasping for air, or falling over after a shield bash.

And maybe it's time for damage numbers, the rest of the game is all numbers.

 

Also I might be wrong here, but those special attacks unlock after you've been fighting for a while (and a pretty long while), so by the time I finally could press em the mob is most often 80% dead and they don't have much of a use anyway.

Then I also hear people say that they don't do much in PVE while over 95% of all the combat in this game is PVE.

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Im a "theme-park mmo player" aswell, and i love this game also. I play, and have played a really wide variety of mmos and games in general, but Wurm is really the only that i can fall back to and know exactly what i can expect. Im also concidered by some as a general "steam kid" that apparently likes fast paced games - but yet still here i am, after all these years.

 

While there might be some wonkyness with the fighting, heck its even boring sometimes - the many aspects of this game weigh up for it. If something would be done to improve the fighting, that would be pure bonus for me. The one thing i could agree on is tab-targeting - or atleast some other way of engaging combat. The right click -> target, then run up to a mob and stand there and watch it slowly die feels indeed strange when you compare it to other games. Then again, i wouldnt dare compare other games' aspects to the many other aspects of Wurm. ;) 

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4 hours ago, Retrograde said:

Ultimately we aren't really looking to shift wurm towards themeparks, Wurm is in its very core a sandbox, and a lot of the world is built around MUD styles (thus the event bar being needed for everything)

 

Some interesting parts, I think you might not be aware there are special attacks already that unlock with higher fight skill maybe? 

 

I don't think Victor was advocating for making Wurm a theme park...but rather that the combat mechanic could borrow some mechanics from other games. Currently we already have WoW's combat system, but it is just a lot less intuitive, all of it is text based and it never feels like any actions you do as a player actually make any difference to the outcome (I'm speaking about pve). WoW's combat system at its core is exactly the same as Wurm's....target a mob...walk up to it and auto attack....then you have abilities to use that will make your attack more....however in Wow, it is approximately a 50/50 split between auto damage and ability damage. In Wurm...its more like 95/5.

 

If the special attacks were redesigned so that you get 1 to start with any weapon and as you skill up the weapon skill another will unlock every 10 or 20 skill so all are unlocked by 70 and then make it so these abilities do way more damage or have a more powerful effect, this would go a long way to making it feel like the player has more control over the battle. Auto damage could be scaled down to compensate. The abilities can be designed to do have a wide range of effects such as bleeding, interrupting, knockdown, increasing hit chance, increased damage, etc 

 

The excuse is always that we don't want Wurm to become a theme park....but changing the combat system could never cause this to happen. All it would do is make it so people will have a lot more fun doing the things they already do in Wurm.

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1 hour ago, McGarnicle said:

 

I don't think Victor was advocating for making Wurm a theme park...but rather that the combat mechanic could borrow some mechanics from other games. Currently we already have WoW's combat system, but it is just a lot less intuitive, all of it is text based and it never feels like any actions you do as a player actually make any difference to the outcome (I'm speaking about pve). WoW's combat system at its core is exactly the same as Wurm's....target a mob...walk up to it and auto attack....then you have abilities to use that will make your attack more....however in Wow, it is approximately a 50/50 split between auto damage and ability damage. In Wurm...its more like 95/5.

 

If the special attacks were redesigned so that you get 1 to start with any weapon and as you skill up the weapon skill another will unlock every 10 or 20 skill so all are unlocked by 70 and then make it so these abilities do way more damage or have a more powerful effect, this would go a long way to making it feel like the player has more control over the battle. Auto damage could be scaled down to compensate. The abilities can be designed to do have a wide range of effects such as bleeding, interrupting, knockdown, increasing hit chance, increased damage, etc 

 

The excuse is always that we don't want Wurm to become a theme park....but changing the combat system could never cause this to happen. All it would do is make it so people will have a lot more fun doing the things they already do in Wurm.

This is exactly my point. I didn't want Wurm to become a themepark, I was just comparing their combat to Wurm's. Wurm has it's own charm and niche and making combat more intuitive and engaging would go a long way to retaining and gaining new players.

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Combat in Wurm isn't bad, but it is misunderstood. When you get into PvP; targeting, footing and special moves have tangible impact. Would be fun to have something similar in PvE, but I'm not sure how it can be implemented when you're fighting a mostly static opponent. If you want twitch combat, one "easy" way to do it is to have mobs do special moves that you can block by defending low/high/right/left.

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Wurm is a time sink. Meaning, I can start to do one thing and three hours later I'm not done. I love this.  Often I will find myself in the middle of the woods and dogs need out, it's time to cook dinner, or I need to do X around the house. I even will run to the grocery store, all while staying logged in. With my 92FS it doesn't matter where I am, I don't have to worry about coming back to a red screen. I don't want more "engaging" combat. I want to know that I don't have to constantly log out and back in, and with very few exceptions I'll come back and pick up where I left off.

 

 

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On 6/14/2020 at 3:05 AM, Retrograde said:

When you say fix, what sort of combat do you envision? 

Floating combat text for damage you deal (or didn't deal because of a miss) damage someone dealt to you (or you blocked), and a visible swing timer would be a good start

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I never got into Wurm for the Combat, but for the Crafting & Sandbox appeal. I stuck around because of the ability to do quite a vast number of things while not feeling limited in any aspect. The community was always really helpful to when I was first starting off, which is what I'm trying to do now for anyone that I see is a new player.

I feel the Dev team is doing quite a good job with what they are pushing out and I never really doubted the direction that they were going in. I'm quite interested to see what else will come with future updates, and I'm sure anyone that tries the game and sees what there is to offer will want to invest more time into the game. Though I completely expect there to be people that don't want to offer up their time and simply judge it right off the bat within the first five minutes, but thats the way steam is. Some of the steam reviews I've seen from games are hilarious with the amount of time they give a game to impress them.

First rule of Wurm: Everything takes time, you need patience.

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Wurm combat is really only as good as it can get, the only thing Dev's can really do is Overhaul weapons, armour, swing timers, 

Which is always a possibility as it hasn't changed all that much.

But combat for this type of game, I have no personal complaints

 

 

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13 hours ago, Jotz said:

I never got into Wurm for the Combat, but for the Crafting & Sandbox appeal. I stuck around because of the ability to do quite a vast number of things while not feeling limited in any aspect. The community was always really helpful to when I was first starting off, which is what I'm trying to do now for anyone that I see is a new player.

I feel the Dev team is doing quite a good job with what they are pushing out and I never really doubted the direction that they were going in. I'm quite interested to see what else will come with future updates, and I'm sure anyone that tries the game and sees what there is to offer will want to invest more time into the game. Though I completely expect there to be people that don't want to offer up their time and simply judge it right off the bat within the first five minutes, but thats the way steam is. Some of the steam reviews I've seen from games are hilarious with the amount of time they give a game to impress them.

First rule of Wurm: Everything takes time, you need patience.

Unfortunately for this game however, most of the steam memberbase are people who play quick action combats/building games with medium to low effort, wurm is a very slow game and takes time. I'd honestly hope to be wrong but i dont see the steam release doing much for the game other than to create more haters. Hence why the OP was right when they said that the game would not suddenly appeal to more people than it does right now, almost anyone who has interest in these kinds of games has already found out about wurm, given it a try and left or stayed. And also to address something that i often see, "Wurm unlimited did relatively well on steam so why would WO not get the same" WU is designed in a way where players can modify their gameplay experience to make it less tedious and more engaging, WO does not have that especially considering the fact that RETRO confirmed the steam servers would be 1x which would be no different than what the other servers have (save for epic)

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@Haseroths: All those assumptions that Wurm has already exhausted its worldwide potential playerbase sound utterly dubious to me. To my experience, outside the world of committed sandbox gamers, Wurm is almost completely unknown, and outside a few insider portals and blogs, as well as invisible to a wider public.

 

And speculations about "most of the steam memberbase" are dubious at best. The playerbase of steam, by the accounts registered, is counting by a billion, with tens of millions simultaneously logged in every day. It is pure megalomania to claim knowledge about the inclination of this crowd of people. Certainly CC/GC has tapped into the largest possible audience where a few hundred or, if everything goes even better, some thousand are expected to become seriously interested in Wurm and playing.

 

So let us see before jumping to predictions. Your crystal ball is not better than mine.

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On 6/13/2020 at 10:25 PM, Victor said:

Take this from a theme-park MMO player. I'm the type of player you probably want to try an attract as there are a LOT of us.

 

Looking for the large audience isn't necessarily better. There is greater competition and that translates into a higher promotional cost. What do you think attracts people to Wurm the most? Combat? Or creative expression? When it comes to promoting games (or anything for that matter), you can:

 

1. Target the large markets.

2. Target the niche markets.

 

In both cases, the type of game will attract one or the other and in some cases players that enjoy both. Looking at 1 and 2 differently:

 

1. Target the fat crowd, those that are overwhelmed with video game choices that fit their popular style of gameplay and can consume 1000's of games just like that.

2. Target the starving, those that are not impressed by games that all look alike, feel alike, and have the same experience and are looking for something unique.

 

When one has a product like Wurm, that is unique, then one attracts the starving crowd of people looking for a unique experience. This is also more cost effective because the "fat crowd" is not looking for games as much; the result is that games are thrown at them (push marketing). But the starving crowd cannot find satisfaction so they are actively looking (pull marketing). I'm not saying combat can't be improved (though I'm personally happy with it as it is now), I'm just saying that marketing to the large "popular" crowd means dealing with greater competition too. The niche crowd is smaller and therefore competition is smaller as well.

 

Wurm is a unique experience, combat could be better, but it's not the things one can do in Wurm (fight) that can also be done in most other games (also fight) that attracts most, it's all the things you can do in Wurm that can't be done in other games. That is the hook for Wurm.  And no matter how fancy fighting can become in Wurm, it is nothing compared to everything else one can do and if one does not love the other stuff, nice fighting probably wont retain them.

 

Just to be clear, whether the combat system is altered in any way or not, it's better to advertise a game based on how it is different and unique, rather than focus on a single characteristic that makes it similar to every other game, so I find myself disagreeing with you when you say that changing combat will go a long ways to bring in more players. I think the effort they are putting into promoting the game through Steam will do well to bring in the type of player that can appreciate Wurm, though I don't know how many of those there are on Steam: but that would certainly focus more on the creative sandbox fans moreso than the combat fans.

 

 

Edited by Whane
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13 hours ago, Haseroths said:

almost anyone who has interest in these kinds of games has already found out about wurm, given it a try and left or stayed.

 

This is not necessarily true.  My own experience would tell me there are others who have not found Wurm.

 

I have long had an interest in "these kind of games", since before the internet was a thing.  However, I am not the kind of person who keeps digging over old ground, which includes not regularly searching the internet for this very specific kind of game.  I don't know about what marketing Wurm ever had, but none of it ever reached me.  I very specifically searched sand-box, survival, crafting and even world-building type games late last year, and Wurm itself was not in the first several pages of search returns (and I don't go past 4 or 5 pages as a matter of habit).  I found it in a list of briefly reviewed sand-box games on a third party site, and it was the 3rd game in that list that I tried (4th if you count OSRS, which I already had).  Wurm's historical lack of presence in the market means that many have probably not even come across it (because they are not always looking for the next game) are exactly the sort who are likely to stick at it (because they are not always looking for the next game).  These are the people looking not for the NEXT game but for a BETTER game than they have experienced so far.

Edited by TheTrickster
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Issue is that PVE especially is 99% auto-combat

People aren't asking for twitch... They want to have some decisions in a fight......

GUI for combat doesn't look good and make things confusing;

Also damage and healing is overly complex, with the wound system, and forcing players to look at their model in a middle of a fight.

Which is somewhat fixed if you have a FO Priest or Life stealing weapons.

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With the new UI changes I do hope combat is the next step for a big overhaul.

 

Lots of improvements can be made and the forums have been spammed in recent months with people making great suggestions to how feedback is given to the player.


From seeing swing timers, to customizing damage feedback (whether in % or rough numbers), it would be nice if we could consolidate all those threads into one. First few games I've played in my life had "strange" combat mechanics.

Usually : simple is better. Most games who tend to do great when it comes to combat have the philosophy of "easy to learn, hard to master". Wurm's combat is sadly the opposite "Hard to learn, hard to master". For Pve it's not that much of an issue, but for people in PvP these changes would be great.

 

"Auto-combat" = most games have a form of that type of combat. The reward for using manual combat should be that you can finish a fight faster if you use manual combat.

First few days in Wurm I struggled to understand the difference between manual combat and auto. I didn't "feel" like manual fighting was making a significant impact, even to a cow or a dog.

 

Manual combat is the one that needs a big overhaul. The only issue with Wurm's general Pve combat is how everything feels so disconnected from player input. I just target a mob and "stuff happens", either my HP bar drops or the mob dies before me. That's about it. The game does all the math in the background for every swing, block, body stat, weapon QL, etc. What I mean to say even manual combat is actually mostly auto combat.

 

I wish we could have certain moves in game that helped us be more "pro-active" when it comes to combat so it feels we're mastering something. Like stabbing a troll's leg to stun it for a few seconds to run away. Even the special moves we have don't make much sense. I can't remember all their names but I do recall often reading the sentence "The <insert mob name here> is drained of stamina". Is it though? Cause when I back out of combat I do see it having infinite stam.

 

"Animation speed" would be another thing that could be spruced up. It would be great if you could visually figure out what mob targets what player. Especially during rifts or in small fights where you might want to taunt off a creature off someone. Mobs turn around slowly when shifting targets.

 

Right now it mostly comes down to learning just how much punishment you can take vs what mob. Once you get an LT huge axe and 70 FS, combat is near meaningless on the PvE side. There isn't much to learn then a lot of the advice given, and that's also advice I've given over time "just use an LT wep, with or without shield" and you'll be fine.

 

 

Edited by elentari
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