Combat Discussion

This is a thread where we should start collecting thoughts on what we wish for combat.

Here are some questions:

  1. Should combat work with a 2d grid of the room, ranges, or no ranges? How would this system interact with other systems (i.e. furniture in the room)?
  2. How do different weapons affect the outcome of combat?
  3. What matters the most? Time spent grinding a skill, numbers, or preparation? How do we determine winners based on this?

Anything else related to combat!

This conversation is pretty important. If we get to a concensus in time, we might be able to code this for our pre-alpha!

I’ll have to throw the Ol’ Reliable in: Depends.

How complex do you want the system to be? Do you have anything in mind to reference from? How casual to tactical do you want it to be? Should players who teamwork, have better gear and planning have an upper hand? Is this even possible?

Otherwise throw in the classic Saturday Night Special where you sum up stat + skills + whatever modifier and go on with it. Quick and dirty.
Not my cup of tea (I dont even drink tea) but it’s worth mentioning I think.

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  1. Probably not a 2D grid of the room, especially if you want the game to be accessible to screen reader users. That sounds like a nightmare, and like textualizing something that’s so visual would end up producing so many extra lines that by the time you get a handle on where you are, you’re already being hit.
  2. This is a broad question, and I don’t think there’s any answer that can lock it down without trying the system.
  3. Combat shouldn’t be the mainstay of this game world if what you want is to tell a story, and allow others to tell theirs.

It also depends on how much PVE combat there will be. Is there flora/fauna that is dangerous to colonists who choose to go outside the base and explore. Is there an expectation that disputes be settled by personal combat?

There are so many ways this can be done, but if combat really isn’t going to be a huge part of the game, then it doesn’t need to be super detailed. If I wanna send a message to a guy because he’s messing with me or my people, I’d like to lay an ambush for him and whoop up on him. Maybe he’s not dead at the end, but needs medical attention and will be laid up for a while.

Sword swinging just doesn’t seem to really fit this setting. My loose assumption is that we’ll have weapons that are improvised using whatever’s on hand. In cases like that, a long engagement is just bad. Maybe the target calls for backup or someone happens to walk in and takes their side. There’s also the chance that your improvised weapon won’t stand up to being used over and over. Stealth, then, hide in the room and wait for the target to come by, then stab them in the back or spin them around and stab them in the chest or slit their throat.

I’d like to see a focus on unarmed, close-quarters combat which allows for grappling your opponent as well as out-maneuvering them. Let’s say a guy’s coming at me. They’ve got 50 pounds on me and bulging muscles. If he hits me, it’s gonna hurt if not knock me out in one. He’s full steam ahead like a battering ram, so what could I do? My first thought is since I’m the smaller cat, can I just juke to the side and give him a push in the back or on the shoulders to slam the guy into a wall? Use his momentum against him.

Also, if you’re knife fighting and you take an impact to the hand holding your weapon, the possibility of losing it should exist. There are MUDs that let you pick up a weapon immediately after being disarmed, and those that won’t. I like the latter option, though I don’t think it should ever be hard-coded that you can’t retrieve weapons in battle. It should; however, be risky. I’m weaponless and dude’s comin’ at me with a knife, what do I do? Try to pick mine up, which honestly has slid along the floor and is closer to him than me. Or maybe it’s better to try to use strategy against him.

I can see how the 2D grid thing is appealing. It would certainly open the doors to a wider variety of tactics. I do think there should be a cover system, and maybe even a way to kick a chair into someone’s path, but that’s so fuzzy unless the physics are there to support it.

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1. Should combat work with a 2d grid of the room, ranges, or no ranges? How would this system interact with other systems (i.e. furniture in the room)?
This is the hardest point honestly mostly due to the challenges posed by a more complex system. Especially when thinking on how you would deal with multi-room combat. Sadly, I never experienced a MUD that did ranged combat too well. I think one of the easiest approach to doing this would be to engage this grid combat based on who started combat and cutting the room into quadrants so that every room technically is always the same size for combat. Dynamic sizes could break this a lot, but having a consistent ‘size’ helps with a bit of simplicity. Example:

NW__N_NE
W___C__E
SW__S_SE

And when a person is in a room, they can pick to be in a specific part of it, maybe trying to move towards a different room first moves you towards that position first. So when in combat, melee would need to be adjacent while ranged could still do well while inside of the same room.

When you’re in a room, you can see the entire room and it tells you what part of it you’re standing in

With this, you can add a ‘focus’ command to focus on a target, which can help with people who use screen readers. The focus tells you where your target is so long as you have line of sight to them. Slowing combat down a lot can help people keep up with things.

Furniture could have different commands tied to it superficially for combat. Take cover behind a large object, or swing a small one.

  1. How do different weapons affect the outcome of combat?

You could look at different damage types and mitigation types for armor. The simplest division would be: Blunt, Piercing, Slashing, Energy. Or something like this. Melee weapons have a higher chance to hit compared to ranged ones and could have the ability to apply more effects for example to make them as appealing as being far away. Arm did this decently well. Blunt has access to abilities to lower stamina, lower someone’s chance to hit or defense, generally impairing someone. Slashing could be better for a longer engagement and bleeding someone out while piercing could be much better at going against armored targets. Where as Energy qualifies for things like burning, chemical attacks, etc.

  1. What matters the most? Time spent grinding a skill, numbers, or preparation? How do we determine winners based on this?

I think it should be an equal combination of these. I know this is a generic answer, but the best way to view it is that even if you grinded out a skill like a maniac, someone can still hold a candle with appropriate equipment and in the right circumstances. Balancing this will be hard, but that will come with time.

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So I’m of a few different thoughts here having played a bunch of muds and such.

I sorta hate the walk into a room, type kill homie and combat is started type of Armageddon, because in Arm, normally people who do such a thing are vastly skilled, and hit like a ton of bricks, or have super powered races that can one hit KO/Kill you.

On the other hand, I’ve played Dragonrealms where it has a missile/pole/melee range and then it turns into a spam match of advance homie, homie types ret ret ret e for example to get away.

I’ve also played other games that operate on a room system, where you can approach NE or approach rock and it places you at that point in the game after some calculations and time math has happened.

I personally would like something that takes distance into affect, but doesn’t rely on pure spam or hoping that your victim has a laggy connection and doesn’t notice you’ve typed advance homie until you get close enough to kill them.

I’ve always thought that combat in most games, when you practice it and learn how it works is too fast. So what I would like is some type of system that takes space into it as a factor and also not have it be one hit kill, one hit knock out either.

I would say that with this game having everything from melee to guns (I believe that’s what I’ve heard) there should be some advantage to firearms over melee at distance. I’ve played games like Cybersphere where you could be a martial artists and attack a pistol user and somehow you’re teleported across the room, right next to and it feels like it takes away the advantage of firearms. Because as a previous soldier and guy who’s done my fair share of killing folks in real life. Guns will win 99.9% of the time.

So I’d like some type of system of spacial awareness of where you are. Possibly having things like guardtowers in the room that elevate you above the others, but make you unable to be melee attacked, but could still get shot. Defensive structures that you could stand behind that gives negatives to attacks etc.

Maybe make the combat system have pros depending on position in the room of the character. IE:
I’m sitting on a bar stool, someone walks up and leans on the bar next to me. He decides to stab me, he types kill Jarod, I get stabbed once then next action I take is to stumble to my feet in pain. There is too many games where you get that bonus to attack a more vulnerable opponent but then they are suddenly standing up doing ninjitsu back at you in the combat rounds to follow.

Make positions matter essentially.

I would also like skills, particularly firearm skills to be trainable in more widely a fashion. Most games you get some silly skill points per day, or just massive timers so it’s like, you shot your gun once this hour, here is your 1/100 tick, come back next hour.

I personally think that effort should equal advancement, you shouldn’t be able to log in for one hour a day, run through a few skills, log off and then come back tomorrow and rinse and repeat to get your “gains” and be on the same level as me who actively plays for five hours a day simply because of timers. That’s the negative to UE or skill points per day systems.

But on the other side of the token, I also don’t want it so that Joe Unemployed player can just sit there shooting cans for 8 hours a day while I’m at work and be an expert marksman in two real life days.

Combat is a delicate balance and it needs to be done right, because if it’s too random, it makes it unwieldly, if it’s too easy, then everyone is fucking Rambo in a few days.

But I guess to summarize:

  1. I think there should be distance in effect in rooms, places that are inaccessable but in the same room, think Guard Towers that you need to climb a ladder to get to, so you can’t stab the guy in the guard tower, but could shoot him.

  2. Projectile weapons should VASTLY be more powerful than melee weapons, melee weapons more powerful than hand to hand.

  3. I’d say it should be a timered system, but not overly timered, not like one gain per hour but also not just fire your gun 100 times and you get a rank. This is the hard thing of the mix I feel. Because no matter how you design it, someone will figure out how to game the system, it’s just the nature of the beast with combat players.

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Ideally something more complex than Armageddon, but also simple enough to not be an unwieldy mess to maintain code-wise. I believe heavily in emergent gameplay through simple but heavily interconnected systems.

I think if you want to go balls deep into planning an attack, it would be cool if you could do that and gain an advantage.

IMHO, numbers should be pretty important. This is a roleplay game. Teamwork is important. But also careful preparation should equally prove an advantage.

Numbers being more than plain skill? Absolutely.

But we DO need range right? What are some good ways that range has been implemented in games? Without range, stuff like ranged weapons just plain suck.

There should be a lot of PVE combat but I think PVP combat should also be quite posible down the road.

I think it’s not true that combat isn’t going to be a huge part of the game; it’s going to be a pretty valid style and a way that many people will do certain stuff, including law enforcers controlling situations down the road. I think combat will be important in Untold Dawn – it just might not be in the first public versions since the focus THEN might be on PVE more than PVP.

I think this is easy to handle yeah.

Yeah I think right now our main challenge is to come together with a solution on how to allow tactics and range potentially. Otherwise we will just have Armageddon combat!

Yeah this might end being a solution.

I think it’s important to keep it screenreader friendly, but we also need to answer the question about how we’ll factor in range.

I think right now our biggest blocker in this discussion is how to factor in range.

First of all, welcome to our forums! Happy to have you here.

X1000 this. I really want range or distance of some sort to factor in. I just don’t know how exactly it would work.

Yes, I think that at a distance, a gun should be the be all end all, and it should be nearly impossible to come unscathed regardless of your skill if you’re caught with your pants down (unarmed).

If you’re in close quarters, then lack of training in a gun would lead to the other combatant being able to deal with you far easier – lots of misses.

I think if we handle how to handle range, we can move in this discussion.

Hey! I’m new here so forgive me if this isn’t a relevent topic anymore.

I’ve implemented a distance-based sub-system in the past on an old project, so here’s my take.

I think that with rooms being naturally abstract in design it might make more sense to try to keep relative distance between players and things in a room equally abstract. By that I mean focusing more on a sort of relative state vs. cardesian absoluteness.

The problem with introducing absolute distance using something like quadrants or subdivision is that you’re forcing the concept of a set distance within rooms that are likely already going to be non-uniform in size and dimensions. Those individual quadrants might then vary wildly in dimensions and you end back at square one. (Do we now subdivide the subdivisions? Turtles all the way down.)

For instance, the difference could be between fighting in a perfectly square hall vs a knife fight in a cramped closet. Naturally, the latter may just not physically support the idea that someone can go long and get the touchdown. Alternatively, you could make closets illegal.

It becomes more approachable if the room can be tailored to accomodate different sizes, but at that point it may be more extendable to introduce a sort of locale system within rooms themelves. Using other players or things to act as locales, or landmarks between abstract distances in the room.

As for combat, I think the only important consideration is if someone is either in melee or ranged distance. Getting granular beyond that might not be worth it.

An example of what I mean could be:

If a player enters a room they will end up in the general locale of the room (a default state, typical to all MUDs) and if another player enters after them they would be there too. However, the distance between players may not be within fish-slapping distance(or it could be in the example of a smaller closet), so a player could approach the other and relocate to them. They would then both in the general room locale and be at a fisticuffs distance.

Expanding on that you could introduce more ‘locales’ within a room beyond the default that players could approach or somehow navigate towards to set their relative position and go from there. That could also indirectly promote rich environment design as a matter of course.

Admittedly, this approach tends to be used in more MUSH-like environments, due to its capacity to facilitate some neat RP potential, but it has pretty solid crossover with RPI-geared MUDs too.

First of all, welcome to the forums and community! We’re happy to have you here.

You’re definitely explaining the conundrum we have right now, between a very abstracted state and attempting to somewhat model some kind of rendition of the physical world.

However, vicinites such as the one you describe is a featureset we’ve seen in other muds and have found interesting, and it could certainly be used to develop some sort of abstract distance range for combat.

It’s something we should keep considering because if we figure out a solid system that contributes to realistic simulation of combat, we will benefit from it for many years. However, we could also go for the same system that other RPIs use and it should be okay and nothing new there.

Admittedly, when we’re getting closer to the prospect of coding this in, I will likely give it a lot of research before settling on an idea, based on the thoughts in this post.

Re: melee weapons, I feel using melee weapons should be something of a last resort. There shouldn’t ideally be melee main warriors i.e. no neo-samurai with katanas killing a whole squad of gunmen.

Instead, barring a few weapons made specifically for military uses, all other ‘melee’ weapons should be tools first and weapons second.

Example: a knife could be used as a crude screw driver, to skin animals, cut plant parts, in crude first aid to dig shrapnel and bullets out of flesh,cut ropes and then as a last resort melee weapon if you don’t have a gun.

Another example would be the hatchet. Should be used to chop through vegetation, hack through piping, be used as a crude climbing tool, break down jammed doors and then, finally as a melee weapon if you have nothing else.