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Desco

Sick of uninspiring combat...

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So I recently got Morrowind, and I''m loving it. The magic system is great, the graphics are incredible, and the world is huge. (Much similar to previous Elderscroll releases.) The plot is interesting, though not as entirely engaging as it could be, it surely lets the players get their footing and all advancement they want before getting into the storyline. It certainly, IMHO, is a better game than Neverwinter, though it''s seriously lacking in some areas that make Neverwinter cool (multiplayer, henchmen, etc.) But then I get into combat... (non-magic)... Gee, this hasn''t changed much since, say, NetHack. Damn, was I disappointed. No strategy, no shieldblocking or parrying, the best tactic is to mash the mouse button like you''re playing Joust. What''s that doing in an RPG anyway? I''m fine with it in an adventure/action-RPG like Diablo, but this? I should be deciding what stance the character should be in, deciding which baddie and even what body part my character should be targetting, not greatly shortening the life of the buttons of my expensive cordless optical mouse. (NWN handles combat a bit better than this, but not much.) And what of the visuals? I''d expect with movie successes such as The Matrix and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (and lesser-successes of Brotherhood of the Wolves and The Muskateer) there would be an interest in more realistic, fast paced, intense combat. like... different attacks, shield blocks, parry-ripostes, counter-attacks, kicks/punches/tackles/pommellings interspersed throughout... constant fast-paced movement a la John Woo style combat... Instead, Morrowind treats me to characters making the same hack-attacks over and over again without any regard to what the opponent is doing... and NWN is slow and uninspired as well, though it does make an attempt to have the players flank and position themselves for attack. So... Are you a game designer assigned to combat looking for fresh inspiration to make your game stand out? Watch some Jackie Chan movies. Pick up The Muskateer too, ''cause the swordsmanship in that movie is pretty good. Watch the fencing sequence of The Princess Bride. Watch BRAVEHEART for some really good large-melee combat. Now put that into your game. Want the absolute best knowledge of how combat works-- so much more than what you could gleem from watching movies? Go find your local SCA branch or other group that does swordplay. (Please avoid NERO or other "LARP" style groups that do not accurately simulate combat--- I suggest SCA ''cause they''ve worked the hardest to create rules that are both realistic and historically accurate, as well as very safe.) Watch them fight. Ask questions. Then, ask ''em to suit you up and find some well-experienced opponent and ask them to fight you half-speed. (After, say, 10 minutes your arms will be ready to fall off, so best take a break and try again in a bit.) If you''ve found a good group, they should be MORE THAN HAPPY to tell you ALL about it, suit you up in their armor, and let you experience combat first hand. If by now you have completely become enthralled by fighting, by all means, get into it and have fun-- I''ll see you at war. If not, that''s fine too-- just as long as you''ve enjoyed your experience, have gained quite a bit of knowledge of how combat really works, and can successfully encorporate that into your game. -Desco- (P.S. I hope this didn''t sound too much like a troll for the SCA, but I feel the knowledge I''ve gained from it would seriously go a long way to improving a game''s combat system.)

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I think you''re right, this is why Castlevania games since Symphony of the Night have been so popular, as well as Devil May Cry, though that didn''t really have as much of an RPG feel.

Horrible combat is why I also don''t like most MMORPG''s out there but am looking forward to joining something like Planetside, Darkspace, and Ace of Angels where combat is the point of it all as soon as I get over my case of not having a job.

Join the campaign to make RPG''s adopt either action/adventure or realistic combat systems today!!

Also, since Desco has mentioned SCA I will mention arma, formerly haca, at http://www.thehaca.com which I don''t belong to but figured I might as well mention them.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
So you want Mortal Combat/Streetfighter with an RPG layer?

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The game "Gothic"(and probably also Gothic II -havent played it yet) , which is very similiar to Morrowind features the best close combat in 3D I''ve ever seen. You start out at unexperienced-level with all kinds of weapons. After learning swordsmanship level 1,for example the character holds the weapon differently, performs special moves, is faster at swinging the weapon and has a lower probability of being "delayed" in his attacks. After level 2, the special move looks differently, and the attacks get even faster. The fighting looks great and is very fun, almost arcade-beat-em-up style sometimes.
At the same time, fighting is pretty easy. You simply look at the person you want to attack and then hold the left mouse button. As long as the mouse button is pressed, the "move" keys perform weapon swings instead of actually moving the character. The special moves are performed by repeatedly pressing the "move-forward" key, but timing is very important- if the character hasn''t completed the previous swing yet, or if you press to late, the character will get "stuck" in the move, becoming an easy target for a counter attack.

Well, I hope my description is somewhat understandable. The only bad thing about this is that there are only 2 levels of experience for every weapon type, but it didn''t matter alot to me.

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quote:
So you want Mortal Combat/Streetfighter with an RPG layer?


Sure, why not (though Soul Calibur would be a better comparison)? A true fighting engine wouldn''t be something you would want to implement in a MMORPG (due to lag), but I see no reason for a single-player RPG like Morrowind not to implement such a system. Hell, even a beat-em-up fighting system like Final Fight or Dungeons & Dragon: Shadow Over Mystara would be a huge improvement.

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quote:
Original post by Evil Bachus
A true fighting engine wouldn''t be something you would want to implement in a MMORPG (due to lag),


That''s what I''ve always thought(and feared), is that why MMORPG combat blows? I''ve heard some new console fighters are going to add online play.

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I think the combat system doesn't evolve much in RPGs just because most players doesn't want to bother fighting too much, they just want to hack'n slash, that's so easy.

Fights in Morrowind are kinda simple, but there's some cool stuff like falling on the floor while fighting.
Oh and by the way, the Morrowind plot becomes great later in the game :-) I'm loving it too.


[edited by - Cahaan on May 28, 2003 5:47:15 AM]

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It's reasons like this that Infinity (my long awaited MMORPG Design) will indeed last forever.

Fighting techniques are only scratching the surface of the melee system, well, all battle actually. You see, the main ingredient of the game will be specialization, which goes for combat skills as well. Players will be able to customize their own fighting styles and moves, and the true warriors will be able to devise truely wonderful and creative special techniques. Whats more is the fact that this fighting system will be quite easy to get used to, and the better your fighter gets at using the same areas of skill, the more devestating their blows will become.

And one thing that will cross boundaries - skills that intersect to become truely powerful (like crossing a melee attack with a form of magic or using a ranged weapon alongside your melee attacks). There will be tons of mixed choices, all dependant on the character's individual ability and the player's cunning to bring it together in the right way!

You can expect to see some very interesting battles!

- Christopher Dapo ~ Ronixus


[edited by - ronixus on May 28, 2003 7:01:41 AM]

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No no no!!! Y''all completely misunderstood my point...

First of all, yes, in "Action-RPG" games like Diablo or more into the "Action-Adventure" games like Devil May Cry and (the REALLY frickin'' cool game) Eternal Darkness, a more complex fighting system where the user controls every action would be good-- even up to a streetfighter/mortal kombat system with RPG elements...

But that''s NOT what I''m talking about. An RPG-- a "Role Playing Game" allows you to assume the role of a character. Your conciousness and thoughts, but with the character''s body, skills, and intellect. Games like these (both pen-and-paper and computer) should **NOT** require the lot of motor and hand-eye coordination skills that actual fighting or fighter games do-- because you''re assuming a role and you''re using THAT CHARACTER''S skills. (Precisely the reason I dislike LARP-Combat systems like NERO because it can''t make up its mind whether its your skills in combat or role-playing.)

So I do NOT WANT to have to grab a USB gamepad to play Morrowind. I do NOT WANT to have to press the mouse button for every move I want my character to perform because that''s not using the character''s skills, it''s relying on my own. What I want is your typical RPG interface where you tell your character who to attack, how to attack ''em, what weapons to use, when to use potions, etc. (Like all the greats such as Final Fantasy, Ultima, etc) The only difference is I want to SEE really good animated sequences of them advancing, retreating, slashing, thrusting, blocking, spinning, flanking, parrying, riposting, circling, stagering from a really strong hit, clutching their wound, limping, getting backed into a corner, etc. You get the idea. Like I said, it''d be like watching good movie combats (Crouching Tiger or The Muskateer), only now you have input into who they attack and how. But instead, what we have now, is all involved parties standing erect, without moving, swinging their weapon the same way over and over and over and over... Monotonous... boring... uninspiring.. completely unrealistic.


Don''t get me wrong, games like Soul Calibur, Castlevania, and the Gothic game that FiveFootFreak described are really cool and have their place. Even Action-RPGs like Diablo and Dungeon Siege are cool, but not what I''m talking about. I''m specifically talking about full-fledged RPGs like Morrowind or Neverwinter Nights. Where storylines are thick, complex, and intriguing, and more important than hack-and-slash combat. Even MMPORPGs would serve well to improve the combat animation (which is essentially all I''m talking about improving). MMPORPGs would suffer greatly from a system like others were describing where the player inputs every command ''cause they are NOT Quake servers, and it would definately open up the game to a lot more lag and cheating than ever before.


Cahaan-- I didn''t mean to bash Morrowingd''s plot. I just meant from the very beginning, they leave you very alone, not bringing you into the storyline. It''s up to you to seek out storyline... Whereas with NWN, they pull you in immediately by placing you in a situation where you HAVE to become part of the story. It''s just two different ways of doing things, and they both have their advantages and disadvantages, but I think NWN''s approach is a little better ''cause it pulls the player into an intriguing plot immediately, rather than having the player run around killing rats and finding mushrooms for some dork before the actual plot begins.

RolandofGilead-- Never meant to dis other respectable groups like HACA/ARMA. They''re good fencers, and actually care about things like realism, historical accuracy, and safety. I''ve fought their guys many times, and always had a good time. However I stick with the SCA ''cause they got a lot more going on, plus HACA doesn''t have anything that plays like SCA armored combat or battles of 3000+ people per side. (Yup.)


-Desco-

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Guest Anonymous Poster
quote:
Original post by Desco
Cahaan-- I didn''t mean to bash Morrowingd''s plot. I just meant from the very beginning, they leave you very alone, not bringing you into the storyline. It''s up to you to seek out storyline... Whereas with NWN, they pull you in immediately by placing you in a situation where you HAVE to become part of the story. It''s just two different ways of doing things, and they both have their advantages and disadvantages, but I think NWN''s approach is a little better ''cause it pulls the player into an intriguing plot immediately, rather than having the player run around killing rats and finding mushrooms for some dork before the actual plot begins.


You CAN go into the main plot immediately with MW, but what I consider to be one of the great things about MW is that you don''t HAVE to, there''s lots else to explore. As for MW leaving you alone, it''s less than five minutes after character creation that the seed for the main plot has been sown. The difference may be that the freedom of exploration that MW gives you compared to NWN makes it feel less of a spoon-fed main plot.

I think the difference of opinion is whether you want a story which you basically read though the dialog or a world to explore and learn about, I''d personally take the latter and much prefer MW because of it.

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