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RPG combat system

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First post. =) Well, I came up with a wacky idea the other day. And I'd just like to get some feedback on how well you think this would work. Basically, When holding LMB, you grip your sword. Then, whenever you flick your wrist in a fast movement in a certain direction, the sword moves in that direction, and it damages whatever the swing hits. My thinking was that this could be used so that whenever it hit the arm, the weapon would be disabled or something(overpowered), or when you swing your weapon at their leg they become crippled(also overpowered). This may make that typical level grinding much more exciting with more variety of moves. (Maybe, when you move the sword in a certain way, it inflicts something) What do you guys think of this freestyle combat?

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I think it sounds great. It makes me think of the hand movement in the game 'Trespasser' (Jurassic Park Game). And they also had something like that, in 'Jedi Knight Academy' when you use force grip to grab an enemy off the ground by the neck, and sling them around like a rag doll.

I really think it makes a game more fun, because you have more options of how to defeat an opponent.

thats my 5 cents worth

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If I'm not mistaken this was done on an older game called "the Abyss" maybe Ultima:the Abyss. You could swing high or low on the screen with the mouse and your sword hit your enemy accordingly. This was great when fighting rats and bats that you had to look up or down to see.

For those of you who remember it, you now know just how old I am. My son was about 8 by then I think. :)

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Quote:
Original post by jb_lav
If I'm not mistaken this was done on an older game called "the Abyss" maybe Ultima:the Abyss. You could swing high or low on the screen with the mouse and your sword hit your enemy accordingly. This was great when fighting rats and bats that you had to look up or down to see.

I rememer that game well: Ultima Underworld: The Stygian Abyss. Awesome 3D RPG which was out before Wolfenstein 3D made the whole FPS genre popular. From memory Ultima Underworld didn't have the locational damage that crusader75 suggested, although it did have the different sword slashing techniques.

There was a game called Die By The Sword, which unfortunately I haven't played, which had a system similar to what you've suggested (although it wasn't an RPG). You might want to check that out.

I have played RPGs with localisational damage in them (for example: Fallout), and was a great way to add strategy to the combat. I'm all for more tactical combat in RPGs, so your idea seems good to me (although I wouldn't include it just to make "level grinding" more entertaining; level grinding isn't my idea of a good element to include in RPGs).

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That game was so cool then. I'm glad I'm not the only one that remembers those "older" games. )

On to the OP: What about a "called-shot" based upon a mouse-click to opponents body? Hard to do on a moving opponent.. but inflicts more damage, obviously.

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The elder scrolls series also has this ability. You could change the swing depending on how you move the controller (in the first 2 it was how you moved the mouse, in Morrowind it was which direction you press the movement keys). The had 3 swings:

Slash (left or right sideways movement): Gives an average chance to hit and does an average amount of damage.
Stab (botom to top movement): Gives the best chance to hit but does little damage.
Smash (top to botom movement): Give the least chance to hit but does the most damage.

I have thought about using a combo system as well like in a beat-em-up where a combination of key presses (or mouse movments) would trigger a special move and the single key presses would trigger one of the normal attack modes.

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reminds me of a flash game I played long ago.
Ronin:heart of sword. Search it, though it does have some "adult" content, which could be turned off.

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@Edtharan - No, not really. I haven't spent much time in Daggerfall or Arena, but in Morrowind, there wasn't any (recorded) difference in chance to hit or damage. Well, there was a difference in damage, but that merely varied from one weapon to another. So a spear would have more thrusting damage, and an axe had more chopping damage. There was no most damaging method for all weapons, though.

@OP - Yes, I think that that could be a good idea. It might make the game a little more actiony than some RPGists like, though. I think I'd enjoy it.

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@Ezbez: In my maual for Daggerfall it says: "When striking an opponent, it is important to be aware that how you swing your weapon makes a differentce, both in the potential damage you may inflict and the likelihood that your blow will connect."

Both manuals (for Arena and Daggerfall) list a table that charts the mouse movements to varied chances to hit and the amount of damage bonus/penalty that they give.

OP: I have thought about useing a system where the player directly controls their weapon through the mouse or some other controller. Imagine that the mouse is the hilt of the weapon and the movements of the mouse (and speed) dictates weather or not it hits and how much damage it does when it hits.

If the weapon colides with the enemy model then it is a hit, if it misses then it is a miss. Parrying would also work the same. Also you could use the left mouse button for one hand and the right mouse button for the other hand. So you could either have two weapons or a weapon/shild combination that you must use when fighting.

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I've actually been mulling over many of the same ideas and concepts myself. I envisioned a combat system where you would move your character using WASD, a la first person shooters, but the camera would follow over the shoulder at some distance. The mouse would be used for viewing and mouse buttons would perform attacks. This is essentially the same as the Star Wars:JKIII system in description. However, my idea was to incorporate a bit more point and click RPG into the mix. You can click to move/attack a target at a certain location. Strafing and moving modifies your position for things like dodging and if you need to lunge at your opponent. The camera would adjust based on where you click to move in this case, the mechanics would have to be intuitive so that your view wasn't constantly rotating but the movement keys (WASD) would always be axis alinged. This would allow for relatively complex maneuvers in combat - you can change targets or points of reference by repositioning the mouse and strafing/dodging relative to a new location. You can cast spells/ranged from afar and also get into melee to beat on your opponent. The movement keys would come into play especially in melee - if you click on an enemy who is in melee range when using melee attacks, the movement keys influence your combat actions. This combined with a sort of limited mouse gesture system - if you click you stab at your opponent, if you make a sort of slashing motion, your weapon follows you. I like to think of it as a more fluid and interactive Diablo II combat system.

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Personnaly, I've thought that it would be easier to use the arrows to move the player, and then the numberpad to give the directions for the arms movements. In addition, you could use the RIGHT-CTRL to make parries, and the RIGHT-SHIFT to make thrusts, the basic use of the number-pad being the slash. Maybe you can use ALT-Gr to use the shield in the right quadrant or to bash your opponent.

But that's just an old idea. maybe someone can refine it further...

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Ocular Ink uses mouse clicking and dragging as it's main method of attack, although the context is utterly different from a sword fight.
It works well. The player has control over the the strength and direction of the attack through the length and direction of the line. Timing is important to hit the enemy. All the player is really doing is drawing force vectors to apply to enemies, but it is intuitive and fun.

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