Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Why you argue realism in flanking mechanism while all weapon swings are made without any footwork, without constant moving forward or backward? I would say this is unrealistic and it looks like that in almost every cRPG (Kingdome Come Deliverance probably made it more realistic?)! Flanking was designed that way to fit rest of the systems in the game. It adds another tactical layer to the combat.  It just works. You can't efficiently react to all enemies surrounding single character. If all of them are engaged in melee combat the one who is flanked can't efficiently react to ranged attacks either or incoming spells. It seems logical for me and realistic. Even if your low level character is flanking legendary hero - "nec Hercules contra plures".

Flanking has it own set of abilities and talents which provide characters with for example better defense against flanking attempts, like One Stands Alone. There are tools to boost your acc and twist RNG for your advantage.

Edited by Silvaren

giphy.gif

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm arguing the way it is implemented can be improved. Nothing else. I am well aware that it is a game and a lot of things are implemented with rolls and abilities to mimic combat. That doesn't mean it can't be improved. Your argument that other things like weapon swings aren't realistic either isn't valid because we're not discussing that. I'm saying that the way the buff is applied is too simplistic and with a few adjustments could be better to fit the idea of flanking.

With regards to your comment on surrounding enemies, there are people versed in combat that can do this better than others. The thing is that the way flanking works in this game is too strong because it is too easy to create a flank and have it apply to everyone in combat, even to people not flanking. Positioning exists in this game to create flanking. Having everyone benefit from this equaly is very simplistic and hence can be improved to only apply to people flanking. If people were to stand still and not move at all then perhaps your argument about combat movement would be valid. But since you can create a flanking status by moving your characters tactically it is 100% controlled by the player. You will always be able to create a flank, even though in real life creating an actual flank vs a guy wielding a massive greatsword or other large weapon is very difficult. Let alone the fact that flanking vs full plate is pointless unless the people flanking are using a large morning star or other crushing type weapon.

Some of these things can be implemented into the game while staying true to the current mechanics of combat. It's a small improvement. Doesn't mean other things can't be improved either, but I'm just looking at this one as it feels too strong and too easy to create a flank. Perhaps we can increase the flanking bonus, but reduce the means to create a flank. You can even go as far as keeping equipment and training in mind in a dice roll. It's not incredibly hard to imagine how this works and it actually plays into the way the game is built.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's much harder tp fight multiple individuals than it is to fight a single individual, for the reasons Kaylon indicated. This is the reason that in many martial arts traditions, one has to spar multiple opponents to demonstrate the level of mastery of a black belt. I think the flanking "affliction" accurately reflects this.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

From a Game Design mechanics, I still find current Flanking perfectly fine. It rewards Micro-Management, Teleport abilities and Summons, it is a good trade-off with friendly-firing spells and is not such a big advantage that let you abuse Computer IA for easy insta-kills.
The fact that it is simple IS an advantage. The ruleset of this game is already complex enough (who said power level ?)
Therefore, I do not consider your suggestion as an improvement of the System. EDIT : but you may have a different opinion for sure !

From a realism point of view... why are we talking about Flanking and not about Health ? Like yeah you can wear clothes, run away everywhere, take a couple of Greatsword Hits and still freaking run and fight... Nonsense.

Edited by Elric Galad
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well we can discuss all things that can be implemented better, but I brought up flanking specifically as that was on my mind. And I think implementing it in a different way could be even more rewarding. I mean what is rewarding about casting Phantom Foes on every enemy and getting an automatic -10 deflection and -1 armor on all enemies?

I think it's funny that people throw a suggestion out the window if it is linked to realism because other things aren't realistic either. Well I hope next installment they have people walk upside down and wield potatoes as weapons to fight off an enemy called the incredible itch.

1 hour ago, dgray62 said:

It's much harder tp fight multiple individuals than it is to fight a single individual, for the reasons Kaylon indicated. This is the reason that in many martial arts traditions, one has to spar multiple opponents to demonstrate the level of mastery of a black belt. I think the flanking "affliction" accurately reflects this.

It is harder, hence training. You can train to fend off multiple foes. It would make more sense that not every class is as easily flanked. It is also much harder to flank a person wielding a sowrd and shield. It is also harder to flank a person wielding a long weapon such as a spear. All clear advantages that could be implemented based on the current mechanics.

What I'm saying is that it being targetted on the character makes it strange because a person attacking from the front and being defended has less of an advantage in this case than a person that is actively flanking the character. I'm not discussing whether it is hard to pull off or whether it cannot be done. I'm saying that the person who is engaged by the defender has less advantage than the person who is not engaged. If you attack me and I block your attack I am open to attacks from the side and back. The person attacking me there has an advantage. You don't, because I'm defending against you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, AeonsLegend said:

Still the fact that critical hit and miss is the same for a seasoned battle veteran and a toddler that cannot hold a fork is kind of strange.

well, if we're going down this hypothetical

a) poor scenario design if you actually have toddlers that pose a threat to you, or if for some reason you have 10000 toddlers fighting a dragon (5% of 10k toddlers critically hitting in one combat round could probably take down a dragon ignoring any damage resistance effects like 3e-style 5/+1) [though in the deadfire/poe-style system, 10k toddlers would appropriatley be slaughtered by a dragon without having landed a single blow]

b) in practice, toddlers would have like a 1d1 damage die and probably be non-lethal damage and would probably have a crit multiplier for x1, whereas a seasoned battle veteran has multiple levels of fighter, a weapon, and a 2x or 3x multiplier. so no, a seasoned battle veteran and a toddler won't have the same outcome for crits and misses.

 

anyway, back to OP topic, as kaylon said, the main abstraction i've heard about flanking is that it's basically an enemy is distracted by being flanked and yes that constitutes a benefit for everyone else attacking that enemy.

i don't find "realism" a useful metric for a game mechanic. I find "does it lend itself to interesting gameplay" a better metric. You're talking about realism in a game when people are able to withstand endless amounts of stabs and gunshots without any healing or first aid, and you don't hobble off to recover for months after a fight in which you've sustained damage. You're talking about realism in a game where people are able to coalesce ambient energy into explosive magic or temporary conjurations - every attempt at casting a spell should instead cause a nuclear explosion. Obviously a lot of the game is abstracted away and fictionalized, so I don't know why flanking in particular is something that needs to be tweaked.

edit: boy, ninja'ed by a bunch of other people.

Edited by thelee
Link to comment
Share on other sites

53 minutes ago, AeonsLegend said:

It would make more sense that not every class is as easily flanked. It is also much harder to flank a person wielding a sowrd and shield. It is also harder to flank a person wielding a long weapon such as a spear. All clear advantages that could be implemented based on the current mechanics.

I don't know if you're aware and this was intentional, but - barbarians can be made harder to flank, and with certain items you can be made harder to flank (the range conferred by quarterstaff and spear also effectively does this).

edit - from a game design perspective, flanking seems like a mechanic that should be the default. That is, if there are too many ways to avoid being flanked that are exceptions to the standard "flanking" rule, then it makes it a lot murkier and you can't really rely on it (this is the worst part of galawain's challenge - potentially getting unstoppable on a map full of beasts and having all your rogue and debuff strategy be pointless). It's bad enough that FS has a couple bosses that are immune to flanking and interrupts.

53 minutes ago, AeonsLegend said:

What I'm saying is that it being targetted on the character makes it strange because a person attacking from the front and being defended has less of an advantage in this case than a person that is actively flanking the character. I'm not discussing whether it is hard to pull off or whether it cannot be done. I'm saying that the person who is engaged by the defender has less advantage than the person who is not engaged. If you attack me and I block your attack I am open to attacks from the side and back. The person attacking me there has an advantage. You don't, because I'm defending against you.

I mean, I think it's fair to say that in this RPG mechanic, the abstraction lends itself to the flankee constantly trying to shuffle and divert their attention between the different flankers - hence why it's important that the target is actually "flanked" at approximately 180 degree angles. Simply being engaged by more than one foe from the front won't trigger flanked.

Plus, one could argue that within the system, we already cover what you're talking about - typically the person attacking from the front is likely to be engaged, whereas the person behind is not (but only against foes who are properly trained). That is an advantage that the rear flanker has over the front flanker. Depending on the fight, this advantage goes away or reverses - e.g. there are some big beasts where it is actually far more dangerous to be the rear flanker, due to tail lash (some dragon fights, porokoa)

Edited by thelee
Link to comment
Share on other sites

23 minutes ago, thelee said:

Simply being engaged by more than one foe from the front won't trigger flanked.

No, but a single character attacking from behind triggers it for the people on the front. That's the only gripe I have with the flanking system. Hence my topic.

30 minutes ago, thelee said:

the main abstraction i've heard about flanking is that it's basically an enemy is distracted by being flanked

I thought about this too, but the game has correctly implemented a separate debuff called "distracted" for this very purpose. A flanked character isn't automatically distracted. A distracted person would be open to more attacks, although not from the person distracting them. In this case I would argue that other characters except for the person distracting the character would get a bonus as well.

Then we have blinded which basically makes a character almost unable to propperly defend themselves. Although I do believe that perhaps a monk might have done training to allow them to fight while blinded.

23 minutes ago, thelee said:

I don't know if you're aware and this was intentional, but - barbarians can be made harder to flank, and with certain items you can be made harder to flank (the range conferred by quarterstaff and spear also effectively does this).

I am aware yes, but having this available for only the Barbarian is kind of meh. Also the thing with the longer reach preventing flanking is actually counter intuitive the way it has been implemented as it actually prevents the wielder from flanking someone else unless you position them closer to the target. It doesn't prevent enemies from flanking you or coming in for engagement. Thinking about it actually makes it pretty poorly implemented.

Edited by AeonsLegend
Link to comment
Share on other sites

33 minutes ago, AeonsLegend said:

I am aware yes, but having this available for only the Barbarian is kind of meh. Also the thing with the longer reach preventing flanking is actually counter intuitive the way it has been implemented as it actually prevents the wielder from flanking someone else unless you position them closer to the target. It doesn't prevent enemies from flanking you or coming in for engagement. Thinking about it actually makes it pretty poorly implemented.

hm, that is true, but frankly i could go either way on it. Clearly a pistol or blunderbuss is a ranged weapon, but at no point does it make sense to me that even a person at point-blank range can help "flank" a target. what is mechanically different from a pistol/blunderbuss held at 1-2m away, versus a quarterstaff at 1-2m away? i mean this is a bit of a philosophical head-scratcher, but is part and parcel when you scratch at an abstraction too much. I don't know why reach weapons should prevent enemies from getting into range or prevent flanking anymore than their current implementation, it all just seems like different attempts at abstracting something and I'm not sure any way is better than what is already in-game (well ok, i can say that in relation to my earlier post, I'm not keen on making it "easier" to avoid flanking by having some effect that prevents enemies for flanking you; flanking should just be an un-murky, reliable mechanic. I view in the lens of sneak attack or sneak-attack-like effects - when all other afflictions run out or fail, you can at least flank the enemy. keeping enemies at bay is interesting, but is probably way too powerful for a simple weapon effect - you'd outrange most melee enemies in the game)

Edited by thelee
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, thelee said:

keeping enemies at bay is interesting, but is probably way too powerful for a simple weapon effect - you'd outrange most melee enemies in the game)

And that's exactly why long reach weapons are used to great effect as opposed to short reach weapons. There's vids online where a person with a dagger or a short sword attempts to strike a man with a spear. It is nearly impossible without killing yourself.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And that's exactly why those weapons don't get implemented in a realistic way - because as I already said then everybody would wield a pole weapon. Players who wanted to play a stabby Rogue would be extremely disappointed that they don't stand a chance against that peasant with a pitchfork. Unarmed Monks would be ineffective unless they could somehow miraculously come into grappling range. 

This game - as most fantasy RPGs - is not a HEMA simulator. So its mechanics are there to allow all different kinds of players some fun and make combat enjoyable for all sorts of characters. Too much realism can kill enjoyment. Example: I once played the 3rd edition of a TTRPG where players with short weapons had to do separate rolls against characters with longer weapons in order to get into reach. And the long weapon guy could counter those rolls and do rolls of his own for regaining distance between them as long as there's enough room. Because that's more realistic when long reach weapons fight against shorter ones. 

That rule was making combat so tedious and unfun that it was scrapped in the 4th edition and never looked at again - nobody complained about that. It was more realistic but it didn't improve the gaming experience - quite the opposite. 

Abstraction is necessary and if flanking should be considered at all it should be an easy mechanic that fits into the existing affliction system. The current abstraction is a good way to do it because it isn't behaving differently from other afflictions - it's systemically fitting. I'd even go so far and say it isn't abstract/easy enough with that 180-degree requirement.

Battle Brothers, which still is a game that balances all weapons but has a more realistic approach to their usage, is doing "flanked" this way: if more than one character is engaged to an enemy then every character who attacks this enemy in melee will get a +5% to-hit bonus. Every character who additionally engages that enemy (max six characters can surround an enemy) makes it even easier for everybody who attacks that enemy in melee: +5% to hit for every "flanker" (+25% max if completely surrounded). But only for melee attackers. Guys with reach weapons who are not engaged but can reach the enemy will profit from but not contribute to flankling. Now if you have the "Backstabber" perk you gain +10% bonus per additiona comrade engaging the enemy instead of only 5%. If the guy who gets attacked has the perk "Underdog" though then all those bonuses get downgraded by -5% (so to -0% usually and +5% for Backstabbers).

This seems to be pretty much what you ask for: not everybody profits the same (Backstabbers get twice the bonus), some people are trained to fight multiple opponents (Underdogs can't get hit easier when surrounded unless there's Backstabbers) and ranged attackers won't get a bonus at all (in fact they risk to hit the flankers).

It's far from being 100% realistic but you can rationalize its workings and it fits into the overall combat mechanics very well. Because everything is hex-based and perks and effects work in a particular way where this abstraction makes more sense than coming from a 180 degree angle or something. 

Same with flanking in Deadfire. It's not very realistic but it fits into the set of mechanics that are there and behaves as most other afflictions as one would expect. You can still come up with a somewhat plausible story why this abstraction can make sense and it's easy to play with. 

As I said earlier there would have been a chance to implement flanking in the line of Marking/Sworn Enemy etc. (I guess nobody gets what I mean) and that would fit your demands pretty much - but would it make the game experience more fun for the majority of players? Not really.

Would your idea be more realistic? Probably. Would it improve the gameplay? Not likely. Players don't seem to care that much and a more complex solution that doesn't fit the affliction system might frustrate more players than it would please others.

I would even argue that flanking in Deadfire is too fiddly and the 180 degree rule is too much. 

Since one of your arguments is that the effect is too strong (I do agree, -10 deflection would be more than enough):
I would just tune it down: -10 deflection against melee attacks only. Ranged get nothing because while the enemy is busy with the flankers they have to make sure they don't hit their comrade(s) - so I would argue that evens out and thus no bonus.

I also would exculde it from all PER afflictions since those immediately unlock Deathblows, but that's another story.

One could even make flanking do only -5 deflection and then make it stackable: every melee attacker adds one stack of flanking. 5 attackers surrounding an enemy giving -20 deflection in melee. Or remove flanking from the Perception affliction path and make it its own layered affliction: flanked -5 vs. melee, surrounded -10 and -1 AR vs melee, overwhelmed -15 deflection and -2 AR vs melee. Numbers can be adjusted. Armor would get less because the surrounded/overwhelmed enemy is more likely to get stabbed into gaps of the armor etc. That would fit the system and cater more to your ideas. 

But I wouldn't try to exclude the guy who the enemy is facing since that's way to complicated.

But I still think the way it works now is acceptable enough and I wouldn't touch it. I would however do it the way I described above if I were to design a PoE3 or so.

 

Edited by Boeroer
  • Like 2

Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 hours ago, AeonsLegend said:

Still the fact that critical hit and miss is the same for a seasoned battle veteran and a toddler that cannot hold a fork is kind of strange.

The 5% chance to miss is a fumble and the 5% critical chance is a sucker punch - both can be caused by bad/luck or other factors which are not taken in account by the game.

If you compare the toddler to the veteran, looking only at the critical/miss chance doesn't give the full picture. The toddler will miss 19 out of 20 hits and his crit (1 every 20hits) will never be confirmed and will do just normal damage which is very small or is completely absorbed by his target. On the other hand the veteran will hit probably 19 times out of 20 for big damage and will crit at least once for at least double damage which will largely compensate the fact that he can miss once every 20 attacks.

PS. Even in reality, if you let a toddler slap you, most of the time you'll feel nothing, but once in a while he will land one that you'll feel - that's his critical.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Quick question since I'm not superfamiliar with contemporary D&D rules: Since when (which edition) does a crit need to be confirmed and how does that work? I guess you have to confirm it with a successful "normal" hit roll? Which would make a lot of sense and that's how I know it from some other systems.

I can confirm numerous critical toddler hits where it hurts the most. Didn't even need a weapon, knee and ellbows are sufficient. ;)

Edited by Boeroer

Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I believe crit confirmation started in 3rd ed.?

And yes, you need to beat enemy AC with the confirmation roll. If you don't, you just land a normal hit, not a crit  (misses are also possible within a weapon's critical threat range if the roll isn't sufficient to beat the enemy AC).

Edited by Haplok
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 4/5/2020 at 8:33 PM, AeonsLegend said:

Rapier is actually not effective vs armored enemies as it is a long piercing weapon.

Most weapons are not effective against people with armour, the idea that swords can chop through plate or chain over gambeson is propagated by hollywood. If armour were so ineffective it would never have been worn. I would recommend you signup to the scholagladiatoria channel on youtube if you want to learn more about the realities of weapons and armour. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCt14YOvYhd5FCGCwcjhrOdA

Here are some good videos about english armour with Dr Capwell from the wallace collection

 

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=DE+0%3A04+%2F+25%3A39+Capwell+%26+Easton%3A+A+medieval+knightly+effigy+in+Dennington%2C+Suffolk

Edited by ArnoldRimmer
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I posted that vid above (inside the spoiler tags). But the sidetopic "misconceptions about medieval gear" seems to be an unneccessary distraction from the actual topic of the implementatio of flanking in Deadfire (and PoE).

*There is no doubt and not really any discussion that plate armor doesn't work in reality like it does in games or movies.
But if you make plate armor (in games and other media) as effective as it is in reality then it would take away from the overall experience - at least if you are not making a very historical accurate game or movie. A fighter in plate would alway be the optimal way to play in combat. Rogues with daggers and leather armor (which isn't really a thing) would be wrecked completely. Who does want that in a fantasy where it's supposed to be fun to play different yet viable roles/setups? 

Edited by Boeroer

Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Man people really enjoy taking down an argument by looking at it from extremes only. There's so many opportunities to implement change and still have it balanced. You just have to want to see it. A reach weapon that provides +1 extra to flank is great and not OP. 

 

But I'm tired of argueing with roadblocks. Carry on with why stuff can't be done. It's so much more interesting than discussing opportunities and seeing things differently.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

41 minutes ago, AeonsLegend said:

Man people really enjoy taking down an argument by looking at it from extremes only. There's so many opportunities to implement change and still have it balanced. You just have to want to see it.

I can't see extreme viewpoints in this thread... at all.
As an olive branch I even presented some ideas to you that would take your initial idea and make it so that it fits into Deadfire's mechanics rel. flawlessly. Wouldn't call that extreme nor letting opportunities pass by.

You didn't even comment on that.

 

41 minutes ago, AeonsLegend said:

A reach weapon that provides +1 extra to flank is great and not OP. 

Eh? Nobody disagreed with that as far as I can tell? Getting those "refuting statements that weren't made" vibes again... but maybe I just missed the passage where somebody commented on that. I can't find it when skimming the thread. 🤷‍♂️

41 minutes ago, AeonsLegend said:

But I'm tired of argueing with roadblocks. 

Bringing forth reasonable arguments that show why the current solution is good isn't roadblocking. If you had convincing arguments there would have been forum users who'd agree to your proposals. If you are confronted with a lot of comprehensible counterarguments it doesn't necessarily mean that you get roadblocked - it could also mean that your idea isn't as spectacularly good as you thought it was.  

Edited by Boeroer
  • Like 1

Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My personal point was that it was hard for me to see how @AeonsLegend's changes were better than what's already in place. To me, they all fail in terms of "realism" and it's all just abstraction, and I don't know why one's abstraction is better than the one already in place, especially by certain rules of trying to demurk combat. If you want to pare a proposed change down to just "this weapon will grant you +1 enemies to flank" I mean sure ok, but I don't know why this abstraction is so much better than what's in game that it warrants change. It ultimately just sounds like "I want to leave my mark on this game" which I mean sure go mod it and do it, but it's not like there's some major gameplay flaw in the base system that your'e fixing.

There are actual gameplay flaws with flanked, but I haven't seen them mentioned here:

1. Flanked is sometimes a passive, sometimes an active bonus.

2. Perception afflictions shouldn't also provide flanked.

 

(1) is a bug and sometimes means that Flanked stacks with AR reducing effects and sometimes not. It's murky, when the combat system is trying to demurk, and clearly by its arbitrary-seeming effect could not have been intended.

(2) is simply because Perception afflictions are the only affliction class that automatically triggers Deathblows. This makes it way too trivial to trigger Deathblows and makes Rogues and Rogue multiclass really effective damage dealers (just by picking up Persistent Distraction for non-debonaires). It also has bad interactions with actual Flanked status and may contribute to (1). If you want to make Flanked weaker, I would argue that at the same time Flanked is weaker, Perception afflictions should get a different non-flanked effect that stacked with actual Flanked.

Edited by thelee
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

35 minutes ago, thelee said:

There are actual gameplay flaws with flanked, but I haven't seen them mentioned here:

[...]

2. Perception afflictions shouldn't also provide flanked.

[...]

(2) is simply because Perception afflictions are the only affliction class that automatically triggers Deathblows. This makes it way too trivial to trigger Deathblows and makes Rogues and Rogue multiclass really effective damage dealers (just by picking up Persistent Distraction for non-debonaires). It also has bad interactions with actual Flanked status and may contribute to (1). If you want to make Flanked weaker, I would argue that at the same time Flanked is weaker, Perception afflictions should get a different non-flanked effect that stacked with actual Flanked.

I adressed that (kind of) in one of my posts above:

11 hours ago, Boeroer said:

[...]

Since one of your arguments is that the effect is too strong (I do agree, -10 deflection would be more than enough):
I would just tune it down: -10 deflection against melee attacks only. Ranged get nothing because while the enemy is busy with the flankers they have to make sure they don't hit their comrade(s) - so I would argue that evens out and thus no bonus.

I also would exculde it from all PER afflictions since those immediately unlock Deathblows, but that's another story.

 

Edited by Boeroer

Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

Link to comment
Share on other sites

19 hours ago, AeonsLegend said:

It is harder, hence training. You can train to fend off multiple foes. It would make more sense that not every class is as easily flanked. It is also much harder to flank a person wielding a sowrd and shield. It is also harder to flank a person wielding a long weapon such as a spear. All clear advantages that could be implemented based on the current mechanics.

What I'm saying is that it being targetted on the character makes it strange because a person attacking from the front and being defended has less of an advantage in this case than a person that is actively flanking the character. I'm not discussing whether it is hard to pull off or whether it cannot be done. I'm saying that the person who is engaged by the defender has less advantage than the person who is not engaged. If you attack me and I block your attack I am open to attacks from the side and back. The person attacking me there has an advantage. You don't, because I'm defending against you.

You make an excellent point, AeonsLegend. It would be a great idea to make immunity to being flanked an upper level perk for melee classes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...