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RPG Battle System

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This may have be brought up before, but... I hate to generalize, but RPG battle systems tend to fall into two categories. "Hack ''n Slash" as in Diablo (run up to enemy, click mouse button wildly, run away, heal, run back, etc), and "turn based" as in Final Fantasy series (I hit the monster, the monster hits me, I hit the monster, the monster hits me...). I think the battle systems are wearing a little thin. Don''t get me wrong, I still enjoy playing them, but I would like to see something requiring a little more "skill". I would like to see a cross between an RPG and a fighting game (esp. Tekken). For example, you are walking around the map, visible from an overhead isometric view. When you are attacked..it zooms in to a 3D-side view as in Tekken. While fighting you would have full 3D mobility; jump, side-step, move forward and backward, etc. Your attacks would utilize whatever weapon you are equiped with. The monsters attack would utilize whatever they were equiped with (ie an eight tentacled monster would hit with its tentacles, an orc-type monster would use a club or sword). Magic could be used through programmable keys: press the number 1 for fire 2 ice 3 lightning 4 silence, etc. Of course, the enemy would be able to dodge a magical attack as well. A game like this may already exist, and I may have just wasted everyones time, if so, I am sorry, and would be very interested to know the name of the game. If not, what do you think about my idea? BTW: I have come across an old SNES game called "Super Dragon Boy" or somethign like that, the does combine, and RPG and a fighting game, but the fighting engine is primitive. Jason

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I like your idea for a combat that requires skill - kind of like might and magic:crusaders.
However - i hate point and click magic - that should require some skill too - i love the gesture system from black & white
my fav. game would be a multiplayer (coop) m&m:crusaders (ie, fps all the time), with magic performed using gestures (and while i''m dreaming, random maps ala nethack/diablo)

- Wyzfen

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Hey,
The old RPG Tales of Detiny had an action-based battle system that was pretty good, although they could have done better.
Secret of Mana was a bit more than hack-n-slash, as well.
Can''t think of any that use 3D that you speak of... but ah well... there''s always Daggerfall ;-)

--Brian

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I agree that battle systems are very often ignored in RPG, but I don''t know if a real time tekken type interface is a great solution. It might work for one or two characters, but if you''re controlling more than that it would probably get too complex. I was thinking of a turn based version of what you suggest.

You could have a simple 3D fighting area to move around in, something like the battles in Heroes of Might and Magic. Some things you could do:

- The direction of the attack matters. If you attack a unit''s back then it''s less likely to block. This could add some interesting flanking tactics, and you could get advantages from having multiple units ganging up against a single unit. Of course it wouldn''t affect some units, like a hydra or something else that can attack/defend in different directions.
- You could simulate morale in battle. If you charge one of your units ahead to attack the enemy and it quickly becomes surrounded and separated from its friends it might panic.
- Area effect spells - you have to be careful not to hurt your own units
- Line of sight - your archers/magic users might hit another unit if it''s in the way
etc.

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You should check out the old SNES game Chrono Trigger for a variant on turn based battles that is similar to what you described. Also the new PC game Anachronox which takes the Chrono Trigger battle system to the next level with a grid-based movement system during fighting.

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Hey StratMan...... Haven''t seen you in awhile I used to come to this forum all the time, but lately I''ve just been a lurker. I like the Anox forums, but they are too lethargic... I hope we get some faster forums soon.

To NCPar8hd, you should definately try Tales of Destiny. just think of it as a Street Fighter brawl with RPG elements. I can''t wait for Tales of Destiny 2.

I don''t think RPG''s need to involve any twitch skill as long as they involve substantial strategy. Tactical RPG''s like Tactics Ogre, Final Fantasy Tactics, or nearly any game by SSI add a lot of strategy by allowing the characters to move. Technically, fighters wouldn''t need to move for a battle system to involve enough strategy, but I just haven''t seen any system pull that off, yet. Don''t get me wrong, I like a lot of the classic Final Fantasies, but I really wish their battle systems would be deeper.

-Forcas


"Elvis is alive. He is Barney the purple dinosaur. He is the pied piper that leads our children into the wages of sin and eternal damnation."



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The battle system from the secret of mana series was well done! The games would have been better if the characters weren''t completely predefined, but the magic system was well done I think

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Why not use a gesture system for warrior combat too? One gesture for a stabbing attack, another for a high sweep, another for a defensive move etc. This could be fun if you implement it right, and could lead to some interesting combos. Just dont take the Die By The Sword route, that gave you too much control over the sword but it never felt natural.

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Noone mentionned Grandia2 which has IMO the best combat system I''ve ever seen.
A little work over it might make it perfect

-* So many things to do, so little time to spend. *-

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A few people mentioned gesture-based activation of skills. Ironically enough the prototype for Final Fantasy 7 that Square made on Silicon Graphics computers used the mouse to activate various commands. Obviously this never made it over to FF7 on the Playstation, but it could have been the killer app for mice on consoles.

As for other RPGs/cRPGs, Silver used mouse gestures for the different movements and sword attacks. A bit cumbersome with all the action going on, but interesting.

Back on topic of hybrid click-''n-kill/turn-based RPGs I think Sierra''s Quest for Glory 5 comes close. A spell won''t hit anything unless you aim and you have to actually move the character to dodge. Spells, potions, etc. can be hotkeyed to speed things up.

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One thing I have always felt was lacking was a detailed fighting system for normal, everyday, ''fighters''. Usually, most of the detail in a combat system is given over the spell casters.

I''ve often wanted to have the ability to do detailed attacks and combinations in an RPG battle using a sword, instead of just hitting ''attack'' and that''s it. Not ''magical'' sword attacks that many games do, but actual maneuvers.

A system like that might get daunting, selecting what you want to do, but it could always be toggled on and off.

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Hey!

I also had this brought to my attention a few weeks ago, and thus I have created exactly what you wanted. (well in generalizations at least) I will release full specs on the new battle system as soon as my website comes back online. The game that is recieve this new battle system is called Final Star 2. This new battle system changed the game so much, it can no longer be called a RPG alone, but it must actually be classified as a Fighting RPG. The basic thing is that it is like most fightings games except that the Story Mode is very in-depth like an RPG is.

My site should be back online sometime tonight or tommorrow, so check it out to see the specs.

Alex Ford
PointSoft EA Co., Ltd.
http://www.pointsoftonline.com

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You might want to check out Star Ocean 2 for playstation. RPG that cuts to an arena for fights.

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Star Ocean 2..... eww.... just a bunch of button mashing. I had hoped it would be more like Tales of Destiny. It would''ve been good if you wouldn''t automatically charge your enemy whenever you hit the attack button.

-Forcas


"Elvis is alive. He is Barney the purple dinosaur. He is the pied piper that leads our children into the wages of sin and eternal damnation."



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quote:
Original post by Aribu
One thing I have always felt was lacking was a detailed fighting system for normal, everyday, ''fighters''. Usually, most of the detail in a combat system is given over the spell casters.

I''ve often wanted to have the ability to do detailed attacks and combinations in an RPG battle using a sword, instead of just hitting ''attack'' and that''s it. Not ''magical'' sword attacks that many games do, but actual maneuvers.

Agreed. How many people are sick of three spell levels for each elemental magic? Wow! That''s a lot of hands!
I say nix the Fire 2 and Fire 3 (or whatever the 2nd and 3rd fire spells may be called) and let combinations for combat be pre-programmed to the hotkeys. For the higher level magic simply let the mages ''charge-up'' over a longer period of time ala Mega Man 4+/X+. (This would drastically chang very few systems, if any, since most make higher level spells take longer to cast anyway.)
The same ''charge-up'' system could be applied to physical combat as well (the analogy here being a swing in a Golf game.)

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Guest Anonymous Poster
The problem with close-up directly controlled combat is that the game stops being an RPG, because a player''s power in combat is based on their own game-playing skill rather than abstract skills they improve during the game. So there can''t be a ''bow'' skill anymore, just the player pulling out a bow and shooting the enemy. And then you have Zelda: Ocarina of Time, which was an excellent game, but not really an RPG as there was little character development.

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What about Final Fantasy Tactics?? It uses a advanced isometric engine. While I admit that it could be better, FFT is a great start for a good RPG engine. We would need to create better battles and stuff.

Use FFT''s engine and add the "change to 3d battle mode thing" everyone was talking about. In FFT, if you go behind a enemy and attack, you would goto another screen where you duke it out, except the enemy started from behind, limiting his evade. I say that magic should require hotbutton combinations. Like a fire spell is 2343 (you would press 2343 in battle to get a fire spell).

A good engine would use terrain to the utmost advantage. Calvary would have a hard time in dence bush or forest. An archer on a high position gets a bigger bow range than normal. Two people fighting in knee deep water have less mobility than otherwise. (most of these examples are in FFT)

All these things could be added somewhat easily with equations and testing. It would make games like FFT alot more

Balbanes -- Heavenly Knight -- Ultima Warrior

Living true to your heart is the warriors way...

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Anyone here play Quest 64. Not the best game ever, but you actually dodge to dodge and aim your magic. If it was done better, it would have been really cool. I think a game like FF that implemented a similar combat interface might really work.

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Yeah, I played Quest 64. The base idea for the fighting engine is a really good idea, but the game itself gets kind of repetitive and tedious due to the number of fights you have to do, the small returns in way of experience for the fights, and the very small number of different magic/normal attacks used by the player character and enemies.

I agree, though, that if this engine was used for a final fantasy game, it would probably be really good, since final fantasy has a very good variety of spell effects/attacks and normal attacks.

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I have recieved many great comments. I would like to reply to a few people:

Wyzfen:
A gesture based magic system would be great. However, a battle system such as the one Ive been thinking about would almost make require a gamepad, or if not that then both hands would have to be on the keyboard during battles. Pulling your hand off the keyboard to do a gesture using the mouse would be rather difficult.

Dobbs,
More than one character would actually not be too difficult. You would be able to press a key and your current character would jump out of battle and a new character would jump in. The battle order could be preselected by the player through a status screen (much like Final Fantasy does it now). The monsters would be able to do the same thing.

Pointsoft,
I have read your specs and it sounds great...I look forward to seeing a playable version.

Anonymous poster,
I dont believe this battle system would stop the game from being an RPG. Your strength, dexterity, constitution, and related stats would still have an effect on how you did in battles. A fighter w/ a strength of 25 would take more hit points from an enemy than would a mage w/ a strength of 15.


One of the inherent problems w/ this battle system as I see it, is that you would have to have battle animations for every character and enemy in the game. In a game w/ 100+ enemies, that is quite a few animations.

Jason

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Plans are to release a Battle Demo around winter season. I just hope I can make the models in time, and get a decent programmer to make the engine. :-P The models don''t actually look too far off, they should be done way before Winter comes around, so that''s good news.

Thanks for the intrest!

Alex Ford
PointSoft EA Co., Ltd.
http://www.pointsoftonline.com

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