Some thoughts on stamina

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Some thoughts on stamina

Postby Musashi » Tue Jun 07, 2011 2:06 pm

Hey, sorry I haven't been around much lately, I've been a bit busy here and there. :P

I thought I'd share my observations about stamina so far.

Stamina drains far too quickly. I don't know if this is because of high action costs or low stamina reservoirs but it seems as though 9/10 of the time I'm resting is because my character is tired. Combat stances (granted I've only gotten to Kame) seem to be massive stamina drains, almost doubling my usage. Combat abilities like kick and punch, do laughable amounts of damage and seem to drain a lot of stamina also. In fact, when I'm grinding it seems as though I'm spending as much time resting my stamina as I am fighting mobs!

From a game design aspect, I'm curious why this is implemented this way. I could see a potential curve where higher level characters would have more stamina to play around with, which makes sense, but I think this cripples low level characters far too much. I know realistically it'd be very tiring (and impossible for me!) to run into battle triple kicking the hell out of anything that moves but, realistically speaking, I could probably kill a rabbit without getting very winded also, assuming I was sadistic like that. On that note though, I'd assume realism would be suspended considering this is a MUD based off a fantastic anime.

My suggestion is to simply make the MUD more forgiving in regards to stamina consumption. Stances, especially defensive ones, shouldn't drain nearly as much stamina, especially if you've practiced them a lot. Kick, punch, double kick...honestly, for the damage they do I don't see why they should use any stamina at all at this point lol.

Basically I'm several hours into the MUD now and I still feel as though my character really, really, sucks for his level. I feel it's safe to say it isn't because any poor decisions on my part, my char has just always come across as some kind of fragile unathletic wimp that still has to fight for his life against rabbits.

Anyhow, before I start getting derailed I want to discuss exhaustion while we're on the topic of stamina.

It's a unique feature that I haven't seen anywhere else. That being said though...I've got to respectfully say I don't like it. It comes across as just another way for my character to die if I happen to miss the prompt in a wall of text, or if I keep messing up trying to type 'exhaustion !qeokdo'. I'd like to defend my point by also saying that while it's possible to push yourself so hard that you pass out, your body has lots of fail-safes to keep yourself from reaching that point. In life or death situations, fight or flight comes to mind.

My suggestion is instead of the exhaustion prompt and passing out, simply end combat on the character's part. You'd get a message each combat round saying something like 'You're too tired to continue fighting!'. At that point you can choose to flee or ignore it and hope you get some stamina soon. Under this system you'd be more likely to run out of HP instead of getting stunned/killed from a lack of stamina. It makes it simpler and more approachable. (Ever play Star Ocean: Till the end of time? You'd die if you lost all your HP or Mana, OR Stamina...what a pain!).

Something else that'd be neat is to occasionally get surges of adrenaline during combat, possibly when the enemy gets a good hit in against your or your health reaches certain levels. Ideally it would give you a small damage bonus and refill some of your stamina but I'd be happy just to get a stamina refill occasionally. :P
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Re: Some thoughts on stamina

Postby Gatz » Tue Jun 07, 2011 2:29 pm

Interesting post, I'll put some thoughts on it, but I like your observations and think there is always room for improvement.
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Re: Some thoughts on stamina

Postby Kotani » Wed Jun 08, 2011 12:48 am

Part of the issue with stamina is that if you intend to use a lot of taijutsu, you have to have the stats to support it as you level. It tends to be a juggle or sacrificing early hp for extra stamina, but on the other hand, stamina regenerates obscenely fast, so even if you have to rest due to being tired, you're back in the action extremely quickly. In a stamina vs chakra comparison, chakra is FAR more punishing and requires significantly more rest time to gain a fraction of what you would get with stamina.

I'll agree that the early taijutsu abilities are a bit of a waste of stamina, its been awhile, but I don't think that the damage is overly helpful until you get triple kick, but you still have to build your character with the intents of having stamina reserves, otherwise, stick to auto-attacks with a weapon until you hit level 40. If I recall correctly, the original purpose of the basic punch/kick abilities was for a combo system that has yet to be implemented, though I think the idea was changed to the combo with a buddy system rather then the old intent. In that case, they are a bit outdated (but still better then any low level ninjutsu). As you level with taijutsu, it really is just a juggle of whether you want high hp with minimal downtime or if you want to get mass exp quickly and play very aggressively (with more downtime).

I admit I'm not sure how things are in the current stat with the change to stat points, but anything said about stamina is still going to be significantly more difficult with chakra.

In regards to exhaustion, there's a config command that allows you to stop a lot of the mundane "you miss/the enemy misses" spam, and I strongly encourage you to use it. There are points at higher levels (50+) where things can get EXTREMELY spammy, and there are a lot of details that you really don't need to see. It'll help with the problem of missing the messages. However, I disagree with changing exhaustion - its something that you have to make yourself aware of, and if you catch the messages, it does give you a bit of stamina in return. While it may not be enough to use any abilities, its still a boost.

I wouldn't mind seeing a taijutsu ability that functioned like the adrenaline rush you mentioned, even if it triggered on a successful exhaustion reply. Though, I admit that sounds more along the lines of opening the gates, which would be great for one of the primaries (or at least, part of one). 8 gates?

Through all your points, I challenge you to do one thing though, for the better of the game: all these suggestions for taijutsu, do you have anything to propose for ninjutsu/genjutsu that would keep it balanced?
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Re: Some thoughts on stamina

Postby Musashi » Wed Jun 08, 2011 9:32 pm

Part of the issue with stamina is that if you intend to use a lot of taijutsu, you have to have the stats to support it as you level.


I've tinkered around with my stats a bit and it's probably because I'm still relatively low level but I'm not noticing much difference regardless where I'm allocating my points. :(

It tends to be a juggle or sacrificing early hp for extra stamina, but on the other hand, stamina regenerates obscenely fast, so even if you have to rest due to being tired, you're back in the action extremely quickly. In a stamina vs chakra comparison, chakra is FAR more punishing and requires significantly more rest time to gain a fraction of what you would get with stamina.


It regens fairly fast, true enough. It still drains far quicker though, at least in my experience so far. :P

I'll agree that the early taijutsu abilities are a bit of a waste of stamina, its been awhile, but I don't think that the damage is overly helpful until you get triple kick, but you still have to build your character with the intents of having stamina reserves, otherwise, stick to auto-attacks with a weapon until you hit level 40.


Well this is sort of a concern I've brought up before. If skills are useless then we should find a way to balance them if possible, until then they're wasted potential...right? What's the point of making a player have to wait until level 40 before can start getting serious? I submit that people will get bored far before then. I know Gatz probably wants quality over quantity when it comes to players but I think most people who don't know any better will quit before they get to that level.

However, I disagree with changing exhaustion - its something that you have to make yourself aware of, and if you catch the messages, it does give you a bit of stamina in return. While it may not be enough to use any abilities, its still a boost.


That's fine, I don't expect everyone to agree with me all the time. I find the stamina boost to be too small to be very useful and when exhausted that means I'm typing in exhaustion !garble every combat round. :P

Through all your points, I challenge you to do one thing though, for the better of the game: all these suggestions for taijutsu, do you have anything to propose for ninjutsu/genjutsu that would keep it balanced?


I'd really like to do this in all honesty but I haven't had much experience outside of Taijutsu in game and am close to wrapping up season 1 of the show now...if they go into more detail on this I'll be sure to pay attention though. On that note, I'd be glad to help collaborate with anyone that wants to bounce ideas back and forth.

Honestly though, I think the easiest way to obtain balance would be to work on one skillset at a time until the majority of people are happy with it. Focused efforts seem to yield better results I think. It really depends on how much work tptb want to put into it or if they even feel such changes are needed at all. Once on skillset is finished though, then it'll be much easier to start on the next and compare it to the first in regards to balance. It might upset a few people while the kinks are getting worked out but this is an alpha or beta stage anyhow isnt it?
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Re: Some thoughts on stamina

Postby Ichiro » Thu Jun 09, 2011 3:57 pm

Kotani is correct about chakra vs. stamina drain speed. You won't notice it if you're not using ninjutsu, but chakra costs are much higher than stamina costs on a skill by skill basis. On top of which, once you start getting higher stats, you'll reach a point where you can pretty much never run out of stamina (unless you try really hard) because you will (a.) have sooooo much stamina that you won't know what to do with it all, and (b.) it will regen so fast that you'll think you didn't use any for most things.

Kotani is incorrect about needing to stick with auto-attack until level 40, however. With ability point/practice point conversions you can get the more beneficial skills much earlier (although you still may not be able to use them that many times).

Also, the point of the stamina stun messages and the small return they give you is not to keep you on your toes and continue the fight, but to give you a second wind long enough to escape so that you can rest.

note: I've only skimmed the first post and read the subsequent(shorter) posts, so I'll read this more in-depth later.
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Re: Some thoughts on stamina

Postby Gatz » Fri Jun 10, 2011 5:01 pm

The thing that keeps catching my eye in this thread is how useless people perceive punch, kick and some level Taijutsu. Have people tried it with Leap, Dai Taijutsu and Combo? Also, is it really not good at low levels? This should be fixed if that is the case. I'm not a big fan of 'throw away' skills. I'd love to start the conversation on how to improve this to make them good to a beginner and provide something decent for upper level play.
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Re: Some thoughts on stamina

Postby Kotani » Fri Jun 10, 2011 10:55 pm

Unfortunately, I'm just a dinosaur and I don't think my alt can even use high level taijutsu to dabble with Leap and Dai Taijutsu, but aside from that, the early abilities all around are a bit weak. I don't recall bothering with any low level taijutsu over the course of three characters until triple kick, aside from PSM bonuses. It really isn't much different for ninjutsu, either. The damage vs cost, especially for ninjutsu, is fairly low and trying to raise them up takes significantly more downtime then you seem to progress until you have the resources to really do damage with them. While that's partly by design, the low level scaling is significantly low in my experience. Of course, I'll restate that I'm a dinosaur so the current state of things may have changed it a bit.

As far as the higher level abilities go, you still have to be high enough in that skillset to actually use them. Even with purchasing ability points, it still takes a bit of time to be able to use them. Though, I still haven't dabbled in them to know if its beneficial at low levels. If combo still functions like it did, you have to have a high enough ability level to use both combo and ninjutsu bunshins to use it, outside of grouping. I'm not sure how things are in these days, and I highly encourage Ichiro or another higher level player with a wide range of skills to advocate the exp gains on such things, but comboing with clones was less efficient for me for leveling purposes. Absolutely fantastic for pvp and epic soloing, but a huge resource drain for a bit of random result. As far as I recall, with ninjutsu combines, it would be pretty random on experience and based on whether the clone or yourself had gotten the results of the exp gain. Again, I'm not a 100% on that, but if memory serves correctly...

Ichiro wrote:Kotani is incorrect about needing to stick with auto-attack until level 40, however. With ability point/practice point conversions you can get the more beneficial skills much earlier (although you still may not be able to use them that many times).


Its tragic to think that I'm such a dinosaur that I forget about new functionality... back in my day, we couldn't convert anything other then stamina for bonus damage. Why, when I was younger, we had to walk uphill and say "six" and spam kill. New fangled kids and their fancy Goukakyuu burned down that room, bah, NO RESPECT!

Gatz wrote:I'd love to start the conversation on how to improve this to make them good to a beginner and provide something decent for upper level play.


Personally, I think that for taijutsu, it'd be beneficial to have the "weaker" abilities scale higher at low levels, and get less of a bonus for higher taijutsu levels, so the stronger taijutsu abilities could be applied to bring them to par with higher-end content. That way, lowbies could do more damage with them, and they'd still be reasonable at higher levels when the need arises.

I like the way ninjutsu scales, at least in goukakyuu vs kasui mizu, but they just aren't a reliable source of damage at low levels. They're both amazing when you have resources to feed into them, but for people with 100-200 chakra and a low ninjutsu level, its a bit rough. I think a bit of the problem for ninjutsu is the slow chakra regen all in all - I believe World of Warcraft had a system in place with how spirit/mana regen worked so that lower players would regenerate their mana faster at low levels, and then it scales down as you reach higher levels so there's no uber regen when you're at high end content (at least in some patches >.>), but lowbies regenerate fast enough to keep them into the action and keep their interests. I suppose its similar to my thoughts on taijutsu damage, lower cons get a higher bonus to chakra regeneration, and while having more con is always good and will always be beneficial, but its less noticeable then it would be if a lowbie got all their chakra back in a tick or two. The unreliability is another issue, punch and kick are fairly cheap on stamina, so even when you whiff, its not a huge chunk of that resource gone, where as ninjutsu is the complete opposite. When ninjutsu misses, you really feel pain at low levels. Of course, I don't think it should be completely forgiving, but its a hard life. There's a reason I leveled as tai then switched over...

I can't speak for Genjutsu or Ningu though. From what I've read, Ningu definitely seems to follow the old school ways which are crude but amazingly efficient. I'd love to hear feedback from anyone that levels as them though. I haven't really bothered with leveling Kaosu as Genjutsu, but it seems interesting at the very least from what I've messed with.

Musashi wrote:Honestly though, I think the easiest way to obtain balance would be to work on one skillset at a time until the majority of people are happy with it. Focused efforts seem to yield better results I think. It really depends on how much work tptb want to put into it or if they even feel such changes are needed at all. Once on skillset is finished though, then it'll be much easier to start on the next and compare it to the first in regards to balance.


For the most part, that's actually how its been. In the early stages of the game, there was only one choice for a serious player - taijutsu. Most areas have been balanced around it, as it was the only way to level, and trying to use Ninjutsu or Genjutsu was pointless until you were a high level - and even then, it was a bit of a gimmick for those of us that felt like being different. Then ninjutsu got its love and made it the high-level beast that it was. Oh, you have 2500 hp? Well, fear the crashing waves... Oh, you're a 500 hp ninjutsu spammer? Goukakyuu will make you rage while you regen ten hours worth of chakra. We won't even get into Stone... that's just dastardly. Then Genjutsu got its love, and made it whatever it may happen to be these days.

But as time goes on, ninjutsu started dominating taijutsu in the arena as that's the way it happens to scale (assuming you know your abilities and can manipulate the way the code works to your advantage), then throw came in and gave the high strength builds a way to do comparable damage to ninjutsu, and yeah... true balance is never achievable, but there's always significant focus on one tree at a time. Its a lot harder when you have several villages to worry about, and usually one village gets its love at a time and gets a bulk of skills. Sand still hasn't seen much love for ninjutsu, which is why they're all corpse trolls.

The big thing, the Naruto-verse is so broad, that its hard to keep everything fair at all times, but for the most part, in a soloing/leveling kind of way, taijutsu has and probably always will be the go to spec for general purposes. Before any LSCing, its powerful, with LSCing, you're a walking tank. High level mobs are built around the high hps and attrition battles with "boss" mobs are common. You want pain? Eat 600 damage worth of mprogs before you can type "kawarimi n"... To someone with the taijutsu hp, its shruggable, slightly dangerous. To someone with 645, its unavoidable death. Balanced? Amusingly, yes, just as it is in pvp in a lot of cases (though taijutsu hits its peak so much sooner then ninjutsu). But alas, I'm still just a dinosaur, give me a few more years and I'll be the crude oil powering someone's engine. BAH!
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Re: Some thoughts on stamina

Postby Gatz » Sat Jun 11, 2011 10:11 am

Well, I guess this means we need to have some folks try things out and see how Taijutsu stacks up to get multiple opinions on this. So, volunteers? :)
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