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Mephs

Making combat fun

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I'm now arriving at the stages of implementing early forms of gameplay in my small scale networked RPG, and I'm beginning to ponder upon the thoughts of gameplay. I think that to start out with, I'm going to keep my game very simple. It's going to involve a player with set equipment and spells (no advancement for items/magic etc yet) battling against a GM that can control and speak through NPCs/Monsters. I think that fact that you can play against a GM is going to be quite fun in itself as the GM will be able to play out a story through the characters and will be much better than battling against AI controlled monsters that always do the same thing. What I'm wondering though is how else can combat be made fun? I'd like there to be an element of strategy to it, but I'd also like to stray away from the rock/scissors/paper style of play if possible. On the other hand, I don't want there to be so much strategy that it is inaccessible to the majority of players. I think I'm looking for something along the lines of Diablo, but a bit more involving. Something that is very simple to pick up, but also difficult to master. My reasoning for this is that I believe some games are so complex that they put people off playing, where others are so simple that they do not keep peoples long term interest. So the question I pose is, how would you make combat more interesting than point and click? Some of my ideas are: - Independantly controlled weapons - LMB controls left weapon RMB controls right weapon. 2 Handed weapons gain the bonus of an additional special attack on the RMB with a normal attack on LMB. - Defensive/Neutral/Offensive stances which still allow you to be offensive or defensive in all situations, but offer bonuses relevant to the stance you are in (full defensive gives you better blocking and riposte chance) Hmm, anyhoo my lunch break is running out, so I'll leave it there for now (I do have more suggestions I shall post soon!), but please feel free to suggest other methods and to discuss what you think could make combat more fun. Thanks, Steve

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I don't know, I'm still a fan of the old turn-based RPG combat. The farthest I'm willing to go is like how Chrono Trigger did it, although I'd definitely take more advantage of the possibility for one guy to attack 2 or 3 times while someone else's action meter was filling up once.

I think whether the player controls one guy or several will bear heavily on this. If you control one guy, you can get away with making it as much of a button mashing fest as you want. If you control a party of guys, speed shouldn't be as much of a factor, otherwise the only people who'll wanna play it are the ninja reflex guys or possibly the RTS guys.

I haven't really played many computer RPG's (Eye of the Beholder 3 drove me nuts with its "click on monster really really fast" mechanic), so this is probably about all I can say. As far as the console games I've played though, I far far prefer having a party of at least 3 guys to control, even though most games have minimal strategy elements. (Guys in the back row do less damage to enemy but also take less damage? Come ON. What if they're armed with bows? Yeesh.)

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