Hey, since you mentioned me I felt obligated to respond! Well written post by the way, even if I disagree with a lot of it. I'll post about the things I felt I had something decent to reply with.
While there is a discussion about targeting, I think the aim factor MAY (please notice I said MAY with caps) allow a player to bring more "skill" to the table. Let us just consider the most "skill based" game in competitive gaming. Of course some will say Starcraft, some will say Dota etc. but for me, it is undoubtedly CS. The reason for CS being so skillcapped is not a complex issue. First, the aim factor (under the aim factor, you have branches such as spray control, tapping, range, positioning, reflex, etc) allows players with better aims to excel against others (excluding teamplay here) and second, the mindgames in CS allows players to combat mentally as well (teamplay, fake strats, fake sounds, fake flash, split tactics, fake sprays, fake reloads, smoke rushing etc.)
As you can see, while the aim itself of course brings a higher skillcap, it is these mindgames what makes a game so entertaining. You see these top level mindgames in Dota, LoL, Starcraft, CS:GO, apart from the actual hard-earned skill itself (aim in cs is hard earned, just like the micromanagement and teamplay in Dota, LoL, [no teamplay in SC but it is the king of micromanagement]).
Then on the other hand, you have the WoW arena. I am not going to bash it here, but it is certain that there is a group of players (including myself) who like the concept of 3v3 PvP in an arena setting. While many games tried to take it to a next-generation level, many failed, and this should be a lesson to be learned by potential developers and potential next-generation systems.
Yes, aiming brings a new set of skills required to perform - there's no denying that.
Yes, in CS aiming is king - but CS doesn't have a boat load of skills, same goes for MOBAs and Overwatch.
I am fully convinced that you can't make a game with the depth of WoW Arena PvP (Overwatch nor CS has the depth WoW has - they have the same/higher skill cap perhaps, but not the same depth).
You mentioned Wildstar, and imo that game was far to spammy, non-focused on CC-chains and suffered from the usual lag problems related to aiming. And I firmly believe all that stems from using far too many AoE spells (either in the form of cones or just aimed like old Blizzard from WoW).
AoE damage de-incentivizes CC (and adding a "does not attack CC'd people" is just weird tbh) and we all know the rage involved with hitting laggy people with aimed abilities.
Imo, you can't make a spiritual successor to WoW PvP without implementing the most core feature, namely lock-on targeting.
Frankly, I think the creator of "The Arena" game is doing a good job. Of course, there is room for improvement, and it is probably why he/she is posting here, to get feedback.
Sure, of course he is doing a good job so far. But I think s/he
A) won't finish the project.
doesn't have the resources to market the project.
C) isn't the right person to be the to be the front face of the project (Russian made PvP games always flop in the EU/US + s/he responded far too agressively to my first post - doesn't bode well).
D) will get shut down due to copyright infringement. The author even posted a video where he describes how the abilities in his game function just like famous abilities from WoW - gl winning a court case after that one. Doing something like that shows the person isn't ready to lead a project like this.
Therefore, "The Arena" could distinguish between skills which require actual aim, vs skills which require tab-targeting. Both is skill, but one is aim, the other one is micromanagement. Since you are in between, why not introduce both, to create a higher skill ceiling while actually improving game fluidity ? Your unique hybrid mechanism could bring a next-gen level itself, if it is good enough.
WoW already has this, and so did Wildstar (to some extent) they both had some abilities that were targeted and some that were aimed. Wildstar obviously had far more that were aimed than WoW - but they're both on the spectrum.
Wildstar failed heavily (especially in the PvP department) and aimed spells is one of the most disliked mechanics in WoW (admittedly partly because of WoW's poor netcode).
Actually, these two things combined (1) Aiming and (2) # of abilities is the number one reason BLC/Bloodrite is not a spiritual successor to WoW PvP.
It has been tried before and it has failed.
Someone should try making a real copy of WoW Arena. Without all the fluff-fluff to make it more MOBA-like. That has never been tried before.
In WoW, you have fake casting, positioning, movement (grip/blink) etc. Try to find ways to bring more interesting / better mindgames with your game. I read that Ridtur mentioned body blocking. In this game, the first time I was watching it, I thought to myself : "If there is actual body blocking this could be good." Imagine what could body blocking potentially bring to your game. The level of teamplay would drastically improve, the actual positioning would matter. Your "mutant" class could accomplish more than just chasing someone to death (I know it as fear/CC etc but imagine if the mutant could actually take the hits via positioning, and if there are skill based purely around this concept). Certain classes could have certain spells such that body-blocking would actually benefit them offensively etc.
Honestly, all I see happening is it being a complete clusterfuck due to casters standing in front of their healers blocking CC forever and melee's always standing in front of casters so they're unable to cast anything on anyone but said melee.
Oh and the obvious "OOHH I FUCKING HIT HIM, THIS LAG!!!" rage.
Your game looks a bit grim, it reminds me more of a Mortal Combat/Prototype mash-up. If this is the message you'd like to convey, then bring more reflex-related, reaction based skills, and make it look more violent, more aggressive.
However, speaking from my own experience, colours are good. Colourful games are more stimulant compared to grim looking games (there are several papers on this issue). So, if you could introduce a bit more colour/maybe also in a cartoony fashion, your game will do better against aging.
In summary, there is potential in this game. I hope you will make it more user friendly while creating more depth in the actual skill-level itself. I have some ideas, and this post is waaaaaay too long anyway, but I wish you good luck with your project.
This I do fully agree with.
I understand that the assets currently used are mostly placeholders but it looks really really aged atm, and whenever you go for a more grim and realistic art style aging becomes an issue really fast.
Just look at WoW Arena, it's a 7 years (or so) old game mode and it still doesn't look too aged - mostly due to the art style. Obviously spells and stuff have gotten updated but you can go look at TBC Private Server Arena movies and honestly - it doesn't look that aged (don't look at retail footage from the time, people played so bad back then that it simply feels/looks aged due to that - at least to me it does).
Edited by Konjunktur, 17 September 2017 - 01:30 AM.