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Need opinions on combat system

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*I apologize in advance if my question isn't properly formatted or lacking some way, I am very new to this site and I don't often use forums anywhere.*

A little background about the question-
I'm currently designing an exploration based MMORPG. Everything has more or less been going smoothly however I keep running into a major issue and I can't seem to get over the hurdle by myself.
(I've got my costs covered, the programming and 3d modelling while very slow are coming along just fine and the majority of content, lore, skills are all in the final stages.)
I can't make a decisive decision on how combat will work in my game. ( I have a very vague some what etched out idea)
I've always enjoyed RPG based games however I've never been a big fan of fighting.
I feel if I would to design and program a fighting system for my game it would be lacking due to my inexperience or enjoyment in that area.

What I'm asking is for feedback from people on what sort of fighting styles they have enjoyed in games so I can get a general idea of what's popular, or enjoyable to you. I think any opinion at this point will be better than mine.

-What sort of system do you think makes for an enjoyable fight? (ex:Turn based, real time, strategy fighting, or click and wait)
-Any preferences for medieval weaponry? Do you enjoy just hacking and slashing with swords or long ranged attacks.. sneaky stuff etc.(Cool suggestion for unique weapons would be awesome!)
-What sort of games have you played in the past that had exceptional fighting systems? What did you like about them?
-What exactly do you enjoy about combat? (The more I find out the more I can work towards that)

Feel free to throw in absolutely anything, even if it doesn't fit into my game design area I really want to know what people as players enjoy!

Again I'm very sorry if this wasn't done properly or if I'm missing information. I'm really truly terrible when it comes to fighting and I have gotten some good feedback elsewhere but the more I get from different sources I feel I can design a better system for my game.
If somethings wrong with my post just let me know so I can fix itunsure.png 







 

Edited by ElizaAnne

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I think any opinion at this point will be better than mine.

 

No, the better opinion is that of your target audience, and chances are, you're making the game for players who are like you.

 

How come your game is pretty far/almost finished but you don't have any combat system yet ?

Have you not implemented any combat-skills yet ?

 


-What sort of system do you think makes for an enjoyable fight? (ex:Turn based, real time, strategy fighting, or click and wait)
-Any preferences for medieval weaponry? Do you enjoy just hacking and slashing with swords or long ranged attacks.. sneaky stuff etc.(Cool suggestion for unique weapons would be awesome!)

They can all be good when implemented correctly.

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How come your game is pretty far/almost finished but you don't have any combat system yet ?
Have you not implemented any combat-skills yet ?


Nadda! I'm so unsure of myself in this area which is exactly why I'm asking for help.

I have somewhat of an idea but  I lack confidence that players would enjoy it or it feels over done.

My game has no classes so my general idea is this. 

There are Character levels- Strength, Accuracy, speed, Health 
Then Ability levels.. Long sword, heavy axe, long range,..
Non turn based, 

I do have a rough idea of how to combine them but mostly combat wise all I've done is work on the familiar combat system.
 

Whenever it comes down to figuring it out, I realize that I really don't know what anyone appreciates combat wise in a game so getting any information helps greatly.
I may not use what you say in my game directly but it can help me better understand.

Like I said, and I will stick to it..any opinion is better than mine. Since I don't enjoy combat at all.

Edited by ElizaAnne

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Is your game playable?
Do you have an option for prototyping the combat mechanic in any way?

I think maybe you should start with the first idea that springs to mind, try it out, and see if you're having fun with it. Try getting some of your friends or coworkers to try it out and see if they're having fun with the combat.

Things that sound good on paper might not be good when implemented, and vice versa. The only way to get a good combat system is to make something, try it, and change or improve it, and repeat the whole process until you're satisfied. And the fact that combat is very dependent on the rest of your game makes it even harder to suggest ideas or improvements.

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First of all, if I may ask, why are you set on this being a combat-centric game if you yourself aren't interested in combat? Why not make an MMO that focusses on gameplay mechanics that you do enjoy--whether that's puzzles, adventure-style exploration or investigation, strategy or something else again?

 

However, if you are set on combat, have you considered contracting a dedicated combat designer? A singular vision might be more beneficial to your project than a core design produced by committee here on the forum.

 

Finally, if you'd rather not do either, then let me ask instead: are there any types of combat/in-game violence that you do enjoy? Whether hack-n-slash, tactical realtime-with-pause, turn-based, old-fashioned 2D brawler, Arkham-Asylum-style "fluid brawling", even stealth-based assassination or something else at all?

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(ex:Turn based, real time, strategy fighting, or click and wait)

 

it depends on the depth and realism you desire, and what you can afford in development time and costs.

 


I have somewhat of an idea but  I lack confidence that players would enjoy it or it feels over done.

My game has no classes so my general idea is this. 

There are Character levels- Strength, Accuracy, speed, Health 
Then Ability levels.. Long sword, heavy axe, long range,..
Non turn based, 

 

a good start. no classes, but you have stats and skills. very similar to the combat system in Caveman, which is based off of the combat systems of the Dungeons and Dragons, and Traveller RPG games.

 

this would point towards a real time first person shooter type combat.

 

for hand weapons, the player presses attack, they swing their weapon, when the weapon reaches the impact point, if there's a target at the impact point, you check for hit, using a base chance modified by stats and skills. damage is determined by weapon type, perhaps again modified by stats and/or skills. and don't forget to figure in armor there somewhere too!

 

for missile weapons, the player presses attack, creating a missile object. the missile object is then moved each frame until it hits something, or falls to the earth (don't forget to model gravity!). if it hits something, resolving the result is similar to the hand weapons case. 

 

in both cases, different weapons will have different rates of attack or rates of fire. IE a dagger attack may take one second total, with the weapon impact occurring half way though the attack, a longsword might take twice as long, a halberd - five times as long.

 

different weapon lengths affect how far in front of the player the impact point is, or what the effective reach/range of the weapon is. IE if target is within 6 feet (2 meters) and in front of me (no more than 45 degrees left or right of straight ahead), my longsword attack can hit it. for a dagger it might be only 3 feet (1 meter).

 

a weapon types database would store info for each weapon type such as reach/range, attack time/ rate of fire, damage per hit, weight (for encumbrance rules), etc (perhaps implemented as class definitions or object instances of some weapon type descriptor class, i personally use a plain old array of structs - less typing, and guaranteed to run as fast or faster than any other syntax out there).

 

this is the basics, but there are additional details to be dealt with, such as friendly fire incidents, wpn vs wpn collisions (most games don't model this), etc. as you implement, you'll need to decide how your game will behave under such special circumstances.

 

assuming you have all the basics of a 1pv / 3pv MMORPG working, this shouldn't be that difficult to implement. creating combat (attack and dieing) animations might be the biggest time consumer.

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I echo the advice that if you don't like fighting, leave it out.  There are other ways you can interact with a world other than by stabbing it smile.png

 

Since you say that your game is exploration focused, the natural role for enemies is to restrict access, and the player's primary reward for defeating them is getting to explore further.  (As opposed to the primary reward being, say, "getting to chop them up into crafting materials".)  There are plenty of ways to get past enemies other than chopping them up: stealth, bullet-hell avoidance, platforming, environmental manipulation, various sorts of trickery.  
 
Any of these could be made the center of an RPG progression system; you can award EXP for anything you want.  (Early D&D apparently awarded experience for all sorts of things, but later it (and its descendants) started mostly giving out EXP for combat and thus became extremely combat focused.)  What you reward is what your game becomes; if you want players to focus on exploration, have the primary EXP reward be for discovering interesting places and features.
 

Alternatively, put in something you do like, and theme that as "fighting".  For example, if you like puzzle games, have puzzle combat, or if you like rhythm games, have rhythm combat.

 

The other benefit to going-full-out with a non-combat (or nontraditional combat) system is that it differentiates your game in the market.  Players who like combat MMORPGs already have lots of them, players who might be interested in a non-combat MMORPG have limited options. I suspect you'll get more and better press, too: it makes for an easy article.

Edited by valrus

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