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Ranged weapons in online games

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I'm looking for some good game design examples of guns in an online game, closer to the RPG model as opposed to FPS. Additional rules follow: *Player aiming should not be a factor to allow people with poor motor skills to compete. *Must work well for PvP. *Realtime combat calculation but no real collision calculations or physics. Range degradation could be considered. If you have any other thoughts on handling guns in online game post away, I'd love to hear them.

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Make the "guns" require ammunition, and make the ammunition not easily accessible (ie. the spider I just shot crapped out a new magazine for my pistol, how convenient!).

Also, making the amount of ammunition that a character can carry realistic, as in 5 30-round magazines for a rifle, 2 rockets for a rocket launcher, etc.

I'm not sure exactly the mechanics of your system, but giving ranged weapons more realistic attributes seems to balance them out and not make them super-weapons.

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I'm not sure if this is what you are looking for, but Gunz online is sort of an MMORPG with Third person shooting elements. You level up your character, but swords, guns, snieprs, grenade launchers, etc and then face off against people in arena style combat. I played the beta version that is up now and it's pretty fun.

http://www.gunzonline.com

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Wow that's exactly the kind of example I was looking for, thank you EvilBean. I'm downloading now.

Sir Sapo : I'm thinking realistically too, just wonder how much range there is between guns when it comes to the ability to kill. The difference in a fantasy game between a wood stick and the Sword of Elemental Might +15 is huge and acceptable. How do you get a wider range between a 22 rifle and a Dragunov when they can both kill at good range, in regards to game space.

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One important factor is the need for terrain to affect accuracy of bullets. For other attacks this isn't as much realistic as just giving people reason to use advantageous terrain, but for guns and bullets, trees, building, and other obstacles should make a difference. Perhaps you could also have "aiming" where the longer you stand still before you shoot, and the less the opponent is moving, the more accurate the shot.

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Quote:
Original post by Dumptruck
*Realtime combat calculation but no real collision calculations or physics. Range degradation could be considered.


If this is the case, the position of the combatants should affect the battle. Otherwise, there is no point in making it real time. Here are some of the things that I think sould be taken into account:
Distance modifier - far away targets should be harder to hit.

Height modifier - it should be easier to hit lower targets.

Cover modifiers. You should give every tree and rock a cover multiplier. Then, when a player shoots another player, you check for objects between them. If you found any object, you calculate the distance between the object and the shooter and the distance between the shooter and the target. The cover bonus will be [distance between shooter and object]/[distance between shooter and target]*[cover multiplier of the object]. The cover bonus will be added to the target.

So, lets say A and B are 40 meters from each other, and there is a rock 2 meters from A and 38 meters from b, and the rock's cover modifier is 50. If B shoots A, A gets a cover bonus of 38/40*50=47.5. If A shoots B, B gets a cover bonus of 2/40*50=2.5. A is the one enjoying from the cover of the rock, since he is closer to it, and we can say he is hiding behind it.

This gives a tactical elements to your battles.

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Silent Storm had a nice array of factors in gunfighting. For instance, your sniper's second shot was more accurate than his first, since he's been "on target" longer and drawn a better bead. Shooting positions (Standing, kneeling, sitting, prone) that every boy scout knows will affect your marksmanship (more with a long gun than a handgun).

One thing that I haven't seen to my satisfaction is proper use of cover. If you're peeking around a corner or over a rock, you should get a big evade bonus, since much of your body is unavailable. Also, using a tree or the hood of a car to anchor your weapon improves accuracy completely, but it takes time to get into position.

Gunfighting is a very complex and interesting discipline, and there are many schools on the subject. If you approach it as a martial art, you'll have no shortage of interesting considerations to include in your design.

And please don't make your shotguns fie three-foot patterns at ten yards. The rule of thumb for a combat shotgun is one inch of spread per yard of flight. You have to use the sights.

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Thank you for all the excellent ideas.

I just want to avoid any systems that require the player to aim, but are still engaging enough.

I really like the cover ideas and changing stance. Detecting if the player is obscured shouldn't be too bad as long as there aren't projectiles.

Maybe crouching players get a defense bonus while in that stance? While firing on the move would affect accuracy, but you would stay locked onto the target.

I also really like the concept of first shot - should give some kind of attack bonus.

Just need to find a balance between simulating the gun play, clear rules for the players and depicting the whole event fairly.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Quote:

I just want to avoid any systems that require the player to aim, but are still engaging enough


This is one of the most common complaints I hear from RPG gamers. Purhaps not all your players lack all physical coordnation. For some reason creators of RPGs want to cut out all control and have it be an interactive sotry. I say games are fun because they do give you control.

My point is this: I recommend that you dont completely cut out the shooting system for a replaced number system. You can still give a level of control for hitting your target that increases interactivity and hence the fun level. Look at sports games that have meters that determine your accuracy. I would say that this sytem would be far more fun then a simple dried up plain percentage/stats system.

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I've downloaded a ton of these games in past few days, Neocron 2 has a sort of combo system. When holding the crosshair over the target, the accuracy increases the longer you hold your aim. The higher your weapon skill, the faster the crosshair narrows.

I think those games use a non-FPS method to eliviate bandwidth problems as well because it gets tricky when there are 20 people around.

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Neocron was something that I wanted to suggest too. It was dependent on both player and character skill. The beauty of that system is that if you were "ganked" by some high levels, you could dodge their fire pretty easy by strafing and jumping out of their crosshairs. Of course, NPCs would not do such a thing, so PVP and PVE were quite different.


The most used system atm is the one used in WoW or Anarchy Online, where you basically have a gun skill that gives you chance to hit/crit/miss, a defense skill that combined with the gun skill gives the final chance to hit/crit/miss against a certain target. This system is completely automatic and it involves 0 player skill, only good gear/stats, which can be achieved by FPS gurus and dyslexics alike.

You can fix a collision/simple line of sight check to make the system a bit believable.

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If you completely ignore human skills, battles will be determined mainly by who played more time.

Don't forget, tactics is also a skill.

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Quote:
Original post by someboddy
If you completely ignore human skills, battles will be determined mainly by who played more time.

Don't forget, tactics is also a skill.


Or just equipment.

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Look at the combat in Guild Wars. It's probably the most engaging "automatic" combat out right now. It requires very little in the way of reflexes (but you still have to be fairly quick to respond to changes) but allows for a great deal of benefit from tactics, coordination and planning. All while being real-time.

Also, it doesn't have the gear dependence you see in other games as PvP characters have access to all equipment, assuming they play enough to unlock what they need. This can be good or bad depending on your opinion. Gear-ceneteredness often tends to be unbalancing for PvP (and attracts dupers and hacks when it becomes valuable), but it also tends to be highly addictive and fun, ala Diablo 2.

Personally, I prefer twitch games. But Guild Wars is, IMO, the best non-twitch real-time combat out right now.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Would definitely recommend you get hold of a free 14-Day trial for City of Heroes.

It has an entire "Assault Rifle" skill set. Though the gun used is actually a hugely customized uber-weapon more akin to the gun from Fifth Element (built in shotgun, grenade launcher, flamethrower, etc.).

Still, movement, distance and range come into play in the combat system.
The shotgun, for example, can knock other characters off their feet to land some distance away, is more effective at close range, and has a cone of effect for the blast.


Rose Online had a class that used guns. You could not only buy different guns, but different custom ammo types, which was fun. Trying to decide whether your opponent was tough enough to use your more expensive ammo on...

Plus certain enemies were weak to say, fire rounds, ice rounds, etc.
There were also different gun skills you could learn. Double shot is the only one I remember though... been a while since I played.

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I recently played Oni, which had a nicely integrated firearms/close combat system. Anyway, what could be usefull here is the following: certain weapons had a sort of auto-aim, while the more heavy weapons (sniper rifles, the precision stuff) had to be aimed much better by hand. You could implement an auto-lock system for your weapons, where the weapon-type and your skills with them would then decide how fast, and at what angle distance, the auto-lock would work.

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