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04-03-2012, 02:51 PM #21
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 ;-)
04-03-2012, 03:54 PM #22
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.
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
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 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.
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.
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.
05-03-2012, 02:29 AM #23
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.
05-03-2012, 07:36 AM #24
05-03-2012, 11:14 AM #25
05-03-2012, 01:22 PM #26
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).
05-03-2012, 01:47 PM #27
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.
05-03-2012, 02:26 PM #28
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.
05-03-2012, 03:08 PM #29
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05-03-2012, 03:59 PM #30
06-03-2012, 01:41 PM #31
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.
06-03-2012, 02:12 PM #32
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.
06-03-2012, 02:40 PM #33
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.
06-03-2012, 10:14 PM #34
(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 :-|.
06-03-2012, 10:50 PM #35
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.
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.
06-03-2012, 11:34 PM #36
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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 "á là" 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.
07-03-2012, 01:19 AM #37
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.
07-03-2012, 07:30 AM #38
07-03-2012, 04:38 PM #39
09-03-2012, 12:23 AM #40
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.