Warning: This is not a typical informational post. This is a fact-based partial rant about a planned feature that may or may not be added.
I was taking a look at the 1.12 patch notes yesterday, and for the most part, I agreed with the balancing changes. Initially, the dash cooldown/distance modifier made me a little annoyed, but other than that I didn’t find too much of issue. Then I got to the bottom of the page. Dash Staling. This, if I am to be honest, pissed me off. Let me go over why.
I will preface my argument with this: I am not a PvPer. I am not against other people partaking in PvP, but I am not a willing participant myself. I consider myself an NPC enthusiast and partial information gatherer, honestly. Back to the topic:
The game has a slight issue with RKing right now, only encouraged by the bounty/assaassination system. Ok, AO wanted to encourage PvP. There’s only one problem for that; the game actively punishes you for doing it, with few exceptions.
Here is a list of things that happen when you die:
Non-PvP deaths included:
You lose money.
You lose charts.
You get teleported back to your spawn island, and you can’t use your boat until it despawns.
You get arrested (if you have a bounty)
You lose bounty (if you’re negative rep)
You lose clan infamy (clan members only)
Now, I have problems with two of these specifically that make me avoid PvP: Losing money and losing charts.
These occur when you die to anything, however, PvP makes it significantly worse. If you fight an NPC, 90% of the time you choose to do so. NPCs are also much less risky; unless it’s, say, a difficult boss, you usually don’t die to NPCs, making these two events much less common.
However, you are much more likely to get killed by players when fighting them, making these a more significant factor. I don’t want to lose money or charts if someone wants to fight me. Hell, I only run to keep my things safe.
Solutions to the problems mentioned above:
Remove losing money on death. This is a pointless mechanic that existed in WoM too, and I hated it. It serves no purpose other than to be annoying. It’s a substantial amount too; it’s percentage based, meaning you could lose several hundred just because some idiot wanted to fight you.
Make charts disappear when you leave the server. This maintains charts’ purpose as a one use, non-saving item without making it a problem if you accidentally sail into the dark sea or get killed.
While money isn’t as important late-game, and I don’t always do charts for large islands, my point still stands. It’s annoying and pointless for these features to be like this.
Addressing Dash Staling:
Now, we get to the second main point of the post: Dash Staling.
The v1.12 document describes it as the following:
"Dashes would “stale” in distance based on a meter. The meter doesn’t need to be shown to the player, it just needs to exist. The meter would take 8sec to regenerate from 0% to 100%
Dashes would consume 14% of the meter, and your meter would not regenerate while your dash is on cooldown. Hitting an enemy refills 14% of the meter. If your attack is a multihit, only 1 hit would count.
Your dashes would travel the full distance as long as your meter is over 72% full. When below 72%, your dash distance will decrease. When empty your dashes travel 1/3rd distance."
There are two cons to this, one for PvP and the other for traveling.
Let’s start with traveling first. This is a smaller disadvantage, but still a little bothersome. Dashes are an easy way to get around large islands like Ravenna, and making it so you have to stop after a few dashes does waste a little bit of time. However, this is all in all not too bad.
Now for the PvP aspect. The document has the audacity to put “Dissuades running” as a pro. What the hell. This is annoying for people like me who wish to not partake in PvP.
Currently, you can dash away from people to have enough HP to prevent dying, and you likely only need to stop for stamina. Magic high jumps, fighting style abilities, and weapon skills all allow for a way to continue fleeing even if you can no longer dash for a while.
Dash Staling will make it significantly more difficult to get away – something that bothers me a lot. If they’re going to add this, at least implement the changes I stated above. It’ll make PvP less of an annoyance.
Let’s look at an example scenario:
Yesterday I was helping a friend farm Cassenia (the Bored Centurion) to help get his awakening, when a guy shows up and starts attacking. I run to Tiberia and get him distracted with a centurion. After about 20 minutes of conflict with this guy, he is successfully driven out of Ravenna and I go back to farming Cassenia with the other person.
An hour later the guy returns, trying to kill me again. This time, he doesn’t fall for the centurions and almost kills me. I made it to Rasna, jumped on my 94 speed caravel, and sailed away as he tried to swim after me. I was at about 200 hp. Had it not been for dashing, I’d have lost my money and died.
People in AO just seem unreasonable-- It’s like “stop”, “I don’t PvP”, or “go away” fall on deaf ears. Dashing helps deter people from attacking you. Why go through the process of chasing one guy around when you can hunt NPCs?
It’s honestly irritating how the game both encourages and discourages PvP. If you want people to fight, lower, change, or just outright remove certain punishments for dying.
And here's some bonus tips for getting away, if you want them.
Use the terrain and NPCs to your advantage to help escape.
Get on your ship if it is decently fast; otherwise keep running.
Know your surroundings. Don’t run into a dead end.
Ask your friends to help kill them for you if you are unable to.
Attack if you know it is likely that you can fight them off; don’t give chase if they run. Don’t perpetuate the cycle.
Leave the server if you’re out of combat log.
Hide if you get enough distance between you and them. (Obviously)
Remove losing money from dying and make charts only disappear when you leave the server.
Otherwise don’t add Dash Staling. It’s annoying.
This concludes the post rant. Regular NPC and informational content will likely resume soon.