“Renée Machyousky (answering the question about TTK - time to kill): "This is a rather loaded question and a lot factors into this. For instance, clearly some characters will be far more vulnerable (lower HP and resists) than others. I can at least say this, we are not over fond of insta-gibbing. We want battles to be hard fought, with plenty of give and take."
“Usually, this question is asked with regard to the pacing of combat. To provide a comprehensive explanation of combat speed, we need to talk about health, movement, and ability use.
Health, relative to damage, determines how long fights will tend to last. A game that has low health compared to damage output will tend to have fights end very quickly. A game with high health compared to damage output will have fights that take longer, as characters are able to sustain more damage before being killed. There are of course additional factors to consider, such as armor, healing, buffs and debuffs, and the difficulty of successfully landing attacks against a target in the first place. With careful design, however, it is possible to maintain an expected range of variance for the time it will take one character to kill another. The shorthand term you will often see for this time is TTK, or Time To Kill. When designing a combat system, TTK is an important value to keep in mind, as it greatly influences the way players will feel about the speed of combat in the game.
Since TTK is a range of expected times, what tends to be most important for taking TTK into consideration is the minimum, or the fastest one character can kill another. Regardless of the amount of variance, the fastest time in which a character can be killed tends to be a breaking point. It sets the lowest amount of time players will have to respond before they are killed. In some games, this time can be instantaneous, which is where the term “one-shot kill” comes from.
For Camelot Unchained, we have decided to try and minimize the potential for one-shot kills. To accomplish this, our target minimum TTK needs to be set to some number of seconds above zero. During early testing, we have set this minimum value to around 10-15 seconds, which will continue to be adjusted as testing continues. This means that a high-damage-output character with well-crafted gear shouldn’t be able to kill a freshly-created character with starter gear anywhere near instantly. This number might seem high at first, just for that purpose, but for the sake of large battles we want to provide a little extra buffer for when multiple characters are attacking the same target.
Months or even years after the game launches, we want new players to be able to go out onto the battlefield full of highly progressed characters and contribute to the war without being instantly killed. Every rule has its exceptions, so there will no doubt still be cases where characters immediately die, such as getting focused on by many enemies at once, or being crushed under the rubble of a collapsing building. The vast majority of the time, though, there should be an allowance of at least a few seconds when your character is attacked to respond with an ability or two before being killed.”
“A message from the PvP Team:
We have a number of skill splits (and some global changes) that will be accompanying the launch of Season 5 next week. Read on to see what’s in store for December 13.
Over the past few releases the PvP team has been working closely with the Skills team to implement some PvP-only skill splits. Moving forward the PvP team will have more opportunity to make these skill splits as we see fit. It’s important to understand that skill splits should not change the core functionality of a skill. Players should be able to use a skill in PvE and have it do relatively the same thing in PvP, though it may be more or less effective depending on the game mode. This means that when we are looking to split out a skill, the changes are limited to the following areas:
• Damage multipliers
• Healing multipliers
• Number of conditions/boons applied
• Duration of conditions/boons applied
• Skill cost (energy and initiative)
A lot can be done with these knobs, but there still will be cases where we identify a problem skill or trait that we feel cannot be addressed without a functional change. In these cases, we are continuing to work closely with the Skills team to find a solution that makes the most sense as a global change.”
Low TTK issues in GW2, and all of the above info, gave me the inspiration for these suggestions... And it’s finally time to come up with real solutions to problems facing pvp modes.