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hapaboy

A new type of RPG battle system...what do you guys think?

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Hello all, Ive been thinking for what seems like forever on how to add strategy to a RPG battle. Up until now, strategy in real time RPG combat has consisted of either finding a monster''s weak point (usually elemental) and continuously using the same attack to take advantage of it, or finding the most efficient techniques that are repeated in just about every battle. I dont like either. I do have an idea that Im thinking about incorporating into my mmorpg design. Before I do use it, I would like to get some opinions from other designers. Please tell me what you like and what you dont like about it, not just that you like or dont like it. I want to improve it if need be or if it will not work properly, I may not want to use it at all. Hapaboy''s new real time RPG combat: To bring about strategy in combat, a player must be able to determine weak points and use them to his or her advantage. Unlike the usual notion of opponents having a single weak point (e.g. weak against fire). A player should be able to see numerous weak points arise and disappear in the course of a single battle. The problem is that most real time battles occur at too great a speed for a player to quickly ascertain weak points and strike at them. A creature may swing blindly at a fighter, exposing its underbelly, yet, the player will have no time to react to this strategic opportunity. What I am pondering, is a slowed battle system. This will not occur at every battle but will occur in epic battles such as PvP battles in mmorpg or a battle against a mob boss. The player will then be able to strike at diffeent multiple parts of an opponent''s body simply by clicking on the appropriate part either on the enemy itself or a diagram of that enemies'' different parts. Different attacks would have their advantages and disadvantages. Character skills would also have much to do with it. An opponent would swing at you and a check against your dodge skill would be made, if you dodge, you succesfully sidestep your opponent and have a clear shot at his head. If you choose to strike at its head, you gain an attack and dmg bonus. Different type of attacks would create different openings. An opponent could use those oppenings to his or her advantage to do more dmg or could simply continue to fight blindly ignoring strategy. The battle will not be too slow as to make it too easy. Keep in mind, this will only occur on bosses or other players so not every battle is a slow motion slugfest. Ok thats the jist of it, it will probably become more complicated as it evolves. Thanks all for replying =) alohaz The poetry of silence is what my parents read to me, perhaps the greatest verse, for it does not bias the mind----me =)

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Sounds to me like you want to make it harder for people to play the game. Being a mmorpg this should be so, for a regular rpg, i wouldnt recommend doing this because the story should be why you play. However, I warn you to be careful. This could make the game very difficult if you don''t balance it somehow. If for some rare chance you attack and miss, and then i counter and hit, do you get penalties AND I get bonuses? If this does happen, then they better be small on both sides, or just one sided only. I''ve made a system like this before and a more powerful character walks through weaker characters, like they should sometimes, but other times it became unbalanced. If you wanted other suggestions, then ask

"Practice means good, Perfect Practice means Perfect"

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sounds a lot better that what i''ve seen in a lot of games lately... i like it...
i like the idea of weak spots changing during the battle... such as when the enemy winds up to give a devastating blow, his belly is open for an easy hit with extra damage, but only for a moment (until he smashes you up)...
in fact, if you can, you should make it so any attack that connects during the small time between when the enemy begins to attack and when the attack actually hits you, should do extra damage and cancel/weaken the attack... it goes both ways of course...
if you include some sort of parrying and/or blocking with a shield or weapon, a counterattack (struck directly after blocking/parrying) should get bonuses also...
the body area should give the best bonuses for hits, since it is biggest and in the center... the head should do a lot of damage, but be hard to hit (as it is small, and everyone has a reflex to protect their face)...
if it is not too much for you to bother with, you should allow cutting off body parts (arms, legs, etc) which are then missing permanently (unless an extremely powerful magic spell or something is used to fix it; ooh, you could also have prosthetic limbs (boy, if my hand was eaten by a Zorn i would want a sword+2 permanently atached to my stump)...
how does magic factor into this though? i mean, that can''t really change (as far as what i imagine to be the "standards", although i know there is no such thing). An ice beast of some sort will be hurt by fire no matter what... you could include spells that protect from certain other spells, or all spells (or even armor/amulets/potions/etc to do the same), for example "Protect From Flames" which lasts for some of the battle, thereby un-doing the weak-spot at least for a while...
what sort of graphical interface are you going to use? is it 2D, isometric, 3D? or more importantly, how is the player going to control their character? picking a target area from a diagram isn''t exactly conducive to real-time (although i suppose you could work out some way for it to work; i just can''t think of a way offhand)... clicking on the actual enemy might be good, depending on the view; but then it wouldn''t be exact, as the enemy will be moving and the player might "mis-click"...
i dunno... if i think of anything else i will post again... but i think your idea is a very good one...

--- krez (krezisback@aol.com)

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quote:
Original post by KingRuss
Sounds to me like you want to make it harder for people to play the game. Being a mmorpg this should be so, for a regular rpg, i wouldnt recommend doing this because the story should be why you play.

i must disagree, it the game more interesting and more of a challenge... the story is important, but it doesn''t matter if the actual gameplay is boring and repetitive.
quote:
This could make the game very difficult if you don''t balance it somehow. If for some rare chance you attack and miss, and then i counter and hit, do you get penalties AND I get bonuses? If this does happen, then they better be small on both sides, or just one sided only.

think of a real fight with swords and axes and such... the biggerst baddest toughguy in the world could lose to a total wuss, if he missed a stroke and overextended, thus exposing his side and belly to a axe-chop. generally this proposed system will balance the same as if it was totally stat-based, but it allows truly "exceptional hits" made by the player, not just a high dice roll.
quote:
I''ve made a system like this before and a more powerful character walks through weaker characters, like they should sometimes, but other times it became unbalanced.

how bad was this imbalance? how often did it happen? i mean, maybe you were not happy with it, but was it really so bad as to make the system no good at all? i''m not being an a$$, i mean no disrespect. i really want to know.

--- krez (krezisback@aol.com)

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I give you a lot of credit for trying to breathe new life into the new battle system. I was playing Chrono Trigger the other day and level building my characters. After about 2 hours, my roommate made the comment, "Are you still battling those eggplants?" (he was refering to the Nu, if you''ve played the game) At this point I realized how mindnumbed I had become, and I turned it off.

There definitely is a need for a more exciting battle system, or one that requires a little more thought than "Fight, Magic, Fight, Monster defeated".

If you are gonna screw around with it, I recommend that you pick up two games: Kartia and Grandia. Both are for the Playstation, but they offer two really cool battle systems.

Kartia leaves you in command of a whole army of monsters and soldiers. Battles take anywhere from 10 minutes to 2 hours. Now the catch to this route is that just about the whole game and story takes place in the battles. I think it''s supposed to be a lot like Ogre Battle for SNES and the Ogre Battle that came out for Playstation, but I can''t tell you for sure, because I haven''t played them.

Grandia doesn''t have a radically new battle system, it just breathes new life into the old one. Battles usually take a lot longer than those of maybe Bauldar''s Gate and Final Fantasy, but not that much longer, and it''s a lot more entertaining. Characters move all around the screen slashing and hacking after you make your selection, rather than the "My party is all on the right, the bad guys are all on the left" type battle system.

There definitely is a great need for a really cool new battle system. I think that the battle system is almost, if not just as, important as the story because you spend so much time throughout the game using it. If it is bland and repetitive, players will think your game is bland and unrepetitive as well.

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I think that what silvermyst said is very applicable, so a slowed down combat system would not be easy to implement for an MMORPG. I like the idea and I should direct you towards Squaresoft''s Vagrant Story for combat based on target areas, even though there is no attack interuption.

Work this idea, I think it depends more upon the effectiveness of the implementation as a useable interface than it does on the actual concept, because your trying to feed a lot of information to the player and still make it useable. Consider raising the strategy to a type of positional strategy instead (think RTS) so fighting on a staircase in a castle would give you the opportunity to try to get high ground, you might try to flank your opponents (with more than one character) and have one player take blows from the front and others weaken him from behind.


- God created the world in seven days? I think I can one-up him!

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''Nother quick note:

One way to somewhat implement a slowed-down combat is to use the motion-armor that is used in the Dune series. This is armor that was designed to guard the user from any missile (read: guns etc).
The only flaw is that a slow object can penetrate it. You''d have to slowly slide in a dagger or something to penetrate it.

A suit somewhat like this might make for slowed-down melee combat. Make the suit heavy, which would limit the movement of the wearer.

Two fighters in suits like this would make for an interesting duel.

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As for strategy...

That doesn''t start during the fight.

To me, strategy starts long before a fight ever takes place.

What moves do you practice? What weapon do you use? What are your strengths and weaknesses? What armor do you wear? When do you decide to attack or run?

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the combat systems of all the current mmorpgs need improvement in my opinion.

i defeinately think the first person/team to incorporate a vastly superior combat engine will sell their game in a big way...if all the other aspects of the game are of a high quality also of course.

it would need to be done extremely carefully so that things do remain balanced, but for me personally it is just plain boring to fight a creature by repeatedly hitting the attack button or mouse click..etc....or even worse - commanding your character to attack and just watching.

all of the traditional combat ''rules'' seem to emulate misses vs hits and variated damage in only very basic ways. if your wearing big bulky armour (and have a low AC) you generally have a reduced chance to be hit, whereas this should be the opposite and hits to the armour should instead just be greatly reduced in effectiveness, thus a heavily suited character''s weakest point becomes the head and legs for example. bulky equipment like plate mail should reduce a characters agilty and make him/her easier to be struck. striking diferent parts of the body should be the ''manual'' measure of how much damage is done, rather than the target being plainly struck in no specific way and the damage being generated randomly. in a perfect 3d combat engine the user should be able to manually make any of the character''s available moves...such as lunges, sidesteps, blocks, slashes, quick jabs..etc...but there should maybe be a setting for the character to be in auto rephlex and auto combat mode aswell (so things dont become TOO tedious if the user feels like concentrating on other things than manual combat...so weak little bunnies which would otherwise be be slowly killing the character will be dispatched automatically). the automation would run at a slightly lesser speed than what would be available manually, so that applying strategy and manually fighting would allways be the most effective way to defeat anything (assuming the user isn''t drunk or really stupid).
when a character lunges, they should be tempuarily "off balance", disabling any available dodge moves and impairing agility for a brief moment. skill and weapon proficiancy would still play a big part in a characters combat ability but the user should be able to pick and choose in as much detail as possible their real time hand to hand combat strategy...to be able to aim at the head of a character wearing platemail, or to step out of the way of an incoming pole-arm lunge. the result would be something resembling tekken with weapons meets neverwinter nights, and would be an extremely cool game in my opinion...and one that i would certainly go out and buy.

what i wrote off the top of my head here was just a small part of the huge amount of detail a developement team could put into their game''s combat. i wrote a more in depth list recently when i started thinking about an idea for a new mmorpg that was basically based on a superior 3d combat engine. i see it as a big oppertnity to attract a lot of interest, and i hope some one if not allready working on similar things will steal my ideas and make them into a cool game soon.

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