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Scion Koga

Need Feedback on Potential Combat System

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Hello all,

 

First time here, but i've been trying to get my ideas down on paper, and I would like some feedback. This is mostly an idea I had for a combat system in a tournament style game or MMO (if I were a AAA company with a couple million dollars). Let me know what you think if this is maybe workable, or im just off my rocker. It's still in the planning stages, but I hope this gives you the general gist. I'm also looking for software that would allow me to put this into mechanics to see how it actually works. Thanks!

 

 

Combat
   - Melee Combat

    In combat is where I would like to spend a majority of time. It is the "Meat and Potatos" of almost any video game on the market today. Now, I wish to turn the entire idea of MMO combat on its head by taking out unneeded abilites.
    

In most MMOs, and I will use World of Warcraft as an example, there is a very static and staggered approach to fighting. It was what I would call "Organized Button Mashing".  A fight consists of the use of abilites that are learned through leveing and waiting for said ability to recharge in order to use again. Items grant bonuses to the abilities as well as how many "points" are in that certain skill/ability.
    

This is an outdated system of combat. It has been played and replayed in almost every game since its inception. It is time to move on to a new paradigm. In this game, all combat, like in reality, must be weighed before use. I wish to bring more reality to the combat of MMORPGs.
    

The player will enter combat when he "clicks" on another player with his weapon unsheathed. This is when the player will be able to pick his "position" (I will address this in a minute). No moves can be performed until a player picks his "position." The opposing player once initiated in combat will have his UI change to show that he is in combat and must react by picking his "position."
    

This also changes if a player is only wearing leather armour and using a short piercing weapon (Dagger). To facilitate the use of "rogue" type profession, the opposing player will not know that they are under attack, and will not be able to pick a position until after the first attack by the opposing player. The player with the leather and dagger will be able to pick his position without unsheathing his weapon and be able to attack with impunity for his first attack.  
    

The players body will be made up a collection of "hitboxes". With no armour or protection their initial hit per box will fairly low. The following parts of the body are hit boxes. "Head, Chest, Midrift, Back, Left and Right Arms, Left and Right Legs, Shield". If a part of the body is taken down to 0, that part of the body is then unusable/weakened to the player. IE: If my character has a sword in his right hand and his right arm is taken down to 0, his sword arm will become useless/decreased movement, and might be only be able to use what is in his left hand. If a leg is brought to 0 the player will either fall to a knee or have a limp and decreased movement for dodges. The chest and head are fatal if brought down to 0. Armour can improve the amount of hits per box.
    

Combat will also be based on a "stamina/fatigue system". Each swing or move of a player will decrease his "pool" of stamina. The armour that is worn by the player will also have an overall effect on their stamina. The heavier the armour or weapon, the more stamina it must consume. Once his stamina is depleted, each following move will be slower than his last. This allows some players who do not have a considerable amount of armour to "wear out" their opponent.
  

 This brings me to one of the most important aspects of the combat system. In order to give an edge to someone who has been using a certain position and weapon for a long time, they are given greater proficiency with that combination. This allows a players moves to come faster than their opponents. If two opponents use the same attack (IE: "High Attack"), whomever is faster, will have their attack hit while parrying the incoming attack. A  player will be able to train for positions and moves at "Master Schools" that indivudal players may set up.
  

 I believe that out of simplicty you can create very complex system of combat. Leaving this to the players, they can create their own forms of combat as they see fit. Here we will have four major components. Positioning, Attack, Defense, and Parry/Dodging. Each with the ability to use High, Mid, Low or Defend Back (Defend Back is only available for Defend and Dodge/Parry, I will address this later) "moves". The keys to use these are respectively: 123, QWE, ASD, and block having four ZXCV. Once you start in an engagement you will have the ability to start in one of the three positions of combat. From that position you will be able to use any of those nine moves from that position in order to attack or defend against an opponent. You may also be able to use any two moves at the same time in order to create a completely new double move.
    

Each of the weapons that a player uses also must be unique. In this we impliment a simple "damage" system based on the kind of weapon. The types of "damage" are Slashing/Piercing/Blunt. A special piercing is also introduced to counter "plate armour", which is "Crossbow Piercing." Each attack will also have an effect on what kind of damage is used. IE: Using only a "High Attack" with a Piercing/Slashing weapon (Longsword) will use "slashing damage" in a certain position, or a "High Attack" could use "piercing damage" in a different "position." Note: Magic Damage will also follow the same rules of "Piercing, Slashing, or Blunt" but with an added "Magic" component that is defended better with "Runes". I will address this further on.
    

When using a single attack, more strength will be used in the just one attack. Although, the con of just using one attack leaves you open to a double attack if your attack is blocked effectively, or if the opposing players attacks are faster than your own.
    

In order to facilitate the smooth flow of combat, there must be a "tell" of what the character is going to do. Each possible move of every combination will have a "tell" that allows the defending character to anticipate what attack is coming. Allowing the opposite player to prepare his defense or attack.
    

This has mostly been using the assumption of a single player versus a single player. We also have to consider the possibility of multiple attackers. To this we limit only four players being able to attack one person at the same time. We facilitate this with the actual arcing and swing of blades in real life. If you have more than four people their blades will not have enough room to actually make a proper swing. In order to make sure a very well skilled player may be able to defend himself against multiple attackers, we have what is known as "Back Defense" or the keys "F" and "V". The "Back Defense" will be able to parry an attack coming from the flanks of a player or from behind them. This, using the same rules as the combat system. Note: It will take a very skilled player with considerable proficieny to defend against 4 human opponents.
  
    

In this game we do away with levels and combat related abilites. There is no leveling and grinding for certain points. Instead we will impliment a system of time based attacks in real time. The more you use a certain weapon or position the better you get with this weapon - meaning the faster you can use it and the less fatigue it consumes.
  
  

Martial Combat
     

Offensive
    

Swords - Piercing/Slashing
    

Axes/Blunt Weapons - Blunt Damage/Slashing
    

Daggers/Knives - Piercing
    

Mounted Weapons - Piercing
  

Ranged/Archery - Piercing
     

Defensive
    Hitboxes (Without Armour)
        Head - 2
        Upper Chest - 3
        Middrift - 3
        Back - 2
        Left and Right Arms - 2
        Left and Right Legs - 2
        Shield - Variable
  

 Armour - Hitboxes with certain number of points each depending on the quality and type of armour.
        Leather - Good: Slashing / Weak: Piercing, Blunt Attacks
                -Unlimted Movement / Fastest Attacks        
        Chainmail - Good: Slashing movements / Weak: All Piercing, Blunt
                - Freer Movement / Faster Attacks
        Plate - Good: Slashing, Piercing, Blunt  / Weak: Crossbow Pierce
                - Limited Movement / Slower Attacks
        Shield - Good: All Types
                -Limited Movement / Faster Fatigue
 

  Combat System
        

        Three Types of Positions - 123 (Only chosen at the start of combat)
            High, Mid, Low
        Three Types of Attacks - QWE
            High, Mid, Low
        Three Types of Defense - ASDF
            High, Mid, Low, Defend Back
        Three Types of Parry/Dodge - ZXCV
            High, Mid, Low, Defend Back
 

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Three Types of Positions - 123 (Only chosen at the start of combat)
            High, Mid, Low
        Three Types of Attacks - QWE
            High, Mid, Low
        Three Types of Defense - ASDF
            High, Mid, Low, Defend Back
        Three Types of Parry/Dodge - ZXCV
            High, Mid, Low, Defend Back
 

 

am i to take it that in world of warcraft you can't move in combat?   (never played it myself)   if WASD are attack combo's how do you move? or is to more like turn based: my position, your position, my move, your move, resolve, repeat ?

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You can move in World of Warcraft, it the combat is rather chaotic and doesn't really make much sense in terms historical fighting. I am trying to incorperate this into realtime, but with the combat being considerably slower than most games out now.

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You can move in World of Warcraft, it the combat is rather chaotic and doesn't really make much sense in terms historical fighting. I am trying to incorperate this into realtime, but with the combat being considerably slower than most games out now.

 

so you're shooting for less chaotic, more historically accurate, and slower paced combat?

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You can move in World of Warcraft, it the combat is rather chaotic and doesn't really make much sense in terms historical fighting. I am trying to incorperate this into realtime, but with the combat being considerably slower than most games out now.

 

so you're shooting for less chaotic, more historically accurate, and slower paced combat?

 

 

Yes, that is correct.

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I like the idea that positions play a big role, and for my part I think stance would be a more intuitive word for it.

I think you'd get a really cool difficulty curve going, where fights between low level players would look slow and clumsy, as with real fighters, and the more experienced people would know their styles better and have tricks worked out that they find trip up other players.

It's simple enough to understand since it's basically multi dimensional Rock Paper Scissors, and the skills are actually player experience, not stat boosts.

Only downside i see is animations. T make that combat system look fluid would be a reeeeal bitch, since you'd have to make every move possible from the conclusion of every other attack.

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I like the idea that positions play a big role, and for my part I think stance would be a more intuitive word for it.

I think you'd get a really cool difficulty curve going, where fights between low level players would look slow and clumsy, as with real fighters, and the more experienced people would know their styles better and have tricks worked out that they find trip up other players.

It's simple enough to understand since it's basically multi dimensional Rock Paper Scissors, and the skills are actually player experience, not stat boosts.

Only downside i see is animations. T make that combat system look fluid would be a reeeeal bitch, since you'd have to make every move possible from the conclusion of every other attack.

 

Yeah, I can see what you mean Crow. I am trying to use Unity to create a simple version of the combat itself. A real bitch though since I have next to no programming experience. Perhaps you could help though, I was trying to find out a way to get all the possible moves listed and how many possibilities there are. I havent done that math in quite a while, and my internet searches have so far not really helped. I want to focus on the outcome of all the moves in a text format before I try to put it into game mechanics. Do you have any suggestions?

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your basic weapon categories will be piercing, slashing, blunt, projectile, and perhaps pole-arm. odds are before the end you'll find one more weapon type that's none of the above. mounted troops won't use pole-arms, but will use the other types. foot troops will use all types.

 

from these basic weapon categories you then derive the possible moves you want to include in the game for each one. there may be different moves possible for foot vs mounted for a given weapon category. if you count blocking/parrying as a move, different weapon types may define different blocks / parries possible as well.

 

note that some weapon types may in some way influence positions possible as well as attacks possible.

 

for animations, have them all start and end with the same keyframe, perhaps one based on the current position. or tween from the last keyframe of one to the first keyframe of the next.

 

so its this going to be turn based, or slow real time?

Edited by Norman Barrows

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I would like it to be real time, because the basis of the combat is for an adventure/MMO type format.

 

hmm....

 

pacing will be difficult. and the "tells" in real time, also tricky to get right.

 

an alternative might be to simply build a real melee combat simulator. it would get you everything you want (and probably more), without resorting to approximations and contrivances such as "tells". if your shooting for accuracy and realism, you're leaving the realm of making a mere game ( such as a MMORPG - entertainment software), and entering the realm of building a true simulation ( like a flight sim - real time modeling and simulation software). 

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I would like it to be real time, because the basis of the combat is for an adventure/MMO type format.

 

hmm....

 

pacing will be difficult. and the "tells" in real time, also tricky to get right.

 

an alternative might be to simply build a real melee combat simulator. it would get you everything you want (and probably more), without resorting to approximations and contrivances such as "tells". if your shooting for accuracy and realism, you're leaving the realm of making a mere game ( such as a MMORPG - entertainment software), and entering the realm of building a true simulation ( like a flight sim - real time modeling and simulation software). 

 

 

I agree, although my intention is to not cater to just the "simulation" crowd. I would just like to make the combat more realistic, but still fun to play by the casual or hardcore gamer.

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