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!
- 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This is an outdated system of combat.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.
Swords - Piercing/Slashing
Axes/Blunt Weapons - Blunt Damage/Slashing
Daggers/Knives - Piercing
Mounted Weapons - Piercing
Ranged/Archery - Piercing
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
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