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KingRuss

Player choices/ dominate vs dominated

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KingRuss    134
Hey, I have a couple of questions for you. I am in the process of making a game, action-rpg based if you wanna know... Anyhow, I have heard that in some games there are certain choices that are never really turned down, or always used (such as ultima in Ff3/ff6j), yea some of you might not have used it, but the vast majority of people used ultima and wreaked havok upon any creature they fought. Now on to the question part, as I am making an action-rpg I wanna keep away from the kind of choices where people continually pick the same attack over and over. What can I do besides what is listed below to help my players pick a variety of stuff? I have come up with a couple of ideas so far, give your thoughts on them, if they would work, anything else you wanna add... 1). Let the players/enemies predict the next attack and give a bonus to a type of defense vs it. 2). Change defense so it is split into two types, and offense for two types, giving me more combinations of weakeness'' and strengths. (causing a change in attacks vs a certain type of people) There isn''t much I can do about stopping them from picking what they want (I could, but I am not going to), but I would rather refine my system in order to compensate for it. Right now there is no difference in defense/offense stats as far as physical and -magical- attacks go, but it would make sense to go with it either way. Like I said before, any advice would probably be helpful, thanks in advance. If you want more information just ask, it may take me a little while to respond though, I don''t check here -that- often. "Practice means good, Perfect Practice means Perfect"

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iceman_sas    122
A possible idea would be to reduce the effectiveness of an attack each time the player uses it, and increase the effectiveness back up as he uses other attacks. It would force him to use a variety of attacks, without simply saying ''powerful attacks use more mana''.

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Kylotan    9881
Just check all your attacks and ensure that none of them are so overpowering. Much of this is pretty obvious and just involves looking at your implementation.

Failing that, take statistical samples during your playtesting to see which spells or skills are overused, and make them cost more, take longer, or work less effectively.

Consider biasing the system in favour of defence, so that a strong yet predictable attack will be, in general, less useful than a weak but uncommon attack.

You''ve obviously already thought about stuff like this, but there are so many ways to approach it that it''s really up to you.

[ MSVC Fixes | STL | SDL | Game AI | Sockets | C++ Faq Lite | Boost | Asking Questions ]

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Dauntless    314
I think that there can be very powerful attacks, but usually they have some other kind of drawback to using them. Also, some attacks were only meant for certain situations. Take melee combat for example. Jumping kicks were originally developed to knock a rider off a horse. They are actually very poor attacks against a prepared opponent, but if they connect do tremendous damage. Axes are extremely potent weapons, but they have a long recovery time (when you swing the moment carries, so it''s hard to react defensively). A rapier will never beat back a claymore or peetrate armor, but it''s twice as fast and just as lethal against a non-armored opponent. Some weapons or attacks require more skill to wield.

Generally speaking, if any one attack dominates, something is wrong with the system. That being said however, there is something to be said for attacks which are so powerful or effective, that "he who strikes first also strikes last". The Japanese called this Ai Nuke....mutual destruction. Basically they felt that 1/3rd of the time you would win, 1/3rd of the time, the other person would win, and 1/3rd of the time both of you would die from your wounds inflicted on each other. So 2/3rd''s of the time you would die. It required a very different mindset (much like a mindset change between playing Rainbow6 and playing Quake). If you develop a RPG with a battle system with realistic damage modeling, it may make players think twice about combat.

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KingRuss    134
Yea I would really like to favour defense... I hate how in armored core... well the biggest weapons that do the most damage in the shortest amount of time take nearly no skill, and the ones with less damage, or more ammo take a little less skill, but will almost always lose to the big juggernaut... Depends on the independant skill levels of the players... Even with the fastest mech its hard to dodge the guass rifle things.

Anyhow I think I may have solved my problem. I am implementing a -charging- system. To put it into something you can understand, its like only being able to cast ultima once every couple rounds, but not taking the whole time to cast or wait.

100 (full) - 85 (ultima) = 15 (latent mana available)
15 + 30 (gained every round, unless current mana is at max usable, possibly goes up if you want to work on it) = 45, but can still do regular attacks, or a weaker attack...

I am still interested in any other interesting ideas you might have though...

*edit* : Oh, it wasn't that I had too powerful of attacks, it was just the fact that... well think of a mage with the spell fireball. Then think of it as his most powerful spell, with a high probability to hit(among his highest)... then imagine him using it all the time, then take away the fact that I cannot insert stuff that is resistant to fire(for reasons I don't wanna discuss). Why would he ever use something that has a less chance to hit, or does less damage, or both when he could just use fireball?... that is the essense of what I was trying to destroy, and I think I have discovered it... *edit*

*edit 2* : The damage system is realistic. Specific body parts are hit, and possibly damaged with real effects to combat and... everything else. *edit 2*

"Practice means good, Perfect Practice means Perfect"

[edited by - kingruss on May 4, 2002 10:10:41 PM]

[edited by - kingruss on May 4, 2002 10:13:46 PM]

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Inmate2993    222
Take a look at Wild Arms 2, and Vagrant Story. WA2 did a nifty thing where you required a base amount of Force Power before hand, so that you couldn't kill all of the opponents on the first round of battle. The post above me says something to that affect. With Vagrant Story, Magic was generally useless and required you to go out of your way to use it. And melee combat was biased by a "Risk" system which made your attacks less effective if you tryed doing too many attacks at once.

Basically, you just have to mix things up a bit. Don't just give the player a single counter that everything taps into. You could try giving every individual spell an individual charge, and send the player on some routine to recovering those charges. Its a possibility.

-> Will Bubel
-> Machine wash cold, tumble dry.


[edited by - inmate2993 on May 4, 2002 11:15:52 PM]

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KingRuss    134
I actually have Vagrant story... I was thinking of adding a stress bar(meter/number) to the game, because stress is ... physical stress runs throughout the game. If you tried to use too much -magic- that bulked up your muscles, or anything else of the matter, your stress bar would rise up and your combat would be less effective. It also might help me keep a tab on pain (the number 1 disregarded thing in combat). Funny how you can take 9998 points of damage (with still living) and most likely go on like nothing happened (or go down to one knee, and increase your damage with a lucky hit). Its almost like dnd, pain isn''t accounted for anywhere in there... but then again, there are probably reasons for that.

So I have:
Stress, latent mana, split-defense/offense, predicting opponents next attack... Hmmm... I think I can say problem solved... any other things about combat you guys have ideas for?

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Kilj    122
I think its a good concept but has the pontential to destroy gameplay. I would hate to have to think about what I was going to do to kill a quilrat in diablo, or a leafer in FF3. There were times when the random battle could get really annoying, I would just hit A untill it was over (fight being the default command). So maybe the frequency of battles should be modified. Or what the origional poster stated only be applied to special monsters and bosses. In otherwords, the same mundane method used to kill the leafer (bad example) done 10 times over wont kill the powerfull boss monster, you would have to use another method cause the boss somehow knew what you wanted to do =)

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Miserable    606
Personally, I think that completely random combat (à la FFVI) should be avoided. It always got on my nerves. I am among those who hold FFVI and Chrono Trigger to be the best games ever made for the SNES, but of the two I prefer the latter, and largely because the random combat element is toned down. If the combat serves no real purpose as a plot or atmospheric device, and the combat system isn''t really that interesting (after all, in FFVI you just choose an option and let it fly), it should either be optional or removed. (In FFVI you obviously need these fights to collect experience, but if they were reduced, you''d just have to change the experience system as well. I was never a fan of level based RPG''s, anyway.)

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KingRuss    134
Lets see, how do I explain the combat system. First off let me say this, you would be able to destroy weaker enemies (such as a leafer, if it existed) with the same move over and over again, easily too! Anyhow... the battle system is like this: It is a 3d adventure like game... think zelda, but you can fly and jump really high. Now think of your opponents as just doing their own thing, and if you run into one... (you are incorrect, it doesn''t change combat scenes, hehehe) you fight in the same screen you are in, but not every other thing is an enemy... even evil things -might- not attack you. Opponents have... well... varied ai. There is also no -real- level system... that one is harder to explain, and I am not gonna explain it(I don''t think I am).

Summary: Same move over and over again == leafer death, same move over and over again vs. bigger thing == your death. No random battles, no levels. Fun mini games!?... oh yea, Anyone know how to get some awesomely fun mini games in their, that will be for training(you can train for -xp- in the game...)Mostly they would be based on some standard stats...

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St_Shadow    150
A note on your comment on pain. Perhaps the best example I have seen comes from pen and paper roleplaying games. At least 2 games I recall(shadowrun and star wars from west end games) used a penalty system for levels of damage. In effect they reflected the damage pain can cause to a characters performance.

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KingRuss    134
I might have to look at those two... I have played shadowrun before, but don''t remember the damage thing. Now is it just for having a large amount of damage on you(or a low life... whichever) that causes something to go down(your skills I guess), or is it based upon -where- the damage is... I would think that just being hit in the arm wouldn''t cause you to kick weaker...(just an example).

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St_Shadow    150
They didn''t have hit locations, or for that matter hit points, it used a series of damage levels, light, moderate, serious. Each level had corresponding penalties

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Ganryu    122
Interesting... There''s a swedish roleplaying game Drakar & Demoner that uses a pretty clever pain system. I''ll talk about the skill system first, though. To calculate success of an action you roll a d20 and if you roll lower or equal to the skill value you succeed.

Example 1:
If my character with skill value 15 in lockpicking is to pick a lock he must roll 15 or lower to succeed. Know that i didn''t take into account any penalties like if it''s a very hard lock to pick or anything... Anyway...

Example 2:
My character will now attempt at picking the same lock, yet this time his right arm is wounded (he lost 3 hp in it). To calculate the effect of damage on a limb with a skill you subtract damage*2 from the skill. Ie: 15-3*2. Now you must roll 9 or less to succeed.

I must also tell that this system uses a much lower hp scale than example Dungeons & Dragons. Having a character with 16-18 hp is VERY unusual and a fresh character has usually around 14-15 hp. Also if you take into account that a longsword deals d10 in damage you can see that it''s VERY easy to die as opposed to many other systems.

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declspec    126
i thought up a game system while walking down the street. its basically completely new so bare with me. its inspired by "Lets do Magic the Gathering Real time"

thats to say if i were playing magic the gathering real time what would that mean? then i started thinking bout role playing games and this is what i came up with.

"a card" does something specific. the card is the random element. its the casting from diablo 2.

you can store 7 cards at a time. they are replaced every 10 seconds from your deck. you can play them once ever 5 seconds. you can burn cards if you want to just keep working your deck. but notice you can burn them twice as fast as you get them. so burn them all at once and for a long fight youll be playing off the top of the deck.

you might have mana im not sure.

the deck is formed by your skills and some player selection. a character with a different skill tree can create a different deck. a healers skill tree will pop things you would associate with casting heals. the warriors tree would pop things related to combat and strikes.

The fun and varied situations come becuase you can tweak your deck via your skills and selection but you cant control the way it comes out.

so picture it.

your party interface on the right the current cards available to this character at the bottom right. you got 7 up the most you can have. you got a warrior a paladin in front a cleric and wizard in back a mentalist is also in the back. a warrior has a deck but relys on hack and slash. a paladin is half deck and half hack and slash. a cleric is all deck defense and healing. a wizard is all deck damage and offense. the mentalist is all deck of types involving helping other people deal with their deck


so your party meets up with a pack of 7 goblins. charge. the warrior pops his defense posture card. 10 seconds of extra defense. the paladin just lays in. the cleric burns a bad card cause she dont got anything yet. the wizard notices he only has a light AE up. he uses it at a point where it wont hurt his own people. he gets a 3.

the battle progresses. the warriors cards are pretty simple so he has burned alot. the paladin did some minor healing. the cleric is out of heals and hoping to draw one before the tank dies. the wizard is mostly out of cards. so the mentalist plays "wash of insight" everyone in an AE gets to draw 2 cards. ahh theres that heal the cleric was looking for. at this point the wizard decides this battle is won and starts tweaking his draws via discards to have a good start for the next battle.

i mean clearly there is alot of tweaking here and new thinking but its very very different. the idea that perfect control over your character doesnt equate to a script is new. also i originally imagined all combat running through cards but i thought the hybrid system all magic (diablo 2 style) runs through cards instead of mana management would be more fun.

an astute observer notes that a player could sit and discard to the perfect hand before fighting. ya and so can the bad guys =) it will balance out with tweaking.

also note i ended up deciding that if you introduced mana for card casting then let the player burn as fast as they want. if you do it without mana then let the player burn cards at a rate thats less then they can draw them. timing to be detirmined.



[edited by - declspec on May 11, 2002 3:48:29 PM]

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Ganryu    122
That was a pretty interesting idea... Don''t know if it''ll really work, though. Just imagine how one-sided the warriors deck would be. They would all be "Blah blah deals X damage to target creature"... Not much variety in that

It could be implemented so that any used skills and abilities go to the "graveyard", so after using a lot of cards you have to rest to restore them to your deck.

Also i don''t think you should be able to burn cards during battle.

A few connections with Magic:
Red Magic = Wizard (direct damage, burn)
Blue Magic = Mentalist (card drawing)
White Magic = Healer (damage prevention)
Black Magic = ???
Green Magic = ???

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declspec    126
well its 2 potential systems:
1) one thats all random "card" based upon your choices/class/level/skills.

2) one thats only part "card" but still random roll hack and slash. with "cards" being battle shaping abilities. like diablo 2s magic. only more random forcing you to deal with less then perfect draws.

about the colors. move away from that. i just used the magic the gathering cause the idea has no vocabulary.

the real idea presented is "random selections available to the user based upon the character and the players pre-battle strategy tweaking"






[edited by - declspec on May 11, 2002 4:24:47 PM]

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KingRuss    134
Gack... card systems... I played magic and liked it, but you have to be able to customize your -deck- otherwise it won''t be any fun. Also sometimes card games can be unrealistic... when have you seen a wizard(of standard experience, not a new one) not have a fireball when he needs one(if he has it, and needs it). Level 40 Wizard who dies because he didn''t have a fireball... all his cards were Level 1 burning hands.... rofl

"Practice means good, Perfect Practice means Perfect"

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declspec    126
remember were just marrying abstractions to get ideas till the end.
you could tweak your deck between encounters based upon your character. my mental picture imagines something like diablo 2s skill tree and a little of ADDs spell book. both effect how many and what kinds of cards the _player_ can put on the character's "stack". from there its odds that youll draw anyone card.

for your second point dying due to burning hands. i think it would play out. dont remember too many times in MtG where i was pissed that i drew 4 lightning bolts.

whats at work here. why do i think this would be "fun". Random elements via an Ad&d system average to 10.5. (for 1 to 20) i once had the discussion what was the most underrated spell and it was Horror cause blasted off by the pairs and x3 everything of any level that didnt have magic resistance ran simply because of averages. It was predicatble: you could count on it. so in BG2 first thing i ever did was blast 3 magic users off with horror.Same tactice for every battle gave success. Averages in weapons swings is Predicatable too its a pretty steady DPS. predicatable is good to a point.

but random cards has a more blockly- force you to think thing going. hrmmm (use pause *imagining baulders gate*) its half way through the battle and these are crappy redraws whats my plan. thats where the fun factor is.



[edited by - declspec on May 12, 2002 10:46:39 AM]

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KingRuss    134
Hehehe 4 bolts in a row... that has actually happened to me, and I won because of it(the deck was shuffled, just had good luck). On another topic, can you run out of cards? what happens if you do? Is there a limit on how many cards of a single type can be in a deck(4?)?. I am assuming there are class specific cards right? or is it based upon the system of stats, like diablo 1, anyone can use any armor, weapon, or spell(thus cards) if they had high enough stats...? blah blah blah.... at least my discussion was over before this started...

"Practice means good, Perfect Practice means Perfect"

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declspec    126
well its just a mental excercise. so there isnt a perfect answer.

but i pictured leavin gear in. see where not playing a card game. were borrowing the random but probable event concept from card games cause it was the most powerful thing going.

imagine your average rpg. then instead of having a cast what ever you want until you run out of mana or a memorize what spells you want burn them system we do something else there.

yes the card base would be by the characters class/level

though equiping gear could add cards to your deck. like instead of having a random chance to vorpal with your vorpal sword. it pushes cards onto your deck while your using it. a magic wand could do that too.

there is no tactics in just playing off the top of your deck but thats where your strategy of deck construction really shines.

i would say add a real shallow mana pull. in fact do mana as a percentage. certain cards would take 50% and certain cards would take 10% but you only got say 10% of mana back per a turn. so your design would be mixing cheap and strong for your level. if you did all 75% mana burn cards then it would take 7.5 turns to replace that mana. so even if you had a hand of brutal cards. they wouldnt be playable. on the other hand if you mixed 75% cards with way less powerful 10% cards then you could lead off with a 75% card then burn 10% every other turn till you got back to where you could do a 75%.

now remember this isnt a card game so this is with D&D style charcter interactions while this is going on.

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