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Observation :

The lock system currently has two main problems:
  • It is random
  • It favors static gameplay
The random aspect of the lock system leaves too much to chance during combat, and prevents players from accurately predicting the result of their actions, something that we deem inappropriate for a tactical game.

What’s more, this system often creates static gameplay when an opponent has no chance of escaping, or when he doesn’t want to risk trying to escape (because the chance of failure is too high). This results in battles where only a small part of the battle area is used, which forces players to resort to close combat. Once more, this does not encourage tactical gameplay since it limits the tactical choices available to players.

Less random and more strategic:

We have, therefore, decided to improve the lock system by making it static (in other words, not random, but predictable), as of the March 29th update.
To replace successful lock or dodge probability, we decided to apply an MP and AP penalty in direct relation to the lock and dodge skill of all parties concerned.
Before making a decision, the player will be able to know:
  • How many AP he will lose.
  • How many MP he will lose.
  • How many squares he can move if he is in a tackle zone.
  • How many squares he can move if he gets rid of a lock (by pushing back his opponents, for example).
From now on, an escape attempt will cause the player to lose a percentage of AP and MP which will depend on the Dodge stat (of the escaping player) and the Lock stat (of the Locking player).

The percentage of AP and MP remaining during an dodge attempt is based on the following formulae:
Percentage = (Dodge + 2) / ((2 x (Lock + 2))
These two consistents allow the system to function even when players have very low Dodge and Lock stats.


The Osa has 70 Lock and 10 Dodge; the Rogue has 10 Lock and 70 Dodge, the Masqueraider has 40 in both Lock and Dodge. All 3 characters have 10 AP and 5 MP.


With equal Dodge and Lock values, the escaping player will systematically lose half his AP and half his MP.
A player with half the Dodge of his opponent’s Lock skill will lose about 75% of his AP and MP while trying to escape.

If several players are Locking, the percentage of AP / MP lost is the product of the percentages calculated for each Locking player. For example, if a player attempts to escape when he is in contact with two opponents with equal Lock and Escape skill values, he will lose 75% of his AP and MP (50% x 50% = 25%). This system rewards the use of several Locking players to block a single target.



Same players, same stats, different situations.


To completely immobilise a target (by removing all his AP and MP during an escape), the player needs a Lock skill higher than:
Target_MP x (Target_dodge + 2) – 2
For example, to completely immobilise a player with 6 MP and an escape skill of 10, you would need a Lock skill of at least 70.

To escape a Lock area without losing any AP or MP, the player’s Dodge needs to be greater than or equal to twice the Lock of the Locking player +2.
For example, to escape without losing any AP or MP when in contact with a player with 10 to Lock, you need a Dodge stat of at least 22.

In case of equal Dodge and Lock values, the escaping player will lose half his AP and MP. In the old system, the escaping player had a 50% chance of losing all his MP and a quarter of his AP (on average, 50% MP and 12,5% AP loss).

This new system doesn’t make Lock any less effective, it just transforms a probability into a predictable set of rules.

A Locking player will no longer be affected by chance when a player attempts to escape. The escapee will no longer be able to move a significant distance away from his opponent.
This system makes a complete Lock (where the enemy is unable to escape) very hard (we don’t want static battles), but gives the locking player a better control over his opponent’s AP since the escaping player will have to use his AP by making contact with the Locking player or face losing a large part of his AP.

Adding importance to all Dodge and Lock stat values

The way the old Lock system worked only favoured extremely high levels of Lock and Dodge, since only extremely high stats allowed the player consistent success when Dodging or Locking.

This new system gives more importance to Lock and Dodge, no matter the amount, in that it reduces the amount of AP and MP lost when attempting to escape, and increases the amount of AP and MP removed during Lock attempts. These attempts now have set values: players who do not wish to take too many chances deciding the outcome of a fight can now attempt to Lock or Dodge knowing exactly what they will lose or what their enemy will lose without suffering the downsides of a luck-based system.

This system will encourage players to attempt actions that they would otherwise not have tried (because the result was too unpredictable) with the old Lock system, and to add importance to their Lock and Dodge stat investments, even if they don’t intend to specialise in Locking or Dodging.

Accelerated combat:

This new Lock management system prevent is from completely stopping a player’s movement every time he enters a Lock zone. Indeed, since AP and MP loss is now set in stone, they can be calculated in advance and applied automatically without having to process each escape attempt separately. Therefore, combat movement will be faster.

In-game display:

In order to make the new system as intuitive as possible, Lock values can be displayed by highlighting entities in combat.
AP and MP loss values for each Dodge attempt will be displayed on the player’s movement path.

In addition, players will be able to easily visualize inaccessible squares (displayed in red), which also corresponds to squares potentially accessible if the player can completely avoid Lock attempts (by pushing back the Locking player, for example).

Management of Invisibility:

From now on, invisible players will be immune to Lock, meaning they won’t be able to Lock their opponents, and will always be able to escape. This change was necessary to guarantee that the predetermined system would work correctly. It also seems more coherent with the current role given to invisibility: moving freely without being seen or blocked.

AI:

Monsters will, of course, take this new Lock system into consideration, which will allow them to behave more efficiently since it will be predetermined. For example, a monster will be able to take initiative and decide to lose a large amount of AP and MP if it allows him to kill an opponent anyway.

This new system will therefore improve the gameplay experience during combat against monsters, by making them less random, and more predictable and tactical.

Slowing down a monster’s movement by locking it will now be a much more viable option, as players will be able to know exactly how many AP and MP they will cause it to lose each turn without fear of the old random system with could completely ruin some tactics based on lock.

In the old system, a monster could randomly succeed in escaping a Locking player whilst losing no AP or MP, and could therefore keep its entire offensive potential. This type of situation will no longer happen.

Conclusion:

The role of dodgelocker will evolve to a more tactically interesting position in a team. The Locking player will increase his capacity to reduce enemy movement (keeping him at arm's reach) while increasing his potential to control the opponent via AP loss inflicted on players attempting to escape a lock with a low Dodge score.

Originally posted by Lichen
Category: Community - Game design