Summary of combat system, comic explanation inside

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Bjørn
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Summary of combat system, comic explanation inside

Post by Bjørn » 03 Mar 2005, 04:17

There's long discussions going on about the way we'll do combat. It seems that when I mentioned the player would target a monster and the server would handle attacks, somewhere the impression appeared that the player would be without much choice during his combat endeavours. I've now illustrated what I have in mind, which is I think similar to what Ragnarok Online, Saga of Ryzom, FFXI and WoW are doing (the last two I've only heard about, the first two I played).

Image

Notice I mention a ring menu, this is something that has popped up recently, and I think we can make it usuable with both keyboard/gamepad and mouse, just like the targetting and moving.

The advantages of this approach over a realtime combat approach is that there can be no such thing as conflicts between client and server, it saves a lot on the amount of messages that need to be sent, it copes better with lag, it's easier to implement and it allows you to chat while fighting.

For those that argue a certain amount of control is lost, yes, this is true, you won't have the realtime feeling of Secret of Mana or Zelda: A Link To The Past. As I've stated before, my personal opinion is that a MMORPG has enough things to make the game interesting (player interaction, richer choice in actions, richer world, quests, etc.) not to need real time combat skills. Meanwhile, notice that the player is still performing the tactical choices of how to proceed in combat. I also think anybody should be able to play any character, so that I won't become a better mage or fighter by learning to use the keyboard, but simply by performing related actions in the game.
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Post by Talaroc » 03 Mar 2005, 04:32

Ok, sounds fine for the most part. I just want to clarify something: if you're in the middle of a battle, having just attacked, and you decide to run, does that happen immediately (the attack bar re-fills while you're running), or after the bar has filled back up?
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Post by Bjørn » 03 Mar 2005, 04:35

Talaroc wrote:Ok, sounds fine for the most part. I just want to clarify something: if you're in the middle of a battle, having just attacked, and you decide to run, does that happen immediately (the attack bar re-fills while you're running), or after the bar has filled back up?
We could look at what others are doing, but I think you should disengage immediatally after you finish your attack, not waiting for the charge bar to fill. Of course disengaging does not have to mean the monster will stop attacking you, he could attack you while chasing, when he can get close enough.
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Post by Talaroc » 03 Mar 2005, 05:03

Sounds good to me, then. I just want to make sure a variety of combat styles are available to the player (and that people don't get trapped in situations where they're waiting for thier bar to refill, knowing that if the monster attacks before then they're gonna die).
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re

Post by Bear » 03 Mar 2005, 06:26

just me, but i dont think people should be able to just pick out a target and make the server do the walking ---, makes people lazy and unactive. How would you like it if you just press attack monster and your character walks to the nearest monster?

It would be great for short but in the long run, people will get bored of the game relatively fast.
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Post by Talaroc » 03 Mar 2005, 09:08

It's better than a frenzy of lag. I prefer real-time combat myself, but given what Bjørn's been saying, that just isn't feasable.
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Re: re

Post by Bjørn » 03 Mar 2005, 11:58

Bear wrote:just me, but i dont think people should be able to just pick out a target and make the server do the walking ---, makes people lazy and unactive. How would you like it if you just press attack monster and your character walks to the nearest monster?

It would be great for short but in the long run, people will get bored of the game relatively fast.
I want to note that this approach works in other MMORPG games, in which people are not lazy and unactive. Actually, when you don't have to control the character so directly, you can be more active in other areas of the game as I pointed out. About getting boring, as I see it it would actually be the realtime fighting that'll quickly get boring.
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Post by Rotonen » 03 Mar 2005, 12:31

We'll need a LOT of animation for everything that's going to participate in a battle if we're going to take this approach. I really don't want the battle to look like they're just standing next to each other hitting each other.. They should move a lot, circle, hit, block, move away..

Another suggestion is a scripting system to allow the creation of your own battle AI? (Yeah, this would give an advantage to all coders out there.. Not a good idea, but still a suggestion that you may feel free to comment upon..)
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Post by Mra » 03 Mar 2005, 12:46

Rotonen: Your idea kinda sounds like one of this games where some code monkeys fight against each other with self-programmed robots/algorithms ;)
Another example of this is a stupid bot and if we would enable that, player could just look up the best AI algorithms in the internet and use them and do nothing while in battle...

Anyways, why would we need to have more animations if we chose Bjørn battle system? Even if we didnt, i think we would needd exactly the same number of animations/sprites...
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Post by Rotonen » 03 Mar 2005, 14:58

I'm not personally supporting the scripting approach.. :)

The reason for the need of a LOT of different animations: If the player cannot directly control the combat, it's rather stupid if the combatants just stand there still and hit each other.. It should look like fighting. Have you ever seen a fighting movie where that ever happens? Kung fu movies are a good reference to the kind of optimal fluency I'm referring to. We could settle for reduced fluency of course, but there'd really have to be a LOT of animations to make it look like fighting if the player cannot directly control the character to make it look exciting and thrilling. This is just my personal opinion, though.. :roll:
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Post by Kyokai » 04 Mar 2005, 01:05

Rotonen wrote:The reason for the need of a LOT of different animations: If the player cannot directly control the combat, it's rather stupid if the combatants just stand there still and hit each other.. It should look like fighting. Have you ever seen a fighting movie where that ever happens?
I agree that we will need alot of animations for whatever system we choose. At this point, we're almost bordering on turn-based combat though. We really ought to put keyboard skill into this somewhere to make it somehow original (I know you oppose, Bjorn).

This would be a radical step, but we really need to create a standardized client that connects to our TMW. Otherwise, it's impossible to protect gamers against bots and cheaters, even if all calculations take place on the server. Creating a standard client also allows us to do some client-side calculation without worrying about cheaters modifying the client, which will really ease the server-load. I know we would be taking a step away from open source by doing this, but it really seems necessary to ensure fair gameplay for everyone.

As for keyboard input, I really think we need to incorporate some skill based fighting, since that's a niche in the genre that has yet to be exploited. This system that is being proposed is still a bit too cliche in my opinion, and I really don't care what we have to give up to be original (be it a bit of server lag or our open source client). But that's just me... If we can't make TMW fundamentally different, it's not really any fun. Skill-based fighting could do that.
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Post by Kyokai » 04 Mar 2005, 06:05

I've done all the calculations, and TMW's projected server is able to accomodate realtime fighting. Check the technical information here:
http://themanaworld.sourceforge.net/wiki/?CombatSystem

(sorry for the double-post, but I thought this announcement deserved a new topic space :oops:)
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Post by ElvenProgrammer » 04 Mar 2005, 19:15

My thoughts about this issue: I really, really, really, really don't like turn based games like FF series, I order TMW to be a real time figthing game. I mean I don't like expecting time (and as I can understand a long time) before being able to perform the next action. In SoM you don't have the time to decide your next action, you just do it else you'll be kicked by a monster :wink: I think this was one of the main reasons that let me love SoM.

And let me say I agree with Bear about the walking issue. Having the client (why server) walk for you smells like botting. I want to approach the monster quietly, when it turns back or just go enough near to hit me and run away and doing it by myself means fun.
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Post by Bjørn » 04 Mar 2005, 22:01

I see one big misunderstanding: I am NOT proposing a turn based approach. The usage of "real time combat" is probably misleading, but the only difference here is direct control or indirect control over the battle, nothing else. What I am proposing above is the targetting approach we discussed and pretty much agreed upon about 2 months ago.

And a big error: TMW can NOT be made proprietary, it will always stay open source and under the GPL. Also, a "standard client" will NOT "protect gamers against bots and cheaters". Bots will always be possible, and people WILL find ways to cheat, something we should be aware of and fix any exploits found.
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Post by maci » 05 Mar 2005, 00:17

hmm good idea but only as long as i can break my current attack charging by erm walking or sth ..
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