Friday, December 20, 2013

Are You Ready For Mounted Aerial Combat?

The actual title should be "Are you ready for mounted aerial combat the way I envision it?" but it was a little too long.  This is not saying that aerial combat is coming, just that it would be kind of cool.

In a little moment of day dreaming yesterday I had an idea pass through my head that I wanted to think about a little more so what else is an elf to do but think about it while typing and see what comes out.  So bear with me as I try to explain what I visualized in a little day dream I had the other day.  It was only a fleeting image, but it sure seemed cool in my warped elvish mind.

Whenever class you are dictates the abilities you have when you are flying around.  There are no "specs" your flying mount abilities are your flying mount abilities.  This is to make the flying battle system fair otherwise hunters would rule the skies, not like there is anything wrong with that.  As the only ranged class that can attack while moving if you followed the same battle rules in the air as you do while on the ground that would mean hunters would rule the skies.  Come to think of that, I like that idea. ;) 

That sounds basic enough right?  Well that is not where my day dream started, that is kind of standard for any vision of flying combat that anyone has ever thought up before.  Almost like vehicle combat, but better.  There would need to be different abilities, mounted abilities.  I just differ in making them different by class, not different just because you are on a mount and they are the same mount testability for everyone, that would be too boring in my world.

In my day dream the mounts had abilities as well.  Just as you, the player, would get your new actions and abilities, your mount too has their own actions and abilities.

It would follow something along the lines of the pet battle system, three abilities for each mount, two different options you can choose from to "spec" your mount.   So there would be a total of 8 mounted abilities for everyone.  Five player abilities and three mount abilities.

Sounds kind of cool so far doesn't it?  Well, if you could see what is in my head you would think it was.  Or you would call the people with the white straight jackets to come pick me up immediately.  One or the other.  But lets go with the assumption that you are leaning toward the former and want to hear more, so here comes.

This is where my day dream got fun and what made me want to write this post before I had even fleshed it out the idea in my head much.  Mount abilities.

Each mount would have three abilities, one would be along the lines of a basic attack that builds "Power", the mounts resource, the second ability would be a choice between free utility either as healing or control and the third would be a special ability, or 2 actually too choose from, that are specific for that mount.  This is where your power will be spent.

That is where I started to have fun with my thoughts for the short time I day dreamed.

Ashes of Al'ar would have these two special abilities to choose from.
1) Choose to put someone in a 10 yard diameter circle where they can not move from it for 15 seconds.  In its golden blazing ball the person can be attacked, and can attack out of it, but the ball will not move and neither can they.  Lock them in for the killing blow as you peek in range, shoot, get out of range before they shoot back, or use it to get away, you have 15 seconds to make as much distance as possible.
2) Singe your tail feathers creating a trail of ash behind you, anyone that flies through the trail of ash has their speed lowered by 70% for 10 seconds.  While your tail feathers are singed your speed is reduced by 30%.  Cost X power to activate and X power to deactivate.  Cover the skies in your ashes.

Bloodbathed / Icebound Frostbrood Vanquisher would have these two special abilities to choose from.
1) Freeze the target mount stopping it in mid air and making it free fall and uncontrollable for 10 seconds.  Your opponent better hope they were high enough up that they gain control before they go splat or low enough down that going splat will not kill them.
2) Frost breath does X damage to the mount where x is equal to the current damage of the rider percentage wise.  If the rider is sitting at 10% health frost breath will do 90% of the mounts total health in damage to the mount.

Hippogryph's of all types would have one similar ability unique to their class and one original to that type.
1) The shared ability of all hippogyphs would be the call, an ability that does X damage to the targeted mount and summons a flock or hippogyyph young to attack both mount and rider for 20 seconds, 40 second cooldown.
Cenarion War Hippogryph
2)  The hippogryph lets out a battle cry that increases all mount and riders attack power in the group by 5% for 20 seconds, can stack with other hippogryph's battle calls.  15 second cooldown, stacks up to 5 times.
Blazing Hippogryph
2)  Increase speed by 300% for 10 seconds and create a world of flame setting the air on fire.  Anyone, mount or rider alike, that makes contact with the fire will get a stacking debuff that stacks every 2 seconds they are in contact with the fire.  The debuff does x damage per stack per second for 10 seconds.  Fire created by the blazing hippogryph lasts for 40 seconds, 1 minute cooldown.
Flameward Hippogryph
2) Set the target mount on fire set to explode.  The closer it remains to you the more damage is done to it.  So they better get away, or you better keep close.
Argent Hippogryph
2) The hippogryph lets out a battle cry that increases all mount and riders attack speed in the group by 10% for 10 seconds, can stack with other hippogryph's battle calls.  20 second cooldown, stacks up to 10 times.  Best used in groups filled with flameward hippogryphs in unison for insane burst.
Emerald Hippogryph
2) Increase speed by 300% for 10 seconds and leave a trail of green healing bubbles in the air that will slowly float to the ground.  The longer they exists the less healing they do when picked up. If a healing bubble hits the ground a tree will spawn for 10 seconds that any person can fly through for healing, so don't let the enemy get it.

Mounts would have a LOT more life than their riders.  While they could be killed causing their riders to drop to the ground, it would not be intended as that being the main focus.  Most deaths this way would be through fall damage however, so if you are confident in your fighting, fighting high is to your advantage.

If a mount is killed in the air you get a 5 second buff where you can now summon a mount while falling, better have it keybound, and it better not be the one that just died, because any mounts that die do not come back to life until you are out of combat for 30 seconds.  Also, if you dismiss a mount while in aerial combat you will get a debuff that makes it so you can not mount again.  So no trying to dismount and switch mounts when yours starts to get low you sneaky goblin you.

The object is to kill the riders.  Some mounts have abilities that target riders, some abilities that target mounts, some that target both.  Using the right combination, and using them in unison with others, can make for the best aerial combat team.

Mount temporary buffs are not like player buffs, they buff all players of the same faction that are within 100 yards diameter of them when cast.

I think the fun part of this little day dream I had was thinking about the special mount attack abilities.  I really like them and the first I thought of was the "world on fire" ability of the blazing hippogryph, but that makes sense, because that is the main mount I use, of course it would be the first one I think of.

Just for the fun of it, what do you think would be some fun abilities that would fit certain mounts, like frost fitting frost, blazing being blazing, and ashes leaving, well, ashes in his wake.

Well, I would write more, but the guys with the straight jackets are here to take me away.  I thought you said you were not going to call them. :(


  1. Anon, Grumpy's former GL:

    What I always wanted was for mounts to be treated as semi-independent creatures much the same as hunter pets or warlock demons. What you suggest for Aerial Combat, I would like to see extended to mounted combat in general.

    Heavy lances would become an important part of any mounted plate wearer's armor/weapon gear list. Lighter lances or javelins might well be used by chain or leather wearers for mounted combat.

    For casters, the same rules apply, instant cast spells can be cast while moving and time based castings require the mount to be still.

    As an additional gold sink, I would like to see learning mounted combat at level 20 and 60 (land and air) as a secondary choice once riding is learned.

    There is a lot that could be done with such a system, but such is unlikely for Bliz to pursue.

    1. This idea might work better for ground combat which would be better, but I can't see people wanting to do it when they normally fight on the ground as is.

      They have been very bad with mounted combat in general, doesn't mean they can't learn from their mistakes and get better at it.

      Wait, what I am talking about, this is blizzard, they never learn from their mistakes. :P

  2. "This is to make the flying battle system fair otherwise hunters would rule the skies, not like there is anything wrong with that."

    So, basically it would be like 90% of the raid bosses out there these days, substituting "ranged" for "hunters". At least it'd be the status quo. ;)

    (getting really tired of seeing 95% of the LFM trade ads requesting rdps specifically... and not really blaming them...)

    I don't ever want to see this. My experiences with 3D combat in WoW have been the stuff of nightmares. I was horrible in the last phase of EoE (and was always the last to go up on discs in the earlier phase) and I'm not sure I *EVER* survived the last boss in the elemental raid in Cataclysm (only killed it a few times, though, so that isn't quite as bad as it sounds, none of us liked it and we rarely did it). I hated the Wrath heroic that required 3D combat. Look at that, I hate those instances so much in most cases I've burned the names out of my mind. I know there have been others but I don't think I've done any others while they were current content.

    3D combat is bad for me, end of story, even when they aren't vehicle fights. You're describing basically my worst nightmare if it can't be avoided...

    I still have nightmares about the Joust quests in Hyjal.

    1. Ranged are just better. It is not a wow thing, it is a reality thing. In real life, in game, if you can kill someone before they even reach you, you are doing it right.

      Blizzard could spend some time and effort on it and try to make it better. Yes, their track record with flying combat is suspect at best and horrible at worst. But that does not mean they can not get better at it.

      They would most likely need a new engine to handle it, but they are going to need a new one some day anyway, might as well make it for that when they are updating it and give it a shot.

      I hated the hyjal one too. But after doing it enough I got good at it and then I did not mind it so much any more. I don't think it is a case of it being that bad, just being different and people fear doing things that are different. It is human nature for most. Me too.

    2. Nah, in my case it's just a natural dislike of actual 3D games (not graphics, the game environment). I like playing games that occur on my plate, I don't like having to worry about above and below. This dates way back to the original 3D space games... I enjoyed space games when they were 2D (Star Control, etc), once 3D came out starting with, I think, Homeworld, that was the end of that genre for me. I tried it, just didn't like it and 15 years later I still don't like 3D game environments. I'm fine with 3D graphics, of course, I just want to play within a primarily 2D space.

    3. Edit: my plane, not my plate, wasn't sure that one would make sense without the clarification.

    4. I agree, it is a different style of game and I too do not like it. But it is something, under some circumstances, I could adjust too.

      Playing in 3D actually requires a different type of thinking. I don't think many people are designed that way naturally.

  3. This wouldn't be in response to galactic starfighter would it? That's mounted pvp combat.

    Well no your idea is different with the vehicles having class specific abilities. Anyway aerial combat is not that great.

    You said you got sick from Vash'jir? I don't know if that's the same but the whole 360 deg movement makes me motion sick. I played a couple of matches, wound up accidentally self destructing a few times when I lost my sense of up and down and gave it up as a bad job. So such a feature really would not be for everyone. I just don't think I'm physically able to do it. I don't know what it is. I can't play portal or bioshock infinite, or any games from a first person perspective. I can't watch our guilds raid stream as I can't watch someone else play. If I'm not controlling a character, even in warcraft, I feel ill.

    Plus it's pvp so somehow even though the feature hasn't been out two minutes you get masses of abuse for being new. I don't imagine warcraft's mounted pvp would be any different. Plus the few aerial jousting bits warcraft has done were pretty terrible which isn't exactly the greatest of starts.

    Anyway I think having abilities related to class is really interesting. I don't think I've seen that before.

    1. Yes I hated vash'ir with a passion and it did make me sick, but I believe that was more due to the underwater effects, not the flying. As well all know, flying and swimming use the same design.

      It is not a response to that because I do not even know what that is. lol Just an idea that popped into mind.

      Maybe it is something that they could add an arena for, designed to work better, and not make it open world? Perhaps that would be a good testing grounds if they ever wanted to go that way. I do believe a new engine would be needed.