The Complex Combat Of Kingdom Come: Deliverance

Kingdom Come: Deliverance [official site] is a crowd-funding success story about hitting knights with swords in first person. It’s aiming to be a realistic RPG, where levelling up and getting loot will help you out, but there will be no magic, no goblins and your skill with a sword will determine your fate more than your stat line. That combat has been detailed in a recent developer diary, which digs deep on not only the strive for realism but the serious challenges encountered on that path.

It’s a really interesting point made about not reacting in the same way or at the same speed when using a computer. There are groups of gamers who set their sites on realism as a requirement above all else. While I’m not one of them, I respect it as much as any other genre preference. But what about when that realism comes not only at the cost of a steep learning curve and harsh play experience but is actively impossible to implement because of the nature of the medium? That’s a bit tougher to work around, though Warhorse Studios seem to be doing a pretty good job of it.

I also enjoyed the run-down of different systems they tried, and the behind the scenes look at what exactly the computer is doing whenever you go for a swing now. It’s all lines, graphs and blocks of pretty colour to me, of course, but gosh it looks complicated. Well done, computers.

Kingdom Come is doing the Star Citizen post-Kickstarter thing, so if you want to get involved at this stage it’s $50 for an alpha key.

35 Comments

  1. zxcasdqwecat says:

    Not my thing but still pretty unique I guess?

  2. Ravenine says:

    I sight and cite here an error, good sir.

    • Ravenine says:

      Argh, want to buy edit button…

      “set their sites” is what I was referring to. I’ll show myself out now.

  3. lordcooper says:

    Looks like they’ve put some real effort into this. It’s just a pity they went the first person route.

    • zxcasdqwecat says:

      And the rpg, medieval and sim ones.

    • UncleLou says:

      3rd person is in discussion, afaik, as another stretch goal. Why is it a pity, though? Dark Messiah of Might & Magic has shown that first-person melee combat can work wonderfully, and it’s not like there aren’t already roughly 24356 3rd person RPGs out.

      • UncleLou says:

        99,9% of which have combat that isn’t fit to lick the boots of DMOM&M, I might add…

      • zxcasdqwecat says:

        There’s a design document around the net that explains the problems devs dealt with dark messiah combat, long story short it’s a mess and at some point of the game it’s all about instakill “adrenaline” from the build. Remember how spongy and unkillable bosses were? That’s the reason.
        Also lack of depth perception and low visibility don’t make for incredible stunts.
        At least we get to kick things.

        • Orageon says:

          Well lately I was surprised : Shadow warrior had bloody impressive (pardon the pun) close combat rendition with that sword. Very satisfying. So, it’s still possible, kinda, I suppose.

          • zxcasdqwecat says:

            Of course it’s possible to make a good game with anything but first person will always come with depth perception and visibility issues. Shadow warrior is more an fps than anything so it needs a strong melee attack, it could be anything, that’s just swinging a blade and not really a fight like in beu games.

      • baozi says:

        Yeah, I’d rather have a first person RPG than yet another third person one.

    • Arathorn says:

      Well I’m glad they went for first person. It makes the combat a lot more intense and since the focus is on realism and having lots of possible moves, I don’t want my own body in the way of seeing my opponent’s moves.

      The only thing I’m worried about is that it might become too hard or just not fun to play.

      • zxcasdqwecat says:

        People always throw the argument about models getting in the way but that implies all games feature some sucky camera offset…ok I’ll shut up;0

      • JFS says:

        The advantage of 3rd person, in my opinion, is that you’re better able to orient and locate yourself spatially. Which is also important in fighting. 1st person in games is not the same as “real” 1st person, as many of our senses are omitted in the gaming perspective, and vision is also different (peripheral olé).

        • Orageon says:

          I’d say that depends also on your FoV setting (field of view) and by association, if you’re playing on a couch away from a TV, or close to a computer screen, or lord have mercy using a VR headset.

  4. tonicer says:

    It is really sad that it is not PC only, such a waste for a nice game idea.

    I hope it can at least be fixed/repaired, like Skyrim is to this very day being repaired and fixed by modders.

    But i doubt they release an SDK.

    • Troubletcat says:

      I don’t think Skyrim’s bad design has much to do with the fact that it also came out console.

      I think it’s pretty stupid to immediately assume that any game that isn’t PC exclusive is going to need to be “fixed/repaired”.

      • Orageon says:

        Well for Skyrim that’s clearly the case for at least one thing, the UI.

    • Baines says:

      Skyrim was going to see years of fan fixing and repairs regardless of what else it was released on.

  5. Someone2345 says:

    Well, that seems like a complete waste of effort on their part. This to me seems to offer no adantage over either War of the Roses, Mount and Blade, Medieval Warfare (is that the name)… Or even the ultimate sword combat game, yet to be beaten… Die By The Sword. The VSIM system is where sword fighting peaked!

    • USER47 says:

      Don’t forget this is completely different game than War of the Roses or Chivalry. It’s not pvp arena based game, but open world single player RPG heavily relying on multiple solutions for quests and authentic story describing real historical events.

      The target audience for these games probably isn’t the same, and you don’t see many of these systems in single player games. Also, as far as I know, at least Chivalry and War of the Roses are much more arcadey and they don’t draw much inspiration from actual historical techniques.

  6. vlonk says:

    Years and years of sword swinging in computer games with knights in shiny armor have… actually showed me/us SO wrong animations, movements and rulesets that real medieval sword fighting now looks unreal and alien.

    • Sian says:

      I think it looks awesome, really. As a backer, I may be biased, but I really like it. Here and there it looked like the blade teleported a few centimeters to hit a certain spot, but I don’t think that’ll be noticeable once I’m playing myself.

      • Hedgeclipper says:

        It looks great but despite what they say that’s Hollywood sword fighting and they either didn’t do the research or it hasn’t made it into game. The two knights in armour fighting with wide swings for instance is an obvious miss (good for gameplay though) ideally you don’t use a sword on someone in harness at all but if you have to you’d grapple and use halfswording techniques. You also wouldn’t use a square on parry – imagine what the weight of a sword with an armoured knight behind it would do to your wrist if you tried to stop it square rather than deflecting it down your blade. I get they’re trying to sell the ‘realism’ but its a bit like those movies that hire a ‘historical consultant’ to ‘advise’ them.

        • ShinySpoons says:

          They did address it. They stated in the video basically a direct translation of real movements is too difficult for a person playing a game to react towards. A large aspect of melee fighting is to hide your movements. The reaction time of the average person is good enough irl to respond but through the filter of mouse and keyboard we need more notice to actually be able to play the damn game.

          • Hedgeclipper says:

            That’s what they said, but then they show two sword fighters using the wrong technique, sure its slowed to allow reaction time but its still wrong and slow rather than just slow. Granted I don’t know how you’d do halfswording in an interesting way for gameplay – the obvious choice is some sort of quick-time variant but that tends not to be much fun.

          • USER47 says:

            Some halfswording is there, as are other special techniques. These things are usualy part of the combo system.

  7. klops says:

    “There are groups of gamers who set their sites on realism as a requirement above all else”

    Also the requirements are often silly.

    For example, ww2-FPS Red Orchestra 2 has a loud group of people in the community who fight against “the mechanical cyborg eye”, aka the zoom, “because human eye does not zoom – it’s not realistic!”. Then again they tend to forget that human eye sees people beyond 50 meters and the zoom simulates very well what happens when you close your eye and aim through crosshairs.

    Another example is “spawning on teamleader is unrealistic”, which is a way of making oficers more useful and “simulate” some sort of advance/gaining positions. The complainers forget that they are playing a game that has spawn waves of 10 or so soldiers per side attacking against each others in a very restricted map which is in no way realistic.

    Both “cyborg eye” and “spawn on team leader” work very well in the context of realism in that game. Another thing is if the game would be better/nicer to play without those, but trying to prove that with “realism” argument usually just falls flat.

    Oh, and interesting video, btw.

  8. lofaszjoska says:

    I’m really curious about the controls.
    From the crosshair, it looks like you’ll have to designate one of five (six?) directions before executing an attack, and you’ll keep attacking from that direction until you change your stance.
    Hope it’s not something you do with the mouse while in free-look mode. If it works somewhat like the nanosuit quick menu in Crysis, I’ll be happy with it, but the way I remember, lots and lots of people hated that.

    • USER47 says:

      You designate the direction of attack just by moving the mouse in that direction. One of the techiques is a faint when you push RMB with highlighted one direction, and then quickly move the mouse to highlight diferent direction and release. It will make the attack less likely to be blocked.

      The lock on the oponent is automatic now, once you aproach hostile enemy and look at his direction, it locks you into this combat view. If you are fighting with more oponents at once, you can switch between them using mousewheel I believe, or you can unlock the view completely by using shift, and run away for instance.

      The controls are still work in progress, the devs want to make it a bit more responsive and will try to experiment with that 6 directional crosshair, but even now it works pretty well and is far less clunky than one would expect.

      The important thing in the fighting is stamina, you need to watch it all the time, since the fight are about tiring out the oponent by using bursts of successfull attacks without tiring out yourself. It’s very possible to get exhausted by unsuccessfull bashing and then get obliterated by some successfull enemy combo. The successfull hits first draw your stamina, only then your HP, so it’s necessary to keep some stamina cushion at all times.

      • USER47 says:

        By RMB i meant LMB…

        LMB = slash
        RMB = stab

        • IaIaFhtagn says:

          I’ve personally been surprised at just how fluid and real it does feel. As someone who’s done a bit of HEMA and a lot of re-enactment combat, I have at least some idea of what it should be like, and it’s gotten the closest of any game I’ve played so far.

          Although in fairness, that’s not a high bar to clear.

  9. celticdr says:

    Wow. That is the most realistic sword fighting I’ve seen in a game yet – if they can pull it off [second “wow” forthcoming].