And the Most Powerful Enemy in the Game Is...

The floor.

No, really.

I know this is something that gets kicked around here a lot, i.e. ground effect damage. To me, the issue isn’t that it exists. I like that it exists; it adds a lot to the game, and to the tactics, immersion, and feel of certain areas.

However… there are certain areas in which it is entirely too powerful. A 20% tick once per second that’s extremely difficult to mitigate, and which most characters don’t mitigate at all most of the time, is just too much IMO.

I play video games, especially aRPGs, to feel powerful, like I’m overcoming great challenges. When I fight a harrowing five minute battle with a major boss, and nearly die half a dozen times, only to just barely squeak by to victory, that’s fun! I feel powerful, and I feel a sense of achievement. If I fail, and die, I learn from it, and come back determined to succeed, and then I gain a reward.

When I then die to a couple of Heroic mobs simply because I happened to be on the damage side of a very fuzzy damage/no-damage barrier graphically speaking, and my power animation went off twice while I was trying to click somewhere else on the floor, because the floor can kill me in five seconds flat, no matter how awesome my character is… that’s not fun. That’s capricious. When it happens ten more times in a particular zone, and there’s nothing to learn from it since some of the enemies only spawn inside the damaging area, and won’t move out of it, and I’m playing a purely melee character… that’s enough to sap my motivation to keep playing.

That said, as I mentioned, I do like the mechanic. The interesting tactical challenge it adds to me, is actually achieved optimally by the lowest tick value (2% I think? Maybe 5%?). Namely, it disables Constitution healing, and largely negates my HP regen. So, in low-damage areas, like the early poisonous caves in Act I, I get to make a tactical choice: do I fight where I am and tough it out without regen and Constitution? Or do I kite the enemies to a clear spot and fight them there, even if it means spreading them out, and taking more ranged damage along the way?

20% per tick doesn’t have anything like that tactical intrigue, it just… kills you. Hard and fast. If this were a puzzle platformer, that’d be fine, but… it isn’t.


A couple of possible solutions.

[li]Keep the high damage (even still percentile) but make it an appropriate type, so resistances apply, instead of its own unique type.[/li]
[li]Make clearer boundaries between what damages and what doesn’t.[/li]
[li]Add a mechanic to high-damage floor effects that allows for a delay or to cross undamaged, similar to the floor spikes in the Tyrant’s Hold.[/li]
[li]Add a gentle AI assist to make moving out of a floor damage area a higher priority than attacking in terms of user input (I know this one is probably the most work, but hey, it’s an idea.)[/li]
[li]Better incorporation of resistance to % Health Reduction into general items, skills, and Devotions, so that characters are more likely to have some in place without having to explicitly gear up for those specific sections.[/li]
[li]Significantly lower the highest tick value (about in half would be good; a 10 second reaction time with animations that can take over a second to complete in the way, is a lot more doable. To die in 10 seconds, I’ve made a mistake. To die in 5, I’ve maybe literally misclicked once, in a chaotic scene.)[/li][/LIST]

In case the fun/not-fun thing isn’t enough… consider that it’s a little bit absurd for a tanky character in full plate armor, designed to stand toe to toe with monstrous entities ten times his size, to die in exactly the same time as a glass-cannon mage in robes, to a floor effect. If I choose to play a tank, I want to feel tanky, not die just as fast as I do when I choose to play a glass cannon. It’s immersion-breaking on top of being unfun. XD

I really like this idea, actually. Something like Aether/Poison creeping up on the sides of the screen, similar to the blood-creep on low health.

Places like laboratory with poison ?

Probably more accurately he means places like Valbury, Immolation, and Conflagration, but yes the laboratory with it’s one or two poison spots.

Actually the lab with the poison on the floor isn’t much of a problem. It’s in small streams and puddles that I can either avoid, or fight around and within, with the Shift key. I kind of enjoy that area, in fact.

The area that’s most discouraging to me is the area leading northeast from Homestead, with the Aetherfire damage, and in the Valbury challenge dungeon there. There are enemies there that can attack you from long range, that are so far into the green sparkly stuff that all you can do is charge in with Blitz, attack once or twice, then run back out. Misclick once, and you die. Time it wrong, and get hit a little harder than expected, and you die. Click the wrong place and run through more of it, and you die. Another enemy gets in your way making you run around it… and well… yeah.

Ooh, neat! Not quite what I meant, but very cool. I was more thinking something like shrinking the click detection boxes around enemies while you’re in a DoT floor area, to make it more likely you’ll click on clear floor rather than an enemy (thus initiating an attack rather than moving).

But I do like that Aether/Poison/Fire creeping up the sides of the screen to make it obvious, too!

Though the high-tick areas are so fast it wouldn’t matter much. But that, combined with slashing it to 10%, or even 15%, might.

Actually, on further thought, it’s not the same. It’s inverted. A tank is more likely to be melee than ranged, and a glass cannon is almost always going to be ranged. Since ranged attack options are the best way to avoid this game mechanic and not die to it, actually tanks probably die more often and faster!

Unless… that’s actually the point. To be an anti-tank, anti-melee game mechanic. Hmm…

This resistance could be significantly more likely to pop, and more potent when it does, on armor items with the Heavy descriptor. Thicker armored boots means less poison/acid soaking into your feet; conductive metal armor channels away at least some of the Aether lightning; and thicker padding beneath heavy armor helps delay the onset of burn damage, for an example of the in-character reasoning.

I still like just making it the proper damage type better though.

My initial expectation as a player, was that puddles of poison or acid, would be resisted by poison/acid resistance, and clouds of sparking Aether would be resisted by Aether resistance. When I learned that they weren’t I actually had to do a double-take and seek verification from other posts, as it was a pretty serious WTF moment.

The one that really grinds my gears is the aetherfire. You know the one that if you have max resistance to vitality, fire and aether; the game goes that’s nice here have the exact same 20% off your health bar this in game tick.

It’s cheating the player of agency, by which I mean presenting an obstacle implies that it can be overcome otherwise it is in fact a boundary.
If it is to be overcome then the player should be able to adapt to overcome it.
Not allowing them to tailor their character to overcome the challenge, by hard coding to straight damage robs them of that agency.
I mean what even does it achieve?
So you don’t want people to run from point A to point B, but instead do so by taking short stops or brute forcing it by portals.
Respectively it detracts from the action and fun.
You could achieve the same effect without robbing player agency simply by making damage ridiculously high.

As for areas that damage I would happen to agree the better solution is to make areas apply a damage over time effect that nullifies regeneration and saps health forcing a user to be more tactically aware when using it.

Not to remove emphasis from your point, but all my toons map RMB to “Force Move” so they can bail from an area (regardless of any green floor) without accidentally giving attack orders.

I was thinking the same thing.

IMO maybe damage from environment is too high.

However, I want to add that in the current state of the game is not impossible to handle this issue for any build. For instance, you can use an Aether Cluster to mitigate damage and an Elixir of the Hunt to run faster to a safe zone.
I know that with these elements you can’t run all the time, but, Are you all the time under environment damage?

Using consumables to navigate that is not a great idea. Valbury alone prevents that from being at all reasonable, just due to the CD of Clusters alone, not to mention the rarity of them, and the crafting cost for Elixirs.

At the end of the day… What does Aether Ground ADD to the game? Moreover, what does making it unresistable ADD to the game? It’s not a tactical or strategic choice, it’s not a mechanic you can respond to or counter… It’s avoid it or suffer an overly large penalty.

Yes, exactly! It feels utterly wrong and counterintuitive to me that my high-HP tank, with lots of armor and resistances, is hurt to exactly the same percentile degree as my low-HP mage with low armor and fewer resistances. It feels almost like a betrayal, my expectations of how video games work utterly thrown aside.

Like I said, if this were a platformer, then bottomless pits or lava that insta-kills, or kills in a second or two if you don’t hustle right out of it, makes perfect sense. We’ve seen it a thousand times, from Mario to Metroid to Ori. But in this type of game, in which the vast majority of the game’s motivation and addictiveness is to be able to level up, choose the right skills, and build up your gear, to the point that once-impossible things become possible, and then trivial… to have a mechanic that just says, “Nope, doesn’t matter that you’re a level 85 ultimate badass demigod coming back to Normal, you’ll still die in 5 seconds flat,” is like a slap in the face.

Please, please fix this! I’m aware of almost nobody who genuinely -likes- it as it is. Floor damage: good. Unresistable fast-kill floor damage: bad. The only people I’ve seen disagree are little more than trolls saying “Git gud, losers.”


Having ground effect damage in some areas does add to the game for me. When it’s low damage, it adds a tactical choice between fighting in it and risking the disabling of my Constitution regen and the mitigating of my continual regen, or kiting enemies out of it, trying to hide around corners to force ranged enemies to move, etc. Some mobs are also too stupid to do this. Skeleton archers, for example, will just happily shoot at walls all day, so a low-damage floor section even adds diversity among enemy groups.

Having the Aether ground as high as it is, adds frustration and death, that’s all. Well, I suppose it also adds entire swaths of the game that -most- players I’ve seen respond to by just not doing those side quests or going to those areas.

Another solution might be to change Aether Clusters. If they were craftable, and lasted for, say, 450 seconds, or even 90 seconds, that’d be one thing. But 10 seconds isn’t long enough for a boss fight in Aetherfire. It’s barely enough to even run through an area.

Never once died to Aetherfire and i’ve played with pet builds, casters, melee and ranged. I also beat Port Valbury several times with next to no issues.

Some people make Aetherfire to be far worse than what really is. After just playing a little while in those areas, i pretty much memorized where every aetherfire patch is.

Path to Immolation is complete crap though, even though i haven’t died once to get there. Taking a huge amount of damage just to get to the entrance is annoying.

^ “Git gud, losers”

Congratulations on being a far better player than I. I officially bow down to worship you.

But would you care to explain to us peons what the damage being as high and unresistible as it is -adds- to the game, rather than just boasting about how you’re too good to have any trouble with it?

Aetherfire is such a non-issue. It amazes me how some people still haven’t figured out how to deal with it.

Step 1. Bait enemy.
Step 2. Run away from Aetherfire.
Step 3. Kill enemy.
Step 4. Repeat steps 1-3.

You don’t have to fight enemies where they are, people.

I always use minimap for checking, just avoid the green dots and you are fine. But can we have a minor function, aetherfire floor is highlighted where you can be hurt so we dont get confused.

Yea your right atherfire is not the issue it’s hargate’s lab poison on the floor literally you literally have to fight some enemies where the poison is cause either they are blocking the safe zone or they are long range while atherfire you can make enemies follow you to safe place