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Lode

Server Side Monster Combat

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Lode    1003
Hi, we're busy making an MMORPG (actually, improving an existing one and making a new client and server for it). In the current one, monster combat happens client side, and is very interactive, almost like a single player game: you have to walk to the monsters and hit the attack key on the keyboard for every attack. To make it much safer, we want everything to happen server side now, inclucing monster combat, so that players can't hack the client anymore and stuff. Now, the interactive combat system will be very unfair to players if there's lag, since the player has to send "attack" commands all the time and move around all the time to hit the monster, there should be no latency in that. Much lag friendlier is a point and click system where you click the monster once with the mouse and the server calculates all the rest of the combat, but then a very good aspect of the MMORPG is gone and replaced by "click and watch". Is there a way to have the interactive combat, but in such a way that it still works very well if there's lag and the server calculates everything?

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Deadpenguin    176
One way to resolve this would be to keep the "click and watch" idea but keep it interactive as well. Here's how: Have basic combat be initiated by clicking on a creature and then having the player character continue to fight until combat is cancelled. Then have a queue of special abilities (i.e. spells, special attacks, item use, etc.) each of which take a certain amount to time to do. The player can select several actions at once, which go into the queue and are done in the order they were requested. If there is a small amount of lag the server still knows what to do next because it can look in the queue for the next task and if there is a huge chunk of lag and the queue runs out the character will still fight by default until the player can send the next command. The key to making it not seem like “click and watch” is to give players a variety of several different special abilities to choose from during combat. A MMORPG that already uses this combat system is Star Wars Galaxies. I recommend checking it out to get a feel for the combat design.

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