Welcome to Project: Gorgon!


Project: Gorgon is a 3D fantasy MMORPG (massively-multiplayer online role-playing game) that features an immersive experience that allows the player to forge their own path through exploration and discovery. We won't be guiding you through a world on rails, and as a result there are many hidden secrets awaiting discovery. Project: Gorgon also features an ambitious skill based leveling system that bucks the current trend of pre-determined classes, thus allowing the player to combine skills in order to create a truly unique playing experience.

The Project: Gorgon development team is led by industry veteran Eric Heimburg. Eric has over a decade of experience working as a Senior and Lead Engineer, Developer, Designer and Producer on successful games such as Asheron’s Call 1 and 2, Star Trek Online and other successful Massively Multiplayer Online Games.



User Tag List

Results 1 to 5 of 5
  1. #1
    Junior Member Corax's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    San Francisco
    Posts
    22
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Points
    122 (0 Banked)

    Still getting used to limited skill bars

    Well I've been playing the demo, trying to decide how much I'll get out of this game, but I keep getting hung up on the ability bars. Even though I'm limited to skill level 15, I already have several skills with more than 6 abilities so I can't use them all.

    My first MMO was World of Warcraft, and I could put any ability, or usable object, that I wanted on any button and give them all a key equivalent—and even though it's a fixed-class system, you get a lot of abilities. This seemed entirely sensible to me, although I thought unequipped objects in bags being instantly usable was pretty cheesy.

    My second MMO was Guild Wars 2, in which 5 of my abilities were entirely determined by what weapons I was using, I got exactly one (self) healing ability, and then 4 utility/"elite" abilities to choose from a fairly large set. I hated this system and lasted only a few months in the game (for that and other reasons) even though GW2 does a couple things so much better than WoW ever dreamed (such as mounts, oh man the mounts are so amazing in GW2, "sideways" progression after level cap via masteries, and multiple ways to acquire high-end gear).

    Well, here I am trying Project Gorgon and I get 6 active abilities per skill, and I have to choose whole skills rather than mix and match all the abilities I know, and I'm chafing at the restrictions. (Further, my keyboard's number row has 13 keys on it (not including delete); why can't I have the whole thing be useful?) It seems arbitrary and it breaks my immersion. Some skills are clearly tied to an equipped weapon, and that makes some sense, but I can't change equipped weapons in combat, which is silly. I should be able to do that, even if it takes time (and opening the inventory window to locate the item takes time).

    I can't access loadouts in the demo, of course. Do those allow weapon swaps in combat? Can I create two loadouts for the same skill, but with different abilities in them, and switch between them at any time? If so, that would pretty much address my issues. Some abilities you know better and can do faster, some you have to think about (swap to) before doing them.

    I did also try to double-down on my sword skill, so that both primary & secondary skillbars have sword abilities, but no dice. A skill can be either primary or secondary.

    Anyhow, if you have any thoughts on this system's virtues & flaws, or particularly advice on meeting the system where it is and still having fun, I'd love to hear from you.
    Last edited by Corax; 02-02-2019 at 11:04 AM. Reason: fixed terminology to match game's

  2. #2
    Member Yaffy's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Posts
    66
    Mentioned
    7 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Points
    260 (0 Banked)
    Being able to use any abilities from any skill in the game sounds fun, but it's definitely very unbalanced. In Project Gorgon, your character can potentially learn every combat skill, so being able to mix and match from anything causes a lot of problems. In World of Warcraft your character's skill set is limited by the class you choose at the start of the game which lets the devs balance how many useful abilities you have.

    For example, take psychology in Project Gorgon. It's a very useful skill because it brings a lot of utility effects, such as mesmerize, fear, self sustain, etc. If PG allowed you to mix and match from any skills you've learned, then every player would have these utility skills from psychology because of how helpful they are no matter what their build is and because there is no equipment prerequisite. Not only that, but they could combine it with any other CC effects from other skills.
    The equivalent in World of Warcraft would be if every class had access to every CC skill in the game, so every player would basically end up with the ability to stun lock any non-immune target forever. There's also a lot of abilities that are fair when locked to a skill, but would be ridiculous if every character could use them. For example in WoW imagine if every class had access to Paladin's bubble.

    Being locked into two skills but having more room on your bar is a bit more interesting though. At first it sounds overpowered, but due to how important gear modifiers get at end game, it's not really as busted as it first sounds. You might have more skills on your bar, but you're still limited by gear on how helpful a lot of them can be. I think every skill would get a noticeable benefit from just having one extra slot, but more than one and it heavily depends on the skill.
    For the most part being able to use all the abilities from a skill would be the most helpful in the early game, due to gear modifiers not being a big deal, and this is also why you might feel severely handicapped by not being able to use everything in the demo. Having access to all your skills early game would make you much stronger. However in the late game the benefit would be much smaller, although it would still be nice.

    I personally would love to have more skills to use in combat, as I think it would make combat more fun and engaging with more options to use, but the game is balanced around 6 per skill currently. Due to how more abilities is more helpful early on, maybe a balanced way of handling this would be to have low level players start with only 6 abilities per bar, but then players could unlock more slots as they level up. It'd make more sense too since surely a character who has mastered a skill should be more adept at using everything related to it. However at the moment I can definitely promise you that the game is balanced around the limited skill bar space, and it would be a bit of an undertaking to expand on it without making it too overpowered.

  3. #3
    Junior Member Corax's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    San Francisco
    Posts
    22
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Points
    122 (0 Banked)
    Thanks, Yaffy, you bring up a lot of good points. In the end, this is a game, so balance is a concern. I definitely have a strong bias against overt arbitrariness in games, which is what I'm reacting against here. In WoW and GW2, for example, many things are time-gated and given no in-game reason and I hated that. I would buy them claiming my mystical essence for making item X has been used up, but no, they just say "you only get to make one of these every day" or whatever. (If anybody knows about The Forge's RPG model, I am strongly Narrativist first, Simulationist second, Gamist third. )

    Skills being tied to equipped gear is a well-motivated way to limit what you can do, but you brought up Psychology as an example with no gear requirement (and I'm struggling to think of a one for such a whimsically-named but clearly magical skill). Animal Handling is another example. Both are crazy powerful things to be able to do all the time. But I gotta tell you, I'd be happy with a requirement of carrying something silly like a pen & pad or a whip in my hands to use those, than be arbitrarily limited. Come to think of it, having Psychology require that you not be wielding a weapon would be interesting....

    Another well-motivated approach would "use it or lose it"—require regular practice/use of skills, above a certain threshold, to keep them at full power. Yes, I am talking about loss of XP over time for not using a skill. You could even track that per invidivual ability. Skills/abilities previously learned would come back quicker up to your previous max, but you'd still have to retrain. But this is just speculating, now.

    (As an aside, I was so happy to see this game doesn't arbitrarily restrict armor to particular "classes", but just has effects & impacts on your actions based on type. I was expecting something similar with skills & abilities, and in fact the reviews & website blurb did say you could learn any skill...they just didn't make clear you can't use them all at the same time.)

    I've yet to see how loadouts work, but at the very least they'll making switching skills along with gear more convenient. I haven't gotten high-enough level in anything to see higher gear mods, so I can't respond to that.

    In any case, your reply has reminded me that Gamist approaches and concerns are a thing, and sometimes need to step to the fore with games that are sufficiently complicated (especially when they defy the physics & logic of the real world via magic and such). I think that will help me to suck it up and accept that part of this...game. I'll just tell myself the amnesia from the beginning has affected my ability to remember how to do more than 2 things at a time.
    Last edited by Corax; 02-02-2019 at 11:59 AM. Reason: added bit about "use it or lose it"

  4. #4
    Junior Member Temjiu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Posts
    10
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Points
    58 (0 Banked)
    It is the conundrum of Game development in general IMO.

    Balance is critical for an MMO to function, and one easy way to achieve this and also allow for diversity in choices is limit ability access, and every game simply does it differently. So really it's the issue of: they're all ice cream, which flavor do you prefer?

    WoW had an illusion of flexibility, but the availability of skills overall was limited. GW2 and Here in PG you have access to More skills & abilities (availability is high), but your flexibility is a bit more limited (you can only have 6 abilities from skill X on a hotbar). Most other games will have some variation of these limitations.

    Reason? with limiting Access a game does 2 things:
    1) Introduces choice with consequence. This is a pillar of most MMO's and honestly creates a more interesting and diverse play experience IMO.
    2) Allows for more powerful and interesting skills. Players can get more enjoyment out of each individual skill when they are different enough. the limitations allow for Differences to matter. Example: Sword skills abilities are all about bleeds and rage management and slashing damage. Hammer is lightning and crushing damage with heavy up front hits. They can do this because you can't run both at the same time on your mainbar (indeed, you can't run both at all since they both require a different mainhand weapon). If they were both allowed on the main bar at the same time, then this variety would have to be toned down and homogenized to prevent too much advantage (i.e. picking the highest hitting skills out of each, as an example, and ignoring the debuffs and other moderate skills, making them essentially useless).

    That aside, I do often feel like I could use "one more skill" more often then not. This could easily turn into a can of worms (now I need one more then that!), but really, there are times that I wish I could cycle in one more skill on my main setups.

    One point of note: your third bar you can put a great number of things on them, and many skillsets have skills that you can actually place on the third bar (as long as that skill is present on one of the other bars), so this allows for more "abilities" from the same skillset to exist and be used. Not exactly the same as Open placement, but it is a benefit, and specifically creates an additional benefit for the skillsets that have abilities like this.

    Oh yeah, and you can't swap loadouts during combat. But they are amazing for having around when you can plan your combat. Running into a group of Mantises that are resistant to slash damage? switch from sword to hammer. Fire resistant? swap from priest to mentalist. Playing solo and run into a group in the same dungeon? swap to your support loadout and join in.
    Last edited by Temjiu; 02-03-2019 at 05:53 PM.

  5. #5
    Junior Member Corax's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    San Francisco
    Posts
    22
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Points
    122 (0 Banked)
    Thanks Temjiu for your additional insights, and particularly for answering my questions on loadouts. Choosing a limited set of abilities is definitely a game in itself, one that I'm sure people spend much time and thought on. I know I used to do that with talent selections in World of Warcraft, even with community consensus on cookie-cutter builds. Project Gorgon has a pretty decent middle ground approach between WoW and Guild Wars 2. It'll be interesting to see the game as it develops further.



Thread Footer

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •