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Re: [Adonthell-devel] Re: Whee. Again.

From: cirrus
Subject: Re: [Adonthell-devel] Re: Whee. Again.
Date: Tue, 29 Jan 2002 22:05:51 +0000

Interesting. Although doing any kind of fighting in Adonthell is still
some way off it's definitely worth thinking about now. I was going to
suggest this soon anyway, but I might as well do it now:

Apart from bigger and better gfx 0.4 will hopefully have some basic item
functionality... right? I mean 0.3 added dialogues and items ought to be
the next logical step :)

The thing is items go hand in hand with weapons and spells and therefore
fighting. Fighting in turn is related to the internal game mechanics (by
that I mean the internal calculations that are equivalent to all the
dice rolling in D&D). On top of that if we have items and fights and
stuff we'll need some decent controls and a user-interface to make it
all playable.
We can't really discuss any of these points without considering all the
others. Therefore I suggest that we spend some time thinking about all
this stuff so we have a clear idea of what we're aiming for. Since any
0.4+ gfx, characters and maps could potentially end up in the finished
Adonthell game it's extra important to have a good idea of how the game
will work since this will have implications for level design. Of course
we can't lay down every last detail now and even if we tried to they'd
no doubt change by the time we get round to implementing them but I
think we should try to plan as much as we sensibly can.

On to fights then...
A bit of brainstorming is probably the best way to start. Seems like
Ricardo has kicked it off already :)

Does Grandia's fight system use the same view you have when you wander
around exploring or is it like FF and switches to a different kind of
view? Personally I'd prefer fights in the mapview - it allows for more
continuous gameplay IMHO. I feel with games like FF you always get a
sense of being cut off when you switch to different view for fights.
Also, if you have lots of small insignificant enemies running around the
map it can get very tedious if you have proper fights everytime you
encounter a little bad guy. On the other hand if you leave away the
small bad-guys and just keep the fights for bigger, more difficult
baddies the maps may seem a bit empty and boring.

I really like Secret of Mana's fights - they are within your normal
mapview but they are not (necessarily) simple slashing excersizes a la
Zelda. This because weapons and spells don't just get more powerful as
you go along - everything has a downside too and that forces you to
think about how you will attack and what you will use. For example you
can charge up your weapons by holding down the attack button - this will
make your attack much more powerful, but it takes time to charge and
during that time you're vulnerable. Or if an enemy is trying to attack
using magic you can use a 'repell magic' spell to defend yourself BUT
that will also repell any healing spells you may try to use on yourself
(so you actually end up healing the enemies!)

Other advantages of map based fights I can think of are: You can use the
terrain to your advantage - you could hide behind a wall or something if
the baddy tries to attack, you could be on a raised platform and be
throwing/shooting things down towards the enemy, who might not be able
to shoot back up etc. etc.. (admittedly I haven't really seen games that
exploit this much but that doesn't mean we can't!)
Also, I think it gives the player a greater sense of control when you
get to actually walk your character up to the baddy and slash them
rather than sitting back, giving orders and watching the computer more
or less do it for you.

What I think would be cool is if you not only have the ability to charge
up weapons/attacks like in secret of mana but if you had special
attacks. These could be  unlocked as you gain more experience with a
given weapon or you might meet characters in the game who 'teach' you
the tricks. Then, for example, forward-forward-attack might be a special
kind of stab on a certain sword.

Strategy is very important in RPG fights but I think skill on the
player's behalf and reflexes should be in there too! That will give the
player a sense that he's actually doing the fighting IMO.

OK, now it's everyone else's turn to present their favourite/dream
fighting system :)


Ricardo Colon wrote:
> Sorry for the delay.
> I would definitely be the first to agree that 2D console RPGs were the
> best. But the reason I thought a semi-3D approach would be great would be
> for the battle system.
> This is going to be a long email.
> Here is how Grandia II's(Sega Dreamcast game) battle system works.
> The system is turn-based.
> Your party consists of up to 5 people.
> On the lower right of the screen is a meter. You can think of it as a sort
> of "battle time".
> Across this meter you see a bunch of icons, each representing one of your
> party members or enemies, that slide from left to right.
> There are 2 points in this meter labeled COM and ACT.
> When a character's icon gets to the COM point, you enter a battle command.
> When the icon reaches the ACT point, that character executes the command
> you entered.
> Here are the possible options each character has:
> Combo: This is your basic 2-hit combo attack. It's take less time to
> execute than a Critical, but does not cancel attacks. If you happen to
> attack an enemy, when they are between the COM and ACT points, you
> "Counter" they're attack, which means you hit them before they hit you.
> Counter attack deal much greater damage than normal combo attacks.
> How the enemy's position on the meter is not affected(i.e. it doesn't
> cancel their attack). For more info on canceling attacks look at the next
> section on Criticals.
> Critical: Criticals are a 1-hit blow that are more powerful that a single
> blow from a combo, but take slightly long to execute. The advantage of
> using a critical is that is pushes your enemy further back on the meter. If 
> you happen to use a critical
> attack on an enemy when their icon is between the COM and ACT points(i.e.
> after they enter in their attack, but before they actually execute it),
> the attack is canceled. As a result,  the enemy's icon is moved to before the
> COM point and thus are forced to entere another command. Keep in mind that
> your enemies can cancel your attacks as well.
> Evade: You can choose to evade and move your character to a set of 4,5, or
> 6 points on the battle field. If you happen to evade before an attack is
> about to attack you, they'll miss completely.
> Defend: You brace yourself for an attack and reduce the amount of damage
> done. Unlike other options, this occurs instantly. In other words, if your
> enemy is about to attack you and enter a Defend command, you'll block the
> attack instantly.
> Skills/Moves: each has innate skill attacks that do not consume MP.
> Instead they consume SP(skill points). Skill points are replenished by
> attacking enemies in battle.
> Item: you can choose to use an item during battle.
> There are many nuances that exist due to this battle system:
> After you enemy choses there battle command. You can immediately see what
> attack the enemy has chosen and to whom their attack is
> directed(assuming that one of your characters reaches the COM point
> before the enemy attacks).
> This often chances strategy. You could be in a situation, where you can
> attack the enemy closest to you, but one of the enemies a little further
> away is about to execute an attack that you really dread. In that case,
> you might want to go for the enemy a little further away.
> Distance matters! As you moved around your icon moves along the meter.
> This greatly impacts your choices. Often you have to judge if you can attack 
> an
> enemy in time before they attack someone. Also, if there is another person
> between the enemy and the enemy's target, the enemy might need to walk
> around that person. In this case, you can use this to your advantage and
> evade to a location that the enemy can't reach in time.
> Note than in Grandia, the path you take to the enemy is actually done
> autonomously(i.e. AI). So sometimes my character moves in directions I
> wouldn't have chosen, but I'm not sure how convenient entering paths
> manually would be. For a Console RPG, it might be too much for most
> normal people to handle. But having a choice would have been nice.
> This is where I think a semi-3D(tilted 2D battle ground with 3D modeled
> characters) works best. The whole percpetion of position and distance
> seems more believable when you can see your character running around the
> semi-3D battlefield.
> Also note that how fast your character moves along the meter is an
> attribute and so different characters moves faster along the meter. The
> more you master a skills and magic(which have 5 levels of master), the
> less time they take to execute. At the highest level of mastery skill
> attacks and magic occur almost instantly.
> Lastly, how far your character can move is an attribute as well.
> Although I wouldn't necessarily want Adonthell to copy this system
> exactly, I just wanted to point out some key features of this system. I
> especially like the sense of time and distance that I get. It makes battle
> much more complex, but intuitive and fun at the same time. This is a must
> for console RPGs, since you're only limited to a few buttons on the
> gamepad.Given that much of your time playing RPGs is spent killing monsters,
> a good battle system is a key feature.
> OK. I hope this helps. If anything, I hope that I've given you guys some
> issues to think about when constructing a battle system. I'm familiar with
> C and Java. If there's anything I can do to help, I'd definitely be
> interested...well, as long as it doesn't interfere with school too
> much..... :-)
> Later.
>                                                         -- Ricardo

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