[project1dev] Re: Combat and Character Mechanics

  • From: Chris Riccobono <crysalim@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: project1dev@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 13 May 2009 14:56:50 -0700

I read through your doc fully as well Eric, and I really like how you
laid it all out.  You should throw it up on the wiki :)

I have questions as well, now that the door is open for asking.

1)  Will block/parry and dodge give the player a chance to hit enemies
that block?

2)  The hardcore option seems like a great way to solve the fear of
death problem.  If you don't go hardcore, will you just respawn at the
previously mentioned spirit points, etc?

Also I want to mention that the cp system is very innovative.  I like
how the player is rewarded with extra experience for tougher gameplay.
 I don't think any other game has a system quite like this, so fleshed
out this could be one of our "big things".

On Wed, May 13, 2009 at 2:42 PM,  <figarus@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> Thanks for the questions and keep em coming as you have them because there
> are things that will be important that I may overlook, or may just need
> clarification etc.
> 1) Unfortunately I have reached the conclusion that the tyson style combat
> won't work with this game... It would be fun for the first few fights but
> when you add multiple player characters and monsters and then multiply it by
> 20x you'd have to do it in a dungeon or whatnot, I think itd become tedius,
> clunky and a chore rather than fun... I think we all have great ideas for an
> action rpg so maybe that can be a future project but for this game, I don't
> think it'll work. It was hard to let go but I think its for the greater
> good.
> 2) Character points are training points that will be invested into skillsets
> to learn new skills and abilities. CP's can also purchase certain perks.
> There will be a CP cost for progressing skillsets.
> 3) Although I originally figured for characters to have to use a full turn
> cycle when swapped, maybe some will not have to wait that long if they have
> high agility. We'll probably have to address this in more detail when it is
> included in a future milestone.
> 4) I have pondered this and this is the conclusion I arrived at:
> Let's not make the hero a special case scenario. I hate when games do that
> and often will name the main character something generic and keep him in the
> back safe and make a surrogate main character that I consider "me". To avoid
> that, let's just make the hero go to the node and be jailbroken out. I see
> the problem with that being only that he will need to be around for story
> purposes, but eh, we can think of something... The hero will probably be a
> silent protagonist anyways and there's deux ex machina ways of bringing him
> back for events if he is required for a scene. What do you think?
> Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile
> ________________________________
> From: Kent Petersen
> Date: Wed, 13 May 2009 13:51:16 -0700
> To: <project1dev@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> Subject: [project1dev] Re: Combat and Character Mechanics
> I have read through the whole post. I think you have a good foundation.
> On to the questions
> 1) Will there still be mike tyson esque combat or is that gone?
> 2) What can you use Character Points on? How do they work?
> 3) Will swapping with a player on the sideline count as a turn? For example,
> will the new player that comes in be able to go immediately or will he need
> to wait for a full turn cycle to happen? Or will the character come into
> battle with the RT bar partially filled?
> 4) What happens if the main character dies?
> On Tue, May 12, 2009 at 9:15 PM, eric drewes <figarus@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>> Now that we are finishing the first milestone and getting ready to begin
>> on the second one (character creation), it is time to discuss the core
>> mechanics of the game.  This document doesn't include specific skillsets,
>> perks, curses or magic abilities, but gives a general overview to the way
>> each system will work mechanically.  With this stuff also comes the
>> opportunity for everyone to chip in ideas for perks, skillsets, etc. as well
>> as their thoughts on balancing certain aspects of the systems. A lot of the
>> ideas we have discussed have been incorporated into these things, but I am
>> sure I have missed some stuff and there are certain systems I haven't
>> addressed here yet that we will continue to develop. Special thanks to Nick
>> (Rorac) for his helping in putting all of this together.
>> The goal of the Character and Combat systems is to provide an engaging and
>> fun process with incredible depth that is intuitive, easy to learn yet hard
>> to master.  Highlights of the system are customizable classes, skill-tree
>> based leveling, and combat mechanics based on tactics and strategy.  This is
>> meant to serve as the fundamentals of our game.  From here we can tweak,
>> edit and add to establish game balance and make the game fun!  Please note:
>>  in the process of designing the combat engine, it has gone through some
>> radical changes since last discussed, wield the spade, raise the blade,
>> sacrifices must be made.  There is much less emphasis on twitchy timing and
>> more on strategy and adjusting tactics on the fly, although there will still
>> be plenty of skill involved in winning fights.
>> One of the goals of our statistic design was to have stats that made sense
>> to the player so they weren’t left guessing what their stats do.  We also
>> wanted to be able to create NPC’s and recruitable party members that
>> mechanically matched how they are portrayed in the story.
>> All statistics have a soft cap of 100 (i.e. no player or recruitable
>> character can go above 100 via normal leveling). Stats often have associated
>> perks that are unlocked when certain marks are surpassed.
>> Strength – Establishes extra damage on physical attacks, allows for the
>> use of heavier weapons and armor.
>> Agility – Establishes dodge and overworld walking/running speed and
>> jumping
>> Toughness – Establishes health, influences resistance to stuns,
>> establishes Current Health (CH) recovery rate
>> Willpower – Influences resistance to stuns, establishes strength of magic
>> and resistance to magic
>> Resourcefulness – Gives random bonuses like learning new spells, skills
>> and finding things, opens new dialogue options, etc. Our version of “Luck”
>> (I believe luck is often when resourcefulness meets opportunity).  Also
>> effects engineering and mechanical abilities
>> Perception – Reveals things in the world, such as facts about characters,
>> location of treasure, and weaknesses of enemies, establishes ability to aim
>> Charisma – Effects certain spells and skills, also effects party chemistry
>> and ability to recruit party members
>> Attack Ability – Establishes ability to hit the enemy with a physical
>> attack and do damage
>> Magic Ability – Establishes ability to hit the enemy with magic and do
>> damage
>> Block/Parry – Establishes ability of the character to block or parry an
>> attack
>> Dodge – Establishes ability of the character to dodge an attack
>> Potential defines how many character points (CP’s) a character gets per
>> level.  The purpose of potential is to give each player a different
>> experience as far as character development goes as well as a way for us to
>> make characters work mechanically as they are created.  For an example, an
>> old swordsman would be already good but would have low potential because he
>> already knows quite a bit. There are two methods of expressing potential,
>> constant (color) and random (random).
>> How Potential Works:
>> Every character’s potential will be represented by a color and in some
>> cases a star. The existence or lack thereof of a star is revealed through a
>> perk unlocked by perception.
>> Black – 3 CP’s
>> Purple - 4
>> Blue – 5 CP’s
>> Green – 6 CP’s
>> Orange – 7 CP’s
>> Red – 8 CP’s
>> Bronze Star – 1-3 Extra CP’s
>> Silver Star – 1-5 Extra CP’s
>> Gold Star – 1-7 Extra CP’s
>> For Example: So someone who had black with a gold star would get between
>> 4-10 CP’s, someone with green potential and no star gets a flat 6
>> Health in this game will be limited, rather than go off an attrition
>> system like most games have where you must spam healing potions or magic to
>> stay alive, the goal of our system will to avoid damage altogether.
>>  Tentatively, health will have a softcap of 200.  On top of health being
>> limited, healing outside of towns or special nodes will only be achieved via
>> the application of first aid which adds a small amount of health (dependant
>> on the skill of the medic) and can only be applied 3 times in between visits
>> to nodes/towns.  However, as previously discussed, the health system will
>> have a self restorative factor as well to help players survive.
>> How it works:
>> There are 3 health stats.  Max health (MH), Max Current Health (MCH), and
>> Current Health (CH).  Max Health is your characters maximum health.  When a
>> character is injured, the full amount of the damage done to the player is
>> subtracted from Current Health, but only half of that is subtracted from the
>> Max Current Health.  Current health Restores itself at a rate dependant on
>> the toughness statistic up to but not exceeding the max current health.
>> The other way of keeping your party members fresh and healthy is the
>> tagteam system.  Your party will have up to 6 total members at a time, with
>> 3 available for use in combat and hotswappable with the 3 sideline
>> characters.  Using this, injured characters can tag in for fresh characters
>> so the injured characters can be safe and heal.  Swapping characters will
>> also help combat strategy because you can match up the characters with the
>> enemies you’re facing.
>> Death occurs when someone’s CH is <1.  When a character dies, they can
>> only be regained by jailbreaking them at a node.
>> Hardcore – every character has the option to go “hardcore” – this means,
>> once they die, they are DEAD forever.  Once you set a character to hardcore,
>> it becomes locked.  The plus side to going hardcore is the character
>> automatically gets a gold star in their potential.  Some recruitable
>> characters will be hardcore by default.
>> Stuns occur when an opponent does an amount of damage as dictated by
>> (Willpower + Toughness)/40.  When stunned, a player/enemy has their ability
>> to dodge and block reduced by 50% and an amount of RT dependant on the
>> willpower/toughness statistics.
>> These can affect both player characters and monsters and have various
>> causes and cures.
>> Maimed – Halves Attack, Dodge and Block ability – Heals after battle is
>> over or via medic
>> Berserk – Unable to use magic or special attacks, resistant to stuns, 1.5x
>> damage on attacks
>> Bound – Replaces all abilities with a “break free” command that has a
>> random chance to break free.
>> Blind – Major penalties to Attack ability, aim ability, block and dodge.
>> Inspired – In various degrees adds to dodge, block and AA
>> Poisoned – drains life overtime
>> Controled – Character is under mental control of an opponent’s magic user
>> Each character has 0-3 skillsets.  Skillsets are represented in the combat
>> menu by commands that are along with the standard FIGHT, ITEM and RUN that
>> everyone has.  Examples of Skillsets are Cyan’s “Swordtech” in final fantasy
>> 3, Kain’s “Jump” in FF2, etc.
>> There are three types of skillsets:
>> Nested Skills – These are skills that are like folders that contain
>> additional skills.  When you train in physical/magical skills you gain
>> Attack/magic Ability as well as new commands that are nested in the
>> skillset.  An example of this is Sabin’s Blitz skill in FF3, Blitz would be
>> the nested skill, training in blitz would unlock the individual attack
>> skills such as pummel, aurabolt, etc.
>> Straight Skills – These are skills that are just the skill, no additional
>> skills are learned when training in the straight skill, instead you just get
>> better and more effective at the skill.  Steal would be an example of a
>> straight skill.
>> Passive Skills – Passive skills range from skills that provide straight
>> boosts to certain statistics like Attack ability or Dodge, to skills like
>> “Counter” that allows you to automatically counterstrike enemies.  Passive
>> skills do not give additional commands to the fight menu.
>> Skillsets can be learned in many ways, via trainers met in the game, books
>> found in the game, rewards for quests, etc.  Skills can be swapped at the
>> trainer at any time for the main player character but some skills will be
>> static for recruited players.  For example, a recruited Bard character may
>> have 2 Bard related skills, these are locked, but his third slot will be
>> open and thus swappable at will at the trainer if the player desires.
>> We will make default names for many combinations of skills, such as
>> Warrior for a combination of physical skills, Bard, etc.  These default
>> names can be swapped and changed by the player so classes are totally fluid
>> and customizable.
>> There are 4 stats that go into combat - attack ability, critical%, block,
>> dodge.
>> Attack’s AA + Block + Dodge create the number range, a random number is
>> picked inside the range and that number will dictate whether the attack
>> hits, or is blocked or dodged.  The number will also dictate the damage on a
>> hit (the closer to the total AA the better, with critical % being which
>> number range also produces a critical hit.)
>> Damage is dictated by how high the random number is as well as the damage
>> defined by the weapon (a flat rate) and strength (a multiplier).
>> for example:
>> 30-attacker’s AA
>> 10-defender’s Block
>> 10-defender’s Dodge
>> The sum is 50, then you do a random number between 0 and their combined
>> number. if the number is 0-30, it’s a hit (with the critical percentage of
>> AA being a critical hit. so if critical is 10% then a critical hit would be
>> if the number was between 27-30) if it’s between 30-40 it’s a dodge and
>> 41-50 it’s a block.
>> This is just for the basic core combat, many maneuvers and skills will
>> replace the random number with a timing based bar which picks the number
>> dependant on when you press the key when a line is going back and forth from
>> one end of the bar to the next or an assortment of other engaging methods we
>> will develop as the skillsets are chosen and worked through.
>> PERKS and CURSES (please suggest alternate names!)
>> Perks are special case bonuses (or negatives) that affect your character.
>>  Because perks are unique, there’s no blanket explanation. There will
>> probably be no limit to how many you can have. Here are some examples of
>> some perks that will exist to help give a general idea of how they work:
>> Insight – lets you see if a character has a star potential
>> Madness – Occasionally lose control of the character’s commands.
>> Avarice – makes treasure glow on the overworld map
>> Trap Finder – Makes traps glow on the overworld map
>> Blind – Permanent Major penalties to Attack ability, aim ability, block
>> and dodge.
>> Die Hard – If the character loses all CH but still have MCH left, they
>> will “get their second wind” and have their health restored all the way to
>> their MCH.

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