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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by c-Row View Post
    I think Warhammer did something like that. You had a base Weapon Skill but could learn Specialist Weapon: X which gave you another +10 on your dice roll.
    Warhammer did it, and it's the one I'm most familiar with, but I think there was another one that did it in more detail.

    Actually, while we're at it, i liked the WHFRP idea of careers. That hasn't really been done in a CRPG that i know of.
    Although similar, and also cool, was the Darklands character generation system.

    Thinking about it a little on the way home, my main annoyances with cRPG combat (other than mentioned above)
    - it often comes down to simply focusing on one guy at a time until he dies, then focus on the next. It'd be good to have a system that discouraged that by making tactics like flanking and charging more important.
    - environment and other options often don't play a part. (cover, height, etc..)
    - fighting lower level enemies becomes a repetitive time consuming chore... you know you'll win but you have to see it through each time. Possibly allowing people to overpower their first attack at a risk of leaving themselves vulnerable might allow you to speed through those filler battles.

    the first two can be solved by turning it into any game with Tactics in the title ;-)

  2. #22
    Lesser Hivemind Node Bhazor's Avatar
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    @ Billnotben

    Well one solution to starting off in a new skill is that party members could tutor each other. So a thief with 90 points in lock picking could train a wizard to a basic level 15 in lock pick or so that the wizard could then have the skill to actually pick basic locks and start earning their own skill points in it. Success of teaching depending on the intelligence stat of the student and teaching or leadership skill of the tutor with each level requiring higher skills from both. Or it could be locked to a certain percentage of the tutors skill or just a hard limit to the maximum tutoring level.

    I definitely think there should be zones of control where being adjacent to an enemy locks you to them and you turn to face them and you have to pass a tumble save to move away from them. Fail and you take an autohit or a stunned for the the rest of the turn. Whilst in a lock a second unit could move behind the locked unit and gain a big damage bonus. There could be special warrior feats that prevent llocked enemies from turning away from them (protecting the thief behind the target) and rouges could gain a sidestep feat that lets them move around the side of a lock at increased movement cost but without needing a tumble save.

    One idea I had to make thieves interesting, and possibly remove arbitary levelling, is that agility and strength are opposites. You gain points in strength by swinging heavy weapons about and lugging heavy armour and junk about whilst you increase agility by moving quickly (more hexes per turn) and equipping light. So agility is gained by dashing about and strength is gained by fighting in heavier armour. Higher strength removes encumberance penalty from heavy armour allowing the warriors to equip increasingly robust armour which would get rid of my peeve with level 3 characters fighting in full plate without problems because they ticked the heavy armour box at the start. I just think full plate mail should be earned and getting your full suit and actually being able to fight in it, rather than just collapse into heap from exertion should be kind of a big deal. High agility lets you jump to higer floors, wall run, use more finesse based weapons (daggers, rapiers), jump over enemies, or even run on water ninja style. But agility is reduced by encumberance so theives will have to travel light and rely on special moves and speed to fight particular targets whilst a warrior could be much more a tank wading in with melee AOE attacks and abilities focusing on aggro or crowd control. It means a thief could wear heavy armour/weapons but would lose all their dodge and assasin abilities, would do minimum damage and would essentially play like a level one warrior.

    A few examples of higher level special abilities I thought of.
    Battle axe
    Slash-180 degree arcs that damage across three hexes. Increased chance of crippling.
    Executioner- Powerful overhead chop. If hits double damage. If blocked target is crippled and has 50% chance of disarming

    Warhammer
    Ground smash- Traditional AOE stun attack.
    Jab- Surpises opponent with jab of hammer head into his tummy. Guaranteed stun on hit. Victim unable to tumble
    Tiger smash- If agility is high enough the warrior can jump a few hexes and perform ground smash.

    Shield
    Shield counter- On successful block warrior will counter, if counter hits enemy will take small damage and either a) lose remaining move points b) be knocked back or c) knocked down
    Targe charge- If warrior is not locked he can charge in a straight line. Any enemies encountered take small damage and are knocked back or out.

    Athleticism/jumping up and down
    Wall running- Can run along vertical surfaces. Must end turn on flat ground or will suffer medium damage and ailments from falling.
    Pogo - Can mantle over enemies avoiding being locked but will lose move points and be knocked down if the guard makes a save.

    Sword
    Bolt cutter- Samurai has chance to block arrows with just sword. Has to be facing and has detected enemy.

    And so on and so on. Each skill should carry its own distinct abilities and advantages. Swords are balanced for defence and offence, axes do more damage but less likely to block, hammers do less damage than axes but cause more ailments (knockdown, stun), quarter staffs have weak attack but strong defence, crossbows are more powerful but only fire straight whilst arrows can arc. In the end a warrior specialising in axes should play differently to a warrior specialising in sword and shield.

    @ C-row

    Again I'm trying to stick as close to simulation as possible so I want to avoid arbitary skill point placement with no inuniverse explanation
    Last edited by Bhazor; 04-03-2012 at 04:41 PM.

  3. #23
    Lesser Hivemind Node Drinking with Skeletons's Avatar
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    Final Fantasy Tactics used a system in which experience and skill points were separated but earned in the same way: performing actions. Skill points would be deposited into the character's current class, and 25% of that amount would go to the same class for all other characters. The result was that focused parties would rapidly earn more skills for a single class, while more diverse parties would still be able to pick up critical skills without excessive grinding. It also allowed for "increase through use" without being very limiting in how the character behaved in battle or developed.

  4. #24
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus c-Row's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bhazor View Post
    @ C-row

    Again I'm trying to stick as close to simulation as possible so I want to avoid arbitary skill point placement with no inuniverse explanation
    But you still need something to give to the CPU to crunch on. Even if you don't show the player that there is a +10 bonus when using Weapon X instead of Furniture Y in a pub brawl, the system still has to do some math in the background.

  5. #25
    Lesser Hivemind Node Bhazor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drinking with Skeletons View Post
    Final Fantasy Tactics used a system in which experience and skill points were separated but earned in the same way: performing actions. Skill points would be deposited into the character's current class, and 25% of that amount would go to the same class for all other characters. The result was that focused parties would rapidly earn more skills for a single class, while more diverse parties would still be able to pick up critical skills without excessive grinding. It also allowed for "increase through use" without being very limiting in how the character behaved in battle or developed.
    I actually played Final Fantasy Tactics and don't remember anything like that. Sure it wasn't one of the sequels? I know Disgaea has a system where characters can create units who become their apprentices and then they share skills. But both systems sound good to me albeit probably better suited to a tactics game than a open rpg. But this system should be flexible enough for both kinds of game. I think GURPs was designed for both types as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by c-Row View Post
    But you still need something to give to the CPU to crunch on. Even if you don't show the player that there is a +10 bonus when using Weapon X instead of Furniture Y in a pub brawl, the system still has to do some math in the background.
    I'm fine with the computer crunching numbers for bonuses and what have you but the player should never have to pick them from a list.

  6. #26
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    We do seem to have gone into a Tactics area. (might be my fault, sorry.)
    Not that integrating a more tactics-type game into a standard western RPG wouldn't be a nice idea, but I'm starting to think it's all got too complex. And complex means every battle takes a long time and that gets grindy.

    The article/comments on Dufus (or whatever it's called) was interesting. The writer (alec?) talked about how the combat had much more tactical depth than most MMOs, and more options and skills, and how it's repetitive and grindy. Sometimes adding too much depth and too many skills doesn't make things more interesting and varied at all. (and i guess that's why FF tactics and such games use things like the Random Battle Rules to try and mix things up each battle.)

    So, i guess there might be something to say for the "fighters and rogues just hit things, and all you concentrate on is picking spells" approach. Much as i hate it.

    Anyway, what I want isn't specifically more moves/attacks, but i want more variation in how battles play out. Almost every game i've played tends to have a standard tactic that you effectively repeat in every battle. Adding more complexity (something like the fights in Kings Bounty) doesn't actually change that as you still repeat the most effective tactic in every battle.

    I don't know how you'd go about it, other than random rules or random arenas. But i think maybe a smaller set of moves/ but making positioning more important might be the way to go. (like chess or bloodbowl).

  7. #27
    Lesser Hivemind Node Keep's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillButNotBen View Post
    Almost every game i've played tends to have a standard tactic that you effectively repeat in every battle. Adding more complexity (something like the fights in Kings Bounty) doesn't actually change that as you still repeat the most effective tactic in every battle.

    I don't know how you'd go about it, other than random rules or random arenas. But i think maybe a smaller set of moves/ but making positioning more important might be the way to go. (like chess or bloodbowl).
    I think part of the problem is to do with how the "challenge" is construed. The game system depends on regarding a fight as an "arena" challenge. You vs. the enemy, squaring off, three rounds, ding ding.

    What if fighting any specific enemy was optional, or trivial, but the true "challenge" lay in a higher-order goal? Fighting someone becomes important not because you have to kill him or him you, but because eluding him, or subduing him, or hypnotising him, or yeah plain killing him, will have a consequence on how easy (or hard) your greater goal will be to realise.

    There're no tactics in boxing. As long as you regard an in-game fight as analogous to boxing (only with sticks and spells), your game won't have tactics either.

  8. #28
    Lesser Hivemind Node Bhazor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillButNotBen View Post
    I'm starting to think it's all got too complex. And complex means every battle takes a long time and that gets grindy.

    The article/comments on Dufus (or whatever it's called) was interesting. The writer (alec?) talked about how the combat had much more tactical depth than most MMOs, and more options and skills, and how it's repetitive and grindy. Sometimes adding too much depth and too many skills doesn't make things more interesting and varied at all. (and i guess that's why FF tactics and such games use things like the Random Battle Rules to try and mix things up each battle.)
    Not necessairly. There may be a lot of number crunching in the background but that would all be invisible to the player. Really length of fights is down to encounter design. You could have it so that your warriors basically kill multiple enemies with one swing and rogues could cross the map in one turn. Really it all comes down to how well balanced the actual game is. For example Disgaea has literally hundreds of skills/units and its battles can be very fast.

    In Dufus the complaint may be that all the skills are poorly defined and theres no practical difference between a warrior with an axe and a warrior with sword. Or it might be that the encounters become too similar and the environments too flat and samey so the same tactic can be recycled.

    One work around is not random arenas/mission areas but carefully made arenas using multiple layers, environmental features (dense bush, long grass) and hazards (crumbling walls, burnable features). This means the player would need to mix up their tactics to compensate. You can't just send your tank to kill those archers on the roof because he can only climb one square at a time so they'll have three whole turns to rain arrows on him, better send your rogue in to disrupt them, or have your wizard summon a dust cloud or etc etc.

    Again if combat can be defined as a grind then you've messed up somewhere. In this case I'd say you'd messed up encounter design or had given enemies too much health. That is a complaint I have with most tactics game apart from Fire Emblem which gets it right and knows charging an archer with a knight should result in a very dead archer.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillButNotBen View Post
    You could go with the warhammer fluff idea of more magic increasing the risk of demons breaking into this realm.
    It was a shame the first version of the Warhammer MMO never got finished properly. I recall they were planning to have all areas of the world have a 'magical exhaust' level, too many spells/too powerful spells cast in an area caused the old demon outbreak to occur. I think I also recall they had intended this danger-level to vary depending on the current strength of the Winds of Magic.

  10. #30
    Lesser Hivemind Node Drinking with Skeletons's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bhazor View Post
    I actually played Final Fantasy Tactics and don't remember anything like that. Sure it wasn't one of the sequels? I know Disgaea has a system where characters can create units who become their apprentices and then they share skills. But both systems sound good to me albeit probably better suited to a tactics game than a open rpg. But this system should be flexible enough for both kinds of game. I think GURPs was designed for both types as well.
    Love FFT but never played any of the sequels. The JP-sharing wasn't an obvious feature, but it was present in the game. If you ever play it again, note how the JP for (say) Black Mage increases for all characters so long as any Black Mage in your party earns JP. This would create situations where having two or more party members of the same class would greatly increase JP boost for that class across the entire party. EXP wasn't shared, however.

  11. #31
    Lesser Hivemind Node Bhazor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drinking with Skeletons View Post
    Love FFT but never played any of the sequels. The JP-sharing wasn't an obvious feature, but it was present in the game. If you ever play it again, note how the JP for (say) Black Mage increases for all characters so long as any Black Mage in your party earns JP. This would create situations where having two or more party members of the same class would greatly increase JP boost for that class across the entire party. EXP wasn't shared, however.
    Just found out that the game I played, Tactics Adanced, wasn't a remake like I thought it was. So you may be right. It does sound a little like what I was thinking for the teacher/student (skilled characters can teach unskilled characters to a rudimentary level) system but automated. Which would make sense but I think it risks turning everyone into a jack of all trades which is what I'd like to avoid. Perhaps keep the FFtactics system but you could only have one tutor at a time and only for certain skills? So only a single skill is boosted across the whole squad/party/army and how fast they learn relates to how many complementary skills they have. So a soldier who already knows how to fight with a sword could be taught to use shields faster than a piddly wizard who would probably cut his own torso off if given a sword.

    One element I thought of to avoid grinds is to treat it like an old Ultima or Final Fantasy game. Explorable overworld then you enter tactical combat. Skills only improve during combat and there are no random battles.
    Last edited by Bhazor; 06-03-2012 at 01:44 PM.

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bhazor View Post
    Just found out that the game I played, Tactics Adanced, wasn't a remake like I thought it was. So you may be right. It does sound a little like what I was thinking for the teacher/student (skilled characters can teach unskilled characters to a rudimentary level) system but automated. Which would make sense but I think it risks turning everyone into a jack of all trades which is what I'd like to avoid. Perhaps keep the FFtactics system but you could only have one tutor at a time and only for certain skills? So only a single skill is boosted across the whole squad/party/army and how fast they learn relates to how many complementary skills they have. So a soldier who already knows how to fight with a sword could be taught to use shields faster than a piddly wizard who would probably cut his own torso off if given a sword.

    One element I thought of to avoid grinds is to treat it like an old Ultima or Final Fantasy game. Explorable overworld then you enter tactical combat. Skills only improve during combat and there are no random battles.
    Keep in mind that in FFT the JP (Job Point) gain is very small. A character is probably going to gain no more than about 20JP for an action--far less in the early going--and even the most basic skills generally cost around 100 JP (cheaper skills often have odd limitations, like how the Geomancer has to buy virtually every skill in order to be useful), with better skills creeping into the 400-500 range (and a few skills that hit the 1000+ mark!). Then there's the fact that in order to utilize JP for a class, a character has to have access to that class, which means training in the prerequisite class(es) to reach the Job Level requirements.

    In short, there are a lot of limitations on the system that make it so anything short of dedicated grinding with a specific class is going to result in characters who can--at best--pick up just a few critical abilities from the JP-sharing effect over the course of the game.

  13. #33
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus c-Row's Avatar
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    Simple question - party-based turns or moving/actions by initiative? The former would mean less interruptions for the player, but whoever gets the first turn (based on group initiative/random/?) could totally stomp the enemy party into the ground in the first round without even getting a scratch, which sounds great as long as it's your turn. Shifting back and forth between parties based on each party member's initiative somewhat balances this, unless one side simply is much better than the other.

    Opinions?

  14. #34
    Lesser Hivemind Node Keep's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by c-Row View Post
    Simple question - party-based turns or moving/actions by initiative? The former would mean less interruptions for the player, but whoever gets the first turn (based on group initiative/random/?) could totally stomp the enemy party into the ground in the first round without even getting a scratch, which sounds great as long as it's your turn. Shifting back and forth between parties based on each party member's initiative somewhat balances this, unless one side simply is much better than the other.
    I've been thinking over that problem too, how do you diminish the advantage of player position and (because in my head it's become the same problem) how do you make it so the player is reacting to the opponent's moves, rather than just enduring them?

    (That second part is coming out of BullButNotBen's problem, of how do you not have players using a default most-effective-tactic for every fight?)


    Lot of tricky issues. For some reason this is becoming one my idle-time trains of thought, yay :-|.

  15. #35
    Lesser Hivemind Node Bhazor's Avatar
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    Well my preference is to somekind of initiative order (like Temple of Elemental Evil). There could be additional conditions as well so in an ambush the enemy would have a big initiative bonus so maybe only one guy from the player side gets a turn before the entire enemy side has had a turn. Or there might be a siege condition where you know in advance where the enemy is coming from and so you get a free turn to move everyone around. I think it would be best linked to agility so that rogues and light troops get to sieze choice spots and tanks won't just instant kill a major unit before it's even had a chance to move out of the way.

    But again thats going into actual implementation. How deadly the first turn is will vary greatly on size of map and on how much control the player(s) have on unit placement.

    @Keep

    Yeah, designing things like this can really niggle away at you when you least expect it. I confess I once planned a set of character skills whilst spooning.

  16. #36
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus pakoito's Avatar
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    heh! It's been one of my pasttimes for the past years. I never get to a good system, it's either too simplistic, too exploitable or just boring.

    I'm leaning now for what I mentioned before, some kind of mix between Summoner Wars, but combat being resolved " l" Archon, updated to dota-like abilities. I would be keeping the game factions asymetrical for balance purposes, and there's still the problem of ranged combat to solve, because a crappy minigame won't cut it.

    This is just for a vs game of couse, not your average party dungeoneering game. For that P&P rules are unbeatable.
    Last edited by pakoito; 06-03-2012 at 11:36 PM.

  17. #37
    Lesser Hivemind Node Bhazor's Avatar
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    A silk coated breast in one hand, a thumb looped through the wasteband of her panties and there's me thinking about how to balance a rogues backstab ability when their agility means they could run rings around tanks.
    I don't know whether 12 year old me would be happy or disapointed with me.

    Well I'd argue if it can be played with cards it should be played with cards. Very few rpg systems utilise computers for their background stuff and you end up with many rules being removed because feeble human minds can't keep track of all the numbers and rules. A computer on the other hand has no such restriction and indeed a very complex P&P system could translate into a very fast paced game. Just look at Disgaea or Temple of Elemental Evil. A lot of numbers being crunched, Disgaea in particular has a plethora of semi hidden stats it tracks, yet in practice and with animations speeded up a battle that would take 30 minutes on P&P could last 5 minutes in game. So yeah I wouldn't make a simple combat CRPG/tactics system unless it really was an Advance Wars style pick up and play short burst arcade strategy game. Which are certainly fun but again don't seem to use the medium to its advantage.

  18. #38
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus c-Row's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keep View Post
    I've been thinking over that problem too, how do you diminish the advantage of player position and (because in my head it's become the same problem) how do you make it so the player is reacting to the opponent's moves, rather than just enduring them?
    One thing which unfortunately hasn't been done again (afaik) was the turn-or-shoot mechanic from Battle Isle, where one player would move his units while the enemy assigned targets for attacking and vice versa. The interesting thing about that idea was that players had less waiting time for their enemy to end their turn since you always had orders to give, and you could easily take into account whether or not an enemy moved during your attacking phase and therefore made for a worse target.

  19. #39
    Lesser Hivemind Node Keep's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by c-Row View Post
    One thing which unfortunately hasn't been done again (afaik) was the turn-or-shoot mechanic from Battle Isle, where one player would move his units while the enemy assigned targets for attacking and vice versa. The interesting thing about that idea was that players had less waiting time for their enemy to end their turn since you always had orders to give, and you could easily take into account whether or not an enemy moved during your attacking phase and therefore made for a worse target.
    Inneresting idea. Would you have knowledge of what your opponent was doing at the end of your turn? Or would you have to assign targets etc. while ignorant of what his previous turn's decisions had been?

  20. #40
    Lesser Hivemind Node Bhazor's Avatar
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    @ c-Row

    Certainly a new idea to me but I think it would really only work in a few games. Would like to see the system in XCom though. Sort of like a focused overwatch mode.

    Was there a similar system in Laser Squad Nemesis? I think I remember that having simultaneous turns.

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