RPG combat

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Absu
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Joined: 09/23/2011

Stumbled across these articles which I found to be an interesting read...

Part 1: http://sinisterdesign.net/?p=889
Part 2: http://sinisterdesign.net/?p=914

Matt Barton
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I like that idea...The whole

I like that idea...The whole game could be done in the combat mode--if not enemies are around, you could just switch to "free movement" for that area. Maybe a scouting skill (or high perception) could switch you into combat mode earlier, so you'd have plenty of time for ranged attacks or battlefield prep, whereas a dumb group would just keep running into ambushes. Lots of stuff they could do that engine.

If you didn't want to change it up much, you could just go with a fantasy theme for the same game. Instead of spaceships, have people flying on dragons (and have dragon battles!). Instead of aliens, just throw in draconians or perhaps just traditional orcs/ogres and so on. The scenes at HQ could be substituted for a king and kingdom, wizard labs, etc.

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clok1966
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so many ways
Matt Barton wrote:

The new X-Com game has an engine that I believe could be easily adapted for awesome CRPG combat.

I too am really praying for this. Combat in a back alley after leaving a tavern. A bandit hideout raid in the warehouse area of the warf. A mission to shut down a cult in a temple. A sewer entrance into the jail under a Keep for a rescue. Heck multi level dungeons could be done.. level 1 equals mission area, load level 2=new mission area..

Where i see some problems is X-Com had always been about ranged combat, cover system.. The double move system just wouldn't work for melee.. BUT I'm sure it could be tweeked.. attacks doing much less damage so combat would last sevral rounds.. narrow halls to use the meat shields.. Position is huge in X-COM but it would be huge in melee combat and non open areas (dungeons).. In a way it would simplify on one level (meat in front at all times) but change it up huge with secret doors and such.. 2 tanks holding a 2 wide hall from a mass of kobolds with a mage and priest buffing in back.. a secret door and a back attack on the glass cannon and squishy preist.. (evil smile).. that treasure chest in the middle of a huge room.. we all know its a trap.. but did i mention it s treasure chest?

PetrusOctavianus
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Joined: 10/11/2011
AI
Matt Barton wrote:

I've toyed with the settings for Baldur's Gate and never did end up with something that had the exact feel I was looking for. I don't see how anyone could consider it flawless even fully tweaked. This is particularly true with ranged AOE type stuff.

I don't think anyone would call it flawless, but it's still better than the vast majority of other CRPGs. I didn't like it in the beginning myself. Also, I think the learning curve to master the RTwP system is longer than for a pure turn based system.
But I'm really surprised that the blog author came down on the AD&D games of all games when critizising poor combat in CRPGs.

Matt Barton wrote:

What I've been wanting to see FOREVER is simply an updated form of the gold box turn-based combat. I agree that it's much too slow and cumbersome to be used today, but surely there have been advances in interface design that would speed it all up, particularly on PCs (keyboard/mouse). The new X-Com game has an engine that I believe could be easily adapted for awesome CRPG combat.

I think the Gold Box combat is still fun, and I still play Forgotten Realms Unlimited Adventures modules. The problem is not the speed, IMO; with autocombat you can resolve most combats in seconds. It is rather the limited choice of actions, spells and abilities compared to for example to Infinity Engine games.
I haven't played the new X-Com game (not the old ones (yet) for that matter), but one game series I think did turn based combat very well was the Age of Wonders series, which is more of a Strategy game than a CRPG. Too bad the AI is so poor, but then so was the Gold Box AI.
Speaking of AI, that is actually another advantage the IE games. All enemies (as well as your characters) could be assigned scripts, ot you could edit their existing scripts, to make them (even) smarter. Fighting other adventurer bands in the Baldur's Gate games with the mod Sword Coast Strategems installed is possible the best combat I've ever seen in a CRPG.

Matt Barton
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I've toyed with the settings

I've toyed with the settings for Baldur's Gate and never did end up with something that had the exact feel I was looking for. I don't see how anyone could consider it flawless even fully tweaked. This is particularly true with ranged AOE type stuff.

What I've been wanting to see FOREVER is simply an updated form of the gold box turn-based combat. I agree that it's much too slow and cumbersome to be used today, but surely there have been advances in interface design that would speed it all up, particularly on PCs (keyboard/mouse). The new X-Com game has an engine that I believe could be easily adapted for awesome CRPG combat.

n/a
Jacob Marner
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Concerning 5., I think many

Concerning 5., I think many people don't realize that you can turn off NPC AI. That is required to give full control.

Even Dragon Age supports this.

PetrusOctavianus
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Joined: 10/11/2011
Funny...

Disqus won't load for me, so I can't comment on the blog.

Funny how AD&D combat is so horrible, and yet the best combat you can get in CRPGs are the Gold Box games, the Baldur's Gate and Icewind Dale games, and Temple of Elemental Evil.
I'm sure combat could be even better, so why did virtually none of the hundreds of CRPGs that did not use AD&D combat have better combat than the AD&D games?

Also, the author is mostly wrong about combat in Baldur's Gate, or else he's trying to play it real time:
"Compared to Pool of Radiance, combat in Baldur’s Gate is an unpredictable mess. The tactics you can use are highly limited due to 1) the small number of characters under your control; 2) the fact that they each have only a single attack (not counting spells); 3) the awkward non-grid-based movement system; 4) the fact that enemies close distance with you almost instantaneously; and 5) the fact that you do not have direct control over your characters."

1. You have the same number of characters as in the Gold Box games.
2. ?
3. Yes, that is annoying.
4. Not really
5. False. Although admittedly they need quite a lot of babysitting due to poor pathfinding.

Learn to use the auto-pause options, and the space bar to pause the game, dude.

Also, encounter design plays a great part in a game's combat system. The Baldur's Gate games, especially BG2, have some of the best encounter design of any CRPGs. That makes the combat of the BG games better than in most other CRPGs, despite the combat mechanics leaving a bit to be desired.

Paul H
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Joined: 10/11/2011
I do not like the game system

I do not like the game system in the GBA fire emblem. Some parts are fine, rock/paper/scissors weapon priorities are dandy, you think about what troops to send forward. Limited inventory is fine, especially combined with the r/p/s combat, it gives more oportunities for strategy. The class/change system is neat as you get rewarded for not using your rank-up ability immediately by ending up with a more powerful character in the end.

Things I did not like,
Characters die permanently and without warning. Given that the battles can take such a long time it becomes a chore to turn off the system and play for another hour to get back to the point where the ambush occurred.

Critical hits and critical misses are too random and often kill your characters. I'm ok with some amount of randomness but maybe +/- 20% instead of instant win/lose. The luck aspect isn't far enough behind the strategy.

Experience is not shared between members of the party so it becomes very easy to get stuck with a few super soldiers and a lot of liabilities.

Level up bonuses are random, so it's possible to have a character that is significantly weaker/stronger than they are "supposed" to be.

It's my understanding the the Wii fire emblem fixed some of these problems by allowing you to rescue fallen members before the end of the battle and by giving out bonus xp so you could effectively build up the weaker support characters.

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clok1966
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Joined: 01/21/2009
I have Fire Emblem DAWN ( I

I have Fire Emblem DAWN ( I think is the name ) on the Wii, its a very well made tactical combat game.. I enjoyed it alot. Nothing wrong with the combat in that game.

Absu
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Joined: 09/23/2011
That's interesting what you

That's interesting what you said about D&D. I've always wanted to try it, but playing it that way would piss me off.

After reading those articles I did realize those are the kind of games I tend to enjoy the most. I actually just got done playing Fire Emblem, which is a great game, by the way. He referred to this game positively a couple times. It's for the Game Boy Advance. The fights are really epic once you get far enough into the game. During the later battles, I really felt like I was exercising my brain because of all the depth. Some of the fights can last for at least an hour, yet stay enjoyable. Fire Emblem does have some randomness to it. Your units can miss while attacking. It does have its place, though. For example, axes are generally stronger than swords, but less accurate. So it's a trade-off. The only real complaint I have about the game is the writing, which is completely laughable. The game has that japanese/anime style, so it's pretty cheesy and overly dramatic. Luckily, you can skip all the talking with one button press. I got to the point that I stopped caring about the story.

clok1966
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Joined: 01/21/2009
Love this type of stuff. I

Love this type of stuff. I was HUGE AD&D nerd in the 80's and love the game but hate the system.. rolling DICE has never been a good idea IMHO.. random is random.. I know dice are going ot roll teh middle number more then the high and low becuase of some 'law' but .. its not controled by the player.. I hated that.. I understand the reasons.. "how else do you doit better?" is alwasy cried (and thise stories say it too).. and I dont have an answer.. but that doenst mean there isnt one. That is a reason I like Real Time.. FP view games.. if i suck the game sucks.. its up to me, not the dice. Of course with age my reaction times (and porr game design) can make even that "bad".. hence turn based seems to be the Hardcore style of choice.. and i cant fault them.. but turn based HAS to eliminate any 'aiming" by said user and has to resort to some "dice rolling"... Again i understand the reasoning behind it.. i roll five #1's in a row.. its really bad luck.. and in real life you can have a bad stretch.. so .. its "realistc!'... bah...
he mentions the problem with the AD&D rules and the complexity.. That in my eyes is the monster it became. Whne AD&D was first played (and I went to many a AD&D con back then) the people where alot different.. D&D *(it was AD&D later) was a RULESET, A GUIDE.. not an absolute.. that was the great part of D&D... it was interpted, not "set in stone" as the game grew the player base got ... how do i put this nicely? ANAL and the rules had to cover eerything or they where "no good".. and with other games trying to match D&D succes.. it just turned into a monster .. If the player base had not got so anal and started talking about stuff like blood on floor makes it slippery, but i just walked in sand so my feet grip better, but the blood is an inch thick.. but the room is 10 feet wide the monster cant bleed that much, but you killed 2 and they complelty drained, but there was straw in the corner it soaked some up, but the straw was on a raised stone, but the doorway let some out, but teh room is bowl shapped, but me leather shoes soaked some u0p..... you get the point.. the player base made it a RULES nightmare.. ( not to mention some good old fashioned greed to sell newer rules and books).

i too (as linked post person) mentions prefer Point based attacks.. Freedom Force used this.. its not so much about if you hit.. but how you hit and how you combine it. The multi party thing is HUGE, you just cant simulate tactics with 1 or 2 people in turn based. I think every BATTLE should be one you can win (keep in mind im not talking about a party of level 5's taking on 20 level 30 's stuff and winning with grat tactics) if you make the right decisions you win, and you can lose if you dont.. The battles should scale from , "you gotta be really stupid to lose this", to "think man, think, or you will die".. with a very broad middle ground for the standard RPG exp grind.. I truley hate those battles where 3-4 bad dice rolls mean i cant recover, reload and try again.. thats not Role playing thats .. Im not sure waht it is.. When I lose I want to think" ok the fire deamons maybe shouldnt be attacked with fireballs, thats why I lost, time to try water or ice attacks, or maybe just sword and board, or maybe ranged I dont want to touch um as i take fire damge".. not.. damn my Conan warrior just swung 6 whiffs in row while the mobs ate my other party members.. reload.. and play till he kills a few right away with good dice rolls.

intersting stuff, good read.

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