Combat System Final Vote

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What combat do you prefer?

Indirectly Controlled Combat, like RO and Ryzom
11
34%
Directly Controlled Combat, like SoM and Zelda
21
66%
 
Total votes: 32
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Talaroc
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Post by Talaroc » Thu Mar 10, 2005 4:35 am

I was thinking this issue over today and I realized what the ultimate problem with direct combat is. It is a feasibility issue, but it has nothing to do with whether or not direct combat would create server lag.

First off, time to accept a bit of a harsh truth. Nobody likes thinking of it this way, but it's just true: there is going to be lag. Not all computers and connections are created equal. Might be the client lagging, might be the server, but it'll be there somewhere.

Now, we have to look at the effects that's going to generate, aside from general player irritation (which is, of course, why we try to minimize the lag). Say I'm wandering the countryside, smiting monsters as I go. As I round the next bend in the path, I see a few more targets right ahead. I run toward them, or they run toward me, or perhaps we've already started fighting, when suddenly...the world freezes. The lag demon has struck. Now, since nothing is happening on my screen, I don't really have any options other than waiting it out. Can't run, can't cast a spell, can't target a different enemy, can't do anything. Depending on what combat system is used, the effects of this could be drastically different. Under a direct combat system, I could well come out of the lag to the sight of those "targets" feeding on my rotting corpse. I wasn't sending any new information, so the server interpreted it as me just standing there, taking the beating for some reason. Anyone who's played Diablo (1 or 2) multiplayer and hit lag knows what I mean. With an indirect combat system, however, if I've issued a combat command to my character, then I'll keep on swingin' right through the lag, since the server hasn't received any messages saying I've stopped. It's a lot kinder to those of us who connect through shitty networks that cause lag, or to the kids on dialup, or with slower computers, or when a lot of players are on at once. And trust me when I say that if lag causes characters to die, or even take undue damage, the players connected to those characters won't be players for long.
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Post by WakkaCraft » Thu Mar 10, 2005 4:51 am

gene wrote:
Talaroc wrote: Really? Is it? So that's why we're making our own story, world, graphics, sounds, magic system, interaction model, and so on. No, see, what this is is a new game that's rooted in the style of SoM. If we were just cloning it everything would be a hell of a lot easier, not to mention more prone to our being on the receiving end of legal action.
So it will look like SoM, but not play like it? Doesn't seem like it's rooted in the style of SoM to me.

I didn't play Secret of Mana just because it looked pretty, I played it because it was fun. Having the game fight for me isn't fun.
I was under the impression we weren't using the silly, and often unrealistic combat system from SoM. For clarification, are we or aren't we having attacks hit every enemy on that square? That was another thing in SoM that bugged me. It's almost laughable that a person who needs to rest and leave himself open for a considerable time in between full power swings would be able to cut through multiple enemies the same as one.
Really, I had assumed we wouldn't try to copy the game at all, as Bjørn said.
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Post by Kyokai » Thu Mar 10, 2005 6:29 am

Talaroc: I think you're right that lag might be a bit harsher on direct combat, but you're just as likely to die in an indirect combat scenario if you can't click on the right monster. I was always a mage in RO, and I died alot because of server lag in the walking mechanisms. This is an inevitable thing in either system, and we have to accept it. I think, however, that removing high death penalties will make players forgiving in this respect. I personally quit playing a game because I lose all the character building work I've done in the last hour, not because I suffer a lag death.

Wakkacraft: I really do have to agree with gene that having a game fight for you just isn't engaging to the player. Furthermore, if you just want that, you can play any other MMORPG out there and get it. As for hitting multiple things, I think that it's fair if you swing your sword in an area you can feasibly hit everything in that area. At any rate, none of that really matters if you want indirect control, because you can only engage one enemy, even if the mobs are ganging around you from all sides. That's what I call unrealistic.

The reason I favor direct control is because it involves the player in the game in a way indirect control can't do. You're not on the outside looking in anymore, you're directly controlling your own fate every conscious second. That sort of immersion is worth the extra risk when a small lag spike hits. As designers, we have to constantly push the limits of what is expected, in order to survive in a new, competitive MMORPG arena. I mean, if there is some deadly, unforseen problem, of course we will fix it, or even switch systems if necessary. but WoW and FFXI are using direct movement, and direct movement takes the same amount of traffic as direct combat, so lag is not an issue any more with us than it is with them.

Anyhow, I just wrote up a bit on how direct combat will work if we decide to implement it, and I think I have found a feasible solution to Talaroc's lag concern:
Kyokai wrote:...some have expressed concern with lag issues as associated with our current system. The main argument is that if a long lag hits, players will be at the whim of monsters without a chance to respond. However, since the client and server will be sending packets constantly back and forth (for movement, attack, or even when idle) it is easy to fix the system such that monsters cannot attack a player who has not sent an update packet in the last 2 seconds or so (remembering that monsters, like players, can only attack twice a second at best, and usually only once). This will avoid players having to worry about death simply because of lag.
you can see more info on the combat system at the bottom of the page, http://themanaworld.sourceforge.net/wiki/?CombatSystem. Please feel free to post your concerns on this thread, and I will do my best to work the model around them.
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Post by ElvenProgrammer » Fri Mar 11, 2005 3:46 pm

http://sourceforge.net/projects/themanaworld

Just look at the project description, I won't say another word on this topic. Just don't tell me I don't know what I'm doing.

TMW is near its first birthday and it seems to be pretty famous and enjoyed by players. -_-
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Post by WakkaCraft » Sat Mar 12, 2005 2:52 am

Elven Programmer wrote:http://sourceforge.net/projects/themanaworld

Just look at the project description, I won't say another word on this topic. Just don't tell me I don't know what I'm doing.

TMW is near its first birthday and it seems to be pretty famous and enjoyed by players. -_-
"The Mana World" is a try to create a free MMORPG in the style of "Secret of Mana" and "Ragnarok Online", completely customizable by the players by providing new ideas (especially from the fans of games like these above).

...

Isn't that what this whole thread is about? Whether the combat we are going with will be in the style of SoM or RO? You make a rather inane comment when we've been going on for two full pages whether the combat should be based off of RO or SoM and you come in and say the game is meant to be in the style of RO and SoM.
I don't know if you know what you're talking about or not, but I sure don't.
Kyokai wrote:...because you can only engage one enemy, even if the mobs are ganging around you from all sides. That's what I call unrealistic.
Normally when you're surrounded in a fight, you're lucky if you're able to attack one enemy... unless you're the protaganist in a cheesy choreographed fight scene...
Yes, I am for indirect combat, but if I don't get my way I don't want to see a clone of SoM's silly battle system. In fact, I'm against weapon charging and the stamina bar in general.
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er

Post by Bear » Sat Mar 12, 2005 3:07 am

at the beginning, elven has had the idea of using Realtime fighting, wich is direct fighting, its pretty much posted in the project description, the style of fighting should be direct, as in SoM and some of the other systems should be SIMILAR to RO, not saying we should just copy directly, but its what elven wants, and it would be fun to have a Realtime Online RPG, you dont see that many -_- out there.

Elvens argument*comment* is more valuable than everyone elses, if we were to change the fighting style in the first place, it would be kinda repetitive doing it.

Direct attack on the other hand, can be realy customized to a real LONG extent.
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Re: er

Post by Kyokai » Sat Mar 12, 2005 7:21 pm

This vote is officially closed, with a final count of
Indirect - 10
Direct - 16

I'm assuming this means that a greater number of us want to have direct controlled combat, so that's what I'll do. We'll work in indirect elements later, as needed, or at the request of certain devs.

It's simple to derive an indirect control from a direct one, though, all you have to do is write half of a bot with some fancy control options.
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Post by ElvenProgrammer » Sun Mar 13, 2005 9:58 am

I'd wait before closing this thread, I want to point out that I like the direct solution more, but obiouvsly the indirect one is the easiest one. Just remember that until we don't find professional programmers we are in some way limited in implementation. The direct way will overload the server and probably we could have a bit of lag even with a small number of players. So I think it's better a working combat system than lag.
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Post by maci » Sun Mar 13, 2005 10:53 am

kyokai

it isnt that easy
simply start a vote and then say blahblah we use direct

elven is the project leader hehas the final desicion ..not a vote

and i agree .. i like direct more .. but i dun like direct lagging i want a playable game
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Post by Kyokai » Sun Mar 13, 2005 11:29 pm

I still think the lag everyone is worried about is a myth, like Y2K. It's just not going to be a problem. Neither system generates more traffic than the other, and they have both been used in other games, making them proven, working models.

Like I've stated before, it's really an issue of gameplay style. If you like direct more, let's make it direct. I've come up with a hybrid system that works as a compromise between both styles, if we can't find a common point of agreement. Let's talk about whether to use that, or not.
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So what does the systems coordinator actually do? My job is to take your ideas for TMW and build them into working aspects of gameplay that can be implemented by the artists and programmers. If there's anything you think we can do better or differently, let me know.
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